Welcome to The Morning Read.
What an amazing night. If you haven't been lucky enough to see "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" in Los Angeles and you're a fan of the character, let me just say that Paul Reubens absolutely still has a handle on what people love about that creation, and the show is preposterous amounts of fun. That, followed by the two-hour "Lost" premiere here at the house with Quint and Kraken from Ain't It Cool and "Brothers Bloom" director Rian Johnson, made for a great but late evening, especially since I had to write up my "Lost" recap afterwards and then get up at 8:30 this morning for a life insurance physical.
If you're like me, you probably wanted to follow up "Lost" today with some reading on the subject, and a good place to start would be with this conversation with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse over at EW.com. They talk about their overall plan for this year, but they keep things just vague enough to be delightfully maddening. I'm amused by the people who have already started bitching about the ending of the series after just seeing the season premiere, but not surprised. This show has always been a magnet for naysayers, and in almost every case I've read, I think they are reacting to their own expectations and not what they're actually watching. You can find another worthwhile Lindelof interview over at Collider as well.
I want. MEGO-style "Venture Brothers" figures? Dear god, I want.
The A.V. Club is sort of rocking it these days. You should read their interview with Aziz Ansari, primarily because Aziz is freakin' awesome and his new CD kills, and then you should follow that up with the full meal that is Nathan Rabin's look at the nightmarishly awful film "Shortcut To Happiness." What's that? You've never heard of that film? Oh, the pain you have ahead. Enjoy. Wrap that up with their excellent introduction to Chantel Akerman, and you have a good idea of why I constantly feel like an amateur when I look at what these guys are doing as a team.
This seems like a recipe for disaster. Totally awesome and hilarious disaster. I expect the Failblog will have to add a section just for people using this thing.
Seen the new "Bioshock 2" trailer yet?
That, folks, is how you sell a video game.
And speaking of how to sell things, I think they got the title of this article wrong. It should be "15 totally awesome taglines that rock so hard The Huffington Post can't handle it!" Tell me I'm wrong. I dare you. I mean, really... "Sea Evil"? Genius. End of debate.
Hey, check out the big brain on Neill Blomkamp:
Okay, smarty pants... one little Best Picture nomination and suddenly you're giving incredibly smart and thoughtful lectures. Sheeeesh.
Latino Review broke the story about the brewing legal battle between Lee Zlotoff, creator of "MacGyver," and the folks behind the upcoming "MacGruber" film, and then The Hollywood Reporter followed up on it. My take? Zlotoff should shut the hell up. Parody laws have been well-established in America for a reason, and if he's not happy about it, no one cares. Parody is protected, and it has nothing to do with how long or short the parody is, or how close to the target it strikes. He will lose, he will waste time and money, and in a worst-case scenario, he may get his ass countersued into oblivious by a rightfully angry Universal, whose release date and campaign might get temporarily screwed up by this dink. You know what I'd say if I were Universal?
Oh my god, have you seen the new Massive Attack video yet? It's like the ending to "Watchmen" as imagined by... well... Massive Attack:
And speaking of "Watchmen," this disturbs me.
Thanks to a link Roger Ebert posted on Twitter, I now have enough material for at least a month's worth of fresh nightmares. Thanks, Rog.
And speaking of Ebert, I envy this dude his amazing collection of amazing Alamo Drafthouse posters, including his awesome "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls" one. I wish my wife would let me spend all of our money on ephemera like this without me having to worry she will punch me in the face while I'm asleep. *Sigh*
While we're on the subject of envy, I was told Chris Morris wasn't at Sundance this year, so imagine my surprise when I read this excellent interview with the elusive comedy legend. I'm telling you... "Four Lions" is the real deal. I hope someone in America grows the stones to put it out, post-haste.
Until Academy members are actually required to read screenplays, I agree with this point. Just because you like a movie doesn't mean you have any idea what existed on the page, and voting for a screenplay based on what you see onscreen is bizarre.
Want to see an even better picture than the awesome Chevy/Belushi photo above?
Oh, Mr. Tucci... I don't blame you at all, but might I suggest sunglasses?
This next article genuinely disturbs and upsets me, because I know how hard I work when I'm at a festival or even when I'm at home. I sweat over every single thing I publish, even if it's something as "simple" as recapping a TV show episode. I take seriously the idea that I am bringing you guys original content in my own voice, and even in a column like this one, where I'm linking out to other people's material, I want to make sure that you always know that the words are mine, and the ideas are mine. There is no excuse for being lazy, and there's absolutely no excuse for plagiarism. So the accusations leveled at Paul Fischer of Moviehole and Dark Horizons, to name a few, are just staggering. It really should result in a major punishment of some kind, and at the very least, the loss of accreditation by any self-respecting festival. This is a grotesque example of how people in the information age should be prepared to be called out for this sort of thing, and how you can't hide it, no matter how hard you try. The scariest thought? What if he doesn't even know what he did was wrong?
I'll leave you with a charming Mel Gibson moment...
... and just say that I love anyone who reveals their human side while working the soul-crushing grind of publicizing a movie. Especially when that human response comes from someone who is obviously pushing a gossip-based agenda.
I've got some things to do this afternoon that are vaguely embargo-y, but I'll be back later tonight with reviews of two more significant Sundance titles that I've been mulling over since I got home. See you then, and tomorrow, look for the last installment in the alphabetical run of the Motion/Captured Must-See Project.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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