Tag Archives: movies

Your new catchphrase: “Nuke the fridge”

Pax Arcana

Via FilmDrunk, I am proud to present you with the perfect catchphrase to describe a phenomenon that cried achingly for appropriate nomenclature.

Here, let’s let the Urban Dictionary explain it to you:

NUKE THE FRIDGE is a colloquialism used to delineate the precise moment at which a cinematic franchise has crossed over from remote plausibility to self parodying absurdity, usually indicating a low point in the series from which it is unlikely to recover.

The phrase originates from the latest Indiana Jones movie, which was so full of stupid CGI and empty action scenes that Perry Ellis permanently scarred his own forearm on a hot grill just to burn the stupid out of his memory. Or, as the UD puts it:

The term comes from the film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which, near the start of the movie, Harrison Ford’s character survives a nuclear detonation by climbing into a kitchen fridge, which is then blown hundreds of feet through the sky whilst the town disintegrates. He then emerges from the fridge with no apparent injury. Later in the movie, the audience is expected to fear for his safety in a normal fistfight.

Don’t even get me started on the monkeys.


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Simon Pegg is funny and smart — and in grave danger

Pax Arcana

Because all good things in life eventually get murdered by small-time newspaper editors with abhorrent writing skills, it’s a good bet that Simon Pegg will one day follow Ricky Gervais into the cross hairs of the Lowell Sun.

In advance of his new movie, Run, Fat Boy, Run, the New York Times profiles the star of the hilarious films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Frost and Pegg. Like Sonny and Cher only funny and British. And dudes.

Unsurprisingly, Pegg comes across as whip smart and down-to-earth. Like the complete opposite of most actors. Here’s his take on it:

“I THINK the reason actors become idiots is because you’re treated so well,” the British actor Simon Pegg said recently over multiple cups of coffee at a chic downtown hotel. “You’re driven everywhere, and you’re put up in really nice places. The actors that turn into idiots are the ones that start believing it’s because they deserve it, not because they’re just not trusted, which is the truth. The truth is actors are flaky, unreliable and mostly unstable people, and they need to be mollycoddled at all times.”

Of course, no story on Pegg would be complete without mention of Nick Frost, Pegg’s costar in two movies and one TV series. The two met when Frost and Pegg’s girlfriend waited tables at the same Mexican restaurant in England. Eventually they began communicating in beeps and boops and sleeping together:

At dinner a week after they met, Mr. Pegg, who was soused, “made the noise of a little droid in ‘Star Wars,’ ” Mr. Frost recalled. “It was such a little specific thing, and I’d never heard anyone else do that before. It was like he was talking my language. We both understood each other perfectly.” They eventually parlayed their knowledge of pop culture ephemera into bull’s-eye parodies.

When they met, Mr. Pegg was performing as a comedian, and he pulled Mr. Frost along. They were roommates for eight years; through a series of buddy-flick-worthy mishaps they even wound up (platonically) sharing a bed for months. “There was never any impropriety,” Mr. Frost said, “but it just felt nice.”

It’s exactly this kind of story that makes me want to pay $10 for Run, Fat Boy, Run, even though Frost isn’t in it (to my knowledge), and it was directed by David Schwimmer.

The Times says Pegg and Frost are working on a new film about a pair of geeky British friends called Paul. I can only pray the Lowell Sun spares their lives at least until after primary photography is done.

Regular Bloke Takes a Dip in Star Territory [New York Times]

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Zombies in rear view mirror are faster than they appear

Slate writer Josh Levin, when not cowering in fear of preternaturally developed 12-year-olds, also cowers in fear of zombies.

In a 2004 Slate article, reprinted this week to commemorate the success of Will Smith’s I Am Legend zombie flick, Levin asked a simple question: Why do today’s movie zombies move much faster than the undead of yore?

From the article:

The oft-repeated image of a slow, walking line of zombies is the best representation of the zombie’s place in the scary-movie food chain. In horror, zombies behave more like a creeping plague or a disease than singularly terrifying monsters like Dracula or the Wolfman. Zombies have no individual identity, but rather get their power from membership in a group: It’s easy to kill one, but 1,000 indomitable flesh eaters may just overwhelm you.

Hey, that’s littering!

Today’s zombies, he says, are free to trot, gallop, and even sprint after their human prey, as in films like 28 Days Later, House of the Dead, Resident Evil, and the 2003 remake of Dawn of the Dead.

The reasons for this are twofold, he argues. For one thing, slow-moving reanimated corpses ate up a lot of screen time for low-budget filmmakers who couldn’t afford to shoot a lot of extraneous scenes. Digital cameras and editing equipment make this less important.

And the advent of realistic CGI means filmmakers can incorporate elements of video-game level speed in their violent thrashings:

The effect of corpse-heavy video games is all over the nascent fast-zombie genre. In first-person shooter games, the undead’s usual pack mentality is necessarily replaced by zombie exceptionalism: Each creature that jumps out from around the corner has to be an individual—fast, strong, and threatening. Even more so than Resident Evil, the movie version of House of the Dead follows this model, as filmed sequences of running, jumping, and swimming zombies are actually intercut with parallel scenes from the corpse shoot-’em-up video game.

One of the early themes of this blog was that Pax Arcana was painfully afraid of zombies. That was good for a few laughs, but it’s hard to sustain that kind of humor over time, especially since we’ve found it awfully hard to maintain the illusion that zombies could actually exist. We’re science-oriented people at Pax Arcana. We don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or zombies. In fact, Father Scott once said thaggggggrrwwwworr asdf afdskfAFHELP!HELP! awwwaf lka;s;l;;lkj;fadva6541414654esa-d0f98-ioh

The Running Dead [Slate]

Now playing: Grinderman – No Pussy Blues
via FoxyTunes

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And the Oscar goes to…

We realize we’re jumping the gun, but if this doesn’t win the Best Foreign Yakuza High School Girl Ninja Film trailer award, we will turn in our Academy membership.


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“My father, who art in heaven, you’ve always made a jackass out of me.”

Yes, that is Leslie Nielsen.

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Sesame Street too hot for toddlers

Virginia Heffernan of the New York Times got her hands on Volumes 1 and 2 of Sesame Street — the first time the early episodes of the venerable children’s program have ever been released on DVD.

sesame_street.gifThe most striking thing about the DVDs is that they come with a warning label that reads as follows:

“These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

You read that right — the makers of Sesame Street say episodes of Sesame Street are not appropriate for people under 18.  Here’s the money graf:

Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.

Sesame Street executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente tells Heffernan that Oscar the Grouch could probably never be created in today’s world — where children are tightly rolled in pillows and bubble wrap from the moment they are lovingly extruded from the doula’s hands.

Some of these reservations are understandable. Like one scene in the first season where Gordon (the first black man many of us suburban whiteys ever laid eyes on) invites a kindergarten-age girl over to his house for milk and cookies. You probably don’t want your kids going home with men who want to be friends with little kids — unless they’ve got candy, which everyone knows is worth the risk.

We’re not child psychologists at Pax Arcana, and we don’t have kids. But there is something awfully creepy about the idea of raising children in a world where they are not exposed to at least some of the awfulness of real life. Some of our most vivid memories of childhood are of being scared speechless by The Dark Crystal and even Snow White. Hell, does Bambi’s mother even die if that movie is made in 2007?

It just seems like we’re preparing an entire generation of children to believe that the world consists of soft red and blue shapes bouncing through the ether, when in fact it consists of marshmallows, sex, trombones, and laughing gas.

Sweeping the Clouds Away [New York Times]

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