Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Greatest YouTube Clip Of All Time

Friends, I've linked to some funny videos over the years, and I hope you've enjoyed at least a few of them. It's occasionally difficult to figure out if a video is funny just to me since it appeals to my odd sense of humour, or it's truly funny enough to be worth posting up for all to enjoy --- it's not unlike Elaine deciding if a guy is sponge-worthy or not. I guess the difference is that it's not like I have a limited number of posts to use, nor will my blog keep me from getting pregnant. Ok, it was a terrible analogy, are you happy?

But with this clip....well, it speaks for itself. I can safely say that everyone will find this funny. You can show this to your grandma, clergyman or British palace guard, and it will crack them all up. If someone sees this video clip and doesn't laugh, then that's pretty evidence that they're aliens hiding in a human guise.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Not to be confused with UHF, it's the fake Weird Al movie! If only this was real...also, if only an Olivia Wilde-as-young Madonna movie was real. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Empire State Of Mind

Am I the only one who inserts the name of my own city into the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys New York anthem? 'London' obviously flows a bit better than 'Toronto,' but you can pronounce the latter as 'Tron-to' and it still fits. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. Why should I favour New York over either my birthplace or the city in which I spend half of the year? Does New York have a Stobey's Pizza? Does New York have a giant hippo-shaped bus that takes you on an unsatisfactory tour of the downtown area? Hell no to both. Show some local pride, people --- and that goes for not just Londoners or Torontonians but to people living everywhere from Fredricton to Frankfurt. Why go along with Jay-Keys' propaganda? Big lights can inspire you just as well in, say, Kincardine as they can in NYC. Of course, the big lights in Kincardine might not be from skyscrapers but rather the Bruce Nuclear Plant, but still.

BONUS LINK: A kids' school choir performs the song. (The New York version, not the Kincardine version.) This is somewhat hipper than my grade school choir days, when the hippest we got was singing "Rock Around The Clock."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Nonsense

I'm not sure why I find this picture so funny. I have no particular ill will towards 'Twilight.' Why hate something that is clearly not aimed at my demographic? I can easily glean from advertisements alone that it's not my cup of tea, so I just let it blow past me in a swift rush of ennui.

That said, it still fills me with delight to see the Count just socking it to ol' Edward. Maybe it's not so much that I dislike Twilight as much as it is that I really love the Count. One, ONE haymaker, ah ah ah! Needless to say, the Count is not on Team Edward. (Note to self: LOST should totally reveal the Smoke Monster's name as 'Edward,' so they can piggyback off of the Team Jacob/Team Edward meme. Bad idea, or worst idea?)


Here's a video that's been making the rounds of the blogosphere lately --- a week after a game show that he hosted went on the air to horrific reviews, the great Jackie Gleason goes on TV the next week and spends the whole time apologizing for the terrible program and basically mocking its entire existence. It's pretty amazing. Not by coincidence, these videos started popping up once the first episode of 'The Marriage Ref' debuted. Memo to Jerry Seinfeld: just stop. Stop doing increasingly defensive interviews pretending the show is entertaining. It's not. You're threatening to taint 'Seinfeld' for us, Jerry. Just stop.

Jackie Gleason : "You're in the Picture"
Uploaded by werquin. - Watch original web videos.


A word about Fulham FC. Down 4-1 in aggregate goals after the first two minutes of the second leg of their Europa League tie with Juventus on Thursday (wow, run-on sentence), Fulham proceeded to score four more times to clinch the unlikely victory and move on to the quarter-finals. Now, true, Juventus was down a man for most of the match, but even still, you have to consider the result to be quite possibly the biggest win in Fulham history, all circumstances considered.

"But Mark," you might ask, "didn't you sort of break up with Fulham two years ago? Aren't you just a bandwagon-jumping douchebag?" Well, um, uh, er, what can I say, the new girl didn't work out so well. And come on, the Packers went out in the first round, the Maple Leafs stink, MLS might go on strike, and the Blue Jays are about to embark on what might be a last-place season. Let me have some sports joy! I mean, look at this goddamn winning goal from Clint Dempsey! How can you watch that strike and not want to reclaim your seat on the bandwagon? Also, I really need to go to Craven Cottage at one point in my life. I may dress as Kraven the Hunter. I just need to find a lion-patterned vest, grow a mustache and do sit-ups for about the next two years.


There's having your advertisement topped, and then there's having your advertisement owned. Audi, my friends, you've just been piz-wned.


Today's iTunes playlist....

Romeo & Juliet, Dire Straits
Helter Skelter, The Beatles
Would I Lie To You, Eurythmics
Orleans Parish Prison, Johnny Cash
I Want It All, Queen
Red Rain, The White Stripes
What I Got, Sublime
The Masses Against The Classes, Manic Street Preachers
Lost In The Flood, Bruce Springsteen
Fast Cars, U2

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March Madness Of Women (And Basketball)

"We’ve long advocated the same strategy. 1) Don’t go around the office talking about your brackets to everyone on Monday. It’ll just put the spotlight on you. Better move – mention that you got “caught in the rain” this weekend after going to a movie/wedding/whatever. 2) On Tuesday, feign illness – but not too much. A sneeze here, a cough there, and some sniffling when necessary. 3) Wednesday is when you really ham it up and bring on the cold. People will say, “oh man, it must have gotten worse overnight.” The Tuesday pre-sick is crucial to set up Wednesday. 4) Thursday, call in sick. Enjoy the tournament. If you can stretch it to Friday, great. Worse case scenario – you have to go in Friday, but take a long late lunch so you catch the final 10 minutes of the first set of games and the first 10 minutes of the second set of games." -- The Big Lead

So, I may have more than one NCAA bracket currently on the go. Technically I have three of them, each respectively known as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The predictions I'll make this post can be considered the sum of those three, thus making this bracket known as Zeus. (My grasp of theology is not strong.) As usual, I feel the need to state that actually using these predictions in your own bracket under the mistaken assumption that I know what I'm talking about is a fool's errand. Read at your own risk. Or, just take Conan O'Brien's tournament pick. But enough of Coco, onto Marmar's selections!

*Duke over Winthrop, but if Winthrop doesn't win the play-in game, then Arkansas Pine-Bluff will clearly win the whole tournament. In summation, the play-in game is pointless and stupid.
*Louisville over California
*Purdue over Siena
*Texas A&M over Utah St
*Old Dominion over Notre Dame (upset special!)
*Baylor over Sam Houston
*Richmond over St. Mary's
*Villanova over Robert Morris and hopefully 11 of Robert's teammates lest the game be unfair

*Kentucky over East Tennessee
*Wake Forest over Texas
*Temple over Cornell, sorry Andy
*Wofford over Wisconsin (upset special!)
*Marquette over Washington
*New Mexico over Montana
*Clemson over Missouri
*West Virginia over Morgan St.

*Kansas over Lehigh...be sure to check out Joe Posnanski's blog post about Kansas coach Bill Self. It's quite good. JoePo wrote nothing about the Lehigh coach, so obviously they'll lose.
*Northern Iowa over UNLV
*Michigan State over New Mexico State
*Houston over Maryland (upset special!)
*San Diego St over Tennessee (upset special!)
*Georgetown over Ohio
*Oklahoma St over Georgia Tech
*Ohio St over UCSB

*Syracuse over Vermont
*Gonzaga over Florida St
*UTEP over Butler (upset special!)
*Murray State over Vanderbilt (upset special!)
*Minnesota over Xavier (upset special!)
*Pittsburgh over Oakland via Immaculate Reception
*BYU over Florida since without Tebow, the Gators can't come close to BYU's sheer religiosity
*Kansas St over North Texas

*Duke over Louisville
*Texas A&M over Purdue
*Baylor over Old Dominion
*Villanova over Richmond
*Kentucky over Wake Forest
*Temple over Wofford
*New Mexico over Marquette, sorry future daughter's name
*West Virginia over Clemson
*'Cuse over 'Zaga
*UTEP over Murray State
*Minnesota over Pitt
*Kansas St over BYU
*Kansas over Northern Iowa
*Michigan St over Houston
*Georgetown over San Diego St.
*Ohio St. over Oklahoma St.

*Texas A&M over Duke (upset special!)
*Villanova over Baylor
*Kentucky over Temple
*New Mexico over West Virginia, eat it Huggins
*Syracuse over UTEP
*Kansas St over Minnesota
*Kansas over Michigan St.
*Ohio St. over Georgetown

*Villanova over Texas A&M
*New Mexico over Kentucky in New Mexico's greatest achievement since the Breaking Bad S3 premiere
*Syracuse over Kansas St.
*Kansas over Ohio St.

*Villanova over New Mexico
*Syracuse over Kansas

*Syracuse over Villanova

Go Orange!


In other bracket news, ESPN.com has its own 'best nickname in sports' tournament. You can peruse the candidates here, but thanks to the unforgivable omission of Red Light Racicot, the clear winner here has to be Mordecai Brown, right? You might argue that his nickname isn't so much a nickname as it is a literal physical description, but still, the intimidation factor was off the charts.

"Hey, who's pitching today?"
"Three-Finger Brown."
"Who? What kind of a name is that?"
"His hand was mangled by a series of childhood accidents. But it gave him a superhuman ability to put spin on the baseball."
"Shit, son."
"No kidding."
"Say, maybe if I chop off two of my fingers, I'll be a better pitcher too!"
"Why not, it's worth a shot."

And that was the last anyone ever heard of Dustin McGowan.


Enough of this sports mumbo-jumbo. Esquire Magazine knows where it's at --- their bracket is the far more controversial "Sexiest Woman Alive" tournament. The tournament is split into the Movies, Sports, Music/Fashion and TV divisions. As a duty to you, my readers, I'll suffer through the arduous task of looking at all these pictures of beautiful women and giving my opinions over the first-round matchups. Oh, the things I'll do for my blog....

*Megan Fox over Helen Mirren, who Esquire seems to have adopted as its GILF
*Rachel McAdams over Anne Hathaway in arguably the toughest toss-up of the round.
*Ashley Greene over Joy Bryant (upset special!)
*Jessica Alba over Jennifer Aniston, since putting Aniston up against Angelina Jolie would've just been cruel.
*Kristen Bell over Marion Cotillard in an unfortunate pairing for Cotillard, who probably advances against almost anyone but my long-standing imaginary TV girlfriend.
*Penelope Cruz over Paula Patton in yet another tough call
*Freida Pinto over Zoe Saldana
*Eva Mendes over Sienna Miller

*Natalie Gulbis over Lane Kiffin, yes that's right, USC coach Lane Kiffin. I'm not even sure of the reasoning in putting him in here as a joke candidate. I can only guess that the writer was a pissed-off Tennessee fan.
*Erin Andrews over Danica Patrick, tough match
*Heather Mitts over Ana Ivanovic (upset special!)
*Gina Carano over Serena Williams (upset special!)
*Panamanian Cricket Team over Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn (three upsets in a row!)
*Stacy Keibler over Anna Kournikova (four upsets!)
*Matt Stafford's girlfriend over Scott Podsednik's wife
*Tanith Belbin over Daniela Hantuchova

*Beyonce over Avril Lavigne
*Marisa Miller over Candice Swanepoel
*Gisele over Emanuela De Paula
*Adriana Lima over Keri Hilson
*Izabel Goulart over Rihanna (upset special!)
*Katy Perry over Carrie Underwood in technically an upset special, but Katy Perry is a #14 seed? This tournament may have more dodgy seedings than Duke's region.
*Elisabetta Canalis over Brooklyn Decker
*Miranda Kerr over Alessandra Ambrosio (upset special!)

*Blake Lively over Heidi Klum
*Minka Kelly over Megyn Kelly
*Bianna Golodryga over Sarah Silverman. Seriously, of all the women on TV to choose from, Sarah Silverman made the cut. I don't even know who Bianca Googleplex is, but she gets the easy nod.
*Christina Hendricks over January Jones in a match that may result in a brawl on the 'Mad Men' set. And ironically, you could make an argument for Alison Brie as the best-looking of the bunch.
*Evangeline Lilly over Padma Lakshmi
*Olivia Wilde over Ginnifer Goodwin (upset special!) (plus, Esquire missed an easy joke in not making Wilde a #13 seed)
*Post-implants Heidi Montag over pre-implants Heidi Montag (this was seriously a matchup)
*Emmanuelle Chriqui over Olivia Munn

I could go into the rest of the matchups, but I've already spent enough time judging the appearances of women who I've never seen in real life without the aid of makeup and charitable photography. Let's just call it a final four of Bell, Keibler, Lima and Lively. But really folks, whatever your picks are, it's hard to go wrong with this field...well, except for Kiffin, Silverman and the Heidi Montags. I've got to say, Esquire put a lot more thought into this bracket than they did their 'sexiest man in the world' tournament. In that one, the final four came down to Gilbert Gottfried, Dan Uggla, the corpse of Alexander McQueen and me. (Yes, I qualified in the movies bracket. I'm playing the Kraken in Clash Of The Titans. I now join Jews on the list of things that Liam Neeson has released in movies.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Mad Men" Barbie Dolls. Seriously.

The definition of irony: Mattel has been criticized for years for giving their Barbies unrealistically curvy body types. Now, they finally decide to heed this lesson and go to a more generic stick figure type.....for a doll of Christina Hendricks?!?!

Hopefully these Mad Men dolls are just the first of many sets based on critically-acclaimed TV series. I can't wait to get my 'Wire' Barbies. If you pull the string on the back of the Clay Davis doll, it just goes 'Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet' for minutes at a time.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Markademy Awards

Live from my basement, it's the Xth annual Markademy Awards! With your host, a guy who has seen most Steve Martin films and less then a dozen Alec Baldwin films, me!

Thanks, announcer who is also me! This year's Markademy Awards (or, the 'Markscars' as the tabloids call them, not to be confused with the scars on Mark's face that he received in that knife fight with the hobo) will be presented thusly.....I'll give you my take on who deserves to win the award of the actual nominees, suggest a couple of 'alternative' nominees, and then hand out the award from this so-called uber-ballot. It's so simple even a chimp could understand it. Or a chump. Or a champ, though given their status, several things probably come easy to them. Or a Chomp-Chomp from the Mario games. Or a....chemp? Is that a word? This bit is dead. Onto the awards!

Actual nominees: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Station Agent), Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabby Sidibe (Precious), Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia)

Overlooked: Penelope Cruz (Broken Embraces), Kristen Stewart (Adventureland), Evan Rachel Wood (Whatever Works)

First of all, holy crap, did I actually just put forth Kristen Stewart's name for an acting nomination? These awards have already lost all credibility. But seriously, she did a commendable job in the surprisingly good Adventureland. Emergency Room Wood did similarly good work in being charming enough in 'Whatever Works' to distract us from the creepiness of her marrying and presumably boning Larry David. Cruz continued her streak of suddenly becoming awesome whenever directed by Pedro Almodovar, though I'd probably rank her third of the trio. Let's give Wood the nod as the new nominee on the uber-ballot, bumping Sandra Bullock. Now, to be fair, I haven't actually seen Blind Side, Station Agent or Julie & Julia, but c'mon, in a race of "who do I bump?" do you seriously think Bullock would be safe over Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren? The worst thing is, Bullock is actually going to win the Oscar, which will be one of those decision that people will look back on with horror in future years. (Or, by Monday.) Streep's record at the Oscars will drop to 2-for-16, Mirren gets a nice token nomination and Sidibe and Mulligan share the 'youngster happy to be here' honours. Were I actually making a vote, I'd pick Sidibe by a hair over Mulligan in a tough call between two excellent, film-carrying performances. Or, maybe literally by a hair, since Mulligan got one of those awful pixie haircuts that has maybe looked attractive on, like, six women ever yet otherwise good-looking women continue to insist on ruining their looks in a vain attempt to be Audrey Hepburn. Rant over. Fun fact: if Bullock wins, she'll be the first person to win both a Razzie and an Oscar in the same year.

Will win: Bullock
Should win: Sidibe

Actual nominees: Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Christopher Plummer (The Station Agent), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)

Overlooked: Peter Capaldi (In The Loop), Zach Galifianakis (Hangover), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), The Cameo (Zombieland), Jason Segel (I Love You, Man)

Ok, 'The Cameo' is the actor whose name I'm keeping secret if you've never seen Zombieland, since it's a hilarious surprise. And, call me naive, but I actually thought that Galifianakis had a legit shot at a nomination. But, supporting actor was a tough category this year. You had Harrelson's excellent 'sensitive Stone Cold Steve Austin' character in Messenger, plus his Zombieland role. You had Tucci getting in for his supporting roles in both Lovely Bones and Julie & Julia. Even Damon could be considered a 'body of work' type of nominee given his (better) role in 'The Informant!' But, they all pale in comparison to Christoph Waltz, who will literally waltz his way to a well-deserved win. It's somewhat too bad that Waltz is such a lock, since a Christopher Plummer win would make him the first Oscar winner whose hand I've shaken before. He was the keynote speaker at my college graduation ceremony; he made a bunch of jokes about getting drunk, all of which were delivered impeccably. This is Zach Galifianakis' future. But, for now, he and the amazing Capaldi make the uber-ballot by bumping Plummer (didn't see his movie) and Damon.

Will win: Waltz
Should win: Waltz

Actual nominees: Penelope Cruz (Nine), Vera Farminga (Up In The Air), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air), Mo'Nique (Precious)

Overlooked: Emily Blunt (Sunshine Cleaning), Marion Cotillard (Nine), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), Julianne Moore (A Single Man), Samantha Morton (The Messenger)

Boy, deep year in the supporting actress category. I thought about bumping Laurent up to lead, but IB didn't really have a true main character, and if Waltz is in supporting then Laurent should be too. Anyway, she totally deserved to be nominated, so add her to the uber-ballot in Gyllenhaal's place and (if someone from Nine has to be nominated) add Marion Cotillard rather than Penelope Cruz since Cotillard was basically the only good thing in the movie. Mo'Nique is the pretty clear favourite here so I don't really have much to add. So I'll just mention how, during a recent screening of The Dark Knight, my friends and I recently debated Maggie Gyllenhaal's hotness in a scene reminiscent of the Dunder-Mifflin office voting if Hilary Swank is hot or not. My friend Matt argued that it wasn't believable that Bruce Wayne would've been so hung up over an average-looking woman, while I argued that Gyllenhaal is 'average' only by Hollywood standards. Then I think someone said she looked like a cartoon turtle and the discussion devolved into a shootout. Between the bullet wound and getting stabbed by that hobo, I've had a rough month.

Will win: Mo'Nique
Should win: Kendrick

Actual nominees: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up In The Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Overlooked: Sharlto Copley (District 9), Matt Damon (The Informant!), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days Of Summer), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man)

Damon got bumped from the supporting actor uber-ballot, but he takes out his pal Clooney to make the best actor uber-ballot. Again, this is a very tough category to knock someone out of this year, since Clooney was excellent himself. It seems agreed that Jeff Bridges is a lock to win, and while I certainly support the idea of Bridges getting an overdue Oscar victory....I dunno, I don't think he's the best of the nominees. I think Colin Firth did a bit more in a more difficult role. If I had a vote (which I somehow don't --- come on, Academy! How many more of these blogs do I have to write?!) I'd swallow hard and vote for Firth, thus dooming Bridges to a career 0-for-5 nominations. Well, my vote wouldn't exactly doom him since he'd still win easily. Maybe this is why I don't get an actual vote. My over-inflated self-importance would be totally out of place in Hollywood.

Will win: Bridges
Should win: Firth

Actual nominees: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), James Cameron (Avatar), Lee Daniels (Precious), Jason Reitman (Up In The Air), Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Overlooked: Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), Neill Blomkamp (District 9), The Coen Brothers (A Serious Man), Tom Ford (A Single Man), Lone Scherfig (An Education), Steven Soderbergh (The Informant!)

I'm actually going to leave the uber-ballot unchanged from the actual ballot, since as much as I thought 'Avatar' was boring, it's hard to argue that Cameron wrung every ounce of creativity he could muster into the visual side of the film. Not, like, the story or anything, but still, the aliens looked cool in 3-D. Actually wait a second, fuck that --- Neill Blomkamp's budget was about a tenth of Cameron's and his movie was just as visually impressive. Blomkamp gets the nod on the uber-ballot. Cameron's douchey "Oh, give the best director Oscar to Kathryn, she deserves it, but give us Best Picture' ploy also works against him in this case. It's too bad I couldn't find room for Tom Ford, the big-time fashion designer who turned to movie-making and had a great debut with 'A Single Man.' Ford's fashion background and eye for style is evident in his movie, since virtually every frame could stand on its own as a lovely photograph. Ford, or at least his cinematographer Eduard Grau, deserved a nomination.

Will win: Bigelow
Should win: Tarantino

Actual nominees: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, Up In The Air

Overlooked: Adventureland, Fantastic Mr. Fox, 500 Days Of Summer, I Love You Man, The Informant!, In The Loop, Paranormal Activity, A Single Man, Sugar

Thanks to the new preferential balloting rules and the ten-picture field, this year's race is hard to predict. In a normal year, one would think it would be a clear battle between Avatar and Hurt Locker (and, in all likelihood, it will be one of those winning anyway), but thanks to the balloting rules, it's quite possible that a movie could win the prize without necessarily being at the very top of the most ballots. It all comes down to who has the fewest detractors, really, since clever voters will put the film they feel is the biggest threat to their preferred choice at the bottom. For instance, if you want Hurt Locker to win, you'll put it at #1 and put Avatar at #10. It's like that old Archie story where Archie, Reggie, Moose and Chuck are voting on a beauty contest comprised of Betty, Veronica, Nancy, Midge and Big Ethel. The guys all vote their girlfriends as #1, but then all pick Ethel as #2 so as to not give another competitor an extra vote. As it played out, Ethel is then named the winner on overall points. Ah, Archie Comics --- so many life lessons. In this scenario, a win for 'Blind Side' would be the real Big Ethel ugly tree victor, but I think enough people are horrified by even its nomination to stick it at #10. You'll find pockets of voters who are anti-Avatar, anti-Hurt Locker or anti-Inglourious (the three favourites), but for a movie like 'Up In The Air' that has no real backlash, it would squeak through for enough votes if it cracks the top three on everyone's list.

But, as I said, it'll probably be Hurt Locker or Avatar who actually wins. I'll make Avatar my official pick since voters will probably be swayed by the box office and pretty colours, rather than the fact that the movie was pretty sucky. Avatar will be in tough competition with 'A Beautiful Mind' for the title of the decade's worst Best Picture, which is pretty shocking given ABM's lameness. That Jim Cameron, always breaking records!

Will win: Avatar?
Should win: Inglourious Basterds

Now, onto the official uber-ballot for Best Picture, or the main event of every year's Markademy Awards. I thought about limited my picks to the traditional five, since a 10-picture ballot is kind of stupid and a change that the Academy will probably backtrack from before 2015 at the latest. But, I decided to list ten films but put them in order, so you yourself can identify which were the 'top five' had I done a regular set of nominations. The winner, unsurprisingly, is the movie I wrote a massive analysis of back in August --- the one and only Inglourious Basterds.

The uber-ballot!

1. Inglourious Basterds
2. A Single Man
3. In The Loop
4. A Serious Man
5. I Love You, Man
6. The Hurt Locker
7. Fantastic Mr. Fox
8. 500 Days Of Summer
9. Up
10. Watchmen

And, as a bonus, here are my favourite scenes of the year in movies.

18. Any time Mr. Fox's family eats (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
17. George and Charley's dinner party (A Single Man)
16. Bruno screening his celeb interview show for the focus group, complete with talking penis (Bruno)
15. Ricky Gervais makes up the concept of religion (The Invention of Lying)
14. The photo montage over the end credits (The Hangover)
13. The end scene at the train station (Drag Me To Hell)
12. The hilarious spiral of lies that are revealed in the last 20 minutes of the movie (The Informant!)
11. Ryan and Alex try to comfort Natalie about her breakup (Up In The Air)
10. Micah follows the 'tracks' from next to the bed up into the attic, finds the torn picture (Paranormal Activity)
9. "Slappin' de bass" (I Love You, Man)
8. John Dillinger openly walks through the FBI office (Public Enemies)
7. The story about the dentist who finds 'help me' in Hebrew on his patient's teeth (A Serious Man)
6. Precious and her mother meet at the social worker's cubicle (Precious)
5. The Cameo (Zombieland)
4. The opening credits (Watchmen)
3. Pretty much any time Peter Capaldi is chewing out his staff, but particularly the 'kiss my sweaty ballsack, you fat fuck' scene (In The Loop)
2. Pretty much any of Christoph Waltz's interrogation scenes, but particularly the scene in the restaurant when Landa is talking to Shosanna and orders a glass of milk (Inglourious Basterds)
1. The opening sequence detailing Carl and Ellie's life (Up)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

OK Goldberg

Let me be the 10 millionth blogger in the last week to post OK Go's new video. I'm pretty sure it's internet law; those bloggers who don't post it are subject to be visited by the Repo Men or possibly characters from another terrible sci-fi movie.

Very cool stuff. It reminds me of the Rube Goldberg machine my buddy Trev and I designed in the sixth grade. And when I say 'reminds me of,' I mean that our version was roughly 1/10000th the complexity. And when I say 'my buddy Trev and I designed,' I mean that Trevor basically designed the whole thing, and my contributions were limited to buying the power battery needed to power the lightbulb at the end of the thing. Since Trevor grew up to an engineer, maybe my destiny is to become a money man. All I need now is money.


* An article from Wired detailing how the video was made, complete with a few links to the 'making of' YouTube clips.

* OK Go's original video for the song, which was also pretty creative. Geez, OK Go can make two good videos for one song and most musicians can't even cobble together one interesting video in their entire careers. Then again, to be fair, 'This Too Shall Pass' is the kind of average song that could use a cool video to get it some attention. It's no "Here It Goes Again", that's for certain.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On Notice! Olympics Edition!

Three days without the Games. Is anyone else going through withdrawal?

* The 'Own The Podium' campaign was like Lady Gaga --- a whole lot of unnecessary controversy that obscured a very simple truth. In Gaga's case, her weird outfits and style can be accounted for when you realize that she is just trying to distract you from looking at her giant unwieldy nose. There was a similarly simple answer to the Own The Podium campaign: the host country wanted to impress. End of story. I love the hand-wringers who were all worried that Canada wanting to win the medal race would make it seem like we weren't being "polite" or "un-Canadian." Um, it's the Olympics. Why wouldn't be make a big deal of wanting to win the most medals? Then, after the first week, people were calling it a travesty that the athletes weren't winning more medals, in spite of the fact that Canada was averaging at least one per day. Maybe people were just offended that it was a play on the Canadian military's slogan for seizing the drug fields of Afghanistan: Pwn the Opium.

* Ashleigh McIvor wins the Katarina Witt memorial 'best-looking woman of the Games' award. Runner-up is Gretchen Bleiler. The bronze goes to Tessa Vir....wait, let me check Wikipedia for her birthday...ok, she's 21 in May, she qualifies...Tessa Virtue. You can never be too careful with figure skaters. Honorable mention goes to Johnny Weir, who tries oh so hard to be a girl that I'll take pity on him. I almost wrote 'I'll throw him a bone,' but that could be misinterpreted.

* Apparently there was a hockey tournament of some sort played during these Olympics. Two quick hits about the hockey: first, I'm pretty sure my father was the only person in the country rooting AGAINST Team Canada, partially out of spite given that he was sick of them getting so much coverage for the last several months. I can't fully fault him since I feel basically the same way about the World Juniors, but c'mon, this is the Olympics. Thankfully, Dad came around by the end and was on the Canadian bandwagon against the USA, but boy was he ever gleeful when Canada almost lost that game to Switzerland. I think he came around because he lost all bragging rights when his beloved curlers only converted one out of the two gold medals. Cheryl Bernard, I owe you one. That massive choke may have cost you a gold medal, but at least it won me the upper hand against my pops. That's basically like a gold medal, right? Also hilarious was how, as much as my dad railed on hearing so much about the hockey team, he couldn't identify any of the players except Crosby, Iginla, Brodeur and the guys with London connections (Nash, Doughty, Thornton). Second....I missed the Canada/Russia game to go see a play. Yep. Got the tickets weeks ago and realized the date conflict as soon as Canada lost the prelim round game to the USA. In my defense "Wingfield: Lost and Found" was a good show. And on the list of Canadiana, watching a Canada-Russia game is only slightly higher than watching a Wingfield play, really. Intermission was particularly funny, as literally half of the theatre tore upstairs to catch the score on the lounge TV. Then there was the spectacle of everyone coming down and informing their seatmate of the score, leading to about 200 "it's 6-2 and it's only the second period?!" conversations.

* The best events of these Games can be summed by 'anything involving a cross.' Snowboard cross, ski cross, whatever. If it involved lining up four people and firing them down a difficult track in a veritable melee of arms, legs and poles, it was entertaining as hell.

* Coverage-wise, these Olympics were about as good as it got. CTV, Sportsnet, TSN, RDS, OLN had sports going non-stop for the full span of the Games and (best of all) virtually everything was shown live. If someone won a gold medal in the afternoon, you'd see a replay of it that evening in prime time during some break in other action, usually followed by an interview with said medallist. It was a little jarring to hear the voices I'm accustomed to hearing on Sportscentre and Blue Jays game suddenly calling, say, ski races, but by and large the announcers did a fine job. (Though Rod Black can tone down the patriotism by about three or four notches.) Now, I'm basing this solely on the actual athletic coverage, since I've heard some whispers that the morning show stuff headlined by the MTV Aftershow clowns and the Canada AM folks was somewhat gong show-esque. But hey, if I didn't see it, it didn't happen. Our coverage was even better compared to the nonstop firestorm of criticism that NBC went through over its shoddy job of handling the live events. Get this: events were tape-delayed even on the west coast! So some poor schmoe in Seattle who didn't have a CTV channel on his cable box still had to wait hours to see certain events, even though they were just three hours away from Vancouver. Smooth move, NBC.

* Chris Chase of Yahoo Sports sums up Bjoergen's story here. She won five medals! Good gravy! Chase bashes NBC for never telling her story during the Games, but in their defense, I didn't see much Bjoergen on CTV either. So, in a nod to her spectacular performance, she gets an entry here. That will surely make up for it. Hello pageviews from Norway!

* While I said the 'Own The Podium' stuff was a bit much, it was still pretty damn awesome to see Canada winning so many medals. Setting a new Winter Games record for gold medals won was a great way to erase the stink of that ugly 'only host nation to not win a gold' record that Canada had to drag through TWO Olympics. Sure, a few of our favoured athletes didn't win, but Canada also had its share of underdogs coming from nowhere to capture medals. If you had to pick an athlete who summed up these Games for the country, it was probably Charles Hamelin. He crapped out in his first two races, but then rebounded to win golds in the 500-metre individual and 5000-metre relay events in the final days of the Olympics. Also, he looks like Bret from 'Flight Of The Conchords' and... (at this point, Mark went off on some laboured analogy about how the New Zealand/Australia relationship parallels the Canada/USA rivalry and how FOTC therefore hold a special place in the hearts of Canadians, and on and on with a bunch of nonsense. We chose to delete it for your own safety, folks. Let's move on.)

* The closing ceremonies could've almost deserved their own post. Talk about swinging wildly between two extremes. On the one hand, you had the very funny opening gag about the malfunctioning column and William Shatner's amazing monologue. On the other hand, you had the endless string of terrible music acts that closed the show and Catherine O'Hara and Michael J. Fox's not-so-amazing monologues. (I almost wrote that their monologues were 'shaky' before realizing that I was writing about Michael J. Fox.) In between was Michael Buble's sterotypariffic number which veered between lovably goofy and over-the-top. If nothing else, at least it drove home the point that 'The Maple Leaf Forever' is a wicked song. Shouldn't this song have a higher profile than it does in our country? It should be to us what God Bless America is to the USA --- sort of a secondary anthem that is arguably better than the actual anthem. It's like how 'Common People' is generally considered to be Pulp's best song, but there is a strong contingent that believe 'Disco 2000' is equally good. By the way, this will probably be the only time you'll see Common People compared to O Canada. I've got to get Pulp some dap here since there's not much chance they'll be invited to be in the opening or closing ceremonies for the London Olympics. Though, holy crap, can you imagine how badly England could smoke the Canadian musical choices? Bowie, McCartney, Coldplay, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones, the Cure, Clapton, Eurythmics, Gabriel, Elton John....and that's not even counting the semi-together old bands like Queen or the Who. If England brought its A-game and didn't rely on, like, Susan Boyle or boy bands, they would put Nickelback to shame.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Random LOST Stuff

Oh wow do I love that cartoon. Coming soon to a Facebook profile near you. I've already used a picture of Locke and a picture of Charlie Brown as my profile picture, so it only makes sense that I use the combination of the two. Fun fact: I have twice dressed for Halloween as Charlie Brown. Maybe I should go out this year as John Locke? Or, if I can rig smoke pellets under my sleeves, I can go as Evil Locke. This will inevitably lead to me setting myself on fire, but hey, it's Halloween.

So yeah, this sounds amazing: a new Terry O'Quinn/Michael Emerson series. First of all, the premise (bickering hitmen dealing with family problems) sounds funny in and of itself. But with those two guys in the lead roles? I'm sold. This would be high on my list of possible LOST semi-spinoffs, right between a Jorge Garcia/Ken Leung remake of 'The Ghost Whisperer' and a series where Evangeline Lilly and I play lovers (plot TBD). Much further down the list --- Daniel Dae Kim in a remake of Hawaii Five-O. Yikes. Five-O might last five-o episodes or less.

For Lost-related comic relief, it doesn't get much better than the Never Seen Lost blog. The premise is simple: recaps of the show from a person who had never seen an episode before this season. It provides some great perspectives. The Monster is renamed 'the Sad Day Monster,' Sayid is just 'that Indian guy' and even without seeing any other episodes, the writer is still able to identify that Jack is pretty incompetent.