Saturday, April 26, 2008

THE WEEK IN TV


This will be a very short post about TV because I am about to rush out and see Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

Actually, there is no news from TV, really. Television is just littered with reality shows these days. I'm quite sick of American Idol and especially the MTV shows. It sure seems as if MTV -- the Canadian version, anyway -- is loaded with reality crap starring Tila Tequila and other babes.

And aren't you sick of watching poker on TV? There are so many poker shows on Sportsnet, The Score and elsewhere that you get sick of watching them. Really, my beloved TV set is letting me down these days with all the junk on it.

Speaking of gambling...

Noticed that Jesse L. Martin departed Law and Order this week in another memorable exit. His character Det. Ed Green got into gambling trouble, and he turned in his badge and exited the show. Well, at least he didn't get killed off, and at least the series will be back next season. Last year, of course, the show was DEFINITELY on the bubble. Not this year.

That's all for now.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

THE RACE GOES ON

And so Hillary Clinton has won the Pennsylvania primary. Aren't you fed up yet with these primaries? I dunno about you, but I'm kind of sick and tired of seeing John King on CNN pointing to a map, and then see Larry King ask all kinds of dumb questions to James Carville and all these other spinners, all with an axe. Get this thing over with, finally, guys. Barack Obama's going to be the Democratic nominee anyway, let's quit grouching and get on with the election.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

SNOWED UNDER

Just thought I'd let you know I'm still here, still on the road, and digging out from underneath a big snowstorm where I am right now. Blogging should continue to be light for a few days yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS TO ANYONE UP HERE

... is the Stanley Cup.

I might as well post the links to the following web sites that have the latest news about the NHL, because, heck, you'll need something to look at while I'm away from the blog for the next few days.

http://www.nhl.com/
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/
HNIC Playoff Tracker
http://www.tsn.ca/

That's all for now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

ON MEGYN KELLY

This time it's straight from Howard Kurtz, who interviewed the gorgeous Fox News Channel hottie. Looks like she's back to being a married woman again, rats.

Of course Kelly is an ex-attorney who wallowed in misery in Chicago and D.C. law firms before convincing a DC TV station to take her on two days a week. In her legal job, she did securities law and contract disputes. Real boring stuff. No wonder she left for the cheerier TV news scene, where you get to cover fun car accidents and murders all the time.

Seems Fox News is a good place to be if you're an ex-legal beagle -- I notice Shannon Bream is a reporter there and she's yet another hottie with a law degree. There's hope for lawyers yet -- alternative careers in the low-paying hellhole that is television news, what with low job security and anchors being carried out of their positions on a stretcher (Katie Couric).

Friday, April 11, 2008

BY THE WAY---

The Miss USA pageant is tonight.

And NBC is promoting it in an unusual way by showing gaffes from previous pageants in its TV ads -- slipping and falling on the stage, incomprehensible answers by contestants (such as below), etc.

For more Miss USA coverage, check out Global Beauties dot com.




KATIE COURIC DEATH WATCH IS BACK ON AGAIN

Just when I thought that the rumors of Katie Couric's departure from the CBS Evening News were finally all over and done with, now they are back on!

And all I gotta say is just the speculation about it is embarrassing. Why the heck won't these folks in charge of CBS News back her and be done with it? It's not as if she's not doing her job, and the broadcast has been getting better lately. There have to be other reasons, such as her big salary.

I'll have more to say about this soon, when I'm up for writing a longer post about it. Suffice it to say the entire news business SUCKS. That's all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MORE PROGRAMMING NOTES

Seems the chaos of a week ago is something you CAIRNS BLOG readers are going to have to deal with for the coming several days.

Next week will be a busy one for me and I am going to be away from most computers for a while. So expect posts for the CAIRNS BLOG to be much fewer in number-- possibly for as long as a couple of weeks. Bear with me.

But don't worry, the blog should return bigger and better than ever in the coming weeks with coverage of the blockbuster summer movie season, and of course my political coverage will resume of the Democratic and Republican conventions! You don't want to miss all that, but for the moment expect this blog to be in a bit of a sorry state.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MOVIES ON TV

Read an interesting post over at The Movie Blog recently about watching movies on broadcast TV. John Campea was saying that he just realized that he didn't remember the last time he watched a movie on regular broadcast TV - certainly not a recent release from the last five years, anyway. Moreover, a lot of the people on that site were commenting were saying that they actually don't watch movies on TV either! People were saying they'd rather watch their DVDs instead, that there was no point watching movies on TV because it was really inconvenient to rush to the TV any time a favorite movie happened to be on. I have got to believe the reaction on that site was a generational thing. A lot of young people are much more comfortable getting their movie fix by going the DVD route these days.

But the more I thought about it the more I think that this is an interesting topic for discussion. Who really does watch movies on TV anymore? A lot of people truly have given up on broadcast TV and have turned to DVDs in droves for their movies.

Let's face it, it's more fun to view a movie on DVD. They make more of an effort to provide "director's cuts" and special features, and all the other good stuff real movie fans want to see. Plus, you don't get any of the annoyances associated with watching movies on broadcast TV. For one thing, they don't bleep out all the freaking foul language! Can you imagine watching any of the Die Hard movies on TV with Bruce Willis getting bleeped all the time?" "Yippie-ka-yay-mother-bleeper!!!" Plus, on DVD they show all the nudity, unlike the cowards who run broadcast TV who must face FCC fines all the time from these uptights in Washington, D.C.

Now, some channels are cutting down on doing this rampant editing. I notice the Canadian channels will let a lot of stuff go, especially late at night. Even the American cable channels will be more relaxed. But there are still those pesky TV commercials which interrupt these movies all the time, a major annoyance to people.

But the biggest peeve is the fact that people don't want to be bothered to rush home to watch a particular movie at a certain hour, especially one they have seen before. This was the issue that swung the pendulum to DVDs for me.

I'll give you a true example that happened to me. One late night recently I noticed the CBC was running the David Lynch movie Mulholland Dr., which I wanted to see again. But I was so tired and zonked out from a very hard week slaving away at my depressing mainstream media job. I had a splitting headache, so I couldn't watch this movie on TV!! Let me tell you, I was mad as hell at my employers. It was bad enough that the hours at this job were so long that I'd miss my favorite TV shows every freaking weeknight: now even my off-hours were getting ruined! I couldn't even stay up on a Friday night to enjoy a movie on TV!!

Of course, this is a reality for a lot of working people out there who can't be at home whenever their favorite movie or TV show happens to be on.

Bottom line is the very next day I went into St. Vital Mall in Winnipeg and bought a copy of Mulholland Dr. on DVD. Now I don't have to worry about whether or not I am too tired to watch Naomi Watts and Laura Harring on TV. I can watch those two babes go at it anytime I feel like it. Which, of course, is the big advantage DVDs have over broadcast TV as far as watching movies is concerned.

Me, I still watch a lot of movies on TV, especially these older movies from the 60s and 70s that run on AMC, Turner Classic Movies and these other places. Citytv runs a ton of movies all the time, and I like the flicks they'll show on CBC -- they'll even show the odd Godzilla movie late at night. The reason I still tune in movies on TV is because it's a good way to discover something I haven't seen before and it allows me to broaden my horizons as a film watcher. The problem, though, is that these stations keep on letting me down and show the same movies over and over again. Like, for instance, LA Confidential. Or Cool Hand Luke, on multiple channels, too! I don't know how many times stations show Austin Powers, but it seems like a lot. It really does get boring.

Moreover, there are a lot of broadcast stations that don't even run movies anymore! I look at Global TV as a really good example of what's going on. Fat chance you will ever find any movies run on Global! In fact I remember they ran a movie a couple weeks back, and I was really surprised because they showed an actual movie, on Global! (CTV shows a lot fewer movies these days as well, but they will still show the occasional movie late at night on Fridays or on a weekend afternoon.) I notice that these ABC, CBS and NBC stations don't seem to have any room for movies anymore, either. Of course, the FOX and CW stations show plenty of movies but they are all ones I have seen before.

No wonder so many people have quit watching movies on broadcast TV, then, if this is the situation. Anyway, that's all for now: I want to watch a movie I just bought on DVD.

Monday, April 07, 2008

NCAA FINAL IS TONIGHT

Is anyone going to watch Memphis versus Kansas? Not exactly the flashiest matchup in the world.

UPDATE: Actually, it turned out to be a good game. (Overtime; Memphis blowing the game in the last minute; etcetera.)

PRINT FILM CRITICS: R.I.P.

Noticed that there have been even more articles about film critics and how newspapers are getting rid of them. And these articles have stirred up quite a debate. Anne Thompson wrote a piece for Variety on the state of film criticism and has aggregated quite a few articles about it. I notice that Kevin Carr has weighed in with his own response. Also, Karina Longworth and Alex Billington have weighed in. (UPDATE: So has John Campea.)

I guess the main point of the responses has been that online film critics are taking over the field abdicated by these newspapers, and that if these stodgy older film critics are to survive they had better find a way to get with it and embrace the new technology -- the Internet, use of video streaming, that sort of thing. I mean, look at Roger Ebert -- the reason he's so big is largely because of his TV show and his booming web site! This is of course great for everyone who lives outside of Chicago who can't access a copy of the Sun-Times at their local newsstand.

I have of course weighed in already with my thoughts that newspapers are digging their own graves if they think that getting rid of their film critics is the way to go. Among other things, these critics perform a major public service by championing these smaller pictures and getting them known. And film coverage makes for a lively newspaper! That's why you buy a newspaper, so you can read the rants and raves of these people! And with the Internet going strong, you would think these papers could use that medium to bring in vast audiences from far outside their own coverage area. You would think some of these papers would want to beef up their local film departments and have their critics set up their own blogs and websites, promoting themselves and their paper.

I do agree with one point Kevin Carr has made in his article, which is that there are a lot of stodgy old folks out there who don't seem to "get" a lot of movies, particularly these popcorn flicks. He points to the Web as a place where a lot of the film writers appreciate the popcorn flicks and all kinds of movies that these stodgy critics can't seem to get excited about.

He should come to Canada and read some of these crummy newspapers in the major cities. A lot of these critics here really do seem to hate all popcorn movies --comedies, action movies, you name it. If it's a arty picture filled with Canadians (very important), it'll get a big positive writeup. But if it's a good popcorn flick, especially one that's funny and has a lot of special effects, interesting monsters and so on, it won't matter. They'll trash the bleeping thing every time! It's annoying as heck to read film critics who obviously hate going to the movies. It's as if these folks are resentful that they are not on the theater beat, or something.

Maybe that's one reason why so many successful Internet film sites have come out of Canada in recent years: JoBlo, the Movie Blog, and so on. Because many of the print critics here really are uptight individuals who have no sense of humor and also hate comic books.

Honestly, I wouldn't be sad to see these types of film critics walk the plank. Problem is they won't be replaced by anyone better -- or anyone at all in this climate.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

CHARLTON HESTON DIES

Charlton Heston, movie actor, former Screen Actors Guild president and well-known supporter of the National Rifle Association, has died. The story here.

GEORGE CLOONEY GETS SACKED AT THE BOX OFFICE

... again!!!!

My rant at Film School Rejects is up. Not a good weekend for Leatherheads, as everyone stayed home to watch Battlestar Galactica on TV.

Friday, April 04, 2008

THE CYLONS ARE BACK

Well, tonight is the night all sci-fi TV fans have waited for. Yes, it's the premiere for the final season of Battlestar Galactica. (10/9 Central on Sci-Fi.)

In honor of the final season I just thought I would put up a picture of Number Six, Tricia Helfer, because this blog looks for every excuse in the book to put up a picture of a cute girl. Especially a Cylon girl. Enjoy, guys.

A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF NEWS FROM NOWHERE

I'm back posting some posts that I had been meaning to post in the time I've been gone from the blog.

Here's a post from Fortune on CNBC's coverage of the market meltdown. I gotta say, CNBC has been on a roll lately covering these freaking markets. The whole Bear Stearns mess has really rattled the US stock market and has had people talking recession. The Independent newspaper came out with a big headline over in the UK claiming the US was in a Great Depression. Geez, I sure hope not. Real cheery stuff from these Brits.

And here are profiles of two folks at Fox Business, Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell.

I have a question. Why the heck can't I work for a place covering business news? It's not as if I'm unqualified -- but it seems the jobs are all overseas in places like Singapore. Do I really want to live in Singapore? Well, my family sure doesn't want me to, that's for sure. Anyway, I can forget traditional TV news, because there is a big bloodbath going on at CBS stations across the USA. I guess the Americans want to catch up to the Canadians who already have had a big bloodbath at stations in this country.

The cuts are hitting entertainment reporters at local TV stations, who are now joining print entertainment reporters out of work. WBZ Boston reporter Joyce Kulhawik has gotten the boot as part of the CBS bloodbath-- she used to have that syndicated show with Leonard Maltin and sat in opposite Roger Ebert when Gene Siskel died.

Speaking of Roger, he's coming back to reviewing, but the surgeons weren't able to restore his voice and he'll need more surgery for that. But at least he's back on the job. (Nice to know at least ONE film critic out there still has a job.)

And here is an article I stumbled across from Time about the growing influence of fanboys and fanboy websites devoted to movies. I sort of mention this because I write for one of these sites that is heavily into fanboy-type stuff -- superheroes, sci-fi, gadgets and so on. And yes the article is quite old, but I thought it made sense to link to it. It was timely given the Fanboys controversy and given what is happening to so many of these mainstream media film critics who are getting the boot these days.

UPDATE: And here's a column by Anne Thompson in Variety about the changes affecting film critics and the rise of these Internet sites.

All the bloodletting in the news business is making journalists angry. They are MAD AS HELL AND ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE (see picture, above left). Check out this story of a website called Angry Journalist dot com. I gotta say, this site is pretty freaking hilarious.

In other broadcasting news, former CNN Headline News anchor Lynne Russell, who was last seen selling houses for a living in Toronto after leaving her CBC Newsworld
gig, now has a show on CFRB 1010 on weekends. She also fills in for The Motts' show, and plans to also keep her real estate gig.

Movie news: here's a post over at Cinematical on mourning vanishing multiplexes. You know, I can sort of relate. I grew up in Saskatoon, a place that has a bad history of tearing down movie theaters. They tore down the original Capitol Theater which was an absolute palace, and they tore down the Paramount, and they razzed the Cinema Twins theaters, and on and on and on. So many movie theaters were closed down where I grew up that it was RIDICULOUS. So I definitely relate to a story like this.

Finally, here's a writeup in the Wall Street Journal about the retro appeal of that classic sitcom Get Smart -- which has a movie due out, this summer.

Would you believe? -- that's all for now.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

21 IS NUMBER 1

Here's what I had to say about the weekend's box office.

And that's all you're going to get from me today and for a couple more days, yet. Incidentally, it's April Fools Day, so beware of phony news stories on the Internet and elsewhere.