Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In a world where oil is spreading, one river stands alone.

I had to laugh at this headline on MSNBC:
Mighty Mississippi could fight oil slick - Oil has hit the fragile Gulf coast wetlands. To fight it, the mighty Mississippi River must get even mightier.

Alright. I admit the italics are mine, but still: Don't you read that and automatically speak the words in some heavy, important movie trailer voice? Maybe followed by a training sequence of the Mississippi River getting into shape while "Eye of the Tiger" blares on the soundtrack?

"Room Cleaning Christianity"

Jonathan Acuff, ladies and gentlemen:

"Why do Christians argue about drinking beer or why the tankini is the least slutty of all bathing garments? I think it’s because we sometimes practice "Room Cleaning Christianity." Think of it like college. When you’ve got a final paper due Monday, you will be amazed at how energetic your desire is to clean your room. You will scrub tile with a slow toothbrush if it means avoiding the bigger, more difficult work of writing your paper. The same thing happens with Christianity. Loving your neighbor might be simple, but it’s not easy. Maybe my neighbor is a jerk too. Maybe they hate God. Maybe they are actively and violently opposed to everything I believe. And showing them grace feels impossible. So instead of dealing with that, we get online and police people. We find small things to focus on that will distract us. I think God wants us to discuss the little stuff, but we make it an idol when we practice room cleaning Christianity at the exclusion of love. And we tend to become jerks."
It's a point I've made again and again, and it's as true now as it ever was. Conservative Christians tend to take the easy way in the way they practice their faith. Why get in the gutter to help the poor when it's much easier to fight against gay rights? If they seriously think they're following Christ's path, they're deluding themselves.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Drop your guns, Gringo!

A friend of Mrs. Mosley's came over on Saturday to put C.C. in a tutu and take pictures of her. I offer my favorite one here:

For some reason, that expression reminds me of some Italian in a Spaghetti Western (perhaps it's the teeth), and yet it's adorable.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Max will haunt your dreams

If you're a low rent company with very little budget to do a commercial and you choose to do CGI, then you're going to have some freaky results:

Yes, I am reassured by the mannequin conference table "ATTORNEY" and the big headed midget spokesman whose lips vibrate like hummingbird wings when he speaks. I swear, with a replacement of the audio track and maybe the slightest bit of editing, you've got a David Lynch short film, here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The Yahoo "Trending Now" feature is of endless fascination to me. Most items on this list spend a half to a whole day on the top ten, if that. However, Bernadette Peters has been on the list in various positions since Friday. The news item that put her there is how she is replacing Catherine Zeta-Jones in the new Broadway production of A Little Night Music.

Now I would guess a news item about Broadway (being mainly of interest to New Yorkers) wouldn't have the staying power to remain on the top ten for three days straight, but given that people who click on her name are treated to pictures like this... addition to links to the news story, and it makes a bit more sense.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Once more over the top

Very impressive:

"Having completely wrapped playing Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe is now attached to play the lead role of Paul in an updated version of All Quiet on the Western Front."
This is very exciting. The original All Quiet on the Western Front (which marks it's 80th anniversary this year) is a favorite of mine, so it will be interesting to see what Radcliffe does with the lead role. The above pic is from My Boy Jack, which I mentioned on this blog previously. He's already cut his teeth on WWI, so I'm eager to see him take on an even bigger tale of the Great War. Good luck, Daniel.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Loss of Bo

I saw Toy Story 3 last Sunday and, yes, it was a tearjerker. The film's ending was not a downer, though; just very sentimental. Given how much joy the first two films have given moviegoers over the years, Pixar has every right to be sentimental about the end of this trilogy.

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, there's a lot of material about loss what with Andy moving to college and leaving his toys behind. We've been told it has been years since Andy has played with them, and when the full contents of the toy box tumble out after he has left the room, the audience (who so fondly remember their first introduction to Andy's room in the first film) will immediately notice how much smaller this group has become.

Woody talks about this and mentions the loss of friends over the years by donations to thrift stores. And then he names names: Etch, Wheezy and... Bo. Woody doesn't actually say this last name at first. Someone else does it for him and he responds by repeating her name and looking very, very wistful.

This may sound silly, but it's a hell of a blow. At least for me it was. Here was Woody's girlfriend, with which he shared a special moment at the end of both previous films, and now she's... gone. Just like that. We don't get to see how that goodbye went between Woody and Bo Peep, but for these characters we have grown to know and love so much over the years, we can only imagine.

Yet it perfectly sets the stage for the film, reminding the audience that happy endings can be thwarted, and also allowing the audience to accept the possibility (at a certain harrowing moment near the end of the film) that things could go very badly indeed for our intrepid toy heroes.

It also provides a much needed motivation for Woody. He relentlessly persists in his belief that Andy will one day return to them, and he argues to his fellow toys that it is up to them to remain loyal to Andy no matter how long it takes. He was loyal to Andy before, of course, but we can (again) only imagine how this changed when Bo left and Andy became all he had.

This is not to besmirch the love he has for his fellow toys. Indeed, by the end of the film he does realize that his loyalty and love for his friends trumps all else. Even Andy. That aforementioned harrowing scene (seriously, that image will stick in your brain for awhile) proves that in spades.

So, in the end, the loss of Bo was a necessary one. It's just one more proof that Pixar is a master of the storytelling craft, and I for one can't besmirch them for dropping a character in such a way. Heck, I imagine even Annie Potts approved.

Love that dead-eyed, homicidal Paul.

As with most things British, this little song parody doesn't overstay it's welcome by grinding a good idea into the dirt. Instead, it clocks in at less than two minutes! A perfect length:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joan, Jesus and Jake

One of these is not like the... wait a minute. The Pope said it was OK? Oh, well never mind, then.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Wednesday Counterbalance

Just so I don't have to look at that last post and get furious all over again every time I log on, here's little C.C., post-bath:

Skippies of the Day: Newt Gingrich and Gretchen Carlson

I'm afraid the positivism of Zach can't fight back against all the other bile I come across in my daily dose of the Internet. Witness this exchange on FOX News (via Think Progress):
GINGRICH: I’m sad that it took a crisis of this scale, but I’m delighted that the president has recognized that we in fact all are subordinate to a larger God and that we need to seek guidance from that God.

CARLSON: But Mr. Speaker, did you find it at all disingenuous, because some people are analyzing that this morning as saying it was disingenuous from a president who does not go to Church on a regular basis?

GINGRICH: [...] If he’s prepared to publicly recognize God, maybe we should encourage him to do it more often.
As Nikki Haley discovered weeks ago, even if you are Christian, the GOP will not embrace you unless you are the right (ahem) sort of Christian. It doesn't matter if you believe in the Christian God, that Jesus died for our sins and that the acceptance of Jesus into your heart is the only path to heaven. No, you have to be obnoxious about your belief and profess it frequently in the public sphere.

Christians, I'm telling you right now: If you really want to win converts and turn this nation around morally, then you better find a way to keep these pin headed holier-than-thou pricks from speaking for you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This is how the Internet works

Oprah has a contest to give someone their own TV show. They upload audition videos to her contest website. Out of the hundreds of entries, one (via Neatorama) is by a gentleman named Zach who has Cerebral Palsy, a great sense of humor and a unique idea for a TV show:

Over the weekend, Zach's audition video goes viral and accumulates two million votes on the Oprah site. His chances have gone from slim to great all because of the Internet love. And Zach is very grateful:

By the way, I should have qualified my post heading by stating, "This is how the Internet works for Good". When used for Evil, dimwitted politicians from Alaska tweet any damn fiction that floats into their heads and millions take it as gospel.

But I'm trying to take a page from Zach's book and stay positive, here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Juligula Juligula Juligula

I've been checking out more and more of the Clarke and Dawe sketches since I discovered the Australian comedy duo on Thursday. The verbal wordplay is so reminiscent of Monty Python, and there are a lot of similarities between John Clarke and John Cleese. Both are most commonly cast as the businessman or bureaucrat (and both are physically convincing in the roles), and both have an extremely silly core that occasionally pops out.

For a compare and contrast, take the Monty Python "Management Training Course" sketch and pair it up with the Clarke and Dawe interview on "The Politics of Fear":

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Clarke and Dawe on the Oil Spill

These guys are so good at doing these political comedy bits (via Neatorama) that what they really need to do is see if they could get on some FOX News programs and see if those nitwits actually fall for their straight-faced act.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Call me Mr. Blanding

Well, not yet. But consider this a placeholder post in the meantime:

Saturday, June 05, 2010

"New Petitions Against Tax!"

Via Neatorama, A pair of recycled Movie and TV prop collections: Computers and Newspapers.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The South will... ah, screw it.

Moments of absolute clarity are so rare these days that we grab on for dear life when we do come across them. For example, the definition of "Asshole" is apparently "Jake Knotts".

I was going to insert a picture of the guy here, but if I don't post anything else for the rest for the weekend, that means I'll be looking at his ugly puss every time I log on. No thank you.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

First Coast, Second Coast, Third Coast.

First Coast News really needs to get their act together:

When you have the front headline of a Jacksonville news network declaring "Tar Balls Expected Soon, Giant Oil Sheen Will Arrive This Weekend", people are going to assume that you're talking about Jacksonville. It's only when you read the smaller next line that you see it's Pensacola Beach, which is on another coast 360 miles away.

I realize that they're stressing that the oil disaster is creeping closer to our neck of the woods, and It's entirely possible that it will eventually hit Jacksonville, but in the meantime FCN needs to be more specific in their headlines so that people don't freak out and panic here at home.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"We don’t need an Ethan episode. Fill in the blanks, people."

It has now been nine days since Lost ended, and most of the fury from certain circles of fans has died down. I was not one of these fans. The finale was emotionally satisfying for me, I didn't get my panties in a twist that most of the unanswered questions went unaddressed.

Which is why Kyle Buchanan of Movieline has become my favorite Lost fan of late. In the aftermath of the finale, he decided to address a list of 100 unanswered questions recently compiled by the folks at College Humor. Buchanan is refreshingly laid back, and his approach to most of the mysteries can be summed up like so:
"What is the nature of the light?"

"It’s like the Force, dude. And if they explained it anymore, you’d have a Liam Neeson speech about midichlorians, and no one wants that, do they?"
However, he does not let the creators of Lost completely off the hook. By the time he finishes, there are six questions he deems unsatisfyingly unanswered. So, as an act of saying goodbye to my six-season-long television addiction, allow me to take a whack at them.

"Why are supplies still being dropped on the island after the purge, and by who?" - This was, for me, the biggest splinter in my Lost brain. Lindelof and Cuse have stated this mystery will be answered outside of the show itself. But given that I already have my own crackpot theory, allow me to advance it here so I may just appear to be a genius when it is revealed. My theory: There is an underground supply bunker on Hydra island with a computer-controlled chopper that lifts pallets over to the main island when commanded to do so. Your Welcome!

"What happened to the original timeline Libby in the mental hospital?" - As Locke once said: "Don't mistake coincidence for fate". Although the producers have denied it, I believe that the killing off of Libby is tied to the Cynthia Watros's run-in with the law during filming. I think they had already planned to kill off Anna Lucia, and when the arrests occurred, decided to get rid of both actresses believing that Libby's death would add an intriguingly dark and fascinating element to the plotline (which it did). The producers had originally envisioned a much larger role for Libby, but decided to cut it short.

"How did Ben see his dead mother?" - Simple. It was actually the Man in Black. Although there was a perceived rule that the MiB could only appear as people who died and/or whose corpses were on the island (See Christian Shepherd, John Locke, Eko's brother Yemi), this has been disproved by multiple apparitions that we can only assume was the MiB (See Richard's wife Isabella on the Black Rock, Hurley's friend Dave). It was one rule they really had to bend in order to explain all the "ghosts" that have appeared over six seasons, but I'm willing to let it slide.

"When the gang was unstuck in time, who was that shooting at them from the outrigger?" - The beautiful thing about this show is how expansive the universe is, but for some people this is more a frustration than a blessing. So while some people can fill in the details in their imagination, others need stuff spelled out for them. Given how Jacob has said he has brought a great deal of people to the island over the years, I'm guessing there was a lot of gunfire exchanged on and around this island before Sawyer ever gunned down that polar bear.

"How did Jack, Hurley and Kate get from that Ajira flight to the 1970s, and why didn’t Sun?" - Buchanan actually offers an answer for this one, but wasn't quite satisfied with it. Sun wasn't sent back because her husband was the candidate and not her. The remaining Ajira candidates were sent back because there is a connection between all the candidates. Just as their lives endlessly crossed paths before they even got to the island, they were drawn together through time once they got close enough geographically. Though Buchanan had his reservations about this explanation, It makes sense enough to me.

"Who broke the circle of ash around Jacob’s cabin?" - The Hurley Bird! Case Closed!

Samuel L. Jackson Quote of the Month: June 2010

The movies are a fascinating business. A studio will put forward major money to bankroll a film and then, for any number of reasons, it could get put on a shelf for years before it sees the light of day. Or perhaps it does see the light, but the release is so small and the advertising so nonexistent that it might as well have been buried in a broom closet.

The 51st State (or Formula 51 as it was titled in the US release) is a UK action comedy starring Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle. I remember seeing early commercials for it, but I'll be damned if I actually saw it hit theaters. I mean, an action comedy starring Sam? Why couldn't the studios get behind that? I suspect poor performance at test screenings. But whatever the case, it's a crying shame that this line didn't make it into the popular pantheon of Samuel L. Jackson one-liners:
Elmo: "Ain't that always the way? Elevator music, a nigger in a kilt, and a chick with a nickel-plated nine."