Friday, July 31, 2009

Awesome.

I know, this should really go on the Cynical Cinema webpage. But I don't know how to embed a video there and it's a real pain in the ass to edit. So I'm putting it up here: The trailer for Ninja Assassin, which looks amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4pEKQ_zUBo

I can't wait! (OK, I can't embed it here either. Here is a link.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Because when someone is billed as the "stupidest person ever", it might be funny

And it is. Almost as funny as Sarah Palin's scary-media farewell speech. Too good to miss.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/24/is-this-the-stupidest-per_n_244440.html

Makes Jessica Simpson look like Lisa Simpson.

Hilarious. Watch this.

I was just saying in my last post that Sarah Palin's "farewell address" in Alaska had me rolling on the floor with laughter. I think, contrary to popular belief, that Palin actually makes things difficult for comedians. Because once you see that speech, how can you add something, or say something, that makes it any funnier? The best at this is Jon Stewart, who just allows his stunned expression of disbelief to enhance the already hilarious words coming out of Sarah Palin's mouth. However, as Tina Fey has so often proved, the best way to get laughs out of Sarah Palin is to put her words in someone else's mouth. And so, the best bit I've seen in a long time - Conan O'Brien gets William Shatner to read Sarah Palin's farewell speech. Verbatim.



I love you, William Shatner. Thanks Steve!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To get back up to date

Because I have been scrambling to catch up on everything I have to do ever since I came back from vacation, I have decided to once again cram everything into one blog post to get back on track. Here goes.

Got married. It was nice. The kids were great, I walked down the aisle with my 10-year-old stepson, and my girlfriend (now wife, I know I know) walked with her 14-year-old. He is taller than any of us. Some, I believe, thought he was the groom. I wanted entrance music too - it's pretty unfair, I figure, that the bride is always the one who gets entrance music. So I chose Metallica, and kicked things off in style. Shambling, half-assed style, but style nonetheless.

My dad and grandfather and aunt came for dinner the night before the wedding, and somehow, over pizza and beer, we came up with this idea - the "airing of grievances". Really, that should be part of the ceremony, shouldn't it? Like, "this is what pisses me off about you". Then, the person officiating the ceremony could say "do you take this person, despite all this?" That way the whole thing is above board. We didn't do that. Instead we allowed everyone who felt the urge to air their grievances with us to do so in sort of an open mic night. Apparently, no one has anything bad to say about my wife. But lots of friends seemed to have lots of wrongs to address with me. There was no Festivus pole and there were no feats of strength. Although I lobbied hard to have both.

Then we hit the cottage for a week. We rented a beautiful place near Clayton Lake and fished, read books, and hung out for a week. The kids liked the paddle boats and the canoe when it was sunny. I swam every day. When it rained (and it did that, quite a bit), we played Scrabble or read. I finished six books while I was up there - I highly recommend The Cellist Of Sarajevo, which Randall let me borrow just before I left, and for the film nuts, Leni, the biography of Hitler's filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. The rest of the stuff I read was by Thoreau and Dostoevsky and Austen, and my wife tells me no one cares about that stuff, so I won't talk about it any more.

The kids found a bunch of cool wildlife - snakes and bright coloured frogs and tiny little frogs the size of ants and turtles and cool birds and stuff like that. Then they went back to their video games. I had brought the Wii thing with us, and I was surprised at how little they ended up playing that. Instead, they fished and took the boats out while I swam. Solid! It did, however, mean that I have now gone three weeks without any kind of real, hard workout. And I put on nine pounds in a week. I'm back at the excercise now though, and it came back off in a week. So far so good.

I took some of the wedding gifts we received (I said no gifts or money, but my wife apparently sent out a conflicting message saying yes gifts, so we got a mixture of both) and spent them. My dad got me a gift certificate for Lee Valley, which I thought was some kind of clothes store. I was perplexed at that. Doesn't my dad even know me? I've never shopped for clothes in my life! Then I went there. It's not clothes. It's a really cool store with lots of cooking and building stuff. I bought a charcoal barbecue and a meat cleaver. My wife bought a boot rack and tweezers. I am now sitting in my living room, every day, looking outside and dreaming of the day it stops raining so I can properly use my charcoal barbecue for the first time. Soon!

Speaking of rain, on Friday night, during that ridiculous deluge, water mains broke at both ends of my street - one at the grocery store on the south end, one at the library at the north end. Which meant the street was a river. Cars were driving into puddles that were now ponds, and stalling out, and people were opening their doors to get out into waist-deep water. One part of the street was so flooded that I saw a guy wading through up to his nipples in water. We watched the whole thing from our garage, because it was pretty cool. Not cool was the flooding in peoples' basements in the area - we got lucky though, our valve snapped shut the way it's supposed to, and we escaped the fate of so many around us. It's a scary sewer system we have when the waste stops flowing into the river and instead flows into peoples' basements. Gross. I guess the river is full.

Rickey Henderson, my all-time favourite baseball player when I was a kid, got inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. I was hoping he would say something ridiculous, because that was his M.O. throughout his career. Instead, he gave one of the best induction speeches I have ever heard. Then I looked up the teams he played for. I remember the A's, the Yankees, the Blue Jays and the Mets. But he played for five other teams also! I am a huge Red Sox fan, and a huge Rickey Henderson fan, but I had no idea he played for Boston. Also the Dodgers and the Padres and...two other teams that escape me right now. There's a guy who shone really bright and then really faded away!

Speaking of baseball and the Hall of Fame, Pete Rose is in the news because Hank Aaron said he thinks Rose should be in the Hall. I happen to agree. But it looks as though Bud Selig won't ever let that happen. It would be a tough call now, with the steroid guys eligible for induction. The thing is, the steroid guys haven't been banned from baseball, so the writers could still, technically, vote them in. But they aren't doing it. I think they might actually vote in Rose, if given the chance. Are they then saying that gambling on baseball is not as bad as steroids? Or, if they don't vote him in, are they saying the two things are equal? I guess Selig thinks it's easier to keep that decision out of the hands of the writers, and not put baseball in an awkward position. But of course it's in an awkward position anyway. I'm sure glad I'm not Bud Selig. And not just because of the looks thing.

Still on baseball - Mark Buerhle of the White Sox threw a perfect game last week. We had a long discussion on the air about whether that was the most impressive single-day achievement in sports. I still think it is. A 59 in golf is amazing. But that's just a record. It isn't perfect. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in one basketball game. That's a record. Sittler's 10 points is a record. They could be matched, they could be broken. But a perfect game can never be bettered, because it's perfect. Git it! Anyway, Buerhle now stands with Chamberlain and Sittler and Adrian Peterson and Johnny Vander Meer in terms of records - he threw 5 2/3 perfect innings to open last night's game against the Twins, setting the record for consecutive batters retired at 45. That's amazing. Then he gave up five runs and lost the game. Easy come easy go. Oh - I know some won't know, so read about what Johnny Vander Meer did here.

Doc and Woody golf tournament was great - contortionists and nails hammered into heads and sword eating and acrobats with chairs. Oh, and golf. I played with Randall, who was terrible through about ten holes. But then he started hitting the ball the way he can, and he is ten times better than I will ever be.

Doc, however, is not as good as I will eventually be. I believe this, or I would not keep betting him at skins games. We played the Canadian last week before he left on vacation, and by the fourteenth hole, I was down three skins. We tied, playing really well, the 15th, 16th 1nd 17th holes. If I could have won the final hole, I would have won the game. Instead, I lost it, 6-5, and had to pay 35 bucks. I will be taking lessons this week, and when he returns I will smoke him. Probably.

I have been really enjoying coverage of Sarah Palin stepping down as Alaska's governor. It's not the "I hate quitters, so I'm quitting" thing that makes me laugh, or the constant complaints about the evil, mean-spirited "gotcha" media. Although both are very funny. It's the continual, ludicrous references she makes to the American soldiers fighting overseas that make me laugh until my sides hurt. Like when she said that the troops were overseas fighting for the right of the American press to write what they want. So in honour of the troops, how about telling the truth for a while? I would explain all the things stupid and wrong and crazy about that statement, but even typing it out I'm laughing too hard to do so. What a tool. And if she's doing this to run for president in 2012, she's even more clueless.

That Sarah Palin thing got me watching Fox News again, because they were so gushy in their coverage of the event that it made it even funnier. So I got to see Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity et al interviewing Canadians about our scary, nightmarish socialist medical system. The people who would have had to wait for medical care, and eventually decided to go to the States and pay for it so they could have it faster. I wonder how easy it was to find these people who think the Canadian system is awful and the American one is better? As easy as it would be to find people who hate the American system? And the argument that foreign leaders and foreign people come to the United States for health care is not an argument that their system is just fine and doesn't need to be overhauled. Sure, they have the Mayo clinic and Johns Hopkins and all that - but will those institutions be closed if niversal health care takes hold? People aren't coming to the States for their health care system, but rather because they can afford to pay for preferential treatment. What's the idea Beck? It's just fine the way it is, don't change a thing, let people die?

So now I'm in the studio, by myself, while Doc and Woody and Randall take a two-week holiday. Doc's on the west coast amid the fires, Woody's on the east coast amid the Maritimers, Randall is likely in Prescott. I sure hope their basements are OK, or they will come back to a dreadful surprise. And I'm just playing tunes and sitting around. Whee! I don't want to do all the things we do when we're all here. But I'm taking one page from Doc's playbook, and giving out bonus codes on my Twitter account. You can follow it by clicking on the link on the right of this page.

OK, that's it. Up to date. Now I can go back to blogging about silly crap that happens to occur to me while I sit in here with Tom. Sorry this took so long.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Cynical Cinema

I am finally caught up, and back up-to-date with the movie reviews. So after this, I'll be able to write some actual, real blog posts. Lots to talk about! Until then, here are some reviews:

Les Invincibles, Saison 3 - French-only TV show from Quebec. Very funny, very good.

Jim Breuer: Let's Clear the Air - Terrible stand-up.

Inconceivable - Worst editing in a movie - ever?

Two Lovers - Gwyneth Paltrow and her boob.

Human Rights Watch DVD box set - Seven movies, some great, some not, all important.

Arthur Hailey's Hotel, season one - Like The Love Boat. In that it's awful.

American Outrage - A heartbreaking movie about the abuse of natives and their land.