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Monday, May 4, 2009

20 Most Incredible Cartoon Cars Of All Time

Posted in Cartoon Cars, Pop Culture

At RideLust, we’re all big fans of cartoons. So we decided to have some fun and put together this list of the most incredible cartoon cars of all time. The reason we use the term “incredible” here is that some of the items on this list wouldn’t be classified as “great” or “amazing” - some of them are incredible for other reasons (i.e. they are obnoxious, or major FAILs compared to the show they were featured in).

With that brief introduction, let’s raise a toast to the great memories of cartoon past…

Cartoon: Super Friends

Although Batman’s Batmobile went through more design changes then Michael Jackson (yeah, I went there) the most impressive of all the (animated) Batmobiles was the winged, wheeled avenger seen in the Super Friends cartoon. Like all the Batmobile models before it, the Super Friends Batmobile came heavily equipped with several on-board computers and a military-grade weapons artillery rivaled in coolness only by the machine-gun equipped Jeep in the The Rat Patrol.

Cartoon: The Tick

Unlike many of his superhero, comic book brethren, The Tick takes a much more environmentally, realistic approach to crime-fighting by carpooling whenever evil is afoot. Watch the video above to see The Tick use a rare moment of quiet in The Tick Mobile to explain in his own words why the superhero car is just as important as the superhero himself. Honk if you love justice!

Cartoon: Scooby Doo


As a kid I loved Scooby-Doo, but I was always mildly annoyed by the fact that Fred never seemed good for much other than making sure his ascot was always perfectly tied. My irritation with Fred as an efficient sleuth was also eased, however, when I realized that Fred was actually an integral part of Scooby’s gang. Since I suspect Shaggy was always high, without Freddy, the iconic Mystery Machine would never leave the garage, and thus it would never have become a vehicle famous for transporting the likes of everyone from the Harlem Globe Trotters to Sonny and Cher (yeah, I watched a lot of Scooby Doo).

Cartoon: Speed Racer


Although the company that oversaw the production of Speed Racer made a valiant effort to include a viable storyline in every episode, the plot was almost always the same. Inevitably, some evil force would attempt to squelch Speed Racer’s dream of, well, racing, and in order to thwart the ne’er do wells, Speed Racer would be forced to engage in an action-packed, high-intensity car race. Fortunately, the under 12 audience didn’t really care if episode 12 was not immediately distinguishable from episodes 13-86, we just wanted to see Speed Racer take the Mach-go through the jaws of animated hell again and again and again.

Comic: Wonder Woman

Despite her superior ability to fight crime and still be home in time to cook dinner for Superman, Wonder Woman was still plagued by the human inability that prevents women from driving with any sort of skill. Thus, seeking to avoid the nightmarish traffic female drivers in a hurry are wont to cause, Wonder Woman’s creators at DC Comics equipped her with the Invisible Jetplane. Acknowledging that a jetplane (even an invisible one) would be difficult to park when Wonder Woman ran to pick up the Super Friends’ dry cleaning, the Invisible Plane was also given the impressive ability to morph into whichever type of transportation Wonder Woman desired, be it a motorcycle, a submarine, or a minivan. Over the years Wonder Woman’s powers evolved to eventually include the ability to fly and the Invisible Plane began to appear less and less in the storyline.

Cartoon: Inspector Gadget

For an incredibly accident prone police detective that was probably the subject of many an internal investigation, Inspector Gadget still somehow managed to score the coolest cruiser on the force: the Gadgetmobile. The Gadgetmobile was essentially your run of the mill, totally awesome crime-fighting vehicle and as such, included the quintessential bad-guy-banishing features like a smoke screen, ejector seat, glue rockets (which were exactly what they sound like), and the Gadget Claw. All of the Gadgetmobile’s accessories (as well as the Gadgetmobile itself) could be immediately readied for use with a simple cry from the Inspector of “Go-Go Gadget [insert accessory here].” Despite Inspector Gadget’s status as the Steve Urkel of Special Ops, Inspector Gadget was still a huge favorite among elementary aged children, even if for no other reason than the extremely hilarious schoolyard chant in inspired: “Do-do-do-do-do, inspect my gad-get, do-do-do-do-do-do-doooo.”

Cartoon: The Thundercats

Ironically enough, Lion-O’s “Thundercat-mobile” made this list not because it was incredibly impressive, but rather because it wasn’t. For those of you who are old enough to remember, like every other action-packed cartoon airing at the time, Thundercats spawned its own line of action figures. Unfortunately, for whatever reason the marketing department in charge of the official Thundercats vehicle was asleep at their post, because Lion-O’s super-powered racer had about as much commercial appeal as the county school bus. Even though the Thundercats’ massive metal tank looked like it was prepared to wage serious war, it never really did much more than drive the Thundercats from point A to point B (though I do recall it made an occasional u-turn, and it did prove to have an impressively tight turning ratio). In spite of the fact that it was thoroughly unexciting, however, I still remember roughly 50% of the Talbot Park Day School kindergarten class carried a Thundercats tank-shaped thermos…go figure.

Cartoon: G.I. Joe

As far as badass quotient is concerned, the only fictional character that can even stand in G.I. Joe’s shadow is Captain America, but even the Cap’ wore a unitard. In addition to the fact that G.I. Joe was a superhero without the benefit of super powers, he also appeared to purchase his clothing from the J.C. Penny casual men’s section rather than from where all the other superhero’s apparently shop at, “Big Gay Al’s Costume Emporium.” G.I. Joe is/was a realistic hero and the fact that he was limited by the same laws of physics as his fans were made him wildly popular. In keeping with the humanistic theme, G.I. Joe’s official Jeep also spawned a legion of followers for the simple fact that all the stunts it performed on screen, it was more than capable of performing in reality as well (I mean for crying out loud, it’s a Jeep, even Chuck Norris bows his head in reverence).

Cartoon: Transformers

Oh right, as if this one needs any explaining. To summarize, this is how awesome the Transformers were: your sister has an old picture of you wearing nothing but Optimus Prime-themed tighty whities and a t-shirt that reads “More than meets the eye,” and you don’t even care when she shows it to your girlfriends.

Cartoon: Wacky Races

Inspired by the 1965 film The Great Race, the Wacky Races cartoon was essentially an animated, G-rated version of The Gumball Rally. It was a short-lived series with only 17 episodes produced with each episode featuring two separate races and the campy hi-jinks of the 23 different racers. There were 11 race cars total, and each racing team was competing against each other in pursuit of the ultimate prize, the title of “World’s Wackiest Racer.” Shying away from the typical cartoon formula, what made Wacky Races so notable was the fact that the “evil” racers were often the stars of the show, and even inspired their own spin-offs later on.

Cartoon: Jem

The plot of the cartoon Jem essentially revolved around a popstar singer, Jem, and her band, the Holograms. It was kind of like a less-slutty precursor to the Bratz musicals Nickelodeon occasionally airs today, only with significantly less blatant marketing. The typical Jem episode usually involved Jem and the Holograms competing in some manner of musical contest against their arch-rivals, the Misfits (no relation to Glen Danzig’s little freak show), and the band-on-band sabotage that inevitably ensued. Although the Misfits were supposed to be loathed by the Jem fan base, it was incredibly difficult to feign hatred for them. Not only the Misfits rock way harder then Jem and the Holograms, but they were also prone to making their grand entrance on guitar-shaped motorcycles. Hardcore chicks on hardcore bikes, what’s not to love?

Cartoon: Mr. Magoo

An oldie but goodie, most of us probably missed Mr. Magoo the first time it came around in 1949. In fact, most of us probably missed it altogether unless we had incredibly nostalgic parents who turned us on to silver screen gold mines likes Gilligan’s Island and CHiPS. Although Mr.Magoo wasn’t a cartoon that could hold our undivided attention for quite as long as the current weekend morning lineup, we did kind of get a kick out of him. In addition to the campy mischief the bumbling Magoo was prone to inspire, it was also a rare treat for us kids to have the opportunity to watch a grown-up get into more trouble tying his shoes then we did during an entire period of recess.

M.A.S.K. Mobile Armed Strike Kommand

M.A.S.K. was another one of those cartoons that sprung immediately sprung up in the ’80’s after the Federal Trade Commission deregulated children’s television in 1984 - so you know it was good. Specifically targeting American children who couldn’t wait to beg their parents for more toys, the Japanese creators of M.A.S.K did very little to disguise their obvious intent to duplicate the astronomical commercial success of the Transformers action figures. Even as a members of the non-discriminatory 12-and-under crowd, however, most kids were quick to pick up on the knock-off nature of M.A.S.K.. Despite a keen intuition that told us M.A.S.K. was really no different then our beloved Transformers, we remained enraptured just the same. I mean really, blatant market manipulation aside - can anyone among us offer a valid argument solidly refuting the badass factor of the red Chevy Camaro G3 Thunderhawk? Yes, I thought not…

Cartoon: Speed Buggy

The Speed Buggy cartoon was basically the best of two entertainment worlds: Scooby-Doo and Herbie The Love Bug. Centered around the crime-solving talking car, Speed Buggy, the cartoon itself was, quite simply, the animated version of every unrealistic quality children were prone to give their toys (::holds toy Speed Buggy upright on rear axles, bounces it up and down:: “Beep-beep! I’m here, Malibu Barbie! Don’t you shed one more tear, you just hop in and we’ll get right to work solving the case of the Haunted Dreamhouse!”

Cartoon: Biker Mice From Mars

For all those of you aged 25 years and up, unless you had a younger sibling you probably missed the Saturday morning delight that was Biker Mice From Mars. It originally aired in 1993 and followed the same anthropomorphic crime-fighting rubric that had been established by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The only remaining survivors of there Mars-based culture of Motorsports enthusiasts, Biker Mice Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie are charged with saving Chicago (and the rest of Earth) from the evil Plutarkians. The entire plot of the show was heavily based around the motorcycle culture, so not only was there an abundance of gratuitous chase and/or stunt scenes, but you also got the benefit of the ubiquitous hot female mechanic, Charlene “Charley” Davidson (get it?).

Cartoon: Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

Kids like Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors so much primarily because it was just one giant 30-minute long commercial for cool toys, literally. Created by Mattel as a support vehicle (groan) for their toy line “Wheeled Warriors”, the plot for Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors was basically identical to that of M.A.S.K., only there was even less of a story line. Since boys (and at least one girl) aged 2-10 years don’t tend to make for the most discerning audience, the show ended after running from Setp-December 1985 (as planned) and was abandoned by Mattel marketing so abruptly, it didn’t even bother to air a season finale. While Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors definitely didn’t achieve the inonic status that Transformers did, it still provided rides like “Battle Base” (pictured above) that were just as cool as Optimus Prime.

Cartoon: C.O.P.S. (Central Organization of Police Specialists)

Set in the year 2020, the cartoon C.O.P.S. only ran from 1988-89 but despite its brief run it, still managed to provide us with some of the most legendary crime fighting action vehicles of the generation. Pictured above in the lower left, The Ironsides was the official tactical assault vehicle of the C.O.P.S. unit, and was usually driven by rookie officer Hardtop, a guy who a had a crush on a network new anchor and was afraid of heights. Directly opposite The Ironsides is the Bluestreak Motorcycle. Riden by C.O.P.S. member “Highway”, a former patrolman with the San Francisco, CA Highway Patrol, the Bluestreak Motorcycle was a super-performance machine that occasionally possessed the ability to fly (depending on whether you were watching C.O.P.S. in the U.S. or in Britain). It was also perhaps the gayest thing since spandex.

Cartoon: The Ambiguously Gay Duo

TV Funhouse’s Ambiguously Gay Duo is as crime fighting cartoon as interpreted by guys who grew watching the same Saturday morning specials you did, and you also like you did, began to suspect that something was just off with the hero/sidekick relationship. Of course you don’t devote entire mornings to watching cartoons anymore (though only because your girlfriend insists on dragging you to these excruciatingly boring yard sales - but I mean what are you gonna do? She’s great in the sack…), but you do still make time for the Ambiguously Gay Duo. Not only is it vaguely nostalgic, but it also provides some validation for those many sleepless nights you spent as a kid, wrestling with the inner suspicion that despite his awesome crime fighting powers, Batman was still kind of a fruitcake.

Cartoon: Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs

Calvary Command was Earth’s law enforcement arm dispatched to space in to maintain law and order in the final frontier. The Star Sheriffs were a branch of the Calvary Command, charged with battling the Command’s most formidable foe, the Outriders. The Outriders were non-human, and were thus impossible to defeat without the Saber Rider and the Star Sheriff’s secret weapon, the Ramrod Equalizer Unit. Usually referred to by the Star Sheriff’s as simply “Ramrod”, Ramrod was a specially designed craft that could transform from a space ship to a galactic crime-fighting robot in order to battle the Outsiders on equal terms.

Comic: Captain America

In stark contrast to many super heros that have reigned the animated world, Captain America is a superhero that does not have the benefit of any super powers, but he did have a super badass bike. Customized especially for Captain America by S.H.I.E.L.D. (originally stood for Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division; currently stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), the official Captain America Harley Davidson became so wildly popular as a symbol of red-blooded Americans, it very nearly eclipsed the famous G.I. Joe Jeep.

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Regarding The Jonas Brothers


Joe Jonas displays his package while brothers Kevin and Nick play with their instruments in a way that would make even Freud blush.


I am angry that I am writing about The Jonas Brothers on this blog.

I am angry because their existence as a "musicians" does not deserve recognition. 'N Sync was a manufactured "band," but they also made adult pop songs (if aimed at teens), several of its members displayed exceptional vocal talent (Timberlake especially, of course) and their existence in pop canon can be justified. At the time, as a teenager listening to late 90's "socially conscious" hip-hop, I hated 'N Sync. As a thoughtful adult today, their legitimacy is obvious.

But the Jonas Brothers are worse, a cultural sin of much greater, more significant magnitude. If 'N Sync was a punk rocker's Abu Ghraib then The Jonas Brothers are the punk rocker's Auschwitz. They were bred in the Corporate Disney Clone Vats. Their music is unadult and yet mainstream media outlets cover them as though they were U2. They represent some of the worst hypocrisy of our society.

The subtext of The Jonas Brothers is an American morality horror. They were child performers at single-digit ages, indicating the tradition of greedy parents who use their children to obtain a fortune and vindicate their own professional failures in adult life. The Jonas Brothers wear purity rings, an ignorant contrivance of the same backwards, healthy sexual attitude-damning, radical evangelical culture that champions Purity Balls, a twisted ceremony where a father asserts his dominion over a daughter's virginity and sexual freedom until a time of his choosing. The life of a Jonas Brother is never publicly presented to their fans as anything other than a life of material wealth and glamor. (And in fact, they reportedly made $62 million dollars in 2008.) And nothing about The Jonas Brothers suggests the rich ethnic diversity of America.

The Jonas Brothers are a flagship weapon in the culture wars. They feign conservative social values while romping around the bizarre hyper-sexual Disney meta-verse where young kids dress like Madonna and Mick Jagger and live the rock n' roll lifestyle, promising to America's young, malleable minds a life of glamor and cool that can never be obtained, while diverting these child automatons from healthy creative engagement, imaginative play, and intelligent thought.

(This is the same sexual dynamic that occurs when Ann Coulter flashes leg while decrying sexual promiscuity, or when Fox News is so horrified at a "disgusting" sexual photo or video clip that they decide to show it to you over, and over, and over.)

Little girls' hands innocently reach toward the Jonas Brothers' crotches.


The ubiquity of the Jonas Brothers is so enormous that parents are left with little choice but to submit or ostracise their child. The Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana and The Cheetah Girls (The Pussycat Dolls for tweens) are the only mainstream option for preteens to participate in rock culture and though I am focusing on the way this is damaging to young girls, let it be said that Disney's hyper-sexed musical offerings and the confusing sexual message they carry are no less dangerous to young boys.

Disney is selling sex to kids, pretending they're not, and making a fortune while forcing their audience into cultural bankruptcy. South Park covered it quite well:







When I saw South Park's dressing-down of The Jonas Brothers I did not for a minute believe that the Jonas Brothers sprayed their fans with white foam canons. I just assumed that was a hyperbolic joke of sorts, an outrageous caricature.

Oh, no. It is quite real:





My mind reels trying to accept that as reality. It is Idiocracy made true, something that should come from the sick and twisted minds of Warren Ellis or Grant Morrison and presented in fiction, not a factual reality.

After subtly massaging the budding sexual urges of thousands of pre-teen worshipers who have worked themselves into a lusty frenzy, The Jonas Brothers ejaculate their horrid metaphor into the gaping maws of their Hannah Montana harem who have now completed their souls, having received the warm, foamy jism of their young male slavemasters.

And the hyper-conservative adults who were outraged -- outraged! -- that the word "SEX" might have appeared for a half-second in The Lion King look on with glowing approval and happily shell-out hundreds of dollars to provide their kids with "wholesome" entertainment. At it's core this is no less sexual or subversive than commercial hip-hop, but you know, it's not... (whispers) black.

The problem is not that The Jonas Brothers are making their young fans sexually aware; I would praise The Rolling Stones for accomplishing the same feat. (And doing so with important music that displayed exceptional proficiency and intelligence.)

Quite the contrary; teenage life is sexual emergence and rock music often times is sex. The problem is that The Jonas Brothers conceal sexuality under the guise of sex-free fun.

When the Rolling Stones came to prominence (when the music mattered) there was no purity pretense to their promiscuous metaphors. They may have been lyrically subtle as to pass censorship, but there was no question as to what Mick Jagger was about. The Rolling Stones (and most other, real rock bands) confronted sexuality with honesty, a moral trait that supercedes any kind of sexual restraint. They took a part in a sexual revolution that has led to a liberation and better understanding of our sexual nature.

The Jonas Brothers are lighting sexual fires with ignorant sparks, hypocritically extinguishing the flames of knowledge, the wealth of understanding we have about ourselves as sexual beings. The 'Stones never once sold a lie. The Jonas Brothers have sold their fans the world -- their fans' world, their bodies, their minds, their souls. And Disney's young stars have made a promise that no purity ring can keep.

Original here

Why Pirates Buy More Music and Music Labels Fail

Written by Ernesto

In the past we’ve documented studies that showed how the majority of artists sell more music thanks to piracy and that those who download (more) also buy more. Last week another study was added to this ever growing list, arguing that pirates are 10 times more likely to buy music than those who don’t.

So why do pirates buy more music? The simplest explanation for this finding might be that people who are not interested in music don’t have the need to pirate or buy it. I have to agree that it’s not the the sexiest, most controversial or inspiring answer, but it does tell us something about the core of the piracy ‘problem’.

The real reason is in fact very simple. The true music enthusiasts simply want to consume, sample and discover as much new music as they possibly can, and the most straightforward and convenient way to do this is through file-sharing networks. Music pirates are just regular consumers really, and they love music just as much as anyone else.

Music fans share more.

sharing

Although I personally believe that the ability to sample music through file-sharing has a positive effect on music sales, much of the correlation between piracy and sales is simply caused by a third factor - a passion for music. This is one of the main reasons why most users of music oriented BitTorrent sites love an initiative such as Spotify where they have access to one of the largest music libraries online.

Although piracy can breed consumers, it’s generally happens the other way around. The Internet has freed music and the music labels’ greed and abuse of copyright is the only barrier that stands between the artists and millions of potential fans. Creative business models where consumers have instant access to unprotected and high quality music are the future.

The labels of course fail to see this all too obvious connection and continue to exploit their acquired (copy)rights.They would rather pump yet more millions into overpaid pro-copyright lobbyists and expensive lawyers trying to keep their outdated business model alive - the model where the artist gets 1 to 10% of the total music sales while the labels are filling their pockets. No wonder the passionate music fans flee to BitTorrent.

What we can learn from the studies is that true music fans buy and pirate more music. The labels are fighting against those who generate a large chunk - perhaps even the largest - of their yearly revenue. The labels should understand that piracy is merely a signal that they are on the wrong track.

The Internet makes it possible to offer unlimited access to music cheaply with virtually no production and distribution costs. Unlimited access is exactly what most consumers want. It’s an opportunity not a threat.

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Have You Heard the One About the Rapper That Mooned The Nazis?

By Keegan Hamilton in LOLZ

The National Socialist Movement (the American Nazi Party) held a rally in St. Louis on April 18 under the Gateway Arch, and in response, a large crowd gathered to protest the Nazis. Police and park rangers erected barricades to separate the two groups.
naziflagcop.jpg
Photo: David Walthall
Park Rangers and St. Louis police kept the two groups on opposite sides of the Arch, but it was a distance that couldn't stop a moonrise.
Several media outlets, including the RFT, covered the event. Here's the slideshow that was posted on the Daily RFT, to give you an idea of what the crowd and atmosphere was like.

Among the protesters was Tef Poe, a hip-hop artist from St. Louis. This fact might have gone unnoticed, if not for the caption on this picture submitted to the website for the Post-Dispatch:
Park Ranger.jpg
http://stltoday.mycapture.com
Intrigued, we called up Tef Poe to hear his Nazi mooning story. Here it is, verbatim save for a bit of minor editing for clarity and conciseness:

When I went to go down there I was amped. I woke up early in the morning, caught the bus like three hours beforehand. I got dressed up like I was going to a job interview. I was looking forward to it.

When the rally actually started about there were about 150 of 'em [Nazis]. They started marching and I went into go mode.
I started yelling all kinds of stuff. It was mostly funny to me that these guys are dedicating their lives to come out and do this. It's idiotic but noble at same time. I don't agree with views at all but I respect their dedication.

Anyhow, I started having direct, back and forth conversations with them. Before I knew it every media outlet was talking to me...They said we're going to follow you around cause you're the only entertainment.

Tef Poe Mug.jpg
Tef Poe
I had the crowd chanting 'Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart' and stuff like that. One of the main Nazis started talking and when he stopped to take a breath I yelled 'Your breath smells like hot dog water!'

Then he hung his hand out and made a noose. And I'm like 'Ooh I'm scared.' I was heckling the heck out of them dudes.' I came out to make their lives a little harder and have fun and laugh at 'em.

Eventually I yelled something and he said 'You shut your black ass up!' And then I said 'I got a black ass for you!' And turned around and mooned him.

Then cops came over. They were park rangers or something. I could tell they weren't from St. Louis because they had a country twang accent-- they from part of Missouri that calls it Mizz-urr-UH. He said 'Son, if you drop your trousers one more time I'm going to ask you to leave.'

I went to actor mode. I figured if he did something it'll be on caught on camera. I said 'You need to be asking them to leave. They're spreading this hateful bullshit.' People clapped and applauded.

He didn't do nothing. He turned around and said 'If you drop those trousers again I'll ask you to leave.'

After a while I was like 'I better chill out. He's looking for somebody to get ignorant on.'

All in all, the rally was fun. I wish I could go to one every day. I could travel with them and have some fun.

You can download Tef Poe's latest release Glory 2 God: The Mixtape for free by clicking here. He performs with his older brother Black Spade Friday night at the Black Label Gallery Lounge.

More photos from the rally:
nazirally1.jpg
Photo: David Walthall

nazirally2.jpg
Photo: David Walthall
Flippin' the bird.
nazirally3.jpg
Photo: David Walthall
Police discouraged shooting photos of them convening under this overpass just south of the Arch, but this photo was snapped from a car outside the rally.
nazirally5.jpg
Photo: David Walthall
It rained steadily throughout the protest.

Original here

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Review

by Dave

It is generally accepted that one of the biggest burdens of a comic book adaptation is the hero's origin story. Instead of focusing on high-flying, ass-kicking adventure, the film has to get bogged down with radioactive spiders and frantic escapes from Krypton. Luckily, after two fantastic X-Men movies (and one that's not worth really mentioning), one would think that Wolverine's character would need no more significant back story. One would, unfortunately, be sadly mistaken, as the execrable new film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, focuses all its energies on a trite, boring back story for a character who would be better off with a shadowy past.

Wolverine! (and some other people)

The film begins in rural Canada in the early 1800s. Young Wolverine is sick in bed and his playmate, Victor (aka Sabertooth), is keeping him company. They comment about how they were/are both sick frequently, a point that seems important and yet never resurfaces. Speaking of plot points that go nowhere, in the very same scene Wolverine's father is murdered by his friend's dad, a fellow sideburn enthusiast, who is in turn murdered by kid-Wolverine. Only then do we learn that the murderer is actually Wolverine's dad, and that Victor is his brother. Nothing is ever made of Wolverine's true father either, so we must presume that it's being saved for the sequel.

Churning up convenient plot-points only to forget about them minutes later is one of the films biggest problems, and that's saying something, considering most of this movie is an exercise in how not to tell a story.

The opening credits are without a doubt the high point of the film: a highly stylized montage that shows Wolverine and Victor as young men participating in a series of cinematic wars, from the US Civil War, through both World Wars, and finally ending in Vietnam where, after some hi-jinks, the mutant brothers are to be executed by firing squad. The execution, as one might imagine, is ineffective, and soon they are put into an elite, secretive squad of mutants under the Army's Department of Evil, in which they go around breaking stuff and killing people with reckless abandon. When our hero decides that all this shadowy villainy isn't for him, he leaves the unit, finally setting the movie's plot into motion, but not before we spend a seemingly endless amount of time watching Wolverine and Mrs. Wolverine living happily as a blue-collar family deep in the forests of Canada.

From here, things just get worse. Wolverine borrows a few things from the later Rambo movies wherein the hero is given some comfort and companionship, just so that it can be taken away to send him on a killdozer-like rampage. The bad guys are boring, unsympathetic, and, worst of all, stupid at almost a retarded level. The fight scenes, which should have made this movie worth while, looked more like elaborate dance sequences, with bits of action frequently interrupted so that the characters could pose, presumably for the fashion photographs lurking somewhere out of frame. The less said about the writing, acting, special effects, and camera-work, the better.

The real tragedy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is that it was going to finally feature Gambit, a character who was mysteriously absent from the previous films. Instead of the cocky Cajun we've grown to love, the actor playing Gambit decided to eschew the accent and make him just another stock character who just so happened to walk around with a sweetass pimp cane and throw playing cards at people.

Unless you're looking to have you intelligence insulted, don't waste your time or money on X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Need more proof? How's this: adamantium bullets become a fairly major plot point near the film's disappointing ending, which is set at Three Mile Island for some reason.

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New Trailer For District 9 Promises Sci-Fi Greatness


Posted by Rob Hunter (rob@filmschoolrejects.com)

district-9-header2

Neill Blomkamp’s feature debut, District 9, hits theaters this August. Could it be the science fiction film to beat this summer? Check out the trailer below.

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Apple.com

Pretty cool, eh? Especially for a film you’ve probably heard next to nothing about beforehand. Blomkamp has made a handful of commercials and short films including Alive In Joberg (watch it here) which is the basis for District 9. Peter Jackson saw the short and famously brought Blomkamp onboard to direct the big screen adaptation of Halo… which just as famously fell apart due to budget concerns and squabbling with Microsoft. Watching that project crumble, Jackson and Blomkamp decided to move forward with District 9.

The film is done documentary style and tells the story of an alien race that comes to Earth for an unknown reason. They attempt to settle in South Africa but encounter fear, anger, and racism (speciesism?) from the locals. Like the short it’s based on, District 9 plays as a not-so-subtle analogy for past and present human race relations and segregation.

The effects in the trailer look quite good, and while it may not be as flashy as a Star Trek or Transformers it may still be the most intelligent and thought provoking science fiction film of the year. Well, second most anyway… go see Moon!

What do you think of the trailer?

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EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: David Hasselhoff Alcohol Poisoning; Rushed To Hospital

Flythru Bag

The Hoff nearly off’d himself this time!

David Hasselhoff -- the former Baywatch hunk -- was rushed to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical center Saturday after his distraught daughter Hayley, 16, found him unconscious on the floor of his home in Encino, California RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

For Hasselhoff, it was yet another case of alcohol poisoning and an emergency rush to the hospital to save his life.

This time the rescuer was his ex-wife actress Pamela Bach from whom he’s been bitterly estranged.

Hayley called her mom, who lives 10 minutes away in the Hollywood Hills and she rushed to the rescue and drove him to the hospital where doctors yet again saved his life.

This time the vodka-guzzling “America’s Got Talent” judge registered a staggering .39. alcohol level. Drunk driving in California is 08.

A source said a frightened Hayley kept “slapping her dad’s face” to keep him alive. “He was barely breathing when they got him at the hospital.

“He’s recovering. Pam was his bedside till 4a.m. this morning. This is about the 7th time he’s been taken to a hospital over the last few years with alcohol poisoning. How many visits will it take before he dies?”

A source also tells RadarOnline.com exclusively that Hoff has been hospitalized at least 10 times over the last few years – many unreported.

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Matrix director Larry Wachowski now walks as a woman in

by Daniel Herrera

Matrix co-director Larry Wachowski has often told of his affection towards his female characteristics, and wanting to be one as well. It is now that Larry Wachowski, brother of Andy Wachowski is showing his inner female as he has been photographed throughout Los Angeles dressed from head to toe as a woman.

Larry Wachowski

The Wachowski Bros. are notorious for the privacy and their reluctance to the press, so its a big step with this half of The Matrix and Speed Racer duo to show his true colors. No word as to how far the talented director will take the change, if to include gender transformation, but it does show an added confidence the man has now.

The Wachowski Bros. currently have Ninja Assassin as their latest production. “Assassin” is being directed by V for Vendetta director James McTeigue. The directors have no films lined up as of yet for their follow up to Speed Racer.

Source: Hollywood Elsewhere

Hugh Jackman Drops $4300 on Breakfast

by TMZ Staff

Hugh Jackman knows the best way to a fan's heart is through his or her stomach -- that's why he dropped $4308.87 to stuff 800 faces in Arizona.

Hugh Jackman

TMZ has obtained the receipt from Paradise Bakery in Tempe, Arizona -- where Jackman bought 67 breakfast trays and 80 gallons of coffee for a pack of "Wolverine" fans who had camped out in front of a theater the day before Monday's big premiere.

Once Jackman heard about the fans, he promised to buy them breakfast and placed the order late Sunday. We're told Jackman wanted to keep the food order simple and bought platters of bagels, muffins, and croissants.

No word if Jackman left a tip -- we're gonna assume he did ... 'cause he can do no wrong.

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The World's Most Influential Person Is...


time 100 walkup tout 2009 barack obama angelina jolie

In a stunning result, the winner of the third annual TIME 100 poll and new owner of the title World's Most Influential Person is moot. The 21-year-old college student and founder of the online community 4chan.org, whose real name is Christopher Poole, received 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (out of a possible 100) to handily beat the likes of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey. To put the magnitude of the upset in perspective, it's worth noting that everyone moot beat out actually has a job.

Since moot launched 4chan.org in 2003, the site has given birth to Internet memes as diverse as Lolcats and Rickrolling. 4chan averages 13 million page views a day and 5.6 million visitors a month; by some estimates it is the second largest bulletin board in the world.

See the world's most influential people in the 2009 TIME 100.

For proof of moot's influence on the Web, one need look no further than the TIME 100 poll results. While Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao got a larger vote total (20,391,818), the runner-up for the title of World's Most Influential Person, Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, received a mere 47 on the influence scale. Moot denies knowing about any concerted plan by his followers to influence the poll, though TIME.com's technical team did detect and extinguish several attempts to hack the vote. (See the full results here.)

Undoubtedly, many people will question moot's worthiness of the title World's Most Influential Person. TIME.com managing editor Josh Tyrangiel says moot is no less deserving than previous title holders like Nintendo video-game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (2007) and Korean pop star Rain (2006). "I would remind anyone who doubts the results that this is an Internet poll," he says. "Doubting the results is kind of the point."

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