Monthly Archives: October 2011



God help me, but I am happy to see these two knuckleheads back on MTV.








Creepiest thing about the Herman Cain “smoking” ad?  Not the smoker, Cain chief of staff Mark Block (above), but rather the ominous, cat-that-ate-the-canary grin on Cain’s face at the commercial fadeout.

And thanks, Wolf Blitzer, for sharing your opinion that an ad featuring smoking must be “idiotic.”  So is your beard.






Watching Bill O’Reilly and Barbara Walters — both of them immensely wealthy — debate the motives of Occupy Wall Street protesters ranked pretty high on my Vomit Meter.

Of the two, Walters was worse because she claimed to actually understand the angry phenomenon.  At least O’Reilly didn’t hide his confusion.  Walters was on The O’Reilly Factor to promote something that comes more naturally to her:  a TV special in which she brown-noses billionaires.  Now those are people she can understand.





“We are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits.”


Not so fast, Grandpa.  According to news reports, most seniors rake in much more in benefits than they paid for by the time they go to that great-big ice-cream social in the sky.  We are all of us in trouble here, so older people had better think twice before they join the rich as the only Americans who don’t seem to believe in “shared sacrifice.”


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                                                        by Charles Dickens                                                                 



Crabby criticisms of a beloved book


Admit it:  The world would be a better place if more people were like pre-ghost Ebenezer Scrooge, a cantankerous old coot who nevertheless kept to himself and contributed to society, rather than like post-ghost Scrooge, a giddy imbecile who ran amok, imposing himself on friends and foes alike.  What an unbearable world it would be if all 7 billion of us went about like the “new and improved” Scrooge – foisting turkeys on each other, barging into family dinners, and frightening small children.

But seriously … I think Dickens is so enduring because his characters and dialogue still sparkle in the 21st century.  Dickens’ stories – like that of Ebenezer Scrooge – are often sentimental and overblown – but oh, such memorable people!  I suppose it says more about me than about Dickens, but I prefer his later, darker works (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities) to early, syrupy Dickens (Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol).


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Trainspotting was a huge hit in Britain in 1996, and eventually was named the tenth-best British film of all time by the British Film Institute.  Director Danny Boyle’s exploration of young drug addicts in Edinburgh didn’t do quite so well across the pond (read my review here), but there is no denying its energy and originality. Check it out for free by clicking here.


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 Wild Kingdom


I was watching Cujo on AMC, and ads for the SPCA kept interrupting the movie, with Sarah McLachlan imploring viewers, “Will you be an angel for a helpless animal?”

I repeat:  This was during a screening of Cujo.  You know, the story about a big dog with rabies that kills everyone?  This dog:




I don’t know, AMC.  Do you think Cujo viewers were likely in the mood to rescue helpless animals?







“Do you want a moat with alligators?”

That was a question MSNBC’s Martin Bashir put to Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a discussion about the Mexican border.  I wasn’t interested in moats with alligators, so I flipped the channel to Fox News, where Shepard Smith announced that dozens of tigers, grizzly bears, lions and monkeys were running loose in Ohio.

I flipped back to AMC, but the movie about a rabid dog was no longer playing.





The best reason to vote for Obama in 2012:









Sorry, but when you go onstage looking like this, you are going to get the snide “fat” comments.






OK, so I’m a little late to the party, but I am getting hooked on the History channel’s reality show, Pawn Stars.  The series has a winning formula:  Customers bring in their junk — a lot of it fascinating, some of it valuable — and it’s evaluated by Las Vegas pawn store employees Rick, Corey, Richard, and “Chumlee,” all of whom exhibit folksy charm.

Just one question:  Why aren’t there more female customers at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop?




This is how my dictionary defines “classic” —




I keep seeing the word “classic” used to describe movies and TV shows that are more than, oh, roughly ten years old.  Last week, I read that Hollywood is producing remakes of the “classic” 1980s movies The Thing and Footloose.  Entertaining movies, certainly, but classics?




Great news from CBS:




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When The Human Centipede (First Sequence) crawled onto the scene last year, I was — sort of — among the much-maligned movie’s defenders.  Sure, it was a low-budget horror flick, but director Tom Six’s little creep-fest was as original as the dickens.  Yes, its central set-up — a mad doctor wants to surgically connect three people, anus to mouth — was off-putting, but Six wasn’t overly graphic and his approach was more creepy than clinical.

Mostly, the first Human Centipede was a hoot.  Dieter Laser, as crazed Dr. Heiter, was a modern-day Vincent Price, and his delusions of grandeur were ripe for satire.  By the time South Park delivered a hilarious send-up of the “centipede,” Six’s small European horror movie had gone from underground cult favorite to campy cultural phenomenon.  How could a sequel top that?  Six makes an attempt by dispensing with most of the original film’s black humor and replacing it with explicitness — which doesn’t really work; what we are left with is a whole lot of unpleasantness.

Dr. Heiter is missing from the sequel, replaced by Martin (Laurence R. Harvey), a Norman Batesian endomorph who lives with his mother, works at an underground parking garage, and fantasizes endlessly about the first Centipede movie.  The first half of Centipede 2 is padded with all-too-familiar psycho-boy staples:  Martin’s childhood sexual abuse, his domineering mother, his stunted sexuality, and his preoccupation with bizarre hobbies.  This is all just filler to get us to the main event.

What you think of the last part of Centipede 2 depends on what kind of filmgoer you are.  If you are jaded and/or detached, the type of viewer who analyzes special effects rather than cringe at the sight of fake blood, you might appreciate the graphic depiction of Martin’s “surgery,” which he accomplishes with duct tape, a crowbar, and a staple gun.  If, on the other hand, you blanch at the sight of violence in the movies, then this is decidedly not the film for you.      Grade:  C




Director:  Tom Six   Cast:  Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie, Maddi Black, Kandace Caine, Dominic Borrelli, Georgia Goodrick, Emma Lock, Katherine Templar, Bill Hutchens, Vivien Bridson   Release:  2011


Human3   Human4

Human5   Human6


                                                              Watch Trailers  (click here)




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by Stephen King



Musings:  1) Needful Things was published shortly after King gave up drinking and doping, which coincides with the decline of his most creative period.  I don’t believe it can be happenstance – the man was simply a more inspired, original writer back when he was snorting and swigging.  2) Needful Things is middling King.  It’s well-crafted, often amusing, and laugh-out-loud funny near the climax.  It’s also over-the-top, alternately too somber or too silly, and not particularly scary.  3) The knight-in-shining-armor hero and his perfect girlfriend are the least interesting characters in the story – too bad we have to spend so much time with them.  4) I do like King’s theme about how our possessions tend to take possession of us.


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In promos for the new CNN show Outfront, host Erin Burnett waxes nostalgic about “growing up in a small town.”  Yeah, right, like she is just one of “the folks.”  Burnett’s actual background?  She grew up as the daughter of a corporate attorney and then enrolled at Williams College, an elite private school.  In other words, Burnett is just the latest in a string of sexy rich girls riding the Barbie Doll bandwagon of cable news.








The creators of TV ads must spend hours brainstorming ideas on how to produce the most grating, nausea-inducing means of assaulting viewers.   That’s the only theory I can come up with to explain this monstrosity from Goodwill.  Click here, if you dare.




Rapper Ice-T told Jimmy Fallon that anybody can write a book.  “Sure you could write a book,” the literary genius said.  “It’s not that hard.  I mean, what you do is, you get with a co-writer that teaches you how to actually write books.”

Ice-T and his equally brainy wife, Coco (who also “wrote” a book), join Snooki in proving that yes, indeed, anybody can write a book — just like anybody can sing as well as Ice-T in the shower.

In keeping with “The Weekly Review’s” theme of showcasing female buttocks, here are pictures of authorial sensations Ice-T and Coco at the beach.   Stop gawking at Ice-T’s man-boobs.  You are looking at Ice-T’s man-boobs, aren’t you?








This is a mug shot of Delbert Huber.  Huber is a farmer accused of shooting and killing his neighbor during a dispute over fifty bucks.  Huber is from a small town near the small town where I grew up.

Now you know everything you need to know about Delbert Huber — and me.






Washington Post columnist Jen Chaney wrote about the upcoming televised marriage of skanky Kim Kardashian to Frankenstein’s monster:




I think Minnesotans would be wise to take any sort of putdown from Kardashian — a spoiled, worthless idiot if ever there was one — as a compliment.






Andrea Tarantula — excuse me, Tantaros — was guest ombudswoman on Fox’s Red Eye and led off the show by promising to deliver her comments while topless.  She didn’t follow up on her promise, but now we know why viewers tune in to this show in the middle of the night.




HRTS Newsmaker Luncheon With Dennis Miller


Smug, unhip, and irrelevant Dennis Miller poked fun at the “losers” participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests.  Hey Dennis, know what a real loser is?  A rich, middle-aged jerk who references obscure Greek philosophers, thinks that makes him an intellectual, and laughs at his own jokes.







Hey, Entertainment Weekly, do you miss Charlie Sheen yet?


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I don’t know what went wrong with filmmaker John Singleton.  In 1991, Singleton was the first African American to be nominated for Best Director, and his debut movie, Boyz n the Hood, was also nominated for Best Screenplay.  Now Singleton makes junk like this year’s Abduction.  Watch his powerful first film, the South L.A. crime drama Boyz n the Hood, free of charge by clicking here.


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Years ago, I was a reporter working at the Republican National Convention in Dallas.  One day I overheard 60 Minutes curmudgeon Andy Rooney speaking to a companion.  He said something like, “I couldn’t believe the quality of the food at that place!”

So it seemed fitting to me that Rooney’s final commentary on Sunday ended with, “If you do see me in a restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner.”  Bon appetit, old fart!






Folks in Minnesota are excited about the Lynx, a women’s basketball team on the verge of winning the WNBA championship.  Women’s sports often struggle to attract media attention and, until recently, the Lynx have been no exception.

The pictures below have absolutely nothing to do with sports, and I suppose it’s sexist to post them, but look what I found on Lynx guard Candice Wiggins’s Facebook page.  Hey, it’s the first rule of advertising:  Get the customer’s attention.


Wiggins3        Wiggins2






hmmmm … lots of lingering shots of  Dylan McDermott’s bare backside in the first episode of American Horror Story, butt the show seemed to go out of its way to avoid any displays of female flesh.  Connie Britton had sex  — without so much as removing her slip.  A maid played with herself — without removing her uniform.

Ryan Murphy is the openly gay brains behind Glee, Nip/Tuck, and now this series.  That might explain things.

As for the show itself, the jury is still out.  I didn’t think it was particularly scary, but it was stylish and had some fun nods to horror films of the past.  I especially dug the music, which borrowed everything from the whistling in Twisted Nerve to Bernard Herrmann’s soaring score in Vertigo.






Seems like every week there is some pressing reason to post a picture of a sexy actress’s rear end.  This week, it’s David Letterman grilling George Clooney about Vera Farmiga’s bare ass in Clooney’s movie Up in the Air.

Letterman:  “You see her butt … I was just curious, was that hers, or a stand-in’s?”

Clooney:  “I’m not really at liberty to answer that question.”




Clearly, some research was called for.  Someone needed to get to the bottom of this.  According to Web sites that study this sort of thing, the derriere in question belongs to a body double named Sarah Tuttle (above).  But just in case Dave is reading this, here is a picture of Farmiga’s actual butt, from something called Running Scared:








The media informs us that Jesus Christ died this week.  Funny, because I thought I was getting along just fine in life, more or less, for many years before I even heard of Steve Jobs.  And I suspect that I will get along just fine, more or less, now that Jobs has gone to iHeaven.


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