Monday, July 27, 2009

LOST at Comic-Con

LOST drew a huge crowd at the nerd convention, and to feed the frenzy, Lindelof and Cuse dropped some jugheads on the crowd. Their bombs and my response follow below.

1. Boone, Faraday, and Juliet are all back for Season 6. We don't know any more than that, but we can assume they won't be full time cast members. Somehow, I'm getting the sense that their role won't be a flashback or hallucination type of role, but that we will get to see some altered timeline stuff.

Season 6 will have a lot of Richard backstory. Season 1 - the Castaways. Season 2 - The Hatch. Season 3 - The Others. Season 4 - The Freighter. Season 5 - the Dharma Iniative. Season 6 might be the season of Richard and the ancient backstory of the Island. I'm thinking that if we go down this alternate timeline road, we're going to need something that doesn't change. Richard and his mysterious purpose on the Island could be that constant.

In response to a fan question, the producers said that the mysterious Jacob has never assumed the form of anyone else, such as Claire. Hmmm, but that doesn't mean that evil brother Esau wasn't the shapeshifter.... so I still think that was him.

a couple of gays...

Jay and I were talking LOST this past weekend, and he suggested possibly the coolest ending to LOST that I've heard yet. Going off of my logic, that dead Locke was reborn as Esau and Jack would be reborn as Jack to set the stage for an epic showdown, Jay thinks the very last scene of LOST will be Jack and Locke sitting on the beach in the exact same manner as Jacob and his nemesis in the season 5 finale. I love this idea and am jealous that I did not think of it first. However, I'm not sure what this means for the other castaways, but who cares, right?

Below is an interview EW had with Alpert, Ben, and Hurley. Michael Emerson is so cool in this interview, especially with the answer he gives to the last question.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big Ben Addresses Sexual Assault Allegations

For whatever reason, Huge Ben knows how to celebrate his Super Bowl wins in style. First, he busts his head open in a motorcycle accident. Now, Andrea McNulty accuses him of rape. Yikes. As a Steeler fan, I have to wonder why Roethlisberger insists on raining on our championship parades. I also wonder what effect this will have on next season.

The legal process likes to take its sweet time, so don't expect a trial (if there is one) any time soon. That means that, much like Kobe, Big Ben is going to have a lot of fun in visiting stadiums this season. But let's not forget that Kobe (innocent of rape but guilting of at least cheating on his wife) is still one of the most beloved NBA players internationally. How will the public respond to Big Ben (and you can bet people like Jemele Hill will be harping about racial undertones - "Kobe and Michael Vick got treated such-and-such while Ben got this treatment garbage).

Back in 2003, USA Today reported this about assault cases with athletes when Kobe's investigation was heating up. "Of those 168 allegations, involving 164 athletes, only 22 saw their cases go to trial, and only six cases resulted in convictions. In another 46 cases, a plea agreement was reached. Combined with the six athletes convicted at trial and one who pleaded guilty as charged, that gives the athletes a 32% total conviction rate in the resolved cases. That means more than two-thirds were never charged, saw the charges dropped or were acquitted."

So what happened? Basically, Big Ben called her to his room to fix a broken tv. It wasn't really broke, Ben just wanted to have his way with her. Afterwards, he realized there might be surveillance tapes and kicked her out, telling her not to tell anyone. He denies forcing himself on her, but doesn't talk about relations of any sort. You can bet they had sex, and she will claim she did not give consent while he will claim otherwise.

There's also the alleged cover-up conspiracy of the hotel staff that ignored her complaints, the fact that this is only civil suit (no criminal charges filed), the story that the victim has some crazy mental issues, and the long time lapse between the event and the accusation. All of that makes this case particulary weird and interesting.

My thoughts on the whole thing? It really sucks to be Large Ben right now. This has to be investigated fully. Even if she's lying through her teeth, he is going to face a lot of scrutiny before the truth comes out. This is going to be talked about by every reporter with every member of the Steelers organization. Whether they will crack under the pressure remains to be seen. Seriously, I thought more than once about possible crazy things that could happen this offseason just like in 2006. I asked myself, "what could top a motorcycle accident to the star QB?" Contract holdouts? Unlikely. Lemieux-like cancer? Maybe. Freak accident deaths? No way. Drug charges? Most likely. I never thought about rape allegations, but it's definitely worse. Think about teammates who have daughters or younger sisters. Think about what will be said when we hit a two or three game losing streak. WHY CAN"T WE HAVE A NORMAL OFFSEASON! Nothing better happen to Sidney Crosby before October...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Political Nuggets

The Sonia Sotomayor hearings have dominated the political news for the past few weeks. She will in all likelihood be confirmed, but it has raised the ferocity of the affirmative action debate. Here is a pretty good exchange between Pat Buchanan and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Well, Buchanan makes good points, Maddow spouts worthless statistics and can't really respond to certain arguments. Watch and decide for yourself.

Oh, and then there was this juicy nugget from Barbara Boxer last week. Talk about pushing an agenda and talking down to someone. How out of the mainstream is California? How can anybody vote for this bitch?

How about Glenn Beck flipping out on his radio show.

That's almost as funny as Dennis Miller making O'Reilly piss his pants last month.

Monday, July 20, 2009

MUSIC: The Royal Flush to PJ's Straight Flush—New AIC Single

Looking more smug in the above pic than George Clooney and Chris Osgood combined, WITH EVERY RIGHT TO BE, the current lineup of Alice in Chains busted out this sonic slap to the face recently. Click the "Download" link below for an MP3 of "A Looking In View" . . . before the Google cops bust me. The album, "Black Gives Way to Blue," drops September 29.

A highlight of everything I already said to Dave regarding its greatness:
Doob(6:40:32 PM): i am pretty much losing my shit over aic right about now
Doob(6:45:13 PM): 6:14 and 6:27 especially it gets so kyuss i feel like i am gonna freak out
Doob(6:57:14 PM): get further up in the 6:00 area
Doob(6:57:15 PM): christ
Doob(6:57:20 PM): it's bone chilling
Doob(6:59:55 PM): christ, mike starr, if it took you 10 years to develop that bass riff, it was WELL worth it
Doob(7:00:37 PM): actually, i dont know if it's jerry in a bass amp, a la josh in the kyuss generator days
Doob(7:00:38 PM): jesus
Doob(7:00:42 PM): nothing new sounds like this
Doob(7:02:57 PM): my face just fell off my head
Doob(7:03:22 PM): HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN AROUND?!?!?!?!??!
Doob(7:06:57 PM): ohhhhhh
Doob(7:07:11 PM): it's still the best song i have heard in forever



I have refrained from posting anything about this because I never wanted to get my hopes up. A Game of Thrones is the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and it's my favorite book of all-time. Many many months back, HBO ordered a pilot for a potential series, but because of the size and scope of the books, I never thought it would go through. Thankfully, I was wrong. They've had a script maid, attached a director, and have finally started casting. And wouldn't you know, I couldn't have picked a better cast myself!!!

Firstly, let me just briefly explain the books. A Game of Thrones is like LOTR, but with sex, swearing, and lots of blood and violence. Whereas honor is a noble trait for Aragorn, people with honor in a Game of Thrones are laughed at because it makes them way too predictable in politics. Also unlike LOTR, the bad guys almost always win. There's rarely a happy ending, but sometimes life is like that right? There are still medieval and supernatural elements to the books, but I'm mostly pleased with how smart it is in regards to political maneuvering. Anyway, here's the cast.

Sean Bean as main character Eddard Stark; A CASTING COUP! He is the moral center of the books.

Mark Addy as the fat old drunk warrior/King Robert Baratheon. He's Eddard's best friend.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister (their family rivals the Starks), the dwarf (my favorite character)

So what should we make of all this? First: HBO rarely messes up. They made historical drama (ROME) funny, captivating, and flat out awesome. Second: They are putting a lot of work into this. Authentic sets, talented actors, a lot of story to work with, it's very exciting. Third: With loser Harry Potter raking in money, medieval magic might be attractive to a large audience, especially when they find out this isn't a kiddie story.

Read the books. Watch the show.


MUSIC: The Fixer!

Not long after premiering Got Some on the first episode of the Tonight Show, they've released their second song from the new album, Backspacer. Listen to The Fixer below, and share your thoughts. My first impression is that it certainly is a toe-tapper (not the whole foot, just the toe) of a song, and it has a hip/catchy vibe to it. Once again, I'll be adding the thoughts of the PJ Braintrust so you get their opinions as well.

Doob's thoughts: "
well. . . it knocks on the door with an infectious bebop, and the lyrics are practically tongue-in-cheek, which is fun when it comes to PJ songs. I feel the same way about this one as I felt about "Severed Hand," hard to get used to at first, but hard to imagine the catalogue without it after 6 months, it's got oomph and will be a showstopper live. Standard upward Pearl Jam bridge with nonsensical lyrics (see: "break the sky and tell me what it's for"), but I forgive them 'cause it just sounds good. I feel like Mike McCready had a lot to do with this one. This will be a pretty strong fencepost for the album."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

WEB: Phillip Seymour Hoffman

I just got done watching the underrated Mission Impossible III, featuring an awesome P.S. Hoffman as the villain. You'd think he couldn't pull off being intimidating and scary on account of the chubbiness, but you'd be wrong. For more Hoffman love, Twister was also on this weekend. This all works as a great segway into this week's web video. Yeah, Christopher Walken deservedly gets all the attention when it comes to impressions, but Hoffman's creepy voice would be perfect for prank callers out there.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pic of the Week

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

VIDEO GAMES: Demo Reviews

With the Mrs. out of town and my NHL 09 season winding down, I needed a diversion to get me through the week. I considered downloading FFVII from the Playstation Store for 10 bucks, but I wasn't looking for something that would suck up 40 hours of playing time. So, I downloaded the demos for Ghostbusters, UFC Undisputed, and Battlefield 1943.


I've heard good things from reviewers, and you can't go wrong with a story (set a couple of years after Ghostbusters 2) written by Harold Ramis and Dan Ackroyd, especially when all the original voices are on board. The demo level has you back in the same library from the beginning of Ghostbusters where the guys see their first ghost (the librarian). The graphics are awesome, and the chit-chat amongst the Ghostbusters is amusing, but the mechanics are a bit wonky, and it was dumb being the unknown rookie. A demo is supposed to jump out at you and catch your eye with the best level available (think Uncharted), and I just didn't get that sense from Ghostbusters. SKIP IT


This game reminds me of two things. Firstly, when Tony Hawk came out in 1999, it took the gaming world by storm and made skateboarding a popular sport that you could find on ESPN. I get a similar feeling playing UFC's video game, which is selling like hot cakes, and MMA's popularity has never been bigger (again, just look at ESPN's coverage). The second thing I think of is Madden. What Madden was to me in college (every dorm was playing it), Undisputed could be for the next round of kids. There's just something so enjoyable about beating the hell out of one another. The graphics are so realistic, the attacks look, sound, and feel punishing, and more than anything, it's a thinking man's boxing game. Every attack has a counterattack. Is he blocking the head shots? Work the ribs. Is he an aggressive striker? Slow him up by keeping him in tight with the clinch. Stuck playing defense on the ground? Time his punch with a grab and go for the submission. Fights could last 45 seconds and they could last 10 minutes depending on the fighters. I feel like I may be overhyping the game, but it really is a blast. BUY IT!


What's amazing about this is that, for only $15.00, you get a multiplayer experience that other games might charge the full $60.00 for. The game consists of 4 or 5 maps, all from the original PC game, Battlefield 1942. The object of the game, and the tools to carry out the objectives are pretty much the same, but the graphics and gameplay is amped up for the PS3 version. The game's maps hold dozens of people with no lag and, unlike the original 1942, they keep track of your achievements as you get promoted up through the ranks. While I would much rather play UFC Undisputed if I had the choice, there are very few games that you could get at this price for this much quality. Besides, there a few things in life better than scoring a headshot on a real person with a sniper rifle. BUY IT

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Top Ten Star Wars References on TV

Okay, let's do this list properly. Since I haven't put together a long Top Ten list in a while, and because I couldn't stop thinking of other TV Star Wars references, I have to expand upon my previous post. Let's not forget that Star Wars already has it's own cartoon, but it sucks so much bantha poodoo that I will not be showcasing it here.

Even though George Lucas is intent on putting a live-action Star Wars show on the air, he's a little late to the party. For this edition of Rerun Season, we're going to take a brief look at some of the shows that have used Star Wars for humor.

BONUS CLIP: I debated whether or not to slide this in at number 10, but you have to admire Scrubs' effort to go all out with costumes, so this gets bumped into the honorable mentions category.


It's a pretty watered down Star Wars reference that anyone would get, but I like it because they go all out with costumes AND even though Turk is black, he passes on Lando and plays Han Solo instead.


Even though this is a parody of the Star Wars kid, I'll let it slide because I, too, once pretended to duel with lightsabers (we used a mop as Darth Maul's doubled bladed saber and ski poles as regular light sabers).


At last, something good has resulted from that dreadful Vader scene...


It's amazing that, out of all the random Star Wars characters, Admiral Ackbar is among the most popular side characters. Frankly, I can't quite figure out what sort of battle commander would jump out of hyperspace RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ENEMY!!! Maybe if they had stopped out of range of the Death Star, they could send in recon and figure out it's a trap. Great strategy, Ackbar.


How the hell did Family Guy get an Emmy Nom for Best Comedy before much better cartoons like The Simpsons, South Park, and Futurama? It hasn't been funny in a long long time, but the voters will shower it with praise like the equally overrated 30 Rock. ugh... Anyway, they did a complete show built around Star Wars, and I love this clip just because Peter is singing the battle music. Also, for anyone who cares, they are called TIE Fighters because they are powered by Twin Ion Engines (and no, I didn't have to look that up.)


An impressively choreographed fight sequence from an episode I've never seen, this clip earns high marks for the name of the factory.


It's Halloween at Dunder Mifflin, and Dwight must feel like many other nerds out there who deal with people that just don't understand Star Wars. Also, Jim's costume is retarded.

3. L O S T

I'll leave it to Doc Jensen to figure out the meaning and symbolism behind the mythological connections in Star Wars and LOST. For this post, we only care about the jokes. In 'Some Like it Hoth,' Hurley attempts to improve upon Episode II by giving Chewbacca a more important role. I still don't know if this scene is one of the best or worst things in the history of LOST.


Do you ever wonder what happened to Carrie Fisher? Once upon a time, she was a stone cold fox in a slave bikini. Now she has a lesbian haircut and a voice that sounds like a mix between cigarette smoke and the flu. Nonetheless, an episode of Friends wisely pointed out that, for some guys, it's not about slutty nurses or schoolgirls.


No one will ever top the Robot Chicken Star Wars special. Ever. Family Guy thinks jokes about TIE Fighters are funny, while Robot Chicken considers more clever things like Palpatine's reaction to the destruction of the first Death Star. It's utterly brilliant. For more stuff, watch this clip, especially because it includes a hilarious Boba Fett skit. Or, if you want to kill even more time at work, watch the full first episode here. "YOUR TASTEBUDS CAN'T REPEL FLAVOR OF THAT MAGNITUDE!"

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Lost in all of last week's boo-hooing over Jacko / Billy Mays / Oscar Meyer was the passing of a real legend. It's been a week now, and nobody here at Top Ten has mentioned it, so allow me to take a quick minute to pay tribute. Last Saturday, while he was innocently napping on the coach, Steve LaTreal McNair (1973-2009) was shot four times (2x head / 2x chest) by his whacko Iranian girlfriend, and died in Nashville, TN.

Let's make one thing clear - McNair was very annoying in real life. But in the Madden Universe - where dreams come true - there was no better field general, no better QB, no better 1st round pick, no better anchor to any team. In several "franchise" seasons between 2002-2006, "Air" McNair was not only an ironman for my Miami Dolphins, but he was also a recurring visitor in opponents' nightmares. Throughout the roller coaster of countless wins and (few) heartbreaking defeats, McNair never once missed practice, demanded a trade, killed any dogs, or dropped my team's moral levels.

So let this be a lesson to all you single guys and engaged webmasters. If you're gonna cheat on your crabby wife, try not to do it with a teenage psychopath. We'll miss you, Steve. Let the Madden Gods always honor your #9 in the Madden Hall of Fame. From this day forward, I will never play with the Dolphins again.

Enjoy these memories (but for God's sake mute the sound):

News: Great Whites Are Like Serial Killers?

As if Great White Sharks weren't already awesome enough, researchers noticed trends in their hunting habits that are very similar to those of serial killers. Even though sharks hunt out of necessity (for food), unlike serial killers, and even though Great Whites are big and bulky, whereas serial killers are usually scrawny psychos, a lot of other things seem to match up.

Firstly, serial killers like to grab their victims in the same area (remember the Lopper in Seinfeld? He preferred Riverside Park) because it's familiar to them and easier to control . Great Whites also like to attack from the same anchor point and use known travelling routes. "For human killers, these would be things like subways, buses and freeways. For great whites, these would include channels, reef edges and other topographical features."

Next, Great Whites behave like pervs, lurking just out of reach in the shadows. The scientists found that when they locate their prey (seals), they stalk them from a distance. They study their habits and tendencies, and stay just far enough away to avoid arousing suspicion.

Finally, the coolest similarity is that Great Whites will avoid hunting in areas where the seal population is most dense, which seems counter-intuitive. Like killers and stalkers, Great Whites want to avoid attracting attention because seals can put up a strong fight. Much like victims calling out for help, seals can gang up on a shark and rip their eyes out or bite them with their bacteria-filled mouths. It's much better to strike the young ones when they are separated from the group. Hmmm, don't serial killers prefer young women?

If you don't already think sharks are cool, you better appreciate their sophisticated hunting techniques. Shark Week on Discovery Channel is less than a month away, so below is some Planet Earth goodness to feast on.

Great White Shark Video - Click here for more blooper videos

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NFL Power Rankings

It's about time that we switch focus to the Steelers. The Pens run was fun, but, it's over, thank God. The NFL season is the best time of the year: pickem leagues, survivor leagues, fantasy football teams, and above all, gambling. So for all of you football fans, here we go.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Super Bowl hangover after '05 won't happen this time around. Tomlin is simply a better coach than Carolina's own Bill Cowher. Motivation will certainly be there week one against the Titans after Tennessee stomped on the Terrible Towel last year. Will the Steelers have a moment of silence for Steve McNair? If they do, will Jeff Fisher pull a Dick Vermeil and totally lose control of his team?

2. New England Patriots - Tom Brady had one season with Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and the Patriots went 16-0. How healthy will Tom Brady be? If he is ok, it certainly looks like another Pittsburgh New England AFC Championship Game.

3. San Diego Chargers - LT might be slowing down, but the Chargers still have the best skill-set of players in the NFL. Expect their defense to be greatly improved, Merriman and Cromartie should be a lot healthier in '09. Their division is such a cakewalk as well.

4. New York Giants - When you have a great running game, solid defense, and star quarterback, you can win games in this league. The loss of P. Burress will probably be big, but I still like the Giants in the NFC over more "sexy" teams like Philly and Arizona.

5. Arizona Cardinals - Speaking of the Cardinals. They are still solid, and I really like the Bryant McFadden addition, but does anyone really think Kurt Warner is going to have another great year.

6. Dallas Cowboys - I like Dallas more than most this year. They should be better and more focused without TO. If they just run the ball with those backs and play solid defense, they will probably win their first playoff game in over a decade.

7. Philadelphia Eagles - Their offense looks stacked after drafting Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, but does anyone ever trust Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid. The NFC East looks stacked again.

8. Minnesota Vikings - A QB away from Super Bowl contention. It seems like we say it every year, but Brett Favre is not the answer.

9. Indianapolis Colts - Certainly on the decline, and they have a major coaching transition. But they also still have Peyton Manning.

10. Washington Redskins - Nobody is talking about the Skins but you got to love Clinton Portis, and I think Jason Campbell is underrated. Plus they added Haynesworth.

11. Tennessee Titans - Washington took Fat Albert away from these Titans. Still solid along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, but expect Kerry Collins to regress to the mean. They are definitely not going to get 13 wins again.

12. Carolina Panthers - Run the ball and play defense. Do that and you can win games, even if your quarterback is terrible.

13. Atlanta Falcons - An up-and-rising team that will probably fall short of some lofty expectations this year.

14. Baltimore Ravens - Joe Flacco is a star in waiting, but has Baltimore ever had back-to-back great seasons?

15. Green Bay Packers - If the front seven on defense can improve, the Packers may be poised for a potential playoff run. People should realize that Aaron Rodgers is a top-ten NFL quarterback.

16. New Orleans Saints - The Saints are a small favorite to win the NFC South this year. I will be a little skeptical with that defense, but their offense certainly has a lot of weapons.

17. Houston Texans - Just like New Orleans, great O, bad D. I'll wait to jump on the bandwagon.

18. Buffalo Bills - With or without TO, I still think the Bills are the second best team in the AFC East.

19. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler should improve the offense but with an aging defense and a clueless coach, it probably means that the Bears will miss out on the playoffs again.

20. Seattle Seahawks - A healthy Hasselbeck and TJ Houshmandzadeh means a chance to return to the postseason.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars - Probably better than last year but worse than two years ago. How does MJD do as the featured back?

22. Cincinnati Bengals - I can't believe I'm saying this, but I kind of like the Bengals this year. They "should" be better.

23. Miami Dolphins - I think last year was a fluke.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Byron Leftwich is a great backup, but a less-than-stellar starter. Should easily finish last in the NFC South.

25. Denver Broncos - Josh McDaniels has had a solid start to his coaching tenure.

26. New York Jets - I am not buying into all of the hype. A rookie quarterback, an aging team, and a new coach.

27. Detroit Lions - Should improve on last year's goose egg.

28. San Francisco 49ers - Some hype again this year. I just don't see it.

29. Oakland Raiders - When will the "big-name" college players make a difference? Not this year. The draft was a joke too.

30. Cleveland Browns - Speaking of jokes.

31. Kansas City Chiefs - The ESPN talking heads just love Matt Cassel, and that is why most of them are complete idiots.

32. St. Louis Rams - They "seem" to be the worst NFL team on paper. Key word, seem.

Remembering Michael Jackson

...lowjack style

Friday, July 3, 2009

LOTR: The Hunt for Gollum

In one of the more impressive pieces of fan fiction, a bunch of LOTR nerds got together and produced a 40 minute short film about Aragorn's hunt for Gollum (events that take place before Fellowship). Despite the fact that it's a little shoddy in some areas and the acting is a bit hokey, I was floored by the production values. The cinematography almost looks like the real thing, and the make-up/prosthetics on the orcs and goblins are incredibly well made. I've embedded the movie below, and then go off on a little tangent.

So, it got me to thinking. With a budget smaller than $5,000, you could easily seeing this kind of thing being used as a television series. With a little polishing and a story that you could elaborate on, an LOTR show could make for great television. That got me thinking further. What other movie franchises did TV spinoffs? Cartoons do not count because, in most cases, main characters are drawn like the real life guys (Ex: TMNT, Ghostbusters). Indy started things off with the Young Indiana Jones adventures, the Sarah Connor Chronicles prolonged the Terminator series, and pretty soon we will be seeing a live-action Star Wars drama.

If you could pick any sort-of current film franchise to spinoff into a TV drama, what would you pick? The only rule is that it has to be original (sorry, Batman). My choice would be Die Hard. It would have to be on HBO to preserve "Yippee-Ki-Yay Motherfucker!" and it would be a mix of NYPD Blue police procedural and also a bit like 24 in that it deals with terrorists and has a main character constantly jumping from the frying pan to the fire. Unlike Bauer though, John McClane is a clumsy, normal hero that is able to crack as many jokes as he does skulls. Every season would start as McClane works the beat and busts bad guys, but slowly unravels a crime syndicate and culminates in a terror attack. You know you would watch this.