Friday, June 13, 2008

Save Gas: Ride The Handicapped

Hello, and welcome to the latest entry of the Phile. I am your host, The Incredible Sulk. This blog is not fixed, unlike NBA basketball games. So, how is everyone? Tomorrow Logan and I are going to Disney's Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends. I heard for women this year they have an OBIE-GYN. They’re turning Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth into an opera. Al Gore . . . an opera . . . cut me a slice of that! Sen. Larry Craig from Idaho has written his memoir. He’s having a book signing at the Barnes & Noble men’s room. It looks like the presidential election is finally down to two people — Barack Obama and John McCain. An article recently said that the two have very different visions of the world. The biggest difference is that John McCain’s vision makes it impossible for him to drive at night. Political experts are saying that Barack Obama is hesitant to name Hillary Clinton his vice president because he is unsure of the role Bill Clinton would want to play. Bill says he’s comfortable playing many roles including boss interviewing secretary, pizza guy surprising housewife . . . he doesn’t care. A high school in Ohio passed out over 300 diplomas last week, and on the diploma, the word education was spelled wrong. Officials say the misprint should not harm the reputation of George W. Bush High School. Last weekend, we Peverett's went to see Kung Fu Panda. Jack Black plays the panda. They couldn’t be more different, of course, one is an adorable furry critter you just want to hug . . . and the other is the panda. Pandas are interesting — 99 percent of the panda’s food is bamboo. The other 1 percent are people who think it’s OK to pet the panda. Pandas don’t need kung fu — they’re hardened fighters. That’s why they always have black eyes. For the first time ever, the national average price for a gallon of gas is over $4. Which explains the new nickname for gas — “Starbucks for your car.” Big changes in Cuba. Cuba is now offering free sex changes. In a related story, Clay Aiken was seen building a raft. A spokesman for United Arab Emirates Airlines says this summer it will launch nonstop flights from the U.S. to Dubai. The spokesman said, “We want to give Americans a chance to visit their money.” NASA has announced plans to send a probe to orbit the sun — where it will be forced to withstand temperatures of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. When he heard about it, President Bush said: “Why don’t they just go at night?” According to MSNBC, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have consulted a psychic about the birth of their twin girls. The psychic predicted Brad and Angelina’s twin girls will grow up to be very hot. A new study just came out, it says that most computer-support workers would take a pay cut to work from home. Their exact quote was, “We miss living in India.” So, Sunday is Father's Day. I want what every other father wants: a nude picture of Barbara Walters.


From the home office in Gainesville, Florida, here is this week's top ten list...
Top Ten Signs Your Summer Camp Counselor Is Nuts
10. Tries to start campfire by rubbing two sticks of gum together
9. Adamant that the camp's customary anthem be replaced by the theme to "Sanford and Son"
8. Two words: Calamine smoothies
7. Instead of using sunblock, he rubs mashed potatoes all over his body
6. Spends more time talking to the squirrels than the campers
5. First arts and crafts project: How to roll your own cigarettes
4. Organized a scavenger hunt in his pants
3. Wants you to hunt for the crystal skull
2. Teaches you to build traps for that thing on Donald Trump's head
And the number one sign your summer camp counselor is nuts...
1. Shows kids how to waterboard their tentmates


Jim McKay: He's all gone.


The bodies of Bavaria's mad King Ludwig II and his physician, Dr. Gudden, are discovered floating face-down in Lake Starnberg. The recently-deposed monarch had been under house arrest ever since his uncle, Prince Luitpold von Bayern, staged a coup a few days earlier.
The United States Postal Service rules that children may not be sent via Parcel Post.
Two months before becoming Fuhrer, Hitler meets Mussolini in Venice. Unfortunately, Mussolini refuses to have an interpreter and his German is not good, so neither man can understand the other. Unimpressed, Mussolini gathers a general impression of the German as "a silly little monkey."
The Third Reich fires eleven V-1 flying bombs at England from France. Only four of the Buzzbombs actually strike London, but the Germans will eventually follow that up with another 9,000.
Three convicts -- Frank Lee Morris and the brothers Anglin -- escape from Alcatraz island in a rowboat made out of raincoats. They are the only prisoners believed to have successfully escaped.
Next to the White House wedding photo of President Nixon's daughter Tricia, the New York Times runs its first story on the "Pentagon Papers," a top secret DoD analysis authored by the RAND Corporation detailing every mistake and deception made during the 30-year history of the Vietnam War. Attorney General John Mitchell manages to block any further publication of the embarrassing documents, but the court order is countermanded two weeks later in a Supreme Court decision.
During the Trooping the Colour ceremony, a 17-year-old fires six blanks from a revolver at Queen Elizabeth II, startling her horse. Marcus Sargeant is later sentenced to five years imprisonment for the offense.
Mailroom workers discover a bomb inside a suspicious parcel at Boeing, Inc.'s Fabrication Division in Auburn, Washington. After the police bomb squad disarms it, investigators discover the initials "FC" stamped on both caps, making it the first explosive device recovered intact from the Unabomber.


A Villain Must Redeem Himself
Everyone loves to see a good redemption story, so an easy way to engage the audience's emotions is with a villain who suddenly has a change of heart. We believe this method of storytelling was invented by the world of professional wrestling.
So we have Eve Teschmacher helping Superman in the first film, Mystique turning into a government informant in X-Men 3 and Dr. Octopus sacrificing his life in Spider-Man 2. But one film in particular has taken this rule to dizzying extremes: Spider-Man 3. First, you've got Harry Osborn. In the first film, he's a pitiful character, ignored by his father and gradually losing his girlfriend. In part two, he's a drunk, a jerk and vengeful maniac. In the third installment, he gains redemption by riding to Spider-Man's rescue and sacrificing his life in the process. But on top of all that you have Sandman, who goes through a similar series of steps, but solely within the third film. He gets pity banked in the beginning of the film through the manipulative use of a sick young daughter, does several dastardly deeds and then does an abrupt heel turn right at the end by apologizing to Spider-Man and sobbing like a little bitch. This seems to set off a chain reaction that has all of the characters in the film spending the last 10 minutes of screen time sobbing. Also ... There is about a 40 percent chance that the "redemption" will turn out to be part of the villain's hidden plan. You had Lex Luthor pretending to help Superman in Superman 2, then Magneto and Mystique temporarily helping the X-Men in part two before taking advantage of the situation for their own agenda. So that satisfies the audience's other emotional need, which is to believe that bad people are bad and we should never trust their attempts to be anything else.


The Doctor gives birth to a daughter. And he didn't even get any snu-snu out of it.
A quick synopsis: The TARDIS suddenly dematerializes unexpectedly before Doctor Martha Jones has a chance to leave and finds itself on the planet Messaline in the year 6012. There is a generations-long war between the two occupying races, the humans and an alien race called the Hath. It turns out that the humans replenish their soldiers using advanced cloning technology. After sticking the Doctor's hand in a progenation machine, a full-grown female clone (later named "Jenny", short for Generated Anomaly) emerges within seconds. The humans and the Hath are fighting over something called "The Source" and the episode becomes a race to get to the Source first. Things get more complicated when Martha is taken captive by the Hath and then befriends one of them. Georgia Moffett, who plays Jenny, along with being extremely cute, is the real-life daughter of Peter Davison, the 5th actor to play the Doctor on television. He also recently co-starred with Tennant for the Children In Need special "Time Crash". Originally, Jenny's character wasn't going to survive. Her "regeneration" at the endwas the idea of future showrunner Steven Moffat. It wouldn't surprise me if she was being developed as a future companion for our erstwhile Time Lord, or possibly even as a replacement for the main character himself (he's not getting any younger, you know). The use of Martha for this episode seemed unnecessary. The story may even have been more interesting if Martha's character was eliminated and Donna took her place, thereby having the Doctor and Donna on opposite sides of a war. However, there was that pesky three-episode contract to deal with (although she will be appearing again before the end of the season). Plus, the more Martha is associated with "
Doctor Who", the more accepting the audience will be if/when she becomes a regular cast member on "Torchwood". This episode represented one of the rare times the setting of the adventure have been on an alien world. Usually the episodes up until now have been fairly Earth-centric (and usually the ones set on Earth get better ratings). The landscapes used a gothic swamp motif that came across very well. The episode itself was somewhat slow moving and kind of dull. I would have preferred more interaction between the Doctor and his daughter, but the ending left the possibility of that in the future. Donna seemed almost unused, although her deductions were responsible for a major plot point. This is the second time this season her skills as a temp have moved the plot forward. The episode touched upon the Doctor's family history. The fact that he had been a father once was mentioned in a few episodes of the new series previously. Anybody who has watched it since the beginning knows that originally, in the William Hartnell years, the Doctor was travelling with his granddaughter Susan (although whether he's her biological grandfather or the title is used as an honorific is still subject to debate). Family has been a huge theme of Russell T. Davies' tenure on "Doctor Who". This is most easily seen in the fact that the family relationships of all the companions are central to the show. It did seem somewhat redundant after the Sontaran two-parter that this episode focused on cloning as a plot point. I wonder if the two events are related? Perhaps they got the cloning technology from the leftovers from the attempted Sontaran invasion. The UNIT logo is seen in the background at one point in the episode.It also seemed kind of silly that the reason the TARDIS went to Messaline in the first place was the very event that it caused. Time-travel paradoxes can be such a headache.
I like how the ending mirrored the beginning of the Doctor's own adventures. Jenny steals a spacecraft and goes to explore the universe. Checking the credits, two of the Hath are named Peck and Gable. This is likely a reference to legendary screen actors Gregory Peck and Clark Gable. Overall, a decent if not great episode. The writing itself seemed subpar but the possibilities of the Doctor having yet another offspring are tremendous. They could very well spin Jenny off into her own series.


He's portrayed a few iconic characters, including Shakespeare's Romeo and Howard Hughes, but could Leonardo DiCaprio be taken seriously as an iconic superhero? Specifically the Sentinel of Liberty -- Captain America? According to Latino Review (a site well-known and typically respected for its accuracy with rumors of this sort), Marvel Studios has placed Leo on the top of their list of candidates for the role. Of course, there's been no offer made yet, and this is simply the same sort of wish list we heard about for Thor (Brad Pitt is the top of that list), so there's no need to get crazy over the possibility ... yet. Speaking of Pitt, Marvel apparently has placed him as second on their list for Cap. They either want him for The First Avenger: Captain America or Thor. Maybe they'll even offer him the roles of Ant-Man and everyone else in The Avengers (it would be like this, but with Pitt playing all the roles instead of Johnny Depp). There's no mention of who is #3. It could be Matthew McConaughey, who was rumored to be considered before. Or, it could be George Washington. Yes, the real G.W., first President of the United States. Not only is he perfectly relevant for the part, but I think Marvel has as good a chance of casting him as they do of casting Leo. It's not that I think Leo is too busy to take on a comic book movie. I just think the prospect of playing Cap might give him the better (to Hollywood, not to me) idea for that Titanic sequel they all wish could be made: Jack's been frozen all these years, and now he's back, and he and Rose get to start over again. They would look like Harold and Maude, but really there'd be no technical age difference. Again, a silly idea, but not as silly as Leonardo DiCaprio in red, white and blue tights.


Iron Man 2
Terrance Howard has blabbed that the sequel will begin shooting next March for an early 2010 release date. But on his MySpace page, Jon Favreau wrote that that is way too early. He typed that while sipping a margarita in the Bahamas, where he's "busy" enjoying his fat back-end paycheck from the first film.
Miracle at St. Anna
The first poster for Spike Lee's new WWII drama doesn't show any of the African-American Army men who star in the film but focuses on a young Italian boy. Clint Eastwood said only a panty-waisted loser would make a war poster without any soldiers on it.
In the first trailer for his religion-mocking documentary, Bill Maher makes fun of some guy for believing in God but not Santa Claus. It should be noted that Bill still harbors a mad crush on the Tooth Fairy.
On the set of Wes Craven's new horror flick, a fan uploaded two set videos that show an ambulance racing through the woods, flipping over and bursting into flames. Oh well, that's the kind of service you get when you call an HMO.
Untitled Horror Movie
A new VH1 reality show called "Scream Queens" will test actresses' vocal chords and pick the star of a new horror film from Lionsgate. Sucrets throat lozenges will sponsor the program.


Kung Fu Panda
Starring Voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, and Ian McShane. A kung fu-obsessed, steamed-dumplings and almond-cookie-devouring panda finds himself mistakenly chosen to be the "Dragon Warrior." It'll be his job to save his home from the unstoppable power and wrath of the vengeful tiger Tai Lung. Hey, Pixar, they're gaining on you. This one finally cracks the secret code: endearingly sweet, memorable characters and a distinct lack of sarcastic dialogue and pop-culture-fried one-liners that date a movie faster than someone yelling "Who let the dogs out!" Also? Major toy tie-in possibilities. This could be bigger than Cars. Black is surprisingly un-annoying. His wild-eyed demeanor can beat you down sometimes. But he's learned how to direct his energy into a voice performance without crushing the character under the weight of his wacky delivery. And man, I love Jolie's voice. Okay, here is why it's PG: Bloodless, Looney Tunes-esque kung fu action. And it's not even in the same league as the insane violence of Prince Caspian, which was also rated PG. There's also the mildest of semi-adult language in one scene, where Black talks about how his kung fu "sucked."
I give it a 7, Logan loved it 'cause there was fighting and Jen gave it a 4.


The Increbible Hulk
Starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Roth. Hulk come back for smash more. Hulk run from bad government. Then smash. Hulk girlfriend look more like Liv Tyler than Jennifer Connelly. Still pretty to Hulk and love him. Bad man turn into Abomination. Fight Hulk. More smash. Tony Stark make cameo. Him smartass. Hulk no smash. I can forgive this for being less awesome than Iron Man because it kind of has no choice. Bruce Banner is nowhere near as cool a dude as Tony Stark in his non-superhero form. He's just a tormented nerd. So where Robert Downey Jr. struts around and makes you like his jerkness, Norton is all head-in-the-hands and broody — the way Norton is in almost every movie he's in. Anyway, it's also much more coherent than the first Hulk, because it wants to please you instead of wanting to be art. And when it's summertime, and you're just looking for a little destruction, that's plenty. Nerd-gasms abound, phhans. You want Bill Bixby stuff? Lou Ferrigno stuff? All that other stuff that only you and the other millions of Comic-Con attendees know about? It's here. Commence arguing on the message boards. Tyler takes the thankless role of Female Lead and makes you actually feel her separation anxiety from Banner. Maybe she got to sit in the editing room and make sure her part wasn't shaved down to nothing. What;s next is an eventual Avengers movie, of course. That's why Stark shows up, so they can make more movies and build new franchises. Why not? Logan was bored except when the Hulk was in it, and I kept on thinking, "Okay, the better be good." I give it a 7.

That's it, phans, another entry of the Phile. Next week's entry will be posted on Phriday again. Until then, spread the word, not the turd. I'll leave you with some words from that sick bastard children's author Shel Silverstein: Oh, I'm being eaten
By a boa constrictor, A boa constrictor, A boa constrictor, I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor, And I don't like it--one bit.

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