Archive for March, 2010
According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their weekly feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs.
13 year olds don’t have the most discerning taste. After waddling home from Junior High, I vegetated in front of pretty much anything that happened to be on HBO. This means I watched movies like Howard the Duck, The Wraith, Jumping Jack Flash, Regarding Henry, and Troll more times than any human being ever needs to (i.e.: more times than never). Yet, as undeveloped as my tastes were, and as devotedly as I watched and re-watched and re-re-watched these movies, I could still recognize that they were, well, crappy. Really crappy. Take John Carl Buechler’s Troll (1986), which cashed in on the Gremlins craze that included other mini-monster movies like Munchies, Ghoulies, and Look Who’s Talking. Here was a movie about a girl named Wendy who is bitten by a little beastie, which then uses a magical ring to possess her and turn the family apartment into a woodland freak show of singing, havoc-raising trolls. Clearly, not a brilliant premise, but there was also the piss-poor troll puppets, a strangely disturbing sequence in which Wendy’s dad rocks out to Blue Cheer’s “Summertime Blues”, and the presence of Sonny Bono. (more…)
However, there comes a point when writing is so egregiously bad, that an intervention must be staged. Such is the case with James Franco.
Now, I have always had a soft spot for Franco. I’m pulling for the guy. He seems like a good guy, he’s a hell of an actor, and I love that he does whatever the fuck he wants to do. We need more actors like him out there, unconcerned with climbing the weird Hollywood ladder in which starring in a Roland Emmerich movie is the pinnacle of success. I love that he took a role on General Hospital, just because he could. And I love that he put his career on hold for awhile to get an MFA in writing from Columbia. That is a very respectable, decent thing to do if you are interested in pursuing a career as a writer.
Franco is still in college, but unlike most people who are still pursuing their MFAs, he already has a book deal with Scribner. Because he has an amazing agent. Because he is James Franco. See how that works? But no snark: I’m still pulling for you. We all use our connections to get what we want. And if I had as many connections as James Franco, you can bet to fuck that I’d have the best agent in the world.
But here’s the thing: if the story he just published in Esquire magazine is any indication, James Franco does not deserve to have a book deal. I have no problem with someone using his celebrity to publish a book if he has worked his ass off and learned how to be a writer. But here’s a bit of cold reality that your friends and family and book agent-with-comical-dollar-signs-in-his-eyes will not tell you, Franco: you are not ready. Maybe if you keep writing for a few years, you’ll hone your craft. You are clearly not without ability. But you need more guidance than people seem willing to give you, and you need it NOW.
Since apparently Scribner cannot afford to hire editors, and apparently Columbia’s MFA program does not offer much instruction, here are a few tips from a guy who’s managed to successfully make ALMOST MORE THAN $20,000 PER YEAR for at least 5 years now. In other words: a professional. (more…)
There’s an article today on Salon about how Sinead O’ Connor still hates the Catholic church. Shocker! They included the infamous video of her on Saturday Night Live ripping up the picture of the pope. I watched it live when I was a kid and I haven’t seen it since. It was a very memorable and strange television moment. My dad already thought Sinead was a wack job because she didn’t have any hair. Also because I liked her and the stuff I liked was weird. He called her Sinbad O’ Connor, which remains a very clever play on words. So when she ripped up the picture of the pope he was pretty happy about it, because it meant that he was right and she was crazy. He didn’t really care about the pope being disrespected. He was just pleased to have an excuse to make fun of her anger and baldness for awhile longer.
Anyway, here’s the video. It is still pretty riveting, even though I maintain that you can’t just sing anything and call it a song. I know, it’s a Bob Marley song or whatever. Doesn’t matter. NOT A SONG. (more…)
Awkward Press is crumbling into irrelevance. I haven’t posted anything in almost a week. I’ve been very busy cracking the genetic code that turns people into donkeys. Once I get it all hooked up, we’re gonna have some serious-ass donkey parties, ya’ll. In the meantime, here are some videos that will make you pee with delight. (more…)
I realized the other day that the reason why American Idol is so successful is because it’s the last remaining vestige of democracy. I’m not going to extrapolate on that. But what I am going to extrapolate on is how great Michael Lynche is. I’ve never watched a full season of American Idol, because no one ever sings songs I like and when they do they make them sound like songs I don’t like. But this dude totally has me hooked. He has an awesome story: his wife gave birth while he was auditioning. He wasn’t able to be with her, but he’s going to be in the top 2 of the show, so that kid is going to have a pretty great story to tell her friends when she gets older. And video to back it up.
But lots of people have good stories … what makes Big Mike so great is that he has mad chops. This morning, I watched his performance from last night’s show four times in a row. (more…)
Just getting around to posting these tidbits from Friday’s LA Times because I was in Las Vegas all weekend and I didn’t take my computer with me. I was afraid it would get in the way of my gambling and whore mongering. Just kidding, it probably would have been very helpful with my gambling and whore mongering. But so here was the cover of the LA Times on Friday:
Right, it was an ad. An ad masquerading as the front page of a newspaper. Which, okay, whatever, newspapers are broke. Fine, make every page an ad. I can’t tell you the last time I read insightful reporting in the LA Times, anyway. I wish the ad in question didn’t feature that awful picture of Johnny Depp, because there are few things more disturbing to me than his hair and makeup choices as the Mad Hatter. I don’t like to look at it one bit, particularly when I’m drinking my morning coffee and on my way to Vegas to gamble and whore monger.
But that isn’t what really bothered me about the whole affair. What really bothered me is this. Enhance.
What? Who’s taking the reins on health care, now?
So that no one would confuse it with actual news, the editors of the LA Times removed every word that people might have accidentally confused with information. They couldn’t even be bothered to replace the copy with something entertaining. They just took out the nouns and said, “to Hell with it.” I’m fine with covering the front page of a newspaper with advertising. What I’m not fine with is doing so lazily. The ultimate irony is that no one blinked an eye about the fake articles being completely unreadable, because no one actually reads the newspaper. Front page fail. (more…)
A few days ago, I wrote a comment regarding the book Neon Angel by Cherie Currie that was ghostwritten by our friend Tony O’ Neill. In my comments, I said, “For those of you who are unfamiliar with literary terms, that means that Tony basically wrote the whole thing.”
Yesterday, I got an email from the legendary Runaways leader herself, telling me that I was totally wrong and that she worked her ass off on it and that I am basically a complete dick, although she said it in a much nicer way than that. Not only that, but Neon Angel was actually originally released in 1989, and the version coming out this year is just a revised version.
And she’s totally right: it was a dick thing to say. I know nothing about Tony and Cherie’s process, and it sounds like she really did work hard on it. Clearly, if it had already been released, it is not 100% Tony’s handiwork. Also, please note that Tony himself had nothing to do with my comments … he’s a great guy who doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone, and as far as I know, he found the book to be a positive collaborative experience.
It’s easy to make stupid comments on one’s blog and assume that no one will ever see them, but I realize that it’s not right to make fun of someone’s hard work without knowing the facts behind the matter. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Currie for my unnecessarily rude statements. For the record, I love Cherie Currie’s work, I love Tony O’ Neill, and any collaboration between the two is bound to be an amazing read. You can buy Neon Angel right here. And check out Cherie’s bio website and her artwork for more information about her many talents.
According to Netflix, Mike and Jeffrey agree with each other on movies 84% of the time. In their ongoing feature, The Awkward Movie Challenge, they search valiantly for that sweet 16% that results in big arguments and big laughs. This week, they take a break from their usual shenanigans to help you win big money in your Oscar pools.
True fact: I have never missed an Oscar ceremony. Oh, I’m sure there were a few years before I came of thinking age that it wasn’t high on my priority list, but as long as I’ve loved movies, the Academy Awards has been appointment viewing. I was watching when Sally Field said, “You like me, you really like me!” I was there when Rob Lowe performed his infamous duet with Snow White. (Well, not there, but you know what I mean.) I’ve sat through Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, David Letterman, Chris Rock, lots and lots of Billy Crystal, and more horrendous musical numbers than I can count.
I was a little bit of a late bloomer; I didn’t start to become cynical about what the Oscars represent until I was, oh, 32 or so. I mean, I recognize that in any given year, there are always great films that go completely unrecognized by the Academy. But of all the major entertainment awards, the Oscars are still the most consistent in recognizing works and performances of actual artistic merit. The Emmys are hit-or-miss, and any award show that gives prizes to Two and a Half Men is automatically disqualified from relevance. The Golden Globes are an also-ran. Winning a Grammy is practically an insult. And the Tonys? Please. As if Denis O’ Hare in Take Me Out could even hold a candle to Thomas Jefferson Byrd in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. You might as well give a Tony to Tom Wopat!
Having said that, this year I am less interested in seeing who wins than I have ever been before. As everyone who knows anything about anything knows, this year there are 10 best picture nominees instead of 5. Why? I don’t know. Every year there are at least two films that don’t have a chance in hell; this year there are 8. My favorite of the nominees — A Serious Man — doesn’t stand a chance. I quite liked Inglorious Bastards , Up in the Air, and An Education, but none of them are going to get it, either. The race to watch is between The Hurt Locker and Avatar. My views on Avatar are pretty well known to anyone who reads this website (no one reads this website), and I thought The Hurt Locker was well-made but ultimately unengaging. (more…)
My love for discussion boards verges on the obsessive. I have wiled away many an afternoon scrolling through 1,000 comments on stories that I don’t really care about. I love how there are always those one or two dudes who are clearly just there to pick fights (let’s call them “trolls”), and someone will inevitably take the bait, and then the entire board becomes a showcase for a few stray people to type-shout at each other. It is chaos in action and it provides a fascinating glimpse into how people would communicate if there were no barriers or social rules. That is to say, in a really annoying and ultimately depressing way.
But ever so often, one commenter will rise above the fray and say something truly meaningful and heartfelt. I stumbled across one such gem today while reading a Spin Magazine interview with Cherie Currie, former-lead singer of the Runaways (girl group from the ’70s, birthing place of Joan Jett and Lita Ford). She has a new book coming out that was ghostwritten by Friend of Awkward Tony O’ Neill. (
For those of you who are unfamiliar with literary terms, that means that Tony basically wrote the whole thing.) Of course, Tony was not mentioned in this interview, because no one really cares about the ghostwriter. Statement retracted – see here for more info.
The interview is no big shakes; it’s just Cherie talking about the Runaways and her love of chainsaw art (what?) But scroll down underneath the interview and you will find this insightful comment:
Posted By Anonymous
03.04.10 3:19 AM
i used to rub one out listening to these chicks! man they gave me a boner!
I love that someone had a driving need to share this information with the world. I believe this is exactly what the inventors of the Internet envisioned it being used for.