Thursday, July 31, 2008

What the hell?

*How come Kenny G never put out an album called "little bitches play the saxophone, I play the sexophone?

*How come the bus always smells like warm cabbage in the morning?

*Will there ever be a time when a guy will look at a pair of tits and not be totally, completely, 100% enthralled? Hopefully not.

*Is it a coincidence that I got a haircut the same day Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain also cut their hair? Or are we really soulmates?

*How come it's not appropriate to reject an 8:30 meeting notice with "sorry, i usually crap then."

*When is it appropriate to let everyone know that the “big decisions” you’re making are actually really just made up on the fly?

*Why are all big bands coming through San Francisco only playing the big festivals? Don’t they know we want to see them in normal sized venues? You hear me TVOTR?!

*Why is coffee the best part of every morning?

*How come when everyone makes the comparison of Frank Gore and Marshall Faulk they seem to forget the fact that the Rams had Warner, Holt and Bruce and the Niners have Smith, Battle and Johnson?! Barf.

*Is anyone else watching this season of Project Runway?

*How uncomfortable will the first Shane Battier, Ron Artest handshake / hug thing be on a scale of one to ten?

*If you were having sex with a Olympic gymnast and then somehow she jumped out of bed and a jockey got in - would you notice?

*How can this post possibly continue when we just found out Manny will be a Dodger? Can it get any worse for the Giants? God I hate the fucking Dodgers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Here’s something that’s never happened to me in all my time doing photo shoots. One of the models showed up a good 25 pounds over weight. I’m not kidding. And get this. She was 15. Yep. Puberty can be a bitch can’t it? It was an amazingly uncomfortable situation. We went back to double check her model card. Could that possibly be the same girl? I mean, she’s got red hair too. But that was about the only recognizable feature. I remember the head stylist telling me that at the fitting the girl was “curvy” but this? We needed a better warning than “curvy”. Like a flare gun. Or a fucking smoke signal. This girl looked like Seth Rogan. No, this girl looked like she just swallowed Seth Rogan whole. Plus the outfit we had planned for her had horizontal stripes, multiple layering and a tight denim skirt. It was definitely a first.

But here’s the moral dilemma. What do you do? Technically her model card was misleading. That’s not the person we thought we were hiring. You obviously don’t say anything to the girl at the time. You work with what you have and you do the best you can. But do you contact her agency? Do you ask for your money back? Inevitably the message gets back to her to lose a few pounds…something I’m sure she’s been told before. Then where does that leave you? You potentially are the asshole that sends this girl spiraling down an ugly path that starts with wearing garbage bags when working out in 100 degree gyms to binging and purging and ending up on A&E’s intervention. Do you wheel out a treadmill and see if she gets the message? Or do you say nothing and take it in the ass?

What would you do?

Monday, July 28, 2008

We Are All Witnesses

Because it doesn't matter what the theme is,
pics of Lebron dunking are always good

As a box office enthusiast / junkie / dork I’ve been following the Dark Knight with my jaw on the floor. The opening weekend record was a big one, however, the nature of movies, particularly from a marketing standpoint, has changed so much in the last 8-10 years, that the opening weekend record has a lost a little of its panache. Movies are built to open big and then fade quickly – with the theatrical run really only serving as a glorified marketing campaign for the DVD release. Consider this: since 2001, 11 movies have opened with more than $100 million, 30 have opened with $70 or more and the record for largest opening weekend has been broken 4 times.

With that said, take absolutely nothing away from The Dark Knight’s new opening weekend record, any time you can open with $158 it’s pretty fucking incredible. But what’s been truly amazing about Dark Knight is its staying power – the movie has literally broken a record every single day it’s been out. Right now, the best comparison from a box office standpoint is Pirates 2, although there really is no precedent for what we’re seeing with Dark Knight. Pirates 2 opened with $135, made $195 in its first seven days, finishing up with $425 million. The Dark Knight opened with $158 and made $239 in its first seven days – where will it end up? I still don’t think it’ll break Titanic’s record of $600 – but there’s the very real possibility that it crosses $500.

Consider the following records we’ve seen fall in the last 10 days:

- Fastest film to $200 million – took 5 days, Pirates 2 took 8
- Fastest film to $250 million – took 8 days, Pirates 2 took 10
- Fastest film to $300 million – took 10 days, Pirates 2 took 16
- Fastest to $350 and $400 will follow in the next few days (good chance it gets to $350 by Friday and $400 mid-next week, which would obliterate the standing records)
- Highest grossing week - $239 million in its first 7 days – including an abso fucking lutely ridiculous $81 million Mon-Thurs
- Biggest second weekend - $75 million

There are more, but I think you get the point. Doesn’t it seem like only a few weeks ago we were wondering if Indy 4 could pass Iron Man as the biggest hit of the summer? Well, Dark Knight passed Indy after only 10 days, so to quote the effete cop from Lebowksi, “I guess we can close the book on that one.”

A few other box office notes:

- Step Brothers opened with a very solid $30 – anyone seen this? Any good? I’m a little Ferrelled-out at the moment, but all I really need is a little push and I’m in the theater. Anyone?

- Wait, they made another X Files movie? Why the fuck did they do that? Before they named the sequel: “X Files: I want to believe” – do you think they considered: “X Files: Please see this, Gillian Anderson is practically homeless”

- Hancock has now rung up $470 million worldwide and counting – do you ever think that Tiger Woods and Will Smith are the same person? Tiger’s amazing, because he’s absolutely un-hateable – it’s impossible not to root for him when he’s walking down 18 with a one shot lead. Will Smith is the same way, I want every movie he makes to pull down $500 – have we ever seen them in the same room?

- Mummy 3 opens this weekend; can you feel the excitement? “Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Much cooler than the original title, "Mummy 3: Brendan Fraser is fucking laughing at you. Laughing.”

- Has anyone seen the trailer for the animated Star Wars movie coming out this summer? Click here if you haven’t. I know I’ve said this before a million times, but let’s make it one million and one, what the fuck is wrong with George Lucas?. I mean, the animation looks like shit! This is how we’re going out? Star Wars redefined everything and 25 years later Lucas puts out a fucking puppet show? The Star Wars franchise is like one of those 70 yr old actresses that has had so much work done they don’t even look like a human anymore. You get a face-lift, then botox, then a cheek graph or whatever the fuck, flash forward five years and you look like a fat baby’s kneecap. Thanks, George. You're ruining my childhood. Why not frame Ken Griffey Jr for steroids and somehow take the fun out of masturbation so you can go for the clean sweep. Dick face.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm headed home

I’m sitting at the airport in Atlanta. At the tail end of my east coast trip. Business travel is always so glamorous when it starts…expense account…away from the office…room service. And then the reality of being on the road hits…living out of a suitcase…having to work 16 hour days…crappy hotel shampoo. I’m so happy to be headed home.

I was thinking I should compile thoughts about my 5 days in Atlanta. But then I realized my view of Atlanta consisted mainly of my hotel room, the studio we worked at and a random restaurant. So I have no observations on Atlanta that would be of any value. To anyone. Then I thought, maybe I should make some observations about my 5 days in New York. But then my chicken caesar salad arrived, on a paper plate with soggy lettuce and what was definitely NOT chicken. That’s when I came up with a whole new idea.

A look at the food options in the Atlanta Airport Terminal A. I wandered around this shit hole of an eatery for 15 minutes. Back and forth unable to find anything of any resemblance to food. Let’s observe:

AeroChina Wok:
I’m serious. They named it AeroChina Wok. The ‘Aero’ part of it I’m figuring is because we’re in an airport. See what they did there? Clever huh? This place is essentially like any Panda Express but Atlanta style. Sure, they’ve got sketchy chow mein and neon red house chicken. But they also have fried chicken, a vat of mashed potatoes and lays potato chips. What the fuck? Look, I can do sketchy Chinese, don’t get me wrong. But when the sign says ‘Southern Chinese Express’ and all the people working there are white, I pass. It’s just a rule I have.

Budweiser Brewhouse:

Don’t be fooled by the name on the sign. Or the fact that you can sit at a table with a toothless waitress serving you. The menu has pictures on it and when you review what they’re serving, you realize there’s no actual kitchen back there. There’s no real ‘making’ going on. Hot Dogs, Ham Sandwich, Nachos, Chili, Popcorn (what the fuck?!) and Beef Barley soup. Yes, there is a burger. But from where I’m sitting all I can see is a few microwaves and a hand written sign in the kitchen that reads “plese wash hands”. Wow.


Finally. A wrap. Like Mexican food. I like Mexican food. I could get something basic, with chicken and some cheese. Nothing fancy. Easy right? Nope. Wrap-it-up had the most fucked up ideas for what to put in a wrap. Fried fish. Breaded chicken in a marinara sauce. Cole slaw. I shit you not. They were wrapping cole slaw in a fucking tortilla. Where are we? Alabama?

Dunken Donughts:

Dunken Donughts doesn’t serve food. Just donughts. And I don’t eat donughts. See? I don’t even know how to spell the word donughts correctly. Trust me, I got plenty other ways to eat unhealthy without wasting my time on donughts.

Chili’s To-Go:

I’ve been to enough Chili’s To-Go restaurants in airports to get the concept here. It’s all quick, fried, trashy food. Sure, it’s got the same anonymous framed black & white photos on the wall of some asshole holding a fishing pole in front of his 1950-something Chevy truck. And the tables are always sticky. But that’s it. Any resemblance to the actual Chili’s you and I know and love should be left behind. I saw the sign and quickly moved on.

Domino’s Pizza:

See how this goes? It just gets worse and worse doesn’t it? I’ll tell you this, I picked up 3 magazines at the news stand for the flight. GQ London Edition, Vanity Fair and Men’s Vogue. Let me give you this disclaimer first. Yes, I like fashion. And yes, I am a magazine junky. But I had already read this month’s Time, Newsweek, People, US Weekly, Fantasy Football Index, Rolling Stone and Spin. Fuck, I hate Spin magazine. It tricks me every time. Oooh, look Death Cab is on the cover. Let’s read a page and a half of terrible writing about Death Cab surrounded by diarrhea writing about fuck all else. Shit. Jericho and I should write for SPIN. They could use a few monthly Apples and Moustaches. Can anyone out there get us a meeting?

Hot Dog Express:

Hot Dogs are surprisingly big in Atlanta. Not sure why. But at this particular stand there was one option. Hot Dogs. Of course, you could get it topped with anything you can imagine; cheese, onions, chili, spicy mustard and cole slaw. Yep, cole slaw. Bet those fucks down at Wrap-it-up got their ideas after a lunch break at the ol’Hot Dog Express.

Salads and Sushi:

Sushi at an airport? That’s about as smart as taking a deuce at JFK. Everyone knows that rule. You don’t crap at JFK. It just doesn’t happen. You can hold it. Or sneak into one of those executive lounges or something. But never, under any circumstance, should you take a shit at JFK International Airport. Trust me. Have I ever been wrong?

Enough about the food. I could probably do well with skipping a few meals after this trip. All I know is this. I’m a little more than 6 hours away from seeing my wife and my dog and I couldn’t be more excited.

P.S. I got Giants tickets for Saturday. Lincecum vs. Webb. Sucka bitches.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Jericho

Today is Jericho’s birthday. Shit. I remember when Jericho was just a little girl. I remember holding him in my arms as he cried and cried and suckled on my tit. I remember taking him out to the bars last year so he could get his first legal drink. He had 2 cosmos and puked all over himself. What a sweatheart.

Well, it’s a great day and a sad day. I wish I was with Jericho to celebrate his birthday. We’d no doubt be doing his favorite things in the whole world. Drinking Maker’s Mark, watching Michael Jackson videos and arguing over which A-list actor he’d rather make out with. If you had to. No seriously, if you had to. So the next best thing I can do is put together a wish list for Jericho. The following are the top 7 things I wish I could get Jericho for his birthday.

1. A six foot bong and our friend Benny knocking at the door with some of Seattle’s finest. I don’t care if you don’t know Benny or if you don’t smoke but trust me, it would make Jericho’s day.

2. The DVD complete series of One Tree Hill. With special DVD extras including an interview with the head stylist and make up artist on set. That Shaun Michael Murray is a dreamboat. I know Jericho would just love it!

3. The ability to realize that Thomas Jones is not a good pick in the first round of the draft this year. True story. Six years ago Jericho’s fantasy team went undefeated in the regular season then lost in the playoffs. Sure it was a disappointment but he put together a helluva season. The next 5 years? Pitiful. Absolutley brutal. Jericho continues to hitch his wagon to losers like Cedric Benson, Drew Brees and Kevan Barlow. Change strategies dude. Whatever you’re doing now is NOT working. Think Joseph Addai. Think James Jones. Think Braylon Edwards.*

4. A knuckle sandwich. You heard me Jericho.This day isn't all reach arounds and cupcakes.

5. A pony keg of Guiness, an iPod filled with Band of Horses, The Natural, Eddie Vedder’s solo album and every song Jack White has ever made. And the iPod’s on shuffle. And Jericho gets to have Megan Fox dance to every song. No! Jericho gets to have Megan Fox digitally stimulate Jessica Simpson while he enjoys an appetizer of pita bread and spinach dip out of her honey pot. Perfect!

6. A guest appearance on Ebert & Robert. With the subject being: the influence of Johnny Depp on tighty whiteies in the United States.

7. A shopping spree at Ted Baker, Ben Sherman and John Varvatos. Here’s the thing. Jericho is one stylish dude. But he buys all of his gear at thrift stores. You wouldn’t believe it if you saw it. The man works wonders at thrift stores. And I know he loves these brands. But, in the dream world that is this post, I’d like to give him a chance to buy some stuff brand new from the store directly. Funny thing is. He’d never accept this present. He’s like a grumpy old man these days.

*Please note, from here on out anything I write that directly references fantasy football players is complete bullshit. Too many of you fucks are in leagues with me. If you think I’m tipping my hand just to gain some credibility on this blog you’re fucking crazy. Except when I mention Marvin Harrison. I think he’s gonna be a stud this year.

Happy Birthday buddy. You’re the man.

Great post yesterday. I’ll see you this weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Few Dark Knight Thoughts

A Few Dark Knight Thoughts…

Ladies and gentleman, your new opening weekend champ, The Dark Knight! We won’t have final numbers until later today, but the estimate is $155 million, passing Spider Man 3’s $150. Just mind boggling numbers. The question now is how long can Dark Knight keep this going – Spidey 3 dropped over 60% in its second weekend, topping out at $336, good for #12 all time – where will Dark Knight end up? Top 25 all time is all but guaranteed, can it get into the top 10? Stay tuned…

What a great fucking movie. I’m guessing most of you have seen it already, but for those who haven’t, do me a favor, be patient and wait to see it on IMAX. Just trust me on this. I ask so little, I demanded you see Once and remember how fucking good that was? I told you that Shaun Alexander had a talking vagina and remember how spot fucking on I was? Trust me, friends, wait for the IMAX.

All of the praise so far has been heaped on Bale, Eckhart and Ledger – and it should be, they’re fucking fantastic – but how about Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon? Much less heralded and a much more thankless role but the character is absolutely crucial to the story, he’s the glue that makes the whole thing work. Well done, sir.

This actually brings up a different point, the fact that more and more talented, high-brow and acclaimed actors and filmmakers are gravitating towards comic book movies. This is a fascinating trend with several little sub-trends connected to it – namely that audiences are tired of standard action fare and are demanding more from their action movies – as a lifelong comic book fan (particularly Batman), I couldn’t be happier about this. There’s so much context and subtext to these characters and stories and that’s finally starting to come out in the film versions. For example, and this is dorky but stay with me - I grew up reading Batman books and I remember being in ninth grade and reading Hamlet for the first time and thinking “that’s Batman.” Spoiled, aloof, rich kids who lost their fathers and dedicated their lives to revenge – only to find that they had become so consumed with the “idea” of revenge they had created this insatiable need that actually had nothing to do with their parents – basically they’re angry b/c they’re so angry and keep fighting b/c they realize they can never go back to the person they used to be – does that make sense? See, I knew you guys would like that. You know who didn’t like it? My ninth grade English teacher who gave me a C+ b/c she thought it was sacrilegious to compare one of the greatest characters in literature to a superhero from a “child’s” story. Well, guess what, ninth grade English teacher? Go see the Dark Knight and then take a big healthy bite of my asshole.

One last thought, basically everything that could and should be said about Heath Ledger has been said at this point and by people much more eloquent than myself, but if I may:

- I think I speak for everyone when I say that his death has been 100x more impactful than any other celebrity. His age, his daughter, his overwhelming talent, the unexpectedness of the whole thing – it’s been 7 months and it still feels fucking wrong.

- It’s an amazing thing to watch an actor become a great actor right in front of your eyes. With movies like The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale we knew Heath was ridiculously handsome but really had no idea if he was talented or not. If the age of the trashy magazine and gossip show has proven anything it’s that you don’t really need to be talented to have a long, healthy career. Look at Jessica Alba and Ryan Phillippe (who is quickly proving to be the Keanu Reeves of his generation – one of those guys who keeps making movies and keeps making headlines even though everyone knows he’s awful. In fact, we might go as far to say that the Keanu “puzzled look” is being challenged by the Phillippe “frown” as the predominant bad actor trick). We put Heath in this category prematurely, then he makes Monster’s Ball and we all said, “wait a minute, is there something there?” Then Brokeback and we go “hold on, hold on, is this guy really that good?” And then everything crests with the Joker, when we all collectively realized Heath was on his way to becoming one of the best actors of his generation.

- With that said, thank God he is so unrecognizable in The Dark Knight. Honestly, if the movie started and the credits said “and introducing Bill Mankoewitz as the Joker” we all would’ve walked out saying, “man, that Bill Mankoewitz is a great actor.” It’s such a transformation you really have no idea who it is, and we should all be thankful for that.

- You know how every great performance has that “splash of cold water moment?” You get so engrossed and captivated by the character you kind of forget you’re watching an actor acting – then he does something that is so unbelievable it snaps you back to reality for a moment, kind of like someone throwing cold water on you while you’re sleeping. Think of the church, “give me the blood, Eli” scene in There Will Be Blood, when you think to yourself “holy fucking shit, I’m watching something that will be talked about for years.” With Heath, it was the scene after the hospital blows up – he doesn’t have any dialogue, it’s just the way that he walks from the door to the bus. That weird limp / strut / saunter that he created for the character that snaps you back and makes you think “wow!” as his talent reaches out of the screen and fucking smacks you in the face.

- This whole section is basically just a long, ambling preface for this: what a fucking shame. What an incredibly, incredibly bright and wasted future. Fucking sucks, man, we all got robbed on this one.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are you ready for...

Are you ready for…

- The Dark Knight to open with $140 million, the second biggest opening ever behind Spiderman 3?

- Greg Norman’s 82 on Sunday? Let me put it this way, predicting Greg Norman’s 82 is as easy as predicting that Paris would start banging that one dude once Nicole Richie was seen with the dude’s brother. You can set your watch by that.

- Sex and the City 2, 3 and 4? Do you realize that SATC has made $370 million worldwide on a budget of $65 million? Yes, you read that correctly, that’s over $300 million in gross profit.

- Spielberg, Ford and Lucas to each make $100 million from Indy 4? Well, you better be, they’ll be there after this weekend.

- To admit that Will Smith is the biggest movie star of all time? Do you realize that Hancock is his sixth movie to make at least $175 million domestically and his seventh to make at least $350 million internationally? (I’ve been making this claim for the last 6-7 years, btw, this really deserves it’s own post)

- To live in a world where “What Happens in Vegas” that poopy diaper with Ashton Diaz and Cameron Kutcher makes over $200 million worldwide?

- For The Dark Knight to be one of your top ten favorite movies ever? Fuck, I’m excited for this. We’ll chat on Monday…

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First things first. Find coffee


It’s 7:38am east coast time. That makes it roughly 4 o’clock and some change on the west coast. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in SOHO pounding a double soy latte. I took the red eye last night/this morning, leaving my place at 9pm, taking off at 11:30pm and somehow winding up here a few hours later. You see, I flew JetBlue. Which is a great airline but also a distracting airline when you need to sleep. I spent the 6 hours in air watching endless All-Star Game recaps, I Love Money on VH1, ESPN Classic which had USC vs. Illinois in the Rose Bowl game and Michigan vs. Ohio State when they were #1 vs. #2 earlier this year. I also snuck in some Animal Planet, some Deadliest Catch, some MTV’s Next and of course the channel that has a little graphic of an airplane that shows you where you’re flying over, how high you’re flying and at what speed. California and Nevada breezed by and in no time we were passing over Salt Lake City. Wyoming seemed to take the longest to cover for some reason. Then I got entrenched in the USC/Illionis game and soon we were approaching Pennsylvania.

Damn, this coffee could be stronger.

I figure I got about 20-30 minutes of sleep on the flight. The lady next to me, who looked exactly like Rick Steves, kept rubbing her arm against mine as she slept with her mouth wide open. I wanted to dump a package of Splenda in her mouth. I was jealous she was able to sleep and tired of her stupid “safari” vest. We get it. You travel. It doesn’t mean you have to dress like an asshole.

Nobody I know is awake yet. I can’t call Jericho or my wife cause they’re sleeping. (hopefully not together.) And I haven’t taught Patch to text yet so that’s no use. Let me start with this. It’s hot here. No really, it’s balls hot. When we landed it was 71 degrees….and that was at 6:30am. The forecast calls for hot and humid. Sweet. And it seems as though anyone and everyone is sucking off the Yankees. Which is cool I guess. I mean, I get it, the stadium is old and there were a lot of memorable events there. But if I hear about Don Larsen’s perfect game or the Subway Series one more time I might lose it.

If only I had more caffeine in my bloodstream.

So for now I’ll just wait. Wait for my hotel room to be ready. Wait to take a shower and a power nap (fingers crossed.) Wait to get a fucking wireless connection so I can post this delightful little post. And wait until I have a proper sleep before I start judging this city and this neighborhood. Hell, I’m here through Sunday. There’s a whole lot of city left to play with.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sitting on a Plush Pleather Throne

First things first. The decision to have Ben Sheets start over Tim Lincecum tonight in the All-Star game was not a decision made by the coach of the NL squad Clint Hurdle. It was a decision already made by Bruce Bochy and the Giants. The Giants shifted their rotation in order to get one more start out of Lincecum before the break. This fell on Sunday…2 days ago. Hurdle has been advised by the Giants to only use Lincecum in an emergency or for 1 inning at the most. Starting was not an option. So, I think collectively we should all feel good about the effort we put forth to get Timmy as the starter. Ultimately it was more about benefiting the Giants (15 games below .500!) than the NL team tonight. Regardless I hope the NL royally butt fucks the AL. “But Josh Hamilton, he’s such a good story….” Boo-hoo. So the guy got hooked on crack and then snapped out of it. This isn’t Jim Abbott for fuck’s sake. He should be succeeding right now.

I’m sorry. I’m bitter. This morning I sprinted to catch the bus and the fucking bus driver closed the doors on me right as I got there. I looked at him searching for some sort of response and all I got was a shake of his big fat, stupid goateed head. The bus pulled off, I waited another 7 minutes and I spent the entire time thinking about what retribution I wished upon said fat-faced bus driver. Did I want someone to take a bat to his shins when he was walking to his car? No, too much. Did I want him to be struck down with the worst case of hemorrhoids so he couldn’t sit on his plush pleather pseudo throne? Yeah. That’s about it. Fuck you bus driver.

I got my fantasy football magazine on Sunday. What a great feeling. We’re about 2 weeks away from training camp beginning and 4 weeks away from my fantasy draft. Hard Knocks on HBO is about to ramp up and the Brett Favre drama, though I can’t stand him, is actually pretty entertaining. In my opinion, we’re on the brink of the very best time of the year.

Don’t worry about Jericho not posting last week. He’s been secluding himself in his basement wearing only his Batman tighty whiteys in anticipation of this Friday’s release. You think I’m joking? This is the guy who has a tattoo of the Batman symbol on his lower stomach in the same location drunk 18-year-old spring break chicks get a butterfly design. He’s pretty amped up to say the least. Have no fear. He’ll be back with his fearless box office predictions by the end of this week. I promise.

I on the other hand am about to embark on a 2 week whirlwind tour. Ok, it’s not as cool as it sounds. I’m taking the red eye to NYC tonight and then flying to Atlanta on Sunday for the following week. I checked the weather last night in both NYC and Atlanta. Gross. Sticky. Humid. Like being inside the thighs of my high school girlfriend.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seven thoughts at Six o’clock

By Magglio and Jericho

If we ever win an academy award we will have to include Ray Lewis in our acceptance speech. First and foremost for the after party he’d surely throw for us. And secondly, there’s a chance he’d kill us if we didn’t mention him in our speech. In fact, we owe everything to Ray Ray.

I watched every second of the Nadal / Federer match yesterday. Fucking outstanding. I'll leave the analysis for the bald guys in the bad suits (did we ever figure out what species Bud Collins comes from?), but I will say this, I was rooting for Federer for the entire match - then halfway through the fourth set realized that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were sitting in Federer's booth and quickly switched to Nadal.

Sales of watches must be plummeting. Who needs a watch anymore when you carry a cell phone 24 hours a day? I haven’t seriously owned a watch for the past 8 years. Casually? Of course. But not seriously.

Let's leave politics, age and what not out of the debate for a second - there's no way McCain can win b/c America is not ready for a candidate that whistles through his teeth when he pronounces the letter "s" - we may be ready for a black guy, but we're no where near ready for a guy who talks like the fucking beaver from Lady and the Tramp.

Would you rather never read another story about Brett Favre again or never have to see another picture of Heidi and Spencer from The Hills? Kinda a toss up at this point which is mind boggling. When did Favre reach “just die already” status? Oh how the mighty have fallen.

You gotta like that A Rod opted out of a 225 million dollar contract in order to sign a 275 million dollar contract in the same year that he opted out of the marriage to his average looking wife to Kabbalah-bang Madonna in a hotel room. Nothing is sacred at this point. He might trade Jeter for Clooney, his Rolex for an enormous Flavor Flav clock, he might even figure out how to switch his head with Beckham’s. Can someone please make a video of A Rod upgrading his possessions as the Beyonce song “let me let me upgrade you, upgrade you” song from the direct TV commercial plays over top?

I kinda dig Keira Knightley; she’s really attractive in a strange, abstract way, like a Picasso painting or something. However, ultimately, I feel like fucking her would be kind of like ordering a salad at a steakhouse. It’s a great salad, fresh, crunchy, and the first few bites are a fucking killer. But then you keep eating, and it’s getting blander and blander and you’re thinking, “Man, I fucked this up. I could have had a massive filet but now I’m stuck with these endives.”

Friday, July 4, 2008

Two big announcements and a pipe dream come true?

1) It may have taken us over a year but we finally figured out how to get our site up and running on You will no longer have to type in blogspot…it redirects automatically. (Ah, technology. Can’t live with it. Can’t be pervy on Facebook and get away with it anymore.) So tell your friends. It’s much easier now. Just tell them to visit Not “mustaches” but “moustaches.” Technically it can be spelled both ways. But only “moustaches” gets you to our site.

2) Here at Apples & Moustaches we’ve just celebrated our 1-year anniversary. Holy shit. Can you believe it? We’ve been talking hogwash and nonsense for over a year now. I think the date was like June 3rd or something. Technically this blog was my idea. But the name of it was Jericho’s idea. Oh yeah, it was also Jericho’s idea to come up with fake names. But it was my idea to make them sound Peruvian drug lords. So there you have it. Happy Anniversary to us.

3) Has our pipe dream actually come true? Tim Lincecum inches closer to being named the starter for the NL in this year’s All-Star game. If you’re an avid reader you know we’ve been lobbying for this for months now. And now Lincecum stands atop the NL with a 10-1 record and leads the league in strikeouts with 122. His cover of SI this week gave him even more national exposure. (As I told a friend last night, I’ve humped the cover of my SI so many times already my balls have paper cuts.) The teams are announced Sunday. He’s a lock to make the squad. When are the starting pitchers announced? And when can we start our Lincecum for Cy Young campaign? Too soon?

***special thanks to for the pic. great find.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Best Actor Do Over (Part II)

Moving right along...

Javier Bardem -- Before Night Falls
Russell Crowe -- Gladiator
Tom Hanks -- Cast Away
Ed Harris -- Pollock
Geoffrey Rush -- Quills

Did Win: Crowe
Should’ve Won: Harris

Once again, the Academy plays the political game and doesn’t reward the best performance. The voters were split between Crowe and Spacey in 1999, deciding on Spacey at the last minute but kicking themselves the whole time. So Gladiator comes out and it’s fucking awesome and he’s fucking awesome and the Academy thinks “damn it! Crowe is the real deal, we really fucked up last year – let’s just give him this one and call it even.” Obviously this logic is crazy, crazy fucked because it totally overlooks the best performance of the year: Ed Harris in Pollock. Crowe is awesome in Gladiator no doubt, but Harris is a revelation in Pollock, tortured, brilliant, endearing, appalling, a really fantastic performance.

Russell Crowe -- A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn -- I Am Sam
Will Smith -- Ali
Denzel Washington -- Training Day
Tom Wilkinson -- In the Bedroom

Did Win: Denzel
Should’ve Won: Crowe

Ah, so now the Academy’s lack of foresight has completely come full circle. So they wanted to give Crowe the Oscar for the Insider but didn’t, regretted that decision so threw him a conciliation Oscar for Gladiator, and then are caught with their pants down a year later when he gives the performance of his fucking life in A Beautiful Mind. Holy shit is he good in this movie. Not only that, but this is the absolute definition of an Oscar worthy role – he’s crazy, brilliant, delusional, there’s even a “thirty years later” scene where he wears heavy make up! The Academy fucking loves heavy make up! Man, they really kicked themselves in the ass with this one.

(And I know what you’re thinking, what about Denzel? Is this really the best Denzel performance? No fucking chance. Besides if I was completely redoing this thing, and not just starting from 1993 – I’d go back to 1992, take Pacino’s Oscar for Scent of a Woman and give it to its rightful owner, Denzel for Malcolm X. So there)

Adrien Brody -- The Pianist
Nicolas Cage -- Adaptation
Michael Caine -- The Quiet American
Daniel Day-Lewis -- Gangs of New York
Jack Nicholson -- About Schmidt

Did Win: Brody
Should’ve Won: Day-Lewis

A Polish pianist (Oscar!) uses his music (Oscar!) to raise the spirits (Oscar!) of the oppressed Residents (Oscar!) in the Polish ghetto (Oscar!). In one touching scene, he’s about to be executed by the Nazi guard (Oscar!) but starts playing the piano (Oscar!) and the guard is reduced to tears (Oscar!) and lets him live (Oscar!). Nothing against Brody, who is fantastic in this movie, but don’t you think the Academy was swayed a little by the role and not the performance? What’s more, the year previously they gave the award to Denzel for playing a ruthless, vile bad guy, did they want to do that again by giving the statue to Day-Lewis for his sadistic Bill the Butcher? Well, they should have. It’s been five years, which performance do you remember more? Exactly.

(And no, this doesn’t mean I’m redistributing Day-Lewis’ Oscar this year for There Will Be Blood – the guy is the fucking best, If Neeson wasn’t so good in Schindler’s I would’ve given Day-Lewis the Oscar that year for In The Name of The Father too, which is four, what year did Last of the Mohicans come out? Fuck it, give him that one too.)

Johnny Depp -- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley -- House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law -- Cold Mountain
Bill Murray -- Lost in Translation
Sean Penn -- Mystic River

Did Win: Penn
Should’ve Won: Penn

Sean Penn won this competition handily in 2003, and he wins again handily here. I do love Murray’s performance and think it might be the pinnacle of his career, Groundhog’s Day notwithstanding, but he can’t touch Penn. He actually can’t come within a mile of Penn, the best performance of the decade by someone not named Day-Lewis.

(Also, can someone please explain to me why people consider Jude Law to be a great actor? He’s average at best. Have you seen Cold Mountain? You know what separates average actors from good actors and good actors from great actors? The ability to think without looking like you’re thinking. With Hanks you can always tell his character is thinking, with Jude you can always tell that Jude is thinking about what the character must be thinking. Does that make sense? In Cold Mountain, Jude’s face basically says “what does sad look like in the mountains?” for a solid two hours. Jude was great in Ripley, but in retrospect, doesn’t that seem like it was mostly Jude just being Jude?)

Don Cheadle -- Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp -- Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio -- The Aviator
Clint Eastwood -- Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx -- Ray

Did Win: Foxx
Should’ve Won: Foxx

Wow. Huge year. 5 legitimate studs, 5 fucking awesome performances. I’m tempted to go DiCaprio or Cheadle here, because I love them both and they both give their best performances so far, but I don’t think anyone can top Jamie Foxx.

Philip Seymour Hoffman -- Capote
Terrence Howard -- Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger -- Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix -- Walk the Line
David Strathairn -- Good Night, and Good Luck

Did Win: Hoffman
Should Win: Phoenix

WOW! Now this is a massive, massive year with five fantastic performances, including three for the records books with Heath, Hoffman and Joaquin. Considering that this year also had Viggo in History of Violence, Ralph Fiennes in The Constant Gardener and Eric Bana in Munich, the argument could be made that this was the strongest year for male lead performances in the last 50 years and maybe ever. With that said, I’m going against the grain here a little by taking the Oscar away from Hoffman (who is lights fucking out fantastic) and giving the award to Phoenix, b/c I think his role has aged a bit better and ultimately was just more of a physical achievement. (BTW, if I write this column tomorrow I may give it to Heath, and a few days later change my mind again and give it to Viggo or Bana – 2005 is just that good).

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

Did Win: Whitaker
Should’ve Won: McAvoy

The strongest year for male leads is followed by one of the weakest. Honestly, there isn’t a really memorable performance on this list. Whitaker gives the best here, but to be honest, doesn’t even give the best performance in his own movie, so I’m really going against the grain here and giving the award to Forest’s co-star in the Last King of Scotland, James McAvoy. I like Forest, everyone likes Forest, and he finally found a role where his lazy eye could be used as a plot device, but I can’t get past the fact that this feels more like a lifetime achievement award than a recognition of excellence. Besides, McAvoy absolutely carries that movie from the first shot to the last, conveying more hope, intelligence and terror on his face than most actors (I’m speaking to you Mr. Law) do in a lifetime. Fantastic performance.

George Clooney -- Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis -- There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp -- Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones -- In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen -- Eastern Promises

Did Win: Day-Fucking-Lewis
Should Win: Day-Fucking-Lewis

Fun year, four of the best actors up against one of the best ever. Sorry gang, but there’s a reason people don’t like playing Michael Jordan, tackling Barry Sanders or trying to out-cunt Catherine Zeta Jones.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Best Actor Do Over (Part I)

Best Acting Oscar Do Over Part I

I caught a few minutes of Saving Private Ryan the other day and was thinking to myself, “this is by far and away Tom Hanks’ best performance.” Yes, he was fantastic in Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Big, Cast Away and Philadelphia (look at the fucking list! What a career this guy has had – incredible), but nothing can compare to SPR. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the scene after Giovanni Ribisi is killed and Hanks sneaks off to cry in that ravine is the best acted moment of all time (see, this is why it’s fun to have a blog – you can make bold, somewhat unfounded statements that are given some sense of validity b/c it’s in print and you idiots read it. Anyway…). Hanks didn’t win an Oscar for that role, the weird Italian dude that basically raped 16 people on the way to the podium won for Life Is Beautiful (do you ever notice how being European provides you a total get out of jail free card in the US? “He’s not an asshole, he’s just French.” “Well, my landlord probably shouldn’t take a dump in my mailbox, but what can you do? He’s Polish.” If we tried to pull that shit over there we get our asses kicked, but over here it’s a “cultural difference.” Crazy.)

Now, let’s take nothing away from the groping Italian, great performance in a great movie, but better than Tom in SPR? No fucking chance. I don’t think many people would argue that point, so why didn’t Tom take it home? Three reasons:

1) The Oscars aren’t scientific – people are asked to measure something that can’t really be measured – the wisdom of crowds plays in here and momentum and buzz can definitely swing the vote in someone’s favor
2) Great artists inevitably end up competing mostly with themselves – Hanks had already won twice, so regardless of how good he was in SPR, are they really ready to make him a three-time winner?
3) Extension of point 2, the Oscars are highly political and the best person doesn’t always win. Case in point, Hanks won the Oscar in 1993 for Philadelphia when Liam Neeson was far, far, far superior in Schindler’s List. However, Hanks was an industry favorite who’d been around forever and stretched his range considerably with Philadelphia; that equals an Oscar nine times out of ten, regardless of merit. This gets the Oscars into trouble sometimes though, flash forward to 1998, Hanks should’ve won for SPR, but they can’t give it to him b/c they already gave him one five years ago for a lesser role. And round and round and round it goes…

With that said, let’s take a look back at every best acting Oscar from the last 15 years (starting in 1993 and moving forward), take the politics out of it and redistribute the Oscars accordingly.

Daniel Day-Lewis -- In the Name of the Father
Laurence Fishburne -- What's Love Got to Do with It
Tom Hanks -- Philadelphia
Anthony Hopkins -- The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson -- Schindler's List

Did Win: Hanks
Should’ve Won: Neeson

Liam in a landslide. When was the last time you watched Schindler’s List? I own this movie and try to throw it in once a year or so, an incredible experience from start to finish that is absolutely carried by Liam. Lots of good performances on this list including the aforementioned Hanks who is absolutely fantastic, but no one can top Liam this year.

(Also, side note, let’s take Hopkins off the list (when he was in his prime Lecter, “nominate me or I’ll fucking eat your face bones” phase and give Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day the final nomination. Thanks)

Morgan Freeman -- The Shawshank Redemption
Tom Hanks -- Forrest Gump
Nigel Hawthorne -- The Madness of King George
Paul Newman -- Nobody's Fool
John Travolta -- Pulp Fiction

Did Win: Hanks
Should’ve Won: Hanks

Crazy, crazy year, with three of the most rewatchable movie of all time - Pulp, Shawshank and Forrest - all up for best pic (little did TBS know how much cash they’d one day make from the 1994 movie year). My heart pulls a little to Freeman, whose performance gets better and better as the years go on, but Hanks rightfully wins this one. A perfect movie for Hanks to win his first Oscar – has an actor in history ever been able to move back and forth between comedy and drama as well as him? This performance is the absolute apex of that.

Nicolas Cage -- Leaving Las Vegas
Richard Dreyfuss -- Mr. Holland's Opus
Anthony Hopkins -- Nixon
Sean Penn -- Dead Man Walking
Massimo Troisi -- Il Postino

Did Win: Cage
Should’ve Won: Cage

I can’t stand Cage’s head and am tempted to give this to Penn, but I know how much better he was in Mystic River so am fine waiting a few years and besides, Cage really does knock this role out of the park. I’m always wary of roles that scream “Oscar!” – b/c I think the Academy has a tendency to reward the role over the performance sometimes (this peaked in 1999 when Hilary Swank won for Boys Don’t Cry over the far superior Annette Bening in American Beauty) – however, Cage is worthy here, eliciting empathy and disdain in equal measure.

(Also, side tangent, Mr. Holland’s Opus is one of the dumbest movies of all time – I hate, hate, HATE this movie. I can’t believe Dreyfuss got nominated for this cheesy pile of drool. Really? He’s better than Hanks in Apollo 13? Better than Morgan Freeman in Seven? Better than Denzel in Crimson Tide? Better than Pacino or De Niro in Heat? Or De Niro again in Casino? What a fucking stupid nomination.)

Tom Cruise -- Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes -- The English Patient
Woody Harrelson -- The People vs. Larry Flynt
Geoffrey Rush -- Shine
Billy Bob Thornton -- Sling Blade

Did Win: Rush
Should’ve Won: Rush

Strange year, strange films, none of them particularly memorable, good performances on this list but nothing earth shattering. I still think Rush should win even though his performance is more of a supporting role.

Matt Damon -- Good Will Hunting
Robert Duvall -- The Apostle
Peter Fonda -- Ulee's Gold
Dustin Hoffman -- Wag the Dog
Jack Nicholson -- As Good as It Gets

Did Win: Jack
Should’ve Won: Duvall

Now this is a powerhouse year; 4 legends and 1 upstart who has since proven to be one of the best in his generation. As great as Jack was in this movie and in every movie for that matter, this performance hasn’t aged as well as it should have. Parts of the movie seem a bit contrived and the chemistry between him and Hunt falls flat at times. On the other side, you have Duvall, who gives one of the most electric, intense, complicated performances in the last 15 years. Dark, driven, manic, he’s off his fucking ass in this movie.

Roberto Benigni -- Life Is Beautiful
Tom Hanks -- Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen -- Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte -- Affliction
Edward Norton -- American History X

Did Win: Benigni
Should’ve Won: Hanks

Now, with everything I’ve said about Hanks you’d think this would’ve been an easy call, but its actually one of the more difficult due to the absolute brilliance of Norton in American History X. An absolute transformation, it’s one of those performances that are so good it forever changes the way you look at the actor, once someone has scared you that much, like Hopkins in Lambs, a piece of that role always stays with you – do you know what I mean? Anyway, Norton is fucking fantastic and Benigni, even though he proved to be an annoying little homunculus after he won, is devastating in Life, but Hanks is just too good in Ryan. He deservingly gets his second Oscar.

Russell Crowe -- The Insider
Richard Farnsworth -- The Straight Story
Sean Penn -- Sweet and Lowdown
Kevin Spacey -- American Beauty
Denzel Washington -- The Hurricane

Did Win: Spacey
Should’ve Won: Spacey

This is another tough one, I didn’t like the Insider when I saw it for the first time, but caught it again recently and was totally blown away by how brilliant Crowe is in this movie. He’s such a fucking dickwad that we forget how ridiculously talented he is, and he’s lights out here. Penn is also incredible in Lowdown, a criminally underrated performance in a criminally underrated movie. However, we’ve got career-defining performances for these two gentlemen coming up in a few years, so I’m comfortable skipping them here. Spacey is brilliant in American Beauty, another movie that has aged fantastically well. I tend to undervalue his performance in this movie sometimes b/c I really feel that Annette Bening is the heart and soul of the film and the fact that she didn’t win (losing to Swank as I mentioned above) somehow rubbed off on my appraisal of Spacey’s performance (does this make sense or do I need help?) Anyway, Spacey is picture perfect in this movie – honestly he doesn’t even need to appear on screen, his narration is so good and tells you so much about the character that he’d win the Oscar just for that.

Coming Tomorrow: Part II