Friday, August 31, 2012

APPARENTLY, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH STAR BLAZERS OR THE CFL:  Okay, so his beloved Red Sox haven't won on his birthday since the release of Good Will Hunting, but it hasn't stopped Ben Affleck from becoming a heck of an interesting filmmaker. Argo looks awesome.
WITH MALICE TOWARDS ALL; WITH CHARITY TO NONE:  The question was posted on Reddit, and blogger Geoff Micks handicaps the entire field: In a mass knife fight to the death between every American President, who would win and why?

LBJ's chances, of course, depend on whether he was wearing his custom Haggar slacks.
YOU'VE GOTTA LISTEN TO IMUS. IMUS DOES IT PERFECTLY:  From our Minor Moments in Pop Culture History Desk (translation: I've got nothing right now), yesterday marked the 30-year anniversary of Howard Stern's debut on WNBC radio in New York City, which then occupied 660 on your AM dial. (You know how that story ends.) The linked FishbowlNY story is a nice detailed history of Stern's early days in NYC, and does contain my favorite Paul Giamatti scene from Private Parts—or you can hear how Imus actually said it at the end of this 1983 tv ad featuring him and Stern.
DANCIN' IN THE RUINS: Forty lousy albums by forty great artists.

Sorry, slideshow. A few may merit particular discussion:

Prince - Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic
The Clash - Cut the Crap
Liz Phair - Liz Phair
Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan - Dylan and the Dead
Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks - Everybody’s Rockin
Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
R.E.M. - Monster
Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
The Rolling Stones - Dirty Work

Thursday, August 30, 2012

GONNA HAVE MYSELF A TIME:  Does anyone at the ALOTT5MA Travel & Leisure Desk have advice for places to visit and dine while in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I'll be for the next week?  I'll be staying in the South Park section, for whatever that's worth.
SIR MIX-A-LOT, BY SIR IAN McKELLEN: Gandalf likes 'em real, thick and juicy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BOMP! (X 2): We have teams for the next installment of TAR, in which teams will be seeking a doubled prize--$2 million.  Among the teams?  Married professional monster truck drivers, a double amputee pro snowboarder and her boyfriend, two Chippendales dancers, and a former member of Megadeth and his friend, an entertainment lawyer. Plus?  Don't think there's a single person who describes their profession as "model!"
THUS MARKING THE FIRST TIME THE SHOW HAS BEEN HOSTED BY A MANATEE: With the SNL season premiere only two weeks away, we have our first three host/musical guest combos.  Season premiere will feature Seth MacFarlane hosting and musical guest Frank Ocean (with a likely guest appearance by either or both of Kanye/Jay-Z, I expect).  Week two will be Joseph Gordon Levitt and Mumford & Sons, in an apparent effort to build back up hipster cred after MacFarlane, and week three will be Daniel Craig and Muse.  Others I expect to see on the list for the fall?  Taylor Swift as host and/or musical guest to sell her new album, Ben Affleck to sell Argo, and someone from Breaking Dawn (more likely Pattinson than Stewart, I'd guess).
SHE LOOKS AT ME LIKE I'M SOME STUPID FUCK PLAYING SOME STUPID GAME FOR STUPID PENNY-ANTE STAKES:  In this week's Wire episode, "Reformation," everyone's realizing the game they've been playing just may be at its end. Bunny knows that Hamsterdam has reached its limits; Stringer cannot reconcile the business ends of the New Day Co-Op with the street-level desires of his boss, nor is he receiving the benefits from the inside game with Sen. Davis that he had hoped; McNulty's realizing that street-level policing may just be a pebble compared to the oceans of power above him. And if that isn't enough, Brother Mouzone is on the warpath, and, yes, Omar comin'.

And yet there's hope. Cool Lester Smooth pulls off what seems to be the gambit of all gambits by getting Bernard and Squeak to buy pre-bugged burners from him directly (aided by Rhonda's own manipulation of Judge Phelan); Cutty may just get a few hoppers to listen to him; Carver just may have been influenced by Bunny's lecture (and, yeah, that was a bit too lecture-y) to become better police.

Oh, yeah. Hi, Rawls!  Good to see you. Two more episodes to go.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BEAR IN MIND, THE CAST HAS EMMYS, GRAMMYS, AND OSCAR NOMINATIONS: If you've been to the movies of late, you may have been subjected to advertising for The Oogieloves In The BIG Balloon Adventure, including a trailer that indicates that dancing along in the theatre will be encouraged, and I offer, without comment, this ACTUAL synopsis of the film from its advertising material:
Over the mountains, beyond the sea, is the loveliest place there ever could be.  It's in this wonderfilled land of Lovelyloveville that our BIG interactive adventure begins.  Meet Goobie, Zoozie, and Toofie, the Oogieloves, as we set out to find Lonelyloveville's last five magical balloons in time for our very dear friend Schluufy's surprise birthday party. Shhhh!!! It's a secret!!! As we all search for the golden balloons throughout Fun Forest and over Great Grass Lake, together we meet colorful new friends along the way, including a comically rose-obsessed diva (Toni Braxton), a grandmother with a hysterical passion for polka dots (Cloris Leachman), an Elvisesque diner owner and his milkshake-making cow (Chazz Palminteri), a cowboy who grows bubbles in the back of his truck (Cary Elwes), and a couple of enthusiastic dancers who live in a giant hovercraft shaped sombrero (Christopher Lloyd and Jaime Pressly).  With the help of old friends and new, can we along with the Oogieloves, find the balloons in time for what could become Lonelyloveville's most sensational surprise party ever?  In a world of endless possibilities, The Oogieloves In The BIG Balloon Adventure just might be the most extraordinary and joyous adventure of all time.
I really don't know where to start, but I'll start with two questions--does Palminteri play the diner owner, or the cow?  Do the dancers live in a sombrero shaped like a hovercraft, or a hovercraft shaped like a sombrero?  Does it even matter?
I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS:  TotalFilm slideshows its list of the Fifty Most Disappointing Movies of All Time; thank goodness someone compiled it all onto one page.  (My complaint: not enough Shyamalan. Where's Signs?)
MAORIS [HEART] LEW ZEALAND: Apparently, actual Swedes believe the Swedish Chef sounds Norwegian.

Monday, August 27, 2012

WHY AND HOW THE BOARD MADE ITS DECISION IS NOT MY STORY TO TELL:  Many here had expressed misgivings about Joe Posnanski's hot-off-the-presses biography of Joe Paterno. Based on Stefan Fatsis' review on Slate, as well as the other reviews to which he links (and in particular, Allen Barra's), your concerns were well-placed:
Posnanski has said he wrote “the most honest book” he could. But that doesn’t make Paterno the right book. Posnanski is determined to show the redemptive side of Paterno. That’s admirable, and fair; Paterno was more than the Sandusky case, and more than what happened in the few months before he died.... Every anecdote about Paterno’s good character, every testimonial to his tough love (and there are dozens) feels like a calculated rebuttal to the accusations that he wasn’t aware enough or caring enough or vigilant enough when it mattered most—that he will be perceived forever by many as a hypocrite who said that football should be secondary to morality and ethics and a life well-lived but, at the moment that will define him, didn’t practice what he preached.
Posnanski's new website, Sports on Earth (a co-production of USA Today and MLB Advanced Media), with writers including Will Leitch, Alex Belth, and Mike Tanier, debuted today.

related: It was announced today that PSU football games will no longer blare "Sweet Caroline" on the PA system, because touching me, touching you ... yes, one understands why that's problematic.
PUSSY-ASS COWARD-ASS PUSSIFIED PUSSIES:  So, um, The Newsroom. Yeah. It got better, and I didn't hate it, but I so much would prefer the show which this could be to the one which it actually is—even if in my dreams the show consists 80% of Sam Waterston yelling at people, 18% political content and 2% failed romcom. I think Alan's right to focus on the fact that in a show based on our recent past, NewsNight with Will McAvoy cannot actually end up being effective in changing what happens, in improving the discourse, etc., which leaves, what? The bus scene?

Let me ask this: would you rather see Season 2 of this, or of Studio 60? Related: The AVClub's summer-long recap of season 4 of The West Wing today takes it to the worst episode of Sorkin's era on the show.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MAYBE HE SHOULDN'T HAVE HUNG AROUND WITH MOIST SO MUCH: Some lawyers have helpfully analyzed the legal issues in Estate of Penny v. Horrible and concluded that barring supervillain powers over the justice system, there is a substantial risk of Dr. Horrible being found to have acted negligently.