Friday, September 26, 2008

Have You Gone Mental?

What do you get if you take the popular basic-cable sitcom Psych, about a fake psychic who aids the police in solving crimes, then make it twice as long and half as funny? You get The Mentalist, the new CBS show about a former fake psychic who uses his observational skills to track down criminals. If my description of it as a longer, less funny Psych seems negative, it's not meant to be. The show is actually pretty awesome, and I summarized the entire first episode for!

The Mentalist: A Full Mental Recap

Free the Beef!

We've all joked about Shia LaBeouf's run-ins with the law (the Walgreen's incident, the roll-over), but have you ever noticed that he runs afoul of the cops in most of his movies? Transformers, Holes, Disturbia... he spends half of his time in the legal system. Granted, run-ins with the law make for great cinema, but it seems like LaBeouf gets busted by the fuzz more often than not. With his new frame-up conspiracy movie Eagle Eye out in theatres, I hypothesized that, like in Eagle Eye, Shia had been framed all of those other times. Check out the police reports for all of Shia's movies at!

Shia LaBeouf: Suitable for Framing

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Stripping of Heidi Klum by William Shatner, and Other Amazing Stories

I've been working for Television Without Pity for over four months now, and we've already reached the biggest event of the year for us: the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy awards! Now, I'm not usually an Emmy guy, but I've been watching (and reading the recaps of) a lot more TV lately, and as one of the site's editors I was given the task of recapping the Emmys as they happened. Not by myself, of course -- that would be cruel and unusual. So my co-worker Mindy Monez and I traded off every half-hour, chronicling the bad jokes, the technical difficulties and the simply unbelievable victories of the three-hour telecast. To read the fruits of our labors, check out the live recap at!

The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards: Every Ridonculous Minute

Steven Seagal is... Hard to Interview!

Recently, Best Buy introduced their new Black Tie Protection service, an extension of the Geek Squad, at a press event in New York. To get the media to pay attention to this, they invited three famous "protectors" to come say nice things about them: Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver, Stargate: SG-1), Tanya Roberts (Charlie's Angels, A View to a Kill) and Steven Seagal (Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Out for Justice... the list goes on and on). And pay attention I did: not only did I get to interview two of them, but I also got to witness one of the most bizarre celebrity freakouts I've ever seen, and the start of a possible Seagal/Roberts feud. Check out my articles at!

Seagal: The Man, the Myth, the Interview

Touched by a Charlie's Angel: The Tanya Roberts Experience

Seagal vs. Roberts: The Fighting Over Lighting

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Love is in the Air

I am not a fan of romance movies. If there's love story mixed in with other good stuff, like a sci-fi story (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) or a quirky bit of French surrealism (Amelie), then that's cool, but a straight-up romance like Atonement I just can't take. So, of course, I drew the short straw to write about this fall's new romance movies, and whether they were going to be worth seeing or total stinkers. I may have been a little biased towards the latter, but since only a few of them are straight-up romances, there are a few I wouldn't mind seeing, including, believe it or not, the next Kevin Smith movie. Check out my rundown at

Fall Movies: The Game of Love

Full Mental Jacket #5: Are Those Kids Yours?

If not for its subtitle, "American Families With Children Adopted from Other Countries," the title "Are Those Kids Yours?" could have gone in several different directions. Here are some of the subtitles I would not have been surprised to see on this book:

"A Bobbsey Twins Mystery"

"The Unauthorized Biography of Brangelina"

"A Journal of Three Years Raising Goats in Northern Scotland"

"My Life as a Child Molester"

"...And Other Questions Fathers With Creepy Mustaches Get Asked, by Dave Barry"

It's just so wonderfully blunt, I can't stand it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Only Human Resources

I recently got the chance to participate in a conference call for one of my favorite TV shows, The Office, and the interview subjects were none other than show writer/producer Paul Lieberstein, who also plays HR moper Toby, and Academy Award winner Amy Ryan, who plays Toby's temporary HR replacement Holly. They were both super-nice, and while I only asked a couple of questions, there were some interesting facts about next season that came out. Read all about it at Television Without Pity:

Human Resources: Toby and Holly Talk Season 5 of The Office

Do Not Disturb? More like "Do Not Watch," Am I Right?

I have a confession to make. I have never watched an episode of Arrested Development. But, having since discovered Michael Cera, rediscovered Jason Bateman and discovered that David Cross was actually on the show, I really want to go back and watch it. But after seeing the latest brainchild of the AD writers and producers, I don't know if I should. Do Not Disturb is one of the cheesiest, most stereotypical sitcoms I've seen in a long time. It has a few more gay characters in it, but it's still grade-A cheese. Want to read a summary of the Jason Bateman-directed premiere episode, with my commentary, in probably one-third the time it would take you to watch the thing? Then check out my recap at Television Without Pity:

Do Not Disturb: An Objector's Commentary

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Full Mental Jacket #4: The Super Cops

I was tempted to open -- and actually read -- The Super Cops, billed as "the true story of the cops called Batman & Robin," on more than one occasion. However, I was fairly positive that no matter how much they tried to make the cover look like a comic book, it would probably be fairly straightforward 1970s cop stories, none of which were interesting enough to get made into a movie starring Jackie Chan. Also, I'm pretty sure that Robin never had such a spectacular mustache.
The book did its best, though, even going so far as to make the back cover a collage of photos of the "Super Cops" in action, climbing fire escapes and jumping from rooftops, in what looks like a sequence straight out of the Beastie Boys' music video for "Sabotage." However, the publishers underestimated how little love I actually have for the Beastie Boys, as un-American as that may sound. In fact, "Sabotage" is the only thing they've ever done that I really enjoy -- plus, my friends used to call my 1981 Cadillac "the Sabotagemobile" because it looked like it belonged in that video. If they really wanted to get me, they would have showed the Super Cops climbing Bat-ropes up the side of a fake building, possibly with Sammy Davis Jr. peeking out the window in disbelief.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm Super, Thanks For Asking

I stopped watching "Smallville" a long time ago, but I recently got an assignment to write an article about all of the comic-based superheroes and villains who have appeared on the show. I knew there were a few, since DC Direct was making action figures of some of them, but upon doing a little research, there are a hell of a lot! Now that it's entering its eighth season, they've dipped so deep into the well that thy've used Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Martian Manhunter. Check out my gallery of the show's costumed (more or less), comic-created characters at Television Without Pity.

Smallville: Real American Heroes (and Villains)

Bangkok Hilarious!

I know it's a remake of a 1999 Thai movie, but not being familiar with the original, I was only introduced to the film title Bangkok Dangerous this past year, and it makes me smile every time I hear it. Why? Because the word "Bangkok" sounds dirty, and the phrase "Bangkok dangerous" sounds like pidgin English for "hot penile action might be hazardous to your health." And it got me thinking about other movie titles that sound dirty, in a "What are you, 12 years old?" kind of way. And, as further proof that I have the best job ever, I got paid to write about it. Check out my list at Movies Without Pity:

The Dirtiest Non-Porn Movie Titles