Life in the Slow Lane

February 25, 2010

My Razzies ballot

Filed under: Entertainment,Life,Movies — pauljlane @ 5:03 pm

Following is how I voted in the 2009 Razzies competition.

Even they can't believe how bad "Land of the Lost" was, and they were in it.


My vote is x’ed in each category. This year’s Razzies event is the 30th anniversary gala.


____  BATTLFIELD EARTH (2000) 

 __x__  FREDDY GOT FINGERED (2001) 

____  GIGLI(2003) 

____  I KNOW WHO KILLED ME (2007) 

____  SWEPT AWAY (2002) 


____  Mariah Carey  

__x__  Paris Hilton

____  Lindsay Lohan  

____  JenniferLopez

____  Madonna  


____  Ben Affleck 

____  Eddie Murphy 

__x__  Mike Myers

____  Rob Schneider 

____  John Travolta 


____  Any Two (or More) Jonas Brothers /THE JONAS BROTHERS 3-D CONCERT EXPERIENCE

____  Sandra Bullock & Bradley Cooper / ALL ABOUT STEVE 

____  Will Ferrell & Any Co-Star, Creature or “Comic Riff” / LAND OF THE LOST

____  Shia LeBouf & EITHER Megan Fox OR AnyTransformer / TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

__x__  Kristin Stewart & EITHER Robert Pattinson OR Taylor Whatz-His-Fang,TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON 


____ALLABOUT STEVE, Screenplayby Kim Barker

____  G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA, Screenplay by Stuart Beattieand David Elliot & Paul Lovett,

               Based on Hasbro’s G.I. JOE® Characters.           

__x__  LAND OF THE LOST, Written by Chris Henchy& Dennis McNicholas,

               Based on Sid & Marty Krofft’sTV Series

____  TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, Written by Ehren Kruger & Roberto Orci

               & Alex Kurtzman, Based on Hasbro’s TransformersAction Figures 

____TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON, Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, Based on the Novel by Stephenie Meyer  



__x__  LAND OF THE LOST            

____  PINK PANTHER 2 (A Rip-Off of a Sequel to a Remake)


____TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON                                             


____  Billy Ray Cyrus / HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE

____  Hugh Heffner (as Himself) MISS MARCH

__x__  Robert Pattinson / TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

____  Jorma Taccone (as Cha-Ka) LAND OF THE LOST     

____  Marlon Wayans / G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA 


__x__  Candice Bergen / BRIDE WARS 

____  Ali Larter / OBSESSED 

____  Sienna Miller / G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA

____  Kelly Preston / OLD DOGS 
____  Julie White (as Mom) TRANNIES, TOO


____  Michael Bay / TRANNIES, TOO

____  Walt Becker / OLD DOGS 

__x__  Brad Silberling / LAND OF THE LOST

____  Stephen Sommers / G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA

____  Phil Traill / ALL ABOUT STEVE


____  Beyonce / OBSESSED

__x__  Sandra Bullock / ALL ABOUT STEVE                                     



____  Sarah Jessica Parker / DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? 

WORST ACTOR of 2009 

____  All Three Jonas Brothers /  JONAS BROTHERS 3-D CONCERT EXPERIENCE

__x__  Will Ferrell / LAND OF THE LOST

____  Steve Martin / PINK PANTHER 2

____  Eddie Murphy / IMAGINE THAT

____ John Travolta / OLD DOGS 





____  OLD DOGS 



February 2, 2010

Wacky Super Bowl prop bets

Filed under: Entertainment,Sports,Television — pauljlane @ 10:40 am

Here, from R.J. Bell of, are some of the strangest Super Bowl prop bets for Super Bowl XLIV between Indianapolis and New Orleans.

Extreme scoring:
7 points or less, combined both teams: 1000 to 1
81 or more points, combined both teams: 5 to 1 against
Colts shutout: 250 to 1 against
Saints shutout: 80 to 1 against
Saints win by 39 or more points: 60 to 1 against
Colts win by 39 or more points: 20 to 1 against

Manning -150 (60% chance!)
Brees +300
Addai +1000
Wayne +1100
Reggie Bush +1200
P. Thomas +1300
Dwight Freeney: +6000

Player to score first TD:
Addai: 5 to 1
Reggie Wayne: 6 to 1
Dallas Clark: 7 to 1
Pierre Thomas: 7 to 1
Marquest Colston: 9 to 1
Reggie Bush: 10 to 1
Payton Manning: 35 to 1

Total Pass Yards: Over/Under = 305
Total TD passes: Over/Under = 2.5
Will Manning throw for more yards this Super Bowl than his last?
Yes = minus 270 (equaling a 75% chance)
Will Brees throw for less than 100 yards?
12 to 1 against
Will Manning throw for more than 500 yards?
15 to 1 against

Total Passing Yards: Over/Under = 290
Total TD passes: Over/Under = 2
Will Drew Brees throw for more yards than John Elway did in Super Bowl XXI (304 yards)? Yes or No is even money.
Will Brees throw for less than 100 yards?
10 to 1 against
Will Brees throw for more than 500 yards?
25 to 1 against
Passing Yards: Manning is favored by 15 yards over Brees

Reggie Bush: Rushing Yards: Over/Under = 30

Reggie Wayne: Total receiving yards: Over/Under = 78

Combined net yards (both teams): Over/Under = 801 yards
Colts are favored to have 16 more net yards than the Colts
Longest touchdown of the game: over/under = 50 yards
Will the longest touchdown be longer than the longest field goal?
Touchdown = minus 150 (meaning 60% chance TD is longer)

Will there be?
overtime: 15 to 1 against
a safety: 10 to 1 against
a blocked punt: 10 to 1 against
missed extra point: 15 to 1 against
defensive or special teams touchdown: No = -160 (meaning 38% chance)

Will at least one quarter of the game be scoreless?
No = -400 (meaning only 20% chance one quarter will be scoreless)

Will there be a lead change in the Second Half?
No = -165 (meaning 38% chance there WILL be a 2nd half lead change)

Largest lead of game?
Over/Under = 16.5

Who will score more points:
Saints and Colts combined
Lebron and Kobe combined (on Sunday)

Crazy Props:
Who will win the coin toss?
Most books have the odds as even, but one has HEADS as a slight favorite!
How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the National Anthem?
Over/Under is 1 minute and 42 seconds.
What color will the Gatorade dumped on the winning head coach be?
Yellow: even money
Clear or water: +150
Green: +250
Orange: +500
Red: +1500
Blue: +1200

TV Props
How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV: over/under = 4.5
How many times will Kim Kardasian be shown on TV: over/under = 2.5
How many times will Hurricane Katrina be mentioned: over/under = 3

Super Crazy
How many current NFL players will be arrested during Super Bowl week?
No = minus 170 (meaning the odds of at least one is 37%)
Will a player give the crowd the “middle finger”?
Yes = 8 to 1 against
If Saints win, will Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian be engaged by July 31, 2010?
No = -150 (meaning the chance is 40%)
Will The Who smash a guitar on stage during the halftime show? No = -180 (meaning the chance is 35%)
How many times will Pete Townshend do his famous windmill move? Over/Under = 6
First endzone Celebration will be:
Ball spike: 2 to 1
Flex bicep: 4 to 1
Slam Dunk football: 5 to 1
Punch Goalpost: 15 to 1
Take out Sharpie and sign ball: 20 to 1
Group celebration: 20 to 1
Heisman Trophy pose: 25 to 1
“Ickey” Shuffle: 100 to 1

January 25, 2010

Disney princesses offer royal treat for kids

Filed under: Entertainment,Life,Parenting — pauljlane @ 5:30 pm

We took the kids to see the Disney on Ice “Princess Classics” show in Buffalo.

So many princesses.

All of the big names were there -— Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, et al (how, by the way, did they all land princes to marry?) But they were quashed in volume by the dozens of little girls in full princess gear (not Penny, though, who had on a “The Princess and the Frog” shirt). Crowns, gowns, shoes — you name it, it was princessed out.

The show was longer than we expected, as we got out after 3 p.m. from a 1 p.m. start (there was a brief intermission). But it didn’t seem that long.

Most of the stories were rushed through, but that wasn’t a big deal. The kids just wanted to see their favorite characters, and the parents have seen the movies more than enough times to have the lines memorized. The skating, as you would expect, was top-notch, with the characters interacting with audience members and a few dazzling effects thrown in.

Penny loved pretty much the entire show (especially her new Snow White doll), while Rigby got a charge out of seeing Sebastian the crab and Goofy (he pointed and laughed, then commenced flirting with the young princess in the row behind us). The house was more full than I would have thought, with more than three-fourths of the lower bowl full for a Sunday afternoon show (shows take place Wednesday-Sunday in each city).

Was it worth going to? Well, Penny has spent the following day asking to see “The Princesses” again, so that that for what you will.

January 7, 2010

Barenaked Ladies ready to move on

Filed under: Entertainment,Music — pauljlane @ 3:13 pm

The following release just came in stating that the Barenaked Ladies are set to release their first album since singer/songwriter Steven Page left the band last winter.

It will be quite interesting to see how (or if) the band will replicate the harmonies between page and guitarist/vocalist Ed Robertson that defined the band (along with their ad libbed banter during live performances). I have my doubts, but Alice in Chains hasn’t sounded all bad with that band’s new lead singer, so all hope should not be lost.

I also find it interesting that the following release does not even acknowledge Page. I wonder why …


Acclaimed multi-platinum pop-rock group the BARENAKED LADIES and their label Raisin’ Records have signed an exclusive worldwide deal with EMI Music’s Label Services unit and are gearing up for the March 30th release of their 11th studio album, ALL IN GOOD TIME. The band and longtime producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda began recording the album last spring at Canterbury Studios and Jimmy C’s in Toronto and recently finished mixing with Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, David Bowie).

“This is a really important record for us and we’re really proud of it,” says guitarist/vocalist Ed Robertson. “We’re redefining who we are, and how we communicate as a band, and as friends. The album has an emotional rawness to it that we may have shied away from in the past. I think we pushed ourselves to heavier places, and also allowed for some really spacious moments. We can’t wait to play these songs live.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Barenaked Ladies on a global scale,” says said Dominic Pandiscia, Senior Vice President & General Manager EMI Label Services & Caroline Distribution. “We look forward to using our complete service platform in key markets to help connect their music with core fans and beyond.”

The first single from ALL IN GOOD TIME, “You Run Away,” impacts radio in January. The band (Robertson, bassist/vocalist Jim Creeggan, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Kevin Hearn and drummer/vocalist Tyler Stewart) gave fans a sneak preview of the track during their recent string of live dates in the US.

On Saturday, February 6 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the Barenaked Ladies will perform at the 2010 “Taste of the NFL,” a Super Bowl culinary extravaganza that supports hunger relief organizations across the country. Tickets are available online at or by calling 952-835-7621. On Tuesday, February 16th, the band will be among the headliners performing at the Olympic Winter Games as part of the Vancouver 2010 concert series. For  ticket information, please visit

ALL IN GOOD TIME is the follow-up to the Barenaked Ladies’ 2008 Juno-nominated children’s album, Snacktime.

Over the course of the past twenty-one years, the Barenaked Ladies have racked up a half-dozen Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, sold more than 14 million albums worldwide, written a plethora of hit singles (including “One Week,” “Pinch Me” and “If I Had $1000000”) and amassed an international fanbase whose members number in the millions. The band also wrote and recorded the theme song to the hit CBS television series, “The Big Bang Theory.”

Tour dates for The Barenaked Ladies are as follows:

Date                City                              Venue
Feb. 6              Ft. Lauderdale, FL       Broward County Convention Ctr
Feb. 16th          Vancouver, BC            Olympic Victory Ceremony
Feb. 17th          Whistler, BC               Olympic Village Free show

December 31, 2009

TSO makes spirits bright on holiday tour

Filed under: Entertainment,Music — pauljlane @ 1:58 am

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra dazzled nearly 14,000 fans at Buffalo’s HSBC Arena the evening of Dec. 30, performing 90 minutes of the rock band’s famed Christmas tunes that decked the halls with roaring riffs, vivacious vocals and more eye candy than your average Manhattan model runway.

Just as the patrons were brought to their feet, ready to hit the aisles as band members were introduced, an off-hand comment about “the second half of the show” amazed most of the people in attendance.

Second half? You mean … there’s more?

Oh yes. TSO ended up playing a 2 1/2 hour set. Although the band only makes two more stops on its 2009-10 holiday tour, you’d serve yourself well to make it if at all possible.

This reviewer went to the show primarily to see for himself just how great a spectacle this famed group put on. While the visuals – including bubbles dropped from the ceiling to simulate snow, a flying platform on the opposite side of the arena from the stage, hundreds of lasers and plenty of fire – were as advertised, the music was better than expected.

Sure, you can detect hints of those played-out Christmas songs in many TSO tunes, but the band completely reinvents the music, making it relevant and powerful in a way never imaginable. And the musicianship was top-notch, with all performers on par with the very best at their respective positions.

While the first half dealt with a Christmas theme (and made at least one pair of eyes in the arena a bit misty) the second half offered a selection of songs from the band’s “Night Castle” CD. Sounding like Mozart mashed up with Metallica and Led Zeppelin, the songs were quite powerful and made classical music enjoyable on a level beyond serving as the background music for Elmer Fudd’s pursuit of Bugs Bunny.

If you can’t make this tour, fret not. TSO promises a spring tour to support “Night Castle,” the band’s first non-holiday gigs. If that tour – for which the show’s creators promise to one-up themselves fromt his holiday tour – comes near you, do yourself a favor and check it out.

If TSO can make a fan out of this person, they can do the same for you.

December 17, 2009

TSO, Machines of Grace keep Jeff Plate’s plate full

Filed under: Entertainment,Music — pauljlane @ 4:14 pm

Trans-Siberian Orchestra might keep Jeff Plate busy during the holidays, but the TSO drummer has kept busy during his down time with a passion project.

Jeff Plate, pictured with the drum kit he uses with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, has revived material he and his Machines of Grace bandmates wrote years ago.

The former member of Savatage — from which TSO was born — gets to unleash his hard rock side with Machines of Grace, a quartet made up of Plate, Zak Stevens, Matt Leff and Chris Rapoza.
Although revived in the past couple years, Plate said the seed for Machines of Grace was actually planted nearly two decades ago. The musicians started playing together in 1990 in Boston and playred regional shows for several months.
“Then grunge came along and kind of screwed that whole thing up,” said Plate, citing a distaste that formed for metal around that time.
Both Stevens (in 1992) and Plate (in 1994) joined Savatage, staying along for the ride in 1996 when TSO first came to be. While Plate has toured and recorded for TSO since then, and Stevens has done some work with the group, Machines of Graces decided a couple years ago to revive the material they’d worked on in the early 1990s.
“We decided that the old material was strong,” said Plate, who cited Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Dream Theater among the group’s influences. “At the time that we were doing it, I felt that we were doing something unique.”
And so the band went to work in the studio, eventually releasing a self-titled rock album this past summer with help from veteran technician Paul David Hager (Goo Goo Dolls, Pink). Describing the album as melodic metal minus the thrash and “Cookie Monster vocals,” Plate said it felt good to finish off what had been started so long ago.
“It was just kind of a weird time. We felt that we had never gotten our due,” he said of the failed attempt at a record in the 1990s. “When it didn’t happen, it was quite discouraging, but over the years I always revisted the demos. I think it was just unfinished business.”
Business remains unfinished now. After performing some U.S. shows in September, MOG will look to be on the road some time next year.
“My schedule is obviously busy, so we will have to work around that and do some shows that make sense for all of us,” he said. “Finding the right band to work with, and the right markets to work in, is important, so we’ll take our time and make sure we do the right thing. You WILL see us out next year.
“Being out live is really going to be our biggest advantage at this point. We’d like to take this CD as far as we can.”
Although metal’s image suffered in the 1990s, Plate feels that the hard rock genre — and, thus, Machines of Grace — will always have a place with fans.
“Musically, metal will always attract the musician because of the remarkable ability of the players,” he said. “Regardless of your taste, you can’t deny how accomplished these people are and just how difficult some of the music is. I am always amazed at the drumming. And, of course, the killer guitar riff is essential. MOG has recorded this CD with the intent of being who we are, and that incorporates these elements, along with great melodic vocals and harmonies and strong hooks. I believe we deliver something for not just the metal fan, but for all fans of rock music.”
Metal might not seem a good fit with TSO’s classically tinged rock opera melodies, but Plate enjoys the contrast his two gigs provide.
“With TSO and Savatage, it fits my style of drumming quite well,” he said. “TSO is something that (creator) Paul O’Neill … they have a certain drum take in mind. Solid drumming, not a lot of flash. Make sure the drumming doesn’t clutter the landscape … Machines gives me a chance to open up. In a four-piece band, there is more to room and space to fill. I can be more aggressive here, and it makes more sense from a drumming perspective.”
With a spring tour for TSO on the horizon, followed by more promotional work for Machines of Grace, 2010 looks to be busy for Plate.
“It’s a great problem to have,” he said.

November 25, 2009

Oprah, Jon & Kate bid farewell

Filed under: Entertainment,Television — pauljlane @ 1:05 pm

The past week has seen two of the bigger names on television either leave or announce their intentions to leave.

Will Jon and Kate ever disappear for good?

• First off, Jon & Kate (and their eight) departed TLC on Monday, as their reality series concluded.

I had never seen the show prior to Monday, and I have to say that I don’t know what the attraction was. Jon complained about having eight kids, Kate complained about having eight kids, they both complained about the paparazzi which they helped bring into their lives, the end.

Granted, the show has wildly changed course since it debuted, what with the couple’s marital woes and string of publicity. But in the episode, Kate didn’t even have one of the hissy fits she’s famous for, and it was still lacking for anything that made for compelling viewing. I honestly could not care less about what happens to either of these attention whores. Life’s hard with eight kids, no doubt, but stop making a spectacle about it.

So, good riddance. My only regret is that they’ll undoubtedly milk every TV show, interview and other cash-in opportunity that’s available while they still have some of their 15 minutes left.

• And Oprah Winfrey announced last week that she’ll hang up her microphone in 2011, giving up her talk show to pursue other interests in cable television.

At least Oprah IWnfrey tried to improve the world with her TV time.

I hate the hardcore Oprah fans who blindly follow her every word and turn off their minds in her midst. But Oprah has had a greatly positive influence in her quarter-century of doing talk shows. She’s made a difference in a lot of ways, and her show was one of the few good things about daytime television. She will be missed there.

Not that the richest woman on the planet can disappear, mind you. She’ll be visible in her other work and will continue making the world a better place. But she was the person who made modern talk shows what they are and carried great clout in nearly every circle (I requested to review a sample of a glasses-type device that projects movies to review for the paper, and they told me that Oprah got the only sample that would be issued).

If any good comes of this, it’s that Oprah’s most fervent fans might start thinking for themselves again. But regardless, Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray or anyone else who might step into her spot won’t be quite the same.

November 16, 2009

Heidi and Spencer are among the worst people ever

Filed under: Entertainment,Television — pauljlane @ 5:40 pm

Heidi and Spencer Pratt said recently taht they want another reality show, claiming that viewers don’t get to see enough of them.

(Choking back vomit)

Heidi and Spencer, two of the main reasons people from other nations hate America.

OK, first of all, how pretentious do you have to be to think that people WANT to see more of you? Just about the only people who actually care about reality stars are unemployed losers and empty shells of beings with way too much time on their hands (note that I mean people who follow reality stars’ lives off-camera, not watch reality shows; there’s a clear distinction).

And, as the following AP story states, if the description preceding your name in a story is “reality TV personality,” you’ve accomplished nothing with your life and are a complete waste of resources and time. Where are you in life that, rather than trying to do something meaningful that might help your family or society, you push for more TV time? Do you have absolutely no skills whatsoever? Or are you just a complete moron?

Of course, if they see this post, they’ll be happy to see their names circulating around the Web some more (no doubt they have a Google alert of themselves set up), which is the entire point of every move they make (“Look at us! We do stuff!”). And they might never know how very, very sad that is.


This is from The Associated Press:

Reality TV personalities Heidi and Spencer Pratt said Monday they want to branch out from MTV’s “The Hills” and star in their own reality show to give viewers a bigger peek into their lives.
In an interview to promote their new book, “How to be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press, and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture,” the couple told The Associated Press they’re shopping the idea around to various networks.
They said that while “The Hills” — which doesn’t acknowledge its cast members’ fame — only focuses on a small part of their lives, their own show would reveal everything that happens to them. They also said they’d be even be willing to include live segments.
“You don’t get to see our everyday lives and what we do,” Heidi Pratt said.
But the Pratts also said they don’t plan to leave “The Hills” and hope to appear in both shows.
Last summer, the newlyweds also appeared on NBC’s “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” during a break from “The Hills.”

‘Shrek the Halls’ and ‘Grinch’ Christmas shows to air back-to-back

Filed under: Entertainment,Television — pauljlane @ 5:13 pm

ABC announced that its annual airings of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Shrek the Halls” will take place back-to-back Monday, Nov. 30.

"Shrek the Halls."

The 1966 classic “Grinch” (8 p.m. EST), based on the Dr. Seuss book, tells of an evil creature whose experiences while thieving Christmas from his neighbors in Whoville opens up his heart to the meaning of the holidays. And “Shrek” (8:30 p.m. EST) will air for the third time in 2009 and sees new dad Shrek struggle to meet his family obligations while keeping his friends happy as he tries to find out the “right way” to celebrate Christmas. All of the voice actors from the film series return, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas.

While I would take “A Charlie Brown Christmas” if only given one Christmas show to watch per year, this is as fantastic a back-to-back pairing as could be. Both of these shows are splendid in every way.

November 10, 2009

Who are the parents who would read this book to children?

Filed under: Entertainment,Literature,News — pauljlane @ 4:18 pm

Every once in a while, I get a product pitch that defies explanation, something that’s shocking in its offensiveness, uselessness and warped agenda.


Worst ... book ... EVER!

The new book “Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country!” fits that bill and then some.

The book is by Katharine DeBrecht, author of the kids book “Help! Mom! There are liberals under my bed!” The book tells of two boys whose lemonade stand is seized by the government. The follow that up with a swingset business, but the government forces the boys to sell swingsets to kids who can’t afford them.

I hate the idea of political parties and people who ardently defend either side, but garbage such as this makes me think I’d lean left if I had to. Why would any parent want to poison their children with this drivel? This country’s imperfections are in part due to the divisiveness that political parties create, and teaching your kids to hate someone else simply because they see the world a bit differently seems almost criminal.

I’m all for someone believing whatever they believe. But don’t let your party define who you are. Think for yourself. You can agree with the guys on the other side of the aisle every now and again. You won’t melt. I promise.

Any parent who actually thinks that this book is quality material for their children is doing irreparable damage to their kids and is ruining them.

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