Tag Archives: movies

Armageddon It: Which of These Movies Are Not Actually Disasters? (The Loop / Golf Digest)

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The Loop / Golf Digest — This weekend sees the release of the new movie “The Hurricane Heist,” which has the welcome manners to not go screwing around with some precociously clever English grad-student title. Oscar or no Oscar, no one here at The Loop is remotely going to the “The Shape of Water” or “Darkest Hour” without some CLARIFICATION, or at least someone telling us how and when Black Panther is involved.

Anyway, in addition to being this weekend’s No. 4 movie, “The Hurricane Heist” is something more: The latest and probably wettest entry in the field of Damp and/or Apocalyptic and/or Cattle-Flinging Meteorological Catastrophes, a genre that stretches back to the 1897 silent-film classic “Remarkable Day of Wind in Tulsa!” There have been so many of these films that Hollywood has physically run out of planet-splattering meteorological phenomena to base them on, which is why they’re just making “Avengers” movies and films described as “sea creature romances,” ugh, whatever.

As such, we decided to take over and write a few of our own: See if you can separate the four VERY REAL DISASTER MOVIES below from the ones that we invented by deep-diving into the clickbait suggestions on the Weather Channel site for like 10 minutes. (To make things fair, we’ve excluded the super-easy go-tos, like “Titanic” and “Deep Armageddon” and “Twister”. Everybody laughs when the cow goes soaring by, but I’m from Indiana, man, those are no joke. Airborne cows crash into the Mellencamp’s infinity pool like three times a spring, but you never hear about it because of how he controls the media.)

Anyway, find the fake ones!

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My 9-Year-Old’s ‘Star Trek’ Obsession Obviously Must Be Crushed Immediately

My interest in “Star Trek” directly corresponds to the amount of times Spock reads the brain of a whale

Island Packet — My dad and 9-year-old are downstairs right now watching the first of the new “Star Trek” movies, the one that came out in 2009 and is cleverly titled “Star Trek.” I’m making that point because it’s going to get hairy with the titles here in a minute.

We watched the second of the new “Star Trek” movies, “Into Darkness,” last night. That’s the one that was released this spring and contains Evil and Pale British Khan, and at the end they eradicate 85 percent of San Francisco and — you’d think a bigger deal would be made of this — stumble upon a way to CURE HUMAN DEATH, yet neither development really causes any of the characters to look up from their phones much.

But there’s a separate issue developing. My son becomes obsessed with detail, the sort of detail that eludes the casual viewer, and by “eludes” I mean “bores the pants off of.” He’s been known to spend the better part of a road trip expounding on the stylistic differences of various years of Honda Odyssey minivans, because I have the only budding car kid in town who is less into speed and danger than he is fiscal sensibility and good Consumer Reports ratings.

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So, uh, I didn’t hate “The Phantom Menace” this time

Darth Maul, whose character development begins and ends with his evil Southwestern facepaint

GateHouse — Went to see the new, 3Dmafied version of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” this weekend, and I didn’t hate it. I should’ve hated it. I didn’t hate it. What the hell is going on right now.

Like most “Star Wars” nerds and nerdesses, I have a love/hate relationship with “The Phantom Menace,” and by “love/hate” I mean “Just the hate, with a side of grilled This Sucks and a mug of What Is This Horse Poop?” I saw “Menace” in 1999 with a cadre of fellow nerdlingers (and, inexplicably, our fiances) and we spent the next two weeks struggling to think of nice things to say about it, fighting to justify the emotional investment we’d made, an investment that had been returned to us in the form of jokes involving flatulent space horses and the nuanced drama of intergalactic trade route taxation disputes.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjgJSqSRU]

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Tinkerbell: Considerably more evil than you think

Tinkerbell pauses on a mirror to address her pathological body-image issues.

Island Packet —  So I have a 3-year-old son who is scared to death of Tinkerbell.

This, on its surface, is not a bad nor even surprising thing, because I discovered something recently while watching “Peter Pan”: Tinkerbell is a jerk. She’s jealous, she’s petty, she’s got irrational body image issues and she’s consistently mean to the Darling children, even the dippy one with the top hat. I’ll be honest: When my son started saying, “She scares me, Daddy,” I thought, “You know what, son? Six-inch-tall bioluminescent faeries with unexplained powers and vengeful attitudes scare me too.”

Still, having a 3-year-old son who is frightened of Tinkerbell — or anyone involved in “Peter Pan,” which on the whole is about as scary as a high school newspaper class — is not something you exactly run around the playground sharing with the other fathers, particularly if they’re throwing a football around.

I bring this up partly because at some point in the distant future I plan to use my son’s fear of Tinkerbell to get him back for some adolescent transgression involving cigarettes or a fire alarm, but also because his fear of winged blondes stands in direct contrast to things he is not afraid of in “Peter Pan,” which is the latest Movie We Watch So Frequently That Exposure To The DVD Laser Will Soon Cause The Disc To Burst Forth In Glorious Combustion, which will make him extremely displeased but probably sound really cool. (Let me amend that: We watch the first half of “Peter Pan.” And then we stop and watch it again. We are apparently only allowed to watch the first 40 minutes. Honestly, I have no idea how this movie ends. One night, after he’s asleep, at 3 a.m., I’m going to sneak into the living room and watch the end of “Peter Pan,” like a common criminal.)

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Paste review: “Rock N’ Roll High School” 30th Anniversary Special Edition DVD

Paste — Producer Roger Corman’s Rock ’N’ Roll High School is a teenage lobotomy. It’s an overcaffeinated parable about punk rebellion and the seething drive to maintain one’s countercultural ethos against a long-ingrained totalitarianism that, in 2010, appears approximately as dangerous as a pre-sectionals pep rally. You get where Corman, the B-movie emperor, is going with the whole punk-inflames-the-youth thing somewhere around the 12-second mark, but why bother suppressing such gleeful silliness, especially when it assumes a world where the Ramones are national heroes? Read the full review at Paste.

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Kind of blue: Attempting to fuel the ‘Avatar’ backlash (you got my back, Holy Father?)

Papa Smurf, left, and his girlfriend prepare to fire an arrow into a rainforest full of metaphors.

Island Packet — ‘Avatar” is lame. You know it, I know it, portions of James Cameron’s animatronic exoskeleton know it. By contrast, though, and in the interest of objectivity, here is an incomplete list of people who seemingly don’t know it: billions of moviegoers all over the planet, the lucrative international market and the important movie-industry people who will spend the better part of the next two months passing expensive awards around crowds of themselves.

Whatever. I am no stranger to standing alone when it comes to the hating of highly popular movies — seriously, two rum-and-cokes and one mention of “Forrest Gump” and I am not responsible for whatever happens to your carpet — so let me take this opportunity to start the local post-Golden Globes pre-Oscars “Avatar” backlash.

Well, technically I can’t start it, as I am already behind the Vatican, whose movie reviewer — who incidentally has the cushiest gig ever, except for having to see all those Kirk Cameron films — called the sci-fi throwdown “simplistic,” adding that the film “cleverly winks at all those pseudo-doctrines that turn ecology into the religion of the millennium.” This officially marks the first time in about 20 years me and the Vatican are totally eye-to-eye on something, which means the introductory brunch at the 2010 Vatican City Humor Columnists Seminar should hopefully be a little less awkward.)

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http://bit.ly/6SXo2w

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“Avatar” is THE FUTURE OF MOVIES, and not at all lanky Smurf unicorns fighting in space or anything

GateHouse — While watching both football and the Chicago Bears last weekend, and thus absorbing the traditional Sunday diet of commercials for drugs regarding sex and going to the bathroom and objects that Howie Long is yearning to sell me (which is all of them), I was made aware of the shocking development that movies are about to be changed forever, this coming Friday.
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Now, this was very startling news to me, not just because of my having to call everyone to tell them to begin the process of adjusting everything they know about movies (“Like do you know how they have montages and Sandra Bullock and talking chipmunks? YEAH THAT IS ALL OVER NOW, SALLY”) , but because I had to start watching all those old movies, before The Change occurred and I couldn’t do it anymore. So needless to say, I’ve spent literally every moment of the last week drowning myself in caffeine, energy drinks and Mountain Dew-soaked sugar cubes like a Tiger Woods paparazzi stalker to stay awake watching as many films as possible, so I can try to hold on to my fragile, wispy memory of what movies were like before they were changed, forever, this coming Friday.
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For the record, movies are going to be changed by, perplexingly enough, a movie. It will be called “Avatar,” and according to the rotating flotilla of commercials on the television it is the FUTURE OF CINEMA, insofar as you define FUTURE OF CINEMA to be seemingly two hours of blue Smurf unicorns battling with explosions and spaceships and attractive people in aviator glasses. Actually, it’s James Cameron directing, so make that seven hours.
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Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Ridiculous Movie Trailer

Sherlock Holmes

Robert Downey Jr., left, and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson. Not pictured: Jar Jar Binks.

Island Packet — Having seen nearly a half-dozen movies in the past year (with a 5-year-old at home, this figure is astonishing), it’s not like I’m naive about what’s required to bring familiar franchises to movie screens, be they reanimated comic books, defrosted video games or long-dormant toy franchises marketed entirely to Twitter-addicted white-and-nerdy thirtysomethings, not that I’m naming any names, “G.I. Joe.”

Such films tend to require the same little toybox of ingredients: explosions, fire, fiery explosions, Megan Fox caressing truck engines, an editing philosophy that suggests the entire thing was cut by 30 glue-sniffing rhesus monkeys, the computer-generated destruction of one of the 7 Wonders of the World and, if there’s time, a talking Rasta frog, or maybe like an anthropomorphic hip-hop guinea pig.

Sure, many of these are simply basic prereqs for making money with your silly movie. I’d rather be fully submerged in an Olympic-sized pool filled with ranch dressing than see the new “Transformers,” but I understand that it fills people’s needs to watch action flicks, as well as 28-year-old women pretending to be high-schoolers fleeing things sweatily in their underwear to blankly angry-sounding music performed by cupcakes such as Linkin Park. But doing it with Sherlock Holmes seems, to use a word I first learned from my English professors, redonkulous.

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Johnny Depp = Crown Point, Ind.’s most famous visitor since the Dan Plesac Era

Northwest IndianaGateHouse — With the exception of Gary, Ind., which produced the version of Michael Jackson most folks are trying to remember this week, Hollywood has not often intersected with northwest Indiana, or “The Region,” the weirdly blank nickname used by us locals.

I say “locals” though it’s been years since I’ve actually lived there, having fled the area’s eternal roadwork, magical-smelling pollution and pierogi-based diners years ago for warmer climes. But I grew up partly in Crown Point on the Region’s southern edge, a fine town but one where you don’t often bump into famous people. Which isn’t to say we haven’t had a few. The ex-house of journeyman reliever Dan Plesac — who Keith Olbermann once introduced on “SportsCenter” with, “You may remember him from every major league ballclub ever” — was close enough to mine that my cousins and I used to walk down to it hoping …. I don’t even know what, maybe that he’d sign our baseball cards, or maybe we’d catch a glimpse of the legendary Rick Wilkins or something. Rudolph Valentino was married at our Lake County Courthouse in 1923, to, I believe, Blitzen. Also, I think we produced an astronaut. (Whoa, wait – according to The Web, the following were also married in Crown Point, though not to each other: Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman, Red Grange and the parents of Michael Jackson. The Jacksons? Really? Is there some reason this is not covered in Social Studies, or for that matter on the town’s welcome sign? CROWN POINT: PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR TITO.)

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SCARLETT JOHANSSON IS A CLONE, according to this grammatically troubled e-mail I have just received

star_wars_the_clone_wars_03_1152

Pictured: Scarlett Johansson

GateHouse — I have an urgent alert regarding Scarlett Johansson, whose name I am including here in the lead partly because it introduces the column, and mostly because it will totally increase my Google hits. Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson. I am all about metadata up in here.

This morning I received an important e-mail from a mysterious character who identified himself only as “Serge G.” (No relation to Warren.) Serge is pretty obviously either an international superspy, mustachioed evil genius or has come here from the future. Because Serge’s missive WARNS ME about STOLEN BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL, and somewhat less capitalized-ly, trouble involving the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007 regarding Scarlett Johansson, who, his e-mail’s subject line helpfully clarifies, is an actress. So we’re not talking about Scarlett Johansson the regional marketing manager for TiresPlus. Let’s be clear about that.

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http://bit.ly/9QkV4n

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