Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Home of the Whopper

As much as I hate to admit it, it's time for a Paris Hilton update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)...apparently, Paris has been going around saying she's going to be the spokeswoman for Burger King. Burger King, thankfully, has denied it and said they have no plans to hire her. I'm so relieved. If I saw her on a commercial eating a Whopper, I don't think I could ever eat there again. The woman makes me ill. I mean, give the spokesperson contract to a homeless person, somebody who actually needs the money. And the food, for that matter. As for Paris, it's amazing that she's not satisfied with the level of undeserved fame and popularity she's already gained, she has to go around making up new stuff.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Brother From Another Planet

There's apparently a trailer for the new Hitchhiker's Guide movie out, which I want to see (but haven't downloaded yet), but there's a more pressing issue...Mos Def is playing Ford Prefect?! When did that happen? Did someone tell me this and I forgot? Mos Def, the black rapper from "The Italian Job," is going to be the wacky British alien in Hitchhiker's? I mean, I applaud them for not being racist, but couldn't they have found someone a little more experienced, like the black comedian who played "Chef?" I dunno. This could be a brilliant miscast like John Leguizamo as Clown in "Spawn" or just a miscast. First, they made Marvin a midget with a Ping Pong ball for a head, and now they made Ford Prefect a black rapper. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, but this might be too much.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mchael Jackson Is A Big, Fat Liar

It's time for a long overdue Michael Jackson update...(brrrddddd-WAM!)...as you probably know, during a 60 Minutes interview, Michael Jackson accused police of manhandling him during custody. I saw the interview and it was truly bizarre. He claimed he was handcuffed so tightly that it disclocated his arm and bruised his wrists, that he was locked in a bathroom "covered in feces" for forty-five minutes, and that they cursed at him.

At the time, I didn't believe him. For one thing, the sheriff's office denied it and said they had videotaped the entire proceeeding. Another thing, he was shown cheerfully bouncing his arms while being taken to jail, and held up his arm in a "V" sign while being led out. And for another thing, Michael won't even admit he'd had plastic surgery. Why should we believe anything he says?

Well, along comes the report that Michael Jackson was not manhandled during custody. Case closed, as far as I'm concerned. Speaking of the lies about plastic surgery, there's a funny overview of Michael's face at Anomalies Unlimited and a more serious look by a plastic surgeon at ABC News.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Flashback Friday: Doctor Morgus

Let's face it. Mad scientists are cool. Why are they cool? Because they do things no sane scientist would do, but every sane scientist wants to do. I mean, who wouldn't want to create a fearsome monster that would do your bidding or build a giant laser that would threaten the world? Plus, mad scientists always get things done. Ever seen an unsuccessful mad scientist in a movie? I'm sure there are scientists trying to re-animate the dead or hypnotize world leaders who fail, but we just call those guys crazy. No, you can't be a mad scientist unless you're really good at it.

That's why Doctor Morgus rocked.

In case you don't remember (and not many people do), Doctor Morgus was an evil mad scientist who hosted bad science fiction movies. He was part of a long line of scifi television hosts like Elvira, where we would watch the movie just for the funny bits before and after the commercial breaks. Every episode, Morgus would be building a nuclear reactor or a teleporter, and it would go horribly wrong. One thing about Morgus was that he was very, very creepy with his fright wig, bad teeth, and evil laugh. But he had that kinda normal voice. It was a good mix of horror and scifi. You didn't know if you wanted to root for him or be afraid of him. Then there was his sidekick, the giant mute in the executioner's outfit, Chopsley. Classic routine. I don't remember Morgus being particularly funny, but he was such a prototypical mad scientist that I loved him.

I'm not sure if Morgus is still on the air, but he does have at least two fansites (Morgus.com and the Old IceHouse) and a movie that was released in the sixties. I had no idea Morgus had been around that long. I wonder if he was in reruns when I watched him?

Two Dollars a Gallon

Since everyone is predicting that gas prices are going to go up again, this is a good time to introduce Gas Buddy, a website where people submit gas stations with the cheapest prices. The local branch for Phoenix is Phoenixgasprices.com. It's pretty good. Last time, I discovered the third lowest gas price five minutes from my apartment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Alien vs Predator Redux

Just out of curiosity, I checked metacritic's opinion of Alien vs Predator. I was surprised that it got a 26%, but the naysayers made some darn good points. I thought this one nailed the vague discomfort I felt well. And this one pointed out some of the continuity errors I noticed, but thought I was wrong about. I do think it's a bit underrated, though. Was still cool to see the Aliens and the Predators again.

One question I had from the beginning...if there's an Alien nest on Antarctica in 2004, why did the Predators go to South America and Manhattan to hunt in the early nineties? And if the pyramid was buried in Antarctica for thousands of years, how did somebody get to it in 1904 (as they implied)?And since when is Cambodia one of the great civilizations like Egypt and Aztec, anyway? And what was the point of outfitting the heroine with an alien head and tail (very cool), when she pretty much threw it away a few minutes later after stabbing the queen in the neck? And if the temple was built for people willing to sacrifice themselves, then why did they design it to trap people? And why did they leave those laser guns locked up in there? So many questions, so few answers.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Evil Orko

I don't know if you've seen the new Masters of the Universe action figures, but they are quite impressive. I saw them down at Kay-Bee and the re-design is pretty inspired. I won't go into He-Man and Skeletor too much, because I found a great article on them at Skyografix with lots of cool pictures. Wait'll you see the new Skeletor.

What I will focus on is Orko. As we all know, Orko was never anything more than comedy relief on the original series. He came in, tried to cast a useful spell, and ended up encasing himself in a bubble or drowning himself or setting himself on fire, everyone would laugh at him for being a moron, and that would be the end of the episode.

The new Orko is very different. It was only when I saw it that I realized how much times how changed. Once, the occult was a joke. Orko was a wizard, but that just meant he carried a wand and pulled rabbits out of his hat. The new Orko is an obvious nod to Harry Potter in that he looks like he's somebody who would be dabbling in dark forces.

I found some poor photos on eBay, but they don't give a really good look. Basically, he looks the same with the red robe and the pointy hat pulled over his eyes, but they stretched him out to a normal size, so he's not the cute little guy he was on the series. He's really thin with green slender hands, making his faceless eyes look that much more ominous - like you might not want to know what he looks like under there. He also comes with a plastic thing that looks like a splash of water if it was made out of purple, grainy crud. You can stand him on the crud with his hand stretched out over a green orb that you can fire out of it. It doesn't make too much sense, but the effect is to make it seem like he's astride a wave of dark slime, commanding this ball of energy(?) to shoot out of it. And the orb is big enough that it looks like it could do some damage. In other words, Orko looks like he could kick butt.

Needless to say, it was disturbing. They almost made Orko look evil. No, I take that back. They made Orko look evil, period. I guess they don't make wacky sidekicks like they used to.

Every Day?!

Okay, I've had enough of McDonald's. I saw "Supersize Me," and McDonald's defense of that movie was basically, "Well, everybody knows our food is unhealthy. You're not supposed to eat it at every meal."

But I just heard two radio commercials in a row for McDonald's new "I'm Lovin' It" campaign (by the way, somebody should tell McDonald's that if I didn't like their song in its original form, playing it in reggae, country, and hip-hop doesn't make it better). In both commercials, they portrayed people praising how they eat McD's sausage McMuffins every single day. In fact, the opening of the second commercial literally started "every single morning..." And both pointed out how the McMuffins are only a dollar, implying that everyone can afford to eat them every day. So they are trying to get us to eat their food every day, despite the fact that in their own internal documents, they say eating their food more than once a week would be considered excessive or "heavy use."

I'm going to have to start an anti-McDonald's blog if this keeps up.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Randomlynx: Babylon 5 Gag-reels

Here's a site that has funny gag-reels from Babylon 5, proving they really did have a good time behind the scenes, and that the actor who plays Garibaldi has a filthy mouth.

What Color is the Sky in Halle Berry's World?

As of today, Catwoman has grossed $37 million, a fraction of its $135 million-dollar cost. It's been almost universally panned by critics. And yet, Halle Berry is hoping to do a sequel. Unbelievable. Her ego must be made of titanium.

They Really Wanted To Play "Halo"

A quadruple homicide was discovered in Florida, four people beaten to death with baseball bats. When they found the culprits, they discovered the motivation for the crime...the four people stole the killer's X-Box, so he rounded up his friends and took it back the hard way. What a world we live in. I mean, I want to play Chronicles of Riddick, too, but not that bad. And they say videogames don't induce violent behavior. I'd hate to see what this guy would do to someone who stole his car.

Playing a Heavy: Fat Actress

I always wondered where Kirstie Alley went after Victoria's Closet, and it turns out she went to Kristy Kreme. She's back, weighs over 200 pounds, and has a new series. It's called Fat Actress, an improvisitional show about an overweight actress in Hollywood. Far be it from me to insult people who are overweight, but I think flaunting her weight, indeed making her career about her weight, seems a bit much. Can't you just be yourself and move on? Is Paris Hilton going to make a show called Skinny Actress?
Categories: entertainment

Music Piracy For Dummies

After carrying a bag full of my CDs to work a couple times, I decided to rip the music into digital formats to make them more portable. But after all the hype about digital piracy and illegal music, I found myself with a basic question...how do I do it?

First, I tried Windows Media Player which has an option for saving digital tracks. I tried a couple of songs which it put into the WMA format, and liked it. Until I tried to move it. Turns out the WMA automatically makes a license that's required to play it. I was willing to try it to stay on the legal end of things. I made copies at work and thought it was cool, then made more copies at home and took them to my computer at work, which refused to play them because I needed to copy the licenses. Too much like iTunes for me.

I tried Winamp, which also has an option to save music, but you have to pay for an upgrade to save in mP3 format. I knew there were lots of programs that do that for sale, but I needed a free version. So I tried RealPlayer. Turns out the free version of Realplayer rips CDs onto mP3 with the push of a button. Heck, I put in my CD and it brought up a prompt that basically said, "Hey, you don't have this in digital format. Want it?" I clicked "yes," selected the tracks, hit "save," and within minutes had all my music in a portable, license-free, technically-illegal format.

If I'd known it was this easy to make illegal copies of my music, I would've done it years ago.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


After owning the Daredevil movie DVD for months, I finally got around to checking the special features. I couldn't believe it. That DVD is jam-packed with stuff I didn't even know about. I realized I never even looked at the second DVD included with the package.

I'd heard that "Daredevil" has a great documentary, and it's true. I was expecting the usual whitewash - "It was great working with the director," "It was great working with the actor," "This is going to be unlike any movie ever made / the greatest movie ever made." Instead, it was a remarkably candid look behind the scenes. They discussed how scared everyone was about the director's inexperience, showed the arguments over Daredevil's costume, showed the CGI team complaining that they weren't given enough time and money to make good special effects, etc. It really gave a sense of how chaotic the movie's production was and how much it was a labor of love with acknowledged flaws. And that was just the documentary. Check out the full list of additional material.

What really blew me away was a music video for Evanescence's "Bring Me Back To Life." It drove me crazy thinking of how hard I tried to find that video online when I literally had it sitting next to me for months.

Bottomline: Great DVD, okay movie (at least, I liked it).

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Spiderman 2 - The Lego Edition

There's a scene from Spiderman 2 rendered in Legos at Yahoo Movies. I haven't seen all of it (thanks to dial-up), but it sounds cool.