February 2011

The Inspiring Adventures of Charlie Sheen


Lately, permanently embattled actor Charlie Sheen has been in the news practically as much as the multinational wave of revolution in the Arab world. He has been spouting some infinitely quotable insanity about his now-departed show Two and a Half Men, showrunner Chuck Lorre and the TV industry in general. While everyone with an entertainment blog or TV news program has been quick to brand Sheen a self-destructive madman or a sadly struggling substance abuser, something about his especially public meltdown smells like marketing to me. Genius marketing, actually. Unless it is latent schizophrenia and/or spectacularly mind-bending chemicals behind Sheen's beautiful implosion, I suspect that somebody in his corner really knows modern-day PR. Charlie Sheen's rants seem tailor-made for the Internet. They have the familiar mix of weirdness, negativity and meme-ready humor present in a lot of viral content. I, for one, would be pleased as Punch to see confirmation of Charlie Sheen's odd but savvy attempt to save his career.

Justin Bieber Haircut Apocalypse

As some of you no doubt have heard by now, Justin Bieber, teen singing sensation and beloved idol who holds the balance of the civilized world in His manicured hands, has cut His hair. In these dark, uncertain times it is essential that we do not panic, that we restrain ourselves amid the wild insanity and bloodlust sure to rise within us all. We must trust in the wisdom of The Biebs to bring about this change. Though it may result in the deaths of millions, even billions, we must not question His awesome, terrible will.

Believe It or Not, "Atlas Shrugged" is a Real Movie

For decades now, more Americans than I'd like to admit have been keeping one of two books on their shelves for all the wrong reasons. Those books are Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, both nigh-unreadable essays masquerading as fiction novels by the maddeningly incompetent author Ayn Rand. Everyone who displays those books in their homes does so either because they're selfish half-wits who actually buy into Rand's ridiculous philosophy or they're quasi-literate whitebread who are just thrilled that they managed to get through a tome of 1300+ or 750+ pages. Never mind that the majority of those pages are filled with some of the worst writing ever printed in the Anglophone world and large chunks are devoted to philosophical monologues that, in real life, would dwarf the average Senate filibuster. This year, the first part of a proposed trilogy of screen adaptations of Atlas Shrugged is set to hit theaters. Aside from the fact that it's an adaptation of a novel that makes Battlefield Earth look like freaking Ulysses, here are the following reasons why Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is going to be one of the worst movies of 2011.

Whattayaknow, The 2011 Oscar Nominations Aren't Awful

I've come to expect the Academy Awards to be the place where pandering prestige pictures, crowd-pleasing dreck and movies that are more political than actually good go to get accolades. The 00's were especially egregious in this sense, especially the 78th Annual show. That year was chock full of self-important movies that, removed from their own self-congratulatory hype, were only ever mediocre. Seriously, Brokeback Mountain was a slow, depressing movie with an obvious plot, yet the Academy acted like it was some kind of social revelation that gay people exist and hicks don't like them very much. Good Night and Good Luck was a smug, pretentious bit of slapped-together history that managed the herculean task of making a universally reviled political figure look like kind of a dick. And Crash. Freaking Crash. Nothing like an overwrought lecture about racism as obliviously told by racial stereotypes to grab Best Picture. Yeah, the Oscars were in dire shape, which is probably why Hustle and Flow didn't just go straight to video like it rightly should have. But the 2011 Oscars... there's something different about Hollywood Masturbatory Pageant #83.