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Sunday, August 31, 2008

$502.4 MILLION AND COUNTING... That’s how much The Dark Knight has made in the United States since its release on July 18. Expect George Lucas to try to reclaim the No. #2 spot (or possibly the #1 spot...dethroning Titanic) on the all-time domestic box office chart by releasing the Star Wars: Special Edition Digitally Enhanced Director’s Cut 3-D version on IMAX. You know that doesn’t sound so farfetched.



And going back to Disaster Movie, it is currently No. #1 on the Bottom 100 list on IMDb.com. You suck, Friedberg and Seltzer.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

DISASTER MOVIE... This film currently has a "fresh" 00% rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Would it be disturbing of me to suggest that director/writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, as well as the studio big wigs behind this abomination, Epic Movie, Date Movie and all those other (Blank) Movie "spoofs" (oh, and Meet the Spartans) need to be shot in the head? Multiple times?

Didn't think so.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Optimus Prime in Long Beach.

REVENGE OF THE FALLEN Update... Lots of updates this week, including interviews by Transformers 2 writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, photos and videos of the current film shoot taking place in Long Beach (California), and another ‘burnt’ photo of Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky. Since the excerpt below was copied word for word (What’s plagiarism? I never heard of that term), just thought I’d give some free advertisement to the original site in return:

SLASHFILM.COM! SLASHFILM.COM! SLASHFILM.COM! SLASHFILM.COM! SLASHFILM.COM!

An explosion on the Queensland Bridge in Long Beach.

Anyways, here’s the excerpt by Orci:

About Writing Shia’s hand injury into the Script: "Luckily nothing has to be re-shot. Yes, we were on set last week to write it into the movie, not because it’s absolutely necessary, but more because we want to make sure Shia’s hand is protected for the remainder of the shoot..."

On the Leftovers from the First Film: "There were a a couple things we couldn’t do (in Transformers 1 due to) budget, but also because they seemed too "out there" to the studio. Some of those things we get to do in the second movie. After we see it, I’ll point out which."

Regarding the budget for the sequel: "Yes we do get a bit more dough. Expect an upgrade. And we also know better what we can do this time to maximize the mighty buck. And we have the secret weapon that is Ian Bryce."

Length of Transformers 2: "Going by the length of the script can be tricky because the action is longer in reality than on the page. We’re trying to keep it to two hours, but I get a feeling it’ll be about the same as movie 1."

On the Structure of the Sequel: "(Transformers) had 3 plot lines—A boy and his car, soldiers behind enemy lines, and defense policy people—all reacting to Transformers in a somewhat multiple point of view disaster movie paradigm and structure. Part two will be a different paradigm. More like parallel stories."

Location of the Sequel: "The story for part 2 is more global, for sure."

Inspirations for Transformers 2: "Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters and Terminator 2." "We were emulating the style of movie from the old Amblin days, like Back to the Future and Gremlins, which if you watch today are still very funny. Also, the cartoon itself was quite funny. Also, comedy makes things more accessible to a larger audience."

On Michael Bay’s Misinformation Claims: "We knew the names of most, but (Michael Bay) was so upset by leaks that he put out a bit of disinformation, even claiming that we, the writers, had no idea which characters we were writing, which as I hope is painfully obvious, is absurd on its face."

On the difference between the first and second films: "The first movie is all about the mystery and reveal of the Transformers as a concept and a species, which means we had to hide them a lot in the first hour. In the second movie, now that everyone believes in the universe, we can jump right into the world of the Transformers." "The hardest aspect is that you lose the element of surprise. We got away with a lot in the first movies because for a long time, no one thought it would work, or that it was just a silly cartoon, and simply proving that wrong is all we had to do. The first movie was meant to be somewhat of a mystery. For the sequel, we need an entirely different structure and paradigm for the movie, and we can’t rely on it being the first."

Themes in the Sequel: "One of the themes is about the responsibilities you face when being away from home—reflected by Sam going to college and by the fact that the Transformers themselves, are of course, far from Cybertron."

Will the Sequel have any Transformers with Animal Modes like Scorponok? "All signs point to ‘probably.’"

The story of Jonah Hill: "Rumors are not exactly true. He came, he read for a while, and he left. Then days later we had a meeting with him to talk about his concerns, all of which were simple to deal with. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t too close to the character’s he’d been playing, and we told him it would be our pleasure to differentiate him. We all left the meeting smiling and laughing, and his agents and the studio started negotiating. We just couldn’t come up with a mutually satisfactory deal. Sometimes it’s s scheduling conflict, sometimes it’s that an actor only wants to agree to be in one movie at a time... etc. So all I can figure is someone who doesn’t know much saw him leave the read early, and assumed the rest. No hard feelings here."

On the possibility of Robots with Three Alt Modes: "Two 'bot modes may be too much for 2. But later, who knows..."

Teaser Trailer: "Teaser will surely come out before the end of the year."

On the Marketing: "Starting in November, you’ll start seeing the MASSIVE push..."

Film Title: "Alex Kurtzman came up with the title, and it was the only one we put up on the cover of the script."

He also confirmed the film would be aiming for a PG-13 rating, and would be darker than the first.

Here’s a photo of Sam "Two-Face" Witwicky (haha):

Shia LaBeouf continues to smoke despite the effects it has had on his t-shirt.  Just kidding.

And a video of something goin’ BOOOOM in Long Beach. What are the chances Bay will eventually film something at Cal State Long Beach, my alma mater? Production on Revenge of the Fallen still has about 2 months to go, ya know...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NOW THAT THE BEIJING OLYMPICS have come to a close, we look forward to the London Games in 2012. Here is their new, um, logo:

London's new logo for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Here is an older version:

London's old logo for the 2012 Olympic Games.

And now let’s compare the logos of all the cities bidding on the 2016 Games:

The logos of all the cities bidding on the 2016 Olympic Games.

What were those Brits thinking? I guess Michael Phelps will once again have to sweep all the swimming relays 4 years from now to get people's minds off that very 'creative' artwork.


Michael Phelps holds his gold medal on the podium on August 10, 2008. Pictured with Ryan Lochte and László Cseh.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Minka Kelly.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #10... Today’s entry goes to Minka Kelly, of the NBC high school football TV drama, Friday Night Lights. She was also in last year’s action film, The Kingdom...which starred Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper and Jason Bateman. I remember her role in that flick. She played the hot teacher of Foxx’s son. Minka will also appear in an upcoming romantic comedy called 500 Days of Summer, which stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

I wish she was a cheerleader at MY high school.

Minka is currently dating baseball all-star Derek Jeter. Makes me really wish that the Anaheim Angels (NOT the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim...thank you very much, Arte Moreno) destroy the New York Yankees—again—if they meet during the postseason this October.

Brunettes are beautiful.

John Mayer dumped her for Jennifer Aniston. WHAT THE HELL was he thinking?

Speechless...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

REDEMPTION ACHIEVED... Good job, Redeem Team! Now all Kobe and Pau need to do is win gold playing together. GO LAKERS.

The players and coaches for the Redeem Team pose for a group photo after defeating Spain, 118-107, in the gold-medal basketball game in Beijing, China...on August 24, 2008.
Garrett Ellwood / NBAE / Getty Images

Saturday, August 23, 2008

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN Official Logo.

EVEN THOUGH SAG once again rejected a new contract offer by the major movie studios, production continues to go on for the Transformers sequel. First Unit shooting supposedly went on a 4-week hiatus to allow Shia LaBeouf to recover from the hand injury he got from last month’s car accident, but now LaBeouf is back on set...earlier than expected. Apparently, the action in Transformers 2 will be a lot more ferocious than in the first movie...judging from how bloodied and burnt LaBeouf looks in the photo below (don’t drool, ladies). Either that, or he went against Michael Bay’s orders and decided to drive his new motorcycle to the film set after all—and got in yet another crash. Haha.

Sam Witwicky- Bloodied and burnt.

Here’s a candid photo of Megan Fox on the set of TF2. Do you think Katy Perry’s heart is beating (even more) rapidly after she saw this pic?

I could adjust those for you, Megan.

Below are pics of the Corvette Centennial and an ice cream truck...which both happen to be the vehicle modes for two (or should I say three? Rumors go that the ice cream truck is made up of twin robots) new Autobots that will make a debut in Revenge of the Fallen.

The Corvette Centennial and an ice cream truck in REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

And, of course, here’s Sam and Mikaela together. Didn’t think Mikaela is the kind of girl to be entertained by sock puppets.

Shia and Megan share a moment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Me posing in front of the Atlantis Resort in Nassau City, on New Providence Island.

64 MILES AWAY... I’m back! I returned from my trip to Florida and The Bahamas yesterday. Overall, it was a good trip. I visited Key West in the Florida Keys, saw alligators in the Everglades, drove past Miami, and took that cruise to Nassau City on The Bahamas' New Providence Island. So how will I rate this 7-day sojourn? If I were to grade it, I’d give the trip a B-.

The Regal Empress cruise ship docked in Nassau City, on New Providence Island.

Unfortunately, while The Bahamas cruise was really enjoyable (nothing beats sitting on a lounge chair on the main deck at night and watching the moonlight reflect off the ocean. Well, except having a hot girl sitting next to me on a nearby lounge chair. And both of us possibly going back to my cabin for some good lovin'), the main reason why I went on this trip was to go to a place 64 miles away from Orlando: Cape Canaveral. A.k.a. Spaceport USA. A.k.a. Cape Kennedy. A.k.a. Kennedy Space Center.

On deck onboard the Regal Empress, at night.

I was suppose to visit America's 'gateway to space' on Tuesday after returning from my cruise and driving to Orlando, but Tropical Storm Fay screwed up everything. Kennedy Space Center was shut down that day (along with most of central Florida... Yes, including Disney World), so all I did that day (and yesterday, before I went back to Fort Lauderdale to take the flight back home to California) was stay in my hotel room and watch updates on the Weather Channel. What fun. On the plus side, though, at least Fay didn't turn into a Category 1 hurricane when I was in Orlando! Whatever. F*ck you, Fay.

Driving in the middle of Tropical Storm Fay.

So now, much like getting rained out when I was filming my college student film Envious in 2003, or my first attempt at skydiving being thwarted because of cloudy weather in San Diego in 2005, I’m left wanting to go back to complete what was left unfinished because of Fay: Visiting America’s Space Coast. Gotta save money now... By the way— What should I book first? My flight? My hotel room? Or my rental car? I'll check.

Kennedy Space Center.
I'll visit you, soon enough...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

TODAY, I’m leavin’ for Florida and The Bahamas. Will be headin’ to Nassau City on New Providence Island, to be exact. Be back on August 20th!


The Atlantis Resort in Nassau City on New Providence Island.  In The Bahamas.
© www.danheller.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MORE DARK KNIGHT VIDEOS... There are so many spoofs and tributes devoted to the mega blockbuster [which has grossed $442 million in the U.S. box office since its release on July 18...currently making it the 3rd highest grossing domestic film of all time...trailing only behind Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope ($461 million) and Titanic ($601 million)] on Youtube that I just decided to include most of them in this journal entry. Don’t feel like having to worry about posting 'em when I get back from the Bahamas on August 20th...

Sorry. Don’t mean to keep bringing that up. Okay, I do.

The Dark Knight Trailer Spoof



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Joker vs. Joker (Jack Nicholson vs. Heath Ledger)



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Borat Meets The Joker Spoof



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The Fresh Knight Trailer

(This is a video response to the Fresh Prince of Gotham spoof)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lauren Conrad.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #9... Today’s entry goes to Lauren Conrad of MTV’s reality show The Hills (which I don’t watch, haha). Funny thing... The way I found out about her was looking at a brochure that was on display at my optometrist’s office while waiting to get an eye exam. The photo above was on the cover of the brochure. Apparently, Ms. Conrad is a strong advocate of proper contact lens use. I wear contacts, so I must listen to her.


More Lauren Conrad pics.  Obviously.

She looks totally gorgeous in that pic on the right.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

THIS WEDNESDAY, my family and I will hopefully be leaving for Florida to go on a cruise to The Bahamas. Woohoo— Can’t wait...


The Bahamas.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

FRESH PRINCE OF GOTHAM... Here is yet another hilarious Youtube video devoted to The Dark Knight, with the Joker doing a homicidal take on Will Smith's rap song from the old TV show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Funny lyrics. You gotta hand it to folks out there for coming up with such hilarious parodies. There’s another spoof that I found... I’ll probably write an entry about it on Monday or Tuesday. But not Wednesday. I’ll be heading to Florida for a cruise to the Bahamas that day.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Fireworks erupt above Bird Nest Stadium in Beijing, China, during the Olympic opening ceremony on August 8, 2008.

THE 2008 OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES... Ya gotta admit, the Chinese sure know how to put on a good opening ceremony. But what I really care about is how well the U.S. basketball team performs in Beijing for the next two weeks. Here’s hoping Kobe Bryant and Co. take back what was taken from us Yanks back in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens: A gold medal for playing hoops. Good luck, KB24 (or KB10 for the time being) and the Redeem Team. And the rest of Team USA.

Kobe Bryant on the Team USA basketball team.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

JOKER INTERROGATION SCENE - THE SPOOF... This hilarious video was posted on Youtube.com more than 2 weeks ago...poking fun at The Dark Knight scene where Batman is having a one-on-one with the Joker in that police interrogation room. Needless to say, the Clown Prince of Crime is having a bit of a hard time understanding the Caped Crusader’s question about why the Joker wants to kill him. Though I’m pretty sure Christian Bale would punch harder than that, haha...



EDIT: If the "We're sorry, this video is no longer available" message pops up when you try to play this clip, click on the link I provided at the start of this entry instead. Trust me, this spoof is a must-see if you enjoyed watching The Dark Knight.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A WEEK FROM TODAY, my family and I will hopefully be leaving for Florida to go on a cruise to The Bahamas. Woohoo— Can’t wait...


The Bahamas.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why Yoshi should've ate Mario a long time ago, instead of letting that fat, filthy Italian ride on his back.  Just kidding about the 'fat' part.

BOWSER’S MINIONS... Check out this hilarious clip where all the bad guys from the Super Mario World video game get together and complain about how Bowser makes it difficult for them to kill off Mario. Needless to say, Boo, the green Koopa Troopa, Bullet Bill and Company get their revenge. Yoshi would be proud.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A full-color panorama of Phoenix and its Mars landing site, provided by NASA and its mission partners.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / University of Arizona / Texas A&M University

A YEAR AGO TODAY, Phoenix was successfully launched on a 9-month journey to Mars. 69 days after it safely touched down on the Red Planet, the lander has been given 30-more days to operate on the Martian surface...after it was originally intended to last only 90 days on Mars. The mission probably won’t be extended any further...as Phoenix will not survive for long once winter arrives at the planet’s north pole, where the spacecraft is located. On the plus side though, Phoenix has already accomplished what it was designed to do—and that was to find and confirm the existence of water (in the form of ice) at its landing site:

****

(Official Press Release - From July 31)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have identified water in a soil sample. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapors produced by the heating of samples.

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."

With enticing results so far and the spacecraft in good shape, NASA also announced operational funding for the mission will extend through Sept. 30. The original prime mission of three months ends in late August. The mission extension adds five weeks to the 90 days of the prime mission.

"Phoenix is healthy and the projections for solar power look good, so we want to take full advantage of having this resource in one of the most interesting locations on Mars," said Michael Meyer, chief scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The soil sample came from a trench approximately 2 inches deep. When the robotic arm first reached that depth, it hit a hard layer of frozen soil. Two attempts to deliver samples of icy soil on days when fresh material was exposed were foiled when the samples became stuck inside the scoop. Most of the material in Wednesday's sample had been exposed to the air for two days, letting some of the water in the sample vaporize away and making the soil easier to handle.

"Mars is giving us some surprises," said Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona. "We're excited because surprises are where discoveries come from. One surprise is how the soil is behaving. The ice-rich layers stick to the scoop when poised in the sun above the deck, different from what we expected from all the Mars simulation testing we've done. That has presented challenges for delivering samples, but we're finding ways to work with it and we're gathering lots of information to help us understand this soil."

Since landing on May 25, Phoenix has been studying soil with a chemistry lab, TEGA, a microscope, a conductivity probe and cameras. Besides confirming the 2002 finding from orbit of water ice near the surface and deciphering the newly observed stickiness, the science team is trying to determine whether the water ice ever thaws enough to be available for biology and if carbon-containing chemicals and other raw materials for life are present.

The mission is examining the sky as well as the ground. A Canadian instrument is using a laser beam to study dust and clouds overhead.

"It's a 30-watt light bulb giving us a laser show on Mars," said Victoria Hipkin of the Canadian Space Agency.

A full-circle, color panorama of Phoenix's surroundings also has been completed by the spacecraft.

"The details and patterns we see in the ground show an ice-dominated terrain as far as the eye can see," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, lead scientist for Phoenix's Surface Stereo Imager camera. "They help us plan measurements we're making within reach of the robotic arm and interpret those measurements on a wider scale."

The Phoenix mission is led by Smith at the University of Arizona with project management at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and development partnership at Lockheed Martin in Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark; the Max Planck Institute in Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The 'Peter Pan' by James Canvin.
Courtesy of James Canvin

PHOENIX Blog Entries Archive:

May 8, 2007
July 28, 2007
August 3, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 8, 2007
October 25, 2007
April 11, 2008
April 25, 2008
May 1, 2008
May 11, 2008
May 18, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 25, 2008
May 27, 2008
June 18, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

REVENGE OF THE FALLEN Update... This past week saw Shia LaBeouf’s movie character, Sam Witwicky, getting a hand injury written for him in the Transformers 2 script to mirror LaBeouf’s real-life injury, after he got into a car crash last week...

Shia LaBeouf's left arm is bandaged following the car crash he got into last weekend.

Tyrese Gibson (Sergeant Epps) talked about how the war between the Decepticons and the Autobots, as well as their human allies, became a lot "angrier" in Transformers 2...

Tyrese Gibson as Sergeant Epps in last year's TRANSFORMERS.

Filming took place in the Long Beach and San Pedro area of southern California...

TRANSFORMERS 2 filming being done in Long Beach, California.

And last, but not least: The Fallen was confirmed as the main villain in Revenge of the Fallen.

A comic book drawing of The Fallen...who will be in TRANSFORMERS 2.

Here’s hoping Industrial Light & Magic does a kickass job on making a giant f*ckin’ robot covered in flames look absolutely photo-realistic for TF2... Can’t wait.

And to add a little estrogen to this journal entry, here’s the teaser poster for Megan Fox’s upcoming horror flick, Jennifer’s Body. I can picture something other than blood dripping from her mou— Nevermind.

The teaser poster for Megan Fox's upcoming film, JENNIFER'S BODY.

Friday, August 01, 2008

12 DAYS FROM NOW, my family and I will hopefully be leaving for Florida to go on a cruise to The Bahamas. Woohoo— Can’t wait...


The Bahamas.