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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Video entry for a Nesquik contest

From Luke & Rob

A new video from the fellas at Tres Gatos! Don't bother watching it on this page as the quality is poor. Click on the video or copy-and-paste the link I've provided below. Once on the YouTube page, click "view in high quality."



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-6pUWJa0Fk

Variety recently never said, and I quote: "Let's face it... Tres Gatos is a dynamic enterprise with enough promise to suggest a climb atop Hollywood. For the time being, TG stand as precocious disciples of comedy, but soon will surely have disciples of their own. You must look out for TG, as they are no doubt a force to be reckon with!" It was nice to not get a blurb, even if it was overloaded with buzz words and some run-on's. Thanks for nothing Variety!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excerpts from interviews with Carmen Electra and George Lucas

By Rob

I thought the following story from Carmen Electra was pretty funny... really crazy, of course, but funny. I read it in an interview with moviefone.com.

Are you [and Disaster Movie co-star Kim Kardashian] able to walk around in public without being hassled? Do you ever have experiences with people coming too close to your space?

Electra: I had a weird experience when I was working at MTV. We were shooting an opening of a new restaurant or something. And we were in a different city. I flew in, and I was all by myself because it was one of my first jobs. And I didn't have anyone with me at all. I flew in, and the driver picked me up and took me to the hotel. And there was a guy in the lobby with a clipboard. He said he was from MTV and sort of had the rundown of my schedule and took me up to my room and was in my room with me. I was hanging out with this guy for the entire day. And finally the phone rings and I said, "Answer it," because I was getting ready. And the people from MTV freaked out because they didn't know who he was. It turns out he was a stalker, so they arrested him.

I also found an interview with Star Wars creator, George Lucas, who was promoting Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Again, moviefone.com gets props for a funny interview.


1. How did you come up with the idea of doing 'Clone Wars'?
When I was doing 'Revenge of the Sith,' I thought, "Gee, it's too bad that I'm starting 'Episode III' by going right into the end of the Clone Wars." So we came up with the idea of doing a little animated series for Cartoon Network.

Can you really say, "Gee, it's too bad [I didn't have this featured in the movie]" when
1) You've written, directed and produced the movie
and 2) The movie you're making has a budget of 115-million.

I mean, why didn't he write a script that featured more of the Clone Wars? He clearly makes time for everything else he'd like to see (see Jar Jar Binks) so why not the Clone Wars? I liked Revenge of the Sith and disliked Attack of the Clones. Couldn't he have worked more of it into Attack of the Clones?

2. You did two of those in 2003. Why did you decide to do yet another series ?
I started in animation in college, and then I moved to live action, but I have produced a lot of animated films and I really always wanted to get back to it. I was so enamored with the idea of doing the animated 'Clone Wars' and doing something that really wasn't focused on Anakin's problems of going to the Dark Side. So I decided that when I finished the features, I would go back and make the best animated TV series that has ever been done.

The best animated TV series that has ever been done? I get that he's promoting his movie and stuff, but that's just ridiculous. He doesn't have to be that extreme.

3. Wow, the best? Isn't that a tall order?
Well, that's the fun part! We helped evolve CG animation and we've been involved with it for a long time. I love anime, I love graphic art, I love Japanese influences. This is my chance to really have some fun and, you know, do it the best. It's not quite Pixar quality, but definitely of a quality that nobody's ever seen before.

Not quite Pixar? Is he completely full of shit? It's nowhere near Pixar. It's not quite Space Chimps. It looks like junk. It actually looks like a Clone Wars video game from the early 2000s.

I work at a movie theater, so I watched a couple minutes of The Clone Wars during my break. I'm a big Star Wars fan, but I know well enough not expect anything from this movie. I wouldn't pay to see it and even though I can see movies for free (as a theater employee) it'd be a waste of time to watch it in it's entirety. As for the parts I saw, the audio didn't really sync up with characters' lips! I think that's Animation 101.

The interview goes on and Lucas says a few more pompous things. Check it out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where's My DVD!? -- TV Shows Missing in Action on DVD

By James

As a big fan of TV, I think that the best aspect of the DVD revolution over the past ten years has been the increased access to the complete series of TV shows from all eras. On VHS, most TV series received one or two Best-of video compilations, allowing me as a kid to see certain classic episodes of old shows. Now nearly every TV show is on DVD, including many shows that arguably have no fan base (Cathouse: The Complete Series, anyone?) while many classics are still unavailable. The following is a small list of many shows I love that are out of print or unavailable along with several shows I've never seen but would love to catch this time around on DVD.

Get a Life (1990-1992)


This sitcom, starring and created by Chris Elliott, aired on Fox for two seasons before being canceled after a meager 35 episodes. Despite its short run, it became a cult hit and seen as one of the most innovative and absurd sitcoms of all time. (The show revolved around Chris, an early thirties slacker paperboy who still lives with his parents.) In what other sitcom does the main character die in 12 episodes? The show had a notable writing staff including Charlie Kaufman and Bob Odenkirk.

In 2000 and 2002, Rhino Video released Best-of DVDs for the show that only included 8 episodes. The DVDs are currently out of print. Elliott claims that the DVD has been finished but its being held up by legal issues (possibly regarding the show's theme song, "Stand" by R.E.M.) but I say hooey. Let's get this thing out so I can finally see the rest of it. I've only seen the best of DVDs and need more!!

The State (1993-1995)


For a sketch comedy show that has spun off so many great films and shows in the past ten years (Reno 911!, Stella, Wet Hot American Summer, The Ten), MTV is still yet to release the series, which ran for 26 episodes over three seasons, onto DVD. The DVD release has been postponed and pushed back multiple times. The cast recorded commentaries and bonus features have been finished. Until the DVD release, you can check out the first season streaming for free on MTV.com

The Tom Green Show (1999-2000)


I want a complete series DVD of all the MTV episodes, including the specials (Monica Lewinsky Special and the Peabody Award nominated Cancer Special). Tom Green is hilarious and that's that.

The Larry Sanders Show -- Seasons Two through Six


Sony Pictures released the first season of the HBO classic in 2002 and rereleased it to coincide with the release of last year's excellent DVD, "Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show" which compiled 23 of the series' best episodes. I've thoroughly enjoyed these two releases but I want whats beyond "Not Just the Best" -- the whole series. The show had so many great episodes throughout its run and its about time it gets a release. Until then, the show is easy to find on YouTube and in decent quality.

Upright Citizens Brigade - Season Three DVD


Comedy Central released season one on DVD in 2003 and season two in 2007. I'm not waiting another four years. I call upon them to release season three along with a Complete Series set (much like the excellent one they put together for Strangers with Candy).

The Adventures of Pete and Pete - Season Three DVD


Much like UCB, the first two seasons of this show are available on DVD but we still need the third and final season.

Now here are two series that although I never saw have always intrigued me.

Fallen Angels (1993 to 1995)

Fallen Angels was a neo-noir Showtime series that ran for two seasons (15 episodes) . Here's a quote from the show's Wikipedia entry: "The television program was produced using top-notch directors, well-known hard-boiled fiction writers, experienced screenplay writers, inventive cinematographers (who recreated the film noir images), and actors. The art direction gave the series the ambiance and historical look required of a show devoted to noir set in Los Angeles."

Episodes were directed by actors like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, & Kiefer Sutherland as well as notable directors like Steven Soderbergh, Alfonso CuarĂ³n, Peter Bogdanovich, & John Dahl. Cineamtographer Emmanuel Lubezki did camera-work on two episodes. Everything about this screams "Why haven't I seen it yet?"

China Beach (1988-1991)

The show revolved around the Vietnam War and was a critically lauded show that suffered poor ratings. I don't know much about it, but have always heard good things.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Horror Movies

By Rob

What inspired this post was The Blair Witch Project, which I watched today in it's entirety for the first time ever. This post was going to be about old movies I've watched for the first time just recently... but I ended up writing a lot about the state of horror movies in general.

A quick word on The Blair Witch...
The movie is a a phenomenon and is unlike any other movie I've seen or heard of. It was a product of gross advertising; basically the first movie to utilize the Internet as a way to create buzz. I wasn't sure if the movie would hold up as being scary because a lot of the mystery behind the movie has since been uncovered (ie. how real it actually is). It remained pretty scary for me. The story of the film's production is really fascinating, but I'll get to that another time.

Anyway, while watching The Blair Watch I started thinking, "what is a horror movie and what is the current state of the genre?" I don't want to squabble over semantics, but I'm always partial to horror movies that rely heavily on suspense. I know that is really the foundation of what are more commonly categorized as thrillers, and not horror, but let's keep it all under the same umbrella.

It seems that movies like Saw and Hostel are what constitute as horror movies nowadays, and they rely almost entirely on torture and hyper-violent images to scare you. I guess there is some merit to that, but at best that's to be a crutch and not the foundation of a horror movie. I don't like it when audiences has grown so desensitized that there's no longer an actual market for the suspense films I love. I truly believe others would love these movies too, if they gave them a chance.

Are there movies out there that rely on suspense? Sort of. Are they of high quality? No longer. But I'll get to what's available for a guy with my tastes soon.

Saw is designed to appease to an impatient audience, and with each film the ante is being raised in the Hollywood-wide gross-out contest; hence the desensitization. It's sort of ingenious. I used to think that if a viewer wants to be scared; truly wishes to enjoy all that the genre has to offer... then they must be patient.

What movies like Saw ask is, "why be patient when our brand of horror movies pay off early? Patience is for suckers." Why wait an hour to hear a gun fired when Saw shows you torture 10 minutes in? Nothing can be worse than being systematically killed in a dank room, right?

We obviously all have our own fears, but the most commonly shared is the fear of death; the ace that horror movies keep up their sleeves. With Saw you get death. That's for sure. What I'm questioning, from a cinematic standpoint, is whether Saw approaches the prospect of death the most effective way; if they use their ace prematurely. It's a question of pacing, really.

To me, the scariest thing is to be killed despite barely being touched. That's what a movie like The Blair Witch Project -- or most recently The Strangers -- does. It sure seems systematic, but the primary major difference is the unraveling of humanity. In Saw, I get to see someone's ribcage explode. I literally see blood, sweat, and tears running from some person in two minutes tops. But just because I see a someone's flesh pierced doesn't make them human to me. The most convincing way of proving the present of humanity on screen -- something I consider essential in a movie if I am to be made truly terrified -- is to approach the story in a slower and more eloquent fashion. If the characters aren't human, they don't prove themselves to be vulnerable.

Saw has it's merits, and I think a lot of it's overwhelming gore; the quick payoffs and all, is intended to be somewhat comedic. I can't rationalize it any other way. Still, it's box office success has (and will) influence horror movies for some years. That's a big part of the problem.

The Ring could be seen as a compromise between the gross-out brand of new Hollywood horror movies (once exclusive to exploitation films, I might add) and the endangered brand of horror movies that are heavily reliant on suspense. However, movies like The Ring (The Hills Have Eyes, The Mirror, etc.) are seriously flawed in that they try to do too much -- likely a result of being heavily manufactured -- and in trying to obtain balance, bite off more than they can chew. These movies attempt to share both a gross-out component and a suspense component, and in doing so fail to find any identity.

So, yes, like I said there are suspense films being made, but so many seem compromised or, in the case of M. Night Shymalan, based on a poor and/or thin premise. (They suck for a number of reasons.)

It sucks that so many of the horror movies made today are either remakes of foreign films for a U.S. audience and remakes of old horror movies, 30-years removed. Where's the originality? One of the few things that's available for a guy who craves suspense in horror films is a pick at any one of the handful of remakes being made. Unfortunately few of these try to reinvent the film they are based upon, and instead do a poor job of making a shot-for-shot remake. Original works seem far and few between.

The closest I've seen anyone come to maintaining that balance between excessive gore and suspense (a balance which may be unachievable) is in the work of Rob Zombie. I appreciate Rob Zombie so much. You can see his influences throughout his films, and he has developed a style that is far reaching, ambitious and unique. Original work in horror is rare, and it'd be rarer without Zombie.

For now, I'll settle for movies like The Strangers and Cloverfield when I need my monthly dose of terror, because they show craftsmanship.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

By Luke

I would put it #2 for best movies of the year thus far. The 7 really great movies this year are (in order):

Reprise
Be Kind Rewind
Mister Lonely
Chop Shop
Flight of the Red Balloon
Speed Racer

Those would be followed by Encounters at the End of the World, The Dark Knight, Cloverfield, In Bruges.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona felt the closest to Annie Hall of any of the Woody movies I've ever seen (there are a lot I haven't seen). That doesn't mean I necessarily think it's his second best ever, but movies like Manhattan and Hannah and her Sisters (i.e. the relationship dramadies I think Annie hall is most often compared to) don't have the same balance of charm and fantasy that makes Annie Hall so great and it was really surprising to find it here, even though VCB isn't nearly as great a movie. It's very fun and engaging, and yet there's this really potent edge to the relationships lying underneath the surface. There are laughs here, just like Woody Allen comedies, and there are the same 'true' relationship moments that can be found in Annie Hall, and a lot of people would say 'Hannah' and Manhattan as well. So it really felt like a return to form by the Woodster, plus it's full of great performances and Barcelona art.

Maybe an indicator of whether you like the movie is how you feel about the title. One review I read said the title was the first indication that Woody has gotten lazy, and he thought the movie reflected that. I think 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' is a clever title in the same vein of Old Woody (if that's lazy, what are: "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Hannah and her Sisters," "Broadway Danny Rose," "Zelig," etc.?) and the movie reflects that, it's a throwback to Woody's Golden Age.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Links Links Links!

By James

Time for some links to interesting reads from the best in magazines, newspapers, and blogs.

The Shorter, The Longer by Jim Emerson (The Chicago Sun Times' Scanners Blog)

Emerson has many valid criticisms about the pacing and overall experience of The Dark Knight that really resonated with me. I liked the movie but repeated viewings and time have only led me to find more problems behind the film that have continued to keep me from being able to love it.

Malwebolence by Mattathias Schwartz (The New York Times Magazine)

It's two weeks old now, but still worth checking out.

Superbugs by Jerome Groopman

Groopman is one of my favorite staff writers at the New Yorker and always worth reading.

Check It Out!

By James

For my first post here, I thought I could offer some recommendations of the many things I've been enjoying lately.

TV:

Mad Men Season 2 - Sundays 10PM on AMC and ON DEMAND
This season has started slow, but the first season didn't really pick up until the last few episodes. Give it time and enjoy the gorgeous eye-candy, Christina Hendricks. Hubba Hubba!


Oz Season One - Available on DVD
Oz is probably one of the more underrated series in HBO's history. It is far more remembered for its shock value, but the show pulls you in right off the bat and is so entertaining. I saw the first season a few years ago and upon revisiting it, I can't wait for my season two DVDs to arrive. The highlight of the show is probably Dean Winters as Ryan O'Reilly, the prison's manipulative and scheming Iago. Winters also deserves credit for his great work on 30 Rock as Dennis Duffy, the on/off boyfriend of Tina Fey.

Veronica Mars - Available on DVD
I am usually hesitant about these shows with cult followings that are on shitty TV networks (ex. any Joss Whedon series) but Veronica Mars deserves its praise. The show is a whole lot of fun.

Radio:

The Best Show on WFMU - Available on iTunes or http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/bs
It's the best show on radio and it's a must-hear every week. Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster are not only the funniest people on radio but perhaps today's best comedy duo.

Gilbert Gottfried Appearances on The Howard Stern Show - Available on http://thehsdaily.blogspot.com/
Gottfried is easily Stern's funniest guest ever and responsible for many memorable moments in the show's history. A classic example is a 2002 appearance where New York City real estate magnate Abraham Hirschfeld calls into the show from prison.

The History of Howard Stern - Available on http://lebeamer.blogspot.com/
Sirius Radio produced a 25 hour radio documentary special in December 2007 that covers everything Stern until the mid-1980s. Part two of the special will be aired in December 2008 and will cover Stern's show from 1985 until present day.

Books:

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

Plays:

Blackbird by David Harrower
Oleanna by David Mamet
Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan
The Overwhelming by JT Rogers
Talk Radio by Eric Bogosian

My Calm-a-Sutra Tea Scholarship Entry

From Luke & Rob

Before you press play, I suggest you click on the video -- or copy and paste the link I've provided below -- and watch the higher quality version (I can't get that on to post) on YouTube by clicking "view in high quality" to the right of the rating. Thanks!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wy-PO4GlYw

Anticipation Meter: 22 Movies (...and then some more)

By Rob

There's always a bunch of movies I'm looking forward to seeing... So I thought I'd make a list featuring those movies. All of them are in various stages of development, and I've ranked them based on my current level of anticipation and will adjust it when that changes.

As of August 14, 2008:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (to be released: December 19, 2008)
Easily one of the top 10 best trailers I've ever seen. This movie seems as promising as they come.

2. Lincoln (to be released: sometime in 2010; filming to begin: early 2009)
Liam Neeson is one of my favorite actors. And to me, Abraham Lincoln seems to fight Howard Hughes for the title of 'most interestingly complex man of prominence in American history.' Steven Spielberg is a tremendous director. I thought that the most recent Indiana Jones was a C+ movie. But SS is still having a solid decade. He had that streak where Artificial Intelligence: AI (a solid B movie) came out in 2001, and had both Catch Me If You Can (A-/A) and Minority Report (A/A+; one of my top Spielberg movies and likely in my top 10 for the 2000s thus far) in 2002. I don't even have too many bad things to say about The Terminal or Munich. I think he's putting out movies that are just as ambitious those he had in the 90's. The bottom line is that the only thing about Lincoln that upsets me is that the film's production continues to be pushed back for Spielberg's less interesting projects. (namely Tintin)
3. Quantum of Solace (to be released: November 7, 2008)
It's nearing release is partly what gets QoS this high as it is. However, it'd still be in my top 5 if it were March. I really, really enjoyed Casino Royale and I expect more of the same.

4. The Road (to be released November 26, 2008)
5. Up (to be released May 29, 2008)
It's Pixar... What more must I say? Check out the teaser trailer.

6. Sin City 2 (to be released: sometime in 2009) & Sin City 3 (to be released: sometime in 2010)
7. Inglorious Bastards (to be released: sometime in 2009)
8. Shutter Island (to be released: October 2, 2009)
9. The World's End (to be released: sometime in 2010)
I don't really know what the movie is going to be about, although the title is probably self-explanatory. All I know is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are starring, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are writing the screenplay, and Edgar Wright is going to be directing it. And that's more than good enough for me.
10. Australia (to be released: November 14, 2008)
What a trailer! The movie will be Baz Luhrmann's fourth. He takes awhile between films (four years between Strictly Ballroom and Romeo + Juliet; five years between Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!; and seven years between Moulin Rouge! and Australia) so I hope this one is worth the wait.


Sidenote: Hugh Jackman's character is named "The Drover." Sounds pretty badass to me.

11. Blood Meridian (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Another Cormac McCarthy novel is coming to the big screen. Any complaints?... No? I thought so. I like the resumes of the guys behind this adaptation a little more than I do the resumes of those behind The Road. For this round of Cormac, Ridley Scott is directing and William Monahan (who penned The Departed) has written the screenplay.
12. Funny People (to be released: July 13, 2009)
Judd Apatow goes back to the director's chair for only his third film from that spot. His best movies (Knocked Up; The 40-Year-Old Virgin) have come as a writer/director, so you can expect Funny People to move up this chart as production gets underway.
13. Tripoli (to be released: sometime in 2009)
William Monahan has written a screenplay for the film, which may be in development hell.
14. Observe and Report (to be released: April 10, 2009)
OK, look... I know I've placed this way too high up but formatting sucks. I'd tweak here and there on the second half of the list, but the order is not so off that it's worth the incredible amount of time it could take an idiot like me.

Moving forward:: Jody Hill, writer/director of The Foot Fist Way and the TV series East Bound and Down, writes and directs Observe and Report. So he's a very funny fellow and it's got a pretty funny, and talented, cast. I think East Bound and Down will go down in my book as 2008's best new TV series. Even if it doesn't run for long, I can say for certain that it has one of the best pilots I've ever seen. Check it out on HBO.

15. Nine (to be released: December 11, 2oo9)
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in Rob Marshall's film version of the 1982 hit Broadway musical, based on Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2. Yes, I'm interested. My understanding is that it's exactly like 8 1/2 but with singing. Sounds strange, but yes, I'm still interested.
16. The Hobbit (to be released: sometime in 2011) & The Hobbit 2 (to be released: sometime in 2012)
This movie is bound to jump some spots once... well, if they ever finish scripting..
17. Untitled Bruno Project (to be released: May 15, 2009)
Sacha Baron Cohen is bringing the character Bruno from his popular TV series, Da Ali G Show, to the big screen. The Channel 4-turned-HBO series had only three characters (Ali G, Borat, and Bruno), so I have pretty high expectations for Bruno; the last of the trio to make the jump from TV to film.
18. The Green Hornet (to be released: June 20, 2010)
19. Whatever Works (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Larry David with Woody Allen? It could be the Woody Allen comedy I've been waiting for. I hope Larry David has a bigger role in Whatever Works than he did in New York Stories and Radio Days. Oh, and Ed Begley Jr. has a role too, and he's a pretty funny fellow.

The big question is this: Will Larry say "These pretzels are making me thirsty"...? I can't wait to find out.

20. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (to be released: sometime in 2o10)
I'll know exactly where to put this as soon as I see a trailer for Shutter Island. It's Scorsesse, so assume this will hit single digits on this chart.
21. Burn After Reading (to be released: September 12, 2008)
I love the Coen Brothers but the movie is being released so soon to this list being posted. I still wanted to show it some attention.

22. Eagle Eye (to be released: September 26, 2008)
Like Burning After Reading, Eagle Eye has a release that is too near to make it worth ranking higher. I think it'll be a very fun movie, and the #21 spot isn't necessarily a slight against it.


Notable:


Untitled Alfonso Cuaron Project (to be released: sometime in 2009)
Details are scarce, but who even cares what it's about? I'll watch it with the sound off if I have to.

1906 (to be released: sometime in 2009)
IMDb breaks down the plot: "A young man discovers a series of secrets and lies that left San Francisco highly vulnerable to the fires that engulfed it in the aftermath of the historical 1906 earthquake." The story is pretty intriguing (it's an adaptation of a book) and oh, yeah... Brad Bird is directing!! Sure it's not animated, but I trust him as a filmmaker. Ratatouille was a masterpiece... I've gotta see his follow-up. This will climb the list soon.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (to be released: November 7, 2008)
I enjoyed the first one quite a bit. Not top of the line for animated movies, but it was good. This should make the list.


Bolt (to be released: November 26, 2008)
It looks pretty goofy to me. It could be OK.


Tetro
(to be released: sometime in 2009)
Francis Ford Coppola directs, Vincent Gallo stars. There... You've peaked my interest. Francis Ford Coppola is only 3 films removed from Jack (I'm not providing a link to that one), and it's clear he's never going to be back on his game. But at least now he's working on something interesting. The thing that could have sent the movie onto the brink of very interesting was Javier Bardem's involvement. Bardem quit the project, and later dropped from movie-musical Nine, citing exhaustion. As weird as Vincent Gallo is, I'd favor an eccentric guy such as VG to someone flat. I'm really only moderately interested anyway.
PLOT: "Follows the rivalries of an artistic Italian immigrant family." Very vague, I know. That's one of the reasons why it's on the fringe.

Star Trek (to be released: May 8, 2009)
I liked Cloverfield (I understand he didn't direct, but whatever; it was him and his team behind it) and Mission: Impossible III. I enjoy LOST. I'm interested to see what J.J. Abrams does with Star Trek.

Wartime Lies (to be released: sometime in 2009)
The story of Wartime Lies move to the big screen is an interesting one, but the short of it is this: Stanley Kubrick "was going to adapt Wartime Lies in the early 1990s, but dropped it when Schindler's List was released." [1] And now William Monahan has written a screenplay for it... I really want to see it brought to life, if only to see what the hubbub is all about. It'd be on my list, but with so few details made public it's hard to get excited.

Jurassic Park IV (to be released: sometime in 2009)
More Monahan (he's writing this, too) but it makes little to no difference. It's taken forever to get the ball rolling on this one, and with the 2nd and 3rd installments turning out to be sub par, it's no real wonder why. Spielberg has reportedly been turning down screenplays for a couple years now, and I only wonder why he didn't wait longer on the 2nd and 3rd. My expectations are low. Still... I've gotta see it! For anyone interested, you should check out the plot summary.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Olympics and Why No One Cares

By Luke

Rob, this is a follow-up to our earlier conversation...I consider it the icing on the cake.

Not only is Phelps 3 for 3 on gold medals, he's 3 for 3 on world records. Are you kidding me? Olympic sports are in the category with tennis, golf, etc....marginal sports where the technology is outpacing fan interest.

In fact, maybe that's a reason the most popular sports (baseball, basketball, football) are so great: even advancements in their equipment haven't skewed the game (obviously that's what's so threatening about steroids). While guys may hit more HR than they did fifty years ago, there is still a feeling of the ebb and flow of history and that's a crucial part of baseball. The Olympics have kicked it into high gear so fast that there is no sense of connection to earlier eras and that's how you end up with Phelps re-writing the record books.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"438-Pound Beekeeper From Wisconsin" Ran Boston Marathon

By Rob

Before I go any further, he participated in the 2007 Boston Marathon, so I admit I'm reaching the well-covered story pretty late. It still remains a nice story.

His name is Jacob. He lost an incredible amount of weight in the training process and used his website -- where he documented his training and life, in general -- as a way of raising money for major charities. (No, it was not a scam. It all went to charity.)

Like I said, that was all pretty well covered. What I noticed on his website, and can't seem to get over, is all the ill-will that was sent his way. There's always going to be weird people out there who will knock down a just cause (Jacob essentially represented three noble organizations) but his site attracted some really strong hatred. Check it out here, where he has compiled a number of such messages. The bright side is that there are a lot of really nice ones in a section he calls "Hall of Fame."