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DirectTV is Whizzing on Chris Farley’s Grave

If you haven’t seen this commercial for DirectTV, it will make you absolutely ill if you do. Well, it makes me want to puke.

It’s one of those commercials where they mix in old movie or TV footage with new footage, so you supposedly can’t tell the difference. I supposed it’s clever in it’s own way, a la Forest Gump, when Tom Hanks was shaking hands with Nixon.

In this mockery of human dignity, Chris Farley, from Tommy Boy is standing in a living room, in front of his movie and real lIf you haven’t seen this commercial for DirectTV, it will make you absolutely ill if you do. Well, it makes me want to puke.

It’s one of those commercials where they mix in old movie or TV footage with new footage, so you supposedly can’t tell the difference. I supposed it’s clever in it’s own way, a la Forest Gump, when Tom Hanks was shaking hands with Nixon.

In this mockery of human dignity, Chris Farley, from Tommy Boy is standing in a living room, in front of his movie and real life buddy David Spade, and saying, "look, fat guy with tiny jacket, fat guy with tiny jacket," and doing his muscle builder pose to split the jacket down the back. And, of course, Chris Farley is, you know … dead.

Meanwhile, David Spade is on the couch, but he’s talking to us, while the "dead" Chris Farley does his shtick.

The reason? To sell freakin’ DirectTV subscriptions!!!!!!!!

Really?????

Here’s the link to the commercial. http://www.worstpreviews.com/headline.php?id=15571&count=0

Have we really sunk this low? Direct TV has, and so has David Spade. I guess being washed up drives you to do some pretty putrid things.

Somebody please convince me that’s there’s dignity left in the world …

Baltimore, Big Apple Comic-Con PHOTOS

For Baltimore and Big Applce Comic-Con pics, go to the PHOTOS section.For Baltimore and Big Applce Comic-Con pics, go to the PHOTOS section.

My Movie Review: Anatomy of a Murder

I love watching old movies, especially old crime movies. This weekend I watch [b]Anatomy of a Murder[/b], staring Jimmy Stewart and directed Otto Preminger. He stars as a small town lawyer who defends a man for murder. His client admits to the crime, as the man he killed raped his wife.

It’s an interesting premise, in that we know the murderer committed the crime. But is he guilty of murder, was his crime justified, or was he "temporarily insane?" And was the attacked woman a teaI love watching old movies, especially old crime movies. This weekend I watch [b]Anatomy of a Murder[/b], staring Jimmy Stewart and directed Otto Preminger. He stars as a small town lawyer who defends a man for murder. His client admits to the crime, as the man he killed raped his wife.

It’s an interesting premise, in that we know the murderer committed the crime. But is he guilty of murder, was his crime justified, or was he "temporarily insane?" And was the attacked woman a tease? As a beautful young woman who didn’t act much like she’d been raped, did she have a habit of finding trouble with men? Does her story even hold up?

We get to see all the behind scenes negotiations and lots of courtroom action, with Jimmy Stewart at his bet.

For its day, it was an extremely provocative film–even banned in some cities–for its open discussion on the details and violence of rape. Pretty tame by today’s standards, but back then, this was raw, ground-breaking stuff.

I wouldn’t quite put this in the "classic" range, as it’s a little bit dated, but if you’re looking for a good time at the movies with an ending that might leave you wondering if justice was truly served, then this is definitely worth your time.

My Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

This weekend I finally caught up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I had heard mixed things about it, ranging from pretty entertaining to pretty bad. I’ve enjoyed the X-Men movies so far (I even liked the much criticized third movie, although it was clearly the weakest of the first three).

Unfortunately, the fourth installment in the franchise is an outright dud. Yikes. Not good.

Hugh Jackman was his usual charismatic self, but otherwise this was a baaaaaaaad movie. The writing was awful,This weekend I finally caught up with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I had heard mixed things about it, ranging from pretty entertaining to pretty bad. I’ve enjoyed the X-Men movies so far (I even liked the much criticized third movie, although it was clearly the weakest of the first three).

Unfortunately, the fourth installment in the franchise is an outright dud. Yikes. Not good.

Hugh Jackman was his usual charismatic self, but otherwise this was a baaaaaaaad movie. The writing was awful, the acting was awful (outside of Jackman and Liev Schreiber), the action sequences were mostly staged and just too fake for their own good and story unto itself was just lazy. Been there done that.

When it comes to superhero movies I’m pretty much willing to suspend all levels of disbelief and just go with the flow. Entertain me. But when you fill a movie with cliched writing and sloppy plots, well, it’s tough to overlook the flaws.

I wanted to like this movie, and in a bad way it was, I suppose, minimally entertaining. Kinda. Sorta. In a lame TV movie kind of way. But this was far and away the worst of the four X-Men movies. In fact, it was just far and away a bad movie.

Oh well. Maybe the next one will be better.

Best New TV Shows of 2009

It’s still early in the new season, but of all the new fall TV shows, this is what I’m watching:

[b]* Modern Family[/b] – With Ed O’Neil as the unwitting patriarch, Modern Family is a half-hour comedy about three families–related in different ways–getting by in the modern world. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times poignant, this is the best new comedy I’ve seen in years. Totally worth the effort.

[b]* Flashword[/b] – This sci-fi whodunit — about a global blackout that lasted tIt’s still early in the new season, but of all the new fall TV shows, this is what I’m watching:

[b]* Modern Family[/b] – With Ed O’Neil as the unwitting patriarch, Modern Family is a half-hour comedy about three families–related in different ways–getting by in the modern world. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times poignant, this is the best new comedy I’ve seen in years. Totally worth the effort.

[b]* Flashword[/b] – This sci-fi whodunit — about a global blackout that lasted two minutes, with everyone in the world "flashing forward" six months — looks good, has a good mystery and a novel concept that keeps me coming back. At times, it does too much explaining so that we "get it," but so far, so good. I’m in. For now, anyway.

[b]

* Community[/b] – There’s no new ground broken here — a lawyer is busted for not having a real degree, and goes to community college to get one. While hitting on the hot chick, our lawyer starts a "study group," with his ragtag assemble players, including Chevy Chase. Has promise. Good but not great, seems like it could really pick up its game once it has a few more episodes under its belt. We’ll see. I’m giving it a chance.

Donuts Have Gone Crazy! Bacon! Blood!

Last week was probably the strangest donut week of my life.

Maybe you heard about this, but there I am, checking out the news online, and then I see it.

I mean … whoa. Talk about a tasty heart attack.

As a gluttonous treat of epic proportions, in certain places you can now order, not just a hamburger … not just a bacon cheeseburger … but a bacon cheeseburger … topped with a fried egg … with the bun replaced with … you guessed it … not just one, but[i] two[/i] glaLast week was probably the strangest donut week of my life.

Maybe you heard about this, but there I am, checking out the news online, and then I see it.

I mean … whoa. Talk about a tasty heart attack.

As a gluttonous treat of epic proportions, in certain places you can now order, not just a hamburger … not just a bacon cheeseburger … but a bacon cheeseburger … topped with a fried egg … with the bun replaced with … you guessed it … not just one, but[i] two[/i] glazed Krispy Kreme donuts! One on each side!

On the one hand it’s just a disgusting mutation of grease that might kill me if I ate it. And on the other hand, it sounds so incredibly, sinfully good that I’m more than just a little bit tempted to try it. Naturally, I’d have a defibrillator nearby and eat outside of a hospital, but still …

That was donut week, phase I.

The next day, at the office, somebody brought in a box of Dunkin Donuts, which, I’ve found, I’m not as crazy about as I thought I was. They’re okay. I mean, they’re donuts, which by definition are good, but my memory of them just doesn’t seem to match up with reality any more. But still …

There they are, sitting in an open box, in the kitchen, being the evil little temptresses that they are. And I’m telling myself [i]I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one I shouldn’t eat one[/i] …

I know! I’ll eat part of one! Perfect!

So I take a knife out of the draw and start to chisel away a slice of a glazed donut with chocolate frosting. But since I don’t want to pick up the donut–if I pick it up I know I’ll eat the whole darn thing–I put my hand on the edge of the box to hold it steady.

Ow! Frick!

I sliced my friggin finger open on the donut box.

Donuts. So much danger. So much temptation.

I’m weak, weak, weak, weak …

And yes. Bloody finger and all, I ate the damn donut.

Blog: Baltimore Comic-Con ’09: They Had Comics!

Massive displays? Nope.

Gaming stations? Nope.

Hollywood agents? Nope.

TV star signings? Nope.

Movie star signings? Nope?

If this wasn’t the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con, then what exactly did they have?

Crazy as it seems, this comic book convention actually had, you know … comic books.

Over the last several years, many of the Comic-Cons, especially the bigger ones, have become these massive multi-media bonanzas, much to the chagrin of us nerd-types who just lMassive displays? Nope.

Gaming stations? Nope.

Hollywood agents? Nope.

TV star signings? Nope.

Movie star signings? Nope?

If this wasn’t the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con, then what exactly did they have?

Crazy as it seems, this comic book convention actually had, you know … comic books.

Over the last several years, many of the Comic-Cons, especially the bigger ones, have become these massive multi-media bonanzas, much to the chagrin of us nerd-types who just like to read comics … because comic books are fun.

Well, the Baltimore Comic-Con was for anyone who likes to read comic, buy comics and talk about comics. It was for anyone who likes to talk to comic book creators. The writers, the artists.

It was, in fact, a comic book convention.

And it was a good time. I spent a good part of the day promoting Finders Keepers (I’ll have the pics up soon for you enjoyment), I dug through half-off boxes and bought some books, and, of course, just hung out with the guys, talking comics, talking to creators and the artists, getting our nerd on, because that’s what we do.

We’re nerds, but we’re not [i]nerds[/i]. Well, some of us, anyway.

Comic books are fun. Comic-book conventions …. that is, real comic-book conventions … are fun.

The hot babes in skin tight leather outfits didn’t hurt either. Oh, mamma …

So, yes, the 2009 Baltimore Comic-Con was a success. Not just because it was fun unto itself, but because it has become a rare breed of comic book conventions. It was actually about comic books.

Who knew?

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2009/10/13 06:56

What Do Obama and George Lopez have in Common?

OK. Here’s a riddle for you (and I swear it’s not a trick question):

What do Barrack Obama and George Lopez have in common?

Before you answer, let’s identify the players:

Barack Obama – President of the United States (presumably, the most powerful man in the world)

George Lopez – painfully unfunny comedian

Now, if you guessed:

* They’re both minorities – yes, but that’s not it

* They’re both males, over the age of 40 – yes, but that’s not it

* They both seem tOK. Here’s a riddle for you (and I swear it’s not a trick question):

What do Barrack Obama and George Lopez have in common?

Before you answer, let’s identify the players:

Barack Obama – President of the United States (presumably, the most powerful man in the world)

George Lopez – painfully unfunny comedian

Now, if you guessed:

* They’re both minorities – yes, but that’s not it

* They’re both males, over the age of 40 – yes, but that’s not it

* They both seem to desperately want to be liked – yes, but that’s not it, either

So what IS the answer?

Ahem …

They appeared together. Doing shtick. On a TBS commercial. In front of a blue screen. During late night reruns of The Office. To promote George Lopez’s new late night talk show.

….

Mur?

I have another question to ask, and, again, this is not a riddle.

[b]WHAT THE HOLY F*** IS WRONG WITH OBAMA?!

STOP TRYING TO BE OUR PAL AND START RUNNING THE COUNTRY!!! BE THE PRESIDENT!! LEAD!!!

GEORGE FREAKIN’ LOPEZ?!!! REALLY?! COME ON!!!![/b]

Good god I’m going to have to go back to being an Independent. I can’t take much more of this …

My Worst. Meal. Ever.

For a few days this week I attended an industry conference for a client I represent. It was a perfectly mediocre conference, moderately attended and with negligible enthusiasm.

But our story brings us to lunch on the first day. Rather than a typical sit-down lunch with the usual rubber chicken, they went with a buffet style Chinese menu, sponsored by one of the attendee corporations.

I have to say, without exaggeration, that this was the worst tasting food … ever.

After justFor a few days this week I attended an industry conference for a client I represent. It was a perfectly mediocre conference, moderately attended and with negligible enthusiasm.

But our story brings us to lunch on the first day. Rather than a typical sit-down lunch with the usual rubber chicken, they went with a buffet style Chinese menu, sponsored by one of the attendee corporations.

I have to say, without exaggeration, that this was the worst tasting food … ever.

After just one bite it became clear that the chef prepared the food by wrapping in his used sweat sock and storing at the bottom of his locker.

Think of the most disgusting Chinese take out you’ve ever had. Think on that meal, and in your mind’s taste bud remember that awful flavor. Just how gross it was.

OK. You with me? Good. Now … as that awful flavor swirls, think of food that’s way, way worse and more horrifying. Old. Stale. Smelly.

The food I ate was worse than that.

And the registration fee for the conference?

$2,000.

Not exactly what I’d call a ‘lunch special.’

In the Writer’s Chair: The Connective Tissue

Now that I’m back into writing [b]Crossline[/b] I really hit a good streak. Earlier in the year I finished a very rough first draft of about 90,000 words, so now my mission is go back and get the entire manuscript tight and rockin’ and fill in all the gaps so that the entire story comes together.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on the beginning, which certainly makes sense, and I’m about 20,000 words through, and feeling quite good about it. There’s action, suspense and humor, andNow that I’m back into writing [b]Crossline[/b] I really hit a good streak. Earlier in the year I finished a very rough first draft of about 90,000 words, so now my mission is go back and get the entire manuscript tight and rockin’ and fill in all the gaps so that the entire story comes together.

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on the beginning, which certainly makes sense, and I’m about 20,000 words through, and feeling quite good about it. There’s action, suspense and humor, and, of course, my usual cosmic goofiness.

But now that the first main arc is done, the next one is ready to go. Only … something’s missing. There are a few smaller section that need to fit into between the first main arc and the second. It’s the connective tissue, the segues that bridge the larger arcs. When it comes to these segues, I’m of two minds. Part of me feels like I should just put in a placeholder (which I’ve done for now), saying, fill this in with …" This approach allows me to focus on the heart of the story and keep the action going. Then, when the manuscript is essentially done, I can go back and fill in those placeholders. I’ve written this way before, and it seems to work for me.

And yet another part of me feels like I should slow down for the moment, focus on these placeholders, get them tight and focused, and the return to the main action. The reasons for taking this approach is that, by filling in these slots, working on the connective tissue, it fills out the story more completely earlier on, and it may lead to additional details and story threads down the line. I’ve also written this way, and it seems to work.

Thing is, if I slow down to focus on this smaller section I take myself out of my rhythm for the main story and …

You get the idea.

Truth is, there’s no one best way to write. There’s no right way. It’s whatever works. For the moment, I’m choosing to slow down, which sometimes goes against my go-go-go writing process, as I like the momentum to carry me as long and as far as it will take me. But I also feel like taking a breather might be a good idea, to give me a fresh perspective before I get too ahead of myself and realize I’ve missed something important.

As a writer, my process is always evolving, and I never lock myself into [i]having[/i] to proceed in a certain way. I still sit down and write several days a week, and every day, if I can, so there’s continuity in my process. Every week, I just keep on keepin on until the work is done. But allowing for some flexibility helps, too, as some days I’m just not feeling the story flow, and want to work on the details. Other times, it’s the opposite.

I’ll let you know how it all turn out, but in the end, as long as I have a complete manuscript that I’m really happy about, that’s all that really matters.

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