<p>Natalie Portman and Emily Blunt are both set to go 'on point' in upcoming and intriguing roles</p>

Natalie Portman and Emily Blunt are both set to go 'on point' in upcoming and intriguing roles

TMR: Stephen Chow leaves 'Green Hornet,' Blunt and Portman dance, and a 'G.I. Joe' review

Plus did Ryan Reynolds ditch 'Deadpool'?

Welcome to The Morning Read.

This is the third... YES, THIRD... false start on the column today.  I'm having monstrous computer issues this morning.  Let's see if I can get through this in baby steps, because I am having a hard time writing more than three lines before my computer throws up and runs screaming around the room for ten minutes.

It's not all bad news today, of course.  Vern declared "Spawn" the worst comic book movie of all time, so Wednesday's got that going for it.

And speaking of comic books and superheroes, when our own Greg Ellwood interviewed Michel Gondry back in April, Gondry suggested that the involvement of Stephen Chow as Kato was, at best, an unresolved question.  Now, unsurprisingly, Chow has left the film.  I couldn't imagine a scenario where he stepped aside as director but stayed on to play a supporting character.  I'm so curious to see what Gondry and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are putting together, and I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing that Chow's gone.  All depends on how Kato's written and what Gondry wants from him.

This is an important conversation for all of us who are writing online these days, because trust me... things are changing out there.  I have no idea what the internet's going to look like five years from now or even a year from now... but I guarantee that our media diets are only going to get more complex and that the number of voices out there involved in the media will only increase.

Great article about marriage that was originally linked to on Twitter by Dave Chen, of Slashfilmcast infamy, and it ties in nicely to an interview with Bill Hader that was shot for "Paper Heart," and which is online now:

[more after the jump]

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<p>Beyonce doesn't like the new title, fellas... don't you think you could change it back?</p>

Beyonce doesn't like the new title, fellas... don't you think you could change it back?

Credit: SPHE

Movie Diary: 'Obsessed,' MST3K, and Fred Durst

Plus an unnamed entry in the Must-See series

Monday was a day at home, so I had some time to watch, starting in Monday's wee hours, just after midnight.

Can't tell you what the first film was, though.  And, yes, I'm aware that goes against the idea of keeping a movie diary like this, but this is the next entry in the Motion/Captured Must-See series, and I don't want to reveal the title till the review runs tomorrow.  It's the "W" entry in the alphabetical list, and that's all I'll say for now.  It was just as good as I remembered, too.

What else did I watch? Well...

"Obsessed" (BluRay)

First, if it's true that this was originally called "Oh, No, She Didn't," and they ended up changing it to "Obsessed" before release, then the system failed and they left a pile of money on the table, because that title is about 50 pounds of awesome.  I'm happy to see Idris Elba play the lead in anything, and he's good as a man whose office temp (Ali Larter) becomes infatuated with him, threatening his life with his wife (Beyonce Knowles) as things spin into a "Fatal Attraction" downward spiral.  It's formula all the way, and silly, but if the catfight would have lasted a full half-hour, I'd feel better about recommending it.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Christopher Lloyd heads up the Klingons out to destroy the Enterprise in 'Star Trek III: The Search For Spock'</p>

Christopher Lloyd heads up the Klingons out to destroy the Enterprise in 'Star Trek III: The Search For Spock'

Credit: Paramount Home Video

My BluRay Shelf: How 'Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock' taught my son to cheat

The 'treading water' part of the 'Star Trek' trilogy has some pulp charms

I wrote in my last review about seeing Toshi cry for the first time at a movie when the full impact of Spock's death hit him, and I got a lot of mail from you guys about it.  Some of you liked that I didn't ruin the third film for him, and some of you thought I was cruel for putting him through that.  I just want him to have pure experiences with movies as much as possible, separate from hype and expectation.  It's a good way for me to remind myself what it's like to simply watch and digest, without all the noise that surrounds the release of any film these days.

When we sat down to watch the third film in the series, I didn't tell him what it was called or what it was about.  Instead, we just jumped in, and he immediately got caught up in the events, which makes sense as they pick up immediately from where "Wrath of Khan" leaves off, starting with a recap of the ending and the death of Spock.  As soon as Toshi saw the Genesis planet again and the movie got rolling, he made the natural connection.  "Daddy, that's where they put Spock's body! They can get him and they can make him alive, right?"

Okay, so he's not a doctor.

But he did inherently grasp the notion of a narrative cheat, and more than that, he seemed delighted by the idea that a character who dies doesn't have to stay dead.  I remember a fair amount of grumbling the summer this one came out, but I think it makes a really nice connective piece between "Wrath of Khan" and "The Voyage Home," and although I do think it's a massive cheat to have killed Spock in one film and brought him back immediately, I also think it's handled as well as one could possibly ask, considering.

[more after the jump]

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<p>No, that's not the white Snoop Dogg... it's Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and his sidekick Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) from their TV series 'The Mighty Boosh,' new to DVD in the US</p>

No, that's not the white Snoop Dogg... it's Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and his sidekick Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) from their TV series 'The Mighty Boosh,' new to DVD in the US

Credit: BBC Video

Movie Diary: 'Surveillance,' 'Push,' and 'The Mighty Boosh'

Plus 'RIP - A Remix Manifesto' and some catalog BluRay

No matter how much I write, it never seems to be enough.

I think the purpose of this blog, more than anything, should be to keep an ongoing and evolving record of everything I'm watching and reading and playing, and then to offer up long-form reactions to those things as they warrant.  And no matter how many hours a week I put in, I only ever seem to write about a percentage of it all.

That has to change.

And since there's no way I'm going to cut back on the number of movies I see and I'm not going to suddenly discover more hours in a day, something else has to change.

So let's try this.  At the end of each day, I'll post my thoughts on everything viewed that day.  In some cases, I will later write a full review, and in some cases, I won't.  Just depends on how much more there is to say.

In a perfect world, this will eventually allow me to cover, to some extent, every single thing I watch.  I'm sure this will take some time to snap into focus as a column and as a habit, but I'm betting this can relieve at least a little of the self-generating stress I almost always feel these days.

Let's start by recapping the weekend we just wrapped up, which should give you some indication of the format for the column and just how much I watch in an average day.

"The Mighty Boosh"
Series 2, Disc 1

I'm late to the party on this show.  I've seen bits and pieces of it over the years, but it's only in the last week since the DVDs of all three series of the show arrived here at the house that I've been immersing myself in the bizarre alternate reality created by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Cheech and Chong's reunion has proven real fun for fans, and today they riff on 'Tron' as part of the Cinemash series</p>

Cheech and Chong's reunion has proven real fun for fans, and today they riff on 'Tron' as part of the Cinemash series

Credit: Getty Images

TMR: Cheech & Chong do 'Tron,' Spike Lee looks back, and 'Treevenge' is online

Plus this week's DVD and BluRay releases

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Anyone else already want a do-over for this week?

There's plenty to talk about, though, so that's good.  I'd rather have too much to discuss and not enough time than the other way around, I guess.

There's a handful of interesting new titles on DVD and BluRay this week.  "Mad Men: Season Two" is one I'm going to have to pick up.  I didn't watch the first season till home video, but I'm assuming I'll enjoy this new season just as much.  I still don't believe "The State" is really out on DVD now.  Until I am actually watching the sketches I remember, I won't believe it.  It's just taken so long, and there have been so many setbacks.  Amazing.  I know "The Towering Inferno" is trash, but it's Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, so it's entertaining trash, and now it's on BluRay, so it's high-def entertaining trash.  Works for me.  I've got the new box set of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"/"Curse Of The Golden Flower"/"House of Flying Daggers" BluRays, but the only one I didn't already own was CTHD, and I'm thrilled to add that to the stack of things to watch this week.  The insane Spanish horror film "[REC]" comes out today.  If you saw "Quarantine," the American remake, you've basically seen this film, but the Spanish original is absolutely terrifying, and worth tracking down for horror fans.  "Dakota Skye" is a microbudget charmer about a girl whose superpower is hearing the truth within any lie, and the turmoil that causes for her.  And finally, Criterion's got a BluRay version of the amazing NASA documentary "For All Mankind" coming out this week that I positively covet.

And why are they releasing it this week?  Could it be because this is the 40th anniversary of the moon landing?  If you want to relive the experience, or if you're like me and you weren't even alive when we first landed on the moon, then by all means... check out this awesome real-time recreation of what it was like.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Jemaine Clement stars in 'Gentlemen Broncos," the opening night film of Fantastic Fest 2009</p>

Jemaine Clement stars in 'Gentlemen Broncos," the opening night film of Fantastic Fest 2009

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Fantastic Fest 2009 releases first list of titles

'Robo Geisha,' Jess Franco and Jemaine Clement live, and... Uwe Boll?!

They've only announced thirty or so titles so far, but already Fantastic Fest 2009 is shaping up as another amazing assortment of titles from around the world, shattering the envelope as frequently and gleefully as possible.

I'll be there, right after HitFix wraps up its coverage of this year's Toronto Film Festival, and I can't wait for the craziness.  Here's a rundown of what's already been announced, and some comments on the films I'm particularly excited to see.

The opening night movie is the latest comedy from Jared Hess, "Gentlemen Broncos," starring Jemaine "Flight Of The Conchords" Clement.  Here's a description:

A couple of months ago, the Fantastic Fest programming team had the pleasure of viewing an early cut of Gentlemen Broncos and absolutely loved it. In his third film, Hess continues to craft his very rich alternate-reality universe dominated by awkward but lovable losers, inappropriate fabric pairings and charmingly homespun handicrafts. The themes of creativity and fantasy (let alone the interspersed movie-within-a-movie recreations of our protagonist's sci-fi epic Yeast Lords) make this the perfect film to kick off the 5th edition of Fantastic Fest. We will be announcing more details about this very special screening and after-party in subsequent press releases, but suffice it to say we are ecstatic to be kicking off the festival with the likes of director Jared Hess, screenwriter Jerusha Hess and star Jemaine Clement live in person.

Benjamin (Michael Angarano), home-schooled by his eccentric mother (Jennifer Coolidge), is a lovable loner whose passion for writing leads him on an offbeat and hilarious journey as his story first gets ripped off by the legendary fantasy novelist, Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement) and then is adapted into a disastrous movie by the small town's most prolific homespun filmmaker. Find out more at the official site.

So that's how things kick off... where's it go from there?

[more after the jump]

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<p>Comedian Aziz Ansari has struck gold with a character featured in Judd Apatow's 'Funny People' later this month</p>

Comedian Aziz Ansari has struck gold with a character featured in Judd Apatow's 'Funny People' later this month

TMR: Matthew Vaughn talks 'Kick-Ass,' and Aziz Ansari takes Raaaaaaaandy off the leash

Plus arthouse spoilers, a 'Limey' sequel, and a new music video Spike Jonze loves

Welcome to The Morning Read.

I have a tendency to overdo these on Monday morning and be totally out of things to post by Friday, so let's try to make this a solid but not ridiculous one.

Here's a question:  why is it okay to ruin Lars Von Triers's "Anti-Christ" in every single article written about it?  Whether someone likes a film or not is irrelevant.  There are some things you don't reveal about a movie, especially one that won't be out in the U.S. until October.  I had a chance to see the film last week, so I'm not upset personally... but I would have been if I'd stumbled across either this article or this one.  They're both good reads after you've seen the movie, but not before.  Heck, even the name of the first article is a huuuuuuuuge spoiler for the film.

I like this interview a lot.  I like it when people interview below-the-line crew who wouldn't normally get interviewed.  You can hear great stories if you do that.

Great interview on AICN by Mr. Beaks, talking to Matthew Vaughn about where "Kick-Ass" is at the moment.

A Soderbergh sequel to "The Limey," with Terence Stamp again?  Yes, please.  There seems to be some disagreement about whether the proposed co-star of the film is Michael Caine or Michael Keaton, but either way, I'm curious, and ready to see how they'd follow-up one of my favorite of Soderbergh's movies.

Okay... you ready for the main event in today's Morning Read?  Aziz Ansari has a small role in Judd Apatow's new film "Funny People," and in the final cut of the movie, it's really just a couple of appearances.  A hint of a character.  But Aziz has been working out with this character for a while now, and he actually shot a documentary about the character, and Funny Or Die has part one now:

[more after the jump]

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<p>James Cameron and Sam Worthington on-set for 'Avatar,' just one of dozens of major projects that will be represented at this year's San Diego Comic-Con</p>

James Cameron and Sam Worthington on-set for 'Avatar,' just one of dozens of major projects that will be represented at this year's San Diego Comic-Con

Credit: 20th Century Fox

SDCC 2009: What is Motion/Captured going to cover at Comic-Con?

And how many clones will it take to get it all done?

Yep.  I'm going back to Comic-Con.

It's been a while.  For the last seven or eight years, I've done everything I can to avoid the event, just because it's so huge and at a certain point, my crowd claustrophobia kicks in and I start wanting to jump off a building.

But now that HitFix is planning to hit San Diego as a team, I'm onboard and ready to do the whole thing, from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday evening, and I'm excited to get started.  The first thing to do is go through the insane and unweildy schedule and try to figure out what I'm planning for the four days and preview night that now make up San Diego Comic-Con.

I'm surprised to see them doing actual screenings on Wednesday night, but I like the idea.  I actually wish they were having at least one of the big films screen that night, too, just to help relieve some of the logjam that's building up on every single night of the event.  There are things that haven't even been announced yet, and my dance card's already waaaaaay too full.

And, yes, there are some big giant events that are must-sees, like the premiere of the "Avatar" footage, but there's a lot of little stuff I'm just as excited about, and hopefully I'll highlight some of that in this column as well.

In addition, there are things that I know are happening that aren't listed on the website yet, so I'll be posting more follow-up stories as we get closer so if there's something fun happening, hopefully you can be there to see it with me.

I'm going to categorize things as either "WILL SEE" or "MIGHT SEE," just based on time constraints.  Let's see at the end of things how close I come to actually keeping this proposed schedule, and we'll all have a good laugh, I'm sure.

[more after the jump]

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<p>Paul Rust, Lauren Storm, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Carpenter, and Lauren London react to just one of the night's threats in 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'</p>

Paul Rust, Lauren Storm, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Carpenter, and Lauren London react to just one of the night's threats in 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'

Credit: AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Joe Lederer

The Motion/Captured Review: 'I Love You, Beth Cooper'

Chris Columbus delivers a low-key charmer that's uneven but worthwhile

Her name was Florencia Bess.

Yes, I had a Beth Cooper.  She wasn't the head cheerleader or unattainable because she was at some unreachable social stratus.  I dated in high school, had girlfriends, had friends.  I don't identify with the knock-kneed nerd in films who never figures out how to talk to girls, because I realized early on that I was never going to date unless I figured that out.  But there were certain girls... and I'm sure this is true for everyone... who stood so far outside the standard definition of "girls," that they seemed to explode every rule I knew, and because of that, no amount of experience helped.

She made it worse by being sweet and funny and easy to talk to, and when we both worked the same after-school job, she was absolutely part of the same peer group.  It's just that when I'd try to express just how much she impacted me, I couldn't.  Looking back now, I know that what I was feeling wasn't "love."  It was more akin to chemical overload.  She overwhelmed me when I was around her.  She made me write buckets of bad poetry.  And on those rare occasions I actually got all the neurons firing, I would profess my love to her.  Over and over.  And yet I couldn't understand why that didn't lead to a first date.  Obviously I was just as suffocating as she was overwhelming, and just as I had no experience with adoring someone to that degree, she had no experience with being adored to that degree.

"I Love You, Beth Cooper" is ostensibly a teen comedy in the tradition of John Hughes in the '80s or "American Pie" or "Fast Times At Ridgmont High."  And both in book form and on film, there are any number of references to other classics of the genre, nods in structure or in scenes or in the ways author Larry Doyle subverts our expectations.  But there's more to it, and that's why I guess I'm a little puzzled by the knee-jerk rejection of this film by so many.  There's some real meat on this one in the way it examines the distance between the fantasy we can build in our heads of someone and the reality that we'd have to confront if we actually got to know the person, something that cuts right to the heart of desire in all its forms:  how often do we really want the thing we think we want, and how often does it really make us happy when we get it?

[more after the jump]

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<p>William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy during the emotional climax of the best-loved 'Star Trek' film</p>

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy during the emotional climax of the best-loved 'Star Trek' film

Credit: Paramount Home Video

My BluRay Shelf: 'Star Trek 2: Wrath Of Khan' The overwhelming fan favorite considered

Why is 'Star Trek 2' the best-loved of the series? Does it hold up?

At first, it was going to be a return to the small screen.  "Star Trek II" was the name of a TV show.  And as they're putting it together, they're starting to realize that it's not a TV series like they thought at first but, instead, should be a big-screen big-budget motion picture to compete with "Star Wars."  Because LOOK AT ALL THE MONEY!

So they make a movie instead in 1979, and they spend a lot of money on it and they hire a huge famous director... but they really don't do anything like "Star Wars" at all.  And that's to their credit.  They decided that they weren't going to imitate it in terms of structure or style or storytelling.  They made a "Star Trek" movie, definitely... although I'd argue that Wise is also sort of obviously madly in love with "2001" to some extent.  And that movie, that film that is sort of uncompromised and a best-effort and genuinely sort of ambitious and daring... tanks.

Relatively speaking.  It wasn't so embarrassing that people were fired, but it wasn't the cultural sensation Paramount was hoping for.  Gee, can you imagine a summer where a "Star Trek" film came out and made $250 million?  Crazy, right?  Never happen.  But at Paramount, they had to be thinking that Lucas was doing something right, and it was something they were doing wrong. 

Because "The Empire Strikes Back" came out, and it was another monster hit.  So you'd better believe that when they went to camera with a second "Star Trek" movie, they were a lot more open to the idea of turning up the space opera and turning down the Roddenberry.  Literally, with the replacement of the show's creator by new producer Harve Bennett, who was the one who picked the episode "Space Seed" and suggested creating a sequel to it, bringing back a villain from the show so that they could play off of an established history.  Sort of like having an Empire that... you know... strikes back. 

The result is what gave them the rest of the franchise.  It was a turning point, and at the moment they absolutely had to do it, they stuck the landing.

[more after the jump]

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