Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Star Wars Sooper Special Editions

Be warned, this is going to be my geekiest post yet:

Earlier this week, yet another Star Wars set came out for sale. This was only the second release on DVD (I think), but the billionth version over all. This is now, probably, the fourth time I've bought some version of the Star Wars trilogy. I'm not complaining mind you. I'm just saying is all. This version is unique in that it combines the recently redone special editions and the original theatrical cuts. It doesn't come with the super spiffy documentaries and stuff on the set that came out a year or two ago, but if you want to be a completest and have both versions of the films, these are the ones to get.

Personally, I like the special editions better for the most part. Sure, there are some really weird, wacky editions that don't sit right, like Han shooting first, a few changes in dialogue here and there, and the wacky comic relief thrown in to the new introduction of Mos Eisley, but I still prefer it for the new special effects and subtle tweaks. Frankly, I don't think Lucas changed enough. Rewatching the original editions again really brought to light all the ways the first trilogy doesn't completely match up with the newer prequels.

Lucas should go balls out in his next special edition of Star Wars.

First of all, I need more Sam Jackson. You can't really expect somebody to sit through six films if Sam Jackson is only in the first three. You'd go through Sam Jackson withdrawls. Does anybody really believe Mace Windu died after Anakin sliced him up and threw him out of a window? Lucas should change the original Star Wars so, in that scene in Obi Wan's house, Mace is just chillin' on the couch watching TV. He can be like, "FINALLY you brought that motherfucker over to teach him the motherfuckin' force. Why the fuck we been sitting here in the desert for sixteen motherfuckin' years is beyond me. I need to get out and get some of that Corellian pussy!"

And then Lucas could just stick footage of Sam Jackson into the background, saying things like, "I don't care how bad it smells, get the fuck in there, motherfucker!" or "Shut down all the motherfucking garbage mashers on the motherfucking detention level!"

Or in that scene where Luke asks Obi Wan about his father and Obi says something like, "A young pupil of mine named Darth Vader betrayed and murders your father," Obi should actually say something like, "Oh yeah, Darth Vader is your father." And then Mace can lean over and say something like, "No shit. Motherfucker was one bad motherfucking dude. Killed babies and shit. Nice genes, motherfucker."

And then, in that scene where Obi fights Vader and Vader says something like, "When last we met, I was but the learner, now I am the mastah!" Lucas should change it so Vader says something like, "Hey, asshole, I'm gonna fuck you up for chopping off my legs and throwing me into a pit of lava. What the fuck was that about, man?! Who's got the high ground now, bitch?!"

Or in that scene where Luke asks Leia if she remembers her mother and she says yes, Lucas should change it so she says, "No, I don't remember my mother at all. I do remember... and this is going to sound weird... but I think I was raised by Jimmy Smitts? It never really occurred to me until now but why is my father hispanic? Think I'm adopted maybe?" And Luke could be like, "Jimmy Smitts? Really? I mean, he was good on L.A. Law and all, but Star Wars? Whatever. Yeah, I don't remember my mother either..."

Or in that scene where Leia kisses Luke on the lips, Mace can lean in and yell, "God damn!! Oh no you didn't!! You know she's your sistah, right?! You know that bitch is your sistah?! God damn, motherfucker! Or should I say 'sisterfucker'?"

Those would be some sweet movies.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Field of Awesomeness

Yes, that is me acting like a jackass at the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa. But wait... there's more.

Yes, that is Kevin Costner and his unnamed band appearing live at the Field of Dreams and in public for the very first time! Jealous much? But wait... there's more:

Yes, that is Lisa Loeb appearing for some unknown reason with Costner and his terrible band. She wasn't even introduced. After she came on stage and jammed with Costner, he basically said that she needed no introduction and then marvelled at how amazingly her career turned out. Yeah, it's real impressive how she's playing back up for Kevin Costner's band in a corn field in the middle of fuckin' Iowa. If only she had "stayed" at the top of the charts. Ha ha ha ha ha.

But wait... there's more.

And yes, that is a giant screen showing the film Field of Dreams in the middle of the actual Field of Dreams corn field. It was all part of some roadshow put on by the Netflix people. Read all about it here.

The schedule broke down like this: at 7:00 Kevin Costner and his band would play and then at 8:30 they'd roll the film. That means we had to sit through an hour and a half of Costner and his band's special brand of adult contemporary, shit-kicking rock and roll. Worse than that, there were about a thousand people there and we had to walk a half a mile from the parking lot carrying folding lawn chairs through a dirt road that wound around a fuckin' corn field in the middle of Iowa. And how bad was Costner and his band? Let's just say it was the first time in my life I actually found myself wishing I was watching The Postman.

But, seriously, what a jack ass, forcing a thousand people to sit through his shitty band for over an hour and a half (as it turned out) just because they wanted to watch the Field of Dreams in an Iowa corn field. I still love his movies and worship the ground on which he walks... but still.

Once he got off the stage and the movie started, it was pretty cool. I mean, we were watching Field of Dreams in the actual cornfield, on a beautiful summer night. How cool was that?

Jealous much?

Click here to see the rest of my pictures.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman Returns

Here's everything you need to know about this new Superman adaptation: In the comics, his cape is red and made out of cloth. In this movie, his cape is burgandy and made out of leather. I'm sorry, but if they can't even get the cape right, how are they going to get anything right? That sounds like a harsh fan boy complaint, I know, but when you have a character as beloved and iconic as Superman, you're playing with fire when you start to mess around with his established cannon. And, all things considered, the cape was the least of this Superman's problems.

Minor spoilers to follow...

But I did enjoy it, for the most part. It was a really neat, mostly entertaining movie that did a lot very well. To begin with, Brandon Routh was a great Superman. I had my doubts from when he was first cast up until I actually sat down in the theatre, but he's now officially in my dawg pound. My boy was a good Superman. He's not quite as handsome or charming as Chris Reeve was, but he's still more handsome and charming than anybody I've ever met. He was a good Superman and an even better Clark Kent. Routh and company actually made the correct decision in letting Clark be a character, opposed to the bumbling caricature he was in the earlier films.

Just watching Routh fly around in his Superman costume (as miscolored and oddly cut as it was) never got old. Too bad there wasn't more of, you know, Superman doing stuff. I actually think Lois Lane may have had more screen time than Superman, or, at the very least, she had as much screen time. And that wouldn't be ok even if they had cast the character perfectly, but it's certainly not ok since they got Kate Bosworth. Why has Hollywood had such a hard time casting Lois Lane? At least Kate Bosworth is pretty, which is a lot more than I can say for Margot Kidder. That's a low blow, I'll admit, but it's still true. But at least Margot Kidder had spunk. Kate Bosworth was a dramatic black hole. It's not even that she's a bad actress (what do I know?), but that her character was given nothing to do beyond looking glum and forelorn. But, still, I'd hit it. And so would Superman. I'd take her to my fortress of Solid tube... if you know what I mean. I have no idea what I mean.

Kate Bosworth is a lovely girl and a likable actress, all I'm saying is she's unconvincing as a world famous reporter, let alone one who won the Pulitzer Prize. Oh yeah, and how trite was that Pulitzer subplot? She won for some article about why the world doesn't need Superman. Some journalist she is. Her boyfriend runs off on her and she writes an editorial about it? What's next, the Nobel people are going to give their literature prize to my exgirlfriend because of the entries she wrote about me in her diary? Puh-leaze.

But she's got a point. Superman is a huge dick for leaving without saying goodbye. I know goodbyes are tough and all, but he couldn't have said something like, "hey, they may have found my home planet. I'm gonna go check it out"? Who would argue with that? That sounds likea fairly reasonable request to me.

And then there's Lex Luthor.

And then there's Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor sucks.

In the films, that is, not in the comics. Hackman and Spacey are two of my all time favorite actors, and they are both a lot of fun to watch in these movies, but imagine how much more fun they'd be if they had stuff to do! I'm sorry but Hackman's whole missile plot in the first film was ridiculous and made no sense, and Spacey's crystal-land-mass plot in this film is even dumber and makes less sense. This guy is supposed to be the greatest criminal mastermind the world has ever seen, not some bumbling fool hanging out with an obnoxious, moronic Ned Beatty, or, in this case, an obnoxious, moronic Parker Posey. I understand that Parkey Posey has become the go-to actress for directors who want to cast an artsy-fartsy actress in a really dumb role, but can't we all just admit that she sucks already? Hell, I'd rather have Otis back than that kid from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. No shit. He was actually in this movie as one of Lex's henchmen.

And, come on, the Lex Luthor from the comics never had to sleep with some old widow to make some cash. What the fuck was that about?

And, come on, he was released from jail because Superman didn't show up in court? Don't they have videotape of him hanging out with General Zod in the Oval Office, slapping the president around? I guess Bush is right, we really do need the Patriot Act. Send that mother fucker to Guantanamo already.

But more important than that all... this movie was boring and had no story. It was two hours long and there were only two, maybe three, action set pieces that stick out in my mind. I'm not saying that a movie has to be all out, balls to the wall action, but how about just a little? No wait, this movie had just a little. How about all out, balls to the wall action? It's a fuckin' Superman movie. Beat some shit down, man. Other than the scene where he saves the plane in the beginning and goes up against the machine gun guy in the middle, he didn't really do much at all. Lois's boyfriend and their kid did just as much and were every bit as heroic.

And speaking of Lois's kid...

Major spoilers to follow...

Super baby. What the hell? After 60 odd years of Superman stories, Hollywood decides to add that little nugget into the mythos? Did we really need that? And forgetting all of the questions this raises (humans and Kryptonians can inter-breed? Didn't this kid ever visit a doctor and get a blood test? Forget not having James Marsden's character's DNA, the kid ain't even human! Nobody ever picked up on that?!), doesn't it take away from Superman's cachet that there's some kid running around with the same powers?

I just don't like the idea of Superman as a dead beat dad. It's kind of offensive, in my opinion. And, let's face it, if there's any guy who can pull out in time, it's Superman.

But, all in all, I liked the movie. Even though it had no story, even though the villain had nothing to do and wasn't much of a threat, even though it fell short of the comics in every respect... it was still Superman. I'm not one of those people who thinks Superman is the greatest comic character ever... but he is in the top five. So even a bad Superman story still has something going for it, considering how it's still a Superman story. If you loved the orignal Superman movies, it's a safe bet you'll like this one, since Singer and company did an incredible job remaining faithful to the look, tone, feel, and overall continuity of the film series. But I didn't really like the other Superman movies. The stories are dumb and the characters are nowhere near as good as they are in the comics. This was a really neat, entertaining movie, but it failed for me in the same three ways the original films. But everybody else loved those movies, so maybe everybody else will love this too.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Here's a movie for all the people who came out of Lost in Translation thinking, "You know, that movie was ok, but not enough drift racing!" I'm not ashamed to admit that I was one of those people. I'm not ashamed to admit that here on my blog, that is, where maybe 2 people will read a post on a good day. It's not like I'm going to walk into work tomorrow and say, "Hey, everybody! I would rather watch a second sequel to a bad Vin Diesel movie than some pretentious piece of shit that got nominated for a half dozen oscars." I'm not going to do that, even though it's all true.

But we were talking about Toyko Drift. It's a safe bet that nobody is going to walk out of this movie thinking, "You know, that movie was ok, but not enough drift racing." I've never seen more drift racing crammed into one feature length film. In fact, I've never seen more drift racing anywhere, at anytime. Nor would I want to, but that's neither here nor there. This movie contains the long-theorized theoretical limit of Drift Racing in any motion picture. This movie's use of drift racing could become the next standard universal constant. If this movie contained any more drift racing at all, the amount of drift racing would start to stretch into the infinity. Long story short, there's a lot of drifting in this movie.

And it's pretty good drifting, as far as these things go. In case you haven't seen any of the commercials, drifting is where you turn your car and brake in such a way that you, well, drift around corners. As they say, if you ain't out of control, you ain't in control. (And as a brief aside... that line wasn't even in the movie. We've all heard Bow Wow (nee little) say it in the trailer, but if it was actually in the movie, I must've zoned out because I didn't hear it. Lame.) All things considered, it's a really neat way to drive a car, but it isn't much of a premise on which to base an entire movie. Being able to slide around a corner isn't much of a hook, or, as Hitchcock called it, a "macGuffin."

But I liked it. This was a pretty good Fast and the Furious movie. I had some doubts going in. After all, what is there to say about a movie that even Paul Walker turned down? But then I remembered all of the movies that Paul Walker actually agreed to do, and I felt a lot better. It's not like he turned down Tokyo Drift to do a production of The Ice Man Cometh. He did that piece of shit Running Scared and some movie about snow dogs. So this movie isn't really a sequel in the traditional sense, it simply takes place within the same universe as the other Fast and the Furious films. Think about how silly that sounds for a few minutes. Some producer in Hollywood actually said something like, "Hey, baby, this idea of racing cars is too good to pass up. We need another FF movie pronto."

And I'm glad they did. Hell, I hope they keep cranking out these movies every couple years. They're dope. They're just two hours of hot chicks leaning against hot cars. What could be better?

I'll tell you what could be better...



A cameo by Vin Diesel of course!! No shit. You've got to sit through the entire movie and you just get about 30 seconds at the end... but come on! Diesel! That was the greatest moment in film history. This was even better than Diesel's cameo at the end of The Passion of the Christ where he played God.