Blog Archive

Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, November 30, 2007 18 comments

"You can put it anywhere," - Sarah Michelle Gellar, "Cruel Intentions"

I've had a strong affinity for Sarah Michelle Gellar since "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and lines like this one only add to her luster. But turning away from heat, it's finally getting cooler in Austin, and December is almost here.

This usually means people get bogged down with stress and obligations and fewer things to tend to happen, a trend which was reflected in Hollywood this week as:

Linda Hogan filed for divorce from her wrestler husband Hulk Hogan this week.

Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, told the St. Petersburg Times that he had no idea his wife had filed for divorce. He was informed by a reporter that Pinellas County court records showed that the paperwork was submitted Tuesday.

"Thank you for the great information," he told the reporter. "My wife has been in California for about three weeks. ... Holy smokes," Bollea later told the newspaper. "Wow, you just knocked the bottom out of me."

Hogan then body-slammed the reporter while asking him "what he was gonna do when Hulkamania comes down on you?" There was no suitable answer given by the reporter.

Britney Spears will get to spend Christmas morning with her sons, a judge ruled Monday, as a holiday visitation schedule was hammered out between the pop tart and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, in a closed-door court hearing in Los Angeles.

Spears plans to celebrate Christmas morning at approximately 2 p.m. in order to shake off her probable hangover. She also asked the judge what month Christmas fell in this year.

The Jackson 5 will reunite for a tour in 2008, Jermaine Jackson told the BBC on Monday. It will be the group's first tour in since 1984.

"We feel we have to do it one more time. We owe that to the fans and to the public," Jermaine said.

More importantly, all 5 brothers "owe" creditors a lot of money.

Dancing With the Stars crowned a new winner this week as race-car driver Helio Castroneves edged out Scary Spice to win the coveted ''splendid'' mirror-ball trophy.

Marie Osmond managed not to faint during the announcement, and a lot of people are still wondering who names their kid Helio.

Christina Aguilera will show off her baby bump in the January issue of Marie Claire magazine.

Following the footsteps of Demi Moore and Britney Spears, the soon-to-be-mom poses on the cover with nothing but a cropped jacket, proudly displaying her pregnancy which she kept hidden before.

When asked why she is finally revealing her swelling stomach, Aguilera replied "For a hell of a lot of money."

Jennifer Love Hewitt got engaged to her boyfriend, Scottish actor Ross McCall recently, US Weekly reported on Wednesday.

This news was so dull to me that I could not even muster the energy to joke about it.

It was reported this week that Joe Simpson played matchmaker to set up his daughter, Jessica Simpson, with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

“Joe and Tony have been friendly for a while. Joe is a huge Dallas Cowboy fan, and Tony has always had a crush on her — he even said on his Web site like a year ago that it was his dream to date her,” a source close to Jessica told the New York Post.

Joe was especially impressed by that last part as he bonded with Tony when he told the quarterback that "It's funny, but I've always wanted to date her too."

Let's end with something better than Joe Simpson (which isn't hard), and cap this week with a gold image like:

I generally abhor a messy refrigerator, however, I can sometimes make exceptions.

So, be generous in spirit today, overlook sloppiness in certain cases and . . . Happy Friday!


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The Greatest Sex Around Part 12 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, November 28, 2007 15 comments

{This is the Twelfth in a semi-regular series of posts regarding great cinematic sex scenes as defined by me. This is completely arbitrary and open for interpretation, but so is life.}

I enjoyed the "American Pie" movies more than I anticipated. There was always a layer of decency embedded with the cast of friends which was kept intact no matter how outrageous the situation.

The scene that earned the first film - "American Pie" - a place in the all-time sex Hall of Fame featured those elements with the added bonus of Shannon Elizabeth standing around topless for a large portion of it. It begins roughly half-way through the running time after Elizabeth comes to Jason Bigg's house for tutoring.

He then leaves her alone in his bedroom to compose himself.

While he's away, Elizabeth finds Bigg's porn stash, and like most normal people, she begins pleasuring herself. To add to the scene, the whole thing is being recorded via webcam, and viewed by Bigg's friends.

Upon re-entering the room, Biggs finds himself standing next to the ultimate object of his lust, sitting on the bed, semi-nude and leafing through pornography (Again, this happened all the time in high school for me). In case you haven't seen this film, I won't ruin the rest of the scene, however, it is pretty damn funny and also sad due to painful male dancing (Biggs), webcam issues and premature ejaculation.

This was not a scene that would get you hot and bothered, however, the humor/nudity combination still pushed it over the top and into a romantic exchange worthy of recognition.


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Boring Drunken Holiday Parties . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, November 27, 2007 15 comments

Now that Thanksgiving is finished, it's time for the dreaded Christmas season to descend.

I don't mean Christmas itself (I happen to love the holiday as it's Thanksgiving + Gifts), but rather the holiday party season which means every weekend until 2008 will now be filled with good cheer, mistletoe and so many boring drunks that it's disastrous to even ponder this dire situation.

At any given party, the number of boring drunks will fluctuate, however, they will always be large enough in scope to require others to drink more in order to stand near them. This toxic environment leads to ruined parties and scorn. Brute violence and tears. And possibly impotence.

The definition of a boring drunk is elusive, but common traits include:

* Long-winded diatribes on esoteric subjects that nobody cares about like your stock portfolio or model train building
* Inappropriate hugs
* Pissing down the side of your pants

* Talking badly about your ex-wife, "the bitch"
* Threatening to harm yourself
* Dipping your fingers in the queso dip

* Wearing a mistletoe belt (like you're the first one to think of it)

* Going to sleep in the master bedroom
* Refilling your glass with what they're drinking, not what you're drinking
* Arguing about religion
* Re-enacting your high school football games
* Consistently asking the hosts "how much did this cost?"

There are many more characteristics, but the only certainty is that there will be at least 3 of these people at every party. The actual number is likely to be higher. It also seems to exponentially increase as the parties get closer to Christmas as people are on edge, and feeling the holiday pressure.

The only pressure I feel revolves around going to these things because for every 4 parties I attend, I will only enjoy myself at one of them. This is not a good ratio.

It is, however, a necessary evil (I suppose), and the best way to cope is to try to laugh because everyone is semi-funny in their own way - even if they don't realize it and are stone drunk wearing a Christmas tie and blathering on about global warming being a hoax.


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Thoughts on "No Country For Old Men" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, November 26, 2007 14 comments

Worth A Matinee or Full-Price Ticket: Full price. This film is good enough for a nighttime rate, however, a fine limtus test for deciding would be if you like Coen Brothers movie, "Blood Simple" in particular, and have some knowledge of Cormac McCarthy (the book's author).

{Editor's Note: I saw a matinee showing.}

Will I Own It On DVD: Yes.

1) This feels like a Oscar-nominated movie to me. I'm not sure about best picture, but I think cinematography, director and a supporting actor seem likely.

2) The previews for this film make it seem like more of an action-packed, shoot 'em up than the movie really is as "No Country For Old Men" is actually a very quiet picture (almost no music at all) punctuated with bursts of harsh violence.

3) The acting is universally excellent as Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones anchor the film with spot-on performances. The trio excel in virtually every scene, but it's the smaller roles and extras who also enrich the film due to their extremely authentic looks and dialect they possess.

4) The finale of "No Country For Old Men" is somewhat anti-climatic. I was expecting it because the book was written that way, although I was still vaguely irritated and I imagine some people will feel extremely cheated.

5) It's rare that a book, and the screen version match up in scope, theme and substance. "No Country For Old Men" runs very close as the adaptation is damn near perfect, which is great if you liked the novel and less so if you were expecting something fresh.

All in all, "No Country For Old Men" is a quiet meditation on fate and choices and other weighty topics set against a chase background which begins when a simple man finds $2 million in drug money.

It's not for everyone, however, and if you go in expecting a fast-paced, glib action film then you'll be disappointed. I was not.


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Happy Thanksgiving From The Drunken Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, November 22, 2007 13 comments

This is not a true Viking entry as I'm in transit to celebrate Thanksgiving where the Internet is spotty and free time is far from a given.

But here's to an enjoyable holiday for everyone. If you live abroad and Thanksgiving means nothing to you, then you could replicate the feeling by simply stuffing yourself full of food, unbuttoning your pants and passing out on the couch while football plays on the television (this is actually more enjoyable than it looks onscreen).

Thanksgiving is a good holiday to keep your expectations in check. Grandiose plans should be sent packing, and small pleasures like a leftover turkey sandwich, and good mashed potatoes are worthwhile goals.

It's also a reasonable time to be thankful for the small things in life. With that in mind, a few which are bubbling up as I drink coffee this morning include:

1) Family
2) Friends
3) Conan the Barbarian movies

4) Fine novels
5) Fine photographers

6) Garters
7) Ralph Steadman

8) A sense of humor
9) Large bathtubs
10) Youngs Winter Warmer (which I plan to consume tonight)

11) European pornography
12) Strong coffee
13) Firm handshakes

14) Non Sequitors
15) 2005 University of Texas Football Team

Have a good holiday, stay away from Friday shopping at all costs and enjoy the time off. I'll return on Monday sweating turkey and dressing from my pores.


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Up On The Mountain Vol. 13 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, November 20, 2007 16 comments

{Editor's Note: This is a semi-regular series of high-water mark performances that spans movies, television, books, music and life its ownself.}

I don't generally care for Rob Schneider, but neither do I loathe him.

I find it semi-amazing that he's been able to headline so many movies, and although their quality has been largely suspect and frequently putrid, "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" found Schneider at the top of his game, and represented a high point that he will probably never reach again.

The preview for 'Deuce' didn't do much for me. I remember thinking that it looked ridiculous, although there was a funny scene with a large lingerie-clad woman and the verbal hijinks between "steak" and "mistake." But I still had no desire to watch the movie.

It took a slim-pickings night at Blockbuster, and being more than a little sideways before I finally rented "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo." I quickly realized, however, that I had sold this movie short as it was actually pretty funny throughout the running time.

A lot had to do with the supporting cast which included funny turns from Eddie Griffin, William Forsythe and Oded Fehr. The action unfolds after Fehr, who plays a menacing professional gigolo and fish lover, has Schneider watch his swanky house for the weekend after one of his prize fishes becomes sick.

This is a common scenario that we've all faced at one time or another.

Of course, trouble with the expensive fish ensues and soon enough, Schneider finds himself impersonating a gigolo and taking calls with a variety of women sporting a plethora of fetishes/issues.

The premise allows Schneider to play on his comedic looks as a high-priced escort, and also allows for Forsythe (as a crazed cop with romantic issues) and Griffin (as Schneider's pimp) to assist Schneider in carrying a film that was better than it had any right to be.

"Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" is not an award-winner (and the sequel is a true shitbomb), however, comedies simply have to provide a few solid laughs and Schneider carries this movie across the finish line.

Schneider has never been better nor is he going to top this performance. That's somewhat disturbing to ponder, and although this mountain is more like a tall hill, it's still worth recognizing the work.


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Inching Closer . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, November 19, 2007 19 comments

I got semi-good news this weekend as I spoke to the film producer who now has a comedy script - "Monkey Business" - written by my brother and I resting in his hands.

{Editor's Note: Unfortunately, there are no actual monkeys in the screenplay.}

As a quick recap, this started about a month ago with a random introduction to the producer followed by:

* The producer asking for a script treatment to read
* Me frantically writing a treatment which totaled about 12 pages
* A coffee shop meeting where we discussed his thoughts on the treatment.
* He liked the premise and the characters and asked for the full script
* We mailed the script and celebrated a very minor victory with a couple of pitchers

These past few weeks, we have wondered how our actual script has been holding up, and after calling the producer to find out, we discovered that so far the feedback is still positive.

On the phone, he said that he had already read the script once, then silence. This felt ominous so I said, "Well, I hoped you laughed a few times."

He said "Yes, I did." Then more silence.

"So, what are your impressions so far?" I asked.

This time he went into a bit of length, and stated that he still really liked the premise, the story structure and the comedy. The main changes he saw right now was adding more depth to the characters to juxtapose the comedic situations with something more firmly rooted in reality.

Fair enough. I can add depth any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'll just splice in a few scenes with main characters pontificating slowly about life set against some background that's highly symbolic - like a rotted-out dumpster or more to the point, the broken-down dumpster of life.

Well, maybe something else, but it is a reasonable fix and far easier than blowing up the structure or adding characters.

The call ended with the producer telling me that he wanted to read the script a second time before we met again to discuss his thoughts in more depth. So, we now have plans to sit down the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December, depending upon the projects that he's working on.

But regardless, it was certainly good news that our finished screenplay held up under his initial examination. It sounds like round of celebratory pints are in order to me as every little step is a small victory when you're coming out of nowhere.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, November 16, 2007 16 comments

"But, the real excitement of course is going to come at the end of the summer, during Sexual Awareness week. We import two hundred hookers from around the world, and each camper, armed with only a thermos of coffee and two thousand dollars cash, tries to visit as many countries as he can. The winner of course is named King of Sexual Awareness week and is allowed to rape and pillage the neighboring towns until camp ends." - Bill Murray, "Meatballs"

It was 88 degrees this week in Austin, which is semi-ridiculous considering it's mid-November, but things could be worse. It seemed like a slow week for Hollywood shenanigans, but there is always a few stories to deal with such as:

Paris Hilton was praised by conservationists for highlighting the problem of binge-drinking elephants in northeastern India this week as the heiress attempted to raise awareness of the plight of the pachyderms that get drunk on farmers' homemade rice beer and then go on a rampage.

"The elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them," Hilton said in a report posted on World Entertainment News Network's Web site.

Hilton later clarified that she wasn't referring to Britney Spears when she mentioned the dangers of drinking coupled with excessive girth.

"Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere revealed that she has a warrant out for her in Japan after she recently paddled out to the middle of the ocean with some activist friends to try and prevent local fishermen from slaughtering a group of dolphins.

“I learned that they have an arrest warrant out for me in Japan,” Hayden Panettiere told E! News Wednesday. “We just found out.”

Panettiere is not as heroic when it comes to rescuing 30-year-old men in bathtubs when pictures are sent. Trust me.

Boy George was charged Tuesday with falsely imprisoning a 28-year-old man, British police said as the singer and DJ, whose real name is George O'Dowd, has been ordered to appear before a court on Nov. 22.

The Sun newspaper reported in April that a Norwegian man, Auden Karlsen, claimed he was chained and threatened at O'Dowd's London flat, where he had gone as a photo model.

Karlsen reported feeling traumatized as he was chained up and forced to listen to Karma Chamelon on an endless repeat while George screamed "The Boy becomes a Man tonight."

A possible class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Miley Cyrus Fan Club alleges that the lure of club membership in exchange for a better shot at concert tickets is entirely bogus.

According to court documents filed on behalf of New Jersey resident Kerry Inman in U.S. District Court in Nashville, Interactive Media Marketing Inc. and Smiley Miley Inc. couldn't back up the promise of easier concert access in exchange for an annual $29.95 membership fee.

"They deceptively lured thousands of individuals into purchasing memberships, based on the understanding that by joining, they would be able to purchase tickets before they were offered for sale to the general public, and that's why we're suing," Inman's attorney, Rob Peirce, said in a statement.

I am not partaking in the lawsuit as I simply joined the fan club because I love the music. The poetic verses and all-powerful vocal talent of Hannah Montana is easily worth $30.

Michael Jackson is at risk of losing his Neverland Ranch if he does not pay at least $212,963 on his delinquent $23,212,963 loan he took out in 2006 amid mounting debts.

The Ranch could go up for auction if a foreclosure ensues.

Prospective buyers inquiring about the presence of chimpanzees and small children on the property have been officially told "no comment" for now.

Matt Damon has been named the "sexiest man alive" by People magazine, an honor that has been bestowed twice on his pals George Clooney and Brad Pitt and caught Damon by surprise.

"You gave an aging suburban dad the ego boost of a lifetime," he says in a letter published in the magazine. "My 9-year-old stepdaughter now thinks I'm cool — well, cooler."

After the announcement of the award, Carrot Top sent an angry letter to his publicist while quietly weeping.

Since we're finishing on a high note, let's continue that trend with a gold image like this:

I'm all for group nudity, and whatever ensues after shedding your clothes. So, feel free to be uninhibited today, shed your outer layer and . . . Happy Friday!


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Early Morning Camels . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, November 14, 2007 19 comments

I was drinking coffee this morning, and trying to postpone my workload when I stumbled across a camel, his toe and Sharon Stone in tights.

This was an unusually disturbing combination. It was not a fitting visual for 7:45 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, and honestly, I cannot think of anytime when I would enjoy the sight.

The camel toe phenomenon is not a good one. In general, I find tight and/or too small clothing for women to be a turn-on and something to be encouraged and occasionally applauded. But not in this case.

The CT boasts no redeeming qualities in my book. It can make attractive women look trashy, and trashy women nearly obscene.

There is generally no equivalent for guys that rivals the female camel toe. I recall a "Friends" episode where a guy walks around without underwear while wearing athletic shorts, which ultimately requires Gunther to sternly tell him to put "the mouse back in the house buddy."

But that's not really the same thing.

The only way to rival the CT would be to run around in public wearing spandex shorts and little else, thereby creating a distinct cast molding of your package. Maybe you could term such a thing a pocket rocket or something similar. That being said, I've yet to see this happen, and I could happily live the rest of my days without viewing it.

Then again, maybe my views on this subject are on the fringe, and most people find Camel Toes and Pocket Rockets to be devastatingly erotic entities worthy of exaltation rather than scorn.

These things happen - I just hope to avoid them during the early morning hours at the very least.


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The Greatest Sex Around Part 11 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12 comments

{This is the eleventh in a semi-regular series of posts regarding great cinematic sex scenes as defined by me. This is completely arbitrary and open for interpretation, but so is life.}

The words Billy Bob Thornton and tremendous sex scene aren't usually compatible, however, when you add Halle Berry into that mix, then you have enough sexual firepower to catapult their tryst in "Monster's Ball" into the all-time sex scene Hall of Fame.

The movie itself is a well-made, semi-depressing look at families, racism, and other heavy topics. But ignoring those worthy issues for a moment, it also features Thornton and Berry in a raw and somewhat controversial sex scene that provides ample heat to the screen.

The encounter occurs after Thornton realizes that he knew Berry's husband (I won't reveal how). They are sitting on the couch at his house, and then the action begins with clothes being ripped off as a long, fierce scene erupts that finds Berry asking him to "make me feel good."

The good feelings go on for quite awhile, and the audience is rewarded with a coupling that showcases Berry in all her glory as Thornton has the sense to leave plenty of unobstructed views.

While it's true that Berry could make a sex scene with a phone book look pretty terrific, it's the heat quotient in her time with Thornton which earns them a place among the cinematic elite.


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Foolish Decisions While Smelling The Glove . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, November 11, 2007 15 comments

On a whim, my brother and I decided to sign up for the YMCA adult basketball winter league which starts this coming Sunday.

We figured that it would be good exercise (I always prefer running to play a sport versus running for no particular reason except stamina), it would remind us of our high school playing days (not re-living glory mind you, unless your definition of "glory" is extremely skewed), and it would ward off the Sunday blues which can easily occur on the theoretical day of rest.

This is kind of colloborative thinking will likely lead straight to shame, but we'll know soon enough.

But regardless, this foray into team sports has already claimed one victim - me - as I jumped high and then landed on, ironically enough, my brother's shoe during practice today and rolled my ankle completely over.

Now, I'm hobbling around like Britney Spears at 3 a.m. on any given Tuesday.


I have a week to heal before our opening night, and although I have no idea about the level of competition, I have the Fear that there will be a number of teams taking this very seriously and playing by "prison rules" as Jim Carrey noted in "The Cable Guy" basketball scene.

This lead me to consider other movies with quality basketball scenes which include (in no particular order):

1) Teen Wolf - Quite simply the best werewolf basketball action ever committed to film

2) Soul Man - One of the funniest basketball scenes ever committed to film.
3) Hoosiers - Just a damn fine film.

I've also come to believe that talent isn't the determining factor in a basketball team's success - it's the name.

A good or inscrutable name will instantly cause the opponent to consider your motives when the schedule appears. Your skills rarely proceed you, however, other teams will know your name.

Our team name: Smell the Glove. If you can tell me where I stole that from during a long brainstorming session conducted at an outdoor patio last week, then I'll be impressed.

"Smell the Glove" marks yet another team that I have played on where the name was evocative, bizarre or both. Past efforts included:

1) Scent of a Crouton - Utter nonsense. It means nothing.

2) Gorilla Masks - Reference to a horrible and despicable sexual act.
3) Greased Weasels - Simply liked the sound of such a thing.

Each time those teams finished with winning records, so I have high hopes for our inaugural season with a squad of white collar workers, friends of friends and other miscreants.

That's probably the pain pills talking, and with that in mind, I'm going to bed to dream about healing and excessively limber librarians - maybe not in that order.


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