Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dr. Pepper Loves G N' R

Today, it was reported that the Dr. Pepper company would give a free Dr. Pepper to every man, woman, and child in the U.S. (with the odd exceptions of former G N' R guitarists Slash and Buckethead) if Guns N' Roses actually releases its long-awaited album Chinese Democracy during the 2008 calender year. The company claimed that they could appreciate the 10+ years it is taking the band to put out the record, as Dr. Pepper itself took a long time to perfect its mix of 23 ingredients.

Axl Rose issued a response, stating, "We are surprised and very happy to have the support of Dr Pepper with our album Chinese Democracy, as for us, this came totally out of the blue. If there is any involvement with this promotion by our record company or others, we are unaware of such at this time. And as some of Buckethead's performances are on our album, I'll share my Dr Pepper with him."

Ya know, to me, it sounds like Dr. Pepper doesn't want G N' R to release Chinese Democracy. Three hundred fifty million people times whatever a can of Dr. Pepper costs sounds like a hell of a corporate writedown to me. It sounds to me like they're hedging their bets, and are hoping that, well, it's already been 14 years; why the hell would it come out this year?

It's a nice promotional item, both for Dr. Pepper and G N' R, one that I don't think will amount to anything from either side. I, personally, hope they do release their record, as I could use a Dr. Pepper right about now.

Sure would be tasty.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Last Five Movies

Revolver (2005)
Why is Guy Richie still allowed to make movies? His first two movies were exactly the same, his third was a Madonna vanity project, and this one is a complete piece of shit. Maybe that's why it sat on the shelf for two years and no one has ever heard of it.

Bee Movie (2007)
The most complicated movie ever made about bees. I thought they just flew everywhere. Who knew they used cars?

Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture (1973)
Toei Studios in Japan used to make sex-and-violence movies by the dozens. There were actresses like Reiko Ike (who's in this one) and Miki Sugimoto who only starred in these movies. And they're usually pretty great...except for this one, which is nowhere near as good as Sex and Fury, the movie for which this is a sequel. Lots more sex, but a lot less violence. That's bullshit.

The Ghost Galleon (1974)
Armando de Ossorio made four Blind Dead films, of which this is the third. Regardless of title, they're all pretty much the same: the Blind Dead rise from the grave and kill everyone. And that's about it.

Slow, slow, SLOW week:

The Mist (2007)
Actually, a pretty good adaptation of the Stephen King story, which, in movie terms, isn't saying much, but it's still a decent movie. However, it may contain the greatest ending ever committed to film. The morale of the story: Don't count your chicken before they hatch. Or something like that.

Check it out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

You Know It's A Slow News Day When This Makes The Cut

For no reason, I happened to catch part of Inside Edition the other day. The story I happened to catch was about the "Brady Bunch Curse."

As you probably know, the Brady house, which was featured in every episode of the show, is an actual house in Studio City, CA. It's still there to this day (although it looks slightly different). And, as it was in every episode of The Brady Bunch, even though it's currently a private residence, it's still a tourist attraction.

The gist of the story on Inside Edition was that the woman who lives directly to the left of the Brady House has had her house up for sale for three months, yet has had no prospects. Inside Edition speculated that it was because of the tourist traffic scaring off prospective buyers. I, being naive, speculated that asking $1.3 million for a 2000 sq ft house with the economy and the housing market in the toilet was scaring off prospective buyers. But I think Inside Edition might be on to something here. Maybe there is a "Brady Curse" that keeps neighboring houses from selling.

That has to be it. I can't see any other reason. Inside Edition nails another one.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's March Madness Time

Now that Marquette has been knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by the luckiest piece-of-shit shot I have ever seen, my March Madness is done with. Some comments on what I saw prior to that:

-Is it just me, or does Marquette appear to have a set play where they dribble down court, brick a three-pointer, and then tip in the rebound? Because they do it all the fucking time, so it must be a play, right? Here's an idea: LAY OFF THE GODDAMN THREES. (BTW, I appreciated Dick Enberg's moment of senility when he called Marquette "The Warriors.")

-The Girl had seen one, maybe two, NCAA games prior to this year, yet she's become quite the bracket handicapper. She picked Villanova for the Sweet 16, for Christ's Sake! Speaking of which...

-How crazy is it that every low seed won the first round in Tampa? That's never happened before. Which brings me to...

-Fuck Duke. If ever there was a team that deserved to lose to red-hot West Virginia, it's the Blue Devils. So, good riddance; fuck them. Now I can go eight months without having to hear how great they are.

-I was kinda hoping those Wisconsin Badger fuckers were going to play Georgetown in the Sweet 16, but those upstart punks from Davidson ruined that. But, that one Davidson guy scored like 70 points in the first two rounds, so maybe he'll be able to send those Badger jags home as well.

-Is anyone watching the NIT? I saw one game, Ohio St. v. UNC-Asheville, and I will say one thing: Kenny George (of UNC) is incredibly huge. He's the only guy I've ever seen who makes Shaq look like a runt. Unfortunately, George's ridiculous skill at catch-and-dunk were no match for Ohio St. And, speaking of which...

-Does anyone find it a little convenient that Ohio St. and Florida (who both weren't good enough to make The Big Show this year) were placed on opposite sides of the bracket, so that they could possibly play in the NIT version of last year's NCAA championship game (in two different sports)? That NIT selection committee, I tell ya!!

So, that's it: My interest in college basketball is over for the year. Marquette had a nice run, even if they did play Kentucky too early in the tourney to make a real run at it. Maybe they'll do better next year. Or, lose in the first round like they do every other year. We'll see how it pans out in '09.

Oh, and btw: Fuck Duke.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh, Now They've Done It

A week or so ago, Warner Brothers released photos of the costumes for the characters in their upcoming Watchmen movie. You can check them out on this slideshow at Yahoo, or just go to the movie's official website.

So, I guess since they have character costumes, and, looking at the website, they appear to have sets and whatnot, I guess they're actually going to make a Watchmen movie.

I've lamented the fact that this would eventually happen before, and I'm really not that pleased about it. It's being done without the cooperation of Alan Moore, who passes on participating in any film version of his work. I mean, look at how pissed off he looks in that picture on the right. Does that look like a guy who's happy to have his masterpiece turned into what will probably be a piece of shit movie? I think not.

Not that any of this is a surprise. Studios have been attempting to turn Watchmen into a movie almost since it was published (as you can see by the "2006" date in the teaser banner that tops this post). This property has been in turnaround for nearly 20 years. And I can understand why.
It's an incredibly dense story, with three or four storylines going on at once, one of which is the narrative of a comic-within-a-comic that mirrors the main plotline. And it's not a "happy" story, by any means. It's violent, depressing, with Nixon still President, and the U.S. is on the brink of war with Russia. It's also got a take on terrorism that might hit a little close to post-9/11 New York City.

And you can't exactly make a faithful adaptation when Moore is of no help. Joel Silver or whatever producer is running this thing can't call Moore and say, "Alan, I'm having some trouble with Chapter 3 here. Any story ideas?" They'll be greeted with a "Go fuck yourself," or some other witty Briticism. The only reason his name will appear at all in the credits is because the Writers Guild requires it to. Otherwise, I'm sure he'd take a pass. Really, this has the makings of a disaster written all over it.

But, I thought the same thing when I heard they were turning the Sin City books into a movie, and that movie was, literally, the comic on film. Maybe Watchmen will turn out the same.

But I doubt it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Awwwww, Drag

I hate Brett Favre.

Having lived in Wisconsin his entire playing career, all I've ever heard about is how great Brett Favre is. Honestly, in those first couple of years, I couldn't see what was so special about this pill-popping hick with the phonetically-incorrect name. Sure, he won an MVP, but, as I've said before, everybody's got one MVP year in them. I didn't see what the big deal was.

And then the Packers won the Super Bowl.

Suddenly, you'd've thought Christ had come back and was playing for the Packers. Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre and how great the fucking Packers were was all I ever heard. This is where the hatred really kicked in. After he won his second MVP in '96, I threatened to stop watching football if he won it again. (He did, but the Packers getting smoked in the Super Bowl made me rescind my threat.)

The Packers never went to the Super Bowl again, but all you ever heard, year after year, was "The Pack's gonna win it this year!" It's enough to make a player hater like myself wanna kill people.

But, like all bad things, they do eventually end, and Brett Favre finally retired.

Now, like other players I've hated on in the past that retired (Michael Jordan being another good example), Favre can be appreciated for his career, as I no longer have to see him play or hear about how great he is every fucking day.

So, I'll just come out and admit it: Favre was great; possibly the best ever.

During his 16 years, he managed to break every major passing record. He's one of three players to win the MVP three times (in a row, even). And even though he only won the one Super Bowl, the fact that he did it with a very much second-rate team only adds to his greatness. Hell, the fact he was able to win with any of the terrible teams he got saddled with (particularly the '07 squad) is quite a feat in and of itself.

Will his greatness stand the test of time? If Payton Manning stays healthy and consistent, he'll break most of Favre's records. It'll be a stretch, but it can be done.

However, he did set two records last season which are pretty much unbreakable. His 253 consecutive starts at quarterback (270-something including playoffs) is akin to, and possibly more impressive than, Cal Ripkin's consecutive games streak, and just as unbreakable. That's 16 years of never missing a game, which, in football, is unheard of. The more dubious record is Favre's 288 interceptions. The only person who would have a remote chance to beat that is Vinny Testeverde, except that a) he retired, and b) he played until he was 57 and still didn't get close to 288.

And, with the end of the Favre Era comes the end of the Packers ever being good again. I think they expected Favre never to retire, so they really never came up with a plan for when he did. There's no Steve Young waiting in the wings to take over. And when you've got a guy who's never missed a game, it's kinda hard to develop a backup. So, I don't suspect they'll ever be good again, especially since the team they had this year, with the exception of Favre, was really terrible.

And that's that: One of the greats retires, and the Packers become a first-year expansion team. I'm pleased on both counts.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Where Jacko's Money At?"

Last week, it was made public that Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch would be auctioned off unless he comes up with $25 million in the next three weeks. While, in terms of a real estate transaction, I think that's pretty fair, as banks usually don't give non-Kings of Pop that much time to come up with payment, what boggles my mind is how the hell Michael Jackson can't pay this thing off.

Here's a guy who has one album, a single album, that sold 100 million copies. Add the rest of his catalog, and there's another couple 100 million sales. The 25th anniversary reissue of that same record sold 166,000 copies its first week, good for #2 for that week and is double that now. (Pretty impressive, considering literally every person on the planet already owns the original.)

Here's a guy who, at one point, owned the publishing rights to the entire Beatles catalog, one of maybe two catalogs to sell more records than his. (He's since been reduced to a 25% stake.)

Here's a guy who sold out tour after tour all around the world, including the All-Groweds-Up Jackson 5 Tour.

All that, yet his ass is as broke as a bum in the street. Where the fuck did all that money go?

Take a look at a guy like Ted Turner. Turner lost $9 billion when AOL Time Warner nearly went bankrupt, and still had a billion left. That's what we in the biz call "investing," that you can lose $9 billion and still have enough money left to not have to earn a penny for the rest of your life.

I think Jacko may want to head down to the community college and enroll in an Econ 101 class, because he obviously has no concept of how to hold onto any money. And, because of it, he, Blanket, and the rest of the Jackson clan have to live in a refrigerator box behind the local Costco.

Bravo, Michael. Maybe you can rub your last two nickels together and wish for a magical bankruptcy attorney to appear. You're pretty much fucked otherwise.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Iron Man Might Be Cool

This week's episode of Lost had the newest trailer for Iron Man. Check it out:

Honestly, I haven't made up on my mind on this movie yet. Back in my comic book days, Iron Man was my favorite book. I still have dozens of issues starting at issue #4, all the way through the 200s. Needless to say, I'm a fan.

Most Comic Book Movies invariably fuck up something that drives the die-hard fans nuts (like all the differences between the comic book and movie X-Men). I'm sure Iron Man does the same, but I'm seeing a lot of things that follow the books. Like Tony Stark getting captured and building the first Iron Man armor to escape. Or the fact that the next armor version was gold. I also see Obadiah Stane, who would ruin Stark's life and business, and the Iron Monger, which would seriously ruin Stane's life.

But, I also see things that are out of whack. Like Jim Rhodes, who was an integral part of the Iron Man books, as he actually was Iron Man for a number of years, but appears to be relegated to the buddy role in the movie. Also, the thing that applies the Iron Man armor resembles the "IT," that mode of transportation that Mr. Garrison invented on South Park (ya know, the one that was powered by fellatio and sodomy?). In the comics, the armor was only rigid when electrical current ran through it. Otherwise it folded completely flat and could be carried in a briefcase.

I'm still kinda stoked to see the movie, but I'm sure they've done something to fuck up my favorite superhero.

They always do.