Thursday, August 31, 2006


Courtesy of Galley Brother B.J.: Check out this clip and watch the top right-hand corner at the 0:16 mark. The kicker’s pursuing the play, presumably to try one of the patented kicker crappy dive/chop block tackles. Then, he sees a bunch of blockers coming at him.

So he turns and runs away.

Tragic Little Desperado

Fug Girl Heather listens into a Simpson family meeting. Very funny:

JESSICA SIMPSON: (holds up sign reading: "It's just three pounds, but even if it were 35, I'd still be hotter than you, you tragic little desperado.")

Obligatory Sony Post

This is starting to get overly technical, but you'll get the gist:
Optical drive manufacturers have indicated that yield rates for blue laser diodes have been much behind demand. This shortage has forced Sony to suspend its blue laser shipments so that they can be used in the supposed 4 million PS3s being produced this year. . . .

Apparently the manufacturers of blue laser diodes, which are needed for both the Blu-ray and HD DVD optical drives, have not had much success in improving their yield rates. . . .

This puts Sony in particular in quite a bind. Sony has obviously invested quite a bit in the Blu-ray format and the company would very much like consumers to pick up a Blu-ray player and not an HD DVD player or the HD DVD peripheral for Microsoft's Xbox 360. In order to make sure that the Blu-ray enabled PlayStation 3 does not run into any further problems, Sony has actually suspended shipments of blue laser diodes to other customers so that the components can be used for PS3 manufacturing first.

I'm sure that last part is going to go over well.

Be True To Your School

Last week, the Collegiate Licensing Company published its list of schools whose logos sold the most merchandise. For five years, the University of North Carolina was the most popular. But now, UT-Austin is on top, followed by Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgia, and UNC. No other demographic breakdown is provided so there's no telling what sells where, though I haven't seen too many Texas shirts around here. Of note is George Mason jumping on the list at 73, no doubt benefiting from its tourney run, and Boise State (49) edging out the likes of Georgetown (54), BC (56), and Villanova (58). To see how well your school did, click on the above link.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Eagles Predictions

Galley Friend and Cowboy Super Fan L.B. sends in this hopeful prediction:
Looking at their schedule, they should get off to a hot start. Four of their first 6 games are out of the division and against *bad* teams--Houston, San Fran, Green Bay, and New Orleans--and the two division games (Giants, Dallas) are at home.

They should be at least 4-2 after that stretch, maybe 5-1. Problem is, their finish is brutal. Starting in late November, their last 6 games are: @Indianapolis; Carolina; and then three straight division games on the road--@Skins, @Giants, @Cowboys--before finishing w/Atlanta at home. I think they'd be happy finishing that stretch 3-3. So if they can manage to win 2 or 3 of those middle 4 games in their schedule (@Tampa, Jacksonville, Washington, Tenn) they go 9-7 or 10-6 and make the playoffs.

Looking at their roster (a very cursory look)... I like the Stallworth trade, although I think they're lacking depth at LB and trading Simoneau might come back to haunt them. I like the deep D-line, which should be very good. I'd worry about the secondary, which took a big step back last year. Still, it should be a good defense. On offense, the concern is whether they'll be as pass-happy as they were last year. They need a real running game....

The NFC East should be fun to watch this year--Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys should all be good. I think the Redskins are overrated (see the shellacking their first unit got at the hands of the Patriots last week), and I plan to enjoy watching them not only perform below expectations this year, but be sentenced to salary-cap and no-draft-choices-left hell in the years to come.

That sounds overly-optimistic to me, but I'm a homer.

Happy Birthday, Father Martin

Today is the birthday of Reverend James Martin, SJ. Currently residing at Georgetown University, Father Martin is the oldest Jesuit in the world. He turned 104. And yet, if you snooped around Georgetown's website, you would be hard-pressed to find mere mention of this occasion, which is unfortunate. (His website bio hasn't even been updated in two years.)

Father Martin once drove me from a barbershop back to Georgetown's main campus--he could still get around back then, as a sprightly 90-year-old. ("Drove" might also not be the most accurate word. We sort of just floated down Wisconsin Avenue.) All the while he struck up a conversation with me. I kept telling him my name was Vic and he kept calling me Pat. "So where you from, Pat?" he asked. Martin, who was born when Teddy Roosevelt was president, was once posted in the Philippines and explained to me how he taught the local kids how to play baseball. This was in the 1930s. During the Second World War, he served as an Army-Air Corps chaplain.

Today Father Martin is mostly wheel-chair bound, a little hard of hearing, and a little hard of seeing. But I've been told he still enjoys a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs. We should all be so lucky.

Eagles Talk in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

Galley Friend S.B. sent me this clip of a sports-talk show where the guest is Len Pasquarelli.

I don't know when this was taped, but the host refers to Todd "Stinkston" in the promo. Pasquarelli gets on the air and immediately takes umbrage, asking the host how many times he's gone over the middle in an NFL game and insisting that Pinkston is a pretty good player. After about 20 seconds, Pasquarelli hangs up.

In related news, the Eagles released Pinkston today. They probably didn't do that because they have too much depth at wide-out. Ah, Pasquarelli, the sage of ESPN football. If you paired him in a podcast feature with that genius Sean Salisbury, then I'd totally buy ESPN Mobile.

Just for kicks, watch this clip of Pinkston in action, and pay attention to the last line from the commentators:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

That pretty much sums up my beloved and beleaguered Redskins thus far, going 0-3 in the preseason and getting thumped by the Pats 41-0. But could it be at all possible that the Skins simply haven't revealed their cards, saving them for the regular season and the playoffs? After all, as Michael Wilbon points out, "To showcase all the good stuff in the preseason would be stupid beyond words. Why do that in games that don't count in the standings with players who won't be on the team in three weeks?" Also, "Al Saunders, boss of the offense, said as much the other day. He told The Post's Jason La Canfora that he has used perhaps 2 percent of the 700-page playbook.... The Redskins haven't tried to run any offense and I don't blame Saunders one bit. People who know about such things say Antwaan Randle El is going to be a big part of the offense, and the Redskins have barely had him on the field in the preseason." Not to mention Gibbs's history of preseason losing records in '82 and '91 followed by Super Bowl victories.

Not that Wilbon is convinced. And sadly I'm not either, though I hope I'm wrong. But how far can a team go with a 36-year-old quarterback?

It Has Begun

As most of us hoped knew, Terrell Owens is proving to be a problem in Dallas. It is difficult to explain how satisfying this news is.

What do we think the over/under is for number of games Owens plays for Dallas this year? 10? 12? 4?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Agassi, Pavel

Watching Agassi come roaring out of the gate on his first service game reminded me of a line from Kevin Costner's half-perfect For Love of the Game: "Today I throwing hard, Gus."

Update: If you're still up for some reason, turn on this match on USA. You can sleep tomorrow.

Nerd Alert!

Fine. I admit it. As if I didn't have enough to do. While furniture shopping on Sunday, I happened to pop into an Apple store and happened to purchase almost on a lark Civilization III: Complete. First of all, because I have a G4 and not a G5 or a Mac with Intel, I could not get the highly acclaimed CivIV. Nevertheless. In CivIII: Complete, there are all sorts of new and exciting possibilities, such as playing the Carthaginians or the Spaniards or the Dutch, even. But, as Mr. Last would say, For who? For what? Playing at the Regent level, I find that my Ottomans are getting trounced everywhere they go, swordsmen dying at the hands of feeble archers. Everyone is ganging up on me. And who knew the Hittites were so badass? Am I missing something? (Besides a life.)

If anyone has tips or recommendations, don't be afraid to chime in. You can always post anonymously.

Crossing the Line from Personal to Private

Matus just got this:

I'm jealous. Holler if you got furs, wines, and gems.

Chaucer Blog: Serpentes on a Shippe!

Galley Friend B.W. sends us this link to a spoylerez- and Olde English-filled review of SoaP. For the Medieval scholar in all of us.


A lot of people have written in to tell me that the Blog Crush has lost his fastball (and to suggest that he isn't even writing WWTDD anymore). This post would suggest otherwise.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Philly Moment

From a Philly woman's essay about being an extra in Invincible:
I was then sent to hair and makeup - and was told that my hair and makeup looked "just perfect."

"But you haven't done anything yet."

"Lucky for us you did it so authentically. Saves us time."

"But I'm not looking authentic. This is what I really look like."

"Just go to the holding room, lady. You're done."

God bless Philadelphia.

Good News for PS3

I'm tough, but fair. This is pretty cool.

Snakes on a Plane--The Bay Script

Adding to our Bay Blog archive, sexy Galley Reader Peter sends in the lost Michael Bay scrip for SoaP, reproduced below in its entirety.

Peter, by the way, needs to email me pronto so that I can hook him up with some cool swag and learn the secret to his internet skills.


Snakes on a Plane: Platinum Dunes Pitch

Me and the guys at Platinum Dunes were working over Snakes on a Plane for New Line, but they passed it to David Ellis (genius of stunts, dude trained under the MASTER Hal Needham), which we were cool with, but now they’re courting Sam Jackson and they’ve gone and changed the f*cking title to f*cking Flight 121. I’m so f*cking annoyed, we’re totally not giving them our rewrites. I mean I’m not as annoyed as I was with Jessica Alba for refusing to eat Brooke Burke’s asshole out, but pretty annoyed. We put in some serious work into our treatment and notes, and they’re going in a completely different direction. Kozy (aka Scott Kozar) did a pass, but it was me and Jerry Stahl who worked out a great treatment that could easily be turned into an outline. sh*t was genius. We even had a couple of taglines ("Coffee? Tea? VENOM?" "They have all the leg room they need!” “Death on no legs!" “No legs. No mercy. No escape” "The lavatory is occupied . . . with snakes!" “You''ve never seen TERROR on this SCALE before!“) But if this work is going to waste, I figured I’d share it before FLIGHT 121 hits. Then you can decide which is the better movie (ours).

So anyway, here was our outline:

Voice over during credits:
"Flight 121 this is tower, what seems to be the problem?"

"There are snakes. On our plane. Over."

Fade in: Nick Steele is working as an undercover cop, who's working a drug bust. Chasing some Haitians, he and his partner get caught and tied up and tortured. With snakes. Steele passes out and they kill his partner first, but just then backup arrives and shoots the snake and the Haitians. Nick’s nickname? Mongoose.

After this stress he plans to go on vacation to see his mom. And he’s got a flight from LA to Hawaii. He’s a little unsure of himself, and he hates both snakes and planes because he was the son of a respected Air Force General, and his father died getting bitten by a snake while piloting a stealth bomber

Unfortunately, he’s on a plane under terrorist attacks. The snakes on the plane . . . They're super-smart snakes controlled by Arabs. Remote controlled. Brain implants. Terrorist snakes. They can also communicate with Morse code. There are fifteen snakes, and one is a good Snake, which was from a circus and was trained to fly a plane, while the other has a menacing red stripe down his back. All are poisonous, but only the two lead snakes can almost make human words, due to genetic mutations (again, that’d be part of the bitchin’ credit sequence, where you’d see coils of snakes wrapping around the credits and asphyxiating them).

On the flight are some random people (and a lot of Japanese tourists, cause they’re going to Hawaii and because I think it would be creepy to have them scream Hebi! often), but the main characters are Sally, the lead stewardess, to be played by Jessica Alba or Rachel Bilson (if Adam Brody’s cool with their “open relationship”), the bimbette stewardess (played by whomever I’m f*cking that month), the Selfish guy (played by Wayne Knight), and the betrayer Winston. There’s also a horny couple, a cheating husband, and the pilots, aka snake snacks. There’s also a wisecracking black guy who hates flying. The plane takes off under ominous conditions, and the characters are introduced as the plane settles into take off. Then we see the snakes breaking out of their suitcases. The passengers are oblivious at first, one thinks it’s the kid in front of him brushing his leg, but the snakes know to go to the front, though one stops off in the toilet, just as our horny young couple lock themselves in the bathroom:

"Don''t you want to join the mile high club?"


He unzips, she reaches in:

"Man that''s a big one."

"Really, I mean . . . yeah of course. Why don't you, you know, kiss it."

Then Girl goes down on her knees for a SNAKE ATTACK, and both die as the stewardess, who knew the two were going in there, figure the couple is copulating, when in fact they’re both dying. The snakes then make their way to the cockpit. Fade out

Fade in on a secondary stewardess going into the c*ck pit, and pushing the Captain. . . . But he’s dead! Then she pushes the copilot and he’s dead too, and when she attempts to give him mouth to mouth, a snake jumps out of the dudes throat and kills her!

She hits the controls, and the plane encounters serious turbulence and instead of the oxygen masks dropping down, SNAKES DROP DOWN! (in this sequence a snake slips in between some chick’s massive cleavage). Nick rushes to the front and grabs two snakes by their tails and whips them against the cockpit and hits the autopilot button, and grabs the speaker to let the passengers know of their fate. There’s a snake POV shot, and Nick’s about to get bit, when the hero snake kills the other snake for him. Hero snake and Nick have a moment, and then hero snake slithers off as the evil snake kills the comedic black dude and heads for the cockpit. For you see, these snakes know how to fly planes.

One selfish guy grabs the plane's lone parachute from a woman about to give birth and given a way out of the horror he goes to the cargo area and jumps out of the plane ("See ya, suckers!") and gets to the point where it's time to pull the cord. Can you guess what is wrapped up in the chute and lands on his head, biting him furiously?

Everyone notes that the snakes have all gone to the front of the plane, so they cram into coach. Nick takes control but Winston bucks at his lead. Winston’s a c*cksure Wall Street guy whose father runs a Fortune 500 company. While arguing Nick hears Morse code. The hero snake tells him about the plan of the evil snakes. They’re going to pilot this jet into the Oscar ceremony, which coincidentally starts in 45 minutes! Winston disappears, and goes to the cockpit, and as he knows Morse code too, makes a deal with the evil leader snake, but we don’t know for what. He comes back saying he was using the bathroom.

Nick and Sally begin fashioning weapons, he then tells her why he hates snakes and flying, cause his dad died piloting the stealth, and that he used to be a top gun, but couldn’t fly any more after his dad died. The passengers create crude weapons out of wheeled luggage ("Let''s roll!"). It’s here where Nick grabs a minute with the hero snake, and names him Ace. Ace says he can talk a little and says,

"You---Me. Sssssssssssssame."

He also finds out these snakes can breed like crazy and in the cargo area there are already hundreds of snakes waiting for the call!

But as the boys are gearing up, they hear some tapping, and it’s Winston who’s signaling the snakes. Nick knows what the guy’s saying, and belts him one.

"I thought it was only the snakes who were cold blooded, but I guess I was wrong."

Nick is about to kill him, but decides,

"You're not even worth it."

Which allows Winston a chance to swing at Nick with the baseball bat he found in a carryon bag, but right as he's about to, he trips into the cargo area and is stuck in A PIT OF SNAKES THAT EAT HIM ALIVE! Now everyone knows that they're between the cockpit of doom and the cargohold of death.

But there’s an older businessman and he tells of how he cheated on his wife, and how he cheated on his taxes.

“I want something I haven’t had in thirty years . . . Dignity.”

So he heads downstairs and opens the tail thing and sacrifices himself to kill all the snakes below. He succeeds.

There’s only ten snakes left at the front of the plane, but they’ve circled around the c*ck pit. With Mongoose and Ace coming up front, it’s a deadly game of cat and mouse in the first class section (where there should be the trappings of wealth juxtaposed against the snakes… it’d be meaningful that way), and the boys and the rest of the surviving passengers kill them off, but Ace knows something… He can’t find the evil snake. Nick’s not worried about this, and he and Sally moves the pilots out and sweep the room for snakes while he and Ace pilot up. Suddenly they seem to be losing gas, and there’s something wrong. Because the auto pilot no longer works Nick is stuck in the pilot seat, while Ace goes down and finds that he has to have a duel off against the evil snake! I won’t spoil it, but the fight sequence would have been awesome!

So the snakes are gone (save for our hero snake) but Ace is forced to hold parts together with his body!
("Just a little longer, Ace. Just a little longer!") But he''ll die, and yet his massive coils are the only thing that can hold the plane together! Fortunately, he does what needs to be done, because that's what hero snakes with hearts of gold do! Finally Nick lands safely! But the snake is dead! Nick eulogizes Ace ("He was just trying to get home, just like the rest of us. Maybe we ain''t so different after all.") Sally offers to buy him a Mai Tai, even though they’re still in LA, but it sounds like they’re gonna do it soon.

You think that’s it, but wait . . . Final sequence of the movie, a rescue team finds the mervous guy’s body, and they take him on their helicopter. Though dead, there's movement on his body, and the film ends as his stomach explodes as it was full of snakes! Thus paving the way for SNAKES ON A HELICOPTER.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still Not in Movie Jail

It's almost Friday and I have a gift. For you. Links to what I can cobble together of the archive from the once-great Michael Bay Blog:

* Still Not in Movie Jail

* Mo cuishling for the puishling

* On Women and Science Fiction

* Dear Trey Parker . . . Suck it.

* Oscar Report Card

This is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. The real motherload is the two greatest Bay Blog posts of all time:

"Dating Fez"


"Snakes on a Plane: Platinum Dunes Pitch"

If any of you interweb geniuses can figure out how to rescue those posts from the mists of time, there'll be booty in it for you.

I knew Sumner Redstone reminded me of someone. The late Ralph Bellamy comes to mind. As do Keith Richards and the Crypt Keeper.

PS3 Shortages on the Horizon

Why am I obsessed with Sony's PS3 blunder?

Why do we watch professional bull riding? Impending calamity is interesting.

We noted earlier that Sony hadn't even begun prodution on the PS3. Other people are noticing, too. According to this report:
Japanese brokerage Mitsubishi UJF Securities has lowered its rating on Sony, predicting a 50 per cent shortfall in the company's launch estimates for the PS3 which sent the share price down 3 per cent.

According to a report on Reuters, the analyst believes that component shortages - such as those which plagued Microsoft's Xbox 360 launch last year - will mean that Sony is unable to manufacture anything like the number of consoles planned in the short term.

"In the medium term this would mean that it would take longer for Sony to recover its huge investment in PS3 and thus we are downgrading the stock," stated Masahiko Ishino, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analyst.

Shares in the company fell by 3.2 per cent on the announcement, investors wary of Sony's ability to deliver on its shipment forecast for the PlayStation 3.

The news comes just days after the platform holder clarified its November launch plans, forecasting 2 million units for the launch, with a further 2 million by the end of the calendar year.

Power to the Firecrotch. Bitches.

I can't properly express how tickled I was to get a Pajiba add on GS because, as you and I both know, even their ads are funnier than anything on this site. If they don't buy another one after this ad expires, I may see how much they'd charge me to keep it running.

Anyway, they've got some good gossip on the coming SNL firings. Four cast members are getting the axe, and Pajiba says three of them may be Parnell, Sanz, and Kenan Thompson. I'd be sad to see Parnell go.

If you haven't read Tom Shale's excellent SNL history, you should. It wouldn't surprise me if Dr. Evil purposely leaked the news of the firings just to make his cast sweat. As one of the former SNLers told Shales--and I paraphrase here--"Lorne loves us. We're all like his children. He just likes to see his children kill one another."

If someone has the exact quote so that I don't have to dig it out, let me know.

Update: The Fug Girls remind us that Xtina was the original Firecrotch. Really, go click on that link. It's totally SFW. It's just not safe for your post-Bratman fantasies. I'm talking to you, M.G.

The New Yorker iPod?

Is this the greatest, or silliest, invention ever? Not content to put their entire archive on DVD--which was the best thing I bought last year--the New Yorker has put their entire archive on a custom-made USB drive. So you can take it anywhere.

Don't get me wrong. It's sassy and I love it. But why would I pay $299 for the portable complete New Yorker, when I can get the DVDs for $63.

And why do I need the New Yorker to be portable in the first place?

Don't get me wrong: It's the greatest magazine on the planet. But . . .

Geeking Out at the Post Office

Someone who loves me recently got me this fabulous trinket from the USPS. Are these the coolest stamps since Elvis? Yes. Yes they are.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Just for Matus

I'm not even sure he reads this blog anymore, but this Bill Simmons mailbag is just for Vic:
Q: After the "Entourage" episode when Vince had $300,000 riding on multiple blackjack hands and the chucklehead sitting to his left split his face cards, as it always does for Vince's crew, things worked out and dealer busted, followed by Ari kissing the chucklehead on his bald dome. Shouldn't there have been a Public Service Announcement at the end of the episode instructing amateurs not to split a 20. ... Or at least have had Johnny Drama beat the pulp out of the dude in the final scene while screaming "Never split a 20!"?
--Ben, Charlotte, N.C.

SG: I like the idea of the public service announcement. It could have been like one of those '80s sitcom moments -- Vince and the gang staring seriously into the camera and saying, "Tonight's episode was a dramatization. In real life, you should never split 10s when someone else has $300,000 riding on the table, unless you want to be beaten up, mutilated or murdered outside the casino later that same night. Please respect everyone else at your table. Thank you."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wii Ad

Pursuant to our earlier Wii discussion, a reader sends in this link to what is the funniest ad you'll see for a very long time. Modeled on the PC/Mac ads, it features the Serious, Powerful PS3 and the Cheap, Fun Wii.

So hot.

Snakes on the Motherfucking Catwalk

While you were lounging poolside at the Marmont, Josh Friedman was posting genius here and here.

Sam Jackson

Galley Reader S.H. sends us this link to the Onion's A.V. Club interview with Sam Jackson. Highlights:
VC: You're doing the voice of God for an audiobook version of the Bible. How does the voice of God differ from the voice of Samuel L. Jackson?

SLJ: Not very much.

AVC: How do you get into character for that?

SLJ: I don't. I just kind of read it and hope it sounds omnipotent. There's no formula for that. [I don't] say "I'm going to be God now, how do I need to sound?" I don't know. Nobody knows. The good thing about that is that God's not talking to people as much as he used to in the Old Testament, so nobody really knows if he sounds like me or not. So I can get away with it.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wii for about $170

It's not quite official confirmation, but it seems likely. Meanwhile, Sony hasn't begun manufacture of the PS3 yet.

So here's a question: If, in November, the Nintendo Wii is $170, the xBox 360 drops to $299, and there's a shortage of $600 PS3s, which system would you be least likely to buy?

6'4", 285 lbs . . . QB!

Galley Brother B.J. writes in about the Hefty Lefty, Jared Lorenzen:

This guy could be my favorite non-Eagle backup player in the league. I watched about 20 minutes of the 3rd – 4th quarters of the Giants vs. Chiefs preseason game last night 'cause (1) I was waiting for the UFC to start and (2) I wanted to see this guy in action. I’d heard about him before he was drafted, but last night was the first time I saw him play. It’s one of the craziest things to watch. The starters for both teams were hanging on the sidelines being bored because it’s the end of a preseason game. Then, this guy comes in and immediately everyone starts paying attention. He’s a 6-4 285 lbs (not a typo 285 lbs) QB. It’s like watching a lineman play QB.

Thing is, I don’t think he’ll make the Giants. For some reason Tim Hasselback is firmly entrenched in the #2 spot, which I don’t understand because I don’t think he’s ever been rated higher than 65 in Madden (my guess is that its one of the new NFL rules where if a Manning is your starting QB you have to have an embarrassing backup to avoid QB controversy & just to make the Manning look even better). Apparently, it’s a battle for the #3 spot between this guy & wait for it . . . Rob Johnson.

Yeah, that Rob Johnson who damn near caused riots in Buffalo when Wade Phillips kept starting him over Doug Flutie. So if history is any guide, Rob Johnson will win another underserved roster spot & the Hefty Lefty, Jared Lorenzen, will get cut (hopefully, he’ll get picked up by a team I like).

But, on the bright side if Rob Johnson does make the team, Tom Coughlin will probably decide to start him in the playoffs if the Giants get there.

Update: Galley Reader and Redskins Super Fan P.G. writes:

Everyone should know who Jared Lorenzen is because he was part of the one of the top-5 NCAA football games of all time. LSU-Kentucky 2002, check out the highlight. Watch the part where the fans who prematurely stormed the field react in horror as they realize what happened.

Lorenzen will be a starter in the NFL some day; he throws the ball as far as anyone in the league. He’s also mobile for a 285lb white boy. He’s far more mobile than Drew Bledsoe or Patrick Ramsey.

Rachel McAdams

Read this and tell me you don't love her even more.

I stand by my earlier claim that 20 years from now, Mean Girls will be remembered not as a LiLo vehicle, but as the film that launched McAdams's career.

Trailer City

Like Galley Friend S.B., I love Jason Statham, who's one of the more unlikely action stars of recent years. And I think that Crank looks pretty fun, if not quite as crazy-ambitious as the trailer for the two Transporter movies.

You can practically here Amy Smart thinking to herself, "I take my clothes off for Tom Green and THIS is what I get?"

The '80s

Galley Friend Michael Brandon McClellan has written a stirring ode to the '80s which, as an essay, is worth reading on its own. But it's actually just the wind-up to his asking: What is the Greatest '80s Movie?

Note, he's not asking for the greatest movie of the '80s, but for the best and most representative film of the decade. He lists a number of excellent contenders. I would narrow the field to five nominees, each for a different reason:

The Empire Strikes Back

Rocky IV

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Top Gun



Reality vs. The Simpsons

This clip of a Japanese gameshow is either the funniest or most disturbing thing you'll see this week.

Bonus points for anyone who can translate the tongue-twister they're trying to say.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Baby Fish Mouth!

This past Monday, actor Bruno Kirby died from complications related to leukemia. He was 57. Kirby will always be remembered for his supporting roles in such films as When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, and The Freshman. And you wanted to wring his neck as Lt. Hauk in Good Morning, Vietnam. Of course Kirby (born Bruno Giovanni Quidaciolu) got his big break playing the young Peter Clemenza (originally played by Richard Castellano) in The Godfather Part II. In The Godfather Companion, Peter Biskind explains how Kirby landed the role--or almost didn't:

Kirby never read for the role, probably because the part was in Sicilian, which he couldn't speak. "All the Italians in show business" showed up at the office where Coppola was casting, says Kirby.... He was a young man at the time and came with his father, Bruce Kirby, also an actor. Coppola and Kirby Sr. started to speak in Italian. Coppola asked him if his son spoke Italian. "My father, who was from the 'Say Yes' school of acting, said 'Yes,' even though I didn't speak a word. Francis started to speak to me, and he couldn't understand anything I said. 'I thought he spoke Italian,' Francis said. My father answered, 'Street Italian, a word here, a word there,' and asked if Francis had a part for me. Francis said, 'I got lots of parts. Don't worry about it.' It was a terrible interview; I thought it was all over." But it wasn't. Kirby had played Richard Castellano's son on a TV series called "The Super," where he'd had the opportunity to study his mannerisms. This, he thinks, is what got him the role.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Trailer City

I'm sure it'll be a letdown, but the trailer for Hollywoodland looks pretty good. You could learn to love Ben Affleck again if you tried.

And how about 10th and Wolf? You knew it was only a matter of time before Val Kilmer and Tommy Lee worked together.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Forget the Cristal. Stop passing the Courvoisier. Former Ohio State tailback Maurice Clarett has chosen to endorse Grey Goose vodka. And what looks like a lint remover. And yes, what resembles an AK-47 with a modified stock. Can you say sniper? (If there are any gun enthusiasts out there, feel free to correct or clarify.)

BSG Season 3

There's a trailer for the new season of Battlestar Galactica. It's pretty good.

I mean, if you're into that sort of thing.
It turns out Mel Gibson is not the only one with drinking problems these days. Now, Robin Williams has checked himself into a clinic. The actor/comedian has supposedly been dry for the last 20 years but only recently fell off the wagon. Williams's publicist, however, has not commented as to when exactly he started drinking again.

My guess is around the time of Bicentennial Man.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Moral Hazard

Galley Friend S.B. writes, "For the record, I walk the slugger. But I'm also a bad person. I've made that choice, and I'll live with it."

That is a level to which even I will not go. And that's saying something.

"Bully" Video Game Coming Soon

But does it feature Bijou Phillips?

(That's just a shout-out to M.G.)

Nintendo Wii Launch Date

Galley Brother B.J. notes that on Amazon, some Wii games has release dates as early as October 2.

Is this typical Amazonian guestimation, or a sign?

The NBA's Most Profitable Franchise: The St. Louis Spirits

The LA Times has done it again with this fabulous story:
Roughly once a month, the NBA cuts 31 checks to NBA teams as revenue from its multibillion-dollar national television contract.

There are only 30 NBA franchises, so who gets the extra check?

The money goes to brothers Ozzie and Dan Silna, co-owners of the long-forgotten ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis.

Thirty years ago, Ozzie Silna, with attorney Donald Schupak, negotiated a deal that cleared the way for the ABA to merge with the NBA. It ranks as one of the best sports deals in modern times, one that has paid the Silnas about $168 million and continues to pay off. . . .

Part of the Silnas' deal called for them to receive one-seventh of the annual TV revenue from each of the four ABA teams entering the NBA. The deal turned out to be so lucrative that several NBA teams have tried to break it, without success. . . .

The key line in the Silnas' TV contract that makes NBA executives cringe reads: "The right to receive such revenues shall continue for as long as the NBA or its successors continues in its existence."

In other words, the deal lasts as long as the NBA does.

Another key component is that Silna, anticipating the NBA expanding, capped the brothers' portion of shared television revenue at a maximum of 28 teams. The other NBA teams share their revenue among all 30 teams. . . .

In 1976 the ABA reached a merger deal with the NBA. The NBA agreed to take four of the six teams from the dismantling ABA. The Spirits and the Kentucky Colonels were not invited to join the league. However, the ABA owners needed to reach unanimous approval for the merger to take place.

John Y. Brown, owner of the Kentucky Colonels, quickly accepted a $3.3-million buyout as compensation. That deal was also offered to the Silnas.

But Ozzie Silna kept haggling for more, and he finally reached a deal in a swank Massachusetts hotel room. The Silnas would get $3 million, plus a share of the TV revenue from the four teams entering the NBA.

The story gets better.

I'd venture to guess that the "share" that the Silnas own is more profitable than some of the small-market NBA teams. The only thing the Times story doesn't address is what happens to this arrangement upon Silnas' death? Does that stream of revenue pass to their estate?

Whoever their contract attorney was, he deserves to be in the Legal Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Joe Francis and the L.A. Times

The next time someone complains about what a terrible paper the Los Angeles Times is, send them this unbelievable Claire Hoffman profile of Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis. In terms of writerly and reportorial degree of difficulty, this is the hardest-to-execute piece I've read in a very long time.

You know what? You're sassy and I love it--give her a T-shirt.

Sony Does It Again

When you’re trying to convince people to pay $600 for your video game console largely because it has a blu-ray player, it might not be the best idea to come out and talk about how the future is digital downloading and not disc drives.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Invincible, the movie about the life of Eagles walk-on Vince Papale, is the greatest film ever made. The history of cinema has some amazing achievements, and to be totally honest, The 400 Blows, Citizen Kane, and Casablanca are all better than Invincible.

Not by much, though.

A few unsorted thoughts:

(1) Making a movie like this is harder than you think. Inspirational sports stories are mass-produced and every scene and sentiment already exists in an off-the-shelf version. You have to make conscious decisions to avoid these pre-fab moments. First-time director Ericson Core (whose name sounds like a cell phone) pulls this off at almost every turn.

(2) Are there one or two beats where it feels like you're watching Rudy: The NFL Years? Admittedly, yes. But these are the exceptions.

(3) Core and the production staff have gotten late-'70s Philadelphia exactly right: the striking union workers, the residential neighborhoods cheek-by-jowl with industrial space, the trash-strewn streets, the working-class neighborhoods and row-houses. This is what the gritty, waning metropolis felt like during those dark days.

(4) The cast is also perfectly Philadelphia. Nobody in this movie looks like an actor (with two exceptions)--the faces are ruddy and mottled. Even Marky Mark looks aged and weather-beaten. It's a performance without vanity.

(5) Greg Kinnear does for Dick Vermeil what Will Smith did for Ali. It's uncanny. Also uncanny is how much actress Elizabeth Banks looks like a blonde Parker Posey.

(6) There is one moment of brief homage to Boogie Nights which will thrill PTA fans. And if I was a cruel, unfeeling movie critic from, say, Dallas, I would stupidly complain that at times you half expect Papale to turn to Vermeil and ask, "Do you want me to use the Spanish accent this time, coach?"

(7) Endings are hard. Very, very hard. Invincible ends perfectly, at the exact right moment. And the coda with 8mm clips of the real Papale and Vermeil is genius.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Airplane Porn

This has nothing to do with anything, but if you're a guy, then there's a good chance that you have a fascination with military airplanes. And if you do, then this is just about the greatest site ever. It's filled with beautiful (and surprisingly affordable) models of planes of nearly every make and vintage. My personal favorite is the F4U-1 Corsair:

You could lose a lot of time window-shopping on this site. Particularly if you looked at the menu bar on the left and saw that they have ships, too.
Public Service Announcement: My friend and fellow blogger Howard Mortman passes along this important link to, which is currently conducting a "national treasure hunt" to help the needy families of those currently serving in our armed forces. It's a worthy cause.

In other news, has there been as much hype and underground marketing for a film as there's been for Snakes on a Plane? Case in point: You can actually get Samuel L. Jackson to call up a friend and leave an automated message with remarkable details, including your name, the recipient's name, occupation, and hobbies. (God knows how long Jackson must have spent recording every possible name.)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

It's a Manning World After All

Galley Brother B.J. sends in this NFL rule change and comments:
If this doesn’t work next year, there’ll be a rule requiring the opposing quarterbacks in the Superbowl to be brothers.

Also, fumbles are now still live after the whistle, gee that’s not going to lead to a bunch of late hits.

Greatest Musicals Ever

The clip from the aborted Batman musical last week reminded me of nothing so much as one of the ingenius Simpsons musical spoofs, the best of which was this amazing Stop The Planet of the Apes: I Want to Get Off. If you can find links to the Betty Ford musical and others, I'll post them.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mechanical Bill Simmons

I don't have time to fill out this random Sports Guy column generator, but if you do and you send me the column it spits out, I'll post it.

Update: Courtesy of Galley Friend S.B.:

The Sports Guy Goes to an Auction

So I'm sitting there the other day watching ESPN2 and I see that Derek Jeter
had a great game. There is nobody, with the possible exception of Grady
Little, that I dislike more than Derek Jeter. In the pantheon of people that
'Make the Sports Guy Mark Loretta,' these two are a 'Mark Loretta.

The phone rings. It's my friend Bish. very, very angry! Bish is always
willing to discuss our mutual distaste for Derek Jeter. Don't get me
wrong--we respect his abilities. But he's the Squiggy of sports. Totally
annoying, yet on TV all the time. Bish mentions that it would be nice if
Derek Jeter caught a case of dysentary at the beginning of September, paving
the way for the Red Sox to the playoffs like William Henderson on The Clear.

Bish points out that the chances that Derek Jeter will come down with
dysentary in September are minimal, but that if we expanded the
possibilities, there would be a greater chance for debilitating success. As
usual, Bish is a crazy genius.

Here is what we came up with:

4. Derek Jeter receives a vicious Camel Clutch from Big Papi in front of
40,000 fans jammed into The Garden.

(On a side note, has there ever been a greater moment in sports than when
Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre the Giant? I don't even care if it was fake,
that was awesome. That rivals when Rudy getting carried off the field for
'Most Inspiration Non-Real Sports Moment 2006.)

3. Derek Jeter is informed by his wife that their child was not fathered by
him but rather by either Eddie Guardado or Isiah Thomas.

2. Derek Jeter hangs scrapbook-style clippings of Brandon Walsh and
Daniel-San in his locker and is immediately put on the DL.

1. Derek Jeter meets the gay guy from Real World, falls in love, and leaves
team to begin filming 'My Fair Yankee.'

After we finish with the conversation about Derek Jeter we turn ourselves to
the real topic of conversation, the upcoming draft of the Linda Cohn is Sexy
Memorial Baseball Association, a new fantasy league that Bish and I will be
joining this year.

Ordinarily, I'm never an advocate of partnering up to own a fantasy baseball
team. That's like getting picked up by Anna Benson and going back to her
place, only to find out that Wilt Chamberlain is already there. If the best
you get is to share, sometimes it's not worth it at all, right?

However, this league only had one slot open, so Bish and I agreed to partner
up, in the hope that one of us could switch over and manage the next
vacancy. After much debate, and eliminating the excellent possibilities of
'Naked Risk with cake' and 'Yokozuna's Shiny stripperss as potential team
names, we settle on 'The NY Wankers.'

The thing that's exciting about this league is that it's an auction format
league, which is totally different than a draft league. I mean, it seems as
though it would be the same as a draft league, but it's not. It's like the
difference between NHL 93 and NHL 94-you take out fighting and add
one-timers, you've got a whole different game, even if they are both hockey.
Any good sports fan knows that undefined but not everyone knows how to do an

Pre-Auction preparation is important. First, it is important to choose a
date when the auction will take place. This is easy. Choose the date when
the whipped guy does not have to go to a play, and that's your date. Finding
the whipped-guy-can-make-it date is crucial for auction success. (speaking
of which, what is with all these girlfriends who think that 'fantasy draft'
is code for 'I'm going to have my buddies over to watch Def Leppard perform
songs by George Muresan while I lube job? Though that would be cool.)

Next, and more difficult, is the auction location selection. Many times
people will choose to have their auction in a strip club. This is a bad
idea. Nothing good can come of this; at the end of the day every person in
the room is going to be Hooray! and have an extremely sore undefined after
four hours.

No, the auction must be held in someone's house-biggest furnished basement
wins. The coolness of the wife/significant other can be a deciding factor if
two people have similar options-say, if owner A has a Madden '06 arcade
game, but owner B has a case of Miller Lite. Nothing will kill a fun evening
faster than the host's wife emasculating him with a 'Go sleep on the couch.'
We have selected next Tuesday night, at 8 pm, at a guy's house where his
wife will be in hopscotch, and therefore unable to disrupt the festivities.

I will not be sharing with you my player ratings for this coming
season-after all, Greg Raymer doesn't play poker with the hand face up-but I
will give you some insight into my auction strategy. The thing is, an
auction has so much more of an influence on your season than a draft does.
In an auction, every player in the league is at your disposal. Everyone
starts out equal. It's the conservative of fantasy sports.

It's also like a Marathon running. It requires endurance, it requires
stamina, it requires concentration and planning. Without further ado, here
is my 'Sports Guy Auction Strategy Guide':

Round One-work the body

Once the auction starts, timing and strategy are much more important than
they are in a traditional draft. The first hour or so of the auction has to
be spent feeling out your opponents. Are they particularly loyal to the
Devil Rays? Do they have a tendency toward mouth breathing? You are looking
for weaknesses that you can exploit later on. Store these like baseball

Here is a good place to test people by chucking out a few names of guys
you-d never want on your team-aging, oft-injured players, like Derrek Lee,
or over-hyped rookies that will never pan out like Cliff Floyd.

Everyone is going to get some good players at this point, so make sure you
don-t overpay and find yourself begging for money like Johnn Drama asking
for Vinny Chase's AMEX Black.

Round Two-Have a Sense of political science

In round two, there will be one moment that defines your draft. Things will
be going along smoothly, and all of a sudden you'll get involved in a
bidding war on a player. It's not unlike a big pot in a no-limit hold-em
tournament-you'll have your the Joker-Batman in Batman moment, and you need
to decide what to do.

Oftentimes, this will come down to a single dollar, here or there-if you bid
high waiver wire for Doc Gooden, you know you'll get him, but you're facing
a bid with the clock ticking. Are you going to be a hero, carried off the
field like Big Papi? Or are you Jim Mora Sr., skulking off the field into
the jeering history of your team's fans, with only your family still willing
to speak with you. Now is your moment. Set the tone.

Round Three-Moving Day

Hour three of the draft is moving day, like the third day of The Masters.
You need to shoot a 70. This is where you'll fill out a lot of the players
that, while less sensual, make up the core of your team. Do not discount the
importance of moving day. If you wait until the next phase to build the core
of your team, you'll find yourself as lonely as Paris Hilton in a The
Catholic League service.

Moving day is the time to make things happen for your team. This is where
you are going to define the season that you have. If you end up moving day
by taking an accurate mix of future stars, injury-risk players, and Mark
Loretta, you'll be okay.

Round Four-The Game of Trivial Pursuit

By the end of the fantasy auction, the endeavor has become Ridiculous. The
only thing it can be compared to is a game of Trivial Pursuit, played among
friends. Something that, at the beginning of the endeavor, seemed like such
fun, but by the end of it, is just a group of people banging their heads
against the wall, adamantly trying to finish what they started, the joy of
competing against your friends replaced with a desire to prove that you are
the duke of All Trivia and that is that.

In this phase of the auction, you must be careful. This is the 'go get your
****ing shinebox' moment of the draft. People will be exploding like
grenade, screaming incomprehensible things like the low talker and
threatening to throw a fit if they do not get their way.

Just bite your lip, set your jaw, and try and endure. It's a long season
coming forward.

'You can do it!'

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Joker Sings

Seriously. Stop whatever you're doing now and go to AICN, which has posted a sample clip of a musical number from the aborted production of Batman: The Musical.

It's the Joker, singing his little heart out.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Actor, Rower, Swordsman, Spy

Last night's Inside the Actor's Studio featured Hugh Laurie, who is both cooler and more quick-witted than Dr. Gregory House. It turns out that he was a stud rower at Eton and Cambridge and while at university was snogging Emma Thompson.

You'll want to catch it on repeat.