June 24, 2004
The “Woo-hoo, Popcorn-y” Battle Royale with Cheese: Wherein Josh Jabcuga partners up with Team Poopshoot to get their opinions on the summer blockbuster season. With appearances by Scott Tipton, Ian Bonds, Chris Ryall, Scott Bowden, Chance Shirley, Jon Sukarangsan, Alf, Sandy Duncan, Puck, and more! Pack a lunch, kids.
Joshua Jabcuga - Question 1: What movie are you Tom Jonesing the most for this summer and why?
Marc Mason – Should it be a Movie: SPIDEY 2. Followed very closely by ANCHORMAN.
Matthew Savelloni – From Print to Screen: COLLATERAL, Michael Mann, crime thriller, end of story.
Chris Ryall – Editor in Chief: Is this going to run before the end of June? If so, then my answer is SPIDER-MAN 2. If it runs after June 30 and I've already seen SPIDER-MAN 2, then I assume my second choice is SKY CAPTAIN, even though that's
technically now a Fall release, and each delay makes me a little more wary about their ability to deliver on the promise of the trailer. I'm actually looking more forward to THE INCREDIBLES in November than anything else this summer. (JJ: That’s cheating.) [CR: I prefer to think of it as “Editor’s Prerogative”]
Scott Tipton – Comics 101: No question: SPIDER-MAN 2. Any SAM RAIMI movie is a must-see, and it's frickin' Doc Ock, man!
Michael Crawford – Toy Box: SPIDER-MAN 2, no doubt about it. I was a tad lukewarm until I saw the new extended preview that was attached to HARRY POTTER, but now it looks to be the summer movie for me. Can't wait!
Ian Bonds – Game On: SPIDER-MAN 2, no doubt. I'm a huge Spider-fan, and the teaser had my plotzing every time I saw it. Once the final trailer hit though, from shots of Dr. Conners (the Lizard) and shots that mimic old STEVE DITKO artwork (the "Spider-man no more" trash can shot), I needed about three changes of underwear before it was over. I'm just going to show up at the movie in rubber pants. (JJ: Plotz-proof rubber pants?)
Matt Singer – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly: As a lifelong Spidey fan, the easy answer is SPIDER-MAN 2, but that's got little to do with the movie itself. Besides that, I might have said SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW if the film hadn't been pushed back to the fall. So how about BEFORE SUNSET, the sequel to the terrific RICHARD LINKLATER romantic comedy starring ETHAN HAWKE and JULIE DELPHI?
Nicole Yates – TV Recommendations: I cannot wait to see ANCHORMAN! WILL is a genius. I have to admit when he started on SNL, I didn't quite get him, but his handle on characters is just amazing. Plus it just looks hysterical.
Frank Gibson – Writer of Action Datsun: There seems to be nothing actually good on the horizon, so this August you'll probably see me holed up with a bottle of tequila in a showing of ALIEN VS. PREDATOR. Also, since I live in New Zealand, it'll still be winter.
Chance Shirley – This Movie Ain’t Gonna Shoot Itself: SPIDER-MAN 2. Because... it's SPIDER-MAN 2! Seriously, the first Spidey flick had some flaws, but when it worked, it worked really well. If Mr. RAIMI and company learned from their mistakes the last time out, SPIDER-MAN 2 will be super cool.
Mike Sampson – The Bottom of Things: SPIDER-MAN 2. (JJ: I’m noticing a pattern here.) Running close behind are THE VILLAGE and ANCHORMAN. I guess SPIDEY because I hope this sequel can improve on the original in the way X2 did on X-MEN. X2 was such a cool flick. As for the other two, it's simple. SHYAMALAN and WILL FERRELL.
Scott Bowden – Kentucky Fried Rasslin’: SPIDER-MAN 2--I grew up with Spider-Man and it warms my heart to see his Webhead plastered all over Los Angeles right now. I'd never felt so nervous before a film as I did with the first one--I was so hoping they'd get it right. In my opinion, they captured the spirit of the book with the first one, but they were limited in a sense because they had to tell the origin and intro the Goblin in the same film. Looking forward to the story in this one more than anything.
Jon Sukarangsan – Monkey Man artist: GARDEN STATE and THE INVINCIBLES.
D.K. Holm – DVD Diatribe: COLLATERAL. MICHAEL MANN; TOM CRUISE (whom I actually like and defend as an actor); action.
Josh Horowitz – The Inner View: COLLATERAL. One reason...MICHAEL MANN.
Alison Veneto – International Intrigue: THE AVIATOR...oh, no, wait. Um...SKY CAPTAIN! Oh, no, wait...hmm...I guess I'll vote SPIDER-MAN for lack of options. Why? Cause the DUNST is hot. And in the trailer she's all tied up and stuff. But yeah, also because it's guaranteed to be at least sort of good, if not better than that, and few other movies this summer provide the same sense of security.
Jamar Nicholas – Creator, Detective Boogaloo, Hip Hop Cop: It’s gonna be an obvious conclusion that all the comic guys are gonna be waiting with baited breath for SPIDER-MAN 2 to come out, but you know something? I saw the trailers (All 19 of them) and I guess I don’t really need to see it now, since, Yunno – they showed the whole movie. (JJ: Wait, so…is that your answer?)
Christopher Stipp – Trailer Park: SPIDER-MAN 2. Many of those who claim to have seen it and not liked it need to have their expectations defined as to what makes a great superhero movie. X2 was successful because SINGER took an existing comic property, treated everything with respect, and manipulated the film in such a way that both non-readers and fans could embrace. That was a winning film formula for SINGER and RAIMI and, hopefully, this will be the reason why they will continue to flourish. (Amen to that, brother.)
Joshua Jabcuga – Squib Central: Personally, I just know SPIDER-MAN 2 is gonna kick ass, so I’m not wasting my answer on that. I’m in the camp that’s dying to see MICHAEL MANN’s return to form, a film showcasing what he does best…gritty, neon-backlit gangster films set in L.A. I’m not convinced that this will reach the level of HEAT, but I’ll take what I can get. Sure as hell will beat ALI, that’s fo’ sure.
Now on to Question 2: Is there a "guilty pleasure" movie this summer that you'll pay to see, but won't admit to seeing?
Mark Mason: ALIEN VS. PREDATOR, which has almost no chance of being any good, but I can't help myself.
Matt Savelloni: I, ROBOT. Looks monumentally inane but ALEX PROYAS hasn't let me down yet.
Scott Tipton: Not really. I wear my loyalties on my sleeve -- if I like a movie, I'm telling everyone. And I still say everyone was wrong about VAN HELSING. That movie was just plain fun.
Michael Crawford: Probably I, ROBOT with all the attitude it's been getting. Hey, it doesn't look bad to me, and I actually find WILL SMITH the perfect kind of actor for summer movies - no need to think too much.
Chris Ryall: I think ALIEN VS PREDATOR is going to be less than stellar but I'm still into the premise enough to check it out. I'll usually admit to seeing anything--I have no shame. Then again, I'll even more readily admit when I pass on the stinkers, like SOUL PLANE or THE STEPFORD WIVES.
Ian Bonds: Probably CATWOMAN. I know it's going to suck, but damn HALLE BERRY is hot. That or GARFIELD. (JJ: Hmmm…HALLE’s CATWOMAN or the MURRAY-voiced GARFIELD…sadly, I think we’ll see more pussy in GARFIELD.) I KNOW that's going to be a train wreck, but just like a train wreck, you can't pull your eyes away. I'm a huge fan of the comic strip and cartoon, so it'll be interesting to see how the film defiles them.
Matt Singer: Well for a guy who writes a column about crappy movies, it's hard to feel guilty about going to see anything. (JJ: Yeah, tell that to the Jeffrey Wells.) You better believe that if CATWOMAN's reviews say it's as bad as the advance advertising makes it look, I'll be there opening weekend. (JJ: Good man!)
Chance Shirley: I think I've seen it already. THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. (JJ: You and me both.) And I just admitted it. (JJ: Speak for yourself.) Actually, for a "disaster movie," I thought it was pretty good.
Nicole Yates: The movie for me would probably be DODGEBALL. This would mostly be because BEN STILLER is grating on my nerves but VINCE VAUGHAN cracks me up.
Frank Gibson: Again, ALIEN VS PREDATOR. I don't care how good the script for ALIEN VS PREDATOR is, the concept is totally fucking ridiculous. It's like the ALIENS/WildC.A.T.S crossover comic that WARREN ELLIS wrote (Obscure pop culture reference much?), the book itself was great, but when you randomly shove something where it doesn't belong just for the fucking sake of it, it won't work. (JJ: Last time I randomly shoved something where it didn’t belong just for the fucking sake of it, she slapped me.) Also, after ALIEN RESURRECTION, I really don't need to see those GIGER abominations again, they're creatures of the film era of the 1990s, they've said their piece. Further on this tangent, how do you get crap from the product of the AMELIE dude and JOSS WHEDON? They must have tried really, really hard to make that movie suck. Maybe I, ROBOT? Nothing says ISAAC ASIMOV in my mind like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I'm a big guilty fan of the original CROW, so that may be entertaining, in the same way that I find HACKERS incredibly entertaining.
I'd also like to note that there is a severe lack of movies with THE ROCK in them due out. Movies with THE ROCK in them are my greatest guilty vice. But now you know, so consider yourself on the death list.
Mike Sampson: CATWOMAN maybe? I think I want to see it out of morbid curiosity. But that secret might come with me to my grave.
Scott Bowden: I think I already did that with VAN HELSING.
Jon Sukarangsan: HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE! (JJ: Wasn’t that the working title for ISHTAR?)
D.K. Holm: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN; I missed the theatrical and so will have to buy the DVD. After seeing MEAN GIRLS, I became a LINDSAY LOHAN fanatic and have been searching out her earlier movies on DVD. Not only is she cute as a button, but a good actress, with real potential to gain the stature of the next JULIA ROBERTS. (JJ: Funny what puberty can do to an actress’ stock, eh?)
Josh Horowitz: Haven't bit the bullet yet but I might check out CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. I missed VAN HELSING so I feel I'm entitled to one real massive waste of a big budget shit film.
Alison Veneto: Oh, this is probably a tie. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. I mean, it's JACKIE CHAN. I followed him to THE TUXEDO, I followed him to THE MEDALLION, to what depths will I not go? (JJ: Any film where he attempts to speak his lines in English, for starters.) And DANIEL WU is in it, even though probably not for very long, but he is hot. I'm on his mailing list he's that hot. Secondly, THUNDERBIRDS. Cause I like the original THUNDERBIRDS. With the puppets. This one doesn't have puppets. (JJ: Isn’t that like filming POLICE ACADEMY without GUTTENBERG and the dude that did all those cool sound effects with his mouth?) It does have small children ala SPY KIDS and CODY BANKS. (JJ: Insert MICHAEL JACKSON joke here.) Maybe I won't see it. (JJ: I’m sure you won’t be the only one.) Use the first answer I gave. I'll definitely see that. I might see this. THUNDERBIRDS are go. And what not.
Jamar Nicholas: I may go see SLEEP OVER, but don’t tell anybody, OK? (JJ: Will LINDSAY LOHAN be there?)
Christopher Stipp: Yes, and its name is, HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE. If there was one trailer that I really enjoyed this year, for comedic reasons, other than SHAUN OF THE DEAD, would have to be this film. Comedy at the expense of others ethnicity always make for great humor if done with an even hand.
Joshua Jabcuga: As far as my guilty pick, I’d say GARFIELD. I was trying to convince my girlfriend that GARFIELD isn’t a real cat, in the way that SNOOPY isn’t a real dog, but sometimes in a relationship, you just gotta drop things and chalk them up as lost causes. Maybe if I take her to the movie she’ll get the message. Or maybe not.
So that leads us to the third and final question, Question 3: As far as "summer event movies/summer blockbusters" go, what would you consider your all-time favorite and why?
Marc Mason: ALIENS. It *made* a film fanatic, literally changing my life. Your first is always the one you never forget. (JJ: God knows I’ve tried.)
Matt Savelloni: There is only one: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, the perfect blend of cinematic brio, storytelling genius and jaw-dropping set pieces.
Chris Ryall: It's hard to beat the thrill that TERMINATOR 2 gave me, although the idea of seeing SPIDER-MAN on the big screen after being a huge fan of the comics for so many years is right up there. For the first hour, anyway.
Scott Tipton: WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, for sentimental reasons. First date with the woman I'd spend my life with. Not a bad investment of two movie tickets and some popcorn. (JJ: Thank God it wasn’t COOL WORLD, Tipton, thank God.)
Michael Crawford: JAWS, hands down. One of my all time favorite movies, and one of the first to begin the entire 'summer blockbuster' tradition. Also one of the few that's a great movie in its own right, no matter what time of the year it was released.
Ian Bonds: All time favorite? Wow, kinda lofty, that. (JJ: Only if you’re Jeffrey Wells.) For a long time it was UHF...but sadly, opening the same year as INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE and the first BATMAN kinda killed it. Then it was ID4. I'd probably say SPIDER-MAN, though, as that's one flick I saw numerous times in the theater, probably helping boost it into the ticket sales stratosphere all by my lonesome.
Matt Singer: It's not something I've ever considered before; last year's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN was pretty good. And I like the first MEN IN BLACK.
Chance Shirley: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Loved it as a kid, and I love it even more now. It's the perfect summer movie in one sense (action, drama, humor, stuff blowing up), and unusual for a blockbuster in another (an ending that doesn't tie up all the loose ends). It's also has a lot more heart than most summer movies we get these days. I'm getting all nostalgic. I might have to break out the laserdisc after awhile and watch it again...
Nicole Yates: BACK TO THE FUTURE. I remember standing in line to see it at the now decrepit Orleans Theatre by the Roosevelt Mall when I was a kid. It was just a great popcorn movie. However I also remember seeing E.T and, of course, JEDI when I was old enough to really get excited about a movie like that (I was like 7). (JJ: We should get married sometime.)
Frank Gibson: JURASSIC PARK, because nothing says cool like big dinosaurs stomping the shit out of everything. (JJ: Fuck yeah. But nothing says “suck” like the sequels.)
Mike Sampson: Shit that's a tough question... I remember INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE very fondly. I was probably only 11 or 12 at the time and it was one of the first times I saw a massive crowd at a theater as excited for a movie as me. More recently, I really enjoyed ATTACK OF THE CLONES in the theater. I'm sure that had to do with the fact it was the very first screening in NYC and the theater was packed with ravenous fanboys. The place went absolutely ape shit when Yoda went toe-to-toe with Dooku.
Scott Bowden: RETURN OF THE JEDI. I won tickets to an advanced screening, which happened to take place the night before the last day of school in 6th grade. (Yeah, the Ewoks blew, but I still loved the film.) I went to school the next day being the first one--the only one--to have the scoops on the new STAR WARS film. I never had a better beginning to a summer. (And I probably won't ever again.)
Jon Sukarangsan: Probably JURASSIC PARK...that was released in the summer, right? C'mon, the movie was awe-inspiring at the time. What kid doesn't like dinosaurs?
D.K. Holm: DIE HARD. It's the perfect Christmas movie.
Josh Horowitz: It all has to do with what came out when you were at "that age" where films made more than an impression, they made an impact. The one that comes to mind is BATMAN. I was 13 and I was mesmerized. No title sequence ever got me so revved up as BURTON’s atmospheric intro to the franchise. I'm sick of the BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS backlash, they are great movies.
Alison Veneto: Nothing's ever easy with me, so I might have to break this one up too. My favorite experience was INDEPENDENCE DAY-- which I saw on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July (the dates the movie takes place on) and several more times after that. Because I was 15, the years of disposable income -- and everyone in my small world was seeing it, talking about it, seeing it again. And it's not like we had anything else to see because we couldn't see R rated movies. I look back on it with some shame. But I enjoyed it at the time. I admit I was caught up in the hype.
But my favorite summer movie ever is probably TRUE LIES. Which I didn't see at the time, since I was 13 and it was rated a big shiny R. But once on video I watched every single day. Really, every day. For weeks, maybe months. Also ashamed of that one. (JJ: Hey, it could have been THE LITTLE MERMAID. Plus it’s CAMERON. Don’t be too embarrassed.) I'm going to need therapy after this.
And in the interest of full disclosure, the summer movie (which whatever, was like a spring movie) I saw the most times was actually THE MATRIX 9x). Which is impressive simply because I didn't see it for at least its first month of release because I thought it looked stupid. But I was physical taken against my will to see it, at some points being carried, by friends who knew what was good for me. And then that was all we did all summer. 'What are we going to do tonight?' 'I dunno, i can't think of nothing' 'we could go see THE MATRIX again' 'yeah'. This was before movies cost 8-14 dollars (hello, Los Angeles). Oh the good old days.
Jamar Nicholas: I don’t exactly remember what season it came out, but I think GHOSTBUSTERS was and still is my favorite. With the ominous black posters in the subway, the ‘No ghost’ logo with no damned idea what it was and lack of ahead-of-time knowledge, I was hooked. You can see that I hate trailers these days, where the clips don’t show you a little skin – they come right out, ass-naked and ruin the sexiness. Too much too soon these days.
Christopher Stipp: BATMAN. Without a doubt this film introduced me to what a tent pole movie really was. Again, like SPIDER-MAN or even X-MEN, it gets bagged on by nay-sayers as inferior pap when it is, indeed, a wonderfully crafted visioning that not only works, but has been the yard stick by which all over comic related properties are judged. I love revisiting the movie again and again just for the spectacle of it all. Now where the hell is the special edition DVD of this film? I don’t know, but Warner Brothers have managed to rape, without lotion, all of their comic properties that it’s hard to get excited over anything they have in development. Here’s to hoping CHRISTIAN BALE can duplicate what MICHAEL KEATON did for the original.
Joshua Jabcuga: The greatest memories I have, and I don’t know if this is going to sound pathetic or not, but I’m being honest here, are the memories I have of going to the movies with my parents. They were usually game to see whatever movie I wanted to see, and that’s one of the reasons I love ‘em. They took me to everything, even ROBOCOP 2. They wouldn’t take me to see DARKMAN, but they did bribe one of my older brothers to take me. So there.
With all that being said, two of my favorite summer event movies are GHOSTBUSTERS and BATMAN, and of course, anything that was STAR WARS-related. I can only thank my luck stars that I grew up with the original trilogy, and not the new shit. Kids, in this world, sometimes the new shit just can’t compare to the old shit.
Thanks for reading this marathon edition of Squib Central. I’ve been your host, Josh Jabcuga, and I hope you have a splendid time this summer at the movies. What more can a geek ask for?
Special thanks to Team Poopshoot.
Extra special thanks to Jeffrey Wells.
When not getting carded to purchase tickets for THE PUNISHER, the twenty-seven year old Josh Jabcuga can be found writing Squib Central, published every Thursday, exclusively at www.moviepoopshoot.com.
E-MAIL THE AUTHOR |