Saturday, September 18, 2010
added: Per the recommendations of many, this week's New Yorker profile of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Lavish stars on your favorite films in the zombie and lycanthrope genres, then give tentative thumbs-up to a few Shaun The Sheep videos (watched mostly out of nostalgia for the far superior adventures of Wallace & Gromit, perhaps) and Netflix may find the minerals to predict that you will also enjoy this un-rated 2006 indy splatterfest from (where else?) New Zealand.
It's campy. It's gorey. It's utterly preposterous. And it's satisfying in all they ways that the typical "SyFy Original Movie" fails to be. The writing is passable. The acting is passable. The special effects come out of an actual creature shop instead of a C-List CGI mill. The premise is Mansquito-quality genius and inspiration, but it's executed with all the craft and care that can be mustered given the limited funding and audience for this kind of endeavor.
All that remains to be said, really, is "Thanks."
Friday, September 17, 2010
Derek Jeter sold it like a professional, darting away from an inside pitch during the seventh inning on Wednesday, then shaking his arm in apparent pain while walking to first base.As of right now, Jeter's only doing his job 33.0% of the time, and August is the only month this year he hasn't done it worse than the preceding month.
Only later, after home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale had believed Jeter's self-described "acting" job and ejected Rays manager Joe Maddon in the process, did the Yankees' captain come clean about the performance he'd put on for the crowd at Tropicana Field.
"It hit the bat," Jeter said. "He told me to go to first. I'm not going to tell him, 'I'm not going to go to first,' you know? My job is to get on base."
[Look: if you're going to cheat, don't brag about it. Is that such a hard standard to meet?]
Thursday, September 16, 2010
The request to feature same-sex couples on the Kiss Cam at Busch Stadium grew out of an incident that occurred Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams hosted the Arizona Cardinals. During the Kiss Cam feature, two men dressed in Arizona jerseys were among the couples shown. The crowd laughed and booed when the two men tried to shoo away the cameras. But there were gay men in the crowd who said it was offensive that the Rams organization would choose to embarrass Arizona fans by portraying them as a gay couple.[For that matter, I've never seen an interracial couple (same- or opposite-sex) on the Phillies' "Kiss Cam".]
Related, as I asked five years ago: "Why does [the Phillie Phanatic] have to do this limp-wristed, gay-bashing thing all the time to mock opposing players for allegedly being effeminate? Suppose one in every twenty boys at each game will, at some point in his life, believe that he is gay. Wouldn't it be nice for that kid not to grow up thinking that he won't be made fun of for it? Why does the Phanatic have to play the same role as the homophobic schoolyard bully?"
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
You can see both boards here, and video of Final Jeopardy! here. As the latter link notes, he's just 72 games away from tying Ken Jennings' consecutive wins streak.
In re Survivor, Dan Fienberg basically confirms with Probst that the winter season will be Boston Rob v. Russell.
That said, I do not want anyone -- man or woman -- interviewing me while I'm getting dressed. Period. I know reporters have deadlines, and they need to get their postgame interviews up right away, etc. Too bad. At my gym, there is a person who always tries to strike up casual conversations in the locker room, and I just want to tell him, "please be quiet while I devote all of my attention to my underpants." When I'm getting dressed, that's my private time. I don't like any intrusion on that time -- from my kids, from my wife, from the voluble crazy person at my gym, or from a professional reporter just doing his or her job.
So now you know why I'm not a professional athlete.
On a related (note: not related) note, in the race to sequence the entire genome of the cocoa tree -- a critical precursor to the drug chocolate -- Hershey's and M&M/Mars have tied.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
NPR is streaming Majesty Shredding here, and the video for "Digging for Something" is below the fold:
2005:No matter what year it is, the Yankees remain C. Montgomery Burns, and the Padres are Dr. Julius Hibbert.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Hans Moleman - Whenever they're on TV, you can virtually guarantee that they're hopelessly overmatched and that something bad is going to happen to them. You could start feeling bad for them, but then you remember that you don't care.
Tampa Bay Rays: Professor John Frink - In recent years, Tampa has been one of the sharpest franchises in baseball. The Rays won a pennant despite playing in the toughest division in baseball's superior league. Now enjoying their third straight winning season, they should return to the playoffs for the second time this year, despite having one of the lowest payrolls. In that regard, they're a good match for the smartest man in Springfield.
That said, it's hard for me to think of the franchise without recalling its first bungling decade of existence when it couldn't do anything right. That also makes the Rays a good fit for Frink, who can't remember to carry the one, even when it means warding off elementary chaos theory that tells us that all robots will eventually turn against their masters and run amok in an orgy of blood and kicking and the biting with the metal teeth and the hurting and shoving.
Philadelphia Phillies - Milhouse Van Houten - Lack of adequate vision (blind without his glasses, hanging on to Jim Thome). Perpetual sidekick to a more successful leader who constantly takes advantage of their weaknesses. Striving for a goal (Lisa's affection, the playoffs) that looks unattainable in their current state, and nobody really takes them seriously.
Philadelphia Phillies: Rainier Wolfcastle - Wolfcastle is the big, powerful movie star. The Phillies are the big, powerful offensive team. Okay, their homers are down this year, but they led the league in HR by a ton last year, and the year before, and came in second the year before that. That's a good comp for the strongest man on The Simpsons.
- Mad Men's Sally Draper gives herself a do-it-yourself asymmetrical thing, signifying that she's acting out amid her parents' cold war.
- Entourage's Vince gets a cheap-looking and unhip cut, signifying the Britneyesque commencement of a Britneyesque meltdown.
- True Blood's Tara trades her 90sish braids for a full-on 90sish Alfre Woodard haircloud, signifying rebirth and freedom (from rapey vampires and orgy-promoting woman-bulls).
[Sepinwall has the recap; I just wanted to get that off my chest. But, sure, we can talk about Peggy v. Joan and the merits of voiceovers and Mountain Dew.]
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Natural City is a movie that dares to ask – recognizing and accepting the obvious: that not all ninja assassins are cyborgs – what impact there might be on the trite oedipal configurations of the average Korean police officer (ca. 2080) if all cyborgs suddenly became ninja assassins.
If you love all things Blade Runner, still like The Matrix, previously confessed to enjoying Korean creature feature The Host, and recently grudgingly declined to dislike Surrogates and/or I, Robot (despite some not insubstantial provocation, on either and/or both counts), Netflix may suggest – just as a “best guess,” mind you – that you could experience as many as 3.75 stars worth of subjective personal enjoyment during the 113 minutes of this 2003 Korean science fiction movie.
In response, after sitting through Natural City in the small hours of a recent insomniac episode, allow me to offer my own “best guess” that data-mining algorithms have not yet come into their own as predictors of aesthetic preferences, at least as regards video entertainment.