Saturday, December 30, 2006

Smooth Joey Appollo's NFL Picks: Week 17

Well. This is it. We actually made it through an entire NFL season's worth of picks and -- save for one weather-related catastrophe -- we never flaked. Weird schedules, sucky home teams, reader disinterest, the maddening inability to correctly pick the 49ers, Falcons, Saints, or Browns -- none of it deterred us. And now, with a mere two games separating us, we enter Week 17.

Oh, and by the way, you can now find Aaron any time at his brand new blog: That Bootleg Guy. Man, some people are really willing to run a gimmick into the ground, huh? In unrelated news, Tom Cruise is gay and crazy, and in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

Week 16 results:

Joe: 8-8
Aaron: 10-6

Season to date:

Joe: 128-86 (.598)
Aaron: 135-92 (.592)

[A statistical tie going into the home stretch. Awesome.]

N.Y. Giants at Washington
Aaron: If I remember correctly, back in the first week of "Joey Apollo", I predicted an 8-8 season for the Giants. Don't make me look the fool, Eli. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: This is the week we all erroneously expect the 7-8 NFC teams to suddenly pull it all together for the playoffs. Starting with... Pick: NY Giants

Carolina at New Orleans
Aaron: I also remember stating that I was never going to pick the Saints again, this season. Thanks again, Drew you're forcing me to side with the enigmatic Panthers. Pick: Carolina

Joe: This is a tough one. The Saints have nothing to play for, the Panthers are clinically unable to come through in the clutch. I'll side with New Orleans sticking it to a division rival. Pick: New Orleans

Cleveland at Houston
Aaron: Nice of Texans QB David Carr to make a late push for another season in Houston. Here's hoping the locals enjoy their team screwing up high draft picks for the rest of the decade. Trust me, it never stops hurting. Pick: Houston

Joe: The Cleveland Browns and I have officially broken up. Loses to Tampa Bay, come on! Pick: Houston

Detroit at Dallas
Aaron: After beating the Giants on 12/3, the Cowboys were being called the '06 NFC Champs. Three weeks later, Bill Parcells is this close to an in-game coronary. C'mon, Lions! Pick: Dallas

Joe: Hopefully when Tony Romo takes his offensive line out for a big steak dinner to thank them for his Pro Bowl berth, he takes his girlfriend Carrie Underwood with him. Order the Porterhouse, Carrie! Don't be afraid to fill up on bread! Pick: Dallas

Jacksonville at Kansas City
Aaron: Chiefs' RB Larry Johnson's role in the inexplicable collapse of my fantasy team has gone unstated to this point. Let's just say I'm rooting for the Jags to end his season before the Chiefs' season actually ends. (wink) Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: I cannot muster any kind of enthusiasm for this game. Like, at all. Pick: Kansas City

New England at Tennessee
Aaron: Joe got quite the holiday roller coaster ride as Handsome Vince Young led the Titans past the Bills last week. I'm pretty sure this game is gonna cost me the season, but what the hell... Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Yeah, now that they've defeated my Bills, I am so rooting for the Titans to make the playoffs. Pick: Tennessee

Oakland at N.Y. Jets
Aaron: Finally, it ends. Pick: NY Jets

Joe: Ugh. I cannot believe the Jets are going to make the playoffs. Cannot. Believe. It. Rot in hell, Laverneaus Coles. Pick: NY Jets

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Aaron: Since everyone already thinks that this will be Bill Cowher's last game as Steelers' head coach, let's go with an ending that oozes squishy sentiment...and totally f*cks Cincinnati over. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: How many ways could the Bengals find to lose that game last week in Denver? Dropped touchdowns, botched extra points, I felt like I was watching a Bills Super Bowl. They have to win this week, right? Turns out, no. Pick: Pittsburgh

Seattle at Tampa Bay
Aaron: Worse news for Bucs fans: the entirety of the 2006 season or the fact that spleen-less QB Chris Simms will be back for '07...and '08? Discuss. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Wither Bruce Gradkowski, Tampa Bay front office? Wither Bruce Gradkowski? Pick: Seattle

St. Louis at Minnesota
Aaron: Thanks for all the great parity Paul Tagliabue! You enjoy that retirement and resultant mall walking/lawn bowling thing. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: I've had just about enough of your lawn-bowling bashing, young man! Pick: Minnesota

Arizona at San Diego
Aaron: I hate the Chargers, I hate their fans and if this team wins the Super Bowl, I'll kill myself. Pick: San Diego

Joe: I, on the other hand, will totally be rooting for the Chargers to win the Super Bowl. But not to piss off Aaron. Mostly. Pick: San Diego

Atlanta at Philadelphia
Aaron: Anyone else think that Eagles QB Jeff Garcia has a "Frank Reich" appeal to him? No one outside of the Reid household will get that, so I suggest everyone move in with Joe for a week. He's got extra room and plenty of booze. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: False and true. And hopefully Jeff Garcia isn't dorkily religious like Reich was. I could not have been more happy for a guy than I was for Garcia beating Terrell "Drop It Like It's Hot" Owens. Merry Christmas to me! Pick: Philadelphia

Buffalo at Baltimore
Aaron: Well, the Ravens need to win and hope the Chargers lose in order to score home-field throughout the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bills are playing for something more important...respect. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: I would love nothing better than to see the Bills beat the Ravens, my most inexplicably loathed team this season. Why do they keep winning??? Pick: Baltimore

Miami at Indianapolis
Aaron: The playoffs always need a good storyline and I can't think of a better one than "Colts stumble into playoffs with consecutive losses". Plus, no Ricky Proehl for Indy on Sunday. Pick: Miami

Joe: Eh. If the Dolphins couldn't beat the Jets last week? Pick: Indianapolis

San Francisco at Denver
Aaron: The Associated Press headline from last week's wacky-ending Broncos/Bengals game: "Oh, Snap!" That couldn't have been hilarious only to me. Pick: Denver

Joe: Is that seriously what it was? Genius. That's what you get when the mail room intern gets drafted to write the headlines while everyone's off for Christmas. Pick: Denver

Green Bay at Chicago
Aaron: So, NBC used their "flex schedule" powers for this game? Oh, of course. It's meaningless for the Bears and gives Brett Favre a chance to throw 5 TDs vs. Chicago's back-ups. Who'll gush more, Al Michaels or John Madden?! I'm going with the upset: Jerome Bettis. Pick: Green Bay

Joe: You know what? No. This has to stop somewhere, and Brian Griese is the guy to draw a line in the sand. Pick: Chicago

Friday, December 29, 2006

Addendums and Retractions

In reference to this post about all the bad press Studio 60's gotten lately, please also check out this New York Times piece which not only shreds Aaron Sorkin's show, but also makes an impassioned plea for Friday Night Lights, which is as nice a two-for-one as I could hope.

Also, I am officially retracting the grievance I filed against the Oxygen network in the Festivus post. The reason? The Bad Girls Club. You guys, just watch it. The best way I can describe the premise is if you took The Real World minus the boys and the fake job, added Big Brother minus the boys and competitions, mixed with Intervention and Starting Over, and then drowned the resulting mixture in tequila, you'd have a pretty good idea. In simpler terms, it's essentially Drunk Bitches Go Crazy. I know that's not the most progressive way to spend thirty minutes in front of the tube, but seriously? Dude.

The first two episodes are available On Demand, and I am saying: just watch it. The first two episodes. It's almost too awesome to properly convey on a simple blog. Watch it for Ripsi, who looks like what would happen if Paris and Nicole ever made up and had a baby together, and essentially behaves like it too. That girl is the Tazmanian Devil of drunk bitches. Watch it and revel in the disorientation of not knowing whether there are five or fifteen girls in the house, since it looks like they just took three girls and cloned a bunch more of them. Watch it for "You better call Jesus!" If by then you still think it's base and classless...well, it is. You're welcome!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Year's Almost Over: TV Lists

I could give this a big, flowery introduction, but the holidays have me kind of assed out right now. Suffice it to say: my picks for the best and worst TV of '06.

The Best Shows on TV:
Battlestar Galactica
Big Love
Brothers & Sisters
Friday Night Lights
Grey's Anatomy
The Office
Project Runway
Ugly Betty

Five cable shows, five network shows, three comedies, one reality show, three "genre" shows, seven shows with explicitly gay characters, two more with implicitly gay characters, two shows with polyamorous relationships, plus one show with a dream-sequence threesome, one show that's already been cancelled, one that's pulling in dangerously low ratings, three that air on Thursday nights, four that air (or aired) on Sundays, two shows who will be changing time slots come January, one show that airs on a network I don't currently get, and a grand total of ten shows that made TV freakin' awesome in 2006.

Most Improved Shows:
The O.C.
Prison Break

I'm chalking the O.C. resurgence up to adding Taylor Townshend and killing off Marissa Cooper. Survivor cast a far more diverse cast than ever before for all the wrong reasons but the end result was the best season in years, scoring one for diversity in a much better way than the "Race Wars" conceit ever could. Prison Break took things outside the Fox River walls and opened their dumb-but-awesome show up to an entire world of possibilities.

Most Un-improved Shows:
Gilmore Girls
Studio 60

Okay, I mostly stopped watching Gilmore because of timeslot reasons, but I'd have stuck with it, I think, if I'd have been more interested. This is in no way because they paired Lorelai with Christopher, however, since I vastly prefer him (a.k.a. The Cute One) to that surly and joyless lump of a diner owner all the message board crazies seem to enjoy. Nip/Tuck still has its moments of car-crash awesomeness, but the steady decline from the end of season 2 to the end of season 4 was precipitous. Studio 60 managed to take a promising pilot and squander it all in a flurry of bitter agenda-settling and a tin ear for almost every aspect of the subject at hand.

Best New Shows:
30 Rock
Big Love
Brothers & Sisters
Friday Night Lights
Ugly Betty

I'm cheating with six here so as to emphasize what a good year this was for new shows. And for once, the good shows didn't get axed too soon, even when the ratings may not have been outstanding. Even some of the bad shows (Jericho; Studio 60) were kept around. Okay, I could be talked into shedding a lonely tear for Kidnapped (which was pretty good) and Smith (which I never got to see at all), but on the other hand, you won't hear me complaining about the fates of The Nine or Six Degrees.

Best Performances:
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
James Callis - Battlestar Galactica
Steve Carell - The Office
Sally Field - Brothers and Sisters
Neil Patrick Harris - How I Met Your Mother
Mary McDonnell - Battlestar Galactica
Ian McShane - Deadwood
Chloe Sevigny - Big Love
Jeanne Tripplehorn - Big Love
Chandra Wilson - Grey's Anatomy

Most Underrated Performances:
Connie Britton - Friday Night Lights
Ed Helms - The Office
Chris Lowell - Veronica Mars
Becki Newton - Ugly Betty
Hayden Panettiere - Heroes
Autumn Reeser - The O.C.
Matthew Rhys - Brothers & Sisters
Katee Sackhoff - Battlestar Galactica
Michael Urie - Ugly Betty
Kate Walsh - Grey's Anatomy

Best Reality Show Contestants:
Laura Bennett - Project Runway
Tiffani Faison - Top Chef
Yul Kwon - Survivor: Cook Islands
Ozzy Lusth - Survivor: Cook Islands
James Rhine - Big Brother:All Stars


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Man, Nobody's Watching This Show Correctly

Entertainment Weekly: "Whatever the reason, following its fresh, buoyant lead-in Heroes, Studio 60 feels as subtle as a brick applied directly (and viciously) to the forehead — and about half as much fun." [Not to mention the auspicious title of "Worst Show of 2006"]

The Star-Ledger: "Sorkin, the mastermind behind 'Sports Night' and 'The West Wing,' has used his latest bully pulpit as a transparent excuse to rehash and win every old argument he ever had with network executives, censors, agents and, especially, ex-girlfriend Kristen Chenoweth." [As part of an article that blatantly steals the Festivus idea I blatantly stole from Seinfeld.]

The L.A. Times: " The love-to-hate feeling is fun for some, profitable for others." [In an article with a quote from a certain me you might know.]

Time: One of "5 Things That Went From Buzz To Bust."

So, yeah. Not the best week for that show I recap.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Winter Movie Preview, Part 1

Sooner than we're even prepared for it, Hollywood seems more than ready to enter into the first quarter of 2007. For the bulk of the country, that means patiently waiting for the backloaded glut of Oscar contenders to trickle down into their podunk little burgs. Otherwise, it's the time of year when studios surreptitiously try and sneak their ugliest children out the back door and hope you're too busy listening to any of Clint Eastwood's many acceptance speeches to notice. Of course, by now, the media-savvy public has indeed caught wise, and while they'll go see something as awful-looking as The Butterfly Effect, they'll at least have the grace to feel bad about it.

Movie: Freedom Writers (Richard LaGravanese)
High-Concept Synopsis: Hilary Swank is a teacher trying to reach her inner-city students in a post-riots atmosphere in Los Angeles. Patrick Dempsey, Imelda Staunton, and Scott Glenn co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Dangerous Minds fans, who have been waiting for years for a remake and will gladly accept this instead. Oscar voters who are awfully fond of one of the cast members. Fans of LaGravanese, who wrote The Fisher King and The Ref and directed Living Out Loud.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Dangerous Minds fans who are aghast that their movie has been ripped off like this. Patrick Dempsey freaks who can only picture their man paired with Ellen Pompeo, not that they're everloving crazy or anything. And Nathaniel. Poor, poor Nathaniel.
Why I'd See It: It's a clichéd and well-worn premise, but it really doesn't look that awful. And, as always with a subject like this, there's the chance something new or important could be said.

Movie: Alpha Dog (Nick Cassavetes)
High-Concept Synopsis: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, and a dozen other nubile youths play small-time drug dealers and inept kidnappers as we once again learn the consequences of suburban teens with inadequate parental supervision. Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, Ben Foster, and Amanda Seyfried co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: The three people in America who haven't yet gotten the message that American suburbia isn't as pristine and idyllic as it looks. Teenage drug dealers looking for tips on how it isn't done. Oh, and Justin Timberlake fans -- going out on a limb for that one.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Audiences who didn't really enjoy The Chumscrubber the first time around, really. White parents who have had just enough of their children talking "all ghetto." Moviegoers not really all that interested in seeing Justin Timberlake without a shirt on for two hou--- oh wait, that's no one.
Why I'd See It: I'm not entirely proud that JT is my main draw to this movie but HEY, LOOK BEHIND YOU!

Movie: Stomp The Yard (Sylvain White)
High-Concept Synopsis: What Drumline did for...well, drumlines and You Got Served did for douchebags in dance competitions, this movie wants to do for stepping. Good thing stepping is kind of awesome.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Steppers. Fans of urban, inspirational, dance-based movies. Studio 60 fans (all both of them) excited to see Columbus Short (a.k.a. meek writer Darius) take a very different role -- and the lead besides.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Irish step dancers, still waiting for their inspirational tale of overcoming adversity (Lord of the Dance SO does not count). Former members of B2K who are pissed none of them got asked to co-star. People who saw Brick and STILL hold a grudge against Meagan Good for playing such a righteously heinous bitch.
Why I'd See It: I've been known to be susceptible to hip urban trends like battle rapping and dance-offs in the past. This seems to follow in that proud tradition.

Movie: The Hitcher (Dave Meyers)
High-Concept Synopsis: A remake of the 1986 thriller in which a hitchhiker (Sean Bean) terrorizes a photogenic young couple (Sophia Bush and Zachary Knighton).
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the Amityville Horror and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes, of which this film is a descendant. Sean Bean fans who rightly assume he'll be insanely frightening in the role. Finger-wagging ninnies who always told you that picking up hitchhikers was a reckless and foolhardy thing to do.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: The reckless and foolhardy, though not necessarily because they themselves have fallen victim to an unscrupulous hitcher of their own. Bush's One Tree Hill co-stars, too busy sucking at acting to go catch their lone talented cast member in a feature. Anyone who finds out that debut director Myers spent a good portion of his career directing music videos for Creed.
Why I'd See It: Sean Bean is gonna be scary as hell, dude. And despite the forty-seconds-too-long trailer, it looks pretty good.

Movies: Catch And Release (Susannah Grant)
High-Concept Synopsis: Jennifer Garner gets pre-widowed and then inherits her dead fiancé's money, friends (Kevin Smith among them), child, and baby mama (Juliette Lewis). Along the way, Timothy Olyphant help her learn how to fall in love with totally hot guys again.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Jennifer Garner fans, as she looks to be in fine your-favorite-girl-next-door form. Kevin Smith fans oddly fascinated with the idea of him playing an actual, speaking character. Fishing enthusiasts who, just a guess, have been underestimating the metaphorical value of the film's title.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan, Scott Foley, and any others on the Boulevard of Jennifer Garner's Co-Star-Hopping Broken Dreams. Hollywood-savvy audiences who are more than a little concerned that this movie sat on the shelf for an entire year, for no real reason. Deadwood fans petrified of seeing Olyphant without his moustache and having all their illusions shattered.
Why I'd See It: The trailer made it look like a cute and inoffensive romantic comedy; plus, I love Garner, Olyphant, Smith, and Lewis. Also known as: the entire cast.

Movie: The Invisible (David S. Goyer)
High-Concept Synopsis: Justin Chatwin plays a teen who gets murdered by local ruffians but continues to stick around as an unseen ghost. He then must solve his own murder in order to win his life back. Marcia Gay Harden co-stars.
Who Will Be Seeing It: People who liked The Sixth Sense and Ghost but wish it had more upside potential for the protagonist. Anyone who's seen Chatwin in anything -- Weeds primarily, though in retrospect he was the only cast member in War of the Worlds I enjoyed -- because the kid's in the dictionary next to "watchable." David Goyer fans who have liked what they've seen out of Dark City, Blade, and Batman Begins, all of which he's written.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: People who watched War of the Worlds and would rather not see Tom Cruise's bitchy kid again, whether he gets killed in the first 15 minutes or not. Seasoned horror viewers who think that ghosts, much like zombies, ought to stay dead. Audiences who may like Goyer as a writer but realize that, as a director, he's made Blade: Trinity.
Why I'd See It: Justin Chatwin's the bomb, y'all, and David Goyer's not so bad himself.

Movie: Smokin' Aces (Joe Carnahan)
High-Concept Synopsis: The idea here is that Jeremy Piven is so much of a scummy lowlife that the Feds (Ray Liotta, Ryan Reynolds) have to scramble to keep a rogues gallery of underworld thugs from killing him before he can turn state's evidence, in a film that looks so violent and stylized, you can't believe Tony Scott's not directing. Ben Affleck, Andy Garcia, Jason Bateman, and Martin Henderson co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences thrilled that it's Carnahan, not Tony Scott, behind the lens. Folks eager to see Ray Liotta on the right side of the law for once. People eager for the laugh-a-minute hilarity of Alicia Keyes's big screen debut.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: People who have had quite enough of Jeremy Piven acting like a scummy lowlife in his actual life, much less having to pay $9.50 for the privilege. People who saw the trailer and were frightened away by Ben Affleck's bizarre facial hair. People who saw the trailer and were frightened away by the boil on Jason Bateman's lip.
Why I'd See It: Eh. It looks like it'd be fun enough for a compromise movie when five people can't decide on something good. I can't see this rising much above "enjoyable mess," but that can be fun.

Movie: Because I Said So (Michael Lehmann)
High-Concept Synopsis: Diane Keaton plays mother to Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo, and Mandy Moore and tries to find a man for the latter. The girls, meanwhile, are also in search of a man to shut their mom up for a second. Gabriel Macht and Stephen Collins co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of very, very chatty women, considering Keaton and Graham alone. Anyone who notices that director Lehman was also the man behind Heathers. Fans of still-cute-as-a-button-even-though-I-heard-she's-back-dating-that-douche-Wilmer-
Valderrama-even-after-he-blabbed-about-deflowering-her-on-Stern Mandy Moore.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Andy Roddick, Zach Braff, and any of the other famous broken hearts Mandy's left in her wake, up to and including that moron on Entourage. Also: chick-flick-phobics and even more chick-flick-phobics.
Why I'd See It: Eh. I mean, I love Lauren Graham, and Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore are pretty great and all, but DAMN this looks awful. Like, really bad. If I can think up some circumstances under which I'd see it, I'll be sure to let you know.

Movie: Hannibal Rising (Peter Webber)
High-Concept Synopsis: Spend some time with Hannibal Lecter during his formative teen years. See what he sees. Defile who he defiles. Eat who he eats. Gaspard Ulliel Frenches it up as Lecter, with Gong Li, Dominic West, and Rhys Ifans co-starring.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Thomas Harris's Lecter series whose enthusiasm for the films weren't severely dampened by Red Dragon and Hannibal. Teenage cannibals who have so few positive role models in mainstream entertainment. Filmgoers who enjoyed director Webber's previous effort, Girl With a Pearl Earring.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Viewers who feel the Lecter image has been damaged enough by unnecessary sequels as it is. Xenophobes who don't want the French anywhere near such a proud American tradition. People whose skin tone could be described as "delicious."
Why I'd See It: If anything, a sense of completion for the Hannibal the Cannibal series. I didn't suffer through Hannibal and Red Dragon for nothing.

Movie: Norbit (Brian Robbins)
High-Concept Synopsis: Eddie Murphy straps on the fat suit once again, just in time for his Dreamgirls Oscar campaign to start heating up. Thandie Newton and Cuba Gooding Jr. cash paychecks co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences who couldn't get enough of Murphy's Nutty Professor fatty antics in not one, but two films. People who owe Eddie Murphy favors. Cuba Gooding haters giddy at the thought of seeing him finally hit bottom.
Who Won’t Be Seeing It: Anyone with anything else at all to do that weekend. Anyone with an un-cast Oscar ballot, or so Eddie Murphy had better hope. Audiences who hope to maintain any semblance of respect for Thandie Newton.
Why I'd See It: In hopes of a glimpse of that delightful Eddie Griffin.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays

To all my readers and friends, thanks for a wonderful year and all the best for a fun, sexy holiday season.

Friday, December 22, 2006

For The Rest Of Us: 2006

As I was last year, I am again reminded that not only is this the Christmas season, but it's also the Festivus season, and you know what that means. It's time for the proudest of Festivus traditions: the Airing of Grievances. To begin, I've got a lot of problems with you people! And you're gonna hear about it!

Time Warner. Where to begin with you jackasses? Start with the fact that your petty little tiff with the NFL Network means there are nationally televised games going on that I don't get to see. [Granted, nationally televised 9-6 contests between the Packers and Vikings, but STILL.] That'd be enough on its own. Pair that with five consecutive months of abhorrent "service," a cable lineup that's far less inclusive than you'd expect, and now I'm getting word that come January 1st you may not be picking up the Fox network? Not Fox News, not Fox Sports, FOX. The broadcast network. With the highest-rated program on television. That I need to watch for my job. I don't want to switch to a satellite dish, but I'm starting to think I'll do so, and do so happily.

The Chicago Bears Defense. What the hell happened here? You'd performed so well for me all season. Good for 10-20 fantasy football points per game, scoring touchdowns, pitching shutouts. Then last week, when I was in a playoff game for the first time ever and I needed y'all the most, what the hell did you guys do? You gave up 31 points to Tampa Bay and in general cost me the win. WHY ARE YOU GUYS SUCH JERKS???

Lindsay Lohan. This isn't even so much of a grievance. It's a white flag. Because, Lindsay? We're done. Seriously. I don', I CAN'T care anymore. What's the point? We all loved the Freaky Friday remake. We all took your side in the great Hillary Duff skirmish. We ADORED you in Mean Girls, and as a result we gave you an unprecedented amount of slack, the likes of which never gets extended to sloppy-drunk party girls who bitch about the press, blow off work, cocaine their way into a skeletal frame, and steadfastly refuse to wear underpants. And all the while it was "Poor Lindsay. So talented. I hope she can pull herself together." No more, Missy! I think the breaking point was the "Paris Hilton punched me." / "No she didn't, why do you people make up lies?" debacle. I just can't care anymore. Overdose and die any time, Miss Lindsay. We've already mourned the squandered talent.

Matthew McConaughey. I dunno. He's just been irking me lately while he's been on his We Are Marshall press tour. I know I should be cutting him some slack -- that the spacey and faux-zen air about him is due to the fact of him being high all the time rather than him being a pretentious jackass. And Lord knows I shouldn't be quite so irked that he chooses to spend 80% of his waking moments sans shirt. Maybe it's just that I don't approve of the fratty influence he and Lance Armstrong (who I hate unreasonably, putting me on the same side as CANCER) have over sweet little Jake Gyllenhaal. Whatever the reason, every time he's on TV I want to throw something. Stop telling the same story about reading the Marshall script! And put on a shirt!

Taylor Hicks. For so many reasons, really. Your entire season of American Idol, for starters. For your psycho crazy fans who hate me. For the epilepsy. For the smug post-Idol interviews, the most recent of which got all snooty about how Idol obviously on the way down now that you're gone. For making me hate really good songs like "Levon" and "Try A Little Tenderness." For every time I had to read the words "Tay Tay" or "Soul Patrol" on a message board. But mostly, it's for making me inherently distrust good prematurely gray guys like Anderson Cooper. Not cool, Hicks. Not cool.

Superman. You know what, Superman? Why don't you take your square-jawed, All-American, kinda-dorky, do-gooder, white-male, save-us-all-from-the-big-bad-universe ass back to Krypton? I feel like a bad American for this, but I just find the entire concept of Superman so unappealingly retro. Like Rosie the Riveter or an unironic Uncle Sam. And you know what else? Stop asking me to believe people could possibly be fooled by the Clark Kent disguise! It's 2006, dude. People are all media-savvy. Live in the now.

Oxygen Network. No, not for Tyra. No. I bag on Tyra enough. No need to go into her whole "Hispanics, Blacks, Muslims, and Whites: who's got it worse?" episode. I'm just not too jazzed with your whole "Giveth and taketh away" deal. Giveth: Campus Ladies is back for a second season, which is awesome indeed. But...taketh away: You got rid of the theme song! Which was one of the best parts of the show! If you get rid of the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency song when that show returns, there's gonna be some problems.

Newsstands that don't carry The New Yorker. My Christmas shopping is done, okay? Done! And I bought my grandfather a subscription to The New Yorker, which is a fantastic gift if you know my grandfather. Thing is, the subscription doesn't kick in until January, but no problem! I'll just find a newsstand that carries...oh, not this one? Fine, how about the next But you carry Modern New England Child Bride and Longshoreman's Weekly and Playgirl's Hot Hunks for the Holidays? And the Farmer's Almanac (!) the only other publication that could be more like my grandfather and which I probably should have bought him anyway? No, THANKS!

That Old Navy Ad. You know the one I'm talking about -- the one where Bre from America's Next Top Model jumps out of a giant Christmas present and then smiles like a simpleton. It bothers me beyond reason. And yet I cannot seem to escape it.

Mel Gibson. For all the usual reasons, of course. For being maybe the most bigoted man in Hollywood, and I have to figure that could take some doing. For employing the "alcohol makes me totally lie and say things I'd never even think" argument that could not be more the opposite of how alcohol actually works. Then for sympathizing with Michael Richards, not even realizing how that was essentially admitting he's every bit the racist he denied being. THEN for wagging a finger at all of us and saying we should "get over it." Ahh, the sweet sounds of the asshole's apology: "I'm sorry, now shut the fuck up about it." Hate that guy.

Mischa Barton. So apparently the reason I could never get into The O.C. was entirely because of your square-faced self. Because with you gone, and the wonderful Autumn Reeser as Taylor Townshend in your stead? It's a whole new ballgame. Not to mention the retroactive grievance of the entire Brandon Davis affair.

Movie release dates. I've got to join the chorus with my boy Nat on this one. What's the sense of crowding The Good German, The Good Shepherd, Pan's Labyrinth, Notes on a Scandal, and Children of Men into the last week of the year? Why make us wait? Especially when platform releases mean we lowly hinterlands folk won't get these movies until well into the new year. AND FURTHERMORE...furthermore...ah, whatever. I can't quite hold on to this sour mood for very long. It's Christmas! Er, Festivus! A season of celebration. Now bring on the Feats of Strength!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 16

Week 15 results:

Joe: 11-5
Aaron: 9-7

Season to date:

Joe: 120-78 (.606)
Aaron: 125-86 (.592)

Minnesota at Green Bay
Aaron: Our friends at the NFL Network are hyping this as possibly Brett Favre's "last game at Lambeau". And, for the next three years thru the 2009 season, ESPN, NBC and Fox have agreed to rotate the rights to Favre's next "last games at Lambeau". Pick: Green Bay

Joe: Seriously, people who keep teasing their retirement only to back off, then return, then semi-retire, then get dragged back, and then leave to start a blog play one more year are SO annoying. Pick: Green Bay

Kansas City at Oakland
Aaron: How did the Raiders get to be on national television four times this year? I expect Bryant Gumbel to use his show-ending sanctimonious rambling on Real Sports to explore this topic. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: Has he finally stopped ranting about figure skaters? I picked Oakland last week -- won't be making that mistake again. Take a long, hard look, Brady Quinn. This is your future. Pick: Kansas City

Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Has anyone explored why Ravens QB Steve McNair insists on keeping that little militant mini-afro? I'm pretty sure the last person to wear that hairstyle for so long was Todd Bridges' "Willis" on Diff'rent Strokes. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Okay, correct me if I'm wrong, but...Steve McNair exited last week's game because he had stigmata, right? God help us all if that had happened to Brett Favre, Tom Brady, or Vince Young. We may not have made it out of Christmas season alive. Pick: Pittsburgh

Carolina at Atlanta
Aaron: Well, it's hard to pick the Falcons when their coach has already quit on them and is publicly accepting collegiate coaching openings that aren't even open. Watch Joe do it, anyway. Pick: Carolina

Joe: It's so easy when other people make my picks for me. Rot in hell, Chris Weinke. Pick: Atlanta

Chicago at Detroit
Aaron: The Bears' continued man-love for QB Rex Grossman will ensure them a first-round bye and a second-round elimination. Enjoy your next three games while you can, Superfans. Pick: Chicago

Joe: "Hey Tahhhd, you havin' anudder haaahrt attaaayck?" Gosh, I miss the days when the morbidly obese had the run of Saturday Night Live. Pick: Chicago

Indianapolis at Houston
Aaron: Last week, the Patriots got to take their frustration out on the Texans and this time, it's Peyton's turn. Save a playoff ticket at will-call for Eli! Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: This looks like the Colts' last chance to give Ricky Prohel -- patron saint of White Wideouts everywhere -- that 5 TD game he so richly deserves. Pick: Indianapolis

New England at Jacksonville
Aaron: Fun fact...whenever the Patriots and their depleted defense get run over by the Jaguars' resurgent running game, an angel gets her wings. Pick: Jacksonville

Joe: I...actually agree. We're still playing under one-on, one-off rule of Jacksonville football, which means the Jags are due for a win. Pick: Jacksonville

New Orleans at NY Giants
Aaron: Drew Brees can kiss my Black ass. He sneakily waits until the first round of my fantasy playoffs to have his worst game of the year and ruin my 13-1 season. I know the Saints will win, but I'm not picking them. Never again. Pick: NY Giants

Joe: I'd have sympathy for you, but I think the Bears defense just now gave up another touchdown to goddamn Tampa Bay. All I'll say is...yikes for the Giants. Schedule's not being kind. Pick: New Orleans

Tampa Bay at Cleveland
Aaron: I will be spending Xmas Eve at my mom's house in LA, where the drinking will start at 10AM to coincide with the first NFL games of the day. How's 'bout you, Tampa Bay? Pick: Cleveland

Joe: Cleveland and I have had a stormy relationship this season. We're like a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and What Meg Ryan Used To Look Like where we're never in the same place at the same time. We'll see if a Festivus miracle can solve that. Pick: Cleveland

Tennessee at Buffalo
Aaron: I'm still not sure how Vince Young is winning games in this league, but I can't pick against him now. Enjoy all those close-ups of his snow-kissed oversized frontal lobe and chapped, ashy lips, Joe. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: I've said this a billion times this week, but I'm just happy to see Buffalo in a meaningful game in December. I've still yet to find one person who's actually going to this game, but I'm sure some hearty souls whose families have shunned them for acting like belligerent jackasses will be free on Christmas Eve. Should be a festive atmosphere. Pick: Buffalo

Washington at St. Louis
Aaron: Last week, the Skins beat the high-powered Saints and the Rams beat the lowly Raiders. And, according to Vegas and the point spreads, both wins were considered upsets. My point? Trust my picks, instead. Pick: St. Louis

Joe: No, YOU find a less compelling matchup on the schedule this week. Who's doing commentary on this one, two FOX PAs who neglected their Secret Santa duties? Pick: St. Louis

Arizona at San Francisco
Aaron: I'm pretty sure I haven't picked a 49ers game right all season, so whatever you do, don't trust my pick. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: Will do, sir. Pick: Arizona

Cincinnati at Denver
Aaron: Somewhere in here there's an analogy about Cinderella/Cincinnati, the glass slipper and the clock striking midnight...but, damned if I can finish it. Pick: Denver

Joe: From my Bills fan perspective, I think I'm just rooting against a tie. Pick: Cincinnati

San Diego at Seattle
Aaron: As a Raiders fan, it's time to start rootin' for injuries! Go for LT's knees, Lofa Tatupu, go for LT's knees! Pick: San Diego

Joe: You're right -- Raiders fans DO get an unfairly bad reputation throughout the league. Pick: San Diego

Philadelphia at Dallas
Aaron: While I don't loathe T.O. as much as most of the unwashed masses, I'll admit I'm rooting for Jeff Garcia to lead the Eagles to a personal revenge win on Kwanzaa Eve. Pick: Philadelphia

Joe: Here's my question, if T.O. had 15 million reasons not to kill himself, does he have 15 million reasons to win on Sundays? Or is that not reason enough. I'm unclear on the reasons=dollars conversion chart. Pick: Philadelphia

NY Jets at Miami
Aaron: The egg nog will have to be good and rummy for me to sit through this one. Then again, the alternative is spending time with my family. Sooo torn. Pick: Miami

Joe: Who cares, the Bills just got finished WHOOPING THEM BOTH. Eat it, AFC East Besides New England! Pick: Miami

Monday, December 18, 2006

Looks Like SNL Got Their One Funny Moment Of The Season

Last time I saw Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live, he was doing a spot-on Ashton Kutcher, a bitchy-as-hell Jessica Simpson, and telling you to bring it on down to Omeletville. In short, he was winning me over hardcore and selling me on The JT Experience far more than any of his songs had to that point.

This past weekend, though I didn't watch SNL, it looks like Justin found his way into the proud tradition of season-saving digital shorts. First there was "Lazy Sunday," then Natalie Portman got foul-mouthed. Now? JT and Andy Samberg have a present for you.

CHECK IT OUT and thank Jeebus for YouTube some more.

2006: The Year In Radio Pop

That's right, back again to allow you to feel superior to someone else based solely on our tastes in music, here's my personal list for Best Songs I Heard On The Radio Or MTV Hitz Or Maybe In A Commercial Or On A TV Show This Year. Eighteen songs is because I wanted it to be at least conceivable that all the songs could fit onto one Best of 2006 CD. But then I went and cheated in two instances, which means I really could have just made it a top twenty. Fascinating stuff, eh? ONTO THE LIST:

18. Fiona Apple - "Not About Love"
I bought Etraordinary Machine last year as a Christmas present from myself to myself. And while I was immediately enamored with "Get Him Back" and "Better Version of Me," this is the song I think of when I think of the album. Plus, as evidenced by my fondness for "Fast As You Can," I do enjoy when Fiona gets to the fast-talkin'.

17. Kelis - "Bossy"
The absolute perfect song if all you want to do is tell the rest of the world to kiss your everlovin' ass.

16. Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable"
A late entry, sneaking in just as the year is signing off, but this is easily the best Beyoncé has been in quite a long time, and the latest in a long, proud tradition of awesome kiss-off songs. Plus, I secretly desire to be in a room full of strangers all shouting "To the left, to the left," in unison.

15. OK, Go - "Here It Goes Again"
It's so much more than a video with treadmills! Okay, well it's a little more than just that video with the treadmills. But it was a fantastic video, was it not?

14. Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean - "Hips Don't Lie"
The first time I heard this song -- on American Idol, no less -- I absolutely knew this'd be a hot club jam this summer. And it was maybe THE song of the summer, only eclipsed by another song on this list.

13. Christina Aguilera - "Ain't No Other Man"
So nice to see Christina back and showing all the other girls how it's done. She's totally not fooling anybody with this classy Etta James stuff, but I'm not sure she's trying to. I think she's merely taking a ho sabbatical. Xtina will be back soon enough.

12. Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancing"
See, Alanis? THAT'S irony.

11. Panic! At The Disco - "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" / "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off"
The former was brilliant but got a little overplayed. The latter is a maddening combination of adolescent egocentrism and inappropriate hotness. Seriously, kid, you're sixteen. Stop breathing into my ear. On the plus side, I have to give it up for any band that would mine Natalie Portman's Closer dialogue for song titles.

10. Daniel Powter - "Bad Day"
IN MY DEFENSE, this list is all about the songs I think of when I look back on the year, and I couldn't well escape this one, now could I? Not with it cropping up every time American Idol spat another wannabe out onto the boulevard of broken dreams. Strictly speaking, it's not an entirely awful song. But I still twitch when I hear it.

09. The Fray - "Over My Head"
This was another one that was much better before it got run into the ground. "How To Save A Life" also may have made the list if a certain roommate hasn't chosen it as her ever-present ringtone.

08. Justin Timberlake - "Sexyback"
Took a little bit to catch on to what was going on here, but once I did? Divine. Plus, it made it fun to tell random people to get their sexy on. Thanks, Justin!

07. Fergie - "Fergalicious"
Everyone I knew who scoffed at my fondness for Black Eyed Peas further baffled me by all hopping on the "London Bridge" bandwagon. That song never did much for me, but this? Is the JAM! Even if the one Black Eyed Pea consistently misspells "tasty."

06. Pink - "U + UR Hand"
Ignoring the supremely irritating Prince-ification of the title's spelling, this song is so badass, I can't even begin. Pink tends to run hot and cold with me, but I can't remember the last time I liked one of her songs this much. The year's second-best kiss-off song, lyrics-wise, even if I prefer it to Beyoncé's as an overall tune.

05. Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy"
I feel like a better music fan when I listen to this song. Like all my shallow and pop-heavy proclivities have finally paid off in something hip and cool. This song goes places few others even try to go, and I can't even explain what that means without cracking a textbook. Suffice it to say: body parts get moving when it comes on.

04. Nelly Furtado - "Promiscuous" / "Maneater"
As if they were my own children, I cannot choose between them. "Promiscuous" was a filthily addictive summer jam -- besting even Shakira -- that turned Nelly into everyone's favorite tramp. I love tramps! "Meaneater," meanwhile, resulted in a rather embarrassing misheard lyric that lead to be blurting out "make your cock hard!" in the middle of a bar. But it does kind of sound like she at least should be saying "make your cock hard," right? Whatever, my lyrics rule!

03. All-American Rejects - "Move Along"
The video gives me motion sickness, but the song itself is another in a rather long line of AAM songs to rope me in. I think I would have made for a fantastic moody sixteen-year-old in 2006. To wit...

02. Fall Out Boy - "Dance, Dance"
Hey, I'm as surprised as you are. After "Sugar, We're Going Down," I figured we were looking at a one-hit wonder. And "Dance, Dance" seemed so slight and ummemorable. But then that bass line got stuck in my head. And Pete Wentz kept being the most awesome petulant teenager in the universe. And they went on that fantastic Natalie Portman-hosted SNL and were pretty badass. And then I fell in love with this song, hardcore.

01. The Killers - "When You Were Young"
"Mr. Brightside" took top honors for me last year, though in retrospect, I probably should have gone with Kelly Clarkson, not that that debate is anything more than two ass-kicking songs jockeying for position. "When You Were Young," however, stands head and shoulders at the top of this list. How did this song never really catch on anywhere? I don't get it. I can't stop listening to it. Even Brandon Flowers's atonal warbling on the chorus is super-endearing. And I get chills every time I hear "And sometimes you close your eyes and see the place where you used to live/ When you were young." You know what? Let everyone else sleep on this song. I'll keep it for myself.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 15

Last week:

Joe: 9-7
Aaron: 9-7

Season to date:

Joe: 109-73 (.599)
Aaron: 116-79 (.595)

Could! Not! Be! Closer!

San Francisco at Seattle
Aaron: So, I pick the 49ers for the first time in forever last week and, sho’ nuff, they lose at home to the remains of Brett Favre. My son’s college fund says “f*ck you, San Francisco”. Pick: Seattle

Joe: Can I be the first to start the Seneca Wallace QB controversy? Pick: Seattle

Dallas at Atlanta
Aaron: Saturday night football? Isn’t that what killed the XFL (among a million other things)? Well, I’ve been on quite the roll with wins I’ve called out as “upsets”, so let’s see if I can do it again. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: And I've been on a...well not a roll, really. But I sure do love picking against the Falcons this year! Pick: Dallas

Cleveland at Baltimore
Aaron: Watch the Browns get ground into a fine powder. A few days later, Ravens LB Ray Lewis will turn state’s evidence against his teammates and rat ‘em out to the league. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Joey Porter says Cleveland's Kellen Winslow is a fag, huh? Um...pass. Pick: Baltimore

Detroit at Green Bay
Aaron: Only four more weeks before the nation can spend the next six months wondering if Brett Favre will play in 2007. He’s such a gritty and intense tease! Pick: Green Bay

Joe: You think Favre is gallantly indecisive like this in his real life? "Well kids, maybe Santa will come this year, maybe he won't. Maybe Santa needs a stronger team of reindeer next year in order to make it worth Santa's while." Pick: Green Bay

Houston at New England
Aaron: Brady and New England are about due for one of those 42-10 shellackings over a mediocre team that all the experts use to conclude that the Pats are back! Pick: New England

Joe: Has any one NFL player gone from likeable to utterly unlikeable quicker than Tom Brady? Or is it only me that finds him to have become an utter whiner and egomaniac? Whoops! Looks like I'm not giving the Pats the respect they deserve again. They hate that! Pick: New England

Jacksonville at Tennessee
Aaron: This retroactive Vince Young love is easily the top NFL story of the year for me. Nobody liked this guy coming out of college and now all of that Tony Romo anointing oil is being chucked at Young’s incredibly ugly mug. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: My Vince Young Apology Letter now reads like the 95 Theses. "And I'm sorry for saying you were a bad parallel parker..." Pick: Jacksonville

Miami at Buffalo
Aaron: These games just aren’t the same without Bryan Cox to stir things up. And, after last week’s uncertainty from me, I’m convinced that Miami’s renaissance is for real. This week. Pick: Miami

Joe: How did I go from picking against my Bills as a matter of principle to siding with them out of a similar principle? Could it be...J.P. Losman? I'm more scared than I've ever been in my life. Pick: Buffalo

N.Y. Jets at Minnesota
Aaron: A few days ago, the Vikings defensive backs coach was arrested on a DUI. As far as 2006 coach-crime, this one ranks third behind the Lions coach who drove naked through a Wendy’s drive-thru and Raiders coach Art Shell (serial sideline loiterer). Pick: N.Y. Jets

Joe: It's now official: I could run for 100 yards against the Jets defense. And yet they occasionally win. Pick: NY Jets

Pittsburgh at Carolina
Aaron: Are the Panthers starting Chris Weinke again this week? The same Weinke that’s won just one of his seventeen NFL starts? And, if they do, why am I still picking Carolina? I wish I knew. Pick: Carolina

Joe: Good news, Panther fans. With Jake Delhomme on the bench, you won't have to worry about blowing a lead anymore! Pick: Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay at Chicago
Aaron: This is like Oh, God Part III, where Bucs coach Jon Gruden (played by Ted Wass) now must pay for that tainted Super Bowl win back in 2002. Enjoy those ulcers, Jon. Pick: Chicago

Joe: "Tainted," by the way, means "at the expense of the Raiders." Was the QB matchup in that Super Bowl really Brad Johnson vs. Rich Gannon? That could only be bested by a possible Rex Grossman vs. What's Left Of Steve McNair bowl this year. Pick: Chicago

Washington at New Orleans
Aaron: Opening weekend of my fantasy football playoffs and I “needs some Brees!” (T-shirts and hoodies available for sale this Saturday, XXL $2 extra) Pick: New Orleans

Joe: Always discriminating against the chunky bruthas, eh? it "bruthas"? "Brothers" sounds too Hulk Hogan. Pick: New Orleans

Denver at Arizona
Aaron: Hey, way to completely give up on defense and allow Tomlinson those late garbage time TDs last week, Shanahan. Fortunately, I have the comic relief of sportswriters who seriously think the last few weeks have “saved” Denny Green’s job in Arizona. Pick: Arizona

Joe: (Psst! Thanks, Mike Shanahan!) Okay, Denver's not great, but they can beat Arizona, right?? Pick: Denver

Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants
Aaron: More improbable headline…”Jeff Garcia, Season’s Savior” or “Eli Manning & His TWO Back to Back Good Games”? Let’s go with the latter, since it’s less sacrilegious. Pick: N.Y. Giants

Joe: Why do both of my NFC Wild Card picks have to play each other? Harrumph. Go with the home team. Pick: NY Giants

St. Louis at Oakland
Aaron: Oakland finished a distant eighth in this year’s listing of America’s Most Dangerous Cities, while St. Louis was number one. Here’s hoping someone reads that article (slowly, sounding out the big words) to the Raider fans at the Coliseum on Sunday. Make me proud, you collection of gangbangers and unwashed bikers! Pick: St. Louis

Joe: Okay, I saw Al Roker high-five Simon Doonan on the Today show today. My point: weird shit can happen. Pick: Oakland

Kansas City at San Diego
Aaron: Attention: San Diegans over the age of 40…stop wearing those replica football jerseys out in public. This goes double for those powder-blue ones that everyone loves. You people look ridiculous…especially when you tuck them in. Pick: San Diego

Joe: Fantasy football playoffs: THIS is what you look like! My matchup features my meal ticket LaDanian Tomlinson versus the opposing Larry Johnson. So this game? Kind of important. Never stop scoring, San Diddy. Never! Stop! Scoring! Pick: San Diego

Cincinnati at Indianapolis
Aaron: After two weeks, is it time to panic in Indy or is this just a bump in the road? Hey, after sixteen picks, I’m fresh out of clichés. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: In Indy, it's beyond time to panic. It's time to crack each other's skulls open and start feasting on the goo inside. Pick: Indianapolis

Brief Thoughts On The Globe Nominations

I may expand upon this later, but the Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. First impressions:

EMILY BLUNT!! Sorry, I may not ever stop crowing about this one. Not only did I call this longshot nomination in my predictions on Monday, but I've felt this ever since I saw the movie and actually called it way back in September. Plus, it's so beyond deserved. Good, good news. Which of course means we need some bad news, which means...

EFFING BOBBY!! Best Drama? Really? One of the five best dramas of the year? That absolute mess of a motion picture? Easily the worst nomination of the day.

Happy to see Maggie Gyllenhaal show up for Sherrybaby, which I still have not seen, but she's a favorite of mine and a nomination was a longshot, so I'm glad.

Toni Collette snatched a nomination from her Little Miss Sunshine co-star Abigail Breslin. Toni's the best, so I can't ever begrudge her any awards attention, but poor little Abigail. She was so good! And she cries so naturally! And she was probably crying this morning! Aw.

Leonardo DiCaprio got two Best Actor (Drama) nominations, which I think makes six total Globe nominations for his career (Gilbert Grape, Titanic, Catch Me If You Can, The Aviator, and these two). He's officially an HFPA fave, I guess.

Best Score offered two of the most deserved nominations: Clint Mansell for The Fountain and Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel.

I'm still surprised at Rinko Kikuchi's support for Babel. Adrianna Barazza was there as well, but I just don't get all the Kikuchi hoopla, not to mention that her character is such a traditionally off-putting type for awards voters (baity handicap aside). I'm similarly out of touch with the huge Mark Wahlberg love for The Departed, but at least there I figure I've got some glitch where I found the character too unlikeable to appreciate the performance, because a lot of people whose opinions I trust thought he was fab. And he should have been nominated twice already (Boogie Nights and Huckabees), so I can't begrudge him th Supporting Actor nod here.

As is often the case, the Globe TV nominations are better and more interesting than the Emmys. This year I was worried they'd buy the Studio 60 hype -- a fear compounded when I saw Matthew Perry had read the nominations -- but all they got was Sarah Paulson, which I'll totally take as a "sorry you have to be a part of this mess -- it'll all be over soon" consolation.

As for everything else: Big Love! Heroes! Weeds! Ugly Betty! Alec Baldwin! Katherine Heigl! Michael C. Hall! Good show, Globe voters. A Friday Night Lights mention would have been nice, but we can't have everything, can we.

Finally, one last thought: Oscar watchers generally look to the Globes for some degree of prediction as to how the Oscars will go. This year, the three Best Picture frontrunners will all compete in different categories: The Departed (Drama), Dreamgirls (Comedy/Musical), and Letters From Iwo Jima (Foreign language). So they all could win and still tell us absolutely nothing. Way to go, Globes!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Golden Globes Predictions

I was going to post something about the New York and L.A. film critics awards, but honestly so little happened, it's barely worth it. As is generally the case, things get a lot less interesting by the time the third and fourth major critics groups start handing out awards, as it tends to be the same names over and over again. Not that I'm not thrilled for Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, because they're awesome. Anyway, there are a few Oscar-related notes we can take from this:

-- United 93 is absolutely in the race for Best Picture/Director nominations. I just saw it on DVD and it was INTENSE. I would not be disappointed at all to see it get some recognition.

-- Supporting Actor has been all over the map. And none of the marquee names (Brad Pitt; Jack Nicholson) have shown up at all.

-- Very surprised to see Jennifer Hudson getting so much notice here. That being said, it actually keeps the Supporting Actress Oscar race even more wide open, as Hudson was already lock-ish anyway. Four spots remain rather wide-open, and will remain so until the Golden Globe nominations.

Speaking of which, here's my best guess at Wednesday's Golden Globe nominations. A few of these categories are near-total shots in the dark at the moment. And given the Globes' penchant for more than 5 noms per category, I'm giving myself some breating room in the guise of an alternate.

**It should be noted that the category placements are weird and inconsistent, but Letters From Iwo Jima is (I believe) ineligible for Best Drama because it's a foreign-language film. But it's eligible for everything else. [couple edits based on category placement -- seems Michael Sheen and Catherine O'Hara are going Lead. Shame, since that knocks Sheen out of a nomination, I think.)


Best Picture - Drama
01 - The Queen
02 - The Departed
03 - Flags Of Our Fathers
04 - United 93
05 - Babel
alt.: World Trade Center

Best Picture - Musical/Comedy
01 - Dreamgirls
02 - Little Miss Sunshine
03 - Borat
04 - The Devil Wears Prada
05 - A Prairie Home Companion
alt.: Thank You For Smoking

Best Director
01 - Clint Eastwood - Letters From Iwo Jima
02 - Martin Scorsese - The Departed
03 - Bill Condon - Dreamgirls
04 - Stephen Frears - The Queen
05 - Paul Greengrass - United 93
alt.: Robert Altman - A Prairie Home Companion

Best Actor - Drama
01 - Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland
02 - Peter O'Toole - Venus
03 - Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
04 - Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed
05 - Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
alt.: Ken Watanabe - Letters From Iwo Jima

Best Actress - Drama
01 - Helen Mirren - The Queen
02 - Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
03 - Penelope Cruz - Volver
04 - Kate Winslet - Little Children
05 - Naomi Watts - The Painted Veil
alt.: Maggie Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby

Best Actor - Musical/Comedy
01 - Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat
02 - Aaron Eckhart - Thank You For Smoking
03 - Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean 2
04 - Jamie Foxx - Dreamgirls
05 - Will Ferrell - Stranger Than Fiction
alt.: Greg Kinnear - Little Miss Sunshine

Best Actress - Musical/Comedy
01 - Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
02 - Annette Bening - Running With Scissors
03 - Beyonce Knowles - Dreamgirls
04 - Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
05 - Catherine O'Hara - For Your Consideration
alt.: Renee Zellweger - Miss Potter

Best Supporting Actor
01 - Jack Nicholson - The Departed
02 - Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
03 - Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
04 - Brad Pitt - Babel
05 - Djimon Honsou - Blood Diamond
alt.: Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Best Supporting Actress
01 - Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
02 - Cate Blanchett - Notes On A Scandal
03 - Adriana Barazza - Babel
04 - Maggie Gyllenhaal - World Trade Center
05 - Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada
alt.: Emma Thompson - Stranger Than Fiction

Best Screenplay
01 - The Queen
02 - Little Miss Sunshine
03 - Babel
04 - The Departed
05 - Notes On A Scandal
alt.: Half Nelson

The One Where Chandler Yearns For A Charlie Brown Christmas

On Friday night, Ed Asner, his wife, and their grandchildren are setting up in the balcony seats outside what I think is the green room. The geography of the studio is still something of a mystery, though one not compelling enough for me to ever care to solve. Kind of like The Nine.

Last Studio 60 recap of 2006, people. Get it while it still thinks Slobodan Milosevic is timely!

ALSO: I helped Tara out with the latest Fametracker piece: Rejected Apocalypto Taglines. Only a couple are mine, but check it out anyway. It's pretty awesome.

Friday, December 08, 2006

As I Seriously Question My Childhood

Okay, this is basically an IM conversation, verbatim, but I'm only posting it because I'm asking for your help. If you have any idea what I'm talking about and can shed some light on things, please do comment:

Joe: Hey Tara, feel like answering the goofiest question you've ever answered?
Tara: Of course.
Joe: Okay, you know that kid's song about "such-and-such, sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g?"
Tara: Yes. "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes [x] with a baby carriage."
Joe: Right. When you were a kid, was there a verse after "baby in a baby carriage"?
Tara: No.
Joe: Shit. Okay. Because apparently only at my school, that was followed by "Suckin' his thumb, wettin' his pants, doing the [hula-hula? hoochie-coochie? I can't remember] dance."
Tara: What? That makes no sense.
Joe: And I wanted to refer to that second verse in the recap, but I looked it up and no one else apparently knows about that second verse.
Tara: No. I feel you made that up.
Joe: Babies do the hoochie-coochie dance! What?
Tara: I reject your childhood memories.
Joe: It's as valid as the "what's your boyfriend's first name" addendum to the Happy Birthday song!
Tara: The what?!
Tara: Where did you grow up, on the moon?
Joe: Where DID I grow up?
Tara: Are you an alien sent here to blend in but supplied with bad information?
Joe: I'm suddenly very concerned. Was I placed among the rest of you by monks?
Tara: Yes, WERE YOU?
Joe: WHO AM I??
Joe: I will CUT MY ARMS UNTIL THEY BLEED HUMAN BLOOD! And then run away with the blonde vampire, uh...Pike.
Tara: That's not you, that's your sis...BROTHER.
Joe: This is so fucked up.

Okay, aside from my bi-weekly delving into Buffy-related I the crazy one here? Tara IS Canadian, after all. Does nobody recall the "suckin' his thumb, wettin' his pants" verse of the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song? No one? Am I just making shit up entirely? Was it just my East Aurora cousins fucking with me? At this point, it's not even about the recaps. I just need to know I didn't grow up on the weirdest Amish farm in America.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rejected Titles For My Post About How Skinny Carrie Underwood's Looking

"Jesus, Take The Wheel Of Cheese And Feed Some To Carrie"

"Carrie On My Wayward Clavicle"

"Simon (Cowell) Says Put Your Hands On Your Too-Bony Hips"

"Jesus, Eat A Meal"

"(Under)Would You Look At What They've Done To Poor Carrie"

"American Get-This Girl-A-Slice-Of-Pie-dol"

"Looks Who's Thinner Than Ryan Seacrest's Claims of Heterosexuality!"

"Look Whose Elbows Are More Pointed Than Simon's Criticisms!"

"I Want To Be Inside Your Eating Disorder"

"American Culture-Is-So-Harsh-On-

"Clay Aiken No Longer Most Abnormally Skinny Idol Alum"

"Jesus, Try The Veal"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's About That Time

The National Board of Review's movie awards came out today, unofficially (or is that officially? Not sure) kicking off movie awards season. And you know I live for this stuff, so I'm in the mood to pick it apart. NBR gets a (not undeserved) reputation for being the least relevant of the major precursors, but every once in awhile -- I'm thinking Alec Baldwin and Patricia Clarkson in 2003 -- the NBR clues us in to a nominee that wasn't really on the radar before.

Anyway, the 2006 winners:

BEST PICTURE: Letters from Iwo Jima

Letters from Iwo Jima
-- Probably among the Oscar frontrunners now, if not THE film to beat. The Academy sure does love it some Clint Eastwood.
-- This is the kind of film that won't get as much of a bump from the critics awards as it will get harmed if it's omitted from the critics awards. So showing up here isn't going to give it a boost so much as help keep it on par.
Blood Diamond
-- I don't take this as significant in the slightest. Edward Zwick got big love for The Last Samurai at the NBR in 2003 and then nowhere else.
The Departed
-- Expected.
The Devil Wears Prada
-- This is interesting. This isn't a Best Picture film by any stretch, but it does make me wonder if my mid-year predictions that Streep's sure thing nomination could pull Stanley Tucci or Emily Blunt along with her could come true. The DVD release and its ad campaign is reminding us just how good they both were. The Globe nominations will make or break their case for Oscar, I think, but this placement here is encouraging.
Flags of Our Fathers
-- Here solely to make Clint Eastwood's story that much bigger, I'd bet. I haven't seen either one, so I can't comment. But the "two masterpieces in one year" will be Clint's story to flog until February.
The History Boys
-- Pretty left-field, and ultimately it won't go anywhere, but I really liked the movie, so I'm happy. I was hoping, though, that the second Fox Searchlight entry would go to The Last King of Scotland.
Little Miss Sunshine
-- As with Babel, a mention here was expected and the only news would have been if it got snubbed.
Notes on a Scandal
-- This movie is peaking at the right time.
The Painted Veil
-- This one could be as well. I've heard a lot of good things about it in recent weeks.

BEST ACTOR: Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland
-- Good to see. I'm really pulling for him this season. Now if I could only see the damn movie.

BEST ACTRESS: Helen Mirren - The Queen
-- And thus the Mirren juggernaut begins in earnest.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Djimon Hounsou - Blood Diamond
-- If we're following the Zwick/Last Samurai analogy, I suppose it's possible that Honsou could pull a Ken Watanabe here, but...I really doubt it.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Catherine O'Hara - For Your Consideration
-- This one's very intriguing. The knock on For Your Consideration's awards chances at the beginning of the year, aside from the fact that Guest's movies have never attracted Oscar attention, was that the Industry would not take well to being mocked for their excesses. Except, after seeing the movie, the film industry isn't being mocked nearly as much as the publicity/infotainment/star machine that takes humble (if simple and deluded) actors, chews them up, and spits them out. And it's O'Hara's character that embodies that most clearly. You don't think the Hollywood community -- the ACTING community -- would ultimately go for that? Not to mention the built-up goodwill that she's amassed from four Guest films already...I could seriously see this Oscar nod happening, particularly in what still seems like a weak supporting actress category. One to keep an eye on.

BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese - The Departed
-- Duh.

BEST ACREENPLAY - ADAPTED: The Painted Veil - Ron Nyswaner
-- Once again, a movie that looks to be peaking at the right time.

BEST SCREENPLAY - ORIGINAL: Stranger Than Fiction - Zach Helm
-- Yay! I don't have many awards hopes for this movie, but I'm glad to see it show up anywhere.

BREAKTHROUGH MALE: Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
-- Hoping this one pays off as well, not that I was able to see it -- grr.

BREAKTHROUGH FEMALE: Rinko Kikuchi - Babel and Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
-- Hudson's something of a slam dunk nominee, though I wouldn't expect to see her on too many more critics awards lists. Kikiuchi, on the other hand, could take some of those home, but I continue to think her Oscar hopes are slim. It's just not the type of character they usually go for, and especially not with Adriana Barazza in the same film whose character is much more sympathetic.

Anyway, next up are the L.A. Film Critics, who generally do a pretty good job at this kind of thing. We'll have to wait and see.

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 14

Week 13 results:

Joe: 11-5
Aaron: 8-8

Season to date:

Joe: 100-66 (.602)
Aaron: 107-72 (.598)

[And it's a dead heat heading into the final month!]

Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Our friends at the NFL Network might want to look into the concept of the “flex game” next season. Not that a final score of 15-12 as called by Bryant Gumbel won’t draw ratings. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: I'm just patiently waiting for Gumbel to find something in one of these games to get outraged about. I've got my money on "Troy Polamalu's hair." Pick: Pittsburgh

Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Aaron: Games like this make me wish the South had seceded. Hmm…Civil War humor hasn’t aged as well as I’d hoped. Pick: Atlanta

Joe: Well not when you're referring to that old Dixie outpost...Tampa, Florida. My reputation for disagreeing with you whenever the Falcons are involved lives on. Pick: Tampa Bay

Baltimore at Kansas City
Aaron: The Ravens crapped the bed vs. Cincy last week, while the Chiefs get the first of a back-to-back Ravens/Chargers dominating defense daily double in the next two weeks. Enjoy the start of your December collapse, Herm Edwards. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Herm Edwards looks like he'd make for an excellent vice-principal of discipline at a high school somewhere. Not that I think he should start looking for a new career quite yet. Pick: Kansas City

Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Aaron: The schedule says the Colts aren’t slated to lose again until the 2nd round of the playoffs. Plus, it’s freakin’ Jacksonville. Pick: Indianapolis

Joe: Jacksonville won last week, right? Well this one is easy, then. Pick: Indianapolis

Minnesota at Detroit
Aaron: Wasn’t Lions QB Jon Kitna a confirmed four-star “sleeper” in everyone’s preseason fantasy league magazines? How long can someone be “underrated” before they become “rated”? Methinks Kitna goes off…and the italics are mine. Pick: Detroit

Joe: Can someone answer a question for me? Who plays for the Vikings? Like, the names of the players. Anyone. Brad Johnson? That can't be correct. Tommy Kramer? Wade Wilson? Herschel Walker? Pick: Detroit

New England at Miami
Aaron: The Pats looked terrible in last week’s win over Detroit, but I’m not buying this Miami renaissance. I mean, it’s not like Dan Marino and Mark Duper are gonna walk through that door. Pick: New England

Joe: It fell apart for Miami last week, but New England seems to play down to their competition. In-division road games can be brutal. Pick: Miami

NY Giants at Carolina
Aaron: How awesome was last week’s image of the Giants getting beaten by one of the Grammatica Ewoks? Both of these teams are fading fast, but since I’m rooting against Eli, Tiki and Shockey, that means they’ll win. Pick: N.Y. Giants

Joe: HATER! Pick: NY Giants

Oakland at Cincinnati
Aaron: Just four more months until the Raiders find a way to screw up the Brady Quinn Sweepstakes. Did you know they could’ve had Matt Leinart? But, they didn’t want him. I hate you, Al Davis. Pick: Cincinnati

Joe: AGEIST! Pick: Cincinnati

Philadelphia at Washington
Aaron: I dare you to win back-to-back games, Jeff Garcia. And, on the road, no less. And, against a light-skinned African-American quarterback with a Jeff Hostetler mustache. Pick: Washington

Joe: HOMOPHOBE! Pick: Philadelphia

Tennessee at Houston
Aaron: Vince Young returns to Texas and on quite the roll, no less. Reggie Bush, on an unrelated note, scored 4 TDs last week. Meanwhile, #1 draft choice Mario Williams really can fill out that uniform. Pick: Tennessee

Joe: I hate having to momentarily eat crow on this Vince Young thing. HATE IT! Pick: Tennessee

Green Bay at San Francisco
Aaron: Watch. Just watch. The one week that I actually pick the 49ers… Pick: San Francisco

Joe: I'll go down in flames with you, I guess. I like the Niners at home, generally. Pick: San Francisco

Seattle at Arizona
Aaron: Is taking the Cardinals at home against a Seahawks team that’s coming off a big win last Sunday night considered an upset? Humor me, Joe. Pick: Arizona

Joe: Dude, Arizona got their win last week. I don't think they're quite ready for the back-to-back thing. Pick: Seattle

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets
Aaron: Bill Simmons of legend once wrote: “Never bet on an average quarterback on the road in December”. Come on, Buffalo…you guys shove it right back in his doughy mug. Pick: Buffalo

Joe: Oh, awesome. TWO teams who can't stop the run. Luckily, this means the QBs won't have to air it out in that swirling East Rutherford wind. Pick: Buffalo

Denver at San Diego
Aaron: The Broncos appear to be dead. As a Raiders fan, this makes me smile. The Chargers appear headed to at least the AFC Championship Game. As a Raiders fan, this makes me sad. And, as a Black man, I’m just generally angry. Pick: San Diego

Joe: As a LaDanian Tomlinson fantasy football owner, I'm perpetually happy. Pick: San Diego

New Orleans at Dallas
Aaron: The poet in me would bill this as “Under the Sea vs. Big D”, but since Hurricane Katrina jokes are now as unfunny as a trailer for “The Simpsons” movie, I should probably refrain. And, we all know that no one wants to read about movie trailers. Zing! Pick: Dallas

Joe: Man, I get your shit for the movie trailer AND I bet bitter email about New Orleans after my Studio 60 recaplet? A smartass can't win. Pick: Dallas

Chicago at St. Louis
Aaron: When did Bears QB Rex Grossman suddenly become “embattled”? Weren’t they undefeated, like, just yesterday? Pick: St. Louis

Joe: I understand it's ALWAYS the fashion to rag on the quarterbacks in the NFL, but this season's parade of sportswriting wankers trying to score points off of Grossman and Eli Manning and Jake Delhomme seems...uglier, I think. None of them have been offensive enough to call for the giddy attack dogs that are now after them. And, yes, I did bring things down to serious at the end here. Apologies. Pick: Chicago

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trailer Trash: A Clockwork Orange edition

Okay, this is probably largely my fault for leaving all my movie-going to the end of the year, gobbling up double features as fast as I can before their low box-office bumps them out in favor of animated sea fowl of some sort or another. However, IF I HAVE TO SEE THAT GODDAMN PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS TRAILER ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME, SOMEONE'S GONNA END UP HURTING FOR IT!

You know, Columbia Pictures, I might have gone to see your little life-affirming movie. Honestly. It didn't exactly appeal to me, but there's Oscar buzz and I would have likely been obligated to see it out of a completist impulse, if nothing else. Now? After seeing this schmaltzy, rubix-cube-referencing monstrosity of a trailer plastered before EVERY MOVIE I'VE SEEN THIS MONTH, there is no way. No way! Same goes for you, FUCKING APOCALYPTO. Not like I was gonna see it anyway, but still!

Here's what's even more effed up about the trailers this month: you'd think all the December movies would have their ads out in full force, but that's not the case. Why in hell have I seen the clips for Notes on a Scandal, The Good German, Miss Potter, and The Painted Veil roughly one thousand times since mid-November but not, for example, even one instance of the Children of Men trailer (one of the best clips going, I might add)? What the hell, Universal? You've certainly pimped The Good Shepherd adequately (but not overly, which is appreciated). Children of Men is supposed to open on Christmas. We're certainly going to see that in the hinterlands multiplexes before Notes on a Scandal, for example. Why the lack of an ad campaign? Ditto Pan's Labyrinth. Ditto Factory Girl. I only just saw the Breaking and Entering trailer on the big screen yesterday. But the Children of Men thing really irks because it looks really good and I don't want to believe it's being hustled out the back door at the end of the year. Has anyone else seen this trailer in a theatre? Am I just going to the wrong movies. (My recent screening of Bobby would seem to point to "yes.")

The One Where Chandler Watches Cable News

"You think he can help?" Danny asks. Matt says that he couldn't hurt, and besides, it'll be a mitzvah. Danny asks what a mitzvah is, which tells me two things: (a) he's apparently lived his entire life underneath a rock, but more importantly (b) he's never seen A Mighty Wind, which is a shandeh indeed.

New Studio 60 recap! Read and enjoy!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend YouTube, Part 2

This one's a public service. In case you missed last week's Scrubs, or just want to relive the magic of Turk's new ringtone: Forward to the 2:15 mark and have a blast.

"You were right, Turk!"
"Hell yeah!"

Weekend YouTube, Part 1

So through a combination of a) being hungover, and b) extreme procrastination, my sister and I spent the bulk of Saturday afternoon watching videos on MTV Hits. Here's a summary of our findings:

Fergie -- "Fergalicious"

"I love this song. I'm not even kidding. LOVE IT."
"I don't."
"Come on, you liked 'London Bridge.'"
"That was a good song. This song's too braggy. 'Ooh, I'm so delicious!'"
"'London Bridge' was about how easy it was to get into her vagina!"
"She's dressed like a Whorey Girl Scout. She's selling Fergalicious Cookies."
"Samoas are Fergilicious, I'll give you."
"When she's in the cake, she looks like her Wild Orchid days."
"She does."
"I think it's the lipstick. Frosted lips = Wild Orchid. Red lips = Black Eyed Peas."
"I think it's actually the lip liner."
"Good call. 'So delicious!'"

Pussycat Dolls -- "Buttons"

"God. If there is one girl I'd like to look like, it's this girl."
"Really. She's gorgeous."
"Huh. She looks kind of horsey to me."
"No. Gorgeous. Her hair especially."
"So did they recruit her to be a singer for the group? Or did she audition to be a stripper like the rest of them?"
"I think she auditioned to be a stripper. I dunno, look it up."
"Huh. She's was originally in Eden's Crush."
"Who was that?"
"The Popstars group? The girl version of O-Town?"
"Dude, you're old."

Ciara -- "Promise"

"I think she has a magic microphone stand."
"That's what Missy Elliott said."
"She is a very good dancer, I think."
"She is. Are those high-waisted jeans? Is she bringing those back in style?"
"They are back in style. I've seen 'em."
"Good. I've seen far too many female ass cracks in one lifetime."
"What kind of dance is this? Stick-out-my-vagina-2-step?"
"She obviously has an itch between her shoulder blades and she's scratching it on this brick wall."
"She's also bringing Hammer pants back into style."

The Killers -- "Bones"

"Ooh, I like this song!"
"I'm over it. So overplayed."
"It is. And they never played the other one, which I liked a lot more. Weird."
"So what's with the mustache?"
**Followed by 25-minute debate as to whether Brandon Flowers's new look is a big joke that he's in on or not. Our verdict: it is.

Shakira -- "Don't Bother"

"Wait a second. Wood paneling, she's in her underwear -- this is a sequel to that Fiona Apple video."
"Except for the bulimia, yeah."
"She's replaced the bath with a shower, though."
"Well, you gotta put your stamp on-- hold up. Rewind that. What's she saying?"
"She's becoming a Communist?"
"She'd make you a fruit bowl?"
"And eat it?"
"Okay, play that back again."
"'I'll file my nails so they won't hurt you.'"
"'And learn about football.' Football, not fruit bowl."
"Oh! That makes much more sense."
"Seriously, that's the craziest thing ever. She's moving to a communist country and losing weight..."
"By eating nothing but fruit..."
"From a bowl, yes. And then watching football."
"For her man."
"Fergie would never go Commie for a man."
"Shakira should be more Fergalicious."
"I still love her, though."
"Me too."

For real, though, y'all. Watch that Shakira video. The spoken word part. Craziest thing you'll hear all year.

Friday, December 01, 2006

This Is A Relief

God bless Nick Davis. He rips Apocalypto a new one so I won't have to. Which is nice, because after having to sit through that goddamn trailer in front of every movie I've seen in the past two months, I was beginning to fear I'd be hypnotized into actually seeing it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Smooth Joey Apollo's NFL Picks: Week 13

Apparently, I have to catch up on how we've been doing:

Week 11 results:

Joe: 8-8
Aaron: 10-6

Week 12 results:

Joe: 9-7
Aaron: 13-3

Season to date:

Joe: 89-61 .593
Aaron: 99-64 .607

(Dammit! He's retaken the lead!)

Week 13 picks:

Baltimore at Cincinnati
Aaron: I’m guessing Joe will be quite surprised to hear that there’s a Thursday game this week. It’s kind of like how we were all surprised to see that Joe remembered he had a blog, this week. Pick: Baltimore

Joe: Crap! I knew there was a reason you turned this in early. Oh, and by the way: I can't see this game this week. Suck it hard, Time Warner. Pick: Cincinnati

Arizona at St. Louis
Aaron: So Cards’ QB Matt Leinart has already been supplanted as pro football’s favorite faux celebrity by Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo. Still, Leinart’s got that whole “baby mama drama” angle, so that puts him a step ahead of Romo…and seven steps behind Shawn Kemp. (Who? Never mind.) Pick: St. Louis

Joe: For some weird reason, I see this as a game where Leinart straps his team on his back and throws four TD passes on the way to their third and final win of the season. Pick: Arizona

Atlanta at Washington
Aaron: The Michael Vick double-bird to the taunting Falcon fans just made my week. And, where’s Michael Eric Dyson or Scoop Jackson to analyze the whole “Black man booed by (mostly) Black fans” dynamic? Those 2,000 words won’t write themselves, guys. Pick: Washington

Joe: And now that he's freed from his apathetic-except-when-it's-time-to-Tomahawk-chop crowd, he'll actually win a game. Pick: Atlanta

Detroit at New England
Aaron: It’s just about time for the Pats to make their five-week push for the #2 seed in the playoffs. Look for variations of the “we don’t get no respect” card to be played every week from now until mid-January. Pick: New England

Joe: This Detroit team mystifies me: good quarterback, very good running back, very good wide receivers, what's mis-- oh. Yes. Pick: New England

Indianapolis at Tennessee
Aaron: Did Vince Young actually look like an NFL QB vs. the Giants last Sunday or did the Giants’ collapse make Young look better than he is? This has one of those weird 18-17 scores written all over it. Aaron’s Upset Special ™ Pick: Tennessee

Joe: Wow. One Titans upset pick and Cam thinks he's got a pony he can keep riding, huh? On another note, Joseph Addai's four touchdown performance was my favorite fantasy football day of all time. Pick: Indianapolis

Kansas City at Cleveland
Aaron: My fantasy team is 12-0 and Chiefs’ RB Larry Johnson is back in my good graces. And, since this one will likely be played in an arctic marsh, go with the team who’s got the better runner. Besides, I f*cking hate Drew Carey. Pick: Kansas City

Joe: The man makes a good point sometimes. But I've decided that the Browns will be my Tennessee Titans this year. As soon as I correctly call one of their wins. Pick: Cleveland

Minnesota at Chicago
Aaron: Never really got the allure of November/December football outdoors in the cold. It’s romanticized to death by the locals, but I’d have a lot more respect for the guy at the game who says, “F this, I can’t feel my fingers.” Pick: Chicago

Joe: Pussy. "Can't feel my fingers" is, like, stage 1. "Can't feel my kidneys" is where the men play. Pick: Chicago

N.Y. Jets at Green Bay
Aaron: OK…at what point is Brett Favre at 50% health actually hurting his team? Admittedly, the next option is the 3rd string QB, but is Favre actively trying to be in a wheelchair by 40? Pick: NY Jets

Joe: They may not even need Favre, as the Jets run defense could give Ahman Green that one big rushing day of the season. Pick: Green Bay

San Diego at Buffalo
Aaron: I didn’t realize how big a story that last week’s TV blackout in Buffalo was until our local paper (some 3000 miles away) ran a two-page spread on it. Joe, let me know if you want me to DVR this one for you. I’ll save it for your visit to San Diego…someday. Pick: San Diego

Joe: I was on a train at the time, so I didn't notice. I may notice the slaughtering the Bills get this week, though. And just when we were making the "Other teams" designation when ESPN shows the playoff picture. Pick: San Diego

San Francisco at New Orleans
Aaron: Anyone else remember when both Bay Area football teams stunk? Seems like only Week #1. Pick: San Francisco

Joe: Still picking against the Saints, eh? Drew Brees's birth mark will stalk you in your sleep. Pick: New Orleans

Houston at Oakland
Aaron: So, the Raiders covered the spread last week and scored two touchdowns and reward the staff by demoting the offensive coordinator. If I may paraphrase Sideshow Bob, ”The Al Davis, The… Pick: Houston

Joe: Al looks like he might "The" any day now. Let's not repeat the Ralph Wiley incident, Cam. Pick: Houston

Jacksonville at Miami
Aaron: 12 days off and a home game for the Fins? If I were one of those mafia-made prognosticators who sleaze their way onto the USA Network at 6:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I’d be calling the Dolphins my lock of the week. Pick: Miami

Joe: Blast! I hate when he makes logical sense. Pick: Miami

Dallas at N.Y. Giants
Aaron: So, has the in-season retirement and/or the coach bashing and/or the lack of production when he does get the ball soured any of you on Teflon Tiki Barber, yet? I hate that guy. Always have. Pick: Dallas

Joe: The man gives a good chest-bump in TV commercials, dude. I'm more worried that Sean Salsbury will show up at Eli Manning's house and poke him right in the eye. People are a liiiittle to happy to be able to hate the guy. Pick: Dallas

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh
Aaron: Take the under. Pick: Pittsburgh

Joe: Take the home team. Pick: Pittsburgh

Seattle at Denver
Aaron: Let me get this straight: All the Broncos are asking is for new QB Jay Cutler to be better than Jake Plummer? Way to raise that bar, Coach Shanahan. Pick: Denver

Joe: Hey, Shanahan's just trying to keep the smoke and mirrors act alive so that no one notices that he's yet to conjure up a running back out of thin air and turn him into a thousand-yard rusher this season. Pick: Denver

Carolina at Philadelphia
Aaron: Just stay in the parking lot, Philly fans. Your hearts should be able to handle three more hours of grilled German sausages and Cheez-Whiz much better than four quarters of Jeff Garcia. Pick: Carolina

Joe: I think I would hate to be a Carolina Panthers fan most of all. Sickly talented, yet they only seem to put forth an effort every other week. Then I remembered that the fans in Charlotte don't care about anything besides NASCAR anyway. Pick: Carolina