Welcome to The Morning Read.

Since Hollywood tried to get a jump on the holiday weekend, everything opened on Wednesday, so "Public Enemies" and "Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs" are both playing wide, and for anyone who feels like they just didn't get enough Nia Vardalos with "My Life In Ruins" last month, her new film "I Hate Valentine's Day" is opening limited.  How much you want to bet her character doesn't reeeeeally hate it?  Hmmm?

Fourth of July weekend normally means the news cycle slows down to a crawl, but already this morning, Sarah Palin announced she's resigning from politics and the New Beverly announced they're bringing The Movie Orgy back in August.  I can't handle a "slow day" like this.  I am troubled by rumors that Palin's resigning because she is the one who killed Jeff Goldblum, and I hope there is swift and terrible and hopefully dinosaur-oriented justice in the days ahead.

I can't believe I forgot to run this link in one of the Morning Reads already.  For a truly great interview with Jody Hill on all things "East Bound And Down," check out part one of /Film's talk.  Part two isn't up yet, but I'm sure it'll be equally awesome.  Jody is one of those guys who hasn't learned that you're supposed to never tell the truth in interviews and you have to only say the "right thing," and I hope to god he never learns those lessons.  He's way too cool for Hollywood to ruin.  I hope.

[more after the jump]

My buddy Kevin sent this link out on Twitter today.  As he put it, "Prepare to lose yourself for days."  If you don't know who Eddie Deezen is... trust me... you know who Eddie Deezen is.  And if you're already aware of the gravitational pull the Deez exerts, prepare to bask in his glory.

RT @DougBenson  CNN: "Was Michael Jackson abusing drugs?" Well, maybe he didn't abuse drugs, but he definitely had inappropriate sleepovers with them.

Brad Bird is what we in the business call "a good interview."  Smart, passionate, always has something to say.  And Nancy Cartwright has a special connection to Mr. Bird, having been there during his run on "The Simpsons."  Little surprise, then, that she should deliver a truly great conversation with him over at Animation World Magazine.

I feel bad for anyone who takes a hit in expected earnings during an economy like this, but in this particular case, I don't mind so much.  I hate that certain LA locations get used over and over and over and over and over... it homogenizes movies and TV to a distracting degree.  Find a new damn school to shoot, folks.  Please.

This painting is incredible.  And the Farrah Fawcett poster is the cherry on that particular sundae.

Look! It's like a really arty English version of the Alamo's Rolling Roadshow... and as a bonus, you get Tilda Swinton running the popcorn machine, I think.

There's only one thing wrong with this McSweeney's article, and that is the title.  Let's get something straight, Mr. Benjamin Percy... nothing is ruined by cookies.  NOTHING.  EVER.

RT @JoeRogendotnet  Life gives you lemons?  Make some motherfucking lemonade. I wanna party with this little dude.

This is an old article, but I just saw it, and it's wort wasting some time with this weekend.  Besides, who doesn't love to argue with a list, particularly a list of the top 50 movie effects shots of all time?

And speaking of lists, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell put together a list on Funny Or Die of the 14 Films You Should See Before You Die.  I don't agree with all of them, but anyone who is out there trying to get people to watch "Cinema Paradiso" is a goddamn hero in my book.

Oh, Harlan.  One of the great surreal events of my life was getting called out by Harlan Ellison at a screening of "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," then watching him hop offstage, storm up the aisle, embrace and kiss me, then head back to finish a Q&A.  I love this guy as a writer, but more than that... I love the way he still bristles over the insane horseshit that defines the business side of show business:

 

 

Preach it, sir.  That clip is from the aforementioned film, which you really should track down and see.

Why do the hardest of the hardcore fanboys really freak me out?  Follow this link, then scroll about halfway down to where Mark Waid tells his story about a trip to a Vermont comic book store for a signing.  Sums it all up.  Only fanboys would do that.

"Tokyo Gore Police" made me laugh like a hyena when I saw it at Fantastic Fest.  I can't imagine why "Robogeisha" wouldn't do the same.  If you still haven't see the trailer, allow me to complete your life for you:

 

 

You can thank me later.

Barring someone writing something truly piercing and illuminating, I think I'm done posting links to stuff about "Transformers 2" for now.  But I'll leave you with Vern's review, well worth your time, and the lovely Megan Fox, who seems to be engaged in a war of words with Michael Bay in public right now, which delights me to no end.  I'm on team Megan, by the way.  Michael Bay seems to think he discovered Nic Cage, and as much as that makes me laugh, it's also so patently insane that I'm just going to back out of the room without making any sudden moves.

After you read Vern's review, you may be in the right frame of mind for the next five links I've got for you.  They're all sort of tangentially related, and part of a larger conversation that's ongoing right now.  First, let's pretend we're all Michael Bay, and we just read Vern's review.  Can't imagine that feels very good, right?  So what do you do?  Do you get mad?  Do you swear to get even?  Or do you just ignore it, knowing that your work is your work, and different people will have different reactions?  I know... some critics belive that their word is akin to Holy Writ, and that can be maddening.  But in the end, it really doesn't matter.  Critics don't make movies into hits, and they don't stop terrible movies from making money.  These days, with blockbuster filmmaking having become as gutless and second-guessed as it is, the only real value in criticism is if you enjoy the read.  If it means something to you, it's valuable, and if it doesn't, then it's just part of the white noise of pop culture.  There are very few giants left, it seems, and those of us who write about film can't do it because we believe we're going to change anyone's mind... rather, our job is to simply draw our own personal line in the sand, and anyone who feels like joining us is free to do so.

RT @BrianLynch  Run! The delicious chocolate Ronald Reagan has come to life!

And finally, this one goes out to Greg, our editor, as he starts his holiday weekend.  You're good on a court... but can you do this?

 

 

Yeah, me, neither.  Wow.

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.