Saturday, June 30, 2012


I've been getting into some heavy political discussions on Facebook, and elsewise the last couple days, and not just over the Affordable Care Act, which, thank God Obama won, maybe I can actually get health insurance now, and a few other things, stretching from discussion over the Middle East in light of Egyptian elections, to, believe it or not, a "discussion", (Or at least I thought it was a discussion) over whether or not it makes sense to have the Pledge of Allegiance still be recited in schools. I don't want to get into that one, but I made a sound and logical well-thoughtout argument against having kids do that, and instead, I got yelled at with typical GOP talk radio-style, cliched-ridden banter, instead of somebody just saying, "No you're wrong, and here's why..." like an adult. (BTW, yeah, I think it's stupid, but hell, if we cared about it enough, we would've done something about it. I, like many liberals, think about things, occasionally, so it sounds like we give a damn, when we make a sound argument over something so trivial, but we really don't care that much. You'll know the things we care about, we'll go to the Supreme Court over them....) Anyway, like I said, a lot of heavy shit going on and frankly, I don't like it. I don't want to feel that way. I write about film and television, I want to have fun, about things, not arguments. Well, not arguments that devolve into a bunch of insults, and I don't want to argue on things so damn important either. I think it's time for another Mixed Bag blog, we're not gonna get into anything, that's really, really important in the great scheme of the world/universe or anything like that. (Except possibly a quick plug about how great Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," is, which it is, and please, HBO, make a deal with Netflix or something, and post all the episodes online, ple-eeeeeease?!) They're all so minor, I didn't feel like posting a whole thing on them, and we're just gonna have a little fun with these minor news items. Hopefully we can do these more often, just to get rid of some of the serious stuff, that's been happening lately. Alright? Good, I hope you're all with me.

Tom and Katie's Divorce: A Few Thoughts

We were all, shocked-? No. (Thinking) Caught offguard, by the sudden news that Katie Holmes is filing for divorce from Tom Cruise, and according to TMZ, she's asking for full custody of Suri, so this is gonna be a fight for a while, but apparently the tipping point is also, that she's afraid of Tom, pushing scientology onto Suri. Okay, well, I'm gonna refer everybody to the classic "Tom Cruise won't Come Out of the Closet" episode of "South Park," for a quick and accurate in-depth analysis on scientology. (It's also one of there best episodes, and honestly, the fact that Tom Cruise plays a major part in the episode, is honestly, just a coincidence.) Okay, here's how I once heard, that the relationship began, and I can't confirm any of this, I heard some variation of this on some radio program once, or something, but I heard that Tom Cruise, and you have to remember this would've been after his divorce from Nicole Kidman, which seems like decades ago now, but the were the Hollywood power couple for like, ever, and she had started moving on, and even won her Oscar for "The Hours," and Tom, had just started getting some heat, for some of the comment he made on mothers, and perscription drugs, and a lot of other scientology b.s., (remember the brief Brooke Shields-Tom Cruise debate over depression, for, like a minute) so he's getting bad press, at the time. Now, he went to his agent, or his publicist, and they made up a list of like three names of young Hollywood up-and-comers, which included, I want to say Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears were the other two, and it was decided that, he should start dating Katie Holmes, as she was the best name on this list, to boost his publicity, and she was willing to go along with it, for some reason. 'Cause remember, it really came out of nowhere, until he went on Oprah, that he was even with her. There was a few rumors, post-Nicole, Penelope Cruz was the big one, and they did have a brief affair on the set of "Vanilla Sky," actually, but after the Oprah appearance, who remembers that? Now, Tom still said crazy stuff, even after this, like the famous Scientology tape he did, which even the Church took off of youtube at the time, and his stock as the biggest movie star in the world, which he was, has really fallen since. He's in "Rock of Ages," now, a supporting role, which he can be great in supporting roles actually, "Tropic Thunder," is the best recent example, but except for the "Mission: Impossible," films, he hasn't had a lead in a big-budget moneymaker in a while, and he really isn't the top star anymore. The top star is Will Smith by the way, and if you don't believe me, look at the Box Office numbers his movie's make, and you'll see it's clearly him. Katie Holmes was, like an up-and-coming good actress. She was on "Dawson's Creek," apparently, in the beginning, she had some good supporting roles, in like "Batman Begins," and "Thank You for Smoking," and a few good lead performances, my favorite was "Pieces of April," she's really good in that film, but you really haven't seen her in a lot either. As her connection with Cruise, continued, her stock went down. What does this have to do with their marriage, or divorce? Nothing. Not really. I mean, are we not surprised it lasted this long? It's a Hollywood marriage, he's in his 40s, she was 25, when they met. I'm surprised they had a kid, 'cause actually. If it what TMZ says, then it sounds like she just evolved enough to outgrow Tom, and he's pissed about it. He still has a lot of pull in the industry, so he's gonna fight this, and it's gonna long-and-drawn out to the point of exhaustion. I feel sorry for Suri, but I don't think anybody in particular thought these two should be together in the first place, so I think it's good they move on. Who should they hook up with next, now that's a fun game. For Tom, I'm gonna say, him and Jenny McCarthy, I bet would make a really cool and compatible couple. For Katie, I have no idea. She's a good actress, but is relatively reserved and frankly I just want to her act more. She's not my first choice for most things, I'll admit, but she can very good in a lot of different kinds of roles, just haven't seen her in much lately. Time for her to start working more. Tom, eh, I love him too, as an actor, but maybe he should break a bit. I think we've seen enough of him for awhile.

New Oscar Rules and Members.

The A.M.P.A.S. has put out it's new list of new members the other day, once again, I was not invited to join, and they'll be getting a harshly-worded e-mail about it later about that, again, but some of the names that are only now joining, are fairly interesting (Really, Terence Malick, not in the Academy until now, really?!), but they also announced some very minor rule changes this year. Most of these are technical and trivial changes involving film eligibilities, and the nominating process. The final visual effects category, will not be 10 films before they bring it down to 5, for instance, it used to be 7. The most interesting of these recent changes is the name of the Make-up category, will now be the "Make-Up and Hairstyling" Oscar. I understand combining them, but I think they should be separate, but I'm actually fairly happy that they're recognizing hair for once. Hair styling has been ignored by the Academy for a while, usually just thrown in with make-up, while often there's some quite good and elaborate work to be done in hairstyling on films. Vidal Sassoon, famously cut Mia Farrow's hair for "Rosemary's Baby," to name an example. However, now comes the debate over what categories should be in the Oscars. Oh yeah, there's a few things that the Oscars haven't been covering that are just as critical to filmmaking as some of these other categories. The big one for me, Casting. It's a little bit hard to quantify it, which is why it's hard to figure out how to put a category in for it, but I think the Best Casting for a Feature Film, should go to the Casting Director. It's hard to quantify, and it'd be easy to give it to a film with a lot of major starts, like the "Ocean's Eleven" film for instance, or for last year, I would've given it to Steven Soderbergh's film "Contagion," but there's still gonna be quite a few different kinds of films in this mix, including a lot of the Best Picture nominees would certainly be eligible. Ask any good director, and they'll tell you, get good actors, and you're job is already half-done. Another one that's interesting would be Best Stunt Acting.It's a little bit insider, but especially as big budget action films continue to remain popular, the jobs of stuntmen, who are apart of SAG by the way, are amazing. It's a little bit weird that they don't get honored by the Academy. The problem is that their isn't a real way to distinguish stunt actors, but usually a film set could have a few dozen stunt actors, and it'd be hard to distinguish their performances. At least in the beginning, it would have to be a really in-the-know category. For the main change, I'd like to make, go search for my blog where I complained relentlessly about the Best Original Song category, which to my shock they have done nothing to change, so somehow they have to fix that.

Dwight Schrute's Spin-off "The Farm"; Why No Angela?

Officially in development, "The Office," spin-off for Dwight called "The Farm," is starting to take shape. It's still in development but Rainn Wilson's Dwight Schrute character is given a divorcee sister, who's left-leaning, and her impressionable kid, a pot-growing brother who's constantly looking for Bigfoot, and a Nazi-murderous Uncle. This actually seems a bit like "Father Ted," the old British sitcom to me, but this seems pretty outlandish. I hope it works, although I'm on the doubt side, but can I recommend one thing? Why isn't Angela with him. Wouldn't the Schrute Farm sitcom that you'd see have Dwight and Angela, newly together, with their kid (Which we technically aren't sur about, but let's say that it'll end up being Dwight's kid), and now she's living and working on the Beat Farm, which they're trying to make into a bed-and-breakfast, and put all those other characters into a "Fawlty Towers," on a beet farm sitcom? I think that would be the perfect marriage of how to do a Dwight spin-off. All the elements all already there, it ends his run on "The Office," in a way that makes sense, and it transitions rather seemlessly into everything they've established of Dwight from the show, into a new show, and it gives us, two characters from the show, whose character arcs have really already run their course, moving them onto different, new arcs. Really, when you think about it, what's Angela got left to do on "The Office"? Once Angela Kinsey's character finds out that her husband's gay, she should move back on to Dwight, who's kid she already has, anyway. I think they're missing a fairly obvious and natural storyline for the spin-off, and I just wanted to point that out, for NBC's consideration.

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