You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Big, Big Year in Films?

Yahoo! recently came out with a list of highly anticipated films for the upcoming year. One gander at the list and you can see why people can't wait for these to arrive. For example, the charming folks at RiffTrax must be licking their chops like hungry wolves in a mutton storehouse.

Anyway, here are the films they suggested we'll all be frothing at the mouth to see, along with links to the Yahoo! preview, so you can get their side of the story, the suck-ups.

Watchmen - First of all, who's the chap in the thong and why is he glowing (and are the two facts related... I'm not at all sure I really want to know the answers, come to think of it)? I'm fairly positive the bloke on the far left is Bill Paxton reprising his role from True Lies, only with super powers and, I suspect, enormous quantities of Michelob beer.

The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name, which explains why everyone in the cast looks like models from a Bowflex advert. In the world of comics, the Kingpin and the Blob notwithstanding, everyone is ripped. Zero body fat is normal in the comics, just like skin-tight leotards that (thankfully) go a bit fuzzy below the belt.

Monsters vs. Aliens - How do they tell the difference? I thought we were past such distinctions, anyway. Plus, what if one character is an alien monster? Is this like all-time quarterback in American football, where the best passer plays for both teams? Or does he beat himself up?

Also, is it me or is the giant woman in the picture the villainess from The Incredibles. You know, the lanky, heroine-chic model who stepped out from behind the lava and was nearly throttled by Mr. Incredible at least twice. I thought The Incredibles was a Pixar film. Obviously, they didn't renew her contract, so she got mad, drank some radioactive waste and grew to fifty feet tall. Which I suppose is a blessing. Despite the difficulty getting an apartment, fitting in the family sedan, and finding a loo with an XXXL seat, I'm sure becoming a giantess is much preferable to the usual result of drinking radioactive waste, which is slow, lingering death.

Fast & Furious

Judging by the promo shot on the Yahoo! page, there's nothing faster and more furious than two guys standing around by their car on a summer evening, shooting the breeze. This means that in every town in America, this fast and furious lifestyle is repeated a hundred times each weekend, usually in front of cinemas.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Only four words can stop this film from being a major hit: "Directed by Brett Ratner." Fortunately, Gavin Hood is directing the film. Remember him? He's the chap that directed hits like Rendition and Tsotsi and W pustyni i w puszczy.

No, I haven't seen them either. Still, Wolverine will cut several things up and get really angry. That'll be worth something. He might even crush a beer can.

Update: Apparently Tsotsi won the Best Foreign Language Picture award at the 78th Academy Awards. Like that means anything.

Star Trek

Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "How long is it going to take for this next page to load, so I can get off this lame blog?" While you're waiting though, you might ask yourself if this version of Star Trek is going to have the clever and charming things in it that made the original series a syndication hit. Will it have the cheaply staged fight scenes, leftover special effects from Lost in Space (including the Robot, if I remember correctly), actors in their mid-twenties who look in their late thirties (Nichelle Nichols excepted, of course), horribly conceived makeup and costumes, and an egocentric lead actor with a penchant for enjoyably over the top acting that makes Olivier's performance in Inchon look restrained? (Seriously though Bill, we loved every bridge-console-chewing minute of it.)

Of course not. Sure it will make a billion dollars (U.S.), but it will feel as empty as a crushed beer can. There will even be a little beer can echo. Listen! You can almost hear it in the wind. It's crying, "Warning! Warning! Gus Van Sant! Psycho remake!"

Angels and Demons

Tom Hanks returns in a DaVinci Code remake. Is the man that hard-up for cash? Will Robert Zemeckis not just go ahead and make Forrest Gump II and spare Mr. Hanks the embarrassment of these types of roles? Doesn't he get some kind of residuals from Bosom Buddies? Please! Next we'll hear that John Travolta is heading up Battlefield Earth II.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Without Dick Van Dyke, Bill Cobbs, and Mickey Rooney it just won't feel the same.

Wait, I just read that Dick Van Dyke will return for this sequel. There. I'm better now.

Terminator Salvation

Unfortunately, this isn't a religious film. No, the Terminators continue to kill and maim with all the enthusiasm of a off-Broadway Riverdance cast.

The studio is marketing it as a sequel AND a prequel, but really it's just the simple tale of a boy named John Connor who grows up, goes back in time, grows old, tells his younger self to send his best friend back in time so he can be his father, sends a terminator back in time to protect himself, forgets to warn the terminator that he went back in time, sends his mother back in time to lecture herself about her cheesy wardrobe, and then goes back in time again to remind himself where he left his favorite Clay Aiken album all those years ago.

Then, he sends his younger self back in time to send his even younger self forward in time to obtain DNA to clone himself and start the whole process over again. It's really a very simple story.

Of course, one more of these Terminator sequel/prequels and I'll be looking for a way to send myself back in time to warn James Cameron to change the script to have the kid's mom snuff it in the first film. That'll save each of us about fifty dollars.


No clue. I mean, the Yahoo! article says it's about "a grumpy old man and his balloon-powered floating house." Where does one begin? Clearly Pixar is coasting on this one. We should have guessed from the title.

Still, if the movie were interactive and they gave the audience peashooters, then you'd have something.

Land of the Lost

For those who watched the original television series, I know exactly what you're thinking when you look at the photo: "I feel really creepy saying this, but Holly is hot!"

I think that's exactly what the Sleestaks are thinking, too.

Also, in a bit of creative product-placement casting, Chaka will be played by one of the cavemen from the Geico adverts. Look closely for the Geico gecko in one of the dinosaur sequences.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

"Yeah, there are these robots from another planet you see... and they turn into cars, and then they change back into robots and fight and bust up a lot of buildings... they were toys, but if they were giant it would make an awesome movie, dude!"

And the question is: "When do a pitch meeting and a second grade playground discussion sound exactly alike?"

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Were there actual dinosaurs in the last Ice Age? Maybe they were just stolen from Jurassic Park and sent back in time by John Connor during one of the idel moments between robot attacks.

Public Enemies

John Dillinger meets Miami Vice. I think the best part in the trailer is when he changes into the white jacket and sunglasses, just before he walks into the cinema to watch Manhattan Melodrama. If critics say a film "kills," this is what they mean.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

One of two last chances to squeeze out a few hundred million for the sprawling Potter franchise. Fortunately, there are no "wand" scenes, ala Dan Radcliffes' role in Equus, planned. However, Hagrid does appear in a thong.

Funny People

Rule number one about comedy: Never, ever put the word "funny" in the title. The bad reviews just write themselves. ("NOT!" "Whoever named this film must have been thinking "strange" and not "haha!" etc... I didn't suggest they were clever reviews, just that they write themselves.)

It is supposed to be partially a drama, so I'm glad to see Adam Sandler stretching himself a bit.

GI Joe: Rise of Cobra

GI Joe started as a respectful tribute to the industrious and plain-spoken American soldier who fought in World War II. Then, the Vietnam War came along and the toy makers decided that "Joe" needed to be turned in to an international crime fighter, so hippie children would be retained in the market.

Apparently, all Joe's got left these days is being cast as a metrosexual knockoff off The Matrix. Maybe he needs to get himself a Star Trek uniform and camp it up a bit, poor bloke.

Inglorious Basterds

From the looks of the promo photo, Quentin Tarantino has remade Dad's Army.

Nice work, if you can get it.

Where the Wild Things Are

A documentary about Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, and (sometimes) Lindsey Lohan? No, it's the cinematic adaptation of the beloved Maurice Sendak children's book.

Any resemblances between the two concepts are entirely coincidental.

The Wolf Man

A remake of the Universal horror classic, no doubt. Looking at the promo film, you already know that Anthony Hopkins is going to kill him.

I'm just disappointed that they didn't cast Jack Black in the title role. He was born to howl.

Sherlock Holmes

It's directed by Michael Ritchie, so right about now he's busy cutting all of Madonna's footage out of the film.


James Cameron is directing, so I'm inclined to think of this as Titanic meets The Terminator ...which means that it will feature a boisterous young lad who stands at the bow of a ship shouting, "I'm the King of the World," right before a robot viciously lops his head off.

In other words, it's a remake of Titanic, the way the critics would have done it. Bra - vo.

The Princess and the Frog

It's been done before.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

We're Four!

Lest you think we'd forgotten, The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas turned four a week ago. Instead of the usual celebratory bacchanailia (a group night of watching the Smokey and the Bandit series over half a six-pack of Guinness) we decided to let the Obama inaugural stand in for the party. We just taped DoUI signs strategically to the telly and pretended that Aretha Franklin and Denzel Washington were fans of the blog.

As for the actual politicians, we don't focus on partizan politics here, so let's just say that we think of them as future cast members for the blog sketches.

Just think, our blog is now in the pre-school phase of it's life. If you're hoping that means the jokes will get a bit more sophisticated and mature, ask yourselves how many four year olds you know who fit that bill?

By the time the blog is thirty, we'll be so old, we'll seem mature by comparison to the rest of society.

Actually, it's not taking that long at all...

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