Monday, January 12, 2009

Which retro celebrity will be hip again in 2009?

William Shatner, David Hasselhoff, Chuck Norris.

Icons from yesteryear have made a comeback in the new millenium. Do a YouTube search for any of the above and you'll see what I mean. Better yet, just scroll through a few Facebook flair boards and count the number of Chuck Norris references.

So, since I'm still looking at 2009 and trying to figure out where this year is going to take me, I'd like to pause a moment and make a few predictions about the direction in which pop culture is headed. Namely...retro celebrity reemergence pop culture.

In 2009, pop culture will (or, in my humble opinion, SHOULD) be all about LEVAR BURTON.


That's right folks, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge...and your host for Reading Rainbow.


I cite the emergence of warring identities @LeVarB and @levarburton on Twitter (combined, they have over 10,000 followers) as proof of LeVar Burton nearing his pop cultural tipping point.


YouTube videos, 'Nip/Tuck' guest appearances, a spot on 'Dancing With The Stars'... LeVar, I'm counting on you buddy. Let's have your agent make this stuff happen, pronto!!

So, what are your thoughts? Which retro pop culture celebrity do YOU think should be "rediscovered" in 2009?



Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Great Puppet Search and Racist Amazon.com

I was recently invited to a "musical theater party." My friends are dressing up, selecting songs, and performing their takes on classic musicals for the group. Actually, if you're one of the invites to said party, you may want to stop reading as I'm about to spoil a few surprises I have in store...

I decided that rather than wearing tights (Chicago), a fat suit (Hairspray), or an APLA T-Shirt (Rent), I would go online, buy a puppet, and perform a few numbers from AVENUE Q. The play is hilarious, and instead of singing cheesy songs like "Seasons of Love" or "Elephant Love Medley" (from Moulin Rouge!), I'd get to wow my friends with tracks like "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "Schadenfreude," and "The Internet is For Porn."

Well, I started my Internet search, and it turns out the Avenue Q song is correct...everyone really IS a little bit racist. And by everyone, I mean Amazon.com. Here's what I got when I typed the word "puppet" into a search by relevance.

#1. Result - Caucasian Family Puppet Set
Price: $35.00

Look at the smiling faces of this beautiful family. Mr. and Mrs. Whitey so happy with their kids Billy and Sally. Clearly Mrs. Whitey brings more to the table in this marriage, as her genes obviously spring from a higher level of the Aryan Nation than his. Poor Billy wasn't lucky enough to inherit Mrs. Whitey's genes, and will probably grow up to obtain a mid-level, white collar job on Wall Street. When the next great stock market crash occurs, you'll find poor Billy hanging from a noose in his garage. But Sally...dear sweet Sally...the world is her oyster.

#76. Result - Asian Family Puppet Set
Price: $30.95

A full four pages later (keep in mind, this a search by RELEVANCE), we meet our next smiling puppet family. If the Whitey's were the most relevant search option in the Toys and Games section, then the Yings aren't quite as lucky. Apparently a young boy molesting an owl (#37), a dragon (#50), and a cock (#54) were all more relevant than Mr. and Mrs. Ying, Jet, and Sayuri. I suspect that Jet and Sayuri scored much higher on their SAT's than Billy and Sally Whitey. This is probably what moved them up in relevance. Higher than...

#79. Result - African American Family Puppet Set
Price: $29.99

Ringing in at $29.99, the King family is the cheapest puppet family on Amazon.com. I'm just happy that they come dressed in their Sunday morning service/Saturday evening trip to a Tyler Perry movie apparrel, instead of their usual weekday wear of Salvatin Army handouts and burlap sacks. Mr. and Mrs. King work a combined five jobs (three of which are in jeopardy thanks to the current economic climate) to put food in the hungry little bellies of Leroy and Shontelle. Please pray for the King family...they need our support. But obviously not as much as...

#94. Result - Hispanic Family Puppet Set
Price: $30.95

I got tired of scrolling through pages looking for the Goldsteins, the Patels, and the Chockotaws. My guess is they're somewhere near the back end of the 2,753 results. So we will stop here with the Gonzalez family. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez are legal U.S. citizens and proud of it. They are working hard to instill in little Javier and Gabriella a sense of true American pride. And, isn't that the beauty of the American dream? If you continue to work hard and show your patriotism, one day you too maybe be able to climb up the ladder of the social ranking system, and eventually be recognized on the first page of Amazon's glorious search results.

Special Note: In proofreading this blog, I realize that Amazon.com did me a great service today. Based on some of my own preconceptions, I have merely furthered a closed minded way of thinking about race relations in America by what I have written. That's why I have decided to invite the Gonzalez family to come live with me. Hopefully they will be able to teach me more about myself, and the world around me. If anything, it will make for an interesting reality television show pitch...

THANK YOU,





Thursday, January 8, 2009

GAME TIME!!! Let's Guess the Trailer...

As we all know, the key to a GREAT action movie trailer (read...cliché action movie trailer) is a very intense sequence at the end of the trailer, usually set to techno music, in which a bunch of crazy images are thrown at the retinas of the viewer. They get your adrenaline pumping, and supposedly get you pumped up to see the movie. Movie geeks typically get off on examining every frame of these sequences to figure out stuff like... "Who plays the human/cyborg Christian Bale must face down in Terminator: Salvation?"

So, to honor those movie maniacs (and in an attempt to generate more comments on this here blog) I have devised a little game. I present to you... "LET'S GUESS THE TRAILER!!"

If you can tell me which big budget action movie I stole each of these screen grabs from, you'll win... uh... my respect. Which, for anyone who's seen Jurassic Park, means that a contest where respect is on the line typically ends in the loser getting a few hundred volts of electricity through their body. And you don't want that.

Let's get started.

TRAILER 1
TRAILER 2
TRAILER 3
TRAILER 4

BONUS ROUND!!!
(This grab isn't from an "action" movie per se.)
SPECIAL NOTE: All of these films are scheduled for release in Spring/Summer '09. If you need a little help, you can find every one of them at the Apple - Movie Trailers website. As of the time of this post, they are all in the first four pages on the main page.

HAPPY HUNTING!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Riding in the Pasture with Mom

It was promised. Now here it is...



Please watch this in High Quality. I look better that way...which is important for my narcissistic ego.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

BEST PICTURE 2008, or, If there were justice in the world and I handed out the Oscars...


WARNING: This review contains adult language, strong violence and graphic nudity. Viewer discretion is advised. Kids DO NOT let your parents know you read this...

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about a little movie this year that kicked me in the nuts with its brilliance. If you have an ounce of cinematic taste in your bones, you already know what I'm talking about.

Pixar's WALL-E fucking rages up and down like an unholy terror on the big screen. Writing/Director Andrew Stanton (that's right, the guy who made sushi look cute) takes you on a brain-blowing sci-fi ride in a futuristic landscape that's bleaker than anything this side of Blade Runner. I'm about to recap everything you need to know about WALL-E. Some would call this a spoiler, but if you haven't seen WALL-E yet then you have no business reading a blog that's all about being totally badass. Clearly, you are not totally badass and you need to get back over to your fucking Netflix queue so you can bump Eagle Eye down a few notches and move WALL-E into the top spot. Amateur.

The titular character, WALL-E, is one tough son of a bitch. This mother fucker is the last robot left on earth after a bunch of lard-ass humans take to the skies and forget to turn him off. WALL-E is left to clean up all their shit, and this is where I first started to connect with the guy. I used to have to clean up after my roommates after a bunch of raging parties. Granted, I didn't have a trash compactor built into my stomach to squeeze down the bottles of booze, pizza boxes, and heroin needles that they left behind. I also, typically, had more than just one cockroach chasing me around, so I guess you could say I had it harder than WALL-E. Then again, I have an entire bookshelf full of totally badass DVD's, while WALL-E only has one busted-ass VHS copy of Hello, Dolly to entertain him. So, I guess I'll cut the little bastard some slack.

Anyway, WALL-E's doing his thing when this hot piece of robotic ass shows up. Her name is EVE, which is totally fitting because WALL-E's futuristic Garden of Eden is torn to fucking shreds the minute she shows up. See, EVE's just like any other ho. She's only after one thing. Sure she's all nice to WALL-E. She flirts with him; she leads him on. But, as soon as she gets her iPod-esque hands on his most prized possession (in this case, the last fucking plant on the entire planet), the bitch goes cold faster than Alan Cumming at the end of Goldeneye. Of course, WALL-E still has to take care of her even though he isn't getting any, because the son of a bitch is a real stand-up guy. And that's why he should be a role model to us all.

A spaceship shows up and blasts EVE back out into outer space with WALL-E's most prized possession, and that is when the little robot screams, "Fuck no! I ain't takin' any more of this!! (in so many beeps)." He jumps aboard the spaceship and goes on one hell of a ride into deep space.

Even I will admit the second half of the movie isn't nearly as good as the first half of the movie. WALL-E ends up on the ship with the lard-ass humans who all (including the women) sound just like the mailman from Cheers.

In the end, WALL-E saves the day. The lard-ass humans get to go back to earth where they are sure to fuck it up even worse the second time around. I'm okay with that, because that means there will probably be a sequel. Perhaps WALL-E merely lured the humans back to his post-apocalyptic wasteland so that the zombie army that only comes out at night (which we didn't see in the first half of the movie) will have years worth of fresh meat to feast upon. That's probably the only thing Andrew Stanton could've done for me to enjoy this cinematic life-changer any more.

My TOTALLY BADASS New Year's Resolution

No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is a picture of a velociraptor wearing Joker make-up. And that, my friends, is my New Year's resolution. That's right, my slogan for this year is: "2009: TOTALLY BADASS."

I decided that 2008 was LAME-O!! I have determined that 2009 shall not be so.

And how!!

1. I will stay out till LAST CALL whenever possible. No more jetting early. In fact, I will plan on locating all underground, after-hours Japanese whiskey bars in the greater Los Angeles area, just so last call never has to end.

2. I will travel. Spontaneously. Hands down, my two best weekends of 2008 were spent in New York City (with my East Coast posse) and in San Francisco (with my good buddy Matt). This year, I plan on visiting Chicago and Seattle. I also want to spend a weekend in the woods (possibly Joshua Tree).

3. I will watch fewer movies, and more television. Mad Men, The Wire, Dexter, Battlestar Galactica, Weeds, Rome, Big Love, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia... I have been missing out on the Second Golden Age of Television. And why? So I can sit through shitty movies like EAGLE EYE, VANTAGE POINT, and THE HAPPENING?!?! What is wrong with me? 2009 is the year I correct this mistake. The next time I'm tempted to go see a movie that I know will be mediocre, I'm buying another television series on iTunes. (FYI...I am already fiercely dedicated to 30 Rock and South Park, which is why they aren't listed above.)

4. I will WRITE. 2009 is the year that I finish writing all the screenplays I started in 2008. Red Hot White Trash: The Saga of Bethany the Crack Whore and Burn in Hell, Mark Moore!! will both be finished this year. I also plan to update this blog regularly. And (fingers crossed) launch another "memoirs" blog about my experiences as a homeschooler growing up in Southwest Florida.

5. I will be ready for the zombie apocalypse. I've heard it on good authority that 2009 is the year that the undead will strike back. While I fully trust Comrade Barrack Obama to have my back in the impending doom, I must be prepared to go it alone. You never know what can happen when the zombies attack. I will stock pile water, weapons, and extra copies of my totally badass screenplays in case the zombies need some good reading material.