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Oscars, "The King" and Where Are They Now?

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 28, 2005 1 comments

The Oscars have come and gone and Martin Scorcese has once again left the building empty-handed.

I can't say that he deserved to win this year, however, as I felt that Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" had a far greater emotional impact than "The Aviator." Scorcese has had legimite beefs in the past after getting shafted for "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas," but this year he may have just been beaten.

Regardless, I won one Oscar bet and pushed on the other. It was my own fault for not winning both as I bet with my heart (taking Viginia Madsen over Cate Blanchett) instead of my head. And that is never a smart way to wager unless you're some sort of masochist who enjoys being fleeced.

This year's show did move along at a surprisingly brisk pace, although the producers should simply cut ALL musical performances (which somehow featured Beyonce in nearly every song) from the set.

I did enjoy Chris Rock's hosting style as he kept things moving and didn't try to get in the way of the show. He also got some good jabs in about President Bush, Tobey Maguire, Nicole Kidman, and a trip to a Magic Johnson theater provided some hilarious moments - the best being the man whose entire list of favorite movies of the past year began and ended with "The Chronicles of Riddick."

Ouch.

As a lead-up to the Oscars I decided to watch a past winner, "American Beauty," prior to the show. I hadn't seen the movie for several years, and while it wasn't quite as good as I remembered it to be, it still boasted a great cast and some excellent performances.

Everyone knows and has raved about Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening and Mena Suvari in the film, but after re-watching it I have to say that Peter Gallagaher (lately of "O.C." fame) has been unjustly overlooked.

In the film, he sports a silly head of dyed gray hair to play Buddy Kane, the "King" of local real estate. He comes into play several times in the movie, but none were more memorable than his decision to take Bening to a cheap hotel to consumate their affair.

It's hard to deliver a line such as "How does it feel to be nailed by the King?" but Gallagher does it with aplomb. Bening doesn't back down an inch, however, and even one-ups him with the retort "Oh, fuck me your majesty."

No wonder the film won so many awards.

Also appearing in the movie as a bizarre loner who enjoys taping people and inanimate objects while peeping from the shadows is Wes Bently. Bently got good notices for his performance and seemed to be poised to hit big after the movie was such a success, but I had to wonder where he's gone since then?

Maybe he's off chasing plastic bags around the country because I can't recall a single film he's been in since "American Beauty." This got me thinking about other actors who seemed destined to explode onto the scene, but instead detoured into obscurity.

I'm not talking about people like Corey Feldman, who had no discernible talent to being with, but instead about people like Bently; people who appeared in good films with fine performances and yet they went nowhere.

I'd like to start a list, but I have no time on a Monday morning as work beckons and I must heed the call. I will ponder other actors who should be placed on this list, but any help would be appreciated because the inherent nature of the project makes it difficult.

If these actors have disappeared from view then it's no surprise that it would be hard to remember them. Maybe they really should bring back those milk cartons with the pictures on them.

It could be a great help to us all.

-BDS

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Lessons From "The O.C."

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 25, 2005 2 comments

Deep thinking about "The O.C." is both an oxymoron and an exercise in futility. Despite this sentiment, here's 5 lessons I took from the latest episode.

1) School seems to be out indefinitely. I mean seriously have any of these kids been to school in months? At least on "Beverly Hills 90210" there were actual storylines that involved teenagers who attended class once in awhile.

2) Ryan is in dire need of a haircut. It looks like an otter fell, then died on his head and he hasn't been able to shake it off yet.

3) Zach appears to be 31 years old and still attending high school (even if there are no actual classes at the school - only a coffee bar). Since he's 31, however, it makes sense that he's more mature than ANY high schooler in the history of the world.

4) The homoerotic tension between Ryan and Seth seems to be reaching a fever pitch. Examples include the duo standing at opposing doors in the rain while gazing longingly at each other, then later sitting cross-legged across from each other on Seth's boat in the living room and the icing on the cake was when Summer repeatedly mentioned that Seth left her for Ryan.

5) If you didn't see the upside/down Spider-Man kiss foreshadowing 15 minutes into the episode you're not paying close enough attention or don't know your pop culture.

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We Waited For This?

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, February 24, 2005 3 comments

For years the University of Texas at Austin had turned down requests from film companies that asked for the school's endorsement. They carefully screened these inquiries before deciding that they would not allow the Longhorn emblem to be shown nor the campus to be featured in any movie that they did not deem suitable entertainment.

The wait will soon be over, however, as the Tommy Lee Jones vehicle "Man of the House" starts Friday.

From the previews that have been airing incessantly it appears that my former college has endorsed the film in a big way. Burnt orange is everywhere, on everyone and many scenes appear to be set at the football stadium.

Unfortunately, the movie looks terrible.

Perhaps it was Mr. Jone's impressive resume ("Lonesome Dove," "The Fugitive," "JFK," not "Volcano") that provided the incentive. Surely it wasn't Cedric the Entertainer, who bounces through the previews covered in orange and gyrating like a hyena.

On the other hand, the board might have been swayed by director Stephen Herek's presence, the acclaimed auteur of "The Mighty Ducks" and the huge piece of garbage "Life or Something Like It."

Regardless of the reason for the school's cooperation, the partnership has left me disappointed. I just can't believe that Dartmouth college gets "Animal House" and UT gets saddled with "Man of the House."

Sometimes, life or something like it just doesn't seem fair.

-BDS

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Fear and Loathing on a Monday Morning

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 21, 2005 2 comments

"It never got weird enough for me," - Hunter S. Thompson

I wasn't planning on blogging today, but after I picked up the newspaper this morning and discovered that Hunter S. Thompson, inventor of Gonzo journalism as well as some of the most astute political writing of modern times, died last night - I just couldn't help myself.

Thompson shot himself at his famous fortified compound in Woody Creek, Colorado. He was 67 years old.

I've followed Thompson's work for many years, and his brand of fiery prose combined with a great appreciation for the value of words kept me motivated throughout my undergraduate journalism tenure at the University of Texas at Austin.

I even had a Gonzo symbol tattooed on my back during this time period, and I'm still glad I had it done.

Thompson was a counterculture icon to many, a deranged maniac to numerous others, but what I admired most about the man was that he always lived life on his own terms. That philosphy is easy to talk about, but hard to put into action.

Hunter managed to do it nearly every day of his life.

The man owned peacocks, traveled the world, shot heavy artillery, took almost every drug known to man and beast, wrote several ground-breaking articles and books, raced motorcycles at extremely high speeds, bet heavily, called politicians on their bullshit, enjoyed dove bars and hot tubs and cherished his freedom to indulge in all of his passions.

A self-described "Southern gentlemen" from Kentucky, Thompson struck out at anyone, any organziation or anything that threatened these freedoms for himself, his friends and other Americans.

He wrote consistently about what he lamented as the "death of the American dream" in widely praised books such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Songs of the Doomed" and "Generation of Swine."

Although he was known for his prodigious drug intake as well as his participatory role in his stories, it would be too easy to dismiss his ravings as that of some wounded beast hopped up on illicit substances.

His life-long political writing combined the best of both worlds as his predictions about candidates were eerily accurate and he also produced a classic political tome, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72," from his occasionally drug-altered view of the national landscape.

He also took it as his duty to help run Richard Nixon out of office, an intelligent stance echoed by many journalists but almost none kept up the flogging of this corrupt man as much as Thompson.

Nixon once said that his nemisis represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character."

That might be partially true, but then where did that leave Nixon?

Thompson continued his political writing for the rest of his life and also wrote several other good books such as "The Rum Diary," "Screwjack," and "Kingdom of Fear."

It's always sad when someone you admire and appreciate is suddenly gone forever. There will be no more books, columns for Espn.com, or interviews with the legendary "Doctor of Gonzo journalism."

One thing is certain, however, and that is the world is a less interesting place now that Dr. Thompson has moved out of it.

I only hope that wherever he's gone that he finds an endless supply of Chivas Regal, a good piece of land and a sturdy typewriter waiting for him.

-BDS

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Shit, This Kevin Federline Guy is Thoughtful . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, February 20, 2005 3 comments

It's Sunday afternoon and there's little to watch and nothing to bet on because no sane person would give you any odds on the NBA All-Star game or the Daytona 500. Besides, I could care less about the All-Star game and NASCAR racing holds all the appeal of a taser gun to the crotch for me.

So, in lieu of working on our new script I decided to read my recently arrived Details magazine, which featured Kevin Federline (a.ka. Mr. Britney Spears) on the cover.

It was late last week that I first heard about his interview on some kind of hard news program like "Extra."

Supposedly, Kevin was a surprisingly thoughtful and articulate fellow according to some "celebrity expert" being interviewed on the show. This seemed strange to me despite the fact that I had never heard him utter a word on television or even read any trace of a thought from Federline in print.

I was basing this viewpoint on virtually no concrete facts, but instead on the seemingly endless supply of pictures featuring him sporting ridiculous combinations of baggy jeans, wife-beaters and NY Yankees baseball caps that were incapable of being worn straight on his head.

After reading the interview, however, while I won't say I was correct in my assumption I certainly wasn't wrong. What emerged was the portrait of a young man as a dancing artist, and as a bonus, Britney Spears showed up to help Kevin with some colorful quotes.

Here's some of my favorites:

On What He Did Before Dancing:

KF: Nothing. Shit. I was delivering pizzas and up to no good.

On meeting and falling in love with Britney:

KF: Shit, it just happened to be that she had everything and then some. Shit, I could go on forever about my love for this girl.

On Spear's supporting him (personal note: emotionally of course)

KF: I mean she's fucking proud of me. I could be sitting at home doing nothing. I could be playing fucking video games.

And finally on his future career ambitions:

KF: Shit, well yeah, we're starting a clothing line. We're going to hopefully launch that by the end of summer or Christmastime of next year, or this year.

Shit, it was clear to me that there was more to this Federline guy than I could have possibly imagined.

It's no wonder that Spears seems so determined to have a kid with this guy, but she did acknowledge the problems of children and touring as she cited Celine Dion's show in Vegas as an inspiration.

BS: Everybody comes to her. When I have kids, I'm so there. That's what I'm doing: "Come to me, motherfuckers."

Personally, I just think it's great these two crazy kids found each other because, shit, it's not easy to find an unemployed former dancer who plays video games AND can make and deliver a mean Pepperoni pie.

Not too easy indeed.

-BDS

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Back Into The Wild . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, February 17, 2005 0 comments

Now that Valentine's Day is finished it's time for the antithesis of romance - a divorce.

A good friend of mine is visiting his attorney today to sign his final divorce papers, and he couldn't be happier.

He's been living with his soon to be ex-wife in their house for several months now, a situation which arose because of Texas laws that make it mandatory that couples wait before formally divorcing. The financial incentive, however, was the main reason for the living situation as neither party wanted to pay for a mortgage as well as apartment rent/utilities/etc.

It's not difficult to imagine that this has been an uncomfortable living situation despite owning a two-story house.

Imagine your worst roommate from college (I once drunkenly punched a birthday cake intended for my horrible roommate and baked by his ugly girlfriend after I discovered it in our refrigerator), multiply that by a thousand and you might have a clue as to the level of frustration that my friend been feeling since the beginning of 2005.

Things have been very tense at the house, and there were also several periodic flare-ups like the time she used his airline miles to book a first-class ticket to visit her sister (after it had been decided that he would receive the miles in the settlement).

I recommended to my friend that he start watching pornography at uncomfortably loud levels all day and night, but I'm not sure if he took me up on the suggestion.

Regardless, the deed has been done, his ex-wife is moving to Houston (which is punishment enough as far as I'm concerned) and it's time to release my friend back into the wild.

I only hope that he finds the dating scene somewhat familiar or it will grind his nuts like a tractor combine, although I bet that's a feeling he's used to by now.

-BDS

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Valentine's Day with Fred Durst

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 14, 2005 0 comments

It's Valentine's Day again, but I don't want to write a typical rant about how February 14th is a manufactured "Hallmark Holiday," how florists might as well bend you over the counter as they hand over your flowers or how the service sucks at all restaurants and their price-fixed choices should be flushed down the toilet (if I'm forking over hundreds of dollars I'll order ANYTHING I want off the menu).

No. That line of thought would be too easy, too traditional. Instead, I want to talk about Fred Durst.

To the casual observer it might seem that the concept of romance AND Fred Durst could never exist together under any circumstances. But they do.

Just ask several Playboy Playmates, Britney Spears, Halle Berry and numerous other extremely attractive women who have been rumored to have taken a roll in the hay with Durst before they kept a "Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'" themselves.

Many of these women will barely admit to even knowing Durst after their supposed interactions, but who can really blame them? The important thing to me is that something might have happened in the first place.

I mean what kind of hidden depths does Durst posses that I cannot find?

From my perspective he's a man who enjoys shouting, writing mediocre to embarassing lyrics, prone to excessively using a backwards baseball hat to hide his receding hairline, doesn't appear to care for personal hygiene, and has been accused by several people (including former band members) of being a giant asshole.

Romantic indeed. But, the guy has to have something going for him and maybe it's his spiritual side.

"The spirit inside of me is a predator of energy and balance," - Fred Durst (taken from his blog)

That must be it.

I've always felt the spirit inside of me was like a tornado of karma, fusion and lunch meat. That sorry package, however, is nothing compared to Mr. Fred Durst, a man who knows no bounds or limits when it comes to romance or keeping his spiritual side in balance.

I think we all could learn something from him on Valentine's Day 2005.

-BDS

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I must say that my co-writer and elder brother is providing a lot of fodder for me to write about lately. So...topless coffee-table book modeling, eh? Exciting. True. Strange. To be sure. However, I believe that I will approach this situation with cautious optimism.

I say 'cautious' because I experienced a similar situation in college. When I first arrived at my campus, a young, bright-eyed 18 year old, I did not know the kind of fiendish savages that are just waiting to take advantage of people like me. So, it was not long before I learned that starring in an "Art Film" actually meant being a "secondary character in low budget amateur porn."

I fear that in a short time my co-author will be forced to learn the ugly truth that "topless coffee table book modeling" actually means "donkey fluffer in Tiajuana."

Editors Note to PETA: No one here at 2DollarProductions endorses or condones beastiality. No donkeys were fellated in the making of this post.

-JWS

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Drunken Little Moronic Waif . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions 3 comments

For the past few months I've been hearing about Bright Eyes and the band's lead singer 24-year-old Conor Oberst, who people have been referring to as a "young Bob Dylan."

I had vaguely heard of the band before they recently released two simultaneous CDs, but with all the good reviews and general fanfare I decided I should probably check them out. The music was certainly better than a lot of the current popular nonsense that usually fills the airwaves. He also gets points from me for signing up EmmyLou Harris to sing vocals on several tracks.

However, after a recent Bright Eyes show in Fort Worth, according to Oberst I'm probably not smart enough to understand his complexity because I happen to live in Texas.

During the concert, Oberst slurred to audience:

"I don't know if you know this, but I hate your fucking state. I'd put a fucking gun to my head before I'd live in your state."

Since I'm from Texas, I should own a gun (according to Oberst's pin-headed logic), but unfortunately I don't have one handy to lend to him. Missed opportunities I suppose.

He continued by saying that if you were at the concert that you weren't "a normal Texan" because "if you were a normal Texan, you'd probably be roping steers and raping Indians."

Raping Indians?

The Indians by and large went the way of the buffalo many years ago, which is probably around the same time Oberst was making music in his basement, doing his deep thinking and masturbating furiously while trying to rough out the tough Nebraska winters.

That's right friends - he's from Nebraska - which the last time I checked wasn't exactly a bastion of liberal-minded activism.

Maybe if he grew up on the East or West coast he could claim ignorance about his recent statements, but he didn't and it's exactly his kind of bullshit views that piss me off to no end.

It's the same school of thought that assumes that if you live in Texas that you voted for George W. Bush twice, ride horses to work while wearing your ten-gallon hat and sleep with your sister on the weekends.

To be sure that kind of stuff does happen here, but it happens everywhere and is not limited to the borders of Texas, South Dakota, California, Nebraska or any other state in the Union.

So Conor, if you hate Texas so much just stay out the state and concentrate on making better music and eating something (if you were any thinner a stiff wind would blow your skinny ass down).

Besides, I'm listening to Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" while I write this missive, and I have to say to Conor that I know Bob Dylan's work and you sir are no Bob Dylan.

Not by a long shot.

-BDS

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Weird Wild Stuff That Pays

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, February 10, 2005 3 comments

Just when I was feeling lost and adrift a bizarre offer came from nowhere to shake up my world and cause my priorities to adjust.

It all started with an email (thanks Gabrielle) asking for male fitness models who would be interested in appearing in a coffee table book. It was described as something akin to an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue - i.e. a bunch of shirtless guys playing sports or shooting pool or lounging around - minus the vaguely creepy underage aspect.

So, I sent some pictures into this photographer and he called me last night. He said that he definitely wants to shoot me for the book and that if I was a few inches taller I could be doing runway work.

Anyway, he's going to L.A. to shoot something, and then he's coming to Texas at the end of February to meet with me and go over details of the shoot, which he thinks will be in March or April. I suppose the warmer weather means less hard nipples or something.

In addition, he told me that this group from NYC, The Lyons Agency, does all the major booking for fitness shoots across the U.S. and they will be hosting a convention in May in Dallas for $700 for the weekend.

However, he said I don't have to pay that fee and he'll take me to meet the head guy in his hotel suite downtown for FREE.

It's certainly an odd situation, but at the very least the book will be a cool thing to do and something I can have sitting on my coffee table if for no other reason than it will be one less copy that will be sitting in gay bathhouses across the country.

Weird stuff, but at the very least it will be worth a story or two, and besides I've always said when the going gets weird the weird turn pro.

That being said, however, does this seem strange to anyone else?

-BDS

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Line 'em Up . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 09, 2005 0 comments

I just read a blurb about Martha Stewart which provoked both sympathy and loathing in my heart. Apparently, Ms. Stewart has a new worry to contend with in prison besides the shower room, holiday decorating contests (which her team lost despite claims about pay-offs to the guards) and bad food.

These concerns are merely trivial compared to the cruel and unusual punishment that the sadistic wardens had been saving for her all along. They had been toying with her with the start, but now the fangs have come out, the claws have been bared and the gauntlet has been thrown down - Stewart is taking line-dancing lessons.

Line-dancing is by far the worst, most idiotic kind of dancing that one could find in any part of the world. I would rumba, foxtrot, do the "lambada," lean back, breakdance or hustle before I would resort to line-dancing.

The very name conjures up images of overweight people who are squeezed into too tight blue jeans and listening to Billy Ray Cyrus. Then the mass of denim starts flailing about like they're having a collective seizure.

I pity the poor fool who stands in their way.

Although I have never had much love for anything or any product with Martha Stewart on the label, I must admit that I finally felt sorry for her - at least until I read she signed up voluntarily.

And then I remembered why I didn't much care that she went to prison in the first place.

-BDS






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Lions, Tigers and Bears Oh My . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 07, 2005 1 comments

Like any decent American I watched the Super Bowl last night, and the game actually turned out to be worth it. In addition, my bets paid off handsomely and I have a little more cash in my pocket and a Grande latte from Starbucks coming my way.

Although you can't count on winning bets or even a good football game in most years, you can usually depend on the commercials to make your viewing worthwhile. Besides, at $2.4 million per 30-second spot there's a lot of pressure on these companies to make ads that are watchable, illuminating and memorable. Sometimes they even suceed.

This year there were still the perennial advertising heavyweights such as Budweiser, who pulled off some good spots (the skydiving one was by far their best with the stupid designated driver dance being not so hot).

But there were also several new offerings that were worthwhile from companies like Ameriquest (loved the boyfriend mix-up where he appears to be butchering his girlfriend's cat when she arrives home) and the new Internet offering GoDaddy.com, which thumbed its nose at the FCC with its blatantly gratuitous ad featuring a buxom woman in front of panel of bureaucrats.

For the rest of the competition, however, it was a zoo out there. Literally.

I don't know if there was a discount on animal performers or if everyone was using the same ad agency, but the general consensus seemed to be that when all else fails throw some non-mammals onscreen and get out of their way.

Giraffes, storks, bears and especially monkeys were running amok everywhere I looked. Generally, members of the ape family do bring a smile to my face, but by the 3rd or 4th Careerbuilder.com monkey spot I felt like finding a gun and starting a monkey massacre. And I've never shot anything or anyone in my life.

At least Fed Ex acknowledged the inherent cliche of animal performers during their ad, which also featured Burt Reynolds, cute kids, cheerleaders and of course a bear. On the plus side, I can't deny there seemed to be a certain karmic justice to watching the aforementioned bear kick Burt Reynolds in the crotch.

But now that the football season if officially over I feel a certain sense of loss in both my heart and my wallet. I have a hard time betting on the NBA, but the NCAA tournament is right around the corner.

In the interim, it's time to finally send our script off to the various contests we want to enter and certainly time to start a new one. I already have an idea, and I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but it just might involve some monkeys . . .

You've got to give the people what they want, eh?

-BDS






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Sound Kinky To Me . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, February 05, 2005 0 comments

At long last there might finally be hope in this unflaggingly Republican state as musician/author/columnist Kinky Friedman recently announced his intention to run for Governor.

Although I would be hard-pressed to wager green money that the Kinkster will take down Rick Perry (or whomever comes out of the Republican camp) and pull off a Jesse Ventura-style victory, his presence alone ensures that the race will boast a little bit of humor.

For instance, this is what Kinky had to say about Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson at his press conference:

"Rick Perry is like Gray Davis minus the personality"

And about Hutchinson . . .

"She's twice the man Perry is"

Those quotes might be slightly wrong, but not by much, and in addition to his bits of levity there was also a steady stream of common sense that ran through Kinky's head.

"We're the number one state in executions, yet we're 49th in education spending," he reminded the crowd.

As far as I'm concerned common sense and a sense of humor are two qualities that are sorely lacking in far too many politicians and I intend to watch the upcoming race with great interest. Besides, anyone who can graduate from a UT honors program AND pen lyrics like "Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed" is a walking contradiction to interesting to ignore.

-BDS


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Don't Mind Me. Its Just the Syphilis Talking.

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 04, 2005 3 comments

Last night's show. Great. Seeing an old friend who unexpectedly came into town. Great. Getting good and hammered with said friend and two other friends. Also, great. Almost being beaten to a pulp on a crowded dancefloor to a terrible R Kelley remix. Not so good.

I wish I could say that the altercation, which was instigated by one of my more intoxicated female companions, was avoided because the other man(read: Giant yeti-like creature that probably eats live puppies for breakfast and washes them down with hogs blood) saw the steel in my eyes and backed down for his own safety. However, I can not delude myself or you gentle reader. This man would have happily poured sugar in my gas tank as he gleefully ripped me a brand new bottom-hole. Luckily he was drunk enough to be calmed down with a little fast talking and pseudo-apologizing. Smart move on my part? Yep. A bit emasculating? Um, yes.

Anyhoo, the night all in all was a rousing success. Unfortunately the success spilled over to this morning when I did not have time to shower and was late for work. Once I arrived there, my lone employee queried: What in God's name is that smell?

To which I replied calmly: Probably your mother. Now shut up before I fire you.

As to my brother's assertion that the OC is OK: I can not agree. McKenzie is irritating with his, I-wish-I-could-muster-the-strength-to-wade-through-my-oceans-of-angst-so-I-might-be-able-to-speak-one-effing-line-above-a-whisper style of acting just makes me want to crap my pants a little.

The fella who plays Seth has his moments, but quickly becomes annoying. Mischa Barton: I would just like to give two things to that girl. They are the words 'It' and 'Suck.' I think she'll know what order to put them in.

And as for Peter Gallagher, believing that that man is doing anything other than raising an army of mutant, ill-tempered caterpillars, which he raises to maturity on his forehead, is just beyond me.

Poor man's 90210. No way around it.

-JWS

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The O.C. is O.K. Even With Mischa Barton

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions 0 comments

I didn't want to like "The O.C." when it debuted last year.

My position was mostly due to a long-standing allegiance to the seminal "Beverly Hills 90210" of my youth. I loved Brandon, Donna, Kelly, Steve with his outlandish pompadour and especially Luke Perry, whose Dylan McKay was the man I wish I could have been in high school (i.e. driving a vintage Porsche, living alone in plush hotels or pimped-out houses and screwing anything that moves as long as she was good-looking).

But it is with grudging respect that I have to admit that not only is "The O.C." watchable, but it seems to be getting better. Besides, you have to respect a show where one of two main parental figures (Peter Gallagher) is complimented repeatedly by an old flame for his ability to manufacture bongs out of almost anything. Screw his lawyer skills, the man can make a bong like nobody's business.

Even more astounding is that after last night's episode even Mischa Barton is showing signs that her acting might be rising above the deplorably bad level thanks to her new lesbian storyline.

Mischa Barton has always been the show's weakest link as far as I'm concerned. This is mostly due to her vapid acting style which mostly consists of her looking completely vacant; a persistent method that renders her wholly unbelievable whether she's ordering coffee, yelling at her parents or screwing the lawn boy.

But last night she showed signs of reaching new levels of mediocrity. By that I mean that at least she wasn't distractingly bad, and I'm holding out a small hope that this might continue.

Miracles can happen my friends.

Regardless, I plan on watching next week to see if my theory is correct. Besides, the promos from Fox tell me that I absolutely cannot miss "the last five minutes" of next week's episode.

Their breathless tease can really only mean one thing - sexy girl-on-girl kissing. Oh, Fox I would have never expected it from your network you classy bastards.

-BDS





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If We Haven't Spoken Lately, It's Because I Hate Your Stupid, Stupid Face

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, February 03, 2005 0 comments

Well, it would appear that my normally technology-deficient sibling has been running circles around me in the blog arena and making me look like a fucking fool. No matter. I imagine I can easily rectify this problem by instituting a 25% decrease in my Midget Porn watching schedule. This should free me up to write more often as well as squash the frightened looks that Bre has been sending me more and more frequently.

For those 2 or 3 unfortunate souls who accidently stumble across this corner of the blog universe, I would like to announce with great enthusiasm that Steve Earle will be gracing the city of Austin tonight and yours truly will be in attendence. Despite the fact that Earle has become extremely political over the last few years, he and The Dukes still put on one hell of show and still rip up the stage with some of the older songs.

Also, it has recently come to my attention that Ray Wylie Hubbard will be coming to the Cactus Cafe in a week or so, and that James McMurtry is still putting on his Midnight shows at the Continental Club. These two fellows are currently, I would say, at the top of the Texas Country Music chain and they are still getting stronger. Much happiness to be seeing them all again.

These show will hopefully regenerate my mind which has been turned into goddamn mush by the vicious editing and formatting project that I have been working on of late. A project that has been stalled and thwarted by worthless, broken automobiles, nefarious felines and savage work deadlines all last week.

A parting nonsequitur: I have noticed many sites carrying the new pictures of Britney Spears walking around on her balcony topless. I just can't see the intrigue in this. Honestly. Looking at those pictures is like running into a girl, who you remember being really hot in highschool, at a a stripclub, where she is working as a now-overweight cocktail waitress. Sure, its kinda funny. Slightly amusing. But mostly. It is. Just. Sad.

-JWS


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Screw the Shadow: Groundhog Attacks

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 02, 2005 0 comments

I had forgotten it was Groundhog Day this morning until I flipped on the TV and saw a huge crowd of people freezing their asses off somewhere back east.

Ever since the excellent Bill Murray movie, "Groundhog Day," was released I've had a fond place in my heart for the animal. They seem like solid creatures with an uncanny knack for predicting the weather, although they do look like they were formed after a mutant squirrel mated with a possum.

Anyway, as I watched the TV numerous people in the crowd seemed to share my admiration for the Groundhog as they waited for it to appear. On the other hand, many just seemed liquored up and almost anything might have excited them.

But then the Groundhog came out of hiding.

Or rather he was pulled out of hiding by an old man in a silly hat who then held the poor Groundhog aloft and twirled him like the Olympic torch before reading his lengthy proclamation.

As I watched this spectacle I couldn't help but root for the Groundhog to one day turn on somebody and just go crazy. The attack would be justified in my mind because if someone woke me from a warm, heavy slumber and then grabbed me and held me in the air while hundreds of maniacs screamed I would be more than a little pissed off.

So I've decided from this year forth I will try my best to watch this event live in hopes of witnessing some carnage. The odds of a Groundhog attack might seem slim, but one of these years it WILL happen and I'm going to be watching.

And cheering for the Groundhog.

-BDS



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Read Me!

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, February 01, 2005 1 comments

For the past week we've been trying to condense our screenplay into a catchy 1 to 3 sentence synopsis that would invite a total stranger to open the first page and read it. It has not been easy.

However, I think we're finally onto something at least according to our somewhat twisted sense of humor. To get an idea of what's out there we read several blogs that showed numerous pitches which were brutal, boring, grammatically suspect or just plain awful.

So, our research definitely inspired some confidence, and I decided there was nowhere to go but up. And with in mind here's what we've come up with to send off to various contests/queries:

Boy bands, pop culture and polar bears collide during a wild train ride through Europe which explores a seedy universe populated with has-been actors, German barons, heated housewives, and a degenerate train conductor who knows everyone's secrets.

A truly bizarre combination of characters and events, but I would at least read the first few pages of that screenplay. The real question, however, is would anyone who actually matters read our script?

We'll see.

-BDS


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