Halloween is the time when studios used to release their best scary movies they had in the roster. Seems like that's not the case anymore or at the very least it hasn't happened in a while. The last movie that came out that I felt was truly terrifying was The Conjuring and that was a release in the middle of summer. That's why it was a relief to see that at least one horror film was coming out this month and it was Ouija. The first trailer was released and it didn't look very good but being the eternal horror optimist, I hoped for the best. I shouldn't have because it's pretty terrible.

Every kid has played with a ouija board at some point in their life. For me, it was at my best friend's house and, oddly, I played it with his mother after he went to sleep. We "contacted the spirit" of a dead friend of hers. It was pretty creepy for my 13-year-old brain but as an adult I look back at that and scoff because A: she was clearly the one moving it and B: it was weird to play that with my friend's mom. That evening was more creepy though than anything found in Ouija which relies heavily on startle scares which are the easiest and cheapest tricks in the horror movie playbook.

The film stars Olivia Cooke (A&E's Bates Motel, The Quiet Ones), who I interviewed and you can hear below. She leads a team of actors that are even less recognizable than her and it's obvious why when you see the film. All of them are one or two rungs up the talent ladder from performers on The Disney Channel and all of which look like recent college graduates and not 17-year-olds. The lack of quality in the performances from everyone besides Cooke is only part of the problem. The rest of the issues rest on the shoulders of writer/director Stiles White.

White is one of the worst filmmakers I've seen in a while and I'm saying that knowing this is his first attempt at directing. The man has an impressive background in the world of special effects and is punishing us all with his worse-than-film-school attempt at horror. Besides the fact that he creates no atmosphere or tension, he also has no consequences for anything happening in it. The film is about a group of friends who open the door to an evil spirit while playing with a ouija board trying to contact their dead friend. One-by-one they all start to die and not only does no one care that these kids are dying but no one is reacting to the deaths either.

The one and only thing that is creepy about Ouija is the finale of the film. Now the reason why I'm impressed with that is because that's usually where most horror movies go off the rails; they get bigger and bigger at the end and in doing so lose whatever creep-factor made them great to begin with (ie: Insidious). In Ouija, when we have the big showdown with the physically manifested spirit, it's very chilling to see. The make-up is very effective and the minute or so its on the screen is the one and only highlight of the film. Despite an impressive finale, Ouija is still bad enough that I feel that I should get a board and try to contact the dead career of Stiles White and ask it to go toward the light.

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About Face for Renee

Renee Zellweger caused a stir over the weekend when she showed up at a Hollywood function looking different.

Yup. She doesn’t look the way she used to look, so that got some tongues wagging.

Yesterday, Renee told PEOPLE magazine she’s glad that people think she looks different.

“I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," she told the magazine.

She thinks the whole thing is silly, and good for her. “Perhaps I look different. Who doesn't as they get older?”

And for the record, she’s starting to look a little bit like Glenn Close – which is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Chestnuts Roasting Barista-Style

It's the most wonderful time for a new coffee.

At least, that's what Starbucks would have you believe.

Get ready for Chestnut Praline Latte.

The perfect beverage to wash down those holiday meals, don't you think?

It's Starbucks first holiday drink in five years, and industry experts think it's the chain's answer to the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Dunkin' Donuts.

Starbucks told the folks at Fox News that their drink is "inspired by the time-honored holiday tradition of warm roasted chestnuts… with freshly steamed milk and flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices." You can add whipped cream and praline sprinkles, if you wish.

If you're salivating, grab a napkin or a bib. The drink won't be available nationwide until November 21.

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Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

Monica Lewinsky, one-half of the scandal that almost brought down the Clinton administration, spoke over the weekend at the Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 Summit.

As an introduction, she recapped the story of her affair with Bill Clinton.

She was fresh out of college and "more than averagely romantic," as she tells it. "I fell in love with my boss – in a 22-year-old sort of way."

When the story broke, "within 24 hours, I became a public figure." All thanks to the Internet and the Drudge Report.

"I was patient zero," she said, "the first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet."

The entire speech can be found below. It's about 25 minutes long - but interesting in a historical sort of way...

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People : Bill ClintonMonica Lewinsky


Annoying Then, Annoying Now

Yes, I know, it's hard to believe, but Kim Kardashian was just about as annoying 20 years ago as she is now.

Thanks to Entertainment Tonight, we all get to witness just how annoying, on the video they unearthed from ther eighth-grade graduation.

"My name's Kim Kardashian, I'm the dopest on the ropest person in this class," she says on the video. "I'm dope on the rope, and you should learn my vocabulary."

One of her classmates says, "Define 'dope,' Kim."

And she responds, "Kim is dope."

This is one of those times when jokes simply write themselves...

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Lady Batman?

At first, it reads like one of those hoax articles.

But then when you realize that the person they're writing about is Lady Gaga, it makes you go, "Hmmm..."

The folks at ComicBook.com are reporting that Gaga boughtbought a Malibu mansion recently.

One accessory unit that came with the $23 million price tag was what The New York Daily News is calling a "Batcave."

Said Batcave can only be accessed by an underground tunnel, and it features a bowling alley, arcade games, a home theater and an 800-bottle wine cellar.

If Gaga gets tired of it, she can always lease it out as a frat house.
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Bizarrely Funny

Shia Labeouf has had more than his share of troubles in the past several months.

And now, Rob Cantor - a singer and songwriter - has penned a tune in tribute to Shia.

Well, not really a tribute.

More an extremely weird and bizarrely funny performance piece - featuring Rob, a couple of choruses, a troupe of dancers and what may be a partial philharmonic orchestra.

Check it out - it's perfect for Halloween.

And make sure you stay until the very end for an unexpected surprise.

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Do It or Get Off the Pot!

In a new interview with GQ magazine, film star Matthew McConaughey shared the romantic story of how he decided to marry his now-wife, Camila Alves.

According to him, it took her grabbing the bull by the horns, and saying, "C’mon, Big Boy, Mr. Easygoing-We’ll- Get-to-It-When-We-Get-to-It. Either s**t or get off the pot."

While Matthew didn't mention it in the interview, his wife will undoubtedly be releasing her new line of matrimonial greeting cards any time now - as soon as she gets off the pot.
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The Super Scientific Way

Leave it to Ellen Degeneres to get into the sports prediction business.

On her show yesterday, she brought in two representatives of the two teams involved in the World Series, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals.

Okay, truthfully, it was two guys in baseball pants and hats from the two teams - the wardrobe budget appears to have run out when it came to buying the guys jerseys.

But no one in the audience seemed to mind.

In fact, the super scientific predictor was to send the two guys into the audience - the predicted winner would be the dancer who collected the most money in his shorts.

Yes. No need to read it again - it's what happened.

So hang onto this to see how good Ellen's process is...

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The "Horror" of Modern Celebrity Culture

It's been 21 years since since legendary singer and songwriter Billy Joel has had a hit.

And according to an interview in The New Yorker, that's been on purpose.

He says he really dislikes the "horror of celebrity," and he's really uncomfortable with the demands it places on folks like him. 

In fact, he said that all the scrutiny and second-guessing made him feel like "there was a proctoscope up my butt."

Um, ouch!

Seems like that would make it very difficult to sit down at a piano too.
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Recent Blog Posts
Whose Fault Is It Anyway?
Chestnuts Roasting Barista-Style
Lady Batman?
Annoying Then, Annoying Now
Bizarrely Funny
About Face for Renee
The "Horror" of Modern Celebrity Culture