September 30, 2004
Here are your Olsen Twins contest winners!
Um.. those ARE the Olson Twins, right?
I'm just listing the winners in no particular order:
"The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley - The Case of the Missing Childhood Earnings" 50 points for Ralph
"Mary-Kate & Ashley On Tour with The Grateful Dead" 40 more points for Ralph (-10 for the permanent mental images this invokes)
"Purge and Prejudice" HAH! 75 points for Joel
"Mary Kate & Ashley: Reputation For Sale" good for 50 points for Mr. E.
"Empty House" Cute! 45 points for Alex, who's back on the board after a dry spell.
AND the classic link for Mr. E garners him another 100 points.
My preliminary calculations put Mr. E a slim 100 points up on Joel in the overall competition - not much of a lead in the high-powered Popping Culture world.
Remember we're entering the last month of play... scores reset with a new prize at the end of October.
September 29, 2004
Calling fellow comics geeks.
With a few notably stinky exceptions (Catwoman, Punisher), it appears that movie translations of comic book heroes are making a big comeback. It was cinched for me when the X-Men and Spider-Man were so compelling on the big screen. I feared that both would be ridiculous (as the dismally forcast Fantastic Four flick promises to be), but they really pulled it off.
The classic comic book to movie transition, of course, was the brilliantly dark The Crow.
Superman and Batman are both being revisited in new big screen formats in the near future, and both would seem to be near-sure things in terms of box office draw.
So here's the question that Mr. E asked me. Since it's a bigger discussion than a two-man talk, let me pose it to the throngs of Popping Culture faithful (both of you!): What comic book would you like to see made into a one-shot (or series) big screen cinematic adventure?
Here are my preferences, in order:
(1) Strikeforce: Morituri (anyone else remember this?) for the sheer drama.
(2) Dr. Strange. Heavy on the CGI, I imagine, but a good origin story could work nicely.
(3) The Hulk done much better than the recent one. The internal conflict has much potential for drama. Ditto Spawn.
I'm sure others will spring to mind once I've had more sleep.
Please note that I hope to the Good Lord above that my favorite comic of all time (Gaiman's Sandman) never becomes a movie. It's perfect now. Don't touch it.
Also, because they are decent comics, but won't (IMHO) translate to the big screen, let's stay away from: Green Lantern, Silver Surfer, Green Arrow, Aquaman and anything ending in "lad."
In case you're in the mood for bad news.
John Corbett, one of my favorite actors, is giving up the biz.
Corbett is best known for Sex and the City and My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, but he had me at Northern Exposure, which I wish could have stayed on the air forever.
Um, except that the last season was horrific. It's like thinking about Moonlighting - you have to forget the last season.
Don't forget to set your VCRs!
The first Presidential debate is Thursday night (yes! tomorrow!) at 9 p.m. EST.
For your convenience, I have posted the final results below in case you can't see it yourself.
Right-wing blogs: Bush crushed Kerry. Kerry is, for all intents and purposes, out of the race.
Left-wing blogs: Kerry crushed Bush. Bush might as well concede now.
Nader-supporting blogs: "Everybody Loves Raymond" is HILARIOUS.
September 28, 2004
The Story That Mrs. Popping Culture Doesn't Want You To See...
I gotta say, I wasn't shocked.
September 27, 2004
More Points! More Points!
The rich keep getting richer. Um, and hotter. The Olson Twins got an eight-figure advance this week from Dualstar Video.
EIGHT FIGURES. As in, the LEAST it could be is ten million dollars.
Then again, that's beans considering their direct-to-home video sales have topped a billion dollars since 1993.
Your task is simple, since you did such a riotously good job with the last name-the-movie contest: Given the twins' newest riches, give me the name of their next big direct-to-home-video movie. Enter as often as you like. Contest ends Wednesday night and points will be based on personal whim, so if you enter more than once you might win more than once.
A feel-good story from the world of art.
Here are some disadvantaged painters showing their work for the first time in a formal British exhibition next month.
All of the artists come from situations that left them prone to depression and anxiety, and each has a distinct artistic style.
Oh, yeah... did I mention they're chimpanzees?
September 26, 2004
Make sure to clean your pennies before they're obsolete!
I was gonna make the classic "somebody has too much time on their hands" joke, but then I realized I was taking the time to report on the guy with too much time on his hands, so I must have WAY too much time on my hands. Or something.
September 25, 2004
We have a (couple) winner(s)!!
Everybody always does so well at these contests.
I snorted at "Survivor: The Movie!" and "A Bug's Death" and "Leonard Part XXVII." Then I cringed. I actually sat all the way through that Leonard movie. I was sick and my mind was full of medicine. I didn't know better, I swear.
Still the memories linger. Painfully.
I thought Mr. E's "Gigli Wonka and the Temple of Gymkata" was a nice touch, worthy of first place... it was timely to two movies we've panned here, while nicely playing on words with "Gigli" and "Willie." And NOBODY makes plays on "Willie" like Mr. E.
Still, I couldn't run from "Quentin Tarantino Presents Snow White" by Folkbum. That's just the gold standard, really.
So we have adjusted the scoring.
Folkbum gets first place and 100 points.
Mr. E takes home second and 50 points.
Ralph nabs third and 25. I can't resist a good Survivor slam.
Again, everyone did great. I laughed at each post. Still, there can be only, er, two! Um, there can only be three!
Bored of your plain life, but still want to be a book nerd like your hero, Big Dan?
Why, the solution is simple.
Read one of these dangerous books at Bookslut.
God's not laughing AT you, God's laughing WITH you. It's just that you're not laughing.
In these days of pseudo-tolerance and faux-inclusivity, the least PC thing in the world you can be is a Christian. On top of the religious liberal backlash against anyone who holds opinions about the Big Guy (or the Good Book), you have folks who call themselves Christians really messing things up for us normal folks who just happen to be big with the faith.
Still, these comedians aren't just making it cool to be down with God, they're making it downright hilarious.
September 24, 2004
Red Hills and Bones, 1941
Oil on canvas, 29 3/4" x 40"
Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection
September 23, 2004
Fans of the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral" will remember the use of this poem to great effect in the titular funeral.
by W.H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
September 22, 2004
"Rocky XIII: Electric Boogaloo" or "Honey 2"
UPDATE: Feel free, of course, to enter more than once.
50 critical points to the person who posts the fake title of a movie I would LEAST like to see. Make up a movie title; the worse it sounds, the better you score.
Event ends Saturday night at midnight.
September 21, 2004
A political possibility that will make you lose sleep...
September 20, 2004
Just call me "Mr. Well Adjusted"
So I took the Personality Disorder Test. Turns out I'm not an immediate danger to go all Unibomber, so I got that going for me.
Which is nice.
I would have thought narcissistic for sure. Big with the "histrionic" though.
People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. They also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.
Thanks to Sheila for the link.
Maybe we should run a pool.
Any bets on how long the Federline-Spears union lasts?
And will it be measured in months or hours?
Anybody out there able to defend this union?
September 19, 2004
It is past time to introduce you to my favorite poem of all time. The words are occasionally nonsensical, but you ALWAYS know what they mean nevertheless. This is poetic perfection.
Culture Mavens Beware: Minus all your points if you don't love it.
by Lewis Carroll
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood a while in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
The Update We've All Been Waiting For...
Joel reached back into the past and dug up 35 points last night, propelling him into a slim lead with just over a month to go in the Culture Mavens contest!
Update in the right sidebar.
**Update on the update***
Folkbum exists again.
September 18, 2004
Oddest entry ever.
First of all, we're just hours from National Talk Like A Pirate Day, as you know.
More critically, if THIS song was any... er, cheesier... I'd have to give points for listening to it.
Wow! An honest actor!
Paul Bettany said...
You know, Paul Bettany?
That guy in the tennis movie with Kirsten Dunst?
Well, he summed his career up nicely in this Premiere Magazine interview.
Key Quote: "You have to have an awareness of where you are on the food chain. That’s how careers go,” says Bettany, draped lazily on a barstool. “It goes: ‘Get me that guy who looks like Jude Law but cheaper. What’s his name?’ ‘Paul Bettany.’ And then they go, ‘Get me Paul Bettany.’"
Popping Culture's take: the movie looks cute, but we're afraid it will feel like Kirsten's cheating on poor Peter Parker.
September 17, 2004
Ok... anybody NOT see this coming?
September 16, 2004
Big Update Coming Soon!!!
Remember, the Culture Mavens Points contest ends at midnight on Halloween. The prize for the top dog? A Big 'Ole Barnes and Noble gift certificate!
Just over one month to go before the contest ends and all points reset! Oh, the humanity!
Remember, you can check for any contest opportunities you may have missed by clicking "Points Getters" in the sidebar for a list of all previous contests!
I'll update the scores Friday morning! It's close at the top!
Look! I'm trying to sound enthusiastic!
September 15, 2004
The time to act is now!
Mere hours remain in the Jessica Simpson/Dukes of Hazzard contest below!!
Remember: if you are the only entry, you win!!
Are you there, God? It's me, Dan
Thanks for the props on this award.
I sense a disturbance in the Force, as if a million nerds suddenly cried out in joy and clicked a link.
Fanboys, this one's for you!
This website lists the differences between the 1997 Special Editions of the Star Wars films and the new 2004 DVD Editions.
This doesn't include minor changes and sound mix changes. I mean, after all, it's only one obsessive-compulsive fanboy website. You can't ask for miracles.
September 14, 2004
Points! Points! Points!
Jessica Simpson has been cast as Daisy Duke in the upcoming "Dukes of Hazzard" flick.
Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville already had been cast as Bo and Luke Duke, respectively.
With the exception of Knoxville, this is fair-to-decent casting.
Want 75 Culture Mavens points? Give me a better alternative to the Daisy Duke role than Simpson. Who would you cast as the tastiest Duke, and could she handle exploding arrows?
You have until Thursday midnight.
Another loss to the Pop Culture world
Henry Anszczak, who invented/revolutionized the world of high school yearbook photography, is dead at 92.
September 13, 2004
Get your resumes together, people.
Disney is looking to fill two positions.
First, openings exist year-round for sweaty, itchy teen in oversized mouse or duck costume. Earn minimum wage today!
Second, they could use a new billionaire CEO.
Stop spreadin' the news
Lyricist Fred Ebb (New York, New York and many others) is dead at (about) age 76.
September 12, 2004
Ginevra de' Benci
by Leonardo da Vinci
I understand the tears...
...but you really have to be careful of rust.
Sure, there's a THIRD hurricane AND a Korean mushroom cloud....
... but there may finally be some good news.
September 11, 2004
My Review of Joey on NBC
1/6 as funny as an average episode of Friends.
Any of you Culture Mavens disagree?
Pick-A-Batman Contest Results
This was one of the toughest contests to judge yet!
Still, there can be only one, so from a field of tough contenders, the winners are listed below. Points will appear in our next update.
FIRST PLACE (100 Points): Joel Caris. David Boreanaz is actually a pretty inspired pick. He has a following already, but a relatively small one. He has what I call "Batman Jaw" and he, as Joel astutely pointed out, has been essentially playing the tormented Dark Knight role for years on Angel. Very good work, Joel. This option completely escaped me.
SECOND PLACE (50 points): Dean Esmay. Hugh Jackman could pull it off. He has a great range, from playing Wolverine to dancing in a Broadway musical. I'm willing to give him a shot.
THIRD PLACE (25 points): Mr. E. Dwayne Johnson (AKA the Rock) is another interesting choice. Maybe by now, and given an extra acting class, he can dial down the image, which pretty much constists of glaring all the time. As his WWE character, he plays sauve and debonair, as well as physically intimidating, only he does it to the Nth degree. If he could dial it down, this is a possibility. Not a first place possibility, but still, there it is.
The only problem I had with Keaton was he didn't LOOK the part and needed plastic muscles. I wanted someone who looked the part as well as had the range to do the serious acting required. Heath Ledger, for instance, could act the role, but definitely doesn't look the part.
Congrats to all the winners. Losers can be consoled in knowing that if there were 10 prizes given, they would have been winners easily.
September 10, 2004
Finally here: The review of McDonald's newest chicken abomination
Key Quote from this site:
McDonald's seems to have gone out of its way to maintain the Selects' seasoning level safely below anything that might cause the consumer to perceive flavor of any kind.
Remember when the Internet was supposed to wipe out the need for books?
Richard Adams says the Internet saved the book industry. And he's from the UK, so you know it's true.
Um, so there.
Ok, I understand you don't like the new dry dog food...
Just please put down the gun.
Click here for a story of Instant Dog Karma.
September 09, 2004
Are you there, God? It's me, Dan.
September 08, 2004
Points for Everyone! Well, everyone who wins.
First Place: 100 Culture Mavens points
Second Place: 50 Culture Mavens points
Third place: 25 Culture Mavens points
The Batman movies have always made money, despite horrific casting choices at the title position. Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney... they not only share the sound of the first syllable, they are also united in being good actors cast incorrectly.
Well, Warner Brothers is giving the Batman series another go. The hope this time is that a relatively unknown, Christian Bale, can, erm, bail out previous casting gaffes. (To be fair, Michael Caine as Alfred is a sweet pick, insomuch as MC can play any role he wants.)
Here's your chance to teach WB a lesson. In YOUR Batman movie, who plays the Big Bat and why? Convince me of your choice and you win. Choices can be repeated, but if you pick someone already chosen, your rationale better be better.
You have until Saturday morning, whenever I happen to drag my sorry tail out of bed. Begin.
by Carl Sandburg
When Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs he forgot
the copperheads and the assassin . . . in the dust, in the
And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street,
cash and collateral turned ashes . . . in the dust, in the
Pocahontas' body, lovely as a poplar, sweet as a red haw in
November or a pawpaw in May, did she wonder? does she
remember? . . . in the dust, in the cool tombs?
Take any streetful of people buying clothes and groceries,
cheering a hero or throwing confetti and blowing tin
horns . . . tell me if the lovers are losers . . . tell me if any
get more than the lovers . . . in the dust . . . in the cool
The horrific fame of Paris Hilton put in much-needed perspective
This head-to-head evalutation of Hilton and Julia Louis-Dreyfus casts a long-overdue beam of reality on the talentless Hilton.
Key Quote [Both are heiresses to more money than you can imagine]: "Let's face it, if the Hilton family wasn't filthy rich, we'd have no idea who Paris is. Obviously, that's not the case with Julia."
September 07, 2004
Munch Museum steps up security
In the wake of the recent theft of The Scream by Edvard Munch, a museum in Oslo that carries some of his work has stepped up security.
Of course, they only call it the Munch Museum. The more accurate name is the Museum of Paintings That Nobody Has Ever Heard of, Because Let's Face It, The Scream Is the Only Noteworthy Painting Munch Ever Produced, And That Only Because It's So Disturbing.
Or MPTNHEHOBLFITSIONPMEPATOBISD for short.
Forget the Energizer Bunny, gimme some of what Jerry Lewis powers up on.
He's been doing it every year I've been alive, and I'm not young. Only the hurricane kept him from breaking records again this year. We should be so lucky to find a cause we care about this much.
September 05, 2004
I guess even terrorists need a good laugh every so often.
Al-Jazeera introduced a "Lighter Side of the News Segment."
Key quote: "I could not believe what I was seeing," Osiraq resident Akil Hamza said. "The fig looked just like him."
September 04, 2004
A Charlie and the Chocolate Factory video game?
Please tell me it's a joke. I play video games as a hobby and even I'm against this disaster in the making.
I heard about this lapse of gamewriting logic in an article on blogcritics.org about Questionable Movie-to-Game-Adaptations.
Good read, bad idea, potentially horrific game.
The government wants you to evacuate, but...
... we've decided the whole "life-threatening hurricane" thing can wait until after the meaningless preseason game.
Haven't the Dolphins suffered enough already?
The word "Yikes" springs to mind.
Also "big" and "evacuate."
September 03, 2004
At the time of his hospital admission last week, Dangerfield quipped: "If things go right, I'll be there about a week; and if things don't go right, I'll be there about an hour and a half."
Words of encouragement to Rodney, courtesy of close friend Carl Spackler: License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence. And that's all she wrote.
September 02, 2004
Do you hear that? Silence....
It's as if the world is taking a deep breath, knowing that in just 16 short days, it'll be INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!!!
This photo is of from the set of the new King Kong movie.
L-to-R: Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, director Peter Jackson and Jack Black.
Any guesses on which one plays the ape?
September 01, 2004
Are you there, God? It's me, Dan...
Seriously... don't you think Florida's had enough?
Big mover: Joel
The Culture Mavens points have been updated in the right sidebar and the big mover this time is Joel Caris, who gained 100 points on the strength of a victory in the Paris Hilton novel-writing contest and being able to sit through some of the worst boy-band madness ever!
Mr. E is still way out in the lead, but the points contest doesn't end until Halloween night, so there's plenty of time to catch up with some exciting contests coming your way soon!
Remember, Mr. E, points harlot that he is, clicked on the category "points-getters" in the right sidebar, went back through our website's history, and collected a couple hundred extra points on old contests. You can do the same.
CONTEST UPDATE: For the grand prize winner, come October 31 at midnight, I'm considering something along the lines of a Barnes and Noble Gift Certificate. You like, Culture Mavens?
The Lock at Dedham, 1824
by John Constable
Anybody out there read anymore?
This editorial in The Village Voice explores the question: are books even useful anymore? What are books for in today's world?
An interesting, if humanist, approach. I suggest you look it over.
Hat tip to ArtsJournal.
What do you do when you're done with your Baldwin?
Alec Baldwin gets all big-brothery and warns brother Stephen that the Republicans are using him and his "fame" for their own political purposes and that they'll throw him "in the wastebasket" when they're done with him.
Well, first of all, cheers to Alec for boosting little brother's confidence by giving his weak career some exaggerated play, but seriously, if you're the Republican National Committee, when does it get so bad that you start screaming "We need Stephen Baldwin!"???
What has to happen to an electoral process for the difference between Bush and Kerry to come down to the allegiance of Stephen "Bio-Dome/Half-Baked" Baldwin?