29 June 2006

john williams should do my soundtrack.

Spoiler Warning: What follows is possibly a spoiler for the movie Superman Returns. I say possibly because even EW all but gave it away in their recent article. In any case, don't read it if you don't want to know.

Like many dark-haired, blue-eyed boys in the world, I have a special affinity for Superman. The sheer impossibility of his defeat (an impossibility that has tested my limits for suspending disbelief throughout the years) is attractive, his iconic status incredible and, at least for me, his strength of character standing through test after test in a world that completely doesn't understand him pull us toward the Man of Steel. Sure he's a little more hokey than say the dark brooding of Batman, the mixed-blessing conflict in Spiderman and the overt outsider plot encasing all of the X-(Wo)Men. But he's Superman. He's the standard. You can go to the jungles, find a native and show him a picture of Superman and he'll show you some thatched footie pajamas with the big diamond-and-S. I still feel today that the best illustration of this was at the end of the Batman: Dark Knight series when Miller hinted at the people regarding Superman as a religious savior. He has that level of power.

Even with all of that, the new flick interested me in a new way. To preface, my opinion of the movie is that it was good but could have been better; Bryan Singer did great but the script needed some work and, as a co-worker pointed out, for a criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor's evil plot was pretty lame (Land grab? Really?). I'm still planning on catching it again, though, this time in IMAX.

The way the new movie intrigued me (even though it was a deep perversion of the Superman mythos) is through the kid. We can only assume that Lois told her baby's daddy what's up by Supes' Jor-El-ish speech to Jason late in the movie. Why that is interesting to me? Let's look at the similarities: (1) My dad has always been told he looks just like the late Christopher Reeve and I am my father's son, (2) my dad has lived the life only a man that can be reborn in multiple ages as the same person can accomplish, (3) I'm asthmatic and was a sickly child, and (4) I had a similar haircut when I was five-ish.

If the Man of Tomorrow can have a child then, clearly, I'm the heir to a superhero throne.

I will rock that cape.

25 June 2006

what to search for when you're bored.

My friend Josh was always being bestowed with the latest cutting edge Apple products by way of his obsessed father, a man we believed to be wired into the internet in his sleep. In fact, it was him that provided us with our first dose of the internet. It was 1994 in a community called eWorld. eWorld was a lot like AOL, except more spatially-based (it porported itself to be a planet with locations). Josh and I hopped onto a very new Yahoo! and watched the cursor blink in the search box.

"Well," he asked. "What do we look up?"

The world was at our fingertips. Though burgeoning, the internet was bursting with information waiting to be taken in. But my thirteen year-old mind pumped out the first thing that came.


Yes. The first search term we looked up on the internet, a medium that would become my livelihood, was boobies.

So now, when I sit bored, watching the cursor blink in the Google search box, I think of that day. I relive it, the results being far more in numbers than the original run. But now I know better, about life and how the web works, and have to laugh.

Next time you're bored on the internet, look it up. Check out the search results and then think of all the people, in their content or in their keywords when developing pages, that have to seriously type the word "boobies."

15 June 2006

reprise talent evaluation.

B-list (or lower) celebrity panel of judges. Quirky (and sometimes abrasive) host/MC. The public being manipulated into believing they truly want to be on television only to have 85-90% of them become totally humiliated. Is it just me or does NBC's new show America's Got Talent look like a high-cost production of NBC's classic The Gong Show? The only major differences I can see: bigger audience, creatively lit in Vegas-style, and a strange Cooperation of the Gong (the three judges each have a buzzer -- the "talent" is excused after all three judges sound their buzzers).

Although David Hasselhoff does say in the commercial, "KITT, get me out of here." Points are awarded to the goofy celebrity for recognizing his own awesomeness.

08 June 2006

half a pint for the world.

I was infamously bad at soccer when I was a little. There were many times when I would just sit on the ball until another, larger kid (typically a girl) would come along and kick it from under me. The one time I was on my game I was really off: I dribbled down field and scored for the other team.

Redemption came in middle school when I found a position I was good at: goaltender (though now I recollect being relegated to the role since I was terrible at everything else). PE brought out my talents and they were proven during my 7th grade school Olympics. My team took 2nd place in soccer (after some dirty officiating) but I had a lot of blocked kicks, including a couple that elicited "oohs" from the stands. It was the first time (among few) my athletic skill was impressive to others.

After that, though, soccer fell by the wayside. My mom didn't want me to play sports because she was afraid I'd "hurt my brain" and, though I knew I'd be a great American football player, I was comfortable just watching the Packers on TV. Soccer was probably not the sport for me anyway with my ass-mar.

It's always intrigued me, though. I'll get sucked into any game on television but soccer has a certain pull on me. I could watch it for hours. Basketball and baseball bore me but soccer (and American football) are deeply captivating. If nothing else, soccer attracts me because it's something the whole world is into (you know, except us).

With that said, 2006 is a World Cup year. And I'm heeding the advice a person I don't even know expressed to a certain Heartbreaker: "Get into it!" I read the BBC World Cup form guide, Wikipedia'd World Cup 2006 and have been all over the official site and the ESPN soccernet page. I'm no expert but I know enough to enjoy it (I think). Maybe it'll be me and a bunch of hooligans at 9am trying to watch England v Paraguay. Argentina v Côte d'Ivoire (aka Ivory Coast) looks interesting. And, of course, there's Italy v US. I'm excited.

Get into it!


Also of Note:
  • I never finished Fever Pitch because I found it boring. It's the only Nick Hornby book I bought and haven't immediately read cover to cover. I did, however, see the Americanized (and pathetic) remake.
  • The US team's logo is stupid.

02 June 2006

the pep-talk that led to a new messiah.

When Vince Vaughn, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wrapped on Mr and Mrs Smith, I wonder how they settled the partner swap (probably in a conference with no Jennifer Aniston invite). I think it all started with one pep talk.

Note: I did this in two columns so that it would (hopefully) take up less vertical space. If it becomes problematic I'll snip it up into sections or link it to my site.

On the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Vince Vaughn is sampling a little of everything at the craft services table as Brad Pitt walks up.

Brad: Hey, man.

Vince: Hey. Great last scene, by the way. I really felt it.

Brad: Thanks, brother.

Vince: Yeah. [shovels more food into his mouth]

Brad: Hey, take it easy there.

Vince: Huh?

Brad: What’d this food ever do to you?

Vince: I know, I’m just so hungry all of a sudden. I don’t even know why.

Brad: Well, try not to pork down too much. There are starving kids somewhere in Africa you know.

They laugh. Vaughn keeps shoveling food in his mouth.

Brad: Besides, you don’t want to end up like your fat friend Favreau.

Vince: [with mouth full] Too far, Brad. Jon is a very dear and close friend. He deserves all the food he gets.

Brad: All right, all right. Sorry, man.

Vince: If he wants to blow up and look like a Goodyear blimp, who am I to say no?

Brad: Fair enough.

Vince: Besides, I’ve always been blessed with a fast metabolism so I don’t have to worry.

Brad: [turning to the food] All right, so what do we have here?

Vince: A little bit of everything. It’s all pretty fantastic.

Brad: Cool. [picks up a plate]

There’s a brief pause. As Vince continues to nibble, Brad glances over at his supporting star then shakes his head. Finally, he gets the courage to speak.

Brad: Hey, I gotta tell you something. You have to tell me if I’m crazy or not.

Vince: Sure thing, pal. Shoot.

Brad: [leans in; quietly] I think I’m in with Jolie.

Vince: Excuse me?

Brad: I think … I, um …

Vince: You could hit that?

Brad: Maybe.

Vince: Angelina Jolie?

Brad: Yes, Angelina Jolie.

Vince: You think you could tag Angelina Jolie?

Brad: I wouldn’t put it like that but …

Vince: Well, I’m not totally surprised. I mean, you’re fucking Brad Pitt, right?

Brad: Right. But I’m not sure. It’s just speculation for right now.

Vince: Oh, right, right.

Brad: Nothing assured. But I think, if I wanted to, I could … you know …

Vince: Hit that shit?

Brad: Right.

Vince: What makes you say that?

Brad: I just get this vibe from her or something.

Vince: [looks up] Shit, here she comes.

Brad: Act cool, man.

Vince: [at normal level again] Hey, Angelina.

Angelina Jolie walks up to the table and pours herself some tea. Vince is all smiles while Brad grins meekly and nods.

Angelina: Hey, Vince.

Vince: Great scene, by the way. I really felt it.

Angelina: Thank you, Vince. You were so funny in your last scene I almost popped a vein trying not to laugh.

Vince: Thank you. That really means a lot to me.

Angelina: No problem. See you around.

Vince: Okay. [does a small wave with his free, not-holding-food hand]

Angelina: [subtly looks Brad up and down then smiles] Bye, Brad.

Brad: See you later, Angelina.

Angelina walks away.

Brad: Jesus, did you feel that?

Vince: Did I feel it? I think I may need a cigarette after that. Maybe even change my pants.

Brad: So I’m not totally crazy then?

Vince: Crazy? No, no, no, no. Did you feel that vibe coming off of her? She wants you, my friend.

Brad: Really?

Vince: She’s making the call. She’s just waiting for you to pick up. Getting the voicemail and calling back again.

Brad: Should I pick up?

Vince: Should you pick up? Are you simple? Of course, you pick it up. Do you know how hot that would be? Not only is she incredibly hot …

Brad: Incredibly hot.

Vince: I mean, there’s no question. Those lips, those tits. That tight little ham she calls an ass. Package deal.

Brad: Way hot.

Vince: Also, she’s a little crazy.

Brad: Yeah.

Vince: Completely unpredictable. I can’t even fathom a guess at what sex with her would be like. Whips, chains, outfits, possibly animals.

Brad: You think animals?

Vince: Well, maybe not animals. Or maybe animals. It’s Angelina Jolie: who the fuck knows?

Brad: Billy Bob Thornton knows.

Vince: Yeah, Slingblade hit that.

Brad: See, that makes me question the whole thing.

Vince: Why because Billy Bob “I fucked Halle Berry” Thornton was up in there?

next column

Brad: He didn’t fuck Halle Berry.

Vince: Please. Did you see Monster’s Ball? You think after that scene that they just put on their robes and said good night? Be realistic.

Brad: Anyway, we’re both ignoring the elephant in the room here.

Vince: What’s that? That Jolie would want to wear your blood around her neck, too? Because, I gotta tell you, I think that’s pretty fucking hot. I know it’s weird but it’s a little hot, too, you have to admit.

Brad: No, no. I mean I have a wife.

Vince: Oh right.

There’s another small pause.

Vince: But it’s fucking Angelina Jolie, though.

Brad: [sighs then laughs] I know.

Vince: Listen, you have to do this.

Brad: No, no, I can’t. It’s flattering but I can’t.

Vince: It’s flattering?

Brad: Yeah, it’s flattering that someone like her would be interested in me but it’s just not the right time.

Vince: Yeah, and it’s an honor just to be nominated. Horse shit, Brad. This isn’t flattering. This is divine providence.

Brad: [laughing] Divine providence?

Vince: Who else gets this opportunity, to fuck the hottest, sexiest, craziest girl in Hollywood? Shit, she’s so hot straight chicks would fall all over each other just to go to girlytown with her. I mean, this isn’t one of those party sluts spreading her legs for anyone with a trust fund or losing her virginity to someone who plays a foreign guy in Wisconsin on TV. This is Angelina Jolie.

Brad: Fucking Angelina Jolie.

Vince: Fucking A right it’s Angelina Jolie. And only a man in your position, of your caliber, of your pedigree …

Brad: Pedigree?

Vince: That’s right: pedigree. Your pedigree of looks, smarts and experience can land a girl like that. The planets are aligning, my friend, and I’m no Nostradamus but I know you only got one shot at this.

Brad: You think so?

Vince: Listen, here’s what we’re going to do …

Brad: Oh, no.

Vince: Hear me out, Bradley. The fact that you’re entertaining this at all means you’ve forsaken the wife at the prospect of Angelina Jolie.

Brad: Now, I wouldn’t say …

Vince: It’s okay, Brad. No one expects you to be Superman. And even if you were, all men have a weakness for hot sex and Angelina Jolie is like a fucking planet of kryptonite. I’m even going to do you one better: I salute you.

Brad: You salute me?

Vince: I salute you for doing your duty, for making this kind of sacrifice to chase the dream. The Dream, Brad. So here’s what we’re going to do.

Brad: [smiling, not taking Vince too seriously] What’s the plan, brother?

Vince: You raid Lara Croft’s tombs over there and I’m going to be your wingman.

Brad: My wingman?

Vince: I’ll run interference with the wife. Hopefully she won’t find out but, God forbid that she does, in that unfortunate instance, I’ll be there to help console her. Don’t worry, Daddy will take the hit for the team.

Brad: Some hit.

Vince: The point is while Jolie’s out being your bone collector, old Rachel can rest her head on someone’s shoulder. Takes the heat off you.

Brad: Wait, did you just call her Rachel?

Vince: Did I say Rachel? I meant Jennifer. Jennifer.

Brad: You totally have a crush on her Friends character.

Vince: No, I do not. That’s preposterous. That’s almost offensive.

Brad: Oh my God. You have a crush on Rachel.

Vince: All right, so what? So I sometimes disgrace myself in the shower to her in the green dress going [with “bunny quotes”] “commando.” Does that make me a bad person?

Brad: [laughing] No, I get it.

Vince: That’s right you get it. Now you get that. [points to Angelina]

Brad: I still don’t know.

Vince: [turning Brad toward him] Brad, if you don’t stick that I will never forgive myself. I’ll consider myself a failure for the rest of my life.

Brad: It’s that bad?

Vince: For all us slobs out there eating Pop-Tarts at the craft services table or in our lonely apartments plastered with posters of Lara Croft you have to do this. Do it for us. Do it for us, Brad. [takes a bite out of a strawberry Pop-Tart]

Brad: I’ll take it under consideration.

Vince: That’s all I can ask.