February 05, 2008
Idea Crisis 2008: Oh the Horror
Let's take a look at two very recent films, both within the so-called horror genre.
The Eyes: Jessica Alba stars as a blind woman who regains her vision through a revolutionary eye-implant procedure. The only catch: her new eyes are EVIL EYES and allow her to SEE WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!
One Missed Call: Shannon Saucsornmoome stars as a young woman who owns a cell phone and often likes to receive voice messages. The only catch? Her voice mail service is EVIL and allows her to HEAR WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! Or something.
Does this sound familiar? It should. It's been done before. For instance, there's the 2002 film The Ring. Starring Naomi Watts, this film was about a video tape that TELLS YOU WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. And that, in turn, was a remake of a japanese film. It was basically the same film, except that in the Japanese version, the cursed video cassette was Betamax instead of VHS. Also I think there were mecha.
At this point, it seems like Hollywood screenwriters have resorted to wandering around Best Buy, picking random gadgets that could potentially TELL [a film's protagonist] WHEN THEY ARE GOING TO DIE!
Since the writers are still on strike, I figure I can pick up their slack by churning out derivative and idiotic screenplays. Since I'm "no longer welcome" in my local Best Buy, I strolled through a nearby strip mall for inspiration. Here are some promising horror movie concepts I came up with:
Death Toaster: It's a toaster. THAT TELLS YOU WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. Hapless, photogenic teenagers come upon a cursed toaster that dooms them to a horrible death, as well as a dull breakfast.
Curse of the Fortune Cookie: At a popular chinese restaurant, they're serving dumpings... with a side of DOOOOM. Each meal ends with a cursed fortune cookie that TELLS YOU WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE... IN BED!
Donut of Doom: A delicious jelly donut that squirts jelly in such a way that TELLS YOU WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO... you know what, I'm sorry -- I just can't do this anymore. Cursed donuts are too stupid, even for me. At this point, I'm pretty sure that sniffing glue is my best entertainment option.
January 22, 2008
Idea Crisis 2008: Introduction
Do you ever get the feeling that the entertainment industry has just plum run out of ideas?
I'm not talking about good ideas. Hollywood ran out of those years ago. Honestly, would they have decided to make Larry the Cable Guy, Health Inspector, if they had any better ideas available at the time? Clearly not.
So, what's left when you run out of good ideas? Well. There's always bad ideas! You know the ones I'm talking about. Cartoon chipmunks cracking jokes about eating each other's feces. Putting Dane Cook opposite Jessica Alba (or anyone else, for that matter). Hilary Swank starring in a romantic comedy -- playing a GIRL! I'm all for creative casting, but who would believe Mr. Swank as a non-hermphroditic, fully functional female? Not me. And certainly not my junk.
So the Age of Good Ideas is long gone. But audiences can at least take solace in the fact that studios could never extinguish their supply of really stupid ideas. That well never runs dry, right?
WRONG. Maybe it's the Writer's Strike, maybe it's the Law of Diminishing Returns... or perhaps it's God punishing us for our corrupt and decadent lifestyle. No matter what the cause, the effect is certain: the entertainment industry has lost the most basic capacity to generate NEW IDEAS. Even really shitty ones.
This week, I'll be exploring how this phenomenon -- which I've dubbed Idea Crisis 2008 -- will affect you and your family in the days to come. If you or somebody you love plans to consume entertainment projects at any point in the future, it is critical that you stay tuned to this website. Your life may just depend on it.
Well, probably not. But, you should stay tuned anyway. Please.
November 03, 2006
The Price is JOEY
After nearly 500 years of entertaining shut-ins, old people, and the unemployed, Bob Barker is retiring from The Price Is Right.
Does this mean the end of America's favorite pricing-related game show? Hell no! The Price is Right will continue with a new host and a new IN YOUR FACE attitude. The next host of this classic game show wlll be: Joey Headset. Though I haven't been contacted yet by CBS, I am the obvious successor to Mr. Barker. I have my finger on the pulse of the American public and I always spay and neuter my neighbors' pets, even when they won't give me permission.
In order to ensure that the series continues for the next 500 years, I'll intend to make some big changes to the show. No one cares about the price of a 5 gallon drum of Tide laundry detergent or a Whirlpool washer/dryer combo. Today's television viewer expects MORE from a game show. They want action, surprises, and a high contestant mortality rate. More than this, viewers want a game show with a gritty, URBAN edge. And what viewers want, Joey delivers! Here are some new games that will be featured when I take over The Price is Right.
Price that Grill: America LOVES grillz. Not grills, the metal thing you cook meat on, but grillz, the metal thing you wear in your mouth! Rapper Paul Wall co-hosts this pricing game where contestants must guess the value of all the platinum/diamonds in the MC's pie-hole.
Guess right and you win an identical grill of your very own! If you guess wrong, Paul Wall may get offended and have his crew beat the crap out of you when you leave the studio. Don't worry: we'll be there with cameras.
Blingo: Remember Plinko? It's the most popular game on The Price is Right! Players take Plinko Chips and drop them down a pegboard, hoping to score large amounts of COLD HARD CASH. Blingo is just like Plinko, except that it's different in every conceivable way. In Blingo, players are given a diamond encrusted "Blingo Chip", hanging from a BANGIN gold chain -- a prize valued at $200,000! Contestants will be loaded into a van and dropped off in south-central Los Angeles. If they can survive for 3 hours, they get to keep the bling for themselves! If they are brutally murdered, their family gets a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni (the San Francisco Treat). It's a win/win situation!
Brand New Car: Over the years, TPIR has given away countless automobiles... but never like this. When we award cars, we pack them with a little something extra: a 20 lb. brick of uncut Columbian cocaine! This "special bonus prize" has a street value of over $900,000... but it's not actually part of the prize package. In order to claim their new car, contestants must go to Mexico and drive the car back to the US. Once they've cleared the border, a member of our crew will meet up with them to retrieve the goods. Rest assured, contestants: our Mexican associates stash the coke in a very well-hidden compartment. It's unlikely border guards will give you any trouble. However, if they do find the drugs, don't bother calling me. I don't know you.
September 13, 2006
Fun and Games on the iPod
I like to play games. I'm a gamer. And, since I don't really enjoy the company of "other people", I prefer games that I can play alone. Back in high school, many of my classmates commented on how much I like to play with myself. What can I say... guilty as charged!
And this is a great time to be a solitary gamer. Why? Because games are everywhere! I can play solitaire on my computer, my cell phone, my toaster and on several pairs of boxer shorts that I own. Yet... there is one device I own that has remained frustratingly gameless. My iPod. When I finally purchased my first iPod last month, I was SHOCKED to discover that it did nothing but play music. I couldn't score touchdowns on it, couldn't kill aliens or simulate ancient military campaigns. I couldn't even collect gold coins! I very nearly threw my iPod down the garbage disposal. Good thing I didn't! Yesterday, the iTunes Music Store started offering games. Games... FOR MY iPOD!!! Finally, I can stop listening to all this stupid music and start playing some stupid games!
However, looking through the available games, I'm a bit underwhelmed. Tetris and Pac-Man are classics, I guess, but I've already played those a MILLION times. Mahjong is boring and Texas Hold'em is only fun if you're drunk and playing for real money. Then there's the price. Each game costs $5. WTF! For $5 dollars I could buy a six pack of beer... or two six packs of really crappy beer! Can these iPod games really provide more entertainment than good old fashioned alcohol? I doubt it.
Though I can't bring myself to pay for these iPod games, I still feel I'm entitled to a quality gaming experience on my personal music player. Therefore, I have invented some SUPER FUN games that anyone can play on their iPod... and they are totally free! If you're a cheap bastard who loves games (like me!), I'm certain these games will provide you with hours of marginal entertainment:
iPod Karaoke: On my iPod, I keep a special playlist of songs I like to sing in the shower. There's lots of Journey, REO Speedwagon, Hilary Duff. I've discovered that the only thing more fun than singing these songs in the shower is singing them as loud as I can when I'm out with my iPod. I generally play this game when I'm shopping at Wal-Mart, and I score points every time someone shoots me a dirty look. I score LOTS of points.
John Mayer Russian Roulette: In order to play, you must upload one John Mayer song onto your iPod. To start the game, you will put your player into random "shuffle" mode. Then, you will hit play and press the Track Forward button 10 times. If the John Mayer track is randomly selected, you are required to destroy your iPod immediately with a sledgehammer. Either that or be forced to listen to it.
Dance! Dance! iPod-lution: This is the perfect game for those who listen to their iPod in public places. Again, you'll need to set your pod to Shuffle. This time you are going to load a few dozen RUMP SHAKIN' BOOTY ANTHEMS into your library. Personally, the best collection I've found is on a CD called Booty Jams.
If you wish to double up on the Booty, you might also enjoy Monster Booty, featuring Baby Got Back, Rump Shaker, and (one of my favorites): Wiggle It. The game is very simple: every time one of these special booty tracks comes up in the shuffle, you are required to SHAKE WHAT YO MAMA GAVE YOU! Doesn't matter where you are: at work, on the bus, enjoying a romantic meal at the Olive Garden -- you must jump up and shake that ass until the song is over or until you are asked to leave the Olive Garden (as I often am). If you don't know how to dance, you can pick up some Phat Moves from this classic video by Freak Nasty.
You don't need to pay $5 to enjoy games on your iPod. All you need is a little imagination and a total lack of dignity and self-control. Have fun!
August 27, 2006
Liveblogging the EMMYS
Since my Oscars liveblog seemed pretty popular, I'm going to do it again. This time, it's the Emmys! The Emmys are like the Academy Awards, except without the glamour, the stars, or really anything else that anyone cares about. WHOOOO.
8:07 -- Hey, time to get down on some hardcore liveblogging for the Emmys! I turned it on 7 minutes late, so I missed most of the Comedy intro but is seemed pretty funny. Conan's monologue is quality, as usual. And a nice song and dance number!
8:15 -- Now that Conan is done with his intro, I'm wondering why I'm sitting here watching the Emmys. And the Emmy for something or other goes to the woman from Will and Grace! The one who talked in a high pitched voice. Already forgotten her name.
8:19 -- Fucking hell... according to the schedule this thing goes on for THREE HOURS!!! It's an awards show for TV, wouldn't it make more sense if they could knock the whole thing out in 30 miuntes. That is the length of most TV shows.
8:28 -- Someone I've never heard of just won an award for a show that I've never seen. Also, they started playing music over her after about 8 seconds of acceptance speech. I feel sorry for whoever the hell that was.
8:40 -- W-T-F? I am a card carrying TV Junkie with a 5 million channel DirecTV system... and I haven't heard of ANY of the actors or TV shows that are up for awards.
8:45 -- OK, I've made it though 45 minutes of this. That's really more than anyone could have expected. I think I'm going to watch reruns of NFL Preseason games on the NFL Network.
August 16, 2006
Also in Theaters this Weekend...
At movie theaters across the US, this weekend is all about Snakes on a Plane. The film really has something for everyone: aviation buffs, reptile enthusiasts, people who like to hear Sam Jackson utter the phrase "motherfucking snakes". And I'm sure none of them will be disappointed -- unless they can't get a ticket. Showings of SoaP are likely to sell out quick this weekend, and many moviegoers may find themselves snakeless come Friday and Saturday night. If you find yourself in this unenviable position, DON'T PANIC. Here are some other films opening this weekend you might want to check out instead.
The Illusionist: "A magician in turn-of-the-century Vienna falls in love with a woman well above his social standing. When she becomes engaged to a prince, the magician uses his powers to win her back and undermine the stability of the royal house of Vienna." Since The Illusionist is set before the invention of aircraft, one can be reasonably certain that there are no motherfucking planes in the film. However, an old-school magician might use snakes as part of his act. Should these motherfucking snakes escape during a romantic carriage ride, who knows what might happen?
Trust the Man: "After all the drama, cheating, and trial separations, two men fight to save their respective relationships." On the surface, this seems to be a boring relationship drama: failing marriages, infidelity, David (ugh) Duchovny. However, keep this in mind: venomous snakes are known to seek out emotional trauma. They can sense angst with that little tongue flicking thing they do. Therefore, it is more than possible that a gut-wrenching break-up scene in the film could be interrupted by a surprise motherfucking snake assault. And, if this break-up happens to occur on a motherfucking plane, Trust the Man could be the sleeper hit of the summer!
Material Girls: "Hilary and Haylie Duff play spoiled rich girls who lose their money and then get caught up in some wacky hijinks. Hilarity (allegedly) ensues." Spoiled rich girls may spend a lot of time on luxury jets, but I suspect that most motherfucking snakes have better sense than to sink their fangs into these skank ass bitches.
July 26, 2006
Prime-time network television: where each network cunningly programs and counter-programs against every other network, ensuring that a variety of programming exists in every timeslot. Yes, prime-time network TV offers something for everybody. For instance, consider the 8pm-9pm slot this evening: Monday, July 26:
ABC: The One: Making a Music Star. Reality TV. Singers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance Reality TV. Dancers compete, one eliminated each week until winner is selected.
UPN: America's Next Top Model Reality TV. Lanky, anorexic women compete to see who can tolerate Tyra Banks the longest. One eliminated each week until winner is selected.
NBC: America's Got Talent Reality TV. Assorted novelty acts compete, I assume that one is eliminated each week until winner is selected? Couldn't stand watching it long enough to determine the format.
WB: Blue Collar TV Sketch "Comedy". Ignorant white trash icons compete to see who can make me more ashamed to be an American citizen. Sadly, no one gets eliminated at the end of the show.
Yes, prime time network TV offers something for everyone. Just so long as everyone is an idiot.
July 15, 2006
Bringing Sexy Back
Have you heard? Justin Timberlake is bringing Sexy Back!
He seems pretty determined, doesn't he? Of course, some of you may be wondering precisely why Justin decided to bring back the Sexy. Did Sexy go somewhere? Has Sexy been conspicuously absent? YOU BET IT HAS. In recent years, sexiness levels have experienced massive declines across the board. This ominous trend has been noted in many scientific journals, as well as in Al Gore's upcoming documentary, "An Inconvenient and Totally Unsexy Truth." If you don't believe me, check out this very colorful and scientifically accurate graph:
Everywhere I look, I find myself wondering: what happened to the Sexy? Music videos used to feature scantily clad bimbos shaking their anatomical correctness directly at the camera. Not anymore. Now, music videos are all about earnest young men staring meaningfully off camera while they sing about how sad they are. There's nothing sexy about MOPING. Unless you're in Dashboard Confessional or you're that guy from The Cure.
Also, consider TV. In the 90s we had Friends and Melrose Place, programs that featured attractive young people sleeping with each other and sometimes smacking each other in the face. That's sexy! Now we're in 2006 and the actors from those shows are still on TV. Marcia Cross is on Desperate Housewives and Matthew Perry will star in an upcoming NBC Drama. What's the difference? They're older now, not as attractive and not as sexy as they used to be. NOT NEARLY AS SEXY!
If left unchecked, this Sexy recession could have disastrous consequences. We're already seeing declining birth rates in Europe and Japan. Even in the US, people aren't creating enough new people. Well, WHITE people aren't... according to this pasty white person, who probably ought to know.
If white people can't get their SEXY on, the entire Fox News on-air staff might fall into a despair that could only end in mass suicide. Not that this would be a bad thing, per se -- but I'd feel sorry for the poor immigrant janitors who'd be forced to clean up the resulting mess.
Fortunately, it will never come to that. Justin Timberlake is on the case, bringing Sexy back for everyone. Even for puffy middle aged fascists! I have no doubt J-Timb will succeed in his effort to restore the Sexy, I just wonder how he intends to do it. Obviously, his first step was to release the song "SexyBack", currently 47th on Billboard's Pop 100. It's an appealing morsel of club funk, certain to keep the dancefloors twitching for the rest of the summer. But surely there's more to come -- I'm pretty sure one song isn't going to end a global sexy crisis! Perhaps Justin has a plan to fortify our drinking water with his own ultrasexy pheromones. Maybe he's invented holographic pants that make our asses look firmer and more desirable. Who knows, Timberlake might even have invented a new genre of pornography that will stimulate humanity for decades to come!
No matter how he decides to bring Sexy back, I'm rooting for Justin all the way! Just so long as I don't have to listen to his music.
July 11, 2006
Next-Gen Reality TV
Sometimes I feel like life is pointless and there's no reason to keep on living. But then I remember that there's TELEVISION! Sweet, sweet television. If TV didn't exist, I can't think of one good reason why I wouldn't stick my head in the oven and be done with it all. Actually, I can think of one reason. My oven isn't gas, it's electric. I think you need the gas oven if you want to do an old school Sylvia Plath style suicide. I guess if I cranked up the heat real high on my electric oven and kept my head in there for a while it might work. But I'd have to leave the oven door open and then most of the heat would probably escape. It would take FOREVER to kill myself that way -- and I have better things to do with my time.
Fortunately, television does exist. Therefore, life is still worth living! Of course, the TV shows that are currently on the air... those are a steaming pile of bull-ass-crap. Those shows don't make me want to continue living. Mostly, they make me want to end the lives of the people responsible for producing them. Come on, who hasn't felt the urge to strangle the entire cast of Two and a Half Men?
Yes, even the little fat kid. ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE FAT KID.
No, what keeps me from offing myself isn't current TV programming. Rather, it's the promise of TV shows to come! Every fall, viewers are showered with a bountiful crop of new television programs. Some of them are stupid, some of them are really stupid, but it's entirely possible that one or two of them will be pretty decent! In fact, my research indicates that precisely 1 out of every 91 new TV programs doesn't suck. With that in mind, what if I told you that there were 91 new Reality TV shows debuting next season? Let me guess: if I told you that, you'd accuse me of making up the whole 1/91 ratio just to facilitate a convenient segue.
GUILTY AS CHARGED!!!
So anyway, here are some highlights from in-development Reality TV. Special thanks goes out to the Brilliant But Cancelled blog whose text I will shamelessly copy/paste before interjecting my own commentary and analysis.
Bling! - Due Fall 2006 - This show follows women shopping for the most incredibly expensive jewelry around.
I would watch this, but only if every episode ended with the women getting their faces smashed in with bricks.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels - Due 8/7/06 - Similar to "The Osbournes" but with Gene Simmons and his family.
OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!! Oh wait... Gene Simmons? I misread, I thought it was going to be Richard Simmons. Nevermind.
Show Me the Money - Due Fall 2006 - An Endemol game show where the prize money increases or decreases based on an uncontrollable mechanism.
The prize money is controlled by "an uncontrollable mechanism"? I am genuinely interested in seeing how this goes down. Maybe they'll put all of the prize money in a room with a dozen monkeys, and whatever they don't eat or crap on gets awarded to the contestants? At least the footage of screaming, shitting monkeys will be worth watching.
Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty - Due 8/13/06 - Shannen will intervene in toxic relationships and decide if a breakup is necessary.
Let me get this straight: Being a stupid bitch now makes you a relationships expert? Well, I guess that explains the success of Dr. Phil.
Iron Ring - Due Summer/Fall 2006 - Celebrities in martial arts fights.
Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner!
July 08, 2006
Save Marissa Cooper
Reading Stereogum today, I saw that there was an active and highly organized movement to revive the character Marissa Cooper on FOX's The OC. As fans of the show already know, Marissa was killed off on the season finale of the most recent season -- a very controversial move. By all reports, the character was eliminated because Mischa Barton (the actress who played Marissa) wished to pursue other opportunities. However, this fact has not dissuaded fans of the character from launching a massive (allegedly) internet protest intended to bring the character back next season.
Even though I don't really watch The OC or find Mischa Barton attractive or think she is a particularly good actress, I have been persuaded by the passion of these Marissa fans! In a show of solidarity, I recently posted the following on savincoop.com, the premiere "Save Marissa" website:
Subject: HOW 2 BRING MARISSA BACK
I am TOTALLY down with the save Marissa movement! Everyone knows that the only thing worth watching about that show was Marissa and seeing how awesome and skinny she is and that one facial expression she does when she is happy or annoyed or eating some chili fries. MMMM CHILI FRIES (LOL and stuff!)
But oh noes! The season finale of The OC made it pretty clear that she was not breathing and she was bleeding and she really looked pretty dead and not very alive at all! So how will they bring Marissa back to life so that she can once again bless The OC with her skinniness and her ability to make that one facial expression???
I guess they could do the old "it was all just a dream" think but that is SO SO LAME. If they did that I would grab my girlfriend by the hair and smash her head through the TV LOL!!! Also they could have an angel come down from heaven or maybe even Rupert Murdoch himself and they could lay hands on Marissa's smelly rotting corpse and she could come back to life and then they could all go eat chili fries! (MMMMM LOL).
If that doesn't work, they could say that the Coopster actually faked her own death because she was an operative for the CIA and she was on the run from Russian KGB agents or al Queda sleeper cells or something. Then maybe they could do a spinoff series called Marissa Cooper, Double Agent where Marissa FIGHTS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM through her fashion sense and her skinniness and her ability to make that one facial expression that she makes. Come on, that would be DOPE as HELL!
If the FOX TV executives aren't down with this idea, here's another one: Bring Marissa Cooper back (wait for it!!!) as a ZOMBIE! WOOOOO!!! Come on, how hot would it be if Marissa goes around eating people's brains and maybe Ryan has to go and shoot her in the head and he can't do it because he still LOVES her and then they start to make out and stuff... but instead of having hot teen sex Marissa eats Ryan's BRAINS while making that same facial expression she always makes when she is being dramatic and also when she is annoyed or eating chili fries (or brains)!!!! LOL LOL WOOO!!!!
So come on Fox TV Executives, I know U are reading this. There are as many ways of bringing Marissa back as there are obsessive OC fans who are willing to do internet protests and post on message boards until their VOICES ARE HEARD! Bring back my favorite character or I will start reading BOOKS instead of watching TV. And NOBODY WANTS THAT LOL!
June 14, 2006
Another Twist Ending
June 05, 2006
48 Hours of Benson
Kick ass! TV Land, the network that specializes in reruns, is doing a 48 hour Benson marathon! You remember Benson, right?
SHUT UP OLSEN TWINS!
Perhaps the show was a little before your time. Actually, since this sitcom aired from 1979-1986, it was sort of before my time; but it was constantly in reruns when I was growing up. The show centered around Benson Dubois, a black guy who works with a bunch of whiteys in the Governor's mansion of some unspecified state. In this sense, the show was a lot like the West Wing: lots of political intrigue, brainy dialogue and a massive ensemble cast.
HAHAHAHAHAHA ... I'm just fucking with you. Benson is about as far removed from the West Wing as any show could be. Really, the entire show revolved around the main character making smart-ass remarks at everyone else in the cast: the dumbass Governor, the snobby lawyer, the annoying housekeeper, etc. From this description, you can probably imagine why the show appealed to a young Joey Headset.
Since I have nothing to do this weekend, I figured I would spend Saturday and Sunday watching the Benson marathon. All 48 Hours! From time to time, I'll check in on this site to let you know how much I'm enjoying it!
Update, Hour 1: WOO it's Benson! Haven't seen this show in years. This is going to be awesome. I got snacks, beer, invited a few friends over. Let the good times ROLL!
Update, Hour 2: Oh dear. This show isn't quite as funny as I remember. Too many heartwarming moments, not enough vicious sarcasm. All of my friends left after the first hour (specifically, after I ran out of snacks). Fucking bastards. Doesn't matter, not going to let them ruin my fun.
Update, Hour 5: : This show is fucking AWFUL! Can't imagine why I ever thought otherwise. The fact that I was like nine years old when I first saw it may have something to do with it. Nine year olds think everything is funny, even Saturday Night Live. I don't know how I'm going to make it through 48 continuous hours of this. I should probably just give up... but that would make me a quitter! I said I was going to watch the whole marathon, and that's what I intend to do. I'll just have to find a way to tough it out.
Update, Hour 10: : Hey, I think I've found a way to make this interesting. I just invented the Benson Drinking Game. Here's how it works: every time Benson makes one of his smart ass remarks, you yell "INSULT!" at the screen and take a drink.
Update, Hour 12: : soo drunkk! i didnt' tghink i wold half to drinnk somych so faaast! damm you Benson an yore wisecrackin ways!!
Update, Hour 20: : Ugh. I must have passed out for a few hours. That Benson Drinking Game probably wasn't such a good idea. This hangover is going to be pretty bad, but at least I have Benson to keep me company.
Update, Hour 24:: Ooh, They are showing the 2 part Benson Goes to Hong Kong special. Back in the 80s, they sure knew how to take a dump on other people's cultures. It's a beautiful thing. Also, I enjoy the way they keep mixing the peppy Benson theme song with a cool ASIAN theme that is as mysterious as it is trite. It's tritesterious!
Update, Hour 30:: Just like a real (non-Benson) marathon runner, I think I'm getting my second wind! Either that or the show is making me retarded. Anyway, inspired by my new energy, I just wrote a poem:
Benson Benson Benson,
you are the man
Make sarcastic comments
That's always part of your plan
The Gov'ner is a moron and Clayton is a dick
But if you say mean things to them
That will always do the trick
Update, Hour 35:: Maybe it's just the Benson talkin', but Ms. Kraus is starting to look pretty HOT.
Update, Hour 39:: Can't. Take. Any. More. Benson.
Update, Hour 47:: I'm gonna make it! I'm going to survive 48 straight hours of Benson! Finally I can turn off the TV, go get some fresh air. Hey -- hold on a minute. TV Land is doing a 62 hour Sanford and Son marathon starting at 6AM on Monday. I am so going to watch that!
May 29, 2006
Questionable Plot Summaries from DirecTV
As many of you already know, I am a DirecTV subscriber. One of the advantages of DirecTV is that it offers so much televisual entertainment, I can almost forget that I don't have any friends and hardly ever leave the house. Almost...
Another advantage of DirecTV is this:
That's the info button on the DirecTV remote -- and it's pretty useful! When you push the button during a movie, DirecTV tells you the name of the film, plus some details about the cast and plot. For instance, earlier this evening, the USA Network was showing the movie Deliverance. Just out of curiosity, I hit the info button. This is an exact quote of the data that appeared on my screen:
"Deliverance. Movie, Action/Adventure: (1972) Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty. Nature and mountain men humble four Atlanta businessmen on a canoe trip in the Appalachian wilds. AC, AL, CC."
I'm pretty sure I've never heard the word humble used to describe the particular fate of those Atlanta businessmen. In my own life, I've experienced many humbling situations... yet none of those situations required me to "squeal like a pig." A few times I was forced to bark like a dog, but that was something totally different.
The point is this: If DirecTV thinks Deliverance is an action/adventure movie about a few businessmen who get "humbled", I wonder how they would describe films with similar themes. Perhaps it would look something like this...
The Crying Game. Dramady: (1992) Forrest Whitaker, Jaye Davidson. A prideful British soldier finds his hubris severely compromised by a sexy night club singer.
Brokeback Mountain. Buddy Film: (2005) Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal. Two cowboy friends help each other find humility on a mountain. Hot, sweaty humility.
Boys Don't Cry. DocuDrama: (1999) Hilary Swank, Chloe Sevigny. A tomboyish teen makes fast friends in a small Nebraska town -- until those friends brutally take her down a few pegs.
Bareback Mania #3: Well Hung and Young. CockuDrama: (2004). Willie Hung, Rick Hardmember. Pretty much wall to wall modesty. Some scenes include self-deprecation. No condoms.
May 26, 2006
Worst Album Review EVER (Why Pitchfork Sucks)
**THIS** may be the worst record review ever written.
Pitchfork Media's review of "The Dividing Island", a new album by the band Lansing-Dreiden, isn't just an example of bad music criticism. VERY BAD music journalism. It's also an example of why music criticism is teetering on the brink of total obsolescence.
That's right, I said TEETERING!
Back in the day, music criticism served a purpose: it helped music fans decide what records they should buy and which ones they should avoid. This was very helpful... back when people actually purchased music. In case you haven't heard, people don't really do the "spending money on music" thing anymore Why buy the cow when you can download steaks off the internet? (I got a 12oz sirloin off of Bittorrent last week. Delicious!) Even those rare music fans who still buy CDs have abandoned music reviews. They don't need to read other people's opinions about an album, they can just go to the band's myspace page or the iTunes store and listen to most of album before they buy it. At this point, people don't need music criticism to tell them whether they should go and buy and album. If music criticism serves any purpose whatsoever, it is to let consumers know if an album is worth previewing. "Is this band worth the 15 seconds it will take for me to find their music online and decide for myself whether it's any good?"
Considering this, it should be obvious that any review which takes longer than 15 seconds to read is totally useless. However, this fact has clearly eluded the Pitchfork writing staff, particularly Mr. Brian Howe -- the man who authored the Lansing-Dreiden review linked above. Howe needs editing the way Dr. Phil needs a savage beating: REAL, REAL BAD.
If you haven't already, read (or at least gloss over) the first paragraph.
Still with me? Good. Now, read the first sentence of the second paragraph. Here, I'll quote it for you: "These questions [the ones raised in the introductory paragraph] would be worth considering if they had anything to do with [the record being reviewed]". Hey Mr. Reviewer: if you begin the second paragraph by telling us that everything you wrote in the first is irrelevant, that's a pretty good sign that you should have just deleted that first paragraph entirely. While you're at it, you can go ahead and delete the sentence that informed us of the aforementioned irrelevance.
BOOM... we've just shortened a 473 word review by 128 words without even breaking a sweat! But why stop there? Take the next sentence: "Given the group's anonymity and the album's museum-quality-- it has the air of an artifact carefully constructed and hermetically sealed under glass-- The Dividing Island seems to float in a void." Hmm... that sentence doesn't actually mean anything -- so I reckon we can cut it as well. We can also eliminate the rest of the second paragraph, since it merely serves as an excuse for for the reviewer to drop the words "hermetic", "groupthink" and "parsing" into the review.
Paragraph three doesn't even reference the album. Rather, it gushes on about some other article written by a different Pitchfork staffer. Get out the scissors, Mary, cuz that paragraph is getting CUT!
It isn't until the 4th and final paragraph of the review that Brian Howe actually bothers to address the record he was supposed to be reviewing. He lists a few of the more notable tracks on the record and offers some oblique descriptions. Badly written, but at least its on topic! However, Howe quickly derails with a conclusion that includes the following: "You can see the theme of division play out over the song titles, but the only operative division this record explores, tacitly, is between the band's theory and their praxis." Guess what, Brian? I also went to went to college, and I know what it looks like when you're just trying to fill space on a term paper. I'm calling BULLSHIT on this review, both its theory and its
The age of lengthy, overwrought record reviews is OVER. If you really need to know what other people think of new music, check out this site. There's little room for pretension when every review is 75 words or less!
May 08, 2006
7th Heaven Series Finale
For centuries, philosophers and theologians have considered this question:
Can God create a TV show so bad, even He can't watch it?
In 1996, the WB Network put an end to all that philosophical pondering once and for all with the introduction of "7th Heaven". Over the last 10 seasons, 7th Heaven has been the WB's flagship program... a Family Drama that can be enjoyed by the Entire Family. So long as your Family is white, Christian and really really boring. Though the program has been a consistent ratings leader for the WB, the network is finally bringing 7th Heaven to a conclusion. As usual, internet-people have started a petition drive, arguing that the WB is "only canceling the show because [insert preposterous reason for canceling a TV show that fans of the show invent when they don't know what the hell they're talking about]". Even though the petition drive is doomed to failure (like every other petition drive in the history of the world), it's hard not to feel sorry for fans who have lost their favorite show. Take heart 7th Heavenites: you can spend that extra hour on Mondays harshly judging people who don't practice your religion! Just like you spend every other hour of your week.
The final episode airs tonight, but I've already downloaded the it off of BitTorrent. For those of you who can't wait to find out what happens to the Camdens, read on:
In the final episode of 7th Heaven, every member of the Camden family gets shot. In the face.
Oh well... so much for those spin-off rumors.
Posted by Joey at 06:11 AM
April 25, 2006
Take the Money, Dummy
Not content to spiral gracefully down the ratings toilet, NBC has finally generated a hit show: Deal or No Deal. It's the show where contestants choose or don't choose to win larger or smaller quantities of money. And there are sexy models -- sexy models holding briefcases (and I thought I was the only one with that particular fetish).
According to Deal or No Deal's host, (former) comedian Howie Mandel, viewers love Deal or No Deal because it's a game that "anyone can play". This is a nice way of putting it. The not-so-nice way of putting it would be to say that the game is total BULLSHIT. It requires no skill or intelligence on the part of contestants! Steven Hawking would fare no better on this show than any mouth breathing, NASCAR watching, [insert your own white trash reference] jackass you might pick up off the street.
This represents a major paradigm shift in the contemporary game show zeitgeist. SHUT UP I DO *SO* KNOW WHAT MOST OF THOSE WORDS MEAN! In old school game shows, contestants had to actually DO something in order to win money. They had to answer questions, eat insects... occasionally they had to spay or neuter their pets. Americans are a hard working people who admire those that help themselves; why would they want to see a show where people get money for doing nothing at all?
Because, it so happens that Americans are also an ignorant people who despise anyone smarter than they are (ie. anyone who reads books).
Since every hit program inspires a few dozen copycats, I can't wait to see a new generation of television game show. These new programs will reward boldness over wits, luck over skill, and good looking white people over conspicuously ethnic competitors (see also, Quiz Show). Here are a few ideas I think might be just as popular as Deal or No Deal.
Retired Exxon Executive Lee Raymond gives cash and prizes to contestants who are willing to kiss his ass in the most humiliating, personally degrading manner possible. Ray Ray's got a $400 million dollar retirement package... he's earned a little televised brown-nosing!
Pimpin' for Cash
Hosted (or should I say "HOES-ted" hahaha) by rapper Snoop Dogg, this is the first show that gives out big money to fellows who can convince their girlfriends to have sex with another man. Who is that man? Snoop Dogg himself! The further contestants can get their girl to go, the more money -- and respect -- they will receive from Snoopy D-O-double-G. Pimpin' ain't easy, but on this show, it is highly lucrative.
Get That Money!
Every week, a big pile of cash is dumped in a crowded public place: shopping malls, sporting events, unemployment lines. Citizens-turned-contestants scramble to fill their pockets, frequently beating each other senseless with sticks and rocks (graciously strewn about the money pile by the show's producers). Hidden cameras capture all the greed induced violence in glorious high-definition.
April 08, 2006
The Internet. On TV!
Do you remember when TV shows featured actors and scripts and plots? Do you remember when TV delivered us nightly doses of heart-wrenching drama and side-splitting comedy?
However, if my research is correct, the television of yore was all about entertainment, whereas modern television is mostly about filling time as cheaply as possible. Contrary to popular belief, the rise of Reality TV wasn't due viewers actually preferring it to regular (ie. good) TV. People are stupid, but not that stupid. Reality TV dominates because it is so much cheaper to produce to than dramas and comedies. But Reality TV isn't the cheapest TV around. VH1 discovered they could generate hundreds of hours of time-filler TV with nothing more than stock footage, disembodied narration and an endless army of chattering magazine editors and 3rd rate stand up comics. Hey VH1, you know why *I* Loved the 80s? Because in the 80s NETWORKS SPENT REAL MONEY MAKING GOOD TELEVISION. One episode of Knight Rider was worth more than one million episodes of VH1's "Let's All Blather About Some Thing That Happened".
You would think that TV can't get any cheaper than this. WRONG WRONG WRONG. As it turns out, the cheapest way of making TV is to plug in the old 2400 baud modem, and put the internet on TV. I know, it sounds idiotic. Personally, I can't even say the phrase "put the internet on tv" while keeping a straight face - but that's what they're doing. Consider the following current and upcoming shows:
You know all those stupid videos people email to each other when they're supposed to be working? Now you can watch them on TV. Yay. Of course, you've already seen them on the internet (dozens of times). But you really haven't seen internet videos until you've seen them wedged between episodes of Queer Eye and Project Runway.
Hosted by comedian Patrice O'neal, Webjunk_20 is a show that features internet videos. Just like the one on Bravo. Except this one has a comedian introducing and commenting on the clips. Patrice O'neal is actually a pretty funny stand-up comic. I saw him promoting Webjunk on Late Night w/ David Letterman and he was hilarious. However, VH1 won't permit any comedian to be funny on their network... it violates their formula. Therefore, Patrice is forced to read lame jokes, and the show sucks living crap.
Clearly two internet-on-TV shows would be enough for anyone. That's why there are two more on the way!
First, there's Cyberhood, a web video show that's being produced by Carson Daly. Carson, if you happen to be reading this: you really don't need to produce a web clip show to prove that any random idiot can produce television. The fact that you host a talk show is proof enough.
Also, the USA network is developing a program with eBaum's World... one of the premiere destinations for humor animation clips on the net. EBaum's World has a can't-lose tecnique for viral web video success:
Step 1: Troll the internet for funny clips that other people have created.
Step 2: Add the magic "ebaumsworld.com" logo to the video, thereby claiming it as your own (and thereby taking a massive shit on the person who actually created it).
Step 3: Upload it to your own website and watch the ad revenues ROLL IN.
Like JOEYHEADSET always says, "Copyright Infringement is Your Best Entertainment Value". Actually, I stole that quote from the band Negativeland - but by posting it here and attaching my name to it, I have effectively claimed it as my own. This is much more cost/time effective than inventing my own clever slogans... plus the time I save developing slogans, I can spend promoting the slogans I've stolen from others.
This is the future of television. Well, "future" might be too generous a term. Perhaps "the last dying gasps of television" might be a better way of phrasing it. I'll break it down for you real simple: There are too many shows on too many channels, too many TIVOists blitzing through the ads that were supposed to PAY for the shows, and too many alternatives to tele-visual entertainment (video games, DVDs, internet porn) stealing eyeballs away from the TV screen. The system simply can't sustain itself. So TV gets cheaper and cheaper - a self-perpetuating crap-spiral.
Once popular culture has been degraded to the point where no one in their right mind would be willing to pay for it, thus begins the glorious age of Free Culture. Hey, if you don't want to pay for music, you don't have to. Just steal it until the whole music industry goes under. And after that... well, we'll just have to hope people will make decent music for free: hobbyists, retirees, high schoolers with pirated music software. I'm sure it will be just as good. And as for TV, if you want to dodge commercials on your TIVO or just download commercial-free shows over BitTorrent - that's cool. But guess what: all that slick genre TV you internet-people like: your Buffys and Losts and Fireflys, that shit ain't cheap to produce. If you stop paying for it, they'll stop making it.
You can get your culture for free... but it's going to look less like Battlestar Galactica, and more like a retarded kid lip-syncing into his webcam.
You really do get what you pay for.
March 28, 2006
Snakes, Planes, and the Quest for an R rating.
By now, you've probably heard about "Snakes on a Plane", the Samuel L. Jackson action/horror film coming out this summer. If you haven't heard about it and want to know more, just re-read the movie's title. There's a plane, there are snakes - and it doesn't take a crapload of imagination to figure out what happens next.
Right now, the internet is going BATSHIT CRAZY over this film. This may be first time any film has achieved "cult classic" status six months before anyone actually saw it. However, all the blog hype is well-justified. The movie's trailer suggests that "Snakes on a Plane" could be among the worst films ever made - and really bad films can be extremely entertaining! But there's a fine line between a movie that's hilariously awful and a movie that's merely a steaming pile of shit. Just ask Meg Ryan; she's been on the wrong side of that line her whole career.
Perhaps in an effort to push this movie over the top, New Line Cinema sent the cast and crew of Snakes on a Plane out for five days of additional shooting. This is not unusual - directors often shoot new material in response to feedback from test screenings, artistic considerations or threats from Scientology's lawyers. However, the specifics of the Snakes on a Plane reshoot are extraordinary. The studio wanted them to shoot new scenes for the sole purpose of changing the film's rating from PG13 to R.
This is unheard of. It is ALWAYS the other way around; the studios will reshoot scenes to bring an R rated film down to PG13. PG13 is easier to market, teenagers can see them without a guardian - an R rating can have a huge effect on a films bottom-line profitability. But in this case, I think New Line made the right choice. Personally, I would never see a movie called "Snakes on a Plane"... not if it had a PG13 rating.
You see, I am an adult. And as an adult, I only watch R rated movies. Just as children should only watch movies that are rated for children, I feel that adults should only watch movies that are rated for adults. If a movie doesn't contain foul language, violence, nudity and "adult situations", I don't believe it's appropriate for me to view it. The MPAA rates these movies for a reason, people.
By ensuring that Snakes on a Plane will receive an R rating, New Line Cinema has cleared the way for viewers like me to check it out when it hits theaters in August. Although, chances are I'll just download a bootleg copy off of Bittorrent. It's not like I'm going to PAY to see Snakes on a fucking Plane.
March 05, 2006
OSCARS LIVEBLOGGING (everybody's doing it!)
The Academy Awards coverage actually started at 7pm, but I decided to skip the first 3 hours. Fuck it, I'm not sitting through 4+ hours of this bullshit.
So, did I miss anything important? Probably not. OK... let the liveblogging begin! Right now, Robert Altman is going on and on about some crap. He's old and his thoughts are of no consequence to me.
Three 6 Mafia are now performing the song they wrote for Hustle and Flow: "Hard to be a Pimp". They are rapping about "witches jumping ship"? Did Hustle and Flow involve Wiccan prostitutes? That wouldn't make much sense. Those girls who are into that whole goth/witchcraft thing, don't they usually put out for free? I know that I wouldn't pay some nasty wiccan girl for sex. I guess that's why the pimp in question was having such a hard time. If you stick to pimping BITCHES (not the WITCHES referred to in this musical performance) then I think you will find that pimpin' is surprisingly easy.
Time for the annual Oscars obituary reel! Nothing perks up a celebratory evening like showing a bunch of clips of dead people. As always, they will show images of a recently departed individual and then the audience will applaud based on how much they liked the person who is now dead. How nice it must be for the family of a deceased hollywood type to hear a total lack of applause when their loved one's clip gets played. If the producers of the event were smart, they would play canned applause throughout this segment so that no one gets embarrassed. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it?
Time for the Best Foreign Film Award. This is the part of the show where we transition from films most people haven't seen to movies which nobody has seen. And the winner is Tsotsi! (that is a word in some language, allegedly). And the winner is giving mad props to his cast, giving shout-outs in some African language and pimping his website all in the course of about 30 seconds. Very efficient, well accepted!
Hilary Swank scares me. She introduces the "Actor in a Leading Role" nominees. I haven't seen any of these movies, though I may have reviewed some of them. Philip Seymour Hoffman wins it! Please, please, please deliver the acceptance speech in the Truman Capote voice!!! Dammit, no such luck. PSH talks about watching the Final Four basketball championship with his mom. The sports part might serve to deflect the next round of gay rumors... the part about watching it with his mom will surely render that deflection ineffectual.
I was getting bored, so I actually changed the channel and watched something else for about 20 minutes. Now that I think about it, this is probably a violation of Liveblogging Protocol. Sorry. I'm back watching it now.
Dustin Hoffman introduces the Best Screenplay/Adaptation nominees. He looks sorta pissed about something. And the writers of Brokeback Mountain win it! Whoa - Larry McMurtry thanks the owners of BOOKSTORES. Nothing wrong with that. Now Uma Thurman presents the Original Screenplay award to the people who wrote Crash. She's tall. I didn't see this movie. I already saw another movie called Crash - it was about people who get sexually arosed by car accidents. After that, I figured any other movie by that name would seem pretty dull in comparison.
Ang Lee wins the Best Directing Award for Brokeback Mountain! He jovially quips "I wish I knew how to quit you". It is a lame joke that has been totally played out in a million Brokeback spoofs... but I guess if you are the guy who made the film, you've earned the right to use it. And now Jack Nicholson is doing his best Jack Nicholson impersonation, presenting the Best Film Award to - *drumroll* - White Liberal Guilt! Er, I mean Crash. It's over now. I'm changing the channel. Thank you and good night.
February 24, 2006
iTunes' Billionth Song
Congratulations to one Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan!
Alex is the music lover who purchased the billionth song ever from the iTunes Music Store. Apple was running a special promotion centered around selling their first billion songs, so Alex now gets to claim a kick ass prize package including iPods and iMacs and other iCrap. He's a lucky guy.
Actually, he's even luckier than you might think. Because the winning song happened to be "Speed of Sound" by the band Coldplay, Alex is going to receive a SPECIAL BONUS PRIZE: The life-shattering humiliation that comes from letting the entire world know that you actually listen to Coldplay.
THAT'S RIGHT ALEX, YOU BETTER KEEP ON SHOPPING FOR MUSIC ONLINE, BECAUSE IF YOU EVER STEP INTO A RECORD STORE THE GUY BEHIND THE COUNTER IS TOTALLY GOING TO LAUGH AT YOU.
(You know, because Coldplay sucks and stuff.)
February 07, 2006
Stipe vs. Malkovich
When did this happen?
When did Michael Stipe and John Malkovich turn into the exact same person???
This does not bode well.
February 04, 2006
Celebrities Need Love Too
Samantha Fox, the acclaimed 1980's pop singer, once insisted that "Naughty Girls Need Love Too." In my experience, Samantha was absolutely right... if by "love" she meant "access to my credit card and an endless supply of crystal meth". Celebrities, on the other hand - they need real love. Just like us regular folk, they crave companionship and affection, someone to yell at when they get snubbed at the oscars and someone to clean the blood off their Porsche after they "accidentally" run over a hobo.
However, celebs do have one advantage over us regular folk. While we have to go to bars and throw back adult beverages until we see someone who looks marginally appealing, celebrities can find love through a more traditional path: reality television.
Celeb-reality shows are HOT right now. Between the celebrity dancing, celebrity ice skating, celebrity weight loss and celebrity colonoscopies... it's hard to turn on the TV without seeing some washed-up has-been flexing his lower intestine for all the world to see. But the newest permutation of this genre is perhaps the most intriguing: celebrity dating shows. If you haven't seen one already, you are really missing out! Gen X icon Lisa Loeb is looking for a nice jewish boy on the E! network, while Flavor Flav trolls for crazy skank bitches on VH1. Even Paula Abdul is getting in on the fun... with a little help from Dr. Phil.
Though all these shows are reasonably entertaining (especially if you're retarded), I can't help but think that the wrong celebrities were selected for these programs. Lisa Loeb doesn't really need help finding a man... she wears cute glasses and allegedly looks good in a thong. Flavor Flav obviously could have his choice of crazy skank bitches... and Paula Abdul can bang any sweet young American Idol contestant she chooses. Assuming Simon doesn't get to him first.
Meanwhile, the celebrities that really need help finding love have been left to fend for themselves. If I were producing celeb-reality shows for VH1 or E! (and if I was able to resist the urge to disembowel myself with a rusty can opener) here are a few celebrity dating shows I would develop:
Winning Courtney's Love
Rock singer/Single mom (widowed), looking for a man with whom to share her life. And her needles. Every episode begins with Courtney enjoying a romantic dinner with a potential soul-mate. Every episode ends back in rehab.
Juiced for Love!
OJ Simpson searches the golf courses and nightclubs of America for romance... and for "the real killer". A rotating cast of model/actressess try to win OJ's affection - but it's no easy task. Those who fail to make a connection with the Juiceman are kicked off the show... and stabbed to death. Those who succeed get to spend a romantic weekend with OJ at a 5 star resort. Where they are stabbed to death.
I Love Colin Farrell's Penis (and Friends)
Do you enjoy sexual intercourse? Colin Farrell and his omnipresent genitalia will change all that. Not a dating show so much as a weekly series of celebrity sex videos, I Love Colin Farrell's Penis really puts the "Ugh" back in "Ooh La La"!
February 01, 2006
A Triflin' Friend Indeed
January 26, 2006
UPN + WB = WC
Have you heard of a TV show called "Cuts"? No? What about "Half and Half"? Maybe you've seen "One on One" or "All of Us"? Any of this sound familiar to you?
Didn't think so.
It turns out, these are all shows on a TV network called UPN. Before you get all excited about this "new" network, I should let you know that A) it's apparently been around for years and B) it's ain't gonna be around for much longer. Come September, the UPN network will merge with The WB to form a new broadcast entity: The CW. This network will feature all of the most popular programming from the WB and UPN. Some shows, such as Supernatural and Veronica Mars, will remain unchanged. However, some of the two networks' less desirable programming will be merged, the best elements of each program combined into one super-program. Here are a few of the new WC programs I'm looking forward to viewing next fall:
What I Like About Smackdown
Amanda Bynes joins a rotating cast of WWE Superstars in a comedy about a sassy teenage girl trying to make it as a pro wrestler. Can Amanda find time for romance in between Flying Elbows and Double Suplexes? Tune in this fall to find out!
Everybody Hates Reba
Reba McEntire plays a single mom with a hilariously sarcastic african-american son. Personalities conflict, cultures clash, and racial stereotypes are proven surprisingly accurate in this half-hour comedy.
If this show fails to attract an audience, The CW has developed another show, "Everybody Hates Fran Drescher" as a possible mid-season replacement.
America's Next Top Superhero
Smallville meets America's Next Top Model as teenage superheros compete for a lucrative crime fighting contract. Judges will include Captain America, Twiggy, and Radioactive Tyra Banks.
Them Gilmore Bitches
It's an urban Gilmore Girls! A 34 year old mom and her 19 year old daughter learn about life and love... together. The new program will replace the original show's all-white cast with a diverse rainbow of mostly black people (and one token latina). Expect less hip banter between mother and daughter, more smacks upside the head.
Personally, I can't wait for The WC. Because, as I always like to say: "Anything's better than reading books."
January 16, 2006
Worst Hiphop Song of the Year?
Every January, I look forward to checking out hiphopsite.com's year-ending Best and Worst list. I always find a few quality singles that I had missed during the year... plus it's always entertaining when HHS's editors list the "The Top Five Bitch Moves of the Year".
However, I must object to HHS's selection for the Worst Song of the Year: D4L's hit single, Laffy Taffy.
I'm not saying Laffy Taffy is great song. I'm not even saying it's a good song. The track's lyrics, which feature seemingly endless repetitions of the line "Gurl shake dat laffy taffy, dat laffy taffy", are not particularly strong. However, to be fair, popular music has really worked its way through every GOOD euphemism for ass-shaking. Honestly, every time someone comes up with a new way of telling people to shake their ass, I take my hat off to them - no matter how vulgar or stupid it is. Because without vulgarity and stupidity, everything would sound like another Sarah McLachlan record. Trust me, nobody wants that.
Try it yourself: I DARE you to come up with an original hook for a hiphop club anthem. Not so easy to come up with yet another metaphor for gyrating ass-flesh, is it?
Because this track introduced a truly original new term for jiggling booty, Laffy Taffy deserves better than to be labeled Worst Song of the Year. In truth, Laffy Taffy is the Second Worst Song of the Year. Black Eyed Peas deserves the #1 spot with their infuriating "My Humps" - a song which includes the absolute WORST line in the history of rap music:
"I met a girl down at the disco
she said hey hey hey yeah let's go"
With lines like that, is it any wonder that the group has been upstaged by their own backup singer?
December 18, 2005
Uwe Boll, King of Cinema
On Thursday, I profiled the upcoming vampire movie, BloodRayne. Today, I would like to bring you into the exciting cinematic world of BloodRayne's acclaimed German director, Uwe Boll.
Rest assured, that's actually his name (I didn't just have a seizure while I was typing). But what's in a name? I guess it is worth mentioning that if you rearrange the letters in "Uwe Boll", you can spell the phrase "Owl Lube". Sounds like a reference to some bestiality themed Harry Potter slash fiction...
But we're not here to talk about internet fan fiction. Or are we? One might say that Uwe Boll has taken the concept of fan fiction to "the next level". In fact, not only has Boll taken it to the next level... he has managed to defeat the boss at the end of that level, and set a new high score in the process. Think about it: There are thousands of bored, friendless gaming nerds out there who spend their lonely nights writing terrible video game fan fiction. However, there is only one man who has managed to turn his love of video game fan fiction into a lucrative full time directing job.
Just take a look at Mr. Boll's filmography - by the year 2008 this director will have achieved a feat that is unprecedented in the history of cinema: He will have directed eight feature films based on video games. IN A ROW!!! Over his entire career, Alfred Hitchcock only directed six video game adaptations, and two of those were just short films that briefly toured the art house circuit. For those keeping score, that's Boll 1, Hitchcock 0.
Although Uwe's list of completed works is already impressive enough, it is his upcoming projects that most intrigue me. Currently in post-production is a film called "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale". I actually bought "Dungeon Siege", the game this film is based on - and find it to be a fascinating choice for adaptation. Having played this game continuously for two months, all I remember about it was... actually I remember almost nothing about it. I recall there was one level where I spent hours looking for a switch that was supposed to open some door, but I couldn't find it. So I deleted the game from my hard drive. I also remember there being some evil goblins or orcs or some crap like that. If there was a "plot" or "story" in this game, it eluded me entirely. Personally, I can't imagine how one would make a viable movie out of such a mindless timesuck... but that's why Uwe Boll is a creative genius, and I'm just some asshole with a website.
Also on Boll's upcoming project list is "Postal", a movie based on the controversial "murder simulation" game released in 1997. Postal didn't actually sell very well - the ultra-violent content of the game was so reprehensible that even rage-filled adolescents felt a little dirty after playing it. Most directors would consider this reason enough to avoid bringing the game to the silver screen. Uwe Boll isn't most directors. Plus, he's already got Gary "whatchu talkin 'bout" Coleman signed on to the project, so it's hard to see how it could fail.
Like every great man throughout history, Uwe Boll does have his detractors. The critical response to his films has generally been negative. Overwhelmingly negative. "Dear God why did you allow this man to direct movies" negative. But we all know that the opinions of critics are irrelevant... the only thing that counts is the response of the movie-going public. Unfortunately, they don't particularly care for Mr. Boll's films either (if box office results are any indication). Furthermore, some have accused Boll's "Boll KG" company of exploiting a loophole in German tax law that allows investors to profit from unprofitable films (via a tax write-off). Well, if making millions of dollars off of a shady German tax shelter scheme is wrong, then neither I nor my accountant want to be right.
Critics might say that Uwe Boll's entire career has been an exercise in getting rich despite wallowing in mediocrity. However, I contend that Boll hasn't succeeded despite mediocrity... rather, he has cultivated that rarest strain of mediocrity - one that can be jammed into a particular orifice of our popular culture over and over again until the public begs him to stop.
Or until the German government changes their tax laws.
December 15, 2005
Every now and then - perhaps once in a decade - audiences are exposed to a work of cinema that is so groundbreaking, it has a uniquely transformative effect on our culture.
No, I'm not referring to Peter Jackson's King Kong. Though that movie is certainly entertaining, it's merely a remake of another film - one that was made in 1933. And then made again in 1976. I don't know about you, but I wasn't alive in 1933, nor in 1976... and I don't see how anything of real significance could have pre-dated my own existence. The history books will back me up on this.
Kong may keep our eyeballs busy for a couple of hours, but in terms of cultural impact and sheer artistic ambition, it cannot possibly compete with the other highly anticipated film coming out this holiday season.
The name of this masterpiece? BloodRayne.
Like Death of a Salesman and The Great Gatsby, BloodRayne is a truly American story. Except that it takes place in eighteenth century Romania and is based on a video game. The plot centers around a hot female vampire called Ranye, played by supermodel and (sort of) actress Kristanna Loken. No stranger to playing vicious killing machines, Loken starred as T-X in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. T3 may not have been the best film in the Terminator trilogy. Nor the second best. However, I think we can all agree that Loken's T-X was the sexiest KillBot of the franchise - much hotter than the blob of silver metal or the steroid abusing Austrian that preceded her.
Loken is not the only big name acting talent featured in BloodRayne. The cast also includes Sir Ben Kingsley! Some might be surprised to see Kingsley - considered the finest actor of his generation - bringing his talents to a video game film adaptation. They shouldn't be. Sir Ben's breakthrough performance came in the 1982 film Gandhi, which was one of the very first films based on an arcade game... specifically, the game Frogger. It was a rather liberal adaptation.
Also starring in the movie: Sir Michael Madsen, Sir Michelle Rodriguez and Sir Meat Loaf. Kick ass.
Of course, an amazing cast such as this would be of little value without a director who knows how to get the most out of them. Fortunately, BloodRanye was brought to life by well known German director Uwe Boll. Tomorrow, we will this profile this visionary film artist.
December 12, 2005
The Producers Movie
Coming soon... a film version of Mel Brooks' Broadway hit, The Producers. I can't wait!
The film features Gene Wilder, a brilliant comedic actor who starred in two of Brooks' best films: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. Also starring in The Producers: the hilarious Zero Mostel! Mostel is a veteran of stage and screen - and he's been dead for nearly 28 years, so that's a particularly interesting casting choice. With Mel Brooks in the director's chair, this movie is certain to be a classic!
UPDATE: Matthew Broderick? Nathan fucking Lane? Directed by someone named "Stroman"? Ugh... nevermind.
October 18, 2005
What rhymes with Depeche Mode?
Subject: Save 26% on "Playing the Angel" by Depeche Mode at Amazon.com
To: Joey Headset
Dear Amazon.com Customer,
We've noticed that customers who have purchased Audio CDs by New Order also purchased Playing the Angel by Depeche Mode. For this reason, you might like to know that Playing the Angel is now available. You can order your copy at a savings of 26% by following the link below.
From: Joey Headset
Subject: Re: Save 26% on "Playing the Angel" by Depeche Mode at Amazon.com
Thanks for noticing! Along those lines, I've noticed that customers who have purchased Audio CDs by Depeche Mode have also purchased:
(The new Depeche Mode actually isn't so bad, if you are into that sort of thing. You can preview the whole album over here.)
October 13, 2005
Bond goes Blonde
The last few months haven't gone so well for Jude Law.
First, he was caught sleeping with his children's nanny. Not his finest moment... made much worse when the English tabloids got a hold of it. Not surprisingly, the whole nannysex thing damaged Jude's relationship with his fiancee - actress Sienna Miller. You may remember her from Fox's highly entertaining series Keen Eddie. Well... you might have remembered her from that series if Fox hadn't dumped it after seven episodes to make way for some piece of shit show about bored teenagers in Orange County (which got cancelled after a few episodes, I think).
However, in recent weeks, things had been looking up for the English actor. He had reportedly been patching things up with Miller, and was rumored to be the #1 prospect to take over the role of James Bond from Pierce Brosnan. Jude must have drooled over this opportunity. Once you've starred in a Bond film, you can bag any nanny, governess, au pair, or day care provider you choose. It's a pretty sweet gig.
But according to recent reports, Jude Law didn't land the Bond job. Instead, it went to Law's countryman and good friend Daniel Craig. To make things worse, Law recently discovered that his fiancee had been cheating on him with a handsome blonde Englishman. And who was that handsome blonde englishman? None other than Law's countryman and good friend Daniel Craig.
Now that's GOT to suck.
One day you're lined up to be the next 007 and engaged to a beautiful young actress. Next thing you know, your buddy gets the job, sneaks off with your hot fiance - and suddenly, you're just some dude who slept with his nanny. And she wasn't even a particularly hot nanny. Unlike the ones on Cinemax.
But enough about Jude Law - lets talk about this new Bond, Daniel Craig.
Some internet people may get all worked up about the fact that this guy would be the first blonde Bond... but SCREW YOU INTERNET PEOPLE: I have a good feeling about this guy. Though I haven't actually seen him in any movies, Craig looks like he could kick my ass - and that's the standard by which I judge ALL Bond actors. Any actor who I could beat up should never be cast in the role. Over the course of the franchise, producers have placed far too much emphasis on making Bond suave and dapper. Yes, anyone who plays Bond must look good in a tuxedo. But he also has to look good killing a man with his bare hands. If an actor can do both at the same time, so much the better. My point is this: if you stick a prettyboy into Bond's tux, it just doesn't work. Like George Lazenby and Roger Moore, Jude Law is a prettyboy. He's more likely to be issued a License to Moisturize than a License to Kill. Sean Connery and (the massively underrated) Timothy Dalton were good looking fellas, but they had some rough edges. Those rough edges are essential - and they can't be added in post-production.
As for Pierce Brosnan, I thought he was too pretty for the role when he did his first Bond film (Goldeneye) in 1995. But as the actor aged over the last decade, I actually think Brosnan started to look a little rougher and more appropriate for the part. Apparently, the Bond producers disagreed, since they fired him for being too old. Typical.
Anyway... though it's too early to judge, I look forward to seeing Daniel Craig when he stars in the next Bond film, Casino Royale. Let's hope they don't fuck it up.
Note: Some, if not all, of my sources for this piece were either English tabloid websites or weird foreign newspapers (thanks Google News!) so it's entirely possible that nothing I wrote here is, you know, accurate. But I'm not too worried. The Hindustan Times hasn't failed me yet.
October 05, 2005
Sinead Goes Reggae
Just turned on Leno, and was surprised to see Moby performing with a full-out reggae band backing him. Except it wasn't Moby - it was Sinead O'Connor! You can understand my confusion - they are both tiny little bald-headed women. Anyway, it turns out that Sinead just released an entire album of classic reggae! Thank GOD someone has stepped up to continue the great tradition of Irish Reggae - a tradition that started with James Joyce and the Dubliners' classic 1938 recording "Bloom in Babylon".
Now if only Ziggy Marley would finally release his new collection of angry, feminist alt-folk... then popular culture could finally collapse under its own weight. And I could go get a sandwich.
October 02, 2005
Six Experiential Phases of a Saturday Night Live Comedy Sketch
1. Sketch begins, Comedic Premise is established. Viewer experiences strong doubts regarding efficacy of Comedic Premise. Still, viewer retains hope that through imaginative execution, Comedic Premise can be effectuated humorously.
2. As Sketch proceeds, viewer's expectation of humor decreases over time (as shown below).
3. Sketch continues, ineffectually. Viewer begins to suspect some kind of comedic misdirection: Is this Metahumor? Anti-humor? Perhaps the lack of discernible humor is the joke? Viewer awaits the conclusion of Sketch, anticipating some ingenious Comedic Twist that will justify the Sketch's apparent tedium.
4. Sketch concludes, sans Comedic Twist. Viewer is surprised, then shocked, then confused, then enraged.
5. Viewer wonders why Sketch Comedy Program is still broadcast on national television.
6. Viewer wishes Dave Chappelle would get his shit together and bring decent Sketch Comedy back to TV.
September 20, 2005
Do you watch NBC's The Apprentice? If you do, take a look at this:
If any of you Apprentice fans have managed to stop staring at the shiny objects pictured above... nice going. I didn't think you had it in you.
Personally, I don't watch The Apprentice. I can't really say why... probably has something to do with the fact that I don't like Donald Trump. At all. Don't like looking at him, don't like listening to him. I don't know what the man smells like, but I'm pretty sure that if I had some futuristic TV that spewed out Trump-vapor every time the show came on... I wouldn't want any part of that either. Also I don't like Reality TV. So, I guess I can say why I don't watch The Apprentice. In fact, I just did.
But now that NBC is set to debut the all new Apprentice featuring Martha Stewart, my opinion of this popular Reality franchise may change. Well, it probably won't. All those things I said about Donald Trump - double them for Martha. Even so, there are some intriguing elements to the new show. For instance, everyone wants to know what Martha's catch phrase is going to be. Obviously, she can't use "You're Fired". Trump owns that little utterance, not only in english, but in 13 other languages as well. Ain't no one gonna be You're Firing anyone while Trump's lawyers walk the earth... not even Martha. For this reason, the jail-harded homemaker was forced to select her own signature phrase of dismissal, to be used at the end of each episode. Though the producers tried to keep it secret, I got some inside info and can now reveal Martha's new catch phrase to you:
How charming - a clever reference to Martha's well known prowess in the kitchen! Familiar, yet novel. Also, it draws attention to the other ways in which Martha's version of The Apprentice will be different from Donald's original version. In the Trumprentice, contestants - er, "candidates" - are sent out to do silly marketing tasks in order to demonstrate their worth. 55 minutes of whining and finger-pointing later, Trump sends someone packing. This loser then appears on one of NBC's late night talk shows, before disappearing forever... God willing.
In the MarthApprentice, things work pretty much the same as in the original... but there's a twist. Of course there is! A Reality TV program without a twist is like a good television program without the things people enjoyed about television programs before most television programs got replaced by a steaming pile of Reality shit. Good luck parsing that sentence, BTW.
Anyway, are you ready for the twist? It's a doozy! Here it is:
When Martha tells a candidate "You're Cooked", it turns out she isn't joking. In each episode of her show, contestants must find unique and delightful ways of transforming the previous episode's loser into a delicious meal that Martha gets to enjoy in front of the loser's friends and family. These unlucky bastards get broiled, stir-fried, smoked, par-boiled... all in preparation for a "Feast of Decision", where Martha devours one candidate while deciding the fate of those who remain. It's sort of Iron Chef meets Silence of the Lambs.
Though some critics may be shocked to see actual murder and cannibalism on prime-time TV, audiences are sure to watch in record numbers, perhaps even exceeding the high ratings of the original Apprentice. What else are they gonna do... read a book?
September 12, 2005
Steven Seagal IS Cock Puncher
And you thought Steven Seagal was dead. Or maybe you just hoped he was. Well, he's not! Not only is he very much alive, but he is poised on the brink of a major career resurgence.
Seagal, the star of such 3 word titled films as Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, and Out for Justice, has just completed work on The Untitled Onion Movie, where he took on the role of a lifetime: the role of Cock Puncher. Though the film has not yet completed post production, preview audiences have raved about the depth and sensitivity Seagal brought to his portrayal of Cock Puncher. In fact, there is so much buzz surrounding his performance, Seagal has already been attached to a number of major upcoming projects. According to Variety, he has already been signed to star in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, where he will play Crotch Kicker: a disgraced soldier who redeems himself by dismembering people in a horrifically gruesome fashion. And by kicking them in the crotch. Also, Steven Spielberg has cast Seagal alongside Harrison Ford in the long-awaited Indiana Jones 4, where he will play the film's villain, Sack Crusher. He is even rumored to have made a cameo appearance in Woody Allen's newest film Match Point, playing Penis Smacker #2. Penis Smacker #1 is played - brilliantly - by Meryl Streep.
But the good news doesn't stop there for Seagal fans. Despite his busy filming schedule, Steve found the time to get back to the studio where he is currently recording a new album! Hardcore fans may remember Seagal's previous masterwork, Songs from the Crystal Cave - a stunning collection of blues rock and (surprisingly) reggae. If you don't own it already, here's a sweet dancehall burner from that album: strut.mp3 (4.3 MB)
Seagal's new album, entitled "Songs from that Time I Kicked You in the Nuts", will be released next month on Bruised Testicles Records.