Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Movie Marketing for Dummies

How does one market a movie that is being released in the early months of the year, traditionally a dumping ground for lousy films? Well, if that movie is The Eye, you send Jessica Alba on The Late Show and have her set up this clip that prominently features her (or, as was revealed after the clip, her body double) stepping out of the shower and pulling on a pair of panties, with some heavy pixelization added to obscure the naughtier bits of her anatomy. I have to admit, there's no better way to tell your potential audience, "OK, so this is yet another generic J-horror remake, complete with a The [One-Syllable Noun] title, but it's got nakedness!!!"

Even so, I'd rather see this at the top of the box office than Meet the Spartans.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

An Important Lesson for Musicians

Hi there, Sebastian Bach and Ghostface Killah! I know you two have been very upset about your low ratio of record sales to MySpace friends, and I have some sad news to tell you: people who made friends with you online by clicking a link are not, typically, real friends or hardcore fans of your music. It's disillusioning, I know, but if you guys come to terms with this, I promise I'll be completely trusting when you tell me that Philly is your favorite town to play and that this particular audience is the best audience you've had on this tour.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sorts of Things I Notice

Sorry, Netflix; not only am I not interested in any of these movies, but I think you're just recommending things based on the design of their posters.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Why Do I Read Movie Reviews Again?

Dear Steven Rea,

You certainly have more of a right to claim the title of Film Critic than I do, so I won't presume to tell you how to do your job. However, I can't help but think that when you are reviewing a monster movie that has been very careful not to reveal what the monster is, it may be bad form to describe said monster in the second friggin' paragraph of your review. Some of us like to be surprised.

Kind regards,

P.S. - Jerk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Launch an NHTSA Investigation

I sometimes wonder how many car accidents are caused by people who remove their hands from the steering wheel so that they can clap along to Hall and Oates.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pat Oliphant Needs to Retire

I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton, but if this sort of sexist drivel keeps up much longer, I may have no choice but to max out my contributions and join her campaign.

Hang it up, Oliphant. The newspapers could always run this guy instead; he seems to have the same nuanced approach to current events.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Life Imitates Webcomics

Are you and your significant other one of those disgusting couples who can lie in bed for, like, hours just holding each other and looking into each other's eyes and not having to say a word? Then you might do well to invest in a love mattress, which is designed to avoid having your arm fall asleep while engaged in the aforementioned snuggling.

I'm saving my money for the version with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

On the heels of Lake Superior State University's annual banned words list, Noel Murray of the A.V. Club lists some internet-specific words and phrases that he would like to see vanish, including "meh." A quick search of this blog reveals that I do not seem to have ever used any of the offending phrases. I'd like to say that this is proof of my cliche-avoidance, but the more likely explanation is that I was unaware that any of these were message-board favorites.

Year of the Cat

Neatorama reviews the many, many cats who became famous last year.

Mental Floss, meanwhile, collects memorable instances of cats interacting with invisible objects.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Caucus, Suckers!

It's always worth reminding yourself that the Iowa Caucuses are a really fucked-up way of selecting presidential candidates: the balloting isn't secret, you can't vote for a candidate unless a sizable number of other people want to do the same, and you have to be willing and able to sacrifice several hours of your evening to participate. On top of this, they take place in a state that is, statistically speaking, whiter than Israel is Jewish.

I didn't realize, though, that the caucus winners aren't determined by some statewide vote tally, but rather by how many precincts a candidate wins, just like our old friend the electoral college. It's almost enough to make you long for the days of smoke-filled rooms.


While I'm on the subject of disheartening election news, some of my co-workers and I got into a brief political discussion today, during which one person cited Loose Change as a reliable source, while another remarked that she couldn't vote for Barack Obama because of his Muslim background. I knew that there were people out there who believed these things, but I never thought they worked in the cubicles on either side of mine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I think for my New Years Resolution I'm going to start posting more substantive things to this blog. So, on that note, here's a trio of lists I found online:

1. On Wikipedia, an extensive list of notable films that were recut before being released. Some of them are pretty well-known: the infamous 9-hour cut (no, not a typo) of Greed and the 5 1/2 hour cut of Heaven's Gate, the version of Blade Runner with the dubbed Harrison Ford voiceover, and the "Love Conquers All" edit of Brazil, to name a few. But honestly, did there really need to be a 140-minute cut of Bedknobs & Broomsticks? Did that story demand nearly two and a half hours to be fully told? Also, if you've ever been held captive by an older relative on a perfectly good Saturday afternoon and forced to endure It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, just be thankful that someone had the common sense to cut that movie down from its original 192-minute length. That's over three hours of listening to you grandfather say, "You know who that is? That's Jimmy Durante! Hey, you know who that is? That's Sid Caesar! Pay attention! These guys are legends!"

2. Reasonable Conservative Jon Swift has posted a lengthy list of the year's best blog posts, as chosen by the people who wrote them. I wasn't invited to participate, but I didn't write anything especially good last year, so it all works out.

3. Finally, the Buffalo Beast's annual list of the Most Loathsome People in America is always one of my year-end favorites, and this year is no different. I think they were a little hard on Master Chief and the Founding Fathers, but it's hard to argue with most of the rest, especially #9.