Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sylvia Browne–Dead Wrong (video)

A couple of days ago I placed a meme on my Facebook page that had originated on Reddit.  Sometimes I’m lucky if I get 10 views of anything I put up on my Clyde’s Stuff Facebook page (although the numbers are increasing steadily since I’ve gotten back to my blog).  As of today, this meme on my page now has well over 1,000 views.

The meme (seen below) was of Sylvia Browne, the psychic who has made a career for herself by going on TV (mainly the Montel Williams show), flipping a coin and telling family members if their missing loved ones were alive or dead.  I say flipping a coin because she probably would be just as accurate using that method as any pertaining to any mind reading ability she has. 

Some people swear by her abilities.  To me, anybody who claims to be psychic is blowing smoke up your butt.  I just think it’s all hooey, just as I think the whole business of ghosts, goblins, reincarnations, and entities from the other side is as Scrooge said, “more about gravy than of grave.”  As it says towards the end of this video, “Psychic wins lottery again says no one ever.”

I read a review of one of her books on Amazon.  Seems the reviewer was a bit disappointed that after having paid Browne $700 for an 18 minute reading, none of her predictions came true. 

You don’t say!  My advice:  If you’re going to pay that kind of cash to a psychic, put it in a slot machine or buy lottery tickets with it.  You’ll probably get more for your money than stuffing it in Browne’s purse, or donating it to someone like Pat Robertson who boldly told all that God had assured him Mitt Romney would win the election

Not only did God inform Robertson that “Romney will win” but that he will be a two-term president who presides over a huge economic boom. Robertson even told Romney to save him a ticket for the inauguration: “I told Mitt a long time ago, I called him and said listen, I’ve been in prayer and number one you’re going to win the nomination and number two you’re going to win the general election, he said ‘well what can I do for you,’ I said give me a seat on the platform during your inauguration, give me a ticket to your inauguration.” “The Lord said he’s going to have a second term, I told him there will be to be trillions of dollars coming into the economy when you’re elected,” Robertson continued, “the stock market ought to boom, everything ought to boom.” This all deeply reassured Hinn who said that Robertson was conveying “God’s voice.”.
Pat Robertson also told his mindless flock to beware of false prophets.  Now that may be the best advice he has ever given.

As for Sylvia Browne, she now has  the biggest screw up of her long seemingly endless phony career and I’m sure you’ve probably heard about it by now.  Browne told Louwanna Miller, the mother of Amanda Berry, one of the three women who escaped from her kidnapper in Cleveland after being held for ten years, that she was dead.  A year after that, Amanda’s mother was dead of pancreatitis, still unaware that her daughter was alive.  (Here is the original news story)

It’s easy to say that Amanda’s mother shouldn’t have put her faith in some publicity seeking talk show phony, but when you have loved ones disappear off the face of the earth with no clues left behind, I’m sure that you’ll try anything and leave no stone unturned in an effort to find that person, no matter how many flimsy straws you may be grabbing at.

But whenever anybody  has invoked the abilities of Sylvia Browne around me over the years, I usually end up laughing about it. 

But I shouldn’t have.  Phony psychics like Sylvia Browne are no laughing matter.  They cause more pain and more grief to people who are already suffering tremendous agony, and there’s nothing funny about that at all.  And those gullible masses who promote and make stars out of these charlatans, are every bit as guilty as Miss Browne, and let’s not forget that.

Here’s the video from CNN and ABC:


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Melissa Joan Hart needs help making a movie. Clyde Explains It All.

Let me make this perfectly clear. Anybody who would come out in support of Mitt Romney does not have the sense to finance a film, nor should they be asking the public for help in financing their movie. I find it very ironic that she now wants the average shmo to finance her film after totally supporting  Mitt, who pretty much said anybody who supported Obama was nothing but a lazy leech. 

Romney has hidden hundreds of millions of dollars in dough in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.  I would think he would have been grateful for her loyalty and floated her and her hubby a loan.  But he does have that care elevator and the mansion that goes along with it to finish.

She also was a big fan of the late Margret Thatcher, who was hardly a friend of the working class.  Thatcher, of course, is in no position to float her a loan.

Melissa tells us it’s the small donations they are having trouble gathering up to fill up her bank account.  Can’t imagine why.

She says Hollywood no longer embraces her as a leading lady.

Uh, I don't know how to tell Ms. Hart his, but she was never leading lady material. Her best work was in the quirky but inane Melissa Explains It All. And after it was over she hadn’t explained much and as recent events show, stayed pretty clueless herself.

She got lucky with the tween set when ABC signed her up for Sabrina. But she wasn’t even a patch off of the great Elizabeth Montgomery.  I won't pass judgment on her current Melissa and Joey because I haven’t seen it, but I doubt if it's exactly a movie star vehicle.  

As for her fund raising being slow, I don't know what she expects when you support presidential candidates who pretty much crap on the working class. I guess she may have to slum it out with the rest of us 47 % er's.   Either that or hope her forthcoming book is a runaway best seller.  Fat chance. 

Or maybe the newly re-elected Mark Sanford can bail her out, provided she travels to South America with him as his mistress.  Mitt can give his blessing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weekend Box Office Report 5 - 5 – 2013: Robert Downey Jr. makes mucho dinero

Yes, I know I missed last Sunday’s report.  I was busy with many other things that sometimes get in the way.  I think it’s called living.  I was going to put it up later in the week but when you’re working eight hours a day, you have to budget your time the best way that you can.  I was also working on another project for this blog (still am) that is taking more time than I thought it would so by Wednesday, I decided it would be rather pointless to publish it.  So here it is, along with this weekend’s take and my usual snarky b.s. which is the real reason you’re here.  You can get the actual numbers anywhere.

And what did I miss writing about last weekend?  Not much.  Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain topped the box office with about $20 million dollars.  It’s sort of a good news bad news kind of thing for Bay.  The good news is that the Pain and Gain only cost Paramount $26 million dollars to make so in the end, they’ll make money from the thing between foreign and domestic box office and the DVD that you can already pre-order.  The bad news is that $20 million dollars is chicken feed compared to what Bay was used to raking in over opening weekends with films like Armageddon, Bad Boys, Bad Boys II, and The Transformers franchise.  If anybody can prove that there’s huge profits in Cinema Sewage, Michael Bay can.  He is is a teenage fanboy’s wet dream.

The truth is not too many people, especially myself, really cared that Bay made a movie that was a bit different than what we are used to seeing him churn out.  P&G has a lofty 46  percent critic approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  I say lofty when you compare it to Revenge of the Fallen’ s 20 per cent, Dark of the Moon’s 36 per cent, Bad Boys II’s 23 percent, Bad Boy’s 43 per cent, or Armageddon’s 39 per cent.  A real critic’s darling this guy is.  The only difference between Bay and Uwe Boll is that Bay has big enough budgets to snooker the fan boys into paying to see his mayhem.

But it doesn’t matter at this time.  At least until Bay’s next atrocity Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles From Outer Space makes it’s way into theaters next year.  Supposedly he’s only a producer on that one.  Yeah, and if you believe that then let me tell you how I crap diamonds.  By the time this weekend rolled around though, Iron Man was ready to escort Bay and his fans to the exit.

Even before it opened here in the states everybody knew that Iron Man 3 should just go ahead and be given a license to print money by the Treasury Department.  While Bay was scraping the bottom of the pickle barrel to come up with $20 million last week, Iron Man was already raking in $198 million overseas, beating The Avengers as far as foreign box office openings go.  By the time it opened here, the only question was whether or not it would beat The Avengers opening in the U.S.  It didn’t, coming in second, but I don’t think anybody is down in the dumps about that when your movie is almost to the one billion dollar mark after only a week.  From Hollywood Reporter:

Overseas, the Disney and Marvel threequel grossed $175.9 million in its second weekend, putting the 3D movie's international total at $504.8 million and early worldwide haul at $680.1 million. Internationally, Iron Man 3 - the first title in the franchise to be released in 3D -- is all but matching Avengers overseas, where 3D remains a big draw. China leads with a whopping $63.5 million, the top opening of all time for a Marvel film. Iron Man 3 -- directed by franchise newcomer Shane Black -- has a strong shot of joining an elite club of films ultimately grossing $1 billion or more and is another sizeable victory for Marvel and parent company Disney, giving them the top two slots on the list of all-time North American openings as Iron Man 3 beat out the final Harry Potter pic ($169.2 million).

Box office observers are convinced that the threequel is playing more like a sequel to Avengers than to Iron Man 2, a testament to Marvel's superhero strategy. They say it bodes well for sequels Thor: The Dark World, which opens Nov. 8, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, opening April 14, 2014 (both characters shared the screen with Downey's Tony Stark in Avengers). "A year ago, we speculated as to the impact of Avengers, and now we're witnessing it first-hand with the success of Iron Man 3," said Disney executive vice president of distribution Dave Hollis, crediting Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. Case in point: Iron Man 3 has already surpassed the total global box office of Iron Man ($585 million), Iron Man 2 ($624 million), Thor ($449 million) and Captain America ($369 million). And it zoomed past the $128.1 million domestic opening of Iron Man 2.
I also read today that for his part in The Avengers, Downey raked in $50 million dollars. I don't know what his haul on Iron Man 3 will be, but it will undoubtedly match that or easily surpass it. However, he has said he is tiring of the character. I guess he can now afford to be now although we all know that wasn’t always the case. If he decides to retire from the franchise, it'll be a question mark as to whether Iron Man can survive his departure.

Consider this: The totally unnecessary Spider-man reboot put out by Cheapskate Sony Incorporated made $262 million. Sounds like a lot until you realize that it didn't top the $300 million dollar mark, a feat achieved by all three of it's three predecessors.

Sure, it helped Sony that they cut the budget down to the point where a profit was inevitable, but in my opinion, they've so damaged the franchise it's doubtful these remakes will ever achieve the rarified air that the originals did. Not that it matters to everybody when you stop to consider that as Sony has proven, along with Michael Bay, a fanboy and his money are easily parted. 

So look for Disney/Marvel to do everything in it's power to keep Downey around at least until The Avengers sequel in a couple of years. 

Besides Pan & Gain dropping well over 60 per cent of it’s box office from 4/28 to 5/5, wave goodbye to Olympus Has Fallen, Jurassic Park 3D, and GI Joe.  Welcome back into the fold Oz, The Great and Powerful who had left the building last week.  Enter Mud, who creeps in with 2.2 million from only 576 Screens.  The Croods just keep hanging around.  Look for Iron Man to top the charts next weekend as well.  But there’s a starship named Enterprise making it’s way across the Galaxy to blast him all to shit.

Here are last weeks and this week’s numbers.

Reese Witherspoon’s Mea Culpa

After making an ass of herself during a drunk driving arrest in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, Reece Witherspoon meekly trots herself out to This Week so that she can offer up her true confession to George Stephanopoulos. Here's my take on it.

Her and her  husband were arrested as anybody would be or should be.  More so him then her.  He could have killed someone.

But not everybody would have their drunken spree make headlines across the country.

Okay, so it's over and done with. And her name is no longer Mud but I guess her movie with Matthew McConaughey is.

I guess it comes down to this: I'm sorry, I'll never do it again, I made an ass of myself, now go see my damn movie because it's great and I'm great. What is my take?

I really don't care. Unless it becomes a habit. The apology is nothing more than damage control and there's nothing wrong with that. For Joe Nobody, would any person care that he got a DWI and made an ass of himself?   Unless he killed somebody, certainly within the realm of possibility for any drunk driver.  Even Reese Witherspoon's husband.

So yeah, forgive and forget. Mostly just forget it.

That being said there is one thing I will never forgive Reese Witherspoon for.  Nor will I ever forget it. That's an atrocity foisted on the American Public called Sweet Home Alabama. Yech!


Netflix Wishes You a Happy Mother’s Day. (And I do too)

The difference between Netflix and myself is that I don’t have any pretty red envelopes to send to you for Mother’s Day which falls on May 12th this year.  Unless I send you the ones I get from Netflix.  If you still rent Netflix discs as I currently do, you’ll have your own though.  But why should you want a Netflix envelope for Mother’s Day?

Because Netflix, not sparing any expense, is promoting the day as if it was Christmas, Easter, and Halloween rolled into one.  I don’t know what their envelope printing costs are or how much overhead they have trotting out a special run of themed envelopes but it can’t be cheap.   Yes, I know there is always advertising on the inside when you rip it open, but for Mother’s Day they’ve gone so far as to scribble stuff on the front and the back as well.  So I guess besides promoting Mother’s Day in general, Netflix wants you to know they have a heart of gold and are thinking of you, Mom, and apple pie.

I probably shouldn’t have noticed any of this.  I usually just rip open the big envelope to get the discs out.  Back when I was writing articles like this in regards to my Netflix viewing habits, then I would read what was on the disc holder in order to get the information I needed such as who was in the film and the year it was made.   I also scanned each envelope that I wrote about. 

My own mother passed away back in 2005.  She was just a few days shy of being 76 years old and spent the last few years of her life bedridden in a nursing home.   But one thing she still loved to do was to watch movies, especially some of the old classics.  The last movie I sat and watched with her was The High and The Mighty starring John Wayne and Robert Stack.  And she seemed to enjoy it.

One Christmas way before that, years before a series of strokes did her in physically,  the family chipped in and got her a VCR, back when they were still a bit expensive.   She loved it and was very appreciative of it.  Even if for some reason she hadn’t, we would never have known.   So I guess if anybody could have appreciated the sentiments behind the Netflix Mother’s Day advertising campaign, she would.

You’d have to really look at the front of the Netflix envelopes to notice anything different from the usual.  Each one has a pithy Mother’s Day phrase telling you what you should do for Mom on Mother’s Day.  But really, if you love your mother, do you need Netflix telling you how to treat her?  Well, maybe some of you do. 

These are the envelopes I received in the mail yesterday.  I don’t know if the three I received earlier in the week were of the same variety and I’ve already sent those envelopes to the shredder.  I’ve circled the Mother’s Day Sentiments in blue.

The back of the envelopes are a horse of a different color.  No, they are still red but they have have quite a bit of artsy fartsy fancy schmansy writing on them featuring motherly types quotes and remembrances courtesy of Hollywood Screen Writers.  It was the Forrest Gump one that caught my eye and enticed me to explore the situation further.

Inside?  Well, that’s where the advertisement comes in.  In each envelope Netflix gives you three Mother’s Day DVD suggestions. If my Mother were alive I’m pretty sure she would have liked the suggestions of The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, Leave It To Beaver, and Roseanne.  I’m pretty sure she liked all of those shows and would watch them over and over again regardless of how many times she had seen them.  On the second envelope, it gets a bit iffy.  I really don’t know for sure how much she liked animated features and if she had ever even seen an episode of The Simpsons.  She might have watched with some of the grandkids.

If she did, it was never while I was around.  But I wasn’t a grandkid.  But I don’t think she would have cared for Family Guy.  On the other hand, you could probably give Brave or The Incredibles a spin on the DVD player and I doubt if she would have objected.  She might even have enjoyed them.  Envelope number three is much like envelope number one.  All movies I’m sure she saw at some point in her life. The Thrill of it All and Please Don’t Eat The Daisies would have been especially enjoyable to her.  I have seen three of the four for sure and may have even seen Mrs. Miniver at some point in my life but if I did, I’ve long forgotten the details. 
Okay, so maybe this is just advertising to get you to rent more Mother’s Day films.  Maybe not.  There’s been far worse commercialism of the un-holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day then what this is.  So I actually think it’s a good idea and really do appreciate the effort.  On the other hand, isn’t renting Mom a Blu-ray or DVD pretty much implying that you’re kind of a cheapskate?  Hell, do what I did with The High and The Mighty.  Buy her the dang thing.  Better yet, buy her a complete season or series of a TV show she really loves.  That’s my suggestion.  Or just spring for a whole year of Netflix rentals or streaming.  As Cousin Eddie says, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year round.”  

But take the advice on the front of the envelopes, kids.  Appreciate and cherish your Mothers while you still can.  They won’t be around forever you know.  Give them a hug, tell you how much you love them,  how much you appreciate the sacrifices they made for you and everything they’ve taught you.  Send them my Happy Mother’s Day wishes as well.  As for my mom, and all my grandmother’s and their grandmother’s, Happy Mother’s Day where ever you are!