Category Archives: Entertainment

My Top 6 Super Bowl XLIV Commercials

This was an interesting year for Super Bowl commercials, I couldn’t believe how many of them had men and women in their underwear, mainly men. And let’s just say that these weren’t people almost any of us would consider as “hot”.

Overall there were 68 commercials of mainly what we’re used to. There were car commercials, beer commercials, Doritos commercials galore. There were a few Denny’s commercials with screaming chickens because they were running the free Grand Slam breakfast promotion like they ran last year (and for the second year in a row I missed it, since it was today until 2PM). There was a lot of pre-game controversy over an anti-abortion ad that didn’t quite live up to the hype, and was a much nicer commercial than I was expecting it to be. And there were the usual duds, but that’s to be expected.

Anyway, I have my favorite six, which I’m going to rank in reverse order. It seems that most of my favorite choices weren’t ranked all that high by other consumers, but hey, this is my list. And the commercials are here for your review as well; I wonder how long they’ll stay around this time before I’ll have to go back and find updated ones. Anyway, here we go.

6. Coke, Sleepwalker. This one had a guy who sleepwalks through the jungle and all its dangers because he’s in search of a Coca Cola. I thought it was really creative; critics said they didn’t get it. What’s to get? Course, throw in a little Bolero and I’m a happy guy.

5. Doritos, Dog. This one has a guy sitting on a park bench when a dog comes wanting a Dorito, but has a dog collar that zaps the dog if he barks. My wife didn’t get it, but I loved it. The critics didn’t like this one either; shame.

4. Budweiser, Clydesdales & Steer. Every year we all wait for the Clydesdales, and Budweiser, which wasn’t initially going to do one this year, eventually came through. This time they added a friends back story which included a steer with the same colors as the clydesdales; I thought it was cute, the critics thought it was unoriginal.

3. Letterman, Leno & Oprah. Man, no one saw this coming, and it’s one of two that the critics agree with me on. All we’ve heard over the past number of years was how much David Letterman and Jay Leno have been after each other. And of course we heard how Oprah first didn’t like Dave, and now was against Jay because of what’s going on with Conan. Great spot, and great satire also.

2. Snickers, Betty White & Abe Vigoda. This is the other one critics loved, and it seems it was the most popular ad of the night in most surveys. Having Betty White utter the line “that’s not what your girlfriend said” is a classic, and pulling Abe Vigoda out for another cameo was just a great touch.

1. Doritos, Little Boy. This one started out with a creep factor, but when this little boy drops his video remote, you know it’s on. I liked the sass it showed, and a little boy protecting his mother against someone whose values seem skewed… big ups for me.

And there you are, my favorites. I’m sure you have your own, if you watched the game, or saw any of the commercials; share your thoughts.

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Avatar – My Review

As strange as it seems to me, I’ve only ever done one other movie review on this blog. That was for The Secret, and I don’t know if that movie ever was brought to the theaters. I know was about to the theaters where I live, but it’s possible in the larger cities it did hit the big screens. No matter; here’s my first movie review of something I saw in a theater.

The truth of the matter is that I had no interest in going to see Avatar. While I’m usually crazy about science fiction movies, especially those involving aliens, usually I like the scenarios that are set up where we earthlings are trying to protect our existence. I don’t really know why, and I might have to think about that one of these days, but that’s usually my preference. I think it’s pretty much highlighted when you look back at my list of my favorite sci-fi movies. Anyway, my wife seemed to get caught up in all the publicity this time around, and suddenly she really want to go. And, since it wasn’t a chick flick, I figured why not.

We decided upon the 3-D movie because it was the earliest showing of the thing and we wanted to get it out of the way because we had heard it was close to three hours long. Despite all the numbers that everyone has been hearing about how this movie has been doing, the theater wasn’t packed. I’m not sure what that says about the movie or the fact that it was a 3-D, but I just type that out there.

Since the movie’s been out there for more than a month at this point, hopefully I’m not giving anything away to anybody who still really want to see this movie. But I’m not going to all that many details, so if I tell you what the story is about and you still want to go see it, remember that the movie is still three hours long while my synopsis is very short so you might still enjoy it.

The story is about a race of tall blue creatures in human form living on an alien moon that someone has discovered is rich with a mineral that we, the bad earthlings, desperately want. We have found that it’s not so easy getting what we want from these people who, though primitive, have shown themselves to be a pretty good match against those trying to take their resources. So the thought is to create avatars that look like the blue people, link human minds to these avatars, and have them interact with the blue people, learning their culture and trying to figure out a peaceful way to get them to leave so we can take their stuff.

One of the people who gets linked to an avatar turns out to be a former Marine who has lost the use of his legs and ends up taking over the avatar from his scientist brother who somehow gets killed. Of course he takes over the avatar without any training and without anyone determining what his overall mental state might be. At some point he integrates with these people, who accept him even though they know he’s not really one of them and shows him their ways. Even though it turns out that he’s a double agent, because while he’s with some people who are trying to find a peaceful solution, there is a military buildup which is basically waiting to go in and take whatever they want if a peaceful solution can be found. He of course ends up wanting to help these people keep what they have, because it turns out they have a symbiosis with every living thing on this moon and he comes to understand that, and they need his help to overcome the overwhelming technology of the military so that they can preserve their way of life in the end.

I have to say I like Avatar, I can’t say I loved it. I did not walk out of the movie saying “wow, I got to see that again”. A few hours later, I didn’t have this movie running through my head making me feel as though I had seen something I’ve never seen before. There were couple of great action scenes I’d have to say, where you see stuff blown up, some fight scenes, and some battles with wildlife. And I love stuff like that, yet for whatever reason this movie just didn’t grab me like some other movies have. It was well filmed and well acted, but I just didn’t ever get any emotional involvement in this movie. It’s quite possible that I was numbed by all the attention and publicity this movie had gotten beforehand. That happened to me once before when I eventually saw E.T. the first time and absolutely hated it. Years later when I saw it again I started to love that movie.

On a scale of 1 to 5 I would probably rank Avatar a 3 1/2. I was less emotionally involved in this movie that James Cameron’s other fantastic movie Titanic. Maybe it was the 3-D version that threw me off a little bit. I’m not crazy about having to wear 3-D glasses, and these days they tend to make movies look darker than they’re supposed to be, and I’m not usually crazy about watching movies that seem to be dark throughout most of it. The 3-D effects weren’t bad, but there were some things I thought needed to be stronger for a better effect.

By the way, I want to address one criticism of the movie that I’ve heard. Some critics have said that they see some racial overtones in this movie because, in their words, once again the white man had to save a group of people of color instead of there being able to find a way to save themselves. It’s kind of an ignorant statement by people who have no clue in my opinion of what technology can do against anybody who has no clue about technology. Native Americans did not lose in this country because they didn’t have heart or skill, they lost because they didn’t have the kind of technology that guns offer. If you’ve ever seen the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Data proves that one person with the right technology can take out an entire village, and then hears him say that there are ways to take people out without even needing the ability to see those people, you get to understand that intelligence and heart isn’t always enough to overcome things. I wonder what the criticism would have been if the main character of this movie had been someone like Will Smith. If there hadn’t been the same conversation, then those people would’ve been disingenuous because it wasn’t a racial issue from the get go, it was a technological issue. You people who still might think this; get over it! And I say that with some risk since my wife, who actually liked the movie more than me, thought it had racial overtones as well.

If anyone else has seen Avatar, I like to know your opinion to see whether you agree with me or not.

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Videos On This Blog, 2007 – June 2008

You know, when I started out on this quest to link to posts of mine that have videos on them, it never even entered my mind that I might have gone to the video vault as often as I seem to have gone. Once I got through February 2008, I realized that I was going to have to break this up somehow, otherwise this post could have been a major mess. Therefore, I decided to go only through June 2008, and since this blog began December 2007, that’s included as well.

It’s funny, but early on my posts were relatively short, so sometimes I only had one paragraph and then a video. I think I’ve come a long way. Still, I wanted to have a link to videos because every once in awhile I’m looking for something, and, well, I think some videos are just entertaining as anything. And who knows, you might find something in here you like and want to check out. So, here are the links to the videos, with a brief take on what the post was about:

I Still Believe – I love Mariah Carey and I love the song in this music video, even when Brenda K Starr did it.

Stout Hearted Men – If you ever watched Wonder Years, you probably died laughing when this scene played surrounding the boys glee club.

Martin Luther King Jr – The Finale – this was Dr. King’s final speech before he was assassinated the next day; timely since tomorrow is the King Holiday.

Turn The World Around – Harry Belafonte & the Muppets did this as the last song when he was on the Muppet Show. Turns out to also be the song performed by Belafonte at Henson’s funeral.

Lizards dancing to Thriller – This was my favorite commercial during the 2008 Super Bowl, which figures since it used a Michael Jackson song

Blame It On The Boogie – A Jackson’s music video and song I happened to like.

I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan music video.

Amp – I questioned whether this commercial during the Super Bowl was effective advertising or not.

Web Design Rap – I thought this was a pretty creative educational video about web design.

Pulp Fiction? – the Muppets take on Pulp Fiction; got an idea how much I love the Muppets?

The Oil Crisis – this is a pretty long video by a guy who says he has inside information that oil prices are being falsely manufactured to kill us with high prices.

Push It – I started out talking about human beatboxes, then decided to put in the full Salt ‘n Pepa video that the Amp commercial bit a chunk off.

A Video Parody – if anyone remembers when that goofy kid got on video and cried while telling the world to leave Britney Spears alone, they you’ll like this video, which was a parody of that one telling people to leave PCs alone during the Vista disaster & Mac commercial period

2 Legit 2 Quit – MC Hammer’s video, my favorite video & song of his.

I Want You Back – my favorite song of all time by my favorite group of all time with my favorite entertainer of all time; ’nuff said.

Never Saw It Coming – a funny video involving pandas.

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It Pays To Be Bad Sometimes

You know, I really didn’t want to talk about this Tiger Woods thing because, overall, I don’t care who he’s been with or anything else. Yes, he’s let a lot of people down, especially with how he’d built himself up as this paragon of virtue and dedication only to his sport and his wife, and to see all of that come crashing down is depressing in some fashion.

But the truth is that he’s an athlete who owes none of us anything. He never had any moral authority like one of my childhood heroes Jesse Jackson, or a politician like Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina. Tiger Woods ends up being Muhammad Ali (another childhood hero) in a way; heck, that could end up paying off well for him in the end.

See, here’s the thing. Over the past two weeks, I’d been wondering why all these women were coming out saying they’d had sex with Tiger; let’s call it what it is, instead of saying he “slept” with women. Heck, I’ve slept with women in my lifetime and none of it involved sex; yeah, I’m pathetic, but trustworthy. 🙂 Anyway, it had been troubling me the first week. Then one of my friends on Facebook talked about it, so I came out saying I just don’t get what these skanks could get out of it; yeah, I called them skanks. She didn’t have an answer either. So I went and mentioned it on Twitter, and I got my answer; money!

Oh yeah, the mighty dollar. Most of these women got paid to tell their story. Some of them, it seems, had been paid before by Tiger; they got him co… no, I’m not going to say that, as that jokes way too easy. Let’s just say they’re getting paid twice for having sex with him, well, once, twice, twenty times… who knows?

Most of them are getting paid. Some are getting paid really well. Some say they’re not getting paid, but then why the heck would they come out and say this stuff? That’s really the main question at this point; if they’re not getting money, what’s in it for them to come out and admit that their tramps, skanks, and sluts (as opposed to ho’s, because ho’s readily admit they get paid)?

Tiger gets his share of the blame here, but, as I said, this really isn’t a story about him as much as it’s a story about being bad. Let’s take a quick look at our short list of sex scandals, shall we?

Kobe Bryant was accused of rape, got out of it by paying off the person accusing him, and is now not only the best basketball player in the NBA, but has endorsement deals paying him more than he was getting paid beforehand. Why? Because just being accused of that heinous act gave him what’s known as street cred (credibility, for those in other countries who might not be up on the lingo), and suddenly it was cool for guys in the ‘hood to wear his gear.

Ashley Dupre, the young prostitute that brought down the governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, is now writing a column for the New York Post. Of all things, she’s giving sex and relationship advice. Of course, I’m sure she sees this as a major fall in cash, since she was making about $5,000 a pop as a prostitute (man, I can’t help myself; the puns are there), but at least she now has a steady job, even if she’s prostituting herself in a much different way (it is the Post after all).

Jerry Springer was mayor of Cincinnati when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. That wasn’t the worst of it, though; he actually wrote her a check! Now Jerry Springer makes around $20 million a year at least, writes a column for some newspaper, has had a couple of legit TV gigs here and there, and, well, he hasn’t gone too far from the sex now has he?

Mark Fuhrman, the detective in the O.J. Simpson case who was quoted saying all those racial epithets on tape and pretty much sealed the case in O.J.’s favor has made quite a nice living as a fiction writer. A couple of his books have gone to number one on the best seller’s list; he wasn’t making that much on a cop’s salary, that’s for sure.

Who really knew who Paris Hilton (she’s “hot”; lol) was until a video of her popped up showing that she had some skills doing, uhhh… well, you know what she was doing. She was someone else who was already rich, though it was daddy’s money, but she turned that one indiscretion into her own multi-million money making venture which includes fashion, perfumes, TV, modeling, movies and music; okay, she’s not making millions off the albums, although she did have one song to to number one on the dance chart. But the thing is that this is millions she’s making on her own, to the tune of almost $35 million a year, thus she hasn’t had to touch her trust fund, which is estimated to be in the 9 figures somewhere.

And we have Kim Kardashian, who turned her little home video into an empire that has made her a very rich woman. I mean, TV, modeling, fashion, and almost anything else you can think of, and that backside… let’s not go there except to say she replaced Jennifer Lopez in that area and leave it at that.

See, notoriety didn’t hurt any of these people. None of them, other than Kobe Bryant, were even in the consciousness of most of us until we heard about these indiscretions, and look where they are now. Heck, even Eliot Spitzer is now writing a column for Slate Magazine, a mag I’ve never heard of until he signed up with them, and now he appears on TV shows talking politics all the time, probably making more money than he ever was going to make as governor; not that he wasn’t already rich, by the way.

I guess this really is the way of the world, as even the prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, is dealing with his own sex issue, as well as a corruption scandal. But he’s 71; he might not have enough time to capitalize on his bad fortune, though he really doesn’t need to. After all, not only is he rich, but he got rich through sex, in a way, so he already knew the game before he decided to get into politics.

Man, why do I have my own sense or morals? Maybe I could be rich by now, flying all over the world having all sorts of fun because people want to know what I’m doing because of my indiscretion. Could I deal with a week or so of bad publicity to turn it around and make millions later on? Is there such a thing as bad publicity? Do we really think this little bit of negative publicity Tiger Woods is going through right now is going to make him less of a golfer, and thus earn him even more money later on? And, if his wife leaves him, he’ll be free to party like it’s 1999; we can still sing that song, right?

By the way, today it was announced the Accenture had dropped him as one of their spokesmen, saying he doesn’t represent their values. How many of you remember how Accenture came to be anyway; talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

After Sire’s big blog post last week that generated himself a ton of new publicity, maybe he can tell us how to do it honestly, although I’m betting these other folks had way more fun in how they generated theirs.
 

Rocky And Bullwinkle Turn 50

I always knew 1959 was a special year for more than the fact that I was born that year. Turns out Rocky and Bullwinkle debuted on TV the same year this month.

rocky and bullwinkle

My earlier memory of Rocky and Bullwinkle was actually in the mid 60’s, when my family returned from Tokyo. By that time, is came on Sunday mornings, but it seems that it started out as a prime time cartoon, like the Flintstones.

That’s because it wasn’t really a cartoon for kids. Sure, the animation was goofy and the dialogue, for the most part, was kind of silly. But it was a thinking person’s cartoon. There were a lot of in-jokes and things that you had to have read as far as literature goes, or had to be up on the news. In an odd way, it was the Family Guy of the past, only clean.

It was easily my dad’s favorite cartoon. It was one of the few things we watched together, and he would laugh outrageously at it. I would laugh also, at different things, although I also loved hearing my dad laugh, so that made me laugh too. He also loved Fractured Fairy Tales while I was a Mr. Peabody fan, and every once in awhile, we’d deal with Aesop’s Fables. The little interludes with Bullwinkle’s Corner and Mr. Know-It-All were fun as well, and even now, every once in awhile, I’ll say to my wife “Watch me pull a rabbit out of the hat.”

One of my best memories of Bullwinkle and Rocky actually came while I was in college. My friend Scott and I decided to go to Syracuse University for a Bullwinkle marathon. I don’t even remember which one we saw, but we laughed long and hard throughout the night. We finally got all the jokes that we’d missed when we were younger. What a rush!

At this point, I have two DVDs of Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, and 4 or 5 VHSs, although I don’t get to watch those all that often; man, what are we all going to do with all those VHS tapes? I was probably one of only 25 people who actually liked the live action mix called The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and I might be the only one who enjoys the new cartoon they’re working on now. How’s that for being a fan?

Happy Birthday to Rocky and Bullwinkle; what memories do you have of this dynamic duo?

Rocky and Bullwinkle, Complete Season 2