Thursday, October 30, 2014

THAT PLACE WHERE WE WENT THAT TIME:  How do we feel about Seth Rogen attempting Sorkinese as Steve Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic opposite Christian Bale as Jobs?  I will say that for the mess that the Ashton Kutcher version was, Josh Gad was actually quite good as Woz.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GIGANTES!  GIGANTES!  GIGANTES!:  3 World Series in 5 years really is more than any fan of any team could hope for in a lifetime.  But, man, that was fun.  The Royals were terrific and to have the World Series down to a single swing of the bat is all a fan of this game should want.

Sorry that this is, likely, Pablo Sandoval's last game as a Giant, but fat guys always can find a home as a designated not-fielder in the American League.  I'll miss him.  And wish him well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

JACKIE ROBINSON, JAMES BROWN, KING T'CHALLA: Marvel Studios has announced Phase 3 of its cinematic universe, taking us through 2019.
POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC DESK:  No, I'm pretty sure that San Francisco winning the World Series is not caused by Taylor Swift putting out a new album, but it's an interesting theory.  Maybe if Lorde releases a new album next year, that'll work for the Royals.
WHEN THE SONG WAS DONE, JOEL TURNED TO THE AUDIENCE AND SAID, “AND THEN WE GOT DIVORCED”:  It's critical reappraisal week for Billy Joel -- Nick Paumgarten in The New Yorker, and David Brusie gives Glass Houses another listen in the AV Club. From the former:
[H]e had thirty-three Top Forty hits. That’s an awful lot—about twice as many as Springsteen, the Eagles, or Fleetwood Mac. Some were schmalz, others were novelties, but a crate of them are songs that have embedded themselves in the great American jukebox and aren’t going away anytime soon. If you hate them, fine. A lot of people, even some rock snobs, love them still. I’m tired of “Piano Man,” too, but “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” gets me every time. “Summer, Highland Falls” is for real. As for derivative, Joel won’t deny it; he loved the Beatles, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and Smokey Robinson, so why not try to sound like them? At his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, in 1999, he was introduced by Ray Charles. Joel said, “I know I’ve been referred to as derivative. Well, I’m damn guilty. I’m derivative as hell.” He said that if the Hall of Fame disqualified candidates on the basis of being derivative, “there wouldn’t be any white people here.” 

Monday, October 27, 2014

CHOOSE YOUR OWN VARIETY SHOW:  NBC has given a 10 episode, on-air commitment to a variety show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.  The show's based on a British format including comedy sketches, audience members playing games and stunts, and variety acts.  It sounds like a glorious mess.
SNOT ROCKET: It turns out that Madison Bumgarner is good at baseball.  Eight strikes outs is cool, yes.  25 first pitch strikes against 31 batters faced?  That's insane.
I WILL TELL YOU FROM MY CAST IRON CHAIR:  Ok, maybe I'm just being crotchety, but even if it's being done ironically and for grownups only, can't we decide as a society that the cultural "redemption" of convicted rapist Mike Tyson need not involve his starring in a Scooby Doo-style cartoon show?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

(NON-PROFIT) CORPORATION GAMES:  Philadelphia's WXPN 88.5 FM had its listeners vote on the 88 worst songs of all time, and counted them down this afternoon.

Top ten below the fold, and I'd argue that two of them aren't bad songs at all -- Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Rebecca Black's "Friday -- but rather reflect unfortunate fuddy-duddy bias against well-crafted teen pop. "You Light Up My Life," on the other hand, is an abomination.

THEY DID NOT, HOWEVER, TAKE THE BASS LINE OUT:  We've got an emoji-filled "Hard Knock Life" video from the new Annie as well, which exists sonically somewhere between the original and Jay-Z, with two notable changes in the lyrics: from "smidge/orphange" to "bit/foster kid," and from "make her drink a mickey finn" to "send her to the looney bin". First they came for Beau Brummell, now Mickey ...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MORE THAN THE MOON:  So, we now have a 4 minute featurette for Into The Woods, which gives us a little bit of singing (a chunk of "I Wish/Prologue" and a piece of Streep singing "Stay With Me") and continues to suggest that if nothing else, the orchestrations are going to sound great.  Does it calm your fears or enhance them?

Related:  Emma Stone has said she was approached to play Cinderella, but turned down the role because of vocal range.
KISSING SANTA'S ASS:  On November 6, 2014, the USPS will be issuing four Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer forever stamps—Rudolph, Santa, Bumble, and Isaac Spaceman's favorite character:
Then we meet Hermey the Elf. Some of you – the ones in the Vai Sikahema Football League – know my undying love for Hermey, but for those of you who don’t, he’s the overly-theatrical elf with the calculatedly-insouciant twist of longish blond hair (the same haircut as all of the girl elves; all of the other boy elves are bald), the lisping twitter, the ineptitude at manual labor, and the singular ambition to work with orthodontia. And he sounds like Rip Taylor, for crying out loud. Anyway, he works in a factory, and his boss is an irredeemable dick. Boss Elf rips Hermey a new one for not working quickly enough (note: he’s applying red paint, and this is the Eisenhower era, so Hermey is basically eating lead chips, I think), then rips Hermey another new one for wanting to be a dentist, then rips Hermey another one for all of the ones he had to rip him, basically... 
So Rudolph runs away, and he meets up with Hermey, and Hermey does a little dance and tells Rudolph that they should be misfits together, and it’s exactly as gay as you think it would be.