Monday, May 28, 2012

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

Effective immediately I have moved to my new home on Wordpress.com!

Please follow me to johncairnsblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for tuning in.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

BACK IN BLACK

A lot of people are pointing these days to this revival of interest in Nineties nostalgia. It seems like every decade there is this great wave of nostalgia for that decade that took place two decades earlier. I remember this wave of Fifties retrospectives during the Seventies (Happy Days, Grease etc), and a wave of Sixties stuff during the Eighties(Platoon, China Beach etc), and so on. And in the Nineties, they had That 70s Show.

Look at all the great things from the Nineties that are back -- what with Beavis and Butthead on TV again, with Jenny McCarthy returning to Playboy, and with David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame guesting as a lifeguard in Piranha 3DD. Plus you have movie revivals like the latest American Pie sequel American Reunion-- not to mention the 3D version of Titanic.

Now, another Nineties fossil returns from the crypt.



Yes, that's right, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are back with Men in Black 3, in 3D, and based on a lot of the comments out there, a lot of people think they should go back to the Nineties where they belong, and stay there.

I don't know why -- I loved this movie series when it came out.

This series was one of the good things about the good part of the Nineties -- right there with the Austin Powers movies. Anyway, the bad and boring sequel that featured Lara Flynn Boyle put a fast end to hopes of a quick return for the franchise, but now it's back with a cool time-travel plot that sends our hero Agent J back to 1969 to stop an alien from killing off Agent K. Hey, isn't this whole time-travel plot stolen from the Austin Powers movies, too?

See, this movie is proof the Nineties are back. I definitely want to see this movie. Anyway, the box office numbers are in and even though the movie has toppled Avengers for first place, Nikki Finke thinks the numbers are somewhat disappointing. Really, though, what did you expect?

ON TORONTO FC

I really don't have a lot of news to report right now. I've had a really hard week and unfortunately there just isn't a lot going on where I am. We are in the black hole between hockey and football season where I am. Unfortunately, that means soccer, and that sport is depressing the fans from coast to coast right across Canada.

I'm tuning in to the Toronto FC-Philadelphia Union game, two terrible teams, Toronto FC is trying to stop a lousy 0-9 start. Last week I watched Toronto FC's game with DC United on TV and FC looked just terrible.

Today, they're actually tied 0-0. I guess you can bring out the champagne if this score holds up. If this were any other league in the world, Toronto FC would be sent down.

Unbelievable. The fans of this team ought to be mad as hell, and they are -- the place is full of empty seats in Toronto. Now, earlier this week Toronto FC played and actually won the Canadian championship. What the heck does that tell you? Toronto FC can't win a game in the league, and yet they're the Canadian champion?!

This absolutely brings new meaning to the phrase "what a joke." The other Canadian teams have got to be totally embarrassed. And as far as I am concerned the Stanley Cup Finals cannot begin soon enough.

UPDATE: HOLY @%^& they actually WON THE GAME!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

THE AVENGERS SINK THE BATTLESHIP

I was tempted to put up a title that read "The Avengers Assassinate the Dictator", because that was also what happened this weekend at the box office.

The fastest-grossing domestic release in history (hitting the $400 million mark on Thursday) has taken down a number of competitors this weekend, based on this update from Nikki Finke.  The Avengers had a $55 million weekend for its third first-place weekend finish in a row; meanwhile it is a dismal $25 million for Battleship and a lousy $17 million for The Dictator, which opened Wednesday and is up to $24 million since its Wednesday release date. 

I cannot say I am surprised that this Dictator movie played so poorly, because I think a lot of people are turned off by now by Sacha Baron Cohen and his whole schtick. I think a lot of people, particularly Americans, just find his humor disgusting. The Euro folks seem to put up with him, though. He was seen this week at the Cannes Film Festival wearing his Dictator beard and partying it up on a yacht with girls in bikinis.

Bottom line is the people of America have spoken, and they have booted The Dictator out of office. Another movie that did badly this weekend was What to Expect When You're Expecting at $10.3 million, but really, what did you expect?

Last weekend, it was Tim Burton's flick Dark Shadows that also got mowed down by The Avengers. I think this shows you the feast or famine nature of Hollywood. It's typical these days for one movie to clean right up and dominate, and leave the rest of the competing movies starving in its wake.

Friday, May 18, 2012

JENNY McCARTHY SET TO SIZZLE AGAIN AT 39

It's official, guys. Fresh on the heels of all that Jaclyn Swedberg news from last week comes word that gorgeous Jenny McCarthy, former 1994 Playmate of the Year and popular with male and female fans alike, will be posing again in the July/August issue of Playboy at age 39.

I always knew she'd do it, even when she was going around claiming she was never going to pose for Playboy ever again. I figured she'd want to let loose and doff her clothes again one of these days. Besides, she took her son to an event at the Playboy Mansion recently and he absolutely loved it. He told his mom he "likes pretty chicks."

Recently, Jenny was quoted as saying "I would absolutely pose for Playboy. I would be so flattered if they asked me. It's probably not going to happen but I think I want to do it again."

Well, guess what, Jenny -- guys definitely wanted you back. Jenny McCarthy is the quintessential goofy girlfriend guys dream of having. (And on that note I say that is definitely it. No more girls on this blog.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MEXICAN FINAL IS ON

Just a reminder that no, soccer season is not over yet. The Mexican "clausura" title is on the line between Monterrey and Santos Laguna and the two-game finals begins tonight and ends Sunday. Here's a preview from the New York Times.

For the life of me, though, I will never understand the Mexican setup for their soccer leagues. They have basically two seasons -- a fall season and then a spring season. So you basically have a first-half champion and then a second-half champion! Two champions in one year! I'm sorry, but as someone used to seeing only one champion crowned a year, I find this totally ridiculous. Anyway, the finals are on. Enjoy, amigos.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CANNES 2012

You know, I was thinking it over and wondering -- where would I rather be this time of year if I were an entertainment reporter? Would I want to be at the TV upfronts -- or would I want to be at the Cannes Film Festival?

It's got to be Cannes for me. The reason is simple: Diane Kruger sightings.

(True fact: I have actually seen Diane Kruger on a red carpet with my own two eyes, at the Toronto International Film Festival. No joke. She's definitely one of my favorite actresses for that reason alone.)

Plus, you have all the glamour at Cannes so I think that beats TV previews in LA hands down.

For coverage of Cannes, here are the links to Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and Movieline. There are probably more but I think that will have to do for now. Also, Variety has a live stream going daily from the festival. Fun stuff.

UPDATE: Here's Deadline Hollywood's coverage, and here's Hollywood Elsewhere. As for Variety, you can forget them because they're behind a paywall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CSI: MIAMI CANCELLED

In addition to the news of new TV shows during this upfront week, there has been some big news about the shows that have been CANCELLED.

To me, the really shocking news from yesterday is that, along with a whole long list of other shows CBS has cancelled CSI: Miami. I really didn't see this one coming. I know it's been on for ten years and has to end sooner or later, but I didn't think it would end now. Apparently the reason cited for why this show got the can was because it was too expensive to produce, so it walks the plank. David Caruso is officially looking for a new job.

That's what happens when you're on a network overrun with Criminal Minds, NCIS and all these other procedural shows. You can't keep them all -- you have to make room for new blood occasionally. Fortunately, all is not lost, CSI fans -- they saved CSI: NY.

In other upfront news from today, ESPN is bringing back its 30 for 30 documentaries. Great stuff -- these are well done and well worth watching on those nights when the baseball game is rained out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

STAY TUNED FOR UPFRONTS COVERAGE THIS WEEK

I really do not have very much to say tonight about the 2012 television upfronts that are happening this week in LA. I will link you up here, though, to the Hollywood Reporter and their constant feed of the happenings down there

I suppose the big news came from the FOX upfront today, which announced Glee was moving to Thursdays to make room for a Tuesday comedy block. In other news, an Obama speechwriter is getting his sitcom onto TV.

Honestly, though, I have far less interest in network television these days due to the fact that I am always swamped at work. I never have enough of a chance to watch TV at night, due largely to all these meetings I have to attend.

Besides that, I just find I'm not into the shows that are on the air these days. Most of the shows I'm interested in are on CABLE, on weekends. And a lot of the shows I prefer are pretty much sports-related. Anyway, I am just too zonked out from all the rest of the stuff I've been covering to really give my opinion on the TV situation, but I do plan to weigh in later on in the week. Stay tuned for more coverage of the upfronts as the week progresses, folks.

WILD FINAL DAY IN THE PREMIERSHIP

So on Sunday morning I tuned in to the Manchester City- Queen's Park Rangers game on television here in frozen Canada to see what the finish of the Premier League season would be in England.

I deliberately tuned in late (read: slept in) and was cursing at the television when I turned the game on in the second half, with the score already 2-1 for QPR. Meanwhile, Man United was winning their game. I had been pulling for City to win and end 44 years of being the "LA Clippers" of the Premier League, and here they were throwing it all in the garbage.

I also was turning in to the radio feed from TalkSport in London, following all the action from all over England. Honestly, I thought City was done for by the time stoppage time rolled around. The fans all thought they were done for; they were all crying and throwing things in disgust.

And then in stoppage time they get a goal from Edin Zdeko to tie it, and then a couple of minutes later Sergio Aguero scores to put Man City up 3-2 -- and they won the title!!

Meanwhile the guys on the radio are screaming at the top of their lungs and saying "Oh my God" and things like that over this turn of events. This really was the greatest finish to a season ever. 

It was exciting stuff and a great way to end the Premier League season. It's too bad I didn't follow the season as much as I could have, but that's what happens when you live in Canada and have to put up with hockey highlights every night. Here in frozen Canada, soccer just isn't a high priority like it is in England.

Over there, soccer is major-league stuff, the kind of thing that puts all our North American leagues to shame, including even the NFL. The whole world really is watching.

The soccer broadcasters were all going on and on about how exciting a finish it was and how soccer was unrivalled for drama compared to all the other sports, and how this was why people follow the game. Well, I dunno about that-- the end of the major league baseball season last year was pretty dramatic, and there's lots of drama in American football every week and during the postseason.

As for hockey and basketball, though, I'll agree, they don't match the other sports for drama because of their lame-o, everyone-gets-in-the-playoffs regular seasons.

They could take a few lessons from the soccer people who at least have compelling regular seasons.

Anyway. it may be the end of the Premier League season, but the dramatic finish has me all revved up to watch more "football," as they say. Soccer season never really stops. There's the Champions League finale between Chelsea and Bayern Munich this Saturday. Also this weekend, there's the Mexican league final between Santos Laguna and Monterrey. (Yes, I actually care about Mexican football.) In a few weeks is the Euro 2012 tournament. And of course, all summer long we have MLS featuring our own local teams in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

At this point I should point out that Toronto FC should consider themselves very lucky to be playing in MLS instead of a real league with relegation and promotion. If MLS were the Premier League Toronto FC would be heading straight for relegation. They lost eight in a row to start the season, and the fans are fed up..

Really, MLS ought to consider kicking the team out of the league at the end of the season, they are that big an embarrassment.

May I also point out that Toronto FC are owned by the same jokers who are running your Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors into the ground. I didn't think it was possible for there to be a bigger train wreck in Toronto sports than the Maple Leafs, but FC have managed.

Here's a suggestion I have. The FC owners ought to sell the team to the owners of Manchester City. Then the new owners would simply take the Man City formula of throwing money at the team and spending on players, and then Toronto FC would start winning again. Hey, it's a thought.     

PMOY 2012

Way to go Jaclyn Swedberg, Playboy's newly-crowned 2012 Playmate of the Year.

You know, last year I thought Playboy kind of blew it in their PMOY selection (they should have picked Jaime Edmondson instead), but this year I thought they got it exactly right. That badass brunette Jaclyn was my first choice from the get-go. Hef made the right choice this year, just like the years when they picked Hope Dworaczyk, and Jayde Nicole, and these other hot brunettes.

Fun fact for guys: Jaclyn is a broadcast journalism major, so I'm sure we'll be seeing much more of her broadcasting on TV. No doubt, some sports network will snap her up in a hurry.

I don't know what Playmate prize Swedberg got for winning 2012 PMOY, but if you want my opinion I'd be disappointed if they didn't get her a Harley. Congrats Jaclyn... you sexy thing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Hi, Mom!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

DULL TIMES FOR SPORTS FANS IN CANADA

I was watching the Stanley Cup Game Seven tonight between NY Rangers and Washington,with the Rangers knocking the Capitals out 2-1. It'll be the Rangers and Devils in the East and the Kings and Coyotes in the West.

I find it remarkable that sportscasters in this country continue to be addicted to the NHL, even though all Canadian teams are long since out. I tuned into radio sportscasts on Friday, and guess what the top story was? Not the IIHF World Championships, not the Blue Jays, not even junior hockey!

No, the top story was the fact that it was an off night in the NHL playoffs!! That's right, the top story was the fact nothing was happening in the NHL!

I know it's hard to go even one night without the Stanley Cup on TV in this country, but Canadian fans ought to at least try to follow other sports that actually have Canadian teams playing.

If you really want to follow Canadian hockey, there are still teams alive in other leagues.

Edmonton Oil Kings are still fighting for the WHL title, while the Saint John Sea Dogs and London Knights have already advanced to the Memorial Cup hosted by the Shawinigan Cataractes. Penticton plays Woodstock tomorrow night in Humboldt for the Junior A RBC Cup. And in the AHL, St. John's and Toronto are still alive. Of course, Team Canada is still alive and kicking in the World Championships. So there is still hockey to be had involving Canadian clubs. Too bad none of them are in the NHL.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I DON'T KNOW WHY I THINK THIS IS NEWS

Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor Pad etc., is getting divorced.

And no, he's not going to be the next Bachelor. Wise move, man.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

$200 MILLION FOR THE AVENGERS

Wow, this is the biggest North American box office weekend of all time for The Avengers.

$200.3 million, to be exact. That shatters the old record by over $30 million.

The full rundown on all-time opening weekends can be found at Box Office Mojo. Pretty impressive for The Avengers, even when you consider the prices that got hiked due to all the 3D showings.

FRENCH ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT

Well, the French have tossed out Nicolas Sarkozy and put in the Socialist Francois Hollande in today's French presidential election.

We'll see how the markets react to this tomorrow. That about sums up my comment on what took place in France.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

SUMMER BOX OFFICE: LOOK OUT FOR THE AVENGERS

This is the first official weekend of the summer box-office blockbuster movie season, and it all kicks off with one of the most anticipated superhero movies in years. I am talking, of course, about Marvel's The Avengers, which is right now romping to victory at the box office and could have an opening weekend of $175 million, topping Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the best opening weekend of all time. On Friday it made $80.5 million for the second-biggest single day and second-biggest Friday of all time, behind only the aforementioned Harry Potter Part 2 that made $91 million.

Wow. I expected big things from The Avengers but nothing quite like this. This is on track to be the biggest hit of the year so far, knocking off The Hunger Games.

I wrote a huge screed in my Cairns on Cinema column this week previewing summer movie season and some of the big summer movies that are on the way, including The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. Needless to say, the comic book geeks are in for a whale of a summer.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

NEWT BOWS OUT JUST A LITTLE TOO LATE

The US Republican presidential race continues to grind to a conclusion with yesterday's news that Newt Gingrich has finally called it quits. Unfortunately, this is surely a case of Newt hanging in way beyond his expiry date, because he bows out in debt to the millions of dollars.

This is why, unfortunately, presidential candidates should get out of races while the getting is still good. Sadly, people still haven't learned from mistakes made by past presidential candidates such as John Glenn, who ended up in hock for years from his failed 1984 presidential run.

Newt probably should have quit the 2012 race the moment Rick Santorum swept those Midwest primaries (Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado) to emerge as the main challenger to Mitt Romney. That was the end for Gingrich right there. Instead, Gingrich hung in and all that did for him was waste a lot of money.

Presidential candidates whose campaigns are not doing well really do have to swallow their pride and shut down, just to keep the candidate from ending up in the sinkhole financially. I'm afraid Newt might have gotten some bad advice from some of his political people on this one.

Romney has already declared victory after last week's five-state sweep, including in Delaware which was Gingrich's last stand. The only GOP contender still nominally in the race against Romney is Ron Paul, and that's like running against no one at all.

So, what's CNN going to do now that the GOP presidential race is kaput? Their ratings are already starting to fly away.