Friday, February 29, 2008


Check it out. Big weekend for Will Ferrell predicted.

(Noticed that Semi-Pro is a New Line release. This is a big week for New Line too, as, ahem, it went out of business. Absorbed by Warner Brothers. Kind of too bad.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


My former Western classmates will be amused by this interview done by Jen Yamato of Rotten Tomatoes, with Cinematical film critic James Rocchi. He also does stuff for the Huffington Post these days, which is also infested by former Westernites (Rachel Sklar). Interestingly, Rocchi's planning to move in April to Los Angeles from his longtime base San Francisco.

Rocchi talked very briefly about his time in campus radio in the piece. He worked for CHRW, "Radio Western" as it was known, in London, Ontario, where he was music director and an on-air deejay. That's where I met him. I am actually not too surprised he went on to do movie reviews for a living; he made a point of being cooler than everyone else.

Me, I'm still in the process of developing a portfolio of movie reviews, though I have quite a few under my belt by now. There was a long stretch of time during the fall and winter months when I didn't do any reviews at all due to work commitments. It's really quite difficult to go to movies if you have to spend 12-to-16-hour days and countless late nights covering the freaking news.

Incidentally, I do not plan to do too much blogging for a few days. There are a couple of movie reviews I want to do, and on Sunday I will once again post my regular box office column to So watch out for that.


Ahem. You know that NBC show quarterlife? NBC put this show on and everyone said this was a big revolution because it was the first time an Internet-based show made it to TV, and how this is proof the Internet is more popular than TV and is going to take the medium over, and yada yada yada.

Well, creator Marshall Herskovitz now admits this was a big mistake and this show is a flop. It was better to leave it on the Internet, he said. So much for that. It's now expected that this show will not even make it to a second episode. ( UPDATE: the show has now been moved in disgrace to Bravo, the channel where NBC's flops go to die.)

You know, it's not easy for shows to switch mediums. Back when TV came on the scene, so many old radio shows and radio stars tried to switch over to what was then the new medium. Some made it, but a lot of old radio actors couldn't make the switch to TV, and so many old radio shows couldn't make it with TV versions. Seems to be a lot easier to make movie versions of old TV shows than to switch from radio to TV or for that matter, from the Internet to TV.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I know, I know -- it's taken me forever to post about The Guys Guide to the 2008 Oscars.
Truthfully, though, there was nothing for guys in the show. In fact, it was a boring show from start to finish and I don't know why people were even interested in watching it to begin with. Ratings were down for the show. No kidding, what with all these downbeat movies that nobody cares about competing for awards. Well, okay, some people cared. But not all.

In Super Bowl terms, this show was not exactly Patriots versus the Giants. Instead, it was more like Ravens versus the Giants. You get the idea.

But they did put on an Oscar telecast was a show and guys did watch it, but only because the scheduled NASCAR race on FOX ended up in a rain delay and eventually was rained right out. Anyway, here are some rants about the Oscars from a guys' point of view.

(1) The technical award for visual effects went to The Golden Compass, but I notice The Bourne Ultimatum cleaned up in sound and editing. Not too shabby a performance for a great guys' movie.

(2) Good news for guys: winning Best Actress Marion Cotillard is a babe with extensive onscreen nudity credits . In a bonus, Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody is a former STRIPPER who used to dance on a pole. Take that Lindsay Lohan.

In fact Ms. Cody is now paying the high price of sudden fame. There are nude photos of her circulating on the Web from her stripper days and places like Egotastic! are running them. I will not dignify that web publication with a link, you can find it yourself. (On the side blogroll.)

Talk about sleazy activity by these websites, ladies and gentlemen. The World Wide Web is a big cesspool.

(3) Jon Stewart was not too bad. Really, he wasn't bad at all. Too bad he had to face the toughest audience in all of comedy, the uptight Oscar crowd. Really, this is never a happy group of people. Not exactly an audience loaded up with liquor, if you ask me. All these folks were sitting there on their hands, worrying about who was going to win -- and whether Stewart would insult their favorite Democratic presidential candidate. So that's what Stewart faced, but as I say, he gave it his best shot and looked a lot better than when he hosted the last time. More comfortable.

In an aside, the Academy had to apologize to Whoopi Goldberg for ignoring her in their salute to the former hosts of the show. One of many gaffes on the night.

The brouhaha over that omission kind of proves to me that the Oscars are a girls' show, because women are going nuts over this nonsense. Women are reacting in a manner similar to what you get from obsessed sports fans who regularly call in to sports talk shows on the radio! The hosts on The View are trashing the Oscars the way Jim Rome and other guys are trashing Roger Clemens and other losers from the world of sports.

(4) No big political statements by anyone, really, because Michael Moore's movie Sicko lost. Jon Stewart had a few jokes about the election, but I don't even remember what they were.

(5) Good news for guys: the most violent movie of the whole bunch, No Country for Old Men, full of blood and gore, won Best Picture.

(6) Heath Ledger was mentioned in the usual list of dead people that the Academy ran. But a lot of other people weren't. Check out this blurb by Nikki Finke about Steve Martin and a whole bunch of deceased people who the Academy ought to apologize to as well ( in addition to Whoopi Goldberg, who incidentally is still alive.)

That's it. Like I say, it was an even more boring show than it usually is, and it was no surprise to me that ratings were in the toilet. Let's face it, from a guys' perspective the best thing about the Oscars was Diablo Cody. That was about it.


I dunno why I write about these lawyers turned screenwriters. Maybe it's because I want to be one, but anyway Matt Lopez is profiled in the LA Times. You can also find it here.

Like I say, I'd like to go the screenwriter direction myself but it really does seem as if I am going to have to take a different path to get there. I am mulling over whether to try and get membership in the Director's Guild of Canada, which would allow me to break into the movie industry. Then I'd at least get on set on some of these movies, make connections, and then I could try and become some sort of screenwriter that way.

Of course, those of you strippers out there who want to be screenwriters will be interested in the second half of this article, which focuses on Juno writer Diablo Cody.


It's official, the open-wheel race in Toronto is off the IRL schedule for 2008.

It's bad enough there's no more Sam the Record Man and no Leafs in the playoffs. What point is there to living in Toronto if there's no auto race?!

This is SAD. Toronto is officially down the tubes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Still over an hour to the deadline as I write this. Coverage at, and, among other places. Also see

Monday, February 25, 2008


We have a big week in news ahead for the people here in frozen Canada.

Tomorrow federal finance minister Jim Flaherty delivers his budget, and we should soon know quickly whether the Liberals will pull the plug on the Tories or chicken out again on an election.

Also, we have the NHL trade deadline tomorrow and all the sports media organizations in Canada typically go nuts in the runup to 3PM EST. So stay tuned to and those other places for trade coverage. Already the news is that Mats Sundin is planning to stay in Toronto, and a lot of teams are having trouble making deals due to all kinds of new rules in the way.

Yes, it is a big week for news here in Canada. Maybe we'll learn what happens with the auto race in Toronto this week, too. Seems like no one really cares, though.


Here's a link to my box office article for this week, where I rant about Vantage Point finishing first. This is yet another first place finish for a movie that went down the tubes with the critics; meanwhile all these Oscar nominees never seem to win any of these weekends. Anyway, I rant about it for Film School Rejects.

I gotta say, I really enjoy doing this movie stuff and would really like to commit to doing this sort of thing full-time if I could.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


No Country for Old Men was the big winner at this year's boring and predictable Oscars, held in rainy California. What a boring show. For once, I got all my predictions right, in every single major category -- and that's not because of any great psychic ability on my part, either. There was absolutely no drama tonight. What is there to say? This was a snoozefest.

I should do a review of the Oscars "from a guys' perspective" like I did last year for this fashion-show-disguised-as-an-awards show. Me, I'm still waiting for that rained-out NASCAR race to resume in about half an hour, after they dry the track down in southern California. I've got my priorities straight.


Well, The Golden Compass won for Best Visual Effects, beating Transformers. Sweeney Todd won for Art Direction. And Ratatouille won for Best Animated Feature. Well, that's it, I guess I don't need to watch the rest of the show. Just kidding.


Check out the red carpet right now at the following addresses:

Fox News
Fox 11 LA
ABC 7 - will also stream the Governor's Ball afterwards.

More to come.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I saw Jeffrey Lyons and Alison Bailes (of Independent Film Channel fame) attempt to do a film critic TV show this weekend. It's called Reel Talk and the FOX affiliate from across the border was showing it this afternoon, and I provided a link to the show's blog. I dunno if I like the show. It's okay, I guess, but I question some of their movie picks, and frankly, this show is not Siskel and Ebert. Then again, nothing is Siskel and Ebert these days -- certainly not the show I call At the Movies with Roeper and no Ebert. (Which, by the way, made a deal this week to get shown on ReelzChannel in addition to its syndicated run.)

Lyons, of course, used to do that Sneak Previews show on PBS after Siskel and Ebert left, and well, anyway, he was no Siskel or Ebert. Neither was Michael Medved, who, as you know, is a fire-breathing conservative movie critic.

When are we ever again going to get a movie review show that spills some blood?! The problem with this Reel Talk show is Lyons and Bailes are too nice to each other. And it's hard not to like Bailes, she's quite easy on the eyes and I like her cute British accent. (There I go again...) If I were Lyons, I wouldn't go after Bailes either, she seems like a nice person.

But when the heck are we going to see critics go after one another like it's the WWE? Not likely, it seems. Check out the good old days of Siskel and Ebert when they got into fierce arguments about movies like Eddie Murphy RAW. Now, that was TV.


In honor of the Razzie awards being held tonight, I thought I would add some trailers from some bad movies over the years.

Here's a trailer for Last of the Secret Agents, a bad Allen & Rossi spy spoof, though it has some supporters. Steve Rossi and Marty Allen starred in this absolutely terrible movie that is only noteworthy for Nancy Sinatra's excellent, swinging theme song.

Here's another bad Sixties movie: Batman. That's right, the movie version of the TV show, complete with Adam West and Burt Ward.

Here's a rare trailer from a totally forgotten flick called Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You, which was actually the sequel to the classic What's New Pussycat. But Peter O'Toole wasn't in it, and Peter Sellers wasn't in it, and no one else of any importance was in it, either. The music sounded like it was written by guys who were on drugs. Man, I'm on a roll tonight.

Here's a movie that looks bad just from the looks of the trailer. The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini stars Susan Hart as the ghost, Boris Karloff, and has a musical number featuring -- guess who -- Nancy Sinatra again.

And that's all for now.


I Know Who Killed Me swept the Razzies and Lindsay Lohan won (?) as Worst Actress.

Why am I not surprised?! She can't act and she can't strip, either. Note to all Hollywood actresses: if you are going to appear in a movie about strippers, get up your courage and strip, because Lindsay sure didn't. I dunno why not, she's stripped everywhere else.


Nothing is official yet about the Grand Prix of Toronto getting the boot for this season, as the Toronto officials claim they are still working on it.

But it kind of serves the people of Toronto right if this event goes belly-up for this season. For one thing, the fans were starting to bellyache about how second-rate ChampCar was anyway, and they were saying they should just dump the open-wheel cars and make it a NASCAR event. Heck, NASCAR is good enough for Montreal, and for Patrick Carpentier, and Jacques Villeneuve (even though Villeneuve lost his ride recently.)! Why bother with open-wheel when the stock cars are available?! That's the attitude from these fans in Toronto. They are such bandwagon-jumpers, whether it comes to auto racing, the Blue Jays, football, you name it. Just wait, the same thing will happen to Toronto FC eventually.

I didn't know this before, but I think these guys in Toronto didn't even have a title sponsor for this year, because Steelback Brewery went belly-up. Of course, Molson pulled out the year before. So I think that is a possible factor whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

Of course, the people who've run the open-wheel sport into the ground the past several years deserve a heap of blame for what is going on. Way to go to alienate race fans in Canada, guys. And what happens if folks at NASCAR decide to try and take advantage of this golden opportunity and decide to move right in to Toronto instead? It could happen.

Anyway, the boohooing is on in Toronto:
Toronto tourism takes $50M hit with loss of race
Big mistake to skip Toronto in 2008 race sked -
Race fans sideswiped by circuit sideshow - Garth Woolsey, the Star.
Mats Sundin wants to stay in Toronto - George Gross in the Sun, keeping it real with a story on what Toronto fans REALLY care about, the freaking Leafs.
Toronto Indy up in smoke - the AP story that ran in the Sun.

One tourism official was quoted in the Star as saying the Indy is "one of the major events we have, along with things like the film festival, Caribana and Pride Day." Well, that is the problem with Toronto right there. Too many events for the, ahem, non-redneck segment of the population, and not enough for connoisseurs of redneck entertainment. Such as race fans. Believe me, this was the type of crowd that went to the Grand Prix, all these guys from the 905. This was a downmarket audience that drank a lot of beer and did a lot of girl-watching, checking out the Miss Molson Indy contestants. That's exactly what this event was about. No wonder the IRL decided to stay in Alberta instead - this sport fits right in over there.

What good is it to live in Toronto if there ain't going to be an auto race there? You know, Montreal looks awfully good to me as a city to live based on this news. At least Montreal has auto races - two of them, in fact. Plus, they have a world-class comedy festival. I am an even bigger comedy nut than I am a movie nut, so that has the Toronto International Film Festival all beat.

On top of all that, the Habs are winning. Where are the Leafs? In the basement and on the phone, looking for a Mats Sundin deal.

As I say over and over, Toronto has completely gone down the tubes ever since I left. News like this isn't exactly going to encourage me to move back.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Be ready for a big advertising blitz this weekend as the Academy Awards telecast goes on Sunday night. Of course, beforehand is the big Barbara Walters special as usual, plus all the red carpet action with live color commentary of (a) the fashions and (b) whether anyone is pregnant. Basically it's a big pre-game show, followed by the big game. Just like the Super Bowl. Let's face facts, guys, the Oscars are basically the Super Bowl for women.

As for men, we just don't care. We especially don't care about Babs Walters. So all the ads are going to be skewed towards women, so don't expect beer ads with talking animals, or Victoria's Secret ads with come-hither supermodels in them.

We should see lots of ads to be viewed by the female of the species on Sunday night, for these perfume companies, food companies and other places. By the way, I noticed there was some article circling the Internet this week that claimed the TV commercial was dead. Not this weekend, folks.



Well the big news is that the infamous long-running CART-IRL split, which eventually became the ChampCar-IRL split, is finally over with the merger deal today.

Thank G. The sport was getting ruined by the split, and getting beaten to a pulp by NASCAR with people bailing the sinking ship of open-wheel racing. Now they can maybe try and build the sport back up again with all the best open-wheel drivers under one roof.

The problem, though, is that the merger deal will include all the IRL races plus only three ChampCar ones: Long Beach, Surfer's Paradise and Edmonton. Apparently Toronto is not confirmed on the schedule this year, all because of a conflict with a scheduled race in Watkins Glen.

Well, great. Toronto has already gone to hell completely ever since I left, and this is going to be the final nail in the coffin. That Indy race in Toronto was always the highlight of the summer for me when I lived in Toronto! The Toronto officials don't seem too concerned, though. They think they'll find a way onto the schedule, whether this year or next. But this serves these officials right if they are left off the schedule. They should have bailed on ChampCar and gone over to the IRL while they had the chance. If they had done that, they would be on the schedule this year, no problem. Now it's all up in the air.

I will likely have more to say later about this turn of events. I'm sure a lot of these race fans in Toronto will be up at arms screaming about Tony George and saying what an idiot he is. But this merger was bound to happen.
UPDATE: More news of what amounts to an IRL takeover of ChampCar. Not only could the Toronto race be cancelled, but the longtime event in Cleveland could get the boot, too. Wow.


I have been stockpiling my DVD collection lately and have been adding some rare titles. I came across The Great Texas Dynamite Chase at this rare-DVD store in Winnipeg and just had to buy it. I saw this flick on TBS Superstation quite a few times and thought the movie was cool. It was one of these redneck deep-South kind of movies filled with Southern babes. This was made in the mid-Seventies, back when redneck cinema and redneck culture were all the rage. It eventually led to movies like Smokey and the Bandit and TV shows like Dukes of Hazzard and The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo. But before all that happened, guys like Roger Corman were churning out movies like The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, which he produced. And these would play at these drive-ins, mainly in the deep South.

It's kind of funny because this redneck stuff was all happening around the same time as disco and Saturday Night Fever. I guess something had to happen to counterbalance all that.

Actually the real reason I bought the DVD was because I knew the star of the movie was the coolest woman ever. "Queen-of-the-Bs" Claudia Jennings absolutely rocked in that movie. That gorgeous woman had me at hello. (Hello, Claudia!)

I know, I gush over girls way too much. Actually, the real reason for this post is so I can declare my enthusiasm for Claudia. Claudia Jennings is awesome.

Anyway, on to the rest of my post.

There have been recent attempts to revive "redneck culture" in the movies and TV. There was the Dukes of Hazzard movie revival, and you had Blue Collar TV which ran on the old WB network, and I notice that Larry the Cable Guy is trying to revive "redneck culture" with his latest movie Witless Protection.

Now, I don't think the revival attempts are going all that well. I understand that Witless Protection wasn't even screened for the film critics this week, and whenever that happens that is bad news. If they really want to revive redneck movies, they really do need to put in some kind of an effort.

Though it would also help if these producers and directors were able to discover another Claudia Jennings. The original is hard to replace.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I find it interesting when I read stories about movies doing shoots in these various locations. Everywhere but Hollywood.

As you know a lot of Hollywood movies aren't shot in Hollywood. They are actually shot elsewhere, with lots of production happening in places like Toronto and Vancouver. And Louisiana. A lot of movies get shot down there in Louisiana. I know the Czech Republic has seen a lot of movie shoots over the years, too.

I'm quite surprised at the large amount of motion picture activity in the Winnipeg area, though I probably should not be. Fact is that costs in Manitoba are pretty low and filmmakers here don't get hosed the way they do in Toronto or even Vancouver. I heard than in Toronto a lot of businesses put up their prices in order to milk the local movie industry, which of course packed up and went to the next place. So Winnipeg has been able to capitalize on that.

In fact, the motion picture industry is booming around here. Just recently Renee Zellweger came to town to do a flick called Chilled in Miami. And many of you know that The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was shot in Manitoba. Did you know that the movie You Kill Me, which starred Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, was filmed in Winnipeg? That movie was set in Buffalo, yet they shot in in Winnipeg. People in Buffalo aren't thrilled about all the movies that are set in Buffalo yet get filmed in Winnipeg, Montreal and elsewhere.

Anyway, they've shot a lot of stuff around the Winnipeg area such as movies-of-the-week and that sort of thing. Manitoba does a good job doubling for the American great plains, and Winnipeg is a big enough city that it can double for any big city out there. Yet it's small enough to be inexpensive to shoot and easy to get around. Basically, Winnipeg is the Buffalo of Canada.

There's lots of competition for shoots, though, with tax credits being what they are and so on, and it's not just Manitoba getting in on the action. Lots of US states are beefing up their incentives. California, too, is quite vocal about trying to get more production back in the state. LA is more of a center for reality shows these days, but they want to change that and get more scripted shows and movies shot there, again.

Now, I thought I would link to an article about the scene in Connecticut, of all places. Seems more movies are getting shot in Connecticut, and here's a flick from a bunch of filmmakers from that state. It's called Bikini Bloodbath and it seems like the kind of thing Troma might do.

Fun stuff.


I just thought I would provide links to some Oscar prediction/preview websites:

Here's Scott Feinberg at And the Winner Is.
Awards Daily's OscarWatch.
The Envelope (LA Times).
Awards Central (Variety).
Oscar Addict.
And of course Hollywood Elsewhere is going hog wild on the Oscars again.

It's amazing there is so much obsession over these awards. Me, I just don't take them seriously enough. As I say: the Oscars are not football.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Seattle Mariners' longtime baseball announcer Dave Niehaus has been voted the Ford Frick Award for this year and will get a spot at the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Meanwhile here is the glum reaction in Toronto where Tom Cheek has been denied again. Look on the bright side, though. Now that Niehaus is in, I think Cheek is a shoo-in to get into the Hall of Fame next year. Cheek keeps on getting on the Hall of Fame ballot every year. They'll have to vote him in one of these days. Now that Niehaus and Denny Matthews (KC Royals) are in the Hall , there's less competition for the honor and less reason for people to vote to keep Cheek out.


Welcome to another edition of Primary Night in America! This week is the Wisconsin primary, traditionally an important one in American politics. Barack Obama is hoping to crush Hillary Clinton again, and John McCain still has Mike Huckabee to worry about.

Coverage from , , and


I thought I would post a music video. I found this on Mark Evanier's website but it was actually floating around on Youtube before, and you movie buffs might like it. It's video of The Turtles singing the theme song to the movie A Guide for the Married Man. This was seen on the Smothers Brothers show on TV years ago.

I add this because I remember that the PBS station in Buffalo ran the movie A Guide for the Married Man one night, and it stuck with me -- it just seemed like the kind of silly movie that would run in the 1960s. Also, the movie stuck with me because I am a geek for the early days of TV, and big TV actress Inger Stevens (The Farmer's Daughter) was in the flick, in living color. That woman was a knockout.

It's kind of funny, because with this movie you kind of expect Doris Day and Rock Hudson to show up in it. Instead, it was Inger and Walter Matthau. I guess Doris and Rock weren't interested.


All I gotta say is "two thumbs up!" Wait a minute, I take that back, Roger Ebert has ownership of that line. How about "four stars?"

Anyway, I gave the movie an "A". Check out my review at

Also check out my update of the President's Day holiday weekend box office.


Fidel Castro has resigned as president of Cuba.

I guess it would have been more fun if Fidel had died, or been toppled in a revolution, but the Cubans stuck in Miami will take it. It's party time in Miami for the Cubans. And look on the bright side -- once Castro dies, they can have a second party.

The story from, guess who--- CNN. And for more about happenings at CNN see below.


Found out that a guy who worked in the mainstream media as a TV producer, Chez Pazienza , was fired by CNN, just for having a blog. You can find his blog here.

Well, I think this was a pretty draconian move by CNN. I guess this stems from some incident some time ago where some sorry low-level person (intern?) blogged about Anderson Cooper while working for CNN, and she got fired. Well, this guy wasn't blogging about Anderson Cooper, and he still got fired.

Here's what I don't understand. Why didn't they just give this guy a warning that having a blog was against company policy? There are lots of bloggers out there who work for the mainstream media, and they all have blogs. Some of them have blogs through their mainstream media outlets (Paul Wells) but plenty of others have them set up independently (Andrew Coyne comes to my mind, though there are a lot more. And to be honest I don't know if Coyne has some arrangement with his employers or what it is he's got going.)

I know a guy who worked in the mainstream media out in Asia for years for these wire services, and he had his own blog going under his own name for years. He eventually closed it down, though. I don't know whether it was to conform to company policy or whether he simply got tired of it; probably the latter.

Anyway, blogging is the in thing for journalists to do. Yet CNN won't allow one of its own journalists to get in on the same action. It seems like a bit of a double-standard that these bigshot opinion makers and bigshot anchors get to blog, while a behind-the-scenes producer isn't even allowed to spout off once in a while.

What CNN needs to do is tell people clearly what their blog policy is. Personally, what ought to happen is CNN should allow blogs by their journalists and figure out a way to accommodate them. At the very least, they should have given him the opportunity to shut down his blog so he could keep his own job. I think it's really unreasonable to simply jettison a guy without giving him the opportunity to close down his blog to conform to company policy.

Anyway, just so you all know --- if I get a job with CNN, I'll have to close down this blog. Goodbye to box office updates, news about TV and movies, pictures of NFL cheerleaders, and rants about Donald Trump. As Uncle Walter Cronkite said, that's the way it is.

In fact, I am beginning to think having a blog is more trouble than it is worth and this CNN incident is yet another example of that.

Monday, February 18, 2008


You can just tell that I have my tongue planted firmly in my cheek with respect to this headline. Important, my foot.

Anyway, it seems as if Lindsay Lohan has finally taken leave of what is left of her marbles and has posed naked in New York magazine, pretending to be Marilyn Monroe.

I don't mean partially covered-up, either. Lindsay Lohan is actually naked in the magazine. We're talking complete wardrobe malfunction here. Topless.

Well, this has got Marisa Miller's Sports Illustrated cover all beat. Way to go, Lindsay.

Of course, people think this is a brilliant marketing move. Everyone knows what happened to Marilyn, and the thought of Lohan mimicking Marilyn's famous poses -- well, it's rather creepy. Plenty of people think Lohan, and especially Britney Spears, may not be long for this world, either. They are both tragedies waiting to happen -- just like Marilyn Monroe.

(Although to be fair, a lot of people think Lohan is more of a modern-day Ann-Margret. That was another girl-next-door type who did lots of singing and dancing. So maybe there's hope for Lindsay Lohan yet.)

In other news, whiners at the New York Times are screaming sexism again about all the coverage heaped on Lohan, Spears, Paris Hilton and these other losers. They think these "bad boys" ( ie. Mel Gibson) should get more coverage from the entertainment rags.

Well, there's a reason these silly entertainment rags cover these girls-gone-wild. It's because most of the females who buy these rags are jealous people who want to feel superior to these other women in Hollywood! It makes them feel better about their own, miserable non-lives. That's my theory, anyway. Actually, it's all about selling magazines, and these publications figure they can do better putting Lindsay, or Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston or any of the other usual suspects, on the cover.

I don't think Mel Gibson is exactly going to move product. But Lindsay Lohan might.


What else is there to say about Jumper (Rotten Tomatoes 16%) winning the box office title this week? Same for Fool's Gold last week (Rotten Tomatoes 10%).

My rant here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I guess you could title this post "Why NBC sucks." I think I have NBC's problems all figured out. Instead of coming up with original ideas, these guys have had to dip into the vault for their shows. So they retread The Bionic Woman, which no one wanted to see back. They brought back American Gladiators which has its season finale tonight. And now they are bringing back another piece of junk.

Knight Rider is back. No, David Hasselhoff isn't back, but the talking car Kitt is. And you wonder why the ratings at NBC are so brutal. What's next, the return of Baywatch?

If you want to see what Knight Rider looked like back in the old days, here's a clip of the show.

And for the new Knight Rider, here's a preview here.

Boy, do I sound cranky these days. Well, if winter lasts long enough, that's what happens!


This is the first "official" weekend without any NFL football on TV ( if you count the Pro Bowl) and as such, sports fans have an adjustment to make. What are football fans to do now that their favorite sport is in the offseason?

All I gotta say is life is bad for football fans used to sitting at home or in the sports bars on Sunday, looking at all the NFL games going on. Every game was life and death, and this season in particular ended on a particularly exciting note with the Giants' stunning run in the playoffs. Their upset of the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl pretty much has the NCAA tournament all beat as far as upsets and excitement is concerned.

But now it is over, and now reality sets in for fans at home that there just isn't much out there to watch. None of these sports are a real replacement for football. Here's a look at the options available right now to fans out there.

(1) College basketball. Honestly, who the hell cares about these guys. Sure, college basketball arenas can get pretty loud, and there are some good rivalries and interesting coaches who like to throw things onto the basketball court occasionally (ie. Bobby Knight). But you can watch college basketball any time. And none of the games really count until March, anyway, when the NCAA tournament starts. And so many upsets happen that it renders the whole regular season meaningless anyway. It's not as if people are going to be able to get home-court advantage in the playoffs if they do well in the regular season, because all the tournament games are on neutral courts. This is DEFINITELY not football.

(2) NBA basketball. Now, I love watching the NBA, but regular season basketball isn't exactly spell-binding entertainment. Talk about games that don't count: there are 82 games in the regular season. And the stakes are far lower, because most of the league gets into the playoffs! So who really wants to watch these tall guys sleepwalk through these meaningless regular season games in the afternoon? This is definitely not football.

(3) NASCAR. Now, NASCAR is a sport I love to watch. You've got big, open-air stadiums, anyone can win on any given Sunday, and the sports is loaded with good-old-boys. These races are usually held in the heart of football country in the Deep South. And FOX commentator Darrell Waltrip could fit right in with these NFL guys on the pregame shows any time.

But let's face facts, folks. The Sprint Cup goes on forever and ever, until November. And at the end of the day, all you're watching are cars going around a track. Figuring out pit strategy is no match for figuring out a coach's strategy in a game! There aren't any hot cheerleaders in NASCAR, either. At least in the NBA and college basketball you see young women waving pom-poms on the sidelines and kicking it up. Here, there's NOTHING.

To top it all off, there is rampant commercialism. You think the NFL was bad for commercialism? Check out NASCAR. All these race teams are sponsored to the hilt with ads all over their cars and their team uniforms. Even the championship trophy is named after a sponsor! It's the Sprint Cup you win! At least in the NFL they give you a trophy named after a legendary football coach. In NASCAR, they give you a trophy named after a cellphone company!!! Think about it.

This is definitely not football.

(4) Golf. This is not football. There are no cheerleaders, for one thing. Second of all, the crowds all hush up every time someone is about to tee off. No roar-of-the-crowds, nothing. Some sport this is for excitement. Besides, it goes on for four days, not three hours.

(5) Hockey. Ha ha ha.

I don't know why anyone would even want to watch any hockey game on any Sunday afternoon. This is a sport made for Saturday nights, not Sunday afternoons. And hockey is the sport that invented the meaningless regular season. Have you seen the audiences in these arenas during Sunday afternoon hockey games? They all look bored as all heck! It's worse than the bored NBA audiences in the afternoons. Let's face it, these NHL and NBA crowds look as if they are at these afternoon games only because football season is over and there's nothing better to do. Anyway, hockey is definitely not football, either.

(6) Arena football. Oh, boy. When you talk to fans about the sport that symbolizes all that sucks about the NFL off-season, it's this! Arena football is a second-rate parody of the real game, folks.
First of all, they play it in hockey arenas, so it seems like the game is out of place to begin with. It's like playing a hockey game on a football field (although that Pittsburgh-Buffalo outdoor game was pretty cool to watch).

Second of all, the field is only fifty yards, so the scoring is ridiculous. And nobody cares about these teams. Who cares about the Dallas Desperados or the Columbus Destroyers, or these other teams? Yes, there are cheerleaders, too, but the cheerleaders in the NFL are hotter and do better dance routines. And the players are only in this league because they didn't make it to the NFL and need somewhere to play. Even the CFL is better than this -- at least it's real football.

What a sad state of affairs for everyone involved with this second-class league. This is DEFINITELY not football, either, even if they call themselves a football league.


So those are the main options for people between now and baseball season. Now granted, baseball isn't football either, and that whole sport is in the tank anyway, but it at least looks like a sport that ought to be played on an afternoon. And sure, there are other sports that they show on weekends on TV -- like poker, and championship rodeo, and other junk. I guess there's soccer, but the big soccer games these days are all from outside North America, and usually they are shown early in the day here. Besides, the big day for English Premier League soccer is Saturday, not Sunday. So that's no use, either.

I guess there's championship curling, too, but who wants to see that. Boring.

Fans are in for a tough choice. For me, the best replacement out there is NASCAR, because I'm a big auto racing fan anyway. But it is not at all like the NFL and I know it as well as anyone. It's cars going around a track! If you want to see cars, all you need to do is look out your window at the street!!

College basketball is no good either. Sure, in the month of March the games get pretty important, but the CBS coverage of the NCAA tournament is getting to be a joke. Jim Nantz and the rest of these commentators are just annoying as hell. All of these commentators always act surprised when some team that they ignored all year wins in the NCAA tournament. And then they do the whole "One Shining Moment" thing at the end of the tournament, and it's all cliched and so sappy to watch. And who are these guys playing basketball anyway? Most of them are players you never heard of before and may never hear of again.

And the best players at that age level aren't even playing in the NCAA anyway. Instead, they've already declared NBA eligibility and are hooping it up in the NBA (LeBron James). And lots of emerging NBA talent is developing overseas anyway -- they aren't wasting their time playing in the pathetic NCAA. College basketball is totally overrated.

Let's face it. Nothing on TV these days replaces football - not college hoops, not the NBA, not NASCAR. Nothing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


That's right, NBC's newscast has been on the air for 60 years! Today is the anniversary.


A lot of people have been writing about the departure of Mark Lisanti as editor of the groundbreaking LA blog Defamer. Anyway, he said goodbye to the blog this week.

Here's some tributes, one from New York magazine and one from Deadspin. And Nikki Finke says Defamer is hiring.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


One of these days I will quit writing about strikes in the world of entertainment. Anyway, here's an LA Times look at some of the screenwriters and how they feel about getting back to work.

And here's a list of CBS post-strike premieres. And a list of show return dates.

Uh, yeah, the guild did officially approve the deal the other day so the whole strike is over, finally.


Just thought I would pass along the good news to guys out there that beautiful Marisa Miller is the covergirl for this year's edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This is her seventh appearance in the magazine.

Also in this year's issue are Danica Patrick, NFL cheerleaders in swimsuits, and, uh, Will Ferrell. (Will Ferrell?!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Back for another edition of Primary Night in America, as the exciting political year continues in the USA .

Well, the Barack Obama winning streak continues. He won in Virginia, Maryland and DC, and very convincingly -- and he has now taken over the delegate lead in the Democratic race from Hillary Clinton. John McCain also had a big night. Results here.

Monday, February 11, 2008


What else can you say about the audience for Number One movie Fool's Gold, which got $22 million despite some really terrible reviews?

Never underestimate the power of a woman who wears a bikini (Kate Hudson). My rant on the weekend box office here.

By the way, Paris Hilton's movie The Hottie and the Nottie made only $25,000. How she managed that debacle of a performance I don't know.


Here are some articles about the big settlement:

Vote is going to be Tuesday. (Nikki Finke)
What TV shows are coming back when. (ABC)
The happy Canadian perspective. (Vancouver Sun)
How the strike has rewritten the business. (Hollywood Reporter)
Plus winners and losers. (LA Times)

Saturday, February 09, 2008


If Nikki Finke says it's over, then it's over. Back to work, people. Time for some real TV to get made again.


Well, I was all set to go down to Winkler today, for Hockey Day in Canada. I was going to check out the Stanley Cup and enjoy a day of real grassroots hockey in the heartland of rural Canada.

And then a blizzard showed up, and all the roads were closed. And that was the end of that idea.

I have spent Hockey Day celebrating our national/official sport at home --- watching politics on CNN. Kind of unpatriotic behavior if you ask me. Needless to say, I am seriously ticked off at the bad weather, and at life in this province. Manitoba sucks.

And Obama is ahead in Louisiana now. He's starting to win, folks.


Isn't this the second time now that The Insider, Pat O'Brien, has gone into rehab? Rehab a cool place for entertainment people to be, and now the anchors are getting into the act.

Who's next for rehab? Kevin Frazier? Maria Menounos?! How about Mary Hart?!?! I am, of course, kidding. But still, this is getting to be too big of a joke.


Well, here we go again. More primaries and caucuses.

Barack Obama has won in Nebraska and in the state of Washington. Louisiana results coming.

Meanwhile Mike Huckabee has clobbered John McCain in Kansas. Hmmm -- for a guy who is supposed to have things close to wrapped up, McCain still has plenty of opposition.


A tentative settlement to the writers strike is going to be presented to the writers today in meetings in New York and tonight in LA.

Some writers are blogging about their plans to attend the big LA meeting. Ken Levine says he will be at the big meeting, and so is Mark Evanier. Craig Mazin will not be there, but says he will be there in spirit. John August says the feeling from writers is that the end of the strike is approaching.

All I know is it won't be over until the fat lady sings -- and on that note, the writers were out in force picketing Disney the other day. (The picture, however, shows them picketing NBC. Hey, I had to put up something.)

If we believe Nikki Finke, these meetings could be contentious -- seems this is not exactly a deal that writers are going to be jumping for joy over. But we'll see what the members say.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Just wanted to point you to a website called, put out by Marc Guggenheim, one of the co-creators with Greg Berlanti of a new ABC series airing right now called Eli Stone.

The show is about this lawyer who gets these crazy visions, and one of these quack physicians believes he could be a modern-day prophet. But everyone else just thinks he's crazy. Me, I think the guy has lost his marbles. He's crazier than Ally McBeal.

Actually, the real reason I am interested in the show is because beautiful Natasha Henstridge is in it. And I'm crazy about Natasha Henstridge -- but admittedly, not nearly as crazy as this guy Eli Stone is. Man, this guy is a nut.

Seems Guggenheim is yet another one of these lawyers who ditched lawyering to become a screenwriter. He's worked on such shows as Law and Order, Brothers and Sisters, The Practice, Jack and Bobby, CSI Miami, the works. Really cool television series, the kind of stuff I'd like to watch.

Well, if it worked for him, it might work for me, eh? Only problem is that he's currently on strike, along with everyone else in the freaking writers guild.

But don't worry. Michael Eisner said that the strike will soon be over. The writers have their big meeting on Saturday and hopefully this deal will be accepted there, though I think there are still quite a few hardliners out there who might stir up trouble.

You're probably wondering why a new show like Eli Stone would even get on the air with the writers out picketing? Well, they saved up a ton of these shows in advance and are rolling them out just now. It's bailing ABC out. But really, the network schedules are a mess. I look at the lineup over at NBC. Usually it would be a night of comedy with The Office, My Name is Earl, 30 Rock and the rest, but yesterday's lineup was a mess: Deal or No Deal, Celebrity Apprentice, and a new show called Lipstick Jungle.

This strike has to end. Fast.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Just wanted to pass along a lot of the big news from nowhere today.

Mitt Romney has bitten the dust.

And John McCain is trying to mend fences with these conservatives, but the conservatives don't know what's good for them and are still going around moaning about what a terrible choice they will have in November with McCain as the nominee. Me, I don't see why conservatives would want to risk sitting out an election and handing the White House to Hillary or Barack for the next four years. Are they nuts? I guess so, eh?

Also, Angelina Jolie -- who, regular readers of this blog will detect, is a woman I have a serious big-time crush on -- made a big trip to Iraq and sat down with CNN to talk about it, and correspondent Arwa Damon just had to try and ask Angelina about whether it was true that she... "you're CNN, don't do it!" Seriously, I don't know why people are so interested in whether or not Angelina is pregnant. Same with this Britney Spears nonsense and all the brouhaha about her mental health. So she's crazy. So what?

And Heath Ledger's death was ruled accidental.

It's confirmed now, the Bills are going to be playing some games in Toronto. And people in Toronto are going nuts about how this is going to mean the end of the CFL. Hey guys, this isn't the end of the CFL; there are teams throughout all the rest of the country, too, you know. Of course, people in Hamilton and in Buffalo are really worried about this latest development. Buffalo is scared as heck they might lose their team to Toronto.

By the way, Winkler hosts Hockey Day in Canada this weekend and I may go down there to check out the proceedings. Weather permitting of course. The Winkler Flyers host Selkirk in a Manitoba Junior League game, and apparently the Stanley Cup will be in attendance. Fun stuff.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


A few stories are out there about happenings in TV news and elsewhere

Notice that Global National is getting on with doing its news out of Ottawa now. Kevin Newman is anchoring the thing from Ottawa, meanwhile everyone else is back home still writing the thing from Vancouver. Weird setup, if you ask me.

Also noticed that there are a few writeups out there on what former Cleveland TV news anchor Tiffany Burns has been up to. Seems she is a documentary filmmaker now. She recently did a doc called Mr. Big which calls into question the interrogation tactics of these law enforcement officials, and it has played film festivals including the one in Vancouver. Burns is pretty outspoken about the subject because her brother Sebastian went to jail for murder, and she thinks he was wrongfully convicted. Anyway, read her interview with eFilmCritic here.

Nice to know there is life after TV news for people in the documentary game.

Also nice to know there is life for former correspondents who left CNN. Andrea Koppel just got a new gig. She is now a PR consultant for a big strategy consulting firm. Well, PR certainly seems like a place that a lot of these correspondents wind up at. I read that Renay San Miguel (ex-CNBC) ended up at a PR firm, and that Garrett Glaser (also ex-CNBC) ended up at a PR firm, and that quite a number of people have ended up at PR firms after their news careers were over. Let's not even go into all these former anchors and reporters in Canada who left the media to go work for Dalton McGuinty and his government in Ontario.

I myself have been contemplating ditching a news career entirely for PR, mainly because the pay is better. That is always the reason for the switch --- always. More later.


Depending on who you talk to, Clinton has the delegate lead. Or Obama. Whatever. About all we know is that McCain has a big lead for the Republican nod.

Here's a look at where things are at after Super Tuesday, with nothing settled.

All I have to say is this is great news for political junkies, having a race this close. Keeps these Tuesday nights interesting, that's for sure.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Well, John McCain beat Mitt Romney in California and apparently tomorrow Romney's people are going to be having "frank discussions" about his campaign's future. That according to MSNBC.

McCain also managed to eke out a win in Missouri over Huckabee, who's had a good night regardless.

Clinton won in California but Obama managed to win Connecticut and Missouri in tight races. That's it, I am going to bed.


Don't look now but I think McCain's hopes to run away and clinch the GOP nomination may be hitting a snag as Mike Huckabee is doing very well and much better than expected in places like Missouri, where he is running in first place.

And the Romney people are crossing their fingers and hoping for California to bail them out.


I'm really enjoying watching the election primary results coming in from all over the United States. Reminds me of the heady days of 2004 when I was very, very active on the political scene during a big American presidential year and following that race very closely.

Right now Obama has won Georgia and Illinois and Clinton has won Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. I notice on the Republican side that Romney has only carried Massachussetts, and Huckabee has won in Arkansas, Alabama and West Virginia and is currently leading in Georgia. McCain has won in New Jersey, Illinois and Delaware and is leading in a whole bunch of states.

I think that Huckabee stands to be the real winner on the Republican side today. He may not win the nomination but he's done well enough to probably secure a spot on the ticket. What was really interesting was what went down at the state convention in West Virginia. At that convention Romney had gone in there leading and stood to win the state, but McCain's folks made a deal with Huckabee's people to put Huckabee over the top to win the state's presidential nomination on the second ballot!! So that was really interesting today, and it sure looks as if Romney is tanking from coast to coast. Like I say, McCain pretty much has the GOP nod locked up, but I think he is going to need to look to the right wing of the party for a VP nominee and I think Huckabee has really helped himself with his showing, not just tonight but over the last several weeks.

It's still too early to call it on the Democratic side. In fact it may not even end tonight, it's that close on the delegate side right now. We'll see.

UPDATE: Massachusetts has now been called for Hillary Clinton.


Here's where you can find all the live streaming coverage of Super Tuesday.

MSNBC's coverage can be found HERE.
CNN coverage is here.
Fox News coverage is here.
CBS News coverage is here.
And ABC News can be found here.

As well, there are a ton of streams out there from the Fox TV affiliates in many states. Click here to get to see them.

Live blog of election night to come. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Here is Eric Prydz's sexy workout music video Call on Me. I remember seeing part of this video as part of an ad for a cheesy dance mix CD that was being advertised late at night on Toronto TV. Man, I miss Toronto and life there.

By the way, the hot-looking fitness instructor is sexy Aussie Deanne Berry. This is one scorching-hot video and possibly not even safe for work, even though there isn't any nudity. Enjoy.


Here's the latest rundown on where things stand with the writers strike and how close they are to a deal. Courtesy of Nikki Finke.

Get ready to read a loooooong screed.


Just a reminder to everyone that the big Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses go tomorrow, and if we believe the prognosticators it could be a close race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Democratic side, and a likely outright clinching win for John McCain tomorrow over Mitt Romney.

We get a lot of TV advertising from the US channels in Minnesota and they have been flooded with ads on the Democratic side for Obama. We've seen one Obama ad after another, encouraging people to go out to the caucuses. Of course, what's really funny are the ads for US Senate, especially the ones for unlikely candidate Al Franken. "I'm Al Franken, and I'm serious" about running for the Senate, he keeps on saying. It's almost as if the moment you see him on TV you think he'll make some wisecrack about George W. Bush or something like that. It's almost as if Michael Moore was running for the Senate.

I just had to throw that in. But hey, what do you expect from a state that once elected Jesse Ventura? (By the way, the Republicans are having their big national convention in St. Paul this summer. Fun stuff -- Minnesota is definitely a happening place as far as politics is concerned this year.)

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Word from Nikki Finke and many others is that the Writers Guild and the producers are close to a deal. Nothing is done yet, though. Still, I think people are determined to put an end to this nonsense in time for the Oscars and for pilot season.

In fact there are even reports that the "strike is over." Only a matter of time before it's official. Good.

As for the time being, the writers have signed some more side deals with production companies. They already had done a deal with Lionsgate (who bring you quality shows such as Weeds and Mad Men).

Can you believe the Giants won the Super Bowl? Still?!!


The NEW YORK GIANTS beat the New England Patriots and hand them their first defeat of the season in the Super Bowl, 17-14.

Holy Cow. The fans in Boston have to be in shock. Usually debacles like this only happen to the Red Sox.


And you know what that means, folks. Commercials.

Click here to see the Super Bowl commercials for 2008. And here as well. Enjoy.

UPDATE: For the famous GoDaddy ad for 2008 click here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


It's official. Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni were married today.

Just think if something like this happened in the USA -- the press would never let the President hear the end of it. I don't think the French press is letting Sarkozy hear the end of it.

Friday, February 01, 2008


This latest YouTube clip is SO funny that I just had to post it. It's from an old ABC Monday Night Football broadcast where Chris Berman was hosting the halftime. As it turned out, a bunch of bystanders moving around behind the camera were blowing Berman's concentration when he was anchoring, and he got so ticked off over it that he ranted and raved during this moment when they were off the air. Classic stuff. I hope this doesn't get pulled off YouTube because it's really hilarious. He even uses the F word, something I never do at work!!! I never ranted and raved like this when I was on commercial breaks. Yet he gets away with it!!!

"Goddammit! Can't everybody stop for ten minutes?!" Funny.

UPDATE: Youtube took the video down, but you can still find it here.