Tuesday, September 30, 2008

DEBATES START TOMORROW

Well, Wednesday night is the start of the two national televised debates here in frozen Canada. Tomorrow night, it's in French. Thursday, in English. I haven't said much about the campaign here at the blog so far, but that's because I'm so riveted to what is happening south of the border, with these buffoons botching up the big bailout. I sure hope they get something passed, because these legislators are embarrassing themselves. But you know, it makes me think I should switch over to financial reporting. Among other things, this Wall Street news is interesting stuff. Particularly this week.

As for the Canadian election, I tend to agree with Andrew Coyne about the level of the debate in this country. So much for now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

FEARLESS LEADER BUSH TO SPEAK

President George W. Bush will speak to the nation tomorrow morning before the market opens. I guess he wants to try and avoid a panic. Man, you almost feel sorry for this guy with all these messes happening under his watch.

In the meantime, the dive goes on worldwide in Asia and everywhere else.

BAILOUT DEAL GOES DOWN THE DRAIN IN CONGRESS

The U.S. Congress voted down the bailout deal that was negotiated on the weekend!!!

Where the heck is the leadership in Congress? People are too worried about saving their own hides to get a deal done that will get the job done to the satisfaction of everyone! Seems like we can blame the entire US Congress for the coming Depression. Thanks to Congress' bungling the Dow tanked today by 777 points.

I said it before and I'll say it again: Numbskulls.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ON THE NEW 2008-09 TV SEASON

Well, I must apologize for my lack of posts about the new TV season. Quite simply, though, when you don't spend much time actually watching TV -- and I haven't lately, at least not the traditional way -- you kind of miss out on the happenings.

I was going to go ahead with a prediction of what might be the "first new show cancelled" of the new season, only to find out that FOX lived up to its trigger-happy reputation and yanked sitcom Do Not Disturb after three episodes. Who knows what will happen to the other four episodes they shot for that series. So much for that!!

Anyway, this has got to be the least-hyped new season in history as far as new shows are concerned. The only shows that have gotten any buzz at all seem to be Fringe over on FOX and that 90210 show over on the CW. But 90210's ratings have slid since the debut.

Let's face it, no one cares about these new shows, all because the traditional networks don't care anymore about developing good shows. These networks are cutting back on development (especially over at NBC), and it shows. They've been reduced to bringing shows like 90210 and Knight Rider back from the crypt, and CBS is planning regurgitations of Streets of San Francisco and Hawaii Five-O.

Needless to say, these new shows are quite buzz-challenged. What has everyone excited instead has been the return of the old favorites that everyone likes anyway-- the CSIs and Dancing With the Stars, Survivor, Ugly Betty (which has been crowing about taking advantage of that new tax credit scheme offered by the city of New York), and comedies like How I Met Your Mother and The Office.

NBC had a one-hour Office which was hilarious, and CBS had a two-hour Survivor. Overall, though, ratings are down. Thursday was in the sink compared to a year ago.

I have my own theories for why TV audiences are down the tubes these days. Much of it has to do with the flight of young people to other media, and I did a whole rant about that here ages ago. Young people will go to the movies or watch DVDs or play video games, while saying "to heck with this crap" aimed at older audiences on the tube. Fat chance that young people will watch Desperate Housewives or Dancing With the Stars. There's also a big flight of people to cable TV: people would rather watch the quality stuff they show on HBO, FX, USA,Sci-Fi and these other places -- stuff like Mad Men, which airs on AMC. That's the kind of stuff real fans of series TV are excited about. But these main networks won't take chances on stuff like that, because quite frankly they want to play it safe and are too chicken to try something new. When they do take chances, what we end up with is truly weird stuff like Pushing Daisies or even Eli Stone. Really crazy stuff -- too crazy, in fact, for the audiences.

I think what it comes down to is that TV watching used to be an EVENT. You had these big premiere weeks and so on, and the networks would really knock themselves out coming up with programming to get viewers. Now, it seems they don't freaking care anymore. What happened at the Emmys was a perfect example: cable cleaned right up. That's where all the action is at the moment.

I do think the writer's strike had something to do with the lower numbers. When the writer's strike happened a lot of people fled the TV medium and didn't come back. They're still not back because they don't see much improvement on the horizon, what with all these reality shows and so on.

For me, it's gotten to the point where the only shows I tune into on network TV seem to be the late shows and the sports! I'll watch a lot of cable TV, but that doesn't do the job either these days. Instead, I have to search the web for these old favorites that I used to watch on TV, but which don't get shown anymore. One night I found some old Flintstones episodes on the Web, for instance. The other night, I was watching Baywatch. Now, Baywatch is a really stupid show, but after spending a heavy week absorbing all kinds of information in my job, stupidity is exactly what I want in entertainment. At least sometimes, anyway. My mind needs to go on a vacation occasionally, so that I am fresh and ready to go for the work week.

Tonight, I'm planning to look for some old Ed Sullivan stuff and other old "variety". Beats this reality junk they show on TV. I understand tonight is the Amazing Race's season opener. Big deal!!

I think the folks who run the networks need to get back in the business of providing actual entertainment that people actually want to watch! Heck, there's a market for real entertainment. Look at the movie grosses this year -- the grosses are up! There is no reason for the movies to be up while TV is down. Get back to the basics is what I say these networks should do. Make TV viewing an event again and knock yourself out developing good shows. Then maybe audiences will come back.

EAGLE EYE WINS AT THE BOX OFFICE

Read it here.

BAILOUT DEAL IS DONE

Here's a link to some information about the big bailout deal that those folks in Washington finally came to a deal on late last night.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

KYLE IS COMING

Get a load of this: a hurricane is coming to Canada.

Not a tropical storm, not the remnants of some former hurricane. An actual hurricane. Story about Kyle here.

I wonder is we will see any CBC reporters covering this thing? Somehow I doubt it; they'd rather cover a boring election. Anyway, I'm sure the all-news station in Halifax will have something. And here's the station in Saint John, the place which will take the brunt of the whole thing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

FINANCIAL NEWS FROM NOWHERE

Well, here is a special Financial edition of News from Nowhere tonight, and a lot of news there is.

Sort of.
Actually, nothing's happened in Washington. The bailout is in chaos, and they're back to hashing it out tomorrow. Seems the Republican rump in the House is having a cow over President Bush and his bailout plan. They think the people are going to get hosed in taxes.

Meanwhile John McCain and Barack Obama were at the meetings and McCain apparently said very little. The Democrats, though, say he has been a distraction. Well, how is he a distraction if he says nothing?! That argument makes no sense.

And that whole presidential debate tomorrow is still totally up in the air down at Ole Miss. Now there's talk Obama might go down there and have essentially a town hall all to himself if McCain doesn't show.

In addition to those Republicans on the Hill who look like Keystone Cops right now, Katie Couric roasted Sarah Palin, McCain's genius-choice for running mate. Palin looked kind of out to lunch in the interview.

Wow. You get the feeling that if Obama loses this thing that no black man will ever set foot in the White House as President? Ever? If Obama can't beat this group of jokers, who will?!

In other news, this freaking mess in Washington means the bailout will come too late for Washington Mutual, which has tonight gone belly-up.

And that YouTube video of Dave Letterman roasting John McCain for going back to Washington, instead of appearing on his show as scheduled, is making the rounds. Seems McCain didn't rush back after all -- he stopped in to talk to his pal Katie Couric, too.



That's all for now. Time to watch CNBC and get depressed all over again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MCCAIN HEADS BACK TO WASHINGTON

Well, the American economy is about to go straight to heck. Why? Because these frakking idiots in Washington are too wrapped up in politics to come to their senses and do a deal that will keep the American financial system from collapsing. You have everyone disagreeing about the bailout package, and nobody agreeing. Numbskulls!!! These folks need to get with the program, fast, and put the constituents' welfare ahead of their own partisan politics -- right now.

Meanwhile John McCain is temporarily suspending his campaign -- so he can go to Washington and see what he can do to hash out a bailout deal that everyone can live with. He also wants the scheduled presidential debate with Barack Obama postponed until they get a deal done.

Obama, on the other hand, is still more interested in having a debate on the issues.

What nonsense. Who would you rather have in the White House -- someone who'd rather give fancy speeches at coliseums and debate in political debates, or someone willing to roll up his sleeves in a crisis situation? I say the latter, and that's why I'm more impressed with what McCain is doing.

If they can still hold a debate, fine. But get this crisis out of the way first! To me McCain is showing a lot more leadership than Obama is at the moment on this vital issue.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

STILL SAD TIMES ON WALL STREET

Well, so much for that big bailout. Now, the folks down in D.C. are dragging their heels and criticizing the package. Plus, now the FBI is investigating people at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other places.

Yikes. The mess continues on the Street.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD EMMYS

Here's a rundown on the Emmys and the outstanding drama series win by Mad Men. Plus the comedy win by 30 Rock.

Also Jeff Probst won the reality show host category.

Wish I could say more, but tonight I ended up flipping between the Emmys and the big final game at Yankee Stadium. Quite a night.

BIG NIGHT FOR THIS MAN

John Adams. The miniseries is cleaning up tonight.

MORE EMMYS HANDED OUT TO THE USUAL PEOPLE

They gave the writing award to The Colbert Report and the show award to the Daily Show (again) in the comedy/musical/variety show category. Jon Stewart says he is looking forward to the next administration.

They gave an Emmy to Tom Smothers for that show of his that caused such a fuss that it got cancelled by CBS in 1969.

Also, all these hosts of the reality/game shows are hosting the Emmys tonight, which says it all about the state of TV right there: Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron, Ryan Seacrest and -- wait for it -- Heidi Klum. All of whom are up for outstanding Reality host.

Man, what a hottie. Oh, and there's a football game on the other station right now, which sort of explains the photo of the sexy Miss Klum.

They just gave Tina Fey another writing Emmy. Whooeee!!

EMMYS ARE ON

You know, now I know why I'm not the biggest fan of the Emmys: they keep on celebrating a lot of shows that I never freaking watch. A lot of these shows have no appeal at all: Samantha Who, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, etcetera. Not exactly "guy's programming," which is why I am tuning in to the Yankee game tonight, the last one at the Stadium.

At least now they are showing some cartoon clip involving Bart Simpson that features Conan O'Brien. Good. My kind of television.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

EMMY COVERAGE COMING UP

Just a reminder to you -- and more importantly, to me -- that I plan to liveblog the Emmys tomorrow night and track how the night unfolds.

I gotta say this: I have written a lot about the sorry state of TV these days, with reality shows and other idiocy littering the tube and driving regular viewers like myself away. (It's nice to see that dull Deal or No Deal show finally managed to give away a million dollars not long ago. Good; we don't need to watch that junk anymore.)

Still, the vast wasteland of mediocrity does not seem to inflict these cable networks to the same degree. Especially these ones that normally show a lot of movies on their schedules. For whatever reason these shows on pay-through-the-nose channels HBO, Showtime, AMC, USA, TNT, FX etcetera seem a cut above the dreck on all the networks, and I think tomorrow's Emmy results are going to reflect that.

I guess the best things in life really are, ahem, bought and paid for. Also, this is the usual "kickoff" week to the TV season and I have yet to announce which show I think will be the first to be cancelled. Well, I had better make a prediction soon, or else I might miss it.

---------------------------------

Tomorrow also marks the end of the line for Yankee Stadium. I should definitely tune in to see that, somewhere.

Friday, September 19, 2008

MY LATEST BOX OFFICE PREDICTION IS UP

You can read my latest movie prediction column here. Samuel L. Jackson is in one of the flicks this week.

Needless to say, this week's column is a piece of junk as I reveal my total disinterest with the movies being shown. I gotta say, it's gotten tougher and tougher for me to even do this Film School Rejects box office prediction column. My main problem is my work commitments have been getting in the way for the better part of a year, though I've had a little more free time to devote to it this summer.

This week was especially crazy, though. When evenings are eaten up by coverage of municipal affairs all the time, as mine were this week, the last thing I want to do is sit down and write yet another column on a Thursday night when I'd rather be watching DVDs of Bugs Bunny cartoons or something equally stupid.

So there are weeks when my column ends up suffering. Such is life. Maybe next time I'll be back to being my witty self. As I say in this week's rant, though, no one cares about these freaking movies this week. Not when the stock market is in such a state of flux.

PAT O'BRIEN FINALLY LEAVES THE INSIDER

Well, the news is that Pat O'Brien has finally departed his Insider show, and all I will say is that I'm very surprised he even lasted this long given all his troubles with alcohol and so on.

What finally did him in was an email in which he blasted his own show's focus on fashions and so on, after hearing it from fans during a visit to Iowa. The people there are apparently suffering too much financially to care about all that rich-person stuff, according to him:

I was approached a hundred times by people asking, 'Can you help us?' I tried to tell them we care, but they didn't buy it. They wanted to, but watching...Lara [Spencer] pick out accessories makes the viewers want to vomit. I'll get killed for this, but I'm actually the one not afraid for my job. I want people to be happy.

Well, indeed, Pat O'Brien did get killed for it. Bye bye, Pat, finally.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

KIM VOYNAR EXITS CINEMATICAL

Well, noticed a few rants here, here and here about Kim Voynar leaving her post at Cinematical, a movie blog I link to quite often. She has her own reasons for leaving which you can find here. Well, this has to be the biggest departure since Karina Longworth left.

From what I gather she left because, according to some folks out there, Cinematical is slowly turning into yet another generic movie blog like all the other ones that obsess over stars and superheros and all that.

Not a way to go, I must say. A lot of these movie blogs just seem to hype the Hollywood machine a lot of the time, and it sounds like the pressure might be on from on high from AOL for Cinematical to be shills for the studios.

You see this sort of shill coverage at a lot of these online movie sites out there -- too many to name, quite frankly. A lot of movie sites just rant about the same movies that get Internet "hits," such as superhero movies, science fiction, and whatever Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez are up to. And too much of what ends up written up on these sites is just plain hype.
The coverage goes something like this: when these sites get word that people are floating the idea for some big blockbuster superhero movie, they will go nuts and say what a great idea this is. Such as: "Aquaman is going to be awesome." Then there will be news of signings of some big director and these sites will go nuts again. "James Cameron is going to be directing Aquaman! It's going to be awesome." Then the studio will release some behind the scenes pictures which are sure to be printed up on these websites, which will hype the movie even more. "Check out these pictures from the filming of Aquaman! It's going to be awesome." These sites will have a life-and-death debate over who will be in the movie. "They should get Megan Fox for Aquaman, she's awesome!!!"

Then finally the movie will come and the site will inevitably deliver its drooling, slobbering final verdict: "Aquaman is awesome!!!"

After all that is over, it will be on to ranting about the sequel plans. ("Michael Bay is signed to do Aquaman 2! It's going to be awesome!")

It cuts the other way, too. These sites can end up spending two years trashing some superhero movie that ends up being pretty good.

Methinks Kim Voynar doesn't go for that drivel. Who can blame her?

I don't want to see all these movie sites act as a bunch of shills for DC and Marvel all the time, either. I want real movie coverage, darnet, I want some balance!! I like DC and Marvel, too, but come on. I want to see film festival coverage, too, and coverage of important filmmakers. And I want to see writers who are able to call a spade a spade and voice their opinions about whether films are great or terrible. I don't want people shilling movies all the time, and who cares about Megan Fox!

Megan may be cute, but personally I want to see more Sienna Miller coverage. Sienna may be out of control and as a result her fans hate her now, but at least she's interesting.

And where's the Penelope Cruz coverage? Her movies are better, for crying out loud.

Personally, I want to see Cinematical remain a little more highbrow and indy-minded, doing the good work they usually do. The last thing the world needs is yet another movie site giving us the same boring crap that all the other boring movie sites give us, in unison, about the same movie projects over and over again. And that is my movie rant for the day.

RON LANCASTER, R.I.P.

A sad, sad day for Canadian football fans as former star Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback and CFL legend, Ron Lancaster, has died.

They're treating this sad news in Saskatchewan as if the Pope had died or something similar. Well, it's similar -- in Saskatchewan football truly is a religion.

Story here from the CBC.

STOCK MARKET UP

Well, the stock market finally went back up, as news is out now about this bad debt plan designed to bail everyone out. The story here from CNBC. Man, what a miserable week it has been on Wall Street. I sure hope things are going to turn around for the better in the markets.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

THE TWO BENS GET TWO THUMBS DOWN

Well, more people are weighing in with their thoughts and spewing their venom over that hideous revamp of the At the Movies show, now hosted by Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz.

It is obvious people are still mad over the departure of Richard Roeper and Roger Ebert, even though it was kind of inevitable they would both exit given Roger's health problems and so on. But gosh, darnet, couldn't they have gotten better people?

Jeffrey Wells says of the new team: skip these guys. Over at her Variety blog, Anne Thompson also trashes the show and calls it a flop.

Like I said, I stayed up on their debut night hoping to catch their first show during the wee hours of Monday morning on the local CTV affiliate, and never made it past CSI Miami. I wound up falling asleep instead.

Maybe I'll do that more often from now on.

TWO AND A HALF SITCOM JOBS LEFT IN HOLLYWOOD

Well, these are definitely sad times all over the stock market. I guess people might feel the need to try and escape from all the doom and gloom and try to have a few laughs courtesy of sitcoms on TV.

Fat chance. Those shows have flown the coop, just like your stocks have! The sitcoms have been replaced by reality shows and other garbage, so they're mostly gone from network TV except maybe for a choice few. For those folks who are hoping to land writing jobs on TV shows like Two and a Half Men after they lose their Wall Street gigs: well, forget it.

As someone who kind of has (or more accurately, "had") aspirations towards working in TV as a writer, these are depressing times. Read the New York Observer piece here.

I will have more to write about TV soon. Kind of hard to write about TV, though, if you are spending most of your time working and not watching TV.

And another reminder to myself that I have another movie column to write for tomorrow. Again.

ANOTHER LOUSY FREAKING DAY ON WALL STREET

The Dow down 449 points today.

And Morgan Stanley is in talks to be acquired by the Chinese!!!!

Here in frozen Canada, Nortel is getting hammered.

So much for confidence. As they say at the start of that CNBC show Maria Bartiromo hosts every night: do you know where your money is?

In the bank, you say? Well, is your bank going under? You get the picture.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BAILOUT

Well, the Feds have bailed out AIG.

Something had to be done.

Monday, September 15, 2008

LEHMAN GOES BELLY UP

Well, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11, and Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch, and it was a 500 point drop on Wall Street. It could have been worse. And maybe it will be -- AIG is apparently teetering now.

Story on the miserable day here. And by the way, Asia has opened its trading day and is getting hammered as we speak. Man, my blog is beginning to look like CNBC.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MARKETS ON EDGE

We could be in for a hairy Monday on the international markets with Lehman Brothers teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and lots of people worried like mad about the state of the economy. It could not have helped matters that Hurricane Ike toppled over a few rigs.

Anyway check out http://www.cnbc.com/ for the latest news; same for http://www.wsj.com/. People are so freaking nervous that the folks over at CNBC have scrapped their usual junk rerun programming that they usually show on Sundays, and they are showing market coverage right now from Asia. Nervous times.

FIRST WEEK OF CANADIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN THE BOOKS

Or, should I say, "down the toilet," because that's what happened. To sum it up, this whole week was wasted by the political parties. The Tories committed their gaffes, what with their war-room people making idiot comments and doing a few things the Prime Minister had to apologize for, but the opposition did nothing to capitalize on it.

The reason was all because of the backtracking by Jack Layton and everyone else to allow Elizabeth May into the leaders' debate. Of course, the Conservatives opposed it, too, but what did people expect them to say? Layton was supposed to be above all that and a good Samaritan about things like this, supposedly. So everyone professed to be shocked when he threatened to pull out. Now, this whole brouhaha took up the entire first week of the campaign and served to do nothing for any of the opposition parties. It just allowed these idiot Greens an opportunity to get a national stage for their party and take away left-leaning votes from the Liberals and NDP, preventing these two parties from gaining any traction or seats.

Of course, the NDP's own supporters were aghast that Jack Layton would dare to oppose Elizabeth May's participation in a debate. But why should these NDP supporters be so aghast? May's inclusion in the debates UNDERMINES the NDP. You'd think real NDP supporters would be OK with seeing May out of the debates.

Seems to me the NDP support out there is soft as heck and ready to defect to the Greens. Of course, the Greens wasted the week threatening to sue bloggers over some comment the leader made on TVO. Something about people being stupid.

The Liberals, too, are going nowhere fast: they can't seem to explain their freaking "green shift" and Stephane Dion has been flying across the country on that old jet that could crash any time. They are finding themselves on the wrong side of the carbon tax issue in a week when gas prices were going through the roof. All in all the Liberals' campaign chaos has been good news for Stephen Harper, who was able to announce a cut in the excise tax this week. Also, the polls have the party up anywhere from eight to 15 points.

We'll check back next week to see if there are any changes to the political landscape but right now the Conservatives are off to a strong start.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

MORE ON THAT CRUMMY, "ELITIST" FILM FESTIVAL IN TORONTO

You know what, it seems I picked the right time to not live in Toronto, because people are slamming this year's film festival as too elitist. And not just Bruce Kirkland (see previous post below).

Found a few more rants about it: one over at CTV (of all places) and another at eyeWeekly. Check out that eyeWeekly article, it's pretty good. They link to complaints from Rex Reed, David Poland and a whole ton of people. Plus, that article also mentions how bigshot corporate sponsor Bell kicked out Rogers Television from covering the film festival, which is a disgrace in its own right because Rogers TV used to do 24-hour non-stop coverage of the festival on its cable channel for the whole time the thing ran, showing press conferences and the like. Now what can you get? NOTHING. A vital link to the people who made this festival important is lost.

Anyway, that's enough from me about the film festival -- now back to living it up out here in the rugged Canadian West.

TORONTO FILM FEST WINDING DOWN

Well the Toronto International Film Festival is winding down, and for a rundown on the big news of the week check out this Hollywood Reporter article here.

So much for my coverage of that. Like I say, I wasn't there and was completely out of the loop this year. Had I been there, though, you can bet I would have been my girl-crazy self, swooning over women. So my posts would have been pretty uninformed anyway.

A few final links: here's the Globe's TIFF page. Observations by folks at the National Post. Toronto Life. And the Toronto Star.

And sourpuss Bruce Kirkland had his own rants in the Toronto Sun about what's wrong with the festival and how to fix it. I guess he's ranting about how elitist it is becoming and how it's not the people's festival anymore, and so on. (He isn't wrong, either, by the way. Reactions here.)

Also, a movie critic got beaten up by another movie critic at the festival. We'll let Roger Ebert describe that silliness.

I have to rant and rave about the new TV season under way, so I plan to write about that soon. That's all people care about, the new TV season; nobody cares about the latest movies in theaters.

WHAT A MESS

Houston, we have a problem. And to think there were people down there in Houston and even in Galveston who refused to evacuate from Ike. What else is there to say except "what a mess". Story here. And a live blog here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

TEXAS GETTING HIT BY IKE RIGHT NOW

Well, Hurricane Ike is interrupting CNN's live, continuing coverage of Sarah Palin. You know, I think CNN is doing a poor job this time. Galveston is getting flooded, yet these bums want to talk about the Republican VP nominee. Who cares about her, and who cares about the election right now when there's a disaster happening.

The coverage from http://www.foxnews.com/ and from www.msnbc.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

IKE HEADING TO TEXAS

Well, after doing a number on Cuba, Hurricane Ike is now aiming for Texas. Everyone in Houston and Galveston is panicking and getting the F out. Here's live video from KHOU here, KPRC here, and KRIV here. More soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NOT MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE FILM FESTIVAL (YET)

Well, one of these days I am going to have time away from covering politics at work to actually surf the web and check out the Toronto International Film Festival coverage. Unfortunately, I never seem to get revved up for the festival until it's too late.

Been watching the entertainment shows in this country covering the event, with eTalk on CTV, Entertainment Tonight Canada on Global, and the efforts by CBC, Citytv and everyone else. This is basically the biggest thing these entertainment reporter folks cover all year in this country, so they are all going hog wild over this.

I get the sense they are only scratching the surface about what goes on there, though. They go gaga over these folks on the red carpet for the big gala premieres, and all the fashions and the celebrity-watching. But there's a lot of these smaller movies that don't get much attention that also play at Toronto, too. So it's not all about the big flicks like Burn After Reading, Rachel Getting Married, The Wrestler or those other efforts all the time, even though it seems that way from all the news coverage. These entertainment reporters on TV also miss out on all the business deals that are going on because they want to go gaga on what Julianne Moore is wearing.

(Oh, by the way, I am crazy for Julianne Moore. But that's another post. See, this is why I follow this fest -- because I go gaga over the big actresses there. Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, all my favorite hotties.)

Speaking of the sales situation: the big news was that The Wrestler, which took Venice by storm, was sold in Toronto to Fox Searchlight. So those guys are guaranteed to make a lot of money. Also, IFC bought Che.

Anyway -- a reminder to myself that I also have my box office column to write tomorrow night. I could get a head start on it tonight, but I really don't feel like it, I'm too tired. I think what I'm going to do instead is sit back and watch movies on TV.

IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

Well, as most of you Canadian readers of this site know by now, the leaders have finally relented and allowed Elizabeth May to enter the TV debates on behalf of the Green Party.

And now the debates promise to be an absolute WWE-style free for all with everyone tag-teaming against Harper. Needless to say, I am hardly impressed with the people running this time out at the top of the tickets--- especially these folks on the left. But then again, that isn't news.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

THE POST EBERT-ROEPER ERA BEGINS

I was going to watch the new post-Roger Ebert/Richard Roeper era edition of At the Movies. But here's what's so funny: I fell asleep waiting for the freaking show to come on! It was set to air after 1 am on a Monday morning, and I fell asleep waiting for the show to come on my local station! So I didn't even watch!



One guy who did watch was Capone over at Ain't It Cool News. And boy, does he ever rip the new show. His rant here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

MONDAY NEWS FROM FROZEN CANADA, UH I MEAN NOWHERE

Yes, another News from Nowhere post because, well, anyways, I'm kind of tired out and have been working too hard lately, so I just thought I would post these brief blurbs.

The movie box office this weekend was in the TANK! Where is everyone?! My rant about it here.

Big news out of MSNBC: both Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann have been taken off the anchoring of political coverage over there and have been replaced by David Gregory, amid rumors of infighting within MSNBC and accusations of media bias by the Republicans. The GOP are instead opting to give interviews to Charlie Gibson and people like that instead.

First big controversy of the Canadian election: Green Party leader Elizabeth May is being excluded from the TV debates!

And separatist Gilles Duceppe wants federalists to vote for him! Fat chance.

Hurricane Ike is tearing across Cuba!

Britney Spears was a big winner at the VMAs!

And here's the big news: OJ SIMPSON is on TRIAL yet AGAIN! In Las Vegas, for armed robbery!! Check out the usual coverage on the LA TV websites. You know, I kind of hope that this time they lock this guy up. Forever. It's really about time.

I'd be jealous about not covering that OJ trial -- but I have a big trial to cover myself in about a week, so I am not going to whine. That's all for now.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

IKE HITTING CUBA

Well, it looks as if Hurricane Ike, which killed a lot of people in Haiti is about to hit Cuba and possibly kill some people there. After that it's off to the Florida Keys, and then possibly on to another destination--- possibly New Orleans. NEW ORLEANS?! Oh no, not again. We may get $1.75 gas up here yet.

The sad story here.

CANADIAN ELECTION IS ON FOR OCTOBER 14


Well, the Stephen Harper gang have said to heck with trying to live up to your own election-date law, let's have an election anyway. So the Prime Minister's claiming a deadlock in the House of Commons is forcing his hand and forcing an election on Oct. 14.

Well, it is true Parliament is grinding to a standstill, but the opposition hadn't voted non-confidence yet! Stuff was still getting done. Not much, mind you, but some.

You know, it's cynical stuff like this that has driven me out of politics: passing election-date laws and then calling early elections. If you don't believe in your own freaking law, don't pass it in the first place! Stephen Harper says the election dates only apply to majority governments. That's his excuse.

Anyway it serves the Liberals right, having a snap election called on them. Heck, Jean Chretien was notorious for calling snap elections while the other parties were unprepared. He did it to Stockwell Day in 2000, and it was that cynical move by Chretien that caused the election-dates law to be adopted in the first place. Sure enough, it looks like the Libs are in no shape to fight an election right now, either. What goes around comes around, then, eh?

In further evidence that politicians in Canada do not believe in their own line of bull: Stephane Dion and his supposedly green-minded Liberals, who want to stick Canadians with a "Green Shift" carbon tax, have booked a gas-guzzling old jet for their campaign across the country. To which everyone else is calling BS.

The Liberal campaign jet isn't even in use yet: it won't be ready until later in the week! What a dismal state of affairs for the Liberals. Talk about a campaign that's grounded. That's all for now.

FOOTBALL IS BACK!


Yes the NFL is back -- and that's not the only thing that's back.

(Yes, any excuse to put up a picture of a girl: what do you expect from this blog? Gotta love those NFL cheerleaders!)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

MORE TIFF LINKS

I thought I would add a few more links to Film Festival stuff from Toronto; especially since I am especially out of the loop this year and far away from the big city.

Rotten Tomatoes
hollywood-elsewhere.com
http://www.moviecitynews.com/
Cinematical
www.reporter.blogs.com/risky
http://weblogs.variety.com/thompsononhollywood/

I notice Burn After Reading rolled out last night as a gala screening and Brad Pitt was there, and all the women were swooning. So everyone was going bananas. When is Anne Hathaway's movie Rachel Getting Married going to roll out? She's supposed to be there too.

And another reminder to myself to post another big box office post from this lame weekend at theaters (zzzzz).

UPDATE: More links.
The CBC
E! Canada
Entertainment Tonight Canada on Global!
Uh, that's it for now.

Friday, September 05, 2008

BIG PARTY IN TORONTO

Well, I notice from watching the TV tonight that the folks at CTV have ditched what used to be called the Star! Schmooze and have totally renamed it the eTalk Festival Party, held at the same Queen Street building they've always held the Schmooze at.

And it is a total regime change over there compared to who hosted the thing just a couple of years ago when I lived in Toronto. These days it's Ben Mulroney, Tanya Kim and the eTalk crew (this means you Lainey) -- replacing Terry David Mulligan, Larysa Harapyn and the rest of the cool people from the old CHUM-owned Citytv who used to host this thing.

CHUM, of course, was swallowed up by CTV a couple of years ago in that big takeover. Ben and Tanya came in to do this show a year ago, but this year the changeover is complete. It is now a total CTV-eTalk event. Everyone and everything associated with the old CHUM regime is now completely gone. Including the name of the freaking show!!

There's also fewer actors, actresses and directors, too. Seems to me they've turned this thing from something movie-oriented to something music-oriented, because P Diddy was there singing this year. DJ Samantha Ronson was there. Kreesha Turner was there on the red carpet with those two fashion dude guys. Leah Miller from MuchMusic was there. Chantal Kreviazuk was there.

Yes, plenty of music people, but few movie stars from what I can tell -- at least in the early portion of the show. Since when has the Film Festival been a freaking music festival?! They've turned the Star! Schmooze into freaking MTV!!!

Oh, and Richard Branson was there, too, but he's no movie star either. They had stars from the TV show Flashpoint. And Canada's Olympians!!! Well, it's official now: this is a total waste of my time, this show. Nothing about movies at all here, unlike past years.

Anyway it's just a sign of the times, I guess, with the changeover in ownership and personnel. Seems to me this is yet another event Ben Mulroney has taken over, along with Canadian Idol, the Oscars, and everything else. Aren't people sick and tired of him yet? I guess not, eh??

EAST COAST TO GET SOCKED BY HURRICANES

Welcome back to our live continuing coverage of hurricanes. It never ends, does it?

Right now, Hanna is just a tropical storm, but it could be a hurricane by the time it hits the Carolinas. It's due to head right up the coast and into Atlantic Canada as a tropical storm! Meanwhile, Hurricane Ike is heading straight to south Florida and I expect everyone will be told to get the F out.

http://www.wsvn.com/ has a live stream going of their news with the latest hurricane updates, so check that out. For more on the situation here's CNN. And get ready to see more of this:

'08 TORONTO INTL. FILM FESTIVAL IS ON

I don't feel like posting all the links yet, but I'll post at least these two; they at least have all the news of the thing.

TIFF main site
CTV's festival coverage


That's all from me for now.

CONVENTION'S OVER

Do you get the feeling after listening to war hero John McCain last night that these silly Democrats are going to lose again?

Really nice to see a political party still hold a balloon drop. Now that's what politics ought to be about. Fireworks aren't for political conventions, they're for the 4th of July.

I'll have more to say about politics this weekend sometime; now, back to live continuing coverage of hurricanes here at THE CAIRNS BLOG.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

MCCAIN'S NIGHT

I'm a bit blogged out tonight. I guess I am just tired and fed up writing about these boring conventions. I'm trying to rest up for the next few days. I have some sports assignments to cover this weekend so I am trying my best not to write very much. Besides, I am going to be writing about politics for about six weeks straight in the near future here in frozen Canada and need to be in top shape to do that.

This will serve as a kind of live blog as John McCain speaks tonight.

Of course, Sarah Palin had a really good speech last night, but I kind of liked Rudy Giuliani's speech more. He was just ridiculing Obama, especially his record in the state senate down there in Illinois. Obama voted "Present" a number of times. Present?! That's a hot one.

Anyway, it's fair to say this convention was upstaged by (a) the hurricane, and (b) the football game tonight between New York and Washington. You think NFL fans care that John McCain is speaking tonight? Fat chance.

UPDATE: Man, this audience won't let McCain get through his speech without chanting USA! USA!

ANOTHER UPDATE: Uh, you know what, this isn't McCain's night after all -- some HECKLERS and PROTESTERS got in the hall and caused a disruption in the middle of McCain's speech! Sort of reminds me of what happened 4 years ago with George W. Bush. Maybe this post ought to read "The Hecklers' Night" instead.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

SARAH PALIN TO SPEAK TONIGHT

I dunno about you but I'm looking forward to VP nominee Sarah Palin's speech tonight. Among other things she is going to go after people tonight. She goes after the media, she goes after Barack Obama's "community organizer" experience, she goes after everyone.

In other news, I have to say the media, and in particular the bloggers, have gone hog wild over Sarah Palin's background and personal history. Among other things, her whole family is getting trashed. They are roasting her husband for a drunk driving charge; they are roasting her 17-year-old pregnant daughter; they are accusing Palin -- falsely, might I add -- of being an Alaskan secessionist; and on and on. Media people are going after the "vetting process" and assuming Palin's an idiot. And the blogging community has really been worst of all, especially the Huffington Post. That online rag has reported every phony rumor out there in an all-out attempt to destroy a candidate and have been trying to play up efforts to get Palin to withdraw from the race.

You know, this really is ridiculous. The media is looking really bad going overboard with the attacks on Sarah Palin. Who will want to ever run for office if this is what you must deal with? John McCain cancelled a big sit-down with Larry King because the vultures over there at CNN (this means you, Campbell Brown) were trashing Palin's decision-making ability and belittling her experience. It's fair to say the McCain campaign is at war with the media.

I sure am fed up with these media people doing their usual seek-and-destroy mission on a politician. It's one thing to go after someone who is being trashed for having an affair, but they are just going after Palin over --- nonsense.

I mean really: if McCain wants to run against the entire national media, then be my guest. These folks don't care about real policy issues; all they care about is this tawdry stuff, rumors and innuendo. These media monkeys have to go.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

JOE LIEBERMAN IS AT THE MIKE

Remember when this guy was fighting AGAINST the GOP eight years ago? What a difference a couple of elections can make.

"I didn't leave the Democratic Party: the Democratic Party left me!" Direct quote from Ronald Reagan.

MOVIE TRAILERS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

That "movie announcer guy" Don LaFontaine has died.

Monday, September 01, 2008

GOP DAY ONE UPSTAGED BY LOTS OF NEWS FROM NOWHERE

Well, welcome back to News from Nowhere, this time reporting live with coverage of the Republican National Convention from St. Paul, Minnesota. All of which has been upstaged by Hurricane Gustav and the rest of the news today.

The good news for much of the day has been that the hurricane isn't the worst storm ever and that the levees in New Orleans have been HOLDING UP. BUT... the breaking news right now is that the levee in Plaquemines, LA are about to break. So it looks like trouble down in southern Louisiana. It's not a densely populated area, apparently, but there are homes there. We'll keep you posted.

In further hurricane news Hurricane Hanna could hit Georgia on Friday. Yikes!

Back to political news: the Republican National Convention is under way and has been shortened considerably due to the mayhem down in New Orleans. The first lady Laura Bush is speaking right now on Day One, but no one at the news channels seems to care much about the convention. It's been pretty much all hurricane coverage today.

In further bad news for the GOP, it's been revealed today that Sarah Palin the VP pick has a pregnant teenage daughter who plans to keep her baby. Barack Obama says its none of his business to comment on it. Good for him. But unfortunately, some other Democrats are wanting to comment on it and criticizing Sarah Palin for opposing sex education in schools. (?) (!) (?)

Other news this day:

The Jerry Lewis Telethon just ended with a new record of over $65 million.

Tropic Thunder won the weekend box office for the Labor Day weekend with a four-day holiday total of $14 million. And The Dark Knight has crossed the $500 million mark in domestic box office.

Here in frozen Canada it is a big day for football and the CFL. Politically it's been a big day as well, as Stephen Harper has now met with all the opposition parties including Stephane Dion today -- all of whom promise further obstruction in parliament and are claiming Harper is hell-bent on an election right now. Well, get ready for Canada to go to the polls October 14. Honestly, these opposition parties look like the Keystone Cops right now. They've been saying for weeks that the public wants an election, and now they say that people don't want an election! Make up your minds, guys.

And now it looks like Day One of the GOP Convention is OVER - Cindy McCain just spoke and they are calling off the rest of the proceedings today. So much for that.

GUSTAV MAKES LANDFALL

Levees are holding up so far but having a hard time. Coverage from CNN.