Friday, December 28, 2007

And the Moron of the Week Award for the Final Week of 2007 Goes To...

I was watching TV on Christmas Day and while flipping channels during commercials for A Christmas Story on TBS.... I went over to Channel 9 with its traditional little kiddie spot. It went something like this... "Hi my name is Jimmy and my daddy works at Channel 9.. and he is really pissed off that the NFL took Saturday's exclusive My9 broadcast of the Giants-Patriots game and allowed it to be simulcast on CBS and NBC!"

By the way that was quite clever of Bob's Discount Furniture to use the term "double dog dare" in his commercial that aired after the double dog dare tongue on the flagpole scene of the movie!

The original idea was to run Pumpstradamus's psychic predictions and take a week off from the column since I am on vacation this week. But a few things have been going on this week so I decided to cobble together some stuff and edit the Pumpy multimedia podcast for New Years Week!

Here are some items in the news this final week of 2007.


Yep, it happened to me on Christmas Night at The Taj. I hit a Royal Flush in a game of 5 card stud which according to the mathematicians has odds of 1 in 650,000. Thank you very much Donald Trump for that extra 500+ dollars! I won it on a 75 cent bet on the double down stud video game; however it was after 1 in the morning and neither Trophy Wife nor myself noticed through our sleepy eyes that after 4 cards were dealt that I was one short of hitting the best hand of any five card deal - and since I rarely double down for a flush I just hit the deal button, wrongly thinking it was just a regular ol' flush and not a royal flush. Yeah I know I should have doubled down for a Royal Flush but I didnt even realize what I had... and Trophy Wife seems to think that the machines are rigged that you only win the flushes and the straights when you do NOT double down. Interesting theory. By the way, as soon as we hit the jackpot, we cashed out and bolted out of there before the temptation would strike to try to give Mr. Trump back some of his shekels!!


I also have been following this John White trial in Suffolk County. This is the guy who shot and killed young Daniel Cicciaro. IF you havent followed the story Cicciaro was white and White is black. There was apparently a skirmish developing between Cicciaro and White's son and Cicciaro came to Whites house to confront him. However, White came out of the house with a gun... walked to the end of his driveway and during a confrotation he shot this poor kid to death claiming the gun accidentally went off.

White was convicted over the weekend and in a reaction that was begging for Al Sharpton's big mouth, White's supporters claim the jury was racist because White is black. Isn't that the stupidest thing you have ever heard? If Cicciaro had stormed into the house and been shot, it would be extremely reasonable that White not be charged if he shot the kid in self defense. But the fact that the White supporters falsely claim that this is how it went down is incredibly misleading. The fact is that Cicciaro and his friends were on the sidewalk at "the end of the driveway" and that White took the gun, and walked all the way out to the sidewalk to confront and ultimately shoot Cicciaro.

Now that idiot Al Sharpton is getting involved. He plans to lead a protest and cause more trouble in the town where the crime took place protesting the jury's conviction of White. I don't have an issue with people rallying for a cause - but when it comes to Sharpton I don't have the patience for his cowardly hypocrisy. Sharpton lies (or doesn't get it) that the crime took place when the gang of white kids stormed into the White house.... White says Cicciaro was shot because his gun "accidentally" went off... and that is ok enough for Al Sharpton to protest the jury's decision... yet when a hero Roselle, NJ cop shot a kid who refused to surrender to police when caught outside a Roselle drug den, the fact that the hero cop's gun "accidentally" went off apparently is impossible to comprehend for Sharpton and his gang of double standard hypocrites.

Amazingly the World of Sharpton feels that White was ok for shooting that kid but Imus should have lost his job for his Rutgers comments in April. This year ended beautifully with the firing of Ron Kuby from WABC as Imus took away his show. . The now silenced Kuby is the same moron who defended a crazed black man that murdered innocent people on a Long Island Railroad Train using the incredibly ridiculous notion of "white rage" that had pent up in his client causing him to kill a train car filled with innocent people! Imus by the way was off this week making you wonder why he worked 3 wks just to take a vacation. However I believe it was his fundraising for cancer kids which Sharpton sabotaged... people who make donations to the Imus ranch in '07 get the tax write off - which I presume is the reason the I-man came back in December instead of waiting for the New Year. WABC goes into 2008 as possibly the best lineup of Radio Legends. Imus is on in the morning, Paul Harvey does his commentary, Bob Grant is on late at night... Rush is on at noon and John Gambling's son is on after Imus.


This is not the type of column I would do before Christmas... but now that it's over I must really take offense to an editorial in Monday's Star Ledger that was originally published in The Baltimore Sun. The editorial which ran on Christmas Eve is titled "Jews in Mixed Marriages Should Get Past Guilt and Make Merry".

First of all the article is written by a dude named Arthur Blecher. whose pronunciation of his name coincides with the noise one makes when bringing up phlegm or mucus. He is the Rabbi of a synagogue in Washington DC that is a "Humanistic" congregation which means these are people whose identity with Judaism is basically secular and/or cultural and the actual belief in God is pretty much optional. He conducts Shabbat services once a month in a local church - according to the Temple's website the actual service lasts approximately 10 minutes. Yom Kippur services must be a blast - especially the prayer about how God seals one fate - I guess these wackadoodles throw in a caveat - IF there is a God!

Now that we have established the writers "credentials", the editorial basically states that intermarried Jews shouldn't feel guilty about celebrating Christmas. We had some friends over on Monday night and there on the news was Mayor Bloomberg outside St. Patrick's Cathedral all excited for the mass. He said he attends even though he is Jewish as did former Jewish mayor Ed Koch. I wonder if Bloomie spends as much time at the synagogue on Yom Kippur as he does at St Patricks on Christmas Eve.

Blecher actually writes in his waste of space editorial that the Jewish intermarrieds guilt of celebrating Xmas is due to what he calls the false notion that intermarriage is causing the number of Jews to dwindle. In reality if it wasn't for the huge families and low intermarriage rates of the Ultra Orthodox and the Hasidim, the Jewish numbers would be incredibly low thanks to the intermarrieds. And these chusids whose wives never have headaches are running into serious socio economic problems with their incredibly huge families. Blecher also seems to say it's ok for intermarrieds to spend some guilt free time buying and decorating a tree. But how much time should be spent on that versus the amount of time spent for Passover Seders. Amazingly, Blecher claims its ok for his congregants to go on celebrate the birth of Jesus, yet at the same time questiion the existence of God. And then he says the audacity to say that we are not losing our Jewish population!

This week's Moron of the Week Award should have been me for not doubling down on a potential Royal Flush - yet even though Al Sharpton deserves kudos... you really have to give the Moron of the Week Award to Arthur Blecher and his incredibly stupid editorial that wasted valuable Star Ledger newspaper space that should have gone to "Yes Viriginia, There is a Santa Claus!"

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: The late season swoon continues for Pumpy as he lost yet again last week dropping to 10-6... keep in mind at one point he was 10-2! Last year he finished 10-6-1 so he needs a win to beat last year's record. This week one of the only meaningful games is Washington hosting Dallas where the Skins are 9 point faves in a game that means nothing to the Cowboys. Sayeth the Pump: "I predict the Skins will start a huge home slump this weekend that will carry over into 2008 since a Redskins home win prior to the election means the incumbent party wins. The slide starts now and continues past Election Day! Take The Cowboys!!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK - Hey we ran the table last week to clinch a winning record of 25-21-2. I am incredibly as many games over .500 as Pumpstradamus!! Last month he was +8 while I was -1. This week since The Giants game is meaningless to them,. lets pick the 3 most meaningless games of the week.

Chiefs 6 1/2 doggies over THE JETS - Which team sucks more?
MIAMI 3 doggies over The Bengals - See above
Rams 6 doggies over ARIZONA - Let's make it a 3 Dog Night!


Tom'w December 29th marks 6 years since I met Trophy Wife!! It also is 2 years since I was hit by a bird during our trip to Florida. Here is that classic clip:


Friday, December 21, 2007

The TV Quarterly Report

Twas The Night Before Christmas
And All Through The Plaza...
There Were All the Jews
Cheering Avi Maza!

Ok that doesn't quite rhyme... How about this??

Twas The Night Before Christmas
As I sped to see Maza
Got Caught by a cop
who zapped me with his tasa!

Yes folks.... for the 2nd straight year, my Temple will be sponsoring a terrific show with The Avi Maza Orchestra - it starts at 7pm at The East Brunswick Jewish Center. It costs 40 at the door! Admission includes a Glatt Kosher Chinese Buffet All You Can Eat Dinner. The event will be at 511 Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, NJ - Music will include "The Great American Songbook" - featuring songs by Jewish artists including Mama Cass which makes you wonder if they will do "The Ballad of Melanie McGuire!"

As I have written in my annual Christmas column, being a Jew on Xmas has its advantages. Yes, I don't mind if folks wish me a merry, and some of my co-workers actually bought my tall tale about my side job as a mall Santa. Or was it a Tall Tale??

As usual, Christmas for this Yid will be the Maza concert and as many of my movie trifecta as I can watch. And since the TV writers are on strike and almost all the good shows ran out of new episodes, the tube is gonna be quite blase over the coming months. As usual, I have 12 A Christmas Story options since TBS is running it for 24 consecutive hours, Scrooged for some bizarre reason is not on the schedule this season ! and there was another movie I thought may be a possible replacement, The Family Stone will air Tuesday night at 6:45 PM on Cinemax and of course there is the classic - "It's a Wonderful Life" which airs Monday Night on NBC.

But once the Christmas movies wrap up - what will be left to watch on TV? Just a bunch of crap thanks to the strike! The late night talk shows will be back on January 2, but its a catch 22 - if Letterman, Conan and that no talent Jay Leno come up with funny material, then it minimizes the writer's impact - but if they suck... well then its just more garbage on TV.. but until this strike is settled it's just going to be a few selected scripted shows that have unaired episodes such as Lost and Jericho, reality shows, and American Idol destroying everybody else in the ratings. However in looking back at the Fall Preview, there are a few shows that have grown on me this season.. including...


Last fall, NBC took honors for this prize with their revolutionary Monday night Heroes show... a program about a bunch of people with superheroes who through a series of events end up teaming up together to save the world. NBC looked like it had really taken over the night with this falls introduction of JOURNEYMAN, but strangely enough the network has given it as much support as Nickleodeon will give the show with that little teenaged Spears slut who just ended up pregnant. I don't know what NBC is thinking, but unless they come to their senses... this show just aired its final episode on Wednesday night. NBC hasn't ordered any more episodes and if that doesn't change, our time traveling hero Dan Vasser has taken his final trip to the past. The show is impossible to describe.. Dan has these uncontrollable time travel missions where he goes to the past to fix something. He is helped by his now dead fiancee whose disappearance many years back was part of her time traveling to her future since she really lives in the 1940s. The show built some pretty cool backstory and layered it together quite well, although a weird FBI agent's investigation of Dan ended up flat.. but since the actor used to be Ryan Chapelle on 24, it wasn't such a big deal. However, due to the writing strike where the only writing left was on the wall - the show was going to be toast after its initial 13 episodes.

Last year, the Jericho fans sent nuts to CBS execs because it related to that show's plot and with all those nuts pouring in CBS relented and is bringing the show back. As I pointed out in the comments section on TV critic Alan Sepinwall's blog, Monday's episode revelated that the son on Journeyman was conceived when his parents got frisky during a SF Giants game. So on the heels of the CBS-nuts-Jericho mailing campaign, I think that since Barry Bonds played for The Giants, Journeyman fans should mail steroids to NBC. Can you imagine Journeyman fans sneaking into NBC headquarters and injecting corporate bigshots with a shot of steroids in the tushy? Unless NBC comes to its senses, the only journeyman I will get to see is the parade of drek that will come out of the Mets bullpen starting in April.


In the fall preview we named 14 shows to watch this season... Now that 2007 is done, I am taking 3 off that list - Tell Me You Love Me finished its run on HBO, as did Phenomenon on NBC. In addition, The Singing Bee is going to lose its slot since it has been off also, although its going to be coming back. Here are the 3 shows to replace them....

DONT FORGET THE LYRICS- Yep, Fox was watching The Singing Bee on NBC.. stole the idea... and then remade it in a much more entertaining and exciting format. It's kind of like Who Wants to be a Millionaire meets karaoke.. and Wayne Brady is the perfect host for this show.. although his James Brown bit the other week was a bit odd where all of a sudden, he just started singing and dancing with the 2007 version of Jan and Diane - Motion from the Old Deney Terio Dance Fever! The show is very slickly produced and extremely entertaning, and stole a page from Deal or No Deal by building to a cliffhanger moment and then tossing it to commercial.

30 ROCK - I just started watching it a few weeks ago and I like the Alec Baldwin acting job. His portrayal of the swarmy TV executive is quite hysterical - especially now that the extreme right winger is dating a liberal lawmaker whose story was told in a bizarre Lifetime movie called A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me a Better Face So I Could Change the World. The cool thing about this show is it is really funny. I see that 30 Rock along with the newer comedies not on the CBS Monday Night lineup have pretty much dumped the laugh track. However, other than the five card hand of Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, How I Met Your Mother, and Roseanne.. have any sitcoms since 1990 actually been.... funny?? Nope. The laugh track was really the chance for producers to hang themselves out to dry because it told the viewers what was "supposed to be" funny... and then we as the viewer could count how many laugh track jokes just weren't funny to see how much a sitcom was really striking out. Now without the laugh track... we the viewer lose a major barometer! Yet the audience laughs at Leno for some reason.

And the last slot goes to GRETA VAN SUSTEREN ON FOX NEWS - I was leaning towards How I Met Your Mother which I am watching again.. but Greta will singlehandedly get credit when an arrest is made in the disappearance of Staci Peterson. Even if the creepy hubby didn't do it, at this point it is really hard to believe that this woman just staged her own disappearance. Yet Greta got on this story right off the bat, and within days that she vanished, must have held a preproduction charades meeting where she tapped her ear and told players it "sounds like Laci Peterson". Her crew jumped on this story full throttle, which led to the reopening of the mysterious death of the often married husband's 3rd wife. I might have put Private Practice on this list... but frankly I only watch it to drool over Kate Walsh.

So what do we have to look forward to next year? Well more reality shows are headed our way - along with some game shows.. Duel has looked kind of good so far.. although Mike Greenberg doesn't really impress me as a host. Greenberg kept saying the same things over and over....You're watching Duel on ABC. What would he say if he was hosting a reality show with old people?? You're watching Drool on ABC? And 1 vs. 100 is coming back soon too. But as long as the strike goes on, it's going to be more hockey for me. Tuesday Night I watched the Devils play the Canucks.. it was the Devils first trip to Vancouver since December 29, 2001 - which just so happens to be the day I met my lovely wife!!

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - So here we are at the tail end of 2007 - The Year of Vladimir Putin who will become the new powerful Russian Prime Minister and make his former Presidential Post largely ceremonial... just as they do in Israel. Pumpstradamus has already predicted that he will be here next week with a special podcast with his 2008 predictions. I just took a listen to last year's predictions where not only did he accurately predict The Colts Super Bowl Win... but he also predicted that the next celebrity caught without panties would be... Richard Simmons.

Pumpy's late season swoon continues!! Last week he lost again dropping to 10-5 - his 3rd consecutive loss! For this week, we take a quote directly from A Christmas Story - "I see that the Bears are playing Green Bay on Sunday". The Packers are 8 1/2 point faves.. Sayeth The Pump: "Well since Brett Favre is SI Sportsman of the Year.. in his honor I take his team the Bears". When informed that Favre is on the Packers, he announced his pick as Green Bay! Next week Pumpy will learn to pronounce Mike Krzycewski!

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: :Last week we went 1-2 again to drop to 22-21-2... Anyway maybe we jumped the gun last week looking at the Giants potential first round opponents.. although they could actually lose Sunday and still make the playoffs!!

Giants 3 faves over BUFFALO - Do not even think about losing this game and the alternative of needing a win against New England! Although, one loss by The Saints and The Skins will get The Giants in. But backdoor clinches = first round losses. Time for the Giants to take The Buffalo by the Horn!

Philly 3 doggies over NEW ORLEANS - Sorry about Katrina.. I'm still rooting against the Saints!

Washington 6 1/2 doggies over MINNESOTA - The skins will be eliminated Sunday... but at least they will cover the spread.


What else would I put up this week? Fragileeeeee It Must be Italian!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Letter to Blogspot

Dear Mr. Blogspot,

Hi its Nate from Nate's World of Words. Got a question about the sick days package with Blogspot... Y'see I have this weekly commitment to provide football picks and I have been sick all week with bronchitis. Do I still have to do a regular column too or can I just do picks and a Clip of the Week?

I started feeling sick on Sunday morning... we had about 30 people over the night before, and both Pumpstradamus and Musical Genius Neil Fein came over with their colds... but I don't blame them for this bug.... DAS had a cold too, but he blames it on the Republicans that we don't have good health care in America.

Speaking of liberals it was neat to hear Alan Colmes on with Imus this morning. I got a kick out of how Imus had no recollection of where he was when WNBC went off the air with Alan at the helm and switched the 66 singnal over to WFAN while Imus was live.... at Shea Stadium. But I couldn't believe it when Alan said he thought Edwards was going to win the Democratic nomination because of his hair... it's all about the hair!! That is exactly what I said here on NWOW back on October 25th!

I did put together the Clip of the Week. As you know my Temple, the place where I met Trophy Wife back on December 29, 2001 is sponsoring a fantastic show that answers the age old question "What do you do Christmas Eve if you are Jewish"? And we welcome those of you who googled their way over here after asking that question! Well this year our Temple along with East Brunswick Jewish Center is sponsoring a fantastic show starring singer Avi Maza. It will be held on December 24th starting at 7pm at The East Brunswick Jewish Center on 511 Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, NJ. Avi is known for doing shows and bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings.. heck we would have used him for our wedding, if we knew he would allow Trophy Wife to grab a microphone and sing along as she did that fateful day! Anyway, I have been helping out with the publicity and Avi sent me some video and music he had done.. and voila we have a promotional video! Avi's show will be "The Great American Songbook" featuring music by legendary Jewish singers such as Manilow, Streisand, Gershwin, The Beastie Boys, etc. Just kidding about The Beastie Boys. And you won't have to fight for your right to party because as you can see... Avi puts on a great show. And on top of that, they will have an All You Can Eat Glatt Kosher Chinese Buffet! The price is $40... 36 in advance if you call 732-545-6482. Now aren't you happy you googled "What is there to do for a Jew on Christmas Eve?"

And as a add on bonus... here is another slightly different version that was the original promo. A couple of graphics are different, and the music is slightlly altered...

Anyway Mr. Blogspot, I spent Wednesday at home watching my first Drew Carey episode of The Price is Right... coincidentally it was Bob Barker's b'day. It's nice to see Drew with his Barker-esque reminder to help control the pet population - and I was really amazed that the showcase showdown actually had a very familiar theme song come up. I stood up in my couch like a bolt when I heard the Match Game music come on and saw that the models mismatched answers was actually the prize in the showcase - Good thing the answer wasn't old Match Game '7x favorite "tinkle"! I would have known I was delirous if the ghosts of Brett, Chuck and Gene would have appeared on the screen... but alas it was not to be.

The other thing I watched that day was the annual Dateline NBC Ann Curry update of the McCaughey Septuplets who are now 10 years old. I can't wait till down the road in one of the annual specials that they have become unruly teenagers and if God forbid one of them shows starts dating a tattooed guy with a Harley! Can you imagine if one of the boys on the 18th special tries to put the shmaneuver on the ageless Ann Curry?

The 11 o'clock news came on next but all it was that night was teases touting the infamous Mitchell Report that was going to out the players who were taking steroids. I really don't know why baseball continues to shoot itself in the foot by airing its dirty laundry. Don't they know how to manage their PR and put on a happy face and make everything sweet and sugary for the little pishers who love baseball and the memoribilia store owners who make a ton of profits in the 2 wks before Christmas? What does publicizing these names accomplish??

The strike from 1994 crippled the game and just by luck it was able to bounce back the following year when Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's game playing record for baseball to look fun again. And even urban legend has it that Ripken's streak would have ended earlier than it did but a game was postponed when he caught his wife in bed with a famous actor and was too distraught to attend, so the Orioles "faked" a stadium lighting problem forcing the game's postponement. The story is apparently just an urban legend... but the fact is that if it was any unknown player whose wife was found in bed with an actor, we would shrug it off since actors and actresses apparently have sex with anybody. If that is the case, doesn't the publication of this steroid list by MLB do the same image damage that the acting world would do if they listed every actor and actress that had adulterous sex in order to earn a job! I don't see that list being published, and theoretically adultery violates one of the ten commandments so isn't that worse than steroids?

Finally Mr. Blogspot, I decided that I needed to sleep so I popped in some comfort food into the dvd player... "The Sound of Music".... the legendary Rogers and Hammerstein musical and the cure to soothe all of us who have a fever. I also had been reading through an old book of cartoons written by the legendary Bil Keane of The Family Circus but as I drifted off to cough medicine induced sleepy-land, I had the strangest dream. It was like a long movie trailer with a narrator...

Bil Von Keane led the charmed life. A retired Navy Captain, his life was filled with structure and discipline. Every morning after he woke up at precisely 0600, he drew a circle and moments later had a funny cartoon about his kids. The early successes of his cartoons gave him the opportunity to publish many books along with book signings across the country including a Barnes and Noble in NJ where he had the opportunity to once meet Former NJ Governor Tom Kean prompting Von Keane to declare.. "Why the hell do you pronounce your name cane? It should be Keane!"

Buyers of his books noticed something very interesting. On the back covers it had a biography of Bil Von Keane which told people that he was the father of 5 kids. But in The Family Circus strip.. there was only Billy, Jeffy, Dolly and PJ. What happened to the 5th kid? Why wasn't the 5th kid in the strip? What could that kid have done that was so bad to be left out of the strip?? Did Von Keane once threaten.. ."Either you finish your Brussells Sprouts... or I am dropping you from the comic strip!" Did he hit Dolly in the head with a frying pan?

The kids were a bit much.. as was his wife. She always complained that she only had one hairstyle change since 1950. Ultimately he befriended 2 young boys who were hired to "take care of her". Actually they ended up adopting her as their mom and she was always baking and cooking and sewing and the young men never drove her nuts. It was a nice arrangement.. she even changed her hairstyle on a regular basis. Later on she studies Kabballah and like Madonna, changed her name to Esther.

But Bil Von Keane was a strict disciplinarian and he knew he needed help with the kids and the house. He hired an ex nun named Maria to be their governess. He was always entertaining guests at his big house and every evening prior to bedtime all the children had to come to the steps to bid the guests Good Night. And every night it was the same. Von Keane stepped forward... blew his whistle and each child stepped forward and announced his name...





"The Fifth Kid"...

And then they would all join in... "So Long, Farewell, auf weedershen adieu... Adieu Adieu to You and You and You and You and You.... Doo doo doo doo doo.

But a lot of secrets were hidden in the Von Keane house. Dolly had a telegram delivery friend named Elmo who lived near Dagwood Bumstead. Elmo used to spend a lot of quiet moments with her in the Von Keane gazebo. But Dolly was starting to lose Elmo... as the delivery boy was getting seduced by a growing militia from the Evil German Empire. The Germans were trying to persuade Von Keane to show his support for the incoming German regime...and join their military... but he refused! Ultimately the Von Keanes had to leave town, but just as their escape was complete there facing them with a drawn pistol was... Elmo??

Thankfully Trophy Wife woke me up at that point to remind me to take my medicine to help me sleep!

Thanks for your consideration Mr. Blogspot. I am almost 100% better and I plan to have my usual silliness posted right here next week!


Nate from Nate's World of Words

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: What's happening with Pumpie? He lost again last week dropping to 10-4. This week we go to New Jersey which is now the first state to repeal the death penalty. This week, The Jets travel to New England, where the Patriots are a historical 23 1/2 point favorite. Pump was very proud because he heard Frank Deford talking about Bill Belichick on NPR.. "Is he with the Jets" asked the Pump... When informed that he is the Patriots Coach, the Pump said.. "Frank Deford is the Patriots coach?" Moments later he had his pick ready: "Since my friend Barry is a Patriots fan, and since Barry is helping us with the Avi Maza concert.. in his honor I take the Patriots!"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: Last week we went 1-2 to get to 21-19-2. This week let's start predicting the downfall of the Giants prospective first round opponents since it looks like they have pretty much wrapped up a playoff spot.

GIANTS 4 1/2 faves over Washington - Gosh a prime time game where a win would clinch a playoff spot? Why does this game make me sooooo nervous?

Atlanta 13 1/2 doggies over TAMPA BAY - It's been a rough week for the Falcons - especially after their coach bolted for Arkansas and former QB Michael Vick pretty much said adios to his teammates.

CAROLINA 7 1/2 doggies over Seattle - I see a late season pre playoff swoon for the Giants probable first round opponents... Hopefully it won't be the Giants who have the swoon.

BONUS CLIP OF THE WEEK; From the subliminal seduction department.... since the Avi Maza Christmas Eve Show features Chinese Food... here is a song about Jews eating Chinese Food on Christmas! Mmmmmm Yummy.,... The song is called "Chinese Food on Christmas",... but I renamed it Chinese Food and Avi Maza on Christmas!

Friday, December 07, 2007

On Her Majesty's Secret Service - A Movie Club Column

Well folks.. it is Movie Club time as we present Part 2 of our 6 part James Bond series. Today it's George Lazenby in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Here is the trailer...

Even though this is only my second Bond movie, it is the first and only movie starring George Lazenby... a rookie movie star who was not only starring in his first movie.. but was also appearing in his first movie!! Lazenby was a model at the time, and the producers thought he bore a strong enough resemblance to Sean Connery that he could easily slide right into the role. Despite his lack of experience and Connery's incredible popularity... Lazenby surprisingly more than holds his own in this very challenging role.

I didn't know much about the movie as I watched the opening credits other than what I had seen in Goldfinger and that the villian in this movie is a guy named Blofeld played by Telly Savalas. But as I watched the opening credits and thought about Blofeld and Goldfinger it reminded me of....... Bowfinger. The fact that Savalas was going to be in the same movie as Diana Rigg made me as excited as when I saw that Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy were both in Bowfinger. But OHMSS disappointed me the same way as Bowfinger because despite a strong cast, the story was weak... and the movie did not live up to my expectations. In OHMSS, Savalas and Rigg aren't on together till the very end.. and although the scenes are entertaining... it seems to be too little too late since we are already past the 2 hour mark in a way too long 2 hour 20 minute movie! Bowfinger.. Blofeld.. it just goes to show that sometimes the big anticipation leads to disappointment..

The opening of the movie sets the tone as Bond rescues Diana Rigg's Tracy... She is the daughter of mobster Marc Draco played by Garbriele Ferzeti... and his acting performance in this 1969 movie makes you think that he might have been the inspiration for Marlon Brando in The Godfather... except Ferzeti doesn't speak like he has a mouthful of marbles... Draco makes Bond an offer he can't refuse.. he wants him to marry his daughter... creating a potential opportunity for him to never turn down a request on the day of his daughter's wedding. But before there are any weddings, Bond has to spend the first few minutes rescuing his damsel from a dangerous situation on the beach. Bond the stud rescues her, but his advances towards her are rebuffed... prompting the new Bond to look to the camera and deadpan..."This never happened to the other fellow!" He also has another rib tickler when a villian dies by skiing into a snow blower. When the machine churns out snow that is red - Bond quips..."He had a lot of guts".

From there it's off to a hoity toity French casino..and again Tracy gets herself in a tight spot.. playing a card game and then losing.. without having the money to pay her bet. Bond bails her out yet again, and you can already see that this woman is going to be a royal pain in the tuchis. Incidentally the playing card sequences are a bit odd to look at. I don't know if it's the French cards or if this is how cards looked in the 60s.. but the playing cards have no numbers on them!.. And who wants to sit there and count if it is a nine or ten? And by the way... did you know in France they don't have a Jack in the deck? The card between 10 and Queen is actually called Valet!

The first part of the movie moves along at a snail's pace... . It would be about an hour before Savalas shows up... and then things really start getting good. But despite my impatience with the plodding first hour... there were a couple of interesting developments. Bond's latest gadget is a photocopy machine that also has a safe cracking mechanism... I guess if you don't have Heroes Peter Petrelli around, the gadget will do the job. Heroes also has a similar theme to this movie since the main plot involves Blofeld trying to release a virus that will give him world domination! And we also get a different look at women in this movie. especially with some insight into how valuable spy agency secretary Miss Moneypenny is to the whole operation... A frustrated Bond dictates his resignation letter, but instead Moneypenny types a 2 week vacation request which gets 007 a much needed break from all the craziness at his agency! Of course once Bond looks at all the gadgets he has collected over the years, he realizes he really can't tear himself away from his lifestyle.

We also get a different view of women in this Bond movie as James is not as casual about his relationship with Tracy as he is with other women in the Bond series. The entire premise that Draco could actually get Bond to settle down with his daughter seems like a stretch... everybody knows that Bond is not the marrying kind. That is why near the end the viewer is shocked stunned and mortified when studboy Bond indicates to Tracy that he wants to settle down with her. I am not going to give it away, but basically the rest of the movie is one stunner after another capped off with a jaw dropping climax. The odd thing about Lazenby's legacy is that Bond is not supposed to want to commit to one woman. Yet, in his one appearance.. Lazenby comes off as a more serious less Playboy-ish Bond.

The first hour of the film wasn't too exciting... basically it's up to Bond to find Blofeld and he parlays Draco's interest in making him his son in law into an opportunity to find him in his Swiss hideaway located way atop a mountain reachable only by ski lift which means the escape can only be done by thrilling incredible downhill ski sequences. As a big fan of Winter Olympic Ski Jumping these shots were incredible as Bond tries to escape the bad guys, The cameras were actually held by a man who was hanging suspended in mid air while flown high atop the mountains in a helicopter!!

Bond manages to infiltrate Blofeld's mountain retreat... the place is supposed to be an allergy research facility. And even though Bond manages to sneak up there posing as a genealogy researcher, Bond has those Bond hormones, and the research subjects turn out to be an international bevy of amazingly hot babes. The women, each from a different country have been "programmed" to release the virus. They get their final instructions while under hypnosis on Christmas Eve!

Speaking of Christmas Eve.. if you are Jewish.. and looking for something to do on Christmas Eve... here is a great solution to that annual "What the heck can a Jew do on Christmas Eve?" dilemma. My temple.. the same one where I met Trophy Wife 6 years ago, is hosting an event at The East Brunswick Jewish Center. It's a concert by Popular Singer Avi Maza and his fantastic band!.. We went last year and had a blast.. This year Maza will be doing "The Great American Songbook"....which is a playlist of popular music by Jewish artists. More details are at his website. The 40 at the door/36 in advance price includes a Glatt Kosher Chinese Buffet.. which means it's all you can eat.. and frankly I've been starving myself since Thanksgiving! I'm volunteering on the committee this year.. it has been so much fun and we are really psyched for the show... plus there will still be plenty of time to get home to watch A Christmas Story Marathon which drives Trophy Wife up a wall because I keep yelling out "Fragilee? It Must Be Italian!"

Getting back to the movie, Lazenby's Bond is more competent than Connery's Bond was in Goldfinger... hormones are hormones and Bond can't resist his attempts to sneak out of his room and into the rooms of the chickies. That is ultimately his downfall however as Blofield catches him and "outs" him as 007. One thing I didnt know at the time I saw this was that Blofeld had met Bond in a prior movie.. but the movie release orders were switched around and since OHMSS was based very closely on the OHMSS book, the book's readers saw this as their first meeting.. but the movie viewers were scratching their heads at how Blofield didn't recognize the undercover Bond the first time he introduced himself as his alter ego.

I must admit I liked the acting, but like Bowfinger, despite some great casting.. I thought the story was just blah. I actually like Lazenby.. And Telly Savalas did his usual excellent job. The musical score was very well done. The cinematography was breathtaking... especially the ski races during the great escape from the mountain resort. A car chase involving an icy demolition derby was also entertaining to watch. But even though the Savalas storyline was exciting.. the first half was torturously slow...not quite waterboarding torture though and only worthy of one bladder.. but once Telly Savalas shows up... the pace and quality picked up considerably.... the rest is approximately a 3.5 bladder.. Therefore on a scale of one to four bladders... meaning how less likely you would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom....On Her Majesty's Secrest Service gets 2 1/2 bladders.

NEXT ---> Octopussy Starring Roger Moore.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK - Last week Pumpy went against the Giants and took a loss dropping his record to 10-3. This week in honor of the now unemployed illegal immigrants who used to work for Mitt Romney we travel to New England where the Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pats are 10 1/2 point faves. Sayeth The Pump: "Since this week's theme is James Bond and the fifth Bond was Pierce Brosnan... I gotta go with The Steelers since Brosnan used to be on Remington Steele. Plus I shaved with a Remington Razor this morning.

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: Last week we had our first 3-0 week improving to 20-17-2. By the way... about The Sunday Night Game... Is NBC doing some subliminal seduction? The players wear helmets manufactured by Ridell and the 11 o'clock post game newscast is anchored by Carol Ann.... Riddell! And if you're like me and watch her in HD.... homina homina homina.

Giants 3 doggies to PHILADELPHIA - Isn't it interesting how The Giants are road dogs to the Eagles, but were road faves over The Bears? Take Big Blue as they inch closer to a playoff berth!

Cards 7 doggies to SEATTLE - Who does a Giant fan root for? The Cards to get knocked out, or potential first round opponent Seattle to stumble to the finish line. I think Arizona will lose but cover.

49ERS 9 doggies to Minnesota - Wow.. 3 road doggies in one week... The Vikings look like they could be the 2nd wild card team.... but this week they will eat humble pie in a big upset.


This week we go to Kean-ascope Theater for a look back at the very moment I found out that Jacks in France are called Valet. This is from a cable restaurant show I used to do called "The Big Tippers Club".