Movies: Clue Remake?!

Or not necessarily a "remake" but a new movie based on Hasbro's boardgame. Why? The 1985 film was incredible; what need is there for anything more? Or different? The script was tight and perfect (particularly in its humor), the cast had all possible chemistry. And yet Gore Verbinski (of Pirates of the Caribbean distinction) has been asked to make another Clue. This is just an utter waste of time, money and energy. If you want to remake a movie, pick something that was just awful the first time and make it better. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for failure.


Television: Lost

You know, I took a class in college called Parageography--the geography of imaginary places. As in Narnia and Middle Earth and Oz, or even the places Odysseus (aka Ulysses) visited when trying to get home from the Trojan war. Part of the class required us to create our own imaginary places. Mine was an island called AElit. It was an island no one could find. The back story was that an Englishman named Jonathan Engleman had gone on a sailing holiday and disappeared for 11 years, only to turn up talking about this island he'd been on . . . Now AElit was inhabited, mind you, and had its own history and language, etc. I used to have a Web site devoted to it, but I let the domain name lapse a long while back. Now I'm not saying the Lost guys stole, in part, my ideas. At any rate, mysterious islands--ones that move or can't be found--are nothing special to literature or myth. Islands seem to lend themselves especially to being small enough to lose in the great expanses of water that house the world. It's all in the execution of said story or myth . . .

A few thoughts about last night's episode:
  • Is the "very clever" person Hawking mentioned her own son?
  • Did Ben go off to attempt to murder Penny? After all, once he saw Desmond, he must've assumed she was in the vicinity. And Ben did tell Charles that he (Ben) would kill Charles' daughter (Penny) as revenge for Ben's own daughter's death.
  • I'm guessing Kate probably left Aaron with Claire's mother. Giving up a child is difficult, even when one does it with the child's best interests at heart. But if anything more drastic than that had happened to Aaron, Kate would surely have been an even bigger emotional wreck than she was.
  • So the island has always been jumping? In space, if not in time? But turning the donkey wheel made it move in time as well? Am I understanding this right?
As we neared the point in the show where it was clear something would need to happen to the plane soon (Ajira 316--which conjures the biblical John [Locke?] 3:16), I turned to my husband and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if they just landed in Guam?" Think about it: that would have been pretty funny. "Great, now we're in f***ing Guam! Now what?" But of course that wasn't the case. Just as well, I suppose, since we don't need any more stretching of this part of the story.


Snippet Television Update: American Idol

Carly and Michael are dressed for a Goth wedding. And Ryan Seacrest shall officiate.

Snippet Television Update: Lost

Just one thing I want to say about last week's Lost: everyone is saying that Locke's turning the frozen donkey wheel will have stopped the time flashes. Oookay, then why exactly do they need the Oceanic 6 to return? I thought they were required to stop the skipping record. Did I miss something? Misunderstand something?


Why I Hate Cookie Magazine

I subscribed to Cookie a couple years ago, just out of curiosity. I got one of those cheap offers in the mail, and the colorful letters announcing the magazine's title made it look fun. As it turns out, however . . . Not so much. I let the subscription lapse, but then my husband got a free subscription with some other purchase, and now it is again turning up in my mailbox each month.

Oh, Cookie is probably great for people living the high life in Manhattan--ones who just happen to have kids. Not so much for bumpkin ol' me, though.

Cookie's tag line is: "All the Best for Your Family." Apparently I'm supposed to feel guilty, then, that I don't dress my kids in Guess and Burberry, nor do I plunk down hundreds and/or thousands of dollars on shoes, bags and clothes for myself, either. I mean, take the March issue's page 38, "Style: Smart Cookie." They ask a fashion designer about how she manages to be a stylish mom. Uh, well, my first guess is she's a f***ing fashion designer. Followed closely by, And she makes a f***ing ton of money. After all, Designer Mom actually promotes blouses that are just shy of $600 a pop, a trench dress that is $3,495, and $117 jeans for her 9-year-old daughter.

I will admit, there is a little bar at the bottom of the page that suggest slightly less exorbitant items, but the stuff that gets primo placement is all pricey.

And let me just point out that I buy all my kids' clothes on sale because I know they'll be ruined in a matter of hours, if not minutes, by spilled food, dirt, paint, or baby spit-up. I buy most of my stuff on the cheap, too, for that matter.

Cookie goes on to suggest--as I've noticed in various issues--family vacations in, oh, Italy. No DisneyWorld here, though Disney Adventures does advertise their wares, which would be family tours to places like Machu Picchu and safaris in Kenya. For someone like me, for whom a day trip to a quaint neighboring downtown district is as close as I'm likely to come to a vacation in the next few years, these ads and articles are merely taunts. I hate them.

In fact, I hate Cookie. I hate it for making me jealous of what I don't have, for making me feel inferior as a person, a mother, a family. I hate it for making me second-guess my whole life, for making me wonder what I would have had to do to get where these people seem to be, where I went wrong. I mostly hate that it pushes the buttons on all my insecurities. And while I at least know and can acknowledge these feelings--as G.I. Joe always told us, "Knowing is half the battle"--they're still there. Less and less with each issue, as I find myself more and more able to distance myself. But still . . . I really hate Cookie.


Television: Dollhouse

Starring: Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz
FOX, Fridays at 9:00 PM


Like so many other television sci-fi cultists out there, I like Joss Whedon. I loved Buffy, Angel, and Firefly. So now I'm trying Dollhouse, despite my lack of love for Eliza Dushku. (And right now they're playing Lady GaGa's "Let's Dance," so points deducted for that, too.)

And why is Walid from Day 6 of 24 here?

Never minding that, the simple premise of the show is as follows: Dushku plays "Echo" a living "doll"--a person who can be programmed to become whomever clients of the Dollhouse require. This includes (apparently) escorts, kidnapping negotiators, and plain ol' kick-ass agents. Echo is wiped clean after each escapade, not able to remember what or who she was. From what I can determine, it's rather like restoring factory settings to a CPU.

There's also an X-Files kind of element in which a federal agent has been assigned to seek the Dollhouse, which many others in the Bureau believe is a fiction. But of course this one agent doggedly believes it's real.

The use of the name "Echo" is an interesting if obvious choice by Whedon. Echo is, of course, the mythological nymph who loved to talk. When she tricked Juno, the goddess cursed Echo to only repeat the words of others and never to be able to speak for herself. Then Echo fell in love with Narcissus. But of course she couldn't tell him, and meanwhile he was too wrapped up in himself to notice. So Echo pined away until all that was left of her was, well, her echoing voice.

Also, Echo has begun to remember little "echoes" from her past. Chalk it up to a flaw in her programming, triggered by coming into contact with something/someone from her history--she is becoming self-aware. Oh no! (Insert feminist rant here.) If they can do this with women, why not men? Where are the good looking guys? After all, when I was a little girl, I had boy dolls as well as girl ones. Any way you slice it, the answer isn't flattering. It's all girls in the Dollhouse because they're somehow "easier" to program (suggesting weaker minds), or because they're what clients want (pretty girls), or because it's what the people running the Dollhouse prefer (pretty girls). You could try and spin it that the women are, in fact, stronger, which is why they're the ones chosen, but physically that's simply not completely sound. Some women are strong--physically and mentally--but in most cases men are built more solidly, and you can't insist that women are always the better choice for any given "engagement" the Dollhouse might have on its roster.

My husband points out that Dollhouse takes a lot from The Pretender: someone special, capable of being anyone, all things to all people, something new and exciting every week. And meanwhile there's a shady organization behind it all. I can see this, but Jared's childlike wonder made The Pretender a wonderful chiaroscuro, whereas everything I've seen thus far in Dollhouse (yes, just one episode, and a reworked pilot at that) is decidedly dark--all dark. Just no humor at all, no levity. Like swallowing lead. But maybe that's just the first cast of the fishing line, sinking into the water, soon to reel viewers in.

I'll give it a couple more episodes anyway and see what kind of trajectory it takes. After all, there's nothing else on Friday nights, so if you're going to be home (and I always am), you might as well watch.


Snippet Television Updates: American Idol, Lost

First up, AI. I just want to say that Tatiana del Toro needs to go. People that annoying aren't entertaining. They're JUST annoying. I don't want to meet them in real life, and I certainly don't want to have to endure them when trying to unwind in front of the TV.

Meanwhile, Joanna Pacitti--just shown last night making it to the top 36--is now ousted after being deemed "ineligible." You think? It took them this long to decide that? The girl already had a recording contract and a single, AND she was BFFs with some execs at 19 Entertainment (yes, the people who produce AI). Sorry, honey, the biz is surely about who you know, but America won't stand for the semblance of unfair.

Not that I don't think AI is utterly rigged for ratings. Else Tatiana (who doesn't actually sing that well, especially not compared to many who were given their walking papers) wouldn't still be on the show. And Nick/Norman might not be either. I say "might" because despite his quirks, he can actually sing. He just needs to get serious. Or else find a different outlet.

Now on to Lost. Don't tell me! I haven't seen last night's episode yet because my husband had a work function/dinner and I decided to wait for him so we could watch together via DVR tonight. However, I do have a theory to float about Jacob and the cabin. Is it possible that they're caught in a sort of time vortex? Maybe Jacob was a Dharma worker who got sucked in or something . . . Maybe that's how he knows what will happen and what people should do--he's skipping around in time and can sort of see past, present and future? Might also explain why the cabin isn't always there. Yeah, the idea is wacky, but then so is the rest of the show.


Television: Superbowl XLIII Commercials, Part 2

I'm enjoying the dancing football players. Too bad Monsters vs. Aliens looks stupid. But I do like Sobe. I used to drink that white flavor; I don't remember what it was called, but it was yummy.

I've also really liked the Sprint "run the world" ads. The delivery guys at the school, the roadies at the airport = friggin' awesome.

Stop with the Heroes commercials, though. I really don't want to see your dumb show, no matter how clever your ads are. Okay, wait--if Gary Busey really was on that show, I'd totally watch it. Wait, my husband says that was Dan Morino. Or Joe Montana. Some old football guy, anyway. But he looked like Busey.

Bruce is looking good for his age, btw. I've never been some big fan of his music, but whatever. It's like, I won't change the station when he comes on, but I don't own any of his albums either.

My husband has since confirmed it was John Elway in the Heroes commercial. I don't know who that is, but I'm decidedly less impressed now that I know it wasn't Gary Busey.

Okay, next time I need to work on a burning oil rig, I'll think of the Toyota Tundra. Thanks for the heads up.

William Shatner! And a guy who does a really good imitation of him! Still, no matter what Cap'n Kirk tries to tell me (or sell me), I can't afford a vacation this year.

Inner hero? Universal Studios? Didn't I just say I couldn't afford a vacation? Quit rubbing my nose in it!

And if I laughed my ass off, I don't think I'd want it reattached. I could stand to lose the weight.

All those people are turning into avatars or something. Oh, I get it. Coke wants us to disconnect from cyberspace and reconnect with the real people around us. Cute.

Bridgestone. On the moon and rapping. Or something. Bring back the Potato Heads. Ooooh, what if they were on the moon?

I liked that the waitress gave that mob guy a smiley pancake.

And I've had jobs like that, sitting under the butt of a moose. (Not literally. Figuratively.) Really, though, I feel sorry for the moose having to stand there like that.

Scotland! I've always wanted to go there. Apparently the horses talk there, too, which would be really cool to hear. Oh, and the Clydesdale's name is Jake. Good to know. But wait. What happened to Daisy the Dancing Circus Horse?

Moose are strong, right? Maybe that moose could look on Monster.com and see if Budweiser is hiring. He could pull a wagon for sure. Oh, but then Jake might end up out of a job. And he needs to support Daisy. There's just no good answer, is there?

Race to Witch Mountain trailer. Cool.

Transformers 2 trailer. Cool.

The lady on the dolphin worries me. I don't know if I'm more concerned for the lady or the dolphin. (Hey, wasn't that a short story we had to read in school? No, that was a tiger, I think.) Anyway, I'm pretty sure punching koalas is illegal.

Bugs don't make me want soda. And my infant daughter has this weird, smiley sun that plays that music, so now when I hear it I just feel creeped out.

The Conan ad was . . . strange. It was like, "Oh, I know those people. They're on television." But I have yet to come to the point in my life in which I do what the people on TV tell me. Sorry, Conan.

Ah, Sout' Louisiana daddies. I have one of those. "Get me a snowcone." That's right, boy. You may be a sports star, but your daddy will always be your daddy. Remember that!

John Turturro has just confused me about beer. He was trying to make Heineken into something very serious, but I felt like he was threatening me.

"High life!" Indeed. I've had crazy bums yell that at me on the street.

I like that the Coke Zero ad tapped the classic Coke ad and then subverted it.

Cute Taco Bell ad. Gets across the idea of "fast" food. Still, if a guy brought me TB on a first date? Not that I don't like TB, but . . . I'm starting to worry that guys who frequent Taco Hell are stalkers or something. They just need John Turturro to put the sense of menace over the top.

Hey! Not nice to zap that bird for no good reason, you brainless wonder!

Alec Baldwin! I remember when you were thin! And yes, I have used hulu.com to watch 30 Rock. But I don't appreciate your taunting the fact that I do both watch television AND use a computer. After all, I'm paying your fat checks, right? So you can live high on the hog? (What I'm saying here, Alec, is that you're a FAT HOG. Deal with it.)

MacGruber! And Pepsi. I think this is a hold over from last night's SNL. Man, Richard Dean Anderson is looking puffy. Is he ill or something? I almost didn't recognize him except for his voice. That makes me sad; I so loved MacGyver. In fact, "Mac" was my nickname in high school (one of them, anyway). I carried a pocket knife in the interior pocket of my denim jacket. (Back then, you couldn't be arrested for that.)

They like saying "unneccesary roughness" a lot during this game. Anyone remember that movie? Actually, it was Necessary Roughness. Scott Bakula was in it, and it was filmed near where I lived at the time, and I saw Scott Bakula at the local movie theatre. But I can't remember what I was going to see. I just remember him saying "hi" to me in the ticket line and me looking at him like he was some crazy person before realizing (too late!) who he was. And me being such a big Quantum Leap fan, too. What a missed opportunity. He's the same age as my mother anyway, so whatever.

That Fitzgerald kid is fast. I'm so happy for him. I hope the Cardinals can hold the Steelers off for a couple minutes.

My computer is running out of juice. I shall sign off now. Sorry not to cover the last of what has turned out to be a rather exciting game . . .

Television: Superbowl XLIII Commercials, Part 1

Warning: Live blogging tonight. This means I'm going stream-of-consciousness. I cannot be held responsible for the odd turnings of my mind prior to my stopping to consider them. What I mean is, I'm typing before I really think here. Just whatever comes out. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

I don't care about the game. I'm just interested n the ads. Thus far, we've seen a decent trailer for the G.I. Joe movie, a decidedly lame Bud Light ad, and a fantastic Audi featuring Jason Statham. Early theme of the night: breaking through windows.

Now Bob Dylan is singing "Forever Young." Another theme for the night seems to be nostalgia/progress. Thank the economic times for this one.

The Doritos ad with the snowglobe was, as my husband called it, "subversive." And just a little strange, though it still made us laugh. I have some Doritos upstairs, but that ad did not make me want to go get them.

Conan O'Brien? A better Bud Light ad than the first one. Celebrities are common in Superbowl ads in any given year, but they seem especially obvious this year. Is that an economic thing, too? None of us have money except for the celebs. BUT . . . If we all just drink Bud Light and drive an Audi, we can live like they do!

And what's this Year One thing? I can't decide if it's funny or stupid. That ad didn't sway me in either direction.

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head in a car . . . They don't quite qualify as "celebrities." And could I care less about (a) Bridgestone tires or (b) yet another Fast and Furious movie? Vin Diesel has apparently had to go back to that in order to reboot his career. I guess the economy can hurt even B-List celebs. (Meanwhile it must be that much cheaper to hire the Potato Heads. They'd be awesome in a Fast and Furious movie, don't you think?)

Monkeys! Yay! My husband would love to be king of the monkeys!

Matt Lauer and Will Ferrell in a Land of the Lost trailer. So is Matt Lauer in the movie, or just in the ad? I'd totally be into seeing Matt in that movie.

Stupd sexist Doritos. The only that saved that ad was the guy getting hit by a bus. Meanwhile, I HATE the &*@#!%^ Go Daddy ads!

Pepsi Max is the diet cola for men? Really? Anyway, in my experience men are whiners, at least in the presence of their "womenfolk." They may try and be all that in front of their buds, but you can bet they went home and wimpered all night to their wives--assuming they have any, the losers.

Yay ostrich! How can David Duchovny expect me to believe a dog would be better than that? Meanwhile, first Clydesdale (aka Budweiser ad) of the night. And now, another one. Both cute. First: a Dalmatian playing fetch, and the Clydesdale decides to show off by bringing a huge tree limb. How is that supposed to make me want beer, exactly? I hate showoffs. But it's a cute ad, anyway. Second: true love wins the day as the Clydesdale crosses the country in search of Daisy the Dancing Circus Horse. I wish them all the best in their life together. I can only suppose Clydesdale still has his job as a drafthorse and can support Daisy and their future offspring.

Star Trek! Yes indeed, by golly. I am that excited about it. Never mind that the trailer itself is actually not so inspiring.

Is this a Nike ad or something? Reebok? Oh, nope, Gatorade, evidently now branded "G." As if it were some rapper instead of a sports drink.

David Abernathy is exactly the kind of person you'd openly admire and privately hate. I hope cars.com totally dupes him and he buys a lemon. Because come on, the guy has to fail sometime!

Hyundai is trying to position itself as an aspirational brand that is giving other such brands a run for their money. Hrm. Dunno if that will work, but they're giving it a decent shot.

Stupid E-Trade babies. Sorry, but babies don't sell me on anything. My own kids give me enough trouble without me wanting to see more knee biters on television, trying to convince me to what? I'm not even sure, and I don't care. (And hey, I like Mr. Mister, so I don't love that they're a punchline here.)

Yay for a new Pixar movie!

And now: more Bud Light stupidity. I'm supposed to find the guy "writing" to be clever and amusing? Now if they'd done that with football--like when the commentators use the writing on the screen--or with weathermen or something, then I might've found it slightly entertaining. Maybe.

Death and taxes. Har. And wicked flowers in a box. Wow. That was really striking. I mean, as a woman I took notice. I've had people send me flowers in a box, and they were lovely flowers. But now I'm thinking, "Were those people trying to tell me something? Besides 'we'll miss you' or whatever?" (Since the boxed flowers came when I left a job. Hmm. Maybe they were trying to kick me out the door . . .) Thanks, Teleflowers, for preying on my insecurities. I know that was the whole point, but man, seriously. You hit home.

Hateful bitch on a cell phone. Chester Cheetah does a public service by siccing pigeons on her.

Back after halftime.