Thursday, November 30, 2006

Consider this yet another public service announcement: If you are a Galley Slave reader within the National Capital Area, the above advertisement is for you. That's right, the one, the only, Rob Van Winkle will be performing at McFadden's bar tonight. Which sort of reminds me of that great parody in The Onion about Corey Hart.

(Those who do attend tonight's performance may be in for a real treat. One friend confessed to me her most embarrassing concert experience was at a Vanilla Ice show in the early '90s. The artist not only danced but humped the stage, and when he stood upright, well, he was really upright.)

Football Chicks

KSK asks if getting girls into football is a good thing:
Perhaps that last example isn't the best representative of today's female fan. The new NFL woman knows her shit, and -- as the argument goes -- isn't it better that potential objects of sexual desire can share in the raw, base enjoyment of the NFL?

To which I say: not particularly. It's already hard enough finding a woman who's hot and smart but still shallow enough to make fun of ugly people with me; I don't need the extra degrees of difficulty that come with screening out Steelers and Rams and Cowboys fans. Could you love a woman who cheered for T.O.? Only on the outside, friends. Only on the outside.

Of course, he's never met Jenny. So you have to cut him some slack.

Trailer City

The new Smokin' Aces trailer is up. I'm a little confused. The Dreadnoks are there, but I don't see Zartan anywhere.

The Nativity Story

AICN has a fabulously funny review:
This time around Jesus is being pursued by the ancient world version of a Bond villain, simply named Herod, who, knowing of Jesus’s amazingly bad assed ability to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ (I mean, really, he’s like Roman era John McClane) that he’s gonna try to kill him before he’s even born. So he sends out an army of Roman soldiers to try and find the unwed mother pregnant with the savior of humanity.

I know, I know, I know. I know what you’re thinking. I liked this story a lot better when it was called The Terminator. I guess someone at New Line thought that it would be better with Roman soldiers instead of killer robots. Which is exactly why James Cameron is a genius. Everything is better with killer robots. . . .

[H]aving seen a film [The Passion] in its original historical language, watching another from the same time period performed in English seems to remove all authenticity. Remember how in Ewoks: The Battle for Endor all the ewoks suddenly spoke English rather than their original dialect of Yub Nubs? Remember how wrong and disconcerting that was? It’s kinda like that. It just doesn’t feel right.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Evolution of Video Games

This video takes a series of video game genres and traces them from their origins to the latest incarnations. Totally great.

And boy, do I miss "Jordan vs. Bird." Best sports game of all time? Maybe.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

F--k It. I'm Throwing It Downfield.

After giving us genius Eli-talk yesterday, the fellows at Kissing Suzy Kolber--who are becoming my new blog crush--have this internal monologue from Rex Grossman:
Is that Berrian? I think he's triple-covered. You know what? Fuck it. I'm throwing it downfield.

Yeah, I see Jones open on the flank. But fuck that. Dumpoff passes are for faggots. I'm fucking Sexy Rexy Grossman. I can get that ball in there. And, even if I can't, I bet I'll be able to pull it off the next go round. I like throwing the ball long. It makes my dick hard.

What's that? I should throw a quick slant? Fuck that. That's gay. Button hook? Gay. Flare out? Gay. Screen pass? Kevin Spacey gay. This is fucking football. You can't just expect wins to come to you. You can't massage that shit. You gotta grab that game by the throat and rape the ever-loving shit out of it. You think a 5-yard out is gonna win you a game? You're a pussy. This ain't John Shoop running this offense. Sexy Rexy's got the arm. The dragon. You gotta unleash the dragon. . . .

This is Rex Grossman we're talking about here. We're talking 210 lbs. of twisted steel and sex appeal. I'm not just a gunslinger. I'm a cumslinger. Throwing that ball long tells all the Rexettes that I am fucking out there. On the edge. Where I gotta be.

A Heat reference and everything? C'mon!

KSK is the only remaining source of NFL pleasure this season.

PS3 Launch Look-back

From Galley Reader P.G.:
Holy shit, get a load of this report: Sony projected 400K PS3s for launch and delivered 125-175K, including 15K for kiosks!

If this were an auto manufacturer, the CEO would be shitcanned within a week, heads would roll, and stock prices would plummet.

If this trend continues and Sony can only deliver 30-50% of their projected units by the end of the year, I expect to see some very serious changes at Sony. So far the media is mostly caught up in the hype of the horsepower of the PS3; they have yet to comprehend the business failure that the PS3 represents. So here’s my longshot prediction for 2007:

Prices remain too high on the PS3 and with the expected Xbox 360 price drop and success of the Wii, the PS3 will see sales dwindle by mid-2007. At this point Sony will halt production on the PS3. By late summer rumors will fly of a trimmed-down version of the PS3 (perhaps with a little less horsepower, perhaps they abandon the doomed Blu-Ray format) which will sell for $300-$400 dollars. This unit will be easy to manufacture and will be ready to be mass produced by late fall/Christmas. This unit will be a success because by then the game catalog will be far more impressive than the pathetic launch titles available.

What really bothers me is how Sony abandoned everything that made the PS2 good in making the PS3. They treat consoles the way Microsoft treats software: they don’t give the consumer what the consumer wants or needs, they gave them a bloated piece of crap. Just wait a few months until Vista comes out and everyone says “holy crap this thing sucks."

Of course, not everyone in the media is buying the PS3 hype. The NYT has this devastating review last week:
Even after Microsoft took the lead in the video-game wars a year ago with its innovative and powerful Xbox 360, Sony blithely insisted that the PS3 would leapfrog all competition to deliver an unsurpassed level of fun.

Put bluntly, Sony has failed to deliver on that promise. . . .

The PS3, which was introduced in North America on Friday with a hefty $599 price tag for the top version, certainly delivers gorgeous graphics. But they are not discernibly prettier than the Xbox 360’s. More important, the whole PlayStation 3 system is surprisingly clunky to use and simply does not provide many basic functions that users have come to expect, especially online. . . .

“What’s weird is that the PS3 was originally supposed to come out in the spring, and here it came out in the fall, and it still doesn’t feel finished,” Christopher Grant, managing editor of Joystiq, one of the world’s biggest video-game blogs, said on the telephone Saturday night. “It’s really not the all-star showing they should have had at launch. Sony is playing catch-up in a lot of ways now, not just in terms of sales but in terms of the basic functionality and usability of the system.” . . .

And so it is a bit of a shock to realize that on the video game front Microsoft and Sony are moving in exactly the opposite directions one might expect given their roots. Microsoft, the prototypical PC company, has made the Xbox 360 into a powerful but intuitive, welcoming, people-friendly system. Sony’s PlayStation 3, on the other hand, often feels like a brawny but somewhat recalcitrant specialized computer. (Sony is even telling users to wait for future software patches to fix some of the PS3’s deficiencies.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Eli's Cry for Help

Kissing Suzy Kolber has Eli Manning's secret thoughts:
Do you see now, people? Have you finally fucking figured it out?

I do not like football. I don't know how much clearer I can make that point. This sport blows. Everyone's running around and hitting each other... yikes. All I wanted when I was a kid was to hang out with my mom in the kitchen and make some zucchini bread. But nooooo, everyone's all like, "You're a Manning. You should play football!"

Fuck that. You should hear my dad in interviews. "We never pushed football on the boys..." Yeah right, old man. I just fell into this shit naturally. It had nothing to do with the family football games we played every afternoon for SEVENTEEN FUCKING YEARS, Dad. Or the film study sessions after dinner. No, that was for fun. Ass.

And Peyton! Guhhhhh, what a fucking dickwad. "Hey, Dad! I've memorized the playbook!" "Hey Dad, want to go look at your old game films?" "Hey Dad, I audibled to a slant-and-go pattern!" Fucking brownnoser. Hey Peyton, I just threw two picks and blew a game to Tennessee because I'm not as good as you! Isn't that exciting? Fuckface.



Galley Brother B.J. had these comforting thoughts last week:
Got an interesting email from my friend T.R., who said that he thought an era was ending in Philly when McNabb left the game on the cart. I hadn’t taken it that badly. I’d felt like it was another year wasted, but that the Eagles would be back & competing next year.

But, I’m thinking about it now. McNabb is 30, he’s in his prime, he was having an MVP season, and I still think he’s the best QB in the league. McNabb probably has 1 or 2 years left to still be in his prime where he can continue to carry teams deep into the playoffs and an additional 3-4 years of being a good-maybe-great QB, but not elite. Will the Eagles have enough talent in either of the next two seasons for McNabb to carry them into championship contender status?

The Eagles weren’t healthy enough this year to be able to gauge whether or not they currently have the talent (the secondary was too banged up the first few weeks), but injuries are a part of the game and the Eagles didn’t have enough depth. Statistically, the Eagles are in the top 1/3 of the league, but as Parcells says, “you are your record.”

B.J. went on to give a detailed analysis of the Eagles' prospects on a player-by-player basis. I'll cut through that to make this deeply painful point:

Here are McNabb's career stats. Note that since 2001, he's only played a 16-game season once. He's averaging 12 games per season over the last 5 years.

Compare that with the other two elite QBs, P. Manning and Brady. Since 2001 they've missed two games between them.

Put three of them side-by-side and you'd never think that McNabb would be the more injury-prone. He's a tank and the other two are drinks of Evian.

I love McNabb. I think he's the third-best QB in the game today (at least) and has the potential to be regarded someday as the Elway of his generation. But Elway didn't miss a lot of games. He averaged 14.6 games per season for his entire career.

But if McNabb is going to keep getting hurt--something for which he bears no blame whatsoever--then this franchise has no future in its current configuration.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I'll Take The Rapists for $600 . . .

There is some talk about the performance of Sec. Ed. Margaret Spellings on Celebrity Jeopardy:
What’s more embarrassing than being Secretary of Education and having your ass handed to you on Celebrity Jeopardy? Being Secretary of Education and having your ass handed to you on Celebrity Jeopardy by Lenny from “Laverne & Shirley.”

Not to sound like an elitist prig, but anyone who's followed the celebrity quiz show circuit would know that Michael McKean is damn near a genius. He's got an amazing mind for trivia and is awfully smart to boot. I wouldn't bet against him on the normal version of Jeopardy.

So here's the thing: I suspect some clever producer actually sand-bagged Spellings by putting her on the same show as McKean knowing that he would have her for lunch.

Kind of awesome.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

PS3 on eBay

Galley Reader P.G. writes in about the speculators who were lining up to buy PS3's:
Don’t buy the hype; PS3s are not going to $2K+ on eBay. I checked this morning and found that the average PS3 is going for $1,000-$1250 with a game. So demand must be high right? WRONG! The Xbox 360 was going for $1500 for weeks after it was released, and that was for the $400 model and a game. I found some PS3s going for $900 without a game on eBay, kinda sad. So evenly with the insanely low supply and all the hype, the average resale/eBay markup is 50-100%, a far cry from the markup of the Xbox 360 which was 250-400%

I think by the end of the decade the PS3 will go down as one of the biggest marketing disasters of the decade.

Galley Brother B.J. notes that the PS3 list on eBay has already seen the average price drop to around $1,000.

Andre Waters, RIP

Another part of the best NFL defense of all time is is dead: Andre Waters killed himself yesterday. With Reggie White and Jerome Brown already gone, you've got to wonder what bizarre curse was placed on that team. (Don't forget the Fog Bowl.)

Also, who would have thought that Buddy Ryan would out-live a third of this defensive starters?
The video of Michael Richards on Letterman is up. It's all very important and serious.

But has anyone else noticed how much he now looks like Pete Postlethwaite?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Forgot to mention last week my attending the opera to see Madama Butterfly. A terrific performance all around, even if a bit heavy on the kabuki. Tatiana Borodina was a powerful Cio-Cio-San right to the end while Carlo Ventre capably handled the role of Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. Just a few other observations:

1. The premiere of Madama Butterfly in 1904 was a catastrophe. The audience actually booed, hissed, and laughed. Puccini subsequently reworked it into a smash hit.

2. Madama Butterfly is supposed to have inspired Miss Saigon. If so, where's the helicopter?

3. The story could not work today as Cio-Cio-San admits to being 15 years old, making her American husband a pedophile. It would have to take place in Bangkok.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Watch Porn

The noun, not the verb.

Has anyone else out there caught the new Franck Muller Aeternitas? Here's a quick look:

If you're at all into mechanical watches, here's the rub: This monster has a perpetual calender based on a 1,000 year cycle. And it has, by my count, ten complications. Very nearly worth the [pause, lift pinky to corner of mouth] One meeelllion dollars!

I first came across the Aeternitas in the NYT's October annual watch supplement to their Sunday magazine, which is so pornographic that it should probably be illegal. It's one of the few bits of casual reading that can make you look down on a Patek Philippe (Precise!). But my favorite part of this year's issue is the back page, which cautions people against the evils of counterfeit watches. What makes it interesting, is how they try to reach readers.

The essay opens with a cautionary tale:
The woman was in tears, standing in the Cartier boutique. She had brought her prized Cartier watch in for service only to be told it couldn't be repaired. No, it wasn't broken beyond repair. It was counterfeit.

Aha! Imagine the shame of having been exposed--right there in the middle of Cartier--as having bought a fake? Of not having enough money to buy a real Cartier! The embarrassment! The humiliation! How could you ever again show your face in Nieman's?

A few paragraphs later, the author cautions:
Bottom line, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Walk away. We buy watches for a number of reasons--for how they feel on our wrists, how they make us feel and for the statement they make to other people. If you buy a counterfeit watch, what does that say about you?

It's like a Bobo version of the '50s film reels on social diseases. Only grosser.

Makes me wish I could buy a fake Aeternitas.

In Praise of George Michael

No, not that George Michael. Not the Bluth, either. But rather, the George Michael of Sports Machine fame. The Post's very excellent John Maynard reports that Michael, who's been a sports anchor in DC since 1980, is leaving his job at the local NBC affiliate. Why?
Michael said he rejected a new contract after he learned that some of his staff members would be laid off as part of larger moves by parent company NBC Universal.

George Michael has been with Channel 4 since 1980. He cited layoffs of some of his staff members as his reason for leaving the anchor desk.
George Michael has been with Channel 4 since 1980. He cited layoffs of some of his staff members as his reason for leaving the anchor desk.

"NBC made me an extremely, extremely beyond-my-wildest-dreams offer to stay and sign a new deal," Michael, 67, said by phone yesterday. But he added: "If I have to lay somebody off . . . I have to take the first bullet. It's that simple."

Someone should give him a medal.

Taser Video

Galley Reader J.H. sends along this link to video that claims to be police tasering a student at the UCLA library. The video isn't as hot as you might think, but the comments from the students in the peanut gallery--"I want your badge numbers"; "Here's your Patriot Act"--are pretty awesome. There's an LA Times story on it, too.

I'll be honest, I've got very little sympathy, because that's how we rolled at the Hop. Only it was students tasering each other, there was no political aspect to the violence, and the library was built six levels underground. No sunlight. No escape.

True story.

PS3 Violence

1 Shot in Conn. Playstation Waiting Line.

Expect to see more stories like this today, particularly since many stores aren't even able to fill the pre-orders they took months ago.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Aries Spears, the Rich Little of Rap

The geniuses at Pajiba send us to this video of a guy named Aries Spears. He does rap impersonations which are, as my homegirl T-Dub would say, redonkulous. He goes from LL Cool J to Snoop to DMX to Jay-Z--really, you've got to watch it to believe it.

Totally safe for work.

Man of the Year: Larry King

Greatest News Ever:
Last night CNN’s Larry King confessed to Roseanne Barr that he’s never used the Internet. King expressed doubt that the Internet was a viable political medium because “there’s 80 billion things on it.” When Barr said she liked the Internet, King acknowledged that “I’ve never done it, never gone searching.”

Barr said King would love the internet if he tried it. King replied, “I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?”

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

PS3 Launch Debacle, cont.

Last Boss looks at the PS3 flagship launch title, Ridge Racer 7. Turns out that the game was released last year for the Xbox 360 as Ridge Racer 6. Last Boss puts frames from the two games side by side:
Ridge Racer 6 was released about a year ago for the Xbox 360, and Ridge Racer 7 was released just days ago for the PlayStation 3, but guesssss what game looks better? 360 FTW! Both games maintain a framerate of 60 frames per second, and yes, Ridge Racer 6 only runs at a resolution of 720p, while Ridge Racer 7 runs at 1080p, but check out the picture above. Notice how the 360's graphics are not only better, but entire pieces of the game have been left out of the PS3 version. It's not just one place in the game either, there's plenty more pictures to prove it.


Blockbuster Taps Out

Variety has the scoop on the Weinstein Company's new deal with Blockbuster: Basically, for four years, Blockbuster will be the only renter to distribute flicks from the production company. In return, Weinstein films will get a heavy push from Blockbuster and the chain is also guaranteeing payments "that amount to a certain percentage of the box office."

This looks like panic on the part of Blockbuster. Faced with a declining market share of a potentially-soon-to-be-obsolete market, Blockbuster is making a bid for relevance. And if they had lassoed a major studio, say Disney or Sony, then it would have been a strong move. But when an industry leader tries to throw its weight around and all it gets is the Weinstein Company--that's weakness.

Here's a list of the projects they've got lines up:

The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Escape from Planet Earth (2008)
The Great Debaters (2008)
Hellraiser (2008)
Inglorious Bastards (2008)
Knight Rider (2008)
The Meerkats (2008)
Outspoken (2008)
Scary Movie 5 (2008)
Untitled Kevin Smith Horror Project (2008)
Tropa de Elite (2007)
My Blueberry Nights (2007)
Sin City 2 (2007)
Grindhouse (2007)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007)
Chasing Temptation (2007)
Hannibal Rising (2007)
Fanboys (2007)
The Last Legion (2007)
Awake (2007)
The Equalizer (2007)
Fletch Won (2007)
Four Knights (2007)
Hua Mulan (2007)
Igor (2007)
Journey Into the Unknown (2007)
Kung Fu High School (2007)
My Enemy's Enemy (2007)
The Nanny Diaries (2007)
Outlander (2007)
Spring Break in Bosnia (2007)
Toyer (2007)
Factory Girl (2006)
Fast Track (2006/I)
Miss Potter (2006)
Arthur and the Minimoys (2006
Unknown (2006)
La Citadelle assiégée (2006)
Fade to Black (2006/I)
Train Wreck! (2006) (V)
School for Scoundrels (2006)
Breaking and Entering (2006)
Shut Up & Sing (2006
Black Sheep (2006/I)
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Penelope (2006)
Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood to the Heartland (2006)
DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)
Bobby (2006)

See a lot of sure-fire winners in there? A lot of movies that Blockbuster should be paying up-front for?

I always thought that Blockbuster's lame and much delayed response to Netflix was a sign of really poor management. If you needed any further proof, this is it. Don't be surprised if Blockbuster doesn't even exist ten years from now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The PS3 Launch Begins!

If you leafed through the ad circulars in your Sunday paper, you probably saw big ads for the new PS3 being run by the big box electronics stores. They were pretty funny.

What's so funny, you ask? Remember, Sony admitted in September that they would only have 2 million PS3 units total for Japan and the U.S. before the end of 2006. And that they would only have 400,000 PS3's in the U.S. for launch. So let's do some quick math.

There are roughly 750 Best Buy stores, 630 Circuit City stores, and depending on what you believe from Wikipedia, somewhere between 2,200 and 3,300 Wal-Marts. If these three retailers were the only people selling the PS3, that means that each store would have (on average) between 85 and 111 PS3 units on hand when it goes on sale this week. And even if somehow Sony actually hit its 2 million target (which they've already admitted they might not), and gave none of these consoles to Japan, American retailers could expect, at most another 555 units to come in between now and New Year's Day.

The reality, of course, is that most stores will get nowhere near that many units to sell because there are lots of other electronics and game retailers who will get stock and Japan will suck up a good bit of the available supply. So the average retailer is likely to have many, many fewer than 500 units to sell for the rest of the year.

And if you want a clue as to how low that number could be, the fine print in the Circuit City circular promised that each store would have a minimum of 15 PS3s at launch.

Meanwhile, the PS3 has already launched in Japan, where the full supply of 80,000 units sold out in a couple of hours. Many of these were speculators who are re-selling the PS3 for up to 4x sticker price. For the most depressing stat, see Last Boss, which notes how few games were actually bought.

Update: Galley Brother B.J. suggests that since the total number of games sold in Japan seems to be less than the total number of PS3s sold, either: (a) The PS3 is so expensive that consumers can't afford to own both the system and games, or (b) Many of the PS3s were bought not by consumers, but by speculators.

If the answer is (b), isn't this how bubbles are blown?

Update: Forget all of that math up top. Reports are now that Sony will have closer to 750,000 units in the U.S. total beforee the end of the year.

And this site lets you check inventories in your area. Around me, most Best Buys are claiming that they'll have between 26 and 60 unites; Wal-Marts 10-25; EB Games/Game Stop 5-20; Targets will have between 5 and 15 units.

Buyer's Market?

Thanks to Galley friend P.L. for sending the realtor's link to Troy Aikman's home in Plano, Texas, which is up for sale. The pricetag is $4.9 million (does that include closing costs?). Hefty in this market, sure, but it does come with a six-car garage, six fireplaces, and, if you click on to the photo gallery, a lovely entertainment room complete with pool table and a glass case to fit all your Super Bowl trophies.

Submit to Borat

On the heels of the runaway success of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen has signed on to the Tim Burton-directed Sweeney Todd--as Pirelli.

Not since Phantom of the Opera came to the big screen has there been such great news.

Can we get over SBC already? Please? Or do we all have to pretend that he's the greatest comic genius in the history of the world for another couple of years before his schtick gets old? Because eventually, he's going to come back to earth and settle somewhere in the firmament between Chevy Chase and Robin Williams.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Trailer City

Looks like White Power Bill has dirty ears!

Against my better judgment, I'm going to predict that Let's Go To Prison is more Arrested Development than Up Periscope. Because it's got a topless Chai McBride and the line, "I ain't gonna lie to you, this next part is gonna feel like someone's parking a Greyhound bus . . ."

Bonus: Where, oh where, is Warden Gentles? Also, I let my fists do the fisting.

myspace = slightly evil

The John Basedow myspace page. Oh, and turn your speakers up, because the theme song may or may not be the work of The Hasselhoff.

Jersey Complex

So here's what pisses me off: ESPN is running a caption this morning saying, "Think Jersey was pumped Thursday night? The Empire State Building glowed Scarlet red and unbeaten Rutgers rocked third-ranked Louisville 28-25, ruining a Big East national title darling."

So how is it that Rutgers, which is undefeated, has ruined the national title hopes of another undefeated team from the same fucking conference!?!

If you don't love this Rutgers team, then there's something wrong with you. For sobbing out loud, their kicker, Jeremy Ito, is nicknamed "The Judge."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No, I have not dropped off the face of the planet. Nor have I sunk into a postelection depression. But I have been mired in an iTunes dilemma: A few months ago, I finally left America Online. But while I had an AOL account, I purchased 77 songs from the iTunes store. Now that I no longer have this account, those 77 songs have been "deauthorized." They cannot be played on my computer or on my iPod. If I click on the track, a message tells me as much and says I need to enter the password for my AOL account. Which I no longer have. So I enter the old password and, big surprise, it is treated as invalid. Please don't tell me I have to repurchase those songs? (Okay, so maybe I won't get Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay" this time around.)

Just consider the above a public service in the event you are about to switch accounts. And if anyone knows a way out of this mess, let me know.

The PS3 Juggernaut

Sony is now cancelling or delaying PS3 launch titles. Nothing new there--it happens every time a new console launches.

But how bad is it for Sony? In Japan, the PS3 is hitting stores with five game titles. And talk about killer aps! Genji, Resistance, Ridge Racer 7, Gundam and Sega Golf Club.

Makes you want to run out and drop $600, no?

Cowboy Nation

If they still had managers in the WWE, this guy would be the Bobby Heenan.

Ovechkin = Jordan?

For all my newly-minted hockey homeys, Galley Friend B.W. sends along this great story about Alex Ovechkin making up insults in order to get himself fired up.

To all of you Jordan obsessives out there, this is candy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

PS3 First Game Review

IGN has the word on PS3's Genji: Days of the Blade. They give it a 6 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night

Sure, everyone else is watching politics, but TNT just started rolling the Law & Order episode where Briscoe and Green find the remains of a student radical who was murdered in the '60s by an undercover cop and McCoy is all, "You don't understand--it was a different time!"

And Abby is all, "Yeah, a different time where filthy fucking hippies ruled the earth, Jack. The bastard got what he deserved."

So hot.

Faith Hill = Kanye West

Blog Crush has the video from the CMA's. Just skip to the 35 second mark and watch Faith Hill flip out when Carrie Underwood's name is announced. Someone, somewhere, must have the rest of that footage . . .

Gilbert Arenas: The Assassin

Every once in a while, magazine editors do something so right that you have to stop and doff your hat to them. Washingtonian editors did just that by getting Fred Barnes to do this super-fantastic profile of Gilbert Arenas.

If I was King at a big newspaper, I'd do this sort of cross-specialty assigning all the time, getting my best political writers to occassionally do big sports pieces, my sports writers to do some movie reviews, my movie critics to do some literary criticism, etc. Think of how much fun it is to read Anthony Lane doing Wodehouse or Tony Kornheiser doing real estate or Barnes, here, doing sports.

Monday, November 06, 2006

How Big Was Borat?

Brandon Gray puts it in perspective:
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan packed an estimated $26.4 million from around 1,100 screens at 837 theaters, boasting the highest-grossing wide opening ever for a picture playing at less than 1,100 theaters (The Blair Witch Project did $29.2 million at 1,101 sites). The closest recent comparison in terms of release pattern and style was Fahrenheit 9/11, which started with $23.9 million at 868 venues.

Blair Witch and Fahrenheit 9/11 are pretty amazing company to be in.

In other box office news, The Departed registered a 19 percent decline over last weekend, putting it over the $100M mark.

Friday, November 03, 2006


The F-117, the world's first stealth fighter, is being retired. That site is a great resource and if you want a short history of this fruit of the Skunk Works, follow the "F-117 History" link on the left-hand column. It's like a cross between The Right Stuff and The X-Files. For instance, there's this story about one of the first test flights:
Flight test of the Have Blue initially went fairly smoothly, and the fly-by-wire system functioned well. The landing speed was quite high (160 knots), as expected because of the lack of flaps or speed brakes. However, on May 4, 1978, Have Blue prototype number 1001 was landing after a routine test flight when it hit the ground excessively hard, jamming the right main landing gear in a semi-retracted position. Pilot Bill Park pulled the aircraft back into the air, and repeatedly tried to shake the gear back down again. After his third attempt failed, he was ordered to take the aircraft up to 10,000 feet and eject. Park ejected successfully, but he hit his head and was knocked unconscious. Since he was unable to control his parachute during descent or landing, his back was severely injured on impact. He survived, but was forced to retire from flying. The Have Blue aircraft was destroyed in the crash.

It's amazing stuff.

In Praise of Baywatch

This story comes courtesy of Galley Sister MAL, who writes:
My favorite part is where Hasselhoff says "I think the secret of its success was that is was always about saving lives, not taking lives." Hmmm, yes, that was the secret of their success.

Gaming Humor

This is basically like Chris Rock doing a riff on the difference between Japanime RPG games and first-person shooter titles. I know, that sounds weird and esoteric, but it's unbelievably funny if you've ever spent even 10 minutes on a Playstation.

(Language is not safe for work, so put on your headphones.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drew Bledsoe's Blog. Not since Harriet Miers has Blogger proved so valuable.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Does this guy have the greatest Halloween costume ever?


Courtesy of Galley Friend B.W.

"Brick"--not the movie

But the new Microsoft system update for the Xbox 360.

The fact that Microsoft may have uploaded a buggy system update points out how very different this next generation of game consoles is: The product you buy will change. There will be updates to the software and the hardware over the life of the system. Whereas the Nintendo you bought in 1986 was the same one you would buy in 1988, the system you buy this Christmas will be different from the system you buy in Christmas of 2008. At least the software running the system will change and I suspect that the console makers will be adding bits to the hardware packages--more hard disk space, extra flash or HDMI ports, etc.

This means that (1) new game systems are taking on more and more aspects of PCs; (2) that there may be some incentive to not buy the first iteration of a new systems; and (3) that the life span of the next-gen consoles could be much longer than the life spans of the last couple generations.