Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, August 29, 2008 22 comments

"I smell something weird down here. Smells like ya'll been hitting the Devil's lettuce." - Danny McBride, "The Heartbreak Kid"

Since it's Friday, I smell breakfast tacos which is always a nice way to end the week. But before I run to grab two tacos, hot sauce and coffee, let's look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Kim Kardashian was rushed to the emergency room Sunday night after slicing her foot open on a broken mirror in her New York hotel.

The reality star, who was making the publicity rounds in the Big Apple for her big-screen acting debut in next Friday's spoof Disaster Movie, sought treatment at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

It's not known how many stitches she received, but Kardashian told ABC's Good Morning America today she bled so much "it was like a murder scene."

It's a good thing she didn't slice into her ass because that would have looked like a massacre.

Sean Connery launched his autobiography this week as "Being a Scot" looks at Connery's early life as a milkman in Edinburgh's Fountainbridge neighborhood, then delves into a wide-ranging look at Scottish culture including the work of poet Robert Burns, novelist Sir Walter Scott and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Presumably it also includes a chapter on how it feels to be one of the most awesome men on the planet.

Grammy-nominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi will sit alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson when the eighth season of "American Idol" premieres in January, the Fox network said Monday.

"For the past seven seasons, Paula has had to endure the experience of being the only woman at the judges' table," said Mike Darnell, president, alternative programming of Fox, in a statement. "With Kara by her side, Paula has some backup and now there is going to be a lot more `girl power' on the show," Darnell said.

Rumors that DioGuardi's main duties include keeping Abdul from popping prescription pills like Tic Tacs and ensuring that Abdul stops sniffing glue during commercial breaks are rumored, but yet to be confirmed.

It was announced this week that Britney Spears will not attempt a comeback performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

Spears' manager, Larry Rudolph, told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show on Monday that Spears is "in the middle of recording her next album, which is going amazingly well, and was never supposed to perform at the show."

Besides, Spears could never top her heavy-lidded, sedated and largely unrehearsed train wreck from last year.

Charlie Sheen and wife Brooke Mueller announced that Mueller was pregnant this week.

"Brooke and I are thrilled!" Sheen wrote. "She's the best stepmom Sam, Lola and Cassandra could ever hope for. Seeing her love and affection with those three, I know she'll be an amazing mom. Unless I bat 100 percent, perhaps a boy awaits us."

In anticipation of another male Sheen, futures in the high-end prostitution market skyrocketed this week.

In other pregnancy news, Ultimate Fighting legend Tito Ortiz and the world's most famous retired porn star Jenna Jameson confirmed they are expecting their first child.

In an interview with US Magazine, Jenna exclaimed, "Yes, I can confirm I'm pregnant. It's still early, so I'm being cautious. I'm resting as much as possible. I'm so happy!"

Charlie Sheen has already called to congratulate Jameson and schedule future time for playdates for their impending arrivals.

Nicolette Sheridan and Michael Bolton ended their engagement as "the split was amicable," said Nicole Perna, a publicist for the pair.

The 44-year-old actress and 55-year-old singer have been engaged since March 2006. They first started dating in 1992 and spent five years together, Perna said, then rekindled their romance in 2005.

No reason was given for the split, however, several insiders heard multiple drunken fights about "bringing back the mullet" in recent months.

Michael Lohan, Lindsay's father, slammed Lindsay's girlfriend - Samantha Ronson - for being a bad influence.

He tells, "Samantha drinks and passes the drinks under the table to Lindsay, and behind the scenes it gets worse and worse. Sam is using my daughter. My daughter isn't working because she's always with Sam. Even my ex-wife knows it. She just isn't doing anything about it."

Michael Lohan later added " . . . And worst of all, Ronson is a pretty damn ugly."

We never end with ugliness around here, and instead, we'll focus on a gold image such as:

Black and White had been dominating this section for awhile, so a little color felt like a solid change of pace. So, don't be afraid to go bold in the bedroom, be on the lookout for colorful characters and . . . Happy Friday and Labor Day Weekend!


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Surviving Smuggling Scents . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, August 27, 2008 17 comments

I was busted, soon to be humiliated. I just knew it. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide and besides, I still wanted to watch "Pineapple Express."

These thoughts were running through my head as I strolled to the ticket puncher this past weekend, ticket in hand and yet weighed down with loads of illicit contraband not sanctioned by the theater.

Concealed on my body, I carried a McDonald's egg Mcmuffin with bacon wrapped in tinfoil to keep it warm, a small bag of almonds, one glazed cake donut and an ice-cold water bottle jammed down the front of my pants which caused Stanley to recoil in horror.

My pockets bulged outward unnaturally as they were laden with food, and I had a distinct feeling that the McMuffin was emitting delicious fumes that only a fool couldn't smell.

This can only end badly I thought, then wondered why I had chosen to get into the proper sprit of "Pineapple Express" by indulging in a vice that rarely happened anymore. "What's done is done," I said to myself and stepped confidently forward to present my ticket and be guided to the theater.

The kid barely glanced at me as he tore the stub and sent me onto theater #4 on the left. "Thanks," I mumbled and walked past the theater manager who wore a business suit and eyed me warily as I bypassed the concession stand.

After making it safely into the theater, I felt euphoric and eagerly anticipated cracking the snacks as the lights went down. It wasn't until the previews started, however, that I noticed that the theater seemed to consist mainly of high school kids who must have snuck into the movie, which was rated 'R.'

Regardless, I opened the McMuffin wrapper just as the last preview ended, which produced an odor that permeated the air around me and drifted backwards towards the kids. It smelled great, but I knew - just knew - that this scent was undeniable in the closed theater and between their giggles they must be wondering who was breaking the rules.

I snuck a glance behind me. Nothing. The movie was starting and they were in their own world, sparing me not a second thought. This was perfect. Besides, if they try to blackmail me for the McMuffin, I would simply turn it back on the little bastards by wolfing it down and then threatening to inform management that they had entered illegally.

Two can play at that game.

But the drama subsided, the comedy of the film began and I simply enjoyed the hell out of being inside a dark theater with a warm McMuffin, a sweet donut and cold water that went down smoothly with the knowledge that I had overcome the odds of being identified as a rule-breaker by management.

It's the small things, eh?


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Thoughts on "Pineapple Express" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, August 25, 2008 13 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Maybe if you're stoned, you could justify paying full price, however, this is purely a matinee event for the dog days of summer. Besides, you should save the delta between matinee and evening prices to buy snacks.

Will I Own It On DVD: Possibly. If I could get this on-sale for less than $10, then I might grab it depending on my state of financial affairs.

1) "Pineapple Express" is a semi-ambitious stoner movie as it blends a lot of dope with the 80s action-buddy genre and boasts mixed results. The swing from laughable, dope-addled pals to somewhat brutal violence is a tricky line to walk, and yet this film is only occasionally jarring in the delivery (mainly in the far too long and violent ending).

2) Seth Rogen ("Knocked Up," "Superbad") plays the main character of Dale, a process server in his mid-20s who smokes dope all day while serving court orders and also dates an 18-year-old high school girl. Rogen's character is another spin on the one he played in "Knocked Up," and it's a testament to his inherent liability that you always pull for him to succeed despite a startling lack of ambition.

3) While Rogen has consistently delivered the goods, it was James Franco's performance as the titular pot dealer of a super-strain of weed - Pineapple Express - who was the revelation. In general, Franco ("Spiderman") has done nothing but irritate me in nearly every role I've ever seen him in as I loathed him in the "Spiderman" films.

But he is flat-out excellent in "Pineapple Express" as he slips fully into the role of a dim-witted dealer who runs around in pajama pants and smokes dope all day long.

4) The romance angle in "Pineapple Express" is the most underwritten aspect of the film. It felt like a late perfunctory addition to the script, and it never goes anywhere before essentially disappearing entirely prior to the climax.

That being said, it does offer the chance for Ed Begley Jr, playing the role of an overprotective father, to yell at Rogen to get out of his house or "I will drag you outside and fuck you in the street." Priceless.

5) As in most Judd Apatow productions (he doesn't direct here, but produces), the real relationship is more about male friendship. One of the reasons his films are so likable and the characters so empathetic is that they feature hilarious banter and solid friendship chemistry that rings true. This allows the audience to invest in the characters and follow them through sometimes outlandish scenarios.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, August 22, 2008 18 comments

"You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That's where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory." - Tim Robbins, "The Shawshank Redemption"

Despite being played into the ground on basic cable, "The Shawshank Redemption" is still a damn fine movie and one of the best on-screen friendships I've ever seen. But I have no time to ponder friends, enemies or anything else today as I have a training on our new product at work, a schedule which seems especially cruel on a Friday.

So, before I soak up new and exciting knowledge, let's look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Latin superstar Ricky Martin is the father of twin boys born by a surrogate mother.

The children were born a few weeks ago and are "already under Ricky's full-time care,'' according to a statement from his representatives. The statement gave no further details but said Martin, 36, ''will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children.''

Concerning the surrogate mother, Martin commented that "She Bangs," however, I strongly doubt he knows for certain.

Malaysia's Islamic opposition party has urged the government to cancel a concert by Avril Lavigne, saying the Canadian singer's on-stage moves are "too sexy," an official said Monday.

The youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said Lavigne's concert would promote wrong values ahead of Malaysia's Aug. 31 independence day.

"It is considered too sexy for us. ... It's not good for viewers in Malaysia," said Kamarulzaman Mohamed, a party official. "We don't want our people, our teenagers, influenced by their performance. We want clean artists, artists that are good role models."

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party also requested only "talented performers" be booked for future concerts.

US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has married her long-time partner, actress Portia de Rossi, according to the Associated Press news agency.

DeGeneres' publicist confirmed reports that the couple tied the knot at their Beverly Hills home on Saturday. DeGeneres, 50, and De Rossi, 35, exchanged handwritten vows in a private ceremony attended by 19 guests, reported People and US magazine.

Somewhere in the world, Anne Heche is ruing her decision not to stay a lesbian.

Roseanne Barr used her personal website to slam Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Jolie's father, Jon Voight this week.

Calling Jolie the “evil spawn” of Voight and Pitt “vacuous,” Roseanne’s attack seems to be directed at the actress and her family members over their opinions regarding presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama.

I'm sure Barack Obama has been waiting for Barr's endorsement to boost him over-the-top in this tight election.

Christina Applegate says she has a clean bill of health after undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

"I'm clear," Applegate tells ABC News' "Good Morning America" in an interview Tuesday. "Absolutely 100 percent clear and clean. It did not spread. They got everything out, so I'm definitely not going to die from breast cancer."

I'm glad Applegate received the good news as I have enjoyed her work since "Married with Children" and while I'm no doctor, I'd be happy to give her my own personal clean bill of health, which varies slightly from the traditionally restrictive medical journals.

Jessica Simpson is now selling beer as the singer/actress has signed on as spokeswoman for Stampede Light Plus, made by Dallas' Stampede Brewing Co.

Simpson will appear in ads in stores for the beer and is taking a 15 percent stake in the brewer. Lawrence Schwartz, Stampede's president and chief executive, says Simpson is the now face of the brand.

For a 15% stake, I think I'd negotiate some of Simpson's other attributes to go along with the face.

As always, let's end with a gold image:

It's not a bad thing to be joined at the hip, especially when you're naked. So, find yourself a good partner, stretch thoroughly before navigating complex movements and . . . Happy Friday!


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Cheese With Your Whine . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, August 19, 2008 19 comments

There's nothing like returning from vacation and finding a stack of work and emails to deal with to remind you that play time is over.

It's an ugly reality, but my head is still drifting towards red wine and coastal hikes, cooler climates and fresh seafood and miles of driving roads flanked by redwood trees. If your digestive system can handle eating your body weight in cheese and your liver can process copious amounts of red wine, then I would heartily recommend a trek through northern California, especially if you live somewhere miserably hot - like August in Austin.

There were lots of moving pieces to this trip, but luckily, everything worked out perfectly. Booming around in a rented Dodge Charger, I managed to:

* Visit more than a dozen wineries and buy exactly a dozen bottles of wine which are currently being shipped to Austin

* Take in the Chihuly blown glass exhibit at the De Young museum in SF

* Stay out until 3 am at a SF rave located in some warehouse

* Hike through Jack London, Russian Gulch and Van Damme state parks

* Urinate outside in 3 state parks as well as various turn-outs among redwood trees on Highway 128 without being ticketed

* Sip Roederer champagne (not technically champagne, but still . . . The company that makes Cristal) at 10:30 a.m. at their tasting grounds

* Drive more than 800 miles through beautiful country

Even staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Mendocino worked out well. In general, B & B's make me uneasy as I think of them as a place where erections go to die. I firmly believe it is the high doily quotient that kills them.

But B & B's are the main lodging in Mendocino, and ours featured great breakfasts, ocean views, fireplaces in the rooms and hosts who are genuinely some of the nicest people I've met in years.

The only thing that went sideways was the flight home as I managed to spend 3 hours stuck in Las Vegas when my connecting flight got delayed. The Vegas airport is a horrible place under most circumstances, and this was no different.

The air conditioning was barely functioning despite the temperature hovering at 107 degrees outside. The human circus was making me uneasy too as amateur hookers walked past sun-burned guys in tank-tops who looked like they just lost their mortgage payment.

Those few hours were a small price to pay for an excellent trip that surpassed my expectations. Now, I simply need to sit in a steam room for about 3 days to sweat out the cheese and wine that still lurks in my system.

Or maybe I just need to skip out of work early and grab a beer.


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The Wino And I Know . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, August 06, 2008 14 comments

We've hit 100 degrees or higher in Austin more than 40 times this summer, so I feel more than ready to skip town for cooler climates.

That will happen later today when my wife and I leave for California. The plan calls for a start in San Francisco before spending time driving through the wine country and along the coast with stops in Sonoma, Healdsburg and Mendocino before returning to brave the heat once again.

It should an excellent reprieve, and the general plan calls for copious amounts of wine tasting, hiking along the coast, eating fresh seafood, sleeping, reading, taking pictures, massages, swimming and sloth.

I'll be behind on movies as "Pineapple Express" and "Tropic Thunder" open while I’m gone, however, I can always catch up on my return to the real world. Oh well, these things happen.

Everyone have a good few weeks as $2 Dollar Productions is on hiatus until August 18th when I'll return with lips stained with red wine and a smile on my face.


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Dying For A Tag . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, August 04, 2008 17 comments

Last week I was tagged to list 8 things you want to do before you die, and grappling with these issues of mortality seems vaguely appropriate for a Monday morning. This list is transitional as I imagine it would change quite frequently depending on when the question was asked, however, this is mine for now:

1) Write a complete novel - This is probably a common one, but I simply want to write at least one full novel before I kick. Right now, I have a whopping 5 pages written on one idea, and another one story I think I want to write at some point, so I'm well on my way. Ha.

2) Spend 2 weeks in Bora Bora - Just checking out from the world in an island paradise and reading and swimming and drinking margaritas with nobody else around feels like a moral imperative.

3) Learn to be a proficient cook - I don't need to be a master, but expanding my scope beyond scrambled eggs, marinated steak and coffee seems like a reasonable goal.

4) Build a media room for the house - When I move from my loft, I want to have a media room with plush chairs, dim lighting and a huge screen on the wall with pitch-perfect surround sound. We'll see.

5) Raise a reasonable kid - I don't have a strong desire for this right now, however, at some point I believe it will happen.

6) Embark on and complete an Epic quest - I'm not sure what this quest will entail, but I would like it to be something akin to Einstein's discovery that E = MC2 or the Lord of the Rings.

7) Read every single book that interests me - This will be extremely difficult, but it is a task that is easily worth the attempt.

8) 3 Words: Ménage a Trois - No explanation necessary.


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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, August 01, 2008 15 comments

"I've seen me a lot of weird shit in my day, but I ain't never seen a one-legged stripper. I seen me a stripper with one breast. And I seen me a stripper with twelve toes. I've even seen me a stripper with no brains at all, but I ain't never seen a one-legged stripper. And I've been to Morocco." - Quentin Tarantino, "Planet Terror"

I wouldn't mind seeing a mixture of strippers today, however, I doubt that will happen as work calls to me and I can't justify handing out twenties for lap dances when I have a vacation looming next week. So, to take my mind off of exotic dancers, let's take a look at the hard news such as:

Indiana Jones" star Shia LaBeouf was arrested on suspicion of drink driving after an auto accident in which he was injured early Sunday.

LaBeouf was driving a vehicle that collided with another vehicle at 3 a.m. in Hollywood, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Wolf said. "He subsequently injured his head, knee and hand and was hospitalized," Wolf said.

LaBeouf must have been on his way to Walgreens when the accident occurred.

{Editor's Note: LeBeouf was arrested for being drunk inside a Walgreen's last year}.

Lindsay Lohan was taken to a New York hospital early on Saturday after she was hit by a motorbike following a night out in New York, a local newspaper reported.

The New York Post said on Sunday that the "Mean Girls" starlet was sideswiped by a motorcycle, and it quoted her father, Michael, as saying: "She's not hurt. That's all I really care about."

Michael Lohan later clarified that all he really cares about is that Lindsay's bank account is still alive.

It appears that Ali Lohan, Lindsay's younger sister, accidentally auditioned for a porn director on E!'s "Living Lohan."

According to TMZ, Lohan was unaware when she auditioned for a horror flick reportedly titled "Trolls" that producer Peter Davy has a few adult films under his belt. TMZ says Lohan's mom, Dina, was not happy as her rep told that "Ali obviously had no idea about Davy's past. If she did know, she never would have auditioned for him."

If Dina had known about the porn, then she would have sent Lindsay to audition - it's so damn obvious.

Amy Winehouse was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance from her north London home Monday night due to a reaction to medication that had been taken at her home.

"She had a bit of a scare yesterday because of a reaction to treatment. She was kept in overnight purely for observation," Dr. Goodman said in a statement. "Amy is at home now after leaving with her father and manager. She is having a rest."

The headline "Winehouse rushed to the hospital due to drug reaction" could be a headline this week, next week and virtually any other week of the calendar year.

Freddi Prinze Jr. joined the creative team for World Wrestling Entertainment this week as Prinze will have a hand in contributing to USA's "WWE Monday Night RAW" as well as the WWE's weekly television and pay-per-view programs.

"Bringing on board an experienced Hollywood writer, actor and producer like Freddie Prinze, Jr. will only increase the level of entertainment to millions of viewers and passionate WWE fans every Monday on USA," says Chris McCumber, Executive Vice President Marketing Digital & Brand Strategy, USA Network.

I would reduce that millions and millions claim to dozens and dozens if I was a betting man, and I'm hoping that Sarah Michelle Gellar will now start taking my calls.

Two of the most famous pot smokers of the 1970s, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, unveiled plans on Wednesday for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years following their acrimonious split.

"Cheech & Chong: Light Up America ..." will hit 22 cities in the United States starting with Philadelphia on September 12 and ending in Denver, Colorado, on December 20. In between they will play Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C. and other places.

Their Green Room demands include Red Vines, Pringles, Captain Crunch cereal, and pornography - or maybe that's just mine when I'm twisted.

New parents Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge are busy planning their wedding, which will reportedly take place before the end of 2008.

According to OK! magazine, the pair -- engaged since March -- is planning a low-key southern-style wedding, but Britney Spears is expected to step in as maid of honor.

A source tells the tabloid, "She (Jamie Lynn) loves everything about the area where she lives. She's not going to get married at some luxury resort in the Caribbean or a hotel in Beverly Hills."

The source later added that neither Fried Chicken nor Moonshine was available in sufficient quantities for the Caribbean or Beverly Hills to be considered.

As always, let's end with a gold image such as:

I love when things go round and round and never seem to end - at least I do in certain instances. So, remember that taking the long way around can be a good thing, remember to stay hydrated and pace yourself and . . . Happy Friday!


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