Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Has No One Told Terri It’s Okay to Let Go?

Man, that Terri Schiavo is a fighter, isn’t she? I couldn’t last 20 minutes without something and she’s going on week 7 or something… (With such a personal and national tragedy as this, I could not resist being facetious). Seriously, it always works in the movies. The family sits next to the dying person and says, "It's okay... it's okay..." and then they drift off.

My sister-in-law—a Rabid Republican (foams at the mouth and loves Dubya)—thinks the government is right on in getting involved in her case. This is the same woman that was upset at the government for going after a company that knowingly put carcinogens into the ground water, then lied about it, then lied about lying about it, and then had doctors say that the carcinogens were “good” carcinogens, and then tried to underpay everyone. With that, she felt the government should stay out of our lives.

Yet when it comes to stopping gay marriage and keeping people on life-support systems, this is NOT government intruding on the rights of states or individuals. I’m not sure what planet she lives on, exactly, but it’s a planet with its head up its ass…

Monday, March 21, 2005

Who Crapped on My TV?

I know spring is the dumping season for movies that are never going to be competitive for an Oscar and aren’t decent enough to stand up against any competition with the summer blockbusters, but now spring has become a dumping ground for absolute crap on television.

Case in point: Spring Break Shark Attack on CBS. Just the title sounds like the whole film was thought up by a marketing committee: “Our research shows that people like sharks and they want to see scantily clad women—I’m thinking ‘Jaws’ meets ‘Girls Gone Wild’”. Let me note that “Girls Gone Wild” involves more talented writers.

The film stars a bunch of young actors of no real note. Currently, they are working on such classic shows as Joan of Arcadia and The O.C., as well as soap operas like Guiding Light and The Young and the Restless. All of them I’m sure are fine actors, but with a telefilm as crappy as this, the script was the last thing considered and everything they utter is pretty much pointless. In fact, I’m not sure if they had a script. I think the director said, “Now point at the water and yell ‘shark!’ Yes, dear, I know that the water is filled with blood and screaming people being eaten by sharks and this is redundant, but just point at them and say, ‘shark!’”

Sure they had some good looking actors, but on an event film like this, you need real actors—NAMES—to draw in those that might think that this is some piece of crap spit out by a bunch of hacks. So you bring out the big guns: Kathy Baker and Bryan Brown.

For those of you who don’t know Bryan Brown, years ago, before the heady days of Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, Hollywood hired Aussies for a different reason: they were cheap and had accents. Accents, as you may know, adds a touch of class to a film, but Brits are quality actors and that costs money… So, you go outside the ring: Welsh, Irish, Scottish and, finally the Blue Light Special: quality roles… but she had a house payment so, she took the job. She spends much of the film being understanding to her frustrated son. He’s frustrated because… well, does it really matter? It’s the “James Dean Effect”: a good-looking guy that is pissed off for some reason or another. However, he’s still a nice guy. In fact, too nice. He’s so nice and understanding, yet still pissed off that he’s not off getting laid with all the spring break whores that you just know he’s going to live.

Alternate to that is, er, bad guy. I couldn’t tell you his name, and I’ve been looking all over to find it. He’s so unimportant that they list him as an actor, but do not note the character’s name. The actor is Justin Baldoni—a good looking guy with a terrific body. Apparently, women on Spring Break don’t respond to that. They want the kind, good-looking guy, who is also understanding. Not hot guy with hot bod. Right.

Poor guy with no name, while he looks great, he’s an asshole. He even tries to give Danielle (aka “The Virgin”) roofies! Let me just stop here for a moment to note that I’ve been on Spring Break. You do not need roofies to get a girl in bed. A couple of beer shooters or Jaeger shots and tops are off. With the use of roofies, we know he’s bad… very bad. You just know that eventually he’s going to get eaten by a shark.*

The gist of the story is this… They (not sure who ‘they’ are, but it’s most likely the government) installed an artificial reef off shore of a resort. This is bad for Bryan Brown—his resort is on the other side of the island and no one is going to his beach, so he chums the waters off shore of the beach, hoping to bring in some sharks and scare people to his beach. Yeah, that could work. No major holes with this theory. Just how bad of a hotel do you have to run for it to not make any money during Spring Break? I once stayed in a room with 8 other guys with one twin bed, a bathroom that none of us dared to enter. We paid a fortune for that room and felt we got a bargain in the process.

Later, in this mini-epic presented by The Tiffany Network, as the beach is awash in half-eaten college students, and the water is churning red and foamy with 20+ attacking sharks, he mutters in his indistinguishable accent, “I never meant for anything like this to happen.” What did you think was going to happen? You put blood in the water between shark feeding grounds and pouty-breasted college students! I once fed my dog chili and beer and was shocked at the noxious results—I was completely disgusted by the results, but I was in no way surprised. Bryan was surprised.

The best performance was by the shark. I know it’s supposed to be sharkS, but it was pretty obvious they kept using the same shark over and over again. In fact, he seemed to come at everyone from the same direction. After watching this piece of crap, I now know three things: 1) sharks only attack from the right (or underneath if they are being ‘stealth’ and don’t wish to be seen—however, the jets of red water shooting 20 feet into the air as they eat tends to give away a shark’s location; 2) six buoys connected by wire can cause sharks to scatter and 3) sharks live in mortal fear of lifesavers.**

The sad thing about this film is that it was just two steps to the right of being a full-on camp film. Everyone seemed to be trying to take the crappy material and bringing something out of it. If they had taken a cue from the sharks and chewed up the scenery a little, this film would have been hysterical.

Instead, it was just dull.

Okay, there’s more to talk about in bad television*** but I’ll save that for another post.

*He does.
**Not joking… when seven sharks attack the fishing boat with some kids, they don’t attack the livesaver ring thrown to Danielle (“Virgin”), however, they have no problem ramming the boat.
***Mansquito, anyone?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Act of Futility...

I joined a site metering website to track and manage the throng of visitors at Mornings of S&T. They monitor the number of visitors, how long they stay, what pages they viewed, etc. It's a very sophisticated system and I'm thrilled--yes, thrilled--to use this powerful tool. Tonight, they sent me a comprehensive analysis of my readership.

I anxiously opened it and I am amazed at the information they provided. On behalf of everyone here at both our Palo Alto and San Jose offices: I would like to thank my reader. (Kidding. I'm kidding.) I exaggerated, the meter shows zero hits for the week.

I do this for the joy of writing... f*** that, I want readers. What do I have to do? Bribe people? Write better? Be funny? Use correct grammar and spelling? Well, none of those things are going to happen, so I guess I'll have to be content writing for my own enjoyment.

I guess this answers why no one seemed to be leaving comments. Whatever...

Friday, March 04, 2005

I Loves Me Some Trailers...

The best part about going to the movies is seeing the previews for what I hope will be a better movie than the crap I'm seeing. Let's face it, most movies today are either bad remakes of great films, or unbelievably bad remakes of great films passed off as a "reimagination." Either way, Hollywood has lost it's ability to be creative and has gone for the buck only. Don't they realize if they create something truly original, people will flock to it... more than once?

Anyhow, [he said getting off his soapbox] I love Apple Trailers! It's a great way to see all the great trailers without the expense of going to the movies ($9.00 and Jude Law remains clothed? I don't think so...)

I just went to the site and here are my expectations of these upcoming films:

Fever Pitch: This film starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore looks so formulaic they could publish a Working Paper on it. However, all is forgiven for the last 'hit' in the preview. I'm gonna put this down as a Want to See.

Roll Bounce: Um... I can't tell if this is serious or a satire. It's about roller disco in the 70's. If the 70's are no longer being spoofed, then I'm outta here. The soundtrack looks good... which usually means the film bites.

House of Wax: Oh, good! They took a classic horror film and "reimagined" it. Terrific. And Paris "I'm such a whore I make Christina Aguilera look like Mother Teresa" Hilton is in it too? Why not just sh*t on Vincent Price's grave and be done with it? I'll Netflix this.

Unleashed: Jet Li kickin' some ass. You know, this looks like it might be pretty good. Uh oh. Morgan Freeman is in it. There's an Academy rule that states: When an actor wins Best Supporting Actor (particularly for their body of excellent work) their next film must be crap. (I believe it's the Joe Pesci Rule). I'm hopeful, but not expectant on this...

Downfall: I'm thinking the best film of the year might be a German film. What is causing controversy is that it shows Hitler as a complex individual--both as the cruel madman and as a friend in the last days of WWII. I don't know if I can handle thinking about Hitler as anything other than pure evil. However, if someone told me a year ago that I would laugh, applaud and cheer the sight of Hitler on stage with a giant swastika behind him--I'd have punched them. Then I saw The Producers on Broadway—sure they’re mocking him, but we are applauding “Hitler” as he stands in front of a giant swastika... Apparently, Bruno Ganz mimics Hitler's voice to a T. I doubt he’ll get a nomination for this role… It will be tough, but I want to see this one.
"Older People"...
This is an excerpt from a friend of a friend's email. I can tell I'm getting old because I agree withe her. (Her name is Maia... She doesn't know me, so I won't say anything else about her, except she's very funny). I'm saving her Paul Giamatti quote for my next issue of Slap & Tickle.
I interviewed 5 undergrads out of 40 who applied for the job, and asked them the standard questions like, "why do you want the job?" One young lady said to me, "Honestly, I don't know very many OLDER people, and I thought that I could really learn from someone who knows what they are doing in life." The interview didn't last much longer after that, as I didn't want to qualify for the category of being OLD, and I didn't want the pressure of having to seem like I know what I am doing in life. I actually taught her a valuable lesson-that people who are older don't actually like to be reminded of it, and if you choose to draw attention to it, they might not hire you.

That's Entertainment...

Denise Richards is six months pregnant and filing for divorce from the increasingly sleazy Charlie Sheen? Well, that is one marriage where they are definitely not going to remain friends. Thank you, Denise for restoring my faith in human nature and it's ability to cultivate bitterness...

Free at last! Free at Last! Thank God Almighty, Martha is Free (but under house arrest) at last! Will someone sound the church bells? I cannot tell you how happy I am to have her free--if only so we can stop hearing how she is "faring" in jail. If her release hastens the demise of that awful “Wickedly Perfect” show on CBS, then that’s alright with me. I think she’ll come back and come back big. Bitch or not, the woman knows how to throw a party—and properly pronounce crudités.

FOX cancelled North Shore… that thing is still on? I started to watch an episode and the second Shannen Doherty showed her ugly mug, my television shut itself off.

Survivor… well, poor Jeff got voted off the island. Well, at least he’s away from those losers in Ulong (which is Palau for “You Long to Get the F*** Away from These Morons”). Jeff was some nice eye-candy on that team. How am I gonna rub one out to James?

And what is it with Southerner men that they can only be Southern Gentlemen or Rubes? They don’t seem to have a middle ground for that. James didn't trust Jeff and Kim... I like how James was going "keep an' eye on dem"--probably from the bushes.

I also enjoyed how Kim tried to make the snuggling with Jeff an innocent keeping warm strategy. Honey, when your tongue is down his throat, you're not keeping him warm, you're heating him up.

Here are two things I don’t understand on Survivor:

  1. They always keep the idiots that don’t do anything. “We need their strength,” is the logic the morons throw out—but if they don’t actually do anything (ever), they probably aren’t doing much more than they need to in the challenges.
  2. Why is it when someone has a problem with another tribe member, they feel the need to express it by exploding on the individual? Did Caryn wake up and say, “I feel like being a target, so I’ll go and yell at Katie?” Trust me on this Caryn, when they vote out the annoying one, it won’t be Katie…

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Get Real…

US Weekly, the bastion of quality journalism, is reporting that Katie Holmes and Chris Klein have called off their engagement. A publicist for Holmes is quoted in the magazine as saying, "They broke off the engagement but are remaining good friends."

When are celebrities going to get real and act like humans when they break up? Where’s the drama? Where’s the public humiliation?

This is what I want to read (and it’s probably closer to the truth):

Katie Holmes and Chris Klein, two minor stars in the Heavens of Hollywood have broken off their engagement. Holmes is quoted as calling Klein a “cheating bastard,” and has stated she “hopes his tiny dick falls off. That’s right… you write that down! It’s T-I-N-Y. Tiny.”

Klein stated, “She [Holmes] is messed up… I’m hangin’ large—totally large,” he stated while playing “Halo2” in the living room of a bud’s North Hollywood condo. “She always wanted to snuggle after and… uh… but… damn, did I just die? F**K! This is her fault! Jerry, I want to beat those Covenant mother f***ers, let me go again… You know, [“actor” Christian] Bale banged her in his trailer…”

“That’s a f***ing lie!” retorted Holmes while shopping at the Beverly Mall. “Christian and I never went past second base…” One of her shopping pals quickly pulled her aside and whispered in her ear, to which Holmes shot back at the reporter, “…third base! Besides, he’s carrying the whole [Batman Begins] movie and he’s stressed. I was just there to help.”

Asked if they were going to remain friends, Holmes said, “Never! To think I let him…” and then ran into a changing room to cry. Klein responded, “No way. Unless she lets me go through backdoor again… then all right.” After some quick high fives with his buds, Klein was quickly lost his game.

Yeah. That’s what I want to see. Less Demi & Bruce and more Liza & David.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Lost... with Boobs

I love the show Lost. It's full of mystery and suspense. While Jack is hot and there's a certain something going on with Sawyer, my favorite character is Hurly. He's the only man who has bigger man-boobs than I. Mine aren't as bulbous as his though. I mean his look round, more 'booby' than mine.

I'm not sure what this means other than I'm a fat ass... and I'm hungry. (well, that explains a lot, doesn't it?)

I'm off to eat...
Amazing Race Returns... and Television is Saved

Amazing Race has started again… oh, how I love this show. 11 two-person teams are on a “race around the world” performing tasks, finding markers, and most humorously, trying to communicate with the locals. (There is always one person per episode that says “Why doesn’t anyone here speak English?!”)

Most reality shows require people to backstab and plot against each other. This show simply requires you not to F’ up… and that’s where the fun comes in. Usually, there is a stunt for them to perform, sky dive, play water polo, etc. Usually, this is connected with something particular with the country they are in. Last night, the contestants were in Peru and they had to wrangle llamas. Disgusting, spitting, smelly llamas… eww.

The best part is the interaction of the members of the teams. They all have a pre-existing relationship, so there is plenty of room for drama and meltdowns. Nothing says “quality television” like watching a marriage self-destruct in a foreign country… While most teams get along, it’s the ticking-time-bomb-couples that make this show work.

Here are the teams for Amazing Race 8 (for future reference, I’ve decided to give each team their own name):

Ryan & Chuck/Team Name: The Rubes. From North Carolina (or was it South… it was a red state so who cares?) Two big (and I mean big) Southern Boys who say things like “I’m a-fixin’ and “Whoo-ee!” No clichés there. They lost… by mere seconds. They would have been fun to watch (or “Fun to be a-watchin’”).

Megan & Heidi: The Boobs. Two blondes who, obviously, had boob jobs. As a guy, I shouldn’t complain, but I’m a card-carrying homo, so they do nothing for me…

Lynn & Alex/: The ‘Mos. These guys couldn’t be any more gay if they tried… and boy do they try. They are “Executive Assistants,” which is one step up from hairdresser or production designer. They aren’t really racing… their swishing.

Susan & Patrick: The Mo-Mos. A Mother and her son, Li’l Mo. How do I know the kid is gay, you ask? Because he tells EVERYONE every chance he gets. I’m sure his mother is open minded… but like most mothers, only to a point. I’m waiting for that melt down: “Patrick, take that thing out of your mouth, put it back in his pants and let’s go!”

Rob & Amber: Suvivuhs. “Survivor” winners Rob and Amber (or as Rob says wit his tick Boston accent: “Ambuh”), think they know everything because they won Survivor… yet they couldn’t figure out how to pop the trunk of their car…

Ray & Deana: Team Timebomb. A poor man’s John & Victoria from AR6...

Uchenna & Joyce: Team Token. Why is there only ONE African American couple per race? This is diversity? They are a power black couple because, as Uchenna made a point of telling us, they “have both been laid off by MAJOR corporations.” Good thing he wasn’t laid off by a minor company… or hired by one, either.

Meredith & Gretchen: Geriatrics. Along with the lone black couple, there is always a lone old couple. I will spend most of the time praying neither breaks a hip. I’m still trying to figure out which one is Meredith and which is Gretchen…

Ron & Kelly: Team America. She was a beauty queen; he, a prisoner of war. Fear them, for they are the self-described “All-American Team.” So, she’s pretty and he had the bad luck to get shot down in Iraq. He tells everyone he got shot down, but tells them to keep it quiet. Hey, Ron, if you really want it “kept quiet” you’d shut up about it. At some point, in the middle of a challenge, he’s going to say, “I was a prisoner of war… in Iraq… I can handle this.” And I will promptly throw up.

Brian & Greg: The Dudes. I like these guys. Their nice looking and their schmoes. They are such typical guys, it’s a riot to watch them. The Hotties team likes to kiss and this gets the Dudes all hot and bothered.

Debbie & Bianca: The Hotties. Currently, they are my favorites. They’re smart, fun and currently in the number 1 spot. They work well together and with the other teams. They should be fun to watch… and to watch the Dudes hit on them.

I already can’t wait for next Tuesday…