Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Meet Or Exceed Expectatations

Rabbit. It's the first of the month, it's May and this is the Phile, the web's most I am your host, Irony Man. All through the month of May is May Movie Month, and I'll be talking
about this season's biggest movies. This weekend I plan on going to see Iron Man, not to be confused with the Jewish movie Ira Man. And it's just a rumor that Iron Man is made by Apple. That would be iPod Man. This just in: Barack Obama was cleaning out his campaign headquarters in Pennsylvania, and he found a buried Ralph Nader jersey. After the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama has resigned himself for a long, drawn-out battle with Hillary Clinton. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, “Yeah . . . join the club.” Barack Obama said he needs to attract older voters, and he said he’s going to work hard to prove he understands them. Today, he ate dinner at 3 in the afternoon. It’s been reported that President Bush was so impressed with the Pope’s visit to Washington, that after he leaves office, Bush may convert to Catholicism. Bush said, “I’d convert now, but Dick Cheney gets freaked out if you get any where near him with a cross.” Paris Hilton in going to star in a new reality show where she looks for a new best friend to replace Nicole Richie. So far the front-runner to replace Nicole is a No. 2 pencil. President Bush says that the $300 rebate checks from the government will finally be mailed out on Monday. Then, Americans can decide whether to save the $300 or use it to buy half a tank of gas. The president put through the rebate checks to get the economy going. It’s kind of like the mom of the kid nobody likes baking cupcakes for everyone. Then everyone pretends to like the kid until the cupcakes are gone. Then they go back to giving him a wedgie. Is it too soon to hit on Star Jones? Star Jones is getting a divorce. Bad news for her, good news for me. She’s the only thing left on my “bucket list.” She was married to a guy named Al Reynolds . . . How can I describe his departure? Are you familiar with the phrase “Bat out of hell?” Bad news for OJ Simpson: He wanted to be on “Celebrity Apprentice.” It turns out OJ will not be on “Celebrity Apprentice.” But the audition went great — only two people killed. How about that John McCain. He looks like the kind of guy who walks into a Circuit City and asks, “Do you have typewriter ribbon?” The video game "Grand Theft Auto IV" went on sale this week. They say it answers any questions left unanswered by Grand Theft Autos I, II, and III. Fans waited all night to buy it. If they were real fans, they’d just steal a car and drive it through the front window of the store and take the game. It’s a shame kids these days are spending so much time playing video games where they steal cars, and not getting out there in the sunshine and really stealing cars. Barbara Walters revealed past affair with US senator... That was all I could stomach.


From the home office in Groveland, Florida, here is this week's top ten list:
Top Ten Things Overheard During the Pope's Visit to America
10. "That sermon was in German, Italian, English and Izzle"
9.  "I wish these birds would stop nesting in my Pope hat"
8.  "I just saved a bunch of money by switching my Popemobile insurance to Geico"
7.  "Wow, he looks so lifelike!"
6.  "If you could just describe your luggage, your Eminence, we'll see if we can help you out"
5.  "A white dress and red shoes before Memorial Day?"
4.  "He still has that new Pope smell"
3.  "Think you should 'pimp' that Popemobile?"
2.  "I hear he's going to try to restore peace to 'The View'"
And the number one thing overheard during the Pope's visit to America... 
1. "Don't let Peverett anywhere near me"


The First Film Requires a Tedious Origin Story
For some unknown reason, tradition states that the first movie must consist largely of something no one in the audience paid to see: The superhero as he lived before he could do any cool superhero stuff. Other genres don't feel the need to do this; Die Hard didn't spend the first half of the movie with John McClane taking target practice, Rambo didn't spend an hour showing Rambo in basic training. Why can't we just jump in? Instead we have to watch Peter Parker struggling as a photographer, and Bruce Banner quietly working as a scientist, as if we must first appreciate the tedium of their regular lives beforewe get to see them jump off an exploding building.
And to double the problem, they usually throw in an origin story for one or more of the villains, too. Behold! Here is the awesome badass supervillain, back when he was just a disgruntled dude in a lab coat! Often to save time they'll cram those two origin stories together, by having the main villain kill off the hero's parents (regardless of whether or not it happened in the comic book) simultaneously starting their respective careers in superheroism and supervillainy. A young Joker kills Bruce Wayne's parents, Robin's are trapezed to death, Kingpin kills Daredevil's dad. Also...  In Spider-Man 3, the previous origin story is changed so that the current villain (The Sandman, Marko Cain) is now the murderer of Uncle Ben, a plot point based entirely on the premise that none of the fans owned a DVD of the first film.


Albert Hofmann: Now he knows what it's like to be dead.


A Sea World spokesperson confirms that two dolphins collided Saturday at Discovery Cove. The contact killed one dolphin while the other seems to be okay and is being watched by their medical team. The pair were jumping out of the water in what is called an aerial behavior. Discovery Cove is an portion of the theme park where patrons can interact with the dolphins.


Adam Weishaupt founds the Bavarian Illuminati, the secret society which controls your mind as part of its plot to overthrow organized religion and control the global economy. If you don't believe it, ask yourself what novus ordo seclorum is doing on your dollar bill.
The Confederate Congress decrees that captured Negro soldiers from the Union Army are to be summarily put to death, on the grounds that they have already "incited servile insurrection."
The first of May is designated "International Workers Day," in commemoration of Chicago's Haymarket riots of 1886. The new holiday is actually an appropriation of the banned Beltane (Day of Fire), or May Day, traditionally celebrated by encircling a phallic maypole with delectablefertile virgins.
The 215th and final hanging occurs at California's San Quentin maximum security prison. Subsequent executions utilize the facility's gas chamber, and ultimately, inmate's choice of that or lethal injection.
Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda tell their six children they are about to receive inoculation shots, but the injections actually contain poison. The parents then exit the Fuhrerbunker, where an SS man shoots them both in the back of the head.
The Soviet Union fires a SAM-2 surface-to-air missile at the U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers. The aircraft crashes inside Russian territory, near Sverdlosk. For whatever reason, Powers opts not to swallow his suicide pill and is taken into custody.
During a May Day rally, Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa and his retinue of bodyguards are blown to bits by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber.
Sportscaster Frank Gifford is caught on video having sex with TWA flight attendant Suzen Johnson at the New York Regency Hotel. On the tape, Johnson is heard moaning: "Oh, God that's so good. Oh my, you're so big. I knew you would be -- I just knew you would be." A tabloid paid Johnson $75,000 to fornicate with Gifford, and she later goes on to pose nude in Playboy for a six-figure check.

Logan performs in his second play, "The Emperor's New Clothes".


Catherine Tate returns as Donna Noble from last year's Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride" and this time she's going to stick around for a little while. While investigating a shady weight-loss company called Adipose (named for the scientific name of fat tissue), the Doctor and Donna run into each other. For a "Doctor Who" episode, this was a great episode of "The Sarah Jane Adventures". This goes back to my statement from last week in which Russell T. Davies, while not a bad writer, simply cannot write science fiction.The plot was very simplistic and even the cuteness of the "fat" aliens made it seem more like fare for smaller children. Of course, the plot was simply a device for getting the Doctor and Donna back together and it succeeded admirably in that. In one episode, Donna has become my favorite "Doctor Who"companion of all time. Catherine Tate is already famous in England from her comedy sketch show "The Catherine Tate Show" (highly recommended if you can catch it). In that program, she played a variety of comical characters. This ability shows in her character of Donna, who is both the most headstrong yet sympathetic of anybody the Doctor has ever traveled with. While far from an unattractive woman, she's not the eye candy of the previous two companions which makes her a little more real (as real as a person on "Doctor Who" can get). It would be utterly marvelous if Donna had to go incognito in one adventure and became one of the characters she played on her previous show (I liked "Nan" best). Donna is also the first companion since the series restarted to not romanticize the Doctor. She simply wants the excitement and adventure of traveling with him. She was given a bit more background and depth from her appearance in "The Runaway Bride". The actor who played her father sadly passed away during filming so the producers retired his character out of respect. He was replaced by the character of Wifred "Gramps" Mott, played by Bernard Cribbins (who also appeared in this year's Christmas special as the same character. His ties to Donna were only revealed in this episode). One common feature of all of Russell T. Davies' companions is family issues. Donna, along with Rose and Martha, has no shortage of them. David Tennant shines as usual as the Doctor. He has a moment in the TARDIS alone when the character's loneliness and need really comes through. He tries to cleverly explain what is happening when he realizes that nobody else is there.
The initial meeting between the Doctor and Donna was priceless. As they stood on opposite sides of two glass walls listening in on Sarah Lancashire as Miss Foster (the "Nanny"), their soundless conversation using only gestures was amazing and a perfect example of both David Tennant's and Catherine Tate's abilities. Some clues were planted as to the progression and arc for the season. They are: the missing breeding Adipose planet and the reappearance of a familiar face at the end which may or may not be the signal of the end of David Tennant's time in the role. Despite a simplistic plot and a non-menacing menace, the episode had excellent characterization and was fun to watch. Donna has a strong enough personality to give the Doctor more humanity and make his character think more about the smaller, human consequences of hisactions as well as the grand scheme. I look forward to their interaction in the rest of the season.


And thus begins Hollywood's rediscovery of Golden Age comics. Variety reports that the Creative Artists Agency has landed the rights to Will Eisner's estate, enlisting the late comic book legend as a client. Their plan is to take Eisner's large library of comic book titles and package them up as movie, television, and other media properties. Interest in all things Eisner has been heating up, due largely to Frank Miller's upcoming adaptation of The Spirit. (And probably due to Eisner and the Spirit always being ever present at San Diego ComicCon, which Hollywood increasingly takes over.) Obviously, there's no word on what titles are being looked at first, or by whom. I'm curious how diehard Eisner fans will take this -- do they want his titles remaining undiscovered and unsullied by blockbuster movies? Or are they going to jump at the chance to see anything and everything adapted? Frankly, I'm always happy if original content is being adapted over remaking the movies of the 1980's. I imagine all his noir work will be snapped up first -- and I would be none too sorry to see Lady Luck. Hawks of the Seas would be ten kinds of fun, but I am a sucker for swashbucklers. I hope someone looks at his serious graphic novels -- Contract with God, Family Matters, and The Name of the Game could all be brilliant in the right hands. It will be interesting to see where this deal goes.


Speed Racer vs. Sex and the City
Who knew that the biggest movie battle of the summer would be between these two flicks, which are competing to see who has the more irritating theme song. Here's Speed's by Ali Dee and Deekompressors and Sex's by Fergie. I'm still not sure who the winner is, but the loser is definitely my ears.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
There are a couple more official promo photos floating around out there, including one in which David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson appear to be getting a little romantic. Either that or he's checking for an alien invasion in her mouth.
The Hobbit 2
Guillermo del Toro isn't revealing too much about what this sequel will actually be about, but he insists it will be an important addition to LOTR lore and isn't just a "bridge" film between the prequel and The Fellowship of the Ring. Hopefully it'll be more of an "underground tunnel" film filled with giant rats, eerie noises and other nasty stuff.
Does Alan Ball have a thing about older men and teenage girls? The writer of American Beauty is back with this trailer from his directing debut, where a Muslim high school girl gets hit on by Aaron Eckhart. And reportedly, Miley Cyrus is in talks with the director to further "spice" up her goodie-two-shoes image.
The writer of the original film, Ed Neumeier, says he's keen on updating his creation in a new film that would poke fun of modern controversial political issues, such as marriage. Well, that topic's only controversial if the cyborg cop marries the Tin Woodsman from The Wizard of Oz.

That's it for this entry of the Phile. Hopefully on Saturday Logan and I will go see Iron Man
and I will post a Peverett Phile Extra with Iron Man trivia and a review of the film. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. One more thing...  Hey good lookin', what's you got cookin', how about cookin' something up for meeeeeeee? Nuff said.


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