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10 Things I Learned This Week

Megan Fox, zombies, Megan Fox, roller derbies and Michael Bay.

1. The History of Roller Movies Goes Way Beyond “Whip It”
From James Caan skating for his life in “Rollerball” to Raquel Welch doing similar knock ‘em down duties in “Kansas City Bomber,” movies about people on eight wheels have a rich and varied history. Charlie Chaplin got his skates on not only in “Modern Times” but also 20 years earlier in “The Rink” while Missy Piggy took out a mugger on borrowed wheels in “Muppets Take Manhattan.” And there are many, many more.

Referring to one’s own article is self-indulgent? True, but sometimes that’s just how I, er, roll.

2. Zombies And Theme Parks – Been There!
This week’s “Zombieland” sees kids and Woody Harrelson splitting undead heads in a theme park in post-zombie apocalypse. You’d think as a subject it might be a total original. Well, not entirely. I found that 1988’s Aussie movie “Zombie Brigade” combined the two – a proposed theme park development and reanimated Australian soldiers. And it threw in vampirism for good measure! Referring to one’s own article is self indulgent? True, but sometimes they come back.

3. Megan Fox Is a Bimbo! Megan Fox Is a Good Sport!
In a video shoot for “Esquire” we see a day in the life of Megan Fox. Which involves lolling around in next to nothing, drinking beer, before a little narcissism and then heading out to party. Much better is this awesome interview that subverts such expectations. Megan Fox with a bag on her head? Funniest thing I’ve seen her do. Apart from some of that “Transformers: Revenge Of Fallen” dialogue of course.

4. Doc Brown And The Terminator
“Terminator: Salvation” was another one of this year’s missed opportunities for great sci-fi. Happily, the folks at www.howitshouldhaveended.com have come up with a much more satisfying conclusion to the series — which incorporates Doc Brown, Marty McFly and the gang from “Back to the Future.” It’s very clever, somehow fits together and is based on a sound knowledge of the conundrum at the heart of “Terminator” — all things that McG could not claim.

5. “Blair Witch Re-Projected”
Wow, it is kinda amazing that “The Blair Witch Project” wasn’t “rebooted” for its 10th anniversary this year. But now, perhaps as a result of the growing buzz for spiritual successor “Paranormal Activity,” a “Blair Witch” sequel is apparently in the works. So says BloodyDisgusting in a cryptic announcement declaring such a, er, project is to be greenlit soon. We already had the diabolical “Book Of Shadows” sequel to “Witch,” which we didn’t need. And how much of a sequel can it be? Are we gonna bring back the annoying bickering trio? Will the girl wipe her nose this time?

6. David Lynch Is Working This Weekend!
“This weekend I will be working on a gun, two red gloves, and a girl in a window” says his Tweet of a few hours ago. So, a painting? An installation? Has he taken to window dressing a guns-for-ladies store in Alaska? Still, good that he’s getting to work, because he has spent a lot of time this week contemplating his fish – and its deficiencies. To wit, or at least, to tweet: “My fish can't swim like a fish, but it stinks like a fish.” Thanks, http://twitter.com/DAVID_LYNCH

7. “Nightmare” May Be Just That.
There are four words scarier than “From producer Michael Bay,”* so we can we can thankful for small mercies when it comes to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” reboot. This — yawn — provides that essential back-story for Freddie Krueger blah blah that we didn’t get simply from revealing dialogue in the original. Just what is it with Jackie Earle Haley and child abuse? He was the offender in “Little Children,” the avenger in “Watchmen” and now he’s kinda both here. It’s only a matter of time before the YouTube mash-up of Haley’s greatest hits.

*”A Michael Bay Film”

8. Driving Us Crazies
In this week’s other four menacing metal spikes news, there’s this trailer for the remake of George A. Romero’s neglected chiller “The Crazies” — which concludes with a pitchfork dragged menacingly. It doesn’t look terrible, but the insane townsfolk look — snore — like they’re straying over into zombie-ism. And why didn’t they use “From the director of Sahara” to promote Breck Eisner being in charge? And let’s not ignore the Olyphant in the room — that “Mad World” the song is owned by “Donnie Darko” the movie and using it here just makes you yearn for some smart, original sci-fi thrills.


9. "2012" Brings the Ruckus — and Some Cusack Magic
A two-minute clip from “2012” this week was apparently seen by 110 million Americans when it screened on every TV in America simultaneously … just like a real emergency broadcast! “California is going down!” might just be the best John Cusack line since “I mean I could be some crazed slime ball. I mean a real deranged, violent psycho. You know what I mean? I mean a guy who would rip out your heart and eat it.”

10. Kodi Smit-McPhee
“Let Me In” sounds to me like a totally unnecessary remake of last year’s brilliant Swedish horror-drama “Let the Right One In.” But if they’re gonna do it, I’m glad they’ve cast Aussie boy wonder Kodi Smit-McPhee in the lead. He was a knockout in his screen debut, Eric Bana’s directing bow, “Romulus, My Father,” and has nothing but rave reviews for “The Road.” I interviewed him a few months back on the set of his latest, “Matching Jack,” and he’s smart, thoughtful and has his head screwed on right. He will be a big star, methinks.