My Doctor Who Review

Well, thanks to the wonderful folks out there on the internet, I managed to get a sneak peak at the current version of the Doctor Who program.

My review is simple: If you love Doctor Who, you’ll enjoy this latest version. Unfortunately, if you don’t care one whit about Doctor Who, there’s no reason to watch. If you’ve seen Doctor Who in the past, and you are pretty critical about the cheesy rubber suits and lame plot developments, you’ll find plenty of things to complain about with this latest version.

So, you can guess where the Sci-Fi network (NBC Universal) stands on this.

There’s nothing in this show to attract NEW VIEWERS.


Who Let The Doctor Out? Who? — Who? Who? Who?

I have a question:

What happens when you’re so bad the Sci-Fi Channel won’t give you a tumble?

It seems the Good Doctor is OUT.

NBC Universal has passed on the British remake of the famous science fiction series Doctor Who. Everyone HAD been waiting for the series to appear on the Sci-Fi channel, (owned by NBC Universal) but things just didn’t work out. And what’s more, this doesn’t bode well for the series:

Sci Fi Channel has already had a chance at the new series and passed after viewing some of the completed episodes. Some of the executives at the network found the series somewhat lacking and didn’t think it would fit into the network’s schedule, which already has a number of series, mini-series and films in development.

You can interpret that several different ways, but it sounds suspiciously like “Our Execs saw the shows that were shot, and this crap isn’t much better than the crap we already put out, and we get a much better chunk out of licensing rights.” I mean, I don’t about you, but if the Sci-Fi Channel sounds like it’s getting downright picky, then they must be doing pretty well with their other shows.

I love Doctor Who. For me, (as with most fans) the Fourth Doctor is the only Doctor worth watching. The other Doctor’s are all passable, but Tom Baker is the only one of them that could make a real corny joke and make it sound as serious as the end of the universe… and mean it.

Now maybe NBC Universal could still run the series on another channel:

Formerly Bravo HD, the recently re-branded cable channel currently runs movies and television programs out of Universal’s vault. The revamped Battlestar Galactica is due to be seen on UHD later this year and there is a possibility that the new Doctor Who series could wind up there as the network’s first original program.

What does this all mean? Well, if you’re a Doctor Who fan, it means you’re going to have to resort to finding your new Doctor Who off of the internets or … you could move to England or Canada.

Sure I’m a Convicted Rapist, but does that make me a bad guy?

So while some of you out there might have heard about this story to me it is headline news because I live in (ok, not in, but near) the community where it occurred. Alex Kelly is a convicted rapist frat-boy who hails form the gilded community of Greenwich, which is the gold of Connecticut’s Gold Coast; one of the richest communities in the richest county in the U.S. Back in the late ‘80s while he was still a teen, he forced himself on a couple of underaged girls, only he apparently didn’t see the crime of it all back then (and, near as I can guess, still doesn’t, but I’ll get there in a moment).

Well, one (or was it both, I no longer recall some of the salient details) of these girls complained, and an investigation was conducted and eventually a warrant was issued for his arrest. Well, being that his parents were quite well off, and that rules shouldn’t apply to their son (plus, as we all know, girls can run faster with their skirts up than boys can with their pants down, making this a “boys will be boys” sort of thing, not really a crime, ya kno) Mr. And Mrs. Kelly bundled off their pride and joy to Europe where he spent close to a decade cavorting around the Continent while the Justice Dept. passively hunted him down.

Then, just before they actually caught up with him,
Continue reading Sure I’m a Convicted Rapist, but does that make me a bad guy?

(not the news, but an incredible simulation)

OK, so Martha Stewart is getting out (or rather has gotten out by the time you read this) of the slam, and it’s the lead story of Newsweek.

Martha Stewart on the cover of Newsweek


Only, that’s not really Martha on the cover.

According to Newsweek itself, that’s really Martha’s head Photoshopped onto the body of a (slimmer, younger) Model.



The Real Martha


According to Newsweek, this is okay, because “everyone understands or knows “ that’s not really in the photo, but it is merely a “photo rendition” or some such nonsense.






(Yea, like that wasn’t really Oswald in the photo holding the rifle, with the shadows going the wrong way, it was simply a “representation of what someone wanted you to think”)


Why has this gotten me all Ramboed up? Simple, when Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has Ed Helms reporting “live” from Mars, or Rob Cordery, reporting “live” from Baghdad I know that they are pulling my chain, because the show’s host Jon Stewart freely admits that he is a fake newsman on a fake news show, and yes, I get the joke. However when Newsweek fakes a photo for effect, it (a legitimate newsmagazine, reporting actual news) has crossed the line. How can I now trust it to accurately represent the news, when I know that it faked a photo for effect?

Perhaps the next time Newsweek will simply pose actors in a situation, and take a photo to “show us how Lacy Peterson’s husband probably strangled her”. Isn’t that what the tabloids do? Doctor up photos for the purpose of sensationalism? (I’m reminded of the story about how Denzil Washington was walking out of a restaurant and happened to run into Diana Ross as he was exiting. A Paparazzi snapped a picture of them leaving together, and Ross told him to quickly call his wife and explain what happened. Washington asked why, and Ross told him that their picture was going to appear in a tabloid with a story about how they were having an affair. He didn’t believe her at first but sure enough, the following week, there it was. With nothing to back up the story, and nothing to go on but a candidly snapped photo of a chance meeting, the scandal sheet built an entire story about how the two were seeing each other.)

So yeah, I’m just a little bit miffed.

But to get back to Martha. So she spent what? seven, eight? months in a minimum security prison for securities fraud and lying to the Grand Jury, and now she is out. Her net worth has like tripled, her show has been re-syndicated all around the country and is now in more markets than it was when she went in, and she has to spend the next year confined in her $40 million mansion. All because she is a lying, cheating, selfish thief. While she was in jail, she continued to conduct business, meet with advisors, and generall have the run of the place. Yeah, that’s what prison is all about.

Somebody ought to pimp-slap that bitch around for the next several months so she gets a real feel of what the justice system is all about, eh? And of course the real crime is that some poor shulb out in Texas who got busted for a quarter oz. of weed back in ’74 is still doing hard time. I seriously tell you there oughta be a law!

The Perfessor

Bad Boys will be Bad Boys

There’s an old fable that features a scorpion and a frog where the kind frog is convinced to give the poisonous scorpion a ride across the river. Since the scorpion can’t swim, it’s in the scorpion’s best interest to be nice and not use his stinger and kill the frog. But it wouldn’t make for a satisfying fable then, would it? No, in the middle of the river, the scorpion ends up fatally stinging the frog. The frog had been worried about just such a fate, but decided to ferry the scorpion across the river anyway.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog’s back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

“You fool!” croaked the frog, “Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?”

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog’s back.

“I could not help myself. It is my nature.”

I was reminded of this story today when I saw the notice of a divorce announcement. It seems that a very pregnant Denise Richards is divorcing Charlie Sheen.

Denise Richards filed for divorce from Sheen Wednesday after nearly three years of marriage.

According to the divorce petition posted on, Richards cites irreconcilable differences for the split.

It’s not we didn’t really see this coming. Aside from most Hollywood divorces that are announced, the divorce isn’t as surprising as the fact that Ms. Richards agreed to marry Charlie Sheen in the first place. Face it, the guy’s got a bit of a history of being, well, a bad boy.

I mean, all the right noises were made by this bad boy; we were treated with interviews and magazine covers marveling over the happy couple and listening with rapt attention when Charlie swore off bad behavior and nodded with approval over the laser removal of some of Charlie’s tattoos – as this would prove once and for all Charlie had reformed his bad boy ways.

Sorry, ladies. Reforming bad boys is a fantasy. Hey, it’s a great fantasy. The romance shelves at the bookstore are brimming with “Bad Boys” — as in here, here, here, here, and here.

Of course, in the romance novel genre, so-called “Bad Boys” aren’t really bad, merely misunderstood. But some women insist on buying into the fantasy of Reforming a Bad Boy. The stories in these books are both promising and sexy. And it sounds so wonderful! After all, there’s nothing sexier than a Bad Boy who just might be converted into a loyal husband! Listen. This is why they sell the books, folks. It’s fiction and it’s appealing because it’s good fiction.

While I admit reform can work with some men (I AM a romantic at heart. No, really!), Charlie Sheen passed the “Three Strikes” mark some years back. While Ms. Richards was rumored to have sown her own wild oats, I’m pretty sure the issue at hand is Charlie Sheen going back on his old ways of… well, pretty much acting like Charlie Sheen.

Of course, this report on the breakup of Charlie Sheen is a surprise to everyone, including Charlie. Perhaps the shock of the divorce papers might shock Charlie into another few months of wedded bliss… perhaps this issue will shock him into actually behaving… uh, right.

Who are we kidding?

After all… It’s in his nature.

My Oscar Rant (Part the First)

Well, the Oscars are over except for the bragging rights, As a fellow who has been reviewing movies for the past 15 years or so (check out some of my more recent reviews here) I have to tell you that I love watching the Oscar telecast, and this year was no different. While many reviewers like to make Oscar predictions, and to rank movies, that’s not what I’m all about as a reviewer. I mean, how can you compare the gut-wrenching drama of Saving Private Ryan with the flat-out silliness of Airplane (perhaps the funniest non-Marx Brothers film ever made). While some of you might look at Toy Story and see an entertaining kiddie animated flick, I saw a top-flight buddy film on the order of Lethal Weapon (except, ya know, funnier)

So, given all this, what did I think of this year’s Telecast? Great! At the risk of being both redundant and trite, Chris Rock Rocks! His opening monologue was perhaps the funniest Oscar opening monologue I have ever heard (and I’ve been watching this show for as long as I can remember). So when he started trashing not only specific movies (Pootie Tang—in which Rock himself stared) but specific stars (Jude Law) as well I was hysterical. I mean, you just never do that kind of thing at the Oscars (I was reminded of Bobcat Goldthwaith’s bit at the first MTV Awards, all the presenters were doing “safe” comedy bits, and Bobcat comes out and trashes The Monkeys who were in the middle of their third (fourth?) revival — He did a bit where he said “hey, did anybody see The Monkeys? Man don’t they look old!” Then he grabbed a stool that was onstage and using it as a walker began to sing “Here we come, walking down the street.. Man, I wish my mother invented Whiteout (Former Monkey, Mike Nesbith’s mom had something to do with the invention of White Out and he was now so wealthy that he was passing on joining the new tour, which the other members needed to pay the bills).

Anyway, since I don’t pick winners, I’m never really disappointed with who wins (except for last year when Bill Murray was robbed of his best Actor award for Lost in Translation). Still, having said all of that, I was extremely pleased that Spider-Man 2 won for Special Effects, and (unlike our man, Walt) quite pleased that The Incredibles won for best-animated film. Yea you could make the argument that The Incredibles was derivative, but any crank can claim that anything (film, book, TV show, etc.) is derivative of something else (I know one such individual who insists that every film made since The Wizard of Oz is somehow derivative of that classic. I don’t know how, but that’s his claim, but all you have to do is ask him, and he’ll tell you).

Sure, sure it borrowed heavily from Marvel’s The Fantastic Four, and from DC’s Superman and Batman mythos, as well as from virtually every other superhero comic ever written. Who cares? I know that I certainly don’t. By tapping into this uniquely American, enormously rich, and entirely (and unfortunately mostly overlooked) vein, Director, Brad Bird cobbled together a thoroughly enjoyable story forming an entertainingly rich tapestry. Plus, given that these two films (The Incredibles and Spider-Man 2) came away with Oscars proves (to me at least) that comicbooks aren’t just disposable kiddie fare. That they are indeed legitimate entertainment and that I’ve been right about this all along (I’ve been reading comics since the early ‘60s, and have never been embarrassed that I — even at my advanced age — am still reading them.

OK, I’ll give you that Catwoman was crap, that the Joel Schumacher Batman films were ghod-awful, and that Hulk, Daredevil, and Electra all could have played better (I have longer rants on these last three films that I will get to another time, be patient, I actually do this stuff for a living, so I have paying clients that I have to get to first, plus, I unlike some in this particular arena, I do have like a life and stuff, ya know). If you wer to ask me (and yeah, I know that you didn’t but you are still reading, aren’t you?) The problem with Catwoman was that it completely departed from the source material (that and it was badly done, woodenly acted, and horribly animated the “action” sequences).

As for the Schumacher Batman films, they were just badly done (to the actor’s credit, Val Kilmer was them most athletic of the three actors who portrayed the Darknight detective (and thus closer to the comicbook incarnation, making him my personal favorite) George Clooney looked the best in the Batman suit, and Michael Keaton was actually the best Bruce Wayne. (I’m going to wait until Christian Bale’s turn in Batman Begins hits the screen later this year to go through my entire rant on this series, leave it to say now that Shumacher’s Batman was more like what he remembered Batman in the comics to be than what it actually was.)

The biggest problem with comicbook translations that make to the big screen (and why they mostly blow) is that the writers of the comics take the material, the medium, and the characters very seriously, while the writers of the movies, and TV shows don’t, and treat the source material as disposable pabulum crap. Only what they always fail to realize is that if the thing is popular enough in its original incarnation (and popular enough to be picked up as a movie or TV show) that it obviously does work as originally conceived, so why dick around with it? But they do, and when it fails miserably, everyone goes “See, I told you that this stuff was crap.” And then they go on to write and produce more crap based on respected works.

The Perfesser