Thursday, November 29, 2007

The 9 Most Bad Ass Bible Verses

I'm am a proud Christian. I grew up in the church, attended Christian school, and have never lost my faith, despite a few prat falls along the way. Because of my Christian education, I've read a lot of the Bible. Quite possibly the whole thing, more than once.

I don't read it as much as I should, but this article, by reminds me of why aside from being inspirational and... you know... the Bible, it's also the most awesome books ever written. It's got romance and adventure and consecration and fantasy and... violence.

Lots and lots of violence.

Everyone knows the Christmas story. Cracked takes a look at some of the most violent less known found in those pages. Think twice before you have your children read these passages, parents.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Cost of Christmas

I love Christmas. I'll admit it. I'm the biggest Christmas geek. I'm the christmas music playing, gingerbread house making, gift basket giving, perfect tree finding, stocking stuffer, santa suit-dog wearing christmas geek.

But man does it bite into my finances every year. This year? I'm determined not to over spend. The problem is, of course, I love Christmas so much. I love giving gifts, and seeing people get so excited when they open them.

So... it's me fighting against my Christmas Gift Giving demon.


Here's a few ways to keep it in perspective:

The Cost of Christmas - You think that Partridge in a Pear Tree comes cheap?

The 13 Worst Holiday Spending Blunders - Sadly, I've fallen sucker for nearly ever single one of these scenarios.

12 Rules for Regifting Without Fear - Dude. I know. But everyone does it.

Have a Tightwad's Christmas - You know those cheap people? Don't you want to live like them, like just for a minute? They always have money!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bad Sex: Even the Paid Writers Can't Get it Right All The Time

So... who read those Harlequin novels?

I was introduced to them at the tender young age of 13, when my aunt, knowing I was an avid reader, and not knowing exactly what was IN those books, gave them to me over a week long visit to her house, saying she had gotten them at the library for me to read during my stay.

Little did I know that the world I was going to plunge into was rife with debauchery, sex and horribly executed female driven fantasies - where the guy was an asshole up front but at heart was sensitive and sweet and only waiting to be loved, and the woman was always astonishingly beautiful but for some weird reason never, ever figured it out, even if jerky men were trying to rape her or marry her every other second and other women hated her and kept trying to get he raped or fired (depending on the time period).

I soon discovered the formula, and yet I kept reading. I wanted to read about the deaf girl who somehow managed to win the dashing author's heart, or the blossoming hot-tempered girl who got herself engaged to a duke and hated him on sight. They were woven tales of love and sex and relucant heroines.

I outgrew them. As I grew older and began to worry about my own writing abilities, I went back to those novels and I realized that for the most part , they ... well... sucked.

Thankfully, even for them, there are the Bad Sex awards. Reading the excerpts of badly executed love scenes makes me glad romance novels are no longer providing my sex education.

Because I'd be scarred.

Take a look for yourself.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

WGA to Resume Negotiations

It was announced by both sides that strike negotiations will resume on November 26th. While it's not a resolution, it's certainly a start. - LINK

There's certainly hope now that this thing will get resolved by Christmas, and that makes me thrilled. Why?

Purely selfish reasons - I've fallen in love with a few new shows this season and quite frankly, I don't want them to go away. I want Chuck, Women's Murder Club and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles to suceed and if they don't live because of a strike, I'll be sad.

I also don't want my friends out of work any longer than they have to be - because the longer Hollywood is out of commission the more likely it will be that all us little people will be out of a paycheck. Not that we get much as it is.

On the downside, I can only think of every writer's meeting that we've had cancel on us during the strike and the scheduling kerfuffle that will happen once we're given the okay to get them back on the books.


On another tangent - I have discovered another really really bad cheesy movie that's awesome: DOA: Dead or Alive.

Based on the video game of the same name - this movie is the ultimate cheese. Hot women in skimpy outfits 'fight' with the help of wires and enthusiastic stunt men, all the while working together to the cheerful tune of 'girlpower' as they head through a 'Mortal Kombat' knockoff that seems lame-r because no one actually dies.

Also? The acting is silly. But the action scenes are genuinely creative and fun to watch. It's clear that they are what the director focused on, and with good reason. They're the best thing about the film. A fight scene between two of the heroines fighting in the rain is particularly riveting, not because of how awesome it is, but how nicely it's filmed. I mean, it's also totally stolen from 'HERO', 'Fearless' and every other martial arts movie ever made, but still - pretty fun for the cheese factor.

The movie is a long ass action music video. If you like that sorta thing and you appreciate dumb fun, it's worth a shot. If not, then... forget I told you about it.

To save my own reputation, I should probably dig up some actual GOOD movies I'm in love with and recommend them for you.

I'll do that soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

EW Names It's Favorite Bad Movies

Entertainment Weekly put out a list of their favorite bad movies of all time.

I have to admit - as much as I like to think I'm cerebral about my movies, I'm much more likely to see bad movies than good ones, and I'm much more likely to laugh. Give me a funny dumb movie over an intense one poised to make me 'think' anyday. Because, quite frankly? I go to the movies to escape and while once in a while I do like to see movies that are relavant, I'd rather not leave completely depressed.

So, in honor of EW's Bad Movies, I'm presenting my own top ten.

Please forgive me. I actually OWN all of these movies.

10. Spiceworld - youtube clip

Okay, I know. This movie is terrible. It's horrible. There is not one redeeming bit of it at all. It's a rehash of better films and so badly acted it's a wonder so many actual actors actually partook.

But it's the Spice Girls! And Posh drives a bus!

Say what you will about the girls - they knew how to make fun of themselves, and this movie proves they were in on the joke.

Though sorry, girls, even that's not even enough to make me pay a ticket to see you live. I will watch your video, though. Cause... have you seen Geri's abs?!

Memorable Quote: Okay, girls, that was absolutely perfect without... really being any good at all.

9. Dodgeball - youtube clip

I'm a sucker for a good sports movie, and Dodgeball made fun of them all. It had every cliche - the underdogs (otherwise known as the Average Joe), the rich jerks who were real athletes and could beat them to death, the sexually ambiguous hot girl-next-door who miraculously great at the sport, and yet despite the fact that it was all done before, it was fun.

Also of note - it made me seriously considering joining a Dodgeball league.

Then of course I came to my senses.

Memorable Quote:
White Goodman: We should mate.
Kate Veatch: What?
White Goodman: Date! We should date some time. Socially. Go out and kick it.
[Kate retches, then forces it down]
White Goodman: Are you okay?
Kate Veatch: I'm fine. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
White Goodman: In some cultures, they only eat vomit. I never been there, but I read about it... *in a book*.

8. Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion - youtube clip

Okay, I figured it out. I know why I like this movie. I'm a sucker for the ignorant hero. This movie, with all it's dumb plots, has at heart two characters who really, genuinely care about each other, and it carries through the movie.

Plus, it's got the best threeway dance to 'Time After Time' ever.

And no one does bitter bitch better than Janeane Garafaolo.

Memorable Quote:
Michele: Sandy Frink has a helicopter?
Romy: Yeah, apparently he's worth millions. He invented some kind of rubber.
Michele: Like for condoms?!

7. Underworld - youtube clip

This movie was bad. I'll admit it. I watched it in the theatre admidst a crowd of people who basically laughed in all the wrong places. It's cliche. It's silly. The ending was stupid (though if you want an awesome alternate, go here)

But it's just so pretty! Kate Beckinsale runs around in leather, and someone just decided that they need to keep Scott Speedman wet... all the time.

I'm so with that decision.

Also - the action scenes are beautifully filmed. Again - just pretty. Even with the blood.

Memorable Quote:

Whether you like it or not, you're in the middle of a war that has been raging for the better part of a thousand years. A blood feud between vampires and lycans. Werewolves.

6. A Night At the Roxbury - youtube clip

It's one note. It's stupid. It'd idiotic.

Me and my sisters quote it repeateadly.

I have no excuse.

Memorable Quote:
Doug Butabi: You can take away our phones and you can take away our keys, but you can NOT take away our dreams.
Steve Butabi: Yeah, because we're, like, sleeping when we have them.

5. It's In the Water - youtube clip

There are ten thousand bad lesbian movies out there, and some of them are just... well... bad.
Directors do what they can, but very rarely can you rise above a bad storyline or a bad performance. It's in the Water is an exception. Cliche Dialogue? Check. Bad Acting? Check. Bad Hair and Eighties Clothes? Check-Check.

And still... there's something sweet in this story about a married debutante who falls in love with another woman in the midst of a prejudice struck town that believes the ridiculous notion that you can catch the 'gay cooties' by drinking the water.

Memorable Quote:
Alex: Grace, I want to kiss you.
Grace: Alex, don't do this.
Alex: Why?
Grace: Because you're going to like it.

4. Scary Movie 3 - youtube clip

I can't say I was a fan of Scary Movie 1 or Scary Movie 2, mostly because as much as I like funny, I don't like GROSS humor (There's Something About Mary is my exception). That said, I love the Naked Gun movies, and when those guys took over Scary Movie, they made my favorite film in that franchise.

I think what cracks me up the most is that 8Mile is spoofed, which somehow then qualifies it as a 'horror' film.

Memorable Quote:
[re: the killer video]
Cindy: And it's been circulating and killing ever since.
The Architect: Just like Pootie Tang.

3. Zoolander - youtube clip

He's ridiculously good-looking. There's a walk-off. Break-dance Fighting.

I literally cheer when David Bowie comes on screen.

Come on. You gotta love it.

Memorable Quote: Oh, I'm sorry, did my pin get in the way of your ass? Do me a favor and lose five pounds immediately or get out of my building like now!

2. Big Trouble In Little China - youtube clip

Dude, come on. Kurt Russell - in China? Being a lovable moron and and a regular Joe dealing with the supernatural crap that comes flying at him? This is a classic.

It was a toss-up between this one and Tango and Cash. Big Trouble won.

Memorable Quote: Oh my GOD, what is that?! No, don't tell me!

1. Showgirls - youtube clip

This movie is horrible. Gina Gershon is the only one campy enough to make it worth while, and even then you can't sit through this movie and watch it with a straight faced.

My suggestion? Watch it with the commentary, which is nothing more than a snarky guy making fun of the entire thing.

It becomes timeless.

Memorable Quote:
Cristal Connors: Molly, this top is way too tight. My breasts are just getting crushed in here.
Molly Abrams: I can loosen it for you.
Cristal Connors: Okay... To about here... Maybe... No, no a little less. I want my nipples to press, but I don't want them to look like they're levitatin'!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Digital Revolution

Want to know why digital revenue is so important to these writers, the studios and why it's such a point of contention?

Check it out.

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
Spooky Scary!
Boys Becoming Men!
Men Becoming Wolves!

A little late for Halloween - but 30 Rock is known for it's priceless throwaway bits. One of the best this season is a fifteen second bit where eccentric Actor Tracy Jordan reminisces about his gold party hit 'Werewolf Bar Mitzvah'.

Of course, becoming an instant classic, NBC jumped on that train and created a full-length, free downloadable mp3 version of the song.

This officially ranks as awesome.

Damon Lindenhoff Speaks Out Re: Writer's Strike

It's always interesting to see what the heavy hitters have to say about the writer's strike, particular the writers/showrunners, who are torn between having to actually run their show and having to strike against it.

Here, the Lost guy gives an eloquent rundown of the issues involved. Worth a read.

There really is a ticking clock on this - if they don't resolve this by Christmas, chances are they're not going to resolve it until the SAG/DGA talks in June.

And lest we forget the unsung heros - Much of Broadway has shut down due to a stagehands strike, including the scheduled to premiere 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - the musical'.

Maybe Jack Donaghy had it right, and we'll be watching 'Are You Stronger Than a Dog?' or 'Milf island' sooner than we think.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Don't You Hate It When

You send your son a gorilla gram at school, convince the teacher to film it, and they send a stripper who spanks and whims in front of the students instead?

You're out there surfing and a great white shark attacks you? At the very least, the dolpins will save you.

Thousands of bananas randomly wash up on your beach?

You walk into a police station with a cigar full of weed and they have the ardacity to arrest you for it?

Seriously. Striking writers? I dare you to make any of this up.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

MOVIE: No Country For Old Men

I don't get the cinema nowadays as nearly as I used to - because I'm broke and half the time there are other things I'd rather do than play russian roulette with my time and risk sitting through another real stinker (I'm still scarred by The Brave one - how shitty was that girl's luck? Did she have to run into EVERY creep in New York? I'm never going there. Ever. Geez).

Still, when a good friend invites you to a screening of the latest Coen Brothers' movie - you friggin' go.

This movie is just... stunning. In every sense of the word. It's not preachy. For a movie adapted from a novel - its dialogue is meticulously scarce. Everything that needs to be said is visualized through amazing sweeps of both claustrophobic hotel rooms, barren, dusty deserts, stern calculated characters and deadly, focused killers.

In order to prevent the risk of giving anything away, I won't say anything else - but when No Country For Old Men comes to your theatre? Go see it.

On the largest screen you can find.

Again on that Writer's Strike

Or, as I like to call it 'The reason all my phones are dead'.

If you're still unsure why the Writer's are striking, or what the big deal is, check out this youtube video, posted by the group featuring 'The Office' staff.

They describe writing 10 'promotional' mini webisodes for for which advertising was sold(meaning the network made money on them) , and for which they won an emmy and were not paid.

In this industry - creativity often takes a second place to money. This is a business, after all.

The last time writer's negotiated dvd residuals were in 1988, when VHS were barely being released. They had no way of knowing that nowadays most movie studios recoup most of their money and make most of their profits is through the astronomical selling of home video.

The writers also gave up an increase on those residuals in an effort to avoid a strike, which was a major point of contention. It didn't help.

Thus far, neither side has attempted to reconvene.

Man. This thing is gonna drag out forever.

Please - don't fire me before I get a real job, kthanks.

On a slightly funnier note - apparently some wannabe writer went to the picket lines to drop off a script, in hopes he could get the actual (non)working writers impressed enough to... what - join the striking guild?

Their response was to throw the script in the street so the cars could run over it, and then stage dramatic readings of the recovered pages.

Writers are pissed, people. Don't mess with that!

... I wonder what would happen if I wrote a really shitty script on purpose and tried to get them to act it out?

Best Actor Gesture of Support for the Striking Writers goes to Steve Carrell - who called in sick due to a case of 'enlarged balls'. Indeed, Steve. indeed. Would you like to to go with me to the pants party?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila - Episode 5

You know what happens when you work on the best shows on cable tv? You watch really dumb ones when you come home. Seriously, after 'Flavor of Love 2', I think my friends' estimation of me plummetted about 50%. That's more or less why I've been keeping my current guilty pleasure a secret. Well, until now.

I can't help it. I'm watching a Shot of Love with Tila Tequila, and even as I do (and curse myself for it) I can hear Gloria Steinem pounding my door down, demanding to take away my right to call myself a feminist (If that's even the correct term anymore).

The show is trashy. It's lame. It's obviously scripted. It's based on the most ridiculous premise ever. I feel my IQ dropping every time I watch it (And I still blame Flavor of Love 2 for my IQ now being 120. I swear it was higher than that).

But despite it being all those things, it does take a bunch of lesbians (sexuality questionable for some) and a bunch of straight dudes (and a really insane Italian who has to be a hired actor) and forces them to live in a house together and even sleep in the same bed. The result? The weirdest study of stereotypes and gender roles I've seen in a while.

Maybe it's the geek in me, but I find that fascinating. Men who go from 'women on women is hot' to calling their lesbian competitors 'she-males' and exclaiming that that losing to lesbians doesn't count because 'technically, they're men', a lipstick lesbian who decides that butch women are 'eww', a straight guy who refuses to believe that a virgin can consider herself a lesbian until she actually sleeps with both genders to decide for sure, a woman who considers herself a lesbian but hooks up with a guy her first night in the house...

It's offensive, and it's wierd, but it's everything that has been said behind backs and closed doors and the result is some pretty fascinating exploration on the fluidity of sexuality and how that idea can both repulse, attract and just plain frighten the masses.

'A Shot of Love' is weird. And trashy. And exploitive.

It's also unintentionally provoking.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's horrible.

But dude - there's so totally gonna be a fight next week! OMG! Drama!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

5 Reasons I'm Momentarily Relieved I'm Not WGA

I've tended to avoid talking about the strike for a very simple reason: currently, I'm working for a struck network. My writing doesn't give me a paycheck: the network does. Working here while simultaneously wishing I could join the writers I respect and admire on the picket lines leaves me in a position where I toe the line and wait.

I have my opinions and I know who I support – eventually I hope to become a member of the WGA and I know that what the writers are picketing for will only help me when I get to that point.

Until then? I'm one of the little (really really little) people; working for my network and earning my paycheck and hoping I don't lose my job should this thing stretch out for months.

In that spirit:

5 Reasons I'm Relieved I'm Not WGA (And 5 Reasons Why I'm Still Jealous)

1. No one's running me over (and there are no shoe-stealing tires around).

2. When I have an argument and it goes badly - I don't have to argue in the Trades over who it was that stormed out first.

3. I don't have to think of lame-ass chants. I'm a writer, not a cheerleader.

4. I don't have to make weird and funny youtube videos about how bored I am just because of a strike. I can do that anytime, dammit.

5. I'm not responsible for Ryan Seacrest or E! being a 'strike-proof' option.

And 5 Reasons Why I'm Still Jealous

1. I can finally use my tendency to get dramatic for a good cause.

2. When they do get run over, they have benefits to pay for the hospital.

3. I could hang out with Tina Fey and not be accused of stalking.

4. Jay Leno would bring me donuts.

5. Don't tell me no one has ever wanted to storm the Desperate Housewives set and shut that place down.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Top 5 Movies I'm glad my Cinema Professor Made Me Watch (and one I wish he didn't)

What kind of USC student were you if you didn't take Cinema 190 with Drew Casper? It was a gimme class. You listened to a kinda crazy, kinda brilliant prof who clearly loved his movies spout about theories and history and always sat in the back because the man was insane and lived to call on you and embarrass the hell out of you, and then afterwards, you got to sit in an awesome theatre and watch movies (or if you were me - you snuck out and then went to Rocket Video on Melrose and rented them all on VHS to catch up come final times).

Thanks to that crazy, awesome professor, I got to see some amazing films.

Thanks to Leonard Maltin, my OTHER cinema profesor, I got to see some truly crappy ones. One of them was Antitrust. Do you remember that one? It was that hideous hacker film with Ryan Phillip back when the internet boom was hot and it was just... blech. I feel dumber for having watched that film.

But First - the Classics:

1. A Shot In The Dark - imdb link - clip on youtube
The follow up to the fantastic 'Pink Panther' - Blake Edwards' A Shot in the Dark begins with a voyeuristic window into a priveliged household after dark - where all we see are shadows of laisons: affairs, passion, and murder. What follows is the saga of the original idiot - and Peter Sellers is never better (except, maybe in Dr. Strangelove). As the hapless Inspector Clouseau, who fumbles his way across this campy whodunit, Sellers is always brilliant, and even better, always funny.

Memorable Quote: Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world.

2. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek - imdb link - clip on youtube
In cinema class, we learned all about Preston Sturges, and his love of situational slapstick. In 'The Miracle of Morgan's Creek', he gets away with the unthinkable in 1944: a movie about a one-night stand that's left a girl pregnant and jilted. The result? A hilarous send-up of a war film, where the heroes have gone to war and left a girl hung over, pregnant, and having no clue who her wartime husband is. With the help of her wise cracking little sister, and adoring geek best friend, she's going to try to get herself out of trouble before she lands in a whole heap of it.

Memorable Quote: The responsibility for recording a marriage has always been up to woman. If it wasn't for her, marriage would have disappeared long since. No man is going to jeopardize his present or poison his future with a lot of little brats hollering around the house unless he's forced to. It's up to the woman to knock him down, hogtie him, and drag him in front of two witnesses immediately if not sooner. Anytime after that is too late.

3. The General - imdb link - clip on youtube
Buster Keaton was always a genius, but this silent film, usually past over for Charlie Chaplin's 'Modern Times', will always cement him as my own personal geeky romantic hero. The simple story of a man and his two loves: an engine and a girl, is riveting, hilarous and sweet.

Memorable Quote: If you lose this war don't blame me.

4. A Foreign Affair - imdb link - clip on youtube
My 190 professer had a love affair with husky-throated, raspy-voiced Jean Arthur, and with good reason. The woman was a comedic treasure. In Billy Wilder's classic A Foreign Affair, she plays it straight opposite sex-hellcat Marlene Deitrich, as a public official sent to investigate allegations that officers occupying a savaged post-war Berlin have gone corrupt. The subject is particularly relevant today, and once again proves that comedy is political commentary's best friend.

Memorable Quote: Moral! Maybe someday we can send a little committee of our own investigating moral in Washington D.C.

5. The More The Merrier - imdb link -
What happens when a well-to-do retired millionaire ends up rooming with a beautiful single gal in the middle of a housing shortage in Washington D.C. and has nothing to do? He sets her up with a soldier, of course. Rife with physical comedy and amazingly funny preformances by all three leads, The More The Merrier is funny, sweet and romantic.

Memorable Quote: There are two kinds of people - those who don't do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven't done, and those who are too busy to write about it because they're out doing it!

Thank you, Dr. Casper. You were crazy, but you were awesome. Without you, I never would have known and loved Howard Hawkes, Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, and Fatty Arbunkle, to name a new.

You made me love cinema. And I'm sure you're still torturing general elective students as we speak.

In a way, that makes me happy too.

Just Another Wannabe Writer in LA

I'm not particularly brilliant. I'm not particularly funny.

I am sarcastic and I have moments of wittiness, but when it comes down to it, I'm a mediocre writer in my late twenties who has lived in LA my whole life, working low paying jobs in the industry, wasting both my masters degree and my potential in favor of answering phones and doing expense reports.

It's very sad when Avenue Q becomes your theme song. And you recognize that.

In an attempt to make something of myself, I'm going to blog and hope that in the process, I maintain some sort of discipline that will allow me to get me and my tired scripts off our collective asses.