Friday, July 23, 2010

AND WE HAVEN'T EVEN HEARD FROM JEFFSTER! YET: ALOTT5MA does not yet have a Comicon correspondent, so no live coverage (I thought about going this year, though), but aside from ill-kept secrets (Joss Whedon is assembling The Avengers, Comicon loves Scott Pilgrim) and some nice surprises (a Sam Axe-centric Burn Notice prequel movie? Yes, please, especially if he gets to use his boomstick), it's always the musical performances that stand out--so this year, we have Barenaked Ladies performing The Big Bang Theory theme live (including two additional verses), and Tim DeKay and Matt Bomer from White Collar attempting to groove to "Tik Tok." If there's additional Comicon news worth discussing (or if you're there and want to gloat), this is the place to do it.
THE MOST POPULAR MOVIE EVER MADE: A sad-eyed celebrity joins a televised dance competition, where she falls madly in love with her assigned partner, a melancholic young vampire widower raising octuplets. Their chief competitors, a hunky bad-boy werewolf biker and a famous beautiful double-agent, coerce the snarky British judge into announcing that if the celebrity/vampire couple doesn't make sectionals, they will be digitized and imprisoned in a computer. Our heroes escape, with the help of a genially rumpled stoner and a team of fashionable Manhattan bachelorettes, to a nearby hospital, where they pose as surgical interns and teach the crusty administrator that patients are more important than profits.

This movie is called Two and a Half Men.
THIS IS A WEIRD PLACE TO WORK: I'm still not 100% sold on Covert Affairs--yes, it reminds me of a less convoluted Alias, but Piper Perabo is no Jennifer Garner, and Peter Gallagher is neither SpyDaddy nor Evil Uncle Arvin--but I am 100% sold on the cool opening credits, which are kind of a cross between the opening credits of Chuck and the great Catch Me If You Can opening credits. (Also, Sendhil Ramamurthy is much less annoying when he doesn't have to spout pretentious voiceover.)
THIS WAS DANIEL SCHORR: Longtime journalism fixture Daniel Schorr died this morning at 93. NPR has an extensive obituary along with an archive of recent commentaries. (Most bizarre factoid--courtesy of Wiki--he was good friends with Frank Zappa.)
THE ADVERTISING ASSAULT: ALOTT5MA Temperature Check -- does knowing that Angelina Jolie is the star of a film make you more likely to see it, less likely to see it, or "it depends on the reviews"?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY ROUTINE: Yeah, I know there was no Broadway routine on last night's So You Think You Can Dance. But I have so few thoughts about last night that I needed to use the bullets anyway:
  • Nice lack of subtlety in Nigel calling out Billy Bell: "the doctors said you could have danced, but it was up to you, and you screwed us. Good luck tomorrow night."
  • Hey, Kherington! As shiny and happy as I remember her. Her mouth is so big that I think when she smiles she unhinges her jaw.
  • I continue to like Robert (whose jazz with Lauren was the best of the night, I thought) and to appreciate Lauren Froderman without actually liking her.
  • I did not get the overpraise for Jose, for Kent, or for the Tabitha-Napoleon hip-hop choreo that didn't have more than one second of decent footwork or any cool-looking tricks.
  • And what was with the slowness of the pieces? I get that Jose's contemporary had to be slow so that he could keep up, but slow hip hop and slow rhumba? Yaaaaaawn.
  • I'm really starting to notice the music supervisor on this show. I don't always like all the music, but it covers an extremely broad range. We've had two Florence + The Machine pieces, and this week we got Jon Brion. Nicely done.
  • Kathryn is an elegant dancer. She looks stupid wearing Jodie Foster's Taxi Driver wardrobe. Whoever invented high-waisted shorts needs to lose his or her sewing license. Putting that getup next to Kent (who already skews yokel) in ripped cutoff jeans was a huge mistake. They should have danced the theme to Dogpatch.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

IN DEFENSE OF REGGIE BUSH: Okay, I lied. This isn't exactly a defense of Reggie Bush.* Bush cheated, and he should give back his Heisman, and the NCAA should actively try to ferret out cases where athletes are breaking its rules, and if athletes break those rules, they should be punished in proportion to the violation, which in Bush's case would have meant permanent ineligibility. Punishment, consequences, yes. Demonization and anger, no.

(It feels like everybody must have an inkling of who Bush is, since the less you know about football, the greater the probability that you know about Kardashians. If you watch neither ESPN nor E!, however, the short story is that when Bush was a standout running back at USC, he took almost $300,000 in "gifts" from an agent. USC has now been sanctioned essentially for not paying close enough attention while Bush was being paid, among other things.)
ONIONS! TRIMMED SIDEBURNS! If you believe (as I do) that nearly every baseball game presents something new, I don't know which clip you'll more discussion-worthy from yesterday: Don Mattingly's odd ejection or Carl Crawford demonstrating why players should wear a cup.
BUT WILL HIS HAIR MOVE WHEN IN THE WILD? In perhaps the most bizarre piece of reality show casting yet, among the contestants on this fall's Survivor: Nicaragua will be former Dallas Cowboys coach and current Fox NFL commentator Jimmy Johnson.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WRAPPING PAPER: I mean, rapping paper.
"I WANT TO GO MAKE A COMEDY LIKE THE ONES I USED TO MAKE": Bill Murray opens up to GQ. Much discussion as to the status of Ghostbusters 3, and a whole lot of (possible) insight into a guy who doesn't talk very often.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, JOE DIMAGGIO? According to the annual Harris Interactive annual poll conducted last month -- and you know I'm a fan of accurate polling -- Kobe Bryant has moved from fourth place into a tie with Tiger Woods for the title of America's Favorite Sports Star. Woods had held the title solo since 2006. Woods, Derek Jeter, Brett Favre, Michael Jordan and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have each placed in the top ten every year since at least 2004, and Drew Brees (replacing Albert Pujols) is the sole wholly new member of the top 10.

On the women's side, it's Serena-Venus-Danica for the second straight year.

Monday, July 19, 2010

DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE THE FOODS YOU EAT? As in, have you ever seen fruits and vegetables through an MRI scan?
SHUT THE DOOR, HAVE A SEAT: Following up on the Man-Off, and in preparation for the Mad Men season premiere on Sunday, which may warrant Full Team Coverage (and based on a discussion with a few faithful readers on Twitter) it's time for Mad Men Boff, Marry, Kill--we have both a female and male edition for you:

Females: Joan Holloway, Betty Draper, Peggy Olson
Men: Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell

(FWIW--universal agreement on the female side thus far that Betty dies--I go marry Peggy, boff Joan.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN: Spacewoman and I saw Inception last night, and it was probably the soonest we've seen a movie after release since Spaceboy v1.0's beta release. It did not disappoint. It was as vividly imagined and richly styled a movie as I have seen in a long time, set in a noirish future that, like the world of Blade Runner, smells like a seedy past. There were some things I could have done without -- all of the gratuitous exposition that Ellen Page was asked to bear (a studio note, I would guess), for example, or an overly intrusive score that, for the first half-hour, buzzed like a vuvuzela. On the whole, though, it felt like Nolan, like his architects, wanted viewers to inhabit a world that was at once recognizable and unfamiliar, broadly impossible but governed by an internally logical and consistent set of rules. And it worked.

But now come the spoilery thoughts:
HELLO, LADIES:Man off! Who's more manly--Old Spice Man, Don Draper, or Abed as Don Draper?