Friday, October 26, 2012

POOCHIE'D: Responding to fan complaints, The Good Wife is going to shorten the originally planned long term Kalinda/Nick plot arc.  Particularly with Parenthood making a strong play for the title of "best network drama" right now, this seems a wise call.
O.CO COLISEUM, YOU'RE OFF THE HOOK:  There cannot be a worse name for a home stadium/ballpark/arena in American professional sports than Sacramento's newly rechristened Sleep Train Arena, is there?
BECAUSE WE DON'T WAIT FOR THE NOR'EASTERS TO COME TO US:  Name your favorite Sandys, real, fictional, canine, baked, or otherwise.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

HEMINGWAY WAS TOO DRUNK TO BE REACHED FOR COMMENT:  The estate of William Faulkner has sued Sony Pictures, as distributor of Midnight In Paris, claiming that a line in the script which quotes from Faulkner (citing him), claiming that its use made viewers believe the film was authorized by the Faulkner estate.  The pleading isn't there, but I'm having trouble figuring out how there's a good copyright or Lanham Act claim here.  Pretty sure no viewer thought the film was approved by the Faulkner estate.

ETA:  Here's the complaint, which was brought in Mississippi, rather than LA, and which is mightily barebones--29 paragraphs, and three claims--copyright infringement, Lanham Act, and right of publicity/personality.
IT HAS NUDITY, VIOLENCE AND SEXUALITY, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: Cloud Atlas, um, is this going to make my head hurt?
Roger Ebert: "Surely this is one of the most ambitious films ever made.... Anywhere you go where movie people gather, it will be discussed. Deep theories will be proposed. Someone will say, 'I don't know what in the hell I saw.'" 
A.O. Scott: "This is by no means the best movie of the year, but it may be the most movie you can get for the price of a single ticket. It blends farce, suspense, science fiction, melodrama and quite a bit more, not into an approximation of Mr. Mitchell’s graceful and virtuosic pastiche, but rather into an unruly grab bag of styles, effects and emotions held together, just barely, by a combination of outlandish daring and humble sincerity."

Keith Phipps: "Measured scene by scene, the film isn’t always successful, and its transcendent moments make it easy to wish it could reach that elevated pitch more often. But Cloud Atlas is the sort of work where the big picture matters more than the details. It’s an imperfect film of great daring and tremendous humanity, a work of many stories, but a singular achievement."
PERFECT FOR SECOND BREAKFASTS: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has decided to opt for a food tie-in with, of all places, Denny's, and there's an elaborate menu.  Enjoy your one onion ring to rule them all, one onion ring to find them.
"WOW": If you had told me Pablo Sandoval could hit three home runs in a World Series game, I might have believed you because -- as much as I enjoy baseball -- I'm pretty much an idiot about it. If you told me he could do it with Justin Verlander starting, I'd have been delighted to know I was no longer the most ignorant man in the room.
HOW ABOUT THIS LEAFLET?  Slate interviews Franklin Foer on his new anthology, Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame:
[T]he history of Jewish athletics is much richer than most folks realize. Basketball and boxing were both dominated by Jews during the interwar years. (Back then, a third of all boxing champions were Jews. You could find them in every weight class.) Football, not a very Jewish discipline on the surface, was practically invented by our people. Benny Friedman and Sid Luckman created the modern quarterback as we know him. Sid Gilman was the genius who conceived the basic structure of offense you see on your television sets each Sunday. Al Davis—yeah, we own him, too—reshaped the image of the game. That's to say nothing of the TV executives, the newspaper journalists, and marketing geniuses who left their sizable stamps on football.

Our thesis is that the Jewish contribution to sports is very much akin to the Jewish contribution to Hollywood. To paraphrase: We built that.... You can find Jewish champions in almost every sport, with one strange exception: golf. There are lots of Jewish country clubs and lots of Jewish doctors on the links, but there are stunningly few members of the tribe on the PGA tour. I have struggled to find a theory to explain this paucity.
Slate has some excerpts from the book, including Emily Bazelon on Renée Richards, and Jonathan Safran Foer on Bobby Fischer ("Not a jock, and not a Jew by any definition richer than heredity, Bobby Fischer was the quintessential Jewish Jock. He worked harder than any of his peers. He attempted to conceal his insecurity behind an ego built for 20, and his self-love behind self-hatred behind self-love. And perhaps more than any human who has ever lived, he kvetched.")
ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO THURSDAY UPDATE:  Ben Yagoda writes for the NYT on the joys of the em dash:
Writers who deploy this mark comfortably and adeptly (rather than haphazardly) are conscious of the rhythm and dynamics of a sentence. A well-placed dash adds energy and voice. The period is sometimes referred to as a “full stop,” and I think of the dash as fully a three-quarters stop. It proposes a long pause — slightly longer than a parenthesis, significantly longer than a comma — that in a subtle way calls attention to itself; as the linguist Geoffrey Nunberg has remarked, dashes are primarily found in “genres that permit reference to be made to the act of composition, whether the break indicated by the dash is genuine or artful invention…” (In other words, be wary of using them in an international treaty or a scientific paper.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WHERE'S THE BOOMSTICK?  The (red band, as it contains NSFW language and a lot of blood) trailer for the Evil Dead reboot sure makes it look like exactly the movie Cabin In The Woods rendered superfluous.
THERE AIN'T NO ISLAND LEFT FOR ISLANDERS LIKE ME:  In what may be the biggest disaster to strike Long Island since Lizzie Grubman stepped behind the wheel of her SUV, it looks like the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn (if there's ever an NHL again).
CONEY DOGS AND GARLIC FRIES:  Thanks to Melky Cabrera's efforts in the All-Star Game, the San Francisco Giants will host the Detroit Tigers this evening in Game One of the World Series. Who's winning, and why, and why should the rest of us care?
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. LET'S SHOW THOSE THIRD-WORLD FUCKS HOW IT'S DONE:  If you've seen The Contender, you remember the line: "Marvin ... What do we do now?", and there's some echo of that towards the end of "Margin of Error" (Sepinwall, with David Simon comments on a 2255Goodman) when Tommy Carcetti realizes that he will, in fact, become the mayor of Baltimore. At first he's numb, then excited with his wife, and then as we see him with D'Agostino at the end, there's an increased seriousness of purpose to him, that if he really believes all the stuff he's saying about what he'd like to do as mayor he'd better grow up a little. [Part of that growing up, of course, means smiling when Clay Davis visits your victory party, unapologetic about the $20K he took.]

[Election Law note of the week: if the anti-Carcetti flyer didn't have a paid-for-by disclosure box, then you'd have a good chance under PA law at getting an injunction forbidding its distribution, for what it's worth.]

In other news: Omar's in trouble, Namond's in double-trouble (between his mom and the school's new Hamsterdam), Herc's an idiot, Carver really is Good Police (with Randy), and Rawls must've been reading that magazine for the articles. Also, more Donut.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

THE ONLY POLL THAT MATTERS:  More annoying commercial pitchman: Lonely Citi Guy Who Still Gets Dissed Backstage by Alicia Keys, or Mr. Deja ... Deja ... Deja Vu?
IF YOU CAN SEE WALLY AND HIS CARDS YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DIE:  A recent WSJ A-hed profiles Wally Ferensten, who has been responsible for SNL's cue cards for the past 22 years, and does answer the question of why a show's still using cue cards following the invention of the teleprompter.

related:  With Louis C.K. set to host SNL in two weeks, Splitsider recounts his 19-year history with the show, from his audition to his frequent contributions to TV Funhouse. (Yes, there's video.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

YEAH MR. WHITE!  YEAH, MUSIC! In the category of "things you didn't think you needed, but actually do," how about a Breaking Bad recap set to Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together?"
MODERN ETIQUETTE DESK:  Last Saturday night, we took my mom out for an early dinner for her 70th birthday, four kids included, to an upscale Italian/steakhouse restaurant. (To locals: not that one; the other one.)  It was odd that well over a half-hour after ordering, we still had received nothing but bread, and not seen our server in quite some time, so when he did finally emerge we asked him about the status of our first course. When he returned, he explained that, oops!, because of some electrical issue the printer in the kitchen hadn't been switched on, so they hadn't actually received our orders yet, but they were now finally being prepared. (Which raises the question: just what was the server doing in a relatively empty restaurant for all that time when he wasn't checking in on his table's order?) Compound that error with the unpardonable sin that a table which had ordered after us still received their first course before we did (mom: irate), add in the server's general not-getting-it of "really, we have kids here: bring whatever's ready as soon as it's ready," and it was near calamitous but-for the relatively resolute behavior of the kids, who didn't fall apart as well they could have. (One other server flub? He came over and asked us, "well, I guess you're not having dessert?", even though we had already confirmed with the hostess that it was a birthday celebration.)

Ultimately, the restaurant comped us for the entire ~$300 meal, so that's not my question. (Oddly, we were only told this in passing by our server -- well, I guess we're comping your meal (so stop complaining) -- after some question about the entrees, and not by the manager coming over with an apologetic we're really, really sorry as one would have expected.) This is the question: what, if anything should we have left as a tip?  I'll give you the answer at which we arrived, later today.