Monday, January 31, 2011


I hate absolutes, so I don't know if the guy that the people of Egypt are trying to install is going to be better than Mubarak and I find it hard to throw myself whole-heartedly into an uprising when people are looting and breaking out prisoners (not all of whom, I assume, were in prison for unjust political reasons). But, of course, we shouldn't let a few bad apples spoil the freedom-seeking bunch. So tonight I stand in solidarity with the people of Egypt, or, rather, I move in solidarity with them.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #100, Whiteout

In which a clerk is typing up an important document, one that will change the history of the world, and makes an error. How quickly can he correct it?

No, that's not it.

In which we take a trip inside the Republican side of Congress to see how many minorities there are.

No, not right either.

Whiteout, the seventy-first movie I've seen on this list, is a murder mystery that takes place in Antarctica. When a scientist's body turns up in far away from the station at which he worked, a U.S. Marshal must find out who killed him before the killer gets her. In order to solve the mystery, she must battle the extreme elements.

Well, they're only sort of extreme. There's lots of talk in the movie about how cold it gets and how that can kill you but the marshal, played by Kate Beckinsale, never does cover her face up when she goes outside because Beckinsale is just too darn good-looking for that. Also, there are ropes all around the science stations so that people can find their way around during whiteout conditions. This leads to a number of scenes -- by which I mean a number greater than one -- in which suspense is derived from a character trying to change their caribiner from one rope to the next while being chased by someone also attached to the rope. How exciting is that?! In one such scene, being detached from the rope means you will immediately get blown away by the wind, yet when attached to the rope the people are able to move about easily. So, yeah, the elements are extreme, but only when convenient to the story.

There's much to be made about how isolated Antarctica is, yet an FBI agent just happens to show up at one point randomly. Would have made sense if he was the bad guy, but he wasn't. Just popped in, I guess. The only other Antarctica movies I can think of are The Thing, March of the Penguins, and Alien vs. Predator. So Antarctica movies are batting about .500 right now.

This one is mostly just boring, aside from the laziness in the writing. Yet another in the long line of thrillers where they've given you no reason to care about any character and therefore there is no reason to feel any suspense about anything. If she dies, she dies. Whatever. Her life sucks because she lives on Antarctica anyway.

Ostensibly, this is the "best" of the one hundred worst movies from 2000-09. It's not nearly the worst, but it's not the best of the movies I've seen so far. It's all relative, of course, but I'd probably give that honor to Broken Bridges (the Toby Keith family drama) or, yes, Boat Trip. Whiteout is somewhere below those two, but it is certainly better than -- as I beat this dead horse over and over -- Year One, which is the one movie that is not on this list but absolutely belongs on it. Maybe it was #101.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


As the Thursday night comedies go, Community is probably the one that is least easy to jump into for a week because so much of the show is based on character development, so while tonight's was very funny, I'm not sure a casual viewer would enjoy it as much as I did. However, both Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock had ridiculous episodes tonight that are funny on their own. I probably laughed hardest at a certain sequence at the end of 30 Rock, the funniest Jon Gosselin-related joke in a very long time, but Parks and Rec was the funniest overall. Have to see it if only for Rob Lowe's performance.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just A Smidge To Your Left

You know, I tweeted a bunch of jokes during what I thought was a good, but not great by any means, State of the Union Address. In the end, nothing I could write here is funnier than just watching this. No, we're over here, Congresswoman.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Worst of the Worst: #36, The Whole Ten Yards

I have not seen The Whole Nine Yards, so it's possible that I missed a lot of the point, but the reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes who gave this a 4% don't seem to think so. I refused to even look up the plot of the first one. I figured I could just catch the general gist from whatever happens in this one. I sort of got what each character's role was, but it's not like I cared.

The movie is like a Fozzy Bear routine, gag after gag after gag that fall flat. There were a couple of times that I expected one of the characters to say, "Wacka wacka," or for there to be a rim shot. I'm not sure that Matthew Perry is generally funny and Amanda Peet can be hot or cold, but Bruce Willis is an accomplished actor. Pretty sure I saw him in the background of a scene cashing his paycheck. At least that was better than Kevin Pollak, playing a slapstick Hungarian gangster with bad writing and a worse accent.

In fact, if the title weren't already taken, Back For More Cash would be a fitting moniker for this lazy exercise in sequel-making. I presume the first one was generally well-liked so, like many comedy sequels -- he says, fearing for The Hangover 2 -- they just went back to the well. How lazy is it? IMDB marks seventy-two -- seventy-two -- different errors in the film. It's less a movie to be enjoyed than a continuity-error-finding game from a seriously sadistic Highlights issue.

70 down, 30 to go.

Worst of the Worst: #39, Miss March; #88, Kaena: The Prophecy

A double shot for no particular reason other than I had the time and hadn't watched one in a few weeks. Also, my reviews for each are quite short, so why not combine them?

1) There are no redeeming qualities to Miss March. None. The two guys who wrote, directed, and starred in the film are going for a Harold and Kumar-type vibe, but they are neither smart enough nor funny enough to pull it off. For a movie about guys road-tripping to the Playboy Mansion, it is telling that there are more poop jokes -- graphic ones -- than there are sex jokes. Nobody in the movie is even slightly likable. I'm not offended easily and I don't really care about the whole "R-word" movement, but I was taken aback by how often the word "retarded" is used in this one. Even Craig Robinson playing a rapper with an obscene name that is supposed to be funny, but instead is just dumb, can't save it. Nothing can save it.

2) Then, we go to Kaena: The Prophecy, the English dub of a French animated sci-fi movie. It uses the same CGI as video games, which is slightly interesting except the people are all wrong. They don't quite look or move right. At least the plot is original, dealing with a planet of people who live in a tree that is under attack and one precocious girl goes on a quest to save them. That hasn't been made into a movie too many times. The girl is fifteen, but is quite inappropriately buxom -- a major problem with women in animation -- and there is, in ostensibly a kid's movie, one creepy sexual reference. The biggest thing is that the movie just doesn't make any sense. You never know what's going on because you can't figure out who the characters are or why they do what they do and the end sequence just left me scratching my head. Maybe the French could understand it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ron F***ing Swanson

The return of NBC's Thursday night comedies with a decent 30 Rock and a good, but not great, Community. But the big thing was the return of Parks and Recreation and the brilliance that is Ron Swanson. This is from a past season.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

For The Record

Nope, didn't watch one second of Idol and didn't miss it a bit. In other words, there was nothing on TV. Anyways, here is the song to which the baby fell asleep tonight. She's not a whiny kid, but she might become one if I keep letting her listen to this kind of stuff.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty, Pretty Good

  • The Monologue:
    • What is there to say about this article? First, people overreact. Second, the commenters who are quoted have the geekiest screen names possible. Third, people overreact. God forbid I not be able to manage my Netflix queue from my Wii!
    • Also, why did the writer have to make a point that this was announced on MLK Day. Netflix is f***ing with my civil rights!
    • I've had a problem for a while with how blog-heavy Yahoo! has become. They keep promoting stupid things with their headlines.
    • Say what you will, but Palin doesn't let anything get in her way or make her admit a mistake, no matter how often people try to crucify her.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • How has Wayne Brady not yet been offered Regis' job. Am I right? Who would be better for any large number of reasons?
    • Plus, Regis makes Larry King look like Meir Kahane. Or something like that.
    • AMC gets a lot of deserved pub for having the two best shows on TV and the biggest new hit, but it is not the non-premium cable channel with the best shows. That would be FX. It has three of the best comedies in Louie, Archer, and It's Always Sunny, and it had the best new show of 2010 in Terriers and the best non-AMC drama in Sons of Anarchy. Tonight marked the second episode of FX's Lights Out, a new drama about a former boxing champ trying to keep his life and family together as his finances and health erode. Another great show. The last ten minutes of the pilot are Godfather-esque and the last bit of tonight's episode was close.
  • Random Video:
    • An amazing mix of a great cable TV show, as mentioned above -- in fact, my single favorite sitcom of all time -- and music that I use to put the baby to sleep. When I'm not hitting her with early '90s pop, the Mussorgsky piece accompanying this teaser is my classical music of choice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Can Spin Anything

  • The Monologue:
    • I don't think I've done this blog regularly in about three weeks. Three weeks worth of jokes!
    • The NFL wussed out because of snow in Philadelphia and then everyone got a blood libel against them. Am I right?
    • Never mind, we'll just start over again tomorrow.
  • Random Pop Culture:
    • The ending of the winter finale of How I Met Your Mother only works if the next episode was appropriate. It was pretty good. A lot of the jokes missed, but Jason Segel did a really, really nice job. We'll see if the death was for just this one-off episode or if it hangs over everyone for the foreseeable future. Grey's Anatomy did a great job of that with the shooting, but we'll see.
    • Matthew Lillard looked about 45 on House tonight. After writing that sentence, I looked on IMDB and he's 40. 40!
    • Okay, I never did my best of 2010's TV. It's pretty simple. We lost Lost and Aaron Paul killed on Breaking Bad. Terriers became one of the great one-season shows in recent memory and FX dropped a couple of other tremendous shows in Archer and Louie. You want to know the best show, the best acting, and the single best episode of the year? Easy. Six words: That's. What. The. Money. Is. For.
  • Random Video:
    • On nights on which I put the baby to bed, I'll provide the song to which she fell asleep. The baby, by the way, is awesome.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Crisis of motivation lately. Vacation, work trip, no great ideas. Anyways, I forgot that I had seen 'The Kids Are Alright'. I take back what I said about 'The Social Network' being the most overrated movie of the year.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Bother?

A break from an intense work trip to touch on how people react to Sarah Palin. She used the term "blood libel" in her unconciliatiory video about the shooting in Tucson. Yes, that is inappropriate and connotatively anti-Semitic. You can get angry about it, but why scream or tweet or whatever? She doesn't care what anyone says. The people who love her aren't going to change their minds. The people who hate her will hate her no matter what. I can't imagine there are any people with no opinion any more. Screaming only makes one seem like they're screaming for their own good. Just let her be. Indifference can be more powerful than emotion sometimes.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Playoffs? Playoffs?!

2010's TV still to come. First this great story and then my picks for the NFL playoffs this weekend.

Saints at Seahawks: The Saints are the defending champs and the Seahawks are the first team to make the playoffs with a losing record. The Saints destroyed Seattle in New Orleans earlier in the year thanks to the hard feelings between Reggie Bush and Pete Carroll. I'm taking Seattle and the 10-1/2 points here. New Orleans has no running game and that number is just too big for me for a home team.

Jets at Colts: The Colts defense is horrible, but the Jets offense is inconsistent. Do you trust Sanchez on the road if the Colts decide to take away the run and make him beat them? I'm rooting for the Jets because I want to see them play the Patriots next week, but I'll take Manning and give the 3 points here. At home, I think he can flat out outscore the Jets.

Ravens at Chiefs: The Chiefs beat one playoff team, Seattle. I don't really need to say much more than that. Ravens and the 3 points.

Packers at Eagles: I keep going back and forth on this. The Eagles defense is actually slightly better against QBs than Green Bay. Vick was exposed against Minnesota, but you would think that it's unlikely that they would fall for the same safety blitz that the Vikings ran, oh, every single play with success. Green Bay is one-dimensional on offense, but that one dimension is really good. Give me Green Bay plus 3 points on the strength of their defense and their momentum.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2010: Movies

I don't follow new music enough to say anything. I bought four albums all year: Eminem, Kanye, Ben Folds/Nick Hornby, and the Treme soundtrack. All great -- Kanye's the best, but you've probably heard that everywhere -- but nothing new, per se.

Ditto books. I read seven books that I can remember, two of which that are new. Team of Rivals took me about six months of sporadic reading and then I relatively burned through the Stieg Larsson trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy. Again, all good, except for maybe The Girl Who Played With Fire.

TV will take a bit longer, so I'll just go with movies tonight. I saw a total of two movies in the theaters after mid-August, but I tried to see a bunch before that. Some lists based on what I saw, which I'm sure will change as I see more of the Oscar movies.

Best Scene:

  • 3. The Last 30 Minutes of The Expendables -- Okay, not really, but it was freaking awesome.
  • 2. Andy Gives Up His Childhood, Toy Story 3 -- One of the great tearjerker scenes in recent memory.
  • 1. The Turning Room, Inception -- An amazing special effect; you could tell it wasn't CGI but it still looked as stupendous as almost anything in Avatar.

Biggest Disappointment:

  • 3. The Social Network -- I saw it after all of the huge hype and it may win Best Picture, but I just don't think it was "Best Picture good." Some all-time moments but a lot of flaws, glaring ones if you've read the book.
  • 2. The Losers -- An awful, awful movie, but you'd think it would be a lot more entertaining with its cast (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Jason Patric). Nope.
  • 1. The End of Iron Man 2 -- Okay, so they have this huge fight with tons of unbeatable robots and then he just presses a button and shoots a super laser that kills all of the bad guys? Then, he beats the ultimate villain by crossing the streams? Iron Man 2 ripped off its ending from Ghostbusters. Shameful.

Best Acting:

  • 3. Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass -- She's 13. Seriously. And awesome.
  • 2. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network -- He really was quite good. I remember a few years ago when Adventureland came out and I thought Eisenberg was the guy you cast when Michael Cera wasn't available. But then came the perfection of Zombieland and I hit the turning point on him.
  • 1. Jeff Bridges, True Grit -- He may not be getting award mentions because people take him for granted. He acts better in moments in this film where he is silent and moving one eye than most actors ever will with a great script.

Worst Movie:

  • 3. Little Fockers -- I didn't see it, but you know it belongs here.
  • 2. The Losers -- This movie is seeing for one thing and one thing alone: Jason Patric's acting. It's a clinic. I've never felt more uncomfortable watching someone butcher the art of cinema than any time that he was on the screen.
  • 1. Robin Hood -- I almost walked out forty-five minutes into the movie, but thankfully it got merely boring after that. Those first forty-five minutes, though? Oh. My. God.

Best Movie:

  • 5. Kick-Ass -- Slick, fun, and even Nicolas Cage was great in it.
  • 4. True Grit -- You know I love the Coen Brothers.
  • 3. The Social Network -- It was flawed, but the good parts were brilliant.
  • 2. Inception -- I actually have it saved on Amazon VOD to re-watch because I feel like I was able to nitpick the hell out of it after the initial amazement.
  • 1. Toy Story 3 -- Inception is great and I can totally understand why people have it as #1, but any movie that can stir the mix of strong, strong emotions that this one can? You don't find that too often.

Just This Once

You know, liberals can really piss me off. I'm all for fair and equal treatment of everyone, people with money giving back or having to pay taxes to support society, and plenty of other ideals that people would call liberal. It's the political correctness that can kill me. I see tweets from people that are outraged that Huckleberry Finn is being censored. It's one printing from one publishing house. Not every copy of the book ever. Chill the f*** out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Getting There

Been meaning to do a "best of 2010" bit, but I've lost motivation. Between vacation, football, not watching a bad movie over the weekend, and playing NBA 2K11 a lot, I'm a little off on this right now. Maybe tomorrow, unless I watch a bad movie. I thought about doing it tonight, but got sidetracked when I was infuriated by the awful How I Met Your Mother episode. The jokes were probably average quality for the show, but the episode included numbers that kept showing up on various books or TV screens that counted down from fifty. When they got to one, the show ended on a huge non-sequitir. So they're making you not pay attention to anything going on and then they drop something that didn't fit with anything else. Okay...