follows is a scattershot bit of random thoughts, links, and images that
showcase the lunacy that exists in the entertainment world and beyond.
Folks who remember my old missives from the old Steady Leak articles
should find this kind of stuff familiar. Folks seemed to get a kick out
of the first installment, and each Wednesday should fall victim to
another installment. Don’t expect anything deep here but something may
tickle your fancy.

Hope you dig:

The List of Dumb: 12/21/07 (Holiday Edition)

  1. EW’s Smart List.

    EW’s selling a bill of goods that ain’t good. While they have some genius [or as we call them here at CHUD, the choices we made about four years earlier than you] choices, there are two or three major flaws in EW’s thinking. One, they aren’t the place you want to go to find out who they think is smart. It’s like asking Lucas Haas to discuss small ears. Where was the smarts when they’re making American Idol the repeated focus of their attention? Where’s the smarts when they’re lamely trying to run a cool list that doesn’t hold a candle to this site’s own? They’ve shown some growth this year, getting a little more film-centric and devoting a tiny but less effort to reality television but they still give Heroes and Lost way too much attention while other stuff gets das shaft. Hiring Diablo Cody to write a column isn’t enough. So, while it’s nice to see the Judd Apatow, Guillermo del Toro, Jeff Walker, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Roderick Jaynes inclusions possibly the smartest person in town (Matt Damon) is relegated to a sidebar of also-rans while people like Ben Stiller (autopilot), Meryl Streep (Lions for Ahem!), Angelina Jolie (huh?) and others make the list. This is their rebuttal to the Power Lists that made magazines like Premiere special? Also, smart is not a virtue in Hollywood. The ability to take DUMB as a glancing blow across the cheek rather than head-on is a Hollywood virtue. People have been praising this list and to those people I say to go eat your grandmother’s bon bons. They’re in the little dish next to the couch with the plastic sheath.

  2. Under Armour Kids.

    I don’t know if this a South-only phenomenon but I see kids almost wherever I go who are wearing the tight and sleeveless Under Armour shirts AS THEIR SHIRT in public. Not beefy adults who are trying to show off their guns but boys who look even more pitiful in the garb next to young girls who are maturing a lot more gracefully than them. I am a huge Under Armour person, going back to way before it became a major brand and the holder of a large percentage of the sporting good apparel market. I think they make amazing products that serve a variety of purposes on and off the field of play. That said, if you are a parent who has a child of this age it’s probably wise to either show them the meaning of UNDERSHIRT in the dictionary or channel the deceased Ike Tuner on their ass, dishing out scissor-kicks and quintuple suplexes upon them until they realize the value of proper clothing choices or are too exhausted to go out in public*.

  3. 3:10 to Oscar?

    I am baffled by the amount of Oscar buzz 3:10 to Yuma is either trying to create, is getting, or is paying for as an act of post-strike stress relief. It’s a decent flick, but it has holes you can drive Alan Tudyk through and it’s not even the best Russell Crowe OR Christian Bale movie of 2007. It’s fun. It has solid performances. It’s Elmore Leonard. There are many reason to like it, though the contrivance in Act Three regarding Russell Crowe’s character damn near ruins the film for me. Because of this odd accumulating buzz I can only fear that the film will eventually get nominated and then piss me off by knocking something more deserving off the list. If that film happens to be the Jesse James one… people are gonna get hurt.

  4. New Line, Old News.

    I can personally thank New Line Cinema for a portion of the gray hair I own as well as an untold amount of dead brain cells due to the abomination that was the Meg deal. It was a tempestuous time for that studio and though there were a few [VERY FEW] great folks involved in the process, it’s one I’d gladly have erased from my memory if it wasn’t for the fact that the experience helped teach me everything to hate about the way Hollywood does its business. It’s not all bad, though… wait it actually is. It’s all bad. A few very good people wasted a lot of their time and all they have to show for it is liver spots and sagging balls.

    But this isn’t about that! I grew up a huge New Line guy, always being excited about films that followed that logo. Even though the studio’s mention makes my pants shrivel a little, I’m aghast to see what they’ve become in the post-Tolkein world they live in. Going through their releases in the past two years only Little Children and Running Scared do much of anything for me [I may have missed a flick or two but nothing major] and the list of horrible films almost makes my head hurt. I was so energized when the Lord of the Rings films kept the studio from becoming Warner Brothers: The College Years, now I wonder if it would have saved moviegoers some valuable time. The cherry on top of all of this is most definitely The Golden Compass, a huge misstep and possibly a mortal wound to all non-Harry Potter or Narnia fantasy epics. It brings me full circle on New Line, seeing how the power and clout has corrupted them.

    They need to go back to being a horror shingle. They need to get back to what made them great in the first place. Show Lion’s Gate and Dimension and their ilk who did it first. Who made the mold. To me it’s the only way to save that company and restore what little faith I have in their ability to make a rollicking good time at the movies.

    But I’m not bitter at all.

  5. Man Mannequin’s Got a Titrection.

    My stars. It looks like they’ve finally cornered the market for young men afflicted with 9-year old girltits in the high stakes fast-paced world of mannequin science. Even Meshach Taylor would cringe at this abomination of retail nippling. A mannequin is at its core a product of wizardry, a clothing golem if you will. They exist to be bland effigies of what we want ourselves to be if we didn’t have heads and when something disrupts that we enter a world of shit. Walking past this aroused young asshole, I felt the need to snap a picture. I also felt the need to go inside and punch the store manager in the ear. What kind of example are you setting with this being? It’s just not fair. I’m already projecting all of my flaws and needs on the mannequins I see in stores [and the five in my garage, one of which is wearing a Final Destination 3 swag shirt, you’re welcome], I can’t get a complex about my lack of pert tween nipples. Wait a minute… he has Icy Breasts!

  6. Nicolas Cage and My Baffled Ass.

    I like Nicolas Cage fine. Don’t be labeling me a Cage hater. I dig him and there was a time when I loved him more than bacon bits. What happened was a lot of everything all up in my shit, Nicolas Cage this and Nicolas Cage that and seemingly three piles of guano to every decent offering (and only one Adaptation). Yet here he still is drifting on or around the A-List despite a majority of his output the past ten years being extremely mediocre. Adding insult to that injury is the fact that he’s not even the fun and daring and nutty Nicolas Cage that made so many of us fans in the first place. Valley Girl. Birdy. Raising Arizona. Wild at Heart. Red Rock West. Even Kiss of Death. Aside from a few blips and the oddity that is The Wicker Man there’s not much fun being had and sorry folks… National Treasure ain’t the solution. If the new one’s a hit we can look forward to more generic uselessness. True story: I was at this private backlot-type screening for Pan’s Labyrinth where all of these genius Hollywood types [and me, which soiled the collective talent pool] had been invited by their mutual friend Guillermo del Toro to see the movie almost a year before its release. Cage was there with his son, and when I first saw him all these warm memories washed over me. All those great 80’s and early 90’s performances. Then reality hit me and I proceeded in the other direction. A talent like Nicolas Cage should never wane to the point where a Ghost Rider happens or where the real big event film he has to offer makes The DaVinci Code look like cutting edge adventure. Come back to us, Crazy Nic.

  7. Golf Hate.

    That introspective gentleman in the image above is your trusty author last week sitting in a golf cart during a particularly engaging session of the sport known as golf. I’ve noticed that a lot of Mexican folks in my town call it landscaping job. I love golf. I love it to death even though it hates me like Hitler hated perogis. A lot of my friends and the readers of this site hate golf. They think it’s an elitist game. And it is, but not for everyone. It’s also a game for folks to just have a nice relaxing time. We enjoy lush scenery, drink booze at 10am and it’s not only cool but rather essential. We catch up on conversation. We laugh. We smoke cigars. We don’t (aside from a few quick peeks) use our phone or check email. And it’s a challenging and sometimes rewarding game. Basically what I’m saying is that you guys need to give it a shot under the right conditions or trust me when I say that there are a lot worse ways to spend your day. Like fighting condors or being underneath the hips of your gyrating father.

  8. Matt Trakker She Ain’t.

    I’m minding my own business at the local Borders Books and who do I happen to bump into? Aloof Maskwearer is who. I haven’t seen her since CNN reported that old age is actually an airborne virus. What the fuck, lady? Are you about to perform a tracheotomy on the retail floor, because if that’s the case allow me to apologize. I just don’t often see folks in protective masks hanging around in my town. Then again, what if she’s holding something IN? What if she has some fucked disease and her selfish way of keeping it to herself is some flimsy mask. Aloof Maskwearer… can I call you that? OK. Aloof, what the goddamn? If you’re tainted with a bad case of Slither, stay at home and rot in your own special way. If you’re afraid one of us is going to taint you, stay at home or take your damn chances. I’ve got no time to be looking at people with masks on a weekday.

    By the way:

    "Stepfather, chocolate milks make my headaches hurt!"

Message Board Thread.

* – I do not advocate beating kids, unless it’s awesome.