Category Archives: Movie News

Fat Head Says Super Size Me Is Full Of Bologna

Perhaps you’ve seen Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, “Super Size Me” where he takes McDonald’s to task with an experiment over 30 days to see how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. Well, filmmaker Tom Naughton, decides to do the same experiment but prove it’s possible to lose weight eating only fast food for 30 days and in the process takes not only Morgan Spurlock to task, but also the US Government, consumer action groups, and basically every diet and exercise guru who advocate low fat, high carb diets.

Naughton points out that in Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me”, Spurlock consumed over 5,000 calories a day, which by anyone’s standards, would be likely to make anyone fat. But Spurlock had three rules he was going to follow, he ate only three meals a day, would try everything on the menu at least once, and would super size the meal if asked by the clerk. Naughton pokes a hole in this because there’s no way he could put together three meals a day and hit that calorie level without adding extra food. Spurlock gained over 25 pounds during his experiment, and it’s Naughton’s claim that Spurlock intentionally “Mc-Stuffed” himself because had he only gained four or five pounds, it wouldn’t have been as dramatic a film. And repeated efforts to contact Morgan Spurlock to review his food log were refused.

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Under The Boardwalk Documentary Showcases Monopoly

If you were asked to name the first board game that comes to mind, would that game you name be Monopoly? Arguably, Monopoly is the most celebrated board game in the history of board games. It has recently had its 75th anniversary and there is no sign of it’s popularity slowing down. Monopoly is as much part of pop culture as it is a board game. And there are so many ways to play the game, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone these days that hasn’t heard of the game. With a game as popular as Monopoly, you almost have to wonder why it took so long for there to be a documentary about it.

What is it about Monopoly that has made the game such an enduring success for so many decades? San Diego based filmmaker, Kevin Tostado decided to find out. Not only did Tostodo explore the history of the game, he traced the enduring legacy of the game in popular culture, met with serious collectors that like to collect just about anything that the Monopoly brand has licensed, and even spoke to a winner of the million dollar grand prize in McDonald’s annual Monopoly game. Perhaps the highlight of Tostado’s exploration of Monopoly was following some of the game’s most competitive players through the 2009 international championships, where every four years the national champions from over forty countries compete in hopes of being crowned the newest World Monopoly Champion. Kevin Tostado compiled his findings and presents an extensive look at the world of Monopoly in his new movie entitled “Under The Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story.”

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Meeting The Ultimate Prairie Bitch – Alison Arngrim

Most people will remember Alison Arngrim as the wickedly evil bitch, Nellie Oleson, from the television series “Little House On The Priaire.” The show ran from 1974-1983 and since I was born in 1975 so much of my experience of “Little House” was in reruns in the early 1980’s when the show aired on one of the three channels my family had while growing up in the rural areas outside of Calgary. You see in Calgary, which sits in Canada’s Prairie region and the outskirts of Calgary didn’t look so different from the scenery of the show. Also Calgary is well known for the Calgary Stampede celebration where the entire city embraces it’s Wild West past and is home to Heritage Park Historical Village which preserves many Little House era buildings in a town like setting, so the “Little House On The Prairie” show didn’t seem quite so removed from the 1980’s I grew up in.

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Xanadu Returns To San Diego Tonight For One Night Only

XanaduTonight is the night that Xanadu returns to San Diego. No, it’s not the fantastic stage musical that was here for two months last year. (That’s actually opening up tonight as well, but further up the road in Costa Mesa.) Tonight, it’s the Original Motion Picture version of Xanadu starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly that is playing here in San Diego.

The movie is notoriously known for being a bad movie, as it has a very loose plot, but despite the fact the movie bombed originally, it’s soundtrack was a massive hit for the record label. The collaboration between Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (ONJ) on the title track, Xanadu has made the song one of Oliva’s biggest hits. Filling out the rest of the album are more fantastic songs by ELO and ONJ. Wisely, the songs weren’t put on the album in the order in which they appear in the movie, they were placed so that one side was the ELO side and the other side was the ONJ side. As the both acts draw different audiences, it made sure the fans of each artist could enjoy the work of their favorite if they weren’t as big a fan of the other.

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Xanadu Is Coming To San Diego One Night Only

XanaduOne of the previews shown during last week’s “Mommie Dearest” screening was that their December movie of the month is their FilmOut monthly film series would be “Xanadu.” While “Xanadu” is considered one of the worst movies ever made, depending on who you ask. I happen to love the movie.

I’ve been an Olivia Newton-John fan for as long as I can remember and I’ve always had a soft spot for the movie. And when the Broadway musical version of “Xanadu” was here in San Diego last year, I had to bust out the movie version a number of times to enjoy it yet again. I’ve never actually seen the movie on the big screen so this will be an exciting night for me. To give you an idea of how much of a fan I am of this movie, I have the movie on VHS, Laserdisc, two different DVD releases, and the original soundtrack on vinyl, as well as three copies of it on CD. (The first was a cheap Australian release, the second was when it was finally released in the US with a really nice job done on the liner notes, and the third copy is because it was included for free with the latest DVD version.) And as for the stage show, I saw it eight times when it was here at the La Jolla Playhouse. And I am looking forward to it coming to Orange County later this year too.

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Death By Sugar – Two Experiments For Jorge Cruise’s Upcoming Documentary

Death By Sugar - A Documentary By Jorge CruiseOn Wednesday morning I received an early morning call from Jorge Cruise who wanted to know if I’d be willing to participate in a little experiment for his documentary that’s tentatively being called “Death By Sugar.” After he explained what he was looking to achieve, I was definitely willing to participate, albeit a little hesitant about consuming a high quantity of sugar for the experiment.

The tests were going to involve some blood draws and in order to get a pure sample Jorge called me early to ensure he caught before I had any food for the day. So I agreed to have nothing but water between then and the noon meeting time at the office of Dr. James Novak in Pacific Beach. When I got to Dr. Novak’s clinic, Jorge was already there waiting for me. I was introduced to Jared Davis who was here to film the experiment and Kelly Wiggin, a nurse in Dr. Novak’s office, who like me had been through Jorge’s Belly Fat Cure Program and lost weight. Kelly had been in an earlier test case group and she will be featured in the final version of the Belly Fat Cure book so be sure to look for her testimonial when the book comes out! Kelly was going to be in charge of taking my blood draws.

The initial experiment was going to consist of a blood draw to show what my blood looks like with no food in my system for over 14 hours. So basically blood in a fasted state. Then I was to consume approximately 300 grams of sugar, and then we would do three additional blood draws, one at ten minutes following the sugar, one at thirty minutes following the sugar, and then again at one hour following the sugar. Now keep in mind, I’ve been on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program for the last 12 weeks and I’ve had no more than 15 grams of sugar per day in those 12 week, most of the time I’ve averaged about 7 to 10 grams of sugar per day. So a meal consisting of 300 grams of sugar was going to be more sugar in one sitting than I’ve had in the last 30 days combined.

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Roku Netflix Box – Best Home Entertainment Value

Roku Netflix PlayerLast year, Roku introduced to the market the Netflix Player, a small “box” that gets connected directly to a television and with either a wired Internet connection or using the built in Wi-Fi access capability, the box instantly enables the connected television to have access to Netflix‘s entire catalogue of Instantly Viewable movies and television shows. Initially the selection seemed mostly limited to older title movies and television shows, but a partnership with Starz, Netflix has been able to offer considerably more current material. Also Roku and Netflix have enhanced the capabilities of the player by allowing for High Definition content to be streamed through the player. And more recently Roku has additionally partnered with Amazon On-Demand to further expand the capabilities of the Netflix Box, that it truly has become the best value for enhancing a home entertainment system.

For a one-time fee, the Netflix Box costs $99.99 (and is available to purchase through Amazon.com by clicking here). The allows instant access to an already existing Netflix account. If you don’t have a Netflix account, then you’ll love hearing what an incredible bargain the system is. For as little as $8.99 a month, you get unlimited access to any program Netflix features for instant viewing. Technically, the $8.99 fee is for a one month subscription to the DVD rental service, where you’re allowed one DVD at a time, as many as want in a month, just send the disc back and as soon as they get it, they send you the next disc on your list. The instant viewing is included free with your subscription. If you want additional discs at a time, then the subscription fee increases depending on how many discs you want to be able to have out at one time. Netflix allows up to 8 discs to be out at one time.

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Jesus H. Christ – An $18 Movie Ticket For Star Trek in IMAX

Star Trek - The IMAX PosterYou know movies are getting to be expensive when it costs about the same to see it on screen as it does to buy the DVD when it comes out. Talk about fleecing the hell out of consumers. In this case, it’s the insanely expensive ticket to see “Star Trek” this Thursday night on an IMAX screen at the Regal Cinema in Escondido.

I’m hoping the experience will be good because this will be the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in IMAX since “Spider-Man 3”, a couple years ago. At the time it was the premiere feature at the Edwards Cinema in Mira Mesa which was just opening it’s IMAX theatre. Basically it converted one of it’s largest theaters into an IMAX auditorium. And I caught a 6 am showing of the movie (the third screening since the midnight premiere showing) and I was a little underwhelmed by the IMAX experience. It could just be that “Spider-Man 3” was a not quite the best film, but I do think the auditorium contributed to the experience, as I felt the screen was just not size wise up to par for an IMAX experience. All my previous IMAX experiences have been at theme parks with these giant larger than life screens, and this screen just felt average. Not quite the sensory overload experience I was hoping for.

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Rifftrax – Mystery Science Theater 3000 With Modern Movies

I was never much a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K as it’s known by its fans), because I just didn’t want to suffer through really old movies. However, I loved the concept behind the idea, where basically an additional added commentary or making up some added dialogue to scenes in movies could make for a fun evening. However, for a relatively low budget comedy show that relies on movies to make the effect work, the only way it could be achieved was through licensing very cheap movies, hence the reliance on older than dirt, long forgotten movies no one could give a rats ass about.

The comedy writing team behind Mystery Science Theatre 3000 consisting of Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, have reformed and now thanks to the Internet, are now no longer limited to shitty old movies with dirt cheap licensing fees. They can now put their attention on big budget Hollywood epics that recently got released on DVD, or really, the types of movies you’re more likely to want to watch anyway.

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Star Trek Movie Prequel Comics as an iPhone Application

Star Trek PrequelLike many other Star Trek fans, I am anxiously awaiting the relaunch of Star Trek that is set to happen on May 8th, 2009 with the new film by Director J.J. Abrams. The new filmed version, simply called “Star Trek” with no other subtitle or even a number (it’s the 11th Star Trek film for the record.)

The new film features a band new cast of actors playing younger versions of the Original Series cast. Only Leonard Nimoy from the original cast makes an appearance in the film. My best guess so far is that the story somehow involves some time travel allowing both Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto to play the role of Spock in the same film. Oh course, this is speculation on my part, so please don’t read into it that I have any insider knowledge. For the most part I’ve been avoiding press about it as I really want to enjoy it on the big screen and I may even go see the IMAX version as well.

To get ready for the release of the new film, Paramount in association with IDW Publishing and iVerse Media to create an interactive comic book prequel to the film. The prequel comic sets out to bridge the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” universe we last saw in the film “Star Trek: Nemesis” with the new “Star Trek” film by introducing the character of “Nero” who appears to be the Romulan antagonist of the new movie played by Eric Bana.

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