Friday, August 24, 2007

CASTING CALL: The Green Lantern

We here at the Bucket love movies based on comic books! So we thought we would tackle the casting of a movie that is not being filmed only speculated about: The Green Lantern. As a kid I dug superheroes especially; Superman, Spider-Man and the Green Lantern. Green Lantern was my father's favorite, and when you are a kid who idolizes his father that hero becomes your favorite too. That particular Green Lantern was Hal Jordan. This guy is a pilot in the army, kind of a Chuck Yeager type always flying by the seat of his pants, a hot dog who doesn't know fear. He receives this powerful weapon in the power ring but he always leaves it at home while flying a million dollar death trap thousands of feet off the ground. Man without Fear indeed.I heard a rumor a while back that Warner Brothers was developing a film with Jack Black. To my horror I discovered they were developing this film about the Green Lantern. As much as I enjoy Jack Black I think casting him as the Green Lantern would be incredibly ignorant and a mis-casting of biblical proportions. So let's see if we can help Warner Brothers out and get them a cast for a kick ass sci-fi Green Lantern film.

Hal Jordan/aka. Green Lantern

There are five prominent Green Lantern's that you could do a film on. Alan Scott, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardener and of course Hal Jordan. They are great characters and definitely stand on their own, but none of them hold a candle to Jordan. He's the signature Green Lantern and for the reasons I said above he we will be the primary for today. My first choice would be Nathan Fillion from Buffy, Firefly and most recently Driven. He's a solid actor, with a good sense of humor, he can kick ass and this guy is completely fearless. Another choice could be Jason Patric, although he is a little older I think he could be an interesting choice. Billy Crudup has the chisled jaw and the acting chops to take on the duality of Hal and his alter ego Parallax if they so choose to go in that direction. Dennis Quaid would have been the best choice for Hal Jordan, unfortunately age is an issue. Maybe he could play Hal's dad.


An alien from the planet Korugar. Sinestro is a weird looking dude, he's magenta in color and he has a giant noggin with a David Niven mustache. Very hard to make this fella look cool so you would need an interesting actor to play this guy. Sinestro was apart of the Green Lantern Corp until Hal Jordan had him booted cause he used his powers to become a dictator over his world. I think Jeffrey Combs (as pictured) would be a great choice he's played weird and evil aliens before, like in Star Trek and Babylon 5 so the makeup wouldn't be a problem for him. He's a great character actor and could really build on the role. Another possibility would be Adrien Brody, he's got the weird part down and given his roles in The Jacket and The Village he can certainly play psychotic.

Carol Ferris aka. Star Sapphire
Carol is Hal Jordan's hot girlfriend. She also runs Ferris Aircraft where Hal gets his planes. Now in the comics Carol later becomes Star Sapphire a big boobed villainess that is obsessed with defeating GL. I think Scarlett Johanson would be great as either just Carol or, if they wanted to, she would look gorgeous if they put her in the Star Sapphire outfit.


Kilowog is a member of the Green Lantern Corps. He is an alien from Bolovax Vik, he is also the key instructor for all new Green Lanterns. Now you can do one or two things with Kilowog you can either suit up an actor in rubber which I'm iffy on or you can completely CGI this guy which if you look at the picture may be recommended. Since I'm more inclined to go with CG, I'll give you a few actors that could fill in for the voice. Now Dennis Haysbert, who played President Palmer in 24, is also the voice of Kilowog on the Animated Justice League and I think he's obviously a good choice. He's got a nice deep commanding voice. Carl Lumbly, another veteran of Justice League and he also played Dixon for five years on Alias would scare the crap out of any wannabe Lantern Poozers.

The Guardians and Ganthet
They are little blue guys that run the Green Lantern Corp, kind of like little blue Yodas. You could probably do CGI with them but if you have to use a human I like Vern Troyer as Ganthet, the last of the Guardians. Warwick Davis would be good as well. Only little people will do and that is a short list.

John Stewart

It would be asking a bit much to put all of the Green Lantern's in this one movie or even a trilogy but since it's not real I say, why not one more. John Stewart, an architect and former military man he was given the ring as a replacement for Hal Jordan. I think I've gotta go with Chiwetel Ejiofor (pic below) for first place. He's young and fit and he's a great actor. He was nice and complex in Serenity, Children of Men and in his latest role Talk to Me. I think Jamie Foxx and Tyreese Gibson could be great choices as well. Laurence Fishburne would be fantastic but he might be a bit old.

Guy Gardner

The comic relief and the muscle of the Green Lantern Corp all wrapped into one. There are a few people that could pull off Gardner but if they were to do it at all I would want only Dennis Leary. He's got the smart mouth and the kick ass attitude that would make Guy a really fun addition to the films. I didn't really add Kyle Rayner cause that may be one Green Lantern too many but if they were to be daring and use all four Green Lanterns I would say grab former Cyclops James Marsden.


The last big baddie other than a CGI Parallax which of course we won't really cast. Mongul is another alien from the planet Warworld who gets the distinct honor of destroying Coast City causing Hal Jordan to flip out and go to the dark side. He's big and he's yellow so we need someone who can take up space but look convincing under heavy prosthetic. My personal fav would be Michael Ironside (pic below)he's no stranger to evil fuckers like the one he played in Total Recall. He also provides the commanding voice of Darkseid on Justice League.

As far as the Director goes Warner should shoot big. It is a Comic book movie but it's also deep into sci-fi territory and there isn't anyone I would want more than Ridley Scott. His resume says it all. Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. He could make this a massive intergalactic film while simultaneously building strong character arcs for each of the vastly different Lanterns. I totally believe Ridley Scott could pull this off.

I think this film would work best as a trilogy starting off with Hal Jordan fighting Sinestro in the first film and at the end his lantern becomes infected by Parallax. For the second film the evil Mongol could destroy Coast City, GL's hometown, causing the now infected Hal Jordan to cut loose and become the evil Parallax. You can introduce John Stewart as the second Green Lantern tasked with taking Hal Jordan down. At the end you can have Hal redeeming himself by re-igniting the sun and sacrificing his life in the process. For the third film you can skip over The Spectre storyline from the comics and have one of the Guardians, maybe Ganthet, revive Hal Jordan when the Green Lantern Corp needs him the most. The reborn hero is asked to stop Sinestro once more except this time his evil nemesis has help. Hal and the GL Corp duking it out with Sinestro and his fear mongering Sinestro Corps. The special effects budget would rival Pirates of the Caribbean and Spider-Man 3. It would be the most beautiful thing these geek eyes would ever see.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Real Michael Vick

It’s been a rough year for professional sports. You have the ongoing problem with Steroids in baseball. In the NBA referee Tim Donaghy has admitted to and will now name names of others involved in gambling on NBA games and possibly point shaving in games he officiated. In the NFL you have players charged with gambling on dogfights and the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons smack in the middle of it. I, like many others, were shocked to hear that a great player, family man, the Michael Jordan of the NFL, could be caught up in something like this. The public perception can be overly harsh as rumors swirl around the embattled football star. Which are true? Why is this such a big deal?

For weeks Michael Vick has spoken about his innocence but as his friends began to abandon him and leave him out to rot, he finally succumbed and is now pleading guilty to the charges against him. He acknowledges that his friends were doing this illegal event on his property, he admits his guilt, but then he says he just shouldn’t have trusted his friends so blindly. Now I want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt but personally I don’t believe him. He had plenty of opportunity to take responsibility for the acts taking place on his property but he waited until his friends turned on him to plead guilty. The Feds seem to have a mountain of evidence against Vick, including detailed allegations about the training of the dogs and the actual fighting all occurring on his property.

Not to mention allegations from his alleged cohorts that Vick himself personally killed eight of the dogs. The format in which he killed these dogs should be the rationale for his lengthy stay in prison. He hung, drowned and possibly electrocuted many or all of the dogs. He should also be accountable for the more than 50 bulldogs confiscated from his property. These dogs will now probably be euthanized, because of their training, it is almost impossible to rehabilitate them for adoption. What kind of a sick bastard does this kind of stuff? Again I will reserve full judgment on the guy until after the court proceedings but obviously, this doesn’t look good. There are ways of killing the dogs humanely, by putting them to sleep, hell shooting the dogs in the head is more humane than what he is accused of. It also doesn’t help to have fellow athletes, like New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury and Clinton Portis a running back for the Washington Redskins, saying dumb shit like dog racing is a legitimate sport not unlike hunting and “I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property. It's his dog. If that's what he wants to do, do it.” These guys are total idiots as it looks like Portis may also be investigated for ties to dog fighting.

I think the worst part of this is the fact that the NAACP has joined the bandwagon defending Vick and his actions while at the same time saying they don’t condone dog fighting. This isn’t a racial issue they aren’t trying to put poor Michael Vick in jail cause he’s black they are trying to put Michael Vick in prison because he either A. brutally murdered eight dogs while running an illegal dog fighting ring killing, maiming and torturing countless other animals as he and his friends gambled. Or B. allowed his friends to do all of these things on his property but because they were his friends he never tried to stop them. Either way, he has much to answer for. In the meantime don’t feel sorry for Vick, it’s his mess and he will have to pay for it one way or another. Too many people are wondering whether or not he should ever play football again and I say let’s just see if they convict him first. At any rate Vick may also be the beginning of a larger problem in all of Pro sports. Are other players engaged in this illegal gambling? It certainly seems likely. My brother brought up an interesting point about rage, anger and hatred and that the dog fighting may be a systemic outlet for this kind of behavior. It’s definitely something to think about. Check out this great article from ESPN writer Jamele Hill, she has some nice points about the situation and how the media and the black community should deal with this situation.

Monday, August 20, 2007

R-Rated Trailer for 'Superbad'

*This has bad language so if you don't want the kiddies to have a potty mouth, keep them away!*

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Judd Apatow and Seth Rogan are busy guys. Just in 2007 they both have written, produced and sometimes directed 3 feature films just this year. The first was Knocked Up, which came out in June. The second is Superbad, which will get to in a moment and the third is a spoof on Walk the Line called Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story which comes out in December. Not to mention the highly anticipated Pineapple Express and Drillbit Taylor that is supposed to come out sometime next year. These guys are the new kings of comedy and it doesn't look like they'll be slowing up anytime soon. So, Superbad, it's a simple story of two high school kids who just want to get drunk and get laid. That's it really. What makes this movie so great is Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. You've probably seen Jonah Hill in Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin and Accepted. Michael Cera is best known for his stint on Arrested Development which I have on my Netflix. Anyway, their hilarious chemistry more than made the two hour quest to score beer from a liquor store one of the funniest endeavors since Rupert "Stiles" Stilenski attempted the same trick in Teen Wolf circa 1985.

You really should check out this flick. You've got some great appearances by Bill Hader and Seth Rogen of course as two stupid cops trying to re-live their youth. Not to mention one of the funniest bits McLovin played by complete unknown Christopher Mintz-Plasse. This guy is the real deal total dork all the way. He is McLovin. There really isn't much to review here, honestly. It was funny and I laughed my ass off and that really is about it. I mean what more could you want from a raunchy comedy. So I will leave you with a few pics and a Youtube link to the R-rated trailers. Enjoy.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Goodbye Scooter

This morning legendary Yankee Shortstop Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto died at age 89. I unfortunately was not even a twinkle in my Momma's eye when Scooter played for the Yankees from 1941 to 1956. In that time Rizzuto kicked ass with his fellow Yankees winning a total of seven world series championships and appearing in nine total championship games. They won five in a row from 1949 to 1953. In 1994 Scooter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.After retiring from Baseball Rizzuto continued his career as an announcer, and it was at this time, that I got to see the living legend in action. He was warm and funny and was always trying to keep the audience interest in the game. As anyone who watches baseball knows that there are lulls in the game and it's up to a good announcer to keep the people watching. Scooter always did that well. I always enjoyed watching Yes baseball when Rizzuto would guest announce. You could always tell when it was him, with that nasally Brooklyn accent. You knew you were going to get a good show. So we raise one to you Philly, one of the great shortstops, a true hero for the little guy, as you only stood a mere 5'6, "Holy Cow". Yet you towered over your opponents. You were a great Yankee and you will be missed.Left to right; Phil Rizzuto, Joe Dimaggio, Yogi Berra and Gerry Coleman.
July 8, 1950

My Cousin Michael Busch, who like me is a great Yankee fan had this to say about Rizzuto:

There is mourning in the House that Ruth Built (also in Rizzuto-Berra Bowling Lanes between the Parkway and Rt. 46 - yes, the Scooter and the Yogi built and owned it): the Yankee Scooter has died

Saturday, August 11, 2007


*NOTE* This Review is a bit of a SPOILER, Personally I don't think that it is but that's what my wife says...So--Read at your own risk*

I was checking out the lineup for the upcoming movies this week. My choices were pretty limited. Skinwalkers, this, I guess is a horror film that didn't even look mildly interesting. Daddy Day Camp, with Cuba Gooding, Jr. playing in a sequel that even Eddie Murphy wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, ouch. Rush Hour 3 directed by Brett "Hack" Ratner starring a geriatric and a comedian who hasn't cracked a joke since the last Rush Hour sequel in 2001. Then there is Stardust, I was gonna give it a less the fifty percent chance that was going to like this one, but Tamar and her sister were interested so I took a chance. Stardust is based on a comic by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is famous for writing Sandman, Books of Magic and 1602. He also wrote novels like American Gods and MirrorMask, which he also made a movie out of. His work is very eclectic and sometimes weird and it doesn't always translate to film. They've been trying to make Sandman for years but they can't seem to get a script that makes any damn sense. The thing that really pushed me onward was the director Matthew Vaughn. He produced Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and he directed Layer Cake. Layer Cake was a kick ass little film that solidified Daniel Craig as the new Bond in my eyes, before he even took the role. So I thought what the hell.The film is a darker version of Shrek and Princess Bride. There is dark humor mixed with lighthearted fairytale gobblty-gook. The story focuses on a young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) in a quaint village called Wall who decides to catch a shooting star for the spoiled little rich girl (Sienna Miller) in town. The only obstacle is the giant wall surrounding the town. There is a gap in the wall and there is a weird old guy guarding it. Tristan finds it difficult to get past the old timer so he discovers another way. His Father, who has raised him by himself since birth, reveals a secret about his Mother. She comes from a magical world on the other side of the wall and she apparently had some items she wanted to pass along to her only son. One of the first magical items is a candle that can transport you wherever you want to go the most. Thus it rockets the young man right to where the star crashed. He discovers that the star is actually a very pretty but cranky girl (Claire Danes). She turns out to be a very popular cranky girl as a trio of old witches (Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Alexander and Joanna Scanlan) want to cut out the poor girl’s heart and eat it to give them eternal youth. Not to mention the four Princes (Rupert Everett, Mark Heap, Mark Strong and Jason Flemyng) who want to get a locket that she wears so they can declare themselves King of the land. Thus our story begins.

It was funny and quirky and the most important thing not too sappy. I thought that Matthew Vaughn transitioned from Action/Drama to Fantasy very well and even more importantly it felt like a Neil Gaiman story. He seemed to be able to keep all of those bizarre moments that Gaiman provides in almost all of his stories, and he did them with a similar flare. I was proven wrong, this was a fun story that didn't feel too ripped off from other stories and it seemed to keep the pace from one scene to another. The casting wasn't too shabby either. Not to mention Robert De Niro as a very, very gay Pirate. Yeah, I didn't believe that one until I saw it and when I saw I wasn't sure if I could believe it. Ricky Gervais, Peter O'Toole, David Kelly and narrated by Sir Ian McKellan. So please do me a favor and avoid watching that piece of re-hashed shit Rush Hour 3, go see something fun and a little different. Sure it's a Fantasy film and I'm sure you've seen something similar before but at least it's not Rush Hour 3.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jose Canseco....Hero?

As most of you know Barry Bonds has broken the home run record first achieved by Babe Ruth and later broken by Hank Aaron. So the lifetime home run record stands at this moment at 756. The question is will Bonds stand up to the infamy that has been swirling around him for the last ten years or so? Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’ve probably heard about the steroids charges against the slugger. He claims that he might have used some cream, but that he never injected anything that would be considered a performance enhancing drug. I find it hard to believe, given that his former trainer has been sent to the slammer for providing these drugs to athletes and probably to Bonds himself. The most damning evidence is from a federal case that showed documented evidence proving that he had taken steroids and human growth hormones over a three year period.

Former ball player Jose Canseco, also a steroids junkie, who has repeatedly made contradictory statements about steroids in baseball, wrote a book called Juiced in 2005. In this book he casually throws out big name ball players that were on the junk, Bonds of course as well as Mark McGuire, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro. He seems to take joy in exposing them while also making it seem like steroids is a good thing and everyone should be using the stuff. He completely admits that he wouldn’t have been the Major League player that he was if he hadn’t taken the drugs. He obviously doesn’t feel any remorse for cheating and even worse he encourages upcoming players to take steroids. I think the worst thing about this piece of shit who once called himself a great baseball player is that as proud as he is to be taking steroids he neglected to mention this while he was playing the game. He’s all to happy to give you accounts about him and McGuire injecting each other in the ass while hiding in a cramped bathroom stall, but only after he’s been happily retired and not liable for any consequences for his former actions. Sure they may not allow him into the hall of fame but as long as Canseco is paid why should he give a shit.

So now this scum is writing another book and apparently he’s pointing a finger at the Yankee’s star Alex Rodriguez. When talking about the new book Canseco has said, “I have other stuff on Alex Rodriguez that will be coming out.” He calls A-Rod a hypocrite and claims that he is not everything he claims to be. Of course the first thing people start to say, “Is A-Rod juicing too?” This is how it starts, Canseco probably has no proof but when it comes to public opinion does he really need it? He has started a new kind of blacklisting in baseball where you are guilty by association. Honestly I don’t think he’s slapping A-Rod with a steroids charge, I think he’s implying it so people will read his book. He’s a shameless self promoter who has no sense of decency, courage or pride. He wonders why they haven’t called him a hero for exposing the problem with steroids and I think he has answered that question himself. A rat is still just a rat. Remember this is the same guy who would charge fans $2,500 to spend time with him at his home when he was under house arrest for parole violation.

The sad part about this whole ordeal is that Canseco had a real opportunity to attempt to make changes in baseball by talking about his experiences. Instead, he became the McCarthy of baseball slandering players of steroid use. I'm not saying everyone he accused is innocent but it is the way he went about exposing them. I’m sure his new book has some great dirt on former friends and teammates and it will be scandalous and he will make enough money to continue living the lifestyle he is accustomed, but I will not be buying his book. I love the game of baseball and I just don't think it would be right to give money to a man determined to destroy it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

I’ll make this review really simple; I had a lot of fun with this film and this series as a whole. This is almost the Man with no Name trilogy in Modern Times. When Bourne wants to get something done he doesn’t talk about it he does it. The previous films break down like this: Bourne Identity, We meet Jason Bourne in France where he has lost his memory due to amnesia and as the story goes he learns things about his past that just plain scare him. He is almost machine like as he takes down adversaries and takes apart their weapons in a matter of seconds. He discovers that he is an agent from the black op called Treadstone, and they want him dead for a kill he could not complete. He finds love with a German girl named Marie and they get away to the islands. The Bourne Supremacy takes up a few years after the first as Jason is haunted by his fragmented past. His life with Marie is then thrown into upheaval as he is targeted again by his former employer. They also tragically off his girlfriend, which turns out to be a big mistake. Bourne learns more about his past and about the deaths he has inflicted as an agent. He visits the daughter of a man and woman he murdered in Russia and confesses his sins. He returns to the U.S. with a mission to find out how it all began. With a little help from the inside and an honest C.I.A. agent Pam Landy, we learn that his real name is David Webb and for some reason they wanted us to know he's from Missouri.

Ultimatum starts with a bang as Bourne (Matt Damon) is injured running through the streets of Moscow trying to flee his pursuers. We quickly learn about a secret op called Black Briar that has been leaked to a British reporter regarding Treadstone and of course Jason Bourne. The new man in charge, Noah Vosen (David Strathairn), is as cold as Chris Cooper’s Conklin and as ruthless as Brian Cox’s Abbott. (They were the heavies in the previous films.) He also doesn’t appear to be as smart as either of his predecessors. Bourne finds himself back in the states trying to find out where he was first inducted into this fraternity of murder and lies. Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) and Nicky (Julia Stiles) return to give Bourne some assistance. There is also a great supporting role played by Albert Finney, who turns out to be a very pivotal piece in this jigsaw puzzle that is Jason Bourne.

This was a great end to a great trilogy. As I said before Matt Damon has really captured a piece of the western trilogy that Clint Eastwood started with Sergio Leone in the 60’s. You have a character that has resembled both good and bad and unlike those great westerns Bourne is actually looking for redemption. He evolves over the three films as he discovers who he is, what he can do and most importantly what he has done. The third film is about Bourne destroying his Identity as an agent and becoming the man he has forgotten, David Webb.

Paul Greengrass, who also directed Supremacy, has perfected his style with his gritty camera movements and non-CGI bang up action sequences. The car chase in downtown Manhattan is freaking awesome as well as Bourne’s rooftop chase in Tangiers. I will always be grateful to Bourne for forcing the aging James Bond franchise to re-invent itself from the silly to the hard nosed action films they deserve to be. This is a great action franchise and I will always be happy to see Jason Bourne kick ass on the big screen anytime he wants.

>Grade: 4 Buckets

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Simpsons

I wouldn't call myself a huge Simpson fan but I watched the show for at least 4 of the 18 seasons that it has been on TV and I have noticed the obvious decline in brilliance over the years. I mean how many times can Homer fuck up the town or his family before it starts to get old. Honestly the show has definitely lost most of its steam thanks to fresh and smart shows like South Park and Family Guy, but I do think that this film hit most of the right buttons.As I described above the city of Springfield is in crisis--an Environmental crisis and of course little Lisa is first to speak out about the damage. They focus on the Springfield lake that has become toxic and it is explained that one more incident in that lake will cause a massive toxic overload--cue Homer. He has this pig see that he apparently loves more than his own son and he decides to store the pig shit in this silo. Marge thinks it's gross and tells him to recycle it. So Homer does as he's told--the problem is some doughnuts go on sale and he has to get rid of the pig feces fast so he--dum, dum, dum--d'oh---dumps it in the lake. The E.PA. decides to seal the town in a dome. So how does the town reward Homer for giving them this great honor? They try to kill him and his family--what is a Homer to do?It's great to see the whole cast on the big screen and I felt the jokes were pretty good--I mean what can you say it's like watching a big screen version of an hour long episode. A very good episode but it still doesn't knock it out of the park like some of the more memorable episodes like "Who Shot Mr. Burns 1 & 2," "Mr. Plow," "Flaming Moe's," "Last Exit to Springfield" and "Rosebud." It's definitely worth seeing even if you have to look quickly to see some of your favorite characters. It's fast and fun and has a few good chuckles.

Grade: 3 Buckets