Friday, August 31, 2007

Bein' a Dick

So what the fuck is Andy Dick’s problem anyway? Lately this guy’s been in the news more often than the lovely-and-IMHO-far-too-frequently-picked-on Lindsay Lohan. But with this cat, it’s always some obnoxious social faux pas travesty mixed with a healthy dose of freakshow. I’ve got nothing against Andy Dick and admit to actually enjoying the weirdness he adds to a Comedy Central Roast...but many people would be locked away in an institution for these types of ongoing shenanigans.

From CNN.com:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- David Stroupe said it was one of the worst experiences with a performer in the history of the Funny Bone Comedy Club.

He was referring to Andy Dick, a former co-star on the 1990s sitcom "NewsRadio," who appeared at the Funny Bone last weekend.

Stroupe, the club's managing partner, said the 41-year-old actor-comedian made inappropriate comments while on stage, groped patrons, took women into the men's room and urinated on the floor and on at least one person.

A limousine driver was to meet Dick early Monday morning at a hotel near the club, Stroupe said, but he couldn't be found and missed that morning's flight to Los Angeles.

Dick was across town, where he was issued a citation for urinating on the sidewalk by Columbus policeman John Fantin. Police eventually escorted Dick back to the hotel, Stroupe said.


So I ask again, what the fuck is wrong with Andy Dick?

A. He’s trying to live up to his last name.
B. He’s socially retarded and just doesn’t know any better.
C. Drugs and/or alcohol abuse.
D. Tourette’s?
E. He hates Hollywood and the way the machine operates, so he’s trying to break it down.
F. Between Roasts, he crafts inventive techniques for keeping Dick in the public eye.
G. It’s just good ol' fashioned performance art on a grand, tasteless scale.
H. All of the above.
I. Some of the above[1].
J. None of the above[1].

[1] If you chose "I" or "J", please elaborate on what the fuck Andy Dick’s deal is in the comments section below[2].

[2] If you are Andy Dick, please contact me so we can arrange an interview to get to the bottom of what the fuck is going on with you...over the phone, of course. I could probably handle a quick grope, but I gave up the golden showers thing years ago.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tennant Goes All Shakespeare

Updated!

Outpost Gallifrey is reporting the following:

The Royal Shakespeare Company have announced their 2008 line-up, which features David Tennant in two roles.

From July 24th until November 15th 2008, Tennant will be starring in the title role in Hamlet, alongside Patrick Stewart playing Claudius. Fans of the new series will also be excited to note that from October 2nd until November 15th 2008, Tennant will be playing Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost. Love's Labour's Lost was a major plot point in Series 3 episode The Shakespeare Code.


This tells me one of two things: David Tennant will not be playing the Doctor in Doctor Who Season/Series Five or that Season Five is going to be delayed for a year or longer. The rehearsal & performance periods for those shows would conflict far too heavily with DW's shooting schedule, which always starts in late July/early August.

Now all that said -- the Doctor and Picard!!! Blimey.

Update!

The BBC Press Office issued the following statement today:

After months of media speculation, BBC One can confirm that the Bafta-award winning Doctor Who will return for a fifth series in spring 2010.

Viewers are in for a treat this Christmas, as a special episode starring David Tennant and Kylie Minogue will be broadcast on BBC One in December 2007. Series four, which went into production in July 2007, will hit UK screens in spring 2008 with a special episode for Christmas 2008.

In 2009, Doctor Who will return with three specials starring David Tennant, with Head Writer, Russell T Davies. The full length fifth series will transmit in 2010.

Vacancy

Vacancy, the new romantic comedy from foreigner Nimr√≥d Antal, isn’t quite as romantic as the ads might lead you to believe. What’s being billed as something of a cozy late night getaway between a married couple (Luke Wilson & Kate Beckinsale), actually falls more on the side of a Lifetime movie. David & Amy Fox have recently lost their child in some horrible “disease of the week” kind of affair, and in an effort to rejuvenate the waning passion of their relationship, they decide to take a trip to the idyllic countryside.

Out in the sticks, they find numerous pleasant distractions including -- but not limited to -- a kindly, flirtatious motel manager (Frank Whaley) who begins to court Amy. A jealous David seeks solace in their room’s erotic video collection. Before long there’s much dashing about and David much choose his wife or porn and Amy must choose true love or flowery romance. Vacancy seems to be headed for obvious reconciliation -- however the ending is more of surprise than I signed on for. Highlight the following for a massive spoiler: The Foxes split up at the end!

The Foxes are very likable characters and although the actors have some wonderful chemistry, ultimately I began to tire of their madcap brand of sweetness – farce and romance can be mixed successfully (Coupling always does it well), but you can’t throw a deceased child into the mix and have it comedically play out. It just doesn’t work. Whaley in particular was far too nice of a man and I really felt sorry for what happens to the guy as he was deserving of love. While the videos David watches in the room (repeatedly) definitely got me hot and bothered (heck, it’s almost worth recommending the movie just for those sequences alone), they really had no place in a PG-13 rated film such as this one (nor did Luke Wilson's ass). On the plus side, the script offers up quite a bit of sparkling dialogue and the wit is of a near "Three Stoogesque" caliber. And if you’re looking for a satisfying ending, Vacancy has not just one or two rooms open for business, but the entire motel.



This was The Rued Morgue's (belated) contribution to Lazy Eye Theatre's Bizarro Blog-a-thon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"How about a little fire, Scarecrow?"

“Human Nature” has myriad fascinating aspects marking it, but one of the most noteworthy is that it’s the first televised Doctor Who story based on a book. Paul Cornell’s Human Nature was published in 1995 as part of Virgin’s New Adventures series, and it quickly became the standard by which all other Who novels would be measured. The book featured the Seventh Doctor altering his DNA so as to better understand the suffering of his companion Bernice, who in the previous novel had lost someone dear to her. The TV adaptation, also written by Cornell (“Father’s Day”) shakes the premise up a bit and finds the Doctor and Martha on the run from a vicious group of aliens, but the lyrical song remains the same.

Become a human being by clicking here to read the rest of this piece at The House Next Door.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Heat is On

“42” seems to have a few elements working against it: It’s highly reminiscent of “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit” from Season Two. It coincidentally echoes the movie Sunshine (which was released some time after this was scripted & shot). It spews rapid-fire technobabble that’s nearly impossible to keep up with. Yet it’s got a massive positive: Its real-time countdown gives it an entertaining, gut-wrenching urgency, so the negatives don’t really matter.

Read the rest of this piece by lighting up over at The House Next Door.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Curry Turkey Mac & Cheese

If you're tired of the same old Mac & Cheese, try this spin on the tried & true standard.

Ingredients:

1 box of Mac & Cheese (standard 7.25 oz. size)
1/4 cup of Milk
1/4 cup of Butter or Margarine
8 oz. of Ground Turkey
Curry powder of your choice to taste

Fry the ground turkey until nicely browned in a skillet, while you boil your water for the macaroni. Prepare the macaroni as directed on the box, except for one thing: When combining the boiled macaroni with the milk, butter and cheese mix, ALWAYS put the milk in last. There's nothing worse than that cold splash of milk to interfere with the creamiest cheese mixture possible. Also, since we're adding turkey & curry powder to the standard mac & cheese recipe, it doesn't hurt to put just a little extra milk and butter into the mixture.

Now that your mac and cheese is done, add in the fried ground turkey (hopefully you turned it off some time ago, otherwise it's likely burned to a crisp). Stir vigorously!

Lastly, it's time to add in the curry. Today I used Sharwood's Hot Curry Powder, but only you can know which curry works best for your taste buds. I recommend between one and two Tablespoons, but again, add it to taste. I'm of the mind that one can almost never OD on curry powder, but that's just me.

Try messing around with this recipe; ground beef can be substituted for the turkey, or indeed no meat need be used at all. Curry is the perfect addition to mac & cheese - a lot of people just don't know it yet.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Charlie Goes to Candy Mountain

I guess this little piece of animated bliss has been around for some time, yet it falls squarely under the heading "Hey it was new to me!" (Thanks to Jake for exposing me to it.)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Elevator Killer

Surely many people will have far more profound things to say about the passing of Merv Griffin than I. But one cannot be a devotee of The Man With Two Brains without recognizing his contribution to the film as well as his willingness to self-parody.

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr: "You! You're the elevator killer. Merv Griffin?"
Merv Griffin: "Yeah."
Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr: "Why?"
Merv Griffin: "I don't know. I've always just loved to kill. I really enjoyed it. But then I got famous, and - it's just too hard for me. And so many witnesses. I mean, everybody recognized me. I couldn't even lurk anymore. I'd hear, 'Who's that lurking over there? Isn't that Merv Griffin?' So I came to Europe to kill. And it's really worked out very well for me."

Bonded Together

Jeffrey at Liverputty has sorta been my unofficial partner in crime (or at least my biggest supporter) in the 007 on '007 series. (Yes, another entry is being prepared for those of you who are still interested [it certainly won't be aimed at those who aren't].)

One area of James Bond where Jeffrey outclasses me on every level is in his knowledge of Fleming's books. Recently he was interviewed by the blog Notes of Interest about his feelings on All Things Bond. His opinions are well worth checking out, so please do.

Jeffrey and I are on somewhat different ends of the political spectrum, and yet I find it heartwarmingly reassuring that we most always agree on what makes Bond tick. Or maybe that's just the vodka talking...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

It’d be all too easy to write off “The Lazarus Experiment” as Season Three’s transitional episode, because, like “The Long Game” and “The Idiot’s Lantern” before it, that’s exactly what it is. Unlike the previous two outings, however, this has a firm grasp on what a transitional episode can really be. “Lazarus” shows obvious signs that the season is actually headed somewhere. Its strength lies not in its plot (which appears deceptively simple), but in its approach to character. Best example? Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) finally struts some serious companion wares and all of a sudden her chasing around of the Doctor (David Tennant) makes a lot more sense.

Fuck up your genetic code by clicking here to read the rest of this piece at The House Next Door.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Little Destruction

If you don’t own Life's Little Destruction Book, you should. It’ll make you feel better about committing those little social faux pas -- or even really big ones. Its tagline is “512 boorish, insensitive and socially obnoxious pointers for leading a simple, self-centered life.” It was intended as a parody of the similarly titled Instruction Book (which only offered 511 pointers), but there are some of us who discovered this text to be far more profound. Here are some of those pointers:

Never tip more than a quarter.

Take the hotel towel.

Help fools part with their money.

Let everyone know how hard you work.

If the mistake is in your favor, don't correct it.

Misquote.
(That one’s great for bloggers.)

Tell the ending of movies. (So’s that one.)

Give little kids clothes for their birthdays.

Add insult to injury.

Develop a convenient memory.

Touch strangers.

Sneer at people who try hard.
(Again, Blogger 101.)

Dish it out, but don't take it.

Develop a truly tasteless foul mouth.


I’m real fond of that last one, and recklessly embrace it if I’ve had a few drinks in a public place. You can read more of these tips by clicking here or you could just go buy the book...although in doing so you may be breaking one of the rules.

One great pointer (though I rarely abide by it as I've learned the fallout can be hell) is "Pass the vicious rumors along". Admittedly, this isn't all that vicious -- hell, it isn't vicious at all -- but it is a rumor and one that's got me stoked about Doctor Who Season Four: The Sun reports that Ben Kingsley is close to signing on as the Dalek creator, Davros. One thing that cracks me up about the Sun piece is their observation of the irony of “Gandhi playing Davros”. Good lord! As if Kingsley hasn’t played one bastard after another since 1982. Man, it’s what the guy’s good at! Does anybody really still think of him as Gandhi!?! His career since has been so anti-Gandhi. Maybe he feels playing Davros will forever wash away that stink?

As I recently wrote at The House Next Door, we’re all suffering from Dalek fatigue at this point -- but much like in the classic series, the one surefire way to overcome that is to introduce Davros. Davros entered the series in 1975’s "Genesis of the Daleks", and his introduction was revisionism of sorts whereas the Daleks were concerned (he'd never been mentioned before). It mattered not. Davros was ruthless, witty, cold and always able to engage in some sort of theological discussion that not only mesmerized the Doctor but also made his blood boil. His presence so overshadowed his creations that he featured to some degree or another in every subsequent Dalek story -- which was actually only five tales including his intro. (Back then, the Doctor didn’t meet the Daleks every season, just every few years.) Many complained the Daleks took a back seat to their creator (a valid criticism), but from a dramatic standpoint, one Davros was ten times more stimulating than a fleet of Daleks. He owned a copy of and lived by Life's Little Destruction Book.

Russell T Davies has done a sterling job of reinventing the Daleks (even if every outing hasn’t been stellar), and with the idea of the Cult of Skaro, he’s come close to replicating the Davros vibe. Close, I say, but not close enough. If he intends to reintroduce the mad genius one can only imagine the villainous reinvention he’ll have in store for the character, and Ben Kingsley is a superb choice for the job. I’d heard through the grapevine before this casting rumor that Kingsley is indeed a fan, so perhaps it’s genuine. The last time I wrote of a Who rumor via the Sun it was about Kylie Minogue’s appearance in the upcoming Christmas special and that turned out to be true. (Granted, the same article claimed Woody Allen would play Einstein and that, at least so far, hasn’t come to pass).

But it’s hard to imagine Kingsley signing on to play the part under the heavy makeup Davros requires. Is it possible Davies might unveil a "Genesis of Davros" storyline? Perhaps a story leading up to the nuclear devastation that nearly wiped the Kaleds and the Thals off the face of Skaro? See, Davros wasn’t always so hideous; he went through an Anakin Skywalkerish-type of literal meltdown, which is how he came to be a disfigured invalid. Terry Nation, the true creator of the Daleks, left the Davros/Dalek history open enough for it to be played with...and obviously Davies loves to play. One area that seems difficult to play with, however, would be the Doctor meeting Davros for the first time, as those events are clearly shown in "Genesis of the Daleks". But then again, you’ll not find me being such the fanboy stickler that I’d heavily criticize Davies for fudging that in some manner if it made for an engaging story. If the Daleks are to return next season, they’d better damn well be packing a dramatic punch, and there's likely no better punch than Davros.

If you’re new to Who, I highly recommend tracking down the DVD of "Genesis of the Daleks". It’s Who/Dalek/Davros 101 and one of the greatest Doctor Who social allegories ever written. But you’re sick of Daleks, right? The good news is it barely features them and focuses far more on their creator as well as the ongoing war between the two aforementioned races who coexist on Skaro (hence the title). Terry Nation, who’d been cranking out Dalek stories since 1963, was at the top of his game and just a few years later he unveiled what was to be his television masterpiece: Blake’s 7. (Someday soon I'm gonna write about B7...)

By the way, it's pronounced "DAV-ross".

Friday, August 03, 2007

Devolution

Early in "Evolution of the Daleks," the episode’s greatest moment occurs: Two of the Daleks meet in the sewer to discuss recent developments of their fearless leader, Sec.

Dalek #1: “Request information. What is your opinion of Dalek Sec?”
Dalek #2: “We were created to follow him!”
Dalek #1: “But..you..have…doubts?”

At which point Dalek #2’s “head” swivels around, and looks over its shoulder(?) to make sure they aren’t being watched and that no one is eavesdropping! The head swivels back to address Dalek #1.

Dalek #2: “Affirmative.”

The first time I saw this bit, I rewound it three times just to make sure I actually saw what I thought I’d seen, as well as to bask in it. See, a million Daleks flying through space or the sky can be great fun, but this is unprecedented defined. It’s funny, weird and mildly disturbing all at once and it shows the difference between the Cult of Skaro and all Daleks that came before them. They’re thinkers, doers and plotters with personality, and it's that moment that's a big factor in what makes this Dalek two-parter a cut above the pepperpot fold.

To read the rest of this piece, initiate emergency temporal shift by clicking here to visit The House Next Door.