Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dane Cook.

Dane Cook is in an upcoming movie called Good Luck Chuck. In it, he plays the titular Chuck, a man who discovers that every time he sleeps with a woman, she goes on to meet the man she will marry, so women start seeking him out as a service so they can have a quick fuck and then go on to meet their soul mate. But he becomes conflicted when he meets Jessica Alba and falls in love with her. The movie comes out this August.

That same month, Dane starts shooting another movie called Bachelor No. 2. In it, he plays the titular bachelor, a man who specializes in taking women out on nightmare dates. Recently-dumped men start seeking him out to date their ex-chicks, so that they will then go running back to their great-by-comparison boyfriends. But he becomes conflicted when he is hired to take out Kate Hudson, who I think is his best friend's ex or something.

I would just like to know what Dane's doing here. Is he trying to start his own sub-genre? The romantic comedy where people hire Dane Cook for sex? Is this going to be a section at Blockbuster someday? For now, let's just keep our eyes open.


Monday, June 18, 2007


Back during the upfronts in May, I blogged about all the shows that were cancelled off the big networks' new fall schedules, and how devastating or appropriate each cancellation was:

The Upfronts: NBC.
The Upfronts: ABC.
The Upfronts: CBS.
The Upfronts: FOX & The CW.

It has now come to my attention that I completely neglected to mention a few shows (I guess the list I had at the time was incomplete). But the most noteworthy oversight was the FOX action drama Standoff. So...

- Standoff -- This is an awesome show about two wisecracky hostage negotiators (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) who share a turbulent relationship. First FOX made 13 episodes, then they ordered 6 more for a grand total of 19, then they pulled it (after airing only 11 episodes) for a six-month hiatus and cancelled the show about a month before it came back (to a Friday night death slot). The remaining eight episodes are airing now through July.

Interesting to note is that Gina Torres was part of this show's supporting cast. She was also in the cast of Firefly (which was murdered by FOX in its first season back in 2002), bringing the grand total of Firefly alum-starring shows cancelled by FOX in their first season this year alone to 2. The other is Drive, which I believe airs its final two episodes on the Fourth of July.

Foxy, you're doing a heck of a job.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Shirley You Jest.

This past season, Scrubs was at its all-time shittiest comedy low. It was, shall we say, on life support. So, in an effort to (as Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence put it) "shake things up," they did an episode where the sassy Nurse Laverne Roberts dies in a car accident. See, throughout the episode, she had been trying to convince Dr. Cox that God has a plan and that "everything happens for a reason." So when a sweet little girl comes in with a gunshot wound or something, Cox quips, "So what's the reason for this?" It later turns out that they find an operable tumor in the girl when they X-ray her, so in a way, getting shot saved her life (or something like that). At the end of the episode, Cox comes in and is told that Laverne was in a car accident and is now in a non-responsive coma. It actually ended in a "to be continued" and the whole next episode was devoted to everyone saying goodbye before she finally passed away. The characters all briefly grieved in that lifeless mock-serious mumble they all do about once an episode and were back to their zany antics by the following week.

Now Variety is reporting that the actress who played Laverne is being brought back next season in the role of her "single, alcoholic, non-religious" twin sister Shirley. This is because Bill Lawrence evidently promised her that she would still have a job on the show in the unlikely event that they got renewed. So it's not enough that they're churning out these lumbering, hackneyed ratings stunts, now they're going to actually shit all over them. Turns out death is only temporary, kids. So if your friend dies, don't worry, because their twin brother or sister will be along shortly and you can play with them. That's a great message to put out there; very responsible.

I don't really have that much of a problem with this. I just think this show is stupid.


Friday, June 8, 2007

The Ballad of Isaiah Washington.

Once upon a time, there was an actor named Isaiah Washington. He was in a lot of movies for almost twenty years, but not everyone knew who he was. In 2005, he appeared on a new show called Grey's Anatomy, playing a cardiothoracic surgeon named Dr. Preston Xavier Burke. This show was a piece of shit, but there was a lot of sex and music and bullshit in it, so it became one of the most popular shows on TV, and now everyone knew who he was.

In October 2006, when the show was in its third season, reports surfaced about vicious backstage battles between Mr. Washington and his co-star, Patrick Dempsey. During one of these fights, Mr. Washington reportedly said to Mr. Dempsey, "I'm not your little faggot like T.R." This was in reference to their privately homosexual co-star T.R. Knight. After this news, lots of people started to hate Mr. Washington, and Mr. Knight was forced to publicly come out of the closet and abandon the privacy he had been enjoying up until that point. Mr. Washington felt very embarrassed about all of this, so, while emphatically denying using the bad word, he stated to the whole world, "I sincerely regret my actions and the unfortunate use of words during the recent incident on-set."

In January 2007, Grey's Anatomy inexplicably won the Golden Globe for Best Drama. When the cast was taking questions backstage in celebration of this fine award, one of the reporters started talking about backstage conflicts and Mr. Washington blurted out, "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot." Saying this word made everybody angry with him again, including all the people who worked with him. His bosses at the ABC network reprimanded him for being such a hateful prick, so Mr. Washington made it a point to publicly ask for help in dealing with the issues inside his soul and entered a rehabilitation program to undergo psychological analysis and take anger counseling for his apparent homophobia.

In June 2007, ABC announced that they would not be allowing Mr. Washington to act on the show anymore, and he was fired. Because of this, the third season finale of Grey's Anatomy ended with the derailment of a wedding between his character and another character on the show, leaving the door open for his impending departure. Mr. Washington publicly stated, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore," paraphrasing a famous line from the 1976 movie Network, but everybody was just perplexed and unimpressed by the quote. He also said something about doing charity work and making an independent movie, but nobody really gave a shit anymore.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sean Connery Turns Down Indiana Jones 4.

Mr. Connery's statement:

"I get asked the question so often, I thought it best to make an announcement. I thought long and hard about it and if anything could have pulled me out of retirement it would have been an Indiana Jones film. I love working with Steven and George, and it goes without saying that it is an honor to have Harrison as my son. But in the end, retirement is just too damned much fun. I, do however, have one bit of advice for Junior: Demand that the critters be digital, the cliffs be low, and for goodness sake keep that whip by your side at all times in case you need to escape from the stunt coordinator! This is a remarkable cast, and I can only say, 'Break a leg, everyone.' I'll see you on May 22, 2008 at the theater!"

Are you kidding? You can continue your stupid retirement later. The only thing you can't do later is THIS MOVIE [THAT WILL EXIST FOREVER AFTER YOU ARE DEAD]. Thanks for ruining my life.


Monday, June 4, 2007

The Top Ten Best Shows of the 2006/2007 Season

I recently saw an article that TV Guide did where they came up with their own "dream ballot" for the 2007 Emmy Awards. Some of their picks were all right, but some others were outright disgusting. So I thought I'd write about what I thought were the ten best shows of the 2006/2007 season.


10. THE OFFICE -- The mockumentary format of this show affords it comedic opportunities beyond any other, grounding the humor in a more tangible reality. It has a tendency to gravitate towards easy idiot humor a lot of the time, which gives it a significantly lower batting average than, say, the British original. But it can be good.
9. AMERICAN DAD! -- Amazingly different from Family Guy in lots of small ways, this is a total success entirely of itself.
8. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER -- Normally, the traditional four-camera/laugh track format is a sign of shittiness these days, but this sitcom is hilarious and perfectly cast.
7. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES -- This is probably the best-plotted show on television. It's like they make a list of eight hundred good story ideas to choose from, and then they just use them all.
6. 24 -- Some people claim this was the worst season ever, but I think that's like, "You know those six 24-hour orgasms I just had? Yah, that last one was the worst one."
5. LOST -- The problem with Lost this year is that they didn't write 22 episodes. They wrote 1 season. And every week, episodes would just end halfway through plotlines, sometimes after a whole bunch of time filler. It was the opposite of Desperate Housewives. The finale, when they finally got to it, was mind blowing and incredible. But their execution before that point needed a little work.
4. BOSTON LEGAL -- I haven't watched this season yet, but if it's as good as when I left off, then its rightful spot on my list is right about here.
3. STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP -- I completely give up on trying to explain why this show got such a poor reception. I keep a small list of shows I love the shit out of, that inexplicably never made it past the first season, and it just got one entry longer.
2. FAMILY GUY -- A show so good it uncancelled itself. I hope it's on forever. But not in that unfunny Simpsons way.
1. HOUSE, MD -- Just, the best show.


- EXTRAS -- This was a British import, so I don't know if it technically counts as a 2006/2007 show or whatever, but it was sensational.


- DICE: UNDISPUTED -- This was a reality show about Andrew Dice Clay trying to revive his career, but all the people who work for him are idiots. This resulted in some of the finest incidental comedy I've ever seen. You couldn't write stuff this good.
- LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- I don't think there's any dispute that this is the best police procedural right now.
- MONK -- Great.
- PSYCH -- Also good.
- SMALLVILLE -- Terrible, but in a hilarious way. It's also fun to watch for the occasional comic book reference they throw at us. But the only genuinely good thing left in this show is Michael Rosenbaum.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

2006 vs. 2007, Part 1: May

In an effort to determine whether this year is better than last year, going solely by the movies that came out, I will now compare the two years, weekend by weekend, on the month that kickstarts the summer blockbuster season: May.

There is no contest here. M:i:III was one of the best action movies in recent years, and Spider-Man 3 was fun, but an overblown mess. One point for 2006.
1st Weekend Score: 2006 (1) vs. 2007 (0)

POSEIDON (2006) vs. THE EX (2007)
What's better, a stupid action movie or a terrible comedy? Gonna have to go with the stupid action movie. Because it may have been stupid, but at least it was fun. The only good thing about The Ex was [most of] its cast.
2nd Weekend Score: 2006 (2) vs. 2007 (0)

Both of these movies were disappointing, but The Da Vinci Code had nothing on the godless steroid-injected disappointing power of Shrek the Third. This movie was computer animated desperation.
3rd Weekend Score: 2006 (3) vs. 2007 (0)


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was very confusing. I had neither a single idea what was happening at any given moment nor the slightest hint of an indication as to what any character was thinking, ever, during the whole movie. It was like The Matrix Revolutions with pirates. In this way, I don't think it lived up to the first two. However, it is American fucking Beauty compared to X-Men: The Last Stand. X-Men: The Last Stand followed the single best Marvel movie of all time (X2) and just took a big shit on it. It's like if Catwoman had been the sequel to Batman Begins. And so 2006 takes its first hit.
4th Weekend Score: 2006 (3) vs. 2007 (1)

THE WINNER OF MAY: 2006. Because it mostly sucked, but not to the extent that 2007 sucked.

And, for the sake of clarity, I actually did like the Matrix sequels.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Open Letter to Jeffrey Katzenberg

From IMDb:

DreamWorks Animation plans to produce two more Shrek movies before shutting down the franchise, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has told the Australian newspaper The Age. "It's a finite story, has been from the beginning and I think that's part of its integrity, part of its strength, that we're not thinking this up as we go," he said in an interview with the Melbourne newspaper. "Ultimately we will come back to understand how Shrek arrived in that swamp. We will reveal his story." Although acknowledging that he is committed to making movies that will make money for DreamWorks' investors, Katzenberg maintained that he himself never thinks about money. "I've never done anything in my entire life for money. ... I'm amazingly disengaged from it, always have been. I probably would have done even better had I ever paid any attention to it. [His wealth is estimated at $800 million.] My partner David Geffen is a genius at it. He's worth a gajillion times more than me because he does pay attention to it -- he's brilliant at investing."

Now you listen to me, you son of a bitch. How dare you make a statement as stupid as "It's a finite story, has been from the beginning?" If there's anything this franchise doesn't have, it is both integrity and strength. And you are most definitely thinking every bit of it up as you go. That is why you brought in new writers when you decided you were going to make as many Shrek sequels as you possibly could. The only reason you are even making Shrek 4 and Shrek 5 is because you announced them after Shrek 2 (the single most profitable Dreamworks movie to date), and now that you're draining all magic from the franchise, you want to pretend that your motives are pure and artistically motivated. Just be honest, god dammit. As if anybody is going to believe that anyone during the making of the first Shrek ever uttered the phrase, "We see this as a five-movie series." You've never done anything in your entire life for money? Then why was there more than one Shrek? It's based on a children's book. You dumb fuck. I haven't seen this much shameless spinning since Walt Disney's proverbial grave after they released the trailer for Cinderella III.