Welcome to The Morning Read.

I think what I've realized is that "The Morning Read" doesn't refer to "an article you read first thing in the morning," but rather "a collection of what I read in the morning," which means that this 1:00 (or so) post time makes sense.

Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

It's been a long weekend of recovery from some surgery, and I'm still sore and grumpy.  I'm hoping today's screening of "Bruno" makes me forget all of that.  It's a big week in general, with set visits and interviews and all sorts of running around to do.  I've got a big group going to see "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen" tonight, and I'm dying to hear their thoughts on the IMAX presentation when they're done.  I'm also thinking of doing something tonight that takes me back to my old school sneaky-ass AICN roots, so we'll see how that goes.

Mike Binder, the director of films like "The Upside of Anger" and "Reign Over Me," was good enough to contribute to one of my Vacation Read pieces while I was gone recently, and now he's got a new website he asked me to share with you guys, called Jokeyphone.  Basically, it's a user-driven YouTube for jokes.  Take a look.

That same Vacation Read also featured a contribution from the fine folks who make up DERRICK Comedy, and they've just relocated to Los Angeles from New York.  D.C. Pierson is keeping a journal of the first 100 days they spend here, and so far, it's a great, funny, insightful look at this bizarro fun park I've called home for almost 20 years now.  I'm flashing back on my first few months in town as I read what they're going through, and it's worth checking every day.

Some things go viral and spread across the internet because of a sort of gleeful schadenfreude, and there's no denying that people love watching other people's misery and sorrow, especially if it's funny.  But I love it when things spread like wildfire because they are inspirational or because they reach us on some basic human level, like the story of Colby Curtin, the 10-year-old girl who Pixar reached out to as she lay dying of cancer, determined to see "Up" before she went.  There was the original story, which detailed how Pixar brought the film to her home to share with her in her final hours.  And then there's the follow-up story about how much that original piece moved people around the world.  Little wonder.  Pixar, you are a class act all the way.

[more after the jump]

Ouch.  It's funny because it's true.

I want this book.  I need this book.  I didn't know it existed until about a half-hour ago, but now my life is incomplete without it.

I've only ever been to about four pubs in England, but for some reason, I dearly love this story anyway.

Oh... did I mention there's a new "Inglourious Basterds" trailer AND IT ROCKS?!?

 

 

Is it August yet?  Please?

And if that wasn't enough to get me worked up this morning, there's also a new trailer for "The Pacific," the follow-up to HBO's amazing "Band Of Brothers."

 

 

Lots of WWII this year, and I'm thrilled.

Paul Schrader asks a phenomenal question in The Guardian, and it's one I've been trying to articulate for a while now.  Hell, it's the whole purpose behind this blog, in my opinion.  With so many options out there now, most people never have a chance to sample even 1/100th of the entertainment choices available to them at any given moment, and cutting through the hype and the noise is harder and harder, creating real fatigue in audiences.  What I hope I do, in some small way, is help you cut through all of that faster to get to the things that might genuinely interest you.  Seriously... read Schrader's piece.  It's outstanding.

Honestly, I think one of the results of this stimulus overload is that people seize on one thing, adopt it as "their thing," and promptly lose all sense of perspective and reality.  It anchors them, but it makes them seem completely loony to anyone else.  I've seen it happen to friends who have become fixated on anything from "Star Wars" to 9/11 to the moon landing, and I honestly believe it's a defensive mechanism against being totally and completely overwhelmed by our information society.  Case in point.  That woman may think she's doing good work out there, but anyone with any perspective can see just how completely she's been consumed by madness.  Fascinating.

Does this worry anyone else?

It's 2009, right?  So... really?  Still?

This is a very old link, but it's new to me, and it's pretty great.  If you've already read it, sorry, but here's a piece about old make-up jobs in movies that still look great when you watch them today.  Good stuff.

I don't know which of these blog entries by Matthew Robinson (co-writer and co-director of "The Invention Of Lying) entertains me more.  Is it "Oh, The Maid List," or is it "Sketch Ideas That I Own"?  Oh, hell, can I just enjoy both?

In light of Perez Hilton crying like a baby today because his karma finally caught up with him, I'd like to offer some widely distributed perspective.  What we do has consequences... some earned, some not... but we put ourselves in harm's way at our own risk, and for various reasons.  For someone like Perez, it's self-aggrandizing horseshit, and hearing him complain he got tapped for it is nauseating, especially when something like this is so fresh in our collective minds.  And be warned... this is profoundly upsetting footage:

 

 

Some people put themselves in harm's way for the right reason.  I'll save my tears for them, thanks.  Neda is the real deal, as are all of the people in the streets in Iran, speaking up for what they want from their country and their government.  Perez... please... shut the fuck up.

 

 

And finally, simply... yes.

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

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