Thursday, October 8, 2009

KISS on Letterman

That's about's KISS on Letterman.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

NFL picks week 5

So far...44-18 straight up, 37-25 against the spread. Decent spread numbers, terrible straight up numbers (given the high win totals by most people this season).

Cincinatti at Baltimore (8.5): I think Baltimore had a really tough time against the Patriots because by the fourth quarter, they were afraid to touch Tom Brady. There was also that Clayton drop...As long as the Ravens are not afraid to touch Carson Palmer, they will be just fine. But not 8.5 points fine. The Bengals are unbeaten on the road and tied for the division lead with Baltimore. It will be a closer game than that. Ravens, 24-17. Verdict (Bengals, 17-14): Once again, the Ravens were the victims of some questionable officiating down the stretch. But they should be able to put these games away before it comes to that. The Bengals have been amazing in that they have been able to hang in with tough teams and pull out the victory in the end. The Bengals are for real.

Cleveland at Buffalo (no line): The Bills are just awful. But the Browns have to be worse, don't they? I would seriously think about taking Cleveland were this game in Cleveland. But since it's in Buffalo, I will take the Bills. And hold my nose. And not watch this terrible game at all. By the way - October 18th at Tail Gators I will be giving away a Bills jersey in a game of Xbox at half time. Well, if I lose. And I might not. The Browns might not lose this week. But they will. Bills, 30-27. Verdict (Browns, 6-3): They are both awful teams, that's for sure. I still think the Browns are worse, but who cares? They are awful and this game was awful and there was no reason at all to watch it.

Washington at Carolina (3.5): 3.5 points for a winless team over a two-win team? Well, yes. Carolina has lost to some good teams, while Washington has barely eked out victories over the worst of the worst. The Panthers are by no means 0-3 bad (but they are bad) and the Skins are by no means 2-2 good (they are much worse). Panthers, 21-13. Verdict (Panthers, 20-17): The Panthers are still bad. But the Skins are worse. Washington is in for a long, tough season. I thought there was a good chance both the Skins and Dallas would lose this weekend. The Cowboys won, but there are going to be two pretty weak teams in the NFC East this season.

Pittsburgh (10.5) at Detroit: Is Pittsburgh's new running game for real? Can they actually get it done without Willie Parker? These questions will not be answered against the Lions. But the Steelers get a free game to work out any kinks that might have cropped up, and get everything running smoothly. Look for them to do that about midway through the first quarter. Steelers, 30-17. Verdict (Steelers, 28-20): The Lions have a lot more pride of late, and they were able to hang in this game and pull to within one score late. But the Steelers were able to work out some problems, and when Polamalu gets back and is 100%, they will again be an elite team.

Dallas (8.5) at Kansas City: Frankly, I think playing this game on the road is a blessing for Tony Romo. He is getting crucified at home, and rightly so. I really think he just isn't, and never will be, a top-tier quarterback. I will always take a weak NFC team over a bad AFC team (and I think the Cowboys are a weak team, if not Washington bad), but I think the Chiefs can cause Romo enough problems to keep it close. I think a team of 14-year-olds can cause Romo problems. Dallas, 17-14. Verdict (Cowboys, 26-20 OT): This was pretty darn close. The Chiefs are still a dreadful team, but in pushing the Cowboys to overtime, they exposed many weaknesses in big D. Dallas will have a very rough season if they can't snap out of this funk.

Oakland at New York Giants (16.0): Seriously? The last three weeks, the Giants have played the Buccaneers, the Chiefs and now Oakland. What a tough stretch! None of those games has shown us how good the Giants really are. The one great thing about New York, though, is that they have not played down to those weak opponents. They have beaten them, and soundly. This can't help but continue with the Raiders. Giants, 34-13. Verdict (Giants, 44-7): Even with David Carr in at QB at the end of the game, their offense looked terrific, and the defense is the best in football.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia (no line): Here's a gimme. No line, as the powerful Eagles come off the bye week to face what might be the worst team in football. And it's at home. Were there a spread, I would imagine it would be even larger than that of the Giants game. Eagles, 42-10. Verdict (Eagles, 33-14): With McNabb back, the Eagles are one of the most complete teams in football. Their two games with the Giants later this season might determine home field advantage in the NFC. Or, they might knock each other off and allow the Saints or Vikings to take it.

Minnesota at St. Louis (no line): Here's another gimme. Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the Rams. Ruch Limbaugh is a douche. But even were he to suit up and play for the Rams, they couldn't be any worse. Minnesota might have something of a letdown after a last-second dramatic win and the much-hyped Monday nighter against the Packers, but no amount of letdown could let this team lose to St. Louis. Vikings, 23-10. Verdict (Vikings, 38-10): Yep. Gimme. And no letdown. They kept their foot on the neck of the Rams all game long. These Vikings are for real, and then some.

Atlanta at San Francisco (2.5): This one is a really tough call. The Falcons are coming off the bye, they are rested, but San Francisco looks to have bounced back, and well, following that last-second loss to the Vikings. This one will be very, very close. And I predict overtime. Niners, 23-20. Verdict (Falcons 45-10): So...about that overtime...actually this game screws me up for the rest of the year. Or at least until next week. Are the Falcons really this good? Or are the Niners really not the team I thought they were? Or did the bye week have that much of an impact? I just don't know.

Houston at Arizona (no line): Even with no line, this game is no gimme. Both teams have been up and down all season. The Texans win a big one, then lose a bigger one. Last week, they won a big one. And this week, they play in Arizona. And the Cardinals are coming off a bye. And I will take a middling NFC team over a middling AFC team, this year anyway. Cardinals, 27-26. Verdict (Cardinals, 28-21): Both of these teams are middling. And this Cardinals victory says little about the Cardinals, and it says even less about the Texans. How annoying.

New England (3.5) at Denver: So far, I have been so very very wrong about every single Broncos game this season. I have picked them to lose, every time. And I am going to do it again. Because I still think that this team is not good. I no longer, of course, think they are the worst team in football. But I do think they are average at best. And this is the first really good team they will play this season. The first of four in a row. They will be 4-4. I'm almost totally sure of it. Patriots, 34-20. Verdict (Broncos, 20-17): It isn't that Brady lost his first game in overtime, ever. It's that the Patriots let this game go to overtime at all. I am now buying into the Broncos. But I'm still not going to pick them to win for a while yet. Even though they are single-handedly ruining my pool results.

Jacksonville at Seattle (no line): The Seahawks are not good. Without Matt Hasselbeck, they are even worse. And the Jaguars have been surprisingly decent. This is still no gimme. The Hawks are much better at home than they are on the road, and there are still a lot of questions in Jacksonville. But I think this is a game the Jags should win, and I think they are a team that will step up for those games. Jaguars, 26-18. Verdict (Seahawks, 41-0): What? Really...what? I have no idea what this decimation means. The Seahawks are NOT this good. The Jaguars are NOT this bad. But then...what?

Indianapolis (3.5) at Tennessee: Really? 3.5 points on a game between a 4-0 team and an 0-4 team? The Titans were certainly good last year, but they are in disarray this season. And the Colts could be the best team in football. In fact, they probably are. And if you think that secondary can slow down Peyton Manning, let alone stop him, you are insane. Colts, 38-20. Verdict (Colts, 31-9): Yeah, that 3.5 spread was...ill-advised. The Titans will have to win a few games later in the year, but they currently don't have a prayer against the elite teams.

New York Jets (2.5) at Miami: The Jets are still good. Their loss last week came against a powerhouse team in the Saints, and the New York defense looked fantastic, considering how good Brees and that offense really are. They won't give up two defensive TDs again, and the Dolphins won't force turnovers like the Saints did. Miami really looked like they were coming back into their own last week, but that was against a Bills team in disarray. The Jets are not the Bills. Jets, 24-19. Verdict (Dolphins, 31-27): The Jets are not as good as we thought, although they are still good. Their defense has a few questions now that it didn't have earlier in the week, but it looks like Braylon Edwards is going to fit in really nicely with this team, doesn't it? The Fish are digging themselves out after that 0-3 start, and it looks like this could well end up being a 3-team race for the division title.

So far, I am 8-6 straight up this week. And 7-7 against the spread. Which means that on the year, I'm 52-24 straight up, and 44-32 ATS.

Fundraiser! Help support the humane are the details

The Ottawa Humane Society's "Breaking Ground" campaign is holding a fundraiser at the Ukranian Hall (1000 Byron Avenue) in Westboro on Hallowe'en night, October 31st. I will be hosting the event, which stars Les Emerson and the Hitmen. Les, as you may well know, is the biggest name in music in Ottawa, having formed the Five Man Electrical Band in the 60s. That alone should sell you on this event. But if you need more incentive, here are more details...

Cover charge is $25, proceeds going toward the Ottawa Humane Society. There will be a myriad of door prizes, including a hot air balloon ride with champagne, tickets to Mamma Mia, a stay at the Wakefield Spa, a weekend cottage getaway including a day of fishing with a guide, and much more. Even prizes of dog food and cat food. There will be a 50/50 draw, which should entice Doc and his ilk to attend, and prizes for animal costumes and non-animal costumes as well (it IS on Hallowe'en).

The doors to the Ukranian Hall open at 7:30 that evening. For tickets, call Sharon at 613-792-3481. Come one come all, for a good time and a great cause! And of course, the best music you'll hear in the Ukranian Hall all year. I have also created a group on facebook...or an event...or something. Click here to find it.

Just something strange. And kind of funny. And kind of awesome. And kind of sad.

The following is the statement released by the chairman of the FCC in the States, appointed by the President to the post, about the FCC's new internet policy:

“Everywhere from the Streets of Philadelphia to My Hometown in New York, every Bobby Jean and every Jersey Girl l should be counting on the Internet remaining free and open, not Counting on a Miracle. They should count on The Rising of millions of voices to beat back any Darkness on the Edge of Town, or broadband Badlands that could threaten limited choice and create potential bottlenecks.
The people who built the Internet were working on more than a computer network, they were Working on a Dream. It was a network that was Born to Run in a land of open protocols, (the Promised Land). The Internet is more than an information highway, it is a telecom Thunder Road of wonderfully chaotic creativity and it will be a Lonesome Day if that is ever lost. But, hold on, Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart, because the FCC will be taking up open Internet rules in the near future.
I am grateful for the multitudes of artists — including musicians, songwriters, and other creative voices — who are coming forward to say they have a Hungry Heart for a free and open Internet, who will shout ‘No Surrender’ when it is threatened. This exhausts Springsteen song title references except to say that the policy fight over Net Neutrality will be a Jungleland out there — and everyone should be involved in our public FCC process.”

You think Julius Genachowski is a Springsteen fan?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An interview with Charles Cross, author of Zeppelin book

Charles Cross is the author of a new book about Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller Than Our Souls, which hits bookshelves today (October 6th). He also penned an article in the most recent issue of Rolling Stone about the Kurt Cobain avatar in the latest Guitar Hero video game (see further down my blog to watch the Cobain avatar playing Bon Jovi, and cringe). And he has recently sold the rights to his book about Cobain to Universal Pictures, who hope to make it into a movie about his life. A real biopic, like Walk The Line or Ray. Which would be awesome. I just finished interviewing Mr. Cross, and have posted the interview on the Cynical Cinema page. To find out what is left to be said about Led Zeppelin, their music and their legacy, and to hear about the possible movie deal, click here and then click on the Charles Cross interview. The day I learn to put audio up on my blog, I will stop making people click everywhere.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Cynical Cinema this week

It's quite the pot-pourri this week - TV series, movies, made-for-TV movies, awful kids' stuff, great kids' stuff, and workout videos. Lots of workout videos. Yes, I review everything they send me.

All new DVD releases this week

Audition - On Blu-Ray this week. One of the creepiest, most unsettling horror movies in the world. From Japan in 1999.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Power Squad Bod Hard Body Boot Camp - It's a mouthful, isn't it? Hard bodies indeed - the ultimate workout video for guys.

Visioneers - One of those bleak Big Brother-future stype movies in the style of Brazil. It's good and it's funny and it stars Zach Galifianakis.

Degrassi Goes Hollywood - Apparently, Hollywood corrupts people and it goes to their head and then they flash the paparazzi with no underwear just to stay on top. How boring.

My Fair Lady - One of the all-time classics, it's still a terrific movie but it just doesn't carry the same impact 45 years later. The songs are weak and the relationship implausible.

The Hills Season Five Part One - This is the worst show in the history of television, and it stars the worst people in the history of the world. Or, at least, television.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Power Squad Bod Calorie Blasting Dance - Not exactly a high-impact workout. But some nice eye candy, the cheerleaders actually talk, and they all have those sexy southern Dallas accents.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Power Squad Bod Body Slimming Yoga - I did the yoga, but I don't look like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Yet. This one is good for watching from the couch with a beer, but not so much for participating.

Taxi the Fourth Season - One of the classics. At its best in season four.

CSI Miami Season Seven - What a tease - it pretends David Caruso is dead for the first episode. Which makes me realize how good this show COULD be. Instead, it's the second-worst show on television. Next to The Hills.

Medium Fifth Season - If Joe and Allison can stop whining and complaining and getting jealous and depressed and crappy, this show can get back to being excellent.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Kai-Lan's Carnival - Kai-Lan goes to a carnival, hangs out with a koala and learns a valuable life lesson. Kai-Lan might be a little girl. Or a bug.

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Celebrate With Kai-Lan - Kai-Lan celebrates Chinese New Year, hangs out with a koala and learns a valuable life lesson. She says she speaks Chinese. Which is news to me. I have heard of Mandarin and Cantonese and so forth...but never the language "Chinese".

The Backyardigans: Big Backyard Adventures - A 3-DVD box set of the biggest and best Backyardigans adventures, including Robot Repairman.

The Backyardigans - Robot Repairman - If the Maytag Repairman was a hippo, and starred in I, Robot, you would get this. OK, maybe not quite.

New DVD releases last week

Monsters Vs Aliens - A lot of fun, and best for nerdish fans of B-movies. Oh, and kids. Also good for kids.

Away We Go - One of the best romantic comedies I have seen in a long time. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are hilarious.

Capitalism: A Love Story - Michael Moore's best film.

Management - Jennifer Aniston actually did something - interesting! How novel.