Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nice Soup Strainer

I don't usually watch anything on CBS, because I think 99.9% of their programming is shit. (Shark being the one show I do watch on a regular basis.) However, CBS was on the breakroom TV at work the other night, and I happened to catch bits and pieces of NCIS.

The only thing I have to say about this is: What's up with the moustache on Mark Harmon? For a guy who has never really rolled with any facial hair, it looks odd on him. Kinda makes him look like Sgt. Tate from Silence of the Lambs. (You know: "It's Jim Pembry! Now talk to him, damnit!" That guy.)

I'd shave it off, if I were him. If he wants to keep his tenuous hold on his "sex symbol" status (he was People's Sexiest Man Alive 20 years ago, after all), he may want to lose the Sam Elliot look. Not very becoming.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tyra Banks: Fat?

The only thing I've heard about the last week is Tyra Banks. Whether it's some magazine calling her a "fatty," or her throwing a "kiss my fat ass" tantrum on her show, Tyra's weight gain is all the rage right now. And, of course, since her "fat ass" is being shoved in my face on a constant basis, I have an opinion on this matter.

First off, Tyra was never skinny. Being 5'10", 130 lbs., is not skinny. But it's all how it's proportioned. Take Gabrielle Reese: 6'3", 160 lbs., and built like a brick shithouse. That's not skinny.

But then, Tyra doesn't need to be skinny. She's not a model anymore (whom we prefer to be skinny); she's a talk show host (and there is no such thing as a skinny talk show host).

The thing I don't get, and this applies to every woman in the media, is that we only seem to care about weight gain or loss. We don't care about those who have always been skinny ("Kate Moss: What A (Stick) Figure!") or fat ("Camryn Mannheim: Still A Blimp!"). We only bring attention to those who lose weight ("Star Jones: Hot New Beach Body!") or gain weight ("Oprah: Pigging Out!"). Even after the media pushes "thin" like they're selling it, they draw attention to those they deem "too thin" ("Kate Bosworth: Not Hot At 85 Lbs!").

So, is Tyra "fat"? Having seen her on the cover of last week's People and the thousand other appearances she's made over the last week, I'd say "no." Looks pretty good, actually. (I will admit that those photos that started this whole stink feature a very unflattering bathing suit.) But, that being said, she'll go one of two ways: become "obese," just to throw it in the face of her critics, or, she'll cave and lose a ton of weight ("Tyra Banks: (insert witty weight loss quip here)!"). Either way, we'll still have to deal with her grating personality, which is waaaaaaay worse than whatever her weight may be.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Last Five Movies

I'm in a movies mood, so I'll do another one of these.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
I recently rewatched The Devil's Rejects, and it's such a well-made film that I thought maybe my initial assessment of Corpses (that it was terrible) was wrong. So, I watched it again. And still the same piece of shit that I originally thought it to be. Time changed nothing.

The Queen (2006)
This pretty much seals the deal on Helen Mirren winning an Oscar. Good flick, even if it does seem about an hour too long. I also noticed that The Wife was the youngest person in the theatre by about 20 years; I came in a close second.

Smokin' Aces (2007)
Does Joe Carnahan not realize that Pulp Fiction came out 12 years ago? Making a Pulp Fiction ripoff is soooo 1996. I think there should be a moratorium on massively cast, dialogue-driven gangster movies. Tarantino pretty much put that whole genre to bed. Oh, and even though Jason Bateman's only in this movie for about two minutes, he steals the whole fucking thing right out from under everyone. It may be worth a watch just for him.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
I must have some sort of mental illness, thinking that this might be even marginally watchable. It's a Michael Bay production, which means it's the opposite of watchable.

An off-beat choice, but...

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Del Toro has never done me wrong. And his newest movie is as good as all of the buzz it's getting. The thing about this movie (other than I don't think anyone realizes it's in Spanish) is that people seem to think that it's some sort of kids' movie, along the lines of that Muppet movie Labyrinth. The little kids in the theatre when I saw this were treated to graphic scenes of war, torture, murder, and a man sewing his face back together. Needless to say, it's not for kids. But any adult should most definitely see it.

Good flick; check it out.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Annual Oscar Post

Since I've done an Oscar nom post the previous two years, I believe that makes it an annual thing. Here's another:

Best Supporting Actor
Djimon Hounsou deserves to win this. That being said, it'll probably be Eddie Murphy, whose ego will proceed to outgrow George Clooney's. And what's Mark Wahlberg doing in there? Seriously: Marky Mark?

Achievement in Makeup
Click had makeup? Huh.

Best Animated Feature Film
Cars. Duh.

Best Supporting Actress
I'd love to see the little girl from Little Miss Sunshine win, purely because her routine in the movie was more offensive than everyone else's. But she won't. Probably Jennifer Hudson, finally capitalizing on her American Idol failure.

Best Documentary Feature
Just give Al Gore the fucking thing. (softly crying in corner)

Achievement in Sound Mixing and Sound Editing
They couldn't decide which had better sound, Letters from Iwo Jima or Dreamgirls, so they put one in each category. The other four nominees are the same in both. Odd. Even odder if those two were the winners. I smell a conspiracy...

Best Original Song
It would be funny if something from Dreamgirls didn't win.

Best Foreign-Language Film
There's usually one slam dunk in this category. And that would be Pan's Labyrinth. Or "Mexico," because this award is for the whole country, ya know. (I find it somewhat odd that Letters from Iwo Jima was ineligible for this category, even though it's entirely in Japanese, and was even filmed in Japan. Damn Clint's luck for not being Japanese.)

Best Actor
There are at least three in this category that I'd like to see win (and yes, one of them is Leonardo DiCaprio). Just, please, sweet Jesus, don't let Will Smith win. Seriously: The Fresh Prince?

Achievement in Cinematography
Nice to see that both turn-of-the-century magician movies made it.

Best Actress
If Helen Mirren doesn't win this, they may just want to not have the Oscars anymore. No point, really.

Best Original and Adapted Screenplay
These are always tough. As long as Babel loses, I'll be happy with anything here.

Best Director
This is Scorsese's year. I know I said that two years ago, the last time he ran against Eastwood, but Clint won't win this year, namely because no one's seen his movie. (Nice rollout on that one, Warner Brothers.) Plus, he's already got already got four Oscars; time to give Marty one.

And that would make our Best Picture winner...
The Departed. It's a great movie that was also a box office hit, which always contributes. Unless the Academy gives it to Babel, this year's overrated, white-people-should-feel-bad-about-themselves spoiler movie, there's your winner.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Finally: Hiatus Season Is Over

A few months back, I lamented the fact that the networks have chosen to put shows on hiatus rather than show a handful of reruns during the season. Well, after months of wondering where the hell all of my favorite shows went, hiatus season is finally over. And I still hate it.

Someone mentioned that it helped continuity, because you don't lose the storyline following, say, a post-sweeps rerun block. But how does it help the continuity of a show like Lost, which is in the middle of a three-month layoff? Or Heroes, which took a month and a half off before showing the next six episodes, only to take another month off before the final five?

I can see delaying the start of a show, like 24, which is showing 24 episodes in a row. Sure, it starts later, but there's a new episode every week. But what does taking a couple of months off accomplish? What you end up with is the same amount of episodes in the same amount of time, but with no reruns. Which means a shitload of downtime and me not remembering what happened on the show last time it was on.

That's why I like networks like FX, which, in their "money" timeslot (Tues 10/9c), rather than ever show reruns, they air series with half as many episodes. Every week is a new episode, and, when they run out of episodes, they start a new series. Last year, in that single timeslot, FX aired full seasons of The Shield, Thief, Rescue Me, and Nip/Tuck. Nearly fifty episodes and no reruns. In that same timeframe, ABC showed 20 episodes of Lost, 14 of which aired before June.

The networks totally got this thing under control. No wonder most of their programming sucks.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Jim Kelly: Living Vicariously Through Lesser Players

I was watching TV the other day, and happened to catch a new "Men of the Square Table" Miller Lite commercial. In it, former Buffalo Bills quarterback asks whether or not it's acceptable to leave a game in the fourth quarter to beat traffic. Someone mentions that it might be acceptable if a team is down by 30 points. Kelly rebuts by referencing the '93 AFC Wild Card game, in which the Bills overcame a 32 point deficit to beat the Oilers. Kelly is an expert on this game, as he was a Pro Bowl quarterback on that team.

Unfortunately, he didn't play a single down in that game. (He was injured in the previous game.) What Kelly and no one else who actually saw that game seem to have forgotten is that it was Frank Reich, "The Other Mr. Comeback," who was the quarterback in that game. In fact, Reich won the divisional playoff game as well. When Kelly came back in the AFC Championship game, his under-whelming performance caused Steve Christie to kick five field goals to win the game (actually, Miami was so bad, Buffalo would have won without the field goals), and his completely inept performance in the Super Bowl had a lot to do with their 52-17, third straight Super Bowl loss. That's nice, Jim: Way to bring up a game that you had nothing to do with, because the ones you were in sucked.

I think this calls for a new Man Law: No Man shall bask in the reflected glory of a team's win if he did not play in said win. Sure, you may have gotten them there, but holding a clipboard on the sideline didn't win that game.

So it is written, so it shall be done.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Iron Man Officially Fucked

As a kid, Iron Man was my favorite superhero. Sure, he was just a guy in a metal suit with no powers, but, well, he had the coolest metal suit ever.

That being said, needless to say, I'm interested in any movie adaptation of Iron Man. And today, they announced some new casting info that makes me think that the movie version will really suck balls.

Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow has signed on to play Tony Stark's (Iron Man's alter ego) secretary, "Pepper" Potts, which, well, it's Gwyneth Paltrow; need I say more?

But that's not the worst thing with this movie. No, it's not that they've got Jon Favreau directing, even though the only action movie he's directed is Jumanji 2. It would be the fact that Robert Downey, Jr., is playing Iron Man.

Robert Downey, Jr.

What...the...fuck. Downey's a great actor, but there's, well, approximately every actor in Hollywood I'd pick before him in this role. You thought George Clooney was miscast as Batman? He'd actually be a better pick for this role than Downey. (He's too "important" to star in action movies anymore, though.)

Although I seriously doubt it, maybe Iron Man will turn out to be all right. But I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Isn't This Bitch Dead Yet?

Most of the entertainment headlines today read "Lindsay Lohan, 20, Enters Rehab." I think the world in general would have been better off if they'd read "Lindsay Lohan, 20, Found Dead in Ditch."

Honestly, there is no celebrity on the planet more deserving of the sweet release of death than Lindsay. She contributes absolutely nothing to society, other than to shittily star in the occasional movie; she's had four hospital stays in the past year (as opposed to me, who has not had four hospital stays during Lindsay's lifetime); and she's apparently dating Joe Francis, the Girls Gone Wild guy, which is just the guy any young woman should be dating. And now she's in rehab.

That's a drag. The chances of her chasing 100 Valium with a bottle of Everclear just went down by half.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple: Much Too Predictable

Nearly a year ago, during a comment on Apple's somewhat irrelevant iPod Hi-Fi, I made a facetious comment about Apple being so unoriginal as to come out with an iPod that was also a phone.

And then, on Tuesday, they did.

I'm not so much bothered by they fact that they actually came out with the iPhone; it's that they've already tried it twice before with mixed results. (Anyone remember the Motorola RCKR and SLVR? Yeah, no one else does, either.) But, those were actual "phones," with some iTunes functionality. The iPhone isn't even a phone. It's an iPod with some phone functionality. If you put a phone on a toaster, does it become a phone? If the PSP had some phone function, would PSP stand for "Playstation Phone"? (I find it humorous that, excepting the phone thing, the PSP actually appears to have more features than the iPhone. And I thought Sony had the market cornered on over-hyped, under-developed devices.) It all just plays into my theory that people don't actually want a phone; they just want some little thing to fuck around with.

That being said, I don't see how anyone would be able to afford one of these "multimedia devices." They start at $500 for a 4GB, $600 for the 8GB. While this is not the most expensive "cell phone" ever (the Motorola "Brick" cost $1000 when it was introduced back in the early '80s), it is probably the most expensive, non-jewel-encrusted phone currently available. And much like the PS3 v. XBox 360, HD-DVD v. Blu-ray face-offs, price is a big factor on what is bought, regardless of technological superiority. If Sony was to actually add phone function to the PSP and add $100 ($200, even) to its $200 pricetag, I think we'd have a new winner in this technology segment. (Not that Sony would do this, as it would mean doing something smarter than their competition. And that just doesn't happen.)

But, all of this bitching is probably for naught, as, I'm sure, when this thing comes out in June, they'll sell a shitload of them. And, honestly, it does look pretty fucking sweet. Not that I'd buy one. I've got a phone. I've got an iPod. I don't need another one of each.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Evangeline Lilly: Not In It For The Fame

About a year and a half ago, I commented on the fact that Evangeline Lilly appeared in commercials for the fairly sleazy Livelinks phone service, even though she was enjoying some degree of fame on Lost, one of the most popular shows on TV.

The other night, I was watching TV, and happened to catch another commercial for Livelinks, and, no surprise, it did not feature Evangeline Lilly. (Actually, it was a much hotter girl, which is what actually caught my attention, but that's neither here nor there.) I thought, "Good for her; way to not be associated with that shitbag anymore." But, out of curiosity's sake, I went to Livelinks' website, and there she is, right on the front page. Not moving in up as much in the world as I thought.

But then, maybe Evangeline just does this acting stuff for the love of the game; she doesn't care about the fame. She's about the only actor on Lost who hasn't attempted to parlay their fame into other gigs. She doesn't seem to care about being famous, or with what her name is associated. She's just happy on her TV show and with dating a Hobbit. Personally, I would have filed a cease-and-desist order against those scumbags. I am in it for the fame.

But, that's just me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Going Straight To Video Waaaaay Before Its Time.

About six months ago, I saw a poster for Idiocracy, Mike Judge's new movie, in the local theatre. Now, where I live in The JVL, which is so far away from the pulse of America that I sometimes wonder if it doesn't exist in an alternate dimension, if a movie isn't going to be showing at that theatre, they don't advertise it. Mike Judge has never failed to make me laugh, so I was pretty geeked to see it.

Time came and went, the poster came down, and the movie never showed. In fact, I never heard about it getting released anywhere. I kinda forgot about it, actually.

So, I'm at Blockbuster the other day, and, there it is: Idiocracy, new to video. Totally bypassed the theatre, as far as I can tell.

Here's what I don't get: 20th Century Fox, who released Idiocracy, will give a 2500 screen rollout to The Marine, a moronic Commando-ripoff starring vehicle for the WWE champion, yet will throw a movie that might actually be enjoyable to watch directly into the DTV bin. I just don't get it.

BTW, the movie's hilarious; check it out.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Improving Universal City, And Destroying History In The Process

During one of the random clickathons that comprise my typical internet session, I happened upon this, the NBC Universal Vision Plan. In a nutshell (to save you the trouble of having to read the whole thing), Universal City, NBC Universal's home base, has decided to give back to the City and County of Los Angeles, and open up their somewhat private "city" to housing development and mass transit opportunities. Honestly, it's a pretty good idea, except for the fact that they'll have to destroy movie history in order to do it.

Part of the "Plan" is to add a housing development called Universal Village on 120 acres of Universal City's land. Unfortunately, this 120 acres happens to be a good portion of Universal Studio's backlot. In order to make way for this development, they'll have to get rid of the famous attractions that happen to reside there. Like the giant water tank that current houses the Ark from Evan Almighty; the Jaws ride; the ancient street set that houses both Desperate Housewives and Ghost Whisperer; the remnants of Whoville; the massive War of the Worlds planecrash set; and the Bates Motel and Psycho house (possibly one of the oldest things on the backlot). All of these things will go the way of the MGM Studios lot, just so Los Angeles can have some more fucking houses. (That state can break off the US and sink into the ocean any time now.)

Oh well. In the meantime, enjoy Your Studio and You, a celeb-filled promo video (which features some of the sets that are going bye-bye), made by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, commemorating Seagram's acquistition of Universal Studios in 1995. Needless to say, it never saw the light of day.