Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bengals management scores

Wow, what a week for the Cincinnati Bengals management. First, in order to pack the stadium for Sunday's climatic showdown with the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals told season ticket holders that they could buy extra tickets and get one free. Sounds kind of silly, after all why would season ticket holders buy more tickets when they already have seats? But it makes sense. You want Bengals fans plus it rewards season ticket holders. Anyway, it worked. The Bengals are sold out. And remember, if the Bengals win, they're in the playoffs as a Wild Card. The Bengals have a twelfth man.

Second, the Bengals lowered ticket prices for 2012. What? Not only is this good for the fan who's struggling to make ends meet but the announcement was made by owner Mike Brown's daughter, Katie Blackburn. “We have a young team trending in the right direction,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice-president, “and we are pleased to share this new price structure with our fans in an attempt to make some seats more affordable. We have a great home schedule in 2012 and look forward to it being an exciting season that builds upon this year’s success.” From Lance McAlister's Blog. Blackburn announcing this is significant since it seems that management has figured out that the fans are pissed off at owner Mike Brown.

And speaking of Katie Blackburn, on Friday, she spent a good chunk of a hour being interviewed on 1530 Homer's Bengals Pep Rally show. When was the last time you heard any of the Brown family being interviewed in front of the fans? Never. This week, the Cincinnati Bengals have just scored the equivalent of a public relations touchdown.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Review

Director David Fincher follows up his fine movie The Social Network (2010) with a film adaptation of Stieg Larson's novel, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Fincher brings the same visual style he used in The Social Network. It features a lot of subdued light, a kind of movie drained of color. Perhaps, that's perfect since the movie takes place in Sweden during the winter. Regardless, Tattoo reflects the moral ambiguity of its main character, Lisbeth.

The film starts out with Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) losing a libel case. Meanwhile Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a gifted computer hacker has done an investigative report on Blomkvist for Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy businessman. Vanger wants to hire Blomkvist to investigate the murder of his niece, Harriet which happened forty years earlier. Vanger not only promises to pay money to Blomkvist but also will help clear his name. As Blomkvist starts to unravel part of the mystery surrounding the Vanger family, he hires Salander to assist him with the investigation.

Steven Zaillian 's adapted screenplay captures Lisbeth's character and her motivations as to who she is. Where he stumbles and it's probably the source material is the complex number of clues and plot points in the movie. You're going to have to pay a lot of attention to keep up with Lisbeth and Mikael. Still, coupled with Fincher's moody direction the film keeps your interest.

It's the performances that make this film worthy. Daniel Craig is excellent as a journalist who's beaten down but seeks the truth. Christopher Plummer makes his character as one who is unafraid of exposing the skeletons in his family's history. But this film belongs to Rooney Mara. Her Lisbeth is woman who has been emotionally scarred and will not give freely love any mate. Mara lets her face do all the talking. Most of the time she is feminist rage without words. One can read her emotions by looking at her face. Mara does a number of nude scenes but it's not gratuitous. The body piercings, tattoos and punk hair style are talismans for her character. It's a courageous performance and one that deserves a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo strikes me as a Swedish form of film noir. The film is worth seeing for the performance of Rooney Mara. The grade is B +.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Triumph goes for it!

Okay, if you've seen the previous video where Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog was at MTV's VMA for 2002, you see that the portion where he tries to sniff Jennifer Lopez's butt was cut. Well, thank God for YouTube. Here is where Triumph tries to smell Ms. Lopez's butt and explains it's the Mt. Everest for dogs. Riotous.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at MTV's VMA

Okay, I'm guessing this Triumph video is from the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards program. Hey, I'm not into pop music. Anyway, our favorite Insult Comic Dog aka Triumph was there. Hilarious. Triumph also says this about Pittsburgh. "It's a wonderful town for me to poop on." Yes, the Steelers suck. Video below. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

War Horse Review

There are times when director Steven Spielberg reinvents himself. Take for example, his movie Jurassic Park (1993) and compare it to Schindler's List (1993). Jurassic Park was your more typical Spielberg fare. Large action set pieces. But Schindler's List was more intimate. It felt like an European art film. Spielberg's War Horse is definitely another move away from the typical Spielberg approach.

War Horse is based on a children's novel of the same name by Michael Morpurgo and the play that arose from the book by Nick Stafford. The story takes place in England, where Albert (Jeremy Irvine) who teaches a thoroughbred horse to plow the family farm's land. A friendship develops between Albert and the horse which he calls Joey. Later, World War I breaks out. To pay bills, Albert's father sells Joey to a British cavalry officer, Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston). Before he is deployed to France, Nicholls promises Albert that he will bring Joey back. As the war drags on, Albert joins the army.

It's not a cliche to say that War Horse is like nothing that Steven Spielberg has ever done. The film has long lovely visuals of the pastoral English countryside. Many of Spielberg's shots are reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick. They're like paintings. Yet, there are many cinematic touches. A close up of a machine gun as the British cavalry charges shows us the obsolescence of horses against modern technology. As Albert wanders through the trenches, we see dead German soldiers with gas masks on. It's a warning of the horror of a gas attack to come.

But War Horse is more than just Spielberg's brilliant visuals. Richard Curtis and Lee Hall's screenplay uses Joey as narrative device. As a horse, Joey shows remarkable courage but its his contact with each of his owners that demonstrates their humanity. And it's this humanity during the horrors of war that is the strongest anti-war message.

War Horse is a graceful film. Like Joey, it has great heart. The grade is A.

In Ohio, Newt Gingrich leads

The AP and USA Today is reporting that Newt Gingrich is leading the Republican presidential pack in Ohio. Not surprising since Republicans want anybody except Mitt Romney who was a moderate. You see the Republican party has turned hard right and anything that looks moderate is toast in the party. So much for Gerry Ford wing of the GOP. Here's the AP and USA story.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas. Here' your Christmas gift. It's time for Saturday Night Live's Schweddy Balls skit.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surely scalpers, and Bengals survive a hairy one

So, I get up and hear that the attendance for today's Cincinnati Bengals game against the Arizona Cardinals was going to be terrible. I decide to go to the game. I get there and am told a scalper has a single ticket. He says, "This is at the fifty yard line." I say, "Yeah, right." "Eighty bucks." I say, "Forty." "Eighty" I walk away and give one more offer. "Fifty. Man, it's the second quarter already." "Eighty." "Dude, never mind." Okay he wasn't that surely but the guy is going to eat a ticket in the second quarter and he won't negotiate. Anyway, I go to the box office and buy the cheapest ticket. I sit in the upper deck at the north end zone.

It's the second quarter. The Bengals are up, 10-0. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent misses a field goal. Bengals cornerback intercepts a Cardinals pass by their quarterback John Skelton. Bengals drive. And then the play of the year for the Bengals and possibly the NFL happens. Bengals wide receiver streaks over the middle on a slant. He catches it and is racing for a touchdown. Right before he gets to the endzone, a Cardinals defender tries to stop him. Simpson leaps forward and somersaults over him like a gymnast. Simpson lands on his feet and sticks the landing. Touchdown! Here's the play. (Also pictured above. Video below too.) You've got to see it. Later in the quarter, the Bengals kick a field goal. Bengals 20-0 over the Cardinals.

Of course, when it comes to football there are two halves. The Bengals are in control. The Bengals defense is stifling the Cardinals offense. The Bengals go ahead 23-0. Cruising towards a win, you say. Nothing is ever easy for the Bengals.

Fourth quarter. The Bengals offense goes cold. Bengals running back Cedric Benson fumbles. That gives Cardinals QB John Skelton the chance to lead his team to a touchdown. Later in the quarter, Benson fumbles again. And before you know it, the Cardinals have scored 16 points.

Oh, oh. The Bengals look like they are going to blow one of the biggest leads in team history. And here it comes. On a fourth and five with less than two minutes, the Cardinals are in the red zone. They're down by seven points. With that little time, the Cardinals had to go for it. Skelton gets the snap and fades back. Cardinals receiver Early Ducet is wide open and streaking towards the endzone. Skelton sees him. Oh, no Bengals nation. Ducet falls down. The ball sails over him. Incomplete. MERRY CHRISTMAS CINCINNATI BENGALS AND BENGALS FANS! BENGALS HOLD ON TO WIN. Bengals 23, Cardinals 16.

How about another Christmas present? The Bengals were tied with the New York Jets for the final Wild Card. The New York Giants beat the Jets sending them to a record of 8-7. The Cincinnati Bengals won. They are 9-6 and one game ahead of the Jets. MERRY CHRISTMAS CINCINNATI BENGALS AND BENGALS FANS! If the Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens next week on New Years Day, the Bengals will be in the playoffs.

One more game Bengals Nation. One more win and the Bengals are in the playoffs! Here are today's highlights.

Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson's gymnastic leap into the endzone.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Here's comes the sun

Boy, it's been really dreary here in Cincinnati. And I know we wish for a white Christmas but with my mood and the grey skies, I was really down. So Rachel Maddow reminded us the other day that we've past the winter solstice. That means the days get longer. Yay. Here comes the sun.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Should you see Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol in IMAX?

Okay, you're off to see Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol at the movie theater. But do you see it with a regular projector or do you see the movie in IMAX and pay extra bucks? Ghost Protocol's Brad Bird gushes about filming with IMAX cameras and the quality of the picture. (Wikipedia article.) But you didn't expect him to dis own movie?

A quick word about IMAX. I'm not going to go over the technical details about IMAX and hopefully I don't sound like an ad for it. Let me just say this. IMAX theaters have a larger screen than the regular movie screen. There is greater height. The picture has greater resolution so you get a crisp, clear and clean presentation. The sound is sharper and brighter.

I've seen Ghost Protocol at a regular theater and with IMAX projection. At the IMAX theater, I was particularly attentive during the Burj Khalifa scene. This is where Bird praises IMAX as making a difference. Well, I didn't notice it. I will concede IMAX gives you a better picture but it's not worth price difference.

So, the question is answered. Not really. I did notice something that many people don't think about. Sound. Sometimes during the movie, Simon Pegg's character Benji will whisper. At the regular theater, I had trouble picking up his dialogue. At IMAX, I could clearly hear his words.

Conclusion. Since you get a better picture and you get better sound that improves your movie going experience, I recommend IMAX.

Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol Review

Tom Cruise, star of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol made a wise decision to use different directors for the Mission Impossible movie series. For the inaugural Mission Impossible (1996) he used Brian De Palma. His vision was of Hitchcockian film gymnastics. The next one was Mission: Impossible II (2000) directed by John Woo. He was the exact opposite. His film was in your face action. Mission: Impossible III was directed by J.J. Abrams whose documentary style gave the series a realism. Different directors makes the series fresh when a new film comes out. Now the fourth, Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol was directed by animation director Brad Bird. (Ratatouille)

But when it comes to the plot of Ghost Protocol, fresh does not come to mind. The IMF (Impossible Mission Force) team led by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is sent to the Kremlin to get files on a person named Cobalt aka Hendricks. (Michael Nyqvist) On his team are Jane Carter (Paula Patton), and Benji Dunn who was in the M:I III. (Simon Pegg) As Hunt and Dunn infiltrate the Kremlin, they learn that they are being used by Hendricks as cover for his own operation of stealing a Russian nuclear missile launch device. They abort but Hendricks detonates a bomb that destroys a large part of the Kremlin.

The Russians blame the Americans. Hunt meets with the IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson) and an IMF analyst Brandt. (Jeremy Renner) The Secretary tells Hunt that his team is being blamed for the bombing and they have been disavowed. Hmmmm. Sounds like the plot to the first Mission: Impossible. Anyway, the Secretary tells Hunt where he can get supplies and gives him his new mission. Stop Hendricks. After the car in which Hunt, the Secretary and Brandt gets fired upon and runs into a river, Brandt and Hunt escape. At a secret railway car, they discover that Hendricks wants to launch a nuclear missile at the United States to start a world war. After the nuclear Armageddon, a stronger, new human race would emerge. Hey that's the motivation of the villain in the James Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me." (1977)

And while elements of Ghost Protocol seemed to be lifted from other movies, Director Bird gives the movie a freshness. His experience in animation has given him a style which maximizes every scene. Bird doesn't need fancy camera gymnastics to convey action. He gets it from the set, whether its a desert or a parking garage. He then fills it with graceful action scenes. The result is that the screen is filled with excitement. And you must see the scenes outside the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest building. Cruise really looks like he's dangling outside, stories above the ground. From what I've read about he production, Cruise was actually hanging outside of the building. It's so real, your palms get sweaty.

André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum's screenplay offers plenty of action but balances that with nice doses of humor. The recurring joke is the difficulty of man to interface with technology. If there is one problem with the screenplay, it's slightly convoluted. You'll have to pay a lot of attention, particularly where the IMF tries to get the missile launch codes by scamming the bad guys.

Tom Cruise is excellent as the professional spy, Ethan Hunt. Jeremy Renner gives a performance of a man who is hiding something. Simon Pegg is pretty funny as the comic relief. Paula Patton is lovely to look at. She smolders combustible sexuality. You can't take your eyes off her in the Mumbai party scene as she tries to seduce a target. The team has chemistry and you want to see them working again, perhaps in Mission: Impossible- The Mission to Make More Money. Just kidding.

Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol is a thrilling spy movie. It's also a mixture of Bond and Bourne. The grade is B+.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Star Trek takes a giant step backwards is reporting that the new Star Trek movie coming out in 2013 will be converted from 2D to 3D. This is a total disaster. First, Paramount and Bad Robot delay the release from 2012 to 2013. Now, they have totally disrespected the fan base.

I have been watching 3D movies for the last three years. And I've seen a bunch of 3D conversions from 2D. I have yet to recommend that any person should spend the extra money to see a conversion. Why? First, they're even darker than a movie shot in 3D. That's because the director of photography is shooting in 2D. He doesn't take into consideration the polarization the audience must endure to watch a 3D movie in the theater. You know, you wear the dark glasses and the projector throws less light. Second, the special effects usually don't mesh. That's because the director is not thinking in 3D. So, the special effects are not special. I still want my money back for watching The Last Airbender (2010) in 3D.

Paramount must take Trekkers for granted. Other studios pay the extra money to artists to shoot in 3D. Avatar. (2009) Hugo. (2011) As a Trekker, I guess we're not as good as the fans of Avatar. Shame on you Paramount, Bad Robot and director J.J. Abrams.

The Cincinnati Reds Go For It

Last Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds traded for right hand pitcher Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres. The Reds gave up Yonder Alonzo, Edinson Volquez, minor league relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, and minor league catcher Yasmani Grandal. Let's take a look at the trade.

A Heavy Price

The Reds gave up a lot in quality prospects. Yonder Alonzo is a sure thing as a major league hitter. Ysmani Grandal is a quality minor league catcher. Both were number one picks. Brad Boxberger may someday be a major league closer. Edinson Volquez is a head case but he made the All Star team in 2008. His problem is throwing strikes. Note that all of these players have guys on the roster in front of them. So the Reds are not robbing Peter to pay for Paul.

The Reds get a young starting pitcher who is 24 in Mat Latos. (Pictured.) He's been in the majors for three seasons compiling a record of 27-29 and an ERA of 3.37. He's a big guy at 6'6" which means he pitches come at you at a downward plane. He gives you innings and throws strikes. He has the stuff of a number one starting pitcher. And here's the great bonus. The Reds would control him for the next four years before he becomes eligible for free agency. That's something important for a mid-market team which can't shell out the bucks like the New York Yankees. To get a pitcher like Latos requires a lot in prospects. He's high quality and cheap in baseball terms.


One of the problems with the 2011 Reds was starting pitching. Reds starters Travis Wood, Bronson Arroyo and Edinson Volquez all failed. There were other problems such as hitting with runners in scoring position. But to win in baseball you need pitching. And the getting Mat Latos addresses one Reds weakness.

The Reds have a window to win the National League Central. First, the St. Louis Cardinals have lost superstar Albert Pujols. The Milwaukee Brewers will likely lose Prince Fielder to free agency and MVP Ryan Braun will miss 50 games for a drug suspension. The Reds will have former MVP stud Joey Votto for two more years.

By getting Latos, the Reds are saying to Reds Nation, "we're going for it." Did it cost a lot? Yes. But Latos is under Reds control for four years. This is the short term strategy along with a long term strategy that a major league team needs if it is serious about winning. This trade was a positive move for he Reds if the intent was to win the NL Central.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bengals win ugly

The Cincinnati Bengals won Sunday, 20-13 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The first half was ugly. I mean the Bengals did nothing right. They were pushed around. A penalty here and there. They finally got it together in the second half. Sorry, can't really discuss it because I had to be somewhere away from the television. Here's the story from

Regardless, the Bengals are back in the hunt for the final Wild Card. That's because the New York Jets got destroyed by the Philadelphia Eagles. They still need help since the Jets are ahead by tie breakers. The Bengals return home to face the Arizona Cardinals. The season ain't over yet.

Here are the video highlights to the Bengals victory over the Rams.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Don't worry, dance happy

As I write this post Saturday morning, I'm sick to my stomach for a whole bunch of reasons. So, I check Lance McAlister's blog. And he posted this video from Miami University. (Oxford, Ohio) During warm ups for the football team, they play music. And an equipment manager named Chad Burns does some moves. Maybe the lesson here is to find happiness everyday, somewhere.

Jon Stewart begs GOP not to nominate Newt Gingrich

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show begs Republicans not to nominate Newt Gingrich. Sorry, Jon. But the Newt represents the modern GOP. Angry. Compassionless. Check out his funny video piece below.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Newt Gingrich's crazy comments

There's a reason why Newt Gingrich is winning the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The GOP has been taken over by the far right Tea Party. Their sympathies lie with the angry white male, you know the type that loves WLW 700's Bill Cunningham. Well, Newt has said some crazy, intolerant and stupid things in the past. And those folks in the Tea Party aka the Republican Party love Newt's stuff. Chris Matthews of Hardball went over some of them. Check it out.

And Stephen Colbert takes a look at Gingrich's science fiction ideas. Take a look at it in his Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger. Cool Bond reference.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Triumph with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show

In 2003, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It's kind of pertinent now, since Jay Leno screwed Conan O' Brien, where Triumph debuted, out of the Tonight Show when Leno's prime time show flopped. Anyway check out his barbs at launched at Leno.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An open letter to Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals owner

Mike Brown
President and Owner of the Cincinnati Bengals
One Paul Brown Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Dear Mr. Brown:

First let me congratulate you on your drafting of wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton. As rookies, both are producing like veteran players. Green has shown he can be a difference maker in winning games. I want to commend you for listening to your offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, who recommended you draft Andy Dalton instead of Ryan Mallet. You also did the right thing by trading disgruntled Carson Palmer to Oakland for a first round draft pick and a second round pick in 2013 with the possibility that it could be a first round pick. You set aside your pride to do what was best for the team.

But I'm writing to tell you why your stadium is averaging 49, 619.00 per game which is the lowest in the NFL. The remarkable thing is that the Bengals are entertaining and playing winning football. Now I've heard various reasons. It's the recession. No. You sold out games in 2009, during the height of the recession. In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, you got part of it right. “We have to earn back our people, they lost belief in what we were doing." Yes, that's partially correct.

However, if you listen to sports talk radio or talk to dispirited season ticket owners, you would get the same theme over and over. Mr. Brown, they're mad at you. Some say you only care about maximizing your profits and don't care about winning. I don't agree with that. I know you want to win. But the consensus is that they're dissatisfied with your role as president.

For that last twenty one years, you have been the de facto general manager. So, let's look at your term as president of the Bengals. Your record in twenty years, yielded only two winning seasons. Your decisions to retain head coach David Shula for four years, draft David Klingler, and Akili Smith were disasters. By the way, you compounded the Smith decision by refusing an offer from New Orleans Saints to trade that pick for all of the Saints draft picks. Then in 2008, against head coach Marvin Lewis' wishes, you re-signed the troubled wide receiver Chris Henry. I could go on, but it's clear there's nothing to indicate that your decision making will be consistent with a successful NFL general manager. The record demonstrates that your decision making and judgement is consistently bad. Mr. Brown, I say to you if you were judging your performance as a person looking from the outside, I would say you would fire yourself.

Mr. Brown, I don't care how much money you make. And I want you to continue to own the Cincinnati Bengals. But you owe Cincinnati. Because after your father Paul Brown was fired by Cleveland Browns Art Modell, Cincinnati gave your father a fresh start. The city allowed the Brown family to get back into football by sponsoring a NFL team and eventually built a stadium for the team. That stadium is named after your father. This city made your family rich. That's okay. What we fans want is a consistent winner.

If I may, I suggest you do the following. I believe these moves will bring back the fans. One, hire more scouts. I generously count five scouts for the Bengals but the Pittsburgh Steelers have eight. Two, hire a general manager, one who can make the wise decisions to lead to a consistent winner. Now note that you would still collect the profits and agree to any contracts. So you still maintain quite a bit of control. Those disgruntled fans would come back with the knowledge that change will happen if the general manager fails. That's hope if the Bengals suffer a bad season that it will not be a draught.

I don't want to bash you, Mr. Brown. I've been a Bengals fan since the team was founded. Like many loyal fans, I have not jumped ship. But we need hope that there will be wise decisions and hope that change will occur when needed. I am confident that if you hire a general manager you will see a rise in attendance at Paul Brown Stadium.

Bernie Wong
A Bengals Fan.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the Bon Jovi concert

I've got to give rock band Bon Jovi credit for taking Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog's jokes at them. It's so funny I can't describe it. And by the way the band lets Triumph sing with the band. It's classic. Hilarious. Check out the video below from 2002.

Triumph the insult comic dog - bon jovi by AC310DC

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals choke

The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Houston Texans today 20-19. And they did it in classic Bengals fashion. Epic loss. It doesn't sound that epic but trust me if you were leading all day and lose the game in the last two minutes, it's heartbreaking. If I weren't so encouraged by Bengals QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green, I would be writing Bengals comedy right now.

Give the Texans credit. They lose their best player in defensive end Mario Williams, starting quarterback Matt Schaub, and stud wide receiver Andre Johnson. Yet, they find ways to win. On the other hand they lose all their best players and you lose a game you're ahead 16-3 at the end of the first half? Hold on. You let a third string rookie quarterback in T.J. Yates beat you? Oy vey.

The game was probably lost in the first quarter. Bengals running back Cedric Benson runs for 42 yards to the one yard line. False start by the Bengals offensive line and they're moved back five yards. DOH! Bengals fail to punch the ball in and must settle for a field goal. That's four points off the boards. As Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said after the game, it was play here and play there. Yeah and you also must score touchdowns when you're in the red zone. And if you let teams hang around for four quarters, you've got a chance to lose. The Texans made clutch plays. The Bengals did not. So it came down to the last two and half minutes. The Texans drive down for eighty yards. To pour salt in the Bengals wounds, two ex-Bengals beat them. Texan wide receiver Kevin Walter caught the game tying touchdown and kicker Neil Rackers kicked the extra point for the win. DOH!

A loss like this, should spell the end for the Bengals season. The wild card is slipping away. The Bengals will need help from other teams. It's hard to count the Bengals out. Guys like Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are winners. Three more games to go Bengals fans. Let's hope for a Bengals miracle.

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog goes after on William Shatner and Tom Arnold

From 1997-1998, Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog takes on Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. There's also commentary on Tom Arnold. Love the Shatner stuff, being a Star Trek fan. Triumph's Kirk ain't all the bad. Sorry about the sound. Don't complain or else I'll poop on you. :-)

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog from 1998

Here's some more Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog with Conan O'Brien from 1998. One segment has him giving actor David Hasselhoff a hard time. This type of celebrity bashing would be Triumph's calling card. Then there is another segment of Triumph reviewing fake acts from the Westminster Dog Show.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog

I hang out at There you can meet screenwriter extraordinaire Bob Orci (Transformers, Star Trek) in the comments sections. Well, he's taught us to love Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. So, I've decided to scour YouTube and find the best of Triumph.

Triumph started out on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The first appearance was when the show did a skit about the Westminster Dog Show in 1997. From this skit we learn that Triumph is a Yugoslavian Mountain Hound. Hence his Eastern European accent. (Triumph's Wikipedia page.) And you'll get his first catchphrase, "... for me to poop on." Later on in his later performances, Triumph will say "I keed. I keed." And before I forget, Triumph is played by Robert Smigel. (TV Funhouse) Below is his first appearance, it's in part two.

Stephen Colbert makes ass of himself

Stephen Colbert interviewed American ballet dancer David Hallberg couple nights ago. Hallberg then performed a bit from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky Well, Stephen decided to join in. Okay, it was goofy but it made me laugh hard. Check out these funny video pieces.

Stephen Colbert's Referendum

Stephen Colbert continues to push the envelope by trying to get his brand of satire into the political realm. Colbert loves to make fun of the "corporations are people" comment by Mitt Romney and its support by Citizens United v. FEC 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010) So he put together a referendum for South Carolina giving the people a choice to decide. 1) Corporations are people OR 2) Only people are people. Unfortunately, the South Carolina Supreme Court has quashed the referendum. So who does Stephen turn to help him appeal this decision? The Democrats!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hooray. Super rich guy and circus clown, Donald Trump is back in time to meddle in presidential politics. He's sponsoring a debate with Republican presidential candidates on December 27. Or is he just trying to get publicity for his new book? And why are Republicans falling over themselves to kiss Trump's ass? Get this. After the debate he may endorse one of the clowns, er candidates. And if he doesn't like any of them. Trump might run as an independent for President! Anyway, this news is good news for the comedy industry. Just ask Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. Stephen Colbert is going to sponsor his own debate. Doubtful anyone will show. Those right-wingers are now wise to you Stephen, they know you're making fun of them. Anyway, check out their funny pieces.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stephen Colbert takes on crazy William Tapley

The Denver International Airport has developed numerous conspiracy theories. You get the usual suspects for the paranoid. The airport has large underground areas for prisoners of the New World Order. Satanists. Masons. And now the airport features phallic symbols? Last night Stephen Colbert did a hilarious video on William Tapley who believes that the airport intentionally contains evil phallic symbols. This crazy guy really exists, it's not a Colbert skit. And get this, the nutty Tapley sings. Check out the very funny video below.

Crazy, crazy Herman Cain, Part 5

What a tragedy for late night comics. Republican candidate Herman Cain has suspended his campaign for the presidency. The public has lost one of the great sources for comedy. Herman, we're going to miss your Pokemon quoting speeches and your "leader not a reader" philosophy. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert take one last comic shot. Check out their funny videos below.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is this the plot to the new Star Trek movie opening in 2013? and the Vulture Blog are reporting a rumor that the new villain for J.J. Abrams next Star Trek film is Khan. If you don't remember Khan, let me remind you. He was a genetically engineered superhuman who ruled over large portions of planet earth with other superhumans. See the original series episode called "Space Seed." (1967) Later, in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Khan dies while trying to kill Kirk for the death of his wife.

Okay, is also reporting that Peter Weller has been hired to play a role in the new movie. Weller is no stranger to Star Trek. In Star Trek: Enterprise he played Paxton a man who headed a terrorist organization opposed to alien-human contact. Those episodes were "Demons" and "Terra Prime." (2005)

Here's my opinion of what I think the plot of the next Star Trek movie (2013) is going to be. Paxton escapes or is released from prison. He's still anti-alien or xenophobic towards non-humans. He finds Khan and convinces him to purge earth of aliens. How does Khan do this? Probably he uses a super weapon to threaten the home worlds of the aliens and convince them to remove their citizens from earth. Maybe Khan uses the Planet Killer from the original series episode, "The Doomsday Machine." (1968)

Let me say, I hope the antagonist is not Khan. First, do we need another mustache twirling villain? This is Star Trek not Star Wars. It's science fiction. Yeah, Khan had deeper motivations than your average bad guy but he was clearly evil. Some of the best Star Trek had no villains. See the original series episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" (1967) "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." (1986) Second, the story of Khan has already been done and it was finished up in the classic Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (1982) Come on Bad Robot, I'm ready for a new adventure.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Gingrich That Stole Christmas

Ah, it's Christmas time. And the classic Christmas stories come out. Of course, there's a tradition of grumpy men putting down the season of peace on earth and good will to men. The Grinch. Scrooge. And now Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich? Yeah. The leading Republican candidate for his party's nomination for president, Newt Gingrich has just demonstrated he could become a new grumpy and mean character in our twenty first century Christmas tale. Newt has previously said that children as young as nine should work as janitors for their schools. And on Friday, he doubled down. He said poor children have no "habit" for getting to work on Monday and that their only relation to obtaining money is to obtain it through crime. Now don't get me wrong, I concede that some of that is correct but he takes a paint brush and smears all poor people. In the video piece by Al Sharptron's TV show Politics Nation, Newt is caught on tape saying there are millionaires getting food stamps. Really? And before I forget, Gingrich in the nineties advocated that mothers on welfare give up their children to orphanages. How Dickensian.

One wonders if Gingrich will get some type of redemption as those grumpy characters in the classic Christmas tales did. Not likely. Gingrich has already backtracked his criticism of the Paul Ryan budget as right wing engineering. He's called doing a commercial with the evil Cong. Nancy Pelosi about combating global warming as "the dumbest single thing I've done." So unless we see Newt proclaim his love for humanity, it's doubtful this Christmas tale has an uplifting ending.

Let's end this post on a fun note. I've embedded some classic Stephen Colbert pieces done this year on Newt Gingrich, including the infamous over the top press release by his campaign from last spring.

Al Sharpton's MSNBC piece.

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Republicans hate intelligence and poor people

If you've been following the circus that has been the Republican race for the presidential nomination, you would get a couple of threads running through it. Republicans hate intelligence and poor people. Now before you say this is just a liberal attack on conservative Republicans, let me say I will use proof to back my points.

A. Republicans hate intelligence.

Exhibit 1: Herman Cain. One time Republican presidential leader Herman Cain struggled to exhibit any knowledge of President Obama's Libya policy during an interview. Now, this was the biggest foreign policy question during the summer since it involved using American forces to topple Libyan dictator Gaddafi. Americans were initially involved but Obama let the French take over. Anyway, he later defended his ignorance in a speech, basically saying he didn't need to know everything, that's what experts were for. And the Republican audience was clapping. He then said one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. "We need a leader not a reader." Chris Matthews of Hardball jumped on that and noted that it came from "The Simpsons Movie." By the way, he later got the Taliban confused with Libya. That kind of mistake gets Americans killed.

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Exhibit 2: Karl Rove's Attack Ad against Democrat Elizabeth Warren. Former President George W. Bush's Chief of Staff Karl Rove's PAC has produced an attack ad. Watch this ad. The ad labels Warren as "Professor." Huh? Is there something wrong with being a college professor?

B. Republicans hate the poor.

Exhibit 1: Newt Gingrich. He's now in the lead for the GOP presidential nomination. And on Friday, Gingrich slammed the poor by saying that poor children have no habits of showing up for work on Monday. He slams them as not knowing how to get money except by getting it illegally. Now put that on top of his desire to end child labor laws, his comments that millionaires get food stamps, you know this guy has no conception of what it's like to be poor and looks down upon them. Oh, I forgot the goofy stuff about welfare mothers should give up their children to orphanages. That orphan stuff came from the nineties. Listen to my man Al Sharpton rail against Gingrich in his MSNBC piece.

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Exhibit 2: The Republican Party Yeah, the attack against the poor by the Republicans has been going on for decades. Remember the old welfare mothers attack? Rachel Maddow does. Check out her piece below. But recall the cheering when GOP candidate Ron Paul was asked if society should just let a person who couldn't afford health insurance die.

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Bengals not ready for prime time

The Cincinnati Bengals got destroyed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 35-7. It was over by the first half. A bad omen appeared when the Bengals drove down to goal line. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass. But A.J. Green was offside. Doh! Bengals don't make the TD and had to settle for a field goal. Kick is good. No, delay of game penalty. Doh! They try again. Blocked. Doooh! Doh! Folks, I don't want t write Bengals comedy.

Everything went wrong. The Bengals defense couldn't tackle or cover. The special teams sucked. A fumble by kick off returner Brandon Tate led to a Steelers touchdown. The Steelers returned a punt for a TD with the help of a referee who refused to call an illegal block. The offensive line could not block to spring the run or protect Dalton. Right tackle Andre Smith was hurt. And Andy Dalton left the game in the fourth quarter when two Steelers fell on him.

I hope the Bengals get a video of the Steelers having a good time on the sideline. That should burn in their memories. The road to the playoffs for the Bengals is the Wild Card. But if you're a Cincinnati sports fan, you expect the sky to fall on you. At least the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series in 1990.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Elizabeth Warren COMMANDS THE ROOM

Democrat Elizabeth Warren is running for Senate in Massachusetts. And the Republicans are running scared. Karl Rove's PAC has created an ad linking her to the worst elements of Occupy Wall Street and calling her "Professor." How dare she be smart?!

What leftist-pinko stuff has she done? She advocated for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed to protect consumers. It was established through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. A law designed to stop the abuses that led to the 2008 meltdown. Well, everybody knows who she stands with. The 99%. She's now moving ahead of the Republican Scott Brown. Below is the video of MS. WARREN COMMANDING THE ROOM. I've also included Al Sharpton's report on her surging campaign.

Elizabeth Warren commands the room.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Fixing Mass Effect 3

I've previously wrote that BioWare's Mass Effect 2 was a flawed masterpiece. I've read that Mass Effect 3 will come out in March of 2012. Let's hope that they fix the following flaws from the previous game and keep certain things from previous games. Note that some of the fixes are not necessarily technical fixes.

A. Fixes.

1. Get rid of the mining. This mini-game which is necessary was so mind numbing boring that if you suffer from insomnia, it will cure it. In the first Mass Effect, it's one touch mining. Perhaps BioWare should return to that.

2. Fix the tiny text. This is primarily a problem with SDTVs. But even on HDTVs the text is small. First, BioWare should realize there are still many SDTVs out there. Now every month, those old TVs are becoming less and less but there are still a significant number out there.

The fix would be to get rid of all the empty space that Mass Effect 2 had versus text. Scenes regularly have about seventy percent wasted space with neon graphics. For example, loading screens would have tips at the bottom but the screen is about ninety five per cent graphics. I would rather read the glorious details about the Mass Effect world than stare at empty graphics.

3. Simplify weapons upgrades. While Mass Effect 2 had a more understandable upgrade system than its predecessor, the game still required you to basically buy the game guide to figure out how it worked.

What they should do is just have a simple numerical upgrade. For example, name the upgrades by weapon such as assault rifle upgrade one. Then when a player maxes out an upgrade, inform the player he need not seek more upgrades.

4. Allow the player to take off his helmet. In Mass Effect 1, you could wear or not wear your helmet during a mission. In Mass Effect 2, you cannot. I want to take off my helmet when I engage in cutscenes. I want to look at my face as I talk to other characters.

5. Add mini-games when the main missions are over. In Mass Effect 2, the game ends and you are left on the bridge of the Normandy with nothing to do. If BioWare really wants an open world game, then let the player do some mini-games. Perhaps allow him to fight on a disputed world with variable enemies coming at him each time he lands. Or have a space casino with gambling games such as poker and black jack.

6. Allow the player to replay missions. Again if BioWare wants an open world type of game, allow the player to replay missions at the end of the story.

7. Allow multiple simultaneous love interests. This would be fun. Yeah, I know the Moral Majority would hate it. But let's face it, this is a video game. And by the way, if you choose Miranda as your girlfriend, BioWare had better realize that Ashley dumped you. So, it ain't your fault over the broke relationship. Yeah, I saw what happened when you try to get two women. Video below. So why not allow the player to have both? It's the male fantasy come true. :-)

B. Keep these things from the previous Mass Effect games.

1. Improved targeting from Mass Effect 2.

2. Doable Achievements Unlike Halo 3, the Insanity difficulty for Mass Effect 2 was not ridiculous hard.

3. Maintain the action in this RPG. Yeah, I know some hate the focus of action over the RPG elements. But frankly since you can create a character, it's still a RPG. The action makes the game more dynamic.

4. Allow you to import your character from Mass Effect 2. Hey, it took me a long time to create my Shepard character to look like me. So, allow me to import him to Mass Effect 3.

5. Bring back Miranda. Yes, I want Miranda back. She's played by the beautiful Yvonne Strahovski. (Chuck) (Pictured; real actress on right.) She's a little mysterious but please keep her a good girl. At the end of the game I want her by my side. Hey, we're role playing here.

In Mass Effect, this funny scene happens when you try to choose both women.

Trailer for Mass Effect 3.

Stephen Colbert on SOPA

The House of Representatives' Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) will chill the speech on the Internet. The reason is that it allows for criminal prosecution unauthorized streaming. The fear of being thrown in jail for sharing videos and information will cripple the Internet.

Last night, Stephen Colbert did a segment on the law. I love it when he cites an FBI report that online piracy costs 200 billion dollars a year but then notes that it's not corroborated. Check out the video.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big Kardashian News

There's big news to go along with the Congressional Super Committee's inability to find a way to cut government debt and the aspirations of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The Huffington Post is reporting that Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant. Now who is Kourtney Kardashian? Is she an accomplished actress? No. Rocket scientist? No. Try empty celebrity that got launched by a reality show about her family. America, what is the matter with you people? Why is this woman a celebrity? What has she done? At least with sister Kim, she can say she made her own sex tape. There are times I can see why Muslim terrorists want to kill us. I keeed. I keeed.

Stephen Colbert on Newt Gingrich and Barney Frank

Last night, Stephen Colbert did video stories on Newt Gingrich's lead in the GOP Presidential primary and his hypocrisy. He also did a story on the retirement of Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank. Satire and sarcasm at its finest. Check out these funny videos.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Master of 3D Cinema and The Best 3D Movies Revised

Look out James Cameron. There's a new king of the world when it comes to making 3-D movies. It's director Martin Scorsese. His new movie Hugo which was shot in 3-D is a masterpiece. (Pictured above Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley) When you see Hugo in 3-D, it's clear that Scorsese kept the 3-D technique in mind with every shot. The result? You never forget that you are watching a film in 3-D. There's an occasional money shot where he throws things at you. But Scorsese elevates 3-D to an art form. Scenes pop. There's a magical feel to the movie. Gears, fish, boots, even animated drawings beg you to touch them. It's ethereal.

Previously, I've compiled a list of the top ten 3-D movies from the last ten years. It's time to revise the list in light of Martin Scorsese's Hugo. I've bumped James Cameron's Aliens of the Deep. (2005) The list already has two other Cameron moives, Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) and Avatar. (2009) So let's countdown from number ten to number one of the best 3-D movies in the last ten years.

10. Up (2009)
9. Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)
8. Beowulf (2007)
7. Tron: Legacy (2010)
6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
4. Despicable Me (2010)
3. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
2. Avatar (2009)
1. Hugo (2011
Here's my review of this masterpiece. Check out the scene below where a box of sketches of the fantastic come alive.

Stephen Colbert On Mitt Romney's Misleading Ad

Last night Stephen Colbert took on Republican Mitt Romney's ad that has President Obama saying "If we keep talking about he economy, we're going to lose." One problem with Romney's ad, it was totally out of context since OBAMA WAS QUOTING JOHN McCAIN. Well, Stephen Colbert uses Romney's logic for great comic effect in his segment, "Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger."

Star Trek IV the best original series movie?

The official Star Trek website has announced that Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) is the best original series movie. This comes on the twenty fifth anniversary of the film. I've already rated it as the best Star Trek movie of all and that includes Star Trek. (2009) Why? It had adventure, great comedy and had ideas. Save the whales, save the planet. It's the ecology, stupid. Anyway check out the trailer for the movie and go buy or rent it.

Maybe Woody Allen was right

Remember when Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977) professes his love for the Evil Queen from Disney's Snow White? (1937) It was an animated scene and funny. (YouTube link to clip.) Well, I've seen the pilot for the TV show "Once Upon A Time." The show is kind of dumb. Fairy tale characters like Snow White, Prince Charming and the Evil Queen really exist in another time. They get transported to modern day Maine. That's kind of lazy since you don't have to create characters for a show just steal them from fairy tales. I wonder if the executives at ABC were on drugs when it was pitched to them.

Anyway, the Evil Queen is played by Lana Parilla. Well, she's certainly lovely. (Picture above.) As for the show, I consider her the fairest of them all. Now that I think of it, evil women can be attractive. The Evil Queen. Megyn Kelly (Fox News
Blonde) and Right-Wing author Ann Coulter.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cardiac Cats Win Again!

Today the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns, 23-20. If it's brown flush it down. Sorry for that. The Bengals have won five out of seven games trailing in the fourth quarter. Let's call them the Cardiac Cats! The Bengals were down to Cleveland, 17-7 at the half.

It was a tale of two halves. The Browns were pounding the Bengals. The Browns stopped the Bengals in a goal line stance. The Bengals had trouble tackling. Browns running back Peyton Hillis was breaking tackles. The Browns were playing football AFC North style. The Browns forced a fumble. Within one minute, the Browns turn that fumble into a touchdown. The Browns lead 17-7.

But the Bengals are used to being behind at half. The Browns went up again by ten points in the third quarter, leading 20-10. But rookie Bengals QB Andy Dalton hit tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 22 yard TD pass. Dalton has now broken the team's rookie touchdown pass record with 16 TD passes. It's 20-17 in the third quarter.

Before I get to the big play, let me just say it's team sport. The defense held when it had to. And what can I say about Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Bengals star defensive end Carlos Dunlap was down for the game. Folks, during the 2010 draft, the big stud at defensive tackle was Ndamukong Suh and seeing him wreck havoc with Detroit, you see why. But the Bengals drafted defensive tackle Geno Atkins with their fourth pick. And wow. He may not be as big as the top picks but he's quick and powerful. Geno sacked Browns QB Colt McCoy and pressured him into an interception. The Bengals now have two very good defensive tackles in Domata Peko and Geno Atkins. And don't forget about special teams. They held Browns returner Joshua Cribbs. That ain't easy. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent was clutch again.

But let's get to the fourth quarter. The Bengals tie. And when the Browns tried to go ahead with a field goal in less than two minutes to go, there was a bad snap. Missed it. If it's brown, flush it down. Um, sorry. With 58 seconds left, and the Bengals have the ball. It's third and six. QB Andy Dalton takes the snap and is getting pressure from the Browns. He throws a bomb to rookie Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green for 51 yards. Dalton goes down from a hit from a Browns player. Green catches it and takes it to the five. (Pictured above.) Watch how Green attacks the ball and pulls it down. Wow. Seconds later, the Bengals kick a field goal. They go ahead 23-20. The Bengals defense holds. Bengals win, 23-20 and sweep the Battle of Ohio.

Playoffs? Yes, Jim Mora. The Bengals have taken another step towards the postseason. Three more wins should do it. Four more wins and the Bengals are going to get in. Up next are the bums from Pittsburgh. Could we beat these bums in a laugher?

My fellow Bengals fans, here are the highlights to today's great victory.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Descendants Review

When you see the ads for Director Alexander Payne's The Descendants, you would think this movie is more of a comedy than a drama. Well, be prepared for more of a drama with small amounts of comic highlights. Does that mean you should stay away from this film. No. This movie is the "Ordinary People" for this twenty first century decade. And you would be missing one of the best films of the year.

The Descendants starts out by introducing us to Matt King. (George Clooney) He's a lawyer and a lifetime resident of Hawaii. His wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) was involved in a boating accident which has made her comatose. His problem is that he is now forced to raise his two daughters, ten year old Scottie (Amara Miller) and seventeen year old Alexandra. (Shailene Woodley) Raising them is a task that he is not equipped for. Unfortunately, a doctor informs him that Elizabeth will not awake and that she is basically brain dead. Since she had a living will, the hospital will soon stop all life preserving methods.

Complicating all of this is that while Elizabeth lies comatose, are two things. Matt must dispose of acres of land which has been in his family trust. It's probably the first time the rule against perpetuities has been used as a plot device in a movie. The descendants, i.e. all of Matt's cousins eagerly await for the sale since they will make millions. Second, Matt finds out from his estranged daughter, Alexandra, that Elizabeth had been having an affair with a realtor named Brian. (Matthew Lilard)

The screenplay was written by Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and Alexander Payne. It's based on a novel called "The Descendants" by Kaui Hart Hemmings. The screenplay does an excellent job with the dialogue. The characters all say things that sound real. Payne's direction focuses on the emotions in the faces of the characters. He adeptly balances drama one second and comedy the next. Payne also makes Hawaii an integral character in the film.

A movie such as this which is a character study, needs great performances by the actors for it to set sail. And the film has them. Shailene Woodley makes her teenage Alexandra rebellious, grief stricken and later adult strong. Amara Miller doesn't overact and her ten year old Scottie is perfect. Good to see Matthew Lilard as the other man. He's desperate and a bit shallow as Brian. But this film belongs to George Clooney. If you can read a person's emotion by looking at their face without the person saying anything, that's the epitome of fine acting. Every expression on Clooney's face tells a story. Hurt. Confusion. Love. It's a greater performance than what he did in Up In the Air. (2009) George Clooney should get an Oscar nomination for his performance.

The Descendants is a slice of life type of movie. It's the story of a family facing great tragic changes. It's an engrossing and heartfelt story. The grade is A.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hugo 3D Review

Director Martin Scorsese's Hugo starts out with virtuoso 3-D camera shots of a Paris train station as it follows a young boy named Hugo Cabret. (Asa Butterfield) We see Hugo watch life in the station from within the giant clocks. And the thing that overwhelms you is the majesty of the 3-D. (3D) You feel as if you can touch the gears on the clocks. Scorsese avoids much of the throwing stuff at you cliches of 3-D cinema but he does not disdain the medium. In fact, he embraces it. Yes, you get the occasional thing thrown at you. But it's as if he set every shot with the realization that he's making a 3D film CGI snow, statues, trains, shoes, gears all pop. You don't forget that you're watching a 3-D film. And this movie is the best 3-D film ever made. All of this is owed to Scorsese's prodigious talent and his wise decision to film in 3-D. This is one movie I recommend you pay the extra bucks to see in 3-D.

Hugo takes place in the early thirties. The place is Paris, France. Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is a young orphan boy who lives in a train station. He has a skill in fixing mechanical things, a skill he got from his father. (Jude Law) Through flashbacks we learn that Hugo's father left him an automaton, a kind of gear driven robot. Unfortunately, his father cannot get the automaton to work. When the father dies, Hugo is taken to the train station by his uncle Claude (Ray Winstone) where he helps to take of the clocks. When Claude disappears, Hugo is left all alone.

Hugo's existence depends upon him stealing food from the shops in the station. He must hide from the local cop, (Sacha Baron Cohen) who likes to round up any orphan and ship them off to the orphanage. His entertainment is to watch life of the patrons from the clocks. But Hugo's goal is to get the automaton to work.

One day, Hugo tries to steal a toy from a small toy shop. He's caught by the owner, Georges. (Ben Kingsley) When the owner takes a book containing sketches of the automaton from Hugo, he follows him home. There he entices the owner's granddaughter, Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) to help him recover the book. She indicates that she wants to help but also looks upon Hugo as her guide to adventure.

The performances are pitch perfect. Asa Butterfield is wonderful as Hugo, a boy searching for his meaning in life. Jude Law's performance as the loving father makes you cry when he dies. Sacha Baron Cohen is a bit cartoonish as buffonish cop but so what? I laughed at his comedy. Film legend Christopher Lee plays a kind librarian. Helen McCrory (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is the dedicated and loyal wife of Georges. Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass?!) radiates light as the charming Isabelle. And what can I say about Ben Kingsley. He shows all the ranges for Georges. Broken. Hurt. Joyful.

Accompanying this film is the beautiful score by Howard Shore. It definitely transports you to Paris. It's lush and Impressionistic. And check out the Django Reinhardt jazz band playing in the cafe.

John Logan (Gladiator; Star Trek: Nemesis) based his screenplay on the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Logan's work here is poetic. And director Martin Scorsese take that poetry and translates it to the screen. Scenes are more like paintings the way Stanley Kubrick did in 2001: A Space Odyssey. (1968) I don't know which sets are real or CGI but Scorsese's Paris made me fall in love with the city.

It's no secret that the character of legendary filmmaker Georges Méliès, makes an appearance in the movie. The film covers his pioneer work in making movies about fantastic places, and creatures. Yes, I consider some of it to be science fiction. We learn in the movie that Méliès was a magician before he became a filmmaker.

And it's the concept of storytelling is magic that Logan and Scorsese are conveying. You see Hugo is not just valentine to filmmaking. Part of it is. I watched in wonderment as Méliès made his movies even if by today's standards the worlds he created primitive. But in Hugo we also learn of Isabelle and Hugo's love of books. It's this unique human ability to transport one to another world with a story that is the magic. And that's what Hugo celebrates.

Hugo is a family movie. But it's more than that. It's a movie that adults will also enjoy. Martin Scorsese has created a classic. You owe it to yourself to see this film in 3-D. The grade is A +.