June 10, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 10, 2008 |


Lookit: I know I give the gamers a lot of shit around here, but it’s probably because I’m a little defensive. I avoid video games at all costs because I have a mean addiction, one that’s maddening, all-encompassing, and soul destroying. In fact, I have no idea how those of you who own video-game systems manage to function in life, how you can force yourself to go to work, experience the outdoors, or even eat three squares. I mean, as a grade-schooler, I stole hundreds of dollars from my parents, including mint coin collections I found stashed away in a closet, to play Gorf at the local washeteria. Once, in my late teens, I went on a 72-hour Earthworm Jim bender, one in which it felt as though my eyes were dripping blood, in which I barely ate and couldn’t walk away for more than 60 seconds to use the restroom, lest I break into seizures. I didn’t bother trying to sleep, knowing that my nightmares would entail joystick moves. After I finally finished the game, I put away the system and gave it all up until a few years ago, when Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate bought me an Xbox for my birthday in mid-November. I don’t think I saw her again until Christmas. To the gamers out there who are actually reading this: I admire your ability to swallow entire paragraphs without racing back to your game systems to finish whatever game you’re in the midst of. But then again, if you are anything like me, I also know that showers are a luxury quickly disposed of when you’re in the zone.

For me, and a lot of folks who have the disease, I suspect it began way back in the late 70s and early 80s, before Nintendo, before the X-box, even before Colecovision. It was called Atari, and if you owned one and were of age, you probably spent the summer of 1984 playing Joust, Pitfall, or — my favorite — Atari baseball, an insanely addictive game that a friend of mine and I got sucked back into for an entire weekend as recent as two years ago (who needs all those newfangled graphics when you have four-pixel square baseballs!). Oh, bless you Atari for helping me fritter away blistering summers in the name of Pitfall Harry.

I bring all this up because some crazy bastards have decided to produce a biopic based on the life of Nolan Bushnell, a pinball machine repairman who went on to start the Atari company, which began with a game called Pong, wonderful, godly Pong. What few people realize, however, is that Bushnell eventually got bought out at Atari and used the $28 million in proceeds to start the Chuck E’ Cheese franchise, home of ski-ball, which you could spend $100 in quarters on to win something as amazing as a three-pack of gazoos while watching creepy animatronic bears sing the bejesus out of shitty pop songs! Good times. Anyway, though the pitch was made on Friday, by Sunday Leonardo DiCaprio had already signed on to produce and star, which suggests that Bushnell must have had something awfully interesting in his past, though I’m afraid that there is nothing in Bushnell’s Wikipedia entry to suggest as much. I’m guessing he must have had some fetish — maybe, in fact, Bushnell was ultimately responsible for the shape of joysticks?

Moving on: When I reviewed Singles a couple of weeks ago for our Underappreciated Gems series, I searched the to the ends of the web for any mention of a future project Cameron Crowe might have been working on, only to come up empty and surmise that the man had decided to hide away and lick his Elizabethtown wounds. But, I have mixed news for fans of Mr. Crowe: The good news is that he’s back, having written a contemporary romantic comedy that he’s set to direct. The bad news? It will star Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon, perhaps the least likeliest Cameron Crowe couple since … well, Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst (*double shudder*). Absolutely no details have been released, and the film is only known as the Untitled Cameron Crowe Project, but given that five studios entered into a bidding war for the film (Sony won out), I’m guessing that it at least has some promise. Please?

More decent news (I know! Crazy, right), Ryan Gosling hunka hunka burning Pajiba has reteamed with director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) for the Dallas Buyer’s Club, a movie about Ryan Woodruff, a Texan electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. Given six months to live, Woodruff started a drug smuggling operation to get alternative AIDS medications to HIV sufferers and, in doing so, managed to live another six years himself. Those AIDS films have an unnatural ability to make me all bawly, and with both Gillespie and Gosling attached, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Dallas Buyer’s Club will have a positive effect on shares of Kleenex Corp.

Next up the round-up merry-go round, after getting booted off her last three films, Lindsay Lohan has finally found gainful employment, as she begins the career reclamation project that will one day earn her a Lifetime movie devoted to her life. She is set to star in Labor Pains, yet another comedy that will jump on the sudden need to find comedy in pregnancy. This one, however, has a stupid twist: Her character is not actually pregnant, she’s only pretending to be pregnant to keep from getting fired from her nasty boss, who I believe will be played by Cheryl Hines or Connie Britton, as they are the other two notable cast members (Chris Parnell is also in the cast). So, it’s like Baby Mama meets Soul Man. Can’t wait! (pbbbbbbbbbt)

Meanwhile, despite rumors of late to the contrary, Sam Raimi is still very much in the running to direct Spiderman 4, as he recently announced that, if the script is right (it’s currently being written), he’d like to come back if the studio will have him. Do us all a favor, Sam: Take Bruce Campbell and maybe Billy Bob Thornton, and go out and make yourself one helluva horror film, one that I know has to be better than the one you’re currently working on, starring Justin Long and Alison Lohman, who just scream HORROR FILM.

What else. Ah yes: Happy Madison, that shit-factory of quality comedies headed by Adam Sandler, has decided to expand into horror films. Scary Madison, Sandler’s newest production company, will begin it’s slate with Shortcut, a horror film about two brothers (Andrew Seeley and Dave Franco) who come upon a rarely used shortcut in their town and soon realize why it’s to seldom traveled. Nicholaus Goosen, the genius behind the worst comedy ever not immediately released on DVD, Grandma’s Boy is set to direct.

Now, before we head to the trailer watch, here is perhaps the most disturbing clip you will ever see. It comes from the Brittany Snow indie film, On the Doll, set to hit theaters in limited release this Friday. I’ve actually seen the trailer, and it looks like shit. Nevertheless, this particular NSFW clip is … well, if you value your testicles, I strongly urge against watching the clip. Seriously. I warned you. Don’t come bellyaching to me after you’ve watched it, because I don’t want to hear it.

I told you, didn’t I? Next time maybe you’ll listen, jackass. However, if you didn’t find that particular clip painful, perhaps you’ll find this one even more difficult to stomach. Here’s the teaser for Pink Panther 2. Oh, Steve.

Next: Here’s the latest spot for The Incredible Hulk, and there’s a not-so-surprising cameo in it that almost makes me want to go see it. But not quite.

I will, however, leave you on a high-ish note; with a hat tip to long-time reader, Luke, here’s the trailer for the well-titled film, Young People Fucking. I’m not sure what the film is about, but I’m guessing it’s an accounting thriller.

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Young People Pajiba'ing

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | June 10, 2008 | Comments ()



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