The Weekly Pulse: The Gatekeeper's Guide to Movies

As Blog-Soft As I’ll Ever Get – From the heart

Hello gang. No, don’t adjust your monitors. Wipe up that bit of cola that just came shooting out your mouth at the sight of my name on the headline. It is I, The Gatekeeper, Norty News Guy, returning for the first time in almost three months to the Weekly Pulse. It’s been a crazy ride for me, a crazy summer that I just did not expect. Take it from me, I had all intents and purposes to make this my summer at the Pulse. Unfortunately, as things sometimes go, my life became incredibly rocky. Now, I would never thinking of turning this column into a personal pulpit, a blog to vent and cry and moan and clue everyone into my life outside the Pulse, but let me just say that something I wasn’t prepared for knocked me for a loop, and, as you know, once it starts raining in life, it tends to pour. And pour it did. And, on top of/related to that, I allowed someone I trusted, someone whose opinion meant more than the world to me, to destroy my faith in my writing ability. I’ve had something far worse than writers block this summer, and I actually have to take a second to send a big, no, HUGE thank you out to Coogs, Widro, and pretty much everyone here at IP Movies, and the Pulse in general. They appreciated me enough to allow me the time I needed, and they saved me a spot in the re-launch. I cannot put into words what that means to me, only that I’m back, and thank you for having me back.

Ryan Closs Filling My Shoes – As good as a Canadian can, anyway

So, I’m not going to lie, I really didn’t have the time (or personal interest) to keep pace with what was going on in movie news land, or hell, even at the Pulse. I do recall, one of the few times I checked in, one Mr. Mike McCullar ruining the ending of the latest Harry Potter for me (“I announced it on the forums!”….that bastard). But otherwise, I really wasn’t around. So you can imagine my surprise when I came on to see Inside Pulse – Version 2. Quite a site re-design huh? I’m sure it’s nothing new to any of you, but man, what a long overdue upgrade. Is it perfect? No, but what is? It succeeds in it’s aims, and that is giving IP a real identity, a real unique look. Cheers to the bright future I’m sure the site has.

Of course, with the re-launch, some big changes came down the pipe. Being a movie man, that’s where my focus lies, and being a news guy, I….well, there’s no more news! No dedicated section, anyway. What’s a news guy to do!? Well, regardless of what we ultimately decide on, the Weekly Pulse will still be your source for the news. The emphasis will be even greater now than it was before, but of course the selection of bytes will be even more….uh, selective. And as I figure out where the layout and design of this particular column goes, I need to address the man who kept it alive for me in my absence. Ryan Closs, everyone’s favorite Canadian (When Campbell disappears) did a particularly fine job with things here. No, that’s a lie. He did a damn fine job with the column, and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to erase me from the readers minds keep my column alive. So, Mr. Closs, I extend to you a huge, manly THANK YOU for doing what you do. But, Ryan’s Roundup served it’s purpose, and you can consider it retired. Effective immediately, The Gatekeeper’s Guide is back. Oh yeah, I know. I’ll wait for the cheers to die down.

Into the real stuff now – no, really, we are!

Well, I’ve missed pimpin these fantastic writers, and I’ve taken long enough to get to it, so let’s get right into the movie reviews.

Well, really, it seems things have changed a tiny bit in the past few months. Or maybe I came back during a really good week for this guy. Scott Sawitz has reviews for The 40 Year Old Virgin (near perfect), Red Eye (slightly above-average), Supercross (poor), and Broken Flowers (near perfect).

How the hell did I miss even hearing about Broken Flowers? Damn it, I am NEVER having a bad summer again (I hope….)

Can’t forget Ryan Closs and his review of The Aristocrats, any more than I can forget that joke. Or Bob Saget. Come on, like he doesn’t haunt your dreams? Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck d**k for coke. Now that’s an addiction. You ever suck some d**k for marijuana? **Shudder**

DVD Reviews

Michaelangelo “IruinbooksbecauseIhadagoodsummerandspeedreadthroughthemanddon’tcareifanyoneelsehasn’tfinishedthemyet” McCullar reviews Man of the House (God-awful), Kung Fu Hustle (great), and The Crow: Wicked Prayer (God-awful). McCullar, in general, is about as great as Tara Ried, in, well, anything. No, he’s worse, because SHE didn’t ruin Harry Potter for me. You big jerk! (I’m still bitter – it’ll pass next week).

Rob Sutton reviews Dario Argento’s Trauma and walks away pretty disappointed in the film.

Ryan Closs sits throgh Because of Winn Dixie and considers it a great family film.

Scott Sawitz watches Ashton Kutcher try to woo Amanda Peet in A Lot Like Love and actually really enjoyed the film.

Columns Too!

Now the gettin gets good. Rob Sutton covers the God that was Burt Reynolds in his Bad Ass Cinema write up this week. For someone who suffered a huge fall from grace like he did, I think Burt is doing just fine for himself. Solid column Rob – I missed having the weekly Bad Ass-ness in my literary diet.

Brendan Campbell gives you the Weekend Box Office Review. Not much else to say, really. Yay for virgins!

Brad Torreano is still one of the most in-depth columnists I read, here or anywhere else. This week, Mondo Culto XXXVIII focuses on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Good lord….thirty-eight. I remember Mondo Culto I. Insane. Fantastic work by Brad, as per norm.

ML Kennedy is a new face to me, obviously appearing on the movie scene during my absence. I can see his column, Contradicting Popular Opinion, being a major hotbed of all sorts of strife, counter-opinion, negative reaction, hate mail….but man is it a sweet read. Like this week, he tears The Matrix a new one, which is pretty refreshing to see. Of course, I’ll probably hate it when he hits on something I love, but for this week, have yourself a great read.

Newz from the Headlines

Universal and Fox to Play Halo

If you’ve lived under a rock and don’t know what Halo is, I suggest you take a minute to go outside, smack yourself silly, then come back and read up on it. Halo is one of the biggest video games in recent memory, and now its trip to the big screen is finalized. The film will be released in 2007, a result of a deal signed on Wednesday between Microsoft and two studios, Universal and 20th Century Fox. The studios reportedly agreed to pay Microsoft $5 million, plus a percentage of the box-office gross for the rights. As part of the deal, Universal will oversee production of the movie and distribute it domestically, while Fox will distribute it overseas. Thoughts: Oh, sweet, sweet geek joygasm I just had. Could they screw this up? Sure, but reports are widely circulating that Bungie Studios, creators of Halo, are directly involved in heavy consultation on the project. They have also created a guide, or ‘bible’ that the studios are supposed to follow. Could this be screwed up? Sure – what video game movie hasn’t been? But so long as they stay the course – and do NOT show the Master Chief’s face, ever – this could wind up being one of the biggest things to hit in 2007, behind Spiderman 3 and who knows what else.

The Future After DVD Heats Up

The National Association of Video Distributors (NAVD) has joined the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) in calling for a single high-definition DVD standard to be agreed upon before any product is released in the high-definition format. The NAVD board on Wednesday endorsed the VSDA’s “Baseline Criteria for High Definition DVD Format,” which, while taking no position on which of the two competing formats should be adopted, concluded that distributing product in “more than one format is likely unsustainable” and that a format war would “confuse the public and lead to reluctance to embrace either format.” Thoughts: For those who don’t know, Toshiba and Sony are both locked in a stubborn duel to release new formats next year to begin to replace DVDs. Sony has the Blu-Ray, and Toshiba has HD-DVD. For a brief moment in time, it looked like they would combine their mediums, but plans fell through. Hollywood is divided, with major studios falling on either side of the line. But, if the companies go ahead with plans to fight for market share, the results could be brutal. If a format war is allowed, it’s going to destroy the market for consumers, who will just be confused and turned off by the whole situation. It could also seriously damage the future of HD anything on discs. I’ll go into this in deeper detail next week, but the future is bleak in all aspects of the situation.

Old School is New School

Dreamworks has given the green light for Old School 2 to happen. Todd Phillips will co-write and direct again, while Scot Armstrong will pen the screenplay as well. No cast members have been announced yet. The first starred Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Luke Wilson in a comedy about three middle-aged men who start their own fraternity at a local college.Thoughts: Well, this is pretty solid news ont he sequel front. I mean, if you ignore the fact that a lot of comedies have very sub-par sequels, and focus instead on the comedic ability of the cast (should they return) and their chemistry, along with what good would come of another solid script to work off of, well, you’d be the kind of optimist I’d love to meet. Seriously though, the first film was fantastic fun, and if they do even half of that right, the second one should be worth the time and money too. Or I can hope, anyway. Can’t be any worse than Deuce Bigalow 2….

So, yeah, it was kind of a slow news week to make my big return in, but it’s a start. You know you’re just glad to have me back anyway.

Fin

A relatively quick wrap up this week, as I’m just really glad to be back and to still be able to do this. I’m toying around with the column in my head, along with what to add, any format changes, you know, stuff like that. Any suggestions are of course welcome, but otherwise, as usual…..

Until Next Time…