Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2009 Attraction Tourney: Universal Region

Absolutely no upsets until #3 Indiana Jones Adventure takes down #2 Incredible Hulk? Crazy bracket. In the heated play-in game The Enchanted Tiki-Room, with dancing, took out Leslie's Nielsen's Pirates 4D show of Busch Gardens fame, only to inevitably lose to Spider Man in the first round. The top half of this bracket was stacked compared to the bottom. Spider Man, Rock 'n Roller Coaster, Test Track, Nitro, Jungle Cruise, Kumba and Tiki Room...all-star cast. Nothing to talk about down bottom other than Indy Adventure, which still has one of the best queues I've even walked through. Needless to say, Spidy comes out of the region to make it to the Final Four.

Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 Attraction Tourney: Disney World Region

So today begins the 2nd Annual Quiet Pool Theme Park Attraction Tournament. Last year I was inspired by ThemeParkInsider.com who created a 64 attraction tournament to figure out the best ride in America. TPI had readers vote on the individual match-ups to decide the winner of each round and since I have no readers, I just decide which ride is better on my own.

After this year's disgrace of a result so far over at TPI, it seems that mine is the most reliable source for a subjective theme park attraction tournament on the internet. The people at Cedar Point have linked to the TPI website, so that their rides will win and it has worked like a charm. Last year's winner, Tower of Terror, was upset by the 33rd seeded Maverick of the aforementioned Cedar Point. There were 3,000 votes on Maverick's day of voting, compared to 500-600 on every other day.

To make the seedings I again used the ratings from TPI's readers.

Disney World Region

Last year's champ, Tower of Terror glided through the region with its toughest match-up in round two against Buzz Lightyear. Nice little run by Great Adventure's Superman coaster, making it to the Regional Final. Pirates and Haunted Mansion are rated highly and have great theming, but don't have the juice to get by good coasters.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Motown Idol

Get Them Outta Here

Scott MacIntyre- (You Can't Hurry Love) Why didn't he sing Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles? Scotty went with the Supremes and sounded just as nasaly as ever. Vanessa Olivarez was eliminated on this song so let's hope Blindy is too.

Michael Sarver- (Ain't Too Proud To Beg) It was weird seeing someone sing this song and not start it by stealing the microphone from somebody. God this was karaoke. Where's Leon when you need him? Next.

Wow, who cares?

Lil Rounds- (Heat Wave) This week it was upbeat AND a powerful vocal and it still bored me to death. Is it the song choices or just her (lack of) personality?

Megan Joy Corkrey- (For Once In My Life) Her dress matched her colorful tattoo! Okay so I can see that her voice really doesn't work for some people, but for some strange reason I enjoy it. That being said, this was less than stellar.

Decent, but worse than usual

Allison Iraheta- (Papa Was a Rolling Stone) "That was Dennis's voice on Cloud Nine!" Although the judges praised her up the wazoo, this didn't really work for me. Maybe Kara thinks that if the producers put someone in the last spot, it is automatically going to be unbelievable. Unlike her previous performances, this was a little too sound alike because Dennis had the raspy, rocker thing down.

Danny Gokey- (Get Ready) It is tough to do The Temps not only because they were unbelievable, but because they had Eddie on falsetto, Mel on the bass and Otis, Paul and David with the normal voices. Both Allison and Danny tried to emulate this entire group. It didn't work in either case. The only thing I loved about Danny's work was when he jumped in on the dance move with the back up singers.

Not just good, but Great

Anoop Desai- (Ooh Baby Baby) Smokey explained that this song came about at the end of a Miracles concert when he just started singing 'Ooh Baby Baby' out of nowhere and they then turned it into a song. This was the second straight week of impressive work by Kutner. I never knew he had this falsetto in his back pocket.

Kris Allen- (How Sweet It Is) This was very refreshing for me. It was a combo of the JT and Marvin versions with his own Jason Mrazy vibe to it. His vocals didn't knock me out of the park, but he has a unique sound and the performance was a great choice to do with his guitar.

Matt Giraud- (Let's Get It On) His vocals seem to get better and better every week. His range and riffs are fantastic. He started on the piano and stood up as the pace of the song picked up. Loved the transition, only wish he had stayed on the piano a little long as his take on the song via the keys was fantastic.

Why don't we just give him the trophy?

Adam Lambert- (Track of My Tears) If it gets a Standing O from Smokey, it gets a Standing O from me. (And some of you may know my ethics involved in standing ovations) This is what Adam did this week...he took all of the criticism from the judges, media and me that said he went a little crazy last week and thought about it. He then got rid of his black nail polish, cut his hair and threw some product in there, put on a suit, and then picked a classic song, put his own spin on it and knocked it out of the f'in park. Everyone else, good luck trying to beat him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raftery With The Smooch

After what most people are billing as an uneventful first four days of the NCAA Tournament, I would tend to disagree with them. Just because there weren't a lot of huge upsets doesn't mean it wasn't exciting. There were many close calls with Memphis and even Pitt in the first round. I like to see the sleepers win a game here and there, but I'm glad to see all big names in the Sweet 16. The fact that we are blessed with these kinds of match-ups this weekend is awesome.

-Pitt v. Xavier
-Villanova v. Duke
-UNC v. Gonzaga
-Syracuse v. Oklahoma
-Memphis v. Mizzou
-UConn v. Purdue
-Mich St. v. Kansas
-Louisville v. Arizona

Sure I would've liked it if West Virginia, Marquette and Wake were there for bracket benefits, but no biggie.

The best part of the tournament, as always, was Bill Raftery.

-To the big fella
-The little guy
-With the kiss
-Onions, double order
-Little lingerie on the deck

It's all gold but what got me loving him to death was sometime back in high school when someone hit a bank shot on the first play of the game and he goes with, "A little smooch early."

My favorite of all time was in college when a dude banked a shot but it circled around the rim, hit the board again and fell in. Raf goes with "Oh with the double smoocharoo!"

This past weekend near the end of the Pitt/Ok State game a Pitt player went to the bench and an assistant coach leaned over and kissed him on the top of the head. There was a bit of a pause in Verne's commentary before Raf comes in with the emphatic "The Kissss!" Unbelievable.

Here is a clip of Ian Eagle talking about the origin of Raf's "Onions!" call. Audio Clip

And finally a little enjoyment from Raf himself calling a Gonzaga v. OK State game from a few years ago.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Female Movie Characters: 10-1

10. Lucy Whitmore- Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates

9. Jules Harbor- Amy Smart in Varsity Blues

8. Padme Amidala- Natalie Portman in Revenge of the Sith

7. Emily Friehl- Amanda Peet in A Lot Like Love

6. Becky Jackson- Julia Stiles in A Guy Thing

5. Rosalee Futch- Kate Bosworth in Win a Date With Tad Hamilton

4. Claire Cleary- Rachel McAdams in Wedding Crashers

3. Nancy Hayes- Sara Foster in The Big Bounce

2. Rachel Jansen- Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

1. Andie Anderson- Kate Hudson in How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grand Ole Idol

First things first, Simon's word of the season is indulgent. The problem is he doesn't use it correctly. Three or four times this year he has called someone's performance indulgent and this makes no sense. Their performance was giving gratification? To who? the audience? They should thank him for such a nice compliment. I guess they don't understand English over there in England, because what he means to say is that the performance was self-indulgent, as in it is gratifying to the person singing. And that it is all about them. Now continue making a fool of yourself Simon.

On to Grand Ole Opry week of Idol...

God Awful

Michael Sarver- (Aint Goin' Down til the Sun Comes Up) I never thought someone would equal Josh Gracin's terrible performance during country week of season two, but the big guy pulled it off. He chose the same God awful song as Gracin and did just as terrible. At least he didn't lose his breath half way through because he ran up and down the stands.

Scott MacIntyre- (Wild Angels) This blind guy's voice just sounds weird. It's not pleasant. His falsetto is really bad, but he picked a likable song so he has that going for him.


Lil Rounds- (Independence Day) I've never been so bored during a performance by someone with such a powerful voice. Question. Is Lil short for Lilian, or is it short for Little like she's a hip hop artist? Simon and I both thought it was L'il but some are claiming it's an actual name like Lilian...interesting.

Alexis Grace- (Jolene) Somebody did this last year during Dolly Parton week. Although she outperformed whoever that was, it was still very bland for me. This song just isn't good.

Megan Joy Corkrey- (Walkin' After Midnight) What happened to how she was singing it during the video? She sounded awesome in that warm-up. During her performance it was much more nasally, due to her sickness I'm assuming. In general I like her sound, but nothing especially.

Kris Allen- (To Make You Feel My Love) Enjoyed this smooth ballad, but didn't bring anything great to the table. I preferred him last week.


Adam Lambert- (Ring of Fire) In the past he's gone crazy and it worked, this week the nutbar went out of control and it didn't work. Maybe he's getting a little too big for himself now. As awful as this was I still kind of enjoyed it. If anything for the entertainment value of him being a psycho.

Good, Not Great

Anoop Desai- (Always On My Mind) This is the Dr. Kutner I thought we were getting during Hollywood Week. Instead of imitating a song that he likes, he took a different song and made it sound like him. Slumdog really saved himself this week and might be back in the mix.

Allison Iraheta- (Blame It On Your Heart) Solid performance. She seems to take any song and turn it into something different solely because of her rocker chick voice.

The Best

Matt Giraud- (So Small) This seemed spectacular because of the rest of the performances tonight. He, unlike Scott, gets something extra from his piano playing. When they zoom in on the keys you can see how ridiculous he is. His singing was real solid and again he killed it with the falsetto.

Danny Gokey- (Jesus Take the Wheel) Both dudes that killed it picked Carrie Underwood songs...hmmm. Again this felt unbelievable because of the other jokers couldn't pull off country. He just comes to play each week, without the freakishness you will get from Lambert.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Female Movie Characters: 20-11

20. Julianne Potter- Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding

19. Cassandra Wong- Tia Carrere in Wayne's World

18. Polly Prince- Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly

17. Kate Veatch- Christine Taylor in Dodgeball

16. Isabel Fuentes- Salma Hayek in Fools Rush In

15. Elizabeth Swann- Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean

14. Theresa Jones- Zoe Saldana in Guess Who

13. Cher Horowitz- Alicia Silverstone in Clueless

12. Sara Thomas- Kate Beckinsale in Serendipity

11. Sara Melas- Eva Mendes in Hitch

Monday, March 16, 2009

Female Movie Characters: 30-21

Since I don't think there are enough good female characters to round out a top ten, here is my top 30 female movie characters that I would want to have sparks with.

30. Kate Reynolds- Tea Leoni in The Family Man

29. Ashley Carlson- Sarah Roemer in Disturbia

28. Yvaine- Claire Danes in Stardust

27. Babe Bennett- Winona Ryder in Mr. Deeds

26. Daphne Reynolds- Amanda Bynes in What a Girl Wants

25. Annabelle Bransford- Jodie Foster in Maverick

24. Maya- Liv Tyler in Jersey Girl

23. Rachel Wright- Famke Janssen in I Spy

22. Monica Wright- Sanaa Lathan in Love and Basketball

21. Carley Bobby- Leslie Bibb in Talladega Nights

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bill Gets His

Since I enjoyed Volume 2 much more than the first five chapters of Kill Bill, I will actually be speaking mostly of the things I enjoyed in the red Uma Thurman movie (they never really got to why she was all about yellow in the first film).

Kiddo's Origin
I always love origin stories, a la Batman Begins. In volume 2 we get to see the origin of Kiddo's fighting expertise, plus the satisfaction of a conclusion, while skipping some of the boring middle stuff that we endured in volume 1. I loved every second of the crazy old Chinese dude, Pai-Mei. Every time he said something mean and stroked his beard it was gold. Also I love that learning to use chopsticks was part of her training.

Shoot the Chick
All throughout the first movie and during the beginning of volume 2 I said to myself, 'who cares if she's sweet with a sword, when is someone just gonna shoot the broad?' It was extremely gratifying when my boy (copyright Tony Kornheiser) Michael Madsen blew Kiddo away with a shotgun as she opened his trailer door looking for a fight.

Six Feet Under
So the origins story was great to show that her major focus in the training was being able to punch something from three inches away (how often is this needed?), because we see five years later she is buried alive in a casket by Budd. Now sure she can punch her way out of the casket but isn't that the much easier task than climbing up six feet through the earth? How is this feat not the one she needed the background in?

B.B., Bill and Kiddo

Talk about grabbing at your heart after almost four hours of ruthless killing. Kiddo finally gets to Bill, the man responsible for her near death and what she thought was the loss of her child, and she is ready for a massive dual. When she opens the door with her gun, Bill is there with their child playing with toy guns, pretending to shoot 'Mommy.' The four year old girl has been waiting her entire life for her mom to wake up and come home to see her. It got me, did it get you?

I love that her name is actually Kiddo, Beatrix Kiddo. The whole time Bill was calling her Kiddo, I thought it was a nice little moniker. You know like pal, chief or buddy. Nice little twist there Quentin.

Tracy Back on SNL

If I knew that all it took to get politics off of the cold open on SNL was to get Tracy Morgan as the host, I would've been petitioning for this for years now. Instead of President O'Bama, Hillary Clinton, or some other current politician, we got to see Tracy walking through 30 Rock and punching people in the face. Now that is comedy.

It was so great having Tracy, a seasoned SNL vet, as the host last night. When Tracy plays Tracy Jordan on '30 Rock' he is one of my favorite characters on television. Last night he brought that same fire to SNL, and although there were no out of this world sketches, there were no bad ones either. He brought back an old favorite, Brian Fellow's Safari Planet, and the uppity cow was fantastic.

Tracy didn't bring anything extra to this sketch, but as one of my favorite running skits, the Scared Straight program was again fantastic. Nobody can outdo Kenan in this role, probably my favorite of this SNL season.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Not Killing Bill Yet

Just finished Kill Bill Volume 1 and have some thoughts on it...

Is this serious?
What an absolutely ridiculous movie. I thought I was fine with joints that were unrealistic, so the fact that I found myself being turned off by a lot of the fight scenes was interesting to me. Maybe it was because it was a chick doing all the killing. If it were a dude that was killing everyone in the world, I probably would've accepted it. Seriously though, I was fine with everything until she got to the Japanese club and over 500 dudes come in to kill Uma at once, and she gets through it with ease. Not only did she kill everyone but the camera caught her cutting off at least over 100 limbs or heads in this scene alone.

I disliked the ten minutes of animation during the Japanese story telling. If I wanted to watch a half live action half animated film, I'd break out Enchanted.

Favorite Joints
At the beginning when Uma and Vivica are fightin' it out and then the daughter walks in. They chill, and are all like 'ho hum, just another day. i'm all bloody but you've seen that before little girl. the dog just made a mess of the living room.'

One Jap dude questions Lucy Liu being the leader of the Tokyo mob because she's a half Chinese-half Japanese-American. Lucy walks across the table and cuts the guy's head off. Grabs it and tells the rest of the council that any subject can be talked about except for what got this jerk's head sliced off.

On the Edge
Even though all in all it wasn't one of my favorite movies, I give Tarrentino credit for getting me on the edge of my seat throughout. Not as much for what was going to happen with the storyline, which is the type of edge sitting I enjoy more, but I was so worried about what gory action was going to occur next. At some points I literally had my hand over my eyes, worried about what I was going to see happen.

Survivor Tocantins- Week 5


When you decide to go on Survivor shouldn't the first thing going through your head every day be don't throw a tantrum? Taj almost threw everything out the window when she came back from the immunity challenge and started going crazy on everyone. What were you thinking Mrs. Eddie George?? Lucky for her JT had a bone to pick with Spencer after figuring out that he was a useless little boy (or girl) in the last challenge.

Jaydon takes over the lead with Mags's elimination. If I can't win this thing I'd like to see Jaydon take it home. Although I can see my boy Joe taking me pretty far in this thing. We'll see what happens.

Week 3 Results

Slaughterhouse 1st (196)

Tyson: 19
Stephen: 15
Taj: 11
Sierra: 19
Total= 64

Freecell Makes Me Wanna
2nd (169)

Brendan: 19
Spencer: -16
Sydney: 15
Debbie: 19
Total= 37

Rangers Stars Mavericks Cowboys
3rd (91)

JT: 15
Coach: 19
Total= 34

The Renegades
4th (62)

Joe: 15
Erinn: 19
Total= 34