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A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Musical I Really Want As A Movie

Okay, first of all, screw everyone who thinks wanting to see musicals makes me gay.  I'm not, and I'm willing to jump Andi on a webcam to prove it.  That being said, I grew up hearing a lot of music throughout my childhood.  I hated my mother, and celebrate regularly the fact that she died (hopefully painfully), but of the very small and few things she did for me as I grew up the best one is that she gave me an appreciation of a wide variety of music.  That's a topic I haven't really touched on a great deal across any of my blogsites, and at some point I'll dedicate an entire post to that specific subject.  For now, I'll discuss the music I listened to most frequently, and where I'm leading with this.

We had one of those humongous stereo systems back in the 70's.  Kept it until we moved in 2005, if I'm not mistaken.  You know the type: It looked like a buffet, the size of this thing, and took up the space of a loveseat.  Had a lid that was hinged, and could be kind of propped up by a bar that worked only half the time.  Was a grand old piece of tech that slowly stopped working so well in the 80s and 90s, as you'd expect, but even though it would take almost ten minutes to warm up and play, I still used it until I got my first boombox.  Yes, I typed boombox there, and the description of that piece of equipment will wait until that other music post.

The stereo sat in the living room (for a semi-detailed floor plan of Denham, refer to the Autobiography blog from the links on the right column), and was fairly central to the house, so the whole house heard whatever was played on it.  I used to play all the "Hooked On Classics" albums on it, but I always went back to the first three albums I really heard on that stereo:  "Bugsy Malone," "The Music Man" and "Sweet Charity."  I still have those three albums, along with every other album I ever owned from childhood on up (including "Thriller," if you can believe it), but now have them on CD as well.  I saw the first in theatres when the movie first came out, saw the second one onstage via the Scarborough Choral Society, and saw the third on television a few times.  So, as you can see, I was listening and watching good musicals from an early age.

Things haven't changed much since then, except for the fact that the choice to see a musical nowadays is mine and mine alone.  I own "West Side Story" on DVD, along with "South Pacific" and "Oklahoma."  "The Music Man" is in there too, and so is "Brigadoon."  When "Chicago" came out in theatres, I saw that and fell in love with it; it can be found in my collection as well.  "Phantom Of The Opera" was the first big ticket theatre experience I paid for from my own money back in the 80s during it's first ever run at the Toronto Pantages, just after the theatre was restored from being the Imperial Six movie house, and I still like the original British stage production soundtrack over the movie's.  And, of course, there is "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," which if you know me you know goes down as one of my favourite movies of all time.

However, through all of these wonderful titles, classic and modern (okay, not modern, but not 'heady days of the 50s musical' either), one title has affected me more than any other...and yet it has never come to Toronto as a big production (if it isn't playing on Yonge St. or King St. West, it isn't a big production), and it's never been made into a movie.  Yet, the music is arguably the best in any musical, including "Mamma Mia," since it was written by the same duo who did all the music for that incredible hit.  Wondering what musical you somehow missed that I know about?  Please, read on...

Back in 1984, I was only really discovering my long-term tastes in musical style and genre.  I still state to this day that that particular year, 1984, is the best year musically I've ever enjoyed.  During that summer, on the old 1050 CHUM Top 30 lists in the newspapers, there were three weeks solid where I knew and adored each and every song on those lists.  Never happened before that year, never happened after that year, will likely never happen again.  Sometime during that year, earlier than the summer if I remember correctly (unless the following story occurred the summer of 1985, which is entirely possible), a song sung by someone named Murray Head.  The song was called "One Night In Bangkok," and I fell in love with it.  So much so, that I got my grandmother to take me to Sam The Record Man's store on Yonge Street (that's right, the old flagship store with the famous record logo) to find the cassette it was on (I had by now moved to cassette tapes).  To my surprise, it was on a double cassette set called "Chess" and it was about $45!  Well, that ixnayed that purchase in a hurry!  I left the store downtrodden by the fact that it was such an expensive purchase, but kept in mind that I wanted to get it at some point.

I don't know for certain how things progressed from there, but I think I started doing my shoplifting thing a couple of years later.  For a while it was high times for me, swiping everything i wanted that wasn't nailed down.  I grabbed classical music, books, games...and this was around the same time that "Phantom Of the Opera" came out and was getting ready to come to Toronto.  It was around this period that I swiped my first copy of "Chess."  And, it was only after I did so that I became aware that this was a musical written by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, the two male members of ABBA, with lyrics written by Tim Rice who collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on most of his pre-Phantom musicals.  I was thrilled, because not too long after this I heard that a production of "Chess" was coming to Toronto!  Since I had just gotten a hold of my Phantom tickets, and I knew that the "Chess" tickets would be cheaper (due to a lesser theatre holding the performances), I was all ready to go - but before I could scrounge up the cash, the production was cancelled, and it resulted in the show never coming to Canada the way it did to Broadway.  I personally feel that the reason it never did come to Canada is that they were planning on doing the Broadway version of the show, which changed the locations of certain songs and overall didn't have the punch the original British version had, especially since they changed the storyline to satisfy American audiences.

Many years later, in the 90s, a production of the show did in fact come to Toronto.  It played in a little theatre downtown, and I actually had the opportunity to do volunteer work assisting building the sets (which came about when I went to buy tickets and they mentioned in passing that they needed people to aide getting the show running).  I hated that experience, due to the manner in which the work was being done, and the ultimate quality of what was going to be onstage.  It was a shitty little production, following the Broadway version of the musical, and it wasn't worthy of the music or the pedigree of the writers.  As it turned out, the guy who sold me the tickets and ran the building of the set pieces also was the lead actor, if that gives you any idea of how pathetic the end result turned out to be.  However, at least I (kind of) saw the show live, on stage.  I feel that it just isn't enough, though.  I would still like to see the original storyline, though I know for a fact that Benny and Bjorn have altered the production from it's original form over the years.

Currently, there are rumours of a major revival of "Chess" being planned for Broadway, but there is nothing concrete about it.  The musical has been released as a virtually 'spoken-word-free' production in 2009 on DVD as well, but I'd love it if the whole "Phantom" movie treatment were done for this.  I know the critical reviews of the American version were horrible (due again to the alteration of the production for those audiences - the U.S. won't even allow the original production to be performed within it's borders, I shit you not), but there has always been a loyal following to the original concept album, and it is to those supporters that I strongly appeal too:  Band together, get the word out, and push someone to get a movie off the ground for this incredible score!

I've done my part.  Links to all things "Chess," not including any of the Broadway alterations, and a plea for a movie.  All I can still do is tweet this on Twitter, and I will do so as usual once I post the article.  Hearing that "Chess" could be a movie would be one hell of a 40th birthday present for me next month, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Movies About Trains, And Weird Classics

Odd title, I know, but basically I'm posting the equivalent of two posts together today.  Neither topic has a lot of stuff regarding them, so together they'll make one big post!

First, there is my problem with train movies.  I just watched "Unstoppable" with my family this past weekend, on Blu-Ray in the comfort of my own home.  I enjoyed the flick, sure, and am glad we have it on disc (though the fact that we bought it before watching it on any Pay TV channel is not typical of my buying habits), but I finished the movie a bit disappointed.  Not as disappointed as I was at the end of "Runaway Train (1985)," mind you, but still not as pleased with the flick as I could have been.  The reason is simple, and it is that for a ll the tension of a train going crazy-fast through a mostly urban setting, there was virtually no loss of life or property damage to speak of.  Now, I know this is based on a true story, and I've done my research, so here are links to two accounts of the REAL events that 'inspired' the film:  One from Answers.com, and the article from CNN.com.  Really, the actual event just was not that thrilling or dangerous.  Yes, two cars had the chemical mentioned in the movie, and yes, the conductor of the train was a twit who forgot to change a switch until the engine was almost at it, but 70 mph through residential towns and a threat of derailment into a fuel yard?  Not even close.  So, I figure, if Hollywood was willing enough to change the flick that dramatically, why the hell didn't they go all out?

Truth is, it has been a long time since a train movie has actually caused real destruction or death within the confines of the storyline.  The two best known by myself personally are 1976's "Silver Streak" and "The Cassandra Crossing."  Odd that both these films came out the same year, but no matter.  Both of these are train-based films, with wildly different storylines.  "Silver Streak" is about a theft that turns into a murder, and ends with a train smashing into Chicago's downtown terminal; "The Cassandra Crossing" involves a bunch of train passengers being infected with a bacterial plague, and through a convoluted series of events ends with half of the train going across a bridge not used since 1948, which collapses and kills everyone on board.  Now, realizing that these films are as of this writing 35 years old, I have to wonder what an actual train disaster movie would look like now that technology can do so much more today.  The truth of the matter is that Hollywood seems to think that unless the entire world is threatened (Think "Knowing" and "2012"), disaster flicks don't work.

The funny thing is, unless something tangible is destroyed, disaster movies don't work at all, and that's why 1985's "Runaway Train" sucks so bad.  All movie we're anticipating that this train cannot be stopped, no way, not possible, and the entire audience is poised for an incredibly destructive ending.  Then, as we slip into the final minutes, Jon Voight gets up on the lone engine, stands stoically facing his impending doom in the crash we've all been waiting for and...fade.  WHAT?  FADE?  Are you freaking KIDDING ME??!!?  Look, I know that I am in the minority on this, and that other websites rave about this flick from an Oscar standpoint, but I want to see an engine fall off a cliff, damnit!  Yes, I know that the final crash isn't technically 'needed' at this point, and that the movie is more an intellectual drama than anything else...but I was still let down by this ending.  Then again, due to my feeling of despondency regarding it, I haven't actually watched it through the eyes of an adult, one who appreciates drama on a different level than a teenager (I was 14 when the flick came out), so maybe I'll watch it again, and decide if my thoughts remain the same.

Bottom line, however, is that if I'm paying to watch a train cause destruction when running unmanned at high speed, I need more than a derailed engine, a flipped trailer, and a plowed-through boxcar.  Trains rock, and all I'm asking for is a throwback to when destruction for destruction's sake was cool!

Now then, on to the second of today's topics: Weird Classic Films.  This is a genre I have created myself, and for those who know me personally.  In this genre, I place all the films that are so damn offbeat that you either loathe them or love them immediately after viewing them, and so unusual overall that they deserve placement in the genre I've made for them.  The first I'll mention is one I just finally got on DVD via my lovely wife, and that is 1991's "Nothing But Trouble."  Weird flick this, about people trapped in a town ruled over by a reeve who chooses to slaughter anyone he perceives as a 'banker' due to his family's losses during the Great Depression.  All this reads like a bad horror novel, but it is in fact a comedy, one which got horrible reviews but has become a minor cult hit.  Odd, weird, stars Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, Demi Moore, and features Tupac when he was still with digital underground.  Great, offbeat comedy, but most certainly not for everyone.  Nor is my next choice, "Transylvania 6-5000."  Somehow this one is even more weird, with two tabloid reporters being sent to Transylvania to unearth a 'Frankenstein' story with which to sell papers.  They unwittingly stumble upon most of the old Hammer movie cliches, including a wolfman, a Jekyll and Hyde scientist, and a sex-crazed vampira.  Through all of this, an oft-rung telephone plays the chorus to the old song the title is based upon, keeping the gag running throughout the movie.  Including Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley Jr., Micheal Richards, Carol Kane, John Byner and Geena Davis as the aforementioned vampira, the cast is quite diverse comically, and for me personally makes the movie work as a mindless laugh, not too be taken seriously in any way whatsoever.

The other two odd little titles I want to mention almost fall into the category of overlooked classics.  The first is Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety," a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's brilliant career in psychological horror.  The film is hilarious, starring Brooks himself, and lampooning to various degrees the majority of Hitchcock's films, focusing mainly upon "Vertigo" but with nods to "Psycho," "The Birds," "North By Northwest" and a multitude of others.  This movie marked Brooks' first speaking role (in "Silent Movie" he was, well, silent), and Hitchcock himself apparently sent Brooks a bottle of wine in appreciation for the film.  If you know your Hitchcock, and have a sense of humour, this film is made for you.  The final movie I want to mention today, though this is by no means the end of my list of twisted little gems, is "Blame It On The Bellboy."  Now, here we have a typical British comedy of miscommunication and mistaken identity.  The movie stars quite a pile of famous British and Australian actors, including Dudley Moore, Bryan Brown, Richard Griffiths, Penelope Wilton and also starring Bronson Pinchot as the titular Bellboy.  The movie shows off Venice beautifully, and is exactly the type of farce you'd expect from such a great cast of comedic actors (except for Bryan Brown of course, best known in North America for his roles in the two "F/X" movies.

There are quite a lot of other movies I consider to be a part of my Weird Classic genre, but I want to save them for another day, rather than have this post suddenly expand to fill a ridiculous amount of space.  If you feel that there are other titles you'd like to hear my opinion on in regards to trains or oddness, feel free to leave a comment below, and I shall address them in a future post.  For now, however, I shall head into the sunset, with a final request that, as always, you keep some popcorn warm for my return.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Late Oscars Review, And How To Fix Them

After yet another lovely bout of food poisoning, I'm here to say not a whole hell of a lot about the Oscars.

First off, I'm not going to list all the winners.  Either you watched the telecast or you didn't, and if you didn't then you had all day yesterday to scan through numerous media outlets to find out the results.  So if you are looking for a list of who won what race, go forth and hunt on a site that published the news yesterday.  I wasn't actually going to write the entire list out anyway; announcing the nominees is a news event, but listing the winners is something that airs on television for over three hours and as such is more a televisual event, and isn't much to do with movies apart from the basic subject matter.

Secondly, everyone is slamming James Franco and Anne Hathaway for their hosting duties being a range of negative things, from uninspired to boring.  I need to weigh in on this, so here's the skinny:  EVERY OSCAR SHOW IS BORING!  I can't remember when it hasn't been!  I don't care if it is Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, anyone...the show DRAGS!  The problem, however, has nothing to do with the hosts.  The problem is the awards that regular people don't give a damn about, combined with thank you speeches from people we've never heard of.  Don't get me wrong, it isn't that we ultimately don't care about who the guy holding the light steady on one side of Helen Mirrin's face for that one scene where she's talking to that one guy before they do that stuff; it is more that we appreciate that the shot was lit well subconsciously - we don't need to hear him thank his wife, a bunch of people who got him the job, the director for telling him what wattage bulb to use, and the guy who put the tape on the floor to make sure he stayed still while the camera was rolling in order to make that appreciation known.  The Academy gets copies of all the documentaries, all the foreign films, and all the shorts to view before they vote.  Tell me, how many of us saw any short this year other than the one from Pixar tied to "Toy Story 3?"  Exactly.  And that is why we don't really care very much which Animated Short got a little golden statue that closely resembled Aunt Jemima in the sense that in some shots it looked as though it was filled with syrup.

I don't have anything against the Oscar telecast, or awards shows in general, but lay the boring blame at the feet of the people who really deserve it:  Whoever chooses which awards to broadcast.  I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be fine with the show consisting of exactly these segments:  Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Movie, Best Documentary, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, a lifetime achievement award, the In Memoriam segment, and the performing and result of Best Song.  That's it.  That would cut the show down to about two hours.  Manageable for the talent in the theatre, as they have more time for parties and less time not drinking; better for the viewing audience since there isn't as much superfluous crap to sit through; better for advertisers as there will be less chance of people hating their ads due to repetition.  It's all good for everyone.  Oh, and the other awards that usually fill the time during the awards show?  Well, since they have no trouble showing just a quick clip of the technical awards, lump them in with them and broadcast that particular ceremony on a secondary station, like E!.  That way, if there really is someone who gives a damn about those awards, they can still see them - but you are no longer inflicting this joyless boredom on the rest of us who couldn't care less.

For my personal opinion, I thought Anne was great, both during the telecast and in the introductory short beforehand.  James Franco, however, did bother me due to what I determined to be an incredible lack of sleep.  He looked slightly drugged, and if he was perhaps he should have been.  I don't, however, think the show was poor as a result of the two of them hosting.  I really don't think they could have done much more than they did.  When they were required onstage, just as Billy Crystal would have been, they hit their marks, got their jokes off, and introduced the next presenters just fine.  That's all they are supposed to do, and there was nothing wrong with what they did, so lay off.  If you want to get pissed about something not handled well, why not slam the In Memoriam part of the evening.  It was one thing to have him snubbed by the Screen Actor's Guild award show, but to have the Oscars also forget to put Corey Haim in the memorial clips?  That to me is a huge problem, and I hope someone gets fired for it.  Not because I loved Corey Haim, not because I'm Canadian and so was he, not because I knew him in any way, shape or form.  No, I want someone fired because the In Memoriam tribute is meant to be that: a final tribute to those who made the films we love and are entertained by, and often a reminder of those the community has lost.  Leaving ANYONE out who has been on screen and made an impact should have been remembered.  The guy did "Silver Bullet," "Lucas," and "The Lost Boys" for crying out loud!  Old movies, yes, but did they have an impact?  Hell yes they did!  They must have, or a recent reality television show would never have been created (I'm not saying "The Two Coreys" was any good, but it does show that at least one other person thought Haim was worth more than being ignored after his passing).

So, let's take stock here.  Shorten the show by removing awards that bore the audience from being televised, remember EVERYONE who passed away in any given year (Haim was not the first forgotten celebrity), and don't hire a host who needs to get some rest.  That's it.  That is how you'd get glowing reviews from an Oscar telecast these days, and if that formula isn't followed then you get what you deserve.

As to the actual winners on Sunday night, I have to say I'm pleased as punch that "The King's Speech" took home Best Picture and Best Actor.  Out of all the movies up for the biggest prize that I haven't seen, it is by far the one I'm most interested in, and Colin Firth deserves the big recognition as well.  I just wish Geoffrey Rush had gotten Best Supporting Actor along with him.  As to the other winners, well, good for you.  I think Julianne Moore was robbed of a nomination for "The Kids Are Alright."  I also think "Inception" received exactly the awards it deserved, those being visual based.

So that's it for my review of the Academy Awards broadcast this year.  Until next time, keep the popcorn warm.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How About Some Upcoming Movie Trailers?

Been a while since I posted here, simply because my limited ability to get around means reviews of current movies would be lies when I haven't been able to see them.  What I can do instead is offer a pile of trailers for upcoming flicks, and then get back to trying to get myself out to catch some of my anticipated films for 2011.

To that end, here are some trailers for movies I listed as my picks for this year.  Enjoy!

Hope those will keep everyone happy for a bit.  Until next time, keep the popcorn warm for me.  Oh, and I like the white cheddar topping.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rumours And News For January 27th

Have a few interesting bits of info for my loyal readers today, so get comfy and keep reading!

First off, it turns out Bill Clinton will NOT have a cameo in "The Hangover 2."  Yes, he stopped by the shoot for whatever reason, but it was not to film anything for the movie.  This comes direct from Ed Helms, and the entire story can be found at The Playlist.

Next up is news regarding Universal's movie and possible television adaptations of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series.  The plan as of now is to take the seven novels and condense them into three feature films, with a possible T.V. series following from that.  Latest casting news puts Javier Bardem, recently nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Biutiful," as The Gunslinger.  Ron Howard is directing the movies for Universal.

We also have some casting news for "Prometheus," Ridley Scott's apparent prequel to the "Alien" saga, but not.  Micheal Fassbender has signed on to be an android, probably part of the Bishop Series, that might have something to do with the DNA link to the Alien that Scott has recently been discussing.  More rumours involve Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie vying for the secondary female lead, Vickers.  Noomi Repace ("Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") has already been signed for the female lead.  Additionally, the movie has been set to release on June 8th, 2012, from a previous March date, setting this up for a possible tentpole position in the 20th Century Fox 2012 lineup.  More news when it leaks.

Another blow to fans of "The Hobbit" as filming has been delayed due to director Peter Jackson being hospitalized due to acute stomach pains caused by a perforated ulcer.  The filming delay will be minor, affecting only the start of filming, not the release date, December 19th, 2012.

That's all the news and rumours for today.  Until next time, keep the popcorn warm for me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations 2011

Morning all.  Today marks the day the nominations are announced for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards for the ceremony on February 27th.  I am typing this AS the nominations are being announced, and will provide any links that are available to titles already available for purchase at Amazon.  Deeper information can be found at Oscar.com as well.  Enjoy!

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role: 
Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role:
Christian Bale for The Fighter (2010)

Best Original Screenplay:

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Best Foreign Language Film:
Dogtooth (2009): Giorgos Lanthimos(Greece)
Incendies (2010): Denis Villeneuve(Canada)
Best Animated Feature Film:
Toy Story 3 (2010)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role:
Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role:
Best Achievement In Directing:
Best Motion Picture Of The Year:
127 Hours (2010)
Black Swan (2010)
Inception (2010)
True Grit (2010)
The King's Speech won 12 nominations, with "True Grit" following with 10.  "Toy Story 3" is the highest grossing film nominated this year for Best Picture, and only the third animated feature ever nominated.

So there you have it, the list of nominees for this year's Academy Awards.  I will not be posting the winners as they are announced on February 27th, but will follow in the morning afterwards with the complete list of winners and an updated list of Amazon links, allowing you to purchase titles right from the blog.  Oh, and in case there is any confusion, I'm not all of a sudden taking a month-long break, so remember to keep the popcorn warm for me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Keanu Reeves Drops Bombshell - And Other News

Am I maybe exaggerating?  Maybe.  You be the judge.  Personally, I'm interested, but skeptical.  Only time will tell.

So here's the news:  Keanu was at the London International School For The Performing Arts where he was speaking to a class about a current movie of his.  Which movie?  Who cares, the news that I'm leading up to would make you forget the name anyway.  Well, he gets talking about new movies he's gearing up to do, including "47 Ronin" and "Bill & Ted 3."  Then he starts talking about the big news.

The Wachowskis have written scripts for "Matrix" 4 and 5, and they will be in 3D.

Additionally, they have talked to James Cameron regarding the advantages and disadvantages of filming with 3D.  Keanu promised that he wants these movies to be worthy of the name "Matrix," and that the visuals will change movie-making the same way the visuals in the first "Matrix" movie did.

He went on to discuss how the Wachowskis have sold a script to Warner for $5 million, making it the most expensive script sale in history, for a futuristic version of "Robin Hood" with Will Smith attached as the lead.  Full story can be found on AICN.

Oh, and there is also a rumour floating about that the DVD/Blu-Ray for "Tron: Legacy" has a teaser bit for "Tron 3."  Guess we'll have to wait for the release for that to be proven true or false.  Having yet to see the sequel, I have no comment other than the reporting of the rumour.

Until next time, keep the popcorn warm.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Rumours Leading Up To Oscar Nominations

Got a few more tidbits about upcoming flicks, so I thought I'd share them with you.

First up, Kiefer Sutherland has expressed his expectation that, even though there have been huge script problems, the "24" movie will start shooting by the end of this year.  It is mostly speculation on his part, but being inside the situation maybe gives him the insight nobody else has.  Full article can be found at Next Movie.  Stay tuned for more info on this troubled title.

Elsewhere, Universal has picked up the rights to distribute a documentary on the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.  Director Alex Gibney, known for his docs on such hot topics as Enron and Guantanamo Bay, will be making this feature.  No word on whether Assange will actually participate in the movie, chances are good that he will given the fact that he needs cash for his upcoming Swedish court case, and the movie itself will give him a larger soapbox to speak from.

At Sundance 2011, Kevin Smith is about to show his horror movie, "Red State," to audiences for the first time.  Odd that for a movie that has yet to be shown, a church group is already planning to stage a protest.  This isn't "Dogma," so what could they be upset about?  Well, according to the Sundance Institute's John Cooper, the protest isn't aimed specifically against Smith's film, they are protesting any film involving homosexuality.  Nice to know that people are open-minded and intolerance is a thing of the past.  Asses.

Finally, put this in the 'too weird which makes it likely' department:  Will Smith is planning a remake of "Annie," with his daughter Willow as the titular orphan.  Apparently he is hoping to get Jay-Z to rework the music from the Broadway show.

That'll be interesting.  The whole article can be found at Variety.

Until next time, keep the popcorn warm for me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rumours Ahoy!

The seas be rough today, and many a rumour and truth be a-floating upon the waves.  Let's get our net, hold it over the side, and see what we can catch, shall we?

Let's start off with "The Dark Knight Rises," the next in the current Batman franchise.  Looks like our first fish is about Anne Hathaway landing the role of Catwoman in what is planned to be the final movie in this series.  In addition, it is said that Tom Hardy has been tapped to play Bane.  Only time will tell if yet another villain is set to join up in the fight against the Bat.  Will keep you posted from here, I shall.

The next fishie to jump in my boat is more of a rumour than anything else.  Seems as though Warner Bros. is in the planning/writing stags to take one of it's more beloved franchises in a totally new direction, minus an anti-Semitic actor gumming up the works.  No longer content to fuel rumours of a "Lethal Weapon 5," they plan to re-launch the series with an entirely new cast, minus the downward-spiralling Mel Gibson.  Joel Silver et al have even green-lit a writer, former LAPD officer Will Beall (writer of the "Gangster Squad" script), to apply ink to paper and expects him to maintain the R-rated tone of the original.  As it has been long rumoured that another "Lethal Weapon" movie was in the works, due to the heaps of cash the franchise has made over the years, we'll see if there are any legs to this fish.  Also possibly on the horizon from the WB are remakes of "The Wild Bunch," "Tarzan," and "Oh God!"

It is no secret that director Sam Raimi is set to make a prequel to "The Wizard Of Oz."  The film, Disney's "Oz, The Great And Powerful" has had Robert Downey Jr. tagged as the titular wizard, but no longer.  Seems that he is dropping out of movies quite regularly these days, having also fled from the role he was meant to play in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" opposite Sandra Bullock.  Guess he wants to take a little break, now that he's done filming "Sherlock Holmes 2."  Who has Raimi gotten to replace RDJ?  Well, none other than Johnny Depp.

Here's a little nibbler that is only slightly movie-related:  Our Toronto Sun reports that George Lucas firmly believes that the world is going to end Roland Emmerich-style in 2012.  Follow the link to the article, and get a glimpse into why the "Star Wars" prequels sucked so much.

Here is the official "Scream 4" trailer...or is it "Scre4m?"  Time will tell...Meanwhile, here is the trailer for "Red Riding Hood" as well.

And here is the first photo of our new Spidey, thanks to Daniel P for reminding me to post it.

Well, that's about all the net can scoop out today.  Join me next time, won't you, when I discuss why certain movies were not to be found on my list of anticipated 2011 movies.  For some it should be obvious, but for others perhaps I'll explain.  Until then, keep the popcorn warm!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes 2011 - Movie Version

Morning all.  Since this isn't one of the websites that will discuss fashion, or argue about who should have won versus who did win, I'm afraid you'll have to go elsewhere for that.  If you are looking for a comprehensive breakdown of each and every category, complete with listing who was nominated, and dissecting the speeches line by line, there are sites for that too.  As I stated at the top of the blog, this is for people who love movies, and I do, but given this year's crop of films I don't have a lot to say.  This will probably polarize my audience, but not as much as Ricky Gervais did last night, so I have that going for me.  That being put out of the way, here's my write-up regarding last night's awards show.

First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to Colin Firth for his Best Actor win for "The King's Speech."  I have yet to see most of the movies up for nomination this awards season, but what I have seen of this one has me very interested.  Personally, I like Colin Firth and was pulling for him to win when watching last night, so kudos for him.

Also happy to see that "The Kids Are Alright" won Best Picture - Comedy Or Musical.  Great cast in this one, though again, I have yet to see it.  Get used to this; just because I'm unable to go to theatres doesn't mean I don't have an informed opinion, so there.  Of course, have to mention Annette Bening's win for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical for her role in the film.  This is another I'm very interested in seeing.

I saw "Toy Story 3" win Best Animated Picture last night.  I actually own the Blu-Ray for this movie, but have declined to watch it due to the overwhelming number of people who are publicly declaring it to be a complete tearjerker.  I figure that the last thing I need is to get more down than I already feel on a day-to-day basis, so I'm waiting until I am having a really good day to throw it in the player.  Driving my wife and housemate mad with the fact I won't watch it yet, but there it is.

I also was happy to see "The Fighter" get some accolades as well.  Both Supporting Role awards went to this film, to Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.  My own personal interest in this film has grown over the last month or so, and I am really looking forward to January 25th when the nominations for this year's Academy Awards are announced to see where it falls on the lists.

Now, I know myself.  I know that what I'm about to write might get some of you scratching your heads, and I know that my opinion on the following topic is not the 'popular' one.  I am just writing this as a warning for those of you who might take it the wrong way.  Let me be clear - I'm not bashing the flick, or anyone who created or starred in it.  Rather, I'm bashing the subject matter, and the subject matter only.  Continue reading with that in mind.

I can't stand that "The Social Network" even got made.  Seriously.  We're talking about a movie that has become the critic's choice of this award season, and is likely to gather more nominations for the Oscars than any other film.  Makes me want to be ill.  We're discussing one of my favourite writers, Arron Sorkin, getting a win for Best Screenplay for this film, and it makes me shake my head in disbelief.  David Fincher, the director of one of my favourite movies of all time (that'd be "Fight Club" for anyone interested), got awarded Best Director, and I hang my head in frustration.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross win for Best Original Score, and I am in shock.  Trent Reznor?  Trent freaking Reznor?  From "The Downward Spiral" to a score for a film about a websiteAre you kidding me?

I'm happy for these winners, I'm happy they made a film that is a critical success...but did it have to be this film?  Really?  And then, as a final insult, to have it win Best Motion Picture - Drama on top of it all...my mind reels in wonderment.  I must admit, I am a Facebook hater, and I do apologize but I have many reasons.  For those reasons, feel free to drop by my theme-less blog, Crap I Think About.  Once the post is published, the name of the blog will become an active link, and please be aware that this is a blog with language and content intended for more adult viewing, but nothing pornographic.  For now, let me just say congratulations to the winners, and I just wish it had been a different subject that the film you were winning for was about.

There you have my view of the big winners of the evening.  No, I did not include each and every award.  To put it simply, these are the awards and winners I care about, and that's why they are here.  As for the television-based awards, I have a whole other blog for that, and I've posted my thoughts regarding those awards there, at Telly Vision.  It too is a short write-up, again only focussing on the shows I enjoy.  What can I say, I write about what I like.

Until next time, keep the popcorn warm for me.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movies 2011, Part Two - The Harvest Continues

Back with the second instalment of my list for, in my opinion, the watchable movies of the present year, and when I shall be watching them.  Hope you have enjoyed the previous instalment; here we go with round two:

"Thor" - Release date May 6th.  Here comes the first of the 'tent-pole' movies, those flicks which prop up the studios for the summer, the big releases that garner tons of buzz and help the studios (they hope) stay in the black.  The trailers look semi-promising, but the real reason I'm watching this one is that it is leading up to "The Avengers," releasing on May 4th, 2012.  Given that this is a big comic book movie, it behooves me to see it in theatres.

"Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" - Release date May 20th.  This will be the fourth adventure for 'Capt. Jack Sparrow,' and the first without Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley.  Johnny Depp is still going strong, though the addition of Penelope Cruz leaves a lot to be desired for me.  Still, big action flick, requires a theatre to enjoy properly.

"The Hangover Part II" - Release date May 27th.  As if the first one needed a sequel...regardless, same kind of humour, this time in Thailand.  It's a comedy, and I waited until the first one was on TMN, so this one will wait until then as well.

"Kung Fu Panda 2" - Release date May 27th.  For everyone who finds the previous entry too polarizing (read that as raunchy), here is the sequel to one of the more amusing non-CGI animated features or recent years.  Dreamworks has a good thing going here, let's hope they don't overdo it.  Waiting for a TMN/disc release.

"Super 8" - Release date June 10th.  Excellent pedigree with this one folks, with J.J. Abrams directing and Steven Spielberg producing.  Oddly, the second movie of the year with an alien escaping from Area 51, this is the serious monster flick to the comedy provided by "Paul" earlier.  Filmed as a viral movie, look for this to be the next "Cloverfield."  Must see at home, TMN/disc due to herky-jerky camerawork.

"Green Lantern" - Release date June 17th.  The next on the year's comic book movie adaptations worth watching, with Ryan Reynolds playing the titular hero.  So good on pre-buzz that the sequel is already fired up and ready to go, just awaiting the box office receipts.  Must see in theatres.

"Cars 2" - Release date June 24th.  The other really anticipated animated film of the year, this one from Pixar via Disney.  Not much to say, except this will wait for a TMN/disc release.

"Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" - Release date July 1st.  And here we go.  The summer blockbuster season really lights up with this movie, the second of the year highlighting the moon landings of the 60s.  Aside from the (thankful) dumping of Megan Fox as the girlfriend, the plot alone has me quite interested in where this one will go.  Definitely defines a theatre-worthy movie.

"Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II" - Release date July 15th.  I could devote an entire post to this title, and chances are that closer to July I'll do just that, more than once.  I can easily summarize the plot for you in four words: The Battle For Hogwarts.  Needless to say, this is one of the most hotly anticipated movies of the year, and even if it wasn't a tradition I'm carrying on in memory of my late father, this is a must-see in theatres.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" - Release date July 22nd.  This is the last of the 'prequel' set-up movies before "The Avengers" brings all these heroes together in 2012.  Taking place during World War II, and fighting everyone's favourite villains, the Nazis, this is probably the most interesting creation storylines next to "Iron Man" (sorry "Thor").  Theatre worthy.

"Friends With Benefits" - Release date July 22nd.  This is another one of the casual 'relationship without depth' movies coming out this year.  Again, good cast, but not worth a movie ticket.  TMN/disc release for me.

"Cowboys And Aliens" - Release date July 29th.  Because, after all, who doesn't want to see what happens if you pit cowboys against aliens?  Here's hoping Jon Favreau does as good a job here as he has with the last two "Iron Man" movies.  Whether I see it in theatres or not depends greatly on what buzz there is about it between now and release.

I know we've only gone as far as the end of July here, but I'm looking over August and months afterwards, and I just don't see anything that stands out.  There are a few titles that show some promise, and a couple of requisite sequels, but nothing that really screams "Don't forget me!!!"  I even feel that it is too early to mention "Paranormal Activity 3," since other than the title and the release date - October 21st. - not much is known about it, and I am a HUGE fan of this particular franchise.  Thusly, I'm going to stop here with this post, and promise that as the summer nears the halfway point I shall, if I haven't by then, finish the year with Part The Third of this gripping saga.

For now, keep that popcorn warm for me!

Movies 2011, Part One - Bumper Crop Or Empty Fields?

Getting up this early in the morning when you have no good reason to do so should be outlawed.  Somebody get on that, would you?  Today I thought I'd take a look at the titles being released in the upcoming year.  I'm going to stick to movies that have studio release dates already planned, though be aware that some release dates may change.  As of this writing, however, all dates are accurate, and all are North American dates, what with me blogging from Canada and all.

Also, so that people aren't reading this all day long, I'm going to try and keep it to the bigger titles and ones I personally am more likely to view, whether in theatres or on disc/TMN (The Movie Network, Canada's Eastern equivalent of Superchannel, and our counterpart to all the channels HBO and others provide in the States).  Yeah, that biases things quite a bit, but it is my blog, and therefore my opinion.  Those wishing to argue the merits of my choices can do so below in the comment box, and I welcome the discussion.

Finally, the list is freaking huge, even pared down to what I personally want to see, and as a result I am breaking this down into multiple posts.  The first one covers to April, with more on the way.  Now, with no more further ado, my choices for 2011 and why:

"The Green Hornet" - Released January 14th, I'm looking forward to see how this one turns out.  Obviously the choice of Seth Rogan for the lead is going to be a hit-miss proposition, but from what I have heard, simply dismissing it due to his portraying the lead role would be a disservice to what is apparently a hilarious action adventure.  Needless to say, with my car still unavailable to me, this will end up being a disc/TMN viewing, and my personal review will have to await that date.

"No Strings Attached" - Release date January 21st.  Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman doing the casual sex with no relationship thing, which from personal experience either gets old fast, or becomes too involved for one of the individuals and therefore falls apart.  Kind of hoping it resembles another movie of the same sort from last year, "Love And Other Drugs," which I also have yet to see.  Good premise, good cast, not worth a large screen for the type of movie it is, awaiting TMN/disc release.

"Unknown" - Release date February 18th.  Liam Neeson did a wonderful job in "Taken," and this is looking to be on the same level as that title.  After being in a coma, he wakes to discover that someone has taken over his life, and not even his wife believes he is who he says he is.  Intriguing plot, good cast, looking forward to this one.  If the car is up and running by this point in time (I can't start looking for insurance solidly until February starts) I could be seeing this in theatres.

"Vanishing On 7th Street" - Release date February 18th, though only a limited release is scheduled at the moment, meaning if you are in a big city you might get lucky.  Not sure about the premise: Massive blackout causes population of city to vanish, except a chosen few.  Was more intrigued when the trailers suggested it was the population of the world that went missing, but by localizing it, it becomes more of a schlock horror flick in my eyes.  We'll know more as release date approaches, but I'm already assuming a TMN/disc release even if Toronto is one of the 'lucky' cities.

"Battle: Los Angeles" - Release date March 11th.  Destruction of a city by invading alien forces...aren't they ever going to make "Independence Day II?"  Popcorn flick, for obvious reasons, but I'm all for destruction, violence and mayhem, so bring it on.  Probable theatre viewing, since big explosions deserve a big screen.

"Red Riding Hood" - Release date March 11th.  Might have to make this day a double-bill.  Would be nice to see Amanda Seyfried in a movie she's not singing or naked in.  What am I saying, let the poor girl be naked, I'll watch!  Gothic horror done with a central love triangle, we'll see how it plays out.

"Limitless" - Release date March 18th.  Bradley Cooper gets hooked on a drug that enhances intellect and alters his life, but finds that people are trying to kill him for it.  Could end up being an adventure-based "Flowers For Algernon," and we know how THAT ended.  Not certain about seeing it in theatres, I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

"Paul" - Release date March 18th.  Love the duo at the centre of this flick, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, best known for their previous movies together, "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun Of The Dead."  Pegg of course has a much wider audience in Britain, and a huge global following due to his role as 'Scotty' in the 2009 "Star Trek" movie, sequel announced for release 2012.  These two stumbling upon an alien having escaped from Area 51, and this becomes a must-see, though given the fact that it is a comedy, I will more than likely await the TMN/disc release.

"Sucker Punch" - Release date March 25th.  Girl thrown into an institution by her evil stepfather, she envisions an alternate reality which aids her in formulating an escape plan.  Emily Browning in the lead role is an inspired choice, as a lot of people still think of her as the cute little Australian girl who played 'Violet' in "Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events."  This might make her the woman on screen she needs to be to start competing with Dakota Fanning for some choice roles, once audiences see her as more of a grown-up for a change.  Likely a theatre-worthy flick.

"Arthur" - Release date April 8th.  Keeping in mind that this is a remake of the movie that made Dudley Moore a top name in North America, Russell Brand being cast in the titular role seems almost inspired.  Let's see if he can actually act, or if he is just a stand-up comic tripping into lucky casting.  TMN/disc release for this one, with a nice cuppa while I'm watching.

"Scream 4" - Release date April 15th.  Well I had to mention it, didn't I?  Personally, I'm not so much interested in the movie as I am in discerning what exactly the plot will be after all this time.  That, and watching Courtney Cox and David Arquette acting together for what may be the very last time, and I'll sit through it.  Not in theatres though; Even though I am a huge fan of big horror needing an audience to increase my enjoyment, watching the last "Scream" flick I actually fell asleep while in the movie house.  TMN/disc for this one.

"Apollo 18" - Release date April 22nd.  Found footage shows that when the moon landings occurred in the 60s, they filmed proof of alien lifeforms.  Shot in the viral form, this strangely echoes part of the plot for one of this year's major tent-pole pictures, though it will be nothing like it beyond the moon landings being a source of alien dread.  Herky-jerky motion of the camera relegates this to TMN/disc, just like "Cloverfield" before it..

"Fast Five" - Release date April 29th.  Even though it arrives the day after my birthday (take notice of that, would you all please?), I will be relegating this one to TMN/disc as well, as I've yet to have the slightest inclination to see any of this series on the big screen.  That being said, the movies have been somewhat enjoyable, so a free spin on TMN won't be out of the question.  No disc possibilities, unless this happens to turn out to be this generation's answer to "Bullitt," and I just don't see that happening.  Ever.

Okay folks, that's the end of Part The First.  I'll be back in a little while with Part The Second, by tomorrow at the latest.  The release dates get flimsy after the month of September, so it is possible that Part II will be the end of things until later in the year.  See you after the cigarette burn!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Director's Cuts

Simple enough title, right?  Not so simple topic though, but I will try and be brief.  Then again, maybe I'll just give you the extended version of this entry, for $10 extra...

Yes, it is indeed time to discuss studio double-dipping, and whether there is reason to shell out more than once for any specific title.  I personally always buy the loaded-to-the-gills edition of any movie that gives me the option to do so.  Often it doesn't matter what exactly the loaded edition carries with it over the bare-bones edition, I just feel that if I'm willing to spend money to add a title to my collection, then I might as well blow the extra couple of dollars and get everything I can for my money, that's just me.  There have been some REALLY worthwhile purchases that I have done this for, and there have been some purchases that have wasted my time, but overall I have been quite satisfied with what I buy when a title first releases.

Mind you, I'm only talking specifically when a title first releases.  I am not a subscriber to re-releases that are there simply to get people to reach for their wallets a second time.  That, I believe, is mostly studio greed, though in some instances there is in fact a valid and reasonable explanation for said double-dip attempt.  Today, I'd like to discuss titles that I've bought special editions for, whether immediate day and date or delayed double-dip attempts, and also the biggest double-dip globally and how I've managed to resist buying it more than once.

First, the good stuff.  I have some special editions that cost me a pretty penny, but I feel that the purchases have been justified.  However, nothing beats getting more story-line or footage that adds to atmosphere or character development, and though I'm positive that this title is not everyone's cup of tea, the one movie I can highly recommend searching out the special edition for is "Stay Alive."  I have this as a solid opinion, and will give you solid reasons for it.  First of all though, a bit of plot for you to see where I'm coming from.  The movie melds my other favourite time waster, videogaming, and is most simply put about a videogame that kills you in real life if your character dies within the game.  Simple horror story, easy to understand plot, yes?  It gets more complex, as it turns out the game is based on a real-life (in the movie) urban legend, and in fact the spirit of this ghost the legend is about has somehow been infused into the game.  Additionally, the player's souls are linked to the game via the need to recite a spell before playing as a way to start the playthrough.  A group of people who played it together (never mind how they got the disc, not important) try to stop themselves from dying, and thwart the actual ghost in the actual places depicted in the game.  There is some well thought out action sequences, and ultimately our protagonists save the day, only to find the game being released nation-wide later on.

Now, that's fine, and the movie was good in theatres, but when I found a special edition, I grabbed that instead, and was excited to learn about the length of the movie being extended.  Great!  More scares?  More game playing?  No, actually, instead of more frightening stuff being added, stuff that might have been cut in order to lower the harshness of an American 'R' rating, I found that an entire side-story had been removed for time's sake!  And this side-story answered so many questions about how the game got created, because the side-story also had the creator of the game in it, who was totally cut from the theatrical release of the film!  I told Scott (if you are unfamiliar with my reference to a friend of mine, check out this post on my blog Crap I Think About) about this, but he has yet to see the extended version.  He has however seen the theatrical release, and when he sees the difference he'll be shocked.

The same exact thing occurred with another series of titles, which may be overlooked by casual moviewatchers.  That would be the "Highlander" movie series.  I can't really explain the differences between the movies, except to state that the first movie rocks in either version.  I want to be clear on this, the first movie is not, was not, and never will be the problem with this series.  No, it is movies 2 and 3 that were the problems.  Scott and I saw "Highlander 2" in theatres.  What a piece of crap.  It was so bad, that we never even bothered with "Highlander 3."  When they came out on DVD, I grabbed the special edition, and that was fine - but then I heard people saying that the second and third movies were spectacular on DVD.  What?  Are you freaking kidding me?  Well, I heard this from so many sources that against my better judgment I went and purchased the director's cuts of both two and three, and guess what?  They were good.  I mean, really good!  The director's cuts had taken what were originally completely unwatchable crap and turned them into worthwhile entertainment!  They did the same for "Alien 3" as well!  Saw that in theatres, huge disappointment, got it in the "Alien Quadrilogy" set, loved the movie because the extra stuff reinserted made the film make sense!  Incidentally, get the "Alien Anthology," if you need to choose between the two, it actually has even more stuff loaded into it than the original DVD only version.

So, based on the last two examples above, it can be seen that when studios tinker with a movie against the director's intent, the movie can be a huge box-office disappointment.  When the director is allowed final cut, there are obviously times when he/she is SO right that it makes you wonder who is making these horrible decisions at the studio level.  Regardless, there are times when a director cuts a movie back himself in order to make a deliberate attempt to thwart the studio from interfering, and thereby creating the need for a double-dip that is actually justified.  Though there may be multiple examples of this out there, I am speaking of Peter Jackson and the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a masterpiece of storytelling, one that had never been done properly in the years between the writing and the Jackson film versions, simply because technology had yet to make the vision truly come to life until then.  However, what Tolkien failed to do is make his work accessible to everyone, ie. women.  It may come as a surprise to some that the entire love story between Arwen and Aragorn contained within the movies is in fact not in the books beyond minor references.  Jackson and his writers added this to give the bones more meat for the female set, and it worked itself into the story seamlessly, improving it wonderfully.  He also purposefully removed scenes from the book, and one character (Tom Bombadil, anyone?) which slowed things down.  The movies were epic, but the length was getting to be a problem, and thusly he determined that there would have to be two home releases, one of the theatrical experience, and one which was the entire directorial and author experience.  He knew it going in, and the majority of film-goers were aware of it when anticipating the DVD release.  Jackson was posting video blogs of the progress of the production, and mentioned it multiple times that there were going to be two releases, and therefore people who were interested could avoid the double-dip and simply await the extended versions.  Having done so myself (what a surprise, I'm sure) I found that the movies were even more endearing with the added footage.  There were no major plot changes as a result of the footage being removed for theatrical release, but the footage that was restored added to character development, patched some minor holes here and there as far as plot development (in the sense that we knew something had occurred, but now we can actually see it occur), and basically enriched the experience.  Here truly were cuts made solely for time's sake, because today's audiences can't seem to keep their butts in seats for more than three hours without getting antsy.

Now that you've heard about the good, we must finally come to the bad.  The worst, if you will.  the biggest case of greed ever to come out of a studio, multiple times.  The case of an ego trip surpassing common sense, and the grossest injustice in DVD so far.  I talk of the "Star Wars" trilogy on DVD.

You'll no doubt notice that I am including the link to the original Blu-Ray box set only to the left there.  I am doing so for a good reason.  First of all, I don't think anyone will be shocked to learn that I thought the prequel trilogy was a total piece of shit.  That's right, I said it, and as family-oriented as this blog has been up until now, there is simply no other way to describe it.  That being said, I must also add that I feel that the changes that George Lucas made to the original trilogy to update them via CGI are for the most part also total pieces of shit.  There is a reason why there was a campaign online titled "Han Shot First."  If you know the series, you know exactly what I'm on about.  No, I'm linking this particular version of the original trilogy because the original movies as people who grew up with them saw them no longer exist, and if you are going to spend money on this series to own it for the most recent technology, then spend this and no more, ever.  See, Lucas has made so many versions of these films on VHS, DVD, and now Blu-Ray that it is possible, and I kid you not with this comment, it is possible to own no fewer than seven different versions of the original series, and I might be missing a few.  There's the original VHS release, the VHS boxed set, the Special Edition VHS boxed set, the original DVD release, the Special Edition DVD boxed set, the special Anniversary DVD release boxed set, the Blu-Ray boxed set...and don't forget that they are being changed to 3-D for re-release in theatres, which will require yet another release on DVD and Blu-Ray.  This isn't double-dipping, this is greed in its most obvious and outrageous incarnation.  So don't get suckered in, get them once and once only, or at least sell a previous version towards getting the newer one - don't pay full price to upgrade, whatever you do.  That is feeding the beast, and it's too hungry as it is.

Well, there you have it, movies worthy of special editions, and those not.  There are tons more examples on both sides of that particular fence, but let's not have you reading for hours, okay?  If you want to know my opinions on titles I did not mention, leave a comment and I will respond directly or in a special post addressing them.  Otherwise, keep the popcorn warm for next time!