Live From 5 Minutes Ago

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Well, I've now seen the first two "big" movies of 2004. Interestingly, both are trying to follow in the footsteps of How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days from last year by appealing to the Romantic Comedy crowd, managing to gross well over 100M in the process. This weekend's contender is Along Came Polly--an attempt to recapture the magic of Meet The Parents by reuniting star Ben Stiller with co-writer John Hamburg (who directs this as well), and adding Jennifer Aniston to the mix. There are moments reiminiscent of Meet The Parents--a basketball sequence that echoes the water volleyball sequence in MTP, and a lengthy joke (largely spoiled in the trailer) involving Stiller and a toilet similar to the septic tank gag in MTP. The problem is that Aniston, bearing baggage from "Friends," is utterly miscast as bohemian Polly Prince. Her miscasting exacerbates a central problem in the script--we don't know why Polly is such a catch other than she's hot. Script revisions to flesh out Polly's character (or maybe a flashback to Polly and Ruben as kids when they first met) would have helped, but even more of a help would have been recasting Polly. Might I suggest Parker Posey, who would have brought a much more acerbic touch to the part. Still, worth seeing, largely due to great supporting work from Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Stiller's best friend, a profane and flatulent former child star, Hank Azaria as a nudist SCUBA instructor, and Alec Baldwin as Stiller's boss. Add to that a cameo appearance by my building as the building where Stiller works, and you've got a 2 star movie.

The second, which I saw at a sneak last night (it arrives in theatres next week) is Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! (exclamation point theirs, not mine). This star-free vehicle (unless you consider Topher Grace a mega-star) is the story of Rosalee, a West Virginia grocery clerk, (Kate Bosworth) who enters a contest to win a date with Hollywood hunk Tad Hamilton (Josh Duhamel) and wins, much to the chagrin of her best friend (Gennifer Goodwin) and her boss/friend Pete (Grace). Complications ensue, and Tad winds up coming to West Virgnia to win Rosalee's heart, where he fights with Pete. Of course, it's eminently predictable what happens, but the cast is game and the jokes are funny. I'm not sure how it'll play down south, where they know that Piggly Wiggly and Mr. Pig are real, rather than a Hollywood creation (as most folks in my theatre seemed to think it was), but it works well enough, probably better than Polly does. The cast is solid top to bottom with nice supporting work from Gary Cole as Rosalee's father, Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes as Tad's agents, and little-known actress Kathryn Hahn as a randy bartender, although Goodwin has far too little to do in her "best friend" role. Recomended as well, especially when your other option is Ashton Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect."

Thursday, January 15, 2004

My, how far The New Republic has fallen. In case you hadn't heard (and why would you?), the increasingly irrelevant publication endorsed Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Now, a visit to Lieberman's website reveals that ESPN's Chris Berman has endorsed Lieberman, saying that "He Could Go All--The---Way!" Among news releases, there's not even a mention of TNR's endorsement (though the full endorsement profile is linked from his "In The News" page). My, how far the magazine that once called itself "The In-Flight Magazine of Air Force One" has fallen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

According to Playbill, R. Kelly will be writing score for the new Broadway musical based on Rocky. Perhaps not the best idea, huh?

A couple of links courtesy of a co-worker

According to this article, apparently, Charlotte from "Sex and the City" is the new role model for women everywhere. Well, I guess it's better than them all wanting to be Samantha.

Also, here are the State of Texas' rules for execution viewing. My favorite instruction:

Our goal is for the victim witnesses to report after the execution that it happened "just the way we were told it would, with no surprises."

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

My favorite spam of the day? "Rosella Nieves" e-mailed me with the subject line "orchestral cowhand campsite alterman pessimal." It was, ultimately, an "enhancement" e-mail. Still not entirely clear what "orchestral cowhand campsite" has to do with that.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I just installed a new commenting system, because, frankly, blogspeak, which I was using, stank. Now, all four of my fans can comment more easily!

Today's amusing google hit bringing people to this page:

"Al Sharpton Is An Asshole"

Nah. He's just a dumbass.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Just so you know if you're hitting the page as a result of some of my recent and/or common search term hits, there is very little or no information on this page about:

Gennifer Goodwin (though I think she's a great actress, you'll have to wait for "Win A Date With Tad Hamilton" to hear more).

Movies in which Allison Lohman has appeared nude.

The hairstyles of either Paige Davis or Julie Bowen.

Thank you, nonetheless, for hitting my page.

Irony: This posting will, in fact, increase my hit counts for these searches.

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