votw ii.14: Psycho For Hype Machine

Holla if ya bleed!

I’m putting the video for “Cosy Prisons” right at the top because the rest of post has little to do with a-ha, but rather my obsession with pop culture in general. I went with the Españitch-subbed YouTube video because I felt that the other videos on there lacked in quality. Anyway, practice your Castellano. “Tu madre hizo el amor con mi perro.” Good! Remember, Cold As Stone tabulations await!

So yesterday, I went to the Panic At The Disco concert — for free! Yeah, a friend couldn’t make it due to exams, so I was all, “Shoot, girl, I’ll take ’em off your hands.” I may know nothing about Phantom Planet/The Hush Sound/Motion City Soundtrack/Panic At The Disco, but I know a bargain when I see one. And you know what? I drove away from Miami Beach incredibly satisfied. The band named after The Smiths’ “Panic” sure do know how to put on a rollickin’ good show. Makes we want to appeal to a teenage girl fanbase so much more.

a-hacolytes, what else do you’ze guyses appreciate besides muzak? Could it be movies? Indeed! Which is why I’m going to dedicate yet another post to films — this time, of a Summer Blockbuster variety. Without further adon’t, I’m going to countdown to my most anticipated movies of the summer, from 20 to 1. Yayness! (Dates subject only to American releases. Look for your own international release dates, which may not be as welcoming as one would hope.)

20. You Don’t Mess With Zohan (June 8)

I know nothing of this film, except that it stars Adam Sandler, according to my Entertainment Weekly. The only reason I put it here is because a Top 19 looks so unbalanced. Why did I choose this title from the dozens? Because Emmanuelle Chriqui, co-star, is so divine as Eric’s girlfriend on HBO’s Entourage. Hey, Judd Apatow wrote this movie — well I’ll be a Madison’s uncle!

19. The Love Guru (June 20)

Mike Myers is back after triple doses of Austin Powers and Shrek, but the goods in the previews look more like black bananas than ripe mangos. Oh, wait — Jessica Alba’s in this one? That deserves an automatic bump!

18. Sex and the City (May 30)

I’d be more hyped about the Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda reunion had I finished watching the series (I only made it halfway through Season 4, I believe). But I didn’t, so this would be a jump in time to the future, Conan. We’re all hoping the chicks with minx do well in the box office so that it will give hope to another TV series looking to jump into the silver screen, Arrested Development.

17. Mamma Mia! (July 18)

So I enjoy my mother’s ABBA collection, sue me. Anyway, with songs like “The Winner Takes It All,” which is so teary, I’m sure there has to be some sort of palpable drama going on.

16. Tropic Thunder (August 15)

The last Ben Stiller joint I saw in theaters, The Heartbreak Kid, was a stinker, so here’s hoping that this feature, which he is helming, will bring the funny by way of war parodies. It includes a cast of (hit-or-miss) Jack Black, (iron rehab) Robert Downey Jr., (wacko) Nick Nolte, (awesome-o) Steve Coogan, (put-a-shirt-on) Matthew McConaughey, and (forget-about-what-I-said-about-Nolte) Tom Cruise, so there might be a glimmer of chuckle. Also, Downey is doing blackface, so take that as you will.

15. Get Smart (June 20)

The Office‘s Steve Carell is superspy Maxwell Smart, which would mean a lot more to me had I been alive for the TV series. Regardless, we haven’t had a bumbling secret agent film in a while, and Carell is tops. Add to that the always vivacious Anne Hathaway (see Havoc — but not for the plot), and you’ve got funny bone-and-eye candy all at once.

14. Hancock (July 2)

Oh, look, the big 4th of July movie (that’s Independence Day for all you out-of-towners) is spearheaded by Will Smith — who was the genius behind that one? Problem is, I know absolutely zilch about this underhyped release beyond the hobo-with-superpowers cliche. Last year, July 4 was all about Transformers — why the disconnect? I’m sure we’ll hear much more about it before the fireworks go on sale, though. Meanwhile, watch the alternate, better ending to I Am Legend. And always stay away from Men In Black II.

13. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (July 11)

The previous Hellboy (the one that shows that the son of Satan ain’t such a bad guy) was OK, but I never rewatched it, so that says a lot. However, since then, director Guillermo del Toro has released El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) and has been put in charge of the two Hobbit films, which means one thing: del Toro deserves my fraggin’ respeck. Besides, this one looks like Hellboy meets Labyrinth anyway, so I should be much more psyched when July comes around.

12. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

This Apatow-backed joint already came out. Why the hell haven’t I seen it? Neither this movie or the next one really qualify for Summer Movie banter (released before May), but who gives a frick, it’s Marshall from How I Met Your Mother and Freaks & Geeks! Oh, and a dab of Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis, you say? Where the hell is my Apatow lunchbox?

11. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (April 25)

Originally, they were supposed to go to Amsterdam, which is pretty insane considering Harold and Kumar. However, I find it just as intriguing if the stoner pair are being detained for terrorist suspicions (considering the racism towards Kuuumar and all). They proudly take us where Cheech & Chong, Bill & Ted, and Jay & Silent Bob have taken us before: nowhere, hilariously.

10. The Incredible Hulk (June 13)

Oh, the Hulk sure does have a steep mountain to climb. His previous outing, 2003’s Hulk, was abysmal, if you want me to be honest with you, and now the new man in purple shorts, the very respected Edward Norton, has fallen out with Marvel, proprietors of the flashy superhero medium. You see, Norton wanted a more personal, detailed cut of the film, clocking in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, whereas Marvel lobbied for a much more commercially viable popcorn movie of barely 2 hours. Who won? The studio did, of course, and now American History X‘s Norton is not doing press after the feud went public. As for me, I have a lot of reservations on this one, especially after the Eric Bana Hulkster failed in the eyes of so many. What little I’ve seen hasn’t impressed, but who knows? This could be this year’s…Juno?!

9. Iron Man (May 2)

The first big movie of the summer is another Marvel Comics darling. As far as I know, Tony Stark is a rich dude who wants to fight crime, so what sets him apart from Bruce Wayne? The shiny jet-powered exoskeleton, of course! Listen, I don’t hold many of the Marvel properties highly (I’m much more of a DC Comics fan in that regard), so I don’t really give two Yuenglings about Iron Man. Still, even though I may not have grown up with the 1990s cartoon, but this movie does look promising in all terms of hype. Robert Downey Jr. has traded in the needle for the graphic novel, so let’s give him a mug shot, OK? (Why am I so mean to Downey? He’s a good actor!)

8. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (August 1)

Another Mummy movie? Surely, Brendan Fraser has something better to do? No? OK then, so there’s a third Mummy movie coming out. Lookie here, they’re just fun and superficial, and we like them like that, OK? I recently rewatched the first one, and while I did not get up from my bed with a Shawshank Redemption-like epiphany, I did feel satisfied in a buttery popcorn sort of way. Rachel Weisz is missing from this sequel, unfortunately, so I won’t have those pretty eyes to distract me from CGI overload.

7. Pineapple Express (August 8)

Last summer, Director/Producer Judd Apatow brought us Knocked Up and Superbad. Before that, he brought us The 40 Year Old Virgin and Anchorman, as well as a slew of other comedy nuggets. To have the Apatow Stamp of Approval is to have stunted men living in a world of boobs and even bigger boobs. This is why I am very much looking forward to Pineapple Express, which reunites James Franco and Seth Rogen from Apatow’s failed amazing TV show, Freaks & Geeks. Between being freaks and pineappling it up, Franco has been seen masquerading as the son of the Green Goblin in the Spider-Man films, whereas Rogen has starred in Knocked Up and Superbad, which he half-wrote. Apatow is the reigning churner of comedy godliness, so a movie about stoners has to be glorificent. Apatow’s kids are our kids. Now how do I make friends with these guys? Send a video to funnyordie.com or something?

6. Speed Racer (May 9)

It’s the first movie the Wachowskis have directed since The Matrix Trilogy (it’s funny how no one actually mentions The Matrix Revolutions), and this one seems like a video gone ecstasy dosage. (Why is that such a bad thing? I like video games!) I used to watch Speed Racer, the anime, as a child, but I recall very little beyond the speedy racer named Speed Racer. This one stars Emile Hirsch from Into The Wild (you have to, have to watch that film!) and Christina Ricci (you have to, have to watch her cleavage!), and it’s got a kid-friendly rating, so bring the chimps along. I don’t think we should expect the Spielberg tugging-of-the-heart in this one (we shouldn’t expect that from this summer’s Spielberg movie, even), but we should be looking forward to getting entertained. If not, Andy Wachowski’s sex-change operation was all for naught.

5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (August 15)

Eleven days before my birthday, a new Star Wars epic unveils itself at a theater near me. I saw every Prequel Trilogy movie on premiere day (always having my dad skip work), and I don’t expect this Star Warsian venture to be any different — except that it’s animated. There’s gonna be a new Clone Wars show on Cartoon Network, and this movie is its launching pad. All I hope is that this new toon will be as good as the previous minisodes that aired around 2004. Let’s cut to the chase: Lucas, baby, when are we getting our confounded live-action series? Noooooo!!!!! (/Vader squeal)

4. Wall-E (June 27)

Dreamworks shcreamworks, Pixar is the unrivaled champion of modern-day animated classics. Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille — Shrek’s pop-culture brouhaha ain’t got nuffin’ on thems! Pixar has the uncanny ability of bringing life to the lifeless, spirit to the spiritless, which is why everyone is so keen on Wall-E, the adorable space-age robot with the dreamiest eyes this side of Johnny Five (he’s alive!). Even the way Wall-E says his own name makes me wish tomorrow would turn into June 27. R2-D2, you’ve found your drinking buddy!

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (May 16)

Yahoo, fantasy movie! The first film was not groundbreaking, but it was wholly enjoyable, and I have true faith that Prince Caspian will surpass the original C.S. Lewis epic. In anticipation for this movie, I’ve been catching up with my one-volume Chronicles of Narnia, and I have now read The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe (originally read in seventh grade), Prince Caspian, The Horse And His Boy, and The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (originally read in eighth grade), leaving me only with The Silver Chair and The Last Battle to thumb through. As for Caspian the movie, there’s a lot they can cull for the motion picture that can roxors soxors indiscriminately. Will we ever see the looked-over books get a fair shake?

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)

Indy’s back, baby, and he’s more incontinent than ever! So after nearly twenty years of grooving to the jabberwocky of the old folks’ home radio, Dr. Jones decides to ride again, this time with Shia Labeouf tagging along instead of that Asian kid from Temple of Doom. (I just realized that all of my favorite franchises have a release this year — Indy, Narnia, Batman, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and James Bond. 2thousandeiff or bust!) This one should be a nice throwback to a time before leaked spoilers online, pirated movies from the theater, and, well, movies blogs that no one reads. What’s better than the 1980s team-up of Spielberg, Ford, and Lucas? Why, the much-anticipated Han Solo spinoff movie, o’ course! Daddy Connery, we hate snakes, too!

1. The Dark Knight (July 18)

The two top box office draws of 1989: Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 2008: well, we haven’t even discussed the new Harry Potter yet. Anyway, things are looking a lot like the last year of the ’80s, and all we need is Look Who’s Talking 4, Back to the Future Part IV, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids IV, and Ghostbusters 3 to relive the Year When Seinfeld Premiered. (Can we really get another Ghostbusters? Oh, can we?) There really was no contender for this top spot. I have been religiously following the events of this Batman Begins sequel since, well, there was an announcement for a Batman Begins sequel. All of the favorites are returning: the best actor out there, Christian Bale, will wear the mantle once again, Michael Caine will be the always indispensable Alfred Pennyworth, Morgan “The Voice” Freeman will return as Lucius Fox, and good old Gary Oldman will be Lt. Gordon of the Gotham City Police Dept. New blood is being injected into the fray with the very ahh-worthy Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing the umm-worthy Mrs. Tom Cruise, and Aaron Eckhart will shine through as the future Two-Face, Harvey Dent. Of course, in what might be the most anticipated performance of the year, we have the late Heath Ledger face-blasted as the diabolical Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker. Ledger’s passing cast a spell over the whole movie, and I believe audiences will find a bittersweet taste in his last major role. The fact that he’s no longer with us will make what was already supposed to be a chilling experience that much more disconcerting. There’s even talk of a Best Actor nomination…Without a doubt, the Batman will have us more shaken than a riddle by (you guessed it!) the Puzzler.

Oh, yeah, this dude is Judd Apatow:

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~ by Alfredeus on April 24, 2008.

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