When Worlds Collide

HeroesRolling Stone gets New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to interview Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Read it here.

Precisely two years ago, I wrote a Starweek piece that suggested “The Daily Show” might prove to be the secret weapon that turned the 2004 election for John Kerry — think of all those red-state kids, newly eligible to vote, who’d gone off to college and discovered the program just in time for the election.

Ah, well. Better luck this time.

Breaking News

Again I am in your facesI’m appearing on CTV Newsnet this afternoon to discuss “Borat”, and whether it signifies the destruction of all we hold holy, or something.

Not sure whether it’s going out live or being pre-taped for later broadcast, but if you turn on your TVs at 3:15 EST and wait, you’re bound to see me sooner or later.

You can also stream it at this link, apparently.

I Like Verymuch

You tired of this image already, yes?Is “Borat” the best movie of the year?

Maybe not, but it’s up there — not only does it upend every expectation we have about what constitutes effective moviemaking, but it also has more to say about the reality of America (and Americans) than any other film on our screens.

Also it’s so funny it might induce hypoxia. And it has a naked wrestling sequence with three distinct acts. Niiiiiice.

Other movies opening this week:

Boynton Beach Club“: A movie for people who really, really like watching TBS.

Flushed Away“: The Aardman animation studio goes digital, with results so faithful to its previous Claymation productions that several critics don’t appear to have realized this movie’s made entirely of bits and bytes. It’s not “Wallace and Gromit” … but then, what is?

Sleeping Dogs Lie“: Bobcat Goldthwait spent so much time in other people’s crappy comedies that he’s learned what not to do when making his own; yes, the DV aesthetic is atrocious, but the sweetness of Melinda Page Hamilton’s remarkable performance gives the movie plenty of sunshine. Too bad they changed the title; “Stay” was a lot more appropriate.

Due to a combination of really annoying factors — late print, throbbing tooth, rapidly disintegrating family — I managed to miss “Babel”, but you can find Chris Atchison’s review here, if you’re curious. I’ll try to catch it over the weekend.

Make. It. Stop.

Your three o'clock is here ...So I’m sitting in the “Saw III” screening Saturday afternoon, running my tongue along my teeth — as you do — and I think, “Huh, that feels a little sensitive.” And I thought no more of it.

Cracked tooth. Infected nerve. By Tuesday afternoon I was gobbling Advil like M&Ms and regretting having gobbled actual M&Ms earlier in the week, since all those hard candy shells can’t possibly have been good for my poor, weakened enamel. (Damn Halloween and its seductive advertising materials.)

Anyway. I’m now gobbling Tylenol in addition to Advil, and popping three antibiotic horse pills a day in the hopes of clearing the infection long enough for my dentist to be able to assess the state of the tooth.

Next Wednesday.

How’s your week been?

Picking Up the Pieces

Yes, it's that shot againFamily comes first, obviously. But I did get some work done this week …

Catch a Fire“: Talented director, true story, impassioned performances, massive Oscar campaign. And if the movie worked, that would be worth something.

Death of a President“: Roger Ebert said it best: It’s not what a movie is about, but how it is about it. This is a textbook proof.

Deliver Us from Evil“: Unrelenting and remorseless, until Amy Berg gets just a tad greedy in the last reel. But still entirely deserving of attention.

Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing“: It’s the Southern-fried version of “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”, except all the introspection actually improves the music.

“Saw III”: The review will run in Monday’s Metro, but the short take is … yeah, great, it’s the goriest and most cynical in the series. Whee!

Seen “The Departed” yet? Even if you haven’t, this is still really funny.

It Can Always Get Worse

You know, “surrounded by family” is one of those phrases I never really considered literally, until last night.

The funeral’s tomorrow at noon. Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Avenue West. Firefox 2.0 is acting a little wonky at the moment, so click on the URL below for further details:

www.benjamins.ca

Regular programming will resume eventually.

Shiny Happy Football

Look how shiny I am!I haven’t had much to say about the high-def DVD wars lately, partly because I’ve been distracted with family stuff and partly because there’s just been nothing to say about them for the last little while. Sony’s readying the PlayStation 3 launch, Microsoft’s prepping the Xbox 360’s HD-DVD external drive, and the studios are trickling out titles to both formats.

But here’s something. With its second wave of Blu-ray discs newly in stores, Disney has announced the format’s first day-and-date release will be “Invincible“, on December 14th. Smart choice: The movie was popular and heavily advertised, and its football content practically guarantees it’ll be used as a demo disc in every Best Buy in North America, just in time to push those big-ticket Christmas purchases.

And hey, by December 14th, we might even be seeing Sony’s oft-delayed Blu-ray player on the shelves.

(Yes, yes, I know Disney’s also releasing a Blu-ray edition of “Pearl Harbor” on the same day, which negates any positive mojo from “Invincible”. But take heart: At least it doesn’t appear to be a port of the four-disc SE, which has the capacity to destroy people’s lives.)

The Waiting Game

Well, I'm too old to play a teenager ... are you too old to play a Mustang?The intensive care unit’s a fine and sterile place, but none, I think, do there embrace.

Meanwhile, I’m told the mistakes that crept into my work in Friday’s paper were the result of “editing oversights”. I’m told it won’t happen again.

Yes, that’d be nice.

Oh, and I saw “Flicka” over the weekend. No one seems too bothered by the likelihood that Maria Bello would have had to have given birth to Alison Lohman when she was about eleven or twelve, but maybe that’s just the way of things in today’s Wyoming.

This is Interesting

So, what, we suck now?Hey, guess what? I gave “The Prestige” four stars in yesterday’s Metro!

Except that … um … I didn’t. I gave it two stars in the copy I filed to the paper on Thursday. Also, I spelled Sofia Coppola’s name correctly.

No idea how this happened. But it’s a huge “WTF” moment, editorially speaking … I’ve been working with the same people at Metro for several years now, and whenever there’s been any kind of change to my text they’ve always called to double-check with me first. You can be sure I’ll investigate this further when the office reopens tomorrow.

(Thanks to Adam for the tip-off.)

My other other gig.