Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tricky Dick Redux

There's a line in The Simpsons' where Mr. Burns is described as having "crossed the line from normal, everyday villainy to cartoonish super-villainy." Based on Dick Cheney's recent pretzel-like attempts to do an end-run around any semblance of Constitutional accountability, it looks like the Dark Lord has now crossed over that very threshold. How should he be impeached? Conservative commentator and former Reagan deputy A.G. Bruce Fein counts the ways.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Indy On-Set

I've been hearing about a new Indiana Jones movie almost since the last one came out back in 1989, so I've understandably been leery whenever a new bit of purported news emerged about this long-gestating project. And while all the casting news of late has lent an aura of validity to all the rumors, there's nothing like the photographic proof below for that final, definitive confirmation.

Yes, Virginia, it is Indiana Jones. And he's coming soon to a theater near you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Recommended Reading

Steven Grant's thoughts as he walks us through twisty-turny courtroom escapades of convicted perjurer Scooter Libby and convicted moron Paris Hilton:
What it comes down to, though, whether your name is Hilton or Libby, there is now considered to be a class of people in this country - the rich, powerful and connected - for whom the application of the law in the same way it is applied to all the rest of us is considered to be a gross miscarriage of justice. Not that there hasn't always been, but there haven't ever before been quite so many voices with access to the media howling to make it an acknowledged standard.
That about says it, doesn't it? Read the entirety of Grant's piece here (scroll down past the comic book stuff).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Suit Makes the Bat

This pic has been out across the web for a few days now, but I've been waiting for a higher-res version to surface before I posted it. It's our first (relatively) clear shot of the Batsuit in next summer's The Dark Knight, the second in director Chris Nolan's new series. I have to say, while I like the streamlined shape they've given the cowl, I'm not especially crazy about all the gew-gaws they've got on the suit. My preference would've been for something more streamlined and a little less...I dunno, Tron-like, I guess.

Still, the could be worse. They could've put nipples on the thing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rolling Out

Here's the sweet new poster for the upcoming Transformers, due to hit theaters in mere weeks:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Random Comment of the Day

Seen on an Internet blog, regarding the Paris Hilton re-sentencing:

"I don't think I've felt the nation this united since 9/11."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Taking Bets

Paris Hilton has been sent (back) to jail. Kicking and screaming, I might add.

Oh, and there's gonna be a no-confidence vote for Alberto Gonzales on Monday.

Hmm, wonder which story will be getting coverage come next week.

Legendary.

Richard Matheson's novella "I am Legend" is one of those stories I read at just the right age for it to stick with me in every unsettling detail. The story tracks Robert Neville, the lone survivor in a world where some unknown plague has left the population as vampires. "Legend" is a perfect example of what I like to call "Idea Horror," that is, it's less focused on gore and viscera than it is on the underlying feeling of suspense and the slowly unfurling tension of its situation (no surprise, given Matheson's Twilight Zone pedigree).

It's always been surprising to me that Hollywood never got around to doing a good movie version of the story. I emphasise the word "good," as they've tried twice already with mixed results -- a low-budget '60s Vincent Price shlocker called The Last Man on Earth, and a more well-known Charlton Heston starrer from the '70s entitled The Omega Man. Though each has its interesting point, especially the Heston one, neither version quite got what made the Matheson story work.

An updated adaptation of the project has been kicking around Hollywood for several years now, with Ridley Scott, Michael Bay, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all attached at various points, all ultimately dropping out for one reason or another. The version of I Am Legend that finally hits screens at the end of the year is directed by Constantine helmer Francis Lawrence and stars Will Smith as Neville, with a script from Da Vinci Code and Batman & Robin scribe Akiva Goldsman (uh oh...).

Based on this just-released teaser, I can't say for sure whether this version will get Matheson any better than the others, but here's hoping.

Over the OCEAN'S

Zaki's Review: OCEAN'S THIRTEEN

After two prior capers, one above-average, one mediocre, I'm sure it elicited more than a few eye-rolls when it was announced that director Stephen Soderberg and star George Clooney would once again re-assemble their Hollywood who's-who cast for one more dip into the Ocean's well.

Following on the heels of Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and the inexplicably-popular Pirates, Ocean's Thirteen marks the fourth three-quel to hit theaters in just over a month, and it's probably the one that most had to justify its existence. Happily, Soderbergh and Co. return to fine form in this third entry, making for a crackling summer entertainment that far eclipses this year's other sequels for sheer enjoyability.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Random TV Thought, Part II

...However, very soon you will be able to catch this on NBC in lieu of Studio 60.

And people say there's no audience for intelligent television.

Random TV Thought

I'm sitting here watching the first of four final episodes of Aaron Sorkin's impressively-pedigreed, impeccably-acted, ratings-starved Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and I'm realizing that I'm really gonna miss this show.

Watch it while you can.

Three more weeks.

One Less Jones For INDY

Bummer.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Recommended Reading

Another good one this week from Frank Rich, on the Bush Administration and the general "can't wait 'till it's over" feeling it's engendered all across America.

"America's Mayor"

When you take a look at some of the characters lining up on the Republican side to fill the Figurehead's clown shoes, you start to give serious consideration to whether you'd prefer a punch in the face or a kick in the crotch.

I have a feeling that a great many blog entries between now and when the party's nominee becomes apparent will be spent looking at one or the other candidate and pointing out why they're a horrible, horrible, horrible choice. First up, it's Rudy Giuliani's turn, and as Rolling Stone's Matt Taibi makes clear, this self-styled "hero" (lower-case and in quotes) could turn out to be even worse than the guy currenty sitting in the big chair:
Yes, Rudy is smarter than Bush. But his political strength -- and he knows it -- comes from America's unrelenting passion for never bothering to take that extra step to figure shit out. If you think you know it all already, Rudy agrees with you. And if anyone tries to tell you differently, they're probably traitors, and Rudy, well, he'll keep an eye on 'em for you. Just like Bush, Rudy appeals to the couch-bound bully in all of us, and part of the allure of his campaign is the promise to put the Pentagon and the power of the White House at that bully's disposal.
It's funny, Brian Hall made mention a few posts back about what a cliche it is that "Republicans are stupid," and that's a fair cop. On the other hand, what does it say about the party and where its collective head is at that a deceitful, corrupt snake-oil salesman is the apparent frontrunner based entirely on an hallucinatory record of being the Big Bad Terrorist Fighter?