Saturday, July 19, 2008

ANY WAY YOU WANT IT: You know what this summer movie season has been lacking? Journey. But one enterprising soul on YouTube is trying to fix that.
FIND WHICH TWO CONTESTANTS FACE POTENTIAL ELIMINATION...AS SOON AS I'M DONE READING THIS SENTENCE: We're probably never going to get another Joe Schmo, but Comedy Central's new Reality Bites Back might just be the next best thing. 10 comedians (including Road Rules alum Theo V) are put through a variety of "reality shows" such as So You Think You Can Dive and Hunting With The Stars, hosted by an ultra-smarmy Michael Ian Black. Sadly, there's no Montecore, but this is pretty awesome.
AND I WON'T FEEL A THING: A Dr. Horrible, Act III thread.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS: It's a big romantic and baby news day for several folks who are unquestionably ALOTT5MA Faves:

HALF-CAF GRANDE LATTE WITH EXTRA SHOT OF SYRUP: Come fall, Manhattanites will have 6 fewer Starbucks from which to satisfy their coffee jones. Somewhat surprisingly immune? Astor Place, where there are two Starbucks almost directly across the street from one another, and where a Barnes & Noble cafe operated until last December, serving Starbucks coffee and overlooking the two other Starbucks (Starbuckses? Starbucki?). For those concerned if they will have to find alternative caffeine fixes in other markets, the complete list of Starbucks closings is available. (Even with 13 stores closing in Vegas, and an additional 3 in North Las Vegas, I don't think it's going to become difficult to find them there.)
IT'S ABOUT ANTS. SINGING, DANCING ANTS. HOLD. There's been a lot of press lately about all the changes being made to Dirty Sexy Money before it comes back next season. Another new showrunner, the exit of Samaire Armstrong (as a regular castmember, anyway), the addition of Lucy Liu, and a whole lot of noise about changes to the tone of the show. I don't know about any of you, but I liked the old tone. So I'm a little skeptical -- particularly of the notion that Nick George might become a whole lot more susceptible to the Darlings' wiles. That being said, the Cosmopolitan household really enjoyed the truncated first season, and we'll be back to see what the Darlings are up to in the fall.

Sorry for the lack of SCS-7 last week. This week, I provide you with Heather K's resolution to a problem which I did not know existed.


My drink we call an "I do not drink beer" because my boyfriend, Sam, threw a big cast party for a live gay soap opera I am in here in Chicago. Pause, here is where the story will seem to go off track, but I swear it comes back around. He bought a TON of beer, but the party consisted of mostly girls and gays, and he had a fully stocked bar that had all sort of ingredients for much girlier drinks. We hit the girly drinks pretty hard, and the beer was left almost untouched. My boyfriend does not like beer and he hardly ever drinks it, but his fridge was stuffed to the point where it alsmost could not close with a variety from miller light to goose island 312 (it happens, you get a little excited on peapod one night in preparation for a party). That was Friday night. Monday night was Memorial Day, and he decided to throw a second party where he would invite over all of his beer swilling friends in order for him to take back his fridge. They were under strict orders to drink as much beer as they could.

A little into the party, where the boyfriend had been drinking wine and basically anything but the beer in his fridge, he decided it was time to do some mixology with what was left from the cast party. All the usual mixers were gone or almost gone which left him a little perplexed and a little creative. Usually would gravitate to a whiskey and coke or, failing that, a "Sam Special" of Vodka with equal parts oj and cranberry juice--also known as a Cranberry Toad (I guess). But there was no whiskey and no vodka, only a little bit of oj and an abundance of cran. There was also an almost full bottle of Bacardi Peach Rum which no one seemed quite to know what to do with at the cast party. So he took a glass full of ice, poured in equal parts bacardi peach and cranberry juice and added a splash of orange juice. Someone asked him what he was doing, and he said, "I do not drink beer," in a voice that suggested he certainly had been drinking something else. New drink. Turns out it is just as tasty without oj, and you can have a lighter hand on the alcohol and still have a tasty beverage. It tastes like drinking a jolly rancher candy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Lawyer: [argument]

Bad Lawyer: I don't see how anything he just said makes sense, and I have degrees in English, rhetoric, and law.
So it's not just the law that is a ass.
AUF, AUF AND AWAY: Season Five of Project Runway has hit the air. To kick things off, the new slate of contestants were sent out to reprise the Inaugural Gristedes Challenge from Season One. Austin "Cornhusker" Scarlett showed up as the Guest Judge, looking all Duran-Duran-Goes-To-The-Kentucky-Derby Fabulous. Or something.

Since none of the new contestants had the stones to make an entire outfit from edible or perishable items, here's an entire episode made out of Peeps. Open to comment: Are peeps more or less edible than cornhusks? More or less perishable?

Giving in, momentarily, to the Early Season Hate inevitably experienced during the provocatively-edited introductions of the new contestants' personalities, I note that a locally conducted scientific study (sample size: three - results: unanimous) has already concluded that Bronzer Boy must die.
CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT'S BRAVE ABOUT BROKEN RIBS? Two comments on last night's mix-'em-up-and-spit-'em-out SYTYCD performances.

First, I think this is the first season where there's been so little remixing of couples during the first five weeks (given the unusually high number of occasions on which both halves of a couple were simultaneously ousted), and now we're seeing the results . The top half of the show was rocky at best as the new couples struggled to find their footing. Who knew that Kherington so desperately needed Twitch as a partner? (Here's some dish from the live audience -- good stuff.)

Second, if ever there were a moment during which I could no longer suspend my disbelief as to the randomness of the supposedly random partner and dance selections for the back five, it was (1) the newly rescusitated Comfort being (a) paired with Twitch for (b) a hip hop routine, combined with (2) the Will and Katee partnership on a bona fide pas de deux of astronomically difficult proportions. There is simply zero chance that those things all happened randomly. Zero. Not that I'm complaining, because there is no one else on this show who could have done that Desmond Richardson routine, and I am overjoyed to have gotten the chance to see it in all of its one-mistake perfection. (Despite the fact that it meant that I unexpectedly had to listen to David Archuleta.)

Bottom four: Kherington, Comfort, Gev, and Mark.

And this is as good a moment as any to mention the Emmy recognition once again for SYTYCD choreographers: Mandy Moore for the Neil/Sabra office table routine, Shane Sparks for the Pasha / Lauren Transformers dance, and a little bit of choreography by Wade Robson that we around here like to squeeeely refer to as the Hummingbird Dance!
DR. HORRIBLE WOULD NEVER APPEAR ON THIS LIST: If the awesomeness of Dr. Horrible has you in the movie musical mood, you're primed for the Ten Scariest Movie Musicals of All Time. Some of these, such as The Wiz, Sgt. Pepper's, and Can't Stop the Music, are painfully familiar to fans of the genre of bad movie musicals, but how have I never heard of Skidoo?

Skidoo it turns out is "an astounding LSD musical comedy directed by Otto Preminger" in which Groucho Marx plays god and Jackie Gleason plays a mobster. Apparently it was on TCM a week ago, but has never been released on DVD or VCR. But here's the trailer, featuring the endorsements of Timothy Leary (who viewed the film as a way for the kids to turn their parents on to the joys of drugs), Sammy Davis Jr. ("It is the gassiest, grooviest, swingiest, trippiest movie you have ever seen"), Groucho, and a host of others and here's a clip of Ralph Kramden on acid. With Dark Knight opening tomorrow, I guess it is noteworthy the cast also includes the original Joker, Penguin, and Riddler. And with Brett Favre dominating sports headlines, it is also interesting that the film features an appearance by the Green Bay Packers and former NFL star quarterback Roman Gabriel. Does anyone have a copy of this on DVD or VHS I can borrow, please.

I've seen clips from The Apple before (1994 sure looks like it will be scary), but I have to catch the whole thing (I love the reading by the trailer VO, calling it "a special experience in movie-going entertainment.") I think Wall-E would have been a very different film had he scavaged a copy of this film.
IT'S A BRAND NEW DAY: Dr Horrible Episode 2 is up. My god, this is brilliant.
[INSERT BATTLESTAR GALACTICA RAGE HERE]: The big news out of the Emmy nominations is that Damages and Mad Men are the first basic cable shows to get best drama nominations, but a few other tidbits:
  • HSM2 gets a choreography nomination (ETA per Kimsmopolitan) and a "children's program" nod, but no love in the acting categories--"Emmy nominee Zac Efron" will have to wait for another day.
  • Chuck's snappy "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" title sequence gets a nominations.
  • Best original song has a fight--for the first in years, nothing from The Simpsons, but "Most Beautiful Girl In The Room" and "Inner City Pressure" from Flight of the Conchords spar with "I'm F****ng Matt Damon!" for the prize.
  • 6 drama lead actor nominations, with 4 going to cable shows, including surprises Gabriel Bryne and Bryan Cranston.
  • Comedy Supporting Actor is a mix of getting it seriously right (NPH! Schrute! Johnny Drama!) with the obligatory (Piven, Cryer).
  • Between John Adams and Recount, HBO dominates the miniseries/movie awards, especially on the male side.
  • Amy Poehler nominated as supporting actress/comedy for her SNL work.
  • Of the 5 guest actor/comedy slots, 4 go to 30 Rock, and that's without Greenzo!
  • It could finally be Colbert's year in the "variety/music/comedy performer category"--no aging singer is nominated, though Don Rickles is, and no Leno (who's generally snubbed throughout). (Also, Stewart is not nominated for Daily Show, but only for the Oscars.)
  • I think a certain eyebrow must be raised by the absence of Phil Keoghan from the "reality host" category, when they manage to find space for Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.
  • Joining Damages and Mad Men in best drama--Boston Legal, Dexter, House, and Lost.
  • Best comedy snubs Pushing Daisies, opting for Curb, Entourage, The Office, 30 Rock, and 2.5 Men.
  • Interestingly, the sole Office nod for writing goes to the ultra-squeamish "Dinner Party."
  • The Wire finale gets a writing nod and that's it for the show. Also, Battlestar Galactica gets its sole substantive nomination in the same category.
  • Boston Legal and Damages have three acting nominations each in the regular categories, Grey's has two (Wilson and Oh) as does Mad Men (Hamm and Slattery). Lost? Only Michael Emerson.
I'm sure there's more to be outraged about. Discuss.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WAKE HIS MOTHER AND RING THE BELL: ALOTT5MA un-fave Andy Dick, arrested again, this time for groping a teenage girl while "extremely intoxicated". Go figure.
BUT WILL IT FEATURE SOMEONE ROCKIN' HER ONE LEG? Two tidbits of note about the Office "spinoff" joining NBC's schedule in the spring:
  • It won't be a "spinoff"--no characters will transfer and doesn't sound like we're getting the rumored "Dunder Mifflin: Utica" show.
  • Your star? Amy Poehler (joining the previously cast Aziz Ansari).
No word on what the means for SNL/Update, whether prior rumors of involvement from Amanda Peet and Rashida Jones are false, or where the show will film (Ansari and Poehler have been NYC-based in recent years).
J.D. DREW PRESENTED WITH THE TED WILLIAMS AWARD AS MVP OF THE ALL-STAR GAME: Star right fielder of the Red Sox J.D. Drew was named the MVP of the All-Star Game last night. Mr. Drew hit a tying two-run home run in the seventh, singled, stole a base, and walked in the winning rally by the AL in the 15th inning.

The AL improved to 6-0 since the All-Star Game began determining home field advantage in the World Series and 10-0-1 since 1996. Since 2004, the AL has a record of 826-642 in interleague play (roughly the equivalent of a 91-win pace in a regular 162 game season) and has a record of 13-4 in World Series games.

Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla had an uncommonly poor performance in last night's game.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A LETTER OF CONDEMNATION FROM THE DEPUTY MAYOR: For most of the day, the main Dr. Horrible site has been down, but for this discussion thread, we'll give you a back door way in. And NPH is almost unspeakably awesome in it, be it explaining who his "nemesis" is, stammering at the laundromat, or having fun with his roommate (and I assume the name is a HIMYM in-joke).

ETA: Yet another alternate way in.
THROUGH WITH PLAYING BY THE RULES OF SOMEONE ELSE'S GAME: Apparently, Wicked: The Movie Musical is finally a go. Much as I love Chenoweth and Menzel, they're probably a bit old to play those characters now, and certainly aren't likely to sell tickets to the general public. Casting thoughts from the peanut gallery are appreciated. I'm sure we can do better than Perez Hilton, who suggests Anne Hathaway and Mandy Moore (presumably as Elphaba) and Emmy Rossum and Kristen Bell (presumably as Glinda). Victor Garber as the Wizard? Ashley Tisdale as Glinda? Zac Efron as Fiyero?
BUT, OKAY, THAT UPPER LEVEL? NO GOOD: In a move long expected but nevertheless a sign that we're all aging, Ed Snider announced this morning that the Philadelphia Spectrum will be demolished at the conclusion of the 2008-09 minor league hockey and indoor lacrosse seasons to clear room for a "new retail-and-entertainment complex that could include a hotel, restaurants, bars, stores and more."

Completed in 1967 to accomodate Snider's new NHL franchise, the building hosted 10 NBA or NHL championship series before the teams moved across the parking lot to the new building in 1996; countless Grateful Dead, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen concerts; The Laettner Shot and, oh yes, Dr. J's dunk On Michael Cooper.

An official Remember the Spectrum website has video of Snider reminiscing and, more interestingly, a calendar of events held there. (It's not quite complete -- the announced two-days-before-it-happened G n'R show I attended in June 1991 before Use Your Illusion came out is missing.)

Yeah, it was kind of a dump, but it was our dump. The dump where I saw the Blonde Ambition tour from the lower level with a ticket bought on the street for $20, the Graceland tour and Dr. J's last regular season home game. Sigh.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Office's Darryl Reveals On-Set Info and Why His Stand-up is 'Like a Picnic' - The Power of Citizen Journalism

DINKIN FLICKA: Apparently, it's quite awesome to be comedian Craig Robinson, who plays Darryl on "The Office" and has prominent roles in the upcoming Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, as well as (I believe) a number of Rogen-free projects. I'm also a big fan of his cameo as a bouncer in Knocked Up (NSFW clip, but again with the Rogen!)
I'M SORRY BUT IT'S TRUE: Perhaps because of their respective "relationships" with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel are splitting.
I WANNA BE A ROCK STAR: In case the news that Rock Band 2 will be the exclusive place to get approved new tracks from Guns n' Roses isn't enough to get you revved up, take a look at the official full track list, announced this afternoon--AC/DC! Dylan! Alanis Morrisette! Duran Duran! Modest Mouse!
SO YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD DANCE: So all that dithering on the momentous question of whether Jessica or Comfort would be the most worthy #5 female dancer in the nation was apparently for naught, as Jessica has suffered an injury that is taking her out of the competition. At SYTYCD's upfronts presentation this morning, a deliberately vague Nigel would only specify that Jessica's injury would take about five weeks to heal -- which clearly distinguishes her from Hairspray's fun-lovin' free-wheelin' Brenda, just in case anyone was curious. Hard-hitting newsies Seriously? OMG! WTF? report that it's a knee injury. This is all cold comfort to Comfort, as now she gets to be eliminated all over again. (But it does ensure that she makes the tour, so I guess it's warm comfort to Comfort.)

One little spoiler from Nigel: one of this week's couples is Courtney and Joshua. That could be cute.
BUT VERE IS COUNT VON COUNT? Feist teaches Sesame Street viewers how to count to 4. Sadly, Sesame Workshop is not teaching viewers her further non-traditional method of counting to 10.

From The Magazine : Radar Online : How Hollywood's A-list idols are losing their movie-selling mojo

THE BUGGLES HAVE BEEN CALLED IN FOR QUESTIONING: Radar magazine is trying to determine who killed the Hollywood star:
Since 2007, with the notable exception of Will Smith, whose upcoming tent-pole flick Hancock is enjoying some of the best prerelease buzz of any summer film, virtually every star of note has tanked at the box office, sending a collective shiver down the industry's spine. Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Ben Stiller, and Will Ferrell have all starred in movies that made less than $40 million domestically, far from the magic number — $100 million — that's become the standard measure of a successful release. Outside of their tried-and-true franchises, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Cameron Diaz, and Johnny Depp have fared little better, topping out, in some cases, at less than $70 million. Same thing for the presumably unbeatable duo of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, whose widely praised political romp, Charlie Wilson's War, took in a scant $66 million.
I happen to be particularly intrigued by #5, their doppelgänger theory: "The tabloid press can do more than just dent a star's image—it can also co-opt it, creating a long-running narrative arc about an actor more compelling than any movie. Take Brad Pitt, for instance, who despite his fame has failed to connect with audiences not only in a small, dark movie like The Assassination of Jesse James, but also in a pure Hollywood spectacle like Troy. If the audience doesn't want to see Brad playing a beefy, long-haired blond Greek Adonis, what the hell do they want? As it turns out, they want to see Brad Pitt playing himself, or the version of himself that turns up in the tabloids every week."

I recognize that part of the problem is that the movies in question weren't very good, but that's the problem: it used to be that if you were a star, they didn't have to be, because the fans still came. Now ...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

NO RECOMMENDATION FOR OFF-THE-MENU ORDERING AT RED LOBSTER, HOWEVER: ALOTT5MA fave Tim Gunn sits down for ten questions with Time Magazine.

And he does not avoid the question of which contestant truly was the most irritating.
WELL, IT'S EITHER THIS OR WE COVER THE 700 MHZ WIRELESS SPECTRUM AUCTION: The Federal Communications Commission has fined Philadelphia's 610 WIP-AM $4000 (PDF) for unlawfully disqualifying a 2005 Wing Bowl 13 competitor (28 clementines in 3m 4sec) who was dropped after the station found out he headed the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters, a rival of Wing Bowl's accrediting organization.

(HT: Michael Klein.)
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, NOT HALF BAD: Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon joined the Jolie-Pitt menagerie last night.