Archive for January, 2010

President Jay Leno promises to get higher ratings and more sponsor support-- while having a blast!

In a surprising move, President Barack Obama will soon be replaced by comedian Jay Leno.

Obama has been contending with declining approval ratings recently, and it is hoped Leno can bring back some viewers and sponsor support.

“Jay’s a dynamo,” said Phil Westerkin, an avid TV viewer, “he’s just so funny you can’t help but like him to see what sort of wacky shenanigans he might get into. I about bust a gut every time I see him!”

Obama spokespeople expressed disappointment in the decision. “We were promised four years when we got the presidency,” said a high ranking cabinet official, “we just needed a little more time to build our audience. Our lawyers are checking the contract. We may fight it.”

Obama takes the news hard.

Leno is elated at the news of his appointment. “I’m a pretty lucky guy. I never thought I’d grow up to host the Tonight Show, and shazam, I’m hosting. I never thought I’d become president, but, here I am, President! It’s been a wild, wild ride and I think I can give the people what they want. My first week in office I’m going to book Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Larry the Cable Guy, Senator Harry Reid and musical guest, James Blunt. It’ll be great.”

Obama is rumored to be talking to both Fox and ABC about new shows, possibly being teamed with Conan O’Brien.

Not exactly what people had been expecting from Steve Jobs.

With the announcement by Steve Jobs of Apple’s new tablet device just minutes away, The Lint Screen has learned the gizmo will have a definite retro feel.

“The designers at Apple were getting tired of the sleek, modern look for devices,” said a Cupertino insider, “so they went for something a bit more classic. The tablet is made of stone and weighs 42 pounds.”

The device will come complete with a hammer and chisel. “From a technological standpoint, it’s pretty radical. It doesn’t even require a power source or software.”

Soon we’ll see if this rumor is true, and also the rumor that Steve Jobs will be wearing a blue knit shirt and black jeans.

Be still our collective breath!

As a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling permitting unlimited election finance support of politicians and political causes by corporations, unions and special interest groups, the venerable Democratic and Republican parties are dissolving in favor of direct politician sponsorship.

This means that soon you may see politicians carry designations like, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil, MetLife, FreedomWorks, Boeing, AMA, Bank of America, NEA, Lockheed Martin, KBR, Novartis, General Electric, Citi and DuPont.

Politicians scramble to find corporate sponsors.

“Thank goodness for this new ruling,” said a senior senator who demanded anonymity, “we can finally do what we’ve been doing for years– sucking from the corporate teat and letting them guide our hands in writing legislation they can profit by. Now we can do it without the charade of having to debate issues and causes with arcane notions like justice and equality. We can openly allow corporate fascism to rule enabling us to better serve our corporate overlords without the hindrance of the so-called people. Sure, we need them for their votes, but that’s about it. After the election, they just get in the way of things. There’s no need for people in a democracy like ours.”

Asked if this new corporate sponsorship will be like NASCAR sponsorship– with large corporate logos displayed on uniforms, the senator responded angrily, “Don’t be preposterous. That would be tacky. We’ll simply wear lapel pins with tasteful logos to show our sponsor support. We’re not whorish shills, you know.”

Financial companies are elated with the new ruling. “Now we can really help the country with some of our innovative financial ideas,” said a high ranking official who threatened death to this reporter if his identity was disclosed. “Years ago we had to maneuver and work backroom deals to get things like the Glass-Steagall Act overturned. That allowed us to gamble with the housing market finances. Now we don’t have to be so secretive, we can be open about lining the pockets of lawmakers to get laws that favor us without bothersome government oversight or restrictions. If our financial ideas fail, who cares– taxpayers will bail us out. The Supreme Court’s recently ruling ensures a much more transparent buying of politicians, and frankly, what could be more American than that?”

With that, the Wall Street bigwig lit a Cuban Monte Cristo cigar with a burning $1,000 bill and exclaimed, “Hrrrrummmph!”

In a stunning development, M. Carl Hurlybubb of Decatur, Georgia, reports he recently participated in a business meeting that he found “boring.”

Occupational hazard: boredom leads to naughty barnyard animal thoughts.

“My team gathered to touch base and get in the loop with one another. Our deliverable was to spitball some ideas and think outside the box to generate some win-win situations that we could later take offline and leverage to reap the rewards of maximizing potential ROI opportunities. Bottom line, at the end of the day was that right, wrong or indifferent, we were looking to have some positive impact vis a vis our business situation and be able to apply some metrics to their success in the consumer centric marketplace. Our intent was to go the extra mile and create some synergies that could be baked into fast tracking positive results that might advance the ball and move the chains so we could eventually put some points on the board. Unfortunately, though, I was not able to track with all the varied dialogue around the subject and became bored in hour seven of our nine hour pow-wow. I felt awful about that.”

Mr. Hurlybubb reports he “doodled” and allowed his mind to wander during the meeting. “I confess I imagined some of my team members to be disrobed and acting like certain breeds of barnyard animals. I’m not proud of this. I’m afraid I lost focus and let my team down.” He promised to do better in the future.

We’re talkin’ movies, babe. Big honking blockbustery movies. The kind of movies that make sitting in the dark with a bunch of total strangers worthwhile and not as sleazy as it sounds.

I once heard there are two types of movies. One type is character-driven stories; timeless tales of the human condition that most people will empathize with and plug into on an emotional level. The film Up in The Air is one of the best character-driven movies in a long time.

Type two are visually-driven tales; movies that are eye candy that take you places where reality cannot. These movies are less about character and more about creating worlds of wonder.

You can have facial hair but your Avatar will be naturally clean-shaven. Sweet!

Right now you can treat your eyeballs to a couple first rate visual wonders: Avatar set in the year 2154 and Sherlock Holmes circa 1891. Movie magic creates the world of the past and worlds of the future, and all you have to do is sit, watch and claw popcorn into your cakehole.

You can get a fix of Avatar in vanilla 2D flat screen, resplendent depth of field wonderment 3D or in your face 3D IMAX. I slipped on the glasses and did 3D. I suggest you at least do 3D since this film is a quantum leap forward in CGI technology and you may as well get the full effect (no, there aren’t any extreme 3D tricks like bullets coming at your head).

On the plus side, this movie is like the Lord of The Rings movies: must-sees to see what computers can do to replicate vivid imaginations. Avatar is a visual smorgasbord and your eyeballs will feast ’til they puke.

There is a story here. It’s plodding and predictable; a mash-up of genre cliches that will give you a constant sense of deja vu and make you feel guilty about man’s intrinsic inhumanity toward fellow man. (Sigh.) I napped in places and still felt the movie was dragging and need some chainsaw editing. The music was a waste of musicians. The score is featherweight with no sticking power at all.

But I forgive Avatar its sins because the visuals on Pandora, where the freakishly tall blue peoplish things called Na’vi live, are spectacular. James Cameron spent six forevers making this film, inventing a lot of the technology that enabled these incredible images, so I’ve got to give the dude his due– it’s eye candy that’s orgasmic for the optic nerves. This film weighs in at almost three hours, so drink some strong coffee, slip on the 3D glasses, watch one-dimensional characters and see how cool technology is in the year 2154. Great advancements have been made everywhere, except in wheelchair design (what’s the deal, science, where’s the love?).

Sherlock with a six pack? Sir Arthur must be spinning.

Another pretty impressive eye candy display is Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. It’s not the Sherlock that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created, this is a testosterone-amped Sherlock who’s James Bond-ishly played by Robert Downey Jr. He’s intellectual, yes, but he’s also kick-ass physical. Sherlock’s got an ex-lover played by the lovely Rachel McAdams. She’s done him wrong but he still pines for her. Can he trust her?. I ain’t sayin’ nothin’ to nobody.

Sherlock’s proverbial sidekick, Dr. Watson, is no doddering old fart here– he’s Jude Law, hardly the dumpy, frumpy Watson we’ve grown up with.

Now, you’d think this movie would be a character-driven tale, after all you have a couple of the most famous characters ever created trying to foil evilniks. But no, it’s more of a visually-driven film. And that’s not a horrible thing. The re-imagined characters are fun and interesting and that’s fine by me.

The computers worked overtime to create a stunning 1891 London. The effects are seamless, the art direction meticulous, sumptuous and filling. Oh, Guy Ritchie does his Guy Ritchie camera tricks, the wah-wah over-cranked slo-mo shots here and there, but fortunately he doesn’t beat the horse dead.

This Sherlock is a fun action flick with plenty of chases and fights and thrills. It’s a romp, and Hans Zimmer’s score is terrificly eclectic and fun.

Robert Downey Jr. is great, as usual, and Jude Law brings his A-game. It’s a movie well-worth seeing, just don’t expect it to be the Sherlock you know and love. For Pete’s sake, even his pipe’s changed!

No special effects, explosions or fights-- but can it entertain?

The last must-see movie is Up In The Air, a film of modern day timeless human connections with no big CGI work or explosions, fights or chases. This movie is my favorite of the bunch.

Not to belittle the other two films, but frankly, there wasn’t much that stuck with me after I left the theatre. Oh, we had a good time in the dark, but it wasn’t a lasting relationship. Just disposable images. But Up In The Air, this is the real deal, a terrific story of fresh interesting characters and a timeless explorations of the human condition.

Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) has a wonderful natural touch with human stories. In this one, George Clooney is a road warrior who specializes in downsizing corporate America. He’s a very busy boy. He is a cynical philosopher king who believes in traveling light, physically and emotionally. By and by he falls for Vera Farmiga and he mentors Anna Kendrick in the art of the hatchet. The screenplay is textured, nuanced and wise. If you expect this to be a comedy you will be disappointed. It’s amusing, compelling and seductively romantic. Most of all, it’s a movie that makes you think about life and living.

And that’s the kind of movie that endures beyond movie making techniques for me.

Yes, he's packing heat, but he's also packing naughty bits!

Washington politicians are lighting their torches, waving pitchforks in the air and giving loud angry mob grumbles to protest total body scanning x-Ray equipment being used as a safeguard against terrorists.

These technologically advanced machines are currently installed in many airports and are being proposed for many more as an effective weapon in the war on terror. No one disputes the ability of these machines to show weapons and potentially dangerous devices, but they also show more.

Gun, what gun? Va va va voom!

“Oh, they do a marvelous job of showing who’s a threat and who’s not,” said a Senator from a state with four letters (but not “Iowa”), “but they also show what a person looks like buck naked, and that’s something that just seems Satanically hot, evil and worth making some political hay over. And I intend to do just that!”

The airport is now THE hot place to be.

Although many politicians have been caught in saucy, sordid extramarital affairs thmselves, they will not stand idly by and allow the public to be scanned in airports in order to protect the very same public.

“Some things are better left to the bedroom, provided the bedroom is in a state where you can do certain hot things legally,” said an unnamed Representative from a state whose flag features a lone star. “An airport is no place to know what people have going on beneath their clothes. Frankly, some of these images are so explicit I can imagine them ending up in dirty magazines, websites and nasty videos. Oh, yeah, that’s the stuff… I’m imagining it now, baby…. oh, yeah, scan it good, baby. Wait! Think of the children! For goodness sake, think of the children– one of our most precious assets, next to gold and diamonds. Why these explicit x-Rays may be a greater threat to the public than the terrorists they’re supposed to protect us from.” The politician stopped and became excited. “Hey, that’s a good sound bite,” he said as he danced, twirled and performed a full leg split. He shouted “I’m making the news tonight, I’m making the news tonight! Nah, nah, nah, nah nah!”

We’ll see you at the airport… every sexy bit of you.