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)