Monday, January 31, 2011
From the makers of last week's "Shame Map" of the U.S., here is their version of what's awesome about each state and, interestingly...the shame issue also appears to create awesomeness in some states.
North Dakota: The ugliest people (shame) make great employees (awesome).
Maine: Stupid people (shame) don't know how to use weapons (awesome).
Utah: Porn addicts (shame) are the most content and relaxed people (awesome).
At least I now know when to run to the bathroom if I go see 127 Hours in the theater.
theShiznet site created some hilarious "this-is-what-you-should-really-expect" versions of the posters for the Top Ten films nominated for Academy Awards this year.
Here are a couple more:
Toy Story 3
Love and Other Drugs
If more studios stuck to this format, it would certainly make choosing a movie to see SO much easier.
You can check out the other six posters on their site by clicking here.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Who would have thought a movie about the ballet could be so unsettling?
I saw Black Swan this week and can't remember another movie where I was so viscerally uncomfortable throughout a film. You spend most of the time trying to figure out what is real and what isn't. I'm still not entirely sure what happened and haven't decided whether I liked it or not, but I doubt I'll be watching again for a very long time.
The thing that bothered me most was the gross stuff. Natalie's character has a history of scratching herself until she bleeds, so the film packs in several scenes of her with bloody fingernails or toenails, or cutting her fingernails uncomfortably close (more blood), or picking at or peeling back lacerations on her skin and fingers.
Plus, every character in the movie (especially Barbara Hershey) is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and that's pretty much how I felt once it was over.
However, there are some pretty amazing, yet subtle, visual effects in the movie that fascinate me. Here is a look at how and why some of them were done...
If you see Black Swan, I suggest you go in with an empty stomach.
This ain't no Xanadu.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The research done for these kinds of maps is always questionable, but the results are often quite entertaining.
Was Ugly Betty from North Dakota?
Also, you better keep your dog on a leash in Washington.
Maine residents probably didn't get that last joke.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I am really surprised that Christopher Nolan wasn't nominated for director of Inception.
I've only seen two of the ten nominated films. I have a lot of movies to rent or sneak into over the next month.
You can see the complete list here.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sad news today on the fitness-front...
American fitness guru Jack LaLanne died Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay. He was 96.
Neatorama posted some interesting facts about Jack...
In 1951 Jack started his own TV exercise show - the first fitness program ever televised, actually - that ended up running for 34 years. When it first aired, critics gave it 6 weeks tops. He even had to buy air time, because the studio didn't believe anyone would watch an exercise show.
Jack's choice of using soothing Wurlitzer music to workout to is an interesting one. Lady Gaga and Beyonce really should consider incorporating it into their new dance tracks to keep people motivated on the treadmill while listening to their music at the gym.
He also enjoyed wearing ballet slippers while exercising...
In those days tennis shoes were not popular, and only used to play tennis in…Most show business people and Hand Balancers wore ballet slippers, and Jack being a Hand Balancer, that was what he wore!
As a child he was a self-proclaimed sugarholic (I can identify with that)...
He blamed his bad diet for attacking his brother with an axe and setting the family house on fire. At 15, his mother took him to see a talk by nutritionist Paul Bragg, and Jack reformed his eating habit and became interested in fitness.
I can't identify with THAT, but I do get cranky if my giant Hershey bar is broken into pieces when I unwrap it.
Jack could do 1,033 push-ups. In 23 minutes. At the age of 42.
I could eat a bag of Doritos and record two TV shows at once on my DVR at the age of 42.
He also opened the first gym...
Jack LaLanne opened the country's first modern health club in Oakland, California, in 1936 at the tender age of 21. He worked with a blacksmith to create many of the weight machines that you see in your neighborhood gym today.
His line of health clubs eventually became Bally's Total Fitness.
He also didn't think people should warm-up before working out. The idea of that really seemed to chap his...leg-warmers.
"Now, you listen to some of these so-called sports-medicine experts today--shit! It's just shtick. It's just something else to sell. Warming up," he scoffed, adjusting a red ascot fitted neatly into his jumpsuit, "warming up is the biggest bunch of horseshit I've ever heard in my life. Fifteen minutes to warm up! Does a lion warm up when he's hungry? 'Uh-oh, here comes an antelope. Better warm up.' No! He just goes out and eats the sucker. You gotta get the blood circulating, but shit, does the lion cool down? No, he eats the sucker and goes to sleep. And that," he concluded, folding his arms into a variation of the pose, "is the truth."
Warming-up really does seem to make sense. Of course, he lived to be 96...so what do I know?
He also made a bazillion dollars selling his line of Power Juicers on TV.
I call people who get drunk very quickly "Power-Juicers".
I haven't made a dime on that phrase...yet.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I'm glad that Parks and Recreation is finally back on the air. Funny or Die did a hilarious promo for the new season that features Rob Lowe throwing an extremely profane fit in front of the cast after finding out that they hadn't actually been on the air for the past five months.
"I'm Robert Becefius Lowe."
That middle name could explain all the anger...
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I love Tina Fey and just saw the cover of her upcoming book, Bossypants, and laughed out loud. I never noticed how meaty her arms were on 30 Rock.
I'm sure it's gonna be a lot of fun to read, cause she's a very funny lady.
Speaking of meaty arms...
Looks like Glee's Kurt and Blaine made the new cover of Entertainment Weekly.
We'll find out on the Valentine's Day episode whether they are going to be a couple or not.
I have a feeling that they're gonna end up just friends...but we'll see.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The first official picture of Andrew Garfield (replacing Toby McGuire) from the new Spider-Man movie was released recently. The change of casting doesn't really seem to be that big of a deal to me, since Spidey is covered from head-to-toe for most of the film anyway.
Toby is probably happy to be able to gorge on pizza and beer without having to worry about squeezing into those unforgiving red Spanx again.
In another bit of recasting news, it was announced today that Australian actor Liam McIntyre has been officially cast to replace lead Andy Whitfield (who is being treated for a second round of cancer) in the second season of STARZ popular series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
They do look a bit similar and it will have been two years since the first season aired by the time the second season rolls around next year. So, that may work in the network's favor.
However, replacing a lead actor in any show is a risk, especially when the role comes with some very specific physical requirements.
Liam has some very big...sandals to fill.
Monday, January 17, 2011
My friend Maggie sent me a link to this hilarious site called Nasty Cute, which is all about "The nastiest thoughts of the cutest animals." Like, this entry from the cute puppy above...
“You never think about how much heavier a body is than a bone. It makes sense, I guess - a body is hundreds of bones…. Plus the guts and flesh and everything else…the shoes. I should have taken off the shoes, but I was in such a rush…I didn’t know what I was doing. If I had it to do over, I’d remove the shoes…and close the eyes. I can still feel them…watching me do…what I did."
And that's just the beginning of that story. There are also entries from a cute Duck, Koala Bear, Mouse, and a fluffy Kitten.
It's like Deep Thoughts, if Jack Handy was a demented animal.
Click here to read what your pets are really thinking...
Friday, January 14, 2011
My friend Greg sent me this hilarious ad for the I Beweave Hair Salon, featuring Shocantelle Brown telling you how she can "Take care of YO hair."
We all better make our appointments soon before they run out of the FREE back-scratchin' combs.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
SlashFilm posted this graphic of the many physical transformations that Christian Bale has gone through for various roles he has played over the years. He hasn't needed Jenny Craig to help him lose weight for a role when duty called. Lordy, he was practically a skeleton in The Machinist.
The only other notable role missing was how he looked in American Psycho.
His character obviously found time, in-between violently murdering people, to get to the gym regularly.
Now, that's dedication.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
This is a really interesting story about Vivian Maier, a nanny and, unknown until now, a Chicago street photographer in the 1950s whose work was recently discovered by a guy at an estate sale.
You can see more of her photos here on John's blog as he continues to process all of her work for an upcoming documentary about her life.
Monday, January 10, 2011
A few days ago, we started to notice a Falcon (the bird, not an Atlanta football player) hanging out in the trees here in the complex, so the squirrels have been understandably nervous. And they aren't the only ones...
"You take one more picture of me and I'm gonna grab you by the skull and take you up to my lair for dinner."
I decided to leave him alone after a couple of quick shots.
We also got a big snowstorm here in Atlanta last night. It started around 8 and was really fun to watch as the large fluffy flakes drifted down and covered everything all around us. My friend Chris, visiting from LA, was enjoying it thoroughly.
However, it wasn't so much fun to drive in because the freezing rain started a couple hours later and the snow-fearing Atlantians all decided that they should just turn on their hazard lights and only drive about two miles per hour, which naturally stranded most of them on any hill or incline that they encountered.
A friend from Ohio emailed me today and said "You picked a good time to move from sunny LA to Atlanta."
Believe it or not, I actually kinda like it.
The city is pretty much shut down today because they only seem to have one or two snow plows and their first priority doesn't appear to be clearing out any road near my neighborhood.
Oh well...guess we'll just have to stay in and relax today.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Lady Gaga dropped by the Consumer Electronics Show last night to promote her recent collaboration with Polaroid. During the presentation, they showcased some fancy new sunglasses that take photos and video...
As well as a mobile cell phone printer and a new Polaroid camera.
Perverts are gonna have a field day with those glasses at the beach...
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Joe Lewis had a mighty big fist.
Over the summer, I made my first trip up to Detroit, Michigan to visit my friend Ricardo for a few days. I didn't really know much about the city, other than General Motors used to be based up there years ago, before the big plant closed, and that it was the home of Motown Records.
Other than that, I'd pretty much heard that it was just a poverty-stricken ghost town in Michigan that was best to just drive through quickly with the doors locked.
Thankfully, I prefer to visit a place myself and make my own decisions from there.
Of course, if you're in Detroit, you have to go visit the Motown Historical Museum which is actually located inside its original location...an old converted home.
It offers a pretty entertaining and informative tour that gives you a very detailed history of the origins of Motown and the effect that Berry Gordy, his family, and a ragtag group of singers had on Detroit and the music industry at the time.
Stevie Wonder is also a big part of Motown, so it was interesting to drive through the run down First Ward area of Saginaw, Michigan to find his historical marker (noting where he was born and raised).
Ironically, Ricardo's grandmother owned a house right next to Stevie's family, so their families knew each other very well at the time.
I'm never playing "Six Degrees of Stevie Wonder" with him.
There are definitely areas of Detroit that you'd probably want to avoid, especially the variety of abandoned homes and buildings downtown that the crackheads frequent, but most big cities have that too.
We spent much of our time just wandering around the city-center and hanging out in some of the really nice suburbs. You can certainly find plenty to do and see while you're there.
Detroit turned out to be a lot more fun and interesting than I thought it would be. Would I live there? Probably not. Mainly, because I'm not a big fan of the cold winters or Eminem.
But, I'd definitely go back for a visit.