Friday, May 20, 2005



The League Presents:

Why I Hate the News
Is it the public that's made up of mouth-breathers in search of instant gratifcation, or have editorial standards really dipped this low?

Front page of CNN as of 2:20pm PT.

I'm sorry... I'm sorry...

I thought we had two wars on, Iran threatening nukes again, N. Korea ducking nuke talks once more, and several humanitarian crisis lurking in Sub-Saharan Africa. It DOES appear somebody got a picture of Saddam in his undies (titter!). Not to mention our own legislative system in turmoil, senators threatening judges, and 2000 pages of testimony on hand of prisoner abuse at quasi-legal military prisons.

Note to self: When you are finally overthrown by the liberty-loving peoples of Greenland and Patagonia, make sure you kill yourself by self-immolation so nobody can take photos of you while you're in your undies.

Thank Christ CNN is STILL concerned with how many people are going to the theater. And that Topher Grace is going to be in Spider-Man 3. In two years. And they haven't even announced the role yet.

You know, I LIKE Star Wars. I own a Darth Vader helmet and a toy of Sebulba's podracer, but even I know that none of that shit is news. It's just not.

Nobody is going to quit making movies, and people aren't going to quit watching them. Just because we're all too dumb to understand the jacked up shit in our world doesn't mean the press needs to pander to that nonsense.

We deserve whatever the f@#k we get.

F@#k it.
Alas, The League has still not made it to see the new Star Wars flick, Revenge of the Sith. We've been watching some of the "Science of Star Wars" programming on Discovery Channel, but it's not really the same, and every once in a while, they interject in a scene containing Jake Lloyd, and next thing I know Jamie's holding me down and has a spoon jammed in my mouth.

Work has gotten in the way of my usual midnight showings on premier night. Hopefully I'll get to go see it this weekend at matinee prices.

Jim has already seen the film, and he loved it. His only complaint? Not enough Jar-Jar. "Where is my precious Jar-Jar?" he complained, just sobbing like a baby. It was hard to make out EXACTLY what he said as his voice was muffled by a lifesize latex Jar-Jar mask.

I had recorded Smallville last night, and while The League is a fan of all things Superman, we're beginning to believe that Smallville is no longer actually Superman at all and just some TV show.

The good news is that after the show concluded, WB showed a ten minute segment with clips from the new film "Batman Begins".

The movie looks like it's going to be pretty darn good. It's an origin story (thus the "Begins" bit), and looks like a much better first look at Batman than the Tim Burton flicks. I think you kids will like it.

Anyhow, sorry my posts have been sort of spotty of late. Busy busy.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Look. I don't like Kelsey Grammer.

I sort of watched Cheers in the 80's and 90's. I watched enough episodes of Frasier with my Cheers adoring roommate in college to know that I was probably only ever going to watch the show under duress and in hospital waiting rooms.

I just never felt as if... I dunno... There's something about Kelsey Grammer that seems more like a dumb guy with a good baritone ACTING like a smart guy, that really sort of cheeses me off.

But, you know, none of it usually effects my day.

Now, the geniuses at Marvel who brought us recent hits such as Elektra and Man-Thing, and who hired the director of "Taxi" to direct Fantastic Four... bring you Kelsey Grammer as the X-Men's resident egg-head Hank McCoy.

Bear in mind, Grammer is 50 years old, and not exatly in Schwarzeneggerian condition. Also, bear in mind that the Beast's only real power is to leap about and hang from chandeliers by his toes and whatnot. Given his acrobatic turn at the recent DisneyLand 50th Birthday celebration, I am, at best, suspicious, of this casting decision. In short, I am praying for a completely CGI Hank McCoy.

Which begs the question.... Ah, screw it.

With Singer gone to direct Superman Returns, the director being brought in has complained that Singer's plots were too simplistic, and that he plans to jazz it up. My personal guess is that the guys making decisions on this movie are totally freaked out with Bryan Singer gone. To compensate, they're madly scrambling to put together a movie which at least looks like it should be a success on paper.

Successful television actor... check! Director who plans to shake up the "Status Quo"... check! Diva actress (Berry) demanding a more important part for her tangential character... check! Possibility that Cyclops actor will be passed over for being in new Superman movie... check!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The League is sorry to announce the passing of actor Frank Gorshin.

Gorshin played the Riddler in the Adam West-starring Batman TV series.

Gorshin's Riddler was a manic, frantic portrayal befitting the series, and wound up dictating the portrayal of the Riddler in the comics for years to come. Jim Carrey's Riddler never really matched Gorshin's performance for The League, and we'd liek to think if Supervillains roamed the earth, they'd be a lot like Frank.

I last saw him in the TV movie "Back to the Batcave" in which he played himself, having gone mad and believing he was the Riddler.

Of all the villains who were not Julie Newmar in a Catwoman suit, Gorshin is still my favorite from the movie and TV series.

Godspeed, Frank.

It sounds as if Loyal Leaguer Reed T. Shaw has become a father.

Meredith Cynthia Shaw was born at 5:30pm on the 16th of May to Reed and Jen Shaw.

It is predicted the child will know more about the Minnesota Vikings and Texas A&M Football before her third birthday than most people will know in a lifetime. Jen will surely interject some Longhorn lore into the child, as well as ruin the child for all other cooking. I am sure even Jen's mashed beets will surpass the average mashed beets.

I spoke with Jen on Sunday and she was saying the baby was due midweek or later. The early arrival proves nothing less than that the baby carries more of Jen's genes than those of Reed-o (that would be an inside joke, Leaguers).

Congratulations to the Family Shaw! And welcome Meredith Cynthia. And just ignore Daddy. He always gets like that when the Vikings lose.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Rusty writes:

Hi Melbotis this is Rusty Steans

Im a Bedlington Terrier and live across the pond in South Yorkshire England my hobbies include chasing rabbits, tennis balls and lady terriers

This is my dads bands Web Site:

Here is Rusty:

Dear Rusty,

Mel is so happy to hear from other doggy. Too often, Mel hear from nobody all day but stupid baby dog. Stupid baby dog say, "Hello! Hello! Hello! Me too! Me too! Me too!" That all she say all day.

Sometime Melbotis despair.

So Melbotis VERY happy to hear from Rusty.

But Mel must ask: Where does Rusty keep his eyes? Mel sees no eyeballs.

I ask Chubby-Couch-Man what pond is.

"It's like a sort of standing body of water. Usually associated with pussywillows and lily-pads and... Wait, we live in Arizona. Why the hell do you care what a pond is?"
"Rusty live across pond."
"He lives in the UK. It's a sort of group of islands off the coast of France. They have kings and stuff. Occasionally they dominate the world."
"So what is Pond?"
"Uhmm... I dunno. It's a way to make fun of the Atlantic ocean and display friendship between the US and UK. We're just separated by a pond, not an ocean, see?"
"Is England an archipelago?"
"You know what, buddy. We're Americans. We don't need to really know a darn thing about geography. It's just not in us."
"I see."

So Mel not entirely certain what England is, but he happy to have friend like Rusty who lives on same island as Harry Potter.

Melbotis have pal, Steanso, who in band in Austin, Texas. You may try to understand what Mono Ensemble up to, because Mel not understand.

Mel more of a fan of Al Green and this record.

Anyway, Mel so happy to hear about Rusty and Trev. Hello! Hello!
So, thus far, not only has The League not made one cent by placing ads, The League noticed that the three click-thru's he placed himself came to nothing.

So, The League is looking at a bleak future of having to do this for free.

C'mon, you jerks! Buy something! Support The League's Sponsors.

I was thinking the other day...

Where the hell are Loyal Leaguers Nathan and Jill? Nathan has gone mostly AWOL since the appearance of his child, and Jill disappeared from my Inbox just after announcing her move to Kalamazoo.

No, really. There's a place in Michigan called Kalamazoo. It is where the Hermann-Wilmarths go to nest every summer.

I am going to try to read the following actual books this summer (before I return to school and cannot make time to read fun things).

1. Theodore Rex
2. Eisner/ Miller

I'm wanting to read a good political biography or other book regaling me with some historical interest. But it's been a while since I was a history major, and I really don't know where to start.

Anybody know any good historical non-fiction?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Entertainment Weekly, (sorry, the story is gone now. No link available) and others have all been jumping on the low box office receipts for this year.

Lots of had-wringing reports have come out recently stating that box office has dropped off to such a degree that movie going will most certainly end and we'll all end up watching movies on pay-per-view.

But check out the Top Ten.

Kingdom of Heaven20th Century Fox
House of WaxWarner Bros.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyTouchstone
CrashLions Gate
The InterpreterUniversal
XXX: State of the UnionColumbia
The Amityville HorrorMGM
A Lot Like LoveTouchstone
Fever Pitch20th Century Fox

Of the top ten movies:

2 were remakes of Horror Classics with a B-level cast (the original House of Wax scared me to death when I was 13, and Amityville... Amityville was debunked years ago, and the story really isn't THAT compelling. Not to mention the glut of haunted house movies from the past six years or so) In a seeming effort to drive away a good chunk of the audience, one movie has even inserted Paris Hilton.

1 was a remake of XXX. Without the titular actor returning. Nor any sign of the rocket-propelled, nuclear-powered submarine.

1 was a period piece about a period which most Americans, I am guessing, know about mostly from having seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Hitchhiker's is an adaptation if nichey, culty book, which may have produced a nichey, culty movie audience.

2 romantic comedies (because the earth will quit spinning if we don't have two romantic comedies at the cineplex at all times) . One stars Jimmy Fallon. The other stars Ashton Kutcher, who everyone over the age of 19 (Ms. Moore excepted) kind of hates. *

Crash, which looks kind of preachy

And Sahara which looks like... well, sort of like "The Jewel of the Nile". Except with all the star power of Penelope Cruz. Because, we are all told, we all love Penelope Cruz.

and The Interpreter, which looks like those thrillers from the eighties which take themselves very seriously and usually involve people talking in hushed tones and looking at photos and whatnot. But you can be sure, everyone will be very, very grave.

It's not that anything in the top 10 even looks all that bad, it's that none of it really looks all that good. Even Kingdom of Heaven looks like a movie you're asking me to make an investment in before sitting down. I mean, I see a horse and a suit of armor, and I figure, with trailers, the fastest I'm getting out of the theater in 3 hours, 10 minues. That's a sizeable chunk of my weekend. It better be pretty darn good. And yet it stars Orlando Bloom.

Mostly, everything just sort of looks like something I've seen before. And I've got cable if I want to see things I've already seen before.

That, and Hollywood has decided it's already Summer Movie Season, and if they decide, it must be, right?

1. It was snowing last week in Michigan. I know this because my consultant from Ann Arbor told me this. It may be 72 and breezy in LALA Land, but the rest of the country is still trying to decide how many layers to wear.

2. Kids aren't out of school and college kids are in finals. This is your audience. If you really want to get kids to skip studying in order to go to the movies, you better have some serious explosions up your sleeve. I mean, you'd best be offering up the "choose between the red pill and the blue pill"-type explosions.

And I don't know if it's just me slowly going crazier (this is what Steanso blames), but if I have an option between paying $8.00 to half hear my movie and half hear somebody else's conversation, or, if I can just watch a movie on my 27" TV, stop and start it at will, and not worry about some kid kicking my seat... well, The League knows what the League is going to do.

Honestly, we now pick movies, movie times and venues pretty well. We've gotten it all down to a bit of a science. Aside from the kids under 10 running about during The Aviator, we've done pretty well lately.

But for the most part, there's just not much I want to see. Or at least, for $8.00 a ticket, plus $3.50 for a coke, and $2.50 for a box of Hot Tamales, I mean... do I really want to do all that in order to see Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore? Isn't there something on Discovery?

Not every movie is going to be gold. In fact, I usually think 1 in 5 being something of interest ain't bad. But I hate the whining. Why isn't anyone going to the movies? Because the movies look really uninteresting.

And it's tough to take anyone seriously who complains that Star Wars' $300+ million take won't meet expectations... but, who is setting these expectations? And how are they setting them? Last I checked, $300 million is the GDP of some smaller countries.

The League loves movies. Really. We do. We try not to be film snobs (and certainly do not feel that we've got the pedigree to be a film snob). And we try to enjoy movies for both escapism and for the commentary they can deliver in teh right hands.

But we don't like articles written chastising the general populace for not going to the movies while refusing to suggest that, maybe... just maybe... the product the studios are offering us just doesn't look like it should cost us $30 after candy and soda are accounted for.

*The League hereby declares Our services open to the Hollywood elite. But, especially, to casting directors.

The League would make ourselves available 24 hours a day to all casting directors. For a nominal fee, you could call me up, tell me :

  1. the story of the movie in some broadstrokes
  2. a bit about the character
  3. your intended audience
  4. how much money you really want to make, gross
  5. which well-known actor you're considering for the part
The League will then tell you:

  1. if the League perceives the well-known actor to be a complete jack-ass
  2. whether or not the coveted 18-34 year old male audience will see the movie
  3. if he'd pay matinee or full price
  4. and why he really, really hates the actor you just called to ask him about

We think we'd find this service to be not only a step toward the betterment of mankind, but, also, we'd find it personally gratifying.
Some additions to The Royal Roster of Loyal Leaguers

We've added a few items to the blogroll recently. Check out Return to Comics and Dave's Long Box. Both have linked to The League, although The League does not know these people. We assume they are nice folks.

On a less comics-oriented front, God of Biscuits linked to The League, so we're returning the favor. We don't know God of Biscuits, but we assume he is the deity who gave King Biscuit his Flower Power.

And, of course, Michael Scaljon, whom I have not figured how he knows Jim.


Jim sent me two more folks who have linked to the League.

Pleadings star Heather Durham has linked to the League

as well as this person, known for their Profundities.
The League Totally $@%*ing Sells Out!

So, recently added advertising to It's his personal blog and, like The League, the blog is Randy's personal gift to humanity.

Randy was attacked in his comments section, and responded here.

The biggest accusation? had lost his indie street cred (which, with $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee), and had TOTALLY $@%*ing sold out. To, I assume, The Man.

For your files, an image of The Man (aka: The Admiral)

The League loves doing anything with will make Jim D. sigh with resignation, and so has applied to join Google AdSense himself.

What, indeed, IS the earning potential of The League of Melbotis? Thus far The League has received goods and services from Loyal Leaguers, and hopes to receive more free stuff in the future. However, The League is morbidly curious to see, exactly, what can come of this.

So, The League decided to see what can happen with the profit-making potential of the internet (thanks, Al Gore!). Especially when you select the biggest ad type which won't totally jack-up your formatting?

The League turns to his usual financial advisor for advice on whether or not this will work.

I do plan to fill in Loyal Leaguers as to the processes and windfalls of my advertising here.

1. I applied to AdSense
2. They e-mailed me back a day later to say "welcome" and provide instructions.
3. The directions are relatively simple to get this thing up and online.
4. I have no idea how I'm actually going to get paid for this, or even what the math is on click-throughs.
5. It doesn't really matter. It's all in good fun.

I have noticed that Google has already done a crawl here at The League. We're now schilling Superman costumes and Justice League outfits.

I've also gone aheaded and added a web-search, courtesy of Our Dread Lord, Google. Have fun with that.

It's capitalism, ahoy! here at the S.S. Melbotis!