March 4th, 2007


Scarlett Johansson: Destroyer of Worlds

After seeing The Black Dahlia and The Prestige, I can safely say that whatever promise Scarlett Johansson showed in earlier films like Ghost World and Lost in Translation is gone and now she pretty much destroys every role she touches. She is the anti-Midas. She is the many-armed Kali of the film industry, leaving a trail of bad line readings, pouting and vacant stares in her wake. I can no longer stand her. Please stop giving her work.

The Winner

I have a strange connection to Rob Corddry. An ex-girlfriend of mine did improv with him. Another friend did Shakespeare with him. And when Corddry and his wife still lived in New York, they used to come into the video store all the time. I was always trying to make him laugh and rarely succeeded, but the one or two times it worked made me feel like the funniest man in Brooklyn. Then he left The Daily Show, landed a pilot and moved to L.A.

That pilot turned out to be The Winner, which premiered tonight on Fox. It started at 8:30, right after The Simpsons. I turned it off at 8:38. There was nothing new, original or exciting in the premise, the acting or the overblown laugh track (a grumpy man telling his wife to shut up doesn't earn the canned sounds of sidesplitting hilarity). It's like every other tepid sitcom you've ever seen.

Sorry, Rob. I hope this does well for you. But if the rest of the viewing public turns off to it as quickly as I did, well, here's hoping the next one hits. You deserve a good comedy vehicle.