Tag Archives: Star Wars

Best Super Bowl Ad (2011)

Wow, and I thought last year’s crop of Super Bowl Ads was lacking…yikes! It was like the companies all got together and decided to have a contest to see who could spend the most on crazy, over-produced digital effects while trying to cram every idea they ever had into a thirty-second spot. Madness! I am not an old man, but if I was, I swear to God, the overall rapid-fire-ness of some of those ads would make my head explode. Too much!

Also, just because you can afford to dump a load of money into manufacturing cheesy, Coke-shilling Euro-dragons doesn’t mean you should. That shit was straight-up loony toons, and on top of that, it was ugly as sin. Blech! I don’t know who art directed some of these spots, but, wow, simplicity went out the window with brevity, big time!

In fact, too much of everything seemed to be the keyword yesterday. It’s like everyone forgot how powerful and moving a short, sweet and simple ad can be. You don’t need a bunch of stupid stunts or tired old people jokes to make a great ad, hell, if your ad is smart enough, sometimes, you don’t even need words.

That said, I give you our favorite 2011 Super Bowl ad: the truly-inspired Darth Vader spot for VW. Clean, simple, an instant classic, this ad is one for the ages, amigos. So, enjoy…and, until next year, may the Force be with you…

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Williams-Sonoma “Star Wars” kitchen collection on sale!

I have been waiting for the chance to blog about the super-cool “Star Wars” Collection at Williams-Sonoma for a while now. But, every time I wanted to write about it, something came up, and then, when I heard that the entire collection of cookie cutters, pancake molds, sandwich molds, aprons and spatulas was on sale for 20% off through Sunday 01/23, well, I knew the time had come.

Released a little over a year ago, every piece in the “Star Wars” collection was personally approved by Mr. Lucas himself. And, from the looks of it, the dude likes to eat, so, I’m thinking he knows what he likes in his kitchen gear. And, hello, it’s made by Williams-Sonoma, so, you know this shit is gonna last forever.

We started our collection with the “Star Wars Heroes and Villains Pancake Molds”, and, though the  details on Darth Vader and the Stormtrooper’s masks run together a bit when they cook, as you can see from our pics, the Yoda head pancake looks freaking awesome on the plate.

We also have both sets of the cookie cutters — which work beautifully and look amazing either frosted or un-frosted — the Darth Vader spatula and the “Galactic Empire Cupcake Decorating Kit”, which is like, my childhood fantasy come to life. So cool! Where were you when I was ten, Williams-Sonoma?!

Anyway, whichever side you chose to align yourself with — as you can tell, we lean towards the dark side in this household — the “Star Wars” collection at Williams-Sonoma is a must for any true fan. To paraphrase Obi Wan: “These definitely are the kitchen gadgets you’re looking for! And they NEVER go on sale!” So, get shopping already!

Oh yeah, and make sure and pick up one of those handy Williams-Sonoma Pancake Pens too. They make pouring the batter into the molds easy as pie and they open at both ends, so, clean-up is a dream!

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2011 Golden Globes wrap-up

OK, after reading several, far better and far more in-depth accounts of all that went down at the Golden Globe Awards last night, I just have two things to add.

One, I thought host Ricky Gervais, though a bit crass at times, was even better as a host this time than he was last year. Yes, he pushed some buttons, but, man alive, some of his shit was hilarious. The bottom line is that he kept the crowd on their toes and I haven’t heard any of the Gervais-haters say they were bored by the show. So, kudos to you for keeping it real, Ricky!

The second thing is that I was really pleased, if not entirely surprised, by most of the winners. Everyone who won seemed really excited and honored to be there and that always makes for a good show.

And though I cheered out loud for several of the winners, I gotta say, seeing a dyed-in-the-flannel, 90’s alt-rocker like Trent Reznor collect a Golden Globe for his brilliant work on “The Social Network” soundtrack…wow…that was the highlight of the night as far as I’m concerned.

I downloaded Reznor and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack last week on Amazon and have been listening to it non-stop. The movie itself is collecting a little too many awards for my taste — if I have to see that smug-ass Aaron Sorkin pick up another award for his hugely-overrated screenplay, I might puke. Urgh! — but “The Social Network” soundtrack deserves every award it wins. So, rock on, guys!

And finally, if there was any doubt about who will not only be nominated, but also win Oscars this year in the major acting categories, it was wiped away last night. With the exception of a surprise Best Supporting Actress nod for the amazing Hailee Steinfeld for “True Grit” — which might give Melissa “The Fighter” Leo a real run for her money — I think everyone pictured here will repeat at the Oscars.

Yeah, Annette Bening is overdue for some Oscar gold, but her ham-fisted work in “The Kids Are All Right” is so not her finest hour on film. She’ll get another shot someday and if it makes her feel any better, she won’t lose an Oscar to Hilary Swank this time out. So, there’s always that!

Which means, we’ll have two royals in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories at this year’s Academy Awards: The extremely-deserving Colin Firth for “The Kings Speech” and Queen Amidala of Naboo herself for “Black Swan”. Yee-haw!

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“Star Wars: The Complete Saga” coming to Blu-Ray this fall!

Even if you didn’t have a ticket to CES last week, self-respecting “Star Wars” fans everywhere felt a powerful disturbance in the Force when it was announced on Thursday that the “Star Wars” saga is finally coming to Blu-Ray Disc this September. Whoo-hoo, thank the maker!

No official street date has been announced, but, you can pre-order your “Star Wars” saga three different ways this time out.

Old School: in a set containing only the original three films and all the extras, New School: the Prequel Films only, with all the extras, or, you can go whole hog and get the Complete Collection of all six films in one big old boxed set for somewhere around $139.99. Hmmm…guess which one I have my eye on?

I think the only bad news for hard-core fans is that we’ll have to buy the full set of “Star Wars” movies…again! I mean, shit, if you count Videodisc, VHS widescreen and full-frame, Laserdisc and DVD, I’ve bought these same damn movies like, five times over. But, hey, who’s counting?

If the rad-ass new trailer (above) is any indication, the Blu-Ray editions are gonna rock, so, start saving your Republic Credits now, baby! Yee-haw!

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“Inception”

OK…I know we’ve only seen like three of this year’s big award-season contenders (“Toy Story 3”, “Hereafter” and “The Social Network”, which were all awesome, by the way) and therefore, we probably shouldn’t be making any broad, sweeping predictions yet, but, mark my words, amigos, Christopher Nolan will win an Oscar for “Inception”.

Whether it’s for writing, directing or producing is still to be determined, but, the mad genius behind “Memento”, “The Prestige” and the Christian Bale “Batman” movies has really outdone himself with “Inception”, and for that reason alone, I see many gold statues in Nolan’s future. And boy does he deserve them!

Taut, suspenseful, positively gorgeous to look at, and populated by the coolest indie cast this side of Sundance, “Inception” is the best movie we’ve seen this year. Yep, I said it, the best. Of course, most of you probably already know this since you saw the movie when it came out, you know, last summer.

But, babysitters being increasingly hard to come by, Christine and I didn’t get to see “Inception” on the big screen until last week at Warner Brothers and lemme tell ya, it blew us away. To say that our heads were swimming (in the best way!) for days afterwards is a serious understatement.

This was no mere movie, amigos, it was total immersion in a completely original and boldly realized new world. And we loved every crazy second of it!

I know I geek out over things a lot, and tend to overhype stuff that I really love, but, I kid you not, I haven’t felt this way about a sci-fi movie since we saw the first “Matrix” or “Terminator” flick way back when.

The dazzling technical elements aside, “Inception” is that rare breed of totally game-changing screen stories that will inspire whole generations of nerdy kids to wanna make movies. For me, it was “Star Wars”, for Generation Whatever, it’ll be Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. Again, mark my words.

Anyway, I don’t wanna give anything away by going too much into the plot or anything, but, trust me, you don’t have to love sci-fi or even Leo DiCaprio to love this mind-bending little jewel of a movie. Simply put, if you like movies, “Inception” will knock you flat on your movie-loving ass. You have never seen anything like it. EVER.

So, you best get busy on that acceptance speech, Mr. Nolan. The clock is ticking…

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“Not Forgotten” nominated for 2010 Saturn Award

Speaking of Sci-Fi…a few weeks back I got the super cool news that “Not Forgotten” had been nominated by the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror for a 2010 Saturn Award for Best DVD Release. Yay! I didn’t blog about it then, because I wanted to make sure I got invited to the show first…and guess what? I did! So, whoo-hoo…let the celebrating commence!

If, like most non-hard-core sci-fi geeks, you have no idea what the Saturn Awards are, please allow me to fill you in. The Saturn Awards have been given out to the best of the best sci-fi, fantasy and horror films, TV shows, plays and home video for the past 36 years, and unlike the Oscars who traditionally shun such genres, these guys are true fans of the first order.

This is the organization that in the past has given Best Film Awards to “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Aliens”, “Poltergeist”, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and “Children of Men”…smart, bold genre movies that more staid institutions completely shut out. I used to read about these rocking, underground award gatherings in Starlog and Fangoria magazines when I was a geeky kid…so, to have something I co-wrote and associate produced be nominated at all, in any category is kind of mind-blowing.

And the fact that I will actually be attending the show tonight, rubbing elbows with the creators and cast of “Lost”, “Avatar”, “Star Trek”, “Harry Potter” and the like…well, shit…I might just explode!

However, in the highly-unlikely event that I actually do make it through the show tonight intact, I promise to post some pics soon, so, stay tuned. To see a list of all this year’s Saturn Award nominees, click here.

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Mr. Potato Head Elvis

Whoa…could this summer get any cooler? I just got an email from my friends at Elvis.com announcing the upcoming launch of a super cute Mr. Potato Head Elvis! Yay, now my Darth Tater won’t be so lonely.

Introduced to the world by a rocking Elvis tribute artist in a sparkly Elvis jumpsuit, Mr. Potato Head Elvis’ debut is timed to coincide with Elvis Week 2010 and will be followed at Christmas time by a ’68 Comeback Special version in black leather! Whew, now I finally know what to ask Santa for!

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