Monday, June 11, 2007

DID YOU THINK IT WAS THE CABLE COMPANY'S FAULT?

Where I live, Time Warner runs the service that provides cable television. They haven't been doing it long and in a recent Los Angeles Times story, their customer service was described as basically a "no service" operation. Lots of problems and customers being unable to talk to anyone because they were kept on hold until most gave up and hung up.

The service has gotten a little better, but when last night's final episode of "The Sopranos" reached a critical moment and then went "dark"...no sound, no picture, no nothing, the first words that came to my mind were, "TIME WARNER!!!", preceded by an expletive.

Here was the situation...The show was already past the one hour mark, so you knew that however this series was going to end, it was going to be right here...in this diner where Tony, Carmela and A.J. were sitting while Meadow was having trouble parking her car outside of the diner. The camera flashed to two different suspicious looking guys more than once. Every time the door to the diner opened, a bell rang. A couple of other people walked in (hit men?) and then one of the other two suspicious looking guys got up and walked to the restroom. Was he about to come back out with guns blazing? We knew that Meadow had finally parked her car, but had she moved quickly enough for that to be her entering when the bell rang and Tony looked up? That's when the screen went dark and silent and I was ready to blame Time Warner.

Five silent and dark seconds later the credits rolled. Silently. And that was it!

Unless a Sopranos film is made, we are stuck with deciding what we think ended up happening to the characters in what was arguably the most fascinating show in the history of television.

"OCEAN'S THIRTEEN" and "HOSTEL II"

I saw both of those new films Friday afternoon.

"Ocean's Thirteen" is a film that really pays homage to the "Rat Pack", a group of guys led by Frank Sinatra who made the original "Ocean's" film. Just a bunch of guys who really like each other in real life, having fun on the big screen.

It's a "bust the casino" gambling caper that makes very little sense, but because all the actors are having so much fun, it's hard to not smile with them and to quit trying to understand how certain things are happening.

Here's what stood out for me. George Clooney and Brad Pitt appear to be two of the most pleasant to be around guys on the planet and when they're in scenes together, they're just flat fun to watch. One scene involving Oprah Winfrey really stands out! If you're having a bad day, go see "Ocean's Thirteen" and you'll feel better. If you're having a good day, go see "Ocean's Thirteen" and your day will be an even better day.

I didn't know what to expect when I saw "Hostel II", but I was kind of expecting the worst. I was surprised. Oh, it involves bad things happening to people, but there's a real story that's told and I didn't close my eyes once. Now for some, that might be a reason to not see "Hostel II", but let me give you a reason to see it. If you're a fan of the television show "Desperate Housewives", you know that the Marcia Cross character was once involved with a creepy pharmacist played by Richard Burgi. Richard Burgi is in "Hostel II" playing a character who's a bit of a wimp, but who suddenly transforms into someone who's enjoying himself a little too much.

PARIS HILTON UPDATE:

We are told that Paris Hilton will spend the rest of her jail time in a prison medical ward where she'll be treated by mental health professionals. She also released a statement that said (in essence) she was surprised that so much media attention was being spent on her when much more important things should be getting attention. Like what's going on with the men and women who are serving our country in Iraq and other places around the world.

SCOOTER LIBBY:

A lot of people are hoping that President Bush gives Libby a pardon, but I'm not one of those people. Libby wasn't the first one who was involved in the "outing" of an undercover CIA agent, but he was a part of it in the sense that his lies kept prosecutors from being able to go to where most people think this outing operation was put into motion. Despite what bought and paid for war mongering broadcasters who (for the most part) never served because of multiple deferments say, Valerie Plame was an undercover operative. Because she also happens to be pretty, these know-nothings think she's some kind of party girl, because...well, in addition to being sexist, most of these clowns have no idea what really goes on regarding intelligence, security or war issues.

Some might say that what Scooter Libby was a part of involved treason which could result in him facing a firing squad. That was my first thought, but it turns out that's something that has never happened in this country, or if it has, I haven't found a record of it.

ANOTHER FRED THOMPSON QUOTE:

Unannounced presidential candidate Fred Thompson is often accused by people of being lazy. Well, it turns out that he wrote something in his high school yearbook about that and Newsweek's Holly Bailey found it. Next to his senior portrait Thompson wrote: "The lazier a man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow."

AND SPEAKING OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES:

Here's something to think about if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Her husband, Bill, is a former president. Everyone knows that he would have a job in the new Clinton administration. If you're Hillary Clinton's Vice President, every time you see Bill, what's going on in your mind?

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you read this before pictures have been added, come back! Pictures will be up soon! A new blog is written every morning, Monday through Friday and is posted between 7 and 7:15 (sometimes earlier). Questions and or comments can be sent to scottstjames@sbcglobal.net I do write back. Don't forget, Monday through Friday you can now hear this blog. For times and link information, scroll down to Thursday's blog and you'll read all you need to know.

TOMORROW: Is American Idol about to replace two of their judges?

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