real chance at my brain dying


Last night, I had to make a phone call to my divorce attorney.

My wife made a confession. It was something she was proud of, not remorseful over. She hadn’t done the heinous act yet — but she said she planned to. When I clearly stated my objections and laid down the law in an ultimatum of epic proportions, it barely phased her.

What she said may shock the weak of heart. So read on at your own discretion.

“I’m getting a Stallionaires ringtone.”

Just typing it makes me want to vomit, but that was the decision she said she had come to while watching the finale of Real Chance at Love on VH1 Monday night. Or as I like to call it, the “Corn Fed Coronation Ceremony.” Not since Vanilla Ice trashed the set of 20 Lamest Videos have we seen such an obvious conclusion to a reality event. It’s been obvious from the jump that Real had a thing for Corn Fed, and I’m pretty sure the producers had something to do with Real dissing her at the elimination as a way to throw people off the scent. I wasn’t buying.

The kinda shock came when Chance didn’t pick anyone. When a certified idiot has a choice between two attractive women both throwing themselves at him and picks no one, is it really all that shocking? Probably not. The real problem was getting rid of hottie Rabbit, even though she was possibly a stalking psycho.

The actual shock was listening to these people, especially Bay Bay Bay, who continually mispronounced words, messed up the objective case and just totally missed the actual definition of words while proclaiming to be “an intelligent woman.” Corn Fed actually bemoaned the fact that she doesn’t talk as well as Bay Bay Bay. On any other show, the VH1 producers would immediately pan to other contestants who are looking at each other with puzzled looks on their faces like, “Did she really just try to look smart by saying ‘between she and I’ when the correct use is ‘between her and me’?”

But VH1 has so diluted the talent pool with borderline “exceptional people” that of the remaining contestants, Bay Bay Bay actually was the smartest person left. At this point, maybe even the producers and editors thought she was right. And so ends another chapter of VH1’s Celebreality, with a whimper and not a scream. GRADE: D+

The only bright side to the whole thing was that my wife didn’t even think about pre-empting the second night of the 24 premiere to watch Real and Chance. If she did, I’m pretty sure Jack Bauer would have jumped out of the screen and held her hostage. I’m not sure where they’re going with this current story line, and I think it’s rife with land mines of boredom, but I’ll play along for now because they already got me with the Tony plot twist. Great job to 24 producers for using the Internet and the season’s previews against the show’s fans. When news broke that Carlos Bernard would be returning as Tony despite all of us seeing him die two seasons ago, all they said was that he was going to be the jilted villain — and he was. For about 2.5 episodes, at least. Good to see him back with the good guys.

One thing bothers me — before my wife turned off her brain to watch Real and Chance, she came up with a good point. Don’t Tony and Bill hate each other because Michele was canoodling Bill while she and Tony were broken up back in season 2 or 3? Why would Tony immediately think about going to Bill and not Jack if he truly thought there was some kind of problem with the government? And with Jack gone from CTU and wandering the world enough that it leads him to the remote reaches of Africa, why wouldn’t those three want to bring Jack in to their little operation?

Still, I’m on board, even if it was a tad uneventful. Then again, I thought season 6 had the possibility to be the best 24 year ever when the fourth hour ended with a nuclear bomb going off minutes after Jack shot and killed Curtis. MONDAY GRADE: B-. TWO NIGHT PREMIERE GRADE: B

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is jack really back?

I’m actually shocked at my level of apathy for the Golden Globes.

It’s off the charts, and boiled over due to a number of out-of-my-control factors. First, this is a crummy movie season peppered with films that haven’t been released yet that in many places — including here. I’ve never seen so many Golden Globe nominees that haven’t been released in smaller markets yet. Usually the Golden Globes is what gets a smaller art-house movie released — not this year. I’m shocked, shocked, shocked that despite the almost universal accolades Slumdog Millionaire has received — and that the poster has been at my movie theater since October — it hasn’t been released anything near wide. Reason #2: My TV viewing has been reduced to “only what’s necessary” with a four-month-old in the home.

It makes it all that more surprising when Gran Torino killed at the box office this weekend. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. What do you know, people want to see good movies! Then again The Unborn came in 3rd.

All that said, I couldn’t be happier that the two TV winners — 30 Rock and Mad Men — were the ones that deserved to win and the ones that should have won.

The biggest reason is #3: The show was placed on the schedule opposite the (spoilers) two-hour premiere of 24. What kind of programming gaffe is that? Why would you place a show against the show with the most loyal, addicted fan base in TV now that The Sopranos is gone? I’ve watched just about every Golden Globes show for the last 10 years (at least), but once I found out it was on against 24, it completely fell off my radar, even when I could have watched the last hour. I forgot all about it and cleaned off my car instead, then watched my Encounters at the End of the World DVD (GRADE: B+) that had been sitting on my TV for about a week.

As for 24, I was only mildly impressed. The first couple hours of each season are usually the best, with some kind of crazy plot twist or intense action scene right off the bat. This year? We a crazy carjacking with doofus Terrance Steadman being kidnapped and Tony getting caught without any kind of fight. I’m fine with the whole Tony being alive again thing, I’ve had more than a year to prepare for it, and now that it’s here, whatever. But there better be some kind of better payoff than him being caught without a fight and Jack not being able to shoot him. I also miss CTU already. Getting Jack back on my TV is always a treat though, and I don’t think a half hour went by before I told my wife, “I’m back in.” She said, “Me too, both feet.” If it’s enough to get me back in, that’s all I’m looking for. GRADE: B

I rarely catch SNL anymore, I’m just not into the cast. But I’m always a fan of skits where almost the entire cast dresses up as various characters like the Brady Bunch-Partridge Family sing-off with Susan Dey, or one of my favorite SNL skits ever, Quentin Tarantino’s Welcome Back Kotter with John Travolta (couldn’t find this link, sorry). So it was a nice surprise to see the Save Broadway skit this weekend. Neil Patrick Harris as the guy from Rent cracked me up.

This means absolutely nothing and sounds like she was joking around. But I feel the need to insert any kind of Megan-Fox-may-be-playing-the-field news I can find.

I don’t think it’s possible to get a new Joker in whatever Batman sequel comes about. I think it would be a huge mistake, and it would generate backlash like crazy. Maybe that would be the point? I just don’t see it happening.

More comic villains: Sam Raimi is talking about who he’d like as the next Spider-Man bad guy. If Morbius does happen, I hope they don’t go the way of the 90s cartoon and hook him up with Felicia Hardy, because then you’d have to introduce Black Cat, and then you’re loaded with characters again, the downfall of Spider-Man 3.

One more comic-to-movie story: Your daily update on Watchmen. I’m wondering if running the TV spot into the ground during football this week was the best idea.

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golden? maybe silver globes

The Golden Globes is like rightfielder in a tee-ball game who occasionally finds it much more interesting to pick a dandelion or two.

“Awwwwwww. Look at him, he’s so cuuuuuuute!”

Then when he comes up to bat, you’re not ready to take him seriously, no matter how funny he looks swinging a bat with his hands upside down and holding the barrel instead of the handle.

Sure, everyone loves when Golden Globe nominations comes out. They’re fun to look at, they start meaningful discussions, but by the time the awards roll around, we’re already committed to watching the 24 premiere. As we found out last year, we don’t even miss them that much when they’re gone.

Don’t bother watching — I’ve got all your winners right here. And make sure you look closely to find a biiiiig Globes clerical error, a new Iron Man villain and see which show looks like it’s getting a season 3 after all.


Best Picture Drama: Slumdog Millionaire. When in doubt at the Globes, pick the British director.

Best Picture Musical or Comedy: Happy-Go-Lucky. Mike Leigh finally breaks though.

Actor, Drama: Mickey Rourke, on the comeback trail.

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Colin Farrell in a very weak category.

Actress, Drama: Anne Hathaway. We know that already.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Meryl Streep, because she’s Meryl Streep.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger because people will chicken out and vote for him because of The Dark Knight hype.

Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, because she’s a double nominee and won’t win the lead actress award.

Director: Danny Boyle. Either here or Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire wins something. The critics love it.

Screenplay: Frost/Nixon, because it won’t be shut out.

Original Song: They still have this category? Eenie, meenie, miney, Gran Torino.


Drama: Mad Men, because it deserves it. Looks like it’s official, too, AMC is bringing it back this summer, with or with creator and show runner Matt Weiner.

Comedy: 30 Rock, because it deserves it and I want to see two shows that actually deserve it win. A crazy thought, I know.

Actor, Comedy: Tony Shalhoub. Because as they said on Scrubs this week, when you get to medical awards season, Dr. Shalhoub wins everything.

Actor, Drama: Michael C. Hall. He gets you to root for a serial killer. Is there anything more convincing than that?

Actress, Comedy: Tina Fey, because I don’t watch the other nominees. And because she’s hysterical. Lemon OUT!

Actress, Drama: January Jones. It’s about time the women of Mad Men get some recognition.

Supporting Actor: Denis Leary because two years ago he should have won for Rescue Me but got screwed.

Supporting Actress: Rachel Griffiths because I’m sick of HBO shows blindly getting nominations.

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january premieres, week 1

Who knew watching TV with a four-month-old while your wife works nights would be so hard?

Guess what? It is.

But despite the obvious, brutal obstacles I somehow managed to squeeze in four big season premieres Tuesday and Wednesday. These reviews have some minor spoilers in them, so if you haven’t watched them yet, beware:

DAMAGES: Two things are painfully clear. Rose Byrne, who plays main character Ellen Parsons, is a terrible actress being thrust into a position as the show’s major character that she is ill-equipped to handle. Anyone who thinks Glenn Close is the main character is wrong — it’s Ellen’s straw that stirs this show. That’s not a good thing. And second, the next time FX cries poor about how it can’t afford to be one of the “big players” in TV, don’t listen. The cast had to be expensive enough in the first season, with Close, Ted Danson and Tate Donovan. Even longtime TV vet Zeljko Ivanek — who won the supporting actor Emmy in the first season for this — could have come cheap. The subtraction this year was unknown Brandon Routh look-a-like Noah Bean, but the additions were two Oscar winners (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden) and a borderline A-lister in Timothy Olyphant, plus the always-lurking Mario Van Peebles. Where is this money coming from? Damages almost didn’t have a second season, now FX is recruiting these big-time people to join the show? That’s gotta cost. Anyway, the second season opener doesn’t have nearly the flair, excitement or suspense the first season did. Because Byrne is prominently involved, I have little-to-no-interest in who she’s holding hostage (and then apparently shooting). Arthur Frobisher — the best part of the first season and one of the best parts of 2007 TV — has been reduced to a blubbering mess and has his screen time slashed. The only thing I find myself even minimally caring about is how Close and Hurt know each other. Brother? Ex-lover? Ex-client? I guess that’s enough to bring me back for next week. But it’s still better than most things on TV. GRADE: B-

REAL WORLD: BROOKLYN: Congratulations, MTV. Just when we thought you couldn’t put together a more boring cast than the Philly players, you give us the Brooklyn cast. I thought this was a hard-and-fast rule, but apparently not, so let’s repeat it: Just by putting a transgender in a Real World house, that doesn’t automatically make it interesting. Katelynn is boring as a woman, I can only assume she was also boring as a man. She’s already made the judgement that the house isn’t open and welcoming to her lifestyle, so she’s decided not to come out and tell people she’s a transgender. But isn’t that the same kind of quick and harsh judgement she believes is being made against her? This is obviously being made into one of the season’s big storylines, but I’m already bored. The only thing that’s even remotely intriguing is poor Ryan (from Gettysburg) being stuck in a house with a bunch of dorks. They’ve already chastised him for drinking too much (shocker!) and in the preview for the season, it looks like people just get mad at him over and over for pulling pranks on their lameness. Awesome. GRADE: D

NIP/TUCK: I summarily realized while watching the premiere of the second part of season five Tuesday that for the last three cycles of Nip/Tuck, I’ve been watching it all wrong. I kept wishing the show would get back to the passion, emotion and suspense of its Golden Globe winning second season, a season I’ve contended is one of the best full seasons in TV history. I’ve criticized it for never getting there, and seemingly not even wanting to. But it appears the second season was the anomaly and what we’ve seen for the last two seasons — and Tuesday’s premiere — is what we’re going to get from now on. What’s wrong with that? It’s not a total loss of Prison Break proportions. Nip/Tuck isn’t going to be saved, and for the most part, I don’t think any of its fans really want that much to change. Just look at what we saw Tuesday. Two major character plot twists that border on soapy but are relatable enough that we forgive them (Christian having breast cancer, Sean walking just fine sans wheelchair). Emotional roller coasters that reek of true feelings of love between the characters. Classic Christian Troy lines. Two hot naked girls having hot naked sex with our heroes. What’s not to love? Sure, it’s nowhere near the quality of the show’s second season, which won it a deserved Golden Globe. It’s obvious that it’s never getting there again. So why quibble? Just sit back and enjoy the characters, because it’s going to look a lot like it did Tuesday for the rest of its run. That’s not the worst thing in the world. GRADE: B

SCRUBS: Too bad we can’t say the same for Scrubs. What, you change networks and you lose your sense of humor? Scrubs was hit-and-miss last year, but it had a lot more hits than misses. The misses I blamed on NBC’s continuity issues when it aired episodes out of order at least twice last year. At least I thought that was the problem. Maybe we were blaming the wrong people? When Disney cut off M. Night Shyamalan over the Lady in the Water script, I railed against Disney for not trusting in one of its golden geese. Then when I saw the movie, it’s pretty easy to understand why Disney balked. I’m not saying Scrubs is Lady in the Water bad — and for the record, I didn’t completely hate Lady in the Water — but if creator Bill Lawrence went to NBC with a treatment for these first two episodes that aired Tuesday, I wouldn’t doubt it if NBC said, “Thanks but no thanks.” With all the p!ss-poor decisions NBC has made over the last year, I seriously doubt that’s what happened and would rather trust Lawrence, who brought us Scrubs and Spin City. Still, there’s going to have to be some improvement for me to get on board with this new season. The second episode of JD and Turk hanging out with that terminal patient almost put me to sleep. GRADE: C-

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josh brolin rules

Let’s all take it easy out on the roads today, people. Because you weren’t doing that last night up on the mountain on 380. At least the trucks weren’t.

Weather be damned! Here’s what’s going on today:

The great part about this isn’t the story, because everyone and their Scientologist brother is going to come out of the woodwork defending the “religion” over the next week or so. It’s the picture of Lisa Marie on the side of the story. You can almost say the AP is being biased for finding the absolute worst picture ever of her so that no one will take a word she says seriously. Nick Nolte’s mugshot is more flattering. If they used old sex pictures of her and Michael Jackson with Jack-O in O-face mode, I’d be less disturbed.

Looks like the deluge of stories about American Idol is starting. Time to head into the ol’ bomb shelter. See ya in June!

Just when you think you’ve seen the last of the writers strike — over for almost a year now — you haven’t. It’s quite possible the strike really will be putting a damper on the quality of summer movies in 2009. You’ve been warned.

Call me crazy — but we need more people like Josh Brolin in the world right now. It’s cool enough that he went off on a New York Times theater critic. But then he dropped his drawers and had someone take a picture of his bare butt. He then sent it to said theater critic. Mental note: Make fun of Josh Brolin more often so that I open up my mail one day to find his butt buried under three CDs. And yes, every time I see him, I still think, “C’mon Brand, slip her the tongue!”

We’re not sure 17 episodes constitutes a full season, but that’s what fans of CBS’s worst week are getting this year, making it a bubble show when it comes to time to announce 2009-10 schedules in the spring. When the alternative is the insipid Rules of Engagement, something is up.

Yesterday, I would have said my probability for watching the inauguration was about 10 percent. But now that HBO is broadcasting it — and will be prone to gaffes and screw-ups because it isn’t used to doing live TV — the chances have sky-rocketed. To about 10.1 percent.

To answer this guy’s question — yes, I do consider things like torture, government conspiracies, new presidents and whatever the basics of 24. If you don’t — what show have you been watching for six years? I like this review. Gives me hope.

If ABC really is planning a one-night marathon to burn off the final three episodes of Pushing Daisies — the last of which reportedly has a cliffhanger that will never be resolved — then I don’t know if I could watch that all in one sitting. I think I’d wake up the next day spouting weird, pithy remarks and talking really fast.



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reality nightmare

I think I’ve reached the pinnacle of my distaste for Jon and Kate Plus 8, and it was from an episode I was hoping would make the show tolerable.

That’s because I finally saw the repeat of the episode where John took a bunch of the kids to the Sept. 26 Phillies game against the Nationals. I remember the date/game because it was the day my daughter was born and my brother was at the game. He told me the next day the kids were out on the field running the bases — I then proceeded to throw up my lung. Anyway, as I expected, Kate has no knowledge of baseball whatsoever and thinks that’s really funny, which means I hate her more, if that’s possible. Then John divulged how it was his first Phillies game despite his father growing up in Philly and him living about 90 minutes away. Then the one guy on the Phils I would expect to have no contact with this show in any form, Shane Victorino, says he got his fiance into it. I should actually be thanking Shane, since my wife is getting a little suspicious of my multiple man-crushes. We can now cross off Shane. If I find out Chase Utley or Cole Hamels watches the show, I’m looking for a new team. OK, not really. But it would make me angry.

Caught the Rock of Love Charm School reunion special, the one that has resulted in the police being called to the set because of Sharon Osbourne attacking Megan. I’ve never hit a woman — but if I ever seen Megan walking down the street, I’d give her a random short-arm clothesline and keep walking. I might spit on her while she’s on the ground convulsing. I’m convinced she’s the most evil bee-yatch on the planet, and it makes me angry I breathe the same air as her. Not only did she show up drunk/high, but she just has no concept of reality. If what she does is schtick, congrats, because I don’t know if I’ve ever hated anyone on reality TV as much as her. So good for you, Puck, you’ve finally made your way down to #2.

If I hate her so much, why am I mad that she’s not in the second season of I Love Money, starting Feb. 2? A couple observations: The Tailor Made-Budha angle could be interesting . . . I’m not sure how Heat will be able to survive without 12 Pack for a couple months . . . If you have an excuse to get Mr. Boston back on any show, YOU TAKE IT!!! Although I’m glad he finally got smart and stopped being part of the Celebreality machine.

One last Celebreality note — Rock of Love III is unwatchable. I tried last night, but couldn’t make it through the introductions and the customary photo taking. The only shock I saw was this was the first Rock of Love season where Bret recognized a porn star in the cast. The over/under was the third girl of season 2. Who know, though, maybe they’ll be interesting on I Love Money season 47.

This sounds about right for Nip/Tuck. Still cool, very visual and pretty interesting, but devoid of any of its original semblance of a great TV show. I’ll be blowing out a bunch of reviews for Nip/Tuck, Damages, Scrubs and Real World on Thursday, hopefully. Maybe Friday if Jenna doesn’t cooperate.

Well, this certainly is good to know. Now I can sleep at night knowing Lindsay still hearts Sam. One thing I’ve learned — yes just one thing — when you issue press releases to squash rumors, they’re probably true. If it’s just a rumor, you laugh it off and go about your business.

I’m not quite sure what the big deal over John Travolta’s son dying is. Although I found it funny when reports yesterday said something along the lines of Jett wasn’t being ignored, he had two nannies with him. Glad that’s settled that a very sick 16-year-old was hanging out with two nannies instead of his parents. What’s worse is that a day after it happened, I was flipping through the channels and had to see Kelly Preston’s comedically bad sex scene in Jerry Maguire. Awkward.

The Oscars Web site needed revamping. When I’m invariably looking for “who won what in what year” I go straight to Wikipedia, not the Oscars Web site. Faster loading, way easier to navigate. I doubt that’s going to change with any site redesign.

I’m kinda bummed that we just had to go throw two days without Artie Lange on Stern, I think he’s the one who makes the show interesting. But I’m with the people of the show — take your time, get better and kick the heroin thing.

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january premieres (part 1)

This is easily the most competitive January in the history of TV.

That’s not an exaggeration — but it’s not exactly a glowing endorsement either. January on TV has traditionally been just a step above January at the movie theaters — there usually isn’t a darn thing going on. It’s pretty much been a place where repeats rule and the term “hiatus” becomes a household word.

That changes this year.

About a dozen new shows are set to premiere and long-lost favorites are coming back for the first time in over a year, setting up some of the most competitive nightly battles of the year.

It’s so big, we can’t even fit it on one or two blog posts — we’re going to have to do this every week.

Here’s a look at the biggest shows coming back to TV this week and how much I’m looking forward to them, part 1 (1/5-11):

Scrubs, season 8, ABC, premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. Let’s all take a second and realize how good the world is because Sacred Heart Hospital has been brought back from the dead to take up residence at The Alphabet for what could be its last year. And why not? After its gross mistreatment at NBC for seven years, it’s about time someone said “Hey, we appreciate you guys.” So do we. Let’s hope for a season full of potshots at NBC for doing everything it can to kill off one of TV funniest shows before its time. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: 8

Nip/Tuck, season 6, FX, premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. If there’s one thing the people at FX know, it’s how to make brilliant previews. I can’t get that stupid song (Flashing Lights, Kanye West, explicit lyrics warning!) out of my head. Suddenly, a year’s worth of b!tching about how insanely off-the-wall season five was has been wiped away and now I’m in for another 12 episodes of the guiltiest of all guilty pleasures. The first time Matt tries to hook-up with Annie, though, I’m out. If they bother to acknowledge Annie’s existence, that it. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: 7.5

Damages, season 2, FX, premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. One thing I’ve learned while catching a few late-night repeats of Damages over the last couple weekends — Ted Danson was even better than I thought. And I thought he was fan-freakin’-tastic the first time around. I got down on this show during season 1 because I thought the middle episodes dragged like crazy, but I really wanted to year-end payoff. I liked the year-end payoff enough to jump on for season 2, but I can be convinced to drop it at just about any time. Like when they kill off Sam Malone midway through the year for good. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: 5

Real World: Brooklyn, season 21, MTV, premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. Don’t get hooked if you don’t have to — the first episode is always the best and then it draaaaaaaagggggggggssssss. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: 2

Monk, season 7, and Psych, season 3, USA, both premiere Friday. In 2005, I saw a live taping of The Late Show with Conan O’Brien. The guest the day before was the hot Jennifer Connelly. The guest the day after comedy legend Dan Aykroyd. When I was there? Tony Shalhoub. Which would have been fine, because if you can’t get geared up to see Antonio Scarpacci, you can’t get geared up for anyone. But he came out stiff, didn’t say one interesting thing and broke the land-air speed record for quickest exit from a talk show couch. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for that. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: -23

24, season 7, Fox, Sunday at 9 p.m. It’s been about 19 months since Jack Bauer has kept the world safe for us. Well, actually only about 6 weeks, if you count the time he spent in Africa stopping a military uprising. I don’t count that since he cried, even if it was fake tears. The fact that he’s back in the states now, and for some strange reason, I’m sleeping better at night. Maybe a full year away was exactly what Jack needed to make us all realize how much we missed him. 24’s patented four-hour, two-night premiere — the best season opening gimmick maybe in TV history — starts Sunday and continues Monday. ANTICIPATION LEVEL: 9.5


Monday: The Bachelor (moves to MTV), Secret Life of an American Teenager (ABC Family), True Beauty (ABC)

Tuesday: The Biggest Loser (NBC), Homeland Security (ABC), 10 Items or Less (TBS)

Wednesday: 13: The Fear is Real (CW)

Thursday: Dragon’s Den (BBC America)

Friday: Flashpoint (CBS), Howie Do It (NBC)

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exorcise this monument

Happy New Year everyone! And let’s pray 2009 is better to the country than 2008 was. Here’s to blind hope!

Good. Someone else who thought this NEPA monument is just weird. I still haven’t personally witnessed the bust of Jason Miller, but when the idea for this came around, I couldn’t help but take my right hand and hit my forehead with it in a combination of disgust and wonderment. I forget how much this cost — or, in other words, how much Paul Sorvino swindled out of the Lackawanna County Commissioners — but it didn’t make sense then and now people are noticing it just doesn’t make sense now.

Finally someone is bringing the hideous movie release schedule of late 2008 to light. It started last year, when it took until late January for most people to be able to see There Will Be Blood and no one said anything then. Now, it seems even worse. I see most of my movies at the Cinemark 20 in Moosic, and we haven’t gotten Slumdog Millionaire yet despite the poster being up in the lobby since early November. When I call to find out the schedule, they can’t tell me if Frost/Nixon, Milk or The Wrestler. It should be noted that they showed the trailer for all four of said movies at Cinemark. A friend of mine even e-mailed me the other day asking why he’s heard so much hype about The Wrestler, but hasn’t seen it in theaters — and he lives in Philly. Something is weird here.

Good news for the people who subscribe to Time Warner Cable. I still can’t believe it got this far, but I’m glad it was finally taken care of so those people don’t lose some necessary channels on their TV lineup.

For the first time since Santa brought me Born in the USA, No Jacket required and Reckless for Christmas in 1985, I didn’t buy or receive an album for Christmas. Looks like I wasn’t the only one.

I love these kinds of “what the pop culture world” teaches us kind of fun stories. My favorite lesson in the job hunting department is the the one from Norm, which says, as long as a bar will keep pouring beers and not charge, there’s really no reason to find work.

There’s nothing I want more than another Quentin Tarantino movie. But does anyone else get the feeling that Inglorious B@stards is being rushed? I’m not so big on this idea anyway, the whole remaking a weird movie just because you thought it was terribly bad in the first place. I’ll always trust Quentin, but the rush, plus the late-August release date, looks like the studio isn’t totally high on this bad boy.

Thanks to Dark Knight and little else, 2008 turned out OK for box office numbers. But I don’t see any big phenomena coming in 2009, especially with Watchmen already in trouble. So what else is there? Terminator? Wolverine? The box office will be taking a huge hit in 2009 . . .

. . . So there is going to be more emphasis on foreign markets. If you’re looking for a good investment in a grotesque economy, build a movie theater in Germany or Tokyo and watch the money roll in.

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boycott time warner

Happy New Year everyone! I’m taking New Year’s off, but I’ll be around Friday morning to find some news for you. Until, then here’s an extra long list of stuff today.

This just came to my attention Tuesday night while I was watching the Cartman-Wendy fight on a South Park rerun last night on my first night home alone with my daughter (my wife’s maternity just ended). I don’t know who’s in the wrong on this, but they should make it end. Now. While it’s not going to affect anyone around here because I don’t think Time Warner services any major piece of Pennsylvania anymore, there is no way in this day and age that TV watchers should have to go without MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. That’s Dark Ages stuff. I have battled my own cable company on different fronts and continue to do so, but I can’t remember being treated like this. If my cable company (Comcast) ever decided to just give the finger to someone like Viacom, I’d be on the phone with DirecTV in an hour.

Congrats to Doug Allen, who gets today’s “Whatever He’s Smokin’, Gimme Gimme Gimme!!!” Award. To think a SAG strike won’t shut down the industry seems pretty, umm, FREAKIN’ INSANE to me. Oh wait, actors will be allowed to give their voices to video games. That changes everything. My bad.

I absolutely KNEW this would be happening soon, that people in Hollywood would start coming forward and saying they were taken by that Madoff tool. On the bright side, I’ve been looking for an easier way to connect Fred Wilpon in the Kevin Bacon Game. It’s inevitable that a movie will be coming out about this, so please, please, please whoever is doing it, get Kevin Bacon to play himself!

Lots of trouble with the law these days. DMX gave up his court fight yesterday, then Matt Dillon got caught speeding in Vermont and Charles Barkley got hit with a possible DUI last night. I’ve always been a Barkley apologist, but the man is on a destructive path. The shocking part is this is the first time it’s happened.

Nothing but good news here, as far as I’m concerned. There’s just too many characters on Brothers and Sisters, and losing one isn’t going to make a bit of difference to the show. I’d prefer losing Kevin, who has become nothing more than a screaming, spoiled, selfish, domineering gay stereotype. Maybe Scotty could turn Tommy and they could be the gay couple, and Kevin can move to Alaska and never be heard from again.

I’m still somewhat hopeful for a Spider-Man musical. I think it can be fun and interesting and not completely sacrilegious. But if Jim Sturgess gets the part, then I’m officially off this project and will probably go to great lengths to sully any kind of credibility it may have. Spider-Man is an AMERICAN hero, and to have a British guy playing it just wouldn’t sit right with me. I liked Across the Universe a whole bunch more than I thought I would have. Mostly, that was because of Sturgess. But he just doesn’t belong on this. Where the heck is former Spider-Man voiceover master CD Barnes when you need him? Apparently everyone is looking for him.

What is with ABC? They don’t want to do their own dirty work? It’s letting its actors make series cancellation announcements? Bush. League. Network.

Wanna start a fight? Bring up Cinematical’s list of the year’s best movie casts. Then scream to the Hollywood heavens about how Doubt, Dark Knight and Milk somehow got left off.

I saw this Ben Lyons character for the first time on At the Movies this weekend, and I thought he was pretty douchey. But I wasn’t prepared to start Web sites against him. Apparently other people are.

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rip sharp

I’ve been putting this off for a week now. That’s long enough.

Sharp is dead.

Wow. That was tough to type.

But it’s true.

After this week’s issue — out on Thursday and centering on the best of the year in pop culture — Sharp will no longer be distributed through the Poconos. I can go on a tirade, throw people under the bus three at a time and p!ss and moan about everything from the economy to people ramming their wheelchairs into our delivery trucks.

The truth is, I can’t really blame anyone but myself. I’ve been told by numerous people I shouldn’t be doing that, that it’s not my fault. But from the beginning, I made this whole operation my own. I had 99.9999 percent autonomy over all the aspects of the magazine, and that’s how I wanted it. I figured if we were going to fail, we were going to fail my way.

Well, it’s now official. We failed my way.

I apologize to everyone who may find this to be a bad thing.

We’re not even sure yet what the future is going to hold for Sharp. We may keep the Web site going, we may not. We may take some of the content from Sharp and put it into the daily edition of the Pocono Record, we may not. We may insert some of it into Pocono Weekend, we may not. That’s still up in the air, but by the end of the week, we’ll know for sure and I’ll make an announcement of what we’re doing in PopRox on Monday.

That is the one piece of good news where this blog is concerned — I’m going to keep it going. Of all the bad news about Sharp, I can say that this blog continues to grow. We’re not getting boy-band hits or anything, but its almost triple now from what it was getting over the summer. So that’s nice. Plus, I love scouring the Net in the morning to find the biggest/weirdest entertainment news of the day and putting my own spin on it.

So for now, it’s still wait and see. But I do know we won’t be publishing the Sharp print edition after this week.

Anyone who has any suggestions as to what kind of direction we should take with Sharp, its remnants or the Web site, feel free to leave a comment or just e-mail me directly.

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