Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Whatcha Gonna Do, "Brother"?

Okay, you guys. They just announced the cast for this summer’s Big Brother 6. And if you think I’m not dorking out about that and won’t be posting a diatribe or two about it throughout the summer, well: Hi, I’m Joe. Nice to meet you.

This year, the big “twist” in the game is that instead of fourteen individuals, each player has a built-in “ally” in the house – someone they already know and trust. But each “team” thinks they’re the only pair, and nobody will know that there are any pre-existing relationships going on. And . . . whatever. It’s a summer’s worth of repellant personalities, gleeful backstabbing, and the guiltiest pleasures around. Love. It.

And in the spirit of judging people on the shallowest of grounds, I’m going to run down the cast and see what we can glean from the responses each contestant gave to their pre-show questionnaire, in which they were asked things like “favorite actor,” and “favorite outdoor activity.”

Favorites include: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Will Smith, Usher, The Eagles, amaretto sour.
You’ve seen this girl out at a bar plenty of times. She likes police procedurals (SVU; CSI), hip-hop and classic rock, and flavored decaf coffee. Like her or not, folks, April is America in 2005. Weep for us and root against her.

Favorites include: Black-Eyed Peas, Crystal Light, Coldplay, Mariah Carey, and The Sopranos. She likes Angelina Jolie and Meg Ryan, which seems almost impossible. She also likes the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, which either makes her a faithless sports hussy or Pat Reilly’s daughter (ooh! Secret relative twist!). Although she spells it “New York Nicks,” so maybe she really means that she likes Nicholas Turturro and Nikki Hilton.
Redeeming quality: She lists Swedish fish as a favorite snack. Girlfriend can’t be all bad.

Favorites include: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, E!, “sweet martinis like apple or coconut,” Clueless, Legally Blonde, dance and pop music, and Gwyneth Paltrow. In other words: gay. G-A-Y. Y? Because: Legally Blonde

Favorites include: The Godfather, Goodfellas, Ladder 49, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, NYPD Blue, Rescue Me (you catching a theme here?), the Red Sox, the Bruins, the Patriots, being Denis Leary (just kidding), peanut butter protein bars, Creed, Van Halen, and he lists “weight training” in front of “spending time with my family” on his list of hobbies. Oh I am just gonna love this one.
Redeeming quality: Lists Whatchamacalit as his favorite candy bar. Those things are like found gold when you come across them in a checkout line or a vending machine.

Favorites include: U2, Star Wars, Mr. Pibb, kickboxing, I Dream of Jeannie, Smallville (homoerotica alert!). His tastes seem to be all over the map, which I am certainly cool with. Erica Eleniak and Lee Majors as favorite actors? A Carolina Hurricanes fan? Pina Coladas and Miller Lite? He’s all kickboxy/meteorology student guy which could equal “cheesier than gouda,” but could also equal “just dorky enough for me to like him.”

Favorites include: The Killers, Johnny Depp, The L Word, cookie dough ice cream, Angelina Jolie, and Milano cookies all sound promising. Anyone who can cop to being a Brittany Murphy fan in 2005, let alone mention Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno among her three favorite TV shows? This chick should be impervious to the judgments of others. Aside from the fact that she lists Miami sports teams as a favorite (I can let her slide since she’s local), Ivette is one I like.

Favorites include: Hannity & Colmes. Need I go on? Really? Twenty-nine years old and a Sean Hannity fan and I need to go further into why he sucks? Okay: The History Channel, Lil’ John, the Miami Heat, the Miami Dolphins, protein bars, and Eva Longoria. This dude has an almost clinical obsession with being “cool” (but in a mainstream way) and a tiny, tiny penis.
Redeeming quality: He likes Raisin Bran Crunch cereal. I love how all of my efforts to find something to like about these people amount to “we both eat food.”

Favorites Include: The Miami Heat, the . . . okay wait a second. That’s five of the first eight people I’ve mentioned who like the Miami Heat. What the fuck? I know they’re coming two-by-two this year, but did casting just head to a playoff game and pick these guys out of the concession lines? Anyhoo . . . Sex and the City, No Doubt, cheerleading, house and trance music, Gone With the Wind, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (toss a penis on this one and we’ve found Beau a boyfriend), Edward Norton and Charlize Theron. She also looks like she’s been molded out of a space-aged polymer and been taught to mimic real human emotions almost exactly. And she’s not just a cocktail waitress. She’s a V.I.P. cocktail waitress. She only serves watered-down manhattans and gets slapped on the ass by the elite.

Favorites include: Johnny Depp, Topher Grace, and Owen Wilson. Girlfriend’s trying. Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, Penelope Cruz. Girlfriend’s failing. Vanilla Sky, Good Will Hunting, and Fight Club. I can deal with this. Black Eyed Peas, Sex and the City, and being an Arena Football League dancer. Uh-oh. She likes Swedish fish (another ally!) and “arts and crafts” (dear lord, don’t let her scream about it like Karen did last year). Bottom line: even if she annoys you, she still might make you a coaster out of popsicle sticks. It’s not all bad.

Favorites include: Nothing. Seriously, this dude left more than half his questionnaire blank. And he got cast! Which means he’s either a walking personality disorder who will start fights with everyone in the house, or his partner in the game is willing to have sex on camera. Of the favorite things he will cop to, Penelope Cruz looks to be the most damning and 100 Grand candy bars the most encouraging.

Favorites include: The Usual Suspects, Malibu Rum, the Dave Matthews Band, Cracklin’ Oat Bran (awesome), the Boston Red Sox, and the New England Patriots. Now far be it from me to think that any two Red Sox fans in a room have to be connected (especially when the entire Miami Heat bench seems to have been cast here), but Maggie just might be a blood relation to Eric, only less obsessed with becoming the next Colin Quinn. She’s also one of the distressingly numerous contestants to list “water” as a favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Why not just list “breathing air” as a hobby? I love me some H2O, too, but let’s leave the Bobby Boucher stuff at home, shall we?

Favorites include: The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, Ian McKellan, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Guns ‘n’ Roses, tennis, Sambuca, and soccer. Oh please, oh please don’t let this guy turn out to be a jerk or an idiot. Because, seriously. Love this guy. Although . . . oh, dammit. Looks like he used to be in Lord of the Dance. Ah, well. It was a good thing Michael and I had, once.

Favorites include: Practical Magic, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Barenaked Ladies, riding horses, Notre Dame, margaritas, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. This one’s hard to pin down. On the one hand, she’s a football fan, appreciates Will Ferrell, and likes weird movies. On the other hand, she likes weird movies that suck, Notre Dame is everything I’ve ever hated, and who lists Keanu Reeves as a favorite actor?

Favorites include: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, the Chicago bears, working out, Pete Yorn, any music but rap, Corona, and she snacks on fruits and vegetables. Ooh, we’ve got our house aerobics instructor. That always makes for thrilling mid-week filler. Honestly, I can’t get a bead on her. Barrymore and Sandler? Does that tell me anything about her? She likes any movies that are funny or romantic? I’ll come up with a clever quip to that as soon as I wake up.

The Life Aquatic DVD Review

In the proud tradition of My Thoughts on DVDs I Get Sent For Free, pop on by 411 and read my review of Wes Anderson's latest quirk-fest.

Also . . . FYI to those who may want to watch Veronica Mars (Carlie), it's on tonight (Carlie) at 9pm (Carlie) on UPN. Carlie.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Other People Can Be Funny Two

Why wait for me to think of something good to write? These guys have that covered already:

Fametracker’s Wing Chun arrives at a lot of the same conclusions that I did about Tom Wilkinson’s accent in Batman Begins. She doesn’t specifically say “Dan Hedaya,” but you can tell she was thinking it. Either way, it doesn’t deter her from bestowing Hey! It’s That Guy! status on the former Full Monty star.

It’s about a week late, but cruise on over to Tomato Nation and read Sarah’s latest Girls’ Bike Club. Then try and keep from tumbling the word “folksily” around in your mouth like an errant grape.

Inside Pulse’s Jeff Fernandez continues to be one of the good ones. This week he ruminates on Spin listmaking, and has even more fun with the Google image search than I do.

Finally, we’ve all been hearing Tom Cruise go on and on about how Scientology is super-fun neato and such. Specifically, Tom’s been saying that people all over the world want to know more about L. Ron Hubbard’s secret club. Which is true, at least for me. Luckily, is running a four part series on the ins and outs of Scientology. Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask Tom Cruise since he’d probably lecture you about Ritalin for an hour and a half and then call you “glib.” Anyhoo, it’s a totally worthy read. Part one. Part two.

Edit: Seriously, you guys. Read the Salon articles. So much good and eye-opening stuff about Scientology.

On Scientology's otherworldly creation myth:

The central creation story, according to Melton, Bartchy, Kent and the former member, is this: About 75 million years ago, a nefarious intergalactic warlord
called Xenu rounded up the inhabitants of numerous planets, killed them, and brought them to Earth, then set off a chain reaction of cataclysmic volcanoes (the volcano pictured on the "Dianetics" cover was Hubbard's favorite symbol for the notion of breakthrough and self-actualization), which dispersed their thetans into the atmosphere. These thetans now fester inside the bodies of all humans. They are to be located in specific body parts and summoned out.

On the creation of traumatic sesnory impressions called "engrams":

The most significant engrams, the theory holds, are formed prenatally, starting with the moment of conception. Any words overheard in an "unconscious" state, even pleasant ones, will become a particularly tenacious and unpredictable part of the engram, which is why you must never ever speak to a woman who has, for example, just fallen down in the street. Help her up, but don't say a word! She might be pregnant!

And the writers are mad funny, too. Deal with the 30-second ad you have to watch and read them.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Happy Hour link.

I have to say: Katie Holmes was not that bad. She’s not really asked to do any more than all the previous BatLadyfriends, with the notable exception of Michelle Pfeifer, who really transcended the “token chick” role anyway. Point being: Katie at least outpaced Kim Basinger’s perpetual bewilderment in Batman and Nicole Kidman’s endless breathy psychobabble in Batman Forever. Of course, it probably helped that Rachel Dawes was a serious character not inclined toward mirth. I never really appreciated how lucky we’ve been that Katie had always played such down-in-the-mouth women until we began to see the Grin That Ate Paris during her latest press tour. No, no. Keep her onscreen personas miserable, especially if the alternative is this My Boyfriend’s Playing 88 Keys Of “Crazy Love” And They’re All In My Mouth routine.

This, plus nine more reasons to love Batman Begins, movie trailers, Crispin Glover, and Jodie Foster. All in this week's 411 Movies Happy Hour.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I Told You That Bitch Crazy

The Tom Cruise Freakout Meter hit a high water mark this morning, reaching Level Seven: Yelling At A Well-Liked Morning Show Host. At this pace, he'll be at Level Ten ("Defecating On The Red Carpet") by the 4th of July. Let's hope he saves Level Sixteen ("Feasting On The Brains Of His Vanquished Foes") for Oscar season.

Seems in the midst of a "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer, repeated questions about Scientology and Cruise's views on psychiatry sent Tom into L. Ron Hubbard mode. The "L," it seems, stands for "Lecture."

A few gems (courtesy of Gawker):

"Yeah but you don’t understand the history of these drugs. And if you do, you know that it masks the problem. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance!"

"You don’t even know what Ritalin is! If you read the papers on how they came up with the drug, the dosage… You should be more responsible in knowing what it is. I am responsible. I know these things."

Cruise also, according to the AP, called Lauer "glib." And at that point, "you're glib" replaced "you're a jerk" in my pantheon of legendary Tom Cruise put-downs. Next week, look for "you're a pest" to rocket up the charts on the back of Cruise's increasing insanity. Which is totally not a chemical imbalance, because there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Thursday Top Five: 6/23

Five things that impressed, appalled, or otherwise held my attention for more than 15 seconds during the past week:

1. Credit where credit’s due, certainly, to Christopher Nolan, David Goyer, and Christian Bale for making Batman Begins one of the more satisfying movies of the summer. Still, I feel the need to throw a strong shout out to Cillian Murphy, who was my personal favorite part of the franchise re-boot. I can’t imagine it was easy to keep from going over the top as Scarecrow/Dr. Jonathan Crane, yet Murphy imbued the character with a malice that was never cartoonish. You could still tell he was having a ball with it, though, and the creepy-ass effects Nolan used when Murphy would don his lil’ burlap sack mask certainly added to the appeal. Cillian’s quickly becoming one of my favored young actors, though. With a Wes Craven thriller and a Neil Jordan flick out before the year is over, I have little doubt I’ll be raving about him again and soon.

2. The Veronica Mars obsession continues as I’ve got a good half-dozen or so episodes under my belt. I have to give it up for Kristen Bell as the lead. I’m an easy mark for ensemble casts in both the TV shows and movies I enjoy. It’s rare for me to like a lead performer more than the rest of their supporting cast, but on VM it’s Kristen’s show and everyone else is just lending a hand. Not to knock the supporting players – they’re almost all fantastic. It’s just Kristen brings a lot to the table – toughness, cuteness, sarcasm, well-concealed vulnerability, and most importantly, the girl has fun. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is for a woman on television to be having fun while she’s the focal point of an hourlong drama. Much as I love(d) them, Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow were not laugh-a-minute chicks. Good on the Mars people for remembering that good characters enjoy themselves sometimes.

3. Oh, HBO. Where would I be without your randomly chosen afternoon movies that get repeated ad nauseum throughout the month? For starters, I wouldn’t be sitting here reminiscing about the awful awesomeness (or awesome awfulness) of Can’t Hardly Wait. The end-of-high-school movie released mere weeks after my own graduation has always stuck with me somewhat. But the joy of rewatching comes from observing the virtual parade of soon-to-be-recognizable names and faces that show up on the periphery. I mean, the main stories are basically losers anyway (except for Lauren Ambrose and Seth Green making me fall in love with them again, for the first time, as they sit locked in the bathroom). The real fun is seeing Jamie Pressley and Sean Patrick Thomas as anonymous in-crowders; Jason Segel, Sarah Rue, and Clea Duvall as random undesirables; or –my favorite - Breckin Meyer and Donald Faison as bickering bandmates. Plus, the cavalcade of future Six Feet Under castmates like Freddy Rodriguez and Peter Facinelli, which culminates as Eric Balfour hurls a brownie at soon-to-be onscreen lover Lauren Ambrose’s head. The whole thing is Name That Teen Star and it could not be a more enjoyable way of wasting an hour and a half.

4. My favorite subplot of The Taking of Katie One Two Three has been all the talk about how Tom Cruise initially had Scarlett Johansson in his sights to play the role of "Awestruck Child Bride" that eventually went to Katie Holmes. If you think about it, coming from Cruise’s effed up perspective, ScarJo wasn’t a bad choice: young, hot actress; summer blockbuster (Michael Bay’s The Island) on the horizon; prospective co-star for Mission: Impossible III; and a history of hooking up with older dudes, if the Benicio Del Toro talk of a year ago was on the mark. Of course, Scarlett also has the reputation of being a smarter, tougher broad than Holmes, which is probably why she had the presence to run for the damn hills after getting one look at the swirling pinwheel of mind control known as the Scientology Celebrity Center. I knew there was a reason I liked this girl. And “star of Michael Bay’s The Island" damn sure wasn’t it.

5. I know I already raved about it in ten words, but I’m still buzzing over Tarnation. It really leaves an impression, and as manipulated and faked-up as it feels at times, it’s never for a second anything less than fascinating. The DVD director’s commentary by Jonathan Caouette even adds to the experience. I was struck by how matter-of-fact Caouette was about the ways in which he, say, re-enacted certain scenes that weren’t originally caught on film. This is a story as much as it is a document, in the same way that Jonathan in the film is a character as much as he is a real person. Caouette is dramatic without being all that annoying about it, which makes him sympathetic even as he’s crafting a dramatic motif about angels. It’s a much harder task than it sounds.

Ten Word Movie Reviews VI: Hyphenates Count As One Word, Okay?

Batman Begins: Well-built origin story grounded in reality. Impressive and enjoyable re-boot.

Blade: Trinity (DVD): Once again, Ryan Reynolds and his abs save the day.

The Woodsman (DVD): Quiet, sad Kevin Bacon performance in quiet, sad movie. Uncomfortable.

Imaginary Heroes (DVD): Great cast (Sigourney Weaver!) shepherds yet another suburban dysfunction tale.

Tarnation (DVD): Tricked-up quasi-doc about family and mental illness. Beautiful. Compelling. Unforgettable.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Low Res Caption Contest No. 002

Last time was so much fun, I figured we'd try another one.

Shouldn't be too hard to find something to say about this:

Image hosted by

Hit the comment section and make with the funny.

Train-ing Day II: The Amtrak Redemption

Damn it, Amtrak! It’s not as funny when everything runs smoothly!

If you recall, last month my quiet little trip to New York turned into a twelve hour ordeal of sentient rage, all thanks to Amtrak’s policy of being so anti-fascist that the trains never run on time. Ride without delays and you ride with Il Duce, after all.

I resigned myself to signing up for another go-round with my railed nemesis as I made my way down to Brooklyn for a chance to see Randy Johnson actually pitch a winning game. On TV. I figured even if the traveling was brutal, I’d at least get another good blog entry out of it. Ever the mercurial bitch-goddess, Amtrak did its level best to confound my plans by . . . being exactly on time. Touché, Amtrak. Touché.

We were so on time, in fact, that we had to cool our jets in Albany for fifty minutes. I took the opportunity to go grab a bit of real food from the Albany station. I was unsuccessful. I bought what certainly looked like a croissant. Turns out of was one of those faux-sant things that are croissant on the outside and, like, Kaiser roll on the inside. How is that even legal to advertise your foodstuffs so falsely?

I also took Albany as an opportunity to warm up the body temp since I seemed to be bringing a cold and drizzly climate across the breadth of the state. And, since I had been so concerned with not dying of heat stroke last week, I hadn’t packed anything close to a long sleeve. So a bout of the Ironic Pneumonia seemed almost inevitable. Until I later discovered that Brooklyn also functions as the nation’s Humidity Preserve.

So I arrive in New York, on time to the minute, and hop in a cab to Brooklyn. The view from the Brooklyn Bridge is spectacular. You can see the Statue of Liberty, and I have to admit, from my vantage point it looked rather small. I don’t think that’s so much a knock against the statue as it is a nod to how impressive all of lower Manhattan looks. Regardless, it’s a sight to see.

The TNBC is lovely, especially once I discover the back patio. The fresh air helps to de-Whitney my rapidly perspiring self. I smoke, which I often do at these type of events. Of course, I never seem to remember that my tolerance for booze when I smoke is significantly less than when I don’t. Consequently, I hit the happy place a lot sooner, and I hit the sad, spitty place a lot sooner, too. I manage to right my ship, thank god, because Sarah totally doesn’t need Barf Cup II: Electric Puke-aloo. Still, it’s probably best that I made it a fairly early night.

Friday is a beautiful day in Brooklyn. Sarah and I seek out a coffee, and on the way we’re approached by petitioners who ask if we’re concerned about the mercury levels in our fish. When they put it that way, Sarah points out, how can we say “no”? Then she takes a nice, deep drag of nicotine and tar, while we stroll by the pub where I’ll soon be passing a dozen pints of Harp through my liver. We’re nothing if not aware of how we poison our bodies daily.

Speaking of the pub . . . niiice. Tiny, as everything in New York tends to be, but classy without any of the “assy.” Cute Irish bartenders and waitstaff, too, and an ‘80s-friendly juke, so that doesn’t hurt its appeal any. I meet my cousin Kerry there and we have one of those fantastic, out-til-three-in-the-morning pub nights, talk about everything from family to politics to concerts we’ve been to, and never once feel the need to justify what you’re doing or not doing with your life, which can happen when you’re with family. Good times.

It was all good times, really, which makes it a lot harder to try and fashion into an amusing anecdote. Sorry, y’all.

Oh, there were a handful of interesting subplots on the train ride home, I’ll grant you. To wit:

So, okay, I can’t say this with any degree of certainty, but there’s a good-to-decent chance that I may have blurted out “Baby mama! Baby mama!” on the train ride home.

Allow me to explain.

See, I was in that sorta-sleeping stage where you’re dreaming but what you’re dreaming isn’t so far separated from where you actually are. In my head, I wasn’t on a train, but a plane. And the people across the aisle from me were discussing “House” actress Lisa Edelstein. And they were wondering where they knew her from. They thought it might have been from “Felicity”, but they couldn’t put a finger on who she played. Ben’s . . . something. Ben’s what? That’s right. Ben’s baby mama.

So in my dream, I’m actually yelling this to the people across the aisle. “Baby mama! Baby mama!” They can’t hear me, so I keep yelling. And, again, I’m in that just-barely-dreaming state, which means that I very well could have been issuing this mandate on Ben’s parental status for my all-too-real train companions to hear.

When I woke up for real, no one was laughing or pointing, which was a good sign. Still. Awkward.

Of course, it may not have made that much of an impression on my rail mates since we were already being regaled by the antics of Pootie Tang’s Ashy Grandparents and their little theatre of the absurd presentation. Y’all are old! Stop talking gibberish and hiding behind seat backs trying to scare each other. You look crazy. Don’t make me put you in that crooked home I saw on “60 Minutes.”

The stretch from Syracuse to Buffalo on the way home is absolutely interminable. I’m reduced to sitting absolutely still, sweating out the remains of the lager that’s in my system, and making unsubstantiated, and likely bigoted, observations like, “The Amish have the cutest toddlers and the ugliest old people I’ve ever seen.” It’s totally mean, and I wouldn’t have even thought it had I not been delirious with boredom, no matter how true it might have seemed. Oh, like they’ll ever read this anyway. And Harrison Ford’s old ass doesn’t scare me anymore, either.

So, that’s it. The train was an hour and a half late on the way home, which was a drop in the bucket, considering the last time. My sunglasses stayed in one piece, I was able to stay adequately hydrated, and I actually had a good time in the city. I guess I’ll just have to wait until the next heat wave for another bitter, disillusioned post. See y’all then.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

411 - Inside Pulse Draft: Uncensored

Okay, so my apologies first off to anyone who doesn't get this nor cares one iota about inside jokes between Internet writers. Scroll on past, and I promise I'll have something more interesting tomorrow.

Joe Movies: so when do you want to do this?
Cam’ron: Joe're on the clock
Joe Movies: ohhhh shit
Joe Movies: okay well, first of all I make a motion
Cam’ron: motion away
Joe Movies: we have to split custody of Mathan
Joe Movies: maybe you get TV Mathan and I get Music Mathan or something
Cam’ron: interesting...
Cam’ron: there's a half n' half mathan joke i wanna use...
Cam’ron: inappropriate, i think
Joe Movies: hey, you're editing this thing
Joe Movies: Comics Mathan, well . . . we can keep him in the treehouse and visit him
Cam’ron: jesus...
Cam’ron: awesome...

Joe Movies: okay so the rules are . . .
Cam’ron: You pick first...
Cam’ron: can't pick a 411 or movies guy
Cam’ron: while i can’t use my first pick on IP or music guy
Joe Movies: just on the first pick?
Cam’ron: yep
Joe Movies: well then I pick the bedrock of my new Music section . . . Jeff Fernandez
Joe Movies: the world needs obscure methods of linking to other writers, after all
Cam’ron: bastard...
Cam’ron: you've broken up the minority report
Joe Movies: you made the rules, you live by 'em
Joe Movies: hey, I know of a certain Latina television "star" who could fill in should you pick her
Cam’ron: !!!
Joe Movies: your collagen budget would triple, but . . .
Cam’ron: might've woke jalen up on that one
Joe Movies: heh

Joe Movies: okay, you deliberate your pick while i stew on the fact that these 411 bastards haven't asked me to do Movies Fact or Fiction yet
Cam’ron: i firmly believe that every pop culture website should have a strong movies zone and with that in mind, i'm taking Abe Hayhurst number one
Joe Movies: side note: the best part of owning a Simpsons Season 4 DVD is the veritable smorgasboard of Grandpa quotes I've stockpiled for linking to Leonard
Cam’ron: ah, but now that he's writing for me, i think i'll clue him in to your little demented parlor game

Joe Movies: so, okay, my turn; question: will we have to have wrestling zones on our new sites?
Cam’ron: sadly, yes...
Joe Movies: okay, well in that case I'm picking the estimable J.D. Dunn; a talented wrestling writer! no lie! he also kicked ass reviewing horror flicks for the movies zone. I've got me a Bo Jackson-style double threat!
Cam’ron: hey, a wrestling/horror movie writer...smell those hits!
Joe Movies: hey!
Joe Movies: niches are important!
Cam’ron: gimmie Jacob Ziegler...
Cam’ron: movie domination is important
Joe Movies: fucker
Cam’ron: your movie zone sucks
Cam’ron: and that's WITH you
Joe Movies: Cam's weekly movie review count: 122; Joe's: 1
Cam’ron: hey...there's still plenty of high quality movie guys out there
Cam’ron: chuckle
Joe Movies: no bother. i'll just pick an equally talented writer from the IP Movie Zone
Joe Movies: shit
Cam’ron: !!!
Joe Movies: it's probably too high in the draft to pick Revenge of the Sith Reviewer #8, huh?Cam’ron: dude
Cam’ron: surprisingly, he's still out there...
Joe Movies: my Movies Zone is decimated - time to wreck your shit music zone style!
Joe Movies: I pick . . . Gloomchen
Cam’ron: desperation pick
Joe Movies: the only writer alive who could give you chase in a popularity contest
Cam’ron: bah...wait until everyone finds out that she's really a man
Joe Movies: oh you can't sucker me into making the "she's not?" joke
Cam’ron: christ...
Joe Movies: i'm far too respectable for that
Cam’ron: how can i use any of this?
Cam’ron: i'm dyin' out here
Joe Movies: nice job you had once

Cam’ron: geez...two picks for me...two 411 guys...
Cam’ron: nice job i had once
Joe Movies: Mel Kiper is ripping you on ESPN by the way
Cam’ron: yeah...while he's creaming with effusive praise over the monday double header of Joe Reid and JD Dunn...
Joe Movies: Michael irvin won't shut up about us
Cam’ron: i'm gonna hate myself in the morning...scott keith, please
Joe Movies: !!
Joe Movies: oh i didn't think I'd win this early

Cam’ron: widro says that the readers will follow the wrestling flagship guys
Joe Movies: Cam's new site: DUD
Cam’ron: !!!
Cam’ron: your PPV recaps will be links to my site
Joe Movies: just promise me to have several Scott versus Cam columns on the subject of Oz
Joe Movies: he can discuss the finer points of the Beecher-Vern dynamic while you make Method Man jokes
Cam’ron: hey, now...published author = literary credibility...i'm hoping he can use some pull to get Maya Angelou to do a guest spot...
Cam’ron: "Froot Loops..."
Joe Movies: "swimming in the frothy mother sea of milk"

Joe Movies: okay my pick
Joe Movies: well your last pick will get the fan forums rocking . . . I'll go with Mike Huckaby. He publishes, like, one column every leap year, but the staff forums will be a blast
Joe Movies: as an added bonus, he can put together some cool feature projects like the 411 100 which your site can steadfastly refuse to rip off
Cam’ron: !!!
Cam’ron: and you only had to sell your soul by drafting someone who's your complete individual and spirtual opposite to get him!
Cam’ron: good show!!!
Joe Movies: what? i luurrrrrve the Scotsmanality style!
Joe Movies: it touches the pissy fifteen year old inside us all

Cam’ron: well, if YOU'RE going to draft against type, then I'm taking Mitch Michaels, because the "M" is for "morality"!
Cam’ron: he will now leave the room and pray for your souls
Joe Movies: the other "M," by the way, stands for "merciful Zeus, you found someone who hates Lil' Kim more than you do!"
Cam’ron: i think he hates all Black people
Cam’ron: which, can only lead to hilarity!
Joe Movies: note: Mitch Michaels refuses to endorse the concept of Zeus, whether merciful or otherwise
Cam’ron: we're the original odd couple!
Joe Movies: heh, ya see, white people have names like *Mitch*; and black people have names like *Aaron*
Cam’ron: it's true! it's true! you're SO lame!
Joe Movies: well, if you insist on basing your picks on alliteration, I have no choice but to pick . . . Michael Melchor
Joe Movies: his name is currently on the 411 Music page 97 times
Cam’ron: if wanted alliteration, Matthew Michael and Michaelangelo McCullar were *right there*
Joe Movies: oh no - no pseudonyms
Cam’ron: oh, right...that's gloomchen's policy too
Joe Movies: I'm holding that slot open for Yayowonder
Cam’ron: i thought he died...
Joe Movies: of embarassment
Cam’ron: !!!
Joe Movies: damn, that was cold - i hereby apologize to everyone who has ever existed ever
Cam’ron: well, if your intention was to hurt Yayo's feelings...mission accomplished
Joe Movies: i'm sorry, Yayo!
Joe Movies: you always were gracious in defeat in the 411/IP fantasy football league!
Joe Movies: unlike *some* people
Joe Movies: *ahem*
Cam’ron: here we go...
Cam’ron: didn't i get beat by the feet of white running back...?
Cam’ron: in a week when my white wide receiver struggled?
Joe Movies: next year my team's gonna be whiter than Milwaukee in January
Joe Movies: then we'll see who's the best at football

Cam’ron: speaking of the best...i'm taking IP TV Editor Murtz Jaffer with *my* next pick...
Cam’ron: two words: celebrity connections!
Joe Movies: here we go . . .
Cam’ron: what...?
Joe Movies: do the laws of eminent domain cover all the "celebrities" whose asses his nose is currently embedded in?
Cam’ron: !!!
Cam’ron: I am SO telling Apprentice Nick...
Joe Movies: just don't tell Survivor Jessie - she might write me an angry e-mail that could run five sentences or more
Cam’ron: Is "Besos" a sentence?
Joe Movies: we're letting her think it is
Cam’ron: and she should really do that upside down/right side up exclamation points thingie for that Hispanic text authenticity
Cam’ron: that or stop shaving

Joe Movies: my turn!
Joe Movies: i'll hold off on drafting Omarossa as a reality TV revenge pick . . . for now
Joe Movies: I need to shore up my movies section so I'll go with Will Helm - watcher of all movies that are crappy
Cam’ron: nice...i like how you're forced to draft the guys that you don't even link in the happy hour...and you link *everybody*!
Cam’ron: even Rutherford!
Joe Movies: i do not!
Joe Movies: of the seventeen 411 movie writers who post titty pictures in their columns I generally don't link to Scott
Cam’ron:'ll not likely have another roast in your honor, mr. ingrate
Joe Movies: hey, i don't see *your* Internet compatriots making vague tributes about how they've never heard of you before

Cam’ron: my next pick is going to actually be from IP Music...
Joe Movies: wha??
Cam’ron: I'll take Mike Eagle, who's like 411's Phil Watts without all the Samuel L. Jackson VIRTUAL YELLING at me.
Joe Movies: who needs all that anger on the Internet?
Joe Movies: on a completely different topic, I select Evocator Manes!
Cam’ron: oh, come on...don't they have to have written something in six months...and/or written something good in six years?
Joe Movies: hey, up until the other day I'd thought Mitch Michaels was an urban legend
Cam’ron: touche....although, I think Mitch is just one of Michael Melchor's many aliases
Joe Movies: so what's Matthew Michael's excuse?
Cam’ron: dude...ixnay on the iscuiti-Bay
Joe Movies: i have to say, without that ethnic last name, I could totally cast him in a wide variety of leading man roles
Cam’ron: yeah, yeah...shannon elizabeth had similar me, that two first name thing won't get you any further than 'net me
Joe Movies: speaking of which . . . I draft Shannon Elizabeth!
Joe Movies: kidding
Joe Movies: your turn anyway

Cam’ron: Hmmm... Ziegler and Hayhurst, Scooter Keith, Mitch Michaels, Murtz from TV and Mike Eagle
Cam’ron: I win in movies by default
Cam’ron: my music is an interesting dichotomy
Joe Movies: between You and Not You
Cam’ron: i've got the reality show "in" with Murtz
Cam’ron: anyone know when Joe Schmo 3 starts filming?
Joe Movies: clearly without any connections I do not
Cam’ron: my, my, my...might i say that green doesn't look good on you
Joe Movies: i notice your columns will be frustratingly single-spaced
Joe Movies: I'd draft the Coach but I worry that he and Huckaby wouldn't play nice on the staff forums

Cam'ron: I think I'll take...Ashish
Joe Movies: !!
Joe Movies: where will I get my free shit??
Cam’ron: correction: *my* free shit...
Cam’ron: besides, i needed to fill the role of "random update boy"
Joe Movies: yeah, Melchor's got that covered over here
Cam’ron: but does HE have subscriptions to every rasslin' dirt sheet, which then find there way (a little bit at a time) on to the site?
Cam’ron: "Edge in Hot Water Backstage"
Joe Movies: umm . . . I'll have to ask him?
Joe Movies: i see you're trying to goad me into drafting Widro
Cam’ron: and w/o ash, there's no one to post big boobied pictures that accompany all your great columns over there...
Cam’ron: "Hottest Women I Saw on the Bus Last Week"
Joe Movies: it's why i've taken to discussing only flat-chested women
Joe Movies: Nothing but Gwyneth Paltrow and the butch one from Baywatch for me
Cam’ron: !!!

Cam’ron: two more picks for Joe
Joe Movies: damn, i'm very music heavy
Joe Movies: which means MSNBC misses the cut (and just barely, too!)
Cam’ron: you've got angst covered, i'll give you that
Joe Movies: 411 is the new Alice in Chains
Cam’ron: music = sea of melchor "retirement" columns
Cam’ron: he writes like one of those every week
Joe Movies: says the guy who's been teasing "maybe only a few more months" since he began the gig
Cam’ron: yeah, yeah...but only ONCE, publicly

Joe Movies: I'm gonna make the solid late round pick of Cris Murphy who helped my ass out with the Oscars feature this year
Joe Movies: he's fallen into the titty pictures trap as of late but I think I can wean him off of that and onto some oblique Duke Phillips references
Cam’ron: seems that you've somehow got 10, while I have 8...
Cam’ron: shenanigans!
Joe Movies: where'd we go wrong?
Cam’ron: whoops, hold on
Joe Movies: you counting Mathan for you as well?
Cam’ron: forgot Mathan
Cam’ron: dammit
Cam’ron: don't tell him

Cam’ron: #10: John Haley...
Cam’ron: we're all about the little things
Cam’ron: plus, he's a longtime friend o' the bootleg...
Cam’ron: that's worth being picked (last)
Joe Movies: some friend you are

Joe Movies: so shall we peruse the undrafted free agents?
Cam’ron: let's
Joe Movies: okay, first off, who does Daniels have to blow to get some love over here?
Cam’ron: oh, he's a doubt
Joe Movies: also, I'm surprised I allowed Road Rules Katie to escape undrafted
Cam’ron: hey,'d have to go thru Murtz for interview opportunities, mister
Joe Movies: i'll have to move quickly if I want to keep the Beauty and the Geek cast from falling into your evil clutches
Cam’ron: personally, i hope you plan to pair evo and gloomy on the same it "suicidal tendencies" or "just kill yourselves already!"
Joe Movies: "Just Press Down and End It Already" Thursdays
Cam’ron: yet, no room for Larry Csonka?
Joe Movies: you know how I feel about the Miami Dolphins

Joe Movies: not enough MSG err, MSD in your diet?
Joe Movies: don't tell me he's still mad at you and your governor?
Cam’ron: eh...i'd just have him fetch my cocoa
Joe Movies: most importantly, dude, we left Coogan and Biscuits undrafted to start their own USFL-like competetive site
Cam’ron: XFL
Joe Movies: "They Hate We"
Cam’ron: and We Hate They
Joe Movies: i'm not trying to be an asshole here, Cam
Cam’ron: believe me, joe, you don't have to "try"
Joe Movies: as the numerous flaming bags of poop that'll be left on my doorstep after this posts will attest
Cam’ron: fear not...editing is your friend
Cam’ron: and my laborious enemy
Joe Movies: good luck with this one, dude
Joe Movies: i just hope we don't see any of these names editied out and replaced with "Mr. Black"
Cam’ron: Just ours
Joe Movies: posted by Michael Matthew and Some Guy
Cam’ron: "Joe Reid"
Joe Movies: blast
Cam’ron: who wishes to remain anonymous
Joe Movies: so good luck finding a new writing gig, brother
Cam’ron: i've had a good run...
Cam’ron: maybe 411 will have me back
Joe Movies: any defectors have to go through Rutherford and Evocator
Joe Movies: also the "supplicant" doggy door

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Other People Can Be Funny, Too

I've been meaning to post one of these for awhile. There's so much good stuff being written out there in InternetLand, and aint none of it being written by me. So, go peruse the online goodness while I sit here and ponder how I'm going to punch up this Life Aquatic DVD review.

Sarah tries to beat the heat with a trip to the freezer case. She comes up with Frozfruit and a Bomb Pop. Vengeance shall be hers.

The fine people at Fametracker put forth the best analysis of The Tom Cruise Situation that I've read yet.

Courtesy of Defamer: Carrie Fisher sums up the end to the Star Wars prequels as well as anyone I've seen.

Ian Wright's Dancing About Architecture is my new favorite column at 411. It's fresh, briskly written, a little funny . . . I totally missed the boat not picking this kid in the 411/IP Draft. Speaking of which . . .

Aaron Cameron is always a reliably good read. This week, special guest star ME joins Aaron (eek! Bad grammar alert!) to help carve up the rosters of our respective sites. One day I'll post the unedited version and you can all see Aaron for the monster he truly is.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tuesday Top Five: 06/14

Five things that impressed, appalled, or otherwise held my attention for more than 15 seconds during the past week:

1. Once again the gods of cable television interrupted my busy Sunday schedule of sweating through the apholstery on the recliner to remind me of some fine performances in movies I love. Case in point: Kathy Bates, whose stellar performance in Primary Colors was repeated throughout the weekend. It’s probably my favorite performance of hers, and I deeply wish she had won the Oscar for it. In a movie that was probably too dependent on mimicry in its performances (oh, hello bewigged John Travolta), Bates came up with a unique character, the conscience of the film who was demented rather than saintly. And she lost to eight minutes worth of Dame Judi Dench. Booooo!

2. Sticking with the “movies we can all watch in the stifling comfort of our own homes” theme, I have to tip my hat once again to whoever did the production design on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the film which has been alternately titled What’s On HBO Today, All Day. Whether the film itself cut too much from the source material to make it a satisfying effort is up for debate, but the look of the movie was undoubtedly fantastic. Alfonso Cuaron really took the action outside the Hogwarts walls, giving the events a real sense of geography, and of the threatening world around our heroes. I like how Cuaron built his film around the book and not inside it. I like the whole thing, really, and it’s too bad he couldn’t return for another chapter.

3. Summer television is more often than not all about the guilty pleasure. For evidence, look no further than next month’s premiere of Big Brother 6, and don’t think for one second I’m not in crazy anticipation of another summer of vain, shallow, stupid machinations in that particular house. But for now, I’ll have to make do with Kept on VH1. Like all great guilty pleasures, I started out thinking I’d hate it. But against all odds Jerry Hall and her unique Anglo-Texan accent have roped me in. Seriously, I don’t know what it is about me and aging models who used to fuck Mick Jagger, but between Jerry Hall and Janice Dickinson, this summer on VH1 is going to be damn near irresistible. Back to Kept, though: it’s got a perfect blend of arrogance awaiting its comeuppance, genuinely likeable personalities, and unabashed cheesecake-y goodness. It’s what guilty pleasure was made for.

4. One last straggling note from the MTV Movie Awards: Seriously, how drunk was Quentin Tarantino when he accepted Kill Bill 2’s award for best fight? I mean, we’re all used to Q-Bert McForehead getting his methamphetamine on at these things, but isn’t it getting a little old? Especially when he’s directing such middlebrow fare as the C.S.I. finale? Just a note: when Daryl Hannah is “the classy one” in your two-some? Issues, is what you have.

5. So right now The Killers are two-for-two as far as songs that I like. I was a fan of “Somebody Told Me” and I’m currently somewhat addicted to “Mr. Brightside.” I especially enjoy it when my sister enthuses, “I love the second verse,” when the second verse is, quite literally, same as the first. I’m also so glad that all the really interesting new music is stuff that sounds like the 80s. This is so much better than the two-fisted crotch punch that was Rap Metal and Teen Punk earlier this decade. Anyway, well done, Killers. Hopefully next time you’re on The O.C. I’ll know who you are and bother to tune in.

Friday, June 10, 2005

MTV: Making Crappy Movies Popular since 1981

Some very short notes on the MTV Movie Awards, since I only watched about 65% of them:

Wow, Jimmy Fallon. Way to be absolutely the least funny person in history. Some of those jokes were so old they’d been sealed up in the Y2K time capsules. I mean . . . “my bad”? Didn’t that go out with “don’t go there”? And is it me or does he seem to be drifting into that Chris Rock “blaccent” even when he’s not doing an impression? That was very distracting. He has no delivery for stand-up material. It was embarrassing. Speaking of which . . .

Hey, look, it’s Eminem! Can I just say how nice it is to have been able to ignore this latest iteration of Marshall Mathers almost completely? Because it has. I guess now that nobody gets into a huff over calling Moby a fag the hardcore publicity has been harder to come by. And . . . he’s hitched his wagon to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the Crank Yankers puppets? Jeez. I thought the Michael Jackson / Pee Wee Herman stuff was embarrassing. I suppose his new affiliations make sense, though, since the only thing more pseudo-edgy than Eminem these days would be puppets who say naughty words.

The stupid thing about the MTV Movie Awards is that the flicks they’re awarding are so old. I mean, Mean Girls? I love it, but that was twelve months, two bra sizes and several bottles of peroxide ago for our Lindsay Lohan. Napoleon Dynamite I only wish we’d forgotten about, but any stroll through a Hot Topic will tell you that this annoying pop culture trend is lingering for now. It’s not like anyone cares about the actual awards, but still. Live in the now, MTV.

At this point I think we have to come up with new words to describe the discomfort of seeing Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in public. It’s the creepiest interpersonal dynamic ever. I’m starting to think she’s even creepier than he is. Starting with the fact that when she smiles all uncontrollably her face looks horrifying. Like it’s going to eat itself or something. I’d have given all the money in creation for Tom to have turned to the crowd after receiving his award and be all “And you thought this wouldn’t last,” and then bending Katie over for The Second Least Convincing Heterosexual Kiss Ever.

I have to say, I went into the Breakfast Club tribute ready to hate it. Mostly because this mythical “MTV audience” they keep referring to were about five years pre-fetal when this movie came out. But the clips got shown and there was Ally Sheedy looking all strung out and skinny and awesome and Molly Ringwald was a bit more cherubic but I still kind of loved her and my god what a world we live in where Anthony Michael Hall is the lone Brat Packer with a career anymore. So I enjoyed seeing that, I must admit. But what exactly were Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson doing that they couldn’t attend? Dinner theatre performance of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Our Careers Are Dead”?

Overall it was a big ol’ mess. The mini-movies and skits are, at this point, just pale imitations of their predecessors. Even Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson couldn’t make much hay out of their material (although the adorable Justin Long tried his best). Jimmy Fallon should be led out behind the shed and shot. Napoleon Dynamite should take his flippin’ vocal tics and fade away quietly. And Rachel McAdams needs to stop being the Hillary Swank of the MTV Awards. The last person to win that many awards at once was, like, Sharon Stone. And we all know how that turned out.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Free Katie!

Screw the Russell Crowe t-shirts. This is the hot phrase apparel to get behind.

Anyone who decides to make my summer and buy me such a shirt? A daily blog entry on just how awesome you truly are. Daily.

Monday, June 06, 2005

When America Was On Its Knees, He Threw A Phone At Us

Russell Crowe is back, y'all! Back making aggressively sentimental movies with Ron Howard. Back to being buzzed for a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Back to acting like an over-testosteroned dickweed who throws shit at service industry employees.

Cinderella Man opened at #4 this week to a disappointing $18 million and change. Maybe the hotel employee showed up to work with a Madagascar collectible cup and sent Crowe over the edge? I mean, he must have had a good reason for throwing a telephone in his face, right? Movie stars don't just do destructive shit for no reason, after all.

I'll let you ponder that last statement while I hand-stitch my "Free Russell" t-shirts.

Happy Hour link

6. I’m not exactly saying it should have been a plot point, but I think it warrants mentioning. Perhaps if Anakin Skywalker had just . . . washed his hair once in awhile, we all wouldn’t have gotten into this mess and the Dark Side could have been resisted. It’s the best I can come up with. Nobody feels good if they haven’t showered and their hair is weighted down with another three pounds of galactic grease in it. I might have turned towards the Dark Lord of the Sith, too, if I had to deal with that. Maybe instead of opting for the baker’s dozen as far as staring dolefully out her panoramic windowscape, Padme might have suggested a long hot shower and some Herbal Essences. Might have saved a lot of people a world of hurt.

Nine more observations on Star Wars, Episode III, plus more X3 news (it's Ratner, y'all) and folks who need their asses kicked, all in this week's Happy Hour column. Written by me. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Mutant Enemy? For Real

So this whole deal with the third X-Men movie has me sort of freaked out. And it bugs me because this is the one movie that really messes with my cool. I can make fun of the Superman movie and Mission: Impossible 3 because I think they’re both gonna blow. I’m not so invested in the Firefly mythos that I can’t envision Serenity crashing and burning. Even Batman Begins leaves me more or less clear headed when I think about how it’s going to turn out.

But X2 was so damn good, and the prospects for a third film were so promising, that I tend to really geek out over the ups and downs of the state of production. Which leads me to the fact that Matthew Vaughn is now apparently off the film for “personal reasons,” and for once I actually think that means personal reasons and not “was sick to damn death of dealing with Halle Berry and her contract negotiations.”

Fox is still psycho obsessed with doing the film and having it ready by next summer, though, which means that the script Vaughn had worked on should still be in effect as well as the cast additions (Kelsey Grammer as Beast, Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut). They just need a new director.

AICN mentions the director just might be someone whose name was floating around the project awhile back. So, of course, the Internet just exploded with “OMG Joss Whedon dood!!!1” talk. Which I really wish they’d calm down about because this whole slobbering over Joss thing is kinda sad and it makes me feel like an idiot for being a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan in the first place. Bottom line, kids: we don’t know if this guy can make a real movie or not. Serenity is going to have to tell that tale. And even still . . . I mean if the last season of Angel was any indication at all as to where his talent is at these days? Yeesh.

For now I think I’ll just comfort myself with the fact that Dawn of the Dead director Zack Snyder was also once attached to the X3 project, so maybe he’s the one they’re looking for. Let Joss cut his teeth on Wonder Woman. I don’t much care if Lynda Carter starts rolling in her vat on contact lens solution. Just leave the damn Phoenix alone.