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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 27, 2009 17 comments

“Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't” - Colin Farrel, “In Bruges”


"In Bruges" was up for a Best Screenplay Oscar this year, and it was a very solid – if not politically correct – movie that I recently bought for $3.99, which was a steal. Anyway, I’m ready for the weekend, but before I can leave the office, I’ve got work to do and stories to report, so let’s look at the hard ones of the week such as:

Melissa Fox and Brian Austin Green have reportedly called off their engagement, US Weekly reported. The couple have dated since 2004, announced their engagement in 2006, and also sport tattoos with each other’s names on them.


This news completely makes up for Salma Hayek getting married last week, and gives me hope for the future.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen were married Thursday in a small, private ceremony in Santa Monica, California, according to PEOPLE magazine.


Just when Megan Fox restores karmic order to the word, Gisele Bundchen has to screw it up by getting married.

Vivid Entertainment – a well-known porn studio – made a $1 million offer this week to “Octo-Mom” Nadya Suleman to make an adult movie.

According to TMZ.com, the president of the pornography studio, Steven Hirsch, says the company would release the film under their "Vivid-Celeb imprint, which has released titles starring such personalities as Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, and most recently, former Miss USA Kelli MCarty."

The site also reports that the company is offering her family dental and health care if she agrees to star in a series of films.


The deal is literally a tit for tat arrangement, oral work gets Suleman oral care and so on and so forth.

The woman riding with Morgan Freeman the night of a car crash which injured both of them filed a lawsuit citing negligence against the actor, and insists she was never romantically linked to Freeman.

"I have been labeled as the other woman and have been accused of having caused the breakup of Mr. Freeman's marriage," Meyer said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I had hoped and prayed that Mr. Freeman or his representatives would have set the record straight and cleared my name, but they have not done so and that is why I have chosen to come forward to tell the truth about our relationship."


She later added, “Now I hope and pray I receive a lot of money for no good reason at all.”

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, who welcomed daughter Harlow on Jan. 11, 2008, have announced they are now expecting another child.

"What's better than winning an Oscar? I am so happy to tell everyone that Harlow is going to be a big sister!" Madden wrote on his website. "God has truly blessed my family. Hope you're all feeling as good as I am right now."


God has also blessed their household with abundant access to food, but Richie rarely takes advantage of the bounty.

In other food news, Nicky Hilton made a citizen’s arrest over the weekend at an International House of Pancakes restaurant.

Access Hollywood reported that Hilton was leaving the International House of Pancakes in West Hollywood on Saturday when Michael Broadhurst, 50, allegedly pushed her from behind. A sheriff’s deputy inside the restaurant came out to check on what he referred to as a “commotion” and found Hilton placing the man under a “private person’s arrest.”


Ignoring the fact that Hilton weighs 87 lbs. soaking wet and couldn’t place a large cat under arrest, what the hell was she doing at IHOP anyway? She must have been drunk or just loves the rooty-tutty fresh n fruity like nobody’s business.

Chris Brown enrolled in anger management classes this week as the R&B singer, who was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of making criminal threats against Rihanna, attended his first class on Monday afternoon.


By 1:41 p.m. on Monday afternoon, Brown became enraged that the class would not be screening “Anger Management” with Adam Sandler and trashed the place before accessing his NetFlix account on the way out the door.

As always, let’s end with a gold image or two to set the mood for the weekend:




It seemed like a fine day to add some color and nipples to the standard mix. So, wear something bright today, keep everything pointed up and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Warehouse Tales Volume 2 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 25, 2009 16 comments

After the banana peel incident, I probably should have left, however, I decided to enter the battle zone anyway.


Luckily, this “preview day” was far less crowded than usual, so I walked around with Blackberry in hand since I had ducked out of work early. I had one specific item in mind to purchase which is a poor idea at these kinds of things because it is a random hodge-podge of inventory scattered around an enormous warehouse.

I circled the perimeter and my mind was still pondering the banana peel and generally spaced out when I heard a female voice call out my name with a question mark implication. Looking up, I found myself staring into the face of an Alpha Delta Pi who I dated for a short while during college, nearly 12 years ago.


But I did remember her name, and said “Hi Wendy.”

I was mainly glad to have recalled her name, but also that she seemed glad to see me. This was no small item since I dated her during what I term my “dark period” in college following the break-up with my high school girlfriend during freshman year. The period was marked with rampant carousing, alcohol, broken promises, Jack in the Box runs at 2:30 a.m., and continued until I met my future wife. On the plus side, it did produce some lasting stories that my best friend and I still discuss today, however, it also caused more than one person – typically female – to accuse me of being a flaming asshole even though I was never intentionally nasty about anything, just somewhat ridiculous in my behavior.


Anyway, Wendy was one of the nicest girls I dated and we must have parted on decent terms. We spent the next ten minutes catching up on life post-college, mutual friends, etc. and then came the awkward part. We both live in Austin, were friendly and yet I didn’t feel like asking for her phone number to grab a “let’s catch up over lunch” sometime offer. This “lunch” would probably never occur, but it seemed like it was expected for me to ask.

But I didn’t and it felt awkward.

I have been trying to cut through some amount of obligation and misguided social expectations these past few years. Time is at a premium, and I now turn down more offers than I accept. A lunch would have been fine, but nothing exciting as we had already caught up on our paths since college and were off the market as far as hooking up, so carving out time to eat seemed like a colossal waste of time to me.


Maybe I’m wrong, and should have asked for her number even with no intention of using it. Instead, I ended with something lame like “Well, if I ever join Facebook, then maybe I’ll see you around there.” Lame.

All in all, it was a hell of an eventful warehouse sale in which I bought absolutely nothing.

-BDS

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Warehouse Tales Volume 1 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 23, 2009 16 comments

I decided to run by a warehouse sale at Four Hands after work this past week.



Four Hands has some pretty sharp furniture, and their warehouse sales typically occur once every 3 or 4 months and offer deep discounts on a wide range of stuff. I’ve only been to one of these in the past, however, it was nothing short of a human zoo as you had to park across the street, wait in line to enter the fray and then battle your way around the labyrinth of sale items.

This isn’t a fun or relaxing experience. It is brutish and ugly. There is no personal space, thuggish behavior is rewarded and you can smell the commerce rising up from the furniture, which only whips the crowd into a greater frenzy. Selah.

Anyway, this time I was hopeful as they were holding a preview day, sent to me via email, and so I was cautiously optimistic that attendance would be much more sparse than the last time.

It was misting lightly as I drove up to the warehouse, and once again I had to park across the street. I was wearing these beat-up, slightly bizarre leather boots I bought on my one trip to Italy and this was important because their grip was poor on the wet ground. I knew this, however, so I was stepping slowly as I focused my attention on the street traffic because I had to cross it to enter the sale.

I stepped onto the sidewalk and began moving towards the street since there was a break in traffic. But before I got there, my right foot suddenly slid wildly out from under me and my entire body followed suit. Luckily, I have the coordination of a jungle cat and so I managed to remain upright, but I couldn’t believe I’d nearly managed to fall flat on my ass while walking so slowly.

Then, I looked down to the ground and saw what had caused me to slide: A banana peel. Seriously.


I felt like I had been thrown into a cartoon without my knowledge or consent. Who would actually throw a banana peel onto the ground? And consequently, who slips on one? Does this happen in real life, not just in the Sunday cartoon section?

The only thing I did learn was that banana peels are slippery as hell. This is no urban myth or cartoon legend.

I began laughing out loud, talking this situation over to myself as I crossed the street. I noticed that a man on the other side, leaving the sale, was watching me uneasily as I came towards him with a wild grin on my face.

I said nothing as we passed in opposite directions. Besides, he wouldn’t have understood why I was watching for Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner to appear at any minute.


-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 20, 2009 20 comments

"Beer is for breakfast around here, drink or be gone.” Bryan Brown, “Cocktail”


“Cocktail” is a fairly horrible yet also horribly entertaining movie that is far better than it has any right to be. I probably should have quoted an Oscar film as I plan to watch and pull for Mickey Rourke this weekend, but for some reason, “Cocktail” popped into my head.

Anyway, it’s 70 degrees and sunny in Austin, so I need to flee the office as quickly as possible. Before that occurs, however, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Salma Hayek married her French lover on Valentine’s Day, an official at a Paris City Hall confirmed this week.

The official says the Mexican-born actress wed Francois-Henri Pinault in a civil ceremony. The two met in Italy in 2006, got engaged and then had a child - Valentina Paloma - in September 2007 before breaking off their engagement in 2008.


This just gives me another reason to hate Valentine’s Day, although my love for Hayek remains unabated.

Christ Brown, who was arrested before the Grammys in connection with a domestic violence investigation involving Rhianna, released a statement this week which saying the singer is "sorry and saddened" over what happened.

The statement was released through publicist Michael Sitrick and said: "I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerge a better person."


In a subsequent statement, God stated: “I had nothing to do with this, and don’t appreciate having my name used in connection with the incident.“

Lindsay Lohan addressed her recent rail thin appearance this week as she told Us Weekly that stress was largely to blame.

"I eat. I had my Big Mac yesterday from McDonald's," Lohan told Us Weekly. The 22-year-old actress also said that her recent weight loss is "not intentional," blaming it on "working a lot," "stress" and a "lack of sleep" from traveling.


While her statement contains certain truths, the most accurate order of the wording should be: Lohan cannot find any “work,” which is “not intentional” on her part and she is “stressed” and this is causing a “lack of sleep.” So, she was close . . .

GQ magazine's list of the "10 most Stylish Men in America” named Grammy-winning pop singer Justin Timberlake as its most fashionable man this week.

The singer/actor gave his banker stepfather the credit for his dress sense. The magazine praised Timberlake, 28, for his impact on fashion, his willingness to take risks and "knack for targeting trends" including hats, three-piece suits, skinny ties and beards.


The award is certain to help Timberlake garner female attention as he obviously needed more help in that department.

People magazine revealed this week that Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen are engaged.

According to a friend of the actress, co-stars in 2008’s “Jumper,” got engaged in December. “They’re so excited,” says the pal, adding that no wedding date has been set. “They’re a great couple. Rachel seems thrilled beyond belief.”


As a wedding present to the public, the pair have agreed never to make a sequel to “Jumper.”

Kanye West appeared on Details magazine this week, and gave a wide-ranging interview that discussed his favorite subject – himself – and also credited his past sexual addiction for his success.

"People ask me a lot about my drive," he says. "I think it comes from, like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex—to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club in the freezing cold at 3 a.m., the places they go to pick up a girl. If you can focus the energy into something valuable, put that into work ethic..."


Finally, I agree with West about something as sexual addiction has been great for my own life too.

But let’s not end with addiction, no matter how matter how beneficial it may be, and instead focus on a gold image or two:



I enjoy wide open spaces, nature and nudity, so these photographs agreed with me. So, try to get outdoors today, feel free to leave your clothing behind and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Bathing With The Drunken Viking . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 18, 2009 18 comments

{This is the 25th entry in a recurring series that will only happen when I have consumed far too many spirits with my brother. Last night, we celebrated a package delivery with several bottles of Negro Modelo which triggered strange thoughts, candid insights and pure horseshit. Selah.}



• Just because you have tinted windows doesn’t mean other drivers can’t see you picking your nose.

• If you go home with a woman to discover a single unicorn picture, more than two cats or lace everywhere then do NOT spend the night there – just go home afterwards.


• Invite one bad drunk to a dinner party to spur conversation, however, more than one ensures a debacle.

• While traveling for business, the bar at any Chili’s is the loneliest place in the world – avoid it at all costs.


• What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas except for communicable diseases

• If you surf for porn at work, then you have a problem. If it’s at home, then it’s a hobby. If you’re self-employed, then it’s a gray area.

• Forget talk about inner peace and tranquility, yoga is great for stretching your sexual endurance


• Cut older people slack on the road, but not when it comes to talking inside movie theaters – nobody gets a free pass there.

• Never let a dog bigger than you hump your leg.


"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." ~Winston Churchill

-BDS

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Thoughts on "The Reader" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 16, 2009 17 comments

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee or rental. This film would make a fine rental unless you're trying to round out watching this year's Oscar nominees in the theater. In that case, a matinee is still a good value for "The Reader."

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I'm glad to have seen "The Reader," however, this is a hard, little movie with subject matter that doesn't make for overly pleasant viewing time and again.


1) "The Reader" spans several decades during its running time of two hours, although it mainly chronicles one summer which dramatically changes the life of a 15-year-old German boy due to his affair with an older woman - Kate Winslet - who later joins the Nazi party as a security officer to hide a secret.

That description doesn't entirely cover the film as one of the virtues of "The Reader" is its ability to wallow in gray areas, leaving viewers to sort through situations which often offer no easy answers.

2) The summer itself is nearly ideal, a utopia where a teenage boy luckily stumbles into a situation where he spends all his waking hours having sex, bathing and reading stories to Winslet's character, who demands all three nearly every time they are together. She derives great pleasure from these pursuits, but never reveals anything about herself.


3) Unfortunately, this affair proves to be too much of a good thing because it utterly consumes the life of the boy, who is played as an adult by Ralph Fiennes. After the affair ends, he doesn't see Winslet until his time at law school where he attends a trial of several Nazi guards, including Winslet's character and the reunion tears him apart for many years to come.

4) Winslet gives an outstanding performance in "The Reader." I enjoyed her work here far more than her showier role in "Revolutionary Road," and I'm glad she received the Best Actress nomination for this one. Her character - Hannah - is reserved and prideful and Winslet never makes a false step along the way. Her role is also vanity free as she wears little to no make-up (until they need to age her for the story), and she doesn't shy away from the nudity which is essential for the plot.


Fiennes gives an excellent performance as well, although his screen time is far smaller than Winslet's due to large parts of the movie being told in flashbacks.

5) Overall, “The Reader” is a very good film. That being said, I don’t feel it deserves to be up for Best Picture this year as both “The Wrestler” and “The Dark Knight” were superior films in my opinion. The central conceit or secret of Winslet’s character didn’t entirely work for me in terms of guiding her decisions, although it wasn’t wholly unbelievable either.

I always feel that any film which deals with the atrocities of the Holocaust automatically starts with high marks due to the subject matter, and this head start makes it less of a stretch to declare them great versus merely very good.

“The Reader” is a worthwhile project, a fine acting showcase and it earns credit for sketching its subject matter in complex tones. It deserves to be seen, but I don’t feel that it is quite good enough to be one of the five best movies of the year.

-BDS

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Quick Hit Friday . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, February 13, 2009 18 comments

"LAPD, shitbird. Get the fuck outta here or I'll call your wife to come get you!” – Russell Crowe, “L.A. Confidential”


I watched that movie again this week after a long hiatus, and had forgotten what a good one that project was as it broke Crowe into Hollywood, and featured an outstanding cast with Kevin Spacey, Danny Devito, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell and Kim Bassinger.

Anyway, I’d love to employ the term shitbird a few times today, however, work is not the appropriate venue for that addition to my vocabulary. So before I finish my projects and flee downtown to use it freely, let’s look at the hard stories of the week such as:

Salma Hayek breastfed another woman's baby during a trip to Sierra Leone in front of “Nightline” cameras this week.

Hayek, 42, discovered the child, who's mother was unable to produce milk, during a tour of a hospital in the war-torn country.

"The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother did not have any milk," she told USA Today.”He was very hungry - I was weaning my daughter Valentina, but I still had a lot of milk, so I breastfed the baby."


Since reading this story, I’ve been starving myself for days and have sent multiple letters to Hayek’s reps but have yet to receive a visit.

Prior to the Grammy Awards this past Sunday, Police arrested musician Chris Brown on charges of making criminal threats in relation to his girlfriend Rihanna after an alleged fight inside a car.

The incident occurred in Brown's car, and celebrity websites and magazines have said Brown left the scene and police found Rihanna, 20, suffering from a bloody nose, split lip and bite marks in the vehicle. She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, but later released.

Brown, 19, is currently free on bail, and unnamed police sources have told the Los Angeles Times that Rihanna is cooperating with police.


This is a pitiful reflection on Brown if the reports are true, and he deserves whatever punishment is doled out. I just can’t fathom what would make you that angry if you’re a teenager who is already internationally famous, a multi-millionaire and dating someone even more famous and richer and better looking than you – I’d be happy as a clam all day long.

Grey's Anatomy" stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight will soon be leaving the TV medical drama, Us Weekly magazine reported on Tuesday confirming long-swirling rumors concerning the actors.


Heigl plans to move onto a career in movies while Knight is hoping to audition for a string of Burger King commercials, if he’s lucky.

In other television departures, Nicollette Sheridan, who plays Realtor Edie Britt on the ABC comedy “Desperate Housewives,” is leaving the show, a spokeswoman for the network said on Wednesday.

ABC gave no further details about the timing or circumstances of the departure of Sheridan's loud-mouthed character.


If Sheridan was ‘Desperate’ before, then just wait until she’s looking for work and no longer on the show.

Singer-actress Mandy Moore and rock singer Ryan Adams are engaged.

Moore's publicist Jillian Fowkes confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the two are planning to wed. No details were announced.


Rumors have Adams taking Moore’s last name once they are married so drunken concert goers will stop screaming out requests for him to “play ‘Summer of ’69.’

Joaquin Phoenix made a bizarre and disastrous appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” this week.

Still bearded, claiming a new rap career and wearing sunglasses, Phoenix gave confused, abrupt answers and made things awkward for Letterman who refused to extend the actor an invitation to perform a rap set on a future show and concluded the interview with: "Sorry you couldn't be here tonight, Joaquin.”


I think most people were sorry that Phoenix was actually there as he seems to be killing a joke that was never funny in the first place.

Thailand's government got angry with Angelina Jolie this week after the actress spoke out and called for the country to respect the rights of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority people fleeing nearby Myanmar's military dictatorship.

"It was not her role to comment on the matter," Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said Thursday.


Jennifer Aniston immediately pledged her support for the government of Thailand, and called Jolie’s comments “uncool.”

But let’s not end with feuds, and instead, focus on a gold image or two like:



These images contain a plethora of my favorite things like food, wine, breasts, and heavy artillery. I guess you could strike that last one from the list.

Regardless, don’t be afraid to mix pleasures today, remember that you can’t hide anything when you’re naked and . . . Happy Friday!

-BDS

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Survival By The Numbers . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11 comments

I survived another round of kick-off meetings with no hide torn from my back and my job in tact. I suppose that’s the best case scenario for these type of things . . . Anyway, by the numbers, the week broke down like this:

9 cups of coffee


8 Meals brought into the large meeting area so you couldn’t leave
7 Embarrassingly loud laughs from myself which were highly disproportionate to the joke in question
6 Useful sessions (14 total)
$5(0) dollar bill given to me for my 3-year company anniversary


4 sexual daydreams


3 Public comments during meetings
2 Lame nightly activities following the all-day meetings
1 Poorly drawn picture of a goat smoking a cigarette with a penis for an ear on my note taking paper

I'm just thankful it's over for another six months.

-BDS

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Thoughts on "Gran Torino" . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, February 09, 2009 12 comments

{Editor's Note: $2 Dollar Productions is trapped inside all-day company meetings from Monday through Wednesday. If you hear any word by mid-week, please send a search party to Austin.}

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. If you love Clint Eastwood, then you could likely justify full price, however, this movie makes for a very rewarding matinee flick. It would also be a fine rental, and wouldn't suffer much in the transition to the small screen.

Will I Own It On DVD: Maybe. If I could find it for under $10, then I might grab it, especially if it turns out to be Eastwood's last starring role as he's hinted in some interviews.


1) "Gran Torino" focuses on Eastwood, a recently widowed Army veteran, and his relationship to his neighborhood which he considers under siege from an influx of Asians. His character - Walt - is an equal opportunity bigot (African-Americans, Hispanics, Gays, Jews, etc. are all disparaged), and generally a miserable human being. If Walt wasn't played by Eastwood, it would have been much harder to pull any shred of empathy from the audience, however, by sheer force of will, Eastwood makes viewers care about his character.

2) Eastwood also directed "Gran Torino," and his steady hand helps elevate the material above potential Lifetime movie of the week melodrama once Walt forms a relationship with the father-less Asian teenagers who live next door, and find themselves menaced by gang members. The film only occasionally veers towards blatant sentiment, mostly in the beginning, but in-between lies a well-paced product anchored by its star.


3) It is a testament to the power of Eastwood that he can still provoke fear as he approaches 80-years-old. His voice is a series of guttural growls, a harsh sound that serves him well as he barks insults at various characters. And he still posseses enough physicality as well as access to weaponary to worry groups of teenage gangbangers.


4) Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn't quite as strong. Tao, the Asian teenager who bonds with Eastwood, is distinctly uncharismatic and wholly unbelievable in a few scenes. I hesitate to criticize the actor as I imagine it's one of his first roles, but he does the movie no favors in the majority of his screen time.

5) Other than having to stomp an occasional gang member, Eastwood's retirement looked pretty fine to me. He would sit on his porch with his dog, drinking coffee in the mornings before switching to a cooler full of Pabst Blue Ribbon later in the day while watching the world go by. If you added books and a flat-screen TV/DVD player, then I'd be all for it, and I found it no surprise that Eastwood's mood turns sour when others try to intrude upon his time.

"Gran Torino" is not a great movie. Eastwood's skill both in front of and behind the camera, however, squeeze every drop of potential out of the source material, which makes for a worthy film that still manages to entertain.

-BDS

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