Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tom Cruise helps promote MTV Movie Awards: Pass

Anytime you're thinking to yourself... self, when did Tom Cruise get so weird?... just remember that once upon a time we made out with posters of him (boys too!) from Top Gun and that he really is a great actor, not to mention hilarious as Hollywood's roughest agent, Les Grossman. So you go ahead and be crazy Mr. Cruise--I have Jerry Maguire queued up on Hulu to keep me more than satisfied.

Yeah, for once I didn't mention that other dude in the video..

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

ETA Robert Pattinson balloon art: Too stupid to actually grade

This is to go along with the post below. Take a good long look at this balloon art because it is selling for $620 Euros on Ebay right here. Is that a lot in the world of Robert Pattinson collectibles? Maybe, maybe not. But it's scribbles. SCRIBBLES!

... "I want his scribbles. I want his SCRIBBLES. THEY ARE MINEEEEE!"

If he had a decent bone in his body, clearly he would sell his underwear to fund the end of world hunger.

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Edward Cullen bust: Fail

For the mere price of $1,399 (or way more than that, because this IS Ebay...), you can have your VERY OWN LIFELIKE SILICONE BUST OF EDWARD CULLEN'S HEAD.

Really? Only $1,399? If it was a bust of his package it would cost way more. Check out the bidding page here, where all the photos are posted and you can see the detail. There are actual eyebrows and eyelashes inserted into the silicone, ladies and gentleman. That is how creepy this is.

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American Idol winner Lee DeWyze: Meh, probably a fail

Don't get me wrong. I actually enjoy the voice on Lee DeWyze. He reminds me a little of Brent Smith from Shinedown... and I love Shinedown.

But here's the thing... I've been watching Idol since the very first season with Kelly Clarkson. This is the only season where I actually lost interest  at about the top 12 and stopped watching. Why? Because no one seemed that good. So anytime the judges were like "that was an amazing performance," I was turned off because it felt like they were lying to up their viewers.

But I've been saying all along, interestingly enough, that the only two contestants that really stood a chance were the two that were in the finals, Lee and Crystal Bowersox. By all measures, Crystal is a better singer AND performer. She's more comfortable on stage, more reliable with pitch, and chose better songs for herself on average.

Still, going into the final show (which I did watch because when I found out my two were in the final four I started watching the last few episodes...) I knew Crystal wouldn't win. She wouldn't win for the same reason that Adam Lambert and Bo Bice didn't win. Their primary markets just don't watch idol. So when push comes to shove, they just aren't going to stack up 1v1 in the voting. Sure, anyone could recognize her talent and want her to stick around until the end, but when it comes down to it they want to be buying the pop rock album in the end. They know they'll get that from Lee. He's basically going to be another Daughtry or David Cook.

Frankly, Crystal is better off. When idols win and they don't fit the mold... they fall off the face of the market. Look at Taylor Hicks. Remember the Silver Fox? Yeah, I barely remember him too... because even though he was a stronger singer than Katharine McPhee and ended up winning, the audience wasn't the right market for him. He ended up turning to Broadway (where he did very well) and Katharine took his momentum for herself.

Meanwhile, Adam Lambert is doing just fine and was probably able to negotiate a better contract for himself.

So congrats to Lee. Condolences to Crystal. Hopefully now she'll be able to find the right contract, the right album, and the right marketing team to treat her music like it should be treated.... and if so, we haven't seen the last of MamaSox.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

LOST finale: PASS!

(Don't read if you haven't watched the finale yet)

Ok so... there seems to be some confusion with many people about what sideways world REALLY is? As in, is it happy purgatory for everyone? Or just Jack's? Or Jack's and everyone's respectively? Who/how did they arrange this purgatory meeting place?

So after reading many, many comments in the past 30 minutes... this is my best stab at WHAT IT ALL MEANS...

They did NOT all die in the original plane crash like some are being led to believe. As far as I'm concerned, all characters who died on the show died exactly how we saw. Those characters that we did not see die (aka Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, Desmond, Ben, Claire, etc.) died at later times.

Presumably, Hurley and Ben had a wonderful reign together on the island (aka "dude, you were a great No. 2... hurley you were a great No. 1") and somehow Hurley harnessed his Jacob powers to organize this entire afterlife meeting place.

Ajira flight probably made it back.

Jack died there next to Vincent (omg really lost creators? you had to throw the dog at me?), and like everyone else he experienced the life he believed he should have had without the island until someone was able to show him his real life. As the primary believer in science over God, it makes sense that he was the last survivor to come to terms with his death and his status in purgatory before moving on.

Basically this series comes down to helping one another and relationships with one another. They needed each other to survive in life and they needed one another in death as well.

I liked it. More commentary to come. Kimmel just came on.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

LOST season finale: to live blog or not to live blog?

Sometimes I live blog award shows... things like the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, etc. Some people enjoy the commentary. It's sort of like watching a DVD with the audio commentary on. Sometimes you learn something you might not have noticed. But for the most part it's there as secondary entertainment during commercial breaks and after the fact.

However, I've never live blogged a season finale before.

But then again, there has never before been a season finale quite like this either. The culmination of six seasons of utter confusion and craziness will come to an end tomorrow (Sunday!) for all LOST fans. ABC is showing a two-hour recap of the first five seasons and what has happened so far in the final season. Then there will be a two-and-a-half hour series finale. After that, Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the LOST cast and airing alternative endings.

Are they overdoing it? Probably, but I think us fans that stuck it out deserve a crap load of gifts given what we've been through since 2004. You'd better believe that some crazy stuff is going to go down. Will I be right in predicting that Sawyer takes Jack's place and that the cycle of good vs. bad continues? Will Kate die? Will Locke get off the island? Will alternative-reality-Jack get to meet Island-Jack-turned-Jacob-Jack? WHO KNOWS!?

But I leave the decision to you...

Yes, live blog and throw some comedy into the experience? No, sit back and enjoy?

I should add that I'll probably be drinking a lot of wine while I do this... so by the time we reach Kimmel I'm going to be incapable of spelling correctly....

Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

We've reached 100 for 2010...

Celebrate, everyone. Celebrate hard. This is my 100th post for 2010. It might not be my 100th post total for this blog, but that's OK.

Thanks for reading and for your comments and whatnot. According to my website tools we have quite a few readers, many of which deserve credit from coming over from Pass Fail Meter. That blog has well over 1,000 unique visitors and averages 180 views for each post.

So enjoy the afternoon and cheers to a new day!
It's been a while since I updated everyone on entertainment news, so let's catch up linkspam-style...

Hip tween/teen network the CW recently released its fall schedule. Melrose place didn't make the cut. I guess when a series banks on the star power of Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, one should worry about its longevity... but One Tree Hill fans are pleased to have an 8th season coming their way. =X

As a follow-up to the above, the CW has released trailers for its newest series launches, Hellcats and Nikita. Hellcats is a cheaper, sluttier version of Glee. Nikita is a cheaper, less sexy version of the Lara Croft movies... which I didn't even realize was possible.

MTV has an opening for a social media position. I'm posting this because its tough out there, and I want everyone to have a cool job. If you're reading this blog and/or have a Facebook and Twitter account, you're probably qualified.

A bunch of attractive stars are ready to get diced in Scream 4. I didn't realize that Scream 2 and 3 weren't enough. Shockingly, this will actually reunite director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, as well as main trio Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette. It will add Ashley Green (Twilight), Hayden Panetierre (Remember the Titans, Heroes, and a terrible cheerleading movie), and Rory Culkin. Panetierre will supposedly play a film geek... aka producers are going to try to make the hot girl look nerdy by putting some thick-rimmed glasses on her.

Harry Potter stars get first look at new Harry Potter Theme Park, courtesy of Universal Studios. I'm not going to mock this, because I'm stoked and I'm a huge HP nerd. They have the Three Broomsticks guys, oK? Do you realize what this means? This means that on June 24 when I visit the park of wonderment and awesomeness, I am going to get drunk on butterbeer in HOGSMEADE! Time to get your nerd on...

This Sunday is the LOST season finale at 7 p.m. EST. I'm pretty addicted to LOST, actually. I watched the first three seasons as they were airing, but then I fell off the map. When Season 6 was about to start up, I decided to get caught up and finish the series with the rest of the world. AKA I spent about two solid weeks rewatching all five seasons on Hulu. And now it's about to end. Linda Holmes over at NPR has an intelligent write-up on why some are guaranteed to be disappointed and how to approach watching the finale of it all.

Did you ever wonder if Wall-E and Up were really the most profitable animated movies ever? Well neither did I, but apparently someone took the time to document the top 10 highest grossing animated movies while accounting for inflation. After all was said and done, neither Wall-E or Up made the list. Evidently you can't beat the classics, and all that hype about Pixar movies ain't got nothin' on the Disney vault. Check out the list and the gross incomes.

Everyone loves a trailer. It's about to be summer, which means that late summer and early fall movie trailers are hitting the Web. Trailers were recently released for 'Rio,' 'Love Ranch,' 'Going the Distance,' and 'Megamind.' 'Rio' is about an animated parrot or macaw or something with Anne Hathaway, Neil Patrick Harris, and George Lopez as the voices. I bet $5 that Lopez plays the Brazilian bird. 'Going the Distance' is a Drew Barrymore and Justin Long romantic comedy that got an R rating. Do you know how hard that is to do? That means there are some fierce sex scenes in this... and after they filmed them the actors hooked up in real life. I love me some Justin Long--great Mac commercials. 'Love Ranch' features the very sexy Helen Mirron and the very un-sexy Joe Pesci. 'Megamind' is an animated super hero movie featuring Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill.

Sex and the City 2 studio executives nervous about film coinciding with World Cup. This really makes me laugh. Really? World Cup soccer is what's making them nervous? Because I thought the fact that the film has Miley Cyrus in it or that the girls are practically 60 now would be worrisome enough. Don't worry, studio executives, most 50-year-old women don't watch soccer in the United States.

MacGyver will hit the big screen!!! As a huge MacGyver fan, I was actually pretty excited by this news. I mean there's no way this movie is going to be any good, but I would do anything to watch Richard Dean Anderson escape from a jail cell with nothing more than a toothpick, a lighter and some toothpaste. MacGyver was an ABS show in the 80s and early 90s that featured a special agent with engineering prowess and a really, really awesome mullet-like hairdo.

Harry Potter Theme Park: Epic Pass

I am absolutely freaking out about this. I'm a huge HP nerd, and you better believe I have plans in store to visit this place of wonder and enchantment.

Basically Universal Studios has been working with Potter series author J.K. Rowling for the past six to eight years on creating an amusement park. It officially opens in the middle of June. I will be there June 26 after I road trip it down to Orlando with a few friends. It's going to be amazing. They have Honeydukes, the Three Broomsticks, a few themed rollercoasters, Hagrid's hut, and obviously Hogwarts school itself.

Let the nerd fest begin...

The actors paid the completed park a visit recently. To see stills of the actors in the finished park, go here:

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James Franco cast in Planet of the Apes prequel: Fail

First there was Charlton Heston... which was a decent movie for its time...

Then there was Marky Mark Wahlberg... which I did see several times and enjoyed, even though technically that movie was weird and stuff.

Now James Franco will throw his name into the "franchise" to film a prequel, "Rise of the Apes." So it isn't their planet yet basically; they're just rising to take it. He'll play some sort of scientist in the middle of a man vs. ape war.

As far as I'm concerned, this movie will suck no matter who is cast.

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Melrose Place is no more: Pass

Melrose Place officially got the can. CW announced its lineups for the fall, and the newest drama series remake did not make the cut. But we didn't see that coming at all.... especially when the show's most famous star was Ashlee Simpson-Wentz.

One Tree Hill will return for an 8th (EIGHTH!!!) season. I stopped watching at about Season 3, but I'm sure this is what the cool kids watch these days. Me, I'm a sucker for Vampire Diaries.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eclipse cast on Oprah: Massive screaming

Some of you out there that read these are fans. Some of you aren't. If you are, this is my little gift to you. I've tracked them all down and put them all in one place for you to enjoy. I'm just that nice.

For those of you who aren't enjoyers of the craziness, go read another post.

You are welcome.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Miley Cyrus can't be tamed: Pass, but let me explain

I know I tend to be pessimistic about all things teeny bopper, mostly because I hate screaming teenagers. I wasn't one, so I can't relate.

But I do find the riots they cause to be amusing. I also think it's interesting to watch child stars grow up, because the Disney kids always freak out eventually. Just look at Miley Cyrus...

No really. Just look at her in this video. I can't say for sure if this video will work on this site, because YouTube's VEVO is an advertising whore... but I think it's worth actually sending you away from me for this visual phenomenon. It's basically Miley Cyrus's desperate attempt to be grown up now. I can't remember how old she is, but I think it's around 16 or 17 now. Guys, she can't be tamed, ok? You can't tame her. All the guys be wantin' to get up on her. Cause she hot like that, yo.

Also a video leaked today of her giving a lap dance to one of the "Last Song" producers. Oh yeah, and he's in his 40s. If that doesn't scream I'm a grown up teenage stripper trying to make it on my own, then I don't know what does.

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Laziness and a Snuggie: Fail

I'm sorry for being away the past few days... several days in fact. It's been an incredibly busy week for me for various reasons that I won't go into because you don't care.. ON TO THE SNUGGIE!

So for the sake of humor, we'll just say I was doing exactly what this picture depicts. Reading a good book while tucked away in a Snuggie.

I do actually own one. My brother thought it would be funny to buy my entire family Snuggies for Christmas in different colors. Then we had to put them on for a photo, which was then tagged on Facebook. We're no longer speaking face to face.

I do find it hilarious, however, that Snuggies are always advertised with the person either having a solid interaction with another human being or reading a good book. Do you really think that someone willing to read a good book or talk to a living person would have a need for a Snuggie? No. Because they're so incredibly lazy that they need ARM HOLES built into their blankets... because they're too lazy to take their arms out of the warm hidey hole in order to click the TV remote.

... so while I wasn't actually reading a good book under a Snuggie (btw I can picture myself actually doing this on one of the many Harry Potter book release days... when I cut off communication with the outside world for 36 hours straight), I was busy doing other things.

I'm back now and ready to judge life's little moments.

I might have to have a bunch of post spamming tomorrow because OH MAN do I have some good ones lined up.

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Carlisle Cullen as Ken: Fail

Great work, makeup crew. You really did a number on this one. Carlisle's hair only looks slightly softer than Ken's.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Brendan Fraser's career after The Mummy: Fail

This is what it all comes down to.... a bunch of wildlife animations plotting Brendan Fraser's death. Oh, how far they do fall. And I thought Bedazzled was bad...

The Mummy is still the best TNT movie marathon flick out there. I <3 u Fraser.

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Two Bel Ami stills released: Pass

Robert Pattinson is hot. That's the only reason I'm posting this. That, and I like period pieces and solid literature. Robert + super sex scenes + Guy De Maupassant + fluffy dresses and top hats = SCORE.

Can't waitttttt.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Anchorman 2 might be made after all, HUZZAH! Pass!

Will Ferrell is saying that nothing is over until Ron Burgundy says so...

The actor is saying that everyone is still going back and forth on yes and know. Supposedly the project still needs to trim about $30 million off the budget in order to be picked up by another studio. Fingers crossed, Anchorman fans.

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Rob Pattinson Fame Comic Book: Fail

Back in February it was announced that Bluewater Productions was releasing another celeb comic. It's basically comic-ish images crafted from real life stills of Pattinson. Then they splice them together in a sort of narrative timeline. It contains absolutely no informational value whatsoever, just another collector's item for the fiercely obsessed. It's also another example of how anyone anywhere can pretty much legally make money off your image whether it's true or not and whether you like it or not.

That's life I guess.

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Opera song from The Fifth Element, just because: Awesome Pass

This requires no explanation. The Fifth Element is one of the best cult movies ever made. If you haven't seen it and like Bruce Willis, rent it immediately.

Also, this clip implies that our future musical arts will mesh genres even more than they do now. Kenny Rogers and Eminem anyone?

And yes, Milla Jovavich is wearing orange rubber... and kicking ass. Ultraviolet was clearly a step down from The Fifth Element.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Smoking ban in Michigan: Fail

For those who might not know, the state of Michigan recently passed a ban on smoking in all restaurants AND bars. Casinos were excluded from the list after a revise was made, and beginning this week all places in my hometown will require that smokers go outside for their fix. Our papers have done a lot of coverage on the ban from its beginnings to its passage. I'm not pleased. I'm not a smoker, but I feel this is a complete abuse of public policy and the law. Below is a letter to the editor written by a man in Chelsea that explains my feelings perfectly...

Most people on both sides of the smoking ban issue miss the underlying and truly troublesome aspect of the recently enacted smoking ban legislation in Michigan. If you are making your arguments for or against it because you like smoking, don't like it, or even know someone who died because of smoking, then you are throwing a dangerous and blinding emotional plea into a serious public policy debate.

This will lead you to say things like "I'm glad they banned it. I don't want to be around smoke." In that world of public policy discussions, one could also make statements such as, "I like vodka. I think they should outlaw schnapps." Or my favorite futuristic statement, "I don't like french fries. I am glad the health care reform of 2013 bans them."

Most importantly, let's simply look at the new law's treatment of bars and restaurants, even though more is included in the final law. Essentially, the recent public act lumps private businesses in as public places. The common argument for those in favor of these bans is that second-hand smoke is harmful (we will take that aspect as true). However, they leave out the crucial component that this argument for a state law is based on the premise that you are being exposed to this harm against your will and thus the public needs a law to protect individuals.

Despite the opinion of many singles "in heat," in a true legal sense, bars and restaurants are not places that you have to enter ever. No one is forced to go to a bar. Even if that were true, one would then have to convince me that you have to go to a bar that allows smoking. Remember, before this law, any business in Michigan could ban smoking at any time. Many, in fact, had done so.

If you are not forced to go to these places (i.e. they are not a government building or hospital or even -- and I'll stretch it here -- an airplane), then the argument for the policy falls apart. These are places you choose to patronage and drown your liver. Why do you get to drown your liver, but someone else doesn't get to dirty their lungs and drown their liver?

A more disturbing aspect is once you deem a private business that chooses what to serve a "public" space, you open a dangerous door and break down the free market determining business outcomes (preference theory). If the activity is a legal activity in all other places, then it is irrational to determine consumer choice on a premise of public health at a place where all choices one makes directly affect health (i.e. the food you eat and the amount of liquor you drink).

Under the new law, for these rational choice theories to exist, the government will need to take continuous polls of customers and health experts to determine what that business should do for all health related choices. You have taken the free market out of the free market.

Why not have bars that are for smokers and bars that are not. Oh wait, that's the way it was before the ban. If your argument is that you can't find a bar near you without smoking --and you just "have to go to a bar" -- then you are saying again that your convenience overrules another person's preference and the result should be state law.

If you are arguing that employees deserve a smoke-free environment when working in a bar, then again, you have to convince me that employees have no choice but to work as a bartender or waiter in a bar that allows smoking. Even if you could do this task, wouldn't a more sensible approach be to just ensure there are equal numbers of bars that are "smoking" and "nonsmoking" per capita in a particular area?

This could be done through liquor licensing which, under current law, determines how many places can serve alcohol in a local area per capita. It's clear the sponsors of this legislation were not thinking of logical solutions, especially given the fact the law actually stops any new cigar bars from opening in the state. I mean who expects to be around smoke when going to a cigar bar?

I know in an era of term limits and emotion-based democracy, this might be overly rationale or too much to think about. However, I would like to think the founders were right in originally making one body of the legislature known as the Senate as the body to stop mass emotional lawmaking. Perhaps the progressives of the early 20th century made that impossible when they made the Senate popularly elected?

Of course, rational debate is the core of my argument, so I encourage disagreement. However, if you are going write a response to tell me that smokers stink or smoking is bad for your health, etc., then don't respond because you need to re-read my statements.

In addition, if you truly want to ban all smoking, then promote a law that makes cigarettes illegal. Although extreme, it would actually make more sense as a public policy debate. I suspect that is what the backers (i.e. American Cancer Society) really want, but they were afraid to say it because it suddenly begs the question: Why focus on smoking when the No. 1 killer in the United States is heart disease and obesity? Perhaps these same people would be willing to ban people over a certain weight from going to McDonald's?

In addition to the complete lack of logic in the law's formulation, we can all look forward to its wonderful reliance on "self-righteous" enforcement. Due to a lack of funding for direct enforcement from health departments, you will be able to watch those lovely people approaching smokers to say, "I really want to drink more beer and eat more salty pork rhines, so go smoke outside!"

Know your rights, or you'll lose them.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

President Obama gives UM commencement address: Pass

I got to cover the University of Michigan commencement ceremony this morning/afternoon. President Barack Obama was the keynote speaker.

Now, let's be honest... whether you like him or not, that is a pretty sick person to be delivering your graduation speech. Amirite? I went to UofM too, and graduated two years ago. We had Bob Woodruff, a journalist... so for me that was pretty exciting. Plus our class was the only one to graduate on the Diag instead of in the Big House. Still, Obama trumps Woodruff.

It was a pretty solid speech. There were some tinkerings that I didn't like here and there, but on the whole it had the appropriate level of inspiration, motivation and story telling to make it worthwhile. He kept the audience laughing, sometimes at his own expense, for the duration.

I covered it as a photographer and basically did everything in my power to keep up with the photographers standing next to me. I know I didn't because their cameras cost well over $3,000 and mine was only $800. Mere peanuts in comparison.... which means of course that my close-ups weren't really close-ups and so on and so forth.

But it was still an incredibly experience and definitely a highlight of my career as a journalist. Getting to listen to the sitting president speak is an incredibly thing. In fact, this speech was to the largest audience he's had since the speech he gave at his inauguration. About 90,000 people were there.

... and I was one of them. =)

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