Monday, December 03, 2007

Visitors Welcome

It's been a while since I last visited the topic of humorous Google searches that brought people to my web log. My most visited post is Casting Call where I asked readers who would play you in the movie about my life. Countless visitors found their way here by way of image searches for Jeremy Piven on John Stockton. The funny thing is, the Google Image Search for John Stockton brings up the image of Jim Caviezel, whom I said would play John Stockton from that time we met when I was nine. My posts on 1980's Entertainment are also still popular with web surfers. Below are some of the more interesting search phrases over the past few months.

(The hyper links are to blog entries that discuss those topics, although usually not in the searcher's intended context.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Best of Kevin

Since the last two episodes of The Office were light on Kevin moments, here's a video I strung together (5:06) featuring the Best of Kevin Malone (played by Brian Baumgartner) from Seasons 1-3. If you look closely, you might notice evidence of Kevin's secret relationship with Pam. Or you might see me manipulating the video to make it seem like there was a secret relationship between Kevin and Pam.

A bit of trivia: Brian Baumgartner was once roommates with Ed Helms, who plays Andy Bernard on The Office. You can see my Andy Bernard videos here and here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Can we have our money now?

I love funny product placement. A previous example on this web log featured Carl Weathers plugging Burger King. In the video shown below (0:49) we have cast members of 30 Rock shilling for Verizon Wireless. Some day I'll include the clips of The Office with the paper shredder from Staples.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dog Bites Own Foot

Our old friend Dog the Bounty Hunter is in the news this week, and once again it's not because of something good. You might recall that last year Duane "Dog" Chapman, who along with Air Bud and Shrulk make up the Entertainment News Mascot Trifecta, was in the national spotlight when he surrendered to authorities for violating the extradition treaty between the US and Mexico by bringing a convicted rapist across the border. This time he's in trouble for saying a naughty word. For those who haven't heard, he a used a word that begins with the letter N when referring to his son's girlfriend who is of African decent. This is similar to the events of a year ago when Michael Richards (aka Kramer from Seinfeld) also used "the N word." I commented about that and how it compared to Mel Gibson's situation here. I could say the same things I said then, which would pretty much involve drudging up some accusations of hypocrisy, but I won't. I don't want to sound like I'm letting Dog off the hook. In fact, effective immediately, he has been suspended from the Entertainment News Mascot Trifecta and temporarily replaced by The Weekly World News' Bat Boy.

Dog is apparently blaming his lapse in judgment on color blindness. "I thought that I was cool enough in the black world to be able to use that word as a brother to a brother. ...I now learned I'm not black at all." When I read that, I was reminded of the eloquent eugoogaly delivered by Derek at the funeral in the movie Zoolander: "Rufus, Brint, and Meekus were like brothers to me. And when I say brother, I don't mean, like, an actual brother, but I mean it like the way black people use it. Which is more meaningful I think." So if I understand Dog correctly, he's saying the exact same thing as Derek Zoolander but substituting "the N word" for "brother." Call me pessimistic, but I could have told him going in that his plan wouldn't fly.

So now Dog is making the rounds on the talk shows apologizing to anyone who will listen as he tries to salvage his career (A&E has suspended production of his show). Judging from past celebrity mishaps, things will blow over in a few months and he'll be back. Until then, you can come here and watch the clip below (1:39) which I strung together and originally posted here as part of one of the initial Entertainment News Web Log entries.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Black Guy from Predator

With all the political campaigning going on, you'd think it was an election year. You'd be wrong. We still have an entire year of politicking to endure until the next election. And while the presidential race is getting most of the attention, 11 states will also be electing a governor. I'm here today to appeal to the voters of those 11 states. You know who you are. Who am I kidding? Most of you probably don't even know who your governor is, let alone when he or she is up for reelection. No matter. If your governor is up for reelection next year, Carl Weathers wants your vote. You know Carl. He's Apollo Creed in most of the Rocky movies. You younger kids might know him better as Chubbs Peterson from Happy Gilmore. He's also the black guy from Predator, as he explains in this video (1:51) announcing his candidacy for governor.

Though not quite as appropriately titled as The Running Man, the other movie featuring Govs. Schwarzenegger and Ventura, Predator does have Carl Weathers, the black guy from Predator. (Interestingly, it also has Sonny Landham who, not wanting to be left out, ran for governor of Kentucky in 2003). Weathers is great because of his ability to make fun of himself, which instantly lifts any actor's esteem in my eyes. A classic example of this is the three episodes of Arrested Development, where Carl played a sly, penny-pinching version of himself, as seen below (3:39). I especially like the plug for Burger King. So remember, if Election Day ever does arrive, don't forget to vote for Carl Weathers.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall TV Review

Now that the Fall Television Season is fully underway I thought it a good time to evaluate what's currently worth watching on TV. Before we begin, I would like to comment briefly on the threat of strike by members of the Writers Guild of America. Without getting bogged down with the details behind the labor dispute, I will comment on the effects. To sum it up, the threat seems like a good thing. An actual strike would be a bad thing. Allow me to elaborate. A sudden absence of writers would mean scripted shows would suffer and we could see an acute increase in the number of non-scripted shows. That's bad. I know some of you out there are fans of Dancing with the Stars and I think I speak for us all when I say Dog the Bounty Hunter represents a cleverly delicious slice of home-grown Americana, but any more so-called reality TV would drive me up the wall. As a result, nervous studios are stockpiling scripts and scripted shows. They have been slow to cancel under-performing shows for fear that they might run out of replacement content. That's good. I don't see how canceling a show without airing all of the completed episodes does anybody any good. It just angers people like me, who have the terrible curse of liking unsuccessful shows. So what shows have I picked this year? Will my luck change? The fact that most of what I watch is on NBC, the fourth most watched network, suggests it won't. Below, in no particular order, are the shows I am currently following.

Life (Wednesdays on NBC): A drama about a detective who is given a second chance. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) stars as complex, offbeat Detective Charlie Crews, who returns to the force after serving 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. This is my favorite new show this season. Detective Crews is just one of those fascinating characters. The patience and quirkiness he picked up in prison is just enough to irritate his partner (played by former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Sarah Shahi), which are the best moments of each episode. The actual cop drama part of the show is nothing new, but Lewis makes treading through the cliches worth it. What has me hooked is the ongoing background story about Crews trying to solve the crime for which he had been convicted. Each episode lets you in on a new detail. I'd really like to see this show stick around for a while.

House (Tuesdays on Fox): Speaking of fascinating characters, Hugh Laurie's Dr. Gregory House is the most intriguing character on TV. Based on Sherlock Holmes (with Dr. Wilson as his Watson), this investigator solves medical mysteries. He's brilliant yet mad. Last season saw him reach the brink of pure insanity by considering an injection to the brain to stimulate happiness. This season we've seen him jam a knife into a outlet just to have a near-death experience. None of this would work without Laurie in the role. Also, I'm still trying to figure where the casting carousel will stop with House auditioning a new team. It's a welcome, but not entirely necessary departure from the show's usual formula.

Chuck (Mondays on NBC): Computer geek Chuck Bartowski is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent. When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at a Buy More Electronics store (A funny imitation of Best Buy). Instead of fighting computer viruses, he must now confront assassins and international terrorists. This hour-long action sitcom is light enough to not take itself too seriously. Instead it's mocking all the action shows that have come before it. Some of the story lines are weak and at times it really comes across as being low budget, but so far I like it. My concern is all that happened in the first episode to set up the plot hasn't been explained all that well in subsequent episodes, which I fear would leave newcomers somewhat lost.

Journeyman (Mondays on NBC): A romantic mystery-drama about a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives. Along the way, he also must deal with the difficulties and strife at work and home brought on by his sudden disappearances. I don't really expect this show to last. It comes across as a sort of knock off of Quantum Leap, which is fine, but it spends too much time focused on the main character's personal problems, leaving the actual time traveling and life fixing as an afterthought. Journeyman certainly has potential, however. Also, the opening theme, which can be heard below (0:31) by pressing play on the Jukebox Player, is pretty sweet.

Friday Night Lights (Fridays on NBC): This series centers on the small rural town of Dillon, Texas, where the coveted state football championship rings are held in the highest regard. The Dillon Panther's faced many challenges their first season with Coach Eric Taylor at the helm, but after much hard work, determination and a victory at the State Championship Game, the team's fate at the start of yet another new season and the Taylor family's future with them, continues to remain uncertain. The second season picked up right where the first left off: with mounds of drama and I'd say things are a little too dramatic right now. Lyla Garrity, who recently found Jesus, is about the only character who seems to be happy. But it's still good TV and I'm happy to see Landry (great Texas football name) hook up with Tyra, even if it was a murder that brought them together. Love that teen angst.

My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, The Office, Scrubs (Thursdays on NBC): The evening's nickname is "Comedy Done Right" and I would agree. These are probably the four funniest shows currently on network TV. Scrubs has gotten a little stale in its old age and My Name is Earl has too much gay stuff, but overall, these two hours are where it's at. I've especially found myself growing more fond of 30 Rock. Below is a sample from last night's episode (4:59) showcasing Tracy Morgan and the resurgent Alec Baldwin.

My Other Shows: I still watch Without a Trace and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, both of which have gotten old and tired, especially Without a Trace which I'm starting to find really boring. I've also been watching reruns of The Sopranos (Wednesdays on A&E) and have gotten into it. It's a good show with interesting characters, but it's also way overrated. I think the entire fourth season passed with the most dramatic thing being the fallout from a fat joke. I had been watching Heroes (Mondays on NBC), but it was just moving too slowly for my liking, so I've decided to stockpile a few episodes. Maybe by watching multiple episodes at a time, the plot might advance enough.

On recommendations from others I have recorded some episodes of Reaper (Tuesdays on CW) and Pushing Daisies (Wednesdays on ABC), but haven't gotten around to watching either. If you would like to recommend shows to Entertainment News readers, you can do so in the comment section.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Remembering the Titans

I was watching Remember the Titans on TV recently. It's kind of funny to think that so many of the cast members are still finding work, particularly on NBC. Below is a where-are-they-now revisiting of key cast members from the 2000 movie that got Disney rolling in the based-on-a-true-story sports sub-genre.

Denzel Washington (Coach Herman Boone)

Mr. Washington's career is about where it's always been. He's still plugging along in movies that without him would bomb at the box office. With him, however, they make enough to make sure his next movie will get made. Next up he's got American Gangster with Russell Crowe and from the trailers, it appears that even though he's the bad guy, it's the same stern-but-righteous Denzel character we've seen countless times before. After that he'll step into shoes long since warn out by the likes of Sidney Poitier, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Kevin Kleine, Morgan Freemen and of course Robin Williams as he tackles the based-on-a-true-story inspirational teacher role in The Great Debaters. Doesn't sound too far off from his based-on-a-true-story inspirational coach role in Remember the Titans.

Wood Harris & Ryan Hurst (Julius Campbell & Gerry Bertier)

As far as the actual Titan football players go, these two were the central characters of the movie. While both are still working, neither has done anything particularly noteworthy as of late. Harris has a number of limited release movies coming out while Hurst does prime time drama guest appearances.

Ethan Suplee (Louie Lastik)

In what is probably the funniest character on the show, Suplee has found a home on NBC's Thursday night's My Name is Earl as Earl's extremely dimwitted brother Randy. Even when his character is trying to be bad, you can't help root for him. Perhaps his greatest moment was when he declared himself the Anti-Earl and made a list of the good things he had done in is life and then went about trying to make them wrong. That lasted about half an episode. Now that he's managed to get himself a job as a guard at Earl's prison, hilarity will no doubt ensue.

Donald Faison (Petey Jones)

Next week Mr. Faison will join Mr. Suplee on NBC's "Comedy Done Right" Thursday night lineup when Scrubs returns for its seventh and final season. I for one would like to take the opportunity to plug said lineup. After a summer of catch up via DVD rentals and syndicated reruns, I can now say I have seen every episode NBC's four Thursday night comedies (My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, Scrubs and The Office). Even though these shows finally seem to be building an audience, it really bugs me how NBC has the best shows but gets the worst ratings. I'll comment on that more in the days to come.

Ryan Gosling (Alan Bosley)

When the movie came out, if someone where to ask to you which Titans football player would be the first to get an Academy Award nomination would you honestly have said Mr. Gosling? After starring as the hero in the ultra chick flick The Notebook, Gosling hit the independent film circuit and got himself some Oscar recognition for Half Nelson about an inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit. More recently he went toe to toe with Anthony Hopkins in Fracture and next it's another odd indie flick Lars and the Real Girl. Busy guy.

Hayden Panettiere (Coach Yoast's 9-year-old daughter Sheryl)

Another one of NBC's big stars, Ms. Panettiere used her cheerleader movie experience in Bring It On: All or Nothing to land the role of the self-regenerating cheerleader Claire Bennet on Heroes. Yes, it seems that when they saved the cheerleader they did in fact save the world, although after watching the ending of the season one finale a few times, I can't really figure out how. Heroes is a good show, but (1) not enough happens to advance the storyline at a pace I would like and (2) it takes itself a little too seriously for being a cheap knock off of X-men. Whatever. Panettiere seems to have the teen angst mastered which should help her character be a part of many more fun-filled adventures caused her own stupidity.

Kate Bosworth (Bertier's girlfriend Emma Hoyt)

Ms. Bosworth has had probably the biggest rise to fame since Titans. After starring in Blue Crush she was lucky enough to Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! before portraying Sandra Dee opposite Kevin Spacey in the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea. Then she hit it big as Lois Lane in Superman Returns. Up next she has a slate full of movies, none of which is really worth mentioning at this point, but who knows, they could end up being interesting. There's always the chance of another Superman movie.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Every so often I see a movie poster that just makes my insides churn. Don't get me wrong. It's not as though I was a huge fan of the Chipmunks and remaking it is messing with something classic. I even like Jason Lee from his work on My Name is Earl, but something about imagining hip-hop chipmunks makes the back of my head, just above the neck, twinge with a certain amount of discomfort. Any bets on how many times Dave gets hit in the crotch?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Gladiators, Ready

As I kid I remember watching American Gladiators, and even at the age of 12 I knew it was really cheesy. However, it was an effective way of distracting myself from the Saturday morning chore of cleaning my room. Recently I've watched a few reruns on ESPN Classic and it's just as I remember it. Although, in today's win-at-all-cost sports culture, including steroid allegations in the WWE, I can't help but wonder if Nitro or Turbo or any of the testosterwomen weren't using a little something extra to bulk up. Another thought I had based on the recent state of things was that if American Gladiators was on today it would have a bigger stage. I'm talking prime time television presented in HD with a semi-famous, charismatic host. Apparently somebody in a position of authority at NBC was thinking the same thing because tryouts are being held for a big budget prime time version of American Gladiators. The casting call is great because it makes it clear that any potential contenders or gladiators must bring their own shoes, towel and water as those items will not be provided (Come on! They couldn't even provide water?). Hopefuls must be "big, bad, and athletic" with the "heart, skills, and desire to compete." While strength, speed, balance and agility are important, so are how well you get along with roommates, the newspapers you read, the topics you consider off limits at dinner parties, and what you would do with your three wishes if you were Aladdin (all questions from the 27-page application).

It will be interesting to see if America is willing to embrace one more reality TV show. In today's homogenized entertainment industry, riding the trend wave is all about getting the formula right and when you break it all down, it appears the new American Gladiators is trying to follow the often-used classic formula:

 Deal or No Deal
+WWE Smackdown
+Fear Factor
-  Eating maggot-filled cow intestines

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Scott Man

Few people are as excited as I for the Season 4 premiere of The Office tonight on NBC. To celebrate, here's a compilation of clips (1:50) I strung together from the first three seasons featuring Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) busting a few moves.

Back with a Vengeance

OK, so my holdout didn't last that long, but I'm back anyway. As I previously stated, I lost interest in blogging when YouTube permanently disabled my account. One of my few hobbies was editing videos on my computer and then posting them to YouTube so I could embed them here. I had some interesting projects in the pipeline, but my enthusiasm wained when I received two e-mails from YouTube one day. The first one said that Twentieth Century Fox complained that my Arrested Development: Mock Trial with J. Reinhold was infringing on copyright and that the video would be disabled and I should delete any other videos that might infringe or my account would be shut down. I didn't really get a chance to comply because the second e-mail said the same thing about another video. So even though they were both sent the same day it would appear one was the warning and the other was the death nail because after that I couldn't log in anymore. It's disappointing because some of my compilations from The Office were approaching 300,000 views. But I have bounced back. In my quest to find an alternative to YouTube I have discovered that YouTube is actually quite inferior to a lot of what's out there. The main thing it has going for it is its traffic. I eventually selected to host my videos. It's not unlike YouTube in its set up, but there are fewer restrictions on file size, picture resolution and video length, so if you browse this web log, you'll see the entries that formerly featured my YouTube videos now feature better quality Veoh videos.

Update: Six months after posting this web log entry, my Veoh account has followed my YouTube account into extinction following similar complaints of copyright infringement. It would seem official now: there are no good video hosting sites left on the web.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Off the Air

This is to inform loyal readers that for the time being I will no longer be contributing the world of blogging. This is largely a result of my disappointment with YouTube for permanently disabling my account. I received an e-mail from them threatening such because one of my videos was found to be in violation of copyright law according to 20th Century Fox. I considered it more of fan video and a service to Fox. Granted, none of what I put together could be considered entirely original work, but I would think the networks would want to permit videos like mine when they get comments like "I've never watched this show, after seeing this I'll have to check it out." So I apologize if most of the videos in this web log no longer work. Maybe in the future I will return here to write more, but for the time being I will not.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Crazy Hobbits

Below are the two greatest Lord of the Rings music videos ever made. The first is "Leonard Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" (1:37), circa 1968. The second, "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring" (1:45), is from last night's episode of Flight of the Conchords.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Soccer Week

With Shark Week over, I decided to move on to another themed week. Since David Beckham is trying to make soccer sexy in America, I thought I'd try Soccer Week. Before I get into that though, I like to take the time to comment on Beckham. I'm not sure what to think. On the one hand I'm not a fan of "Becks" or anything that comes with as much hype as he has and I think it could be somewhat amusing seeing him fail. I'm also not a fan of the L.A. Galaxy, although that's probably the result of built-in prejudice against sports franchises from New York and L.A. On the other hand, I am a soccer fan and even an MLS fan (although not as much now that I no longer live in Salt Lake). I would love to see soccer grow in stature in the US, but I'm realistic. As TV's Craig Ferguson said "Some people think that Americans will discover soccer through David Beckham being here, which is ridiculous. I think Americans discovered soccer years ago and went 'eh.'"

To commemorate Soccer Week, I have been watching various soccer movies over the past few days. I started with The Miracle Match (aka The Game of Their Lives), the true story of the 1950 US Soccer Team that went to the World Cup in Brazil and upset heavily favored England 1-0. In my opinion it's right there among history's greatest sports upsets. They didn't go on to win it all like the 1980 Olympic Hockey Team, but the mere fact that these guys were all amateurs playing against English pros says a lot. After that I skipped ahead a few years to watch the documentary Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos. For those of you unfamiliar with the Cosmos, they were one of the professional soccer teams in the North American Soccer League. Back in the 1970's the US decided it was ready for soccer and formed a league. Things didn't take off until the Cosmos managed to sign Pele. It was interesting to see the parallels between Beckham's arrival in America and Pele's. (Disclaimer: I do not consider Beckham and Pele to be on the same level in terms of skill or accomplishment, only in terms of hype and celebrity.) The problem with the NASL was it expanded too quickly (28 teams compared with 13 currently in the MLS) and couldn't hang on to its TV contract with ABC. That combined with the millions of dollars teams like the Cosmos were throwing at international players doomed them to fail. Hopefully MLS has learned something. The signing of David Beckham suggests they haven't.

Next I moved into the realm of soccer fiction by watching Goal!: The Dream Begins and its sequel Goal II: Living the Dream. If FIFA were to make a movie, it would be exactly like these two. They chronicle the life a young Santiago Munez as he goes from being an illegal Mexican immigrant living in L.A. to a European soccer star playing in the UEFA Champions League. The story lines are full of cliches, but the action is probably as good as any soccer movie out there. There are even plenty of cameos from stars like Beckham, Zidane and Raul. I then scaled things back a bit from soccer's second biggest stage (the third installment about Santiago playing in soccer's biggest stage, the World Cup, is due out next year), but kept with the current theme and watched Bend It Like Beckham featuring a pre-Pirates Keira Knightley, a pre-ER Parminder Nagra, a pre-Tudors Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and, despite the title, no David Beckham. It's a fun little movie with a ton of story lines all over the place.

Other soccer movies I recommend include Victory (or Escape to Victory) starring Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and Pele, The Cup about a group of Buddhist monks who watch the World Cup (it was the first movie to ever come out of Bhutan), The Other Final, a documentary about a 2002 match between Bhutan and Montserrat, the two lowest ranked teams in the world, and of course Air Bud: World Pup. Other soccer movies I've seen in the past include Shaolin Soccer (from Kung Fu Hustle's Stephen Chow) and countless kid soccer movies like The Big Green and Will Farrell's Kicking & Screaming.

Next year I will hype Soccer Week better and make it more of an event.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Shark Week

"Live every week like it's Shark Week." The words of Tracy Jordan, the Eddie Murphy/Dave Chappelle/Chris Rock composite from 30 Rock (played by Tracy Morgan), to NBC page Kenneth have never rung truer. The Discovery Channel is wrapping up yet another Shark Week (17th annual or 29th annual depending on who's counting) and we here at Entertainment News have been debating the best way to celebrate. We considered spotlighting the Steven Spielberg classic Jaws, but instead decided to focus on jumping the shark. For those of you out there who just gasped in horror at the mention of such a dirty-sounding expression, let me reassure you that "jump the shark" is harmless. It comes from an episode of Happy Days in which Henry Winkler's Fonzie goes water skiing, leather jacket and all, and attempts to jump over a shark (You can see the clip here). From that moment on many felt the show didn't have it's same panache and so today when something, particularly a TV show, has passed its prime it is said to have jumped the shark. In fact, there is even a website dedicated to shows and their shark-jumping moments. The crafty writers of Arrested Development made fun of the Happy Days scene when Winkler, playing family lawyer Barry Peppercorn, is down at the docks with a dead shark and then declares he's off to Burger King and proceeds to jump over the shark.

Some are suggesting that Shark Week itself has jumped the shark. They argue that the Discovery Channel has failed to produce anything new and exciting in recent years (read the article here). I don't think I watched enough of Shark Week this year to form an opinion. I'm just fascinated by it's pop cultural lure. Aside from 30 Rock (NBC) it's also been mentioned by TV's Craig Ferguson (CBS), the guys on Pardon the Interruption (ESPN) and countless other places, I'm sure. So until next year's Shark Week, stay off the water skis.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Farewell to "The Paper"

This week will see the last print issue of The Weekly World News. We here at Entertainment News are saddened by this announcement. What else are Americans supposed to do while waiting in line at the grocery store check out stand? Certainly not read the US Weekly or The National Inquirer. It's a sad day in America when celebrity gossip survives and news about aliens and bat people is cast aside. As recently as 1993 "The Paper" had the eighth highest circulation in the world (source: May Mackenzie in So I Married an Axe Murderer). Now we are required to turn to the online version for the latest in alien news or cross-species breading breakthroughs (porcuporks, armadillo-ducks, rhinocerchickens). Let us all observe a moment of silence for "The Paper." That means that those of you reading out loud need to pause before finishing this sentence.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Variety Bucket

I suppose I might be at that stage many journalists find themselves at one time or another. (Yes, I do consider myself a journalist. While I don't consider what I write important at all, I do actually have a degree in journalism.) You might call it writer's block. Maybe the excitement or thrill I originally got from "blogging" has worn off. Maybe it's the fact that my web log has been getting only about 10-15 visitors a day, which is down from the 45-50 it had been getting and a far cry from the 7,280 it got on June 8. Whatever it is, I've been having trouble coming up with fresh and creative blog entries. I'm never really short on ideas, it's the seeing the ideas through that has slowed me down. So I've decided today I will lay out several of the smaller ideas I've been kicking around into one random mess of a blog entry.

I've only watched a few episodes, but HBO's Flight of Conchords is the funniest new show to come along in a while. It's too early to tell if it will reach the level of esteem where I currently hold Arrested Development and The Office, but that first episode had me laughing all the way through it. Below is a clip (3:21) where a music video/music montage breaks out during the first episode.

For "The Vader Project," an art show in New York City, 66 artists were given replicas of Darth Vader helmets as a blank canvas and asked to go to work. Some of the better results can be seen below. More photos can be seen here.

Sunday was the 67th birthday of the great Alex Trebek. We here at Entertainment News wish him the best. With all the big-budget game shows that seem to come and go with all their pomp and pretense (Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Deal or No Deal and their subsequent clones), Jeopardy! is the constant, steady standard you can set your watch to.

A&E will soon debut a new reality TV show called The Two Coreys starring Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. From what I can gather it's basically a camera following these two losers around for weekly half-hour segments. It's a good thing they both spell their names with an "ey" or the marketing department would need to come up a different catchy title. I can't think if there has ever been a show that has featured two "actors" more desperate for a paycheck than this one. On a related note, you will soon be able to get your own Corey Feldman action figure. A toy company specializing in nostalgic toys based on cult movies will be launching a line of action figures from the 1985 movie The Goonies. Besides Feldman's "Mouth," the line will also include Chunk, Sloth, Data (the kid from Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom) and Sean Astin's Mikey.

I'm a sucker for funny cameos from famous actors. One of my favorites is Charlton Heston in Wayne's World 2, seen below (1:24).

I recently watched the movies The Prestige and The Illusionist within a week of each other so I could compare. I'd have to give the edge to The Prestige if for no other reason than David Bowie. Below is picture of him the 1986 movie Labyrinth and one from The Prestige in which he played the inventor Tesla. Who knew he had such range? And speaking of funny celebrity cameos, David Bowie showing up to officiate the the walk-off scene in Zoolander is also among the best.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Late Night Battle

Of the late night talk show hosts, Craig Ferguson has quickly risen to the top and is now my favorite.

Back when it was announced that the mean Scottish boss from The Drew Carey Show would take over the show after Letterman, I remember thinking "That guy!? Who's going to watch that?" Fortunately for him, the people at CBS recognize the added exposure their shows get from YouTube and have uploaded several clips themselves. Below is a great clip (3:54) from a show back in May where Craig is talking about the "Up-fronts" (where networks unveil their fall lineups).

I don't much care for Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno has gotten stale. David Letterman is funny, but his show is too frustrating for me to watch because he is too easily distracted and takes forever to make his point. Conan is good. He's probably my second favorite. Below is a clip (1:10) from when he hosted the Emmy's last year and drops in on the folks from The Office. You can see the entire 7-minute Emmy opening sequence here. In it Conan also visits Lost, 24, House, South Park and To Catch a Predator.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Movie Combos

A game I used to play with friends is one where you take two movie titles and combine them together to make one cleverly humorous movie title. For example Dirty Dancing plus Dances with Wolves becomes Dirty Dances with Wolves. There's also A Walk to Remember the Titans, Dirty Harry & Hendersons and several others. Back in 2003, after compiling a sizeable list, I submitted it to Jeff Vice, the Deseret Morning News movie critic and weekend entertainment columnist, who featured a few in an article which can be seen here. That was four years ago. The Internet has grown some since then and, as I've mentioned before on this web log, that has brought us access to vast amounts of creativity. I've already featured recut movie trailers (including those for Must Love Jaws and 10 Things I Hate About Commandements), so today I'll spotlight the Photoshop skills of the many web monkeys out there. Much like how I created my Incredible Shrulk, other people have gone beyond thinking up title combinations and have created movie posters featuring their creations. Some of my favorites can be seen below.

(Click on an image to see it full size)