Archive for September, 2010

20
Sep
10

Filling out my fall TV roster

The new fall TV season is upon us, and I’m still trying to figure out which shows to plug in to my weekly roster.

TV Squad has a rundown of what’s on tonight and I’m assuming will do so every day.  Reviews of the new shows are starting to pop up from the online critics.

I’m intrigued about The Event on NBC and Fox’s con man drama, Lone Star.  I just wish they weren’t both airing on Monday, since it was already a night of tough decisions because Chuck and How I Met Your Mother air opposite each other.  I have a bad FlashForward 2.0 feeling about The Event after seeing some promos so I’ll probably give Lone Star a shot first.

16
Sep
10

Time-wasting never hurt so good

One thing I rarely use my iPhone for is to play games.  I’m cheap and just check out free games and demos to pass some time.  Most games I’ve tried are fairly simple in concept and execution and rarely hold my attention for more than a few minutes.  Every once in a while, there’s a diamond in the rough.  In this case, it’s Stair Dismount, which offers all the fun of pushing someone down the stairs without causing actual bodily harm.  Simple concept, but there’s hours of fun to be had trying to set a high score.

No iPhone? No problem.  The game is free for download on Windows/Mac OS X/Linux at Secret Exit’s website.

13
Sep
10

Searching for an audience

Many comedies that bomb at the box office find a second life on home video, and maybe a cult following even.  Office Space is a good example of this, and I can see MacGruber finding its audience now that it’s on DVD/Blu-Ray.

MacGruber started out as a Saturday Night Live skit parodying the TV show MacGuyver.  Each skit involved a bumbling MacGruber failing miserably in trying to disarm a bomb.  That premise wouldn’t make for a great movie, so we get an action hero movie parody instead.

The action heroes we usually see are tough, honorable men who are highly disciplined and know how to use a gun.  MacGruber is petty, vain and a big jerk.  He’s slightly crazy and a very vindictive person.  He’s also a decorated soldier but you wouldn’t know it by his demeanor.  Suffice to say, he is not your typical action hero.  However, MacGruber’s unique personality and penchant for dick jokes make for some interesting exchanges with his teammates Dixon Piper and Vicki St. Elmo.

The biggest issue I had with the movie was the pacing.  MacGruber drags in several parts and its 90-minute runtime feels a lot longer than that.  MacGruber’s nemesis Dieter Von Cunth has a name that lends itself well to a lot of jokes, but the actor who plays him (Val Kilmer) wasn’t given much to work with.  He does have excellent taste in models for his oil paintings though.

Overall, MacGruber serves up a lot of jokes as long as you get the humor.  It can be hit or miss but Will Forte and SNL writers Jorma Taccone and John Solomon throw so many gags on screen there’s bound to be something you’ll laugh about.  I also want to give special mention to the soundtrack, which features a healthy dose of yacht rock.  Ripping throats and kicking ass never sounded so smooth!

09
Sep
10

Have we met your ‘Mother’?

Word’s gotten out that Jennifer Morrison of House fame has joined the cast of How I Met Your Mother for the show’s sixth season as Ted Mosby’s latest (and hopefully last) love interest, Zooey.  Details are at The Ausiello Files.

HIMYM has been on a slow descent to the middle for a while and season five was pretty forgetful overall.  What’s been really annoying is the teasing that whatever guest star is on could be Ted’s future wife.  I would have no problem if Morrison is the titular mother.  It’s not like the show has to end if we find out it’s her, and it shouldn’t be hard to squeeze out a season of her and Ted settling into a relationship with much hilarity before they tie the knot.  But if the writers/producers pull another Robin/Stella with Zooey, then I’m quitting the show.

08
Sep
10

Sharing is still easy for Radiohead

Wouldn’t it be great if all those live concert videos of (insert your favorite band here) on YouTube had good audio?  I don’t really complain about this because I’m getting a free guerilla-style look into a live performance, but the sound totally makes or breaks the video.  Just a pet peeve I guess.

A couple years after offering an album on a name-your-price basis, Radiohead is up to more internet wizardry.  Via UpVenue.com:

The band encouraged their fans to record the concert using their cameras and camcorders. The video footage was then collected, mashed up together and coupled with the soundboard’s audio recording.

The end result is an entire concert video available for download or for your own viewing pleasure on YouTube.  With brilliant sound.

06
Sep
10

When hipsters are mocked

If you’re going to mock the hipster subculture, I can’t imagine a better  figure to symbolize it than a certain fuhrer.  See for yourself at the new webcomic Hipster Hitler.

If Hitler humor isn’t necessarily your thing, how about dinosaurs?

03
Sep
10

Fury Road should be a glory to behold

The Mad Max series holds a special place in my heart, instilling in me an appreciation for post-apocalyptic worlds, ice-cold vengeance and gasoline.  You may understand my trepidation when I found out Mad Max is another movie property set for a reboot/update/sequel/prequel/whatever that usually rapes my childhood memories.  However, the more info that trickles out regarding Mad Max 4: Fury Road, the more my anticipation grows.

First of all, George Miller is involved.  He wrote, produced and directed the previous three Mad Max movies so you know Fury Road will stay true to its roots.  Of course, one would’ve thought the same thing when George Lucas was making the Star Wars prequel trilogy and we all know how that turned out.

Reasons to be skeptical went out the window when you consider the next two pieces of info.

Tom Hardy, aka the brawn of Inception, has been cast to play the titular character.  How’s he approaching the role?

Imagine a hungry wolf. Or like when you put a cat in the bath. You grab a cat by the throat and stuff it under the fucking water. You know what it looks like? That’s what I’m going to look like. But like a puma. Very hungry and very dangerous. It’s imperative. This is the kind of guy who’s not well. So I have to create that reality.

There’s so much awesome in that quote.  Glad to hear Hardy gets it.

Finally, it’s going to have 130 cars and bikes and 298 stunts.  No CGI, just some good old-fashioned stunts.  Seems like what’s old is new again.  Considering the series’ pedigree of road warriors and badass Australian cars, this tidbit really made my day.

Fury Road is slated to release in 2012, which suddenly feels too far away.

Speaking of pedigree…