Friday, April 27, 2012


THE AVENGERS - Stay after the credits for the bonus scene where they introduce the new Avenger: Captain Planet.

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL - Four actors film their vacation.  It’s like Grown-Ups for old people!

LOL - Miley Cyrus stars as a text-loving girl who has to choose between 2 total hotties!  Oscar-bait season starts earlier every year! (As in my gross uncle Oscar)

A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN - Kate Hudson is dying, and dreams she meets God, played by Whoopi Goldberg.  If God turns out to be Whoopi Goldberg, I’m killing myself in heaven.

DARK SHADOWS - Austin Powers: Groovie Ghoulie

BATTLESHIP - Liam Neeson says “Fire everything!” That’s not something you say in Battleship! You say “Can we play something else?”

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING - Starring feathered hair, pillows and slumming comedians!

THE DICTATOR - The future of frat house Halloween costumes will be determined by this movie’s success!

HYSTERIA - A comedy about the first vibrator. Between this and The Dictator, the pubic wig factory was working overtime!

MEN IN BLACK III - The series that kept Will Smith from having to do “fat suit comedies”.

MOONRISE KINGDOM - Wes Anderson, directing yet another gritty, blood and profanity filled revenge story. Come on, Wes!

CHERNOBYL DIARIES - Young people see spooky ghost kids. It’s ALWAYS kids! Don’t old people ever die unavenged?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Pizza. A staple of American diet. It’s the universal go-to what you eat when you need to feed a lot of people. It’s a reward for kids. A true classic, seen at birthday parties, corporate meetings and college dorms.  It’s what you give interns and volunteers as “pay” instead of money.   And one of the biggest players in the pizza biz world: Pizza Hut.  Pizza may seem like a pretty straightforward endeavor, but Pizza Hut always has some kooky new “take” on their product. And who better to shill these innovations to the American public then our social betters: CELEBRITIES!   While it’s not strange for celebs to appear in restaurant ads, Pizza Hut has picked some unusual choices over the years.  Let’s look at a few, shall we?

Ringo Starr & 75% of The Monkees

Ringo Starr, the Beatle who will never, ever take his sunglasses off, took center stage in this ad for “stuffed crust” pizza.  There was a good chunk of the mid-90’s when Pizza Hut was really selling the idea of “eating pizza crust first”.  It’s a clever slogan, I suppose, but let’s consider what happens if you decide to follow Ringo down this method of eating.  You chomp down all the crust first, and (assuming your taste buds weren’t burned off by shoving a tube of hot cheese in your mouth)  you’re left with a dripping glob of cheese and toppings WITH NO HANDLE. You may as well eat pasta with your bare hands, or a grilled cheese sandwich without the bread.  You had Ringo, a beloved promoter of peace and love, tricking a generation into being left holding a wad of grease!  No wonder the 90’s were so cynical!

Rush Limbaugh

It’s pretty amazing to think what a big deal Rush Limbaugh used to be in the entertainment world. Now he’s pretty regulated to the radio and hard-core conservative functions, but in the 90’s, the guy was EVERYWHERE.  Another “stuffed crust” ad promoting getting your hands disgusting as you eat, this one is sort of remarkable, as it features some pretty outright skepticism for its spokesperson.  America’s forefathers come back from the grave to haunt their portraits, giving “oh please, girlfriend” takes in response to Rush’s self-aggrandizement.  
“Don’t go there!” - G. Washington.

Mikhail Gorbachev

It is time for the eating of the pizza, Comrade!  At the time is ad came out, Gorbachev said he did the ad because eating pizza “brought people together”. So this was basically like an ad for world peace, that just happened to feature a fast-food chain!  “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall, and join me around a delicious Meat Lovers pizza!” - R. Reagan. Hey, if you wanted an ex-Russian political leader to star in your pizza ad, Gorbachev is definitely your best choice. I heard they asked Putin to star in a Domino’s campaign, but the PR firm disappeared under mysterious circumstances after they brought him the wrong kind of bottled water on shooting day.

Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings

It’s hard to think of these guys as eating pizza, right?  I could see them singing the praises of oatmeal, the beef industry, or the idea of “drinking”, but pizza almost seems too modern.  I know they aren’t cavemen or anything, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. Oh, and I guess two legends of music doing a fast-food ad rubs me the wrong way, too.

Pizza Head

Pizza Head had his own talk show from the 1960’s and well into the 80’s, and was introduced to a new generation of fans in the late 90’s as an accident-prone adventurer.  He was tragically found cold in his Los Angeles home in 2002, where he was indifferently eaten by a UCLA student who claimed to be coming off of “a hell of a bender”.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Shame: Micheal Fassbender plays a sex addict in a movie critics are calling "courageous" in this NC-17 movie. That translates to "he shows his limp wang a lot!"

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: The title of this movie has to be changed in Japan, as "Tinker Tailor: Soldier Spy" is what they call James Bond there.

New Years Eve: Sarah Jessica Parker returns to the silver screen in this follow-up to Valentines Day? Did I get an extra birthday cake this year? Two of my wishes just came true!

The Sitter: Jonah Hill plays a babysitter who is in charge of 3 kids for the night. Everything goes great, nothing unusual happens.

W.E.: N.O.

I Melt With You: This title reminds me of the Burger King advertisements that featured this song, which makes me hungry. Then I realize this is not a hamburger, but a Jeremy Piven movie. Booo for not being a hamburger, movie!

We Need To Talk About Kevin: They are really jumping the shark with Home Alone 4!

Sherlock Homes: A Game Of Shadows: If Robert Downey Jr can manage to star as the roguish hero in a third series of movies, he will merge souls with Johnny Depp, and apocalypse can commence.

Carnage: Horrible grown-ups yell at each other for an hour and a half. When I was told this was a stage play, I was like, a-no-a-doy.

Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked: You may not be looking forward to the third chipmunk installment, but it is going to look like Citizen Kane when those MC Skat Kat movies start coming out.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Better than my screenplay: Perkins Hostess With The Butterfly Trampstamp, I guess.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: Tom Cruise's eccentric uncle is giving him one million dollars, if he can survive one night in spooky Ghost Protocol!

The Adventures of Tintin: Watch an army of elephantiasis-suffering meat puppets solve a mystery set in the 20's in this movie for children!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: THE HENRY ROLLINS STORY

The Darkest Hour: People battle invisible monsters. Way to save on special effects, Hollywood!

We Bought A Zoo: Cameron Crowe does it again! (Directs a miserable crap pile)

War Horse: Another Sarah Jessica Parker movie? (FART!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I get it, everyone! Ryan Gosling is a good-looking man.

I know this because A) I have two eyeballs in my head, which I use to look at things, and to then surmise said things into little piles labeled “Hot” and “Not”, and B) every article, review or interview with Gosling, no matter how brief, MUST CONTRACTUALLY (through a contract with the universe) state how good-looking Ryan Gosling is. Gosling has been called The Gallagher of Acting, as a “splash zone” for ladies must be established around his perimeter. (Sorry, mom)

With all this oohing and ahhing over the guy, it should be easy to hate on him. But his solid acting chops and aw-shucks Canadian demeanor put him in that rarest of Natalie Portman-esque camps: the Unfairly Attractive and Talented People Who Also Try To Be Actively Be Decent Human Beings And Annoyingly Seem To Have Their Life Together.
R-Gos, of course, caught the eye of America playing the lead role in The Notebook, the story of a man who cruelly tormented his Alzheimer-suffering wife night after night by reminding them how happy they were before she became ill. Then it was onto Lars And The Real Girl, playing a man who has a chaste relationship with a sex doll. You can watch a clip of it here:

Now, several years later, he opens two movies within just weeks of each other, The Ides Of March and Drive. Will they keep the Gosling name flying high? Or will these projects sink to Ryan Reynolds depths? Let’s find out!

Did you know that Washington and politics has the power to corrupt people? It’s true! In The Ides Of March (the title taken, of course, from an Iron Maiden song) R-Gossy plays the campaign manager of presidential hopeful George Clooney, because if you are a strong-featured man running for public office, you need someone equally crotch-soaking to run your internal affairs.

Gosling’s mentor is Philip Seymour Hoffman. The rival campaign manager is played by Paul Giamatti. IT IS THE GREAT SAD-SACK ACTOR-OFF OF OUR TIME! I cannot BELIEVE they did not give these two more than a few paltry minutes of screen time together. That was the Alien Vs. Predator for doughy character actors, and they blew by it. Strike two, movie! (Strike one is the terrible title, although the movie is based on the play Farragut North, so it’s at step up from that, I guess.)
In a secret one on one meeting, Giamatti tries to convince Gosling to work for his candidate. And although Gos-Gos is all “Nuh-Uh!” to the idea, going to secret meetings with the heads of your opposition is apparently frowned upon, and our boy Gossy is in deep trouble.

I generally like “inside the War Room” style movies, and although everyone is certainly Acting with a capital “A”, (as opposed to ACTING with all capital letters, like Nicholas Cage), it all feels like the 10,000,000th time we have been told that to Get Ahead in Washington, you gotta play dirty. This story is also supposed to take place over the span of about three days, but Goslings transformation goes from gee-wizz brightest boy in the room to cold, manipulative robot face so quickly, it’s almost comical.
At least in movies like The Candidate or A Face In The Crowd, you have a sense of slow dread that takes over the tone of the film, and creates and excitement of suspense. Watching The Ides Of March, you feel the actors are just waiting to give their big speechy speech that actors love speeching.

Now, onto Drive!

The movie doesn’t give Goslings character a name, so let’s just call him Drive.
“I drive”, says Drive. You sure do, Drive! When we first meet him, he is driving some robbers to their robbery. The police almost catch Drive, but he is too good at driving, and out-drives them.
We also find out he drives stunt cars for the movies. “Great driving!” says Walt Cranston, his driving coach. Then Drive eats three cars for dinner, and listens to “She Drives Me Crazy” on the radio. Then he watches his favorite Pixar movie…no, not Cars! It is Monsters, Inc. Drive is a three-dimensional character, people!

Drive doesn’t say too much while all this is going on, as Drive is a mysterious person who can be trusted to keep his mouth shut with all the criminal goings on. It is also easier for him to maintain his pretty pretty face at all times if stupid things aren’t coming out of it.
Drive’s next store neighbor is a young, a-dorable lady who has a even more a-dorable son. Seriously, the only way to get this kid more adorable is to knock out one of his front teeth, and make him say “p’saghetti”.
The young lady and Drive start getting sweet on each other, awww. But the young lady’s husband (GULP) is coming home from prison soon! (GULP GULP) My guess is that the husband is going to be none too happy about Drive hanging around, as any man would start getting a bit nervous if Ryan Gosling was suddenly smiling at their wife.
Adding to Drive’s stress, Coach Breaking Bad is buying him a racecar to start a legit driving career with mob money funds. UH OH, I HOPE THESE TWO DISPARATE WORLDS DO NOT COLLIDE! (They do)

On paper, this whole movie must’ve sounded so slight.
(I can’t imagine the script seemed any denser.

Full disclosure, I love this kind of highly stylized, borderline dream-state kind of movie.
I have heard plenty of people complaining that the movie is too music-video like, or indulgently paced, and it certainly has moments of both those things. But Drive (the movie, not the fake name of Gosling that I made up) is best if you just let yourself have a sensory experience. You get lulled into tranquil states, and are jolted out of them when violent forces enter the picture. It is also unbelievably beautiful to look at. Can we get the guy who shot this to shoot everything? The garbage looks pretty! Ron Pearlman looks like a delicious marbleized steak! Gosling’s jacket looks like the coolest jacket in the world! But please don’t buy it! If you do, it's going to be like when you wore a Han Solo vest to school, and instead of everyone treating you like you were an interstellar rouge, they stole your Almond Joy bar.

Is Ryan Gosling the past of Robert Redford, sent to the future? Maybe! We can only wait and see. At…THE MOVIES!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011



I-yi-yi. Look, I always loved Dracula. I like “vampire-y” things! You think I would’ve made it five glorious years being the assistant manager at a Hot Topic with only “work ethic” to keep me going? But could Hollywood just touch the breaks on vampires for a couple weeks? I guess Twilight started the “fanged snowball effect” (as Variety calls it), but that was YEEEAAARRRS ago. You know how you can make some off-hand comment about how you like something? The Beatles, say. Then your friend buys you something Beatles-related. Hey, great! But then other friends see that thing, and suddenly every gift you ever get is a crystal paperweight with the lyrics to “Imagine” etched in it, or something. Not only are you getting sick of the thing you like, you are receiving awful crap, done in the name of the thing you liked-but-now-are-sick-of. That is a very long-winded metaphor for me and vampires!

How does Fright Night stand up in this glut of sexualized blood longing? Let’s dive in!

“UH-OH! There’s a vampire living next door to me!”

This may as well be the opening line in Fright Night, for how quickly it throws you into Monster Time!

We meet Charlie, an all-American teenager living in Las Vegas. He loves skateboarding and girls butts, just like you or me! Colin Ferrell just moved in next store, and he is a “little odd”! Two seconds later, McLovin (who will be known as “McLovin” until the day he dies, even if he is elected to Supreme Court Justice) is freaking out, because he thinks Ferrell is totally a vampire. This all happens so fast, it almost feels like projector skipped about ten minutes, (I almost wrote “skipped a reel”, but of course movies don’t use film anymore, just beams of the Earth’s energy or something?) but honestly, it’s almost nice that Fright Night doesn’t spend a lot of time messing around. You’re here to see people kill monsters, for god’s sake!

I have to hand it to him, Colin Ferrell is pretty great in this. He just goes for it, full-tilt, acting like a cool uncle who is spending some time out of state for a “misunderstanding” between him and a sixteen year old girl. What a creep.

If you weren’t aware, Fright Night is a re-make of a fondly-remembered 80’s movie of the same name. Re-makes are always at the mercy of not being written for the current era. In the original, Charley enlisted the help of a local horror-movie show host to help him figure out how he could kill off the vampire. As local TV shows are now, at best, scarce (if not totally dead), they’ve changed the character to a Vegas magician who has a vampire-themed stage show.

Here’s the big problem with that change: magicians are patently fake. I know horror movies aren’t documentaries, (Although it would be a great twist if, when we die, god reveals that all monster movies are actually documentaries. Heaven would be a throng of nerds screaming: “I knew it!”) but at least if you were a horror movie host, you would have had to view hours and hours of monster-killing footage. A magician hosting a magic show that basically looks like Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love” video can pretty much just make it up as he goes along.

Even having to go see the magician seems like an odd thing to do. Just Google-search “vampire killing”! Or, if you are really hurting for product placement money, “Bing it”! (No one has actually said those words in real life). I know that you might want to find a sympathetic ear, but as far as killing the vampire goes, I’m pretty sure “stake through the heart” is the classic way to go. Although WHO KNOWS at this point, right? Every vampire movie just seems to re-set the rules to whatever. Just ask ol’ disco ball face.

All in all, this movie totally does what it needs to get don
e. It looks good, the acting is solid and entertaining, and the vampire done kill people good. I don’t need to go into it any further. If you see this movie, however, try not to sit directly next to a woman who eats an entire Chipotle burrito at the movies start, as it will smell like eight kinds of fart emerging from five kinds of holes. MOVIES ARE MAGIC!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I saw Harry Potter 7.2 on opening night. And let it be known: out of all the Harry Potter movies that also sound like an updated software applications, this is the best! Action! Adventure! A-Tragedy!
Was there a lot of nerds in attendance that night? Yes, of course. But it was mostly full of totally normal, average people. I know everyone says how "nerdy" they are for likely HP, but honestly, we are at the point where that's like someone in the 70's saying what a sci-fi head they are for seeing Star Wars. It's just a part of being alive right now. "I hope they do justice to the final hours of Voldemort" - Your Grandma.
Guys, I wish I could tell you all about the movie's plot, and make some snarky comments. But I got massively distracted by the MOST EXCITING MOVIE NEWS SINCE TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART ONE WAS ANNOUNCED: I SAW THE NEW TAYLOR LAUTNER MOVIE TRAILER!!!!!!!!

That looks like the coolest car commercial ever! Do you think Jacob can trust Doc Oc and Ripley in this game of cat and perfectly-sculpted mouse? It was literally all I could think about for the next 125 minutes. It was so distracting, I will have to show you what I remembered watching HP7 was like, rather than what actually happened:

Lumos Lautner! (The spell-binding thing is behind you Harry!!!!)

I hope Harry's not dead! And that Taylor never puts his shirt back on!

Pass that magic football Neville's way, Jacob!!!!

Harry makes sure that Taylor's abs aren't a Horcrux! LOL!

All the Death Eaters are so totally blown away by Taylor Lautner,
that they all explode into rainbows.

What a ride! Accio you next time, or whatever!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

GROAN LANTERN (Outta the way, MAD Magazine!)

Man, oh man. I did not want Green Lantern to be my next review. Tree Of Life is out, right? And yet, there I sat, shelling out $123.64 to see a movie that I could've cared less about. It was a result of peer-pressure. The pressure stemmed from having spare time, and was standing in a movie theater lobby with a friend who had already seen Super 8. Our choice was either a movie about fighting robots starring Indy Jones Jr., Mad Men: X-Men Edition, or a documentary about turtles. SUMMERTIME! We literally looked at each other, shrugged, and said: "Green Lantern"? And judging from what I saw onscreen, that was how the producers decided to make this movie!

I was never into Green Lantern, as I find his power as confusing as I do sort of lame: The hero has a ring that is green, because it's made out of Willpower, which is green, duh. He also has a lantern made out of the same material, and he needs the lantern to charge the ring up, for reasons I don't totally get. Like, the lantern holds a power supply, fine, but it's not like it's a HUGE lantern, or that it plugs into anything, so if it is endlessly self-sufficient, power-wise, why wouldn't the ring power itself as well? I guess you couldn't just call him "Green Ring", that
sounds like a problem you would have with your bathtub. So he has this ring, and whatever he can imagine will be created by the ring. But if he doesn't imagine it hard enough, then it won't be very strong? UH-OH BETTER CALL IN THIS GUY!

What is Green Lantern's biggest enemy? FEAR! Fear is the enemy of Willpower, I guess, and fear's color is yellow, so green is enemy of yellow. But did you know green is partially made up of yellow? It's true, I went to art school for five years. (Five!) So, is Willpower partially fear? Also, when you fight yellow stuff with green stuff, it seems to hurt it physically, so is all this "stuff" solid matter, or a spiritual force? I DON'T CARE IF THERE IS A MILLION DIFFERENT COMICS THAT WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN THIS, I'M WATCHING ONE MOVIE. If I want a movie that makes no sense out of context to the book, I'll watch Dune, because at least it has Sting in a hilarious codpiece.

If you are a regular reader of my reviews, you know t
hat I can joke around with a movie that I actually like. "Joke joke joke. Nah, just kidding, you're okay." I'm like a terrible, insulting friend to those movies! Not this one. How can you make a movie about a hero that can create literally anything, who gets his training in OUTER SPACE so boring?

Ryan Reynolds plays a fighter pilot who, we are told 5,000 times, is the best. He is also a reckless risk-taker. I would think that those two things would go hand in hand, but I will fully admit, I am not a pilot! His super-hot girl co-pilot thinks he is taking too many chances. She is so mad at him for being late to plane-flying, that she refuses to be his girlfriend until the last ten minutes of the movie!

So Ryan Reynolds ends up crashing a plane, because he remembers how his hotshot pilot dad crashed a plane? His freak-out is triggered by the photo he has of his dad IN THE COCKPIT WITH HIM. We see a flashback of baby Green Lantern seeing the whole thing go down, (although he could just be remembering a scene from Top Gu
n) and he looks about nine years old. Now, I realize that you would never totally get over a traumatic event like that, but Reynolds has apparently gotten over it to the point that he grew up to be a pilot, so how hair-trigger can he be?

In any event, he loses his job, and goes to the local pilot bar for a drink, where they keep the EXACT SAME PHOTO of his father behind the bar. Was his dad just handing out headshots to everyone? ("Which look do I choose, smiling with teeth or no teeth?" - G. Lantern's dad, R.I.P.)
As he leaves the bar, he gets beat up in the parking lot, but fights back with his newfound Green Lantern powers.

Oh, did I forget to mention that a dying alien crash-landed on earth, gave the lantern and ring to Reynolds, told him that he was a defender of Earth, and passed away? Well, he did.

Eventually Reynolds gets flown to outer space, where he is given a green suit made of pure energy to protect his body, and a mask "to disguise your identity when there is danger". Hahahaha! I don't know how it works on other planets, but it may take more than eye-diapers to really shroud a hero in mystery. Are we still really holding onto this idea? What year is this? Is there a communist listening in on my rotary phone? Can I see Milton Berle in a dress on my kinetoscope?

Paris Hilton, ready for STEALTH MODE

So the exposition aliens tell him that he has to represent Earth for the power of good, and that he can only be a hero when he learns to believe in himself, and to treasure every sunset, and when there was one set of footprints it was Him carrying you, and you can't save every starfish on the beach but it mattered to that one, etc. etc. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how many motivational posters they show him, Great Fear do they still feel in this one, so they shoot him back to Earth.

Oh brother, am I still re-capping this? Look, if you've ever seen a superhero movie, you know this whole drill, beat by beat. For as short as this movie is, it's almost exhausting seeing something trudge along in the exact way you think it will. Lantern learns to use his powers, gets the girl, find out how to face his fear. Time for a sequel.

And don't get me started on this:

One of the villains works as a science teacher in the Science Building. THE SCIENCE BUILDING? This movie had FOUR WRITERS ON IT!

(If Mad Magazine editors are reading this, I would love an interview. Here are some other title pitches: