August 31, 2012 § 2 Comments
So like I’ve been saying lately, I haven’t had much time as of late to write here. I currently have 14 stories that I need to do between today and next Saturday, each of which will take at least an hour, and that’s just for one website. In total, I will have to write about 20 stories in the next week or so. TWENTY! At least!
However, it’s Friday and that means I can do a quick Pound-Pound for a Twitter account and today’s “winner” (in quotes because you’ve won nothing, sorry dude) is @egg_dog.
What is egg dog? Nobody knows. It is a dog that tweets about the most random, unexplainable, life observations on a daily basis. Best part of all is that even though it’s a dog that can write, he can’t write very well. Just enough to be understood. Here are some of Egg Dog’s top tweets:
@egg_dog: facte: you eat 28 spiders in your lifetime. always 28. if you are about to die and you have only eaten 3 then 25 spiders arrive at once
(That tweet received 562 favorites and 922 re-tweets. Holey sht!)
@egg_dog: those bread ends u hate? theyre bread parenthesis w/out them thered b bread everywhere no way to stop it wed b fucked trapped in bread hell
@egg_dog: adjectives #WordsThatDescribeMe
(simpel and affective)
I think that’s enough to convince anyone that’s on twitter to follow the egg dog. The best part about it is that usually I’ll write a bit about the person that’s tweeting but I don’t know a damn thing about this doggy. That makes my job really easy. Go follow. Unless you’re not on twitter, then you’ve already won.
August 28, 2012 § 3 Comments
One of the issues with starting a series during a vampire craze is that you tend to lose interest from people once the craze dies down. I guess that’s part of why True Blood has decided to tap into every single other mythical creature known to man, but I feel like many fans of season one are long since gone.
Since I have a disease that won’t allow me to not finish any series that I invest heavily into, I’m still here. Thankfully, True Blood seems to have recovered from it’s season two disaster and subsequently bad years. The fifth season got back to actually turning in some surprises and interesting characters, but with Alan Ball leaving as show-runner, will it continue?
The following basically contains season five spoilers only, so keep that in mind. This is really obvious from the title of the article, right?
At the end of season four, Debbie, Marnie, Jesus, and Tara were all dead. Steve Newlin and Russell Edgington were apparently not. I’ve decided that the best way to recap the entire season would to do it by characters and explain how I felt about their storyline. This is a new thing I am trying out, so bare with me:
I’ve never really been fond of her character. She’s pissed off about everything, she had never showed much depth other than that, basically only being used as a device for Snookie or Lafayette when they had their own shit going on. Finally this season she was given something to do for herself after Pam resurrected her after Snookie told her that she’d do anything if she saved Tara. Knowing that this would finally give her something to hold over the girl she hates, Pam accepted and turned Tara into a vampire.
At first, I was more annoyed by Tara than ever. Now she was just a really pissed off vampire and again, it was just about how Snookie and Lafayette felt about this. Then she went to be with Pam and while I hated it when she became some stripper, by the end of the season I was finally at ease with Tara. Is it because she and Pam apparently fell in love? Probably. But it’s the least annoying relationship that Tara has ever been in and finally gives Pam some substance too.
Alternatively, Lafayette seemed to get lost this year. His whole thing with Jesus was cool but then after Jesus died, it seems like he didn’t have anything left to do. Sure, he is now like a full-blown medium, but that only makes him useful for when other people have problems.
By the time he had helped resolved issues for Sookie and Arlene, he was just there to be flamboyant and offer people food and drinks. Lafayette’s season five story arc: “You gon’ love me forevah’ when you try this, bitch.” or something. Basically his only purpose this year was really making me want to eat the food he cooked because Alan Ball makes it seem like he’s the best chef and drink mixer in the entire world. Oh and he can talk to dead people.
Arlene and Terry
Did you ever get the feeling that these two are only in the show because sometimes True Blood needs to fill an extra six minutes per episode? If there is a single character in the show that I miss, it’s Rene.
No offense to them, they’re likeable, but what’s their point? They don’t seem to interact with the other characters at all.
Andy Bellefleur and Holly
And this is like another set of “Arlene and Terry” except that Andy does play a part in the rest of the series. I really like that Andy and Jason have teamed up as partners and everything, but now he’s got four fairy babies? What?
Andy Bellefleur has become like a mix of Chief Wiggum and Apu.
Perhaps that most interesting flip in series history was the season five arc of Bill, going from the love of Sookie’s life into Russell Edgington but worse. The series has hinted for awhile now that Bill had some inklings of going into the authority for good, but we always expected that eventually he would become “Nice guy Bill” and never fall out of love with Sookie.
When Eric and Sookie go to him at the end of the season finale, we all knew what was going to happen: He’d be reasoned with, realize how awful he’s been, throw away the blood, and then something weird would happen like he’d be kidnapped by Lilith or some shit. Okay, so much for that!
Bill says, “Screw you guys, man. I’m hella cool now!” drinks all of Lilith’s blood and then dies. Holy shit, Bill is dead! Except that after becoming a pool of blood, he regenerates (with special effects apparently done by the SyFy network) and is super evil now or so I assume. I don’t think that a vampire can regenerate out of his own blood after drinking the blood of evil and be good ever again. Alan Ball has basically confirmed this.
He’s still Bill, but he’s like “Bad re-incarnated Bill” which is cool. I did not expect that. Of course, I’m not really sure how a character like Bill can go from being like the nicest vampire ever to a one-man show of evil and carnage over night, but why ask questions? This is True Blood, not The Wire.
I love Christopher Meloni. I will miss Christopher Meloni. Five meager little episodes. :(
Part of what turned Bill, I guess, was the character Salome. I never really caught on to what she had to do with anything, why she was important, and why I should care about her except that her short love affair with Bill probably played an integral role in turning him evil.
She was otherwise useless until Bill killed her. Damn, he is evil. Remember when Eric was evil? This show just decides, “Whatever, now let’s make this character good and this one bad.” Breaking Bad has done that, but it made a lot more sense and took a lot more time. Did you see how even in this paragraph about Salome, it was more about Bill? Yeah, that’s her character!
Sam and Luna
Have you ever seen two people more naked? How weird was it to be on that set all season? How awkward was it for Luna to run around with her breasts hanging out for probably 15 hour days on set? I guess that they absolutely must have gotten used to it.
I, however, will never get used to seeing Sam Merlotte make out with himself. Has anyone else noticed that obviously being a shifter is better than being anything else ever and yet everybody else focuses on vampire and werewolves? I think it’s pretty obvious that once people found out that shifters existed, we wouldn’t care about the vampires. I would want to get bitten by a shifter, even if it didn’t turn me into a shifter. That’s how amazing they are. You can shift into any animal and even other humans.
Sam and Luna are also a “relationship side show” for True Blood, except that they actually do play a part in some of the integral storylines. They played a part in the “Obama” storyline big time and then even the authority storyline by the end. Of course, Sam was once one of the central characters of the show and now he’s not a part of Sookie’s life anymore, so they had to figure a way to get him involved in the meat of it all. But it’s weird because he really is not a part of that vampire stuff at all. Like, does Sookie even work at Merlotte’s anymore? DOES SAM!?!?! HOW ARE THESE PEOPLE MAKING MONEY?!!!
Oh Hoyt. You’re probably one of my favorite characters, but I was really sad to see you give up on Jason. I know how hard it is to forgive him for what he did, but life isn’t about just forgetting its about forgiving. You and Jason are lifelong pals. Asking Jessica to glamour you was total bullshit.
(Glamouring, in general, is total bullshit. Vampires should already have taken over the world years ago if glamouring was real.)
His whole season was up-and-down as he tried to get over the whole thing, going from getting sucked on by any vampire he could to being a vampire hate monger that wanted to kill them. There is only one kind of Hoyt that I like and he was neither of those. Maybe it’s best to get his memory erased after all. Can I have my memory erased from seeing Hoyt in makeup?
Hoyt went off to Alaska, only to return next season, I’m sure. Hopefully without eyeliner.
I do love Jessica, much like Hoyt, but she has a hard time loving anyone as a vampire. She wanted to be friends with Hoyt, which obviously would never work. She was in lust with Jason and then finally in love. Jessica needs something to do, so she’ll probably get a progeny next year.
Who will Jessica turn into a vamp?
I’m assuming this is who that guy was that replaced Eric as Sheriff for like two days.
I live in LA and I think I once saw Alcide (Joe Manganiello) at the movie theater. Often, actors will just look really big on television. I’m 6’6″. This guy towers over me. He is also probably works out. The internet says that he is 6’5″. It could have been perspective that made him look so tall. It could have been entirely someone else.
Oh, what did he do in the show?
Something about a wolf pack. How many creature politics does this show have to go over? There is this other wolf and he is a jerk and he gives the pack “V” and then Russell Edgington is somehow involved and also Luna’s daughter is part-wolf so this makes Luna and Sam involved. He got a girlfriend or something during the season too, but I don’t even know her name.
His dad was played by the T-1000 though, so that’s awesome.
True Blood seems to introduce a lot of characters that just fall in love with Sookie for four episodes and then insists on making them permanent characters with stuff to do. I’m not so sure I care about the werewolves. Maybe if they were fighting against someone else, but they only fight with each other and they probably smell bad.
Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin
Well, we knew that Russell would be back because they didn’t actually kill him. Steve Newlin was a surprise, mostly because I forgot/didn’t care about him, but he actually was a pleasant surprise this year as a gay vampire after being a straight vampire-hater. His character seems to be a great way for Alan Ball to say what he wants to say about gay-hating pastors that are actually just secretly gay. When Steve Newlin came out and decided to be who he really is, he was a much better character.
Russell we always knew was gay, but now he was also a much more likeable character. He no longer seemed to just want to be evil, he just want to have fun. He wanted to feast and be free and be himself and take over the world or whatever but mostly have sex and drink blood.
He is finally dead for real. Steve is out there somewhere and will probably come back next year with all of the puppies.
So now Eric is like the world’s softest dude ever. He used to be a dick and now he’s soft and squishy and has a lot of sex with his sister. Nobody loves Sookie anymore, I don’t think. Also, Eric and Bill were like Superfriends for awhile. This show has completely turned on it’s head and I still can’t understand how. It’s just one episode to the next, characters are different. Maybe subtle things change characters along the way, but seriously… did you see how soft Eric was and how mean Bill was by the end?
I guess Eric was changed in season four. How am I supposed to remember season four?
So Eric and his sister Nora have crazy amounts of fast-forward sex and then he hates her cause she’s a jerk but then she realizes what a fool she was so they get back to having more sex. Whoopie!
Season five also saw a brief return of Godric, played by Elijah Wood’s doppelganger, who was destroyed by Lilith. There was also the naked character of Lilith by the way and that was weird and hopefully over.
Otherwise, this was a rather dull season for Eric. He’s still a primary character but his purposes in the season seemed rather minute. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go back to being a dick, that’s the way I like my Eric Northman.
Thankfully Jason never changes. I mean, he does go through some life-moments, but the heart of Jason remains the same. First he goes to a sorority party and then decides NOT to have sex with a cute young co-ed because he doesn’t want to be that way anymore? But does he mean it.
Well, he ends up having sex with his old teacher, the woman who helped shape the womanizer that he is but rejects her after they finish. Jason winds up getting involved with the fairy stuff and finds out that his parents were actually killed by vampires. This is when things do start to worry me about Jason because now he wants to kill all of the vampires.
That’s not you, man. His anger is misguided because he wants to avenge his parents death but I know that Jason will realize the errors of his ways. After Jessica finally wants to be with him, he’s like “No way” because she is a vampire but I have a feeling that by next season that will change.
Good old stupid, kind Jason Stackhouse.
Finally, it all comes back to Sookie. The main character of the show, Sookie was the central theme mainly because she was what brought together the mean Eric with the kind Bill. She’s central to everything else.
Except that now Bill is a dick and doesn’t care about her. Eric is nice and cares about her, but not as much as he cares about boning his sister. Alcide was rejected and so has moved on and also found out that she killed his ex, which probably doesn’t help. Russell wanted her for her blood, but he’s dead now. Sam is basically married to Luna. Tara hates her. Pam hates her. Lafayette is like her best friend now but he’s all like, “Taste this, bitch.” I think she’s done a No-Call, No-Show at Merlotte’s for eight weeks straight, so she has no waitress friends.
Basically, we’re sitting here after five seasons and after being the central character, she plays a very little part in all of the storylines. Couldn’t you sort of… continue the whole show without her?
Sookie’s mission this season was to find out more about fairies (oh cool!) and then find out what her grams was trying to tell her, which is that some old vampire named Warlow killed her parents and that she is owed to him from a very old pact. So that’s definitely going to be the storyline of season six for Sookie, finding out who Warlow is, but does anybody care about Sookie anymore?
Including you, the viewer?
I’m sure that by then, they will make her more central to the lives of the other 87 characters but as of this year, she was mostly just another arc in the middle of 112 story arcs, not central to anything. Not especially memorable.
At the very end of the season, Bill turns into bloody evil Bill and Eric tells her to run before the shit hits the fan. As we know with all True Blood cliffhangers, it’s going to be okay. But even then I’m asking myself, “Okay, I want to know more about what the hell Bill has become” and I’m not really concerned about Sookie anymore. That’s what True Blood, season five, was all about for me.
August 24, 2012 § 3 Comments
I think that a criticism of this series might be that I come off as a male chauvinist. That it’s sexist to call women “hot” or possibly implying that I think attractiveness is all that women are good for. That idea is what one might call, “Bull. Shit.”
I love women. If anything, I am a feminist more than I am a chauvinist. I was raised by a woman, and only a woman. I grew up with only women. I am probably single partially for that fact because I am not handy around the house and I can’t change the oil on a car, but I definitely relate well to women. Did you not have any crushes as a kid? Did you not hang a Mark-Paul Gosselaar poster in your room?
Of course you did. We all did, men and women alike. He’s Mark damn Paul freaking Gosselaar.
The reason that I personally like this series is that it gives me an opportunity to reminisce, not on famous sex symbols, but of the lesser-knowns. Perhaps the forgottens. The women that shaped the tastes I have in other women as of today, which is probably why I am single because of course none of them are attainable to a schlub like me.
I should have had a crush on Kimmy Gibbler instead of Alex Mack. (I feel so creeped to write that at 29 that I feel the need to remind everyone that I was 12.)
One such woman actually was a woman from the moment I fell in love. I was only 11 or 12 at the time, but Melinda Clarke was already 24. If you looked at her today, you’d say “Oh yeah, of course she’s beautiful. I mean come on, she’s gorgeous” if you are the type to use “gorgeous.” I am usually not because I guess I’m not secure enough in my manhood to do so, but I just did so what the hell am I talking about? Look at her today:
Well, probably not literally “Today” because holy crap that would be fast to get a picture on the internet and have it as one of the top results on Google Images. It also looks like it’s taken at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards (“what kid doesn’t look up to Melinda Clarke?” he said sarcastically) and I’m almost certain that those weren’t today. I know because I definitely still watch them. (Again, why do I have to come off so creepy? Maybe this whole thing is a bad idea)
Yes, Clarke is a bombshell. If you “didn’t have a thing for redheads” you’d probably question your entire life once you saw Melinda Clarke. You might try olives or mushrooms again because maybe you were wrong about those too.
However, when I fell in love with her, she didn’t look anything like this. Not only because she was younger, but because she had an entirely different kind of make-up on. When I fell in love with Melinda Clarke… she was a zombie.
If you’re asking yourself, “What the hell is wrong with Kenneth?” then welcome to the club. I’m questioning some things about myself at this very moment. But then again I do feel justified for this crush. She is about the most beautiful 1993 zombie ever. Or at least in 1993, since I basically just pigeonholed my whole statement there into that year.
I was and am a major horror movie buff. I grew up watching them from a very young age. I ran to the horror section at Blockbuster every time my mom graciously took me there, and then the teenager behind the counter would say “Stop running, freak. This is a Blockbuster.”
The Return of the Living Dead is my absolute favorite zombie film of all-time, with exception to Shaun of the Dead, which I’d classify maybe a little bit more of a comedy than a zombovie. (Yeah, I know that zomedy works better there, but you can’t tell me what to do. Who are you, the word-mashing police?) It’s not the most popular choice for best zombie film ever made, but it’s my choice. Opinions are funny that way.
Well, this is not Return of the Living Dead, in case you didn’t know, but it is Return of the Living Dead 3. Melinda (who at that time went by “Mindy Clarke”) plays Julie Walker, a rebel without a cause who is in love with her boyfriend or something something zombies. Plot doesn’t matter here. What matters is that she was a cute 24-year-old girl that became infected and then started to transform her look into the craziness you see before you.
I don’t know exactly what it was. The shit in her face, her naturally good looks, or the partially exposed boob, but I fell in love. I didn’t realize until just this moment that my love of damaged women must have started right around this time. (holy shit that’s a whole ‘nother issue.)
But yeah, this is like the ultimately-damaged woman. She was a young, beautiful girl with her whole life in front of her and then she started to turn into this flesh-desiring beast who mutilated her body and could not be saved… yet me and her fictional boyfriend would have done anything to be with her no matter what. There’s probably a message here that goes deeper than the undead, sort of like a metaphor for young people that become addicted to life-altering drugs, but I think I’ll just keep it simple with the “She’s a zombie!” thing.
I was such a horror movie dork in fact that I subscribed to Fangoria Magazine. Not the usual first-thing-you-subscribe-to magazine for most kids, but I know what I wanted and my mom was cool enough to let me have it.
One day, this arrived:
HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Not only that, but it contained a full-length poster of Melinda Clarke as the zombie Julie Walker! This was my dream come true. Now I knew exactly who I would hang up next to The Goss. At this moment, Clarke was my main squeeze.
Over time, that faded. Clarke became a television “star” of sorts, skipping from show to show and
probably definitely now best known for The OC. But not for me. For me, she’ll always be my zombie bride.
Yes, I am single. Why do you ask?
August 22, 2012 § 8 Comments
Editors Note: I wrote this on June 28th with the intention of finishing it but never got around to it. It was a lot of fun to do, but then the fun ended and here we are, posting a partially finished article on a rapper nobody has cared about in 13 years and maybe it’s better that I didn’t finish it. It was pretty long-winded already. I mean, look at how long this editors note is… I write too much.
High school is an interesting time. We think we know everything and yet it won’t be until much later that we find out that we knew nothing. We knew very little about how the world works, how life works, and how we’ll view everything in the world as we get older.
Most of us also had really shitty taste in music, too.
When you age, you start to look at what’s popular and we think, “WHY? WHY? WHY ARE YOU BUYING THIS CRAP?!” I heard the song “Call Me Maybe” for the first time last week. I saw over 100,000,000 views on YouTube and thought to myself, “Well, this should be catchy at least!” but instead found it to be neither catchy or good. (Maybe slightly catchy, which is why I will now avoid it for the rest of my life.) UPDATE: I’ve been completely unable to avoid now! :(
However, when I look back at my own musical choices as a teenager, I can’t pretend like I wasn’t once in that position of having shitty taste. The most popular music I can remember from my high school days for guys my age was rap. At the time, rap was all about excess.
Money, cars, girls, diamonds, grills, and rims, just to name a few. It wasn’t enough to just have a million dollars, you have to spend that million dollars immediately on something that will instantly depreciate in value and have no practical real-world use. It was all about topping the other guy and then you get topped and then someone has topped him.
“Oh you got a car with 20 inch rims? Well, I got a car with 24 inch rims and a dice in the mirror.”
“Oh really, son? My Escalade has 30 inch rims, diamond dice in the mirror, platinum seats, and I just got a Biggie-sized meal from Wendy’s.”
Ca$h Money Millionaires ruled the day, but every rapper from every corner of the country put in their own 2,000,000,000,000 cents on what they have and how great it is. One of those guys was rapper Lil Troy with his classic song that instantly brings me back to cruisin’ in my ’93 Honda Civic on a hot summer day in Washington, with windows down and dice in the mirror.
Troy Birklett, aka Lil’ Troy, is a Houston-based rapper that according to a “citation-needed” tidbit on Wikipedia: “was a successful drug dealer who funded his music business with the money he earned from selling drugs.” You see, Troy was always bound for success because of his entrepreneurial spirit that began in the business of… selling drugs. He ended up hitting it big in music only once with the success of his 1999 single, “Wanna Be a Baller,” the tale of a young man who wanted to elevate his game to that of a real shot-caller around the drug offices.
I can fondly remember the popularity of this release when I was just a freshman in high school and the beat and lyrics still resonate with me today. Though, when I take a closer look at the lyrics, I can’t help but ask myself… WTF?
Let us begin with how the song begins. With the chorus:
Wanna be a baller, shot caller
Twenty inch blades on the Impala
A caller gettin’ laid tonight
Swisher rolled tight, got sprayed by Ike
I hit the highway, making money the fly way
But there’s got to be a better way
A better way, better way, yeah
Troy’s story begins as a hopeful one, as an indication that he wants the excessive cash, the cars, the rims, and the girls but he can’t keep making money dealing drugs as it carries to many risks. He’s looking for a better way. For a better way. Yeah.
(Another Edit: There’s more rappers in this song besides Lil Troy. Part of the reason I have put this off is because I haven’t had the time to figure out who raps where. I’m going to pretend like it’s all Lil Troy. Deal with it?)
I’ma baller, I’ma twenty inch crawler
Blades on Impala, diamond rottweiler
I, 10 hauler, not a leader not follower
Break these boys off I’ma twenty inch crawler
Bust a left, a right, I’m outta sight, I’m throwed
I’m bouncin’ off the road, I’m in a modem with them foe dem
Tiny tune hop out my big body form chain
With the Chong, can’t forget Moet along
So Troy is already a baller. He’s got blades on Impala, and now for the first time we are hearing about his diamond-encrusted dog, taking the “money to excess” to a whole ‘nother level. I, 10 hauler – citation needed.
He’s a twenty inch crawler, and that’s so important (whatever it means) that he notes it twice. “Listen, I’m a twenty inch crawler. Yeah, that’s right a twenty inch crawler.”
“Come again, kind sir?”
“I’m a break you off, because I’m a twenty inch crawler.”
He then explains that he is… sigh… “In a modem with them foe dem.” We’re only about 15 seconds into the song and I’m already at a loss for words. He’s inside of a modem (which makes sense as dial-up modems were quite popular in 1999) and with him are “foe dem.” Like, “for them”? -citation needed.
Then the tiny tune is hopping out of his big body form chain, and the Chong reference being related to marijuana, and the Moet referring to Hennessy. It wraps up nicely with two references I understand but still mind-boggled by his Ghost in the Machine reference to being inside of my modem.
I’ma crawl slow puggin’ on the Optimo hit the sto’
I’ma go real slow puffin’ indo out the do’
I’ma lit the stash green, man, I’m lookin’ clean
Want remote control screens with ice bezeltynes
Marijuana, Marijuana, Marijuana, WHAT?
The first three lines I believe are all references to weed but I’m taken aback by the line of wanting remote control screens with ice bezeltynes. I had to ask myself if bezeltynes were like a prescription drug that I was unaware of. However, a Google search for the word only returns one thing, mainly: THIS SONG.
Did the artists simply make up a word that rhymes? Honestly, how many words rhyme with “clean”? Like, 100,000 words? WTF is ice bezeltynes and if they exist, why can’t I find any other source on it? And what the hell is he talking about with remote control screens IN RELATION to these ice bezeltynes? To me, ice always refers to diamonds, so that part makes sense. Maybe TV screens in the Impala with remote controls and diamonds in the trim, but somebody please tell me what a bezeltyne is.
AND THAT IS WHERE I ENDED THIS POST BUT IT’S ABOUT AS LONG AS IT NEEDS TO BE ANYWAY. THERE ARE MORE LYRICS IN THIS SONG THAT ARE REALLY BAD, BUT I HAVE TO END IT HERE. I ALSO SHOULD ADD THAT I AM PRETTY SURE OTHER RAPPERS IN THIS SONG EXISTED BESIDES LIL TROY BUT I DIDNT HAVE THE TIME TO FIGURE THAT ALL OUT. THANKS FOR READING! WHAT IS A BEZELTYNE?
August 20, 2012 § 18 Comments
I know that I had goals when I started this blog, but I am struggling to remember them now. Basically, I just wanted a place where I didn’t have to only write about sports. I love sports, but I like to write about other things too. There was no set genre that this blog was going to take on, which was both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing I suppose is that it covers a wide range of topics: love, movies, television, dating, random humor, life, my own life, Scott Baio, other things. Mostly Scott Baio. I really just love to write and I loved having a place that was only my own. There’s a curse to that though.
When my article on Marriage or whatever had gotten Freshly Pressed, I thought that was a pretty awesome moment. I am grateful for that today and I’ll always be grateful for that. It brought in a lot of new readers and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun to get 100+ emails a day for a few days because of it. I recently went camping for four days and I didn’t miss a single text or call. Yeah, it was cool to have some attention, even for half-a-week.
But then I felt like I had to stop doing what I wanted to do and start catering more to a certain type of reader. I felt an obligation to continue writing about my love life, even if calling it a “love life” is like calling “What’s Your Number?” a “Romantic comedy.” There’s not actually anything going on there where saying “love” is something that technically pertains to my dating life, just like there isn’t much romance or comedy in that awful, awful movie.
But I felt like now I wasn’t dictating what I got to write, I was now writing for an audience and that if I was going to keep getting page views or likes or new followers, I’d have to keep writing about the same shit. Of course, I didn’t just do this. If you’ve followed my blog, I have intertwined that same randomness for months, trying to push my own weird sense of humor, my TV tournament, or anything else, while still also talking about marriage, sex, and dating. However, I’ve felt “off” almost the entire time.
Finally, I realized why: I started to treat my own blog like just another social media site. Oh wait, that’s it, WordPress is just another social media site. I wanted it to be a place where I could write and not worry about being judged for it, but after awhile I started to get really concerned if not a lot of people “liked” another thing I wrote. I could write something and then sit back and wait for the e-mails to come in about how people liked or commented on a post, and when those emails didn’t come in, I got discouraged. That’s not what I initially intended with a blog. I DO want people to like what I write, but I DON’T want to feel like I did such a crappy job when they don’t make that tiny act of hitting “Like.”
I just wanted to write, I didn’t want to necessarily feel like I needed that positive reinforcement after everything I post, even though it’s human nature to feel that way.
I also had found some other aspects of WordPress to be odd, such as the still daily e-mails I get that somebody is following my blog. I find that kind of odd since I have 828 blog “followers” but no other numbers really change. Just new followers every day, but I don’t see 828 commentors. I don’t see 1/10th of that. Wouldn’t something like that go up if people were actually reading your blog? Then I go to check out THEIR blog and it’s another common theme:
There’s nothing there. Oh, that’s not always true. Of course it’s not. Some of you might be reading this and saying, “Screw you, Kenneth!” and I don’t blame you. And I understand that a lot of people might sign up for WordPress just to follow blogs or have an intention to write a blog and then give up after a day. I gave up on at least a dozen blogs until last year. It’s common. But I just don’t necessarily understand how it happens so much and how I can have that many followers and only know a few of you.
For those of you that I do know, I want to say “thank you.” I am not going to name anyone for the simple purpose that if I even forgot one of you, I’d feel like a total dick and I wouldn’t forgive myself. Just yesterday on Facebook this girl posted on my roommates wall about college and talked about missing the crew and named off like 8 people. I wasn’t one of them, but I should have been and it made me feel shitty about it. I don’t want to accidentally make anyone feel shitty.
You know who you are and I say THANKS!
There are people that have disappeared, and that sucks too because it feels like you lost a good acquaintance or neighbor that you said “Hi!” to and maybe held a door for. Wish I knew you were still doing okay.
I’m very appreciative of those of you that do enjoy reading this blog and have stuck around through my madness and random thoughts, observations, and sometimes-shitty posts. I just admit that I don’t understand WordPress completely and I probably never will. I don’t know where these followers come from and I also don’t really understand how I can go to five completely random blogs and see some of the same people that liked things that I wrote also like things that they wrote. If there are hundreds of thousands of blogs, I’m not sure how that happens. I guess someone could have directed you here by way of this or that and there’s a connection there. I really didn’t want another social media site though, I only want to write.
Given my newest writing job, I’ll have so much less time to write here. I try to put things out when I can, but thanks so much for those of you that seem to like some of the things I write and have stuck around. I do know you’re here and I do want to say Thank You!
August 17, 2012 § 2 Comments
With the news today that the Russian feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot has been sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism,” it seems like an apt time to look back at the fond memories we’ve shared with them over the day.
I can’t believe that after one incident, their entire legacy could come crashing down and after all that they’ve built. Could you even imagine your childhood without the Russian feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot? Could you imagine your children growing up without the Russian feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot?
We just might have to if “the trio” is unable to re-group after two harsh years in Russian prison.
Let’s look back on the incredible career of Pussy Riot…
March, 2012 -
Pussy Riot performs an unauthorized anti-Putin performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow and three are arrested for “hooliganism.”
August 17, 2012 –
They are sentenced to two years in prison.
Farewell, Pussy Riot. I’ll never forget the memory.
August 15, 2012 § 11 Comments
Don’t ask me how or why certain articles prompt me to write a response, but sometimes they just do. As a person that is not only passionate about movies, but about “how Hollywood works,” this new article on The Hollywood Reporter is forcing my hand to write a rebuttal based on one statement that is untrue:
That Channing Tatum is a major star and that Tom Hardy is not. That’s simply bullshit.
Now, the article cites “top studio executives” and “one mega-agent” rather than make the bold statement on it’s own, but THR still has to back up any claim that they put on their own site and magazine. I would:
A) Ask that they tell me what qualifies as a “mega-agent” because it sounds more like a lesser-known Marvel sidekick. and…
B) Tell me why Tatum’s career has ballooned to the level of a “Tom Cruise” and Hardy’s has not.
It pains me to even go down this road because I’ve been a Tatum fan for years. Before Ryan Gosling stole my man-crushed heart, Tatum was one of the first guys that I had to come out for and say, “Yes, I am a straight man and I like Channing Tatum and acknowledge that women should find him attractive.” That’s about as hetero as I can say it. But THR blatantly glosses over Tatum’s failures with… “weathered a bunch of flops.”
Did he? Did he really just “weather a bunch of flops”? How do we fine weathering that storm? Because we should really take a closer look at the flops.
I first recognized that Tatum might actually have some talent in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, but it was the Step-Up franchise that got him noticed on a “this guy might be a blockbuster sell” to Hollywood and the box office. So he starred in a movie that had the “concept” to be a box office or critical success, and it was neither.
Remember “Fighting”? No? That’s probably because you are a human and Fighting was a fairly crappy and forgettable movie (5.3 on Imdb) that didn’t make money ($23 million worldwide.) Do we blame the Terrence Howard sinking ship on that one?
Well, Tatum got his guaranteed franchise success that year with GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The film pulled in $302 million worldwide, BUT… Cost $175 million to make, is based on one of the most generational hits of the last 50 years, and was not very good (5.7 on Imdb.) With or without Tatum, it makes some money and gets a sequel.
Next, Tatum uses the looks to get into a Nicholas Sparks movie,
The Vow Dear John, and it pulls in $80 million on a $25 million budget, but the critical success is still lacking. Again, could the movie have not made $80 million on simply the sell of “Nicholas Sparks”? Some girls and guys needed a good cry, and so they spent $40 on a date night.
He does a supporting turn in The Dilemma and that doesn’t help keep the Vince Vaughn/Kevin James movie from becoming a major flop. ($48 million on a $70 million budget.)
He does the low-key film The Son of No One with Al Pacino. A real opportunity to get critical success, if not box office success, and it doesn’t get either: 5.1 on imdb and 18 on metacritic.
His supporting turn in Haywire also doesn’t keep it from becoming a box office and critical flop. It was only last year that The Eagle was released in theaters, and it scored slightly better with critics (55/100 metascore) but makes $27 million on a $25 million budget. Lucky that they didn’t spend John Carter money on it, otherwise Tatum’s career could have been over, but he still kept getting chances.
It’s good that he did because that’s when the three movies that THR mentions come out: The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike. Yes, Tatum has starred in three hits in 2012 and his star has never shown brighter. The Vow made $125 million on $30 million. 21 Jump Street made $201 million on $42 million and could be the funniest movie of the year. Magic Mike was the real surprise, hitting $111 million on only $7 million.
The total value of his year: $437 million on $79 million budgets. That’s about as solid of a year as you can get and I can understand why “mega-agents” and “top studio executives” are locking their doors and closing the shades while they think about what it would be like to work with Tatum right now.
But that doesn’t change the fact that THR contradicts itself so obviously:
“The era is long past when a star like Tom Cruise could launch a career with Risky Business and Top Gun, then stay in the stratosphere for decades.”
Tatum had flops from 2009-2011. He’s had three hits. Why is his career now so different even though THR itself says that you’re only as good as your last hit? What if you had asked “mega-agent” this question six months ago? What about a year from now if GI Joe: Retaliation disappoints? If nobody cares for The Bitter Pill (starring Tatum, directed by Steven Soderbergh.)?
And if Tatum is going to collect $10 million to star in the Roland Emmerich movie White House Down, how much money is it going to have to make in order to keep Tatum on the A-List? Because if what THR says is true, then it can flop and he’ll still be getting more chances, because that’s what A-List stars do. They don’t get blamed for flops as much as a director or a studio or an unforeseen disaster. You can still put $100 million or more into a movie based on the name recognition of a Christian Bale or a Leonardo Dicaprio. Are we saying that Tatum is now at that level?
And that Tom Hardy is not?
I’ve already said it, though I think as of now it seems like I feel the opposite of this, but I really like Channing Tatum. I was excited to see his comedy chops in 21 Jump Street and I think he killed it. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t refute a claim that Tatum is “A-List” and Hardy is not. Especially since Hardy is just a better actor.
That’s not to say that Tatum is a bad one, it’s only that Hardy is one of the best actors to gain fame in the last 20 years. Watch The Take, Bronson, Layer Cake, Inception, or Warrior and tell me that he’s not one of the most pleasing actors to watch on film. Hardy is an excellent mix of “just crazy enough” to seem like the type of person that’s going to push himself to take on roles that will challenge people’s perception of him, even if it makes him uglier. Or fatter. Or crazy.
It reminds me of some of the same things we’ve seen over the years from Bale, Dicaprio, Gosling or Heath Ledger. Challenged to be “heart throbs” and then crapping all over that notion by maybe losing 60 pounds for one role and then covering yourself in makeup for the next. Of course, they also take on the “box office” roles, as long as they appeal to what they want to do. Not just for the money or because they want to be on “The A-List.”
Of course, that is going to hurt Hardy in a “challenge” such as this, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t take on any role he wants, even if the budget were for $200 million. This Means War was indeed a failure, but Hardy has already starred or co-starred in several of the top rated movies on imdb:
Inception, Dark Knight Rises, and Warrior are all on the Imdb Top 250. The early reviews on Lawless are very positive, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy had critical success. Not to mention the highly underrated movies Bronson and The Take, which you should go watch on Netflix before you finish this sentence. It helps when directors like Christopher Nolan want to work with you, but it also says something when directors like Christopher Nolan want to work with you.
Right now, everything could be riding on Mad Max: Fury Road, which comes out next year and is currently set on a budget of $100 million with Hardy as the new Mad Max. Making $200 million worldwide would probably be considered a failure. But if it makes $500 million worldwide, is that now going to be enough to consider Hardy on the “A-List”? Based on a box office receipt?
If you looked just at Tatum’s box office pull for 2012 and nothing else, it would be easy to see why he’s considered the hottest actor in Hollywood. Which is why his schedule over the next three years is full. He’s booked solid. Tom Hardy isn’t. It gives Tatum a lot of chances to succeed, but also a lot of chances to fail. The book on Hardy will come after he’s finished with Mad Max, and then maybe he’ll choose a low-key move or maybe he’ll pick a big budget thriller. According to Imdb, he’s got nothing going on after Mad Max, and I couldn’t tell you exactly why that is.
Maybe Imdb just doesn’t know some things. Maybe Hardy doesn’t want to talk business until he’s done filming Mad Max. Maybe he gets shitty cell phone service in Australia. But it’s not because he’s not talented. It’s not because he’s unqualified. It’s not because the top directors don’t want to work with him.
It’s certainly not because Hardy isn’t on some “A-List” because I think if you were choosing between the two, the decision would be pretty easy if you wanted to make the best movie possible or needed to sell either “HARDY” or “TATUM” on a movie poster.
I don’t know why I took it upon myself today to defend Tom Hardy or to question Channing Tatum, but I did. Both are good. Hardy is better.
August 8, 2012 § 8 Comments
This weekend I am going camping. I have not been camping very much in my life. I went maybe twice as a kid and then once in my early 20s and I would have hardly called that camping. It was more like an outdoor motel.
I am very inexperienced and the friends that I am going with are just about as experienced as I am. So I fully expect that it’s possible that I might not come back from this four day trip into the Sequoia National Forest. Bears, rivers, lakes, bees, Jason… there are so many dangers out there and I have basically no experience on how to handle any hardships that I might encounter out there.
Hell, out of the two times that I went camping as a kid, I almost got swept into a river once. Out of all my camping trips, I’m basically already running a 33% chance of nearly dying.
Just in case I do not return, I want to say a few things:
- We definitely didn’t need another Spiderman.
- Diet Coke just tastes better than regular Coke.
- I’ve never heard a Bob Dylan album, and I’m not ashamed about it. I couldn’t even name a Bob Dylan song, though I’m sure I’ve heard plenty.
- I’ll give Archer another chance but if you asked me tonight, I’d say it’s overrated.
- I mean, even if you DID have to reboot Spiderman, at least attach a notable director. You don’t know who directed The Amazing Spider-Man.
- I only floss the day of and the day after going to the dentist.
- Why do we like all these Olympic sports for two weeks out of four years and then not give a shit for the next 47 months?
- When you think you’ve got nothing left to eat in the entire house, that means you’ve actually got one really creative meal left.
- You have to admit that Tim Burton might just be an insane person that has no idea what he’s doing.
- You have to admit that David Lynch definitely does not know what he’s doing.
- Yeah – I’ve had days where I went to Jack in the Box for burger and then made a second stop at McDonalds for the fries. So what?
- I could have tried a lot harder at a lot of things but I never quit except for all of those times that I did, in fact, quit. There’s no lesson there.
- Morgan Freeman played God in Bruce Almighty and we should all be a little more curious about that because it actually makes perfect sense.
- I mean, he played a black president in Deep Impact and then whaddya know…
- I’ve been to like six concerts in my life and that’s plenty. Tell me ONE good thing about crowds.
- I have listed to “We Are Young” and “Somebody That I Used To Know” more times than some tweens. I’m not going to say “most” but definitely some.
- The first two books of The Hunger Games series are the first two books I’ve ready in a very long time.
- The third book in the series has been sitting in my room for a month.
- I’ve seen Sleepaway Camp 3 ten times.
- I’ve seen Citizen Kane once.
- I’m writing this while Big Brother is recording. For me. Cause I watch it. Every year. I think I could get past the first round of auditions if I actually submitted one.
- If you love someone, don’t let them go idiot. You think they’re going to come back? You think that girl came back to John Cusack in Say Anything?
- (I dont know, did she? I don’t remember the end of that movie. Except for the obvious part.)
- I love my nephew Jackson and my niece Delaney a lot and if I don’t return from camping, I really want them to have something to remember me by.
- But it won’t be this blog.
- My happy place is thinking about the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl. I literally am most at peace in this moment. You’d think it should be something that’s actually a lot more important like ending world hunger or poverty. Priorities, amirite?
- I probably would have hired, like, Wes Anderson to Spiderman. Now you could have rebooted it. That would have been awesome.
Wish me luck!
And wish Jason Voorhees bad luck.
August 5, 2012 § 5 Comments
Unexpectedly, I’ve come to like Justin Timberlake as an actor. He has been good on his appearances on Saturday Night Live, he was good in The Social Network, and he seems like a natural actor with good turns in lesser-known films like Alpha Dog. He hasn’t had any one turn as a starring actor that has stabilized him as a guy that can carry a movie, and after watching In Time, I’m not sure that he ever will.
It’s not that JT was especially bad as an actor in the movie, but I have to question his choices on films and agents, because this is absolutely one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen.
The basic premise of In Time is interesting: Currency in the future is time and instead of earning money and spending money, you earn and spend time which is kept on a green-lit counter on your forearm. When your time runs out, you die. People stop aging at 25 and then you’ve got a year which starts counting down immediately. The awkwardness of everybody being 25 starts immediately when Timberlake’s mom, played by Olivia
Munn, Wilde turns “50” but still looks like Wilde Munn.
It really opens up my eyes to the fact that it’s a good thing that our parents look older as they get older. I don’t think any of us want to think of our parents as “hot.” The movie is fast and loose with the whole “age 25″ thing as the movie goes on.
Timberlake, 31, is just one example. But then there’s Johnny Galecki, 37, Vincent Kartheiser, 33, and Cillian Murphy, 36. It’s like an older version of just accepting that everyone in Beverly Hills 90210 was supposed to be in high school. Okay fine, I can accept that, but I can’t accept one of the worst screenplays ever constructed.
The movie starts out with Timberlake as just a boy who loves his mama and she has three days left, but nobody ever seems too worried about having only a day or two left, or even a couple of hours. So not worried about it that his mom even gives JT “30 minutes for lunch” and then JT gives five minutes to some little girl on the street even though she has plenty of time and he has less than a day.
Later that night, with only a day left, JT decides to go out to a bar (for what reason, we do not know, but all he tries to do is get his best friend Galecki to leave) and ends up saving a guy from getting killed. This guy has been flaunting his 116 years all night in buying drinks for everyone and now “Minute Men” are here to kill him or steal it or something. It’s not really sure because JT says that they don’t want to rob him, just kill him because nobody should have that much time. But JT saves him, for what reason, we do not know. I guess because he’s the good guy?
That should be obvious enough right? We knew going into the movie that Timberlake would be the good guy, the protagonist, but you’ll end up being surprised with how his character turns. He ends up saving the guy but the next morning the guy gives JT his remaining 116 years and kills himself. We don’t know why.
After he kills himself, these other guys show up to the body but it’s not really explained why because these aren’t Minute Men like from before, this is a group of men led by Cillian Murphy that immediately show up to try and find where the guys time went. Why they know that he died so soon, where to find him, how much time he had? We don’t know why.
JT’s first move is to go to his best friends house and give him 10 years, this we can understand why. Then he goes to meet his mom at the bus stop but she’s not there because she couldn’t afford the bus. It went up to 2 hours and she had only an hour and a half left. The bus driver wouldn’t let her ride for free and pay later, even though she would die. Why he was so cold? We don’t know why.
She runs and runs to meet her son but wasted too many minutes trying to get help and whatnot. Why didn’t they setup to meet with a little more time left? Why cut it so close? We don’t know. But she dies running into his arms and apparently this sets off JT to do something. What? We don’t really know.
JT decides its time to get out of his time zone so he travels to the rich district known as “New Greenwich” (get it?) and everybody seems to immediately notice that he’s not from here because he’s running and hustling around and everyone in the rich district takes their time because they have time. He decides to go to the casino and spend his newfound time. Why? We have no idea.
He gets into a hand with Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) who is really rich and goes all-in. He risked everything to get to this point even though he was a very big long shot. (I play poker and let me explain it like this: JT had an inside straight draw, meaning that he had to get a 7 with one card left in order to win. That gives him an 92% chance of losing. Yet he risked it all.) He ended up winning over 1000 years on the hand. He tells Kartheiser that it wasn’t a risk, he knew he would win. How? We don’t know why.
So Kartheiser ends up inviting the guy that just took hundreds of years off of him to a party at his mansion. Why? We don’t know. JT buys a 59-year sports car. Why? We don’t know. Immediately at the party he makes lovey eyes with Amanda Seyfried, Kartheiser’s daughter that he met at the casino, and they go off into the backyard which is actually a beach. This is when JT really lays the charms on by suggesting they go for a swim but she’s like all “What? I’m rich, I don’t swim!” or something but it’s one of those really setup cliche lovey moments that immediately intertwines the two as soulmates, right? Okay, fine, whatever.
But then when they get back in the party, Murphy and his goons (one of which looks exactly like Nick Carter and I really wish that it was) are there and they say that they just need to talk to JT. Kartheiser is like “Okay” and then without asking they just take him upstairs into a room. Its kinda rude to be conducting interviews in another dudes house without asking permission right? But they accuse JT of killing that original guy for his 116 years and they take away all of his time except for a couple of days or something. Why? Why not at least give him enough himself in a court of law? By now JT had over 1000 years and you’re accusing him of stealing 100+ years, so why take all of it? In the future, cops can just kill you?
Except that JT ends up escaping easily by hitting a couple of goons in the face and then, get this, stealing a gun and taking Seyfried hostage. Like, this girl that he just met and made a lovey swim with, he’s now holding a gun to her face and kidnapping her. They escape in his new car and get chased down. The car chase that ensues is not only boring but incredibly cliche as JT ends up driving backwards for awhile and then just getting away.
That sums up the action part of this action move pretty well… its incredibly boring and stupid and easy and cliche. He escapes danger without much effort.
With only a few hours left, it’s now morning and they’re driving back to his own time zone and then all of a sudden drive over a tire strip and they flip over in the car into one of those man-made ravines in an accident that looks like it should kill or at least seriously injure somebody, but it just knocks them out. Now they’re back to the Minute Men, not the cops, and those guys steal their time. Not all of it of course, because that would end the movie, but just enough. Just enough for JT and Seyfried to find a pawn shop and trade her diamond earrings in for two days.
How did the Minute Men know exactly where to put the tire strip? We don’t know.
At this point, JT is basically a bad guy, right? He was falsely accused of killing that guy, but now he’s committing real crimes. He kidnapped Seyfried. It’s not “cute.” It’s not “chivalrous.” He just kidnapped her. A swim in the ocean on your first night together doesn’t give you the right to take someone hostage and almost get them killed. Then as the movie goes on, they BOTH turn into criminals.
They end up robbing the time lending banks that her father owns. The film tries to turn it into a whole “Robin Hood” thing by stealing the time and then giving it to the needy, but they never explain why any of this happened in the first place. Yeah, that’s right, they never explain it. You’re just supposed to accept that the government has given everybody only 25 years and a year, and that some people will get to live forever. But no real antagonist in the government is ever given.
Is Cillian Murphy, a cop doing his job, really the antagonist?
Or Vincent Kartheiser, a businessman who we’re supposed to hate simply because he has money?
The Minute Men are obvious antagonists because they kill and steal for time, but they’re hardly a big picture “bad guy.” If anything, the bad guys have become JT and Seyfried as a Mickey & Mallory, Bonnie & Clyde, Robin Hood & Patti Hearst duo. Except that I have no real reason to care about them, like them, or root for them.
After a 10-year reward is put on the heads of Seyfriend and Timberlake, the Minute Men track them down to a hotel and decide to “fight” to the death. Fighting is basically the stupidest thing I’ve seen in a science fiction action movie since Equalibrium, except way dumber.
Basically you hold hands with your opponent and the person that has their arm turned over until the other person runs out of time, wins. Yep, that’s IT. You expect that there’s more to it? There isn’t. Timberlake loses most of the “fight” until he has just seconds left and then he turns his arm over. OH MY GOD, LOOK, HE TURNED HIS ARM OVER! Then he takes all of the guys time and takes a gun out of his shoe and shoots the other three Minute Men, who all have horrible reaction time. And that’s how the Minute Men get killed.
JT and Seyfried decide that they need to steal enough time to balance out the rich and the poor and so they steal a million years from her father. Again, her father isn’t really the bad guy here. Maybe he’s greedy. Maybe he thinks that it’s okay if a few people die for a few people to be immortal, but he hardly setup the system. Who did? We don’t know, really.
If you think about it, the system was always going to fail. The people in poverty would die out in a very short amount of time. They only have 25+ years and so you eventually will not be having as many babies as you’ll have deaths. The rich people will never die. Steve Jobs would never die. Paul Allen would never die. Even people of moderately high wealth like a baseball player or actor would probably be able to live for thousands of years. They’d have lots and lots of kids. The poor wouldn’t.
So eventually the system would topple over when only rich people lived and the poor people died. There is no 1% without the 99% to give them all our money. The whole concept of In Time, ultimately, is flawed. And if it’s not flawed, well, it’s never explained. Just like nothing is ever explained in the movie.
Murphy is eventually and cleverly killed when… his time runs out. Wait, that’s not clever. That’s just a thing that happens.
So JT and Seyfried end up just barely getting some extra time… in time…. and then decide that they need to steal more time and give it out to the poor. By now they’ve just fully turned over from the good guys in the movie, to bad guys. They’re just criminals by now. Huh. Okay. Well, interesting move, I’ll say that!
In Time had some good production value. It has good actors like Murphy and Timberlake. But wow, what a shitty story. The script was, without a doubt, one of the flimsiest, cliche, unexplained, boring, plothole-ridden, pieces of crap that has ever been given a big Hollywood budget. Usually bad screenplays are only greenlit when a star decides he or she wants to be in it. I can only imagine that JT decided this would be a hit, that it was a good movie, and so they made it. He was also really wrong.
Writer/Director Andrew Niccol, who wrote Truman Show, Gattaca, and Lord of War, I thought was better than a piece of shit like this. I guess he wasn’t.
If there’s a reason for why he made this terrible movie, it was never explained.
August 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
I continue my look through the world of television channels by stopping by one of the more unconventional options: The Food Network.
Like basically every other channel, The Food Network has changed quite a bit over the years, transforming from a station directed towards a specific niche audience into one that conforms more to programming for the rest of us. While the daytime programming is still geared towards educational cooking shows like Rachel Ray and Paula Deen, Food Network at night has reality and competition programs that appeal to another niche audience:
People that eat food.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to say that everybody watches or likes the Food Network, because that’s definitely not true, but for whatever reason I find myself looking to see what’s on Food Network more often than ever. Sure, I love food, but why should I really care what other people are eating or watch food being made that I’ll never be able to taste?
Because that’s how much people love food. We love it to the point where calling it “Food porn” is not an exaggeration. In many cases we are watching experts beautifully paint on a canvas with materials we love.
“Oh damn, Bobby. What are you going to do with that steak?!”
“Stop, hold up. Is that? Is it? Oh shit, it is. He’s got the garlic salt!”
“Paula, you dirty dirty dirty old woman. But can I substitute your 12 sticks of butter with like, 2 sticks of butter?”
I have said before on this blog that when I lost 150 pounds after college, I spent basically my entire day watching the Food Network. It would seem like the opposite of what you’d want to do if you were trying to lose weight and eat less, but it was more like a healthy substitute. I could imagine what it was like to eat what they were making, but with zero calories.
At that time, they were still mostly just doing the cooking shows and not the competitions or finding the best food and restaurants in America, so it was easy to just stop watching at a certain point. It’s what I’ve referred to earlier as “throw-away television” or “expendable television.” It’s something that was mostly a time-waster and not educational or especially entertaining. It was just something to do.
That has changed in recent years though. Now I find many of the shows to be highly entertaining and I really find myself excited when I know that one of my favorite shows is going to be on Food Network in the evening. Here’s a brief rundown of those shows:
Probably my new favorite thing to watch, Chopped basically takes the best part of Top Chef (the cooking) and condenses it into one hour, where we don’t have to follow the contestants for a whole season. The idea behind Chopped, the fact that not only do the contestants not know the ingredients but that the ingredients provide a certain level of difficulty, adds to the excitement level.
Yeah, watching people cook is exciting!
It’s also pretty fun that we see regular failures on Chopped. Whereas in many shows it seems like these chefs can do no wrong, I’ve gotten to see some pretty terrible foods prepared on Chopped. Like… literally inedible foods and these are professional chefs. I’m happy that they don’t cut it down to just the good stuff. These guys fail a lot and that’s part of what keeps me watching.
I just wish that people would stop saying that they’re being underestimated. Literally every chef seems to either think that the other contestants are going to underestimate them, or they’re incredibly over-confident. If everybody assumes that they’re being underestimated, then obviously nobody is being underestimated.
And stop doing crazy shit with your hair, chefs. The only thing that I want to see in your hair is a hairnet when you’re making my food.
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
There probably isn’t a more annoying or douchy host in America than Guy Fieri, but the concept of this show is so good that I will watch any episode I haven’t seen before and sometimes re-watch the same episode multiple times.
Perhaps part of the charm is that Guy is such a douche.
But the real star of the show is the Diners (I almost have never seen and Drive-Ins or Dives but I guess “Single D” wouldn’t have been a good name for the show) and it’s cool that they find places you can actually go eat and not $100 a plate restaurants in Manhattan. This is where the comfort food is. This is where the attainable $7 meals are. This is how the regular person ended up making it in the food industry.
That’s what makes the show watchable despite the fact that a 44-year-old man is still sporting the same hairdo I had in the 7th grade. I made terrible decisions in 7th grade, Guy, why are you still making them?
My favorite restaurant in LA is only a couple of blocks away from me. I was sooooo excited when I saw Gloria’s Mexican Cafe on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Really gave that show some more credibility for me. Just want to throw that out there.
The show ran for 14 seasons but finally came to an end earlier this year. It’s not a traditional cooking show, instead explaining the science of food, which is probably why it was so integral as a part of why the Food Network is what it is today.
Good Eats was one of the first shows I ever watched on the Food Network with regularity and started to break down the barrier that “Only mom’s watch Food Network” when I noticed a lot of my guy friends in college watching it. Alton Brown is like a modern-day Bill Nye!
Iron Chef America
Iron Chef America is basically like Chopped except that they do use world-renowned chefs and they have an hour to cook a five-dish meal with one special, secret ingredient.
Iron Chef in Japan opened up the way for Iron Chef USA (which failed) and then finally Iron Chef America which opened the door for shows like Chopped and so on and so forth. This is the show that made people realize that they just liked to watch people cook great food and then be judged for it.
We really like to judge people.
And Sweet Genius is basically exactly like Chopped except that we have desserts and Ron Ben-Isreal.
Anyways, that’s a quick rundown of the shows I watch on The Food Network. I actually think I’m forgetting one or two, but oh well! I’m not actually giving the channel a spot in my Best TV Channel Tournament because it has no real shot without actually having original scripted programming (how interesting could a Sopranos-style food drama be?) but I wanted to note it’s existence and how much I like watching it now.
There’s a lot of good stuff on the Food Network, but I won’t be able to nominate it until Smell-o-Vision and Taste-o-Vision are real things.
I can’t believe I went the entire article without saying this, but Giada De Laurentiis is my hearts song. Feed me, Giada: