Thursday, January 31, 2008

WORST SHOWS ON TV 2008

Welcome to a very unusual edition of the Worst Shows on TV list for 2008 -- unusual, because everyone is on strike. So what we have seen on TV has taken a direct hit from the labor disruptions in Hollywood and the nonsense that has been going on. It has been a brutal year, with shows going for 13 weeks before running out of episodes, with series premieres delayed until January in certain cases, and with networks scrambling to fill the time with the likes of Celebrity Apprentice and American Gladiators. And other utter crap. Late night television has been a bad joke, too, with the writers off the job.

So anyway, here I go with my list of travesties for the year. And since I am boiling mad over how badly The Apprentice series has been ruined by all the changes that have been imposed on that show, I have decided that I might as well name that train wreck Celebrity Apprentice the worst show on TV for 2008.

Really, does this show have any credibility at all, now?! I saw that episode with Vinny Pastore from The Sopranos resigning, and it was so obvious it was all an act. And you have everyone fighting with everyone, and it's pretty obvious this whole season is a total ratings stunt. What's really sad is that it's working! Enough people are tuning into this garbage now that NBC has decided to bring the show back in another celebrity incarnation next season! What are these guys thinking?!

And what are they thinking with all the rest of the reality rubbish they are throwing on the tubes? Like American Gladiators? And My Fair Brady? Let's not talk about The Girls Next Door, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and the rest of this unscripted utter junk we are getting.

I gotta say this about Gene Simmons. He may be good at picking women to hook up with (Shannon Tweed), but he's no good at picking good TV series to appear in. If he is in a show, it's a sure sign of doom. I don't care what show it is, whether it is his own show or Donald Trump's junk. If Gene Simmons is in it, it's automatically crap as far as I am concerned. Stick to singing, Gene, you were good at that.

So that's six out of ten "worst shows" right there, leaving the final four spaces for the usual suspects: Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Tyra Banks and America's Next Top Model. And that's your Worst List for the year.

Sorry, I didn't have room for the shows that regularly cover the Britney Spears beat -- shows like TMZ or Nancy Grace. But these shows are just as bad. I'm sure these boring home-gardening and real estate shows on HGTV are brutal, too. Same for the junk on TLC and these other places. As for American Idol, I repeat: as bad as this show is, its spinoffs are even worse. So it stays off any Worst Show list by default, but Simon Cowell and the gang sure don't escape blame for the sad state of affairs in TV land.

Like I say, this was a big year for bad, brutal TV. And thanks go to the people letting this Writers Strike go on and on. Give the writers a fair deal already and get it over with, fast, guys. Because I am sick and tired of watching phony celebrities do phony reality TV. Instead of phony reality TV, go back to doing phony scripted shows. At least when people do phony scripted shows, people are honest enough to say it's a work of fiction ----unlike the people who try and pass off these other efforts as "real" or relective of reality.

That's my rant on TV! Good day!!

ON ONLINE FILM CRITICS, AND NEWSPAPER CRITICS

Been reading about the online film critics and some of the sites they have up and running. I just find it interesting because online is really where all the action is as far as film criticism is concerned these days. If you want to be a film critic you basically have to go online. It's the only place to be.

I guess I'm interested because I have been doing more and more online film criticism myself over at Film School Rejects, one of the more successful sites out there. I have offered some very good reviews of Knocked Up, Ratatouille and Cloverfield, gave positive notices to Live Free or Die Hard and Ocean's Thirteen, was less impressed with Spider-Man 3 and Alvin and the Chipmunks, and basically savaged Good Luck Chuck. So I've gotten into the online act myself, along with a lot of other people.

In fact I can be a "quote whore" like the rest of them. With Knocked Up I said "Judd Apatow has again found a way to make an “R” movie with a heart." With Ocean's Thirteen I said "The cool dudes are back!" With Spider-Man 3 I said "beware of the number 3." With Alvin and the Chipmunks I said "these three legendary cartoon musical artists deserve better." As for Cloverfield, I called it "one fast-moving, roller coaster of a movie".

I also said this about Good Luck Chuck: "for Jessica Alba this has to be a low point." So yeah, I have my quotes ready. Hire me already as a movie critic, darnet.
Anyway, here's an old Christian Science Monitor piece about online film criticism and how it's caught on. And here's another piece about some of the wild and wooly sites out there offering online film criticism.

I also offer these up because, quite frankly, the newspapers are really dropping the ball in offering film criticism or for that matter any other type of film coverage.

I notice that over at the Detroit Free Press their film critic Terry Lawson was given the can, and I just don't get it. Neither does a lot of other people, but still, it's a sad trend. I know that Jami Bernard got canned not too long ago from her newspaper job at the Daily News and she has since gone online. (Here's a Q and A she did about how she got into film criticism and some of the movies she likes and dislikes. Seems she likes a lot of grindhouse stuff. She also once edited Rex Reed.) Of course Pete Hammond got the can over at MAXIM recently, so even some magazines are getting hit.

About newspapers I have to say this: people do NOT buy newspapers to READ the NEWS. They may say they do, but they don't. Instead, they buy them to read the opinion columns, check the entertainment reviews and read all the sports. That's why they read the paper! You really think people read the paper in order to read some story about someone who was caught drunk driving? Or read about some accident, or about some idiot who got charged with something and had to appear in court?! Who cares about any of that. People want to see opinions and some personality from time to time, and movie reviews provide exactly that.

Reminds me of these constant arguments by TV people in these TV newsrooms. The first thing these managers want to cut in TV newsrooms are the sports and entertainment reporters -- even though that's the best part of the newscast! These managers think the only thing people want see is the depressing news! Hell, no!
I just don't see the point of newspapers getting rid of people who might have something to contribute to making the newspaper an attractive thing for people to buy -- especially if they happen to be interested in broader topics like the movies! If you get rid of the movie writers, you're getting rid of your audience and making your paper something less attractive. It's a good way to help send your newspaper to the dustbin of history.

That's my shot at the newspaper industry and the people in charge of running these papers into the ground -- in particular, the people in charge at the Detroit Free Press. No wonder they needed a freaking JOA with the Detroit News to keep itself afloat if this is the type of decision-making that goes on over there year after year.

That's it!

BOX OFFICE PREVIEW

My box office prediction is now up. Could be a big weekend for Hannah Montana.

ROCCHI ON EBERT


The Sundance Film Festival has wound down, but film reviewer James Rocchi was there and he has this piece about Roger Ebert being missing from the festival this year, which appeared in the Huffington Post. (I know I know -- bastion of liberalism. Deal with it, readers. I have.)

If the rumors about the surgery are true and it really is to help restore his voice, then that's good! Maybe we'll be hearing from Roger again, soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

MICHELLE PFEIFFER: MEOW

I stumbled across some hot photos of a young Michelle Pfeiffer from her TV days. She appeared in the 1980 TV show B.A.D. Cats, and you can get a taste of this show here. It didn't last very long, it was cancelled after five episodes. Apparently, Jimmie Walker was in it, too.



Seems like this was a sort of urban revved-up copy of The Dukes of Hazzard, complete with two guys, fast cars, and a hot young lady in denim shorts. Gotta love the late Seventies/ early Eighties when women used to wear shorts on TV all the time.

Anyway, here's Michelle. Dig that gorgeous lady.

CASUALTIES

Well, the Florida primary produced a couple of casualties: Rudy Giuliani has dropped out of the presidential race to endorse the winner of that primary John McCain.

Also, John Edwards has finally dropped out of the Democratic race. He was basically dead ever since losing in South Carolina to Barack Obama.

There's a big GOP debate tonight featuring the few candidates who are left, and a Democratic debate on Thursday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GREAT TIME FOR US POLITICS

The last few days -- and today -- are great times for political junkies and US political watchers. Lots of fun stuff happening -- makes me wish I was back in the game myself. And I mean directly back in the game, as opposed to this "objective-reporter" stuff I had been doing.

Anyway, yesterday was George W. Bush's last State of the Union address.

Also, yesterday, on the heels of Barack Obama's victory in South Carolina's primary, he has picked up a big endorsement from both Ted Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy. The Kennedys!! Word is that the Kennedys were kind of turned off by the Clintons and their anti-Obama rhetoric, particularly spewed by Bill. Anyhow, there you go.

Today is the Florida Republican primary and it looks like it could be all over quickly for Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor was betting his hat on Florida and counting on a victory there to propel him to the nomination, figuring he would be a hard sell in Iowa (correct) and that Mitt Romney would probably clean up in New Hampshire (as it turned out, dead wrong). What they did not count on was the resurrection of John McCain, whose campaign seemed to be going nowhere for the longest time. But it took off right at the right time, when it counted.

And the Romney campaign has had its share of successes so far, though they probably ought to be doing better. It is shaping up to be a Romney-McCain fight in Florida right now and it all spells doom for Giuliani, who is likely to exit the presidential race on Wednesday. What a debacle that campaign has turned out to be, folks.

For election results tune in all the usual places, http://www.cnn.com/, http://www.msnbc.com/, and http://www.foxnews.com/. Also there's Miami stations like http://www.wsvn.com/ which I expect will have plenty of coverage. Same for http://www.cbs4.com/.

Monday, January 28, 2008

AMERICAN MOVIEGOERS ARE TOTAL IDIOTS

What other reason is there for Meet the Spartans to finish as the Number One movie in the USA?! This movie got 5 per cent from Rotten Tomatoes, and yet finished first. Unbelievable.

My rant here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

WORST SHOWS ON TV LIST COMING

If you are wondering where my annual "worst shows on TV list" is, well, don't worry. It's coming. It's just I haven't had a lot of time to watch any TV, and quite frankly, there is an embarrassing abundance of bad TV out there right now. It's really bad, thanks to this strike situation. And I will get to all of it this week.

GET YOUR HOPES UP, WRITERS


And prepare for them to be knocked down AGAIN.

Just kidding. Actually, I think there will be a deal, soon. Here's a link to Nikki Finke, who is back.

CHANGES TO THE BLOG

THE CAIRNS BLOG has a new, professional look as of tonight due to a big site upgrade today. Hope you like it. Actually, I don't really care if you like it or not, because I like it.

I may still tweak it a bit in the days to come.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

OBAMA WINS SOUTH CAROLINA

Big landslide for Barack Obama. And now it's on to Super Tuesday for the Democrats.

Next big event is the Florida GOP primary, last gasp for Rudy Giuliani.

THE REALITY IS THAT THE MISS AMERICA PAGEANT IS A JOKE

A new Miss America is being crowned tonight in Las Vegas (!) (?) and nobody freaking cares.

The pageant has been running a lousy four-day reality-show-style competition televised on TLC, and I have got to say that this is SAD and a cheap stunt that has completely cheapened the competition. The fact that this pageant isn't in Atlantic City is bad enough, but the fact that they've gone reality is an absolute rock bottom moment --- the kind of thing worthy of a schlock-artist like Donald Trump.

The fact that Trump himself has NOT gone the reality route with his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants kind of says it all about the state of affairs in the pageant world these days. At least those other pageants and those title holders still have some semblance of dignity and class left, unlike the Miss America Pageant.

Lets face it, this organization has never recovered after the way it treated Vanessa Williams in forcing her to resign her title. They should just give up completely on this event. Miss America is in the grave.

Oh--- congrats Miss Michigan, uh, I mean America.

Friday, January 25, 2008

COOL TRAILERS

Since I am up very late this Friday night I thought I would post some trailers I happened to find while surfing YouTube. Yes, I am definitely in a movie mood these days. Well, what do you expect when the TV is shot to heck.

First, a trailer for the 1966 teen hot rod movie Out of Sight.


Next, one for Munster, Go Home! Yes, in color!!


Here's the trailer for the sexy Raquel Welch movie Fathom.


Here's Jane Fonda in Barbarella.


And here's Frank Sinatra in Tony Rome.


The Italian Job!


And finally, Alfie.


Have a good one.

SIMPSONS WRITER HERE IN FROZEN MANITOBA


I didn't mention this earlier in the week but Simpsons writer Joel Cohen, CANADIAN, was in Winnipeg speaking at the University of Manitoba about the Simpsons, and about being on strike. I was interested in seeing what he had to say, so I actually showed up for that event on Tuesday.

And the media was there, too. Check out this story from Canada.com.

NO SALE AT SUNDANCE

Don't you hate it when you have a highly touted movie, you take it to a major film festival, and all the distributors say no?

That's what happened at the Sundance Film Festival to a lot of movies. Here's what went down with some of them.

By the way -- where is the media? Why aren't they at Park City in force?! No, I don't mean the Hollywood Reporter, Variety and those places. I'm talking TV shows like ET, which I notice is still on the scandal beat covering the late Heath Ledger, not to mention the soon-to-be-late Britney Spears.

MY LATEST BOX OFFICE PREVIEW

... is right here. Check it out.

Suffice it to say I think a certain monster located in Manhattan is going to be wreaking more havoc.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

MORE SURGERY FOR ROGER EBERT

I'm almost ready to give up on Roger Ebert ever appearing on his own TV show ever again; he's gone in for more surgery.

In the meantime, check out some more classic Ebert footage sparring with Gene Siskel.





Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE NEWS FROM NOWHERE

Just some more news from nowhere for all three people still reading this blog:

Heath Ledger is Dead!!!!!!! I am not making this up.

Suzanne Pleshette is dead, too, but she died a couple days ago.

Oscar nominations are out.

Also, Fred Thompson has quit the US presidential race.

Still more sabre-rattling against John Tory as PC leader in Ontario and I notice that the sabre-rattlers are now suggesting federal health minister Tony Clement as a possible replacement name. Well, this puts me in an awkward position because I have publicly supported both these guys in the past, and pretty staunchly. I'm glad I am out of politics.

The Leafs have fired John Ferguson Jr.!!!!

And CBC News reporter Krista Erickson has been found guilty of forwarding questions to a Liberal MP in the leadup to that ethics committee inquiry in December. Way to go with your journalistic independence, Krista.

Did I mention that it will be New England versus the New York football Giants in the Super Bowl?!

That's it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

CLOVERFIELD IS A MONSTER HIT


The AP story here.

And my rant here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

ON THE DIRECTORS GUILD DEAL

Check out David Poland's thoughts here. The directors have a deal with the producers.

And I think I join in with some of the optimistic sentiments that the Writers Guild is sure to follow with a deal, too. I heard they are going back to the bargaining table next week. Well, they have to do something, because this bleeping mess cannot go on for too much longer. Not with the 2008 pilot season in peril and the Oscar telecast facing the axe, too.

I sure hope this thing will soon be over.

UPDATE: More optimism from Cinema Blend with confirmation that talks are back on.

RESULTS

McCain beats Huckabee in South Carolina.
Hillary and Romney win in Nevada.

CBC SPORTS' DON WITTMAN DIES

Well, this is sad news for sports fans in Canada. Don Wittman has lost his battle with cancer at age 71.

He was a fixture doing NHL games out West for Hockey Night in Canada but also was the voice of the CFL on CBC for many, many years, calling several Grey Cups. I'm sure CBC Sports will have some sort of tribute to him tonight on Hockey Night in Canada.

He called several Olympic Games and was well known for his work on track and field, and he also called several championship curling matches.

He also used to do the Western Canada Lottery Foundation broadcasts on TV back in the Seventies. I remember watching that on Wednesday nights. And he used to work at my hometown TV station CFQC in Saskatoon.

Boy, has sports broadcasting lost some big names in Canada recently -- Tom Cheek, Don Chevrier and now Don Wittman.

SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2008 COVERAGE

The Sundance Film Festival is on this week and as usual, I'm not there.

The usual film freaks are there, though, so check out these great sites.

http://www.cinematical.com/category/sundance/
http://www.sundancechannel.com/festival/
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/
http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/
http://reporter.blogs.com/risky/
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=festivals&jump=sundance
eFilmCritic

Also, Neil Miller of Film School Rejects, a site I am proud to be affiliated with, is at the festival and you can check out that coverage here. Enjoy.

MORE PRIMARIES TODAY

Political junkies unite! South Carolina once again has a critical role to play in a presidential race with its Republican primary today. Results tonight. Also, the Nevada caucus is today as well.

It's wide open on the GOP side between John McCain and Mike Huckabee in Carolina.

WHAT'S WITH GAWKER MEDIA?!

What's going on over at Gawker Media? Now the revolving door has spread to Wonkette!! Megan Carpentier has left, and she wasn't there very long. This comes on the heels of that damning New York Times piece that accuses Gawker Media of jumping the shark.

This is more proof that the world of blog media is getting too big for itself. Bad management practises and a revolving door are getting to be commonplace over there, with talent people getting hired and getting sacked. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a big advertising crunch happening over there. Keep in mind there have been rough times elsewhere. I notice CBS News closed down its Public Eye blog and laid off a bunch of staffers, so it seems like things aren't as rosy for the online operations as these pro-new media people think. You know the people I am talking about: all these Kool-Aid drinkers like the cheerleaders over at LostRemote.com.

I think the only way to go for these bloggers is to own their own website, or at least have total control over its operation (ie. Nikki Finke). Putting your career in the hands of the idiots running blogging "empires" like Gawker into the ground is no way to go.

Having said that I do think there is a bright future ahead for internet-based media, particularly the part of it that covers entertainment. I think these newspapers are on their last legs with their cookie-cutter, heavy-handed approach to news writing and news stories. Most of these papers don't give their writers any freedom, dammit! And a lot of times the story doesn't get out because of it. I know, I've been through the ringer myself with old media. That's my rant for the week.

And I am done talking about the journalism business, for now, anyway. Stay tuned for my usual rants about my favorite subjects: movies, TV, politics, sports, and girls.

REALITY SHOW STAR GENE SIMMONS FIRED BY TRUMP


Here's a taste of what happened on Thursday night's lame piece of junk Apprentice show that I didn't watch. Donald Trump had to fire Gene Simmons and get rid of all the good ratings that he brought with him to the show. But Simmons clearly isn't interested in business, and neither is anyone else on this season's show.

Gene, you're fired.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MORE PRIMARY STUFF


Noticed Mitt Romney won in Michigan, so his campaign is back on track.

Also noticed that Rudy Giuliani is putting all his eggs in the Florida basket and he better hope it works, because it is high risk.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

GOLDEN GLOBES ARE TONIGHT

Who cares.

Here's a link to their website. They plan some crappy press conference to announce the winners this year.

Well, this really ruins the planned red-carpet coverage, doesn't it? These entertainment shows are going to have to talk about it tomorrow. Score one here for the union.

A side note -- I plan to be away from the blog for a couple of days as I have some busy days ahead. I should be back by mid-week, though. Just a friendly programming note from your friends at THE CAIRNS BLOG.

UPDATE: I am watching the Golden Globes awards announcements right now and boy, what a joke this is. All these entertainment show hosts are handing out awards to nobody. What a debacle this is. I sure hope the Oscars don't get ruined like this.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

IT'S OFFICIAL: THE WRITERS HAVE LOST


You know, I am looking at what's been going down with these late night shows, and with these prime time shows, and with all the rest of it and all I will say is that the people at home in middle America who are watching television shows right now are not helping the cause of the Writers Guild of America. Not one bit.

In fact they are hurting the cause by supporting all these nonscripted reality shows, nonscripted game shows, and nonscripted late night shows! So now the networks are crowing about how they don't even need the writers now. So good luck ever seeing these writers back at work. Good luck seeing these writers ever getting a good deal from these networks.

The ratings are in for the late night shows and it seems that Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien are beating the heck out of Dave Letterman and Craig Ferguson over on CBS. Both Letterman and Ferguson have full writing staffs, and also have the benefit of these Hollywood actors and actresses who are willing to appear on their shows to vent at the producers and studios. No luck: NBC and their writerless shows are kicking Dave and Craig's rear ends. You know, this is really bad news for the union. This might encourage people at the network level to get rid of writing staffs for these late night shows altogether. They might figure the idiots watching at home won't miss the staff at all, and they can keep on charging for advertising if they get rid of them! This is just brutal news for all fans of decent TV.

There are even critics who are saying that Dave and Craig's shows aren't even noticeably better with their writing crews back in session. When you have that talk going on with critics saying your fully-staffed shows are junk --- believe me, that's a defeat in itself for the writers.

It doesn't help that Jimmy Kimmel goes on Jay's show to rant about the strike. Because that just means people will watch Jay to hear what Jimmy will say. It just sets back the union's cause if that happens.

As well, we are seeing more reality shows and game shows go on the air on the networks now. Here's a story about the good ratings for these crappy shows. NBC has been crowing about the big numbers for its new piece of junk American Gladiators, and for the embarrassing piece of junk Celebrity Apprentice, and for The Biggest Loser and these other shows. ABC was also crowing about Supernanny doing so well.

And this week American Idol comes back to save the entire television industry.

Basically, I think these writers are screwed. Network TV is just going to go reality in a big way, and the folks running TV will hope no one cares. They also are rolling out what is left of their new scripted shows, like The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Cashmere Mafia, hoping the idiots at home won't notice there a strike is going on. Well, they're succeeding in that regard, believe me. TV these days looks surprisingly normal right now, because some new shows are still being shown. It's just a month from now when things will turn south in a big hurry.

By the way, the Golden Globes go Sunday, but the whole event has turned into a complete debacle with the writers strike going on. The writers are on strike, so there is no show and no actors willing to show up. Then NBC was going to have their news department do an exclusive news special on the awards, using their news staff. And NBC News was mad as heck at being told to do something connected to entertainment, so they apparently balked at this plan and this idea went up in smoke. So now I really don't know what will happen. I will try and find out what the coverage plans are for this event -- if any. I think there's supposed to be some press conference or something going on. But fat chance any big stars will be there. I guess all the red carpet coverage goes up in smoke.

All I have to say is these are bizarre times -- sad times -- in Hollywood.

NICOLAS SARKOZY HAS GOOD TASTE IN WOMEN

Can you believe this nonsense out of France where French president Nicolas Sarkozy is in a steamy, serious relationship with gorgeous model/singer Carla Bruni. In fact, they are probably going to get married.

Wow. This is the French equivalent of Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaving his wife to run off with Tricia Helfer.

Now everyone is trashing the French president and saying he should stick to politics, and quit running around with beautiful women. All the boring people in France say they disapprove and his poll numbers have gone in the tank.

Typical jealousy, I think. To quote Donald Trump from his Celebrity Apprentice show: most people are losers.

It brings up the whole question again about whether politicians are even allowed to have a personal life these days. Politics can be hard enough, with all that time spent away from your family and so on, and it's easy to see why a lot of people shy away from public office. Personally, I don't think it's the public's business to dictate to politicians who they should be seeing, or whether or not they should have a love life or not. If you're not allowed to have a decent love life, why would people even bother seeking the job?! That's a sure-fire way to discourage a lot of talent from running for office. No wonder so many uptight, boring people get elected, then, if that's the attitude from voters.

I don't have a problem with Sarkozy seeing Carla Bruni, just as I didn't have a problem with Argentina president Carlos Menem (right) having a hot-looking wife in Cecilia Bolocco, former Miss Universe. (There I go again, with my Miss Universe obsession.) As long as these guys still do their jobs, I think it's fun for politicians to have beautiful, hot-looking wives. It livens things up.

(Although I heard Menem and Bolocco recently split. Well, that's life.)

By the way, I read somewhere that presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's wife is young and quite hot. I guess even the Americans are getting into the act.

BIG WEEK FOR JOURNALISTS QUITTING

Read that Sharon Waxman, big film reporter who went back to news, has left the New York Times.

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE IS A BIG FREAKING JOKE

I think that whoever it was who came up with the idea to bring The Apprentice back with celebrities should be fired. This show is not just bad, it is a disgrace.

I saw the show Thursday night and the celebrities on that show aren't treating the process seriously at all. You had Gene Simmons insulting Ivanka, for example. And you had Nadia Comaneci looking like a celebrity who was just there to fill the quota. No wonder she was fired, and by the way, what the heck has happened to her good looks? She looked just terrible on the show.

And the task was barely about business on the last show. Instead, it was about producing a commercial and getting the celebrities to appear as actors on it. Well, that ain't much of a stretch, folks.

Mind you, it was interesting seeing these larger than life celebrities react, but you know, who wants to root for these people? They're already winners in life, most of them. Why don't these people simply go back to what they were doing before? Oh, I forgot -- these athletes need something to do with their time now that they are retired. Why don't they just do endorsement deals and speaking engagements?! Beats working for the Donald.

What's really sad is that I hear that the ratings were good for this lousy show in its opening week. Donald Trump is all pleased with the ratings, saying the move to Thursday night was just what the show needed. Well, the only reason the show is back on Thursday night is because of the writers strike! Because of the writers strike, there are no more situation comedies to put on the air on NBC on Thursday night! So we get this total nonsense instead, nonsense that makes that whole season spent by this series in LA look like Emmy material.

I have a further writers strike rant up my sleeve. I plan to talk about how the idiots at home in middle America are hurting the writers' cause by supporting all these writerless shows. But I just don't feel like writing about it right now. Suffice it to say I think The Apprentice is a joke, and everyone associated with this series should be embarrassed.

Friday, January 11, 2008

MORE ON DEPARTED QUOTE WHORE PETE HAMMOND


I still find it interesting seeing the reaction to the ashcanning of film "critic"(?)(!) Pete Hammond by MAXIM. Check out some blogger reaction here. And here.

You know, a lot of people really do think he deserves to be fired. They just don't respect his take on the quality of the movies out there. A lot of people have a lot of respect for critics who rate movies and call it as they see it, and give worthy opinions about what movies are good and which are junk! Yet Pete just gives a free pass to most of these movies! What good is that? He isn't the only one, apparently-- a guy named Earl Dittman has an even worse reputation for shilling.

The situation is so bad now that there are film critics who rate the film critics to determine which of these fools have valid opinions. The folks at eFilmCritic have their annual list of Quote Whores and you can check it out here.

It's funny, though-- Pete Hammond has this terrible reputation as a shill, yet he is an editor for Leonard Maltin's movie guide! Maltin can't be accused of being a quote whore in the least. In fact, Maltin's guide is one of the toughest reviews out there. His guide will only give four stars to a real masterpiece. Makes no sense why Hammond hooked up with a respected movie critic like Maltin. Maybe it was MAXIM that told Hammond to shill these movies. Who knows.

On another side note, Leonard Maltin used to work as the official movie critic for Playboy, another magazine absolutely loaded with babes -- until the new editor came in and decided to get rid of the movie reviews, and fired Maltin. A real travesty. Anyway, that same guy James Kaminsky is now at MAXIM and has now canned Hammond, too. Word of advice to movie critics: if James Kaminsky takes over your publication, get ready to be canned.

Personally, though, I don't think MAXIM readers will miss Hammond. MAXIM readers just aren't intelligent enough to read any articles to begin with, they just want to see women in bikinis. Yes, I just had to take another shot at that magazine. Well, what do you expect?!

BAD WEEK FOR THE PUNDITS


Well, it's been a few days since the New Hampshire primary made fools out of all these political "experts" who thought the supposed surge for Barack Obama would carry him to victory over Hillary Clinton.

Well, Clinton won and everyone has egg on their faces. You know, I think this serves these idiots in the media right for putting too much faith in these polls. I remember there were polls out in these races here in Canada that predicted certain people to lose, and of course they ended up winning. And inevitably the reason why they won came down to organization and getting out the vote. I think maybe Clinton had the superior organization in New Hampshire from day one and that alone can trump these polls. Plus, I am sure there were a lot of late deciders. Plus there were people who claimed to be Obama supporters but who weren't going to vote anyway.

I know Obama had some big crowds as well, and people were saying that he was going to win based on that. Just because people get big crowds doesn't necessarily mean much, unless one candidate is getting really huge crowds while the other is unable to get even close friends and relatives to show up.

Anyway, let that be a lesson to the media. Never make a prediction based on momentum. And I don't believe for a moment that any of these reports that these idiots in the media got about chaos in the Clinton campaign were true. I think those stories were probably all made up by some non-credible people and these media monkeys ran with it. Hey, I've seen it happen myself in journalism. And frankly I think it's best to just shut up about any rumors and let the real story play itself out.

That's it!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

PETE HAMMOND OUT AT MAXIM

Since I've been known to write about movies and do movie reviews whenever I get a spare moment, I thought I'd post this next blurb -- because in the movie review biz this is big news. Well-known film critic Pete Hammond is out the door at MAXIM. Apparently the cash-strapped rag is getting rid of movie reviews altogether, figuring that the only thing MAXIM readers want to see are babes! They're right! But they also want to see MAXIM be a half-decent magazine occasionally and this won't cut it.

Hammond actually is kind of notorious in the movie review industry for being a "quote whore", as the folks at eFilmCritic like to say. A quote whore is a movie critic who likes to praise movies so he can get his name mentioned in all the movie ads you see on TV and elsewhere. Hey, at least it's good for the old ego when that happens.

Nobody has quoted me on any of my reviews yet, probably because I am judicious about the movies I praise. I ought to find the worst movie imaginable and write a positive review on it, just so I can get my name mentioned on their movie posters. (I could start with One Missed Call, a movie so bad it is at ZERO PERCENT at Rotten Tomatoes!)

NEW HAMPSHIRE RESULTS

I'm preoccupied on other journalistic stuff so this brief blurb will have to suffice as far as my own coverage of the NH primary results is concerned.

Here's the results. John McCain won on the Republican side for the second time. And Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are too close to call but Clinton is currently ahead by a nose.

Links:
http://www.cnn.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/
http://www.msnbc.com/
http://www.cspan.org/

More later.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A BRIEF REMINDER

Just a couple notes. Tonight is the BCS Final featuring Ohio State and LSU for the title.

Tomorrow night is the New Hampshire Primary. Apparently both McCain and Obama are surging. We shall see.

And the writers are all mad at Jay Leno because he performed a monologue on the Tonight Show, and apparently that broke the union's rules. So everyone is disappointed.

And finally, some good news for guys! My dream girl --the beautiful and great-looking-naked supermodel Elle Macpherson -- dumped Bryan Adams because he cheated on her! Good for her. Really, what is Adams smoking?

That's all I have time for --I have an article to write.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

NOBODY WATCHES FOX BUSINESS

Read that Fox Business, that new cable financial channel from Fox News, is a royal flop. They are getting about 6,000 viewers a day. Six thousand?!?!?! Heck, I got more viewers when I was on TV, and I was at a lowly cable station! I'm pretty sure of it, anyway. Six thousand people are pretty bad numbers, folks.

Don't get me wrong. I want to see another business news channel succeed, but these numbers really are brutal. Why Fox Business doesn't stream over the Internet like these other business channels is beyond me. They'd get more viewers that way, for sure. I'm able to tune in to CNBC and Bloomberg over the Net; it boggles the mind why Fox Business won't offer the same service.

Perhaps people are turned off by the way they cover business. They should stick to covering the markets instead of having their hot young anchors hanging out in bars talking about nothing. Hey, ladies, how do you expect to get any reporting done in a bar? The stock exchange is down the street!


JENNA LEE NEEDS A MAN IN HER LIFE

In other news--- hot Fox Business newsbabe Jenna Lee is a lonely bachelorette who is in dire need of a guy. Well, maybe she should quit and go to CNBC. If she goes over there, she'd have no problem getting dates with guys, because lots of guys watch that channel.

AHEM, I QUIT

Found this blurb quite funny about the guy who was hired to be the new writer over at Gawker.com. He was hired for this gig, considered a good one in the blogging world, and well, he couldn't hack it all all. Some dude named Richard Morgan quit after one day! Now, I find it funny that someone quits a job after one day, especially a journalism job. You would think they would stick it out for a while. But I guess the stories he had to write about were just plain stupid.
I also hear the pay over at Gawker is no good. Why would anyone serious about a writing career want to go work for a blog, anyway? Why not -- work as a screenwriter?!?!?!

Ha ha ha.

UPDATE: Here's a New York Times article asking the question: has Gawker jumped the shark?!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

LOTS OF WRITERS STRIKE NEWS TO TALK ABOUT; GOLDEN GLOBES SET TO GET RUINED


Well, you can tell just by watching your TV set that times ain't normal in Hollywood. You tune in late nights and you see Dave Letterman having grown a beard, and Conan O'Brien having grown a beard, and you can tell just looking at that that times ain't normal. By the way, Dave shaves his beard off on TV on Monday. Good, because he looks ridiculous.

Here's a critic's take on the late night shows, with Jay Leno's show getting trashed for being too political. Well, what do you expect if actors decide to boycott Jay. Personally, I liked Craig Ferguson's return show the most -- it was one of his better efforts. Everyone else looked like they were still on vacation or something.

Meanwhile, the Golden Globes awards telecast set for NBC on Jan. 13 is about to get ruined. Not only are the writers not going to be there writing the show, but the Screen Actors Guild is going to boycott the event in solidarity with the writers. So what the heck are people going to do? This show is toast without the actors and actresses showing up. Here's what Nikki Finke had to say about it.

Notice that the reality shows are coming out of the woodwork now in time for the second half of the television season. Not only in Celebrity Apprentice now on (what a joke that show has become) but American Gladiators is coming back to NBC soon. Talk about downmarket, folks. All I gotta say about this we are in for some bad, bad television in the next few months.

On the movie side, some more news breaking today: apparently Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner cut a side deal for United Artists with the writers guild. Good. At least there will be some decent movies at the theater in 2009 now.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

IOWA RESULTS

Winner for the Republicans is MIKE HUCKABEE. I say the Mitt Romney campaign is pretty badly wounded.

And the shock winner in Iowa is BARACK OBAMA. This has got to be the end for John Edwards.

News and Results:
http://www.cnn.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/
http://www.msnbc.com/

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 BOX OFFICE IN REVIEW



The year's champeen?! Spider-Man 3. The year's biggest loser? No question in my mind: Grindhouse.

Check out the article.

STILL MORE NEWS, STILL FROM NOWHERE

Here's more News from Nowhere from me, where I go bananas talking about the important news that I missed during the busy time I have spent away from this blog. Yes, I have been busy.

First off, another reminder to myself that the Iowa Caucuses are tomorrow night, and therefore I ought to tune in to CNN to get their complete political coverage. Big questions about who will win on the Democratic side and even bigger questions about who will win on the GOP side-- either Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. My guess is it could be close.

Also, look out for John McCain, he's coming on strong in New Hampshire again after being written off not long ago. And what's happening with the Rudy Giuliani campaign? I guess he's hoping to win Florida or somewhere like that. Well, he's really taking his chances if that is his strategy.

Also, I missed completely the frozen outdoor NHL game because I had to work on New Year's Day.

Here's Nikki Finke's take on the return of the late night comics.

Pakistan is still in a lot of chaos and the elections there may be delayed or called off.

And we are still getting snow and cold weather around here. Life is still bad here in Canada. I should move to Mexico.

Uh, that is all for now.

LATE NIGHT SHOWS ARE BACK

And the big story is not so much that they're back. No, it's that Dave Letterman has grown a beard.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And the BCS is on. Man, I love football.

Too bad the Sugar Bowl is such a blowout. 38-3 Georgia right now.