Monday, July 31, 2006

To my faithful readers

Sorry there hasn't been an update in a long time. I've been on vacation up north and the internet dealie here is screwy. I'll be back soon with my thoughts on Charlevoix, Show Choirs and John Tucker Must Die. Well, maybe not JTMD. Check back Thursday. Later.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why you should love Steven Seagal

Once in a generation a talent comes along that rewrites history. Michael Jordan. Eldrick Woods. Elvis Presley. When it comes to straight-to-video action movies. That Steven Seagal.

Thus, the top 10 reasons to love the SS.

10. His voice.

The pacifying, raspy voice that never gets angered. Even after watching some one murder his family or kill his partner, he never raises his voice. It's with utter condescension that he manipulates his victims. Come and get some, punk.

9. He's from Michigan.

Steven Seagal was born April 10, 1951 in our state's capital, Lansing, Michigan. Once again, proof that our state is greater than Delaware.

8. This quote: "I am hoping I can be known as a great actor and writer someday, rather than a sex symbol."

So much greatness from that statement by SS. That he at one point was only known as a sex symbol says something horrible about women. That he wants to be known by his acting. And that he is....a writer??? Some research shows that he did in fact work on the screenplay to his films Above the Law, Belly of the Beast, and Into the Sun. Yet he is not a member of the Writers Guild. Criminal.

7. He's also a composer.

That's right. Not only an accomplished screeenwriter is he, but he also is a musician. He's no Three Six Mafia, but he did write songs for Under Seige 2, Into the Sun, and Ticker. The song for US2 was entitled "After the Train has Gone". Randy Newman, watch out.

6. His ponytail.

It says a lot that he refuses to relenquish his trademark. Stay strong, Steven. Don't let society tell you when a hairstyle has gone out (if it ever was in) of fashion.

5. In fact, his entire fashion sense.

Kimonos. Muumuus. Robes and kitana swords. How did a cross between Lady Thiang from the King and I and Graham Greene become a movie star?? God's will, baby.

4. His character names.

It may help that he writes some of his own scripts, but here's a list of some of the badasses that Seagal has played over the years.

Austin Travis
Casey Ryback
Harlan Banks
Jonathan Cold
Orin Boyd
Forrest Taft
and...the ultimate

How are you not be a BAMF with a name like Mason Storm.

3. His fighting style.

He's not a stunt man. He can't move really fast. But he can kill you with his pinky. He will rip out your throat, or break your palm by bending it forward. He can snap your femur like a twig. He doesn't do massive punching and kicking tactics, but rather a style known as Akido, using your opponent, inertia and body weight to employ various chokes, holds, and locks that incapicate your foe. And his timid demeanor being released with a fury is might impressive. All of this coupled with this fact: He's a buddhist.

2. He has his own energy drink.

How many flabby B Movie stars can say that. Do you see C. Thomas Howell with his own soda? Or the Daniel Baldwin Jolt?? No. The man hasn't made a succesful movie since 1995, yet he is steadily making movies and remaining in the public conscious. What a model for work.

1. His range.

Is there anything he can't do?? I mean, sure he can play a cop who's family has been murdered. Or he can play a Navy Seal who's daughter has been kidnapped. Or a hitman with a score to settle. Or an ex-con trying to get his life back. He's an enviromentalist and a pacifist who murders people. He still gets chicks and he still makes money. When I used to work at the video store, where a new Seagal movie would come out every 3 weeks, people still rented it. People still love him. And it's because he can do it all. Long live Seagal. And that Panda.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What did you do last night?

This post is not about M. Night Shamalayan. It is not about Project Runway.

I'm posting because I won $1,953.00 last night by winning a $10 poker tournament and I'm kind of excited. Yay me! Now I can pay my cable bill! A couple more months of Kyle XY for me!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Movies that I love to hate

Everytime a movie has great expectations either one of two things happen. Either the movie truly deserves all the praise thrust upon it, or it turns about to be a big, underacheiving, Michigan State Football season letdown. This summer's Superman Returns was the latter of those for me this summer. So was Pirates of the Caribbean.

However, some people loved both those movies. And I just don't get it. So I put forth now, a list of movies that some people can't get enough of, that I just can't stand. Sadly, Howard the Duck is not on the list.

Signs- First off, I am not a big M. Night fan. But, I have seen all of his movies, so he must be one hell of a marketer. I for one am hoping that his newest movie tanks like Tank Girl (though I love Paul Giamatti). But Signs to me was one long, boring, non-scary, let's be afriad of things we don't see, then when we do see it, it looks like a 5 year old's drawing of an anorexic martian, movie. And don't get me started on how WATER kills them. Hmm, maybe do some research then you idiot Aliens, cause Earth is like two-thirds water. You're a sophisticated race of super-smart life forms, yet you can't pick up an Encyclopedia Britainaca?? Use your incredibly large brain!

The Blair Witch Project- Color me as one of the people that was taken in by the media frenzy that surrounded this movie. Also color me as one of the people that demanded their $6.50 back. If I wanted to watch amatuer made video I would've gone to U of M for their student film fest. This movie gave me a headache while watching it, the characters were dumb as the rocks they were treading on, and contrary to popular belief the overuse of the "F" word does not substitute for a script. As for the scariness of the movie? Non-existant. The only thing remotely scary was the acting involved. It somehow doesn't shock me that none of these actors from the Blair Witch have ever been heard of again. Maybe that blurry thing killed them.

Shrek 2, Shark Tale or any other animated movie that uses pop culture references as a substitute for jokes or plot- I liked the original Shrek. I thought it was very character driven for an animated movie, with characters that had real emotions. But the second one was just plain drivel. Re-using plot points and coming up with jokes about Starbucks, and Baskin Robbins, and Bob Barker. Do you really think that Donkey watches CBS at 11 a.m.? As for Shark Tale, any preview that has a Christina Aguilera version of "Car Wash" in it, is reason enough to land on this list.

Remember the Titans- But, Robbie, I love this movie!! The black kids and white kids don't like each other at first. But then through the time they share together, they learn that they're the same and all become bestest friends forever. What about the black coach and the white coach who don't get along? Cue the precocious tough, little, white girl to solve their problems. Has someone been killed yet?? No?? Then bring on the car accident and obligatory listening to the game from the hospital bed sequence. And do they win on the last play?? Of course they do, but not with a Hail Mary. With a 60 yard running play?? And Denzel's supposed to be a GOOD coach? Even Lloyd Carr couldn't mess things up that bad. Thank you Disney.

Brokeback Mountain- Another movie that was ruined by the hype leading up to it. I was really looking forward to BM (haha! BM) this winter when it came to the theater. It's my favorite genre of movie. No, not gay love stories. But tragic character-driven movies, like Monster's Ball or In the Bedroom. But to me, this one landed with a momentous shrug of the shoulders. I mean, it was all good enough. The acting, the cinematography, the music, Anne Hathaway's rack. But something was missing. With all the pre-release press on TV shows and Entertainment magazines, it was like the climb up on an extremely steep rollercoaster a mile high, only to be dropped down like you're riding that Kiddie train that tours around the park.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I've offended some of you. Because when you insult a movie that someone really likes, it's like saying their sister's a whore. When really they just have no taste in movies.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hot and Cold 7/15

First a few updates from my last post. In response to all the scary baby madness, my good friends Julie and Asa sent my pictures of their little boy Braeden, and they did not frighten me. Though not every baby is a cute baby. Thankfully, theirs is.

Secondly, I have been challenge by one Brian Snell to venture to the multiplex for a full review of "Little Man". I responded by saying I would only subject myself to it with a free ticket, which I can use in two weeks. I still haven't decided. It may be the biggest challenge of my life.

But here's what's turning my knobs right now. The Hot and Cold.

HOT- The spicy chicken crunchwrap supreme from Taco Bell. It's good to go.

COLD- This super annoying 'I'm a mac, I'm a PC' commercials. Usually I enjoy Justin Long, but he's such a pretentious snob in these ads I want to kick him in his tussled-haired head. "I'm gonna put some pictures on my computer." Yeah, because PC's can't do that, douchebag. I've got my own website. I don't have a Mac. Suck on that.

HOT- Still, my poker game. I'm playing in a tournament tomorrow where 150 people are going to qualify for the World Series in two weeks. So I might be one of those guys you see on TV winning a million dollars. But more likely, I'll be the guy watching those guys on TV winning a million dollars. A guy can dream can't he?

COLD- Movie lengths. Either they're too long like Pirates or Superman, or not long enough like X3. I mean, X3 could've been broken into two movies, but instead they gloosed over characters deaths so quickly and didn't fully flesh out the Phoenix. Damn Ratner. Or in Superman's case, it was slow and plodding. Or Pirates long action sequences that have no resolution or backstory stuff with characters you don't care about. Oh, and if anyone tells you stay through the credits, don't worry about it. The dog lives.

HOT- The World Series of Pop Culture. The new show on VH1 where teams of three answer questions like "What was the obstacle course at the end of American Gladiators called?" or "On what film did Julia Roberts meet her future husband?" Answers: The Eliminator and The Mexican. But as Hot as it is....

COLD- It sucks that I'M NOT ON IT!!! I'd kill it I swear. The only subject I may have trouble with is music. So when the 2nd version comes around, me and my brother need a music mind to join our team of three. We'd take that tournament down fo sho.

COLD- I'm watching Scary Movie 3 right now on TBS. Wow is it bad. Right now aliens are urinating out their fingers. HIL-ARIOUS. This movie makes millioins of dollars and his three sequels, but we can't get a 2nd installment of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle?? How about Harold and Kumar go to Jack in the Box? Or Krispy Kreme? Or Panda Express?? And make sure you bring back Freakshow. Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.

HOT- Preface: I am not gay. I may seem gay but what I am about to reveal, and even though I own more broadway albums than you may have even heard of, I am hetero. So here it is:


It's only one episode in, and I love it. I love the competitors. I love the challenges. I love it all. Vincent and his crazy hat. Talan and his fake british accent. Tim Gunn and his 'make it work'. I'm hooked. Thanks mom. This is the one show that you like that doesn't make me want to wretch. At least they're not redesigning another kitchen counter. Wow, it looks better than the trash we started with?? No kidding!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Baby, Baby

I'm sure you've all seen it. The images haunt my dreams. I'm more scared of anything under 16 inches (insert joke here) now than I ever was. Marlon Wayans is "Little Man". (shudder) The commercials are on 24-7. Marlon is a 'little person' who poses as a baby. And NOBODY BLINKS AN EYE!!! WHAT??!?!?!

But seeing a baby shaving, smoking a cigar, and having jokes made about his, um, diaper area, is sickening. But in general Baby's aren't funny. They are creepy. They creep me out. They creep the hell out of me. So I now make the Top 5 list of the Babies that scare the bejeesus out of me.

Honorable Mention: Look Who's Talking Too (roseanne makes it scarier), Jak Jak from The Incredibles, Rosemary's baby (though we never see it), and AJ Pierzynski's child (poor little girl)

5) Rugrats- I really don't have anything against the Rugrats other than they are fugly. I mean, look at this!! That is not a cute baby. I do respect them for being Jewish and all and having a very Rugrats Yom Kippur where they starve the babies. Or maybe it was passover. Also, that redhead with the glasses name was Chucky. Like the murderous doll. And he has red hair also. That's an omen.

4) Dancing Baby on Ally McBeal- Who wasn't uber-creeped out by this?? An anorexic 30 year old dancing with a alien CGI baby who probably weighed more than her. Babies dancing = scary. Not one person who saw this thought, "Awwww. That's cute." We all thought "DEMON CHILD!! DEMON CHILD!!!" Actually I think this dancing baby has done more work than Calista Flockheart since Ally got cancelled. Maybe she evaporated.

3) Baby's Day Out- Isn't it funny that Baby Bink (yes, Bink) gets kidnapped? Isn't it funny how the baby is outsmarting the bumbling criminals? Isn't it funny watching a baby crawl through New York City? Isn't it funny seeing a baby almost plummet to its death on a building's rooftop? Isn't it?? Isn't it?? Oh.

2) Superbabies: Baby Genuises 2- Babies in diapers and sunglasses acting badass. That is so wrong on so many levels. They work on computers in a secret lair and communicate via "baby talk" unbeknowest to their parents. WHAT?!?!? And I understand Scott Baio being in this turdpile. But what is Jon Voight doing here?? Do these babies have incriminating photos of him? Just thinking of this movie makes me want to claw at my own skin.

1) Baby Bob and that baby from the Quizno's commercial- The only thing more frightening than baby's talking with kids voices, is a baby with the voice of a 38 year old man who sounds like he should be in the stands at Fenway Park ordering another Miller High Life. If you don't remember Baby Bob, it was a short-lived CBS sitcom that featured Oscar nominated Elliot Gould, Emmy nominated Holland Taylor and Adam Arkin, and Golden Globe nominated Joely Fisher as the family to 'Baby Bob!' a baby who they discovered could speak just like them!! And yet, after this stain on humanity was cancelled, that baby showed up shilling toasted subs for Quizno's, and if you can believe it, it was more frightening. In the ads, the baby is lying near a pool next to a bikini-clad girl who he is hitting on, and the girl seems to like it. AGGHHHHH!!!

So now you know what truly frightens me. And why I don't go goo goo gah gah over family or friends kids. I dont' trust anything that can't make cognitive sentences yet. Just call me when they're five.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Even when they fight they don't use their hands

Commenting on my blog is now open to everyone. You don't need to be a registered blogger to tell me how smart and sexy I am.

Also, the highlight of the World Cup has to be this:

Zidane. What a classy guy. He's retiring and he's my favorite player. Too bad for the frogs. They're the first loser.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Drain 7/8

Afros, boredom, Pirates and Gay forefathers. What do they have in common? They are all going down:

-Ben Wallace has left Detroit. Talk all you want about how Ben is on the downside of his career. Talk about how Chicago overpaid for him. Talk about how he can't score or shoot a free throw. But the guy was the heart, the soul and the face of this franchise for the last 6 years. And they maybe able to replace his stats, but they can't replace his leadership.

So let's see. Joe Dumars was able to parlay Ben Wallace, the no. 2 draft pick where they could have got Melo, Wade, or Bosh, Carlos Arroyo into....Kelvin Cato?? Do you think we could use Darko right now? I wouldn't trade the 2004 championship for anything, but has a team fallen so far so fast. In February the Pistons team were a lock to win the title and were handling the Western Conference All-Stars. Now, they are the 3rd best team in their own division, and their coach is Flip Saunders. Yikes.

-GOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLL! Um, you don't hear that very often at the World Cup. That's because no one scores any GOOOOOOAAAALLLLLSSSS! They need to open up this game I think. Make the 2 forwards stay on the offensive half of the field at all times. Or make it 9 vs 9. There are just too many players on the field. Yes, when a team makes a play, it is artistic. But how about for the other 89 minutes and 55 seconds. Here's a fearless precition on tomorrow's score between Italy and France. 1 to 0.

Also, what is up with the way they keep time?? What, we can't stop the clock when a player is injured?? Therefore, nobody on the field knows when the game ends. Imagine a football game (a real football game) being played that way. "It's first and goal. With :03 seconds to go. Or not. There could be 4 minutes left. Whoa Nellie!"

-Pirates of the Caribbean: Something curse Jack Chest whatever, opened this weekend. And apparently America is going nuts. $55 million dollars. In one day!! That's ridiculous. So in honor of POTC2, I've compiled the Top 5 Pirate movies, the definitive list.

1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl- The movie when mainstream America realized what a good actor Johnny Depp is, and when we realized that british chick from Bend it Like Beckham filled out.

2) Uhh....uhhh.....Hook?

Ok, there really aren't that many good pirate movies. There really aren't many tolerable pirate movies. There are only horrifyingly bad pirate movies. And Number One on that list is...

1) Cutthroat Island. The $100 million dollar bomb of 1995 starring Matthew Modine (action star! He brought in all the fans of And the Band Played On and Bye, Bye Love) and Geena Davis. With a killer supporting term by Frank Langella. Let's just say, if you haven't seen the preview of Cutthroat Island with Langella chewing scenery like Nate Robertson chews gum, you haven't lived. I love it!

Finally, I went and saw 1776 last night at the Barn Theatre. It's the lavish musical which chronicles John Adams and the rest of congress putting together the Declaration of Independance. I learned a lot about our nation's history.

First, I didn't realize that more than half of our forefathers were flamingly gay. Scott Burkell portrayed John Adams with the foppish behavior of a scarf wearing seamstress. History shows John and his wife Abigail as one of the greatest romances in history, sending love letters back and forth from Philadelphia to her home in Massachusetts. Let's just say, we now know why John was not hurrying home to her.

Also, the guy playing Benjamin Franklin was John Newton, who must be at least 75 years old if he's a day. Remembering his lines was quite a feat. At numerous times I felt is if he was just grasping for air ready to break character and ask one of his compatriots for help. It was on the edge of your seat theater.

The musical chronicles the month or so leading up to the first July 4th. And it felt that long. The show ran 3 hours! And those seats are far from a craftmatic adjustable chair. My back is still adjusting. We did stay however to catch the bar show at the Barn where gay men (minus Schinzer) serendaded us with "There's nothing like a dame" and "Razzle Dazzle Day" from the movie Pete's Dragon. Really?? Pete's Dragon?? Why not a song from Darby O'Gill and the little people?


Friday, July 07, 2006

How to lose a limb and your appetite

Wow. The response for an update has been overwhelming. At least more than 1 person said that I better get on with a new post like their lives depended on it. Let's just say I had a very busy week entertaining family and the like, but not before a few things caught my bespectacled eye.

With the 4th of July come and gone, I'm just wondering where do all those unused fireworks go. There are boxes, shelves, layers of that stuff at Meijer and the like. There a whole warehouse full of them along the highway. Does anyone ever buy fireworks betweene July 5th-June 30th?? Is someone driving along in the middle of September thinking, 'I better stock up on fireworks now!'? I find it highly unlikely.

And I love how the name of the fireworks factory is always something dangerous sounding like, Crazy Al's Fireforwks Death Store. And there's a cartoon picture of some heroin addict on the billboard. Yeah, that makes it seem safe. My family was unable to have our fireworks show Monday Night because it rained. So my Uncle is gonna just keep his big box of pyrotechnics in his basement until next year. Sadly, the 4th just didn't seem like the 4th without fireworks.

Something we did have though was hot dogs. And folks, let me tell you they were good. I had 2 and a half. But that is nothing compared to what happened in New York this past week where they hold the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. I saw the replay of it last night on ESPN2 (of course) and it was simply the best television of the year. High comedy.

They introduce these "athletes" like rock stars, complete with secret service type security. Really? Do we really need to protect these guys like the President? They throw up stats on each participant like "Ate 65 hard boiled eggs in one sitting." or World Champion Chicken Dumpling Eater.

And the Babe Ruth of the "sport" is Kobayashi., the five time champion who holds the record of 53 hot dogs eaten in 12 minutes. You've all probably heard or seen him. He's this tiny Japanese guy who's no taller than 5'7". But he can put away hot dogs like Tara Reid puts away jello shots. He has never been beaten by a human. The only time he lost a hot dog eating contest was to, get ready, a BEAR!! Anyone remember Man versus Beast?? The brainchild from those wonderful execs at FOX who also brough us The Littlest Groom and Playing it Straight?

The actual comepetition was gruesome. Everyone shoving, mashing, cramming hot dogs into their mouth as fast as they can. And then the hot dogs don't always stay down. But, here's the catch, if you vomit, the hot dog doesn't count, unless you swallow back the vomit. And that's where we got some Nathan's controversy. Apparently 2nd place finisher Joey Chestnut, the young gun from the United States, claims that Kobayashi hurled and then did not put the hurl back in his mouth, and therefore should have been docked dogs. No penalty flag was thrown. Chestnut is the Seattle Seahawks of the Competitive Eating Circuit. He vows next year to put down 60 dogs. USA! USA! USA!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Monday Morning Sports Report

Just in case you're interested, the Major League Baseball game is coming up. And normally I wouldn't care. And I still don't care about the game. But the Tigers are good right now, they have the best record in baseball, and they only have 2 representatives in the All-Star Game. Toronto has 5. The Tigers have the best pitching staff in the majors. They have as many pitchers on the all-star roster as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. So if you visit, you can vote in Justin Verlander if you so choose. Tigers haven't gotten this much ink since Frosted Flakes hit the scene.
Does anyone else notice that the Tennesee Titans are getting ripped apart on TV these days. First, some douchebag is calling out Jeff Fisher in a commercial for NFL HEAD COACH. Yeah, they released Eddie George. Cause he averaged 2.6 yards per carry. Then, Kenny Chesney's boyfriend torches the Titans defense while leading the Colts to a meaningless TD to make it 35-3. He doesn't even need to read the coverage to beat the secondary.
And I know that Poker isn't a sport, but I'm playing well right now, and Daniel Negreanu has a nice video blog on Check it out if you know a flop from a set.

Speaking of sets. Wimbledon is going on. I don't really need to watch the matches. I just need to catch the fashion highlights. I mean, what is this girl wearing?? Is she auditioning for Olivia Newton John's "Let's get physical" video??

Give me a little Sharapova or Serena badonka donk.

I may have crossed the line.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hot and Cold

Here's what's hot and cold on my radar right now.

HOT- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The 'rents saw it in Chicago Saturday. I'm jealous. They loved it. Spelling Bees in general are hot right now. National Spelling Bee gets primetime coverage on ABC. The Stanley Cup is somewhere on OLN. Go figure.

COLD- Those McDonalds commercials where the guy turns into a chicken. That's like a horror movie right there. "Coming to theaters this fall. You can't escape it. You need it to live. And then it will kill you. FOOD. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. This October, You are what you eat."

HOT- Jon Lovitz in those Subway commercials. I'm sorry. They're funny. "That stomach studied in London!"

COLD- Brazil. Losers in the World Cup. To France!? France? I know, the French can play soccer, but losing to France is like a double loss. Plus, no more closeups of Ronaldinho. Even though he looks like an alien from the movie Signs. Or Mr. Ed.

HOT- Entourage. Love. This. Show. Johnny Drama. Victory!!

COLD- The previews for My Super Ex-Girlfriend. I feel sorry for Uma Thurman. But any movie that's selling point is Luke Wilson saying 'I hear ya, homegirl" to Wanda Sykes, you know it has some script problems.

HOT- But Rainn Wilson is in it. aka Dwight from The Office. That guy is always funny. And, hey, he was on Entourage.

HOT- My Lingo game. I'm pretty sweet at guessing 5 letter words.

COLD- The inane banter between Chuck Woolery and the blond chick that presses buttons on that show. I mean, what does she do, really?? She's less necessary than Vanna White. What was the job interview like? Can you recognize letters and say their names? Yes? You're hired. And when her and Chuck try to conversate. Shudder.

HOT- My poker game. Just won $450 dollars last night.

COLD- Gabe Kaplan announcing Poker on TV. This guy hasn't been watchable since Battle of the Network Stars. I do believe that a blind, mute Filipino could do a better job doing color commentary on Poker than this guy. I never welcomed you back to public consciousness, Kaplan.