Saturday, September 24, 2005

This Is My Happy Face

Man of the House

How can you possibly go wrong pairing up Tommy Lee Jones with five hot cheerleaders? Luckily Man of the House doesn’t disappoint. Granted, it won’t win any awards, but it does a good job as a time suck with its standard fish out of water story and count them, five token hot chicks.

The story follows Tommy Lee Jones as a Texas Ranger, not the kind that would know Derek Jeter as some of the girls think, who is protecting a group of cheerleaders from the University of Texas who have witnessed a murder that is linked to a high powered businessman. The ladies he is protecting include the token hot chick from Undeclared as the brainy one with social anxieties, Vanessa Ferlito, who is on one of the CSI’s, Omaha maybe, plays the tough as nails one but has all the deep thoughts not too mention the only one who could master the Texas accent, Paula Garces, who surprisingly is on the wrong side of thirty playing a college student, and , best know for her singing career, well actually not really, both play the fiery Latina chick, not sure why they didn’t just combine the characters. The standout of the cheerleaders though was Kelli Garner as the boy, and man, crazy dumb blonde, who brought depth and heart to what could have been just your routine Jessica or Paris caricature. Rounding out the cast was Cedric the Entertainer who’s talents were somewhat wasted as the ex-con turned preacher.

Most of the movie is pretty predictable with the girls helping Jones character get in touch with his feminine side including the prerequisite makeover montage. And it’s a given that they would help him out with his girl troubles including his estranged daughter and the professor of one of the girls. The movie may not be as smart as the other cheerleader movie, but Man of the House is worth a rental at the very least.

As for the extra on the DVD, there is a standard making of documentary along with an extra segment following the girls as they learn how to cheerleaders. For some reason before the movie, it runs a warning claiming that the views expressed in the commentaries, yadda yadda yadda, but there are now commentaries to be found but I’m not sure if anyone would want to here the five chick yap about the film anyways.

Man of the House gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Friday, September 23, 2005

First Impressions - Everybody Hates Chris

The cast of Everybody Hates ChrisLast night was the premiere of the most anticipated show of the fall season for me, Everybody Hates Chris. Like many white teenager growing up in the suburbs, I had many of ’s routines and would recite them when ever I fit them in a conversation. Now much like my other comedic idol of the 90’s, , Rock has his own television show except Everybody Hates Chris is an autobiographical show with Rock serving as the narrator. Luckily as the narrator, Rock didn’t reveal at the end of the show, the girl he met was actually his kids’ aunt; I’m talking to you .

The show hit all the right notes with some extremely funny antidotes like when the father knows the price of everything in house and proceed to inform everyone who is around. And unlike Reunion who seems to just pick the top songs from that decade, the music in Everybody Hates Chris hits all the right notes for instance when Ebony and Ivory played as Chris fought with a white bully and even when Rock was legally not allowed to say why the former principal got fired, having Don’t Stand So Close to Me playing in the background, explained everything.

The cast is also well chosen. Terry Crews, last seen as the black dude in redeems himself as Rock’s father and has the best lines in the whole show like “Chris, unplug your clock, you don’t need tell time when your asleep, that’s two cents a minute.” Rock’s mother is played by the chick from Martin not named Tisha Campbell, and no I’m not talking about Sheneneh either. The rest of the cast are relative unknown kids led by Tyler James Williams as the younger Rock as does a great job at it even though he does the pitfall of trying to imitate the elder version of Rock which comes of as some one like myself trying to tell one of Rock’s jokes.

Verdict: Not as funny as the first My Name Is Earl but it’s not far behind. I’ll be watching Survivor, but I’ll be taping Everybody Hates Chris on my good VCR and take my chance with Smallville on my other one. Sorry Alias, no room for you.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

First Impressions - Invasion / Second Impressions - Lost


What exactly does the dude from Tilt do for a living?Another day, another new sci-fi premier, the latest, and I believe the last for awhile in the cushy post-Lost time slot is Invasion. It was really hard to get away from the commercials for the show as ABC showed them ad nausea and recently mentioning how every paper in the country says it’s the best drama this year. Granted from the one I’ve seen, that’s not saying much. But when it comes down to it, Invasion really isn’t doesn’t stand above the rest.

The show revolves around a town that has just been hit by a hurricane primarily an extended family that includes a scientist (at least that what I think he does, wasn’t exactly clear) his wife and two children, his ex-wife and her new husband and his daughter. Surprisingly Jerry Springer isn’t involved. The actors that play the characters are pretty much no name with the dude from Tilt being the only person I recognize. And the character themselves are not that likeable tonight asides from the Tilt dude and his reporter wife. His daughter is extremely annoy, maybe is because I’ve her here say things like “Do you see the lights?” and the even worse, “Mommy, you smell different” all summer long. The conspiracy theorist brother-in-law comes off unlikable much unlike the one on Bones who is lot funnier. It becomes obvious early on that the ex-wife’s husband is evil and new about the whole body snatching hurricane scenario before it happened and I have a feeling he set the wife up to be apart of it.

The hurricane theme also makes the show hard to watch. Most people watch television as a form of escapism and with all the 24-hour new station focusing on the damage of Hurricane Katrina and preparing for Hurricane Rita, I really have no desire to see a fake hurricane with all the real one heavily featured everywhere else. Now had ABC had not over-advertise the show, maybe they could have pushed the show to midseason not too mention it would have not watered down the show where everyone knew what was coming before it happened.

Verdict: Everyone will be better off watching Veronica Mars at 9:00 on Wednesday and watching a taped version of Lost at 10:00 (or vice versa depending on your preference). It really sad the Dave's blog is more entertaining than the show he's on.


What is a Lost post without a picture of the Token Hot Chick?After being annoyed all summer because Lost ended on a poor not a couple months ago, the show is finally back with a chance to redeem itself. It started off interesting enough what looked to be a flashback to the 70’s which made me think that Locke might of actually had hair three decades ago, and a nice set of hair to boot. But as the camera panned out to the last scene of the first season with Locke, Jack, Kate, and Hurley looking down the hatch, I realized what we witnessed was what, or to specific, who is in the hatch. I guess I was right in that the hatch was a bomb shelter but I thought it was going to be Boone, Ethan, the marshal, Scott, Arntz, Elvis, and Tupac down there. Oh well.

We are then treated to a bunch of Jack flashback chronicling how he met his wife where Jack is sporting his old Charlie for Party of Five hair. The initial surprise being that she was engaged at the time, but really any one who was paying attention to the last time Carol Vessey was on, she mention that Jack told her she would dance at her wedding. But of course I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t get that until last night. But the stadium flashback was the key one. On a quick side note, how does one get into an empty stadium to run, that really bugged me. But anyways. Near the end of the episode I told the person I was watching, “I bet we see Desmond in more flashbacks this season.” And I wasn’t far off as he turned out to be the one in the bomb shelter. Not that he won't show uip in flashback later. And this makes even more questions, the biggest for me being, if the shows intro suggests, Desmond has been stuck in the shelter since the 70’s, how, and why, does he run into Jack in the late 80’s/early 90’s?

When the band of four get back to the camp, the story turns bad as everyone is still debating about The Others even though we all know where they are. It also seems as if Shannon will get an actual storyline this year because it looks like her, with Vincent’s help, will be the one who rescues Walt.

On a related note, I went back and watch the first season of Alias over the summer because I didn’t start watching it until the third season. I wanted to do so because I didn’t really care too much for the show last season and I wondering if it was because I missed the beginning. As I watch the earlier episodes, it struck me that Alias basically was a big opening followed by a lackluster middle and the show were capped off with a exciting cliffhanger. And with the latest episode of Lost, which is from the guy who brought us Alias, there was the same thing, a great opening and a great ending, but everything in between was lackluster. For me this isn’t a very good sign as I’ve already decided to skip this season of Alias.

Verdict: There is a very good reason while I’ll be watching Veronica Mars and taping Lost.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First Impressions – My Name Is Earl

I was very skeptical when I first heard about My Name Is Earl. It looked really funny, a show about a petty thief who decides to turn his life after winning the lottery. But the whole redneck vibe could easily turn it into another Mullets type show but with a bushy mustache instead of some hair in the back. Not to mention Earl is played by Jason Lee who, much like Ben Affleck, hasn’t done anything worth watching that didn’t involve Kevin Smith.

All my fears were put to rest when I finally caught the show last night. I haven’t laugh so hard since Adam Sandler’s hey day back in the mid 90’s. First the cast is spectacular. Jason Lee as Earl is great at making a criminal into a likable character that you actually want to root for. Jamie Pressly is there doing what she does best – white trash, and she pulls it off effortlessly as Earl’s ex-wife. She quickly shacks up with one of her baby daddies, who I swear is the dude from the Staples ads (or maybe Office Max, its one of those supply stores). Then there is Earl’s balding brother played by the bully from Boy Meets World and go to fat dude ever since. He’s the one character that hasn’t quite grown on my yet. And of course there is a token hot chick that is a maid at the hotel where Earl and his brother are staying.

The first episode was pitch perfect with Earl losing his winning ticket by being hit by a car only to have an epiphany while watching Carson Daly of all people. From there on, he decides to right all his wrongs with Earl’s first step to redemption being to help a kid he picked on in elementary school get lucky. But there is on major problem when it turns out the kid has grown into, what Earl calls a “homosexual-American.” Of course this freaks the simple minded red neck and Earl crosses the kid of his to do list only for karma to bite him in the butt again. This then forces Earl back into helping the gay-American by taking him to a gay bar where hilarity continues ensues.

Verdict: Watch it, tape it, watch it again. Forget House. Forget The Amazing Race. Don’t even bother with Commander in Chief. Now cue up Rob Base and DJ Easy Rock. Oh no I didn’t.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

First Impressions – Kitchen Confidential / How I Met Your Mother

Before I get into the reviews of the shows advertised, I like to mention that I skipped Surface on purpose and you won’t be seeing a review of the show anytime soon. From the commercials, it looked like the worst of the onslaught of sci-fi shows popping up this season, and that’s saying a lot considering I wasn’t too excited about any of them. And reading the reviews for Surface, it looks like no one seemed to like it anyways. Now on to the show I did watch.

Kitchen Confidential

After the horrible The War at Home, this season’s sitcoms didn’t start of on a very good foot. First up sitting in the post- (if you haven’t already, be sure to check out ) timeslot was Kitchen Confidential. Hard shoes to fill but they try anyways. The show centers on a top notch chef, the reporter from , who had everything taken away after a cocaine habit brought him down. The show starts with him getting a second chance as the head chef of a new restaurant. The first thing he ha to do is round up his crew which includes Xander from Buffy, the head geek from Freeks and Geeks, and Johnny Cho, who we should be chastised for the unfunny Harold and Kumar movie but instead should be chastised for bring the term MILF into our lives. As for the staff that was already in place we have James King, last seen naked in , playing the token hot dumb chick/hostess, and Bonnie Summerville as the owner’s daughter who most likely will play Diane to Alias dude’s Sam. But I’m not sure the show will be on long enough for them to actually hook up.

The main problem of the show, much like Emeril’s sitcom and the reality show The Restaurant is many people don’t want to see funny things that happen in the kitchen of a restaurant. We the consumers want to go in blindly unaware of any potential problems that are hidden by swinging doors. Watching the finger cutting will make me think back to the last time I was at my local resteraunt and think, “what if?”

Another problem with the first show was there were just too many characters and many of them were not flushed out. Aside from the main character, the supporting cast got very little screen time to give me an idea of what they were all about such as the Xander & Harold characters. At the end of the show, the fake-restaurant got a review saying that it was chaotic, the help was suspicious, but at the heart, what they serve was good, and if they could get things together the whole establishment could be great, and that could sum up the show itself.

Verdict: You may be better off watching…

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was my second most anticipated sitcom after Everyone Hates Chris. It has an interesting concept about a father explaining to his teenage children about, obviously, how he met his mother. Okay, the concept is pretty cheesy in a Wonder Years kind of way. Mmm, I just realized that my top two shows I’m was looking forward take from the Wonder Years. Not quite sure if that is a good thing. But Anyways. The real reason I was wanted to see the show is its cast as it features not only Willow but Doogie Howser too. Then they get Danny Tanner to play the role of the dude from . How could you possibly go wrong? Rounding out the supporting cast is Jason Segal, yet another Freaks and Geeks alum, this time a freak. Kinda makes me wonder what happened to Bill. Oh well.

As for the lead characters, we are introduced to two new actors Josh Radnor as the dad and Cobie Smulders as the female lead. Radnor really didn’t impress me much but then most leads tend to take a back seat to their surrounding cast. Smulders on the hand did a good job with the whole slightly quirky girl next girl. Now if only I can find a chick who can quote lines from .

The show itself start off a little sluggish but slowly started out whipping off some good one liners most given by Doogie who looks like the reason to turn everyone. If “suit up” doesn’t enter the American lexicon, that will be a shame. I’m sure I’ll be using it in the near future. I didn’t really care too much for the stop frame to narrating ploy and the ending was bad in a Jack and Bobby kind of way, you know, the kind that ruins the show by revealing the ending way too soon. But unlike Jack and Bobby, it is possible How I Met Your Mother can redeem itself later. Plus it has Doogie and Willow.

Verdict: Watch this over Kitchen Confidential and hope the ending from last night’s show doesn’t completely ruin the show. Now suit up and meet me at the bar in 20 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2005

We on Award Tour - 2005 Emmy Awards

The Emmy awards were announced so long ago, I almost forgot they haven’t actually given out the awards yet, but after watching the show. I kind of wished I had missed it. But to be honest I did watch The Simpson and Family Guy while they were on with the Emmys in the picture in picture. I did give The War at Home a second chance during the commercial breaks and it was just as bad as last week (See First Impressions). Well on to my observations:

The other Housewives get nominations while Eva gets the bunny ears - We start off with Earth Wind & Fire changing the lyrics to mention different television show. Ironically, most of the show mentioned weren’t even nominated. Granted this was a lot funnier when the Village People opened one of the MTV Movie Awards changing Macho Man into an ode to Sharon Stone in , Psycho (Expletive Deleted). The out of no where, the Black Eyed Peas storm the stage because in their contract with Satan, they are to perform on every awards show. Oscars, you’re next. The best part of this was when the members of both bands ran into the crowd to pick one of the nominees to dance with and the long haired pea started dancing with Raymond’s mom while another totally got shot down by Halle Barry.

- Then our host Ellen comes out for a laugh less monologue. What, they couldn’t get P. Diddy? Ellen brought up that two of the worst disasters in American happen after she was announced to host the Emmy and made a joke out of it. Yeah, that’s not really funny. I read that Pat Robertson blamed Ellen for 9/11 and Katrina. Granted I got this from what can be considered a reliable source (no offence Bob), but if this is true, does that mean that Robertson endorses Arabs who crash planes into building as long as they are protesting gay homosexuals? If so, it’s another reason to hate religious fanatics of all religions.

- Next we have the cast of Family Guy making fun of Desperate Housewives followed by the Desperate Housewives themselves. Wait, cartoons making fun of nominees, where have I seen this? Oh, yeah, Beavis and Butthead at the VMA’s.

- It is extremely disturbing that William Shatner won an acting award. It’s like Jennifer winning a Hip-Hop VMA and Hillary Clinton winning a Grammy. What’s next is Hurley going to win an ESPY?

- The Blue Man Group gave possible the best presentations in awards show history, but I must admit I was a little disappointed that Tobias wasn’t involved.

Season 2 of Veronica Mars coming to a TV screen near you- And when I thought Veronica Mars couldn’t look any hotter when she was sporting her Madonna wear at her 80’s dance, she topped herself with the leg warmers and sweatshirt over the shoulder look during her performance of the Theme to Fame (click here to download). She gets extra props for not missing a beat even when one of the dancers dropped her. And for anyone who missed last season, if there isn’t a better reason to watch her show, I don’t know what is, well aside from being the best show on television last year. But anyways.

- Taking yet another page out of the VMA playbook they give out best male and female guest star awards at the same time. And to boot, one of them couldn’t read roman numerals. Did he skip fourth grade?

- The best writing awards montage showed exactly why these people should have been nominated. The best was Conan’s speeding though his writes to get to a slow-mo video of himself.

- Letterman comes out to pay tribute to Johnny Carson and this was a lot better than the news anchors tribute.

- Next we had some dude and Macy Gray joined by a choir to do a decent job singing the Jefferson’s theme. My new to top goal is to famous enough in time to be asked to sing the theme to Welcome Back Kotter at next years awards show.

- Winning the Calista Flockhart “I Haven’t Eaten in a Month” Award goes to the chick from Grey’s Anatomy.

- The best part of the night was John Stewart’s pre-tape political commentary, “George Bush hates black (Sabbath).” So Stewart, Letterman, and Conan were all there yet we have to put up with Ellen as the host? Stewie Griffin would have been a better choice to host.

- Of course any Academy Awards show is complete without some old dude who runs the whole thing making an appearance.

- Felicity Huffman is apparently the funniest woman on television. Um, did I miss something? How exactly does this happen? But at least we got to hear the funniest line of the night when Conan said he could finally live out his lifelong dream of disappointing four women at the same time.

Anyone who didn't vote for Veronica is a moron- - Donald Trump wins the Emmy Idol. I smell a fix, was Don King involved or something? I would like to say to anyone who actually voted for Trump – You, my sir, are a moron. Now we have to put up with Trump claiming he is the greatest singer in the world for the next five years. Thanks.

- What was up with Hugh Jackman’s beard? Did he seriously let everything grow then shave off only the mustache?

- Lost wins best drama. Ho hum, Veronica Mars was truly the best show last season.

- And because the Emmy loves one last hurrah, Everyone (except me) Loves Raymond sweeps most of the comedy awards. So anyone who wants to win a Emmy, just end your show, you will be a show in. Which is better than the Grammys where you have to die to sweep the awards.

Final Tally
Predicted Correctly: 8 of 22 (.364)
Wanted to Win: 4 of 21 (.190)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

If Looks Could Kill I'd Die Today

¡Bastardos! - Blues Traveler

During the return of old time rock and roll of the mid 90’s, Blues Traveler made their mark with the breakout album Four. They then followed up with the sadly overlooked Straight on Till Morning. Sadly after that, the band went in a tailspin that was so bad, it landed them their very own Behind the Music. But things have gone better lately which brings us to the latest Blues Traveler album, ¡Bastardos!

The album starts off with You Can’t Thinking About Me, a more artsy type a song than the band is known for. The song stars with some guitars would sound more at home on a Radiohead album along with some voice distortion, but by the time the chorus comes around, it back to more of the traditional bluesy nature of the band. After that is the more playful Amber Awaits which is bouncy much like the earlier Felicia and features the trademark harmonica.

In addition to You Can’t Stop Thinking About Me, expands musically throughout the whole album such as the synthesizer heavy Rubberneck, Nefertiti and also Can’t Win True Love which is also built around a different type of beat. Nail on the other hand is heavy on the bass while John Popper sings in a different cadence. Money Back Guarantee for the first time to my knowledge feature some female backing vocals while She and I utilizes a horn section. But at the heart of the album is a blues influence, harmonica driven songs, and great storytelling such as After What and She Isn’t Mine, that that brought the band fame in the first place.

Song to Download – Amber Awaits

¡Bastardos! gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.