Wednesday, April 26, 2006

American Idol -- Love Songs

This show wasn't as brutal as I was worried it would be. Let's go through the contestants individually.

Katharine McPhee: The judges surprised me here. I thought she was very good, whereas they acted like she was some drunk warbling in a park. I suspect it's because I've never paid close attention to Whitney Houston's version of the song, which follows from my not liking Whitney Houston.

Elliott Yamin: Seems like a nice guy, and seemingly never sings poorly. How about picking a song I've actually heard? I get bored with him every time because I never know the song.

Kellie Pickler: I like Kellie, but she has sucked the last couple of weeks. She acts like she believes she's in over her head. I disagree with that and wish she would buck up. Her voice is fine in its country range, really no worse than Carrie Underwood's, and she has much more charisma than Carrie. I guess she needs more of Underwood's undertaker cold-bloodedness.

Paris Bennett: An absolutely brutal song choice, and she didn't sing it well. Her vocals were more mushy than Marlon Brando's in Apocalypse Now.

Taylor Hicks: I like Taylor a lot. If Chris doesn't win, I hope the soul patroller wins (even though I think "Soul Patrol" is woefully lame). To channel Randy, this week was just okay for me, though.

Chris Daughtry: I'm just glad he put on a solid performance and the judges loved him. Now he can move on from this dreck. He didn't sing either of my suggestions, which is unfortunate. Choosing Bryan Adams was more unfortunate, but he pulled it off okay. Still, I'll never like that song.

Who goes this week? I can honestly say I don't know, and I'm not going to look at DialIdol this week, because I like the surprise. If I had to bet, I would say Paris.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

American Idol Results

Well, I was glad to see Ace go. No more "false"! My prediction is that Paris will be next. It's funny, I thought this was her best performance, second maybe to her song during the '50's week, but still she was in the bottom three. People just don't seem to like her. Could be the voice, I guess.

I swear they're testing my loyalty right now, though. The American Standards week frightened me, but it turned out great. Now, though, love songs? Blech. I don't see how this can be other than boring. Chris will have another test too, although I'm sure he'll do fine. I think they underrate his voice based on his preference to sing rock and yell. Of course, that preference is why I like him the best.

In the interest of humor, I have some Swiftian suggestions for Chris to sing for the love songs week. First, "This Love" by Pantera. "You keep this love, fist, scar, break." Mucho yelling here! Or how about "Devil's Plaything" by Danzig? "Love is a flame, a devil's thing." Nice. All right, I have a feeling he won't sing those even if he would go down in a tremendous blaze of metal glory. What about "I'd Do Anything for Love" by Meatloaf? That would be an ironic take on this bs week. Any of these might actually stave off sleep for a little while next Tuesday, but I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Here's an interesting article about a strange "new" pitch that the Japanese have supposedly developed. The article reads like an April Fool's joke, but I guess it's legit. It makes for some fascinating reading.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wolf Creek -- Spoilers Included

You may have seen the previews running recently for Wolf Creek on dvd. The teasers make the movie sound novel: a serial killer who catches people, lets them go, and then hunts them down. It certainly sounded different enough to check out.

It was not. There was a serial killer, yes, but he didn't have some sort of "most dangerous game" set up. If anything, he was just careless enough to let escape some of the people he had captured. Sure, he seemed to be having fun while he was doing it, but, believe me, this guy wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Advanced planning was in no way his forte.

On top of this disappointment was the fact that the rest of the movie wasn't any good either. Now, it may have been the forty-five minute lead up to something actually happening that put me in a bad mood, but that really is no excuse. Plus, once things do start to happen, they aren't good. The characters act in random and annoying ways. A pretty freaky setting is squandered. One of the girls screams so much that I wanted to join in, etc.

The best thing I can say about Wolf Creek is that it wasn't a total waste. The killer, a psycopath Mick Dundee, does have an interesting technique for immobilization he tries out on one of the girls, and the movie's ending is surprising enough (but not a twist; thank you at least for that) that it redeems somewhat the crap that came before it.

I'm not sure who, if anyone, I would actually recommend this movie to. I didn't hate it enough to suggest avoiding it entirely, but at the same time, I wouldn't want to give anyone the false impression that it's actually good. I guess if you like serial killers, have a fear of Australians, or just of getting waylaid in the country far from civilization, you might want to check out Wolf Creek. Otherwise, many other superior horror movies have come out lately.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Star Wars TV?

Apparently, there's going to be a Star Wars television series, starting around 2008. Baseball Crank, at the link, is critical, but the wikipedia description of the show sounds pretty cool, and is different from what the Crank imagines. I liked the Clone Wars cartoons, so I'm very interested in seeing if the tv show is any good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Red Church

I finished this one a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest I haven't been enthusiastic enough to write about it. I was looking forward to reading it, at least in part because of the similarity of its Appalachian setting to that of my book Ball Mountain. Unfortunately, it was very disappointing. Red Church wasn't bad, just extremely mediocre. The writing was decent, but most of the characters were pretty rough (I shuddered every time I started a chapter that had to do with Ma Bett). And the catch phrase "the thing with wings and claws and livers for eyes" did absolutely nothing for me. What exactly does having livers for eyes look like? I have a hard time taking a monster with food products on its face seriously. The plot was okay, but it certainly didn't keep me on the edge of my seat. I've heard that Mr. Nicholson has improved since the Chuch, but this book will not make me run out to see.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Must Read

Here's a link to an intense and topical time travel story by Dan Simmons.

I don't say this often, but: Read it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Can't Stand Ya!