June 26, 2007

The Man in the Hat is Back, So is the Bald Guy

This pic was taken June 21, 2007 by Steven Spielberg. It's the first time Harrison Ford has worn the Indiana Jones costume since 1989. The fourth movie in the series will be released May 22, 2008. I've never seen all of the third movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so Mr. Spielberg probably won't get my $8-$10 for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: We Mean it this Time either. I guess Hollywood just can't help trying to cash in on nostalgia.

Another sequel that is also several years removed from its most recent predecessor is Live Free or Die Hard. The fourth movie in that series will be hitting theaters this summer. I have to admit the previews seem interesting, and I have read that the movie is largely stripped of CGI special effects and actually relies on a good plot and good acting to make the movie interesting. What a concept. I haven't made up my mind one way or the other whether I'll actually shell out the bucks to see it in the theater, but I'll post a review of it if I do.

June 12, 2007

The Sopranos Finale

There isn't much I can say about The Soprano's series finale that isn't already going around the net, but I have to offer my opinion about one thing: I'm sick of all of the whining about how disappointing the ending was for most people. The only disappointing thing is that America is full of a bunch of spoiled idiots that felt they deserved an exact ending spoon fed to them. God forbid that David Chase decided to leave things to the audience's interpretation. Kelly Ripa said that the ending was like a cheap one night stand, something I'm sure she's an expert at. The fact that the ending was above and beyond Kelly Ripa's comprehension level is just further proof that Chase did it right.

My interpretation is that Tony got whacked. That's why Chase went through the trouble of doing the flashback to when Tony and Bobby were on the boat talking about getting whacked. "They say you don't even hear it coming," Bobby said. During the final restaurant scene, Tony looked up every time somebody walked in the door and the bell rang. The camera showed him look up (a total of four times) and then quickly changed to his perspective (the audience saw what he saw). The fourth time when Meadow was walking in the door, Tony looks up and everything went to black. My feeling is that when the shot switched to Tony's perspective that final time, it was black, because he was dead. We saw what he saw: nothing. Probably 95% of people were expecting the show to end with Tony getting a bullet through the head, and that is exactly why I think David Chase is a genius for NOT ending it that way.

If you choose to believe Tony didn't get his, then you wouldn't be wrong either. It's your choice, which is not something traditional television shows give you. The ending also leaves the door open in the event that HBO decides to offer a trailer load of money to Gandolfini and Chase for a future Sopranos project without killing the show's credibility by using a Dallas-style "It was only a dream" bullshit sequence. I think the show is done for good though.

If you are one of the disappointed whiners, just shut the fuck up and go read a few books. Practice making up your own mind and using your imagination. The Sopranos never followed the pattern of a regular TV show, so why would you be disappointed that it didn't end like one?

June 11, 2007

Chicago - Live at the Garden

I have been a life long fan of the band Chicago, and I went to see them on their 40th Anniversay tour in Memphis this past weekend. The band doesn't get much exposure these days, and they don't release new music too often, so I sometimes think I'm one of the few people around that still remembers them. The 25,000 or so people at the Memphis Botanic Garden made me realize that I'm not alone in remaining a fan of the band.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is in their seventh year of hosting "Live at the Garden," a series of six outdoor concerts that take place through the summer. They let you haul in your own lawn chair, food, and even booze if you choose to do so. If you come empty handed, there are concession stands willing to sell you an overpriced sandwich and glass of beer. One of the band's members later joked that instead of a mosh pit that they had a nosh pit, and quickly laughed at his own joke.

The band played a solid two hour set that included songs from every era of their history. The band had started shying away from some of their 80's hits, because a lot of the older fan base thought the band was selling out by moving from their jazz/rock fusion sound of the early years, but it appears Chicago now recognizes that their success in the 80's is part of their overall success.

A few notes about the band:
  • Sold more than 120 million albums worldwide.
  • Only band to have chart hits with songs sang by seven different lead singers.
  • Only band to have chart hits in five different decades: 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's.
  • The most successful male American band in terms of Billboard hits.
  • Shortly after the 9-11 attacks, the band began using a gigantic American flag as the stage backdrop, and are still using it to this day.

June 04, 2007

Who is Happy Guy?

I was browsing through Facebook, and I ran across this group titled "Who is Happy Guy?" It peaked my curiosity a bit, so I clicked on the link. Here are some excerpts from what the poster of the profile had to say:

My brother Nate found this photo in the rubbish bin of a hotel room in Banff, Canada almost 7 years ago. He kept the picture and since then, Happy Guy has been smiling at the family from his spot on our kitchen fridge. The goal of this group is to find Happy Guy and meet him. Then we'll find out the answers to those questions that need to be asked; Is he is the Happiest Man in the world? Why did he throw out the picture?

Recently Big Dave Sturdy, the father of myself and Nate, made a “Who is Happy Guy” shirt for Nathan.
He ironed the picture to the back of a shirt bought in an op-shop for $1. The front of the shirt has a colourful dragon on it. To spread the word, Nate wore the shirt to our local pub. That is the extent of the shirts usage thus far as Nate left it on my bedroom floor……..where it still remains to this very day. Will the shirt make another appearance? Time will tell.
If you'd like to join the cause and help find Happy Guy, click the pic and you will be directed to the Facebook page.

June 02, 2007

Long Live the Queen

Freddie Mercury may have been dead for nearly sixteen years, but his memory is alive and well in Hollywood. Spin Magazine announced that Borat star, Sacha Baron Cohen, will portray Mercury in an upcoming movie. The look of the Borat character was based on Freddie Mercury. Cohen beat out Johnny Depp for the lead role. Initially, I wondered how Johnny Depp could even be considered, but then I remembered what Depp looked like in Donnie Brasco. Slap a mustache on Donnie Brasco and you've got Freddie Mercury. The third pic down is my very poorly photoshopped version of what Johnny Depp would have looked like as Mercury.

In addition to the film about Freddie, George Clooney can be seen in Oceans Thirteen wearing a disguise that is obviously inspired by Freddie Mercury. I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if it is mentioned in the film or not, but it's too good of a likeness to be an accident. The only thing missing is a pair of Ray Bans. The final pic in the strip is of Clooney dressed like Mercury. Click the pic to enlarge the images.

From Spin Magazine: (click here to visit the website)

Sacha Baron Cohen, the hirsute and comical actor from faux-doc blockbuster Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, has signed to on to portray flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in a forthcoming yet-to-be titled film, the U.K.'s Mirror reports. Cohen, 35, reportedly nudged out Johnny Depp for the role, which will depict Mercury's music, wild lifestyle, and untimely death in 1991 at the age of 45, due to an AIDS-related illness. "Film makers are working flat out to get the best possible script," an unidentified source told the Mirror. "Sacha loves the idea he can get away with playing Freddie after modeling Borat's look on him." But tickling our thinker is who will be cast to play the part of Queen axeman Brian May and shred out his mountainous rock solos. Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother's got the hair.

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