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The Big Screen Bulletin 12.15.08: The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2008

December 15, 2008 | Posted by Chad Webb

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The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2008

For the fourth year in a row, I am presenting my Top 10 Pet Peeves, which is fun for me because I enjoy bitching about certain aspects of pop-culture, and this being a pop-culture website allows me to do that. This year should be particularly intriguing since you all can leave comments, and I am sure you will waste no time in telling me how stupid some of my choices are. Oh well. These things annoy the hell out of me, but they might not you. Now that I remember right, this is the second year you can make comments. So feel free to unleash.

It is important to note that many people or things will not show up because they have made so many appearances in the past, and I hate to reiterate myself too many times. One name appears on this list, like he did in a similar but not identical fashion last year, but I had to make an exception in his case. To view my lists from previous years, and to see how odd some of my selections look now, click on any of the links below:

The Pet Peeves of 2007

The Pet Peeves of 2006

The Pet Peeves of 2005

10. Miley Cyrus – Why is this girl so popular? Can someone please explain it to me? And I don’t wanna hear about Hannah Montana. Really? Is that show such an enormous craze? Regardless, Miley is just irritating in so many friggin’ ways, and I don’t even have to describe them all. You all know I’m right. Girls emulate her, and she lets provocative cell phones pictures slip onto the internet when she sees fit. What a great role model.

9. Movie Dogs -Is Hollywood going through dog withdrawal? I envision an exec saying “Man, we need to make another dog film”, and then all the studios I suppose followed his lead. This year has been flooded with dog films like Snow Buddies, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Bolt, Hotel for Dogs, Marley & Me, and I’m sure I missed one. I haven’t seen all of those, but come on, can we not spread them out just a little? Yes, dogs are cute and cuddly, but do we need a surplus of dog movies at one time? Most of the time dog movies are mediocre at best. Thankfully, Pixar has yet to go down that avenue. I, for one, vote for the dogs to take a long rest from the big screen.

8. Coverage of Celebrity Gayness – It seems that the media still views a celebrity coming out as a huge event in which everyone must know about it immediately. Who cares? If they prefer males or females, it is their business and that’s fine. I don’t need constant news updates about Clay Aiken, who did not help things by allowing himself a full spread in People. And then we have Ms. Lohan, who I guess is a lesbian for awhile, or perhaps bisexual as some declare? Is this permanent? I dunno and I could care less. She is toying with the media because it keeps her in the headlines. The point is, I had hoped we reached a point as a society where someone can be a homosexual and not have it announced as if it were the State of the Union Address.

7. The Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas Debate – Before I have tons of hate mail, know this. I realize why people use Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. The world is filled with different religions, cultures, and people, and not all celebrate the holiday. I am aware. This made the list not because I think one should be used above the other…that’s not the case. It is showing up here because of the fact that we have this stupid debate at all. The media for some reason has the public apprehensive about what to say, and it seems to have gotten worse over the past couple years. Gee, should I say Merry Christmas, or will they be offended if I do? The retailers actually are confused and scared when it comes to how they should advertise. Are you serious?! I was raised Catholic. Would I get offended, or even blink twice if someone said “Happy Hannukah”. No, I would say, same to you, or Happy Holidays, or Be Well. The fact is, people should say whatever the hell they want. If you get offended from someone saying Merry Christmas, then you have issues. Maybe you don’t celebrate the day, but deep down, that person is wishing you well, and wants to fill your day with happy thoughts. It’s not like they’re saying “Hey, Merry Christmas, and if you say anything but Merry Christmas to me too, I’m knocking you out.” This is the dumbest “debate” the media ever concocted.

6. Blockbuster – This one may seem strange, but I can’t help it. What makes this one weird is that I still occasionally rent from the store if I’m in a bind. The fact is, Blockbuster is desperately trying to keep their name in the game. In terms of online rentals, Netflix is better in so many ways. I really don’t know how much longer BBuster can stay afloat. They raised their prices this year and said we have to make improvements on the stores and the company overall, so we should be justified by increasing prices for the customers who visit. So because your store sucks, the customers have to pay? I see. And buying used DVDs at Blockbuster is something I avoid at all costs. Yes, the deals can be good, but when you purchase a DVD, it is in the standard Blockbuster case, which sticks out like a sore thumb on your shelf. The smaller rental chains are almost all gone, yet Blockbuster is still around. It doesn’t seem right.

5. The Big 3 Car Companies – A lot has occurred recently for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, so forgive me if I do not lay all of it out for you. What bugged me from the start is that these execs showed up begging for money by flying in on their private jets. O….k… How about you ask for money when you don’t have access to a private jet? Ride a bike there and then call me. I was raised by a hardcore loyal American car buyer. My father and I had arguments when I insisted on buying a Toyota, but my family has dealt with more car problems, American ones mind you, than I can even count. I have as well since I turned 16, and I vowed never again to buy one. Sorry. I know many of you probably love American cars and have had no problems, and that’s great, but these companies want cash for a reason. The cars suck. My Toyota has chugged along pleasantly for many years, while my father and friends tell me regularly of their dilemmas with American cars. I realize many Honda/Toyota parts are made in the US, but all I know is, certain companies are reliable and the big 3 aren’t. I read they might be given like $25 billion, although the amount has changed a few times. What do they plan on doing with this money? They had better think of a way to make the cars more efficient, longer lasting, and more eye-catching just to get started. And get rid of the superfluous brands like Pontiac. These companies employ millions of workers, and it would be a terrible tragedy for them to lose their jobs, and damn these CEO’s with their jets and bonuses if they don’t get the magic back and create cars that prove to the world they are worth purchasing.

4. MTV – If you watch shows on this station, read no further. I just can’t understand how MTV has grown into such a crappy channel. They used to play all music videos, and when I think about that time, I feel very old. I have not clicked my remote to MTV in literally years. I have no desire to anytime in the near future. I don’t know who was hosting TRL when it ended, but I know they were annoying because Chad Webb said so. And don’t get me started on the MTV Music Video Awards. George Sirois would chime in if he could. That award show was once an honorable accolade for bands, but now it is a joke, and should not be continuing. If MTV disappeared forever tomorrow, I would not notice, and you know what, I’ll bet many others wouldn’t either.

3. Celebrity Baby Names – Somebody needs to tell these celebrities that naming a baby should not be a test of how creative you are. Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson named their newborn boy Bronx Mowgli, and the person writing the name on the birth certificate should have said “try again idiots.” I feel so sorry for these kids, who must live with these corny names through elementary school, middle school, and high school. Want some more bad names: Kal-el Coppola Cage (Nicolas Cage’s son), Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette’s kid), Zuma Nesta Rock (Gwen Stefani’s child) or Pilot Inspektor, whose dad is Jason Lee from My Name is Earl.. Let the jokes and insults fly. These poor kids will be so embarrassed for so many years. I can bet at least a few change them.

2. The Writer’s Strike – This is pretty self-explanatory. This whole situation was annoying for many reasons, but the movie world is feeling it hard now. All the studios moved their scheduling around so many of the anticipated films were pushed back like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to name one, and then the studios panicked about this year’s Oscar contenders, and crammed them all into December. Oh, and how about all the shows which had to stop, thus creating shorter seasons, many of which suffered because of it. I could go on, but it would take pages. And we might get an SAG strike yet. Strikes = Major Suckage.

1. Kanye West – I’ll be the first to admit that he is talented, but every time the man speaks, I hate him more. I had a couple of his albums, and I gave them to my little brother because I don’t want him in my collection anymore. Looking at the CDs had me disgusted. He “is the voice of his generation”? Give me a break. He “wants to be better than Elvis”? Not in 5 lifetimes would that occur. Yes, his albums are good, but calling them classics is certainly premature. An artist’s reputation can alter that, and West is doing a bang up job of ruining his as fast as he can. And I forgot about his constant tantrums on stage reminiscent of Axel Rose. He is #1 because no person and no event comes close to being as grating as he has been over the past year.

Hall of Shame

Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan – Class of 2007
High School Musical – Class of 2008

The News Bulletin

The Earth Moved for Keanu
Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still” delivered a much needed victory for 20th Century Fox in grossing an estimated $31 million from 3,560 runs to easily win the domestic box office race. Overseas, the special-effects actioner grossed an estimated $39 million for a worldwide total of $70 million in the pic’s first three days. “Earth” — scoring one of the bigger December openings for a nonfamily title or nonsequel — cost $80 million to produce, according to Fox. Stateside, “Earth” didn’t have much competition. Overture Films’ “Nothing Like the Holidays” debuted to an estimated $3.5 million from 1,671 locations to come in No. 7, according to Rentrak. Overture minimized its risk by keeping the production budget under $10 million. Freestyle’s animated toon “Delgo” fell flat in its bow, opening outside the top 10 chart and grossing $915,840 from 2,160 runs for a per-screen average of just $424.

The domestic box office was off by as much as 44% over the same weekend last year, when Warner Bros.’ Will Smith starrer “I Am Legend” opened to $77.2 million and Fox’s “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” $44.3 million. “Legend’s” bow remains the best ever for a December weekend. Although overall ticket receipts were down dramatically over the weekend, the domestic box office continues to run slightly ahead of last year’s record-breaking haul, reinforcing the theory that the film biz is recession-proof. There was strength across the marketplace beyond Fox’s “Earth.” Many holdovers saw slim declines, led by Warner Bros./New Line comedy “Four Christmases,” which dipped only 21% in its third sesh to an estimated $13.3 million from 3,540 runs for a cume of $88 million. Laffer came in No. 2. Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight” came close to eclipsing the domestic gross of “Sex and the City” in earning an estimated $8 million in its fourth frame from 3,649 runs for a cume of $150.1 million. Film, landing at No. 3, dipped 39%.

Coming in No. 4, Disney’s 3-D toon “Bolt” fell just 23% in grossing an estimated $7.5 million from 3,133 runs for a cume of $89 million in its fourth weekend. Baz Luhrmann’s Nicole Kidman-Hugh Jackman epic “Australia” stayed in the top five, dipping 39% in its third weekend to an estimated $4.3 million from 2,703 theaters for a cume of $38 million. So far, film hasn’t received the awards attention Fox hoped it would, including being shut out in Golden Globe noms. Film will need to do well overseas — where it is rolling out slowly — for Fox to recoup its investment.

Wow. People actually wanted to see this. I did not anticipate this as #1. Every time I talk with someone about it, the conversation is usually about how terrible it looks. I am also shocked at the longevity of Australia, a dud if there ever was one, but Luhrmann has his followers, and they seem to be spreading the word. Four Christmases and Twilight are still in the top 5 and do not seem to be moving soon. The kiddie fare, Bolt and Madagascar 2, are still hanging on since families need to take the little ones somewhere. Milk is the dominate limited to wide release so far, but that will change as the prestige flicks expand. Next week Yes Man debuts, and Jim Carrey is a box office champ. That will be #1 with no one coming close.

Pixar Pumps Up Bolt
“Tokyo Mater”, the latest installment in Pixar’s “Car Toons” series debuts this weekend. The short film, Pixar’s first foray into Disney Digital 3-D, will precede Disney’s “Bolt” in theaters nationwide starting on Friday, December 12. The seven-minute short, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Lasseter, reunites audiences with the loveable southern-drawling tow truck from Pixar’s Cars. In “Tokyo Mater”, a not-so-subtle send-up of the similarly named “Fast and the Furious” sequel, a routine tow lands Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable guy) in Tokyo, where he is challenged to a drift-style race against a nefarious gang leader and his posse of ninjas. With the help of his friend, “Dragon” Lightning McQueen, and some special modifications, Mater attempts to drift to victory and become “Tow-ke-O Mater, King of all Drifters.”

There have been three prior installments in the “Car Toons” series, but this is the first to debut in theaters. “Rescue Squad Mater”, “Mater the Greater”, and “El Materdor” aired on the Disney Channel, Toon Disney and ABC Family. While the short will be shown in Disney Digital 3-D in equipped theaters, there will also be a 2-D version for movie houses only showing “Bolt” in 2-D. Pixar fanatics will presumably get to see even more of Mater and McQueen when “Cars 2” hits theaters in 2011.

The voice of Mater is probably the finest contribution Larry the Cable Guy will ever have to theater-goers. I think his stand-up is hilarious, and watching him casually chat with talk show hosts is priceless, but let’s face it, his resume blows. Luckily for him, the Cars story is ripe for sequels, and since it is a Pixar franchise, I say bring ‘em on. The shorts are almost always funny because they possess that Lasseter stamp of approval. If it was just some ordinary schmuck at Disney, we would be able to tell immediately, but Pixar’s shorts are terrific, and I can’t wait to see this.

A Wolverine Oscars
The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has chosen Australian actor and People Magazine’s 2008 “Sexiest Man Alive” Hugh Jackman to host the 81st Annual Academy Awards says the Associated Press. Though the awards have generally been hosted by comedians in the past, producers Larry Mark and Bill Condon plan to get rid of the joke-telling portion of the show this year including the signature opening monologue. The awards themselves are said to have been revamped from top to bottom for next year’s ceremony which takes place on February 22nd. Jackman himself scored rave reviews when he hosted the Tony Awards from 2003 to 2005.

What the hell happened to Ricky Gervais? Yes, I know, the ratings would tank because many Americans would not tune in for a British comic. Shows what you all know. I understand the desire to revamp the show since the ratings last year were horrendous, but the Academy has ample opportunities here to acquire more viewers, specifically by giving The Dark Knight multiple (well-deserved) nominations. Secondly, many people watch for the comedy, and the staged bits interspersed through the ceremony. Jackman is debonair and from what I’ve read, a nice guy, but this tactic could be a huge mistake, and if they are looking to bounce back, eliminating the humor might not be the wisest choice. Oh well. I’ll be watching for sure because I love movies. Oscar night is like the Superbowl at my house.

28 Something Later
IGN caught up with Danny Boyle this week to discuss Slumdog Millionaire, and while telling us all about his Indian opus (the full Q&A of which will appear on the site in January), the ridiculously versatile director talked a little bit about what he might be up to next. Firstly his rumored desire to carry on the 28 Days Later franchise that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo continued with 28 Weeks Later. “Well there’s an idea” he said, giving little away. “I’ve got this idea about how to do it. It’s quite a weird idea really, but I need a bit of time to get it worked out properly.” We kept pushing Boyle for details, but he insisted on keeping his cards close to his chest, only promising us that it wouldn’t be set on the sun.

I stated in my review of Slumdog Millionaire that I think Danny Boyle is overrated. I’m surprised I didn’t receive more hatred from readers. The popularity of this franchise baffles me. Sure, the movies are not horrible, but I feel like I’m the only person who notices the gaping plot holes in both. I’m not going into detail now, but they exist, trust me. So I am not in favor of this series continuing. If this were something he definitely was planning to do, he would have said so. Right now, he has an idea in his head. Hardly a call for making the page on IMDB just yet.

Magneto Will Wait
Out doing promotion for “The Unborn”, director David Goyer told the online press that Fox is waiting to see how the “Wolverine” film performs at the box-office before committing to move forward with a similar “Magneto” spin-off. Goyer says that though the film begins in the WW2 concentration camp, most of the action takes place in the very early 60’s and deals with the friendship between Professor X (Charles) and Magneto (Eric). Goyer’s next project is the new version of “The Invisible Man” with the character being the nephew of the original and is forced by Scotland Yard to either work for them or be killed.

I don’t know why Magneto is being put on hold. People love X-Men, specifically the Wolverine character, so I think the spin-off will perform very well at the box office, at least well enough to greenlight more spin-offs. Personally, I am looking forward to the Magneto spin-off above the others. His origins and overall character in general seem the best for his own film. On a side note, The Invisible Man should not be remade. We had Hollow Man; absurd, but a guilty pleasure of mine nonetheless.

The Weekly Superman Update
IGN caught up with director Bryan Singer this weekend at the press junket for his new Tom Cruise “Let’s kill Hitler” thriller Valkyrie, and while we had his ear we of course had to ask him about whether or not he’s still involved in a Superman Returns sequel or reboot. In particular, we quizzed him about a recent interview he did where he claimed that he wasn’t “officially involved” in talks regarding the project. We asked Singer if it was a good thing to be off the project as far as he was concerned, to which he replied that he was “not officially not involved.” Beyond that, however, the director was tightlipped on the matter. So was Singer misquoted? Or is he as confused as everyone else seems to be regarding the status of the Supes franchise? Stay tuned to IGN for more on this matter as it breaks…

I have talked so much about this that I displayed this news bit from IGN just because I felt like it. Also, I feel so bad for Bryan Singer, who is probably getting so sick of answering the same damn question over and over again. We need to give this project, and Singer, a rest.

The 20 Second Sermon

Shout Factory has secured the rights to, and is planning on releasing Mr. Belvedere seasons in early 2009. This is great news. I need to see how this has aged. The first batch of Criterion Collection Blu-Rays hit stores. This is a happy day for all. Orson Welles in Hi-Def! Darron Aronofsky says he has a major star attached to his Noah’s Ark project, but won’t reveal the name. I can’t wait for that. Anything to eliminate Evan Almighty from my head. The Day the Earth Stood Still has made history as the first film transmitted into deep space. Yes…like outside Earth and stuff. I feel sorry for the aliens who couldn’t watch the original instead. They might attack after seeing such a film. PJ Pesce (“The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe”) is set to direct the “Smokin’ Aces” prequel. Yeah, that has “skip me” written all over it. Apparently Tom Cruise is in negotiations to reprise his Les Grossman character from Tropic Thunder in some form. He should be doing more stuff like that.

What’s Coming to DVD….Buy or Avoid?

DVD Headline of the Week

Traitor – Easily one of the most underrated films of 2008. Don Cheadle is brilliant as a spy, and Guy Pearce is equally as so as the agent pursuing him. What a shame that no one gave this a shot. Do yourself a favor and rent it, or if you’re feeling generous, blind buy it. Buyable

Mamma Mia! – This started off as a very satifying female-geared musical with some catchy tunes and inspired performances, but the ending was disastrous, and thusly exposed all the tiniest flaws. Director Phyllida Lloyd knows the material, but not what it takes to craft a suitable big screen version of it. This was bull shi*. Forgettable

Burn After Reading – The Coen brothers emerge off the heels of Oscar victory with a sharp, intriguing, and hilarious comedic thriller about internet dating, government memoirs, and gyms. The acting is fabulous, the direction is brilliant, and the story will only get better with age. Buyable

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer – Director Rob Cohen amps up the silly fun, but goes way overboard unfortunately. Brendan Fraser is ok, but Maria Bello is terrible in the recast, and the screenplay is just atrocious. The set designer and CGI team deserve an Oscar nomination, but this is about as bad as a sequel with stone mummies can get. Forgettable

Generation Kill – This mini-series comes from the creator of The Wire. I have heard positive things about this, so it will be on my Netflix queue promptly.

The House Bunny – I have no interest in this, mainly because I dislike Anna Faris, do not think she is funny, and do not think she even remotely resembles a Playboy bunny.

Death Race – This is certainly not the best remake ever, but not the worst either. Statham can do better as an action star, and Joan Allen embarrasses herself. Paul W.S. Anderson was as proper choice as any I guess, but the film is predictable, foolish, and stale. It was mildly entertaining, but forgot to use the best aspects of the original. Borrow

The Women – This remake of the 1939 film improves in some areas, and fails in others. The casting, however, is terrific with the leads doing wonderful work. The story, pacing, and changes are faithful to the original, but this has obvious similarities to “Sex & the City” and that will leave you on the fence. All in all, this is well worth a look. Rentable

The Last of the Mohicans (1936) – The original version, minus Daniel Day-Lewis arrives on DVD, as well as the original version of The Man in the Iron Mask. Both have book style cover art, which is neat.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Vol. 6 – I love this show for all its ridiculousness. I need to start picking up more of the volumes.

The Critic’s Quickee

Four Christmases – Here is one more in the line of annual mediocre Christmas comedies. This stars Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, who have some chemistry, but this is basically Vaughn doing his typical shtick. I think Vaughn is funny, but like Ferrell, he limits himself for some reason. He is a fine actor, just watch Into the Wild for proof. The story follows a couple, Brad and Kate, not yet married, who love lying to their families to avoid them around the holidays. This time, their customary vacation is stopped when all flights are cancelled. They must then meet each others families, which consist of four trips since they both come from divorced parents. One of my favorite sequences was watching the couple play Taboo with Brad’s mother played by Sissy Spacek. These down to earth bits are the funnier ones, but much of the time, the film retreats to exaggerated slapstick which gets annoying and ridiculous. For instance at Brad’s father’s house (Robert Duvall), along with his brothers (Tim McGraw and Jon Favreau), they all put up a new satellite dish, which doesn’t end well. A superior scene had Brad getting his nephew an X-Box, while his dad only got him a flashlight due to the $10 spending cap. This movie can be funny, but in the end, it is just a romantic comedy with the disguise of Christmas. This is predictable, unoriginal, and at times tries too hard for a laugh. I was shocked to discover that the director is Seth Gordon, who previously directed The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, and for some reason has jumped from documentaries to holiday comedies. I know of a song by the band Reel Big Fish called “Sell Out” that applies to his situation. Anyway, Four Christmas tries to be like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but of course fails to capture that. You have a big cast including Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen, and Kristen Chenoweth among others, but this is a fairly bland experience, not painful mind you, but certainly not noteworthy unless all you care about is throwaway crap like this. Final Rating = 5.5/10.0

Plus check out my reviews for the films Let the Right One in, Slumdog Millionaire, and Frost/Nixon!

Cadillac Records – Back in the 50’s a lot of magic was happening inside recording studios, specifically Sun Records and Chess Records. This film argues that it was Leonard Chess, along with Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and others who started rock n’ roll. Now, if you love music of all types as I do, you will find the special qualities of this picture, but truth be told, it has some problems, most notably the structure, which is disjointed. The biggest flaw is also what I appreciated the most. This is about the music, the relationships between the artists, and what happened in the studio, not about trivial romances, or extended periods on topics vH1 Behind the Music covered regularly. This means however, that no cohesive storyline really exists, although I could argue it doesn’t matter much. Writer/Director Darnell Martin introduces people like Willie Dixon, Little Martin, Howlin’ Wolf, and Etta James, but doesn’t spend time focusing on any one. She gets to the basics of these musicians at this time, and moves on. Some could say this tries to tackle too many subjects in a short 110 minute running time, but if this tried to center on just one of these individuals, it would suffer from the same pitfalls many music biopics do. For any flaws, one thing that is not disjointed is the music, which is fantastic, and prompted me to search for some of the “best of” discs for these artists. The acting is excellent all around with maybe one exception. Jeffrey Wright is terrific as Muddy Waters, Adrien Brody is very good as Leonard Chess, Eamonn Walker as Howlin Wolf, Columbus Short as Little Walker, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, and so on. Beyonce is handed most of the over dramatic sequences because I guess she told her agent she wanted an Oscar like Jennifer Hudson’s. She could have been better, but it is obvious she is trying too hard. I’m giving this flick 3 stars because I enjoyed the performances and especially the music. The historical accuracy is adequate considering the running time, although the script does sidestep some things, but overall this the flaws aren’t big enough to weaken the rating. Final Rating = 7.5/10.0

What Have I Done?

Monday – This time last year I emailed a Music Zone staffer asking why M.I.A. is so popular with critics. Now I find myself owning both of her albums and listening to them non-stop. You really do have to let her grow on you. Her debut CD, Arular is terrific (aside from the skits), and has a bunch of awesome tracks. Hopefully she is around for awhile.

Tuesday – Realized that I have been procrastinating on ALL my Christmas shopping. The problem is, my parents don’t use anything, which makes it difficult to pick something, Steph gives me hardly any ideas, and when I have no clue, I normally resort to gift cards, which should make everyone happy.

Wednesday – It has been a Christmas theme movie watching week for me. This week, I prepared for the Guilty Pleasure Christmas podcast by subjecting Steph to Santa’s Slay, Jack Frost, and Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, all of which are bad, but hilarious and super fun to sit back and enjoy. Out of the three, Jack Frost 1 is my favorite, though Goldberg is hysterical in Santa’s Slay.

Thursday – If you have perused this section before, you know I am a lover of soda, or “pop”, or soft drinks. Another gem that was ripped from shelves and never given a fair shake was Josta, a fruity soda that was very tasty and should be brought back!

The Weekend – Steph and I decided to put up the Christmas tree finally, and oh what a joy it was. We didn’t have time for a real one, so we used a bulky fake thing that looks kind of weird and takes up so much of the room it’s in that walking around it is awkward. And not all the lights work correctly. You know any Scrooge-type people? I am fast becoming like that. Don’t worry, the one to the left is not ours.

Based on the Trailer…

Many have been making comments that certain links don’t work and others go directly to the Crossing Over trailer. All of those links are ok. If you simply scroll down, a menu of trailers to select can be found. Unfortunately Yahoo is dumb, and made all the links the same. Not my fault.

Newest Trailers

Powder Blue – It stars Jessica Biel as a stripper, and includes Ray Liotta. Need I say more? Trailer Rating = 11/10

Dragonball: Evolution – Not too sure about this yet. The special effects look great, but then again, people said that about Jumper too. I’m new to this whole thing, but this looks like it could be bad, but Chow Yun Fat is in it, so one never knows. Trailer Rating = 6.5/10.0

December Releases

Yes Man – A new Jim Carrey comedy where he must say yes to everything. Sounds a bit like Liar Liar, but this is the Carrey humor I have missed for years. It looks pretty funny to me. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

Defiance – This new Edward Zwick film looks outstanding with Daniel Craig leading the cast in World War II story. This gave me chills. I can’t wait. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Seven Pounds – I’m not quite sure what to make of this yet, but it looks compelling, and it also looks like Mr. Smith is aiming for another Oscar nom. We’ll see, but this is worth a ticket price. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – This film looks amazing. David Fincher is the man, I will be waiting to purchase my ticket. A plot about someone who ages backwards has all sorts of possibilities. Trailer Rating = 10.0/10.0

The Spirit – This is the new adaptation from Frank Miller. I’m anxious to see this, but from this teaser, it looks a bit too similar to Sin City. Oh well. I loved that film, so maybe this will be just as entertaining. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

The Spirit (2) – This revealed a lot more than the teaser, and while this film looks like a blast, I have some doubts, and they start with Samuel L. Jackson. Can Frank Miller hit a homerun for a third time? Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

Che: Part One – Thankfully a better quality trailer is making the rounds now. This movie looks outstanding, and though I’d prefer to see it in two parts, I’ll have to see part one prior to the new year if it has any chances of making my top 10. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Bedtime Stories – This looks like harmless and cute Disney fun. I have no doubt it will be an eye-rolling experience, but Sandler should provide some laughs. Trailer Rating = 7.0/10.0

The Tale of Despereaux – This new Universal CGI film has some cute lines and some exquisite animation, but the plot strikes me as dull. You never know, at least it isn’t filled with poop jokes. Trailer Rating = 6.5/10.0

The Wrestler – This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to see it. I’m a huge Mickey Rourke fan and I love Darren Aronofsky, so I will be purchasing a ticket soon. Trailer Rating = 10.0/10.0

Two Lovers – James Gray recruits Phoenix one last time. Here he juggles two women. Gray is a strange filmmaker, so for him to tackle a romance thriller should be intriguing for sure. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

January Releases

Paul Blart: Mall Cop – Kevin James stars in a Happy Madison production about a mall security guard. This looks like it will provide a few chuckles, but not much more. Trailer Rating = 7.0/10.0

Bride Wars – Kate Hudson has gone downhill as much as possible after her great role in Almost Famous. This looks dreadful, and not because it is targeted at women. I’m sure it will be #1. Trailer Rating = 2.5/10.0

Notorious – You can access both trailers from here. The newest offers a larger glimpse. This movie looks ok with inspired casting decisions, but my question is how sugarcoated will it be? Even those a little familiar with Biggie will see through the phony scenes. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

The Uninvited – A crappy looking horror film with some sort of lame twist at the end. Yay. Trailer Rating = 5.0/10.0

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – I have never been a big fan of this franchise. The first film was ok, but the second was weak. I like Rhona Mitra, she’s hot, and has talent, but needs to pick some dramas. Trailer Rating = 5.0/10.0

February Releases

Fanboys – This has to be one of the funniest trailers I have EVER seen. I will be seeing this for sure. Just look at the title, and watch it. I will spoil nothing. Trailer Rating = 10.0/10.0

Friday the 13th – This looks about as bad as any Michael Bay produced remake, but the mother voice over was eerie. Trailer Rating = 4.5/10.0

Friday the 13th (2) – If the teaser gave us any hope, the full length trailer shows us that this will be as much an abomination as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. This is one film I intend to watch….umm legally online. Trailer Rating = 2.5/10.0

The International – Sadly, this will be released early in 2009, which is not a good time of the year. Still, I like both Owen and Watts, and since Tom Tykwer is helming, it should be at least halfway decent. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

Dance Flick – This Wayan parody trailer does what most parody trailers do: make you chuckle. But we all know the film will be a disaster. Well, some of us do. The others still see this sludge. Trailer Rating = 4.0/10.0

March, TBD, and Beyond Releases

The Great Buck Howard – We have a magician comedy with John Malkovich, David Blaine, Tom Hanks, and Colin Hanks, among others. Is their any way this could be bad? I say no, and if you disagree, we are not friends. Trailer Rating = 8.5/10.0

Crossing Over – At long last, Harrison Ford returns to expressing his acting talents, not his popularity in the action genre. This has a great cast, a good director, and a fascinating premise. I’m definitely in. Trailer Rating = 8.5/10.0

Monsters vs. Aliens – Wow, another terrific trailer, and this is a CGI flick from Dreamworks, who is stepping up their game past Shrek thankfully. This looks hysterical. Trailer Rating =9.5/10.0

The Escapist – A British prison break film starring Brian Cox. This is my favorite genre, so I can’t wait for this, but in order for this to make a splash, it will have to be something special. The critic quotes being from random guys worries me. Trailer Rating = 8.0/10.0

Adventureland – The new film from Superbad director Greg Motolla looks ok. I’m more intrigued by the cast of young actors than the plot itself. I’m sure it will deliver enough laughs though. Trailer Rating = 7.5/10.0

Up – Pixar’s next flick looks like another funny, endearing, and funfilled adventure. At least we can rely on them for originality. I’ll definitely be seeing this. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Terminator Salvation – I love Christian Bale, and the Terminator franchise, but I have serious doubts about this. I believe it will be terrible, but I must admit, this teaser was well constructed. Trailer Rating = 8.0/10.0

Watchmen – This was the best trailer attached to my Dark Knight screening. Hopefully Zack Snyder can continue to improve his skills after 300. I must read this graphic novel soon. Trailer Rating = 8.5/10.0

Star Trek XI – The teaser was superbly placed before Cloverfield, and this causes me to be amped for the next installment despite my doubts about the cast. I hope it’s as good as we deserve. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Wolverine – Not the finest quality of trailers, but you can still see and understand it. Gavin Hood is directing, so that is intriguing. The preview is ok, and I am still unsure. Can the character carry a whole film on his own? Trailer Rating = 7.0/10.0

The Perfect Game – Though I’m not a baseball fan, I always enjoy watching the Little League World Series. The problem with this film, despite a bad title, is that the preview reveals way too much, so hopefully it has more going for it besides the story, which I’m sure is inspirational. Trailer Rating = 6.5/10.0

Outlander – Hmm, I’m not sure about this, but the cast alone is enough for me to buy a ticket. James Caviezel is so talented, but his script choices continue to boggle me (not in a bad way mind you). The idea is shaky, but the effects and acting look good, so I’m in. Trailer Rating = 7.0/10.0

Fast & Furious – Is that the best title they could come up with? Well, I hate this franchise, and everything it stands for, but I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a step up from the previous installment. Trailer Rating = 6.0/10.0

The SoloistAtonement’ Joe Wright changes his British period drama material for something new. This looks a bit like Resurrecting the Champ, only with better actors. Trailer Rating = 8.5/10.0

Knowing – This has Number 23 sort of approach, which is fine, but why is Nicolas Cage doing all these mediocre thrillers? He’s a great actor, and should be showing that more. Anyway, this looks ok. Trailer Rating = 6.5/10.0

New York, I Love You – The first film, Paris, Je T’aime was one of the best films in recent memory that few knew about. So I am very excited about this second installment. The cast and directors look amazing. It should be a terrific experience. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Race to Witch Mountain – I like the Rock, and I’ll see the original before this comes out, but this strikes me as a typical Disney adventure flick that has little offer. We’ll see though. Trailer Rating = 5.0/10.0

The Pink Panther 2 – This has a great cast, but I did not like the first remake, so I probably won’t be rushing to the theater for this either. Not my cup of tea. Trailer Rating = 5.0/10.0

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – This was a great book, the darkest of the set, and this trailer rocks. I’m anxious to see this. The franchise has not decreased in quality, and here’s hoping this continues that trend. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2) – Yes, I am a bit skeptical of the director, but this looks very good. This teaser gave me hope that Yates knows what he’s doing. The comedy part at the end was terrific. Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Angels & DemonsThe Da Vinci Code was a superb thriller, and this looks to be outstanding as well. This teaser has me amped for Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon again! Trailer Rating = 9.0/10.0

Other Stuff to Read

The Best Movies of the Alphabet
411 October Roundtable – This month Owain J. Brimfield continues as roundtable host and compiles the thoughts of the movie zone staff on the releases for October!
The MeeThinks Friday FreeThinks – Thanks again to John Meehan for providing my banner here, and for the Alphabet feature.

Also, keep an eye out for more comic book character timelines in the future. Here are the first two:

The Ultimate Batman Timeline
The Ultimate Daredevil Timeline

411 My Space!
The 411 Wrestling Zone
The 411 Music Zone
The 411 Politics Zone
The 411 Games Zone
The 411 Sports Zone
The 411 MMA Zone

The 411 Movie PODCAST – This week we discuss new releases and guilty pleasure Christmas movies!


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Chad Webb
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