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Short Takes – April 2006


by Clint Fletcher


Television
The body count just keeps on rising in the 24 universe. Within the past two hours alone, fans watched a total of four main characters fall to the ground lifelessly, one of them being fan favorite Tony Almeida, the only regular to remain on the show since the first season (besides Kiefer). In other Fox news, the rookie hit Prison Break returned to finish out the rest of the season. Its official—the writers are taking their slow-ass time with the actual break out. Two episodes have already been shown since the show came out of its four-month hiatus at the beginning of March, and next week will feature a special prequel episode to show viewers what all the inmates did in the past to get them where they are now. At this rate, they will break out by sometime in the next twenty years. Why not just finish your sentences in peace, guys?

As for CBS, they may have found a new hit in The Unit, which has managed to hold a spot in the top ten since its premiere three weeks ago. On the ABC front, Desperate Housewives has fluctuated more than Oprah on a diet as far as March ratings go. Meanwhile their sophomore hit Grey’s Anatomy continues to climb on the charts, sneaking its way into the number 1 spot last week for the first time in the show’s history. Speaking of Grey’s, numerous letters have been sent to ABC complaining about the direction the show’s taking with the main character, Meredith Grey. Once a tolerable lead female, Grey has now turned into a stupid, annoying, whiney whore. And it turns out she may be played by one too, as actress Ellen Pompeo just made a cameo on Punk’d and sported her true bitchy colors before cameras revealed themselves—perhaps the show could be changed to “McDreamy’s Anatomy?”

On the canceling front, the television world was in for a shock last week as networks announced fan favorite Veronica Mars is getting the axe while the dreadfully cheesy Bones gets picked up for a season two at Fox. Speaking of Fox, as if American Idol wasn’t enough reality TV to annoy the shit out of us, we now have a show called Unan1mous, which has officially won the “Most Annoying Title Ever” award here at Film Monthly. The show pits a dozen contestants and locks them in tight quarters with each other to argue over who gets to keep a million dollars. On the first episode alone, secrets were revealed about each contestant in order to up the stakes on who should get voted off. This includes discovering a female church minister with a $100 grand annual salary filing for bankruptcy to get more money. May God not have mercy on your soul…

Music
Barbra Streisand’s husband told Access Hollywood that Babs is planning a comeback tour in the upcoming months. After six years of disappointing gay men across the world because of her retirement, Barbra is “exploring options” for a tour and is reportedly kick-starting it some time in November. Or this could all be a crock of shit and low-life hubby James Brolin just wanted to see his name in print. You press whore.

And speaking of low-life hubbies and whores, Sir King Douchebag Kevin Federline is at it again, but this time he’s actually producing an album. Oh yeah, I forgot. He’s a “musician.” Apparently it will be a hip-hop album entitled Playing with Fire, a.k.a. Catching a Burning STD From My Slut Wife Britney. If you ask me, I think this couple is so skanky that together they probably created their own STD. Perhaps Diafletes of the Blowhole?

And please, for this next report I must ask that you keep your laughter down to a minimum until I’m finished. It was announced this week that *gulp* Oscar-winning group Three 6 Mafia will be recording multiple tracks with *double gulp* Paris Hilton. Gee, I didn’t know you could record three guys running a soul train on a skank and call it music. Ah well. I just hope none of these people have slept with Federline—too late for Paris though I’m sure. And last week peace activist Moby and old actress Susan Sarandon kicked off the third anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq with another “Stop the War” concert. All proceeds went to various anti-war groups, including Gold Star Families for Peace. I know I’m supposed to comment on this, but I’m not touching this with a ten-foot pole. And naturally, Britney said the exact same thing on her first date with Federline (a.k.a., her honeymoon). Okay, I’m done.

Movies
Sharon Stone has officially lost her mind. Ever since Cannes many months ago, she simply refuses to shut the holy fuck up about how great Basic Instinct 2: Grandma Addiction is. Somewhere along the line the Catwoman star has managed to convince herself that the public actually cares about what she’s saying. Casino was a long time ago, honey. Maybe now, since the sequel tanked harder than Tara Reid at a Catholic Baptism, you’ll shut that plastic trap of yours. After all, Basic 2 did so bad that it tied with a movie starring Larry the Cable Guy in its second week running… we have porn now, Mrs. Stone. Now get back into bed and let the nurse change your diaper.

In other news, Ice Age 2 made a bazillion dollars this past weekend with little-to-no advertisement. I watch more TV than a housewife with a cheating husband and I didn’t see one preview for it. Were they only airing on the Disney Channel? Because I didn’t see any during breaks of Lizzie Maguire. Anyway, the best movie out right now is a horror film called Slither and everyone should check it out. Stay away from Stay Alive and give this movie a shot instead.

V for Vendetta and Inside Man officially became hits, as well as Spike Lee actually making a movie that brought in revenue. Way to go, dude. I can’t wait for Jungle Fever 2 with Nick Cannon and Hilary Duff. April is going to be a warm-up period for the hot month of May, which has Mission: Impossible 3, The Da Vinci Code and X3. For now we must settle for Scary Movie 4, The Sentinel (a.k.a., 24: The Movie) and the first 9/11 flick, United 93. And this past weekend Simpsons fans finally got a glimpse of a movie in the works. Teaser trailers for the long-awaited big screen Simpsons adaptation went into theaters in front of Ice Age 2 this weekend. Ahhhhhh, so that’s why it made so much money. I thought it was because people were snorting too much coke. Go figure.

Most information is derived from IMDB's daily news, the Chicago dailies (Tribune and Sun Times), Entertainment Weekly, MSN.com, various sources as listed, and by just paying attention.

Clint Fletcher is a writer and filmmaker living in the Midwest.



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