Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Top Ten Worst People of 2009

It's a new year and everyone is breaking out the lists of the highs and lows of last year. Cody Dee and I thought long and hard about how we should sum up the year, and we had to agree that 2009 was kind of shitty. It was great to get a new President with a new direction but as a whole everything just seemed to follow the code of disaster. So in honor of this horrible feeling and to give credit where credit is due, keep checking back all month long as we unveil The Bucket's countdown of the Top Ten Worst People of 2009...

1). Bernie Madoff2009 was a rough year on many levels but a lot of the heartache and pain has swirled around one particular individual. This man has come to symbolize the culture of corporate greed and thievery. His trial revealed to us, the American public, that this cretinous man built trust with movie stars, banks, schools and charities and without their knowledge stole millions in what is called a Ponzi scheme. This scumbag named Bernie Madoff stole from celebs like director Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Now you steal from my favorite director I'm putting you on the list. But the reason this ass hole is number 1, the reason he will, God willing, be burning in a fiery pit of hell, because this guy ripped off millions from Holocaust survivors. Are you kidding me? Haven't these people suffered enough? And to have them manipulated in this way, especially considering that Madoff is a Jew himself. Double damned I say.

Madoff, of course, represents a larger problem in the way we do business. The government is not wholly without blame here as they had knowledge that this was taking place and did nothing to stop it from happening. At the time the market was good and they didn't want to fuck with it by bringing down a greedy ass bastard. They didn't realize that Madoff and the banks were basically doing the same damn thing the only difference is we, the public, now have a face and a name for their corruption. Perhaps the lesson here is we should get to know the CEO's of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP. Morgan Chase and so on. Their power is, like in the Mafia, defined by their anonymity. We must change that fact soon, I fear there will be more Madoffs on our list for 2010. - Jeff

2). Joe LiebermanIt would be easy to put Joe Lieberman on the list based only on his predilection to stab Democrats in the back every chance he gets. But no, that would be self serving and wouldn't fully explain why he should be on the list. Honestly we should have known way back when he was a Vice Presidential Candidate in 2000 that there was something not right with the nasaly droning senator from Connecticut. While Gore was waging his war against Bush in the Florida recount. Joe Lieberman, with one interview, sunk the ship.

Now some defenders can say, but Joe, he is a principled man. So last year when the Health Care Bill was almost ready to pass in the Senate Joe decided to stand up again, to say maybe, I don't think so and then finally hell no, with a crooked boring grin. Principled my ass! Yes, Joe Lieberman the douchebag senator from Connecticut, decided that he would play politics with the health of 30 million Americans. The Democrats revealed their hand over and over compromising on everything just to get Lieberman's vote and he kept giving them hope and then promptly shoved the shiv into their backs, twisting it at every turn. If they got rid of the public option, he would be on board. Everyone cheered and they got rid of it. Lieberman said you know I still can't vote for it because of the Medicare buy-in. But Joe, earlier this year you were for the Medicare buy-in. But no, no, no these are different times now and we can't afford to help people.

I get it Joe, I really do, you aren't mad at the Democratic party for abandoning you in your election, forcing you to become an Independent. It's about power Joe, pure and simple, you have it and you like it a lot and you want to keep flaunting it as long as you can. The Republicans have no use for you if and when they take over the Senate in the fall, so might as well fuck with Democrats while they are still in control. Enjoy it pal, enjoy as the American people are crushed under the weight of medical bills and skyrocketing premiums and you can say, I did that. Thank you Joe Lieberman, thank you. -Jeff

3). Jeff Zucker, president & CEO of NBC Universal:

…but perhaps not for too much longer.

The man who tried to reinvent primetime television, but brought a network to the brink instead. He took NBC, once considered the Rolls Royce of the four major networks, and turned it into a used AMC Gremlin. Zucker was handed the reins of NBC television in 2004. Since then the network has declined from number one to dead last, as Zucker was unable to find suitable replacements for his predecessors' hit shows like Friends and ER (see: Joey and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip).

But 2009 marked Fucker’s crowning achievement in his mission to subversively destroy a once great network from the inside out. He had the bright idea that he would raze all of the scripted, episodic fare from the 10pm timeslot and replace these shows with what was described at the time as a Jay Leno hosted variety show, but was really just the Tonight Show Lite. This plan was supposed to slash millions upon millions of dollars from the struggling network’s bottom line while providing the same solid lead in to the local 11 o’clock news and Conan O’Brien’s new Tonight Show at 11:35pm.

And as we all know now, it was a complete and utter disaster. Fucker’s big programming move created the biggest shit storm the network has ever endured. Leno’s prime time ratings crashed and burned and the network affiliates went ape shit since there was no audience hanging out when 11pm rolled around . Not too mention the hundreds, if not thousands, of actors, writers, directors, producers, and crew people who were unable to find work without the 260 hours of scripted television he cut.

I won’t continue with the circus that ensued in 2010, since we’re sticking with 2009, but… Mr. Jay Leno, you can consider this your notice - you selfish turd - the Bucket will see you next year on our List of the Top Ten Worst People of 2010. - Cody

4). Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck is an idiot. I am clearly not the first person to feel that way. And I won’t, by any means, be the last. But… he is an idiot. And beyond that just an awful, awful, indecent human being. Scum, if I had to describe Glenn Beck in one word.

Beck moved from HLN to Fox News in January of 2009. Now, Beck had always been regarded as a… well, I guess you could use the term comically irreverent conservative political pundit on his HLN and radio show, but God only knows what happened to the man seemingly over night once he switched his show to Fox News. It’s like a crazy switch got flipped in his brain. He started making completely erroneous claims like calling Barack Obama a racist (then contradicting his own statement 30 seconds later) and linking slavery to liberalism. He started pulling out chalk boards and making absurd, nonsensical lists, like his 9/12 Project - nine principles and twelve values that define what he considers to be the true American psyche. And as we’ve all seen by now, he started openly weeping regularly on national television.

The laundry list of crazy goes on and on. And it’s easy to laugh it all off, and call Beck a clown. But the scary part of all this is that there are a lot of people in this country who listen to Glenn Beck and take him seriously. They don’t see him for the buffoon he is - as a guy who will say or do just about anything, no matter how irresponsible or unfounded, as long as the ratings are up. These people graciously lap up every single bit of Beck’s soggy teabag.

But what makes Beck such a bad person is that he’s fully aware that the more he incites these folks with his insane rants and antics the more his ratings will go up. And he’s OK with that. It’s the worst kind of propaganda and hate mongering, because Beck has the audacity to mask it all behind a glass shield of “patriotism”. He’s a phony and a coward and it’s time people take a long, hard look at what a danger this guy has become. - Cody

Victim In Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck

5). Chris Brown

I believe it was the great singer/songwriter and Tantric cocksman Sting who once said if you love somebody, pummel the ever-loving shit out of their face - or something like that, along those lines...

Chris Brown, formerly regarded as hip hop’s boy-next-door, “allegedly” took this advice to heart in the wee hours of February 7th, 2009, after a Grammy Awards party, when he “allegedly” took something beautiful and turned it into wadded up silly putty. He also “allegedly” tried to kick, literally KICK, his then girlfriend Rihanna out of his car, and “allegedly” fled the scene before the cops showed up. When the police did arrive they found Rihanna, battered and tattered, on the side of the road, still in her Grammy Awards gown.

Brown got away with probation and community service. And many were outraged that he did not spend one night in jail and thus did not deservedly have his pleasure doubled numerous times by his cellmate. - Cody

6.) Lou DobbsOh, Lou you just had to take your show to crazy town didn't you, and now you've lost it forever. There was a time, a few years ago, where Lou made salient points and he used his bull like theatrics to get to the truth. That time is gone. Over the past few years Lou has turned his quest to fix immigration into one giant angry xenophobic rant. Instead of trying to find honest and helpful solutions he has incited fear and anger toward Hispanics. To make matters worse he has seemingly embraced the directives of the Birther movement. If you are unfamiliar they are those dim-witted folks who are convinced that Obama was not born in this country, even though there is strong evidence to the contrary. So the funny part is after this knucklehead loses his show, mostly in part because of his crazy crusades. This fucking nimrod decides that his ideas are too hot for regular cable TV and that he has to channel them into possibly a run for office. Huh? Wha? Sure Lou you go and run for Congress. I would say don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, but I guess if that other loon Michelle Bachman can get elected then---oh, man -- yikes! Can we get Lou Dobbs deported?- Jeff

7.) Richard & Mayumi Heene

It truly pains me to waste addition
al world wide web space on these two royal douches. However, this list would not be complete without their inclusion. You know Richard and Mayumi Heene better as The Balloon Boy’s parents. That’s right, the hoax that transfixed America during a really, really slow news week in mid-October of 2009.

The Colorado Air National Guard, a swarm of police, fire and rescue forces and the country’s most prestigious news outlets frantically scrambled to the scene. The Denver airport was shut down, flights were diverted. It was nothing short of mass hysteria, with some newspapers estimating the total cost of the “rescue” effort at 2… MILLION dollars.

Richard and Mayumi Heene are truly the saddest sacks of shit I’ve ever heard of. If you care to check out their backstory (and I really hope you don’t) you’ll find that they have been complete and utter failures at every endeavor they’ve undertaken. In their 20s they wanted to be actors. And failed. Richard eventually took a stab at stand-up comedy. And failed. He then pitched himself as the host of a science based TV show for TLC. And failed. And as we all now know, they cooked up this ludicrous balloon plot in an effort to get a reality show… and FAILED.

But the resume of Richard and Mayumi Heene would not be complete without noting the most significant failure of their sad life together… they’ve failed as decent parents and role models to their three young sons. It’s hard to understand how this made sense to them. How they could think it was okay to burden a 6-year-old boy with a lie like that. I mean, the poor kid got tripped up by, of all people, Wolf Blitzer, the Tin Woodsman of on air news personalities.

Oh yeah, and the kid's name is Falcon, btw. So on top of everything else these two twats-for-parents have dumped on this kid ... he has to go through life named F A L C O N. What, did the Heenes' pull that one out of Sarah Palin's Big Ole Book of Wildlife Inspired Baby Names?
- Cody

8.) Coach Mike LeachThis one just got in under the wire to be applicable for 2009 but it certainly was a doozy. Who is this guy Mike Leach you ask? He is, excuse me, was the football coach for Texas Tech. Late in December one of his players accused Leach of mistreatment. Redshirt sophomore Adam James was reportedly told to clean out equipment in the "darkest place" possible and he was not allowed to sit or lean on anything, and this was after the poor kid had sustained a serious concussion the day before. For three hours he was told to do this under threat that if he left he would be booted from the team. If that wasn't bad enough two days later, Leach felt he had been to soft with this kid, he decides to do it again but this time it was a dark tight electrical closet with a guard posted out front. I'm sorry what kind of a scumbag is this Leach? Well he obviously isn't a smart one cause, that kid he abused happen to also be the spawn of ESPN College Football Commentator Craig James. So what do you think Craig James did when he found out his kid's life was put in danger? Yeah, I was thinking maybe Leach should be put on the Celebrity Bucket of Dumb as well.

To make matters worse after the school decided to mildly punish their rock star coach by suspending him. Leach went on a tirade against the upper management, the kid and his family and everybody he could think of. The guy decides to get a lawyer and he basically sues the school, and he wonders why they fired his stupid ass. Now his former players are coming clean about the year from hell that was 2009. Apparently James was just the tip of the iceberg. Leach had been pulling this kind of crap all season long. It seems that James was the only one to actually stand up and say it to the public.

There is another factor here though that needs to be addressed, I'm gonna give Coach Leach some company on the list, the Texas Tech fans. Yeah, you heard me right! It's one thing to support your coach it's another to boo, curse and threaten a player on a team you root for. It's tacky and it's ignorant and it goes right up there with the Eagles fans pelting Santa with snowballs. Thankfully the Texas Tech team had more class then their fans as they all stood up for their teammate and friend at the same time they were respectful to their outgoing coach.

I'm not sure where Mike Leach will end up, but in the meantime, I think he needs to take a deep breath do some yoga take some anger management classes. Maybe a PR class or two, or three...-Jeff

9). Kanye West

It took bum rushing the stage during a dumb, pretty white girl's acceptance speech at a meaningless award show for this twisted, grotesque, egomaniac to get what he had coming to him for a long time... a FUCKING reality check, as the audience at the 2009 MTV VMAs booed his overexposed, overrated, and obnoxious ass off the stage.

But this guy has just been... such an awful person for such a long time, I can't understand how people not only put up with it for so long, but kind of respected it?? So, Kanye, I hope you've made a New Year's Resolution for 2010 to sit down, shut the fuck up, grow out those tramlines, and for God's sake never wear those ridiculous shutter shades again...

...oh, and tell kids who bought them because of you that they look like fucktards, too. - Cody

10.) Oprah Winfrey "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have."Now some of you may object that I put Oprah Winfrey on this list. Yes I know the power of almighty Oprah. Let me first say that I don't think Oprah is evil and I think Oprah may not be a bad person. That being said, I do think Oprah is extremely reckless with the power she has obtained over the last 20 years or so. People think it's so great that Oprah buys cars, houses and other extravagant things for her fans. On the surface sure, it sounds great, she's a woman of the people. Did she pay the taxes for the car and the house she just gave you, are these things insured? Cause if she didn't that sure does suck for you in some cases these high priced gifts could cause you problems later when you have to pay the sales tax. We are in a deep recession after all. One of the things that has always irked me about her is that she seems to want to buy the people's love with fancy cars.

Last year Newsweek published a scathing article about Oprah and her predilection to promote bizarre medical cures from slightly crazy stars. Against the advice of real doctors she has put her considerable popularity behind strange health cures as sold by Suzanne Somers. Some of these so-called cures are not only just nutty they are dangerous. You would think someone of Oprah's vast resources that she would consult the best doctors in all fields before giving a person of Somers intellect a platform on her show promoting drugs she couldn't possibly have any real knowledge about. To make matters worse Oprah berated Doctors in their respected fields for challenging Somers and her crazy diet. Personally I respect Oprah and what she has achieved for herself over the years but it does appear that if you reach a certain pinnacle of power, who is to tell you are flat out wrong? Why Oprah of course. - Jeff

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

I actually saw this one over Christmas break but I just haven't had time to post it. I ended up seeing this one twice and I enjoyed it both times. It really is a perfect film for the winter season. Something about the Victorian era, carriages on cobblestones, the eerie dark corners of White Chapel and the seedy underbelly of downtown London. I'm always a sucker for that kind of imagery and this film did not disappoint. Watching Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law together as Holmes and Watson was the biggest treat of all. Both of these guys seemed to be very at home in their roles and their chemistry was comparable to that of Newman and Redford. God's honest truth, I'm a sucker for a great buddy action flick too.This is not an origin story, thankfully. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) appear to have been partners for quite a while. In fact they are nearing the climax of a case as the film opens. They put an end to a murder spree by a creepy nobleman, Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), who has killed 5 virgins and was attempting to kill a 6 before Holmes foils his attempt. The story takes a sinister and magical turn as Lord Blackwood seemingly hanged for his crimes is discovered walking around and plotting to take back the colonies for his own nefarious purposes.To be honest the plot was nothing new, it seemed to fall under the typical for a Sherlock Holmes story, not revolutionary and not original by any stretch of the imagination. In fact many of the plot points reminded me of another fun Sherlock Holmes tale from the 80's called Young Sherlock Holmes. This film also dealt with secret orders and dark and ancient mystical forces. What made this film interesting and fun was Holmes and Watson and their strange partnership. Holmes is insanely brilliant but lacks social graces and possibly suffers from bad hygiene. While Watson is strong willed, responsible, organized and damn he can kick your ass. In this film, actually, Holmes can too. He most certainly has the personality of the Holmes in the books and any previous film but the difference, in this movie, he is a detective and he can put someone in the hurt locker. I really loved his voice-over explaining his chess-like attacks on his opponents. It's genius and completely within reason for an intellect like Sherlock Holmes. It also thankfully provides some humor for us. Watson also is a source for humor as the two of them verbally spar back and forth throughout the film. Watson is truly a partner and almost an equal to Holmes which I found to be an improvement from earlier works. Actually the weak link in this cast and script was unfortunately Rachel McAdams', femme fatalle, Irene Adler. I like McAdams, she's a wonderful actress and she's gorgeous to boot but she was a little miscast here. She just didn't fit well into the dynamic.I truly enjoyed this interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes series and I hope to see more in the future. My hat goes off to director Guy Ritchie this is probably my favorite thing of his since whenever. He really hit a low with that bad Madonna flick Swept Away. Thankfully he was able to prove what a great director he can be. So if you haven't seen this one get out there now, it's a fun script with great chemistry between Downey and Law and there is plenty of action and suspense for all. The game is afoot.

Grade: 4 Buckets

Saturday, January 02, 2010


After reading all the hype about the amazing 3D world James Cameron had created I decided to stop rolling my eyes and go see if this is the movie that is going to save Hollywood from the fire pit of oblivion. As the credits were rolling I wasn't quite sure what this movie was going to do to save the film industry but I was sure that James Cameron and Fox were going to walk home with a shitload of money. The film is undeniably gorgeous in it's scope and depth, visually. The planet of Pandora, where our story takes place, is richly detailed from every leaf on the trees to each blade of grass under the native Na'vi's feet. But as you may suspect the story is about as deep and predictable as a self-help book by Dr. Phil.In the distant future a parapalegic war veteran, Jake (Sam Worthington), gets a second chance to walk again. After his twin brother is killed in battle, Jake is asked to take his brother's place in a scientific experiment where he can mentally control a Na'vi called an Avatar. As you might suspect Jake is at first wary of the Native-American like Na'vi but after they take him into the tribe he turns on the hand that feeds him to protect them. Now there are a few eye rolling moments and one of the big ones is the speech by the uber corporate tool Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi). He explains to Jake why they are there to collect a rare mineral called, yes I'm serious, Unobtainium. Everytime Parker says it I cringe, you couldn't have just called it the new oil, or carbontonium. That's a good one. But unobtainium just souds goofy. Not to mention they are never really clear on what this thing really does. I gather that it's used for fuel but it just seems like a red herring to me. Something thrown in there just so the corporation can dig there. Also it would have been nice to get a little backstory on why they had to leave Earth. I think they mention a few times that it's a dark planet plantless and barren. But they don't really drive it home, hence I can't remember, so it feels like a chunk of the story is missing. It's also unfortunate that after all of this time James Cameron is still writing his own scripts. Avatar is littered with bad puns and poor Michelle Rodriguez got stuck with all of them.I enjoyed Zoe Saldana's Na'vi warrior Neytiri. It was also very odd but I found her blue skinned giant alien creature kinda sexy, is that weird? The best parts of the film were the training sequences with the Na'vi. The story was by far Cameron's weak point but the Na'vi and their homeworld are extremely strong. After Jake is brought into the tribe you come to understand their connections to the planet and its inhabitants. How the Na'vi can merge their minds, like in the Matrix, with the native horses or bird creatures. It was truly amazing to watch, especially in 3D. I also enjoyed Sigourney Weaver's crabby but likeable Dr. Grace Augustine, she really held this thing together many times when it felt like things were getting too absurd. It was also fun watching Stephen Lang chew some scenery as the hard ass bastard Colonel Quaritch. The battle sequences were epic and amazing visually. You can see the cash register chiming evertime there is a mighty explosion.Overall it's a fun and enjoyable flick and if you are on the fence about seeing it don't be. You'll get your money's worth especially if you see it in 3D. It's predictable and the story is cliched to the hilt but the Na'vi and the inhabitants of the world of Pandora are the best parts of this movie and they should keep your interest through this rather long epic. In short you have to see this in a theatre. It achieves its goal as a solid popcorn flick, as long as it doesn't get nominated for best screenplay.
Overall Grade: 3 BucketsGrade for 3-D: 5 Buckets