Over the years, MTV has given my generation its fair share of awkward moments thanks to countless drunken slobs, blatant racism, and obnoxious whores on every season of the Real World. And thanks to the Tourrettes cases, Star Wars nerds, big-boobed sloppy seconds, embarrassing dads, and Staten Island bitches that graced the clips of True Life every season. But tonight, MTV gave us a new level of awkward.

On the much over-advertised and only marginally funny MTV Movie Awards, Seth Rogan and James Franco presented the award for “Best Movie of the Summer So Far,” and proceeded to pull out a bag of weed, roll a blunt, and smoke it. Seriously. Of course, due to censor issues, the camera was pulled all the way out to an insanely wide wide-shot, as to not show such actions on television (because pot-smoking is so controversial to MTV).

This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except for the fact that the producer decided to cut into a shot of Robert Downey Jr. looking extremely uncomfortable while the rest of the audience laughed wildly and applauded.

In case you didn’t know, Downey is a recovering drug addict who admittedly still struggles with sobriety.

Worse yet, Downey ended up winning the award for “Iron Man.” He had to walk up on stage, and shake hands with those knuckleheads.

Could you imagine what it would be like to have your career and life nearly end because of a decade long drug addiction, and then be forced into a situation where you had to politely stand next to a bunch of guys smoking pot on national television? While a room of a thousand people laughed and applauded and completely trivialized drug use?

It was extremely poor planning on the part of MTV, and it was completely insensitive on the part of Rogan and Franco.

But, as usual, I digress.


The Summer Blockbuster Season's Most Stylish Woman

I'm going out on a limb and making an early prediction. This summer's blockbuster season has already seen Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Prince Caspian, and (chuckle chuckle) Speed Racer. All of them consummate gentlemen who will kick your ass in a heartbeat...be it with whip, blaster cannon, sword, or (chuckle chuckle) fast car. True, they all have their own unique sense of style, and in the case of Indiana Jones and Iron Man, a true cultural heritage.

None of them however, can compete with Anne Hathaway.

Yeah, I said it. ANNE HATHAWAY.

Hathaway plays Agent 99 in the big screen adaptation of Get Smart, releasing June 20th. And I'm going to call it now: she will be this summer's most stylish woman on the silver screen. From her various hairstyles (she's a secret agent you know) and her killer accessorizing, to her drop-dead gorgeous evening gowns and flawless makeup, to her classic double-breasted white jacket, she is quite frankly bangin'. She will upstage both Steve Carrell and the evil legions of KAOS, all the while looking really really good.

If there is any justice in this world, Hathaway will be remembered as stylistically iconic for her turn as Agent 99. She's nodding to the classic mod style of the 1960's setting of the show, but also keeping it stunningly contemporary.

She gets my vote.
Check her out for yourself at: http://movies.yahoo.com/summer-movies/Get-Smart/1809824006/photos/278


Indiana Jones vs the Russian Communist Party...for real!

Apparently the Communist Party in Russia is upset with Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett for making the new Indy film. They called the actors "second rate" (how many Academy Awards does Blanchett have?) and said they are "running dogs of the CIA." The Commies mouthpiece also said that the film is "low quality," and they want it banned for being "Anti-Communist propaganda."

This is real. Check out the article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24788840/

Dear Russia: In America, we make movies. They are not real. However, we believe that individualism is important; capitalism and free markets breed progress and create jobs and hope. That rugged spirit of American individualism gave birth to the wonderful character of Indiana Jones, and allowed men like Spielberg and Lucas to become successful. Indiana Jones, Spielberg, and Lucas have brought joy to millions of people...something that seems to be in shortage over there.

Above all else, Communism fails because of it's inability to allocate capital, and its incorrect assumption that everyone is equal, NOT because of some subliminal, Anti-Red messages shooting out of American adventure films.

Sounds like the Russians are paranoid as usual, and once again seeking out any way they can paint themselves as victims of the Capitalists. You guys should stick with the heroic tale of Robin Hood, it's more suited to your tastes.

Also, Russia gave us Autograph...possibly the gayest metal band of the 1980's.

Never Forget That.

In other ridiculous news, a Utah woman has claimed that watching Sex and the City turned her into a slut. She says that the show (and soon to be movie) forced her to drink Cosmos, and sleep with up to seven guys a week. Seriously. Here's the link: http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/5581

Can I just present the question: Does anybody take responsibility for their actions anymore?


Lily Allen is still the queen

Today, Lily Allen posted a new blog on her myspace and addressed the endless number of wankers in the press who criticize and question everything she does. Lily is a style icon who also happens to make bangin' music, and clearly she's also an intelligent, thoughtful, honest, and upfront woman. Her new album, with producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson, is near completion. Let's hope it hits the shelves soon.

In the meantime, here's Lily's response to the half-a-tards in the British media:

"I don't really like to respond to things I read about my self in the press but , for the record I was not thrown off anybodys yacht in Cannes , occasionally I drink wine with lunch and yes i swim topless , this in my book is not embarrasing behaviour I'm 23 years old it's not my fault if photographers follow me everywhere and need a story to print with their pointless pictures . I wish digital cameras hadn't been invented , if these photographers had to pay for film it wouldn't wouldn't be worth their time , there is nothing proffesional about them , most of them look like they wouldn't be out of place at a BNP meeting . On the other hand digital pictures are easier to retouch , so i shouln't complain .I went for lunch with my ex boyfriend yesterday , lunch . I am not some failed baby making machine desperately to trying to win my man back . Sometimes I think these journalists are still living in the 50's . No one knows anything about my relationships . Ed and I are friends , who went for lunch yesterday , thats it .It's all so sexist , i wonder how many of these male journos , had bought themselves a house by the time they were 23. I work very hard at what i do , yes I like a drink and yes I have my bad days , but that doesn't mean I'm out of control. I'm perfectly capable of looking after my self thank you very much."

Check out Lily's myspace here: http://www.myspace.com/lilymusic
or check out her website: http://www.lilyallenmusic.com


The Black Lagoon's take on Prom Fashion

It’s been eight years since I went to my prom. Yes, yes, I’m an old man. Last night, I went to another; not as a guest, but as one of the crazy, blood-thirsty paparazzi who swarms limousines and hummers and trolley-cars trying to get a good shot of the overly confident and overtly sexualized high-schoolers on their way to what will inevitably become a holy grail of bad memories, smeared mascara, and bruised knees.

No, I’m not a pervert looking to expand my personal collection of teenager photos. I’m a fashion critic (and also the bigger brother of someone who was actually attending the prom). Eight years ago, I said it. And last night, I said it again: Prom fashion is the worst fashion.

The majority of guys seem to always fall into the tuxedo trap: ridiculous color-combinations of bow ties, cummerbunds, cuffs, and shoes. The all-too-on-the-nose raised collar, which provides a little too much fabric and distorts the neckline, so it becomes nearly impossible for your woman to kiss you on the neck without getting poked in the eye. In principle, I am against tuxedos; they make a man look like a magician, and the only thing worse than wearing a tux to your prom is wearing a tux to your wedding. What’s your trick magic man? Are you going to make a bunny rabbit disappear, or are you just going to make your self-respect disappear?

For the guys who don’t wear a tux (which is about 15%) there is not much more hope. I am a huge proponent of a stylish and sharp suit with a simple tie that pops and a killer pair of shoes. However, all of the suit-wearing prom goers I saw were completely mis-fitted. Tailoring is more than half the battle! Shoulder pads were too big, too wide, and made everybody’s head look small. Shirt-cuffs were either too long or too short, creating the illusion of being either too little or too big for the suit. Pants were too long; dragging in puddles, getting stepped on, completely covering up the detailing of a good pair of socks, or crumpling up on top of the shoe like a load of dirty laundry. And then there’s the tie situation. Now I love a long tie, with a good half or full Windsor knot (depending on the setting) or a great skinny tie in a more casual situation. The problem with the prom-going crowd is one of color choices. I saw some of the loudest, craziest patterns I’ve ever seen. Bright greens and muted yellows. Metallic silver, blue, gold, and white. And oh so much pink. What is it with pink these days? Some men I’ve talked to claim that wearing pink projects comfort with one’s own sexuality and masculinity. As if wearing it meant you were more of a man. I disagree. To me, the height of masculinity is a well-tailored, classic suit with a clean tie and an amazing watch. Frank Sinatra knew it, the Reservoir Dogs knew it, and Michael Buble still knows it.

But I digress. What about the girls?

I will keep this short. Why must you purchase those hideous dresses from Deb? Why must you enhance your bust-line to near fatal levels? Why those ridiculous up-dos with gigantically big-circumference curls? And why, oh god why, all the body glitter? What’s with all the shiny, bedazzled, skintight gowns? And what’s up with the Freddy Krueger nails?

I understand that most of those girls were going to end up on a hotel room floor that night, rolling out of bed in a drunken stooper the next morning, but Jesus, a lot of those girls looked like that at the BEGINNING of the prom!

And one last thing to both guys and girls: Please stop going overboard with the Hollister brand perfumes. We ALL know that you shop at Hollister!! You don’t need to assault us with it.

In closing, I leave you with the sour words of Michael Weston’s heartbroken character in The Last Kiss: “I loved you! I took you to your fucking prom!” Somehow I knew that in 8 years, most of those guys from last night would be proclaiming that same sentiment to their ex-girlfriends…referencing that “great” night they spent together at the prom, as if it were some grand event in the course of a relationship.

Looking back, I see the prom as just what it was: an over-hyped, overrated night full of bad fashion, worse food, and even worse yet music and dancing. It was full of people with high hopes for their future. Ah, how wonderful it will be when the weight of the world (and high gas prices!) crushes their spirits and they’re forced to sell me Verizon wireless crap at the local mall.


"The Mist"

It would be fair to say that when previews for "The Mist" started hitting movie and television screens, I was weary. Having never read the novella by Stephen King, I foolishly made the assumption that "The Mist" was just a two-bit rip-off of the John Carpenter shocker "The Fog." I mean, be fair...fog looks a lot like mist, and mist looks a lot like fog. And they both look a lot like smoke. And smoke looks a hell of a lot like smog. And any one of them could contain Pirate ghosts.

Boy, was I wrong about that fog thing.
"The Mist" is as far from Carpenter’s "The Fog" as you can possibly get.

The basic story is as simple as horror itself, and it’s been time tested in numerous classics such as "Night of the Living Dead," "The Birds," "Alien," and "Storm of the Century." Monsters are out there. So put some really scared, paranoid, confused, and self-obsessed people in a house/store/room with an outside threat looming over them, and they will always:

A) Block all the doors & windows with whatever is available including sand bags, loose doors, boards, and duct tape.
B) Turn on eachother...quickly.

So yeah, King didn’t invent the premise but what he does, with the help of "Shawshank Redemption" director Frank Darabont, is create a palpable sense of dread throughout the entire running time. There’s something primally frightening about not being able to see ten feet in front of you. There’s something primally frightening about being at the mercy of some sick and twisted sense of godlessness. And there’s something really really primally frightening about spiders. "The Mist" has all three. In healthy doses.

Marcia Gay Harden turns in a sinfully bitchy and brilliant performance as the local Evangelist who believes the creatures in the mist are the work of an angry God. She seems crazy, until halfway through the film when the locusts come, and we start to think she might be right.
"The Mist" also holds it’s fair share of classic scares and gore. There are quite a few "jump out and go Boo!" moments. The bloodshed is never pornographic as has been the trend in the "Saw" and "Hostel" series, but it’s definitely enough to "get under your skin..." and then rip you apart.

There are also a few "wink wink" moments that true horror completists will appreciate. In the opening scene where Thomas Jane’s main character is painting movie posters, his collection includes the posters for John Carpenter’s remake of "The Thing," Guillermo Del Toro’s beautifully disturbing "Pan’s Labyrinth," and Stephen King’s "Dark Tower" series. All of which were actually done by the greatest movie poster artist to ever live, Drew Struzen. God, I love it when directors reference other horror directors.

But perhaps "The Mist’s" best moment is towards the end, when the small group of level-headed townspeople attempt to escape. They are stopped in their tracks, in awe of a gigantic quadripedal creature that is heavy on tentacles. We don’t completely see the monster. There are no words, no dialogue...only quiet mood music and the bellows of the creature. In that moment, we understand what the characters understand: There is no God, no hope, no way out, and human beings are no longer at the top of the biological chain. In that moment, hope is completely gone and despair takes it’s place. How does it feel to be at the mercy of a shadowy, disturbing, and ultimately vengeful "new God"?
And best part of all? The creature seems to be heavily inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft’s "Call of Cthulu." Lovecraft always played with the idea of other-dimensional creatures that held power over humanity and could snuff it out at any moment. "The Mist" takes this idea, and attaches some wings and stingers. And it all works.

If nothing else, "The Mist" is worth watching if only for the shockingly bleak ending. It’s so anti-happy ending, so depressing, so upsetting, that you’ll sit there in silence for spans of time after the credits are done rolling. It’s a true "Oh Shit" moment...and so few movies have those anymore.

Stephen King himself once said something that exemplifies his simple vision for writing and terrifying: "I just try to create sympathy for my characters, and then I unleash the monsters on them."
"The Mist" definitely understands this concept. It’s one of the best, darkest, and most gripping horror movies to come out in the past eight years.

"Cloverfield" on DVD

Ever since "Cloverfield" hit theaters, I've heard a lot of different people using a lot of different words to describe it. Professional movie critics said it was "frightening" and "scary." And while it does have a few good scares and creepy moments, those words aren't really accurate. Some sci-fi geeks said it was a "great monster movie," which is true to a point…however, the flick isn't really about a monster. Sure, there's a monster in it, but it's really a film about love, and facing seemingly insurmountable odds. And most of the cynical bastards and unappreciative knuckleheads that went to see "Cloverfield" said it "sucked," or "blew," or was the "worst movie ever." This hits me especially funny because waaaay back in the day, at the beginning of my writing career, I said that "The Blair Witch Project" was the most frightening, original, and fun horror movie my generation would ever see. And so far, I've remained right about that. And even back then, dumb ass audiences didn't get it. But of all the words I've heard, there's one that is definitely and surprisingly absent. And that word is "fuck."

"Cloverfield" features a 350-foot tall lizard/dinosaur/alien/humanoid monster trashing the shit out of Manhattan. I mean, it rips the head off the Statue of Liberty, lays waste to Central Park, and kills about a hundred thousand people with little parasitic crab monsters in tow. Throughout the entire 86 minute running time, through all the explosions, and death, and screaming, and blood-barfing, and roaring, not ONE PERSON uses the word "fuck." Doesn't that seem a little strange? I mean, if I were in that situation, I would probably say "Holy Fuck" or "What the fuck is that thing?!?!" or "OH FUCK!!!!!!" or "Fuck this shit, I'm getting the fuck out of here," or "Fuck me," or "Fuck man, we are totally fucking fucked." But nothing. Not once. Ever.

But honestly, "Cloverfield" is quite a cool movie. The monster is a plot device. It's basically a movie about a guy named Rob trying to rescue a girl named Beth. Sure, it's not a brilliant film. It's not a lofty study of humanity, and it doesn't have any British people in it. It's just a simple, exciting, humorous, and engrossing popcorn movie. And the interspersed moments of a previously recorded date between Beth and Rob are perfectly heartbreaking, and serve to remind us of why Rob would run straight into the path of a monster…because Beth's smile is the most beautiful thing he's ever seen, and he'd do anything to see it again. I can relate.

But perhaps the coolest thing about "Cloverfield" is the thing that nobody has seen. Between cuts in the action, the camera pauses and flickers three times in the movie, and each time, if you pause the DVD at that moment you get a spliced in clip of "Them," "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms," and "King Kong," which are quite possibly the best American monster movies ever made. It's a neat little touch to a film that prides itself on being neat. Nobody is trying to win an Oscar, or sway voters, or make a statement in "Cloverfield." It's all about having fun, snuggling up, and watching what amounts to a "great monster movie." Fuck-free and all.