Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Everything Old Is New Again

I know, I know, this is old news now... but I can't pass up another Britney update. And besides, by the time I hit "Publish" I'm sure there'll be more news of how Britney has made herself dentures out of Kabbalah bracelets or come out publicly against her body-swap with Courtney Love and then you'll be thinking "Gee, I miss the old days when all she did was swap clothes with strippers and try to kill SUVs with an umbrella" and you'll be grateful I've posted almost week-old news today then, I'll tell you what!

So, Britney went to K-Fed's home recently, but when she wasn't allowed to see her kids she started attacking a white SUV (a white SUV that had almost nothing to do with banning her from K-Fed's house, I'm lead to believe) with an umbrella. She was reportedly waiting outside Kevin's place for 45 minutes before her mom eventually picked her up and took her back to the rehab facility.

Look at her go! I thought she was just having fun when she shaved her head but she really is losing her mind. She's that face on the cautionary posters in the mental ward! "Take your meds, pick up your crayons or end up like this!" A week from now we're gonna read about the Promises treatment facility shutting down because she killed all the employees and started eating their faces. With Kabballah teeth. You read it here first.

Thanks for the pics, Julie!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Loooooove Trash!

I can't explain why we watch the Oscars every year. I can tell you that I love listening to Nancy as she shouts at Joan Rivers and her daughter (who, really, none of us should even be remotely aware of) while they talk shit about celebrity passers-by on the red carpet. I can tell you I hate the "Best Song" performances if Debbie Allen is involved or not. I can tell you that no matter what anyone else tells you, David Letterman is the once and future king of the Oscar telecast... and I can tell you that as much as I love movies, I generally hate self-serving award shows.

The Oscars are different, though, and besides, they make Nancy happy, and that alone is enough to lead me to print Oscar ballots for us each year, and settle in for 4 hours of non-stop, unbelieveably-bad scripted chatter, missed cues, awkward acceptance speeches and, sadly, not a single person repeating "Uma? Oprah."

So, 4 hours to launch, here are my picks. An explanation: My pick to win? It's in bold. What I want to win? That's in italics. Every so often (okay, not so often) those two coincide, and in those happy instances? That's right! It's in bold italics! After the broadcast I'll highlight the winner in something close to Oscar gold, and tell you how my picks stacked up against Nancy's. She usually kicks my ass. I'm not mentioning this as some cop-out in case she does... she just does, and you deserve to know that now.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)

Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm)

Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Film Council)

Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Look, I just love Peter O'Toole, alright? If he isn't drunk all of the time, he really should be, and regardless, he'd give a hell of an acceptance speech... but let's face it, it's Forest's night, and that's cool 'cause he was Ghost Dog.

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)

Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line)

Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)

Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)

Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)

Yeah, I love Alan Arkin too, so? He deserves it, and with luck he'll say "I can close 'em!" at the podium as some wannabe model hands him his paperweight. I know everyone is saying Eddie Murphy, but you know what? We don't live in Bizarro world, so shut up. He just made Norbit, alright? Keep your eye on the ball.

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)

Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)

Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox)

Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)

I dunno... she seems Oscar-friendly, right?

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)

Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)

Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)

Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

I can buck the Eddie trend, but I'd be a fool to go against the American Idol girl. But if Abigail wins? That shriek of glee you hear? That came from my living room. That little girl rocks, and Dakota Fanning should be embarrassed.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

“Cars” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter

“Happy Feet” (Warner Bros.) George Miller

“Monster House” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

Achievement in Art Direction

“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount) Art Direction: John Myhre Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

“The Good Shepherd” (Universal) Art Direction: Jeannine OppewallSet Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) Art Direction: Eugenio CaballeroSet Decoration: Pilar Revuelta

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)Art Direction: Rick HeinrichsSet Decoration: Cheryl Carasik

“The Prestige” (Buena Vista)Art Direction: Nathan CrowleySet Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

The Prestige would be a great win too, and well-deserved, but man oh man... Pan's Labyrinth was easily the best film we saw all year (yes, even better than Superman Returns), and hands-down the most sumptuous visual feast.

Achievement in Cinematography

“The Black Dahlia” (Universal) Vilmos Zsigmond

“Children of Men” (Universal) Emmanuel Lubezki

“The Illusionist” (Yari Film Group) Dick Pope

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) Guillermo Navarro

“The Prestige” (Buena Vista) Wally Pfister

The scene in the car alone is Oscar-worthy. If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about.

Achievement in Costume Design

"Curse of the Golden Flower" (Sony Pictures Classics) Yee Chung Man

“The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox) Patricia Field

“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount) Sharen Davis

“Marie Antoinette” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Milena Canonero

“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Consolata Boyle

Achievement in Directing

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu

“The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese

“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood

“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears

“United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Marty has earned it. It's past time. Give him the damn thingee already.

Best Documentary Feature

“Deliver Us from Evil” (Lionsgate)A Disarming Films Production Amy Berg and Frank Donner

“An Inconvenient Truth” (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David ProductionDavis Guggenheim

“Iraq in Fragments” (Typecast Releasing in association with HBO Documentary Films)A Typecast Pictures/Daylight Factory Production James Longley and John Sinno

“Jesus Camp” (Magnolia Pictures)A Loki Films ProductionHeidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

“My Country, My Country” (Zeitgeist Films)A Praxis Films Production Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer

What, there are other nominees? The question really is: will Al announce his candidacy tonight? I'm thinking "Yes...."

Best Documentary Short Subject

“The Blood of Yingzhou District”A Thomas Lennon Films ProductionRuby Yang and Thomas Lennon

“Recycled Life”An Iwerks/Glad Production Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad

“Rehearsing a Dream”A Simon & Goodman Picture Company ProductionKaren Goodman and Kirk Simon

“Two Hands” A Crazy Boat Pictures Production Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Rose Behr

I have no idea, but my pick has "blood" in the title, and since there's no holocaust doc, this seems like a safe bet.

Achievement in Film Editing

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise

“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.) Steven Rosenblum

“Children of Men” (Universal) Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón

“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)Thelma Schoonmaker

“United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

“After the Wedding” A Zentropa Entertainments 16 ProductionDenmark

“Days of Glory (Indigènes)” A Tessalit ProductionAlgeria

“The Lives of Others” A Wiedemann & Berg ProductionGermany

“Pan’s Labyrinth” A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production Mexico

“Water” A Hamilton-Mehta Production Canada

Yay! It deserves this, and if you haven't seen it, go. Skip work tomorrow and go. No one will blame you.

Achievement in Makeup

“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista) Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano

“Click” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) David Martí and Montse Ribé

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Gustavo Santaolalla

“The Good German” (Warner Bros.) Thomas Newman

“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight) Philip Glass

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) Javier Navarrete

“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Alexandre Desplat

I'm at a loss without a John Williams score, but from what passages I've heard, this is the one to beat. Plus the film is in black-and-white, which, inexplicably, makes the music seem somehow weightier.

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

“I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth”(Paramount Classics and Participant Productions) Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge

“Listen” from “Dreamgirls”(DreamWorks and Paramount) Music by Henry Krieger and Scott CutlerLyric by Anne Preven

“Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls”(DreamWorks and Paramount) Music by Henry KriegerLyric by Siedah Garrett

“Our Town” from “Cars”(Buena Vista)Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“Patience” from “Dreamgirls”(DreamWorks and Paramount)Music by Henry KriegerLyric by Willie Reale

Total guess, but unless Melissa pulls a huge upset, it's gotta' be something from Dreamgirls, right? Besides, every Dreamgirls win is bound to piss Diana Ross off, so here's hopin'.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films ProductionAlejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers

“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)A Warner Bros. Pictures Production Graham King, Producer

“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures ProductionClint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers

“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)A Big Beach/Bona Fide ProductionDavid T. Friendly, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub, Producers

“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)A Granada ProductionAndy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

I'd be thrilled if Little Miss Sunshine won -and it deserves it to boot- but this should be the year of the Marty, so I'm all-in for The Departed.

Best Animated Short Film

“The Danish Poet” (National Film Board of Canada)A Mikrofilm and National Film Board of Canada ProductionTorill Kove

“Lifted” (Buena Vista)A Pixar Animation Studios Production Gary Rydstrom

“The Little Matchgirl” (Buena Vista)A Walt Disney Pictures ProductionRoger Allers and Don Hahn

“Maestro” (SzimplaFilm)A Kedd ProductionGéza M. Tóth

“No Time for Nuts” (20th Century Fox)A Blue Sky Studios ProductionChris Renaud and Michael Thurmeier

Best Live Action Short Film

“Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)”A Peliculas Pendelton and Tus Ojos ProductionJavier Fesser and Luis Manso

“Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)” (Kimuak)An Altube Filmeak ProductionBorja Cobeaga

“Helmer & Son”A Nordisk Film Production Søren Pilmark and Kim Magnusson

“The Saviour” (Australian Film Television and Radio School)An Australian Film Television and Radio School ProductionPeter Templeman and Stuart Parkyn

“West Bank Story” An Ari Sandel, Pascal Vaguelsy, Amy Kim, Ravi Malhotra and Ashley Jordan ProductionAri Sandel

Achievement in Sound Editing

“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista) Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar

“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.) Lon Bender

“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)Christopher Boyes and George Watters II

Tough call: war movie or shitty pirates movie... but I'm going with the pirates.

Achievement in Sound Mixing

“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista)Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Cámara

“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock

“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton

“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount) John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista) Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff

Still a tough call, but since this category is more technical and less creative, I'm throwing it to the war movie.

Achievement in Visual Effects

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall

“Poseidon” (Warner Bros.)Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chas Jarrett and John Frazier

“Superman Returns” (Warner Bros.)Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover and Jon Thum

I am incapable of picking anything else. But in all fairness, the effects were stunning.

Adapted Screenplay

“Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (20th Century Fox) Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan MazerStory by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips

“Children of Men” (Universal)Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

“The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Screenplay by William Monahan

“Little Children” (New Line) Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta

“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Patrick Marber

Children of Men was an amazing film, but I have a feeling The Departed will squeak out the win. And may i add that Borat doesn't even belong in the category? It's like nominating a Christopher Guest film: they were mostly improvised.

Original Screenplay

“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)Written by Guillermo Arriaga

“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)Screenplay by Iris YamashitaStory by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis

“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)Written by Michael Arndt

“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse)Written by Guillermo del Toro

“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)Written by Peter Morgan

Could be The Queen, though honestly nothing here should beat Little Miss Sunshine.

Later that same night:

Out of 24? I hit 14. Nancy? She hit 13. I won... but it should be said that the only time Nancy took the lead was when she voted against Superman Returns. Judging from the outcome, I'd say that was a mistake.

Some final thoughts:
  • Ellen was great.
  • I literally jumped for joy when Alan Arkin won.
  • I can't believe Mumenschanz wasn't available.
  • Haven't we all seen enough of Randy Newman?
  • Jack Black? Genius.
  • How did Pan's Labyrinth not win?
  • Nice turn on Al, prodding him to announce.
  • I still hate Tipper.
  • Tom Cruise? Really? It's not like Rosie was hosting.
  • What is it with old men and stupid glasses?
  • There's such a thing as to many montages.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Shaver's Remorse

I know it's hard to believe, but it looks like Britney Spears is already regretting her decision to shave her head. She was seen lounging poolside at the Mondrian hotel in West Hollywood wearing a green hat and a short blond wig less than 24 hours after shaving her head bald. A columnist for E! says:

"She was definitely having fun with her friends. The Mondrian is the kind of place you wouldn't go if you didn't want to be seen, especially during Oscar week. She wasn't exactly hiding. It was a beautiful Los Angeles day. Lots of people were around."

An employee at the hotel added:

"She was here, she was wearing a wig and nobody recognized her."

She was wearing a blonde wig and nobody recognized her? It doesn't take a master spy to crack her disguise. It's not like she was wearing a fat suit, stilts, and a fake moustache. If anything the wig should've made her easier to recognize.

Monday, February 19, 2007

ASCII And Ye Shall Receive

I admit it: this is a repost. But look, I just watched the entire thing again, and not only is it as cool as ever, it's still better than The Phantom Menace.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Bell Jar Tolls For Thee

Man alive! I leave the internet for a day and this happens?

First we (and by "we" I mean "you" since I was trapped in a basement all day, without internet access, but with plenty of access to people who insisted on saying things like "finesse the unit" and "our silos should be de-siloed") learned that Britney Spears checked into a rehab facility two days ago but refused to stay and checked out less than 24 hours later.

Now, I actually heard this late in the afternoon (from a stranger in a mens' room, no lie) and I immediately thought: "Wow, a whole day of rehab. I wonder if we'll even be able to recognize her anymore she'll be so different. "

Then, this morning, I saw this:

To be fair, I do still recognize her.

Well, it seems Britney showed up in a California tattoo parlor Friday night with a completely shaved head as she got a new tattoo of red lips on her wrist. Sweet jumpin' Regis Philbin, what happened to her in rehab? I'd say she's this close to a mental breakdown but I can't get my fingers close enough to convey just how deeply in the middle of a breakdown she is. My fingers would have to actually meld into each other for an accurate measurement.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Jamie's Cryin'

In a moment indicative of NBC's commitment to bring America quality, original programming, it was recently announced that The Bionic Woman will get an update in a new pilot for the network. In the original '70s series, tennis pro Jaime Sommers was granted amplified (bionic) hearing, a super-strong (bionic) right arm, and powerful (bionic) legs. Unfortunately, with the late '80s invention of Robocops, good hearing and some robot limbs just doesn't cut it anymore.

Here are my notes to keep the series fresh and relevant for today's savvy viewers:
  • Instead of the old repetitive sound and slow-motion when using bionic parts, we hear SexyBack
  • While making the legs bionic, scientists were forced to infuse the brains of one of the Wayans brothers (doesn't matter which ones) in each leg. So when she uses them, they bicker and make little jokes about how skinny white girls' legs are
  • Runs Linux (appealing to nerds for some reason)
Oh, and in case you were wondering: that's Michelle Ryan, and yes, she's the new Bionic Woman. I don't get it either. At this rate her bionic dog is gonna' be a toaster named "Paco".

Thursday, February 15, 2007

We Can Be Heroes... Just For One Day

You know what's annoying? People who snicker and say "Happy VD Day." Never mind that it's juvenile, it just doesn't make any semantic sense. "Happy Valentine's Day Day." Those same people? They go around saying "ATM machine" and "ISBN number." They also kick Cockapoos.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Greatest Loves Of All... Almost

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions:
America's 100 Greatest Love Stories

#1. Casablanca (1942)
#2. Gone With the Wind (1939)
#3. West Side Story (1961)
#4. Roman Holiday (1953)
#5. An Affair to Remember (1957)
#6. The Way We Were (1973)
#7. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
#8. It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
#9. Love Story (1970)
#10. City Lights (1931)
Annie Hall (1977)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Out of Africa (1985)
The African Queen (1951)
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Moonstruck (1987)
Vertigo (1958)
Ghost (1990)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
Pretty Woman (1990)
On Golden Pond (1981)
Now, Voyager (1942)
King Kong (1933)
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
The Lady Eve (1941)
The Sound of Music (1965)
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Swing Time (1936)
The King and I (1956)
Dark Victory (1939)
Camille (1937)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Gigi (1958)
Random Harvest (1942)
Titanic (1997)
It Happened One Night (1934)
An American in Paris (1951)
Ninotchka (1939)
Funny Girl (1968)
Anna Karenina (1935)
A Star is Born (1954)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
To Catch a Thief (1955)
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Graduate (1967)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
Sabrina (1954)
Reds (1981)
The English Patient (1996)
Two For the Road (1967)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
Picnic (1955)
To Have and Have Not (1944)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
The Apartment (1960)
Sunrise (1927)
Marty (1955)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Manhattan (1979)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
Harold and Maude (1971)
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Way Down East (1920)
Roxanne (1987)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
Woman of the Year (1942)
The American President (1995)
The Quiet Man (1952)
The Awful Truth (1937)
Coming Home (1978)
Jezebel (1938)
The Sheik (1921)
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Witness (1985)
Morocco (1930)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
Notorious (1946)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Working Girl (1988)
Porgy and Bess (1959)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Body Heat (1981)
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
Grease (1978)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Pillow Talk (1959)
Jerry Maguire (1996)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fresh Goes Better

"Doo doo doo doo, doo-doo, do-Waaaaaaaah!"

Remember those shots of Britney Spears in the tight red dress the other day at Club One? Apparently she didn't like what she was wearing so she asked one of the dancers to switch clothes with her. They took her downstairs to their dressing room and she changed out of her red dress and returned wearing a dancer bikini and a white busboy jacket and "that's what she walked out wearing." A source tells People:

"So she called the dancers over to talk to them, she said, because she
really liked those fishnet stockings. She just hung out with these two dancers
all night and kind of befriended them. She was trying on all their outfits and
left in a bikini and fishnets. That's it."
Only Britney Spears could wear what she was wearing and decide it wasn't whorish enough. "Yeah, my panties are hanging out the bottom, but there's gotta be a way I can show them off completely. Think, think, think..." And then a lightbulb goes off in her head and she tears off her dress, and as everybody looks on in horror she pops a Mentos into her mouth and smiles at the camera while a catchy jingle plays in the background and some guy with a deep voice says, "Mentos, the freshmaker!"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Man On The Moon

It isn't genius unless it makes you uncomfortable.
Sheer, unadulterated genius.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Catalano She Din't!

Much to Jared Leto's chagrin, Tila Tequila has deleted him from her Myspace friend list.

How could she do that to him? Do you know what I'd give for him to be my Myspace friend? Or just to look at me in the hallway between classes, or ask me to post Frozen Embryos posters on the bulletin boards and in the cafeteria, or once, just once, to invite me to rehearsa-- wait. That's not me I'm thinking of... it's Angela Chase.

Anyway, damn you Tila Tequila! You never really loved him! Not like I -dammit!- Angela did! Why can't I stop doing that? Just... just watch your back, Tila... when Tino gets here, he's gonna' teach you a thing or two about loyalty!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gay! It's The New Black!

Yesterday I posted links to (arguably) the best and worst Super Bowl commercials of all time. I was gonna' post one of the numerous links to the best commercials of Super Bowl XLI, but somehow that damn Snickers commercial made every list... which, frankly, freaks me out.

"Which Snickers commercial?" you ask? The blatantly homophobic Snickers commercial. The one without the weird guy strumming a guitar and serenading an office drone.

While I'm fairly certain you saw it (I understand everybody in the world watches the Super Bowl, and most of them watch mostly for the ads, which have been almost entirely disappointing since people decided they were cool), I'll do my best to describe it for you. A mechanic decides to open a Snickers bar while he and his co-mechanic are bent over the engine compartment of a car. It seems like a strange time for a candy bar, but okay, I'll go with it. At least he's not smoking. His co-mechanic is so drawn to the Snickers bar that he starts eating it from the other end while the first guy chomps away at the end already in his mouth. The two guys eat their way down the bar -just like Lady & the Tramp! How sweet!- until they meet in the middle, and accidentally kiss. The guys recoil in disgust... and then start ripping out their chest hair with their bare hands.

The ad is clearly homophobic, but at least the guys are just mutilating themselves. While they're doing so though, you're encouraged to go online and view the other possible endings for the ad, vote for your favorite, and see which ad runs during the Daytona 500.

So I dutifully went to the website. There you can view the ad that aired, and you can watch recorded-live-on-video reactions of real Bears and Colts players watching and reacting to the ad. And, of course, you can even watch the ad with 3 additional endings not shown on TV. You then vote on the three endings and the most popular one will air during the Daytona 500.

Now, you wanna' see what a homophobic, gay-bashing bunch the marketing geniuses and CEOs of Mars, Inc really are? Watch those alternate endings. Alternate endings, mind you, that those corporate whiz kids assume will appeal even more to stock car racing fans than the ending they aired for the football fans. Watch them, then try explain to me how the message they send is anything but "Anything is better than being gay."

Even if you think I'm overreacting to the ad in any of its forms, how do you justify the video clips of the players reacting to the ad (specifically to the mid-Snickers kiss) with grimmaces, looks of utter horror and more than one disgusted "That ain't right."? These guys are supposed to be role models, and there they sit, telling rednecks and kids that homosexuality "ain't right."

It's been almost three years since those blissful days of gay marriage ceremonies in San Francoisco's City Hall when -downtown anyway- it actually felt like there was hope for us as a species. Those of us who endorse anyone's vows of dedication and matrimony to anyone they choose knew -and know- that it's an uphill battle against a heterosexual establishment that so far has proven to be notoriusly bad at both love and marriage, and that matches their gusto for abandoning their own relationships and commitments with their insatiable need to deny that inalienable human right to others. There is no logical argument against gay marriage, but I undertstand that the legal argument is, at this point, unbeatable in most states. Fine. It's stupid, and wrong, and this "separate but equal" shit does not -and eventually, once again, will not- stand, but the fight goes on and those of us who just believe in love and justice go on fighting and hoping for the best.

But in the meantime, the NFL sanctions violence against gays on our airwaves all in the name of "good fun." The viewers laugh over a Snickers bar while the mechanics in the ad drink motor oil and anti-freeze to prove their manliness (and, ostensibly, die in the process, "proving" that dead is better than gay), and I'm supposed to think this is anything but gay-bashing and socially-sanctioned hate? Will we really never learn?

I used to think so. Hell, I used to hope so. Now, not so much.

UPDATE: The jury's still out on the species, but perhaps there's hope for Mars Inc. after all... maybe.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Barefoot Serpents

65-28, Colts.
That was the score of my Madden '07 game last night. Oh, and the Colts? They scored 47 of those points without Peyton Manning, thank you. He left the game in the 2nd quarter with an owee on his elbow. Wuss.

So begins my live recap of the Super Bowl.

1/21/07, 6:30PM PST: SuperBowl XLI pre-show begins!

2/4/07, 3:10PM PST: Indianapolis Colts are introduced to a muffed musical fanfare. "We won't get foooled again" indeed.

3:12PM PST: Chicago Bears are introduced to no musical fanfare. I'm guessing they don't actually own the rights to the Super Bowl Shuffle.

3:15PM PST: Chad Johnson's Super Bowl party commercial (for what, I have no idea). Two words: Janet. Reno. Bonus word: Cumin.

3:17PM PST: Billy Joel soulfully croons our national anthem (what are we trying to prove, anyway, with a national anthem that's almost impossible to sing?), and all I can think is "That Christie Brinkley is a bitch."

3:24PM PST: Tony Corriente is introduced as referee. I hate Tony Corriente... and not just because he's really a high school history teacher posing as an NFL referee.

3:25PM PST: Bears win the toss, and we learn that though the NFC has won ten straight opening coin tosses in the Super Bowl, they've only taken that weird trophy home 2 of the last 9 games. By the way, two things you don't let guys do? Design trophies, and design rings.

3:26PM PST: Kick-off!

3:27PM PST: Devin Hester runs the opening kick-off back 92 yads for the touchdown, and the weight on Peyton Manning's shoulders triples.

3:34PM PST: As if to tell his critics "You're so friggin' right!" Peyton comes out throwing an interception, and leaves the field wondering if anyone will still pay him to pimp for cell phones and credit cards after this game.

3:41PM PST: I'm no television producer, but me? I'd have not gone with the "cheerleader upskirt" shot. But that's me.

4:00PM PST: Best commercial ever! Dave! Oprah! Together again... and so in love.

4:56PM PST: Vinatieri missed! That leaves... lessee... just one sign of the apocalpyse to go!

5:04PM PST: Prince is the halftime show! The good news: he's brilliant, and clearly annoyed! The bad news? We're out of signs for the coming apocalypse! All those damned roaming the earth are gonna' make it much harder to get to work in the morning! Leave early!

5:26PM PST: Second half kick-off, with the score 16-14, Colts. And where is that commercial with the guy proposing to his girlfriend, anyway? Gee, I hope they're okay. You don't suppose she broke up with him 'cause she got wind of this and it's, well, gross, do you?

5:34PM PST: Banter in the booth!
"I can still throw those 3 & 4 yarders."
"I can vouch for that, partner."
Hey, just get a room why dontcha'?

5:56PM PST: Robert Goulet! I'm still struggling with the idea that anyone would ever want to keep Bob Goulet away. Certainly never in springtime.

5:59PM PST: K-Fed makes his self-deprecating appearance for some company or other. Let me think... yup. I still despise him. Now if I could just trick him into walking down a dark alley behind a McDonald's....

6:32PM PST: Nancy -who has a Bears-lovin' pal at work- comes up with the best smack talk in the history of smack talk. "Hey, why doesn't your team use some of that Oprah money to buy a real quarterback?" She's too nice to share it with him in his post-loss daze... but I'm not. Serves him right for talkin' shit about the Seahawks. Karma sucks, huh guy? Try to sob a little more quietly... you're annoying the neighbors.

6:37PM PST: At this point the game is pretty much over, and Peyton has pretty much gotten that monkey off his back. We watch him -Peyton, not the monkey- get buried under four Bears and wish that he was an illusionist as well as a quarterback. How cool would it be if they cleared the dogpile, only to find him gone... or to discover a tiny, white bunny in a Colts helmet underneath? Ta-daaaaah! While we're imagining the ooohs and aaahs, we realize neither of us knows the score, or really cares.

6:57PM PST: The Colts win, and we never did see that marriage proposal commercial. I guess everyone isn't a winner after all.

Phew. The game's over, and I'm left with these questions:

What becomes of the hats and t's they made for the losing team? What's the street value of a "Chicago Bears Super Bowl XLI Champions" cap these days?

Did anyone else notice that the (for lack of a better name) "Super Bowl Coronation" theme sounds almost exactly like the theme to the original Battlestar Galactica?

Am I more annoyed by god's team (the Colts) than I am by America's team (the Cowboys)? And if god is responsible for this win, I hope they at least donate that Cadillac to some Indianapolis church before the suns sets on Monday.

Another day, another Super Bowl. Whatever. I'm sure that in the miserable annals of the earth they will be duly enshrined.

Go Hawks.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Paris In The Springtime

Remember when Paris Hilton forgot to pay her bill for a storage facility and all her stuff was sold to an unidentified buyer? There's a new unidentified buyer in town after a third party failed to make payments to the facility (on behalf of unidentified buyer #1), which eventually wound up in the hands of a broker aiming to sell its contents, Paris' spokesman, Elliot Mintz, told The Associated Press a couple days ago.

Well, guess what kids? The proud owner of all that wonderful crap launched
ParisExposed.com recently, which has a collection of photographs, home videos, diaries, love letters, recorded phone conversations, and phone numbers of friends and celebrities, all of which were left behind in the storage facility. The site charges a monthly fee of $39.97 to gain access to footage of her in a "sexy bubble bath" video, as well as various shots of her in "racy situations" and footage of her drinking and using illegal substances.

Who exactly would pay for this stuff? A quick Google search (no, I'm not posting a link; do your own dirty work) will get you three hundred shots of Paris Hilton's vagina talking to a polar bear, and a video of her having sex with lawn gnomes. And, come on, we've already seen her love letters, so the only interesting thing this site actually offers is her diary. And why would you pay $39.97 to read a book filled with "I like boyz" written in crayon on every page?

While you ponder that, I'm going back to imagining what kind of hellish existence Paris Hilton's spokesman must lead. Elliot Mintz, you are made of stern stuff my friend. Kudos!