Saturday, May 5, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
But somehow, in spite of all that, Hanson and co-writer Eric Roth manage to make a movie that's somewhere between Leaving Las Vegas and Ocean's 11 on the Vegas nihilism scandal, and that manages to say something about forgiveness and the bond between fathers and sons. Sure, it doesn't feature spectacular four-way rooftop battles (heck, even with the reshoots and delays, the film's entire budget is probably less than Spidey's final showdown cost), but it's got real emotion, and reminded me in a lot of ways of Jim McManus' Positively Fifth Street (which we can all agree is the definitive book about the WSOP and Vegas, right?), and it gets to you. (There's also a very funny, wholly unbilled cameo from a well-known actor.)
But even as a life-long East Bay resident I do not -- I cannot -- believe that that the Golden State Warriors just beat the Dallas Mavericks.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
In other news from Dunder-Mifflin, how would you feel about the show airing at 9pm against Grey's and CSI next season? streching it to an hour every week?
"I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" looks particularly egregious to me. You?
The CW statement, released this morning, promised to "give the series the sendoff it deserves." Given that the final episode will air on May 15 and presumably has been in the can for some time, I'm wondering what kind of appropriate sendoff can be engineered over the course of the next 12 days.
Matt and I will presumably duel for the right to say goodbye to Lorelei, Rory, and the other denizens of Stars Hollow in a more appropriate fashion, but for now, I guess I'll just take that coffee to go. And maybe a pop-tart. And some Mallomars. And, oh, I love the cheese fries, too. The cheese fries are really good.
- Columbus Short (aka the Charlie substitute on Studio 60) nominated for Breakthrough Performance and Best Kiss for his work in Stomp The Yard,
- Streep's co-star Emily Blunt, nominated for Breakthrough Performance and Comedic Performance,
- Sacha Baron Cohen, nominated for Best Comedic Performance, Best Fight, and Best Kiss
- Gerard Butler, nominated for Best Performance and Best Fight.
Also, Dreamgirls gets nominations for Beyonce and Hudson in the performance category (alongisde Butler, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, and Will Smith), but gets snubbed everywhere else, with the best movie nominees being 300, Blades of Glory, Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, and Pirates 2: Even More Pirate-y!
Our mission remains the same: take the stuff we find fun, say something smart about it, share it with others and learn from whoever else has something interesting to contribute. Oh, and try not to take anything too seriously here. Hopefully, we're succeeding, and I hope you all enjoy coming here as much as we enjoy building this place and reading each other's
So thanks to everyone who has made this site what it is, but especially today, thanks to Matt and Alex for signing up to do this thing with people they had never met (and, in Alex's case, still haven't met), and making all this such a joy. Rock on.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tonight on Lost: Hell is other people, the failsafe was apparently quite powerful indeed, Kate has a big mouth, one should always wear shoes when getting up to pee in the middle of the night, Rousseau wanders in to replenish her supplies, and, as usual, no one ever bothers to ask the important questions in a timely fashion. (One thing at a time, Hurley.)
For the first time this season, I found myself at the end of this episode wondering what the writers have in mind for next year.
In other news, Ruben Studdard still should avoid horizontal stripes.
Thankfully, many of the winning pieces are collected online.
Other past winners include Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin and Neil Simon. Such a list, I'll note, does not yet include George Carlin, Bill Cosby, David Letterman, Norman Lear, Eddie Murphy, Woody Allen, or Carol Burnett.
But they all can wait until after Crystal's honors, apparently. I hate when that happens.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
e.t.a. actual pop culture hook: Battle of the theme songs! "Open Letter to Obama", by Chinese-American rapper Jin, vs. the old-school Bud Billiken Day theme from 2004.
Usually I am in solid agreement with Simon's comments, but tonight I have a bone to pick: you go ahead and find me the 50% of audience that you think hated Blake's "You Give Love a Bad Name." Seriously, go find them. I'm going to make a pronouncement here, and feel free to disagree: Blake may not be the most talented singer ever to appear on American Idol, but he is by far the most talented musician they've ever had. (And I totally dig the brown hair, too.)
I didn't watch last week's telethon closely enough to have a view as to how the votes from last week should shake out, although I suspect that the person who should go home for this week's abysmal outing will find a few lucky stars to thank that this is a combination week. Truthfully, though, there aren't two people who deserve to go home based on this week's performances.
Further note to judges: if you people do not make Melinda Doolittle sing "Proud Mary" on judges' choice night, you should all be fired.
What's in your low-rise bookshelf?
And if you would stop to appreciate a little Tom Waits, you would realize that "Jersey Girl" is his and not Bruce Springsteen's song, a fact that you will find on this list of Songs You Didn't Know Were Covers. (I was surprised about "Bette Davis Eyes" and "Mickey.")
Links via Pop Candy.
In sum, go f--- yourselves, book designers.
Well, our dumb little dreamy kid comic wants to grow up quick. You play a dangerous game when you stop dancing around your September 11 allusions and start openly appropriating the iconography of that day, unraveling your unambitious little shaggy-dog story and re-weaving it into a political ghost story. I suppose at some point under Hollywood darling Frank Miller's pen Daredevil's Kingpin stopped being a generic rackets-boss and started superintending the angel dust trade, and Batman aged from a barrel-chested deputy to a feral vigilante, so this isn't a suprise.
To do this right, Heroes can't just mature the action -- it has to give the characters some heft, some admixture of good and evil that reminds us that the consequences the characters suffer stem from choices rationally made, whether correctly or incorrectly. This episode, while maybe cheating, was a good start, showing us characters that have been good doing bad things for understandable reasons. I really hope this works, because the show could go from being okay to being really good, but it also could completely blow up. You know, like Peter.
Monday, April 30, 2007
As a friend pointed out to me, the ad basically tells teenage girls that whatever happens to them online is their own fault, placing no responsibility on all the boys and men around them to not be jerks. Instead of telling women "think before you post," why not have an ad campaign that tells guys not to be assholes? There must be better ways to heighten awareness of online privacy issues than this.
e.t.a.: Okay, Lindsay said it online herself, and better than I just did.
Television has come a long way since only having Sad Matt on Melrose Place as a representative of gay and lesbian Americans, and much of the credit IMHO goes to reality tv. Between Tim Gunn, Pedro Zamora, and Richard Hatch, from Oswald and Danny to Reichen and Chip to Team Guido to the Queer Eye guys, the gay male experience has been well-represented. Not so much for lesbians on reality tv -- except, of course, for Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres remaining among the most popular hosts on
Scripted tv, not so much. For every stereotype like Lloyd on Entourage, Jack on Will & Grace or Stanford and Anthony on Sex and the City, there aren't enough Willow Rosenbergs and Omar Littles and Davids and Keiths from Six Feet Under to balance them off. Eventually, Dr. Kerry Weaver just got to be happy but, man, was she a walking (assisted) stereotype for a long damn time. Yes, there's The L Word and Queer As Folk, but I don't get the sense that many straight folk like me actually watch them.
How would you grade tv's efforts over the past decade?
And then we waited, and waited, and waited... and then the lights went out, and I screamed, and Tom Morello’s magical mystery guitar kicked into the first strafing, chilling notes of “Testify.” And from that point on, I saw very little outside of my tunnel vision to the far-off stage where, for about an hour and a half, Rage Against the Machine was finally playing a concert, one I was at. Yes, it’s true, PopWatchers: I’d never seen Rage before tonight. It’s a long story, involving symphony musician parents, abject poverty, bad timing, crabby siblings, and Mike D from the Beastie Boys falling off his bike, and I’ll spare you the details (for once). Suffice it to say that this was a very, very special experience for me, one which I enjoyed thoroughly, much to the amusement of those around me. (One of the guys we were sharing a picnic table with turned to me mid-show and said, “You seemed so mild-mannered before.” Yeah, not so much.)
... Then a short break, and a two-song encore of “Freedom” and, inevitably, “Killing in the Name,” an event whose power I cannot put into words. It was perfect. Except for the fact that, in general, everything was about 200 times quieter than I thought it needed to be. If my ears aren’t bleeding, it’s not loud enough. So who turned the speakers down? Respect for the neighbors ... or government conspiracy? Don’t be fooled into thinking the latter isn’t possible. WAKE UUUUUP! WAKE UUUUUP!! Oh, wait. There I go again. Sorry ...
...but that's not to say I'm indifferent.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Meanwhile, I have an obvious soft spot for actor Jerry Adler, who plays Hesh Rabkin, but man did he bring it this week. Tony's going downhill, which is bad, but the Muslims are back, which is good (I think) (for the show). And the Ojibwe are back, which is awesome.
e.t.a.: Alan has more, including an explanation of that Twilight Zone allusion, as he observes: "All I knows is that it feels like the giant piano Carmela talked about isn't just hanging over Tony's head, but everyone's."
Pure, fun racing with four teams that stayed fairly likable across the episode, and there's not much more for which you could ask. Except . . .
Is there, he asks, any appropriate response to this line?
(Also, is there a city with a worse convention center setup than Chicago? Sure, the space is gorgeous, but there's absolutely no good way to get there from most hotels or the downtown area.)