How to Have MORE Fun at the “Museum”

Get Ben Stiller to make a sequel to the first Night at the Musuem, sending his security guard character Larry Daley to the Washington D.C. Smithsonian with the Egyptian tablet that makes everything come to life at night. THAT’S how you’ll have more fun!

I really liked the first Night at the Museum, surprisingly so. The idea of mixing Ben Stiller and family comedy up to that point didn’t seem like a great idea, but the whole-museum-exhibits-coming-to-life idea paid off big time. Having the likes of Owen Wilson, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan helped. Of course, they have to up the ante in the sequel by getting even more funny guys, but I think Bill Hader as General Custer is a minor stroke of genius, as is Amy Adams as Amelia Earhart. And then there’s Abraham Lincoln … Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian looks like a hoot.

How Beyonce Kicked-Ass at the Box Office

Obsessed

By getting into one hell of a catfight with Heroes star Ali Larter is my guess. Their new flick Obsessed — a Fatal Attraction-esque smackdown between the wife (Beyonce) and the psycho temptress (Larter) after said psycho has a fling with the hubby (Idris Elba) and comes after the family — won the box office this weekend with $28 million. Surprising? Maybe a little. The film didn’t pre-screen for critics, but those who did venture out to review it didn’t like it much. For example, Cinematical’s Scott Weinberg says:

Too “safe” to be a provocative thriller or an incendiary drama, and it’s way too flat and sedate to qualify as a movie bad enough to mock.

Ouch. Or this quote from Entertainment Weekly‘s Owen Gleiberman:

It’s doubtful that Obsessed will stick in the popular imagination for more than two weeks, because the movie is borderline ludicrous, and it jams its characters into rigid slots.

Yes, well, never underestimate a good climactic fight scene in which the wife gets to beat the crap out of the other woman. I mean, there’s  some major anger management therapy going on, and I bet there were more than a few women in the theaters rooting Beyonce on. Here she is talking about it on Access Hollywood:

You go ahead and head butt that beyotch, girl!

How to Titillate a Trekkie

Five words, really: the new Star Trek movie. It opens in theaters May 8, and  Trekkie or not,  the prequel is getting some serious momentum. I predict it’s going to the be biggest movie of the summer (besides maybe Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince).

Of course, I’M a Trekkie from way back. Watching the reruns of the original show as a kid, I got so into it. There was one episode (“The Man Trap”) in which McCoy finds an old flame living on this planet as a scientist or something. Except she really isn’t a human at all but a monster who can shape shift and suck the salt out of you until you die (they didn’t call it shape shifting back then, but that’s what we are talking about).  I had nightmares for WEEKS, seeing that monster’s face in the corner of my room! Now, of course, it’s cool. You can actually watch the whole episode on CBS’s archive site.

Anyway, for me, making a movie about how Kirk, McCoy, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Scottie and Chekov all meet and become the icons they are destined to be is just too good an idea to pass up, especially if it’s being directed by Lost, Alias and Fringe creator J.J. Abrams. No doubt he’ll be delivering some beam-me-up, set-phaser-on-kill action. I can’t WAIT.

And if you are someone with a sense of humor about your Trekkie geekdom-ness, then you’ll also appreciate this spoof from Will Ferrell and the folks at FunnyOrDie.com. Enjoy!

How to Watch: “Fighting”

Step 1: If you need an actor to look good in an underground street fight, hire Channing Tatum.

Step 2: If you need an actor to provide some SERIOUS eye candy, also hire Channing Tatum.

Step 3: Once you’ve got the boy, watch how he plays Shawn MacArthur, a transplanted Southerner just barely making ends meet in New York City. Then he meets Harvey (Terrence Howard), a street hustler who sees some potential in Shawn’s natural fisticuff abilities. One successful underground street fight later, Shawn and Harvey join the circuit – and begin a beautiful relationship.

Step 4: Start to wonder what is happening to Terrence Howard. He seems to be turning in the same performance over and over. And this time, as Harvey, he adopts some sort of high-pitched cadence to his voice. Very annoying.

Step 5: Refer to Step 2. Tatum looks goooood . He does, actually, have some natural talent as an actor – there is an ease about him in front of the cameras. But wow, he is ridiculously gorgeous. You get a little tingly watching Shawn woo a cocktail waitress (Zulay Henao) AND smooth things over with her overprotective Spanish grandmother. Would have been nice to see him dance again, but it’s OK. Settle for the Fight Club action instead.

Step 6: Realize you miss Fight Club. Somehow watching two dudes beat the hell out of one another just makes you pine for Brad Pitt and Edward Norton beating the hell out of one another. First-time director Dino Montiel does a pretty good job handling the street fights, but Fighting still falls into a predictable melting pot.

Level of difficulty watching Fighting:
Moderate; action scenes are exciting but the film is too pat for my tastes.
Level of difficulty watching Channing Tatum: Extraordinarily easy.

How to Get the Next “Twilight” Directing Gig

Direct a really scary vampire flick and a disturbing little drama about Internet predators, that’s what you do. Having crossed off Drew Barrymore’s name from the list, Cinematical reports the powers behind the Twilight franchise have handed the third movie, Eclipse, over to David Slade, the filmmaker who gave us 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy. OK, I get the vampire bit, although I’m sure the Cullen family won’t be ripping apart all the humans they can find, leaving them bleeding all over the nice, clean snow. That’s a 30 Days of Night image I’d like to forget.

And Bella probably won’t be tying Edward up, threatening to cut off his private parts, as in Hard Candy.

No, I’m sure Slade will handle the continuing tween vampire romance with a delicate hand — but I am curious to see what he does with the subject matter. Maybe just a little blood?

How to Cast: Vanessa Hudgens

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEARJust call her Belle. High School Musical‘s girl-next-door Vanessa Hudgens is set to star in a modern-day Beauty and the Beast, aptly titled Beastly. Why? Because it makes perfect sense. According to Variety, the film, based on Alex Flinn’s fantasy novel, is about a vain 17-year-old who learns some hard lessons when he’s turned into a hideous beast and must find true love to become human again. Don’t we all.

Funny thing is, Hudgens is also starring in Watchmen director Zack Synder’s next flick, Sucker Punch – a film that sounds entirely different from any of the cutesy crap she’s been doing. It’s about a girl held against her will in a mental institution by her nasty stepdad and is days away from being lobotomized. She escapes her horrible existence but imaging an alternate universe in which she’s the leader of a gang of kick-ass gals on a quest. Not sure if Hudgens is the girl or just one of the other inmates, but I’m kinda jazzed about this one. Also starring is Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish.

In other casting news: Cinematical tells us Angelina Jolie’s looking for a new movie franchise, playing popular author Patricia Cornwell’s heroine Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a cool, sophisticated and beautiful medical examiner who solves any number of gruesome murders. Sounds a whole lot better than Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, I can tell you that.

And Variety reports Cameron Diaz is eyeing a comedy called Bobbie Sue about an up and coming ambitious lawyer who gets her big chance when a prestigious law firm hires her to defend a powerful client accused of sexual discrimination. That’s funny how exactly? More like Cameron trying to do Legally Blonde 3. “Biiiiitch pleeze!”

How to Celebrate Earth Day

EarthThat’s easy — just get the Walt Disney Co. involved and you are all set. They are releasing Earth, a 99-minute feature-length version of the superb Discovery Channel mini-series Planet Earth. The film follows our planet’s most favorite denizens, including adorable polar bears, whale family pods, swimming elephants and more.

It’s nice to have a condensed version of Planet Earth but I strongly suggest you invest in the complete DVD series at some point. It’s truly some amazing stuff. Let’s hope we can keep the planet this way.

How to Make Fun of Movie Bloggers

I sort of wish I could have come up with a snarky blog title like BitchPleeze.com. But alas, Saturday Night Live‘s Michaela Watkins, having created a hilarious celebrity blogger named Angie Tempura, beat me to it. Watch how she nevers says “Bitch, pleeeeze” the same way twice in this clip:

That makes me ffffing laugh every single time I watch it. In fact, my whole family (some of the funniest people I know) love this bit so much, we are all walking around the house saying, “Oh bitch pleeeeeze!” in response to just about everything. Although, I, as a newly minted member of the movie blogging community, could never be as mean-spirited as Angie, I admire her inside joke — until Zac Efron shows up, and she becomes the uber-fan we all are secretly in our hearts.

How to Appreciate a Good Disaster Movie

I’ve always loved disaster movies. From Earthquake to The Towering Inferno to my all-time fav, The Poseidon Adventure (I even liked the remake), there’s just something about watching a group of people surviving some awful calamity, banding together to get out alive. Wondering who’s going to make it and who’s not.

A disaster movie these days, however, usually entails the near end of Earth as we know it – which, of course, makes sense to me. One natural disaster or hotel fire just doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ve got to up the ante. Aliens are taking over (Independence Day); giant meteors are falling from space (Deep Impact); global warming puts us in an Ice Age (The Day After Tomorrow). I mean, seriously, when those tornadoes rip up Los Angeles or when the survivors have to run from sub-zero frozen air, that’s just excellent entertainment.

This November, we can look forward to 2012, a movie based on the ancient Mayan prophecy that on Dec. 21, 2012, the world will end. In the trailer, it certainly looks that way, a surging sea toppling over the Himalayas. Sweet.

Of course, it sort of also scares the bejeezus out of me. I’ve watched those History Channel specials about how all the other Mayan prophecies have come true. The Sony Pictures campaign behind the movie is playing on that fear, with two separate sites: This Is The End.com and the Institute for Human Continuity.com. Doubly sweet.

Best death scene in a disaster movie EVER? When Shelley Winters’ Mrs. Rosen in Poseidon Adventure– once a champion swimmer, now an overweight grandmother – holds her breath and swims all the way through the debris to clear the path for the others and THEN dies of a heart attack. Best line EVER? When Gene Hackman’s Rev. Scott, holding the dead Mrs. Rosen, says, “Please GOD NOT this woman.”

How to Cast: Stephen Dorff

Remember Stephen Dorff? He was definitely a cutie back in the day. I remember him from a 1992 movie called The Power of One, in which he played a young lad growing up in the 1950s South Africa, fighting against apartheid. Of course, many will remember him as the badass in the first Blade movie, and then there’s the unmemorable Deuces Wild. Here’s the trailer, in case you forgot (yes, that’s also the late Brad Renfro as his co-star):

Now, according to Cinematical, Dorff might be getting what they are calling a “Mickey Rourke comeback,” starring in director Sofia Coppola’s next film Somewhere. Set in a Chateau Marmont-style hotel, it’s about a once notorious bad-boy actor who must face some life-altering changes when his 11-year-old daughter shows up for a little unexpected daddy time. The daughter will be played by Elle Fanning, Dakota’s little sister, who is gaining big acting chops lately. Damn, what do those Fannings put in their water?

Here are a couple of other tidbits from Cinematical:

Leslie Mann — quickly becoming one of the go-to gals from any successful comedy — is teaming up with one of the other go-to gals these days, Elizabeth Banks, to star in a comedy called What Was I Thinking?. Basically, they play friends who go on a ski trip to get over bad boyfriends and then meet either more bad men or the love of their lives. Either way, I just hope Mann’s real-life husband Judd Apatow gets involved in some way to make it funny.

Drew Barrymore will NOT be directing Eclipse, the third Twilight movie. Whew, that was close.

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