Monday, August 28, 2006

TV: Is Conan O'Brien an Insensitive Prick?

Yesterday morning there was an unfortunate and tragic plane crash in Lexington, Kentucky. There were 49 people killed and one is in critical condition. Yesterday evening Conan O'Brien hosted the Emmy Awards for the second time. He did a little stand-up routine to open up the show and then a montage spoofing the top shows on television. One of these skits, which was very funny by the way, was goofing on the hit show Lost. The fake plane our intrepid host was flying in experienced turbulence which forced him to hide in the overhead compartment. It flashed forward a step to Conan washing up onto an island. The question is, was Conan and NBC aware that earlier that morning a plane had crashed in Kentucky? If they had known should they have pulled the gag and replaced it with something else? Are people in this country so wound up about anything and everything that they go looking for controversy when none exists?

NBC apologized later this afternoon for the skit, but personally I don't think they really had to. It is sad when human life is lost, and it would have been over the top if in that same skit they showed a beached plane or blood or anything of a graphic nature. They didn't; it was tasteful and it was a parody of a show that happened to involve a plane crashing. There is no smoking gun here, no one was making fun of people dying or trying to create an uproar, I can assure you. Apparently the station manager, Tim Gilbert, at WLEX in Lexington, KY does not agree with me. He was shocked and stunned by it and that an apology from NBC wouldn't even make up for the insensitivity. Sounds like grandstanding to me - this guy should be ashamed of himself. People have to start to understand that bad things happen all the time. Moreover, bad things happen all the time to people who are not Americans, and no one seems to complain that it's insensitive to go on with our lives - even laughing now and then. It seems we're so wound up, we're becoming megalomaniacs - beginning to think our lives and our affairs are more important than thousands of people killed in a hurricane in Guatemala, or tens of thousands killed in an earthquake in India. Where are the people protesting the insensitivity of disaster flicks in the wakes of such tragedies? There surely are some, but they don't seem to make the headline news on CNN. Not that we need more protests, though a little more awareness wouldn't hurt.

It was unfortunate that the crash happened at all, much less on a day that someone decided to do a little skit about a plane that crashes. Luckily for us we don't have that many plane crashes in our country, but that they do happen it is apart of life, and so is the healing power of laughter. Laughter gets us through the hard and sometimes cruel nature of existence. I think people need to relax and stop reacting to things so quickly. Is this a rational argument - did someone truly intend to hurt someone else physically or mentally? So give Conan and NBC a break. They've had a tough couple of years. They didn't crash the plane in Kentucky and they sure as hell didn't make fun of it. It was just one of those things.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Accepted

What can I say about Accepted that would make it different from Animal House, Old School, PCU , Revenge of the Nerds and Van Wilder? Not much. All of the old clich├ęs are still intact in this one with a dash or two of Ghostbusters and any Vince Vaughn comedy. There are some good laughs especially for Jonah Hill who plays Schrader. I definitely could relate to Bartleby Gaines dilemma about the difficulty of getting into college. I applied everywhere myself and struggled just to get into the university of my choice. There are so many rules with regard to higher education that it is a wonder sometimes how someone can get an education at all much less learn something that they are passionate about.

Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) can't get into college so in order to appease his parents he and his cohorts, Hands, (Columbus Short) Schrader (Jonah Hill) and Rory (Maria Thayer) decide to take matters in their own hands and create a fake university, S.H.I.T (South Harmon Institute of Technology). Things get out of hand when the general public believes the university is real and kids start to enroll.

Justin Long is adequate as the lead, although he does plagiarize Vince Vaughn to a tee. Schrader steals the show with his sarcastic wit and general nerdiness. When the kids decide to construct their school in a dilapidated former Psychiatric Hospital Schrader comments as they enter the shabby lobby, "I hope you have your Hobo stab insurance." They of course go through the rigmarole of whether or not they want to keep the scam going, and of course they do. They create classes where students do nothing at all except watch hot chicks in the pool, while others take classes in skateboarding. I will say that they did avoid the typical gross out pranks that defined many films in this genre. No revenge against the Alpha Betas or anything like that, although they do a few scenes for rush week, involving Schrader that are pretty damn funny. There is of course the girl that our hero wants, played amicably by the very attractive Blake Lively. I only wish that they gave a little more time to the crazy dean played by comedian Lewis Black. He's hilarious and if you listen carefully he gives out a few nuggets of common sense regarding the state of education in this country. Overall it's funny and forgettable and fits snuggly into the lexicon of College movies.


Grade: 3 Buckets


Thursday, August 24, 2006

SPORTS: Yankee-Panky: Gettin' it on, with the greatest franchise in sports history.

Let me just start by saying that I love the Yankees. And in an effort to let them know just how much I love them, I plan to write them a love letter each week expressing my thoughts and feelings. However love is not always teddy bears and flowers. Sometimes, when necessary to the betterment of one's beloved, you have to be tough and nasty and HARD. Not beacuse you want to be, but because you just care about them so damn much and it kills you to see them act a fuck-up again and again. So here is the first of my weekly love letters to the Yankees.
______________________________________________________________


I love you Johnny Damon,

Boy, did you really shove it up the poopshoot of your former team over the weekend! You went 11 for 23, with 9 RBIs and 7 runs scored over the Yankees five game sweep of the Red Sox. That's fantastic! Those ingrate Boston fans can boo you all they want. You have a new home now and you're fitting in like Flint. Just goes to show you that the majority of Boston fans are nothing more than a bunch of slack jawed moonshine boys. I mean, have some class people! After the way you played your heart out in the 2004 ALCS to get Boston into the the World Series for the first time in 18 years, not to mention helping them win the World Series for the first time since the wheel was invented, for the Boston fans to boo you is just shameful. They should be booing the Red Sox front office for not ponying up the extra ka-ching to keep you around. Instead, the Bosox Brass opted to go with Coco Crisp, a guy who is not only named after a cereal that looks and tastes like horse feces, but who's also been the most ineffectual lead off man for a big team this year. Guess what Boston fans... there's a new curse in town. The Curse of The Idiot. Enjoy the next 86 years!

Yours truly, madly, deeply,

Cody
xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

CELEBRITY BUCKET 'O DUMB: Three Times A Celebrity

We've got the tri-fecta for you this week! The winner of our Summer of '06 Celebrity Bucket O'Dumb is a three way tie between a diaper dandy (I'm channeling Dick Vitale), a washed up hyper active buffoon and a religious zealot. That's right I'm talking about Paris Hilton, Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise. If we could just ignore them maybe they would go away, but somehow it's difficult to look away as the train careens toward the cliff. These three are perhaps the most annoying Hollywood has to offer and hopefully, as the front pages have reported in the last few weeks, if we, the viewing public have any luck, this may be the end of all of their careers.

Let's start with the Diaper Dandy, Paris Hilton. Why did we give her this award? She's a moron with money. She represents a bygone era known to many as the 80's. Excess. Her kind of people should never be encouraged in a free society; they represent everything that is wrong with capitalism. Instead of rewarding this retard for being rich why don't they tell the little tramp what she really should be doing with a billion dollar fortune. I blame the parents first, just like Willy Wonka--"What do you do if your kid is a--brat." I say the girl didn't get the belt as a kid--Yesss that's perfect that's what I want to see Paris Hilton on live TV getting spanked with a belt. Who am I kidding they probably have a sex tape of that somewhere--she would probably enjoy it anyway. My point here folks is that we as a society need to stop pretending to ignore her and really ignore her. She isn't interesting, she's dumb, her boobs are flat and come on she really isn't that pretty. This should be a no brainier. So come on and join me in turning your back on this hack celebrity who shoves her blinged ass in our faces and for some reason we say yes please Paris humiliate us some more. It must end now. Vive Le resistance!

What can be said about Tom Cruise? He's not that bright. He appears as a fake to the public with his Joker like grin and horrendously overly enthusiastic laugh. He is also a representative of a controversial religion/cult that tends to grow stranger as time passes. I personally do not like Tom Cruise but I love his movies and hopefully one day maybe he will disappear to the bowels of Hollywood only to show his face for another Hollywood Blockbuster. I fear those days may be numbered. Sir Tom was just handed his walking papers by Paramount Pictures where he has been able to drink the Kool-Aid of success since Top Gun in 1986. It could be a sad day for Paramount but they've put up with his shit for a year or so now. Tom Cruise gets the Bucket award because he totally tanked a good movie, Mission Impossible 3, cause he couldn't keep his feet off Oprah's furniture and his mouth shut in front of Matt Lauer. The guy has a severe PR problem, but that is the price you pay for ideology. Tom it's time to decide between your career and Scientology, it's taken you this far but I think you just peaked. Personally I think you have enough talent to go at it alone, drop the Xanu talk and stop worrying about your next stress test and audit of your Thetan or whatever you call it. Prove to the world that you aren't batshit crazy and get back to the business of entertaining people with your movies. I don't care about your baby, I don't care about your relationship with Katie Holmes--Stop making public appearances, people know who you are it's not necessary for you to promote your movies, okay. You're starting to make Michael Jackson seem normal, so get your shit together, admit your baby is a fake and just go under for awhile, people will forget, trust me.

Now onto our third winner, another celeb with a PR problem. Let's move past the anti-Semitic remarks and "Sugar Tits" and get to the real problem at hand. Mel Gibson was driving drunk and not just a couple of glasses of wine drunk, I'm talking Nick Nolte drunk. He blew a .12; the legal limit in California is .08. I mean that kid from Sixth Sense is going to the big house, what makes Mel so special? Is it because he has friends on the Malibu police force? What if someone were hurt or killed during his little adventure, not to mention the guy mouthed off to the arresting officer, which should be another charge. I used to like Mel Gibson when he pretended to be crazy in Mad Max and Lethal Weapon. It's sad that this guy inspired all of these Christians with his Passion of the Christ and then blew it all on booze and hate. Look, I think the guy was an ass to say all of those things but I think it's even worse that he was driving drunk. I've noticed that he didn't really apologize for that. So Mel you get the award for being a complete and total loser, hopefully you'll clean up your act. But I know deep down that we will be revisiting more of your exploits on these pages again soon--I have faith in that.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Snakes On a Plane

I came, I saw mother fucking Snakes on a mother fucking plane and Samuel L. Jackson kicked their mother fucking asses. Everything the marketing team advertised about this movie was 100% accurate. It was by far the best film about snakes I have ever seen, way better than say Anaconda or Anaconda 2: The Blood Orchid...but I guess that really isn't saying very much. The scares were great, the snakes were crazy and the comedy routines of Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live) and David Koechner (Anchorman) were hilarious.

F.B.I. agent Nelville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) is tasked to escort a federal witness (Nathan Phillips), from Hawaii to L.A. And as the title suggests, a Mafioso decides that the best way to take care of this witness is to release 500 pheromone charged poisonous snakes onto an Oceanic Flight. Let the carnage ensue.

I don't like snakes, and I found myself a little squirmy when I saw where some of these poor souls were getting bitten. I kid you not within the first twenty minutes of the attacks I saw a half naked woman with a rattler attached to her boob, I saw another guy who walked in to take a piss and got a python attached to his y'know python. Oh, man that one hurt the most; they really wanted you to see the agony on that guy, ouch! Another dude got bitten on the ass, hell the damn snakes were biting people's eyes out and slithering into their mouths. It was pretty horrific; I kept saying to myself how the hell does a snake do that. Anyway, the CGI was pretty crappy; I could usually tell what was a real snake and what was fake. But that’s a good thing cause if it looked too real I think I would have crapped my pants. It wasn't as badly written as I thought it was going to be but again this isn't Oscar material here, and it was kind of funny seeing Nurse Hathaway from E.R., Juliana Margulies, trying to keep it real as she chucks a hatchet at a couple snakes.

So if you're looking for a couple of good scares, some funny bits then go and check out what has to be the king schlock movie of the decade.

Grade: 3 Buckets

Thursday, August 17, 2006

MOVIES: The Man Who Will Be Bond

Why do some Bond fans have it out for Daniel Craig? He had a creepy performance as a psychotic Mafioso in Road to Perdition, he played an archeologist, Indiana Jones lite, in the first Tomb Raider and most recently he played a Moussad agent in Munich and a drug dealer in Layer Cake. This role is supposedly what inspired producer Broccoli to hand over the mantle of 007 to Craig. I was reading in my Entertainment Weekly about the Fall Movie Preview and I've been getting really excited about James Bond and the new look and I see that those radical Bond fans were mentioned slamming Daniel Craig. Having seen Layer Cake, Munich and Road to Perdition I felt that Daniel Craig had the acting chops, the darkness, the coldness and the tough mettle to push Bond into a new era. Apparently they didn't have a problem with any of these things they just kept coming back to his hair. Yes these completely ignorant morons have only one problem with the new Bond-- his blond hair.

Now I understand that fans out there have doubts about a movie when it comes to their favorite hero. For instance I was very vocal about how much I thought X-Men 3 was going to suck because of the vast differences from the original comic. I saw the movie and my complaint is still valid, but I don't give a shit if, say, Wolverine's hair is Blond, as long as the guy they got to play him understands the role and makes me believe it, who cares. The same goes for Bond, personally I think that the series has been going down the toilet for the last twenty or thirty years. I was never a big fan of Roger Moore. I thought Lazenby was a lightweight. Timothy Dalton is a good actor but he was almost too much for Bond, plus I felt that his scripts were not as good as they could have been. Then you have Pierce Brosnan, who I felt was a decent Bond, far superior to Lazenby or Moore but he was missing something that I believe Craig has--toughness.

I was re-watching Die Another Day and then Dr. No back to back, it was interesting to see the two different styles of Bond. Brosnan's Bond is very nimble and energetic; he isn't a physical presence as he is a thinking one. He is cold and of course he has a way with the ladies, but I did find myself struggling to believe that this guy could endure all of that torture. (In the beginning of Die Another Day--Scorpions.) He seemed so effeminate that it was hard to take him seriously as a 00 agent with a license to kill. I was seeing him in a different light and the only reason I think I was questioning the man's, machismo, is because I was already picturing Daniel Craig as the new Bond with those piercing Blue eyes and damn, I was thinking this Scot could kick the shit out of that Irishman. Of course it all comes back to Connery, a fellow Scot, in Dr. No; Bond doesn't take shit from anybody. He'll slap a girl around if he felt she wasn't on the level with him. He killed that Professor in cold blood saying very smoothly after the Doc shot all of his rounds into an unsuspecting pillow. "That's a Smith and Wesson and you've had you're six." Best bad ass line in any movie now or ever. Now if Pierce were to say that line, I don't know, I don't think I'd buy it. Now picture Daniel Craig saying it... Badass.

This is a great time for a revamp of Bond after the Austin Power movies pointed out the silliness of Bond and the Bourne Identity series which revealed how formulaic and unreal 007 had become. I think it's time to take Bond back to the roots of the books. It's tough without the Cold War as a backdrop but I think it can be done. They are taking all the right steps Casino Royale was written by Oscar winning screenwriter Paul Haggis(Crash and Million Dollar Baby) and directed by Martin Campbell who successfully directed Goldeneye which I think is the best of the Brosnan years. It's time to strip away all the stupid gadgets and Schumakeresque scenery chewing villains. So give Craig a break, let him prove to everyone why his Bond may be the best 007 since Connery. It's time to get back to what makes James Bond more than just a suave super spy, but a cold, sometimes merciless killer who does what he has to do for Queen and country.

Casino Royale debuts in theatres November 17.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

MOVIES: Missing in Action - Tough Guys in film

In this day and age where Hollywood rolls out one action packed film after another, it is interesting to note that none of them have actors that would be traditionally considered a traditional tough guy. What is a tough guy? A tough guy is a man who is the ultimate alpha male, a guy's guy, one who can project the threat of violence through simple body language (like Clint Eastwood's squint). In the fifties and sixties, there seemed to be a lot of actors like that: Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, and Charles Bronson. Even the eighties and early nineties had actors that fit the old school such as Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis. Fast forward to today look where actors in action films these days seem more likely to be pretty boys than tough guys: Ethan Hawke (Assault on Precint 13), Keanu Reeves (Matrix). Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven), Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down), Jude Law (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), Matt Damon (Bourne Identity), and Ben Affleck (Paycheck). These actors have managed to even squeeze some A-list actors to the B level pictures-Wesley Snipes anyone? To be fair, some of these actors are fairly talented. Heck, some of the action films like the Bourne films and the Matrix were pretty good. Yet, I don't think I would rely on Damon or Law to be of much help in a fist fight.

So what happened to the tough guy? One possible reason is that with films focusing more on special effects it seems like anyone could be in an action film. According to Gitesh Pandya of Boxofficeguru.com, most of the big action films were special effect extravaganzas, he even goes on to say, " The real stars are the special effects artists. Those are the guys worth paying money for," .

The second reason for the disappearence might be due to the business of film. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal which told how certain actors are paid more than others. The article mention that actors that had softer features like Leonardo DiCaprio happened to be more popular globally in markets like Japan than say, Bruce Willis.

So is there no actors that could fit the mold? I actually see some hope in some of the actors from England and Australia with actors like Russell Crowe, Jason Stratham, and Clive Owen. No the old school tough guy is not dead yet, but with each passing action film it is clear his days are numbered.

Friday, August 11, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Lady in the Water

I decided after my first day back from the exile that is unemployment to go and see a movie. I don't normally like to see movies by myself but I figured none of my friends nor my wife was curious to see this film, so if I was going to see it, I was going to do it alone. The movie started very humbly I didn't see an M. Night Shyamalan hovering over the title. The score was refrained and melodic as the narration began. The only images were simple sketches, almost like cave drawings that told a story about sea nymphs and their relationship with mankind. Okay, sounds like the beginning of a bedtime story, as the trailers suggest, I was intrigued, but--and maybe I'm being just cynical here, but it's hard to watch this movie and the people in it and take anyone seriously. I know it sounds like the harsh critic who doesn't get it, but I've always been a fan of M. Night and I think this film is wonderfully directed and acted but--what the hell was M. Night smoking?

The film is about Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) who is the superintendent to an apartment building. He lives alone, he seems lonely and everyone in the building is constantly after him to fix something. One night he meets a strange half naked girl in the swimming pool, her name is Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) and she is a Narf. That's right I said she was a Narf, whatever the hell that is. She is from a place called the Blue World. In the film they explain that a Narf is actually a Sea Nymph, okay--it's like the mermaid from Splash, got it. So this girl Story, the Narf has a message for mankind--I won't tell you what it is, but when you find out you may be as disappointed as I was. Story needs to get back to the Blue World but there is something stopping her and she needs Cleveland's help. This something, I believe, could be taken care of in just a few minutes if Cleveland were packing a really big Weed Whacker, unfortunately he only has a broom handle. This creature is a cross between a dog and a shrub and it is called a Scrunt. Now these Scrunts can't just attack at any time because of these tree monkey things called, um Thrymopsu something. I don't know but they were tree monkeys and apparently they are evil but they keep order between the Narfs and the Scrunts. You getting this?

Maybe I need to see the movie again, I didn't hate it but I didn't really like it that much either. If Paul Giamatti was not in this movie saying these funny names and trying to work through this strange prophecy before him then I would have certainly thought this was a comedy. I think the problem I had with the story is that M. Night doesn't explain what these creatures are or how they exist or why, except that they are apart of a legend or bedtime story that is very ancient. It's hard to follow a story with so many fantastic things without explaining at least some of it. The ending is abrupt and extremely unfulfilling. I'm still not 100% sure what this was all about. I thought that the rest of the cast was great: Jeffrey Wright, Sarita Choudhury, Cindy Cheung, Freddy Rodriguez, Mary Beth Hurt. Bob Balaban was great as the movie critic guy. Not to give anything away but I think M. Night hates movie critics. The film had great suspense and was beautifully photographed and if you can get past the Narfs, the Scrunts and the Thy--those damn Monkey things then you may enjoy it much more than I. I still have faith in you M. Night but maybe it's time to direct something that you haven't written --for a change. Maybe a romantic comedy.

Grade: 3 Buckets

Monday, August 07, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Talladega Nights the Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Will Ferrell has made another comedy and thematically it's the same as Anchorman. Stupid celebrity loves himself and his success, he gets thrown off his perch by a rival and is forced to battle back for the rest of the movie. He redeems himself as a hero and he learns a life lesson along the way--The End. You can pretty much stick a fork in this formula--cause it is done, but if you're smart you don't go to a Will Ferrell movie for the plot. Yes it was stupid and asinine but it was also funny.

The story follows the career of Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) as a pit crew worker who gets his chance to "Drive fast" as a NASCAR driver. In no time flat he becomes the fastest driver ever using his motto "If you're not first, you're last." He makes his even dumber buddy Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly) a driver. And being the loyal friend that he is he always comes in second to his good buddy Ricky. "Shake and Bake," Ricky and Cal, dominate the circuit until a gay Frenchman, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), unleashes his speed to challenge Ricky for first place.

I was never a NASCAR fan, and being in North Carolina most of your life you can't really avoid it. I just don't understand how anyone can enjoy watching cars drive in a circle over and over again for hours; to me it seemed, well stupid. I think if they filmed NASCAR the way they filmed this movie it could be a little more entertaining, I mean you finally get to see how friggin fast those cars are really going. What really kept this movie fresh and funny was the supporting cast. Gary Cole, as Reece Bobby, Ricky's derelict hash smoking father. Andy Richter as Gregory the Frenchman's boy toy. You also had Molly Shannon, Jane Lynch, Michael Clarke Duncan and I'm still trying to understand why Amy Adams was in this movie. (She was hilarious in Junebug.) The biggest surprise of the movie was the kids, Walker (Houston Tumlin) and Texas Ranger (Grayson Russell), who the hell were they where did they come from? They had hilariously great southern accents and their comedic timing was perfect. Just so we are clear there was no substance whatsoever in this film, the driving sequences were great and the ad-lib comedy style of "Shake and Bake" was worth admission.

Grade: 3 Buckets

Sunday, August 06, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Little Miss Sunshine

I really hate going to see a movie where I've seen the trailer at least a thousand times and it becomes ingrained into your subconscious. This is the beauty of Indie films, sometimes you'll come across a gem that you never knew existed, you may have to look for it a little bit, but that probably means it’s a lot better than some of the commercial garbage that's out there. This was one of those movies; I had no expectation going in cause I never saw a trailer. I heard that Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear were in the movie and that was about it. Something about beauty pageants for ten year olds. It was heartbreakingly funny.

The film follows a dysfunctional family on a road trip to California to enter the very cute, Olive (Abigail Breslin) in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. The trip reminded me of a darker version of Chevy Chase's National Lampoons Vacation. You have the Dad, Richard (Greg Kinnear) who is a failed promotional speaker who can't seem to understand that no one cares about his 9 step Program to Success. There is Uncle Frank, (Steve Carell) a suicidal Proust Scholar, who has to be on death watch the entire movie and the one person who has to make sure that Frank doesn't slit his wrists again is the God is Dead, Nietzche loving elder son Dwayne (Paul Dano). On top of that the kid has taken a vow of silence which really make the scenes with Frank that much more hilarious. You have Mom, Sheryl (Toni Collette), who tries to balance out all of the craziness and keep everyone together, she has a bit of a thankless job but she is really good here. My personal favorite is Grandpa, (Alan Arkin) who is a bit of a hedonist, he snorts heroin and he's a notorious potty mouth, I love it.

The great thing about this film is that nothing feels forced or fake, these crazy things happen and these people try to deal with it the best way they know how. I really enjoyed the road trip part and I really thought that once they made it to the pageant that it would get a little more serious but it just got wackier and more hilarious. To see all those little eight year old girls dressed up with more make up than Tammy Faye, I mean it was disturbing, funny yes, but --damn-- you realize that little Olive might not fit in with this particular crowd. They prove that no matter how messed up or crazy their lives seem to be nothing is crazier or more out of touch with reality then a Miss America pageant for infants. You should run and see this movie as soon as possible; it was quite possibly the funniest movie I've seen in a long long time. Unfortunately for most people this film is in a platform release so unless you live in New York or LA you might have to wait a while, but I have a feeling that the good buzz on this film will grow. It's got a lot of heart, it's sad but it'll be the funniest thing you'll see this summer, I promise.

Grade: 5 Buckets

Thursday, August 03, 2006

TV Review: Who Wants to be a Superhero

I have just wrapped principle photography on a feature, and I now have some time to relax between some smaller gigs and trying to move.

What better way to break into blogging scene then with a TV review? I'm sure there are several...

Anyway, I was perusing iTunes last night came across this gem. I believe this show, Who Wants to be a Superhero, airs on Sci Fi. If I am wrong please correct me. Anyway, the first episode was a free download. So, I figured why the hell not? I like comics. How can they possibly combine comic book superheros and reality TV?

The premise of the show is as follows. People from all over the country come in and show off their superhero alter egos. 12 are chosen to go on with the actual competition to be selected as the new Superhero winning a comic series and a Sci Fi movie about their hero. The infamous Stan Lee hosts. Not a terrible concept. Could be fun. WRONG.

This show couldn't be anymore horrid. To start off, the shows completely neglects what should be one of the best parts of the show, the heros! Instead of showing off the auditions of all the people around world willing to wear tights to get on TV they only show about three seconds. Then, they get right to the point of the showing who the twelve picks are. Some of the picks make you wonder how bad the other hopeful contestants must have been. Some of the twelve chosen includes such winners as Monkey Girl, Fat Momma, and The Iron Enforcer...

The show is NOT reality TV. Which it really wants you to believe. The show is soooo scripted its not even funny. And the screenwriters are all smoking crack. Each hero gets a commicator...which is nothing more then a Blackberry where they superimpose a video file over the screen in post...give me a break.

The show is hosted by Stan Lee. And now I am started to understand why Marvel pushed him out the door.

This show is pure trash. Its not ever worth the short time I have taken to write this post. And is a huge reason why I haven't spent more time typing more detail...That and I have distaste for writing...;)

Til next time kiddies.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MOVIES: THE CRYING GAME

Well, here it is. Captain Mike’s first drop in The Bucket! Some of you know that I have my own awesome blog, Moranadu, on which I ponder the meaning of dreams, weird experiences, personal obsessions and whatnot. Troy’s Bucket being primarily a pop culture blog, I will try my best to limit my comments here to movies, music, comedy and such.

Anyway, here we go. I am a reasonably intelligent and sensitive young man. I have been watching movies all my life, and like most other people I have cried at the movies a few times. In fact, I cried the very first time I went to the movies when my mom took me to see “Fantasia.” The dinosaurs in the “Rite of Spring” sequence scared the crap out of me. Mom did the right thing and took me out of the theatre. It’s a good thing she did, too. If I had stuck around for the “Night on a Bald Mountain” sequence with that giant devil dude, I probably never would have seen another movie again. But everything worked out for the best.

Here are ten of the movies that made me cry, or at least get a little misty. To avoid SPOILERS, I shall list all the movie titles in BOLD FACED CAPSLOCK, so if you don’t want to know the sad or inspiring thing that happened in that movie, please move along. Here they are, in alphabetical order.

ALMOST FAMOUS – My favorite scene in my favorite movie of all time. The band is on the bus. Morale is low. “Tiny Dancer” starts playing. One by one, they all start singing and remember what amazing, crazy, wonderful lives they are leading. “I have to go home.” “You ARE home.” Perfection.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS – The last 10 minutes – Love, beauty, sadness and Danny Elfman’s glorious music. Bittersweet and gorgeous.

THE ELEPHANT MAN – Pretty much the whole thing, but John Merrick’s dying words and the dream that followed made be ball my eyes out.

GLORY – The campfire scene, “Give ‘em hell, 54th!” and Shaw’s body being moved into his regiment’s mass grave – Classic Man-Cry moments, all.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING – When Frodo is boarding the ship and gives his friends a farewell smile… well, if that doesn’t make you miss your friends, you don’t love your friends.

MEET JOE BLACK – The whole long finale. Some say it’s too long, I don’t care. Anthony Hopkins’ character reminds me of my dad, and how I’d hate to lose him.

MILLION DOLLAR BABY – The sad smile and tear in Hilary Swank’s eye just before she gets put to sleep will rip your guts out.

MY GIRL – Okay, I was 13 when I saw this movie, but when the little girl busts into her friend’s funeral and demands that they put his glasses on… c’mon! It’s fucking sad!

THE NEVERENDING STORY – If the sight of Atreyu’s beloved steed Artex being sucked down into the Swamps of Sadness doesn’t make you tear up, you have no soul.

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN – Giovanni Ribissi’s slow, painful death is goddamn excruciating.

So there they are. I encourage the multitudes to chime in with their own picks. G.I. Jeff will likely tell us all about watching “Lonesome Dove” for the first time. If Industry Guy Speck ever decides to put fingers to keyboard, he might tell you about how verklempt he got over Ben Affleck’s I-wan’t-to-be-a-great-dad soliloquy from “Jersey Girl.” And we all know how emotionally wrenching the third season of “Survivor” was for Cody.

I have now hijacked Troy’s Bucket and made it a safe place for the sharing and mending of our collective pop culture wounds. To borrow a phrase from another Man-Cry masterpiece, let the healing begin!