Monday, April 24, 2006


Here's an SAT question: Tell me which part of this sentence, discussing the "Aaron Burr" "Got Milk?" ad, is wrong:
The ad, directed by Oscar-nominated Hollywood director Michael Bay, dominated the advertising industry's award circuit in 1994. No error

"I'd like to thank the 360 pan..."

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

A New Approach

Tonight I went to see American Dreamz. Sandwiched between the trailers for Keeping Up with the Steins and The Break-Up was a new trailer for United 93. Except this wasn't so much a trailer as damage control. There was interview footage with director Paul Greengrass explaining why it's not tasteless to make this movie now, interspliced with interview footage of family members of Flight 93 victims justifying the film. The "trailer" ended with Universal making the same suggestion they do on the movie's website:

You can see it for yourself on the official site if you click on "ENTER THE SITE", then "MENU", then "VIDEO", then "FEATURETTES", then "A LOOK INSIDE".

What's interesting is that I can't ever remember a trailer like this being put in theaters (not as part of the pre-show ads, but with the rest of the coming attractions). You see spots like this all the time on TV (especially in LA, especially around Oscar time) where directors will talk about the "importance" of their films. But as a theatrical trailer? Of course, United 93 is not like any release I can remember. I do not envy the Universal marketing department. The original trailer has already sparked controversy and been pulled from several theaters. Many people are saying it's too soon and in bad taste.

I'm still reserving judgment until I see the film. Which I will (though not on opening weekend - I want the theater to be as empty and quiet as possible). And in some ways, it's hard to judge the marketing campaign without seeing how the film itself is handled. But I will say that the first time I saw the original trailer, people were still getting situated in their seats, talking on cell phones, laughing, conversing casually throughout... all this while actual images of a plane flying at the Twin Towers flashed on the screen. The juxtaposition of the casual movie-going experience with this heavy subject matter made me quite uncomfortable. It's possible that the film itself is not too soon, but an audience has to be primed for it and in the "proper" mood... which is part of why selling it is so tough. You can't prep an unsuspecting audience for the trailer or the TV spot.

Even the unique "trailer" I saw tonight seemed in poor taste when buttressed by two comedy trailers. And even though I haven't read anything about this latest push, I'm assuming that Universal sent it out this weekend attached to prints of American Dreamz. Maybe it's just me, but I felt a little wrong watching the real family members of the Fligth 93 victims tell their stories as I prepared to watch a silly comedy that lampoons terrorists. I don't know why this feels worse than, say, watching a September 11th special on CNN interrupted by cat food commercials... it just does. To me.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Now that Arrested Development is missing and presumed dead, it's nice to see former cast members find work on other TV series. George Michael and Maeby on Veronica Mars. EggAnn on Thief. And now, last night on fellow Imagine Television show 24, the Stair Car! Sure, it's had a facelift (gone is the Bluth Company logo), but I'd know it anywhere.

"You're gonna get hop-ons"

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Monday, April 17, 2006


In what must be a television first, three episodes of three different series, all airing in the same week, all share the same episode title (not including episodes titled "Pilot," of course). Last week's Lost and this week's Medium and Alias are all entitled "S.O.S." The Lost and Alias overlap may not be a coincidence, but Medium? Sure, this isn't necessarily on par with John Munch appearing on three shows in one week (Homicide, Law & Order and The X-Files), but I find it odd nonetheless.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006


To whoever submitted the Wikipedia entry on 50 Cent, was it really necessary to point out his race within the first sentence?
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), commonly known by his rap name as 50 Cent, is a popular African-American gangsta rapper...
Seriously, wouldn't it be easier (and more of note) just to note the race of all the white rappers out there... oh, wait.
Eminem (born Marshall Bruce Mathers III on October 17, 1972) is an American rapper, one of today's most popular and controversial rapping, and a Grammy and Oscar-winner.
And then there's...
Robert Matthew Van Winkle (born October 31, 1968 in Miami Lakes, Florida), better known as Vanilla Ice, is an American rapper, known today for the single "Ice Ice Baby" that topped the charts beginning in the early 1990s (see 1990 in music).
To be fair, ethnicity is a second sentence issue for the two "American rapper"s. It's mentioned that Eminem "is of mostly Scottish-American descent" (though the word "white" isn't used until pretty far down the page) and that "at the time," Vanilla Ice "was also one of the very few successful Caucasian rappers."

I don't know, I just thought that was interesting.

Oh, and if you're looking for the U.S. currency value, see Half dollar (United States coin).

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Happy Belated Crash Day (or April Fool's Day II)!

"Oh, you shouldn't have..."

I can't believe I forgot it was Crash Day until late Crash Day evening. But since my racist boss refused to give me Crash Day off, I was too busy to remember. And apparently, God (or Xenu?) hates Crash Day, because today was an especially dreary, rainy day in a city usually known for its glorious, sunny weather and rampant, in-your-face racism.

And He's (It's?) not the only one who hates Crash Day... some (irony-loving) Grinchy protestors actually tried to crash the Crash Day festivities! Who were these Crash Day Scrooges? Gays upset that Crash "stole" Brokeback Mountain's "rightful" Oscar (not to mention its DVD thunder, since Lionsgate released the Crash Director's Cut Edition (now with 10% more condescension simplicity stereotypes Oscar-winning brilliance!) on the same day as Brokeback hit Wal-Mart shelves)? Minorities upset that every stereotype of them was confirmed in the movie? Whites upset that a Salvadoran Puerto Rican Mexican-American was Mayor and not locksmith? Psychlos sent by Terl upset that a Scientologist was spreading the truth about thetans? Moviegoers With Taste upset that such a heavy-handed, schlocky, fetid movie was being feted by the city? Angelenos upset that our mayor thinks that "Yes, this is our Los Angeles"?

Uh, no. They were just some "union members seeking a new contract with the city." Probably Italian.

Anyway, I didn't let these racist union members rain on my Crash Day celebrations (I was powerless to stop God (Xenu?) from doing same)! Actually, the rain helped as I managed to get into three car accidents (thank you God (Xenu?)!)... all caused by Asian women drivers, natch. Then I got carjacked by a pair of African-Americans who told me that not all African-Americans are car-jackers. Some of them are drug addicts. Then I called them both the N-word. Surprisingly, they didn't take it nearly as well as Don Cheadle did when William Fichtner called him that. Then I shot three little Mexican girls (two of them with blanks). I put on a cop uniform and molested a woman (I think she was African-American, though she was pretty light-skinned). Finally, I shoved a rich white woman down the stairs so her maid could teach her that racism is wrong.

So, pretty much like any other day in Los Angeles.

How'd you celebrate Crash Day?

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I love the passive-aggression in this "news" item from E! Online:
[Chad Michael] Murray, 24, is set to tie the knot for a second time with a cheerleading extra on his WB series, 18-year-old Kenzie Dalton, People reports. It'll presumably be the first marriage for Dalton.
Ha! 'Cause she's 18!

No comment yet from Murray's alter-avatar.

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Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool's Day of the Dead

At first glance, did anybody else think this headline was an April Fool's joke?

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