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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