Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rock & Art -- Linkin Park guitarist Mike Shinoda has an exhibit of his art at LA's Japanese American National Museum entitled Glorious Excess (Born). I didn't know too much about the singer/guitarist's art background and learned that he studied illustration at Art Center College of Design . But even though you may not have a chance to see his art in a museum setting you can view some of it on his website:
I love seeing the different artistic sides of musicians, for example:
Grace Slick
Joni Mitchell
Tony Bennett
To quote Academy Award winner (for original song "Falling Slowly" ) Glen Hansard: "Make Art!"

Getting out the 'Vote' via blimp -- Thursday July 24th was the day of the Hollywood premiere of Swing Vote -- the new Kevin Costner flick about what would happen if a presidential election came down to one person's vote. A big red carpet shindig took place at the El Capitan Theatre that evening but earlier in the day, a noise in the sky got my attention. It was the Outback Steakhouse's Bloomin' Onion (that's truly the name!) blimp with a big ole ad for Swing Vote on its side. Hmmm... the use of a medium that is propelled by 'light gas' is amusing to me. Even though there are some of my favorite actors galore in this movie (Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, Judge Reinhold, Kelsey Grammer, Mare Winningham, etc.) honestly, I don't know if I wanna plunk down $11 to see a fictional yet probably funny film in the theatre when I am watching history in the making--the real deal--right now for free.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SPACED INVASION -- The British are coming, The British are coming--actually they've already landed in the form of the American DVD release of the BBC series Spaced. When I found out that Simon Pegg was the lead actor of this series, I knew it had to be funny. I caught the first episode on BBC America but that's all I've seen (I know, I know--where have I been?) ... it's hilarious...hooray for the DVD and the extras. The director and stars of Spaced are on a nationwide tour to publicize the release and they stopped into LA on July 24th for a free screening at the ArcLight Hollywood of 3 episodes and a Q&A session moderated by director Kevin Smith.

The line for the ArcLight screening stretched west down Sunset Blvd. and snaked down Ivar Ave. (across from Amoeba Records). Thank goodness it wasn't sweltering, like it was at the NY screening, while my comradess-in-arms (my sister) and I waited somewhat patiently. Some of these fans were die hard astute queuers as they came prepared with portable outdoor/sports folding chairs. Earlier, some of these same lucky fans went to Kevin Smith's shop (and haven for comic lovers), Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, to get their SPACED DVDs autographed. The dude in the ArcLight line behind me saw Edgar Wright (the director of the series & Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, etc.) checking out the merchandise and chatted with him for a bit. You can see what the scene was like there and more interesting videos/photos, etc.
on the Spaced site:

The people in line were all pretty cool, if somewhat a bit rascally. Whenever someone would pass by and ask what the line was for, one guy would reply "Mamma Mia"! Even though my knee was complaining about the standing around part, I was glad to know that I'd soon be in air conditioned comfort. And just when I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack, a little murmur was heard toward the end of the line. Wha?!? It was Edgar, Jessica & Simon strolling down the line saying hi to everyone and high-fiving! Phooey--my fangirly giddiness prevented me from whipping out my camera and getting a quick snapshot!!! So much for getting a close-up of Simon. What I did notice and appreciated was that Simon dressed like he was meeting up with a group of friends by sporting casual summer clothes. You could also see evidence of solar exposure as his skin was now a lovely 'kissed by the sun' pink.

: "Hey, wasn't that Jonah Hill who walked by?" I wasn't sure if he was going to the end of the line or maybe he was just walking past us to go to Amoeba Records or Charcoal restaurant. I choose to believe it was the former.

(whisper-whisper): "Hey wasn't that the director of Michael Jackson's Thriller, Blues Brothers, etc. etc.
John Landis?" I smiled at him in the lobby after the Q&A. I wasn't sure if he was at the ArcLight for another movie or for Spaced, but after reading on Simon's website, I find a 'fan letter' from Landis.

I could go on and on about how funny Kevin, Edgar, JessicaHynes and Simon all were but then this post would be crazy long. The evening ended on a sweet note with Simon asking us to say hi to his wife because they were celebrating their wedding anniversary --- AWWWWW!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


not have to pay the $550,000 fine originally levied against them by the FCC for the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction debacle. Four years after the "did I just see that?" moment, federal judges ruled that the FCC:
"acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in penalizing the network for a "fleeting image of nudity."
Hmmm... is the FCC's iron fist grip and command over the airwaves weakening? Something tells me that George Carlin is laughing at the FCC's woes and saying "#@$&%^!?"$.

Soon after that Super Bowl boob tube incident occurred, there was such a shakeup in the modus operandi in broadcasting. CBS was hit with a lot of public backlash, FCC fines were raised, plus radio and TV personnel alike were watching their Ps and Qs for fear of being fined. But after the FCC setback, now the questions remain:

  • Will radio stations and TV networks be emboldened and air racier, more controversial material?
  • Will the FCC reassess their policies?
  • Will radio stations and TV networks be able to find the right balance between reflecting current culture while showing common decency and listening to public decree?
  • Will I ever find out why there was a huge stone statue of a foot on Lost? (oops scratch that)
I guess we just have to stay tuned to the 'same bat channel, same bat station.'

HOLY ASSAULT CHARGE -- Speaking of the bat... Christian Bale was arrested for the alleged assault of his mother and sister! What?... say it ain't so. I'm reserving judgment on this until I hear the whole story. I've been a fan of Christian's since the Empire of the Sun and I like that he doesn't seek the limelight outside of publicizing his film work. He's pretty low-key in his private life, so this was surprising. But then again, there are many families with secrets. Hope everything turns out okay for all concerned.

TWO THUMBS OUT -- Okay, maybe I'm resistant to change but I'm sad that Ebert & Roeper aren't continuing with their AT THE MOVIES review show. Even though Roger hasn't been on the show for quite some time while recovering from surgery, I still watched Siskel's replacement Richard Roeper and whichever guest reviewer had the unenviable task of subbing for Ebert. I'm trying to stay open minded and will await the new incarnation of the show with Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. Looks like Disney/ABC is looking toward getting younger viewers, but no mention of the change was seen on the show's webpage today:
Do I think the two Bens will have what it takes to influence moviegoers? I have my doubts now, but they'll probably do fine. I hope the new show doesn't devolve into clip show, with the hosts serving as mouthpieces for the film studios. Or I hope it isn't going to feature a "smackdown" between various critics instead of a serious review of movies. We already have too many Entertainment Access Extra Insider type shows... please let this not be another one.
You Snooze You Lose -- Depriving oneself of sleep is never a good thing. You wake up groggy and drag yourself through your morning ritual like a sloth. And the results from scientific studies keep pouring in about how lack of sleep can lead to health problems. But, do I listen? Noooooo, I keep trying to pack in as much as I can throughout the day just to be on top of things. No one can do everything they want to do; they'd have to be a superhero to do that. Speaking of which... I didn't go to see The Dark Knight over the weekend. Fighting the crowds isn't my idea of a fun time. Although, going to the ArcLight where you can buy your tix online and pick the seat you want conquers that problem. You pay a bit more for the perks but I still didn't want to feel claustrophobic with the hordes of people that were clamoring for a look at the film.
Sunday -- day of rest, re-energize and recharge... and to salute golfer Greg Norman who finished tied for 3rd at the British Open. He's 53, that's 3 decades and 3 years older than Chris Wood who finished tied for 5th. Score one for the 'elder statesman.'
Aarrgh... I just realized that I missed watching Act 3 of the Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog (made available on July 19) and now it's not online for free! Phooooooey! I can still get it via iTunes for $3.95 but ... drat! So I snoozed and lost my chance to see it for free. It's 1:45 am right now ... I think I should go to sleep, perchance to dream.

Maybe in my REM state, I'll have finished all my work, done all my reading, watched all the movies, shows, DVDs--done all my writing.... yeah right-- IN MY DREAMS! zzzzz-