Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stephen Colbert on America's drone wars

People say to me that liberals are like conservatives in that they do not compromise. Not true. See, as a liberal, I supported President Bill Clinton even though he was a moderate. And now, I support President Barack Obama even though he uses unconstitutional drone attacks. One of these drone attacks killed an American citizen, Al Awaki. Yeah, I don't weep for this guy, he was a terrorist leader. But he was an American citizen who had the right of Due Process before he was killed.

Anyway Stephen Colbert did a piece on the use of drones in Tuesday's show. He also went over Al Qaeda's tips to avoid getting whacked by a drone. Funny stuff.

Stephen Colbert examines the idea of turning Texas blue

It's a dream of Democrats to turn Texas blue but it's going to happen. How? Texas is getting an influx of women, African Americans, Hispanics and young people. And sorry, you angry white guys, they're not conservative Republicans. Stephen Colbert interviewed the Democrat who is in charge of changing Texas, Jeremy Bird. Humorous stuff.

Stephen Colbert goes over the Pope's retirement

What does a retired Pope do? Stephen Colbert goes over this topic in this funny video.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama can dance

First Lady Michelle Obama was on Jimmy Fallon's show to do a skit called "The Evolution of Mom Dancing." She was dancing with Jimmy Fallon who was in drag. She also wanted to promote her "Let's Move" campaign which encourages parents to get up and move with their kids. First, Michelle Obama can dance. Second, she is one hip lady. Michelle Obama, that is. Check out the funny video below.

Why Mars is red

I always wondered why Mars is red. You know the expression, Mars is the Red Planet. Well, today we find out that the color of Mars is only as deep as the layer of dust which covers the planet. NASA' Mars rover Curiosity dug beneath the surface and found the rock beneath the dust was gray.

But back to the question of why Mars is red. According to this story from the Huffington Post, Mars gets its red color "from a surface layer of dust that has undergone a rusting process, during which iron was oxidized."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Video: The 85th Academy Awards Opening with Captain Kirk

Yesterday's funny and entertaining 85th Academy Awards show with an opening by Seth MacFarlane featured a guest appearance by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) of Star Trek. Now in case you didn't know this, MacFarlane is a big tie Trekker. He even got to be in an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. Lucky guy. Anyway, Mediaite posted the whole opening. Here it is. It was funny, well done and a mix of MacFarlane's edgy humor with Hollywood glamour.

Speaking of glamour, some in Hollywood need to loosen up. And I'm not talking about Quentin Tarantino. I mean the joke about Rihanna and Chris Brown where MacFarlane said that Django Unchained was a date movie because of its abuse of women wasn't that bad. He didn't endorse domestic violence. And the joke about Mel Gibson's racism was funny. Yet, some groaned at those jokes. His worst joke was the one about Lincoln and saying assassin John Wilkes Booth was in the President's head. MacFarlane was able to respond to the groans by saying it's been about one hundred forty eight years and "it's too soon?" Over all, I thought he was funny. Hey he got Tommy Lee Jones to laugh.

Even though the show was too long, it was one of the best Oscar shows in memory. Look, the commercials make the show too long. But I loved the tribute to the classic songs from film. Nice end number where Kristen Chenoweth and Seth MacFarlane sing Frank Sinatra's standard, "Here's to the losers" with lyrics written for the losers. Got to love the line about Bradley Cooper losing but getting to appear in Hangover IV.

The Basement Blog Awards for the Oscar Awards Show

It's that time of year again. It's time to hand out the Basement Blog Awards for the Oscar Awards telecast. This year was the 85th Annual Academy Awards. These are the best and worst moments of the show. :-) So without the fake banter, here are the awards.

1. Best Captain Kirk. The BB Award goes to William Shatner for the humorous opening skit. Yep, they brought William Shatner to play Captain Kirk one more time to give advice to host and big time Trekker Seth MacFarlane. This leads us to ...

2. Hey that guy can sing AND dance. Seth MacFarlane. Yeah, I knew that Seth could sing but he can dance. Okay, he's not Gene Kelly. Who's Gene Kelly you say? Oy. Young people. But he wasn't that bad. And the skit was a nod to the glamour of Hollywood's past and a little of MacFarlane's edgy humor. And Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) can sing and dance too.

3. Best musical decision. In the past, they would have the songs from the best song category performed. And frankly, that would kill the show. Let's face it. Not all songs are good for the show. This year they had the great music from film's past decorate the show. Yeah, I knew they were celebrating the music of film but it was inspiring. Dug the tribute to musicals and was glad that guest host John Travolta did not do that awful YouTube song with Olivia Newton John. And this leads us to...

4. They had the orchestra where?! I'm pretty sure the music was live . But the orchestra was not in the theater. It was at Capitol Records' studio. That's technology. And that brings us to...

5. Hooray for the technical awards. Won't remember who won but the effects that were delivered for Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes were remarkable.

6. Classless move. Having the theme from Jaws interrupt a winner when he went long was well, classless.

7. There was a tie?! Hooray for Hollywood. In a subjective competition, sometimes the Oscar doesn't go to the best. Sometimes two films deserve the award. The Oscar for Sound Editing went to two great films. Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty.

8. Worst joke. MacFarlane made a joke about assassin John Wilks Booth getting into President Abraham Lincoln's head. But he gets the next award...

9. Best comeback for a bad joke. MacFarlane then says it's been one hundred forty eight years and questions, "too soon?"

10. Fix that tie! Quentin Tarantino. Come on QT. You're on worldwide television and you wear your tie like that? The tie was loose and hanging about half a foot from his neck. It looked like you started celebrating with the booze a little early.

11. Yeah, I know what George Clooney is going to do with that bottle of boooze. George Clooney. Seth MacFarlane threw a bottle of booze from the honor bar to Clooney. You know what George is going to do with that.

12. You got Barbara Streisand to sing "The Way We Were?" To Barbara and her tribute to composer Marvin Hamlisch.

13. You better stand and applaud. Dame Shirley Bassey. She sang the theme from Goldfinger. And at seventy six, she was as powerful as ever.

14. The Best Song. I don't care if Adele won for "Skyfall." It should go to "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from Ted. First, host and Trekker Seth MacFarlane wrote the lyrics. Second, I'm a jazz fan and I love its beautiful jazz vibe. Check out the video below.

15. Best jokes. Daniel Day Lewis. He said he was slated to play Margaret Thatcher before Meryl Streep. Then he joked that he convinced Spielberg not to make Lincoln into a musical.

16. Sure to cause Rush Limbaugh's blood pressure to rise. Okay, they had First Lady Michelle Obama announce Best Picture. Yeah, all those right-wingers got to see the liberal-Hollywood connection.

17. Best ending to an Oscar show. Yes, it went over three hours long. But at the end, Kristen Chenoweth and Seth MacFarlane sang the classic, "Here's to the losers", a Frank Sinatra standard. The twist was that the lyrics were written for the losers of the night. Best joke. Chenoweth sings that Bradley Cooper will be doing Hangover IV.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stephen Colbert goes after Obama's secret golf outing

The media went nuts over President Obama's golf outing with Tiger Woods because there were no pictures. Stephen Colbert went one step further and demanded that we know what Obama is doing in the bathroom. Hilarious stuff from the Colbert Report.

Stephen Colbert takes on the Russian asteroid

Here's Stephen Colbert's take on the Russian asteroid that struck the earth last Friday. Funny stuff.

Jon Stewart on the Russian asteroid

Jon Stewart took on the Russian asteroid that crashed to the earth last Friday. He notes that Russians are the true Vulcans of the human race. Hilarious stuff.

Jon Stewart takes on the British horse meat controversy

Yesterday, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show took on British horse meat controversy. Funny stuff. Check out the video below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SNL's parody of a fake Jesus movie by Tarantino

Oscar winning actor Christoph Waltz hosted the latest Saturday Night Live. And since he's been in the last two Quentin Tarantino films, Inglorious Basterds and Django, it only seems like comic karma to do a spoof of Tarantino by doing a fake trailer for a fake movie. And the subject? Jesus! Name of the fake movie? DJesus. Great fun. Check it out below.

The Best Film of 2012

Here is what you've been waiting for, Hollywood. The Fourth Annual Basement Blog Film of the Year. :-) The nominees are Argo, The Dark Knight Rises, The Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty. Before I announce the winner, let me say this year was a great year for film. There were a number of movies that will be remembered because of their quality. But without further ado, the winner for the 2012 Basement Blog Best Film of the Year is:


The Life of Pi exhibits all the things that great movies have. It crosses the line between entertainment and art. It invites the audience to ask questions. What is the nature of religion? How do humans deal with tragedy? Why are we here? All of these questions were wrapped up in an adventure between man and nature. It's one of the best films of the decade.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Best Science Fiction Film of 2012

It's that time of the year again. It's time for the fourth annual Basement Blog Best Science Film of the Year. This year's nominees are The Avengers, Cloud Atlas, Dredd 3D, The Dark Knight Rises, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and Looper. The winner for the 2012 Basement Blog Best Science Fiction film is:


First, let me answer any question as to whether The Dark Knight Rises is science fiction. Science fiction not only deals with aliens but future technology. And in The Dark Knight Rises, there are major plot points that are based on future technology. In the film, Wayne Enterprises has developed a new type of nuclear reactor that will put out clean and sustainable energy. Lucius Fox has also built a super helicopter called The Bat. It plays an important part in the movie.

But what makes a great science fiction movie? It's not just about the good guy defeating the bad guy. A great science fiction movie explores ideas. Philosophical. Scientific. Does this sound familiar? Yes it's how I describe Star Trek, the TV series. The Dark Knight Rises raises issues of whether the ends justify the means in deterring crime and economic injustice. It deserves to be the Basement Blog Science Fiction Film of the Year.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stephen Colbert has some fun with Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is supposed to be the savior of the Republican Party. So, he was tasked with the job of delivering the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech. And well, it didn't go off that well. If you recall Rubio acted like he was sweating as he brushed his forehead and chin. Then he had dry mouth. This led to the water bottle moment where he reached for a bottle of water. That's not so bad but what was is the look of fear and his bizarre effort to keep looking at the camera. Anyway, Stephen Colbert had some fun with it on Wednesday's Colber Report.

A Good Day to Die Hard review

If you read the reviews by other film critics of A Good Day to Die Hard, you would thing it was the second coming of Plan 9 From Outer Space. There are always the line by critics of a movie that it doesn't have a plot. But A Good Day to Die Hard does have a plot. And it's a good one. So the next question is whether the film is any good?

A Good Day to Die Hard starts out with New York policeman, John McClane (Bruce Willis) traveling to Russia to see his son, Jack (Jai Courtney) who seems to be in legal trouble. We learn that Russia is about to have a trial of a former government scientist, Yuri Komarov. (Sebastian Koch) He's being pressured to give up an incriminating file by a corrupt official, Chagarin (Sergei Kolesnikov) But Jack is really a CIA agent whose mission is to evacuate Komarov. McClane accidentally stumbles on Jack and Komarov as they are trying to get away from assassins. And after a long car chase, the three flee to a CIA safe house where they plan to find a way out of the country.

Bruce Willis returns as McClane for the fifth time since the first Die Hard. And frankly, it's clear the part holds no interest for him. His wisecracks in this movie are tired and became condescending. Jai Courtney is good in a tough guy role but he's given very little to do. But any problems with the dialogue lie with screenplay writer, Skip Woods. Sebastian Koch's Komarov is very good as an old Russian scientist making an attempt to expose corruption.

But A Good Day to Die Hard suffers from the disease that bad modern action movies have. Director John Moore uses handheld camera and fast cutting to punch up the action. But why? The car chase in Moscow suffered severely because Moore won't keep the camera still and the cuts add to the chaos. It's hard to follow the action. A good car chase allows the audience to get a feel of where the cars are going. The speed and collisions of the car chase are enough. Instead, Moore doesn't trust the audience. Another example where the fast cutting sabotages the movie is where Jack and McClane are about to get executed. On their knees, Jack is able to overpower his captors. But the problem was Moore doesn't stage the scene well and basically lets his editor tell the story. The result? One wonders how Jack overpowered the bad guys. It was disjointed. Another problem with Moore's direction is that actions scenes have no build up. Most of the time, they're thrust upon you. The result is that the movie is at times, a confusing mess.

Look, A Good Day to Die Hard is not bad movie. I found the plot interesting enough to keep my attention. That makes it an okay time waster. The grade is B minus.

Note that the film trailers have different dialouge than the movie.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Steven Seagal trains Sheriff' Arpaio's posse

I've written before that I support allowing teachers to carry arms and or to have armed guards to protect schoolchildren. Well, conservative Arizona Sheriff Joe ARpaio wants to use posses to protect them and has hired B action flick actor Steven Seagal to train them. Leave it to Stephen Colbert to lampoon the policy. Funny stuff.

The Party of Angry White Men

Sam Tanenhaus has written an excellent article for the New Republic on why the Republican Party has and is the party of white people. Here it is. These are not just the musings of a liberal. You have to look to history of how the Republican sought the Southern strategy to win national elections by exploiting racism in the sixties. And don't take my word for it. Conservative senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term." This is the major reason why I stopped supporting Republican Party. They've become an explicit in their racism. And don't get me wrong. Not every Republican is racist. But the party has swung hard right. Gone are the Gerry Fords, and the Nelson Rockefellers.

Anyway, Chris Matthews did a piece on the Republicans for Monday's Hardball. And last night, Stephen Colbert covered the Republican woes on The Colbert Report. I like my politics with some humor. Check out the videos below.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bill Maher nails Donald Trump over his Monkey Lawsuit

Bill Maher on Real Time destroyed Donald Trump over suing him for failure to pay five million dollars because the Donald had proved he had human parents not orangutans as mother and father. Yes, you heard that right. Maher made a joke teasing Trump for his birther nonsense by offering to pay five million dollars if the Donald would produce his birth certificate showing he was not spawn of orangutans. The Donald took this seriously and sued Maher for breach of contract. Really. Anyway courtesy of HBO and Mediaite check out Maher's hillarious commentary. Update. Maher's "offer" seems to be in response to Trump's offer to President Obama for his student records.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Colbert on Scientology

Stephen Colbert did a piece on Scientology last night. He also interviewed author Lawrence Wright who wrote a book about it. And if you think his description of the science fiction religion sounds incorrect, check out this South Park episode, "Trapped in the closet." From what I've read about this episode, it's fairly accurate as to what Scientologists believe. Colbert videos are below.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dog on bicycle!

The Pulitzer Prize winning Huffington Post has broken another big story. It's Norman, the bicycle riding dog! He also drives a scooter.

Is this another shameless attempt by me to drive up traffic, knowing that people on the Internet love animal videos? In the words of my muse, Sarah Palin, "You betcha." Guys, I'm not going to post porn. So, expect shameless cute animal videos.

Julie Andrews visits Stephen Colbert

Actress and singer, Julie Andrews, made another appearance on the Colbert Report. She's absolutely charming. And take a look at her earlier appearance in April of last year.

Stephen Colbert on the ax wielding heroic hitchhiker

Last night, Stephen Colbert took on a story about an axe wielding heroic hitchhiker. The hitchhiker was no mere nut, he's a loopy Valley guy. Check out the very funny video below.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Despicable Republicans try to rig future elections

Republicans have seen the writing on the wall. In past elections, they could depend on the vote of angry white men to lead them to victory. But the demographics of the country are changing. We're becoming less white and a more mixed race country. And by the way, the comment about dwindling angry white males is not some rantings of this liberal. They come from conservative Senator Lindsey Graham. (R-S.C.)

Recently, conservative Republicans have been looking at how to divide the electoral votes awarded in presidential elections. Instead of winner take all, Republicans in various states have proposed plans like dividing electoral votes by congressional districts. The result of this kind of plan would dilute the votes cast in more populous urban area and give disproportionate influence to rural areas. Hmmm. I wonder what party rural people vote for?

But why are Republicans looking to change the way electoral votes are counted? I mean did we hear about this stuff in the sixties from Republicans? Here's why. They can no longer win by majority votes. Appalling. Republicans are seeking to dilute the votes of minorities and restore power to the angry white males. If these plans succeed, there will be more results of a candidate losing the popular vote, yet winning the presidential election. For example if Virginia had adopted such a plan, Obama would have lost that state even though he got the popular vote.

Now Pennsylvania Republicans are pushing a plan to divide electoral votes proportionately. Again, these plans do one thing. They dilute the votes of the majority. And folks, we're not talking about protecting the civil rights of minorities. We're talking about giving more power to the one voter bloc that Republicans have a strong hold of. Angry white men.

Chris Matthews did a piece on it last night. And back in September, actress and comedian, Sarah Silverman did a piece on the voter id laws which are designed to suppress voter turnout by people of color, and young people. I've posted both below. The Silverman piece is not safe for work since it features cussing. Still, I enjoy some comedy with some of the conservative shenanigans.

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Conservatives crazy conspiracy theories about Obama

You knew it would happen. Conservatives challenged President Obama's comment that he has shot a gun and he releases a photo. The crazy conservatives who are becoming the mainstream of the Republican Party, challenge the photo. Welcome to the Tin Foil Hat Party. Anyway, Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert did pieces on it last night.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness' Superbowl ad indicates it's Khan

Talk about free publicity. During the third quarter of the Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, half the lights went out. Hey go watch a movie that goes "into darkness." See Star Trek Into Darkness opening on May 17. :-) Anyway in the first half, Paramount debuted a new Star Trek Into Darkness trailer. The question becomes "Is there any new information?" The answer is yes.

The new trailer has a few new scenes. It went by rather fast. But what I do recall, is seeing Starfleet ships being damaged. I saw one ship look like it was falling to earth from orbit. But the important thing to remember is the voice over by Benedict Cumberbatch who plays John Harrison, the villain. He says something like "I'm better." And then he says again as he said in the announcement trailer a comment about getting revenge. UPDATE. I was wrong about the revenge comment. That's from the announcement trailer. Looking at the ad from Trekmovie, the comment from Harrison is "I am better." Kirk then asks, "At what?" Harrison replies, "At everything." I expect will do a breakdown so in the next couple of days, head over there. Update. Trekmovie has done a breakdown. Here it is.

But what does it mean? Did we learn anything? As I said above there is new information. When Harrison says, "I'm better" that means he is likely to mean an advanced human being. When we talk about advanced human beings in Star Trek, at least in the original series episodes, we're talking about genetically engineered humans. And the biggest enhanced human in Trek is Khan. (TOS episode, "Space Seed"; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.) Remember that Khan is pissed because he was forced to leave earth rather than being able to rule the planet.

But why Khan? Look at all the evidence. There was an initial search for a Hispanic actor ala Ricardo Montalban. We've seen the trailers and the secret video all demonstrating that Cumberbatch has superhuman powers in strength. Alice Eve plays Carol Marcus from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. There was the DVD commentary about a proposed scene featuring the Botany Bay, Khan's ship of exile. Of course, there's the story which cites sources that the villain for Star Trek Into Darkness is Khan. And when you couple Cumbertbatch's comment about being "better" ala advanced human with his desire to get vengeance, we're talking Khan. Or at least, someone in his band of superhumans.

If they release the ad for me to embed, I'll post it at the bottom. Update. The Super Bowl spot is embedded below.


Colbert on the Super Bowl

Here's Stephen Colbert doing a "Sport Report" on today's Super Bowl. Funny stuff from Colbert who goes over Super Bowl ads and the Baltimore Ravens controversy of whether their linebacker Ray Lewis used deer antler spray. Check it out. The video, not the spray.

Jon Stewart on conservatives obsession with Obama shooting a gun

Last Thursday, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show went over the silliness of the conservatives calling for evidence that President Obama had shot a gun. Specifically, Obama said he shot skeet at Camp David. Well, Stewart used a poem with Seuss like rhyme to describe conservative craziness over the issue. Funny stuff.