Hello, welcome to the Phile, on a Phriday. But not just any Phriday, kids. It's Phriday the 13th. Today's Phile is brought to you by Greyhound. Beat high gas prices. Go doggy style. Go Greyhound. The “Today” show scored an interview with the woman who had octuplets. She had 17 babies during the interview alone. The word out of the Senate is that a deal has been reached on the $780 billion stimulus package. It includes a mixture of tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and a pony for everyone in America. President Barack Obama took his first trip on Air Force One the other day. The National Geographic Channel did a documentary on Air Force One... they showed how it’s been updated for the new president: “Air Force One has 4,000 square feet and high-tech communications, sound-proof conferencing, and a newly installed Jacuzzi for Oprah.” Well, you know what? She paid for it, so why not? Ann Coulter is in trouble again. She’s being investigated for voter fraud. Apparently she’s registered to vote in New York, and she actually voted in Connecticut. Why would you live in one place and vote in another? It kind of makes sense when you think about it, though. Her mouth is on her face, but she talks out of her ass. Alex Rodriguez has admitted he used steroids. He said the worst side effect was having smaller testicles than Madonna. The pilot of that airplane that hit those geese and then went down in the Hudson River was on “60 Minutes.” The geese were on the Food Network. The president has been busy selling his stimulus plan. He was in Florida at a town hall event taking questions. One guy who was a working student, asked if Obama had any plans for extending benefits at McDonalds... Security! Somebody had too many McFlurrys for breakfast. You gotta hand it to the president; he stayed with the topic and actually had follow-up questions: “You say you are in school... what are you studying?” The guy answered, “Communications.” Obama then said, “You sound like you’ve got good communication skills.” Isn’t that cute? Obama’s first public lie.
THE PEVERETT PHILE TOP TEN LIST
From the home office in Groveland, Florida, here is this week's top ten list...
Top Ten Signs Why You Didn't Win A Grammy Award10. Your latest recordings were just featured in your impeachment trial.
9. George W. endorsed you as his favorite recording artist.
8. Your CD was unanimously voted "Most effective torture device" by Gitmo guards.
7. People compare you to Aretha, but only her twisted big hat.
6. Your invitation says it's "Bring Your Own Statue".
5. You wrote the soundtrack for Paul Blart, Mall Cop.
4. Your singing experience consists of being escorted off the "American Idol" set.
3. You're seated in the balcony at the awards ceremony.
2. Last name: Timberlake. First name: Larry.
And the number one reason you didn't win a Grammy...
1. Your last record went aluminum
Last night, for the first time ever, all seven "American Idol" winners appeared on stage together, and although that stage looked identical to the show’s set, it was actually the reproduction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando, Fla., at the new American Idol Experience attraction. The seven winners were introduced after David Cook and Carrie Underwood sang individually and then performed a duet. Six of the finalists—Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, and David, along with plenty of non-finalists, from Sanjaya Malakar to Ace Young, Mandisa to Diana DeGarmo—worked a red (well, blue) carpet at the theme park before the premiere, but Kelly Clarkson was notably absent. She showed up on stage, though, and apparently left immediately following her appearance. Although it’s been in a soft-launch preview for a while now, the attraction officially opens Feb. 14, and allows park guests to attempt a two-stage audition process. Those who make it through get to perform on the faux set with faux judges, and the audience votes. Daily winners receive a pass that lets them skip actual "American Idol" audition lines, although it’s not clear at what point they’ll enter the real audition process. The reproduction of the set is so real that David Cook mentioned beforehand that he almost fell off the stage, expecting there to be stairs where there were none. During the actual performances by theme park guests last night, the American Idol Experience felt incredibly authentic, like being in the show’s L.A. studio. Everything from the lighting to the camera work on the video monitors has been faithfully reproduced with Disney’s legendary attention to detail. There are even montages (including of the winning seven winning moments from the finales), bio segments on some of the performers, and even Coca-Cola cups on the judges’ table. “Anybody who gets a chance, absolutely do it. This is, bar none, one of the closest experiences you’re going to get to being on Idol,” David Cook said on the red carpet, as fans behind him screamed for him—and for David Archuleta, whose creepy dad was in the audience sitting next to him, although not on the red carpet. While watching mediocre to great singers perform well-known songs is more than reminiscent of the actual televised competition, there is one major difference: lyrics appeared on a massive teleprompter in the back of the room, although it’s probably just as a back-up, since none of the five who performed during the premiere last night appeared to use it. The attraction’s real problem is the judges, who are pseudo-stand-ins for the show’s actual judges, complete with an acerbic British man. However, they all regurgitate obviously scripted lines that correlate with whatever song was just performed—contestants have a list of Disney and popular songs to choose from—and thus their time is limp. That’s kind of a structural problem: Disney won’t ridicule or mock its own paying guests. Also, the judge in the Randy Jackson chair (there are three judges, no Kara facsimile) kept calling the contestants “boo boo,” which was odd. Somehow, I think audio-animatronic versions of the judges repeating their catchphrases would have been better. The host does an acceptable job, although the warm-up act was funnier, and the host was only notably entertaining last night when actual Ryan Seacrest came out and mocked himself by mocking that guy, at one point running his fingers through the attraction’s host’s hair and saying, “product, please.” When Seacrest first came out, he said, “Couldn’t they have gotten a bigger guy?” Paula Abdul attended, too, to give some teleprompter-fed advice to the performers, and to joke with Seacrest that the set seemed friendlier (because Simon Cowell wasn’t there). Season one runner-up Justin Guarini appears in the pre-show video for the new attraction, and is also co-hosting American Idol Extra on Fox Reality this season, never mind video blogging about it. I asked him if he had any hesitation about continuing his association with the series or wanted to get away from it, and he said, “It’s kind of a double-edged sword, really, "American Idol". At first, I think, everybody when they get off the show feels like, I need to get away from "American Idol",’ but those of us who like to work, make sure that we always keep it as a facet of our career. It’s not something to run from; it’s an amazing brand. And I’m proud to be part of it; always be proud to be part of it. And now I get to be a permanent fixture here in Disney, so it’s an honor.” As to being in the pre-show, he said that “was awesome. … I’m virtually hosting the pre-show and joining the ranks of people like Gary Sinese and other people who get to do that here in the parks, so the exposure alone is worth it, not to mention to supporting a brand that has given me my career.” Searching for exposure and work: That may be the true "American Idol" experience. [realityblurred]
FEBRUARY 13TH IN HISTORY
1917Mata Hari is arrested for spying.
An estimated 135,000 people, mostly women and children, die in the firebombing of the 13th-century city of Dresden, a revenge bombing that had no real military justification.
Transsexual Christine (formerly George) Jorgenson arrives in New York with much fanfare. She had had sex change operations performed in Denmark by Dr. Christian Hamburger, becoming the first successful surgical transgender. Upon return, she becomes a cabaret actress.
The first Barbie Doll is introduced by Mattel in California.
Japan's New Amusement Business Control and Improvement Act comes into effect. The law brings an end to Japan's innovative sex businesses (i.e., glory holes, strip bars, and public bondage), while protecting the traditional brothel industry. That's an improvement?
Male prostitute Kevin Lee Kite accuses Rev. Bruce Ritter, founder of Covenant House (a place for wayward boys) and a respected member of the Meese commission on Pornography, of paying for homosexual sex. An internal investigation by Covenant House reveals a pattern of sexual misconduct with underage boys going back 20 years, and revealed a relationship with a 15 year old boy going back 14 months. Superiors at the Franciscan Order had been aware of Ritter's behavior patterns for some years, but did nothing.
So, on the way home from work tonight I stopped by CVS to buy my wife a box of chocolates and a card for Valentine's Day tomorrow and I thought as I looked through the cards, man, there's some weird cards this year. So, as a service, I thought I would share with you what some said.
1. Beggers Can't Be Choo-Choo Choosers. Happy Valentine's Day.
2. I love you because you are kind, loving and smart. Because you are beautiful and funny. Because we can talk about anything, and laugh together. Because I can see us growing old together. But mostly because you have a vagina.
3. Hey, Hand, Thanks For Everything. Happy Valentine's Day OXOX.
4. I Brought These Roses With The Money That I Received From Selling Those Videos We Made. Happy Valentine's Day!
5. Let's Stay Together As I've Outgrown All My Dating Clothes.6. Bee Mine Or You'll Never Find Your Body.
7. Happy Valentine's Day. You Have Herpes.
8. Roses Are Red. Violets Are Purple. See?
9. I LUV You. Is It True Your Brother Has An X-Box?
10. I Love You, Sarah Palin... I Mean My Wife.
Q: How does a man know when his wife is losing interest?
A: When her favorite sexual position is next door.
Q: How do you turn a fox into and elephant?A: Marry it.
The second chapter of the newest volume of "Heroes" wasn't quite as strong as the first one, but it kept things moving in a positive direction. I guess the writers were wanting to keep the fugitive heroes as weak in power base as possible, based on the casualty we experienced in this episode. In a way, I can say I knew it was coming, but was hopeful that it wouldn't. While I agree that the cast had gotten a little sprawling and out of control at times thorughout the series progression, I never thought this character was a problem. And at the same time, we're working with a pretty small cast at this time anyway. We've got the band of fugitives, Nathan and his cronies, and Sylar's quest for fatherly love. I wanted the initial chase to last a little longer than it did. The idea of our heroes running through the woods trying to figure out how to get away from hunters hot on their tails was too good to wrap up so quickly and easily. And how good were those hunters anyway? They let everyone come back together at the crash site.I guess I'm not as enamored with this chapter as I was with the first. As much as I got annoyed at the way Daphne pursed her lips, I liked her as a character, and she would have been handy to have around in their new lives. Not to mention adding some much needed estrogen to the fugitive band. The writers got Tracy captured, Claire sent home and Daphne dead. Don't think the ladies can handle life on the run? You don't have that many women on the cast to begin with. We got some explanation of Peter's power, which makes it a lot more volatile and unpredictable than before. Not to mention a lot less powerful. Not only can he only have one power at a time, it looks like he has no control of the switch. Last week, when he touched Tracy he accidentally picked up her freezing power, subsequently losing Mohinder's super-strength.
So now we have a new game we can play. Right now Peter has Nathan's flight ability. But as soon as he touches anyone else, he'll lose that. Flight is a pretty handy ability when you're a fugitive. Certainly more effective than super-strength, power enhancement or even Matt's mental abilities. Yes, Matt was able to take over that hunter and mow down the competition, but he can still easily be overwhelmed whereas Peter can just disappear. I would be interested to see what Matt is capable of when Ando-boosted, though. Assuming, that is, that he can learn to control the cacophony of voices he's overwhelmed by. Hiro has switched places with Mohinder as the non-powered "hero" on the team. Now, when Peter got dosed with the serum, it brought back his powers, albeit in a reduced capacity. When Mohinder got doused with the serum, his power set was also reduced. So the door is open for Hiro to get a modified version of his powers back. I'm thinking, since they don't want the time travel he can settle for stopping time or teleportation. Since they got rid of Daphne I don't think they want the fugitives to be able to move to new locations very quickly, so let's go with stopping time. Still very effective and potentially powerful, and it creates those cool visuals that made the show special in the beginning. Now we just get Nathan glowering at the screen all the time. At least it cuts away from Claire's whining scenes.
Rick Marshall was right -- thanks to the major studios toning it down for NYCC, we're getting a lot of nice updates on the "smaller" comic book films from the con. Remember X-Men: First Class? Josh Schwartz confirmed to MTV Splash Page that he is writing the film, but not directing it. They're only just getting started with the script, so he was tight-lipped on who the First Class will be. He did say they won't be tackling Dark Phoenix, but the fact that he even mentions the story-of-all-stories makes me wonder if First Class will be a young Cyclops, Jean Gray, Beast, etc. Especially when you consider who all is (and isn't) getting a cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Widescreen Vision caught up with Lauren Shuler Donner, who revealed that a Storm cameo had been filmed, but was going to be cut. Which means there's probably a little Scott Summers in this film, as hinted by a character list in France's Climax Magazine -- and that itself confirms rumors we had last year. Despite that everyone you ever met in X-Men is going to be in it, Shuler Donner also revealed the film will be "well under" 2 hours. Uh oh.Paramount announced that a third Star Trek trailer will be attached to Watchmen on March 6. Considering the Super Bowl TV spot excited no one (and marketing wise, that was really a time to win over the "new audience" this reboot is aiming for) this might be their final chance to kick ass. TFW2005 has posted more toy images of what is believed to be The Fallen and Devastator from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The Fallen kinda looks like an Alien/Predator baby (in metallic form), and hopefully that's a good thing. Devastator, meanwhile, just looks big and bad and powerful.
There you have it, kids, another weekly entry of the Phile. Tomorrow the Phile will be back with a interview with Karen Cuda from the crazy rock band Nashville Pussy. Yep, you read that right. And on Sunday it's Marc Savoie from the band Infinite-Lane Highway. Then next Phriday the Phile will be back with another usual entry. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd.