by D.W. Lundberg

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


UPDATE: Checking around for Oscar results on the Internet this morning, it's great to see that Inception won so many technical awards last night, especially the award for Best Cinematography. Wally Pfister's been working with Christopher Nolan for a good long while now (since Memento), and he outdoes himself each time out.

If you have any thoughts on the telecast last night, please comment below - what you liked, disliked, what you think I missed out on, etc. (Because if there's one thing I love, it's living vicariously through others.) Oh, and the winners have been marked with a star for good behavior below.

Well, it's Oscar time again, folks - everybody's favorite night of the year. And on Sunday, February 27th, we'll all gather again, to see our favorite celebrities stroll down that red carpet, take their seats in Los Angeles' world-famous Kodak Theater, and enjoy an evening's worth of scintillating entertainment as they anxiously await those five magic words: "And the Oscar goes to..." It's almost too much to soak in. The glitz! The glamour! The pure intoxication of it all!

End of sarcasm. You already know how I feel about this, so there's no point in griping about it all over again. Instead (if you care), I thought I'd offer a few choice thoughts on the nominations this year. As always, feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments below.

Monday, February 14, 2011


A few weeks back, while surfing through our NetFlix account on the Wii, I happened across Waterworld in the Sci-Fi Recommendations section. It'd been a while since I'd seen it, and my memories of it aren't at all venomous, so I thought, "Yeah, I'll add that to the Instant Queue." I mean, why not, right? I'm paying my $8.99 a month. Might as well get my money's worth. And I know you're thinking: "Waterworld. Isn't that the Kevin Costner fish movie that came out, like, twenty years ago? Don't you have better things to do?" Well, yes and yes – but the truth is, you never really know what mood will strike you in your spare time.

When the movie came out in the summer of 1995, it just about sunk under the weight of its troubled production history. Its budget soared to $175 million – until Titanic, the most expensive motion picture ever made – because of costly delays during filming. Infighting among cast and crew plagued the shoot, most notably between Costner and director Kevin Reynolds, whose friendship had already been strained while filming their last venture, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. The screenplay was being rewritten on a daily basis, with script-polisher Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) describing his time on set as "seven weeks of hell." With that kind of publicity, the movie was either destined to become one of the biggest flops in Hollywood history, or a massive hit peaked by audience curiosity. Actually, it turned out to be neither – Waterworld grossed over $264 million worldwide, barely enough to recoup its production and advertising budgets.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself."

When The Matrix opened in March of 1999, it hit like a breath of pure oxygen – and a slap in the face to every pretender-to-the-throne action/sci-fi extravaganza since George Lucas' original Star Wars. (More than that, it made those movies look positively old-fashioned by comparison – The Phantom Menace included, which still had a good month and a half to go before its official release date.) Andy and Larry Wachowski's genre-busting fusion of all things cyberpunk, Hong Kong action cinema, and Japanese anime didn't just stand the special effects industry on its head; it turned into a full-fledged pop culture phenomenon. "Bullet time" became a cliché. Wire work and extensive kung fu choreography became the norm for almost every action sequence that followed. It gave Keanu Reeves – he of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush" music video, and Speed – his most iconic role since, well, Bill & Ted. It even spawned its own religion, of sorts.