The Weekly Pulse: The Gatekeeper's Guide to Movies

Hi-low everyone. This is the Weekly Pulse for Movies and I am your loveable internet personality, Shaun Norton. It’s been an interesting week in life for me, to keep it simple. For all you current and former college people out there – remember the hectic week right before Spring Break? Yeah, that’s me right now. It’s another slightly late column, but I’m sure you guys won’t mind too much. Midterm papers were semi-hellish this week, and a job I applied for I got, but the positioning sucks, and I’m pretty upset about it. Ever apply for a job with various placement positions *IE, dorm buildings* and everyone and their mother told you there’s no way you’d get the worst one? Well, guess what I got. So right now I’m a bag of mixed emotions, and I’m trying to pack some stuff up so I can get home to enjoy my Spring Break, while trying to pound this column out. Fun times, but what kind of MVW would I be if I couldn’t multi-task it like a champ? ^_^

Real Life is Damn Entertaining

**So, how about the White House’s latest middle finger to the world eh? Quick hitlist:

-John Bolton – “There is no United Nations…. When the United States leads, the United Nations will follow. When it suits our interests to do so, we will do so. When it does not suit our interests, we will not.” Bush appointed him the new U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
-Karen Hughes – Appointed to Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Translation: Put a happy face on the War on Terror and US decisions for the world. The kicker? “Hughes, after all, has been President Bush’s closest confidante and communications guru since his days as Texas governor – but focused largely on domestic issues.
-Michael Griffin – Appointed to head Nasa. His background? “President and chief operating officer of In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit investment organization sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served as the deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and worked on missile defense systems from 1986 to 1991.
-Paul Wolfowitz – Arguably the worst insult of the bunch. He is the U.S. nominee for President of the World Bank. My head is spinning….

**Two more bits this week, both coming out of Russia. Check this out:

-The Russian news agency Novosti has conducted an interview with Leonid Shebarshin, who served as the KGB’s “chief of foreign spying” in the 1980s, and was named acting KGB chairman after the failed coup of 1991. Shebarshin makes three points which stand out: Iran will be the next target; “international terrorism” is a convenient fiction, and Osama bin Laden “is still today an agent of the CIA.” Take it with a grain of salt right, because it’s just some Russian Spy? Sure. But look online for information about the fact that some people have known for more than three years the reports that bin Laden was treated at the American hospital in Dubai the summer of 2001, and there met with the CIA station chief and others.

– This rumor: Russia is preparing for possible war and its actions on the dollar indicate just that; they are going to back Syria, Iran. China will back Iran. Russia has made deals on oil and gas projects and opened its minerals to trading. This should show soon in response to Chinese raw materials buying. Russia has also abandoned efforts to tie the ruble’s movement closely to the dollar and switched to shadowing both the euro and the US currency. This is the first step to war. Other countries operating de facto dollar pegs will follow suit. With 81 per cent of Russia’s oil exports currently sold to Europe, the move means that Russia will eventually denominate its oil in euros. Asia is following Russia, or should I say leading, and is about to dump dollars in sizeable chunks; they believe that the U.S. dollar is no longer seen as a stable currency and it appears that Malaysia will be the first major Asian economy to dump the dollar. China has already calculated when they
will optimize the dumping of the dollar to provide the greatest strength to a newly un-pegged Yuan. Both events will occur very close together and it will be planned to do the most damage to the US.

Make of it what you will. The information comes from one spot this week. As always, for more insight and elaboration, check out Rigorous Intuition.

You Mean Inside Pulse Talks About Stuff Besides Movies?

Turns out we do.

Wrestling – Want Ring of Honor? They’ve got it. TNA? You bet. WWE? Damn right. Add in insightful, imaginative, well written columns and it’s everything a wrestling fan needs. Trust me, I know.

Games – Gotta love the games guys. Well, I’m a gamer, so I loves me the games guys, anyway. Tons of gaming news, some awesome reviews, and kick ass columns **The Angry Gamer is my hero** round out this section.

Music – I’m not a big music guy at all – I listen to a little bit of everything. But if YOU are big into this kinda thing, you’ll fit right in with this crew.

TV – Your one stop shop for all things Survivor, Apprentice, American Idol, and more! Did someone mention Live Coverage?

Sports – I don’t do sports, but these guys do, and they do a hell of a job too.

Comics – These guys make me want to start collecting and reading comics again. A fantastic section that you’d be hard-pressed to find better elsewhere.

Figures – Grown men play with/collect dolls/figures. And you do too. So read them, because they’re a very fun section of our site. Awesome, awesome Toy Fair coverage, too.

News You can Use – And We Abuse

You know the deal by now. J. Kern and myself take most of the news from the week, post it here in one easy-to-find spot, and then commentate on/make fun of/rip it up. The headlines are in bold, the news story underneath, and then our comments on said story.

X-Men Director Chosen
Fox has finally chosen a director for the upcoming film X-Men 3. Matthew Vaughn, director of Layer Cake will direct the film for Fox. The studio is also apparently going with a script written by Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Behind Enemy Lines).

Kern: Vaughn was the best man at Madonna’s wedding. My guess is they hired him because he said he could get Madonna to play the White Queen.
Norty: What about talent? Any chance they hired him because of that?
Kern: No. None whatsoever. You wanna know why? Because the guy they got to write it? Same guy who wrote Elektra. But why stop there? Inspector Gadget. But why stop there?! LAST ACTION HERO.
Norty: And X-Men 2…….**Sheepishly**….that was good….
Kern: Are you familiar with the concept of a cosmic balance? When the Final Judgement comes … how is X2 gonna look on the resume against Elektra, Inspector Gadget and Last Action Hero? i’ll tell you how it’ll look: fool’s going straight to Hell.
Norty: Well, I mean, he did do some things well……technically…. I can’t really defend a past like that though.
Kern: LAST. ACTION. HERO. The movie so bad, it drove Schwarzenegger out of show business into the only place on Earth seedier than Hollywood… California politics.
Norty: As a kid I liked Last Action Hero. *Sigh* Simpler times….
Kern: As a kid, i liked to masturbate into a jar. Sometimes it’s best to let your childhood die.

News on Hillary Swank

Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) is in negotiations to star in The Reaping for Warner Bros. & Dark Castle Entertainment. The story is about a young woman who exposes “supernatural” fakes & forgeries…..More….

Kern: Hilary and Scarlett in the same movie? ::gets out the jar::
Norty: Actually….put the jar away. The movie we’re focusing on right now isn’t that one. Put it AWAY Kern! And Swank in the Texas Bible belt? **Shudder** I dunno, I just got this bad chill all of a sudden.
Kern: You thinking what i’m thinking? Boys Don’t Reap? It’ll be a cross-dressing version of The Prophecy? Throw a cameo by Christopher Walken into the mix and you’ve got a humdinger of a film!
Norty: I….yeah Kern. That’s EXACTLY the thought process I was having.
Kern: Liar. You were thinking about Corey Haim again.
Norty: Okay, where the hell did you pull Corey Haim from?
Kern: i tell you … Corey just does not look right with that ragged little hole where his mouth should be.
Norty: You are the most random perv I have yet to come across….
Kern: It’s not my job to edit this thing. i’m just telling it like it is.
Norty: Still – where the hell did you pull Corey Haim from?
Kern: You strike me as a closet Haim fan. You can always tell because they bristle when you mention that you could never tell the difference between Haim and Feldman.
Norty: Man, you are really reaching this week…..long week for you?
Kern: Don’t cross me, Shaun! i will go into your room and knock over every last My Little Pony on your curio display.
Norty: I think you have me confused with McCullar, actually. But OKAY! I won’t cross you….this time.

Scarlett Jonansson in Indy 4?

According to Australia’s NW Magazine, Steven Spielberg has his eye on Oscar Winner Scarlett Johansson for a role in the next, long-awaited, Indiana Jones adventure. More….

Norty: Nice info on Scarlett, but bah at the idea of Indy 4. No one can ever let a good thing alone….
Kern: i would watch Scarlett in Gigli 2, to be perfectly honest. She could walk up to me in the street, punch me in the jimmy and i would still love her.
Norty: Well, yes, but any average Joe could do that too Kern. Let’s keep it relevant. It’s thanks to you that the character of the Cock-Knocker was even conceived, really.
Kern: i do take issue with Cruise’s assessment that she hasn’t done “anything like that” though. Lost in Translation was a BLOCKBUSTER of a pic. Hell, it was practically Raiders of the Lost Ark. Only instead of a boulder, it was a whiskey commercial. And instead of snakes, it was … Bill Murray. Which is just as frightening if you ask me.
Norty: No one asked you. I allow your bashing of plenty of movie people, but you will NOT bring down the icon that is Bill Murrary.
Kern: Oh, don’t get me wrong … i love watching him. i stare up at the screen and i just get lost in his … pores.
Norty: ….Yeah. I guess you got me on that one. But still, Murrary is awesome.
Kern: Well, how could the voice of Garfield not be awesome, i ask you. i hear he’s up for Marmaduke next year! ::crosses fingers::
Norty: *Sigh* You could suck the happiness out of a room full of leprachauns, you know that?
Kern: The problem is that you derive happiness from a room full of leprechauns. You wanna talk perverse?!
Norty: Well, it is St. Patricks’ holiday week, Kern….
Kern: i don’t get off watching a roomfull of reindeer on Christmas. Nor does a closet stuffed with bunnies do anything for me at Easter. i do get a little excited seeing a truckload of explosives on Independence Day, though…
Norty: Well, I wasn’t really talking about getting off…Whatever. Moving on.

Tarantino Denies Friday the 13th Rumors

Quentin Tarantino has stated that the reports regarding him directing any upcoming Friday the 13th movies for New Line are completely false.

“What’s happening with Friday The 13th? Nothing at all! It’s a complete lie.” More…..

Kern: You know … there’s talk that the apartment manager at my building is going to be replaced.
Norty: Why’s that?
Kern: *shrug* i don’t care. Do you care?
Norty: Not so much about your manager, no.
Kern: So why should i care about supposed rumors from unreliable sources involving a dead franchise that didn’t intrigue me in its prime? If you ever bring this topic to me again, i will begin discussing how my apartment manager hasn’t given my screens for the windows after two years of badgering.
Norty: Okay then. Well, I thought Tarantino would very nice for the gig. And obviously something is still up. So, sometime in the future, we WILL talk of this again. So just prep for it now.
Norty: OKAY. We’ll move on.

Matt Damon Wants More Bourne

Matt Damon has gone on record stating that the third Jason Bourne Film, The Bourne Ultimatum , looks like a go.

“We’ll probably do that in about a year and a half,” he says. More…..

Kern: Boy! Nothing gets me exicted for a film like the star asking for plot ideas! i say they focus group the crap out of it!
Norty: Bourne is a solid franchise. What they SHOULD do is bring in Clooney and Pitt, and BAM – instant plot, three more sequels, easy.
Kern: We are still talking aobut the same franchise, right? i’m not so sure Jason Bourne in a casino does much for me.
Norty: Damn. I was just trying to beat you to that one.
Kern: i cannot be beat. You of all people should know that.
Norty: I will never admit that. The day will come, Kern, the day will come…
Kern: Maybe if Clooney and Pitt had your back.
Norty: Pfft. Clooney could take you with his eyes closed and Damon and Pitt sipping cocktails in the background.
Norty: I’d just have to snap my fingers, really.
Kern: You’d have to pull your fingers out of your nose to snap them. And frankly, i don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Norty: Hey man I SO broke that habit like…..six months ago….

Sam Jackson Signs on for Flight 121

Samuel L Jackson will join New Line Cinema’s Flight 121. David Ellis (Cellular) will be directing the project, scheduled to start in May. The screenplay was originally written by John Heffernan and most recently rewritten by Sebastian Gutierrez (Gothika). Jackson plays an FBI agent transporting a witness for a major criminal case on an airplane. Trouble is that the plane is full of snakes.

Kern: …
Norty: ….
Kern: You usually don’t make jokes when you’re introducing the material.
Norty: I’m not joking…..that’s the movie.
Kern: And Samuel L. Jackson … THE Samuel L. Jackson signed on to do it?!
Norty: …yes
Kern: This is like the punchline to those old 80s jokes … “It’s like Die Hard … on a plane!” “It’s like Die Hard … on a boat!” Only it’s .. “Like Passenger 57 … with snakes!”
Norty: I’m still in shock, really. I mean, there has to be some good here that I’m missing right?
Kern: “Do you play roulette?”
“On occasion…”
“Lemme give you some advice … always bet on snakes!
Norty: Maybe that should be the tagline…
Kern: Snakes … ::shakes head:: Why did it have to be snakes?
Norty: I hate snakes.
Kern: The only thing that could POSSIBLY save this movie? If Jon Voight gets eaten by an anaconda. THEN gets regurgitated into the engine, sending the plane into a tailspin, which is in turn saved by MASTER YODA AND THE FORCE!
Norty: …..this movie is doomed.
Kern: Go on. Tell me my movie is dumber than theirs. YOU CAN’T. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T GET ANY DUMBER.
Norty: You’re right. It doesn’t. On paper, your movie does sound better than this.
Kern: THEN the Rapture comes! And the only one who can stop it is Hilary Swank!
Norty: …..we’re doomed.
Kern: Not if Hilary can convince Jesus to have a three-way with her and Scarlett Johansson, we’re not!
Norty: Well, if I know anything about Jesus, he’s not going to be down with that. Unless it’s South Park Jesus. I can see him being into that.

Star Slips Possible Spidey 3 Info

Chloe Sevigny says that she would love to have a role in Spider-Man 3 In doing so, she may have dropped a minor bomb-shell about who the villain will be in the third film. More….**I am such a jerk**

Kern: Personally, i’m hoping its the role of Buxom Lass, a top-heavy blonde who’s power is to rub somebody’s face into her gazongas until they pass out.
Norty: But then no crime fighter could stop her. Well, maybe a chick crime fighter. Hmm. That’d get very interesting, if you follow me…
Kern: Oh, no. You’re thinking of Lesbian Pornwoman, who has the mutant power to freeze men in their tracks by kissing other hot lesbians.
Norty: Oh right. Sorry. I get them so easily confused sometimes. So you think this girl could be good in the movie?
Kern: Who cares so long as she’s hot? And she is. Hot.
Norty: True enough. Still think they messed up bad with Mary Jane though….
Kern: You think they should have made her Lesbian Pornwoman?
Norty: No. I think she should have been kept far, far away from the role. And I say this as a Spidey fan, as well as a movie fan.
Kern: Speaking as a Sam Raimi fan … i don’t care what they do so long as Bruce Campbell gets a cameo.
Norty: That’s true too.

Whedon to Direct Wonder Woman

Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator) will direct Wonder Woman for producer Joel Silver and Warner Bros. Pictures. He will also be writting the screenplay. More…..

Norty: *Yawn*
Kern: Wow. There is only one name in the whole wide world of movies that would make me not scoff at the idea of a Wonder Woman movie, and Joss Whedon is it.
Norty: So are you now interested in the film?
Kern: i am. Any man who can turn a cheerleader turned vampire slayer into a bankable commodity deserves my vote.
Norty: I see. That’s interesting. I might become interested if the rumors of Kim Basinger don’t pan out. Old lady Wonder Woman – no matter what kind of MILF – just doesn’t cut it here.
Kern: Well, Captain Underage … i’m sure the Olsen Twins are available. The great thing about them is that if one of them ends up in rehab, the other can just take over from there!
Norty: Listen chief, there are rumors of other ladies to fill the role, including Jessica Biel. So why you gotta go low and….talentless?
Kern: Well, you like them young, apparently. i was shooting for “young and legal”, but it seems that’s not your style. i’m sure we can find an over-developed 14-year old. That more your speed?

Trailer of the Week: Layer Cake

The Plot: Just as a successful cocaine dealer, who has earned a respected place among England’s Mafia elite, eyes an early retirement from the business, big boss Jimmy Price hands down a tough assignment: find Charlotte Ryder, the missing rich princess daughter of Jimmy’s old pal Edward, a powerful construction business player and gossip papers socialite. Complicating matters are two million pounds’ worth of Grade A ecstasy, a brutal neo-Nazi sect and a whole series of double crossings.

The Link: Here
The Analysis:

Michaelangelo “Pound Cake” McCullar: This looks incredibly intriguing. I’ve heard about this movie on the periphery of all things film, and of course the exposure has risen significantly since Matthew Vaughn got upped to direct X-Men 3. I find it interesting that, once again, a director making a splash with a crime flick is getting the nod to helm an X-Men flick. I get a sort of Brit Light Sleeper vibe from this. Hopefully this will be just as good.

Eh, you can always count on Michaelangelo, even in a slow week for real, stellar stand out trailers. We all went gaga over the new Sin City trailer, but that movie has already been a TotW. Hmm. Maybe I should re-work the rules of this. Anyway, McCullar pretty much sums up the few opinions I could scrounge up on the trailer.

Reviews We Sit Through – For You!

I missed a week. Again, my bad. But, as per norm, this will cover movie reviews posted to the site between when the last column would have been and now. There are earlier ones, very good ones, so check them out too if you haven’t already.

Robots – I am DYING to see this movie. Really, really bad. It looks great, sure, but ROBIN WILLIAMS is in it. Robin + anything = I’m there Hopefully over Spring Break. It doesn’t help my damn desire any when Brendan Campbell gives the movie a 9 and calls it a must see. Read his review to see why you should see it too, if you haven’t already.

Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine – What? What is this? Oh, I see. Ryan Closs has found another interesting documentary to bring to the light of the mainstream. Is this one worth anyone’s attention? Well, yes and no. Read him to see if this one’s for you.


**It’s about here that I begin to really run out of steam on the column….**

The Incredibles – I just don’t think there’s any more love I can lavish upon this masterpiece of cinema. But, you best believe Travis Leamons has some great things to say about it. A perfect score folks – what else do you need?

Raging Bull: Special Edition – Ah, Raging Bull – does it get any better than this? Not for DeNiro, that’s for sure. Newbie Scott Schwartz makes a splash with his excellent review of this classic, excellent film.

Flight of the Phoenix – Popcorn entertainment, says McCullar, and that is a man who knows his popcorn from his perfection. Or so he makes it seem. At any rate, check out his review of a film that seems to be decent fun to kill some time.

Heat: Special Edition – This Scott guy really got the cream of the crop this week, this time with Pacino and DeNiro in the same film with both men at the top of their game. Another awesome film with an excellent review. Check it out.

Hoosiers: Special Edition – What the heck, is this guy the secret love child of Coogan or something? Another 9.5 movie he gets, this time reviewing one of the, if not the, greatest sports movies ever. Just read everything he writes, because he gets mostly gold and handles it well.

Alfie – To Campbell, the proud Canadian, he asks the question “What’s it all aboot, Alfie?” and he gets a pretty decent answer. I liked this film a lot, compared to many who hated it, and Brendan found it pretty decent too. Check his review to find out if you’ll like this movie or not.

We Even Do Columns!

Ole Rob Sutton keeps his BADASS preperation for War of the Worlds going strong by taking a close look at ET this week. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the little guy, even if I love his planet destroying kin so much more. Rob then returns to form with a BADASS look at Batman Returns. Not that there’s much competition, but my favorite Batman film ever.

Gah. Brad Torreano delves into the world of Japanese Cult Film, and I just stare at the screen dumbfounded. Seriously, Mondo Culto XVI is one of the most awesome columns he has written yet, if not the most awesome. I like the word awesome I guess. Go read him, and read him now. Not for the weak of heart! **Or Stomach**

Michaelangelo McCullar takes a look at Millers Crossing, and that is his Perfect Flick this week. What? I can’t rip the guy up every week. Sometimes there’s only so much to say……*cough* Or you just take the high road. Either or.

Let’s welcome Rob Russo and his new column. He, like everyone else, adds something special to the Movies Pulse and we’re damn glad to have him writing for us. This week, Setting the Trend debuts **at least I think that’s the title** and he looks at how the Academy shafts comedies year after year. Hell of a piece of work Rob – welcome to the cult….err, family. ^_^

I also write a column on trailers. Everybody loves trailers, right? Check it out if you like trailers and to be kept up to speed on what opens this weekend, DVD releases, and the newest trailers on the web.

Finally, Matt Coates debuts this week too with his Holistic DVD Column. Again, another writer I’m more than happy to welcome to our little fold here. He contributes some nice DVD reviews in one spot, thanks to the membership service he’s a part of. Good times. Give him a read and a warm welcome like you gave the rest of us. **Cough**

The End

Well, that’s a wrap. Late is better than not at all – that’s weak, I know, but I’m tryin here guys. Life is hectic as hell – I keep saying this, but next week should be much better. Thanks for sticking with me.

As usual,

Until Next Time…

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