Monday, November 30, 2009

Links of Interest 11/30

Be careful with that bagel!

50 famous people who have taken a bullet.

Ramen isn’t always 20 cents.

Cool list of scary moments in non scary films.

Someone has to keep an eye on the sweatshops.

If there’s ever a cyberwar, the U.S. seems prepared.

A book about Stanley Kubrick’s greatest masterpiece – that was never made.

Looking back with Tom Petty.

2009 stuff that came with big hype, and then fizzled. And then here’s the stuff that delivered.

Looking at the El Bulli restaurant from a business standpoint.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What is the defining movie of the 2000s? PART 8: 2007

Want to catch up?

If you haven't been following, but would like to catch up now, here are the earlier parts...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

As always, the disclosure/definition: this is not a list of good/great/your personal favorite movies. This is a list to see if we can find what the definitive movie is of the decade. The criteria, as with most internet lists is subjective and vague in its definition. It has to be recognized by a majority of people (that means no art house films), and has to have a positive buzz. It has to be considered by the mainstream and have cultural significance.

Maybe it's me maturing, or maybe because not enough time has passed, but I feel that 2007 doesn't have too many contenders to be a defining movie. And that's ok, because I feel treating this like the Baseball Hall of Fame accepts members is a good thing.

Regardless, let's take a look at what 2007 brings to the table...

Remember, this is not a list of good/great/your personal favorite movies. This is a list to see if we can find what the definitive movie is of the decade. The criteria, as with most internet lists is subjective and vague in its definition. It has to be recognized by a majority of people (that means no art house films), and has to have a positive buzz. It has to be considered by the mainstream and have cultural significance.

First up - the Oscar nominated films:

No Country For Old Men
Michael Clayton
There Will Be Blood

Of this list, I immediately see 2 contenders. So let's break it down. Atonement? I have no idea what that was about and it was only 2 years ago. I bet in another year it will be the Trivial Pursuit question that stumps everyone when they try to name the 2007 Oscar contending films.

I loved Michael Clayton, but do understand why others might not. Long, meandering, and purposefully ambiguous, I think Clooney and David Bowie both did bang up jobs. I loved that it had a 70s cinematic feel and wish more movies took risks like this one did.

There Will Be Blood? Daniel Day Lewis fantastic. "I drink your milkshake!" Pop culture significance. Seriously, you can't order a milkshake with friends without getting a bunch of terrible impressions of that line. And I'm never going bowling with Daniel Day again.

But is the movie defining?

I don't think so. I think everyone got caught up in the performance and kinda forgot about the movie. Is it still a great film? Absolutely. Is it defining? Nah. It's historical and cool and a great accomplishment, but not special at the end of the day.

That leaves No Country For Old Men and Juno...

(spoiler if you haven't seen the movie. This is the ending! Not that it would mess you up too much)

No Country For Old Men has a lot going for it. Based on a novel from arguably one of the best living writers. Directed by arguably the best directors working in Hollywood. Won the best picture. Things against it? A rather vague and open ended conclusion to the whole thing that left some scratching their heads. While I think the ending is a little jarring, I can also appreciate that it is something different, in that it forces the viewer to interpret it. That's rare and also a little refreshing. I definitely believe it's a good contender for defining movie of the decade.

As for Juno, if you remember it receive ridiculous hype before and during the first two weeks it came out. And that inevitable hype inevitably damaged it. It also put hipsters at war with one another and questioning their values. On one side you had the hipsters who saw it first and created the hype; on the other side you had hipsters who refused to see it because of the hype. Yay hipsters!

Regardless, this film is a smart, edgy teen comedy with a female protagonist - something were not used to. Is the dialog a little over the characters' heads? Possibly...but didn't we all know slightly pretentious teens in school that at least tried to speak like this?

It also doesn't hurt that the writer was a former stripper and broke into Hollywood the way all struggling writers would like to. That the film now is a measuring stick for other indie comedies (_______ is this year's Juno!) doesn't hurt it either. I feel confident choosing it as a contender.

With the Oscar's out of the way, let's turn our attention to the mainstream releases...

A small little movie about a bunch of Greeks that hold off the Persian hordes...oh yeah and it was pretty much done all in front of a green screen. Stylish and gory, this movie turned people's both in Hollywood and across the country when it opened so big. Birthing (eww) a number of lines that have become cliche, glorifying hyper violence and yelling, this movie is the rallying cry of a contender for defining movie of the decade. It even has the honor of being the focus of a spoof movie, "Meet the Spartans," something that can't be overlooked.

And really I think that's it for 2007. I thought about Superbad and Knocked Up, and I think they are comedies that people will remember from the decade, but I don't think they have enough staying power to be considered a defining movie. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I think both Old School, Anchorman and Wedding Crashers are all funnier and more iconic, and will stick with that.

Of course we can't ignore the the now time honored tradition of looking at some of the other movies Hollywood trotted out for us to consume...

"_________raped my childhood" has become a cliche on the Internet, probably going back to when Lucas released Phantom Menace. People became so outraged because the movie didn't closely adhere to their childhood memories of the original trilogy, so they took this mantra as their battle cry. Ok, so maybe it wasn't the biggest thing in the world, but I've heard it enough that in my head it's a cliche. It's used ad nauseum to describe something that doesn't fit perfectly with the memory of something.

That said, I'm pretty sure Michael Bay is raping all of our childhoods with his Transformer movies.

I understand that it's not so much a movie as it is a really long and loud commercial, and that we sorta as a society are ok with that, but that doesn't mean the movie doesn't have to make sense.

Of course, the joke's on me, because Michael Bay is rich enough to live on a bed made of explosions, while I sit here and write this in a poorly lit cubicle. So he wins. (Apologies if the Fox image I used is from the sequel. I really didn't care enough to figure it out, and really, it's a Megan Fox picture so you shouldn't be too upset.)

Ghost Rider
Nicholas Cage is apparently going broke. I like to think it's because he made choices to star in movies like Ghost Rider. Based on the comic about a motorcycle rider that turns into a flaming skeleton. What? You don't like my plot synopsis? Fine, wiki it, it's a ton more confusing, non sensical, and silly. And yes, I understand anyone could have written that, but I doubt even Tom Wolfe has the writing chops to make it any more coherent. I will give Ghost Rider one little bit of credit - it had the foresight to cast Eva Mendes. While that won't get me to watch the movie, it will get me to linger on it a bit if I sstumble across it on cable.

This splits people a lot of ways, and with good reason. Comprised of 2 movies that pay homage to the experience of watching a 70s drive-in movie (complete with bad audio and missing reels, which, ok do we all realize these were bad things that people hated?) directors' Robert Rodriguez and Tarantino take slightly different routes to get to the same place.

Rodriguez tackles a zombie movie, and pretty much follows a standard 70's horror movie script note for note. There's the occasionaly wink to the audience, but for the most part he plays it all honest. So what we're leeft with is...a purposelly made mediocre zombie movie - which, yeah I really can't get too enthused about.

Tarantino went a slightly different way, and the results are...mixed. First of all, while the template of a 70s movie is all right there on screen, Tarantino just couldn't contain himself. And that's a good thing. So what we got is a patchwork quilt of all the 70s genres he loved so much, blended with a 2007 Tarantino sensibility. It's interesting to watch it unfold, and that's with absolutely nothing happening for the first 40 minutes. By the time we get to the car chase, we're exhausted from having to deal with the main characters chat about nothing. This would have made a fantastic 30 minute short; I think 90 minutes was just too much.

The other thing Grindhouse had going for it are the "trailers" of made up movies. Speak to a Grindhouse fan and he/she will most likely suggest this is the best part of the movie. While some of them are kinda clever, (Machete looks awesome!) the others definitely are only a gimmick and start to drag.

But don't take my word for it, take a look yourself! (be careful of the violence and nudity - there's a lot of both)

So that leaves us with just 3 contenders for 2007:

No Country For Old Men

Stay tuned for part 8...

Links of Interest 11/25

When it comes to food, it really is all in the name.

AV Club does it again, turning their attention to the best books of the decade.

Interview with a crazy man. You might know him as Werner Herzog.

Are these the 6 creepiest places on Earth?

The Muppets sing Queen!

Just fucking make a turducken tomorrow. Here’s the recipe. You’re good to go.

4 ways we may or may not evolve. Or if you don’t believe in evolution, 4 ways God may or may not give us magical gifts.

No big fan of Jimmy Fallon, but if he can keep hitting home runs like this video, then he’ll win me and others over. I’m just afraid his hits are too few and far between.

Bests television guest appearances. Oprah on 30 Rock though? No. It was forced at best, as if the writers found out at the last minute that Oprah was a fan of the show, happened to be in New York, and demanded to be in the episode.

I love goop (Gwenyth Paltrow’s blog on how we should all live). And this entry is especially exceptional. It’s like pretentiousness took a bath in pretentiousness.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Links of Interest 11/24

Places you might want to check out in case the shit goes down.

What a cheery thought – praying for the death of others. In this case, Obama.

Interview with Wes Andersen.

Who doesn’t like awesome vans?

Super powers that were maybe uh, not so super.

This Thanksgiving the most important recipes might be for the drinks.

My new favorite thing: Backyard roller coasters.

1979. The year everything changed. I guess the Smashing Pumpkins were right.

?uestlove talks about his favorite Late Night with Jimmy Fallon moments.

That sushi you’re eating? Could be endangered. It’s like The Freshman only in reverse!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Links of Interest 11/23

Speaking with Viggo Mortensen about his movie The Road.

So Oprah Winfrey is retiring. Which means (according to the media) someone has to take her place as Queen (or King) of the later afternoon talk show.

Werner Herzog on his new film, Bad Lieutenant.

If you’re a gamer, this list of the top video games of the decade will interest you.

A Pepsi plant in Cambodia – that shut down in 1975.

A list of actual, awesome Lifetime movie titles.

Unintentional sexual product names.

A look at underrated superhero movies. And if you didn’t immediately just say to yourself, “I’m sure Unbreakable is #1,” then you don’t know how these lists work.

Carl Sagan – pothead!

Cryonics. In Britain. At least it isn’t about Ted Williams head.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Best Tweets of the Week 11/13 - 11/20

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules (and now so is Yoko Ono).

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

TheCline Between Community & Mad Men, I'm one plane ticket and a radiator away from Black Snake Moaning the hell out of Alison Brie.

Xytrex It's apparent she puts on her makeup by opening her cosmetics bag, shoving her face in side and shaking vigorously.

bestgirlbetty God DAMMIT. Used up my 1066th tweet and it wasn't about the Battle of Hastings. This just became the worst motherfucking birthday ever.

artichoked HOWARD THE DUCK is on. I saw this shit in the theater. Yep, even back then I was making good choices.

VaginaDrum Got an email from Kettle Chips extending an invitation to join their 'Inner Circle.' Seems like eating two bags a week has finally paid off.

linajk Shouldn't Captain Crunch be Admiral Crunch by now?

nathanrabin passed a lady destined to be the oldest woman at the bar tonight. There was a perfect symmetry between her leather pants and leathery hide.

VaginaDrum I need a way to sleep with the covers over my head while still being able to breathe comfortably. Something like a depression Snuggie.

drew42e With the wife out of town, thinking of going to Chuck E. Cheese's to kill a few hours. Now I just have to find somebody to watch the kids

johnmoe Thanks to Lego Star Wars, my family's living the dream of seeing Gen. Grievous and a Tusken Raider hanging out on Hoth for no reason.

WadetoBlack OMG, OMG, the new American Girl catalog just came in the mail!! I mean, oh shit stains, the new American Girl catalog just came in the mail.

FriedWords My son's friend is spending the night. I hope that means his parents are gonna have sex. Otherwise these night vision goggles were a waste.

Jim_Hamilton What happened? This bar was empty when I fell asleep and no one was paying money to put their balls in my mouth.

CourtneyReimer It's pretty clear that no member of Black Eyed Peas need be present in order for it to be considered a Black Eyed Peas performance.

JephKelley I don't think you need to go to church on Sunday to worship. For instance, I'm in bed praying to God that this hangover goes away soon.

ange_black Why do I *have* to wear pants to go get a coffee and a bagelwich? My underpants are clean. Clean-ish. Okay, I'll put on my fucking pants.

summersumz Say what you will about print journalism, it remains the best tool for drying out rain-soaked shoes.

Xytrex My back hurts pretty bad today. If it could talk it would probably say "What in the hell, I can talk?" Then it would complain about hurting.

mookiewilson86 The Jets' offense leads the NFL in making announcers comment, "They're lucky that one wasn't picked off." And SARS.

The_Sock_Puppet If I ever find out who wrote my phone # on the mens bathroom wall at the gas station, I'll thank them

Caissie May Matt Lauer never call me "an incredible lady" as a result of my face being chimped off. Lord, hear my prayer.

WadetoBlack I think I cut myself worse shaving on Mondays because subconciously I'm trying to find the jugular.

mrdavehill I am either too old or too young to have as many crumbs in my bed as I do right now.

CourtneyReimer People who pronounce it "Na-BOK-ov" are the same people who don't know Sting had a career before he became an easy-listening megastar.

iamnotdiddy I have a staff infection and by "staff" I mean "stupid fucking people I work with" and by "infection" I mean "I hate them."

FartSandwich Actions speak louder than words, especially if that action is shouting.

I_am_JMan I just realized that Destro is just destroy without the "y". Those Hasbro people are so clever.

WadetoBlack Lost: Work motivation. Last seen at the corner of April and May 2009. If found, euthanize immediately.

thebenbrooks After 12 years of marriage, I'll be the second to admit I've made some bad choices.

StillDrew You know what's like herding cats? Herding cats. But why would you want to? Now shooting cats in a barrel? I could get into that.

Jim_Hamilton I like the term "personal publishing." Every time I post a tweet, I call mom and yell, "I got published!"

deighvan I just noticed that during our illness my 2yr old's Kai-Lan doll has slept with everyone in this house. Kai-Lan is a sick ho.

xrayedman There is no 'I' in team and there is no 'Team' in Cleveland.

cravenheart The only way to get my wife into bed is to set a gin trap.

michellew_There's a large number of "hair restoration" people following me. Have they SEEN me? I've got more hair then Madonna's armpits in the 80's!

SarahKSilverman I keep confusing 9-11 and 7-11. Gotta stop going to ground zero for Nerds Rope.

DaveHolmes Somewhere there is hours of footage of Payton Manning and Justin Timberlake doing improv.

nerdist Ah, late-night PBS. A vegetable crisper of British leftovers.

diplo i hope I get hit in the head with a meteor

bestgirlbetty It's always sunny in my cleavage. With scattered showers of crumbs, yes, but it's always sunny.

MrBigFists I wish my neighbors would put blinds up in their bathroom window so I could stop climbing this tree every morning.

coachbaby4 Freedom of expression is important to me & that's why all my panties have messages on the back.

Caissie I don't mind if absorbed twins follow me, but no absorbed twin spammers! I don't want to see your abs0rb3dtw1nfvck3dv1ds, guys.

Aimee_B_Loved I can't think of a single image that would be as awesome and terrifying as jousting narwhals. Make that happen, Wild Kingdom.

kolchak It's not yellow snow. It's a ghetto icee.

knitterplease I am NOT listening to Christmas music. I'm listening to the holiday date-rape classic, "Baby It's Cold Outside".

RexHuppke Sorry, boss, nudity is not listed as a policy violation in the employee handbook. See for yourself. It's right here. In my lap.

RexHuppke This day is like watching a pair of mimes perform "Waiting for Godot."

VaginaDrum I've watched so many murder mysteries, I just keep them on in the background and listen for buzz words like 'semen' 'knife' and 'Nashville.'

WadetoBlack My wife's busy fake cooking in in her fake cafe in the Cafe World game on Facebook. I'm eating microwave hot dogs. Something is wrong here.

brashlionroars The dude from Kiss in the cat makeup totally drew the short straw

danlevyshow Just saw a guy who looks like the homeless me. I gave him in dollar in case there is some back to the future shit going on.

TheMadTurkey Tried to get some celebrity friends to help my cause by singing Do They Know Its Thanksgiving Time, but even the other Baldwins ignored me.

JeeNeeBee I just stuffed my washing machine so full, I'm going to have to rename it Kirstie.

RexHuppke Great. Along with a bad knee, nose hair and lower-back pain, I've started snoring. I'm a Matlock marathon shy of Geezerville.

razorwitted For us, it's just a speedbump in the week, but for Quasimodo, Wednesday was *his* day...

TheCline Me: How often should I change the filter in my new furnace? Him: Same way you do now. Every month or so. Me: [awesome poker face] Of course.

TheMaskedBandit Has anyone used 'Harry Chronic Jr.' for a weed name yet? If not, we need to be getting much more creative.

WadetoBlack When faced with the difficult choice between just two toilet stalls, I sometimes like to ask myself: What Would Robert Frost Do?

mrdavehill That movie "The Maid" was totally different from what I was expecting/not wearing pants for.

QuinnK My landlord got upset when I told him I was going to build a "fake" fire in my fake fireplace. (It's all about good finger quote placement.)

artichoked After my dog finishes eating, he wipes his mouth on the living room carpet. I assume he learned this behavior from my husband.

bestgirlbetty Early meeting at work this a.m. with a gunty woman. Adding "I got up early for gunt" to my "things I never expected to say" list.

Caissie I am using the new Fit or Fugly iPhone app to determine if the people around me are good looking or not. I was so tired of wondering!

StillDrew I bet when the officer asked if I knew why he had pulled me over he was looking for more than, “Meh.” Related: Tasers taste like burning.

keithglover I treat foreplay like a game of Tekken. I just move all my fingers as frantically as possible & pray I activate some sort of special move.

designbuff I keep forgetting to put on deodorant. Operation Hobo Transformation is a go! Next up: Fashioning a bindle stick and riding freight trains.

razorwitted It's a good thing Jesus wasn't beheaded, because a diamond-studded guillotine wouldn't make NEARLY as charming a pendant.

wood Ramen, chopped ham, dash of Sriracha & worcestershire, slice of cheese and a fried egg. I am the Iron Chef of sadness & disappointment.

Dav3Ston3 Today, on her first birthday, Mirabel learned of the joy and betrayal that resides within all rubberbands.

ajonathancox About to put the office nudity policy to the test!

Jim_Hamilton What has two thumbs and is done drinking and I mean it this time baby just LET ME IN THE GODDAMN HOUSE?!?

RexHuppke Agent: The eagle has landed. HQ: You've spotted the target? Agent: No. An eagle. It's magnificent! (Ornithologists make lousy spies.)

Caissie Now Twitter is asking me "What's happening?" If I find out Twitter is Raj, I"m going to be PSYCHED!

davio1962 I put that Math teacher in her place when I said my daughter wouldn't need her precious "Geometry", once she becomes an exotic dancer.

artichoked Snuggie commercial has a girl raising the roof, guy doing the cabbage patch & a dog with glasses. The snuggies are the LEAST shameful part.

slapclap Hell is Kid Rock concert footage, not other people (unless they go to Kid Rock concerts).

DaveHolmes Probably sometimes when people are trying to ironically type "teh," they mess up and type "the."

unsupervised Signing a birthday card after John Hancock must have been infuriating.

carolinekeith My problem of "I want to wear flats but this skirt looks better with heels" was solved with cleavage. Nothing can't be solved by boobs.

Links of Interest 11/20

Yup, Nic Cage’s Bad Lieutenant is coming out

A collection of some of the better photos from the Hubble telescope.

While I find this idea hypothetically ingenious, as in it would make for a great CSI: Miami plot device, I’m not sure bringing it into real life was the greatest idea. Can you imagine getting a DVD that shows you’re being stalked? Ha ha! It’s all for a movie festival!

Forget 2012, the real end begins in 2019.

Cooking for Thomas Keller (and of course promoting his book).

Cool artists we should probably keep our eye on, as I’m sure one or more of them will be adapting a Chuck Palahuinik book into a movie in the near future.

Those dolphins are kinda smart.

Off to find a real, honest to god, zombie.

A real Die Hard (no, not Under Siege, because this guy wasn’t a fully trained CIA super dude) situation.

Comic book characters that would do well with a reimagining.

Tim Burton is a weirdo, but his concept art is awesome.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Links of Interest 11/19

It’s the 10th anniversary of the movie Fight Club. What are you doing into the soup?

John Woo is back! Maybe.

As we come to the end of 2009, we’ll soon start seeing best of lists. And now it seems people have chosen ’09 to be the end of the decade. Remember the whole debate about when the millennium started?

Sometimes, urban legends are true. Which I guess would make them urban truths. Of course, I don’t know why either have to have a racial angle.

One probably won’t kill you, but making these hot dogs a daily staple of your diet might.

For Sherlock Holmes fans – a map with all the highlights from the books.

Liked the movie A Clockwork Orange? Then you may enjoy the author talking with the star in this video.

Ok, so maybe you’re not A Clockwork Orange fan. Or maybe you are but you also like other movies? Here’s a video describing how the special effects in Star Wars (the 1977 one!) were made.

Interview with Umberto Eco, or as I like to refer to him, the most insanely intelligent person on the planet.

Mr. Roboto isn’t on this list? Mr. Roboto wasn’t about having sex with a robot? Yeah, right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Links of Interest 11/18

The 50 most important recordings.

Interview with Alton Brown.

I really have to work hard so I can start up a company and show off the space like Twitter is doing.

The Gumball 3000. It’s a real race, you know.

Live like a non-tourist when you go visit cities.

Navigating a record fair.

Sadly, Ken Ober passed away earlier this week. Here’s a look at some people that owe their careers to him.

I do love "Ikea Lamp," but as for the rest of these? I think there were better commercials out there.

Overblown fears.

You can learn a lot in the subway.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Night 2 of The Prisoner

I'm not going to even try to attempt to recap what happened on last night's two episodes, because it is so all over the place, so chicken scratched, that I'm having a hard time even thinking about it. And since it concludes tonight, all I'm waiting for is the Jacob's Ladder ending where everything gets explained.

But somehow I doubt everything will.

Like the idea that everyone seems to go apeshit crazy when finding out they can eat wraps.

Anyway, what I decided to do instead, in anticipation of the conclusion tonight, is take a look at some of the ways they might possibly try to end this thing...

Ending #1: It's an alternate universe.
Odds: 5 - 1

The most telling clues are not only the overlap of storylines from the fake New York (I refuse to call it New York because I'm pretty sure they borrowed the set from Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut New York scenes) and the mystical semi-transparent towers seemingly overlooking the Village. It also wouldn't take much to explain it since...well, isn't it always easy to just say alternate universe?

Ending #2: It's an actual prison based on what he did in his "previous" life.
Odds: 99 - 1

He can't leave, he can't escape, and he's surely being mistreated. Mentally at least. And We have to suspect his company before his Village visit was dealing in some shady stuff. Whether he knew about it or not remains to be seen. Hopefully. Though with this show you just never know. The reason the odds are so high? Why would they be fucking around with him? Why not just throw him in a cell?

Ending #3: He's the son of 2
Odds: 10 - 1

2's wife knew about 6 after being in a comatose state, so we have to assume he's important and not just a guy they brought in to help with keeping the population numbers high. Maybe he gets the Village bequeathed to him after 2 kicks the bucket? And he has to learn how to run things before that happens? Stranger things have happened. Ok, not really.

Ending #4: It's all a dream of 2's wife.
Odds: 1000 - 1

Easy cop out and oh boy, what a major disappointment that would be.

Ending #5: It's Heaven/Hell
Odds: 50 - 1

The ending du jour people jacked off about after half a season of Lost or so, I doubt The Prisoner would take it for theirs. Still, there's a lot of detail put into color and there's some pit symbolism, and the big glowing balloon could be interpreted as "going to the light."

Ending #6: It's the future
Odds: 20 - 1

Maybe 6 just fell asleep for a really long time and woke up and this is now what the Earth is. Scattered villages fighting for surivival. It wouldn't much explain the whole "Lucy" storyline, but then again I'm guessing not a lot is going to be explained at the end.

Ending #7: 6 is in a coma and the Village is just made up of pieces of his past.
Odds: 9 - 1

Oh boy, I really hope this isn't it. Like some bizaare Wizard of Oz/St. Elsewhere thing, this idea has the potential to be bad news and cause me to throw things at my TV. Or want to throw things because I love my TV too much to cause it damage. Maybe I'll just throw things at Jim Caviezel if I ever get the chance for starring in this thing.

Ending #8: The company put him in the Village to break his spirit and find out what he knows about them, find out a bit of information they need to know, or stash him there because he knows too much.
Odds: 3 - 1

Obviously his "past" as an analyst has to play a part in this. It seems as though the company he worked for was this giant "Big Brother" type entity that could pull something like this off. So I'm thinking this ending has the best chance of happening.

Of course, if I were really betting, I'd take the field, as I'm almost certain none of these conclusions are going to happen. Personally, I'm just hoping Moe has something to do with the eventual rescue.

Links of Interest 11/17

A look at the top inventions from 2009.

Talking to Cobra Commander – Joseph-Gordon Levitt.

I love bad movies. And I really love bad movies that no one has not only never seen before, but also has never heard of before. Enjoy.

I want to write a great novel. Thankfully, these authors will tell me how.

Video shot from the tallest structure in the world. Enjoy the vertigo!

Esquire writes about songs you probably haven’t heard in 2009.

I dubbed the 80s the “Decade of the Action Figure” mostly because it’s when I grew up and I don’t know any better. Here’s a list of the best action figures of that decade. #1 is no surprise, but I think the Star Wars figures are ranked a little low. I bet I could write a 10,000 word essay about how they started the action figure craze.

Arguably the greatest living writer sits down for a chat with a newspaper (this is news!). Be warned, his books are a good measure of his personality.

I’m not sure where you stand on headshrinking – the validity of it, not the morality – but National Geographic is cooing that it may have the only concrete footage of its existence.

Oh, threesomes. I’ll never forget when Seinfeld turned one down. Not because I think everyone should immediately enjoy threesomes (although that’s a pretty good reason), but because of his lame excuse.

I doubt I have to tell you that Yoko Ono thinks differently from you and me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Prisoner 2009: Huh?

By the silence of my Twitter feed, it seems few people checked out AMC's The Prisoner remake last night.

And that can't be a good thing for AMC.

I mean, they really have been hitting the ball out of the park with their recent series (Breaking Bad, Mad Men) so I went into this thinking it would be smart, clever and original.

What I got was...well to be honest with you, I'm not really sure what I got. But let me try to explain...

Full disclosure. I am not an original The Prisoner fan. In fact, I know very little about the original series. I know it starred Patrick McGoohan, his name was number 6, and he shouted a lot about that fact.

I also knew that the original series had rabid fans, it's considered a cult series, it lasted for at the most 20 episodes, The Simpsons spoofed it, and it's been referenced in a bunch of other shows, most notably Lost.

So I think I had a pretty clean slate going into the show last night...

The synopsis of the first 2 episodes...

Guy wakes up in the desert to the sound of gunfire. Sees another guy being chased. Helps chased guy, who we'll call "Beardy" for right now, due to his homicidal Santa Claus beard. Guy utters what obviously is the key to the whole show in a quiet voice which I miss, but I can't be bothered to rewind because I'm mad that the protagonist immediately helps Beardy with no prior knowledge to this situation. I mean, he could be a member of Al Queda. Anyway...

Guy stumbles into a town, gets into a weird toy looking taxi and has a nonsensical conversation with the taxi driver. Non sensical conversations seem to be the norm however in this so...

Yadda yadda yadda...we learn the protagonist is number6; he lives in "The Village;" there is nothing else out there other than the village. During all of this, we also get some flashbacks to a terrible set of New York where 6 is allegedly from.

We also get hints about other people in the Village who are like number 6, and that Beardy was one of those people. There's a cute doctor who may or may not be spying on 6 to get information, and there's a cute waitress from a diner 6 goes to who may be helpful with telling us what's going on in the Village, but don't get attached to her because...

BOOM! the diner explodes with her in it. We're left with the explanation, "stuff like that happens from time to time. And then slowly everything goes back to normal."

We also meet number 2 (Ian McKellan) who is clearly the mastermind in the village and has a son and a comatose wife that he creepily feeds pills to. Oh and he also carries a grenade around with him - though all those sequences may be visions. It's unclear. 2 is very bent on convincing 6 he's part of the Village, and always has been.

By the second episode, we learn 6 has a family in the Village (a brother with a family) which seems to tie into some memories 6 has about the ocean and his childhood. It gets really hazy there.

But we do also learn about 6 through more fake New York flashbacks; how he meets a woman who eventually admits works (worked) with him in a company that seems sinister. You see, 6 was a data analyst who saw someone doing something and when he reported it he was told to "cease and desist." So we know at the very least, this has something to do with him living with the Others - I mean living in the Village.

By the end of the second episode we learn his brother isn't really his brother and there's a balloon that at kills people.

I know that synopis is disjointed and confusing, but I'm going to be honest...that's the way the show is. Flashbacks, weird camera angles, changing film stock, are all used to purposfully confuse the viewer. Even if I can successfully suspend my disbelief at some of the actions of 6 (and I think I did a pretty good job of it) this is not a simple show to watch and get an idea of what's going on, and what will go on.

And I realize that all of that is done on purpose, but I can't shake the fact that it doesn't really have to be. Everything that happens is crazy and nonsensical; in Lost we put up with it because we've come to care about the characters a lot and want to see what happens to them. In the Prisoner, we're not given that chance. Other than a few flashbacks to fake New York, we're in Wondeland where anything can happen, and does.

I am sure that as the miniseries (I think I heard this was a miniseries) continues, more things will come together and make sense. I'm just afraid that they've splashed too much paint on the canvass and there's not enough time to cover everything. I mean I've left out significant chunks of things that I'm sure are crucial to the plot, I just don't have to time to go into that kind of detail.

A show like this may have worked in the 60s due to the culture, drugs, and it was something new. In the age of short attention spans and 100s of television channels, I'm not sure this remake can survive.

Links of Interest 11/16

The John 3:16 guy. Apparently he didn’t his follow his own message.

Megan Fox is fooling you.

And you thought the Iphone and Droid were cool.

Reading cookbooks.

What does it mean to be a Michelin inspector?

A look at movies where the crazy person spouting the doom and gloom scenario you just can’t believe turned out completely right.

I’m a sucker for weird food so I’ll pretty much always link to a list of gross stuff people eat.

You may be tired of slow motion videos, but I think this one will pique your interest.

Sulfites in wine and what you should know about them.

The movie Pirate Radio is coming out – here’s some information about the real story of it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Best Tweets of the Week 11/6 - 11/13

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules (and now so is Yoko Ono).

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

lefauxfrog Somewhere, a network executive is waking from a sound sleep to furiously scribble "25/8 news coverage!" on a notepad by his nightstand.

AlisonRosen I totally have a Word doc open and I totally wrote some words and even italicized a few. It's like I'm really getting shit done today.

TheMadTurkey You don't want to eat me on Thanksgiving, I have less dark meat than a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.

Rayke Her: Research paper. Do you know anything about euthanasia? Me: They work in sweatshops? Her: Inappropiate. And a bit racist. Well done.

WadetoBlack Apparently we're having homemade chicken soup tonight. Most people might be excited by this, but not me. I'm not sick. And I have no soul.

Aimee_B_Loved Judging by the sounds the boss and his computer are making, I'd say the space invaders are winning.

steveagee what the hell is a Verizon Droid? what the fuck is Google Wave? How long have I been asleep???

Jim_Hamilton No matter how many ties I pretend to look at, it is obvious to everyone in Nordstrom's that I came in only to take a shit.

hotdogsladies I interpret Obama's silence on the issue as a tacit admission he's working with the Greys, Jodie Foster, and Jim Davis to steal my thoughts.

davio1962 Still working on my idea for a combination, Asian Food/Bondage lounge. Hoping to call it "Thai Me Up".

WadetoBlack Good: Had the game-winning hit in softball tonight vs. our town's cocky young, athletic firefighters. Bad: I'm screwed if we have a fire.

adamisacson OMG the plane's landing and the guy next to me has his tray table down! If you're reading this, it means I managed to climb over the body.

TheMadTurkey The country Turkey? There's no turkeys there. Maybe Alanis Morisette will write a song about it.

FunnyLvnGirl Fine. I'll go to church with you today. But, I'm wearing my jammies, not fixing my hair & taking coffee. People will stare. Your decision.

TheMadTurkey So what if I have flabby skin hanging off my neck? It's called a wattle. What's yours called, grandma?

kolchak Papa Johns offers a pizza with 6 meats, but doesn't take kindly to you asking if one of them is human.

afoolishwit Sliced my right index finger at work. Luckily, not the main finger I use for communication. But later tonight's gonna be rough.

ZenGrifter Before Twitter came along I had to spray-paint this shit onto railway bridges.

shareyourdonuts (while traveling in a Muslim country) Man sneezes. Me: God bless you! I mean Allah!!

derek_huff Me:My Blackberry fell in the urinal. Boss:Did you get it out? Me:No! I peed on it. Boss:Why would you pee on it? Me:It was in the urinal!

thebenbrooks Me: "That's called a recumbent bike." 2 1/2 yr old: "What does recumbent mean?" Me: "It means he's not interested in girls sweetheart."

Aimee_B_Loved Somewhere, my doppelganger is peering into her fun-sized pack of Skittles, disappointed by all reds and no greens.

Blue_Crab Awkward Guy is creepily giggling alone in his office. I can't tell if this is the beginning or the end of the horor movie.

ajonathancox Lady Gaga confuses both my upstairs and my downstairs parts.

davio1962 Ever totally screw up something at work, but then have an epiphany & solve the problem? Today, that was me. Minus the 'solving' part.

CourtneyReimer I've noticed Pizza Hut avoids the word "pizzeria" in its ads. Probably because it rhymes with what their product tastes like.


MrAlexAdams When a coloring book is completed, do you then call it a *colored* book? Cuz that's racist. And I will not tolerate ur crayon based bigotry.

Caissie Remember when 2 sets of twins plus a set of sextuplets was an article in the Enquirer instead of a show on TLC called 'Table for 12'?

adamisacson I microwaved an "organic breakfast burrito" without stopping halfway to turn it. It was gross! So I followed the directions. It was gross!

nicdarling Just noticed the building vending machine features an "Extreme Relaxation Beverage". I'm not sure I want my relaxation to be extreme.

PFTompkins Sad I missed @Hodgman's book reading last night. Cause I'm illiterate. Even now, I hope I put these shapes in the right ordre!

Trick_or_tweet I have a plausible guess where my pen is, given that I just found a tampon behind my ear.

Caissie I cannot believe that it is Sesame Street's 40th anniversary & they haven't solved Mr. Hooper's murder yet.

Dolanite The Temp wears keys on his belt, making him sound like a tiny janitor as he stomps around. It's going to make him really easy to hunt.

richardroeper Carrie Prejean keeps talking about the effort to silence her. She's talking about it on national TV. I'd say that means the effort sucks.

TheMadTurkey The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday for shoppers. You know what turkeys call it? Nothing. Because, you know, we're dead.

Blue_Crab The Boss's wife tried to dress up today. It looks like a circus got really drunk and threw up on her.

cantamorada There are advantages to hardly ever cleaning out my car. Like having a change of clothes for a surprise meeting on a day I wore sweatpants.

hugel If CBS were truly looking to push the boundaries they’d have picked up Shit My Dads Say.

nevenmrgan When you're peeing, coughing is like holding the B button in Super Mario.

FriedWords Seeing a ghost is probably the scariest, but I bet seeing a vagina from the 70's has to be a close second.

bestgirlbetty This day has had too many man issues. I need to go watch a Hillary Swank movie or lick a cat.

WadetoBlack It's possible that the population of exotic animals and insects would be endangered if late night talks shows went extinct.

davio1962 Trying to help my son with his history project. Years from now kids will be doing *their* history projects on my murderous rampage today.

WadetoBlack My daughter brings a lot of stuffed animals into bed w/ us. Related, what I did to Mr. Fluffy last night was just an accident. He's soft!

johnmoe If life hands you an impossible situation, make ImpossibleSituationAde: the least popular sports drink of all time!

Aimee_B_Loved I'd better shave my legs this week. Otherwise Saturday is going to look more like Satyr-day.

TheCline Smushed candy corn in our stairwell for over a month now. 99% sure it's one of mine. Pride mixed with realization we have filthy stairwells.

blaine23 Just dialed 1-900-MIX-A-LOT. Got a call center in India. Luckily, Mr. Patel is confident he can assist me with kicking these nasty thoughts.

FartSandwich I bet the story of Gandhi would make a terrific video game. You just lie down, get your ass beat, then you win. Sort of.

TheMaskedBandit Is there any occasion fancy enough to get country singers into a pair of slacks? Oscars? State dinner? Meeting the Queen?

bumpcrud The fact that I just saw someone buy Silk Stalkings Season 5 makes me hate our freedom.

TheMadTurkey These days, the only thing you’re really giving thanks for now is Indian Casinos. And that Val Kilmer movie set on that Indian reservation.

FussySaffa Why is it that people never seem to fight on top of trains these days?

thewesterly Alright, monkey. You've tracked me to my secret lair. You've disabled my sentries. You've even pooped on my secretary. Let's finish this.

LarryCarroll I just received a Jeremy Piven air freshener in the mail. It smells...fishy.

artichoked If I told you I was rooting around in the jelly bean jar for my favorite flavor & some fell out & into my bra, would that be sexy or sad?

supmister Shooting a midget out of a canon into a crowd could be the only thing that'll convince me that "guns don't kill people, people kill people."

genegeorge Life was much better when 90% of people never went more than 5 miles from home. Also there was plague.

Kathy_L What I would really like is something that brings milkshakes to my yard.

dpressman Lou Dobbs quit CNN? Who the hell am I gonna masturbate to from 4 - 5pm?

sportsguy33 Wow, Durant made me post a Tweet with 2 different words in caps. He turns me into a teenage girl. Im only missing headgear + a training bra.

Xytrex I marched into our 5pm meeting carrying a trident and humming a Gregorian chant. We won't be having any more 5 pm meetings.

slag_mag I'm probably late to the game on this one, but I'd like everyone to thank the KISS Army for their years of service on this special day.

Jessabelle2o7 As I chased my Vicodan and unripe banana with hot cocoa, I had a moment of déjà vu: the night of the Bonobo monkey-Emanuel Lewis rape dream.

DaveHolmes I think Wynonna Judd's personal style character is "Lesbian Bumpkin Magician Superhero."

WadetoBlack The bright side of seeing a homeless guy on the trolley reading a romance novel with a hand on his crotch is being able to tweet about it.

JezebelTheGreat Attic Boy's parents are pleading guilty and aren't going to jail? Lame. JACK FUCKIN MCCOY would've sent them to jail.

blackcallalily If you have a shitty job, you probably shouldn't lick your fingers at lunchtime.

michaelianblack How am I supposed to make my "masturbating to Carrie Prejean masturbation video" if I can't see hers first? Very frustrating.

Dolanite Nice eh? #thingsyouprobablyshouldntaskyourgynocologist.

CranberryPerson My new building is going to be a block away but I am getting really nervous that its Starbucks won't be as good as the Starbucks here.

johnmoe When Clifford the Big Red Dog's time is up, it's going to be horrible in so many ways. The putting down, the burial, all of it.

DougBenson When someone tells me they're not on Twitter, I just assume that they can't read or write. And then I throw my drink in their face.

hotdogsladies Listen. I don't wear these Mr. Potato Head ears, lips, nose, and glasses to "look cool." I'm Tatin' Up because it's tribal; it's WHO I AM.

morgan_murphy It's gotta suck if you're really superstitious AND own a black cat. Youd just spend all your time at home scared shitless.

Lorisays Everyone plays at the Middle School Girls Volleyball game. By "everyone," I mean even spectators. By "plays," I mean gets hit by the ball.

CourtneyReimer I've seen the death of journalism and it is this girl at Columbia J-School desperately clinging to a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Trick_or_tweet 2009 is the year of the pig & we have Swine flu. 2010 is the year of the cock. I hope the cocks won't need isolation.

paulscheer The pixar movie UP is just of a sweeter version of Grand Torino with balloons

FartSandwich Water cooler guy came to the office today. He asked our receptionist if he could see her jugs and I said, "I think I've seen this movie."

Aimee_B_Loved I went to Jurassic Park and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. And disemboweled by a Velociraptor.

RexHuppke "YOU can't believe it's not butter. But I CHOOSE to not believe it's not butter." Never grocery shop with a philosopher.

morgan_murphy I have a lot of die hard lesbian fans. I don't mean they like me a lot, I mean they're women who look like Bruce Willis.

Jim_Hamilton Boy meets girl. Girl fucks quarterback. Boy builds death-ray (or writes poetry, depending on budget).

bumpcrud Underground Bare Knuckled Kangaroo Boxing? Like, Kangaroo Fight Clubs? Is that a thing? I'm asking for a dream I had.