Sunday, June 27, 2004

More Like "Chronicle"...

Well, thanks to Box Office Mojo, I think we can safely say the grand experiment of "Chronicles of Riddick" has come to an end. It cost $140 million to make, and as of now grossed $50 million worldwide. Its attendance dropped 61% in the second weekend. It's been panned by critics. I'm doubting there will ever be a sequel, so Riddick's character will never return. That's a shame, because I still think Riddick was the character Vin Diesel was born to play, and he was awesome. Too bad about all the evil. On the plus side, rumors are floating about Vin Diesel playing Lex Luthor in the next Superman movie, which (to me) would be a dream cast on the level of Patrick Stewart playing Professor X.

Also check out this interview in USA Today with Vin Diesel. It's got a more complex picture of the guy than I've heard before.

Please Standby

I heard a bit on NPR about how computers cost billions in wasted electricity because they're left on. The guy was advocating that everyone use the standby/sleep feature on their computers, because (as he put it) a lot of people put a lot of effort into implementing that feature, and users rarely use it. So set your computers to automatically going on standby, people.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Wikipedia: Sifl and Olly

Watching the Sifl and Olly Show on Wimamp drove me to wonder...where the heck did it come from? I did the research and wrote up an article for Wikipedia. Wish I could get some of those on video.

"This is Precious Roy! And I like the nice, hot donuts!"
-Precious Roy

Friday, June 25, 2004

Not-So-Simple Test

I was all set to buy AlamDV, that special-effects program I mentioned, based on "The Test." I figured if that guy could do an amazing movie like that in one afternoon with AlamDV, then I'm there. But then I found the guy's website where he explained how he did some of the effects. First of all, it's great stuff, very informative. Second, I couldn't help noticing he did almost none of the effects with AlamDV. He mainly did it with Adobe Premeire, which is very expensive. Sigh...back to the drawing board. This guy has some good links to moviemaking stuff, too, by the way.

Trouble Already?

Quicker than I thought we would, we have to do an Olsen Twins update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)...just days after their 18th birthday, one of the Olsen twins has caused her first scandal. She checked into a clinic for treatment of an eating disorder, anorexia.

Now besides the shock of how quickly the Olsens managed to rip off their veil of purity, I think this story also illustrates why I listen to gossip. I've been reading stories about Mary-Kate Olsen having an eating disorder for months. People have expressed shock at how bone-thin she is. And of course, as in this People Magazine article, the Olsens denied it for months. Now, surprise, it's true. Stuff like this makes the National Enquirer look like the New York Times.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Toning Up

One of the most compelling parts about that GQ article profiling a guy who went from tubby to hardbody in three months was his first interview with a trainer. He said, "I want a beach body." So the trainer said "Okay, we'll do whole body workouts." That surprised the author, because he grew up on individual part training (aka. tricep curls, leg lifts, etc.). His trainer said whole-body exercises like dead lifts would do the job better.

I've been trying to research that theory and found a great article at that explains why you can do hundreds of bicep curls for years and never see any muscle pop up. It's called "Can You Really Tone Your Body," and it has some really good points. Also a good article at about how to carry out aerobic exercises to burn fat. There's also a good one called "7 Easy Steps To Weight Loss" and "Bodybuilding for Beginners" with some great tips on increasing your diet. I really want to try that, but first I need money to buy food.

Batman Beginning

There's a great article on MSNBC about the "Batman Begins" production. It's basically "The last Batman movies sucked. We're sorry about that. These guys are trying to fix it." Seems like they've made some bold moves, like giving the movie to an inexperienced director, scrapping everything including the Tim Burton version, and making it a drama. And Morgan Freeman is Lucius Fox! This movie just screams "Watch me." But I'm confused. Last I heard, the villain was Ras Al-Ghul played by Ken Watanabe, and he's still in the cast list on IMDB. But this article says the villain is the Scarecrow, yet there's no listing for Scarecrow or Crane (Scarecrow's alter ego) on IMDB. Is it Scarecrow, Ras al-Ghul, or both? Very strange. But never mind. Check out a video of the unveiling of the new Batmobile in all its glory.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

How to Fight Yourself

I stumbled across this site by a guy who makes short films with homemade CGI FX. There's one called "The Test," which is basically a kick-butt action movie with a cast of one...himself. It's incredible as a short film in its own right (really epic feel), but the fact that he did it all by himself is amazing. And he says he did it in one afternoon. If I only had that kinda technology, imagination, and time.

Behind the Chronicles

There's a great interview with David Twohy, the guy who created, wrote, and directed "Chronicles of Riddick" at Not only is it interesting as to how the process came about, but also that there are virtually no spoilers. I really want to see this movie, just so I can find out what the heck they're talking about. Did they really create an original scifi vision as they intended or is it just a "Star Wars" knock-off as others claim. Given that "Pitch Black" was considered an "Aliens" knock-off, I can only hope that "Chronicles" does for SW rip-offs what "Pitch" did for Alien-ripoffs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Driv3r Movie

To promote the third version of "Driver," known as "Driv3r," they created a short film on the official website that can only be described as "Gone in 60 Seconds Lite." It's pretty awesome, considering it's just a promo for a videogame. My only question is, how do you pronounce "driv3r?" "Drive-Three-Er?" Everyone just calls it "Driver 3," anyway. That's what happens when marketing people get too much power.

Fan Edits

Dweeby D. told me his re-edit of "Kill Bill" got him thinking about distributing it, and I did a little research to find out how. It turns out there's a small but growing number of these. Of course, the most famous is the Phantom Edit of "Phantom Menace." By the way, did you know they found the guy who did it? And it wasn't Kevin Smith. Anyway, there's also a fan edit of "A.I." that sounds good, and a fan edit of "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier." And of course, there's the fan-made trailers.

Anyway, I still don't know how Dweeby's going to release his version. There's no "fan edit central" than I can see. I think posting anonymously on forums and letting people download it off the P2P networks might work. But I realized Dweeby's going to have to go back and make the editing cleaner if he wants to release his version. The jumps and static won't cut it among the big boys.

Here's a more comprehensive series on the whole fan edit phenomenon at Zap2It.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Ungrateful Life

You know, there was a time when I thought "The Simple Life" could teach two spoiled brats a lesson in manners or at least the real world. Now I know that some people are just rotten to the core. Of course, I refer to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. I watched all season how the Leding family took in these total strangers, gave them a home and food, protected them, gave them jobs and love, and put their reputations on the line for these two lovely ladies. And how do Paris and Nicole repay the Ledings? With these amazingly cruel comments about them. Life is just not fair.

Realistic Skintones

Found this pretty good tutorial on how to match skintones and stuff using Paint Shop Pro...stay tuned.

Olsen Twins: Barely Legal

At last, the day has arrived. D-Day of the Olsen Twins Countdown has come and they officially turn eighteen. Yesterday, I would've been arrested for saying this, but now I can say it. I think the Olsen Twins are freakin' sexy. They are the hottest kind of hot there is, that "I don't know I'm hot" hotness that Britney used to have until she went the Madonna route. And twins...say no more. So here's that Rolling Stone photo spread that we can now legally enjoy, brought to us by the same people who put Britney in hot pants before she was eighteen. That's disgusting...they should've waited until she was legal, like the rest of us. Or maybe they perform a valuable service outing unspeakable male desire.

In a serious note, I think the Olsen Twins are doomed to failure. Their current popularity comes from their preteen wholesomeness which won't translate into adulthood. As long as they have that "Full House" innocence, they'll be a punchline not taken seriously. Most likely, one or both will try to go the Dirty Girl route, which (while enjoyable) will send them down the Elizabeth Berkley path of becoming a slut (one word: "Showgirls").

Besides that, they want to be taken seriously as individuals, which can't work. They've built their entire career around being twins. It's ninety percent of their fame. They can't just flip a switch and turn that off. Either they go through every twin-movie script in Hollywood or one will inevitably become more famous than the other, which will tear them apart or they'll both fail. I'm voting for the latter myself. But who thought they could have a career beyond "Full House" in the first place? They have had incredible success so far. If they succeed, it would be a miracle. I wonder who their agent is?

Here are some good articles on this topic:
CBS News piece on how they became megastars, also asking them the "are you sexy" question
"When Aren't They Hot" - Beldarblog
Olsen Twins Grace Cover of Rolling Stone - Adrants
Jaboobie's Olsen Twins Countdown
Olsen Twins Coming of Age - This one makes the point that, in some states, the legal age is 16, so this is all a moot point. Fun while it lasted, though.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Behind the Restaurant Curtain

Here's the link to the search engine for Phoenix's restaurant health inspection reports. Read them...if you dare.

Flashback: Brain Drain

But you remember "Braindrain," an HBO series of short animated films based on educational issues. It's intimately associated with "Fraggle Rock" to me, because those two were the only thing I really watched on HBO. I remember segments based on memory, where they showed scenes and you had to find the things missing, and mathematical games. The opening was cool, a series of people whispering "braindrain" with increasingly loud voices until it became one guy yelling "Brain Drain!" It was loads of fun.

This was a tough one, because HBO's "Brain Drain" seems to be the only TV show in the universe that doesn't have a hardcore fan following. The only article I could find on it was a review of the videotapes. Turns out there were only six episodes, chopped up and reformed into different episodes. I remember more than that, but also remember a lot of repeats. I'm surprised that "SuperGran" got more attention than "Brain Drain," a truly great educational series before Bill Nye came along.

Randomlynx: The Critic Makes Waves

Found this pretty cool archive of Wav files featuring the Critic's greatest parodies. I'd forgotten some of them, like "Planet of the Dogs" and Iraq's "Brown Acres."

Going McCommando

We've got a naked drive-through update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)...police in North Carolina have sent out an APB for a man who went through a fast-food drive-through completely naked. Yes, they're searching for a man described as a "hairy, big-bellied man in his 30s" who went through a restaurant drive-through lane last week. When he stepped out of his car to get his food, they discovered he wasn't wearing anything. Apparently, this guy has been showing up at the restaurant before wearing only underwear, but found even that too constricting. (click here) They need to put up one of those "no shirt, no shoes, no underwear, no service signs."
Categories: news

Friday, June 04, 2004

Wikipedia: Operation Fortitude

I looked up an article on D-Day at Wikipedia, because the anniversary is tomorrow and found this article about a secret operation called Operation Fortitude to convince the Germans the attack would take place at a coast other than Normandy. They basically had a team create a fake army, complete with papier-mache airplanes and artificial troop movements. I need to read more about this, cause that's cool.


And now for a McDonald's update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)...I got a book from the library called McLibel, about a libel suit in Britain that started with McDonald's trying to shut up two environmentalists, and turned into a lawsuit that last years and dragged all the company's dirty laundry into the public eye. It spawned a great website called McSpotlight, dedicated to trashing McDonald's 24/7. Some of it is over the top, but it does make you think.

"Eating responsibly at McDonald's is like going to a strip club for the iced tea."
- Roger Ebert

Randomlynx: Virtual Trading Cards

Check out these fan-made virtual trading cards for Battlestar Galactica and Justice League, etc. Wish I could make some virtual Sliders cards. I may do that.

My Big, Fat, Geek Movie Critic

Just in case you missed it, here's a Harry Knowles update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)'s the link to the article that turned me against Harry Knowles. Hardly unbiased, but I thought he made some good points. Warning: Some language may be unsuitable for children and Christians.