comic book movie day

It’s a good day to be a Marvel comic book fan or a fan of the Marvel movies.

The good ones. Not Fantastic Four or Punisher.

First up is the Iron Man 2 trailer that’s going to be in front Sherlock Holmes. It’s a brilliant, if not formulaic, preview of the April 30 release, a weekend Marvel is trying to keep a hammerlock on. (Iron Man in 2008, Wolverine 2009, Iron Man 2 2010, Spidey 4 2011 and Avengers 2012.) The trailer is brilliant because it keeps the focus where it belongs for the first half — on powerful flake Tony Stark — and then hits the action halfway through, with a peek at War Machine to end it. Perfect. The quick shots of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow and Mickey Rourke as Whiplash were sufficient enough to tease, and as long as they don’t go all Spider-Man 3, two villains shouldn’t be a problem. We even get a near-subliminal look at Sam Jackson as Nick Fury (at the 1:33 mark in case you miss it the first time). The only thing missing is a non-War Machine shot of Don Cheadle, but that’s understandable since he’s replacing Terrence Howard and no one wants to confuse the audience. Anyway, enough talk, here it is:

it's officially safe to be pumped for x-men: first class

it's officially safe to be pumped for x-men: first class

That’s only the half of it today. Positively GREAT news from the world of the X-Men movies — Bryan Singer is coming back to the franchise to direct the prequel X-Men: First Class. It can’t be the straight comic adaptation, because Iceman and Angel would have to be included. The movies already set them up as a teens when Cyclops, Jean Gray and Beast were adults. Going prequel is the only place to go with the franchise, since the only ones left alive were Wolverine and Storm. Since Halle Berry almost torpedoed X3 by saying she wouldn’t sign on unless they gave her a bigger role and Wolverine already has his spin-off, and since no one is getting any younger, prequel seemed logical. You have to imagine Professor X, Beast, Cyclops and Jean Gray are in. After that, probably Storm and … who? They could just blow up the mythology of the movie trilogy and use Iceman, but that’s a stretch. As far as Singer goes, as much as I liked X3, it didn’t have the heart of the first two. He deserves to be back on the X-Men scene.

Awards season rolls on with the Screen Actors Guild nominations announced this morning. No shockers here. It’s already getting boring seeing the same people in the same categories both in movies and in TV. The TV trends you need to know — Glee, Modern Family and The Good Wife seem to be the three critical and audience breakout hits of the year, and everything else that was good before is still good. There, that was easy. The contenders for Best Picture at the Oscars are starting to look more and more solid too. Up in the Air, Precious, The Hurt Locker and Nine are looking like locks and there is a group of about eight others that seem to be in the running. The mysteries will be in whether something like Star Trek or Up snare a nomination, but movies like Inglourious Basterds, Invictus and A Single Man are looking better by the day.

there were actually six dave foleys. this is the early newsradio dave foley ... not my favorite

there were actually six dave foleys. this is the early newsradio dave foley ... not my favorite

One of my biggest man-crushes has always been Dave Foley. I was an unflinching fan of Kids in the Hall back in the 80s and could often be heard to say things like, “Sketch comedy starts and ends with Kids in the Hall.” Because for a while, it did. I had an imported, bootlegged, 10-hour “best of” compilation on VHS that my cousins who spent their summers in Canada gave me, and I played it like Bryan Adams played his guitar in Summer of ’69 — til my fingers bled. It was one of the few tapes I played so much that there would be spots where the sound would distort or just disappear and the picture looked like the TV in Poltergeist. Seeing them in concert in 2000 was a life highlight even thought they just did a lot of their old material, and I was one of three people in the theater to see Brain Candy — two of my brothers were the other two. But Foley wasn’t done there. Now that we’ve had some time to judge, NewsRadioranks third on my list of 90s sitcoms behind two of the all-time best — Seinfeld and Simpsons. I even got excited when Foley guested on an episode of In Plain Sight this year. When the new KITH miniseries gets sold to its former American network HBO — and I’m sure that’s where it will end up — it will once again force me to head down to the cable company to ask what kind of HBO deals they have. If they don’t have any, whatever. I’m getting it. For one month, for one week, doesn’t matter. I’ll be getting it.

There is a line in that interview about Foley getting the NewsRadio job because of a Chicken Lady sketchon KITH where he played straight and got most of the laughs. This is the sketch he’s talking about, one of my top 10 KITH sketches even though I don’t like Chicken Lady. My favorite line: “Can I get you a beer or do you wanna just drink out of the toilet?” “A beeeerrrrr.”

So Hugh Grant hasn’t done a movie in two years. So what. That shouldn’t be the focus of this story. The focus should be, “Has anyone noticed Hugh Grant hasn’t made a movie in two years?” If you asked me, I probably would have said there was a another Bridget Jones Diary in there somewhere. He also has one of the wierdest screen personalities of this generation. He’s easily the biggest wuss of the last 20 years, but he’s still incredibly enjoyable in movies like About a Boy and Love Actually. Even in Bridget Jones. He makes men feel like a total dork for liking him. Or is that just me? That said, there isn’t enough Jack Daniels in the Poconos to get me to this Morgans garbage.

And our society decends another level closer to hell as we officially become a reality TV culture. I’m done asking people to stop watching it, I know that’s not happening anymore. But can we at least cut back a tad? Pretty please?

satire, straight comedy, gangster fun, the freshman had it all

satire, straight comedy, gangster fun, the freshman had it all

Ba ha ha. If you were going to randomly pick some movie from the early 90s to turn into a TV show, The Freshman would probably rank somewhere around 497th. At least for most people. But it was a great, if not underappreciated, concept when it came out and has stood the test of time to squeeze its way into the Encore and HBO rotations every now and then. It’s a really funy movie with some random lines I still quote — “Clark Kellogg, from the great state of … Montana!!!” — that always seemed like it should have received more attention than it did. I’ve seen it about 20 times, and I’m still not sure I understand the plot twist at the end that probably has about 20 holes you could poke through, but I’ve got the gist. I’m officially interested.

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