Sunday, January 30, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 1/30/05

“A triple and a double, catcher's and fielder's, and Dolly Parton.”

“A triple and a double, catcher's and fielder's, and Dolly Parton.”

(Glare) “May a diseased camel date your sister!”

Rrriiipppp – (blow)

“Name two big hits, two big mitts...and a famous country singer!” - Carnac the Magnificent.

“How do you get there? Let me tell you friends, how you get there! You take the San Diego Freeway to the Ventura Freeway. You drive to the Slaussen Cutoff, get out of your car, cut off your Slaussen, get back in your car, then you drive six miles till you see the Giant Neon Vice-Squad Cop.” - Art Fern.

***Thank you, Johnny Carson!

Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammy’s, Emmy’s, its award season again. And that can only mean one thing – the Spoogies are coming back! OK, not yet, but sometime in February I’ll give you my own obnoxious opinion on the best of the best from the entertainment world 2004. I know – you can hardly wait! If you want to weigh in, be my guest!

Since I’m on the subject of the Oscars, what the hell is the deal with Paul Giamatti NOT being nominated for best actor? He was nominated for a Golden Globe, and he honestly gave an unbelievable performance in Sideways. I swear that was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen – ever! Really! But no, we have to nominate old geezer Clint Eastwood instead. All the guy can do is grunt and peer at people with his little beady little eyes. OK, so I haven’t actually SEEN Million Dollar Baby, but I was literally brought to tears watching Giamatti, so don’t even try to tell me he shouldn’t be nominated – I won’t hear it. La, la, la – I can’t hear you – la, la, la…

This little tirade above just means my heart is with Sideways for best film category. And Thomas Haden Church (nominated for supporting actor) was good, but Giamatti was amazing. Even Virginia Madsen was nominated for supporting actress for Sideways – it’s like its personal or something! I like the fact that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is up for writing, but why isn’t it nominated for director? Ugh! You see my frustration and why it is imperative that I hold my own award ceremony. And yer all invited!

I’m taking pleasure seeing that Fahrenheit 9/11 tried for best picture and isn’t nominated for anything now. Moore should have stuck with the documentary category, as the films success might have given him 2 in a row! I personally refuse to watch him put words in George’s mouth while the president tries to figure out how to leave the kids he’s reading to when the news of the worst attack on America ever is whispered in his ear. I find that horribly insulting and there’s no comedy there at all. That’s my opinion – it’s like a fake interview. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that before every time Weird Al took over MTV, but that was to rip on idiots like Eminem or Britney Spears, not our commander in chief. Now, I suppose Super Size Me has no competition – and this could have been a great battle!

As far as animation, I’m receiving Shrek 2 from Netflix this week, and I loved the Incredibles. This animated category could be tough! In addition, I almost feel stupid as many of the nominated actresses, actors and films I haven’t even seen yet! I guess I still have a month to see them.

I found a few new AP links on my homepage so this could be entertaining for all of us!

Some dolt in Omaha, NE put advertising space on his forehead up for grabs on ebay and a company bought it! A one-month ad across this guy’s forehead for $37,738 – for a snoring remedy! So is this guy stupid for having a billboard across his forehead for 30 days, or is he brilliant for making an additional $37K in a month? Wow, that’s a tough call. Wait – I have a small business idea! I can hire a bunch of little hot coeds, make them wear shirts that are too small and ride up their backs, and sell the “stripper tattoo” area right on the small of their backs! Who’s with me? We could be rich – RICH I say! Seriously, how much would a company, say Marlboro or Trojan, pay for that kind of exposure? Heh – “exposure!” Sure most girls will catch on and say, “Why wouldn’t I just put MYSELF up for auction on ebay?” But there’s that small percentage that’s probably just dumb enough to fall for it. In case you’re wondering, Wifey, Sweetie, it’s just for financial gain. However, I still think I should hit the strip joints for “research” this weekend! NOW who’s with me?

On the other hand, a guy in New York is selling his body for permanent tattoo ads and only charging $500. So, he had a “Save Martha Stewart” tattoo permanently put on his right bicep and he made $510. So, a temporary billboard on the forehead for $37K, or Martha forever on the arm for $500? I’m with the Omaha guy on this one! Isn’t Martha almost out of jail anyway? Suddenly the temporary ad on the forehead looks brilliant!

Just when I feel like humanity can’t let me down any further, something new happens. Like the DJs in NY that made fun of the tsunami victims by using racial slurs and making “jokes” about child slavery in a rap song. How can you even think that’s going to be funny? What’s comical about the worst natural disaster of our time? These people had no warning, there was nothing they could do, and they’ve lost everything. Plus, many of those cities rely heavily on tourism, which is nonexistent now. Yeah, that’s hysterical! I think the punishment for these imbeciles should be a 6-month clean up and rebuilding trip to Asia. Now is it funny? Now that you have a homeless 4-year-old with no clothes, food, water, or family tugging at your pants, begging for something to eat, is it funny now? I have to stop – I’m getting ticked off!

Let’s bring things back up a bit – a guy with a gambling problem is suing the MGM Grand and Mirage casinos for “preying on his gambling addiction.” He has lost and paid back over $4 million since 1995! He still owes about $475K, and is blaming the casinos for letting him borrow the money. Hello? Lost $4 million AND paid it back? Oh my! It must be the casino’s fault. I think I’ll sue the state of Colorado for making me spend money on lottery tickets. They must owe me around $168 by now!

I have seen the worst movie ever made, and its name is You Got Served. OK, so I didn’t watch the whole thing – there’s no way I could. However, the 15 minutes I saw had to be a low point in cinematic history. Dirty movies on Skinemax have better acting and a heftier script! I guess I just can’t handle the overacting and over-hyped reactions to street dancers being introduced in a mall dance competition. But I couldn’t pull myself away! Maybe it was because Lil’ Kim was walking around in a bikini top with barely enough material to make an eye patch. Key word being “barely!” And to prove it’s not my age, I challenge any one of my younger readers to give me one good reason why this movie was made. Go on, I dare ya! Is this the Footloose of a new generation?

There are children reading so I’ll be vague: Jenna Jamison is selling ring tones for cell phones. Yeah, exactly what I was thinking! Oh my. Ooohhhhh myyyy! Oh my GOD YES! Hmmmmm??? Ew! Does anyone else have his or her cell phone set to “vibrate” or is it just me? For those of you who don’t know who Jenna Jamison is, this paragraph was wasted on you. Just don’t “Google” her at work if ya know what I mean. Can you imagine being in a meeting and yer phone “rings?” “Oh, don’t mind that – it’s just my cell.” HR would have a field day!

In case you’re thinking I’m not liberal enough, a Democratic senator in Oklahoma wants to revive cock fighting – with gloves! So, no more razor blades, but what about the beaks? And how would you now declare a winner? Do you think their little brains will turn to mush and one will get knocked out? As scary as this sounds, the ban on cock fighting in Oklahoma has wiped out a $100 (remember, million is ALWAYS implied in cock fighting – and movie budgets!) dollar industry! Is Don King behind this?

Jamal Lewis, the NFL’s spokesman on dealing cocaine, is going to jail for a whole 4 months – during the off-season even! What a great country we live in where criminals get extra special treatment if they are professional athletes. This crime, setting up a cocaine deal with his cell phone, is 4 ½ years old. He got a two-game suspension from the NFL and was being commended for admitting his guilt. Well, YAY then! Group hug everyone! He’s only going to miss a week of training camp. Is this bothering anyone else?

Super Bowl is a week away! Yippie! I don’t really care! TO thinks he’s going to play on a broken ankle. Right! He’ll be so hobbled they could cover him with a nose tackle! I don’t think Philly has a chance. NE is just so darn good on defense, McNabb and co. will be lost and NE will take advantage with long, slow drives that keep the Philly offense off the field. Here’s my prediction: NE 24, PHI 10. At least we have the commercials to look forward to!

Hey George Karl! Do you know what yer getting yourself into? Seriously? Does ESPN not pay very well, or is it better for your heart to try to discipline a bunch of thugs that think they know everything? Good luck, buddy! This town had a lot of expectations for the new and improved Denver Nuggets, and a sub-500 season is not one of them! If you can weasel them into the playoffs at the 6 or 7 spot, I’ll send you a PAFC t-shirt! Ya gotta motivate the guy somehow!

If people want to kill themselves, why can’t they do it in the privacy of their own bathtub? First there’s the idiot on New Year’s Eve that destroyed Denver traffic by trying to jump off a bridge because his mom and dad had a fight. Now there’s the complete knob in California that parked his Jeep on commuter railroad tracks, only to change his mind and get out of the car before the train hit. He derailed 2 trains, killed 11 people, and injured over 200. All of this because his wife kicked his druggy arse out of the house. Ya think she’ll take him back now? If it weren’t for stupid people, the population would be cut by 90%. Yet another case of natural selection backfiring!

But wait, there’s good news! A man in Nicaragua bet his friends he could eat a live fish! He stuck it in his mouth, and the fish got lodged in his throat and he choked to death. See, sometimes natural selection DOES work!

Monday, January 24, 2005

PAFC Contest Submissions

WINNER: I have read PLENTY of newsletters in my time, none as CLEVERLY written without BLUNDERS EXPOSING the TOTALLY JUICY BOOTY issues of the day as this WINNING newsletter has had this VIXEN RIVETED to her computer, wanting for more – I SAID MORE! Linda Howe – CO

WINNER: PARK CITY, UT – At a recent life coach and client convention cleverly conceived to garner maximum media exposure for celebrity also-rans suffering from massive feelings of cultural irrelevance, former Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl winners Josh Booty and Rohan Davey each married “Angel of the Morning” crooner Juice Newton in a riveting public celebration of legal polygamy attended by a smattering of totally confused Mormons and hundreds of Hollywood’s hottest himbos and sexiest vixens eagerly looking to exchange sexual currency and/or boxes of Good ‘n Plenty for one last opportunity to turn back time and atone for a life’s worth of blunders and misfortune. Bill Cross - IL

While at the Hospital for a TIME to have our son, we met PLENTY of VIXENS CLEVERLY disguised as nurses; real WINNERS who rebuffed Nicole's attempts to BLUNDER out of the room for some JUICE without changing into a RIVETING gown which TOTALLY EXPOSED her BOOTY--causing no end of hurt FEELINGS among the less bootilicious. Nicole & Ian Mattingly - CO

I've given plenty of thought about how to cleverly respond to your contest without exposing myself to certain ridicule, that blunders of grammar may insight and then I realized as all your faithful readers are taking their places as winner or losers of your contest, perhaps fancying themselves vixens in your logo apparel, that I am the biggest winner ever because your cute lovey juicy booty is totally and utterly mine – what a riveting thought! Katy Angello - CO

Plenty of cleverly exposed vixens totally blundered in front of a riveted audience when announcing the winners of the "Booty Juice" contest. Nichelle Anderson - CO

The totally riveting vixens cleverly exposed plenty of booty, making the winners blunder their booty juices. Amy Zaiss - CO

You're getting plenty of exposure here in this office, as I have cleverly blundered on a juiced-up formula for totally reducing the size of one's booty, thereby winning the attention of innumerable saucy vixens and their riveting stares. Bill Purdy - NC

I have said plenty of times how blundering vixens cleverly expose their juicy booties in a totally riveting manner to men who think of themselves as winners. Michelle Stork - MN

Sunday, January 23, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 1/23/05

OK, so CSI gets their theme songs from the Who:

CSI = Who Are You?
CSI: Miami = Won’t Get Fooled Again
CSI: NY = Baba O’Riley

So, since I haven’t done one of these since the ol’ Spooboy days, here’s an ALL NEW Top 11 List for ya!

Top 11 CSI shows in the works and their respective theme songs by the Who!

11) CSI: Des Moines = My Generation
10) CSI: Bangor = The Ox
9) CSI: Phoenix = Boris The Spider
8) CSI: Boston = Heinz Baked Beans
7) CSI: Cheyenne = I Can See For Miles
6) CSI: Chicago = A Legal Matter
5) CSI: New Orleans = Bargain
4) CSI: Atlantic City = You Better You Bet
3) CSI: Los Angeles = Another Tricky Day
2) CSI: San Francisco = Happy Jack
1) CSI: Boulder = Magic Bus

Another reason to be proud about being from Colorado – the guy in Littleton who had a nail embedded in his skull for 6 days and didn’t know it! Yep, Patrick (shut up!) Lawler had a nail gun backfire on him. One nail went into a piece of wood and another went into his skull. So after six days of blurred vision and a toothache, he finally went to the dentist. The thing went 1.5 inches into his brain and just missed his eye. Brain – right! Somehow he’s going to be OK. What ever happened to natural selection? He isn’t even the first person admitted into the same hospital without knowing this same injury!

I’m starting to hate sports bars. I went to one last week with some buds while my wife was at a book club meeting. First of all, there is no such thing as a non-smoking section. There’s merely a smoke stench section and a smoke blowing right in your face section. Either way, you stink when you get home. Then there’s the crappy food. How do you screw up a grilled chicken sandwich, and why is my salad (instead of fries, thank you Morgan Spurlock) on the same hot dish the sandwich is on? Who wants to eat a warm salad? Guh! As if the atmosphere isn’t enough to tick me off, they pulled a huge bonehead move. On the biggest screen, #3 Wake Forest was playing a tight basketball game against Florida State. WF missed a free throw (after making 50 straight – a new NCAA record) with 4 seconds left sending the game into overtime. Then some idiot manager changes the channel. Are you kidding me? And to what – the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Houston Rockets, a 25-point game in the SECOND QUARTER! Not only that, but NONE of the 35-odd TV had the Wake Forest game on now. So I missed a huge upset for throwback NBA uniforms? Who the hell cares?

American Idol is BACK! Hey, if I want to listen to people that can’t sing, I’ll buy an Ashlee Simpson CD. If you think about it, AI can turn horrible singers into stars just as fast as a dad/manager! William Hung made a fortune last year for sucking, and now some crazy girl named Mary Roach gives an insane, Brad Dourif-like testimonial after being told she’s one of the worst singers Simon has ever heard. Give her a month and she’ll be a household name with a recording contract and a summer ’05 tour! She can team up with Diana Ross and Whitney Houston – they could call it the “Off The Meds Tour!”

Everybody Loves Raymond is calling it quits. I don’t love Raymond. In fact, I don’t even like Raymond. Actually, I could care less about Raymond. It’s like listening to Sylvester Stallone do stand-up.

Yeah, I know – I missed BOTH picks for the NFL playoffs this week. What can I say, I let my heart get in the way – same reason why I pulled a 2 in week 15 when I was in contention in the Pick ‘Em! I need time before I even TRY to guess what will happen in the Super Bowl. At least I didn’t put any money on it!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sideways

This film is a story about a couple middle-aged men with strange relationship issues. Miles (Paul Giamatti) is a divorced struggling writer/English teacher with a passion for wine. When his buddy Jack (Thomas Haden Church – yes, the goofy mechanic from Wings) is about to get married, Miles plans a bachelor trip for them to tour wine country, eat some great food, and relax by playing a little golf. This is Miles’ ideal vacation and getaway, but Jack basically just wants one more fling before he gets married.

Ya know, I don’t say this many times, but this is honestly one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. The plot I described above isn’t anything too exciting, but the character development is fantastic and the dialogue is absolutely brilliant. Sure Jack throws f-bombs all over the place, but the talk of relationships and description of wine and how it’s made literally floored me. I swear to you, when Miles goes into detail about why he admires a Pinot Noir, and the care put into developing that wine, I had tears in my eyes. It was so beautifully scripted and his performance made you feel like he drank it out of respect for whoever made the wine, and their passion for the craft was directed personally at Miles.

I’ll tell you right now, I know nothing about wine. I’ve tried some, but never really liked any of it. After this film, suddenly I want to learn everything about it! That’s scary! No matter how many people have suggested wine to me, or told me how to drink it, I could care less – it was all the same. But the descriptions in this film aroused my curiosity, which I never thought would happen. That alone makes it an impressive film in my mind.

The relationship between Miles and Jack, their flawed personalities that they never learn to overcome, keeps this film true. You really get to know both of them by the time its over, and you feel for them. Even if Jack is a pig, you understand him and you know why. You can pry into Miles’ pain of being divorced and why he is scared to embark on a new relationship. They are great friends in a love/hate relationship.

This is a very funny film if you can handle the language and brief sex scenes (Mom). Paul Giamatti is a brilliant actor, which reminds me to tell you to rent American Splendor. Go see this film – please! It’s rated R so there won’t be any loud kids there and I have not enjoyed a film this much since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I honestly can’t find anything disappointing in this film!

5 out of 5!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 1/16/05

I know this is going to break many a heart, but the Will, a reality show whose 10 participants competed for the fortune of a 73-year-old rancher, was cancelled after just one episode. The Will joins a small handful of other one-shot blunders in TV history. The most recent was South of Sunset, a CBS detective drama starring Glenn Frey, which debuted Oct. 27, 1993, then was never seen again. With a 6.1 rating, that show attracted what was deemed the smallest audience ever for a series premiere on any major network. For the sake of comparison, the Will got a 2.9 rating. I said blunders.

While we’re talking about garbage, um, reality TV, Paris and Nicole were d-nied! The ugly (in every way possible) little vixens wanted to tape an episode of the Simple Life in a New Jersey middle school, but the parents refused to sign the permission slip brought home by the students. Good for you, NJ! I always knew there was SOMETHING classy about that state! I said vixens.

Because I love reality TV so much – can someone tell me how Survivor has indeed survived for a 10th season? I know there are a lot of my faithful readers out there that love the show, but I just don’t get it. And hearing the promos about “shocking twists and turns that you won’t believe” just make me want to avoid it even more. Like I’m supposed to suddenly say, “oh my GOD – there’s a shocking twist this week on Survivor – now I HAVE to watch!” Ain’t gonna happen. And to think, Wonder Falls, a cleverly scripted show, was cancelled! Don’t go turning on me – if you know me at ALL you know I don’t like these shows. And I don’t expect everyone to listen to Megadeth either. I said cleverly.

My sister really wanted me to comment about the Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston break-up. But I can’t think of anything bad to say about them! They were a pretty classy Hollywood couple and they lasted longer than most. However, when I read on the AP that Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson had to comment on the issue, I was disgusted! Who on Earth thinks these two young, dumb bimbos can comment on any relationship after being married for a year or two? Just because they have a reality TV show about their life makes them marriage counselors? Give me a break – any excuse to give this ditz more exposure and the media is all over it! I said exposure.

I realize that the rain, flooding and mudslides in California and Utah are just awful disasters, but the poor guy that lost his pants while being rescued will always be known as…the poor guy who lost his pants while being rescued. I thought the pants falling off yer booty trend was over! Dude – get a belt or quit wearing your older brother’s pants! The guy even lost his undies! And how does one think that going around a barricade in this kind of weather is a good idea? Some dumb woman did this, submerged her car, and her 2-year-old son was found dead 2 miles down the river. Now she’s being charged with homicide. Sometimes there’s a reason to listen to authorities during bad weather! It’s literally impossible watch Governator Arnold looking over the devastation and NOT think he’s in an action film. I keep thinking he’s going to yell, “luk owt” and tackle some woman in ripped clothing. I said booty.

Believe it or not, MLB is cracking down on steroid use! Really! We’re talking random testing all year long – 4 strikes and you’re out…until the end of the season. Heck, it will take the entire season for them to randomly test each player twice at the most! Big shake up there, Bud Selig! You already know whose on the juice, so why not test them weekly? The other guys can be tested 4 times a year. So, what does this mean for all of the records that were shattered by these creatures? (Uh, that’s a rhetorical question.) I said juice.

ESPN has been doing a show called the Season, where they have a camera crew follow a team through an entire season. Last year, they followed my underachieving Colorado Avalanche. The show is really cool because it gives you a look at these players beyond the locker room and shows you what really goes through their heads. There were only two episodes, one for each half of the season, and James Hetfield from Metallica narrated the series. I was able to watch part one (it aired around the All-Star break), but part two ran so quickly after the Avs lost in round 2 of the playoffs that I missed it. But Altitude Sports replayed part 2 this week and it was just awesome. You get to see players reaction to the Todd Bertuzzi hit on Steve Moore, Matthew Barnaby on the training table after being cut badly in a fight that just trying to call his kids and tell them he was OK, the looks on the player’s faces when the season comes to an abrupt end. THIS is reality TV in my mind, not a game show where people have to eat maggots. It was riveting – really! And it made me miss hockey even more, darn it! I said riveting.

So, the Jets miss 2 field goals in the final 2 minutes and lose in OT. Somewhere, Scott Norwood is smiling – finally – after 15 years! And how is it that New England is the only team to totally shut down Peyton Manning? Why didn’t the Broncos watch some of their tape? Anyway, I still think the Patriots won’t go to the Super Bowl, and neither will Philly. I guess that leaves Pitt vs. Atlanta for the big game! I said totally.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Medium, NBC Mondays

Let me get this off my chest right off the bat – I do not like Patricia Arquette. Her voice, tone, hair, teeth, posture, everything bugs me. She is just one of those people that rubs me the wrong way, so it’s going to take either a great show or an excellent supporting cast to make me enjoy this – and we have neither. Besides, it’s on opposite CSI Miami. Even David Caruso at his worst is better than Arquette at her best.

Arquette plays Allison Dubois – she sees dead people. Seriously, that’s a line from the show! We’ve never heard that before, have we? Anyway, she’s constantly making jokes about being a “psychic with a bad memory” if she forgets someone’s name. But she does have visions all the time. Sometimes, when she’s lying in bed, her dead father-in-law is there next to her giving her advice. Creepy!

When the series starts, somehow she’s a lazy law student with nothing to do. After two of her three bratty kids (“she’s flippin’ boogers at me!”) are off to school, she spends her days taking care of the littlest one, staring into the liquor cabinet (does this have anything to do with Kelsey Grammer being an executive producer? “What she needs is a closet drinking problem, right Kelsey?”), and solving the Super Password without looking at the TV. Hell, my wife can tell you an 80’s movie from the toilet after hearing one voice! And I’m now sleeping on the couch. Anyway, Allison has already gone through the motions with the DA looking for work, but he never called…Until TODAY!

After seeing previews for this show, it looked to me like a crime show where the medium solves complex cases by having visions. I was expecting the Dead Zone meets CSI. But when the DA calls Allison, its only to have her look at files of potential jury members and decide which ones will help him get the death penalty for the defendant. Ya gotta love Arizona, but is this it? She looks at files and decides some woman who was raped in her past should be on the jury because the bad guy just got paroled? Really? I’ve been waiting for this?

I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt for now because scenes from next week showed her at an actual crime scene. Maybe it IS going in the right direction. Plus, some of the scenes of her visualizing things were kind of fun. But so far the writing isn’t great, falling back on the typical comedic side junctures like a friend urging his wife to tell her story about a new therapy she created. But, as soon as she starts to speak, he interrupts her and finishes her sentence. Then he turns to her and says, “Go ahead – tell ‘em!” Yeah, that’s really original. The dialogue is not good, and the tension and excitement simply isn’t there yet.

There are only two reasons why I watched this show:

1) CSI Miami was a repeat. Like I said before, I’ll take David Caruso over Patricia Arquette any day – especially because he has a better supporting cast and a half way decent show.
2) I love you all. I really do appreciate your responses to my posts and newsletters so I figured this would give me more material for the blog here.

Honestly, I need to watch the show again, but it has to improve on many levels and I’d much rather look at Emily Proctor than Patricia Arquette!

2 out of 5 for now…

White Noise

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is basically defined as “unexpected voices that can be heard in recording media” such as radio and TV. Yep, the afterlife is talking to us through a fuzzy radio or TV station. Ever see Poltergeist? Remember the kid staring at the fuzzy TV? There you have it. That film scared me into sleeping on the floor in my parents room for a month – and I was 13 at the time!

So the movie White Noise comes out, based on the very real EVP. It looks and sounds like it has all the makings of a great scary movie, right? Oh, and Michael Keaton, one of my favorite actors, came back from the dead (so to speak) to star in it. I was SO excited; I thought this would be a great, fun scary movie to start off the year. Then I realized it was rated PG-13 and we were going to see it on opening weekend, at night. Flashbacks of loud, overreacting kids at Swim Fan came to my mind, but we were chaperoning my nephew and 12 of his buds for his birthday, so what the hell.

Keaton plays Jonathan Rivers, a successful architect and father on his second marriage to an aspiring young writer named Anna (Chandra West). When his new wife disappears, some whack-o named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) follows Rivers to tell him his dead wife is speaking to Price through EVP. Ya see Price has some big set-up of TV screens and recording devices. He is obsessed with communicating with the dead through EVP! When Rivers meets a woman named Sarah Tate (Deborah Kara Unger) at Price’s house and he sees how this EVP has affected her and helped her cope with a recent death in her family, he starts to believe. Then, he starts to obsess! Seriously, even the kid is asking if he’s going to be OK. I mean, the guy stares at a fuzzy TV all damn day! And don't get me started on the blind psychic - seriously, how can she have visions if she CAN'T SEE!

I’m done with the description of the film because I don’t want to give away anything if you want to see it, but I’ve got to tell you why this film did not work for me.

The first and foremost issue with ANY scary movie is trying to shoot for the PG-13 rating. God bless the kids we brought because all were very well behaved, but they were the exception to the rule. Besides, every one of them came walking out of the film saying, “I don’t get it.” And the girls at these films are constantly overreacting to the slightest scares and jumpy parts. We’re talking high-pitched, shrilling screams! No need for that crap – just add a few more f-words so we can get an R rating and people that can handle this kind of film will enjoy it for what it is. I walk out of the theater after a PG-13 scary movie wondering if it was indeed scary – without the screams of the kids, who knows?

Another issue I had with this film was that it didn’t live up to its potential. Seriously, EVP is a creepy thing and seeing it on the TV show Ghost Hunters is the only highlight that show ever provides.

The biggest issue with the film is the awful script. The film took almost forever to set up and get moving. And Keaton, dude, I know you need work, but DAMN! When you turned to the TV screen, pointed and said, “she’s gonna die because she’s on the tape!” I seriously chuckled. That was a horrible, stupid line and I can’t believe he had to stoop down that far to pay the rent.

If I can go back to the PG-13 rating issue, other than the kids not getting it and the overreacting girls, here’s the biggest problem: kids react differently to situations than adults. For instance, you can’t injure a character and then show them in the next scene tooling around in a motorized wheelchair without expecting the audience to crack up! These people are used to South Park, Office Space, and (insert Ben Stiller movie here) – injured people in motorized wheelchairs are now comedy routines and make for the quick laugh. Sure you didn’t mean for it to be funny, but that’s the way it’s perceived.

I cannot go on any longer. The movie might be worth renting, in your own home, with the kids in bed. However, save the dough and avoid the bad script and meddling kids.

2 out of 5. But I am looking forward to Hide and Seek, scheduled to come out 1/28/05. That’s another scary film rated R (YAY!) and starring Robert De Niro, Famke Jensen, Elisabeth Shue and Dakota Fanning. Please tell me De Niro wouldn’t agree to a crappy script, please! And for her age, Dakota Fanning is a stud of an actress (less that awful Uptown Girls film she did)!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Stoopid Broncos!

All week long I’ve been hearing Mike Shanahan talk about how focused the Broncos have been in practice and they were ready to go against the Colts. And the idiot DB’s have been saying that the Colts’ receivers are soft and don’t like to get hit. That’s a lot of trash talking for a team that beat Indy’s practice squad last week but got KILLED in Indy last year in the playoffs. Then, right before kick-off, Bonnie Bernstein does a little sideline interview with Shanahan and asks him how they plan on stopping Peyton Manning. He tries to dodge the question, but Bernstein, being the great professional that she is (HAHA!), asks the same question again in a different way. Mike says something to the effect that they would try to bring pressure and show Manning confusing coverage and blitz packages. Let’s break down the Broncos’ strategy.

Offense: In my mind, they should have done nothing but run the football. This offensive line coupled with Tatum Bell and Reuben Droughns have been effective all year long. The Colts’ defense is not great against the run, so this would have been a great way to control the clock. Plus, if they are running, they can spend time in the huddle and bring the play clock down to 2-3 seconds before snapping the ball. That’s the only way to keep Manning off the field and control the clock. So, what do they do? They come out passing! Sure, the first play was a nice 20-yard pass, but then they went 3 and out after one run and 2 incomplete passes. I don’t think Tatum Bell saw the football until late in the 2nd quarter when the game was already over.

Defense: The only thing soft in this game was the Broncos secondary. Bring in the secret weapon – Roc Alexander! The rookie cornerback got burnt like a bad piece of bacon all day long! This guy hasn’t played on anything other than special teams until the big playoff game, and he had no clue about trying to stop Reggie Wayne or any other Colt receiver! What is he even doing in the game? And suddenly, Kelly Herndon is afraid to tackle. He was trying to grab shoulder, jerseys, do anything but make a solid, high-school taught tackle. Maybe he just had a manicure and didn’t want to mess up his pretty nails, like my mother trying to get her car keys out of her purse! The idea implemented to confuse Manning was to send some DB’s to blitz while defensive ends (yep, 300 pound linemen) dropped back to cover running backs and tight ends. Needless to say, this didn’t even come close to working. Are you trying to tell me that the Mastermind thinks Reggie Hayward can keep up with Dallas Drake? Well he can’t and he didn’t! The Broncos looked more confused about their pass coverage than anyone else. Manning recognized everything and audibled his way to an absolute thrashing of the Broncos. If it weren’t for a lucky tipped ball that the Broncos intercepted in the end zone, the Colts would have scored 42 in the first half!

The Broncos promised the fans that we wouldn’t have a repeat of last year’s 41-10 debacle. However, we SHOULD have been talking a 42-3 game at halftime. That’s not an improvement by any means. Why did they not watch tape of what Jacksonville did when they won in Indy earlier this year? And what do we do with this team now? Should we blow up and rebuild? I say sort of! How about a few ideas?

QB – Sorry Jake, but it’s over. You should be a back up and the Broncos need to do everything they can to bring in Drew Brees. Think about it – the Chargers already have another high-paid QB of the future on the bench, and Brees is a free agent now. Jake can back him up, and Mauck can remain as the 3rd string while Van Pelt continues to develop on the practice squad. Eventually, I think Van Pelt would be a great spark as a 2nd stringer if Brees goes down or is having an off day. Kind of like the days of Weese for Morton.

RB – we’re cool. Two RB’s went down with injuries for the year and we still managed to have an effective running game.

OL – is still good as well – maybe use a draft pick or two on some developmental players.

WR – Smith and Lelie looked great this year, and I’m seriously thinking Nate Jackson is our current best bet for the 3rd receiver. Darius Watts better work extra hard in the off-season if he thinks he’ll be the 3.

TE – Again, we’re cool. Hape and Putzier can handle the load, while the rest can do whatever – they are of no consequence.

DL – OK, the Broncos need to find someone that can pressure the QB. They let Berry go, and he led the AFC in sacks. Dumb. Granted having Pryce out all year hurt, but they still needed someone that could step up and nobody did.

LB – I’m not convinced that this is a problem area. Wilson and Williams are excellent, and Chukwura looks good when he’s healthy.

DB – Again, what can you do? Lynch and Bailey were fine this year, but there may be a depth issue on nickel and dime packages. I’m sure we can pick up some talent in the draft.

Coaching – What the hell do you do here? Seriously, I’m thinking Shanahan can no longer coach this team. He needs to go. And Kubiak is NOT his replacement. The offense needs a fresh idea, and someone has to replace our latest defensive coordinator. Maybe Wade Phillips? Who knows? The defense has been unprepared since the DB coach was replaced. Here’s where we need to start fresh and get this team back on track.

As I listened to the fallout on the morning talk shows, all I heard were complaints about the talent level on this team. That’s only a small part of it. I think the big issues are the leaders, coaches, instructors – they are not getting the team motivated and can’t seem to game plan anymore.

C'mon, T-Dawg! Where you at, girl?

What is it about da females dat dey tink dey can wine us and dine us wit dare womanly ways, but when it comes down to da bidness, you cain't see da whites of dare teef!?!

So, T-Dawg, girl... where you at, girl? I been missin you some kinda Dr. Pepper, yo.

Peace.

Billy-P

Sunday, January 09, 2005

PAFC Newsletter 1/9/05

Are we a sue-happy country? A headline on the AP this week, “Viewer Sues Over 'Fear Factor' Rat Episode.” Apparently, some idiot watched the show and threw up when the contestants drank a rat that was run through a blender. In case you’re wondering, he feels puking over TV content is worth $2.5 (remember, million is always implied in frivolous lawsuits – and salaries for 3rd string MLB outfielders)! This reminds me of the fat girls suing McDonald’s because it made them fat. Or Bill O’Reilly being sued by his assistant because he “forced” her to have phone sex with him. Uh, HANG UP! You have choices, people! I think I’ll sue the Soprano’s for showing Italians in a negative light – it has caused me great stress and prejudice! And y’all wonder why I don’t watch reality TV.

I normally don’t talk baseball, but a $32 (remember?) extension over two years for a 41-year-old pitcher who still has one year left on his contract? Steinbrenner is putting his dough in everyone’s face. And y’all wonder why I can’t stand baseball.

That had to be the most uneventful BCS Championship game ever. Really. As soon as OU's Mark Bradley flubbed a punt that he had no business even being near, the game was over. That play literally made me yell, "what the #$&@ are you thinking?" And I had no interest in either team! That was the biggest bonehead move in college sports since Chris Weber called time out. I really wish Utah got a chance to play a real team to prove themselves. They will never be in that kind of situation again. And when are people going to learn to NOT book Ashlee Simpson? She was booed during her one song at the half-time show. Why was she even there? The general public absolutely hates her, but the media loves her for some reason. I wonder who will win this battle. And y'all wonder why I despise "musicians" that can't actually sing or play an instrument.

There’s a big new sports TV station in Denver called Altitude – owned by Stan Kroenke to bring you Nuggets, Avalanche, Mammoth (lacrosse), Rapids (soccer), and other Colorado sports and entertainment. Since there is no hockey, Stan’s throwing “Classic Avalanche” games on every now and then. This week featured a late-night replay of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Avs vs. Blackhawks. This was a double-overtime game that was won by the Avs on a Sandis Ozolinsh goal where he, as a defenseman for crying out loud, camped in the crease and pounded one home. In the first overtime, the Avs peppered about 20 shots on Ed Belfour and he made amazing stop after amazing stop. There is nothing more exciting than sudden-death overtime playoff hockey! And y’all wonder why I’m mad at the NHLPA & owners.

OK, I knew the Broncos were going to get killed this weekend, and I had a feeling that Seattle would blow it again – even at home. However, San Diego really screwed up and I have no idea how Minnesota could beat Green Bay in Green Bay after losing their way into the playoffs. Unfortunately, Green Bay and San Diego had the best chance at knocking off one of the big guns in their conference. Now, I guess I’ll just keep on rooting for Peyton. And y’all wonder how I could blow the Pig Skin Pick ‘Em after leading for about 12 weeks.

Another AP article I saw shows that country music sales were up 12% in 2004. Watch out – the hicks are taking over! Does this have anything to do with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour or is it a revolt against the liberal pop-musicians doing concerts for Kerry? I don't know. Maybe the hicks got mad and said, “We’re going to show our appreciation for George W. ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ Bush by purchasing country/American Pride music and we're actually voting this year! To hell with the Dixie Chicks – this is Toby Keith country!” And y’all wonder why Bush won the election.

Andrea Yates, the “mother” who drowned all 5 (FIVE) of her children one-by-one in a bathtub, had her conviction overturned this week. Why? Because a mental health witness for the prosecuting attorney claimed she got the idea of killing the kids and pleading insanity from an episode of “Law and Order” and testified she knew right from wrong. Five other mental health experts said she was nuts. There is no such episode of the show, so his testimony was tossed. However, there’s no way the nut-job is being let out of the funny-farm. This reminds me of a new episode of Autopsy on HBO that shows a woman that killed 9 (yes NINE) of her own children, plus an adopted son. Each kid went to the hospital with SIDS or some other child-related death that was easy to cover up. And y’all wonder why I believe people need to pass a test to have children.

I’ll add a review of the new movie White Noise sometime later this week (Thursday?), but 24 is taking up 4 hours of my evening writing time so you’ll just have to wait. And y’all wonder what I do when I’m at home.

Until next week – C ya!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Committed – NBC, Tuesdays and Thursdays (currently)

Let’s just say NBC has not replaced Friends!

Oh, the hype! The hype lured me in. Every time I turned to NBC, they had another promo for Committed – the season’s, “best new comedy.” So, since House was a repeat, I thought I’d tune in for the pilot episode of Committed on Tuesday, 1/4.

The show is centered around an overly quirky girl named Marni (Jennifer Finnigan) and a selectively OCD guy named Nate (Josh Cooke) that meet on a blind date. Actually, they are on the WRONG blind date. They met in the lobby of Marni’s apartment building and asked each other, “are you here for a blind date?” Both answered “yes” and went out for dinner. At dinner, Nate calls Marni the wrong name, we find out that there was ANOTHER person being set up in her apartment, and we cut to two strangers in the lobby wondering where their blind date is.

While I’m watching this, I’m thinking it’s kinda funny, but not nearly as funny as the audience is making it out to be. Could we have a new and improved version of a canned audience? I mean, Marni’s thoughts are very random, but not all that funny. And Nate’s OCD tendencies are only based on extreme and weird things – not on the simple, every day tasks that most people with OCD seem to dwell on. For instance, he has a problem with the Fire Exit being blocked in a restaurant. OK, that’s a little off and sort of funny, but why isn’t he obsessed with the set up of the silverware? I know, it’s just a TV show, but I worked with an OCD person and, even though she never took her keys off her key ring, she’d have to go through them one by one about five times before putting them in her purse. “OK, car, home, work, mailbox. OK, car, home, work, mailbox. OK, car, home, work, mailbox. OK, car, home, work, mailbox. OK, car, home, work, mailbox.” Why? “I just have to do this to ease my mind.” Now THAT’S an OCD person.

Nate also runs a record store. Great – something I can relate to and get excited about! It’s like High Fidelity all over again. However, at least in the pilot, there isn’t really any relevance to him running the store. It’s simply another set to bring in his co-worker and friend, Bowie (Darius McCrary), into the mix of characters. Bowie was the guy who set up Nate on the blind date – with someone else. When Marni waltzes into the store the day after their date, Nate quickly retreats to the back room. Surrounded by his stacks of yellow note pads that he uses to write down every single thing he does, Nate needs to be coerced out of the room by Bowie. When he finally comes out to talk to Marni, Nate ends the conversation with the classic “what were you thinking” sitcom moment by saying, “great to see you. Bye.” It’s like watching Three’s Company all over again! How is it that Arrested Development is so funny without ever having to fall back on the simple miscommunication that drives an entire show?

Let me tell ya something – a sitcom ain’t a sitcom without a Tom Poston sighting! He plays Clown, a retired clown living in Marni’s closet. Now that’s a pretty creative idea, and he’s funny until he speaks. Why didn’t they let him simply walk in and out of the closet, do something odd, and keep his mouth shut? As soon as he spoke, the thrill was gone. Here’s how Clown is funny: When Marni and Nate are having an intimate, private conversation, Clown comes out of the closet, plugs in an extension cord, goes back in the closet, a strange noise comes from the closet, he pokes his head out the door and tugs the cord out from 20 feet away. Granted it’s not funny enough to deserve applause, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Marni decided to bring a friend on their second date, much to Nate’s dismay. She tried to explain that the guy is just a friend, but Nate wanted this date to be special. So, she tells her friend that Nate wants him to leave. Turns out, her friend is in a wheel chair and the waiters have to retrieve the chair, uproot other guests, and move tables just to let the guy out of the restaurant. Somehow, the audience found this hysterical. I did not. Even making fun of the disabled couldn’t save this show. Is it just me, or is South Park the only show that can make fun of disabled people and make me laugh out loud while feeling terrible at the same time?

Honestly, I think Committed is trying a little too hard to be off the wall. It’s like Dharma and Greg with a male Dharma, except both Dharmas are a little TOO Dharma.

I want to watch it again, only to analyze the audience response. I simply didn’t find the show nearly as funny as the “audience” did, but the quality of the “audience” was so realistic. This ain’t a Full House audience. So, I’ll try it again to see if I’m missing something, or if we have variations on the canned crowd from the 90’s.

I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5. That would be barely above the average sitcom, which isn’t saying much.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Where T-Dawg at?

I was just sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, wondering where T-Dawg at?


"Dear Pat:" or, Postcards from Boise

Dear Pat:

As for Napoloen Dynamite, here's why it didn't work for me: I cared less about the characters in it than I do for most characters in SNL skits, and in fact the film plays like one long, extended, SNL skit. It was weirdness for the sake of weirdness, and not even endearing weirdness. It was, sadly, Pootie Tang for white suburbians. The morning after I watched it, I had trouble remembering what happened at the end. Even though I was awake throughout the whole movie, I just never connected with it, never really understood why I was supposed to be interested in these people. Because they're odd? I guess so. The cast is clearly talented -- the guy from Office Space, Napoleon himself, even the guy who played Kip (who, unless it is part of some very elaborate joke, is not the guy from Reno 911!. It's some guy named Aaron Ruell, who is a photographer [http://aruell.com] and BYU college buddy of the guy who wrote the film. The guy who plays Craig in Reno is named Kyle Dunnigan, and he's a circuit stand-up comedian: http://www.messinabaker.com/resume.php?clientID=116). Lots of talent there, just not much to do with it. Shame, too, because the director and cinematographer did a wonderful job of setting up some really striking shots. Some of the lines were funny, but again, without deeply amusing characters to deliver them, they just didn't have the punch. I wouldn't rank it up there with the worst films of the year last year, but I would have to say it's one of the most disappointing. Gosh!

Love on the rocks,
bp


Dear Bill:

I was a little disappointed by ND at first, only because my niece has been quoting it and blowing it out of proportion for months. However, now that I look back on the film and remember some of the lines, I have a better appreciation for it. I think it's one of those films that will be a cult classic kinda like Pee Wee's Big Adventure. PWBA is a long SNL skit with characters that you don't have any feelings for, but it's pretty wacky and funny the more you watch it. I know I'd get a bigger kick out of ND if I watched it again, but maybe you won't. That's why it appeals to different people. You and I are different people. You like reality TV, and I don't. OK, maybe that's a bad example. You want to conquer certain video games, and I just want to kick yer tush in football/hockey/basketball/golf. You loved Pulp Fiction and swore it was the greatest movie of it's time, and I found that you over-hyped it for me and I ended up a little disappointed. I think when you hear so many good things about a film, you go into it overly critical. I know I do. However, as much as you may not agree with this statement, I feel like I always make my own judgment on films/TV/music and I never let the mass obscure my opinion.

I still love you though.

Love forever,
~o


Dear Spoo:

In defense of Pee Wee's Big Adventure: it is structured as a classic road story built around a robust and extremely well-developed character (which had been around for years by then, and which was already a countercultural icon). ND is structured as nothing, really. Nothing at all. Just scene after scene of Napoleon (neither a robust nor a well-developed character -- just an amusing one at best; basically -- just like SNL characters -- a funny look and a catch phrase or two repeated over and over again... might as well be Ed Grimley) looking constipated and saying occasionally funny (but never witty) lines like "Gosh." Also some amusing slapstick, but never with enough momentum (or surprise) to produce a genuine "laugh out loud" moment. In theory, that's OK -- I've enjoyed many films that didn't provoke the LOL moment. But few of those films were marketed to me as the feel good quirky comedy of the year! I think what upset me so much as I watched it was the attempted anachronism: mid-80's suburban Boise translated into mid-00's suburban Boise. I didn't see the point. Then I thought of how much COULD have been done with the whole mid-80's nerd thing (a subject with which I am embarrassingly familiar), and I got more and more angry that the film didn't make any attempt to connect with ME. Because I lived it, darnit!

A better comparison than PWBA (which, for me anyway, was a LOL movie from start to finish -- I remember being the only one in the packed theater who could barely breathe I was laughing so hard) might be "The Royal Tennenbaums," which, while full of weird characters to whom we can't readily relate, at least took some time to develop them. I don't remember a single LOL moment in that one, either, but I vividly and fondly remember the situations the characters found themselves in. If I could remember any of the characters' situations in ND, maybe the recollections would be fond (to be fair, I found the chicano guy whose name I can't remember pretty amusing in just about every scene he appeared -- much more so than Napoleon, Kip, or the uncle with the bad toupe). Which is basically my whole problem with the movie. It's been three days, and I can't remember any of it!. See what I mean?

As for your accusation that I am swayed by the masses and you are not... speaking for myself only, I DO read a lot of film criticism. A lot more than most people I know, and I'll bet a lot more than most peoiple you know. But film critics aren't the masses. They're just a bunch of people whose opinions I've learned over time align closely with mine (and, usually, they're good writers). I went into ND more or less neutrally biased, perhaps expecting to like it more than I expected not to. Keep in mind, the "hype" surrounding ND was almost universally mixed -- it's been a while since a "buzz" movie produced such strong love it or hate it reactions from the critical media (the ones I read regularly, i.e.). I went into it feeling pretty sure I'd like it -- I tend to align more with the writers who fell on the "loved it" side of the fence. The ones who hated it, though, were pretty persuasive. And I read just about everything I could, both positive and negative. Plus, you liked it. As did a few other friends whose opinions I know and trust.

Then, I saw it. And it just didn't work for me. It wasn't the worst movie ever, I didn't by any means hate it, it just didn't meet either my standards or my expectations. I respect you no less for liking it, but I can't say I saw whatever it was you liked when I watched it. Maybe another screening is in order. We'll see.

I have the same problem with "The Wire," which I have watched several times. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sort out the characters who look alike (if you know what I mean), and it's really hard to watch a show when you can't tell from one scene to the next which person is a good guy, and which one is the bad guy. Bill Cross (and Ken Tucker, evidently, whose opinion aligns with mine about 95% of the time) think it's the best thing on TV. So I've ordered it up on Netflix. I may give ND another try, too -- Beth slept through it the first time, and I haven't sent it back. Maybe on 2nd viewing, I'll decide I like it more. But I'll probably just get more annoyed with it instead.

And can you confirm that Reno 911! Craig and Kip are / aren't the same guy? I think part of the problem with the movie is that I got all obsessed with finding out who he was, so I pulled out my computer and trolled the imdb for 15 minutes for an answer. I'm still not entirely sure. Any ideas?

Oh, and when are they gonna make the Ed Grimley movie?

Love eternally,
Willie


Dearest Guillaume:

First of all, not accusing you of being swayed by the masses. Quite the opposite! I was merely saying that when we (both of us, not "you") hear so many good things about a film, we are destined to be disappointed in it. Sorry if you misinterpreted what I was TRYING to say vs. what actually came out in the text. So when you do read that criticism (I know you are a much better read person than I am when it comes to entertainment - where do you find the time?), again you're set up for disappointment on movies that you expect to be great. Have you read the IBMd reviews for Life Aquatic? Some people loved it, others just simply didn't get it.
I thought they made an Ed Grimley movie, or was that just a cartoon on Saturday mornings? Ya know, I am usually in line with your views on movies and so on. I'm at the point now when I read a review of yours I can tell whether I'd like the film or not - no matter how you judged it. For instance, I know I wouldn't
like Dogville or Gerry, even though you have an appreciation for both films. And I will live by taking your word for it and not seeing them myself.

However, when you described Dead Like Me to me, I knew I would like it. Which leads me to believe you'd like Wonder Falls if it ever gets released on DVD.

BTW, over the years I've grown to appreciate Pulp Fiction. But as for movies that are thoroughly depressing and realistic, I'd rather go to see something that entertains me and is an escape. If I want real, I'll watch
the depressing news...

I would die for you,
GPA San Andreas

Sunday, January 02, 2005

PAFC Newsletter, 1/2/05

It’s that time of year again. Time for all of the media to give us the best of, worst of, most influential, blah, blah, blah of the year. So why should Pat Angello be any different? I’ll get to it…

I love the way magazines run Best Of/Worst Of issues at the end of the year. However, the reader’s polls confuse me. How can one band/show/film be on the best AND worst list? I also dislike the “worst” lists because I get offended if there is ever anything on there that I liked. I literally take it personally!

My magazine of choice currently is Entertainment Weekly, mainly because it’s not as much of a rag as the other “entertainment” magazines (are the royal family in People this week?) and never really favors politics – they stick to the same comforting format. However, they have this annoying tendency to ride a trend and then suddenly condemn it. For instance, they’ll promote Paris Hilton for months and then run an article about how tired of Paris Hilton they are - just out of the blue. It’s like having a friend who eats nothing but pizza for a month, then when YOU offer them a piece, they say, “Oh my God – I’m so sick of pizza!”

Speaking of magazines, I keep seeing an ad for the new reality show, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search, with the headline “Who’s Your Girl?” So I decided, as a devotion to YOU, my avid and loyal readers, that I should study this ad and all participants in great detail and let you know who my girl would be. None of them are cute really. Actually, they are all kinda creepy looking and scrawny! Is this what we’ve got to choose from? Yikes! Wait, I just remembered – the last time I looked at the SI swimsuit issue, all of the models looked like 11-year-old boys in bikinis. They had no definition to their arms or legs, and their ribs and pelvic bones were sticking out so far that the cameramen used their hips to make orange juice. There is one (in the front row all the way to the right) that is almost cute and has some curves on her. She gets my vote (as if I’d actually view the show!) because she weighs the most, which could still only be about 110. Then, to top it off, I saw a commercial this weekend where one of the “judges” was calling one of the models fat. “I know you threw up cracker you had for lunch, but you should probably start yackin’ up the 1/8 of an apple you had for dinner if you want to make it in this business.”

Most of you may know that I reside in Denver, so I’m going to comment on the firing of Denver Nuggets’ coach, Jeff Bzdelik. I didn’t like it, and I really didn’t like the way GM Kiki Vandeweghe did it – with a phone call! “Hey, Jeff? It’s Kiki. How’s it goin? Good, good. Hey, listen. You know how you took this team from the depths of hell, when we had no talent to speak of, and you got them to work really hard and attract some fans as ‘the hardest working team in the NBA’ even though they kinda sucked? Then you took that awful team, with a few minor tweaks and a high draft choice, to the playoffs the next year? So I took all of your role players/key sparks off the bench like Jon Barry, Chris Andersen, and Ryan Bowen and dumped them for a bunch of thugs that don’t listen to you, and we lost our starting shooting guard for the season in the opener this year, and now we’re struggling a little with our big guns are hampered with injuries? Well, thanks but yer fired - Merry Christmas!” Nice! And how does Bzdelik handle it? The same way he handles everything from searing criticism during his first year to commenting on ‘Melo acting like a baby during the Olympics – with class and modesty. He started by mentioning the front-page story in the paper about the tsunami and said, “It really puts things in perspective.” He then thanked Kiki and the Nuggets for the great opportunity. So, now 3-time WNBA champion coach/former Laker great Michael Cooper takes over in the interim with big names being thrown around like dough in a pizza parlor. Could we really see Phil Jackson or George Karl in Denver? I have a ton of respect for Bzdelik and I will continue to follow his career, as I have done with former Avalanche coach, Bob Hartley. The only good thing about this firing is now I will never have to hear another idiot local sportscaster say, “The Nuggets told Jeff Bzdelik to buzz-off” again! But when Michael Cooper leaves, I’m sure there will be some annoying, “flew the Coop” reference.

Now that I’m on the subject of local news, I have a question: why do they have to try to use stupid little play-on-words commentary all the time? It drives me nuts because all it does is make people roll their eyes like a teenage girl that just heard a corny joke from their uncle! (Not that I would know anything about that…) Just report the damn story and quit trying to be cute. Oh, and stop with the scare-tactic ads like, “medicine in your house that could kill you, coming up at 10” garbage. Don’t try to freak us out, just tell us what’s going on! While we’re at it, no more localizing major news stories either. Don’t ride the wave of the tsunami (no pun intended) and say Denver could be at risk because we can’t! I’m exaggerating, but not by much.

Did you really think I wouldn’t include my NFL playoff predictions now that the games are set? Before I do that, how the hell did Minnesota and Denver make the playoffs? These two teams did everything they could to throw away the season after great starts. St. Louis and Seattle somehow made the playoffs as well with simply crappy records. It’s ugly in the NFC, so I’m thinking your Super Bowl Champion is coming from the AFC. Here’s what I got for you:

Round 1
AFC: Indy over Denver, San Diego over New York Jets.
NFC: St. Louis over Seattle, Green Bay over Minnesota.

Round 2:
AFC: Pittsburgh over San Diego, Indy over New England.
NFC: Philly over St. Louis, Green Bay over Atlanta.

Round 3:
AFC: Indy over Pittsburgh.
NFC: Green Bay over Philly.

Super Bowl:
Indy over Green Bay.

OK, it’s time (finally) for my 2004 wrap up:

My Top 11 Great Things of 2004 is posted below, but here are some additional things from 2004 that I liked or disliked:

Films I enjoyed: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Incredibles, The Grudge, The Life Aquatic, Mean Girls, Super Size Me, Anchorman, Napoleon Dynamite, Dodgeball, Shaun of the Dead. Missed, but heard were worth seeing: Team America, Sideways, Sky Captain. Disappointments: Open Water, National Treasure.

Music I enjoyed: The Hives, Sahara Hot Nights, The Black Keys, Megadeth (welcome back Dave Mustaine!), Franz Ferdinand, PJ Harvey.

TV shows I enjoyed: House, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Arrested Development, Medical Investigation, Wonder Falls (cancelled), 24, Reno 911, Listen Up, South Park (still!), the Daily Show (and America the Book).

Signs the Apocalypse is near: William Hung, the Swan, Ashlee Simpson, Jessica Simpson, political ads/telemarketing, Paris Hilton “wrote” a book, Red Sox win the Series, a Denver Bronco in the Hall of Fame, no NHL, Devo’s “Gut Feeling” being played in a retail outlet, Live’s “I am Overcome” being played in a grocery store.

Peace out, for now!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite... whatever.

It's a quarter till eleven, New Years Eve. My boy, Logan, is asleep. My wife, Beth, iis snoring. I just finished watching "Napoleon Dynamite."

Rather than complain about where the movie didn't work, I provide you with this promise:

I WILL write a book that defines what we all went through in the 80's. Screw em if they make a movie from it (they should). I don't care.

I WILL write this book.

Beth is awake. Time to watch TV. Peace. Happy New Year.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Writer/director Wes Anderson kinda missed me with Rushmore, but he really had me with the Royal Tenenbaums! I loved the whole feel of that film with the monotone speech and the actors showing little or no emotion/expression. I’m not sure why exactly, but it was deliciously drab and offbeat with kinda dark humor that has turned it into one of my favorite films in recent years. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou has that same tone and feel and it just cracked me up!

Bill Murray plays Steve Zissou, an oceanographer known for his documentaries. When a “Jaguar Shark” eats his comrade and best friend, Zissou declares at the viewing of his latest documentary that he has sworn revenge on the mythical creature and will hunt it down if his life depends on it. He rallies his crew, including his wife Eleanor (Anjelica Huston) and a man claiming to be his long lost son by the name of Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson). Ned is welcomed aboard with the phrase, “get him a red hat and a Speedo.”

A movie like this is all about the subtle touches. The entire set of the ship from the side is shown to you in a tour of the boat. The submarine was named after his old girlfriend (Ned’s mother), but the name is crossed out and replaced. The quirky Team Zissou aboard the Belafonte includes:

Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), the slightly crazy leader who is a subtle playboy. His heart is reluctantly in the right place.

Eleanor Zissou (Anjelica Huston), Steve’s wife and the brains behind the team. Steve is lost without her and her parents’ money.

Klaus Daimler (Willem Dafoe), Zissou’s new right hand man. He longs to be needed, wanted and recognized.

Anne-Marie Sakowitz (Robyn Cohen), the organized, sole woman of the ship who seems mostly concerned with sun-bathing her bare breasts if the temperature is above 30.

Pelé dos Santos (Seu Jorge), a shipmate with a passion for singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese while playing a classical guitar.

A reporter by the name of Jane Winslett-Richardson (Cate Blanchet) joins the adventure for a cover story on Steve. She’s pregnant by somebody else’s husband and falls for Ned, much to the dismay of Steve.

Alistair Hennessey (Jeff Goldblum) is Steve’s nemesis, another oceanographer with unlimited funds and all the perks of being famous.

In the midst of hunting the Jaguar Shark, pirates storm the Belafonte and Bill Ubell (a lawyer brought on to keep the investors happy) is kidnapped. The journey suddenly changes course and now Team Zissou must save Bill!

The things about this film that I loved:

The animation of the sea creatures. Though realistic in movement, all were very bright in color and seemed just a bit off. I found this very comical for some reason.

The music. Don’t get me started, but Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh scored this film! The tunes include everything from full orchestral pieces, to toy instruments with a drum machine, to my favorite old Devo tune, “Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammie.” Something about resurrecting that 1979 song for a brand new film just got me all giddy!

The performances. All were great! Even with the dark undertones and black comedy, the over 2 hour film kept me mesmerized.

Things I didn’t like about this film:

Pretty much nothing to complain about! If you saw it, post your comments for me. If you have not seen it yet, I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was – THEN you can post your comments for me.

Top 12 Ways Patrick Angello Is So Water

12. Once a month, wife trades him in for chocolate
11. Flows like Saul Williams
10. Hangs out under the bridge w/ Anthony Keidis
9. Worshipped by Native Americans
8. Sprinkles Denver lawns on a regular basis
7. Makes all the civil engineers think “daaaammmmmm!”
6. On visits to the Southern Hemisphere, known to go the other way
5. Sells own sweat to Evian
4. Never invited when the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire
3. Turned to whine during his most recent bulletin board post
2. Has anointed a few Catholics, if you know what I mean
1. Once caused Marv Albert to exclaim, “Patrick Angello just wiped out the Tennessee Valley … with AUTHORITY!”

Thank you Bill Cross!

Top 11 Great Things of 2004

11) Mexico – Yeah, so the trip was kind of a disaster overall, but it was the first time I got out of the country to go on vacation. If you want the full run down on how Cancun could suck, ask me and I’ll forward the story.
10) My grandmother turned 90 – We went to PA for her birthday and it was great. She’s pretty feisty for her age and kept us in stitches the whole time!
9) New York – we used the trip to PA as an excuse to go to NY for the first time, at least my first time. It was spectacular and I had an absolute ball!
8) TV – I’m really enjoying the decline of reality TV and the incline of well-scripted shows! Thank goodness shows like Desperate Housewives, Arrested Development, Lost, House and Medical Investigation are thriving. Too bad we lost Wonder Falls, but you can’t win ‘em all!
7) X-Box – Mr. Turdy has reintroduced me to the pure joy of playing video games. There’s something amazing about throwing a bomb for a touchdown and being able to taunt the opponent that’s 2000 miles away. Hooray for technology!
6) Devo in Chicago – I did a lot of traveling this year! Seeing my all-time favorite band for the first time with the Bill’s was a dream come true. And brats and kraut was just the icing on the cake! What the hell did Cross order from the Vietnamese place again?
5) Parents – My dad turned 70 this year, even though he had to spend it in the hospital. With congestive heart failure somewhat behind him, we look forward to him being around for a while longer. God bless him and my mother, who after a tough holiday season last year with a bad knee, has seemed to have a relatively healthy year aside from some arthritis. Be jealous because I have fantastic parents!
4) Danny – I had a breakthrough with my soon-to-be 16-year-old nephew. After years of uncomfortably trying to appreciate his strategic war games on PC, he has found music and loves it all. From the Who to the Hives, the kid has taste and we’ve connected! It was awesome to take him to see Primus and the Hives in concert this summer, and we talk music all the time. The kid even made me a CD for my birthday!
3) Babies – In addition to Logan Purdy, there have been babies everywhere this year! Two of my wife’s best friends had children this year, as well as two of my co-workers. Plus, I have 3 more friends that are due next year. YAY for all of you and we can only hope and pray that we can join you in due time!
2) My Wife – I love her and respect her now more than ever. And it’s not just because her new job that she got in January has killer benefits! She’s the best and I wouldn’t trade he for the world.
1) My New Job – The only thing that could top my love for my wife this year is the fact that I am no longer selling cars. I’m back into marketing with a good company, albeit on a contract basis. Who knows, it could lead to something, or I could be selling cars again in 2005. However, for now, I’ll enjoy it.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!