Archive for March, 2013

Are you listening Disney’s, Animal Kingdom?

Bring a dodo or wooly mammoth to north Florida and we’ll forget about Avatar land. With a line up like this, you could, dare I say it, rule the world.


Here’s a poem for which I spent years searching. My crazy English professor in London made us read it after reading Tess of the D’Urbervilles. (Twist: my last name is Durbeyfield) it’s a bizarre poem by Robert Penn Warren, not about the South at all. (He told me it wasn’t the perfect country and western [poem] because it didn’t say anything about…) now I just read that book by Vikram Seth, which that English professor also loved. The good folks at reddit tomt found it for me.

I call it Literal Dream. Hope you like it.


UPDATE: found the book

Urinary arrogance

Alan Menken on The Neighbors

Not “on” per se, but he wrote a song for it. The funniest episode yet, by far, I think.

Luke’s change

Holee shit, this is awesome! I predict it will be on all the geek blogs. You read it here first. I don’t usually post Star Wars stuff, chad Vader sux, but I despise 9/11 conspiracy theorists so much, I’m waiving my rule.

Raylan Givens new movie

Looks effed up.

Oz, the great and powerful

Is masterful. As someone who considers Shawshank Redemption, Slumdog Millionaire, and even Wicked too precious, too stuffed with contrived explanations to be loved or even liked, I feel like kind of a mark for loving Oz: the Great and Powerful with only the merest of qualifications. (The primary one being the way they included the cowardly lion, which was somewhat gratuitous).

Here’s the conceit of the movie, and you read it here first: the wizard, played by James Franco, is a magician in Kansas and the film is like a magic trick. All the guns on the mantelpiece, and there’s a gigantic arsenal (I know I used that in my review for H&G:WH, but this movie makes that seem like a slingshot), are put out for you to see, and you’re almost told how they’re going to be fired, and then, all of the sudden, you’re amazed when one goes off. It’s like a really good illusionist. (Here’s a quick, spoilerific example {skip to the next paragraph if you have any sense of wonder left}: there’s a little girl in a wheelchair at Oz’ magic show who asks him to fix her legs. He declines and is run off stage. I spent much of the time in Oz wondering if they were going to reference the girl. Only when I read a review afterward did I realize the girl in the wheelchair voiced the china doll. I won’t tell why that’s cool, jaded reader, I refuse to spoil it. It’s possible I’m just thick, also)

As you may have guessed, this movie pays homage to Judy Garland’s visit to Oz, without being shackled to it. The additions and changes feel uniformly organic, though a few nods to The weirdness that is Return to Oz would not have been out of order. The structure of the story is similar, but uniquely adapted for this tale. In addition, this story feels like it is on a continuum; it doesnt explain everything about how we got to where this movie starts. There could very easily be a prequel to this film. All tgese components make everything work so magically, you just get swept away on a rainbow of willful suspension of disbelief. Fer instance, when Oscar is sent to kill the evil witch as part of a prophesy, that goes by really quick and there are surprisingly few objections from Oscar. Nonetheless, I was hooked right in.

It should be noted that Zach Braff’s monkey is made of cg awesomeness, the porcelain doll is mesmerizing, and Mila Kunis appears to have had her eyes surgically embiggened, or else replaced with actual doe eyes. The special effects are cool, and I’ll see it again for the 3d. However, while they add to the illusion, it’s the storytelling on display here.

Recommended in the strongest possible terms. I can even forgive the lion.

(As an aside, this movie shows you the tricks as they’re being performed. The two movies and the musical mentioned in the first sentence go to pains to tell you how the tricks were performed, thereby draining any magic. I also thought Usual Suspects was overrated)

For the love of Oz, see this movie!


I’ve known about Rapturepalooza since I started watching Reaper and became temporarily obsessed with Tyler Labine. I mentioned it here. Now the first Red Band trailer is out and it looks a little, well, broad. Craig Robinson is apparently the new go to guy for apocalyptic comedies. No sign of Mr Labine.

Fairy Tales for grown ups

As someone who has been intermittently obsessed with fables over most of his adult life, I was really taken with this story on NPR about the recent spate of storybook stories for adults as an expression of fear about commitment, getting pregnant, and losing or not being able to get a job. While it feels sort of like trying to jam a step sister’s foot into a rather ill fitting glass slipper, Mondello rescues it by showing us that those are stories not to scare, but to reassure. And I thought Hansel & Gretel should have a few more incest jokes. Maybe they’re all meant to remind twenty somethings of The Princess Bride.

Son of a beesting