Archive for July, 2008
Poor Melissa Joan Hart. If “Clarissa Explains it All” had come out 15 years later she would be the biggest thing on the planet! The way celebrities, especially child celebrities, get exposure nowadays, the “system” would have given her a record contract in the show’s 2nd season, they would have released Clarissa fashion line, Clarissa jewelry, Clarissa bed sheets, backpacks, lunch boxes, contraceptive devices etc. Especially since Clarissa’s character had a very unique style of dress; the grungy-tomboy-funk-denim-neon look. They probably would have even had Clarissa voice boxes where you could press a button and hear the “Sam slamming his ladder against Clarissa’s window guitar twang.” The only Clarissa merchandise I can think of was the Clarissa Explains it All Board Game, but in those days (unlike now) everything had a board game. I think I played a Full House board game, an Are You Afraid of the Dark board game (with pictures of Elisha Cuthbert that I would have abused back then had I known the awesome secrets of my own male anatomy) and even an Secret World of Alex Mack board game. SNICK ruled.
Side note–How come we dont play board games anymore and everything has to be a DVD board game? And dont say, “video games” because we had those back then too and we still had time to throw down the “Jesse and the Rippers Card” and go ahead three spaces. Some of my favorite memories as a child was playing “Life.” When you played that game, the best career was clearly the policeman because whenever someone spun a 10 you got like 5 grand. I cant remember a time when I didnt at least try and cheat to get that career.
BACK TO BUSINESS- Clarissa was the original Lizzie McGuire. With her fantasy sequences, wacky family, good male friend, annoying younger brother, and unique perspective on Middle School/High School, she really set the precedent for all future tweenager shows. Think about it. She even had the token ethnic girl friend. That show was quality. Pure quality.
Anyway lets talk about movies I like that I dont think anyone else does.
1. The Power Rangers Movie. I could watch that movie over and over again, and not just to be nostalgic, but to actually watch the sky-diving to Red Hot Chilli Peppers music, the combat scenes of the rangers fighting the ooze guys in the construction site to a song with the lyrics, “action boy now, action girl now,” and to feel the palpable sexual tension between Tommy and Kimberly. I also love watching the rangers get new zords and the power of the ninjetti, and seeing Zordon get brought back to life from Kimberley’s tears. In terms of adapting a television show to a movie–what more could you want? New villain, new zords, a much bigger budget, higher stakes! The whole movie makes me very very happy.
2. Josie and the Pussycats- No one likes this movie and I think its great. It’s very funny AND it has something to say about MTV/Consumer culture/Corporations control everything. I like the look of the movie too, with ads placed in the movie as an ironic jab at the whole movie’s anti-advertising message. The music is great, Parker Posey’s dialogue and awkwardness were perfect and the whole opening scene with the band, “Du Jour” starring Seth Green, Donald Faison, Brecking Meyer etc is gut-busting. The whole, “stop doing my face” “du jour means teamwork, du jour means seatbelts” exchange is inspired. I give it two thumbs up.
3. Mystery Men. Now maybe people like this movie, but I dont think many people saw it. I think the Blue Raja is very funny, as is Dane Cook’s Waffler, as is Kel Mitchell’s invisible man, as is the banter between Ben Stiller and Jeneane Garofolo, as is Geoffrey Rush’s pinkie finger nail attack, as is Eddie Izzard’s disco assassin. The whole movie in my mind is very funny and unique and clever and cool. Mr. Furious is a hero and yes, getting super angry is a power.
4. Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. I love Tenacious D. From the first time I heard the song “Fuck Her Gently” when I was in 8th grade and Jack Black wasnt that famous, I was in awe. I liked them so much that my dad even started looking them up and one day asked me what a “Cleveland Steamer” was. No one I know (except for Mike Lefemine) saw this movie in theaters. I dont get it. People love Jack Black and most people love Tenacious D. I guess his fan base though isnt one to get off their couches and see the movie. I do admit the movie isnt perfect, and does have some slow moments, but the music is great, especially the grand finale song versus Satan, and for the most part the situations they get it are very very funny. Tim Robbins’ and Amy Poehler’s cameos are also very clutch. I enjoy this movie with or without herbal supplements and that is saying a lot.
In terms of Hollywood send up movies that I dont think did very well at the box office:
1. Bowfinger- Steve Martin is a genius. For those who dont know, this picture is about a delusional, unsuccessful director trying to make a movie called “Chubby Rain” starring international action star, KIT Ramsey (played by Eddie Murphy who is actually very funny in this). The only problem is he cant get KIT to be in it, so they try and film the movie with him, but without him knowing that he is in it. This film has a great cast filled with the likes of Christine Baranski, Heather Graham (really fucking hot in this movie), Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Stamp as the leader of a Scientology skewing cult called, “Mindhead,” and more make this picture a must see for anyone who likes laughing at Hollywood and for anyone who likes Steve Martin’s silly, ridiculous, yet intellectual sense of humor.*
2. Big Fat Liar- Not as good as Bowfinger but Paul Giamatti delivers a hilarious performance as a studio exec who steals Frankie Muniz’s story and makes it into a movie. Amanda Bynes is great in this too, and so is…one of my favs…Donald Faison. I liked this when it came out and I like it now.
I have more, but I am going to save them for later.
*Ed Note: When writing this paragraph originally I was going to include that it was directed by Frank Oz, the voice of Yoda, Fozzie Bear etc (as Stephi Blank brilliantly pointed out in her comments) however I thought that that the fact that the director is a voice over god would detract from my point that this is a great movie. But after further thought–Frank Oz is an awesome director and the fact that he is the voice of Grover makes him cooler. The movies he has directed (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, What About Bob, In and Out etc) have mostly been excellent. So yea. Go Frank Oz!
Hey loyal readers. I’m soooo sorry I have been away for so long. This past week was pretty busy and this weekend was jam-packed. Jam-packed with what you say? Well, on Saturday and Sunday I attended the Mecca for geeks. The Holy of Holies for nerds. The Shrine of the Silver Monkey for dorks. Yes. I ATTENDED COMIC-CON. I was one of 125,000 people there to see all the celebrity chocked filled Panel discussions, Q + As, Exhibits, and much much more. I have a shit ton of pictures on facebook which I highly recommend viewing as they have very funny captions and are for the most part, interesting if not exhilarating.
Let me start by saying the weekend was crazy. Insane. I have never seen so many costumes, gross wispy mustaches and back hair in my life. There were weirdos, hot girls in leather, children, grandparents, grandparents in leather and much much more. The way it is set up, there is a giant exhibition hall with all of the booths and stations for every comic book publisher, movie studio, TV network etc. There are also “artists alleys” where comic artists will draw whatever you want and sell it to you for $25 and a handy (minus the handy). Upstairs there are conference rooms were all the panels are held, and all the lines are formed. Downstairs there are the HUGE halls where panels for movies like “The Mummy 3” and “Pineapple Express” are held. There are also giant rooms to play Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Yugio etc AND halls that are filled with societies that try and get you to join such as “Star Wars Rebel Fleet Society of San Yisidro” and “Middle Earth Trekkies of Fullerton.” There are even artists that will sit and discuss your portfolio with you and talk about what you should work on as an artist.
Now that you have a scope of what Comic-Con is, I will discuss some of the highlights.
1. Seeing storm troopers taking a shit in the bathroom. I walked in and saw one, mask on, coming out of a stall. A little surreal.
2. Hearing Billy West having a conversation between Fry, Professor and Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama. That guy is unbelievable. Also hearing Doug Funnie AND Roger Klotz come out of his mouth brought tears to my eyes.
3. Hearing the guy who does the voice of OLMEC from Legends of the Hidden Temple!
5. Hearing Jason Statham talk. That dude is just too cool for school.
6. A little girl asked Justin Long in the HUGE auditorium, “do you…umm…actually own a Mac?” He laughed and said he did. Somewhere, Steve Jobs was wiping his brow.
7. Whilst sitting down in the huge auditorium where movies were being discussed, I saw Aziz Ansari from Human Giant walk in front of me. I didnt know why he was there. But then during the “Pineapple Express” session, all of the Human Giant guys lined up for questions. Paul Scheer (the bald one) asked first: “Um…first off, I’m so nervous my butt is so sweaty right now. Um…I saw Frank Miller here. Do you um….know Frank Miller?” Judd responds–No, sorry. Seth Rogen is laughing. Paul: Um…do you know how I can get in contact with Frank Miller. I think he is so coool!” Then Rob Schrab (host of MILF Island) gets up and says, “Hi, I’m also sooo nervous right now. My butt is like, so sweaty. Umm….so Frank Miller is a genius…” and then went on and on to talk about Frank Miller. Finally, Aziz went up and said, “Hi, I’m like soo nervous, my dick is so sweaty and hard right now” and then asked some more funny questions.
Take my word for it, Human Giant is hilarious. If you’ve never seen anything they’ve done, go to FunnyorDie or youtube and look them up. I especially love the one with Will Arnett (who I was told by Will’s business manager was too embarrassed by it to show his parents). All those guys are going places.
8. Nervously asking my question to the Pineapple Express panel: In Knocked Up you guys smoke up in a variety of different ways. What is the craziest or most creative way you’ve ever blazed? Answer from Seth Rogen: “The fishbowl scene in Knocked Up is something we did in High School and thought was really cool, but Danny McBride smokes out of his own butt sometimes. And out of a human skull.” Danny then agreed!
Side-note: Judd Apatow is hilarious in person. I expected Seth Rogen to be laugh out loud funny, which he was, but Judd is actually the funniest person there. I realize know why he is the king of comedy. He himself is a great comedian.
9. Will Ferrell talking “via satellite” to the crowd for his “Land of the Lost” panel. While at first it actually seemed like he was there, saying hi to people, talking about the movie, even interacting with the cast. Then he started “taking questions.” The first person asked, “why did you decide to work on this movie.” After a really long delay, Will started laughing and said, “funny you should ask about the sleestacks, they were really a handful to work with….” Then after every question was asked, he’d respond with a wildly incongruous answer. It was really funny.
11. Meeting all the guys who used to write for MAD Magazine in the 60s. I used to read all of my dad’s old MADs and they all used to be so good. Now they’re crap of course, but hearing stories of how the MAD Fold-In started (We thought, Playboy has a fold-out, lets have a fold-in!) was really cool.
12. SWAG. Everywhere I went I got free shit. Free Dwight Schrute poster, Pineapple express car freshener, comic books, pins, “The Flash” and “The Green Hornet” rings, limited edition Iron Man hologram DVD cover, HUMONGOUS Smallville bag, FOX Poster holders and more and more and more stuff. Really a SWAG overload.
It was a physically exhausting day (we got there at 8:30 AM and stayed until 7 PM on Saturday) and by the end of it, my body had just shut down, but it was really fun and if anyone wants to go with me next year, it would definitely be a lot of fun.
On another note, I saw Step Brothers over the weekend and loved it. It was hilarious–the dinner table scene in Talladega Nights was really the type of movie it was; just a bunch of hilarious conversations. I read an interview with Adam McKay (the film’s director/co-writer) who said that when him and Will start to write a movie, first they come up with a concept, then they write tons of scenarios or scenes that would be funny in the movie, then they write things they want to see in ANY movie, and only then do they start writing the actual movie/plot. I dont really think this movie made it to the 4th stage, as there was no real plot to be found. HOWEVER, it didnt matter. Most scenes in the movie made me laugh out loud, and every actor really went all out and brought stuff to the table. One of the real scene-stealers was Adam Scott playing Will Ferrell’s ultra-successful douchbag, hot-shot brother. My favorite line of his was “Honey. Dane Cook. Pay-per view, 20 minutes!” Hearing Will Ferrell sing opera was also magical. Interestingly enough, the whole movie didnt have as many memorable lines as it had memorable situations.
The one unfunny element of the movie was the constant usage of the word “fuck.” The word obviously is not a big deal anymore and I use it colloquially myself, like it is used in Apatow movies. But in “Step Brothers” the word itself was used as a punchline. The first time you heard an adult (Richard Jenkins) say something like, “I dont give a fuck!” it was funny. The second time, when Mary Steenburgen said it, it was kinda funny, but by the third, fourth, and fifth times, it had lost it’s shock value. One of the reasons why Anchorman was so popular, was that with the PG-13 rating, they had to make exclamations without using the word fuck. That’s why you get phrases like, “Great Odin’s raven” instead of “What the fuck!” When, in Step Brothers, the audience was expected to laugh simply because a character said “fuck” in a shocking way, it wasnt funny. The comedy moral of the story is: Use the “f word” sparingly, so when you do use it, it can have a powerful effect. Case in point: “Go Fuck Yourself San Diego.”
ps. If I had known there would be all this talk about “Shes the Man” I would have written a whole post about it. I dont really want to write a whole post about it, so I will say that I do think Amanda Bynes is very talented, very hot (especially in Hairspray), but her one flaw is that as a child, she helped usher in the “overacting/over excited” style while she was on All That and The Amanda Show that every Disney/Nickelodeon actress uses. Especially Hannah Montana.
pps. I think I spoke too soon about Shia LeBeouf having a blemish-free career. That DUI and hand injury is gonna suck for him.
ppps. Hi Cara
People often say to me, “Ethan. What movie will be remembered as Robin Williams’ best? Which movie will be his legacy?” To this question, I always answer without hesitation: Mrs. Doubtfire. That movie is without a doubt in my mind his funniest, most heartwarming and the one that will stand the test of time.
It all started for me when I saw this film for the first time at my Canadian friend Josh Tabak’s house during a sleepover one Saturday night around 1996-ish. Immediately it became one of the funniest movies I had ever seen. The makeover scene where he goes through the Chicita, Streisand and Fiddler (It was such a shande! I will never buy gribinis from a moyel, its so chewy!) impressions alone is worth the price of admission.
The artist formerly known as Josh and I used to have sleepovers every week, and every Sunday morning without fail we would watch Mrs. Doubtfire. The older I got, the more jokes I understood, and that upped the funny quotient. You would also think that I would get sick of Mara Wilson. Guess what. I didnt. Every time I watched her say, “but we’re in the middle of Charlotte’s Web” a single tear trickled down my cheek and into my bowl Sugar Smacks. Sometimes, I’d be laughing so hard I would miss jokes, which is why just recently on a repeat viewing of it on ABC Family, I caught the joke, “Stu. That’s more of a thick soup than a name” for the first time. I also have to give a shout out to the sequence where Daniel calls as fake nanny applicants (A boy! I dont work with the males cause I used to be one!)
This movie is really the pinnacle of Robin Williams career. It utilizes his crazy impressions better than any movie (seeing him “do voices” for Mrs. Sellner trumps in my opinion some of his best Genie lines), it allows him to act dramatically in his scenes with Miranda and the grizzled, bulldogged face judge, and it utilized his improvisation skills (if you’ve ever seen the Inside the Actor’s Studio with him, you’ll realize that he is one of the best improvisers in comedy history).
The reveal scene at the restaurant (Bridges) is still one of the best in cinematic history. My friend David Halperin does a mean imitation of it. It goes a little something like this: AAAAHH! DANIEL! (disbelief) DANIEL (shocked) DANIEL (angry) The Whole time (I cant believe it) The Whole time (You have been in my house!) The WHOLE time (I am REALLY REALLY PISSED). I have to go (I cant deal with this). I have to go (This is ridiculous) We have to go (I have to get my children away from you!)
In conclusion, Mrs. Doubtfire is a classic (a great choice to act out for the game Charades) and Robin Williams’ best picture ever. Fuck Good Will Hunting.
Talking about Mrs. Doubtfire (and how great it is) made me think of other cross-dressing comedies. Here are some of the best and worst:
1- Tootsie. Who knew Dustin Hoffman was so cute? And who knew being a woman was so hard?
By the way, I took a Global Feminisms class last semester to try and learn about how to be sensitive to women’s needs and although this dyke kept using the class as her own personal mouthpiece to explain to everyone how much she hates her period, I did learn a lot about issues women fight for in different political realms. If anyone wants to know anything about Female Suicide Bombers, let me know. I wrote a 30 page paper on it called, “She Da Bomb: Literally.” Actually, the paper was called “Investigating Female Suicide Bombers.” Boring title I know, but I got an A so suck it.
2- Some Like it Hot. Classic Billy Wilder. Funny, smart, ambitious, and starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis (Jamie Lee’s pop). This movie is still hilarious 50 years later and has one of the best ending lines in cinematic history (Jerry: Oh, you don’t understand, Osgood! Ehhhh… I’m a man. Osgood: Well, nobody’s perfect.)
3- Yentl-How can you not like the song, “Papa, Can you Hear Me?” Sometimes when I am talking to my dad on the phone and I am getting bad reception, I sing it to him. Unfortunately (or fortunately) since Thurtene, this song only makes me think of Ben Pote and his powerhouse performance as notorious Sea-Squatch hating Harbor Club President “George Von Vussel.”
4- Ladybugs. Rodney Dangerfield and the mom from “Sister Sister” in a picture together? Thats what I call movie magic. This is how that studio executive conversation went:
Exec 1: I got this girl’s soccer movie and I want Rodney Dangerfield to star. But I need a sassy black woman asst. coach.
Exec 2: Get the mom from Sister, Sister, Jackee Harry.
Exec 1: What’s Sister, Sister?
Exec 2: It’s a sitcom about 2 identical twin sisters who get into trouble.
Exec 1: It’s not on TV yet…How do you know about it? You must be from….
Exec 2: Yes, I’m from the future.
Exec 1: Wow. What are you doing here?
Exec 2: I’ve been sent from the mid-90s to the early 90s to help YOU cast movies.
Exec 1: Can you tell me anything about the future? Who wins sports games? What my stock portfolio should look like?
Exec 2: No. I was only programmed to know sitcoms of the mid 90s.
Exec 1: Then who should I cast as Rodney’s white love interest
Exec 2: Sorry. I am only programmed to know Black sitcoms
Exec 1: Wow that is really specific.
Exec 2: I know.
Exec 1: So is there anyone else you think I should cast in future movies?
Exec 2: Omar Gooding
Exec 1: Anyone else?
Exec 2: Jamie Foxx
Exec 1: That guy’s a comedian. He cant act!
Exec 2: I’m from the future. Trust me.
Exec 1: Ok fine. Any last advice?
Exec 2: Beware of Urkel!
Exec 1: What? What’s Urkel? WHO’S URKEL?
(Exec 2 poofs into thin air)
Back to Ladybugs–whenever I hear the song, “Dream, Dream Dream” as in “whenever I want you all I have to do, is dreammmmmm” I think of this movie. The cute girl in that movie, Vanessa Shaw has gone on to do films such as Corky Romano and 3:10 to Yuma (one of my favorite titles ever–whenever I am at an airport and I see on a monitor that a flight is coming in at 3:10 I ALWAYS take out my black Sharpie and write down the arrival/departure city as “Yuma.” Like Ben Wade, I havent been caught yet!). The “cute” boy in that movie, Jonathan Brandi, who played Matthew/Martha….well he hung himself. You win some, you lose some.
5- Mulan. Awesome film. Awesome Donny Osmond. I know I know–YOUR TEAM from high school’s pump up song was, “I’ll Make A Man out of You.” Guess what, so was EVERY HIGH SCHOOL TEAM’S PUMP UP SONG. It’s not an inside joke if everyone knows about it. By the way, sometimes when I watch this movie, I watch Shrek on another TV and whenever Donkey has a line, I listen to it, while watching Mulan, and clips of Mushu and it’s completely seamless. It’s like they’re the SAME CHARACTER. Weird huh…
1. Sorority Boys. I make a point of never watching anything Barry Watson ever does. Ever.
I also dont believe Michael Rosenbaum can be anything other than Lex Luthor.
2. White Chicks. How did this movie get made? The makeup is some of the most disgusting shit I’ve ever seen in my life. They Wayans bros. look like the zombies in “I AM LEGEND.”
3. Big Momma’s House 2: Really Big Momma’s House. I kinda liked Big Momma’s House 1 (co-starring a pre-Sideways Paul Giamatti and a pre Hustle and Flow Terrence Howard), but 2 was made about 8 years too late.
4. Juwanna Mann. I also make a point of never watching anything having to do with women’s basketball. By the way, do you think that since in the WNBA, women play so much together that their cycles become in sync so that they all get their periods on the same day and then all play really shitty for like one week cause they’re all cranky and crampy? Just a thought. Oh, and there’s also no “maternity leave” in any other sport.
5- The Hot Chick. Much like how anything Justin Timberlake touches (with the exception of the Love Guru) turns to gold, anything Rob Schneider touches sucks balls. You might say, “But Deuce Bigelow was funny!” Yea. But the funniest line in the movie didnt even belong to him! “Excuse me while I go make pee-pee” is clearly the funniest line in the movie and it was said by Antoine LaConte.
I’m sure I’m leaving out a bunch of movies (She’s the Man) but its late and I’m tired. Thank you all for reading this incredibly long post. You are all collectively the best.
I dont watch any reality TV. I never liked it, and I probably never will. Specifically, I hate shows that follow celebrities around (i.e. Osbournes, Anna Nicole Smith, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, Living Lohan, anything Cory Williams watches (no offense)) Here are some of the reasons:
1. WAY too many shots of the celebrities driving and talking on the phone. I get bored driving around in my own car, why would I want to watch someone else drive? To me, hearing a celebrity vent about the place they had just been (waxing, meeting, rehab…) or talk excitedly about where they are going (bass fishing, photo shoot, rehab) is just annoying and a waste of time. If I did watch the shows I would think, I want to see celebrity THERE. Not “getting there” or “leaving from there.” And frankly, if I get distracted when I’m driving by movie posters (there have been some really funny ones lately with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly for Step Brothers) how distracted must these celebrities be if they have a camera in the car and need to talk, sound interesting, and remember that they are ON TV? These celebrities are a danger to the public! They cant focus on making left turns, being alert and looking out for pedestrians while driving around with cameras in their car knowing that America is watching every time they put on their turn signal. GET RID OF DRIVING SHOTS for Godsakes!
2. Every interaction between the celebrity and his/her “friend” or “family member” is forced and everyone who is not an actor looks uncomfortable. And when I say uncomfortable, I mean UNCOMFORTABLE. As uncomfortable as Luke Walton looked during that halftime video that played during the NBA Finals that had him talking to his dad about growing up and playing basketball. The part where Daddy Bill said, “Son, no matter if you win the championship or not, I will still love you unconditionally” and Luke looked back and said, “thanks Dad.” That made me feel like I was watching David Brent talk to his employees about objectifying women.
SIDENOTE– Last week I did see David Brent (Ricky Gervais) live in concert doing stand-up and he was fantastic. Just a wonderful performer and actor with a wicked sense of humor and some of the dirtiest jokes I’ve ever heard. His problems with the lack of morality in the Humpty Dumpty poem was particularly memorable for me (“Why would you send all the kings horses and all the kings men? What if there was an invasion?! Where are the king’s horses and men? Well…we sent them to uh…fix that egg. ALL OF THEM? Yea…) If you ever get a chance to see him live or do stand up on TV (I believe he has an HBO (woo woo) special coming up) definitely take a moment and witness the best British import America has right now; that is until Little Britain USA airs on HBO (woo woo) this September.
AND WE’RE BACK. So yea–people looking awkward on reality TV. I have to admit I did catch one episode of Denise Richards: It’s Complicated. But I only watched it because the headline of the show was “Denise ponders whether or not to do a nude photo shoot.” Now if you’ve seen the film, “Wild Things” you understand why I would be….lets just say excited, waiting for Denise to decide whether or not she wants to take off her clothes.
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE–Denise was much hotter in Wild Things than she is now. It’s amazing what 10 years and plastic surgery will do to one’s body.
Anyway, in the episode she is playing with her young teenage nephew and she asks him if he has a girlfriend. Now if you’ve ever been 13 years old before, you know that when an adult asks you about the opposite sex, you immediately get really shy and then pee in your pants a little. So imagine the embarrassment of this kid being asked that question IN FRONT OF A 10 MAN CAMERA CREW and knowing that his answer will be broadcast on TELEVISION. So Denise does one of her “asides” and says, “my nephew is one of those typical teenage boys, super shy, super blah blah blah.” How is this supposed to make her nephew feel good? Now you’re thinking, whatever, no big deal. OH, IT GETS BETTER.
She then asks her nephew–“have you ever watched any of my movies? have you ever seen me naked in any of my movies?”
WTF!!! Why would she ask her nephew that?! I see two scenarios for why this kid is probably mortified. 1- He had not seen her naked, but she implied that he had on national television thereby making everyone watching think that this poor kid watches videos of his aunt getting boned by Matt Dillon. 2- He HAD seen videos of her getting boned by Matt Dillon and now he has to lie and look uncomfortable and embarrassed on television.
Clearly Denise Richards never read the Torah text which teaches us never to whiten our neighbor’s face in public, for it is like bringing death upon them (or something like that) Thanks Rabbi Neal Schiendlin! (Yes Willis, you can laugh. In school I had a rabbi named Neal Schiendlin).
You can see why I felt awkward watching this. It only gets worse when Denise talks to her 70 year old Dad, Irv, and embarrasses him on TV asking him questions like “should I model naked?” Or when she goes on a “date” with a “normal guy” and the guy acts all nervous and doesnt seem very cool. Would you act “cool” if you went on a date with Denise Richards and 10 camera crew members and you knew it was going to be broadcast on NATIONAL TELEVISION? Ugh.
Finally, reason number 3 why I hate Reality TV- You know NOTHING is real. Everything is scripted, or at least the scenarios are improvised so you’re basically watching shitty people doing crappy acting. Why watch a terrible faux scripted show when you can watch a quality SCRIPTED show? I dont understand. I agree that real drama comes out of real life and real situations, but gimme a break–Denise Richards “mediating an argument between her 2 assistants” is not REAL DRAMA.
Ps. Denise, if you are reading this, just forget everything you just read. I was just a little peeved. I really do like you. If you ever decide to say, get a time travel machine and go back to 1997, I would totally come with you.
Lastly, today I want to talk a little bit about Dana Carvey. First off, I LUV Dana Carvey. He is one of my favorite SNL cast members of all time. I loved his original characters, his impressions and his later stand up. But I recently saw his new HBO special, “Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies” and I must say I was underwhelmed. It was kinda funny and his impressions were good, but his jokes about Scientology, parenting and age were so uninspired that I felt…well…cheated. I hope he does better stuff in the future, but so far his new stuff (stuff he’s done in the past 10 years) is really stinky.
By the way, many people dont know this, but Dana Carvey used to have his own sketch comedy show on Fox. It lasted like 6 episodes and it had quite possibly the best concentration of talent ever assembled. The cast/writers were these people: Dana Carvey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, Dave Chappelle, Louis C.K., Robert Smigel, and Charlie Kaufman. Yes THE Charlie Kaufman. How could this show do wrong?
I have seen some of the sketches on various online sites and I think a lot of it is VERY funny. I hope it is released on DVD someday.
As much as I enjoy talking about celebrities, I do not understand why sometimes, the LITTLEST things celebrities do become “news.” Or are at least “news” on imdb. For example, today:
Tisdale’s Tears Over High School Musical
11 July 2008 11:53 AM, PDT
The actress has been involved in all three of the hit teen movies so far, but won’t be playing Sharpay Evans for a fourth time.
WTF— How is crying on a movie set news? And who gives a shit about Ashley Tisdale? All anyone wants to know about is Zac Efron and his baby blues. By the way, how were you in the top 10 on Maxim’s Top 100? Half the girls in that issue were hotter than you. Megan Fox had like a tiny picture and was practically buried in that shit. Kristen Kreuk I dont even think made the list! Maxim, you suck and you’re wrong. Btw–doesnt Haylie Duff look like an uglier version of Ashley Tisdale? I think so.
Alba Felt Unsexy During Pregnancy
10 July 2008 7:02 AM, PDT
The actress insists she loved the experience of carrying daughter Honor Marie – but was relieved when she gave birth and could get active again.
Alba tells the U.K.’s Cosmopolitan magazine, “I wouldn’t have changed it for the world… but I wanted to get rid of all the weight.”
Who doesnt feel bloated and haggardly when they are pregnant? Trust me I know. And who doesnt want to lose 20 pounds after they have a baby? Plus, J-ALB you were hotter pregnant than most women are baby-less. This is preposterous.
9 July 2008 7:04 AM, PDT
The movie star admits reliving The Doors singer’s life took a huge toll on him, and he relished the bathtub death scene in the Oliver Stone biopic because he knew it would be the last thing he’d have to do as the tragic rocker.
He tells WENN, “I was relieved to die in The Doors, just so I didn’t have to do anything else.”
Really? First of all, since when is Val Kilmer newsworthy? Since when is talking about a movie you did almost 20 years ago news? I dont understand. Who interviewed him about “The Doors” anyway! Who is interviewing him at all??? The guy hasnt done anything anyone has liked since “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and before that the last popular film he did as far as I’m concerned is “Top Gun” in 1986 (HEAT doesnt count because that wasnt HIS movie. That belonged to those surprisingly good actors DeNiro and Pacino). He was great in his first film, “Top Secret” and he does a great Moses impression but really? Val Kilmer? C’mon imdb.
WAIT A MINUTE.
Kilmer Put Off Tattoos By Colleague
9 July 2008 5:07 AM, PDT
Val Kilmer was put off ever getting a tattoo by the thought of wearing the same dirty T-shirt forever.
That’s what one tattooed colleague likened his own skin art to when the actor approached him with his own tattoo thoughts.
WHATTT!??? TWO PIECES OF KILMER NEWS? In ONE DAY??!!! Now we are supposed to care that Val Kilmer didnt want a tattoo because of something his friend said? How can people (me) read this shit?
By the way, word of advice to Val Kilmer from me–Do more comedy. You’re a funny dude. I liked you in those two comedies I mentioned earlier, and I liked you on Entourage as that pothead sherpa dude. No one likes you in anything else you’ve done.
Alright, that’s enough of that. The last thing I will discuss today is “When this actor gets old he/she will become this actor.”
I got two for you today. First–Derek Luke will become Denzel Washington. Dude is a killer actor who shows lots of range. He’s handsome, tough, but capable of being emotional at the same time. Plus he’s already worked with Denzel once (Antwone Fisher) and pro bably learned some tricks, and he’s working with Denzel’s old buddy Spike Lee in the new “Miracle at St. Anna” (or St. Smooshes if you know my family). He’s proven he can handle Denzel’s anger in “Friday Night Lights” and he can handle the “oppressed black man” as he proved in “Catch a Fire.” Looking forward to seeing him.
Second-Dennis Haysbert will become Morgan Freeman. Dude already played the president and has the voice of a God. Plus Haysbert’s totally got that dignified aura surrounding him. If only he’d quit those AllState commercials to gain some actual actor cred.
Day 17- It’s Nickeoldeon’s Big Help Weekend! Call now and you can listen to a pre-recorded message from…Larisa Oleynik!*3
Today is going to be a day of blurbs
Blurb 1- My delicious white chocolate mocha friend Jessica pointed out to me that my little rant of Ciara/Rihanna/Christina Millian could be seen as somewhat offensive. Her exact words on my facebook wall were:
In case any of you loyal readers agree with her, here is what I replied to her:
hold the “r” word for a minute. I said I cant tell the difference between those 3 people because they all SOUND the same, have the same types of songs (1, 2 Step and Please Dont Stop the Music are the same song as far as I’m concerned), and have 1 word names with a harsh A sound–rihanNA, CiaRA, ChristiNA. And the keisha boo part is kinda funny because its true. Please dont get me in trouble, I dont want to have to apologize to Jesse Jackson or anything.
It seemed to mollify her…for now. If you still can find traces of racism in my posts or perhaps think that I myself am in fact a huge bucket of racist, in the future, please dont write it on my wall. Tell me privately and I’ll be happy to discuss your concerns.
Blurb 2- If you think you and the people who comment on the posts (Willis, Cor(-e)y, John, Arkin et al) are the only ones reading this blog, you’re wrong! In fact (M. Night Shamylan moment #1), this whole time I have placed a tracker on the site which leads me to count the number of hits, unique visitors etc. And guess what–I am averaging about 20-25 hits a day! This past Monday I got 40 hits! Obviously this would not be possible without YOU–my loyal readers, so from the bottom of my scrotum, THANK YOU. Not only is writing for an audience more fun, but it also improves my writing skills! As the old adage goes, “you become a better writer when people are reading.” M.Night Shamylan moment #2- That wasn’t an old adage at all! I made it up! I think…
PBS MOMENT–If you want to help me improve my writing skills and self-esteem please continue to read and recommend the site to friends, neighbors, co-workers and pets who know how to use the Internet. The more readers I get, the happier I become.
Here is a graph:
So yea. Keep reading everyone!
Blurb #3- Do you really miss Arrested Development? Have you seen every episode at least three times? Does news of an Arrested Development movie make you lactate with glee? Well then I have just the thing for you!
At HBO today I read a pilot script for a FOX Animated show called, “Sit Down, Shut Up.” It is created by none other than Mitchell Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development! Not only is this one of the funniest scripts I’ve read so far, but it’s got the classic Arrested Development style humor to a T. Now you are thinking–well that’s great. But I still miss Arrested Development!
Well guess what? Check out the cast of voices–Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Henry Winkler! They are all reprising roles VERY similar to their AD personas. And guess who else is in it–SNL’s Will Forte and Cheri Oteri. Their parts are HILARIOUS. Guess who else does voices–Nick Kroll (a hilarious comedian) and Tom Kenny (THE VOICE OF SPONGEBOB!) Yep this show is off the hook. By the way it is about teachers at a northeastern high school who “habitually place their own needs ahead of the needs of the students. “It has classic AD flashbacks, cuts, inappropriate behavior, puns, small jokes, big jokes, distasteful characters and much much more. So if you cant wait for the AD movie, get psyched for this show. That is, if it gets on. The writers for it are on strike. It should be over soon though…I hope.
Lastly, since you are such a great crowd, I will treat you to one of my favorite ACTORS WHO ARE THE SAME of ALL TIME:
Kevin Pollack and David Paymer
While these two actors sometimes play different roles, they do look pretty damn similar. Kevin plays smarmy, smug “bad guys” (Usual Suspects, The Whole Nine Yards) while David plays smarmy, smug, nebbishy guys in a position of decent sized power (City Slickers, Quiz Show, Oceans 13). They also both play “overworked dads in way over their head who dont spend enough time with their kids and dont appreciate what they have until some crazy circumstance forces them to realize how they should really spend more time with their families ” (Kevin in “House Arrest,” Paymer in “Carpool.”) Both of them have also done really good work, and really shitty movies/TV (specifically basketball movies–Kevin in “Juwanna Man,” Paymer in “The Sixth Man.”) When you boil it down to it though, they are both character actors (although Pollack does get characters who are a little more over the top) with ridiculously long credits and receding hairlines.
*It’s not actually Nickelodeon’s Big Help Weekend. I just remembered that today and thought it was funny. I actually used to call them and give fake “pledges” just so I could hear people like Jonathan Taylor Thomas tell me I was a cool kid.
As much as I try not to “feel bad” for movie stars–after all, they are rich, talented and attractive–there are some cases where I just cant help but feel a little bit of pathos. In a discussion with my friend and fellow movie/tv enthusiast Daniel “I wish I were a Coen Brother” Arkin, we both decided that Jared Leto got mightily screwed with the film “Chapter 27.” Now you have probably never heard of this movie and although I feel bad for Jared Leto, this is a good thing. The movie is about John Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman and takes place in the three days leading up to John Lennon’s assassination.
First off let me say that on principle, I do not support this film at all. I do not wish to acknowledge any discussion of the man who committed the murder, because one of the reasons why Chapman killed Lennon was to acquire some level of fame. By engaging in any sort of discussion about this man, especially in a biographical film, we are only giving Chapman what he wanted.
But I wish to talk about this film in typical “e hollywood nonsense” fashion. Poor Jared Leto. He gets a controversial script about the killer of John Lennon. He learns that he will have to gain close to 70 pounds for the role. He asks his agent, “why should I do this role?” The agent probably responds, “because whenever pretty boy actors/actresses ugly themselves for a role, they get an Oscar nod for being daring, or they get some really great movie roles afterward.”
Examples: Charlize Theron- Monster (gained 20 pounds). Nicole Kidman– The Hours (weird prosthetic nose) . Christian Bale- The Machinist (lost 60 pounds, but gained it back when he got Batman Begins), Vincent D’Onofrio– Full Metal Jacket (gained 70 pounds), Renee Zellwegger– Bridget Jones’ Diary (gained 20 pounds), Tom Hanks- Cast Away (lost 60 pounds) and OF COURSE, the one that started it all, Robert DeNiro– Raging Bull (gained 60 pounds).
By the way–cant they ever just find ugly people to act as ugly people? Why does Hollywood keep doing this? Ugly Betty my ass. Ugly Betty is not ugly in real life. She’s gorgeous. What hope does this give ugly people (no offense) who want to act, if they cant even get THE UGLY ROLES!
Anyway–now Jared Leto is signed on, and gains 67 POUNDS. How does he do this? According to wikipedia, Jared would drink microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil every night to bloat himself. Thats disgusting. Also, during the shoot, at times he had to use a wheelchair due to the stress of the sudden increase in weight put on his body. Oh did I mention that the weight gave him gout too?
So fat Jared Leto comes to set and works with the very talented Lindsay Lohan (SHOUT OUT CORY!). This Lindsay is a calm Lindsay. A gentle Lindsay. Not the coked out, anorexic DUI snatching Lindsay who is in the news when the film is planning on being released. Way for her to do PR.
Filming wraps and Jared tries to lose his weight so he can rejoin his rock group “30 Seconds to Mars” and then be all attractive when he gets all the publicity for gaining 67 pounds and “becoming” Mark David Chapman.
This publicity never comes though. The film screens at Sundance to mostly harshly negative reviews. It does not pick up a US distributor (who wants to back a movie about the killer of one of the most beloved and tragic figures of the 20th century?), but does get released in South America and Asia. This is me making a fart noise-PFEHPFHPHE! Then the film was LEAKED on the internet where most people hated it. It was finally released in the US in March 2008, getting a 21% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Eventually it grossed $56,215 and was banished to DVD hell.
Why do I feel bad? Because Jared Leto gained 67 pounds to start being taken seriously as an actor, and instead, only became pitiful. He fucked up his body for nothing and his acting career has most certainly not taken off.
Wait a minute! He’s still been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. He was engaged to Cameron Diaz. He is an actor AND the lead singer of a rock band. Fuck that. I should NOT feel bad for him. Fucking prick shouldnt have made a movie about Lennon’s killer. Fuck him dude. What a turd muffin.
“I really should play another song. Am I really listening to a Disney Channel girl? A 14 year old Disney Channel Girl? Am I enjoying this? Can I really be enjoying this? At the gym!? Is something wrong with me? “I’m not getting a boner am I? Good. No. I’m not getting a boner. That would not be good. Especially at the gym with all these guys. It would definitely show through my gym shorts. Goddamn it this song is catchy! NO! I refuse to listen to it. I’m going to press skip no–I should probably wait till this screaming acapella part is over….THE LAST TIME I FREAKED OUT! I JUST KEPT LOOKING DOWN! NO ETHAN ! STOP IT. JUST CHANGE THE SONG. FEEL LIKE I COULDNT BREATHE! YOU ASK WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME! NO! TURN IT OFF! Oh c’mon its like 30 seconds more. Woah Woah I, I cant wait….Aaaaaaannd….its done. God Ethan, you are such a freak.
After reflecting it on it, you know what? I’m NOT a freak. That song’s pulsating beat and Ms. Cyrus’ digitally enhanced, breathy/twangy/30 year old voice is deliberately highly sexual and I shouldn’t feel bad about liking it! It’s all the suits at Disney’s faults. They are the ones forcing Ms. Cyrus to sing those kinds of songs! They must be trying to extend her fan base from 10 year old girls to 40 year old men.
If that song was sung by Rihanna or Ciara or Christina Millian (I still cant tell the difference between those 3) I would not feel guilty. Of course they would have to replace the lyric, “my best friend Leslie says, shes just being Miley” with “my boo Keisha says, she’s just being Chriahnaara.”
But as it stands, the song is sung by a 14 year old girl. So even if I like the SONG and not HER, I will be at a moral crossroads.
Alright, I promise that was the last Weird Al related post you’ll see for a while. Today I am going to discuss 6 actors who wish they had Shia LeBeouf’s career. All of these actors were also child actors that you remember from your youth, but actors who have yet successfully made the leap into adult superstardom.
1. David Gallagher– He played Simon Camden for ten years on 7th Heaven, was the main tyke in “Look Who’s Talking Now,” played Richie Rich in a straight to DVD movie, and now is doing more straight to DVD shit like “Boogeyman 2″ and (I swear to God) “Freakin Zombies, Man!” I dont feel bad for him, because he is making fuck loads of residuals off of 219 episodes of 7th Heaven that rerun every day on different networks, but I do feel bad that the guy hasnt gotten any real work since his days as the preacher’s son. On the other hand, his acting was pretty shitty in the later years (some of his crying scenes after accidentally killing a druggy were ridiculously bad). I predict he’ll be mulling around playing guest roles on TV shows for the next 5 years, and then try and do stuff behind the camera.
2. Michael Angarano–You may know him from his roles as Jack’s son on Will and Grace, the starring role in “The Brainiacs.com,” Young Red Pollard in “Seabiscuit,” or most recently his roles in “Sky High” and “The Forbidden Kingdom.” This guy is clearly getting a lot of work. He does indies much more than he does studio pictures, but you bet your ass he tried out for, and wanted the part of Sam in “Transformers.” He has the same kind of skinny guy, geeky charm that Shia has, but in my opinion he doesnt have the funniness. He also doesnt have that chaotic, eccentric spark that Shia showed in “Even Stevens” and for instance, “I Robot.” Michael does have acting chops though, and a promising career, but just not one where he will get top billing or get cast in an Indiana Jones flick.
3. Ryan Merriman— You may know him from his Disney Channel Original Movies, “Smart House,” “Luck of the Irish,” and “Ring of Endless Light.” Most recently you may have seen him in “The Ring Two” or “Final Destination 3.” He also had a promising young career as he was handsome, earnest and athletic. But frankly he has never really gotten a chance to display real acting chops. Now it looks like he is being very active, filming parts in TV shows, miniseries’ and movies, so hopefully he will rise the ranks of former child actors. You can also bet from his “horror genre” experience that he wanted the starring role in “Disturbia,” but I guess he also just doesn’t have that “Shia spark.”
4. Andy Lawrence–The youngest Lawrence brother started out his career as the silliest brother on “Brotherly Love” (a show with a great theme song bee tee dubs). He then graduated to roles in the Disney Channel original movies “Horse Sense,” “The Other Me,” “Jumping Ship,” and “Going to the Mat.” He also voiced Mikey on “Recess.” He has had a decent career in terms of work load, but as of late, the work is scarce and limited to just guest appearances on television shows, or series that get canceled. He definitely had that silly spark, and he is a good looking guy, but I guess the “Lawrence” surname has given him a stigma that will never make anyone take him seriously ever. I predict more Disney movies.
5. Trevor Morgan– Started as the geek/cool dude in the Disney Channel movie, “Genius.” Later he got some roles as the “cool kid/asshole” in “Barney’s Great Adventure” (Ironic no?), then as the “cool kid/asshole” in “The Sixth Sense.” He started just playing the geek in movies like “Jurassic Park III” and “The Glass House.” but then kept reverting back to that “cool kid/asshole” role in films like HBO’s “Empire Falls” and “Mean Creek.”Now he is doing guest roles on TV shows, but unless he can escape that “cool guy/asshole” persona (it didnt get him the role in Indiana Jones 4) and try stretching a little bit, I just dont see his career being great. He also is kind of an ugly dude.
6. Bug Hall– You definitely remember him as the adorable “Alfalfa” in The Little Rascals. You might remember him as one of The Stupids in “The Stupids.” I doubt you remember him being the lead in the Disney movie, “Safety Patrol” (which had a cameo by Weird Al–last one I promise!) But thats it. His career has slowed down and the last semi-memorable performance of his was acting opposite the most likely coked up Lindsay Lohan in the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Get a Clue.” Now he also has reverted to guest star roles on TV shows. In his youth he definitely had the charm and quirkiness of a Shia LeBeouf, but I guess he just doesnt have it anymore. He also has the name “Bug” which is really stupid.
Thats the six I’ve come up with so far. What did Shia do right? Well he immediately tried to escape his “Louis Stevens” character on Even Stevens (in my opinion, the funniest/best show ever on The Disney Channel) by playing a retard in a TV movie. He pulled it off very well. Then he decided to ditch Disney (something the Lawrence bros. have yet to do) and be a real actor. He did a great job in Holes (a movie Frankie Muniz passed up to do the god-awful “Cody Banks” flicks–glad that worked out for him…), and balanced doing bit parts in studio flicks like “I Robot” and “Constantine,” with big parts in indies like “The Battle of Shaker Heights” and “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (a flick, that as i mentioned before, is very worth your time). The fact that he hasnt really done anything that stupid in his personal life (other than that drunken appearance at a Walgreens at 2 in the morning) helps. He’s also, truth be told, a very good actor. I am actually very much looking forward to “Eagle Eye.” Check out the trailer, its sick!
OH! By the way I left off one guy who was jealous of Shia LeBeouf’s career…..
Even Stevens WAS my life growing up. I was Louis, the funny nudnik who always got in trouble and liked comedy. My older sister Rena was Ren (!!) the over achieving smarty pants who graduated with the highest honors, but who also was kinda goofy. My little sister was Donny, the “perfect” one who everyone always paid attention to. Both the Stevens mom and my mom are politically active and both the Stevens dad and my dad have weird hobbies!
Anyway, besides that I kinda look like Shia LeBeouf. TWICE I have gotten asked if I was Shia LeBeouf–once in line at Universal Studios, and once at a public school where I tutored and some kid with a speech impediment asked me if I was on “Eben Stebens” and if I played, “Louis Stebens.” I guess the fact that we both have the Jewiest hair helps.
I also can be wisecraking/goofy/nervous/cool/physically fit, cant I? CANT I?
Oh well. I’ll guess I’ll just have to keep heeding my mom’s advice and and “be the best ETHAN I can be.” It wont enable me to make out with Megan Fox, but at least I am in KARL Improv (woo woo).
In other news–Katy Perry has a hit song in “I Kissed A Girl.” Most people like it and find it at least a tiny bit titillating. Now imagine if the song changed genders and became–“I Kissed a Boy.” That song would NOT make it on mainstream radio. It might be hilarious, BUT no one would bop their heads to it in the car or sing it drunkenly at parties. In fact, I think that given the homophobia in American society, most men would find themselves uncomfortable listening to the song. And if any man did find himself humming it in the middle of the day, you can bet that at least 4 people will go up to him and barrage him with gay slurs such as “dude, you’re so gay” or “dude, I cant believe you’re humming that song, that’s so gay!” or “Wow dude, you know how I know you’re gay?” Anyway–its just a peculiar double standard. Think about it.