Saturday, January 14, 2006
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. First I like to mention the latest addition to the iTunes library, classic Saturday Night Live skits. Granted they seem a little overpriced because the price of a skit is the same as the price of a whole episode of Lost, $1.99. They are also selling Best of… collection at $9.99 a pop and even have one for Jimmy Fallon which must be over an hour of dead air. Unfortunately you cannot buy the skits here separately so you can just get the Cowbell skit from the Best of Christopher Walken. So if you want to take a look at what they have, including the great Lazy Sunday rap from a couple weeks ago from where I stole the title of this post, click on the ad in my sidebar. For the other videos, I advise you to watch them first (the links to the video are the bold headers, inside the post will lead you to iTunes) before you read my reviews so I don’t ruin things.
Fiona Apple – Not About Love
Just when you think it’s going to be yet another pretentious, self involved Fiona Apple video, the camera jerks as comic Zach Galifianakis ends up lip syncing the words. The best part of this is that he didn’t even bother learning the lyrics and is blatantly reading them off his paper. The best is when the lyrics get over pretentious and Zach turns to Fiona and gives the “what the hell does this even mean” look. Then the video gets even better when they hit the streets. Absolutely brilliant. Fiona even manages to crack a smile during the video. Now if there were a video outlet that would actually play this.
The White Stripes – The Denial Twist
This is another video with a little comedic help this time from Late Night’s Conan O’Brian. But O’Brian is the side note to a mind trip of a video. No matter how many times I see it, I can’t quite figure it out even though they scan the whole set at the end. No wonder why O’Brian got self conscience with his expanding head. But in the end, another great addition to the already impressive video library of The White Stripes.
Weezer – Perfect Situation
Even though their music has been spotty in recent years, Weezer still puts out some of the best videos. Here we get an alternative universe where an earlier version of Weezer, named Weeze, was fronted by the token hot chick from 24 and Rivers was just a roadie. The hot chick does a great job channeling Courtney Love but I was a little disappointed that they don’t explain how Weezer got the “R” added to their name. But maybe there will be a sequel.
Ray-J – Clocks
Okay this is just live footage but his performance of the great Coldplay song goes into the "so bad it becomes entertaining" category. Listen at your own risk.
As a reminder, tomorrow is the 15th of the month so it will be time for a new Lyrics Quiz. As a hint, Best of 1996 will be the themes so make sure you study up on the songs from that year. I should have the quiz posted by noon, so make sure you show up before all the one you know are guessed so you can get on my winners list and a free plug. Also I would like to congratulate myself as this is my 300th post on the 9th Green. Hopefully my next 300 are more entertaining.
Friday, January 13, 2006
The surprise show of the summer was easily Beauty and the Geek (see my review of season one - I Got the Brains, You Got the Looks). Usually I flee from anything that would be hyped “From the twisted mind of Ashton Kutcher,” but the commercials for the show were so funny, I ended up watching it and loved every second of the show. But the brilliance of the show was that none of the cast members actually knew what they were getting into. A lot of reality shows die quickly after the first season because once everyone, including the contestants and viewers, know what to expect. Joe Millionaire even went from the most watch episode of that season to something nobody watched.
So one can expect a falloff from a show like Beauty and the Geek and there is even a possibility that some of the hot chicks faked dumb to get on the show although on the flip side, it can be pretty hard to fake geeky. There’s even a dental assistant in the beauty group and really how dumb can that girl be? At least I’m hoping that someone who sticks sharp objects in my mouth has had plenty of formal education no matter how attractive she is. But to keep the contestants on their toes they already switched things up giving one team the power to change up the pairing however they want.
One thing the show has going for it is that even with the unpredictability factor taken out of the equation, is that good casting could make up for it. Last year had break out start Richard Rubin who started out the season with “Never Been Kissed” label whenever they showed his name which would change every time he got lucky. And this season they may have actually found someone who could even out geek Richard in Josh Herman with his afro, muttonchops, and happens to suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. To add to his geek cred, he’s also a museum critic. Seriously how do you get a job like that?
There is even a celebrity in the cast, well if you consider someone in the Guinness Book of World Records a celebrity. And that would be Tyson Mao who holds the world record for solving the Rubik’s Cube. And to impress the ladies last night he was able to solve it behind his back. Joe Block, the Speed Chess Champion must be jealous. Rounding out the geeks are Ankur Mehta who holds multiple degrees from M.I.T., Brandon the Neurobiologist, which none of the beauties have correctly pronounced, Chris who unwisely makes his own clothing, Karl the Dungeon Master with the Peter Brady haircut, and Wes Wilson who works with monkeys and lasers presumably at the same time.
As for the ladies, none of them stick out like last year’s lingerie model, Lauren Bergfeld. But this season does include Amanda Horan the hairstylist, Brittany Knott who is labeled “the innocent one” which I have a feeling is nice for the dumbest, beer spokesmodel Cher Tenbush, Danielle Gonzalez the cocktail waitress, Jennipher (yes that’s how she spells it) Johnson the camp counselor, Sarah Coleman is the dental assistant, Thais is your token model this year, and Tristin Clow who one up’s Danielle and is a cocktail waitress/shot girl. And since I’m shallow here’s how I rank the girls:
8. Jennipher (yes that’s how she spells it)
Verdict: No where near as entertaining as My Name Is Earl, but still worth taping because there is a good chance Josh has a mental breakdown. As for a prediction I say Sarah and Wes end up winning.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
After six weeks, Lost finally returned this week with an episode dedicated to the most interesting of the tailies, the mysterious Mr. Eko. His episode became pretty predictable after the first flashback making clear that he had something to do with the downed Nigerian plane that Locke and Boone found last year. The rub though being that Eko was supposed to be on the plane but was double crossed twice, first by his brother who tipped off the military and again by his associate who decided to take the drugs himself. What I found out with this whole situation was why the military was so eager to gun down Eko’s brother yet treated Eko with respect?
Much like Ana Lucia, and unlike the first flashback from the originals, Eko’s flashback doesn’t explain why he ended up on the plane but I think it is easy to assume that Eko was in search of his brother and had a layover in Australia. Although if you are in Nigeria, wouldn’t it be faster to reach Los Angeles going West? Unfortunately Mapquest doesn’t have a fastest route between the two. But Anyways. I also think the producer missed out on a great storyline and ended up having Eko’s brother survive the crash and then find his way to the third bunker or be captured by the Other because he is a “good” guy.
The big new from last night was that we finally got a better look at the monster which we have only see once before which could be pointed to as when the show started to lose it’s luster. All throughout season one, the monster was this huge mystical entity that could easily mutilate a human and tear down trees. Then in the finale, the crazy French chick mentioned it was the island’s security system and when we got a look at it, the monster turned out to be black smoke. But that was just a quick glance and last night we got a longer look at, and inside the monster. So apparently the monster is a fan of traveling vessels because it has shown up near the front of plane, near the Black Rock (the slave ship), and near the Nigerian plane. Then the only other time I can remember the monster showing up was when he met up with Locke. So we learned nothing about the monster unless you believe those who saw people from Eko’s past when the camera went inside it (click picture below to make larger).
Elsewhere on the island we learned a little more about Charlie and his statue. Apparently he has been hording the heroin filled statue so it is very possible he has been using again. But I do like the battle between his youth as an alter boy as represented by the Virgin Mary with his adult life of drub abuse to his current link to is currently encased inside the statue. Also we get to see more of Michael and (presumably) Walt’s primitive IM conversation. This just seemed to be filler until the next episode where Michael takes off with a gun to find his boy.
As for Veronica Mars, it was preempted for the soon to be canceled South Beach. Hasn’t UPN leaned anything from Hawaii, North Shore, and The Mountain that beautiful people in exotic locations with poor acting and worse stories fail miserably? And having Jennifer Lopez as a producer can’t help things. Luckily this is only for a week and wee get one more repeat of Veronica Mars before a new episode featuring the Zena the Warrior Princess as an FBI agent. There are quite a few reasons she could making an appearance in Neptune: the fleeing Big Dick, the missing sex tape, the bus crash, the dead dude with Veronica’s name on his hand, and the rarely mentioned Amelia DeLongpre who was last seen being discovered by Veronica and Clarence Weidman in a hotel ice machine. And of course there is also a chance that there is something new on the horizon.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The first thing I do everyday when I fire up the computer and hop onto the internet is to check out ESPN.com, which is my homepage, to check out the main headlines and have the page customized so it also has the top headlines for my favorite team then quickly answer the current poll. But this only takes a couple seconds as I then spend the majority of my time on Page 2 of the site which is basically editorials by some great writers like Bill Simmons and Dan Shanoff who writes the Daily Quickie which is basically a one person, written version of Pardon the Interruption (who rudely reminded me that today is the annaversary of The Drive). But when I open Page 2 yesterday, this image was staring back at me:
Needless to say as a Browns fan I found the cartoon as painful as the guy in it must felt. The cartoon goes along with Page 2's NFL Misery Index where they rated each team on six criteria to determine which NFL team's fan has suffered the most. Of course my hometown team topped the list beating the Saints out by a whole point and the Houston Oilers/Texans by almost five points. (On a side note, I thought the Oilers turned into the Titans, did I miss something?) But things could have been worse because I think they low-balled the Browns on some of the categories like recent pain was only a 6.0. In the past ten years we had a team unceremoniously move going four years without a team only to come back to be mired in bad drafts and bad coaching. Then in our one playoff appearance, our rivaPittsburghrg came back from behind to beat us for the third time that year. It should at least warrant a 9.0. They then end the Browns section with "Lousy teams, painful losses, a hijacked team. Sheesh. The only thing missing from the Browns' misery is Kathy Bates' crushing their ankles with a sledgehammer." Ouch, that really hurts.
To add to the misery, Page 2 also released its 25 NFL Misery Moments and indeed the Browns had multiple entrees including the top spot. And it is insulting that we had to share the top spot with the Baltimore Colts because Baltimore ended up getting our team and promptly won a Super Bowl. Then we showed up again at number five with The Fumble. Somehow The Drive didn't make the list even though I found it more miserable to watch than The Fumble.
And in an updated MLB Misery Index, my Houston Astros still in the top ten most miserable landing in at number seven. I should really think about picking new teams (as the St. Louis Blues haven't had thatsuccessucsess in my lifetime and outright stink this year). And while on the subject of the Astros, for anyone interested on what is going to happen to Roger Clemens this season, here is the most logical scenerio I can think of. This does hinge on USA not winning the World Baseball Championship so Clemens cannot go out on top there. So because the Astro did go through arbitration to keep Clemens and are unable to sign him until May. Clemens will take the first month off because he will need rest from the WBC anyways. Then when May comes around he will sign with Astros and have a couple warm up games in the minors where he will pitch to his son who was drafted as a catcher by the Astros in last years draft pitching for the big league team by June which will then boost the Astros into contention after yet another poor start eventually reaching the playoffs and hopefully with Preston Wilson and another bat they pick up along the way and win the World Series thus bolting then into double digets for next years Misery Index.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
After years of airing the iconic Monday Night Football on the first day of the week, ABC said goodbye to the football giant two weeks ago. And how to you replace the biggest draw among men? Well apparently ABC believes by bringing Rollergirl, Uncle Jesse, and The Bachelor, which I thought got canceled after the Jerry O'Connell’s brother debacle, is the answer. Even though it’s very doubtful any guy watched any of this lineup, I braved my way through Rollergirl’s attempt at television, Emily’s Reasons Why Not.
The show itself utilizes narration to guide the show. And if that sounds familiar, it should as every new sitcom does it, and for those keeping track at home that includes My Name Is Earl, Everybody Hates Chris, How I Met Your Mother, The War at Home, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I were missing some. But what sets Emily’s Reasons Why Not apart is ERWN is 75% narration which could be good because I believe Heather Graham should be seen and not heard. But when it’s Graham doing the narration, it really defeats the purpose. As for Graham herself, lets face it, the girl cannot act. Yeah she’s okay when playing a dirty dirty slut (see Boogie Nights and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) but can anyone name another movie she’s been good in? Didn’t think so.
The appearance of Mark Valley was also painful to watch to see how low he has had to stoop after Fox unceremoniously canceled the brilliant Keen Eddie (mmm, why does this sounds familiar, oh yeah, check out Won’t Be Fooled Again). I bet Fox now wishes they didn’t prematurely pull the plug now considering the show also featured the then unknown Sienna Miller who now routinely appears on tabloid covers and E! But anyways.
As poor of an actress that Heather Graham, the writing doesn’t help either. It took me forever to figure out what the Reasons Why Not were, and when I finally figured it out I wish I hadn’t. Apparently once Emily figured out five reasons why not to date a guy, she then dumps him. This will be the basis of the rest of the shows: Emily meets a dude, figured out five reasons, dumps him and repeat. The first unlucky guy seems to be gay but turns out he’s Mormon and hilarity doesn’t ensue. Helping her out are a girlfriend who looks like a dud and a gay guy who is nowhere as funny as the gay guy on Will & Grace. Emily also has an antagonist in coworker Glitter Cho, no seriously, that’s the character’s name, but even her catty comments were extremely boring.
Verdict: When does Monday Night Football start up on ESPN? Well not that this show will last that long anyways.
Monday, January 09, 2006
When I first heard about The Book of Daniel it never really appeared on my radar. It sounded too much like Joan of Arcadia with the talking deity and all. I did watch Joan of Arcadia but I wasn’t really up in arms when they canceled the show as the whole talking to God routine was getting stale. But then last week I kept on reading about religious zealots were boycotting the show with a couple NBC affiliates refusing to even air the show. Personally I like to wait until I’ve actually seen something before I condemn it, but that’s just me. Now there is nothing like a little controversy to peek my interest ever since 2 Live Crew became a must own in my childhood after being deemed obscene by the government.
So I ended up taping the show to see what the fuss is about and I have to say I was a little disappointed. Not in the entertainment value but after all the hoopla I was expecting Sodom and Gomorra but it was no where near as bad as most stuff on TV today and I would say Lost, which has won Family Awards, is much more immoral at times. Everything tackled in the double episode has been dealt with many times before on TV including many that are considered family friendly, homosexuality, prescription and illicit drug abuse, drug dealing, inter-racial dating, the couple that brings in dude’s secretary to spice things up in the bedroom. The only thing that the religious fanatics should really be mad about is the mob-catholic church connection. That was the only time I thought the show was pushing it, everything else is dealt with real life brevity sometimes painstakingly so as with grandma’s Alzheimer’s. Those scenes were just painful to watch and always make my heart ache thinking about people that really go through that every day.
The show has a nice blend of well respected actors such as Aidan Quinn as the pill popping priest. Ellen Burstyn is Quinn’s Bishop who likes to mooch on his stash and his dad while Susanna Thompson of Once and Again plays his wife. Then the kids are virtual unknown with the adopted Asian son, the openly gay son (well except grandpa doesn’t know yet), and the weed selling daughter who looks like the blonde version of Thora Birch. The kids really bring most of the entertainment value to the show like when the Asian and gay sons tried to our slur each other at the family dinner. Hayden Panettiere also appears as the daughter of a family that tells the adoptive mom they “don’t want a bunch of Asian kids running around at Christmas” when they find out thing are getting serious between the two teenagers. Of course Panettiere is of importance because my sources tell me she is quickly becoming the next Lindsay Lohan. No not because she’s a former Disney actress who dreams of a singing career, but for her alleged underage drinking, smoking, and partying with Paris Hilton. Somewhere Wilmer Valderrama is practicing pick up-lines.
Sadly the least interesting character is Jesus himself who is no where as entertain as God on Joan of Arcadia. Jesus shows up usually whenever Quinn is thinking about taking one of his pills. This is not to be confused with Denis Leary on Rescue Me when Jesus shows up whenever he thinks about taking a drink. Hopefully he will become more entertaining in future episodes because dude can walk on water; he shouldn’t be too hard to write for.
Verdict: Not as offensive as some my have you believe and is worth a second or third look. But with a 10:00 on Friday timeslot, make sure to set your VCR.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I have to start off this review by saying that I have never seen the 1974 original with Burt Reynolds, who also shows up in the update as the inmates coach, so I can’t compare the two movies. This could be a good thing because most reviews I read always stated how much the first one was better. Granted I can still compare this version to the other Adam Sandler football movie, The Waterboy. It’s odd that no one complained about Sandler playing a linebacker in that movie yet everyone jumped on him for trying to be a quarterback. And he was a washed up one to boot so I really didn’t have a problem with it.
Of course the movie is about the washed up QB in prison but how he gets there is great with cameos by Courtney Cox’s newly enormous breasts and Dan Patrick, who apparently didn’t get the memo that the movie would be set in present day as he instead chose to go with the 70’s gay porn mustache with a dash of the Village People. But from there Sandler is shipped off to a Texan prison where the warden pulled some strings in hope that he would help out with the prison guard’s football team. And what would be better practice for the guards than a little warm up game against a team of inmates.
Even though most of the inmates and guards are played by former football player, pro wrestlers and other non-actors, most of the characters are so well written, it makes up for any lack of acting experience. Ultimate Fighter Bob Sapp is great as the mentally slow Switowski, Michael Irvin in a role before he started holding onto his buddies narcotics plays a con who still doesn’t trust Sandler after selling out his teammates in the NFL, and the giant Dalip Singh English was so bad they had to subtitle everything. As for the guards, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Brian Bosworth, who was always a better actor than football player, but that isn’t saying much, and Bill Romanowski all play their tough guys well but I bet Romo was mad that Stone Cold got to utter the racial slurs and not him. But the standout of the guard is Kevin Nash who even though goes into every cliché conceived is hilarious after the inmates replaced his steroids with estrogen.
But not all the characters are well flashed out. It’s hard to relate to Nelly talking how poor his character is when he has a couple gold teeth and Goldberg one running gag that his, um, chariot swings low, so to speak, gets old before it starts. The cast is filled out with more traditional actors with Chris Rock channeling Morgan Freeman as Caretaker, Terry Crews, who has gone on to play Rock’s dad on Everybody Hates Chris, is hilarious as the cheeseburger dude, as is Nicolas Turturro as the early recruit who is quickly benched as more black inmates show up.
The Longest Yard gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.