Sunday, December 26, 2004

Asian post-quake tidal waves have killed at least 7,200. One geophysicist said the quake was so strong it even disturbed the Earth's rotation.


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Defensive wizard Reggie White is dead at 43


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FilmJerk's indispensable Early Report for 12/26/04


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Meet the Fockers opens big. It grossed $44 million for the weekend, $68 million for the long weekend (W-Su), and totally swamped the competition. Relative to expectations, Fockers was way above the $32m prediction.
  • Fat Albert did slightly better than expected, opening at #2, grossing $13m versus a prediction of $12m.
  • Darkness opened in the number six slot and grossed $6m, despite the fact that it was not expected to crack the top 10. (I think a scary, effective trailer had something to do with that. It got me interested in the film.).
  • Scorsese's The Aviator came up about 25% short of expectations ($9.4 versus $12.5m)
  • The Phantom of the Opera came up way short ($4.2 versus $7.7), and barely cracked the Top 10, just edging the long-term holdover National Treasure for 10th place.
  • The Life Aquatic was right about on target with about $5 million in mid-level distribution.
  • The holdover films dropped more than expected in a crowded field. The predictions for Lemony Snicket ran $17-$22m, but it grossed only $12 million, probably based on some disappointing word of mouth (I know the kids in my family were not impressed). Oceans 12 also underperformed, grossing $9m versus predictions in the $12 range.


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France outlaws sexist and anti-gay insults. "The French parliament yesterday definitively adopted legislation that could lead to year-long jail terms for anyone found guilty of insulting homosexuals or women." In theory, this law could lead to the jailing of clergymen for quoting the Old Testament in their sermons! France now forbids insulting people on the basis of race, Jewishness, sexual preference, or female gender. It is still allowable to make fun of white, heterosexual, Christian Frenchmen!!


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Now this is basketball as it should be played. Some guys make baskets with a cheerleader - and she's the basketball.


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"Inside Deep Throat," a documentary about that picture's 'social impact' and 'cultural legacy,' will premiere at Sundance next month.


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8.9-magnitude earthquake, centered in Sumatra, batters Southeast Asia and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Man, it's gonna be a bad century for Fond du Lac. First this, then the meteor in 2029. Should be pretty good for the insurance salesmen, though.


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The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time.
  • My favorite: A Canadian Christmas with David Cronenberg (1986). Santa is exposed to a previously unknown virus after being attacked by a violent moose, causing him to develop a large, tooth-bearing orifice in his belly and a lustful hunger for human flesh, which he sates by graphically devouring Canadian celebrities on national television.
  • Second fave: Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater Present The Assassination of Saint Nicholas (1939)


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Christmas 'Round the World: "Is it wise for Americans to remain ignorant on the Christmas customs of our foreign neighbors? The answer, of course, is yes. And here's why."


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A White Christmas - for Victoria, Texas! We didn't get any snow here in Austin, but it was cold enough. Even as I write this, early Sunday morning, the temperature at the airport is 27. The forecast for tomorrow? Perfect golfing weather. 61 degrees, with a gentle southeasterly breeze! That's Texas.


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Oh-oh. Remember Asteroid MN4, which had a 1/300 chance of striking Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on April 13, 2029 with the force of a million Hiroshimas? Well, NASA has upgraded the probability of impact to 1 in 45! We better get Bruce Willis frozen, so he'll still be healthy by then.


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Rising costs force Snow White play to lay off three dwarves. Damn that creeping inflation!!! The Altmark Stendal theatre says it could afford only four dwarves for its Christmas rendition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which led to protests from theatre-goers who wanted to see all seven dwarves. Next year's play: "Snow White and one scale actor of below average height".


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I can usually figure it out, but in the case of this site, I have no idea whether this is satire or genuine tinfoil hattitude! I am leaning toward thinking it is serious.
  • "I invite you to consider the wicked lives of some of these moral degenerates - men like Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Marx, Bill Clinton ..."
  • "Homosexuals are the perfect foot soldiers for the devil."
  • "The Democrats don't need an exclusive special homo group. Almost all active Democratic Party political professionals are bisexual and gay. Those who aren't are into other weird, abnormal sexual behavior — satanic sex, etc."
The Democrats and Satanic sex? I don't see it. OK, maybe Carville.


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