Real-Life Weirdness: The Rock For President?

It doesn’t take a serious student of American politics to take quick stock of men who have jumped from entertainment to politics. Ronald Reagan went from actor to California Governor to being one of the most popular United States Presidents. (Most popular on the conservative side, anyway.) Arnold Schwarzenegger went from bodybuilding to acting to Governor of California; Jesse Ventura transformed himself from a wrestler to Governor of Minnesota. There are many more, but you get the idea.

Could the next political transformation be waiting in the form of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? Read More »

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Given that Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist and Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo are both about the joys of filmmaking and film-watching, it’s a little ironic that incidents at recent screenings of the two pictures seem to highlight some of the ways that the modern moviegoing experience can go terribly wrong.

In the UK, customers demanded refunds upon realizing that The Artist, a tribute to silent films, was itself a silent film. Meanwhile, one unlucky New York audience had the ending of Hugo ruined by advertisements that suddenly began playing over the movie. Read more after the jump.

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50/50: A great 2011 movie and also the odds George Lucas gives that a person would survive if they were in a lead refrigerator during a nuclear blast.

We refer, of course, to the now infamous scene early in Steven Spielberg‘s 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where Jones shields himself from a nuclear blast inside a refrigerator. The scene is so outrageous (or enraging, depending on who you talk to) the phrase “nuke the fridge” replaced Happy Days’ “jump the shark” as the way to describe a moment where a story finally goes from being good to bad.

In a New York Times article, one you’re going to be reading a lot about in the coming days, Lucas takes responsiblity for the scene and says, nay, insists there’s a 50/50 chance, if nuking the fridge was real, Indiana Jones could have survived. But is that what’s really important, George? Read more below. Read More »

This is a strange one. While fictional characters in the Marvel Universe — the heroes at least — typically argue a position that says mutants and humans are not really different, and should be afforded the same rights, in the real world the company’s position is somewhat contrary.

In the non-fictional world, our world, Marvel is taking the position that mutants are not humans at all. But this isn’t an ideological or a moral stance. Instead, it is a financial one. Toys manufactured in other countries and imported into the US are subject to taxes, but those taxes are lower if the toys represent non-human characters. That has led to Marvel lawyers arguing that an action figure representing, say, Wolverine, is actually “representing animals or other non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters).” This argument leads to a good conversation on the questions of humanity and acceptance that have long been part of the X-Men storyline. Read More »

Coming out of this year’s Toronto Film Festival, several films enjoyed massive buzz. You’re Next was one, God Bless America was another, Sleepless Night a third. But the one most with most heat was The Raid. Peter called this Indonesian action film about a SWAT team who attempts to infiltrate an apartment building controlled by a drug dealer “the best action film I’ve seen in years” and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions quickly gobbled up the rights. (Actually, the rights were bought at Cannes before the film was done.) With those rights, Screen Gems has been developing an America remake with no mention of when we might get to see the original.

Thanks to Sony Pictures Classics, we’ll now get a chance to see it this Spring. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Sometimes the Internet surprises you with something so random and cool, it’s unfathomable that it actually exists. An alternative version of The Karate Kid is all that and a crane kick.

In 1983, director John G. Avildsen was getting ready to shoot The Karate Kid with stars Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and others. As part of the rehearsal process, Avildsen decided to film all of the rehearsals and edited it together into a (very) rough version of the movie. It was used as a tool for the actors to give them a sense of what the movie would be like, how their characters would change, all of that important stuff. Presumably, it was never meant to see the light of day outside of the cast and crew.

Then, of course, this small film about a young man from New Jersey who moves to California and learns karate to earn the respect of his peers became a massive hit and, almost twenty years later, fans are still clamoring for more. Now that rehearsal movie has found its way online. After the jump, watch The Karate Kid in its entirety comprised solely of rehearsal footage. It’s the best DVD extra never included on a DVD. Read More »

Early this week we heard about General Motors and a possible plan for the car company to bankroll Warner Bros. new take on Cannonball Run. But that’s not the weirdest film financing plan out there this week. The news now is that Hungary is looking at a tax on porn websites, with the proceeds being funneled back into the regular Hungarian film business. Read More »

So you’ve got the shoes. You’ve preordered your 2013 DeLorean. What’s next on the Back to the Future technology checklist? How about a functional Hoverboard and the ability to make a car fly? Amazing technology is in the works that, at its early stages, looks like it will eventually be able to pull those things off. And while these experiments aren’t as Back to the Future specific as Nikes or DeLoreans, the applications can certainly be connected.

Check out videos of a working hoverboard as well as Quantum Locking, a process that makes objects levitate and move on a track, after the jump. Read More »

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