Sunday, October 12, 2008

UH-OH! Paramount Unaware 'South Park' Hated On Spielberg & Lucas & 'Indy 4'; UPDATE: Everyone Just Plans To Ignore It

2ND UPDATE: I understand that no Hollywood bigwig will bother to lodge a protest with Viacom over the South Park episode. "We don't want to engage. We just want it to go away," an insider just told me. The Wednesday night episode, which was the show's fall season premiere, was seen by an average of 3.7 million viewers, up 21% from last fall's debut and topping all of cable during its time period. It stands as the show's most-watched fall premiere since 1999.

UPDATE: I've learned Paramount's top execs missed last night's South Park episode viciously spoofing Steven Spielberg and George Lucas for "raping" Indiana Jones in the studio's summer fourquel. No, I mean really recreating those rape scenes from Clockwork Orange, The Accused and Deliverance and scattering them throughout as the "B" story in "The China Probrem" episode about the racist "horror" of the post-Olympics Chinese taking over the world. My info is that Paramount will look into this on Friday with parent company Viacom which produces the savage adult toon.

I learned about the episode, watched it online, and thought OH MY GOD.

Remember how Tom Cruise was upset with Viacom for South Park's airing of the infamous "Trapped in the Closet" episode? I can't begin to imagine what Brad Grey and Rob Moore, and Spielberg and Lucas, will say to Viacom. After all, the DVD of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull comes out in just days. And Paramount confirmed to me this week that an Indiana Jones 5 is a very, very real possibility and Lucas has already begun development on it.

Posted by Nikki Finke

Original here

Jon Stewart Interviews Obama, Biden, McCain, "Palin"

After one of the longest election seasons in American history, we're finally in the homestretch. Election day is less than a month away, which means you've only got a few days left to be a wishy-washy undecided voter. It's time to fish or get off the pot. Of course, as with all major life decisions, Jon Stewart can help. With that in mind, here are the most recent Daily Show appearances by each of the four members of the two major party tickets.

Original here

Australian man 'Rickrolls' MTV

Melissa Kent

HE HASN'T bothered the charts in 20 years, so you might call '80s pop star Rick Astley a surprise inclusion on the list of nominees for MTV Europe's Best Act Ever to be announced next month.

Astley, the baby-faced crooner who sang the cheesy 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up, is up against U2, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Green Day and Tokio Hotel.

At last count, Astley had an astonishing 99.98% of the 20 million votes cast on MTV's online poll — but the washed-up warbler's nomination is no bizarre error: MTV has simply been "Rickrolled".

Astley's sudden popularity is the result of an internet prank campaign that began as a geeky joke 18 months ago and has grown into a web craze of monster proportions. To be "Rickrolled" is to be unwittingly redirected to a video clip of Never Gonna Give You Up — a prank that has no apparent point other than to illicit a giggle from the unsuspecting viewer.

While the craze has resurrected interest in the singer around the world, it is an Australian who can take credit for Astley's recent MTV nomination. Mark Lancaster, an IT professional and Astley fan from Perth, has effectively "Rickrolled" MTV by creating a "Rickvoter" tool on his Best Act Ever website, which sends votes via javascript directly to MTV's ballot servers.

In just one week, the site has recorded 80,000 hits and lodged several million votes.

Mr Lancaster said Astley was far worthier of the Best Act Ever award than the other nominees. "The majority of the other entrants in the category for Best Act Ever simply don't belong there," he said.

"If we were being honest, you'd have groups like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones."

He said the campaign was also a rebellion against popular media — "a chance for people to make a statement that we don't wish to be dictated to on what we should and shouldn't like any more".

Astley, now 42 and semi-retired, seems both amused and slightly embarrassed by all the attention. ''It's all so bizarre, strange and weird because it has nothing to do with me really," he said of the "Rickrolling" phenomenon.

On April Fools' Day this year, YouTube "Rickrolled" its users by linking every featured video on its main page to the Astley clip. Since then, live "Rickrollers" have ambushed anti-Scientology protests and performed in London tube stations.

While Mr Lancaster is yet to hear from Astley personally, he received an email yesterday from his manager, who revealed Astley had been invited to the award ceremony.

Original here

Guns ‘N’ Roses to release ‘Chinese Democracy’ Nov. 23

Billboard is reporting that Chinese Democracy, the delayed Guns N’ Roses album, will finally be released Nov. 23, exactly 15 years to the day since their last release, The Spaghetti Incident.Their new song Shackler’s Revenge will debut on the soundtrack of video game Rock Band 2 ahead of the album release.

The set will be a Best Buy exclusive and will be available Sunday, rather than the usual Tuesday.By releasing it on a Sunday rather than a Tuesday, Guns ‘N Roses can apparently give Chinese Democracy a chance to be eligible for Billboard’s sales charts a few days earlier.

Another track from the album, If The World, is used on the closing credits for the film Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.

Chinese Democracy will be the sixth studio album by Guns,The album is completed after 14-years of production and costing over $13 million to produce.

In March Dr Pepper take the challenge after making a press announcement that it will give a free can of Dr Pepper to “everyone in America if Chinese Democracy arrives anytime during the calendar year 2008.

Original here

The Stories Behind Three Classic Halloween Movies

I’ve said this a million times, but I’ll go ahead and repeat myself for the first-time Neatorama reader: I loooooove Halloween. Halloween is like Christmas at the Conradt household. If I could keep my house decorated macabrely (I just made that word up) year-round, I absolutely would. Needless to say, I’m already in the mood for spooks and spirits. To help get you in the mood, though, we’ll explore the guts of classic horror movies you might find yourself watching on October 31.

Night of the Living Dead - 1968

Quick synopsis for those who haven’t seen it: The dead are mysteriously brought back to life and a mob of them swarm a farmhouse, where a bunch of people are holed up. Chaos ensues.

Would you believe this was supposed to be a horror-comedy? Well, you might, if you’re familiar with writer/director George Romero’s other movies. The first draft of what was then titled Monster Flick involved some teenage aliens who make friends with Earthling teenagers. Draft #2 is kind of a cross between draft #1 and the final Night: a man discovers a bunch of corpses in a field that were apparently used by aliens for food. Finally, draft #3 was pretty much the version that we know today.

It was produced for a mere $114,000 and has since grossed more than $30 million. Despite its popularity with audiences, critics didn’t much care for the film. When it premiered on October 1, 1968, Roger Ebert was upset that theater owners let kids in (there was no film rating system at the time). The New York Times said it was a “junk movie” and “really silly,” and other critics thought it was simply too gory. A few really loved it, though – Rex Reed said it was the epitome of a B movie turned into a classic. A few other quick facts:

• Taking a cue from Hitchcock, Bosco chocolate syrup was used as blood. George Costanza would be proud (or horrified, I’m not sure which).
• Similarly, when the zombies are eating bodies, they are really eating ham with Bosco on it. Ew.
• “Zombie” is never uttered. They’re usually referred to as “things”.
• Pay close attention to the graveyard struggle between Johnny and the zombie. Some of the moans made by the zombie are real – the actor playing Johnny accidentally kneed him in the groin at some point during the fight.
• The body discovered upstairs in the house was crafted by Mr. Romero himself. The eyes are made out of ping pong balls.
• Before George Romero wrote and directed horror movies, he edited shorts for Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.

Halloween - 1978

Originally called The Babysitter Murders, Halloween was the movie that introduced us to Jamie Lee Curtis. Like Night of the Living Dead, John Carpenter and the makers of the movie were under some serious budget constraints - $325,000. There wasn’t much money for wardrobe, props or makeup, resulting in some pretty interesting stories. For example, the movie was filmed in California in the spring, not Illinois in the fall… which, of course, means no pumpkins or fall leaves. The crew managed to find some fake fall leaves, and after every scene was finished, they collected each and every one to be reused in the next scene that called for leaves. Also like Night, its tight budget made the fact that it grossed $47 million even more impressive (that’s something like $150 million today).

• The little girl who plays Lindsey Wallace is Kyle Richards – she’s Paris Hilton’s aunt.
• Because the budget was so low for the film, most of the actors wore their own clothes. Jamie Lee Curtis’ wardrobe cost about $100 and came from J.C. Penney.
• This is probably common knowledge by now, but if you haven’t heard, Michael Myers is William Shatner. His mask is, anyway. His trademark face is a $1.98 Captain Kirk mask, spray painted bluish-white and given larger eyeholes.
• Again, an homage to Hitch: Tommy Doyle, the little boy Laurie Strode babysits, is named after the Lt. Det. Thomas Doyle in Rear Window. Dr. Sam Loomis’ namesake is Marion Crane’s boyfriend in Psycho. Leigh Brackett, the sheriff and dad of Laurie’s friend, Annie, was named after a screenwriter who wrote for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, among many other things (including The Empire Strikes Back). And there’s the obvious as well: Jamie Lee Curtis is the daughter of Janet Leigh, who starred as Marion Crane in Psycho.
• The famous theme song is written in 5/4 time, which is not very common. Carpenter wrote it himself. The movie credits “The Bowling Green Philharmonic” with the song, but in reality, it’s Carpenter and a bunch of his friends. He grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The Exorcist - 1973

This one was based on a real-life incident (read about it here), although liberties were taken for creative purposes, I’m sure.
It has grossed more than $402.5 million worldwide and earned 10 Academy Award nominations, but only ended up winning for best sound and best adapted screenplay.

Like the other movies we’ve talked about, the original reviews were mixed. One critic called it the only scary movie he had seen in years, but The New York Times (which apparently doesn’t like any horror movies) said it was “a chunk of elegant occultist claptrap.” And the Rolling Stone critic said it was basically religious porn. But, on to the trivia:

• The famous staircase where Karras dies can still be found in Georgetown. The students that went to the University charged people $5 to stand on their rooftops and watch the stunt being filmed.
• When the movie first came out, some theaters provided “Exorcist barf bags”.
• Linda Blair received death threats due to her role in the controversial movie. As a result, Warner Bros. provided her with bodyguards for six months after the debut of the movie.
• Lots of other people were considered for the main roles – Anne Bancroft, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn were all in consideration for the part of Regan’s mother. Alfred Hitchcock was offered the screen rights and was offered the chance to direct, but turned them both down. The late, great, Paul Newman could have been Father Karras, and Jack Nicholson was in consideration, too. The studio wanted Brando for Father Merrin, but William Friedkin fought this pretty hard. He believe that the casting choice would immediately cause the film to be promoted as a “Brando flick”.
• When Ellen Burstyn is thrown across the room and away from her daughter, that scream of pain you hear is real – she fell on her coccyx and received a spinal injury that still bothers her to this day.
• Billy Graham apparently told people there was actually a demon living in the reels of the movie. I’m sure the producers didn’t mind this - more publicity for the film!
The Exorcist couldn’t have been made without Groucho Marx. Long before he wrote the book, author William Peter Blatty was on the Marx quiz show, You Bet Your Life. He pretended to be a sheik who couldn’t remember how many wives he had, and Groucho totally bought it. His successful ruse earned Blatty $10,000. When Groucho asked how he was going to spend his prize money, Blatty said he was going to take a year off and work on a novel… which ended up being The Exorcist.
• You probably know that the substance used for Regan’s vomit was pea soup. But do you know what brand? Here’s a hint: not Campbells. Apparently the crew gave Campbells a try originally, but the effect wasn’t what they had hoped for. So they switched to Anderson’s.
• When the demon leaves Regan’s body, the awful sound you hear is pigs being herded to slaughter.

I’ve got more, but this is already getting a bit wordy, so maybe we’ll make this a two-parter. What classic horror movies would you guys like to know more about?

Original here

Mark Wahlberg Not A Fan Of Andy Samberg’s ‘Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals’ SNL Sketch

Published by Larry Carroll

It popped up in the wee hours of last weekend on “Saturday Night Live,” and has now become one of the hottest viral clips on the Internet. But what does the real Marky Mark think of Andy Samberg’s “Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals” sketch?

(What? You haven’t seen the sketch yet? Check it out after the jump!)

“Uh, I didn’t think it was as funny as I’d hoped,” said the rapper-turned-actor, whose new flick “Max Payne” opens October 17th. In the sketch, Samberg does a dead-on imitation of the “Boogie Nights” star, randomly approaching a dog (“I like your fur, that’s really great!”), a donkey (“You eat apples, right? I produce ‘Entourage’!”) and a goat (“I had a beard like that in ‘The Perfect Storm’!”) and ending each encounter with the same terse farewell for his interview subjects.

“Say hi to your mother for me,” the real-life Wahlberg grinned, insisting he never says that in real life. “No, no. But that’s my new catchphrase now.”

“I love when people do imitations of me; I try to get people who work with me to do it all the time,” Wahlberg explained of his ability to laugh at himself. “It’s not gonna be one of those things like [Tina Fey’s recent sketches about] Sarah Palin, where it’s a big deal.”

Wahlberg told MTV after the interview that he believed the sketch had come about because he’d been approached several times over the years to host “Saturday Night Live,” but has turned down executive producer Lorne Michaels because he didn’t think he was right for the show. The 37-year-old actor added that although he enjoyed some of the work Will Ferrell did on “SNL”, he hasn’t watched the show regularly since the ’80s and early-’90s.

Wahlberg also revealed to us that he has met Andy Samberg in the past, a meeting that may have had the funnyman secretly studying his mannerisms.

“I did meet him. I met him in Canada when he was shooting that movie ‘Hot Rod’, and I liked ‘Hot Rod’,” Wahlberg said. “’Hot Rod’ was funnier than that skit, I thought. I just wish it was a little bit funnier.”

What did you think of ‘Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals,” and what do you think of the real Mark Wahlberg’s response?”

Original here