Friday, July 31, 2009

Barack Obama is a lucky bastard today

His team, the White Sox, have acquired one of the best pitchers in the National League.

Jake Peavy(notes), disabled since mid-June and already once having rejected a trade to the Chicago White Sox, was traded in the moments before the trading deadline to the White Sox for four players.

In return for the 2007 Cy Young Award winner the Padres received four pitchers – lefties Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda and righties Dexter Carter and Adam Russell.

The Sox are just 2 1/2 our of the AL Central Race. With Peavy, They've got more than a damn good shot of taking out Detroit for the top spot.

A big old fuck you to VP Sandy Alderson and Owner John Moores. These two assholes let this team burn when they kicked Bruce Bochy to the curb in 2006....after they won the NL West for a second straight year.

I hope you're happy, fuckers.....cause you two (if there's any justice left in this world) pricks should be run outta SD on a fucking rail.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

June Nights

Movie, best: The Hangover. What do a baby, a missing tooth, A Chinese gangster, a stripper/escort, a tiger and Mike Tyson have to do with best friends Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms of The Daily Show fame), and the groom's brother, Alan (Zach Galifianakis)? Plenty, as it turns out, but i'm no snitch. All I can tell you is that The Hangover is summer's best comedy and an instant comedy classic. Galifianakis steals the show as the oddball of the four that head to Vegas for a bachelor party these boys won't forget. That is, if they can remember what the hell happened, find the groom after losing him to a wild night, and come back home in time for his wedding.

*** 1/2 stars out of ****

Movie, worst: I love mindless, stupid action movies. I praised Micheal Bay's work in Transformers for the charm many of the characters had, the near-perfect comic timing, and letting F/X and the action to wow us but allows us to breathe and take in who's fighting who. All of this is chucked out the window by Bay with Revenge of the Fallen, a loud, dumb, violent, racist, and misogynistic spectacle that makes you wonder how in the hell this POS even got made (hint - guys like me and you who made the first Transformers movie a hit). All the charm and teenage awkwardness that Shia LeBeouf showed as Sam Witwicky was sorely lacking. The comedic timing from John Tuturro as Simmons is forced and embarrassing. The Autobots and Decepticons - from the way they transform to how they fight - becomes unexciting to watch. And don't even get me started on Skids and Mudflap....
* 1/2 stars out of ****

Runner-up, godawful: My Sister's Keeper has got to be the most shameless tearjerker that forces you to cry, damnit, cry! This family is being torn apart by the youngest daughter's (Abagail Breslin) decision to sue mommy (Cameron Diaz, in total bitch mode) for emancipation for medical needs becasue she wants to take her kidney away and give it to her dying sister (Sofia Vassilieva) with lymphatic cancer! Squirting any tears yet? I didn't think so. This is a film for the Lifetime channel, not the big screen.

* star out of ****

Surprise, biggest: I walked into The Proposal with low expectations and to get the stench of Revenge of the Fallen off of me. I left with a smile on my face. It's a predictable romcom where the leads get together in the end. What works are the insane mishaps along the way. Margret (Sandra Bullock) bribes his assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her, then getting divorced in order to keep her place as a publisher in Manhattan. You should know what comes next, they meet the parents in the quintessential small town where, in the next few days, shit gets blown out of proportion before the wedding. For what it's worth, Renyolds and Bullock milk it for what it's worth. The jokes don't always stick, but when they do, a big grin will be slapped upon your face.

** 1/2 stars out of ****

Acting, best: Betty White as the crazy grandma in The Proposal. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds had chemistry on-screen, but the 87 year-old best known for her work on Golden Girls steals the show from under the leads. Runner up is Sofia Vassilieva as the cancer-stricken older sister in My Sister's Keeper. I hated the film, but the movie's one star is for her tender and heartfelt performance, that even the filmmakers couldn't sully.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Someone please remove the soapbox from under Nonnan's feet

After some hesitation and a time shift, three major broadcast networks have agreed to carry Barack Obama's latest primetime news conference.

The event was announced Friday afternoon as Obama battles to bolster congressional support for an ambitious health-care overhaul while facing dropping approval ratings.

But broadcasters are struggling with falling approval ratings of their own; Nielsen's audience measurements show viewership in a summertime slump.

The conference will mark the president's fourth primetime press event since he took office six months ago. Such interruptions tend to wreak havoc with network schedules and can cost millions in lost advertising.

CBS, which airs only repeats that evening, agreed early Monday to cover the conference.

But for NBC, Fox and ABC, the decision was tougher. During a summer that's otherwise strewn with repeats, Wednesday includes all of their top-rated reality programs.

The report goes on to state that NBC was reluctant at first to carry the news conference, becasue the intended schedule (9 p.m. ET) conflicted with the networks reality show "America's Got Talent," which airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern. The White House then decided to change the time of the conference to get NBC to air it, one hour earlier, at 8 p.m.

Of course, Noonan bills the network's decision to air the conference as "The Final Degradation of American Government."

Mark, if you're so pissed off about this, then bitch to the big dogs at ABC, NBC, and CBS, you know, the ones who are going to televise the event to begin with, not the Obama White House. Furthermore, if Bush Jr. were still president, gave a news conference about who knows what, and one of the big three decided not to televise the event live, you and your traveling band of psychotic circus freaks would be on your collective soapboxes, bitching to anyone who will listen to you and scream that this is another case of that 'pesky liberal media trying to silence conservative viewpoints!', so please, spare me with your holier-than-thou bullshit, cause the only people listening to your rants are the freaks on your website and the imaginary voices in your head.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Harry Potter and the Oscar, I mean Half-Blood Prince

Die-hard HP fans are steamed that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth of J.K. Rowling's books to be filmed, made many drastic cuts in translation. The fight scene between members of the Order and Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters at the top of the tower at Hogwarts? Poof. The sessions between Dumbledore and Potter diving into select memories to learn about the boy who would become Voldemort? Boiled down to two and a half memories. Let them bitch and moan. This new installment is quite simply, a triumph. The line between family entertainment and brooding fantasy drama is blurred. You're not sure if the young ones, or you, can sit through this delicious, dialogue driven plot and storyline without going to sleep.

Stick with it. The reward is an emotionally satisfying, occasionally hilarious, and hypnotic, haunting drama that earns the Oscar buzz its been receiving. This year, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is ordered by Dumbleore (Michael Gambon) to cozy up to an old colleague, Horace Slughorn (the brilliant Jim Broadbent) in order to coax an important memory of him and young Tom Riddle. The love bug has bitten Ron Weasly (Rupert Grint) and its Lavender Brown (a hilarious Jessie Cave) who makes Won-Won his personal sex slave, much to the jealousy and heartbreak of Hermione (Emma Watson). Kidding about the sex part, though there is innuendo in one scene that's sure to cover a few youngling's eyes from the 'rents. And Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is given a mission by the Dark Lord that could destroy his soul. Why does he continue to return to some old wardrobe every night, what his actual mission is, and why Severus Snape (Alan Rickman is amazing) continues to watch over Malfoy, i'll never tell.

Yes, I said Oscar buzz earlier on...hell, the title of my post suggests that Mr. Potter could make some serious noise in the awards season. Watch cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel work with a poet's eye for capturing the breaching darkness. Listen to composer Nicholas Hooper's beautiful, and haunting score that's sure to put a chill down your spine. Look at how visual effects supervisors Tim Burke and Tim Alexander blend in eye-poping effects (the scene in the cave with Harry and Dumbledore is frighting and spectacular) to move the story along and not merely use it as a crutch. Listen to Steve Kloves' potent screenplay, who remains faithful to Rowling's vision and brings all of the author's themes - life, love, friendship, heartbreak, and death - onto the screen and does it so seamlessly, that nothing is lost in translation from page to screen. And witness all the actors excell, particularly Broadbent and Rickman who practically steal every scene they're in. Watch all that and then tell me that Half-Blood Prince doesn't deserve a piece of the Oscar pie.

At this point, I can honestly say, with no ego, that no other movie this summer will match the magical spell that director David Yates has cast upon the multiplexes. For the longest time, I've waited for the Potter film to transcend from merely solid adaptations into artistic and soul-reaching films. With the Half-Blood Prince, after six films, the wait is over. If this is any indication of what Yates has up his sleeve, the watching the film's two part-finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (film one due out November 2010, and film two July 2011) then by the end, Harry Potter will be seeing gold statuettes by the handfuls for the next two to three years.

**** stars out of ****

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This is some really weird shit

T-Pain and Taylor Swift have done a rap video. No joke. It's both jaw-dropping odd and funny at the same time.

Next collaboration in the works: Lil Wayne and Miley Cyrus. Or at least they're should be.

Friday, July 10, 2009

An example of life happening?

So today, I learn another former alum from the class of 2008 is happily expecting a child, which makes her just the third person I know that's having a kid. Add to that, there are three or more people that I know who are in some form of a relationship that has last lasted 1 + year. Did I forget to mention that one person I knew tied the knot? (Ed. note: i'm completely happy for all the people mentioned and wish them well in all their endeavors.)

My question for tonight: How is it that many of the people from my graduating class are either in:
1.) a long-term relationship,
2.) married,
or 3.) pregnant?

It almost feels like I haven't really done shit since leaving high school...almost...but it's not a totally good feeling, though.