Friday, August 24, 2007

Vox in the Box (11)

Last time we met, Vox was gearing up for the Finals and countin' down the all-time greatest games in Cleveland sports history. I have an NFL preview in me, but I'd like to do some housecleaning for this edition and tidy up a few rooms in my brain. Can't stomach any more talk about the NBA ref fiasco, Bad Newz Kennels, BBonds, musical quarterbacks in Berea, Chief Wahoo's impotent bats, or the rumor that The Q in Quicken now stands for Quiet. (Major double symbolism there with the lack of Cavs offseason activity and the mortgage meltdown.)

So what's been going on in Voxville this summer? Well, I turned 10 on July 22nd and celebrated much like I did the night I was born, in a dark room...with just a video and a dream. I was turning tricks with a crucifix. I was hanging with Mrs. Vox during a fantastic episode of Big Love, when Bill left his heavy handed meandering at the casino door in the name of big business. So there's your abbreviated personal paragraph for all of you that read Vox for the "reveal." But Vox is so much more than a cheap, Internet confession booth. I know what I stand for. The V stands for Vexing, 'coz we all know yall love my ambiguity. The O represents Original, because, regardless of what readers think of Vox, you can't ever deny that my opinions are my own, and never parroted. The X? For X-Rated, since my thoughts are always dirty and Vox spits out vulgarities like P-Diddy writes checks.

Anyway, when your number one priority is caring for an infant aspiring to toddler status, there's not a great deal of time for summer partying. So I spent most of the past ten weeks, after the Goose went night-night, watching television and catching up on some films I normally would not have missed in the theatre. Hence, these Vox riffs on four 2006 flix, 4 reality shows & 4 HBOs:


Little Children: Arguably the film of the year in '06, although it's hard to compete with Departed. I rented this because I had to see Kelly Leak thirty years later, in his Oscar-nominated portrayal of a sex offender. I won't spoil, but let's just say there's a scene with Kelly that is so strange, shocking and off-putting that it's phenomenally hilarious. You have to see Little just for this particular part, trust me. Also, you have full frontal nudity with Kate Winslett. You may recall she showed her rack in Titanic, so I want to warn you that ten years haven't been kind to Winslett. Those great cans from the sinking ship are long gone, but she turns in the performance of her career.

United 93
: Finally saw this Paul Greengrass masterpiece. I watched it again immediately after my first viewing. Then I watched it in my head for the next 72 hours, memorized by it's authenticity. Performance and production were perfect; never a hint of sensationalism. Just the unbearable pain of that day. When our kids are in high school, I believe United 93 should be shown to all seniors in their American Government class. It will be very hard for them to ever comprehend how the events of 9/11 completely crippled our country, but for 90 minutes or so they can share in the fear, confusion, and desperation that we all struggled with on that day and the years that followed.
I also recently read Let's Roll by Todd Beamer's widow, Lisa. I'm not sure what I was expecting from it, but, unfortunately, it reads like a Christian self-help manual.

The Pursuit of Happyness: They screened this one at my place of business, probably to inspire I mean brainwash us into overcoming obstacles and selling more product. After all, there is an underlying theme in Pursuit that money buys happiness, since Gardner could've easily traded his internship for an assistant manager job at McDonalds or a sales clerk position at Kiddie City selling Rubix Cubes. That would have at least taken him and his kid off the street. It's hard to make a movie like Pursuit without bumping into a Hollywood cliche at every street corner, so credit Will Smith with a transcendent performance. I know all the reasons I shouldn't like this movie, but I did. And I would happily watch it again with Mrs. Vox, but she's refusing to see it even once. So I told her what Gardner's bosses soon learned: Don't judge a book by it's cover. Pursuit somehow manages to add up to much more than the sum of its parts.

V for Vendetta: The Hadman and I are usually on the same page when it comes to quality films, but this was two hours I'd like back. I'm normally a sucker for Portman and misunderstood villains in masks and biting commentaries on political fear-mongering, but V went right over my head. All sorts of lofty ambitions here that I can usually get on board with, but it left me tired and confused. Considering every critic in America loved it, my assessment is probably way off the mark. But I disliked it so much, I'm not sure I can sit through it again. So let's get a sequel in the mix, V for Vox....starring me and Jennifer Love Hugetits locked in a cave, watching Family Ties reruns and tape of Lavereaus Coles.

Reality TV

Rock of Love: I was feeling the void left by the cancellation of RockStar after two stellar seasons, but, thankfully, Brett Michaels swooped in, saved my summer and stole my heart. Love Brett Michaels, and this show. I'm still a hater of this type of television, but there was bound to be a reality rose among all those worthless thorns, and this is it. I even started wearing a bandana again, as a tribute to Brett and broke out a few of my old Poison mix tapes. And I could care less which girl Brett picks. I just root for him to bang every contestant, and then kick them out. So far, he's been pretty successful. Lock the cellar door

Hogan Knows Best
: So much for the Internet rumor that the Hogans were divorcing. This show interests me because it portrays Hulk as stubborn, occasionally mellow and completely detached from "the business." Who knew there was more to Terry than vitamins, prayers and wrestling? Dude has a nice life now. His only worry is keeping Brooke out of trouble and hardest decision is choosing which pair of Oakleys and what color bandana to put on.

The Two Coreys: This was a perfect situation for Mrs. Vox and I because, growing up, she loved Corey Haim and I loved Corey "My father stormed the beach at Normandy" Feldman. Now I love Feldman's wife, Susie, too. She is classic bag-over-her-head-hot. Too bad the whole thing is ridiculously staged. Coreys, if you're going to stage something, don't do a reality show. Do a Lost Boys or Licensed to Drive reunion or a Stand By Me meets Lucas ripoff. Just don't try and produce spontaneity, then try and market it as your real life. Sick balls, Choppy! Eeeeiiiiiiii

Scott Baio is 45 and Single: I watched one episode of this sad trainwreck, just long enough to see Chachi meet up with Joanie and reminisce about their real-life teenage romance. I would've kept watching if they could've somehow worked in Potsy or Ralph Malph. Didn't happen. I started to wonder about a show called SamVox is 32 and Mainstream. The pilot could've shown me trying to be alternative at OSU, insisting I would never get roped in to marriage or the corporate world. Fast forward to 2007, and I an advertisement for everything I once disdained. John Smith and Aunt Toni guest star.


Big Love: After an uneven first season, this unexpectedly emerged as one of the best programs on HBO. The sophomore effort has a lot more at stake and really plays up the duality of Bill Henrickson. I keep waiting for him to bang Tripplehorn the way Mike Douglas did her in Basic Instinct, but Barbara seems determined to play the moral anchor this season. Which is fine...more Margeen for Bill and the rest of us.

One day, I was walking up to UDF, listening to my iPod and having a smoke....and I crossed paths with two young missionary Mormons canvassing my neighborhood. They politely stopped me and handed me some literature about Jesus Christ and the Church of Latterday Saints. I said "Can I ask yall a question?" The one boy, eager to answer, said "sure" in a way that conveyed his unbridled enthusiasm to convert me right there in the middle of Maplegrove. "Do yall watch Big Love?" I said. Mormon One blushed, speechless. Mormon two said, uncomfortably, "Uh, that's not really how things are." Too bad. I just might've been down with Mormonology.

Entourage: As WhitePell observed earlier, there is nothing to not like about Entourage. Except E. They kick E out of the house, move Walsh in....and it's arguably the best sitcom in TV history.

John From Cincinatti: JFC, Jesus Fucking Christ. This show was set up to conquer the world. Premiered after the finale of Sopranos, and it had epic drama written all over it. Plus Rebecca DeMornay, Zach from Saved by the Bell, and a mystical surf family that recalled both the white trash, live-to-ride counter-culture of a Van Nuys-like town and the magic idealism of ET and Star Wars. Mitch Yost is Ben Kenobi and Seanny is Kelly Leak. Problem is, YOU NEED A FUCKING PH-D IN METAPHYSICS TO UNDERSTAND IT. I've never watched a show with so much potential and such poor execution. I still don't even know why Ed O'Neil is on the show, and I stopped caring who John's father is. I never did. I just wanted some understanding of what was going on, but the writers of JFC made sure that would never happen. A heartbreaking thumbs down.

Flight of the Conchords: The 10:30 time slot has been so elusive for HBO. Mind of the Married Man, The Comeback, Lucky Louie, etc. All cancelled prematurely; all great programs. Enter Conchords, which is some of the biggest rubbish I've ever viewed. You know how Hadman felt about Rick Manning in the mid-90s. Well that's how I feel about Jemaine. If he ever came into my living room, I'd have to punch him on principle. Those New Zealand accents are nails on a chalkboard to my ears. Please cancel this show, BO. Please. I cannot stop watching it.

I'd love an easy transition into the Random Top 10, but I can't think of one. So without wordy delay, here are SamVox's Top 10 Fantasy Girls, 2007. This summer, I came to the bitter realization that some of the chicks on my list, i.e. Elizabeth Shue, Kyra Sedgewick, Stephanie Seymour, etc. are all into their forties. Like Andy Dufrain replacing Rita Hayworth with Farah Fawcett, I have to usher in a new generation of women. I don't have much to say about these ten girls, 'coz that's obviously not the point.

1. Isabella Soprano, Prostitute. Part of the appeal was that if you had an extra $2k and could make your way to the Cathouse in Reno, you could bang her. But I recently learned that she only shows up when the HBO cameras are rolling.

2. Fergie, Pop Star/Class of '93. As of last month, my friend Froms still didn't know who Fergie was. So the picture up north is for him.

3. Charisma Carpenter, Actress/Looks hot pregnant. Is it blasphemy to say she'd have made a better Buffy?

4. Brooke Burke, Model/Jew. Before I knew who she was, I had a friend at AwfulMax, not Fruitbowl, that told me he was dating her. I must come off as super-gullible. It actually pains me to know that Brooke Burke exists.

5. Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Actress. No explanation necessary.

6. Michelle B, Nude Model & British Adult Film Star. Also known as Michelle Barrett. I'd tell you more, but this is a family blog. Just Google her.

7. Eva Herzigova, Supermodel. Although my preference for American girls is well documented, I have been fascinated with Eva ever since a rumored affair with Bono in 1994. By the way, Bono is not with Penelope Cruz. He celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary three days ago. The Hewsons are fine. So don't ask me about it when you see me. I'm tired of dispelling the rumors. I should be on Bono's payroll as a publicist.

8. Elisha Cuthbert, Actress/Girl Next Door.. She's Canadian. Maybe she'll work at the Downer someday.

9. Ginnifer Goodwin, Actress/3rd Wife. Remember the Big Love episode where Bill goes down on her? I was hooked. Also Jewish.

10. Nikki Cox, Actress & Comedian/Current Covergirl. She dated E from Entourage and Bobcat Goldthwait. Now engaged to Jay Mohr. It's obvious any guy has a chance with her. Attainable often equals attractive.

Hit it Fergie--

i be on the movie screens
magazines and boogie scenes
i'm not clean, i'm not pristine
i'm no queen, i'm no machine
i still go to Taco Bell
drive-thru, raw as hell
i don't care, i'm still real
no matter how many records i sell
after the show or after the Grammys
i like to go cool out wit da family
sippin', reminiscin' on days when I had a Mustang

I am the Dutchess in the box

That's the S to the A, M, V, the O the X...
Blogging 'bout your movies, music, Cleveland sports and sex...

Parting is inevitable