Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Batman Essay (And some other stuff)

Let's clear out the linkage first, and then I'll go on to the Batman stuff...

First, a quote from Brandon (my 13 year old son). "If all the karate masters only teach one student at a time, how come there's so many of them?"

I have no idea Brandon. On to some linkage:

There's a list of Band Name Origins here, that might be worth your time if you're into that kind of thing.

Don't know what this picture is, but it's freaking me out.

Rush's YYZ played on Kid's Toys. Remember the actual song sounds like this.

I wish I had that 5 minutes back. Funny video.

Compare and contrast various Alice in Wonderland characters with the new Tim Burton movie coming soon.

Really? Really?

Neon Maze is pretty cool. Though, you may want to ignore some of the *cough* more adult games on that page. Unless of course, you're, you know, an adult.

So. Batman. Yeah.

This is going to start with a list of the 6 craziest Batman 3 rumors, and then I'll just go off on a tangent and we'll all go on about our business, k? K.

This is Christopher Nolan. Chris has made some decent flicks.

This is David S. Goyer. Dave wrote the Batman scripts. He also directed a terrible movie and for a while he owed me 8 bucks for that. But then I saw Dark Knight and now I'm just gonna call us even. Cool? Cool.

Rumor after rumor has hit the inter-ma-nets about Batman 3, and they're all just pie-in-the-sky crazy, and here's why: Nolan doesn't have a script he likes. But that doesn't stop the inter-ma-nets from posting everything that sounds even vaguely like casting news. So here we go with the 6 craziest Batman rumors:

6.) Johnny Depp will play the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman will play The Penguin. (Source)

Why people believe it: What's not to like? Depp is a great actor, big time movie star, and made Captain Jack Sparrow one of the most beloved maybe he's not all there characters in movie history. He's got a HUGE following. He's a consummate actor. He's fun. Why wouldn't we get this guy? Hoffman is critically acclaimed. Another great actor. He's sort of got that pudgy build you'd need for Penguin. He'd probably be great in the role. Again, what's not to like?

Why it's crazy: There's no script. No script means there's no need for a Riddler. Riddler might not be in the script. Why would you hire an actor to play a character that doesn't even show up in a non-existent script? Even better, Nolan apparently commented at one point that there were three characters who were verboten, who would never show up in a Batman movie directed by him. One of those characters is the Penguin. It's just too goofy. You can thank Tim Burton and Danny DeVito for that one. They sort of screwed that character up. Way to go guys.

Chances of either of these actually occurring: Depp as Riddler ~30% chance. Hoffman as Penguin ~5% chance.

5). Shia LaBeouf will play Robin. (Source)

Why people believe it: There's no doubt about The Beef, he is one of THE single biggest stars in Hollywood right now. How big? They wrote him a part as the Robin style side kick to Indiana Jones for the much anticipated 4th Indiana Jones movie and Indiana Jones DOESN'T have a sidekick! How wild is that? So, if they're willing to create unnecessary character sidekicks for him in movies where they don't need one then surely when an actual existing sidekick character role comes along he's the one you'd think of. I mean, for God's sake, in the Indy movie his name is Mutt. How dumb is that?

Why it won't happen: Remember earlier when I told you there were three characters Nolan would never put in his Batman movie? Thank God, Robin was one of them. See, he's already smarter than Joel Schumacher.

Chances of this occurring: 0%

4). Various people have been approached/signed to play Catwoman, including Cher, Rachel Weisz, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Angelina Jolie. (Source, Another Source, a 3rd source, a 4th source)

Why People believe it: Catwoman is one of the big four (see below) so it's not unthinkable to think that she'd make an appearance in the franchise at some point. But seriously, Angelina Jolie? This doesn't seem like her kind of thing. She stopped making Lara Croft movies. Cher? I mean, really? Has anyone seen her recently? Isn't she like 900 years old? Rumor had it that Nolan wanted her specifically, but I seriously doubt this. Rachel Weisz? Maybe. Just maybe on that one. But Maggie Gyllenhaal? That requires Christopher Nolan's dark gritty Batman world to include zombies. Don't think that's gonna happen.

Chances of any of these happening: Jolie as Catwoman ~4%, Cher as Catwoman ~ -10%, Weisz as Catwoman ~15%, Gyllenhall as Catwoman ~0%

3). Eddie Murphy is playing the Riddler. (Source)

Why people believe it: I have no idea.

Why it won't happen: Seriously? Should I even bother with this? This one's just out there lunatic crazy, but it got a lot of play for a couple of days on the Interwebs for some reason. Murphy himself blew this off on The Tonight Show, saying he'd be better as the Egghead from the old 60's tv show, then he dropped an "Egg-squisite" an "Egg-cellent" and a "They'll never solve this hard boiled crime!" Which actually bumped him back up a couple of notches in my book because he's not crazy enough to believe it, and that was actually kind of funny. Seriously, the guy who came up with this rumor should be a Batman villain because he's clearly got crazy down.

Chances of this happening: Murphy as Riddler ~0%

2.) Robert Pattinson is going to replace Heath Ledger and play the Joker in the next Batman. (Source)

Why people believe it: Well, there's some slight touch of believability here because of the big name factor, like with Shia above as Robin. Pattinson is huge right now if you're a teenage girl (thanks to Twilight) and he is blonde, you know, just like Ledger was.

Why it's crazy: Here's what happened. An interviewer asked Pattinson if he'd like to do a superhero movie and he made some comment along the lines of "Hey that Batman made a lot of money, it'd be nice to be in one of those." And then another "journalist" took that story and ran with it, with a headline that read something along the lines of "Robert Pattinson Replacing Heath Ledger as the Joker" or some other such nonsense, despite the fact that 1.) He never said anything like that, and 2.) There's still no script, so do we need a joker? *shrug*

Chances this will actually happen: ~2% (you never know)

1.) There won't be a Batman 3 because Christopher Nolan isn't going to do it. (Source)

Why People Believe it: Nolan is clearly not 100% on board. He seems to have other things to do. He's not liking any of the scripts he's seeing right now. You know, it's just not that big a deal to him.

Why it won't happen: Hey, you know how much money Dark Knight made? Is there a number bigger than a ho-jillion? Do you honestly think there are execs at Warner Brothers going, "Oh, Nolan's not on board? Guess we just won't make another one." That's not going to happen. This already happened after the first movie, he did The Prestige before hitting Dark Knight. I think they'll give him one movie to get it out of his system (He's working on something called Inception right now) and then if he's still hemming and hawing we're gonna have a new director, Nolan be damned. Maybe it'll be McG (he did just do Terminator with Batman himself, Christian Bale), or Brett Ratner, or some other terrible director. Maybe they'll get somebody dark like David Fincher to do it. Or maybe they'll go out on a limb and grab somebody unexpected like McTiernan. But bet all your money on this, there's another movie coming whether Nolan finds a script he likes or not. Executives don't turn down money.

Chance of this not happening: Same as me winning the lottery.

Here's the thing about Batman, I'm a HUGE Batman fan. HUGE. You have to look at the possibilities. The Big Four Villains have been (since the 60's TV show) Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman. This is why they always come up. Joker, you get Jack Nicholson and he does a great job. And then you get the Heath Ledger Joker and he just nails it, like hits it on the head like a 100 megaton nuke. That character's gold and by far the ultimate Batman Villain. He's Batman's archenemy. Batman's nemesis. He's like Holmes's Moriarty, or Bond's Blofeld. The other characters, well...

Penguin is a guy in a tux, a little tubby, with a monocle and a machine gun firing umbrella. I mean that's ok in a comic, but it's not gonna fly in the gritty dark realistic Batman world that's going on in these movies. He might work as a mob boss, but only barely.

Catwoman is just a burglar with a cat fetish. She's got the skin tight suit, but you could see her realistically showing up in the series somehow. The problem with her is, the thing between her and Batman is a romance thing. There's no violent fight, there's no obvious potential for a big action sequence. It's a lot of juxtaposition of these two creatures of the night, one out for justice, one doing her own thing. (I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up Jeff Freeman's comment about her, which was can you imagine how nice Gotham would be if she were a good guy like he is? Batman keeps that noise in check by himself, how much less crime would there be with two Batmans, only one is kicking your a** faster because she made plans for later.)

Riddler is rife with problems as he currently exists. Can you imagine the realistic world getting the guy with the green jumpsuit covered with purple question marks? Want to see how that plays in the real world just take a look at this guy. That's not gonna fly. Neither is the laughy, giddy, big gold cane wielding Riddler Jim Carrey and Joel Schumacker shoved at us. There's potential here if you make him super dark, like a serial killer who leaves riddles to screw with the Gotham PD, like the Zodiac killer. But then how much of a Riddler is he really? This one seems like the best potential, and surely Depp could pull this off, but it's still a longshot.

See, to me, Batman movies are like the anti-Transformers. I could go off on a whole Transformers 2 rant because I hated it so much, and I know other people like it and they say "it's just a popcorn movie, big robots fighting, explosions, Megan Fox, etc. how can you hate it?" And the answer is, I hate it because it had some nice source material and it just didn't deliver. This was how I used to feel about Batman movies. Remember, we got that one good one with Nicholson as the Clown Prince, and then we got that DeVito abomination of a Penguin (really, penguins with missiles strapped to their backs? Really?) and then we got the ridiculous Riddler/Two-Face movie (has there ever been a more obvious grab at getting two guys who were Big Box Office Draws at the same time? Carrey was just making his mark and Tommy Lee Jones fresh off the Fugitive? Those guys had no business with those roles). And then there was the life altering Batman and Robin, which really, someone should have gone to jail for.

My point is, people at the time made the same kinds of comments "It's just a popcorn flick. It's just a superhero movie. Why so much hate?" And it's because I see the potential of Batman, just like I see the potential of GI Joe and Transformers. And we're not getting the potential. We're getting the popcorn flick. I like the potential better. When Batman Begins first came out it was like somebody realized the potential, and not just abused the license. And the 500 Bazillion dollars Dark Knight made seems to back me up on this. We can do better. And we should. I'm glad we're doing better with Batman, and with Bond as well, come to that. I'm just not sure how it's going to end.

Oh, and the third character that Nolan would never use in a Batman movie? Batwoman.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Terminator vs. Predator vs. Alien vs. Vampires vs. Pringles vs. the Three Stooges....

Daybreakers. Coolio looking vampire movie.

Best Pringles Ad ever.

Update on that Three Stooges movie I was talking about the other day: Sean Penn appears to be out as Larry, and now there may be Paul Giamiti-ness taking his place. Just FYI.

For the love of God, please stop teaching MACHINES TO EAT FLESH! You're just making it easy for Skynet later.

I know I went on a rant about Terminator the other day, but seriously, here's some problems I have:

1. If Sarah Conner had had an unlisted phone number the Terminator would have never found her.
2. Why is it that Skynet builds a time machine that can't send non-living material through time, then immediately proceeds to send an 800 pound robot covered in "living tissue".
3. Why didn't the humans just wrap a bunch of weapons in "living tissue" in order to send them back with Kyle Reese?
3b. Why didn't Skynet think of this? T-800 had to go to a gunshop for cryin out loud!
4. It's not like Skynet has to wait the 2 days T-800 runs around L.A. trying to kill Sarah Conner to find out what happened, there should be a light somewhere at Skynet HQ that says "Status of Sarah Conner in 1984" with a light on it. That light either immediately turns red right after the terminator is sent back in time, or it failed. If it failed, why not immediately send another terminator? It actually waits like 15 years before sending another. Why?

I can't even go on. It's just too silly. This is all because I watched the first Terminator the other day and it's so good, and so much fun, and then everything after that is just ridiculous. It makes me sad. It's like Alien Vs. Predator. The first Predator is an A+ action movie. Predator 2 is actually a B- action movie. Alien is an A Horror movie. Aliens is an A+ action movie. How do you combine those two things to make a D- first movie and an F+ second movie? I don't get it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Afoot. That's what weird things are.

Last Airbender teaser. Meh. I don't like that kid they got for Aang. Maybe he'll surprise me, but he doesn't look right.

New Moon teaser. Double meh. Oh, look, that dude's a werewolf. What a surprise. Hey, the acting in the trailer is...oh, I'm not even gonna lie. It still looks terrible.

Ponyo! Finally. A kids movie I want to see. I'll probably have to go see it without the kids. I'm sure it'll look too much like a "kids" movie for them to want to go see it. But Miyazaki is brilliant. Kayla will go with me.

We talkin' bout Practice. Nice.

Here's 25 words you don't know.

More clever logos.

William Shatner on Conan O'Brien. It's all terrific, but make sure you get to the part where Shatner has to do the Vulcan salute. Totally awesome.

Weird things are afoot. They usually are with David Fincher involved. The man's a bit of a loon. But he directed not one, but actually two of my favorite movies. And then there's Aaron Sorkin. Also, with some problems. But one of my favorite writers. Really good stuff. Really good. And movies as well. He seems to work best with an ensemble cast. And what could be more of an ensemble than the Facebook movie? Oh yeah, that's right. A facebook movie. Told you it was weird.

New Look (Again)

I thought since the Lakers won the title I'd go ahead and give myself a new color scheme to reflect how awesome that is, so i threw some purple and yellow in here, and well, you know. Except for that big green title thingy (cause I'm the toad, right? No. It's because it won't let me change it for some reason.)

Anyway, there's some random trash I wanted to post coming up, and then, you know, i'll just bail from here and go back to whatever it is i should be doing instead of this.

Very cool video for AION, a Korean game coming out from an old company I used to work for.

Creepy pics of Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Yay Zombies!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lakers 99, Magic 91 in OT

A nice 3-1 series lead lets me breathe a little easier. Make no mistake, it's possible that Orlando could win 3 in a row, 2 of them in LA, but it's not likely. So happy times are here for me. Fish stuck a couple of 3 point daggers into the Magic just to make sure the corpse didn't get up like Jason at the end of a Friday the 13th movie. In particular I want to note a couple of things. Apparently Alonzo Mourning made a comment about Kobe being more of a coach than Phil Jackson, which is patently ridiculous. The man has 9 NBA titles. Tied with Red Auerbach for most ever, and he's about to become the only coach in history with 10.

But what really sets that up is the last play in regulation, where down 3 points the Lake show opted to bring the ball down full court instead of from the midcourt line. At the time the commentators were out of their minds with "What are they doing?" style comments. But here's the genius of Phil Jackson. It looks for all the world like he drew that play up with precision accuracy, because a couple of nifty down court passes left Fish almost all alone to take that 3 pointer. This is the genius of Phil Jackson. He not only lulled the Magic into double teaming Kobe at the far end of the floor (because of course they expected him to take that last shot), but it kept so many Magic defenders all over the court trying to defend that Fisher had very little defense to contend with to hit the shot. Both tactics, not having Kobe take the shot, and spreading the floor by taking the ball out full court instead of midcourt, worked to perfection. That's why Phil is about to have a ring on both thumbs.

Now this guy knows how to light a cigarette and look cool doing it.

You want bizarre? Ok, how's this for bizarre. The Farrelly Brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Me, Myself & Irene) are making a 3 Stooges movie. Couple of things; first, there have been a few 3 Stooges movies in the past few years, biopics, you know, the story of the 3 stooges and how they got together and the Shemp and Curly Joe and whatnot. But apparently this is not what's happening.
The Farrely brothers are shooting a movie that's just a 3 Stooges movie. Like a movie the 3 Stooges used to make in the 30's. That's a neat premise, and I'm sort of interested. But what really just makes the whole thing take a left turn is the cast.
How bout this for your Moe Howard? Che Guevara is Moe? That's weird right? Well, how bout this for your Larry Fine? Oh, that's right. Larry Fine requires powerful acting! And don't forget the last guy. Who's gonna shave their head to be Curly? You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. I'm not crazy, right? That's just ridiculous.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Look (Again)

I thought since the Lakers won the title I'd go ahead and give myself a new color scheme to reflect how awesome that is, so i threw some purple and yellow in here, and well, you know. Except for that big green title thingy (cause I'm the toad, right? No. It's because it won't let me change it for some reason.)

Anyway, there's some random trash I wanted to post coming up, and then, you know, i'll just bail from here and go back to whatever it is i should be doing instead of this.

Very cool video for AION, a Korean game coming out from an old company I used to work for.

Creepy pics of Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Yay Zombies!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lakers 104, Magic 108

Lakers lose game 3. Oh well. That was the game that I was willing to just let go anyway. I figured the Magic had one in em. In particular I'm impressed that the Lakers actually managed to play all the way through to the end. They've had a bad tendency to win the first 2 games of a series and then just take game 3 off and lose by 30. At least this time they played it through to the end.

Though, now I'm wondering if they were all in the locker room after going "We lost anyway! We could have taken the game off!"

Anyhoo. 43 inch curved monitor you say? Yeah, I'd like one of those, please, ok, thanks. Don't let the $8000 dollar price tag deter you. Though some people who actually saw these in action say there are giant lines on the screen like they just glued 4 monitors together. So there is that.

This movie looks totally cool. And I can imagine this being the future of the world.

I really should invest in some nerdier bookshelves. Or, failing that, maybe I should just build myself a rocket launcher. (Thanks to Kai for the link.)

Now THIS is how you simulate a rain storm. Oh, and then they do Africa by Toto. Sweet.

I never heard of Jimmy Car before, but after seeing this bit, where he deals with a heckler in his crowd, I may have to go find some more of his work.

If you gave Japan an unlimited amount of money and technology what do you think their army would look like? Yeah, I think they'd just do this.