Our own Amy S. visited the Georgia Aquarium recently and captured this rare shot of the Humpback display.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Lowering The Bar is a website dedicated to things humorous and ridiculous in our legal system, be they lawsuits, court decisions, whatever. The list that follows includes some of their "Best Of" for 2008. Yes, 2008. Okay, so I'm a little late on this one, since 2009 is almost over. I blame Juicy for not sending me the link sooner. In fact, I might sue.
LAWSUITS OF THE YEAR
- Sarkozy v. K&B Editions: President of France sues company for making voodoo doll in his image; he wins and is awarded one euro
- Feeney v. L’Oreal: plaintiff alleges hair dye was mislabeled; claims emotional distress resulting from no longer being able to live life as a blonde
- Gomez v. Colorado Department of Corrections: inmate sues after falling during an escape attempt; claims state failed to make jail "reasonably escape-proof"
- Goodman v. O’Brien: woman who delivers junk mail for a living threatens to sue homeowner after getting her finger caught in his mail slot
- Knights Templar v. Pope Benedict XVI, et al.: Group claiming to be heirs of the order of Knights Templar sues the Catholic Church for illegally seizing the order's assets (Bonus points: statute of limitations ran out 700 years ago)
LEGAL ARGUMENTS OF THE YEAR
- A German woman's claim that she was unable to respond on time to a benefit agency's request for information because she suffers from a "phobia of official correspondence"
- The claim in an IRS proceeding that the defendant had been unable to pay taxes or file returns for five years because he suffers from "Late-Filing Syndrome"
- The declaration by a couple in Florida that they are "sovereigns" not subject to U.S. laws, so that they do not have to pay taxes and in fact can print their own money
- A multi-millionaire's claim that he defaulted on a 3.6-million-pound mortgage because after he moved in he discovered the estate was haunted
- The claim, by a police officer suspended for having sex with prostitutes while on duty, that he did so only as part of a sting operation and did not enjoy the sex ("If you are asking if I had an orgasm, yes. It was a job, sir. I didn't have pleasure doing this")
- A claim of tribal immunity by the members of the "Wampanoag Nation," a tribe that turned out to have three members and was founded in an Arby's in Provo, Utah, in 2003
- An argument, in the trial of a man accused of killing his stepdaughter, by defense attorneys who cross-examined a detective partly by pointing out that the defendant had been given a coffee mug labeled "WORLD'S GREATEST DAD"
LAWYERS OF THE YEAR
- Judge Elizabeth Halverson, a Las Vegas judge who was suspended after her staff and others complained about bizarre and abusive treatment, including the demanding of foot rubs and showing up for work accompanied by armed bodyguards. Halverson lost an election in August.
- Adam "Bulletproof" Reposa, who was jailed for contempt of court after making a wanking gesture in response to an argument by opposing counsel. Bonus points: "DWI Stud" ads in which he is depicted having sex with a female police officer.
- The partners at the Cohen Milstein firm, who fired the firm's managing partner by leaving a note on his chair while he was at a meeting. Oh, the camaraderie.
- Ted Olson and Joe Larisa, both of whom represented petitioners in a Supreme Court case and both of whom refused to let the other guy argue the case. They actually asked the Supreme Court to decide the issue, but it refused. (Larisa backed down at the last minute, but only after being promised he could sit at counsel table.) Major bonus points: an attempt to break the impasse by coin toss failed because they were unable to agree on the rules for the coin toss.
From Maxim.com. As usual, I don't necessarily agree with all of these -- I thought Elisabeth Shue was fine in Leaving Las Vegas. I couldn't agree more, however, with Michael J. Fox and Vince Vaughn.
Kevin Costner - Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
Charisma and an English accent is all Robin Hood has going for him. So when you strip those away, you get nothing but a shitty Renaissance Fair in movie form. Alan Rickman had to overact enough for six movies just to make this pile releasable in theaters.
Adam Sandler - The Longest Yard
There is no way in hell that a guy who looks like Adam Sandler ever played professional football, and we're including NFL Europe, the Canadian Football League, and Tecmo Super Bowl for Nintendo.
Elisabeth Shue - Leaving Las Vegas
A woman who earns her living the hard way on the Strip looks more like Nick Nolte in a weave than Ms. Clean. Even by the standards of the "movie prostitute" (you know: hot, disease-free, only turned two or three tricks before meeting the hero), Elisabeth fails to convince on any level. It's a shame, 'cause we totally buy Nic Cage as a drunken loser.
Leonardo DiCaprio / Cameron Diaz - Gangs Of New York
Two for one! Yes, sometimes even a great director like Martin Scorsese can screw the casting pooch. Leo's done some fine work for the furry little director, but Gangs was not it. If it were real life, Bill the Butcher would have been wearing his pelt as suspenders within five minutes of meeting him. And Cameron? If we knew poor street urchin pickpockets were 5-foot-8½-inch ex-models, we would've stayed awake during history.
Sofia Coppola - The Godfather, Part III
Apparently, she knew the director. Mary Corleone is supposed to be so irresistibly hot her own cousin is obsessed with popping her gnocchi. Now take a good long look at Sofia. She's a handsome…woman?
Denise Richards - The World Is Not Enough
When you think "world's top nuclear physicist," you naturally think of belly shirts, pouty lips, and a rack you couldn't take your eyes off of if your shirt caught fire. Even in the world of James Bond, this is beyond a stretch.
Michael J. Fox - Casualties Of War
If you slathered Michael J. Fox in honey and dragged him through loose gravel there still wouldn't be an ounce of grittiness to him. So pitting him as a psychologically tortured Vietnam vet is like having Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now played by John Candy.
Judd Nelson - New Jack City
Every time you see Judd's "loose cannon" vice cop, he's halfway hidden behind the Asian guy or Ice-T's bumba clot Rasta cap, delivering one of his three lines. He's a big 0–3 when it comes to this role's minimum requirement: Judd doesn't look tough, streetwise, or Italian. Not. Even. Close!
Jack Black - King Kong
In order for the events of King Kong to even get off the ground, you've got to believe that the crew of the Venture would follow the hopelessly obsessed but still charismatic film director Carl Denham into the darkest reaches of the uncharted world. Unless Kong is being played by Kyle Gass in a hair suit, there's no chance we're buying this.
Vince Vaughn - Psycho
Tall, handsome, quick with a one-liner, and smooth with the ladies… sounds a lot like Norman Bates, huh? The paranoid, mother-obsessed motel owner should at least look like the kinda creep who talks to dead things and masturbates through holes in the wall. Vaughn just ended up looking like Trent from Swingers with a hangover.
Who else belongs on this list? I know one: M.Utherfucking Night Shyamalamadingdong, in not one -- oh no no -- but all of his shitty-ass movies. A background cameo is one thing, but a speaking part? Distracting and vain. Step off, Narcissus, and leave the acting to the professionals. The filmmaking, too, while you're at it.
Other points of view about the criminally miscast: