Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The final countdown

It's New Year's Eve, boys and girls. Time to pop some champagne, wear a funny hat and try not to puke all over your date. Also a time to revisit a few of my favorite New Year's Eve scenes in cinema. (Spoiler alert!)

While You Were Sleeping: First off, Bill Pullman's hair is amazing in this movie. How could Sandra Bullock NOT fall in love with him? Except for, perhaps, because of his behavior in this NYE scene. He has a record-scratching moment when confronting Sandy for boozing while she's pregnant -- except, you know, she's not pregnant. Whoops. Well, in that case, I say, booze away!

Can't Buy Me Love: Ronald, Ronald, Ronald. Your doucheyness reached an all-time high at Big John's NYE bash, getting it on with Iris ("She's given more rides than Greyhound") in the bathroom while reciting Cindy's poetry. So, I can't really say I feel too bad for the guy when Cindy tells the whole party how she paid him to go out with her, thus ending his popularity peak and casting him off into social no man's land. Bonus points for using Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" as the partygoers arrive.

Forrest Gump: Poor Lt. Dan. This scene is actually sort of depressing, seeing how devastating his life has become since losing his legs. However, it is a big turning point in the story and certainly tugs at the emotions. When Lt. Dan stands up for Forrest ("Don't you call him stupid!"), it gets me every time. Also, on a lighter note, I love the delivery of the line, "She tasted like cig-arr-ettessss."

When Harry Met Sally: The quintessential NYE moment. A countdown is heard, "Auld Lang Syne" is played, and love is declared. Funny and sweet, just like the rest of the movie. Meg Ryan's dress is fairly dynamite, too. Gotta get me some of those gloves.

Yellow ball! Iced canes!


Ahhh! I can't get this catchy little "Tim and Eric" ditty outta my head, so I must share it with the world to exorcise the ear worm demons.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Burn in hell, Mall Cop

"Mall Cop," I hate you already.

Not only does this movie look beyond bad, the idiots behind this steaming pile had the sheer audacity to use the song "O Fortuna" from "Excalibur" -- probably the most incredible piece of movie music of all time -- in one of their crappy TV spots. Unfortunately (or, is it fortunately?), I cannot find this online anywhere, but trust me, I saw it with my own two eyes. And afterward, I firmly declared, "They should be burned alive for that."

You know what other awesome piece of film score gets stolen often, and is rarely used effectively? "Lux Aeterna" from "Requiem for a Dream." I will, however, give "The Two Towers" a free pass for use in its the trailer because I'm a nerd.


Seemingly nothing in the world will brighten your day more than a feather-haired, fringe-draped, mustachioed keyboard player jamming out with scantily-clad "squaws" dancing around him. See what I mean?

This post really has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I felt like watching Tommy Seebach today. Side note: Wouldn't this video translate into some great Halloween costumes?

Attention Sklones

As often happens during holiday weeks, the Sklar Brothers will be hosting "The Jim Rome Show" on Friday, and it will be a must-listen for sports and pop culture enthusiasts. What's it gonna take for these guys to get their own syndicated radio show? 

For the uninitiated, the Sklar Brothers, a.k.a. Randy and Jason, used to host "Cheap Seats" on ESPN Classic. It was sort of like MST3K but with ridiculous sporting events instead of B movies. They also put on hilariously unique stand-up routines (pictured at left is me with the Sklars before a stand-up performance in Chicago in February 2007).

One of my favorite sketches from "Cheap Seats" was a sports- and pop culture-laden rap opus dedicated to former Fresno State bowler Kelly Rapp. Check it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

God bless Paul Rudd

Here's the trailer for Paul Rudd's latest opus, "I Love You, Man." It has many of the key ingredients for hilarity: a strong comedic cast (JK Simmons, Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, Jason Segel, Thomas Lennon -- aka Lt. Dangle -- among others), a "Stella" influence (it is written and directed by John Hamburg, who directed a couple episodes of the short-lived Comedy Central show and also wrote "Meet the Parents" and "Zoolander"), and of course, Paul Rudd.

You doubting Paul Rudd's comedic chops? Feast your eyes on what I deem his finest performance, a stunning turn as a too-cool-for-school camp counselor in "Wet Hot American Summer." Now this scene is what I call acting.

The greatest film of our time

This evening's browsing adventures took me to a familiar haunt, On the movie tab, the site is promoting "hulu for the holidays," with films like "Go," "A River Runs Through It," and "In the Name of the Father."

But which film garnered an even higher place on the promotion ladder? That's right, you guessed it, "Howard the Duck."

Next to a heartwarming photo of the aforementioned Howard is a little plot synopsis.

A romance unlike any other: A fast-talking, cigar-loving duck from another universe falls in love with a rock star (Lea Thompson) as he battles the Dark Overlord.

Well, it looks like I won't be working for the next 110 minutes. Time to relive the genius that is "Howard the Duck." Thanks, Hulu!

The most bad-ass animals in the universe


Doo Dah Doo Doo

Only six weeks until "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!" season 4 kicks off on Cartoon Network (Sunday, Feb. 8, to be exact). Can't wait that long? Go see the dynamic duo live on their Tim and Eric Awesome Tour 2009. They are doing 24 shows in 24 cities over 28 days, a veritable marathon of comedy genius. The tour kicks off in Seattle on Jan. 12 and wraps up in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 8.

And, though Christmas is technically over, the joy of giving lasts the whole year round. Why not show your favorite pep pep how much you care with one of the many awesome items from the Tim and Eric store?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nice hops

This is ridiculous. Here is Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson showing off his 66-inch vertical leap. Just heard him on Jim Rome, and Wilson swears this is the real deal.

I'm not good at math, but 66 inches is, like, kinda high. You know who else is 66 inches tall? Jet Li and Bono. So, here's what I want to see next: Adrian Wilson jumps over Bono, and then Jet Li comes flying in with a roundhouse to Bono's face. Let's make it happen. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You want a rant? I'll give you a rant

Folks in Cincinnati seem to be making a big deal over a quasi-heated exchange between Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Enquirer reporter Dustin Dow during Lewis' Wednesday news conference. Sure, it's mildly entertaining, if only for the fact that nothing interesting ever happens at Lewis' news conferences. But it feels like people are trying to make it into more than it was.

The good news? There's always next time. Until then, might I offer some suggestions for Marvin on what a rant at the media should sound like. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mike Gundy, Jim Mora and Brett Myers.


Probably late to the party on this one, but when did Mike Tyson get so rotund? Here's a photo of him from last weekend's Video Game Awards. (Side note: It was the SIXTH ANNUAL Video Game Awards show. Looks like I missed the first five editions.) As a colleague astutely pointed out, Iron Mike now has a "Homer Simpson body." I'd say that's a fair assessment.

Zach G. and John "Honey Baked" Hamm

Do you like web sites?

Here's another strong edition of "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are there horse condoms?

Gotta watch out for those quarter horses. They're into some kinky stuff. From the AP:

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture says a quarter horse has tested positive for a contagious sexually transmitted disease that can cause infertility.

The horse in question is from an undisclosed farm in central Kentucky, where he had moved from Texas in February. The University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center performed the test, and a lab in Iowa confirmed the results.

The horse and others possibly exposed are under quarantine while additional tests are done.

According to the test, the horse tested positive for contagious equine metritis, a venereal disease that can cause infertility in mares and on some occasions cause mares to spontaneously abort their foals. The disease is treatable with antibiotics and disinfectants.

"Uh, yeah, Hank? Um, hi, it's me, Mabel. Yeah, Mabel, from Texas. ... Right, right, it has been a while. Uh, listen, Hank, remember when we, uh, you know ... Yeah, behind the stables, yeah. Anyway, funny thing, uh, it turns out I have equine metritis, so you might wanna go ... Don't call me a whore! You're the one who didn't want to use protection because you 'can't feel anything' with those things on!"

Mixtape nostalgia

Mixtapes are a lost art form. I feel warm and fuzzy inside when I find kindred spirits who feel the same way I do about them. I used to spend hours creating those things for various friends and boyfriends.

At one point, I even had a three-ring binder filled with lists of which songs I had put on each mix for each person so as to avoid repeats. (Yes, I'm mildly OCD.) Man, I wish I still had that binder.

He Hearts Teen Wolf, Too, Er, Also

When Bengals motormouth Chad Johnson had his name legally changed to Chad Ocho Cinco earlier this year, my first thought was, "What a douche," (that also was my second, third and fourth thought) but this is just stellar.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Greg White has had his name legally changed to Stylez G. White. Why Stylez, you may ask? Because he's liked the name ever since he saw the movie "Teen Wolf."

I look forward to seeing Mr. White don a T-shirt like the one Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski rocked in "Teen Wolf."
More importantly, this story also gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite videos from the last few months, courtesy of the sketch comedy group Summer of Tears. Be prepared to have your '80s striped tube socks rocked off.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What a shot

FROM THE AP: Cedric Jackson swished a 60-foot shot at the buzzer to give Cleveland State a 72-69 victory over No. 11 Syracuse on Monday night. Jackson took an inbounds pass with 2.2 seconds remaining and let the desperation shot go just as time expired to send the Orange (9-1) to their first loss.

I wish I had a video of this to share with you, but none are available yet. I'll update when I get one. In the meantime, here's a photo. Look how freaking far away that dude is.
UPDATE: Here's the video.

It's Business Time

Bret? Present.
Jemaine? Present.
Murray? Present.
Season 2? Present.

Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand's fourth most popular digi-folk paradists, return to HBO for the second season of their eponymous TV show. If you're like me and you can't wait until the new season premieres on Sunday, Jan. 18, check out a sneak preview of the first episode on from Dec. 17-21.

And if you're also like me and you think their live performances are even better than their already hilarious TV show, then I hope this gem will whet your FOTC appetite.

Slow year

So far in 2008, I've only seen 32 new movies. This number includes movies seen in the theater or from Netflix, etc., but only ones I had never seen before. By comparison, I saw 82 new movies in 2007.

I'm going to blame the slowdown on getting a puppy, planning a wedding and watching a lot more TV, especially through Netflix.

Let's see if I can bring up that total for 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Piss off, Bengals

A wise man once said, "it's better to be pissed off than to be pissed on." Our friends at WhoDey Revolution twisted this mantra on its head, expressing their distaste for the miserable Cincinnati Bengals by placing personalized urinal cakes in 1,000 bathrooms before Sunday's (surprise!) win against the Washington Redskins. The only buzz-worthy thing to come out of a Bengals game in weeks.

Commercial joy

Wes Anderson. Brad Pitt. Japanese cell phone ad. And go.

Review: Slumdog Millionaire

RATING: Highly recommend
ANALOGY: "City of God" meets "Forrest Gump" (the love story part, anyway)
SYNOPSIS (from Wikipedia): Based on the book "Q and A" by Vikas Swarup, the film, shot and set in India, follows a young street beggar who appears on a game show and exceeds people's expectations, raising suspicions from the game show host and law enforcement.
SOUNDTRACK: Yes. Score by A.R. Rahman. Also features the song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A., for which I now have a renewed appreciation.

REVIEW: This movie is getting Oscar buzz, and rightly so. It definitely will have a place in my list of top movies for 2008 (Note: list to come later; there are still a couple weeks left in 2008 and methinks "Benjamin Button" will earn a spot).

The story of slumdog Jamal Malik's lifelong journey to his appearance on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" is told through flashbacks relating to the questions on the game show, a remarkably effective plot device. Part of that has to do with the fantastic all-Indian cast, especially the young kids who play the main characters, brothers Jamal and Salim and friend Latika, who find themselves fighting to surive as orphans in Mumbai.

The other reason it works so well? Danny Boyle is a creative genius. The director employs the same kind of frenetic and intriguing camera work in "Slumdog Millionaire" that made "28 Days Later" so groundbreaking. He turns the setting of Mumbai, India, into its own character (all the more unsettling now, considering the terrorist attacks there a couple of weeks ago).

The film runs its audience through the emotional ringer -- from laugh-out-loud moments to gruesome violence to heartbreak to unbridled joy, all of which serve their purpose and add to the believable reality of the world we are drawn into for an intensely enjoyable two-plus hours.

Rating system

On occasion, I will leave movie or TV reviews. Rather than a letter grade or number of stars, I'll use a more casual rating system.

Highly recommend
Wait for Netflix
Don't bother