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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Battleship Prompts Other Board Game Adaptations

If you're as excited as we are about the new Battleship movie, you'll be pleased to know that Hollywood has taken note.  In the past six months the entertainment industry has been clamoring for any content that could share the same success that the toy company Hasbro has enjoyed in recent years.  If you're unfamiliar with Hasbro, look no further than the successful Transformers franchise.  Hasbro launched it as a toy, adapted it into a movie franchise, and then launched new toys to support those films.  In short: they are printing their own money and the inflation rate appears to be zero.  To date there are 4 Transformers movies (if we count the cartoon) and a seemingly unlimited number could follow*.  With that in mind, a few of the burgeoning off-shoot projects have started trickling out to the press.  Here's some of the most interesting projects we've become aware of:

Matel has launched a talent agency and signed Polly Pocket as their first A-list client.  We hear it's a seven year agreement at a mind-blowing 5% commission as opposed to the 10% that is standard payout for most actors.  The hope is to partner with Disney/Pixar to launch a franchise of Polly Pocket films.  We hear a script for the first installment is in the works and could be in production as early as September.  Naturally, Michael Bay is attached to direct.  We also hear that Matel has resurrected the toy company Worlds of Wonder and with it their best-selling Teddy Ruxpin who is fresh out of a stint at Promises Rehabilitation Facility in Malibu, California. 

Tyler Perry and his production company Tyler Perry Studios has purchased the rights to Guess Who? (The Mystery Face Game) from the Milton Bradley Company.  He plans to adapt the game into a murder mystery, though says any comparisons to the game and movie Clue are completely coincidental.  He also promises for a much more diverse cast in his version of the game story, having already attached Sidney Poitier to star.  When critics asked if that wouldn't defeat the purpose of the game movie (in the game you and a opponent trade questions based solely on physical appearance), Perry responded by saying that it was clear that the critics were superficial and probably racist.  Many of the critics agreed with his assessment but also cited that had nothing to do with what they were talking about. 

Milton Bradley also made another pair of sales officially cementing their place as the number two^ toy/movie company in the entertainment business today.  The first is a live-action adaptation of the popular board game Mall Madness.  What was once the mall with it all will now be the movie with it all.  John Travolta and Tom Cruise are set to star as a pair of girlfriends who get locked in a mall over night.  In order to escape the zombies security guard they have to visit seven stores and collect a variety of items.  Kevin James will reprise his role as Paul Blart in a terrible cross-over attempt that would even make the executives behind T.G.I.F cringe.  As to whether the actors will be in drag, Travolta commented that it actually takes him longer to, "get dressed like you men do."  Cruise could not be reached-around for comment.

Mouse Trap, the second of Milton-Bradley's sales, will prove to be a bit more difficult despite it selling for a steep price tag.  The script with "the most difficult set-up ever" will be written by Charlie Kauffman.  We hear George Clooney's Section Eight Production Company is attached to produce the film, though Clooney will not direct.  Michael Bay will.  We also hear that the team behind Wipe Out could be contributing the vast majority of the set, although this is all based on the assumption that Kaufman will take a literal interpretation of the material.  No release date has been set, but should the rumors be true that Universal Studios is co-financing the film you can expect a Mouse Trap ride to launch the weekend the film opens as well.

Whether or not these films will be commercially successful is hard to say.  If Hasbro's previous success is any indication, I'd say that Dec 21, 2012 end-of-the-world-thing is pretty spot on. 

*I fainted after writing this sentence.
^Yes.  That number two.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Linsanity Epidemic Prompts Vaccine Development

It's been called Linsanity, the Asian Crazies and Yellow Fever.  It's effects, however, are a bit harder to determine.  To this date no one can seem to figure out what type of virus it is, nor how many people it could infect.  All we know right now is that it came from a single carrier whose incubation period could have been more public: Jeremy Lin, a back up point guard with the New York Knickerbocker franchise in the National Basketball Association (or NBA as some refer to it).  In the eight weeks since his diagnosis thousands of New Yorkers have come into contact with the athlete, many of which became infected themselves.  The outbreak has become so widespread that authorities at the Center for Disease Control fear it may infect 1 in 5 American citizens (and presumably countless more from other countries). The race to create a vaccine is on and many allied nations have offered their help to curb what could be the worst worldwide outbreak in recorded history. 

To this date the problem still stands.  Eight weeks have passed and still there is no vaccine to speak of.  Many predict that if Lin doesn't carry the Knickerbockers to a NBA championship the disease may be eradicated organically, but authorities can't afford to take that chance.  With that in mind, they are asking everyone in this fair and fine country to do what they can to help.  If you see someone who is suffering from Linsanity, report it to the authorities.  Many police precincts will be set up with specialists that will help diagnose those carrying the disease.  They can also help educate you and your loved ones about the disease and what to expect when if you're infected.

If you're unfamiliar with the disease, take time to learn about it's effects.  The easiest way to do that is to watch Jeremy Lin on television (Authorities at this point are advising against watching him play in person for fear that it could lead to unnecessary exposure to the disease).  But if you don't find yourself with enough time to catch a game, keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs:

Blue tongue / Cold breath / Ice in hair
Bleeding from brain / Lack of boogers

Unprovoked fits of anger / Fart face

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Chevron Unveils Plans To Take Over Earth

Peak oil is a concept that has many experts in the automobile industry shaking in their boots.  The notion that we may have found all the oil there is to find has many companies searching for sustainable alternatives in order to stay in business.  Some have gravitated towards corn ethanol, others to electricity and natural gas, and even fuel cell technology which uses distilled water to create hydrogen propulsion.  Still, at this point, with all the hybrids and electric cars on the road, nothing has provided the solution that improves the world of the future.  That is until today, when Chevron announced they would start developing the most alternative of alternative fuel sources: human energy.

It's a fascinating concept, though hardly believable.  Many who are familiar with it liken it to science fiction, if only in part because they're not entirely sure how to wrap their heads around it.  In short, Chevron plans to take human beings and make them the fuel that drives civilization forward.  From a philosophical stand point, it's a beautiful notion: humans bonding with one another to propel our planet to an age where emissions are reduced to zero and heaven on earth actually exists.  But the truth of the matter is much more grim.

Have you ever seen one of those awful Peta videos that makes you never want to eat meat again?  Well we haven't because they freak us out and we like our meat.  But it's the same concept.  Chevron imagines a world where humans are sent up a giant treadmill and into a processing sluice.  From there our best parts will be disassembled from our bodies and used as fuel for future cars, homes, planes, and 'other things that require a lot of fuel like an alien spaceship'.

"The best part is," said Chevron's new CEO Blargok Gorgol during a phone interview this morning, "we'll use people who have just died so we'll be eliminating a lot of waste from Magnar 7-- I mean Earth.  Yes, that's it, Earth.  We're completing the cycle of life as you puny humans know it to be, returning the body to the ground so that it may be harvested once more."  As if that wasn't enough cause for alarm, Gorgol was quick to elaborate.  "We would only use those that died of natural causes of course...cancer, old age, photon laser guns, you know, the usual stuff." 

Though the technology will take approximately 20 years for scientists at Chevron to catch up with, they assured their investors that it's worth the initial captial.  "The bottom line is, money will be irrelevant when I rule earth.  So spend as much as you can now," Gorgol added before hanging up the phone.  The announcement has already sent oil behemoth British Petroleum into a frenzy, as many wonder if they'll be able to keep up in the years ahead before Earth's eventual demise.  If the stock market is any indication, it will be tough.  Chevron saw a 20% upswing in the value of it's shares by closing bell today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Starbucks To Offer Beer, Other Products

On the heels of their big announcement a few days ago, Starbucks will continue to expand their brand this year with many new innovations and products.  And it isn't just beer and wine that has people talking this time.  Starbucks has much bigger plans for 2012*, plans that make the end of the Mayan calendar look like the end of an advent calendar.  New locations, uniforms, products, and sales partnerships already have shareholders excited about the future of the company.  CEO Rick "Thanks a latte" Jones is the visionary behind this movement and is determined to get Starbucks into the 22nd century or die trying.

"My first idea was lederhosen," Jones said this morning at a regional press conference.  "But we thought better of that one quickly.  In my mind, I wanted a uniform that would help us sell more product as quickly as possible.  Ultimately we settled on a copy of the Hooters uniform, but with green instead of orange."  This strategy works 2 fold: firstly, if the Starbucks girl is hot, you get quite a show while you wait for your drink.  Secondly, if it's a dude, you'll be out of there faster than you can say, "is that frothed milk on your shorts or are you just absolutely disgusting?"  But here's the genius of that: the sooner you leave the sooner they can serve more customers.  This equates to more business and thus should earn the 'Bucks a few billion extra dollars at the end of the fiscal year.

Who does #2 work for?
But it's not just the clothes that are getting an overhaul.  Many locations are as well.  Some are even moving to more exotic and harder to reach locales so they can re-attract the hipster consumers they slowly lost over the past 20 years.  Jones was quick to comment.  "The thought was that if these places are harder to get to- harder to get in to- then it will become bragging rights for any patron who makes the trek.  That's why we're opening 5 locations in active volcanoes, 3 inside of elementary schools, and a bakers dozen inside barbershops (a place no hipster would be caught dead).  We're also very excited about our Afghanistan and Pakistan locations, a few of which may even be hidden in caves."  They may be on to something with this one, but that's still a fairly limited scope for a company that appears in over 900 countries world-wide.

Tastes just like chicken...and coffee!
"The next move was attracting customers in these new markets," Jones added.  "That's why we're rolling out a slew of new products and partnerships worldwide."  They apparently want to hit the ground running, as many of the plans were rolled out today.  In Peru, Starbucks has partnered with local alpaca farmers to offer the first Starbucks Livestock (Jones was quick to point out that the animals were all fair trade and locally grown, much like their coffee).  In China, Starbucks has plans for a stinky tofu latte, an attempt to tap in to the local culinary scene.  The same goes with Iceland, where Starbucks will soon be offering a "rotting fish herbal tea."  In Somalia, Starbucks plans to launch a pirate-themed drink, which some insiders say could contain rum.  And blood.  North Korean residents will be super stoked about the fact that they are finally allowed to have coffee.  And in India, a Ganges inspired service will allow residents to bring their deceased loved ones to the store to have them recycled into coffee. 

Though this is only the beginning of the many plans Starbucks has for 2012, it's clear that they are making a serious play to become one of the biggest companies in the world.  And in a time of financial uncertainty, it's nice to see a company finally take us for all we're worth.

*world domination

Friday, January 06, 2012

Glove Ramsay Officially Announces Candidacy for President

Boy*, there sure are a lot of idiots running for president, huh?  So many now that it's hard to tell who is actually running, and who just showed up at the wrong address and started talking into a microphone.  There was that black pizza guy.  He was good, he just didn't deliver in 30 minutes or less.  The tea bag lady from Bachman Turner Overdrive?  She certainly had her facts straight.  And Trump?  Let's just say you'd have toupee us to vote for him.  But while there are a few decent candidates in the GOP field, their hatred against gays notwithstanding, none of the candidates even come close to the newest horse in the race: Glove Ramsay.

Glove is a normal American, however his resume is anything but that.  He was born in 1744.  He built the first Ford car in 1906.  His daughter is Erin Brockovich.  His brother is scary celeb-u-chef Gordon Ramsay.  His three-legged dog once killed a home invader-- with a gun.  He single-handedly ended the recession...the '80s recession.  He killed Osama Bin Laden AND Saddam Hussein AND Elizabeth Taylor^.  He invented moveable type and the cotton gin.  The list goes on and on.  He's basically a love child of the Dos Equis guy and Chuck Norris.  In short: he is the quintessential American politician, and glad-handing is his middle name (his full name is Glove Glad-handing Ramsay, just so we're clear). 

His politics are not unlike yours.  He believes a deer should be allowed to marry another deer, so long as they aren't Asian.  He thinks the show Homeland really needs to step it up.  He wants free trade with Cuba.  He wants to close all public schools.  He agrees that healthcare should only be for the rich.  He likes tacos.  He collects 3 pensions and doesn't have a problem with being the 1%.  He thinks clean energy is for hippies.  And just when you think he can't get any better and more qualified, try this on for size: he promises to waive the waiting period for potential new gun owners!

Give this hand a job!
To further sweeten the pot, he has already announced a running mate as well.  Drawing inspiration from his infamous brother, Glove has called upon Mr. Hamburger Helper to serve as his vice president.  It's a fitting pair, one that the media will have their mitts all over in no time.  So far their marketing strategy has been flawless.  You really have to give them a hand.

Though we're still months away from the big dance, one thing is certain in 2012: anything is possible.  And if you want a better American you only have one thing to remember:

"No Glove, no love...for America."  (copyright 2012, Glove Ramsay for President, LLC.)

*Don't call me boy.
^In bowling that's called a turkey.