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Monday, February 16, 2009

Untitled SAL LUPO Project trailer

By James



Sal Lupo is a New York City cab driver and an aspiring filmmaker. Here's the trailer for his upcoming film. It's a work in progress but we wish Sal the best and can't wait to see his stuff on the big screen!

Neverland Ranch Liquidation Sale!

By Rob

In an article on Guardian UK, Chris Campion writes: "The contents of Neverland are officially up for auction"

This article is around 1,000 words and I'd suggest reading it if you have the same perverse curiosity in Michael Jackson's estate as I do. At the very least you should check out the highlights:

"In April, an extraordinary auction will provide an unprecedented look into the private world of Michael Jackson. More than 2,000 items, ranging from personal effects and costumes to pieces from Jackson's private art collection as well as fittings and furnishings from his Neverland ranch, will be up for sale at a four-day public auction at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

...This new auction seems to mark Jackson's severance from Neverland, his Xanadu and a symbol of his success as well as his largesse. The ranch opened as a private amusement park in 1988, with its own zoo and Ferris wheel, roller coaster and bumper cars. It was named after Peter Pan's fantasy island where children never grow up, and for years children would arrive by the busload, invited to play freely in its grounds. But following the 2005 child molestation trial - which saw Jackson acquitted of all charges - the singer never returned to the 2,800-acre property in the Santa Ynez Valley, 130 miles west of Los Angeles. There were stories of him pitching up in Dubai, Dublin and Las Vegas before he started renting a seven-bedroom mansion in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, earlier this year. The 50-year-old star was said to be defaulting on payments on vast loans, and while he is thought to retain an interest in Neverland through his involvement with a private investment company, Colony Capital, he has said that the police investigation of the premises "violated" it in his eyes.

...Before it was recently renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, and at Jackson's request, Darren Julien and his team were brought in to scrutinise the ranch. What they found inside was the most astonishing collection of objects these experienced auctioneers said they had ever seen in a celebrity home. "It seemed as if everything he owned was made of bronze and marble and gold," says Michael Doyle, who catalogued the sale items, as well as determining their value.'"

Does he still own the rights to a significant portion of the Beatles catalog? I couldn't find any recent articles on the status of the catalog -- at least not from credible sources. Anyone?...

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that Neverland is full of some of the most "extravagant" or... "fucking crazy" stuff you'll ever see. Of the 29 items that Chris Campion takes a look at, here are my top 3 favorite:

#1. A portrait of Michael Jackson dressed as a king, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1995 and housed in an elaborate gold frame. Guide price $4,000-$6,000

#2. An electric cart featuring an image of Jackson as Peter Pan on the bonnet and Peter Pan cushions. Guide price $4,000-$6,000

#3. A painting on stretched canvas featuring iconic figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein wearing Jackson's trademark sunglasses and glove. Guide price $1,000-$2,000


You can see the rest here.

King James for a season or C-Webb for 15?

By Rob

In my most recent post, I embedded a video: NBA TV's Top 10 Plays of Chris Webber's Career

Overall it was OK. I really liked #3 and I LOVED #2, but the rest was surprisingly underwhelming. It got me thinking about some of the other Top 10's I've seen on NBA TV and, well... I think Lebron James' Top 10 Plays of 2007 is cooler than C-Webb's Career Top 10 Plays.

Now let me establish a couple things:
1). I don't believe that NBA TV actually showed the top 10 plays of C-Webb's career. A few of the bottom 5 were on par with a half court buzzer beater to end the first half of a regular season game (a little wordy but I think you get it) and I can't fathom them being among the best plays of his career. C-Webb played in 831 games over 15 seasons.. c'mon, NBA TV! Dig a little deeper into the archives.
2). It's likely that NBA TV has compiled a more impressive single-season Top 10 for an individual player than the one for Lebron in 2007.

That being said, have a look at Lebron's '07 highlight reel:



LBJ's dunk in the Eastern Conference finals is nasty... Click here to check out C-Webb's highlight reel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Is C-Webb Hall of Fame bound?

By Rob

NOTE: All statistics were recovered using basketball-reference.com. Statistics are accurate as of Feb. 16, 2009. Certain statistical categories were not kept track of until later into the game's history.

Is Chris Webber a Hall of Famer? It's hard to say. Webber was drafted first overall in the 1993 NBA draft, voted the 93-94 Rookie of the Year, and made the All-Rookie first team. In 14 seasons that would follow (13 seasons if you choose not to count the 9 games he played in 07-08 season before calling it quits), Webber would make 5 All-NBA teams and play in 5 All-Star Games.



I can't think of a player who presents a HOF case as interesting as C-Webbs' -- it's teetering on the edge.

The Pros:
He averaged 20-10 (20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds to be exact) over his career -- a feat achieved by few (see below). Career averages of 1+ blocks and 1+ steals per game aren't as unheard of (C-Webb averaged 1.4 in both categories) but to do so in addition to 20-10? That's incredibly rare. (see slightly further below)

The Cons:
Before you begin to talk about if/how he performed in the clutch or what his post-season play was like (he's mssing some jewelry), there's another, more prevailing hurdle to be faced. I think Webber personifies the NBA superstar transitioning from the 90s to the 2000s. Not because he played roughly the first half of his career in the 90s and the latter half in the new millenium (although that is a cute touch) but because he was a very unique kind of supertstar -- at least statisically speaking. He wasn't quite a traditional 90s PF (like Malone, Sir Charles, David Robinson, etc.) nor was he the jack of all trade's SF/PF/C we're accustomed to today (KG, Shawn Marion, Lebron, etc.). He was in an "in-betweener".

He averaged 20-10 but he was never an overwhelming force on the boards or a big-time shot blocker (although his game appeared to be headed in that direction in the strike-shortened 98-99 season). He averaged 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game but he shot just 65% from the foul line. He's not an easy guy to label, and I think that hurts him more than almost anything else.

Well, I'll leave the rest to you. I don't want to look too closely at his post-season play, or how he performed in the clutch, because I don't think that's what people associate C-Webb with. Sacramento's championship aspirations were dashed more than once by some unbelievable L.A. teams (most notably when the Kings fell to LA in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference finals) but I don't know if the voters think about the [very] GOOD teams you were on or the times you ALMOST made it... He wasn't a NBA champion and he's better remembered for calling a time out at the end of the NCAA championship game than for any positive clutch moments as a pro. His best bet for enshrinement are his numbers.

...Click here to read the rest of Rob's post

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's "G"?... Wait, what's a "Jabbawockee"?

By Rob

I'm sure by now everyone who owns a TV is familiar with the recent Gatorade ad campaign, "What's G?" It's simple, mildly clever and seemingly effective.



The format is simple. Lil' Wayne narrates as the camera scrolls past athletes shot in black-and-white, from the waist up, before eventually landing on the "G" logo. There are a few versions of the commercial, starring different athletes, and some are stronger (in terms of featured talent) than others.

There's a great streak of cool athletes in this particular ad, and I don't know if it can be beat. In order, we see the following:

Derek Jeter: "Mr. November"; captain of the New York Yankees; perhaps one of the most recognizable athletes the sport of baseball has ever had... Jeter has 4 well-deserved World Series rings and is, with 9 All-Star games, a clear fan favorite. He's a Hall of Famer. Nice pick, Gatorade. Let's move on...

Bill Russell: Synonomous with the word "champion." In a 13-year career, Russell was an 11-time NBA Champion, 5-time NBA MVP, 12-time NBA All-Star, the first African-American NBA coach (2 NBA championships as a player-coach), and more... He won two NCAA championsips at San Francisco and a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics. He's a pro and college Hall of Famer. I never grow tired of seeing the big guy donning a big smile. Thanks, G.

Muhammad Ali: "The Greatest"... "The Champ"... Ali was a 3-time heavyweight champion of the world, a gold medal winner in the 1960 Olympics, and was named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Century". When you talk about recognition in sports, there's Ali and Jordan, and then there's everybody else. Bill Russell then Ali? Is this a dream? Where can I buy whatever it is you're selling? Is this enough? (dumps out wallet)

Chaz Ortiz: He's a push. Yes, he's the skateboarding prodigy (at age 14 he's the youngest person to ever win a pro contest) but where was, say, Tony Hawk or Shaun White? Too expensive? Locked up with another drink/soda? Well, admittedly, it's nice to have "the future" represented.

So OK guys, that's the commercial. Pretty neat, right? My next post will be--

Wait, what?...

There's someone else?...

The what? ...Who are the Jabbawockeez?...

A dance troupe?! Wasn't Muhammad Ali like right before them? But.. he beat up people for a living...

What is Gatorade trying to do by putting them in this? What new market are they trying to crack? Derek Jeter is a respected athlete and has dated most of the Maxim Hot 100 list. Bill Russell was one of the greatest athletes of the past century. Ali is Ali. And sure, Ortiz was questionable but he's like the next Tony Hawk. These are rising talents, true sportsmen, icons... What do the Jabbawockeez bring to the table? How very, very strange

Movie Links!

By Rob

Two cool links coming from Heath McKnight at ScreenRant.com

DreamWorks Dumps Universal For Disney

It’s official: DreamWorks has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with Disney, while leaving its deal with Universal in the dust. All of this was tied to the $250 million DreamWorks needed to keep their deal with an Indian entertainment company alive.
How Is The Economy Affecting Movie Studios?

With things looking bad worldwide economically, why are movie studios hurting even though box office, TV ratings and DVD rentals are all up? Why is the big DreamWorks/Bollywood deal about to go south? With ratings up, why are networks still hurting for money? And finally, why are DVD sales being affected (aside from Netflix cannibalizing them)?


I like what they're doing with their site.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jimmy Kimmel on Gawker.com

By Rob

The video is very old (it was posted on YouTube in April 2007) but the faces made by Emily Gould, editor of Gawker.com, transcend time and space. I hate the paparazzi as much as anyone, but I'd be consider boycotting Google if this lady was representing it.



She looks genuinely surprised by every remark made contrary to Gawker. I'm interested to know what her expectations were prior to going on the show. Didn't Gawker have anyone else they could have sent? Even if the only other person working on the site is this guy, I'd take my chances with him over her any day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

By Chris Larsen

Many of you know the story of Jesus and his affair with Mary. Many of you also can count to three, but this is not in its own unusual or special. But, I'm willing to bet you don't know the true story of Jesus' brother, Calliope. Of course you know that he was his half brother from God's first marriage, and that he was an inn keeper (magician) in Bethlehem. What you probably didn't know is that Calliope is Greek for beautiful voice, and is also a female name. How rotten of God to spite his first born like this, how embarrassed he must have been when everyone found out he was named after a vaginal species. Jesus is known for his wonderful powers, he could make the blind see, he could turn a rock into a pet rock. Unfortunately, this wasn't Jesus doing all of this, it was in fact, Calliope! He was the worlds premiere magician, doing three shows a night on the B-town strip. Calliope was so kind too. He would help out the poor all the time by throwing them from a 500 foot cliff. Wait, that's mean. No, there was a pretend magic coin at the bottom, and if the poor soul (literally) made it to the bottom alive (nobody ever did), they could keep the coin (that was a pretend magic coin).

He trusted everybody, believing that everyone was pure at heart, except his father whom he decided to get even with by emancipating himself at 4. This was ugly for a few years, he had no money and God refused to pay alimony (they were never "legally" married, but Calliope swore to his death bed God had asked). In order to make enough to pay off the bears and to buy food, he was forced to do magic on the street corners. Some days he ate a muffin, other days (he ate nothing...didn't want to say, but I had to, its tough to think about). 10 percent of the time somebody would rob him, 100 percent of the time this was Jesus. This worried Calliope, for he was beginning to see Jesus go down a path that would lead to a CROSSroads (that's an inside joke, you probably won't get it, I do however). He decided to take Jesus under his wing, to nurture him, feed him the first Gerber baby foods. Carrot, that was his favorite, but he could only get it once in a while, it was a treat, and he so badly needed the discipline.

Calliope decided to enroll him into the prestigious School of Jesus, named after a different Jesus that might have been Spanish. Too bad. So sad. It wasn't two minutes before Jesus was expelled from school for mutilating a small dwarf child. And when I say mutilate, I mean he ripped of his little pieces and hung them from a telephone wire like the lil' shoes in the "ghetto". How could they possibly have telephones back then Chris, George Washington didn't invent it yet. Well small adults, Washington didn't even invent it, and I never said they had telephones. They just needed to put the town employees to work so they made them make polls with wire connecting them. Anyways, Jesus was now beginning to prove himself a major problem to Calliope. He couldn't possibly keep both Jesus and his magic career, thus resulting in the most difficult decision in his life (he lived to age 14). Well, obviously Calliope decided to kill Jesus and hang him from a cross because of his severe allergic reaction to crosses. Jerk.

But please, before you judge him, realize that magic was really cool and just beginning, and Jesus always took credit for everything Calliope did, making him famous and Calliope a dud. In the end, Calliope became the greatest magician of his time. He could make people blind by gauging out their eyeballs, the likes of which had never before been seen. At age 10, he wrote a book titled, My Life: The Calliope Christ Story and assorted candies. At 12, he developed severe finger cuts, and at age 13, he died of old age. Calliope Christ, dead at 13 (he never made it to 14 like I previously stated. I was simply hoping for some updated information that would confirm my long held belief that he was actually older than he stated on his birth certificate, which had long thought to be a fake copy).

Chris Larsen is a beat writer for TWOTF
He has a dog, some fish, and a book of poems