Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Disturbing News

Saunter and I saw Indiana Jones over the Memorial Day weekend, and I was relieved to discover it didn't suck... which is not a given in this day and age, particularly when George Lucas is involved. Afterwards Saunter happened to mention that they were making a sequel to Cloverfield, which surprised me. I mean, exactly how much did that mopvie make?

As it turns out? A lot. According to Box Office Mojo, Cloverfield cost $25 million to produce, but raked in $170 million. That will get a sequel made. As I looked down the top 20 domestic grossing films of the last year there was a worrying number of movies that were sequels, or based on some pop culture entity.

Even worse? Guess the movie: it was released in the last year cost $60 million to make, and returned $217 million domestically, over $350 million worldwide?

Alvin and the fucking Chipmunks.

Yeah, can't wait for that sequel.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The WNBA and Marketing

For those of you watching the NBA playoffs, you may have come across the new ads for the upcoming WNBA season. The new campaign is taking a brave new tack... and by "brave" I mean "retarded". Check out the WNBA site for some examples.

It appears that the next weapon in the crack WNBA marketing team is reverse psychology. Let's go to a transcript of one of their ads, narrated by Candace Parker, the new WNBA star-to-be who just joined the league from Tennessee.

"I'm sorry, but you couldn't pay me to watch women's basketball. Nothing exciting ever happens. Look at the WNBA. The league has stayed the same for ten years. There's no new blood. What kind of future does that league have? None that I can see. Expect great."

So let's have a look at this. "I'm sorry, but you couldn't pay me to watch women's basketball". OK, so apparently a lot of people think that exact same thing. After hearing the statement, many of the millions of people watching the NBA playoffs probably nodded in agreement.

We're not off to a good start.

"Nothing exciting happens."

In fact, people right now might be getting bored during your commercial. Bored, while agreeing.

"Look at the WNBA. The league has stayed the same for ten years."

Right now, basically every person watching this ad probably had the same reaction I did: the WNBA has somehow survived for ten years?! Holy crap! I assume the intended reaction is meant to be a guilt 1-2 punch. "Man, I'm such a douche for not wanting to watch women's basketball. And it's been around for ten years! It's practically my duty to try and watch some! "

And then they go in for the kill: "What kind of future does that league have? None that I can see." So, not only do they defuse the guilt by pointing out that hey, the league has survived for ten years despite your disdain, they probably caused you to think: "I'd like to lay money on them not surviving another ten years."

I expect the next WNBA ad campaign to be something like: "The WNBA. Remember, your mom is a woman. Won't you watch some women's basketball? For her? Please?"

Seriously. Just show some freaking clips of good basketball. How hard is that?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just Asking For It

I am not a violent man. Or at least, not that violent. Nonetheless, some things can rouse me to an incandescent rage. To take one example, attempting to set up my new HD cable box, courtesy of Comcast. Yeah, that was three hours of fun.

A step below of the "incandescent rage inducing" are the mere "pet peeves". Take personalised license plates. Based upon my rough gathering of empirical evidence, approximately 99.9999999999999999999% of personalised license plates are evidence of rampant douchebaggery, or at the very least are incredibly lame. There are exceptions, but not many.

Just outside the office building in which I am incarcerated daily there is a horseshoe driveway allowing access for FedEx trucks and the like. It is also used by people to park their cars and race into Starbucks and/or FedEx Kinko's, despite the "no standing" signs everywhere. In an effort to combat this standing menace a tow truck routinely patrols the premises, ensnaring any citizen's car unlucky enough to be unprotected during the truck's rounds. The tow truck driver's favourite gambit is to begin making off with its prey just as the unsuspecting driver races up to protest. At this stage a dance of extortion commences, with the tow truck driver releasing its unwilling cargo for an on-the-spot fee. As a counter-gambit, cars that dare to thumb their nose at the imperious signs huddle together, bumper to bumper, protecting all but the cars at the head or tail of the queue. This reminds me of large beasts on the Serengeti, huddling together to try and protect themselves from the approach of a wily predator.

This morning as I stepped out of my corporate prison for my daily exercise, I noticed a single car huddling behind a delivery truck, as it's owner embarked on some mundane chore. The car in question? A dark blue Jaguar, with the personalised license plate "HARVARD". Almost giddy with excitement I staked out the scene, wondering if the person who dared to display the equivalent of a "KICK ME" sign on their car would be caught out by the tow truck. Normally I feel sorry for those who fall afoul of the tow truck's car-thirst, but this time my feelings were purely aligned with the aggressor.

Unfortunately my hopes were dashed when the owner of the douchemobile returned to his vehicle, fleeing the scene before his natural enemy (well, one that didn't go to Yale) appeared. Disappointed, I plodded back into my jail, exercise time over.

I bet Mr "HARVARD" is still a douche, though. His time will come.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cinco de Hoyo

As mentioned yesterday, I was able to indulge myself in the fine Mexican tradition of drinking Coronas, Dos Equis, and play Tiger Woods 08 on the Wii (strictly speaking I think the tradition is playing a golf game, or at least the Tiger Woods game available in the year of that particular Cinco de Mayo, but we're getting pedantic here). Alternating crushing drives and crushing bottles of beer, I was doing nicely. Sure I had to stoop to using lemon juice rather than actual lemons or limes to accent my beer, but I chose not to get hung up on such compromises. It was the spirit of the thing.

As 10pm approached I was prodded into jumping into the Hoy. I've been scarce in blogger tournaments, and indeed haven't been playing much poker at all. Between work and other concerns I just haven't had the psychic capital to devote to chips and cards. But hey, I was getting hammered on Mexican beer, with no intent of stopping. Why not a little hot and heavy 6-max action?

I was reasonably confident that between wandering back and forth between my couch and my fridge, pouring lemon juice into my beers, and keeping an eye on Hornets/Spurs, that I wouldn't do too much in the tournament. I was fortunate in the first hour to have someone slowplay Aces and allow me to catch a set on the turn, and then have them pay me off. After that I have basically no idea what I did, as I wasn't paying close enough attention, though I remember crippling Lucko at one point. Eventually I lost a couple of big coinflips, got lucky when in push and pray mode, and then went out after getting my money in way ahead, so I least I got that going for me, which is nice. I think I went out in 14th or something, which amusingly is pretty much where I tended to be going out when I was playing BBT3 events regularly. Nice to see I'm consistent!

After that I watched some more of the action, before deciding that it was time to pass out. I'm doubtful of my getting into many more BBT3 events before the whole shebang finishes up, and not sure how regularly I am going to be playing poker in the short term. Hopefully once I get a handle on my workload I'll find more time for cards. The jury is still out on going to Vegas for the Triple Draw WSOP event, I guess I'll have to decide on that sooner or later.

In the mean time, you'll find me on the (virtual) golf course. Sporting stupid sunglasses. But you knew that already.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's Cinco de Mayo?!

This is what happens when work is busy kicking your arse: you don't realise that today is a perfect excuse for drinking. I love Cinco de Mayo, one of the "holidays" I was completely unaware of prior to my move to North America. Guess it's time to hit the liquor store on the way home for Corona/Dos Equis/some other Mexican beer, plus possibly some tequila.

Playing drunken Wii golf is a Mexican tradition, right?