Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ellen's Myspace Site

This is hiliarious. Ellen DeGeneres really DID post the photo of her and Clint Eastwood on her Myspace site at:

Now that's funny.

Twice as funny as any Billy Crystal opening act highlighting the year's best songs (zzzzzzz).

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscar Report

I didn't see all of the Academy Awards, but I'll offer my opinion anyway...

I watched the beginning and the end. I caught some of the middle as I channel surfed back and forth during commercial breaks between "Patton", "Battlestar Galactica", and "Tora, Tora, Tora."
  1. From what I saw, I thought Ellen DeGeneres was a fine host. I've never been a big Billy Crystal fan. Chris Rock and Jon Stewart were mediocre. Then again, my favorite host was David Letterman, so what do I know?

  2. The only Liberal "moment" I'll whine about is the Al Gore love-in. First, apparently no one in Hollywood can get over the 2000 election (Gore lost - move on). Second, does anyone outside the entertainment industry think Al Gore should run again?

  3. As usual, the broadcast was was wayyyy too long (four hours). The show planners face the same dilemma that the NFL has to contend with over the Super Bowl half-time show -- do you design it for the people in the seats OR the people at home? What works for one doesn't work for the other.

    But, if they really tried, the Academy could get the show down to around 2 hours (or so) by not wasting time on nonsense.

    First off, lose all the musical numbers.

    Second, allot each of the 25 awards 3 minutes. Give the presenters 45 seconds to read the nominees then announce the winner. Give the winners 2 minutes and 15 seconds to walk up, accept the award, and read their bleeding-heart milquetoast speech. Period.

    That's break down into:
    - 75 mins for awards.
    - 25 mins for commercials
    - 20-30 mins to divide up for whatever "special" stuff they want to do

    I'll bet the ratings would improve.

  4. I found Jerry Seinfeld's movie theatre riff funny and ironic. His comments about the "overpriced, oversized" pop-corn and candy got big laughs. My guess is that this audience hasn't bought snacks in a theatre in YEARS. Also, selling "overpriced" amenities is how theatres break even due to the "overblown" costs of the film industry. Like I said, ironic.

  5. Finally, I think the "fix" was in for Martin Scorsese. Wasn't it too coincidental that he got his award from his old buddies Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg? I was happy for him, but I haven't seen "The Departed" yet, so I'm not sure if it was worthy effort or just a make-good for previous slights (I hated "The Aviator" and "Gangs of New York").

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

And the Winner Isn't

Aside from it being a three hour extravaganza/love fest for limousine driving Liberals (grin), one of the main reasons I don't watch the Academy Awards is that my favorite movies are not often represented.

One of these days, I'm going to do a study correlating films which have won "Best Picture" Oscars and compare that to the list of films which have "stood the test of time" (whatever that means).

For instance, in 1941, Citizen Kane, generally viewed as the "best picture of all time" on multiple lists, actually LOST to How Green Was My Valley. has an interesting list of "Best Pictures Not Nominated for Best Picture."

I culled a quick list of winners from the "Best Picture" category for the last fifty years along with more deserving flicks (in my opinion, of course) from the same year.
  • 1950: All About Eve WON, The Asphalt Jungle NOT nominated

  • 1956: The Searchers WASN'T nominated - Around the World in 80 Days won

  • 1957: Vertigo, Touch of Evil NOT nominated - Gigi won

  • 1959: Ben Hur BEAT Anatomy of a Murder

  • 1964: My Fair Lady beat Dr. Strangelove

  • 1976: Rocky beat Taxi Driver (close call)

  • 1961: West Side Story beat The Hustler

  • 1968: 2001: A Space Odyssey NOT nominated - Oliver! won (what's up with all the musicals winning anyway?)

  • 1970: Patton beat MASH, Five Easy Pieces and Love Story (well, okay, they got it right in that year!)

  • 1979: Kramer vs. Kramer beat Apocalypse Now and Breaking Away

  • 1980: Ordinary People BEAT Raging Bull

  • 1982: ET nominated (didn't win) but Blade Runner wasn't nominated

  • 1990: Dances with Wolves (zzzz) won beating GoodFellas AND The Godfather Part 3 (horrid) was nominated BUT Miller's Crossing WASN'T

  • 1997: Titanic won (nuff said)

  • 1998: Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan

  • 1999: American Beauty (argh) beat The Sixth Sense

  • 2001: Gladiator won...Memento NOT nominated

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Friday, February 23, 2007


From 2003, "11:14" is a small, intelligently crafted film that SHOULD have gotten more attention.
Tells the seemingly random yet vitally connected story of a set of incidents that all converge one evening at 11:14pm. The story follows the chain of events of five different characters and five different storylines that all converge to tell the story of murder and deceit.

Stars include: Hilliary Swank, Henry Thomas, Barbara Hershey, and Patrick Swayze (having the time of his life).

I realize that telling the same story from multiple perspectives isn't a new technique. But then again, an hour and a half cross country journey in search of one's identity like "Little Miss Sunshine" (wahhh) isn't exactly groundbreaking cinema either.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


What?? Sly's taking steroids?

Next, you're going to tell me that there's gambling at Rick's.

Well he does have to get ready for "Rambo 4: Pearl of the Cobra" (no joke, that's the title).

BTW, in the new flick, Rambo will have a wife that's 20 years his junior. My guess is he'll need more than one type of "performance enhancer."

Here's my favorite quote from the article below: "When Australian officials arrived at the Park Hyatt hotel to issue the actor with a summons to answer charges on the prohibited substances, Stallone and his entourage were allegedly seen throwing things out the windows of their hotel room."

From IMDB:

Stallone in Steroid Scandal?
21 February 2007 (WENN)

Sylvester Stallone may be in trouble with Australia authorities over what is reported to be banned bodybuilding substances. The actor was in Sydney for the Australian opening of Rocky Balboa on Friday night, when he was stopped by customs officials after a routine X-ray detected something suspicious. The actor and his entourage were detained for several hours, causing them to miss the film's premiere, for packing what was believed to be a type of human growth hormone. On Monday officials searched his hotel room and private jet for illegal substances, just three days after seizing the banned substances at the airport. Richard Janeczko, the national investigations manager for the Australian Customs Service, told Sydney's Daily Telegraph, contraband items were seized, but refused to reveal any details. Stallone, 60, initially told the newspaper the incident was a "misunderstanding" and that reports of him transporting steroids were "totally hot air." When Australian officials arrived at the Park Hyatt hotel to issue the actor with a summons to answer charges on the prohibited substances, Stallone and his entourage were allegedly seen throwing things out the windows of their hotel room. According to the Telegraph, a search of the room allegedly resulted in additional evidence being seized. The actor was cleared to leave the country on Monday, but an investigation will continue. A spokesperson for the Customs Service adds, "There is a range of options we can pursue in these circumstances. The investigation is ongoing, and we are aware of Mr. Stallone's travel movements. The material has to be identified, and we have to look at all the options and the evidence before deciding what action to take." Penalties for possession of such items in Australia can range from fines up to $110,000 or up to five years in jail.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about surrounding "Little Miss Sunshine." While it's certain better that the typical Will Farrell movie, I'd only give it a 6 (out of 10).

LMC is "American Beauty" meets "Weekend at Bernie's" meets "Miss Congeniality" (I hated all three). The movie tries very hard to be "cute", "funny", "thought-provoking" and "heartwarming" with moderate success.

Frankly, all the angst, slapstick, and social satire don't quite mesh together very well for me. I'm tired of angry filmmakers on a mission to expose the dark, emptiness of suburban family existence (yaaaaaaawn).

It does have the "courage" to take on the children's beauty pageant industry as exploitative and downright weird. BUT, of course, anyone who's seen an episode of "Dateline", "Sixty Minutes", or "20/20" in the last 5 years knows this. So, that's not really all that groundbreaking.

Oh, it's an independent film -- which means they drop the "f" bomb a lot (because that's realism).

Usually, when I'm this lukewarm on a movie, it generally makes it a shoe-in for a "Best Picture" Oscar.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Paglia's Return

Camille Paglia returns to Salon with a monthly column.

She's my favorite Left-wing, environmentalist, atheist. Her columns aren't filled with the predictably shallow "Bush is an idiot" crap that makes the Maureen Dowd or Joe Conason types virtually unreadable.

She chimes in on a number of topics, including the 2008 presidential field.

...she lacks spontaneity and instinct, and she's too programmed by her amoral cabal of shadowy handlers. Her wandering political positions are transparently and sometimes incoherently dictated by expedience rather than conviction.
Edwards (her favorite so far):

He has problems -- a thin political résumé, a fancy estate at odds with his populist message, and a dated hairstyle that looks femme and foofy at a time when military buzz cuts and Caesarian close crops are in. But Edwards is a ferocious, knife-sharp debater with foxy, seat-of-the-pants smarts, and I hope he creams his opponents. It would be a relief to have an articulate president again.

I love the way Barack Obama has nimbly upstaged the ponderous Hillary machine. It's a Bette Davis/Joan Crawford bitch fest! But Obama's effusive gusts of generalities irritate me; it's all sizzle and no steak right now. He needs seasoning: 2012 may be his year.
I've never understood liberal journalists' infatuation with John McCain, who's as mercurial as Hillary in his ideology-of-the-day. Those two are peas in a pod -- always dialing up the weather report and sleeping next to a window with their fingers in the wind.
If Rudy Giuliani improbably wins the Republican nomination, which would require primary voters shutting their eyes to his liberal social views and checkered sex life, he would roll like a juggernaut into the White House on the strength of his macho authoritarianism in this time of war. Giuliani's got balls, but do we want this democracy drifting any further toward a police state?
Don't count Mitt Romney out. Not yet nationally known, Romney harks back to the patrician days of sophisticated Republicanism. In 1994, on my book tour for "Vamps & Tramps," I was sitting late one night in the empty lobby of WBZ-AM NewsRadio, located on a lonely road in Boston. While waiting to go on the David Brudnoy Show (Brudnoy, living with AIDS, would die a decade later), I listened intently to the guest on air before me -- Mitt Romney, whom I had never heard of but who was then mounting his unsuccessful senatorial challenge to Ted Kennedy.

I was very impressed. When Romney emerged, I shook his hand and said, "You're going to be president!" -- something I have never said to anyone, before or since.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Why Not Sept 11th or Dec 7th?

Did DaimlerChrysler HAVE to announce it's "news" on Feb 14th?

Couldn't they have waited one day?

Didn't that make it easy for people to tag it the "Valentine's Day Massacre?"

I wonder if the actual date of the press conference was EVER discussed internally? Maybe there are financial disclosure rules (or whatever) which dictated WHEN they had to make the announcement.

For what it's worth, a PR acquaintance of mine suggested that they may have just wanted to "stop the bleeding" since it was getting leaked all over the press already.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Cold Blast of Irony

I know this doesn't prove anything, but I still found this incredibly funny.

Here's an event "update" from The Academy of Science St. Louis website (and I quote):

(Cancelled due to inclement weather,
Reschedule date coming soon!)

The Academy of Science – St. Louis and Maryville University present

an inconvenient truth
A GLOBAL WARNING Film and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, Feb 13, 7 – 10 p.m.
Maryville University Auditorium
650 Maryville University Drive,
St. Louis, Missouri

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Aggressive Whining is Back in Town

I caught a Red Wings game the other night. Sat at center ice in the first row of the upper bowl (THE best place to watch a hockey game).

I made the following observations:

  1. The songs played at the Joe Louis Arena during the time-outs are WAY too old - the song list included (to name a few) Queen, Chubby Checker, Johnny Cash, and a "British Invasion" band...nothing even approaching 1990.

  2. The Jumbo-tron was a bit skittish and kept blinking in and out

  3. Shirt cannon pathetic - the Red Wing "assistants" came out on the ice between periods to fire shirts into the stands. However, the dolts couldn't get the shirt cannons to fire properly...only one or two made it to the upper bowl (those rich people in the lower bowl don't need free shirts!!). They ended up tossing shirts over the glass.

  4. The scoring slot for "Score-O" was about five inches high by three feet wide. Hardly exciting. In my day, the "Score-O" slot was barely larger than the puck itself.

  5. People could win Zamboni rides between periods. Why would anyone but a child want to win such a prize? I saw a number of adults taking rides which SHOULD have been awarded to kids.

  6. And, of course, the age old question: should an adult male get a professional team jersey personalized with a real player's name and number on the back? Isn't that like a girl in high school wearing her boyfriend's varsity jacket? Everytime I see a man wearing a personalized jersey, I think "Hey, it's Steve Yzerman's girlfriend."

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

You're Getting Sleepy, Very Sleepy

Which is the biggest time vacuum:

a) Shopping for carpeting on a sunny weekend day

b) A "Mork and Mindy" marathon

c) The Grammys

d) The Discovery Channel during "Nasal Polyps Week"

Answer: c
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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lighten up Francis

Ellen Goodman in the Boston Globe attacks "global warming deniers":
I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.
Wow. I picture her wide-eyed, hair askew, frantically typing at the computer. She needs a take a deeeeeep cleansing breath and relax.

BTW, I'm invoking the "Hitler Equivocation Fallacy." It's an unofficial debating rule which sez that the first person to bring up Hitler immediately loses the argument.

So, I guess I win (hee hee).

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Go Ahead, Make My Day

I had an unfortunate reaction to the Anna Nicole Smith announcments which blanketed the headlines yesterday.

On Thursday morning, I set my VCR to record a Clint Eastwood interview that was going to air from 4 to 5 p.m on one of the cable news networks. However, because of all the Smith coverage, the interview got shifted and the last half hour of Mr. E didn't get taped.

THAT was really upsetting (yes, it's all about me).
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The Sky Isn't Falling

Michael Crichton's lecture, "Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century", makes for an interesting read. One of his main points is that the planet's ecological systems are much more intricate than the simplistic models typically devised to explain or predict them.

It's a bit longish, but worth the effort.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

The NASA "Affair"

In the aftermath of the Lisa Marie Nowak case (she's the NASA astronaut who plotted to kidnap and kill another astronaut over a love triangle involving yet a third astronaut), I found myself pondering these questions:
  1. Is she more attractive now or when she flew in space (of course, she needs to comb her hair, fix her makeup, and lose the sour expression)?

  2. Was the diaper she had on when arrested a genuine "NASA issued" diaper that the astronauts wear in space? Or did she buy "off the rack" adult diapers from a retail store?

  3. If one HAD to choose, who's more qualified to pilot a shuttle today:
    Lisa Marie Nowak or John Glenn?

  4. Am I the one with issues?

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Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready For My Close-up

It looks like the New York Times is making the first small steps in the transition to an "online" publication.

I tried to access Maureen Dowd's OpEd piece defending Joe Biden on the New York Times website and got the following:

This One’s for You, Joe - By MAUREEN DOWD Published: February 7, 2007

I feel compelled, now that Joe Biden has slipped on yet another presidential banana peel, to lend him a hand.

To continue reading this article, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect.

Huh? Apparently, I'd have to sign up AND PAY for a New York Times web subscription to read her columns (as if that was going to happen).

The last columnist in the world I would PAY to read is Maureen Dowd. She's a cross between Jonathon Alter and Norma Desmond.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

All the Angst That's Fit to Print

Leave it to a New York Times columnist to come up with a political angle on the Super Bowl.

In "Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War", Stuart Elliott pines:

No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.

Later Elliott later comments on the Prudential Financial "What Can a Rock Do?" ads.

The problem with the spot, created internally at Prudential, was that whenever the announcer said, “a rock” — invoking the Prudential logo, the rock of Gibraltar — it sounded as if he were saying, yes, “Iraq.”

To be sure, sometimes “a rock” is just “a rock,” and someone who has watched the Super Bowl XIX years in a row only for the commercials may be inferring things that Madison Avenue never meant to imply.
Huh? Did anyone else REALLY think they were saying "Iraq" instead of "a rock?"
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Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Random thoughts on the big game...

  1. I was glad to see Tony Dungy win even thought it meant that Payton Manning (who I hate for some reason) had to win as well.

  2. Vinatieri's missed chip-shot of a field goal for the Colts that cost me a square.

  3. Didn't ONE of the CBS camera operators have a towel to wipe off the lens? I know the rain was unexpected, but you'd think they'd have worked around it by the 3rd quarter.

  4. Prince should have been named the game MVP for being able to dance on a wet stage in six-inch spiked heels.

  5. And, of course, the ads. Most of them stunk. Way too many computer generated, talking animals.

    My favorites:
    Doritos: Cashier - funny, if not tasteless, punchline
    Chevrolet Car Wash - a student ad that was as good (or better) than the "professionals"
    Coke: Love - Coke had a lot of well done spots

    All of the ads are viewable here.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blinded Me With Science

"Global Warming", the Left's version of "Intelligent Design", is in the news this week as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, is about to release a "definitive" report blaming human activities on increased global temperatures (didn't Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin work for the IPCC?).

The "Global Warming" theory basically boils down (no pun) to this:
  • In the last 100 years, the earth's average temperature has risen by 1.6 degrees F
  • In the last 100 years, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by about 100 ppm
  • The rise in CO2 is due to increased industrial activities.

    Therefore, industrial activities are the cause of the increased global temperatures.

First of all, what sort of finely tuned, sensitive equipment did they use to measure GLOBAL temperature 100 years ago? I'm picturing giant, mercury filled glass tubes bolted to thick wooden boards. Frankly, I'd expect there to be a 2 degree difference in "measured" global temperature over the last 100 years based on improvements in thermometer technology alone. Same for measured CO2 levels.

Also, 100 years of observations don't really seem that significant when studying a planet that's about 4.5 billion years old (unless the IPCC scientists are Creationists who believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old - hee hee).

But OKAY, let's say it's true -- the temperature IS rising and CO2 levels ARE higher. Regardless of how many color charts the IPCC creates in Powerpoint, it's still ONLY a correlation NOT a proven causality.

That's like saying:

  • The population of middle aged men is increasing (thank you)
  • Sales of red sports cars have gone up
  • Toupee sales have gone up

    THEREFORE, red sports cars CAUSE baldness.

It's NOT the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine).

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Al Gore: An Inconvenient Weight

Has anyone seen Al Gore lately? He must be close to two-and-a-half bills (250 pounds).

I gotta believe he's major contributor to methane in the environment.

Instead of the "greenhouse effect" on "Global Warming", he should focus on the green salad effect on his pant size.
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