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looks like Sarah Silverman dipped in make up and covered in tats. Oddly enough, when she opens her mouth she sounds like Shirley Bassey. Hmmm? Amy's musical stylings are something to absorb; the vintage sound crossed with her modern day venacular. Tales of drink and bad girl behaviour, cleverly played just straight enough to make you take note of her vocal talent. Although you get only a small snip on her Myspace and ITunes, I can tell you that her breezy 10 track CD is worth the gamble.
People are falling in love with her, if 10 myspace pages cropping up since Saturday is any indication. And I've seen her mentioned in no less than 5 magazines this month. A star on the rise or a flash in the pan? I'll admit, I've fallen in love with this girl before. Nelly McKay ring a bell? The comparison isn't exactly fair, as they are worlds apart when it comes to their sound, but what I mean is that I was so into McKay and she never captured the hearts of the many like a thought.
Stand out tracks: Rehab and Back In Black
Dancing With The Stars!
Ballroom Blitz is the opening number...oh my god, this is going to be sad. Cha-Cha-Cha.
Joey Fatone is a front runner? Not bad for the fat N'SYNC dude. Clyde Drexler looked like Sasquatch. Heather Mills looked creepier though dragging her fake leg around the floor. All in all, a hot mess.
And yet...I'll watch it.
Fun With IMDB
April, Courtney and Monica are three beautiful, intelligent and tough college freshmen. They are finishing their first semester at Los Lomas Malas community college, the armpit of community college's. They must do well on finals to gain entrance to an Ivy League University, cheer at the big game and rescue their Sensei, who has been kidnapped by the mob, all by midnight so they can compete in the all-city strip off with the hopes of winning college money. All the while, dodging nosy cops, keeping their parents at bay, dealing with a perverted coach and smiling, talking or fighting their way through a slew of odd characters.
Okay, so this is the description of the soon to be released (straight to DVD I'm sure) film Ninja Cheerleaders
. Now if the name alone doesn't grab you, let me throw this by you...
Sensei is played by Mr. Sulu, George Takei.
Oh wait, there's more. Trishelle Cannatella is one of the cheerleaders. Yep, that Trishelle
. And yet there is still more...
Michael Paré. You know, from Streets of Fire.
And...Max Perlich as Jimmy the Snitch. Max is from Beautiful Girls. And the Luscious Jackson video for Naked Eye. A song that I heard just the other day on Sirius.
I'm not a comic book guy nor am I a period piece guy, so approaching the 300
I was skeptical. Especially since all I heard about was that this was a film for guys
, or rather guys who love video games (another thing I am not). The look of the film is interesting but starts to teeter toward odd about 30 minutes in, the washboard abs look airbrushed and it becomes very obvious that the film was shot entirely on green screen much like Frank Miller's other graphic novel adaptation Sin City
. So what keeps you interested when the visuals start to wane?
My guess would be the story needs to hold up, but this is kind of like Persian/Spartan history for dummies and not exactly a sweeping, well crafted examination of the cultures of the people. You get the general idea of what is going on, Sparta sends 300 tough guys to hold off thousands of Perisan army (made up of hundreds of countries), but the story doesn't allow you to invest in the characters because it's all about the action.
Ah, the action. If there is any reason to see this film, without a doubt it is the visually stimulating action sequences. The backbone of the film is the gore and the incredible David vs. Goliath battles that take the foreground. If you don't get to bogged down on why the King of Sparta looks like Mel Gibson and talks like Sean Connery, you will most likely really enjoy the graphic violence and come out of the film saying it was pretty good.
Sometimes you need a popcorn movie in your life. One that doesn't require you to think, just observe, chuckle and be entertained. But Shakespeare this is not.
Ah, so you think I'm going to post on here about college basketball, do you? Hell no. Although I am in two bracket pools. What I'm referring to from this headline is the latest crop of reality television that is headed our way. INFERNO 3
on MTV gives us what appears to be a more physically demanding challenge show bringing back the theme of good guys vs. bad guys. (April 10th) The currently running trailer on MTV shows a very heated exchange between Kenny the Jersey doofus and hothead CT who apparently gets banished from the show early this season. And old steady Tonya is back to rile up the ladies. I saw tears! And cheating! You go girl!
VH1 is giving us a new round of Celebrity Fit Club
with Kimberly Locke and the intern kid on Leno. From what I hear, this season is men vs. women and all of the celebs are bulky but not obese making it actually competitive.
They are also bring back the "finest" ladies from two seasons of Flavor of Love for Charm School
which drops on April 15th. Great, just what we need to distract us from the tax deadline, Buckwild wiggering out on some hoochies.
If depression is your thing, Intervention
is back tonight on A&E with fresh episodes of druggies getting high and then clean. And right now, HBO is showing a 9 hour documentary called Addiction
that is getting rave reviews from everyone who sees it. They are one hour installments, so check your listings or put the 4-disc series on your Netflix queue as the set comes out March 20th. Dancing with the Stars
is relaunching on Monday night, moving away from the time slot that goes up against American Idol. Steve from 90210 is my underdog pick this season, but you can't trust that one legged wonder Heather Mills. Look what she did to Paul! And this season's Jerry Spring is none other than Cliff Claven!
With The Office, 30 Rock, Heroes and Studio 60 on a break, a guy like me has to find something to watch.
Sundance Film Festival
Over the past two decades, a lot of quality films have come out of the snowy, Utah film festival that Robert Redford started. So keeping that in mind, Premiere magazine is touting a dozed films that we should all be hyped to see during the next year as they roll out to a theater near you in their latest issue. That got me thinking...what looks good to me?
Snow Angels from director David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls) is an adaptation of the thrilling novel by Stewart O'Nan and stars Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale, a couple of my favorites.
Gregg Araki has done some weird films like The Doom Generation, Totally Fucked Up and Nowhere, but this new one Smiley Face is apparently a stoner film starring the Scary Movie chick Anna Farris. Huh?
The Savages brings two of my very, very favorite actors together as siblings who are dealing with their asshole father's dying days and confronting their own miserable existences. Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman are worth the viewing no matter the material.
Grace is Gone will be one of those tearjerkers that will just destroy you. Mommy dies in Iraq and Daddy (John Cusack) wrangles with how to tell his two small children for ninety minutes. Yikes.
An American Crime is about child abuse, another downer subject, but Catherine Keener beating the crap out of the girl from Hard Cardy could be intense and very watchable.
The Ten, from the guys behind The State and Wet Hot American Summer, also sounds interesting and has a star studded cast thanks to the cult appeal of WHAS. This funny take on the Ten Commandments has potential.
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Dito Montiel has put together what can only be called a true piece of art with his film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
. Full of powerful performances from a stellar cast, this coming of age story set in a sun drenched Queens circa 1986 zeros in on Dito and his gang of buddies. Robert Downey, Jr and Shia LaBeouf both take on the role of Dito at different times of his life, and draw you in with their reserved approach. But the stand out star is Channing Tatum who plays the hot head Antonio, a battered kid hell bent on protecting his buddy Dito at all costs.
If I have to compare this picture, I'd mesh Kids with Basketball Diaries. But the reason I would put this movie above them both is the style that Dito drenches this film in. Setting a movie in the 80's could have led to trouble with getting over the top with songs and costumes, but Dito underplays the whole thing and manages to make the film about the performances.
As a first time director, Dito is remarkably self assured taking the helm on his own autobiography and baring his wounds for all to see. This story is tough, gritty and incredibly moving, and for his efforts Dito was awarded both Director's Award (Dramatic) and Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It's a triumph, an independent movie that gives you an engrossing story, rich characters and incredible heart.
The Pick of Destiny
Sometimes movies come out and you just know you should avoid seeing them in the theater. The problem is that you wind up avoiding truly horrid movies at the same time you overlook movies that look bad, but wind up being on the good side of things. Does that make any sense? Let me further bring the point home with an example. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you are better off skipping Norbit regardless of medium, but once the DVD rolls out you might be tempted to put on the Netflix queue and eventually realize that your reason for avoiding it in the theater in the first place is the same reason you should have just avoided it completely. But then there are times like this, when you say "no way I'm paying $9 to see a Tenacious D movie" and then slap it on the Netflix queue and pop it in the DVD player on a quiet Friday night...and actually enjoy yourself.
Now I'm not suggesting that this movie was worthy of seeing in the theater, afterall it's a comedy and the big screen is only useful for action films anymore. No, what I'm trying to say is that even though the trailer made it look a bit hookey, the premise is kind of funny and not nearly as poorly executed as it could have been. Now I will say that I'm a D fan, so if you have heard some D in the past and think it's shit, you might want to shy away.
Things you can't deny about this film however:
Jack Black is charismatic and hilarious when he is let loose. (See High Fidelity.)
JB and KG are talented musicians and know how to write songs that could fit into a metal record or a musical on Broadway.
The cameos are clever. (Meatloaf, Dio, Tim Robbins and of course, Ben Stiller.)
The movie's plot is silly, but silly like Mr. Show and not silly like the umpteenth American Pie direct to DVD film. But the movie is quick, no fat on it, and the bottom line is that a comedy only works if it makes you laugh and I laughed a bunch watching these two chubby rockers ham it up for 90 minutes.
America, it's your Top 12!
American Idol becomes a charity show? No, I'm not talking about the trip to Africa that Ryan and Simon took to visit the poor. I'm talking about how the voters kept in Sanjaya!!! What the hell? And then on top of that, The Wedding Singer Haley gets to stay as well? Unreal.
Adios Jared, Sundance, Sabrina and Antonella!
And now the fun begins...
I liked this better when it was called Itunes.
Welcome to 2004 Amazon. We've been waiting for you.
American Idol: Road to the Top Twelve
Time for the ladies.
Much simpler assessment here. Anyone who is not white, please step forward. That leaves 1 slot open and I'll bet it is Kelly Clarkson light, rocker chick Gina Glocksen.
Melinda Doolittle and Lakisha Jones are the front runners on the ladies side. Both are very, very strong singers of the soulful variety. Melinda comes off to me as a little strange, so I think that gives the edge to Lakisha.
The next tier is Jordin Sparks (the youngster), Stephanie Edwards (the manish looking girl) and Stephanie Sloan who kind of looks like a black Barbra Streisand. All three have some ethnicity in them and I consider them all to be pretty solid singers.
Below that we have Gina Glocksen as the stand out white girl. What is helping Gina is doing songs like she did tonight, an Evanesence tune. Being the "rocker" gives her an advantage because no one else is trying to pull that off.
And bring up the rear are my picks to get the boot tomorrow night, Antonella Barba (has a girl ever made it this far on just looks?) and Haley Scarnato (the wedding singer). Both of these girls just look so horrible compared to the company they keep above. How can you follow Lakisha and bust out an Aerosmith song? It's not working chickies...
American Idol: Road to the Top Twelve
This week we will have our final 6 guys and 6 girls rounding out the all important Top 12 for American Idol. With that in mind, I think I owe it to you all to break down the remaining guys tonight and the remaining girls tomorrow night to see who we have to choose from.
Blake Nelson, the beat box faux hawker. This kid is doing something that no one else is doing, and that is bring some coolness to what has become a somewhat corny show. Keane, Jamiroqui and this week 311's All Mixed Up is stuff that has never been heard on this program and it's giving the guy an edge.
Sanjaya Malakar is a hot mess. Clearly this kid with his long flowing locks and baby voice are tragic to watch. This week he busted out the flat iron and just looked incredibly creepy. It sucks because I kind of liked him during the audition process, but man oh man....John Mayer he is not.
Sundance Head gave us some Pearl Jam this week and I think I can still hear Eddie Vedder streaming in his Seattle living room as I type this. The guy has serious pipes, but that chest hair is flat out nasty looking. And I feel really bad saying this considering my propensity for facial hair, but his beard is annoying.
Chris Richardson is a bit of a front runner, he is like Justin Timberlake light. Spicing it up with some Jason Mraz last week and getting smooth tonight with his five o'clock shadow and Keith Urban slow jam. I think considering his competition among the men, he is one of the best by default.
Jared Cotter...flat out forgettable. I cannot remember any song he did before tonight, and tonight he just did a piss poor impression of Stevie Wonder. I fully expect to see him missing next week.
Brandon Rogers, the male back up singer (not to be confused with Melinda Doolittle the female back up singer) is famous for pandering for votes after a horrid performance during dedication week. This week he sings a song that sounds mysteriously like a car commercial.
Phil Stacey, is the bald guy. Very capable singer, but very generic. Missing You was an interesting choice last week. This week, terrible song choice. Probably getting by on the fact that he is a Dad and not exactly his talent and that won't get him far enough.
Chris Sligh, the mop top, chubby dude from South Carolina, absolutely working against himself each week with his song choices. The kid is perhaps the best singer in the bunch, but refuses to do a song that people can recognize and that will wing up hurting him as the contest progresses.
Okay, so there's your field of men. I see Jared and Sanjaya heading home this week. My odds on favorite to finish as the top dude...Chris Richardson with Blake Nelson on his heels.
Guilty Pleasure of the Week
Style Network has a show called Split Ends that is essentially the same concept as Wife Swap but with hair stylists. A stylist in one city swaps out with one in another city and they work in each other's salons for a week. It's so gay...but I love it.
Oh, dear. Andrew "Dice" Clay has decided to mount a comeback. According to the first two episodes of his new VH1 reality show, his goal is to sell out Giants Stadium. I guess selling out Madison Square Garden in 30 minutes almost 20 years ago gave this guy the idea that he is some special kind of talent. Well, I can say that Dice can still be funny. At least his stand up clips from the present day show he can execute a joke with ease. But come on now, selling out a stadium? That's a joke right?
Dice has become a cartoon. His urban street wear in plus sizes that clearly he bought at TJ Maxx couple with his giant black glasses make him seem even more aloof than you were expecting. However, the show's "reality" "scenes" are so contrived and set up, clearly the guy is working some schtick to the nth degree in the desperate hope that someone will care. What's truly sad is that the show does have some moments that are funny, so when the set ups take place you feel cheated a little. After seeing this path taken by Bonaduce, Hulk Hogan, Britney and Kevin, Gene Simmons and many, many, many more this just feels like Osbornes light. In a word, terrible.