Big Hitter: 2012, Avatar's Budget, Seann William Scott, and a Seattle New Moon Contest

What I'm Seeing This Week2012, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Youth in Revolt. I'm oddly excited for all three of these films, though for wildly divergent reasons. 2012 looks to be either a heap of fun or an absolute disaster (which could be fun). Fantastic Mr. Fox is another chance to peek inside Wes Anderson's brain, a fascinating and worthwhile cinematic vacation. Youth in Revolt was one of my favorite books of the past decade, and I think Michael Cera is the perfect Nick Twisp. So I'm hopeful!

What I Saw Last Week

A Chistmas Carol, The Box, and Pirate Radio. I can't talk about the third one until the Friday release but I reviewed Christmas Carol and The Box here and here. You really should see The Box if you get a chance, not so much for what's presented onscreen, but rather for the conversations you'll have afterward. Like Knowing and Mulholland Drive it makes you say "Hmmmm."

I also would have given The Men Who Stare at Goats a slightly lower grade, a C or C+; I've got to ding it for a complete lack of cohesion. It has nice moments, but no connective tissue.


src="" alt="Email Address" width="200" height="34" align="right" hspace="6"/>Live in Seattle? Want to see New Moon a few days early, for free, and at The Cinerama? Email me two wacky things you'd do to hear Edward's voice again. I'll accept motorcycle riding and cliff diving, but original ideas have a better chance of winning the tickets! And yes, if you win, you'll get to bring a friend or two.

Today's Movie Stories on the Internets

The New York Times is throwing around the "half a billion dollar" budget number for Avatar. I'm of two minds regarding budgets. First off, I think we set our expectations based upon them, which is unfair to both the art and the artists. However, where I do get personally concerned about budgets is the sustainability factor. Giving $150 million to Zemeckis to make A Christmas Carol isn't a sustainable choice if the studios want to survive. The money, to put it very simply, could have been spent in a more interesting manner. I'd rather see a dozen films in the $30-$40 million range than four monstrosities. And really, can't you do an awful lot with $30 million these days?

src="" alt="Seann William Scott" width="162" height="221" align="right" hspace="6"/>Deep Thought of the Week

Could Seann William Scott be the most underrated comedic actor of the decade? It seems preposterous on the face of it, I know, but consider the body of work:

Road Trip (Breakthrough film for Todd Phillips)

Dude, Where's My Car (wildly underrated)

Old School (he's in the scene where Will Ferrell shoots himself in the neck with a tranq dart)

The Rundown (wildly underrated)

Ice Age & Ice Age 2 (He voiced Crash, the wacky possum)

Role Models (wildly underrated)

Yes, there were bombs I omitted from the record, but there's no one else out there with the high notes of Seann William Scott who is not a household name. People know Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell. Almost no one has heard of Seann William Scott, and yet there he is, in some of the stronger comedies of the decade. Could it be that people are holding that extra N in Seann against him?

Early Box Office Take

2012 is going to make huge money, the public is starved for a big movie. I could see $70 million, easy.

Videos For You

It's tough to find an official copy of this, but here's Al Pacino checking his bank account balance.

Best Al Pacino Impression Yet

Lastly, a very strong cover of "Beat It" from Pomplamoose.

VMAs 2018