Thursday, March 27, 2003

WELL, AT LEAST SHE DIDN'T POSE NUDE, WHICH OF COURSE WOULDN'T BE ILLEGAL, BUT STILL, SOMEHOW, THAT'S WORSE, I GUESS: American Idol's Trenyce, a/k/a Lashundra Cobbins, apparently has faced judges far more powerful than AI's Simon Cowell in her past.

That's what happens when you're arrested on felony theft charges, after all.
AMERICAN IDLE: This week's LA Weekly goes ballistic on Lance Corp. Joshua Gracin, United States Marine and American Idol finalist, for remaining in sunny California to pursue personal fame while others at Camp Pendleton have already been killed while fighting in Iraq. The Weekly's guns are equally directed at the Marines themselves, for allowing him to stay on the show for their own p/r purposes. It's not pretty.

(And he's going to be eliminated before Clay and Ruben anyway.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

IMBECILIC SWILL: With all the attention this blog paid to Friday's releases of Cuba Gooding's Boat Trip and Gwyneth Paltrow's View From The Top, I may have confused the refuse that congeals to the bottom of a barrel with the bottom of the barrel itself. Rex Reed of The New York Observer explains that the new Lawrence Kasdan/Stephen King movie Dreamcatcher may, in fact, be the worst of them all:
Just when you say, "I’ve seen the worst movie ever made," and I respond, "No, I’ve seen the worst movie ever made," the garbage truck rolls around again, dumps off a horror called Dreamcatcher and makes liars of us all. One of the most pathetic things I witness in this job is so-called movie critics who knock themselves unconscious trying to analyze incoherent babble (even when they clearly despise it) just because it’s written or directed (usually both) by people with inflated reputations. These jerks always land in quote ads, and as sure as there’s Christmas and taxes, you can bet some deluded ticket-buyer will shell out good money just to see how "fantastic" or "beyond belief" it really is. Like a two-headed donkey, Dreamcatcher is that kind of freak show. Among the people I write for, I can’t think of anyone self-loathing enough to sit through this lumbering piece of imbecilic swill. It’s my job to tell you about these things, and sometimes this job, as the kids these days and all of the characters on TV sitcoms are so fond of saying, really sucks the big one.

. . .

The reasons I didn’t bail after 10 minutes are simple: It’s based on a book by Stephen King, it was written by William Goldman and Lawrence Kasdan, and it was directed by Mr. Kasdan. All three of these guys have turned out their share of trash, but despite their bloated reputations, they have also been responsible for enough serious film work to pay attention. So I approached with a bit of respect and a great deal of cautious curiosity. The beating I got in return was not deserved. Only a 12-year-old on crack could tell you what this rotten movie is about. All I can do is tell you what I saw. . . .

The horror, the horror.
THE MANAGEMENT APOLOGIZES: We're having that Blogspot Archive bug again. Sorry. Will get the archives back up as soon as the technology allows me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

AQUAMAN -- IT'S NOT JUST FICTION ANYMORE: Who needs the French when we've got trained dolphins on our side?
"WHAT GREATER GIFT FOR A MOTHER?" Acclaimed photographer Sylvia Plachy, writing about her son Adrien Brody, Oscar winner, in this week's Village Voice.
MASCOTMATCHER 2003: For years, my good friend Charlie Glassenberg has attained a startling level of accuracy in forecasting the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament simply by analyzing the strength of each school's mascot. He's good, and it works.

We at Throwing Things are therefore proud to be the exclusive Internet provider for Charlie's 2003 predictions for the Sweet 16 round. Enjoy:


Wisconsin Badgers vs. Kentucky Wildcats: the sharptoothed wildcats shall devour the bristley badger. New shaving brushes for everyone! Kentucky.

Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Panthers: the talons of the raptors shall put that black cat down. These panthers won't anther. Marquette.


Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Arizona Wildcats: I have lived in Boston long enough to know what "fighting Irish" can do when they're angry enough. Back to the litter box, kitties. Notre Dame.

Duke Blue Devils vs. Kansas Jayhawks: forget the V Corps, Saddam, Duke is the "Great Satan" you should beware of. They will knock out the Jayhawks like a bad case of West Nile in a crow roost. Duke.


Oklahoma Sooners vs. Butler Bulldogs: What is a butler bulldog - some ugly mutt that brings you your slippers and then hovers, obsequiously, until it is sent to pantry? Oklahoma.

Syracuse Orangemen vs. Auburn Tigers: Like their Dutch namesakes, the Orangemen will stumble about helplessly, like a bunch of stoned Eurotrash in wooden shoes. Auburn.


UConn Huskies vs. Texas Longhorns: the overweight young men of Connecticut will be gored like so many Yankee rodeo clowns. Texas.

Maryland Terrapins vs. Michigan State Spartans: The austere Peloponnesians will defeat the dawdling turtles from the land of Lord Baltimore. Call it "My Big Fat Greek Rout." Michigan State.

Monday, March 24, 2003

AND ANOTHER THING: Was I the only one who noticed Jack Nicholson whistling and cheering when Roman Polanski's win was announced, and could I be the only one who found it disconcerting, given, umm, you know . . . .
HE MAKES THE BEST F*CKING FILMS: Small comfort, but at least Martin Scorsese still has a King Missile tribute song to his credit. Read and listen. (warning: explicit)

Take that, Roman Polanski.
BEST DRESSED -- LUIS RESTO: Ten things I Think I Think about the Oscars last night:

1. Start with the mea culpa: I was 100% wrong on my Best Documentary Prediction. They indeed did go with the Gun Movie over The Holocaust Movie, which now leads me to revise Bonin's Theorem of Documentary Winners. The new rule:
The Holocaust Movie always wins, unless there is a Serious Holocaust Movie with significant nominations in other categories. In that case, the Academy will reflect its social conscience by bestowing numerous awards on the fictional representation instead.

The revised theorem obviously covers this year's awards, but it also fits the 1994 Awards, in which Schindler's List won seven awards and I Am A Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School took Best Documentary, not a Holocaust film. Life Is Beautiful, I'll argue, wasn't serious.

2. And I also blew the anti-Predictions, but only because Frida did win Best Score. Other than that, it was a sweep.

3. As for the show itself, yawn. Pacing was awkward, with filmed bits ending segments rather than serving as bridges during segments. They held up the Tribute To Former Winners until 11:30p eastern, and it seemed to really deaden the mood. (At least it explained why Mary Steenburgen got a good seat. Who knew?)

4. Speaking of which, who decided last night would be Where Are They Now night? With past winners Geena Davis, Mira Sorvino, Marcia Gay Harden and Hillary Swank all presenting awards, one could only wonder: are Mercedes Ruehl and Anna Paquin really pissed at their agents this morning?

5. One of my basic Oscar complaints reared its head again: don't waste the viewers' time with performances of songs that no one knows, but do spend a little time to show clips from each nominated acting performance. That they did not was galling, and diminished viewers' ability to appreciate those performances they had not seen. Do people who hadn't seen Adaptation have any idea why Chris Cooper won?

6. But if you're going to perform the songs, make sure to perform the song that won. Like, duh. I had an idea on how to do that in Em's absence.

7. Steve Martin did not acquit himself well. Just the wrong tone for the evening, and I can't even point to specific lines as to why. It just didn't work for me or the others watching with me. Too glib, and just not funny enough, though Tom Shales disagrees. Next year, let Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson host.

8. There were, as I counted them, three Moments of Genuine Excitement during last night's ceremony: the Adrien Brody and Roman Polanski wins for The Pianist (okay, I guess I'll see it now), and the interval between the announcement of Michael Moore's win and the moment he stepped on stage. The "what's he going to say?" tension was exquisite.

9. Can we please have a moratorium on animated characters presenting awards? Please? I feel bad for Jennifer Garner.

10. And one last thing: thank you, thank you, thank you Gil Cates for eliminating all non-nominated-song production numbers from the show. Don't think we didn't notice, and don't think we don't appreciate it.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

"POOH": The good people at Merck answer the question you've been dying to know: how many farts per day is too much?
Among those who are flatulent, the quantity and frequency of gas passage shows great variability. As with stool frequency, persons who complain of flatulence often have a misconception of what is normal. In a study of eight normal men aged 25 to 35 yr, the average number of gas passages was 13 ± 4/day with an upper limit of 21/day, which overlapped with many persons who complained of excess flatus. Hence, objectively recording flatus frequency (using a diary kept by the patient) should be the first step in evaluating a complaint of excessive flatulence.

Oh, and by the way, how many kinds of farts are there? Answers Merck:
Flatulence, which can cause great psychosocial distress, is unofficially described according to its salient characteristics: (1) the "slider" (crowded elevator type), which is released slowly and noiselessly, sometimes with devastating effect; (2) the open sphincter, or "pooh" type, which is said to be of higher temperature and more aromatic; (3) the staccato or drumbeat type, pleasantly passed in privacy; and (4) the "bark" type (described in a personal communication) is characterized by a sharp exclamatory eruption that effectively interrupts (and often concludes) conversation. Aromaticity is not a prominent feature. Rarely, this usually distressing symptom has been turned to advantage, as with a Frenchman referred to as "Le Petomane," who became affluent as an effluent performer who played tunes with the gas from his rectum on the Moulin Rouge stage.

For those unfamiliar with Le Petomane, see also here and here. (Too bad Baz Luhrmann couldn't have fit him in between Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.)

DYK?: Drop some knowledge on your friends tonight: Eminem's "Lose Yourself" is the first rap song ever to be nominated for Best Original Song.