Monday, August 31, 2009

DISNEY BUYS OUT MARVEL

FOUR BILLION SMACKEROOS

Well, I spent the day in a dental chair, but the good news is that there was still a TV in there, so I was able to watch CNBC while they drilled my teeth. I gotta say, that Erin Burnett woman sure is easy on the eyes. Makes the dental work less of a chore to get through.

Anyway, Erin was repeating the big news from the world of entertainment that Disney had bought Marvel for $4 billion.

I wonder about the acquisition, though. It's clear to me that Disney is buying out Marvel to get their hands on that movie-franchise revenue from their future projects. But the biggest Marvel stars - Spidey, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man -- have already rolled out in theaters. What's left -- Thor and Captain America? I wonder how the heck they expect to do any better in the future with the other Marvel characters, and sequels are bound to bore the heck out of the public. As for publishing, that entire business is in the financial sink everywhere. And didn't Marvel have to file for bankruptcy at one point?

I'm just thinking of what's gone on over at Time Warner which owns DC. They've had all kinds of financial issues with the DC line over there and a lot of money losses, so I kind of wonder what Disney is thinking with this Marvel acquisition with all that going on. Marvel also seems a little out of place over there with that family-friendly crowd. The other thing that worries me is that Disney is notorious for being focused on the bottom line (ie. "cheap"). Their accountants could turn around and order a bunch of comic book lines shut down, just to save money.

Oh, well. We'll see what happens.

THE DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS KICK IT UP AT THEIR NEW DIGS

Some really fun stuff now -- another "girl" post from me to lighten up the last day of August.

Since there's been plenty of pre-season football going on, I'm really interested in that right now and anticipating the coming season. I noticed over at the NBC LA website that they had up kind of a photo gallery of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders cheering at their new and very oversized football stadium. I thought those were fun to look at and I like the Cowboys cheerleaders to begin with, so here's a link to that photo gallery right here.

Do you get the impression these Cowboys cheerleaders don't even realize how completely smoking hot they are on the sidelines? Wow.

ALL KINDS OF ELECTION TALK

This has been a big year for elections. We had a contentious election in Iran that everyone protested and which got a lot of press, and then we had a presidential election in Afghanistan that the opposition there has complained about, and we have an election this September in Germany. Meanwhile, in Japan they had a vote this weekend and the government got drubbed. The Liberal Democrats were routed by the Democratic Party of Japan, ending some 50 years of almost uninterrupted rule.

Meanwhile the Liberals are in Sudbury for three days, in meetings to contemplate pulling the plug on the Conservatives this fall and ending this Parliament. That would force what is turning into an annual event in this country -- yet another election!!!

The talk all summer long has been that new leader Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals will force an election over the unemployment insurance issue -- an absulutely dumb, unneccessary thing to do. I mean really, we had an election last year, and another one two and a half years before that, and another one a year and a half before that. How many more elections must the Liberals lose before they give up all this sabre-rattling?!

This country has had too many elections and too much parliamentary instability. We had that "Coalition" attempt by the opposition last year, which thankfully got thwarted. My feeling is the Liberals may try another "Coalition" attempt again and use a fall election and the results of it -- whatever they may be -- as their way to try and legitimize it.

The last thing we need is yet another election -- but the Liberals don't seem too interested in taking their defeat like men. Or women.

Instead, they seem more interested in trying to figure out ways to seize power again -- although I notice not all Liberals are thrilled about another election, especially with the polls the way they are. Apparently the party is split on the issue.

Personally, I don't want or need another election this fall, I have enough on my plate as it is. I really don't want to see negative campaign ads cluttering up my football games on TV this fall. These "political pros" need to give electioneering a rest and the sabre-rattling a rest, and they all need to try and work for the good of the country.

HALLOWEEN IS IN OCTOBER, YOU FOOLS

Why on earth would the studios decide to release two horror movies against each other the same weekend, and not even in October? It makes no sense to me.

As a result, The Final Destination ends up the weekend winner while Halloween II ends up the big loser. My take on it here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

NASCAR IN MONTREAL TODAY

Today is the biggest day of the season for NASCAR fans in Canada as the Nationwide Series races in Montreal today at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Come to think of it, it's also the biggest race day in Montreal this year, thanks to F1's bonehead decision to take the year off in Canada.

But it's been kind of a wet weekend, which is bound to make life miserable for the fans. I sure hope the rain holds off so we'll get a full race.

Did I mention I actually reported at a NASCAR Canada race this year? That was a blast. I was down at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon late last month, reporting on the inaugural Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 in a first-person story for the Optimist newspapers -- a NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race. (And a big shout-out to the speedway for letting us in to cover it for the race fans in northwest Saskatchewan.) Some of the photos shot for the paper by Josh Schaefer can be found here.

I'm getting a kick out of watching some of the same drivers (Andrew Ranger, DJ Kennington)that were at the event I was covering who are now racing today at the Nationwide event.The live leaderboard is here.

Also, it's nice to actually watch this race on a weekend in which I am not actually working -- for a change.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

DEADLY WEEKEND AT THE MOVIES

There is no escaping death anywhere in the media. There's Ted Kennedy's funeral on the tube all day today, but if you want to escape that and go to the movies, I am sorry to say there is no respite there either.

The Final Destination and Halloween II are two movies full of death, and they're both in my weekend movie box office preview.

Friday, August 28, 2009

ONE MORE LOOK AT THAT NASCAR-LOVING MISS USA


This will be the last Miss Universe post from me this week, finally. I just couldn't resist putting up a picture of Miss USA Kristen Dalton wearing her hot NASCAR outfit. I love this picture. It combines two of the things I love most: auto racing and beauty queens.

Enjoy, guys.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TED KENNEDY DIES

Well, the Summer of Death has taken down Ted Kennedy.

I get all the Boston stations on cable where I live, so this has been all over the news. They broke in with the coverage late last night. Anyway, Ted Kennedy will be missed on both sides of the aisle. At least he made it to old age, I'll say that much. Story from CNN.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

BASTERDS TAKES HOME $37 MIL

I've been hopelessly busy again the last couple of days, so this is all you get from me, this box office update on Inglourious Basterds. I really do need to get myself more of a life.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

MURDER SUSPECT RYAN JENKINS FOUND DEAD

Wow, I know I've been playing this whole "Summer of Death" thing to the hilt on this blog, but I really didn't expect Ryan Jenkins to be found dead in a hotel room, too, so soon. I thought the authorities would capture the man wanted for the murder of Jasmine Fiore somewhere here in Canada, and he'd be extradited and we'd see a big trial, and he'd get the death penalty, and that would be how it would go.

But they found him just tonight, in Hope, B.C. Dead.

Anyway, TMZ has all the gory details - as you would expect them to have. By the way --- has this ever been a big day for big-time international news here in frozen Canada! First Hurricane Bill hits, and now this.

Speaking of the "Summer of Death" -- I found this picture on the 'net that sort of references this depressing mid-year that we have had, with all these big names passing away. I guess someone out there is kind of amused by it all.

GUESS WHO WON

Big hint: the winner of the 2009 Miss Universe pageant came from a country led by Hugo Chavez.

I hope I have successfully dissuaded you from immediately packing your bags for the Land of the Gorgeous Women (Back 2 Back Miss Universe titles!!!) with that astute observation.

Then again, maybe not...

WAY TO GO, STEFANIA!!!!

MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT IS HERE!!!!

The big question, of course, is will this woman (the reigning Miss USA, Kristen Dalton) fall on the floor like the other two Miss USAs did in the past two Miss Universe pageants?!

Of course, if Kristen wins, the whining will be on about Carrie Prejean (dethroned Miss California) and how this could have been her, and on and on.

Personally, I think the Miss USA judges made the right choice -- that Carolina girl is a hottie. I didn't know this before, but apparently her mother was also a former Miss North Carolina USA back in 1982. (Kristen also likes NASCAR and her "national costume" tonight will be NASCAR-themed --- complete with hotpants! Gotta love it.)

Global Beauties has coverage of Miss Universe and the pageant is live tonight at 9 ET on NBC. By the way, it's sure to be an interesting show because, uh, Heidi Montag will be there, singing.

That's assuming she'll be allowed to go on stage, which is still in doubt because, I gather, people are having second thoughts about putting this potential train wreck on worldwide TV. Maybe Heidi will be the one to trip up and land on the floor tonight instead of Miss USA.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BILL

Hurricane Bill is on its way to Atlantic Canada as we speak. Hopefully it will burn itself right out, but still, it sounds like a good idea for Maritimers to stay inside.

(UPDATE): News 95.7 in Halifax has live coverage of the hurricane. You can hear it here.

BAD NEWS, FOLKS: IT'S STILL THE SUMMER OF DEATH

This week in particular has been the week of death. Lessee, who's died in the past week?

Robert Novak (pictured), journalist, conservative columnist and former CNN Crossfire host. Dead.

Don Hewitt, legendary producer of 60 Minutes. Dead.

Jasmine Fiore, model. Dead. In fact she was murdered in grisly fashion.

Her ex-husband Ryan Jenkins is a former reality show contestant who is now wanted by every law enforcement agency imaginable. He's also from, get this, Calgary, Alberta. CANADA!!! He sounds like a real sleazebag, from the reports we are getting. And, unfortunately, he's still alive and on the run.

Apparently some poor guy who matched his description was caught at Toronto airport, fingerprinted, and then released when it was found it was not him. Well, I hope he can laugh about the experience later. Talk about scary.

What a lousy summer it has been in 2009, eh?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ONTARIO'S NIGHT OF THE TORNADOES

Here's the news about what happened tonight over a wide stretch of southern Ontario, which got socked tonight by a system that produced tornadoes which touched down in at least a couple of places. Sounds like the town of Durham got hit. Also, it's been confirmed that one touched down just north of Toronto.

And apparently the midwestern USA has been hit by tornadoes today, too. Wow, what horrible weather ... sort of like what we were getting a few weeks ago in my area, which also produced twisters and even a bad flood in one area. Awful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'TIS THE SEASON

This is a great time of year for regular viewers of the NFL Network, because all the pre-season football is on. And sure it's pre-season football, but it's great to have the American football season back in sight again.

What can be better than football season?

You got it, storm chasers. Hurricane season.

Here's a link to MyFoxHurricane.com to help you keep track of Bill and see where that hurricane lands. Also, here's the hurricane pages at CBS 4 and at WSVN 7.

Actually, come to think of it, football's more fun. Where would you rather be -- at a football game or in a hurricane? I thought so. Enjoy wasting your time following the bad weather coverage, you losers.

BANDSLAM GETS BODYSLAMMED

First, here's my rundown on what happened at the box office on the weekend, and I ask you to take note of the lousy finish of the movie Bandslam.

NOT EVEN TOP TEN!!! Man, that takes a LOT of screwing up to achieve on an opening weekend.

I always find it odd when a movie that ought to be a stinkbomb ends up a hit, while another flick that ought to do better at the box office based on quality alone ends up tanking. Such is exactly what happened with Bandslam. Do you believe that this movie is getting a lot of rave reviews from critics? Yet audiences still refuse to give it a chance.

Here's a telling piece from Nikki Finke with a lot of insider baseball offering up possible reasons for Bandslam's failure -- they blame awful Summit marketing of the movie. Maybe they should have had the marketing machine that was behind Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe working for Bandslam. Those marketing guys managed to make big hits out of those two wastes of film. Who knows what they could have done with Bandslam. They probably would have done no worse.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

LOOKS LIKE F1 IS BACK IN MONTREAL

Good news.

The bad news: Bernie Ecclestone is still in charge with the gong show that is Formula 1. You can't win 'em all.

TEAM GORGEOUS

Speaking of "junk sports" ...

It looks like the AVP beach volleyball circuit is pouring even more sand onto the grave of the late and already-forgotten Arena Football League -- with word that two of its hottest stars are going to be featured in a hot magazine photo spread. Naked.

Pro beach volleyball players Michelle More and Suzanne Stonebarger, aka Team Gorgeous, have an eight-page spread in the September issue of Playboy, on newsstands soon.

You know, I think it's great when hot female athletes decide to have fun with their sex appeal and take their clothes off for the cameras. It gets people excited and raises eyebrows among the uptight people, and I think that's all good. According to that article I linked to, it wasn't such a big deal for these two to strip for the cameras, because apparently they have "seen each other nude a lot" in the locker room. Lucky girls.

Actually, this spread could also be a good business and marketing move -- this could be great promotion for Team Gorgeous and these ladies could end up selling a lot of merchandise for themselves. A sexy spread like the one in Playboy could turn a lot of guys into big beach volleyball fans. These two Team Gorgeous chicks have the NHL all beat.

The fact that Team Gorgeous will be getting gorgeous in Playboy is good news for guys. The bad news for guys, though, is these two will be in the same issue as Spencer Pratt's absolutely annoying wife, Heidi Montag, who apparently won't even be naked in her layout either. Sh!t!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ARENA FOOTBALL COULD BE DOWN THE TUBES FOR GOOD

Discovered just now that Arena Football suspended operations about a week ago; looks like the league is toast for good. A victim of competition from all the alternative "junk" sports out there.

That's too bad for a lot of football players who were hoping for jobs somewhere. Fortunately the AF2 development league is still afloat and those folks still have work, for now. I notice former Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL coach John Gregory is still down there, with the Iowa Barnstormers.

Well, at least he's not coaching in the Lingerie Football League, that's all I'll say about it. Obviously the LFL had Arena Football all beat in the interest department.

BORED OUT OF MY SKULL WATCHING ABC

Well, guess who has come to the rescue of ABC again. That's right: Regis Philbin. If it was not for him and the revival of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, this Mickey Mouse network would have had an unbearably bad ratings week.

Well what do you expect from ABC and the other main networks these days? These networks seem insistent on shoving all the crap our way. For instance, ABC has a silly new show called Defying Gravity, which from the looks of it is Grey's Anatomy in space, complete with sex. But not too much sex because, after all, it is family-friendly network TV. So the sex scenes are all guaranteed to be timid and boring as all heck. What good is that?! Herc at AintItCoolNews calls it a scifi Estrodrama. He's right!

They also have a show on ABC called Wipeout, which looks much the same as a British show of the same subject matter, and also a reality show called Shark Tank which looks like a complete ripoff of CBC's Dragon's Den ... right down to the two Canuck "Dragons," uh, I mean "Sharks" on the panel!

You know, it's not that people don't want to watch television right now -- it's simply that network TV is giving people nothing to watch!! Thank God for cable TV and the stuff they show, because without that Sunday night programming all is truly lost.

Mad Men returns to AMC this week for another season, and it can't come fast enough as far as I am concerned.

WHAT IF MAN ON THE MOON HAPPENED IN 2009?

Stumbled upon this on the web -- some pretty funny YouTube footage from Slate of what the 2009 coverage is likely to be like, below.

Monday, August 10, 2009

G. I. JOE! A REAL AMERICAN HERO!!!

G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra made $56 million on the weekend, which is good news for my fave actress Sienna Miller who continually appears in flop after flop (Alfie, Factory Girl, etcetera) - and usually without any of her clothes on, either.

All she needed to do was appear in a silly summer movie aimed at ten-year-olds, wearing a skin-tight outfit. And voila -- you are a hit! Way to go, Sienna -- you've just added a bunch of toy-obsessed kids to your collection of male admirers.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I'M BORED OUT OF MY SKULL

I have to say -- there is nothing going on in my household today. The TV is boring, the NASCAR race got rained out, and there is absolutely nothng at the movies. I'm too old to be interested in G.I. Joe, and too much of a male to be interested in Julie & Julia -- although, granted, I do like food. Fortunately the NFL is back tonight, but it's only an exhibition game, so what good is that?

I guess there is a reason this is called the dog days. August really is for the dogs. Talk about boredom! More soon.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

SUMMER OF DEATH CONTINUES: MOVIE DIRECTOR JOHN HUGHES DIES OF A HEART ATTACK

Man, it's everybody at the top of their professions this year dying. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, Steve McNair, Walter Cronkite and now film director John Hughes.

Really, this is getting totally ridiculous with all these big-name deaths. Who's next?! Ted Kennedy? Patrick Swayze? Oprah? The Pope?!

In honor of Hughes and his memorable teen movies of the Eighties, tomorrow I plan to do exactly what Ferris Bueller once did: I am taking the day off!

Actually, I was owed the day off anyway because I worked the weekend last week, but no matter. I plan to relax and enjoy myself.

Enjoy what's left of summer while it lasts, folks.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

BYE BYE PAULA

I don't know whether she quit or was pushed, or got an insult offer, but in any event Paula Abdul is gone from American Idol.

I am absolutely convinced this is (finally) the beginning of the end for that absolute freak show. Paula's loopiness -- and her humanity, because she at least tried to be a nice person on the show -- were essential to keeping the fans interested.

Now that's all gone -- unless this is simply one more negotiating tactic from her people, and a few people think that could well be the case.

TWO THUMBS DOWN FOR THE TWO BENS

Some good news from TV to report, for a change.

I am pleased to report to you that the horrific effort that is the At the Movies show these days has been liberated from The Two Bens. Ben Lyons of E! Entertainment Television and Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies are both out the door, and in comes Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and A. O. Scott from the New York Times (pictured) on Disney's longtime movie-review show.

Anne Thompson was crowing about the move with her sentiment "the grownups win." My own objection with the current show was not with the age level of the two Bens, but with the fact that they were terrible, they were idiots! Or at least, one of them was.

As for these two new guys, both filled in ably on the old Roger Ebert- Richard Roeper show that was on before these two Bens took over,. I don't think Scott or Phillips are too terribly out to lunch with their movie opinions, either. I'm happy to see some intelligent print guys back doing the show, not these blow-dried TV types. So maybe we'll actually see some decent discussion of movies back on the show again, and maybe I'll actually go back to watching it.

Heck, the folks at Disney needed to do something. At the Movies was sinking fast with these two Bens on it.

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For those interested in what I had to say about the box office of the recent movies that nobody really gives a freaking care about, my rant is here.