Thursday, June 25, 2009

A tragic day

A death trifecta

Ed McMahon
Farrah Fawcett
Michael Jackson

I guess it's no surprise that Ed died. He was in dire straits physcially & financially for a long time. I also think that he never recovered from Johnny Carson passing away. Farrah ... tragic tragic tragic. She suffered so needlessly from a cancer that I've never heard of. I didn't watch her special, but thought it was brave of her to be so public with her illness. Michael Jackson ... wow ... didn't expect it, but I can't say I'm surprised at all. I'm already thinking suicide, which again, wouldn't surprise me one bit. Tortured soul doesn't begin to describe Michael Jackson. Robbed of his childhood, tried to buy it back too late.

How long before Walter Cronkite passes ...

So ... on to television!

Watched an awesome Frontline on the bank collapse. A pox on Henry Paulson, what a tool! Talk about a power hungry bully. I'm not defending the greedy bastards in the banks, but Paulson really screwed the pooch by forcing the banks to take government money. The episode focused mainly on the forced merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. It was as much about the cultures of the 2 banks. BofA in Charlotte and Merrill in NYC ... it was about as odd of a merger as Morgan Stanley merging with Dean Witter ... anyone remember that one? Oh, and it was about as sensible as Mercedes merging with Crysler .. ha! There's another match made in heck.

Z-Rock is much much better this season. Very funny, great guest stars. The guys seem to be more at ease with the show. I'd hire the guys for a birthday party in a minute.

Nurse Jackie. Wow .. what a great character driven show. Edie Falco's first tv show since Sopranos. She plays a drug addicted affair having ER nurse. She's brilliant! No hint of Carmela Soprano here! The first episode was dry .. kind of a snoozer, but the last 2 episodes have been kick butt. Each character, the head game playing ER doctor, the hauhty former nurse administrator, the new nurse on the floor who is scared poop-less ... but I have to say the character I'm digging the most is Peter Fancinelli's ... yep, Jenny Garth's husband ... he plays this ultra young doctor who is a complete loon. Loonie in the young doctor sense. He's smarter than he thinks he is. I see Jackie and Coop having a torrid affair at some point. Great show on Showtime. I still can't forgive them for cancelling Huff! and Dead Like Me, but Nurse Jackie is a good start.

Watched American Masters. I have to say that this one should have been called NORTH American Masters because it was about ... errrr, aboot ... ha! Neil Young. I love this guy. I can't say that I'm a big fan of his music. His fanbase is very rabid, I'm not that way. I think I'm more a fan of the person than the music. Neil Young is totally about HIS music. He's a selfish artist. He leaves people high and dry and doens't really care because for him, it's about music, not people. Look at his career ... started out as a surfer guitar guy, went folk, went new wave with Devo, went electronic with Trans, rockabilly (I'll always love that album, particularly, the song Wondering), back to his roots ... fans be damned. All Neil Young cares about is making music that he likes. This man is neither a hypocrite or a sellout. I can respect that. He's a true artist.

The Daily Show has been fantastic. Stewart had a civilized discussion about abortion with Mike Huckabee. Yes, I said it, civilized! Both of them are to be commended, yes, I said that too. Mike Huckabee was civil! The best though is Jason Jones's trip to Iran. Unbelieveable! What's sad though is that some of the journalists and leaders that he spoke to are now in jail. I really hope some kind of award is bestowed upon them for this wonderful reporting. The funniest was Jones interviewing Iranian citizens about American history and they knew more about American History than Americans did! Sad!!!!! They had this old guy who could name all the presidents backwards ... American presidents! He's Iranian!!! Good stuff!

I'm starting to hit all the repeated Corner Gas episodes now. I understand that they ended production in April, so I'm hoping that I can see the series in it's entirety at some point. What a great show. My kids even dig it.

Globe Trekker, Keith Olbermann ... Total Wrecklamation seems to have gone, which is sad. I have a ton of movies to catch up on .. oh, and Penn & Teller's new season of Bullshit started this week too ... will report back.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Life After People

I watched the 2 hour show called Life After People about a year ago and now it's a weekly series. I'm very conflicted about the show. On the one hand, it's kind of cool to think about the world and all we've left behind after we're all gone, and then I think ... holy crap, I'll be dead, which really bums me out. The show doesn't go into out people left ... the world is just deserted. All that's left are animals and the stuff we built. Each segment starts with "x" days or years after people. And well, it's not good. After about 50 years, all our buildings are falling over (the Sears Tower is particularly spectacular ... not in a good way). Then you think about all the animals left in houses .. well, you know how that's going to end. Shoot, even cows in pastures are going to die because they depend on us ... grrrrrr, humans! I can give you the big conclusion ... nature wins. Trees win, kudzu wins ...

Watched a great Spanish/Mexican movie called Don't Tempt Me. Penelope Cruz should work exlusively in Spanish films. I've not seen her in an American movie I've liked (Vanilla Sky, Blow ... haven't seen Vickie Christina Barcelona yet though). My tivo picked this film up as part of my Gael Garcia Bernal film festival. Cruz plays a demon sent back to earth to tempt the soul of a boxer. She's met by a rival angel who is also trying to save the soul of the boxer. Bernal plays the ... chuckle .. operations manager of hell .. yea, operations manager! There's one for heaven too, but his role is great and it's in English. Dang, he needs to be a bigger star than he is ... well, after that stupid Jimmy Fallon interview, I wouldn't blame him for ever wanting to make an American film .. thanks Jimmy, you putz. Anyway, there's a power struggle in hell .. another chuckle ... and good wins out and there's a clever epilogue where you find out what happens to everyone involved. Penelope Cruz was a mafioso when she/he lived on earth (her punishment in hell was to be turned into a woman who is a waitress). So after she does her part in helping the power struggle in hell, she enters a new circle of hell and she becomes javier bardem ... Penelope Cruz's real life boyfriend ... clever clever clever film. A great surprise.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

my tivo is empty!

That time of year methinks. All of my shows are done for the season. I bailed on Bill Maher ... I've watched the HBO show from the beginning and I'm just not feeling it anymore. Maybe it's because President Cheney is gone. I don't know. I get more enjoyment out of Keith and Daily Show now. At least Daily makes me laugh and I find Keith's Oddball segment funnier than Maher's New Rules. Maher needs to retire. He's taken the bitter hat off George Carlin's head and trying ... not very well, to pick up where he left off.

All the Corner Gas's are repeats, I haven't seen any new Total Wrecklamations (ahem, Planet Green?????), 30 Rock, Housewives (I can only stomach the NYC show), Lie to Me, Conchords, Party Down ... done. Life on Mars, gone too soon.

True Blood is starting up this weekend and so is Nurse Jackie. It's a new show with Edie Falco. Can't wait to see how that one is. It's getting good reviews! FX is starting to repeat The Riches, so that's probably coming back soon. I don't know, there's just not a whole lot to write about at this point.

Oh wait ... I promised a rant on Bret Easton Ellis. Ok ok ... I met him once. Well, it wasn't a proper introduction, it was at a book signing at the Chicago Public Library. Glamorama just came out and production was wrapping on American Psycho. I wrote a lengthy paper defending the publication of American Psycho when I was in graduate school, even though it was a stupid book .. yes, I read the damn thing. In the process of writing the paper, I read his other books, Less than Zero and Rules of Attraction. I liked Less that Zero .. beginner's luck methinks. Rules of Attraction stunk! I'm convinced that Ellis was ticked that Attraction didn't sell as well, so he went for broke on Psycho just to sell books, just my theory. Anyway, I watched the movie version of Rules of Attraction and you know .. it wasn't bad. It wasn't great. I thought the movie version of Less than Zero was great. Roger Avery directed Rules of Attraction. I generally enjoy his stuff. I liked Killing Zoe and his work with Tarantino .. he even managed to get a Tarantino mention in the movie .. yes, I'm that much of a geek to notice that, groan! Anyway, Rules could have been so much better if they would have cast ANYONE ANYONE ANYONE other than James Van Der Beek as Sean Bateman (Patrick Bateman is the main character in American Psycho). Seriously, the movie was ruined because I had to sit there at watch Jimmy Dorko Beek makes stupid faces for the duration of the film. It ruined it! He's a terrible actor, what were they thinking??? Everyone else was decent and I'll never be able to listen to Harry Nilsson's, Without You in the same way again .. very disturbing. So anyway ... yes, I met Bret Easton Ellis and he was as pompous as all the main male characters are in his book, only he didn't make stupid faces. He signed my book, thank you, but the book was terrible, barely got through it and from what I understand, Avery has bought the rights to make it into a movie. Sigh ... not again ... well, not with James Vanderbeek I hope. Dang, I hate it when 1 actor ruins an entire movie.

Oh well, it at least introduced me to a really cool song by The Rapture called Out of the Races and on to the Tracks ... very very cool song.