Tuesday, July 31, 2007

One...Two...Three?

As you've probably heard by now, Ingmar Bergman died yesterday, (here's Roger Ebert's tribute). Now I wake up to find Michelangelo Antonioni has died, too. That's kind of weird, isn't it?

I was never a huge Bergman fan, but I appreciated him. Antonioni, however, I loved. I cannot argue with anyone who says his movies are boring--I'll even admit to taking a nap during "Red Desert," (it was a lot easier to stay focused through the rest of it after that ten minute nap, believe me). But his movies always seemed to hypnotize me and leave an impression. I still can't walk through a park and hear the wind blowing through the trees and not immediately think of "Blow-Up." Here's an awesome tribute that includes links to YouTube clips from some of his best cinematic scenes.

As you know, these things happen in threes. How's Jean-Luc Goddard been feeling these days?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Big Con

Tomorrow, at the ass-crack of dawn, I will be driving down to San Diego (that's German for "a whale's vagina") in one of these, to go to this, with these fine people, and I will be staying here. It is my intention to post about it all over there, and I hope I can find time during the mayhem to do that. I probably won't be posting much here, but I will be uploading photos when I can, and you can find them in the usual place.

It's gonna be craaaaaaazy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bear-ly Surviving?

SCANDAL! Britain's Channel 4 is alleging that Bear Grylls of "Man vs. Wild" has actually stayed in hotels and motels while filming episodes of his show, and that many of the events depicted in the series are staged or prepped by hired experts.

Well, that doesn't change the fact that he drank his own urine on camera.

Read more at the Times Online.

Boooooring

*Yawn*

It's Monday.

My stomach hurts.

Bleh.

Go read this week's reality TV locals post on SFist.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Emmys, Shmemmys

The Emmy Nominations were announced this morning, and once again it proves that the nominations are cast by people who don't actually watch TV.

OK. Maybe that's a little harsh. There are some good ones in there. I'm happy about "30 Rock"'s nods. And....and....OK. None of the other nominations are very pleasing. Once again, nothing for Lauren Graham on "Gilmore Girls." And "Boston Legal" for Best Drama Series? Really? And nothing for "Battlestar Galactica"?

WhatEVER, Emmys.

Major Knickers

If you missed "Victoria Beckham: Coming To America" on Monday, you can watch a repeat of the special tonight at 10pm on NBC. (Or just watch the whole thing online at the above link.)

I actually kind of liked the show. I was expecting complete manure, and it was only partially manure-filled. True, it's just another partly-scripted "reality" show, but I was surprised at how amusing Victoria Beckham can be. I really know nothing about her aside from the countless scowling photos of her in bad outfits that appear daily on the gossip sites, so it was nice to see she's actually self-deprecating and kind of aware of her utter ridiculousness. Anyway, as far as summer TV goes, it ain't half bad.

Edited to add: Yikes!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Does That Even Mean, Man?

I don't know if I love or hate this clip from Todd Haynes' upcoming Bob Dylan "biopic." I do think Cate Blanchett, at certain angles, does look a lot like Dylan, as does David Cross as Allen Ginsberg. But I just wonder if the whole thing is too weird for its own good....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bugsy Malone Is 45...and Single

I watched "Scott Baio Is 45...and Single" on VH-1 last night, of course, and I enjoyed it while also finding it kind of depressing. While Baio does acknowledge his douchbaggery, I also get the feeling it's just too damn late for him to really change. I kind of feel sorry for the guy.

My youthfull fondness for Scott Baio didn't extend past Baio's tween years. Once he got to the "Joanie Loves Chachi" age, I lost all interest in him, and never even bothered to watch "Charles In Charge." For me, it's all about his small role in "Foxes," and the ultimate tween Baio flick, "Bugsy Malone."

I was obsessed with the movie as a kid, listening to its soundtrack so much that I can still remember all the lyrics. For those who don't know, the movie was a weird gangster musical featuring a cast made up entirely of children who lip-sang to Paul Williams songs. Yes, it sounds horrible, and perhaps if I were introduced to the movie as an adult, I'd indeed think it was horrible, and possibly creepy. But that childhood nostalgia can't be brushed away, and it still remains a fave.

I don't think it's available on DVD in the U.S. (and it sounds like the copy for rent on Netflix is a disc for the Chinese market). I'm still hoping for a special edition DVD, but in the meantime I will just satisfy myself with YouTube clips. Here are a few of my faves.

Jodie Foster as Tallulah:



Scott Baio as Bugsy, trying to recruit the down-and-out for his gang:



Blousy's just an Ordinary Fool:



And, (Spoiler Alert!) the happy ending:

Real Mondays

Is it Monday already. Really? Really?

Well, that must mean there's another reality TV locals post up on SFist now!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait

I was excited by the news that TiVo is teaming up with Amazon for direct-to-TiVo downloads, and immediately signed up for it (it doesn't cost to activate the service). It's a nicer idea than downloading movies from iTunes (or other means) because there's no need to get an Apple TV or the like to be able to view them on a TV set.

I was thinking it would be a good alternative to Netflix for those times when I don't manage to get new releases the week they come out on DVD, and are then relegated to the dreaded Very Long Wait dead zone for another month or so. A nice idea--but judging from Amazon's selection of "new" releases, they seem to be Very-Long-Waiting as well before putting up titles for download rental. I searched for five of the "long wait" movies at the top of my Netflix queue, and none of them were available for rental. Some were available for a video download purchase, which runs about 15 bucks, but I really don't see the appeal in that. Fifteen dollars so I can have a movie permanently on my TiVo? That I probably won't be allowed to burn to DVD? (And if I wanted it on DVD, why not just buy the damn DVD in the first place?)

Nice try TiVo (and Amazon), but you aren't rocking my world yet.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I Can't Blame the Neighbors This Time

It's 11:00pm on a Monday night. Why the hell are there huge fireworks going off over the City?

Blogger Does Not Want Me to Write Titles to My Posts

There's some weird bug with Blogger lately in which it is nearly impossible to write a title to a post. I can't just click in the title box and type, but have to do all kinds of elaborate tabbing and backspacing. Google, you are awesome!

Oh yeah. This week's reality TV locals post is now up on SFist.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Are You F****ing Kidding Me?

I'm watching NBC's "Live Earth" broadcast, via TiVo, it's about halfway through the show, and literally every other commercial they're airing is for some kind of SUV or truck.

Seriously, what the hell, people? Which is it you want us to do? Change all the bulbs in our house to compact fluorescents, recycle all our paper, plastic, and cans, and unplug all our appliances--or buy a big-ass truck that gets about 15 MPG?

The only thing that cured my rage at that is the realization that I love Kelly Clarkson. I love her voice, and her huge ass, and her pissed-off songs, and that she basically said f-you to the old men trying to run her career. I don't know if she's good for the environment, but she can't be any worse than a Range Rover, right?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Summertime Crack Addiction Begins Tonight

"Big Brother 8" premieres tonight, and once again I have absolutely no justification for watching. It's complete junk! It has no redeeming qualities! And it's exactly what I want out of summertime TV.

Based on a purely superficial investigation of this season's houseguests, I think I already hate this guy, and I think this gal will be eaten alive.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

June Round-Up

Finally! A timely monthly round-up! Let's go!

Movies Seen: Thirteen, with one in the theater. That one was "Simon Says," and you can read my review of it here; definitely not one of the summer blockbusters, which as of the end of June, I had not seen a one of. Of the non-theater viewing experiences, the best was probably "The Dead Girl."

Books Read: Three. One was another Cormac McCarthy book, which will soon be coming a theater near you. I liked it, but it doesn't come near to the greatness of "The Road," IMHO. I also decided to tackle Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, but I have to say, I wasn't really taken with "The Gunslinger," the first book. It was a bit of a chore to get through. I will keep with the series, though, as I hear they get better as it goes on. The third book I read is called "Him, Her, Him Again, the End of Him," and it has been getting all kinds of raves for being hilarious. I think I chuckled maybe two or three times, which was disappointing, as I thought the premise of the book was a promising one.

Fancy Dinners Out: One, at Farmer Brown, for Father's Day. It was hit or miss. Some things were fab, like the jalapeno corn bread with sides of maple butter that they keep bringing to the table, and the shrimp poppers appetizer. I had a steak, which you can't really go wrong with, but the potatoes that came with it were gray, which is a totally rookie mistake. (Once you cut a potato, you need to put it in water or it will oxidize. What kind of cook doesn't know this?) My dad got the fried chicken and seemed to like it, but the mac and cheese that came with it was completely gross. At least to me. The strawberry rhubarb pie was awesome, but the Blue Bottle coffee, which has been amazing everywhere else I've had it, was a little bland and watery. Maybe we didn't let the French press steep long enough, but it tasted to me like they just weren't using enough coffee. So, like I said: hit or miss.

Live Shows Seen: None, so I'll just talk about bowling instead, which I did twice (and once at the end of May). I'm still not very good at it, but I almost broke 100 during one game, and hit two strikes in a row during the last frame, which was exciting. Which leads me to...

Shoes Bought: One pair of bowling shoes, of course! At least, I ordered them. As of today, they still haven't arrived. So much for a round of July 4th bowling!

Monday, July 02, 2007

July 24th Can't Come Fast Enough

My obsession with "Guitar Hero" continues, despite my having played every song on both "Guitar Hero 1" and "Guitar Hero 2" on medium level about 10 times each. (OK. Maybe not every song. Once I finally got through "Bark at the Moon," I never wanted to attempt it again.) My inability to master the art of hammer-ons and pull-offs means I will probably never get past medium level, which is fine because "Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s" is coming out on July 24th! There's a list of the announced songs here, and while many of them are awesome, the one I am most looking forward to tackling is the Scorpions' "No One Like You."

Thinking about the song had me thinking about the video, which I present to you in all its awesomeness.



Really, does an 80s video get any more spectacular than that? Well, perhaps, but there are so many awesome things about this one, it's hard to list them all. Like the fact that it takes place on Alcatraz, and there's a midget guard on duty; and the guy with the forks over his eyes who smashes the guitar; and the stock footage of the shark; and singer Klaus Meine's receding hairline; and the whole thing about the girlfriend who's the executioner, but she's not really because she frees him at the end, but oh, wait, it was all just a dream...

OR WAS IT!?

I know the game won't match the video's genius, but with my help, it'll come close.

Is It Wednesday Yet?

This week's reality TV locals post is now up on SFist. Don't worry. It's short.