Thursday, February 26, 2009

Three Words: Arrested. Development. Movie.

Michael Cera finally stopped holding out and agreed to terms for the Arrested Development movie.

Fucking outstanding.

It still bothers me that FOX canned the show for poor ratings and never gave it another shot, the way they did Family Guy. Even worse was when Entertainment Weekly teased us with rumors of the show possibly going to Showtime. Just imagine how the show would've worked given the creative freedom of a premier cable network like that. At least now there's some hope on the horizon for us loyal fans, especially in speculating what the "A" plot of the movie could be or what guest stars would return (Scott Baio returning as Bob Loblaw or Charlize Theron as Rita Leeds would be the ultimate goodness).

There's so many story lines they can venture into it, it's just too much to handle right now. The obvious choice would be to have Michael fall in love and get married, only for it to be spoiled by the family in some comical way. I'm sure they've got plenty of ideas, so I'm simply hoping for a 110 minute romp that will suffice years of waiting and have many memorable quotes like this one:

Tobias F√ľnke: Okay, Lindsay, are you forgetting that I was a professional twice over - an analyst and a therapist. The world's first analrapist.

Because The Blog Is Not Enough.

I've joined Pete Carroll, Shaquille O'Neal, and Ben Maller on Twitter. I won't be doing anything nearly as cool as any of them, but I'll try to post winning lottery numbers and horroscopes when the moment presents itself.

Note: Only your positive comments will be posted. That means you, David.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Apartment Search '09: Update #2

Today's quest for shelter was an interesting one. I came across some very nice one bedroom spaces that are going for $950 a month. Granted it's a tad out of my price range but I've saved enough to hopefully spare me the experience of sleeping in my living room (and probably on this!)

A thank you is in order for my friend Chita who just recently gave me a contact that can help in my search. Kudos Chita.

On a related matter, I'm trying to prepare items for my next living arrangement. Currently I'm looking at inflatable beer paraphernalia on eBay since nothing says home like a giant field goal post or blimp. Any other decorating ideas are definitely welcome.

Good Source: Starburst Jelly Beans

Starburst Jelly Beans are a good source of the following dyes: Yellow #5, Red #40, Yellow #6, and Blue #1.

Watchmen, An Early Review!

Picture a hobbled veteran coming off the bench in a clutch situation, everything on the line, and nothing to lose. You guessed it, David is back and treating us all to an early review of Watchmen. After numerous grammar corrections and a steady diet of Starburst brand jelly beans, the review is officially comprehensive. Enyoy!

The End Is Almost Nigh

by David N.

So this past Wednesday I was one of a few lucky people to be invited to the MTV Spoilers screening of Zack Snyder's WATCHMEN. So naturally a friend of mine and I made the trip to the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. The place itself was not a place you'd picture for a movie premiere. I could only describe it as cozy. Picture the smallest theater you've ever been in and cut it in half. The aisles were worse than getting through to get a hot dog at Dodger Stadium. This would insure that MTV would not get anyone walking up during the movie. Also, I've never been in a theater that didn't allow or serve food.

As you can guess, the line to get in was a mix of rabid fan boys and douches that just go to things that seem popular. This became apparent when we were still waiting to get inside and two cute production girls were trying to get people in line to sing My Chemical Romance songs. At that point those ladies lost their appeal. Overall, not including the third world hunger I got after about 5 hours of MTV holding us hostage, it was a unique movie-going experience.

But let's get to the main course, the film itself. Coming in at about 2 hours and 40 minutes, Watchmen is not for the stamina challenged (like the owner of Infinite Et Cetera). Luckily there are very few parts that drag on. There's two ways of looking at this movie; those of us that over zealously read the graphic novel and those of us that have never heard of Watchmen before. This reporter is the ladder, I've read this book twice in my life, loved it both times but was only mature enough to appreciate it once. If you'll remember, I placed this at number two on my top ten all time list. With all the trailer, panel and previewmania we all went through in the build up, it is needless to say I had high expectations.

So, does the movie deliver? The short answer is yes in that what it delivers is intended to be a short adaptation of Alan Moore's epic masterpiece. By that I mean there are certain parts you won't see in the theaters that are some of the best of the book. For example, Hollis Mason's death scene was one of the more tragic moments of the book, but you wont see it on March 6 (luckily Zack Snyder filmed this scene and it will be seen on the DVD release). While the subtle differences from the book to the movie were a deterent for me, (I think Rorschach's prison scenes should have been longer, and some Mars dialogue is left out), Zack Snyder does an amazing job of expanding the fight panels from the book. It's like going from Mortal Kombat in the 90's to the Mortal Kombat games we have now, taking beautiful violent images into something more artistic. (The best one being the Nite Owl and Silk Spectre alley fight)

As for the controversial ending to the movie, while others have said the overall ending is not lost, while others have said it's better than the book. I disagree with both; through the movie there was always the tone of the original book dialogue. The moment you see where this new ending is beginning, it takes a 45-degree turn away from the book. While the ending does do the job of leaving you with the moral question from the book. You can almost tell where Moore's dialogue ends and Snyder's compromise begins. The reason I have a small problem with the end is because the movie was done so well that with a few more dollars Snyder could have done an astonishing squid and made it relevant. I think changing everything to nuclear destruction was taking the easy way out. The inclusion of Nite Owl in one of the death scenes was a good directors touch though.

The acting…well some performances were astounding, other's felt like they were just there. For the most part, it really felt like Silk Spectre was just there; her performance even made Nite Owl less of a standout (exception being the alley fight). Dr. Manhattan, while the character is supposed to be void of emotion, Bill Crudup even dragged this out the moment on Mars when he's suppose to reconnect. If you don't believe me compare the movie to the book, in terms of the Mars scene. The truly standout performances were from Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian and Matthew Goode as Ozymandias. Perhaps it was because Snyder overdid it in making these characters badass.

Overall, it's a great movie experience but it doesn't deliver the epic scale that Snyder teased for the last two years. Ultimately it suffers because it's no Dark Knight in the way that Lost Planet is no Gears of War. It's not as though Lost Planet was a bad game, but it's curse is that it came out 3 months after Gears of War had just set the bar for how stunning Xbox games should be.

So, if I didn't know what Watchmen was about before, would I recommend this movie? Yes, without a doubt. I can't stress enough that this is a great movie! You will enjoy it, everyone will. Fan boys and the non-alike. Watch MTV on Feb 21 at 8pm to witness the reaction to the cast as it was well deserved because you can't find better actors for these parts. What disturbed me the most was during the directors Q and A was that it seemed like everyone was ready to link Snyder's name to Watchmen more than Alan Moore. It was a 20 minute brown-nosing session. No one bothered to ask about having such well fitting music during the movie only to be followed by My Chemical Romance covering a great Bob Dylan song during the end credits. Do I think Alan Moore would like this movie? No. At some point in his life when he puts it in his Insignia Blu Ray player I'm sure he won't like this interpretation. That's my main problem with the movie; it's just not Moore.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bud Selig, Vince McMahon Comparison

Dan Wetzel is comparing MLB and Bud Selig to WWE and Vince McMahon in his latest article for Yahoo! Sports. Intriguing to say the least, my comments will follow the cut-and-paste:

“In the early ’90s, the federal government came into pro wrestling and tried to put Vince McMahon in prison for steroid use of wrestlers,” Jesse Ventura, former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler told the online news program, Your Turn.

“My question is: They’ve now determined 104 baseball players failed their steroid test in 2003 – 104! They indicted Vince McMahon, why aren’t they indicting Bud Selig?”

Bud Selig, Vince McMahon, MLB, WWE, all in the same quote. Ah, what a legacy. Just like wrestling, the last 15 years of baseball saw champions crowned, games won and records broken for reasons other than fair athletic competition.

Baseball hasn’t been an actual sport in years. The guy in charge of what will go down as the game’s worst era since systematic racial discrimination is so conceited he’s trying to claim "don’t blame me, I just run the place".


Ventura makes a good point about the feds going after Bud Selig the way they did Vince. Congress breathing down the neck of baseball has always made me think they have better things to do, but if there's a precedent with McMahon and the WWE then by all means follow suit.

Bud Selig is not a likeable guy and does little to help that reputation. His recent comments about taking records away and thinking about punishing offenses from years ago is laughable. You can't make Hank Aaron homerun king again. You can't take away Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire's homerun race. You can't erase the Black Sox scandal. You can't go back to the segregated era and whipe all the records clean because whites didn't play against blacks, and vice versa.

But Bud Selig should only share some of the blame.

Baseball has had 9 designated commissioners over the span of 89 years. From Ford Frick to Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, all were part of decades dealing with changes in performance enhancing drugs and all had their chance to institute tougher policies. If any had paid more attention to the Olympic games, we probably wouldn't be at this point.

1960: Olympic cyclist Knud Jensen died after a bicycling accident. Autopsy revealed he was under the influence of amphetamines.
1967: The International Olympic Committee begins to delve deeper into researching and banning performance enhancing drugs.
1988: Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of the gold medal after testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid.
1999: The IOC creates the World Anti-Doping Agency to further battle doping in world sports and improve testing.

With decades of doping happening in world sports, how is it that baseball paid no attention. Whether or not owners or commissioners witnessed juicing first hand is not relevant. They knew it was going on worldwide so what would make you think it wasn't happening in your own league. Bud Selig, former commissioners, owners, and the cheating players who took the drugs are all to blame equally.

None of what's transpired should be erased from the history books. Barry Bonds has the home run record. Asterisk implied.

Apartment Search '09: Update

This incredibly limited square foot area can be all mine with a signature and the first and last month's rent due upfront. The price is more than fair, at $700 and all utilities paid, including cable TV, Internet connection, water, etc;. And to top things off, the city in which this apartment resides was once home to baseball legend, Jeff Kent.

The search continues, however, as I can't come to terms with sleeping in a living room just yet. Stay tuned...

The People vs. George Lucas

It's been 8 days since the last post, giving you plenty of time to catch up on the blogs you missed. You're welcome.

As for today, I'm tuned to the MLB Network awaiting A-Rod's press conference and his orange tinted skin. The conference has yet to start so I'm catching up on some of my bookmarked sites. I found an interesting piece from Nikki Finke's (LA Weekly) blog Deadline Hollywood which highlights an upcoming 2010 documentary, The People vs. George Lucas. Here's the preview:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Welcome Back, Jeff Weaver.

The Dodgers announced today (yes, it's still 2009) that Jeff Weaver has been signed to a minor league deal, with the intentions of him being a relief pitcher. I'm not really sure how to comment, so I'll leave you all with this fun fact via Wikipedia:

"In August, 2003, ebay member "freerangeveal" attempted to sell Weaver on eBay. The auction appeared the day after Weaver gave up 11 runs against the Kansas City Royals. The auction lasted for one day, and the bidding reached the ebay limit and record of $99,999,999.00 before it was removed as against eBay policy."

A-Rod: "I'm a good receiver."

Do not adjust your monitors or television screens, A-Rod really is that orange. Tint aside, I have one observation about the latest on Alex Rodriguez.

You'll see enough of the clips regarding his admission to taking steroids, making a stupid mistake, and apologizing to the fans in Texas. But if you missed the full interview, there was an interesting moment when Gammons asked him about "A-Fraud" and clubhouse banter.

"I'm a good receiver" A-Rod explained when questioned about whether or not players called him A-Fraud in the clubhouse or to his face. He went on to say how he took insults, from Larry Bowa and the like, all in stride and could never dish them out as well as he received them.

With everything you've ever heard about A-Rod, or the perceptions about him from teammates through the media, I don't know how that characteristic helps his clubhouse chemistry. I can agree it probably builds a stronger character to ignore the media's petty comments and just not care about what anyone thinks of you. Obviously, there's not much you could do anyway. But how does that type of non-response work in a clubhouse, when the star player gets dumped on in good fun and doesn't reply in kind. Is it because he really doesn't care what they think, or does he really just lack that type of quick wit response. Clubhouse banter is never meant to be serious, but I do wonder if he takes at least some of it to heart.

5 Things You Should Know About Adam Morrison

  1. Likes Tecmo Superbowl, Rage Against the Machine, and books about Che Guevara.
  2. Is never afraid to show some emotion.
  3. Idolizes Larry Bird, and other tall weird looking white guys like Dirk Nowitzki.
  4. Described by Yahoo! Sports fact page as "huge disappointment for 2 1/2 seasons".
  5. Has all the pressure on his shoulders to live up to the former Laker legend who wore #35, Mark Madsen.
UPDATE: IEC contributor The Other Pride of Inglewood is reporting that Adam will not be wearing 35. Instead, he will dawn jersey #6. Now the expectations are even greater, having to live up to the legend that was Eddie Jones. Good luck!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

IEC Returning This Week

We're back.

A cool $10 was spent getting Centerfold played at the piano bar inside New York, New York in Las Vegas. It was actually $30, but the other $20 came from a Kings of Leon fan. It's a long story. The fact that most people throw down $20, $50, or even $100 to get their crappy (Pearl Jam) songs played made it a surreal moment. Those guys are incredibly talented.

Other than that brief victory, Vegas kept the majority of my money. The rest went to an anonymous asshole (Mario) who called my great hand of 2 pairs, queens and nines, and beat them with a straight.

Anyways, IEC is back. And yes, I'm going all in.