American Idol Results Show Season 8, February 26, 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

There were not a lot of surprises with last night’s show.  Allison and Adam were predictable, even though she is not my personal favorite.  Kris was also good, but I would have really liked having Mishavonna go on.

Th group sing was better than usual, again this week, but they were all singing melody.  Finally, the dust-ups between the judges this week were great.  I hope they lead to something bigger.

American Idol Season 8, Wednesday, February 25

There were several things that caught my eye tonight.  One was the realization that I like the new format more (except for all of the talking).  By having three groups of 36 go through, the producers of Idol have forced the Idol voter to vote for more different people.  By the time the top 12 rolls around, people who actually vote every week will have voted for four different contestants.  In this way, they will not be as entrenched with a favorite by the time we get to the top 12.

Also, it looked like it took about 30 minutes for the Zanex to kick in for Paula.  For the first three contestants she was as loopy and out of it as ever.

Ryan needs to be told that it is stupid to ask if a person deserves to go through after the first performance of the night.  What an idiot.

In the end, last night’s group was an overall disappointment that made the one really good singer stick out like a sore thumb.

Jasmine Murray- “Love Song”- I had high hopes for Jasmine coming into last night.  She had received a lot of camera time, she was cute, and she sang well up to this point.  Unfortunately, she- like half of the girls that go onto the show- picked a song that was too low for her, and was nothing like the singer we had seen perform successfully before.  The song did nothing to showcase her talent even if she had done a good job of it.

Randy found it pitchy.

Kara thought it was all over the place and too low.

Paula Agreed.

Simon was disappointed.

Matt Giraud- “Viva La Vida”- From the beginning of the song, I was not sure if he was channeling Freddy Fender or just nervous with all of that vibrato.  He was just nervous.  He sang badly.  He could not hit the high notes.  And, he had a bad attitude about the criticism.  No one will miss this guy.

Paula’s remark was complete and utter nonsense.

Simon said that it verged on horrible and was badly performed.

Kara said that it was not his type of song.

Randy agreed with the others.

Jeanine Vailes- “This Love”- The first thing I thought was, “She picked that song?”  It very pitchy and proved to be an irritating mess by the end.

Paula was possibly drunk at this point, but I was not sure.

Simon thought it was terrible and the wrong song.

Randy agreed and said that the best part was when it ended.

Kara thought it was overdone.

Nick ‘Norman Gentle” Mitchell- “Living Without You”- This guy is a total mess and a joke.  And, just so you know Randy, No, he is not entertaining in the least.  He never proved that he could do the Idol thing, and I personally think that if he could have, he would have.

Simon said that it was one of the most atrocious performances ever on the show and prayed that America would not put him through.

Randy found it entertaining, but the vocals were not there.

Kara thought it was not terrible and enjoyed it.

Paula (whose meds had kicked in by now) said that he is a true performer and found him memorable and fun.

Allison Iraheta- “Alone”- She was just as screechy and ‘screamy’ (not a word) as I thought she would be, and I do not like her voice at all.  It was obvious that the judges were getting a little desperate at this point by their comments.

Randy thought she blew it out.

Kara said that she was serious, and did not know how good she was.

Paula thought she was the best so far.

Simon said that she was the best by a clear mile.

Kris Allen- “Man in the Mirror”- This Michael Jackson song was not as iconic as the one from the week before.  It had a nice syncopated style, and he hit all of his notes.  It was pretty good, but not great.

Kara thought it was the wrong song, and that the end was better than the beginning.

Paula disagreed completely, and thought he nailed it.

Simon agreeing with Paula thought he showed confidence and personality.

Randy thought that he did it well.

Megan Joe Corkery- “Put Your Records On.”- I think she stole that tattoo from the inside of a gothic cathedral.  It was vomitous (not a word either).  It thought this song was extremely cabaret and affected.  She hit the notes, but I hated the presentation.

Paula thought that she did everything right.

Simon thought that she over-sang the second part of the song, but asked America to vote for her.

Randy agreed.

Kara thought that she could be on the radio.

Matt Breitzke- “If You Can Only See”- I thought it was a good performance.

Simon hated the boring song.

Randy thought it was a cool song with a boring performance.

Kara thought that it fell flat.

Paula did not like the song choice either.

Jesse Langseth- “Betty Davis Eyes”- It was nice to hear a song that I know this season.  It was a little affected, but she hit her notes, and for the most part it was good.  I also thought her personality during the judging was great.

Randy thought it was OK, but not exciting.

Paula found her to be captivating with an identifiable sound.

Simon thought it was forgettable.

Kara did not think she hit all of her notes, but thought it had good spots in it.

Kai Kalana- “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.”- This song was no vocal showcase, but for the most part he sang it well.  It was forgettable.

Kara thought there were pitch issues, and that it was too old-fashioned.

Paula thought that he sang good except when he was out of pitch.

Simon thought it was old fashioned and corny.

Randy found it to be safe and not hit.

Mishavonna Henson- “Drops of Jupiter”- I liked her a lot.  She was the first woman in the program to sing with strong vocals without screaming.  Unfortunately, I was the only one who thought this way.

Paula did not like the song.

Simon said that the performance left him cold.

Randy thought that she felt older than 18.

Kara thought that she was too put-together.

Adam Lambert- “Satisfaction”- I thought he would come out and sing Freddy Mercury, Sting or Steve Perry, and when I heard that he was singing this I was worried.  There was nothing to worry about.  He made the rest of the contestants look like they were in a high school talent show.  He showed me what Taylor Hicks could have been if he could have actually sung well.

Paula thought that she was at an Adam Lambert concert, and that he was leaving the others behind.

Simon thought that parts were bad, but the end was great.

Randy loved it.

Kara said that his vocal technique and ability were outrageous.

I will probably be wrong this week, but give me: Adam Lambert, Mishavonna Henson and Jesse Langseth.

American Idol Results Show February 18, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised with last night’s program, and it delivered in several ways.  First, the group song “I’m Yours,” while by no means perfect, was the best group song I have ever heard on Idol this early in the competition.  I was definitely not the train wreck that I have come to expect, and I think I even caught some harmony in there.

Second, the show delivered on talent.  I still feel that Ricky Braddy probably did not get a fair shake, and I would have liked to have been able to hear him again, but the cream did rise to the top.  The three who made it- Danny, Alexis and Michael- all deserved to be there.

Third, it seems that the new format may have taken the teeth out of the ‘vote for the worsters’ by concentrating the votes at the top and only allowing the best ones, who get tons of votes, to continue.  This keeps us from having weeks of an Amanda ‘Skunk Girl’ Overmeyer this year.

Also, I (oddly) did not finish the show with the feeling that Idol had stolen another hour of my life with a useless results show this week.  I can’t pin down the reason for this, but I did notice it.

I loved Simon’s cold retort to Jackie Tohn, “We’ll see,” just before she was dismissed, but I felt a little sorry for Tatiana as the producers of the show engineered a train wreck for her towards the end.  She was still in damage control as she said early in the show that she was ‘just humbled to be there.’  Really?  While I could not decide which Tatiana I liked less the irritating one or the fake one, I still felt a little sorry for her at the end.  It would have been nice if she had been able to be magnanimous, but she just does not have that in her.  I’m sure that last night’s experience was a good life-lesson for her, I just do not know of anyone has the right to purposely put a person in that situation as the Idol producers did.  In the end, I wondered if Simon felt the same way that I did.  He sure looked pissed-off when the show ended.

American Idol Season 8, February 17, 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

I will start this season off with an Idol Primer for those contestants who have not read this blog in the past (which is around 8 billion of you).  There are some things that you need to remember when you go on Idol: 1) If you are a girl, be careful not to pick a song that is too low for you.  2) Pick a song that is popular and has a catchy melody.  And, 3) never argue with the judges.

As far as last night’s show went, it proved mostly to be a gaggle of spares with a couple of good singers thrown in.  First impressions mean a lot on Idol, but it seemed that there were very few contestants who knew how important that really was.

Jackie Tohn– “A Little Less Conversation.”- I have not been a fan of hers from the beginning.  It has seemed all along as if the judges were giving her pass after pass even though she did not perform very well just because they liked here style.  I thought she sounded like she was singing at a karaoke bar.  To borrow a phrase from Simon, it was indulgent, and she was horribly dressed.

Randy- was not blown away by the vocals, but he was entertained.

Kara- did not like the vocals either, but thought she worked the stage.

Paula- had the odd statement that ‘sometimes perfect is boring’ regarding her vocals (What does that mean?).

Simon- thought she blew it by doing something silly rather than something good.

Ricky Braddy– “Song For You”- Ricky had a great performance of a song that was hard to sing.  The problem I have with him is that he forgot another of the Idol axioms: If you sing at the beginning of the show, it had better be a memorable performance, or people will forget you.  He may have sung great, but he chose a song that no one knows without a chorus.  It was definitely not a song that you could tap your foot to, or that would get in your head.  As a result, a guy who should sail through may have problems because he simply chose the wrong song.

Randy- thought it was great.

Kara- thought it was amazing.

Paula- thought that he deserves to go far.

Simon- thought he sang well, but that he had no charisma or star quality.

Alexis Grace– “Never Loved a Man”- She has a strong voice that does not match her body.  She sang the song well, hit all her notes, and was easily the best woman on the night.

Randy- loved it.

Kara- thought it was a pleasure to watch her come out of her shell.

Paula- liked her ability to express so much soul.

Simon- thought she was the best so far by a mile.

Brent Keith– “Hicktown”- It was OK, but not great.  He hit his notes, but it was nothing special.

Randy- liked his country style.

Kara- liked him, but found the song safe and not rangy enough.

Paul- saw him in a country band.

Simon- thought that he blew his one shot because it was forgettable and had no impact.

Stevie Wright– “You Belong With Me”- She fell into the trap that many ladies do when they perform on American Idol,  She picked a song that started too low, and she just could not sing it.  She then proceeded to sing out of pitch for the rest of the song.  It was a total mess.

Randy- thought it was not hot, and safe.

Kara- thought the song had nothing to do with her.

Paula- agreed that it was not the right song.

Simon- thought it was out of tune, terrible, and that she had zero chance of advancing.

Anoop Desai– “Angel of Mine”- It was a safe ballad, but he sang it well.  It was nice.

Randy- thought it was a little sharp.

Kara- did not like the song choice, and did not think he could sing it.

Paula- reminded us that America has connected with him already.

Simon- thought the song was too grown-up for him and too serious.  He did comment, however, on his massive likability.

Casey Carleson– “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”- She looked completely fake on stage, and the whole performance looked like karaoke night at Fudruckers.

Randy- thought it was not good, and the wrong song.

Kara- thought everything about it was wrong.

Paula- said that she was beautiful, but it was the wrong song.

Simon- thought the sing was atrocious, and did not know who she was trying to be.

Michael Sarver– “I Don’t Want to Be”- The beginning was weird, and he was way down in the mix.  This may be more of a production fault, but the lead vocal has to be prominent for that song to work, and it was not.  As a result, it sounded weak in comparison with past contestants who have sung it.  He also should have moved around more.  It was not great, but he did sing on pitch.

Randy- thought it was rough pitch-wise, and not that great.

Kara- thought it was not the best performance.

Paula- thought it was a ‘real good job.’

Simon- thought it was not the best vocal he ever heard, but asked America to give him another shot.

Anne Marie Boskovich– “Natural Woman”- I thought she had some good pipes and was on pitch.  Unfortunately, I think that I was the only one who thought so.

Randy- thought the song was not the right choice.

Kara- said that the song was not young.

Paula- thought that it was better than she had done so far.

Simon- thought that her voice was not good enough for the song.

Stephen Fowler– “Rock With You”- When I heard that he was singing this song, I thought, “He’s going to sing that?”  My fears were realized as, though he sang the song well, and added a soulful element to it, I was left with the contrasting images of Michael Jackson performing on stage, and Stephen just standing there like a statue.  Not the comparison that he wanted.

Randy- did not like the song, and thought that it was not good.

Kara- liked it better when he forgot the lyrics.

Paula- would have liked him to have sung the song he had trouble with earlier.

Simon- called it pointless and corny.

Tatiana Del Toro– “Saving All My Love”- It was obvious that someone got to Tatiana, and talked with her about her attitude.  She was a completely different person, but the damage from Hollywood had already been done.  I also thought she was pitchy several times in the song.

Randy- thought the song had some moments.

Kara- did not know who this new Tatiana was.

Paula- thought she was beautiful, but the song was pitchy.

Simon- thought she is a complete drama queen who is desperate to be famous.  He did say that the singing was not bad.

Danny Gokey– “Hero”- He reminded me of Elliot Yamin in a good way, and without the bad teeth.  I liked it, and thought that even the falsetto was good.

Randy- thought it was blazing hot.

Kara- thought it was great.

Paula- thought it was stellar.

Simon- brought it back to earth by saying that it was good, but not fantastic.  He liked the improvisation.

In the end, I think that Danny Gokey and Alexis Grace should sail through.  That leaves one other person which could be Ricky Braddy, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver or Tatiana Del Toro.

Not What the World Was Promised.

I seem to remember in the months leading up to the recent presidential election and for some time since, being told that things would be different once Obama was elected.  He promised to use diplomacy(apparently a word that he thought GWB had never heard before) to force the World to, once again, fall in love with America.  He specifically told us that he would employ this diplomacy to improve our relationship with Iran.

Well, last week, instead of working out the nuclear issue with the sensible Iranians as he had promised, he went to the Russians (Watch that Putin, he’s a nut too.) and negotiated with them to discontinue providing the Iranians with support for their nuclear programs.  That ought to get those Iranians to love us.  I’ll bet they invited Obama over for tea after that brilliant piece of maneuvering.

Today, we are told that Hillary has threated North Korea.  She is now insisting that they end their nuclear programs.  Or, what?  What sort of threat is any nation going to buy from “Mr. Scale Back Our Military Options and Negotiate?”  Good luck with all that.  And, how is this policy any different than that of GWB?  Oh yeah, these policies have no teeth.

We should be threatening Cuba and Venezuela any day now, and then Obamawill threaten Pakistan some more.  Now that’s diplomacy.  Isn’t it interesting to see that the same irrational people that Bush had problems with are the same irrational people that are lining up to cause Obama problems?

America’s enemies are our enemies because they choose to be so.  They want to be our enemies.  In fact, people like Castro and Chavez make their ‘political hay’ out of hating America and pumping others up to do the same.  They have absolutely no incentive to negotiate or work with us, and they never will.  We may buy them off for a time, but they will always return to the America-hating trough because it is their bread and butter.

Our job is to separate the truly dangerous ones from the ones who are simply annoying.  We must ignore the ones that are simply annoying no matter how they buzz about our faces.  The dangerous ones have to be crushed.  It’s just that simple.  Obama needs to take a page out of Teddy Roosevelt’s playbook.  He said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”  Obama will have no stick at all, and will keep increasing the rhetoric until all our enemies hear is an annoying screech…which they will continue to ignore.

American Idol Season 8, Hollywood Week February 10th and 11th 2009

Find my latest American Idol article here.

These were easily the best two episodes of American Idol since the season began.  The first night featured solo performances by the contestants with a band and an instrument if the desired one.  I liked that fact that they devoted most of the episode to showing us good singers and performances.  In fact, they waited until half-way through the show to show anyone who had problems.

I enjoyed the second night even better.  Again, they tended to deal more in the two hours with performers who were going to make it than those who were not.  I liked the format, and I even liked the sing-off which I thought I would hate.

My favorite thing about this season is that they put 36 contestants through to the next round.  It has always seemed like Idol has forced a certain chemistry on the Idol voter which included a few pop singers, a couple of rockers, a few R&B singers, a couple of country singers, an Emo singer, and even the occasional crooner.  That is a lot of spots, and if you let through a couple of girls simply on their looks, it gets even tighter.  A pattern developed in which all of the bit-singers were quickly dispatched, and the few pop singers were forced to the top.  Even though there were 24 included in the past few years, from the beginning, it was clear that only about a half-dozen had a shot at winning.

Now, with 36 contestants broken up into three groups, it will allow more good pop singers to be part of the competition.  The three groups will keep the pop singers from drawing-off each other’s votes until the bit-singers are dispatched.  In the end, I predict a much stronger top 12.

Speaking of stronger, the guys are a very solid group this year.  There are some very refined voices with excellent stage presence.  Other than Jasmine, I have not been extremely impressed with any of the girls.  I’m not saying that none of them can sing, but they do not seem to be as far along as many of the guy contestants.

As far as the contestants went, Tatiana Del Torro (fake name) continues to be the most egocentric biped ever to walk the planet, and I include Paris Hilton in this assessment.  She can sing, but I just don’t care.  No one wants to see someone like that succeed, and that was apparent when she walked back into the room by the looks on the faces of the other contestants.  I predict that she will get one vote, and that will be from her mother, …maybe.  On another subject, I was wondering where she got the drapes that she made her dress out of Tuesday night.

In a totally different world from Tatiana on Tuesday night was Lynesha, who delivered my favorite quote ever from a contestant on Idol.  After being booted, Ryan asked her what she had learned from the show.  She said, “You have to be humble and work hard for what you want in life.”   That was so refreshing.  Maybe there is hope for the next generation after all.  I wish she were still there.

I thought Simon gave Kristen the most constructive, and perhaps the harshest criticism on the show when he commented about her dress.  If she can learn from it, that voice could do well for her.  I will give Simon one more prop for his comment to Paula regarding her pseudo-magnanimous gift to Tatiana that just so happened to promote her jewelry line to 60 million people.  Nice.

Hold on,…Back the Lincoln Up!

Obama has been President for ony two weeks, and today we are being told that ‘historians’ are comparing his presidency to that of Lincoln.  Really?  I don’t for a minute believe that any serious historian would lower himself to such a comparison.  Historians deal with history, and two weeks doth not a history make.  I hope the guy is great, but let him be great first.  Please stop this hack job love affair.  And, give Lincoln a little more respect.  He deserves it.

I don’t know if I can take four years of this.

Top 100 Movie Characters of all Time

I have a friend who recently posted a list from a website calling itself ‘Premier’ that named ‘The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.’  He was shocked and appalled that Darth Vader was languishing at #84 on the list below such spares as Private Benjamin, Doctor Evil, The Dude, and a host of others.  While I agreed that this was a travesty, I quickly noticed a few notable absences from the list, and the more I looked the more great characters were simply missing from the list, while others, such as Gollum were inexplicably placed near the top of the list.

This is where the obsessive compulsive part of my personality kicked in.  I began to look at their list with a more critical eye.  The fist thing I noticed was that some of the characters seemed to be shoe-horned into the list, and often these characters were female.  I’m not trying to say that there are no great female characters in movie history, but it may be a fair indictment to accuse the industry for not writing strong female roles, especially in the early years of cinema, and perhaps just as much today.  This may well be the case, but I don’t think the cure for it is to falsely elevate existing female roles above their actual station as ir appears that Premier did (Bonnie from Bonnie and Clyde and Private Benjamin a two good examples).

I further fed my obsession by attempting to think if all the good characters that they left off their list.  I came up with another 109 examples, some more strong than others and quite a few whose omissions were simply egregious.  Then, I sat down with all 209 names and made my own Top 100 Movie Characters of all Time list.  The biggest deficiency of my list is the fact that I have not seen all of the old classics (though I am currently on a classic movie binge).  Characters like Fred C. Dobbs of Treasure of the Sierra Madre and a few others may suffer unfairly because of this, but I have no regrets about leaving a character like Ninotchka off the list because I, my family and my friends have never heard of her (shoe-horned). 

I tried to take several things into account.  How well the character endures, how much effect the character has had on popular culture, the importance of the character and whether that role or the movie it was associated with received awards while it was out.  Accepting the possible shortcomings and the obvious advantages of my list, I am putting it out, and still argue that it is much better than the list provided by Premier.  Enjoy.

1. Don Michael Corleone of The Godfather: Part II

2. Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane

3. Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird

4. Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With the Wind

5. Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark

6. William Wallace of Braveheart

7. Darth Vader of Star Wars

8. Hannibal Lecter of The Silence of the Lambs

9. Robin Hood of The Adventures of Robin Hood

10. Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz

11. Rick Blaine of Casablanca

12. Oskar Schindler of Schindler’s List

13. General George S. Patton of Patton

14. Captain William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty

15. Maximus Decimus Meridius of Gladiator

16. Cool Hand Luke of Cool Hand Luke

17. Shane of Shane

18. Marshall Will Kane of High Noon

19. George Bailey of It’s a Wonderful Life

20. Vito Corleone of The Godfather

21. Tom Joad of The Grapes of Wrath

22. Moses of the Ten Commandments

23. James Bond of Dr. No

24. Andy Dufresne of The Shawshank Redemption

25. Jake La Motta of Raging Bull

26. Forrest Gump of Forrest Gump

27. Sparticus of Sparticus

28. Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

29. Doc Holiday of Tombstone

30. Jefferson Smith of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

31. T.E. Lawrence of Lawrence of Arabia

32. Ben Hur of Ben Hur

33. Jim Stark of Rebel Without a Cause

34. Rooster Cogburn of True Grit

35. E.T. of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

36. Batman of Batman

37. Randle McMurphy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

38. Frankenstein of Frankenstein

39. Spock of Star Trek

40. Spiderman of Spiderman

41. Dracula of Dracula

42. Superman of Superman

43. Harry Potter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

44. Gordon Gekko of Wall Street

45. Navin Johnson of The Jerk

46. Norman Bates of Psycho

47. Gunnery Sgt. Hartman of Full Metal Jacket

48. Karl Childers of Sling Blade

49. Butch Cassidy of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

50. Dirty Harry Callahan of Dirty Harry

51. Ferris Bueller of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

52. George Taylor of Planet of the Apes

53. Daniel E. ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger of Rudy

54. Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High

55. Tarzan of Tarzan the Ape Man

56. Jake Blues of The Blues Brothers

57. John Rambo of First Blood

58. Captain Quint of Jaws

59. King Kong of King Kong

60. Willy Wonka of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

61. Mary Poppins of Mary Poppins

62. The Terminator of The Terminator

63. Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction

64. Mrs. Robinson of The Graduate

65. Rocky Balboa of Rocky

66. Tommy DeVito of GoodFellas

67. Raymond Babbitt of Rain Man

68. King Arthur of Camelot/Excalibur

69. Annie Wilkes of Misery

70. John McClane of Die Hard

71. Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley of An Officer and a Gentleman

72. Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell of Top Gun

73. Mad Max Rockatansky of Mad Max

74. Sandy Olsson of Grease

75. John “Bluto” Blutarsky of Animal House

76. Jack Torrance of The Shining

77. Baronin Maria von Trapp of The Sound of Music

78. Hedley Lamar of Blazing Saddles

79. William Cutting of Gangs of New York

80. Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street

81. Ralphie Parker of A Christmas Story

82. Max Cady of Cape Fear

83. Regan MacNeil of The Exorcist

84. Jason of Friday the 13th

85. Mrs. Doubtfire of Mrs Doubtfire

86. Carrie White of Carrie

87. Carl Spackler of Caddyshack

88. Captain Marko Ramius of The Hunt for Red October

89. Captain Hook of Peter Pan

90. Norma Rae of Norma Rae

91. Mona Lisa Vito of My Cousin Vinny

92. Sally Albright of When Harry Met Sally

93. Marge Gunderson of Fargo

94. Sergeant Martin Riggs of Lethal Weapon

95. Crash Davis of Bull Durham

96. Marty McFly of Back to the Future

97. Inigo Montoya of The Princess Bride

98. Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville of Smokey and the Bandit

99. Lane Meyer of Better Off Dead

100. Curly Washburn of City Slickers

 

Just to prove that I did my homework, here are the other 109 that were considered, but did not make the list in alphabetical order (my friend hates it when I do this):

 

Frank Abignale Jr. of Catch Me If You Can

Gust Avrakotos of Charlie Wilson’s War

Arthur Bach of Arthur

Howard Beale of Network

Hans Beckert of M

Judy Benjamin of Private Benjamin

Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver

Blondie of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Frank Booth of Blue Velvet

Borat of Borat

Erin Brockovich of Erin Brockovich

Oda Mae Brown of Ghost

Truman Burbank of The Truman Show

Truman Capote of Capote

Chance the Gardener of Being There

Margo Channing of All About Eve

Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther

Conan of Conan the Barbarian

Frank Costello of The Departed

Jane Craig of Broadcast News

Paul Crewe of The Longest Yard

David Crockett of The Alamo

Melanie Daniels of The Birds

Daphne/Jerry of Some Like it Hot

Donnie Darko of Donnie Darko

Rick Deckard of Blade Runner

Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange

Norma Desmond of Sunset Boulevard

Phyliss Dietrichson of Double Indemnity

Dil of The Crying Game

Fred C. Dobbs of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Lloyd Dobler of Say Anything

Antoine Doinel of The 400 Blow

Michael Dorsey/Dorthy Michaels of Tootsie

The Dude of The Big Lebowski

Lt. John J. Dunbar of Dances With Wolves

Napoleon Dynamite of Napoleon Dynamite

Wyatt Earp of Gunfight at the OK Corral

Eathan Edwards of The Searchers

Sergeant Elias of Platoon

Dr. Evil of Austin Powers

Irwin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher of Fletch

Gaylord ‘Greg’ Focker of Meet the Parents

Fogell or ‘McLovin’ of Superbad

Axel Foley of Beverly Hills Cop

Alex Forrest of Fatal Attraction

Gandalf Of The Lord of The Rings The Fellowship of the Rings

Ghandi of Ghandi

Happy Gilmore of Happy Gilmore

Jake Gittes of Chinatown

Godzilla of Godzilla

Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Gollum of Lord of the Rings

Joel Goodson of Risky Business

Aurora Greenway of Terms of Endearment

Clark Griswold of Vacation

Annie Hall of Annie Hall

Hawkeye (Nathaniel Poe) of The Last of the Mohicans

Pee Wee Herman of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Sherlock Holmes of The Hound of the Baskervilles

J.J. Hunsecker of Sweet Smell of Success

Mrs. Iselin of The Manchurian Candidate

Paul Kersey of Deathwish

Lt. Kilgore of Apocalypse Now

Ray Kinsella of Field of Dreams

Roger “Verbal” Kint of The Usual Suspects

Stanley Kowalski of A Streetcar Named Desire

Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire

Harry Lime of The Third Man

The Little Tramp of Mabel’s Strange Predicament

Logan 5 of Logan’s Run

Jerry Maguire of Jerry Maguire

John Malkovich of Being John Malkovich

Terry Malloy of On the Waterfront

Jim Malone of The Untouchables

Tony Manero of Saturday Night Fever

Kevin McCallister of Home Alone

Tony Montana of Scarface

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of Amadeus

John Nash of A Beautiful Mind

Captain Marc Nemo of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Ninotchka of Ninotchka

Danny Ocean of Ocean’s Eleven

Henri ‘Papillon’ Charriere of Papillon

Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde

Rev. Harry Powell of The Night of the Hunter

Tom Powers of The Public Enemy

Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada

Buford Pusser of Walking Tall

Matthew Quigley of Quigley Down Under

Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Ellen Ripley of Alien

Ratso Rizzo of Midnight Cowboy

Rose Sayer of The African Queen

Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol

Edward Scissorhands of Edward Scissorhands

John Shaft of Shaft

Han Solo of Star Wars

Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon

Steve Stiffler of American Pie

Willard Stiles of Willard

Dr. Strangelove of Dr. Strangelove

Alan Swann of My Favorite Year

Catherine Tramell of Basic Instinct

Virgil Tibbs of In the Heat of the Night

Susan Vance of Bringing up Baby

Dr. Peter Venkman of Ghostbusters

Ace Ventura of Ace Ventura,: Pet Detective

Vivian Ward of Pretty Woman

Hatin’ on PETA

So far, I have somehow avoided writing anything about PETA. It surprises even me to say so. One reason is that I have a friend who has effectively blogged about them in the past, and I have supported his views by commenting on those posts. However, today when I saw that Sarah Palin was having to defend herself against attack by of all people, Ashley Judd, it was all too much for me. Judd, supporting the Defenders of Wildlife campaign, attacked Palin and Alaska’s policy which allows people to kill wolves in rural areas. Mind you, wolves are not an endangered species in Alaska, but that does not matter. These people follow the logic that every wolf killed only brings the species closer to extinction. If you do the math, it’s hard to fault their logic. But, doesn’t it assume that Alaska would ever allow wolves to become endangered in the first place? Can’t this policy be used as a form of wildlife management in which the state monitors the status of the species and allows a certain amount to be taken without having to foot the bill for doing it themselves? Of course, PETA would rather allow thousands of animals to starve to death or become nuisances to humans and our livestock rather than have one killed by hunting (Do the math?). PETA hates hunting and hunters. They would propose we take our tax dollars and sterilize the animals (no joke). Here we run into another one of their inconsistencies. They are against breeding dogs and cropping or docking ears and tails because this is cruel and violates the animal’s rights. On the other had, they support spaying and neutering animals to help control their populations regardless of their rights in this situation. I’m sure if you could ask a dog if he wanted to be neutered or hit the bitch next door, I guarantee you he would not choose neutering. This gets to my point. We neuter them because it is the right thing to do. We do it because we feel that we have a responsibility to manage the welfare of animals for their sake and for ours. This is no different morally that what is happening in Alaska. The only difference is that it is with wild animals. If you argue that we have the responsibility to manage animals, I argue that this also gives us the right to do it, and in the manner the best benefits us. If you need any more proof of PETA’s irrationality, check out the video here. And remember ‘Fight Breedism!”

Group Day, American Idol Season 8 (2009)

Find my latest American Idol Article here.

Group day is like the drunk uncle that shows up once a year to ruin everyone’s Thanksgiving.  I started to cut the producers of the show a little slack, and defend the need for them to be sure the contestants can function in a group dynamic, but that has little to do with it.  Their purpose in this show is to engineer a train wreck because they know that no one can take their eyes off a train wreck.  It has nothing to do with making the final product better or helping the contestants.

This year, they got exactly what they wish for.  By putting less talented people with obvious social deficiencies through in the early round, they created the perfect storm of conflicts between a group of self-centered young people who want nothing more than to have someone else to blame for their personality failures or lack of talent.  In fact, I would say that this was the biggest ill conceived coming together since Michael Vick tried to play match-maker with a bunch of pit bulls.

I have made a few predictions up to this point, and I may have to do some early backtracking on my David Osmond prediction.  However, if I am going to take the hit for that, I am going to take credit for predicting that social misfits like Tatiana, rat haired Rose, Tatooed Emily, and Bikini Girl would have problems functioning in a group dynamic.

To prove that the train wreck was the point of the show, Idol spent about seven minutes of the show actually showing people singing.  So, I will address the train wreck.

Tatiana- She is obviously a clinical psychopath.  It took her about five minutes to begin to destroy one group, and then she decided to destroy another.  I do not believe she could ever be mistaken for a team player.  She is her team, and the only reason that she was able to function in her group at all was because she loved herself too much to allow herself to fail.  At the end of the show, she showed that she may be the one person on the planet that is more egocentric than Paris Hilton, when she thanked everyone there, and announced that they were “all part of me.”  I can’t wait till that personality of hers fails to get her one vote if she makes it to the top 24.

I felt a little sympathy for Tatooed Emily as real tears flowed down her face after she forgot the words to her song.  I found her quote, “This is the only thing I know how to do” to be a little odd.  Having your two days on Idol as your only aspiration and the only thing you can put on a resume is probably not a good thing.  I recommend the GED, hard work, and perhaps college as a way of learning how to do something that is both profittable to yourself and society.  But alas, this would be infinitely more dificult than singing a few times, being famous, and being given lots of money.

Rose climbed to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs when she looked in the mirror with complete self-actualization and announced, “I look like a big pile of crap.”  In that moment, she indeed saw herself as she actually was, and she left her room without changing a thing.  Her loner attitude was a red-flag for the group competition, but she got lucky when Bikini Girl join the group, and became the focus of everyone else’s angst.

Speaking of Bikini Girl (also a psychopath), it’s a toss up between her and Tatiana when it comes to egocentrism.  She showed her ass to America when she would not even congratulate Jasmine, the only nice person, and the only good singer in the group.  At least we do not have to look at her crossed eyes and Rose’s ratty hair any more.

Finally, the ironically named ‘Team Compromise’ showed that every now and then a group has no hope at all.  The guy was a useless crier, and the girls hardly even tried to get along.  However, in the end, the problem with the group was apparent, and it was Nancy.  Her very aggressive, passive aggressive attitudes early in their practicing were a truly destructive force.  And, in the end, she needs to look around, only one person in the group did not go through to the next round, and it was her.  She was the weak link in the group, and she only has herself to blame, but don’t count on that ever happening.

So, at this point, it’s best to put last night behind us all, and act as if it never really happened.  We’ll move on and hope that the judges can effectively separate the wheat from the chaff.

p.s. Evil Paula was funny.