Friday, August 28, 2009

I Can Think Of Better Punching Bags Than This

Early news reports are coming out that Girls Gone Wild idiot Joe Francis was involved in an altercation this morning in which he allegedly punched out 2008 Playboy Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole. He also got into a scuffle with Nicole's boyfriend, celebrity-wannabe douchebag Brody Jenner.

Seeing as Francis is constantly in trouble, you would think that assault and battery would finally lead to some hard time for him. But this happened in L.A., so the worst punishment he'll get for beating up a woman is about 17 minutes of community service. It's a shame this didn't happen in Las Vegas, where Francis is currently facing tax evasion charges. They'd take him out front of the Bellagio and drown him in the fountain.

Seeing as they managed to put O.J. away, getting rid of a punk like Francis would be a cakewalk.

Oh, and in late-breaking celebrity news, DJ AM, who survived a plane crash almost a year ago, was found dead in his apartment from an apparent drug overdose.

Guy walks away, mostly intact, from a fucking plane crash, and he hasn't got sense enough to reprioritize his life and get off the smack. This is like celebrating winning the lottery by laying down in front of an oncoming train.

I'm willing to bet some of the dead victims of that crash wish they still had lives to throw away.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Greatest Show Ever?

As I mentioned in my earlier review of ABC's new shows, ABC's Crash Course, which debuted last night, is probably one of the best shows on TV right now. I realize that it's only aired one episode, but, if you've seen what's currently on TV, you'll know this isn't a real stretch of a claim.

I enjoy that the show is nothing more than possibly-fatal car crashes. I also enjoy that the production makes good use of The Raceway at Belle Isle Park, which has been sitting vacant since the IRL put the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on hiatus. And, unlike every other competition show on TV, the hosts/judges aren't there to fawn over the contestants; they're there to mercilessly make fun of them. (Orlando Jones' impression of Roommate Ty is priceless.)

If you missed it, you can check it out at ABC On Demand, and you can watch subsequent episodes Wednesdays at 8:00c.

I'll be tuned it; you should be, too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The New Disappointment By Quentin Tarantino

Because I'm too burned out by the experience (read: lazy) to write a 5000 word diatribe about the mess that is Inglourious Basterds, I'll do as I've done in the past and refer you to Nick Digilio's review of the movie. I agree with almost everything Nick and his callers say about the film, except, whenever Nick uses "like" and "love" or any other positive words, replace those words with "hate" and "abhor" and other words of scorn.

I hate to say it, as I really wanted to like this movie, but Basterds isn't even entertaining as the 1978 Italian movie from which it steals its incorrectly-spelled name.

And that movie is TERRIBLE.

Friday, August 21, 2009

ABC's Fall Lineup

I recently had the opportunity to check out the majority of ABC's new fall shows. My thoughts on what I saw:

A "reboot" of the Marc Singer vehicle from the '80s. Anyone (like myself) who was a fan of the original series will like this. And, seeing as her character has apparently been killed off of Lost, I'm just happy to see Elizabeth Mitchell is still on the tele.

Cougar Town
There are the makings of a good show somewhere in this mess, but, in its current form, it's just that: a mess. Imagine Sex in the City in the suburbs, and you have some idea of what this show wanted to be.

Modern Family
A documentary-style show about three interrelated families is the funniest show I've seen since 30 Rock. It's a shame that show creator Chris Lloyd couldn't get his Fraiser star Kelsey Grammer in this, because he's stuck on...

...which is one of the least-funny shows I've ever seen. If this was on CBS, which airs nothing but shitty "laff track" sitcoms, I would be a big hit.'s on ABC, where it will bomb.

The Middle
And Grammer's Back to You co-star Patricia Heaton is stuck in this equally unfunny mess. It will also quickly disappear.

I couldn't quite make sense out of why ABC would make a show out of 25-year old literary property. I figured that maybe they were capitalizing on the fact that John Updike published The Widows of Eastwick (the sequel to The Witches of...) shortly before his death earlier this year. But, having watched the show, I realize that it's an adaptation of the movie, as the creators were apparently too lazy to actually read the book and just watched the Cliff Notes instead. Well, I've seen the movie; no reason for me (or you) to watch this.

The Forgotten
It's not a good sign when the network recasts and reshoots the pilot of a show, as they did with this one. I suspect it will last as long as Life on Mars, the last show they did this to. And I wish that Michelle Borth was still starring in Tell Me You Love Me instead of this garbage.

A show in which everyone on the planet blacks out for two minutes and gets a two-minute glimpse of their lives six months in the future. An interesting show, even if it does steal its premise from a Vonnegut novel. It's odd seeing Seth MacFarlane in a non-Family Guy context, though. Maybe he's come up with something to fall back on for when Fox smartens up and cancels all of his shitty shows.

Crash Course
This is basically a real-life version of Burnout 3. The most entertaining part is co-hosts Dan Cortese (!!) and Orlando Jones ripping on the contestants. I absolutely fucking HATE reality competition shows, but I will watch this, because the possibility of someone actually dying seems pretty likely.

All-around, a decent lineup. I think ABC will do well this year, considering what Fox will be putting on the air.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The World's Greatest Douchebag Reports For Practice

The above picture is not a Photoshop like we've seen in the past, as Brett Favre is now officially a Minnesota Viking. It ends literal months and months of speculation as to whether Favre would return to football.

This completes Favre's transition to football's biggest asshole. Most people would say Michael Vick had that honor, but Vick isn't a legendary football player and his shithead behavior had nothing to do with football. Favre, however, is quickly flushing his legacy as one of football's greatest quarterbacks right down the toilet. He's become the Roger Clemens of football, using his legendary status to carpetbag his way into jobs. He even pulled the same dickhead maneuver of conveniently waiting until training camp was over before deciding to sign with the Vikings. In fact, the only difference is that Clemens' steroid-aided performance actually kept him in top form, whereas Favre should have actually retired when he first retired two years ago.

With this latest development, I'm not sure if it's safe for Favre to travel to the state of Wisconsin. When the Vikings play the Packers in Green Bay, I'm almost positive the fans will destroy the stadium while trying to kill Favre. The booing will be audible throughout the state, probably even into Illinois and Michigan. And I'd imagine the fans would make the trip to games in Minnesota so that they could boo him there as well. I've never seen a sports figure who has gone from beloved to absolutely hated by his former fans this badly before.

I myself am not a Packers fan, and I've always hated Favre, so, needless to say, I'm loving this. I can't wait for the season to start.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Wisconsin Legend Dies

I thought I'd mention the passing of Milwaukee native Les Paul, who died today from pneumonia at age 94.

Depending on who you talk to, Les Paul invented the electric guitar. The Gibson guitar model that still bears his name is one of the most-used and -recognizable in music today. In addition to his innovation in guitars, he is also credited with inventing multi-track recording, a technique that has been used on almost every single record ever made since.

Paul remained active in music until the end, still gigging in his 90s. He was one of the elder statesmen of music, joining guys like Leo Fender and Jim Marshall, who, from an equipment standpoint, basically invented the sound of rock music.

If you happen to be in Milwaukee, stop by the Discovery World Museum and check out the Les Paul exhibit. It's the perfect way to celebrate the life of a true musical genius.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The De-Illustrated Woman

Just for the sake of curiosity, I thought I'd publish this photo of tattoo artist Kat Von D without any of her tattoos. The picture is from an ad for concealer from her makeup line at Sephora.

Ya know, once you get all that shit off her, as she is literally tattooed from head to toe in real life, she's really quite attractive. Maybe she should consider modeling her concealer on a full-time basis.

Just an idea.

Whadaya Know: Another Remake

It's been 22 years since the release of The Stepfather, so obviously it's time for a remake, because 20 years seems to be the magic number of years between original and remake.

And now that it's a done deal, there's a trailer. And, based on this trailer, I can see that all of the modifications the producers have made to make this seem like an "original" concept have made for an absolutely awful movie.

The worst mistake appears to be that they've cast Dylan Walsh in the title role. I know he plays a bit of an asshole on Nip/Tuck, but he's just not psychotic stepfather material. Dylan Walsh is the guy you cast as the cuckold boyfriend/fiancée/husband of the female lead in a romantic comedy. Terry O'Quinn, who played this role in the original, was perfectly cast. In fact, had that not been one of his first starring roles, I'd say he was being typecast, because, well, he is that guy. An actor like Christopher Meloni, who just oozes menace, who's actually even IN this movie, would have been a much better choice. (Anyone who's seen his work in Oz can attest to this.)

They also appear to have changed the stepdaughter of the original into a stepson, which eliminates the whole creepy "daddy's little girl" vibe, as well as the possibility of a gratuitous Amber-Heard-nude-in-the-shower scene. (Here's what she looks like nude, so I've saved you the trouble even if she was nude in it.)

And it appears to rather plainly be a shitty remake of a vastly superior original, a near crime against humanity. I've posted here before that the original is one of my favorite movies, and remaking it really sticks in my craw. While it is possible to remake a film on par with the original (John Woo's The Killer is a great remake of Melville's Le Samouraï; Walter Hill's The Driver is not), I don't think this is the case here. Just another example of Hollywood being about five years away from producing nothing but remakes.

The only positive I can see coming out of this whole thing is that it may spark interest in the original and cause it to finally be released on DVD. (The VHS has been out-of-print for a number of years.) Hopefully, everybody can hold out until that happens and see the good version of this movie instead of this reheated crap.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Last Five Movies

Funny People (2009)
In the past few weeks, I've called into question Judd Apatow's pedigree as a comedic genius. After having seen Funny People, I call it into question even more. Whereas his previous writer/directorial efforts have been "laff riots," this is a much more somber film. It IS funny, but it's hard to maintain a fun mood in a movie about introspection before death. He also makes the mistake that he made in Knocked Up by giving all the funny parts to the supporting actors instead of the leads. And he makes the Reality Bites Error, by forcing the girl to desire the wrong guy. And, Jesus Christ, is this ever a long movie. Let's hope his next effort returns to his previous form and doesn't continue on this current not-as-funny path.

Moon (2009)
Zowie Bowie (who now goes by his birth name of Duncan Jones) gives us his take on Silent Running and 2001. An odd movie. Good, but odd.

Public Enemies (2009)
Michael Mann's historically inaccurate depiction of the final years of John Dillinger's life, filmed right here in Wisconsin. (Oddly enough, this is also the movie that made Governor Jim Doyle consider repealing the tax credit for movies shot in the state. This state's economy is worse than California's, and our governor wants to shut out a multi-billion dollar industry. Brilliant!) While it's extremely well-made on all fronts, it seems very long and drags at times. But all of Mann's films are like this, and that hasn't stopped me from buying the videos of every movie he's made in the past 15 years.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
One of the slew of gonzo low-budget horror movies that came out in the late '80s. Having seen it, I can't even begin to imagine what made me want to watch it in the first place.

I'd say to start marking up your Oscar ballots, but it's a little too early...

The Hurt Locker (2009)
Katherine Bigelow's first worth-while movie since Strange Days. It's brilliant in that it makes a statement about war without resulting to the political bashing that muddies the waters of the genre. Well-made, well-acted, well-directed; just all-around well. Easily the best movie I've seen this year.

Check it out.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Inside Scoop On The Three Stooges

If you don't listen to Howard Stern, chances are you missed "The Three Stooges: The Lost and Found Interviews," in which a 16-year old Tom Bergeron interviewed Stooges Moe Howard and Larry Fine shortly before their deaths.

It's really some pretty interesting stuff. There aren't many taped interviews with the Stooges, and to hear them talk about their careers, particularly Moe, who was in his 70s at the time and had total recall of his career. It's also somewhat startling to realize that, even though they made 200 films, the Stooges didn't make a nickel in royalties and mostly died destitute.

If you missed it, they're replaying it on Howard 100 on Sirius XM radio; you can check the schedule on Stern's website.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

This Hunk Brings CRAZY Traffic To My Site

I'm usually not one to toot my own horn, but, if you Google the term "Jeff Bagwell divorce," this site is the second search result.

Don't believe it? Check it out.

The search references this post, which, oddly enough, really has nothing to do with Jeff Bagwell OR his divorce. It's also odd that some sport or gossip site wouldn't be higher than my rant-o-rama, as, well, they actually cover stories like this.

But, nope. It's and then me (and the Stern post doesn't have anything to do with Bagwell or his divorce either).

While I appreciate that Google is directing traffic to my site through this odd search, I think they may want to work on their algorithms a little. I think most people will be disappointed with the results they get.

P.S. It's worth noting that neither Yahoo nor Bing make this same error. They actually refer stories about Jeff Bagwell's divorce. And yet Google is #1 in search.

Go figure.