Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Tale of 2 Edwins

Hey, while poking around the 'Net, I just learned that I have something in common with Stephen King! Something, I mean, besides the fact that both of us are bad writers given to outburst of purple prose. We have the same middle name: Edwin! He is Stephen Edwin King and I, last I checked, am Raymond Edwin Tomczak.
Ok, I'll admit that maybe it's not as cool as it sort of seemed at first.
Ah, what the hell....

"The Class" Still Has None

With the season/series finale (last I heard, CBS hadn't decided yet) of The Class coming up, I decided last night to force myself to sit through an entire episode, something I haven't been able to do for months, to see if this fetid lump of crap still stinks as much as it did when it was first excreted back in the fall. Boy, does it ever! The Class is still as lame, predictable, uninpired, unimaginative, unoriginal, and, most of all, unfunny as it was in its debut episode. Last night's episode was a perfect example of this. The network promos touted an unexpected ending that you dare not miss, however it was "twist" that I could see coming as soon as Nicole tells her lover Duncan that she's going to leave her husband Yonk. To predict the outcome of the episode, I simply ask myself what a lazy, uninspired hack writer would have happen at that point, and, being somewhat of a lazy, uninspired hack myself, I quickly answered myself, "Some sort of medical emergency. Maybe Yonk has a heart attack." Sure enough, the episode ended with Yonk clutching his left side and collapsing while at lunch with the guy his wife is about to leave him for.
Given its lack of originality or humor, I would urge CBS to wipe this stain off its schedule as soon as possible, yet given the current sorry state of the network sitcom (with the notable exception of NBC's excellent Thursday night line-up) I doubt they'd find anything better to replace it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Weren't the Oscars Last Night??

I fully intended to watch the damned Academy Awards. I really did.
But after Ellen Degeneres' awkward and unfunny monologue, a couple of awards in categories that no one gives half a crap about right up front, and Will Ferrell singing (this must never be allowed to happen again), I knew that I was going to fall asleep in front of my TV long before Hollywood's annual orgy of self-congratulation finally wound to a halt in the wee hours of the morning, so I decided to pack it in early, turn off the idiot box and go to bed.
Nothing that happened last night was much of a surprise to anyone, anyway, at least not to me--not even Degeneres' weak showing. Why this woman is allowed to host awards shows is a mystery to me. They should have gotten John Stewart again if you ask me. Even David Letterman would have been better.
While Forrest Whittaker likely deserved his win for Best Actor, it is a pity that Peter O'Toole couldn't have won. After all, he's been nominated eight times without winning and, as he's somewhere around 120 years old, this was probably his last shot. There just aren't a lot of Oscar worthy roles being written for walking cadavers these days.
That is all that I care to say about the Oscars for this year, except to continue to wonder why the Academy snubbed Kevin Smith and his epic Clerks II. (I'm not joking. Jason Mewes deserves an Oscar!! He is our greatest living actor!!---Ok, I'm joking a little bit.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The WORD's Oscar Picks '07

Oscar picks?
Look, I spend all my time when I'm sitting around not here in front of a computer screen typing up my useless, uniformed opinions sitting around my apartment watching TV, reading comics and wallowing in pointless self-pity, so it goes without saying that I have failed to see any of the films nominated for any Oscar this year. Hell, the only movie I dragged my sorry ass out off my couch to actually see in a theater last was Clerks II, which, sadly, was completed passed over by the Academy. This, however, will not stop me, in my capacity as semi-professional Pop pundit, from spouting off about who should or shouldn't win in a couple of categories.
For Best Director, it probably is about time, after a three decade career and several previous nominations without a win, that Scoresese takes the statue home. In the Best Actor category, while I haven't seen The Last King of Scotland, I hear Forrest Whittaker really tears up the screen in it and I've always liked him in any other film he's been in, so he's my pick as well as that of people who've actually bothered to watch this film.
And I see that in the Best Foreign Language film, the Academy, unlike the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which dispenses the Golden Globes, has actually adhered to the spirit of the category by nominating only actual foreign films, rather than American films made in a foreign language by actors turned director trying to be "arty," such as Mel Gibson's Apocalypto or Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima, which took the Globe in the category. Of course, as to which film actually wins, I don't give a crap because I didn't see any of them and most of them never even played in Columbus, Ohio anyway.
If I can actually stay up to the end of this snoozefest, I'll report on my impressions later in the week.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Are They Live or Mammorex?

Speaking of the burning issues of the day; here's one that had me tossing and turning at night, unable to get to sleep (and you thought I just drank too much coffee). I ran across this clip on YouTube in which American Idol runner-up (aka "loser") Katherine McPhee goes on the Tyra Banks Show to settle once and for all the question of whether or not her breasts are "real." The answer? To quote Teri Hatcher in a famous, but not very funny (like all of them), episode of Seinfeld: "They're real. And they're spectacular!" By the way, this clip is not for the kids.

And Now: The Really Important News

Y'know, Brittany Spears and the late Anna Nicole Smith have been so in the news recently that I'm beginning to get the details of the two stories confused. However, I think I've got it straight now:
If I'm understanding correctly, Anna Nicole is checking into rehab, while Brittany will be buried in the Bahamas and Kevin Federline gets custody of both women's kids.
Well, if that isn't the way things have worked out, it should be. Except for the part about K-Fed getting the kids. They'd probably be better off with that Columbus, Ohio couple recently convicted for locking their foster kids in cages.

The Quotable Simon Cowell: Season 6 Semi-Finals Week 1

To Paul Kim: "I would suggest that you put your shoes on next week."
Unfortunately, he won't have a chance to either follow or ignore that advice, because he went home Thursday.
To Sanjaya Malakar: "I tell you what; they'll like your hair."
On Chris Sligh's performance: "I kind of felt I was at some weird student gig."
I'm confused. Which is weird, Si, the gig or the student? (Actually, in Sligh's case, it's definitely the student.)
To Ryan Seacrest, responding to the charge that he was too "negative": "Unlike you, I actually respect the audience at home and I don't believe in lieing to them."
About Amy Krebs: "When you sing, you have the personality of a candle."
To Ryan, concerning Alaina Alexander: "Are you trying to date this girl?"
After Lakisha Jones sang: "I am very tempted to say to 23 people, 'Book your plane tickets home.'"
To Ryan, about Lakisha: "The lady standing next to you now basically has thrown down the gauntlet."

Idol Gossip: Semi-Finals Week 1

So, I heard on the Today show this morning that nude photos of American Idol contestant Antonella Barba have surfaced somewhere here in cyberspaceland. According to the report, Fox network execs have not commented on this and won't say if it will affect her future on the show.
Well, I don't really think she has too much of a future on the show. Nude pics on the 'net won't hurt her chances of being the next American Idol, but her utter lack of singing ability just might. There's really very little chance that she'll survive into the final 12.
Actually, I'm surprised that she squeaked past this week after her attrocious performance on Wednesday night. However, I am glad that she wasn't voted off, because I really hate the song she did, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing," not to mention her embarassingly awful rendition of it, and I'm glad that I didn't have to suffer through an encore.
I was prepared for Chris Sligh to go home Thursday, too, simply because I've picked him to win the whole shooting match and I'm never right about these things.
Now, just because I picked Sligh to win doesn't mean that he's my favorite singer or that I think he's the best or that he deserves to win. It actually reflects the fact that I think he looks like the least likely candidate for Idolhood at this point and therefore might just surprise us all and take the prize.
Now, if you asked me who I think truly deserves to go all the way, based on this week's performances, I'd have to agree with Simon that the others should start packing for home because Lakisha Jones has "thrown down the gauntlet."
This woman is the real surprise of the competition. This season we have people like background singers Brandon Rogers and Melinda Doolittle who have been making their living in the music industry, but a true amateur, a single mother who works in a band and only sings in public at church on Sundays, has come from nowhere and blown everyone out of the water. Of course, giving talented amateurs a chance to shine is part of what Idol is all about.
My sister thinks that Jones has been jinxed, however, and after Simon's high praise she doesn't have a chance to win. She says that Cowell said something similar to Mandisa last season and she suffered an unexpected early exit.
Well, I think that if Jones doesn't win, it will be not because of the Curse of Cowell but because the people voting don't know a good singer when they hear it and will instead vote for some cute, funny goofy guy with weird hair just like they did last year, which is precisely why I've tagged Chris Sligh as the probable champ.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Oops! TOP Did It Again!!

My God, they must have brass ones over at The Other Paper. (For my readers outside of Columbus, TOP is our leading "alternative" newsweekly.) I mean, they have got chutzpah coming out their freakin' ears.
In this week's Media Morsels column, the unnamed writer mocks the Ohio State University student paper, The Lantern, for declaring in an article: "When the temperature is below 20 degrees Celsius, that is when officials will decide if classes should be cancelled." The Media Morsels author points out that 20 Celsius is equivalent to 68 Fahrenheit, and smarmily suggests that OSU might be back in session by March, if there's a warm spell.
I do not believe that TOP would dare to ridicule another publication for a minor mistake when an average issue of their worthless rag is riddled with stupid errors. Some months ago, I cited their reference to the "Dutch" cartoons of Mohammed, when anybody who paid even cursory attention to the news twelve months ago knew that the controversial drawings appeared in a Danish newspaper. Then there's the review of The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie, in which the reviewer cited The Lizzie Maguire Movie and Recess among films made from Nickelodeon shows, when the shows that inspired those two wastes of celluloid aired on The Disney Channel. Just last week, in a pointless cover story mocking local TV station's coverage of the recent snow emergency, writer Dan Williamson reported: "Channel 4 intruded upon All My Children so Marshall McPeek could conduct an interview with Robert Crockett of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency."
Wow! That must have been some interview if Channel 4 felt the need to pre-empt another station's programming. You see, Channel 4 is an NBC affilliate, and All My Children, an ABC soap, airs locally on Channel 6.
I considered writing about that boo-boo last week right after I read it, but decided that it wasn't really that big a deal, just the latest in a seeming endless string of stupid mistakes that make it into print with alarming regularity. At least it wasn't a big deal until TOP had the temerity to take another newspaper to task for a goof that really wasn't such a big deal either. Apparently, the stone throwers at The Other Paper don't realize just what their own house is constructed of.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

YouTube and the Lazy Blogger

All right, world...I'm tired, I'm sick, I'm depressed, and, quite frankly, I have nothing worthwhile to say about anything today. However, I will feel guilty if I let this blog go unupdated for two days in a row, especially after missing so many days last week because the weather shut down the Coulumbus Public Libraries.
So I say Thank God for You Tube! Instead of posting my thoughts, I'll put up someone else's.
To be perfectly honest, I haven't even watched this clip, but this Mark Day guy is really funny, so it should be good.
Thank you and good night...I'm going home and taking a nap before American Idol.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tales From The Fridge

I was reading an article in the latest issue of PLAYBOY (Yes, I said "reading an article." Some people do actually do that. Stop snickering.) where I came across the following odd but interesting statistic: "Researchers...have found that the average American opens the refrigerator door 22 times a day."
This provides me with further proof, though no more was truly needed, that I am not average. I have never in my life, definitely not in all the years I've been living on my own, opened my refrigerator door 22 times in one day. In fact, I can often go for days at a time without opening it at all.
I suppose that would change if I actually kept food in there rather than simply using it to hide the dirty dishes and stash empty pizza boxes.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Idol Gossip: You're On The Show, Baby!

I'm ready to call it.
Yes, even before the Top 24 semi-finalists take the American Idol stage to sing for your votes, I am prepared to predict a winner.
I was surprised that he even got to Hollywood, and even more surprised when he survived the first day of Hollywood week, but after he and his group, accompanied by Blake Lewis' beat-boxing, provided the highlight of the group round, I was not surprised that he survived the last day and into the Top 24.
Like last season's winner, Taylor Hicks, he's good, but not the best singer in the competition. However, he's funny and cute in a big cuddly teddy bear sort of way and his personality will win over America, especially America's women, whom I suspect do the majority of Idol voting.
So, who am I talking about?
Ladies and gentlemen, I now present your American Idol 2007:
As I said, he has a winning sense of humor. When he showed up in Birmingham, he told the judges that he was trying out because he wanted to "make David Hasselhoff cry." (I guess the Hoff shed a tear at one of Taylor's performances in the finale.) Arriving for his final interview with the judges, he said, "I suppose you're wondering why I called you all here today," which also shows a confidence that will carry him far. Plus, as I also said, he's got the whole big teddy bear look going on, and he really is quite a talented singer. All of this will, I believe, combine to endear him to the Idol audience and carry him right through to finale night.
The only other big surprise out of Hollywood was Baylie Brown exiting after the group round. Based on her initial audition and Simon's comment that she was "born to be a pop star," I expected to see her for quite a few weeks to come. I hope that she isn't too discouraged by this and comes out again next year.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Yeah, So I Was Watching The Grammys Last Night...

I did not want to watch the Grammy Awards. I tried to avoid them. I even watched the last half hour of Grease: You're the One That I Want, which proved to be the lame-ass American Idol rip off that I thought it was. Finally, I gave up and checked out the Grammys for about an hour before going to bed, and I have one question:
Wasn't it supposed to be an awards show?
Ok, the performances were actually really good, especially the Carrie Underwood/Rascal Flats tribute to the Eagles and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," but during the entire hour that I watched, I think that maybe three, at most, awards were actually presented and two of those went to the Dixie Chicks.
(I'm sure Underwood winning for Best New Artist was not what CBS execs were hoping for. After all, her win pretty much amounted to free publicity for one of their competitors shows, American Idol.)
Of course, the music is why people tune in to the show, and I'll bet most people watching didn't care at all who won what. So if that's the case, why not just dispense with the awards altogether. Present the cheesy little statues in a private ceremony, and have a TV special later that's nothing but the winners and select nominees performing and isn't bogged down by the boring awards presentation stuff.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Access Investigates

For tomorrow night's program, "Access investigates who is profitting from Anna Nicole (Smith)'s death," promised the promo for Access Hollywood at the end of its weekend edition.
Please, Access Hollywood, please tell us just who is attempting to cash in on the sudden and mysterious death of Anna Nicole Smith? Who?
What entertainment "news" show used the tragedy as an excuse to devote an entire hour to rehashing the details of earlier celebrity deaths from James Dean to River Phoenix? Who is giving the story far more air time than it merits? Who promises to cover every aspect of Anna Nichol's life and death, no matter how minute? Who begins the promo for their next episode with the line "The Anna Nicole Smith tragedy moves to the Bahamas," which sounds more appropriate for a story about Spring Break?
Well, I'll be damned if ain't Access Hollywood, that's who. Rival Entertainment Tonight is right by their side in the race to exploit the story, digging up every bit of footage they had of Smith to fill up their own weekend hour. Even Dateline: NBC devoted a good chunk of its show last night to raking over all the sordid details surrounding the former Playboy Playmate's life and death.
That Access Hollywood's "investigation" will yield the same conclusion, of course, is highly unlikely.

Friday, February 09, 2007

To the Columbus Dispatch: A Call For a New Comics Page!!

The Other Paper also reports this week that The Columbus Dispatch will be cutting staff and cutting some syndicated features, which, Dispatch associate publisher Mike Curtin explains, are readily available right here on the Interweb, in favor of more locally oriented features. Specific examples sited are the stock listings and the Op-Ed page.
What about the comics page? All of the comics the Dispatch carries, from Pearls Before Swine to Peanuts, are available on-line. Not only that, but this city is home to a plethora of highly talented and unfortunately unknown cartoonists, myself included, who would jump at the chance to be seen in the town's largest daily paper. The Dispatch could ditch its generic, cookie cutter comics page that looks like that of every other daily paper in every other city in America in favor of something truly one of a kind with a distinctly local flavor. And if it succeeds, soon papers across the country will be spotlighting local cartoonists and the Dispatch will be hailed for leading newspaper comics into the new century.
Mr. Curtin, I urge you to have the vision and courage to do this. Be a man and print my comics!!

"Made-Up" Holidays

I'm not sure if I should include this post under the category of "The Other Paper Sucks" since what I'm railing against is not so much the stupidity of TOP but something stupid that somebody unconnected with the rag is quoted as saying in the cover story. Then again, TOP's "reporter" did opt to use the stupid quote in the piece, and the editor apparently thought that a Valentine's Day puff piece on why whiny pathetic losers are still single was worthy of the cover spot. (Probably the same moron who thought that a lame article about Channel 6 airing Seinfeld repeats in prime time was front page material. Fortunately, TOP's obscession with Seinfeld seems to have waned, though it continued several years past the show's cancellation.)
The article in question ends thusly:
"I don't know what's wrong with the men in this city," said 25 year old hair stylist Stephanie Ernst. "But I do know Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, so who cares?"
Of course it is! All holidays are "made-up" by someone. They do not just occur naturally, nor are they handed down by God (not even Christmas and Easter). We have holidays because somebody or a group of somebodys or a government or religious group thought that a particular person, cause or event was worthy of commemorating annually and set aside a day to do it. And frankly, Valentine's Day has more of a claim to being a "real" holiday, simply by virtue of having been around longer, than such Johnny Come Latelies as Kwanzaa, Martin Luthor King Day and President's Day.
Frankly, I don't bother with most holidays, "made-up" or not. Except Christmas, but that's only because of my nieces. Really. I do it for the kids.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Quotable Simon Cowell: Season 6; Week 4

About Bryan Kyrish, who claimed to have won a "mock-American Idol" singing contest, yet couldn't even make to Hollywood on the real thing: "What was the person who came in last like?"
On Baylie Brown: "You are commercial with a capital C."
To Deborah Taylor: "What normally happens when you sing in public?"
Deborah Taylor: "I've had people cry."
Simon: "I can believe that."
On Sandie Chavez: "The worst news is it says she's a music teacher." It's a good thing Randy didn't know that in advance or he might have torn her a new one like he did with the so-called vocal coach.
To Jacob Tutor: "I think you need be in a very dark bedroom when you sing that song." I'm not sure what he meant by that but I'm pretty certain he intended it as an insult.
To Jimmy McNeal: "You're like a little fun Ruben, aren't you?" That's Ruben Studdard, Season 2 winner, that Simon was referencing, but then you knew that, didn't you.
Christa Fazzino, about her clothes: "I normally base my clothes on how I'm feeling that day."
Simon: "Today you felt like the inside of a dustbin." (That's snotty British jerk speak for "trashcan")
To Tami Gosnell: "You're like something or someone that would've been a big star in the 60's."
To Lakisha Jones: "You're a good old fashioned belter." Good. Maybe she'll belt Simon before the season's over.

Idol Gossip: San Antonio, etc.

Now that we won't have to endure another wildly off key rendition, or rending might be more accurate, of "Unchained Melody" until the next season of American Idol I have but one question, and it's for Randy Jackson: What exactly does "Good lookin' out" mean? He said this to several auditioners, both successful and unsuccessful, as they left, or attempted to leave through the wrong door, the audition chamber. But what, for the love of all that is holy in this world, WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DOES IT MEAN????
Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, for now at least, let's get to this week's shows. As I said, auditions are finally over and 172 hopefuls have been invited to Hollywood Week, of which only 24 make it to the live voting.
Of the auditions we saw this week, the most serious contender, and a definite candidate for the final 12, is sixteen year old Baylie Brown from the San Antonio auditions. She's one of the best singers I've seen so far and Simon pronounced her "born to be a pop star." Simon had more faith than the other two in Ashlyn Carr, who got through to Hollywood after an unprecedented second chance audition.
Of last night's "Best of the Rest" show, Ebony Jointer, who auditioned with two friends on skates, Lakisha Jones and Tami Gosnell sound like the best finalist candidates.
Well, just one more week before Idol goes live and America votes. Not me, mind you. I have to work very, very early and just don't have the time or, to tell the truth, the patience to sit in front of the TV hitting the redial button on my phone over and over again hoping to get something other than a busy signal so that I may register my vote. Even if I dialed as soon as Ryan Seacrest says the lines are open, I still got busy signals. I could be doing so much else, like sleeping, during the time I would waste trying to vote. I have a life, or at least like to pretend that I do. I suppose if I really had a life, I wouldn't be wasting my time writing about American Idol. I would be...Oh. I don't know...What do people with so-called "lives" do, anyway? And, for the last time, what does "Good lookin' out" mean?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Even Geniuses Produce Crap:Chuck Barris' $1.98 Beauty Show

So, I've been going on lately about what a genius, not to mention one of my personal heroes and role models, Gong Show creator/host Chuck Barris was. Well, even Einstein, Newton, Picassso, and Stan Lee had bad days, and it was clearly a bad day for Barris when he created The $1.98 Beauty Show. Obviously an attempt to recreate the Gong Show formula, this parody of beauty pageants hosted by Rip Taylor tried, but never quite managed, to capture the manic spirit of its predecessor. That manic spirit, however, resided mainly within Barris himself, and he is the main reason that the Gong Show was such a success. Without him, $1.98 Beauty Show seemed like just a bunch of weird people pointlessly acting weird. (Which is what my sister, uncultured Philistine barbarian that she is, thinks of The Gong Show, but she thinks How I Met Your Mother is "Good TV" so her opinion doesn't count.)
Anyway, here's a peak at $1.98 Beauty Show...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Classic Gong Show Moments

A week ago, I posted an ode to The Gong Show and its host Chuck Barris in which I described a trio of classic Gong Show moments. They say that it's always better to show than to tell, and through the miracle of the magical wonderland that is YouTube, I can do just that. First up, the man, the myth, the legend: The Unknown Comic!

Now, the equally legendary, but much nicer Gene, Gene, The Dancing Machine!!

Ok, lock up the kids for this one. It may just be too intense for some impressionable youngsters.
Here it is: One of the most unforgettable moments in TV history and one that still gives NBC's Standards and Practices Department nightmares--the Gong Show debut of "Have You Got A Nickel?".

See what I meant about Chuck Barris being a genius.

One Year Later....

I'm somewhat at a loss for what to write about as I sit down at this computer at the Whetstone library as I have almost every day for the past year and....Wait a minute! Did I say "the past year?" I believe I did. It was indeed one year ago today that I revived my moribund Atomic Pop blog as The Word from on High and began the near daily ritual of posting my insane ramblings here for all the world to see.
I have only one question to ask my two or three regular readers: Over the course of this last year of writing nearly every day, have I become, even a little bit, a better writer?
New readers are welcome to weigh in as well. Just take a minute (or two) to read over the last 350 or so entries and let me know what you think.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ethics, Alternate Endings and Clerks

It is time to address yet another thorny ethical dilemma posed by the proliferation of modern technology. What could be more fun than that, eh?

In college, I learned the hard way--which is how all things truly worth knowing are learned--that the cardinal rule, the Prime Directive, if I may be so geeky, of film reviewing is that you do not give away the ending of the film. To do so is to risk death, dismemberment, or, at the very least, loss of your column. What, then, about the alternate and unused endings that are often included as extras on DVDs? How much can we say about them when reviewing or discussing the disc? After much thought, I have decided that the answer, as is often the case in most thorny ethical dilemmas is: it depends. What it depends on is, mostly, how closely the alternate or deleted scene resembles the actual ending of the film as it was released. In the case of Clerks, the DVD from which this metaphysical musing sprang, the alternate ending is not a different take but a couple of minutes of film that was cut off the end, and, truthfully, has very little to do with the rest of the movie, yet if it had been left in it would have radically changed what film maker Kevin Smith and his fans refer to as the View Askew-niverse, so I feel there's no problem with discussing and describing the scene in depth.
The scene takes place after the film's final scene, and finds Dante alone in the Quik Stop reading a magazine when someone enters. "Did you forget something?" Dante asks, thinking Randall has returned. Seeing that its not Randall, he tells the stranger that the store is closed. All of this has been shot from the mysterious visitor's point of view. Now, the scene cuts to a shot of the intruder, who pulls a gun, shoots and kills Dante, and grabs all the cash from the register. Roll credits.
Yes, Dante Hicks was originally supposed to die at the end of Clerks. I am so glad Smith let himself be talked into cutting this scene, as it really doesn't fit in with the tone of the rest of the film and is just gratuitous. Killing off the main character is just a little too heavy for this film, and would have just destroyed the good feeling that the rest of the movie left me with.
Besides, if this scene had been left in, the funniest film I've seen in years, Clerks II, would not have been possible. Of course, until he actually began writing it around 2004, Smith never intended to make a sequel to Clerks. He even states in the commentary on this disc that a music video included among the extras in which he recreated the rooftop hockey game was the closest thing he'd ever do to a Clerks sequel. Dante and Randall's appearance in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back came even closer, and then, of course, he finally gave in and made Clerks II.
One thing I hadn't noticed the first time I saw Clerks, and I only noticed it because Smith pointed it out in the commentary, which was recorded as he shot Mallrats, is that it says at the end of the credits "Jay and Silent Bob will return in Dogma." Apparently, Smith intended Dogma to be his second, instead of fourth, film. A film called Dogma, at any rate, as it would have been a vastly different movie if made immediately after Clerks. Not only was Smith less experienced as a writer and director, but he probably wouldn't have been able to get the same budget or cast that he had access to when he finally made the film. I think it's a good thing that he waited to attempt a film as ambitious as Dogma.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Walking In Memphis

Well, I didn't post anything yesterday because I really didn't have anything to say, and I really still don't, so I thought I'd share this song with you. This has been one of my favorite songs ever since the first time I heard (yet in the fifteen years since its release, I still haven't gotten around to buying this CD), and sharing stuff that I like and care about is why I started this blog.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Quotable Simon Cowell: Season 6, Week 3

To Erica Scott, after yet another butchering of "Unchained Melody": "It was like neverending torture."
On Diana Walker's wardrobe:"The most extraordinary dress I've ever seen in my life."
Before Margaret Fowler's audition: "I've got no idea what this show is anymore."
After giving Brandy Patterson leave to try a second song on the carpet rather than on the hardwood: "Brandy, you are barking mad."
To Marianna Ricolo: "You sounded like Cher after she's been to the dentist."
On Marianna's mother, a former Gold Digger from the old Dean Martin Show: "Mom was foxy." (Simon, the 1970's, if they ever really happened, are long over, and nobody says "foxy" anymore.)
To Brandon Rogers: "You have a likability about you, which is something we share."
Best Quote of the Week from Someone Other Than Simon:
Chris Sligh on his reason for wanting to be on American Idol: "I really want to make David Hasselhoff cry."
While Chris was singing, Simon looked like he wanted to cry, but Paula and Randy sent him to Hollywood anyway.

Idol Gossip: Birmingham and LA

After three weeks of American Idol's sixth season, I'm starting to get a little tired of the auditions and eager to get past Hollywood to the live shows. After all, there are only so many dreadful renditions of "Unchained Melody" that one can be expected to endure.
High drama, and not just in the audition chamber, dominated the Birmingham and Los Angeles auditions. A few of the aspiring Idols brought with them backstories ready made for a Lifetime movie. In Birmingham, we met Jamie Lynn Ward, who lives with her grandmother and helps care for her father who is paralyzed from shooting himself after catching his wife with another man. That's a Lifetime movie and a sequel. During the LA tryouts, sixty-four year old Sherman Pore sang a moving rendition of "You Belong To Me" dedicated to his recently deceased wife. He received handshakes and hugs from all the judges, including guest Olivia Newton John, but I'm unclear on whether he got a Golden Ticket. He certainly deserved one, as he sang quite well.
Sherman wasn't the only golden oldie looking for a Golden Ticket. Fifty year old Margaret Fowler, claiming, quite unconvincingly, to be twenty six, tried out in Birmingham.
Los Angeles gave us the first truly memorable bad audition since Seattle, as Martik "Eccentric" Manoukian tore up the audition room floor with his patented "panther" moves.
Of the auditions shown on this week's broadcasts, I would agree with Simon that Brandon Rogers, another background singer looking to step into the spotlight, has the best shot at the finals. Other good Top 12 bets are Tatiana McCormick and Alaina Alexander.
Well, two more audition episodes to sit through, and then it's finally on to Hollywood.