June 27, 2005Animation)
The venerable superhero of the 1990s, The Tick, is back on the air in re-runs. Toon Disney has been airing The Tick every night at 8:00 p.m. ET and ABC's Family Channel has been airing episodes on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. ET. Check local schedules since it seems to vary.
Sadly, neither channel is on my weak basic cable, but it's worth a hearty, "Spoon!" to see The Tick back on TV.
June 24, 2005Extracurricular)
Forbes magazine estimates the real world wealth of Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne, giving him a net worth of $6.3 billion, making him the world's 28th richest person. But you don't need that much cash to be a superhero. They estimate the cost of being a superhero like Batman at a cool $3.4 million.
Dave Hunt wonders if Bill Gates could be a clever civilian disguise for a moonlighting superhero.
For more on Batman, check out 40 Things You Must Know About Batman, loaded with facts and trivia from the entire history of the series, from early comic books to campy 60s TV show, to the 90s franchise, the animated series and the latest revival.
The balcony hecklers, Statler & Waldorf from The Muppets have turned Ebert & Roeper. The two muppets are reviewing movies for Movies.com. The premiere episode includes reviews of War of the Worlds and Bewitched and a special visit by Pepe the King Prawn.
[Of course I can't the video to play right now. Not sure if it's a general problem or a Mac-specific issue.]
June 22, 2005Extracurricular)
Last night CBS aired the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies Quotes. Check out the top 10 movie quotes:
10) "You talking to me?" - Taxi Driver (1976)
9) "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." - All About Eve (1950)
8) "May the Force be with you." - Star Wars (1977)
7) "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - Sunset Blvd. (1950)
6) "Go ahead, make my day." - Sudden Impact (1983)
5) "Here's looking at you, kid." - Casablanca (1942)
4) "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." - The Wizard of Oz (1939)
3) "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." - On the Waterfront (1954)
2) "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." - The Godfather (1972)
1) "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone With the Wind (1939)
June 20, 2005Trailers)
Peter Jackson's latest creation, a remake of King Kong, will make a big splash on June 27 when the trailer premieres simultaneously on nine NBC channels. It has a potential combined audience of 109 million viewers, giving it the widest distribution of any promotional broadcast.
The two-and-half minute King Kong trailer will start on June 27 at 8:59 p.m. ET on NBC, SCI-FI, USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Mun2 and Universal HD. In addition, the Volkswagen web site will get the true worldwide premiere, debuting the trailer online at 8:44 p.m. ET.
The official movie site for King Kong, www.kingkongmovie.com, will also go live at that time. You can official news, including Peter Jackson's production diary, at KongisKing.net.King Kong opens December 14, 2005. (link via InFuze)Business)
A new survey showing that nearly three-fourths of Americans would rather watch a movie at home isn't helping the troubled movie industry. It's all focusing attention on the continued box office slump. This year's revenues are down 6.4% from 2004, though if you don't count the unexpected blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, revenues in 2005 are actually up 2.9%.
If success is only measured by continually beating yourself, it seems inevitable that the industry will have a slump. Movies just don't get that much better.
You'd also think the movie industry would learn from the music industry and take advantage of that 73% who would rather watch a movie at home.
June 19, 2005Business)
Batman Begins opened in theaters this weekend, raking in $46.9 million, falling $10 million below analysts' most conservative estimates. Studio execs are hanging their heads and thinking about writing off the 2005 movie season.
Warner Bros. is trying to be positive, looking to the $71.1 million it has made since it opened on Wednesday. Of course that still falls short of the dismal 1997 Batman & Robin that practically killed the series.
On the other hand the critics seem to enjoy it.
June 17, 2005TV)
In honor of Father's Day (yes, it's this Sunday), TiVo surveyed viewers and came up with TV's top 25 greatest dads.
Top 5 TV Dads:
- Bill Cosby's Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show
- Andy Griffith's Sheriff Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show
- Michael Landon's Pa Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie
- Tom Bosley's Howard Cunningham from Happy Days
- Hugh Beaumont's Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver
The middle of the list has some curious names as well, including Bob Saget's Danny Tanner from Full House and Ray Romano's Raymond Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond. But the bottom of the list is truly priceless:
20) Frank Costanza from Seinfeld
21) Peter Griffin from Family Guy
22) Al Bundy from Married... With Children
23) Homer Simpson from The Simpsons
24) Tony Soprano from The Sopranos
25) Ozzy Osbourne from The Osbournes
June 9, 2005Buzz)
It may be early to pick a best movie of 2005, but I think it's safe to give the nod to Millions. It's a family film by Danny Boyle, which is odd enough if you know Danny Boyle (he's responsible for films like 28 Days Later and Trainspotting). Millions has the same rapid-fire editing and special effects, but it's the magical story of a 7-year-old boy who discovers a small fortune and had to decide how to spend it.
Spiritual might be a better word than magical, as the boy, Damian, sees and talks to Christian saints. There's everyone from St. Francis of Assisi releasing doves to St. Peter telling a different version of the feeding of the 5,000. Yet the movie doesn't stoop to family cheese or tacky cliche.
Check out this interview with Danny Boyle.
Movies from the six major studios earned an average of $20.6 million at the box office, while the industry spent an average of $34.8 million to promote each of those movies. Yep, Hollywood is losing $14.2 million per flick.
They used to make it up with overseas sales, video rentals and TV showings, but that's becoming harder and harder, primarily thanks to DVDs. While the new format does offer some profits, studios also have to content with unsold DVDs being returned (like the 7 million copies of Shrek 2). (link via Tim Bednar)Business)
Between 1989 and 2003 G-rated movies produced an average of 11 times more profit than R-rated movies. Yet the industry created 12 times more R-rated movies than G-rated movies.
Though the industry is beginning to wake up. Production of R-rated films has dropped by 12% while the production of G-rated films is up 38%.
June 8, 2005Buzz)
Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, has confirmed the long-time rumor that the Simpsons would come to the big screen. She says production has begun on the Simpsons movie, but didn't offer any other details.
"We've just done the table read for the Simpsons movie,'' she said, "so although we've been promoting that we're going to do it, now we're actually doing it and are in production." She added, "I'm sure it won't take any less than a couple of years."
Cartwright, who was in London to perform her one-woman show, My Life as a Ten Year Old Boy, didn't divulge the movie's title or plot. "I don't know the name of it and I can't go into details about it and we'll just have to see how it goes," she said, "but I think it's going to be great and the fans are going to dig it."
June 6, 2005Animation)
Davey & Goliath is a strange chapter in the history of television. Created in the 1960s by Art and Ruth Clokey, who also created Gumby, and financed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, it was an early attempt at moral and practically Christian television. Yet it happened long before Veggie Tales or The Passion of the Christ.
Davey & Goliath has seen a resurgence of late with last year's Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas, this year's Happy Easter, and those odd Mountain Dew commercials. And don't forget that odd pipe bomb spoof on The Simpsons.
June 3, 2005Animation)
DreamWorks Animation knows they can't beat Pixar when it comes to the quality of their computer animated flicks. So they'll beat 'em with quantity.
DreamWorks has a dozen films planned for the next five years, including Shrek 3 & 4, a Puss-in-Boots direct to video spin-off, and potential sequals and spin-offs from the just-opened Madagascar. Jeffrey Katzenberg runs the animation show at DreamWorks, and it's practically a circus.Extracurricular)
The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show. An alien puppet poorly lip synching to bad music on a creepy set with some of the worst wipes and special effects ever. Wow.
And it just keeps going.
If you watch long enough, "Chip the Black Boy" leads a responsive reading from the book of Enoch. Yikes.
(link via Nick Ciske, though I hate to ask where he found it)