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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

X-Files 2 Gets a Teaser Trailer and a Release Date


July 25, 2008. Mark it on your calendar, because that’s the release date for the new X-Files movie. Apparently, at the recent WonderCon, people who sat in on a Q&A session with X-Files stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny were treated to a short teaser trailer for the movie, which ended with a release date. So of course, that trailer has now made its way onto the internet in shaky, handicam form. I have no idea what the film is about, but I already know I’ll be there on opening day. Really, I’ll take any new X-Files I can get my grubby paws on.

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8 Things We Need to See in the Arrested Development Movie

Who isn’t a fan of Arrested Development? Let me put it to you this way: the last time we wrote something about the Arrested Development movie, the response made our server cry out in agony. People go nuts for the show, which was killed in its prime, and for good reason. When most people see Michael Cera, they now think of Superbad, but real fans know to think George Michael Bluth first. Same thing with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Jessica Walter, but only when she’s drunk. We love the Bluths and their dysfunctional nature, so why wouldn’t we be excited about a big screen adaptation?

But just because they are making a movie, that doesn’t mean it will be good. In fact, fans have almost become conditioned to expect the worst when their favorite TV shows are transfered to the silver screen. Miami Vice, The Mod Squad, Inspector Gadget, Lost in Space — shall we continue, or have you had enough? AD fans should hold out hope though, as many of the cast have already said that they are in for the movie. That fact brings us to our first of eight things we need to see in the Arrested Development movie…

8. The Entire Original Cast

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Jason Batemen, Jeffrey Tambor and Will Arnett have all spoken publicly about being in, but that isn’t enough. We want everyone from Ron Howard as the narrator to Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw. If Carl Weathers can’t make this work, the production is in serious trouble. And what about Julia Luis-Dreyfus? Maggie Lizer needs to come back, and this time she should be pregnant for real (or so we think). We know the cameos will be there, sure. But if we don’t get the core cast (I’m looking at you David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale), this movie will get bounced from our hearts faster than Britney Spears at a Child Services meeting.

7. Lindsay’s Quest to Marry Michael

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Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) was always at her best when she was (a) trying to cook (Hot Ham Water, anyone?) or (b) trying to seduce her brother. The storyline of the movie should somehow set up Lindsay’s lust for Michael. We know that the writing team can figure it out. They’ve had plenty of time to think about it.

6. A Big Focus on the “Nevernude” Epidemic

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It is sweeping the nation — and if the AD movie wants to stay socially relevant, we are going to require a serious commitment to David Cross in cutoffs.

5. The Stair Car

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The world of the Bluths would not be the same without their primary mode of transportation. Oh, and plenty of hop-ons.

4. Lucille 2

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While it will be great to see Lucille 1 back in action, driving the self-esteem of her children into the ground, we are going to need some time with Lucille 2 (Liza Minnelli). As well, there will need to be awkward sexual tension between Lucille 2 and Buster — it’s just he natural order of things.

3. The Banana Stand

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Heaven forbid they forget the Bluth family Banana Stand. That’s all.

2. Maeby’s Career as a Hollywood Mogul

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Toward the end of the series, Maeby was on a roll. We need her to be back in action, possibly pitching a major motion picture about the Bluth family. This is where Ron Howard can step away from being the narrator and jump back in front of the camera (Did we mention that Howard needs to be back as narrator, or else…)

1. GOB. Magic Show. Final Countdown. Girls with Low Self Esteem.

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This one is almost self-explainatory. Did you know that the song “Final Countdown” plays every time GOB (Will Arnett) gets on stage to do a magic show? That needs to be in the flick. As well, we’d like to see a magic show during spring break. And while we’re at it… Why not bring back Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez? WOOOOO!

And those are just the obvious ones. But that is where you come in. We know that you have a grab-bag full of Arrested Development follies that you will need to see in the film adaptation. Please leave your thoughts, ideas and pre-requisites for cinematic greatness in the “Sound Off” section below.

EXCLUSIVE: 'Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?' Poster Premiere!

Cinematical has just received this exclusive final poster (click on the image for a larger version) for Morgan Spurlock's new doc, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, marks Spurlock's directorial follow-up to the mega-entertaining Super Size Me. This time around, and with a baby on the way, Spurlock travels to the Middle East in an attempt to find the man no government or special-ops team has been able to track down: Osama bin Laden. I love the whole Indiana Jones look to the poster, and you know Spurlock is always good for a couple hours of pure entertainment. He's just so huggable! For more on Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, check out James' review from Sundance, as well as his one on one interview with the man himself, Morgan Spurlock.

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Bunny Animation


Parts of "60 Minutes" Broadcast Blocked in Alabama

Update at bottom
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If you do not yet know who Don Siegelman is or what has happened in this country, then let me ask you to please read the following articles and visit the following websites, before I tell you what the latest developments are:

Introduction

The Permanent Republican Majority Part I


The Permanent Republican Majority Part II

The Permanent Republican Majority Part III

Harper's Excellent Coverage via Scott Horton HERE

My blog, at-largely, HERE

And this evening's 60 Minutes broadcast HERE

Also, Don Siegelman support site

Soviet America

Now, let me tell you what has been going on. As 60 Minutes was putting its show together, the White House put pressure on CBS -- the parent company -- to kill the show. Over the last few days, as word got out that the 60 Minutes show would air tonight, Karl Rove's associates began planting defamatory stories about journalists working on this story (see example here) and attacking the whistle-blower who came forward, Dana Jill Simpson. If you recall, Ms. Simpson testified, under oath, to Congress about Karl Rove's involvement in politicizing the DOJ. What you may not know, however, is that her house mysteriously caught fire and she was run off the road in the weeks leading up to her testimony.

What you may also not know is that Governor Siegelman's house was broken into twice during his trial as was his attorney's office.

Yesterday, the attacks on Simpson and journalists increased with a series of emails from the Alabama GOP. See Here.

Tonight was something truly unseen in US history. During the 60 Minutes broadcast and ONLY during the Don Siegelman portion -- the screen went black for Huntsville residents and Mobile residents. There are other reports of other locations, but I have not yet confirmed those. In Florida, a series of strange ads were running about the FISA bill and how Democrats are not tough on terrorism, apparently during the 60 Minutes hour and also right before 60 Minutes, but not after (still trying to confirm when the ads stopped running).

In other words, in the United States of America, a man is imprisoned for being a Democrat. When reporters attempt to get this story out, they are threatened and smeared. When all else fails, the public is not allowed to see the news. This is not acceptable and I -- as a US citizen -- demand that Congress investigate this series of blackouts immediately. Any company involved in this must have their FCC license pulled too. Karl Rove may be gone from office, but he clearly is not gone from power. So long as his buddy, George W. Bush, continues to occupy the White House -- what used to be a symbol of how a nation could both be governed and be free -- we will continue toward abuse after imperial, no Soviet, abuse against us. That too is unacceptable.

Contact Congress now, non-stop, and demand a full investigation into what caused this selective blackout. You can find your member's contact information here. If no investigation happens ... If no one in Congress responds, then you will know finally and fully the ugly truth: we are no longer a democracy . And if we are no longer a democracy, then presidential election can fix the problem, because something that no longer exists cannot be fixed. Sadly, at that point, the only path left to us is the one I most abhor.

Update:

We are now being told that it was a technical issue with CBS in New York:

We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring "The Prosecution of Don Siegelman."


It was a techincal(sic) problem with CBS out of New York. We are working with them right now to see if we can re-broadcast the segment.

Please be patient with us during this time. We are doing our best to correct the problem.

Excuse me? Are they trying to tell us that a glitch in New York ONLY happened in Alabama -- which is the topic of the 60 Minutes broadcast -- and ONLY during the Don Siegelman segment? Are you kidding me? We have selective prosecution and now we have selective news delivery?

Update II:

I have written an article at Raw Story about this now. I am hoping that other news outlets give this issue adequate attention. Harper's and Raw Story should not be the only news outlets carrying this story.

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Pineapple Express Uncut Trailer


The Rich Man's Michael Moore

Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, used to be an accepted member of the New York elite, with a trust fund, a top education and loads of old-money friends. Now, thanks to his film career, he's not as welcome.

"I'll walk into a social event where there are a number of people who I grew up with and they'll treat me apprehensively," says Mr. Johnson, 28.

[Nicole Buffett with Jamie Johnson.]
Nicole Buffett with Jamie Johnson.

His relationship with his family, especially his father, has also cooled. "There was a sense that 'If you go too far with these [films], you won't be welcome in your own home,'" he says.

Mr. Johnson is getting used to being an outcast among the upper class. After the 2003 release of his first film, "Born Rich," which looked at the lives of the silver-spoon set, and now his second, "The One Percent," which focuses on the American wealth gap, Mr. Johnson has become the rich man's Michael Moore -- a trust-fund populist who's not afraid to attack the wealthy and powerful. While his wealth has helped him gain access to the people he's filming, it's also carried personal costs. He has learned the hard way that the biggest betrayal for the rich is to talk publicly about their riches.

"I think most wealthy people want to live with this myth of equal opportunity and equality in this country," he says. "I don't think they want to question their right to this wealth."

The films have generated their share of controversy. "Born Rich," which featured several of Mr. Johnson's childhood friends talking about everything from drugs to prenuptial agreements, sparked a lawsuit and accusations from a few of his friends that Mr. Johnson portrayed them unfairly.

"The One Percent," which is running on Cinemax until April 1, has spawned its own mini scandal. After Warren Buffett's adopted granddaughter, Nicole Buffett, spoke to Mr. Johnson on camera about her views on money, Mr. Buffett sent her a letter stating that she was not legally his granddaughter (see sidebar).

Jamie Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson heir who famously exposed the lives of rich kids in America with his 2003 documentary "Born Rich," is once again turning the cameras on his own kind. See a clip from his new film, "The One Percent."

The most personal casualty of Mr. Johnson's cinematic class crusade is his relationship with his father, James Loring Johnson. Jamie Johnson is the great-grandson of J&J's founder. After three generations of family scandal and feuds, Jamie's father turned to a quiet life of reading and painting landscapes. Throughout "Born Rich," Jamie pursued his dad, Roger-and-me-style, asking him about the family's wealth. His father, adhering to old-money codes of conduct, demurred.

Yet while making "The One Percent," Jamie made a surprising discovery. Decades earlier, his father had helped fund a documentary about apartheid and economic unfairness in South Africa. His father refused to talk about the film, although Jamie learned about it from his mother and got a copy. His mother told him that his father was reprimanded for the film by Johnson & Johnson and by members of his family. His father never made another film.

"The fact that a reprimand was all it took to completely push him off that path says something about how fearful he must have been," Jamie says.

"It is true that I did have strong feelings about the injustices of apartheid," says the elder Johnson. "But it was complicated with the company and it was a different time and, you know, this is uncomfortable."

The conflicts play out in "The One Percent," as Jamie follows his father from the croquet court to family meetings asking about the film and his family's wealth. His father tries to answer his questions on several occasions, but eventually gives up, walking out of one interview with his head in his hands saying, "I can't take any more. It's too much for me."

Brian McNally, the Johnson family's financial adviser, chastises Jamie on camera for his behavior.

"You're behaving like a little arrogant trustafarian," he tells him.

Milton Friedman, the famed economist, was equally impatient with Mr. Johnson's questioning. During his on-air interview -- among Mr. Friedman's last before he died -- he accuses Mr. Johnson of advocating socialism and abruptly ends their talk.

Mr. Johnson insists he's not opposed to wealth -- including his own. Wealth, he says, has given him a great education, freedom, chances to travel and, best of all, the resources to do films about wealth. He says that while his documentaries are profitable, they wouldn't pay for his lifestyle.

[Jamie Johnson in New York]
Jamie Johnson in New York

Yet with "The One Percent," Mr. Johnson wanted to show how the rich have gone too far. Through interviews with economists, policy experts and environmentalists, Mr. Johnson argues that today's wealthy have become an increasingly isolated elite. He says rather than using their wealth for good, they have used it to restructure the economy, lower their taxes, cut social programs for the middle and lower classes, and amass ever more wealth.

Mr. Johnson says finding willing subjects for "The One Percent" was difficult, and not just because of his reputation. He sent out more than 100 letters to wealthy people asking for interviews and most said no or failed to reply. Even George Soros, the billionaire financier who often argues against inequality, refused.

"We have an aristocracy in this country that has convinced everybody else that they don't exist," Mr. Johnson says.

Rejections by his fellow elites won't be a problem for his next film, however. Says Mr. Johnson: "My next projects are fictional."

Battle of the Buffetts

In Jamie Johnson's film "The One Percent," Nicole Buffett talks about how lucky she is to be a Buffett. "I feel very fulfilled and happy in my life," says Nicole, the adopted daughter of Peter Buffett, Warren Buffett's son.

Warren Buffett, however, wasn't pleased. Shortly after Nicole appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to talk about the film, Mr. Buffett sent her a letter saying that, while he was proud of Nicole and her achievements, "...I have not legally or emotionally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin."

Nicole is the biological daughter of Mary Buffett (with another man), who married Peter when Nicole was 4 years old. Peter and Mary divorced but Peter adopted Nicole when she was 18. Warren Buffett declined to comment.

Nicole says she spent almost every Christmas with Warren Buffett between the ages of 4 and 11 and often went to his home in Omaha for spring break. Susan Buffett, Warren's first wife, who died in 2004, named Nicole in her will as one of her "adored grandchildren" and left her $100,000. She added that Nicole "shall have the same status and benefits ... as if they were children of my son, Peter A. Buffett."

A source close to the family says Nicole spent "very little time" with Warren Buffett over the years but that he paid for Nicole's school and living expenses until she was 28. Nicole says that Mr. Buffett's reaction may have reflected his philosophy about wealth. "Sharing my experience as a Buffett was stepping outside the box," she says.

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