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Tag Archives: entertainment

After a couple of days of late nights at work, I finally got home at a reasonable hour and decided not to spend the time watching the news. Mostly because it reminds me that when I’m 65, my kids will ask me where I was when Obama was inaugurated, and I will tell them, “On the toilet, because I really had to finish drafting those tax certification forms, and once I was done, I couldn’t wait. Shouldn’t have put all those raisins in my oatmeal.”

Here’s what I’ve learned watching basketball and mildly surfing the internet:

1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop is the number one movie in America. I don’t regard that as some sign of the apocalypse or anything, I actually thought it didn’t look bad…as a rental. Look America, I know it was cold out, but do you think Kevin James is really an A-list movie star? Because that’s what you just made him.

2. I’ve seen none of the Oscar-nominated movies. Looks like I have to get on that if I am going to anger moviegoers with contrarian blog postings. I still get the occasionally shitty email for my reaction to “There Will Be Blood.” Although I’ll say this right now: No “Benjamin Button”. I saw “Meet Joe Black” in the theater many moons ago, and Brad Pitt, “three hour movie”, and me will never go together again.

3. If you like basketball, and you think Charles Barkley can’t be replaced, check out the comedy stylings of Chris Webber and Gary Payton on TNT while they sub for him.  Here’s a look at their little-seen NBA TV work:

We may have just found the new Wayans Brothers.

4. Jim Beam has a series of ads that are kind of jaw-droppingly sexist, basically, they represent the worst of male fantasies and thoughts, and proudly associates Jim Beam with them. In the one I saw tonight, a scantily clad, hot woman speaks of how she likes slightly fat men with back hair who go to strip clubs. It then says “the girlfriend”, and Jim Beam is “the bourbon”. Yeah, okay. You gotta be drinking a bottle of Jim Beam to think that’s going to happen. When I think sexy girls, I think Jim Beam, that’s what they drink. Yeah, sure.

What’s even worse is they’re trying to mask it as “ironic” by having a video contest where you make fun of these plodding, pathetic, and obvious ads.  So you can make fun of how impossibly sexist they are. Because you know it’s not true, right? Way not to man up, Jim Beam.

Amongst our high school pals, we have a Secret Santa/Christmas dinner annually. I might pretend to complain about it to my drinking buddies, but it really is one of the highlights of the holiday season. Mostly because it’s the only time I get stuff.

In any case, my name was drawn by my old friend Julie, who decided to show how much care and thought and time she put into this by getting me…the Killers latest album and a $30 gift card to the Virgin Megastore.

Whee! Not really. I don’t think I’ve bought a CD in ages, at least not since Bush’s second term. I would rather had have her buy $30 worth of CD’s and hoped I like them; or just get with the times and buy a $30 iTunes card. I’m not being ungrateful, a gift is a gift, it’s just that I don’t buy CD’s anymore. I download all my music…legally, of course, as far as you know.

So, figuring it can’t be any more harrowing than yesterday’s shopping experience, I headed over to the Megastore to finally spend my gift. I could have used it on books, I suppose. (I don’t really watch DVD’s at home, either to be honest.)

But then I saw that there was a sale. I had forgotten that there was talk that the store will be closing this year. You know what that means:

Clearance, bitches! Or at least clearance-level prices. Many of the CD’s were going for 50 percent off (a standard CD at Virgin is $18 or thereabouts), or they were marked $10 or $5. This inspired me to attempt a maximum bang-for-buck strategy:  Get clearance stuff that you would definitely listen to–but not necessarily pay for.

That led to the following selections:

  • The first, and easiest selection out there: A two-disc George Michael Greatest hits album for $10. You wanna get gay? Let’s get gay! Especially at these prices.
  • “I said CPR, not CCR!” I’ve always liked Creedence, but I’d hardly call myself a die-hard fan. Still I know many of the songs. It was part one of a two-part collection, and this part did not have “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” Despite that small flaw, it had enough of their songs that I liked at $5. Put it on the card!
  • At $5, how do I not get “Kick” by INXS? I could not believe I hadn’t gotten around to, um, procuring it yet!
  • Another winner! “The Cream of Clapton.” Despite the pornish name, it follows his career from Cream, through his solo works, Derek and the Dominos, and of course, more solo work.  The good news is that it stops in the early ’80s so there’s none of his early ’90s ballad stuff, like “Tears In Heaven” and etc. Not my thing. The bad news is the super-crapfest that is “It’s in the Way You Use It” from The Color of Money soundtrack is not on it. Might be one of my favorite worst songs ever. Still though, $5.
  • Finally in a bout of obscurity, some early ’00s electronica by Hooverphonic, “Blue Wonder Power Milk”. I had a couple of songs from this outfit a few computers ago and couldn’t pass it up. Finally, some mood music for my iTunes.

This was really like a weird music fantasy auction draft. These are all artists I like and enjoy, but probably would never have gotten off my duff to purchase. Or “purchase”. So, in the end, this became one of the more fun gifts ever. Thanks, Julie! Your reward is this shout-out in a blog no one reads.

That’s what they need to call this “Gossip Girl” show, judging from the ads. I cop to totally knowing nothing about the show, its origins, it’s stars, and its purpose. I do know it’s on the CW. (their motto: “We will try just about f***in’ anything.”)

But the ads make it seem like the whole show is pretty much about young, beautiful people doing the nasty. Somehow they revolve a plot around it, because let’s face it, you can’t bone and not have drama. I suspect episodes revolve around who hit it with who and when and what time and what acts were performed. Who boned and thought a relationship was underway, only to find out that the guy they thought they were making love to was getting busy in a horse-drawn carriage the next night. With her best friend, which is female code for arch-rival, of course.

All this is fine, after all, sex has been a staple of the primetime soap opera for years. But at least there used to appear to be some storylines that didn’t involve boning. I believe Dallas and Dynasty were set in the oil industry. It was like, yeah, people were boning, but that was for the express purpose of getting control of the oil. Like the episode where J.R. Ewing gave Dick Cheney a reacharound. Very controversial. But germane to the storyline. (Okay, that didn’t happen.)

But there’s no oil or gold or bread or ant farms or gossip or any other commodity at stake, it appears with this show. It’s not about the trials and tribualtions of class structure and cliquishness among well-to-do, affluent teenagers. Then again, maybe it is. Point is, I wouldn’t know from the ads. Maybe it’s even a show about the trials and tribualtions of class structure and cliquishness among well-to-do, affluent teenagers…who bone at every opportunity.

I guess there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what the show’s about. But if I ever tune in and detect some semblance of a plot, or see a storyline that is not boning-related, then this show will have done the drooling 40-something “To Catch A Predator” crowd these ads are aimed at a cruel injustice. So it’ll be back to the porn, Viagra and MySpace for them. So sad.

But somehow I doubt it. I’m sure this ad campaign completely reflects the true nature of the show. I won’t watch, but I trust that the season premiere, “Wrong Hole”, will have all the twists and turns I expect (if you know what I mean), and at most ten to twenty lines of dialogue. Mostly about teabagging, hopefully. I’m trusting you, American Bonefest, er Gossip GIrl. Don’t let America, and by America, I mean “assholes who think they’re too good for porn”, down.

Occasionally, I like to get my hate on in advance, often before seeing a bad idea. Oftentimes, I am wrong about the actual popularity of the product, and sometimes I can be wrong about the product itself.

And if you think that’s going to stop me, well, welcome, new reader!

Anyway, I was reading a New York Times article about film comedies that are coming out this spring and summer, and one in particular got my attention, and not in a good way. The one that made me upset? Made of Honor.

Made of Honor

The short, unbiased version is this: Some loser played by Patrick Dempsey is asked to be the maid of honor at his best friend’s wedding. Yes, his best friend is a woman, you evangelicals can stop hyperventilating. But it turns out that he’s in love with the bride and decides to try and win her heart.

Okay, before I rip this film I have not seen, a bit of disclosure: In my previous Internet incarnation, I wrote a fictional short story about this very subject. I don’t think they stole my idea or anything, so I’m mad for different reasons, and you’ll see why in a few paragraphs.

In my short story, the ‘man of honor’ (that was my term, I think) essentially spends the whole story trying to convince everyone that he is not really in love with the bride and they are just good friends. It’s probably not very good (I can’t bring myself to actually read it right now), but at least I went against the grain…a story about a guy trying to prove he’s not in love. (I think, in honor of New York’s fallen governor, he even bangs a hooker! Very tenderly.)

In this movie, as previously noted, the guy appears to be too much of a pussy to have made a move on this girl until she gets engaged. Of course, then he decides to try and become her lover. Aside from being trite and predictable, which chaps me creatively, this movie, if it proves popular, is basically going to cause nothing but trouble for people who have good friends of the opposite sex. And by people, I mean men.

As someone who has had dates wondering if I have something going on with one of my female buddies based on them punching me in the stomach, let me tell you, this is bad business. Especially if you happen to meet a woman who either has not had friends of the opposite sex, or if they happen to be safely gay. A movie like this is not going to help. It just gives more ammunition for the suspicious mind.

“But Well Whiskey,” you  say, “what about My Best Friend’s Wedding? That didn’t cause such behavior.” To which I say, of course it didn’t. For starters, it’s actually a quality movie with a quality star. Admittedly, I’m clearly no Patrick Dempsey fan, but in terms of likable star quality, he’s not Julia Roberts, whatever you think of either of them as actors. Second, the reason the movie works so well is that it isn’t all that predictable. At no point do you ever really think Julia Roberts was going to steal that dude from Cameron Diaz. The movie’s real tension comes from the fact that you’re essentially waiting for Julia Roberts to snap out of her delusion and grow up, and that’s a little smarter and more complex. Yeah, you heard me.

Are you expecting any such thing here? Are we really expecting Mighty McDreamy to strike out? Maybe if it wasn’t the director of “City Slickers 2” and the writers of “Surviving Christmas” and “Josie and the Pussycats”, I’d be more confident.

Even if he doesn’t ultimately get the girl, (Other likely-to-be-used cliche: he settles for the nice-girl fellow bridesmaid who loved him all along.) the fact that the man of honor and her best friend is secretly pining for the bride is a lame movie cliche to often gets applied to real life by idiots. And I hate to give idiots material. But Hollywood doesn’t. If this film’s a hit, a guy who helps a girl he’s not sleeping with is going to be looked at sideways with ridicule and suspicion. Well okay, even more than he is now. And while that’s sometimes the case, it’s not always the case.

But in the end, maybe it’s my fault for not getting my story published, for not catching the eye of movie execs, and for not getting my little writing experiment made into a movie. After all, evil reigns when good men do nothing, as Edmund Burke kind of said. Or maybe he said, “if you think a movie’s crap, don’t go see it and shut the hell up”.

Watching George Clooney tonight (okay, now I just totally lied in the title of my last post) and how much he seems to be respected by his peers and how he seems to do anything he wants in Hollywood to the point where he can joke about Batman and Robin, he seems to be the man these days. And one of my favorite cliches that is uttered about a guy who is rolling like a top dog is, “It’s ___________’s world, and the rest of us are just paying the rent.”

Inspired by that phrase, I now give you the Landlord Rankings: The people in the world right now who have everything going their way, are rolling, and seemingly, can’t be stopped. We’ll try to have a minimum of three and a maximum of five, depending on who’s hot right now and who’s not. I’m thinking this could be a monthly feature, if all goes well (you know, more than 8 page views.)

George Clooney

1. George Clooney: He didn’t even win anything tonight and yet it is pretty apparent that barring a string of Peacemaker-style duds, he is the heir apparent to Jack Nicholson as the King of Hollywood Actors. Not the best, not the most talented, and not even the most financially successful, but just the one they all wanna be like and want to be around. He’s come a long way from those rubber nipples.

Unstoppable Eli

2. Eli Manning: We’re not getting overrun with his commercials just yet, but it’s coming. But just as I was beginning to forget the level he put himself on with his performance in Super Bowl XLII, I saw quite a few bouncers wearing Eli Manning jerseys this weekend. Bouncers don’t wear quarterback jerseys unless that quarterback is The Man. Unstoppable!

Senator Obama

3. Barack Obama: No substance or record? No problem! Hillary Clinton supporters can’t believe that some guy who who was probably voting on trash pickup schedules and retail zoning restrictions in Chicago four years ago is poised to rip the Presidency (or at least the nomination) that was rightfully hers. I am sort of comically paraphrasing what Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote today: you know your campaign is down the tubes when your message essentially becomes “Hope? Inspiration? That’s for suckers! Vote for me!” and “So my speeches are boring. But they’re highly detailed!”

Wait list: John McCain would have gotten on this list for sticking it to the hard-core conservatives and radio talk show hosts by locking up the Republican nomination and for essentially turning that New York Times story about him maybe possibly boning a lobbyist into a fundraising opportunity. But until he finally unites the party with the appeal, “Come on, You Know You’re Going To Vote For Me, Where The Hell Else Are You Going?” he can’t quite make it on yet.