Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

Ugly Dolls to the Big Screen

June 17th, 2011 by Weber

class picture

We at Der Weber Haus have, for many years, been fans of The Ugly Dolls. I saw my first one, Ice Bat, at Chicago Comics back around 2002 or so. And when I got word that Kidzilla was on the way, I went ahead on put an order in for Babo. Babo is cool — kinda shy but plays well with Chauncey the monkey, Morris the rabbit, Lucky Dog, Sally Cat, and our resident twin elephants, Didi & Gogo.

Now comes word that the Uglies will be jumping to the Big Screen:

Illumination Entertainment, the company behind “Despicable Me”, is planning to turn the Uglydoll collection of toys and books into an animated feature film reports The Wrap.

David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim created the characters in 2001 and their company has sold a wide range of branded products, including dolls, books, calendars, clothing and coffee mugs.

“Little Fockers” scribe Larry Stuckey will write the screenplay while Christopher Meledandril will produce. The company is based at Universal which will distribute and hopes to turn into a major franchise.

The excitement of seeing the Dolls brought to life is cooled by the fact the first run at the script will be done by someone who penned the latest (and hopefully last) Focker film. Let’s hope Illumination Entertainment decides to steer clear of 3D CGI.

Posted in Gadgets and Toys, Movies | Comments Off on Ugly Dolls to the Big Screen

deg3d.biz 3D modeling — GET THIS GUY A JOB

May 13th, 2010 by Weber


(click here for full image)

Somebody help me out here. This guy, deg, AKA, “Douglas Graves”, has been doing 3D modeling for, I don’t know, a couple of weeks, maybe. He somehow got my email address and keeps sending me these updates of his work. It’s pretty and all, but it’s not like I can help him out. “Damn it, Jim, I’m a writer not a production designer!” Right?

So, check out his site then pass the goods around to decision makers and other industry hot shots who can pay Douglas. The idea is to keep him so busy he has no time to flood my mailbox with this stuff.


Posted in Art, Comics, Movies, Work For Hire | 1 Comment »

Password for “Kick-Ass and the Hopeless Stupidity of American Moviegoers”

May 10th, 2010 by Weber

think big copyright bradley weber

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a blog entry that is password protected but the writer gives away the password.


The reason is that the other post has some language and ideas that don’t exactly pass the “all ages” litmus test. It’s nothing too bad, just kind of shocking and a little more in-your-face than kids need to be reading. Adults, sure. Actually, it’s just the stuff adults should read and think about.

So, to make you responsible for your decision to read the article, it is accessible only by typing or pasting the following into the box:


This way, whoever reads it has done so actively. This way nobody can claim, “It was on my screen and I couldn’t look away in time to not have my feelings hurt.”



(p.s. — Since the next post down is password protected, there doesn’t seem to be a way for readers to add comments. If you’ve got something to say about the article, add the comments to this post. Yeah, it’s confusing, but if you’re reading this blog, you’re smart enough to figure it out. Right! bjw)

Posted in Editorials, Movies, Weridness | 1 Comment »

Protected: KICK-ASS and the Hopless Stupidity of American Moviegoers

May 10th, 2010 by Weber

[I’m warning you right now that this one has some language in it — language that, if you’re over the age of seven, you’ve probably said at least once today. And if you haven’t said it, then you’ve thought it or heard your parents say it, probably more than once today. But when they’re in print, words are suddenly different. Don’t ask me why. I’m a writer and I still don’t understand the physics of words (supposedly) having more meaning when they’re on the page. Anyway, if you’re under the age of 18 or easily offended, you’ll likely want to skip this one. Just sayin’. bjw]

Why so stupid?

There’s one in every crowd. The guy who hands you back the fast food garbage you dumped in the Home Depot parking lot. The guy who yells in the theater for you to put away your goddamned cell phone and watch the movie. The guy who whips a rock at your car because you just blew the stop sign while he was walking his kid across the street.

Like I said: There’s one in every crowd.

Usually, it’s me.


It’d been a long Sunday: the only worthwhile things being time spent with the wife and kid, pricing bookcases for the new office, and some barbeque and strange conversation at a friend’s house. After that, it was 8:30pm and I was at loose ends. The local Googolplex was showing KICK-ASS at 8:45. I snagged a twenty and headed out the door.

My cell phone and watch were left home on purpose, so I had no idea what time it was when the woman tried to sneak in with the little boy. This was right around the part where Kick-Ass first meets up with the Red Mist in the alley. The kid sits one over from me; she’s on his left. The kid is so small he’s practically swallowed by the seat.

I saw them come in, fresh from either DIARY OF A WIMPY KID or HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. The kid was oblivious. She was furtive, clearly new at trying to get away with something and failing hard. It makes no difference who you are; we’ve all done it, all failed to be invisible. Whether it’s your first crack at theater-hopping, shoplifting porn or buying that first box of condoms, we all act the same way and it’s easy to spot.

As God as my witness, I wanted to let it go.

Not that this woman needed to be Tased for sneaking into a movie. Hell, no. Except for under–paid theater managers and over–paid studio executives, nobody gives a shit about that kind of thing because whether anybody is in the theater or not, the movie still runs. So, as long as she stayed off her phone and the kid kept his yap shut, I would count myself among the careless nobodies.

But she brought this little, little kid to this particular movie. This stupid, stupid woman, whose knowledge of the film was likely gleaned from a fast glance at the movie poster, and this kid, no doubt tripping on Mountain Dew and Twizzler Bites, who is geeked to be up past his bedtime on a school night and sneaking into a superhero movie. And who could blame him?

The thing is, I know what’s coming. I’d never read the comics, but had seen enough reviews to know how bad it would be. That I paid ten bucks to see this piece of crap is my problem, my choice. But this kid, he doesn’t have a choice, doesn’t know he has a choice. Even if he did know, he’d still vote to stay. Because it’s a superhero movie.

And I think about the people I know –– personally know –– who let their five- and six- and seven-year-olds watch SPIDER–MAN 3, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and THE DARK KNIGHT, over and over and over. Especially THE DARK KNIGHT. Because to most parents, the line between THE INCREDIBLES and THE DARK KNIGHT doesn’t exist. Because they are superhero movies.

One of these days, I’m going hit my brakes while the wrong guy tailgates me. One of these days, I’ll tell the wrong woman “you’re welcome” when she fails to smile, make friendly eye contact, say “thank you” while I hold the door open for her. One of these days, I’m going to tell the wrong guy that if he and his buddies want to talk they should go to Denny’s –– otherwise they need to shut up and watch the movie. One of these days, I’m going to get slapped around, have a cigarette put out in my face, get stabbed. Get shot.

One of these days, I’m going to mind my own business.

I lean over the empty seat. I tell the lady, “You know this rated R, right?”

“Oh. It is?” she asks, and means it.


I turn to the kid. “Hey, pal. How old are you?”

He holds up four fingers, says he’s three. His eyes never leave the screen.

“He’s four,” she smiles.

I say, “Listen, lady. They already showed a little girl get shot in the chest by her father and it’s only going to get worse. You need to get him the hell out of here. Like, now.”

She says, “Oh,” and starts tugging a jacket on her mesmerized kid. “OK. Thanks.”

“You know the best way to thank me? Read the reviews before you take your kid to the movies. Because shit like this will fuck him up fast. Now beat it before they start having sex and chopping off heads.”

She hustled that kid out with a lot less furtive than she came in with.

One of these days, I’m going to Hell.

–– Chicago, May 2010

Posted in Editorials, Movies, Weridness | Comments Off on Protected: KICK-ASS and the Hopless Stupidity of American Moviegoers

New Process Animates Night Of The Living Dead

March 3rd, 2009 by Weber

click to view detail

Over at LinkedIn‘s Illustrati group, a gentleman by the name of Christopher Panzner was asking for feedback on his new animation process. Basically, it takes rotoscoping (drawing over live-action performances) to a new level. The first feature getting the Re:Naissance treatment is none other than Romero’s original Night Of The Living Dead.

From Mr. Panzner’s Wikipedia entry: “For the first time ever in the 100-year history of animation, Re:Naissance is inverting the adaptation process by taking existing live-action films and faithfully reproducing them in animation, in a totally original graphic style unique to each film.”

While there’s no solid data on a release date, the Eye For Film site has a nice feature on it.

There are also some examples of the process on good ol’ YouTube. Well worth a look.


Posted in Movies, Zombies | Comments Off on New Process Animates Night Of The Living Dead


May 1st, 2008 by Weber

(Tried embedding both of these for your viewing pleasure, but their sizing messed with our site format, so you’ll have to click-to-view. Bibbity-bobbity-boo-hoo-hoo.)

Click here, watch the fun, then — BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

Black20.com‘s hilarious ‘300 PG’ trailer has been getting quite a bit of play here at the Lab, and in the many homes and offices of the people we’ve infected shared it with. It takes a couple of viewings to catch everything, but it’s worth the time.

Same for their spot-on, reductum ad absurdum product placement remix of the Spider-Man 3 trailer.

Easily the best two minutes and twenty-nine seconds of your workday.

Click here for more mouth-watering fun


(Eat Twix)

Posted in Movies, Weridness | 2 Comments »

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Sell-Outs

April 25th, 2008 by Weber


(click here for larger)

Anybody who’s talked to me for more than 45 seconds will tell you that I can be a pretty harsh critic. This is especially true of comic books and movies. Bring up either topic and settle in for some serious un-varnished truthifying about the sorry state of mainstream storytelling in both industries.

For years, these two have been traveling hand-in-hand down the deeply rutted road to Stupidsville, riding first-class atop bales of crisp cash, picked fresh and green from consumer pockets.

The stories these clowns have been feeding the public are tantamount to narrative fast food — a steady diet high in saturated schmaltz and saccharine full of empty promises, wasted time, and perfect for replacing mental muscle with synaptic flab.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Editorials, Movies | 8 Comments »

I AM BORING (Movie Review)

December 17th, 2007 by Weber


Caught a midnight IMAX show last Thursday of the new Will Smith movie, I AM LEGEND.

Walking out of the theater afterward, my instant review was, “Better than expected.” Further consideration prompts me to re-label the film I AM BORING.

It never really got going.

Yes, the abandoned NY looked great, but the only moment of real tension was when Smith went looking for his dog. With all the psychological issues of being the last man alive, the underdeveloped plot lines regarding the zombie/vampire community, I AM LEGEND represents yet another property that should have been made into a 13-episode season on HBO or Showtime.

And all the belabored symbolism paralleling Smith and Shrek — yikes.

Your best bet to see I AM LEGEND is to wait for it to hit the 2nd-run houses or maybe even DVD.

Posted in Movies | 1 Comment »

The Amazing Coincidence of Solomon Kane

October 2nd, 2007 by Weber


Last night before bed and this morning at breakfast, I was reading the 2004 Del Rey edition of The Savage Tales Of Solomon Kane, wondering why someone hasn’t put the sword-wielding Puritan on the big screen.

(The title character of Steven Sommers’ 2004 crapfest Van Helsing seemed to have been modeled after Kane (Slouch hat? Check. Sword? Check. Religious background? Check. Dark, flashing eyes and surly attitude? Double-check.), but it was a very poor job and not worthy of the comparison.)

Then I find this tidbit at Dark Horizons:

James Purefoy (HBO’s “Rome”) has been cast as the titular puritan swordsman in Davis Films “Solomon Kane,” based on the stories of Robert E. Howard (“Conan the Barbarian”).

Kane is a 16th century soldier who learns that his brutal and cruel actions have damned him but is determined to redeem himself by living peaceably.

But he finds himself dragged out of retirement for a fight against evil. The first in a planned series of three movies, Michael J. Bassett (“Deathwatch”) will direct from his own script.

Shooting begins later this year.

Well, how about that. Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide.

As for the Solomon Kane movie, I’ll probably catch it. He’s a good character with lots of cinematic potential. I’m surprised he hasn’t been made into an HBO or Showtime series.

Here’s hoping the director can do Kane justice. I can’t say I’ve seen any of Bassett’s work. His 2002 film Deathwatch has just been moved to the top of my Netflix queue.

Posted in Book Reviews, Editorials, Movies | Comments Off on The Amazing Coincidence of Solomon Kane

1:57 to Stinksville (Movie Review)

September 27th, 2007 by Weber

This dude in the Rocketeer jacket? A mere supporting character. Can you say, “bait and switch”?

The first thing I did when I came home from seeing 3:10 To Yuma was take a shower — to get rid of the stink.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Movies | Comments Off on 1:57 to Stinksville (Movie Review)

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