Friday, October 28, 2011

CLEARLY, HE DID NOT ALWAYS HAVE SUCH SKEPTICISM OF GOVERNMENT: Did you know that a crew cutted Nick Offerman appeared on The West Wing as one of the people advocating spending $900 million on the "Wolves-Only Roadway?"
ASIDE FROM THAT, MRS. LINCOLN, HOW WAS THE PLAY? The opening paragraph of the NYT's takedown of Anonymous (the inexplicable Roland Emmerich "Shakespeare was a fraud!" movie) is well worth your time, even if the movie apparently isn't. What's exciting you at the movies of late as we move into Oscar-bait and holiday blockbuster season?
WE WILL SEE YOU ... TOMORROW NIGHT:  Perhaps it was serendipitous that this occurred on the eve of the release of a Justin Timberlake scifi film regarding the condemned doing whatever they could to steal little bits of time to remain alive, but, wow, what a game. From the Freese error on the popup to the decision not to pinch-hit for Colby Lewis in the fifth, to Tony LaRussa calling in a starting pitcher to pinch-hit for a starting pitcher who had been announced as a pinch-hitter for the reliever scheduled to bat, to all the ridiculous glory of innings 7-11, wow. Thank you, baseball.  Can we please have another?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

DO WE HAVE A 'SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE ADAPTATIONS' DESK?  Prepare to experience the Battle of East Tremont like you've never seen it before, because HBO has signed Oliver Stone to direct an adaptation of Robert Caro's The Power Broker being penned by Nicholas Meyer.
PREPARE FOR THE QUARTER QUELL: With the film opening now about five months away, it's time for Hunger Games hype to move into full gear. I'm assuming we'll get a full trailer with one of the Thanksgiving/Christmas blockbusters (sadly, likeliest guess? Breaking Dawn: Part One), but today we get 8 character posters, giving us our first look at Effie Trinket, Haymitch Abernathy, Cinna, and Rue. Nothing of Donald Sutherland's President Snow or Stanley Tucci's Caesar Flinkman yet, but for a film targetted at teens, they're surprisingly dark.
I'LL TAKE "ALOTT5MA DILEMMAS" FOR $400, ALEX:  Which well-reviewed book released Tuesday are you reading first: the oral history of the early years of MTV, or the Steve Jobs biography?  To what extent is your decision guided by the fact that only one of the two books, apparently, contains an entire chapter on the making of the video for Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite"?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

YOU LOOK LIKE A FINGER AFTER A TEN-HOUR BATH: On the occasion of a fine episode of Happy Endings (and here is my apology to Happy Endings for quitting after five minutes last season; it's always a pleasant surprise when writers learn to write for their characters and their actors), I had a thought. I am wondering whether Penny and Max's mother-and-baby-in-Bjorn costume was the most subtly disturbing costume on television since Sam Weir donned the Viking head for McKinley. They both seem to fall right in the middle of the real-world uncanny valley.
YOUR BROTHER IS STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN: We may have long ago said everything that we can possibly say, so we turn to the AV Club's Nathan Rabin to figure out why everyone kept talking about about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip so damn much:
Here’s the ultimate tragedy of Studio 60: For decades, comedy lovers have bemoaned that comedy is never taken seriously. Comedies are ghettoized. They’re ignored at the Academy Awards and dismissed by critics. So it should have been a good thing when a serious man finally came along to take comedy seriously. But Studio 60 takes comedy so seriously it goes full circle and becomes comic...

FEAR THE MUSTACHE:  In this video, supporters of interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee justify his reversal on a previous decision not to see election to a full term, arguing that the legitimacy he has demonstrated in office requires that he not quit now:

[The campaign finance lawyer in me notes that this is an independent expenditure ad, not a campaign buy, and San Franciscans for Jobs and Good Government is principally funded by angel investor Ron Conway and that Sean Parker. The baseball fan in me wonders if we're at Brian Wilson's 15th minute yet.]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

IT EATS LARVA: I am not sure what to think about the fact that the guy who did the honey badger video has obtained a legitimate book deal.
FROM THE ALOTT5MA EATS, SHOOTS, AND LEAVES DESK: How many times did I have to read the following USA Today headline, even having listened to the news this morning, before I figured out that it was talking about something completely different from what I thought? The headline, line break included:
1 Million Get Shot
To Save on Loans
Seems extreme, but I guess we all do what we need to do.
WHO YA GOT? In honor of the 10th anniversary of the debut of Pardon The Interruption, they've assembled a 11 minute highlight reel of cold opens, including Tony's costumes, dancing (both penguin and otherwise), Dan Le Batard shouting "BAM!," and explorations of the 7th planet in our galaxy. (Failure to include Trampoline Bear is a serious omission.)
ZOMBIE IN A PENGUIN SUIT: A few days ago, there was a bit of chatter about the limits of the zombie genre including a discussion of just what sort of slice-of-life moment might make best demonstrate that the world really has gone bad. I was then unaware of this little gem that may well answer the question.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SOME CUPID KILLS WITH ARROWS, SOME WITH TRAPS: Much Ado About Nothing is a favorite Shakespeare comedy, but we haven't had a film adaptation since 1993's Branagh/Thompson (and more sadly, Keanu Reeves) version, with a BBC TV version attempting to update it to the modern era in 2005. How do we feel about "Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing," which is apparently real?
THE COOLEST THING IS THAT YOUR ENTIRE MUSIC LIBRARY FITS IN YOUR POCKET:  Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the iPod to the world.  It stored 5 GB of songs, cost $399.00, and utterly changed the music industry.