Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Pajiba has a list of their Favorite Craptastic Horror Films. It's pretty great.

The Lagging Edge

Have you heard of PCRetro? They sell old and obsolete computers--for less! How do they do it? Volume.

This isn't a joke, mind you. Have you been wishing you could find the old G4 Mac Mini? They've got 'em, for only $499.

How about an old Compaq Deskpro Pentium 3? It's yours for only $39.95! Hurry, while supplies last.

Monday, October 30, 2006

All Hail the Internet

This will make no sense unless you grew up in the Philadelphia area between 1980 and 1983. But if you did, it turns out that there's a StarStuff fan site.

And also a MySpace page.

And also a Youtube gallery.

The Interweb may be lousy for all sorts of reasons, but it make indulging in childhood nostalgia deliciously easy.

PS 3 Wins?

GameDaily constructs what is probably the strongest case to be made for Sony's PS3 prospects. I still don't find it all that convincing.

Bonus: Here's the new PS3 ad. Watch it and tell me if it makes any sense to you. Maybe the problem is that I'm not Japanese.

Extra-Bonus: By comparison, check out this fantastic early Dreamcast ad for Sega's NFL 2K:

Trailer City

What are the two biggest surprises about Smokin' Aces?

(1) That this thing is not directed by Tarantino, and

(2) How much Ben Affleck looks like Freddie Mercury. Why did we never see that before?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Superman Soars!

Alert Gally Readers will recall that WB prexy Alan Horn said last summer that unless Superman Returns topped $200M domestically, there would be no sequel. We now have proof that where there's a will, there's a way:

Last weekend, on its 117th day of release, Superman Returns cracked the $200M mark.

Today, after 121 days in theaters, Superman Returns is sporting a titanic $200,028,903 in domestic box office.

Just how much corporate will did it take to accomplish this feat? For the last few weeks, Superman Returns has been playing in about 300 theaters and averaging--get this:

Between $16 and $277 per theater!

You don't see corporate commitment like that every day.

A Film by Emilio Estevez

The set up to the joke is pretty great: Harry Belafonte, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, David Krumholtz, Ashton Kutcher, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, and Elijah Wood walk into a bar . . .

But the punchline seems so lame that it's kind of depressing.

The Departed: Best Picture?

I've been meaning to say something about The Departed for a while now, but I kept putting it off until I could see. I still haven't seen it, but that isn't going to stop me from pointing out its impressive box office run.

The Departed opened to relatively little fanfare--it got good reviews, but the ad push preceeded the release by only about two weeks. Certainly, it's the lowest-profile Scorsese picture in a very, very long time; probably since The Color of Money (if you discount the artsy Kundun). Consequently, it opened to a relatively modest $26M. (Although that's a career-best for Scorsese.)

But if you look at the numbers since then, Departed is showing fantastic legs, with weekend declines of 29.2 percent and 29.3 percent. It's already got $80M in the bank domestically and I suspect it will chug along to at least the $100M mark--and that's before it gets a nomination for Best Picture.

Again--I haven't seen the movie yet--but just from the externalities, The Departed has all the makings of a BP nominee: an artistically ambitious, but popular, movie that succeeds over long period of time and is directed by a revered figure who's been overlooked by the Academy. A movie with that pedigree is a lock for a nomination, even if it stinks.

Keep watching the daily grosses for The Departed. It's been the #1 movie nearly every weekday since its release. That's a sign that, even three weeks out, it's prepared to keep running.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Game Theory

Ever wonder what the top-rated game system launch titles are? Sure you did.

Note the supremacy of Dreamcast. Damn you, Sony.
This video (thanks to Galley friend P.L.) has apparently been making the rounds. Laugh all you want, but I always knew those ballerinas were filthy.

To all my homeys in lockdown at the Firm:

This Kirkland & Ellis recruitment video is priceless. Sample: "I fill my day as much as possible, I go home, I have dinner with my family. And then I go work again, as necessary." Remember, this isn't a warning, it's the sales pitch.

Bonus: Check out the podcast pitches at Anonymous Law Firm.

Trailer City, 2

Turns out Casino Royale isn't a remake of Casino Royale, it's a remake of From Russia, with Love.

Trailer City

So sure, I'll see anything with Emma Thompson. But a movie with Emma Thompson, Buster Bluth, and Edna Mode?

Game on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Poetry of the Macho Man

"I've been in the Danger Zone east of the Pacific Ocean, west of London, England, south of Mars, and north of Hell."

That's a shout-out to all my homeys. You know who you are.

Feel free to nominate your favorite Randy Savage moments.


From Galley Brother B.J.:
mmentators kept talking about whether Parcells could put Bledsoe back in. I was dieing to see Parcells go over to Bledsoe to tell him to go back in, only to have Bledsoe laugh at Parcells (or hit him with the Stone Cold Stunner) flip off the crowd and walk off the field.

Romo had a chance to become my favorite non-Eagle player in the league. He hit a wide open (as in no one within 10 yards wide open) Owens in the hands on 4th down halfway through the 4th quarter, and Owens dropped it. If Romo would have bitched Owens out on the sideline, he’d have become a superstar in my book.

The Giants pretty much won the NFC East last night.

Kornheiser needs to get dropped from MNF. Not because he’s a bad color analyst (which he is), but because every piece of his I’ve read or appearance of him on PTI I’ve seen since he started MNF has consisted of him bitching about doing MNF. Either he’s groaning about holding back on being snarky and making empty promises to change next week or he’s complaining about how he doesn’t have time to follow anything else because he spends all of his time on a bus looking at football stats.

Wii Nugget of the Day

From IGN:
Microsoft debuted Xbox 360 with a miniscule amount of systems. Sony is set to do the same with PlayStation 3. But Wii will kickoff in America on November 19 backed by a whopping one million units and a steady flow of more shipments. By the end of the year, approximately four million Wiis will be available around the globe and the chances are extremely strong that they'll all go sold. Nintendo has delivered a lowball estimate of six million Wiis available by March 2007, but insider reports suggest that as many as 12 million pieces of hardware could be available by that time period.

Monday, October 23, 2006

PS3 Shortages, continued

Sony to ship 2 million PS3 units by close of 2006.

Or maybe not. Says Sony's Jack Tretton, "The honest answer is it's more of a target."

But the 6 million units by March 2007 is still written in stone! (For now.)

Fly, Eagles, Fly (Part II)

Gally Brother B.J. does not agree with my sunny assessment of the Birds:
We have very different views on the Eagles.

They're driving me insane this week because aside from the game against Dallas, they haven't played any full games. They'll play for a half or a quarter and dominate the other team (2nd half vs. Green Bay; 1st half vs. NYG; 1st half vs. SF; 3rd quarter vs. NO; 4th quarter vs. Tampa Bay; 2nd and 4th quarters against Houston), but the rest of the game they're awful and they practically try to give away the game (the 4th quarter collapse vs. NYG; the near collapse vs. SF; losing in the 1st half to Green Bay). You watch one of their games and you end up spending part of it thinking they're Super Bowl contenders and the rest of the game expecting them to go 4-12. That fucks with your head.

The Eagles final drive at the end of the second quarter was brutal to watch because with 1st and goal at the 5 with 10 seconds left, you knew the Eagles weren't going to score. (Andy Reid why are you calling anything other than a fade to the back corner? And Donovan, what the fuck are you thinking throwing to someone on the 2 with 3 defenders right by him--and not seeing the guy who looked pretty fucking open 7 yards behind that receiver in the end zone?)

Speaking of McNabb, I hate to do this, 'cause he and Westbrook are almost the entire offense (and the offense is the entire team), but the loss goes almost entirely on his shoulders. In addition to the above mentioned meltdown at the end of the 2nd quarter, Radio Active Man threw two pick 6's. The rest of the blame goes on Fallout Boy for not taking a knee on the 1, or waiting at the goal line and not crossing until a Tampa defender got within 5 yards on the Eagles' last offensive play. Because if you're a real Eagles fan, you knew the defense would give up a last-second field goal

I can't blame the defense for the loss. Despite getting zero pressure on Gradkoski (on Tampa's final play before the field goal, he had enough time to trip over himself, get up, and still make a read or two), unless you count the sack where they were called for a 15-yard facemask, they only gave up 9 points. They only gave up about 20 yards on Tampa's final "drive" and they forced a shaky kicker to make a 62 yard field goal with the game on the line.

(Fun fact: Tampa's kicker was 0 for 3 on field goal attempts of 40 or more yards going into the game, but 2 for 2, including the 62 yarder, yesterday. In the span of 6 days, Arizona loses a game because its kicker, who set a bunch of records last year, misses a 40 yarder and the Eagles lose because a kicker makes a 62 yarder.)


Not Bigelow. Galley Favorite Angela Lansbury is returning to the White Way in, of all things, a play about tennis. Sign me up.

Fly, Eagles, Fly

The good news is that the Eagles just killed the Bucs by the numbers. I mean, outgaining them 506 yards to 196 yards? 22 first downs to 14 first downs? 7.7 yards per rush to 3.7 yards per rush? 8.3 yards per pass to 3.0 yards per pass? That's Eagles football, baby.

What's that, you say? The final score? Sure, the Eagles may have lost the game and some people may get bogged down with that sort of linear thinking, but there's a deeper way to look at yesterday's debacle:

The Eagles are, as I've been saying to anyone who would listen, a bad team. This is a 6- or 7-win squad. If they finished 8-8, it would be a real achievement. The first six games were fool's gold. Here's the combined record of the teams the Eagles have beaten: 9-14.

Go ahead and look at the schedule. Find the wins remaining on the board. Tennessee? Remember, they'll be playing the Vince Young Titans, not the team that started the season winless. Washington? Mabye the home game. Jacksonville? Maybe. Those are the three best chances for victories. Everything else looks like a stretch.

So why was yesterday not terrible? Because if you look at the Eagles as a 6-10 team, not a 4-2 team, then you can find the positives. You can be happy about the comeback and about how great McNabb looked in the second half. When bad teams lose flukey games, there are positives to be found. You shouldn't have expected them to win in the first place.

P.S.: I'm not hating on the Birds. Actually, I think that this team is eminently lovable. They're fun to watch and they have great characters. And, like a cancer patient in remission after chemo, you can't help but rooting for them. And hope that by next year, they'll be back to 100%.
Joey Lauren Adams: auteur.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Pajiba Love

An excellent round up of all sorts of news, including this awesome bit:
In The Break-Up news, Jennifer Aniston is attempting to send a message to Hollywood that she’s more than just a pair of breasts attached to a spinal cord: She’s also an important actress, damnit. And what better way to demonstrate this than to produce and star in a film based on a study found in a Deepak Chopra book?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Madden Wii

Galley Friend P.G. sends us this video link to EA developers talking about Madden '07 for Wii. You might salivate.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No Disrespect

But I have about zero interest in seeing Borat. But I do have the love for S.B.C.. Check it.
Actor Wesley Snipes has been indicted on no less than eight counts of tax fraud and may face 16 years in prison. Federal prosecutors claim Snipes failed to file his returns for six years and owes the government close to $12 million. Not even Willie Mays Hayes can outrun these charges. No roundhouse kick will knock down these allegations. White Men Can't Jump but they sure can find a way to send you to jail. U.S. Marshals will soon be knocking on his door. Let's just say The Money Train will be making one last stop--to Riker's Island! To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar!

Okay, enough already. This is serious stuff. But let me add that if the feds end up putting Snipes away, there will most definitely be an increase in the population of vampires.

That Terrible Chevy Ad

Seth Stevenson is all over it:
Maybe the red-state viewer, to whom the ad is likely directed (I assume that's the main target market for pickups), interprets the overall statement as an optimistic, can-do, morning-in-America kind of thing: We've come through the bad times and we're ready to kick some ass again. But to me, this spot feels more like the advertising equivalent of Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech. It arrives at an awkward, unsettled moment in the American psyche (underscored by the 9/11 and Katrina imagery in the montage), and it almost seems the ad hopes to capture the essence and feeling of that moment. Dredging up all these depressing incidents in our recent past, and then saying, "This is our country," sure seems like an effort to address our "crisis of confidence."

I guess I'd ask Chevy: How'd that strategy work out for Carter?

Grade: D. Automotive blog Jalopnik reports that an early version of the ad included footage of a nuclear mushroom cloud. Well, that would have brightened things up. I wonder if they could squeeze in the Rodney King beating and the Abu Ghraib photos, too.

Trailer City

Here's the German trailer for DOA: Dear or Alive. Is this the greatest film since Mortal Kombat? Probably.

You should click on that link. It's amazing. Like D.E.B.S. meets Van Damme's Street Fighter. You've never seen anything like it.

Bonus: Here's the U.S. trailer. The plot seems to make less sense in English.

Also, there's Chris Guest's new For Your Consideration, whose play-within-a-play is called Home for Purim. Try to stop laughing. The trailer also has the great Fred Willard telling a gag about blind prostitutes. "You know what they say about blind prostitutes, don't you? You've really gotta hand it to them?"

Wha' happen!

Hi-Def Clarity

Galley Friend and Early Adopter S.B. is worked up over this less-than-lucid piece in USA Today:

According to USA Today's Michelle Kessler, "Problems with high-definition DVD players are dragging down the entire high-end television market." Intrigued, but skeptical, I took a look at the piece. I was so confused at the end of it that my head kind of hurts now . . .

The analysis starts by showing that high def DVD players are selling more weakly than expected; instead of 4.5 million units being sold, only 1.5 million have sold. None of this is particularly surprising since, a.) consumers are wary about investing many hundreds of dollars in a player when either HD-DVD or Blu Ray will obsolete in two or three years, and b.) the Blu-Ray's primary inroad, the PS3, has yet to hit the shelves (and when it does, it will do so with far less units than originally anticipated). OK, fine, I'm with her so far.

But then comes this headscratcher: "The problems have been brewing for years. They're starting to have a financial impact now since players are finally in stores. And they're affecting:

* Programming. Since high-definition TVs and players aren't yet mainstream, content for them remains limited. On TV, HD is generally limited to sports, news, prime-time shows and premium channels such as HBO. Only about 100 HD DVD and 50 Blu-Ray DVD titles are out."

To which I responded with a resounding 'Huh? What does one have to do with the other?' What does the number of HD/Blu Ray DVDs have to do with the programming options? Furthermore, people have been buying HDTV sets for the last couple of years before next gen DVD players had even been released, let alone become widely available/affordable. How could it possibly make sense that a wider variety of HD movie-watching options would hamper the growth of the market? People may be confused about which next gen DVD player to buy, but I don't know why the new options would deter the purchase of a television itself, since whichever format wins will work with any HDTV.

Kessler finally gets to the point at the end when she says that 60% of HDTVs are bought by sports fans, and that only 1 in 5 HDTVs is sold with a corresponding DVD player--"Presumably a must-have for a movie fan." But I say: poppycock. I'm about as big a movie fan as there is, and if you have a decent progressive scan DVD player to go along with your HDTV (especially if it's a model featuring 1080p) you're just fine for now without an HD DVD/Blu Ray player. We're not talking about audio cassettes vs. CDs, here. The difference in picture isn't big enough to justify the outrageous current cost. In a few years, Blu Ray or HD DVD will probably become the standard, especially since they're both backward compatible, but at this point the cost vs. the benefit is pretty small.

Furthermore, the piece's overarching point that HDTV sales are off is clearly contradicted by the chart included with the piece. I see a pretty steady 45 degree climb between 2003 and the end of 2006 (1.2 million HD homes to a projected 9.4 million HD homes). Once again, I don't doubt that next gen DVD sales are off; you'd be a sucker to buy one before the dust settles (never forget Betamax!). That being said, nothing at all suggests that the lack of a legit high def DVD format is slowing growth in the market, because the growth of the market isn't slowing! Yeesh. Kind of shoddy story.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I've been busy, in case you've been wondering. But with what? Trying to start a family? Finding new ways to put bread on the table? Feeding the hungry?

As it turns out, I've spent the last week mesmerized by our new Samsung LCD. As you know, it is the official television of the NFL. After the Comcast technicians replaced a defective cable box, the Mrs. and I were finally able to sit down, turn it on, and in high definition watch ... Dancing with the Stars. You could actually see Jerry Springer glistening. My wife is a big fan of CSI but do I really want to see all those morsels of bload-soaked brain matter that close? Oh right, there was baseball. And that was truly amazing. Except I'm not really interested in the playoffs (I think the Nationals were only 300 games behind first place in the NL East).

Besides that, there is so much more. Did you know you can watch Bill Maher on HD? That nose! Or The McLauglin Group? Quick, back to Saw!

But all I could think was, Wait 'til Sunday. I'll sprawl out on the couch, wear a bib, eat, drink, and belch from noon to 11pm. It figures the first game on CBS turned out not to be in HD. Which in the end was a good thing since my Skins decided to implode, but that is another story.

Also interesting to watch in HD was a program that ran on Cinemax last Thursday at around 11pm.

Dead or Alive

No, not the '80s group. They're turning the game into a movie. And it has Jaime Pressly, naturally.

But do they, at any point, play volleyball?

More Sony Happy Talk

The UMD format is toast, but Sony says:
“We’re pretty pleased with UMD,” Sony UK MD Ray Maguire told MCV. “UMD has a fantastic attachment ratio. Where we’ve struggled a little is getting a decent proposition for full-length movies.

“UMD is not the problem--it’s getting the right content that’s the challenge. When we put shorts on UMD they sell really well, and that’s related to PSP usage. It’s about getting the offer right, and we will do that.”

Success is just around the corner! It's always darkest before the dawn!

Mr. K-Fed Goes Wrestling, yeah yeah yeah yeah

Blog Crush has the word that tonight on WWE's Raw, Kevin Federline wrestles John Cena. This is the lowest point for professional wrestling since David Arquette held the WCW belt.

Holler if you miss the Human Torture Rack.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Jenny and Tara

Jenny has a very, very mean post about Tara Reid's Plastic Surgery Nightmare. It almost made me cry. Why is everyone so mean to Tara? Why is it that everyone thinks Lohan and Hilton are chic tramps but Tara is just pathetic.

But then I remembered Tara and the good days of Bodyshots and Big Lebowski. They'll never be able to take that away from her. No they won't.

P.S.: Did you notice? Not one word about the Cowboys? That's because any team that gets a W after giving up a rushing TD to Drew Bledsoe should be quietly grateful.

The Russian Tony Robbins?

Sent in by a Galley Commenter, this article about Yalie Aleksey Vayner's attempt to get a job on Wall Street is flat-out unbelievable. Vayner put together a 7-minute video presentation of himself explaining, in detail, the keys to success. It involves weight-lifting. And karate.

Oh sure, the video is awesome, but then there's the follow-up, here and here. It seems that Vayner is something of a huckster-in-training:
Now let's turn to Vayner's charity, Youth Empowerment Strategies -- not to be confused, of course with this Youth Empowerment Strategies. Why are there two? Well, we're gonna break it down real simple: one is real, and the other isn't.

Vayner's site has a "Charity Navigator Four Star Charity" logo from Charity Navigator, an organization that ranks good charities and weeds out frauds. We called them this morning. "Oh, we've heard of them," Leonie Giles, a program analyst there, said immediately. They asked Aleksey's site (which lists a non-existant Manhattan address on its "Donate Another Way" page, btw) to take down the fake "Four Star" logo two months ago, and are considering legal action against them. Giles recommended we contact the freaking Connecticut attorney general.

Vayner lists on his resume his self-published book, Women's Silent Tears, which he calls a "gendered look at the Holocaust." You can't read the whole book online, but you can preview the first few pages. We examined a section on euthanasia, and guess what. The entire passage is lifted from the online Holocaust Encyclopedia.

Of course, the real joke is that the only people who seem to have fallen for Vayner's schtick were the ones at the Yale admissions office.

Bonus: But wait, there's more!

Turns out Aleksey is somewhat infamous among Yalies as the "Crazy Prefrosh" profiled in 2002 by Yale's Rumpus tabloid. If you thought Vayner's credibility was shaky after seeing the video, wait til you read the profile. It is devastating. For starters, his name back then was Aleksey Garber. He claimed to have spent much of his childhood in a Tibetan monestary in post-Soviet Uzbekistan before moving to the United States, where he was employed by both the Mafia and the CIA. He was also a tennis instructor whose students include Harrison Ford and Sarah Michelle Gellar. And oh yeah: he met the Dalai Lama along the way and is the second greatest martial arts fighter in the world.


I normally try not to talk about other stuff I'm doing, but I'm going to violate that rule and point you toward "Beginner's Luck". It's a fan-comic for the Firefly/Serenity universe. This is insanely geeky, but I'm so thrilled at having gotten to work with Mike Russell and Bill Mudron--two comic gods--that I had to mention it.

If you're into the Serenity thing, you might also want to check out Mudron's stunning little book "The Black".


Galley Friend B.W. sends this amazing video of a fireworks factory blowing up. It starts slowly at first, but stay with it.

That actually kind of ruins any CGI special effects for me. We see big explosions in movies all the time and they look impressive, but we don't have reality to compare them with. This is better than anything Michael Bay has ever staged.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Drudge has a link to this video of a bunch of in-costume Disney characters simulating sex. Sure, it sounds innocent, but it's not all Mickey-and-Minnie-do-missionary. You're going to take that image of Goofy bending over the Chipmunks to the grave.

But that's not even the funny!

The punchline is that if you turn up the volume, it's clear that this is taking place somewhere in the vicinity of EuroDisney. Naturally.

Google and YouTube

I suspected that Google's $1.65B purchase of YouTube was a sign that the we're headed for a second internet bubble. It has all the hallmarks of the late '90s: Huge cash which is provided by an incomprensible jump in stock price for a product that the buyer tried to create themselves (see Google Video), but couldn't.

Awesome Andy Kessler provides an actual argument for this, and it's basically new hotness:
So why bother buying YouTube? Is this a sign of strength ("we bought them because we can turn anything into gold") or weakness (like, say, Ebay buying Skype as their auction franchise weakens) or desparation (Excite merging with AtHome). It makes a difference. On the surface, this looks like a deal from strength - video is the next frontier on the Internet, blah, blah. But really, did Google want to do it or have to do it?

Despite continued growth, Google has hinted at a few signs of weakness. One is their huge capital spending to build datacenters and servers and bandwidth capacity, dinging their cash flow. I thought the search business scaled with much less investment. Maybe not.

And second, Google actually paid for traffic - $1 billion to Dell over 3 years for a crummy toolbar on Dell PCs. The numbers may work, but it's kind of like Hugh Grant paying for something he would get anyway. There may still be someone in Sheboygen who doesn't know about Google. Is search now such a commodity that Google needs to pay money to keep growing?

It gets better from there.

Al Franken Bombs

What's going on with Al Franken: God Spoke? The numbers don't look good. As of Sunday, it had only grossed just over $64,000. But, it was only showing in 10 theaters, giving it an average of $1,144. That's pretty bad.

The worse news for Franken is that his per theater average has been plummeting: $5,266 the first weekend; $2,981 the next; then $2,197; and now that putrid $1,144 number.

The Franken documentary is going nowhere, fast, and it would do well now just to break $100K, let alone to wind up in the mediocre territory of a lefty docu such as Outfoxed, which did $461K.

What's really interesting, though, is this chart of political documentary grosses. Notice how many of the biggest-grossing political docus have come in the very recent past: 15 of the top 20 were released post-2000. Also notice how many of them are of a leftward persuasion. If nothing else, George W. Bush's administration has been great for liberal documentary filmmakers.

Alright, that's too glib. But it is striking how the liberal documentary market has come alive in the past six years. Of the 62 highest-grossing political documentaries of all time, 49 of them were released after the 2000 election, and nearly all of them are lefty. It's another entire medium that has come to be dominated by the left.

Or has it? Could it just be that the political docu has finally come into its own as a medium and that, when a Democratic administration is in the White House, we'll see the rise of conservative documentaries? They're cheap and relatively easy to make, and the bar for success is set pretty low. You don't need to open like Dead Man's Chest to get on the map.

Anyway, most people don't pay attention to the documentary category until they're watching the Oscars. But I think that for a number of reasons--digital video and cheap editing software, the growth of digital delivery, the turbulent political culture--this medium could develop in interesting ways over the next few years.

Update: Galley Friend M.G. sends this Slate link about political docus. Writer Anthony Kaufman says, "After Michael Moore's docubuster Fahrenheit 9/11 opened the floodgates with its $119 million in ticket sales, offering solid proof that political docs could make waves in the marketplace, a litany of films has arrived in its wake . . ."

I think that's not quite right. Again, go to our political docu chart and you'll see Fahrenheit 9/11 as the highest-grossing pic in the genre with $119M. That's a huge haul. But the difference between first and second place here is gigantic. #2 is Inconvenient Truth with $23.7M. By the time you get to #5 on the list--The Fog of War--you're looking at a gross of $4.2M. If only three docus in the history of the genre have topped $10M in total receipts, I don't think you can interpret the success of Fahrenheit 9/11 has a sign that the genre is ready to do big business. It's certainly expanding and growing, but I wouldn't interpret this as it becoming a major part of the marketplace. It's still a very, very niche medium.

What's interesting is how that niche is dominated ideologically.

Under Rated?

I've been saying for weeks that the Detroit Tigers felt a lot like last year's White Sox. Now that they're up 2-0 on the A's, it's reasonable to consider where we'll have to put the Tigers' two most important contributors in the grand scheme of things if they do win the World Series.

Let's start with Jim Leyland. If Leyland wins World Series rings with two different teams--and those teams are the Marlins and the Tigers--doesn't that put him in the pantheon of all-time great managers? That would be the equivalent of winning NBA titles with the Bucks and the Cavaliers. Or Super Bowls with Chargers and Bills. It's an amazing accomplishment and should mark him as one of the greats.

And how about Pudge Rodriguez? He's averaging .304 for his career and slugging .483. He's a 13-time All Star, has won 11 Gold Gloves, and is the best defensive catcher of his generations. If the Tigers win the World Series, you'll have to combine all of this with the fact that he's the sparkplug which ignited two championship teams. How great is this guy?

Off Topic

This has nothing to do with anything, but I finally got a chance to sit down with Jody Bottum's "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" and it is, hands down, the best piece of writing I've come across this year. It's way long, so print out a copy and treat yourself. You won't be sorry.

The Fugs Do K-Fed

No, not that way. This way:
So, yeah, we haven't talked lately and you know, Britney is always saying I'm like a bad communicator and shit but the truth is, yo, I have got my HANDS FULL. First of all, my acting career is off the HOOK. Check it out: I'm on CSI this week and listen, I fucking rock the house on that show. I'm pretty sure they're going to ask me to have my own CSI. CSI: YOUR ASS. And I'll go all over America investigating HOT ASSES. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Holla!

But seriously, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get my own show now, and then who'll be the breadwinner, baby? That's right: yo soy la breadwinner, bitches. And that'll be the end of "No, you can't buy a Slurpee machine," and "Who's the person in this relationship who HAS a Grammy?" and "please hold the baby."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


From Galley Friend M.G.: a BSG Wiki. Rock on.

Friday, October 06, 2006

My New Favorite Sports Blog

As always, I'm way late to the party, but this Kissing Suzy Kolber blog is aces. In the above post, they give Hollywood directors to match NFL teams. For example, Steelers=Frank Capra. How awesome is this list? Here's what they have for the Eagles and the Skins:
Philadelphia -- Martin Scorsese

Ah, this one is bound to raise some hackles. "But he's from New York!" you carp. "He's too good for the Iggles!" Both are valid points. However, it all boils down to the fact that Scorsese, like Thrilly, can't win the big one even though it seems like both should have by now. The Departed looks promising and a lot of sportswriters are improbably picking the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl. And the Super Bowl goes to...Dances With Wolves.

Washington -- Michael Bay

Give them enough money and they'll give you a sad excuse to waste yours. Pearl Harbor and the Deion Sanders signing are similarly epic, costly blunders. Roland Emmerich or James Cameron could probably also fit here, but Cameron is too cool now that he's been on Entourage. I go with Bay because it has already come to pass - UM reported that crew from The Transformers Movie was on hand Sunday at FedEx for the Jags-Indigenous Peoples game to get film of Brunell morphing into a decent quarterback for a week.

Foley IM Generator

It's only mostly cool. It has some good IM's--"i wnt2 watch U spank yur quorum"--but the real gold is the groaning in the background which, I think, may be lifted from the "$20 Sack Pyramid."

Holler if you love your Auntie Clarice (or Halle Berry).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Major Medical Breakthrough

Normally I tune out those annoying commercials for products you can order by phone for $19.99 plus shipping and handling. But the other night I happened upon an ad for something called My Lil Reminder, a minirecorder that helps you remember where you parked your car and what to get at the supermarket. You can watch the commercial online in order to appreciate not only the significance of the device but also the Oscar-worthy performances.

But as I sat and stared in amazement (and after two Scotches and a beer), I thought to myself, "Do these people realize they've just found a cure for Alzheimer's, dementia, and amnesia?"

Trailer City

The shorter, theatrical trailer for Frank Miller's 300 is up.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fugging Awesome

The Fug Girls have two excellent posts this morning. The first is an ode to Kate Winslett that contains this tidbit:

In this week's EW, she says that Emma Thompson once told her that if she [Kate] lost weight, Emma would "never fucking speak to [her] again," and that is one of the reasons we love Emma Thompson, even if she sometimes shows up places in unflattering bodices.)

Could Emma Thompson be any more excellent? No, I think not.

But the really good stuff is this excerpt from Paris Hilton's diary:

YEAH THAT'S RIGHT BABY. (Hee. I said "baby." Can you imagine if Nicky has a baby? Maybe that would be cool. I could dress it up in little mini-Paris dresses and take it out and it could hold my drinks for me if I need to use both hands when I'm talking to a guy, or if I need to sneak away I could put the baby thing in my place and because we're dressed the same nobody would know I was gone. It would be like having a twin! Just like the Olsens, except we don't wear tights.)

Comic Book Movies

Fantastic Four was, I contend, the worst comic book adaptation ever put on film. I include in this discussion Howard the Duck.

But now there's news that the F4 sequel will feature the Silver Surfer and maybe even Galactus. Make your own jokes.

Fly, Eagles, Fly

No, I'm not getting ahead of myself. This is still a 6-10 team. And I think there's a good chance they go winless in the division (again).

But this story will make you smile if you're an Eagles fan:
"I do not know if there are any other pictures, video or stories to support this, but the scene behind the MNF pre-game in Philly was uncomfortable at best, scary at worst. TJ was let off the hook. Berman got quite a few YWML screams, including yours truly Steve Young's orientation was questioned, but the chants sent to the Playmaker while on live TV sent Philly fans to a new low, which hard to do. Between the constant 'Dallas Sucks,' ' You Suck,' ' You're an asshole' and the very nice 'Where's your crack pipe?' It was wild. Berman turned to the crowd every couple of seconds to try and shut us up, which enraged the guys Finally, Michael flipped us off, mouthed 'fuck you!' and held up three fingers and counted his "rings," all while Berman and Young were live."

You're with me, leather.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mr. Ultimate Philadelphia Sports Fan: Real Men of Genius

Galley Friend M.G. sends us this amazing video. You're the shitzu.

Sony Doubletalk

This is a truly amazing interview. Jamie MacDonald, the VP of Sony Worldwide Studios Europe, says in the course of the same interview that:

(1) "In five years' time, my belief is that the majority of content won't be delivered on disc. That has many implications for developers and the way we organise our industry."


(2) "Blu-ray is absolutely needed for the high definition content in the games that we'll be producing."


Batman II

Mike Russell has a long interview with Christopher Nolan with all sorts of tidbits about The Prestige, but the best news is that the Batman sequel is going to be titled The Dark Knight.

I didn't fall in love with Batman Begins, but hope springs eternal.

Monday, October 02, 2006

And so we learn today that, in fact, Neil Armstrong, upon being the first man to set foot on the moon, actually did say, "That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." It turns out static had engulfed the "a," much to the annoyance of grammarians everywhere. The clarification was made possible using the latest in sound analysis.

Funny, I didn't know you could get that much static in a Hollywood backlot.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Galley Friend S.B. has a fantastic email report from one of his buddies, P.K., who's a Phillies fan who got to attend the Phils-Nationals game where the Big Collapse started:
When I realized the Phils-Nats game was going to start in half an hour, peddaled my bike down there, getting into the stadium as the 2nd Phillie was at the plate, in time to watch them throw up a complete shit-burger in front of about 600 of the most insanely rabid Phillies fans you'd ever see.

Seriously, this crowd of fans, they were the dregs. No actual brawls, but several near brawls--and these were near-fights among the Phillies fans.

I was actually glad to discover, once I got there, that they weren't serving any beer.

As we commiserated at the urinals after the game--is there any more pathetic way to commiserate--one guy summed it all up: "Fuck. Fuck. We're done. And the Flyers are gonna suck, the Sixers are just done, and who knows what the Eagles are gonna do next. God damn it. Where's Smarty Jones, seriously, where's that horse? Smarty, we love you, come back, SMARTY, SMARTY!"

For reals.