The infamous opening number to the 1989 Academy Awards, which featured Snow White and Rob Lowe and killed the career of show producer Allen Carr, turned up on YouTube: Seeing this for the first time, I thought the opening was campy, hokey and overdone, but that seemed like the point. You don't line up a dozen dancing tables with lampshade heads and a chorus line of male ushers belting out "whenever you're down in the dumps, try putting on Judy's red pumps" without knowing you're completely over the top. The only ... read more

Writing for the conservative magazine Weekly Standard, Louis Wittig draws a parallel between the underwhelming box office receipts of Snakes on a Plane and the exaggerated political impact of left-wing blogs: Since Howard Dean's 2004 primary sprint, Web sites such as MyDD, Democratic Underground, and Daily Kos have been exalted by as a new and powerful phenomenon, capable of spinning liberal frustration into cash, volunteers, and excitement for Democratic candidates nationwide. The left-wing blogosphere has ... read more

Napolean Dynamite producer Jeremy Coon and aspiring filmmaker Rhys Southan attended the same Richardson, Texas, high school that I did (many years later). Because of this coincidence, I found Beat Jeremy Coon, Southan's amusingly bitter blog in which he details his effort to become more famous than Coon before their 10-year reunion in 2007. I originally thought the desire to beat Jeremy Coon was just a gimmick, but a recent interview on his blog suggests otherwise. Southan found Mike Perry, Coon's former roommate ... read more

Took the kids yesterday to see Over the Hedge, an animated comic strip adaptation by DreamWorks about forest creatures who find their home overtaken by a humongous residential community. Computer-animated films are my favorite family movies these days, because even when the story's dull the rendering effects are worth seeing on a giant screen. I didn't notice a single new visual in Over the Hedge comparable to the fur in Monsters Inc. or the expressive human faces in The Incredibles, but the movie had ... read more

Sony PSP games and movies are released on Universal Media Disc format, but the name's a joke. No other devices support the format, Sony won't support burners or third-party efforts to open it up, and Brian Carnell passes along the news that movie studios have now cut back or abandoned UMD releases: It's hard to see why UMD failed.The movies were expensive -- $20 to $25 per movie.The PSP couldn't be connected to a television and there were no standalone UMD players.The failure should make UMD movies dirt cheap on ... read more

I chaperoned a field trip this week to a high school production of The Wizard of Oz, which was fun because kids love getting out of school to see plays. This one had winged attack monkeys roaming the audience, the Wicked Witch singing Michael Jackson's "Bad" and a climactic scene involving water guns. At the end, they brought a surprise guest on stage: Meinhardt Raabe, the 90-year-old who played the Coroner in the movie. Raabe, who lives in a retirement community south of Jacksonville, may be the oldest living ... read more

Six studios have begun selling movie downloads this week on Movielink. Purchased movies can be kept forever for computer viewing and burned to DVD but can't be watched in DVD players. There's also a limit on the number of computers that can view a movie, and the service and site require Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. Prices for new movies are higher than DVDs -- Nicolas Cage's The Weather Man sells for $27 on Movielink and $22 on Amazon.Com. So you're getting less convenience at more cost, though no ... read more