Apparently a mainstream media hack calling the President of the United States a "dick," on MSNBC, is proof of liberal bias, or something.
"Transformers 3," which I didn't see, hasn't gotten nearly the bad reviews as the second film, but there were still some pretty good ones. Will Leitch:
Bay's "humor" has often been compared to that of a 14-year-old boy, but I think that's being unfair to 14-year-old boys; it's closer to that of someone with a serious mental defect who also is just starting to learn the language... This is soul-crushing, brain-rotting drivel to an infinite degree, expertly produced and displayed the way only the truly cynical can pull off. Future generations will look back at this film and see, again, why the American empire was doomed to fall. This movie is actively making the world a worse place to live. I am certain Michael Bay considers it his masterwork. He's right. God help us all.
My son Noah took his first steps this week, and for the occasion I've taught myself iMovie and put together a progression of how he got here, which is here on his blog.
Today's June 30, so here we go:
Best Movies of the Half Year: Certified Copy, The Tree of Life, Source Code, Bridesmaids, Cedar Rapids, Midnight in Paris, Win Win
Worst Movies of the Half Year: Just Go With It, Sucker Punch, Arthur, Red Riding Hood, The Green Hornet
2010 Supplemental Top Ten List (2010 movies I didn't see until 2011): Blue Valentine, Let Me In, I Love You Philip Morris, Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Catfish, Four Lions, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Fair Game, Due Date (Original top ten list here.)
When even the nutty New York Post columnist is for same-sex marriage now, I've got a feeling we're nearing "Game Over" on this. Though it would be nice for the president to jump on board too.
Weiner, first for the Star Tribune and later for MinnPost, has an ultra-specific beat- attempts by Minnesota sports teams to build new stadiums- and is as good at it as any beat writer on any beat that I can think of. He'll be missed, although I imagine if the Vikings stadium gets approved the beat will pretty much cease to exist.
Another great Harry Hanrahan montage:
The Phillies and Red Sox are playing an interleague series this week here in Philly, and just about all the discussion I've heard in Philly has centered on two topics: "This is a World Series preview," and "Boston sucks!"
It's funny hearing people who are Phillies fans bash Red Sox fans, because as someone who's lived both places, I can't think of two fanbases in any sport in America that are more alike.
Both are Northeastern, non-New York cities, with lots of Irish, Italian and other ethnic white people. Both are teams that were terrible/didn't win for a long time before a recent protracted run of success that has included championships. Both fanbases fill their ballparks and are obsessed with their teams, while also having a tendency to panic over any brief cold streak, or when their club slips from having the best record in baseball to the second or third best.
Both the Sox and Phillies' fanbases have small but vocal segments of violent, hostile douchebags, while both also have large amounts of bandwagon jumpers who weren't all that into the team before the championships started. Both fanbases love Curt Schilling and hate J.D. Drew. And of course, both hate the Yankees.
So Red Sox and Phils fans- enjoy the series, and any subsequent World Series featuring the two teams. But remember- the people you're swearing at in the section over have way more in common with you than you'd probably care to admit.
"The Daily Show" busts out every ethnic voice Jon Stewart has ever done:
Pajiba's Brian Prisco on "Somewhere":
Sofia Coppola needs to grow the fuck up. She’s on her fourth feature film and she’s still working out daddy issues with all the aplomb of a molested film student. Gee, it’s a real goddamn shame your father handed you a career and opportunities on a silver platter to the detriment of his own fucking career. She’s made 1 1/2 decent films, and the rest are nestled like Lady Gaga in a smug bundle of self-entitlement and dresses made of feathers and T-bones.I didn't hate "Somewhere" THAT much, but yea, Sofia might want to try making a movie about something else.
This might be my favorite B.S. Report ever, and Bill Simmons didn't even appear on it.
Not-so-happy goings-on in the neighborhood of my office over the weekend:
A WOMAN'S leg was broken and several other people were injured Saturday night when a large group of teens accosted pedestrians in Spring Garden, police and witnesses said.Not only did this happen about two blocks from where I work, but the police union headquarters is about a block away, and I happen to know the police commissioner favors a pizza place that's right there too.
Philadelphia police responded to two reports of pedestrians being assaulted by a large group of young people along Broad Street about 9:30 p.m.
One of those reports came from Emily Guendelsberger, 27, city editor for local arts and entertainment content for the Onion, the satirical newspaper and website. She was walking with seven friends on Green Street near Broad when they were accosted, she said. Guendelsberger, who remained hospitalized with a broken leg yesterday, declined to comment further.
Emily, thankfully, appears in good spirits, and her Twitter is worth a follow.
I was feeling pretty good about the T-Wolves for awhile there, what with Ricky Rubio agreeing to come over and the team drafting Derrick Williams with the second pick and not trading him on draft night. But GM David Kahn agreeing to go on Bill Simmons' podcast- and giving especially weaselly answers to the many questions everyone has, did not fill me with confidence.
And this idea to either hire Bernie Bickerstaff as coach, or as an assistant with his son as the head coach? You know Bernie has never succeeded as a coach at any level, right? If you're going to bring in a wizened mentor, shouldn't it be Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, or something?
Good thing we're getting Coach K...
For its 1000th issue, the The Onion has devoted an entire issue to its not-so-subtle Pulitzer campaign. Join the campaign; the whole issue is worth reading.
From a non-actor, "Lost" cocreator Damon Lindeloff:
Colbert explains the slippery slope of what happened in New York last week.
The flower shop in Minneapolis called Bachman's- which I drove by roughly one million times in my childhood- has taken pains to say "no relation" to a certain wild-eyed Congresswoman.
Also, there's a John Wayne Gacy angle. Of course there is.
I'm laughing at you, Kathryn Jean Lopez. Laughing, laughing, laughing.
Same-sex marriage is finally, blessedly legal in New York state. Wish the vote had happened while I was up there last week. Andrew Sullivan's live-blog of the vote is a must-read.
Yes, it's an "interview" in which the primary point of contention is whether Anthony Weiner secretly converted to Islam, or that his wife is Hillary Clinton's lesbian lover. That Huma is a Muslim Brotherhood secret agent is just sort of taken for granted. Your GOP base, ladies and gentlemen!
They're saying Twins fans are starting to have a backlash against Joe Mauer this year. Not this guy, I guess.
All of YouTube covers Radiohead's "Paranoid Android" at once:
The guitar solo that starts at the 3:12 mark is all-time top-five in the history of music, if you ask me.
Buzzfeed looks at the 100 longest entries on Wikipedia. Certainly the only list I've ever seen in which Hitler is #100 and Dungeons and Dragons is #1.
Every single scene with the opening quote:
News Item: Clarence Clemons dies of stroke
I'm sad about Clemons' death, and also that this likely means the end of the E Street Band. I didn't discover Bruce's music until I was in my 20s, but I always loved Clarence's contributions to it, and also that Bruce always introduced him last. He'll greatly be missed.
It's you, Louie Gohmert! The "terror babies" thing was bad enough, but now he's going on the House floor and recycling debunked email forwards from four years ago.
Jon Stewart goes into the Fox lion's den and tells the truth. The sort of thing Alan Colmes and Kirsten Powers never do:
Maureen Ryan, writing probably the most angry review of a TV episode I've ever seen, on last night's "The Killing" finale:
I'm not sure how to start, except to say that I hated the season finale of 'The Killing' with the burning intensity of 10,000 white-hot suns.The normally mild-mannered Alan Sepinwall got pretty vicious too.
It wasn't just a bad ending to a poorly constructed, sloppy, disappointing season. It was a jaw-dropping instance of a show not just squandering its promise, but betraying its viewers. The tone-deaf arrogance of the writers and executives responsible for 'The Killing' is simply astonishing. And depressing, if you're a fan of quality television... This hour was, in my opinion, the worst season finale of all time, because it was a terrible execution of a set of colossally stupid, misguided and condescending ideas. And clearly, people at the network have known about what would be in the finale for some time. They should have stopped it. All of it.
Bethenny Frankel is a fake-boobed, Skeletor-looking reality show retread who hawks low-calorie alcoholic sugar water to desperate women and whose most discernible talent is fomenting discord on a reality show. That makes her one of Bravo’s biggest stars, which is apparently why she filmed a pilot for a talk show... I don’t I hate her because she’s successful. I hate her because her success represents a massive bloc of people I hate: calorie-counting women who are desperate to get drunk but can’t handle the taste of alcohol. Just do cocaine, ladies. At least that way the people who profit are Colombian drug lords who have no desire to host a talk show.
The "Jackass" star died in a car accident early Tuesday morning, right down the road from my house,
Dunn's death proves that old axiom that if you stick a toy car up your own ass in a movie, it WILL be in the first sentence of your obituary when you die.
I review "The Green Lantern"- not great but certainly not the debacle most critics say it is- at Patch.
Next week is the first-ever CE Week in New York, which includes the annual CEA Line Shows, and I'll be up there covering it. Here's a preview edition of the CE Week Daily newsletter, and here's this week's E-Gear Weekly with more about the show.
Before you even think about supporting Michele Bachmann, read Michelle Goldberg's profile of the lunatic Congresswoman in the Daily Beast. It wouldn't surprise me for a second if she's the GOP vice presidential nominee.
If you're like me and your phone dies before you get home, oh, EVERY DAY, here's a nifty list of phone-charging tips. The best tip of all, I suppose, is "get a new phone."
Apparently there's a movement afoot in Minnesota to rename Lake Calhoun, on the grounds that it is named for the Confederate politician John Calhoun.
I'm not generally in favor of naming things in favor of Confederates- especially in the North- but come on. The name dates to the 19th century, and no one associates it with John Calhoun. And if they changed the name, everyone would probably just call it Lake Calhoun anyway.
Salon has a useful guide to the sort of nonsense typically spewed by Pam Geller and the other people who treat Muslims the way anti-Semites treat Jews.
Alex Blagg, as usual, has it right.
You're on the right track, Drew. Especially on the Vikings-related stuff.
This is a particularly low moment in American civilization, if you ask me. Yes, I'm going to cheer the outcome of a fight over who gets to observe a murder trial involving a little girl who was murdered.
I review the Optoma Neo i, which is both, at E-Gear.com.
Yes, even if there's no football, the show will return- with El Cunado!
A couple of Twins appear in one of the worst-acted commercials ever:
The full trailer is here:
I'm glad they changed the name of Jonah Hill's character, because I wouldn't have bought him as Paul DePodesta.
I'll say this first of all: please don't judge the state of Minnesota by that debate alone. We have much, much better people than Pawlenty and Bachmann, I swear!
- The best news of all- Bachmann is running for president- and not running for Congress!
- I don't know if my favorite Herman Cain moment was when he praised Chile's Pinochet-era economic policies, or when he said he wouldn't nominate a Muslim for his cabinet, if it was the sort of Muslim who wants to kill him. Because most presidential candidates are totally cool with appointing potential assassins. Which may be true on "24," but I digress.
- Then there was Newt, first slamming loyalty oaths as pointless- because people lie- but then endorsing them anyway.
- I loved when Mitt Romney gave the Bruins score. Like he could name more than three Boston Bruins.
If I had to guess the ticket today? Romney/Bachmann. And it will suddenly become mandatory for the GOP vice presidential nominee to be a batshit insane female.
The Atlantic bashes "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" on its 25th anniversary. I put 'Ferris'- the movie I've seen more times than any other- in same category as "Field of Dreams" and "Glee": I have no disagreement at all with the general critique, but I love it anyway.
One man- and his seven other selves- cover "Killer Queen":
That must've taken a really, really long time.
Peter King told this story in his column, and it's pretty awesome to see in video form: Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Giffords, appears, from space, on the scoreboard of a U2 concert in Seattle:
I was in Seattle when this happened- and went to a Mariners game next door that afternoon. Wish I could've seen the show.
The bestselling new childrens' book called- I'm not kidding- "Go the Fuck to Sleep," is read by, who else, Samuel L. Jackson.
I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I've never for a second found Tracy Morgan funny. His act is pure minstrelsy out of the 1920s- an over-the-top caricature of a super-oversexed, super-dumb black man. I have a really hard time laughing at his mugging, his "jokes," and his generally annoying presence, whether he's doing standup, movies or TV. He's my #1 reason (out of about 20) for not liking "30 Rock."
So that he's a generally hateful and vile individual isn't especially surprising. It's one thing to be edgy or controversial or even to use slurs- but to threaten to beat up your own son, were he gay? In the guise of a comedy routine?
This is an actual political ad, which would be horribly offensive if it wasn't hilarious:
Washington Times, you win a prize!
Fox Business, you're doing it wrong! You're supposed to be subtle about your racist anti-Obama innuendo. You're not supposed to come right out with it!
The Philly Sports Guy, Phil Simmons, writes his first mailbag for TheFightins.com, stretching a single joke much further than you'd think it could go.
The "Phil Simmons" Twitter account has been around for awhile and is worth a follow. He kept mentioning a mailbag, but I figured he was purposely never delivering, as a parody of Bill Simmons' never writing mailbags anymore.
Fresh off the success of the ESPN book, it's the history of Vs.!
I know this is old, but I'm just now catching up on Stewart from my vacation:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Me Lover's Pizza with Crazy Broad|
I was surprised when I heard that Kim Kardashian had had an affair with an "NFL star" by the name of Bret Lockett, mostly because I follow the NFL pretty closely and I've never heard of him. Turns out that's not all- Lockett now admits he's never actually met Kim.
Meanwhile, I just think it's hilarious for some reason that Kim is engaged to Kris Humphries, who is from Minneapolis and went to Hopkins High School. I just can't imagine Kim Kardashian in Minnesota- it just doesn't compute. What do they do when they visit his parents? Does he take her to the Sculpture Garden? Courtside at a Wolves game, where the only other celebrity is Jesse Ventura?
So Gay Girl in Damascus turned out to be neither gay, nor a girl, nor from Damascus.
Hey everyone- I'm back from vacation in Seattle. What a wonderful, beautiful city- it's almost like San Francisco and Minneapolis had a child. Also caught a game at Safeco, which I liked- and I've now been to 15 of the 30 active major league ballparks.
Anyway, here are some writings of mine from the last week:
- Noah's got a new blog post featuring our recent trips to both Boston and Seattle.
- I followed the Anthony Weiner press conference on Twitter as I walked around the Woodland Park Zoo. Here's an E-Gear blog post I wrote about the scandal.
- Two movie reviews, of films I liked a lot: Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," and Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life." Of the latter, I wouldn't say ALL of its supporters are happy, but it seems like most are.
While on vacation I watched the feature film version of "Casino Jack"- the one with Kevin Spacey, not the documentary of the same title, subject and year. I'm an Abramoff scandal buff, and I like all the actors, but yikes, what a mess.
The miscalculations are plentiful- from a silly monologue-in-the-mirror bit that opens and closes the movie to the device of Abramoff and others doing impressions of movie characters, which probably happened in real life but just dies on screen. The film also punts completely on the question of how Abramoff reconciled his Orthodox Judaism with his crimes.
And again: I can understand artistic license, but if you're making a movie about events that occurred only three or four years ago, how about attempting to stick to what really happened? The unrealistic howlers are also plentiful- we see Abramoff making fun of Reagan for being senile, the sort of joke a hardcore right-winger like him would never make. His calling Bush an idiot? Writing a letter to Bill Clinton? Ridiculous.
Michael Scanlon at one point refers to himself as a lobbyist- when the entire scam between him and Abramoff hinged on Scanlon NOT being a lobbyist. And the movie leaves out my favorite detail of the scandal- that Abramoff laundered money through a fake think tank, located in a Rehobeth Beach beachhouse- even though there are multiple scenes where we see the beachhouse under construction.
The real story is compelling enough- why change it?
Spacey and Barry Pepper (playing Scanlon) are two actors I like a lot, but they play Abramoff and Scanlon as cartoon characters- I can't imagine Scanlon could possibly have been THAT much of a douchebag. Jon Lovitz, as a mobbed-up accomplice, gives one of the worst performances I've ever seen, and I didn't realize Grover Norquist, a man feared by the entire government, was a milquetoast errand boy.
The actor playing Tom DeLay looks nothing like DeLay but almost exactly like Jeb Bush- and the film for some reason invents a scene that implies DeLay is an anti-Semite. DeLay is a scoundrel and an evil, evil man, but I've never seen any indication that he doesn't like Jews.
I hate to speak ill of the dead- director George Hickenlooper died around the time of the movie's release- but there was a good reason nobody saw this.
When I went to camp as a kid in the '90s, almost everyone I was there with was from Chicago, and it was during the era of the Jordan/Pippen Bulls. Each year, a week or two into camp, the Bulls would win the championship and all the kids would get their new Bulls championship shirts.
None of them were anywhere near as great as this, which hints at a Simpsons/Jordan crossover that likely would've been much more watchable than "Space Jam."
Tablet does a service in reviewing a book about this deeply creepy phenomenon. I don't want anyone to hate me because I'm Jewish, but they shouldn't love me for that reason either. Especially not as a ploy to get me to vote Republican.
Lots of paranoia in the news this week. There's no reason to buy the cell phone thing- Slate debunks it here and besides, when we went from no one having a cell phone to everyone having one, brain cancer rates declined. There's even less evidence about plane interference- and I know that from every time I've accidentally left my phone on on a flight.
The Awl ranks the best closing songs in movie history, including most of the ones I immediately though of. Other than ELO's "Living Thing" from the end of "Boogie Nights," of course. I bet it pisses off Jeff Lynne that the intro to that song is forever associated with Mark Wahlberg's penis.
It's one of my favorite movies- and I've never been able to watch the ending without crying, not a single time- and now it's coming to the Great White Way. I'm so there.