18th Sep2008

Fall Out Boy Mixtape and An Insider’s View of Diamond

by Will

“We believe in Barack Obama! He loves you and he loves your mama!”

citizensfobmixtape

Could it be? Is that an Obama endorsement from Williambrucewest.com? No, it’s not. But it does lead into this little tidbit: Major props go out to my man, Marcus, for recommending “Welcome to the New Administration”, the new, FREE mixtape from Fall Out Boy. A thinly-disguised prObama project, the collection not only drops snippets of the upcoming Fall Out Boy album, Folie A Deux, but it also introduces you to the music of some of their musical friends, like Panic at the Disco, Tyga, The Cab, and others. The new FOB album sounds tight, and I certainly wanna hear more from Tyga. EVERYONE should download this package, and you can get it free right here: http://www.friendsorenemies.com/web/foe/users/falloutboy/ It’s worth it just for Luda’s interlude alone.

Did y’all realize there’s a rapper named “Niggalas Cage”? I shit you not! In fact, he’s even got a track with Akon right now, called “You’re the Reason”. If you ask me, they should’ve recorded a track called “Kon Air”.

Speaking of Akon, he’s on one of the hottest tracks on NKOTB’s new album, “Put It On My Tab”. I recently posted a Facebook status saying that the album “doesn’t suck”, but after repeated listenings, I’ve got to admit that it’s HOT. It’s got that ‘NSYNC circa “No Strings Attached” vibe going on. And the guests on it are pretty surprising: Akon, New Edition, Pussycat Dolls, Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo. It’s a great dance album, and one of the best pop albums released in recent years.

While we’re on pop, TRL is shutting down. Man, that kills me, but it’s time. The TRL model isn’t appropriate for what passes as “pop” these days. Before, it was a crowd full of screaming teenage girls, clogging up Times Square, for the chance to catch a glimpse of dye-job, curly-q Justin Timberlake. TRL works best when pop is at its most “bubblegum”. Sure, you can still have Chris Brown drop by, but Daughtry and the rest of Top 40 radio are more suited for VH-1. Even the teen stars being cranked out, like Jordin Sparks, are more suited for an older crowd. TRL, like the early WB, used to MAKE stars. Now, it’s merely a shadow of its past self. MTV claims the show is just “going on a break”, but anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows what that can mean. I think it’ll reappear, though. The UK had a similar show, Top of the Pops, which was on the air for over 42 years (!). Eventually, the formula got stale, and they put it on time out. Like TRL, the BBC promises it, too, will one day return. Maybe their returns will coincide.

That BET R. Kelly interview is priceless! I love the look on Toure’s face. The entire interview, his face is screaming, “Is this nigga for real?!”

So, last night, I watched The Temptations for what must’ve been the 10th time. I don’t know if VH-1 planned to show it all along, or if it was to honor Norman Whitfield, the prolific Motown writer/producer who passed away yesterday. Let’s hope the reason is the former, as the miniseries doesn’t exactly portray Whit in the best light. Hell, I just realized that it doesn’t portray anyone in a positive light…except for Otis Williams. Seeing as how Otis is the only surviving founding member of the group, the movie was written from his perspective. That said, it took me all these years to realize that it is the most masturbatory, self-congratulatory thing I’ve ever seen. There are WAY too many private scenes between Otis and random characters, as they have heart to heart talks where the other person thanks Otis for being the force that holds the group together, or thanks Otis for putting on the pressure when the less-disciplined needed that sort of monitoring. Everyone dies in the most heart-wrenching, tragic ways, even though most of the Temps’ families have disputed the accounts of their relatives’ demise, especially in the sensationalized account of David Ruffin, who’s shown thrown in front of an emergency room, from a moving limo, after overdosing. They say karma’s a bitch, so it Otis did make this stuff up, I’d say he’d better watch his back. Nothing like having 4 ghosts in leisure suits coming to get you, dancing slowly in formation. That reminds me, though – I’ve been working on a Leon/David Ruffin post for the better part of 2 years now. I should probably do something about that.

Watched Baby Mama the other night. This comes as no surprise, but I LOVE Tina Fey. She’s pretty much playing Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, which is what I’ve come to believe is the real Tina. The sexy, smart, insecure funnywoman. This movie, however, not that great. It’s not bad, but it’s not good. I don’t think it makes the most of any of the cast’s strengths, and it could’ve been better, Honestly, it’s about what I’d expect from an SNL movie, but I kinda wanted more, considering Tina wrote it, and she WAS head writer of SNL for about 9 years.

Got a lot on my mind, but I’m gonna wrap things up with this thought: a lot of people go through life with a dream. They go on with their day-to-day lives, but in the backs of their minds, they have a “what if?” idea that they never act on. Now, what happens when you act on that, and you find you’re not good at it? Are you better off knowing that? One of my dreams was to work in comics. I felt that it was something I was BORN to do, and I’d kick ass at it. 2 years later, and I realize I wasn’t that good at it. I always said I’d write a book about that experience, called Diamond in the Rough: My Life in Comics, but I don’t have the patience, plus nobody’d want to read it except those in the industry, and it’s gonna piss off most of them. Instead, I’m sure my ideas for said book will probably trickle onto the site over time.

Anyway, how did I come to this conclusion? Well, if any of you have ever read the Previews catalog (NOTE: Previews is a catalog that ships ever month, informing retailers/fans of upcoming comic books so they can place orders – I used to help make that catalog), you might’ve seen a segment in the middle called “Featured Items”. Those were the 16 items, NOT from Marvel or DC, that we felt “every store should buy”. We’d have monthly meetings where we’d sit down and go to war over who should receive this honor, even though John Q. Public really didn’t give a shit. Us giving an “FI” to Red Sonja #25 isn’t gonna make retailers buy more copies. If Sonja dies, or flashes a tit, THEN retailers are gonna buy more and sell them for 3x cover price right out of the box – they ain’t doing it because of some faceless company in Maryland.

These “discussions” (and I use the term lightly) always got heated because no one respected anyone else’s choice. Plus, there were the politics. Certain publishers are guaranteed a certain amount of FI’s due to their contracts with Diamond, so our hands were a bit tied at times. I can’t tell you how many times we gave an FI to Dynamite for “To Be Determined”. They might have this book ready, but it’s more likely it’s gonna be late, so we’ll give it to Book X. We got into the business of supporting companies rather than books. We were given the explanation that certain companies were poised to be the next Marvel or DC, so we needed to support those. I understand the need for growth and encouragement, but who would replace those companies that were about to “graduate”. We were so focused on Dynamite and IDW becoming the next Marvel and DC, but I always felt we lost sight of the fact that someone would need to groom the next IDW and Dynamite (which ain’t necessarily a good thing – grooming the “new Dynamite” is akin to discovering Super AIDS). I like to think a lot of my FI choices were focused on “the next generation”, yet we were always told that we “weren’t looking at the bigger picture”. Eventually, it got to the point where the meetings were no longer seen as productive, and were done away with. Instead, we had to send our choices/arguments to the team managers, and they would decide based on the evidence we’d provided. Seeing as how this took place behind closed doors, we never really knew what went down. We were simply to trust that they’d make the right decision. That’s how things were when I left.

Well, the other day, I found out that the FI meetings had been reinstated. It seems that the main reason the meetings had been done away with was because the FI picks submitted by me, as well as another former brand manager, weren’t seen as strong or deserving. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, or if I was easy to blame because I’m no longer there to defend myself. Even still, it kind of hurts (and somewhat surprising) that I was divisive enough to derail a process that had been working for years, which is magically reinstated the minute I’m gone. I stand by my decisions, as I think some of the most surprising, engaging stuff is going to be coming from the Oni’s and the First Second’s. Because so many of those situations were presented in vagueries, I had no idea it was my ideas that were hindering the process. If someone had just told me… That said, I still think Scott Pilgrim 4, even though it’s the 4th in a series (a bestselling series, mind you) trumps the adaptation of some videogame sequel that’s delayed by months. That’s how I played the game, and how I felt it should be played. I don’t know if it’s the bloggers or the small press crowd getting to me or what, but I thought I was looking out for the industry, while the gatekeepers of the industry weren’t on the same page. So, was I truly born to work in comics? I don’t know. I don’t think so. If I was, it certainly wasn’t in the capacity in which I was working before. Langston Hughes once pondered what happened to a dream deferred. I, on the other hand, am trying to figure out what happens to a dream deflated…

12th Aug2008

Saved By The Bell Sick Day & Lil Wayne’s Virgin Fest Failure

by Will

“All of my friends have a ring on their finger, they have someone”

It’s been awhile, and I don’t even know where to begin. I’m actually sick right now, and had a kickass day off work. Well, that is, if “kickass” translates into “felt like I was going to boot for a 24-hr period”. Plus, I’m guessing the abundance of Clyde’s rum & cokes last night didn’t help matters, either.

Anyway, it was a GREAT day for daytime television. First off, I got to watch 2 of my favorite Saved By The Bell sagas, back-to-back. Things started off with the 2-parter where Jessie’s old-ass dad was gonna marry the aerobics instructor and Jessie wasn’t havin’ it! You know, there weren’t a lot of episodes focusing on Ms. Spano, but whenever she got center stage, it was always a doozy. She was a diabolical beeyotch in those episodes. Plus, if her dad owns that resort, she must be LOADED – which, btw, conflicts with the story we were told back in season 1, about her parents being hippy protestors. I mean, her dad is clearly suckling on the big, sweet teat of capitalism now. That was followed up by the “Sorry You’re Homeless at Christmas” saga. Yes, the show does establish Zack as quite the poonhound, but I will never see what he saw in that homeless girl. Sure, she was sweet, but wasn’t that the point? “Homeless girl with the heart of gold”? Zack’s never cared about golden hearts unless he could sell them. The older I get, the more smarmy Zack’s tactics appear. I’ve said it before, but I think if The College Years had made it to a second season, we might’ve seen a very special episode with a date rape charge.

Next, I watched an all-day marathon of the short lived UPN show, Jake 2.0. Damn, was that a good show! Long story short, it’s The Six Million Dollar Man meets Chuck. Anyway, thanks to the show, my new celebrity crush is Keegan Connor Tracy. Go ahead and Google her, I’ll wait.

Then, I watched an entertaining episode of Gunsmoke, complete with William Katt playing a criminal, and a young Nick Nolte as a dead sheriff’s deputy. Say what you will about modern entertainment, but TV was awfully violent back then.

Then, I was surprised to stumble across Love, Actually, which is one of my favorite movies of all time (I love you, Martine McCutcheon!). Plus, this was followed up by A Goofy Movie, another of my favorite movies of all time (I love you, voice of Jenna Von Oy, attached to the sweet ass of Jenna Von Oy!). All this was capped off by a fresh episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, and my regularly scheduled Tuesday night onslaught of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? If not for the fact that I felt like shit, it would’ve been a great day.

Let me just say that I don’t give a flying shit about professional sports, but I have loved every minute of the Brett Favre saga. You see, ever since There’s Something About Mary, Brett has belonged to pop culture. I don’t think I’d ever visited ESPN.com in my life, but it was a regular fixture on the BlackBerry over the past month. It might be worth me actually paying attention to football this season, just to see how this all plays out on the field.

So, I also went to Virgin Mobile Fest again over the weekend. Not as action-packed as last year. Foo Fighters were clearly the best act of Saturday, while I think Kanye took the title on Sunday. Kanye’s still dealing with the death of his mom, so he just starts freestyling and going on these rants, but you know they’re coming from someplace deep inside. You wonder if he’s having a breakdown right in front of you, but it’s a powerful form of “group therapy”. I LOVED Chromeo, and everyone should buy their album, Fancy Footwork. That’s right, I said BUY. Can’t get “Momma’s Boy” out of my head. The most… interesting performance, however, had to have been Lil’ Wayne.

So, Weezy F. Baby comes out on stage 45 mins late. By this point, the majority of the crowd has already begun to boo the stage. His posse comes out for about 10 mins, and they just strut around to a pre-recorded track. When he finally comes out, Weezy decides to get religious on us. He tells us that, first, he believes in God. He then, for some reason, asks the crowd if they do, as well, which is met with a pretty resounding “no”. Not sure if it was because they’re pissed at him, or if the Virgin Mobile Fest is simply the largest atheist music festival since John Lincoln’s “Jesus Ain’t In My Guitar” Tour of 1987. * Anyway, he goes into all his hits, plus he runs through all the guest verses he’d done on other people’s albums, which was a bit weird. You’d hear the music start for “Put On”, Weezy’d sing his verse, and then he’d move on to the next song. Then, he really kicks us in the collective balls: he surprises us with Kanye coming out (5 hrs before his own set) so they can do the Lollipop Rmx. Kanye gets through his verse, and when it’s Weezy’s turn, he gets 3 words into it, stops, and says, “Aw, man. I don’t even know that verse noway!” And he’s done. He doesn’t start back up. He doesn’t try to finish up by switching to the album version. No, he’s done. He proceeded to tell us hw much he loved us, which kicked off Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You”, and he ran around the stage. Then, they covered him in a red, terrycloth robe and he left the stage. I shit you not…

Energy levels fading fast. Well, that’s all I’ve got until next time. Oh, and I hate the New Facebook. Just sayin’…

*Don’t Google it – I made that shit up.

30th Jul2008

Life Lessons of “As Long As You Love Me” & My Introduction to Hulu

by Will

“Never go ‘Full Retard’.”

What a day, what a day…I’ve decided that a good chunk of commercial real estate brokers are assholes. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, as we’re here for other reasons.

– Saw Tropic Thunder tonight and it was HILARIOUS. There’s slight buzz about this movie, due to Robert Downey Jr.’s blackface role. Truth be told, the role is supposed to be uncomfortable, as that’s part of the movie. Anyway, I really think that 2008 is shaping up to be the Year of the Downey, while Stiller whips out “Blue Steel” one more time, AKA you get the same from him as you’ve come to expect. One of the best parts of the movie is at the very beginning, with the faux trailers. Where else can you watch Iron Man put the moves on Spidey?

-So, I was driving home tonight, and “As Long As You Love Me”, by Backstreet Boys, came on the radio. Now, a lot of people already know this, but when I was 15 I was a boyband fanatic. I wasn’t gay for them or anything, but I kinda saw it as something that I could do one day. After all, boybands were popping up each week, but it wasn’t until O-Town (well, 5ive, if you count those bi-racial dudes) that we got a group with a black member. I always kinda wanted to be the first.

Anyway, “ALAYLM” was MY song. When I was all of 15 and lonely, I’d put that song on repeat and just think of how nice it would be to find a girl who just loves you for you. I’ve learned, in the 11 years since, that that song is a BIG case of “be careful what you wish for”. Sure, I wouldn’t care what they had done, as long as long as they loved me. Then, I got involved with a string of girls whose pasts I couldn’t get over. It turns out I did care. Whether it was drugs, promiscuity, or racial friction, I learned the hard way that, for me, it did matter where they were from and what they had done. So, that makes me shallow. Maybe I’m immature. At least I know who I am now. I learned that I hold myself to a certain standard, not that I’m better than anyone, but I have my expectations, as does everyone else. These days, I really think that song is 3 minutes and 42 seconds of bad advice. Sure, it’s got good intentions: don’t judge – love will find a way, but that’s bullshit. Love conquers a lot, but it don’t conquer all. Remember that.

– I believe that Hulu.com might be the greatest site on the internet. Not only did it introduce me to Joss Whedon’s full Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog (God, I wish I’d seen Rent when Neil Patrick Harris was in it!), but it also streams 2 things that I’ve been searching years for: Team Knight Rider and Son of the Beach Season 3. I’m sure that Universal will one day get around to releasing TKR (we just missed its 10th anniversary), but I doubt we’ll ever get a release of SotB Season 3. The first 2 seasons were released at the dawn of TV DVD releases, and the sales were pretty bad. I figure if That’s My Bush made it to DVD, we deserve to have a complete set of Son of the Beach! And California Dreams and USA High, while we’re at it!

Another gem on Hulu is the complete series of Young Hercules. The forgotten 3rd series in the Hercules/Xena Saga, it stars Ryan Gosling as a young Kevin Sorbo. Now, when Hercules: The Legendary Journeys began, I was kinda pissed because I didn’t feel that Sorbo was jacked enough. He had brawn, but I expected him to be built. Well, imagine how much worse it was when we were given scrawny-ass Ryan Gosling to play a younger version. I’m probably the biggest male Young Ryan Gosling fan., but I’m not quite sure this show was the best use of his talents. Forget The Notebook; that guy was oozing charisma on the Mickey Mouse Club. Sure, Britney, Justin and Christina went on to be stars first, but when you see Ryan, he knows he’s too good to be there and he just looks bored. Next, check out Breaker High, where he “out-Zack Morrises” Zack Morris. Anyway, Young Hercules is still a pretty damn good show, especially considering it was created for kids, to fill the timeslot following Power Rangers. I highly suggest you check it out if you’re a fan of the Action Pack shows.

– New Knight Rider series trailer released at San Diego Comic Con. Apparently, K.I.T.T. will transform into different Ford vehicles, he gains a new Super Pursuit Mode, and the Turbo Boost is coming back. I also love the new logo. That said, I still stand by the fact that this is not a network show. Sure, they’ll benefit from the larger budget, but this thing just feels like a Saturday afternoon syndicated show on your local CW affiliate- one of the bad shows, that used to come on between The Lost World and Mutant X. NBC, it’s no longer 1982! You don’t have Brandon Tartikoff at the helm anymore and that shit just won’t fly. Stop rehashing your old ideas! Next, they’ll be casting Dakota Fanning in a Punky Brewster remake, only they’ll make her an edgy runaway or something.

-Speaking of San Diego, maybe it’s just the way that it’s being reported, but I get the impression that this year’s con wasn’t so hot. The comic announcements were pretty mediocre, and the movie stuff surrounded projects we already knew about, such as Wolverine: Origins. I’m not hearing anything about record attendance, or even seeing any good pictures. I know blogs, like Newsarama, are moving to Video Blogs and Twitter feeds, but I’m just not really hearing anything necessarily positive about this year’s show.

-Can anyone tell me the whereabouts of Natalie Merchant? We haven’t heard from her in ages. Something tells me she’s busy in a cabin somewhere, cutting up magazines and creating death threat notes to send to Norah Jones.

-I simply had to share a conversation I had with Keith tonight. The power’s out in parts of Timonium, and I was trying to convince him that this was a sign for him to go hook up with this chick who’s clearly bad news (why do I want him messing with a girl who’s so bad? I like drama).
Keith: So, you’re trying to tell me that this is a sign from God that I should go hook up with this girl?

Me: Not “God” God. A lesser god. I think it’s the Egyptian god of pussy, Pusiris.

Well, I thought it was funny…

-I’ll end tonight with a note on family. A few weeks ago, I attended a family reunion on my dad’s side. While there, I learned that Buffy’s principal is my cousin. Yeah, the black one who banged Faith. Turns out David Bryant Woodside, AKA D.B. Woodside, AKA The Bad President Palmer, has got some West blood in him! That was pretty cool to hear. Too bad he wasn’t there. Also, today would’ve been my dad’s birthday. 82 years old. I shit you not. I hope to God I have my kids at a “normal” age…

29th Jul2008

The Dark Knight – A Review

by Will

“I believe in Harvey Dent.”

joker-poster-for-the-dark-knight

The Dark Knight. OK, so I promised this last week, but I felt I needed to distance myself from the movie enough to really do this justice. Then, I realized there are enough reviews out there, and they’re all glowing. What did I honestly have to bring to the table? Did I love the movie? Yes! Did it make me want to renew my popeship in the Church of Batman? Hells Yeah! However, like every fanboy, a couple of things popped into my head during the movie:

-Nice touch, having Joker kill Spawn. You mean you don’t know what I’m talking about? Black mobster, nice suit? That’s Michael Jai White, who played Spawn in the movie where he was trying to kill President Bartlett…

-How did Joker survive the same fall that killed Gwen Stacey?

– I finally understand what it’s like to live in Gotham City: to witness a clown, dressed as a nurse, blow up a hospital, in broad daylight

– OK, so who didn’t see the Rachel Dawes demise coming? Her role was important enough to recast, yet she’s a Batman character who no one’s heard of? Yeah…

– So, Batman now pretty much has a God’s Eye view on Gotham City. That’s the kind of guy who might one day build a satellite to spy on all of his Super Friends. Hmm..

-I wish I had an Alfred. No, I wish I had Michael Caine as my Alfred.

-I love that every new Batman movie includes a “Bruce Wayne is a Dick” scene. It’s like watching deleted scenes from American Psycho, and I still think the Bruce Wayne persona is more fascinating than people give it credit. I think the “I believe in Harvey Dent” slogan is pretty cheesy, but if you really take it to heart, it kinda grows on you.

-Anybody watch Gotham Knight? OK, then why the Hell did they go to the lengths of making us like Anna Ramirez, just to have her turn out to be the 24-esque mole (and why were the creators afraid to call her who she really was: Renee Montoya?)? OK, I can kind of understand why, but I still don’t really get the purpose of that DVD. It didn’t accomplish anything, and it would’ve had more of an impact if it had been released a year ago, as something to hold us over, and included the voices of the actual cast, a la the Hellboy animated DVD series.

– What was with that Batman voice? I think I’m just programmed to only like Kevin Conroy at this point.

-Heath was terrifying. I mean, that performance was incredible, and it certainly paints Joker in a new light. It’s easy to lose sight of what his primary motive is: nothing. There’s no logic, rhyme, nor reason to what he does. I just read Batman: Strange Apparitions, where Joker decided to kill everyone whose name was a palindrome. He opened up the phone book, and went in alphabetical order. That’s how twisted he is! Batman *is* the reason the criminals have upped the ante. When you’ve got a guy dressed as a bat, beating up criminals, it’s going to inspire more colorful foes. At times, he seems to realize this, but he refuses to accept it. If he’d just quit, I kinda feel like the mob would take over Gotham, and all the gimmick villains would simply move to Metropolis….

– So, who’s gonna make all of Batman’s gear now?

-Once again, nice touch moving Bruce to Wayne Tower. That happened back in the 70s, when he felt that the mansion was too far away from the city for him to be effective. I actually feel it’d be a harder secret to keep, what with city planning and all, but it was a nice touch, nonetheless.

-So, they hired Cillian Murphy for 5 minutes? OK…

-And what a letdown on the Anthony Michael Hall tip. His role had been top secret for months, and we all thought he’d be someone we know, like Firefly or maybe a revamped Bob the Goon. Instead, he’s just Random News Guy.

-If there’s one thing I’ve learned that Batman and The Hulk have in common, it’s that they both hate those fucking dogs…

-It’s OK, Bruce – you dodged a bullet. Rachel wasn’t gonna age well anyway…

Now, I’ve been in a state of Batman overload since watching The Dark Knight. In the past 10 days, I have read the following:

Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1 TP
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2 TP
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 3 TP
Batman: The Long Halloween TP
Batman: Dark Victory TP
Batmn: Ego GN
Batman Adventures: The Lost Years TP
Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia GN

That’s over 1500 pages of Batman! Then, to cap it off, I watched all of Disc 1 of season 4 of Batman: The Animated Series (AKA “The Good Cartoon”). Let’s just say that even I think I’ve gone too far. That said, I realized a new side of Batman, a sadder side. You see, most of those books encompass the period early in his career, as seen in The Dark Knight. The interesting part of that era is that Bruce Wayne seemed to think that “Batman” was temporary. As you even see in the movie, he dreams of the day that crime will be vanquished, and a good, noble, public hero can take his place. He saw Harvey Dent as that person. Bruce felt that one day, he could just walk away and lead a normal life. That doesn’t happen.

I just find that so interesting & depressing – he basically got stuck in a dead-end job, and struggles to accept it(See? It happens to rich people, too!). Declaring a war on crime is akin to declaring a war on terror – it’s a bit naive to believe that there can ever been an end to that war, plus that battle comes at a price. He had to sacrifice his own happiness, his own life, so that he could keep his promise to his dead parents, and rid the streets of crime. Now, Batman’s a pretty intelligent guy. By some accounts, he’s the most intelligent character in the DCU. Now, that said, I find it odd that someone so smart could convince himself that the impossible was actually possible. He’s certainly got a masochistic side, but he couldn’t hope to win. Maybe it was his pampered upbringing, or just the desire to please his parents, but I just don’t see how he ever thought there’d be an end to this life once he put on the cape. Or maybe he’s just punishing himself. Survivor’s Guilt? And I think there’s a story there: at what point did he realize he was in it for the Long Haul? Does he even realize that currently? In early stories, he thinks he’ll one day win, but lately, it seems like he’s Batman because he doesn’t know how to be anything else. The current approach occasionally drives him to do rash things, like keep files on how to kill his friends or build a sentient satellite to spy on those same friends. I just wonder, 9 years into his career, does he even want to stop? Could he stop? What would he do if he did stop being Batman? Like I said, I really think there’s a story there.

Anyway, The Dark Knight was incredible. If you haven’t seen it, you’re no longer my friend.

18th Jul2008

A Dent In The White House?

by Will

“He must’ve had fun making those!”

OK, so I saw The Dark Knight tonight. All I’m going to say right now is that it was a very good movie. Not gonna say “it was awesome” or “it was the best fucking movie ever”, because that would be way too “fanboy”. I will say, however, that it was a very good movie. I’ve got a post coming up, but I’ll wait til Monday, to give the rest of you peasants a chance to see it.

While sitting in the theatre, though, something occurred to me:

Imagine you had a biracial candidate for high public office. Everyone feels that he is the change that people need and want, and all of this responsibility is on his shoulders. He is the future, but it’s still quite the burden to bear. All of this pressure has got to manifest in him in some, odd way. Well, imagine if there was a cartoon depiction of said candidate. He would probably look something like this:

And we all remember what happened to him

Just sayin’, folks! Just sayin’…Not a sermon; just a thought!.

Anyway, come back for the full review on Monday. Oh, and The Watchmen trailer is a piece of shit.

06th May2008

Aiken-Blasting Minivans & Sad Clowns

by Will

“When I get to Nova Scotia, I might as well just take my pants off at the airport.”

It was an interesting weekend. Some we’ll talk about, some we’ll save for later. In any case, there were 2 sights that stuck with me:

1) A minivan whipped around a corner, driven by somebody’s grandma, blasting Clay Aiken. I mean blasting. What ever’s the opposite of bassing (“trebling”?), this was it. The icing on the cake, however, was the vanity plate that said “Claym8”. Now, I’ve certainly heard of the Claymates (Clay’s legion of fans, similar to Barry’s “Fanilows”), but I never thought they really existed. I thought they were mythical beings, like unicorns and black Republicans. Yet and still, before my eyes, I was seeing the end of civilization. Which was only seconded by #2…

2) On the way to work on Sat, I passed a Chrysler being driven by a sad, old clown. An old clown. Driving a damn car. Nowhere near a circus. Maybe he was as distraught with humanity as I. Maybe he’d just driven by the Claym8 chick. In any regard, there’s nothing like a sad clown to really get your day off to a bad start. Clowns really can’t win. A happy clown is creepy, while a sad clown is offputting.

Who knew there was such thriving nightlife in Frederick?

Ladies, as we head into warmer weather, remember this important tip: if you don’t have ankles, you shouldn’t be wearing capris. It’s that simple.

BTW, if you haven’t already, you should definitely go see Iron Man. It’s not a standard “comic book movie”, and you’ll love it just for Robert Downey, Jr. And if you are a comic fan, remember to stay until the credits are over.

Leave it to me to have the hot friend who goes on the Richard Simmons cruise. Yeah, I can’t explain it either…

03rd Mar2008

Jonas Bros, MTV Dating Shows, and College Road Trip

by Will

“That girl is nuttier than a Porta-Potty at a peanut festival.”

Yeah, I promised an answer to the whole “why did I expect to die last weekend?” cliffhanger, but I don’t really feel like writing about that. Don’t worry – like San Diego, I’ll get to it, but that’s not where my head is right now. After all, that was 2 weeks ago! Anyway, here is where my head is right now:

-It seems that every year, around this time, I write a post that’s supposed to be introspective. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I name names, or come off as bitter, it comes back to bite me. Anyway, these posts are merely me having a breakthrough. Regardless, I have a feeling this is going to be misconstrued as one of those posts: “Make Up Sex”? Really? That exists? Well, let me just inform you that, when your fights are based around the lack of sex, there’s no such thing as Make Up Sex. That’s got to be the one fight that’s not worth having. Or is it the only fight worth having? Think on that for a moment…

Now, on to the pop culture part of our game:

– I don’t like Craig Bierko. You might not know him by name, but you’ll know his face. I always rememeber him as the scumbag husband in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. I just hate looking at him. It’s something about his face. I feel the same way about Kyle McLachlan and Gwyneth Paltrow; just seeing them throws me into a violent rage! Why was I thinking about Bierko? Well, I was watching Unhitched, on Fox, about 4 friends recently thrown back into the single game. On the plus side, it’s a “Fox show”. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I love a good “Fox show”. It’s the kind of show that panders to the lowest common denominator, and it’s usually characterized by the fact that it has no laugh-track. Fox was the network to really get onboard the single camera, no-studio-audience sitcom that’s everywhere these days. On the con side, it’s a “Fox show”. As much as I love the style of Fox remembering its roots, very rarely is the quality any good. Instead, there’s usually one really funny/controversial episode that gets enough attention for you to remember it years down the road as some kind of cult hit. Unhitched will be unhitched from Fox’s schedule within the next 6 weeks. Count on it.

-I was really into “When You Look Me in the Eyes”, by The Jonas Brothers, and I really couldn’t figure out why. Then, it hit me: for all of you lovers of crapy pop, the next time the song comes on, try singing the lyrics to Lonestar’s “I’m Already There”. Go ahead, I’ll wait…Hear what I mean? I hate to admit, but I was a Lonestar fan. They only had 2 hits that I cared about, but it was a pretty unmistakable melody. Plus, the whole “singing different lyrics over old melody” game can be fun. Next time you hear Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is”, let her rip with the lyrics from BSB’s “I Want It That Way”. You’ll thank me in the morning!

-Janet, Janet, Janet…MTV, you know your “Artist of the Week” is too old for your demographic when she doesn’t even know the name of your shows. Janet, it’s Making the Band , NOT Making OF the Band. I would’ve let it go if you’d only said it once, but you say it about 7 times during one 30-second commercial. Read the cue cards, baby, read the cue cards…

-While on Making the Band, I’m loving Danity Kane’s “Damaged”. Last week, Diddy told ’em he was going to turn them into an international dance pop group, and this single is a good step in that direction. It’s got an interesting message, too: “Yeah, I’ve got a lot of baggage, which caused my heart some damage, so how’re you gonna fix it?” I love the idea that it’s the other person’s job to fix it. It’s like, “hey, if you want me, this is what you’re getting yourself into”. I’m a big fan of a “buyer beware” warning…

– Speaking of MTV, I kinda like Domenico, in that I think he’s a good guy. I think we all have that foreign-friend-with-questionable-social-skills. I know that everyone in Last Call is thinking of the same guy right now. That said, I’m really sick of the Viacom Dating Show Formula: the whole MTV/VH-1 deal where you get some washed up/pseudo celeb, put them in a mini mansion with roughly 30 members of the same/oppsite sex, and wittle down the list as you have them prove their love through foolish challenges and backstabbing.

I miss the old dating game formula, where you had a bunch of “normal people” (or as normal as you can find in southern California) use alcohol as an excuse for some hot tub centered, stress reduction sex. Seriously, I miss the old dating show archtypes: the weird, hippy new age chick; the wacky foreigner; the player; the busted, fake tits chick who’s a “model”. There were starving actors and actresses in LA who used to do nothing but make the dating show rounds. The timeline was shorter: you met, went to Bucca de Beppo or Medieval Times, and you got drunk; there was none of this 12-week nonsense. Plus, the stakes were lower back then: you just wanted sex. Who cared about another date? Nowadays, everyone’s looking for The One. On national television. Out of a pool of candidates comprised of strippers, former beauty queens, and/or biker chicks. Looking for a soulmate in a group of soulless people. The frontrunner is only making a scene so that she can wow the network execs into giving her a spin-off when everything’s said and done. And the cycle begins anew.

Back to Domenico, though. I liked the idea of him getting his own show, because I liked the dude. That said, I was over it when I watched the Preview Special, where all they did as show him in front of bluescreened stereotypical Italian scenes, like cafes and monuments.Ashley’s back?! For real? Were he and Domenico even that close during A Shot At Love? Plus, I get that Ashley came off as dumb, but I’m sick of his hillbilly minstrel act. I mean, it’s not as funny when the target isn’t exactly in on the joke. Watching the show is like a white Flavor of Love 3, as Domenico’s choices are just as busted as those that Flav’s got available to him this season. Although, I kinda liked Hunter, the au naturale chick they kicked off last night, except for those bags under her eyes…

-I’ve loved Usher’s “Make Love In This Club” since it leaked online two months back. That said, I don’t really like that it’s Usher. On the one hand, I guess I should applaud him for choosing a new style. I mean, Mariah hasn’t had an original sound since Fantasy (seriously, Touch My Body is new? It sounds like every single she’s put out over the past 10 yrs), so it’s good when an artist decides to branch out. It’s just that Usher’s been in the game long enough that I expect more from him. As far as the sound, this song is a Sean Kingston song. Rather, if you want it done right, it’s an Akon song. Just close your eyes and listen to it. That’s Akon, circa Spring 2007. I get the feeling that Usher’s grasping at straws, trying to regain his footing. After all, back in 2003, it was a heated battle between Usher and JT, as to who would be the Prince of R&B. Nobody was really taking Justin all that seriously yet, as he was still working on losing the ‘Nsync stigma. In the meantime, Usher did the a-holest/ballsiest thing by releasing Confessions. Justin had a song about how he was better than his ex, but Usher wrote a whole album about it! I’m not sure if a lot of people realize how heated the battle was; if JT and Usher were in the same club, it always ended up in a dance-off. Over the years, Usher had to deal with the drama of dropping his mom as his manager, his wedding, the backlash of Confessions, while Justin’s star simply rose. Now, you can’t swing a dead cat in music without hitting JT or Timbaland, while “Make Love In This Club” is the musical equivalent of that old man in the club, with the earring and the gold chain, thinking no one can smell the “Old Man Stench” on him. Go home, old man!

-Can I just say that I’m blown away by the concept of College Road Trip? No, it’s not the plot of the movie, but the mechanics behind the movie. First of all, did you ever, in a million years, think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence? Then, did you ever think you’d see a Disney movie starring Martin Lawrence and Donnie Osmond? Then, if you’re still with me, did you ever think you would see a Disney movie, starring Martin Lawrence, Donnie Osmond, AND had a G Rating?! Seriously, this is a big deal. The G Rating, alone, is a kicker. Think of this: the way the MPAA works, simply by virtue of having live actors, you typically get a PG rating. If you ever have some free time on your hands, try to research the number of live action, G-rated movies. The majority of G-rated movies are animated features. Hell, in recent years, even the Disney animated blockbusters, like The Incredibles, have been rated PG. So, in order to have a live action, G-rated movie, Martin can’t even say “Damn, Gina!”. He might not even be able to say “heck”. I might see this movie just to marvel at how they pull it off.

– There was an episode of Clean House on last night, and Niecy wasn’t on it. Now, I’m used to that set-up, as she doesn’t waste her time with the Clean House aftershow, Clean House Comes Clean, so I know that sometimes Brunetz, Trish, and Matt get together. What killed me, though, was the fact they they never acknowledged her absence. Sure, she might’ve been sick or on vacation. Hell, it might have been when she was recording her lines for Horton Hears A Who. I just get worried when I see that kind of stuff because it makes me think there might be a contract dispute going on. I mean, if you’ve ever watched anything on TLC or Style, you know that they have no problem recasting a show’s host, with nary an announcement or second thought. Where’s Thom’s sidekick on Dress My Nest? Where’s the original guy from What Not To Wear? Plus, there’s the notorious example of Blair from Queer Eye, being replaced by Jay between the pilot and the regular episodes. That said, Clean House has no flair without Niecy. If they ever try to oust her, a la Paige from Trading Spaces, she only needs to show them last night’s episode to prove how valuable she is to the show.

Anyway, I might be on a daily schedule this week. I’ve got a lot to say, and this was only the tip of the iceberg…

18th Feb2008

Knight Rider 2008 – A Review

by Will

“Let me tell you something about 20 year olds, my friend: half of them are 16.”

My God, did Knight Rider suck!

I really wanted to like it. I mean, besides Hasselhoff himself, nobody wanted this to work more than I did. But man, did they miss the mark.

First off, let’s start with K.I.T.T. While a Mustang Cobra is a nice muscle car, it’s not sleek like the Trans-Am. Also, one has to realize that K.I.T.T., as a concept, really isn’t that hi-tech anymore. I mean, if you gave me a car with a wi-fi linkup to Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, I’d have a car just as advanced as this one. People take for granted how pervasive and common the internet has become in recent years. There was no internet during the first show, so K.I.T.T. seemed special. Now, having a car with the OnStar system is just as good.

And let’s talk about that little “K.I.T.T. can change color” feature. It’s a sad day when Knight Rider starts stealing from a show that stole from IT! That feature is from Viper, a seldom remembered NBC/syndicated show from the mid-nineties. In it, a law enforcement agency created a souped up car to deal with those pesky, not-so-legal missions (sound familiar?). Instead of having artificial intelligence, the car merely changed color (considered an “armor mode”) and had machine guns in the running board. The show started on NBC because, mainly, they were trying to resurrect Knight Rider. Only this time, the car didn’t drive itself. Instead, they got some illegal street racer to drive it. When they had the NBC money, the car changed from red to a silver snakeskin pattern. When it went to syndication, budget cuts caused it to simply change to silver. Now that’s Knight Rider’s big gimmick? The car can change color? Don’t they already have that shit in Japan? They have everything in Japan (I swear, a couple Godzilla attacks, and they become the technological capital of the world)!

There’s something about the camera angles, too. I love that they brought back the violet-filtered desert drive montage, but really, how much shit is going down in the desert? And when they’re doing city shots, I swear it’s a Mustang commercial. There’s the standard Knight Rider camera shot sequence: show the wheel, show the hood/sensor, show the digital dash readout, show the spoiler. On the original car, a lot of these parts were custom-made, as you couldn’t get bowling ball hubcaps or a red LED scanner on a standard Trans-Am. This, however, isn’t custom; it’s concept. This car, for the most part, exists. So, when they show all the “Knight Rider” angles, it comes off looking more like the recent Escalade ad with Kate Walsh.

Speaking of original K.I.T.T., I’ve got t say, that it pained me to see the nosecone, steering wheel, and license plate just hanging around the scientist’s warehouse. Sure, they were put in as fanboy easter eggs, but why the fuck did they have to dismantle the original? He should be in a museum somewhere! Or they could have said that the government backward-engineered his parts to give us stuff like TiVo and teeth whitening strips. Plus, is the current K.I.T.T.’s AI the same as the original, or is this just based on the original? For laymen, what I’m asking is, “Is this the same ‘Mr. Feeny K.I.T.T.’ that we all know and love, just voiced by Val Kilmer, or is this an entirely new Val Kilmer-only K.I.T.T.?” Does he remember his times with Michael Knight, or has he been reprogrammed?

The casting left a lot to be desired! First, there was Justin Bruehning’s terrible delivery. He’s too angsty, even when the script doesn’t call for that. That’s what you get when you cast soap stars, I guess. Oh, look! They gave Mike a loveable, good-for-nothing sidekick. And he’s pretty much the same character as the sidekick in Chuck. And what’s the deal with Sydney Poitier? Sure, she comes from good stock, citing her dad’s resume, but she’s always put in roles where I feel she’s overcompensating. Whether it’s Grindhouse or Knight Rider, they want me to think of her as this strong, kickass woman, when I feel her performance in these roles is as empty as that of Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls. Once again, Showgirls is not necessarily a bad movie; it’s just overacted. And I haven’t been able to trust Bruce Davison ever since he was Senator Kelly and Magneto turned him into a saltwater-filled sack of goo.

Plus, I got the feeling that they were going too far trying to be edgy. Hey, look! Michael’s waking up with 2 hot chicks! Hey, look! Sydney Poitier’s a lesbian FBI agent with a penchant for one-night stands! How cliche. Next, they’ll saddle her with a drinking problem.

And The Hoff? Man, oh man, did he not need to come back for this. It’s been said, by The Hoff himself, that Knight Rider is the most important role he’s ever played. That said, he gets really protective whenever word surfaces that a Knight Rider project is afoot. Here’s the deal: He was creating a theatrical KR movie at the same time that NBC decided to do this TV movie. In fact, he’s been working on his movie for about 6 years. So, his funding falls through, but NBC’s determined to go forward with thei movie. So, he informs them of his interest, and they wrote in him. Now, here’s where it gets tricky: this movie was a backdoor pilot. I’m not sure if I’ve explained that concept before (it’s something I would mention), but it’s a movie or episode of a pre-existing show, meant to be spun off into it’s own series if the ratings are high enough. If you watched Who’s The Boss, there’s a good example where Angela vists her friend who runs a model agency, and one of the models is Leah Remini. That was spun off as a seres. The Ropers spun out of a backdoor pilot during Three’s Company. So, NBC is hoping this movie does well, so that they can launch it as a series next season, which is why they’ve been hyping the Hell out of it. Anyway, I wish Hoff had kept his distance. Let this ship sink on its own. And where the Hell was his leather jacket and jeans during the funeral? Michael KNight doesn’t own a suit. If he does, it looks like something Don Johnson would’ve worn 20 years ago. It wouldn’t havea tie. In fact, I picture Michael Knight as this guy who just wouldn’t age with the times. People would be all, “Look at my iPhone”, and he’d reply with, “Oh yeah, well my car talks and it’s got non-threatening lasers, you know, for burning locks and stuff.” And people would just walk away from him, shaking their heads. He’s the kind of guy who’d walk up to a little kid and say, “Hey, do you like Spudz MacKenzie?” That would’ve been a funnier take on the franchise. Cast Vince Vaughn (or Will Ferrell, if you must), and make it about this outdated vigilante who just hasn’t changed with the times.

Considering the formula of the original show (Michael Knight rides into town, meets girl, girl’s in trouble, he saves girl from injustice in the form of biker gang/exhusband/bootleggers/traveling band of clowns, Michael makes love to her off camera, leaves town, repeat), you’ve got to wonder how many illegitimate kids he has! I mean, he was the Knight Rider for 4 years that we know of. Just the adventures that we saw, there were about 88 ( 4 seasons, at 22 episodes each) women he could have done this to.

Anyone who’s discussed comics with me knows that I’m a continuity freak. I like to know that the order of events makes sense, and fits along a logical timeline. This movie, however, just fucked with Knight Rider continuity. The Hoff has a way of doing that; keep in mind, Mitch Buchanan died when he was blowed up by eco terrorists, and then showed up in the Baywatch Reunion movie like nothing happened. Knight Rider took place between the years of 1982-1986. Then, we were given Knight Rider 2000. Premiering in 1991, this failed backdoor pilot showed the world of Knight Rider in the year 2000, as K.I.T.T. is inside of a ’57 Chevy and Foundation for Law and Government are building a new, red Trans-Am. Just like everything from that era, it saw the future as this crazyh world where everyone would have neuro implants and drugs would be super-drugs. You thought crack was bad? Here comes Super Crack! It’s just as bad, plus it comes in virtual reality! Here it is, 2008, and crack is still whack, and the only people with implants are alien abductees, and the occasional family of experimental secular humanists. The main reason Knight Rider 2000 failed, though, was that The Hoff was meant to pass the torch to a new driver, this blonde chick with no personality. She had the aforementioned implants because she was shot in the head by her dirty partner on the force. Coincidentally, her implant was comprised on a chipset from K.I.T.T., so it was like they had a cyber bond. Well, did I mention the chick had no personality? If The Hoff came back, it might’ve worked. Keep in mind, though, had that happened, we never would’ve had Baywatch. Blessing or curse? You decide.

Next, Universal decided to give us Team Knight Rider. Broadcast for one season between 1996 and 1997, TKR followed an elite strike force comprises of 5 people from all walks of life. One was a former marine, one a hacker, one a former jewel thief, and so on. They were each paired with a vehicle that possesed an artificial intelligence that complimented their personalities. So, instead of everyone having a condescending British guy, there was more diversity in the car/truck/motorcycle personalities (Fun Fact: Kat, the jewel thief, had a motorcycle voiced by none of than Nia Vardolos of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame). Five people, five cars. No, they didn’t form Voltron. When they went to Europe, there was even a Knight Mini Pod Car. And K.I.T.T.’s AI made an appearance, while the car didn’t. The series ended on a cliffhanger, where team member Jenny learns that Michael Knight (long though dead, btw), was her father (sound familiar?). They couldn’t talk the Hoff into this one, so they just show a guy, with the Hoff’s build, from a distance. The funny thing about TKR is that it’s probably the only thing on the internet that only has 1 website devoted to it. If you don’t believe, go check. I’ll wait. Hell, even I have 2 websites! Anyway, my prob with TKR was that it took place in realtime, 1996, before the events of TKR, yet they already mentioned the death of former mentor Devon Miles, which doesn’t occur until the year 2000, as shown in the Knight Rider 2000 TV movie. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that, instead of a big rig, ther TKR headquarters was a cargo plane (sound familiar?).

And now this movie takes place in real time, 2008, but there are no implants or Super Crack or even a red Trans Am. Michael might have a ’57 Chevy, but that wasn’t mentioned. Clearly, Knight Rider 2000 never happened according to this new timeline.

Anyway, the movie was hella-hyped, and I’m pretty sure NBC’s gonna get the numbers they wanted and bring it back in the fall. It’s sad, too, because that show won’t make it to ’09 unless they launch it in January. It’s got Bionic Woman written all over it (which would’ve ben canceled regardless of the strike. Now, it’s experiencing a more quiet death). It’s not like they really have a choice, considering the strike killed most of the stuff they had in the pipeline. I just hate to think that something I loved as a child is being resustiated just so someone can shoot it in the head. I’ve written about it before, but here’s my take on Knight Rider: it ain’t Shakespeare. I will never try to tell you it’s a good show. Hell, Brandon Tartikoff developed it, and he never called it a good show. What is is, though, is an entertaining show. Tartikoff always said that the car, not Hasselhoff, was the star of the show. When envisioned, the show was supposed to revive the western, as a man rode into town, said maybe 6 words, and righted every wrong that he came in contact with. Over time, Tartikoff saw that Hasselhoff was charismatic, so that vision changed a bit. However, whenever The Hoff would rally for more money, Tartikoff never shied from reminding him that the car was the star of the show – the driver could be replaced. My relationship/history with Knight Rider is bittersweet. You ever date someone who really isn’t that attractive, on a “universal scale”, but they’re attractive to you? You know your friends don’t get it, but you just hope they have enough tact to not bring up the topic. Knight Rider is that unattractive girlfriend to me. I know she ain’t a beauty queen, but she’s attractive to me. That said, there are limits. There are even times when you have to think to yourself, “Man, so-and-so is looking pretty busted today.” Well, after watching that movie, I can say that today is that day, and that so-and-so is Knight Rider. Tune in next time, where I answer the whole “I’ll be surprised if I survive the weekend” riddle…

21st Jan2008

Dr. 90210, Katie Holmes on BET, Natasha Bedingfield, and Kate Hudson

by Will

“Hey, did you guys see that fight outside?!”

I just had the kind of weekend that I just know I’m going to look back on and regret. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I just feel kind of…off about a lot of stuff. I know I’m being cryptic, but it’s really not that deep; I’m just the type of guy who tends to regret shit. As my friend Jenna would say, I’ve got to learn to let it go. Anyway, on to the randomness.

– I swear that Dr. Rey, from Dr. 90210 is the creepiest, sketchiest son of a bitch on television. Find me a creepier dude; I dare you. From his weird-ass gangster suits to the skeezy way that he speaks to his women patients, that guy does not put me at ease. And don’t get me started on all his martial arts bullshit. Out of nowhere, he’ll just pull out a pair of nunchucks and go at it. With the exception of Michelangelo & Panthro, nobody cool has ever wielded nunchucks. They’re that weapon that sounds cool in theory, but ends up looking stupid in practice. Then, there’s his home life, which just seems so fake. It’s like he’s actually gay, but they went out and cast an actress to be his wife, who is obviously uncomfortable in the role. Any scene with him and his wife is always so scripted and dramatic. The other day, he had to go to his birth home to Argentina (?), where he was determined to get his deathbed-ridden father to admit that he loved him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rey (who looks as much like Skeletor as Finola Hughes), is bawling because she fears she’ll never see Dr. Rey again. Sweety, he’s just going on a trip. Stop your crying. Plus, I thought this show was about plastic surgery. Enough with the family drama and bring on the boobies!

– I’m about to declare the single of 2008. Yes, I know it’s early in the year, plus it’s not even an official single yet. That said, Jive would be foolish not to release it. What is it? “Break the Ice” on Britney’s Blackout album. It’s the hottest song on an entirely hot album. It’s impossible to not dance when that song comes on. It truly is the hotness. Yes, it has driven me to use the term “the hotness”. That song is so tight that I’ve actually choreographed a dance for it. I’m not talking about some little bullshit dance, either. This is a Fatima Robinson-level dance, and you better believe it won’t involve folding chairs!

– You know, Natasha Bedingfield looks great for a 37 year old. Wait…she’s actually 26? Oh

I mean, seriously, did ya see the heinous top she’s got on in her latest video? It just screams “Cougar Wear”. Get her out of Dress Barn, stat!

My deal with Natasha is that she still doesn’t seem to know what the Hell she’s doing. Her debut album was one of the most meta experiences in musical history, as she wrote an entire album pretty much describing how difficult it is to write an album. Have you ever listened to the words to “These Words”? It’s about how she couldn’t figure out what to write, so she’s just gonna sing about how hardthe process is. Really? Does that count? Is she just going for partial credit? Anyway, she’s got her new album that drops on Tuesday, and her big single, “Love Like This” features Sean Kingston. Really? Who’s bright idea was that? That’s the worst, most missmatched combo since the So So Def remix video to Jessica Simpson’s “Irresistible”, where Bow Wow’s scenes are just spliced in later, as it’s clear Jessica would never be in the same room with him. Also, Natasha’s song has no real tune. She’s just kinda screeching at notes, hoping that some of them stick. It’s like they want to present her as a singer with a 5-octave range, yet she’s not really exhibiting any control. Her manager needs to figure out what her gimmick is gonna be. What is it about Natasha Bedingfield that people should care about? What is there to kep her from becoming tomorrow’s Natalie Imbruglia or Robyn? That shit right thur is gonna be the million dollar question.

– Oh, thank all that is holy for the miracle of TLC’s Smash Lab. A show dedicated to blowing shit up and wrecking shit. You know, for science. For every Real Housewives of Orange County and Intervention that we have to put up with, every now and then someone presents us with shows we really want to watch, like this one.

– Speaking of smashing shit, Burnout is the best/worst therapy for social deviants. In fact, I’m starting to believe that video games really can corrupt today’s youth. I mean, I was never a gamer. Yet, I picked up Burnout 2, and found that I had an affinity for causing NASTY multicar collisions on the highway. Not only did Burnout allow it – it encouraged it. So, I found myself begin rewarded for causing property damage and killing as many school bus children as possible. And I couldn’t stop. I spent 8 hrs devising the sickest, gnarliest, audacious car collisions possible. And you know what? I’d do it again. I’m THAT sick. Thanks a lot, Burnout

– So, Katie Holmes was making the talk show rounds last week to promote her new movie, Mad Money. Best Week Ever made fun of the fact that she didn’t really have anything to say. She’d drop little worthless anecdotes about Suri which, as BWE put it, it sounded like she was describing a child that she had just met. “Oh, she’s got a good temperament.” What I felt needed discussing, however, was her surprise appearance on BET’s 106 & Park. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. For the uninformed, 106 & Park is BET’s version of TRL, only people actually watch 106 & Park. So, Katie comes on to present her costar, Queen Latifah, with the Golden Globe she’d won a few nights earlier (ya know, since the strike pretty much killed the Globes ceremony). I have never heard of a more inappropriate person to be in the BET studio. Let me explain: half them folks ain’t never seen Dawson’s Creek. Nor have they seen Go. And she was the most throwaway part of Batman Begins. So, I’d just love to know how it felt to be in the middle of the collective “who the fuck does this bitch think she is?” mentality that must’ve been running rampant in the studio audience.

– This is going to be controversial, but I feel I have to go here. I’ve a theory on what must be the best part about being a gay male: the clothes. Allow me to explain. There’s some shit out there that a straight gay just isn’t allowed to wear. For example, I was at Busboys and Poets tonight, and there was a grown man wearing a vintage boy scout uniform, complete with bandana neck kerchief. That shit is bold. Now, I’m not saying I’d want to wear it, but I’d like to be able to should I so feel the desire. For a straight guy, you wear that, and people start to talk. “Oh, Will must be gay.” Or “What the hell was he thinking?” However, if I were gay, people would see me in that shit and just say, “Oh well, he’s gay, so…” It’s like a free pass. If I were a gay man, I could wear a picnic tablecloth as a cape, Adidas sweatbands on my ankles, along with a belt made of McDonalds ketchup packets, and they’d be copying that shit on Project Runway. You could be a gay guy with no fashion sense, and no one would know because stereotypes support that all gay men are fashion pioneers. That’s some bullshit and it needs to stop. Some of us straight guys wanna be fashionably daring, too. It just ain’t fair! Yes, I realize there are a ton of cons that are heavier than my shallow pro. I have a friend who said she wished she was Black just so that she would be able to get away with wearing bright colors. Yeah, I realize my argument is just as fucked up as her statement right there. Sure, it’s more about confidence than sexual orientation, but I just wish we didn’t have these hang-ups. Maybe I’m just looking for excuses. Look for my new line, Bromosexual, in Fall 2008.

– Am I the only one who finds it funny that Kate Hudson only gets the roles that would have gone to Goldie Hawn 20 yrs ago? What’s weird about that, you say? Well, it’s weird considering Kate’s Goldie’s daughter. I mean, has this ever happened before in Hollywood? Kiefer Sutherland sure as hell doesn’t play the same roles as Donald Sutherland. Charlie Sheen sure ain’t taking those Martin Sheen roles. It’s odd that Kate and Goldie are so interchangeable. Watch the trailer for Fool’s Gold. You swap out Matthew McConaughey with Kurt Russell and you’ve got Overboard. Think about that for a bit.

Anyway, Happy MLK Day to y’all with good, government jobs. While you’re drinking your lattes and catching up on your Tivo, I’ll be busting my ass making sure no comics get lost shipping from Korea. I have a dream, as well. I see Black children and White children holding hands, as the White children introduce their new Black friends to the magical world of comic books. And the Black children will fall in love with the medium and begin to buy comics for themselves. And enough comics will eventually be bought by these Black children that the industry will have to acknowledge this audience exists, and will have to shut down on MLK day for fear of backlash. Thank God Almighty, for fear of backlash…

16th Jan2008

Spider-Man: One More Day, One Tree Hill, and Patrick Warburton

by Will

“Crackheads’ll wobble, but they won’t fall down.”

Watching Katt Williams, while reading an article on the dynamics of the Clinton-Gore relationship during the 2000 elections. That, folks, is a great example of how complex and screwed up I am…Anyway, it’s been some time since I’ve posted, so I figured I was overdue. Here’s just a random sampling of things on my mind at the moment. You know the drill:

-So, Spider-Man’s got no wife now. Huh. Not quite sure how to take that. For those of you who don’t read comics, but only know the Spidey story via the movies, here’s a recap: in the comic, Spider-Man and MJ have been married since the 80’s (it’s only been about 5 years in their timeline). She knew he was Spider-Man, and he had the benefit of having a hot-ass, supermodel/actress wife. I always hated that.

Spider-Man is the everyman hero. People like the character because they see themselves in him. He’s the underdog. He just can’t catch a break. He struggles with his bills, he wrestles with the guilt surrounding the deaths of loved ones, and he really just wants to find “the big happy”, to borrow from another source. Despite all this, he had a hot-ass supermodel/actress for a wife. You know what that means? No matter how bad of a day he had, he would always get to come home…to supermodel sex. I (and probably you, if you’re reading this) will never experience supermodel sex, but I figure it ranks somewhere between winning the lottery and getting an extra McNugget in your 6-piece. I can’t feel sorry for that guy. Yeah, your uncle died and your old girlfriend was thrown off a bridge. So what? You’ve got supermodel sex. It’s a cure-all, kinda like Vick’s Vaporub (there’s NOTHING that can’t be cured by Vick’s!).

Anyway, they went through the usual comic/soap opera stuff: they got married, she got kidnapped, he found her, she got pregnant, baby was kidnapped, baby was forgotten about like Judy on Family Matters, MJ got on plane, plane blew up, Peter grieved and moved on, turns out death was faked, they reconcile, they separate, they reconcile, his aunt gets shot, he sacrifices marriage to save geriatric aunt, marriage never happened. Rinse and repeat.

Yeah, due to the fact that they ran out of ideas, the great comic people had Spidey reveal his identity as Peter Parker to the world (long story!). This, of course, paints a target on him and his family. Crime boss puts a hit on Spidey, and thug ends up shooting his Aunt May instead. Peter, then, MAKES A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL. Yes, THE Devil, who brings his aunt back to life but at the cost of the pure, rare love that Peter and MJ share. Huh? That’s just as stupid as some fat sea witch stealing my voice and keeping it in a clam. Apparently, the guilt over having his old ass aunt getting caught in the crossfire just ruined the idea of supermodel sex for him. That poor bastard. So, even though she’s 80 and probably gonna die soon anyway, Peter takes THE DEVIL (!) up on his offer and brings his aunt back to life. Yeah, nothing bad could result from this. This, in effect, resets the world so that the marriage never happened. Ever. I can’t even get into everything that’s wrong with this idea…And I’m finding that I actually miss MJ. Instead of being “just that hot chick”, she grounded Peter and let him know that the little guy can win every now and then. Plus, there was the sex. And he had to go and throw it all away!

-I finally saw Transformers. Yeah, I’m sure a lot of you figured that I would be in line on opening day, but I’ve actually never been much of a Transfan. The lore is just too confusing, and the concept just seems kind of boring after a bit. Just as G.I.Joe will never beat Cobra, the Autobots will never beat the Decepticons. The ongoing battle between good and evil. And that gets boring. On top of that, the company with the TF comic license is one of my biggest accounts. Over the summer, I had Transformers coming out of the ass, as I had to coordinate things with the movie release. By the time the movie actually came out, the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and watch it. Anyway, I really liked that movie, especially more than I thought I would. Megan Fox is gorgeous (“David Silver” is a lucky, lucky man!) and Shia was a good leading…kid. All in all, it was a really good movie. Not a great movie, but a really good one.

-I also saw Juno, which is one of my favorite movies of the past 5 years. It was excellent. It had that Ghost World sensibility without all of the aloofness. Juno would be the perfect girlfriend (you know, without the whole “accidental pregnancy” angle). I can only hope that my wife yells, “Thundercats are GO!” when her water breaks…

-The best part of Scott Baio is 46…and Pregnant is the music. I mean, last season, he was kind of a jerk, but you got where he was coming from: he was afraid of commitment. This season, however, he’s just a dick. The entire time, though, the soundtrack is blasting the songs you danced to at your 1987 prom. I swear it’s like playing GTA: Vice City…Anyway, I think the music is to remind us that Scott hasn’t really done anything in the past 20 yrs.

-I’m convinced that Patrick Warburton is the Cree Summer of the 21st century! I mean, is there an animated show where he doesn’t voice a character?! Sure, his legacy is probably going to be Puddy, but if you just IMDB the guy, you’ll realize he’s ev-er-y-where.

-Speaking of TV, I’ve got a problem with MTV’s Made. I’m sure I’ve probably written about this before, but it’s killing me how everyone, at the end, is successfully…Made. I know that’s terrible, and I should be rooting for them, but some of this shit is just out of left field. You get a weird, social outcast who does nothing but talk shit about all the popular kids in school. What does she want to be? Homecoming queen! So, not only do you have to give her a makeover and hope it sticks, but you’ve also got to convince the entire school to like her, despite her past transgressions. Do you know how evil teenagers are? Do you really think this will work? But it does! How much did MTV pay those classmates? Or, take the overweight, sporty-spice tomboy. What does she want to be made into? A model. WTF?! So, they get as close as they can. They decide to make her a plus-size model. They give her a fashion coach and send her to fashion week in NYC. And in the end, she makes it. I want to see a week of Almost Made, where the kid either fails or gives up. I need some balance to this fantasy.

-Thank Yahweh that One Tree Hill is back! Let me explain my history with this show. While everyone was jumping on The OC‘s bandwagon, I hitched my wagon to the little- show-that-could on The WB. It was a trite story, a modern day Cain & Abel story, set on a basketball court. Trust me, that’s deeper than they’ve ever acheived. But that was the gist of it. I found myself watching the show because I had a crush on Bethany Joy Galeotti (nee Lenz). I loved watching the struggle of Lucas and Nathan Scott, as they vied for the title of Best B-Baller in Tree Hill. I found myself madly in love with the adorable Sophia Bush, and the addition of Boy Meets World‘s. Minkis was the icing on the cake. It’s so much like Dawson’s Creek, even though people fail to recognize it. You watch it and find yourself saying, “Real kids don’t talk like that”. Just like the Creek, these kids try so hard. There’s so much angst and, to them, there’s so much at stake. I give it the Center Stage award, as (just like that movie) the actors pour their hearts and souls into a weak-ass plot. Here we are, 5 years later, and OTH has outlasted The OC, and is finally attracting an audience. With the strike going on, this is pretty much the only show I watch. Yes, I am a 15 year old girl…

This post goes out to Tracie in Arizona. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one reading this thing 🙂 If anyone else is reading this (besides James, Jenn, JJ, Tarek and King Kong), make yourself known!

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