Saturday, October 01, 2005

Who You Gonna Call?

As we begin the fall season and a march to Halloween, and the commercials for haunted houses start to air, what better induction to the Scooter Hall of Fame than the best movie of all time that deals with the other worldly, Ghostbusters. I loved the movie as a child and even watched the cartoon that somehow turned Slimer into a good guy. Looking back, it ruins the continuity, but luckily as a little kid I didn’t care. I even enjoyed the widely panned sequel, yeah it wasn’t as good as the original, but it is still funnier than much of what Hollywood releases today. Not to mention the numerous memorabilia such as bed sheets, lunch box, and action figures.

The movie also introduced me to the comic geniuses that are Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. Keep in mind that Saturday Night Live, Caddyshack and previous movies they were in were before my time or were in movies that my parents wouldn’t let me see at the time. Murray plays Dr. Peter Venkman, the reluctant leader of the group who would rather pick up some hot chick than further his science career. Aykroyd is Dr. Raymond Stantz, the naive one of the group who enjoys his work a little too much. And Ramis, the perennial straightman, plays Dr. Egon Spengler. All of them hit each joke perfectly.

In addition to the main cast, the supporters are just as perfect. First is the scene stealer, Rick Moranis as an accountant turned Keymaster. Sigourney Weaver, who did look good back then but the frizzy hair hasn’t aged well, is Venkman’s love interest turned Gatekeeper. Then there are Annie Potts as the token New Yorker secretary and Ernie Hudson, the only ghostbuster without a Dr. in his name that keeps the group grounded and keeps thing in perspective from a regular guy’s point of view.

The movie itself maybe not be as quote worthy as other 80’s classics and some of the CG has not stood the test of time (where George Lucas when you need him) but the movie as a whole is still worth watching especially with Halloween coming up. So fire up the DVD and let the Ray Parker Jr. blare (which I don’t think sounds anything like Huey Lewis’ I Want a New Drug). And don’t forget to roast some Staypuft Marshmallows over the fire.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Next Impressions – Smallville / Everwood

Okay, so I sort of cheated on the title because I had no desire to count up how many seasons but two shows I’ve watch faithfully from their fruitions started back up yesterday. Granted I watched neither of them live rather I trusted the good ‘ol VCR to help me out.


Yes I know what that tatoo looks likeI was really unhappy when I heard that the show was moving opposite of Survivor and my most anticipated new show Everybody Hates Chris. But I grew up on the Christopher Reeves and have affection for the franchise even though I’m not much of a comic book geek. Plus I still believe Lana Lang is the hottest chick on television today so I have no reason to stop watching unlike another anemic show that moved into the same timeslot on Another Broadcast Channel (and I capitalized the letters for a reason).

We left Smallville (see my review - I'm More Than a Man in a Silly Red Cape) last season after yet another meteor shower hit the town which left Mama and Papa Kent in mortal danger (yet again), Lana climbing out of a crashed helicopter and looking into a crater left by a meteor (or so I thought), Lex and Chloe in the caves that just transported Clark into the artic. So in the premier last night we learn that the Kent’s made it out all right, no surprise there. Also Clark, while stuck in the artic, witnessed the construction of his Fortress of Solitude as I predicted he would find at the end of last season. But the big surprise was that Chloe also made the trip there. Also the crater that Lana climbed up was not made by a meteor but by a spaceship much like Clark’s.

Out of the spaceship came to Kryptonians very reminiscent of the baddies from Superman 2 on a search for Kal-El. I was really sad to see Clark dispatch the baddies so easily but it was cool how they were eliminated in the cool 2-D effect that the same baddies from the movie were vanquished. But it would have been nice to see the two be a thorn in Clark’s side for most of the season. But considering the closeness of Lana’s mystery tattoo resembled the one on the females back, we may see them again. And they just may be brought back by the black oil (very looking) that changed into the form of William the Bloody.

Elsewhere Lois Lane has officially joined the cast and promptly pissed off the visiting Kryptonians nearly getting a broken neck for her troubles. Of course she just a nice precursor until we get to see Kate Bosworth patrolling the Daily Planet when the new Superman movie comes out next year. Also it looks like we may finally witness a pure evil Lex this season which could make this the best season in a while. Granted we have seen that before only for Clark and Lex to be buddy-buddy again by the third episode.

Verdict: If the premier was any indication, I made the right chose in watching Smallville and skipping a slipping Alias and will be battling Everybody Hates Chris for number two in the pecking order at its timeslot.


Amy in her pre-Rachael lookOne of the most solid shows in recent memories, even without any monsters, conspiracies, or superpowers has been Everwood. In it run, it has been a well crafted, well written, and well cast. Last night was the start of the new season, now on a new night. The big news last season (see my review - Rocky Mountain High) was that Andy professed his love to Nina, Mama Brown has cancer, and Ephram left for Europe, hopefully never to be seen again, or at least I hoped as his character got extremely annoying last year.

This season started off with a wedding where Andy and Nina are dancing, oh those wacky writer making you think one way but throw you a curve. They then go back a week to retell the story, and within that flashback we see many flashbacks throughout the season. As I predicted, not only was it not Andy and Nina’s wedding, the dude from not currently stranded on a deserted island got the girl.

The big new of the season though is Amy’s new haircut. She went from the long flowing, best seen in a slow motion flip, type hair to a shorter, almost mini-Rachael. I have yet decided which I like better, but I’m currently leaning towards the newer version. And I hope that she someday films a comedy because her reaction to finding out her crush was a gay homosexual was priceless. Speaking of which, Bright extra exertion in mentioning Colin was not his partner were great too. Everwood could become the new Will and Grace now that it’s no longer on the air. (Wait it’s still on? I could have sworn it hasn’t been on for about three years now. But anyways.)

Sadly the solid episode was spoiled by the return of Ephram. I seriously don’t like this guy. Hopefully he goes back to Europe soon, because I’m not sure if I can stand another season of him whining. And if he does, with any luck Amy will spend more time trying to convert the homosexual American and ignore Ephram.

Vertict: No much how much I like Everwood and mock Reunion for its poor acting and predictable storylines, I’m drawn to Reunion like passing a car wreck on the side of the highway and will end up taping Everwood and watch it with Smallville on the weekend.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Second Impressions – Veronica Mars

BBF's Veronica and LilyWhile all the lemmings were watching yet another answerless episode of Lost, I instead was watching the premiere of what was truly the best show of last year, Veronica Mars. When we last left Ms. Mars, we found out who raped her, whether her and Duncan were related and, most importantly we learned who actually killed Lily Kane. But they did leave us with a little cliffhanger of who was at the door that Veronica was hoping to see.

The show started off with Veronica at her new job as a waitress explaining how normal became the watchword after the events of last season. This includes who in fact was behind the door. When Veronica opened the door and said her line, I swear that the silhouette looked like Duncan, but alas it turned out to be Logan. I really doubt after all that just happened that she was happy to see the son of the man who just tried to kill her and that she, like I, thought it was Duncan at the door.

After the synopsis of the summer, the episode quickly transitioned into the mystery of the week formula, this time including many varsity athletes failed their drug tests. Veronica quickly exposes the perpetrators to give time to set the main mysteries of the year. The first came early when Logan was acquitted of killing Felix. Oh and Logan also seemed to hook up with the new token hot chick/trophy wife. Big mystery number two came at the end of the show in a jaw dropping moment (I still haven’t quite recovered) when the bus that Veronica was supposed to be riding on went off the cliff. Holy (expletive deleted)! When the Lily Kane murder investigation was over I wasn’t sure how they could come up with a plot that Veronica could be equally invested in but they really set this plotline up perfectly as not only was Veronica supposed to be on that bus, and was somehow saved by Lily’s ghost, but Meg, who Veronica was trying to make up with after basically stealing her boyfriend, was killed on the bus. And had Meg had not been at odds with Veronica and Duncan; Meg would had joined Dick’s limousine party. Welcome to guilt city.

Speaking of Dick, he and his brother Beaver made it into the credits this year. I never realized how dirty their names are until Duncan asked their step-mom, “Can Dick and Beaver come out to play?” Nor did I even realize that they were related in the first place. And apparently Veronica Mars didn’t meet UPN’s minority quota, a new black girl has also joined the cast although she didn’t make an appearance last night. But we did meet two new recurring characters Cordelia Chase as the pre-for mentioned trophy wife of Dick and Beaver’s dad and Sgt. Carey Mahoney as a new mayoral candidate and owner of the baseball team. And I really doubt that it a coincidence that the candidate’s daughter was supposed to be on the bus that went over the cliff.

Of course the best part of the show is its pop culture references and there were enough last night to make Buffy jealous including , , , , Bark’s Root Beer Dumass commercial, and ’s spelling of Dirrty. And fore anyone who has not caught the show yet, next week is the best week to start as there will be an appearance of Kevin Smith as a convenience store clerk. No word on if he will have lines or will remain silent yet. And if you miss the first season, don’t forget to buy, rent, or borrow the DVD when it comes out October 11th.

Verdict: You should be watching this while taping Lost. Hey, you can do it the other way, but you must watch Veronica Mars, truly the best show on television today.

As for Lost, I did tape it because, I too am a lemming. I found the episode to be the most boring of the whole season so far. Michael’s flashbacks told us nothing, the scenes set at sea were equally nonsense. They even retold the descent into the hatch seen threw Locke’s eyes with very little news we couldn’t already decipher from last week aside that Kate is in the air vents. And how exactly did Jin make to shore before Michael and Sawyer and how did he not hear either of them screaming the night before when he finally came up for air? Not to mention, how does he know what the word “Others” meant? I doubt he just picked it up in conversation or that Sun put that word in his tutorial. Next week it looks like Lost will get back on track with the (re)introduction of Ana Lucia and we may finally figure out why Desmond is down the hatch and how he came across Jack years ago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Toss Up: Lost vs. Veronica Mars

Tonight is the first head-to-head battle between my favorite new shows of last year, Lost and Veronica Mars. Now both are worth watching, but here I will break down which one you should watch live and which one you should watch afterward, not like Invasion is worth watching. (Warning: If you do not want to know what happened last season on either show, you may not want to read this post.)

Of course there is going to a picture of the token hot chick Token Hot Chick
Lost: Had the inaugural winner of the Hottest Token Hot Chick at the STA’s.
Veronica Mars: No real token hot chick in the cast, has to rely on a new guest token hot chick every week. Granted that may change with the addition of Cordelia Chase to the cast this season.
Winner: Lost

Ickier Inbreeding
Lost: Step-siblings Boone and Shannon hook up after Boone comes to the rescue even after growing up together.
Veronica Mars: A drugged up Duncan has sex with Veronica even though he thinks he’s her brother.
Winner: Lost

Theme Song
Lost: Five seconds of weird sounds.
Veronica Mars: One of the catchiest songs in recent memory, We Used to be Friends.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Death Scene
Lost: Boone falls off a cliff while trying to make contact over a radio.
Veronica Mars: Lily Kane is bludgeoned to death trying to blackmail some one.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Celebrity Guests
Lost: Carol Vessey, The Terminator, and the chick from Sisters
Veronica Mars: Paris Hilton and the dude from LA Law. Granted Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith will be appearing this season, the latter as, of course, a convenience store clerk.
Winner: Lost

Bigger Surprise
Lost: Locke was in a wheelchair.
Veronica Mars: Duncan was the one who rapped Veronica granted he was doped up too.
Winner: Lost

Scarier Setting
Lost: A tropical jungle inhabited by weird creatures and even weirder natives.
Veronica Mars: A concrete jungle where Alpha males and B-girls attend high school.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Veronica and Logan love the 80'sBetter 80’s flashback
Lost: Jack sporting a near mullet.
Veronica Mars: Veronica dressed up like Madonna and Duncan with a Flock of Seagulls hairdo.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Bad Boy You Love to Hate
Lost: Sawyer gets people to hate him to punish himself.
Veronica Mars: Weevil, a gang member with a sweet spot for blond chicks.
Winner: Lost

Love Triangle
Lost: Sawyer and Jack fight for Kate’s attention. Sawyer, unlike Jack, made it to first base, but he’s currently lost at sea.
Veronica Mars: Duncan got there first, not that either one remembered, Logan on the other hand was the most recent to come close. Of course she will have to pick between two guys who have parents that one tried to convince was her brother and the other tried to kill her.
Winner: Veronica Mars

Best Finale
Lost: Arntz blows up, some dudes straight out of Deliverance steal Walt yet over three hours, nothing gets answered.
Veronica Mars: We actually learned who killed Lily Kane but not sure who’s at the door.
Winner: Veronica Mars.

And there you have it; Veronica Mars pulls out the win 6-5. (Blatant trolling for comments alert) What will you be watching tonight?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Broken Glass Everywhere

Don't push him, he's close to the edgeAs a young white kid growing up in the suburbs, I listen to nothing but hip-hop throughout the Middle School years. My love of the genre has died down as I have grown mostly due to the blandness rap has gotten with it endless talk of bling over the same bland beats. I was ecstatic last year when VH1 started up their Hip-Hop Honors awards giving props to the innovators and reminding me of a time when rap was truly king. Last year honored some of my favorites such as , , and . This years festivities did a better job of focusing on the inductees with only one performance of a song not made famous by an inductee whereas last year there was about three or four. Other highlights included:

- was the first inductee. I have always been on the fence about him as he was the guy who brought love songs into the culture. Buy on the other hand, Mama Said Knock You Out is a top 5 rap song of all time. LL is paid tribute by and , the black Britney (can’t sing, moderately attractive but shows a lot of skin). But how much of a tribute can it be when both need guided vocals to sing the songs.

No one has been rapping this hard since Ice-T- Next up is one of the mainstays of my Middle School years, Ice-T. To this day I can recite both the clean and dirty versions of New Jack Hustler. Ice-T is joined on stage by the only other gangsta rapper who has somehow crept into the mainstream . Had anyone guess back in '92 that one would be on the most successful TV show franchise and the other would be doing commercials with Lee Iacocca, you would have been accuse of dipping into one of their stashes.

- Many point to Rapper’s Delight as the start of rap, but The Message by is where hip-hop started. I did find it odd that during there performance of the song the threw in a line from Matthew Wilder’s Break My Stride just like Diddy did back when he was Puff Daddy when he sampled The Message for Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down. What was stranger was Morbidly Obese Joe inclusion in the whole thing.

- are next with a hyped performance with as the first time they performed together. Am I mistaken or didn’t they perform the Whatta Man during one of the Video Music Awards. Can someone give me confirmation for this? Then during the perfomce the for some reason threw up pictures of Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Ray Charles and I swear I saw Dave Chappelle too. Um, okay.

- I’ll go ahead and admit it, I’ve never seen .

- Who invited the dude from Entourage? Was he there just to fill the token white person quota? Wasn’t Ice-T’s wife enough?

- Kanye West comes out and give the most entertaing performance of the night. I don’t say that because of anything he did but that there was some old fat white dude in the second row that had an Art Garfunkel receding afro that had me cracking up thought the whole thing.

- The midget Jermaine Dupree comes out with charms on his watch. No wonder why anyone with credibility makes fun of the dude.

- The induction of Big Daddy Kane is next and the dude can still move. He gets a tribute from on the turntable, (or Antoine Merriwether as I like to call him), Black Thought of The Roots, and sporting a “I Love Black People” t-shirt which seems to be in response to his boss’ “George Bus hates black people” remark.

- Diddy is up last to induct his friend/meal ticket and mentioned Biggie duets album. I have a feeling I’ll pass on that. The finale with Kanye, , and wasn’t as cool as the VMA tribute, but the choir was a nice touch.

If I were on the selection committee for Hip-Hop Honors, here is who I would nominate for the 2006 class (feel free to add anyone you would nominate in the comment section):

Monday, September 26, 2005

Second Impressions – Desperate Housewives

Are you surpised...For a long time, I was a closet Desperate Housewives watcher when it first came out. The main reason I started watching was to see the token hot chick is as little amount of clothes that the censors would allow. The main plot was intriguing, trying to piece together why some suburban housewife would commit suicide. There were many twists and turns that kept me guessing right up to the final reveal, all along with the dead chick giving rather boring monologues throughout the shows. Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the show (check out my review of season one – Desperately Wanting) as many of the awards shows. Seriously, the Golden Globes declared it the funniest show on TV? But anyways.

I was really on the bubble of whether I’d watch it again this season but with Family Guy not being as good since it came back from cancellation and American Dad is nearly unwatchable, I decided to give Desperate Housewives a second look. Plus the apple infused commercials with Better Than Ezra’s Juicy as a soundtrack had be intrigued again.

Okay, I only wrote this to throw in a picture of the token hot chickThe season started where last season began, with the plumber dude returning home while his creepy son held Lois Lane captive. Of course no one ended up dieing but at least there was a decent chuckle when the booze hound loses her bottle in the process. But nonetheless, very anti-climatic. Elsewhere, the token hot chick still doesn’t know the who the father of her child is, but at least she isn't showing yet, and the funniest actress on TV, at least according to the Emmy’s, somehow got a job by changing a diaper in her interview. Umm, okay.

What was really disappointing to me was Rex had an open casket funeral, which totally ruins my “Rex faked his death” theory. This then leads to a potential shark jumping scene where the psycho chick from Melrose Place stalks the church for a new tie when her mother-in-law had a tie psycho chick thought was tacky. Yet she then picks a tie that was equally tacky and proceeds to put the tie on Rex. All I have to say is, “Ewww.”

... they couldn't get the atresses in one photo?The big mystery of the season was also set up in the season premiere with the addition of the token black family that briefly featured last season. We finally learn the dark secret, that that they are hiding someone in there basement. Granted I guessed that secret the moment they let Edie inside. Now the easy money is on that its dad downstairs but I think dad hightailed it out of there tears ago and the “bad” son is downstairs ala . The son we did meet is very straight laced and a momma’s boy, I think because he’s seen momma wrath when the “bad” son did something wrong he doesn’t want to join him down there.

Verdict: Much like a car crash, I know I should turn away yet I keep on looking.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

When the World Caves In

Nothing Is Sound - Switchfoot

Switchfoot broke onto the scene last year with their post-grunge anthems like Meant to Live, Dare You to Breathe, and This Is Your Life off the album, The Beautiful Letdown. Both songs were built around crushing guitars and lyrics that took aim at the complacency of their generation. Not too mention the lead singer wasn’t scared of not hitting every note. The band quickly followed up their success with last week’s release of their follow-up, Nothing Is Sound.

On the album, the band doesn’t stray from what gained them airplay last year with an emphasis on the guitars but this sometimes leads to some paint-by-numbers rock songs such as Golden and We Are Tonight. Disturbingly, the opening to The Setting Sun sounds a lot like the opening to the new Ashlee Simpson song, Boyfriend. When the band tries to slow things down, the results are varied where Shadow Proves the Sunshine and The Blues can be passed over easily but the closer Daisy is worth the listen.

Nothing Is Sound starts off where they left off on Lonely Nation by taking shots of their generation and those who market them, “We are the target market, we set the corporate target, we are slaves of what we want.” More shot at the marketer come later with lyrics like, “Sex is currency, she sells cars, she sells magazines” on Easier Than Love. The band doesn’t reserve the blame to their generation as they take on the previous ones too with Happy Is a Yuppie Word. Our public leaders are not safe from Switchfoot’s wrath either on Politician, “A pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians.” I’m not sure if that is a place I’d like to live.

Song to Download – Daisy

Nothing Is Sound gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

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