Screen Junkies » Dick Tracy Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Sat, 16 Aug 2014 20:07:56 +0000 en hourly 1 6 Comic Book Adaptations That Deserve A Do-Over Thu, 06 Sep 2012 17:23:55 +0000 Penn Collins Y'all Muthaf*ckers Act Like You Forgot About Dre.

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Comic book movies are hit or miss. That probably goes without saying, but every list article like this needs an introduction, and that was mine. The sentence after that demonstrates playful self-awareness, and this sentence is just taking up space.

The “miss” comic book films are more often than not the fault of the film team, because it’s not like comic books are amazing source material. They’re basically high-level stories about men or boys in costumes that solve cities from men who somehow became lizard men. Basically.

However, some are better than that, and as such, deserve better adaptations. These are those. Read.

Dick Tracy

Let me start off by saying that I liked Dick Tracy a lot. I thought that Warren Beatty was perfect for the role, and the cartoony production was terrific in everything from the performances to the costumes to the set design.

But it could have gone another direction entirely and been reminiscent of Nolan’s Batman. The words “gritty reboot” send a goddamn chill down my spine because they’re bandied about so readily on tired projects. But Dick Tracy has all the elements of film noir but in a fashion accessible to the masses. It could have been a very powerful film had it taken a more earnest approach.

Not because the original failed, but because it went so surely in another direction, I think DT is due for an RM.

RM stands for remake, but having to explain all this to you is negating the timesaving properties of the abbreviation. Shit.

The Phantom

I don’t know The Phantom from a hole in the ground, but I do know that I sure like talking about Billy Zane, so The Phantom makes the list. The Phantom harkens back to the age of radio, offering a different type of hero and different type of story.

A hero who existed in a simpler time offers plenty of potential both as a straightforward action flick or as a tongue-in-cheek comedy a la Starsky and Hutch. Also, if you’re going to include Zane in a film, put the spotlight on Zane. I just looked up “zany” in a dictionary I wrote myself, and it said, “Of or pertaining to the style and methods of Billy Zane.

It should be zanier. Like, Zoolander zany. He’s the most ridiculous person in the world. Don’t cover him in a damn mask. It’s disrespectful.

Judge Dredd

Yes, Dredd‘s remake hits theaters September 21st. And it deserves it not only because Dredd is a cool character, but also because the first iteration had both Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider. Ouch.

I’m hoping this new version does well and spawns some sequels, because maybe a Friday the 13th-style series of movies will cause us to forget the faulty original that started it all.

This has to happen because…

I am the law.


I’m not saying Steel is a really good comic book character or story. It’s not really. But it’s not “Shaquille O’Neal” bad. Shaq’s public infatuation over Superman reportedly helped get him the gig as this DC hero who appears to be wearing a very, very cheap Halloween costume.

Also, in case you guys didn’t know, Shaq is a terrible actor. For real. It deserves at least a Damon Wayans, and at most a Donald Glover. In fact, most every superhero on this list would benefit from the inclusion of some Glover.


I don’t want to say Robin Williams makes everything worse, but when Robert Altman (!) signed him up for Popeye, he was basically getting an actual cartoon character to play a fictional cartoon character. And it didn’t go well. It didn’t appeal to the masses, and it wasn’t weird enough to be a cult hit. It was like Toys, which also featured Robin Williams, which is to say that it was unremarkably bad.

I mean, if you’re going to make Popeye, at least fail spectacularly. Let’s give it to Lars Von Trier and make Michael Bay assistant director. That should be good for…something.

The Rocketeer

Disney thought this comic deserved a second chance, because they’re giving her the ole’ reboot effective a couple months ago. Not bad.

To be fair, I always liked The Rocketeer. I thought Timothy Dalton was an awesome Nazi, I loved the Art Deco stylized nature of the film, and Paul Sorvino played a mobster that teamed up with the G-Men against the Nazis. All upside.

I also enjoyed the original Rocketeer’s relative anonymity.

But, the special effects were pretty weak, and if you’re going to make a movie about a guy with a special jetpack, let’s not skimp in that arena, ok?

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‘Best Original Song’: The Other Way To Win An Oscar Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:23:39 +0000 Penn Collins What do Berlin, Three 6 Mafia, Madonna, Isaac Hayes, Eminem, and Phil Collins have in common? Not much at all.

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While there are many Oscar controversies regarding who deserved what award or nomination, these conversations normally exist at least in the context of filmmaking. This is not usually the case with the Best Original Song recipients. Sure, sometimes the discussion will veer towards the song’s role in a scene or film, but for the most part, the award seems almost entirely divorced from the film itself, which is fine, because the song performances at the ceremony are my favorite part of the show. What’s that? They don’t do those any more?

I hate the Oscars so much.

8 Mile – “Lose Yourself”

One of the best singles of the 2000’s was certainly deserving of all the acclaim it got, which I can also say about its film, 8 Mile, only because 8 Mile got virtually no acclaim. What served as a fictionalized Eminem biopic fell flat with both audiences and critics alike, but the song was able to transcend, well, everything and get stuck in our heads for the next year or so.

“If you had one shot…one opportunity…”

Top Gun – “Take My Breath Away”

I wish there was an Oscars Jr. ceremony for films that people love but they know are no good. Top Gun would have been like Silence of the Lambs at that ceremony. Here, we get a cheeseball anthem to a cheeseball film taking home a Best Original Song Oscar, which is funny, because it’s hard to imagine this song winning Best Anything. The band that wrote and sang it was Berlin, and the reason you haven’t heard anything else from them is that they’re not very good. But the siren call of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis making silhouetted love to this jam was too good for the voters to pass up. And who can blame them? They’re only human.

Hustle and Flow – “It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp”

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor to present to you…Academy Award winners Three 6 Mafia.

I’m glad that a year after they won this award, Martin Scorsese was able to catch up with them by winning an Oscar of his own. Now, much to his relief, people will mention Scorsese and Three 6 Mafia in the same breath.

Three 6 Mafia almost certainly will go down in history as the least likely Oscar winners of all time. Serisously, click above and enjoy their awesome Oscar performance.

Dick Tracy – “Sooner or Later, I Always Get My Man”

Strangely enough, this comic-book film (that actually did look like a comic book) boasted an all-star cast and was nominated for seven awards, taking home three, including best song for “Sooner or Later, I Always Get My Man,” which was written by Stephen Sondheim and performed by Madonna (who also starred in the film as Breathless Mahoney). The film itself was pretty lackluster, as most films that star Madonna are, and the song wasn’t much better, but it was Madonna performing a song in the context of the film, so the law said it had to be nominated and chosen. And there you go.

Tarzan – “You’ll Be In My Heart”

Tarzan and Phil Collins. A match made in the darkest depths of my hell. Adding to the travesty of this selection is that “Blame Canada” from South Park was nominated, which would have been the pick of the decade, and there’s no end to my ire.

I mean, I like 1980’s Phil Collins. I do not like 1990’s Phil Collins, who came in with Genesis’ “We Can’t Dance” and ended the decade with a song called “You’ll Be In My Heart” from the damn Tarzan soundtrack.

Shaft – “The Theme from Shaft”

This song is awesome, but it’s just hilarious that this borderline blaxploitation film got Academy recognition. It was written by Isaac Hayes, who barks out “Shut yo mouth!” and informs us that John Shaft does, in fact, deliver ten times out of ten. So let’s put that issue to rest right now, okay?

The song walks a line between funk and a porn score in such a delightful way that I’m shocked the Academy members allowed themselves to like it to such an extent that they would allow the word “shaft” to be spoken on their hallowed stage. The 1971 Academy gets props from me, but the 1972 Academy squandered that goodwill by awarding Best Song to some crappy ditty from The Poseidon Adventure.

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Court Allows Warren Beatty To Keep Dicking Around With Dick Tracy Sat, 26 Mar 2011 03:33:37 +0000 Geoffrey Golden Beatty won a court case, so he gets to keep the rights to Dick Tracy. Will he ignore them for another couple of decades?

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Hey, every cartoon property is getting a movie. Why not Dick Tracy? It has name recognition, but not enough hardcore fanboys to adequately pester a filmmaker who will potentially ruin the franchise. Sounds like a carefree ride to the reboot money bank for whoever has the rights. Well, that’s the problem.

Actor Warren Beatty got the rights to the Pruneface-fighting comic strip detective from Tribune Media Services back in 1985, with the stipulation that if he didn’t utilize the rights (make a TV show or movie) for “a certain period of time,” the rights would revert back to Tribune. Then he made that movie with Madonna in 1990, Dick Something, and then ignored the property for 18 years – until Tribune reminded him a few years ago that he had to use the rights or lose ‘em.

So Beatty started making a Dick Tracy TV special in 2008, but it never was finished and never aired. Tribune was like, “that totally doesn’t count, asshole.” But U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson told Tribune they were the assholes, because Beatty gets to keep the rights.

So what’ll he do with the rights to Dick Tracy now? Eh, probably ignore them for another decade or two. Who cares? (Hollywood Reporter)

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TV Commericals of the ‘Mad Men’ Age Wed, 19 Aug 2009 17:00:00 +0000 Reza F. Hey there, modern gentlemen of the 1960s!  Have you heard what's all the rage in prime time entertainment fifty years from now?  "Mad Men," that's what!  Why, on Sunday, 8/17/2009 (last sunday for us future folk), the Season 3 premiere enjoyed 2.8 million viewers.  And that's basic cable, friend!  What's basic cable you ask? Why, it's something that the entertainment industry will invent years from your time to dump off all the hooey, the likes with which respectable sponsors like Mutual of Omaha would never dare associate!   

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Hey there, modern gentlemen of the 1960s!  Have you heard what’s all the rage in prime time entertainment fifty years from now?  "Mad Men," that’s what!  Why, on Sunday, 8/17/2009 (last sunday for us future folk), the Season 3 premiere enjoyed 2.8 million viewers.  And that’s basic cable, friend!  What’s basic cable you ask? Why, it’s something that the entertainment industry will invent years from your time to dump off all the hooey, the likes with which respectable sponsors like Mutual of Omaha would never dare associate! 


Nonetheless, "Mad Men" viewership is nothing to scoff at (like that Nixon fellow’s campaign).  And we here at Screen Junkies (tawdry moniker, but perfectly acceptable in 2009) have compiled for you an amalgamation of top-notch advertising of the "Mad Men" age!  


So sit back, grab your favorite snifter and a smoke (or twenty), and have that hot toddy wife of yours put your slippers on for you.  After all, that’s what she’s there for.  And while you’re at it, might we suggest telling the missus to go make you a savory Spam™ sandwich while she’s thinking about it.  These ads will entertain you for hours.  Even if you’re "colored."  Yes, you’re allowed to look at the internet, too.  It’s a long story.  This really good speaker guy gets shot, and this lady on a bus makes a big deal about the seating chart… and then waaaay later this sort of black guy becomes Presid- you know what?  We said too much already.  You’ll just have to see for yourself. 



Looking to relax with a shaky, quaky treat? Well then make like this little Buddhahead and grab yourself a bowl of jiggly, giggly J-E-L-L-O!! Yes, Jell-O™; the shivering, quivering dessert that will be sure to please. Just grab yourself a spoon and you’re good! J-E-L-LO, made with gelatin; the groovy, hoovy snack. That’s right! It’s made with horse hooves!! Now available in GRAPE!




The Game of LIFE™


Oh, Life! Everyone has to worry about gambling with their livelihood on the stock market, actually PAYING for an Ivy League education, the poor farm (hint: it’s humiliating) and exacting revenge.  Well, everyone else except that blonde, blue-eyed caucasian boy. He lives on Millionaire Acres.  But guess what? That’s life. 




Dick Tracy Cop Mobile™

All of the neighborhood boys want to come play at my house.  Do you know why? Because I have the Dick Tracy Cop Mobile™.  It’s the only mechanical toy car of its kind, thanks to a two-foot stick that i use to hit one of two other sticks mounted to the car, in order to make it move forward or backward.  It’s like magic, because I don’t have to use my hand to flick the sticks on the car.  That’s 1950s nonsense.  My friends like to hit me with the stick sometimes.  And even though it hurts like the dickens, it’s pain I’m willing to endure because if the fellas didn’t come over, all I would have are topless photos of my aunt to masturbate to.




Gilbert Toys

Gilbert Toys. Are they born from the company’s vast joy towards and empathy for America’s adolescents?  Or do they come from the tears of a pantomime clown at Auschwitz who traded certain death for a job coaxing children into ovens?  We’re not telling.  Because it’s a secret.  And secrets are meant to be kept… or burned.  Just like that clown eventually did to himself out of regret.





Gaylord the Dog™

Are those pesky children of yours constantly nagging you for a new puppy? Have your past pets passed on from malnourishment?  Well look no further than Gaylord, the Walking Bassett Hound! Entertain your emotionless children for hours with this magnificently hypnotizing mechanical marvel, and give yourself much needed alone time. Yes, you’ll be able to kick back and bake cookies, or lose yourself in a rag of sweet-smelling ether in peace and quiet, thanks to Gaylord’s whisper-quiet gingerly gait! (Take a gander at this demonstration reel, starting at 3:23 if you need to see it for yourself.) Gaylord is the perfect addition to any family who values the power of walking a straight and narrow line and then shutting off entirely when everyone else is done with you.  From The Ideal Toy Corporation! 




The Flintstones™ are for Winston Cigarettes


Hey kids! Hope you enjoyed tonight’s episode of "The Flintstones." That Dino sure gets into some jams, eh?! PARENTS, PLEASE LEAVE THE ROOM. Psst kids, you wanna look cool don’t you? Why not steal one of your dad’s flavorful Winston cigarettes? You’ll be the envy of the block when you puff on that golden, filtered flavor. It’s specially-processed for good flavor and tastes good like a cigarette should. And don’t worry about any harsh side-effects. Remember doctors recommend smoking.




United Airlines™

Fellas, the old lady bugging you every time you head out of town for a big business trip? Are you tired of the leaving the missus behind while you smoke cigars and eat steaks with the boys? Well, thanks to United now you can ‘take them along’! That’s right. You can go shopping with the little lady instead of playing golf. What’s that? No qualms about leaving the missus? Then bring the skirt you’ve been seeing on the side. We won’t tell.* United. We don’t cock-block.


*Yes we will.





We’ve all been there. Another skuzzy cup of coffee from your loving spouse who worships the ground you walk on. What to do? Well, first you berate the mindless dullard of course. Then she’ll consult with her over-sexed friend who will tell her to try Instant Folger’s. Once she serves it to you, reward her with a night of bedroom bliss. You know what we mean. With the lights on. Instant Folgers. Tastes good as fresh-perked.


Other Junk You Might Like:

Prosper With Cool Spock Bobblehead

Jessica Canizales Photos

8 New ‘Basterds’ Clips


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