Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Most Embarrassing Stephen Colbert Clip Ever

posted by: Nathan Rabin

Hey you guys,

I don’t generally indulge in “Hey, look at this crazy clip I done found on the internet” blog posts (not that there’s anything wrong with them) but while dicking around Youtube recently in search of Stephen Colbert hilariosity, I stumbled upon a clip so jarring, so utterly horrifying, so inhumanly, inconceivably awful that I just had to punish you all by sharing it. It should be noted, however, that upon seeing this clip you can never unsee it. There is some serious cognitive dissonance involved in watching one of the funniest people alive engage in two and a half minutes of the least funny shit, ever.

Like a lot of Stephen Colbert super-fans I like to imagine that Colbert can be funny in any context. But is there a more comedy-killing context than busting a hastily improvised, avalanche-themed rap alongside Wayne Brady on Who’s Line Is It Anyway? Or appearing a late-period Mike Myers movie (I’m looking hard and mean at you, Love Guru?)

On his eponymous show Colbert has proven a decent-enough singer during semi-regular duets with guests despite being deaf in one ear. I’m particularly fond of John Legend and Colbert fighting over the Statue of Liberty while singing “The Girl Is Mine”. Rapping? Not so much. Brady straight schooled him, son.

Colbert's penchant for crooning reminds me of a Mishima anecdote included in the big "Mishima" DVD. Apparently Mishima was asked to sing the theme song to a film he starred in. He was completely tone-deaf but he trained diligently and through sheer force of will was able to sing a passable version of the film's theme song in just a week. So there may be hope for Colbert's rap skillz yet, especially if he's willing to work with a rap tutor. I hear that much of the Funky Bunch and Stray Kat Mob are currently available and hungry for work of any kind.

Original here

John Oliver Rick Rolls The Daily Show

The Daily Show returned last night after hibernating for two weeks, and they emerged from their cave rested and ready for LULZ. Case in point, this segment from John Oliver, who handily employs a certain Internet meme and uses the Iranian nuclear Photoshop scandal to produce a Jon Stewart crotch-slip that would have bested many entries on the 25 Sexiest TDS Moments list.

Original here

Rush to guest on The Colbert Report

Leave it to Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert to tackle the tough issues, to tame the tiger, to take on all comers, to invite the biggest, loudest, richest mouth in radi... Oh? You mean, it's not that Rush?

That's right. The Colbert Report has booked Rush to appear Wednesday night (11:30 PM/EST). That's Rush the band, not Rush Limbaugh, the radio yapper. Limbaugh would no doubt have been the butt of countless jibes -- assuming he would even submit to the possibility of being kidded -- but he's not coming on the show.

Rush, the Canadian band, will not have to worry about Colbert's rapier wit. They're coming on the show to sing.

This is a real feather in the cap for The Colbert Report. Rush has not appeared on American TV in over 30 years, and they're going to perform "Tom Sawyer," their most-famous song.

Stephen C. has been embracing the music this summer. In addition to Rush, Nas is going to perform on July 23, Toby Keith on July 28, and Crosby, Stills and Nash (no Young -- although he has appeared in the past on the show) on July 30.

Is this a trend away from comedy for The Colbert Report or just injecting some variety into the format? I think it's the latter, and as long as I like the musical act, I'm okay with it.

Original here

Sex Pistols 'praise Allah' at EXIT Festival

In a bizarre and misjudged gaff midway through their Sunday night set, the ageing rocker asked the crowd: “So who thinks America should still be in Iraq?”

The question was met by boos and jeers, prompting Rotten to wave his arms in mock Muslim prayer chanting, “Praise Allah, Praise Allah” repeatedly.

The main stage crowd were initially taken aback by the mystifying gesture, before boos began echoing around the crowd.

Realising his mistake, Rotten then changed his chanting to "Praise Serbia, Praise Serbia" before quickly launching into another song.

The headline set itself was a mixed bag, and an initially huge and excitable crowd gradually thinned out as it wore on. The band kicked off with ‘Pretty Vacant’ and ‘Lazy Sod’ and the two song titles seemed to sum up the show.

The Hives fared much better earlier on, proving the pick of the day’s main stage with their tongue in cheek showmanship.

Playing their first ever show in Serbia, the Swedish rockers were on top form as Pelle Almqvist led the band and the crowd through songs such as ‘Tick Tick Boom’, ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ and ‘Main Offender’.

But the between-song banter by the singer was equally lapped up by the crowd, who played along with the band's famous self glorification.

Empathising with Serbian frustrations at being restricted from travelling in the EU, Almqvist dedicated ‘Not Long Now’ to the thousands of fans watching the early evening set.

He said: “We come from a small town of 12,000 people in Sweden and know what it feels like when you’re dying to escape from somewhere. There are many rock n roll songs which have been written about this subject, this is ours”.

At the end of the show, he asked: “So Serbia how does it feel to have lost your Hives virginity? Did it hurt? No, I didn’t think so it just felt really good, didn’t it?”

The band then closed with the classic ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’, which received the loudest reception of the set.

Next up were returning metal legends Ministry, who played from behind caged gates, seemingly to protect their ageing frames from bottles thrown from the crowd.

Other highlights on the final night included the wonky electronica of thinking man’s DJ Claude Von Stroke in the dance arena, followed by a live set from German duo Booka Shade.

Deep Dish pair Sharam and Dubfire played early morning sets back to back with the harder sound of Dubfire far outshining that of his cheesier partner.

Despite being four days in, the majority of fans pushed through until the bitter end for the final day of EXIT Festival, and despite the site resembling a dust bowl for most of the weekend, we experienced the first rainfall as the sun came up, readying us for the journey back home.

Stay posted for the full review and photo gallery coming soon.

Original here

Hip-Hop Label Auctioned for $24M

Late rapper and former member of Death Row Records Tupac Shakur
Late rapper and former member of Death Row Records Tupac Shakur

(NEW YORK) — Death Row Records, the hip-hop label that released seminal gangster rap albums by Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, has been auctioned for $24 million.

The New York-based Global Music Group Inc. said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that on June 24 it purchased Death Row, including its enviable back catalog and current artist contracts.

The purchase concluded the roller-coaster saga of one of hip-hop's most famous labels. Under owner Marion "Suge" Knight, Death Row sold tens of millions of albums in the heyday of early '90s rap — its artists often flashing the spoils of the high life in music videos — before collapsing in debt and mismanagement.

A former couple, Lydia and Michael Harris, claimed they helped found the label, and won a judgment of $107 million, which they tried to collect in 2006. Unable to pay, Death Row and Knight filed for bankruptcy in April 2006, claiming debts of more than $100 million.

In 2006, a federal judge ordered a bankruptcy trustee takeover of Death Row Records, saying the label had undergone gross mismanagement. Knight's decision to file for bankruptcy protection staved off a move by the court to appoint someone to take control of the record label and his assets.

Global Music Group, an independent label, takes ownership of albums including Dr. Dre's "The Chronic," Shakur's "All Eyez on Me" and Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle."

Other assets are believed to include unreleased material from Shakur that could result in another posthumous release from the rapper.

Knight has a history of legal problems. He was convicted of assault in 1992 and placed on probation, then jailed for five years in 1996 for violating that probation.

He was returned to jail in 2003 for again violating parole, this time by punching a parking attendant at a Hollywood nightclub. He was released the next year.

In 2006 under questioning from his creditors, Knight denied having money tucked away in foreign countries. His bank account then contained just $11.

Global Music CEO Anthony Davi, Jr., said the label planned to get "the best economic results of the catalog and provide long term stewardship of the artists' work." The company plans to later announce details of its plans for Death Row.

Original here

5 Reasons The Dark Knight Is Better Than Batman Begins

5 Reasons The Dark Knight Is Better Than Batman Begins Batman Begins is good, but The Dark Knight is epic perfection. Now that you’ve read my review, I thought I’d simplify things and break down just exactly what it is that makes The Dark Knight so much better than Christopher Nolan’s first caped crusader effort. 5, spoiler-free reasons:

5. More James Gordon
Commissioner Gordon has always gotten the short end of the stick in every Batman movie. In Batman Begins, Nolan attempted to give him a personality and actually went through the trouble to cast Gary Oldman to play him. But Gordon never really felt as fully formed as he does in The Dark Knight, where he not only gets more screentime, but gets a more complex plotline. It’s great to have more Gordon, especially when he’s played by Gary Oldman.

4. Origin Story Free
Let’s face it, as good as Batman Begins was, the origin story has been done to death. The real fun of Batman isn’t in finding out where he came from but watching him stalking through Gotham City fully formed, going toe to toe with the most psychotic superhero rogues gallery ever assembled. With all the training montages out of the way, The Dark Knight is able to get down to the business of delivering the real Bat.

3. Better Action
Chris Nolan tried, but there’s no getting around some of the uneven action sequences in Batman Begins. The final battle between Christian Bale and Liam Neeson in particular suffers from extreme-shaky cam syndrome. Most of the time, we had no idea what was going on, or even who was winning. The Dark Knight solves all of that by delivering simpler, quicker, more brutal fight sequences. Maybe Nolan still has no business directing the Jet Li film, but who wants him to? He’s rounded out the awkward corners of Batman Begins’ fight scenes and delivered hard hits which are only made even harder by the philosophical underpinnings of his film. Watching Batman stalk through the darkness taking out two-bit thugs with vicious roundhouse punches is now a thing of beauty.

2. Less Bruce Wayne, More Batman
It’s Batman that’s the real person, and Bruce Wayne is the alter-ego. Yet in Batman Begins we spent a lot of time with Batman out of his costume and playing the playboy bit. The Dark Knight gets over that, and focuses more than ever on keeping Bale inside his costume, and growling his way through Gotham’s underworld. Sure we still get plenty of Bruce Wayne, but with his crime-fighting skills now fully formed, it’s Batman, not the playboy son of a billionaire who is the real focus of Nolan’s second film. Hell yeah. Keep him in the cape and I’m a happy man.

1. Better Villains
Batman has always had the best rogues gallery of any superhero character, and The Dark Knight delivers not only his best arch enemy in The Joker, but another of his most interesting baddies. No, I’m not spoiling that for you here. Much as I love Liam Neeson, he just can’t compare to Heath Ledger’s iconic, amazing, mind-bending performance as The Joker. Batman Begins was, as the title suggests, primarily about Batman and his beginnings. Most of the film is spent with Bats stalking boring gangsters and figuring out how to jump from roof to roof. This time, the villains are unleashed, and the coolest bad guys in the comics universe are better than they’ve ever been in any other incarnation. The greatness of Batman has always been tied into his villains are held up as a mirror reflection of who and what he is. The Dark Knight does that in a way Batman Begins simply couldn’t, and that alone makes this a much better film than Batman Begins could ever have hoped to have been.

Original here

Batman 3: Catwoman & The Penguin To Remain Unemployed

The Dark Knight has whipped up such a hype frenzy that we wouldn’t be surprised if it cured the blind and healed the terminally ill.

In fact, people are going so potty over The Dark Knight that they’ve started to pretend that they’ve already seen it just so they can move onto speculation over Batman 3. So we may as well do the same. It’s not like we’ve got anything better to do.

Batman screenwriters David Goyer and Jonah Nolan have responded to claims that the baddies in Batman 3 will be Catwoman and The Penguin by saying that the baddies in Batman 3 definitely won’t be Catwoman and The Penguin. They’ve got a whole raft of other villains to chose from, so why pick the two most obvious? Especially when nobody’s put Lola Lasagne in a Batman movie yet.

Believe what you read and you’ll hear that The Dark Knight is as good as The Godfather II, that The Dark Knight is so profound that your life will be changed forever by two and a half hours of watching a man in a silly rubber costume riding a bike, and that Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker is so perfect that all Oscars past present and future should be posthumously given to Heath, melted down and made into a single giant Oscar that does the dance from 10 Things I Hate About You every hour on the hour.

Is The Dark Knight that good? Buggered if we know, but we’ve been suckered in by the hype as much as anyone else. So, to try and combat our feelings of market-manipulated vulnerability, let’s try and take control by starting up a bunch of hype about Batman 3.

Christian Bale is already keen to make another Batman movie and, so long as Christopher Nolan decides that he wants to, it’s pretty much a done deal already. Which begs the question - which of Batman’s villains will feature in Batman 3?

Obviously the two main choices are The Penguin and Catwoman. They’re just as iconic as The Joker and they’ve as yet been ignored by the Nolan Batman series. However, we have our reservations.

For example, The Penguin is usually seen as a comedy character, and Christopher Nolan would rather cut his balls off than have a moment of light relief in one of his Batman films. And as for Catwoman… given what Nolan has done to The Joker, we’re not sure that we’re ready to have our life-long Catwoman fetish ruined by a scar-covered mess with matted hair and a freaky make-up job.

Luckily, Batman writers David Goyer and Jonah Nolan agree with us, although their reasoning has slightly less to do with the preservation of a slightly unnatural sexual fantasy than ours. Totalfilm reports:

“In the first movie we use Ra’s Al Ghul and The Scarecrow, who had not been in the movies before, and had not been in the sixties TV show before. And there are dozens if not hundreds of other characters that fit that bill. Everyone says its gotta be The Penguin or Catwoman… well I completely disagree.”

Of course, there are hundreds of various Batman villains that could be used in Batman 3, so we’ll just have to sit and wait to see which ones get used.

Needless to say, we’ll never be happy until Schwarzenegger reprises his role as Mr Freeze, because if there’s one thing that Christopher Nolan is shit at, it’s the ice-based pun.

What would you rather have - a critically-acclaimed immersive crime drama or a great big European guy painted blue shouting things like “You’re not sending me to the cooler!”? Mr Freeze wins every time. It’s not even a contest.

Original here

Bonjour! Jolie-Pitt Twins Are the Talk of Nice

Just hours after he cut the umbilical cords of his newborn twins, Brad Pitt welcomed the mayor of Nice and told him, "I'm the happiest father ever."

In fact, the proud papa kept repeating the phrase over and over again, Mayor Christian Estrosi – who visited Pitt and Angelina Jolie in their hospital room – told the local newspaper Nice-Matin.

The twins, Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, were born Saturday and the mayor came by the next day to sign their birth certificates.

According to the paper, the babies spent Saturday night in Jolie's room and she took care of them by herself.

The actress's obstetrician, Dr. Michel Sussmann, also said that Knox and Vivienne – who weighed in at 5.03 and 5 lbs., respectively – are in excellent health, but they do need to gain some weight. He told Nice-Matin that Jolie may remain at the hospital another six or seven days while the newborns grow.

While the duration of Jolie's hospital stay remains to be seen, Mayor Estrosi added that Pitt and Jolie have great affection for Nice and the Fondation Lenval hospital, which overlooks the Mediterranean.

"[Brad] told me we chose one of the best hospitals in the world, one of the best doctors, one of the best medical teams," he told the paper. "And also the most beautiful bay in the world."

Original here