30 Dec 2006

The 10 Best TV Shows of the Year

Here are my ten favorite TV shows of this past year. Some are American, some are British, but all are available somewhere online. Again, they're in no particular order.

The Shield - Season 5
For me, this is the best US cop show on television. Set in and around the fictional LA borough of Farmington, it tells the story of a group of cops called the Strike Team, led by Det. Vic Mackey, who are corrupt and break the rules, but are the best cops on the streets. All five seasons have set an incredibly high standard in terms of writing, acting and, most surprisingly considering it's not on HBO, realism. Michael Chiklis is unbelievable as Det. Mackey and this season, Forest Whitaker (look for him to nab the Best Actor Oscar this year for The Last King of Scotland) matches him as Internal Affairs agent Kavanaugh. Most highly recommended. Best moment: When Mackey nails Kavanaugh's wife!!

Life On Mars - Season 1
If The Shield is the best US cop show, then this is, by far and away, the best UK cop show. Detective Sam Tyler, whilst investigating a murder case, gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. He doesn't know why or how except that he may be in a coma in the present day. He becomes a cop in 1973 (experiencing all the fish-out-of-water situations) while trying to find out how to get back to the present. Funny, gritty and extremely well-acted it's like Hill Street Blues crossed with Quantum Leap, The Sweeney and Starsky & Hutch. Best moment: When Tyler and his boss punch the dude from The Catherine Tate Show

Extras - Season 2
Ricky Gervais once again comes up with the most excruciating, embarrassing and downright hilarious show on TV. He plays Andy Millman, a TV and film extra who dreams of becoming famous. This season, he appears to have struck gold, landing a sitcom deal with the BBC. Nothing, of course, goes to plan and Andy is forced to compromise in order to keep his new found fame. Guest stars this season included Robert DeNiro, Chris Martin, Sir Ian McKellen and Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. Best moment: When Andy catches his agent and Barry off Eastenders having a wank over a pen

Planet Earth
This 10-part documentary series from the BBC is eye-wateringly, groundbreakingly, titty-wobblingly brilliant covering, as it does, the entire planet. Five years in the making, the series shows us footage of things never before filmed including snow leopards searching for food on the himalayas, a pride of lions taking down an adult elephant at night and an aerial view of wolves chasing wildebeeste. Each episode covers a different physical part of the planet, from mountains to jungles, rainforests, deserts and beyond. Narrated by the legend that is Sir David Attenborough, your gob will literally be smacked. Best moment: The Great White leaping out of the ocean in super slo-mo

Survivor: Cook Islands
This season caused controversy with it's pronouncement that, for the first time ever, there would be four tribes of five, divided into Black, Hispanic, Asian and White contestants. After not watching this show for about six seasons, this premise intrigued me, to say the least. it was, without doubt, the best season ever. Despite copping out after three weeks and mixing the tribes up, the combination of characters, twists and challenges made this the most purely entertaining show of the year. By the way, no white people made the final three! Yay! Best moment: Ozzy (Viva La Raza!) making it to the final two

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - Season 1 (and maybe the last?)
This was my most anticipated show of the year. Created by the guy (Aaron Sorkin) who wrote The West Wing and A Few Good Men, this show is about the behind-the-scenes machinations of a fictional TV comedy series, loosely based on SNL. This show certainly met my expectations offering this year's best and wittiest dialogue and some extremely touching moments. It hasn't exactly set the ratings alight, though, and may not make it to a second season. For shame! Best moment: The homeless New Orleans band's rendition of O Holy Night

The Vicar of Dibley 2006 Xmas Special
After 2004's worthy but unfunny Make Poverty History special, this was a welcome return to the hilarity of a show that most fans have a great affection for. For the uninitiated among you, this sitcom tells the story of the small village of Dibley's female vicar, Geraldine, played with great humor by Dawn French of French and Saunders fame. This special concerns Geraldine finally making it down the aisle and contains some truly inspired scenes that rank up there with the best the series has ever produced. Best moment: Geraldine's reaction to the marriage proposal

Real Time with Bill Maher - Season 4
Has an administration ever provided satirists and comedians such an abundance of material? Maher was funny when Clinton was in office. Now, though, he looks like a genius. Mixing serious political comment with satirical flourishes and some downright goofiness, this no-holds-barred HBO series is one of the funniest and most informative things on the box. Best moment: Bill's closing monologue at the end of episode 20

Nip/Tuck - Season 4
When compared with the previous three seasons, this season was the weakest. However, the fact that it is still in my top 10 should illustrate the brilliance of this show. Following the adventures of two Miami plastic surgeons, this season we had a guy who wanted his balls enlarged, Sean's wife's affair with their dwarf nanny, Christian banging Rosie O'Donnell's trailer trash lottery winner for money and the return of Escobar. This is, without doubt, TV's guiltiest pleasure. Best moment: Peter Dinklage's entire performance as Marlo the nanny

Elizabeth I

If, like me, you've seen many dramatizations of the life of Queen Elizabeth I, then this, the umpteenth version of the story, could have easily gotten lost in the crowd. The script was very good, the costumes and production design were, predictably for a BBC/HBO co-production, excellent and the supporting cast were uniformly impressive. What makes this one of the best shows of the year, and one of the best Elizabeth stories ever, though, is Helen Mirren. With this, the final Prime Suspect and The Queen, Helen reminded everyone why, along with Meryl, she is quite simply the finest actress working today. Best moment: When she gets pissed off at Hugh Dancy in front of everyone

Honorable Mentions:
I haven't seen the new seasons of Lost and Scrubs, yet but if I had, you can be sure they would have been on this list. Other shows I thought were the nuts:
The Catherine Tate Show - Season 3
The Sopranos - Season 6
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Match of the Day
The Royle Family - The Queen of Sheba

The 10 Best Albums of the Year

Here are what I believe to be the best albums of 2006. As you all know, my taste in music cannot be faulted, so you would do well to pick these up! In no particular order they are:

Keane - Under the Iron Sea
While not managing to surpass the genius of their debut album, Hopes and Fears, the trio come mighty close with this follow-up. Best song: Nothing in My Way

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
I'm not with a lot of critics who say that this is their masterpiece. I would rate Blood Sugar Sex Magik, By The Way, One Hot Minute (just kidding!) and Californication over this. Having said that, the quality throughout this 2-disc is fantastic. SO many artists bring out a double-album that only has about one album's worth of good songs on it (yes, I'm talking to you Foo Fighters and R Kelly!). Best song: Dani California

Outkast - Idlewild Soundtrack
This was easily my most anticipated album of the year. Outkast are, after all, my favorite band. I suppose it was inevitable that they couldn't top the untoppable (is that a word?) heights of Speakerboxx/The Love Below. Hell, they didn't even manage to top Aquemini or Stankonia either. However, Outkast running on half-power are still better than most artists at full strength. Best song: Morris Brown

Prince - 3121
The greatest artist of all time released this follow-up to his "comeback" album, Musicology, in March. I never understood why Musicology was so popular. I thought it was one of his least genius-like albums ever (I just can't use the word "worst" when referring to the man). 3121 was certainly a step up from Musicology and there were even flashes of the old master. On the Prince scale, I'd rate this album as a 6 out of 10, which is 10/10 for anyone else! Best song: Black Sweat

The Feeling - Twelve Steps and Home
These guys came out of nowhere to score five UK top ten hits from this, their debut album. As I mentioned in a previous post, they are like a happier Coldplay and write some of the catchiest choruses you'll ever hear. Best song: Sewn

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
Having listened to this album quite a few times since the first review I posted, I can confirm that it is brilliant. I still can't get over the fact that she's managed to top Love Angel Music Baby with an even more eclectic CD, but she certainly has. Best song: Early Winter

Various - BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge
There's a DJ called Jo Whiley on BBC's radio 1 who does a weekly feature called the Live Lounge, where she gets musical guests to come into the show, go into the studio and then do acoustic versions of either their own songs or covers. This double-disc is a collection of these from the past few years. A few highlights are: The Automatic doing Gold Digger, Outkast-Ms Jackson, Queens of the Stone Age-No One Knows, Lemar-I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Franz Ferdinand-What You Waiting For. Best song: Gold Digger

Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
I can't believe that this guy used to be in a boyband. I think JT is possibly the best male solo artist working today that is not Prince. The album gets more and more rewarding with each listening. Seriously, if you haven't picked this up yet, I urge you to do so. Best song: My Love

Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah!
I think that I Don't Feel Like Dancin' was possibly the greatest song of the year. If you don't get his album, at least download that song. But, if you like infectious disco beats with a dash of Elton and a dollop of 70s New York, download the whole thing. Best song: I Don't Feel Like Dancin'

Razorlight - Razorlight
Lead singer Johnny Borrell is a dickhead in the vein of Liam Gallacher or Brandon Flowers. I'm talking major assholeage, here. However, as long as Razorlight keep coming up with albums this good, I suppose we can let this slide. Best song: America

Honorable Mention:
In a weaker year, all of these would have made the list. I really liked
John Legend - Once Again
Pharrell - In My Mind
Diana Krall - From This Moment On
Nelly Furtado - Loose
Gnarls Barkley - St Elsewhere
Lily Allen - Alright Still
Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Way
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I am, That's What I'm Not

19 Dec 2006

The Best Video of 2006

Saturday Night Live and Andy Samburg have done it again. After last year's Lazy Sunday video comes this. Justin is always great on SNL, but this could be the best thing he's ever done on the show. It's like R. Kelly done by Color MeBadd!

9 Dec 2006

Now THIS, my friends, is a man who can play guitar, PART 2!!

Since YouTube took down my last posting that proved Prince's guitar genius, here is some replacement evidence of why I'm always right.

What I'm listening to right now

Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape

After a wait of two years since her solo debut, during which she managed to give birth to her first child, comes the highly anticipated (and not just by me) release of Gwen's second album. L.A.M.B. was both a critical and commercial success and, along with Kanye West's College Dropout and Keane's Hopes and Fears, was my favorite album of 2004. With a build-up like this, her sophomore offering could only be a let down, right? Wrong. As unlikely as it sounds, The Sweet Escape is even better than it's predecessor. The album is paradoxical in that it's more of the same but completely different. L.A.M.B.'s great success was it's Prince-like marriage of different genres; from pop to R&B to funk to hip-hop to ballads. The Sweet Escape offers the same eclectic mix which, by definition, makes it different but the same. The usual suspects, Pharrell and Timbaland, are here, along with some surprising appearances by the likes of Keane's keyboardist/songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley. I didn't, two weeks ago, think I would be writing that this album was better than L.A.M.B but do yourself a favor, download/get it now.

Download: Wind It Up, Early Winter

Snoop Dogg - Tha Blue Carpet Treatment

First question: Does Snoop cover any new ground here? Answer: No.
Next: So it's just more of the same from Rap's laconic icon? Answer: Yes
Next: Are there songs about the stickiest of the icky? Answer: Take a wild guess
Next: What about bitches? I assume they're also represented? Answer: Hell yizz-ess!
Next: Are there numerous guest appearances? Answer: What do YOU think.
Next: Pharrell and Timbaland? Answer: Check.
Next: R. Kelly and Dr Dre? Answer: Check.
Next: (Flavors of the month) Akon and Jamie Foxx? Answer: Chizz-eck.
Next: So why should I get it? Answer: Because it's the Snoopy D-O-double-gizzle!

Download: Does it really matter?

15 Nov 2006

A Letter from Liberals to Conservatives

I'm on a mailing list where I was sent the below letter today. Please read.

A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives

November 14th, 2006

To My Conservative Brothers and Sisters,

I know you are dismayed and disheartened at the results of last week's election. You're worried that the country is heading toward a very bad place you don't want it to go. Your 12-year Republican Revolution has ended with so much yet to do, so many promises left unfulfilled. You are in a funk, and I understand.

Well, cheer up, my friends! Do not despair. I have good news for you. I, and the millions of others who are now in charge with our Democratic Congress, have a pledge we would like to make to you, a list of promises that we offer you because we value you as our fellow Americans. You deserve to know what we plan to do with our newfound power -- and, to be specific, what we will do to you and for you.

Thus, here is our Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives:

Dear Conservatives and Republicans,

I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:

1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.

2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift.

3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you.

4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie.

5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.

6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water.

7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you.

8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived.

9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours.

10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too.
11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world.

12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you
we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition.

I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans -- and for the rest of the world.

12 Nov 2006

I met Gordon Ramsey!!

So Courtney and I and some friends went to this event in London today called the BBC Good Food Live show. Basically, it happens around this time every year and it showcases great food from around the world. It's like a convention for food lovers. Like most conventions, there are famous people in attendance. This year, among other celebrity chefs that you may or may not have heard about, Gordon Ramsey (Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares)was there. He gave a cooking demonstration on how to cook a three course meal in under 30 mins and then he did a book signing! Needless to say, Courtney, her Mom and her friend Carleen all got their book signed by the great man, while I took the pictures and called him Gordon! I wanted him to tell me to fuck off or shut up or something but, alas, there was no time. See the pics below:

Gordon doing his thing....

...and again...

Gordon signing Courtney's book...

...and Courtney looking particularly pleased about this!

7 Nov 2006

What I'm listening to right now, Gay Edition

Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah

It's a crying shame that this New York quintet are virtually unknown in their native land. Their biggest following is in the UK, where they have scored two number one albums out of two. They are also well-known in their hometown of New York City, but nowhere else in the United States of Jesusland. As with their eponymous first album, Ta-Dah is firmly rooted in disco/dance. Unlike their debut, though, there is more depth here. With a few songs co-written by her majesty Elton and lyrics about the price of fame, the Sisters have given a superficial genre some meaning. However, this is still an album top put on at a party or to just cheer you up. Highly, highly recommended.

Download: I Don't Feel Like Dancing, Lights

Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds

I agree with something that has been written in numerous places about this album. If the thinking black man's white boy's first album was an homage to Michael, this album is definitely a riposte by Prince. Gone are the first tentative steps out of N'Sync. Replacing them are the grinds and thrusts of His Royal Badness circa the mid-80s. What's for sure is that JT has moved on artistically. Funk, R&B, hip-hop, rock and 80's synth-pop are all covered here with aplomb. So earnest is Justin here, that at first it's hard to just "enjoy" the album for what it is. On the third or fourth listening, though, it begins to dawn on you that Timberlake has given us something better than we expected and that we may not have realised and thus been put off by that at first. While he deserves a lot of the credit for this, it would be remiss of me to not send some of the plaudits Timbaland's way. He's done what he does best: take an already credible artist and make them better than we or they could have expected.

Download: FutureSex/LoveSounds, My Love, Chop Me Up

22 Oct 2006

The Top 3 Annoying Things This Week

Here's the next part in the occasional series of things that annoy the piss out of me.

1. I witnessed this happen twice to other people over the past few days and then it happened to me once. I'm talking about people who make a stupid mistake whilst driving and then get pissed off at the person they've just cut-off/almost ran into! (US readers: For the purpose of understanding this story, please remember that we drive on the left here in England)

Scenario 1: While approaching a roundabout, this wanker was in the "turn left only" lane and the guy on his right was in the "go straight" lane. Needless to say, the wanker went straight over the roundabout and almost crashed into the guy on his right who was proceeding correctly. At this point let me say that in all fairness, we all make mistakes on the road from time to time. The correct thing to do when this happens is to hold your hand up to your fellow road user, mouth the word "sorry" and have a suitably contrite look on your face. If you don't do this, you're a wanker. Well, the guy who fucked up in the above scenario not only didn't say sorry, but acutally honked at, and gave the bird to, the guy he almost crashed into!!! As you can imagine, the innocent guy was now very pissed off and tried to make the wanker pull over to presumably punch him in his fat face or at least give him a piece of his mind. The wanker, being the fucking coward/asshole he obviously is, refused to pull over and kept his head down for the rest of the journey.
Scenario 2: Whilst on a stretch of dual carriageway, I was in the passing lane as I approached a 50 mph speed limit. I began to slow down to 50 while still passing the person on my left. It is imperitive you understand that I was STILL PASSING the person on my left, whilst obeying the speed limit. Some wanker behind me was, in automotive lingo, "right up my ass." This fuckface continued to stay right up my ass until I passed the car on the left which, because of the speed limit and approaching roundabout, took longer than a normal passing manouver. Once I had passed the car and got out of the passing lane, the wanker came up beside me and mouthed what appeared to be a bunch of gobbledygook while trying to give out angry fuck-off vibes with his face. I'm sure the words he was saying behind the safety of his shatterproof glass weren't compliments about my hair and clothes and I'm equally sure that if my wife hadn't been in the car, who has a strange intolerance for any indignation I may show toward asshole drivers, I would have engaged this wanker in a fun game of road intimidation.
I swear, these people all need to be knifed in the throat.

2. Guys with the Busted/McFly haircut. Why do all British guys aged between 18 and 25 have the same stupid haircut? It's not as if the haircut they're all copying is cool. It's the dumbest fucking haircut in the universe. At Milton Keynes mall the other day, I couldn't move without bumping into one of these assholes.

Do you see what I'm saying?

3. People who hate Christmas. You know those people who bitch about xmas "starting too early?" You know the ones. "Oh my God, I can't buh-LEEVE they have xmas decorations up in the stores already. It makes me sick." These people need to get a fucking life. First of all, xmas is the greatest of all holidays. Forget about the religious connotations. We all get cool presents and get to buy stuff for the people we like/love that we know will make them happy. There's good food around all the time. It's the time of year when all the quality movies come out as well as the best TV. It's the time of year where maybe we're all just a bit nicer to each other or maybe things don't irritate us quite as much. In short, whether you're aetheist or baptist, Christian or Buddhist, for a short time at the end of each year, maybe we'll get in one less argument or do one extra nice thing for someone. For people to actually COMPLAIN about the onset of such a short, but wonderful period in our increasingly busy lives where we have increasingly less time to do the things we love with the people we love, just irritates the absolute shit out of me and they're lucky it's almost xmas or I'd have to fuck them up!

21 Oct 2006

I was right (surprise, surprise), it DID kick ass!

Just got back home from seeing The Departed at Cineworld in Milton Keynes. As you will know from a previous post, I was DYING to see this. Now that I HAVE seen it I can confirm the following truths:

#1 When it comes to predicting how good/bad a movie WILL be, I'm always right

#2 When it comes to predicting how good/bad anything will be, I'm always right

#3 Leonardo DiCaprio is distressingly good in this movie

#4 MattDamon is even better. He should do bad guys more often

#5 Mark Wahlberg almost steals the entire movie. Best thing he's done since Boogie Nights

#6 Jack Nicholson can STILL surprise us with just how great an actor he is

#7 Alec Baldwin is underused in movies today. I mean Glengarry for Christ's sake!

#8 Scorcese isn't shite anymore. First great film for 15 years (Cape Fear, 1991)

If I didn't make this clear before, if you DON'T see this movie, you're a stupid-head.

The Greatest Trailer in the World

If you can seriously tell me that you DON'T want to see this movie after watching this trailer, you're a goddamned liar.

12 Oct 2006

What I'm listening to right now, Jazz Edition

Diana Krall - From This Moment On

It's always the way....you wait for ages for another good jazz vocal album to come out, when two come along at once! Diana Krall's new album, From This Moment On, is her first studio-recorded album of standards since The Look of Love in 2001 (for me, the best album she has ever recorded). I must say that after the patchy Live in Paris and the interesting but dull The Girl in the Other Room, this is a welcome return to the type of record that garnered her such critical and commercial popularity. For this release, Diana has mixed the familiar with the obscure to create a totally refreshing album, giving us new spins on old classics while making the more unrecognisable standards sound like hits from their eras. In particular, How Insensitive, the bossa nova-tinged Jobim/Getz/Gilberto instrumental favorite is given to a new audience with a laid-back vocal. The whole album oozes class and will make her some new fans while keeping her regulars happy. The perfect chillout album that's not a chillout album.

Download: How Insensitive, Isn't This a Lovely Day, From This Moment On

Madeleine Peyroux - Half the Perfect World

If Diana Krall is the more populist face of new jazz vocalists, then madeleine Peyroux is part of the underground. On this, her third CD, the Billie Holiday-like voice wraps itself around some well-known standards and a few self-penned songs. As with her previous breakthrough album, Careless Love, Madeleine brings something deeper to her interpretations than a superficial slickness. You believe she has lived/is living the words she sings, which is why, I think, she has gained a popularity beyond those "Wow, doesn't she sound like Billie," coffee bar "fans."

Download: River, Smile

When the Levees Broke

Being an active duty military member, there are certain things I cannot say about our current administration and the president.

If you get a chance, please try and catch the new HBO documentary When the Levees Broke, A Requiem in Four Parts directed by Spike Lee. As we all were in August/September 2005, Spike was watching wall-to-wall news coverage about Hurricane Katrina. What started as a tragedy turned into a travesty. Spike, like many of us, couldn't believe what he was seeing and what was happening in the "richest country in the world." He spent the next year interviewing victims, officials and others connected either directly or indirectly to Katrina. The end result was a four-hour documentary that simply presents those involved and let's them tell their story. This isn't a "Spike Lee Joint," in the traditional sense, as he is noticeably absent from the proceedings. By letting his subjects tell of their hurt, anger, anguish, sadness, pain, indignation, outrage, tiredness, hopelessness, terror and sorrow, Spike leaves us under no misconception of exactly what they think of both their government and their president.

Never have I felt so many emotions whilst watching a documentary. I urge all of you to see this film.

9 Oct 2006

Don't hate, you KNOW you want to see this

*Gasp*...can't breathe....am so excited....cannot wait 'til Decem*cough*ber

Rocky VI. Yes, that's right, Rocky s-i-x. Please click the above picture of fabulosity to see the best trailer in the entire world...ever.

7 Oct 2006

The Top 5 Annoying Things This Week - Sports Edition

5. Footballer's Autobiographies
What the piss am I going to learn about life from a 20-year-old uneducated oik who looks like Shrek or an overrated East End "wideboy" who thinks football skill can pass for profundity.

4. NFL Fantasy Football
As someone who is actually playing it this season, I feel that I have permission to say how sad but satisfyingly funny it is that the sports equivalent of being a D & D-er has become more popular than the game itself.

3. The term "Football" when describing the sport played by the NFL
Despite my cries to the contrary, there are still some Americans who insist on calling it football instead of the obviously more appropriate moniker of American Rugby.

2. Formula 1
Wow. It's really exciting this season what with it actually being a TWO-horse race between Schumacher and Alonso and how about Jenson Button and man, aren't Toyota doing well and....it still bores me to the verge of tears.

Let's face it. NASCAR will ALWAYS be the most annoying thing in sport. I hereby reserve this and all future number one spots for the "sport" beloved by all who think that there are TWO syllables in the word man (may-an) and that the Ford F-150 is the very pinnacle and, dare I say it, piece de resistance, of automotive excellence

The Battle of the Album Covers

I still can't decide whether or not this is incredibly creative or if some smelly dorm-dweller simply has too much time on their hands. What do you think?

Borat's Guide to Wine Tasting in US and A

The two movies YOU MUST WATCH this fall

How does the cliche go? "If you see nothing else this season..." Well in the case of the upcoming fall/winter movie season, for me it has to be Borat and The Departed. If anyone out there is unaware of who or what "Borat" is, please watch the trailer by clicking here. I'll go out on a limb here and say that it will be the funniest movie of the past few years. Let the trailer explain the rest.

As for The Departed, being a huge Scorsese (Raging Bull, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, etc.) fan, I naturally look forward to his new films. In recent years, though, I, and many others, have been, to put it politely, underwhelmed by his output (Kundun, Bringing Out the Dead, The Aviator). With The Departed, he is dealing with a subject he knows and can do better than anyone: Gangsters, and has, so far, garnered some of his most positive reviews since Goodfellas. Check out the reviews here and watch the amazingness of the trailer here.

6 Oct 2006

What I'm listening to right now, Part 1

Outkast - Idlewild Soundtrack
Speakerboxx/The Love Below was, I think, one of the best albums of all time and certainly the best rap/hip-hop album I've ever heard. Andre 3000's half, The Love Below, was a masterpiece of genre-mixing madness while Bog Boi's Speakerboxx, while more straightforward hip-hop, took that particular genre to a new level in terms of creativity. After waiting three (!) long years for a follow-up, Idlewild couldn't be anything other than a let-down. And it is. However, because the bar was raised so high with S/TLB, this particular letdown still scores an 8 out of 10. Like S/TLB, although all the songs are on one disk, once again both Big Boi and Andre 3000's songs are seperate in terms of collaboration. This time, however, it is Big Boi's tracks that stand out. Do yourself a favor and get this album
Download: Morris Brown, Hollywood Divorce, Buggface

The Feeling - Twelve Stops and Home
Due to what apparently must be a clause in the contract of the BBC Radio 1 playlist organizers, The Feeling must be played every two seconds on every radio show every day. Due to this ubiquity you will either become sick to your stomach of their music or it will grow on you. Obviously, by including them in this post I am part of the latter section. I can best describe them as a more upbeat Coldplay or a Great Escap-era Blur. Either way, their brand of catchy rock-pop is hard to resist.
Download: Fill My Little World, Sewn