Thursday, September 3, 2015

BURNING THE JACKET:  George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, is 25 years old today.  We are still waiting for volume 2.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

THE WRATH OF THE WHATEVER FROM HIGH ATOP THE VITAMEATAVEGAMIN: Cate Blanchett will play Lucille Ball in an Aaron Sorkin-scripted biopic focusing on her relationship with Desi.

Mavis Beacon doesn't actually exist.
FEY-POEHLER OR BUST:  Next year's Academy Awards ceremony will have two (as yet unnamed) hosts. Please speculate wildly.
SWIFT SATISFACTION:  According to a marketer's survey which focused on tv series which pass the Bechdel Test, the most popular female character on tv is Sgt. Olivia Benson on L&O Extra Crispy, followed by Cookie Lyon; the Mother of Dragons/Breaker of Chains/Finder of Lost Remotes; and a three-way-tie between Olivia Pope, Dr. Meredith Grey, and everything Jessica Lange's doing in crazytown.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ALOTT5MA "DEAD BECAUSE OF A WRESTLER" DESK:  Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, 72, has finally been charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the May 1983 killing of his 23-year-old girlfriend at an Allentown-area motel. The facts are pretty horrifying.
THIS DAY WE FIGHT!  BY ALL THAT YOU HOLD DEAR ON THIS GOOD EARTH, I BID YOU STAND, MEN OF THE WEST:  I recall some story in a 3rd grader reader about the kid who designed the Alaska Flag.  Now, no doubt, the Big Dipper featured on many proposed designs for that -- but to the extent the myth is to be taken as received truth, the origin of the Alaska flag was untainted by the pretense of art.

Not so with the four finalists for the new flag of New Zealand.  I get the notion of wanting to ditch the Union Jack, but black is a lousy color for a flag (NZ's association with black notwithstanding) and the ferns?  I think replacing the Jack with the NZAF's Kiwi roundel would be much nicer and keeping with some semblance of tradition (and, if not for the sake of tradition, what's the point of a flag at all?).

I confess the RSA's flag has grown on me, but there they were trying to fundamentally break with flag that stood for something truly evil.  Here, what exactly are they separating themselves from that merits these abominations.

Monday, August 31, 2015

DARLING, NICKI:  Oh, I miss the days when the most fun moment at the VMAs was seeing Krist Novoselic accidentally knock himself out with an airborne bass guitar, Madonna's French drawing room version of "Vogue", Prince showing some tush (while his band seems to have raided the Cross Colours catalog), or Pearl Jam rocking in the free world with Canada's greatest rocker.  Yes, live music!

As for VMA shade-throwing, I'll take RuPaul vs. Milton Berle.

[To be clear: in a feud between Ms. Minaj and Ms. Cyrus, this author sides with the former.]
WILD CARD WEEKEND:  Coming to theaters for Christmas: a remake of Michael Mann's The Insider, with Will Smith as Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, Alec Baldwin as Lowell Bergman, Albert Brooks as Mike Wallace, Luke Wilson as Michael Gambon, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy as cigarette smoking.

[It's based on this 2009 GQ article.]

Saturday, August 29, 2015

AND THAT'S THE TRUTH, RUTH: One of America's greatest filmmakers, Spike Lee, will finally win his first Academy Award, as he and Gena Rowlands will be receiving honorary Oscars this year at the Governors Awards ceremony, with a Hersholt to Debbie Reynolds.

Lee's sole nominations have been original screenplay for Do the Right Thing,** and best documentary feature for 4 Little Girls. He has never received a Best Director nomination; no actor in his films has ever won Oscar -- not even Denzel Washington in Malcolm X. It's about time.

(He is, to be fair, the youngest winner of an honorary Oscar in almost 50 years.)

**A hell of a crew of fellow losers that year: Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen);  Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Steven Soderbergh); and When Harry Met Sally... (Nora Ephron). Tom Schulman won for Dead Poets Society.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

BOOK THE AWKWARD CAMEO FOR HARRISON FORD ON DECEMBER 17:  Our friend Jordan needs some help -- his responsible, ethical new workplace runs a SNL Guest Star Pool, and the draft is tomorrow: "My understanding is that you draft a team of potential hosts and a couple musical guests (in defined rounds). You get points for hosting/music and fewer points for a cameo appearance.  Double points if the musical guest hosts. There was talk of theme rounds (non-actor, etc.). Most total points at the end of the season wins. Already announced hosts are undraftable."

I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are safe bets, between their own film and possible cameos (esp, in the Tracy Morgan return).  Jennifer Lawrence has two films later this year, and I'd want to lock her in.  For double duty, hmm: Bruno Mars? One of the judges on The Voice?  Part of the Janet Jackson comeback?

[I can only imagine how awesome this league was the year someone drafted Gregg Jefferies and Mark Grudzielanek.]
GIRL, YOU NEED HELP:  Linda Holmes outlines the five types of shows which are never, ever going away.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN, HI!  So how excited should I be that Pennsylvania is finally getting Fat Tire beer next week, being positioned "against some of the other aggressive out-of-towners who've done well in the city lately-Lagunitas, Deschutes and Sierra Nevada."
WELCOME TO CENTRAL PERK: Last night, Taylor Swift covered "Smelly Cat," with help from Lisa Kudrow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BAD MF:  There is much in Vulture's profile of Samuel L. Jackson, focusing on his working relationship with Quentin Tarantino, to make you smile, but nothing more than this detail:
Jackson likes to sit with a real audience for most movies, especially his own. He claims to have seen 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, in which he played a billionaire ecoterrorist, eight or nine times. “I’m 66! I can show my ID at the theater and get a discount. And I do!” he says, clapping his hands together loudly. “I’m not too proud. I’ve earned it.”