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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Stop Already: The Myth of Male Stupidity

The thing I hate about movies like My Best Friend's Wedding and the upcoming Made of Honor is the bullshit myth of the male/female best friend relationship. In both films, one half of this ridiculous dynamic is secretly in love with the other, and therein lies the hilarity, I guess. It has always been my opinion that if a man and a woman find themselves to be BFF, why shouldn't they just take the next step and get married? I mean, who else do you want to wake up to every morning and listlessly hump for the rest of your life--your best friend or some jerk who kinda-sorta gets you, but doesn't share your love of the things that truly matter in life, namely, breakfast at IHOP and the Simpsons? I think men and women can be friends (I have women friends), but if you're going to designate the friendship a "best friendship," why wouldn't you want more? Maybe that's a grade school mentality. Please, tell me if I'm wrong.

Another thing I hate about Made of Honor is that scene in the trailer in which Patrick Dempsey's best buddy is trying on lingere in front of him in hopes that he will help her decide on what will send her fiancee into a sexual frenzy the fastest. Bullshit, I say! As stated before, I have women friends, but there is no way in hell any of them are gonna just start trying on underwear in front of me and ask for my opinion. But maybe that's what happens in a male/female platonic best friendship--maybe one feels comfortable giving the other a boner.

But my biggest beef with Made of Honor is that it perpetuates the "men-are-so-stupid-they-don't-give-a-second-thought-to-eating-potpourri" stereotype.

"What do we do with this party mix," one of Dempsey's male friends asks, shoving a handful of potpourri into his gaping maw. "That's potpourri," a put upon McDreamy sighs. Yeah, Hollywood, we ALL know it's potpourri, that is why none of us eat it...EVER!

I've never seen potpourri that appears remotely edible. It's usually some shade of blue or lavendar (unless it's a Christmas blend, in which case it probably contains tiny pine cones) and covered in sparkles. I've never mistaken a dish of potpourri for barbecue chips or Chex mix. No man has, because men know snack foods--know them intimately and love them passionately--yet an oft repeated joke in the film and television world is that men are so clueless they will shovel anything in their mouths, including fragrant, sparkly wood chips. I'm sick of it, Hollywood! It's a lie! So, please

Read the rest of this article.

Pizza Break!

Quick, somebody call Dr. Spaceman! Paula Abdul is out of purples!

Last night on Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay introduced the very first Pizza Challenge. No one can screw up a pizza, right? Then again who thought someone could frack up something as simple as a hamburger like Matt (one of only two remaining fat guys) did last week?

The badly-named Lil' Bit of Italy, Lil' Bit of France pizza earned the women's team yet another victory, beating the men's team's Pizza with Green Stuff and Dirt. And what did the ladies win? 90-dollar hamburgers served with black truffle fries! Now that, Mr. Ramsay, is a prize.Dinner service was completed for the first time last night, even though Rosann forgot that food needs heat to cook properly and Louross, the self-proclaimed "little Filipino man," torched the shit out of some steaks. Nobody was sent home since burn victim Vanessa decided to leave and everyone promised to do better and give 110 percent and blah, blah, blah.
This season's stand-outs (right now):

-Jen: Unfortunately the shows most obnoxious contestant (possibly to date) is also the most competent chef. She's loud, bitchy, and over confident, but she also created last night's winning pizza and the Dark Lord seems to like her, so we shall see.

Charlotte's own Petrozza: Because of some quick thinking on Petrozza's (the other remaining fat guy) part, Louross didn't look like such the food tard. He pulled one over on Ramsay's staff and that has never been done before. Kudos, Trozzy!

This season's jack-slaps (right now and forever more)

Matt: "He knows what he's talking about, but I can't look at him," my wife said as we watched Matt make yet another pained facial expression. This is a guy who is naturally pretty ugly, but can make himself even more grotesque with a simple nose-scrunch or frown. Plus, he's an idiot.

Ben: I've had it with Ben. He's a douchebag of the highest order. He forgot to clean the mushrooms that went on the pizza the men's team presented to Ramsay, giving the women another win and Ramsay a mouthful of dirt. Plus, he had the nerve to tell Louross that his pizza tasted like something you could get at Pizza Shack. I wonder if he was talking about Pizza Shack in Sparks, NV or one of the many Pizza Shack locations in Canada. Pizza Shack?!

Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What can't NPH do?

What kind of a hospital would employ a 16 year old surgeon? Teenagers are notoriously clumsy and show poor judgement at times. Can you believe such a high risk surgeon would even be insurable to a public healthcare provider? And if so, imagine the premiums a hospital would have to pay in professional liability insurance just to to have a teenage surgeon?

Yet from 1989-1993 ABC tried to get us to believe that a boy genius could pass through high school in 9 weeks, graduate from med school at age 14 and take on the full duties of a doctor who handles everything from selecting organ transplant candidates to plastic surgery consultation to removing his girlfriend's appendix. And it worked! The country bought it hook, line and sinker and we never again questioned the realities of the teen doctor. And the reason it worked was Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can do anything.

Neil Patrick Harris has been able to cross two barriers in his career. The first was overcoming his teen image as Doogie Howser, M.D - going on to play roles in film, TV and Broadway. The second is his ability to live as an openly gay man, but still be able to portray a wild, womanizing playboy in TV and movies and nobody thinks twice about it.

Unlike Anne Heche, who's lesbian relationship with Ellen Degeneres, couldn't get the public to believe that even she could have a romance with "Sexiest Man Alive" Harrison Ford, NPH has erased any concerns or doubts that being gay and being a playboy on screen would create a problem.

Whether he's playing himself as a whoremongering drug addict in the two Harold and Kumar movies or as popular ladies man Barney Stinson on CBS's "How I Met Your Mother," NPH has shown superhuman agility at bagging women. In fact NPH was nominated for an Emmy last year for 'Mother,' showing that gay actors can flourish in straight roles.

So whether he was trying to pass his driver's test the same day he has to perform open heart surgery, or kissing dudes and dudettes on and off camera, NPH can do it all.

So here's to Neil Patrick Harris - the straightest gay guy I know.

Read the rest of this article.

Ta-Da...Celebrities (sort of)

Celebrities--they're just like us! They drive cars. They enjoy an occasional trip to Starbucks. They film themselves having sex. They drunkenly head-butt people in bars. They have an insatiable need to perform magic tricks.

Until Vh1 gives us I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of This Sex Tape or Celebrity Head-Butt Challenge, we'll have to be content with watching d-listers satisfy their magic cravings on Celebracadabra, the dumbest and most irritatingly compelling piece of celebreality trash the network has given birth to yet. Really--who was asking for this? I guess this question could be asked of any reality program, but seriously, isn't this, like, the weirdest?

I haven't seen a complete episode, but I saw way more of one then I intended yesterday while waiting for my baked potatoes to, um, bake. I did see C. Thomas Howell (no, really) fail at a dollar bill levitation trick. I also saw one of the Pussycat Dolls and Kid, of popular hip-hop comedy duo Kid 'n Play, perform two fairly amazing feats of illusion. I haven't been so impressed by street magic since my last visit to Heartland restaraunt on magic night when I was a child. When we lived in Michigan, my parents used to take us to this restaurant called Heartland which was supposed to be an eatery that focused on healthier eating choices. Ironically, they had the largest smoking section I have ever seen in my life, but that is beside the point. One night a week, some dude would walk around and perform simple little magic tricks while you waited for your food. I'll never forget the night he made two red balls appear in my fist. It blew my little mind!

I still don't know who this show (or Viva Hollywood) is for exactly. I think I'm going to pitch Celebrity Heat-Butt Challenge though. Look for it this summer. Read the rest of this article.

Monday, April 28, 2008

DVR Weekend

What a weekend, huh? More sexually-explicit pictures of Miley Cyrus were leaked onto the interwebs, Emma Watson celebrated her 18th birthday with see-through panties, and I cleaned my back porch! Wild! I had time to tidy up the DVR a little too.
1. Ocean Force: Panama City Beach-TruTV's Ocean Force takes all the fun of COPS and skews it a little younger. And a lot more naked. True, there are scores of nekkid crack addicts wandering bleary-eyed through the streets, bleeding and swearing on COPS, but Ocean Force has college girls on Spring Break, probably on crack, but not bleeding. Unfortunately, the episode I watched was a total sausage-fest (blech!). Swerving frat boys, a sliced-up fat dude, and a booze-addled bald guy barricaded in his hotel room were the stars of this half-hour. I learned a lot about what the police department goes through during Spring Break. Then I broke out my beer bong and prompty forgot it all. Hell yeah! (Alas, Captain Nauticus never showed up--that would've been sweet)
Made: Mtv's Made has given us many memorable characters over the last couple of years. There was the emo girl who wanted to be a cheerleader even if it meant losing her boyfriend who wore jeans tighter than her own; the fat gay kid with manboobs who wanted to play soccer; the uptight white girl who wanted to gangsta rap. But Geeky McDorkpants here takes the cake (which is a good thing, because fat gay kid doesn't need any more cake). He spent his high school years lonely and dateless (I know, it's shocking), but with the help of Mtv, he hoped to turn his life around, get "chic," and procure his first kiss.

I don't know if he ever achieved the level of "chicness" that he wanted or if he truly connected with the inner rock star his diminutive life coach was convinced he had inside, but he did get that kiss. Over the course of the episode, he actually attempted the kiss three times, successful only on his final try because Mtv hired a hooker to do the deed (that is my theory--I don't have the facts to back that up. She just looked skanky, hookerish). Watching Geeky repeatedly fail at dating was kind of difficult to watch at times, but in the end it was just as satisfying as any other episode of Made. So...yeah.

See you next time I feel like it!

Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Having a blast...a Laserblast

Who among hasn't fantasized about getting revenge on our enemies with a laser cannon from space? It's pretty common, right? OK, maybe it's not common, but it'd be pretty great, huh?

Meet Billy Duncan. He's having a bad day. His mother is a whore, he just got a speeding ticket from two pot-head cops, and he can't seem to find his shirt. To cope, Billy drives his van into the desert where he finds a neat-o laser cannon. After retrieving a bulky necklace from a pile of ashes in the shape of a human being (Billy doesn't seem to mind), Billy gets down to blowing shit up, including a car belonging to the town bad-ass who tries to rape his girlfriend at a birthday party, the two bumbling deputies who have it out for him, and Roddy McDowall. Each time he puts on the necklace and straps the laser cannon onto his arm, Billy turns into a gibbering green-faced imbecile with sharp teeth and glassy eyes who hates automobiles.

This movie's got something for everybody: shirtless dudes, a birthday party, attempted rape, exploding cars, aliens that kind of look like turtles and Roddy McDowall! It's also pretty damn short and relatively fast-paced.

Unfortunately it's a little too short and could leave you, the viewer, with several UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:

1. How did the young man at the beginning of the film get his hands on the laser cannon? We see him green-faced and crazy, but other than that we're kept in the dark. Do I smell prequel?

2. Why do the turtle-aliens leave the laser cannon behind? After executing the first human victim of the laser gun's eerie powers, the turtle-guys climb back in their spaceship and fly away. Pretty lazy, dudes. Sheesh Louise!

3. Why does Billy's mom go to Acapulco so much? Is she an entertainer? A high class call girl who accompanies rich businessmen on expensive vacations? Is she an international spy? It is suggested that she makes good money, so it could be any one of those things. We know she goes a lot though because of the following exchange:

Billy: When are you gonna stop going to Acapulco?
Billy's Slutty Mom: When they stop asking me!

Who are they? The mystery deepens...

4. Are Chuck and Froggy more than just friends? They sure seem to hang around each other a lot (think Zach Morris and Screech, only more gay) and at one point Froggy exclaims, "I can hardly wait," while driving down the highway with his best pal. We're never told what he can hardly wait for, but I bet it has something to do with blow jobs. Or lunch. Maybe just lunch.

5. Why don't the turtle-aliens turn Billy into a pile of ash when they shoot him at the end? As far as we know Billy could still be alive. Do I smell sequel???

6. What is in Tony Craig's briefcase? Whatever it is, it starts beeping whenever Billy's near. I thought maybe Tony was going to end up being one of the turtle-aliens in disguise. Turns out we never actually find out who he is, but everyone he shows his mysterious badge to seems impressed. Read the rest of this article.

The Crumbling Arch

Friday afternoon I read an article about American Idol sweetheart David Archuleta and I couldn't agree more with it. I know, I know. In some of your eyes I've committed a sin worse than Saint Peter. In the past I have touted Archuleta as the next American Idol, called him America's most likable babysitter--I've even given him a super cute nickname.

My admiration for The Arch came crashing down around me like a glittering disco ball of sadness Thursday afternoon at work. In an attempt to give each song on my iPod a fair chance I had it in shuffle mode. After some Ramones, a Pixies tune, and a song about letters from TMBG, David Archuleta's take on Stevie Wonder's version of The Beatles "We Can Work it Out" started. Now first of all, I did not add this song to my playlist to be ironic, but I also hadn't listened to it since I purchased it from iTunes. I remember at the time I thought it might not be that bad, but I am a man, so I can admit when I'm wrong, and, brother, let me tell you, I was horribly, terribly, wrongfully wrong. It sucks. It's like elevator muzak with vocal accompaniment--whiny vocal accompaniment at that. This spawned a moment of quiet reflection. For the past few weeks, The Arch's televised performances had left me empty, wondering, "Is that all there is?" Everyone, from morning radio DJs to my lovely wife, was saying the same thing: everything Archuleta sings sounds exactly the same. And it's true! The Arch finds a way to make every song he sings sound bland and uninspired. And it doesn't help that most of the songs he chooses are that way to begin with.

Ironically, Archuleta was what made me watch American Idol beyond the auditions this year. I'm a sucker for a sob story (and stories about fathers and sons--In the Name of the Father, beautiful film--check it out), and The Arch's tale of paralyzed vocal cords was one of the sobbiest (though there was that girl whose father died while she was on the way to her audition and the whiny douchebag who lived in his car). I thought he was likable, like a Boy Scout sent from heaven on a cloud of pixie dust and good feelings, and I honestly wanted to see what he was capable of. Now I know. Now I'm over it. It wasn't until Friday that I found an article that so beautifully expressed my own feelings. Leave it to the AV Club.

Now, I don't agree that the Arch will be the destroyer of the American Idol franchise because the show makes money and people love money (it's true--google it). I do believe that he has become the poster boy for the mediocrity that has been allowed on the Idol stage this season. It's the 12 year old girls and their sex-starved mothers who are keeping Little David around and it's the judges that keep filling our hearts with good feelings for the mildly-talented little imp. Don't be mad at the Arch though--he's just a sweet high-school boy who sings better than some and has a dad with enough free time who is motivated enough to catapult him to the top of the middle. We all know that if he wins this year he is less likely to have the career of say a Kelly Clarkson, and more likely to end up like this guy:
But, yeah, I'm over it.
Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Um, what?

Any idea what this film is about exactly? Read the rest of this article.

The Littlest Ex-Groom

America loves congenital kidney disease. There's no denying it. And cute African-American children with this condition are bound to have the world on a string; that is until they get older. But America forgives aging, at least for men.

But America also only likes congenital kidney suffers who are family men. So when news broke that 40 year old Different Strokes star Gary Coleman wed his 22 year old girlfriend of five months, Shannon Price, he was destined to return to the 'A' List and his film
"Church Ball" would start a revival in the religious sport movie genre. Also the institution of marriage was bound to profit from his celebrity endorsement. Like Brad and Angelina with global poverty, Gary Coleman was going to help eradicate that 50 percent divorce rate.

Now that scenario has gone from a sure thing to a long shot. News broke this week that he and his newlywed wife are filing for divorce after 8 months of marriage. TV Judge Lynn Toler will have to hear their case on an upcoming two-part episode of "
Divorce Court." (Check your local listings.)

Price is angry over their monthly fights (all 8 of them), Coleman's complete lack of friends, their mediocre private life and that Coleman still won't have sex with her. In fact Gary admits that at age 40 he's still a virgin. (Hmmm, I think I see a movie concept there.) Price is also unhappy that Coleman disappears inexplicably from their home in the middle of the night.

The only thing left to wonder about is how this will affect his status as a security guard? Many people will probably wonder how they can trust him to secure the outlet mall against "the Gooch" if he can't provide security to his own ill conceived marriage?

So for now that lawsuit against the producers of Avenue Q will have to stay in everlasting frivolous limbo. Arnold Jackson has bigger fish to fry.

-jordan Read the rest of this article.

Friday, April 25, 2008

America's Next Top Model-Cycle 10: Week 9

LL is taking the week's in honor of the loss of an amazing competitor, who truly embodied what ANTM is all about, Stacy Ann.

Instead of the usual bitch fest that is LL's posts, I shall treat you with a story.

So, a young man with autism is asked by his teacher to go ask for some rubber cement. He walks out of the room and heads over to the neighboring teacher's classroom, but does not say anything. His teacher asks another student with autism, who happens to be his girlfriend, to go over their and ask for some rubber cement. She walks across and asks, "Do you have a rubber?" We know what was on her mind....


Maybe this will help tide you over as well. See you next week. -matt Read the rest of this article.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wooooowwwwww...for real?

When my wife told me about it last month, I thought she was mistaken. I saw a commercial for it, but I was convinced it was a new, stupider-than-usual GEICO ad. Last night I actually sat through it. I’m still not sure it isn’t an elaborate practical joke being played on America by the nice people at My Network TV.

I’m talking, of course, about William “Flavor Flav” Drayton’s brand new sitcom, Under One Roof. It’s kind of like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air if Will was in his late 40’s and an ex-con, Aunt Vivian was a WASPy shrew, and Geoffrey was an Asian lady who incessantly spouts jokes in an offensive accent. If I understood the Flavor-rapped theme song correctly, Under One Roof is the story of two brothers—one a financial success, the other a recently released prison inmate with two strikes against him who looks an awful lot like Public Enemy hype man, Flavor Flav—forced to live in a mansion (though the exterior shots make it look like a Colombian drug kingpin’s jungle compound) together. The rich goofball brother, his undersexed wife, their two snotty kids—an FHM model who loves to shop (Hilary Banks?) and a racially/sexually confused son (Carlton?)—and a rude, horny Asian maid, put up with Flav’s shenanigans because he is family and family takes care of family dammit!

In last night’s episode, Kadeem Hardison guest-starred as Flav’s former cell mate, a friendly escapee who takes an entire cocktail party hostage. Amid wall-to-wall “men-hump-other-men’s-butts-in-prison” jokes, laughs were had and lessons were learned, the most important lesson being that regular viewing of Under One Roof could turn you retarded.

Try some of these hilarious jokes and one-liners on for size:

“You misfortune cookie” (directed at Asian maid, Su Ho)

“I ain’t gonna give up like a little bitch.”
“If you go back to prison, you’ll be somebody’s little bitch.”

“I don’t know what you did, but these eggs are delicious.”
“Pan was dirty, so Su Ho cleaned with spit.”

“Better get your sticky buns ready.”

“Me so horny.”

“I’m taking the girls to France, the most romantic city in the world.” (sorry, that was from Flavor of Love 3)

It’s easy to trash a show this awful—the writing is abysmal, the humor is broader than the Indian Ocean, Flavor Flav acts about as well as he raps—the challenge is finding something worth liking. I’ll try. Ummmmm. The character Flav plays is named Calvester. There. That’s funny…right?

Flavor Flav is arguably one of the most likable public figures in recent history, but this show won’t do anything for his legacy. In all honesty, Under One Roof will more than likely disappear in the next few months, never to be mentioned by anyone again. But seriously, My Network Television, it’s just you and me talking now. This hackneyed, pun-heavy, racist, unfunny, back alley abortion of a sitcom is a joke, right? Right?
Read the rest of this article.

More My Favorite Hillbilly from Jordan Beall

My favorite TV hillbilly would be Ernest T. Bass from The Andy Griffith Show. Ernest T was a kooky, oddball mountain man who lived outside Mayberry.

Ernest T. was not a regular character on the show. Infact he was only in a total of 5 episodes during the show's eight seasons. Yet he has been listed as one of the most notable TV characters of all-time.

Ernest T.'s calling card was throwing rocks through windows with notes attached to them. He also liked to speak in rhymes, often yelling lines like "You ain't seen the last of Ernest T. Bass! or "Right or wrong I'm here to fight. Unless you run away with fright. And if you wonder who I be, it's me it's me, it's Ernest T!"

Interestingly enough, it was revealed later he was illiterate, so who wrote all those notes? That is one of TV's great unexplained mysteries.

Despite often being seen as insane or stupid, Ernest T was able to break out of jail or escape capture numerous times in his life. Every year during the annual Mayberry Days Celebration in Mt. Airy, NC - Ernest T. Bass impersonators line the streets reciting his most famous lines.

Ernest T. was played by Howard Morris, who was one of the show's directors and went on to direct Hogan's Heroes and Bewitched.

On a side note: My Favorite Lawson

That would be another resident of Mayberry -
Floyd Lawson, the local baber. Oh sure Matt Lawson is a funny guy, and Jen Lawson is super hot and fun to cyberstalk. But it's Floyd's mysterious persona and dark secrets who has me wanting to know more. Nirvana even have a song about him.

- Jordan
Read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Three Stooges in Kitchen Kut-Ups!

Face it--he's just not that into you. No, I'm not talking about the horrible book that Oprah got all wet over a few years back, I'm talking about Celebri-Chef/Prince of Darkness Gordon Ramsay. "He just doesn't like me," Ben, seen here experiencing the wrath of the Dark One, lamented to America on last night's brand-spanking new, yet oddly familiar, episode of Hell's Kitchen. Awww, don't take it so hard, Benny. Chef Ramsay doesn't like any of you doughnuts.

Ramsay does seem to have a special place in his black heart for Ben though, but can you blame him? He's an arrogant, kiss-ass, high-fiving white guy, who can't tell the difference between a compliment and an insult (though I will admit that is a thin line to walk in Chef Ramsay's kitchen). Ben wasn't the only wannabe chef Ramsay focused on last night, but he was the one that most disappointed Gordon. Craig and Matt were singled out as well and rightfully so. Matt sent raw chicken out to children (children!!!). I like how Ramsay always acts like his contestants are intentionally serving raw meat to the patrons of his fake restaurant. I can only imagine how stressful the whole situation is, but I'm sure Matt wasn't gunning for the toddler with flames painted over his eye last night. It was Craig who was sent home though for the crime of being a complete donkey. Even I can cook pasta, Craig. In the timeless words of GOB Bluth, "C'mon!" Read the rest of this article.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Favorite Hillbilly by Jennifer Lawson

I really don’t like hillbillies. I grew up in South Jersey –in a place that liked to claim it was below the Mason-Dixon line…where there were lots of Rebel flags and trucks with big wheels and lots of mud. From this experience, I grew to despise all things hillbilly.

But, I was asked very nicely by my loving husband to write this article. Just a little background – I wrote an article a week or so again, but due to technical difficulties, it was lost in cyberspace. I finally decided to rework a new version, in praise of the same hillbilly, Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel, Spuckler.

How can you not honor and revere a man who can outsmart Homer J. Simpson by collecting 300 pretzel coupons so that he could feed his abundant number of children? A man who can save a boy’s life through whittling? A man who is married to his sister/cousin by the same Homer J. Simpson he duped?

Cletus truly epitomizes the hillbilly way of life. He is a free spirit – not caring about what society thinks about his wife-beater or his wife beatings. He manages to maintain a loving and warm household for his family and pets. He is an upstanding citizen who tries his best to make ends meet. He truly is an amazing hillbilly.

Read the rest of this article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Favorite Movie by Carissa Andrea

What is your favorite film?
My favorite film is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

What makes this film so essential in your opinion?
I think this movie is amazing. It's filmed in a way that i've never seen before and it's creative and unique and I love that.

And why should anyone else care?
Everyone should care because too many movies are the same in these days and it really breaks the mold

xxoxo Carissa Andrea
Carissa Andrea was one of the very first people to accept our offer of internet friendship on Myspace. She has a cousin named Matt Lawson and very colorful hair.
Read the rest of this article.

Sunday Bloody Sunday

As if we needed another reminder that it's time to euthanize Marmaduke:

Really? Marmaduke finds a magical lamp complete with man-boobed genie inside while digging in the backyard? Is that what it has come to? Marmaduke is never funny and it looks terrible, but this Sunday's installment pissed me off. And the funniest thing about that Dog Gone Funny item is that the dog's name is Jill and that isn't funny in the slightest.

And for some reason this poor soul has taken on the thankless task of explaining Marmaduke to the masses. I commend him in this endeavor, though I fear for his sanity.

You like the name for our Sunday Funnies feature? Is it too much? Read the rest of this article.

My Favorite Hillbilly by Jordan Beall

I have two that come to mind. I don't know which was more hillbilly-ish. I had a job interview at a printing company a few years ago and I met one of their lead designers. He was a total redneck. A very nice guy, but his hillbilly qualities were in full effect. First off, while everyone else at this warehouse/office environment were wearing button down shirts or regular t-shirts, this guy had on a lime green tank top. His arms were covered in tattoos. They were random images that were haphazardly placed along his arms. He had Tweety Bird then a few inches down a Four-leaf clover, a rainbow, a leprechaun, some odd symbols, a cursive name and other 2x2 inch images. Perhaps he was experimenting with rub on tattoos that day, who knows.

The second hillbilly was a less pleasant experience. At my old job at the sign shop, we had this girl and her boyfriend come in who wanted name decals for their jetskis. The girl had the worst God-awful teeth you ever saw. She was missing several teeth and the ones she had were dark yellow and black. It was quite obvious that she never brushed in her life. She still had her two front teeth, but the edges of them were crusty and black at the tip ends. I entertained the idea of taking a sniff of her breath, but I worried I might throw up right then and there. I wondered just how sad and desperate the boyfriend must have been to settle for her. She wasn't hot either, so it's not like she displayed some Austin Powers-like charm that won him over the teeth.

Hillbillies pictured not necessarily hillbillies described.

Read the rest of this article.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Favorite Movie(s) by Kumi Solo

Hello matt !

What is your favorite film?

all films of hayao miyazaki, virgin suicides etc etc.

What makes this film special to you?

i feel good after watching these films, i found some similar personality in the actresses.

And why should anyone else care?


best regards,

kumi * * *

Kumi Solo makes delightful pop music in Paris, France.  And she doesn't care if you agree with her film choices or not so there!  (I tend to agree with them) Read the rest of this article.

Lessons Learned from the World of Apatow

Simply put, the films in the Judd Apatow-iverse are romantic comedies both men and women can enjoy. There is a heart beating under all that filth which makes them both touching and fucking hilarious. The best comedies coming out now have the Apatow stamp all over 'em. But while movies like Knocked Up, Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall can be appreciated by both sexes, the uncomfortable situations, relationships, and plot lines are most identifiable to those of the male species. Men see a lot of themselves in the lovable schlubs that populate the Apatow-iverse, and women could frankly learn a lot about their husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and fathers from studying these films quite closely. Don't get me wrong--there are lessons for men here too--lessons in how to better oneself in all aspects of life, only delivered with sex jokes and swearing--the sugar, if you will, that helps the medicine go down.

1. It's OK to be a late bloomer. Heck, it's OK to save yourself for the woman you will someday fall in love with. Abstinence isn't just for youth groups and cockteases anymore! It's actually quite offensive that society views men to be perpetually erected horndogs unendingly searching for something to stick their dicks in. You might be saying, "Yeah, but dude, virgins are gay," and you couldn't be further from the truth (unless you are actually talking about a homosexual virgin--then, yes, that virgin would, technically, be gay). 4o Year Old Virgin's Andy Stitzer was simply suffering from a confidence problem, and as the old cliche goes, if you don't love yourself, it's impossible to love anybody else and make dirty love to them on the kitchen table. Andy's co-workers find it a tad upsetting that he is still a virgin at an age when many American males are already divorced and 3 college co-eds deep in a mid-life crisis, but instead of poking fun, they do everything they can to boost his confidence, which turns out to be the best fix.
2. Females do not have the monopoly on close, meaningful friendships. Sure, they'll go to the bathroom in herds and I've heard tell of ladies sharing a dressing room together, but what does that prove? Men don't accompany each other to the bathroom because it's dumb and we don't share dressing rooms because it's kind of weird, but that doesn't mean we can't have a meaningful friendship. Look at Evan and Seth. I mean, actually look at the picture--they're holding hands! Now I'm not saying men need to walk around holding hands to prove how deep their friendships are, but I am saying two men comfortable with each other enough to hold hands is a beautiful thing. Superbad is actually my favorite of the Apatow-produced films not only because it is insanely funny, but because I identified with it so much. Seth and Evan's friendship mirrors the friendship I share with my two closest friends. I think some men keep their feelings for their male friends a secret from the ladies in their lives, but not from the male friends themselves. My wife is always ending phonecalls with her friends with a heartfelt "I love you," and though that has only happened once with a friend of mine, I don't see why it couldn't happen more.

3. It's OK to cry. It's OK to weep like a woman and disturb your fellow hotel guests. Break-ups hurt men just as much as they hurt women. I know Michael Savage would berate me on his racist, hateful radio show if he read this, but it's totally acceptable for men to show emotion once in awhile, and I think most men are OK with it. I also identify with Peter from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I dated a girl for many years, ignored problems in the relationship, and was heartbroken to learn that she had cheated on me. Sure, she wasn't a TV star and I wasn't nude when she broke the news, but she did cheat on me with a drug-dealing pizza delivery boy--I mean, that's fucked up, right? I digress. I cried, though. I listened to Morrissey and Postal Service's Nothing Better on repeat, but I got through it. Pain makes you stronger--it inspires you to do things. Peter wrote and performed a Dracula musical with puppets--I started this amazingly hilarious blog a handful of people read. It's best to focus on yourself, which Peter does, do something with your life, and then open yourself up to a new love. Hey, it worked for me.
4. So, guys, you may not want to hear it, but making a change isn't a bad thing. I mean, I know, you're an individual and you've got this "no bitch is going change me" attitude, but that is a stupid attitude to have and quite frankly you're stupid if you resist change. Has it ever occurred to you that when your girlfriend is trying to change something about you, she's often doing it for the better? That isn't always true--my ex was always trying to get me to smoke weed, but more often than not I think women have our best interests at heart. Take Ben from Knocked Up. Would he truly be happy living in a house full of goofballs, smoking weed nonstop, his savings dwindling away for his entire life? Some of you are saying, "hell, yeah," but you're wrong. Ben was wrong and he knew it. Obviously you don't have to impregnate a one-night stand to motivate yourself to change, unless you are super lazy and you think that's the only cure. Even Andy got rid of the action figures that we keeping him anchored to the past. Change is good. Or maybe you're more comfortable with the word compromise. Fine. Same thing, but fine. It isn't a sin to dress better or pursue a better job or maybe dye your hair back to a natural color. And hey, maybe someday you'll be a respected screenwriter and Judd Apatow will make you the next big comedy superstar.
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My Favorite Hillbilly by Jonathan

My favorite Hillbilly is really a Hilldolly. Dolly Parton, that is. With her distinctive mountain soprano and breasts designed to mimic the scenic view from her Tennessee Mountain home, Dolly Parton is truly a Hillbilly treasure. She's a walking monument to the tenacity, endurance, and beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Over the course of her 40-plus-year career Parton has descended (literally) from her dirt poor childhood to the (figurative) top of the entertainment world with top 10 pop hits such as "Nine to Five" and starring roles in major motions pictures like Nine to Five. She's written about a bazillion songs, many of them good, a few of them indispensable, and she has persevered through many hardships, heartbreaks, and cosmetic surgeries with grace, humor, and poise. It's easy to find things not to like about Dolly Parton. She plays the role of the ditzy blonde a little too well and, in keeping with Hillbilly ideas of glamour and showmanship, her appearance (boobs, botox, etc.) often borders on the grotesque, but the depth and sophistication of her best songs and the self-effacing humility and genuine good will that she exhibits in her public appearances make it well-neigh impossible not to like her. But to truly appreciate Dolly Parton, you must appreciate ALL of Dolly Parton. You can't have "Jolene" without Dollywood. Well, you can, but you shouldn't. Dolly Parton is all of one piece. She's arty and kitschy. She a down home yokel and a sophisticated folk singer. She's the embodiment of what happens when dirt poor isolation becomes mainstream and, as far as I can tell, she's never pretended to be otherwise. So, yeah. My favorite Hillbilly is Dolly Parton. Read the rest of this article.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Favorite Giant Mythical Turtles

A rare turtle, thought to be extinct, was rediscovered in Vietnam this week. He's not the cutest reptile in the universe, in fact, it kind of looks to me like he tried to take his own life with a shotgun blast to the face and failed, but who am I to question the design instincts of God. The whole thing got me thinking about some of my favorite giant mythical turtles, most of which are much cuter than this ugly son of a bitch. Sorry, sorry. That's inappropriate. He can't help it.

Bowser: He's a turtle, right? Well, he's certainly turtley enough for our purposes here. Bowser has come a long way from the original Super Mario Brothers in which simply jumping over him and touching a golden axe was enough to send him plummeting into the lava below his retractable bridge. Now he can drive a go-kart, travel through space, and participate in the Summer Olympics (he dominates in Hammer Throw!)

Gamera: He may be big, scaly, and sharp-toothed like Godzilla, but Gamera loves children (as opposed to stomping on them and everything else for that matter). Not only that, but this giant space turtle can fly. He's one of the rare giant rubber monsters that want to preserve the peaceful world of the Japanese rather than turn it into a smoldering rubble.

Turtle Man: Not quite as popular as the Church Lady or George Bush or Massive Head Wound Harry or really any of Dana Carvey's characters, Turtle Man (or Turtle Guy, depending on how you remember the movie trailer), something. I haven't seen the bright-shining classic that is Master of Disguise, but I do remember this jolly, fat rube in his green suit and tiny glasses. If you don't remember, check him out here. As far as I can tell, Turtle Man is much more turtley than anybody else in this so-called Turtle Club. So, yeah, Turtle Man is stupid.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Oh, man, what child of the 90's doesn't love these guys? There was a cartoon, action figures, a live action movie, a breakfast cereal, an Archie comic series, and a rock album featuring the heart-wrenching ballad Skipping Stones sung by the Turtle's sensei, Master Splinter. While some young men's lives were turned upside down when Optimus Prime swore on the big screen, it was Raphael's exclamation of "damn" that rocked my world. I remember it was a big topic of discussion in my elementary school music class. Their latest incarnation was minor (but I would argue quite enjoyable), but these turtle boys will always be one of my favorite memories of growing up.

Let us know who we missed. Leave a comment or write to us at
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

My (Other) Favorite Hillbilly by Matt Lawson of Giant Electric Penguin

I’ve always been partial to the Banjo Kid from Deliverance. He was just so unlike anybody I had ever seen before, and I’ve been to West Virginia too many times to count. So weird-looking and pathetic, but also so obviously content with his lot in life. And so damn talented!

Besides Ned Beatty’s anal rape, Banjo Kid is the most memorable element of the film for me. His joyous pickin’ and grinnin’ paved the way for creepy children in minor movie roles, like, Weird Kung-Fu kid in Cabin Fever and the potty-mouthed, karate-chopping oddball in dire need of Ritalin in Smokin’ Aces. Banjo Kid has left an undeniable mark on the film world and my heart.
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America's Next Top Model-Cycle 10: Week 8

A day of mourning...

One of the fun ANTM games that I like to play is trying to figure out who will be in the bottom 2 within the first 15 minutes of the show. If you have watched as many cycles as I have - thank you MTV and VH1 for providing them in marathon form! - then, by this point, you know all of the clues that will allow you to be successful at this little party game. I will not divulge my secrets on GEP - I may try to write a book on day about the philosophy of ANTM.

Last night, I settled in bed with my purple pen and looseleaf paper, ready to get back to a REAL episode. By the first commercial break, I was sick. I knew at that point that the one, the only, the beloved Stacy Ann would be leaving. I spent the rest of the evening working through the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression; here is my story:

At first, I couldn't believe that my little Stacy Ann would be leaving. I thought that it was just a fluke. Now that there are 7 girls, they obviously have to give EVERYONE extra air time. Stacy Ann has that amazing jawline, and she's a minority - how would they EVER kick her off so early? I tried to tell myself that I really wasn't seeing as much of her as I thought I really wasn't that bad, was it?

Then, at the green carpet party, I could tell that she was getting that arrogance that many ANTM losers get on their last episode, and I was angry with her. Angry that she thought she was super awesome. Angry that she thought she wasn't fake. Angry. Angry. Angry. Some of this anger was projected on Fatima - how is she going to be AMERICA's Next Top Model when she's not even a US citizen* and doesn't have proper papers to travel!

When it came time for judging, I regained a glimmer of hope. There's no way Fatima will stay since she missed the ENTIRE photo shoot! I thought - they will sacrifice Fatima for Stacy Ann. Sure, Fatima's previous pictures are a little better, but Stacy Ann has heart. She is always so happy and pleasant and pretty, and she isn't a catty bitch and she stays out of fights with the other girls...c'mon noted fashion photographer Nigel, see the good in Stacy Ann and teach that meany Fatima a big old lesson that you can't wait until the last minute and expect it all to work out!

And then, they dropped the bomb...instead of showing Stacy Ann's cute little teary-eyed airplane picture, they showed the blank nothingness that is Fatima. I spent the rest of the evening crying and eating chocolate covered strawberries, thinking about all of the things in Rome that Stacy Ann would miss. Thinking about how we won't be blessed with hearing her wonderfully cute voice speaking horrible Italian while shooting a lame Cover Girl commercial. Thinking about how she won't get to let her real personality shine through all of the fakeness when they do go-sees. Thinking about how she'll never have a chance to expose Dominque for the transvestite that she still depresses me. I don't know if I will reach may take several ANTM, Cycle 10 marathons to get me to that point.


*Other ANTM favorites have been foreign (ex., Natasha, Cycle 8), but at least they recognized how they could incorporate their non-native status into some "America is great because it accepts everyone" bull crap.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Manliest Man in the Maniverse

Feast your eyes, America. This is what a real man looks like--grossly overweight, bald, and sporting a scraggly beard on his triple-chin. Witness the way a man hacks apart a chicken! Watch as he effortlessly slides into a hot tub with grace and style! He doesn't do girly stuff like crying or laundry. He cooks! He smokes! He gives up when memorizing the dessert portion of a menu proves to be too difficult.

Jason got his fat ass ejected from Hell's Kitchen last night. I predicted he would continue to fail a couple of weeks ago and I was correct. Thankfully though, Jason had an entire episode to spew misogynistic rhetoric proving himself not only a crappy cook, but a poor representative of the male species as well. Bravo, Fat Stuff!
And don't let this picture fool you. Gordon Ramsey played mind games with an innocent chicken last night. I'm just saying watch your back, Porky.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DVR Weekend

I can't possibly watch every TV program I want to mention on the blog, but thanks to recent advances in science couch potatoes like myself don't have to miss a single moment of televised bliss. Thanks to my DVR I can watch the shows I love during the weekend, thus freeing my week up for sitting around, staring at the wall, and falling asleep on the couch. So last weekend I caught up with some TV programs and I'd like to talk about them briefly in a new feature I'm calling DVR WEEKEND. Enjoy.

1. American Idol: I'll make it quick because everyone else has already blogged angrily about this, but could Ryan Seacrest be any more of a douche? I actually feel dirty now for admitting to my wife in the comfort of our locked house away from anybody who might hear and later poke fun at me that I kinda, sorta, didn't hate Seacrest. But the way he went about informing Michael Johns it was time to leave the show was unnecessary. For shame, Seacrest.
2. Rob and Big: Pretty soon I'm going to do an IN PRAISE OF...for this little gem. I believe it would be timely because my wife seems to think that tonight's episode is the last one ever. That will suck, but we've had some good times and this episode was no exception. Rob, Big, and the rest of their wacky pals headed to Cancun to relax, skate, and wrestle in the Mexican ghetto. Bobby Light also performed his international hit, "Dirty Girl," for the guests at a resort, complete with Mariachi band and heavily-bleeped rap breakdown. I bought Season 1 and 2 on DVD for my wife for Valentine's Day. My sister seemed to think that wasn't very romantic. Jen loved it.

3. Secret Talents of the Stars: So, apparently this show has already been cancelled. I guess that means we won't get to hear any more hilarious Clint Black stand-up or watch Danny Bonaduce on a unicycle or see Theo Huxtable front a rock band or watch one of those skanks from The Girl's Next Door fail at trapeze. Oh, well. At least Star Trek's George Takei was able to completely embarass himself before CBS pulled the plug. Listening to Takei sing "On the Road Again" was about as pleasant as calling a phone sex line and getting Diane Rehm. And Mya should stick to singing songs about her ass. But Clint Black was actually funny--if you hated comedy or were deaf. The figure skater/contortionist seemed a little shaky during her act, but maybe it was because to stay balanced she was going to have to rest her chin in a preteen Asian girl's crotch. Creepy.

Anyway, that was DVR Weekend--see you next week.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Favorite Hillbilly by Matt Lawson of Giant Electric Penguin

In an effort to make up for our callous April Fool's Day comments about hillbillies, GEP has asked our regular contributors, as well as friends of the site, to say a few words about their favorite hillbillies, rednecks, and members of the white trash elite in our society. Again, GEP apologizes for any mountain folk who were offended by our tomfoolery.

Early Cuyler, patriarch of a redneck squid family living in the mountains of Georgia on the greatest Adult Swim program to date, is my choice for favorite hillbilly. Whether he's "de-bitchifying" his egg-laying, mullet-sporting son Rusty, producing a brand of pine cone whiskey destined to make everyone in his community blind, or battling any number of aliens from the far reaches of this here galaxy, he does so with dignity and panache. He also usually fires off a few rounds from his shotgun which looks to be cobbled together from discarded weaponry found in a scarp yard. He is truly a worthy representative of the Southern anthropomorphic redneck squid community and should be respected as such. My love for Early, hell, the whole Cuyler clan, is as large as Stone Mountain's Pac-Man and as constant as drinkin'. I'm constantly drinkin'.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yeah, I saw Nim's Island. Wanna make something of it?

The wife and I had to visit Charlotte to pick up a ring today and thought while we were in town we could spend some time with my parents. We were only visiting for a short time, so my father suggested we go see a movie and have dinner. The movie my father wanted to see, oddly enough, was Nim's Island. We immediately agreed to go because, hell, it was a free movie. And there was the promise of dinner afterwards. So we piled into the SUV and saw us the shit out of some Nim's Island. Hell yeah!
Nim's Island is actually three movies, one of which is halfway enjoyable.

Movie One is the story of a single father and his 11 year old daughter who live on a deserted island somewhere in the South Pacific. One morning the father sets out on his boat to collect glowing blue plankton, leaving his daughter, Nim, behind, promising to be back in two days. Unfortunately a storm destroys his boat and bitch-slaps him horribly off course, leaving him lost at sea.

Movie Two is a slapstick comedy about a clearly psychotic adventure story writer named Alexandra Rover venturing to Nim's island to save her or save her father or do something. I'm not entirely sure why she's going actually, but she is encouraged onward by the fictional Indiana Jones-ish character from her books. She makes a lot of goofy faces, gets herself into some hilarious situations, and learns a lot about life in the process, I guess.

Movie Three concerns Nim's war against an Australian cruise ship and it's bloated occupants who have invaded her island for some proverbial fun in the sun. It's kind of like Home Alone only with a farting sea lion.
Movie Two is the only appealing movie in this simultaneous triple feature and even it isn't that great. Jodie Foster plays the agoraphobic author Alex Rover and she is actually quite charming and funny. When her movie finally collides with Abigail Breslin's, the film gets schmaltzy and boring. Well, more schmaltzy and more boring.

All I could think about during Movie One was the fact that Nim's father, Jack, has been on an island for years upon years without sexual contact with an adult woman. I wondered how he relieved himself, but every option I came up with made me ashamed of myself. Movie Three was obviously crammed in to keep the kids happy. Without it, the movie would have been quieter, more heartfelt, and better. The crowd came to life when Nim starting launching various lizards into the sky by way of slingshot mechanisms of her own design. The little girl sitting in front of my wife almost had a friggin' stroke she was laughing so damn hard. That's what we call animal abuse, I wanted to whisper to her, but I thought better of it and just let her have fun.

Nim's Island is disjointed and uneven. The opening animated sequence promises something the movie as a whole fails to deliver. Abigail Breslin is cute, but, and I don't know if you can say this about an tweenage actor, she seemed like she was phoning it in. Seriously. It was like, "I totally signed up to do this movie before I was nominated for an Oscar--I don't need this--ugh." I kept wishing Gerard Butler would shout 'This is Sparta' but the opportunity never presented itself. And I hate farting animal jokes, so I pretty much tuned out after that.

Dinner, though, was a complete triumph. I had Mongolian Beef and it was quite tasty.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Stop Already: A Girl Named Tequila

America, you’ve still got a shot at love. Are you interested?

I’m not.

After a first season fraught with gut-wrenching emotion, thick with drunken fisticuffs and unisex backstabbing, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila is back. Now I’m not stupid (or 14 years old), so I know it was just a reality dating game show, but there seemed to be some genuine pathos to the proceedings—the tears real, the bonds forged unbreakable. On December 31st, 2007, during Mtv’s New Years Eve Jiggle-thon, a half-dressed Ms. Tequila informed her rabid fan base, hungry for the latest on her love affair with show winner, Bobby, that she was single again and heading back to basic cable to find her next soulmate. Bobby just couldn’t handle her lifestyle, she claimed. The next week, lovelorn Bobby responded, explaining to a disinterested public that he’d been trying to get in touch with Tila since the reunion show. Oh, Bobby, you poor, dumb bastard. Don’t you know when a show is as successful as Shot at Love was for Mtv, you just gotta do it again?

Last week I saw my first promo for Shot at Love 2 (or Another Shot at Love, or Partially Clothed Twenty Somethings Drinking and Fighting: The Show, or whatever they’re calling it this time). What was once a heart-wrenching exploration of a lonely, big-boobed Asian girl’s search for self, has become yet another alcohol-fueled, semen-stained, slut-o-rama. And this time there isn’t even the “I’m-looking-for-love-for-real” candy coating. “Are you guys ready to fight for me?” Tila asks the new crop of admirers in the commercial. You can almost hear the thoughts of the heterosexual contestants, glass-eyed and leering, the faint stench of desperation and Axe body spray wafting from the television screen: “Ready? Hell yeah! Get me a tray of Jell-o shooters and call the paramedics because this shit's about to jump off, y’all!”

For all the confused gay teenagers who thanked Tila on her Myspace page last year for being such a shining example to your community, you’ve officially been punked. Sorry, kids. Tequila just wants you to buy her calendars and listen to her terrible music. She doesn’t care about you or your struggle for acceptance, but she is interested in that wad of cash you got for you sweet sixteen.

For betraying and preying upon your legions of sexually confused adolescent fans, I say for shame, Ms. Tequila. You’re very appealing on a whole lot of levels, but it’s starting to seem false, a fa├žade that is rapidly collapsing under its own bloated self-importance. Maybe you’ll prove me wrong, but my heart knows better. I’m sorry, Tila, but I think you need to

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Idol gives back, but Tyra doesn't give anything

Recap shows suck. They tempted us and teased us with promises of Clair drinking her breast milk...they failed us. I'm losing my faith in Tyra.


Matt's thoughts: You know what, Tyra, some of us didn't want to watch two and a half hours of American Idol last night. Even though they were trying to do good and help people all over the world, two and a half hours is a long time to devote to anything, but especially to something you know is going to be terrible. What about all of us that don't want to help starving orphans or flood vicitims? Don't we deserve an hour of dead-eyed bitchery? What about a young girl that truly wants to give money, wants to make The Arch proud of her, but can't because she spent all her babysitting money on Miley Cyrus concert tickets? Doesn't she need a modelling show to ease her pain and sooth her tears? What about all those poor young men that don't have access to pornography? You stole a night of precious self-pleasuring from them. You blew it, Tyra. You really blew it.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Petrozza's Second-to-Last Stand

As the old saying goes, 'it's not over until the fat guy says he's done 15 times.' Charlotte's own Petrozza seemed down for the count on last night's continuation of Hell's Kitchen, but black Gordon Ramsay, Bobby, brought him back around. "For some reason Chef Ramsay likes you," he said, drying Petrozza's eyes with his apron. In the end Petrozza finally stumbled through Ramsay's menu and was awarded with a high five from the Dark Overlord himself. And can I just say here that I am continuously flabbergasted by the men's team NOT knowing Hell's Kitchen's menu. How do you not know what you are about to cook and serve to the paying public? And you know Petrozza isn't the only one--it was just pick on the guy who served Gordon Ramsay a cornish hen in a pumpkin night, I think.

It was Sharon who felt Ramsay's wrath however, booted from Hell's Kitchen for being a shitty cook and wagging her tongue around while she worked. Really? This tongue thing bothered Ramsay so much he dubbed Sharon the "female Hannibal Lechter." As far as Ramsay insults go I thought that one was pretty weak. When my father is hard at work, concentrating on something, he will open his mouth and clench his tongue between his teeth. Seeing him do this my entire childhood, I find myself doing it all the time. I will probably pass this oddity onto my child. Is that so weird though? It was time for Sharon to go, but don't blame her tongue waggling, blame that whole can't cook for shit thing.
And what's with Louross encouraging members of the men's team to make love to the halibut they were chopping up into filets (pronounced fil-lets)? The weirdness just keeps coming with this guy, yet, Ramsay is more bothered by a wiggling tongue. I'm sure if Louross had dropped his pants, crawled onto the cutting board, and started thrusting into the cold, moist fish corpse before him, he would have been kissing his jacket good-bye last night. That would never happen, of course, and I'm sorry about the visual I just crammed into your head. Or am I?

Anyway, it was a fairly uneventful episode. The kitchens got a little better, emphasis on the 'little,' and no one stands out yet. My money is actually on Louross right now, but who knows what could happen in the coming weeks. Probably a lot of the same actually. I mean, the men's prize for winning the fish slicing contest was a day on a yacht with Chef Ramsay? That is so 1st, 2nd, and 3rd season.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pinocchio Smack-Down: The Results

I fully intended to watch Pinocchio (1976), featuring Hogan Family star Sandy Duncan, this morning, but fate had other plans. I cracked open my recently delivered Netflix envelope, fired up the DVD player, but when I looked at the disc I found that Netflix had sent me the wrong DVD--they sent me Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio...AGAIN! Bastards! Assuming the all-singing, all-dancing Sandy Duncan version is far from worth it, I've decided to not include it in the wrap up our first edition of GEP Smack-Down. As always if you have any ideas for future Smack-Downs write to us at So, let's get to it. First, a quick review:

For: a flying space whale; interesting animation.

Against: Nertle the Twertle; the director's ability to make a 70 minute animated space adventure for children feel roughly 9 hours long; some of the most forgettable songs ever recorded.

For: super hot B-movie chicks; a story that sometimes transcends its hackneyed premise; boobs.

Against: so many plot twists, the film eventually becomes incoherent; a precocious actress that makes child abuse seem not so bad; that hackneyed premise I mentioned earlier.

For: ends eventually.

Against: almost constant screaming in Italian; a fifty year old Pinocchio who never once endears himself to the audience.

For: some great visuals; hilarious Japanese overacting; inspired a new feature coming soon called Movies That Try to Hard.

Against: incoherent; disgusting; oddly unoriginal; pretentious.

And the winner is...Pinocchio's Revenge: Though it never really rises above a cheap rip-off of Child's Play, one can tell that writer/director Kevin Tenney was at least trying. As far as straight-to-video horror films go, this one is definitely a rare gem. I mean, have you seen Jack Frost? In college, my friends and I fell victim to Frost's siren song one evening. It was fun to watch as a group and poke fun at, but that was it. Pinocchio's Revenge can definitely be used in this same way, but it also makes for a relaxing afternoon of movie viewing as well. By no means a great film, but a nice effort. Hey, it's a Pinocchio movie without twertles, oatmeal puke, or Roberto Benigni, so right there it gets high marks in my book.
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