Have I got a treat for you. During one of my routine trips around the sun, I accidentally sling-shot myself through time to the year 2007, and after some amazing futuristic adventures, have managed to return with something special: a TV Guide from August 18th, 2007 which contains a second season recap of Fox’s hit show Prison Break for readers on the eve of the third season premiere.
Caution: As with most of my experiments with time, this may contain spoilers.
I’ve still been super busy traveling these last couple weeks, so instead of slapping together an update to feed the ever-ravenous maw that I sometimes imagine this blog to be, I’ll post an older piece that has yet to see the light of day: my review of Curious George.
This was originally written for the Daily News Skim over at PointlessWasteOfTime. There, along with writing about news that never happened, we also sometimes wrote reviews for movies that we never saw. This was to be one of them.
As it turns out, literally minutes before this was to be published, news broke that the co-creator of Curious George had just been found murdered. After hearing this, the piece was quickly axed because it simply didn’t seem as funny any more. This was even after a hasty rewrite, and a title change from the original “I intend to murder one of the co-creators of Curious George.”
All that said, it is still kind of funny, especially once you forget about the whole brutal murder thing. I kind of regret bringing it up now. Bugger.
The Hollywood trend of remaking old franchises continues here with “When A Stranger Calls”, a remake of a 1979 educational filmstrip reminding children to not answer the phone when they’re home alone. It’s painfully obvious film executives have been digging deeper for properties after the last available television show was adapted last year (the dreadful Different Strokes 2005: Blood Fist).
The problem here is the sparse source material, with the original filmstrip clocking in at just under 5 minutes. Director Simon West was forced to pad the length with a convoluted backstory involving an inept burgler (played by Michael Moore) who devises various schemes to trick children into revealing they’re home alone, with the intention of robbing the house. If that sounds familiar to you, it should: It’s almost identical to the plot of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and it’s sequel, Terminator 3.
Does Steve Jobs have a Magical Leprechaun stuffed up his ass?
The original iPod was a 3 pound monstrosity with a 35 minute battery life and an outer shell made of children’s teeth. Yet despite all that it became an enormous sales success and brought Apple back from the brink of bankruptcy. Since then, every new iPod release has been almost immediately trumped by its competitors in storage space, features and price, and yet the iPod brand continues to outsell all others by close to 3 to 1.
Good marketing? Voodoo magic? Gypsy voodoo magic? More importantly, can it happen again? Meet the new Video iPod.
Flightplan follows ace flightplanner Captain Stacy “Flightplan Shitter” Kurtis (Jodie Foster) during an eventful day of filing a flightplan for her 6:30pm flight from Los Angeles International to Chicago O’Hare.
The film portrays Kurtis as a dying breed, the solo flightplan filer who prefers to work alone. The audience quickly gets the impression that she’s somewhat of a loose cannon, a maverick of the flightplan-filing world, an impression that’s brought home by her constant humming of Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone.
“She plays too fast and loose with the rules, always looking to cut corners,” says an Air Traffic controller (a surprisingly intense Alan Thicke in a powerful cameo) to an intern. “She’ll get someone killed one of these days with those antics.”
Looking confused, the intern replies. “Then why don’t they fire her?”
“Because she’s the best.”
For FAA paperwork enthusiasts like myself, the film should have been a home run. But the film quickly falls into the same trap as other big-budget adaptations (the screenplay was adapted from a stack of 300 photocopies of commercial flight plans from 1994-1996). I looked forward to watching the dynamic Foster pour over SIGMETs charts, forecasted cloud cover reports and turbulence warnings, but in reality this occupies no more than 60% of the film.