Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thoughts on the Summer Movie Schedule 2011 - Part Two

Continuing with the Summer Movie Preview after already looking at the releases of May, we move into June...




The first two X-Men movies were very good, especially considering that we hadn't been introduced to the amazing Comic Book films that would follow in their wake (such as Iron Man and the Chris Nolan Batman films).  The last two X-Men movies (Last Stand and Origins:Wolverine) were among the worst movies of their respective years.  Bryan Singer (who directed the first two in the series) is back as producer, but my hopes aren't too high.  My love for the stories and characters will probably get me into the theater, but how many more times can I be burned by FOX in regards to the X-Men brand?


 A documentary that chronicles a fight that pits a mining corporation against a community.  It looks like an interesting tale about the need for a declining resource and a town that hopes to survive and find a different way.



J.J. Abrams, who brought us Alias, was instrumental in the formation of LOST, and sucessfully rebooted the original Star Trek brings us his loving homage to Steven Spielberg's alien movie.  Or, at least, that's how the trailer looks to me.  Either way, I am stoked for this film, ET for a new generation.




Growing up, my favorite super heroes were Spider-Man and Superman.  When expanding my horizons past these two heroes in the 90s, I discovered Green Lantern, a fantastic super-hero/sci-fi story.  Recently when the Marvel storyline Civil War ended and everything went right back to the way it was before the story-line began, I got angry and put Marvel away for awhile.  At that same time, Geoff Johns was starting the most incredible storyline in the DC verse, and it centered on the Green Lantern Corps.  There is so much storytelling potential in these characters, and I really hope that this movie gets it right.




Jim Carrey stars in Hollywood's 9,344,764,323rd movie about Penguins in the last five years.  (Numbers are most likely exact).  I can guarentee that I will not be seeing this.  Although, a fun fact I learned at the local Zoo, only 4 of the 17 types of Penguins actually live in cold climates.  Movies don't tell you things like that.  They make them seem as if Penguins only live in frigid conditions.  False, my friends.



The trailer actually makes this film look beyond terrible, however it is PIXAR, so you know it will be at the worst enjoyable.  If PIXAR was going to make a sequel to something in its arsenal beyond Toy Story, why, oh why, did they not go with INCREDIBLES 2?  That's the sequel we all want to see, not Lightning McQueen and To Mater pretending to be (or mistaken for) spies in a car filled Europe.  Sigh, someday we will get an INCREDIBLES 2; someday.  I will, however, be seeing this in theater, if only for the Toy Story short that will run before the film.


Sometimes you're just in the mood for a crude romantic comedy.  This looks like it might fit that bill.  And Jason Segal is always a comedic genius.


Until Next Time,  get your popcorn ready...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on the Summer Movie Schedule 2011 - Part One

There are a few films worth highlighting this summer, and some other films being released as well.

In the interest of providing you, my loyal reader, a look at the films scheduled for release over the summer months, as well as my thoughts and hopes for a few of them, here is a calendar of what you can expect over the next few months.

As always, dates are subject to change, because studios don't really believe in planning months in advance.




With the announcement that this film would be directed by Kenneth Branagh, famed Shakespearean actor and director, my hopes began to rise for this film.  Overall, the Marvel films have been quite good and there is no reason to doubt that this one will be as well.  The cast looks fantastic and Branagh's direction should help turn this into an epic film.



While I am a huge fan of Jodie Foster, the fact that this film also stars Mel Gibson kind of makes me a little less inclined to see it in theaters.  Sometimes the details of a stars life outside of the cinema overshadows his or her work inside of cinema, and that is certainly the case for me with Mel Gibson.  However, this idea is extremely interesting.  The film is about a man who's depression so overcomes him that his life is completely falling apart, but with the advent of a beaver hand puppet through which he begins to solely communicate, he finds hope.  It is a different type of film from the usual Summer fare, and therefore might be worth checking out.





I suppose this film might be fun if you're into this sort of thing.  I doubt that it will be one I check out in theater, however, unless it gets some rave reviews.





Personally, I feel like this was a franchise that should have stopped at just one film.  The second in the original trilogy is a terrible mess.  The third's only redeeming quality is really that it is better than the second film.  For me, the only Captain Jack (of questionable sexuality) is Captain Jack Harkness (of Doctor Who and Torchwood), not Captain Jack Sparrow.  With a change in much of the supporting cast, and a different director in charge (Rob Marshall, who directed Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha, which makes him somewhat of a strange choice), there is some hope that this film can correct the mistakes of the last two in the series and returning to the fun whimsy of the original, but I'm not holding out hope.


The new film from famed writer/director Woody Allen starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams.



This is another franchise that I fear should have stopped at one.  The plus is that it was the cast and crew that pushed for this sequel, and that it wasn't pushed for and rushed out by the studio.  On the other hand, it worries me that there is only what amounts to a teaser trailer for this film less than two months before its release.



Speaking of films that didn't really need a sequel....
The first film was very original and an outstanding story, but I'm not sure where it can go after the story that it already told.  It certainly won't have the emotional character development that the first film contained.


Terrance Malick is one of my all time favorite filmmakers.  His vision and ability to make film art are beyond reproach.  Though he has notoriously taken lots of time in-between projects (his first well known film was Days of Heaven in 1978, he didn't make his next film, The Thin Red Line, until 20 years later, 1998), he has been a little more prolific (by his standards) of late.  His last film was only released six years ago (The New World).  He is a director who's work I will be guaranteed to see in theater.

Until Next Time, tomorrow, I will return with a look at the month of June as my Thoughts on the Summer Movie Schedule continues.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Look Behind You

As we get closer to the beginning of Season 6 (or 33 if you go back all the way to the classic Who) of Doctor Who, more and more material is coming out in regards to the show.

Recently, the BBC released a 1:48 web exclusive prequel written by Stephen Moffat and set in the Oval Office to set the tone for the upcoming season, and specifically the two part opening episodes, The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon.

These episodes will be set in (and for the first time ever for Doctor Who) shot in the United States.

Another big announcement that happened recently was that the BBC let slip the title for the Neil Gaiman (he of Stardust, Coraline, and Sandman fame) penned episode of this season of Doctor Who, which will be the fourth to air.  And that title is...


The Doctor's Wife

Which brings up all sorts of possibilities.

Until Next Time, we are getting closer and closer to April 23 and the new season of Doctor Who.  Remember to join in the conversation here if you are a fan of the show as after each episode we will dive in to the adventures of the last Time Lord.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sucker Punch is What Happens to the Audience

The visuals are amazing, you can't expect anything else from Zach Snyder, the soundtrack is pretty freakin' fantastic, but for some reason the movie just doesn't work.

There is a good movie in there, it is just surrounded by a very poor attempt at a cool idea.

Any drama or pathos or suspense is removed the second we go into an imagined reality, but the problem is we travel from that imagined reality into even more imagined realities.

Some scenes that we see take place have absolutely no bearing on the real world of the film, they flat didn't happen, in fact something completely different must have taken place, but we have no clue what since we only see the film from in the somewhat deluded minds of the characters.

Something is happening in the real world of the film, and it even somewhat (probably) relates to what we are seeing on the screen, but not enough for any of the action on the screen to really concern you, or to ever really allow you to get connected to the characters.

I don't mind that the main characters have created an alternate reality for themselves in order to protect themselves from the hell that they are in, I think that that is an interesting idea, but the implementation of the idea just doesn't really work.

The thing is, working with multiple fake realities upon fake realities is not the best way to make a film.  It just doesn't work too often.  (Of course, when it does, you get Inception.)

My friend Justin (from good old Cavemen Go) saw the movie with me and described it as multiple music videos put together.

That's about what the sequences boil down to.

Look, the movie looks amazing, but it isn't a very good film.

Sure, it is hard to argue when a film introduces you to Nazi Steampunk Zombies (yeah.  I know.  Awesome) no matter how imaginary they are.

But sadly, a music video featuring Nazi Steampunk Zombies (really, I would watch an entire movie about Nazi Steampunk Zombies) surrounded by other music videos only loosely tied together story wise by hot chicks kicking ass probably isn't worth the exorbitant amount of money that theaters are charging these days.

Your time and money is probably best spent elsewhere.

Until Next Time, it really is starting to seem that Zach Snyder is capable of making a film under only one visual style (see 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch) and it is a visual style that I do not think fits Superman at all.  I really am not excited that he is the person bringing the Man of Steel back into theaters, but that is probably best saved for another post.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Captain Jack, by which I mean Harkness

Move over Independence Day, the fireworks officially happen four days later when Miracle Day begins.

How are you doing?
That's right, Starz has announced the official premiere date for the fourth season of Torchwood (the first three being strictly BBC productions and all available on Netflix, go on, get watching, this post will still be here when you get back) and it is July 8th.

The season, titled Miracle Day, is an international affair.  One day, no one on Earth dies.  Then the next day, no one dies.  Sure, at first it sounds great, but it quickly becomes problematic, and only Torchwood can hope to figure it out, led by their tri-sexual (as in he'll try anything) and similarly immortal boss, Captain Jack Harkness.

Gwen Cooper returns as well.

Torchwood's first three seasons each got better, and I'm hoping that the trend continues despite the show having Starz aboard as co-producers.

It is still being run by Russell T. Davies, who created the show (as well as brought back the show this is a spin-off from Doctor Who and also created Queer as Folk), and added to the writing staff for this season is Jane Espenson (who has also written for Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, and co-created Warehouse 13), so there is actually quite a lot of reasons to get excited about the new season.

Joining John Barrowman (Captain Jack) and Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper) and other familiar faces from the first three seasons are Mekhi Phifer (probably best known for his run on ER), Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), and Bill Pullman (the President in Independence Day) as the villain of the series.

Torchwood is a spin-off of the fantastic sci-fi show Doctor Who, as Captain Jack was a former companion of the Doctor and the Torchwood institute he leads is the remnants of an organization started in order to protect earth from alien threats (such as the Doctor).

From the aftermath of Season 2 of the new Who, Torchwood began as a spin-off.  It took a little bit of time to find its own way, but once it did (towards the end of the first season) it took off running to a fantastic second season that seemed impossible to top.  The third season succeeded, however, as more of a mini-series telling one long story.  The fourth season looks to be a mixture of a full-season and the single story idea that worked so well in the shortened third season.

Either way, I'm on board and excited for the new adventures of Captain Jack and his team.

Until Next Time, here is the promotional poster for the new season.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marvel TV

In my post from a couple of days ago, I looked at what DC should focus on for their next live action television show, having been inspired in part by the troubling news from the new Wonder Woman show and in part by a fantastic post on his blog from my friend Chad.

Never one to ignore the larger world, I don't want to talk about what DC comic book character would make a great television hero (or heroine) without also looking at Marvel.

There was a rumor in October/November that ABC would have a new Incredible Hulk series next season, and I would totally be okay with that.

With the Disney purchase of Marvel, and Disney also owning ABC, there is definitely a possibility of more Marvel characters getting a shot at a television series.  Which could be a good thing.

So, other than Incredible Hulk, what would be the Marvel series that I really want to see?

Honestly, my dream would be a show that I call Marvel Universe.

There are a ridiculous number of Marvel characters, and in the comics (and what they are attempting to do in the current movies) they are very interconnected.  I would love a show that could tell stories from just one superhero one week, a different superhero the next week, and a story combining many superheroes and ongoing stories the week after that.

I would love a season that spent time on everyone's origins, leading up to the storyline portrayed in Civil War.

Simply put, this would be an epic and awesome television show.

And clearly impossible for a live action television show, even when you have the money that Disney does.

This, like the Green Lantern Corps show I looked at for DC, would probably have to be an animated show, and I guarantee I would watch every episode, even if it were an animated show.

My all time favorite comic book character is probably Spider-Man.  I have always identified with Peter Parker better than any other super-hero.

There was a short-lived Spider-man television show at the end of the seventies.  It just ran for two seasons and 14 episodes, but I saw the episodes and began to have a love for the character that would continue to grow.

There have been quite a few excellent animated Spiderman shows, including the recent Spectacular Spider-Man which sadly got canceled.

Effects are probably at a point where a live-action Spiderman show could be possible and, let's face it, amazing (no pun intended, referring to the primary comic title The Amazing Spider-Man).

But, saying Spiderman is really too easy.

So let's delve a little deeper into the Marvel character list to find the perfect Marvel television show.

My choice would be Luke Cage in the show Heroes for Hire.

Luke Cage (born Carl Lucas) was imprisoned for a crime that he didn't commit.  While in prison, he agreed to be part of an experiment (based on the same serum that gave Captain America his powers) that was supposed to lessen his ability to get sick, but gave him near impervious skin and superhuman strength instead.

He broke out of prison and sets himself up as a sort of mercenary superhero.

Originally, the character was created to cash in on the blaxploitation trend of the 70s, but I believe that Cage is capable of being much more than that.

It is a strong character that sets up for a great weekly series.

Cage sets himself up as a hero for hire, a mercenary superhero, looking to cash in on his new found super abilities, and yet in the process becomes a hero in truth.

Tell me that isn't a show that is set up for some good character development and excellent drama!

Although I didn't talk about casting in the DC post, I can't help but put forth a name for Luke Cage.

Personally, I would want to see Idris Elba (Stringer Bell in the HBO program The Wire) take on the mantle of the Hero for Hire.

Tell me that wouldn't work!

Until Next Time, what Marvel or DC shows would you love to see on the air?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Directorial Disappointment

Disappointment happens often in regards to films.  I know that my friend Justin was greatly looking forward to Battle: Los Angeles, making that disappointing film even more disappointing to him.

I am a huge Ang Lee fan and a huge Incredible Hulk fan, but it turns out that the marriage of those two was  not worth the excitement that I had going into the film.

Let's not even go into the Star Wars Prequels (although there was a great moment in last night's How I Met Your Mother where Marshall tested how far he could take the gang's desire to be nice to him so he claimed that A Phantom Menace was the best Star Wars episode.  "It ages well," Barney attempted to agree.  Hilarious stuff), the point being that disappointment is a very real possibility when it comes to film.

Usually, it happens after the movie is out, but in a couple of recent cases, the disappointment has occurred before the first shot was even framed.

Guillermo Del Toro is no longer directing the Hobbit, and even more recent, Darren Aronofsky is no longer directing The Wolverine.

Unlike with Ang Lee and Hulk, there was reason to be very excited about these two directors being attached to these projects.

What did I ever do to you, Peter Jackson?
The classic and varied characters of Tolkien's The Hobbit under the imagination of Guillermo Del Toro would have been mind-blowing and finally would have made the world realize how incredible The Lord of the Rings should have been, because as good as LOTR was under Peter Jackson, it could have been much, much more amazing (and not just by including Tom Bombadil).

His vision of The Hobbit would have been as perfect as his vision of Mike Mignola's masterpiece, Hellboy.

Sometimes, a movie adaptation can capture the imagination of the original perfectly, and Guillermo Del Toro has shown that he has that ability.

I will never be okay with the fact that we don't get his version of Middle Earth.

The announcement that Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Pi, and The Fountain) would be in charge of the new Wolverine movie, and that Aronofsky was going to be ignoring the movies that came before refusing to be held hostage by the atrocities that were X-Men 3 and Origins: Wolverine, gave me great excitement for the places that this movie could go since Wolverine is such a great character and Hugh Jackman has captured him quite nicely.

Sadly, recently it was announced that Aronofsky did not have the time to apply to the film (which would be shot and take place in Japan based on a particularly popular storyline from the comic book) , and therefore was stepping down as director.

Here is what the director had to say on his reasons for leaving.

As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of 'The Wolverine' would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.
 Before I completely swear off the new Wolverine movie, I will wait to hear who FOX hires to replace Aronofsky, but my disappointment will likely remain.

Until Next Time, what is your biggest movie related disappointment?

Monday, March 21, 2011


As I am sure the recent posts on the upcoming Wonder Woman television show (with only the exception of the casting of Wonder Woman herself) have made clear, my hopes aren't too high for the upcoming television show.  As I've stated, I don't feel that David E. Kelley has a handle on what makes Wonder Woman such a great heroine.  In fact, I feel like he is just going to make her another of his quirky, awkward, and unsure women.  If that is how it is written, even the great acting of Adrianne Palicki won't help this show.

Add in the fact that this is the final season for Smallville, and we could be facing the very real possibility of a television season without a DC Super Hero very soon (assuming that Wonder Woman will get quickly cancelled).

This simply cannot be allowed to happen.

Recently, a friend of this blog wrote a post about what should replace Smallville as the new DC television show (before Wonder Woman was official).

He came up with five possibilities (one of which is Wonder Woman).

Inspired by that excellent post, I thought I would look at what DC property should become a new live action television program.

My first thought was obviously "Gotham," the tale of a young, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne, training and preparing himself for the life that he would one day lead, much like Smallville was originally.

But, I know that Warner Brothers will never allow this show to actually happen (as a proposed series was actually in the works around the turn of the millennium, but it was shelved due to the importance of the film franchise).  At least not until after the Nolan trilogy is well over.

My next thought was huge in scope, and therefore extremely unlike, regardless of how awesome it would be, "The Green Lantern Corps."

The show would be a universe wide take on the adventures of various Green Lanterns.

Probably impossible for the budget of any weekly live-action television show.

Too bad, because it would be epic.

I suppose we'll have to settle for an awesome animated series to tackle that concept.  (And for the record, I would be all about watching such an animated series).

So, what DC property would make the best weekly television show?

I think the best bet would be a slightly obscure character who has a rich and varied past and an intriguing look to go along with big story-line potential.

My choice would be The Question.

He actually had a great run on the animated series of Justice League Unlimited

as a conspiracy theorizing detective, and it is in that vein that I would like to see the television series follow.

The character of the Question was the alter-ego of investigative reporter Vic Sage (which was a stage name, his real name being Charles Victor Szasz).

He applied the disguise in order to stop the sale of a dangerous product.  He had to do so under the mask because of his well-known public persona.

After stopping the sale, he kept the alter-ego of the Question sure that it would come in handy in the future.

Personally, I think that The Question is tailor made for a modern television series, and under the right production team it could be a huge hit.

I know I would tune in.

Until Next Time, perhaps all of the troubling news out of the Wonder Woman television show will get straightened out before it airs, and all of our worries will have been for nothing, but if it doesn't, I'll get to work on the pilot for The Question and await a network studio's call.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Wonder Woman News

Wow, I really want this show to be good, and I thought that the casting of Adrianne Palicki was a wonderful start to making this show everything it could and should be, but all of the other news that has come out has been rather disappointing.

The announcement today from of the Wonder Woman costume has been no exception.

It honestly looks like a costume, by which I mean like a Halloween costume, not an actual Superhero(ine) costume.

I will let you judge for yourself.

Until Next Time, I really want this show to be good.  Adrianne Palicki is so amazing, and she deserves a show that is worthy of her talent as much as we deserve an awesome Wonder Woman show.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Space, Time, and all that Wibbles and Wobbles

aWe are just over a month away from new Doctor Who, but today across the pond (again, the Atlantic Ocean, not Amy Pond, companion to the Doctor) was Red Nose Day.

If you aren't familiar with Red Nose Day, it is a fund-raising day in cooperation with Comic Relief, the charity founded in 1985 by comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis (who wrote and directed Love Actually, as well as wrote the screenplay for Bridget Jones's Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral, and wrote for television shows such as Blackadder, Mr. Bean, and The Vicar of Dibley, as well as wrote the fantastic episode Vincent and the Doctor last year for Doctor Who).

The charity was created in response to hunger in Ethiopia.

 The two big fundraisers for the charity are Red Nose Day (which was held today) and Children in Need (which happens in November).  There is a long history of cooperation between Doctor Who and Comic Relief.

A few years back, David Tennant starred in a Doctor Who special for Children in Need along with fifth Doctor Peter Davison (who is also about to become Tennant's father-in-law in real life) which takes place just in between the season finale of season 3 and the Christmas Special before season 4.

But today gave us a Doctor Who special starring Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor), Karen Gillian (Amy Pond), and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams).

Enjoy, and if you are so inclined, head over to the Red Nose Day website and donate!

Until Next Time, keep Fat Train bookmarked, as I will be posting my thoughts on each episode of the new season starting in just over a month!  If you are a fan of the great Doctor, please, feel free to join in the discussion!

In Paul We Trust

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return together (this time without Edgar Wright) for the third film that they are responsible for (after their fan-freaking-tastic television show Spaced).

As much as I loved Shawn of the Dead (a Zombie movie spoof/satire) and Hot Fuzz (a buddy cop movie spoof/satire), I think that Paul is the best movie (or thing, really, as much as I also loved Spaced) that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have ever done.

The love that people generally have for Sean of the Dead comes from the love that people have for the Zombie movies that it patterned itself after, similarly for the love that people had for Hot Fuzz, so it really shouldn't surprise anyone that Paul would become my favorite of the three.

As a huge, huge, huge, fan of science-fiction, the homages thrown out in this film delighted the crap out of me.

More films and tv shows than I could count were referenced (and lovingly referenced, I must point out) throughout the film, and not all of them strictly sci-fi.

There are tons of Steven Spielberg references, including to some non-sci-fi stuff (although ET and Close Encounters are among the most referenced along, of course, with Star Wars), such as tons of Indiana Jones (which isn't that surprising considering the love that Spielberg and Lucas are getting do to their sci-fi stuff), but also a movie theater marquee in the background is featuring Duel, Spielberg's directorial debut.

Those are the types of references (along with obvious direct quotations) that this movie delivers.  It is working on numerous levels.  And if you aren't a huge nerd (like me) and miss the millions (or possibly trillions) of references, the movie works as a fantastic sci-fi/road-trip/action-comedy as well.

In fact, it is clearly inspired by another fantastic road-trip/action-comedy (that wasn't really sci-fi, but still frakking awesome), The Blues Brothers.

I was catching the Blues Brothers Vibe long before the film itself finally admitted the connection with the line

I'm on a mission... from God!

I felt very vindicated when that line occured.

There are also a couple of other awesome movie quotes that Paul fits in perfectly, but the best "quotation" if you will is a musical number.

You'll know it when you hear it.  I don't want to spoil it for you, so let's just say that you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than one bar that they go to.

There are some great cameos and tons of great performances, and there are even more laughs.

I know that we are often told to "Trust No One" (and yes, there are quite a few X-Files references, including Blythe Danner who played Jana Cassidy in the first X-Files movie), but you can trust me, if you are at all a fan of Sci-Fi, you must go see this film!

Until Next Time, As for me, it is much like John Locke once said, "I'm going to have to see that again."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bad Movie Reviews: Spring Break Shark Week

It is Spring Break this week.  And there is only one way to make Spring Break better....

Spring Break Shark Week.

But not the good type of shark week, like one would see on Discovery, but bad movies featuring megalodons.  Prehistoric Sharks.

We first watched Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.

Yes, that is a picture of a shark taking a bite out of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it can tell you pretty much what the movie is like.

For the most part the acting is terrible and the story has a few holes in it.

The real problem with the movie was the ridiculous editing techniques.  Everything on the entire screen would randomly go white, without really even cutting away.  I'm not sure what was going on there.

Overall, it could have been worse, and there is a scene where Mega Shark eats an airplane out of the air, so at least there is that.

The third movie we watched was the sequel to Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus.

It was worse in every way.  Even though it starred Jaleel "Urkel" White and Robert Picardo (the Doctor on Star Trek Voyager), it was literally unwatchable.

Could it have had to do with the fact that it was the third straight movie about megalodons that we watched?

I don't know.  We were pretty pumped for more megalogons, I feel like the movie was just flat terrible.

The plot made little to no sense, or at least didn't in the first fifteen or so minutes, because at that point we all pretty much stopped paying attention and Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus became just background noise.

And the only thing worse than a film that already makes no sense is a movie that makes no sense that you are barely paying attention to.

There wasn't even a fun shark attacking a plane scene to add anything to the terribleness.

The middle movie we watched was actually pretty good.

I know, the poster looks terrible, but it was actually very entertaining, and not just in a bad movie type way either.  If this movie had some money put into it, it probably would have been fantastic.

The special effects weren't great, and there is a pretty terrible line (but it gets the girl, so you can't knock it too much), but the story is actually pretty good.

There is some terrible acting, (like really, really terrible) but there is also some great acting.

Two of the main characters are Ryan Cutrona, who was grandpa Gene on Mad Men

and Captain Jack Harkness (aka John Barrowman).

From Doctor Who and Torchwood.

There is also a fantastic shot down a waterslide, far better than any shot that you would expect out of a movie called Shark Attack 3.

Until Next Time, beware of prehistoric sharks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why I'm Worried About Wonder Woman

A few posts ago, I talked about the casting of Adrianne Palicki as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in the new television version of Wonder Woman, produced by David E. Kelley (Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Boston Public, Boston Legal).  As ecstatic as I am about the choice of the new Wonder Woman (seriously, she is a great actress, and she consistently blew me away in Friday Night Lights, even with her terrible storyline in season 2), the overall series has me a little concerned.

I am actually a David E. Kelley fan, although his previous work doesn't necessarily lead me to having confidence in how he will handle a superhero show.  His previous shows always had a great mix of drama and quirky characters and dialogue, and I suppose I could see that working with Wonder Woman.

The leaking of the casting sheet has me a little worried, however.

*Possible Minor Spoilers*

DC Entertainment / Warner Bros. Television/
Draft: 12/16/10

Exec. Producers: David E. Kelley, Bill D’Elia
Producers: TBD
Director: TBD
Casting Director: David Rapaport
Casting Associate: Lyndsey Baldasare
NY Casting Directors: Beth Bowling & Kim Miscia
NY Casting Assistant: Michael Rios
Start Date: March 15, 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA


We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role, please submit qualified performers, without regard to disability, race, age, colour, national origin, ethnic origin or any other basis prohibited by law unless otherwise specifically indicated.

[WONDER WOMAN / DIANA THEMYSCIRA / DIANA PRINCE] Female, late 20s to 30s. A kick-ass Superhero / Powerful C.E.O. / A vulnerable woman. Long flowing black hair, blue eyes. Amazon-like, muscular, an Olympian. The charismatic stage presence of a rock star. A crime fighter. Also, a real woman who yearns to live a normal life. She is accessible and appealing to all people, men and women alike…SERIES LEAD. ASP.

[MYNDI MAYER] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Publicist, Press Secretary and Wonder Woman’s confidant and nurturing best friend. Worldy and edgy. Sexy and persuasive, her appearance is part of her strength. She is beautiful and put together - dressed expensively in the latest fashions, plus she’s got a bit of bite, clever wit and sass. She’s the prodder of Diana’s social life…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[ETTA] Female, open ethnicity, 30s. Diana Themyscira’s always cheerful personal assistant. A bit charactery , but real, pretty and effervescent. She is blindly devoted to Diana. She’s her unrelenting cheerleader, with unwavering, unabated support. On the vulnerable side, she sees the humble and sympathetic sides in everyone, including Diana…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[CEO HENRY DEMETER] Male, open ethnicity, 40s. Acting CEO of Themyscira Industries. Grounded, intelligent and deeply devoted to Diana. He runs the day to day operations of the company and acts like an Uncle to Diana although he could be a possible love interest down the line…SERIES REGULAR. ASP.

[STEVE TREVOR] Male, open ethnicity, 30s. A leading man Diana can’t look past. Good looking but a real man. An Army vet, he now works in the Justice dept…SERIES REGULAR, ASP.

[ED INDELICATO] Male, late 30s to early 40s. Stoic and tough, he is a liaison to the police department. Devoted and loyal to Diana, he’s blue collar, a no nonsense kind of guy. A chiseled man who subscribes to the old fashion rules of relationships - men don’t talk much. His job comes first and he wouldn’t make room for the possibility that there is potential romantic relationship with Diana…SERIES REGULAR, 10/13.

It is the description of Diana that has me a little worried.  I'm not sure I like the idea that she is being described as "a vulnerable woman."  She is, after all, an Amazon princess, raised on the island of Themyscira by Amazons, and about as tough as it is possible for anyone to be.  I don't know that the word "vulnerable" really applies to Wonder Woman.  Also, the description of her as being "a real woman who yearns to live a normal life" strikes me as kind of odd.  I always understood the character as being very proud of who she is and where she is from, and here only to provide the help and guidance that her training and background allow.  Wanting to be normal has never been something that I equated with Wonder Woman.

I really hope that the television show doesn't lessen the strength, independence, and assertiveness of the character just to make her more accessible.

A strong female character like Wonder Woman is just what television needs, in my opinion, and I really hope that Kelley doesn't water her down just to fit some social idea of feminism.

I will, however, be giving this show a chance, and I am hoping for the best.

Until Next Time, television could really use a good superhero show again, and I will probably return soon with a post or two on that very idea.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Before Its Time: Defying Gravity

I mentioned in my last Archive Files a lot of shows that I loved that ended way too soon.

This is a definite problem, especially for the fan of the genre television show.

I talked about VR-5 in that post, as well as mentioning My So Called Life, Firefly, and Invasion, but there are tons of others throughout the years that have ended before their time.

In honor of those shows, I present a new segment on my blog called Before Its Time where I will look at particular shows that ended way too soon.

This week, I choose a show that not many people have ever heard of called Defying Gravity.

It aired quietly in the summer of 2009 on ABC here in the states.

The show was about an international crew attempting to visit multiple planets in the solar system on a six year mission.

The show itself was internationally produced as well, having production involvement from the US, the UK, and Canada.

Despite the fact that the costs of the show were split among multiple production companies, the show was cancelled without even airing all of the episodes that had been shot.

While it wasn't heavily promoted, I discovered the show through iTunes.  They had the first 4 episodes free to download.  Since it was summer, and not much else was on tv, I downloaded the free episodes and quickly became obsessed.

ABC (in the little promoting that it did for the show) advertised it as Grey's Anatomy in space, which thankfully I didn't hear until after I had fallen in love with the show, which not only probably turned everyone off of wanting to watch the show, but also was completely incorrect.

Sure, there are some soapy elements to Defying Gravity, but the much more apt description of this show would have been LOST in space (although that causes its own problems since there was once a television show called Lost in Space, but hopefully you catch my meaning with the comparison.)

Like LOST, Defying Gravity was very much built on the use of the flashback.  The story was set in the year 2052, but often would go back to 2047 when the crew was training for the mission, and also would go back to the disastrous mission to Mars that two of the crew had previously been involved with back in 2042.

Also like LOST, there was a heavy mystery element in the show, as there is an ulterior motive to the mission that only some of the higher-ups (and nearly none of the crew) are aware of, causing some mysterious, and perhaps extraterrestrial, events to take place.

While not all of the episodes were shown on television, iTunes did get them all, and the DVD was ultimately released in January of 2010 with all of the episodes that were shot.

Sadly, the story is no where near complete, but the creator James Parriott did tell in interviews how the story would have progressed and how it ultimately would have ended had it been allowed to continue.

I am very sad that he wasn't able to relate that vision to us over many seasons, as this was a fantastic show that died way Before Its Time.

Until Next Time, check this show out on DVD, BluRay, or iTunes.  It is worth it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Come on Verizon and NHL, Really?

 So, Verizon and the NHL have had a couple of commercials recently that might be considered interesting, but really just annoy me.

The first one features Alex Ovechkin, the young Russian superstar from the Washington Capitals.  In the commercial, Ovechkin scores 9 goals in one game.

If the point is to get across that you can get NHL games on highlights on your Verizon phone, um, I guess I get that, but aren't there enough real highlights to make that point without making up a video game like effort from Alex Ovechkin?

I hope that nobody comes to the NHL thinking that someone could actually score 9 goals in a game.

I'm pretty sure that no one would believe that this really happened, and it is even less likely that people will believe this latest commercial.

Now, don't get me wrong; it is hilarious, I'm loving the beards, but I don't feel like this commercial really does anything to sell people who aren't fans of the NHL (and even less those who aren't fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, who lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, Go Hawks).

I am a huge fan of hockey, and I think that many other people might get into the sport if given the chance, but it should probably be by highlighting some of the actual highlights of the league, not making up ridiculous things.

Although, it might have something to do with not liking Ovechkin or the Flyers.

If the perfect season commercial were about the Hawks, I might have felt different.


Until Next Time, here's hoping that the NHL and/or Verizon can really showcase the amazing sport that not as many people are watching.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Archive Files #3, Why I Love the Interwebs

For today's instalment, I thought I'd repost one of my favorite posts, a memory of life before the internet and the trouble that such a time could cause me.

A lot has changed from the time in which the story of this post is set (1995).

Both of my sisters have kids now, and one of them is in the hospital about to give birth to her second.

And of course, now it is very easy to keep up with a show if you miss it.

Also, I now own every episode of The X-Files on DVD.

However, I still have never gotten to see how VR-5 ended.

Damn it, I want to own VR-5 on DVD.

Oh well, enjoy this blast from the past (of my blog) about the past (of my life).

Let's travel back to a time known as the distant past.  A time when you could only get your television one way, on television.

There was no such thing as DVR,
or On Demand,

or TV on DVD,

or Online Streaming.

If you missed a show, you were screwed, plain and simple.

Let's travel back to May of 1995.

It was a Friday night.  I was in high school, about to finish my Junior year.  I was having to stay home that night to babysit my two little sisters (I don't remember where my parents went), but I wasn't too upset about the Friday night being spent at home, because it was season finale night on FOX.  It was the season finale of the second season of the show that made me realize the power of television, X-Files, and it was the series finale of the first show I ever fell in love with that no one else watched, VR-5. (There have been many since as I learned that I was one who would always love and have to mourn the "cult" shows, others to follow would be My So Called Life, Firefly, Invasion, really there's too many to mention and it's making me teary eyed.  Back to the post)

My sisters understood that they were only allowed to talk to me during commercial breaks.  It was going to be legendary.

Unfortunately, right before the two hours of season (and sadly, series) ending bliss was about to begin, the storm hit.

It was huge.  There were quite a few tornadoes, I theorize that Michael Crichton was visiting Fort Worth (maybe heading to Trinity Park for May Fest) and got the idea for Twister from this very night.

The power went out right before my shows were going to start.

My sisters got scared, I was mainly angry.  (You wouldn't like me when I'm angry... sorry couldn't resist, I'm getting excited for the new Incredible Hulk movie despite myself.  They can't screw it up that badly again, can they?  Can they?)  Okay, I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared too, but I'd been through tornadoes before, I figured we'd make it through this one as well.

I got us into the hallway, closed off all of the doors to the bedrooms with those scary (at times like this) windows and pulled a big mattress off of the bed to lay on for comfort and under if it got necessary.  I had flashlights and probably told some stories.  (I often told stories to my sisters, they were my first readers I guess).

Needless to say, we survived, but I never did get to see how VR-5 ended.

Not only that, but I didn't know what was going on in X-Files till the summer was almost over and they finally replayed the episode.  (Do you remember when reruns actually were worth something?  You missed an episode?  Don't worry, they'll rerun it.  But they never reran VR-5, because they cancelled it.)

I bring this up because last night there was a large storm (my sisters each have husbands to keep them from getting scared now) and although my power stayed on most of the time (I lost it for a short period) my satellite didn't have as easy a time.  And when my satellite was working, the tv shows were preempting the shows I wanted to watch with news on where various tornadoes had been spotted.  (If Crichton was in town last night, perhaps we can expect a sequel).

However, this time, there were many ways to keep this from being a problem.

This morning I went to and watched My Name Is Earl, 30 Rock, and The Office (still have Scrubs to go) and went to and watched the season finale of Eli Stone (which was awesome, I now have it in a virtual tie with Life for third on Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Season Award).

Thank goodness for technology.

Until Next Time, speaking of The X-Files, Netflix and I are working together to allow me to rewatch the entire series in preparation for the upcoming feature release.  I get 4 discs at a time (I know, I'm addicted to dvds), and I was scheduled to receive the first four discs of season 1 yesterday.  Well, I received three of them.  Guess which one I didn't get.  That's right, disc 1.  You're killing me Netflix, you're killing me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It is Better Than Skyline, So At Least There is That

In my last post, I said that I was going to avoid this movie, planning to just pass on the advice of one Roger Ebert (in what is the most amazing negative review ever written).

But then I realized, that isn't what my job is.  My job is to give you the unvarnished truth on film (and television) as I see it.

That meant I had to go into the dark myself to let you know how close to the truth Roger Ebert's slams could be.

Let me start by saying, pretty close.

In fact, if I had never seen Skyline (or better yet, if cooler heads had prevailed somewhere in Hollywood and Skyline was never made), then I would feel comfortable telling you that Battle: Los Angeles was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie, because, honestly, it was.  But because I live in a world where Skyline exists, and, even worse, because I live in a world where I have seen Skyline, I can't help but compare Battle:LA to Skyline, and in that comparison, Battle: LA comes out unquestionably on top.

At least Battle: Los Angeles has a storyline (where as Skyline was basically just a trailer).  Granted, the storyline isn't anything amazing or inventive, you can pretty much predict exactly where it is going throughout the whole thing, but it is a story, and that's something that Skyline can't claim.

The acting is pretty terrible, although I don't blame Aaron Eckhart or Michelle Rodriguez or anyone else in the film for that.  They don't really ever get a chance to shine.

The dialogue is utterly ridiculous.  I was often reminded of the worst dialogue of all time from the first X-Men movie.
Don't blame me.  It was in the script.

Storm: You know what happens to a Toad when it is struck by lightening?

Toad: What?

Storm: The same thing that happens to everything else.
For those of you who don't remember it (and still have nightmares), that line is actually in the X-Men movie, and it seems like the writer of Battle: Los Angeles might have thought that that was some genius dialogue, because that is the type of dialogue you can expect in this film.

The special effects aren't as terrible as Ebert would have had us believe.  But they weren 't great either.  And to be honest, there is some massive Michael Bay/Paul Greengrass disease going on in this movie to the point that the camera shakes so much you can't really tell what is going on or what any of the aliens really look like anyway.

And the editing is so frenetic it is often impossible to tell what the hell is going on.

I really can't stand this type of filmmaking.  It is such a cheap way to make it "feel like you're really there."

Go watch a James Cameron action scene.  You can tell exactly what is going on, where exactly it is happening, and I dare you to tell me that you don't feel like you are right there in the action, even though he isn't shaking the camera like you're riding a wooden rollercoaster.

It really isn't a good movie at all, but it could have been worse; it could have been Skyline.

Until Next Time, the best news is that the movie takes place in Los Angeles in August of this year.  And yet a gas station is shown and the gas is at $2.93 per gallon.  If the gas is $2.93 in LA, that means it will be much cheaper here.  If it takes an alien invasion to get gas to around 2 dollars again, well I say, "WORTH IT!"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So... Not a Thumbs Up Then?

"Watching Battle: Los Angeles is like watching other people play a video game.  It looks cool for a while, but it quickly becomes tiresome." - Richard Roeper.

 Roger Ebert, longtime host of "Siskel and Ebert" (then after Gene Siskel's death "Ebert and Roeper") just released his review of the somewhat anticipated film Battle: Los Angeles.

Personally, it wasn't a film that I was too intrigued in, primarily because it reminded me far too much of the recent Aliens attack us and we're all going to die film Skyline (which incidently was ultimately just an 80 minute or so trailer, not an actual movie).

After reading Ebert's review, I feel pretty safe skipping this film.

His review is honestly one of the most scathing reviews that I have ever read.

Here are a few of the choicer quotes...

"Battle: Los Angeles" is noisy, violent, ugly and stupid.

The aliens are hilarious. Do they give Razzies for special effects?... they look like stick figures whipped up by apprentice animators.

You gotta see the alien battleships in this movie. They seem to have been assembled by the proverbial tornado blowing through a junkyard.

When I think of the elegant construction of something like "Gunfight at the OK Corral," I want to rend the hair from my head and weep bitter tears of despair. Generations of filmmakers devoted their lives to perfecting techniques that a director like Jonathan Liebesman is either ignorant of, or indifferent to. Yet he is given millions of dollars to produce this assault on the attention span of a generation. 

 His conclusion is extremely scathing...

Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you've been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.


Until Next Time, thank you Roger Ebert for turning the movie review into an art form, especially where crappy B-movies involving aliens attacking are concerned.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is There a Doctor in the House?

It Came Out of Nowhere!
 On a day when I wore my new Woot Shirt called "It Came Out of Nowhere" featuring the DeLorean (from Back to the Future) crashed into the TARDIS (from Doctor Who), it was fitting that some big Doctor Who news was released.

The only other thing that could have been as fitting would have been an announcement about Back to the Future 4 (but, sadly, that dream is still deferred).

BBC announced today that the 6th season (or series as the Brits would say) of Doctor Who will premiere on April 23rd on BBC America.

That's the same day that it will air across the pond! (Being the Atlantic Ocean, not Karen Gillian's character, and companion to Matt Smith's Doctor, Amy Pond.)

So get your Sonic Screwdrivers ready, Whovians, because the wait is almost over.  The Doctor is back!

And, since I wore the awesome shirt today (over which I got lots of compliments, including a classmate who declared she was literally in love with my shirt, which seemed rather sudden since she was meeting my shirt for the first time, but I digress) and got the awesome news about no wait for new episodes of Doctor Who, it seems an ideal time to announce that this season I will be posting my thoughts soon after the new episodes air this season.  So, if you are a fan of the show, feel free to discuss the season as it occurs right here at Fat Train!

Until Next Time, be careful as you traverse this timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly existence in which we are situated, because time machines can simply appear out of nowhere!  (Seriously, isn't that shirt brilliant?  I mean, "It came out of nowhere" could refer to either of them!  I love it.  Was the DeLorean cruising about to hit 88 mph when the TARDIS materialized?  Or was the TARDIS sitting there totally camouflaged as a 1950's style London Police Box when the DeLorean (already traveling at 88 mph) appeared out of nowhere?  Or perhaps they had both just appeared!  You never can tell when dealing with traveling time machines!  I really love that shirt.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Archive Files #2, The Big Bang Theory

One year, I got it in my head that I should review every single pilot of the new network television season.

While this is quite an ambitious project, I actually succeeded.  It was the Fall of 2007, and one of the new shows that debuted that season was a little sitcom called The Big Bang Theory.

This is one of my favorite television shows now, and while others might think that it has done everything it is capable of and is creatively in a funk, I disagree.  I think that it can continue it its current entertaining vein for quite some time without losing its steam.

When the pilot aired, however, I wasn't as fond of it...


Yeah, it had it's moments, and I like the lead Johnny Galecki a lot.  You might know him from Suicide Kings, but more likely as David Healy on Roseanne.  Not so sure about his roommate, played by Jim Parsons.  He got some great lines in the episode, but I never really laughed at them.  Looking back at the lines, I should have laughed, but I just didn't like the delivery.  The character really seems a little too ridiculous to me, I guess.  I also wasn't too thrilled with the female lead, mainly, again because the character didn't appeal to me.  I doubt I'll pay too much attention to this show.  If I'm too lazy to find the remote after How I Met Your Mother (which was, as always, Legen... wait for it, and I hope you aren't lactose intolerant, because the next part of the word is... dary) I might leave it on, but it's not one that I'll have to watch.
Interesting fact, Kaley Cuoco who plays the female lead in the show was on an episode of My So Called Life as young Angela Chase, Claire Danes's character.

Pilot Grade: 74%

Looking back, I can remember having these feelings.  Loving the show as I do now, it is a little strange to take myself back to that place and remember my dislike of Sheldon and Penny as characters and how they were portrayed by Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco.

There was a very real possibility that this would not be a show that I watched regularly (the idea that this possibility very much existed horrifies me now).

In fact, I don' think that I watched another episode of The Big Bang Theory past the first episode for the next six or seven months at least.

Then, however, I went to my parents house one weekend and, with nothing much to do, I discovered that my mom had the entire season on her DVR.

Where would we be without this little guy?

I then proceeded to watch nearly the whole season in one sitting, and while, at first, it was just something to do, it quickly became a favorite television show of mine.

Sadly for The Big Bang Theory, that was a year that I did my Josh's Choice For Best New Show of the Season post on time (in April, sometimes I don't get to it until September when the next season is starting; that happened twice) and therefore there is no mention of The Big Bang Theory in the Fourth Annual Josh's Choice For Best New Show of the Season.

Now, however, it is a show that I make sure to catch week in and week out, in large part because of the characters so ably played by Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco.

Until Next Time, Bazinga!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Archive Files #1, My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars Years 1-5

In case you haven't been super observant (and it is totally okay if you haven't, I don't really expect that people know the layout of my blog so well that they notice every super minor change), I wanted to direct your attention to my archives.  As any of my long time readers are aware, Fat-Train was not my blog's original home.  However, it is the home of my blog now (and for the rest of eternity, *cue evil laughter*) (okay, not really sure where the evil laughter came from, it just felt appropriate).

Over the last few weeks, I have imported all of the television and film posts from that blog and placed them in the Fat-Train archives.

Now, it would be a ton of work for any new reader (or forgetful long time reader for that matter) to go back and read everything that I have ever written, and honestly, a lot of it is not particularly useful to our modern sensibilities (for instance, do we really need to read about the quick and steady decline of Heroes?  Let's leave the harmful past in the past, shall we?).

Therefore, my plan throughout this year is to pick some posts from the archive that might have something interesting to say today or that I have something new to say about now, giving me a new post and you a chance to catch up on the important archives.

For this first Archive Files, in honor of the just completed Oscars, I thought that I would look at some of the best lines from the first five My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars Posts.


If you want to go back and read the post in toto (not sure if that is a real phrase meaning in totality or not, but it could be Latin or something, and therefore classy, so I'm leaving it) then you can click on the linked acronym above.

One of my favorite things about this first Oscar review post was that I titled it annual even though it was the first one and conceivably could have been the only one.  Now that there have been six of them, I suppose that it is finally okay to call them annual.

So, onto some highlights from the post...

Welcome to the day after the Oscars. Hope you all slept it off okay. As you might be aware, I was unable to watch the big show live due to work, and therefore taped it and began watching it at about 12:30 a.m., so you'll excuse me if I'm a little tired, the Oscars after all are loooong. Anyway, while watching during the early hours last night, I jotted down some of the thoughts I was having in order to give you, my reading audience an idea of some of the thoughts that go through a future Oscar winners head as they watch the Oscars. Here ya go...

-I'm glad I taped the Oscars. It gives me the opportunity to fast forward through commercials. Take that

-Jon Stewart is handling this very well, doing a good job. I always like the Oscars because they often teach us something we didn't know before, for instance, I didn't know that Jon Stewart was in Death to Smoochey. Learn something new everyday. Course I shouldn't be surprised that he is informative. This is the hard-hitting, informative journalism that Jon Stewart is known for, after all.

-Hey, sweet. I get to fast forward through the song nominees too.


-Okay, someone producing the Oscars has a sick sense of humor. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves presenting an Oscar. Two of my least favorite actors in Hollywood together on screen to give an art direction award. How does this make sense? Don't say "They were in Speed together" That movie was made like 11 years ago, and neither's careers have really blossomed since then. They should have let these two give out the special effects Oscar. Keanu needs special effects to show emotion, and Sandra needs special effects to differentiate herself from Julia Roberts.


-Why was Network in the montage for socially important films? It was a self satire against the media, which probably doesn't belong in a montage talking about how the media (in this case feature films) help to change what's wrong with society. Seems a little out of place there to me.


-Hello! King Kong sucked people. Maybe they're still giving out Oscars for Lord of the Rings.

-Okay, I'm going to go ahead and watch the best song performance for the Pimp song. I want to see if they have to beep any of it out.

-Lots of thoughts going through my head as I'm listening to this embarrassingly bad song, but I'll keep them to myself. It's not like its going to win the Oscar.

-Oh My God, it just won the Oscar. Did not see that coming. Clearly it isn't that hard bein' a pimp.

-Hey, Jon. I said it first. Joke stealer.

(See, when I talked about the tradition of my jokes being stolen continuing, I was talking about a tradition going all the way back to the very first My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars Post)

-You've got to be kidding me, another award for Kong? Did any of you see that movie? It sucked. Maybe they just saw the trailers and are basing these awards on that. I really think it's Oscar chances should have suffered since ... it .... SUCKED!!!

(Amy's problems with Wolfman's one award are put in a little perspective here for me.  Sure it sucks when a crappy movie wins an award, but King Kong won multiple Oscars. Multiple Oscars.  That it didn't deserve!  Okay, clearly I'm still a little bitter.)

-Wow, for a second there, I thought Phillip Seymore Hoffman was going to say, "I'm honored to be nominated with these strong actors. And Heath Ledger."

(When I wrote it, I was very proud of this joke.  It cracked me up when I wrote it.  Then Heath Ledger started to really impress me, and then, of course, he died, which made me feel a little guilty for this joke, and led to an apology in a later Oscar post.  Overall, I still think it is a funny joke, but there is still some guilty feelings lingering due to his death.)

-I was hoping he (Ang Lee, director of Brokeback Mountain and winner of Best Director for that film) would say something in his acceptance speech like "This award is for everyone who said Incredible Hulk was gay. You want a gay movie, I'll give you a gay movie."

(I still think a quote like that would have been hilarious and awesome.)


Though I had titled these posts as Annual, they very nearly ended after only one.  The way that I write these posts, I just take notes of my thoughts throughout the entirety of the Oscars, then transcribe the notes from the handwritten notebook into the blog.  I did that during the Oscars in year three, but due to inconsistent access to the Interwebs, it didn't get posted for over two weeks after the Oscars aired!
-Sorry for the lateness of this blog, one might almost say it is pointless now, but I'm putting it up for posterity.  Otherwise, next year, I won't be able to call it the Third Annual My Thoughts as I Had Them During The Oscars.


-BOO!! BOO!! Daniel Craig.  Where did all the Daniel Craig haters go.  Before the movie they were everywhere, now you never hear from them.  I'm the lone voice.  Daniel Craig is not Bond.  I wonder if he's going to pause before he announces the winner.  He doesn't when he says Bond James Bond.


-The good thing about watching the Oscar's on "tape delay" last year is that I didn't have to watch the damn commercials.  Remember when commercials for this thing were good?  Remember when commercials for the Super Bowl were good?


-Okay...  This is weird, I'm not gonna lie.  A special effects choir?  I don't get it.  When everyone complains that the Oscars are too long, do we really need time wasters such as special effects choirs?

(This has been a problem throughout the Oscars forever, they complain about how long they are and then they add weird stuff like this.  This year's Oscars was actually really good about this.  I'm sure it will be terrible again next year.)

-Wow, they found two seconds of Mark Walberg dialogue without curse words in it.  Impressive.

(That still surprises me.  His performance in The Departed was fantastic, but it also had more curse words per capita than anything else ever in the history of everything.  The fact that the Oscars was able to show a scene from his performance without having to Mellisa Leo anything was very impressive.)

-More weird stuff going on, interpretive dancers becoming a penguin?  What is the world coming to?


-Ohh.  The Wes Anderson AmEx commercial.  I apologize for everything bad I said about having to watch the commercials.  The brilliance of this one makes up for all the other crappy ones.

(I still love this commercial.)

-I'm currently envisioning a blue see-through Jedi-like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick up on stage with Copella, Spielberg, Lucas, and Scorsese.  The greatest Directors of all time in one place.

(When Martin Scorsese finally won his first Oscar for The Departed, the Academy totally did it right by having Spielberg, Lucas, and Copella present the award.  Still one of the greatest Oscar moments of all time in my opinion.)


I got back on track the next year with the third annual...

-Welcome back Jon Stewart, host of the First Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post.  Here's hoping he doesn't steal as many of my jokes this time around.

(I honestly don't know why Jon hasn't continued to host the Oscars.  He did a fantastic job with both of his performances hosting, and yet the Oscars kept going to to different hosts that aren't nearly as successful.)

-The first mention of the writers strike of the evening.  I wonder how many there will be?  I would advise against using this in any drinking game capacity as it is likely to lead to alcohol poisoning.

(The writers' strike was a big deal this year, in fact there was a worry that the Oscars might not even happen, the Golden Globes got canceled; luckily, the writers and the studios were able to come to an agreement before the Oscars, and they happened without a hitch.)

-Great joke about the themes in the movies nominated for Best Picture, "Thank God for teen pregnancy to lighten the mood."  Nice.

(Not only was Juno up for Best Picture, but if you recall, Knocked Up came out this year as well.)

-Jon mentioned Javier Bardem, he'll win.  He mentioned Daniel Day-Lewis, he'll win.  He mentioned Cate Blanchett, she'll win.  Oh, sorry Jon, if you had read my prediction post you would have known not to put your money on Julie Christie.  She's not going to win.

-Making fun of Norbit is fun as well as important (since it got a nomination and the amazing Zodiac did not).  Jon says, "too often the Academy ignores movies that aren't good."  Hilarious.


-George Clooney's opening line: "Hi, you guys."  You heard it here first, Clooney's new movie, Goonies 2.


-Time for a prayer.  Dear God, please let the filmmakers of the world understand that we don't want any more movies about penguins.  Amen.

-I still don't see how The Simpsons Movie wasn't nominated for best animated film (and it is tragic that Spiderpig didn't receive a best song nomination.  Utterly tragic.)


-"The Oscar goes to... Catherine."  A little clip of Sean Connery giving the award to Catherine Zeta Jones a few years back for Traffic.  I love how he paused there.  I know he's retired and all, but I wonder if he could give Daniel Craig a few lessons on pausing so that Daniel doesn't say bondjamesbond like it is one word next time.

(I realize that I am alone on this not liking Craig as Bond thing, but that is why I have to be so adamant about it.  It's hard work being the lone voice of reason in the world.)

-Can you smell what award the Rock is presenting?  Just wondering.


-I know that Jon said that was Miley Cyrus, but has anyone ever noticed she looks a lot like the singer Hannah Montana?  Sure, they're hair colors are different, but a wig could fix that.  I'm suspicious.  And another thing, have you ever noticed that Superman looks a lot like Clark Kent, only without the glasses?  Think about it.  It's an uncanny resemblance.

(I will never get tired of doing this joke.  It also works with the similar voices of Bruce Wayne and Batman and Peter Parker and Spiderman)

-Man, the Academy must hate Michael Bay as they dis Transformers again.  Instead, they give it to Bourne, directed by Paul Greengrass, the only director who shakes the camera as much as Michael Bay does.

-I got motion sickness just watching that clip from Bourne.

-I was starting to get better when they showed a clip from Transformers.  Where's my Dramamine?


-The Coen Brothers supplied a picture of "Roderick Jaynes"?  That's showing dedication to your pseudonym right there.

-Another surprise.  How can you even tell if the shots match in the editing of Bourne?  And how much Dramamine did the editor go through to edit this picture?  Did I mention that the camera shakes a lot in this movie?


-Side note during a commercial here, but am I the only one freaked out by the "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?" line?  No!  And I'm thankful every day that it doesn't.  I have enough issues as it it, thank you very much.


-Luckily, I got this one right, since it's apparently the only category my readers read.  Original song goes to Falling Slowly.  They'll all think I was perfect since it's the only prediction they payed attention to.

-Case in point, my friend Anne just texted me excited about my being right.  What can I say, I'm a genius.

(This is one of the things I remember most clearly about this Oscars.  When I did my preview and prediction post, nearly all of the comments were saying that they really hoped that I was right about the Best Original Song.  I really think that it was the only prediction that meant anything to any of my readers.  Good thing I got that one right.)

-Wow, another surprise.  There have actually been a lot of them tonight.  I wonder if Deakins hurt himself by being nominated for two different films, splitting the vote.  I'm actually really saddened by the fact that he lost.  He's by far my favorite cinematographer in the business, and I was really looking forward to him winning.

(And I can't believe that he didn't win this year either.)

-I'm dedicating the Third Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post to Heath Ledger.  Sorry about making fun of you in the First Annual "My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars" Post.  We're going to miss you greatly.  I'm especially sad that we'll never get to see you as a director.  Terry Gilliam said you would be a better director then he could ever be, and that's about as high a praise one could hope for and it makes me sure that it is a great tragedy we'll never get to see your work.  To Heath Ledger.


-Now she will forever be Diablo Cody, Oscar winner and former stripper.  Because you know they'll never stop referring to her as a former stripper.

(Actually, no one ever refers to her as a former stripper anymore.  At the time, it was like it was part of her name, but apparently her winning an Oscar finally got the world to forget the whole former stripper thing.)

-That's my new favorite speech of the night.  I'm a huge Diablo Cody fan.  From blogger to Oscar winning Screenwriter.  I can dig it.

(Still my dream.)

-Did Helen Mirren even read the envelope or did she just announce Daniel Day-Lewis.  It's like when you have to ask a super easy question in Trivial Pursuit, and you don't even look at the back of the card to check the answer, because you know the other team got it right.  And it was probably for a wedge.  Anyway, no, I don't think Helen Mirren even read the envelope.

-Daniel Day-Lewis says this is the closest he'll come to being knighted.  It's funny cause she was Queen Elizabeth last year in The Queen.  Get it?

-The Coen Brothers.  Oscar Winning Directors and the minds behind The Big Lebowski.  It's right that those things should go together.  In fact, one might say those phrases really tie the room together, Dude.


This was the year the strange experimenting with Oscar Hosts began.  This was the year that Wolverine hosted...

-Wow, the opening musical bit about Slumdog Millionaire is actually better then the movie.  Hugh Jackman should have made Slumdog Millionaire!

(I was not a fan of Slumdog Millionaire.  There will be a rant later that will give a few of my reasons why.)

-Anne Hathaway should host the Oscars, she's funny.  I wonder if this musical bit about Frost/Nixon is more or less historically accurate then the movie Frost/Nixon?  Either way, it would have been interesting if this was the route they took in the movie.  And Hathaway actually does a fairly good Nixon improvisation.  Nice.


-Non-Best picture nominees mentioned in the opening song, The Wrestler, The Dark Knight, and Iron Man.  Go comic book movies!  And did I mention the host is Wolverine?  I did?  Okay.  Did he?  He did?  Okay.  Good.


-Wow.  Sister Act reference by Whoopi.  Or was it a Sister Act 2 reference?  Not sure.  But also a Jesus reference.  Go Jesus.
-Taraji was amazing in Benjamin Button.  I think she was really the heart of the whole film.

-Yeah, we're tight like that.  I can call her Taraji.

-Okay.  I've never met Taraji.  I just like to say Taraji.


-This whole 5 past winners introducing the 5 nominees is taking forever.  I hope they don't do this with every category.

(The next year, they had five random people introducing the 5 nominees.  This year, they finally went back to the winner from the opposite sex the year before presenting the award.  I honestly don't know why they ever went away from it.)

-Penelope Cruz wants to share the Oscar with the other four nominees.  People always say that, but I don't believe it.  What, Penelope, you're telling me that you want to have it cut into 5 equal pieces so that everyone can have a piece?  "Here Marisa, Taraji (hah, fit her name in again), Amy, and Viola, I told you I wanted to share this with you!"  How would you feel if the part Penelope gives you is Oscar's ass?


-Just wanted to say that Daniel Craig is not MY James Bond.

 (Lone voice of reason, people.  Lone voice of reason.)

-OMG!! Edward Cullen!!! OMG!!!!!!!! Hmph.  I mean, (*clears throat*) Who is Robert Pattinson?

(Twilight jokes are funny.)

-Why the Star Trek music as Jessica Biel walks out?

-Oh, she hosted the Sci-Tech Awards.  Makes sense I guess.

-Not her hosting it.  The music.


-Holy Crap!  Another Sister Act reference.  Whoever had the over on Sister Act references in their Oscar Poll is going to bank tonight.


-It isn't that I think Wolverine (I mean Hugh Jackman) is doing a bad job, but this is really the worst Oscars I can remember.  I'm making myself laugh occasionally, but the show isn't really entertaining me the way I've come to expect.  Where are you Jon Stewart!?!?


-Not at all surprising, and very, very deserving.  You earned this Heath, dead or alive.  Think about it, this is one of the greatest screen villains of all time along with Chigurh (Bardem won the Oscar) and Lector (Hopkins won the Oscar).  You should have won many more then just this one, Heath.  And I apologize again for my crack way back in the first annual My Thoughts As I Had Them During The Oscars post.  (Although it was still pretty funny).


-This action montage makes me wish a Bond movie had come out this year.

-What?  Quantum of Solace?  That's not a Bond movie.  Wasn't that Bourne 4?

(Lone. Voice. Of. Reason.)

-Seriously?  Sound Mixing to Millionaire?  And TDK falls to 2 for 7?  Horrible.

-A lot of times watching the Oscars I wonder if the people who voted actually watched the movies they're voting for or if they just listen to the hype.


-Hey, Eddie Murphy.  He used to make good movies too.  No really, kids.  He did.

-It's a good thing that the overall show of the Oscars doesn't have a long shelf life, just moments of the show.  Because I've got to believe that in 3 years no one will know who Zac Efron is.  (And I have to be completely honest here, I'm not entirely sure now who he is.)


-So, we're supposed to have hope and optimism that fate will just take care of everything for us?  Because if you stop and think about it that is the message that Slumdog Millionaire is sending us.  Personally I feel that it is important for us to work towards making our life better and working towards the hope and optimism not just expecting all of the answers to be given to us by some ridiculous, unrealistic, and frankly nonexistent idea of "fate".  Sure, I believe that there is such a thing as fate (I really do), but not like this.  Saying that it does is just a disservice to people who work towards making their own dreams a reality.  Okay, rant over.

(Then there is the fact that the idea that every question in a game show would somehow directly related to his life, which as much as I love suspending disbelief, this is a little much, especially since it is in an otherwise normal reality.  I also hated the forced suspense built off of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fake suspense.  It is one of the reasons that I couldn't watch that show.  Finally, it showed a false and very disparaging version of India; there is much more to India than slums and gangs.  Okay, now the rant is over.)

-Is Adrian Brody going to kiss the winner?  He totally should.

-Oh!  If Sean Penn wins, maybe he'll kiss Adrian Brody.  That would be awesome!

(The fact that this didn't happen is the singular greatest missed moment in the history of television.)


Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosted this year.  Had it just been one or the other, I think it would have worked much better, but no one ever asks me...

-Does anyone else think that this presenter, Miley Cyrus?, looks a lot like Hannah Montana? I wonder if anyone has ever seen them both in the same place at the same time.

(See.  Told you.  I love this joke.)

-"I love you more than rainbows"? Really? And you won an Oscar for your ability to write lyrics?


-Why lamps for Best Supporting Actress? This set design is weird this year.

-Seriously, how much money do you think you would have made if one year ago you had said to someone, "I bet you that at next year's Oscars, Mo'Nique wins an Oscar." Seriously, you would have banked.

-At least Mo'Nique's speech injected some life into this show. Very boring so far.

-Off topic, because this is a commercial, but they really need to rename "Dancing with the Stars". These people can't be considered Stars.

-Make up your mind, Oscars. You can either say that Horror films have gotten no award recognition since the Exorsist(1973), or you can show clips of Silence of the Lambs(Best Picture 1991) in your Horror montage, but you can't have it both ways.

-Time to find some new narrators. That is everyone's homework. Don't get me wrong, I love Morgan Freeman, but there have to be more than one person in the world who can narrate something.


-Trying to do homework during commercials, but I have to say, this coke commercial, where someone puts a coke bottle into recycling and it comes right out as a brand new coke is really kind of gross if you think about it.

(And now this commercial airs before movies in the theater all the time, and it still really bothers me.  It certainly doesn't make me want a coke!)

-Sometimes I really don't get the pairings. Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper together for special effects? Really? Why?


-So a friend of mine (who happens to be gay) just answered my "Most boring Oscars ever?" text by texting back, "Anytime Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler are on stage at one time is fine with me." So at least that question was answered. It was to secure the gay vote.


-Did someone tell Keanu what the teleprompter said, or did he learn to read.

-What? I'm just wondering.

-Again with the lamps. Seriously, what is up with the lamps?


-On the plus side, the Dude is now an Oscar winner.

-And his speech is very Dude-like. Is that the first time Groovy was ever used in an Oscar speech? Probably the first time it was used non-sarcastically at least.

-He just said, "Love, man"

-Yes, the Dude Abides.


-Never thought Sandra Bullock would win an Oscar. Just never thought it would happen. Congrats. And congrats on winning the Razzie this year for Worst Actress also! Nice bookends.

So, there you have it, some highlights from the past five My Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars posts.

If you are a new reader, I hope this helps you feel a little more involved with the history of the blog.  If you are a long time reader, I hope that was a nice walk down memory lane.

Until Next Time, I will see you again soon with another look at the deep, deep archives of Fat-Train*.

*Archives not actually that deep.