If it's not one thing, it's another, right?  Yesterday, my only concern was the health of my youngest son as we took him in for some minor surgery.  Everything went fine, but now I've got a nasty deep lung cough going which knocked me out earlier than normal last night.  Serves me right for burning the candle at both ends as hard as I have been.

Still, lots of ground to cover today.  I've got some video interviews I'll be posting right after The Morning Read, so we should get moving if everything's going to get done in a timely manner, eh?

Have you seen the three new teaser posters that we put up for "Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince"?  Striking.  I'm very interested to see what the IMAX 3D version of this film's going to look like this summer... that final sequence from "Order Of The Phoenix" showed some real promise when I saw it presented that way, and I haven't heard yet what the details are about this summer's film and how they're using the format.  Will it be like OOTP, with one major sequence in 3D?  Or will we see a more significant portion of the film handled that way this time?

[more after the break]

Kevin James is a goddamn movie star now, no matter what anyone says.  And I don't begrudge him the success.  It's one of those simple truths... audiences like the guy.  For them to turn out for "Paul Blart" the way they did... it's obvious what the draw was.  Him.  And now Adam Sandler's building a high-concept comedy for himself, James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider.  God, Spade and Schneider owe Sandler... I hope they realize how lucky they are to have a friend like him.

Have you seen the "real" trailer for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" yet?  It's pretty fantastic as a piece of film criticism and as a funny viral video both.  In particular, the way they handle the introduction of Indy in the trailer is dead on, and I sort of think if they'd been that honest with the real trailer, I could have been saved six months of e-mails from people calling me a "fuckstick" for predicting that the movie would disappoint fans.

God, I have mixed feelings about Alan Moore.  I mean... yes.  He is a phenomenal writer.  When he's on his game, there are very few people who have ever taken comics further as an art form.  But the whole eccentric snake-god worshipping persona sort of grates on me, and I am sick of hearing from him about how horrible Hollywood is.  Like the comics industry is perfect and untarnished and like it's not driven by marketing and special events and the same kind of hype and hot air.  TotalFilm sat down with Moore for an exclusive interview, and it's a good read.  It's infuriating at times, and while I can understand Moore's POV about why "Watchmen" works best as a comic, I also think he's selling everyone involved short, and that sort of sucks, especially considering how much respect they've all paid to him throughout the entire process.  Seems shabby, if you ask me.

I love the "Inglorious Basterds" trailer.  Love it, love it, love it.  I'm so tired of the "I hate Quentin Tarantino and I only like his first two films" pose that so many people strike right now.  Great.  You don't like his work?  Don't see it.  That way I won't have to listen to the hipster hot air in the lobby after the movie.  "Grindhouse" was awesome as a theatrical experience, and I really dig "Death Proof."  I think Quentin is absolutely making movies for himself these days, and that's all I would ask of him.  I don't want QT to start worrying about what "fans" want, since fans are such fickle bitches most of the time.  I want him to follow his own personal muse, and right now, I'm really excited about what "Inglorious Basterds" could be.  And I'm starting to really get the casting choices he made... by making the Basterds into a bunch of unassuming character actors, short Jewish guys who would never be the leads in an action film, the payoff could be much bigger than if he'd gone the big movie star action movie route.  Eli Roth, in particular, looks like the film's big surprise.  That smile of his halfway through the trailer, or the baseball bat to the head... looking good.

Tom Cruise.  Denzel Washington.  Robert Ludlum.  And.... David Cronenberg?!  This sounds wacky.

A few days ago, I ran a link as part of The Morning Read to a piece that Devin over at CHUD wrote about the slasher film.  Now, over at Film School Rejects, they've run a response, defending the subgenre as art.  And this is what I love about horror films... even at their most base, there's a subtext to them that encourages this sort of heated debate.  Where do you fall on the subject?  Does slash mean trash, or is there room for more?

I'm nowhere near as enthusiastic about the "Angels & Demons" trailer as I am about "Inglorious Basterds," but I will say this... it looks better than I expected.  For one thing, I forgot Ewan McGregor is in it.  I hope this year marks a return to pop consciousness for McGregor, who's been keeping a low profile the last few years.  But it looks like Ron Howard is aware of what a drag that first film was, and he's amped this entire movie up.  Dan Brown writes pulp, and if you're going to make a film of his stuff, you can't treat it like serious drama... you have to embrace that pulp and really turn it all up to a ridiculous level.  That could make this one fun if they pull it off.

The Indians have this funny feeling that it is, indeed, written.

You know what basketball really needs to make it exciting?  Broken bones and bloodshed.  Thanks, Thailand!

And speaking of broken bones and Thailand, you should check out Vern's review of "Chocolate."  Vern is a wise man.  Listen to Vern.

When even Kim's Video is closing, we are facing a weird moment in the short history of home video.

Kirby Dots is a brand new blog, but if every article is as well-written as today's look back at Michael Mann's "Thief," then I'll be a regular reader.

A great, great, great read over at GreenCine today about The New Depression Cinema.

My friend Scott is going to pop a rod when he sees the new Rubik's Cube.

I've got to go pick up that new book about the history of "Sesame Street."  I hear it's amazing.  In the meantime, how about some backstory on many of our favorite Muppets?

This next link isn't new, but it's new to me, and it's a story worth reading.  It's about the biggest-name movie pirate online right now, and again... stories like this matter because they have something to say about how people are actually digesting media right now.  Not how Hollywood wants them to, but how they really are.  aXXo is a celebrity to a certain group of movie fans now, and I don't see how that's going to change any time soon.

Finally, over at Ain't It Cool, the lovely Yoko has posted this week's edition of her new music column.  I'm sort of infatuated with Lilly Allen right now, and since I'm headed to Amoeba this afternoon, I need some recommendations for new music worth checking out.  Always a good read, and I think Yoko (or Patricia, as some have been known to call her) is getting better each week.

Now it's time to go prep those "Friday the 13th" interviews for you and then I've got a full day before the first of this week's two secret screenings.  Busy days, as always.

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