Tag Archives: Amy POehler

My first Father’s Day as a dad was fantastic. “Inside Out” is as wonderful as everyone says. And Jon Stewart on Charleston, so good

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This year was the first time ever that I received gifts on Father’s Day.

So that was cool. But of course this Father’s Day was so much more than getting cool stuff from my family (I scored a much-desired “Los Pollos Hermanos” shirt from my sister and brother-in-law, and some great matching shirts/onesies combos from my wife for me and our son, including the totally awesome “Control-C” shirt for me and “Control-V” onesie for him (if you don’t get it, think about the keyboard shortcuts you use regularly.)

Ever since my son was born last September, there have been different milestones that have crept up on me. Much more meaningful than just holidays or “month birthdays” for him, they’ve usually been stuff like “first time on a subway with him” or “first time alone in the swimming pool,” kind of stuff. Holidays are great, of course, and his first Thanksgiving and Passover and all that were memorable.

But Sunday was really special for me, maybe the last big milestone of his first year until the actual birthday. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by wonderful fathers and role models, from my own, to my stepfather, my father-in-law, and all the other positive male role models I’ve had in my life.

I’m talking about childhood friends who’ve grown up to be fantastic dads, college buddies who are all grown up and have families of their own; great bosses and colleagues I’ve met in the journalism world who along the way showed me with their example how great fatherhood can be.

After 39 years, I’m finally getting my chance to see if I can live up to all the wonderful Dads I’ve seen all these years. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also exhilarating.

Sunday, surrounded by family, I really felt a part of the “Dad club.” And it’s the best club you could ever be in. I’m so lucky and blessed.

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**OK, so so here’s my review of Pixar’s new “Inside Out:”
Amazing. Sensational. Moving. Magical. As good as all the reviews say it is.

The wife and I saw it Saturday night, and as high as my expectations for the flick were given the build-up and positive chatter, the movie lived up to it.

The writing was, as usual with Pixar, beautiful, filled with emotion, humor and so much heart. The casting was great, with Amy Poehler and Lewis Black particularly great, though I fear the best performance of the entire movie isn’t getting talked about much; Richard Kind as Bing Bong was unbelievably good; Kind is one of those fabulous character actors who you’ve seen more than you think (to me he’ll always be Fran’s husband Mark on “Mad About You”) and this may be the best performance of his life.

The concept of the movie (five emotions that live inside of an 11-year-old girl’s head take us on a tour of her life as she moves from Minnesota to San Francisco) is brilliant, and “Inside/Out” does what all great Pixar movies do: makes you laugh, cry and feel things.

To me it’s right up there with “Up,” “Finding Nemo,” and the “Toy Story” trilogy as the best work Pixar’s ever done. Go see it.

**Finally, so much good stuff has been written and said about the Charleston massacre from last week, about the racism still so very much alive in America, and about South Carolina’s disgusting refusal to take down the Confederate flag.

But this Jon Stewart opening from “The Daily Show” Thursday night… man, so so good. He’ll be sorely missed when he’s gone in a few weeks.

Tina and Amy, and surprise winners, make me happy at the Golden Globes. And thoughts on the end of Peyton Manning, a terrible call against the Cowboys, and other NFL musings

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The worst part of last night’s Golden Globes show for me was not the ridiculousness of “The Affair” winning best dramatic TV show, or that I got creeped out upon learning that 56-year-old Kevin Spacey is dating 31-year-old Kate Mara (I mean, that’s pretty wrong, right?).

The worst part was hearing Tina Fey and Amy Poehler say that it would be their last time hosting. Their chemistry last night was again fantastic, with my favorite bits being, of course, mocking George Clooney’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” by listing all the amazing real-life accomplishments his new wife Amal Alamuddin has.

Love Tina and Amy for their wit and charm.
Some other musings from my brain (and as always during awards shows, my wife’s brain) on a pretty entertaining Globes:

— So happy, first of all, that two of my favorite pieces of entertainment last year got lauded properly: Loved seeing “Boyhood” win three major awards, because it’s truly the best movie I’ve seen in the past five years (my original review of it here.), and loved that “Transparent” and Jeffrey Tambor took home two big awards. Tambor’s speech was terrific.

— Best dress of the night, as chosen by the wife: Jennifer Aniston, with a runner-up spot to Amy Adams.

— How hilarious is it that Alison Tolman, who played the Frances McDormand character in the “Fargo” TV show, competed in the same category Sunday as McDormand herself, being nominated for “Olive Kitteridge?” That was just weird.

— Great speeches by Matt Bomer, Kevin Spacey, and Patricia Arquette. And Clooney’s line about “if you’re in this room, you’ve caught the brass ring” and his tribute to his wife were really sweet.

— Best Twitter line I saw last night was from TV critic James Poniewozik, who said after “Transparent” won:  “Also let’s just take a moment and recognize that the award for Best Comedy was won by an online bookstore.”

–Finally, I liked how most speeches weren’t rushed off the stage. For many of these people, this is their one moment in the sun, so I want to hear people like Gina Rodriguez pay tribute to her family.

**So the NFL divisional playoffs always seem to give us a couple of great games among the four, and this weekend was no exception.

The Packers-Cowboys game, which I only saw bits and pieces of (was at my nephew’s rockin’ 10th birthday party Sunday), was a classic, and Baltimore-New England Saturday night was an old-school shootout.

But the lingering memories for me of this football weekend will be twofold: 1, The end of Peyton Manning as an elite NFL quarterback, and 2, NFL instant replay has gotten out of control, and for idiotic rules to decide the outcome of a team’s season is just ridiculous.

First, couple thoughts on Peyton: I love this guy, have loved him ever since he was in Knoxville. I’ve defended him against critics, been thrilled when he won a Super Bowl, and laughed at his great sense of humor on “SNL” and in commercials.
So it’s been really painful watching his last two playoff games, last year’s Super Bowl and Sunday’s desultory loss at home to Indy.
Peyton’s finished. He really looks done. His throws sailed high, low, all over the place yesterday; in short, he looked like Ryan Lindley or Kyle Orton on some of them.
When he really needed to make a play, he just couldn’t get it done. Look, the guy’s had an amazing career, and he’s one of the 5 best QBs to ever play. The fact he came back from four neck surgeries to be as good as he was before is incredible.
But I think it’s finally just about over for Eli’s brother. And I’m a little sad about it.
Now, for the Dez Bryant catch … and that’s what it was, it was a freaking catch. I hate the Cowboys, hate Dez Bryant and his selfish, look-at-me all the time histrionics, but if the play he made late in the fourth quarter to give the ‘Boys a first and goal and a chance to take the lead is not a catch, then I’ve never seen a catch in my life.
He leaped, caught the ball, came down with two feet inbounds, landed, reached for the goal-line as he was being tackled, and then the ball moved slightly.

The refs on the field thought it was a catch. Eighty thousand fans at Lambeau thought it was a catch. No one on the Packers sideline could honestly think it wasn’t a catch.

And then the replay official overruled the call, and the Cowboys lost a chance to score, and everybody was incredulous.

It’s just so silly. Instant replay is around to get calls right, and correct egregiously bad ones. Calls like yesterday’s on Bryant just take the game away from the players, and it’s just so wrong.

Still, looking forward to Sunday. I predict a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl.

A pretty tame Golden Globes, with some surprise winners. And the NFL gets a couple of great title game matchups

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The Golden Globe Awards are always like the drunk cousin of the Oscars: They’re rude, they’re boisterous, sometimes they make no sense, but they’re almost always a good time.

Sunday night the Globes were kinda less crazy than usual, but were still pretty fun thanks to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who again did a kick-ass job at hosting (Seriously, why can’t the People In Charge let them host the Oscars?) From their opening monologue poking fun at George Clooney and Bradley Cooper, to Poehler making out with Bono, they were great as always.  (And of course, their best line: “Now, like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s now all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”)
Lots of other thoughts my trusted awards review co-writer wife and I wrote down while watching the show:

— Fashion review first: I don’t know what the hell Zoe Saldana was wearing but it was ugly, Paula Patton (above) looked like a peacock, and Drew Barrymore’s dress was way awkward-looking.

— Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t be more adorable. She really seems down to Earth, and super-talented. I just hope she stays that gracious and humble as she seems now.

— Very glad to see so many of the big awards spread around. I was mad Michael Fassbender lost for “12 Years a Slave,” (though Jared Leto was terrific in “Dallas Buyers Club,”) and Jon Voight winning over Aaron Paul is a joke, and I’m only halfway through Season 2 of “Breaking Bad.

But I was thrilled Amy Adams won for “American Hustle,” and that Spike Jonze got best screenplay. Really, no one movie was the big winner, which was rare and nice to see.

— The speeches were mostly boring, but Jacqueline Bisset was oddly crazy, and Cate Blanchett was hilarious at the end, admitting she was drunk and then rambling for a while.

— NBC, we get it, Fallon is taking over “The Tonight Show.” Thanks for the 47 commercials.

— Has Bono ever had an awkward moment in his life? The man is the epitome of cool. Loved hearing him and U2 talk about how much Nelson Mandela meant to them.

— Was it just me, or did Robin Wright and Jennifer Lawrence look a little bit too much alike Sunday night?

— How the hell did Taylor Swift get such a good seat near the front? What movie has SHE ever been in?

–Finally, very happy to see “12 Years A Slave,” shut out for most of the night, win the best drama award. As I wrote back when I saw it, this is such an important, moving film, and hopefully the more awards it wins, the more people will see it.

And now, the Oscar countdown begins …

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**And now to the football. I can’t be the only one who was watching the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Denver-San Diego game going, “Jesus, is a Peyton Manning-led team going to collapse yet again in the playoffs?”
Thankfully, they did not, and now next Sunday ought to be a sensational day of football.

For the AFC title we get the 412th (OK, 17th) duel between the two greatest quarterbacks of this generation, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. And then the NFC gives us one of the suddenly-fiercest rivalries in the sport, with the 49ers going up to the insanely-loud Seattle Seahawks stadium and trying to get to a second straight Super Bowl.

Should be terrific.  My early pick is Denver and Seattle making the Super Bowl, but I’ve bet against Brady before and been very, very wrong. But it would be pretty cool to see Peyton try to win a Super Bowl in Eli’s home stadium, no?

Couple other quick thoughts from the weekend of football:

— I’ve been watching this sport for three decades, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game with more trash-talking and showboating than the Niners-Panthers game. I mean, every freaking play these idiots were glorifying themselves, or shit-talking their opponent. Can anyone just shut up and play?

–Andrew Luck reminds me an awful lot of Brett Favre. Gunslinger mentality, forces lots of throws, can win you or lose you any game at any time. Boy is he going to be fun to watch the next 10 years.

Can’t wait till next Sunday.

The Emmy Awards make me (mostly) happy. An agonizingly awful Jets win. And gay marriage ballot amendments looking good

My favorite awards show of the year took place Sunday night; The Academy Awards are great but so many times I feel like I’m not familiar with the nominees; but with the Emmys, I feel like I very strongly about who should win and who should never get a sniff of an Emmy.

Overall I thought it was a pretty good show, and was thrilled to see one show in particular kick serious butt (it rhymes with “Shmomeland.”)
With the help of my trusty sidekick/fellow TV addict fiance, some things that struck us from the show:

— Thrill of the night for me was seeing “Homeland” do so well, winning both major drama acting categories AND shocking “Mad Men” to win best show. I will continue to say this until the cows come home: “Homeland” is the best show on TV. The new season starts Sunday night on Showtime, time to get watching.

— The comedy awards were really predictable, but we were both stunned Mayim Bialik from “Big Bang Theory” didn’t win best supporting in a comedy. She was awesome. Not that Julie Bowen isn’t, but she’s won a few times already.
— Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue was pretty funny, but the best bits of the night were the Julia Louis-Dreyfus/Amy Poehler speech switch gag, and the opening skit in the bathroom.
— Jon Cryer does not age. He still looks like Ducky.
— Jimmy Fallon looked 3 feet taller than Kathy Bates when they presented together. “Has he been stretched for the Emmys?” the fiance asked.
— There were no major fashion faux pas (I was told), but man were there some hideous dress colors. Julianne Moore, Claire Danes and Julie Bowen all wore awful colors. I thought Danes, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel (above) looked the best, along with the chick who plays Brody’s wife on “Homeland.”

— Really tough call for the producers on who gets the final spot of the Death Montage: Dick Clark or Andy Griffith? They did a seperate tribute to Andy G. instead.
— Can’t believe Doyle from “Gilmore Girls” won an Emmy for writing! He was such a great “GG” character, happy to see him get some more fame.

— Finally, whose idea was the stupid “Andre Braugher coming up in 8 minutes” screen teaser? Like that’s going to keep me watching the Emmys?

**At the end of my life, when I’m old and bald and dying, I’ll wish I had four more hours back.

Those would be the four hours I spent watching Sunday’s truly wretched Jets-Dolphins football game. Calling it ugly and unsightly would be a massive understatement; truly it was a shame either team had to win.
As a Jets fan, I was disgusted by so much of their play that it was hard to feel elated when they won.
Among the many, many problems of my team:
— Mark Sanchez, in his 4th year in the NFL, and 4th year as a starter, is not getting any better. It’s amazing, but he’s STILL making awful decisions, not feeling the rush, and misfiring to wide-open receivers; there were three TD’s the Jets should’ve had Sunday but Sanchez overthrew his receivers.  He’s just not a good quarterback and may never be.

— That said, the man had VERY little help Sunday. Receivers dropped passes all over the place, his offensive line was just OK, and the running game was non-existent. Sanchez just doesn’t have a lot of talent around him.

— Looks like the best defensive back in football, Darrelle Revis, may have torn his ACL, which would mean he’s out for the season. Devastating blow to an already-not-great team.

Other NFL thoughts on yet another crazy day…
— At one point three games were in overtime at the same time (KC-New Orleans, Jets-Dolphins, and Titans-Lions). Not sure that’s ever happened before.

— How crazy was that 44-41 Titans win over the Lions? Detroit scored 14 points in the last eighteen seconds of regulation to tie it, including a Hail Mary. Then in OT, down three, Lions could’ve kicked a FG to tie it, but on 4th and 1, had a miscommunication with the sideline and went for it when they weren’t supposed to. And they didn’t get the yard, and lost the game.

— I know all NFL fans are bitching about the replacement refs and how awful they are… but they are truly horrendous.  Watched the last 5 minutes of Pats-Ravens after the Emmys, and while it was a thrilling finish (that Ravens kicker gave the entire state of Maryland a heart attack, making that FG by inches), the refs practically blew it both ways.

How long is the NFL going to let this complete blow to its credibility last? Sadly, I think it’ll be a while. The NFL’s popularity is impervious, and I just don’t think they give a crap what fans and media (and their own coaches and players!) are saying about the refs right now.

— Stunning to see the 49ers lose, the Jaguars win, and the Saints be 0-3. One more reason I don’t bet on the NFL.

** Finally, it’s too early to be overly excited about this, but it’s certainly promising.  There are four states that in November will have ballot initiatives that in one form or another will legalize same sex marriage, and in three of those states (Maryland, Maine and Washington) it looks very likely that gay marriage will be legalized; only in Minnesota is the polling not looking promising.

If the 3 states’ numbers hold up, this will be a huge, history-making deal, as no states previously have had ballot initiatives supporting gay marriage get passed.

Consider my fingers crossed.

 

An excellent Emmys show rewards “FNL” and “Modern Family,” rightfully so. And a Jets laugher tops a crazy NFL day

Thoroughly enjoyed Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, hosted by the awesome Jane Lynch. Quite a few rambling thoughts after watching a telecast where some very deserving people were finally honored:
— Thought Jane Lynch did a great job as host. Kept things moving.
— I know people will complain that “Modern Family” won too much, but it is a fantastic and funny show. And Ty Burrell gave a great speech.
— Loved that the six nominees for best supporting actress in a comedy all came up on stage and stood there like it was a beauty pageant. Hilarious. And glad Sookie from “Gilmore Girls” won! Always liked her.
— Amy Poehler, we love you, but man, that dress was awful (see above). After much debate, I decided she looked like an extra from “Avatar” in that thing.
— Umm, Michael Bolton, in a pirate costume, with that hair??? Really not a good idea.

— COULD NOT be happier for “Friday Night Lights” getting two wins, including the awesome Kyle Chandler for his portrayal of Coach Taylor. So, so well deserved.
— The Charlie Sheen thing was weird. No reason he should’ve been up there at all. At least he was nice. But he is so undeserving of our attention.
— Lots of people I read tonight seem to have hated the “in Memoriam” montage being sung by those four guys (their group is The Canadian Tenors) but I really liked it. Thought all their voices were beautiful together.
— Finally, Ashton Kutcher. Painfully unfunny as usual. Who decided a long time ago that he had talent? Because I can’t see a damn bit of it.

**Ah, nice to have a breather of a win for my Jets every now and again.
The boys in green and white completely beat up the Jacksonville Jaguars and their inept quarterback, Luke McCown, on Sunday. Thirty-two to three, and I barely had any stressful moments. Except when Mark Sanchez threw those two awful interceptions.
Didn’t kill them today, but the next three weeks Jets face Oakland, Baltimore and New England. Sanchize has to play better. But I loved the defense today.
Few other NFL thoughts:
— What an insane game that Oakland-Buffalo contest was. Back and forth the whole fourth quarter, Bills score 35 points in the second half (35!) and win 38-35. If the Bills are for real, AFC East got a whole lot more interesting.
— More surprising than the Bills being 2-0 are the Redskins being 2-0. Rex Grossman fever, catch it!
— What a surprise: Michael Vick got hurt for the Eagles tonight. Oh well, I’m sure all Philly fans will be happy with Vince Young as their starter next week.
— Finally, another great reminder not to overreact to one game. The Ravens thump the Steelers last week, then fall flat against Tennessee. Pittsburgh looked terrible last week, then blanked Seattle. The NFL, where nothing is written in stone.

A reason to like Barry Bonds (seriously). Amy Poehler wows ’em at Harvard. And a tribute on Memorial Day

It’s a holiday Monday and you’re thinking: Give me a reason to like Barry Bonds.
Sure, he’s a total ass, and a surly jerk, and he lied about using steroids to break the most hallowed record in all of sports (Hank Aaron’s 755 career home runs) and he kicks dogs and knocks down old ladies who are crossing the street.

But besides all that, he’s a big lovable fella, right?

Well, it’s taken about 25 years since he first got famous, but Barry Bonds has finally done something worth praising. Remember the story a few months ago of the San Francisco Giants fan named Bryan Stow who was savagely beaten into a coma by two L.A. Dodgers fans in the parking lot?
Well, Mr. Barry Bonds has offered to pay the college tuition of Stow’s two young children.
A wonderful gesture by Bonds, and one he should be applauded for.
Even if it feels strange for us to cheer the man.

**The very funny Amy Poehler was the commencement speaker at Harvard last week. Just about all of her speech here is really, really funny. Poehler seems like one of those celebrities who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and realizes how odd it is that she’s speaking to the finest minds of this generation.

Her advice is fantastic. Enjoy:

**Finally, for Memorial Day, something I never get tired of seeing: A wonderful video of soldiers returning home and surprising their loved ones.

To all men and women who have served, I salute you.

The 24-hour chicken channel, only in Canada. Some Colbert hilarity. And a reunion for a classic TV show

You know what I was just thinking? We don’t have enough TV channels in the world. Hardly anything really to watch.
That’s what the Canadians have been thinking. In between hockey, curling and the latest Justin Bieber video, there just isn’t much for Canucks from Calgary to Toronto to look at.
So the Rogers cable company this week started the Rotisserie Channel. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, they’ll be broadcasting images of two chickens, roasting.
That’s it. That’s the whole damn channel. Chickens in the morning, chickens in the afternoon, and chickens at night.
Can not believe no one thought of this yet. I can totally see them adding other poultry-related programming:
1 p.m. — The greatest hits of the San Diego Chicken.
2 p.m. — Fair or fowl: Are chickens treated well on farms?
3 p.m. — Which really DID come first, the chicken or the egg? Our panel of experts answers the question once and for all.
4 p.m. What in the hell part of a chicken is a McNugget, anyway?
I see ratings gold in their future!

**Stephen Colbert hasn’t appeared on this blog in a while. I laughed at this pretty hard, as Colbert pokes Bill O’Reilly over the ongoing debacle in Wisconsin:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Today was a good day, for many reasons: I ran 2 miles straight, in my little-by-little quest to eventually run a marathon. I got home earlier than expected from work, which is always nice. And then, gloriously, I read about this:

“Welcome Back Kotter,” having a reunion at long last. Horshack, Epstein’s mother, and the great, great Vinnie Barbarino, back together again.
Gabe Kaplan, you’ve quite a legacy, my friend.
I mean, LOOK at the hair on these kids in this clip!