Monday Business Time

"So then I told him, That's what she said"

Happy Monday fellow internet enthusiasts! Christmas is fast approaching and I hope all of you have embarrassed yourselves (or will be) at either your company's holiday party or your spouse's! Because nothing says holiday cheer more than accidentally brushing your wife's boss's butt with your hand when trying to grab a cold one out of the cooler. Listen, we've all been there and the best way to handle it is to give a slight nod to the boss and quickly guzzle down the beer to hide your hidden shame that the first thought that came to you was "Hmmm, Tom sure does work out." Speaking of hidden shame, there's been some new trailers recently that have me somewhat shamefully aroused.

If you haven't seen the ridiculousness of the new Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, you really should see it because there is some great one liners: "Road kill." and "We better make sure he doesn't turn out to be the Anti-Christ." are just a few of the hammy, deadly serious lines Nicolas Cage will be spewing (besides fire vomit) out of his mouth come February. Sadly, this trailer doesn't have fire piss, but you do get to see the Ghost Rider swallow bullets! Hooray! Am I the only one who thinks this movie would be better served if it was a video game? Hold the right trigger and you can pee fire on people! Oh wait....they already did and it was terrible. Nevermind.

Also debuting this past week was the trailer for number 30: Jack the Giant Killer. It certainly has a Clash of the Titans meets Gremlins vibe to it (Don't get those seeds wet! And don't feed the cat after midnight!). It's just a tease, but it's looking tight, if not downright fun. Bring on the fairy tales next year!

Oh and G.I. Joe: Retaliation is also looking not bad! Color me surprised. Your obligatory ninjas fighting on a cliff scene has been fulfilled. I also am looking forward to the 2014 Red/G.I. Joe crossover movie where Helen Mirren is fighting ninjas on the moon. Thank you, Jon M. Chu.

But my favorite trailer so far that's been released recently was the Men in Black 3 trailer. Not only do they manage to keep the series' humor and tone, but they introduce time travel and we all know that any movie that incorporates time travel, is by definition, awesome. Well, except maybe The Time Traveler's Wife. That movie was awful and I would rather watch a Nicholas Spark's adaptation where a whole family has been diagnosed with some incurable disease and their eldest daughter falls in love with a soldier who has to leave for Afghanistan and gets killed and everyone in the story dies but they all come together to appreciate each other as a family and learn very important lessons about life. I digress, but I like where the story is headed and it's really eerie to see Josh Brolin play a young Tommy Lee Jones because I think they're the same person caught in a weird 12 Monkeys plot and only one can survive (It's Josh Brolin). Plus, according to IMDb, Johnny Knoxville returns and we all know how such a wonderful actor he is and how much gravitas he added to the sequel.

Speaking of jackasses, I was certainly a jackass long before those, ummmm, jackasses ever got their own show. Me and my friends actually would blow up 2-liter pop bottles using a toilet bowl cleaning liquid and aluminum foil. This was back in the heyday of the 90s when you had to connect to the internet using a modem that tied up your phone line. We got a hold of this huge text file called the anarchist's cookbook and it had all these really dumb ideas (like you could bake banana peels and somehow if you did it right they would turn into LSD/acid tabs). But the most fun we had was the 2-liter pop bottle bomb recipe. We would go to the park by my house and set it off. The first time it sounded like a shotgun and we all ran away thinking someone would call the cops. Luckily no one ever did and I took home the disfigured corpse of a Mountain Dew bottle. Unfortunately, me being a really dumb 13-year-old, I left evidence of our anarchy in my bedroom and my mom was cleaning stuff out and found the bottle. She asked me what happened and I came up with the best lie a 13-year-old could: I melted it with hot water (mind you this thing had a hole in it with burn marks). Of course mom didn't buy it and it wasn't until my dad came over to drill me on the specifics that I confessed. Now, my dad isn't very good at dealing with these situations so he told me to never do it again. But I never got punished nor did he threaten me with consequences if I ever did it again. So naturally, we continued to make stuff blow up, lesson learned.

My dad was always full of weird lessons. One time, after I had survived cancer and we were driving to a basketball game he was refereeing (I was the score keeper. Sweet money - I earned like $15 per game and there were two games each night. My dad has good connections within the Parks and Rec department. Which might help him win the mayoral office in 2013. This is not a joke.) and I'm pretty sure he saw someone smoking outside the building and he told me "Colin, I don't ever want you to smoke. After having to go through cancer you shouldn't be doing that stuff." And that was it. I think he would have been okay if I had smoked before I got cancer. At least that's the way I heard it. Plus I think he may have been referring to smoking not only cigarettes but pot as well. I was left to ponder this whole scenario as we walked into the gym. Visions of my dad smoking pot were filling my head (there was one time my mom told me he saw Star Wars in the theater high and said it was amazing and she had to do the same. My mom never did watch that movie) and needless to say, I totally effed up the scoring that night. Lesson learned, dad.


The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Review!

Okay let's get straight to the point - I nabbed some tickets to see a preview screening of the opening few minutes of The Dark Knight Rises. It was showing at the Henry Ford IMAX in Dearborn - the only place in Michigan as far as I know. They handed out some swag (a cool black T-shirt that may or may not be recognizable as a cool Batman shirt) and we were only in the theater for maybe thirty minutes tops. And you know what? I cannot wait to find out what the hell I was watching.

The scene is mostly shot in IMAX and it's pretty gorgeous - there's lots of wide, sweeping camera angles of some country side (America? Africa? Uzbeki-beki-stan-stan? Does it matter?). It's a heist - in very similar fashion to Joker's famous entrance at the beginning of The Dark Knight. And much like that movie, you don't get to see the main villain's face until halfway through the scene. There's a lot of information (I think) to be had in this brief scene but not knowing the context of all that is happening only raises questions in my mind. But boy was it fun.

As far as memorable opening scenes, it's right up there with The Dark Knight. I would say what happens on that plane ride and the subsequent heist of said plane was completely nuts and over the top. But as far as revealing the bad guy? Ehhh, not so much. It's not that I have a problem with how they introduced Bane, because it plays out like The Dark Knight. But either Tom Hardy is going to have to redo some scenes or they're going to have to clear up the audio because sitting through Bane's lines was pretty awful.

And that's the main problem I had while watching it. It's like my friend Pat who was with me said, "He sound like he's speaking through a bad drive-thru microphone." And that's pretty apt, because I could only decipher about a third of what Bane was saying. If Christopher Nolan wants to keep it that way because that's how it's meant to be or it adds something to the dialogue, then I could swallow that excuse. But I'm pretty sure Bane is going to give crucial information throughout the movie and if he sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown then well, sorry Mr. Nolan, but you suck. I'm just sitting there thinking why aren't the characters reacting to Bane by saying "WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU THROUGH THAT MASK!"

After the scene ended, they showed a short montage of clips from the movie and it looks every bit as badass as you might think. I'm still not sold on Catwoman - Hathaway looks like she's wearing a Halloween costume in her brief appearance. But after the lights came up I was left with so many questions. Is Bane going to break Batman's back? What's up with the blood transfusion? How the hell does one afford a military-grade cargo plane? This is just a teaser and they did a helluva job making me more anxious to see the finished project. I just hope they'll fix the audio - they have a whole seven months to do that.

Bottom line? I would say if you don't mind spoiling a bit of the fun, it's worth seeing. The IMAX is gorgeous and if you saw The Dark Knight in the format (at one of the larger, 60 ft. screens and not the rinky-dink retro-fitted screens they've employed across the county in the past couple of years) then you know what I'm talking about. Now in order to see it you're going to have to pony up some extra money for Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol and to me, that's fine - I wanted to see that movie anyway. But if you can't muster seeing Ethan Hunt run from shit and climb shit for a couple of hours then you're really not missing much - it's a good tease, but that's all it is.

July 20 cannot come any faster!


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Not What You're Thinking

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

I may have made a few miscalculations last year when it came to my top 5 (ughh what was I thinking with Cowboys & Aliens?). I may make them again this year, but I'll tell you what - all these movies have me super excited for next year. There's going to be a guaranteed blockbuster with the potential to draw record numbers, a possible surprise breakout hit, possibly the best romantic comedy next year, a somewhat risky war movie and finally, a movie from the man who knows how to make some of the most iconic movies in Hollywood. This will be a good year if nothing but these five movies fulfill their promises and live up to the hype. Man I cannot wait!


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Cracking the Top Ten

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

The top ten awaits you after the page break. It's a glorious time to be a movie goer. Whether you love some original recipe or you'd rather kick it with extra crispy, Hollywood has usually got you covered. I hate it when people say Hollywood has nothing new to offer. But then they go ahead and pay to watch that superhero sequel and actually enjoy it. OF COURSE there's nothing original, but that's not the point of movies anymore. We know how most of the movies are going to end, but that doesn't ruin the experience we have while watching some amazing drama and action unfold before us on the screen. Or bust a gut because there were some really good fart jokes. Seriously, movies are an adventure and if they're told right, you can have some of the best experiences sitting back and being entertained. The next five movies are definitely not original and play to our comforting emotion of familiarity, but that doesn't mean they're not going to be spectacular or awesome. The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and especially Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey were all sequels that were undoubtedly better than the original. Whether that will hold true to some of the movies is yet to be seen, but that doesn't get me less excited about it! I live for this stuff, man!


The Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Familiar Territory

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

We're almost down to the top ten! I've been trying to keep a diverse list - but sometimes there's just not enough of a certain genre. Thus, the romantic comedy has been neglected. Hell, even comedy itself is sorely lacking next year. There were a lot of great comedies last year - Bridesmaids was a wonderful surprise (even though it cracked my top 10 on last year's list, I just didn't expect it to be the funniest movie all year) and Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits were all great R-rated comedies. But next year? I counted about a dozen on my list and only two romantic comedies. I'm sure there's actually more than that coming out, but besides those two, they all look rather pitiful. Some may say the same of the two choices I've made, but to each their own, right? With that in mind, let's get this party started!


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Finally!

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

I don't have much time to bother you with pretense - I need some sleep, people! So here's the next five!


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: The Outliers

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

I've always considered the second half of the top 50 my Must-See. They're the movies that I will, hands down, pay money for to go and check out without hesitation. Even if they're one of the worst movies of the year. There's some really, really big movies coming out next year that get my inner (and outer) geek all excited. The outliers are on this part of the list - they seem to be toss-ups, in my opinion, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: Happily Ever After

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

It's funny how all of the next movies on this list have some sort of magical or fantastical theme. I didn't pick it this way, it just happened! I love fairy tales - it probably stems from my childhood watching Nickelodeon's David the Gnome and Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics. Those were great shows, I'd spend Saturday mornings watching this stuff. I don't even know if there's such a thing as Saturday Morning Cartoons anymore. But Nickelodeon definitely had the best kids programming in the 90s. You couldn't beat all the young kids programs and if you were older, you'd watch Salute your Shorts or Hey Dude. I don't know if any of these movies will capture that same childhood nostalgia, but I can only hope.


The 50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012: War all the Time.

List: 50-46 | 45-41 | 40-36 | 35-31 | 30-26 | 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Runner-Ups: 10-6 | 5-1

War seems to be the theme at this point on the list. I'm not really a huge action fan - don't get me wrong, I love me some gun-shootin' and hand-to-hand combat as much as any other self-respecting bro, but sometimes they're just so dumb. I can't get behind anything Jason Statham does now. He's pretty much pigeonholed himself into replacing Steven Segal. And he's a good actor - he would be awesome in a romantic comedy or a drama (The Bank Job was a great example of this). But Killer Elite? Blitz? There's mainly no soul to all these movies except for the next explosion or choreographed fight. Which is fine, it just doesn't float my boat. Despite my disposition to this genre, there looks to be some interesting movies next year that might just keep my boat floatin'.