mjschaef: (Default)
No Joss. No scooby gang. No sense in Hollywood.


I kinda get the lack of a Scooby gang as central characters, but I feel like Joss is essential and that the gang should support somehow. I can see a franchise opportunity with the "Into each generation..." angle. But the whole thing falls apart without the Buffyverse Joss created.
mjschaef: (Default)
So, I don't usually post much about the shows produced in the course of my employment. In fact, often I can forget that I even work in the theatre as I am surrounded by contracts, spreadsheets, failing computers and constant construction.

Unbeatable, the show that opened here on Friday is different. Not only is it one of the best shows I have had the privilege to work on it has two additional bits that make a post here worthwhile:
1) It is a world premier musical that I am hopeful you will hear much more about in the future
2) Those of you in NYC or in Houston definitely have an opportunity to see it as we are co-producing with Stages Repertory in Houston (where the show will play Sept 3-28) and then we will take the show off-Broadway to New World Stages October 8 - November 2.

More show info is on the Phoenix Theatre site linked above...

There is also some additional information at the quickly thrown together show-specific site HERE and the first of what will hopefully be many 5 star reviews can be heard HERE.
mjschaef: (Default)
In the coming months, there are likely to be an increasing number of political posts on this journal(hard to imagine, I know). While I am passionate about my political views, I rarely push them as hard as I am going to push the following: Hillary Clinton is not good for this country or this world. And neither is John McCain.

I believe Senator Clinton has just jumped her own shark, and no one has expressed my outrage and horror quite as well as Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Unless you happen to live in Montana, South Dakota or Puerto Rico, you have (presumably) already made your Presidential Primary choice. But please watch this anyway. And remember this for the next time Senator Clinton tries to run for elected office. She blows with the political winds and can not be taken at face value.

mjschaef: (Default)
So, I decided to try out Netflix VOD streaming option yesterday. Since my laptop has an HDMI connection, I figured I could hook it in to my entertainment system and see what happens. (I can't fathom the idea of watching a movie on my laptop...)

Technical verdict: Pleased and surprised really. Even over a wireless connection, The buffering was quick and responsive, with no lag at all. And the picture was not bad at all (going from my 15" laptop screen to the 42" plasma) though it was standard definition (sorry Montoya). I don't think Netflix is offering any HD streaming, though I know if they did i would have to hook up a wired network connection.

Movie verdict: I decided to watch a film that was low on my priority list, in case the technical limitations were overly distracting. I ended up choosing a low budget gay-themed independent called Outing Riley. I wasn't expecting much at all, but was rewarded with a real hidden gem. The directing is a bit spotty, and the technical aspect make it clear that there was no budget... but it was well worth the 90 minutes. There is also some use of breaking the 4th wall and speaking directly to the audience. Which almost always means lazy writing... but I was somewhat ok with it here (still, I think its a little lazy).

Interesting points:
1. Nathan Fillion is one of the main characters, and there isn't anything wrong with that - EVER.

2. The director (also the main character) is clearly in love with the city of Chicago. I can't remember ever seeing a movie set in Chicago that filmed the city with such obvious love and respect. There are many, many great shots for those among you who love the city like I do. (Side note to Publius1 - the CNA building makes a very prominent cameo in one shot and another whole scene takes place at the corner of Clark/Barry/Halsted at the Wiener's Circle restaurant).

3. Yes, its gay-themed, and frankly I'm very much over the "gay coming out" storylines, but thankfully, the usual stereotypes and clichés associated with the genre are almost completely avoided. There are actual regular people in this film, and not the usual Perfect People you find in most homo-flicks.

In conclusion - recommended for those times when a big-budget hollywood film isn't on your agenda...
mjschaef: (Default)
To yesterday's post on Obama/Wright/Sullivan...

1.  Obama's reaction today was good, if slightly too low key for my taste.

2.  Andrew Sullivan at least know's why we will never be BFF's...


So I think Obama should probably repudiate me now and avoid the rush.

Me too. I've been in the same room as Obama and have spoken with him on the phone. I support the flat tax, oppose affirmative action, want social security means-tested, published "The Bell Curve", helped kill off Clinton's healthcare plan in the 1990s, favored the Iraq war, and endorsed Bush in 2000."


Thanks, Andrew.  I couldn't have summed it up better myself.

mjschaef: (Default)

Its time to make lemons.

Andrew Sullivan and I have a love hate relationship. I can’t get behind everything he says, but in this case, I think he is dead on.

WARNING - Political rant dead ahead. )

mjschaef: (Default)
I fear that I will face a tough decision tomorrow night. With PA election results and AI showtune night both in the works. I don't know how to feel exactly... if the PA results are called quickly, then Obama lost by a lot and I will be sad, but can fit AI into the evening viewing. If the PA results are too close to call, I may have to put off watching AI until Wednesday... which sucks considering how much I have been looking forward to showtune night.

Ah well... if this is the worst thing in my life right now, I will happily deal with it!
mjschaef: (Default)
Does anyone know anything about this?


I imagine that LG is rebranding someone else's laptop, but I'm not sure who's...

In any case, I need to buy, for work, a 15.4" laptop with an integrated 10-key pad.  Weight is an issue, which rules out the various 17" models (Dell, HP, Toshiba).  Any suggestions?  Price is a consideration as well.  Also, a docking station will be needed, or a port replicator with video capability.  One of my issues with the LG above is I couldn't find a replacement/spare AC adapter that was specified for that model.  I'm relatively sure that one could be found, but I imagine it would be specified for whoever actually makes this laptop.  In any case, an extra AC adapter is important if the manufacturer doesn't make a docking station specifically for the model.

Help me internets... I have Googled my ass off.
mjschaef: (Default)
I was thinking... if it were possible for Obama to get people to commit to being in his cabinet before he won the Democratic nomination (or even the general election), would it help him secure the nomination? Would he put the money where his mouth is and select some interesting people to advise him? Here are some suggestions for him (I tried to mostly avoid any currently serving legislators, thinking it may improve the odds of these people accepting the positions...which is still a crazy proposition):

Vice President – Janet Napolitano (D-AZ)

Secretary of State - Bill Richardson (D-NM)

Secretary of the Treasury - Michael Bloomberg (R-NY)

Secretary of Defense - Wesley Clark (D – AR)

Attorney General - John Edwards (D – NC)

Secretary of the Interior - Kay Bailey Hutchison (R – TX)

Secretary of Agriculture - Tom Vilsack (D – IA)

Secretary of Commerce - Tom Daschle (D – SD)

Secretary of Labor - Mel Martinez (R – FL)

Secretary of Health and Human Services - Kathleen Sebelius (D – KS)

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - Deval Patrick (D – MA)

Secretary of Transportation - Ruth Ann Minner (D – DE)

Secretary of Energy – Al Gore (D – TN)

Secretary of Education - Carol Moseley Braun (D – IL)

Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Jim Webb (D – VA)

Secretary of Homeland Security – Colin Powell (R – NY)

Also, DELEGATE (not vote) Prediction for the Democratic Super Tuesday results:
Clinton - 848 Delegates - 8 States + 1 territory(Am Samoa, AR, CA, CT, DE, NJ, NM, NY, OK)
Obama - 833 Delegates - 13 States (AL, AK, CO, GA, ID, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, ND, TN, UT)
Tied - 0 Delegates - 1 State (AZ)
mjschaef: (ME)
So, I'm sort of watching the Daily Show and catching up on Live Journal... and I didn't skip the commercials. An ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee came on.


Its no wonder they can't maintain a majority. What a horrible, no good, very bad ad.

Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that they couldn't afford time on the broadcast stations, so the campaign was relegated to basic cable... But, why is the DCCC even running a national ad campaign? Note to DCCC: Focus your money on in danger or winnable districts. According to most polls, half the country doesn't even know who Nancy Pelosi is and of the ones that do know, half of those don't like her. Showing pictures of her with factoids about the lame things you have gotten done this session IS NOT HELPING YOU. I mean, touting a minimum wage increase? Fine, big pat on the back... but we all know that is not an election altering issue. Children's health coverage? Ooooooh, I'm sure the Republicans were really against you on that one. Veteran health care? Yeah, I'm sure that one took effort to get passed too.

And taking on Georgie Porgie on the war? Lets not call that an accomplishment as of now, m'kay? First you have to actually accomplish something.
mjschaef: (ME)
From the AP article regarding next season's CBS lineup...

"Moonlight" is about a modern-day vampire who tries to help humans.

I hope Joss Whedon is getting royalties.
mjschaef: (ME)
My pre-show predictions were that Jordin and Chris would be most comfortable in the country music genre. Let me admit up front, I am a closeted country fan. Its weird, other than Garth Brooks, I don't voluntarily listen to country music on a regular basis. But when I hear some of the songs on American Idol or in my brother's car, I am usually pleasantly surprised.

Here are my thoughts - in performance order:

Phil - its true, he can sing... there's no way he's going home tonight. It will be interesting to see if this is enough to push him out of the bottom three. I say yes.

Jordin - I keep saying this, but how is this girl 17? Seriously, put me down to buy her first album. Tonight, Simon Cowell told her that he thought she might win this competition. I've been saying that for three weeks Simon, get with it.

San-gina (Rhymes with a feminine body part) - I think the producers are now officially trying to keep him on the show. They give him very 12-year-old girl friendly audience interaction moments. Thankfully, his singing was even worse than usual tonight. With Phil being listen-able this week (if not nice to look at), he may finally be going home.

Lakisha - I thought this was horrible. Her worst performance in my memory. To steal Randy's catchphrase, that was pitchy dog. If San-gina doesn't go home, I think she will. When they said she was going to sing this song, I thought that was a good idea, since the song could so easily be gospel-y. But she missed it completely. I felt aurally assaulted.

Chris - I thought this would be his week, because you can get away with much sloppier diction and even intonation in country music. If he were going to sing a Rascal Flats song, there truly are many, many better choices (thanks to Stina, I actually own their last album). That song wasn't good, and neither was he. Again, pitchy and I thought he was completely bored.

Melinda - As usual, what can you say about Melinda? She is like a seasoned professional. She may have even been a little sexy tonight. Just a little bit. Definitely not the usual for her. And, praise the deity of your choice, the song wasn't from the Motown Diva songbook. Way to break out of the mold Mindy-doo. You rocked tonight.

Blake - The resident AI heartthrob (IMHO), takes on country music's perpetual heartthrob (Tim McGraw - remember "Don't Take the Girl"?). My impression - DEER IN HEADLIGHTS. He was so completely uncomfortable. It wasn't bad, and he sounded fine, if not perfect. But, not the wow factor he needs at this point.

In order (best to worst) for the week:
Jordin, Melinda, Phil, Blake, Chris, Lakisha, Sanjaya.

Going Home:
Any of the bottom three above, plus Phil, could go. I am in favor of Sanjaya going home, and I would rather see Chris go than Lakisha... but as I have said in the past, Lakisha is the weakest of the three divas, and at some point her votes will run out. In her favor this week - the song she sang was a huge hit (and Grammy and CMA winner) for Idol winner Carrie Underwood. NOT in her favor, Carrie did it way better. I really think Phil saved himself for another week, which could be bad for Chris, because those votes have to come from somewhere. Bottom line, I have no idea. I have a strong feeling that Sanjaya still has a week or two on the show, so bye-bye CHRIS. Yes, after all of that, I am saying Chris. But I still think Sanjaya and Lakisha are on very shaky ground.

THE PREDICTIONS (made on 4/3)
1) Jordin (was in top five last week)
2) Melinda (was in top five last week)
3) Blake (was in top five last week)
4) Lakisha (was in top five last week)
5) Chris R. (was in bottom three last week)
6) Sanjaya (was in top five last week)
7) Haley (was ELIMINATED last week)
8) Gina (was ELIMINATED two weeks ago)
9) Phil (was in bottom three last week)
mjschaef: (ME)
Contestants - 1; Latin Flavor - Negative 7

Well, that was even more of a waste of air time than the whole rest of this season put together. I tend to like latin music, so maybe it was J-Lo's coaching that may them all suck the life out of the songs. Well, her coaching and the fact that 50% of them suck anyway. Honestly, you know it was bad when Sanjaya may have had the second best performance of the evening. Even Simon said "It wasn't horrible", which is high praise from the guy who thought Melinda was bad tonight and hasn't had a good thing to say about Sanjaya since the auditions.

The only person who, in my humble (but usually right) opinion, did a great job was Blake. I'm not even sure I can objectively determine how good Blake was, because he was so much better than anyone else. My perspective could be skewed.

Here's my list of the best performances for tonight, which does not change my predictions from 4/3. That list was an overall ranking and elimination order prediction, this one is just for this week.
1) Blake (Always my favorite, and the hottest. None of his usual beatboxing and embellishments tonight, just a genuine performance that sounded great.
2) Sanjaya (With some diction work, this might have actually been GREAT instead of simply passable.)
3) Jordin (once again, the award for emotional depth and an understanding of coloring your performance with different volumes goes to the 17 year old.)
4) Melinda (well, the dress was better tonight, but she still managed to pick an old standard - despite the week's theme. You sing like a God Melinda, but you look and act like someone's grandma.)
5) Lakisha (probably tied with Melinda performance-wise, but she looked like a sausage in that dress. I almost threw up it was so disgusting. Plus, we already had a disadvantaged single mother with a big voice but nothing beyond that as a winner. Sorry Kiki, America has used up their sympathy quota.)
6) Chris R. (No one should sit in Paula's chair for a while. I think it is moist.)
7) Phil (Back to the Ugly Hats tonight, but at least it was mostly obscuring his buggy eyes and oddly shaped chrome dome.)
8) Haley (I think she was trying to emulate J-Lo, because man were those shorts not flattering to her ass. And, her shirt didn't show off her boobs to offset the huge slab of jiggling blubber following her around.)

Seems to me like Phil gets another pass this week because Haley's only advantage was sex appeal and I think she covered up both her sex and her appeal this week.

1) Jordin (was in top three last week)
2) Melinda (was in top three last week)
3) Blake (was in middle three last week)
4) Lakisha (was in top three last week)
5) Chris R. (was in middle three last week)
6) Sanjaya (was in middle three last week)
7) Haley (was #8 last week)
8) Gina (was ELIMINATED last week)
9) Phil (was #7 last week)
mjschaef: (ME)
Just check out their front page to see what made me post this at this particular moment.

TV Gossip

Feb. 8th, 2007 01:07 pm
mjschaef: (Default)
In my effort to avoid work at all costs today, I ran across this -

You may have heard the glorious news (courtesy of my fellow scoop sleuth Michael Ausiello at TV Guide) that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is reprising his role of Denny Duquette on Grey's Anatomy.

And you may be asking yourself, "Holy...? What the...? How can this be?"

Well, I just so happen to know exactly how Denny comes back to Grey's, and I wanted to share with you a few juicy details of his return—just to ensure that no matter what, you do not miss the next few insanely good episodes of Grey's Anatomy, which start tonight!

According to inside sources, here's what I can tell you about Jeffrey Dean Morgan's return

• Denny does not appear in a flashback. • Denny does not appear in a dream. • It is Denny and not something kooky like his twin. • Denny is not the only one we see.

And for the record, the scene in which Denny appears will completely blow your mind. (I'm still picking up the pieces.)

That said, for the love of all that is good and holy on the small screen, please cancel any plans you might have for the next few Thursdays and make sure you check out what happens with our friends at Seattle Grace on ABC. Because everyone is going to be talking about the next few episodes of Grey's Anatomy. (See? I'm already doing it.)


Monday TV

Jan. 23rd, 2007 12:49 am
mjschaef: (ME)
Forget your fixation on Heroes (which is fine and probably getting better). Monday night is all about 24. Best TV show ever.

With shows like 24, Grey's Anatomy, House, L&O: SVU, and Ugly Betty on the DVR, who needs movies?
mjschaef: (Default)
So, the nominations will be announced tomorrow... I am pretty much bored to tears with this year's potentials, but tradition took over and forced me to make a list... so here goes...

2007 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Best Picture:
The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Odd Man Out:
United 93
Letters From Iwo Jima

Best Actor:
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed (or for Blood Diamond – SAG classified Leo as Supporting in The Departed and Lead in Blood Diamond)
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
Peter O’Tool – Venus
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson

Odd Man Out:
Sacha Baren Cohen – Borat

Best Actress:
Helen Miren – The Queen
Judy Dench – Notes on A Scandal
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet – Little Children
Penelope Cruz – Volver

Odd Man Out:

Best Supporting Actor:
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earl Haley – Little Children
Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond
Brad Pitt – Babel

Odd Man Out:
Jack Nicholson – The Departed
(I’m torn… Pitt and Nicholson are going head to head for the 5th spot here, and I think the voters may be tired of nominating Jack for playing Jack… whereas Pitt made a departure from his norm.)

Best Supporting Actress:
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal (or Babel; or The Good German)
Adrianna Barraza – Babel
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel
Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine

Odd Man Out:

Best Director:
Martin Scorsese – The Departed
Bill Condon – Dreamgirls
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Babel
Clint Eastwood – Letters From Iwo Jima

Odd Man Out:
Paul Greengrass – United 93
Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – Little Miss Sunshine


Best Original Screenplay:
The Queen
Little Miss Sunshine
United 93

Odd Man Out:
Letters from Iwo Jima

Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Departed
Little Children
Thank You For Smoking
Notes on A Scandal

Odd Man Out:
The Devil Wears Prada
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