The Weekly Pulse: The Gatekeeper's Guide to Movies

Hello one and all. Welcome to another ground-breaking, genre-shattering edition of the Gatekeeper’s Guide, where your loveable, hugable Guru gathers you all around to basically tell you everything you already know. But hey, we have fun, right? RIGHT!?! Best agree with me, children – remember Jon Bieda? He claims to be in the process of ‘changing jobs’ but in reality, he caught me on a bad day and, well, he hasn’t been around much lately has he? Think about it. So, again, we have FUN here, don’t we? Damn right we do.

Ah, sorry about that. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for yours truly. I’ve been battling this virus that’s kept me sick since New Years, which, if you combine the being sick in November/early December, marks me as sick for some time. It’s starting to bug me, but I think I’m finally getting over it. Also, since New Years, I’ve dedicated myself to this diet thing, and I actually have to keep it, so while that’s good for the health and stuff, it is terrible for the temperment (God, if you can hear me, I’d kill for a soda. Point out who you want smited and it is done. All for a Coke…). So, these things and more combined make me one easily aggravated Guru. Luckily, one bright, shining spot saved this week from being utter crap (other than the joy I get writing this column). One blessed, two night, four hour television event made my week great.

24 is back and GAWD is it great.

I know this is a movie column, so I won’t rant on the awesome-ness of this show, but seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. If you want to get in on the current season (Day 4) do so by this coming Monday, or maybe next Monday at the latest, because after that, it’ll be too late. Or, if you’re new to the show, treat yourself to the first season on DVD. Then buy the second. Then the third. You’ll quickly see, as I did, why it is the best show currently on television (Sorry McCullar, but Keifer Sutherland kicks Jennifer Garner’s ass any day of the week). Okay, enough with the tv stuff, let’s get into it, shall we?

Grab Bag – Feedback Style

The rolex junk mail keeps on coming, but there was also this e-mail sent by a disappointed horror fan, in regards to White Noise (Note, this little interaction contains SPOILERS from the film. Don’t read it if you want to see the film and be ‘surprised’) This email also took place in two parts. Part 1:

I saw this today and I would like you to explain this….from your review, “third, at the very end of the movie, the last scene serves to openly contradict the one solid plot point the movie teaches the viewer the whole time.”
What do you mean by that? The subtle image of Micheal Keaton? Him saying hes sorry
to his son thru the radio? Which part contradicts what? Please explain.

Personally, I think the whole movie contradicts the meaning of EVP. Its the dead
trying to contact the living, not showing images of those who arent dead yet so you
can rescue them. I wsnt sure if I was watching the White Noise movie from the scary
trailers Ive seen, or the Alternate Edition where Keaton is the Supernatural
Superhero, rescuing babies and telling daugthers that their mothers say smile…

Also, whats this shit about “whoever went to see the fat guy ends up in the EVP”. Is
that to say Keatons wife went to see him too?

Get back.. I hope to hear your answer….

Great review btw… Summed it up perfectly!!!!

Scott

Well Scott, the entire movie set it up so that the only way EVP worked was by recording sounds and then playing them back, either on video or radio. Everyone did it, and everyone who knew about EVP preached it. Yet, at the end of the movie, Keaton’s character isn’t even cold in the ground yet, his son isn’t even gone from the cemetary yet, and the radio changes on it’s own, and Keaton’s voice comes through. Direct contradiction to the one thing the plot solidly supported throughout the entire movie. Plus, the ghosts (apparently) attacking wheelchair girl at the end? Ugh. But yeah, it was the radio thing. I don’t remember clearly enough which TV Keaton appeared on, but it probably wasn’t a VCR tape.

And I don’t know why, but your comment about the ‘fat guy’ really made me laugh. I can’t figure out why….

Part 2 (Edited for content)

As for Keaton showing up on a TV, it was not. It was right before Our Lady
Peace’s Somewhere Out There started…. Once again Im wondering why they are
deeming this a horror movie when you have a proverbial love song play at the
end… Is it because Raine Maida mentions satalittes and radios in his
lyrics? Sheeeesh. Anyways, as the screen fades to black it fades into snow and you can see
Keaton and someone else (presumably his wife) standing behind him. I thought the whole contradiction lied in the fact that according to EVP lore, it is DEAD people coming through, not images of living people about to die. I read an interview with Micheal Keaton where he said he didnt dig into any EVP because he thought any knowledge he had of it would bleed through and his truely childlike curiosity from his character would seem forced. I bet the director is glad Keaton didnt study the phemonenon first cause then he might have said no to such a stupid script!! Keaton, even in all his power and glory, could not save this movie…. The only good that could come of this is the beginning of Micheal Keatons reign in mainstream movies again…. Whatcha gonna do, when Keatonmania runs wild on you…. in 2005 bruther!!!!!
(feel free to quote me heavily in your columns…. )

Thanks again

Scott

Consider yourself quoted, heavily. As for his wife, yes, there is no doubt the point was that it was her at the end. Of course, that could lead to some confusion – isn’t it supposed to show the living, who are about to die and who need to be saved? Which, as you pointed out, is not what EVP is supposed to be about at all. But wait, you can’t forget the three amigos (as I call them), because they were always on screen too, which would try to have one believe they control things from the other side and merely manipulate through EVP (again, against the known EVP grain in reality). But really, I can’t make sense of it, and my head is starting to hurt again. I respect Keaton for wanting to get into character, but I don’t know how right you are. Even if he had researched a bit, the script still could have – and probably did – looked good enough to warrant his participation. A lot of times movies look great on paper and translate poorly to screen for various reasons. Perhaps that happened here. I like Keaton enough to give him the benefit of the doubt and a pass on this. Keatonmania in ’05? One can certainly hope so – and a lot worse can happen.

News You Can Use – And WE Abuse

J. Kern and myself return for another week of news commentary/parody/comedy/whatever you’d like to call it. J. Kern showed up again, but incredibly late this time, not helping the aggravated mood I find myself in. We’ll see if it’s business like usual, and how bitter I come across as. Anyway, the way this works is the headline is in bold, the actual news story is underneath, and then both Kern and I offer various remarks on said stories.

Kate Bosworth is confirmed to play Lois Lane, and Spacey is finalized as Lex Luthor

Kate Bosworth has been cast as Lois Lane for Bryan Singer’s Superman. She reportedly beat out the likes of Claire Danes, Linda Cardellini and Michelle Monaghan. In addition, Kevin Spacey has also been finalized as Lex Luthor. Both veteran actors (who can be seen currently in the Lions Gate release Beyond the Sea) will be joining Brandon Routh, who has been cast as the Man of Steel. Singer’s Superman will take place after the events of Christopher Reeve’s first two films and will tell the story of Superman returning to Metropolis years after a hiatus. The film is being put on track for a 2006 release.

KernHa! Lois Lane’s gonna have a “Blue Crush” on our boy in blue! And … ha ha! Kevin’s gonna be in … Spacey … becau- okay, I got nothing.
Norty: Blue Crus………that’s it? That’s your wit for this, casting news on the biggest comic book movie to come since Spiderman? I’m disappointed, Mr. Kern.
Kern: Now that Spiderman 2 has set the standard, i am going to be merciless on any comic book movie that dares cross my path…
Norty: As for me, I see nothing but good things with this kind of starring cast.
Kern: Yeah, because how can you go wrong with a stellar cast? Unless you make, say, Nothing But Trouble or Ishtar…
Norty: Well, a stellar cast AND Bryan Singer. Don’t forget the X-Man
Kern: Hell, this very franchise turned the premier comedian of our lifetimes into a pallid imitation of himself… X-Men was serviceable. I still think he should have brought back Benecio del Toro as Fenster for Nightcrawler…shoulda got Benecio for Superman for that matter… i’mfuggingSupermanWUDDAFUG?!
Norty: Staying on topic – thus moving on…

Travolta and Gandolfini to Team Up

John Travolta and James Gandolfini have joined the cast of Lonely Hearts. The film will be written and directed by Todd Robinson, who wrote the film White Squall. The movie is based on the true story of two homicide detectives who captured and convicted Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, the Lonely Hearts Killers of the 1940s who found their victims through the personals.

Norty: I can’t remember the last good guy Tony Soprano played. And now he could be a detective and….eh.
Kern: Come to think of it, i can’t imagine a single Travolta film that wouldn’t be improved by replacing him with Benecio as Fenster from Usual Suspects…i’mgonnatagehizfazeoffWUDDAFUG?! it’satalgingbabyWUDDAFUG?! i’madanzerWUDDAFUG?!
Norty: On a Benecio kick today, eh?
Kern: Sorry … I get this way around dead horses. I just keep kickin’ ’em and kickin’ ’em…

Sam Jackson Rejects 50 Cent Film

It is being reported that Samuel L. Jackson has turned down an offer to star in Locked and Loaded, a Jim Sheridan film which will star rapper 50 Cent and is loosely based on his life. Jackson said in a statement, “Hollywood people tend to think that because one is successful in one aspect of entertainment they can bring them into this particular world and make a success out of them. What is it about 50 Cent that makes Jim Sheridan say: ‘I’d really like to make a movie with him?'”

Kern: I imagine a “gat” pointed at his “dome” couldn’t hurt…
Norty: I respect the hell out of Jackson. I didn’t think it was possible, but now I respect him even more. Great call on his part.
Kern: Y’all bes’ be cautious, otherwise Fiddy be “poppin’ a cap” in any mofo who be “all up in” his box-office…I agree with you. I would however, pay all the money I have and will ever have to see Jackson and Fiddy both reach for the wallet that says “Bad Mother—-er”. It would gratify me no end to see Fiddy apologize and quietly exit the room.

Indie Film Jump Shot Adds to its Cast

Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito and Forest Whitaker have been lured into the world of addiction. The trio has signed on for the indie ensemble drama Jump Shot, to be directed by Mark Rydell. Based on a script by Robert Tannen, the project focuses on three intertwining stories of strangers who are brought together as gambling and drugs destroy their lives. Nick Cannon, Carla Gugino, Jay Mohr, Kelsey Grammer and Ray Liotta also star.

Norty: You know, I didn’t even see this story until today. The boss man posted, not myself.
Kern: Yeah, me and him were talking last night about the reasons why he was gonna fire yo- woops. Was that my outside voice?
Norty: Wha…..what??
Kern: Goddamnit, why all these movies about drugs destroying lives. Can’t we have one movie where drugs inspire someone to create some great art or to be nicer to their neighbors, then just leave it at that? The only movies that feature positive portrayals of drugs are virtually indistinguishable from those TV movies about retarded kids … only with a laugh track.
Norty: True, and this almost sounds made for tv. I’m getting fired?
Kern: You know what happens when a gazelle starts limping?
Norty: Ah…….erm, maybe we should move on…
Kern: The wolves attack. You know what happens when you reveal insecurity about your place at IP to a wolf?

Duchovny Talks X-Files 2

USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com) caught up with former X-Files star David Duchovny, who talked briefly about a sequel to The X-Files” movie.
“It’ll be a stand-alone horror movie,” Duchovny said after revealing he had spoken to series creator Chris Carter earlier. “Mulder and Scully investigate one particular case that has nothing to do with alien life. It has to do with supernatural stuff.”

Kern: Maybe they should investigate this Ring crap so I don’t have to sit through anymore goddamn sequels.
Norty: Wouldn’t that still be a sequel? And the Ring 2 looks good, actually.
Kern: I’m willing to put up with it if they take care of Freddy, Jason and Pinhead at the same time.
Norty: What about Michael Myers and Ash?
Kern: Michael Myers comes packaged with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis makes me happy. And by happy, I mean I would stop having sex with your mother for her. Ash gets a bye always. Didn’t you know? I’m a high priest in the Cult of Bruce. We await the Coming of the Chin! Praise be thy Cleft!
Norty: Oh good, a mom joke. Let’s wrap this up with our final few stories…

Tron Remake is in the Works

Variety reports that Disney has commissioned Brian Klugman and Lee Sterntha to pen a screenplay for a remake of Tron, the 1982 sci-fi classic. The original film told the story of a computer hacker sucked into a computer where he must play computer games for survival. The updated version will have a programmer trapped in a cyberworld where the Internet will play a big part.

Norty: I’ve never seen Tron. Should I be shot?
Kern: Your own funeral. Me, I watch it religiously. Just in case i ever get sucked into my PC by the Master Control Program, I need tips on staying alive. Sadly, much of what I’ve learned hasn’t translated so well in the real world. Tried to turn my Honda 90 degrees like the lightcycles the other day…On the plus side, i’ve got PLENTY of time to write for Inside Pulse while i’m in traction!
Norty: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Will this remake be good?
Kern: What do you care, sonny?! It was before you were born … It ain’t got no fancy-shmancy bullet-time … It wasn’t made by Jerry Bruckheimer. It ain’t got no Tom Cruise or Nick Cage. All it’s got are some cruddy CGI effects that could be done on Strong Bad’s laptop and the only stars are the Big Lebowski and the captain from Babylon 5. Go back to your chi-chi Matrixes and your Armageddons! Leave us old folks with our pleasant memories of crappy early 80s Disney… Norty: Dude, you’re like, not even 30.

Liam Neeson Wants to be Abe Lincoln

Variety reports that Liam Neeson is in talks to star as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic, which would begin production after Spielberg wraps up work on The War of the Worlds. Production is expected to begin in January 2006. The movie has long been a Spielberg passion project. The movie will focus on Lincoln’s victory in the Civil War and will be based on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin titled The Uniter: The Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Paul Webb has turned in his most recent draft of the screenplay.

Kern: *sigh* I miss my Little Girl in a Red Dress joke. I used to use it whenever I talked about Spielberg. But I had to hang it up. Now I need new Spielberg joke…I’m gonna try a few … tell me what you think…”Abe Lincoln phone home”?
Norty: Pass.
Kern: Time travelers go back in time to rescue an army recruit who will someday become one of this country’s greatest presidents… “Saving Private Lincoln.”
Norty: Eh. Sounds kind of Bruckheimer-ish, actually. Pass.
Kern: A.L. “His love is real; his beard is not.”
Norty: His love of what? And his beard is more real than your sex with people’s mothers. Pass.
Kern: What’re you talking about?! Man, that’s A-list material there!
Norty: Keep workin it…
Kern: You’re just jealous because I’m your dad.
Norty: Whatever you say pops. We’re out of time.

Trailer of the Week

I swear, I had a trailer all picked out and everything. But then, through the fault of myself and no one else, I waited too long to tell anyone what it was. By the time I did, no one was around and/or wanted to see it or write about it. SO. Trailer of the Week returns next week. Promise.

(It was Ring Two, by the way. If you have thoughts on the sequel, send them my way)

Reviews We Sit Through – For You!

The Aviator – Steve Coogan, also known as the Boss-man, reviews this big-time Oscar contender from the tail end of 2004. Leo DiCaprio stars and Martin Scorsese directs. Is the film a masterpiece deserving of an Oscar in the very near future, or more hype than anything else? Click the title and read Coogan’s thoughts on the film.

Million Dollar Baby – Ryan Closs has seen this film (still in limited release until Jan. 28th), and he believes without a shadow of a doubt that this film is perfection. To him, nothing was better in 2004. Read why you need to see this film come the end of the month.

White Noise – The Guru, on the other hand, did not have the pleasure of seeing a great film like the two above. No, I went into this horror movie with high hopes, but sadly, like most others, walked away more than disappointed (in case you didn’t gather this from above). Yay for Keaton’s return, though. Can’t say that enough. Yay Keaton!

On DVD

Troy – Michaelangelo McCullar sits down with the Troy DVD and walks away content. Not overly happy, but far from disappointed (With the film itself), which is pretty against the grain, all things considered. Read him and find out why.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle – Travis Leamons and I have something in common. No, it isn’t our mutual enjoyment of Dude, Where’s My Car? (Shoot me), but it IS the kick we get out of this film. It didn’t smash records at the box office, but it’ll probably sell tons on DVD. Read his review and get all the info on this hillarious ‘stoner comedy’.

We Even Do Columns!

J. Kern has cancer. No, not life threatening cancer of any kind, but instead he has cancer in his soul. Or so he claims is the reason for his taking a week off from the Dollar Movie Reviews he usually posts. And you know, I can’t blame the guy. He is a brave man. A stupid man, but a brave one all the same. No one could have possibly known what he was getting into with Taxi, and even if he did, he went through it anyway for the people. **Sniff** Brings a tear to my eye. But don’t worry, DMR fans – he’ll be back next week for more hillarity and self-torture for your entertainment.

Rob Sutton returns with more James Bond love in ROBTRAIN’S Badass Cinema: Total Bondage Part 6. The Roger Moore era continues, as Rob examines the far-out there Bond film, Moonraker, and then goes with Bond as he goes back to his roots in For Your Eyes Only. My personal knowledge of the Bond franchise get’s iffy at this point, but hey, that’s why you should be reading Rob right now and not me. Great job as usual, and the ending should get anyone excited for Rob’s next installment.

Ah, Mondo Culto. You know, I won’t lie to you. As many great films Brad Torreano sheds light on with his awesome column, to me it’s hit or miss. Not in terms of quality, because Brad always hits one out of the park, but in terms of film content. Take this week as an example. I just have no interest in Charles Manson. Brad then regains my interest in the middle, but then loses me again with the illogical zombie film. Perhaps I’m just too fickle to be Mondo Culto material. But enough on that front – he’s done another excellent job and you really should check him out.

Brendan Campbell – I’ve got good and bad news about him. The bad news is you won’t be seeing him on Tuesdays with anymore Ridiculously Good Looking columns. The good news is you will be seeing him review the box office every week (His preview is due sometime on Friday). Plus, there’ll be some good stuff in the near future, so don’t worry, the work-horse isn’t going anywhere. As for the box office last weekend, “Stiller tells Batman to stay the Fock out”, we all knew the Focker joke tagline would continue, but it made me think. If Keaton, as Batman, dropped in on Gaylord Focker, could you imagine the scene? Focker mocking him, saying he’s dressed as a freak, whats the point, blah blah, you know doing the “Stiller thing”, while Batman just stares at him, and then punches him in the face and walks away saying, “Snap out of it and learn how to play another part.” Can you imagine?! Puts a smile on my face. It’s so great to see Keaton back, I’ll push it whenever I can. Anyway, good job as usual Brendan.

At the tone, it will be very late at night. And, now we come to Mr. Michaelangelo McCullar. I called this man the yin to my yang. How does he repay me? With this pimp quote: “Shaun Norton tries to keep us in check, but he’s just not up to the challenge. Better men have tried and failed, my friend. But laudable effort.” I’m not even sure what that means, but better men have tried and failed? Ohh, that’s it. *Ahem* You know, McCullar, if I wanted to disguise my work as a decent column, I too would list the entire cast of a film and a huge one sheet to take up 75% of the space. It’s genuis, because not everyone knows that a Perfect Film is made by the “Car-jack Victim”, the “Girl at Party”, and of course, the “Insurance Man”. Pure genius. In all seriousness, Menace II Society is McCullar’s Perfect Flick this week. And I agree with him. It’s a solid film. Go ahead, read about it. Once you scroll past the picture, and the cast, there’s some good content to be found. ^_^ ***Note: While I joke around with him (a lot this week) I wanna say it’s good to have you back to full health, McCullar. I don’t know what I’d do without you here at movies. **Sob** You’re a special little guy. *Pulls it together** Huzzah til next week, McCullar. End note***

Norty’s Mini Rant: Brad and Jennifer

I was happy. I was content. I was hopeful of a great new year. Until this story broke on every channel and every news media outlet. And it wouldn’t go away. It HASN’T gone away. Even as I write this, it’ll be on my television when I turn it on. It seems everyone can’t get over the fact that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up. Well, I’m going to keep this rant incredibly short, because if I don’t I’ll say things that will make children cry and will probably get me fired. I mean, I could go into how people live vicariously through these celebrities, and how stupid that is. I could go into how these people are no better than you or me, and as such do not deserve weeks and weeks of headlines. I could go into the fact that one of the top stories on CNN was this break-up, and on my station came BEFORE updates from Iraq and the tsunami region of Asia. But instead, I am only going to say this:

*Ahem* SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT THIS STUPID DIVORCE ALREADY! NO ONE CARES ANYMORE, AND THEY ARE NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP FOCUSING ON THIS AND GO ON WITH YOUR LIVES.

Sorry. Really got under my skin this week. Thank you for listening.

The End

That wraps things up in a nice little package for another week. Have a great weekend and upcoming week, and, as always….

Until next time.

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