Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09-18-08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Well, here’s an interesting idea: Aint it Cool? News reporter Moriarty thinks the Coen brothers would make an awesome Superman movie. I’m a big fan of the Coens, and there’s no question they can shoot the shit out of a movie, but I keep picturing Javier Bardem playing Superman with that creepy bowl haircut he sported in No Country For Old Men. *shudder*

Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Battlestar Galactica) discusses the fate of his character in the series finale and how brilliant the Galactica writers are. If I were him, I’d be happy with any final scenario for my character as long as it still involved banging Grace Park on a regular basis. In a related story, the Battlestar Galactica franchise is 30 years old today. Holy crap I’m old.

Will Ed Norton be back as the Hulk in another sequel or in The Avengers movie? I think you’ll have a better chance of seeing a sequel to Blankman than another Hulk solo movie, but I think Marvel will throw some money at Norton, Downey Jr., Jackson, etc., to get all of them aboard for the Avengers. Speaking of Marvel’s super-team, is Eva Longoria in the running to play the Wasp? Please God no…

Here’s some footage of uber-hottie Megan Fox auditioning for the first Transformers. If you watch this and think, “Man, she is a God-awful actress”. Ask yourself this: would your penis you say “no” to her? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Finally, another Aint it Cool? News contributor attended the Paramount Pictures 2009 slate press screening, and saw some nearly-completed scenes from the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. To the shock and surprise of absolutely no one, it looked like ass in a can. Of course, I already outlined in great detail why this movie is going to be a giant piece of Rhino shit, and this report just confirms my beliefs.

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Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09/09/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

AWWW HELL NAW!!! Will Smith as Captain America? Say it ain’t so! Oh, ok, it ain’t so. -Whew-.

Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi “officially” back for Spider-Man 4 (and possibly 5). This is probably terrific news for a lot of Spider-Man fans out there, but I was hoping for a fresh start to this series. Part of the allure and staying power of comic books is that artists and writers come and go, but the characters endure because new creators come aboard with different perspectives and directions. In this case, any direction away from emo haircuts, jazz dance numbers, and the painfully mediocre and mis-cast Kirsten Dunst would be a good way to go.

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and the rest of the Judd Apatow boys as Ghostbusters? Looks to be that way, according to recent comments by Ghostbusters actor and co-creator Harold Ramis (Egon). There’s a part of me- a teeny, tiny part of me deep down inside, that thinks a Ghostbusters sequel/reboot with Bill Murray and the rest of the old school Ghostbusters acting as mentors to some of today’s top comic actors would actually be a fun and cool idea. In all honesty though, this would probably turn out to be one of the most epic disasters in movie history. You just can’t catch lightning in a bottle twice. Blues Brothers 2000, anyone?

Some people in Chicago see an early screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Apparently it’s really shitty and isn’t very faithful to the book at all. Shocking.

New trailer for the Star Wars: Clone Wars CG-animated series on Cartoon Network. 100% southern, homosexual Hutt free!

Finally, check out the uber-awesome Big Lebowski 10th Anniversay Special Edition DVD!

Summer Movie Box Office Recap

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies with tags , , on September 4, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Well folks, the Labor Day weekend has come and gone, offcially marking the end of the summer movie season. It was a very lucrative summer, with two movies grossing over $300 million, and one giant behemoth of a flick shattering all kinds of records to become the second highest-grossing movie of all time. Here’s my thoughts on the summer blockbusters, divided into monetary categories:

$400 million +

Only one movie cracked the $400 million barrier this year, blowing right by it to achieve a mind-blowing (for this theater-going era) $510 million and counting. I’m talking of course, about Beverly Hills Chihuahua, a funny and heartwarming masterpiece about a canine who—what? It was actually The Dark Knight? You mean that movie where Martin Lawrence travels back in time to Medieval England? I thought that came out years ago…

$300 million +: Iron Man, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man was the commercial and critical darling of the summer until Batman showed up and absolutely annihilated ol’ shellhead. Still it was a massive hit for a third-tier comic book character that the “masses” were mostly unfamiliar with. Simply stamping the name “Indiana Jones” on a movie is good enough for a guaranteed $250 million, so there really isn’t much more I can say about how it performed. Considering that it was by far the worst entry in the beloved series, I think it’s actually quite surprising it took in over three bills.

$200 million +: Hancock, Wall-E, Kung Fu Panda

The $200 million mark is nothing to sneeze at in terms of a summer movie gross these days, especially when you factor in the downturn the industry has taken and the competition from Blu-Ray DVD and High Def home theaters. Just like the “Indiana Jones” brand is worth an instant box-office paypay, slapping the “Pixar” name in front of any title is also worth an easy $150 million at the least. No Pixar film has ever made less than $160 million, and even with the semi-hard sell concept of a lonely Robot on a devastated Earth, Wall-E still racked in a ton of cash. I was really surprised to see Dreamwork’s Kung Fu Panda hit this mark, however, but a fantastic marketing campaign that emphasized the colorful animal characters and Jack Black’s antics, really sold this movie to the kiddies (it was also a very good movie to boot).

Hancock is currently the fourth highest-grossing picture of the year, and it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. I never bothered to see it because I, unlike the legions of gullible, ignorant mouth-breathers out there who flock to any Will Smith summer movie, actually saw this piece of crap for what it really was, a skillfully engineered and pre-packaged crapfest. You could almost see and hear the excutives planning this turd in some boardroom somewhere:

Head Exec: “Ok people, what can we make this summer, what’s been popular?”

Clueless Underling #1: “Superheroes!”

Clueless Underling #2: “Will Smith”

Clueless Underling #3: “Will Smith on the Fourth of July! He owns that date!”

Head Exec: “Okay, a Will Smith superhero flick on the Fourth of July. Get somebody to write a script. Now, what’s for lunch?”

*sigh*

$100 million +: Sex and the City, Mamma Mia!, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wanted, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Step Brothers

$100 million used to be the gold standard for a successful summer movie, but nowadays that rarely even recoups the marketing budgets for these huge action/sci-fi/superhero pictures. Comedies, dramas, and musicals however, are still considered huge smash hits if they are able to reach this goal, and that’s what a good percentage of the films in this range are.

Get Smart proved Steve Carell could carry a summer blockbuster on his shoulders, and washed the bad taste of Evan Almighty out of our mouths. Mamma Mia! and Sex and the City were surprisingly massive counter-programming hits, proving that lots of women and gay guys go to the cinema in the summer. I don’t understand how a giant piece of runny, corn-riddled shit like Zohan even cracked $25 million, and I never got around to seeing Step Brothers, but heard good things.

On the action front, Narnia, Hulk, and The Mummy all were huge under-performers, especially Prince Caspian, which was predicted to do even better than its predecessor and generate Lord of the Rings numbers. Sadly, audiences didn’t flock to see more shitty CGI beavers and a lead character who looked like a Jonas Brother. The Incredible Hulk wasn’t able to shake off the rancid odor of Ang Lee’s ponderous 2002 Hulk film, or the bad press it was getting right before release when Ed Norton complained that the director cut out too much of the film’s dialogue and story elements. Wanted came out of nowhere to do great numbers with some terrific action sequences and the allure of Angelina Jolie, and as for the Mummy, it looks like the absence of uber-hottie Rachel Weisz kept audiences away there. Learn your lesson, Mummy people! Rachel=box office gold!

$50-$100 million: Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, What Happens in Vegas, The Happening, The Strangers

Well, here’s where the disappointments come in. When you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing, special effects, etc. on what is perceived as a summer “blockbuster”, it’s devastating when audiences just don’t give a rat’s ass or the movie just gets lost in the crowded summer lineup. That’s what I’d like to believe happened to Hellboy 2, a great, imaginative, and gorgeous-looking movie that should be in the $200+ million category. It’s sickening to think this Guerillmo Del Toro sequel was out-grossed by the likes of Hancock, Sex and the City, and freakin’ Zohan! It’s yet another shining example of the brain-dead movie-going public who continue to slurp up the sugary, pre-packaged pap the studios churn out.

Tropic Thunder was also a disappointment. It had a massive budget of over $100 million (huge for a comedy), yet it failed to beat out more moderately budgeted comedies like Step Brothers or Christ, yet again, the Zohan. Simply incredible.

The Happening was a giant turd, and many people are calling it the nail in Manny Shyamalan’s coffin. We’ll see. I have nothing to add about the other flicks.

$0-$49million (A.K.A., The Shit List): Speed Racer, Meet Dave, The Love Guru, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Babylon A.D., The House Bunny, Space Chimps, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Disaster Movie, Death Race

Yikes, as wise old Ben Kenobi once said, “A wretched hive of scum and villainy”. Just looking at this list sends a tingling creeper up my spine. Awful, awful stuff here.

It seems like after the Wachowski brothers delivered those two reviled Matrix sequels, they just can’t buy a hit. Their attempt to make the old Speed Racer cartoon into a  surreal, manic, strobing, colorful, seizure-inducing movie did not play well with audiences at all. It was a massive failure that many on the Internet say is destined to become a “cult classic” like Tron in the future.

George Lucas thought he could package up three episodes of his forthcoming CG Clone Wars animated series, toss it up on the screen, and it would make at least $100 million based on the Star Wars brand, but casual audiences ignored it and fans threw it right back in his bearded face. Similarly, FOX thought there were still people out there who cared about the X-Files, and they were probably right, but stamping the “X-Files” name on a utterly boring snooze-fest backfired right in their faces as well.

Everything else mentioned up there just really isn’t even worth discussing. Ciao!!

*All Box Office info was gathered from Box Office Mojo.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 09/03/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

I was pretty pissed off when I read this rumor about the final Battlestar Galactica episodes not showing up until April 2009 at the earliest, but my rage subsided when the SciFi Channel debunked the rumor. The final episodes of the series will begin airing in January as originally promised, which is still a ridiculously long time time to wait considering they’ve been in the can for quite some time now. Par for the course for a show that has aired something like 20 new shows in a two and a half year span.

“The Snowman” himself, Jerry Reed is dead. I absolutely loved Smokey and the Bandit when I was a kid, and I still want a black and gold 1978 Trans-Am to this day because of that movie. Jerry Reed was awesome as the Snowman, Burt Reynold’s trucker sidekick who hauled beer in his 18-wheeler in the first flick, a live elephant in the second, then took over as the Bandit for Burt Reynolds in the third. (Best Burt-less movie ever!). Reed also wrote great country classic like “When you’re hot, you’re hot”, and the all-time classic “Amos Moses”, which most of you young punks might recognize from the country radio station in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. R.I.P. Jerry.

Here’s a full rundown of all the deleted scenes and content hacked out of the Ed Norton Incredible Hulk flick. Most of it is boring psychological dialogue between Bruce and Betty’s douchebag psychiatrist boyfriend. I almost fell asleep just reading about it, so I can only imagine what it would have done to the audience watching in the theater. The Incredible Hulk is out on DVD on October 21, but if you want all 43 excruciating minutes of deleted footage, you’ll have to buy the Blu-ray version.

Red-Band trailer for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Holy shit, this actually looks funny.

More legal wrangling and bullshit regarding the Fox lawsuit against Warner Brothers over the “Citizen Kane of comic book movies”, Watchmen. So help me God, if Fox successfully blocks the release of Watchmen, I’ll like, boycott X-Men Origins: Wolverine or something.

Here’s an interview with comic book writer Mark Millar, conducted by G4TV’s very own Blair Butler. In it, he discusses his latest comic project War Stories, as well as his plans to reboot the Superman movie franchise yet again with a three-movie epic saga. In a related story, I want to have sex with Blair Butler. Call me, Blair!

Finally, did you feel Cloverfield lacked something, like bouncing female breasts to go along with all that shaky-cam work? Well then, be sure to check out Cleavagefield!

The Trailer Voiceover Guy Is Dead

Posted in Celebrities with tags , , , on September 2, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Well shit, this sucks. Don LaFontaine, better known as “The movie trailer voiceover guy”, passed away on Monday as a result of complications from Pneumothorax (a collapsed lung). LaFontaine’s voice is probably one of the most recognized in the world, as he has provided narration for pretty much every movie trailer churned out over the past 20 years. This is disconcerting for me on two levels: First, because I actually had a “spontaneous pneumothorax” once, and second, I’ll never get to hear ol’ Don utter the famous “In a world…” line ever again. A sad day indeed.

Stuff Geeks Like #1: Zombies

Posted in Stuff Geeks Like with tags , , , , on August 29, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Welcome to “Stuff Geeks Like”, a new regular feature on Six Demon Bag that explores the anthropological reasonings behind the attachments geeks form to a wide variety of genre media and culture. These posts will be familiar in structure and style to those found on the awesome blog, Stuff White People Like.

#1- Zombies:

The legions of the undead have been a constant source of entertainment and obsession for geeks since the late 1960’s, serving as popular antagonists in countless films, TV shows, novels, comic books, and video games. Zombie geeks are a proud, tightly-knit subdivision of geek culture, openly displaying their love for zombies by wearing T-shirts, reading Fangoria magazine, and attending conventions where they can meet actors and actresses from zombie films and engage in social interaction with other zombie fans. Zombie geeks also have close ties with the geeks of the Heavy Metal community, sharing their affinity for long hair, black clothing, and bands that utilize horrific imagery such as Iron Maiden, Dio, and Slayer.

The prevalence of Zombies in geek culture can be traced back to the successful 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, directed by George Romero. Geeks regard Romero as the patron Saint of zombie filmmaking, holding him in the highest esteem. Though the concept of a re-animated corpse has existed for thousands of years (with its primary origins in Afro-Caribbean Voodoo culture), and several notable films such as 1932’s White Zombie pre-date Romero’s work by over 30 years, geeks firmly believe that the history of zombies begin and end with Romero. Do not attempt to dissuade a geek from this belief, as you will be met only with hostility and ridicule.

When questioned about their admiration for Romero, geeks will often cite his use of zombies as a device for social and political commentary. They will say things like, “Romero is holding a mirror up to society man! In Dawn of the Dead, he’s showing us that shopping malls, commerce, and urban sprawl are turning us into soulless, mindless, drones. WE’RE THE ZOMBIES, DUDE!”, in a thinly-veiled effort to sound scholarly and disguise their juvenile predilection for mutilation, decapitation, dismemberment, fake blood, latex intestines, exposed “scream queen” breasts, and cheesy synthesizer soundtracks.

If, by some strange reason, you wish to impress a zombie geek in a conversation, it would probably be beneficial to mention someone like Tom Savini. Savini is a powerful and well-loved figure in the zombie-geek community, as he was responsible for the majority of the gore and makeup effects in Romero’s movies. Saying something like, “Romero is fantastic, but Tom Savini is the man,too! That machete through the head effect he did as one of the bikers in Dawn was awesome and so innovative!” This will illicit an enthusiastically positive response from the geeks, and should protect you from further humiliation or social awkwardness in the presence of zombie fans.

Be cautious though, saying something like this may invite more probing questions from the zombie crowd, delving into obscure zombie trivia or even worse, they may attempt to engage you in a discussion of foreign zombie films such as Zombi 2 or directors like Lucio Fulci. If this happens, it’s best to just excuse yourself to the restroom or change the subject to another suitable geek topic that you are more knowledgeable about. Under no circumstances should you attempt to discuss the Resident Evil series as valid entries in the zombie genre. Doing so may result in permanent banishment from the zombie community. 28 Days Later is acceptable in some cases.

Many geeks, at some point in their lives, will inevitably feel “inspired” to make their own low-budget zombie movie using their parents’ video camera (or outdated video equipment borrowed from their local community college), thus adding to the countless thousands of no-budget zombie movies featuring nine or ten pasty high school/college students wearing torn flannel shirts and sloppily-applied $2.99 iParty makeup kits devouring overcooked linguine and cherry Jell-O “guts” off of some poor kid’s stomach.

Some geeks will make these films just for the fun of it, but a good percentage of geeks suffer from the delusional belief that their zombie project will be “unique and different”, and propel them into a successful and lucrative film career. This ludicrous pipe dream has been perpetuated by individuals such as Peter Jackson (Braindead), Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead series), and most recently, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), who have parlayed early low-budget zombie filmmaking into worldwide popularity and God-like status in the geek community. If a zombie geek approaches you to appear in his or her low-budget zombie film with promises of future fame, immediately run away. Fast. It’s likely the only audience this “film” will ever reach is the 10:45 AM “Intro To Video Production” class at (Insert town name) Technical Community College.

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 08/27/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Here’s a link to those fan-made “Batman 3” posters, featuring Kristen Bell as Harley Quinn, David Tennant as the Riddler and some broad named Marion Cotilliard as Catwoman. These are nicely done I suppose, but after Ledger’s Joker and Eckhart’s Two-Face, having these three C-Listers as your villains is like going on a date with Scarlett Johannson and Marisa Miller that ends in some mind blowing sex, then jumping back into bed only to find they’ve been replaced by Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and a drunk Verne Troyer.

Speaking of bad Batman casting, the Internet was ablaze this past week with the rumor that Christopher Nolan was in talks with Cher to play Catwoman in the next Batman movie. Of course, this is complete and utter bullshit, but it’s astonishing what people will believe and publish, isn’t it? Besides, Catwoman is all wrong for her, with all the shit she’s had injected into her head, shouldn’t she play Clayface? yuk-yuk!

On the box-office front, Jason Statham’s newest film Death Race got it’s ass handed to it this past weekend, finishing a pathetic third place behind Tropic Thunder and freakin’ House Bunny. Apparently more people wanted to see Anna Faris do her dumb blonde shtick for the five hundredth time and wiggle her ass in a Playboy bunny costume than Statham and a bunch of grimy, sweaty male convicts drive around in armor-plated cars and blow the holy hell out of each other in a Paul W. S. Anderson movie . Actually, that first one does sound more appealing. Sorry Statham fans, here’s a trailer for Transporter 3 to cheer you up.

George Lucas frozen in Carbonite. This is pure fried awesome.

The Dragonball Z movie was rumored to have been shit-canned by Fox executives after they saw some completed footage, but that later turned out to be a false rumor. A true victory for 10 year-olds and morons everywhere.

In other shit-canning news, HBO has stopped development on the PREACHER series because it “was just too dark and too violent and too controversial.” What a bunch of wussies they are. Correction: wussies and hypocrites. So it’s okay to air a series about a Mormon with three wives, a Mafia series where there are weekly murders, a prison drama with full-frontal male nudity and horrific violence, and an expletive-laden Western show with more horrific violence, but not PREACHER. Unbelievable. HBO has absolutely no balls, and if they don’t grow a pair soon, they are going to continue to get their asses handed to them in the original series department by SHOWTIME.  If the PREACHER showrunners were smart, they’d give them a call.

Finally, Warner Brothers released an official plot synopsis for Watchmen, and here’s some gorgeous ‘Set’ magazine covers featuring some close ups of some of the characters. Rorshach is ten tons of awesome!