Tenspeed & Brownshoe: April 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006


It's been about 3 years now and I just realized that I don't watch NBC anymore.

When I was a kid I used to wait all week until Thursday to watch its line-up. The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, and Night Court. That was Thursday for me when I was a kid. All quality shows. The Must-See-TV line-up has changed over the years but it's always been good. Maybe all 4 shows weren't stellar but there were still at least 2 sitcoms that would make me laugh.

Well...no more of that shit.

What do we have now?

Will & Grace: C'mon, how many times can I hear Delta Burke call one of the guys a fag? Oh wait, that's not Delta Burke.

Will & Grace (again): They show it twice here in New York. Here's a joke they used the last time I watched it...Jack: She's got a nice caboose. Karen: And nice catits.

My Name is Earl: Jason Lee tries to correct his mistakes and change people's lives. I liked it better when it was Quantum Leap. First of all, My Name Is Earl doesn't have that cool blue light effect when he completes his task. And Jason Lee never says, "Oh boy!" Ever.

The Office: Don't get me wrong, I love Steve Carrell. Just not in this. Plus, I was a HUGE fan of the British version. Ricky Gervais, anyone? Watching the American version after watching the British version is like dating Jennifer Lopez's sister. Yeah, she's a Lopez but still...

Painful, painful, painful. And that's just Thursday night. Do you realize that NBC is trying to do their own version of American Idol? But that's not my favorite. My favorite is Celebrity Cooking Showdown. Not only is it a complete rip-off of Iron Chef (it even has the same set) but there aren't any celebrities on the show. Unless you count a former Miss USA, or a former Boy Band member, or the most downloaded woman (actually, that's not true) on the internet as celebrities.

So what's the answer?

Put Scrubs on Fox. Then bring back Arrested Development.

And I would never change the channel.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I feel sorry for Gilbert Godfried being named least sexy man alive. I mean he's funny and has a job in show business. I bet he's sexy to somebody. Who are the mean spirited little people who make up these lists?
Oh Jesus...
I hope no newspaper makes a list of the least sexy women in the media!
Let's stop and ponder for a moment the backlash -
"Oh women are so objectified... eating disorders... blah blah high school girls... confused... their bodies... blah blah unfair... music videos and ... more women like Katie Couric..."
It would be our cartoon of Mohamed.
But you've started making up your own list haven't you?
Of course you have.
Stop it.

Oh all right, just one.
I'll go first.

Mrs. Garret.

- It's Brownshoe baby - wanna hand me a towel?

I dunno...
Call me crazy.
I'm gonna put it on the line here and guess that Keifer Sutherland turns out to be the bad guy in THE SENTINEL which opens this weekend.
If I was TENSPEED I would have put a big picture from the movie at the top of this posting.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Life In Post...

What the hell is "Post"? Post is an abbreviated term for Post-Production. So what's Post-Production? Basically, it's the period of time after the "shooting" stage of production where the editing, sound mixing, and marketing is done. One could argue that it's the most important stage for a film. Currently, I have 3 films in Post-Production. Which might sound exciting but if you know anything about Post, it's really depressing. It's exhausting, it's time consuming, and it's...well..it's...


At least that's how everyone else outside of the film will view it. Let's face it, everyone loves pre-production. You're already on a high because you got the money to put your creative vision on the screen so everything else seems like a dream.

You get to hire your crew: Fun.

You get to cast the film: Fun.

You start getting paid: FUN.

And everyone you know will say this to you--Congratulations! I am soooo happy for you!

Production is hard of course but everything seems so damn precious once you start shooting. Everything you've been dreaming about has become a reality. There's on set fighting, you'll end up spending way more than you were supposed to, and you slowly realize that when people tell you that you're the best writer/director/producer that they've ever worked with, they actually think you're a moron that knows nothing about film. But that's not how you'll look at it.

The very first day you get on set: Amazing.

The first time you hear, "Rolling": Monumental.

The first time you scream, "Action!": No words have ever sounded as commanding or sexy or powerful than the words you just spoke. You're a God. No, better. You're Bono.

And everyone you know will say this to you--I always knew you could do it!

But Post-Production is an entirely different animal. It's private, it's intimate, and nobody outside of the film really understands what the hell you're doing. And you'll make the ill-advised decision to show some of your friends the rough assembly. Which will be horrible. All rough assembly's are horrible. When the studio saw the rough assembly of Chinatown they said, "Well, at least we didn't spend that much money." That's just the half of it. Post-Production, especially if you just made an independent film, can take forever to be finished. We're talking fucking years, man.

And everyone you know will say this to you--You're not done yet?!

Even my Executive Producer for the film that I directed had it in his head that my co-director and I just gave up on the movie. Which of course is madness but so much time has passed, who could blame him? He doesn't really get the process and to an outsider, especially someone who put up money for the film, it must feel like death. Cause it sure feels that way to me.

Now as the gods of serendipity would have it, all 3 films are pretty much coming out at the exact same time. Which is pretty great. But until the movies are actually in the theatre or on television (ugh, more death), I've been forgotten. But that's my life right now.

My Life In Post.


Friday, April 14, 2006


If you don't have any kids than this post will mean nothing to you. But if you do and you've ever watched television with your kid, chances are you've seen Blue's Clues. For those of you who haven't seen the show, this is pretty much how it goes:

A non-threatening manchild in a green striped shirt named Steve, lives with his paper-cut-out cartoony dog in a paper-cut-out cartoony apartment. As the "day" progresses, the dog will leave clues for Steve as to what he wants to make, construct, or eat. Let me say that again. The DOG leaves the clues...mmm-hmm. The show is harmless enough and I don't think my kid realizes that in the real world, Steve, has an exceptional serial killer quality to him. Here's the real problem. Those fucking clues.

I mean, it's supposed to be a kid's show. Except for one small problem. I never understand those fucking clues. Example: The stupid dog gives Steve a string and two paper cups. Serial Killer Steve looks at the camera and asks,"What does he want us to make?" I scream, "Nunchucks!" My son screams, "Telephone!". My son was right.

And then the clues get even harder. I'm watching the show this morning and the clues were:

3 Rubber Bands. An Empty Tissue Box. An Empty Roll of Paper Towels.

What does the dog want us to make? I have no fucking clue. Because they don't sound like clues to me. They sound like trash. The show described the exact contents of my bathroom garage bin. Now this is what pisses me off. I look over to my son and I can tell by the look on his face that he figured it out.

3 Rubber Bands. An Empty Tissue Box. An Empty Roll of Paper Towels.

And my son figured it out. Is he that smart or am I that dumb? The night before he pissed in his bed so I'm not sure. But he wants to scream it out so bad. I look at him and scream, "ONE MORE SECOND!!" But he wants to scream it out sooo bad. So I gave him a "time out" and change the channel to Blind Date.

But that wasn't right. I shouldn't have punished him. So I walked over and give him a hug. He looks at me and says, "A guitar".

I don't want my son watching that show anymore.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

If you had to choose - HAD to choose, would you go see ROCKY 6 or
Tarzan the Musical on Broadway?
If you HAD to choose ...
You don't have to pay in either case.
Not with money anyway.

On a positive note - Spike Lee's new film INSIDE MAN proves again that he is one of the most important American film makers of our generation.
Spike will never lie to you.
He photographs New York like no one else (fuck off Woody) and his unmistakable flourishes and visual dioramas always remind me that I am watching a true master at his craft.
Sure, Spike making a bank heist movie is like Julia Childs making a hamburger - but there are hamburgers and there are hamburgers and you should definitely sink your teeth into this one. ( I did not just say that-)
The smaller roles and even extras are one of the most fun things about the film. Lee captures that blue collar "bacon-egg-and-cheese-on-a-roll" New York guy on the street perfectly and lovingly. Watch for the firemen with nothing to do who keep see turning up in the background.
Everyone is pitch perfect and the ending is not that ridiculous. Jodi Foster as the ultimate waspy white devil from hell is particularly frightening.

-Brownshoe keepin it real.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Here's One:

This past Saturday, I found mysef home in tome to catch some of Saturday Night Live.
I knew it sucked these days, but it's time to pull the plug.
I know every generation says the show ain't what it used to be, and I used to hate to listen to old people go on and on about Chevy and Gilda and all that shit, when Eddie Murphy and Phil Hartman were good enough for me.
But oh my God, every joke, if you can call them that, just fell into an abyss of silence that was the studio audience.
I was so embarassed for them. I wanted to do something but I didn't know what.
Watching this show is like watching the kid in school who wants to be like the class clown but isn't funny get up in front of the class pull down his pants and fart.
Does the show have producers? Does anybody at NBC watch it? Is it just easier to keep it on the air than think of something to replace it?
Is NBC so gentrified that they can't be funny ?
In a town that is clogged with talented writers actors and comics there is no excuse for this level of unprecedented suckieness.
Most of them can get Saturday dinner shift covered.
Comedy Central's original programming puts SNL to shame with guys like Chapelle (Come back Dave!) Even the infantile Mind of Mencia is good for a guilty chuckle.
Oh yeah, and Weekend Update... it's over.
Jon Stewart has retired your ass for good.
And if you're reading this thinking, "Oh yeah Scott, I'd like to see you do better..."
I say, "Bring it."
Brownshoe treading water in a Sea of Mediocrity

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Welcome back Tenspeed...
You know me... what my first question was going to be ...
(by the way, losing your virginity to a sixteen year old Jewish boy - the line to beat. If un PC is wrong, I don't want to be right.)
How was the food?

So after seeing, or rather being bombarded by the trailer for Mission Impossible 3 it occured to me... It is going to be hard not to find ones self rooting for Phillip Seymor Hoffman as the villan.
A real man and a real talent.


Friday, April 07, 2006

I hate Lufthansa. But I'll get to that later.

Act III: Dr. Strangkova or How I Learned To Stopped Worrying and Love Russia.

So here I am, back in The United States writing this post from the comfort of my own home. I travel a lot and Russia will indeed be one of the more memorable trips I've ever had.


Because I kind of feel like that squirrel that runs across a highway. It should've been run over but somehow the squirrel made it to the other side of the street unbeknownst to how close it came to being run over by those new Chryslers that kind of look like Bentleys. There are no two ways about it, Russia is not a pleasure travel destination. But by the last couple of days I learned to appreciate the country for its blatant stereotypical way of living. So...I kind of enjoyed it. Here's why:

  • If the Militia pulls you over, you really don't have to worry about getting a ticket. You just pay them off and hope it's enough. (No, really. This happened).
  • I can't stress how much I loved the subways. No waiting. Ever. And it never smelled like urine.
  • My girlfriend is going to kill me for this but I have to bring this up. The women there are gorgeous. No, not pretty. GORGEOUS. I'm not a mathematician but the numbers have got to be like 93% gorgeous, 5% very attractive, 5% okay looking. How much is that? And it's not like visiting most countries where everyone generally looks exactly alike. The women were all mixed with the neighboring countries so...yeah. Good times.
  • Russian television. Everything is dubbed in Russian. I watched a martial arts movie that was spoken in Mandarin, dubbed in English, and then re-dubbed in Russian. The result? HILARIOUS.

I also figured a couple of other things out as well. Remember that story I told where the 2 girls wanted to take a picture of me and the camera crew did the interview. Originally I thought it was a case of mistaken identity. I was wrong. Here's the thing. On day 5 I finally saw another black person. He was obviously from Africa and he kept his eyes trained on the floor. The next day I saw another black guy, same thing. But they did look at me. They didn't say anything but their eyes spoke volumes. They were saying:

"Help! Help Me!!"

I kind of felt like Oskar Schindler. Maybe I could help them. But I didn't. They were trapped. They were beaten. And that's when I figured out the whole picture taking and the interview thing. To the people in Red Square, to Russians, I must've looked like I was from another planet. I must have looked like a complete alien. Not like ET, the even weirder alien from Mac & Me. My behavior--the constant smile and silliness--was totally bizarre to them. The only thing they could do was get it on tape and hope that someone believed them when they say a molasses colored man was acting like a jackass in their country.

So that was my trip. I went there entirely for my girfriend but I learned a couple of things. And one of them was that in the real world...Drago would've kicked Rocky's ass.


On the way back home I had the worst flight of my life. The seats on Lufthansa were so small that there were at least 30 people standing in the aisles trying to relieve the intense pain. I will never fly Lufthansa again. I was sitting next to a 120 pound lesbian and even she could barely fit in her seat. So, in honor of the plane ride I've written this haiku.


Concrete slabs you call seats, tiny and unforgiving, I think you gave my ass exuma...fuck you.


Monday, April 03, 2006

No, that's not the dad from ALF.

It's Vladimir Putin.


Where was I?

Oh yeah...

ACT II: "What do you think of our country? Please translate..."

I soon realized that my initial impression of Russia was kind of...off. Apparently not every guy in Russia looks like Drago. Just the ones at the airport.

The next day my girlfriend wanted to take me to see RED SQUARE. How could I resist? I've seen that place in so many action movies (and a boring Sean Connery one) that I just had to see it up close. But before we left, she said something to me that sent shivers down my spine. She said, Don't forget your papers.

Don't forget my papers?

I was pretty sure she meant "passport" but that's still kind of a scary concept. When she said the word papers, it made me think of 1942 Germany and I was Anne Frank, destined to keep all my thoughts in a journal...hopefully I'll lose my virginity to that nice Jewish boy. No, it was just my passport. But the Russian police are prone to random searches and it was imperative that I carried my passport at all times. On a side note: Every where else in the world, the police are referred to as "the police". In Russia, the police are referred to as The Militia. And if you ever saw one up close you'd understand why.

To get to Red Square we had to take the subway. She warned me that the subways are packed and crazy with people all rushing to get to their destination. She warned me that they'd be rude and pushy. Obviously she forgot that I'm from New York. The Rude and Pushy capital of the world. And the Russian subways are pretty much the same. The only difference was that nobody could understand me when I called them an asshole. Actually, there is one major difference. Efficiency. The subways are so efficient I felt embarrased for the MTA. And then I felt pissed off. First of all, the escalators in the subway system FLY. This is not an exaggeration. They're fast as hell. I'm guessing around 7 mph. I know that looks slow with that single digit just lying there but it isn't. Most escalators go about 2 mph. In a Russian subway: 7mph. In fact, whenever we'd get to the bottom or the top, the metal stairs would literally launch commuters onto the floor. I counted at least 5 people who would lose their balance, including myself of course. The subway trains need bear a special note. Subway trains come about every minute. Yes, that's right every minute. If a train was too packed, my girlfriend would tell me that we'd have to wait for the next train. Before I could even say "SHIT!", another train would come whizzing into the station. Lastly, here's somthing that would NEVER happen in NY. When a train is approaching a station, the doors would open before the train stopped. And people would jump off...Before the train stopped.

How's that for efficiency?

So when we got off the train and walked into Red Square, the funniest thing happened. 4 people (2 guys and 2 girls) walked up to us and asked if we could take a picture of them. At least that's what my girlfriend initially thought. Nope. Turned out they wanted to take a picture of me with the 2 girls. Strange. I thought maybe it was a sex thing. You know, 3 on 3. I believe it's called Borschting. Which is Russian for "No, my brother. You got to get your own."

Not 20 seconds after that, an actual camera crew complete with pretty lady and a microphone ran up to me and asked if they could interview me.

Ahhh...okay, so what was occuring here was that they thought I was a famous...something. Which I guess would make sense to them considering I was the only, and I mean ONLY black guy there. And it was obvious that I was from The States. Now this is the first time anything like that has ever happened to me. Probably because I don't look like anybody. I mean that. I don't resemble a soul. Which is funny because my girlfriend looks scarily like Cameron Diaz. When she was in NY, she was stopped all the time. Now it was my turn because I look like...I don't know, Ben Vereen?

So the interview lady would fire all these questions at Anya, wait for her to translate and then I would answer. The most important question would be: "Vam nravitsya nasha strana? Pozaluista perevedite...". Which means, How do you like our country? Please translate...

Please translate after every damn question.

I fought every urge in my body not to say, "Just read my blog bitch. Please translate..."

Apparently this was for Central Television which is the equivalent to America's NBC sans Matt Leblanc. Then again, NBC is now sans Matt Leblanc, finally. I think it will probably take them a bit to figure out that I'm some stupid producer from NY...not Ben Vereen. Oh well, at least now I know how Zhang Ziyi feels...

P.S. One more ACT to follow.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Brownshoe says:
"The Pope's been dead for a year, and I still don't care."

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Hey guys!

First of all, I want everyone to know that I'm still alive.


Just in case I get killed over here, I thought it would be smart to give you guys updates as to how I'm doing.

ACT I: "Where is your hotel voucher?"

Shockingly enough, the trip over here wasn't as long as I thought it was going to be. Every time I've flew overseas, it felt like I was on the plane for days but this went by really fast. Now here's something even more shocking: The airline food was horrible. Now I know what you're all thinking, "All airline food is horrible" but in my experience it's always been pretty good. This was the first time that it was truly disgusting. It was some chicken-like dish. It was sweet and it was wet. It reminded me of a 15 year old hooker.

So otherwise, this was your pretty standard trip. That is, until I got to Russia and the Passport Control. Keep in mind that going to Russia isn't as easy as buying a ticket and getting on the plane. In order to go to Russia, you need a Visa. In order to get a Visa, you need an Invitation. In order to get an Invitation, the place where you're staying has to be Registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But like most things, I found a loophole. I was able to get an Invitation through some Finnish travel company. Which enabled me to get the Visa. So everything should've been hunky dorey, right? (By the way, that was the first and last time I will write the words "Hunky Dorey".)

When I approached the authoritarian "lady" at Passport Control, she studied my passport and Visa like a Salesman studies a Black Guy at a Department Store; with scrutiny. She even busted out one of those loop magnifying glasses. After about 5 minutes, she picked up the phone. Okay, let's get some clarity here. I'm in a foreign land where nobody really speaks English and this bitch was picking up the phone...which is never good. If you ever go someplace and the person across from you picks up a phone, that shit is NEVER good. Cause I damn sure didn't think she was gonna tell me that I won a prize. Well then some even more authoritarian motherfucker comes over and he asks for my ID. I tell him that she has my passport. He responds by saying the word "ID" again. I pull out my Driver's License and he begins to scrutinize that. For Five Fucking Minutes. But here's where my balls literally dropped. He looks at me--no, through me, and asks, "Where is your Hotel Voucher?" I'm kind of supposed to be staying at Registered hotel but remember that loophole I was telling you about? That loophole became my asshole and now I was being called out.

"Where is your Hotel Voucher?", he demands again. I hand him a piece of paper with my girlfriend's address on it. He looks at it, puts it aside, and asks, "Where is your Hotel Voucher?" The person behind me took one step back. I presumed for either TWO reasons.

1. Some hard hittin' motherfucker was gonna come out, beat the shit out of me, kick me in the head, and throw me in jail...


2. The stench of the shit that was running down my leg was beginning to become unbearable.

Well I must have looked pretty pathetic because he eventually waved me through. So there I am, in the middle of the airport, waiting for my girlfriend, looking more like a tourist than anyone ever has in the history of the world. We're talking, Christopher Columbus meets "The Indians" touristy. As I stood there, I noticed a pretty scary thing. Remember "Drago" from Rocky IV? Well, apparently in Russia, Drago's the guy next door. Drago, is the guy you pick on because he's smaller than everyone else. Drago is just some asshole and you can fuck his girlfriend right in front of him, cause hey, what the hell is he gonna do? I mean, he's only Drago. Every single guy looked like they could take me apart like an old set of legos. They're all huge, scary, and huge.

Well, that's it for now. I'm here for another week and I'll write again explaining how and why I'm gonna be on Russian television.