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May 24

One Eurobond to Rule Them All

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 9:38 am Mountain Time

With the news of Germany standing fast against “Eurobonds,” and the Eurozone crisis worsening as a result of the impasse, I posted this silly tweet last night:

Fear! Fire! Eurobonds! Awake! #PANIC

Political Math said he found this very funny, to which I replied with a faux-quote from Angela Merkel: “Let the little people blow.” This caused a brainstorm, as I suddenly realized there’s waaaay more material there. Lord of the Rings quotes are perfect for this situation! (And every situation, really. But particularly this one.) I immediately couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before. Anyway, the flood gates opened:

“Understand, François, I would use these eurobonds out of a desire to do good. But through me, they would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.”

“One Bond to rule them all; One Bond to find them; One Bond to bring them all; and in the darkness bind them.”

“Give Greece the weapon of the bankers. Let us use it against them!”
“Greece cannot wield the Eurobond! None of us can.”

Merkel to Hollande: “I will not lead the Eurobond within a hundred leagues of your city.”

“I am the Servant of the Anti-Inflationary Fire, Wielder of the Flame of Weimar. Dark Eurobonds will not avail you, Flame of Udûn!”

European Council: “If you ask it of me, I will give you the right to issue the One Bond.”
Merkel: “You offer it to me freely? I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this. In the place of a Council you would have a Queen! Not dark but beautiful and terrible as the Morn! Treacherous as the Seas! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair! … I have passed the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Merkel.”

“Greece is demanding Eurobonds from the south, Spain from the west. And France, you say, has betrayed us. Our list of allies grows thin.”

I eventually broadened the joke to quotes more generally about the Euro situation, not necessarily Eurobond-related:

“I know what you saw, for it is also in my mind. It is what will come to pass if you should fail. The Eurozone is breaking. It has already begun.”

“We Germans cannot hold back this storm. We must weather such things as we have always done.”
“But you’re part of this world! Aren’t you?! You must help! Please!”

“The Euro cannot be destroyed by any craft that we here possess. It was made in the fires of Frankfurt. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into the heart of the European Central Bank, and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came!”

And lastly, my personal favorite:

[Greece throws a few hundred billion euro down a hole.]
Germany: “Fool of a Greek! Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity!”

UPDATE: Brandon Minich chimes in with more good ones:

(Conversation in the 1990s)
“The European currencies are strong, my Lord. Their roots go deep.”
“Rip them all down!”

Hollande: “What is this new devilry?”
Merkel: “A Bank Run. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run!”

Merkel: “My currency is spent. My chancellorship has ended. Greece has deserted us. ABANDON YOUR DEPOSITS! FLEE, FLEE FOR YOUR CURRENCIES!”

“The Euro is burning…already burning.”
“It’s not dead! It’s not dead!”
“Farewell, Hollande. Go now and die in what way seems best to you.”

Heh! #nerds

UPDATE: More:

“A great bank run, you say?”
“All Barcelona is emptied.”
“How many?”
“Ten thousand strong at least.”
“Ten thousand?!”
“It is a bank run bred for a single purpose: to destroy the Eurozone. The banks will be insolvent by nightfall.”

“I will not risk open #PANIC.”
“Open #PANIC is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.”

“A red sun rises. Red ink has been spilled this night.”

Panagiotis Pikrammenos: “Go back to the abyss! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your fellow lefties!”
Alexis Tsipras: “Do you not know death when you see it? This is my hour!”

“Arise, Voters of Syriza! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day… a red day… ere the sun rises! DEATH!! DEATH!!!”

France to Netherlands re: opposition to eurobonds: “How long has it been since Germany bought you? What was the promised price?”

“Angela… they cannot win this fight. They are all going to die!”
“Then I shall die as one of them!”

“Is there any hope, Angela, for Spain and Italy?”
“There never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope.”

“I’m… naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil… between me… and the € of fire! I can see it… with my waking eyes!”

“Sons of Germany, of France, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the Euro fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of currency. But it is not this day! An hour of woes and shattered banks, when the unity of Europe comes crashing down! BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY! This day we bail out Greece! Again!”

Merkel: “Forgive me. I mistook you for Sarkozy.”
Hollande: “I am Sarkozy. Or rather, Sarkozy as he should have been.”

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Thanks for the link, Glenn! ‘Tis my first Instalanche in a while.

To encourage discussion, I’ve temporarily disabled mandatory comment registration. Chat away!

(Regular readers, if you’re presently logged out, you can still log in here.)

UPDATE: More…

“You did not seriously think that a small Mediterranean economy could contend with the will of the Bond Markets? There are none who can.”

“Smoke rises from the Acropolis of Doom. The hour grows late, and Hollande the Red rides to Berlin, seeking my counsel. For that is why you have come, is it not? My old friend.”

UPDATE: Uh-oh. We have crossover:

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of bondholders suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.”

UPDATE: Back to LOTR, with still more jokes, some from comments

“One does not simply walk out of the Eurozone. Its iron gates are guarded by more than central bankers. There are technocrats there who do not sleep. And the great € is ever watchful. Not with ten thousand drachma could you do this. It is folly.”

“The Greeks delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of the Bundesbank.”

“The Euro stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while Germany is true.”

“I think you should leave the Euro behind, Greece. Is that so hard?”
“Well, no. … And yes. Now it comes to it, I don’t feel like parting with it. It’s mine, I found it. It came to me!”
“There’s no need to get angry.”
“Well, if I’m angry, it’s your fault! It’s mine… my own… my precious…”
“Precious? It’s been called that before, but not by you.”
“What business is it of yours what I do with my own currency?”
“I think you’ve had the Euro quite long enough.”

“We swears we will enact austerity measures! We swears to serve the master of the Euro. We will swear on… on… the Euro!”

Or, if we make the drachma, instead of the Euro, the “precious”…

“We wants the drachma back. We needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little Eurocrats. Wicked, tricksy, false!”

UPDATE: More!

“Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you have been summoned to answer the threat of debt. Europe stands upon the brink of destruction. You will unite or you will fall. Each nation is bound to this fate, this one doom. Bring forth the Euro.”

“I owe nothing.”
“Indeed. I can avoid paying my debts for a while if I wish, but to make them disappear entirely, that is a rare gift.”

“They were nations once. Great nations. Then Germany the deceiver gave them Euros of power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question — one by one, falling into darkness. They are the Euro-gûl. Nation-wraiths, neither living nor dead.”

“I’ve put this off far too long … I regret to announce that this is the end! I am going now. Goodbye!” [slips drachma on finger, vanishes]

Dec 22

Christmas comes three days early

Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm Mountain Time

MERRY BARKLEYMAS, FELLOW TROJANS!!!!!

The arm of Matt Barkley shall throw in the Coliseum — one last time. FELL DEEDS AWAKE! Now for wrath, now for ruin, and a cardinal dawn!

FORTH TROJANLINGAS!!!

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Dec 21

OMG THE HOBBIT OMG OMG OMG

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 12:35 am Mountain Time

The official trailer for The Hobbit debuted today. OMG OMG OMG:

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Jul 07

I say again, OMG OMG OMG:

Fans can rest assured…that their patience will be paid off fully, and some, in the final epic Harry Potter chapter.

The eighth and final installment goes out with a bang, pulling on heart strings at every turn.

In this, the grandest of grand cinematic endings, Harry Potter finally confronts and conquers dark Lord Voldemort in a momentous and, at times, terrifying showdown that easily equals Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars in terms of a dramatic and memorable battle between good and evil.

Can’t. Wait.

P.S. Other critics agree. Though I’m going to try to resist the urge to read all the reviews, and learn all sorts of mini-spoilers.

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Jul 06

Improvisation FTW

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm Mountain Time

Jason Isaacs, the actor who plays Lucius Malfoy, relates a great story I hadn’t heard before about how a memorable exchange in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was improvised:

I remember my very first day, I improvised a line. … I had to kind of flounce out of a room when Dumbledore, played by the late, great Richard Harris, put me in my place, and there was no line written, no exit line. And I’d been humiliated, and my plan had come to nothing. And I said to Chris Columbus, “Don’t you think there should be a line?” And he said, “Well, say something. Say whatever you like.” So we did another take, and I hadn’t told anyone what I was going to do. And as I turned to leave, I looked at Daniel [Radcliffe], and I said, “Let us hope Mr. Potter will always be around to save the day.” And then Daniel, who was all of 12, stepped right up to me, looked me right in the eye, and said “Don’t worry. I will be.” A chill went down my spine. And as he did it, I thought, “Christ, this kid is good.”

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Jun 28

OMG THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 11:50 am Mountain Time

I guess this trailer came out about two weeks ago, but I hadn’t seen it until now:

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG !!!

Clearly, they’ve taken some major liberties with the Battle of Hogwarts. And you know what? I’m fine with that. As long as the on-screen version stays true to the very broad outlines of the meta-plot, and is awesome, that’s all that really matters. And it looks like it will, indeed, be awesome.

Also, note the fleeting glimpse of Molly Weasley casting a spell producing a jet of green light (Avada Kedavra??) at the 2:11 mark. That is totally a deliberate visual cue to those Potter fans who, like me, are looking forward above all — even moreso than the final climax of Voldemort’s death — to her “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” moment.

17 days!!! WOO!!!

P.S. This interview with the actor who plays Neville Longbottom is pretty great too. Go Neville! Kill the snake!

P.P.S. Off the top of my head, things I’m looking forward to most about the movie (subject to change as I think of more things):

1) “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!”
2) Neville killing Nagini
3) McGonagall as war general
4) Voldemort & the Death Eaters doing lots of cool evil sh*t
5) Harry killing Voldemort
6) The Hogwarts suits of armor, etc. come to life!
7) Neville as Dumbledore’s Army leader
8) The dragon in Gringotts
9) Snape’s true colors revealed
10) Aberforth!

843) Daniel Radcliffe attempting to act

Sorry, was that mean? Okay, okay, he’s gotten a lot better. But still. The scenes where he has to do heavy emotional lifting are never my favorites.

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May 26

In January, dying magazine Newsweek declared Grand Rapids, Michigan to be a “dying city.” Grand Rapids decided to rebut this vile slander by, uh, doing… this:

I love the guy with the Geraldo t-shirt around the 4:30 mark.

Here’s how the project’s Director & Executive Producer, Rob Bliss, explains it:

The Grand Rapids LipDub Video was filmed May 22nd, with 5,000 people, and involved a major shutdown of downtown Grand Rapids, which was filled with marching bands, parades, weddings, motorcades, bridges on fire, and helicopter take offs. It is the largest and longest LipDub video, to date.

This video was created as an official response to the Newsweek article calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.” We disagreed strongly, and wanted to create a video that encompasses the passion and energy we all feel is growing exponentially, in this great city. We felt Don McLean’s “American Pie,” a song about death, was in the end, triumphant and filled to the brim with life and hope.

I’m not entirely convinced Newsweek is wrong. But regardless, that’s pretty awesome.

(Hat tip: Gawker.)

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May 12

Heads must roll!

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm Mountain Time

The New York Times issues the nerdiest correction ever. LOL! (Hat tip: dcl.)

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Apr 14

OMG OMG OMG

Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm Mountain Time

A behind-the-scenes look at the start of filming on The Hobbit:

(Hat tip: Patrick, who wrote, “This video almost made me cry. I am such a nerd.”)

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Apr 11

We are John Galt, my precious

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm Mountain Time

I’ve never read Atlas Shrugged, so I don’t have a dog in the fight that this quote may create — I just think it’s funny:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Heh.

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Feb 27

Randy Styles, who became a father Saturday morning, earned a perhaps slightly less momentous (heh) but still notable achievement Sunday night, as he won his second consecutive Living Room Times contest — following up his win in the LRT Bowl Pick ‘em Contest with a victory in the LRT Oscar Pool.

Better watch out for Randy in the upcoming NCAA and NIT pools. :)

Styles, a resident of South Bend, Indiana, submitted his Oscar picks Friday night at 11:26 PM Eastern Time, apparently just hours before heading to the hospital for his daughter’s birth. He and his wife Elizabeth welcomed an 8 pound, 8 ounce baby girl at 9:43 AM Saturday.

On Sunday night, the proud papa finished with 67 out of a possible 80 points in the Oscar Pool, to edge David Kreutz and pool administrator Brendan Loy, who had 66 points each. Amid the sleep deprivation of his first full day of fatherhood, Styles stopped by the LRT liveblog about two-thirds through the show and wrote, “Hope I win like Bowl Pickem. Wife and I just had a baby girl.8 lbs.8 oz. … We are both really happy!”

Styles got just 4 awards out of 24 wrong. His mistakes were: Best Director, worth 9 points (he had David Fincher for The Social Network; Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech won); Best Cinematography, worth 2 points (he had True Grit; Inception won); Best Art Direction, worth 1 point (he had The King’s Speech; Alice in Wonderland won); and Best Animated Short, worth 1 point (he had The Gruffalo; The Long Thing won).

If not for Styles’s misjudgment in the Best Director category, it would have been the most dominant performance in Living Room Times Oscar Pool history, as he got almost all of the “minor” categories right.

Meanwhile, Vicki Lopez and Jeff Vaca, who would have been pool co-champions if “The Social Network” had won Best Picture, dropped all the way to 14th place when “The King’s Speech” won instead. It’s the third time in seven years that Lopez has been denied victory by a plausible but incorrect Best Picture pick, and at least the fourth time she has been a single award away from winning. (She finished second last year, thanks to mistaken picks in the screenplay categories.)

Continue reading »

Feb 27

Oscar Pool Results & Live Blog!

Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm Mountain Time

Starting tonight at 6:00 PM Mountain Time (or a little thereafter, depending on kids’ bedtimes and such), I’ll be live-blogging the Academy Awards — and live-updating the results of my 7th annual Oscar Pool.

Click here for the liveblog!

Or, follow along below… but really, you want to click the link for the separate liveblog page, because that’s where the live-updating Oscar Pool results (and also a live listing of award winners) are, plus the CoverItLive window.

Again, click here for the separate liveblog page with live results and whatnot.

Feb 21

It’s Oscar Pool time!

Monday, February 21, 2011 at 10:30 am Mountain Time

All right, kids… the Academy Awards are this Sunday, so it’s that time of year again… the 7th annual Living Room Times Oscar Pool is underway!!

Complete rules are at the entry page. The deadline to enter is Sunday at 5:30 PM Mountain Time. The pool is, of course, free. The prize? Eternal glory!

As always, contestants are urged to enter using their full name, or alternatively, a Twitter handle, partial name or nickname/pseudonym that is meaningfully identifiable to me and this blog’s community of readers. After all, what’s the point of “bragging rights” if we don’t know who you are?

The scoring system is slightly different this year, though it still adds up to 80 points. It’s this: 12 points for Best Picture, 9 apiece for the directing and lead acting categories, 6 each for the supporting acting categories, 4 each for the screenplay categories, 2 each for documentary feature, animated feature, foreign film, cinematography and original score, and 1 per award for everything else.

I can’t absolutely promise a liveblog and live, real-time results this year, as the Oscars are Sunday night and I’ve got major work stuff happening Monday morning. But I’ll do my best. For now, tentatively pencil in The Living Room Times as your Oscar-night live-blogging destination. :) And regardless, get in the pool!

UPDATE: Yes, Virginia, there is a liveblog!!!

P.S. Some Oscar-prediction resources:
Roger Ebert’s predictions for every category
GoldDerby summary of experts’ predictions
Doc’s Sports Oscars odds
EasyOdds Oscars betting
MovieGamut.com blog/odds

Jan 23

The bleedin’ pub’s on fire!

Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 12:16 am Mountain Time

This evening, I went with my parents (who are in town visiting), Kristy and V to hear Brian Clancy, a local Irish pub singer — no relation to the Clancies of Makem/Clancy fame, though he sings a lot of their stuff — sing at the Irish Snug. During his second set, he sang “The Old Dun Cow,” a very funny song about a pub catching fire (and everyone running to the basement to drink up the booze). Here’s the chorus:

There was Brown! Where? Upside down!
Lappin’ up the whiskey on the floor.
“Booze, booze!” the firemen cried
As they came knockin’ on the door
Oh don’t let ‘em in till it’s all drunk up
Somebody shouted MacIntyre! (MACINTYRE!)
And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.

And then — true story — maybe 20 or 30 seconds after Clancy stopped singing, before he’d even started the next song, the fire alarms went off.

As my tweet says: “And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk when The Irish Snug caught fire!!!”

Well, not really. The show was halted (and replaced by recorded music to help drown out the screeching alarm) for maybe 15 minutes, as the Fire Department came to the scene and checked things out. There was no fire, and everything was fine; I’m not sure what caused the alarm to sound, but the firefighters promptly turned it off, which allowed Clancy to resume his show.

But regardless, wow, what awesome timing! LOL! As you can see above, I took a bunch of video, which I then mixed together on the spot, using iMovie on my iPhone, and tweeted within maybe a half-hour of the incident, while still at the pub listening to Clancy. Note: technology is amazing.

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Dec 17

CotW: Tron: Legacy Review

Friday, December 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm Mountain Time

Guest post by Tim Stevens

It has been said that there are two kinds of people in this world: those that like Tron and those that love Tron.

(Before you ask, no I will never tire of repeating that joke. EVER.)

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of its sequel, Tron: Legacy, released today, some 18 years after the first chapter.

I took my seat with the expectation that I was about to watch a movie in love with its own spectacle. I was prepared to sacrifice plot coherence for moments of visual fireworks. So, imagine my surprise to find that T:L, as all the cool kids call it, was actually kind of an inert mass, severely lacking in impressive action set pieces.

Continue reading »

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