The Friday Hot Sheet

Have you ever had one of those weeks where it seems like you charge into the first few days full of momentum, and then somewhere in the middle of things your toe catches an edge on the floor or someone tosses a banana peel on the floor in front of you or whatever, and the next thing you know you're just sort of banging your head against some sort wall over and over again.
Why do I keep doing that?
External factors like work and weather and all the little hassles that seem to rise up day to day play a big part, but I'm always sort of surprised when all those small things can get in the way, especially when you start off the first few days at such a full charge.

I suppose a big part of it is your individual perception of how much those slings and arrows cut into you when they hit. I mean when you get right down to it, some things truly are inconsequential -- and get crushed easily under the rolling thunder of your own awesomeness as you come across them. But there's always that one knife you don't see coming towards the middle of your back (literally).

All that being said, it wasn't the worst week I've ever had -- but something about the way it more or less ended definitely didn't match the way it got going, and there's something sort of disappointing about that, you know?

Still, the cool thing about our self-imposed seven day cycles is that they eventually come to an end and you get to start all over on the next one. And even the most lack-luster of weeks at the job can be easily washed away by a couple of days at the beach or sitting by the pool.
So before we close the book on this latest adventure from hell -- here are this week’s risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here:
The US team pretty much had to get a win. But I suspect that even folks in this country who are rabid soccer fans quietly worried that once again they wouldn't be able to get one. It's the kind of tension that would usually make a sporting event a magnet for anticipation and coverage -- but would that same feeling hold true for a sport most of the country doesn't care about?

It's sort of weird, because in a strange way it's almost as if the national annoyance over soccer in general somehow shifted into sort of a secret curiosity, perhaps spurred by vuvuzela hate and the way social sites like twitter tend to create buzz around events even if it's just for the snark factor -- people started tuning in. You'd catch it on the TV's in the breakroom at work, kind of on in the background with people absently looking on.

It's still a deathly slow and boring sport to watch on television. But in an odd way, I think it's slow-as-molasses pacing actually helped things (at least on the east coast where I was), as the action in the game didn't really take off until almost lunchtime, where people sitting down in the office cafe or hanging out at local restaurants had a chance to see Landon Donovan snag that rebound and do what previous games featuring the American team had not been able to do -- create legitimate excitement.

Does this win mean that the sport will finally get it's due in this country? No. Let's be honest here -- the Americans could make history and win this whole thing and the sport would still be forgotten and pushed aside once the NFL gets going again, but as far as a step in a good direction (or perhaps better said a step away from a death knell)? Not too shabby.

Grown Ups Ugh. The sooner this movie goes away the better -- but it's probably a safe bet we'll be dealing with it for a few more weeks despite all the crappy reviews. The big question is whether or not it will be able to knock off the success of Toy Story 3, which to no one's surprise has been going like crazy with kids and adults alike who've grown up with the franchise (I saw it with my son last week -- it's a sweet little film).

At the same time -- I think that's part of what really bothers me about this obvious cash grab featuring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Chris Rock.

With all these big names, you'd think they would be talented enough to put together a truly original funny movie that could take on a kids movie like Toy Story and put up a legitimate battle for a box office weekend -- but instead they held it back a week, where the returns will be a little easier to snipe at -- which to me clearly indicates that even the studio knows it's just another helping of the same crap we've grown used to seeing lately (I find it particularly telling that most of the scenes featured in the trailers and advertisements show the cast sitting down).

As such, don't be surprised to see commercials next week proclaiming Grown Ups as "The Number 1 Comedy Movie in America" or some such kissing-your-sister type of tagline that attempts to drum up extra hype for the thing while sort of not admitting that Pixar still beat them out in it's second weekend.

And you might be asking yourself -- "What's the big deal, why do you even care?" And the answer is simple -- after the success of Couples Retreat last year and the moderate returns of Gary Marshall's Valentines Day, the groundwork has been laid for more of these lazy ensemble-cast movies to come out. Sometimes you group talented people together and get good results, like Anchorman or The Hangover -- but most times a film like this is about creating a name product that people recognize and aren't afraid to see. In other words, Grown Ups only needs to be familiar enough for people to want to show up to see it to make money.
When you think about it, a movie like this doesn't really have to be any good to be a success.
Personally I would like to see more movies where Chris Rock gets to be more than a bit player. But if all he has to do every summer is wait for Sandler to call him up to be in the sequel to this and collect another $20 million for doing nothing, then where does that get us?

The HBO hillbilly vampire hit True Blood is back for it's third season -- and as much as I enjoy it's trashy humor, gratuitous nudity, and non-sparkly vampire violence goodness -- am I the only one who tuned into this season expecting to see more equal opportunity bawdiness only to notice that the veneer has finally been pulled away to reveal the fact that what I thought was a sassy little HBO show with blood and boobs is actually a show about hot guys talking to and/or killing other hot guys?

It's always good to have a show you can share with people, especially when it's an HBO show that doesn't skew too hard one way or the other (like Sex in the City or Entourage tend to do) and for a while True Blood seemed to be that show. But at least for me the first two episodes of this new season have been leaning hard on scenes featuring dudes bare asses and Vampires named Bill enchanting guys named Hoyt to take a showers with them.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
It's still a fun show, but what I always perceived as a sexy balance to the storylines has at least in these early season episodes been sorta thrown away in favor of what seems to be an effort to try and lure away Twihards on the eve of their new movie hitting the screens.

PodcastsI'm not really sure what sparked my curiosity this week as opposed to others -- but I went on a podcast listening kick the last couple of days (although to be honest, now I kinda wish I hadn't). There have been a few podcasts I've heard in the past to varying returns, but not to the point where I was really addicted or disgusted in any sort of way. For example -- being a big fan of Adam Carolla's old radio show on KLSX, it was only natural to check out podcasts of previous episodes or show's that I'd missed for whatever reason (which translated into following his still-running podcast show to this day) And being a big movie nerd I tended to check out the Onion AV Club's regular Friday discussions whenever I wanted to hear about new movies coming out.
But I never really got much deeper into that particular world, you know?
I think a big part of the reason was that I don't really enjoy audio blogging. I'm a reader, I like seeing the written word. I like the thought process it invokes. The selected podcasts I did partake in were more like talk radio shows (another medium I like -- albeit in moderation). But this week during a particularly slow stretch at work where I guess the music choices on my iPod weren't doing much to inspire me I decided to check out a few podcasts I hadn't heard before -- including a sports discussion hosted on one of my favorite pro football sites, and a movie round table that's started up over at Filmdrunk.
Both were horrid.
Maybe it's because both podcasts seem relatively new (I could be wrong about that) and they haven't found their stride yet, or that there wasn't much interesting to talk about film-wise or sports-wise (even though I opened the sports podcast specifically because of a discussion they were having regarding the hometown Jacksonville Jaguars) -- but the results I found were more akin to a bunch of kids on headsets bantering about while playing Call of Duty rather than anything approaching a talk show or a guerrilla radio broadcast.

The Jaguars discussion (a topic I'm planning on writing more about soon) was particularly awful -- as an assembled group of "professional sports bloggers" (ugh) interviewed a blogger dedicated to covering just one team (double ugh) in an effort to discuss the struggles of the team in recent years to sell tickets in a small market. Essentially it was three guys trying to make jokes from a national perspective while one local honk (who was breathing so heavily you could literally feel his fatness through your headphones) insisted that they didn't understand the uniqueness of the Jacksonville market and then tried (between bites of his ham sandwich, apparently) to explain every banal detail of the teams existence in this city over the last ten years.

In a flash I realized just how fortunate I have been to come across the bloggers and radio hosts that I read and listen to on a regular basis -- because apparently there is a whole other side of things out there that just stinks out loud.

YouTube Musicians   Speaking of would be stars taking up space on the Internet -- following the runaway success of Justin Bieber and ..that other kid, Brett over at the always awesome Viral Video Film School took some time to show us some of the other undiscovered musical talents on the web (especially the guitar guy at the top of the stairs in the warehouse working as hard as he possibly can to get those three lame pentatonic riffs to come out of his fingers and the karaoke mom) leading to the creation of this little compilation video, which makes me giggle every time I see it.
Or at least it does until that last guy shows up with a carload of what!?

Like this video? Good, because it autoplays the next episode unless you tell it to stop.

[Listening to: Lil Mama Vs. Marnie Stern - "Absorb the Lipgloss" ]


Anonymous said…
Dude, I don't need to see an animated GIF of you getting a stinky lap dance. 'Kay?
That's a good way to get pink eye.
Satorical said…
Soccer is a great spectator sport. It doesn't catch on here because there are no commercials for 45 minutes as a stretch. That's part of its awesomeness and definitely why TV networks want no part of it. There will never be a bidding war over the World Cup like there is for the Olympics.
Anitra said…
i love Brett Erlich and naked hot vampires and werewolves. The end.
JerseySjov said…
my brother is a huge fan of adam sandler and kevin james, so i know that he's going to see grown ups and love it. since i still tend to listen to my brother's opinion a lot, i'm also probably going to see it and love it.
Heff said…
Yeah, that "gay dream sequence" in True Blood CREEPED ME OUT !
LiLu said…
I'm with ya, True Blood's getting a bit... odd... even for TB. I'll stick it out for a while longer, though, mostly because I'm just so glad Mary Anne is GONE.
JerseySjov said…
i have to say, after further research, surra de bunda looks like a great all-body workout