Friday, April 20, 2007
Three clicks
  • Worth reading: Stephen King on violence and creativity

  • Worth surfing: http://noonebelongsheremorethanyou.com/

  • Worth a laugh: Google directions (Note Step 24.)
  • Thursday, April 19, 2007
    What? You mean he's gone?
    From CNN.com Special Projects producer -- and "American Idol" fan -- Steve Almasy:

    Tell me I'm not dreaming. Last night, I could have sworn I saw Ryan Seacrest send Sanjaya home from "American Idol." Well, what the bleep will we talk about now? (Watch Steve and Rodney try to figure that one out)

    I don't know, maybe the fact that we have three fabulous female singers left and one guy who is a good entertainer. And -- like on the first season of "Gilligan's Island" -- and "the rest."

    I have to tell you, this tradition on the results show with the top seven has to go. Every year they divide them into two groups of three and then tell the remaining contestant to stand by the people who he or she thinks got the most votes. It's awkward and played out.

    Next week, the real season starts, with the special Idol Gives Back shows and the final six singing tunes about love and compassion.

    It'll also be interesting to see who votefortheworst.com adopts as its new poster boy. I'm guessing the intentionally nasally Chris Richardson.

    Who will the people who liked Sanjaya vote for?
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007
    'Idol' chatter: Country surprises
    From CNN.com Special Projects producer -- and "American Idol" fan -- Steve Almasy:

    This is why I watch "American Idol." In the middle of an awful, horrifying week, we get a break from the news that is dominating the television hour after hour. We get an hour just to enjoy ourselves a little.

    A little. (Watch Steve and Rodney rate the show)

    It was country week and we got a couple surprises -- and possibly had an important development. We have to talk about Sanjaya, whom my friend Troy (who has departed for HGTV) said looked more like a pirate than a country singer. With his bandanna flailing about his head, Sanjaya was at his absolute worst singing "Something to Talk About." He will finally be in the bottom three -- and I think could get kicked off. Finally.

    The surprises were Phil, pretty good (vocally) in a genre he obviously really likes; and LaKisha, pretty bad taking on a song by a former American Idol (never do that).

    The clear winners were Jordin, who sang "A Broken Wing" by Martina McBride (who was just OK as guest coach) and Melinda, who sang the obscure "Trouble Is a Woman" and made me want to grab a tall, cool longneck.

    Simon was pretty grumpy last night. What was up with that?
    Tuesday, April 17, 2007
    Today's DVD releases
    Two notable DVDs out Tuesday:

    - "Not Just the Best of 'The Larry Sanders Show' ": "The Larry Sanders Show," starring Garry Shandling, Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor (the latter as the matchless "Hey Now!" Hank Kingsley), showcased all the insecurity, bitterness and (yes) laughter a talk show could create. (Rip Torn's creative use of profanity is a treat in itself.) Though completists have complained (through Amazon.com and elsewhere) that they're waiting for the full series -- not just this four-disc collection -- it's got many of "Larry Sanders' " finest (half-)hours, not to mention interviews with cast members, staff members, guest stars and Garry Shandling's pals. Remember: No flipping.

    - "Overlord": This hybrid war movie, a plainspoken drama-documentary, combines actual World War II footage with the story of a British soldier who eventually ends up storming a beach on D-Day. Stuart Cooper's overlooked 1975 film, starring a cast of unknowns, packs a strong punch in its 84 minutes, from its unadorned training scenes (said to be an inspiration to Stanley Kubrick in making "Full Metal Jacket") to the jittery, solemn preparations the soldiers make for the D-Day invasion. The film was actually made in conjunction with Britain's Imperial War Museum, a major reason for its sense of reality -- and history. For some reason -- maybe it's the dreamlike use of flashbacks -- I was reminded of the short film made of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," which was aired as a famous "Twilight Zone" episode.
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