Tuesday, August 29, 2006

And The Winners Were...

Since I was dumb enough to write this post, I suppose I should be dumb enough to write a follow-up.

Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)
So, South Park didn't win. But neither did Family Guy, which is a win in my book.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Again with the Denis Leary thing.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Alan Alda playing a Republican is a stretch worthy enough of an Emmy.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Malcolm in the Middle, a show that jumped the shark when all the kids turned 30, won more Emmys than Arrested Development. Go figure.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Am I the only one that thought The Sopranos sucked this year? Apparently, Emmy voters didn't.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
You can have success post-Seinfeld. Things are looking up for Jason Alexander.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Finally, one they got right. And, if you missed Jeremy Piven verbally depantsing Billy Bush on the red carpet, you missed something funnier than three seasons of Entourage.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
There goes that streak.

Outstanding Lead Actress/Lead Actor/Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Anytime these three can win Emmys, they should. And the fact Helen Mirren said "tits" right on live TV is Emmy-worthy.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Six Feet Under, a show that I thought went off the air years ago, won more Emmys than Arrested Development. Go figure.

Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program
Stephen Colbert's post-loss diatribe was great.

Outstanding Drama Series
Fine. Don't like it, but at least Sopranos didn't win.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Arrested Development, which won at least one Emmy every year it was on the air, gets shut out in its final year. Oh well. The season three DVDs are great; waaaaay better than the fucking Emmys.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tom Cruise: How To Flush A Career

Last week, it was announced that Paramount had refused to renew Tom Cruise's long-standing production deal with the studio. Viacom (or whatever the fuck it's called now) chairman Sumner Redstone summed it up nicely by saying they weren't renewing the deal because Tom Cruise "is batshit crazy." (Probably not his actual words.) Which is a shame, because it was a pretty good relationship for all parties.

I, personally, have never had any problem with Cruise as an actor. I think he's actually gotten better as an actor, and a couple of his last films have been some of the best of his career. But then he has a nervous breakdown on Oprah, argued with Matt Lauer, got jiggy with Kanye West, and had that "baby" that no one's ever seen. And now this.

While I'm sure Cruise won't have any problem picking up a new production deal (he's already secured a new independent financing deal), since all of his movies make money, I don't know if anyone will ever hire him again. Who knows; maybe this will straighten him out a little. I think we could all use a break from the antics of TomKat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No Pulse In This One

Americans love the Asian movies, because they buy up Asian movie properties left and right. But they must hate Asians, because, instead of just releasing the movies as is, they remake them and recast them with lily-white American casts. And, I don't know, maybe it's those missing Asians that makes Pulse such a shitty Japanese-to-American translation.

I expected a little more from Wes Craven, who adapted the screenplay from Kiyoshi Kurosawa's original script, but then, Craven hasn't written anything good since New Nightmare, and that was 12 years ago. He seems to miss the point of the original, that, even though we are now able to connect with people in more ways than ever, we are essentially isolated because we've eliminated personal contact. The people in this movie don't kill themselves because ghosts tell them to or infect them with some sort of depression virus; they kill themselves because they realize they are completely alone, regardless of how "connected" they might be to the rest of the world. But, Craven would have you believe the ghost theory. He even goes so far as to have all the characters hanging out all the time, having fun and being happy. These aren't people who would commit suicide; it really doesn't ring true.

But, I blame the no-name director more than Craven. Kurosawa, who also directed the original, is Japanese, and, therefore, is just inherently able to create a terrifying atmosphere in a movie. (This is true of all Asian directors; it's in their DNA.) Sure, his films tend to be glacially paced, almost to the point of being boring, but he never fails to deliverer the thrills. This Americanized version is the same as every other horror movie that comes out nowadays: dim-witted, spastically edited, and noisy as hell. I'm not sure why we make horror movies anymore, because they all just turn out like the same piece of shit. You can fix a lot of story errors by properly editing together a well-made movie, but this isn't well-made.

There's some other things I had a problem with. In the original movie, the red tape was to keep the ghosts in, not keep them out. Craven must have got a poorly translated version of the original script. And what's with Brad Dourif making a totally random cameo; he must be a friend of the producers.

If you want to see Pulse the way it should be, rent the Japanese original. Better yet, go see The Descent, a foreign film actually released in the States that delivers plenty of scares. Check it out instead.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

No Me Gusta Mucho Taco Bell

I eat at Taco Bell about once a month. I get the same thing every time I go: a #8 (three soft tacos) and a steak soft taco with no lime sauce. If I were an every day customer, I'm sure the attendants could recite my order by rote.

Or maybe not. It seems to be happening with more and more frequency that, whenever I place this order, what I actually get is a #3, which is three taco supremes, and a steak soft taco with no lime sauce. Which would be fine, because the taco supreme is practically the same as a regular taco, except it has tomatoes and sour cream: two foodstuffs of which I'm not very fond. So, inevitably, I end up sending the shit back, or just eating it and being pissed off.

What I don't understand is why this happens all the time. It's not as though I'm ordering a # "tree" and getting a # "three"; "eight" and "three" don't even sound the same. I realize the numerals kinda resemble each other, and the words contain some of the same letters, but...not the same.

And it's not as though there's any confusion as to what a #8 is. Taco Bell has a standardized menu, so, wherever you go, #8 is always the same thing. You wouldn't go to a Taco Bell in Paducah and get a roadkill burrito with beans if you order a #8; you'll get three soft tacos. And I always make sure to check that #8 is still what I want, because you never know when Taco Bell might stop offering the simplest item on its menu.

It's really a no-win situation. Maybe next time I go, I'll just point to the menu instead of ordering. Actually, the easiest thing to do would be to stop eating at Taco Bell, but that would ruin all the fun of getting pissed off every time out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Oh, The Injustice

It's not bad enough that Fox has chosen to fill Arrested Development's regular timeslot with American Dad, a show which stopped being funny...well, it's never been funny, but they can't seem to find time for it in their schedule at all.

This is a good thing for Fox, I suppose, as it gives them an opportunity to fill their three-hours-a-night schedule with such gems as Celebrity Duets, where the possibility of Y2J and Dionne Warwick dueting on "That's What Friends Are For" is very high, and Everybody Loves Brad, which, I suspect, will start a "post-Seinfeld"-esque career death for former Raymond cast members.

Oh well. Since there aren't any shows on TV that I watch anymore (they all went the way of the dodo), I guess I'll have plenty of time to check out the My Network's hot, new telenovelas. I can't wait for fall.

"Didn't That Use To Be Called..."

While we're on the subject of Crappy New Fall Shows, has anyone else seen the promos for NBC's Kidnapped? Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure it's just a TV version of the Mel Gibson movie Ransom. The only thing missing from the show's promo is someone yelling, "GIVE ME BACK MY SON!!" Shit, it even appears to feature Delroy Lindo as an FBI agent: the same role he played in Ransom.

No word on whether Rene Russo, who's been out of work for some time, will be making a cameo.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Oscar Goldman

Just wanted to wish a happy 80th birthday to Richard Anderson, who played Steve Austin's boss on The Six Million Dollar Man.

Oh, and to Donnie Most, who played Ralph on Happy Days;

And to Mel Tillis, the stuttering country-western singer;

And to Larry Wilcox, the white guy on CHiPS;

And to Rikki Rockett, the drummer from Poison (which is still a band, by the way);

And to Scott Stapp, who used to be the problem with Creed (which is not still a band);

And to Drew "Not Nick" Lachey, who won Dancing with the Stars;

And to JC Chasez, one of the non-gay members of N'Sync.

And to some guy named Dustin Hoffman.

Big birth day, I guess.