Wednesday, December 29, 2004

...and we're back! (almost)

The Brain Drain has unofficially returned from Christmas Vacation. After traipsing all over from the Blue Ridge mountains in Southern VA, to suburban D.C., to Western PA, ... I've put some 1500 miles on my car in 10 days. That doesn't break my record of 2000 in 3 days though. I've had a great past few days seeing friends from all over the country who are living lives more exciting than myself be they a musician in Texas, an actor in New York, a stylist in Philly, or an editor in the midwest. I spent the past 5 days in a blur akin to my late teens taking a vacation from my responsible adulthood. Alas, I'm returning my more recent reality of stable boredom as the fuzziness clears. Overwhelmed by travel, parties, friends, and family... I found no time for blogging as you clearly can tell. However, I did find some time for films, including The Incredibles. I still have Collateral to watch which I rented two weeks ago. My wonderful Ben surprised me with the Criterion Collection edition of Videodrome Christmas morning, so my thoughts on that will be coming as well. Darren has invited me over for an adolescent style sleep over Thursday, so who knows what we'll be watching then. Mid-season start ups like Point Pleasant and returning favorites will bless our boxes soon including the return of conspiracy capers Alias and 24. Award season is in full swing which will give me much to talk about. So friends, no worries. The Brain Drain will have much mindless (yet vitally important) entertainment news and commentaries coming soon. The Brain Drain will officially return Monday January 3rd. Happy New Year everyone!

Oh, a brief reminder, Garden State (the second best film of the year) is now out on DVD. Buy it!

Final Thoughts - My Favorite Presents:

Videodrome Criterion DVD from Ben
Final Draft from my Dad
Mac Glass from Andi
"know your mushrooms" Hoodie from Ben
Bone Leather FMB's from Mohammed
DKNY's Be Delicious from my aunt
Home Movies Season One from my Mom
Getting drunk for the first time in two years (priceless!)- Thanks Andi and Darci for being my DD's!

What was your favorite Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanza-Winter Solstice present?

Friday, December 17, 2004

THE BOX: Getting to the "Point" January 19th

If you watch Fox (which everyone should), you might have noticed those Point Pleasent teaser ads popping up all over. I did. Then, I turned to my Ben and yelled, "YES!". He thought I was insane, but who doesn't. With the holidays and other TV fare, I had completely forgot about Point Pleasent. I guess that eager anticipation wasn't so bad after all.

Point Pleasent is an hour long supernatural drama from former Buffy Producer, Marti Noxon.
This is what Fox has to say:

"a supernatural series…[that] will focus on a beachside community that is turned upside down when a mysterious girl washes ashore." The series' protagonist is Christina Nickson, a 17-year-old described as "angelic, mysterious, very bright and very intense." While her wealthy father lives in New York City, she has been shuffled off to boarding school for most of her life, dubbing herself a "Park Avenue Orphan." During a school cruise, the ship sinks and Christina is rescued off shore of the New Jersey town of Point Pleasant. She befriends her savior, a young lifeguard – with whom she shares an attraction – and ends up staying with the Kramers, a local doctor's family with whom she forms an unusual bond. Her presence begins to have a noticeable effect on the townsfolk, in particular the two women of the Kramer family. However, the police captain and Kramer patriarch, Ben, are more suspicious of Christina, perhaps even a bit threatened by her. She possesses a duality that seems hard to reconcile: She's at once dangerous and saintly. Indeed, Christina herself has begun to notice the changes within her, and is frightened by them. It seems that sometimes when she gets upset, unfortunate events happen that involve the people who trouble her. She also is determined to find her mother, whom she never knew. As she spends more time in Point Pleasant, Christina begins to uncover more clues about her mother, and at the same time, becomes more aware of her father's intent to keep her from that mission.

Marti, besides being super cute on all those DVD extras, lent her voice to the Once More with Feeling soundtrack. She was the soprano with the parking ticket demonically possessed by song. Besides Joss Weadon (Angel, Firefly) and Jane Espenson(Gilmore Girls/The O.C.), Marti is personally responsible for some of the greatest scripts in the history of the Buffyverse predominately during the shows creative peak, the second and third seasons.

All of this of course makes up for Fox axing Marti's other project, Still Life, which involves a dead person looking back on his dysfunctional family revealing their secrets. Hmm... where have I seen this before?

From west coast to the east, Point Pleasent is scheduled in the post O.C. slot. (9p.m. on Thursday) Coincidentatlly, that time slot was supposed to go to Tru Calling. "Tru" staring Buffy alum, Eliza Dushku, had a rocky first season. Jane Espenson was wooed away from the Gilmore Girls to revitalize Tru's sophomore effort. Will these episodes ever see "the harsh light of day"?

Visit the offical Point Pleasent site for advance video clips.

While we're at it, don't forget that 24's first four hours air January 9 and January 10, 8-10 p.m. both nights. YES!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

THE BOX: The WGA Honors "Arrested"

Wednesday the Writers Guild of America announced it's nominations far the television format. (Screenplay noms are announced January 13).

Jim Vallely & Mitchell Hurwitz received a nod for the "Pier Pressure" episode of "Arrested Development". In exciting news Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland also received a nod for the short lived but excellent "Wonderfalls" (the pilot episode).

Also on Fox, writers from team Simpson's dominated the animation category with four out of the five nods: Joel H. Cohen's "Today I Am a Clown," Don Payne's "Fraudulent News," Julie Chambers & Don Chambers' "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and Ian Maxtone-Graham's "Catch 'Em if You Can."

HBO as per usual, had nod across the board for The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Six Feet Under. New to praise is Real Time with Bill Maher. I'm just happy to know someone besides myself is watching Mr. Maher.

It's not the Globes or the Emmys, so why do we care? The WGA is a coalition of professional writers. Unlike other awards, I enjoy reviewing the WGA, DGA, and SAG awards to see the work that each professional guild honors of it's own.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that Man could fight the dinosaurs. And the homosexuals. "

That's a quote from Mean Girls folks.

Unfortunately, if the "Bible Thumpers" (pardon the phrase) don't get their heads out of their asses that will be the curriculum in Dover, PA.

What am I talking about you ask? Read here.

Yesturday, a group of parents supported by the ACLU filed suit against Mr. Buckingham and his followers who have forced creationism into the public school system. Not just any public school system, but mine. You wonder why my spelling is so bad? This is my source of education. This might answer a few things. Granted I don't have warm and fuzzies in my heart for the two stop light town I grew up in, but we're better than this. The taxpayers, which includes my mother, are now left with deal with this litigous situation. A firm, Thomas More Law Center, from the mid-west (where else?!?) has offered it's services to the district for free. Granted, they only represent Christians most of whom have an agenda of mixing church and state.

I blog about it almost daily, but no one ever looks at that other site. Basically, I personally would like to tell the world that not everyone from Dover, PA is as ignorant is some of the press releases and video footage would lead you to believe. Dover Area School District (at my point) had at least a handful of amazing teachers who are unfortunately caught in the middle.

Thankfully, both Darren and I recieved our diplomas from Dover long before this Of People and Pandas debate started. (Some of us longer ago than others)

POPCORN: Does The Life Aquatic sink in a sea of hope?

Earlier this week, I directed everyone to Darren's blog to read his comments on Sideways, everyone's "it" film this critical season. I was surprised to read Darren's luke warm review of an Alexander Payne film. While he by no means says that the film is "bad", but instead it failed to live up to Darren's Payne anticipation.



It seems that the same affliction has also struck my dear friend Jon over at The Big Ticket who sneaked an advanced screening of The Life Aquatic. I have yet to meet a bigger Wes Anderson fan than Mr. Gilbert. Just like Darren, he by no means declared the film "bad" just not out of the box "great". To read more on his Aquatic thoughts, visit The Big Ticket.

Might I also add that Jon is mid-way through his Big Ticket '04 Mix release of .mp3s. His taste in tracks is excellent, so make sure to take the time to expand your musical horizons. Ironically, through most of college, I found his taste in music horrid. To be fair, I believe the feeling was mutual. Who would have believed our audio palates would ever find a common ground? Not me.

Last thoughts... I've seen three of Payne's previous films (Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt) and three of Anderson's (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums). I loved Payne's first two film and hated the third, which is inversely true of Anderson. In fact, The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my all time favorite films. It probably doesn't help the fact that I have an irrational distaste for Owen Wilson (love Luke though). I'm excited to see what Anderson does with his newest collaborator Noah Baumbach. If you don't know who Mr. Baumbach is, you should. Rent (since you can't buy anymore) Kicking and Screaming today. Yes, go do it right now. K & S is my fiance's all time favorite film, so much so I devoted myself to tracking down a mint condition original one sheet for him last Christmas along with the rare and long out of print CD, Smile from the Streets You Hold. So (since I'm on a random stream of consciousness thought) how can I top that this Christmas? While not settling for "bad" presents, I believe I have set my own standards too high leading to only disappoint on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

POPCORN: Straight Out of Hell, The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia, the most infamous murder case to rock Hollywood until the Manson family paid a gruesome visit to Sharon Tate, is finally making it's way out of development hell with a bit of casting news today. For at least seven years, The Black Dahlia has been in development to my knowledge and I would speculate it's been around long before that. Around 1997/1998 I found that David Fincher (one of my favorite directors) was attached to direct it. Since then it's been passed around and flip turned upside down, but noir fans, there is hope.



Variety is reporting this morning that Hilary Swank has joined the cast along side Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. Brian De Palma is the current director attached.



The Black Dahlia case is about the gruesome murder and mutilation of Elizabeth Short back in 1947. A.J. Benza used to talk about it all the time on Hollywood Mysteries during the early days of E!. While there was a likely suspect (or two), officially the case has never been solved. The film is based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name about the case.

Monday, December 13, 2004

POPCORN: One Sheet Two Sheet

Like last weeks overwhelming debut of trailers featuring War of the Worlds (click here for the one sheet) and Charlie and Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp scares me btw)... this week, we have posters! Check out the advance for The Ring Two.

Click the poster for hi-res.

THE BOX: The Globes may have overlooked Miss Mars...




...but Kristen (of Watch with Kristen) loves Kristin (Bell) aka Veronica Mars. In fact, Miss Bell and her show is so well loved by some of us that Kristen has dubbed it the first recipient of the E! News Watch It, Already! Award. This week, Kristen's column listed her five reasons why you should be watching Veronica Mars.

1. Kristin Bell
2. Veronica Mars
3. The Mystery
4. The Drama
5. They're the Underdogs.


For elaboration on Kristen's reasoning behind why this show is great, read her column.

POPCORN & THE BOX: Congrats on your AFI Honor

The Brain Drain would like to congratulate Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Desperate Housewives, and Lost for their AFI honors. To see all the honorees, click here.

POPCORN: Has the whole world gone Sideways?



As an NYU grad, I remember often times in the halls of Tisch walking past a one sheet of Citizen Ruth signed by fellow grad Alexander Payne. After following up Ruth with the brilliant Election, Payne found a different tone and bored the shit out of me with About Schmidt a couple Christmas's ago. It seems this is the year of Payne as everyone who is everyone is all about Sideways. In fact, my inbox has been swamped with Wine & Cheese party invites to Sideways screenings on both coasts. Can you bribe critical acclaim with wine & cheese?
Apparently.

If you too are part of the NYU alumni circuit, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, my friend Darren who loves Alexander Payne almost as much as he does Nicole Kidman, has posted his review of Sideways. It's worth the read (as well as his random thoughts on lots of other random films). Just scroll down his blog to see how man critics and association are in love with wine and cheese this year.

CORRECTION: I recently discover that at no time did Alexander Payne attend New York University. So, was I hallucinating that pesky Citizen Ruth poster for four years? What's going on? It was brought to my attention that while Payne did not attend NYU, his writing partner on Ruth, Election, Schmidt, and Sideways, Jim Taylor, is an NYU alum. That explains those wine and cheese invites. (p.s. to all of those who insist that I never admit when I'm wrong, "Ha!".)

THE BOX: "How do you fit a body in a chest that size?"

...as opposed to the more common Hollywood question, "How do you fit a chest on a body that size?"

The answer, to those of you who missed the show, it that you chop it up!

Desperate Housewives 1-09: Suspicious Minds



"Looking to give her life a purpose, Gabrielle decides to organize a glamorous Halston fashion show for charity highlighting the ladies of Wisteria Lane. But Susan is less than charitable toward her friend when she discovers Gabrielle's shocking secret. Meanwhile, Lynette uses her business acumen to poach a nanny, and Bree decides to take Andrew's out-of-control behavior into her own hands."



Last night, Marla Sokoloff (Lucy from "The Practice") made her series debut as the nanny Lynette seduces into her home to care for her boys.



Susan again ended up naked, at least partially, after cat fight behind the catwalk.



Carlos was arrested.



Bree pissed on Rex (or at least dumped piss on him). And, Susan's daughter is hiding Zack (an escaped mental patient and possible murderer) in her room. Yes, it was an interesting evening on Wisteria Lane.

The revelataion of the night was that Mary Alice's husband is dumb enough to bury a murder weapon with a body in a shallow grave. No, wait, it was that Dana - if it was her body in the trunk - was an adult. I figured Dana to be Zack's baby sister. I figured there was a tragic family accident. Apparently, things of a more dark and nefarious nature are at play on Wisteria Lane.

POPCORN: Spanglish & Spiders

Spanglish: 7/10



James L. Brook's delivers yet another film showcasing astonishing acting talent while commenting on the American family and the human condition. Spanglish is the story of a Mexican woman's, Flor (Paz Vega), assimilation north of the border as told through the eyes of her daughter Cristina. Flor and Cristina keep close to their indigenous culture after settling in Los Angeles until Flor takes a job with a wealthy family in Stone Canyon. Flor speaks no English, making her observations of the more or less typically neurotic and loving American family, the Claskey's, joyful and painful to watch.



Spanning generational and cultural lines, Spanglish takes a heart warming and honest look at the mother daughter dynamic in a way Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood tried so hard to do a few years ago. Spanglish then mixes in Adam Sandler as John Claskey, the loving and absolutely confused man stuck in between his wife, mother-in-law, daughter, maid, and her daughter. Tea Leoni and Paz Vega deliver outstanding performances in this dramady which seams to encapsulate the best and worst of your average loving mother. This film is worth the watch and like Terms of Endearment jerks at the tears you don't want to shed, dammit.

Spiderman 2: 6/10

Yes, I know, I'm the last person in country to see this film. I'm also apparently only the second person to not think this is the greatest film ever. Perhaps it's the fact that every person I knew raved about the "awesomeness" of this film all summer and fall and that in fact no film could live up to that hype. Or, maybe, it just wasn't that great.



There was nothing wrong with the film, it just did not surpass the original (which I loved) in my mind. Now that I think about it, most of it has to do with Doc Oc. It's very hard to top Willam Defoe's Green Goblin, just as it was to top Jack Nicholson's Joker. Can Christopher Walken or Gary Oldman play the villain in Spidey 3? I know it's a weak and petty point, but setting a bar that high is hard to jump again and again. I liked the darker story, but didn't like the fuzzy ending. In fact, having Mary Jane Watson die at that part with the Doc (you know where I mean) would have been beautifully poetic and added to the tragic flaw that motivates the best super heros. I'm not a big comic book fan, so I don't know exactly how this would have impacted or violated Spidey's roots.



Tobey, Kirsten, and J.K. Simmons were wonderful in there roles. The animated fight sequences were fantastic, and the web impotency plot line was great. This film delivers fun as it was meant to and does justice to the Spiderman franchise. Unfortunately, it fails to take Spidey to the next level.

POPCORN & THE BOX: And the Nominees Are...

The Golden Globes are the only other awards show that "really matters" (besides the Oscars of course). This morning the nominees were announced including many names and projects familiar to The Brain Drain. For more, visit Variety.

I will say that oddly the most exciting category for me this year is Supporting Actor (for TV) that has Jeremy Piven's Ari and William Shatner's Denny Crane facing off against each other. The upside to a Shatner win is watching him stand on stage yelling "Denny Crane!". Earlier this year I figured Piven's Entourage performance unsurmountable, that was until I got to watch more of Denny Crane! Too bad their can't be a tie... can there?

I have taken the liberty of adding my two cents where I feel a project or person was overlooked. I have yet to see Closer, The Aviator, Sideways, Kinsey, and Million Dollar Baby. Look for my personal picks to come sometime in January.

POPCORN CATEGORIES:



BEST MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)
THE AVIATOR
CLOSER
FINDING NEVERLAND
HOTEL RWANDA
KINSEY
MILLION DOLLAR BABY

Missing: Garden State



PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)
Scarlett Johansson, A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG
Nicole Kidman, BIRTH
Imelda Staunton, VERA DRAKE
Hilary Swank, MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Uma Thurman, KILL BILL VOL. 2
Missing: Julie Delpy, BEFORE SUNSET

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)
Javier Bardem, THE SEA INSIDE
Don Cheadle, HOTEL RWANDA
Johnny Depp, FINDING NEVERLAND
Leonardo DiCaprio, THE AVIATOR
Liam Neeson, KINSEY



BEST MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
THE INCREDIBLES
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
RAY
SIDEWAYS

Missing: MEAN GIRLS

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Annette Bening, BEING JULIA
Ashley Judd, DE-LOVELY
Emmy Rossum, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Kate Winslet, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Renee Zellweger, BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON
Missing: Paz Vega, SPANGLISH

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL or COMEDY)
Jim Carrey, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
Jamie Foxx, RAY
Paul Giamatti, SIDEWAYS
Kevin Kline, DE-LOVELY
Kevin Spacey, BEYOND THE SEA

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
THE CHORUS (LES CHORISTES) (FRANCE)
HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (CHINA)
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (BRAZIL)
THE SEA INSIDE (SPAIN)
A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT (FRANCE)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Cate Blanchett, THE AVIATOR
Laura Linney, KINSEY
Virginia Madsen, SIDEWAYS
Natalie Portman CLOSER
Meryl Streep, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
Missing: Rahda Mitchell, FINDING NEVERLAND or Tea Leoni, SPANGLISH


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
David Carradine, KILL BILL VOL. 2
Thomas Haden Church, SIDEWAYS
Jamie Foxx, COLLATERAL
Morgan Freeman, MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Clive Owen, CLOSER



DIRECTOR - MOTION PICTURE
Clint Eastwood, MILLION DOLLAR BABY
Marc Forster, FINDING NEVERLAND
Mike Nichols, CLOSER
Alexander Payne, SIDEWAYS
Martin Scorsese, THE AVIATOR
Missing: Zach Braff, GARDEN STATE

SCREENPLAY - MOTION PICTURE
Charlie Kaufman, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
John Logan THE AVIATOR
David Magee FINDING NEVERLAND
Patrick Marber, CLOSER
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, SIDEWAYS
Missing: Tina Fey, MEAN GIRLS

ORIGINAL SCORE - MOTION PICTURE
CLINT EASTWOOD, MILLION DOLLAR BABY
JAN A.P. KACZMAREK, FINDING NEVERLAND
ROLFE KENT, SIDEWAYS
HOWARD SHORE, THE AVIATOR
HANS ZIMMER, SPANGLISH

ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
"ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE" -- SHREK 2
"BELIEVE" -- THE POLAR EXPRESS
"LEARN TO BE LONELY" -- Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
"MILLION VOICES" -- HOTEL RWANDA
"OLD HABITS DIE HARD" -- ALFIE

THE BOX CATEGORIES

TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
24 (FOX)
DEADWOOD (HBO)
LOST (ABC)
NIP/TUCK (FX)
THE SOPRANOS (HBO)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Edie Falco, THE SOPRANOS
Jennifer Garner ALIAS
Mariska Hargitay, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT
Christine Lahti, JACK & BOBBY
Joely Richardson, NIP/TUCK
Missing: Kirsten Bell, VERONICA MARS

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
Michael Chiklis, THE SHIELD
Denis Leary, RESCUE ME
Julian McMahon, NIP/TUCK
Ian McShane, DEADWOOD
James Spader, BOSTON LEGAL
Missing: Hugh Laurie, HOUSE

TELEVISION SERIES (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (FOX)
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
ENTOURAGE (HBO)
SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
WILL & GRACE (NBC)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Marcia Cross, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Teri Hatcher, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Felicity Huffman, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Debra Messing WILL & GRACE
Sarah Jessica Parker, SEX AND THE CITY
Missing: Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jason Bateman, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT
Zach Braff, SCRUBS
Larry David, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Matt LeBlanc, JOEY
Tony Shalhoub, MONK
Charlie Sheen, TWO AND A HALF MEN

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Drea de Matteo, THE SOPRANOS
Anjelica Houston, IRON JAWED ANGELS
Nicollette Sheridan, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Charlize Theron THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS
Emily Watson, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS
Missing: Jessica Walters, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Sean Hayes WILL & GRACE
Michael Imperioli, THE SOPRANOS
Jeremy Piven, ENTOURAGE
Oliver Platt, HUFF
William Shatner, BOSTON LEGAL

Friday, December 10, 2004

POPCORN: Coming Soon to a Blog near you



This weekend I'm lucky enough for Darren to take me to not one, but two films. Look for my thoughts on Spanglish and Closer come monday.

Have a nice weekend.


How can I not?

POPCORN: Tease me Batman!

Can anything possibly undo what horrors were done to the Batman franchise by Joel Schumacher? Only time will tell. Here's your first look at the newest teaser poster for the next chapter of the that big bad bat.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Commercially Superficial

Not that this is really anything about anything but I have to vent and well, that's why I created this blog.

1. The Gap commerical with Sarah and Lenny was one thing, but that damn Lady song is everywhere now, including being the theme to those Alias spots. Sarah Jessica or Jenny G, pick a lady and stick to it Lenny!


2. What the f*ck could possibly be more obnoxious than that damn Old Navy caroler kid? You know the brat... the one that yells "They sure are festive" like some kind of Omen-style antichrist. And I thought that the D-List celebs Old Navy used to have were bad. Does anyone else wish that Jesus would smit this small child for ruining his birthday party? I know, I'm a bitch.

3. Since I'm already on a politically incorrect slant for the evening... Stevie Wonder! He's all pissed at Eminem. Now, I understand being pissed about comments Mr. Mathers may have made or his music. Stevie though is complaining about how Eminem mock's Mr. Jackson in his video. So, to recap, Stevie is upset by something he can't see because he doesn't want to see it? Deaf people don't complain about that crazy metal music... do they? I don't know, maybe they do. I mean, plenty of people comdemed Michael Moore without watching his films, and that's self imposed blindness.

Okay, rants over for the night. If I offened you, deal.

THE BOX: Wallpapered and Pampered

So if you're a first timer or just have no long term memory, The Brain Drain loves Lost and Desperate Housewives. ABC has some sassy desktops for you to easily download if you feel like it. You know you do, so click here.



Personally, I'm a Bree Van Der Kamp girl. My sister called me tonight and became concerned that I've gone all "Stepford" after I mentioned making 6 dozen Christmas cookies and signing over 50 holiday cards. Rest assured Casey, I'm not wearing a fluffy skirt nor have I bleached my hair blonde.

For those of you who still have not watched the funniest piece of Arrested Development from my beloved "cornballer" episode, watch "Eat my dust, Buster." I dare you. Oh and for trivia's sake, it's 1-03 entitled "Bringing Up Buster". I will affectionately refer to it still as "The cornballer episode".

THE BOX: "All they wanted was Claire"

Lost 1-11: "All the Best Cowboys have Daddy Issues"

Survivors wonder why Charlie and the pregnant Claire have been abducted - and by whom -- and a search party ventures into the treacherous jungle to try to find and rescue the missing duo. Meanwhile, inner-demons about his father resurface for Jack, and Boone and Locke discover another island mystery. For a detailed summary, click here.




Now things are getting interesting. That damn island is creepy, chaotic, and killing people. Okay, well maybe it's Ethan Rom (not Ethan Rayne Buffy fans) who's killing people. That's right, poor [spoiler] Charlie gets it. Swinging like a fool dead in the jungle... or is he?



Speaking of Buffy (and just deal because I haven't in a while) and seeing that Lost inherited Joss trained writers, I feel the need for a reference. In episode 6-17 "Normal Again" Buffy wakes (or doesn't) to find herself in a mental institution free of demons and vampires. Buffy has her mother and her father in a world of normalcy. In the end she has to choose what she believes to be real, the world of the "sane" or that pesky duty to patrol the Hellmouth. Why am I referencing this? Well, because 98% of me still thinks everyone is dead, or in a holding dimension of some kind. What if Charlie woke up? He's obviously in shock... What did he see or not see? Is he alive or dead? What to the "others" want with Claire's baby? Did that Aussie psychic know all along?

My boy hates this show because of the questions it raises. "It never pays off," he laments. Granted, he can't make it through an episode of Twin Peaks without falling asleep either. I choose to believe that Lost is only laying the ground work for complex philosophical issues confronting humanity. If not, it's a pretty good hour of action adventure to say the least.

If you have not joined the castaways yet, take the next month to catch up. Next Wednesday, ABC will be featuring the two hour pilot in entirety the way it was meant to be seen. Get Lost.

POPCORN: Super Sized... Beating the Big Mac



Super Size Me 8/10

This is one of those films, like The Blair Witch Project, that has me screaming "Why didn't I think of that?!?" Yes we all know fast food is bad for us, but exactly how bad thought is a different story. Super Size Me follows Morgan Spurlock on a dark journy into the world of fast food "heavy using". Watch his waist line expand, his mood become dependent on sugar and caffine, his penis flounder, and his liver... Well, I'm not going to ruin the best part. I dare any one to watch this film while eating a big mac. In fact, I gave up fast food (not counting Subway) and all refined carbohydrates March 1st of this year two weeks after I quit smoking. I'm very happy I did so before watching this film. In fact I was so disturb and gross feeling that I let no excuse keep me from the gym this week.

There are many worth while moments in Super Size Me, most famously "The Smoking Fry" scene which wasn't even in the final cut. As my friend Travis says, have you ever dropped a fry in the car and then cleaned it out months later? It's hard right, but in perfect condition. Which leads you to wonder, how bad is something for you if bacteria and mold won't even feed on it?

The movie doesn't grill just McDonald's, but tackles the issues of obesity, eating disorders, cultural standards of beauty, lethargy, socio-economic factors of nutrition, and more. This is the best documentary I've seen since Bowling for Columbine. While not necesarily an emotional trigger like Farenheit 911, Super Size Me is a much better crafted non fiction piece. Although, can you really compare fast food to global politics in importance? I guess I just did, but not in that way.

If you're looking for motivation to keep those New Year's resolutions this year, invest in this film for your DVD collection.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

POPCORN: Something Wicked-Awesome This Way Comes... Year Three


Yeah, so can we just get this Oscar thing over with now... or do I have to wait until I'm 20?

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: 8/10

Those pesky Potter kids are growing up and so are the quality of these films. Year One (Sorcorer's or Philosopher's Stone) was my first exposure to Harry Potter and his wonderful world of wizardry. I've alway been a huge fantasy fan and was disappointed by how unoriginal the story was. I loved the film The Worst Witch as a child; I guess that dates me though. Regardless, J.K. Rowling could buy and sell my whole family, so who am I to judge. Anyway, I was impressed by the first film, but since I was riding high on the LOTR releases... I wasn't blown away. Chamber left little for me as I thought it was a fair follow up, but not a great film.



Year Three has Harry finally dishing it out to his beloved muggle family before becoming entangled in a dark mystery about the nature of his parents, their death, and his ultimate fate.
Azkaban matures this franchise all around from a glorious children's story to a darkly mystical tale of family, betrayal, friendship, and character. For those of your who know me, I'm not just saying that because Gary Oldman makes a long cameo. Even if you hated the first two, Year Three is worth the watch. From Emma Watson's breakout role as Hermione Granger to the top notch cinematography to the haunting theme, "Something Wicked This Way Comes." This is one of the most beautiful films I've seen since Chicago and I hope it's rewarded as such.


Not even 16 yet, Miss Watson delivers the best breakout role for someone her age since Natalie Portman captured the world in The Professional.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Roll over Fay... Kong

Here's our first look at King Kong staring one of the greatest actresses of all time, the stunning Naomi Watts.



Check out more.

What makes Jennifer Aniston insecure?

Geisha Girl

DKME has a first look to Memoirs of a Geisha, easily a most anticipated film.

Here's a glimpse, but check out the real thing.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

"I'm gonna put on a skirt, take of my underwear, and make your Pop-Pop proud."

Sunday night featured what was possibly the greatest episode of the greatest sitcom ever. What were you doing?

With no Boston Legal or Desperate Housewives, Arrested Development did not fail to deliver on what was an otherwise lackluster night of television.



This episode opens with Gob, Michael and a misunderstanding on "Poof". You can watch a recap on the AD website, by visiting the Episode 204 Guide. While you're there, I highly recommend watching "Eat my Dust, Buster". You can also view it by clicking here. This is exactly why Buster (Tony Hale) is my favorite character and "Let's hope it doesn't come to that" is one of my all time favorite lines. Do it, watch it... What else are you doing?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

POPCORN: Where the Beautiful People Are

The Aviator premeired this week in Hollywood. All the pretty people were out and about:



But guess what, they aren't prettier in real life. Here check out the stills.


Kate as Ava


Cate as Kate


Gwen as Jean

"My Log Saw Something"

Okay, I can never pass up and opportunity to quote Twin Peaks, and often, like today, I just felt the need to create a reason. Did you see Lost? I'm so very glad I skipped Rudolph. Damn, now that was a great episode and utterly creepy.

Lost 1-10: "Raised by Another"

Last night we met Ethan Rom who was collecting wood or logs. Since Ethan is creepy, I had to reference the log lady, ala "My log saw something." Speaking of Ethan, Ethan Rayne anyone... the evil for cult partner of Giles (The Ripper) on Buffy... anyone? Okay, maybe it's just me. So now that that is out of the way, WTF?



Is that baby evil or is it special or is it an alien or a monster or souless? There are so many possibilities with mystical births and "special" babies. The fun has just begun.



Wanna know more? Check out Lost-TV or visit the official site.

My on going dead theory: Okay here is where the theory gets complicated. If they are dead, can Claire give birth? I'm saying no. But if they are in a transiant dimention, will the "old tymers" see this child as their salvation... You know "Stay away from the light, Carol Ann" and all that jazz. From The Exorcist, to The Omen, to Rosemary's Baby, to The Seventh Sign, to Angel to the big daddy tale, The New Testament, stories of mystical births of gods and monsters have been some of the greatest story lines of all time. Granted the plot could be that they are really stuck on an island. But what's the greater fun in that?

THE BOX: Big is Back and a Bergen Debauchel

Chris Noth could possibly be back on NBC as Mike Logan one of the original cast members of L & O. He will be guest starring on Criminal Intent and could take over for Mr. D'Onofrio who has had numerous "problems" since Bush's re-election.

Also this week, it was announced that Murphy Brown (aka Candice Bergen) will be joining the cast of Boston Legal as a partner with DENNY CRANE! Bergen is also to be a cast member on L & O: Trial by Jury, playing a judge. Does NBC know what ABC is doing. I find this odd. Pick a show damn it!

Read on for more...

The New Zealand Herald: "Chris Noth, who played Detective Mike Logan on the first five seasons of Law & Order, is set to reprise the role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

News of Noth's guest spot has also led to speculation that the NBC network and Law & Order producers are considering him as a potential replacement for Criminal Intent star Vincent D'Onofrio, who has suffered two fainting spells recently, the second of which stopped production on the show for a few days.

D'Onofrio passed out on the set of the show on November 11, reportedly while rehearsing a strenuous scene.

NBC acknowledges that Noth will make a guest appearance on the show but says no cast changes are in the works. Noth left Law & Order after the 1994-1995 season; he is best known for playing Mr Big on Sex and the City. Bergen's legal beagle Five-time Emmy winner Candice Bergen is joining the TV series Boston Legal, in her first regular series role since Murphy Brown left the air in 1998.

Bergen will play Shirley Schmidt, a founding partner in the law firm of Crane, Poole & Schmidt who's been away for some time. Other partners convince her to come back in an attempt to bring some semblance of order to the office.

Bergen won five Emmy awards for playing the title role on Murphy Brown. She appeared on a handful of Sex and the City episodes and will have a recurring part as a judge in the upcoming Law & Order spinoff Trial by Jury"

GAY RIGHTS: Networks Bar Church Ads That Welcome Gays

Networks Bar Church Ads That Welcome Gays: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two leading U.S. television networks angered gay rights groups on Thursday by refusing to carry an ad by a church welcoming gays to their congregations, a message the networks found too controversial.
The United Church of Christ, a Protestant denomination which has about 1.3 million members, said the 30-second commercial was aimed at making gays feel included and they were disappointed by CBS and NBC's decision to reject it. Cable networks have accepted the ad.
In the ad, heavy-set bouncers stand behind a red velvet rope line outside a church and with bells chiming in the background, hand-holding gay couples are turned away.
'Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we,' is the message of the ad.
The church's director of communications, Robert Chase, said the ad grew out of a two-year effort to welcome gays.
'There are countless persons who feel alienated, rejected or excluded from the church. What we are trying to say is, you are welcome here,' he told ABC's 'Good Morning America' show.
Chase said he was surprised the networks had turned down the ads, which ran in six test markets last spring in predominantly Republican states and drew no complaints.
'I think that one of the things we need to be concerned about is what has changed that would cause such a stir?' asked Chase. "

POPCORN: Foggy Recollection

Brit Filmmaker Lights Way to 'Fog' Remake: "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British director Rupert Wainwright has signed on to direct the remake of John Carpenter's classic horror thriller 'The Fog.'

Wainwright, whose credits include the 1999 supernatural thriller 'Stigmata,' had been due to direct MGM's 'Blood and Chocolate' but is now expected to leave that project.
'Fog' is set in a northern Californian town about 100 years ago where a ship sank under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. The ghosts of the deceased mariners return from their watery graves to seek their revenge. Carpenter shot the original in 1980. The remake is set up at Sony-based Revolution Studios. "

No one puts Briscoe in the Corner

Not even prostate cancer....

Yahoo! News - Jerry Orbach of 'Law & Order' Has Cancer: "NEW YORK - 'Law & Order' actor Jerry Orbach has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his manager said.
'We expect he'll be fine. He's been playing golf, shooting his episodes and doing real well,' manager Robert Malcolm told the New York Daily News for Thursday editions.
Orbach starred for 12 seasons in the original 'Law & Order' series, but left to head the spin-off 'Law & Order: Trial by Jury,' set to debut next year.
So far, Orbach's illness has not disrupted production of the new show in any way, producer Dick Wolf said.
'We expect him to make a full and swift recovery, and while he is receiving treatment, we will work around his schedule,' Wolf told the News.
Orbach began playing Detective Lennie Briscoe in 1992, the original show's third season. "

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

No News is good news

While I tried to post earlier today, but was halted by server issues, I really didn't have much to say. My biggest dilema of the day is whether or not to watch Lost or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. That's when Darren shared these gorgeous pics with me.:



Check out the DKME for more. The NBR awards and Independent Spirit Awards are out pushing us into my favorite time of year "Award Season".

I'm officially declaring House "Abso-fucking-lutely" for your appointment television list. Sucks is airs opposite Veronica. Oh well, that's what reruns are for.




That's about it for today folks.