The Weekly Pulse: The Gatekeeper's Guide to Movies

Hello one and all, and welcome to another captivating edition of the Weekly Pulse, movies style. I am the man they call Norty and of course, here’s the totally non-movie related intro to my column dedicated to (Almost) everything movies.

Life is Just So Damn Entertaining

Nothing much to say this week. We’ve finally upgraded our home computer with DSL service (Thank Jeebus) and, while this is my last week home for a while, it’s a welcome and necessary upgrade. It makes sharing this family computer (Which I wasn’t even allowed near until very late Thursday night) that much easier. Unfortunately, in my bliss, I forgot that even DSL goes down too. So I’m making a nice headway in this column, and poof, no more internet. I wake up Friday morning – no internet. It finally came back up around noon, but real life plans for Saturday got pushed back to Friday around 1 45, and then I had tickets for Hide and Seek right after that. So I come home, and POOF – DSL is down again. Damn it. So the column is a bit late again – for the five of you who care. Real life complications, I promise!!

Oh, and did you know 28 out of the 31 Marines killed in the helicopter crash by a ‘sandstorm’ *Bush didn’t know how they died, and some witnesses swear ground-to-air missile* were from Hawaii? What a terrible loss for the island state in a terrible and meaningless war. God bless the troops and these poor families.

*Ahem*

On with the column.

Grab Bag – Feedback Style

Empty grab bag this week. There was a link named “wetsuit” and the pervert in my promptly clicked on it, but damn it, they were just trying to sell me a wetsuit. *Sigh* Better than an BIM computor, though.

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 and then didn’t have to leave halfway through! The thought of Campbell filling his spot again sent chills down his spine and filled his eyes with a fire not often seen by the laid back DMRer. I didn’t think the Canuck was that bad. Anywho, 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.

Spaceballs to be Turned into Television Show

Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs (1987) is to get the TV treatment. The Star Wars spoof will be reworked as an animated series and like the film, it will spoof Lucas’s sci-fi series, as well as other pics like Lord of the Rings.

Brooks, who will be producing and supervising the penning of the pilot and follow-up episodes, will again be voicing the characters of President Skroob and Yogurt.

No word yet on whether Daphne Zuniga, Bill Pullman or Rick Moranis will be voicing their parts from the original film.

Under the agreement with Brooks, BFC and MGM will produce an hourlong pilot and 13 half-hour episodes.

Kern: : *yawn* i’m waiting for History of the World, Part 2 … or at least a Blazing Saddles series. Mmmm … animated Madelaine Kahn…
Norty: Tell you what, hold your breath. Ready? Go! Anyway, this sucks. I was looking forward to another movie. Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money.
Kern: Why bother? Pay a few Koreans sweatshop-money to churn out a South Park-style clone. It’s a well-known economic strategy known as “Giffordizing”…

Stan Lee to Get His from Marvel

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that comic company Marvel owes Stan Lee, its former head, a 10 per cent cut of the firm’s profits from movies like the highly successful 2002 film Spider-Man. Lee, 82, is known to a generation of comic fans as the man who created – along with artists such as Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby – such enduring characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four. U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled that an agreement Lee signed with Marvel in 1998 entitles him to 10 per cent of the profits generated for the company by its movie and television productions since that time. The ruling also entitles Lee to a share of the money generated by sales of DVDs and certain other merchandise. “It could be tens of millions of dollars. That’s no exaggeration,” the Associated Press reported Lee’s attorney, Howard Graff, as saying. “I am gratified by the judge’s decision although, since I am deeply fond of Marvel and the people there, I sincerely regret that the situation had to come to this,” Lee said in a release.

The first Spider-Man film alone grossed more than $800 million US around the world, and Marvel collected about $50 million US of that as profit. There have also been two X-Men movies, a Hulk movie, a Daredevil movie and a picture based on the Punisher character in recent years. This summer will see the release of a motion picture starring the Fantastic Four.

Marvel is not taking this decision lightly, however. Their lawyer, John Turitzin, says the company will appeal the judge’s decision. He noted that Sweet did not rule on some aspects of the case. “We intend to appeal those matters on which we did not prevail, and to continue to contest vigorously the claims on which the court did not rule,” Turitzin said in a statement.

The deal entitled Lee, who was once synonymous with Marvel, to a salary of $1 million U.S., but he felt that Marvel did not live up to the other terms of the arrangement. Lee started legal action against his former employer in 2002. “Mr. Lee did not begin this lawsuit without a lot of thought and reservation,” Graff said. “He was not pleased to do it. He was saddened by the fact that things came to the point where he had to actually start a lawsuit against Marvel.”

Norty: I say huzzah for Stan. Good man, deserves it all. Of course, so do countless other writers. But, mostly Stan.
Kern: Good gravy … 10% of all movies and TV… DOESN’T HE REALIZE HE’S TAKING FOOD OUT OF THOMAS JANE’S MOUTH?! The humanity…
Norty: So, what you’re really saying is you like this decision too.
Kern: i feel bad for the artists who apparently don’t get dick… On the other hand, it’s good to know the money’s going to be well spent. Like how Stan’s gonna turn RINGO STARR INTO A SUPERHERO. Christ, that’s like Bill Gates blowing 200 billion on internet porn.
Norty: *Ahem* Well, he’s obviously losing it in his old age. But man, that’d be some quality porn wouldn’t it?
Kern: Not if it had Ringo in it.
Norty: ………**shudder*

Female Lead Cast in DaVinci Code; Film to Shoot at Louvre Museum

Audrey Tatou will play the lead female role of Sophie Neveu in The DaVinci Code opposite Tom Hanks and Jean Reno. Ron Howard will be directing off a script by Akiva Goldsman for Sony/Columbia Pictures. Shooting is scheduled to start in May.

Based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown, Hanks will take on the role of Professor Robert Langdon, who is called into question regarding a mysterious death at the famous Louvre Museum. Tatou plays a cryptologist who helps Langdon solve the clues regarding the death, which they find leading up to a conspiracy that the truth to thousands of years of history could all be hidden in many works of art and monuments. Jean Reno will play detective Bezu Fache, who is on the run looking for the two.

Also, the famous Louvre Museum in France will give Ron Howard the go-ahead to film inside. A production team has already visited the Louvre to select locations in its Grand Gallery, where the opening of the novel is set.

Norty: This is a good time to mention I love, love, LOVE Dan Brown’s work. The Code is one of my favorite novels. Ever.
Kern: I love Audrey Tatou … I love Jean Reno … I even love the Louvre. So here’s what I propose: lose the Americans. All of them. No Hanks. No Howard. And for the love of all that is good, LOSE DAN BROWN.
Norty: ……You dare not speak ill of “The Dan” to me.
Kern: Dan Brown is a third rate Le Carre who stumbled on a gold mine of anti-Catholic sentiment, circa 19th century Ku Klux Klan. Why he gotta beat up on the Vatican? They do plenty to bury themselves. i will say this for them tho – they loosened their stance on priests wearing condoms to molest young boys. So at least there’s progress.
Norty: Great argument there. Since this film is shaping up to be huge, we’ll really get into this in the near future, I’m sure. I’m letting you go for now, Kern. Oh, and shooting at the Louvre is awesome.

No Arnold in Terminator 4 – Unless They Shoot in Cali

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently went on record as to whether or not he would return for Terminator 4. Supposedly, Arnold doesn’t intend to be anywhere near the set, unless filming sets up in Califonia. The production, rumored to be ready to go later this year, is set to be held in Budapest. Also, Warner Bros. recently let slip that a draft by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (the team behind Catwoman) was turned in, with input from director Jonathan Mostow.

Kern: Much as i would love to see how they explain why the Terminators Skynet keeps sending back get older and older… The only thing that saved 2 was Linda Hamilton. And i didn’t even bother with 3. If 4 isn’t a straight-to-8 track monstrosity, something is desperately, brutally wrong with the world.
Norty: But you can’t DO this movie without him. Seriously. He was the beginning line of the Terminators, technically. They should be rolling him off assembly lines and they should be decimating an unexpecting mankind. What will they do, make The Rock the terminator? Please!
Kern: i would pay money to see Dwayne Rock Bottom Edward Furlong. i would pay a great deal of money to see this. If he came back with his little Sean Williams Scott droid sidekick? i would saw off my left nut right here and now and profer it to the gods.
Norty: Ha. Is it worth mentioning the Catwoman scribes are mentioned here?
Kern: No. And if you mention those people EVER again, i’ll see to it that a Photoshopped image of you in a Catwoman outfit makes it to you mother’s inbox.
Norty: That’s what I thought.

Wahlberg in Talks to Join Scorsese Film

Mark Wahlberg (The Italian Job, Boogie Nights) is in talks to play a police officer in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed a remake of the Hong Kong drama Infernal Affairs. The thriller centers on an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) who masquerades as a gangster at the same time as a gangster (Matt Damon) infiltrates the Boston police department. Wahlberg will play an officer who has a significant role in the undercover cop’s life. The film is planned for Warner Bros. and is produced by Brad Grey, the production company owned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.

Norty: I had a Dirk Diggler joke involving Scorsese’s vision but……meh.
Kern: What, was Kirk Cameron unavailable for this?
Kern: If there’s a collection of no-talent pretty boys trying to look tough with guns, Kirk should be there!
Norty: I like Matt Damon
Kern: Actually, i do too. But DiCaprio + Wahlberg is unforgivable. Especially if you’re remaking an HK classic.
Norty: True enough. Who would you have replaced – Wahlberg or DiCaprio? And with whom?
Kern: i would’ve replaced Wahlberg with a prosthetic penis and … well, DiCaprio’s already a dildo, so i guess he can stay.
Norty: Who do you like in hollywood? Anyone? Besides Damon.
Kern: Bruce M to the Utha-Effin’ Campbell, baby!
Norty: Well, cant argue that
Kern: I would also like to nominate Natalie Portman’s breasts.
Norty: Haha..she has breasts?
Kern: …
Norty: well, just sayin…
Kern: You know how Kirk Cameron makes you feel all … gooshy inside? Your words, not mine… Well, Natalie’s boobs do that for me.
Norty: When did I ever say Kirk Cameron made me feel…..gooshy? The fook is gooshy?
Kern: Don’t try to be all macho for the IP readers … they’re hip to your Cameron fetish. It’s cool. In this day and age it’s okay to be … special.
Norty: Actually, I haven’t written down anything you said after the DeCaprio dildo comment
Kern: i’ve Googled you and found you all over the Kirk Cameron fanfic sites, man… No need to be defensive … it’s cool. We all need to blow off steam sometimes. Just because you like to do it by writing erotic stories about you and Kirk tanning in Bimini doesn’t mean IP fans don’t still love you.

Nic Cage to do Bio-pic

Milos Forman and Nicolas Cage will be teaming up to do a biopic based on the life of gambler Amarillo Slim Preston. The script will be written by Stephen Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, who also wrote Ali and Nixon.

Amarillo Slim was described as “the most famous poker player ever.” Some of the highlights from his life include winning the World Series of Poker in 1972 as well as a $2 million bet from Larry Flynt.

Kern: So this is Nick’s triumphant return to Vegas… If they get Woody Harrelson to play Larry Flynt, this will be the best movie ever.
Norty: Which means they won’t. Maybe they can get DeNiro. Lord knows he’s whoring himself out to projects left and right.
Kern: I have yet to have had my fill of poker movies. And as long as Bruckheimer’s name is nowhere near Nick’s, it’s aaaall good. SHUFFLE UP AND ACTIO- no, wait. ROLL FILM AND DEA- no. SHUFFLE UP AND RO- SHAKE, RATTLE AND DEA- uh… There’s a catch phrase here … just give me a few minutes.
Norty: We will come back to it, I’m sure.

Brad Pitt to Star in Western

Brad Pitt will play Jesse James for an untitled western piece to be directed by Andrew Dominik (Chopper). The project is based on the Robert Hansen novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

The book tells the story of the famous, wild-tempered outlaw Jesse James and how he came to his demise by a young gang member named Robert Ford. Pitt will also produce the picture with his Plan B Films company, along with Brad Grey and Jennifer Aniston.

Kern: And that man … grew up to invent the production line automobile. Yes, America. Where just because you’re a coward, doesn’t mean you can’t become president someday.
Norty: How do Brad and Jennifer still have a production company together? And how many times must I watch him majestically die on screen? Good Christ – it grows tiring! Let some other big shot get off’d over and over again!
Kern: Well, it’s not like they’ve stopped doing it. i mean, seriously, there’s nobody hotter out there to do!
Norty: Pfft. I hate Jennifer Aniston – like you hate most of the ‘Wood, actually.
Kern: Jennifer was in a movie with Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake is the brother of Maggie Gyllenhaal. i love Maggie Gyllenhaal. I want her to bear all my little Kerns. Therefore, by extension, i don’t mind Jennifer.
Norty: You’re a tool.

Williams to Return to Comedy

Robin Williams, most recently seen in The Final Cut, is getting set to star in a comedic fantasy feature based on the preschool book The Krazees. Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman have been hired to adapt the book, which was written by Sam Swope and illustrated by Eric Brace. In adapting the book, Guiley and Schneiderman are creating a role for Williams as a repressed psychologist unable to deal with his daughter hitting puberty and whose emotions manifest as CGI characters. As they wreak havoc on his life, the psychologist is forced to team up with the only other person who can see them and the one person with whom his relationship is most strained: his daughter.

Also, Williams will lend his voice to the CGI creatures.

Norty: Williams is my idol. Say anything bad about this man and I will hunt you down and beat you as only the drunken Irish can.
Kern: i love Robin Williams. That man has done more for coke sales than any other person in Hollywood…
Norty: **Grumble** Don’t push me Kern.
Kern: Seriously. Mork is the shizzy. Also, he’s done more to foster misunderstanding about the craft of improv than anyone until Drew Carey came along, so kudos for that! That being said, when he reigns in the mugging and doesn’t play a doctor, he’s actually quite good.
Norty: Good enough.

Smith to Pursue Happyness

Will Smith will star in the true-life film Pursuit of Happyness for Sony/Columbia Pictures. Based on the life of Chris Gardner, the movie will tell the story of a man who was homeless and jobless, living with his baby son in a bathroom at a San Francisco train station.

Despite the negative situation, Gardner continued to fight toward his goal of becoming a broker, eventually landing a job as a trainee and rising through the ranks to become a partner in a Chicago-based minority brokerage.

Kern: So … this is Ali on Wall Street? Or is it more Independence Day with brokers instead of aliens? I, Robot without the Robot! No, wait. That’s just I. That’s not very interesting. Even Ali had an extra syllable.
Norty: The Fresh Prince of the Cardboard Blanket? Independence Homeless-ness?
Kern: i hope he raps. i know i’d be much more inclined to give a bum my change if he dropped some rhymes on me. Or maybe just a little beatbox… So to you all the kids all across the land / Take it from me, brokers just don’t understand.
Norty: Gold

Star Wars Episode III Crawl Revealed

StarWars.com (http://www.starwars.com) has posted a new article about doing the opening crawls for all 6 Star Wars films. In addition to giving fans a behind the scenes look at the process, they have revealed the opening text crawl for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Click here to read the crawl.

Norty: You notice any real life connotations here? Like, fake terrorist plots and actions designed to create conflict and tensions and destroy noble warriors from within?
Kern: i have been so burned by the last two films … the only saving grace of this thing, and i will continue to repeat this until the day it comes out – or until the day i get a pirated copy online weeks before – the only saving grace will be the appearance of Natalie Portman’s nipples.
Norty: Think it’ll happen? You might have to watch her die, you know.
Kern: i shall be happy to watch her endure le petit mort…
Norty: The little what/?
Kern: Don’t worry about it. It’s a Gaul thang.
Norty: Right….and on that note, we wrap it up for another week.

Trailer of the Week

This week, Tim Burton returns to the TotW with his Corpse Bride trailer. Click here to view it. (Quick time needed). The following are some of the Movies Crew giving their thoughts on it:

Michaelangelo “Do as I say or…something something” McCullar: I’m a big fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, so when I heard about Corpse Bride, the newest stop-motion animation project from Tim Burton, the fanboy in me got as giddy as a sophmore girl in 1963 seeing The Beatles for the first time. And this trailer does not disappoint. It looks great! But we have to wait until Halloween, dammit! Give me my movie NOW!!!

Steve “All work and No Play” Coogan: Wow…it looks like Tim Burton’s delightfully twisted imagination has struck again with a dark story that looks fun and intriguing at the same time. I also find it interesting he keeps collaborating with his boy Johnny Depp and the mother of his child, Helena Bonham Carter. There are no other actors out there? The trailer looks outstanding, mostly because I love it when directors use classical music in movie trailers…I just think it’s outstanding….

Shaun “Always an Excuse to be Late” Norton: I didn’t know this trailer existed until McCullar pointed it out, and I’m glad he did. I had heard of the movie but knew nothing about it. It brings back warm memories of Nightmare Before Christmas, and that’s a great thing. This movie looks absolutely fantastic and has a stellar crew attached. Burton and Depp? I’m so there.

J. “Self-inflicted Pain isn’t Pain at All” Kern – ! **snaps rubberband on wrist** mustnotgetexcitedmustnotgetexcitedmustnotgetexcitedmustnotgetexcitedmustnotgetexcitedmustnotgetexcited. I have this habit, you see, of occasionally getting excited about trailers, thus raising expectations, leading to disappointment come opening day. So I snap myself everytime that happens… *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* *snap* Ahhh…while I liked Nightmare Before Christmas, I was never a huge fan like some of my peers. But I love Burton, I love Depp, I love Carter. I’ve professed my *ahem* undying affection for warped romantic comedies, and if this doesn’t fit the bill, I don’t know what does.

Reviews We Sit Through – For You!

Overnight – Mike Lawrence brings Movies Pulse a nice little film about a film maker who rises and falls faster than (Insert generic actor joke here). As with most films of its type, it’s not for everyone. But read Mike to find out just what it’s all about.

Bad Education – Arturo Garcia also brings us a not so well known film this week with Bad Education. A seemingly powerful film with a powerful rating that you shouldn’t let turn you away from it. Arturo gives you more details in his excellent review.

On DVD

Cellular – Brendan Campbell shows he can do more than preview and review the box office this week, as he reviews a couple of DVDs. This one is first, and it turns out to be a nice little thriller, even though it tanked at the box office. The DVD extras are pretty good too. Seems to be worth a look.

Shaun of the Dead – Michaelangelo McCullar is so fixated on his Perfect Films and destruction of my life and all that jazz that while reviewing one of the best films of 2004, he kinda goofed. While he rated the film perfectly, he messed up a bit on the DVD extras section. Turns out the American release of Shaun of the Dead does not have the zombie commentray track on it, and I don’t know what else it may be missing. McCullar had some excuse, but damn it, we expect the best or nothing from you Michaelangelo. Best not let it happen again. Oh, and buy this movie. Now.

Catwoman – You know, I feel sorry for Michaelangelo. He reviews one of the best movies in years, and then he sits through Catwoman. History in the making folks – the first film ever to get a negative score on Movies Pulse. I hate it just by reading about it.

Friday Night Lights – I don’t do sports movies much myself – it’s just not my thing. Travis Leamons does though, and he writes a fine review of what he considers the best football movie ever.

Alien VS Predator – Campbell review part two here, as he takes a different approach to one of the biggest disappointments of 2004. Sorry Brendan, regardless of how fun you claim this is, I still haven’t seen it. Partly because of my semi-boycott of anything Anderson related, mostly because of my love of Predator (and, to a lesser degree, Alien). But, my defenses against this are falling – maybe I’ll check it out when the “Special Edition” (Pfft) comes out. Admirable job overall Brendan.

King Arthur – McCullar times three this week with DVDs, and shows he may just be a different man after Catwoman. Did the movie scar him so bad he found it in his heart to give this film a six? Or was the film unjustly destroyed by critics? Perhaps a little of both. Solid review overall.

We Even Do Columns!

Let’s see – sometimes it’s hard to figure where to start and who to plug in this column, because it’s slated to be posted on a Friday, and often one or two other columns go up either after it’s posted or while it’s already in the pipeline. So here’s an incredibly brief mention of columns I missed last week.

McCullar tells you all about 48 Hours and why it was the Perfect Film of Last Week.

It was Bond vs. Bond with Rob Sutton on commentary.

And Campbell reviewed all the going-ons of last weekend’s box office. Ice Cube best enjoy that family film fluke while it lasts.

*Ahem* And now that we’re up to speed, let’s see what went down this week.

J. Kern is a brave man. It was not long ago that Taxi put a permanent dark mark on his soul. But of course, at the encouragement of myself and others, he braves the horrors of the movie world again this week, bringing you, the reader, a special DVD edition of Dollar Movie Reviews, and it is Catwoman. No surprises here – if you don’t know how terrible it is, watch it for yourself. Keep a rock handy to beat your brains in with, though. And Kern applies his usual humor for results that make me pity him less for watching. Blessings and curses, Kern – blessings for the humor, curses for how you let this off the hook so easily.

Good to know we’ve kept Tal on board because Reel Talk could turn into something pretty fun. Also good to know Tal sees and respects some things (*Coughtrailercough*) and, AND, knows how to give a man the proper pimping. I maintain my remarks from last week: Welcome to the fold my friend. May you be used and abused more than McCullar on a family holiday. (And cut down on the exclaimation points – theys hurts me eyes, theys do).

Speaking of my favorite little…..err, cullar, Michaelangelo is back with another perfect flick. Of course, he gets really into the gimmick this week, calling himself Staff Serganent and everything. I’d love to know what staff appointed him to that position, because it certainly wasn’t IP Movies. Perhaps his own….staff? Err…..there’s a small penis joke here somewhat…..ah hell, I’ll stick to what I know. McCullar, wipe up your drool over gloomchen long enough to give me proper pimpage, boy. It’s damn pitiful. *Ahem* Anyway, Black Hawk Down is the perfect film this week, and I was going to disagree, but then realized I was thinking of Behind Enemy Lines. And in that case, McCullar scores again this week, and I still don’t have a disagreement on the perfection.

James Bond and Rob Sutton go together now like lamb and tuna-fish. Or peanut butter and jelly, whichever you prefer. Rob has done such a terrific job with his work on the Bond franchise that his has become my most anticipated column of the week (And others, I’m sure). This week is Total Bond-age, Part 8: The End For Moore, as he covers the end of the Roger Moore era. The end of this column is a bit of a surprise, but I reign praise on Rob for everything he has done thus far (And will likely do more of – and continue to do it better). Huzzah, Mr. Sutton.

Finally, Brendan Campbell again previews this weekend’s box office and for me, personally, the results aren’t pretty. I’ve heard terrible, terrible things about Alone in the Dark, and I just sat through Hide and Seek. I’ll have a review up late tonight/early tomorrow, but let me say this – the film is a dud. It’ll make money this weekend, and then hopefully disappear. What a tremendous disappointment, and if you’re looking to see it because of DeNiro, please, save your money. *Ahem* But Brendan does a great job with his preview, as always.

And now, a little treat this week. A friend of mine more than accepted my invite to rant here about the possibility of a second Taxi Driver. I won’t say anything else to steal his thunder. Ladies and gentlemen: Stephen Jones:

Special Guest Rant: Taxi Driver 2

Taxi Driver is the best movie ever. Every time I watch it I’m in awe of just how much better it is than any other movie I’ve ever seen. My number 2 movie is Casablanca, and the margin between that and Taxi Driver is huge. To me, Taxi Driver is perfect. In every way. It’s the movie that solidified Martin Scorsese’s spot at the top of my list of greatest directors (I’m big on lists). Without it, he still may be there, he may not, but that’s beside the point. The point is; Taxi Driver is the best movie ever.

But…I recently found out via Internet Movie Database that De Niro wants to do a sequel, and Scorsese might be willing to do it. Think about it. A sequel to Taxi Driver. NO! No, no, no, no, no! That is SUCH a bad idea, I don’t know if I can articulate it with words. It’s…ugh. See? Ugh isn’t a word (despite the fact that MS Word doesn’t put a squiggly red line under it). Would you make a sequel to Casablanca? Citizen Kane? 12 Angry Men? Memento? The Godfather? Okay, that last one is a bad example. Taxi Driver began a story, told it better than any other movie ever has, gave it a fantastic (and perfect) ending, and ended. It had a nice ambiguous ending for those that like that, and if you don’t, the ambiguity is easily ignored. And it didn’t do all that great at the box office. Now, that’s a bad thing, sure. If there were any justice it would have killed at the box office, be the best-grossing movie of all time, et cetera. But it didn’t. So there isn’t even THAT reason to make this movie. The only reason this movie would ever be made is this: De Niro’s career sucks right now. There, I finally admitted it. I can count the number of good movies he’s done in the past 5 years on one hand. The Score and Meet the Fockers. City By the Sea was decent, but not by much. He hasn’t been in a really GREAT movie since Wag the Dog in 1997. So, the least surprising thing in this really surprising turn of events is that De Niro is the one who wants to do it.

Scorsese, I’m begging you, right now, on my knees, do not go through with this. You’ve always had good judgment on what movies to do or not. The only movie of yours that I’d qualify as a misstep is Casino, and even THAT was a good movie. Please, have the common sense not to do this. There is no possible way that it can live up to the first one. At all. As much as I love your movies, and as highly as I think of you, there is no way you could make this movie work. The first one was like…I can’t even think of a word for it. No, seriously, I can’t think of what the word is. I mean, work with De Niro again. By all means, make 10 more movies with him. He’s never as good as when he’s in one of your movies, and you’re at your best when working with him. Make all the movies you want together. But not this one. This one is just a bad idea. Get Paul Schrader and it could be good. But it’d just be…good. And you’re all better than that even when you’re NOT working together. Also, Scorsese, you don’t need to do this. You could do any number of movies with De Niro, and your career is in such good shape still (Nominated for an Oscar again, looks like this’ll be your year, finally…again) that you don’t need to go back to Travis Bickle. Leave it so that we don’t know if he’s dead or alive. This movie, as I’ve said before, is just a bad idea.

Of course, I’ll still be first in line to see it if you DO make it…damn it.

Thanks again, Steve! Like what Steve had to say? Hate it? Tell him. You can e-mail him at stephencjones13@earthlink.net Also, is there something about movies that has you down, or is there something that just boils your blood? Let me know and you might get this space to RANT about it. Seriously.

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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