Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Happy (Belated) Second Blogoversary to Me

I'm still waiting on world peace. And that second season of Britney and Kevin: Chaotic.

This past Sunday – Memorial Day – was a national day of commemoration, marking the one year anniversary of The Pop Culture Petri Dish’s first blogoversary, and, coincidentally, The Pop Culture Petri Dish’s second blogoversary.

Yes, it’s been two whole years since this blog was birthed in the middle of the night, and what a second year it has been. Having forged a one-sided truce in my one-sided blog war, I turned my sights on another one-sided feud – this time against Jamie Foxx (and his never-ending impression of Ray Charles).

Also this year, The Dish had perhaps its biggest scoop ever, thanks to links from such power-bloggers as reality blurred, Best Week Ever and TVgasm. It was certainly The Dish's most eyeball-catching post ever, though the very last post of our second year is putting up a good fight in that department, thanks again to a link from Best Week Ever.

For the most part, I’ve gotten away from the long, rambling, ranty, in-depth over-analysis of The Dish’s inaugural year (with a few notable relapses here and there), instead training my pop culture microscope on insignificant things that the naked eye might've missed.

And then there was Tom Cruise (and more Tom Cruise).

As a gift to you, my dear eyeballs, I’ve finally cleaned, updated and organized the links you see to your right (and added “THE DISH RECOMMENDS…”). And as we move forward into the future, we’ll be looking back at the past. From now on, new posts will include links at the bottom to relevant posts from the archives (when relevant).

Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, thank you for linking and most of all, thank you for flying The Pop Culture Petri Dish.

Previously, on The Dish: Happy (Belated) Blogoversary to Me; I've Created Lutherans!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Late Shift

I'm sorry if I got your hopes up to see a Tom Hanks vs. Tom Hanks grudge match tonight. It seems somebody at CBS also noticed the scheduling coincidence and The Eye blinked. So they've replaced America's favorite actor with America's favorite actress:

Hanks for nothing, CBS!

However, CBS will be replaying Hanks' chat with Letterman on Friday, so if you want to achieve the same effect of an all-Hanks, all-channels universe, I suggest recording Leno and then playing it back at 11:35 pm Friday so you can switch back and forth between Hankses.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Two Thumbs Close-Up

Yet another reason to be disturbed by The Break-Up...

Flipping through Entertainment Weekly's "Exclusive!" first photo shoot of Jennifer Aniston & Vince Vaughn together, I was struck by something... odd. Maybe it's just me, but look at this picture (click here to embiggen):

See anything just a mite suggestive? Think Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Or Vaughn's own Thumbsucker.

Give up? Here's a close-up, with only minor erasing to remove distracting elements:

All thumb

Do you see it now? Or is it just me?

Apparently, Vaughn "lost a piece of his thumb in a car wreck." Now we know which part of his anatomy they used to replace it (perhaps inspired by this classic film?).

Now, take another look at that Entertainment Weekly cover on your newstand or in your bathroom:

And look closer (with minor erasing):

A Swinger's finger?

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Godfather: Part Ewww!

On her majesty's secret service

Every time I see the trailer for The Break-Up, I get the creeps... and not because of how Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau have let themselves go in the ten years since Swingers. No, what disturbs me is the part where Judy Davis tells Jennifer Aniston: "Go see Mischa, my personal waxer at the spa. Ask her for the Telly Savalas." Then Aniston, looking at herself naked in the mirror recites Kojak's catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?"

Now, Telly Savalas was Jennifer Aniston's godfather. So, you can see how her referring to the waxing of her most intimate of areas by the bald-headed actor's name would be somewhat godincestuous and therefore, creepy.

But hey, at least her godfather wasn't Gabe Kaplan.

Luca Brazilian sleeps with the fishes

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The Two Timers Club

We here at The Dish just love fun little late night scheduling quirks - even when they involve Toms other than Cruise. While browsing ahead in the TiVo schedule, a new one popped up, as coincidental as any plot turn in The DaVinci Code - Tom Hanks vs. Tom Hanks! At 11:35 PM on May 31st, Hanks will complete his quest for world domination by appearing on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman (through the magic of re-runs).

Tommy Two-Time

My suggestion for the best way to view this lunar eclipse of talk show appearances? Flip back and forth between the two every few seconds, seeing if you can catch Hanks delivering the same spontaneous amusing anecdote at the same time.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Bye Bye Baby

Worst wife ever:
The audience at the Los Angeles Forum included Madonna's Kabbalah guru Rabbi Yehuda Berg, socialite Nicole Richie, and gay icon Rosie O'Donnell, who upgraded herself to a premium seat on the floor and left her spouse alone in the stands.
I pity Kelli O'Donnell if Rosie's Family Cruise ever hits an iceberg and there aren't enough lifeboats.

And just because it never gets old: "Highlights" of Riding The Bus With My Sister.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Top Twenty Best Summer Movie Seasons of My Lifetime Ever

Inspired by a prompt at The Hot Blog. Titles listed in rough order of awesomeness (with movies I saw in the theater in bold):

1. 1989 (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, Dead Poets Society, Ghostbusters II, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Do the Right Thing, When Harry Met Sally…, The Abyss, The Karate Kid Part III, Turner & Hooch)

2. 1997 (Face/Off, Con Air, Air Force One, The Full Monty, George of the Jungle, My Best Friend’s Wedding, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Breakdown, Contact, The Fifth Element, In the Company of Men, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Hercules, G.I. Jane, Addicted to Love, Men in Black)

3. 1984 (Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Karate Kid, The Muppets Take Manhattan)

4. 1990 (Dick Tracy, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Back to the Future Part III, Total Recall, Ghost, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Duck Tales: The Movie, The Freshman, Problem Child, The Witches)

5. 1991 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Rocketeer, Thelma and Louise, Madonna: Truth or Dare, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, Problem Child 2, City Slickers, The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear, Backdraft, Point Break, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead)

6. 1994 (Forrest Gump, Speed, True Lies, The Lion King, Wolf, Natural Born Killers, Maverick, The Client, Fear of a Black Hat, The Mask)

7. 2005 (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Murderball, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, War of the Worlds, Hustle and Flow, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Grizzly Man, Cinderella Man, The Island, Mad Hot Ballroom, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Wedding Crashers, Madagascar, March of the Penguins, Bad News Bears, Happy Endings, Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Baxter, The Aristocrats, Pretty Persuasion)

8. 1993 (Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, In the Line of Fire, Dave, Last Action Hero, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Cliffhanger, Much Ado About Nothing, Super Mario Bros.)

9. 2004 (The Terminal, Spider-Man 2, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Before Sunset, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Collateral, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Shrek 2, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Napoleon Dynamite, Garden State, The Village, The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot, Fahrenheit 9/11, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, The Stepford Wives, Super Size Me, Maria Full of Grace)

10. 2001 (A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Moulin Rouge!, Shrek, Ghost World, crazy/beautiful, The Fast and the Furious, A Knight’s Tale, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Anniversary Party, The Princess and the Warrior)

11. 1992 (Batman Returns, A League of Their Own, Sister Act, Death Becomes Her, Alien³, Patriot Games)

12. 1998 (Saving Private Ryan, Out of Sight, The Mask of Zorro, Can’t Hardly Wait, Bulworth, Armageddon, The Truman Show, Blade, He Got Game, The Opposite of Sex, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Slums of Beverly Hills, There’s Something About Mary)

13. 2003 (Finding Nemo, Capturing the Friedmans, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Down With Love, Dirty Pretty Things, X2: X-Men United, Bad Boys II, Seabiscuit, Spellbound, Thirteen, Bruce Almighty, The Italian Job)

14. 1996 (Trainspotting, Independence Day, A Very Brady Sequel, Mission: Impossible, The Frighteners, The Cable Guy, Tin Cup, A Time to Kill, Matilda, Kingpin, Twister, The Great White Hype, The Rock, Lone Star, She’s the One)

15. 1988 (Big, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Die Hard, Bull Durham, The Great Outdoors, Short Circuit 2, Big Top Pee-Wee, New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Mac and Me)

16. 1995 (Clueless, Apollo 13, Die Hard With a Vengeance, The Usual Suspects, Batman Forever, Babe, Il Postino, Waterworld, Crimson Tide, Nine Months)

17. 1985 (Back to the Future, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, European Vacation, Teen Wolf, The Black Cauldron, Follow That Bird)

18. 1999 (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Sixth Sense, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Tarzan, The Blair Witch Project, Dick, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Arlington Road, American Pie)

19. 2000 (Gladiator, X-Men, What Lies Beneath, Bring It On, Mission: Impossible II, Scary Movie, Chicken Run, Hollow Man, Shaft, Road Trip, Coyote Ugly, Shanghai Noon, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Tao of Steve)

20. 2002 (Minority Report, Unfaithful, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Austin Powers in Goldmember, About a Boy, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Road to Perdition, Full Frontal, Spider-Man, The Bourne Identity)

20½. 1981 (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Immigration Sweeps

Why does it seem like President Bush only plans to address the nation during Sweeps? Does he really think that bumping the season finale of Prison Break or the most powerful person in the world is going to boost his approval ratings?

At least he has the good sense not to make an enemy out of Jack Bauer like a certain other president.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Super Size Free

Morgan Spurlock strikes again!

Less than a month ago, when NBC announced plans to revive their old sweeps strategy of inflating sit-com running times, their press release billed it as a "SUPER-SIZED COMEDY NIGHT." However, now, their online banner ads refer to the episodes as "extra long," "expanded" and "extended" - pretty much everything short of that gluttonous phrase once so popular at McDonald's until they coincidentally eliminated it just after Spurlock's Super Size Me debuted at Sundance (though this move had "'nothing to do with that (film) whatsoever.'").

I'll leave the phallic double-entendres to Will & Grace for one more week

And on NBC's website, the Super Size extra long episodes of Will & Grace, My Name is Earl and The Office are again referred to as either "Special Extended Episode" or "Special Extended Season Finale."

Oh, I'm on to you, NBC. You can call it whatever you want... I still know that each episode is one-third more fattening than your average portion!

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Simpler Time

While looking through Box Office Guru's archives, I found this assessment from the turn of the century:
The typically media-shy [Tom] Cruise worked overtime to publicize the blockbuster, which he also produced, granting interviews to morning, daytime, and late night talk shows plus gracing the covers of Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly.
Ah, remember when...

I'd also forgotten that Mission: Impossible 2's $57.85 million was, at the time, the third biggest opening weekend of all time. Now that number seems quaint (well, not compared to M:I:III's haul), coming in at number 33 on the (unadjusted for inflation) all time list.

Vanity Fair, June 2000

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