Sunday, April 20, 2008

"I...AM...IRON MAN!" (and other flights of fancy)

"There has been some speculation out there that I am some kind of super hero. Well, let me assure you that I am not the super hero-type. Clearly."
-- Robert Downey, Jr. as "Tony Stark" (a.k.a. The "Invincible" Iron Man)

I have to admit I get totally geeked over the summer movie season. In fact, the only thing wrong with the summer movie season is that it's the summer.

I mean, the hype is usually just that: hype. And the story actually takes a backseat to the special effects, these days, which is kind of sad in a throwaway, Hackey Sack sort of way. Besides, who wants to sit in a dark, air-conditioned cave on a warm, breezy day?

But, other than that, I love the summer movie season!

Regardless of the supposedly mindless blockbuster banter you hear exploding from your neighborhood multiplex, I think some summer movies have turned the proverbial corner harkening back to a better day when writers and directors actually cared about their craft.

Look no further to Batman Begins and Casino Royale, two excellent examples of "formula movies" that were nothing short of spectacular - on every possible story-telling level (revamping and re-energizing their respective franchises in the process. Correct, Mr. Bond?).

That is why (at least from the previews) I am expecting Iron Man to most likely win "Best Movie" for this 2008 summer season. First of all, it sounds like director Jon Favreau (Swingers) has stayed faithful to the actual story without selling-out to the mind-bending F/X.

And last (but not least), casting Robert Downey, Jr. as the billionaire-alcoholic-playboy "Tony Stark" was nothing short of cinematic genius (and Downey was robbed of an Oscar for his work in Chaplin, BTW, but we here at the Iddy's will give him an honorary one for his work in Back To School anyway).

Robert Downey, Jr. - it seems - has finally gotten his act together and has stated that he his "tired of working my butt off doing films nobody sees." (Amen to that, brother!)

Some heroes are flawed. Many heroes make mistakes. But that's not science fiction ...that's just reality. And it's how you rebound in the end, that matters most. Robert Downey, Jr. has a great power, and he needs to use it, right?

At least that's what we've always been told...

And with a summer movie season that features Speed Racer (um, that one looks a little shaky to me, folks), Batman: The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull and The X-Files: I Want To Believe looks like there is finally something OUT THERE to drag me away from the black tie, tuxedo and martini bar crowd!

Well, that ...and a few other things. This summer, Hollyweird is calling! Are you listening, Bloggywood? Carry on my wayward son...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Derek Anderson was abducted by space aliens! Brady Quinn is the bride of Bigfoot! And other Weakly Weird News on the 2008 NFL Draft...

"Oh, don't act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren't on any mercy mission, THIS TIME!" -- Lord Darth Vader to those oh-so-wacky upstarts with the so-called Rebel Alliance.

Okay, so I guess I should take a break from babbling on and on about comic book movies and start talking about sports for a spot - You know, in case I ever want to have sex again.

The NFL Draft is this Saturday and it is truly one of the highlights of my primitive social calendar. To be clear, it's much less of a televised sports spectacle for my close group of friends - and more of a "networking event for smartasses."

I mean, after the drama is gone from the selection of the No. 1 pick, the only thing left to do is eat, drink, and be merry - until, of course, some team makes THE inevitable draft day mistake that is so galactically stupid that we have no choice but to pounce on it like the comedy pumas that we are! You know, like the Miami Dolphins selecting a PUNT RETURNER with their first round draft pick over Brady Quinn (a punt returner, he says!) last year.

Be that as it may, I am not immune to the onslaught of taunts and catcalls from my friends on Draft Day by any means! Last year, my fellow Irish kinfolk and I were put in the corner of the living room and unfairly labeled "Brady's Ladies" - simply because we bravely chose to wear our Notre Dame gear in support of a certain quarterback now riding the bench for the Cleveland Browns.

But, hey, no one is going to compare me to Rosa Parks, are they?

So, whatever the case, I choose to take the high road and view the world like Isiah Thomas for my 2008 NFL Draft party: With complete ignorance and utter bliss! And while the Cleveland Browns are (allegedly) out of the first-round running in regards to actual draft picks, I have no vested interest in anything other than the Blazing Hot buffalo wings on the snack tray this year.

Now, that being said, let it also be noted that I can finally rest in freaking peace and enjoy this year's NFL Draft without the constant clamoring of Phil Savage and his "antics."

Let me be clear in case you are lost: Phil Savage is obviously the general manager of the Cleveland Browns - and he has done a great job of turning this franchise around, no doubt. BUT - if I have to listen to him screaming from the Cleveland rooftops ...just one more time ...about Derek Anderson's "status" with the Brownies ...well, frankly, I don't know what!

WE GET IT, PHIL: You are not trading Derek Anderson (or so he says!) on Draft Day under any circumstances (Wink, wink). Okay, yes - WE GET IT! Derek Anderson is the second-coming of Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas all rolled into one! Again, we get it. How dare almost everyone on the entire freaking planet we call "Earth" question your judgement just because you massively overpaid for Derek Anderson! (And you did!)

WHO is responsible for all these wild conspiracy theories anyway? The media, maybe? I mean, trade Derek Anderson on Draft Day? If this a joke ...well, I'm not laughing, mister! Where DOES the dreaded media get their "misinformation" regarding an overpaid Derek Anderson and a possible trade anyway?

The right side of their cerebral cortex, perhaps?

Honestly, I just don't understand this paranoia on NFL Draft Day ("What was that noise? Is somebody there? Is that you, Mr. Peepers? Maybe it's just all in my head...").

Yes, Phil Savage, we now completely understand that you are absolutely, positively, under no circumstances whatsoever, going to trade Derek Anderson for any offer out there on Draft Day. Yes, Brady Quinn may bomb. Yes, two quarterbacks are better than one in Browns Town (even if you did massively overpay for one of them!) - and any NFL team around the league, short of New England, would love to be in our situation right about now. We get it!

Holy Moses, can I puh-leeze enjoy my ice cold Belgian ale right about now without another round of roaring applause from the chorus of circus seals on the "will they or won't they?" Derek Anderson debate?

"Okay, Mr. (Savage), I understand ...We all have to play our little games." But in regards to rumors about the Browns trading up into the first round: Won't you at least pay the fee for my fishing license?

Like an ACME mallet to the head, we finally get it: YOU ARE NOT TRADING DEREK ANDERSON. PERIOD. END OF NON-STORY.

Are you...? Is it...?

Unless, of course, according to my shadowy sources, the Atlanta Falcons come-a-calling with their first round pick (No. 3 overall) and we can get running back Darren McFadden in return for Derek Anderson and his multiple bags of dollar signs, right?

Other than that I like everything else the Browns are doing (maybe). Now somebody toss me a sardine and a rubber ball to balance on my nose ("Arrh! Arrh! Arrh!") ...because I think I overpaid for this blog!

Happy Draft Day everybody!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wahoo! A Superman Museum in Cleveland, Edward R. Murrow sleeps with the fishes (Or How To Succeed in Journalism Without Really Trying)

Well, first off, I have returned from some far out adventures. Big whoop, right?

And no, to answer a few of your inquiries, I haven't been writing pithy sports columns for the local paper under the psuedonym, "George Bernard Shaw." (cough)

The last time I chatted you up, I mentioned my conversation(s) with the producer of the documentary, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters after he read my review on As it turns out, he contacted me directly via email a scant few hours after my posting. When I first noticed it in my inbox, I thought it was naturally going to be a scathing tongue-lashing - but it was just the opposite. In fact, it was great! And we ended up chatting it up more, a bit about the movie business and some of my misadventures in comedy.

Regardless, it was a great exchange, I learned a lot (about myself), and ...yada, yada, yada ...I now have an official contact in Hollywood! But that's a whole other deal altogether.

Good Night and Good Luck?

However, now, like Danny Ferry flying coach on a plane trip to L.A., I'm just a little confused about a few things... As far I know, I am the "mysterious stranger" who was supposed to bring a Superman museum to Cleveland - at least I've been trying for the last 2 years!

"What? Didn't YOU get the memo?"

Guess I shoulda-woulda-coulda tried harder, huh? Sure talk IS cheap - but, unfortunately, trying to get a Superman Museum built on the shores of Lake Erie IS NOT (Especially the original idea I had which called for a Superman museum or "Pop Hall" that would be the kissing cousin to the Rock Hall on the shores of Lake Erie). Too bad, how sad. I couldn't get it done at the time (and my excuses are my own).

What I DID manage to do was track down a close associate of the Siegel family (Yes, that Siegel family, of Siegel and Shuster fame) who stays in contact with the current family members - about some possible help (of whatever kind) for getting a Superman Museum built in Cleveland. He promised me last week he would pass along my message and contact information to them regarding this matter (but also informed me that they are quite busy with their litigation with DC Comics, so it might be awhile). Not bad for a "mild-mannered" blogger without press credentials, huh? (But, Great Caesar's Ghost, not as good as a "cub reporter" with a book deal either!)

Whatever the case, IF and WHEN I hear from the Siegel family (if, of course, no one has contacted them already), I will absolutely, positively, pass any-and-all information along to "the Powers that be" in Cleveland. Anything I can do to help the city in this matter works for me. Otherwise, I'm a day late and a dollar short, I guess. Either way, onward and upward, C-Town!

Maybe I'm much more suited watching from up on the ledge, huh?

And now, on to my troublesome Tribe, the Cleveland Indians. No, I'm not going to rag on them about their woeful record like I have in the past. First of all, I have come to love this team and I truly think Mark Shapiro is a damn good general manager (despite David Dellucci). And the ownership group of the Indians has made good on their promise to sign most of it's young talent to long-term deals (Grady Sizemore, Pronk, Fausto Carmona, etc.) so I can no longer fault them for that. And folks, let's get real, there is no way that the Tribe can afford to sign C.C. Sabathia unless he gives us a home town discount - that's just reality (Besides that, I think Fausto's the better pitcher).

But just because the Indians got close last year - is a guarantee of nothing this year. The fact that the national media has jumped on the Tribe bandwagon, in fact, makes me all the more squeamish.

Regardless, like the group of friends I was with Saturday night, this baseball team has brought us hours of summertime enjoyment over the years - and, if nothing else, it gives us a chance to get together, drink some Belgian brews (I'm like a Blue Moon pusher - and all my friends are now addicts!) and laugh it up while we watch the Tribe on glorious HD (The picture's so crystal clear, it's amazing - like you're standing on the flipping field right next to the players!).

And, if nothing else, you get a cheap laugh and spit-takes from your friends and associates when someone proclaims: "And, um, did Ryan Garko just flash us on HDTV???" Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. Ain't that right, Alfred?

Anyway, just thought I'd take a time-out from other projects I'm working on to say "What up, Boo?" to anyone out there in CyberTown who might care... Other than that, I guess all that's left to do now is ask Ari Gold if he can get me the plum lead role in "Aquaman 2" that I previously turned down because of "creative conflicts," huh? ("C'mon, Ari know you love my smile!"). Well, maybe not.

And, now, like Wile E. Coyote ...back to the ACME drawing board.