Monday, July 30, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

It was hard to believe that it took 10 years (or more) for the Simpsons team to get this movie made. Maybe they should have pulled the trigger sooner as it appears to have ripened on the vine a bit. It's basically one LONG Simpsons episode that I had to pay for. In fact, there's a great gag about that right at the beginning (Homer looks straight at the audience, points and calls us "suckers").

On my "cartoon show rating continuum" -- with 10 being the very best (such as South Park "Episode 1008: Make Love not Warcraft") and 1 being crap (such as any, and I mean ANY, episode of Family Guy) -- I give it a 7. Not too shabby.

There are only 2 or 3 parts that couldn't have been done on TV (some crowd scenes, where the characters look like cardboard cutouts, and Bart's naked skateboarding exhibition). But still, it's mostly funny and worth the price of a ticket (for a matinee).

Suckers (DOH!).
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ass, Jack...Ass

Matt Damon, of the lame Bourne spy series spouts off against James Bond. (link)

Bond is "an imperialist and he's a misogynist. He kills people and laughs and sips martinis and wisecracks about it," Damon, 36, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Take it easy there tiger.

Paul Greengrass, Damon's director on Universal's "Bourne Ultimatum" and its 2004 predecessor, "The Bourne Supremacy," agreed that Bond is a relic from a different era.

"He's an insider. He likes being a secret agent. He worships at the altar of technology. He loves his gadgets. And he embodies this whole set of misogynistic values," Greengrass said. "He likes violence. That's part of the appeal of the character. He has no guilt. He's essentially an imperial adventurer of a particularly English sort.
Meanwhile, every frickin' entry in the Bourne series goes like this...Bourne is suddenly and inexpictably attacked in public, he fights his way out using over rehearsed Hollywood karate tricks, he figures out that his old CIA bosses are after him, he calls them on the phone to threaten them, he crashes a car, explosions, the end.


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Friday, July 27, 2007

It's a Mad House

Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. (link)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - The producers of ABC's new "Cavemen" said Wednesday the comedy is much more than the insurance company commercials that inspired it, but isn't designed to be an ambitious allegory about race.

Geico's TV spots show highly evolved but shaggy-looking cavemen chafing at misconceptions about their sophistication and intelligence. The series, debuting Oct. 2, follows another trio of Cro-Magnons facing prejudice as they try to fit in contemporary society.

"If the show works, it will work because people care about these three guys under a lot of makeup and ... can relate to their problems and find them charming," producer Mike Schiff told the Television Critics Association's summer meeting.
It will be unwatchable and people won't care. I give it 8-10 episodes, tops!

The pilot is being re-shot, ABC said. The network and producers said they decided it jumped ahead too far in the characters' lives and failed to establish them properly.

Translation: test audiences said it sucked.

...One reporter asked why the cavemen don't ease their way by getting a shave and a haircut. "There's a name for those kind of people, and they're called 'shavers,' and the cavemen community looks down on them," Gordon said.
HA HA HEE HEE HARR HAR HAR....You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lighten Up Francis

For some reason reading this conjured up an image of Fredo Corleone in Godfather 2 ("I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!").

From (link)

Newt Gingrich goes nuclear: May enter race to foil 'pygmies'

WASHINGTON - Dismissing the GOP presidential field as a "pathetic" bunch of "pygmies," Newt Gingrich hinted Monday he might step in to beat Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

"If, in mid-October, it's quite clear that one or more of the current candidates is strong enough to be a serious alternative to a Clinton-Obama ticket, you don't need me to run," the former House Speaker said at a breakfast sponsored by the American Spectator. "If it becomes patently obvious, as the morning paper points out, that the Democrats have raised a hundred million more than the Republicans, and at some point people decide we are going to get Hillary unless there's a radical change, then there's space for a candidate," he added. "So you'll know by mid-October one of those two futures is real."

You "don't NEED me to run?" If there's any doubt that he wouldn't "connect" with people, his final quote in the article is classic Gingrich:
Pressed by The Examiner about whether his political baggage renders him unelectable, Gingrich compared himself to a famous French statesman. "This is like going to De Gaulle when he was at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises during the Fourth Republic and saying, 'Don't you want to rush in and join the pygmies?'" he said.
Oh yes, the "Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises during the Fourth Republic" reference is one we all can identify with.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl...

All grown up now...

Lindsay Lohan Mug Shot (link)
Actress, 21, nabbed in Santa Monica on drunk driving, cocaine charges JULY 24--Here's the mug shot Lindsay Lohan posed for this morning following her arrest in Santa Monica for drunk driving and cocaine possession. The actress, 21, was nabbed after cops spotted her SUV chasing another vehicle at high speed. After Lohan failed a field sobriety test, she was transported to the L.A. county lockup, where a pat down search turned up cocaine in her pants pocket.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Talk About "Gassy" Food

From Science Daily:
Weight Gain Of U.S. Drivers Has Increased Nation's Fuel Consumption (link)

Science Daily — As American waistlines have expanded since 1960, so has their consumption of gasoline, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Virginia Commonwealth University say.

Americans are now pumping 938 million gallons of fuel more annually than they were in 1960 as a result of extra weight in vehicles. And when gas prices average $3 a gallon, the tab for overweight people in a vehicle amounts to $7.7 million a day, or $2.8 billion a year.
Hmmmm...maybe Michael Moore has been the one conspiring with big oil interests all along.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mad Men

I was mostly enthusiastic about the first episode. My first thought was that it was almost a cross between Crime Story and the agency scenes from Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House ("if you ain't eatin' Whamm, you aint eatin' ham").

I'm a sucker for all of the retro aspects of the show (production design, music, wardrobe, etc.). So, the look of Mad Men alone is worth at least on hour of anyone's time.

My biggest complaint from the first show was the lazy depiction of the tobacco company executives. Their constant coughing, a tired smoking cliché, undermined the strength of the point that the show was trying to make. Also, the German researcher with the heavy accent was a bit much (Leni Riefenstahl ended up with Greenpeace, not Philip Morris after all).

Going forward, I hope the writers are not trying to be like LA Law and use Mad Men to make weekly social statements via the clients the agency takes on. However, the possibility that the Nixon campaign of 1960 will be a plot element for future shows makes me nervous.

A side note -- who is going to run commercials during a show that basically presents advertising as one big lie?

All that being said, Mad Man's main character, the agency's creative director Don Draper, makes it all work. His "story" is fleshed out in small pieces throughout the first episode. He's a successful, yet jaded, executive. He's a decorated veteran (it's not clear yet if it's WW2 or Korea). His sexually charged interaction with a department store heiress/would be client was great to watch.

The show's ending, where a world weary Don slumps home (revealing his marital status) and tenderly seeks refuge with his kids, was an inspired and moving ending (especially for a first episode).

I'll be watching.
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Colonic AND Ironic

From the Associated Press (link)

WASHINGTON - President Bush will have a colonoscopy Saturday and temporarily hand presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said.

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Barbaric AND Ironic

It was surreal to hear what Senator Robert Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klansman, had to say about Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, an African American, who's been charged with dog fighting: (link)

"Barbaric," Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., shouted four times in a Senate chamber that was mostly empty except for two dozen somewhat startled tourists.

"Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley across this broad land," he thundered, raising his right hand. "May God help those poor souls who would be so cruel. Barbaric! Hear me!"
"I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt," he said.

"One is left wondering," he said. "Who are the real animals: the creatures inside or outside the ring?"

I'm surprised Byrd didn't call for a good old-fashioned hangin'.
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Moore vs. CNN

CNN responds to an irate Michael Moore after it ran a piece that questioned some of the "facts" presented in "Sicko." I guess Moore got mad because he is used to having his ass kissed by Keith Olberman: (link)

"It's ironic that someone who has made a career out of holding powerful interests accountable is so sensitive to having his own work held up to the light by impartial journalists, as we did in our examination of 'Sicko,' " the (CNN) spokesperson said.

One of the people Moore whined about was CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta because he took issue with how Moore sourced his "statistics" in the movie. Predictably, Moore accused Gupta of being an apologist for the medical industrial complex.

Later, however, Gupta got the opportunity to bitch-smack Moore on Larry King Live (link) and in his blog (link):

... is important to get the facts absolutely right and to be transparent about the sources of those facts. Michael knows that I took issue with the "cherry picking" of some numbers to try and bolster his argument. He cited an unsourced BBC report when talking about per capita Cuban spending. That same report also talked about US per capita health spending, but he apparently didn't like that number, so instead he used a projected number from a different study. I worry that comparing apples and oranges purposely, and perhaps needlessly, muddy the argument...

..I also worry that Michael, who is an accomplished film maker, tried to leave people with the impression that health care is free in many other nations and there is a state of utopia. True, Michael did talk about increased taxes in his film, but he also kept calling it "free," which made it nebulous. No question, there are many valuable things to learn from other health care systems, but we should know all things before wholeheartedly endorsing one system over another. We should know that taxes will be much higher, as is the case in France where they are crippled by their health care system. We should also know that a significant number of people in these countries still buy supplemental insurance, apparently unhappy with what the government alone can provide. We should also remember that Medicare, an example of a limited national health care plan in the United States, is expected to go bankrupt by the year 2020.
You've been served.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

When Comics Attack

I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near exciting as a UFC or MMA match, but I hope that the reports of Jon Lovitz beating up Andy Dick are true.

There's a list on RADAR that demonstrates how Andy "Dick" lives up to his name: (link)

December 1997 Gives coke to Phil Hartman's wife Brynn, who'd been sober for 10 years. Brynn kills herself and husband Phil five months later, and Lovitz holds Dick partly to blame

March 1999 Goes on three day-long drinking and drug binge in Las Vegas with actor David Strickland that ends with Strickland hanging himself by a bed sheet in his motel room

July 1999 His band, "Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century" play at Woodstock '99, and Dick pulls down his pants and exposes himself to the crowd. In an interview some years later with Hustler, Dick explains he thought his indecent exposure would "calm the savage crowd"

February 2004 Kicked out of an alumni dinner for reportedly smoking pot in the basement at Washington University in St. Louis, Dick proceeds to crash a fraternity party, only to be knocked out by one of the frat brothers after grabbing the student's crotch

August 2004 Coldcocked by Wesley Snipes in a men's room after Dick made a pass at the fading action hero, as reported on Howard Stern's radio show

August 2006 Licks the faces of Farrah Fawcett, Carrie Fisher, and Patton Oswalt, and bites the hand of New York Post reporter Mandy Stadtmiller backstage at the William Shatner roast. Stadtmiller also accuses Dick of urinating in front of her and offering her cocaine

December 2006 Angers an audience at the Improv in L.A. by shouting "You're a bunch of niggers!" in response to Michael Richards's use of the epithet

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Bill Engvall Show

Because there's still a huge reservoir of "blue collar, down-home, country" sit-com material that "Reba" hasn't even begun to tap, TBS presents "The Bill Engvall Show."

Based on his stand up act (of course), Bill Engvall plays a family therapist who is married and has three kids (why always three kids) and a dog. He gives other families (oh those wacky families) advice but seems to have problems giving his family the same advice (physician heal thyself -- Har Har Ha Ha Ho Ho Hee Hee).

Here's your sign.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

American Body Shop

Here's a clip from my new favorite show, American Body Shop, on Comedy Central (link).

A cross between The Office and American Chopper, it's first and second episodes were tasteless, crude and hilarious.

If Comedy Central is smart, they'll stop wasting time and money running all those ads for "Li'l Bush" (which has a funny theme song and a guy doing a great impression of "W", but is unwatchable after 10 mins) and try to get people fired up about this instead.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bitter Swag

Funny stuff...(link).

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Yankee Go Home

The Chinese government fears Starbucks because nothing says "freedom" like a Glande Flappuccino Ratte.

Starbuck closes controversial outlet inside Forbidden City (link)

Beijing: After a seven-year run dogged with controversy, an outlet of the American coffee-shop chain, Starbucks, located inside Beijing’s Forbidden City has closed its doors. The move comes after an intensive Internet campaign started by a State TV anchor last year accused the coffee-shop of “trampling” on Chinese culture and hurting the image of the historical monument.

The Starbucks outlet opened inside the Forbidden City, back in 2000 at the invitation of the palace managers who were looking for ways to raise the money needed to maintain the 178-acre complex of villas and gardens.

From the very beginning, there were some critics in China who felt that the presence of the American franchise inside the palace was jarring and culturally inappropriate. Thus, shortly after opening, Starbucks had agreed to lower its profile by removing an exterior sign.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Aim Four the Stars

Remember when being called a "rocket scientist" meant you were smart?

Houston, we have a shuttle typo
NASA fills Spell Checker position at KSCBY

How about this for a quick fix?

NASA scrambled someone out to pad 39A with a new sign that has the orbiter Endeavour's name spelled correctly, and then posted a photo at the Kennedy Space Center's web site.

When the shuttle was rolled out to its seaside launch complex Wednesday, one item was missing: the "u" in Endeavour.

The orbiter is named after HM Bark Endeavour, the ship commanded by 18th century explorer James Cook; the name also honored Endeavour, the Command Module of Apollo 15. This is why the name is spelled in the British English manner, according to

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I wish Borders Books would quit emailing me about that dagone new Harry Potter book. Frankly, I hope it IS the last one (but I bet it's not).

If I have to hear another J. K. Rowling interview where she drones on and on about what inspired her to come up with Harry Potter and how she prepares for each new book and where the characters are going, I'm gonna puke! I mean it!!

BTW, I think he's a witch!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Revenge ON The Nerds

From WebMD:

Nintendo Game Sparks Acute ‘Wiitis’ (link)

...Spending too much time playing simulated sports with video games may lead to real pain and sore muscles, researchers say.

A letter in TheNew England Journal of Medicine details the first documented case of acute “Wiiitis” caused by extended play on the Nintendo Wii video game system.

A doctor in Spain diagnosed the new variant of Nintendinitis in a healthy 29-year-old male medical resident who woke up one morning with intense pain in the right shoulder. He hadn’t participated in any sports or physical exercise recently, but he had just purchased a Nintendo Wii video game system and had spent several hours playing the tennis video game.

...“If a player gets too engrossed, he may ‘play tennis’ for many hours,” writes Julio Bonis, MD, of the Instituto Municipal de Investigation Medica in Barcelona, Spain. “Unlike in the real sport, physical strength and endurance are not limiting factors.
These people need to get out there and engage in robust, healthy, energizing activties -- like smoking cigars, drinking Starbucks and running a blog.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Sea of Love

"Plenty of Fish" (link), is an online dating site that I heard about on the radio. For laughs (honest) I decided to check it out ( a friend...really).

Anyway, here are a couple of ACTUAL photographs from two would-be "matches" that show what NOT to do when creating an account profile picture.

1) Take Your Time:

This guy must have been in a hurry because he left his trench coat on. It makes him look like the sadistic Nazi dentist played by Lawrence Olivier in "Marathon Man" (is it safe?).

Also, where did he take this picture? It looks like a hotel lobby.

2) Compose the Shot CAREFULLY:

This gal should have framed the shot so that her toilet was NOT visible. MOST digital cameras have a "cropping" feature (no pun intended) for just this purpose.

Nuff said.
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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Da Bulls

Apparently, the guests of honor are bullish on America as two Americans were among those who got gored at this year's San Fermin festival in Pamploma, Spain. I love reading the details of the various injuries. (link)

Four people — including two Americans — were gored Friday during the running for the bulls at this year’s San Fermin festival, officials said.

John Doyle, 22, of Dunwoody, Ga., was gored in the groin and would probably be hospitalized for a day or two, said Dr. Wilfredo Soler of Virgen del Camino Hospital.

The other injured American was a 22-year-old man from Louisiana who was gored in the left knee, Soler said. The American requested that his name not be disclosed.

The worst injured was Juan Vallbona Serra, 23, of Sabadell, Spain, who was struck by a bull, which then fell on him. As he struggled free, two other bulls hit him in the back and side, lifting him into the air.


Runners were knocked off their feet, trampled or pushed against barricades all along the 900-yard route on narrow cobblestone streets from a corral to a bullring.

Heh heh...hee hee... ha ha ha...
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Saturday, July 07, 2007

We Are The -cough- World

"Fun with statistics" on today's Live Earth concert: (link)

A Daily Mail investigation has revealed that far from saving the planet, the extravaganza will generate a huge fuel bill, acres of garbage, thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions, and a mileage total equal to the movement of an army.

The most conservative assessment of the flights being taken by its superstars is that they are flying an extraordinary 222,623.63 miles between them to get to the various concerts - nearly nine times the circumference of the world. The true environmental cost, as they transport their technicians, dancers and support staff, is likely to be far higher.

The total carbon footprint of the event, taking into account the artists' and spectators' travel to the concert, and the energy consumption on the day, is likely to be at least 31,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of, who specialises in such calculations.

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Insert Funny Double Entendre Here

Why can't Starbucks do something like this?
Company Advertises for Condom Testers (link)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- A major condom brand said Friday it expected thousands of applicants for a new unpaid job on offer -- condom tester.

Durex said 200 adult Australians -- men and women -- are wanted to test a range of its condoms.

While the successful applicants will not be paid, each will receive a pack of Durex sex products, a chance to win 1,000 Australian dollars ($857 U.S.), plus professional prestige, the company said in a statement.
. . .
Hopefuls must explain in their applications why they would make "expert" condom testers.

How they test the condoms is not specified, but testers must provide honest feedback about how they find the products.

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Thanks for the Memories

Tee hee...(here's the link, in case you can't see it)

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ex and the City

According to Comcast News, a big screen "Sex and the City" movie will start shooting this fall (link):
When the show ended its HBO run in 2004, each of the women wound up paired off with her beua: Carrie with Mr. Big, Miranda with Steve, Charlotte with Harry and Samantha with Smith. While no deals have been inked to bring back the menfolk back, negotiations for supporting players are expected to begin closer to the production date, with Chris Noth expected to reprise his Big role.
I can't figure out what "sex" the "Sex and the City" flick will cover. Two hours of them sharing bedroom stories about Steve, Harry, Smith and Mr. Big doesn't sound very entertaining.

Maybe it'll turn out that the "Sex and City" men were the ones who got whacked right after "The Sopranos" finale blackout.

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Alcohol and Electricity Don't Mix

From the Associated Press:

Al Gore's Son Arrested on Drug Suspicion (link)

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. - Al Gore's son was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said.

Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.

I guess it's not funny, but I just couldn't help chuckling over the fact that he drives a Prius. At lease he's consistent.
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On The Fence

Usually, the louder lightweight Keith Olbermann rants and raves about something (as he did last night regarding Bush's commuting of "Scooter" Libby's perjury conviction), the more I'm convinced of the merits of the opposing viewpoint. However, I'm still undecided about this one.

Here are two commentators who's opinion I respect on the subject. And they couldn't be further apart:

Christopher Hitchens (link)
The rush to prejudge the case and pack Libby off to prison seems near universal. (Patrick Fitzgerald has denounced him for failing to show remorse; a strange charge to make against a man who has announced that he intends to appeal.) Given the unsoundness of the verdict, the extraordinary number of other witnesses who admitted to confusion over dates and times, and the essential triviality of the original matter (an apparently purposeless coverup of a nonleak, in private and legal conversations, involving common knowledge of information that was not known to be classified), it is unlikely that the verdict at present can stand scrutiny, let alone the sentence. But why go through all this irrelevant and secondhand hearsay again? Those who want to "get" someone for "lying us into war" have picked the wrong man and failed to identify a crime. Let them try to impeach the president, who should in the meantime step in to avoid any more waste of public money and time and pardon Libby without further ado.

Andrew Sullivan (link)
They keep repeating the line that only the "left" will be angry. Dean Barnett hauls it out. Glenn Reynolds echoes. K-Lo is on the meme. Is it now the conservative position that only left-wingers actually object to people getting away with perjury? For what it's worth, I don't think the Republican base gives a damn about Scooter Libby. But many others now will. The defense of the commutation is complicated and unpersuasive. The case against it is simple: You don't get a cleaner example of different justice for the rich and powerful. It seems to me that real conservatives - not the lawless hoodlums now parading under that banner - should be as outraged as anyone. This man risked national security for political payback, and perjured himself to cover it up. This commutation will rightly become a symbol of a great deal of rot in Washington that needs to be swept clean.

BTW, here's a karmic coincidence -- Libby (a lawyer) once represented Mark Rich --who was convicted for tax evasion and infamously pardoned by Bill Clinton. (link)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

With "Friends" Like These...

From ISNA, the "Iranian Students News Agency" - (link)

TEHRAN, July 02 (ISNA)-Writer, producer and director, Michael Moore is to come to Iran for the screening of his new production SICKO in the first international documentary film festival held here.

This festival will be held from the 15th to the 19th of October in Tehran.

It speaks for itself, so I don't have much to add.

I will note that it looks like Moore got a makeover for the publicity photo. The "man of the people" must have spent a couple hundred bucks at a salon (he's probably not a good tipper either). His trademark baseball cap, dark framed glasses and scruffy five o'clock shadow are gone.

But an eyebrow waxing and Photoshop can't hide 75-100 extra pounds.

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