Monday, August 30, 2010

I Just Can't Lose Lost

***WARNING: This post WILL contain spoilers!!***
As I have mentioned before, I'm a fan of the show Lost. Yes, that is present tense. I am still a fan. Many people were bothered by the ending because they said it didn't answer all of their questions. That may be true, but I still felt it was an emotionally satisfying ending for the show.

But that's not the point of this post. Recently Lost has been back in the spotlight because the DVD set for Season 6 came out. They also held a Lost Auction to sell a bunch of props, costumes and other Lost memorabilia. This brought Lost back to the forefront of my memory and I stumbled across the following video, which presents a different ending for Lost fans:

This video is from the How it Should Have Ended team. These guys are great! They have a number of hilarious videos showing alternate endings for TV shows and movies. Though completely ridiculous (and hilarious), perhaps this video will satisfy those finale-haters.

Now, onto the auction. I'm not going to go into too much detail here, but you can find the complete list of auction items here, in order of season, and here's another detailed list on Lostpedia, which was a helpful site and a trusted friend as I was watching the ABC drama unfold. I just wanted to highlight some of the winning bids:

Locke’s wheelchair: $3,250
Twelve cans of Dharma beer: $5,000
Six Virgin Mary statues: $5,000
Hurley’s winning lottery ticket: $5,500

The crib Locke made for Aaron: $8,000
The Drive Shaft ring that Charlie wore: $9,000
A section of Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage: $9,000
Desmond’s fail-safe key with dog tag: $11,000

The script for the pilot episode signed by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof: $15,000
Dharma Swan station computer: $16,000
Hurley's Camaro: $20,000
Daniel Faraday’s journal with notes: $20,000
The frozen wheel that moved the island: $22,500
Dharma Van: $47,000

Some things, like Hurley's dad's sunglasses (worn by Cheech Marin) went for only $275, but this auction was still way out of my price range. I mean, I like the show, but I wouldn't pay $6,500 for a fragment of Jacob's tapestry (that's what it went for).

Over one thousand items were auctioned off in total. Part of the proceeds will go to various charities in Hawaii. The rest will go to the already rich creators of the show.

Now, faithful readers, if you'll excuse me, I've got to figure out if the fish biscuit dispenser should go in the kitchen, or if that will look too crowded next to the Flight 815 wreckage in the living room.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Time For Decision. . .with Shoes On

The following is a video sent in by alert reader, Shelly.

Some say it is completely hilarious, others say it is completely bizarre - some say "both," but that's because they're fence sitters. Now it's your time to take a look and take a side:

This video is directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp (I think I went there as a Boy Scout once) and the voice of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is none other than Saturday Night Live's Jenny Slate. She joined SNL in 2009 and I think she's got real talent. She's no Kristen Wiig, but she has talent. And I could definitely see Marcel the Shell with Shoes On going on to be a web series.

Well, faithful readers, what do you think of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On? Funny? Or bizarre? There's no sitting on the fence on this one! The line in the sand has been drawn.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Scene Stealers and Remixes

Sometimes the story is not the most interesting aspect of a news report. Occasionally the news piece will be overshadowed by the people being interviewed. Take, for example, the following four news stories. The people being interviewed in these newscasts were so memorable that their words were immortalized in the timeless art of You Tube remixes. But I'm getting ahead of myself here are the original stories:

Original Videos

Whistle Tips - This video is a favorite of mine from back in the day. See if you can figure out who steals the scene in this "controversial" story.

Did you notice how Bubb Rubb and Lil' Sis ran that stop sign at the end of the video? Classic.

Alabama Leprechaun
- This video features a plethora of memorable characters. I still don't know why this story was featured in the first place, aside from the fact that it gives me a completely different outlook on the residents of Alabama.

Seriously? Who approved this story?

Zombie Kid - This one is short, but sweet. Kids are so insightful sometimes.

I can't get tired of this one. Just another reason why zombies rock!

Bed Intruder
- This story was sent in to me by, alert reader, Rosa Lee. This was the one that reminded me of all the other great scene stealers I've seen on newscasts, and it inspired this post.

Thanks, Rosa Lee!

Now that you've seen the original videos, let's see what happens when you put them in the hands of the You Tube generation:

You Tube Remixes

Whistle Tips Remix - What happens when you take out Roxanne Bruns, most of the news anchors and put the story to music? Pure awesomeness!

Alabama Leprechaun - They only really focused on one guy in this remix, but it's still a fairly catchy tune.

Zombie Kid - This video proves that a remix doesn't have to be a musical for it to be awesome. Go zombie kid!

Bed Intruder - Also sent in by Rosa Lee, this remix was done by a group called The Gregory Brothers (aka Auto-Tune the News) and it is, in my humble opinion, the best song remix on here.

So there you go, faithful readers. I hope you enjoyed this stroll through the strange and fun world of the news and news remixes. And don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for scene stealers the next time you're watching the news -- and then watch out for their You Tube remix.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Deduced Disney Destiny

Certain people were meant to play certain roles. Did you know that Will Smith was approached to play Neo in The Matrix? As fun as he is to watch on screen, no one can play the slightly uncomfortable outsider better than Keanu. Also, as well as Arnold fits the part, James Cameron originally wanted to cast O.J. Simpson as the lead role in The Terminator. Cameron ended up going with the current governor of California because he felt that "people wouldn't have believed a nice guy like O. J. playing the part of a ruthless killer."

Like a glove - when a role fits, it fits. Recently Paste posted an article about actors who would fit hypothetical live-action Disney roles perfectly. I'd like to post a couple of my favorites here:

Isla Fisher would be absolutely adorable as Ariel. Heck, she's absolutely adorable regardless of the role she's playing. Some people have trouble differentiating between her and Amy Adams, and now that they both have associations with Disney Princesses it's not gonna get any easier.

I don't know if I completely agree with this one, but since Eva Longoria is hot and Belle is the hottest Disney Princess, I'll allow it. They're also both married to big, intimidating men.

It's not just the hair. . .ok, it's just the hair. I can't believe I didn't see the connection between Christopher Robin and Justin Bieber before! Especially since Christopher Robin hangs out with Pooh and Beiber's songs are poo. ZING!

I wasn't a fan of Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, but maybe I would have liked it better if Adrien Brody was playing the part of Ichabod Crane. Aiden fits that role so well, physically! Much better than an action hero in a Predator film.

Jeremy Irons may be the voice of Scar, but Jason Isaacs definitely has the face. Don't know who Jason Isaacs is? He looks familiar, doesn't he? Here's a hint: Just picture him with a long platinum blond wig and a cape. That's right, he's Supergirl.

It's as if they modeled the Sultan from Aladdin after Richard Attenborough! Now they just have to fossilize Richard in amber until they decide to remake the cartoon into a live-action comedy.

Speaking of Aladdin, put a cap on Rodrigo Santoro and he's done! He is Aladdin! And since they ****SPOILER ALERT****killed****END OF SPOILER**** him on Lost, he's got a lot of time on his hands.

One more? Ok. One more!

Yzma and Joan Rivers - a match made in graceless aging heaven!

See what I mean?

You can see the full "Disney Characters and the Entertainers Born to Play Them" list at Paste This was only 8 out of 20. I'd like to congratulate Corey Humphress for doing a spectacular job with the comparisons.

Well done, Corey. Well done.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Angelina Jolie: Why is She Famous?

I'd like you to name one good Angelina Jolie movie, please. . .

Take your time. . .

No, Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Total Gross: $186,336,279, Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%) doesn't count, because, technically, that's more of a Brad Pitt movie. And Brad Pitt is a good actor who can draw a crowd - Angelina is not.

I'm thoroughly convinced that Ms. Jolie is not famous because of anything she's done onscreen. The only reason she is famous is because of her off-screen antics. I wouldn't say she's as useless as Paris Hilton or Spencer Pratt, but she does seem to have the same type of unexplainable fame. She's an A-list celebrity who doesn't make A-list movies and doesn't give A-list performances.

Don't believe me? Let's take a moment and look at some of Angelina Jolie's well-known films and see how well they did both monetarily and critically:

Domestic Total Gross: $7,563,728
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 37%

Yes, believe it or not, Jon Voight's daughter played Acid Burn in this classic. . .no. . .iconic. . .no. . .what's the word I'm looking for?. . .ah! cliched film of the 90s. Despised by critics and real-life hackers alike, this film did horribly at the box office. Few people even remember that this movie existed, let alone that Angelina was in it. Not a good start, Ms. Jolie. But she did go on to marry her co-star, Johnny Lee Miller. At their wedding she wore black rubber pants and a white T-shirt with Johnny's name written in blood. This cry for attention fell on deaf ears, however, and they separated a year later.

Pushing Tin
Domestic Total Gross: $8,408,835
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49%

Another box office bomb. This film stars John Cusack and the future Mr. Jolie, Billy Bob Thornton. Angelina is only a side character in this film, playing the wild-child wife of Billy Bob. She would go on to play this role in real life, once again marrying her co-star and doing outrageous things such as wearing a vial of Billy Bob's Blood (say that ten times fast) around her neck. This is also the relationship where she got a taste for adoption, when she and Billy Bob adopted a Cambodian child named Maddox. Notice how, once again, I'm talking about her personal life more than the movie. It's the reason she's famous.

The Bone Collector
Domestic Total Gross: $66,518,655
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27%

Not even Denzel Washington could save this stinker. Critics hated it and audiences weren't thrilled by it. I watched this movie on accident and found myself laughing, even though it's trying so hard not to be a comedy. It's a good thing Angelina was with Billy Bob, otherwise this would have killed her career.

Girl, Interrupted
Domestic Total Gross: $28,912,646
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Yes, I know that Angelina won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress because of this film, but we all know the Academy gets it wrong sometimes (*cough*Chicago*cough*). The film got mild reviews, at best, and not many people cared to see it. Winona Ryder learned from this lesson - that it's not how you perform onscreen, it's off-screen that gets attention - and decided to do some shoplifting to get herself back in the limelight.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Domestic Total Gross: $101,648,571
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%

Finally, an Angelina Jolie film that made some real money! Wait. . . .no, this is a Nicolas Cage movie. Jolie was barely in it. And when she was in a scene she would just sit there and try to look rebellious and sultry. I think we'll have to attribute the monetary success of this film to Nic and the hot cars. And I think we'll have to attribute Angelina's "fame," at this point, to her wild girl attitude and the rumors of an odd relationship between her and her brother.

Tomb Raider(s)

Domestic Total Gross: $131,168,070, $65,660,196
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19%, 24%

Notice how the first Tomb Raider made so much more money than the second one. That's because a bunch of lonely gamers wanted to see Lara Croft in the flesh and so they flocked to the theaters, only to be disappointed by what they saw. They didn't return in droves for the sequel. These two were a set of mindless action movies that banked on Jolie's alleged good looks and lost.

Shark Tale

Domestic Total Gross: $160,861,908
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Wow. She's really making money now. Wait. . .nope. . .this is a Will Smith/Robert De Niro pic. Those two are box office gold and can draw an audience even if their film isn't good. People forget that Angelina was even in this movie. However, you're going to see in this list that Jolie does best when she's a side character in an animated movie.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Domestic Total Gross: $37,762,677
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

While critically acclaimed, this big-budget flick BOMBED at the box office. Angelina had top billing in this partially-animated feature, but she couldn't draw a crowd. People didn't want to go to see an "Angelina Jolie" movie. But they would soon demand to know what she was doing every minute of her personal life after she hooked up with Brad Pitt, broke up his relationship with Jennifer Aniston and starred with Brad in Mr. & Mrs. Smith - which was released a year after Sky Captain. I'm intentionally skipping over Mr. & Mrs. Smith because anything the movie did was eclipsed by "Brangelina" news in the tabloids.

Domestic Total Gross: $82,280,579
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Surely now that she was Brad Pitt's girlfriend, Angelina could make a scene at the box office, right? Wrong. Most of the mixed reviews about this movie were about the unique animation. Every time I heard mention of Angelina in this movie it was not about her performance, it was about her body. I guess a good body is all you need for continuous roles in Hollywood. Well, that and good publicity from adopting a lot of children.

Kung Fu Panda

Domestic Total Gross: $215,434,591
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

As I mentioned before, Angelina does best when she is in an animated film and has a small role to play. Audiences didn't go to see this movie for Master Tigress, they wanted to see Po and his journey to be the Dragon Warrior. Filmmakers used Jolie's name to promote this film only because she was on every cover of People Magazine next to Brad Pitt. I will state, for the record, that this is the ONLY film on here that I consider to be good - and it has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie.

Domestic Total Gross: $35,739,802
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 62%

Angelina was nominated for an Academy Award for this film, but can anyone tell me why? Maybe someone who has actually seen it? That narrows down the field because hardly anyone saw this movie. No one really cared to. This was an "Angelina Jolie movie" with her in the starring role and her face on the poster, and yet no one was drawn to see it. If you want to watch a good movie with the same name, watch the 1980 horror film called The Changeling (79% on Rotten Tomatoes).

Domestic Total Gross: $134,508,551
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Special effects. That's why this one did so well. It's a completely ridiculous film, but whenever someone bends a bullet on the big screen, it's gonna bring some cash in. Plus, it had plenty of sex and violence. Jolie was also still riding high on the fame from the birth of her twins, Knox and Vivienne. Her actual performance in the film? Not so good. ******SPOILER ALERT****** It's a good thing she offed herself at the end so she won't have to drag down the sequel. *********END OF SPOILERS****** This was also nominated for an MTV Movie award, so how good can it be?

Domestic Total as of Aug. 1, 2010: $70,800,000
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Who is Salt? I don't think we care enough to know. Salt opened at #2 at the box office when it was released. Inception, which had already been out a week, took the #1 spot. This movie may break 100 million, but it's doubtful it will go far beyond that. I will admit that I haven't seen this movie yet, so I can't bash it based on personal experience, but I have been warned by others that it is a waste of time. Salt is just another proof that Angelina Jolie cannot headline a movie successfully.

So there you go, faithful readers.

I'm not saying she's a bad person, I'm just saying she's not a good actress. I mean, people will camp out around her home just to catch a glimpse of her in real life, but they don't want to go see her movies. Those that do go see her movies aren't very impressed by her performance. The films discussed above aren't anyone's favorites (except for, maybe, Kung Fu Panda, starring Jack Black) and most of them are completely forgettable.

I don't get it.

Even though her movies are average, at best, Angelina Jolie continues to be one of the highest paid actresses and one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. She's the A-list of the A-list right now, but it's not because of anything she's done in film.

Angelina Jolie is famous because she's a wild girl turned humanitarian. She's famous because of who she's dating. She's famous because of her multiple adoptions. In summary, she's famous because the media tells us she's famous.

Don't believe the hype.