Welcome to the Phile, the web's most updated blog. So, last week weekend we went to the circus. Not just any ole circus, but the mother of all circus's. Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey. It was so much fun and the elephants pooped! Disney World, where I work, has been pretty slow this time of year, with mostly Brazilians and Hasidic Jews. Rio de Janeiro and Long Island must be empty right about now. Yesterday my son Logan lost one of his front teeth. He actually pulled it out of his mouth by himself. I cry when an eye lash falls out. Anyway, the tooth fairy came and left him ten bucks. I am thinking about knocking out my two front teeth and seeing how much I get for them. Actually, when I lost my two front teeth, kids in school called me Alfred E. Newman. Eddie Murphy has announced he’s separated from his wife. He’s been married for only 15 days! I guess he couldn’t get past the fact that she was a woman. David Spade is having a baby with a Playboy playmate. Miss March. In a few months, she’ll be sporting a tiny, whiny, crying thing around . . . then the baby will be born, and she’ll move on. Archaeologists have found the remains of a 40-million-year-old giant rodent. It was as tall as a human, with a head like a beaver. I once went out with a woman who had a huge beaver that smelt like it was 40-million-years old. Okay, that's just plain sick!!! If I seem like I’m off my game on this blog, I want you to know it has nothing to do with the fact that I spent last weekend with Jessica Simpson. “American Idol” premiered Tuesday night. Apparently, it was the lowest rated premier in four years. Only 85 billion people watched last night. Poor Ryan Seacrest — they’re saying he’s going to have to get his tips frosted at Super Cuts now. I like the bad singers better than the good ones. Especially the crazy ones. I was thinking I would like to see a whole show with nothing but crazy people being insulted by judges. And then I remembered that’s already a show, called “Judge Judy.” Oprah's getting her own TV network. It’s going to be called Oprah Winfrey Network, or OWN. Which is appropriate: She owns everything. The network will start small, then it will expand, it will get really good, then it will get small again then large, then small. Then it will start dating Stedman but always seen with Gayle. The Michigan primary was a few days ago. John McCain was wearing the same green sweatshirt that he wore during his win in New Hampshire. Not to be outdone, Hillary was wearing the same jockstrap. It’s not a great week for OJ Simpson. You know, America’s favorite murdering running back. Ole Stabby Simpson. He’s back in jail. He violated his probation. He made an illegal phone call. That guy is an idiot.
Congratulations to Nicole Ritchie. She gave birth to a daughter over the weekend. She weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces. I don’t know how much the kid weighed. Chelsea Clinton is doing a series of Q&As at campuses across the country. Apparently she wants to target the college female demographic. Just like her dad. Clay Aiken is about to do the play "Spamalot" on Broadway. "I thought Monty Python was a person until three months ago," Aiken said. He probably thinks Marshall Tucker is a lawman, too. Rock 'n' roll pioneer Ike Turner's death last month at age 76 was caused by a cocaine overdose, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office said Wednesday. Surprise, surprise. Finally, why don't they build a bridge from America to England?
JANUARY 17TH IN HISTORY
Al Capone's birthday.
Seven men wearing halloween masks rob the Brink's office in Boston of $1.2M cash, and $1.5M securities. One of the robbers confesses to the job in 1953, eleven days before the statute of limitations was to expire.
President Eisenhower warns us of the evils of the "military industrial complex". Did we listen carefully enough?
An American B-52 collides with its tanker aircraft during refueling over the town of Palomares, Spain. Seven crewmembers are killed in the resulting jet fuel explosion. Also, three 10-megaton hydrogen bombs crash near the town. Although none of them detonates, two rupture, scattering powdered plutonium over 558 acres of farmland. The USA hauls away 1,600 tons of soil and tomato plants and disposes of them in Aiken, South Carolina.
After refusing appeals and demanding his death sentence, double murderer Gary Gilmore is given a hood and shot by a Utah Firing Squad in the first U.S. execution in ten years.
The massive "Northridge Earthquake" strikes Los Angeles, producing a ground pulse far greater than its 6.7 magnitude would indicate. It causes 61 deaths and damages reaching $20 billion. The quake is by far the most expensive cataclysm in U.S. history.
One year after the Northridge quake in California, a large 7.2 quake strikes Kobe Japan, killing 5,090, leaving 1.5 million homeless, and causing damage of approximately $200 billion dollars. It is the most destructive quake in Japan since the 1923 Kanto disaster.
My sister Lucy gave birth to Jonah.
NATION OF SHOPKEEPERS
Bad news for Coco and Blinko -- children don't like clowns and even older kids are scared of them. The news that will no doubt have clowns shedding tears was revealed in a poll of youngsters by researchers from the University of Sheffield who were examining how to improve the decor of hospital children's wards. The study, reported in the Nursing Standard magazine, found all the 250 patients aged between four and 16 they quizzed disliked the use of clowns, with even the older ones finding them scary. "As adults we make assumptions about what works for children," said Penny Curtis, a senior lecturer in research at the university. "We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable." Stephen King and my wife were right.
FLORIDA IS BASS ACKWARDS
Borrowing heavily from Keith Olbermann here is Florida in a nutshell. It‘s the state brought us count, recount, the pregnant, dimpled, hanging, and regular chads, Katherine Harris, Bush v. Gore itself. The state that brought the midnight raid of Elian Gonzales. The state that brought us Schiavo saga and it‘s the state the brings us more crazy new that is we can shake a run down at. It‘s Florida! Nine hundred-miles of gator taping, doctor shopping, tiger groping, mullet wearing, kitty snatching, Virgin Mary sandwich selling COUNTDOWN contributors. When network news anchors want to get whipped around in a storm, they head to Florida. When Vanilla Ice loses his wallaroo, which state does he lose it in? Florida. When dumb criminals with dumb hairdos get drunk and ride scooters, where does it happen? Florida. When are Fidel Castro gets crank called, whose on the line? Florida. Car chases, blowed up bridges, alligators, sharks, manatees and even Tarzan‘s tiger, Florida. Our most favoritest peninsula in the whole wide world including Rangaparoa (ph) Peninsula in New Zealand. Rudy Giuliani badly needs to win Florida - but that doesn't mean he'll risk jinxing his hometown team. At a campaign stop in this southwest Florida town on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate refused to autograph a white Green Bay Packers cap. The New York Giants face the Packers in the NFC championship game this weekend. "No, I won't sign that," the former New York City mayor says as he scribbles his name on a series of placards and papers. He has been spending almost every day here before Florida's Jan. 29 primary as it's his best chance to win a state before the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests. "Oh, please," a man is heard pleading in the videotaped encounter posted on Fox News' Web site. "No, no, no. That would be bad luck right now," Giuliani insists, almost recoiling from the green-emblazoned cap. "I'll sign it afterward." A man barks back: "Sign it now." But Giuliani wouldn't budge. "No." Smiling, he kept signing everything else.
Richard Knerr, co-founder of the toy company that popularized the Hula Hoop, Frisbee and other fads that became classics: Was it a slow death, or did it just come upon him like WHAM-O?
Brad Renfro: Now he really is in Ghost World.
MOVIES THAT LIED TO US
What it Led Us to Believe: 1) That if we ever get stuck babysitting our bratty younger sibling, a simple evocation of the goblin horde will not only rid us of her, but introduce us to a number of amusing muppet friends. 2) The kidnappers we've been constantly warned about by our parents aren't really a threat, as they are easily identified by their sequin-covered cravats and habit of singing about Dance Magic.
3) Babies are an easily-avoided burden. 4) Life's challenges are rarely more frightening than a maze filled with felt, and when you get to the end you get the chance to bone the guy that wrote "Major Tom." The Cold, Hard Truth: Kids that try and evoke the Goblin Horde don't get valuable lessons in responsibility; they get put under professional supervision by child psychologists. Labyrinth's female protagonist would have been charged with child endangerment, criminal negligence, and putting a rift in the fabric of reality. Worse, all the muppet friends she (and by proxy, we) fell in love with are nothing more than inanimate heaps of laundry being wiggled around by a middle-aged guy who makes a living putting his hands up fake asses. Damaging False Beliefs Traceable to Film: Learning to contact juggle crystal spheres will make your the coolest kid in school. There is a secret world of magic and wonder, and if we're good enough, we'll get to see it. The Dark Crystal was awesome.
Q: What do you call two skunks who are 69-ing? A: Odor eaters.
Q: How do you get a retarded kid to kill himself? A: Give him a knife and then ask him who’s special.
NUTTED BY REALITY
The penultimate episode of "The Amazing Race 12" gave us something we haven’t had in a long time: A final three without a real villain. The editors and story producers have been playing up each team’s deficiencies (to the point where it now seems like they’re just reusing the same footage since the teams say the same things each week), and now we know why. There isn’t really someone to root against in the final three, which was revealed on Sunday’s episode, so instead of tension born of ugly personalities or interpersonal conflict, we’ll have tension from life lessons. At the start of the penultimate episode, Nate said that he and Jen were going to get serious. “We’re like the Incredible Hulk. All the sudden we’re just gonna explode and tear our shirts off and, just, everyone’s going to be, Whoa!, and say, Watch out for Jen and Nate.” Because he’s crazy. For some reason, Nicolas decided to declare that everyone wasn’t masculine enough for his tastes—including himself. “We’ve been playing the game like bitches so far, and so has everyone else. No competitors are left; there’s a bunch of pansies in the game,” he said. Nate said, “Jen and I know absolutely nothing about Taiwan, except, we think Thai food’s pretty good.” That’s so dumb it doesn’t even deserve mocking, but I think he actually might have been kidding, since he looked and Jen and sort of smirked before the editors cut away. “Do you see anything up here?” TK said. Did you notice your camera operator turning around and filming the clue box right as you walked by it? Clearly not. I still can’t believe how teams manage to miss their camera operators’ clues. “I just can’t believe you’re being this mean to me on my birthday; I haven’t even done anything,” Jen said, as if they’re nice to each other on the 363 days that it’s not one of their birthdays. One of the questions I’m most frequently asked about "The Amazing Race" is whether or not teams have to go through immigration, since we hardly every see that. They do, waiting in long lines with everyone else, which is boring and that’s why it doesn’t make it on TV. But we saw them in line this week when three teams bunched up at immigration (even though TK and Rachel arrived on a different flight). TK’s competitors have some weird fetishistic thing about his body hair. “I wanna rip those dreads out of his head,” Jen said. I’ll give her that one, since that would be a violent, painful action used to express anger or frustration. But I don’t get Nicolas’ fantasy about TK’s hair, although whatever works for him is fine. “I really want to shave his beard off,” he said. Introducing the Roadblock, which involved riding in two awesome but ultimately innocuous stunt cars, Phil decided that the thrill wasn’t enough. “If they’re still alive when it’s over, they’ll receive their next clue,” he said. Maybe he’s on to something with this life-or-death thing. Next season, maybe failing a task should result in death; that’d increase ratings more than just pretending it’s true. Speaking of danger, the Speedbump required TK and Rachel to run through a field of fireworks being shot at them, which actually seemed like great fun, especially since they were wearing protective gear and helmets. Jen and Nick aren’t the only ones paying attention to their competition’s heads. “I saw Nick’s big head coming around the corner, and I was the most fired up I’ve been on this race,” TK said. “I just don’t understand why we’re working so hard. TK and Rachel just slack off and they caught up to us. It’s stupid.” Well, Jen, that’s because you only work hard at being a horrible person. “You need to step up and make the decisions, because I can’t anymore,” Jen said. “I’m just saying you need to make the decision right now. Please, you’re the man.” She didn’t say that last part like “You the man!” but instead like, “Your penis wields powers that my vagina can only dream about, so decision-making is up to you!” However, Nate was not happy about letting his decision-making penis spring into action and decide to take a bus, so before they boarded, he screamed, “Honestly, Jen, I can’t stand you. All you do is freak out!” After insisting that they take a subway instead of a cab, which turned out to not be the best idea, Jen pretended she hadn’t just done what she’d just done, trying to blame it on Nate. “You’re the one who said, subway, subway, subway!” he said. “Oh, I said that?” she responded, incredulously. Moments later, she said, “Thanks a lot for ruining my freakin’ birthday.” Her boyfriend said, “You make it impossible not to.” Ah, love. Arriving at the Roadblock, Jen said, “We need to stay positive right now.” Well, now we have a good example for the dictionary entry of “too late, too late, idiot.” Despite being three hours behind and having a Speedbump task to complete, TK and Rachel arrived at the pit stop in second place, giving conflict-averse people a team to cheer on. “Anybody who says we didn’t try or we got lucky or whatever, we’ve been trying our very hardest all day,” Rachel insisted. Ron and Christina arrived in first, again, after being very far ahead of everyone for most of the day. After some tense editing, Nicolas and his grandfather arrived at the pit stop in third place, sending them on to the finale, and Jen and Nate home. “Fudge,” Nate said. “I think that we killed our relationship along the way,” Jen realized while they were standing alone in a giant plaza. Had they not been so abrasive for the past 11 episodes, I might have actually been touched by their subsequent displays of emotion and realizations about their focus on the game instead of their relationship. But instead I just touched the delete button on my DVR and they left my TV screen for good.
Warner Brothers has officially pulled the plug on Justice League of America, according to Variety -- or, to be more precise, put it on hold. Erik Davis alerted us to the possibility earlier this week: the studio had until Tuesday to decide whether to officially green light the project so production could begin this spring for release in Summer 2009. Variety says that the contract options were allowed to lapse for the young cast chosen by director George Miller, which rules out an early start. Now it looks like late summer or fall before the project can get underway. Oddly enough, the cast members were reportedly informed Tuesday night that, while their options had lapsed, the studio still wanted them to play the roles for which they had been cast. Officially, the reasons for the delay are that Warners didn't get an official response on tax breaks they wanted for filming in Australia and that the script by Kieran and Michele Mulroney needed more work, which isn't possible right now because of the writers' strike. The cast members included Adam Brody as The Flash, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and Armie Hammer Jr. as Batman. The project as a whole has not incited gale forces of enthusiasm so far, so maybe this delay will give everyone a chance to step back and reconsider whether this is really the superhero tent-pole that Warner Brothers wants to make.
The Hobbit 2
Elijah Wood claims Peter Jackson has told him via email that the already-planned sequel to the Hobbit will be all-new material and serve as a "bridge" to the LOTR trilogy. Wood's not sure if he'll be in the film, though, since it will feature a younger, hipper Frodo, experimenting with piercing various body parts with his "precious."
Diary of the Dead
Oh, now I get it! The trailer for George Romero's new zombie flick shows that the "diary" is actually a video that documents the rise of the living dead. Hmmm. I thought it was about some teen girl's journal or something, e.g., "Dear Diary: I love Brandon and all, but all he ever wants to do is eat my brains."
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
In the just released picture, Harrison Ford and Shia La Beouf are seen entering a room filled with cobwebs and ancient artifacts. No, it's not a still from the movie. Ford just hired the kid to help him tidy up his garage.
The Bank Job
In the action-filled trailer, Jason Statham stars as a thief who's hired to rob a safety deposit box to steal some dirty pictures of a royal princess performing intimate acts. I hope my wife doesn't see this film. She might hire these guys to find my porn video stash. Just kidding, I don't have a porn stash.
New York, I Love You
After starring in a gazillion Woody Allen films, Scarlett Johansson is going to try her hand behind the camera by directing a segment of this anthology in the vein of Paris, Je T'Aime. It's gonna be about a pervy older dude who stalks a voluptuous starlet.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Hugh Jackman's muttonchopped superhero has finally gotten his nemesis: Liev Schreiber has just been hired to play evil mutant Sabretooth. And if Liev needs any suggestions on how to handle a big hairy dude, he can just ask his girlfriend, King Kong's Naomi Watts.
Guess who wants to be the next big action star? Believe it or not, Dane Cook has eyes on starring in a buddy cop movie that he claims is nothing like anything he's seen before. Funny, I thought the film title referred to his career after Good Luck Chuck.
Russell Crowe is looking pretty retro in the promo photos from his upcoming thriller about a cop convinced that a girl's boyfriend is a serial killer. Let's see: Vicious murderer? Or Crowe's hot temper? The girl might stay with her boyfriend.
There you go, the latest entry of the Phile. The latest goal is to hit 4000 views by Easter which is at the end of March. Until next week, check out the Phile's Myspace page at Myspace.com/peverettphile and Foghat.com where you can buty some cool merch from Loentz's Emporium. Oh, and I still want to do a Peverett Phile t-shirt, so maybe that will be done soon. As always, spread the word, not the turd.