Monday, January 31, 2011

Pontiac and Cadillac's Corvettes That Never Were

Way back in 1964, Pontiac designers built a one of a kind concept car that had many styling cues that were later used in the 1967 Camaro and Firebird models. However, the front end of the Pontiac Banshee strongly suggested that Pontiac may be developing their own Corvette type sports car. However, executives at GM worried about this possiby causing identity problems for the unique Corvette line, so this project was eventually halted.

The Pontiac Banshee was actually a six cylinder car aimed at competition for the Mustang, although a car looking this good needs a nice V8 and no doubt would have received one. However, due to fate, it just remains an automotive oddity and rarity.

Very fortunate for this extremely rare concept car was that in narrowly escaped being crushed by GM, and was sold to a car collector for $214,000. Later, the car was offered at the exclusive Barrett-Jackson auction for $1.3 million, however it failed to sell the first time around at that price. But, regardless this beautiful classic Pontiac concept car is an awesome ride.

GM once envisioned offering a Cadillac version of the Corvette back in the 1950's with the resurrection of the old LaSalle nameplate. And a rare concept car was built, however it never came into production either. But, the concept of a high end luxury sports car bearing the Cadillac nameplate no doubt inspired other world class brands to later consider offering high end luxury sports car offerings as well. There was the 1955 Corvette styled LaSalle II roadster and the bigger LaSalle II sedan, however neither went past the showcar concept stage.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Big Time Sissyass Stuff: Local CBS Affiliate KOIN Picks On Little Korean Grocery Store

In the hollowed halls of big time sissyass stuff, few moments come as cheap or as cowardly as an attack this week by Portland, Oregon CBS news affiliate KOIN on a little Korean grocery store located in S.E. Portland. The news geniuses at KOIN decided that a great lead news story on the 11pm night news was that a little Korean grocery store has a tiny enclosed section that sells a few mainstream adult magazines such as CHERI, HIGH SOCIETY and other titles in this enclosed section that is just on the other side of a separate area that sells a few dollar store type toys for kids.

The fact of the matter is that few folks stop by this store to buy toys or even porn. The same crap probably sits there for months. Neither are big sellers for your typical small family run grocery store. These are mainly an outlet business for adults to buy beer and cigarettes. And many poor Koreans work huge 15-16 or more hours each day to piece together enough in sales on small profit items like cigarettes, where the profit margin may be as little as just a few cents to pay their $2000 in rent bills, while local news anchors pull down salaries well into the six figures or even better. But, that sure didn't stop these KOIN news folks from kicking a dog that's down. They made this their lead story this week. No, not the economy. No, not crime. Just kicking some little Korean grocery store around, while they sell lots of overpriced ads to advertisers and pull down their big news anchor's salaries.

These KOIN ignoramuses also referred to the mainstream adult magazines available at this store as being hardcore pornography. Well, that's a little bit deceptive here. Many mainstream men's and adult magazines may feature some hardcore content these days. However, there's a little difference between mainstream titles such as CHERI, HIGH SOCIETY, HUSTLER, or other titles that are sold at many convenience stores that may feature some hardcore content and your purely adult bookstore magazines which may feature some harder fetish material or other strange sexual material . The distributor for the magazines, SunnyCo sells to all sorts of convenience stores all through Oregon and Washington. So why did KOIN pick on just this one convenience store then? And other than a few screwballs, who even gives a rat's ass about a little porn these days.

The fact of the matter is that this little Korean store was being responsible by setting up a seperate section for the adults only magazines. And, they don't sell materials any different than other many other small convenience stores do, yet KOIN made an attack on this business in an effort to hurt this business financially by giving them bad publicity for really nothing. That's the true Webster Dictionary meaning of big time sissyass stuff to me.

DVD Review: RED

The latest Bruce Willis action comedy DVD release, RED, is enjoyable enough, yet seems like sort of a generic Bruce Willis action film in so many ways. It's hardly any entertainment masterpiece, yet is certainly a watchable and acceptable enough action film. Loaded with a catalog of great stars including Morgan Freeman, Ernest Borgnine, John Malkovich, Mary Louise-Parker, to name just a few cast members here, this comic thriller based on a DC Comics graphic book seems to wallow in cartoonish larger than life violence. The explosions and other violence seem comical exaggerated.

RED is pretty good, but just not great entertainment. You'll enjoy yourself as much with a bag of popcorn watching this as you would probably a thousand other films. It just doesn't stand out as outstanding, although it's far from a bad film by any means. And with cast members like Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine how can you go wrong. Ernest Borgnine won't be winning any Oscar for his role as Henry the records keeper here. But still it's so nice to see this 94 year old actor up and around and healthy enough to do a film like this with a clear mind and acting skills as good as ever. He's a real legend. Let's see more films with this guy in the future.

BTW, RED is short for retired extremely dangerous.

The Bottom Line: Not a great film, but a decent enough popcorn action film. ++(Two stars, fair. Give it one good watch, then forget about it. But, it's more than great to see both Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine. Both are two living legends. And Bruce Willis is as quirky as ever as the lead action star guy.

Friday, January 28, 2011


IFC has a history of releasing some very unconventional and outrageous films. The highly acclaimed Norwegian Nazi-zombie horror comedy, DEAD SNOW. was also released by this company as well as a number of other outrageous films. However, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE certainly ranks as the most outrageous film ever released by IFC, bar none. And it's a twisted classic of sorts. It's a horror genre film you can't believe that you're watching.

The premise of this horror film is so twisted and far out and sure to offend. Two young women get a flat tire and seek help at a nearby house. But, they fall into the deep evil of German doctor gone mad. The German doctor used to be an expert at separating Siamese twins, but now has a medical clinic built into his basement to build his dream, a "human centipede" comprised of joining three persons mouth to anus together in a conjoined monster. The premise has so many disgusting ramifications here. You can only imagine. But, like watching a train-wreck, you can't turn away. It's a fascinating horror film in a very perverse way. Simply unbelievable.

If you have a strong stomach for the bizarre in horror films, then this highly Dutch unusual horror might just be for you. While most of the terror is implied rather than explicit, the movie still manages to shock and horrify. It's a very bizarre and unusual film.

The Bottom Line: A horrific premise makes for one of the most unusual foreign horror films ever produced. +++(Three stars, good, if you can stomach it. Prepare to be shocked or maybe disgusted).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New 2012 VW Beetle Goes For That Chopped Look

VW is redesigning the Beetle model for 2012, with a brand new chopped top stance as the most striking new feature. Some spy shots have leaked on to the Web featuring the newest Beetle design which may not be quite as flattened and low slung as the Porsche in stance profile, but the new lower flattened look is slightly reminiscent of the Porsche line of automobiles for sure.

Like the trend of most cars, the new Beetle looks like it's going after the longer and lower effect.

While retaining many styling cues from the previous Beetle, the new car carries on the VW heritage of looking much like the previous model, but in new ways. It's more evolution of the Beetle, a design from the 30's that was once heavily lifted from that old Czech Tatra T97.

VWs are like a cult. They are far from the best automobiles ever produced, yet they have a distinctive style and character. In their own way, they're great.

Mug Shots Of The Stars: Snooki

Here's something for you JERSEY SHORE fans. After disturbing the peace at a public beach last summer, Snooki took this lovely celebrity mug shot. But, in my opinion the really criminal thing here is that she now earns $30,000 per episode from MTV for doing JERSEY SHORE.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

John Travolta Might Play John Gotti For New Film

John Travolta is in the midst of deciding to sign a contract for a new film where he would play John "The Teflon Don" Gotti. Travolta has been doing research for the role including a meeting with the son of John Gotti. Nick Cassavetes will direct the new film. Marc Fiore is the executive producer.

If Travolta decides to sign on to the film project, then likely filming could begin very soon.

Religious Leader Admits To Bisexuality

In a brand new interview in GQ magazine, Rev. Ted Haggard, the once influential evangelical minister now claims that he is "bisexual". In 2006, Haggard's career was pretty much destroyed and turned to toast in a scandal in which a male escort claimed that he bought crystal meth from Haggard as well as paying him to have sex. All of this seemed rather remarkable because Haggard was once seen in the film, JESUS CAMP, blasting homosexuality. In 2006, Haggard was also among a group of proponents to write new language into the state of Colorado's constitution to ban Gay marriage.

Haggard was once a major force in the political world of evangelicals. In 2004, Haggard helped to recruit evangelical support for President George Bush that year. However, the sex scandal knocked Haggard off the radar. Subsequent Emails purported that Haggard masturbated with the male escort, and used drugs with him. Some reports claim that Haggard was a "sexaholic", which must be some sort new fancy clinical language explanation for being just a horny old bastard religious hypocrite.

Haggard has since returned to the pulpit. In a CNN interview in 2010, Haggard claimed the sex scandal episode was just a "massage" that went "awry". Yeah, but when you use crystal meth things get screwed up pretty fast, Ted.

The funny thing about when some crappy religious leader screws up, is that another crappy one only fills their place. Piece of crap guys like Haggard make it pretty hard to have any faith at all.

Maybe They Need A Halftime Show?:State Of The Union Ratings Down Slightly

Although the State Of The Union Address is usually about as interesting as watching paint dry, perhaps as many as 48 million viewers watch it each year. But, it does give some direction to the official agenda for the government since the country only has one president at a time, despite a divided Congress. But, almost every president plans to spend more money on education or worthy goals. There's hardly any way to make the mundane very interesting. But, still the SOTU is always a major news event.

FOX reported the best cable ratings numbers this year for the SOTU with 4.96 million viewers, but that was down sharply from the 5.7 million from last year. Interestingly though, more viewers, 5.4 million to be exact, wanted to see the post-debate analysis which means that many viewers are either interested in seeing what the experts think, or else want others to tell them what they think, rather than forming their own opinions. Interesting?

CNN also reported slightly declined figures of 2.98 million viewers, compared to 3.3 million viewers last year. MSNBC actually had a slight increase in viewers from 2.4 million last year to 2.50 million this year, which might indicate slightly better ratings for the network in general rather than a real uptick in ratings for the SOTU address itself.

Maybe, next year they need to try something new to make the SOTU more interesting. They could add a halftime show where they roll out a stage and The Who or Bruce Springsteen perform three songs, then it goes back to the second half of a long speech that's often not really at that interesting.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FCC Loses Court Appeal Over NYPD BLUE Indecency Case

Those guardians of the public morality over at the FCC lost an appeal to fine 45 ABC TV affiliates $1.21 million for airing a 2003 episode of NYPD BLUE where actress Charlotte Ross bared her adorable little bottom for a few fleeting moments during a shower scene. The U.S. Second Court Of Appeals ruled that a few moments of fleeting nudity in a television show doesn't necessarily constitute an indecent program and that the FCC had over reached their authority here.

This ruling is important because it means that the FCC watchdogs may not be able to levy huge fines against networks for only incidental moments such as nudity, possibly opening TV back up to old days of 2003 when NYPD BLUE sometimes featured some fleeting moments of nudity in their shows. This might give TV show producers a slight bit more artistic freedom.

The court decision might also mean that a program must be taken as whole when considering whether it is indecent or not, much like in the case of obscenity, where the entire work needs to be taken as a whole when considering that legal standard.

Then again, the nudity was fine when it was beautiful Charlotte Ross, but not so good when it was Dennis Franz. Now, that was pretty darn indecent right there.

MAXIM Features 3rd Annual Best Beers Issue

The February 2011 issue of MAXIM features their third annual MAXIM Beer Awards issue and a few surprises are to be found. Certainly some beers like Session Lager, Rogue Chipotle Ale and Lindeman's Frambroise are pretty obvious choices for best beers, but a few odd ones ended up in the mix such as Steel Reserve High Gravity? Steel Reserve High Gravity? Isn't that a first choice among those skidrow alcoholic bum types? How did a bum beer make the list? Who's reviewing these beers at MAXIM anyway? Got some shopping cart guys hanging around the office looking for bottle returns? But seriously, many of the choices at MAXIM are pretty interesting.

I was mighty proud to see six great Oregon beers make the list here. Besides the wonderful Chipotle Ale from Rogue(Newport, Oregon), Kiwanda Cream Ale(Pacific City, Oregon), The Abyss 2010 Reserve(Bend, Oregon), Silver Moon Bridge Creek Pilsner(Bend, Oregon), The Vaporizer(Hood River, Oregon)the very excellent Session Lager(Hood River, Oregon) was an obvious choice to include. The black label Session recently won an award for best beer as well, all well proving that the pioneers in Oregon sure know how to beer some good beers to compete with the likes of Guinness Draught from Ireland or Corona Light from Mexico in this world competition for the best tasting beers made.

Hey, guys if you normally feel like a big time twit buying MAXIM, then swallow your pride this month and pick up this issue. Oh, I know the ladies don't show you much in this magazine, leaving you feel pretty empty and unfulfilled, like going home from a lousy date that sucks royal. But, hey at least MAXIM has a good beer issue here. That's worth something, huh?

Classic Cd Review: The Doors L.A. WOMAN

The last Doors' studio album that featured Jim Morrison was a real classic. It was far more of a blues album than any of their previous albums. And it would likely had been the last Doors' album to feature Jim Morrison even if he hadn't had died in Paris a few months after the album was completed. Although the album was a real classic, Jim Morrison was a complete mess during much of the recording. He was so drunk much of the time that longtime producer Paul A. Rothchild quit the project that recording engineer Bruce Botnick had to move ahead to produce and complete the project recorded on an eight track reel to reel audio recorder.

Morrison's departure from The Doors appeared to be so final that some songs that weren't used for the L.A. WOMAN album that Morrison rehearsed with the band were redone with either keyboardist Ray Manzarek or guitarist Robbie Krieger doing the vocal work for the album OTHER VOICES, which was released a scant three months after the death of Jim Morrison.

Considering the messed-up state of Jim Morrison who was both drunk as well as tired, it was amazing that L.A. WOMAN was such a classic. But, songs like "Love Her Madly", "Riders On The Storm", "L.A. Woman", "The WASP(Texas Radio And The Big Beat", "Crawling King Snake", "Been Down So Long" and "The Changeling" are among some of the greatest songs ever recorded by the band. It was simply a fantastic blues rock album.

The original vinyl album was once issued with an interesting rounded corner cover with a clear yellow window featuring the band. But, the album was eventually issued with a more conventional printed cover. And the cd version of the album was eventually reissued with bonus tracks not included on the original album including the B side of "Love Her Madly" which was "You Need Meat(Don't Go No Further" a blues-oriented number that featured Ray Manzarek on vocals along with the unfinished Jim Morrison solo song, "Orange County Suite".

The Bottom Line: A great classic album as well as one of the finest rock albums of all time. Jim Morrison's swan song album was a true classic. ++++(Four stars excellent. Own this classic album for sure).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fitness Pioneer Jack LaLanne Dies At 96

Jack LaLanne was real legend in the world of fitness and health. Yesterday, he died at his Morro Bay, California home at the age of 96 from respiratory failure from pneumonia. The beloved fitness guru was mostly a vegetarian except for his advocacy of eating fish. Fish contains important ingredients such as Omega 3 fatty acids that many believe combat age related brain deterioration such as Alzheimer's Disease.

Jack LaLanne was known for amazing feats of physical fitness even at his advanced age and marketed some products such as a juicing machine. LaLanne also had a Doctor Of Chiropractic degree he earned, however he made his career from a 34 year fitness show. LaLanne designed many of popular fitness machines in use today, and Bally eventually licensed his 200 Jack LaLanne European Health Spas as their own.

He was an incredibly nice man, and was a real inspiration to all who aspire to good health. Living to the age in 96 in very good health for most of his life except for a heart valve surgery in 2009 at the age of 95 is a pretty testament to the power of his healthy living.

The world has lost a living legend.

GM Now Sells More Cars In China Than In The U.S.

For the first time in the 102 year history of GM, it now sells more vehicles in a nation outside the U.S. than in the U.S. itself. Sales in China climbed by 29% this year, compared to just 6.3% in the U.S., making China GM's largest and most important market. As the Chinese public grows more wealthy, with more middle class level incomes, Buicks and other desirable GM vehicles become a sign of prestige for the more affluent Chinese to own. In 2010, GM sold 8.39 million vehicles worldwide, with 2.35 million vehicles sold in China.

In China, Buick sells more than twice as many cars as they do in the U.S. Buick has been a huge hit for GM in China, and an important market for the company that struggled with financial problems early into new Obama presidency, forcing Washington to work out a loan agreement to keep GM in business while it reorganized to make itself profitable once again. GM repaid loans with big interest rates, helping to boost the nation's treasury, making it a win-win proposition. Last week's high level visit by Chinese President Hu helped to secure even more trade agreements, setting the stage for more win-win trade deals between the two economic superpowers.

Only a few hours ago, it was announced by GM that as part of a new trade agreement that Presidents Hu and Obama signed, GM will export $900 million of additional parts and vehicles to Shanghai General Motors over the next two years.

It could also be possible that some exotic Chinese designed Buicks may be sold in the U.S. as well, such as this awesome looking Buick concept car that was a star of the recent Shanghai Auto Show in China. If this model ever makes it into production, it might become the most exciting model Buick has ever built.

Worldwide, Toyota still narrowly leads GM as the largest seller in the world, with 8.42 million sales worldwide. That's just a scant 30,000 more units than GM. However, Toyota hardly makes a dent in the Chinese market with sales of just 846,000 units in China, partly because of some lingering hostility toward Japan over many issues among many in the Chinese public although Japan remains a huge supplier of export goods to China. By contrast, the Chinese love for the U.S. and the far better image of the U.S. among the Chinese, make American brands much more attractive to the Chinese public.

The U.S. is making some important inroads into China in some markets such as autos and other items. Despite the lingering recession, trade with China reached record levels in 2010, with more U.S. exports to China than ever in history. Chinese imports to the U.S. also grew as well.

GM has appeared to turn the page from the dark days of the recession, and the huge sales in China are an important key to GM's now rosy future. Things look very good for GM in 2011.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

That Will Leave A Mark: Octomom Fetish Video Photos!

As it turns out, the reported Octomom S&M adult baby fetish whipping video was a publicity stunt with Los Angeles radio personality Tattoo to draw some attention. As a stunt it worked. It was indeed outrageous. However, the whipping was real enough that Tattoo left the stunt with a few fresh red welts. Maybe, Octomom needs to understand the meaning of a "safe word". It seems like a few stunts can leave you a little sore the next day.

Octomom, real name Nadya Suleman, has been facing some serious financial problems recently. A garage sale was unsuccessful to save her home which was foreclosed. She had been offered the opportunity to do some adult videos by big name companies such as Vivid, but turned down all the offers. The outrageous fetish video parody appeared to be a response to these offers.

Tattoo helped to sponsor her garage sale, which only raised just $2,600.

Most mainstream adult video companies actually shy away from the sort of absurd fetish conduct that the silly Octomom video parody contained. She would have been hard pressed to find an American distributor for this sort of material in the U.S. The overwhelming percentage of American erotica merely portrays adult nudity and/or sexual intercourse and strange fetish stuff is mostly avoided because of thorny legal issues.

It's not clear how much money Octomom earned from her fetish video stunt with the radio personality. But, likely it's not anywhere near what actually doing a real commercial outrageous video would have earned. Likely, her financial problems are just as bad today as they were yesterday.

Thanks so much to TMZ for their exclusive photo use here. They fill our Email box each day with some great tips and allow us to share their photos.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

German BIG BROTHER And Adult Film Star Dies After Breast Enhancement

23 year old Carolin Berger, German adult film star and star of the German version of BIG BROTHER has died as a result of complications during breast enhancement surgery. The actress was known for her outrageousness on the German version of BIG BROTHER. Some reports claim that she suffered two heart attacks during the breast enhancement surgery, where her brain was deprived of oxygen for up to 15 minutes. She was placed on a medically induced coma following the serious complications, but never recovered.

Working under the stage name of Cora, the adult film star set a reputation for doing the most outrageous of filmed sex stunts. She attempted to set a Guinness World Record by performing oral sex on a record 200 men for one film, but developed some breathing problems after #75 and had to be sent to the hospital. In another stunt, she filmed an adult movie in a public family park in Germany, having open public sex with some male co-stars, resulting in her arrest for public indecency.

Her reputation for the outrageous helped her to earn a spot on the German version of BIG BROTHER because she was so outlandish and boosted the shows ratings. Her wild and unpredictable behavior made her fun to watch.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Beyonce May Star In Clint Eastwood Remake Of A STAR IS BORN

Although it's been made a few times since 1937, Clint Eastwood would like to cast Beyonce Knowles in an upcoming project to remake A STAR IS BORN. Every few years it seems a beautiful singer so impresses some producers that the idea to revive this story comes back again. And Clint Eastwood appears to be so taken in by the singer that he wants her for the movie.

The 29 year old Beyonce is one of the most popular R&B acts of the last few years, having sold millions of recordings with Destiny's Child and as a solo act. She has won three major music awards singing with Destiny's Child and 13 major awards as a solo act. That's some star power.

Unlike some young stars who live troubled lives, Beyonce is a real role model. She was home schooled and prays before every concert performance. She has also become a highly successful businesswoman as well as being known for her charity work. Clint Eastwood couldn't find a better star.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Panda Diplomacy

One major byproduct of the state visit of Chinese President Hu to Washington was a new agreement that will keep the Chinese giant pandas at the Washington National Zoo for another five years. Tian Tian, a 13 year old male and Mei Xiang, a 12 year old female have remained one of the greatest attractions at the Washington zoo since 1972 when Chinese pandas represented the new era of friendship between the U.S. and China that started during the Nixon Administration years.

The giant pandas are on lease to the zoo where the $2.5 million in payments helps to fund a panda conservation program in China. Pandas remain an endangered species with poor survival rates for offspring. The original pandas sent to Washington, Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing had five offspring, all of which eventually died in captivity.

A smiling President Hu warmly greeted average America citizens offering his good wishes to the American people, however many tougher issues such as trade and human rights will add to a more serious atmosphere in Washington. But, for today, the little agreement breakthrough on the panda lease was viewed as a negotiation breakthrough of sorts.

Czech Republic's New V-6 Superbike

The Czech Republic has had a sad history. They produced some of the world's most advanced automobiles back in the 1930's such as the Tatra T97, which was so impressive that the Germans stole much of the basic design for the Volkswagen. When Tatra sued for patent infringement, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, later the Russians. But, finally by 1967 Volkswagen paid Tatra the sum of 3 million Deutsch Marks for their theft of the Tatra design. Czech automobiles and Tatra never really received all the credit they were due for producing such an advanced design.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the breakup of the Czech Republic into a free and democratic nation, master engineers in the Czech Republic are busy back at work designing some of the greatest world class machines. Now, a Czech company is ready to set the motorcycle world on fire by the introduction of an awesome 2.5 liter 240 horsepower v6 powered superbike motorcycle.

Surprisingly, with so much carbon fiber and high tech lightweight metal alloys, the Czech manufacturer claims a weight of just 595lbs. However, production of the new superbike will be quite limited for the near future with just 6 units per year planned at first, meaning the price tag will be in the stratosphere. But, then again the price should be worth it for such a wonderful luxury product and the opportunity to own the finest of fine Czech engineering quality.

World class quality never comes cheap.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DVD Review: SALT

Sometimes a review of a pretty good DVD gets bumped because of other movie news. But, SALT, the CIA action thriller staring Angelina Jolie is a pretty decent film worth a good look. The movie has been out since late December on DVD and you should check it out if you haven't yet.

Although maybe not quite as good as most James Bond spy films, this CIA spy action thriller is still loaded with plenty of action and Angelina Jolie is a great actress here. A former top ranking Communist Party Russian defector claims that CIA agent Evelyn Salt is a Russian spy, forcing here to go on the run, using her best skills to evade capture. However, her desperate and violent escape tactics only serve to make her seem dangerous as she seeks to prove evidence of her innocence.

Angelina Jolie is a very appealing action star, and this film is most enjoyable. Quite a good popcorn movie to enjoy.

The Bottom Line: While far from the very best spy film ever made, SALT is still a pretty good movie that's worthy to watch once or twice. +++ ( Three stars good, but just barely so. But great entertainment. And Angelina Jolie is always fun to watch).

TV Legend Regis Philbin Announces Retirement

After a career that spanned from 1961 to the present day, 79 year old master host and entertainer, Regis Philbin has announced plans to retire from LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY. The master host is the closest living active link to old Hollywood who still performs before a camera on TV on a regular basis. In fact, Guinness lists Regis Philbin as the most filmed TV personality of all time.

After leaving a stint as an officer in the Navy, Regis Philbin began with some behind the scenes work as a broadcaster, eventually moving up to a cheaply produced local talk show in San Diego, called THE REGIS PHILBIN SHOW. And although Regis Philbin was a ratings disaster in 1964 after he took over the WESTINGHOUSE TONIGHT SHOW after Steve Allen decided to quit, by 1967, comic host Joey Bishop was so impressed with Regis that he asked him to be his co-host for his popular show.

The career of Regis has had many ups and downs. Some of his shows were real ratings disasters and were miserable flops. But, his chemistry with Kathy Lee Johnson(who later married Frank Gifford) in 1985 helped to uptick the ratings for a local TV show that was syndicated in 1988 as LIVE WITH REGIS AND KATHIE LEE. Kathie Lee Gifford left the show in 2000, and with later co-hostess Kelly Rippa the show has continued to hold strong ratings.

Small time coffee talk coupled with the observations of Regis and Kelly about current news and world events, along with celebrity interviews and some rock acts performing with acoustic or light electric guitars have rounded out the shows light daytime TV programming. The Halloween shows are always something special with Regis and Kelly doing some pretty great humor and funny impressions of celebrities.

Over the years, Regis also helped to spur the big hit game show phenomenon for ABC, WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. But, like other prime time game shows like DEAL OR NO DEAL, these shows are real hot for a short time, then ratings quickly begin to sag once the novelty wears off. But, these sort of prime time game shows do pull down killer ratings for a while.

When Regis leaves the small screen by this Fall, TV will never be quite the same. Regis is a TV legend and irreplaceable. TV will never be quite the same.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jim Parsons Wins Golden Globe Best Comedy TV Actor Award

Things just keep better and better for the smash hit CBS comedy, THE BIG BANG THEORY. It's been renewed to run many more seasons this past week. Now, actor Jim Parsons, who plays the outrageous Sheldon Cooper on the series has won the Golden Globe Award for best TV comedy actor. That's a big achievement.

Since his move to Los Angeles, Parsons tried out for as many as 30 TV show auditions. But, Producer Chuck Lorre was so impressed by his audition he asked him back for a second look. He was hired on the spot.

Parsons isn't so much in love with the unusual character he plays as much he loves to "dance" through the rhythmic dialog written for him by the show's writers. He loves that part of his job the best. And audiences just love his annoying and outrageous character. He's so outrageous that he's great. Sort of like an outrageous comedy version of Mr. Spock.

After his big Golden Globe win, it's official, after many years of auditions and effort, Jim Parsons is a major star.

Jay Chou May Emerge As The Biggest Star From THE GREEN HORNET

Although Seth Rogan doesn't really seem like the most obvious first choice to play the millionaire crime fighter, the Green Hornet, his movie did quite well this past weekend, raking in $34 million. But, Taiwanese musician and singer, Jay Chou may emerge as the biggest new breakout star of this new incarnation of THE GREEN HORNET. Stepping into the role that launched Bruce Lee as an international superstar, Jay Chou has become popular in Asia for combining R&B sounds with his popular music. Now, he's being viewed as an action movie star because of this film. In Beijing, Chou hosted a promo event for the film this weekend, which is set to debut in early February.

Jay Chou could get a big break in the international market through the exposure from this film. More movie roles may come. His records might get more attention. Asia has so many legitimate major stars and musicians who are virtual unknowns in the Western world. All they need is exposure to the U.S. market for the public to fall in love with them. Jay Chou is such a star. He's a great talent in search of the American public to learn about him and give him that big break here.

At age 31, handsome looking Jay Chou has achieved many impressive goals in Asia including top music awards as well as film work directing. He's a man of so many talents. The role of Kato in THE GREEN HORNET seems like such small potatoes compared to these other achievements, yet it's major foot in the door introduction to the U.S. public.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leighton Meester Looked Stunning On Golden Globe Red Carpet

Leighton Meester, the 24 year old star of GOSSIP GIRL, looked positively stunning in her beautiful dress from the Burberry Prorsum Collection. Her Louis Vuitton clutch, Cathy Waterman jewels and her Jimmy Choo designer shoes really completed her elegant look. The young television actress was among the many fashion stunners at the event who help to showcase some of the world's best and most elegant brand name designer products.

SOCIAL NETWORK Wins Big At Golden Globe Awards

SOCIAL NETWORK won four big awards at the Golden Globe Awards which aired last night. The catalogic history film based on the founding of Facebook, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score. Colin Firth won for Best Actor Drama for his role in THE KING'S SPEECH. Natalie Portman won Best Actress Drama for her strong role in BLACK SWAN. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo both won their respective awards for Best Supporting Actor and Actress Drama for THE FIGHTER.

Some highly acclaimed films such as TRUE GRIT were totally shutout in the Awards.

It also came as something of a surprise to me that SOCIAL NETWORK did as well as it did. After watching it, I considered it far from the best film this year, and even somewhat boring and catalogic. But, Golden Globe Award voters viewed things far differently than me. TRUE GRIT, TOY STORY 3 , THE WAY BACK, INCEPTION & THE FIGHTER all seemed Oscar worthy to me, and hopefully will do much better at the upcoming Academy Awards.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

China's Answer To Rolls Royce

Chinese automaker Geely continues to amaze the automotive world with a new luxury production model of their Emgrand GE that will directly compete with the Rolls Royce Phantom model. The Geely will sells for about $44,000. Rolls Royce models range from $245,000 to $443,000. A couple years ago, a concept model of Geely GE drew the wrath of Rolls Royce who called the model nothing more than a blatant trademark infringement and considered seeking damages. However, the new model of Geely updates the styling to bring a fresh identity to the Chinese supercar.

While some Rolls Royce models are powered by v-12 engines, the v-6 powerplant in the Chinese luxury car is considerably smaller in displacement and power. And the luxury car is strangely only a three seater. The third passenger sits in extreme luxury in a throne-like luxury seat behind a sliding glass compartment. Strange that such a nice automobile has this 2+1 seating arrangement. When you have this much money, you generally want to bring along a female friend.

The first version of the Chinese luxury automobile even ripped off the flying winged lady ornament as well. Rolls Royce lawyers couldn't have been more unhappy. However, the Chinese court system makes pressing lawsuits for trademark infringement cases extremely difficult, even if the government of China is unhappy about a particular foreign business case. GM had to let a trademark infringement suit against another Chinese automaker, Chery, just die after it proved to be difficult in the Chinese courts to seek damages. At best, GM could only get some legal agreement from Chery not to closely infringe their product designs a second time.

Some Chinese companies have proved themselves to be masters of knock-off design products. But, the new Chinese luxury car has gone past that point, and now has a unique identity, making it one of the best luxury car limousine bargains to be found worldwide.

Adam Sandler And Andy Samberg Will Star In Upcoming Film

This was completely inevitable. Young Andy Samberg from SNL reminds you so much of a young Adam Sandler. Now, Adam Sandler has asked Andy Samberg to join him for an upcoming film entitled, I HATE YOU DAD. The two will star as father and son in the upcoming Columbia Pictures comedy.

Adam Sandler has well proved himself to be box office gold. And young Andy Samberg has broken out from the SNL cast as one of the best players by far. Andy Samberg has proved himself able to hold his own in film as well.

Talk about a dynamic duo. This has hit written all over it.

In the meantime, Adam Sandler hits the big screen in February with JUST GO WITH IT. And Andy Samberg should have himself a big hit with FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, co-starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Wonderful World Of Jimmy Choo Shoes

You've seen on SEX IN THE CITY. Some of Hollywood's most glamorous women have beautiful feet that are set of by the wonderful creations of master shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Born in Malaysia of Chinese Hatka descent, Choo moved to North London and rented an old hospital back in 1986 to open as a handmade shoe design and manufacturing shop. Choo quickly developed a reputation in the fashion world for beautiful designs that are among some of the most expensive of luxury brand shoes sold. Yet, their beauty is well worth the price.

Fashionable women the world over who can afford the price of Jimmy Choo shoes just love this luxury brand. Jimmy Choo shoes are like the Rolls Royce of footwear, and are the most admired of any brand of female footwear. Choo's designs are intriguing and daring. He never goes for the ordinary or dull. He's a true craftsman and master designer.

In his native Malaysia, Choo has been recognized with awards for bringing great respect and honor to his nation for designing the world's best luxury shoes.

Some world luxury brands stand out for their style and quality. And Jimmy Choo shoes are excellent products, made from the very finest of materials, each carefully handmade for a perfect fit and excellent product quality.

Gary Busey Set Up For Phony DUI Stop

A Malibu couple was arrested after they phoned in a phony tip to the police claiming that actor Gary Busey was driving his Mercedes erratically. When Busey was stopped by police officers, the couple jumped out of their car and began to take a series of photos until a police officer asked them to stop, because it was interfering with his DUI investigation. Busey was found to be perfectly sober by the officers, and allowed to go on his way, however the couple were arrested for obstructing the police in their duties.

The woman, identified as Patrice Karst, was also charged with possession of marijuana as well. It seems the only only person high as a kite was Karst. Busey has been on his very best behavior for some time now, and often makes the rounds of religious TV shows to witness about his new life since a serious head injury from a motorcycle crash almost ended his life a few years ago. Busey had just purchased a motorcycle from a dealer, drove it around the block and was involved in the serious and life changing crash.

David Letterman used to joke that Gary Busey was "goofy" back in the old days. Busey remains a popular actor these days, often playing intense action characters.


Sometimes it's so refreshing to review a great film that the whole family can enjoy, and the recently released DESPICABLE ME is truly a great family film. Children and adults alike will be awed at the amazing computer generated CDI 3D imagery and animation. And the story is a great crisp and fresh one as well.

In summary here, Steve Carell voices the super-villain, Gru, who plans the biggest heist ever by scheming to steal the moon. He has a loyal army of minions happy to do his bidding, however three orphan girls don't see the immense evil in him, and instead view him as a potential father, forcing Gru to consider his options here. I won't spoil things here. I want you to see this great animated film from Universal for yourself. I promise that both children and adults will find this DVD so enjoyable, and even better on Blu-ray with the vivid picture providing the breathtaking animation with a higher level of pure awe factor.

DESPICABLE ME was a huge box office success, and should be a smash hit on DVD and Blu-ray as well.

Besides the voice of Steve Carell, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig and Jason Segel also loan their voices to this first rate CGI fun-fest. A truly enjoyable film.

The Bottom Line: A very good family film. An absolute must see movie. One of the best animated films of 2010. +++(Three Stars, good. Very good in fact. You won't be disappointed with this film. Buy it on Blu-ray to add to your well stocked film library).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's The Girlfriend Talent Contest

My girlfriend simply amazes me with the athletic abilities she has. I thought this was so awesome that I just had to share it here. So guys, send in a photo of your girl doing something really incredible and we might post it here. More points are given to the incredible as well as the wild and wacky. Have fun! But, nothing dangerous or illegal. Use good sense.

Send your Email entries to

Conan O'Brien Doesn't Want To Do His Show "Forever"

TBS executive Michael Wright has told Conan O'Brien that they are satisfied enough with his show's performance that he can have a home on the network "as long as he wants to do it". However, Conan O'Brien has reportedly stated that he doesn't want to do the show "forever". Conan said at some point, years from now he'll move on down the road.

But, don't worry fans. Conan will be around for many years.

Conan also revealed that David Letterman gave him a friendly holiday phone call to see how he was doing. Neither addressed Jay Leno it seems. Both have some bad blood against the "Chinster" it seems. Letterman left NBC because he passed over by NBC as the TONIGHT SHOW host, despite the wishes of Johnny Carson, and Conan O'Brien had his major problems with NBC last year when his TONIGHT SHOW ratings fell below Leno's old version of the show.

TBS and Conan O'Brien appear to make a perfect match.

MGM Out Of Bankruptcy: New James Bond Film Due Nov 9, 2012

Serious financial problems that forced the bankruptcy of MGM resulted in a huge delay in the production of the #23 installment of the James Bond series. However, the financial situation over at MGM was cleared up on December 20, when $500 million in financing infused the cash-strapped company with enough funds to restructure. Spyglass Entertainment executives, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum will also take over as corporate heads of the new MGM.

The financial problems that brought down the legendary MGM indicate just how much of a high risk business the entertainment industry is. Producers invest millions in movies, with the hopes that box office receipts will at least pay for the production costs. And the salary of stars seems to be ever increasing, only adding to this high risk game. The public needs to support the movie industry by attending films and buying their DVDs and show their appreciation for the industry. Few businesses are as high risk as the movie business. You invest so much with so much uncertainty. Equally, the record business is a tough one as well. At least one out of ten new cds needs to sell well enough to prevent the business from losing money.

Now that MGM is back in business, the long delayed production for the new James Bond film can continue. Actor Daniel Craig is expected to return for a third time as James Bond, and it is hoped that director Sam Mendes will continue on the project as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Michael Jackson's Doctor Will Stand Trial For Involuntary Manslaughter

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray must stand trail for involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of the singer. A six day preliminary hearing was held, where 20 witnesses presented their testimony, leading to the ruling by Judge Michael Pastor that enough evidence existed that the doctor should stand trial on the manslaughter.

In other bad news for the popular Los Angeles physician, his license to practice medicine was also suspended by the judge. However, the legal team for the doctor believe that suspending his license will make it more difficult for him to pay their legal fees, impacting his ability to have a fair trial.

Definitely Not Barbie

No, this isn't S&M Barbie. It's from ZC, a doll manufacturer from Shanghai, China that produces some outrageous and wildly detailed action figure dolls. And none of them are anything like Barbie. No, not even close. They range from biker girls, to bank robbers, to spy girls, to professional killers, to leather clad girls with handcuffs and a dog collar and chain around her neck. These dolls are definately not for the little kids. They're as adult as you can get.

Several companies produce these outlandish highly detailed action figure dolls. Cy Girls and Evolution are two other brands. Evolution figures are anatomically correct as well, parts you find missing from Barbie. A Cat Woman figure by another manufacurer, BX from Hong Kong, is a very detailed figure, quite similar to that movie villianess with a very well designed leather-like costume. It's one heck of a collector's item toy.

If highly detailed tough girl dolls who rock masks, guns, knives, leather or whips & chains is your sort of thing, then you can't do any better than ZC Girls. These are some of the wildest adult collector toys ever made.

While Barbie aspires to be a housewife or doctor, some ZC girls aspire to being a professional killer, a spy or even a sex slave. Outrageous.

You can find a wide range of ZC Girls dolls and action figures over at Ebay, where many are available on a "Buy It Now" basis, shipped directly from China to you. If Barbie is too tame for your tastes, and you might like to collect these strange and unusual action figure dolls. But to some folks, these might just bizarre if not sometimes creepy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crooner Rod Stewart Turns 66

Former soccer player turned rock star, turned crooner, Rod Stewart has turned 66 today. At one point in his early career he was the lead singer of The Ray Davies Quartet, which later became The Kinks. Rod Stewart then moved on to become lead singer of The Jeff Beck Group for a time, later moving on to become the lead singer of Faces and having a successful solo career. His later solo music reflected the disco music craze of the late 70's and eventually became known as a more easy listening type rocker in recent years.

Rod Stewart has also been one of the most successful ladies' men in rock music ever, having many relationships with many beautiful women.

Congratulations for your long career in music. Happy birthday, Rod.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Leonardo Di Caprio Will Star As J. Edgar Hoover In Upcoming Clint Eastwood Film

Leonardo Di Caprio will star as controversial former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in a new film by Clint Eastwood that will open later this year. However, some are unhappy that the film will depict a claimed gay affair between Hoover and Associate FBI Director Clyde Tolson. And it is not certain whether the alleged cross-dressing of Hoover will be depicted in the film as well.

It will interesting to see how the film will also handle allegations that Hoover was soft on organized crime because of claims are that one organized crime family had blackmail material on the former FBI Director. A wife of both Lewis Rosenstiel and mob-friendly lawyer Roy Cohn(who was also an associate of Senator Joe McCarthy), Susan L. Rosensteil also claimed that Hoover was dressed as a woman when Hoover, Lewis Rosensteil and Cohn, had a sex party with three young blond boys.

Hoover was a mix of good and bad. He brought many bank robbers and serious criminals to justice on one hand. On, the other hand, some serious character questions remain about his own personal conduct, with some allegations far beyond simple gay relationships.

The former crime fighter had a tough guy image on one hand, on the other hand, some rotten allegations exist, where the new Clint Eastwood film should hopefully balance the two Hoovers.

Hoover was probably a sort of flawed hero, however too much power, including over presidents, made him a fearsome and sometimes reckless force with not enough oversight over his actions. A good man and a bad man all at the same time.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Crazy World Of Jared Loughner

Jared Loughner has made himself an instant celebrity today by his deranged actions at a Safeway store in Arizona when he shot 18 persons including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a federal judge and a nine year old child. According to a background check, Loughner had a previous 2007 arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as a citation for running a stop sign. That's a great combination, problems with drug use and automatic weapons. Nothing can possibly go wrong there, huh?

Loughner, a former community college student, left a wealth of crazy and warped messages on the Internet just to prove just how deranged he really was, including a gem where he seemed to view himself as a "terrorist" of sorts. Some reports claim that was rejected by the military after he attempted to enlist.

Yet, he seemed surprisingly literate for someone who wrote such weird and rambling messages on the Internet, including "No, I won't pay debt with currency that's not backed by gold or silver! No, I won't trust in God!". Give half a chance, he acted like a complete nut job screwball. Then again, his long list of claimed favorite books sounds mostly like any garden variety of classics from any junior college library. Probably a majority of college students have either read these books or perused the Cliff's Notes versions to pass some English class. Some books like PETER PAN or ALICE IN WONDERLAND were probably read as a child. There was really nothing to prove that he was any Einstein genius here.

His posted MySpace stocking cap hat photo looked especially goofy. It has that "I've never had a girlfriend" look just reeking from it. A nerd's nerd for sure.

His politics are little difficult to sort out. His thinking was so confused and crazy, yet some liberals and conservatives have both done some unhelpful finger pointing today, instead of just offering their best wishes or prayers.

Loughner did have some bizarre views that might indicate some mental health issues such as paranoid schizophrenia, where he believed that the CIA was reading MySpace, yet posted nonsense such as his views on being a "terrorist" of sorts. He never made a great deal of sense with his warped and confused logic.

Several things might result from the crazed actions of Jared Loughner today. Some politicians may offer less "town hall" type activities and accessibility to the public. Increased security is likely to result at many "town hall" meetings. Increased gun control legislation is likely to be presented at state and local levels since a member of congress was harmed. America became less free and open today because of a lone screwball.

Jared Loughner, a complete loser nobody found a very dubious path to fame today. That's one heck of a path to celebrity status.

Kennedy Series Starring Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear Won't Air

The History Channel spent millions of dollars to produce a series about the Kennedys starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes as John and Jackie Kennedy, but has decided not to air the series. The History Channel spent millions more on this series than any other show it ever produced. Now, the question is what happens to this expensive eight part series.

Once completed, the History Channel was unhappy that series appeared to be highly fictionalized and was criticized as unhistorical and grossly inaccurate by some former Kennedy Administration officials and by some historians. Further, political pressures by some political liberals as well as Kennedy family fans including a petition drive helped to put a lid on the project.

A few years back, CBS produced a miniseries about Ronald Reagan, but once again political critics put a lid on the project. The series never aired on CBS, but was later sold to Showtime and played on this pay TV cable channel.

Networks seem to run into problems when they want to air political fiction. Pressure groups from the right or left often quickly attempt to censor projects they think might not project them in some positive light. They can care less that that the whole intent of film is to entertain, not brainwash someone into their own thinking.

Freedom of expression isn't totally dead in the United States. But, censorship of major projects proves that freedom of expression often hangs by a thin thread. And that's wrong. Filmmakers shouldn't have to satisfy to political tastes of critics. They're only job is to entertain us.

Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear are major actors. This series needs to air somewhere so the public can make up their own mind as to whether this is a good film series or not. Censorship sucks. For too many years, some churches and political forces have forced their own opinions on filmmakers and the American public, forcing artists to work in narrow constraints so not as to offend some pressure group. Filmmakers cannot make good products if they have to satisfy pressure groups, rather than concentrate on good filmmaking.

Some preview scenes such as the assassination in Dallas scene have an eerie appearance, where the film looks very interesting. Regardless of the critics, I'd like to be allowed to judge this film for myself, thank you.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Chloe Sevigny Manages To Shock Once Again

As if actress Chloe Sevigny didn't establish a lifetime shocker standard low with her BROWN BUNNY blow scene with that grimy looking Vincent Gallo guy, now she's dating Pauly D from JERSEY SHORE. I'll say that once again just so that the shock can really set in.....she's dating Pauly D from JERSEY SHORE.

The two were photographed at a Knicks game the other night.

In just two seasons on the air, JERSEY SHORE has managed to horrify the viewing public by introducing us to the likes of Pauly D, a disc jockey, and the Lindsay Lohan wannabe, Nicole "Snooky" Polizzi. Her arrest at Sunset Heights Beach for disturbing the peace will be aired during a season three episode of the popular MTV show.

Sadly, the new series just started to tape on January 6 for upcoming episodes. This means that you might want to schedule a root canal in coming weeks when the new episodes will air. As for me, I'm just grateful my house burned down and I don't have cable TV right now.

SS Trike Recreates The Big Wheel

SS Trike makes just about the coolest motorcycle trikes of any U.S. brand. Strangely, they look much like the kid's big wheel all grown up. But, that's where the resemblance ends. SS Trikes might well set you back a good $30k or better with options. However, the low center of gravity gives these bikes excellent stability, and road-ability. And the 2-speed automatic transmission also helps make riding these trikes just as easy as any car. There's no clutch to mess with, so don't go looking for one. There ain't one. Nada.

However, the automatic transmission is race quality and excellently coverts all of that power from that big 117cube SS x-wedge engine to those 14inch rear tires. The big wheel on the front is a whooping 24inch size.

SS Trike has a variety of models, but each are eye-catching quality and design. They even have some nice models with flames that look much like a hot rod, especially with those 1950's inspired Chevy hot rod cues in the rear styling and taillights.

Despite the price tag around $30, SS Trikes are actually a bargain of sorts. Compared to spending $100k to custom build a bike this good, the engineers at SS Trikes have done all the hard work, mating the very best performance and quality components together. The result is a powerful trike that's a thrill to ride.

You only live once. Go for it.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Legal Crap: Cat Fight Erupts Over Kitty Litter Ads

Who could have ever guessed that a high stakes legal battle would erupt over kitty litter. But the makers of Arm & Hammer have filed suit against Clorox over some kitty litter ads that they claim are deceptive and seem to show that cats prefer one brand over the other. But, the makers of Arm & Hammer claim the research is flawed that attempts to show cats favoring Fresh Step over Super Scoop.

I suppose some judge will have to decide whether one brand fights odor better than another, or whether this lawsuit is just a bunch of crap.

Conan O'Brien Wins People's Choice Award

Conan O'Brien continues to amaze and confound the critics. Despite his move to cable TV, a horde of fans voted him their favorite talk show host to win the 2011 People's Choice Awards for Favorite Talk Show Host. That was an amazing upset over favorites such as Ellen Degeneres or Oprah Winfrey. Like a phoenix who reemerges from ashes as great, Conan O'Brien has emerged from what he admitted could have been a "horrible" year to this great honor.

Fans of the red headed comic continue to carry him on their backs. Nearly 175 million votes were cast this year on-line for the People's Choice Awards voting. Conan O'Brien proved real strength among this demographic, scoring this convincing victory.

Congratulations to Conan O'Brien for this great victory.

Why TRUE GRIT Deserves Major Award Nominations

The producers of TRUE GRIT are hoping to garner some award considerations for the great new big screen adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel. Indeed, the buzz is that the producers of SOCIAL NETWORK are in fear that this may make a late run at Oscar consideration and virtually shut out their film. However, TRUE GRIT is far superior to the catalogic SOCIAL NETWORK, which I found factually interesting, but not overly appealing as a film. The new 2010 version of TRUE GRIT is a far superior film overall by any standard of measurement against SOCIAL NETWORK. TRUE GRIT is more than worthy of major award nominations, including best picture, best actor and best actress, whereas SOCIAL NETWORK is not.

TRUE GRIT has excellent acting by both Jeff Bridges and young actress Hailee Steinfeld. Both more than deserve best actor nominations. Jeff Bridges has reinvented the U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn role as his own great characterization. The alcoholic washed-up-has-been gunslinger Marshal pulls together the best of what he has left to prove to be a loyal and devoted honorable, but flawed hero. He proves himself to be the far moral superior to Texas Ranger LaBouef(Matt Damon) who seems to quickly use his position of authority in an abusive and unsettling way against the young Mattie Ross character. From their very first meeting, LaBouef seemed inclined toward wanting some inappropriate actions toward the Young Mattie Ross, wanting either to kiss her or administer some discipline to the stubborn and determined Ross. In fact, it was Cogburn who quickly put a stop to this sort of conduct by LaBoeuf a little later in the story, when he was disgusted by LaBouef abusing his authority against the young girl by giving her some harsh punishment by a riverbed for following along with the pair of trackers . Cogburn made it clear that he was perfectly willing to shoot LaBouef if this sort of inappropriate conduct continued. Inside, Cogburn was actually a deeply moral and decent man, despite his tough alcoholic exterior. He was a selfless servant of young Mattie Ross, while LaBouef simply wasn't as trustworthy a man as you would expect, but someone who would abuse his badge or position of authority if the opportunity only knocked. It quickly became clear who was the moral superior of the two.

More of the character of Cogburn was clear when he went on that desperate ride to get medical help for the young girl after a snakebite, and after the horse collapsed, ran with the young girl for what seemed like miles. The Coen brothers have recreated TRUE GRIT in 2010 as a masterwork of a Western. Both the film and the actors deserve major award nominations here. This is one of the great Westerns.

Jeff Bridges' acting as the latest incarnation of "Rooster" Cogburn is certainly as great as the performance of John Wayne that won him the best actor award at the Oscars in 1969. If John Wayne won for this role, Jeff Bridges deserves the same honor. This is Jeff Bridges at his very best here, capturing a great character that is wholly unrecognizable from other many other film roles he has portrayed.

Of course, TRUE GRIT is all about the story of young 14 year old Mattie Ross and her mission to capture for trial and ultimate hanging the drifter farmhand, Tom Chaney, who killed her father. And young actress, Hailee Steinfeld, is really the big star here where the story is all about her determined search for justice. Hailee Steinfeld is just plain excellent in this role. She's a fantastic young actress with a very promising career ahead. Her performance is far superior to that of Kim Darby in the 1969 film.

Part of what continues to make TRUE GRIT such a great western story is that it is so inspirational to young viewers. Mattie Ross is a real inspirational character. And young Hailee Steinfeld plays the character with such strength, intelligence and wisdom beyond her years, her only moment of weakness being when she is reduced to a crying little girl by LaBouef's abusive discipline by the riverbed. If LaBouef was attempting to knock this stubborn young girl down a peg, then he only temporarily succeeded. But, Cogburn sure didn't like this at all. The three were a team in his view and needed to be at their best game, and the frictions between LaBouef and Ross needed to stop if the three were to succeed in tracking down and capturing Tom Chaney. The three would face many perils in the frontier. Afterall, Ross was his boss, and Cogburn was nothing but the loyal employee.

The character of Mattie Ross is a tough, intelligent and very determined girl. And the grown up Mattie Ross narrates her life story here, where she ends up sadly losing an arm to a snakebite. Each retelling of TRUE GRIT takes some liberties or embellishes the original Charles Portis novel. But, the new Coen brothers film has made the story even more "gritty" and tougher than the 1969 film version. It's an excellent retelling of the story by the reclusive author of the novel. Charles Portis is seldom seen in public, but has to love this new version of his classic story. The Coen brothers certainly did justice here to this great novel.

My appeal is for those who make Oscar nominations and other award nominations to nominate TRUE GRIT for best picture, best actor and best actress considerations. And for other upcoming awards, please nominate this film and actors. Good westerns don't come much better than this. TRUE GRIT is a very good film.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hollywood Superbabe Anne Francis Dead At 80

Anne Francis was a great actress. Her short lived series, HONEY WEST, set the stage for more action private eye and spy series such as the JAMES BOND series and THE AVENGERS to feature tough females clad in skin tight black jumpsuits. HONEY WEST may have only lasted for just 30 episodes, but it had lots of style. And her pet ocelot(also called the dwarf leopard) in the series had that exotic wild animal look. The show may not have lasted long, but it inspired more tough female roles in so many more shows.

Anne Francis died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. But in the late 50's and early 60's, she was one of the hottest blond actresses of them all. She just exuded sex appeal. She was perfect as the tough but very sexy HONEY WEST.

But, Anne Francis was also a major star in the classic sci fi film, FORBIDDEN PLANET, and was also featured in classics such as BLACKBOARD JUNGLE and other pretty decent films. She also appeared on THE MAN FROM U.N.L.C.E. and other TV shows as well.

It's so sad to see the death of this league major babe. She was so fine. One of the most beautiful and sexy women ever to appear on the small or big screen. Her little trademark birthmark by her mouth gave her such a distinctive beautiful look.

Before Howard Stern There Was MIDNIGHT BLUE

Howard Stern would like you to believe that he was the innovator of the outrageous talk show format. However, New York City's public access cable channel J ran the highly controversial talk show MIDNIGHT BLUE, from 1974 until 2003. Hosted by Al Goldstein, the outrageous publisher of SCREW, a sexually oriented weekly newspaper type magazine with a strong following in NYC, MIDNIGHT BLUE had a very long run until it ultimately was done in with money and bankruptcy problems in 2004.

MIDNIGHT BLUE managed to draw many of the same popular favorite celebrities who would tour THE HOWARD STERN SHOW in later years, including Tiny Tim, Al Lewis and Gilbert Gottfried.

And although the show was content censored and would not be totally sexually explicit, it never failed to offend and outrage many who wanted it off the air, although it had a strong following of loyal fans in the greater NYC Manhattan area. The show even introduced what was purported to be a sex movie starring Barbra Streisand. But, Barbra Streisand was a good sport about the claimed sex movie, discounting that it was not her in the film during a 1977 PLAYBOY interview. Her manager also strongly denied that it was Barbra Streisand in this film as well. But, the woman in the film does have a strong resemblance.

At one point, Time Warner had hoped to silence shows like MIDNIGHT BLUE by scrambling them. However, Al Goldstein himself testified before the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately winning his case to keep such outlandish cable TV shows on the air for any person who cared enough to watch. Other outrageous cable TV personalities continued to battle with censorship struggles though.

One of the most notable was Jim Spagg, who ran into some censorship problems in the Atlanta area, but then moved to the Portland, Oregon area to host a number of outrageous cable TV shows that featured nudity. The former Catholic school student and U.S. Marine gained a number of fans though, however his show was interrupted for some months when he was forced to serve jail time in Georgia on obscenity charges for selling a couple of mainstream adult video tapes to an undercover cop. While Spagg's program was mostly just nudity, which law experts argued was constitutionally protected, Spagg stepped over the line by 2003 featuring some outrageous home video of him using the toilet. Cable access officials decided that banning Spagg from the channel for use of some copyrighted material was the easiest legal way to get him off the air and avoiding a cash draining legal battle with the kooky cable TV host.

But, outrageous personalities such as Al Goldstein and Jim Spagg found out that cable TV gave them a medium to present outlandish television. But, it had to be Howard Stern that perfected that formula.

Howard Stern did improve many things beyond what Al Goldstein or Jim Spagg did. He knew how to make money for one thing. By comparison, Al Goldstein was actually broke and homeless by 2004. But, Howard Stern owes a lot of credit to raunchy cable TV pioneer All Goldstein for showing him how to do an outrageous talk show. Howard Stern simply improved on that idea, and made lots of money doing it.

Because so few folks have ever seen the MIDNIGHT BLUE show, a line of DVDs is on the market capturing some highlights of the show including the best celebrity moments. But for many years MIDNIGHT BLUE provided laughs and entertained. It had a good long run before cancellation.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


One of the best parts of this job is to watch a really good movie. And indeed, MACHETE is a very good movie. Once again, Robert Rodriquez has created a real gem that has the look and feel of those old grindhouse theater cheap exploitation films of the 60's and 70's. Rodriguez proves that he's a talent equal to Quentin Tarantino in every regard here, creating a thrilling and violent film.

Actor Danny Trejo is just excellent here, playing the ultimate tough guy. He has the right look, and he's a fine actor. And his excellent supporting cast of Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, Jessica Alba and Robert De Niro sure don't hurt either. That's some star power here.

The DVD comes out Tuesday with a more violent director's cut than the normal theatrical version. I viewed an advance copy of this film, and was well pleased. This is a very worthwhile motion picture.

Lindsay Lohan contributes an interesting nude scene here. However, a Jessica Alba nude scene was reportedly computer generated, as this actress doesn't like doing nudity in films. But, the inclusion of the nudity does add to the cheap grindhouse appeal of the film, and appears to be an integral part of the art of this film.

Reportedly, Jessica Alba was wearing white underwear which was digitally erased to create the illusion of nudity for this film. Whoever would have ever guessed that some nerd would invent the computer just so he could digitally erase girl's clothes? Talk about a real labor of lust.

But, more seriously, part of what makes MACHETE such a great film is that so many top name actors were willing to star in a high quality production written and shot to look like a really cheap B film. That's art. The result here is so good. Robert Rodriguez knows that he created something great here. In fact, he's at work on a sequel right now.

The Bottom Line: Don't miss this great film here. This is a real classic for Robert Rodriguez. Shot for a mere $10.5 million dollar budget, this film really satisfies. +++(Three Stars, very good. Buy this film on DVD).