March 2009 Archives

Cute bunnies get deadly in 'Apocalypse Meow'

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BY CRAIG NEWMAN Sun-Times editor

I know just enough about Japanese culture to know I don't know much about Japanese culture. And every now and then something like trailer for the new animated film "Apocalypse Meow" -- that's the U.S. release name, the Japanese release is available on the trailer in a slightly less-friendly-for-work way -- comes along to reinforce that fact.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing this thing. A crack commando unit of cute and fuzzy bunnies seeking out an apparent group of what seems to be terrorist camels -- nice racial overtones -- with sniper rifles, explosives and extreme violence? OK, you got me. I mean, will it be in IMAX?

No, the only thing that bugs me is the cat angle. Where exactly are cats involved? The Chuck Norissesque bunny hit squad is cool. The dialogue -- all Japanese, no subtitles -- is awesome. But where do cats come into the picture? It is just a trailer, I suppose. And you know how they cut those things so you never really know what the movie is about. But come on!<

Anyway, this is promised winter of 2010 -- in Japan, anyway. Get locked and loaded, people! And bunnies!


One million people can't be wrong, right?

Unless, of course, they were visitors to a Web site promising to transmit ultraviolet rays through their computer screens, enabling you to tan from work or at home. When users click on the offer for five free minutes of tanning, they receive a message that UV exposure can kill.

The site is apparently so popular, the original site has either crashed or been taken down.

A British skin cancer charity set up the site two months ago to draw attention to the risks posed by tanning beds and other devices.

'I've got a bad feeling about this'

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Grant Wood's iconic "American Gothic" won't be back on view at the Art Institute until mid-April and Rene Magritte's surrealist masterpiece "Time Transfixed" will remain unseen until the museum's new Modern Wing opens in May 2009.

You'll just have to settle with a modern, pop culture twist on those two works for now. The Web site Something Awful has updated those masterpieces and several others not owned by the Art Institute -- with images
from the "Star Wars" films.

As envisioned by Something Awful, "American Gothic" now features Grand Moff Tarkin (Peter Cushing) as the pitchfork-wielding farmer. Magritte's image of a locomotive emerging from a fireplace instead features a Star Destroyer.

Our favorite has to be the one-eared Yoda subbing for Vincent Van Gogh in his self portrait with a pipe (held in a private collection). Just what happened to the little green fellow's ear? Perhaps that's a story for another "Star Wars" prequel.


-- Misha Davenport

Were there Adam Rich dolls? Grant Goodeve autographs?

032709aames.jpgFormer "Eight is Enough" and "Charles in Charge" star Willie Aames is apparently another victim of the recession. The cash-strapped star tried to sel off his belongings in suburban Kansas City.

Dozens showed up Thursday at a garage sale at his Olathe home, where Aames made deals with bargain-hunters and signed autographs.

Of course, if there's a celebrity plight, can the camera crew be far behind? Sure enough, a production crew filmed the sale for a TV show.

Aames filed for bankruptcy last year and his home is in foreclosure.

Items on sale included antiques, artwork, a piano, deer head mounts and TV and movie memorabilia.

Contributing: AP

What happened to Daryl Hannah's face?

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Valerie Bertinelli at 48 is on the cover of People magazine in a green bikini. Meanwhile, native Chicagoan Daryl Hannah at 48 is inside In Touch Weekly as an example of a plastic surgery don't.

"Daryl's makeover anguish," reads the headline, arrows pointing to Hannah's puffed-up face. It does appear that she had the same plastic surgeon as Priscilla Presley and Jocelyn Wildenstein (also known as "the Bride of Wildenstein" and "Catwoman") ... and a plastic surgeon in the magazine theorizes that she's had a face-lift, brow-lift and Botox.

Sometimes you just gotta have a Big Mac.

I'm sure we've all been there before: pleading with the McDonald's employee behind the counter for an Egg McMuffin past breakfast hours, asking your taxi driver to swing through the drive-thru, or even attempting to walk through the drive-thru past restaurant hours.

Am I right? Don't leave me hanging here...

Well, at least musician Pharrell Williams can relate. Earlier this week the member of hip-hop trio N.E.R.D was caught on tape getting creative for a McDonald's meal.