don’t panic…

Oh yeah, I’m currently reading…

The parts I’ve read before are just as wonderful as I remember and I can’t wait for the movie to be released on April 29th. The film will also have the trailer for the upcoming Firefly movie, Serenity, in front of it. Serenity will be released by Universal Pictures on September 30th.

i was walking with a ghost…

As NBC’s hit series Medium wafts through the ether, I realize that I am in love. Not with a girl mind you, for that silly premise has run its course.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Imagine hearing any and every song that you love at any time of the night or day. Now you can. No longer must you suffer through long periods of time with redundant commercials. SIRIUS offers 100% commercial-free, unedited music. And guess what? The DJs are actually funny, intelligent, well-witted, and knowledgeable! Imagine that! Whether you love Echo and The Bunnymen (The First Wave Channel would be up your alley then, with alternative artists from the ’80s), Elvis (who has his OWN channel), Bob Dylan, or Oasis. Maybe you love the groundbreaking no-holds-barred literate lyricism of rap pioneers like Chuck D and Public Enemy? Then BackSpin is all yours. Every genre of music is represented here and it is a truly amazing feat. Then add in the other channels, like Air America (the main reason I purchased SIRIUS) a second liberal talk channel called SIRIUS Left that carries Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, and a terrific program called The Young Turks, two conservative talk channels (if you’re so inclined…but why would you be?), NPR, BBC, and a channel devoted solely to radio serials!

I know that I sound like a walking ad for them but you really have no idea. And thankfully my sister’s boyfriend fixed the inner workings of our car so that we can use it in there as well! I got SIRIUS at Circuit City as they’ve opened a new store here last Thursday. There was a lady from xm radio who talked up her product very well. I was all ready to sign up but something wasn’t right. I excused myself, found an Internet-ready PC, and went to both radio services’s websites. SIRIUS has Air America on its own channel; xm doesn’t and cuts off The Majority Report to air the fake liberal Alan Colmes radio show. So long story short, I feel that I made the better deal. They still tried to convince me that xm was the way to go as NBA & NHL games will interrupt SIRIUS’s Air America channel but hopefully the NHL will not have a season this year and I can live with the NBA stuff. Either way, it’s great to have the liberal talk network on its own channel.

Looks suitably creepy, huh? This is French director Georges Franju’s reportedly nightmarish and claustrophobic 1959 horror film about a doctor who tries to rebuild his daughter’s scarred face by taking pieces from other girls. I got this from Netflix the other day and anticipate viewing it.

And in tremendously great indie film news…

I Heart Huckabees

This movie streets tomorrow and I am on pins and needles with excitement. I’ll be buying this no doubt. I also need to catch Constantine this weekend. I picked up the following movies at work on VHS for one dollar today: Dog Park, Better Off Dead (THE seminal John Cusack ’80s movie; fuck Say Anything! This is the real deal! “I want my two dollars!”), and Doc Hollywood.

This also comes out on DVD tomorrow…

Cube Zero

This one is a prequel to the Cube trilogy and I’ve heard great things. I’ll be giving this one a rent.

I will be taking a much-needed paid vacation from March 7th-14th. It’ll be nice to sleep in and take some time off from work.

An utter fucking genius

HUNTER S. THOMPSON

1937-2005

Rest In Peace

Much will be written of the “gonzo” journalist. They’ll talk about him as the free spirited, loose-canon, the zeitgeist of an era of muckraking. But he was so much more than that. I can only speak as to how he touched me.

I was doing poorly in school and my dad had taken a job in some shitty little town in Texas called Big Spring. He wanted my mother to sell our barely-a-year old house and move there. Well, we visited and it wasn’t much to speak of. Long story short, I was left there with my father in a futile attempt to turn my grades around. That March he and I took the most evil transport known to man, a Greyhound bus, from Big Spring, Texas to Savannah, Georgia, and then back again, jiggedy jigg.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of riding in a Greyhound bus over a long period of time then simply get into your car and stop the car every mile or so. It’s the same thing. The only thing I had to keep me company during this strange and tiresome ordeal was a piece-of-shit portable CD player and a well-worn hardback copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Hunter was on the cover looking like he’d just dropped some luggage at the airport and was wondering why you were staring.

It is an utterly alive and completely surreal experience and you can never call yourself a reader if you’ve not sunk your ocular orbs into it. Words cannot articulate the novel’s richness, its blatant contempt for the facile. It moves. It lives. It breathes.

Hunter S. Thompson was one of a kind. No one knows why he took his own life. But he has left us a legacy of great writing and wild stories and I will make sure to catch up on what I’ve missed. His life and times are legend and now he will be as well.

My left foot hurts…

DONATE TO THE DNC

Contribution amount:
$

Dammit, I need new shoes STAT! I’m about to watch Bill Maher on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country. His much excellent HBO series, Real Time With Bill Maher, returns this Friday LIVE at 11PM Eastern.

The Grammys were the best I’ve seen, perhaps. Green Day rocked and won Best Rock Album, Gwen Stefani (whose CD I bought and am having buyer’s remorse/second thoughts) and Eve, U2, etc. It was a great show. And kudos to Air America’s Steve Earle for winning Best Contemporary Folk Album for his politically charged The Revolution Starts…Now. Coincidentally, it’s also the name of his Air America weekend show. The soundtrack to Garden State also picked up a golden gramophone. I bought Garden State last night at work. We’ve just marked it as previously viewed. $11.49 or so is not too bad a price to pay for one of the year’s most shining and brilliantly original films.

We ate at Bennigan’s last night. IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!

Well, soup’s on. We’re having steak and eggs.

I’m down to 3…

DNC

Contribution amount:
$

episodes of Desperate Housewives, that is. Damn does that show keep getting better. It’s like the skin of an onion, revealing itself in layers. Now all that’s left on TiVo are 12 (I believe) episodes of Veronica Mars and six episodes of Battlestar Galactica. I plan to sort through those and pull a TV-watching all-nighter. Damn am I some kind of TV geek!

My tax refund has come. I’ve mainly just used this on food purchases, helped my mother purchase some medicine for her rheumatoid arthritis, and to take part in the 3 previously viewed DVDs for $20 promotion at work. I bought Before Sunset, All I Want (previously titled Try Seventeen), a romantic comedy starring Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, and Franka Potente. The film was made in 2002. My third film was Girl With A Pearl Earring. I love Scarlett Johansson and have been meaning to see this highly acclaimed film. After this, I still have a somewhat decent amount of money left and I still have my state refund left to receive. I’m currently mulling over what to do with the majority of it. I do know that I’ll be donating some of it to the DNC. The rest will go to getting some new shoes and the remaining amount will either be used for a new TV, DVD player, or perhaps a new 80-hour TiVo or an XBox. But after much consideration I don’t think the gaming system is my style. But I’ll let you know.

Jason Bateman hosts “SNL” tonight with musical guest Kelly Clarkson. If FOX cancels Arrested Development, I will fucking scream like a banshee. It is *the* best show on television, next to Battlestar Galactica, 24 and Desperate Housewives.

More later when I fully emerge from my television engagements. Enjoy your Saturday and your weekend!

It’s the dawning of a new day in America

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean

Contribution amount:
$

DONATE!. Let’s let the new Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean know how we feel, that we’re energized and ready to fight.

I’d like to thank Chairman Dean for bringing the fire back to the Democratic Party. I look forward to hearing his ideas and seeing them implemented immediately so that we can take back this country. In my local area, Savannah, Georgia, I’d like to see more representation of the Democrats. It seems like the South was forsaken the last time around. As Bill Maher so succinctly put it, “There are alot of blue people in red states” and I am one of them. Also, the county that Savannah is located in, Chatham, went for Kerry 51% to 49%. I truly believe Chairman Dean is right when he says showing up is the first step in winning. I am eager to do whatever it takes and am excited to help bring this party to its zenith.

Look out, right-wing Republicans, your days in power are numbered. As I’ve stated before they can keep underestimating and marginalizing him. Just don’t be surprised when we reclaim the House, Senate, and ultimately, the presidency and then retain these positions.

Here’s the text of Chairman Dean’s speech to the DNC this morning (which I watched LIVE on C-SPAN):

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/politics/3036902

By the way I also just finished watching the Battlestar Galactica miniseries and WOW!

Words cannot describe the pure emotion and intelligence that this material has been given. I am absolutely in awe over it. Everything from the cast, the score, the special effects, the already mentioned incredible writing – it all hums along to its own iconic rhythym and I anticipate watching the series. If it’s anywhere near as amazing as the miniseries…

Oh and I think I’m in love with Katee Sackhoff’s truly alive portrayal of Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. She emboldens Starbuck with a gleeful exuberance while remaining a kick-ass, tough-as-nails, take-no-prisoners soldier. And Olmos is enthralling as Commander William Adama. So check it out if ever you get the chance.

middle of the week post is here for all to perouse…

So, Super Bowl XXXIX has come and gone and the Batman Begins spot is currently available at http://www.batmanbegins.com. The best commercials were by AmeriQuest.

I’m listening to Mike Malloy on Air America Radio. He’ll be filing in for Randi Rhodes on Mondays for the next few weeks as she deals with medical issues. I wish her a speedy recovery. Guest hosts have not been announced for the other days of the week.

Later I’m going to listen to the first part of today’s Morning Sedition. I downloaded it from Air America Place. It’s got a blog, message board, and thousands of hours of Air America Radio programming archived for your pleasure. So do yourself a favor and jot over there!

A Very Long Engagement vacates Regal Cinemas’s Savannah 10 this weekend so that the Will Smith/Eva Mendes romantic comedy Hitch can unspool in its hallowed halls. C’mon guys, can’t you keep a critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated French film for more than a fucking week? Oh, that’s right. I live in Savannah, Georgia. Oh well, DVD here I come, I guess. I do need to go see a movie sometime this weekend.

My left foot has been causing me severe pain as of late. I truly believe that it’s my shoes. They’re Reeboks and I’ve had them for a while but it’s causing me to limp. I plan to get a new pair, with plenty of support for my always tired feet, ASAP. If that doesn’t work then it’s off to a podiatrist for me. At work all we have is carpet slapped violently onto a hard as hell tile floor. So nine hours a day and five days a week of standing on this monstrosity can cause one pain. I’ll update you on this exciting endeavor.

http://www.wonkette.com/politics/republicans/index.php#lazy-americans-becoming-less-lazy-032508

God, I hate that asshole. Yet another reason why I’m so excited for Dean to take over as the head of the DNC. As I’ve stated before though he may be facing an uphill battle against evil neo-cons who’ll throw eighteen kitchen sinks at him, he will not wilt or fade in the face of Republican smearings. He gives as good as he gets and we need him now more than ever. So keep your idiocy rolling, Monkey Boy. The Democrats are coming back in a big way. I’m doing my part and will be joining the DNC in the next few weeks.

And our last news from the political realm is the brilliance of the bloggers as they’ve exposed this guy Jeff Gannon. He worked for Talon News, which is just a front for a group called GOP USA, and was granted White House access. He was also allowed to see classified CIA information, including the infamous documents concerning undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame. His “news stories” were just cut-and-paste jobs from RNC talking points. Hit http://www.mediamatters.org for more info on that. As the wonderful blog we all know and love The Daily Kos put it, “Why should we care about Jeff Gannon? A potential male prostitute gets White House credentials using a fake name, provides McClellan a welcome ideological lifeline during press conferences, and somehow gets access to classified CIA documents that outs an undercover CIA operative. Head on over to those blogs for the whole hoary deal.

Desperate Housewives - Sundays at 9PM Eastern - Only on ABC

AWESOME SHOW!

I cannot stress the beauty and intricate nature, coupled with the darkly comedic writing, that makes Desperate Housewives such an amazing cannot-miss television series.

Veronica Mars is brilliant as well, with Kristen Bell a tour de force in the title role.

And in other great news…

Battlestar Galactica - A SCI FI Channel Original Series - Fridays at 10PM Eastern - http://www.scifi.com/battlestar has been renewed for a second season!

The details have yet to be hammered out (how many episodes, when filming and airing of these new episodes would begin, etc.) but expect a press release from SCI FI shortly. Here’s the news from Sci-Fi Wire, SCI FI’s official news service:

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=0&id=30357

I’m looking forward to diving into all of this sci-fi goodness this weekend sometime. I just need to get through all of the stuff on Tivo. I plan to do both as soon as I can.

I’m off from work tomorrow! Yay! Sleep is lovely and I plan to do alot of it. But knowing me I’ll probably be up early listening to Air America Radio online and their affiliate in Charleston.

And let’s start those letter-writing campaigns, folks…

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/television/brief_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000791397

Look, I understand you love the ratings American Dad got. But it followed the FUCKING Super Bowl, for crying out loud! If FOX gives Arrested Development the axe after it’s won five Emmys and Jason Bateman’s won a Golden Globe and is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, I will flip my fucking lid. This is the BEST damn show on television and FOX needs to realize this…and fast!


i’m calling…can you hear me…

So the XXXIX Super Bowl is this weekend and like any good film geek, I’m more interested in the commercials and the movie trailers/spots. Plus MTV2 is relaunching with what I hope is a more intriguing and cool format. They’ll be culling their on-air branding from old B-movies and old public school films, and they plan to focus more on alternative bands. I just hope they can restore a sense of coolness to the proceedings, something it’s sister network stopped having in late 1996. Their artsy “unofficial” website, complete with new logo is at http://www.the2headeddog.com



Weird website, huh?



I imagine they’ll relaunch the official website at http://www.mtv2.com as well. It all begins at 12AM Sunday.

The Grammys are next Sunday! GO Green Day. “American Idiot” is the album of the year and it deserves to win EVERYTHING! They’re also performing and I hope it’s “Holiday”, their next single.



Ed Schultz of “The Ed Schultz Show” is on Dennis Miller tonight on CNBC. He and fellow liberal talker Stephanie Miller are syndicated to Jones Radio Network by Democracy Radio and they’re both great, although Ed talks about football too much. I prefer Stephanie but Ed does well fighting the right-wing and is the best bet to bring the misguided right into our tent.



Al Franken of “Saturday Night Live” and Air America Radio’s “The Al Franken Show” fame, will be on the “Late Show with David Letterman”. AAR just launched on KTLK-AM in Los Angeles yesterday as “K-TALK 1150 – L.A.’s Progressive Talk”. Their website is under development at http://www.progressivetalk1150.com/main.html. Air America Radio will launch in Corpus Christi, Texas this Thursday. It’s not even a year later and they’re on almost 50 stations! And they said liberal/progressive talk wouldn’t work or last…hah! HBO will air a documentary about AAR’s launch and it’s continued growth in March. It’s called “Left Of The Dial” and I can’t wait to see it.



Jesus Christ, just get a room already, Lieberman!



http://www.brendanloy.com/archives/016681.html

I sincerely hope the Democrats run someone against him in ’06. And I say go for it. He’s another Zell Miller, a Republican in Democratic clothing. From this to his steadfast bend-over ability for each and every Bush idea and his voting yes for the confirmation of Torture Czar Extraordinare Alberto Gonzales, he needs to be kicked out of there.

I haven’t donated to the tsunami relief yet but there’s a benefit single with a bunch of recording artists coming out soon. It’s a cover of the wonderful Eric Clapton song “Tears In Heaven”. 100% of the proceeds are going to the relief effort so I’ll gladly purchase a copy.

Two cinema greats passed away recently. Ossie Davis and John Vernon. May you both rest in peace. I never met you gentlemen, but you’ve touched my life over the years all the same. My thoughts to their friends and family and I thank them for the great work. RIP.



Ossie Davis



John Vernon

C’mon tax refund! Get here quick! I need some money!

We have some trauma at work concerning employees leaving because of their school commitments and various other reasons, so it’s going to be a bit crazy until we can get things rationed out properly. We’ll get it done though.

Howard Dean For DNC Chair

GO DEAN!!!!! He is *just* the person we need to get the Democratic Party off its ass and into gear. The Republican thugs can laugh and play “the scream” all day long. Hell, Dean even laughs about it now. Howard Dean can bring the savvy fundraising and grassroots activism from his presidential campaign into bringing the Democrats back into the fight, energized and ready to win. So go ahead and continue to marginalize him, neo-con monkeys. We’ll have the last laugh in 2006 and 2008.

More later folks…I have yet to wade through the rest of the Desperate Housewives on TiVo and various other items. Enjoy the weekend and the Super Bowl (rumor has it that Batman Begins will have a trailer spot) and don’t forget that a new episode of The Simpsons airs afterwards and then the new series from Seth MacFarlane, American Dad debuts.

i’m mr. liberal…and it’s friday, too!

Um, sorry about the whole not posting thing. It’s terribly unbecoming of me.



Ladies and gentlemen, here are my 2005 Oscar picks.

Click here for the list of nominees.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE



C’mon. We all know that Jamie Foxx is going to win. I still haven’t seen Ray but am looking forward to watching it tomorrow.



ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE



Thomas Haden Church was absolutely wonderful in Sideways but the Golden Globes usually never lie so I think Clive Owen will take home Oscar gold.



ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE



I’d like to see Catalina Sandina Moreno take the award and I applaud the Academy for daring to step outside the box with her nomination. Kate Winslet was breathtaking in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Swank’s getting buzz also. Formality wins out. It’ll go to Bening and I’ll curse under my breath. But this could go either way.



ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE



I’ve heard Sophie Okonedo is heart-wrenching in Hotel Rwanda and I’d like to see Natalie Portman pick this up. But I think Virginia Madsen’s sweet-tempered, wine-loving waitress in Sideways will win this one.



ANIMATED FEATURE FILM



Are you kidding me? The Incredibles by a long shot. It was masterful and a million times better than alot of this year’s live action offerings. If it loses, I will personally bitchslap each and every Academy member.



ART DIRECTION



Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and its lavish, fantasy-laden opticals could garner favor here. Jeunet’s also got an eye for the visual. But I think that The Phantom of the Opera will win purely because of its lavish and ornate sets and their designs. Plus it was not nominated for COSTUME DESIGN which I find odd, so the award will go to them.



COSTUME DESIGN



As stated above, Phantom is shut out here. While Ray and Troy, from what I’ve seen, accurately reflect the eras of their respective stories, Sandy Powell’s recreation of the golden era of Hollywood glitz will capture Oscar gold of its own. Damn I sound like a flack from E! but so be it.



DIRECTING



If Clint Eastwood wins this, I’ll kick the TV screen in. One word: Marty. Scorsese’s been nominated far too long to be snubbed again and if those aging flywheels (thanks Ebert for the word) at the Academy give it to a workman like Hackford or Eastwood as I mentioned, it’ll be a ton of bullshit.



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



I’ve heard great things of the Laura Lazin-produced and directed Tupac: Resurrection and nothing of the others. Super Size Me lit the great fire of the fast food debate and was a water cooler movie for the nation late last summer. I want to see director Morgan Spurlock on stage and I predict we will.



DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT



MIGHTY TIMES: THE CHILDREN’S MARCH



EDITING

While Collateral made a DV film prove it can look great, Scorsese’s long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker will get the nod for piecing together The Aviator. And if she doesn’t,…well, you get the drill..or the Academy will…



FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM



It’s curious not to see Walter Salles’s Robert Redford-produced The Motorcycle Diaries not nominated here. I’m interested in Downfall, about Hitler’s final days. The Chorus seems like a pleasant movie, although Ebert has said something to the effect of it being “maudlin” and that the boys sound too good to be a child’s chorus in a rundown orphanage. Once again, the Golden Globes are the precursor and The Sea Inside will pick the Oscar up and Alejandro Amenabar deserves it.



MAKEUP



Lemony Snicket. Purely because the Academy will want to snub Passion.



MUSIC



Finding Neverland. Just because. Unless they want to throw a bone to Passion, which would be a shame.



MUSIC (SONG)



Phantom of the Opera. C’mon, it’s so obvious.



BEST PICTURE



While I’d love to see Sideways walk away with it, it’s going to be a toss-up between Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator. I think the faction will be widely contentious and if Eastwood wins this, I’ll be just as pissed as I was when the overrated hobbit-a-thon won last year. I’m going to say The Aviator and hope with all of my might it does extremely well on Oscar night.



SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)



Bill Plympton’s Guard Dog



SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)



Gary McKendry’s Everything In This Country Must, but 7:35 In The Morning sounds very intriguing.



SOUND EDITING



The Incredibles. Are you crazy? Did you hear this thing in theatres? And the score should have been nominated, dammit!



SOUND MIXING



Ditto. See above.



VISUAL EFFECTS



Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man 2. John Dykstra and his crew redefined the effects from the first and produced an amazing array of cinema magic. Pretentious-sounding, isn’t it?



WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)



In a perfect cinematic world, the lyrical valentine that is Before Sunset would win. But, alas, it’s not to be. If Paul Haggis wins, see comments under DIRECTING. But I truly believe the brilliant screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for Sideways will win here.



WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)



Charlie Kaufman deserves it, no question but so does The Incredibles. Mark my words, John Logan will pick up the Oscar for The Aviator.



Remember the Academy Awards will air Sunday, February 27th at 8PM ET on ABC.