Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

The Plastic Podcast

An audio program about movies. Listen with your iPod or computer.

Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

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Daily Plastic is a Chicago-based movie blog, a collaboration between Robert Davis and J. Robert Parks, the same pair who brought you the wearable movie tote, the razor-thin pencil pocket, and that joke about aardvarks. If you know the whereabouts of the blue Pontiac Tempest that was towed from the Plastic Parking Lot on the evening of August 7th, 2008, or more importantly if you've recovered the red shoebox that was in its trunk, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Davis was the chief film critic for the late, great Paste Magazine (which lives on now as a website) from 2005 through 2009, and he counts this interview with Claire Denis among his favorite moments. Every once in a while he pops up on Twitter. He's presently sipping puerh in Chicago, even at this hour. Meanwhile, Parks, whose work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, The Hyde Park Herald, and Paste, is molding unsuspecting, college-aged minds in the aforementioned windy city. Media types are warned to stay clear of his semester-sized field of influence because of the distorting effects that are likely to develop.

The © copyright of all content on Daily Plastic belongs to the respective authors.

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

A whole bunch of sites have been posting their previews for the fall/winter movie season, but who really cares about that? It’s just going to be a bunch of depressing family dramas, war movies, and stuff about history. The Oscars themselves are awesome, but watching the actors try to win Oscars sure isn’t. Anne Hathaway is already getting buzz for her performance as some kind of addict, but I wish she’d just give America what it wants--another Princess Bride sequel. Apparently, Mickey Rourke is playing a washed-up celebrity. Why doesn’t he stick to what he knows best?

Me, I’m still basking in the glow of this past summer. I mean, how often do we get Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy in the same summer? I saw Made of Honor three times, The Love Guru four, and College five. My favorite, though, was Wanted. The plot was a bit complicated, but the chance to see a beautiful pregnant woman slaughtering whole cities doesn’t come around every day.

So rather than waste time trying to figure out what you should see these next couple months, I thought I’d look ahead to next summer’s lineup, when the real action will heat up!!!

Sequels--The Excitement of the Familiar
That number doesn’t even count My Life in Ruins, in which Nia Vardalos plays a Greek woman looking for love by reconnecting with her Greek roots. If that doesn’t sound like a hilarious sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I’m not a top-notch entertainment reporter. Besides, Donald Petrie is directing, and he made Just My Luck and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, so you know this is going to be amazing. — JRP

I’m happy to report that out of the 30 movies that have already been scheduled for Summer ’09, we have at least seven sequels. And of those seven, four are up to IV or higher!! You know you’ve got a good franchise when they’ve reached number 4. Strangely, though, three of those four don’t even put the number in the title. How can we know that Fast & Furious is already up to number 4 if they don’t tell us?

I’m also a bit confused that Christian Bale is starring in the new Terminator movie. Is this like the old monster movies, where you’d have Frankenstein and the Wolfman, or Godzilla and Mothra? Otherwise, I’m not sure what Batman is going to do in Terminator Salvation. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Speaking of pairs, I didn’t even mention that both Paul Walker and Vin Diesel are returning for Fast & Furious. That’s such an incredible combination of talent that I wouldn’t be surprised if a black hole suddenly opened up on screen. Wouldn’t that be awesome?! I’m already holding my breath. At least Final Destination 4 knows enough to put the number right on the marquee, and that one’s going to be in 3-D!

Of course, you can’t become one of America’s best-loved franchises overnight. You have to wow audiences with original scripts and brilliant execution. Fortunately, lightning strikes twice more often than you think. So I have high hopes that Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian will be able to top the first one. And it goes without saying that super stud Shia LaBeouf will bring even more pizzazz to Transformers II. I heard he’s doing his own stunts this time.

Now those movies might be a little too intense for the little ones, so Hollywood has thoughtfully brought out a sequel for the kid set: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. You know, I didn’t realize that mammoths and dinosaurs lived at the same time until I saw 10,000 B.C. It’s amazing that movies can be both entertaining and educational. I guess that’s why my 10th-grade history teacher showed us movies every Monday and Friday. Who said public schools don’t teach?

Prequels--A New Kind of Sequel

Now, only seven sequels in a summer might seem unfortunately light. But don’t worry--those clever studio bosses have come up with something called a prequel. See, it’s like a sequel, but it comes before the other movies. That way you don’t have to worry if your hero is going to die. You already know how it turns out!

If I were going to do an X-Men prequel, I probably would’ve chosen the characters of Sue Storm or Donatelo, but that’s why producers get paid the big bucks. Apparently, they think Wolverine will be the more popular choice. Rather than call it something basic like X-Men 0 or X-Men Prequel, they’re going with the title of X-Men Origins. I hope that doesn’t confuse anyone.

The best prequels of all, of course, are the Star Wars films. But then you knew that already. Now if only George Lucas would give the fans what they want and make even more prequels. How about Anakin and Padme when they were babies? You could call it Star Wars, Age 1. Wouldn’t that be the best? Everyone loves babies. Make it happen, George. You know you really don’t want to make that arthouse film you’ve been talking about for 25 years. — JRP

I know I was kinda confused at first when I watched The Da Vinci Code. I just don’t remember learning any of that religious history in my 10th-grade class, but now I’m fully informed. Thank God for movies, eh? And next summer, we’ll get a chance to learn even more about Christianity in the prequel Angels & Demons. Wouldn’t it be great if churches started showing movies, too? Then you could watch something on Monday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday!

But the biggest prequel of all might be Star Trek. I’ll be honest, I’m a little disappointed that Star Trek: Voyager wasn’t the next Star Trek show to get its own movie (doesn’t that cast deserve a chance to shine in a dark, empty room?), but this look at Kirk, Spock, and Bones before they became famous could be interesting, too. I realize that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy aren’t starring in this one, but I hope that the movie gives them a cool cameo. That doesn’t usually happen, but maybe Hollywood will make an exception this time. With all the happiness Shatner and Nimoy have given us, they deserve an eighth fond farewell.

Speaking of farewells, I have to go. But I’ll be back next time with the rest of Summer ’09. Until then, don’t forget that The Happening finally comes out on dvd next week! It’ll be even better on the small screen.

J. Robert Parks is no relation to Jackie Harvey or Vern. He doesn't even know those dudes.

3 Responses to “Summer '09 Preview!”

  1. Brian says:

    Hearing about these sequels and prequels has gotten me excited about the movies again! Thanks for the insider scoop! I wonder if you can be persuaded to do a follow-up on the exciting remakes we can expect next summer?

  2. Oh, I saved the best for last! Remakes! TV adaptations! And even toy adaptations! I won't spoil that last one, but the letters 'G' and 'I' figure prominently. I can't wait!! But you'll have to wait a week or two for that inside scoop. I suggest that you pass the time with repeated viewings of Michael Bay films. He's the greatest.

  3. Ted says:

    Well, geez, J. Robert - I finally see WALL-E, I'm excited about Milk and you have to go and ruin all of my goodwill toward Hollywood. If you need to find me, I'll be watching Closer on a loop with the shades pulled.

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