Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Am The Ninja Your Parents Warned You About

Welcome to the Peverett Phile, pholks. To all you kids that are graduating in the coming week, get a job! American Airlines is now charging $15 for each first checked bag. And I said, “Hey — anything to slow down that ticket line is OK by me.” Fifteen dollars for each checked bag. And I’m guessing we get to charge them for each canceled flight? Last week, Barack Obama was endorsed by 90-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd. Byrd said, “Obama will make a great president, and if he doesn’t, I won’t be around anyway.” The city of Canton, Ohio wants to impose jail sentences on homeowners who don’t mow their lawns. Residents say this is unfair because watching grass grow is the most exciting thing to do in Canton, Ohio. It’s been revealed that Charlie Sheen pays his ex-wife Denise Richards $52,000 a month in child support. Sheen says, “I've never paid that much money to a woman who didn't have a pimp." Good week this week, Shania Twain is now practically single. Whoo-hoo! But on the flip side, Reese Witherspoon is getting re-married. Well, that's all the jokes I have. All those Late Night shows on repeats this week, so I cannot rip off anybody's monologues. I wil now interrupte this blog with...


A genuine anteater,"
The pet man told me dad.
Turned out, it was an aunt eater,
And now my uncle's mad!


Dick Martin: Say goodnight, Dick.
Sydney Pollack: The director of Absence Of Malice has now attained it.
Harvey Korman: DEADley!


An ancient gold cup mysteriously acquired by an English scrap metal dealer is expected to fetch close to a million dollars at auction after languishing for years in a shoe box under its current owner's bed. Owner John Webber says his grandfather gave him the 5.5-inch (14-centimetre) high mug to play with when he was a child, back in 1945. He assumed the golden cup, which is decorated with the heads of two women facing in opposite directions, their foreheads garlanded with two knotted snakes, was made from brass. But he decided to get it valued when he was moving house last year and was told it was actually a rare piece of ancient Persian treasure, beaten out of a single sheet of gold hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Experts said the method of manufacture and the composition of the gold was "consistent with Achaemenid gold and gold smithing" dating back to the third or fourth century BC. The Achaemenid empire, the first of the Persian empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran, was wiped out by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Auction house Duke's, in Dorchester, south-west England, will put the cup under the hammer on June 5, with an estimate of 500,000 pounds (630,000-euro, 988,000-dollars). Webber, 70, told The Guardian newspaper that his grandfather had a "good eye" for antiques and picked up "all sorts" as he plied his trade in the town of Taunton in south-west England. "Heaven knows where he got this, he never said," he added, revealing that as a child, he used the cup for target practice with his air gun.


A mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for keeping her 17-year-old adopted son caged in her home. Brenda Sullivan, accused of caging her 17-year-old son, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated child abuse. Brenda Sullivan pleaded guilty in January to three counts of aggravated child abuse. Prosecutors agreed to drop lesser child neglect charges. The teen weighed 49 pounds when child welfare workers found him in 2005 in what appeared to be a cage. Sullivan told a judge at the time that Ohio authorities told her to keep the boy, who had severe medical and emotional problems, in a crib. "There's only one conclusion when you look at the medical evidence in this case, and that is that she literally starved him," prosecutor Julie Schlax said. Two other children, 13-year-old twins the Sullivans adopted as infants, both testified they were kept in similar cages. Sullivan's husband was also arrested, but died in January 2007 while awaiting trial. Sullivan's lawyer, Charles Fletcher, said he didn't think prison was the right option because she does not pose a threat to society. He said they would appeal the sentence.


A major earthquake accompanied by a fire destroys the city of Antioch, killing perhaps a quarter of a million people. The rebuilding efforts are wiped away two years later by another major quake.
Constantinople is taken by Ottoman Turks, after a fifty day siege led by Sultan Mehmet II. The city defense of 10,000 men was no match for a force of 100,000 armed with heavy artillery. It is the final gasp of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
Dueling over a horse racing wager, future President Andrew Jackson takes a bullet in the chest from fellow lawyer Charles Dickinson. The slug shatters two ribs and buries itself near his heart. Then it is Jackson's turn to fire, which manages to sever an artery and kill his opponent.
Two hours before kickoff of the European Cup Final, a riot breaks out in the stadium between supporters of Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium. 39 soccer fans are killed and more than 350 injured on live television.
Hikers discover the skeletal remains of Philip "Taylor" in his Ford Aerostar at the bottom of a 200-foot ravine in Malibu, California. The onetime bassist for the band Iron Butterfly had disappeared four years prior.


The Hero Must Lose His Powers at Some Point
Oh, clever Hollywood! In order to make the hero's travails that much more dramatic, the superhero must lose their powers, yet carry on instead of blowing their brains out. It's about the only way writers can figure out how to squeeze drama out of the story, since the whole premise is that the main character is just about invincible and there's not much drama in that. Still, for some reason, this always gets handled in the clumsiest way possible. Superman of course has the kryptonite thing, but they can't seem to get it straight what exactly kryptonite does to him, even within the same movie. Theoretically, he should still have all his powers, but just be too weak to use them. Like in the first Superman, kryptonite makes Christopher Reeve too weak to swim, but he's still indestructible (or else Lex would have presumably just shot him) and he still is able to use his super-sexuality to seduce one of the villains into helping him. However, in Superman Returns, kryptonite takes away his powers of invulnerability, allowing Luthor to injure and then stab him. Of course, he's later able to lift an island containing several billion tons of the stuff. Anyway, in Superman 2 they introduced a special device that Superman was able to use to remove his powers, thoughtfully packed by his mother into a crystal placed in his escape rocket. The Batman franchise handles this a little differently, since Batman is essentially just a normal person with a super passion for vengeance and gadgetry. So, invariably we must have him face the villain when he's out of costume. In the first film Michael Keaton gets shot by the Joker in his living room, in Batman Begins the hero gets his ass kicked while wearing a tuxedo in Wayne Manor, and must sadly be rescued by his butler. Perhaps the most the most mysterious of power losses comes in Spider-Man 2, where Spider-Man's powers start to slowly fade away for seemingly no reason, yet conveniently return when Mary Jane is kidnapped by Dr. Octopus. Even worse, we have the Fantastic Four sequel, where the crew get all of their powers switched around by the Silver Surfer somehow, in a series of events too pointless for us to recap here.
Also ... This rule also has the Alaskan Diner Corollary: while de-powered, the hero usually must perform one heroic act. Clark defends Lois' honor from the Alaskan Diner bully while unpowered, and gets his ass handed to him. Peter rescues a little Asian girl from a burning building. This is apparently Hollywood trying to distract us from the fact that we're really admiring these superheroes for having powers they got completely by accident.


According to Rich Johnston at Comic Book Resources, new "Doctor Who" showrunner Steven Moffat has put forth a request to legendary writer Neil Gaiman to pen an episode for the 2010 season. I will step back while you shriek with excitement.
Neil Gaiman first garnered fame for his comic book of the 80's and 90's, "The Sandman", which endeared him to all sorts of people who are now influential in the entertainment industry. He has written novels (one of which, "Stardust", was recently adapted into a movie). He has written movies (most recently Beowulf). He has written for television before as well (the "Babylon 5" episode "Day of the Dead"). I hope this rumor is true. Gaiman is well-versed in the fantasy genre and would add a great deal of knowledge and depth to the program. Given how the Doctor is portrayed more or less as a wizard with his sonic screwdriver doubling as a magic wand, perhaps Gaiman could add some more fantasy elements to it. Perhaps the Doctor could even meet Death.


Watchmen was always going to be a big deal -- but it actually just got bigger. I was among the fans just counting themselves lucky to get the Black Freighter (and to see Gerard Butler involved in it after all), and it looks just about everything from the graphic novel will make it on screen after all, in one way or another. The New York Times reported today that in an effort to revive their flagging DVD sales, Warner Bros will be releasing a DVD on 03/10/09 (that's five days after Watchmen hits theatres) that will include Tales of the Black Freighter, and Under the Hood. The latter is, of course, Hollis Mason's tell-all about his life as the Nite Owl. At some point in the future, Warner Bros plans to release an "ultimate edition" of the film that will splice Tales and Hood in, which means you will have one heck of a marathon. Says Zack Snyder himself, "The überfans of this property are going to go crazy for that." Snyder was eager to participate in Warners direct-to-DVD plan because it was the only way he could feasibly film everything. "I thought the Black Freighter story would never see the light of day," Snyder says. "The main picture is nearing three hours long and I know I have a fight on my hands just with that." The director's original plan was to tell the Black Freighter story in the film, 300 style, but the studio balked at the $20 million budget. It's a win-win situation for everyone at this point. And because Warners knows, deep down, the majority of non-fans will not be lured into a theatre upon merely seeing a tie-in DVD on a store shelf, they are also planning a series of "Webisodes." Each webisode of The Watchmen Motion Comic will run about twenty minutes, and be a panel-by-panel slideshow of the graphic novel, narrated by an actor. This is a pretty sad commentary on modern literacy, isn't it? These too will appear on DVD at some point, for those still unwilling to crack open a book. I continue to be impressed with the fight Snyder has put up for this movie -- and that Warner Bros is realizing that it isa property worth the deluxe treatment. Even if they are only seeing the financial angle, they appreciate that it is a graphic novel loaded with potential. That's almost good enough for me. 


It's a dream come true for Buzz Lightyear as Disney Parks and NASA send the 12-inch-tall action figure blasting into space aboard space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center in Florida is schedule for 5:02 p.m. ET on May 31. Buzz will finally go "to infinity and beyond" when he flies in zero gravity inside the International Space Station as part of the "Toys in Space" educational program, developed by Disney and NASA for teachers and students. The program builds on NASA's goals of encouraging student to pursue studies in science, technology and mathematics, which are vitally important in sustaining U.S. economic competitiveness and technological leadership. While in space, Buzz will partner with the seven-person crew to provide daily blog journals that tie directly to each component of the mission. He will spend several months in orbit before returning home to a hero's welcome at the Walt Disney World Resort later this year. His groundbreaking mission coincides with the launch of his latest debut on Earth in Toy Story Mania!, the new attraction that opens May 31 at the Walt Disney World Resort and June 17 at the Disneyland Resort. "The Space Ranger Education Series will give teachers an opportunity to incorporate a fun and engaging moment into the classroom with a character that children really love," said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "We're pleased to join NASA in creating a program that can help keep kids excited about math and science."


Hugh Hefner Biopic
Reportedly, Hef himself is extremely interested in having Robert Downey Jr. portray him onscreen. He also wants that power device Downey sticks in his chest as Iron Man, since it seems a much better idea than popping all that Viagra.
Transformers 2
Michael Bay is having the defunct and abandoned Bethlehem Steel plant "transformed" into a Chinese city for the sequel. First the plant had to close up in 2003 because all the jobs went to cheap labor in China, and now this. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound!
A lead actress hasn't been chosen yet, but on the comic-book adaptation's official website you can check out the character concept — a gal with a metal hand and no underwear. I guess they can go with Lindsay, Britney or any other of those skivvies-optional starlets.
The Hobbit
Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro recently announced their plans to have all relevant cast members return, with shooting to begin in 2010. Meanwhile. J.R.R. Tolkien's son is suing to prevent the film from even being made. If he wins, Jackson and Del Toro can just make The Bobbit about Hilbo Haggins and Mandalf the Magician searching for a mystical ankle bracelet.
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins
In the first entry of his new film blog, McG shares the first concept art, featuring a devastated Los Angeles. He also writes that the main inspiration behind this particular drawing were the 1992 riots.
Inglorious Bastards
At Cannes last week, Quentin Tarantino insisted that his long-gestating WWII project will finally be done in time for next year's French fest. Yeah, right. John McCain has a better chance of getting the troops out of Iraq first.
Star Trek
Anybody still holding out hope that William Shatner will appear in the franchise relaunch can officially give it up since the original Captain Kirk still claims that director J.J. Abrams never called him back after one initial meeting. Sadly, nobody has been brave enough to tell the Shat that he's been flipping open one of his old ST communicator props instead of his cell phone for months now.
Plan 9 From Outer Space
A low-budget horror-production company is remaking the worst movie of all time into "a serious-minded retelling of the original story." I suppose that's better than making a movie that's just plain seriously awful.

Well, that's it for another entry of the Phile. The next entry will be next Friday as I am working late on Thursday. That's June 6th if you are taking notes, kids. Also, I have  anew goal: 5000 views by Thanksgiving. That's five months away, think we can do it? Anyway, spraed the word, not the turd and remember ... Dont be cruel to a heart thats true. Dont be cruel to a heart thats true. I dont want no other love, Baby its just you Im thinking of.

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