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Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
February 19th, 2008

Michael Clayton
Starring: George Clooney (Oscar nominated role), Sydney Pollack, Tom Wilkinson (Oscar nominated role), and Tilda Swinton (Oscar nominated role)
Directed by: Tony Gilroy (Oscar nominated)

Michael Clayton is a lawyer that doesn’t goes to court. In fact, he very rarely practices law in the traditional sense. Instead, Michael is more of a cleaner for a high-powered law firm, performing damage control for the firm in delicate situations. Life for the law firm, and subsequently Michael, becomes increasingly more difficult when the lead lawyer of one the firm’s biggest cases suffers from what is believed to be a nervous breakdown.

This Hollywood and critical darling is one of the most tense and insightful legal thrillers in recent memory. The film is practically flawless. The performances by all of the key cast
members are fantastic, which is made apparent by the fact that three of the film’s performances were nominated for Oscars. Michael Clayton is a poignant look at the dark side of the legal world, and the people that reside in the soulless environment they help create.

American Gangster
Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Josh Brolin, and Ruby Dee (Oscar nominated role)
Directed by: Ridley Scott (one of Rusty Gordon’s favorites)

The film is based on the notorious 1970’s drug lord, Frank Lucas, who shipped heroine into the United States in the coffins of dead Vietnam soldiers. The film depicts Frank’s rise to the top of the drug world, and his eventual downfall, brought on by Detective Richie Roberts’ investigation.

Given American Gangster’s electric directing and powerful performances, it is hard to believe that this extremely entertaining and well-made film would garnish so few Oscar nominations. American Gangster’s startling action and magnificent acting keeps the film from feeling tired, despite its lengthy running time. American Gangster proves to be as engaging as it is violent, which is to say very.

Also, being released: Margot at the Wedding, Renditon, In the Vally of Elah

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008

Here is a list of things Rusty (Gordon) and I experienced on our road trip to interview Will Ferrell. Some good, some bad, some together, and some separate.

Six A.M. road trip (216 miles) from Dallas to Austin. Heavy rain and thunder. Lady losing a tire when the highway forms into one lane forcing our drive time to extend another 40 minutes. Guacamole cheese dip. Sharing an elevator with Lisa Kudrow. In the car for six hours on a 12 hour trip.

Well worth the trouble. I'd do it all over again.

Interviewed & edited by: Chase Whale

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008

After a full day of interviews, itchy throat, and camera flashes that could give any man a seizure, Will Ferrell gave time to plug Gordon and the Whale Dot Com. What a gentleman and a scholar!

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008

Most of you will not know who Kent Alterman is until Friday, February 29th. He is the man behind Semi-Pro.

I can't say too much about him right now though, as you will read more about him in my Semi-Pro review, but I can tell you he was a gentleman to my extreme nervousness. He is also down with Gordon and the Whale, which you can see HEREEEEEEE.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008

Awww, look at that. Our sweet little Samantha Baker/Andie Walsh/Claire Standish is all grown up. Molly Ringwald is one of a kind. She has been giving red heads across America hope ever since she starred in Sixteen Candles in 1984. Today she hit a mile stone. Clearly from the Post's headline, you know she turned 40. Most people consider that "over-the-hill," but in my eyes, it's only the beginning.

Here are some photos I found from her big screen debut in '84 to now. Enjoy and tell your mother happy late Valentine's Day if you forgot.






Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 18th, 2008


When news came to me that Spike Jonze (the guy I have idolized since I was 18) was directing Where the Wild Things Are, I knew then I would die happy. I grew up with this book, and it was a very important part of my adolescence. It would take a very oddball film nerd to bring this mind trip to life. Most of us know, Spike is the only man for this job.

Yesterday, a short clip leaked to the internet that may or may not be in association with Spike's production. I keep finding it RIGHT when it's been banned so watch it now. I'm sure this will be taken down by the time you read this, but if not, thanks for coming to our site early in the AM and watching it. Early bird always gets the worm, right?

This is clearly a test shot, as the audio sounds like someone is standing next to the camera speaking. Just keep that in mind and enjoy.

Where the Wild Things Are is scheduled to be released sometime in 2009.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 17th, 2008

Some good things do come to an end. Juno had a nice five week run in the top five and sadly was pushed out to number seven. It's now at $124,000,000 and counting, so I don't think the producers have any complaints about their number slot.

Not much else to say but this was the worst box office weekend (meaning all the movies on the top slots are/look horrible with the exception of Spiderwick which non of us have seen) since we opened this site in October of last year.

Oh, and the reason why the weekend gross is different than the total gross for everything but Fool's Gold is because they opened on Thursday (Valentine's Day) to get a bigger box office weekend count.

Results (Feb. 15-17):

Movie Studio Weekend Gross Total Budget
Jumper Fox $27,225,000 $33,850,000 $85 Mil
Step Up 2 the Streets BV $19,666,000 $26,267,000 N/A
The Spiderwick Chronicles Par. $19,080,000 $21,389,000 $90 Mil
Fool's Gold WB $13,080,000 $42,035,000 N/A
Definitely, Maybe Uni. $9,685,000 $12,804,000 N/A


Cameron Sanderson

by: Cameron Sanderson
February 16th, 2008

We will be at the Garage in Denton tonight giving out stuff for the new movie Vantage Point. Come hang out with us after 10PM. You know you want to.

Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
February 15th, 2008


Once upon a time, in a land not unlike this one, a group of people got together and made low budget black and white film about zombies attacking various people in Pennsylvania, called Night of the Living Dead. Little was expected from this film upon its original release. However, Forty years later, Night of the Living Dead is arguably the definitive zombie movie, and one of the most famous and influential horror films of all time. Now, Director George A. Romero returns to the genre whose legacy he helped create, with another independent zombie film, Diary of the Dead.

Diary of the Dead is a movie within a movie. While shooting a school project, several Pittsburgh film students hear about the zombie attacks. One of the students, named Jayson Creed, decides to keep shooting to document the possible apocalypse. Jay titles his hybrid of a documentary and horror film, Death of the Death. Which according to the female narrator and possible survivor Debra, is the film we are watching. Debra explains that she has edited the film and added music to complete Jayson’s vision and to scare us as a “warning”.

With bad to mediocre acting, some deliberate clunky editing, and very a heavy-handed theme, Diary of the Dead defiantly does give off the impression of a student film. As a result of these film school standards, the beginning of the film is arduous to watch. However, once the initial set up is over and the characters hit the road the film becomes much more enjoyable.

Romero delivers the bloody goods, clearly having a great time dispensing of the many walking dead at his disposal. The audience is treated to many entertaining and gory zombie scenes, with possibly the most memorable instance taking place at a hospital and involving a defibrillator. Diary of the Dead also has a refreshing sense humor, giving the audience a few good laughs between the scares and the blood. The scenes involving the students and an amish mute will for sure generate a few chuckles from the audience. With Diary of the Dead, Romero reaches deep into his big bag of tricks and often comes up with a gem.

While there is fun to be had with the zombies themselves, Romero often uses the character’s frantic nature and the waiting between the attacks to generate the film’s suspense. At one point the students run into a group mostly African American survivors who are foraging supplies. Romero uses this contact to make a statement about racism in America, a major competent of Night of the Living Dead. Romero also uses this run in to stage some very tension filled moments, when it is learned that one of the group’s member was dead but is now missing somewhere in the warehouse. The impending attack does not coincide immediately with the announcement, instead we must wait in nervous anticipation as the survivors fearfully look for the walking dead. The zombie attacks are often set up with precision and restraint, allowing the impending attacks to build in the audience’s mind. This build up gives the film a genuine sense of tension and dread.

Diary of the Dead’s glaring flaws comes from just how accurately it depicts a student film. It is well known that Romeo’s uses his zombie films for social commentary. In Diary, Romero is concerned with how the constant appearance and acceptance of violence and war makes murder and death inane to society, removing humanitie's compassion. However, Romeo makes his point with about the subtly of a brick to head, like many student films. Along with the Debra’s occasional voice over, the message becomes so blatant in the film’s final moments that it becomes annoying, losing impact or resonance.

Diary of the Dead marks a marginally successful return to the independent zombie realm for Director George A. Romeo. After forty years, Romero is still having fun and creating many great zombie induced moments. Unfortunately, the film’s pretentious nature hinders Diary of the Dead from become anything greater than just a satisfactory horror film.

Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
February 15th, 2008


There some things in life you must approach with necessary skepticism in order to ensure that you don’t get jibbed out of your hard earned cash, including used car salesmen and movie trailers. Unfortunately, even a lackluster movie can contain enough excitement to sustain a three-minute preview, giving moviegoers false hope. This is a problem that often occurs this time of year, when the studios release many of their more flawed films. Sadly, Jumper is just another classic example of solid trailer, disappointing film.

Jumper is about people with the ability to teleport anywhere they want. These “jumpers” need to only visual their destination in their mind, and then they magically arrive at their desired target. The film’s protagonist David Rice (Christensen) is living a lush life, made possible by his ability to travel through walls, especially bank walls. However, David’s life becomes endangered when he begins to be hunted by a religious group known as the Paledins. The organization led by Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), has the sole mission to rid the world of all jumpers.
The film opens with David explaining how he came to discover his special talent. Hayden Christensen makes every word sound like a genuine struggle to get out, as if he is reading another language. This dull reading of the film’s opening monologue serves as a premonition of the uninspired acting that is soon to follow by Mr. Christensen. The opening is pretty basic, never really grabing the audience. However, the film picks up once we meet a present day David, and observe him as he teleports to fascinating locations. However, after the novelty of watching David teleport wears off, there is not a lot for the audience to do other than look at their watch. The film just resorts to movie clichés such as an “at long last” love story and silly back-story involving David’s mother who disappeared when he was five to achieve the neccessary running time.

The action scenes are mildly entertaining, but ultimately become boringly repetitive. Plus, you’ve already seen them before, as parts of all of these sequences are packed into the film’s trailer. The less than stellar action sequences are made even more disappointing by the fact that the film is directed by Doug Liman; the man behind several solid action films, such as The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The usually reliable Samuel Jackson turns in a surprisingly below average performance, even by sci-fi standards. I guess he figured since Christensen was getting paid for such a poor performance, he shouldn’t have to put forth much effort either. At least Jamie Bell, who plays a fellow jumper named Griffin, makes an effort to create more than just another wooden character. Jamie’s offbeat and comical Griffin always breathes life into the film whenever he is on screen, unfortunately he is the third male lead.

Jumper desperately tries to have give off a hip feel. As evident by the film’s standard teen targeted soundtrack compromised largely of radio rock hits and Mr. Jackson’s unnecessary bleach blonde hairstyle. Also, The film’s protagonist and his love interest (Rachel Blison) were likely cast not because of their acting ability, but rather as a result of their connection to youth culture. However, these calculated attempts to make the film cool fail, as cool can never feel contrived.

Ultimately, Jumper proves to be just another disappointing February film. The only thing that comes to fruition from the film’s trailer is that Hayden Christensen does in fact turn in another uninspired performance. When will the studios declare the Hayden Christensen experiment a failure? Yes, the guy has the movie start look, but none of the talent. Give it up Hollywood, and please don’t make audiences suffer through Hayden’s third rate acting any longer.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 15th, 2008


Hasbro has released photos for it's Cloverfield monster action figure. It's for ages 4 & up, but don't worry parents, if you haven't already terrified them with this lovely gift, you can teach them that the parasites that come with this toy are in part with the "WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD" label. Isn't that sweet?


Specs as follows:

70 points of articulation and incredible life-like detail
Authentic sound
14” tall
10 parasites
Two interchangeable heads
Statue of Liberty head accessory
Special Cloverfield collector’s edition packaging


The Cloverfield monster is available exclusively through Reserve your Cloverfield monster today to have the opportunity to receive it when it ships later this year. Limited quantities are available.

Includes 3 “AAA” Batteries.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 15th, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles
Directed by
Mark Waters

Written by
Karey Kirkpatrick (screenplay)
David Berenbaum (screenplay)
John Sayles (screenplay)
Tony DiTerlizzi (books)
Holly Black (books)

Freddie Highmore
Mary-Louise Parker

From the beloved best-selling series of books comes "The Spiderwick Chronicles," a fantasy adventure for the child in all of us.
Peculiar things start to happen the moment the Grace family (Jared, his twin brother Simon, sister Mallory and their mom) leave New York and move into the secluded old house owned by their great, great uncle Arthur Spiderwick. Unable to explain the strange disappearances and accidents that seem to be happening on a daily basis, the family blames Jared. When he, Simon and Mallory investigate what's really going on, they uncover the fantastic truth of the Spiderwick estate and of the creatures that inhabit it.


Cameron Sanderson

by: Cameron Sanderson
February 14th, 2008

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
February 14th, 2008


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull official trailer has finally been released today. It starts off pretty lame with the whole "he once did this, and he wants did that" but finally picks up with the incredible stunts. I must say that I'm pretty impressed with this, and I'm looking forward to the experience. I've never seen an Indian Jones film on the big screen.

Click HERE for the Yahoo! high definition trailer. Crystal Skull opens May 22, 2008.

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