Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Whole Different Movie

Some movie storylines are so epic, that even if you have never seen the movie, you know what the movie is generally about through some weird form of entertainment osmosis through friends and family. Because of a clever idea and/or a carefully thought out process of writing, legendary movies take the best route to make them extremely memorable to their fans. In some cases, fans become so entrenched in this world of fiction, it's as if nothing else matters to them.

But as with many movies, you can ask, "What if," questions that would dramatically alter the storyline. Something that would suggest that if the movie went another route, it might not as be epic.

1. Star Wars IV: A New Hope: There are several routes that can be taken here. What if Luke Skywalker follows through with his with to join the Imperial Academy with his friend Biggs Darklighter to become a pilot? Instead of flying an X-Wing and taking out the Death Star, he could have been defending it. Maybe he would become closer to his father Darth Vader. It could have been a, "boy meets long lost father," movie instead. Or even what if Luke picks another android instead of R2D2? Would he still remain a moisture farmer for his aunt and uncle?

2. Back To The Future: At the end of Back To The Future when Marty goes back to the eighties, his mom all of a sudden remembers kissing Calvin Klein (i.e. Marty McFly) at the night of her big dance? How disturbing would that be? Would the whole family need counseling? If so, how would you tell the therapist what happened without sounding like you need some time in the looney bin? Would George McFly be angered at his future son? Who knows?

3. Matrix: Well, actually for this one, I'll jump to Matrix: Revolutions which was the third in the trilogy. After leaving the matrix, Neo seemingly has many of his computer world created powers still. What Neo, Morpheus and the other humans never left the matrix? What if it is revealed that the computers pulled an Inception like move and really created a second matrix within the matrix. Meaning Zion would be a computer created city, rather than the last hold out for the humans against the computers. Also, I guess the obvious "what if" scenario that could be, what if Neo picked the wrong pill when choosing between the red or blue pills?

4. The Crow: What if after avenging the death of his fiancee and himself, Eric Draven doesn't return to Heaven? What if he were to become an undead being? A zombie perhaps. No spiritual being actually gave him a rule book of what would happen when the crow brought Draven's soul back to Earth. Draven technically chose the revenge route, but nothing said that the revenge route would be the end of his journey.

5. The Godfather: What if Sonny was never killed? Would he take over the Corleone empire still? Probably since he was next in line and was the son that Vito was grooming to take over. Michael would have never had to kill The Turk and the cop, which means he would have never had to go to Sicily to hide out, which means he would have never have developed an appreciation for his father's lifework, which means he would never taken it upon himself to learn the family business. He would have been a college professor in a small New England town. This was what he was studying to do in the book.

6. Sin City: What if instead of being hot for Dwight still, Gail is angry at Dwight for going away and hooking up with Shellie? She initially is and after Dwight slaps her across the face, they make out so hard that it looks like their in a battle. What's missed is that the movie is based on the graphic novels of the same name and are almost scene for scene the same as the graphic novel. The movie was based on several of the books and even though there are hints of a past relationship with Dwight and Gail, it's not said in the movie how exactly their relationship formed. In one of the other graphic novels, Gail nursed a nearly dead Dwight back to health, despite the fact that old town is supposed to be only resided by hookers. The other hookers were angry at Dwight's presence, but Gail fell hard for him. After healing up, he leaves and hooks up with waitress Shellie, which is where the movie picks up.

7. Field Of Dreams: What if Ray Kinsella is scared of ghosts? After seeing the appearance of Joe Jackson, he is so freaked out, that he bulldozes the precious land that he really needs for his corn crop. Or on another "what if" scenario, what if he loses his farm to the bank? Would he still have run into his father's ghost somewhere?

Nicki Minaj Cosmo Cover

Even though most of these blogs are more based media in the form of movies, television, and music, this one is based on something I came across a couple of days ago at a grocery store. Just like all grocery do, Albertson's displays magazines by their registers. Most of these are aimed at females for impulse purchases. Everything from People to Star. One of the mainstays at grocery store registers is Cosmopolitan magazine as well.

On this occasion, while waiting in line for the register, I noticed that the magazine slot slated for Cosmopolitan magazine had a black magazine divider, often used by places that sell adult magazines to keep the young ones from seeing the cover. On this divider there was a note that read, "If you would like to purchase Cosmo magazine, please ask your cashier."

Intrigued, I asked the cashier what the deal was. The cashier told me it was because of what Alberston's felt was a racier cover of Cosmo. I joked if it was one of the headlines that usually tells the reader how to have more fun in the bedroom or something to that extent. The cashier said it was of the outfit Nicki Minaj was wearing on the cover. They went on to say that they felt the outfit was too racy.

On my returning home later that night. I noticed my wife had an issue of Cosmo sitting on the kitchen table (as per her monthly magazine addiction). Looking at the cover, it was sort of a let down. I believe I have seen racier magazine covers before and not just on magazines like Maxim. Even other issues such as Cosmo have been racier in my opinion.

For a magazine to be banned from the lines at the register of a grocery store, I would have expected worse. As a teenager, I remember Madonna on a cover of a magazine, in a black leather bikini and pulling on a leash that was attached to a collar she was wearing. If this could be shown in line for a register, why would Minaj's cover be banned at Alberston's. Her outfit covers more than have the covers out there. So for your troubles in reading this post, here's a picture of the cover.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10 Things I Learned From I Love Lucy

One of the most watched television shows of all time is I Love Lucy. Debuting on air in the fifties, I Love Lucy set standards in how sitcoms would be made, how comedy is done on television, and even how people can live in real life. The show was based on the crazy, redhead trying to get into her hubby's show and involving their landlords/best friends in the process. So I present to you...

10 Things I Learned From I Love Lucy

1. Keep your house thoroughly cleaned because you never know when an agent or celebrity might drop by. (Apparently in the fifties celebrities had nothing better to do than to hang out in people's apartments)

2. It is okay to mock a Cuban man's accent. (Credit to Ricky for never actually getting furious with the others for mocking him)

3. Never stop your wife from being in the show. (She will always find a way to get in, whether it's tying up another actress and throwing her in a closet, pretending to be someone other than your wife, or just plain showing up behind you on stage while you sing)

4. Make sure there is a door handle on the inside of your walk in freezer. (Lucy nearly froze to death, trying to freeze a ton of meat)

5. It is okay to spank your wife when she has been bad, not just naughty. (Ricky must have enjoyed spankings because he spanked Lucy nearly every other episode)

6. Country singers were dumb in the fifties. (Tennessee Ernie Ford visited the Ricardos for several episodes, but had not one ounce of common sense in him)

7. Putting on a costume, whig, or different clothes than you normally wear, will make you virtually unrecognizeable to even those you know. (Hell, Lucy dressed as a man, only putting on a suit and a fake mustache, and nearly fooled Ricky and Fred at the man's baby shower)

8. Women didn't have contractions when they went into labor in the fifties. (Lucy simply announced it was time, but never had contractions or pain of any sort)

9. There are towns in New England that are only run by two people. (Remember the mom and pa that played every role from motel owner to mayor?)

10. Clones were running rampant in the fifties. (One minute a guy is your blind waiter, the next he's Freddy Filmore, gameshow host)

A New James Bond?

With Daniel Craig vacating the role of the coolest super agent in the world, someone will have to step in the shoes of James Bond. On the very short list over five years ago, was Hugh Jackman. In fact Hugh Jackman was the leading candidate.

Problem was Hugh Jackman was already in the middle of playing another iconic role, Wolverine in X-Men 2. Jackman had said he greatly wanted to play the role of James Bond, but only wanted to play one great character at a time. Now that he is no longer playing Wolverine, the door has opened up again half a decade later. Hugh Jackman is once again considered to be playing James Bond and he has let it slip in several interviews that he would accept.

The only wrench could be that he has several other contenders for the job too. Mentioned as candidates are Ewan McGregor, Joshua Jackson, Jon Hamm, and my favorite candidate, Clive Owen.

Ewan has the Scottish ancestry like the greatest James Bond had, Sean Connery. The accent would go well with James Bond. He is more closer to a Daniel Craig James Bond, rather than a Connery Bond.

Joshua Jackson has a couple of stigmas playing against him. First, Dawson's Creek and The Mighty Ducks. Second, he's American and has no accent. He has the intensity for the role and is actually an accomplished actor, but still, he is an American and doesn't even give off the hint that he can play a Brit.

Jon Hamm can play suave like James Bond, but has no credibility as an action star. Also roles in other movies such as Bridesmaids make it harder to see him as a guy you want to root for in a action scene. Plus, he's an American that can't do a Brittish accent.

Finally, my first choice, Clive Owen. Looking into his career filmography, it's not hard to see that his resume plays as training for a role as 007. He has action credibility, the accent, the look, and has already played a role that basically was James Bond (in The Pink Panther). With his intensity and action star traits from Sin City and his great monologues in scenes from movies like Closer, he is the perfect fit.

While Hugh Jackman might be the front runner in real life, Clive Owen would be my choice if I were the casting director.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Movie Review: Ides Of March

George Clooney's latest movie has hit the theaters this past weekend during a slow weekend in the box office. Going against Real Steal, a movie loosely based on the Rock'em Sock'em Robots toys from the eighties, The Ides Of March opened in the box office in second. Now despite the special effects and a performance by Hugh Jackman, The Ides Of March was the movie that should have opened to a bigger box office opening weekend.

Several actors including Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, and actress Evan Rachel Wood are all being submitted for Oscar nominations. Even though they would be bids for supporting roles, the stand out performances were by Giammati and Wood. Giammati played the perfect political villain and Wood's performance garnered a lot of sympathy and even anger amongst viewers. Gosling played his part well, but not above the level of other possible Oscar nominees.

This movie is worth watching. It's not at the level of some other political thrillers-I place Thirteen Days as the best one ever-but it's still good.

The movie is about the presidential campaign of a politician (Clooney) whom seems to be bullet proof and has two of the best people running his campaign (Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman). Coveted by another politician's team whom is running against Clooney for party nomination, Gosling is subjected to the pitfalls and treachery that can be played out in politics. With elements of tragedy, love, and anger in this movie, it will keep it's viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.

Monday, October 3, 2011

10 Things I Learned From 90's Music

1. I can wear a cardigan and still be considered one of the biggest rock stars of all time. (Kurt Cobain)

2. If I can get four to five attractive friends to band together to form a singing group that ends in "girls"/"boys", it doesn't matter if we can all sing, as long as one of us can. (Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls)

3. The key to success in pop music and sexual rebellion, lie within the Mickey Mouse Club. (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Rhona Bennett of En Vogue, JC Chasez, and Justin Timberlake)

4. Auto-Tune released in 1997. Kanye West's career launches in 1997. Enough said.

5. Orange County was the place to be if you're punk/ska/reggae. (No Doubt, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, Offspring, Sublime (Long Beach close enough), Lit, and Sugar Ray)

6. I can make a music video where I do drugs, drink, fight, beat up a woman, and pick up a prostitute, as long as the video is in the point of view of another woman (Prodigy "Smack My Bitch Up")

7. I can wear all my clothes backwards and be cool (Kriss Kross)

8. To become the next big, country music star, I have to be an attractive blonde. (Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, LeAnn Rhimes, Shania Twain-well really dark blonde)

9. I can still be the scariest, most gothic singer of my decade, even if people believe my real identity is an actor from an 1980's sitcom. (Marilyn Manson)

10. If I want to release my best selling, most critically acclaimed group of CD's, I must A) drop my sexy, pop image, B) appear on SNL in a skit with Michael Myers and/or Dana Carvey, C) have sex with a couple of celebrities and release the pictures in an X-rated book, D) tie up and chain women and sing about it, E) star in a movie about a sex craved woman. (Madonna)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Movie Mistakes And Observations

To the careful eye, a movie watcher has probably caught a few mistakes that directors, actors, or other crew members did not catch until after the release of the movie. Sometimes it's something as simple as the hand that a character is holding a cup in. One second it's in the character's left hand and cut back a few seconds later and the cup mysteriously appears in the other hand. Sometimes it's some a lot less subtle such as the visible gas engine on the bottom of the chariot Russell Crowe is riding in Gladiator. So on this note, here are some I bring to your attention.

1. Die Another Day: In a final fight scene between Jinx (Halle Berry) and Agent Frost, she is slashed across the stomach and bleeds. Later, James Bond (Pierce Bronson) pours diamonds over her stomach that is blemish free.

2. Anaconda: In a shot used twice apparently, a boat pulls away from a waterfall. Rather than just shoot the scene twice, they reuse the same footage and the water can be seen going backwards.

3. Goonies: At the end of the movie, when asked what was the scariest part of the adventure, Data says the octopus. Problem is that the scene with the octopus was cut from the theatrical release and can only be seen in the deleted scenes on the DVD.

4. Back To The Future: After Doc (Christopher Lloyd) sends his dog Einstein back in time to demonstrate the time machine, flames are on the pavement where the wheels once were on the DeLorean. Thing is, Marty (Michael J. Fox) is standing in the flames and appears to not feel any pain at all.

5. Forest Gump: Jenny gives Forest (Tom Hanks) a clipping of himself in the U.S.A. Today magazine. This magazine was first published in September of 1982. Later on when Jenny passes away, her tombstone reads that she has died in March of 1982.

6. Shrek: Lord Farquuad wants to marry a princess so he can become a prince and he has three choices to choose from. Cinderella, Snow White, and Fiona. The factual error is that Cinderella was not born a princess. For her to become a princess, she has to marry someone whom is already a prince.

7. Spiderman: When Harry is talking to Mary Jane on his cell phone, Mary Jane hangs up on him. Problem is that a dial tone was produced on his cell phone. Cell phones do not have dial tones.

8. Austin Powers-Goldmember: In the 1970's bar that Austin meets Foxy at, there is a bottle of Tanqueray 10 behind the bar. Tanqueray 10 was not released until the last few years, unless this bottle was sent thirty years back in time, it should not be there either.

9. Austin Powers: When Mini-Me is seen drawing a picture of Scott Evil being hanged, Mini-Me only uses one crayon to draw the picture. When we see the picture, there are at least two colors of crayon in the picture.

10. Ghostbusters: Not really a blooper, but more of a piece of interest. When the containment unit explodes and releases all the captured ghosts, ordinary citizens watch the action coming out of the Ghostbusters headquarters. If you look closer, one of the onlookers is famous porn star, Ron Jeremy.