Monday, January 30, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games, and Oscar

The Hunger Games director Gary Ross believes that Jennifer Lawrence's performance at Katniss Everdeen is strong enough to be worthy of an Oscar nomination.
“The range in this performance, the emotional terrain that she investigates, the demands of what this role are,” he raves of Lawrence’s portrayal of series heroine Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old forced alongside other children into a televised fight-to-the-death. “It’s such an intensely physical role and an emotional one. She carries the entire movie. To be able to do that at that age is so kind of incredible that I was in a little bit of awe. Do I think she should be nominated? Absolutely."

Art houses

Indie filmmakers tend to have their films play at art houses more than the mainstream cinemas. I know. I've seen a large number of films across the city in Louisville when I could drive just 2-5 minutes away to see something at Cinemark.

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson looks at the future of the Art House.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

18th Annual SAG Awards Winners

It was a big win for The Help tonight over Oscar favorite The Artist. But if you recall, in January 2010, Inglorious Basterds took home best cast. However, George Clooney was getting a clean sweep through awards season for his role as Matt King in The Descendants. It is hard to say whether a loss in the SAG Awards will help or hurt his chances...the only difference is that Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated instead of Gary Oldman for SAG.

Best Cast, Motion Picture The Help

Best Actress, Motion Picture Viola Davis, The Help

Best Actor, Motion Picture Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Cast, TV Drama Boardwalk Empire

Best Actor, TV Drama Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Best Actress, TV Drama Jessica Lange, American Horror Story

Best Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail

Best Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Best Cast, TV Comedy Modern Family

Best Actress, TV Comedy Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Best Actor, TV Comedy Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Stunt Ensemble, Film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Stunt Ensemble, TV Game of Thrones

Support booksellers

In addition to Amazon.com for your one-stop shopping needs, booksellers need your help now, perhaps more than ever before.

Barnes and Noble, perhaps, is on its last stand.
THESE are trying times for almost everyone in the book business. Since 2002, the United States has lost roughly 500 independent bookstores — nearly one out of five. About 650 bookstores vanished when Borders went out of business last year.

No wonder that some New York publishers have gone so far as to sketch out what the industry might look like without Barnes & Noble. It’s not a happy thought for them: Certainly, there would be fewer places to sell books. Independents account for less than 10 percent of business, and Target, Walmart and the like carry far smaller selections than traditional bookstores.

Without Barnes & Noble, the publishers’ marketing proposition crumbles. The idea that publishers can spot, mold and publicize new talent, then get someone to buy books at prices that actually makes economic sense, suddenly seems a reach. Marketing books via Twitter, and relying on reviews, advertising and perhaps an appearance on the “Today” show doesn’t sound like a winning plan.

What publishers count on from bookstores is the browsing effect. Surveys indicate that only a third of the people who step into a bookstore and walk out with a book actually arrived with the specific desire to buy one.

“That display space they have in the store is really one of the most valuable places that exists in this country for communicating to the consumer that a book is a big deal,” said Madeline McIntosh, president of sales, operations and digital for Random House.

What’s more, sales of older books — the so-called backlist, which has traditionally accounted for anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the average big publisher’s sales — would suffer terribly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seth Rogen talks 50/50 snub

Seth Rogen talked about 50/50 being snubbed by the Academy.
Yesterday when the Academy announced this year’s nominees, it tellingly avoided giving comedy blockbuster Bridesmaids that 10th Best Picture slot in favor of a Supporting Actress nod for Melissa McCarthy and one for Original Screenplay, while the touching, poignant, critically adored 50/50 was left completely shut out. Actually, 50/50's producer-star Seth Rogen predicted just such a snub when his film’s Oscar potential was first discussed back in September. “I know for a fact that some people are appalled by the movie,” Rogen told EW.[...]

50/50 was nominated for Best Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes, and Reiser won the National Board of Review’s award for Best Original Screenplay. But the film was completely snubbed at the Oscars, where Reiser was thought to have a good shot at landing a Best Original Screenplay nod.
Reiser was nominated for original screenplay by the WGA as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My thoughts on the Oscar snubs

The morning that the Oscar nominations are announced are one of the times of year that I look forward to. It’s tied with Selection Sunday. Why is that? Because the nominations are chosen by people within the industry.

Sometimes, like today, they don’t get it right. Other times, there are just so many great fucking performances that there just are not enough slots to be able to award everyone with a nomination.
Shailene Woodley was one such actress. Her performance in The Descendants was received with rave reviews but sadly, she was snubbed of a nomination.

In the category of best actor, both Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender were snubbed. Gosling and Fassbender opened many films in the calendar year. Gosling should have been nominated for his performance in Drive or The Ides of March. Fassbender was though to be a fucking shoe-in for his performance as a sex addict in Shame. Did the NC-17 factor turn off some votes? I don’t know.

Disney was shut out of animation this year. They released Cars 2, which was only made for the toys and shit, but Winnie the Pooh was snubbed?!? Come on, voters!

Only two songs, out of all eligible songs were nominated. The Muppets are the de facto winner even with one song making the final cut. Time to change the rules, music branch.

Both Original and Adapted screenplay saw snubs with not including 50/50, Win Win, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or The Help. Win Win would have gotten some better recognition had the film been released in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the year.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was nominated, or as most folks are calling it Extremely Awful and Incredibly Shitty. When you take into account Rotten Tomatoes, this is the worst fucking film of all time to have ever received a nomination for Best Picture. The Stephen Daldry Effect? Maybe. This film could very well see both an Oscar nomination for best picture AND a Razzie nomination for Worst Picture. Now, wouldn’t that be something!

84th Annual Academy Award Nominations

Here is the complete list of nominees for 84th Academy Awards (Oscar) ceremony.

Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
Chico & Rita Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
Kung Fu Panda 2 Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Puss in Boots Chris Miller
Rango Gore Verbinski

Art Direction
The Artist, Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Hugo, Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris, Production Design: Anne Seibel; Set Decoration: Hélène Dubreuil
War Horse, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Jeff Cronenweth, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Robert Richardson, Hugo
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Janusz Kaminski, War Horse

Costume Design
Lisy Christl, Anonymous
Mark Bridges, The Artist
Sandy Powell, Hugo
Michael O'Connor, Jane Eyre
Arianne Phillips, W.E.

Directing
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Documentary (Feature)
Hell and Back Again, Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Pina, Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
Undefeated, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Documentary (Short Subject)
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
God Is the Bigger Elvis, Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
Incident in New Baghdad, James Spione
Saving Face, Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

Film Editing
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball

Foreign Language Film
Bullhead Belgium
Footnote Israel
In Darkness Poland
Monsieur Lazhar Canada
A Separation Iran

Makeup
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady

Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Picture
The Artist, Thomas Langmann, Producer
The Descendants, Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Scott Rudin, Producer
The Help, Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
Hugo, Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
Midnight in Paris, Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
Moneyball, Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
The Tree of Life, Nominees to be determined
War Horse, Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Short Film (Animated)
Dimanche/Sunday, Patrick Doyon
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
La Luna, Enrico Casarosa
A Morning Stroll, Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
Wild Life, Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

Short Film (Live Action)
Pentecost, Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
Raju, Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
The Shore, Terry George and Oorlagh George
Time Freak ,Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
Tuba Atlantic, Hallvar Witzø

Sound Editing
Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis, Drive
Ren Klyce, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty, Hugo
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom, War Horse

Sound Mixing
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Tom Fleischman and John Midgley, Hugo
Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick, Moneyball
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson, War Horse

Visual Effects
Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning, Hugo
Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg, Real Steel
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan
The Ides of March, Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Artist, Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, Written by J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen
A Separation, Written by Asghar Farhadi

8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rand Paul detained

Rand Paul was alledgedly detained by the TSA today.
The Kentucky senator triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and declined to finish the process, said a TSA official, but was “not detained at any point.” A targeted pat-down is usually used to address the alarm.

“Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement,” the official said.
When I flew back from Midway last year, one time I went through the body scanner AND got patted down. The second time? Just went through the scanner and no pat down.

Bachelorette

Adam McKay and Will Ferrell produced Bachelorette, which debuts this week at Sundance.

Here's a brief synopsis of the film written and directed by Leslye Headland:
Regan is used to being first at everything. Imagine her horror and chagrin when she finds out the girl everyone called Pig Face in high school is going to tie the knot before she does! But Regan sucks it up and takes on bridesmaid duties along with her childhood pals: substance-abusing, promiscuous Gena and ditzy Katie. The single ladies are determined to put their bitterness aside and have an awesomely hedonistic bachelorette party. Armed with acerbic wit and seemingly endless supplies of coke and booze, the foul-mouthed femmes embark on one very long and emotional night filled with major wedding-dress panic, various bodily fluids, and cute ex-boyfriends.
The film has an impressive cast, too, starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Adam Scott, and Kyle Bornheimer.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Review: Lunatics



Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (January 10, 2012)

I have not laughed this hard since I watched Bridesmaids. Let me repeat. I have not laughed this hard at ANYTHING since watching Bridesmaids.

Abbott and Costello. Laurel and Hardy. Hope and Crosby. Martin and Lewis. Matthau and Lemmon. Belushi and Aykroyd. Farley and Spade. Now comes the buddy comedy team of Horkman and Peckerman.

What happens when humor writer Dave Barry writes a book with former Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel? The answer: a shitload of hilarious fun that requires the presence of food to stay no more than 20 feet away. Do you want the book to be spit on? I didn't think so.

Lunatics is described as "an outrageous, laugh-your-butt off comic masterpiece of our time" and tackles issues that very well could have been inspired by 2011's Arab Spring as both Phillip Horkman and Jeffrey Peckerman find themselves being wanted for shooting a police officer on the George Washington Bridge, sneak onto a clothing-optional cruise ship, overthrow the Cuban government, bring food to Somolia, tackle the Middle East conflict, before bringing democracy to China, and urinating on Sarah Palin. It's not just that they do all those things but in the way that they just somehow happen to be there at the right time and still feuding with each other no matter the cost.

Steve Carell is already attached to star in the movie adaptation as Phillip Horkman. For some reason, I forgot that and was reading the Jeffrey Peckerman character in my head with Carell's voice. Oh, well. It does not make a difference who he plays because if the film is done right, and I expect that it will be, it will be one of Carell's finest films by far.

Zweibel writes the character of Horkman while co-author Dave Barry pens the chapters that come from Jeffrey Peckerman's point of view. Barry describes the character of Horkman as "a big, loveable, well-meaning dork" whereas Zweibel describes Peckerman as "a loud, offensively vile creature...in other words: Mel Gibson."

Phillip Horkman is a soccer referee and owner of The Wine Shop, which, to Peckerman's dismay, does not actually sell wine but instead, sells pets. Lots and lots of pets. A few days before, Peckerman, a forensic plumber, was upset with Horkman as his 10 year old daughter is called offsides. He feuds. The action begins.

The fight between Horkman and Peckerman escalate as they soon find themselves on the run and being hunted down by the NYPD and government for being terrorists. The rest is history for America's Most Wanted Terrorists.

Throughout the book, we get NBC News reports from Brian Williams. Williams, the funniest anchor in years, should have the comic chops to play himself in the film. More so, both Williams and Tom Brokaw cover this year's GOP convention which leads to more, promised hilarity as the GOP is at a stalemate over a presidential nominee. It gets worse. After Horkman recieves the GOP nomination, Peckerman is nominated by the Democratic Party.

Horkman and Peckerman have this ability, uncanny as it seems, to show up at the right place at the right time. In doing so, they become worldwide heroes.

Grade: A+

If you want to laugh your pants off, go read this book. Stop reading this blog right now and go read this book.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why the KDP will never get my money...

Since Steve Beshear signed the redistricting plans into law and could not stand up to David Williams, then the Kentucky Democratic Party will never get any of my money ever again. If KY allowed independents to vote in primaries, I'd have switched a long time ago. But no, Beshear is gutless and has no fucking spine at all.

Go read a piece at Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.
he House, Senate, and Gov Beshear have passed re-districting plans that are vindictive against specific lawmakers, leave at least one incumbent lawmaker without a district to run for re-election, give constituents in another district a new senator who lives halfway across the state from the district he will now represent, and creates very oddly shaped districts that unnecessarily divide coherent communities and constituencies.

For example, Lexington's own Sen. Kathy Stein (a sponsor of KFTC’s Stream Saver Bill in the Senate), who has represented her constituents in either the House or Senate since 1997, will have the Lexington district she now represents moved to northern Kentucky. The western Kentucky district now represented by Sen. Dorsey Ridley – 200 miles away – will be moved to Lexington.

This leaves many in Lexington without an effective Senator who understands this community for the next 2 years.
A fucking shame and a digrace to Kentucky voters. Especially to those of us who voted Steve Beshear into office.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Steve Beshear does it again

A sad day has already gone to a shitty day.

Steve Beshear decided to send a "FUCK YOU" to all of us who voted for him when he decided to sign HB 1 and thus kicking State Senator Kathy Stein out of the Senate. This is not just a loss for the Lexington district she represents (they will be represented by a Western Kentucky Democrat who represents an area closer to Evansville than Lexington) but for the Democratic caucus in the State Senate.

It's already been a shitty day with the death of a friend, and then the news that Etta James died after a battle with cancer and dementia, but this is just the nail in the fucking coffin on Beshear's dwindling reputation amongst Kentucky Democrats.

At least if Jonathan Miller didn't pull out of the race, the only thing we'd be afraid of right now is Tim Tebow being named an honorary Kentucky Colonel. Miller would not have signed that bill. You can trust me on that.

In Colts news...

CBS Sports writer Gregg Doyel writes that the head coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts is the best one on the market because of the franchise quarterback factor.

Colts owner Jim Irsay made even more changes as he fired 8 assistant coaches.
Among the eight assistant coaches let go Thursday were defensive line coach John Teerlinck and his son, Bill; Frank Reich, the onetime quarterbacks coach who coached the receivers this season, and longtime conditioning coach Jon Torine. Linebackers coach Mike Murphy, who served on the staffs of Jim Mora, Tony Dungy and Caldwell and was promoted to defensive coordinator in late November, decided to retire after 27 seasons on the NFL sideline.

That's not all.

Defensive backs coach Alan Williams is leaving the Colts after 10 seasons to become the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator.

All this came despite the midseason firing of defensive coordinator Larry Coyer and the postseason firing of special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski, Caldwell's first two hires.

That leaves only nine of 20 coaches who started the season still on Indy's staff, and their fates may not be determined until the Colts hire a new head coach. The most notable holdover is offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen. Team vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian were both fired the day after Indy finished a 2-14 season, its worst in two decades.[...]

f they take Luck, Irsay could elect not to pay Manning a $28 million bonus and let him walk away as a free agent. Or Manning could retire.

New GM Ryan Grigson said earlier this week that he hadn't yet spoken with Manning and that the medical details would likely dictate Manning's future. Irsay has said he will pay Manning if he's healthy enough to play.

The other coaches let go Thursday were assistant Devin Fitzsimmons, offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars, special assistant to the defense Rod Perry, and quarterbacks coach Ron Turner.

Indy has reportedly sought permission to speak with Tennessee defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, New Orleans offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
As for Jim Tressel? I'm with Mike Freeman on the matter.

Finally, a look at the candidates for the head coaching job.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dane Cook is NOT funny

We all know the truth. Dane Cook is not a comedian. He just thinks that he is. So bravo to my good friend, T.J. Miller, for giving it to Dane.
“Fucking Dane Cook is eating [shit] at the laugh factory. He bumped [Bobby Lee] and is being just mean… The hubris of this man unfortunately led to his fall, but I'm afraid he is a damaged man & well, that's about it. He [is] certainly not a comedian… Watching him try and work through his own shit on stage when he is saying, ‘Go fuck a dirty whore. That's the best therapy.’ #lord… Dane. You've been doing standup for so many years and you still believe it’s okay to bomb and talk about your issues? You. Didn't. Earn This…

I remember hearing [about] someone named 'Dane Cook' in college on Napster. I heard Harmful If Swallowed after college… Then there was a backlash (there always is, it's inevitable), but it grew. It was more than I could believe, and it was due in part to him… I liked him. His snake bit, a lot of sort of absurdist stuff. Suddenly he was on SNL, he was the 'king' of MySpace, [and] he was famous. Good Luck Chuck and Vicious Circle sealed his fate in contemporary culture.

And then last night, he got on stage and was vicious, misogynistic, cruel, and arrogant. He talked about not paying for an abortion. He talked about finding some whore to fuck to take out his anger at his ex-girlfriend. He talked about how girls would do anything for him ‘because I'm me.’ He got mad when people were texting. ‘Dane Cook is onstage,’ he said. ‘Have some fucking respect.’

Here's an idea, Dane: have some fucking respect for the audience that gave you the chance to be what you dreamed of being, and don't be mad at them because you fucked it all up from hubris and thirst for fame. Don't disrespect the people that gave you a chance. Don’t do an hour of mean-spirited trash. And Dane Cook, certainly don't ask anyone to feel sorry for you. If you are the person you were onstage last night then you are not a good person. And the way you talk about women is disgusting and pathetic, but really just hurtful. So Good Luck Chuck. [You] need all the luck in the world to realize you need to go to therapy & figure out how to not be a hateful person. Stop performing until [you] do so.”
Hat tip to the AV Club.

David Williams: GO FUCK YOURSELF!

Kentucky State Senate Dictator David Williams can go fuck himself. How dare he treat Kentucky Democrats in the State Senate with the least amount of respect is beyond me.

Instead of bringing this state forward into the 21st century by helping the senate push for a decent bill on allowing expanded gambling in this state, he would rather fucking force out Kentucky Democrats that actually give a damn about the state and its citizens.

Instead, no, David Williams is a fucking coward. If he had his own fucking way, he would be DICTATOR OF KENTUCKY. Because you know what? He fucking is already. The Kentucky State Senate has it's own motto: WHERE ALL THE BILLS FROM THE HOUSE GO TO DIE. Williams doesn't give a damn about Kentucky and yet all the Senate Republicans keep re-electing him as state dictator of the senate.

So David Williams, I say to you: GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU FUCKING PRICK!

That's right, Dictator Williams: FUCK YOU!

Pretty cool

These are some pretty cool stats coming from Ben Roberts at Next Cats. Looking at average scoring, most of the higher scoring stats come from the freshman class of 2007-08. There are several pages so be warned. It's an excellent read.

Sundance 2012

Sundance is right around the corner and there are 10 performances to look out for. However, Seth Rogen's wife, Lauren Miller, may be on to a big year in 2012--depending on who buys the distribution rights, of course.
Lauren Miller, For A Good Time Call... (directed by Jamie Travis) – Not only does Lauren Anne Miller (50/50 and Superbad) have a producer and co-writing credit in this Sundance Premieres feature, but this may very well be her breakthrough in addition to her first starring role. Miller stars opposite Ari Graynor (also in Sundance’s Celeste & Jesse) playing college frenemies that move in together. One intrudes on the other’s late night and loud bedroom antics, discovering a dirty little secret that brings the two closer. Miller’s husband is Seth Rogen who co-stars in the film though it’s “her time to shine” say those in the know.
Take a look at the list though.

It's the end of an era for Eastman-Kodak as they have filed for bankruptcy. They didn't jump on the digital train fast enough and now they are going under.

Rabbi Ethan Tucker pens an op-ed on Jack Lew and the Power of Shabbat.

Albert Brooks talks to The Arty Semite, a Forward blog, about how he got the role in Drive.

Meanwhile, some of the folks in Big Blue Nation were really nasty yesterday to sportswriter Jeff Pearlman. I know he said some things that we, as a whole, did not like. But is that a reason to act anti-Semitic and say you would rather read Hitler's book than read his material? I don't think so. Take a look at the email of the day that Pearlman posted yesterday on his website.

On the other hand, he did realize he was wrong in picking on only John Calipari and not other coaches who coached one-and-done players.
The myriad critics of my Kentucky Tweet were right in one regard—it’s not just Calipari, and to single him out was silly. He’s just a guy; a product of a system; a man who is hired to win, win and win at (almost) all costs. So, in that regard, I was off. I wouldn’t want my kid to play for him—or 800 others coaches.
The number one draft pick last year played for Duke. He didn't even play a full season's worth of games, too!

Now some folks argued that Jeff Pearlman is a nobody. He's not a nobody. It's just that he's not Gary Parrish, Jeff Goodman, Andy Katz, or Seth Davis. The regular folks that we know of who follow college basketball for CBS Sports, ESPN, SI, etc. Kentucky fans have probably read his work but they just didn't know it yet at the time they tweeted to him. There's something I do agree with re Pearlman. We don't like the screaming talking heads like Skip Bayless.
The reason you don’t see me screaming on ESPN or Fox or wherever is because I don’t want to scream on ESPN or Fox or wherever. The world doesn’t need another Skip or Stephen A, setting aside texture in the name of volume and airport recognition.

Ainge considering Celtics trades

Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge is considering move that would be considered ballsy with the fan base.

The Boston Globe reports:
Celtics vice president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said today he would consider a major move involving the Big Three if it would help foster the team's transition to the next era.[...]

"First of all it’s a different era," Ainge told the Globe. "I sat with Red (Auerbach) during a Christmas party (in the 1990s). Red was talking to Larry, Kevin, and myself and there was a lot of trade discussion at the time and Red actually shared some of the trade discussions. And I told Red what are you doing? Why are you waiting?

"He had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins. I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success."

Ainge said he does not want a repeat of the 1990s in Boston.

"After those guys retired, the Celtics had a long drought," he said. "But those (types of fruitful trades) aren’t presenting themselves. In today’s day and age with 30 teams in the NBA, 15 teams know they have no chance of winning a championship. They are building with young players. It’s a different era that we live in. It’s easy to say conceptually but you have to always weigh what are real opportunities."
Two tragedies happened that ruined Boston for the 1990s. One was the death of Len Bias a few days after the NBA Draft in 1986. The second was when Reggie Lewis died in 1993.

If they didn't die, the Celtics would not have been a bust during the 1990s. Would they have drafted Paul Pierce? Who knows. I definitely do not see Pierce getting moved to another team. He's a lifer although it appears there are teams interested in the Celtics forward.
evin Garnett and Ray Allen come off the books this summer, while Pierce has two years and $32 million left on his contract. No matter what you think Ainge will do, it's clear the team has plans to use the money they save on Garnett/Allen to sign a high-profile free agent. Moving Pierce for an expiring contract and a draft pick might allow them to sign more than one player to a big deal this offseason.
It's possible that Rasheed Wallace could make an NBA comeback.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Archie Manning reacts to Rob Lowe tweets

Rob Lowe tweeted earlier that he heard Peyton Manning was going to retire.
Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow. #Colts


Chris Mortenson asked Archie Manning and got this response.
Archie Manning laughed when he heard @RobLowe said Peyton will retire, "Noooo...he ain't retiring. I think he would've told me." #NFL32
Another response from Archie via Mort:
Archie's latest reax to the Twitter buzz: "Amazing" ...knows @RobLowe is chummy with @JimIrsay & goes to Colts games ...still, "Amazing"

Monday, January 16, 2012

On last night's Golden Globe Awards...

I wrote this on yesterday's Golden Globes awards ceremony...if you wish you call it an awards ceremony as the HFPA picks favorites instead of voting for the BEST PERFORMANCES.

I, umm, shit you not. The fucking Hollywood Foreign Press Association has done it again. Any other year, I would have had no fucking problem with Meryl Streep taking home another award. Not this year. Not with her fellow nominees in the category of drama.

This was to be the year of Viola Davis. Don’t get me wrong as I was very fucking impressed by the performances of Michele Williams and Rooney Mara in their respective films. But take any award by the HFPA with a grain of salt.

The voting base for the HFPA does not overlap with that of the Academy. The guild awards will do a better job of determining who will get what award at the Oscars. Unless a film is not eligible, they do a very fucking awesome job at predicting the award for Best Picture and the other acting awards.

The HFPA got it right for supporting actors in naming Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer. The only one that can really give Octavia a run for the money is Melissa McCarthy but the HFPA did not even consider her. Is that fair? No fucking way.

Ignoring Breaking Bad during it’s best fucking season is when I have a fucking problem. I’ll let it slide with Homeland winning (based on critical acclaim and word of mouth) even though the series is on a premium channel, which deserve their own awards for fucking crying out loud!

Everyone always seems to have a problem when someone gets snubbed and someone gets nominated when they don’t even fucking deserve it. The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards got it right. It’s a better precursor to the Oscars than the fucking Golden Globes.

It’s a shame that the Golden Globes air on NBC. Outside of pro football, it’s the highest ratings that they get all fucking year. That’s what happens when you give up on television and replace it with shit like Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea!

Fourth place until the fucking end of time…whether that is December 21st or not!

The Artist is coming to Louisville

I have received confirmation that The Artist will indeed be opening in Louisville, KY either this Friday (January 20) or next Friday (January 27). About dang time.

THR was reporting an expansion of 500 screens for this weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners

Aside from pitting the race between Hugo, The Descendants, and The Artist for best picture, the shock of the night was Viola Davis losing out to Meryl Streep. The HFPA did an injustice right there.

HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2012
GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011


BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – BEGINNERS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL: LAURA DERN – ENLIGHTENED
BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: DOWNTON ABBEY (MASTERPIECE) – PBS - A Carnival/Masterpiece Co-production
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: KATE WINSLET – MILDRED PIERCE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: KELSEY GRAMMAR – BOSS
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMAHOMELAND (SHOWTIME)
SHOWTIME Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE: LUDOVIC BOURCE – THE ARTIST
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE: “MASTERPIECE” — W.E.
Music & Lyrics by: Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: IDRIS ELBA – LUTHER
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: MICHELLE WILLIAMS – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV: PETER DINKLAGE – GAME OF THRONES
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN – Paramount/Columbia/Hemisphere Capital/Amblin/Wingnut Films/Kennedy/Marshall Production
BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE: WOODY ALLEN – MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV: JESSICA LANGE – AMERICAN HORROR STORY
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: A SEPARATION (IRAN) (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) – Asghar Farhadi; Sony Pictures Classics
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA: CLAIRE DANES – HOMELAND
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: MATT LEBLANC – EPISODES
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE: OCTAVIA SPENCER – THE HELP
CECIL B. DeMILLE AWARD (Previously Announced): MORGAN FREEMAN
BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE: MARTIN SCORSESE – HUGO
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: MODERN FAMILY – ABC – Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: JEAN DUJARDIN – THE ARTIST
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: MERYL STREEP – THE IRON LADY
BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL: THE ARTIST – La Petite Reine, Studio 37, La Classe Americaine, JD Prod, France3 Cinema, Jouror Production, uFilms; The Weinstein Company
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: GEORGE CLOONEY – THE DESCENDANTS
BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA: THE DESCENDANTS - Ad Hominem Enterprises; Fox Searchlight Pictures

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review: The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball



Hardcover: 320 pages (January 5, 2012)
Publisher: Blue Rider Press/ESPN Books

Gene Wojciechowski, a senior national columnist for ESPN.com, takes college basketball fans back to March 28, 1992, whether we like to revisit that game or not.

When I originally saw that there was going to be a book published on that game, I wanted to know why. Of course, I'm one of those Kentucky fans that is forever haunted every March. Every CBS broadcast. You know what I'm talking about. THE SHOT. The shot that gets forced down our throats every year no matter how many times we cringe in disbelief.

In 320 pages, Wojciechowski takes us through memory lane. After a prologue with various coaches watching the final 2.1 seconds wondering why there was not a defender guarding the inbounds pass from Grant Hill. It's after that where we start going back into the past with what it was like growing up for Coach K and how he got the job at Duke.

We revisit a dark period for Kentucky basketball that saw the firing of Kentucky legend Cliff Hagan. Gene revisits the hiring of C.M. Newton and Rick Pitino. Yes, Jerry Tipton picked fights then as he still does now.

Whether it's Rock Oliver being hired as a strength and conditioning coach (after John Calipari told him to take the job) or seeing the Unforgettables come together as a team, Wojciechowski revisits it all. To think that there was a time when Richie Farmer quit basketball. Or Jamal Mashburn wanting to walk away from it all.

In 300 plus pages, Wojciechowski gives us the behind-the-scenes details that lead up to March 28th and the legacy that that game imprinted on the programs be it discipline, strategy, gamemanship, philosophy, etc. that made people legends, for good or for bad.

Wojciechowski tells us of why Bob Knight did not want anything to do with Coach K for nearly 9 years.

It all leads up to March 28, 1992. If we could end the game after Sean Woods' floater, we would (Thank you, Jeff Sheppard, not that I watched that replay in 2009).

If you haven't seen Fab Five, Gene provides us with some information given that Michigan played Duke in 1992 for the National Championship.

In an epilogue, Wojciechowski tells us how the members of the Unforgettables feel when it comes to watching replays of that game. Like me, many of them can't. Sure, some will, but knowing what happens, it's just so hard to do.

We all know where we were that fateful day just like we know where we were during the classic rematch that followed in 1998. I know exactly where I was that day. I was at home. During the first half, and I don't like bragging about this, I was rooting for the team in white until my father corrected me and told me Kentucky was wearing the blue jerseys. I was 7 years old at the time.

The Unforgettables are a team that nobody will ever forget. They restored the glory to Big Blue Nation after a dark period. Four seniors on that team (Sean Woods, John Pelphrey, Deron Feldhaus and Richie Farmer) saw their jerseys get retired without ever having won an NCAA Championship game.

I won't lie that I cried while reading this book. Despite that, it's a must read for anyone who considers themself a fan of college basketball. Wojciechowski successfully alternates chapters between Kentucky and Duke so it's not just a Duke book or a Kentucky book. It's devoted to both.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Critics' Choice Movie Awards Winners

The winners are posted below.

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillain, Moneyball
Best Acting Ensemble: The Help
Best Animated Film: Rango
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Best Comedy: Bridesmaids
Best Action Movie: Drive
Best Young Actor/Actress: Thomas Horn, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Best Makeup: Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2
Best Song: “Life’s A Happy Song,” The Muppets
Best Costume Design: The Artist
Best Score: The Artist
Best Editing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Best Sound: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Best Art Direction: Hugo
Best Cinematography: (tie) War Horse and The Tree of Life

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What happened to Pittsburgh?

Things just don’t get better for the Big East Conference. In Big East Conference play as of this morning, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Villanova are a combined 2-11 in conference play. Pittsburgh, who was a #1 seed during last year’s NCAA tournament, suffered their most humiliating loss in nearly 40 years.

You don’t fucking lose at home to Rutgers and not score less than 40 points. It’s not supposed to fucking happen. Jamie Dixon is probably the one person feeling worse than Rick Pitino at the moment.

If your team is shooting a meager 12.5% in the first half, you are not playing good basketball. Your team is playing TERRIBLE basketball. More like shitty basketball. To see a Pittsburgh team struggle all season long in just winning a game is depressing. And they are leaving for the ACC? Oy gevalt. If next year’s Pitt team is anything like this season’s Pitt team, it will be a fucking embarrassment.

Pitt lost to a DePaul team that can’t even find a way to win in coference play. Granted, they lost by a 3 pointer…but still, Pitt found a fucking way to LOSE!

ESPN College Gameday will be in attendance for the Pittsburgh Louisville game on the 21st. That’s not going to be a great day to look forward to if you call yourself a sports fan. It’s astonishing to believe that both of these teams were ranked in the preseason top ten for the Associated Press’s weekly college basketball rankings.

Strap on your seat belt. This is going to be one hell of a ride as we make our way through March. It won’t be pretty for the Big East. It definitely won’t be pretty for Pitt, Louisville, and Villanova.

More thoughts on Louisville-Providence

Forget the Republican primary in New Hampshire. The bigger news is what was going on in nearby Providence, Rhode Island. The Providence Friars honored former head coach Rick Pitino—who led them to the 1987 Final Four with the aid of lead scorer Billy Donovan, of course—in the only fucking way possible.

They did not just beat the University of Louisville Cardinals but they gave them a shellacking! With a final score of 90-59 (that’s not a typo), the Cardinals got fucking blown out on the road. To a team that had yet to win in their first four conference games in Big East play.

This was a team that was ranked in the preseason top ten?!? Of course, the voters didn’t have a fucking clue that McDonald’s All-American freshman Wayne Blackshear would be out for a majority of the season with recovering from a torn shoulder labrum. Without him, the Cardinals are not even worthy of being in the top ten.

What they are, though, is a killer example of teams that literally play nobody until they get to the conference portion of the season. Do you really count Butler as a big non-conference opponent at this point? They don’t have Matt Howard or Shelvin Mack anymore as they graduated or went to the NBA. It’s not the same team.

The really humiliating part about the Cardinals? They’ve lost 4 times in their last 5 games and now sit 1-3 in the Big East. Next up? A DePaul team that beat a Pittsburgh team but not by much. Both Pittsburgh and UConn were ranked in the preseason top 25 but not at the moment.

Meanwhile, all those Louisville fans who facebooked and tweeted right after the Kentucky loss on the road to Indiana are not that talkative when it comes to Louisville losing at home and on the road. Not so funny now, is it?

The moral of the fucking story here: Don’t take opponents for granted when it comes to a horrible record in conference play.

Canada gives it to News Corp.!

This comes via Say It Ain't So Already. News Corp. was hoping to open a television channel similar to FOX News only to find out that Canada has a law saying you can't lie during a newscast. This just bit FOX in the tuchas because they lie so frequently that it is a joke.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books and more...

View a list of 2011's best-selling books as compiled by USA Today. Here's some of the trends from the past year in books.

Meanwhile, check out who Richard Deitsch and James Andrew Miller think are indispensable it comes to NFL broadcasters.

Tony La Russa said Pujols offered the Cardinals a discount during contract negotiations. Really? A discount? I thought he said he didn't feel like he was getting the love.
Albert Pujols offered the St. Louis Cardinals a hometown discount before signing with the Los Angeles Angels, Tony La Russa said this week in an interview on KNBR-AM in San Francisco.

"I know it is true," the retired Cardinals manager said. "Albert was ready to give the Cardinals a tremendous and significant home discount. I am talking about signing for something like $60 or $65 million less than he signed for.

"That's a lot of money he would have walked away from, but even at that level the Cardinals could not have swung it."
Reading these emails that Lach posted will not get old. I'd hate to think what would have happened if he were working for a sports talk radio program in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Watch this

I saw it after Mayim Bialik posted it on Facebook.

Shit Christians Say to Jews:

Louisville Cardinals got crushed against Providence Friars

Providence was honoring the 1987 Final Four appearance since it's the 25th anniversary this season. Providence honored Louisville head coach Rick Pitino by creaming the Louisville Cardinals with a final score of 90-59

This is a Louisville team playing without one of their McDonald's All-Americans (Wayne Blackshear). Most of the knowledgable sportswriters commented early in the season that they would not have ranked Louisville that high knowing how injured the team was. Once they started Big East conference play, they only had 1 win (road game against St. John's). They lost at home to Georgetown and Notre Dame. They lost on the road to Kentucky and got CRUSHED by a Providence team that had yet to win a single game in Big East play.

Louisville doesn't exist? Maybe.

Larry Vaught named KY Sportswriter of the Year

Larry Vaught was named Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year. Drew Deener, according to WHAS Radio this afternoon, was named the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year. Congrats to both of them.
In what has become an annual event, Larry Vaught of The Advocate Messenger and vaughtsviews.com has been named Kentucky’s 2011 National Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

This is the sixth consecutive year Vaught has received the award, and seventh in the last nine years.

“It never ceases to amaze me that my peers deem me worthy of this prestigious award,” said Vaught. “It’s a tremendous honor once again to receive this award, and I’m not sure exactly what I have done to deserve it. I enjoy providing information for Advocate-Messenger and vaughtsviews.com readers and try to find different story ideas to share on a regular basis.”[...]

Mary Jo Perino, sports director for WLEX-TV in Lexington and last year’s Kentucky Sportscaster honoree by NSSA, had this to say about Vaught:

“Larry Vaught is Kentucky sportswriting,” said Perino, now serving as the first female board member for NSSA. “The stories he tells aren’t just about the games, the coaches or the players, he tells stories about the fans. His readers know him on a personal level because of that. His passion comes through in every story he does, from a high school player to the Final Four. Larry is a true treasure in our state.”

Thoughts on Last Night's BCS game

Despite all the complaints that Oklahoma State should have been playing against Louisiana State in the BCS championship game, we saw the best two teams in the entire fucking country playing last night.

Here’s the part that I don’t get...despite all the excellent defense on account of both teams, there were numerous complaints that it was a snooze fest. However, when there is a pitching duel going on in a baseball game, it’s labeled as an instant classic!

Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball and always enjoy a nice pitching duel and that means a game could be over in slightly over, or even under 2 hours, when both pitchers are pitching lights out.

I’m a die-hard Kentucky fan. As such, I always root for our Southeastern Conference (SEC) brethren when it comes to postseason play...even when it is Tennessee.

That LSU team that won it all in 2008? They had two losses during the regular season that went into 3OT! One was at #17 Kentucky, where they were ranked #1 at the nation, and lossed 43-37. The second was a home game against Arkansas, where they would lose 50-48 in a 3OT thriller. It should be noted that going into the SEC Championship game, the Tigers were rated 7th in the nation according to the Coaches Poll! Of course, they were ranked #2 before becoming the second straight SEC team to beat Ohio State for the championship.

The SEC is the best fucking conference in all of college football. I fucking dare you to show me a better all-around conference in football. Guess what? YOU CAN’T! It’s true. If other conferences were so great, then why can they not beat SEC teams for the national championship.

Don’t give me that fucking bullshit about the lack of a college football playoff system. The SEC tried to push that through but the other conferences were against it!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Obama names new chief of staff

With Bill Daley stepping down as chief of staff to President Obama, the president has tapped Jack Lew, an observant Jew, to replace him.
Lew, an Orthodox Jew, will replace William Daley, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

Lew is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a Cabinet-level position and a post he also filled during the Clinton administration.

He was previously Obama's deputy secretary of state.

Daley is leaving after just over a year on the job; he replaced Rahm Emanuel, who left the White House to run successfully for Chicago's mayor.

Lew, like Emanuel, has close Jewish community ties.
Similar to the case of Rahm Emanuel being in on a conference call on Rosh HaShanah:
One story making the rounds in the United States is that Lew, when he was director for the Office of Management and Budget for former U.S. President Bill Clinton, refused to answer an urgent phone call from the president on the Sabbath, when using the phone is prohibited except in life-saving situations.

The speakerphone was turned on, and Clinton reportedly said, “I know it is the Sabbath, but this is urgent. G-d would understand.”

Lew later consulted with his rabbi, who told him that the Jewish concept of “pikuach Nefesh,” or saving lives, is applicable when the president calls urgently and that he can pick up the phone on the Sabbath without violating the Jewish law.

John Yarmuth files for re-election

Congressman Awesome, I mean John Yarmuth, has filed with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' office for re-election.

Press release:
Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) filed paperwork with the Secretary of State to officially launch his campaign to continue representing Louisville in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Even in our divided country, we can all agree that the 112th Congress is failing us,” Yarmuth said. “A culture that refuses compromise and places more value on showmanship that statesmanship has prevented us from doing the simple things necessary to accelerate our economy. Instead, we find the most basic and vital tenets of American success under attack, everything from education and infrastructure to job training and veterans' programs; even Medicare and Social Security have been threatened.

“Since I was first elected, I have fought for the needs and priorities of Louisville’s working families,” Yarmuth said. “I’m running for re-election because the stakes are far too high to stop fighting now.”

Yarmuth’s tenure has been marked by work on initiatives to expand education and job-training programs, strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and extend affordable health care coverage to millions of Americans. He was a major supporter of federal investment that helped revitalize manufacturing at the Ford plants and GE's Appliance Park, and he secured funding for the new VA hospital in Louisville.

Recently, Yarmuth has been an outspoken critic of Congressional dysfunction and inaction, calling for leaders to get past ideological differences and make choices that benefit the American people.

Although major fundraising efforts have yet to begin, Yarmuth heads into his fourth campaign with more than $400,000 in the bank. This puts him in an excellent position for another big victory, said Campaign Treasurer Sarah Martin, although it's not the only indicator.

“We beat the national trend last year by a double-digit margin, but we didn’t do it because of money,” Martin said. “We did it because of John’s ideas and passion, because he listens to people, and because Louisvillians know he always puts them first.”

Barry Larkin elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

It was announced on the MLB Network (simulcast on MLB.com) that former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin was elected with 86.4% of the vote and will be enshrined this July into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson made the announcement around 3 PM. Larkin is the 22nd shortstop to be inducted.

Jack Morris is gaining with 67% and Jeff Bagwell is closing the gap at 56% of the vote. Tim Raines is gaining steam amongst writers, too.

The Hall of Fame news release can be found here. The breakdown amongst voters:
Barry Larkin 495 (86.4%), Jack Morris 382 (66.7%), Jeff Bagwell 321 (56.0%), Lee Smith 290 (50.6%), Tim Raines 279 (48.7%), Edgar Martinez 209 (36.5%), Alan Trammell 211 (36.8%), Fred McGriff 137 (23.9%), Larry Walker 131 (22.9%), Mark McGwire 112 (19.5%), Don Mattingly 102 (17.8%), Dale Murphy 83 (14.5%), Rafael Palmeiro 72 (12.6%), Bernie Williams 55 (9.6%), Juan Gonzalez 23 (4.0%), Vinny Castilla 6 (1.0%), Tim Salmon 5 (0.9%), Bill Mueller 4 (0.7%), Brad Radke 2 (0.3%), Javy Lopez 1 (0.2%), Eric Young 1 (0.2%), Jeromy Burnitz 0, Brian Jordan 0, Terry Mulholland 0, Phil Nevin 0, Ruben Sierra 0, Tony Womack 0.
MLB.com article.

Um, yeah....

The 700 Club is still airing on ABC Family but it's not aired under their brand name and it's not really their choice. In a perfect world, it would be elsewhere like FOX News.

Variety:
Riley addressed the perennial issue of Pat Robertson's "The 700 Club" being contractually required to appear (though not under the ABC Family branding) on a channel that has received GLAAD's highest rating. The channel's roots date back to a founding by Robertson for his ministry.

"It's obviously a show that is on our air," Riley said. "It's not a show we put on there, and we think our audience understands this. I think most viewers understand that they come to our network to watch the shows they want to watch."

DGA Award Nominees

The Directors Guild of America have announced their nominations for the calendar year of 2011. These are usually a good precursor to the Oscar nominations in the same category.

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

The DGA will announce the winner January 28, 2012.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Kansas GOP speaker prays for president's death

Kansas Republican Mike O'Neal, who also serves as their Speaker of the House, prays for the death of President Barack Obama. I'm not buying his fucking bullshit apology.
The Republican speaker of the Kansas statehouse issued an apology this week after sending emails from his personal account referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as “Mrs. YoMama” and quoting a Bible verse cited by some as a reference to presidential assassination.

Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal [above], from the city of Hutchison, sent an email before Christmas that compared the president’s wife to the Dr. Seuss character The Grinch, with a tagline asking: “Twins separated at birth?”
The city of Hutchison, Kansas should be embarrassed. This is a fucking disgrace.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Michele Bachmann talking retirement

There are some reports this evening that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is considering a retirement from Congress. I hope it's true for the entire state of Minnesota and for America as well. I first saw it from NewsMax, who took it from WaPo. Either way, Bachmann should get as far as she fucking can from DC. She does the entire country a disservice.

Book Review: Mr. Funny Pants



Hardcover: 288 pages (February 22, 2011)
Paperback: 288 pages (February 10, 2012)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

In Mr. Funny Pants by comedian Michael Showalter, he does not as much write a comical memoir in as much as he writes about writing a book. Fans of Showalter's prior work (The State, Stella, Michael and Michael Have Issues, Wet Hot American Summer) will be impressed with Showalter's writing.

Showalter offers pointers on selling a screenplay in Hollywood. In typical comical fashion, of course, the rule of three's are involved. The comedian gives the do's and don'ts when it comes to dating and informs girls that telling the guy that you have a boyfriend three hours later is not a really good idea.

In perfect comedic fashion, the comedian authors the perfect fill-in-the-blank screenplay treatment for the romantic comedy genre, full of cliches of course!

Showalter apologizes for coming short of his goal of 1200 pages but in 250ish pages, he brings the funny. In reading his book, I found myself laughing numerous times so even though he falls short of writing a profound memoir, he does not fall short of laughs.

Grade: A

Friday, January 06, 2012

2012 WGA Awards

The screen nominations for the WGA Awards were released yesterday. They are as follows:

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Pictures
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight
Young Adult, Written by Diablo Cody; Paramount Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemming; Fox Searchlight
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian; Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts; Columbia Pictures
The Help, Screenplay by Tate Taylor; Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett; DreamWorks Pictures
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan; Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Paramount Pictures
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin; Based on the book by Michael Lewis; Columbia Pictures

Per the release:
Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2011 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Australian Writers Guild, Writers Guild of Canada, Writers Guild of Great Britain, Irish Playwrights & Screenwriters Guild or the New Zealand Writers Guild. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for WGA awards consideration.
The winners will be announced on February 19th.

Books piling up...

If I am light in blogging over the next month, don't be alarmed. It's just that I'm going to be very busy reading books to review here in this space of the interwebs. First up is Mr. Funny Pants by comedian Michael Showalter.

Also in the pile:
You're Not Doing It Right by Michael Ian Black
Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel
The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky by Gene Wojciechowski
the 50 Funniest American Writers by Andy Borowitz
The Hunger Pains by the Harvard Lampoon.

Your Tax Money at Work

Hey, it's your tax money at work!

Paul Feig talks sequel

Paul Feig talks Bridesmaids sequel with Vanity Fair. There's been some talk that the studio would do a sequel even if it meant not having Kristen Wiig in the cast. Feig does not bring that up at all but I honestly do not see a sequel produced without Wiig's involvement!

Most of the time, sequels are produced to bring in more money from the fans of the first film. Sometimes, such as in the case of last year's sequel to The Hangover, they don't always build upon the success of the first film. The first one finished it's run in 2009 to a grand total of $277,322,503 whereas the sequel finished it's 2011 run (with an increase in ticket prices, no less) with a smaller total: $254,464,305.

I heard today that there was talk of a sequel to Horrible Bosses and I don't get that. Does Kevin Spacey get out of jail or something in the sequel? Or does Jennifer Aniston do something more extreme? You can't just beat a dead horse over and over for more money. It just does not fucking work. It simply does not. Don't get me wrong--I like the cast and writers involved in the film but unless they have new horribly insane bosses, what else can they do?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

FYI

Now that the holiday season is finally over until Pesach starts in April, I hope to blogging REGULARLY once more. Yes, with a satirical take on things. You know me by now.

Also, will somebody please remind me to remove PAGE ONE KENTUCKY from the sidebar? I've been slacking in that department but only because I noticed that the douchebag removed my blog from the blogroll.

Yesterday's post on the Iowa results is just a preview of things to come.

Also, I do a lot of reading and movie watching yearly. I'm going to review those on a frequent basis.

RIP Gatewood. He'll be missed. One of my regrets is not interviewing him for a blogterview. I met him back in 2007 at the Northern Kentucky Regional Gubernatorial Debate. Nice guy...signed a free book, too. He showed up...unlike Steve Henry, who though a commercial shoot was more important!

Changes coming also include less blocking and quoting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Romney wins Iowa Caucus

The following is excerpt from my untitled second book due out in January 2013.

As for the Iowa Caucus results, the story is not that Mitt Romney won but how he beat the fucking douchebag we like to call Rick Santorum. One has a flip-flop problem. The other has a Google problem.

Congressman Ben Chandler (D-KY6) must certainly know how Mitt Romney must feel with escaping after such a small margin of victory. Chandler barely won during the Tea Party Tidal Wave of 2010. Of course, Chandler’s victory was by a margin of 647 votes—nothing like that of Romney but still, it’s not a great figure! Romney won by a final margin of 8 fucking votes.

Eight. Not 5, not 6, not 7, but EIGHT. That’s less than the number of people you can count on your hand if you are as so inclined to do so.

With the majority of the vote split between Romney, Santorum and crazy nutcase Ron Paul, the nation should be so lucky that we never have to hear from Michele Bachmann as a presidential candidate since she’s toast following a shitty performance in her native state of Iowa.

Rick Perry? Despite a shitty showing as well, he’s hanging in the race. By a thread, I hope. He’ll be forced to leave after South Carolina seeing as how he’s nowhere close to the views of liberal New Hampshire. They are fucking liberal, right?

The smart betting money would have to be on the Bachman supporters deciding to make the decision to switch their votes over to someone like a Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich. Maybe even Rick Santorum…but then again, there’s that Google problem. Newt has a family values problem so he would be a hard sell in any event.

For most of the conservative Republicans, it’s the anybody-but-Mitt bandwagon. It’s been that case during the entire pre-primary season. The Baskin-Robbins Flavor of the Month if you will.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Aykroyd joins political comedy

Word has it that Dan Aykroyd is joining the cast of the political comedy Dog Fight.
Dan Aykroyd has joined Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in the political comedy "Dog Fight," TheWrap has confirmed.

"Dog Fight," due Aug. 10, stars Ferrell and Galifianakis as bumbling, rival politicians battling for a congressional seat in North Carolina. All three are producing the movie, along with frequent Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay.[...]

"Dog Fight," distributed by Warner Bros., also stars John Lithgow, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Thomas Middleditch and Brian Cox.

The film was written by "Eastbound & Down" scribe Shawn Harwell and one of the HBO show's executive producers, Chris Henchy.
Should be interesting.

Indianapolis Colts fire Bill and Chris Polian

I'm completely shocked that this happened. I thought a lot of the losses this season came down to the fact that Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter are not even close to the quarterback that Peyton Manning is.
The Colts fired vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian, according to a league source. A move has yet to come down on coach Jim Caldwell, who is still likely to be fired after the Colts finished 2-14 in his third season.

If the coaching job in Indianapolis opens up, it will be a coveted position. Given the return of quarterback Peyton Manning and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the team will very quickly take on a different shape.
With the Rams, that was a non-shocker that Spags was fired after three seasons. But with the Colts? I'm stunned.

A presser has been scheduled for 5 PM today.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 in Film

While I am not a professional critic, I’m posting my awards for this year’s crop in film.

Top Ten Films of 2011

War Horse
The Descendants
The Ides of March
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Bridesmaids
The Muppets
The Help
Midnight in Paris
50/50

Seven Bonus Films of 2011

Moneyball
Drive
Warrior
Hugo
Young Adult
Cedar Rapids
Crazy, Stupid, Love


Best Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin
Best Director: Steven Speilberg, War Horse
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Best Comic Book Movie: Captain America

Drama

Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, Drive
Best Actress (tie): Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Viola Davis, The Help; Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor (tie): Christopher Plummer, Beginners; Albert Brooks, Drive
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Breakthrough Performance in Drama: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Comedy

Best Actor: Steve Carell, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Best Actress: Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Best Supporting Actor: Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Breakthrough Performance in Comedy: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Surprising Performance in a Comedy from a Dramatic Actor: Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love
Actor Most Likely to Be In Every Movie This Year: Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, A Dangerous Method, Shame, and the short film Pitch Black Heist)

Favorite Ten Comedies of 2011

The Muppets
Bridesmaids
Crazy, Stupid, Love
50/50
Young Adult
Paul
Cedar Rapids
Horrible Bosses
Our Idiot Brother
Friends with Benefits


The next list consists only of the films I saw this year and that's after reading the reviews!

WORST MOVIES OF 2011

The Tree of Live
Just Go With It
Battle: LA
Sucker Punch
Transformers: Dark of the Moon