Saturday, March 27, 2010
Lamestains and cob nobblers will have to wait for their classification.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Suddenly, you're 4 years old again, and you've been taken to the circus for the first time. You can only marvel at the exotic procession of animals before you: the giraffes and the elephants and the hippopotamuses and all those birds in balletic flight. Moreover, these are not the weary-looking beasts in plumes and spangles that usually plod their way through urban circuses but what might be described as their Platonic equivalents, creatures of air and light and even a touch of divinity. ...Give the Mouse credit -- by empowering Julie Taymor to take on this project, The Lion King became far more inventive, more striking and more African than it perhaps needed to be -- but that made all the difference between a short-term success and a classic.
Throughout the show's 2 hours and 40 minutes (as against the 75-minute movie), there will be plenty of instances of breathtaking beauty and scenic ingenuity, realized through techniques ranging from shadow puppetry to Bunraku. Certainly, nowhere before on Broadway has a stampede of wildebeests or a herd of veldt-skimming gazelles been rendered with such eye-popping conviction.
- Danny Pudi's monologue in the Dean's office
- The beautifully-acted montage of reaction shots to the Park's Department's Summer Catalogue
- The only decoration in Darryl's office (see title)
- everything Darryl said to Oscar
- The Office tag, which was as out-of-left-field as anything the show has ever done
- Making fun of Canadians
My submissions so far, all with the required #CBFtech hashtag, include:
- Pleasant Grove City v Summum: Put up your wacky religious monument in your own damn park, freaks.
- Marbury v Madison: Yes, you deserved your judicial commission, but we can't give it to you. Sorry!
- DeShaney v. Winnebago: Dept. Social Services fails to protect 4-yo from violently abusive dad? Tough shit, Joshua.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ebert concludes with a debatable proposition: "'Hot Tub Time Machine,' which wants nothing more than to be a screwball farce, succeeds beyond any expectations suggested by the title and extends John Cusack's remarkable run: Since 1983, in 55 films, he's hardly ever made a bad one. Well, I never saw 'Grandview, USA.'"
[See, contra, Isaac Spaceman, 9-7-07: "John Cusack thinks that 'I've made 10 good films.' That many?"]
added: NYMag slideshow on the history of the jacuzzi in pop culture. ("Should I get in the hot tub? Yeah! Will it make me sweat? Yeah!")
It is not in any way to detract from that that I caught myself counting how many of my buttons the marketer was pushing with that poster. My first thought was, "hey, Rickenbacker bass -- nice choice" (and nice specimen, too -- a real beautiful bass). And then I wondered why Cera was soloing on a bass, and why he was using a pick. I realize that bass solos exist, and that some people play basses with picks, but this seemed a little odd to me, because ... hey, wait a second, this poster is drawing me into an associational reverie, isn't it? Well, anyway, there are also the vintage Adidas, which seem to use the Rod Laver cut but have the Superstar stripes -- are those vintage or retro, I wo--whoops, doing it again. Hey, the posture is kind of an amalgam of My Aim Is True and London Calling (or this?), but wouldn't Combat Rock have been the more appropriate sourc -- guh. And the sweatband on the wrist, and the ringer tee -- you get the idea. I wonder at what point Hollywood stopped marketing Michael Cera movies to people like me and just started marketing them directly to me.
The New Pornographers (alternate Spaceboy name: New Proggers) have a new single, "The Crash Years," streaming on their Facebook page and available on iTunes. In my opinion, it kind of splits the distance between Electric Version and Challengers mood-wise and tempo-wise, and incorporates some of the "here-are-some-notes-right-at-the-end-of-Neko-Case's-range" shenanigans of Mass Romantic. Actually, it sounds to me like Carl Newman has been listening to his old Elephant 6 records. As you would expect, it's catchy indie pop.
Still no Lola named. (Anne Hathaway?)
"It is going to be set now, and my whole pitch was that it should feel like 'Jerry Maguire' with songs," Graff explained. "It should really feel like the real world of a major sports franchise and what would happen with this fantastical goofy, funny idea of a baseball fanatic who sold his soul to Jim Carrey as the devil in order to be turned into a 20-year-old Joe Mauer."
Graff is planning to hold on to only a handful of the original songs and having new ones composed — including one possibly about, yep, steroids.
(See, related, Hey, I Ain't Got No Money (Now That The Tax Man Is Done With Me), But Honey I'm Rich On Personality; Did He Put His Million Dollar Check In Someone Else's Box?)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
As great as both of these pieces are, wouldn't you like them to trade tasks? An appetizer of JLH screenwriting tips, and an entree of profane, all-caps David Mamet dating advice?
(Hat tip: Warming Glow)
(Via House Next Door.)
- If the team receiving the kickoff scores a touchdown, game over. If the defense scores a safety on this series, game over and they win.
- If the team receiving the kickoff scores a field goal, then the other team has a chance to receive the ball. If they score a touchdown, they win; if they score a field goal the game proceeds to sudden death next-score-wins; if they don't score at all, game over.
- And if the team receiving the kickoff doesn't score at all, then the other team wins the game if they score even a field goal on their subsequent possession.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Kim: Now hear this. No good can come of a theme week in which there is no theme. "Top Billboard Hits" is not a theme. It is a list of songs that have been popular over the years for a variety of reasons. This is not a theme. I repeat: this is not a theme!
I liked Lee's "The Letter." Whose version is that? It was so familiar. I bet that if that performance had come later in the competition, Simon wouldn't have been so quick to dismiss it.
Adam: Well, I'll dismiss it. It just felt very Vegas-y, especially with the Magical Horns of Idol on stage with him. Lee had all this indie authenticity going on with his song choices and performance style so far, and it all went away this week. He's just another guy who looks like Bill Simmons and can sing okay.
Singing okay, however, puts him light years ahead of Paige. Lookit: No one has done “Against All Odds” well on the show before. (See, esp., Corey Clark.) Streak continued, and how. Worst performance in the finals this year.
Kim: Man, that "Against All Odds" was miserable. It was hopeless, though, before it ever started. Phil Collins must have sold his soul to the devil to be able to perform the song successfully, because I just don't think it's possible.
Tim Urban wasn't as bad as the judges said, but "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is just one of those dopey songs that shouldn't find their way onto the show. I know that Taylor Hicks sang it with some success, but doesn't that just prove that two negatives make a positive?
Still, the story at the ESPN basketball blog about Mike Coury, who went from starter at Kentucky to reserve at Cornell, is interesting. It's too simplistic, I think, to suggest that Coury's future depends upon the name on his sheepskin. It strikes me that being an ex-basketball player from Kentucky might open up more doors than being a Cornell graduate (I wouldn't know, being neither). And while Cornell might have a better undergraduate business program than does Kentucky, I tend to believe that the quality of one's program is less important than the quality of the student making use of it. But going from a big-time athletic program where many of one's teammates are not expected to graduate (or even to go to class) to a school where the basketball team exerts no influence over academic expectations -- that may not be such a bad move for a guy who actually wants to crack the books and who has no expectation of playing in the NBA.
Monday, March 22, 2010
TPE mentioned to me that last week's episode didn't quite capture the scope or complexity of the battle for Alligator Creek. It's worth bearing that criticism in mind when mulling over Basilone's feats in last night's episode. On the show, we got 10-15 minutes of harrowing combat, with wave after wave of Japanese infantry trying to take the ground that Basilone held. Wikipedia (I know, I know), however, tells me that the point at which The Pacific picks up the battle came after Basilone and his unit had already been fighting for 48 straight hours, with only Basilone and two of his squad-mates alive and uninjured enough to fight. Then the few minutes we see are snippets of another 24 hours of fighting, including the period when Basilone alone held the bottleneck and kept 3,000 Japanese troops at bay. Yikes. Point taken, TPE.