Near-sweep for a safe, milquetoast, wholly-uninteresting bit of Weinstein-backed mediocrity in the top categories, the better among the nominees get to settle for cleaning up in the tech categories.

Feels like old times 😉


CBM has your first (posted) look at the trailer for the new iteration of “Thundercats.”

All the leaping, whooshing-backdrops, etc. won’t do anything to assuage the irrational, blinding hatred some people have for Anime design-sensibilities (ironic, given that the original show’s lasting-legacy is that it’s animators eventually became Studio Ghibli) but in some respects it looks almost absurdly-faithful: The quick glimpse of Mumm-Ra could be a direct lift, and even Snarf seems to have made it over.

And I’ll say it: “Teenage Lion-O” is an improvement. It’s destined to become the poster child for fanboy bellyaching over “chickification” (his nickname will be Lion-Emo, calling it now) but one of the goofier things about the original series was that Lion-O was written as an impulsive, immature “kid” who the others were tasked with whipping into leadership-shape… but he was drawn and voiced with the same generic deep-voiced muscleman persona as every other would-be He-Man of the 80s. Assuming the premise is even somewhat close, making him look closer to 18 than 35 makes more sense. I also like that they look more like cat-people than people in bodypaint.

The real question, of course, is whether the intended audience for this – actual children far too young to remember or give a damn about an admittedly-obscure relic of the mid-80s – will actually care.

GI Joe 2 has a new director

I recognize that I’m in the minority of people who A.) really enjoyed the first “GI Joe” movie and B.) was dissapointed that director Stephen Sommers wasn’tgoing to return for the sequel. I still contend that, had everyone been wearing a “faithful” uniform, you essentially would’ve had a live-action episode of the series – what else did people want?

In any case, I’m now given to genuine curiousity as to what the fans holding out hope for a gritty, mature, hardcore reimagining of, eh… nicknamed super-soldiers fighting snake-themed terrorists… will make of the new boss-man, John Chu – director of the later two “Step Up” sequels and the Justin Beiber movie.

…yeah, that’s what I thought.

Chu has actually been lobbying pretty heavily for the gig – he’s only about 33, i.e. the right age to have been a fan of the show and/or toys. No word on if he is/was, though if he so much as nodded approvingly at an episode while channel-surfing back in the day you can bet he’ll be described as “a big fan” in the studio press.

This’ll be easily the biggest thing he’s ever had his name on, and it’s actually something of a coup (the boxoffice for the Beiber movie probably put him over the top) for a new guy on the scene. He’s been one of those lauded USC wunderkinds people have been expecting to break out for awhile now, with credits on mostly videos and dance material until now… though I learn from the IMDB that he was apparently inside one of the monster-suits in “Freaked,” so that’s pretty cool.

Incidentally, I was in a roundtable interview a few weeks back with Channing Tatum during the “Eagle” press tour, and since – shockingly! – everyone ran out of Eagle questions pretty quick I asked him if he was going to do GI Joe 2. He said yes, but had no idea what was going on with the script, which he thought might be a “reboot” or something of the kind. So… there’s that.

Temporal Dissonance

“Hall Pass,” which opens today, is about two middle-aged upscale-suburban married guys (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis) getting into hijinks during a weeklong “hiatus” from marriage (or, rather, from marital-fidelity) bestowed by their fed-up wives (summary of charges: they check out other women). The logic at play is that married men “romanticize” their single days, and being reminded how difficult the dating scene is – and how out-of-practice they are – will bludgeon the guys into appreciation of of homebody-hood.

Dopey premise, to be sure, especially when you remember that no mainstream comedy would DARE let the story go in any direction other than “monogamy: It’s the bee’s kness!” But it’s got it’s moments, and it’s a step back up to “average” for the Farrelly Bros. after “Heartbreak Kid.” Except… something about it just rang incredibly false to me, and I’m a little annoyed that it took this long for me to pinpoint it.


Okay, so… wicked-shocker: They don’t really get much action, and 90% of the comedy is seeing them strike out in bars, clubs, resturaunts, massage-parlors, whatever. Now, admittedly, it’s about what you’d expect from two married suburbanites trying to jump back into the game… but for some reason I wasn’t buying it. At all. I couldn’t really explain it, and then it hit me (literally) a minute or two ago: The internet doesn’t seem to exist in this movie.

Think about it: This premise has ZERO verisimilitude in the age of the online-hookup. These guys aren’t trying to have affairs, they’re openly just going for a succession of one-night-stands. And they aren’t exactly paupers – these are well-off dudes with big houses in the burbs. What the FUCK are they doing on the club scene!? “Married men seeking discreet quickie” is their predicament in the movie – but in real life it’s the near-literal selling point of hundreds of extremely lucrative businesses. But it NEVER comes up once in the movie! (Unless I missed it.)

Am I nuts, or is this up there with doing a present-day “lost in the woods” movie and not even addressing cell-phones? I mean, show of hands – if any married 40something guy you know got this kind of “Pass” from his wife in the real world… his first (or at least within-first-five) “moves” is to get on the equivalent of Craigslist, no?

"We Dare" – Ubisoft’s latest crime against humanity

hat-tip: Devin


Everyone knows I’m a big defender of The Wii – not just in terms of “there ARE actually good games on it” but also of so-called Wii “waggle game” titles themselves. Greater varieties of people gaming is a GOOD thing, and well-done motion-control party games are fun to play. BADLY done ones – or ones cashing in on the craze with minimal effort and a superficial “hook” on the other hand… no thanks.

With that in mind, behold “We Dare” – a “naughty adult party game” from Ubisoft…

Here’s what I want to know: How did this get “ok’d” by Nintendo? Granted, the “Seal of Quality” isn’t exactly what it used to be, but their still notorious for micromanaging third-parties and for guarding their family-friendly image like a Samurai Walt-Disney… so how exactly did they NOT have an issue with Ubi producing a Wii game where “shove Wii-remote down girlfriend’s pants” is part of the control scheme, with an advertisement that – depending on your point of view – either looks like an Ashley Madisson spot or the lead-in to a deleted scene from “American Psycho?”

Obama gets one right

Because largely-symbolic political gestures that effectively do little more than kick the can down the road to the point where it’ll ultimately be settled by the courts which as going to happen anyway ain’t just for Republicans anymore, the Obama Administration announces that it will no longer defend the asinine “Defense of Marriage Act” in federal court. Furthermore, they’ve publically declared intent for this to be a lead-in to an eventual repeal of the act. Translation: “Gay Rights supporters? Get out and vote for our guys next time – we need a majority to make this happen.”

“DOMA” was essentially a packet of provisions that prevented any laws, particularly those concerning partner-benefits, from “blurring” the line between same-sex couples and married heterosexual couples; so all this really means is that the lawsuits against discriminatory practices in this particular realm can now be made without the innevitable prospect of “DOMA” being used to block it from going through. So… not really a sea-change, but a win is a win.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program of Republicans and Democrats both pretending A.) to be shocked – shocked! – that the other side is dealing with social issues before “creating jobs;” and B.) to believe that they can actually do anything about “creating jobs” in the first place.

Shark Sandwich, But With Awesomeness

It’s somewhat comforting to know that classic-scifi archivist and B-movie maven Fred Olen Ray – who was doing schlock-for-schlock’s-sake when The Asylum and Syfy’s guys were in diapers – is still doing his thing. io9 brings to my attention and yours his latest opus: “Super Shark;” the epic tale of a giant shark that can hop around on dry land when it needs to… and the four-legged walking tank dispatched to fight it.

Seriously now, how great is that mecha-tank thing? It literally looks like their storyboard session was watching a four year-old smash his Shark and Robot bath-toys together. Glorious.

Who Will Stand?

As of right now, craven scumbags voted into office by ignorant cretins and hyper-religious nutcases Republican Congressmen still riding the “Tea Party” wave are digging into their favorite “to-do” item NOT involving bestowing personhood on petri-dishes: Defunding PBS, NPR and other entities of “Public Broadcasting.” The last time they got this close to gutting the CPB was right at the beginning, during the Nixon administration. Back then, Fred Rogers – one of the last “Men of God” who can really be said to have deserved the title in my estimation – took to the U.S. Senate to defend the medium. If you’ve never seen it, here’s the video of his testimony:

Who, if anyone, will be the hero this time? Or do we simply not have those anymore?