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August 13, 2012

New reality show will send celebrities off to war

Episode 3: Watch Dean Cain, TV's Superman, waterboard a goat farmer for information! Episode 4: Bonked out on Rip Fuel, Olympic athlete Picabo Street guns down a funeral procession and tries to burn the bodies to hide the evidence. Will she be voted off the Green Zone? On ‘Stars Earn Stripes,’ fame finds a foxhole - The Washington Post
Eight men and women celebs (mainly C-listers such as Dean Cain, who once played Superman on TV; Olympic skier Picabo Street; Laila Ali, who followed in her father’s footsteps as a professional boxer; and Todd Palin, whose celebrityhood is better than C-list but nevertheless requires a giant asterisk) are paired up with highly trained military and law enforcement veterans, including a Green Beret, a SWAT officer, two Marine sergeants, a retired member of the Delta Force and two Navy SEALs. Under the orders of the show’s co-host, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, the teams try to outdo one another during strenuous, timed combat exercises. In the first episode, they have to leap out of a helicopter into a lake while weighted down with automatic weapons and full gear; swim to a motorized raft; wade ashore under enemy fire; destroy a lookout tower with a grenade; shoot at paper “enemy” targets with live rounds; wade through mud to seize the enemy’s ammo cache and then, finally, blow it all to kingdom come. The goal is to complete the mission and earn a stripe, which means a donation to a military-related charity of their choice; the ultimate winner will get $100,000 to donate. Why are they doing this? For the troops, of course — to raise awareness about how hard our fighting forces work, how much they sacrifice, and so on and so on, until it begins to sound like nebulous praise. “Stars Earn Stripes,” which bears the imprimatur of executive producers Dick Wolf (“Law & Order”) and Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice”), is draped in the verbal equivalent of too much bunting. The celebrities are awkwardly effusive to their new heroes/BFFs; even Chris Kyle, a SEAL sniper who boasts a confirmed-kill count of 160 (and wrote a best-selling memoir about it), starts to feel self-conscious when Cain, his teammate, won’t stop fawning over him.

August 07, 2012

The D&D alignments of Gary Oldman

Mightygodking.com -- ALIGNMENT CHART! Gary Oldman

August 04, 2012

The Red Dawn remake looks really, incredibly stupid

The first film, about a Soviet invasion of America, is cold war cheeseball paranoid fun with a pretty great cast. The new film, which should be all accounts have China as the villain, has . . . North Korea? North Korea. Tiny country. Super poor. How can they invade all of America? I doubt they could successfully take Portland, let alone an entire state. North Korea Invades America in Dumbest Movie Ever | Danger Room | Wired.com
North Korean paratroopers descend on an American small town. U.S. military resistance collapses. Korean armored vehicles roll down the streets unopposed except for a band of heavily armed bros in hoodies. No, these are not images from some teenage gamer’s fever dream. They’re scenes from the movie Red Dawn, a remake of the 1984 cult classic about a joint Cuban-Soviet invasion of the U.S. and the attractive young American insurgents — the Wolverines — who help defeat it. The revamped Red Dawn, starring Chris Hemsworth, a.k.a. Thor, blasts into theaters in November. But don’t expect it to linger very long. Where the 1984 original successfully played upon widespread public fears over a supposedly rising and belligerent Soviet Union, the remake expects viewers to take North Korea seriously as an existential threat. We’re guessing the flick is going to get a lot of unintended laughs. You see, the actual North Korea is a country of 24 million people with a GDP roughly equal to North Dakota’s. It’s an impoverished, even starving, prison state that lacks modern weaponry and any ability to deploy forces globally. If the clips above are any indication, the movie magically gifts North Korea with a huge fleet of long-range transport planes … because it has to. Of course, how these planes get past the U.S. military’s 3,000 jet fighters is anyone’s guess. The new Red Dawn has been sitting on the shelf for a couple years owing to financing troubles and at least one major revamp by screenwriters Carl Elsworth and Jeremy Passmore. As originally written, the relaunched Red Dawn was only slightly less silly. The bad guys were Chinese. And while China has no discernible intention of invading anyone, much less the U.S., Beijing at least commands a $7.3-trillion economy and an increasingly modern, two-million-man army. But it’s bad business to portray one of the world’s fastest growing film markets as brutal world conquerors, so the producers swapped in North Korea, a country no one counts on for ticket sales. . . .