Monday, January 22, 2007

Are *you* on the list?...

That's right - Heroes returns from its hiatus with an all-new episode tonight at 9/8C on NBC.

If you're not up on the details, then by all means go to
At the site you can catch up on past episodes and there's all sorts of
Heroes-related goodies to be found. Also, the official unofficial fan site is at

what a haunting, creepy, dark, intense, beautiful film...

If you value great cinema, see this movie. This may just be my favorite film of the year. I still have several more potential Oscar nominees to see. In any case, click the Pan's Labyrinth poster to read my review.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I cannot wait until March 1st!!!

Chiller - Dare To Watch - Coming March 1st, 2007

Click the logo to head to Chiller's official website,

NBC Universal Launches Horror Channel - Chiller - On DIRECTV March 1st

This was certainly unexpected. NBC Universal states that Chiller will cull their programming from not just the NBC Universal vaults but the vaults of other studios (Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Sony, and Warner Brothers, to name a few). Series that they'll be debuting with include Twin Peaks, Freddy's Nightmares, Alfred Hitchock Presents, and Friday The 13th: The Series. Plus they'll be airing movies, of course. It'll be cool to see all of those old shows and I hope they dig deep into the vaults of their content providers. But I have to remember to temper my excitement just a tad when I see what NBC Universal's done with SCI FI through the years, Battlestar Galactica and the occasional miniseries excluded. Hopefully Chiller can avoid that and it will as long as Bonnie Hammer's nowhere near it.

I sincerely hope that NBC Universal really puts a considerable effort into Chiller. Look I'm not naive. I know that both Sleuth (NBC Universal's mystery/crime-themed cable network) and Chiller are basically, for the moment, a way for NBC Universal to make money off of the thousands of hours of programming in their and other companies vaults. And that's just fine with me, as long as the lineup is programmed with diversity and character. As I stated on messageboard, Chiller might turn into SCI FI by 2013, with shows like WWE Fear Fights and Who Wants To Be A Serial Killer?. I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't and until it does I plan to watch Chiller and enjoy the repurposed programming, alot of which haven't been on TV in a long time.

tonight you'll see stars...

Well as is tradition, I'll now give my Golden Globe picks. I've still yet to see several of these but am trying to play catch up.

Here we go...

The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards


Best Picture, Drama

The Departed
Little Children
The Queen

My pick: Although I've not seen any of these yet, I'd like to see Babel get the nod, as I absolutely loved Iñárritu's Amores Perros and 21 Grams.
Who will win: While Scorsese's getting tremendous accolades for his remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, The Departed won't win here. He's a lock for Best Director and an Oscar, however. Little Children's release and the subsequent promotional fumbling by New Line Cinema have locked it out; it's the dark horse here. Bobby was primed for gold, be it of the Golden or Academy Award persuasion. As it stands now most seem to have written it off as a garish cameo party. Much like Scorsese's Director win, Mirren will take home Best Actress. That leaves Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel.

Best Actress, Drama

Penelope Cruz - Volver
Judi Dench - Notes On A Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren - The Queen
Kate Winslet - Little Children

My pick: I'd absolutely love to see Gyllenhaal get this, as she's one of my favorites and proves time and again just how versatile an actress she is, no matter what the role calls for.
Will win: As previously stated, the movie royalty will take this home. Helen Mirren has it in the bag.

Best Actor - Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed
Peter O'Toole - Venus
Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

My pick: In all honesty I would be elated to see Peter O'Toole get this and I think he will. After almost fifty years on screen, he sure deserves it. I also think he, much like Scorsese, are going to get nominated after being unjustly snubbed for so very long and will be clutching Oscar gold on the night of February 25th.
Will win: Peter O'Toole. No contest.

Best Picture, Musical Or Comedy

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You for Smoking

My pick: Little Miss Sunshine was a brilliant dysfunctional tale of a family growing closer after growing apart.
Will win: Sacha Baron Cohen will win Best Actor so this one's going to Dreamgirls.

Best Actress, Musical Or Comedy

Annette Bening - Running With Scissors
Toni Collette - Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles - Dreamgirls
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Renee Zellweger - Miss Potter

My pick: Toni Collette's performance as a harried mom trying to do her best was wonderful.
Will win: Streep could read the White Pages. She won raves for her performance in The Devil Wears Prada and she'll win this award.

Best Actor, Musical Or Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Aaron Eckhart - Thank You for Smoking
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell - Stranger than Fiction

My pick: Aaron Eckhart was terrific as a slimy tobacco lobbyist. I'd like to see Ejiofor win, as I've been a fan of his for a long time.
Will win: If this were any other year, Depp would walk away with the win here. However, only ONE performance in this category became a cultural phenomenon. Cohen will win this hands down.

Best Actress, Musical Or Comedy

Adriana Barraza - Babel
Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi - Babel

My pick: I have no opinion here.
Will win: Plucked from obscurity, Jennifer Hudson will garner the gold.

Best Supporting Actor, Drama

Ben Affleck - Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson - The Departed
Brad Pitt - Babel
Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

My pick: Again, no opinion.
Will win: Focus Features released Hollywoodland far too early for it to register with the awards voters (September?!). Brad and Mark will split the vote and even though Eddie's performance has gotten good ink, Jack rules the roost and everyone, even The Hollywood Foreign Press, loves to see him play a villain. As this is the first time he's done so in quite a while, he'll be on stage tonight to accept this award.

Best Director

Clint Eastwood - Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood - Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears - The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Babel
Martin Scorsese - The Departed

My pick: As a fan I'm torn between Inarritu and Scorsese. However, Inarritu's career has just begun whereas Scorsese is a filmmaking legend who's been shut out for far too long. I'd love to see him get this award.
Will win: Martin Scorsese

Best Screenplay

Guillermo Arriaga - Babel
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta - Little Children
Patrick Marber - Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan - The Departed
Peter Morgan - The Queen

My pick: Yet again as a fan I'd like to see Arriaga get it and I think he will, for the sweeping multi-layered types of films he writes are always adored by the awards voters.
Will win: Arriaga

Best Foreign Language Film

Apocalypto (USA)
Letters From Iwo Jima (USA/Japan)
The Lives Of Others (Germany)
Pan's Labyrinth (Mexico)
Volver (Spain)

My pick: I'm this close from seeing Guillermo del Toro's fantasy horror epic. As much critical acclaim as Almodovar gets this time each year, I think the world that Pan's Labyrinth created will let Mexico win this one.
Will win: Pan's Labyrinth

Best Animated Feature

Happy Feet
Monster House

My pick: Not one other animated film this year was as well-written, intelligent, articulate, and thoroughly entertaining as Monster House. It was a throwback to the style of '80s films both animated and otherwise that the whole family could watch and not feel as if they'd gotten dumber after watching it.
Will win: I was going to say Pixar grabs the gold here but George Miller's Happy Feet was a runaway success, no pun intended. The penguins will waddle away with this one.

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat - The Painted Veil
Clint Mansell - The Fountain
Gustavo Santaolalla - Babel
Carlo Siliotto - Nomad
Hans Zimmer - The Da Vinci Code

My pick: No contest. Clint Mansell's haunting, ethereal score for Darren Aronofsky's brilliant The Fountain was a key part of immersing the viewer in this beautiful poem of a film.
Will win: I believe the world cultural aspects of Babel no doubt played a part in the creation of the score. It'll win.

Best Original Song

Unfortunately I've no opinion here at all, as I've not heard any of these songs at all.


Series, Drama

24 (Fox)
Big Love (HBO)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Heroes (NBC)
Lost (ABC)

My pick: I love 24 with a fiery passion. But I'd love to see the freshman get some attention here. C'mon HFPA! Give it to Heroes. They won't, as it's not even through its first season yet, which is sad as no new series this season has been so far so consistently good.
Will win: 24. Jack Bauer and the gang at CTU won the Emmy (finally!) and now they'll pick up the win here as well.

Actress, Drama

Patricia Arquette - Medium
Edie Falco - The Sopranos
Evangeline Lilly - Lost
Ellen Pompeo - Grey's Anatomy
Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer

My pick: For two seasons now, Patricia Arquette has been terrific as the harried mom and the harried psychic who someone manages to balance both. Her Emmy win was well warranted. She deserves this one.
Will win: Ellen Pompeo will win for Doctors Screwing. Harsh? Maybe. But after giving this show every chance, it has finally chosen to be about who the doctors are sleeping with and everything else be damned. Because all hospitals have their doctors making out in stairwells and supply closets, right? Um, don't you guys have...PATIENTS?

Actor, Drama

Patrick Dempsey - Grey's Anatomy
Michael C. Hall - Dexter
Hugh Laurie - House
Bill Paxton - Big Love
Kiefer Sutherland - 24

My pick: Michael C. Hall's turn as the serial killer with a heart deserves this.
Will win: Kiefer Sutherland, in an echo of the Emmys.

Series, Musical or Comedy

Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Ugly Betty (ABC)
Weeds (Showtime)

My pick: I really want to give this to Entourage, as it is consistently addictive and *such* a well-written series. However, The Office continues to amaze me.
Will win: America Ferrara was the talk of the town as the fall season started. I've seen an episode or two and Ugly Betty is fun and breezy. But I think the Emmy win will repeat itself here, especially since they gave this award to the original British version of The Office in 2003.

Actress, Musical or Comedy

Marcia Cross - Desperate Housewives
America Ferrera - Ugly Betty
Felicity Huffman - Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - The New Adventures Of Old Christine
Mary-Louise Parker - Weeds

My pick: As I stated above, America Ferrara has been the breakout star of the new season, aside from Masi Oka of NBC's Heroes. She deserves to win.
Will win: America Ferrara

Actor, Musical Or Comedy

Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Zach Braff - Scrubs
Steve Carrell - The Office
Jason Lee - My Name Is Earl
Tony Shaloub - Monk

My pick: Jason Lee and Steve Carell are solid as always. Each of these nominees is terrific. But Alec Baldwin has surpassed my every expectation. His Jack Donaghy is a live wire, as you never know what's going to come out of his mouth.
Will win: I think Lee will grab this, as Carell won last year (not that repeats don't happen) and I think 30 Rock might be a bit too inside for the HFPA. Sadly.

Best Miniseries Or Movie

I have no opinion here as I've not seen these. I'm rooting for Bleak House. I'm a Charles Dickens fan.

Best Actress, Miniseries Or Movie

No opinion yet again.

Best Actor, Miniseries Or Movie

No opinion. I'm rooting for Ejiofor, though.

Best Supporting Actress, Miniseries Or Movie

Emily Blunt - Gideon's Daughter
Toni Collette - Tsunami, The Aftermath
Katherine Heigl - Grey's Anatomy
Sarah Paulson - Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
Elizabeth Perkins - Weeds

My pick: I guess this is Heigl and Paulson are thrown in here as the HFPA wanted to recognize them but ran out of room in the major category. Sarah Paulson has been stellar as Harriet Hayes and the exchanges between she and Matthew Perry's Matt character. The claws have been extended towards the show but I'm thousands of miles from Hollywood and I love Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. The dialogue is great and I've never seen an entire episode of an Aaron Sorkin show prior to this one.
Will win: With all of that being said, look for Heigl to win for Doctors Screwing...oh, I'm sorry....I meant Grey's Anatomy.

Best Supporting Actor, Miniseries Or Movie

Thomas Haden Church - Broken Trail
Jeremy Irons - Elizabeth I
Justin Kirk - Weeds
Masi Oka - Heroes
Jeremy Piven - Entourage

My pick: Piven is electric as the acidic and viciously caustic yet endearing-at-times Ari Gold. But Oka has, as I've stated, gotten alot of buzz. Either way I'll be happy but I'm going with Piven. He's so damn fun to watch.
Will win: Piven lost to one of the masters of the medium last year, Paul Newman (Empire Falls). This time will be a charm for him.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

hell yes!!!

Today we get to make up for twelve years of Republicans who shredded our Constitution, launched an illegal war, made it harder for the middle class and students by shifting the tax burden on their shoulders and all the while allowing corporate bail-outs, outrageous spending (hell Bush never vetoed any bill presented to him, no matter the cost, until July 2006), corruption and covering up the Mark Foley scandal, to name a few. During all of this they shouted us down as traitors, Benedict Arnolds, and terrorist sympathizers.

Now those same people, the new minority party, are clamoring for bipartisanship after years and YEARS of not giving an iota of it to the Democrats. Pot meet kettle please. It's time to make these people pay, with investigations and critical scrutiny of what exactly has been going on in these hallowed halls for so long. As Nancy Pelosi said so eloquently after the elections, "It's time to drain this swamp." But first let's get those first 100-hour pledges enacted ASAP: increasing the minimum wage, getting affordable health care, pay as you go spending, rolling back the massive Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, to name a few.

Now let's not think I'm putting on the rose-colored glasses here. As we all know Bush plans to announce, in a speech next week, his new plan: "Surge & Accelerate". The speech's theme will be "sacrifice". As in young men and women sacrifice their lives for this continual lie while he stands behind a podium, hair shiny with hairspray in an air-conditioned building thousands and thousands of miles away. If the Democrats don't engage in a political battle over this ill-gotten foreign travesty, I and millions of other voters will be outraged. We didn't vote for you just to have you mewl like a kitten. It's time to expose the razor-sharp talons and use them. If the Democrats falter or waver on any promises, you better believe I'll be there to call their asses on it, as will many others They cannot be allowed to grow complacent.

For now let us celebrate a well-deserved victory. It's time to take back Washington D.C.. It's time to hold those who abused power for so long accountable. It's time to make this country fair for all again, not just the obscenely wealthy. We now have a moment in America's history to correct wrongs and shape the outline of this country back to the way it used to be - one of hope, prosperity, and charity - and away from the black chasm we've had to endure for far too long. In 56 minutes, we will have the first female Speaker Of The House and the first Democratic Majority in 12 years. Good luck. Make us proud. Get to work but don't forget who put you there. Let the changes and investigations begin.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I was not yet born during Gerald Ford's time in office. But there was always something about him that made me feel like he was a regular guy, someone who you might not agree with on certain policy matters but someone who you wouldn't mind grabbing a burger with and having good conversation. His unpopular pardoning of Nixon cost him reelection. He later said, ""The only way to clear the desk in the Oval Office was to get Mr. Nixon's problems off my agenda and get my total attention on the problems of the country." That decision prevented a second term but in 2001 he won a John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award for it.

Gerald Ford, in my estimation, marks the last of a breed that the Republican Party of today has slowly expunged from its ranks: a man for whom life was his politics, not the other way around. Someone who could disagree with you yet still manage to be endearing and genuine, a stark contrast to the rancor and venom discourse of recent years.

My sincere condolences to the entire Ford family.

Rest in peace, President Ford.

beware pure evil...

I'll explain more later. Suffice it to say I'll be expounding on my earlier musings about the sad state of cinema.

(And no, I've not and will not see the above film. I have taste.)

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 is here now...

Well Happy New Year to those out there that might happen to read this. I hope your New Year's Eve was enjoyable. I carried out the usual tradition of summer sausage, cheese, and Ritz crackers (which I finished snacking on some more of a while ago) and we had a little bit of pink champagne from last year in the refrigerator. Speaking of New Year's Eve and contrary to some's belief, I thought Dick Clark looked much better than his last appearance with more mobility and a clearer speech pattern. The man IS New Year's Eve and when he no longer feels like doing it (which I think won't happen until he leaves us), I'll stop watching ABC for New Year's Eve. Ryan Seacrest is an untalented idiot. Our coffee table has more talent.

How was your Xmas? Mine was cool. Not alot of gifts as money was tight for all of us but alot of food and fellowship was had by all.

I hope 2007 is a fun year, with good health and goodwill for all. Of course until all of our troops are home and this ill-gotten calamity known as the invasion and occupation of Iraq is over, that wish won't come true. One can hope and perhaps the Democrats will hold Bush's feet to the fire to start bringing troops home. Also, they need to hurry up and get that minimum wage increase enacted ASAP. As for myself, I'd like to find a full-time job that pays well, has flexible hours, paid insurance and is fun. I'm a loyal and dedicated worker. I have excellent customer service skills and would like to find something that takes advantage of that -- if a writing job isn't in the offing, that is. I'll keep you posted on my progress in this arena.

2007 will be an interesting film year. More sequels of course. I'm most looking forward to Grindhouse on April 6th.

TV in 2007. One project has me excited and that's Drive, the new series from Angel and Firefly writer Tim Minear. It stars Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Slither, Serenity, the upcoming White Noise: The Light) and will air on FOX sometime in March or April. For more info, check out...

I plan to get up early on Thursday morning and turn on C-SPAN and MSNBC to watch the 110th Congress being sworn in. Seeing Nancy Pelosi stand behind Bush and next to Cheney will be priceless.

Getting back to the topic of movies, I sincerely hope that 2007 can provide a decent slate of interesting and thought-provoking films. I hunger for David Lynch's Inland Empire, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men (which starts playing here this Friday) and many more. Babel is playing here again, albeit only twice a day. I hope I can use connections to get to see them.

Films like the ones above provide the viewer with elements that can be discussed, deconstructed, analyzed, and debated. Said films offer scripts written with love by filmmakers that aren't afraid to take a chance and who want to bring imaginative and original stories to the masses. It is this that makes me furious when I see absolute crap like Night At The Museum rake in cash. Former cast members/writers of the excellent and edgy early '90s MTV sketch comedy series The State wrote that film. They also wrote The Pacifier (!). In a few weeks, a remake of the excellent 1986 horror film The Hitcher will be released by Rogue Pictures, genre imprint for Universal Pictures. It's utterly appalling that intelligent, thought-provoking films are continually thwarted by crap. Sheer, unmitigated crap is continually foisted upon the moviegoing public who eagerly slurp up any offal that's placed in front of them and then hungrily ask for more.