Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Top 100 Star Wars Action Figures

Full disclosure - I only collected Star Wars figures for the original trilogy, and I didn't really collect them, I played with them. Which means I have no figures still under wraps or in pristine condition.

Still, this list is kind of lacking.

I mean, it appears very little time has been given to those original figures. Call me nostalgic, but I have to think those first figures should rank high. Also, a lot of the focus of this list is on the figures that were made simply to cash in - those peripheral characters that few even remember were in the movie.

Oh well, it's an internet list. Take it for what it is.

My favorite Star Wars figure? This guy:

No idea why.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The New Mayor of Reykjavik Is Not Like Other Mayors

I'd like to think you know by now I don't post the ho hum drivel of everyday Internet articles. I go out of my way (mildly) to give you the stuff you wouldn't normally read.

Which is why I hope you take a moment or three to read this New York Times article about the new mayor of Reykjavik.

In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”

The people have spoken - in Iceland at least - and they're tired of the normal politicians who helped deliver the economic collapse. It's time for a change!

Here's his campaign video - which includes the lyrics, "The bestest of parties."

An Ode to the High Life

You hipsters can have your PBR; you yuppies can have your craft brews. When it comes to beer for me, there isn't much better than a cold High Life.

It is the champagne of beers, after all.

Slightly related...Errol Morris is a genius (he directed these commercials)...

Breaking down Psycho's Shower Scene

Steve North, on Salon.com takes a moment to give us an in-depth look at the shower scene from Psycho, arguably the most famous scene on film. The scene at the time terrified viewers...

One angry father wrote to the brilliant director, saying his daughter had not bathed since viewing a bathtub drowning in the 1954 French film "Les Diaboliques," and now she was refusing to shower after seeing Janet Leigh’s character slashed to death in "Psycho." Hitchcock responded, "Send her to the dry cleaners."

Here's the scene, in case you've forgotten it...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Steve Martin's tour rider

Not sure if you know this, but Steve Martin is an accomplished banjo player, and is actually touring the U.S. playing banjo music. That isn't the joke.

I'd like to think if I were a talented enough musician to be able to demand a rider, I'd do something like that. Not as funny as Steve's but in a similar vein.

The Latest From OK Go

You know the band Ok Go. No, not from their music. From their videos! Like this one:

And this one:

Have done it again. This time no music - it's all viral. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The NBA draft - it's fannnntastic!

The NBA draft is tonight. There are plenty of reasons why I love watching the draft, but I think the biggest is the spontaneity of it all. Usually, these guys getting drafted are the picture of cool, owning the basketball court they play on. But on draft night, they're out of their element, and it's that unpredictability that can lead to some great unintentional comedy.

And let's not forget the announcers, stumbling over themselves in an attempt to say something brilliant about each guy drafted.

In anticipation to tonight, GQ has put together a slideshow of some of the more questionable fashion choices of yesteryear. Please enjoy. And, if you are so inclined, I'm sure I'll have a comment or two over on my Twitter feed, if you feel like following me.

Buried Treasure in NYC

This is just like Push, Nevada, except on the Internet (and if you got that reference before clicking on the link, then kudos!).

Apparently, someone has buried treasure in New York city somewhere and wants someone else to find it. Starting August 1, a number of video "clues" will be presented, and if you can figure it out, you'll dig up pirate treasure.

While there seems to be no reason for this other than philanthropy, this is the Internet, and I refuse to believe this isn't some clever marketing for a movie or something. I'd say muppets (see the trailer below for that subtle clue) but honestly I have no idea.

The trailer for the idea...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For your listening pleasure...

Just figured I'd put up a few songs from bands I've recently been listening to. Hope you enjoy. And please feel free to recommend anything you've been listening to lately.

Wait a minute...I know him!

It happens to everyone. You're watching a movie, and the crooked cop, or the shift chef, or the guy who simply won't believe aliens are invading his town looks familiar. Or slightly familiar. At least familiar enough to have starred in another movie, but not familiar enough where you know his name.

Well now you don't have to rack your brain. Go here, to the That Guy website.

(To be fair, I really don't think Sam Elliot is a "That Guy" - I mean he was in freakin' Roadhouse! But I don't make the rules.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A list of What if movies that were started but never finished.

There must be thousands of great ideas out in Hollywood that have been started and not finished. This list goes into a little more detail about fifteen such projects, and doesn't even include Frank Darabont's Indiana Jones script, or William Gibson's Alien 3 script - 2 I wouldn't have minded seeing.
And you thought there was nothing more that could be mined out of the world of bowling after Kingpin and The Big Lebowski.

You were wrong.

This man is brilliant. I only hope that the limo is his car and not his job. That would be the cherry on this sundae of a movie.

The Making of Blonde on Blonde

I'll admit it, I'm not that big of a Dylan fan. That statement is based more in ignorance than in opinion; I've heard many of his radio hits but never delved deeper into his catalog.

I am sure he is everything people say he is - a poet, a visionary, a prophet, etc., but I just never got it.

Still, I can certainly appreciate someone/thing when the majority labels him a genius. Which is why I think this article, on the creation of Dylan's classic Blonde on Blonde is so good.

And please, educate me. Tell me the songs I need to hear to better appreciate Mr. Dylan. But not Jakob. Sorry, that's just not going to happen.

Monday, June 21, 2010

RIP Manute Bol

Sad news over the weekend...NBA legend and possible lion killer Manute Bol passed away. I think my favorite fact from his Wikipedia page is that he may have coined the phrase "My bad." Sure, there's no evidence or proof of the claim, but there also isn't anything to suggest it isn't true.

Please enjoy some videos...

Friday, June 18, 2010

So...What's Michael Winslow been up to lately?

Making awesome sound effects of course.

Don't know who Michael Winslow is? I weep for you. He's the awesome guy in the Police Academy movies who would make all the sound effects with his mouth.

I'm gonna be honest. I'm shocked that this video has over 2 million views.

Trivia - guess how many of the Police Academy movies he was in. Bonus points if you can guess how many Police Academy movies were made.

Answers: There were 7 movies. There were 2 series (animated and live action)

Winslow was in everything but the animated series. Hey, a guy has to have some standards.

O'Reilly and Palin...together again.

We're so stupid! The answer to the oil spill is obviously the Dutch!

I also appreciated O'Reilly snarkily pointing out that Obama doesn't know how to stop the leak. Stupid president.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guy Hunts Osama Bin Laden

Gary Faulkner, attempted to take the law into his own hands and find Osama Bin Laden.

An American man armed with a pistol and a 40-inch sword was detained in northern Pakistan as he tried to cross the border into Afghanistan on a mission to avenge the 9-11 attacks and kill Osama bin Laden, police said Tuesday.

I gotta admit, I appreciate the fact that in addition to having a gun, he brought a sword along with him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You haven't seen the US/Britain World Cup highlights like this before!

Britain fans probably aren't thrilled with this...but how can you hate on Legos?

HBO - coming back?

Sure, True Blood is back, but that feels like any late 90s Skinemax flick doesn't it? Not necessarily the quality that used to come out of HBO's original series division. But two new series look like they might have a chance to get HBO back on the top of the original programming mountain.

First, Boardwalk Empire...

Martin Scorsese and Steve Buschemi and a period piece about the corruption of Atlantic City - Vegas' dirty, slower cousin his family keeps in a closet? I'm up for that.

Next, Game of Thrones...

I've read the book, and it's pretty much a grown up version of Lord of the Rings and British politics. And I mean that in the best way possible. Plenty of death and violence, and a hint of magic and fantasy.

So what do you think - will these 2 series put HBO back on the map?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Light up the world with the sun!

I've stared at this map for a full 2 minutes and I still can't believe it. It's the amount of square miles the world would need in solar panels to generate enough energy for the entire world. Yes, I'm sure there are plenty of logistic nightmares not included in this graphical representation, but c'mon - this is crazy!

So - which would you choose - prison in Aruba or prison in Peru

Reports suggest Joran Van Der Sloot (suspect in the Natalie Holloway and Stephany Flores) is using the whereabouts of Natalie Holloway's remains as a bargaining chip in hopes it will get him extradited to Aruba.

That's because, apparently Peruvian prison life isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

If you can believe that.

Now, according to this article, van der Sloot would be living out his sentence at Lurigancho prison, which sounds lovely, according to this account:

"There are 35 guys in a room there," he says. "They don't have beds, they go to the bathroom on the floor and the showers run once a week for 15 minutes. Fifty percent of the inmates have AIDS or tuberculosis, and you can die from eating the food."

Right now, he's being held at Miguel Castro Castro Prison (so nice they named it twice!), and that he might be moved to Piedras Gordas maximum security prison, a prison that this article says doesn't normally take in new prisoners. I guess van der Sloot is an exception?

I'm going to be honest - being involved in a debate about which Peruvian prison to spend time in is not high on my Bucket List. None of this news can be good for Mr. van der Sloot. Of course, Mr. van der Sloot really doesn't deserve anything more than this, so...

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's World Cup Time! And I Know Who I'm Rooting For!

Surely I've posted this before, but it's never been more relevant than now with the star of hte video now the coach of Argentina for the World Cup:

There's a lot to love about this, from Maradona's awesome shorts, to the way he ruffles the hair of the opponent who just missed a penalty kick to his celebrating the victory with a bag of cocaine.

Enjoy the World Cup folks!

Movies Ruined By Their Third Act

Over at the A.V. Club, the question today is this:

Some are obvious, perhaps - Vanilla Sky (totally agree), A.I. (is there a word stronger than "totally?" Because if there is, put it in front of agree and that's my opinion), some I don't agree with (Office Space? That's the only way it could have ended really, unless Mamet had directed it, and then we would have had Peter being hauled off to jail amidst a lot more swearing) and some I've never taken a moment to think about (The Fly).

Regardless, off the top of my head, if I had to come up with some, I'd go with pretty much every Mel Brooks movie (I give Blazing Saddles a pass I guess, simply because they certainly go all out to try and sell it). And while not a movie, I'm still not willing to return to Lost (a light cave? really?)

So anyway, what are yours?

Jaws Returns...

It seems Jaws has recently been injected back into the pop culture zeitgeist.

First, it's certainly no Indiana Jones moment, but Cory Turner, reporting for NPR, casts out in hopes of finding the original mechanical shark (affectionately known as "Bruce," named after Spielberg's lawyer).

The film's art director, Joe Alves, was hired to create the shark, and he remembers very clearly how he decided on those 25 feet. He made two life-size paper drawings of Bruce — one 20 feet long, the other 30 feet. He took the two to a parking garage on the Universal Studios back lot and put them side by side for studio executives. In a classic Goldilocks moment, the bigger shark seemed too big and the little shark too little. So Alves took the middle road.
Thirty years later, Jeff Pirtle, NBC Universal's manager of archives and collections, invited me to his office on the Universal Studios lot and showed me a number of Alves' original schematics for the shark. The width of those famous jaws: nearly 5 feet. The head alone, according to one schematic, weighed 400 pounds.
How pumped would you be just to have a portion of the original drawings?

Of course, that's not the most interesting Jaws related article I've read in the past week. I mean, Take a look at this article, over at Overthinking It that deconstructs the movie. I mean really deconstructs the movie.

Jaws was a trailblazer here, as in so many things. Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) begins the movie as the epitome of American manhood, almost to the point of cliche. He’s a loving husband, a devoted father, and a solitary lawman protecting his community. When confronted by the shark, however, everything spirals out of control. He watches a little boy get chewed up in front of his eyes, and is publicly berated by the grieving mother. Then the shark strikes again, despite the security measures he puts in place… and this time, his own child is nearly taken. If the first two-thirds of the movie is about anything, it’s revealing the impotence of male stereotypes.
Now, I'll be honest, I've seen Jaws well over 100 times, and never delved so deep into it's psyche. But I loved this article. I mean, I'm not going to try to convince you that any of it was done deliberately, but even if it wasn't, it's a great look into what possibly could get into a movie from a director's subconscious.

Like that mythical bird that was on fire or something, the Popcorn Trick returns!

Hey folks...it's been awhile. And for that I apologize.

Life stuff got in the way of the blog stuff, and then laziness got in the way of that. It happens from time to time, especially with me. And I'm not going to tell you it won't happen again.

But for now...

I'm kinda dedicating to at least make a go of posting again. I'm still not sure of the frequency, but I feel a little more motivated than I have the past few months. So, hopefully one or two of you are still out there (I wouldn't blame you if you weren't though) and will enjoy The Popcorn Trick's return. And if you don't - well what are you doing here?

As for Cline? I can't speak for him. I know he's traveling for a fortnight or a month or whatever, so maybe when he returns he'll regale you with tales of boozing, cavorting and molesting.

Or maybe not. I'm not his keeper. The ankle monitor is his keeper.

Anyway...I hope you enjoy.