The Friday Hot Sheet

So a couple of big things happened this week. One, I changed cell phone plans -- effectively cutting my cell phone bill in half. Secondly, I tried to do the same to my cable television bill but instead ended up adding some 250 channels to my lineup, possibly increasing my bill almost exactly as much as I saved when I adjusted my cell phone minutes.
Net financial gain -- bupkis.
Now that you understand the kind of intellect and motivation you're dealing with, lets get on to talking about the week. Because stuff happened this week. Celebrity yelling, swimmer pot-smoking, I'm-so-pissed-at-Voltron-that-I-don't-even-know-what-to-do-with-myself kind of stuff that it absolutely has to be discussed.

So before Etta James kicks my ass for singing "At Last" in the shower this morning -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.
Bring on the CableWhile I'll probably be kicking myself for this decision in a few months, right now it doesn't matter at all because suddenly I have like 200 new channels to watch. Suddenly I have access to Anthony Bourdain, The Bad Girls Club, and all the Spanish speaking MTV's I could possibly choose to watch (even though I probably never will). There's also a whole new section of On-Demand shows suddenly opened to me, and I'm not just talking about the porn. The only possible drawback is that amidst this orgy of Encore movie channels and BBC repeats of Top Gear, I have apparently still been denied access to Cinemax, which means that I'll still have to find something else to do after 11 on Saturday nights.
Voltron: The Fleet of DoomYes, you saw that right. Two down arrows. If I could put 50 of them I would. I have half a mind to do a completely separate blog post about this where instead of using words I just do 10 paragraphs of down arrows. And I know some of you out there are like, "Voltron? ..Wasn't that a kids show from the ..80's?" And if you are one of those people, you are now officially DEAD TO ME. Now, for the rest of you -- picture this scene. I'm sitting at home last night, looking for something to watch among the On Demand channels when I come across a listing called Voltron: The Fleet of Doom. Interested, I click on the title to find out what it is and discover that it's a Voltron movie (awesome) in which the car Voltron (awesome) and the Lion Voltron (even more awesome) TEAM UP (super awesome) to defeat the COMBINED FORCES of King Zarkon AND the Drule high command -- Full fucking stop. Make sure you understand what we're talking about here: BOTH VOLTRONS FIGHTING ROBEASTS AT THE SAME TIME. Possibly the greatest idea in the entire universe, like ever. How have you not heard of this? I'll tell you how -- BECAUSE IT'S A TOTAL LIE. Voltron: The Fleet of Doom does indeed feature both Voltrons and both villains, but only because the producers spliced together footage of two separate episodes, one featuring the lions and one featuring the flying pickup trucks that turn into the giant robot. So you literally have Lion Voltron against a light purple outer space backdrop fighting the bad guys with a voiceover guy saying "Vehicle Voltron, I need your help!" and then the Vehicle Voltron is shown against a suspiciously blue outer space background where a different voice over guy says "Sure, I'll be right there!" I don't know that I've ever been so pissed off iin my entire life. I mean seriously, what the hell? And of course it's just Voltron so it's not like Obama is gonna do anything about it -- but make not mistake, something needs to be done here. You know what I should do -- sick Etta James on his ass. Hey Etta -- Princess Allura was singing your song at the Inauguration too!
Bangkok DangerousLets get this out on the table right now: Nicholas Cage has it in him to be a really good actor. It's just that for whatever reason he rarely feels motivated enough to share this potential with the rest of us. I'm not gonna stand here and tell you that he's not done horrible movies, because he clearly has. But for every Con Air, Ghost Rider, and Wicker Man you throw at me, I can easily counter with Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation, and Wild at Heart. We can argue all you want about Windtalkers (which I love despite it's cheesy ending), The Rock (which I love despite it's cheesy beginning, middle, and ending), or the two minutes of Grindhouse that he showed up for -- the consensus is clear: when he wants to -- the man formerly known as Nicholas Coppola can totally bring it. The other bonus is that as a lifelong comic book, Hong Kong Cinema, and Elvis fan -- Nick Cage frequently uses his celebrity status to help bring financing to interesting projects that probably otherwise never gotten off the ground. In other words -- no one would have ever made a movie version of vastly underrated comic book Ghost Rider without a star like Cage attached -- but the resulting two hours in which Cage proceeds to take a giant dump all over the thing makes you wish he sorta hadn't. So it was with some trepidation that I broke the seal on my Netflix delivered copy of Bangkok Dangerous -- an America remake of a Thai movie directed by exciting new John Woo ripoff artists The Pang Brothers. Bangkok Dangerous is an OK movie, as long as you understand that it's another in a long line of the very, very, tired "Weary Assassin Looking to Complete One Last Mission Before Leaving the Game" genre. If you can do that, the fact that the plot seems horribly predictable won't bother you so much, because when you get right down to it -- all Samurai/Cowboy/Assassin for Hire movies have exactly the same plot. It's just a question of how they execute it. In that regard -- Bangkok Dangerous is pretty cool, offering some interesting twists on a familiar story. It also features a very heartfelt and authentic portrayal of Thailand as a backdrop (it was filmed there), and not some Hollywood backlot or Japanese studio set made to look like it. The problem is that Nicholas Cage decides that it would be a good idea to play the role as Nick Cage: Movie star -- and not the character that's in the script. It's the same problem I had with Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, in which Leonardo DiCaprio unsuccessfully spends two hours trying to convince us that he can somehow walk around downtown Iraq and not have at least one person say, "Hey look, it's Leonardo Dicaprio!" So in the end Bangkok Dangerous is kind of a failure, even though it really didn't have to be.
Fake Twitter SnitchesTwitter, just in case you've been living under a rock is an internet service that lets people post short updates (much like the statuses on Facebook). It's horribly addictive, because the short character limit makes it perfect for life's little observations that don't warrant a full blog entry but still demand some sort of announcing. You can also post to it via text message, which means that it comes in really handy when unexpected things happen that you want to tell the world about. But beyond being the newest and easiest way for narcissists like me to inform you about every detail of our banal little lives, it also features a number of celebrity profiles that enable you to kind of voyeuristically know what some of your favorite stars are up to during their everyday lives. Even better, that celebrity wrinkle adds a whole new potential for parody, which is the spirit that created one of my favorite Twitter feeds, authored by craptastic movie director and reported self-aggrandizing blowhard Michael Bay. Here's the thing, two or three posts into the thing, you instantly knew it wasn't Michael Bay, but instead just some guy lampooning Bay's larger than life antics. That was part of the fun. But now when you open up twitter the profile name reads Fake_Michael_Bay, because apparently someone was bothered by this and reported it to the Twitter administrator, who then sent the real guy behind this some sort of cease and desist email. It's possible that the complaining person might have been Bay himself -- but considering that guys taste for self-parody, it's more likely that it's just some anonymous killjoy out there who can't stand a world where people like to have fun. The same thing happened to the Chuck Norris and Henry Rollins feeds (although I was among the poor slobs out there that actually thought it was Hank), and will probably happen pretty soon to the Nick Nolte, Magnum PI, and Santa Claus feeds I follow. Honestly, don't we have better things to worry about than this?
Michael Phelps Hitting a Bong SnitchesSpeaking of which, what the hell happened here? Look, when Katie Couric (inexplicably) interviews Little Wayne, I kind of expect her to seem shocked that he freely admits to smoking tons of weed. That's sort of her job (although to be honest, Katie -- you probably have never looked whiter in your life, which is kind of hard to do when interviewing the worlds lamest rapper. And don't you people even start with your comments. He's terrible. He's not even kinda good. Want proof? Noted Hip Hop fan and Industry writer Adam Bernard once broke up with a girl because she admitted to liking "Lollipop"). But when you're Joe student at some College party and Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps shows up, what exactly was it that you expected him to do? Did you think he was there to get in a couple of practice laps in the bathtub? He was there to party, someone passed him a bong, and then he did what 99% of the people in the world do in that situation. The problem is that some asshole out there decided to do what 99% of people at college parties (or any party for that matter) wouldn't do -- which is rat someone out for having a good time. Seriously, what kind of douchebag takes a picture like that? But beyond all that -- it's 2009; are we honestly still freaked out about pot? I don't smoke weed, but it's not like I run screaming from it when it shows up. I'm not saying legalize it tomorrow (although I'm generally in support of that idea), but for crying out loud -- are we all still really this uptight?
Christian Bale       Yeah, he's sort of a hothead. Yeah he went sorta overboard. But now he's being forced to apologize for something that he's probably going to go back to work and do again tomorrow. Honestly, I would have yelled at the guy too. But of course now it doesn't matter who was right or wrong, because now it's a whole new game. Now it's who can remix the clip the fastest. Who can make the best T-shirt. How much of the next Epic/Hero/Date/Disaster Movie plot concerns itself with you. Welcome to instant immortality, Batman. Your seat is right there next to the "Don't Tase Me Bro" guy

[Listening to:  Nine Inch Nails - "Head Like a Hole" ]


Satorical said…
Wait wait wait. If you have Netflix, cancel cable immediately and save yourself prob $500 (more?) a year. This is a no-brainer, my man. Get the one-at-a-time plan, use the streaming, and when there's nothing to watch, do something else.

This is about the only financially smart thing I've done in the past 15 years: no cable=no cable bill.
whatigotsofar said…
I think I've seen that Voltron special but I was too young to understand how much it sucks.
Frank said…
I pay God-knows-what out the ass just to watch Anthony Bourdain. It's completely worth it.
Werdna said…
Somebody has to get in trouble for the Voltron thing. That is crap.

Get a rope, and some tar and feathers.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hex said…
Satorical -- My cable is bundle tied to my internet, and I'm not giving that up. Besides, Netflix is very slow on the uptake when it comes toi updating me on which groupie skank Bret Michaels shant be working with again.

WIGSF -- Not since the Flintstones didn't really meet the Jetsons have I been so outraged.

Frank -- Have you read his book? Well worth the time, my friend.

Werdna -- I say we sic the very real and always authentic power rangers on them.

Anonymous -- I call you spam because that's what I think of you. Spam.

(name the movie that's from and win a prize to be named later).
Adam Bernard said…
I know I'm way late on this, but yes, I broke up with a chick just because she told me she liked Lil' Wayne. What's more... I'm kinda proud of that fact. :)