Thursday, January 31, 2008

George Clooney Celebrates Metroville's 1st Anniversary

His gift? A little something called saving the world...and it's all the explanation I need for receiving it a day late.

(Not that I don't still appreciate the $10 iTunes card you got me. It's the thought that counts.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Honeymoon Is Over

When Roger Clemens--the grizzled veteran, firmly set in his ways--first met Andy Pettitte--the eager, fresh-faced idealist--as playmates on the New York Yankees, most assumed that the passionate winter/late-fall romance that sparked between them would amount to no more than a passing fling. But when Andy coaxed Roger out of (his first or second) retirement to reunite with him on the Houston Astros, the world was given notice that the love between the two men was real (and a particularly brave thing to flaunt in Texas). And when Roger came out of retirement again, willing to completely embarrass himself at Yankee Stadium just so that he could be by the side of his one and only, you'd have been hard pressed to find anyone who didn't believe that the storybook romance of Roger & Andy would end with the pair riding bareback on a single white stallion along a picturesque shoreline, into the sunset and eternity.

But then came the Mitchell report--and with it, the ultimate test of the couple's bond. Both implicated as users of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, Roger & Andy needed one another more than ever before as the accusations flew and their individual legacies threatened to crumble around them. It seemed clear that the only way they were going to weather this storm was if they did it together.

Or maybe it only seemed that way to Roger, as Andy has agreed to rat him out in attempt to save his own reputation as an ostensibly honest person.

I guess there's a reason they call it a "storybook" ending...because, apparently, even a love as pure and true as that which existed between Roger & Andy can't last forever in the real world.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No More Movies for You, America

If the writers' strike continues for a few more months, a world without new movies could become a reality. Based on the fact that Meet the Spartans was the highest-grossing movie in the country last weekend, that is a reality that this country richly deserves.

SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGING THE EXISTENCE OF A POP CULTURE FACET DOES NOT QUALIFY AS A PARODY, SPOOF OR SATIRE OF SAID FACET. Simply ticking off a list of pop culture facets does not qualify as a movie of any kind. An individual who pays good money to witness said list be presented and accepts it as "comedy" does not qualify as a human being, but rather as a sheep dressed like a monkey.*

The argument that a person "just wanted some mindless laughs" is not a defense for having seen Meet the Spartans (or Epic Movie, Date Movie, or any film from the "here's-something-out-of-context-that-you- recognize-isn't-that-hilarious?" genre--which was essentially invented by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who modestly only consider themselves screenwriters and directors, ignoring their much grander collective title of The Two Unfunniest People On The Face Of The Earth). Beyond the fact that there are no laughs in Meet the Spartans, "mindless" and "laughs" are not mutually inclusive terms, even in the realm of spoof. Anyone who spent 90 minutes of their weekend staring at that complete and total waste of all applicable resources could have used that time to watch Airplane! or The Naked Gun or any of Mel Brooks' early films and emerged a better person for it.

You know what movie I saw over the weekend? Rambo. While I am certainly not going to try to tell you that the film is an artistically meritorious piece of cinema (or even, on the whole, a particularly good movie)...I can hold my head up high for having contributed my $14 (damn your above-average-cost quality, ArcLight) to the country's second-highest grosser of the weekend. My conscience is clear not just because Sylvester Stallone is an old man who will need all the money he can amass for nursing care, legal fees and human growth hormone in his rapidly-advancing years, but because choosing Rambo was the American thing to do, god dammit. If more of my countrymen had made the same choice, it would have sent a message to the makers of dreck like Meet the Spartans that when it comes to movies, Americans will swallow a lot of crap (for example, Rambo)...but not that much.

Alas, Americans have announced loudly and clearly that they will swallow that much crap--and then some--with grateful smiles on their gap-toothed faces. Now that the financial success of Meet the Spartans has validated its creators' extremely low opinion of the filmgoing audience, thus emboldening them to puke up less of the same, we can all look forward to Ass: The Movie [link NSFW]...which, at this rate, should be in theaters by around 2015.

[*Not only was that joke more original than anything in Meet the Spartans, it didn't cost you $11.]

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Barack on Tarrack

That's more like it, South Carolina.

(NOTE: What may appear to be a pro-Obama ("Probama?") bias on Metroville is actually an anti-Republican-president one, and--since it's been established that even Democrats in middle America aren't sold on the idea of the leader of the free world having lady parts--anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton would stand a chance in a general election is kidding himself.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

SLC Punk'd

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

"'Minutemen' is a nicely paced, simple comedy that, unlike other time-splitting stories, keeps the paradoxes of science at bay. Think of it as an undemanding version of 'Back to the Future'."

Can you imagine if you were the person who wrote Minutemen, and you'd spent like a year and a half extensively researching time travel theory--barbecuing your wee brain with books like The Nature of Space and Time, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat and The Fabric of Reality--in an attempt to imbue the story with as much scientific viability as possible, only to be told time and again to give up the ghost, the studio's position essentially being that "nobody cares about the science part"? Even further, can you imagine if you had been largely motivated to fight that ultimately futile battle by a reverence to Back to the Future, a movie that you loved above all others? Then Minutemen finally premieres...and you read that review (in the paper of the very city where the movie was filmed, no less)?

Personally, I would be upset.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Metroville's Movie Corner: Felicity vs. Mothra at the Vomitorium

Sure, the monster wins in the end of Cloverfield...but far too many vacant and obnoxious twentysomethings have lived for far too long by that point to make it satisfying. And that's assuming that the ostensibly "avant-garde" shaky-cam hasn't already caused you to lose your lunch.

Oh, and spoiler alert.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

'12' Is the Reverse of '21'

...much like not going to the Super Bowl is the opposite of going to the Super Bowl.

Have fun taunting Peyton Manning on the golf course, Philip Rivers.

(P.S. - Hey, Tom Brady? Speaking of the Super would be great if you don't throw as many interceptions in that game as you did on Sunday. It'll be easier to win that way.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Like, Misleading

Maybe you think it's weird that this is the second time that I, a grown man, have posted a music video from the same Disney Channel movie (and the third time that I've posted about the film--premiering Friday, January 25 at 8/7c--in some capacity)...but maybe I think it's weird that you read this meaningless blog so frequently as to be aware of that fact. So let's just stop judging each other and move on.

I don't know who Aly & AJ are but, relying on my previous two posts' worth of extensive knowledge of the DCOM (that stands for "Disney Channel Original Movie"--see? I'm well-versed) Minutemen, it is apparent to me that their video for "Like Whoa" has taken substantial liberties in how it depicts the storyline. I'm fairly certain that the plot of the comedy/sci-fi adventure does not center on saving that cheerleader from breaking her leg...but Aly & AJ clearly want you to think otherwise. Outside of the fact that we'd all like to live in a world where time stands still whenever it rains bronze M&Ms...what's their angle?

Bobby Fischer Found, Is Dead

Chess icon Bobby Fischer was many things: a Cold War hero, a kooky recluse, and a raging anti-Semite (one thing he was not was the lead character in this movie, despite what its misleading poster might indicate). Now he can add "deceased" to his list of accomplishments, having passed away from kidney failure at the age of 64.

Every sport needs a hero, and for chess fans (provided one allows to consider chess a sport), they're few and far between. So it has to be annoying for your game's arguably greatest player of all time--and certainly its most well-known--to have also been a world-class nutjob. I mean, sure, Barry Bonds is a dick...but even he never praised the September 11th terrorist attacks. At least not publicly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dolemite Would Like a Word With the Researchers at Rice University

...or at the very least with, who ought not try to be so cutesy with their headlines.

God help them if they're as glib about whatever scientists might "create" the opposite extreme, because then they'll have Will Smith to contend with.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mary J. Blige to Be Stripped of Home Run Record

Will the ripple effect of the Mitchell report never end?

The Times Union in Albany, NY has broken a locally-based story about a steroid investigation that goes well beyond sports and in the realm of hip-hop and R&B. Naturally.

Named as recipients of illegal performance-enhancing drugs are Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland, Wyclef Jean, and--my personal favorite--staggeringly untalented and inexplicably successful "filmmaker" Tyler Perry. (Sylvester Stallone is also listed for no apparent reason, as the report points out that he "has no known connection to the Albany steroids investigation." Perhaps the Times Union simply didn't want to appear racist.)

With the exception of 50 Cent--who looks like he might spend a sizable amount of time at the gym--what the hell are these people doing with their steroids? Using them as shampoo?

It's not unrealistic to suppose that some of them might need their goods to come with more detailed instructions, given that Blige's idea of a clever fake name under which to receive her illegal drugs is "Marlo Stanfield"--the name of a drug kingpin on HBO's "The Wire". There's a lot of parts in this story that are hard to believe...but the fact that Mary J. got caught is not at the top of the list.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Matthew Mitchell Would Like His Fucking Money

When all is said and done, history will likely not regard the first decade of the 21st century as the New York Yankees' glory days. First, there was spending 400 gabillion dollars for the honor of not winning a single World Series, then there was the Mitchell Report, which outed such prominent Yankees as Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite as steroid users (thus tainting the New York teams they played on that did win the occasional postseason series)...and now this:

A fan is suing the Yankees for $221, seeking reimbursement for the money he spent on tickets between 2002 and 2007.

Matthew Mitchell's (no relation to George, I presume) argument is that since the players he watched during the five games in question were using performance-enhancing drugs, it amounts to "consumer fraud" on the part of the organization. Though I certainly want him to win this lawsuit--if for no other reason than it would compound the indignity to the Yankees--I must admit that the team has a pretty easy defense: if Mitchell only spent $221 on five games, given how terrible his seat must have been each time, how could he be sure who the hell he was watching?

(FUN FACT 'A': Freshman year of college, Metroville was in an English Lit class with the guy who played the paperboy in Better Off Dead. You know what he doesn't really like talking about? How he played the paperboy in Better Off Dead.)

(FUN FACT 'B': 200th post! Where are my balloons?)

Patriots Win Super Bowl*

*I'm just kidding. That won't happen for a couple of weeks.

But no Sinbad parties for you, Pat Coyle!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jaguars Get a Head Start on Rationalizing Loss to Patriots

The Jacksonville Jaguars thought it was pretty darn hilarious of them to keep an asterisk next to the New England Patriots' perfect record on their team website for the past four months--in reference to the "SpyGate" "scandal" from the first week of the season--but now that they actually have to face the Patriots in the AFC divisional playoff, they're apparently not feeling so funny anymore: on Friday, they removed the asterisk. senior editor Vic Ketchman contradictorily claims that the change was made because there was too much media coverage of the asterisk, but that the Jaguars are not retracting their position that the Patriots are cheaters. Why erase the only indicator of a position you don't want to retract just when it's becoming known to the world?

Unless, of course, the Jaguars want to hedge their bets and pretend as though they respected the Patriots all along after New England beats the hell out of them Saturday night.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Congratulations, Republicans

Thank god (the white, Christian God, of course) that I resisted the urge to let Barack Obama's Iowa victory make me even slightly optimistic about America's future.

True to shoot-themselves-in- the-foot form, Democrats made Hillary Clinton the winner in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, thereby establishing that their party has absolutely no idea whom they want to represent them in the 2008 presidential race.

Sure, the New Hampshire Republicans likewise gave majority support to a different candidate (John McCain) than their Iowa brethren had...but, come on. Conservative White Guy-vs.-Conservative White Guy versus Liberal Black Guy-vs.-More-or-Less-Liberal-But-Really-Whatever-the- Hell-Will-Get-Her-Elected Woman? As if the latter pair has a chance in hell (the Jewish Mexican Satan's Hell, of course), now.

Welcome back to George Bush's America. It's like we never left.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Golden Globe Awards Canceled; Streets To Be Choked With Blood of AMPTP Negotiators

Now you've gone and done it, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

It's no secret that you don't give a rat's ass about the needs of the hardworking men and women who write the films and television shows that stuff your bottomless coffers with unimaginable amounts of cash; otherwise, the Writers' Guild of America would never have been forced to go on strike to begin with--or, at the very least, the work stoppage would be over by now instead of at nine weeks and counting. You've all but spit on the reasonable demands put forth by the WGA since day one, mockingly forgoing counter-offers in the name of jousting gay porn stars and cruel sociological experiments that test the limit of how unfunny a human being can possibly be (as well as some things that aren't on NBC), growing ever more confident in your belief that television--the medium more immediately impacted by the strike--doesn't need writers, that the world will lap up whatever regurgitated gruel you serve it with a smile on its face. (As for movies, you likely figured you wouldn't have to worry about those until the end of the summer.)

You almost got away with it, too...but you failed to consider the impact of the strike on a product near and dear to the consumers of popular entertainment: awards shows. Now that the official stance of the Screen Actors' Guild to not cross WGA picket has led to the cancellation of the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, your goose is cooked.

There's a lot that the masses will do without by way of entertainment (quality, logic, any sign of effort)...but if the AMPTP thinks it can take away their "famous people getting dressed up to stand on red carpets and talk about what they're wearing" and not face repercussions, it is in for a very rude--possibly violent--awakening.

I predict that, following a series of bloody protests enacted by average citizens against the AMPTP that will cost many lives, the writers' strike will be over by next Friday.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

White People Are More Afraid of Women Than of Black Men

The results from Thursday night's Iowa caucuses are in...and, on the Democratic side, Barack Obama has defeated Hillary Clinton. With this outcome, the voters of Iowa have made a statement: America is slightly less terrified by the idea of a black president than by the idea of a female one.

The Democrats aren't the only party poised to bring down the status quo, however, as from the Republican side likewise emerged an unprecedented presidential candidate. Instead of the familiar right-wing, ultraconservative, evolution-disbelieving evangelical nutjob who usually emerges as the GOP frontrunner, the voters in Iowa have put their support behind former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a right-wing, ultraconservative, evolution-disbelieving evangelical nutjob who hides those qualities by looking like Gomer Pyle and amusingly being friends with Chuck Norris.

See you in New Hampshire, crazies!

But Who Won for Best Cinematography?

New England's Bill Belichick has been named the Associated Press 2007 NFL Coach of the Year (the second time in four years he has received the honor).

I'm sure this means that everyone will stop calling him a cheater. Right, everyone?