Monthly Archives: January 2008


Except the kid is me and the Nintendo 64 is LOST.

Finally! After eight months of sitting through the wasteland that is summer TV, the writers strike, and Gossip Girl, good television is back. It’s back, and ready to murder every Lipstick Jungle and Dance War dumb enough to stand in it’s way. Watching the promos for the season premier and listening to Jack’s, “We have to go BACK!”, for the past month has put a smile on my face and a big wet spot on my pants. Of course you all watch the show, and know that season three’s smack-you-upside-the-head finale left us with boocoo questions:

1. Who gets off the island?

2. Who’s COMING to the island?

3. Ben said that if others came on the island, everyone would be killed. Can he be trusted?

4. Will Jack keep his stylish drunkard’s beard?

Hopefully, these questions and more will be answered come Thursday night. LOSTWATCH!! will be back, because there’s really no such thing as talking about this show too much. Thursday night, if it comes down to attending a close friend’s funeral and watching LOST, I’d seriously consider staying in.


Join or Die



Keep this on your radar. HBO is producing a seven-part miniseries on John Adams, based on David McCullough’s 2002 biography. Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti stars in the title role, with Laura Linney co-starring as Abigail Adams. What little I’ve seen so far looks great, and McCullough is a terrific author. The whole thing kicks off March 16th. So make sure you cancel anything you might be doing with work or your family, because this is gonna be better than ten Super Bowls!

Here’s the official site.

Gordon B. Hinckley: 1910-2008

The bad news keeps coming. Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints passed away today due to “causes incident to age”. He was 97. He really did a lot in his thirteen years as President of the Church and will be greatly missed.

The official press release from

Deseret News

photo by Chris Detrick

Heath Ledger dead at 28


Heath Ledger, who made headlines in the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain, was found dead today in his Manhattan apartment by his housekeeper. The New York Times is saying that Ledger’s body was found surrounded by pills and that the authorities are investigating the possibility of an overdose. Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Brokeback, and will appear as The Joker in this summer’s The Dark Knight. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

2008 Oscar Nominations

For those of you who are interested, the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Not surprising is No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood who are both leading the pack with eights nods apiece. Juno also did well for itself, nabbing a Best Picture nod as well as nods for Ellen Page, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. Casey Affleck was nominated for best supporting actor, so it was kind of surprising to see that Brad Pitt wasn’t also nominated for his role in The Assassination of Jesse James. Anyway, here’s the complete list…

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Brad Bird
“Surf’s Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Achievement in art direction
“American Gangster” (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
“Atonement” (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins
“Atonement” (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design

“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight), Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson

Best documentary feature
“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” (The Documentary Group) A Documentary Group Production: Richard E. Robbins
“Sicko” (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company) A Dog Eat Dog Films Production: Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
“Taxi to the Dark Side” (THINKFilm) An X-Ray Production: Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
“War/Dance” (THINKFilm) A Shine Global and Fine Films Production: Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject
“Freeheld” A Lieutenant Films Production: Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
“La Corona (The Crown)” A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production: Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
“Salim Baba” A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production: Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
“Sari’s Mother” (Cinema Guild) A Daylight Factory Production: James Longley

Achievement in film editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Christopher Rouse
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
“Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year
“Beaufort” Israel
“The Counterfeiters” Austria
“Katyn” Poland
“Mongol” Kazakhstan
“12” Russia

Achievement in makeup
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
“The Kite Runner” (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Falling Slowly” from “Once” (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“Raise It Up” from “August Rush” (Warner Bros.): Nominees to be determined
“So Close” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year
“Atonement” (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight) A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Best animated short film
“I Met the Walrus” A Kids & Explosions Production: Josh Raskin
“Madame Tutli-Putli” (National Film Board of Canada) A National Film Board of Canada Production Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski “Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)” (Premium Films) A BUF Compagnie Production Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
“My Love (Moya Lyubov)” (Channel One Russia) A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production Alexander Petrov
“Peter & the Wolf” (BreakThru Films) A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film
“At Night” A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production: Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
“Il Supplente (The Substitute)” (Sky Cinema Italia) A Frame by Frame Italia Production: Andrea Jublin
“Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)” (Premium Films) A Karé Production: Philippe Pollet-Villard
“Tanghi Argentini” (Premium Films) An Another Dimension of an Idea Production: Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
“The Tonto Woman” A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production: Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Matthew Wood
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay
“Atonement” (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
“Away from Her” (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay

“Juno” (Fox Searchlight), Written by Diablo Cody
“Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
“The Savages” (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins

“I drink your milkshake!”

The bad thing about movies like There Will Be Blood is that, more and more these days, they’re only given limited releases. They open in New York and L.A. and slowly trickle down to the rest of the country, where we, the Philistines, take a break from our NASCAR races and American Gladiator fights and head to the movie theater to see what real culture is like. I can’t afford to move out to California just to see all the really good movies. Maybe one day I’ll be there. Right now I’m not. So until then, I’ll shut up and deal with it.

Blood is a loose adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Daniel Plainview, a successful oil tycoon working in turn-of-the-century California. One day Plainview is approached by Paul Sunday (Paul Dano), who tells him about an oil deposit sitting underneath his family’s ranch, just waiting for someone to tap it. After scouting the area with his son, Plainview tries to buy the land without mentioning the oil he knows is underneath. However, Paul’s twin brother, Eli, won’t be swindled and says they will sell the ranch for no less than $10, 000. Plainview agrees, and we’re off. From there, we see a power struggle develop between the two that will last for years to come.

I loved the movie. It’s rare to walk out of the theater not being able to think of something I would’ve liked to have seen done differently. Paul Anderson wrote a great script and Daniel Day-Lewis gave an amazing performance. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him walk away with an Oscar this year. What I really think is great about movies like this is that they’ve gone a ways toward redefining the American western. The Assassination of Jesse James, No Country for Old Men (a modern western) and the HBO series Deadwood, are other good examples. These stories have taken the focus off the bang bang, shoot ’em up stuff and made it more about the characters.

With Oscar nominations coming up, you’ll probably be hearing a lot more about this movie. If it’s playing near you, I definitely recommend dropping whatever unimportant waste of time you’re doing and running out to see it. A-

Yesterday’s TV, Today… for Tomorrow!

If anyone from the 80’s were alive today, I bet they’d turn on the TV, flip through the channels, and say, “What is this, the eighties?” Right now, we have new episodes of Battlestar Galactica and Bionic Woman, with new episodes of Knight Rider on the way. As long as the studios aren’t worried about being original anymore, here are a few TV shows I’d like to see resurrected.


Starring Dolph Lundgren’s package. This is a show that doesn’t even need an update. Just do a live-action show using scripts from the old cartoon. It was filled with so much sexual innuendo, no one will realize that it’s twenty years old. The pictures speak for themselves.

The A-Team

To make the show a little more contemporary, set it in New Orleans. That’ll give it that K-Ville flavor – which is another brilliant show, and undoubtedly the greatest cop drama of all ALL time. Of course, if this new A-Team were to ever be made, then it would be the greatest cop drama of all time. In this version, Hannibal, Peck and Murdock go around the city making witty observations about cajun food and jazz music while chasing down smugglers and pirates. BA Baracus (who’s still being played by Mr. T) goes around beating up gangbangers and Hurricane Katrina. Cajun style. He’s also a cocaine addict. Cajun style.

Who’s the Boss

You had always heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that Tony Danza did a few porno movies before his talk show sky-rocketed him to TV stardom and into our hearts. Watch as this after hours “sitcom” gives new meaning to Danza’s classic catch phrase, “Hey! Tone-ay!” Rated M for mature viewers. It gets a little blue.

Arrested Development

Who cares when it was made? Everyone loved it! Just bring it back!

Of course, none of these shows will ever get made/come back. At least, with the writers strike on, there’s plenty of American Gladiators and Deal or No Deal on TV.