It's Tax Day, and that means... well, nothing, actually.  Just hope you got your taxes filed without suffering from a prolapsed anything.  I'm learning that the greatest reward to having two kids, a mortgage that makes me feel like I'm being chased by a bear 24/7, and a constant lack of money is that Tax Day doesn't hurt nearly as bad as it used to.  I'll chalk that up as a small victory.

I wouldn't have thought to do a tax-related movie post, but the fine folks over at Spoutblog did, and they have up a charming list of 10 Likable Tax Agents from movies.  Well-played.

Got a tax refund coming?  Maybe you can waste it the way I plan to.  And for the record, whoever outbids me on Rick Deckard's gun is a bastard, and I will karate punch you in the dirty-bidness the next time I see you.

Say what you will about Brett Ratner, but this is a cool move.  There are so many great film books that have gone out of print over the years, and if he's planning on re-publishing some great obscure texts, then that scores him some serious karma points as far as I'm concerned.  This is nothing but win for film fans, and I'm curious to take a look at this first batch of titles he's got planned.

[more after the jump]

Have you seen the new footage from "Inglourious Basterds" that premiered last night during "American Idol"?  The Weinstein Company sent out a slightly longer version of that, and Film School Rejects had the clip up first this morning.  You can see our very own embedded version here:

 

 

Thoughts?  I was intrigued by our first look at Mike Myers in the film, and I love Pitt's "business is boomin'" line.  Can't wait.

Is it just me, or is the Lindsay Lohan "Funny Or Die" video actually kind of sad?

 

 

I don't even think that demonstrates a basic grasp of comic timing.  Whoever wrote the text is funny in a "oh, yeah, like in the tabloids" sort of way, but Lohan looks terrible in the video, and more than that, she sounds terrible.  Marble-mouthed, rushing through every beat... it's just depressing.  Keep in mind, this girl was directed by Robert Fucking Altman in his last time at bat, and this is what she's been reduced to?  At this rate, she should be chatting in line at the Movie Star Unemployment Office with Tara Reid any day now.

And yet we're all drawn to the bonfire of celebrity in free-fall, and we love to warm our hands on other people's crazy.  Elsewhere online this morning, the conversation is about John McTiernan and his new theory that the entire Anthony Pellicano case was engineered to destroy Democrats.  Keep in mind, this is a guy who once had one of the best runs of action films from any director in film history, a 1-2-3 punch of "Predator," "Die Hard," and "The Hunt For Red October."  Now, he's lucky to get offered a "Rollerball" remake and his energy is spent making axe-grinding documentaries about Karl Rove.

 

 

Really?  Oh, McT... you're breaking my heart, dude.

By the way... what the hell is the Hollywood Reporter thinking?  I don't want to sound like a broken record, but there's a fine line between reporting on illegal activities and actively encouraging them.  When the HR starts running a list of the most downloaded movies of the week like it's the Nielsen ratings, something's gone terribly wrong.  I can't imagine any of the studios being excited by that list, or what purpose the trade thinks it's serving by running that list.  Knowles pointed this out on Twitter, and I share his puzzlement in terms of why this is in one of the town's two trade publications.

I am always fascinated by stories about films that almost happened and then didn't, and The Playlist did a nice job interviewing Greg Mottola about "Life Of The Party," the film he almost made after "The Daytrippers."

Remind me not to travel with either of these guys.

Over at Cartoon Brew, Amid's got a really interesting look at Xtranormal, online automatic animation software.  It's crude, but there's potential there, and Amid talks about how he sees something like this impacting the future of animation in general.  Of course, all the software in the world doesn't make a difference without human ingenuity, and one guy working by himself can still turn out a masterpiece, which is one of the reasons I adore animation:

 

 

Tell me that doesn't impress you.  Go ahead, liar.

It's been too long since I've seen new work from Chris Cunningham, and if sixty seconds is all I get, that's what I'll take, particularly when it ends with an image as ecstatic and gorgeous as this commercial does.

Okay... on that note, I'm off to get some more material ready for you for today, including my "State of Play" review, today's Motion/Captured Must-See, and more.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn't.

Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.

Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.

Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.