telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Linkdown: 9/14/09 by Barbecue Bros

Part 2 of AV Club’s Fall TV preview, including a preview of “Community” and “Bored to Death”

Video interview with Matt Damon of the upcoming The Informant!

– Speaking of which, a review of The Informant! from the Toronto International Film Festival

– Viggo Mortensen talks The Road

Beatles Rock Band has a 89 on Metacritic, and I can confirm that its awesome

– Some shots of the “Lost” season 6 poster (via Vulture)

“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” wins a Creative Emmy, as does Tina Fey for her Sarah Palin character; here is her acceptance speech:

“Mrs. Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs. Palin.”

– An interview with Neil Patrick Harris on becoming Hollywood’s first openly gay breakout star

Netflix Rundown: July 09 by Barbecue Bros

After a slow June, my Netflix viewing came back in a big way in July with 10 total movies/tv shows watched (8 on disc, 2 instantly).

United 93 (2006)
– 9/10 – The gripping story based on the passengers of Flight 93 overtaking their hijackers on the fateful day of 9/11. Paul Greengrass employs his usual style of shaky-cam cinema verite to great effect. I’m really becoming a big fan of Greengrass.

Spaced: The Complete Series (1999)
– 9/10 – Highly recommended if you enjoyed either of the two features from Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost, Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. This is the british tv show where they honed their horror-style-of-editing-for-comedic-effect. Tons of pop culture references, some very slyly thrown in or set up. Jessica Stevenson (now Jessica Hynes) was great as roommate Daisy, and she also co-wrote the episodes with Simon Pegg.

The Good German (2006) – 7/10 – Steven Soderbergh shot this film as if it had been made in 1945 on back lots with specific lenses and lighting techniques, which is kind of cool to see on film. A decent noir-mystery, though its kind of unbelievable that Tobey Maguire’s character could kick George Clooney’s character so easily.

Rambo (2008) – 7/10 – A violent, somewhat gory action flick that sees Stallone reprise his role as John Rambo. The social issues of the oppresed Karen people in Burma was very interesting and led to some further research after the film. As a film, its a decent, quickly paced film that doesn’t let up once it gets going.

The Fog of War (2003) – 8/10 – An interesting Errol Morris documentary about the life of Robert McNamara and eleven lessons he learned from his position of Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War (nicknamed “McNamara’s War” by some). McNamara is very forthright and candid in his interviews with Morris about his successes and failures in life.

Fanboys (2008) – 6/10 – Fanboys is a love-letter to the Star Wars universe and George Lucas with several cameos by Star Wars alum (Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Roy Park). It’s a goofy film set in 1999 about four friends travelling across the country to get a sneak preview of Episode I before one of them dies of cancer. Expect lots of Star Wars references, both in dialogue and scene. There are also tons of other cameos by Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Danny Trejo, William Shatner, Kevin Smith, Will Forte and Craig Robinson.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
– 6/10 – I decided to rewatch this after finally watching Curse of the Black Pearl on SyFy HD, with the idea of watching At World’s End to go ahead and complete the trilogy (not that its an important trilogy for me to watch, it just kind of happened). Obviously I knew what to expect, but I just can’t get over how striking Keira Knightley is.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li (2009) – 4/10 – No matter how cute Kristin Kreuk is (and she is damn cute in this movie), there was going to be no saving this movie. Chris Klein is hilariously awful (I expect several Razzie nominations in his future), there was more gunplay than actual street fighting, and there was only a handful of characters from the video game in the movies. Funny enough, they set up another film for Ryu, but I kinda doubt it will ever get made.

Goal II: Living the Dream (2007) – 7/10 – The second movie in the planned trilogy about Santiago Munez, this time seeing him getting traded to Real Madrid and dealing with fame and money. The cool part for a soccer fan is the access to the Real Madrid facilities and how the actual players are featured in the film. We’re talking about Beckham, Ronaldo, Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Iker Casillas, etc.  – big names who seemed to go along with the idea of being in a movie. The soccer action is mostly believable until the Champions League final against Arsenal (which in reality was a semifinal and Madrid lost). Also, what was up with Nick Cannon’s unnecessary cameo as an Arsenal striker?

Made of Honor (2008) – 4/10 – I could say that LAM made me watch this against my will, but it was always in my watch instantly queue. Still, not a good film by any means.

Linkdown: 7/15/09 by Barbecue Bros

Interview with Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, whose show “Michael And Michael Have Issues” debuts tonight on Comedy Central (I’m pretty pumped)

AVC: But Michael And Michael is all done?
MS: Yes, this will be 100 percent in the can.
MIB: When people don’t want to watch this show, it won’t hurt our motivation for shooting it, because it will already be done.
MS: Right. We can just hide. We won’t have to go to work the next day on a sinking ship.
MIB: We will have already fled this ship.
MS: We’ll already be on dinghies rowing to shore.
MIB: Clinging precariously to driftwood.

– High Def Digest’s mid-year report card for studios releasing Blu-ray; Criterion gets an A for such releases as 400 Blows, The Third Man, Last Year at Marienbad, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (calls it “arguably the single best Blu-ray release of 2009”); also it notes that Guillermo del Toro’s Cronos and Steven Soderbergh’s Che will be released later this year

– John Krasinski’s directorial debut Brief Interviews With Hideous Men has been picked up by IFC Studios

– Interesting story on how Back to the Future almost nuked the fridge 25 years ago

Ghostface Killah is working on a new album, and “an R&B-influenced rap album” at that

– Bill Gates: Project Natal not just for video games

– Man claims he originally created “Lost”32 years ago (or is this viral marketing?)

Tuesday Trailers: 7/8/09 Wednesday edition by Barbecue Bros
July 8, 2009, 12:18 pm
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The Informant – Another movie from the ever-prolific Steven Soderbergh, this one on the heels of The Girlfriend Experience. This one looks to be significantly more farcical and whimsical, say in the veins of a Coen Brothers movies (Burn After Reading perhaps?). Should hopefully be a nice change of pace, though I still need to catch The Girlfriend Experience.

Big Fan – The directorial debut from Robert Siegel, who wrote The Wrestler. Based on the trailer, this appears to be just as bleak and/or depressing. It is a movie about an obsessive Giants fan, still living with his mother and working a thankless job as a tollbooth operator, who gets assaulted by one of his favorite Giants players. He then has to face whether he places his pride or fandom as a priority (I’m getting all of this based on the trailer). Could be interesting.

Couples Retreat – From the Jon Favreau/Vince Vaughn/Peter Billingsley team who recently brought us The Break-Up in 2006. Great cast that includes Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristin Bell, Kristin Davis, Faizon Love, Malin Akerman, Ken Jeong and Jean Reno. Hopefully it will be more than a basic romantic comedy.

Linkdown: 6/22/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 22, 2009, 12:50 pm
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– Steven Soderbergh’s Moneyball has been delayed, possibly canned

– AV Club Inventory: 15 depressing cinematic swan songs, including Peter Sellers and Orson Welles

The poster for Big Fan, written by Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and starring Patton Oswalt

– Interview with Stephen Moyer aka Bill Compton from “True Blood”

Some “Must Lists” from Megan Fox, Josh Holloway (Sawyer) and the “True Blood” cast

TV on the Radio‘s Kyp Malone signs to Anti- for his solo project Rain Machine

– Finally, some Triumph the Insult Comic Dog videos from Bonnaroo, including what aired on Conan last week

Linkdown: 6/8/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 8, 2009, 10:08 am
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The Hangover gets barely beaten out on the weekend box office by Up, but still raked in a huge $43.3 MM, second highest opening for a R-rated comedy ever (behind American Pie 2 – really?!?!); also, it is as funny as your friends are telling you it is

– A mini-review of The Girlfriend Experience from More Intelligent Life blog calls the movie “fascinating, chilling”

– A Videogum blogger says goodbye to “The Hills”

– Steven Soderbergh gets a $57 MM budget for his upcoming adaptation of Moneyball

– AV Club Inventory: 27 ridiculous yet entertaining pop-culture fights (that didn’t take place in comic books)

– It’s been a few weeks since we’ve heard from Doc Jensen (obvi, since the “Lost” season finale), so here’s a mini Doc JensenLost”-related article

– After a disappointing opening weekend for Land of the Lost, PopWatch asks “Is America Over Will Ferrell?”

10 movies I have to watch before I buy again by Barbecue Bros
June 4, 2009, 2:35 pm
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I have the tendency to buy movies, not watch them, buy more, forget about not watching the ones I already own. So I have vowed to watch the following movies that I own before I buy anything else. I’ve already watched one this past Sunday, Salvatore Giuliano, and am currently in the middle of A Skin, A Night.

Salvatore Giuliano (1962)watched on 5/31
I got this used at Edward McKay Used Books in Greensboro probably 3 Christmases ago. Really cool flick re-enacting the Sicilian movement for independence.

That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

Bought new from a Deep Discount DVD Criterion sale probably 2 years ago. Not sure exactly why I chose this one, other than its a film I’ve always heard about. I just took off the wrapping this past weekend.

The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

Bought new from Best Buy probably close to 3 years ago. I’ve only seen the samurai films from Kurosawa, so I’m looking forward to see how what he does with “postwar corporate Japan.”

Antoine and Collette (1962)
Stolen Kisses (1968)
Bed and Board (1970)
Love on the Run (1979)

I bought this box set a few years ago in order to see The 400 Blows. Haven’t gotten around to watching the other films in the set, also directed by François Truffaut and with the protagonist of Antoine Doinel.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (BD, 2008)
I’m kind of a sucker for Criterion Collections, so I bought this when it came out a few weeks back because it was on sale at Best Buy.

The Underneath (1995)

I’m a pretty big fan of Steven Soderbergh, so I bought this used probably close to 3 years ago. I’ve also got The Good German on Netflix, so trying to watch that soon as well.

A Skin, A Night (2008)

The documentary about The National that came packaged as part of last year’s The Virginia EP. LAM got it for me about a year ago, but for some reason hadn’t felt the urge to watch it until I saw The National last week.