Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yeah, But How Do You Fold It?

Google Maps has introduced "Street View," which basically lets you walk around on the actual roads in the map. It's only available for a few cities right now, but it's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever seen. Still, there's really no reason for it but that someone at Google HQ must have looked out his wondow, leaned back in his chair and mused "I bet we could do that if we tried." That's how we got the hydrogen bomb, and King of Queens. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, just go here, click "Street View" and follow the directions.

UPDATE: Lookee!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Monocle Required

If you ever wondered how a proper party invitation should look, look no further. Nicole Richie sent the following email invitation for a Memorial Day party she co-hosted Sunday night.

"From: Nicole Richie
Subject: Masha and Nicole's Memorial Day Party



My fellow Americans its that time of year


To celebrate our country by drinking massive amounts of beer

Let's stand together as one, live the American dream

Take shots, pass out, & wake up with our pants ripped open at the seems

Let's glorify this day in your sluttiest tops and your tightest pair of tsubi jeans

Even though we have no fucking clue what Memorial Day really means!!

There will be a scale at the front door. No girls over 100 pounds
allowed in. Start starving yourself now. See you all then!!!"


This is the same party Mischa Barton attended where she mixed her drugs and alcohol and, according to an insider, "was rolling around on the ground... and then suddenly she began screaming that she was dying." She then passed out and was taken to Sherman Oaks Hospital. So yeah, basically the classiest party ever thrown. I'm surprised the Monopoly Man didn't attend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ohhhhhh... One's SO Much Better

A lamb in China was born with two heads, four eyes and two mouths. Which can only mean one thing: twice the cuteness!

NOTE: We have a pal whom a university pays to try to do these things, and all I can say to him now is: god just kicked your ass, dude!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Not So Funny

“The thing that's funny is that everyone thinks I'm dead.”
~Charles Nelson Reilly, 1/13/31-5/25/07

Man... I loved Charles Nelson Reilly.

Sure, he was an accomplished writer, and okay, he won a Tony Award... but he played Hoodoo in Lidsville, sat next to Brett Summers for years on Match Game, eventually chewed the scenery in the finest X-Files episode ever,
Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"... but most importantly, he, my mom and David Letterman taught me all about being funny... even when you don't feel like it.

Here's the thing, though: he was braver and funnier than anyone gave him credit for, and I admired those things about him. Not just that he was those things, but that he never, ever looked for recognition for those traits. If nothing else, you have to give him credit for having the courage to be one of the first openly-gay personas on network television. Think back to his work in the late 70's: The Doris Day Show, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, MacMillan & Wife (no irony there)... was anyone else even opening the dooor of the closet in that arena? Of course, I don't blame anyone for not coming out (I blame a shallow, selfish, stupid society of sycophants and pseudo-moralists, thanks), but that doesn't mean that he doesn't deserve a nod (that he never asked for) and a "thank you" (that he surely never exspected) for opening that door.

He never stopped working (TV, theater, animation voiceovers, etc.), yet he knew that his legacy would be his long afternoons on game shows... and he seemed okay with that. I'd almost say he was resigned to that even while anchoring Match Game for all those years... there was a sad sorta' bravado about him even then...
it's like the man said: "Though we may not be alone in the universe, in our own separate ways, on this planet we are all alone."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fizzilin' Five

I know I'm not the only person who saw the first Fantastic Four film, right? So how on Earth did this sequel get made, anyway?



This new spot for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is at least interesting because it gives us the galactic herald speaking as voiced by Laurence Fishburne, finally connecting the voice and figure. If only phone sex lines would be so gracious.

The whole voice and delivery seem a bit over-the-top and melodramatic to me. What isn't over-the-top is that a silver man is flying on a surfboard.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gong

If you've never seen those videos where Japanese people dress in black and recreate scenes with Matrix effects, prepare to have your socks blown off. If not a single part of that last sentence made sense to you, just watch the video and you'll understand. Or you won't and you'll be even more confused. Either way, you should probably just give me your credit card information.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Meditation On The Rocks... With A Twist!

Lindsay Lohan (card-carrying member of Alcoholics Anonymous) recently left rehab (as we all -Hasselhoff help us- know) and went straight to the sensible folks at Svedka vodka to get them to sponsor her 21st birthday party in Las Vegas. The deal could allegedly earn Lindsay up to seven figures. Lindsay's sad shell of a lawyer confirmed the vodka deal, saying:
"This should be one of the best parties ever."
Everything about this just sounds like a good idea. Maybe after the party she can rub herself down with steak and play with some tigers. I mean, as long as we're sticking with good ideas and all.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What Did We Ever Do With Paper Before?

LG Philips has developed the world's first electronic paper.

The e-paper is just 0.3 mm thin, and to be energy efficient the display only uses power when the image changes. And, like every other display ever created, it marks another step in man's never-ending quest to find more ways to look at porn. Huzzah, man! Huzzah!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Things That'd Make A Billy Goat Puke

My only reaction to this new shot from John Rambo was, "Yup. That's Rambo all right."

Same guy, same mullet, a little older, a lot puffier, but nothing really new. I don't know what I was hoping for, I'm just saying a glowing cybernetic eye goes a long way.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

AC/DC T

Look! A Press release!

"This summer, the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons comes to Earth and you can show which side you’re on with Transformers the Movie light-up t-shirts from Thumbs Up!

Set to hit the shops a few weeks before the film’s launch in July, these new t-shirts feature logos from the Transformers film, including the iconic Autobot and Decepticon insignias, as well as characters like heroic Autobot leader, Optimus Prime, and the evil Megatron, head of the Decepticons.

Transformers t-shirts have been popular ever since the cartoon debuted back in the 1980s, but now a light-up panel brings these new t-shirts to illuminated life!

A small, lightweight battery pack powers five different flashing sequences to make sure that these t-shirts are sure to attract attention! Big summer movie t-shirts are always popular, but there’s never been a range like this before!

Since we hit the 21st century, we’re still all wondering where our jetpacks are, but these t-shirts are a true innovation from Thumbs Up which bring wearable interactive electronic style together with iconic logos and characters. They’re not just awesome, they’re a sign that the future is here!"

That's right, your friends at Thumbs Up have brought you electronic t-shirts. Stay tuned for medication-dispensing athletic supporters and breakfast cereal that complains about its morning while you eat it. Happy 21st century!

Monday, May 21, 2007

What Rough Beast

So by now you've all seen this:

Sure, it's viral marketing for The Dark Knight, and sure, it's just a campaign poster for the guy we know will eventually become Two-Face, but it's still encouraging, and there's something cosmically-balanced about watching that bastard who soulessly sold us cigarettes becoming that bastard who flips a coin to determine our fates, right?

Well, over the weekend, it seems someone hacked that site. The hacker encouraged vistors to register, and enter an X/Y coordinate that he'd email you almost immediately. Turned out, the coordinates were for a single pixel of the poster... so if enough people registered, a new picture would eventually be revealed....

It's too late to have a pixel removed in your name, but check the site out anyway....

Hope you guess his name.

UPDATE: I was told that the page was taken down... well, that's not quite true. Sure, it reads "page not found" now... but highlight that text, and drag down... and tell me what you see.

Oh, and since you can't see that pic now, here it is:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Two Words: Soup Sandwich

The oracle has spoken!

Britney Spears has posted a message on her official site, saying:

"The reason for this letter is to let everyone know that their prayers have truly helped me. I am so blessed that you care enough about me to be concerned and will continue to live in this brighter state with all of you by my side during this trying time. We are all lights of the world and we all need to continuously inspire others and look to the higher power. You are all in my prayers.

Godspeed.
Love, Britney"

I... I mean... what I'm asking... is she... I just... what the hell is she talking about here? And who is she addressing? The glowy, pray-y people? I'm surprised she didn't thank all the unicorns and invite everybody to the party she's throwing on the moon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

O (Captain) Cavemen, My (Captain) Cavemen

I'm ashamed to admit I thought this show was a bad idea.

Here's a clip of ABC's upcoming pilot for Cavemen. "I really like the Cavemen; I thought it was a great idea for a show," said an ABC moron while high on drugs.

Yup, it's based on that Geico commercial. And no, they didn't get the original actor who was really the only good part of those commercials.

ABC says: "Meet Joel, his younger brother Jamie, and his best friend Nick, three cavemen living in modern-day Atlanta. These cavemen continually find themselves at odds with contemporary society as they struggle to overcome their physical appearance and the accompanying stereotypes."

I say: The cavemen should do battle with their arch nemesis, the Noid, who wears a red suit and serves sub-par pizza. "At your door in 30 minutes; save the world."

Friday, May 18, 2007

Paris In The Hard Time

Paris Hilton's psychiatrist says she's "distraught and traumatized" and "fears incarceration" over her 45-day jail sentence, and is using that to get Paris out of testifying in a $10 million slander and libel suit against her by actress Zeta Graff.

"Hilton is facing an order to testify in the civil trial beginning May 21, but the psychiatrist argues that "given (Hilton's) current psychological, and emotional state ... (she's) not capable of any meaningful participation in a trial."

Can you imagine being Paris Hilton's psychiatrist? It doesn't even matter what Paris says, the psychiatrist would just spend the whole time nodding along going "Mmm hmm, mmm hmm" while scribbling "insane" and "More fiber" in their notebook and underlining it. If I was a psychiatrist (which I am) I'd rather have a psychiatrist-eating bear as a patient than have to listen to Paris talk about her problems all day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Power Comic

So all day I was running into people who had to ask me how I felt about having comic books almost literally thrown in my face on the latest episode of Heroes.

At first, the question surprised me. The show is a comic book, after all, so what's the harm in a little meta-metaphor between friends? But then it became clear that quite a few of the people who asked what I thought of it were pretty pissed by what they saw as blatant product placement for the new Fantastic Four movie, featuring everybody's favorite, metallic, nude interstellar grimmy, the Silver Surfer.

Me? I don't see it that way at all.

First if all, the show does nothing but pay loving homage to our beloved comic books, and their most revered plots. Linderman's plan to save the world? Right out of Watchmen. Hiro's time traveling adventures? Lifted straight from "Days of the Future Past," a classic Claremont X-Men story. Lots of fans accuse Heroes of exploiting the comics... me, I say the show's creators are dyed-in-the-wool comic book fans rather than wolves in sheep’s clothing.

In the scene everyone kept hounding me about, shape-shifting Candice Wilmer buys macine-washable Micah a huge stack of classic comic books. Silver Surfer #1 is the one Micah goes for, and displays with awe, and if I may say, not nearly enough care. I didn't see it as crass or cheap, but rather as the perfect parallel to Candice herself.

When Micah asks how someone like her could work for someone like Linderman, her belief in Linderman reveals her to be a lot like the Silver Surfer - a noble soul who believes in the fight for a greater good, employed by a monsterous being. Now, we have yet to see if she chooses a path other than the one Linderman set her on... or if she'll epoxy a surf board to her feet and dangle participles every time she speaks, but their fundamental similarities can't be denied.

And if you still aren’t convinced this isn’t more than coincidence, note that Linderman’s building is in Kirby Plaza. Obviously a reference to Jack “The King” Kirby, frequent artistic collaborator and co-plotter with Stan “The Man” Lee.

Among the King's credits with Stan are the Fantastic Four, the original X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, and... wait for it... the Silver Surfer.

So to you fanboys who whine about Heroes not respecting the comics, or not understanding them like you do, I say this: get back in your basement, and get back to bidding on that Magic card on ebay... and try not to speak. And to Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb and the other Heroes masterminds, I have only this to say: Excelsior!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Han Solo Tiglo Semi-Sweet!

Instructables has a tutorial on how to make your own Han Solo in carbonite chocolate bar. Basically you make a mold out of a Star Wars toy and fill it with chocolate. Slightly better than my idea, which was to kidnap Harrison Ford and throw him in a vat of chocolate. Well, maybe not better... but Harrison seems to prefer this method. Wuss.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kayfabe



I bet all you people who thought professional wrestling was fake are feeling pretty stupid right about now.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Change? Not For You! Not For Anyone!

Yeah, so you think you've seen all the Transformers guys by now, but have you seen them in high resolution? I didn't think so.

I don't really know very much about the Transformers, but at a glance I have to guess this guy above is probably one of the worst, and is probably frequently subjected to whatever the robot equivalent of a wedgie is.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ottoman Empire

The Epsilon table is a coffee table which doubles as a fireplace. And yeah, it's every bit as dangerous as it looks. Unless a coffee table which occasionally shoots fire out the top doesn't sound dangerous to you. In which case my spinning saw blade chair is perfect for you. You sit on it and spinning saw blades, well, cut you in half. Inventor of the year!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Have You Ever Seen A Dream Walkin'?

A spy (in the loosest sense of the term) for IESB shot some footage from the set of Iron Man, giving anxious viewers the first glimpse of how the superhero will go from prone to upright, apparently shooting a scene where Iron Man has been knocked to the ground.. or awakes from a nap. Play it for a friend, and when it's time say, "I'm Iron Man! I've fallen... and I can't get up!" alluding to a fifteen-year-old commercial, you'll finally be known as your circle's "funny friend."

The footage is here, but look out, it took me a few minutes of reloading to get it to work.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Great Moments In Comic Book History

I could write a Doctoral thesis on all of the things that are wrong with this page.


The saddest part? Superman found a lot of uses for his "super-ventriloquism" back in the day.


That's right. "Super-weaving." So?


You know, where I come from that's called "regular mathematics."
Oh, and incidentally 20x16x10 = 3,200, not 32,000.


Okay, this one might be a little silly.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Heroes Worship

Obsessed fans of NBC's hit Heroes have a new way to obsess, as Entertainment Weekly just released their set of five Heroes covers for you to run out and buy. Each variant contains clues to the final episodes of the season, allowing you to deductively spoil one of the few pleasures in your miserable life. Each week, EW will continue to update the images with annotations to explain how the clues fit in, filling you with a false sense of personal pride in your new understanding of said clues.

What have we come to as a society when we're studying magazine covers for hours just to scrape up some evidence that will give a hint of what's coming in a television show? I'll tell you as soon as I'm done watching last night's Lost in reverse, then frame-by-frame, just in case there's a hidden message somewhere about the new, improved Pop Tarts hitting stores in June.

Anyway, you know you wanna' see the other four covers, so here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hangover Hilton

Praise jesus and pass the ammo! A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in LA County jail for violating her probation! Her sentence will start on June 5, and the judge made sure she wouldn't be allowed on work release, furloughs, use of an alteranitve jail, or electronic monitoring instead of jail. Moments before the judge gave his decision, Paris was crying and told the court:
"I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry." The judge called out her rep Elliot Mintz in court, describing his testimony as "completely worthless." He also told Paris that he did not believe that she was unaware of her license suspension, adding that she had paperwork in her car stating that her license was suspended.
This judge is a fucking hero. I mean, yeah, I once saw him save a group of homeless orphans when he killed a bear with his bare hands. And then this other time I saw him run into a burning building to save a box of sick kittens. Oh, and there was that time he donated all of his bone marrow to build an arc for a small group of very confused Cockapoos... but really, this Paris thing is probably the most heroic thing he's ever done. They should give him a cape. And also this card I made for him. I wrote his name in curly letters and drew hearts all around the margin. We heart you, Mr. Judge!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man 3, Fans 2

So we saw Spider-Man 3 this weekend... and it pretty much sucked.

Don't get me wrong: there are moments of action throughout that are surprising, well-designed and well-animated. But the movie is stitched together on the flimsiest coincidences imaginable, a disappointing quilt of indifferent exposition, and on a script level, it makes so many frustrating leaps that it ultimately collapses, and bored most of the 7-year olds with whom we shared the crowded theater.

We sat down... the lights dimmed... and Mary Jane... started... singing. Badly. The entire movie just kinda' starts without the faint hint of a promise that you’re in for a good time. Whatever the opposite of that is... it starts with that. You know what it was? It was that feeling you get when you step into an elevator that's already occupied.

And yet... there are things that happen that make you forget that, or any script problems you’re having. Take the Sandman’s birth. It’s a haunting sequence, beautiful and emotional and an example of digital performance at its finest. The way this pile of sand tries to pull itself together, as if remembering what it was like to be human, determined to be like that again... this whole character thing plays out in silence, and it’s riveting. This is Sam Raimi at his most engaged; totally committed to the material.

Oh, and there is indeed an epic Bruce Campbell appearance.

Pretty soon, though, the contrivances start piling on. A symbiote-carrying meteor crashes to earth right near where Peter and MJ are gazing at the stars. An escaped con, Flint Marko, just happens to fall into a scientific testing facility while fleeing the police and becomes the Sandman when his molecules are bonded with the sand around him. This didn’t really bother me though. These are the types of contrivances that comics are made of. Lab accidents, twists of fate, unexpected turns that result in major challenges for our hero. But there is a difference between contrivance and downright sloppy. Contrivances I can forgive if it serves as an homage or is somewhat faithful to the source material (which the above contrivances were). But sloppy storytelling is sloppy storytelling any way you slice it. There were scenes in this film so sloppy that you needed a bib and a wet nap to make it to the next musical sequence. That's right: the musical sequences were veritable oasises from the rest of the film. What does that tell you?

Sloppy editing: At the very beginning, Peter sees Harry leaving the Broadway show MJ is performing in and has words with his former best friend. End scene, and somehow Peter is now backstage with MJ. And where did that black suit come from? Were they trying to say the symbiote tyook the form of a black suit and then happily waited in a suitcase? Did it bond with Peter, then force him to make a new, black suit... which seems like such a waste of symbiote/super hero bonding... there's gotta' be a better way for a new species to spend its nights.

Sloppy sound: The music sequence between Emo Pete and Harry in his mansion is cartoony and lacked any of the punch of the rest of music for the fight scenes in the film. And while we bemoan the loss of Danny Elfman, let's ackowledge the fact that the new score was lifted almost entirely from the X-Men films.

Sloppy storytelling: Harry shows up in the third act sporting a scar when the audience wasn’t even made privy to the fact that he survived the earlier confrontation. I know this because the fat guy behind us kept shouting "He's still alive?" to his girlfriend well into the following scene... and maybe into the credits. I don't really know... it's really all a blur to me now.

Sloppy effects: Even the CGI fights between Harry and Spidey were often blurry or moved so quickly that you didn’t know what the hell was going on.

Sloppy ending: The film just kind of ends, as if Raimi and Co. knew they had no idea how to wrap everything up and broke camp as soon as possible without a cool effects shot of Spidey swinging through the streets of NY or anything. And don't be fooled: the film does end with everyone essentially hugging it out.

And finally, the unforgivable: Don’t get me started on 3rd Act Expository Deus Ex Machina Butler, Aunt May showing up juuuuust at the right moment to give Peter advice, the arrival of a sentient alien organism that not even the franchise's resident scientist (Dr. Curt Connors; back again and still not turning into a lizard) can muster any real interest in beyond "Don't touch that, you don't know where it's been," and the fact that the entire cast cries so much in this one that it should really have been titled Steel Magnolias 3: Still Steely After All These Years.

Sitting through it, I couldn't help think it'd have been a great film if it had just been either of the films that got slapped together. A Peter/Harry/Sandman film could have been a terriffic take on responsibility and love. A Peter/MJ/Venom film could have taught us all we need to know about our dark sides, and the great responsibility just living day to day brings. Instead we got both themes, painfully conjoined, and a message so mixed I don't think the windtalker sitting next to us got it.

There was so much promise... promise I sat there and watched them squander. Instead of highlighting Emo Pete, why not show how powerful the suit made him? The wrong scenes (like the Jazz Club sequence) go on way too long and the right scenes are rushed through. Peter says he’s become more powerful, but we never really see it on screen. I understand shortcuts have to be made to make a film; especially an adaptation of a monthly comic book, but why undermine the relevance of the symbiote’s bonding to Peter? Why not extend that scene to have Peter try a few times to get the suit off, only to find it back on him. Why not clue MJ in on the fact that the suit is bringing out the dark side of his character. That builds something called suspense. Raimi’s familiar with it. I just saw A Simple Plan again the other night on cable. He gets it. Showing how the suit was hard to get off a few times; highlighting the strong bond it formed with Peter would have highlighted the more horrific aspects of the suit and made the danger more palpable. Remember horror, Raimi? You used to do it pretty well.. and I’m not talking about the horror of seeing Tobey McGuire dance. Instead we get Peter, the night seamstress. What? He sewed that spiffy black suit in his sleep?

And come on! Does Peter have a secret identity or not? Dude never wears his friggin' mask in this film. Drove me batshit crazy (as Nancy so eloquently puts it).

What pisses me off the most about this film is that a ga-jillion people will be seeing it. This is what people think a comic book is like. People will notice the sloppiness and shallow characters and crappy continuity and plot, and shrug their shoulders and say “Well, it is a comic book movie.” And that pisses me off. I’ve read comic books since I was eight years old. And during that time, Spidey has always been in my pull, so I guess I qualify as some type of aficionado. Although Marvel’s current line of Spidey comics are pretty darn awful these days (oh, and yes, he's back in black in the comics... coincidence?), Spider-Man has been the star of some of the richest and best-told stories in comics history. I understand that the Cliff Notes version of a comic book story has to be used to fit it all into a nice two-hour package. But this movie plays like the Cliff Notes version of Spider-Man stories rewritten by the cast of The Other Sister.

Maybe it was because Avi Arad forced Raimi to use Venom after Sam admitted that he did not like the character. Maybe it was because the stars were starting to feel as if the films were beneath them. Or maybe it was because the script was the weakest of the series. Whatever it was, the heart that was there in the first film and grew to epic proportions in the second was never present here. Even the best parts of this film weren’t as good as the worst parts of the other two.

I don't know. I only know I'm sad, and disappointed in this film... and disappointed in an audience who cheered for it, and only guarantees us more of the same. I used to think that was less than we deserved. After this weekend, and listening to that fat guy call Mary Jane a whore... I'm not so sure.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Board Silly

There's just no way the new Fantastic Four film doesn't suck, but the news? It never stops coming... that's what makes it news.

Laurence Fishburne, first rumored to be voicing the giant cloud of Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, will reportedly instead be providing the voice of the Silver Surfer. He actor beat out James Earl Jones, Sisko from Deep Space Nine, and Worf, Fishburne's biggest rivals in the "black guy with cool, deep voice category". I like to imagine it came down to bare-knuckles backgammon in Worf's basement/rumpus room.

The role as the Surfer will compete directly against Pill-Choice-Guy in The Matrix for the honor of what Larry will be sitting at a comic convention autographing pictures of in ten years.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

He Claims To Have A Message For Obi Wan Kenobi

I can't believe it's taken this long.

It's about time somebody started reenacting classic Star Wars scenes using those R2-D2 mailboxes. I tried to do a few myself, but I mostly just ended up peeing in them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

If Discovered, Eat This Message

You know, most people like to use paper for their printing needs, and there's a word for them: morons. Me, I like to use toast. Good old fashioned toast. Thankfully, these guys have created the world's first toaster printer by mounting a hot air gun to a computer controlled system. Totally unnecessary? Or the most necessary thing ever since the history of inventions. Only time will tell.