Sunday, February 28, 2010

Khloe Kardashian Had an Invitation, Sir

President Obama shakes hands with Khloe Kardashian

One of the things you have to admire about President Obama is his ability to waste time talking to reality television trash just days before firing his social secretary because she allowed reality television trash to wander into the White House (this photo dates back to Monday, but I hadn't seen it til now).

This practice of letting the team that just won a league championship visit the White House is getting old. The Lakers' championship win was one of the most anticlimactic in years. It generated more yawns than any I can remember.

Kate Beckinsale Says Yes to Underworld 4

Kate Beckinsale

Relax, goth nerds. It'll be out in the fall of 2011. You can be rest assured she'll do fine. Now, stop bugging the poor lady.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiger Gets Dropped After His Big Mea Culpa

This is where you used to be able to find the Gatorade products featuring Tiger Woods

Don't click that picture--I haven't the time nor the energy to direct you to something useful, now that you can no longer buy the Tiger Woods line of Gatorade drinks, and now that they won't bother coming up with something else.

You thought that everyone was going to feel good now that Tiger Woods has stood up and said his carefully controlled mea culpas? You thought Gatorade was going to make a mea culpa mango? Sorry, kid. This is business:

Add Gatorade to the list of endorsement deals that Tiger Woods has lost.

A spokesperson for the drink, sold by PepsiCo Inc., confirmed late Friday that it had ended its relationship with the golfer.

"We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts and have ended our relationship," a Gatorade spokeswoman said. "We wish him all the best."

The spokewoman said Gatorade would continue its relationship with the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Gatorade discontinued its Tiger Woods-brand drinks in November, a decision made before Woods' marital problems and infidelities became known.

The thing is, golf doesn't sell itself well as a sport of exertion; it's not like someone is trying to take your head off when you putt. Even if Tiger was a sterling pitchman, selling Gatorade with a damp spot on a red polo shirt doesn't really cut it. This is now a LeBron James world. How does Tiger figure he can compete with LeBron?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Old Toyota Corolla Ad

I was going to use this, but never found time to get something about Toyota and all that worked up.

Since When is IKEA Cheap or Ugly?

[Writing as Norman Rogers]

You’re talking to a man who once spent $4,500 at an IKEA in order to outfit his daughter’s college apartment, which she then refused to live in after she discovered it was haunted by a “Mormon” ghost:
A wealthy Icelandic couple is being sued for installing a cheap IKEA kitchen into an apartment they rented out at a swank hotel in New York City.

The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Wednesday alleges that Jon Asgeir Johannesson and his wife installed an “ugly” kitchen from the low-cost household furnishings store into the 16th-floor apartment at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Paramount Realty Group of America Corp. claims the couple rented the apartment out for about $300,000, then failed to make promised renovations on time.
Miranda contends that the “Mormon” ghost made her feel uncomfortable about drinking wine in her room and was constantly leaving Church of Latter Day Saints materials where she could find them. She had dreams about having bland, obedient children who hid secrets from her. I have no idea what’s wrong with Miranda, but she sure knows how to give me excellent material for my blog.

I can speak with some authority about money, and, in particular, luxury. First of all, the couple went to IKEA and bought a kitchen. Depending on what they bought, it could certainly have been cheap but, by and large, IKEA allows people to actually outfit their home with great designs and very functional pieces. I have had wives who spent tens of thousands of dollars on kitchens, decor, living rooms, bedrooms, and all of that—it’s a sham. One man’s Ethan Allen is another man’s Room Store. Your faux elitism doesn’t impress me the way it used to. And it doesn’t really matter. The so-called “high end” people are just crooks dressed up nicer than the people who sell you reasonable things. There used to be a “high end” version of Home Depot. It was called “EXPO” or whatever, and Home Depot had to close them recently. Nobody was fooled by the pretend luxury, you see. I lived in the third or fourth richest county in America and the EXPO center in that county wasn’t open more than a few years, if that.

Second, I can show you a randomly selected kitchen (above) and most Americans couldn’t even tell you that it is IKEA material. Most Americans are looking for a cold beer and something to fry potatoes on. They’re not expecting functionality and design, and that’s what IKEA gives you.

Third, I would be willing to bet you that the contract between this couple and the landlord left quite a few Nordically-interpreted loopholes. Suck eggs, landlord. You got your kitchen, now go boil and egg and shut up. Icelanders are broke, in case you haven’t heard, and you’re damned lucky they had the taste to use IKEA rather than Wal-Mart.

If you own and maintain luxury property, never leave it to anyone paying rent money to fix it up. Who has brains of mush in this regard? If you think you can call Mr. Foo Foo designer and his dingbat coordinator and spend $85,000 on a kitchen and do better than something from IKEA, be my guest.

I can walk into any IKEA in the world and combine any of their designs and elements into something fabulous. I’m an artist, deep down, who has mastered the world of money, style and love. I can conjure magical things out of pine boards and counter-sinking pieces of tin. I can make the Gods hate me for doing what they cannot. I can crush the dreams of a thousand smart men. I can make a young lady squeal and fart at the same time, just with a look. I can watch the markets and drop the levers and go home at night with untold amounts of money firmly added to my portfolio. I can buy a suit that would look like curtains off the curtain rod on you but look like George Clooney in a dumb movie on me. I can melt stones and hammer metal and run down fugitives and blog like the colossus I am. I’m an American Lion, you see. This is what I do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Victoria Silvstedt can Sell Me Anything, Even Sports

Is she qualified? Who the hell cares? It's cold, and winter sports are king for me. As soon as I figure out what's going on, I'll try to figure out if she makes any sense or not.

Victoria Silvstedt

Sport by Victoria

Is she qualified? Who the hell cares? It's cold, and winter sports are king for me. As soon as I figure out what's going on, I'll try to figure out if she makes any sense or not.

Victoria Silvstedt

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No, Don't Fire Mr. Tony

Hannah Storm is on the far left...

This would be a calamity:

One of Hannah Storm's outfitsThe network has suspended the co-host of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" for making fun of Storm's on-air outfit during his radio show, saying it resembled a "sausage casing," according to the Sporting News Web site.

Kornheiser apologized to Storm, a former anchor at CBS' Early Show, the day after making the comments.

An ESPN spokesman tells the Sporting News he will be suspended "for some time."

Kornheiser said Storm was wearing "a horrifying, horrifying outfit."

"She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body," he added. "I know she's very good, and I'm not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won't ... but Hannah Storm ... come on now! Stop! What are you doing? ... She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

The next day, Kornheiser offered an on-air mea culpa.

"I apologize, unequivocally ... I'm a sarcastic, subversive guy ... I'm a troll, look at me. I have no right to insult what anybody looks like or what anybody wears. That, I think, should go without saying," he said.

Mr. Tony has been watching too much American Idol. He's channeling Simon at this point; he's too good to fire.

He's not too good to suspend, however, and I hope he gets some time off. Some broadcasters deserve a break--and I would disagree with Mr. Dan Levy here--Mr. Tony deserves a second chance. I agree with Mr. Tony when he says that, in effect, if you put a live microphone in front of people enough times, they certainly will say something stupid. I'm a blogger. I say something stupid every fourth or fifth post. I wouldn't survive on network television, even though I am rather handsome and charismatic.

Hannah Storm is ravishingly beautiful; she won't have to worry about taking a shot from Mr. Tony. She is beyond his reach, in terms of fashion critiques. She should have made fun of his Sears catalog wardrobe and the whole thing could have been left at that.

Is the Irish Republican Army Back in Business?

Offshoots are one thing, but how do you explain this?
Irish Republican Army dissidents detonated their first car bomb in nearly a decade Monday night, damaging a courthouse but injuring nobody in an attack designed to rattle Northern Ireland’s peace process.

A local hospital and several businesses received warning calls from IRA dissidents after an explosives-packed vehicle was rammed into the gates of the empty courthouse in Newry, a Northern Ireland border town midway between Belfast and Dublin, at about 10 p.m. (2200 GMT).

Police said they still were evacuating nearby streets when the bomb exploded a half-hour later. The local police commander, Chief Inspector Sam Cordner, said it was “a sheer miracle” that nobody in the surrounding area was seriously wounded or killed.
That would seem to be the polite way of announcing that these dissident elements aren’t interested in peace.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jennifer Love Hewitt

Jennifer Love Hewitt

I really should do something about all of these pictures I have of this lovely young lady:

'Ghost Whisperer' star Jennifer Love Hewitt turned 31 this weekend -- apparently, the actress also turned into Lady Gaga. Hewitt and some of her friends were caught on camera in outlandish outfits for Hewitt's '80s-themed birthday party, but their intensely-gelled hair bows evoked nothing so much as the 'Bad Romance' singer-fashionista.

So far, no photographs have emerged of Hewitt's boyfriend Jamie Kennedy on the big day, but we're willing to bet he stayed true to character by going all out. Hewitt told PEOPLE just before Valentine's Day that Kennedy knows how to treat a lady.

"He's done a bunch of romantic things just because that's who he is," she said. "It's hard to pick just one."

Here's to some happiness for the lady on her birthday.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is The Ghost Writer a Good Film?

The Ghost Writer (2010)

I'm not as interested in the whole Roman Polanski scandal as I once was. I do think that The Ghost Writer looks pretty interesting though. Will people see it because of the notoriety? Or will they avoid it?

Pierce Brosnan is in it, by the way:

Brosnan is currently in theaters co-starring in the blockbuster fantasy "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightening Thief."

On Friday, he returns in something completely different, playing a former British prime minister in Roman Polanski's mystery thriller "The Ghost Writer," based on a novel by Robert Harris. This marks Polanski's first film since "Oliver Twist" in 2005 - and according to Brosnan, the film shows "Polanski at his best."

Which is to make light of the fact that most people have now had a rehashing of Polanski at his worst.

The plot is as such:

In "The Ghost Writer," Brosnan doesn't play Tony Blair per se, but somebody who is very Tony Blair-like.

"All roads seem to lead to one man in the book, in the screenplay, and Tony Blair was the man I hung my hat on," Brosnan said.

In the film, Ewan McGregor plays Brosnan's ghost writer hired to complete his memoirs on an island off the U.S. east coast, while Brosnan is essentially under siege from all corners. His wife, the public, the courts and the press are all angry with him.

Ghost writers have always interested me. Who takes a literary job with the understanding that they won't be credited unless the writer turns on them and vilifies what they've done in order to stave off criticism? Do ghost writers have any control over a project?

Does my wanting to see the film endorse Polanski's lifestyle choices? Or should I just ignore all of that and see it on the merits of the project? Depends on how brave I feel, I guess.

Tiger Doesn't Mean It

Tiger Woods probably has no idea why the world thinks he is insincere:

The statement Tiger Woods was to make Friday is part of his sex addiction rehab therapy, according to a letter from PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem that was obtained by The Associated Press.

The statement was expected to address the sex scandal that exploded after his Thanksgiving night car accident.

"As we understand it, Tiger's therapy called for a week's break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning," Finchem said in Thursday's letter.

The letter is the first confirmation of any kind that Woods even was in such therapy.

But psychologist and radio host Cooper Lawrence, author of "The Cult of Celebrity," says the whole idea of the Woods' statement "reeks of photo op" to her.

"I think this is a photo op," she remarked to "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith Friday, hours before Woods' scheduled statement. "I don't really see any -- the rumors we heard out of rehab were that he really wasn't being a participatory patient, that he was disruptive, that he upset the other people there. So, I don't think he's gone through the first couple of steps (of the famous "12-Step" addiction recovery process). This to me reeks of photo op, and I hope it's genuine, and I really hope he moves on. Because he's an industry, he's not just an individual.

Tiger is simply doing whatever he can to regain endorsements and continue making money; if he was solely about playing golf, he would accept the judgement of the public and play golf. He would show up at the course at the appointed time, play the way he has always played, and ignore the public (which is how it is with most golfers anyway).

He is in the thrall of someone trying to repair his image and that's what his "rehabilitation" stay is all about. I find it a bit difficult to believe when someone says that Tiger Woods is a "sex addict." I'm not a doctor, of course, but I do believe that Woods is a power addict, and power is what he is trying to regain by pretending to be contrite and by taking a vacation at a rehabiitiation resort.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kevin Smith Amps Up His Complaints With Twitter

Kevin Smith

After being kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being "too fat," director Kevin Smith hit back on Twitter:

Actor-director Kevin Smith has made a career by saying nothing as the character Silent Bob in hit movies such as "Clerks" and "Mallrats." But the comedian has had plenty to say on Twitter after Southwest Airlines removed him from a flight Saturday for being too fat.

Smith, 39, has responded with the ultimate "tweak out," flooding his Twitter page with angry messages against the airline.

His first tweet read, "Dear @SouthwestAir I know I'm fat, but was [the] captain [&] really justified in throwing me off a flight for which I was already seated?"

In accordance with Southwest's "customers of size" policy, Smith had purchased two tickets but then stood by for an earlier flight, which had one seat remaining. That is when the airline forced him off the plane.

Smith was irate, tweeting, "So, @SouthwestAir, go f*** yourself. I broke no regulation, offered no "safety risk" (what, was I gonna roll on a fellow passenger?)" When he later boarded another flight, he posted a picture of himself in the seat, writing, "Hey @SouthwestAir Look how fat I am on your plane! Quick! Throw me off!"

Upon landing in Burbank from Oakland, he tweeted, "Hey @SouthwestAir I've landed in Burbank. Don't worry: wall of the plane was opened & I was airlifted out while Richard Simmons supervised."

The airline is not laughing. They tweeted multiple apologies and offered Smith a $100 voucher. He refused the coupon and responded with another tweet: "F*** your apologetic $100 voucher, @SouthwestAir"

It's bad customer service to do that to a passenger, and it's pathetic that they tried to head off the "tweet" flameout with their own lame attempts. Smith is, obviously, more upset about missing his flight than being fat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Constitutional Ignorance is Not a Right or Left Issue

Prepare to faint on the last fainting couch available:

The tea-party movement has no leader. But it does have a face: William Temple of Brunswick, Ga. For months, the amiable middle-aged activist has been criss-crossing America, appearing at tea-party events dressed in his trademark three-cornered hat and Revolutionary garb. When journalists interview him (which is often—his outfit draws them in like a magnet), he presents himself as a human bridge between the founders’ era and our own. “We fought the British over a 3 percent tea tax. We might as well bring the British back,” he told NPR during a recent protest outside the Capitol.

It’s a charming act, which makes the tea-party movement seem no more unnerving than the people who spend their weekends reenacting the Civil War. But the 18th-century getups mask something disturbing. After I spent the weekend at the Tea Party National Convention in Nashville, Tenn., it has become clear to me that the movement is dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality. It’s more John Birch than John Adams. 

Like all populists, tea partiers are suspicious of power and influence, and anyone who wields them. Their villain list includes the big banks; bailed-out corporations; James Cameron, whose Avatar is seen as a veiled denunciation of the U.S. military; Republican Party institutional figures they feel ignored by, such as chairman Michael Steele; colleges and universities (the more prestigious, the more evil); TheWashington Post; Anderson Cooper; and even FOX News pundits, such as Bill O’Reilly, who have heaped scorn on the tea-party movement’s more militant oddballs.

One of the most bizarre moments of the recent tea-party convention came when blogger Andrew Breitbart delivered a particularly vicious fulmination against the mainstream media, prompting everyone to get up, turn toward the media section at the back of the conference room, and scream, “USA! USA! USA!” But the tea partiers’ well-documented obsession with President Obama has hardly been diffused by their knack for finding new enemies.

The problem here is not the tea party idea itself, but, rather, the snide diffidence of the media, in general and the fundamental lack of any context, specific or otherwise. If you want to know what motivates people to say and do crazy things it is the idea that the only way they’ll be heard is to ham it up for a media that will duly report and never, ever put into context what the crazies of the left and right are saying and doing. The tone expressed here drips with condescension. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a machine that could remove the snark from the Internet. I’d turn that thing on and let it run for a year.

Do not condescend to people who are angry at their government; do not sneer at them. Four years ago, liberals were up in arms against the Bush Administration. Now, the opposite fringe is up in arms against the Obama Administration. Anyone with a brain can tell you there isn’t much difference between how Bush and Obama have done things or are doing things. I have news for you—at any given time, in the long, proud history of this country, there have always been a number of Americans with a corncob up their ass about something. I don’t care if that offends—it is the honest to gospel truth.

Never, in the history of this country, has there ever been a time when there wasn’t some fanatical minority of some indeterminately small number of very vocal people screeching to high heaven about the collapse of our institutions and the breakdown of the rule of law and the absolute tyranny of a government out of control. To be a Jeffersonian living under John Adams was to be shrill and suspicious of that rascal Alexander Hamilton. To live under the incompetent stewardship of James Madison was to wonder whether or not the military could even protect America from itself, let alone a few thousand British regulars and a scattering of warring Indian tribes. It’s all there. Avail yourself of some shrill history.

For example, is it okay for a state to secede from the Union?

Of course not.

Then why is it in the media? Why is there talk of Vermont, Texas or Alaska seceding from the Union?


I mean, read Lincoln’s thoughts on the matter. Read a biography of Abraham Lincoln and then tell me this isn’t the greatest nation on the face of the Earth. It’s a limited government, except when someone loses their mind about what that whole “limited” thing means. Take up arms against this government if you wish; we have a way to turn that feature into a spectacle. Itching for the confrontation? Don’t.

The framers of the Constitution wisely gave us the means by which to hold the tyranny of the majority—or the minority—in check. Those things haven’t changed. It’s not like we haven’t been through these things before. What’s different is that the ignorance of the American people, personified by an indulgent, lazy, sneering media, is celebrated.

Bring me the stupid, says Joe Sixpack. The details are too hard.

I want health care reform—just don’t make it so I have to think about it. Sure, I want a job—just don’t spend any money making sure I have an industry to work in. Keep my taxes low, but when no one comes to plow out my street after there’s already four feet of snow on the ground, give me a tax cut so I can buy a snow blower that won’t work. I’m America—it’s sexy to be stupid and I don’t know anything because I have no reference points.

If I did, someone would be offended by my accurate grasp of history.

Everything is cool beans, kids. Go back to shoveling snow. And, relax. The Republic is going to be fine. And if that’s too condescending for you, then check your head, Cletus. If you love this country, you’ll figure out that what I’m telling you fits the meme.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gary Coleman Settles Up With The Man

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Hopefully, there weren't any "I'm a badass" poses:

Former child television star Gary Coleman has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge related to a domestic violence incident last April in Utah.

In a deal with the prosecutor, Coleman entered the plea at a hearing Monday, his 42nd birthday, in Santaquin, 65 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Court clerk Jane Swan says the original charge of domestic violence assault was dropped.

Judge Sharla Williams sentenced Coleman to 31 1/2 days in jail. The "Diff'rent Strokes" star will serve the time only if he fails to complete a domestic violence course and pay a $595 fine.

Coleman was arrested Jan. 24 at his Santaquin home on a warrant for failing to appear in court. He spent a night in jail before a fan paid his $1,725 bail.

All he has to do is pay his debt to society and ditch that crazy wife of his.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fran Drescher Looks Fabulous

Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher

No idea when these were taken, but Fran Drescher looks gorgeous.

Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher
Did you know that she's a diplomat?

In September 2008, Drescher, a Democrat, was appointed as a U.S. diplomat by the U.S. State Department. Her official title is Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women's Health Issues. By traveling throughout the world, she will support U.S. public diplomacy efforts, including working with health organizations and women's groups to raise awareness of women’s health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patient empowerment and advocacy. Her first trip was in late September and included stops in Romania, Hungary, Kosovo and Poland.

Kudos to Miss Drescher.

Danica Patrick's Go Daddy Ads Don't Work For Me

Danica Patrick

I adore Danica Patrick, but her Go Daddy ads have to go.

After watching several of them work their way through an otherwise OK Super Bowl telecast, I kept wondering why I didn't like the ads.

Go Daddy has never been much for innovation with their ads.


That's what they use. Titillation. Fine, but you can't sell that to everyone. Just weirdos who want to have their own websites.

Wait, that's what Go Daddy is counting on. They are counting on some idiot to register and in order to stay in business. The only way to reach that person is to send them to the Go Daddy website in the hopes of seeing a woman almost get naked. So, while Danica's ads didn't really appeal to me (Danica is always appealing, however, and is a fantastic young lady), they probably did send a few louts out there to pay way too much to register website domains they'll forget they own when the next Super Bowl comes around.

I've been served.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Great February Snowstorm

Our poor trees did not survive. They were 12 or 15 feet high when the snow finally took them on Friday evening. I had gone out twice to use the shovel to shake them down and remove the heavy, wet snow that fell on us. By Saturday morning, they were done. The one closest to the steps (pictured above) was pulled completely out by the roots. I found this out when I was trying to raise it up and save it. With all of the snow that had fallen, I could have tried to save them both, but I doubt that it would have mattered. I think that the roots were too badly damaged.

Posted via web from Warren Jason Street

Will That Be Cash or Kwedit?

Let me be one voice of reason here:

A new payment option for anyone without a credit card or a debit card, no matter how young, has just become available. It’s initially offered by FooPets and Puzzle Pirates, online game companies that are business partners of, a start-up based in Mountain View, Calif.

Minors as well as adults can buy items in the games with a “Kwedit Promise,” which can be paid off later in a number of ways — with a credit or debit card, for example, or with cash sent in a mailer that Kwedit supplies.

But here’s an entirely new payment option: A user can print out a barcode and head to a 7-Eleven store, which will accept cash, scan the code and notify Kwedit that payment has been made. In the next three months, a Kwedit logo will join those for credit cards and other payment methods on the doors of all 7-Elevens, a company spokesman says.

As game purveyors, Kwedit’s current partners sell virtual goods whose marginal cost is virtually zero, so there’s no risk of real financial loss if the promise is not repaid. But by offering Kwedit’s service, the game publishers capitalize on the most frictionless form of sales: buy now, pay later.

At FooPets, users “adopt” lifelike digitally animated pets and then buy virtual goods for them, including food, beds and chew toys. The site’s core demographic is 12- to 14-year-old girls, said Scott Sorochak, a co-founder of FooMojo, which operates the site. The company says that FooPets has one million active members and that it is signing up 20,000 to 25,000 new members daily.

“Kwedit is the first payment system we’ve used that doesn’t require getting a parent involved,” Mr. Sorochak said.

Now an eighth grader, on her own, can use a Kwedit Promise to buy a virtual 40-pound bag of Purina Puppy Chow. The chow exists only as a photograph of a Purina package, but FooPets instructs its users that the care and feeding of the digital pets they’ve adopted should be regarded as a serious matter. “Your FooPet is a real creature that lives online,” the company’s Web site says.

In this day and age, I can’t think of any good that can come out of this. As soon as you give a minor the tool they need to escape scrutiny, they will use it. As soon as they figure out how to take money from a 13 year-old, then they’re going to take a lot of money from 13 year-olds. And, as soon as parents see this sort of thing for what it is, they’ll protest, and they’ll figure out how to get it banned. I don’t want to be bothered with this on the news; if it sounds like a bad idea up front, then the inevitable evening news story about this a month from now is really going to annoy me. And I don’t even watch the evening news anymore. I’ve outsmarted the news; I know what’s going to be on before they do.

One of the few things parents can control is what their children buy online; if you take that away, look for all kinds of unethical things to happen. Yes, I do realize that there are definitely some upsides to this sort of thing, but the downsides? The downsides are embodied in the idea that a parent won’t know what their 13 year-old is buying. How do you get your money back if junior blows a few hundred bucks this way? Joe Sixpack, be prepared to see your kids spend all your grocery money on virtual scratching posts for a kitty that doesn’t exist.

Isn’t that how we make money in this country now? By providing an expensive time-waster so that young people can spend all of their money on intangibles that don’t actually exist? And they wonder why we’re absolutely screwed as a society.

As the man once said, we are amusing ourselves to death.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks

What? She looks fabulous. She practically needs her own blog.

I'm Not Buying It For a Second

Charlie Sheen's new Hoopdie Ride

One of the things that was evident when actor Carlos Irwin Estevez (aka Charlie Sheen) was arrested at Christmas was that he demonstrated a propensity for exaggerating his knowledge of the law and his ability to get around the law. This happened when he told his wife that he could have her killed and that he could get ex-cops to make it look innocent (that's Brooke Mueller talking, not me).

Now we have a minor incident with his Mercedes and questions about what happened:

A Mercedes that Charlie Sheen reported stolen from his Sherman Oaks home was found overturned hundreds of feet down a nearby cliff early Friday, but there's no evidence anyone was in the car when it went into the ravine, police said.

A Bentley was later found off the same road nearby Friday afternoon, and police said three other cars reportedly were broken into in the same area. Police were investigating if the incidents were linked.

Police got an emergency call around 4 a.m. from an OnStar-style alert system that calls emergency officials when there is a problem with the vehicle that may require assistance, Officer Wendy Reyes said. At about the same time, Sheen called police to say his four-door Mercedes-Benz had been stolen, Officer Bruce Borihanh said.

Police and firefighters found the car 300 to 400 feet down a cliff, upside-down in the brushy ravine. They searched the area on foot and with an infrared-equipped helicopter but found nobody in or around the car, Borihanh said.

"They've looked all around the hillside. There's nobody in the car, nobody around (and no) evidence of anybody being around at the moment of impact," he said.

Sheen was not believed to have been in the car because he would have been badly injured in the accident and "I don't know how he would have gotten back up" the cliff, Borihanh said.

All of that CBS money they're paying him to do his sitcom means that Sheen probably doesn't have money problems, but who knows?

Here's what I think happened: he was out of his mind, he thought he was in an action film, and he put some mattresses by the side of the cliff and dove out of the vehicle before it went over the cliff. Four of his friends disposed of the mattresses and helped him with the full body makeup to cover up the fact that he may, or may not, have gotten a boo boo.

I think this might also be a case of "Ghost Riding the Whip" gone horribly wrong. If so, the YouTube video is going to kick ass, even if this was shot at night. I don't know if this is viable, however. Everyone knows that if you Ghost Ride the Whip in a vehicle with OnStar, those nosy bastards are going to tell the cops what you were doing. Trust me on this.

You cannot accept anything Sheen says at this point. He has zero credibility.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daniel D’Addario, You Need to Stop Criticizing Film

Meryl Streep in the film Doubt

I'm not going to go completely after Daniel D’Addario, I'm just going to refute one thing.

Here's what Mr. D’Addario says about Meryl Streep in Doubt:

The rap on Streep has been the same since the beginning of her career, or at least since she won the best-actress Oscar for Sophie’s Choice: she’s an accent machine, without the ability to create empathy from her audience. While this is arguably true, the accents aren’t the issue. What Streep most crucially lacks is the notion of underplaying. The outsized quality of Julia Child speaks exactly to Streep’s weaknesses among moviegoers not predisposed to like her. She plays every role to the absolute hilt, even when she hasn’t, it seems, decided what role she’s playing. Consider Doubt. The part called for subtle shadings of emotion as the nun protagonist began to question whether the priest she accused of sexual misconduct was actually innocent. Streep simply put on a broad Bronx accent and went careening towards a final scene where she weeps and shouts to the heavens. In contrast, watch her rage in Woody Allen’s Manhattan, or her delicate pain in the accent bonanza of Sophie’s Choice. Streep is more subtly emotional in those than she’s been in decades.

In my lifetime as a moviegoer, Streep seems to have chosen one trait to build each of her characters, and dragged the film along behind her. What can a moviegoer who has only seen her warbling in Mamma Mia!, snarking in he Devil Wears Prada, and doing whatever she was trying to do in Doubt make of her sterling reputation?

Now, I want you to watch at least three and a half minutes of this video, of Streep in the film Doubt:

What planet do you live on, sir?

That's the most difficult of roles, the most complicated of scenes, and the greatest challenge an actor can ever be faced with. In heavy, transformative makeup and costume, in a period piece, while walking outside, and with a terrific actress right there with her, Miss Viola Davis in a part that was woefully overlooked and underappreciated in and of itself, Streep does amazing work. At no point does she do anything to take away from what Miss Davis is doing, and at no point does Miss Davis do anything to betray the scene or take away from what Streep is doing. There's more going on in that three minutes than I think anyone realizes, and that just doesn't happen.

That's not even the best work in the damned film, of course, but it neatly refutes what the critic is saying, doesn't it?

Streep plays the scene with conflict, but also with studied restraint. She does nothing easy in the scene. She is, in the emotion of the scene, dealing with child molestation, and is reaching out to a stranger, across all of the pitfalls of religion, race, guilt, duty, and what's right and wrong, and Streep absolutely becomes this woman without a single misstep. Where'd that accent go? It disappears because Streep is carrying the scene without the need for tricks or mannerisms.

What no one really understands is that, if anything about that scene is not paced, presented, or delivered in perfect tone, the whole movie falls apart. The character Streep plays has to be absolutely pitch perfect or her credibility collapses. Without her moral authority and credibility, the film becomes a screwball comedy about a priest abusing children. You cannot understate how difficult it is to carry out that level of work. Oh, sure. Not every role is like this one. Not every actress could pull off what you see Streep do in the scene above. The ones that can are legendary. You can count them on one hand.

There's no bombast, no focus on the accent, and absolutely no focus on "herself."This is pure gut-wrenching emotion, and none of what you see above is overstated or phoned in. Tucked in beneath that bonnet is a brilliant, brilliant actress. It's so far above my pay grade to even try to explain it, but she's the best of her generation. What she tosses off in a week as her regular paying gig is at a level of mastery that sails over the head of commoners like myself. Enjoy it and appreciate it, sir. You're not supposed to get how she can do that and not be dented by your nonsense.

I'd give up the film criticism. Gawker always needs more snark. Go see if you can help them.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Miramax is For Sale

Hey, Miramax Films--I'm not interested in buying you:

The Walt Disney Company has been quietly shopping what remains of its Miramax film unit and has secured seven to 10 interested bidders, according to a mergers and acquisitions expert with knowledge of the process.

The initial discussions indicate a price of over $700 million for the Miramax name and its 700-film library, which is essentially all that remains of the once-mighty art house label, according to the person involved who declined to be identified because the negotiations are confidential.

The interest is sharply higher than a year ago, when Disney briefly floated a Miramax sale but reconsidered because of the recession, reflecting a loosening of the debt markets. It may also indicate renewed interest in investing in entertainment.

A Disney spokeswoman declined to comment.

Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, who founded Miramax in 1979, are not among the bidders – so far. The Weinstein brothers sold Miramax to Disney in 1993 but ran it until 2005, when they left to found the Weinstein Company.

Wasn't this the studio that just won huge awards and accolades for yet another Coen Brothers film that figured out a new way to insult the audience? Interestingly, there's an unreleased Jennifer Aniston film that Miramax is waiting to release, and no, it's not called Boring Shit Sandwich.

Yes, I went there.