Morning Pour is your daily stop for quick links, news commentary and trend-spotting. Here are your seven topics for Thursday, November 17, 2011:
1. Woody Woodpecker returns to the big screen
The latest classic cartoon character to get his own feature-length film thanks to the desperate vultures of Hollywood is Woody Woodpecker, the redheaded bird who has starred in an Oscar-nominated short ("The Dizzy Acrobat") and been the subject of an Oscar-nominated song ("The Woody Woodpecker Song"). Now's his chance to finally get an Academy Award. Nah, that's not going to happen. Because Universal Pictures is clearly committed to make crappy films, just as studio boss Ron Meyer admitted recently. Here's how I felt when I read the news:
2. Muppets Tortured "Saw"-style
I'm frustrated today, because I can't see "The Muppets" tonight since I have school and no other advance screenings fit my schedule either. I know, I'm being a brat about not seeing one of the most anticipated movies of the year before the public does, and for free. I can't help it, I'm spoiled. So I thought it would be fun to take out my anger by watching some Muppets get tortured in this obviously unofficial parody of "Saw." Gonzo is paying dearly for his bad trumpet playing at the beginning of "The Muppet Show," but why must Beeker get his head cut off? Eh, I'm still frustrated.
3. Nazi Monsters interrupt The Muppets
Speaking of Muppets and horror, Chris Cummins of Topless Robot highlights the awesome but disturbing 'Nazi Monsters' scene from "An American Werewolf in London." The following is part of a list of "7 Lesser Known Movie Monsters Worthy of Your Love." I'm glad the 'Eyeball Creature' from "Big Trouble in Little China" is included. I do love him.
There's nothing lovable about having a quiet evening spent watching The Muppet Show ruined by Nazi monsters, really. That said, these guys are truly horrific. Rick Baker's werewolf design work on the film gets all the credit, but there's plenty to be said for the look of the mutated Nazis that kill the main character of David and his family. The scene itself is absolutely chilling. Landis uses Kermit and Miss Piggy to lull viewers into a false sense of security only to completely pull the rug out from them with a graphic slaughter. It's both effective and frightening. A nice touch is how the various Nazis have werewolf-like features; foreshadowing David's own inevitable transformation into what he fears the most.
4. First 17 minutes of online "Raiders of the Lost Ark" documentary
This video includes the beginning of "Raiding the Ark," a "filmumentary" by Jambe Davdar ("Star Wars Begins") that isn't finished yet. It's basically like a bunch of DVD bonus material edited together that follows along with the film with interview-based commentary and making-of material. It is also unofficial and also compiled quite nicely.
5. "A.I." remixed
Another fan favorite who unofficially plays around with movies, and another Spielberg movie to boot, here's the latest remix from Pogo ("Wishery," "Toyz Noize"). It's titled "Davyd," and it's a super creepy reworking of clips and sounds from "A.I." Not my favorite of his, probably because I'd prefer more Jude Law and less Haley Joel Osment, and it almost makes me doubt my love for the film. Maybe it's better enjoyed by all the haters out there.
6. What do Billy Madison and the X-Men have in common?
They share a home! Is Billy a mutant? Maybe, but not of the super kind. No, via a great list of "6 Famous Movie Locations Making Cameos in Other Movies" by David Christopher Bell of Film School Rejects, we learn that the same mansion was used a setting for both "Billy Madison" and the "X-Men" movies. Other location links bond "Ghostbusters" with "The Mask" and "Aliens" with Burton's "Batman." As for "Back to the Future," it's connected to both "Bruce Almighty" and "The Sting." Incredible reveals, FSR!
7. What do Larry Clark, Scientology, and Kevin Costner have in common?
This question is asked and then answered by Drew McWeeny of HitFix, who asked "Bellflower" ladies Jessie Wiseman and Rebekah Brandes to name their favorite apocalypse films. For me, Wiseman gets points for loving the underrated "Reign of Fire" while Brandes is awesome for putting "The Land Before Time" ("the original apocalypse") at the top of her list. Director/star Evan Glodell also shared his picks, but they're not quite as interesting, though including "The Neverending Story" gets my favor. If you haven't seen "Bellflower" yet, get on that, now that it's on DVD etc. Also, bringing back the Muppets, check out this adorable clip of McWeeny's son interviewing Kermit and Miss Piggy.
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