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August 22, 2007

"Killer Nixon" Movie...Sheesh!

From the NY Post's Page Six (h/t Kitty):

RICHARD Nixon will be rolling in his grave over actor Norman Reedus' new project. Reedus - best known as the father of supermodel Helena Christensen's 7-year-old son, Mingus - was at the Plumm the other night discussing his short film "The Rub," in which Nixon sleeps with a hooker and then brutally kills her. "It's a hoot, and we're now going to expand it into a feature," said Reedus, who also has a part in the upcoming movie "American Gangster."

Har-dee-har, what a hoot. Have these people no respect? Nixon may have resigned in disgrace, but he was a president, after all...and he certainly didn't murder anyone! Would they make such a movie about JFK? Bill Clinton (who was known to sleep with hookers)? I doubt it. Nor should they. That sort of thing should really be off-limits...I'm sick of "artistic license" taking over where good taste leaves off.

And coming from a second-rate actor who's best known for knocking up a supermodel, I am even less impressed.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:20 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

May 02, 2007

Joan Baez Banned at Walter Reed

Gosh, Joan Baez has no idea why she'd be told she couldn't perform at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

"I have always been an advocate for nonviolence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago," she wrote. "I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony."

This urge to welcome the troops home is obviously a new one, as it didn't stop Baez from performing at Cindy Sheehan's anti-war demonstration at Camp Casey.

Poor Joan was banned Walter Reed, but earlier this year she refused to talk to FOXNews on the Grammy red carpet after her publicist warned her against it. Free speech has its limits, I guess.

Officials at Walter Reed would not comment on why Baez would not be allowed to perform. Apparently she was invited by John Mellencamp (who himself is a big lefty), who was already contracted to perform, and the short notice may be the official reason why.

Boo hoo, Joan. I'll bet if Camp Casey reconvenes this summer, you'll be welcome with open arms.

She's better off singing to more sympathetic audiences

On a tip from Jeanette.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

March 22, 2007

Trailer: Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean 3

Break out the grog!

h/t: Reverse_Vampyr

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Posted by Pam Meister at 01:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

March 02, 2007

Warner Bros. Working on Plame Movie

Isn't their 15 minutes up yet?

h/t: Cookiewrangler

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Posted by Pam Meister at 12:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

February 12, 2007

Big Deal: Chicks Win Big at Grammys

I am not one who watches award shows. I can't get away from it, however, as all over the news this morning is how the Dixie Chicks won five Grammys at last night's awards ceremony:

The Dixie Chicks completed a defiant comeback on Sunday night, capturing five Grammy awards after being shunned by the country music establishment over the group's anti-Bush comments leading up to the Iraq invasion.

The Texas trio won all the biggest categories, including record and song of the year for the no-regrets anthem "Not Ready to Make Nice." They also won best country album, which was especially ironic considering they don't consider themselves country artists anymore.

A "defiant comeback?" It's not the general public who votes for these awards, but members of the Recording Academy (and only those with voting rights). So this is not so much a public vindication for the Chicks, but an industry one. It took the alienation of their fan base for the Dixie Chicks to be accepted by the pop music world.

The standing ovations the Chicks received Sunday illustrated how much the political climate has changed regarding the Iraq war, and even Bush.

"That's interesting," Maines crowed from the podium after the country award was handed out earlier in the night. "Well, to quote the great 'Simpsons' -- 'Heh-Heh.'

Right. Look, nothing has changed as far as our entertainment industry is concerned. They've always hated Bush and have been against our presence in Iraq since day one. The Dixie Chicks have simply become their poster children for the movement. And you can see how humbling the experience is for Maines.

As Betsy Newmark notes, it's more likely that the Chicks won due to their politics more than their music:

This is the music industry's statement to all those red state country music fans who gave up on the Dixie Chicks because they didn't want political statements along with their country songs.

The music industry has just given the big middle finger to red states. What does the opinion of flyover country really matter, anyway?

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

January 03, 2007

Dirt: It's Dirty

Last night on FX the new show Dirt, starring Courtney Cox, had its commercial-free premiere. I had seen signs at the mall advertising the show, as well as ads on television. I hadn't planned on watching it, but happened to wander downstairs where my husband was finishing up a viewing of Spiderman II. Dirt followed, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The show revolves around the glamorous editor Lucy Spiller (Cox) of the celebrity tabloid Dirt, and how she both gets her stories and manages her unruly staff and personal life. We see celebrities at their worst: drinking, drugging, and having sex with just about anything that moves. The stories Spiller is after are just as sleazy as the methods she employs to get them (for example, setting up a star basketball player with a paid floozy in order to get pictures of them "getting it on" in a hot tub).

You might have to double-check your channel listing as you watch: it's like watching one of those soft-porn networks. Not much is left to the imagination, and the producers pull out as many stops as they are allowed on a non-premium cable station.

The sleazy reporter/photographer Spiller uses for many of her scoops needs medication to keep his hallucinations in check. The rest of her staff seems to be incompetent. (One of them text messages a colleague during a meeting and calls Spiller a b*tch. Spiller can view all of these messages. She fires the woman on the spot and puts the recipient of the message on notice.)

Cox is beautiful and glamorous, but looks like she could use a good meal. (The last time I saw hollow cheeks like that I was watching a Save the Children commerical.) Her character, Lucy Spiller, is a far cry from the neurotic but good-hearted Monica Geller from Friends. She's ruthless and, as a result, seems to be friendless. Not exactly a great role model...

Instead of being titillated, I was disgusted. I made it through about 20-25 minutes before changing the channel to a special about the Egyptian pyramids. I was actually embarrassed for having sat through as much as I did. The celebrity world may be inhabited with sleazy characters, but I could do without that much detail. And even though it's on at 10:00 pm, the idea that kids could be watching this dreck makes me very uncomfortable.

If the people want it, they'll watch it. However, I'm hoping that Dirt gets wiped on the doormat and shaken out during housecleaning. There's enough sleaze on television already.

You'll need a shower after watching Dirt

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Posted by Pam Meister at 02:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

November 27, 2006

It's Not Your Grandomother's Soap Anymore...

Can you imagine this storyline 30 years ago?

In a story unusual even for a soap opera and believed to be a television first, ABC's "All My Children" this week will introduce a transgender character who is beginning to make the transition from a man into a woman.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 07:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

October 27, 2006

Ugly Betty Goes Down the PC Highway

Ive gotten into the new ABC show Ugly Betty. A spinoff from a popular Colombian show called Yo Soy Betty La Fea (I Am Ugly Betty), the American version follows the adventures of Betty Suarez a smart gal from Queens, fresh out of college, who has dreams of making it big in magazine publishing. Unfortunately for Betty, she has a few things going against her: her genuinely sweet nature, her unglamorous background, and her looks. She applies for a position at Meade Publications but is turned away without an interview because she horrifies the HR person with her bushy eyebrows, braces, scraggly hair, and frumpy clothes even a grandmother back in 1975 wouldnt be caught dead wearing.

Bettys fortunes improve swiftly when the head honcho at Meade forces his playboy son Daniel Meade (whom he has just installed as editor-in-chief at Mode [think Vogue] magazine) to hire Betty as his assistant. The reasoning behind this move is that Dad figures theres no way his son will think of sleeping with Betty, and therefore might actually get some work done.

After a horrible induction to the world of high fashion magazines, Betty manages to endear herself to her boss and is holding her own in spite of the cutthroat nature of the business (and the nastiness of her coworkers), and there are shady goings-on at the magazine that revolve around Daniels father and the deceased former editor of Mode. But things at home are starting to get dicey. Bettys father Ignacio, who has some heart trouble, wont go to the HMO-sponsored doctor. Last night we found out why: according to his Social Security number, Mr. Suarez is 107 years old, and he has admitted to Bettys sister Hilda that he is in America illegally, using someone elses SS number.

Get out the hanky.

Im dismayed, because it seems that likable Betty and her equally likable family are now going to be used to further the agenda of those who think that anyone and everyone should be able to come to America who wants to, regardless of our immigration laws. Those who are here illegally are to be pitied, not prosecuted. The fictional Ignacio Suarez is a hard-working widower who has raised a great family and now has health issues that he cant deal with because he is not a legal resident of the country. And, since the HMO is on to him, we can probably expect the feds to come knocking at the door of his humble Queens home soon.

As further proof of what I expect to happen, just look at who is the producer of the show: Salma Hayek, who with fellow actresss Eva Longoria supports rights for illegal immigrants.

Im just waiting for someone to jump on me because the TV Suarez family is Hispanic and Ill be branded as a racist. But its not about race, its about our laws and those who ignore them. Do I think our laws should be changed? Maybe. Ive heard a lot about how difficult it is to enter America legally, and if a change in law makes it easier for hardworking, productive people to come here then Im all for it. But until then, we should be upholding the laws we have.

Will I stop watching the show? Not as long as the acting, writing and production quality continue to deliver. But Im not sure I like the new plot twist, for the reasons described above. Ill reserve judgment until the rest of the season unfolds.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

October 04, 2006

South Park 10th Season Tonight!

Everybody's favorite bratty kids, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny, begin their 10th year of shenanigans on Comedy Central's South Park tonight.

For those of you who are interested in Matt Parker and Trey Stone's philosophy (“Hollywood views regular people as children, and they think they’re the smart ones who need to tell the idiots out there how to be... South Park was based on our hatred and loathing for Hollywood."), National Review Online has an article about them by Catherine Seipp today.

South Park is a damn funny show, and a refreshing change from the usual tripe we see on TV. Here's to another 10 great years!

Their second decade of hijinks begins tonight!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

September 12, 2006

It's Hard to Find a Decent Celebrity These Days...

It's nice to know one of them has a sense of proportion and conscience:

"It's awfully hard if you're his children, his wife, his mother, his dad; there's a certain thing we can't lose as human beings, which is empathy for maybe the hardest job in the world. Whether we think it's being performed right or not we can't, like, wish... or think that's even cute."

That's Kevin Costner, speaking about the upcoming film Death of a President, soon to hit American theaters. Costner has not seen the film.

(Oh, and for the record, I do not advocate banning the film. I do advocate those of us who find it offensive not going to theaters to throw away our hard-earned money to see it. That's called the free market at work.)

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

March 06, 2006

If You Can't Win, Complain

Oy vey. Who would have thought one of the writers of Brokeback Mountain would complain about bias against...rural stories? From Contact Music:

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN co-writer LARRY MCMURTRY believes urban drama CRASH beat his film to the Best Picture Award, because Academy members discriminate against rural stories. The writer, who has been involved with four Oscar nominated films including THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, claims Crash won because it was set in Los Angeles - where most Academy voters live. He explains, "The three rural films (I was involved with) lost. The one urban film, Terms of Endearment, won. "Members of the Academy are mostly urban people. Crash was a hometown movie."

Gosh, I don't know...maybe the Academy thought it was a better movie. Or maybe they were tired of hearing about Brokeback Mountain being the "best film of the year." I have no opinion either way, since I didn't see any of those nominated for Best Picture.

Hey Larry, I hear Stilton cheese goes well with whine. And, let's hope that's the last we hear about this year's Oscars.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

March 05, 2006

It's Oscar Night: Does Anyone Care?

I know I don't, but there are obviously people who do. Most notably, of course, Hollywood and the sycophants who feed off it. OSCAR_statue.jpg

An article in today's WaPo tackles the topic of Hollywood and social change:

The awards season in Hollywood is by its very nature a self-congratulatory affair. But this year, the filmmakers say their serious, somber movies really do matter -- not just as entertainment or art, but politically, socially. Hollywood thinks the movies are important again.

Ang Lee, director of "Brokeback Mountain," speaks of "the power of movies to change the way we're thinking." Steven Spielberg, director of "Munich," has called this year's Oscar-nominated films "courageous" for the risks they took with stories about racism, terrorism, government and corporate crime, and homosexuality. Mark R. Harris, a producer of "Crash," said "this movie has changed people's lives."

Perhaps they have changed the lives of a handful of people. But as my friend Gary at Ex-Donkey Blog points out, these films haven't been seen by the multitudes the moviemakers want to think:

Look at the five films nominated for Best Picture and look at their box office gross:

"Brokeback Mountain": $76,078,000
"Crash": $53,404,817
"Munich": $46,227,050
"Good Night And Good Luck": $30,506,195
"Capote": $23,441,493
Total Combined Gross: $229,657,555

Combined, these five films earned 25% less than "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe", which earned $288,193,914. That's a difference of $58,536,359 (room for an extra nominee or two).

Gary goes on:

Now consider some of the films that earned more than four of the five nominees (put "Brokeback" aside for one moment"):

"Fun With Dick and Jane", a remake of a 1970's comedy with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni: $110,333,000
"Flightplan", a mystery aboard a commercial airliner staring Jodie Foster: $89,700,000
"Cheaper By The Dozen 2", a sequel to a remake starring Steve Martin: $81,528,000
"Big Momma's House 2", Martin Lawrence as an undercover cop disguised as a large black woman - also a sequel: $65,800,000
"Underword: Evolution", Kate Beckinsale as a hot vampire chick fighting werewolves - and, yes, it's a sequel: $61,426,000
"The Pink Panther", another remake with Steve Martin: $60,847,000

Right now you're saying "OK, dude. What's your point?"

Hear me out. I'm willing to bet that the above films weren't all that great. I'm also willing to bet that most of the people who payed to see these films probably knew going into the theater that they weren't going to be all that great.

But that means that more people were interested in paying to see these mediocre movies than four of the five nominees for Best Picture! This speaks volumes to the Academy. Yet they choose not to listen. I'm not saying that box office gross should be the only factor in determining Oscar nominations. And I'm certainly not saying that the five films that were nominated are without merit. What I am saying is that they have limited appeal. And all the hype in the world isn't going to change that. (emphasis mine)

Gary hits it right on the nose. Films that have limited appeal aren't as likely to move mountains as Hollywood wants them to. Most people go to the movies to be entertained. I know I don't go to be preached at. If I want to be preached at, I can give any number of family members a call.

Hollywood can preach all it wants. George Clooney, Stephen Spielberg, Ang Lee and the rest can try to tell the rest of us what's important and what's not. But if we aren't going to be entertained, we won't be buying the rest of the package either.

Not that it matters to them. They have Oscar to think about!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:39 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

February 11, 2006

Winter Olympics 2006

Who watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last night?

I watched most of the teams come in, but lost interest during the entertainment portion. What is it with so many countries who host the Olympics and their tendencies to use so much "artsy fartsy" stuff during the opening? I mean, floating sun and moon balloons with trapeze artists hanging below them really did nothing for me. I turned on a rerun of Invader Zim on Nickelodeon.

During the entrance of the teams, I was pleased that the U.S. athletes weren't booed (if they were, it wasn't very loud because I couldn't hear it). I was annoyed when I saw one chick (Beth somthing, a skiier or snowboarder, I think) on her CELL PHONE! It's the Olympics, for crying out loud! Put down your phone and enjoy the moment technology-free. How ridiculous was that?

Part of the reason I tuned out after the teams was the inane commentary by the good folks at NBC. It would be much more pleasant to simply watch what was going on without them talking for the sake of talking. I didn't mind the commentary when the teams were arriving, but after that, I wish they had just shut up and let us enjoy the show.

My favorite sport is ice skating, so I'll do my best to watch that. Other than that, I'll catch what I can.

Here's hoping America has a good showing this year!

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Posted by Pam Meister at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

January 20, 2006

Why We Fight: The Movie

I had not heard of this movie until I read the review by Kyle Smith in the New York Post. I don't believe it's in wide release (it's not playing anywhere around me). Have any of you heard of it?

However, reading Smith's review, I don't think I'm all that eager to see it. The whole thing is worth reading; I'm posting it in its entirety:

I love that "Why We Fight" landed Dwight Eisenhower on the cover of "Time Out New York" — next week, I hope to see Douglas MacArthur spotting visible panty lines for the Us Weekly Fashion Police. But this rehash of familiar pacifist arguments offers neither heat nor light. It's "Fahrenheit: Room Temperature."

Arguing that America is now and has been for decades an imperialist power in the grip of the defense industry, this documentary relies heavily on boring interviews with nerds from the "Carnegie Endowment for Peace" and "The Center for Public Integrity" spouting nonsense about our "attempted democracy."

"Why We Fight" lazily splices together aspects of "JFK" (which, like this one, hangs its paranoia on Eisenhower's warning about the power of the "military-industrial complex"), the Michael Moore movies (goofy pop songs on the soundtrack cue us to laugh at, say, those dopes who make missiles) and even "Dr. Strangelove" (ironic use of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again").

We're told that the Iraq war was a cover-up. Then come clips showing the massive media access.

"Why We Fight" does have a secret weapon, though: a touching, emotional ex-New York City cop whose scenes are by far the most powerful in the film. The cop lost a son on 9/11 and later turned against the war. But the film's use of this man is a cheap trick. Like the rest of the major media, it grants absolute moral authority to antiwar Americans who lost loved ones in Iraq or on 9/11, but simply ignores those in this group who are pro-war.

When three toothless old T. rexes — Dan Rather, Gore Vidal and Sen. Robert Byrd — creep out of their amber, you pray that they won't make fools of themselves all over again. But alas. Vidal informs us that Japan was "trying to surrender" in the summer of 1945 but "Truman wouldn't let them." Surrender doesn't require "trying." You say, "I surrender," the bombing stops. In reality, Japan rejected our ultimatum more than a week before the Bomb was dropped. Even after Hiroshima, Japan still didn't surrender.

Disgraced former journalist Dan Rather: "What you have here is a miniature version of what they have in totalitarian states." Got the documents to prove it, Dan?

And Sen. Robert Byrd, as dim today as he was when he joined the Ku Klux Klan: "There is no debate, there is no attempt for the nation to lay out the pros and cons of this particular war." If there was a single moment in the last three years when the nation wasn't doing exactly that, I missed it.

He gave it 1.5 stars out of 4. Thanks, Kyle. You just saved me $10.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

December 19, 2005

Disney's Chronicles of Narnia

Last night, the hubby and I took the kids to see Disney's Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. All I can say is, wow! What a great film.

Having read the book multiple times, I was quite familiar with the story before going into the theater. The movie version takes very few liberties with the story, and is quite faithful to it. I won't bore you with details, as there are scads of reviews out there. I will mention, however, that the bombing scene in the beginning (that wasn't in the book) is necessary to explain why the children are sent out to the countryside to live with "the Professor."

I also don't remember the flight of Peter, Susan and Lucy from the White Witch being fraught with so many close calls, but I guess it makes for more exciting cinema.

The effects are wonderful--the Beavers, Aslan and other creatures of Narnia are very lifelike. (We have a copy of the BBC miniseries that was made around 1984, and laugh at the full-sized adults dressed up as beavers, etc.) The children who portray the Pevensy children are all excellent, and Tilda Swensen is perfectly cast as the White Witch.

If you have very young children, I wouldn't recommend it as there is some disturbing imagery. My youngest (who will be 10 next month) hid her eyes during some of the more violent scenes, including the sacrifice of Aslan at the hands of the White Witch. Even so, she came away smiling, and for the most part enjoyed the film.

And for those who are griping about the Christian overtones in the movie (and, of course, in the book), I have this to say: The story can be taken at face value or can be picked apart in as much detail as one cares to. The ones who are squawking about the Christianity are probably the ones who criticized those who wanted to ban Harry Potter because of the witchcraft. Don't like it? Don't see it, and leave it to those who have an interest.

I would pay the ten bucks to see it again.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

December 04, 2005

Stay Outta Hollywood, Al...Please?

The day Al Sharpton decides to hang up his political/activist hat is a day many of us are looking forward to. Are we looking forward to his next incarnation, however?

NEW YORK — He's been a minister, an activist and a presidential candidate. Now Al Sharpton wants to be a sitcom star.

Sharpton told the Daily News in Saturday's editions that he is working with CBS on a pilot, tentatively named, "Al in the Family."

"It's about conflicting social and political views," Sharpton said. "There'll also be a social message."

The Democrat, who has also run for mayor of New York and the U.S. Senate, said one possible episode would have one of his TV children becoming a Republican.

"I don't know if I am a good actor or not, but I will be playing myself and I have been practicing that for 51 years," he said.

Did he get the bug from this commercial he shot while supporting Freddy Ferrer for mayor of NYC? The thought of watching Al Sharpton trying to be funny on TV is about as appealing as having a cavity filled. Actually, I'd rather have the cavity filled--without novacaine.

I honestly thought the offerings from Hollywood couldn't get much worse...but it seems I was wrong.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 08:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Entertainment

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