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Stuff: Viacom and YouTube Deserve Each Other

Spy vs. Spy
(L to R) Viacom and YouTube

All the time, there’s pop culture stuff going on. You don’t need a whole post about each and every little thing that happens, or every time a DVD gets dropped on the street. We’re here to filter it for you. Now back with sections, so if you don’t give a damn, you can just skip to the parts you want. You’re welcome. Read this then go have a life.

  • The lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube just got a lot more hilarious. It was revealed that YouTube knew from the get-go that a lot of their content was pirated but just wanted the traffic. However, it was revealed that Viacom contributed to their own pirated content on the site, including getting other people to upload their stuff to help boost popularity while at the same time bitching about Those Damn Pirates. Is there a way the judge can just say, “You’re both idiots, now take your toys and go home?” Anyway, the article lines it up rather well and is recommended reading.
  • Speaking of which, Variety has put up a wall where you can only get five articles a day from them. Which means…we won’t be linking to them much more after this. Instead, we’ll go with all the sites that get the news from other places and wait for Variety Online to come to their senses or die. We’re good either way.
  • Film

  • I had a specific request to post the trailer for The Expendables, i.e. The Film That Made Doc Faint. The only reason Siege won’t faint is he’ll be too damn busy giggling. Here you go.

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

  • Friends With Benefits is the working title of the upcoming Ivan Reitman-helmed comedy starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. The scribe is Elizabeth Meriwether, who has a project listed as “Fuckbuddies” on IMDB. If Cop Out can’t be called Dicks, then I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the same project. Production starts in May and will release on January 7, 2011.
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  • The Hobbit is due to start shooting in July, at least according to Sir Ian‘s website. Of course now the post reads “at a time to be announced.” And it says this in italics as though to say, “Whoops.” Regardless, the bits that remain are the year-plus production time, and that Del Toro is moved to Wellington to prep. Andy Serkis and Hugo Weaving return as well.

  • The previously announced Jane Eyre is starting production this coming week. In addition to Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) as Jane and Rochester respectively, you also get Jamie Bell and Judi Dench. IMDB lists the release date as next year but no details beyond that.
  • Jamie Foxx is on board to play Lynch in the Kane & Lynch video game adaptation, opposite Bruce Willis. Helmer is Simon Crane, which sounds he’s a mercenary protagonist in an 80s paperback series. Instead, he’s been stunt coordinator on everything from Hancock to Young Indiana Jones and second unit director for a slew of stuff. This will be his directorial debut. Source.
  • Mars Needs Moms! book

  • Mars Needs Moms, based on the book by the mighty Berkeley Breathed, is coming out about a year from now, March 11, 2011 from Disney in 3D. It’s live action and is about a kid whose mom is kidnapped by Martians. Cinema Blend mentioned that this is coming out before John Carter…and if there was a way to figure out how to tie the two films together, then I’d be happy. Film stars Seth Green and Joan Cusack and is directed by Simon Wells. The guy who gave you Time Machine and Prince of Egypt. Yeah, I got a sinking feeling in my stomach too.

  • Turkeys will star the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson and it sounds like what happens when you throw Chicken Run and 12 Monkeys in a blender. I say that because it’s two turkeys who come across a time machine and try to go back in time and prevent the first Thanksgiving and the tradition that turns their kind into…well, delicious leftovers. This is from Bedrock Entertainment, who even more interestingly, is working on feature film versions of Rats of NIMH and A Wrinkle in Time. Luke Wilson is also in the cast. Source.
  • TV

  • Do you like Ultraman? Do you like slot machines? Then this news will rock your world. The company that produces the series, Tsuburaya, is having a majority stake purchased by Fields Corp., who make pinballs and slot machines with an eye towards making…you guessed it…Ultraman pinballs and slot machines. Plus new “character goods.” But no pinball machine could ever take the place of this. Source.
  • Books

  • As if you should be surprised there’s a Pride and Prejudice and Zombies prequel. You read this site. You know the Law. You are not surprised. Have a trailer.

    Direct link for the feedreaders.

    Caffeine. And Food. But Mostly Caffeine.

  • Wise Bread has a list of the cheapest, most cost efficient ways to get caffeine. I would like to correct one thing: you can go even cheaper than NoDoz (their #1). Go to a grocery store, because they have generic NoDoz. ProTip there. You’re welcome. Found via Lifehacker.

  • The Soda Tax (or Coke Tax or Pop Tax or Cola Tax or whatever) looks like it’s not going to see the light of day in New York. And the loophole in the Philadelphia version reveals it what for what it is: just another tax. Which is fine: I don’t want to be taxed any more than I am, but given the choice between a straight up tax and a tax that’s supposed to be “for my own good,” I’ll take the non-nanny option any day of the week.
  • Starbucks has declared March 23rd (this coming Tuesday) “Free Pastry Day.” Buy a “handcrafted beverage” with this coupon and get a free pastry. Good until 10:30am that day.
  • DVD

  • Amazon’s having a bigass sale. Here’s a link to the stuff that’s 50% off or more. Because honestly, less than that, who cares? Some highlights, though, include Dark Knight on Blu-Ray for $17.99, Willy Wonka on DVD for $6.49 (reviewed here) and a bunch of TV sets that I know a lot of our readers enjoy. Go and enjoy.
  • Alice in Wonderland (1966, BBC) DVD
    Bulletproof Salesman DVD

  • With the Disney version tearing up the box office, one benefit of this is that other Alices are coming out of the woodwork, including one that wasn’t available in any other version than snippets previously: the trippy 1966 BBC version by Jonathan Miller, starring Peter Sellers, John Gielgud, Michael Redgrave, Peter Cook and Leo McKern, among others. The fact that this has surfaced on DVD (at last) from BBC Home Video would be enough to warrant checking it out, but tack on a Miller commentary, the 1903 silent version we’ve featured before, a biopic from 1965 covering Alice Liddell (the “real” Alice), plus a bit with Ravi Shankar (did we mention he did the music?) and more. Having heard about this for so long, I’m thrilled as hell to have it–and if you’re a Wonderland fan, or a fan of any of the names above, then it’s a must-own. Especially at $10.49, which is what it’s priced now. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

  • Bulletproof Salesman is out this coming week from First Run Features. It’s the answer to the question you probably never thought to ask: who is it that makes armored luxury cars for places like, say, Iraq? And how do they improve their product when faced with stuff like, say, IEDs? Enter Fidelis Cloer, a businessman who saw that need and whose company fills it. Unlike most people considered to be war profiteers, he’s not selling stuff that kills, but stuff that might save your ass. For those fascinated by the behind the scenes look at war–the gears behind the gears, so to speak–this will make for an interesting rental. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)
  • The Prisoner (2009, AMC) DVD
    Ripley's Believe It or Not (1930-2) DVD

  • The remake of The Prisoner elicited moans from many of the Weekend Justice League but I suppose taking a beloved series and turning it into a six-episode miniseries has plenty of pitfalls. How many this tripped on is up to the viewer, really. But you do get Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellen in the roles of 6 and 2 respectively, and the whole thing presented across a three-disc set. This streets this coming week, but they’re reairing it later in the week on AMC, so why purchase? Well, if the special features speak to you: two making of featurettes, the panel from Comic-Con, an interview with McKellen, and then a commentary on the opening and closing episode. Sadly, it’s just with the producer and editor–although I’m sure they’re lovely people in real life, they just don’t stack up to the slam dunk of a commentary with either or both of the leads. My recommendation would be to rent or Netflix the set to determine just how much replay value you’ll find and act accordingly. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

  • For people my age, it’s weird to think that Ripley’s Believe It Or Not did not begin with Jack Palance and the television show he hosted. (And if you try to argue and say Dean Cain then I Will Cut You.) Maybe later we stumbled upon the newspaper feature. But now the magic of burn-on-demand DVDs mean we get all kinds of cool stuff in sanctioned releases, including the twenty-four theatrical Ripley shorts across two discs. Granted, these were from the early 1930s, so some of the bits no doubt have the same allure as, say, an episode of That’s Incredible! (and in another eighty years, they will downgrade to Real People levels), but for the curious or the hardcore fan this might be worth picking up. Find it at the Warner Archive and browse the rest of their good stuff here.