Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The Oscars are over and the winners have all been given their shiny trophies and Cody and I are not really that happy. Don't get me wrong as an employee of Paramount Vantage I was excited to see good films like There Will Be Blood and especially No Country For Old Men get the top prizes. It was some of the smaller awards that made me scratch my head and go-- huh? The major one that pissed Cody Dee and myself off collectively was the Visual Effects award. There were three films nominated in this category, Pirates of the Caribbean at World's End, Golden Compass and Transformers. Now in case you've been living under a rock somewhere in Boise, Idaho then you would be thinking, Transformers is just a kid's cartoon. In this instance you would be dead wrong, if the Academy members had gotten off their high horses to see Transformers they would have seen a film on the cutting edge of special effects.

Michael Bay will never ever deserve an Oscar for best picture or director but in this instance he and his visual effects team led by Scott Farrar and including Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier, actually more then earned the top prize. So who got the shiny naked golden man instead? The Golden Compass. Yes that controversial movie about athiests and those really terrible CGI polar bears. I mean the Polar Bears on the Coke commercials were more convincing. How could this be? Among the four of them they have worked on such awesome effects film such as Backdraft, Spider-Man, The Chronicles of Narnia, Spider-Man 2, Pearl Harbor, The Perfect Storm and Cocoon. We have always known the Oscar voters to be lazy sheeplike snobs and this is a direct example of this. Most of the time people who vote pick their friends. Or they let their kids pick who they like. I doubt many of them actually take it seriously. Golden Compass has Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman and it's a controversial kids movie about religion. Transformers is a bang up action flick about robots that turn into cars and planes and it was directed by Mr. Explosion himself Michael Bay. Other than Steven Spielberg there is no pedigree to Transformers so voters avoided it. I doubt many of them have seen Golden Compass or Transformers. If they had perhaps they would have been able to make a more educated vote.Anyway on behalf of the Bucket I would like to present to all of the Academy Members who voted in the 2008 Oscars this Celebrity Bucket o' Dumb. You've earned it for years and years of bad voting. Like Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan and Dame Judy getting an award for ten seconds as Queen Elizabeth and most importantly for giving an Visual Effects Oscar to a bunch of badly drawn polar bears.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I mean that's what we guys really want, am I right? I'm lucky enough to already have a strong willed, tough-as-nails, She-Ra in my life. But for those of you who are still looking, look no further than the new, re-vamped, but still spandexed AMERICAN GLADIATORS on NBC, which wrapped it's grand reopening of a season last Sunday night.

While this redux version of the late 80's/early 90's Saturday morning sensation fell short of the original version in several areas; the new arena was a lot smaller, the new co-hosts were a lot lamer, the new contestant-centric format was a lot less tolerable, there was one very important improvement from the old show. And to para-quote my good friend, singer/songwriter Bryan Adams, it kept me coming back for more. Baby, it was all that I wanted. When I was lying there in the dark. Maybe... it was hard to believe, but I was in heaven. A heaven where gigantic, powerful, and most important, hot Amazonian princesses destroyed itty-bitty pre-med students with one grand swing of a pugel stick.

Yes, that's right - the new female Gladiators are SMOKING! They are head and shoulders above the beefy, butchy lady Gladiators of yesteryear. If you watched the old show, then I'm sure you remember she-malesque Zap, Sky, and Siren (I know she was deaf, and she does get sympathy points for that, but that's no excuse for her overt mannishness):

And lest we forget Malibu, a female Gladiator so hideously unattractive that she was cut after the first season (great head of hair though):

They've now been replaced by athletic, strong, yet feminine ladies like Crush, Venom, and Siren (The second - uh, what's the matter? Can't come up with an original Gladiator name? But don't get me started, that's all WHOLE other blog).

Crush doesn't just play a bad-ass on TV. She's a real life bad-ass. Her real name is Gina Carano, and she's genuine MMA Muay Thai fighter. I'm sure many a male Bucket reader out there wouldn't mind letting Gina wrap her patented Kengmei Leg Scissor of Death around them.

If Marilyn Monroe was on steroids (and she may have been) she would've looked like Venom. A ripped, blonde bombshell, portrayed by fitness model Beth Horn.

Then there's flame haired, firecracker Siren - portrayed by bodybuilder Valerie Waugaman. I don't know what it is about a good looking red headed gal. Maybe because there's so few, that when you see one it's like it's like seeing a wild & untamed, white Palomino galloping free across a southwestern vista.

There's no doubt that these three ladies are a big reason why the first season of the new Gladiators was so successful. And while a lot of guys may not admit it, I firmly believe that most men are attracted to strong women.

Part of the male species Oedipus Complex?


A sign of man's own narcissistic tendencies?


Or it could just be that we really, really, like watching hot girls in spandex. Yeah, HOT GIRLS IN SPANDEX!!!!! Season Two, AG, coming at you... CATCH IT!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show

For my birthday I was determined to get out of the house and see a movie. I haven't seen a movie in the theatre since Juno three or four weeks ago and I have been jonesing ever since. It's difficult to find a good time frame to see a movie now a days especially with my commute home from work so the only movie that seemed to fit our schedule the best was Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.It was really fun actually. The four featured comics, Ahmed Ahmed, John Caparulo, Bret Ernst and Sebastian Maniscalco, were very funny guys. Basically Vince Vaughn explains that he knocked heads with his best friend and producer Peter "Ralphie" Billingsly to put together a 30 days and 30 nights tour out on the road. They had some serious moments as they arrived in Louisiana, Huricane Katrina touched down. They filmed a bit of the disaster and staged a nice benefit show for some of the people displaced by the storm. We also got to see some interesting back stories for the four comics. Caparulo the potty mouth kid from Ohio who we discover is not so comfortable with girls and is a bit of a Momma's boy. There is the tough talking Bret Ernst who, as far as Tamar and I were concerned, was the funniest of the four of them. We learned that he had a gay older brother that basically raised him. Then there was Sebastian who would work as a waiter and do his comedy between shifts, he was also an extremely anal metrosexual. The dude dry cleaned his underwear, weird. Lastly Ahmed Ahmed who has to be the only Egyptian comic I've ever seen or heard of. He revolves his humor around his middle eastern heritage and his unfortunate tendency to be pulled out of line at airports. Truly funny and sad all at the same time. These are comics that you probably wouldn't normally see and it was a great way to build up some name recognition and actually get paid for doing something they all seem to do very well.The comedy is great and it's fun seeing some of Vince Vaughn's friend's and co-stars like Justin Long (Accepted, Dodgeball and Live Free or Die Hard) , Keir O'Donnell (Wedding Crashers), Dwight Yoakam and Jon Favreau. If you get a chance to see this one go check it out especially right now when your choices are limited. I mean really do you want to go see Roscoe Jenkins or that stupid Meet the Spartans?Grade 3 Buckets

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Timbaland featuring One Republic says:

"We were wrong... It's NEVER too late to apologize. We're sorry."


Bill Belichick says:

"If you're going to lose, lose with class and dignity... or just walk off the field before the game is even over."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Lipstick Jungle – The Next Sex in the City?

Last night was the series premiere of the much anticipated Lipstick Jungle. Based on the book by Candace Bushnell, the author behind the Sex in the City juggernaut, Lipstick Jungle follows the lives of three friends who are all on the list of New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women.

My official reaction to the show falls somewhere between “eh” and “bleck”.

Perhaps it was the constant comparison to Sex in the City that lead me to expect something a bit more exhilarating than a wife cheating for no apparent reason, a struggling artist saved by her millionaire boyfriend and marriage failing by reason of emasculation but sadly that was not to be. While I applaud the idea of three women who believe being at the top of their career game isn’t a right devoted solely to those in the human race who have a penis, the show falls flat when a few basic facts are forgotten.

Firstly, it can’t all be bad. The last thing I need is to be repeatedly depressed for an hour once a week. Can anyone say time suck? When Carrie’s Big breakup carried on over two episodes her friends threw her into therapy and 20 minutes later she was sleeping with Bon Jovi. Realistic? No (unfortunately) Good TV? Yes.

Secondly, people are voyeuristic. We want to know the intimate details. For an hour long show there was surprisingly little going on. I used to work for a producer and part of my job was to read scripts and filter out the ones that she should read. She gave me only one rule, if there are too many phone calls in the script don’t bother. And now I see why. Brooke Shield’s character, Wendy, is a high powered executive for a major motion picture company. But instead of spending any real time on a movie set the only glimpse the audience gets of the industry is a lackluster phone call. Believe me when I say that people don’t want to see a phone call with Leonardo DiCaprio they want to see Wendy wielding her power to corner him backstage at a Victoria Secret Fashion Show. An audience that is going to stick around needs more action.

And speaking of action…is it just impossible to find a television actress that is capable of simulating a real orgasm? As adorable as Robert Buckley is, if the audience is supposed to expect Kim Raver’s character Nico to cheat on her husband for him it has to be hot. There needs to be sexual tension, passion and it needs to be dirty. A couple of over the shoulder gasps of “Oh Kirby” aren’t going to cut it. And while I’m on the subject maybe the post-coital ride home should be left to Diane Lane in Unfaithful who did it much better.

Finally, remember when Carrie Bradshaw waxed poetic about how pink carnations were coming back? Well I would rather watch a rerun of that before I watch a dialogue less Lindsay Price as Victory Ford oversee a parade of assistants flooding her living room with hundreds of expensive yet generic floral bouquets. Never underestimate the desire for clever writing. If this kind of unimaginative stunt is meant to appease the Sex in the City set I’m afraid the show’s producers will soon find that we’re just not that into it.

Bottom line: If Lipstick Jungle wants to steer clear of becoming a sensationalistic one season circus some serious reworking of the characters needs to be done. Otherwise they might as well bring on the car explosions and lesbian love affairs and be done with it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Comics: Spider-Man: Brand New Day

So I did my bitching about Spider-Man One More Day and now here we are at the aftermath of the deal with the devil and arrived at Brand New Day. Writer Dan Slott has been given the un-inviable task of writing the first story arc after, in my opinion, one of the worst hit jobs on a character since the Bobby Ewing debacle on Dallas, y'know the one where his character is revived after they discover an entire season was just a dream. On some levels this Mephisto taking away the marriage may be ten times worse.

JMS' run ends with Peter and MJ and the rest of the world forgetting that they were ever married and somehow Peter's best friend Harry Osborn is alive and well sans wife Liz, sans little son Norman. I can't wait for the explanation on how Pete's now non-existant marriage somehow stops Harry from settling down with a wife and kid. Peter is living the loser life, as he was 30 some years ago, with his Aunt May in Queens and he is jobless, again. These tired stories have been told to the hilt in Spider-Man for his first twenty or so years. What is new and fresh about a guy in his late 20's living with his old, old aunt where he can't find a girl and he can't find a job? I'm sorry he's more than a loser he is pathetic. Maybe this is what the deal with the devil was supposed to entail. Peter Parker losing his ball sack along with his hot model wife. Anyway the new arc was written by Dan Slott (Avengers: The Initiative, She-Hulk and Deadpool) and drawn by the very excellent Steve McNiven (Civil War and New Avengers). I wanted to like this I really did, I love McNiven's work from Civil War and I think he's a great fit for Spider-Man. I have enjoyed the Initiative stuff so it would be fair to say that I was looking forward to seeing what Dan Slott could do.

The only problem was getting past this deal with the devil thing. I don't know every change in Spidey's new continuity now so it's frustrating because so much about Spider-Man is based on his past. It's such a great character to be built on so many events and to have so many writers take those experiences and move him forward. Now that they have erased a union that has been around for so long that they have, in a nutshell, changed the personality of Peter Parker. He now has a giant hole in his timeline and now the writers are going to have to take all of this time explaining the new continuity. I guess the thing that really pisses me off is that Quesada and others at Marvel keep saying in interviews that they did not change much of anything in Spidey's History. They should really stop saying that. They have changed EVERYTHING in his past, rather than make substantive changes toward the future they have made changes in the past and only because they wanted to get around the damn marriage. Overall Brand New Day wasn't bad but it wasn't great either, especially the stuff with the new super heroine Jackpot. Are you kidding me Jackpot? She has red hair and she is a model in her real life--I wonder who she can be in real life. This is the worst idea ever and it continues to get worse. So I'm letting you know you are now on notice Marvel! I will give the next 3 part arc a shot but if it is as lackluster as this one then I'm going to have to drop this series altogether.