Broken Lungs

The OC Register's UCLA beat reporter

For the fourth consecutive year on Adam Riff™, I ask, Which one of my football teams will torment me more this season: my Bruins or my Bears?

Despite the Bears reaching the NFC Championship game last season and revamping their offensive line, and despite the Bruins playing two (and possibly three) quarterbacks and the toughest schedule in the Pac-12, I'm picking Chicago. I've got a bad feeling about this season.

George Lucas' trolling of Star Wars fans is reaching incredible points of hilarity.

Skinny fat ass is the Oprah

"When we asked a university spokesperson about the error, we were told it was intentional, a shorter advertising message meant to grab a driver's attention."
ABC 15

"Looks like Heaven's easier to get into than Arizona State."
The Simpsons

"Are they robots?"
"No. Robots can develop human feelings. We're graduates of Arizona State."
The Simpsons

"I got a check plus plus. That's like a C at Arizona State."
American Dad

"A parent is the one person who is supposed to make their kid think they can do anything. Says they're beautiful, even when they're ugly. Thinks they're smart, even when they go to Arizona State."
30 Rock

"Arizona State, you might be overvaluing the worth of your degrees. Your acceptance rate is 95%. You're slightly more selective than the Burger King kids club."
Saturday Night Live

"To really get this story, I headed to the ASU library to speak with students."
"Nobody in there…"
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Pale Gray Fatality

Jon: Hey, can you send me a piece of mail?
B: Why?
Jon: I want to get a New York Public Library card.

Jon: It's a harmless con for my collection.
B: You collect library cards?
Jon: I thought you knew. When I return, I'll show you. San Francisco, Los Angeles, DC, Chicago…

"Welcome to Cannibal Garden. Our specials today are placenta carpaccio; deep fried thyroids with a breastmilk ranch dipping sauce; and Korean dwarf ribs with skin-chi."

The NYPD Film Festival's mental double feature of Cruising and Bad Lieutenant was originally scheduled for September 11, 2001.

The Sting II

"Do you take Discover?"
– every restaurant in New York City

Superhero Idea: A sensitive man with impenetrable skin.

You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate's collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every voice you hear—for the rest of your life—sound like Bravo's ad voice-over guy.

When you see a film, all dialogue will sound (to your ears) like it's being spoken by Bravo's ad voice-over guy.

If you listen to music, all lyrics will sound like they're being performed by Bravo's ad voice-over guy.

If you talk to yourself, your voice will sound like Bravo's ad voice-over guy (but it will only sound this way to you).

Would you swallow the pill?

Classic VMA Performances: A Gif Wall

I dug Imaginary Forces' broadcast packaging for this year's show.

How does an awards show that hosted performances by 2 Live Crew and Marilyn Manson not book OFWGKTA (to perform)?

When the Grammys outbook you, it's time to quit. Heck, fuckin' Saturday Night Live landed Radiohead for its season premiere.

Elliott Smith performs "Miss Misery" at the 70th Annual Academy Awards
At the time, his performance was a curiosity. In retrospect, it is surreal.

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

—More like the Saudi Aryabian LLWS team, am I right?

34. Bats, balls, and gloves (Curb Your Enthusiasm, S08E07)

Honourable mention:
» Walter spends Bogdan's first dollar on a can of pop (Breaking Bad, S04E06)
» Edmonton fans throw John Cena's shirt back – twice (WWE Raw, 08-22-11)

» Food hoarder eats a black "candy" from 25 years ago (Hoarders, S04E09)
"It's even tastier with cream cheese."

» Party Down reunion / bologna foreskin (Childrens Hospital, S03E13)


Ricky Gervais Laughs
The Agony of Defeat

Lord Humungus cannot be defied

Previously on Adam Riff™:

Jose: You're mental! What is your plan for Seattle?
Jon: To live there?
Jose: …
Jose: Come to New York City. I can help you plan.

Jon: Jose's trying to sway me to move to Austin instead.
Steven: Austin is cool and you may like it, but it's not the same anymore. Marfa is the new Austin.

My August 24, 2011 horoscope:
"Life is a little too ridiculous right now, what with all the operatic feelings and major life choices lying in wait. The best you can do is go along with it all and hope for the best – things should settle down soon."

And with that…


They sit around the conspiracy table and they conspire

I'm Pregnant and… returns on September 1 with "I'm Pregnant and… My Husband Wants to Become a Woman."

For the past six months, Josh has been undergoing treatments to become a woman by taking estrogen shots, while Brandy suffers from trichotillomania, a disorder of obsessive hair pulling, which she covers up with a wig.

Their poor son.

Then on September 8: "I'm Pregnant and… a Little Person."

Cinemax's Strike Back acceptably fills the void left by 24. Two episodes in, its body count already numbers over 35, and three moles have surfaced.

Launchpad McQuack was like the John Munch of animation. He was considered for the lead role on TaleSpin too.

Rob Dyrdek is like the Seth MacFarlane of MTV.

Alberto Del Taco

Film Biopic Idea: Tyler Perry's Rick Perry.

Reality Competition Idea: 12 strangers move into a house to be tormented into moving out. Contestants can move out of the house at any time. The last contestant remaining in the house wins $100,000.

Sample torments:
» 14.4 kbps dial-up Internet connection
» remove all forks and knives in the kitchen, leaving only spoons
» reduce shower head water pressure to a trickle
» all exercise equipment generates a durian odor when used

When two contestants remain, blast "Dani California" throughout the house on an endless loop.

Video Game Idea: A fighting game equivalent of The Expendables.

Sample roster:
» Alien
» Ash
» Daniel LaRusso
» Darth Vader
» Freddy Krueger
» Hulk Hogan
» Ivan Drago
» Jason Voorhees
» Khan
» Lord Humungus
» Michael Myers
» Optimus Prime
» Predator
» RoboCop
» The Terminator
» Tron

Licensing would be an ordeal, but who wouldn't want to play this game?

—esp. if it was set up like a VS game, tag team

Bats and balls run the fuckin' world


—Unfortunately, whoever designed the Big 12's logo opted to emphasize the "12."
—Why a teddy bear?
—I couldn't find a good image of a baby longhorn.

—That works better. Why don't we do BCS conferences as hip-hop artists instead?


—Heh. Speeeeed!

—Big E.A.S.T.
—Bigeastie Boys.

—ACC Bambaataa
—Del the Funkee ACCpien.
—Vanilla ACC.
—Del the AC HomoCpien?

—Lil Tweezy.
—Like, D12?
—Correct. Texas is Eminem. Nebraska is Proof. A&M is Bizarre…

—Okay, we have: The Notorious B1G, 12Pac, Run-SEC, Bigeastie Boys, Vanilla ACC, and B12.
—White rappers equal basketball.
—But that means Kansas is Eminem.
—It's a dual analogy.

—Mountain West.
—Conference USA.


—"Texas A&M Former Student"? It reads like the owner of the car attended but didn't graduate.
—The designer of the decal: "Guh! What is that word? It begins with an 'A.' Alani? Alummo? [sigh] Screw it."


—I hate when Trader Joe's stops stocking an item I like.

—"Chopped Lamb and Rice Dinner with vegetables." That sounds tasty. Oh. It's dog food.
—How premium can $1.19 dog food be?
—Fuck it. I'm-a buy a can.

—You've never eaten dog food before?
—I ate dry dog food with mayonnaise for an English class project in high school.

A spoonful of mayo helps the Beneful go down… Actually, a swig of Mountain Dew helps a spoonful of mayo and Beneful go down.

Baseball Friends: Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

"It's a game of chess. We've sacrificed the pawns, and we're left with the bishop, the horse, and the castle."
– Christian on Masterchef

33. Pint-Sized Preachers, 08-17-11
America, America, this is you.

Honourable mention:
» Very bad gathering (Weeds, S07E08)


Generation Fucked: How Britain is Eating Its Young
British children have the most miserable upbringing in the developed world. American children come next, second from the bottom.

Adam Riff™ Facebook page

Invisible Waves

Previously on Adam Riff™:
Steven: I kinda just want to buy a plane ticket already and get out, and then figure it out.
Jon: Just up and move to Seattle, eh? Like vagrants.
Jon: Hmm…

Jose: You're mental! What is your plan for Seattle?
Jon: To live there?
Jose: …
Jose: Come to New York City. I can help you plan.

Chris: i was talking to my friend tonight about buying a bar and running it
Chris: lots of live music
Chris: but i don't have strong math background or any real experience
Chris: shit, i don't even know accounting very well
Jon: well, uhhh, i could help (asian)
Chris: i don't know if you'd get along with my friend though
Jon: i'm fine with being the sweet dee of the gang

Jon: jose's trying to sway me to move to austin instead
Steven: austin is cool and you may like it, but it's not the same anymore. marfa is the new austin
Jon: marfa?

Jon: one of my mates in seattle wants to open a bar
Jon: i think it would need a gimmick
Steven: i want a bar that shows you how much you've had to drink
Steven: social networking plus drunk
Steven: every person that comes into the bar gets a card
Steven: the card gets scanned and you pick a username
Steven: every time i order a drink, my card gets scanned
Steven: a screen shows i've had 4 dos xx
Steven: maybe a friend sees me on the screen and pays my tab, or maybe he sends a dos xx my way
Steven: people would love to see themselves on screen, paying for drinks
Steven: "steven bought 4 drinks for himself, and 2 drinks for others"
Jon: so a bar with a news feed
Steven: yes
Steven: "steven played 'gucci gucci' on the jukebox"
Steven: do you know how cool it would be to see a girl drunk off her ass and then you can go and scoop her up?

Steven: i'd want the prices to be cheap too
Steven: 1.50 for domestics, 2 for premiums
Steven: i'd want happy hour and reverse happy hour
Steven: oh, and spotify as the jukebox

Steven: more and more bars are requiring food
Steven: if i was in seattle, i'd have taquitos or something
Steven: something nobody can get
Jon: [pause]

Steven: a bar with social networking, i'm telling you
Jon: a big brother bar
Steven: yes
Steven: people would think it's ironic
Steven: call it…utopia

Steven: it would take about 50k
Steven: you need investors
Jon: well, jose knows a bunch of venture capitalists…
Jon: can you imagine peter thiel investing in a bar?

Adam: i feel like pumping any money in a bar venture in seattle is a bad idea
Adam: the market around seattle, ESPECIALLY capitol hill, is totally oversaturated
Jon: hmm…
Jon: have you ever been to marfa?

The Adam Riff™ Fall Movie Preview: Part Four

We began with our selections from the buzz bin, and we conclude with our sleeper picks:

Snowtown (Australia)
Release Date: September 21

A teen is taken under the wing of his mother's boyfriend (John Bunting, Australia's most notorious serial killer) and, in a mix of misdirected hero worship and terror, becomes an accomplice to a spree of torture and murder.

"An absolutely mesmerising, uncompromising crime-movie masterpiece. Ranks as one of history's best films about serial killers."

ALPS (Greece)
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth)
Release Date: October 27

A nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast, and her coach offer bereaved individuals an unusual service – they stand in for their dearly departed, replicating their behaviour and gestures.

"It's darker and funnier [than Dogtooth]. It goes to each extreme a little bit more."

Carré Blanc (France)
Release Date: September 7

Philip and Mary, two teenagers whose parents were crushed by the system, are placed in an orphanage with frightening education methods. Twenty years later, they became husband and wife, and have all the appearances of a wealthy couple. However, while Philip is a cog in the system, Mary goes into a depression that seems irreversible.

"Brilliant arthouse sci-fi. The absolute highlight of my days in Cannes."

a trio of clips from the film (with subtitles)

Shame (United Kingdom)
Director: Steve McQueen (Hunger)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Release Date: January 13 (limited fall)

Brandon is a thirty-something man living in New York City who has trouble managing his sexual compulsions. When his wayward younger sister moves in with him, his world spirals out of control.

"It's gonna make some noise."

Michael Fassbender's Exhibitionist Sex Scene Shocks New Yorkers

The Ambassador (Denmark)
Release Date: October 5

In 2009's The Red Chapel, Mads Brügger posed as a communist theatre director to infiltrate North Korea.

For his follow-up, he bought a diplomatic passport and traveled to the Central African Republic to see what the passport could score him.

"I'm beyond role-playing by actually being a diplomat. I can forge a partnership with the very sinister owner of a diamond mine replete with gold tooth and machete scars on his forehead. That would be highly problematic for a journalist. But it's no problem for a diplomat."

ORA (Canada)
Release Date: September

A short dance film inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution and the myths of Narcissus and Prometheus, shot using infrared thermal imaging technology and in stereoscopic 3D.

"The first and maybe last film to have been shot without a single light source. No sun, no natural light. No electric light. The only source of light in the film were the dancers."

Headshot (Thailand)
Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6ixtynin9, Last Life in the Universe)
Release Date: October

A hitman is shot in the head during an assignment. He awakens from a coma to find that he sees everything upside down – literally. His new affliction complicates his job, and his past begins to catch up with him.

"Widely hailed as Ratanaruang's return to the smart, crime noir fare that marked his early career."

The Adam Riff™ Fall Movie Preview: Part Three

More notable Hollywood fare:

Happy Feet Two
Release Date: November 18
As it stands, George Miller's filmography begins with Mad Max and ends with…Happy Feet Two.

Jack and Jill
Release Date: November 11
As it stands, Al Pacino's filmography begins with The Panic in Needle Park and The Godfather, and ends with…Jack and Jill.

The Descendants
Release Date: November 23
Alexander Payne has never made a bad film, but for this film, he ditched his longtime writing partner for Dean Pelton on Community. See: Wes Anderson not writing with Owen Wilson after The Royal Tenenbaums.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Release Date: December 16
Written by Dermot Mulroney's brother and sister-in-law.

As it stands, Dermot Mulroney's filmography ends with Stoker, Oldboy director Park Chan-wook's English language debut, written by Michael Scofield on Prison Break.

The Adventures of Tintin
Release Date: December 23
Will Americans embrace the comic equivalent of soccer? Spielberg directing and Peter Jackson producing helps, as does a screenplay written by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block).

The Darkest Hour
Release Date: December 25
"We can produce it for even less in Russia."
"Oh? But Moscow can't pass for… Fuck it. Change the setting to Moscow."

Breaking Bad was originally set in Riverside, CA, but was re-written for Albuquerque because the show would be cheaper to produce in New Mexico. See also: Why Thor is set in New Mexico.

The Adam Riff™ Fall Movie Preview: Part Two

We continue with some notable Hollywood fare:

Straw Dogs
Release Date: September 16
If this re-make is any good, I will move to New York.

Dolphin Tale 3D
Release Date: September 23
I thought this was a sequel to Shark Tale, but it is actually a separate, live-action, marine animal tale.

Shark Night 3D
Release Date: September 2
Drew: "Wow, the black dude actually dies IN THE TRAILER. That's gotta be some sort of new record."

Actors Chris Carmack and Dustin Milligan were both written off teen soaps (The O.C. and 90210, respectively).

Piranha 3DD
Release Date: November 23
Directed by Gulager of Project Greenlight 3 fame, and featuring Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff.

Feast III's subtitle is "The Happy Finish"? Feast is a trilogy?

Release Date: September 30
After FIVE YEARS in post-production, Kenneth Lonergan's follow-up to You Can Count on Me is ready for its close-up.

Paranormal Activity 3
Release Date: October 21
From the directors of the documentary* Catfish: A prequel set 18 years before the original.

Free association: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, also directed by a documentary filmmaker.

Every hour of TV watching shortens life by 22 minutes

The Adam Riff™ Fall Movie Preview: Part One

We begin with our selections from the buzz bin:

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks
Release Date: September 16

A stunt and getaway driver helps his neighbour perform a heist, which goes horribly wrong.

"At least half a dozen scenes are burned into my memory for life. It's pure genre bliss."

Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks both also appear in Detachment, Tony Kaye's narrative feature follow-up to American History X, in which he paints a nightmarish portrait of public education.

Christina Hendricks appears in [Detachment] mostly to be spat on (by a black student, of course, who is "going to get my niggers to gang-rape you"). [source]

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Director: Sean Durkin
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen (Mary-Kate and Ashley's little sister), Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy, Brady Corbet
Release Date: October 21

What if someone escaped from a cult and returned to their family, but their family had no idea they'd just spent two years in a cult?

"Noel Murray considered this one of the best films at Sundance; it's the best I've seen [at Cannes] as well."

The Rum Diary
Director: Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins
Release Date: October 28

Johnny Depp adapts Hunter S. Thompson's other novel.

Depp originally asked Rum Diary writer-director Bruce Robinson to write and direct Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but Robinson passed.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Director: Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In)
Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciarán Hinds, Stephen Graham
Release Date: November 18

A spy is pulled out of retirement to find a Soviet mole in his former organization.

Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within
Director: José Padilha (RoboCop)
Cast: Wagner Moura, Maria Ribeiro, Milhem Cortaz, Irandhir Santos, Seu Jorge, André Ramiro
Release Date: October

A cross between The Wire and The Departed that eclipses the original and became the most successful Brazilian film in history.

"Elite Squad 2 is a movie Steven Spielberg might have made 20 years ago if he were a better filmmaker. It might be the most competently-made action film since Die Hard."

Director: Paddy Considine (Dead Man's Shoes)
Cast: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
Release Date: November 18

An angry, cynical alcoholic develops a shaky friendship with a deeply compassionate but unhappily-married woman.

"Both Mullan and Colman do stunning work here, and Tyrannosaur features multiple moments that are as riveting as anything I've seen on the screen (small or big) over the past couple of years."

Let's just say it begins with Mullan's character kicking his pet dog to death. [source]