Friday, June 09, 2006
I don't know how excited I am for this movie. I really like J.B. and I also liked Napoleon Dynamite, but I have serious reservations about this comedy. I will say that while working on Nancy Myers, The Holdiay, I got to see J.B. on and off set, and he was very gracious with everyone. I didn't speak to the hombre, but we exchanged eye contact and he gave me the "was up bro" nod. Anyhow, after changing out of his wardrobe, he showed up to lunch late, most stars would just walk to the front of the buffet line, but not J.B. he calmly waited his turn at the back of the line, classy. Anyways, if you're a fan, you'll want to read this well written article about him and his new movie here. And if you're interested to see Jack in a romantic comedy with Kate Winslet, click here! I have to say, I liked the script, but am not impressed with this trailer.
John Cusack got interested in his latest Indie film, Grace is Gone, by the absence of news coverage of flag-draped caskets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Serving as the film's producer and star, Cusack says making the film was a "politcal" action for him, but that the film itself is not. The story involves a father of two who becomes deeply conflicted when his wife Grace, a soldier in the army, is killed while serving in Iraq. Read more here.
"The group, Gnarls Barkely, comprised of Grammy-winning Gorillaz producer Danger Mouse and Atlanta soulman Cee Lo, performed for the MTV main event last night, which was hosted by actress Jessica Alba. Despite Cee Lo's somewhat muted microphone, Gnarls Barkley, whose entire band sported the outfits of various Star Wars characters, wowed their audience with a live version of their St. Elsewhere smash hit "Crazy." I missed this but MTV will be re-running the show all weekend, I think it's worth a look, apparently Chewie has a mean backbeat. You can try to see it here but I was unable to get it to run on my machine.
This is old news now, but since I've found a nice side by side comparison, I thought I'd post about this bit of dialogue theft from X-Men 3. You all know what I'm talking about, If you're like me, when you heard the line, "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch" ya nearly choked. Ratner and company clearly swiped this from a now infamous viral X-Men online cartoon parody. Click here to see both clips, the top being the original parody and the bottom, Ratner's lamer version of the line. link.
An online movie critic I respect, Jeffrey Wells, had this to say about seeing an IMAX Superman screening last night. "Superman Returns is opening simultaneously in IMAX theatres on 6.28, and about 20 minutes worth (i.e., "selected scenes") will be show in IMAX 3D. The press was shown a preview of how the 3D footage will look last night after the main screening, and it's mindblowing. There's an airborne action sequence in particular that delivered, for me, the greatest sensory thrill I've ever experienced from a mainstream movie in my life. There's no question that anyone within reach of an IMAX presentation of this film HAS TO SEE IT THIS WAY. (Singer has worked out a green light-red light system that will tell moviegoers when to put on the glasses just before a 3D section begins.) Trust me, catching it this way will be an absolute knockout." Read all his comments here.
Here is an actual account of a 35 year old factory worker, and former kindergarten teacher, who was worked to death. The article details her working conditions, including the events that lead up to her "sudden death". Apparently, she had not slept in several days, working hard at a textile plant to meet a deadline, and finally decided that she needed to take a long rest. She told her boss, she physically couldn't continue, and need to go home and rest for a few hours. She then went home, shut her eyes, and never woke up. Read this illuminating article here.
China, the world's factory. We have become accustomed to receiving so many cheap goods from China, that we've lost sight of the human hardships connected to these products. In response to the poor working conditions, artist Michael Wolf, created an installation using plastic toys made in China. The installation intergrates the workers and their products in a visually arresting way. When I was teaching in China, I heard stories from some of my students what life in Guandong province (China's factory capital) was like. The working and living conditions can be completely cruel. This photo essay about China's Toy industry is very compelling and should not be missed, check out "The Real Toy Story" here or check out these photos Wolf took of the women at work in the toy factories here.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Wow! What a day yesterday was. The soundstage next to the one we are shooting on at Sony caught fire (because of Spidey 3 demolition crew) and then a sniper was targeting the lot, and a whole host of bad car accidents around town. Coincidence, maybe, but if you believe in that kind of thing, kinda creepy. I for one, was looking forward to seeing the Omen remake, and I am happy to say that the movie is a lot of fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. I won't be surprised if Fox has a big hit on it's hand. The Omen feels like the Final Destination movies meets Davinci Code. Both scary and funny, the movie plays very similarly to the original, but with a little more punch. Most notably, the creepy kid actor cast as Damien, whose pouty face is very funny and serves as a comedic punctuation to the scare beats in the film. I really liked the framing in this new version, allowing for contemporary disasters: 9/11, Tsunami, Iraq war as other "omens" of the coming apocalypse. I had a really good time, laughing at and gripping my seat during this Fox remake. And if you want to really read too much into things, check this, 20th Century Fox, the studio releasing the film has this numerological significance connected to it. F is the sixth letter of the alphabet, O is the 15th letter (1+5=6) and X is the 24th letter (2+4=6). Could Fox be the studio of the Beast?
What I may of liked most about The Omen, was seeing it on an "event" date. The film incorporates the 6/6/6 date which added that extra creep factor. But the inevitable question arises, could a "Damien" have been born yesterday? Many Western mothers worries so much about their children being "stigmatized" by their birth date that they made sure to induce labor to avoid the "mark of the beast" as their child's birthdate. Here are two articles that report the Mother/666 baby hysteria link and another here that discusses some parents defiant of the date, even willing to name their kid "damien", hell yeah! link
Lastly, not everywhere the 666 stigma is seen as a bad thing, in China it is considered lucky, and many mother's were actually trying to have their babies born yesterday click here to see the Chinese 666 babies!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
As everyone knows who's been to China, they are counting the days until their country takes it's rightful place as the dominant world power... After all, the word China translated to Englsih means the middle kingdom or center of the planet... Anyhow, a new opinion survey finds that the U.S.'s reign as sole world power is to come to a close by 2020. Read the article here. And start practicing your Chinese...
Monday, June 05, 2006
This is crazy, this guy made a Thing costume made of real rocks! Check out his site as he shows the step by step development of the costume, and then his arrival at Comic Con, where he won best super hero costume! Link And as JimmySmash likes to say... Never take for granted the great lengths people will go through to become Super Geeks.
The good folks of Hell Michigan, the only physical Hell in the United States, plan to celebrate 6-6-6 like they're in... well, Hell. Read about how this little sleepy hamlet is becoming ground zero for all things nightmarish. Check out the article detailing Hell's festivities here and the town's official site here! P.S. I will be seeing the Omen on 6-6-6, at the Fox lot, look for the review on Wednesday.