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Showing posts from June, 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

According to interviews with Bruce Willis, what sold him on a fourth Die Hard was the pitch: John McClaine is still an analog surviving in a digital world, and when the digital baddies try to hurt his country, he stands up to show that the analog can kick major ass.

I'm sure the hefty paycheck Fox forked over for B.Will to reprise his 19-year-old role had something to do with it as well.

First thing's first: it was entertaining. Second: It was another unnecessary, generic, ridiculous, money-hungry action flick - obviously the least imaginative of the franchise.

And let me stop here to observe how far we've come since 1988's genre-shaping classic genuinely blew audiences away. The original (for those of you born after the advent of DVDs and the Internet, it was just called Die Hard) was a tight, white-knuckle actioner that lay down the rules for nearly all of the blow-'em-ups that followed. Part One took place in an isolated, more claustrophobic setting (a little ol…

High Five

I still remember the drive to LaGuardia Airport.

I sat in the passenger seat of my mother's then-new car as she steered us past the exit ramp to the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens. Craig David's "Walking Away" was in its umpteenth rotation on Z100, and I thought to myself, What an appropriate anthem for my send-off.

This was June 27, 2002.

The enormity of this day in my life was something I couldn't fathom back then. I think my mother had assumed I'd fly off to Los Angeles with my ginormous piece of Kenneth Cole luggage and college-worn knapsack, meet my cousin at the gates of LAX, see a few palm trees, and then, after getting a bitter taste of the SoCal life, return to New York within a month or two. If my parents had thought otherwise, then I applaud them for supporting me, their only child, in his scary decision to travel to the other side of the country and start a new life.



Five years ago, Los Angeles was a different place in my eyes. I started my "new…

Crab Gorgonzola Risotto

Last night, dinner at Sur in West Hollywood with Michael, Corey and crew. Staring at the velvet menu.

"Will the risotto make me bloated?"

"Well, do you like crab?"

"Yeah."

"Do you like gorgonzola?"

"Yeah."

"And clearly you like rice, so..."

Size Matters

It is understandable that the most successful blogs are the shortest and easiest to read. It's a flash-in-the-pan world out there after all. People do not want to be bogged down with pages and pages of rants and ramblings. They want a tasty morsel, something to scan and file away in their brain, a read that lasts as long as this paragraph.

I blame the Perez Hiltons of the world for feeding us e-junk, temporary fixes to satiate our accelerating hunger for tidbits on the trivial. They have graffitied over the definition of a blog. The true meaning is now lost amidst the countless e-diaries and websites dedicated to captioned pictures, submitted headlines, and video reactions.

But there is an inkling in me that considers my entries just as worthwhile, a pride in knowing I am supplying to subscribers a satisfying read, neither pretentiously pompous nor painfully boring. I like to think my lengthy entries carry a substance that is seriously lacking in some current blogsites.

However, to a…

Party Like It's 1997

The world of music, along with the pop culture universe in general, was changed ten years ago when a certain pop album hit stores across the country. It was a match that lit up a firestorm of copycat pop products, neverending merchandising, and hoarse vocal chords belonging to any teenaged female (and the occasional sensitive male) who stepped near a radio.



They were Boys. And they were from Backstreet.

The irresistible harmonies of Nick, AJ, Howie, Brian and Kevin were a throwback to earlier one-hit-wonders from the 90s like All-4-One and Color Me Badd. America had been given its answer to a 90s version of NKOTB.

I had a chance to revisit those innocent late-90s when my 18-year-old cousin, Lauren, visited me in LA last month. I played tour guide and she took the passenger seat, ready to soak up some SoCal sun. We hit up the stores in Beverly Hills. We conquered the rollercoaster on Santa Monica Pier. We watched Jesse Metcalfe take out the trash outside his home underneath the Hollywood…

Must-See-Soon TV

One of the great perks of working in this business we call Show is getting your hands on certain films and TV shows before they're released to the rest of the world for mass consumption and criticism. It's a sneak peek before the official sneak peeks.

Here in Los Angeles, the TV pilot season (a TV junkie's favorite season of all) has finally ended, and the networks have cherry-picked the productions they think are worthy of occupying the comfy spots on their fall schedules. And here in Los Angeles, I am fortunate enough to have friends in places with access to screeners of the dramas and (few) sitcoms that made the cut for the 2007-08 season.

So, allow me to grant you access to a pre/review of what Madison Avenue saw at Upfronts last month in New York. Yours truly was lucky enough to get a sampling before most critics get their hands on them.

So remember kids, you heard it here first:



CASHMERE MAFIA (ABC)
The opening of this Lucy Liu starrer is a blatant Sex and the City rip-o…