The Wire + Oz = Clusterfuck

Anyone who knows me knows of my near-pathological love for The Wire. But long before I was resident Wire-ologist, I was a big fan of OZ - HBO's very first (yes, even before the fucking Sopranos) one-hour drama from the late 90s. With The Wire (aka the greatest piece of literature emerging from my lifetime) nearing the series' end, I wanted to offer this suggestion for a series, sharing many of its qualities as well as its actors, to queue up on your Netflix in order to avoid that hollowing feeling we will all inevitably experience in a few weeks. The actor crossovers alone should keep you satisfied. Who and what do they have in common?

Do Not Fuck With Rade

Russian Croatian actor, sometime singer, and one of Cosmodrome's favorite Russians, Rade Serbedzija was big pimpin' at the Toronto Film Festival.

You may know Serbedzija from such roles as The Russian Trying to Steal Nuclear Weapons ("24"), Homeless Man (Batman Begins), The Russian Guy Who Creates The World's Most Deadly Virus (Mission: Impossible 2), The Russian Guy That Pimps His Daughter [Lelee Sobieski] (Eyes Wide Shut), The Russian Astronaut (Space Cowboys), The Russian Gangster (Snatch), and The Russian Guy That Tries To Steal Cold Fusion (The Saint).

The "Slam" Count, Week One Wrap-Up

DAYS FOUR AND FIVE: "Sometimes, Getting Dunked on is Great"

Four out of five isn't bad. And while Friday's IMDB News did not contain a "slam," Thursday's slam was the stuff of which tabloid dreams are made:

Cruz Slams Gay Rumors

While Wednesday's analysis provided dissentary on tabloids, I take some of it back. Just reading about a possible lesbian relationship between Salma Hayek and Penlope Cruz makes it all worth while. Unfortunately the actual photo, and Ms. Cruz's denial of their relationship, is much less exciting than the rumor itself. In fact, Ms. Cruz's "slam" is only "No comment on that." (See the video here. It's not worth watching. Trust me.)

After a week's analysis, what has been learned? Not a whole lot:

1. IMDB News writers have a limited vocabulary.

2. Tabloids write about some seriously dumb shit. Are you dumb for reading it? Yes. Are they smart for making easy money off your (and my) dumb asses? "Smart" isn't the right word. Perhaps "capitalistic" is the right one.

3. Sometimes, getting dunked on is great. The 7'2" tall Frenchman from this video certainly remembers being so spectacularly slammed. And I will always remember the day a Penelope Cruz-Salma Hayek romance was slammed.

4. As for me, I'll still be reading IMDB news, feeling like an idiot while doing so, and waiting for the day my dream headline, "Spears Slams Costanza Rumors," appears. (It came oh-so-close once.)

5. I have left unexplained the new wave of tabloid-bashing-but-really-loving contingent of which I am a part. The Onion AV Club started a mostly obnoxious blog about it (now that is dissentary), and even the Washington Post is in on the act. My take: it's no better, and perhaps worse, than those who take tabloids seriously. (And yes, those people exist.) Yes, I'm a bigot: my hatred is imposed on people like myself.

I'm gonna go have a smoke right now. You want a smoke? You don't smoke, do ya, right? What are ya, one of those fitness freaks, huh? Go fuck yourself.

Jennifer Aniston Can't Lose

We've all done things when we were younger that we aren't proud of. Many of us, if we had access to one of various time machines, would want to go back and beat some sense into our younger selves (of course, assuming the physics of Timecop are not in place so that contact with your old self won't end with you(s) fusing into an exploding blob). This feeling must be even more acute and painful for actors and actresses who take any and all parts early in their careers only to have those choices come back to haunt them.

Take George Clooney for example. Cat's on fire at the moment, but the television road before ER was a bit rocky. Before landing anything solid he had cameos on Golden Girls,

Top Ten Movies With Appearances by Saved by the Bell Alumnae

Has any television show or movie ever cursed the film prospects of actors the way Saved by the Bell has? Can you imagine anyone involved in the show doing anything but living in the Indiana/California high school known as Bayside? No. You can't.

We'll grant Tiffani(-Amber) Thiessen some cred for vamping it up as Valerie Malone on 90210, and Liz Berkley, no one's faulting you for trying to shake off your SBTB image. M-P Gosselar & Mario Lopez, as much as you blew us away with NYPD and Pacific Blues, respectively, Dead Man on Campus and Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story are one thing: Lark Voorhies - you got engaged to Martin Lawrence and still couldn't even get into one of his mediocre movies! As for Dustin Diamond, we'll let him off the hook this time. [Of the series' stars, only Dennis Haskins managed to do anything of note - and that was sit next to me at the coffee shop in the South Bend (IN) airport. Unfortunately, people tell me this doesn't count as a "movie".]

Trip-Hopping on UPN

So The Fifth Element was on TV today. We all knew Tricky, one of trip-hopping Bristol, England's favorite rappers/raspers, played a small role as Right Arm (!), Gary Oldman's henchman. He was well cast, because, well, Tricky just looks like he's from the future. Those hairstyles, those jawbones, those mascara-frosted eyes.

Anyway, being familiar with the film careers of various other 1990s UK electronic musicians (jungle fiend Goldie in The World Is Not Enough, for instance, where he coincidentally appears as a scary semi-futuristic henchman-type dude. Not to mention Snatch, henchman there too). Anyway, we just had to check if Tricky had been in anything else.

And oh, has he ever.

The Lobbyist and the Swede (Adventure Version)

1. Start at IMDB
2. Search "Dolph Lundgren"
3. Click on "Dolph Lundgren (Actor, The Mechanik (2005))"
4. Scroll down and click on "29. Red Scorpion (1989)... Nikolai"
5. Scroll down and click on "M. Emmet Walsh... Dewey Ferguson"
6. Scroll down and click on "48. Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)... Bill Wilcox"
7. Click on Back in your browser or press the Delete/Backspace key twice
8. Look at the writing credits, and you've found your lobbyist.

The Lobbyist and the Swede

Admit it, you've spent more than a few moments browsing your life away on Yeah, yeah, you started trying to find out who directed Casablanca. But you ended up looking at what the spawn of Joe Piscopo is working on. And that's ok.

This feature will compile those utterly useless tidbits of information for you, so next time you're having a conversation with someone, you can say, "Did you know someone made a documentary about Stephen Tobolowsky?"

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