Saturday, December 03, 2011

Best of the Week - 12/3/11

Quote of the Week: Jeff you don't need to worry about what foreigners think about you, that's your right as an American. (Shirley – Community)

Song of the Week: Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohan (Homeland)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Grammy Nominations Announced: The biggest shock this year is Bon Iver got nominated for three of the big four award (the most shocking of which being Best New Artist considering he released a highly regarded album in 2008 and The Civil Wars deserved a spot). The only big award he did not get nominated foe was Album of the Year which had some head scratching inclusions. Aside from obvious selection of ADELE, there was also the critically mixed inclusions of Lady GaGa (who has yet to have a smash single like her previous album and only sold a million copies thanks to a $.99 sale on Amazon MP3 when released), Foo Fighters (who many people do not even remember released an album in the past year), Rihanna (who fills her albums with a bunch of decent songs but no one has ever said, wow that is a great Rihanna album) and Bruno Mars (who only seems like he released his album around the time Bon Iver released his first one). It seems like about they made too many people say “who” when Arcade Fire walked away with the Best Album trophy by nominated the biggest pop names. Actually only Foo Fighters is not nominated in the Best Pop Album category. It is a bit surprising that they left out actual well received albums by Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Tony Bennett, Wilco, Radiohead, The Civil Wars and Fleet Foxes which were all downgraded to genre specific Album categories. But let’s keep the Grammy’s in perspective: Hilary Clinton and Milli Vanilli have won more Grammy Awards than the Beach Boys and Bob Marley. Here are some other thoughts on the lesser categories:

El DeBarge nominated for Best R&B album. Seriously. In 2011.

Tina Fey vs. Betty White for Best Spoken Word Album.

"Weird Al" Yankovic nominated for Best Short Form Video for Perform This Way; not nominated in the category: Lady Gaga.

Free Download of the Week: O Come Emmanuel - Single of the Week - The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: A new batch of albums are on sale for $5.00 this month over at Amazon MP3 including The Civil Wars, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer and Jack Johnson.

New Album Release of the Week: El Camino - The Black Keys

New DVD Release of the Week: The Help

Video of the Week: With Friday Night Lights wrapping up its last season there is now a void for best television show on television. Justified is currently in the poll position but with Ma Bennett drinking her own apple pie and Loretta McCreary moving to the suburbs to live with Tim the Toolman Taylor, the show is going to have to refill the bench. Recruiting Carla Gugino to be Raylan’s bosses boss may help. Promos for the third season have started to air before the it returns Tuesday January 17 at 10:00 on FX and here is one of them:

The Hat

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Sing-Off, Monday at 8:00 on NBC: Antoine Merriweather may have unceremoniously denied the championship for the third season of The Sing-Off, but he and all stars from all three seasons will return tomorrow for a holiday special that will for some reason also include Flo Rida singing a non-Christmas song. But then again, when you think acapella Christmas, who does not instantly think Flo Rida?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Around the Tubes - 12/2/11

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Neverland, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven, Alaskan State Troopers, Whitney Cummings, Fear and Desire, Kristen Schaal, Dallas, and charity.

- Syfy’s latest miniseries Neverland finally premieres this Sunday at 9:00 and finishes up Monday at the same time. Here is one sneak peak:

Neverland Sneak Peak

- In other Syfy news, the channel is getting into the holiday spirit next Tuesday with Christmas themed episodes of Eureka (8:00), Warehouse 13 (9:00), and Haven (10:00). My sources tell me there will even be some stop motion animation during one of the episodes.

- National Geographic Channel’s number one show, Alaskan State Troopers, returns this Sunday at 9:00 for its third season. In the two hour premiere a woman who was trying to walk eleven miles across a frozen river. And stop me if you heard this one before: a dude in a bear suit walks into a bar… on shrooms.

Alaska Mushroom Madness

- In this month’s New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum wrote her first review as the magazine’s television critic about Whitney Cummings two new shows Whitney and 2 Broke Girls.

- Stanley Kubrick fans will want to mark December 14 on their calendars because that is the day Turner Classics Movies will air the world television premiere of his rare film Fear and Desire at 8:00.

- Fans of old school television shows like Cheers, Taxi, The Brady Bunch or Love Boat (or has someone on their Christmas list that is) CBS recently launched selling apparel from those shows and many other classics.

- You have certainly seen Kristen Schaal before even if you do not recognize her name as she has appeared in everything from Dinner for Schmucks to Modern Family to lending her voice to Toy Story 3. And now she is trying to sell you the Sony Eperia Play (a smartphone that offers a 1Ghz SnapDragon processor and gaming keypad optimized for all of your mobile gaming needs).in some humorous commercial including the one below:

- The latest trailer to the TNT reboot of Dallas has hit the internet and here it is though you will have to wait until next summer until the show hits your television.

- Christmas and charity has always gone hand in hand and this year every purchase you make at over 2,500 retailers (from Amazon to Zales) can earn a free donation to your favorite charity. is helping you do just that. See how it works here.

- For this installment of Political Story of the Week, has caught on the petition to recall Wisconsin’s governor Walker, the name of Vicki McKenna, a staunch Walker supporter who not happy someone forged her name.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

We’re Gonna Have the Hap-Hap-Happiest Christmas Since Bing Crosby Tap-danced with Danny Kaye

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Christmas movies are the comfort food of the holidays, with multiple days off work or school and temperature too cold to actually go outside during the Christmas vacation, it is easy to sit in front of the television with a blanket on and watch some holiday fare, and since ‘tis the season any movie with snow will do. There are few Christmas movies that are legitimately good any time of year and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of the few and this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.

Like the first two Vacation movies, Chevy Chase (Fletch) and Beverly D’Angelo (The House Bunny) reprise themselves as the married Griswolds. And like the previous two movies, their children are played by entirely different actors; this time inexplicably Audrey became older than Rusty for the first in the film and were played by the relatively unknown at the time Johnny Galecki (Suicide Kings) and Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers). There was also the returning Randy Quaid (who could not make it to Europe in the previous film) who torments the Griswolds in their own home this time around.

But like every Vacation movie, no matter how many people they try to bring in to steal his thunder, the star of the movie remains Chevy Chase as the bumbling father who thinks he has a chance with a younger woman and has one massive breakdown per movie because everything that could wrong does. And there were plenty of reasons for a break down this time around from unannounced guests to a light show that does not work right. But it is the lack of a Christmas bonus (or more specifically one that turns into jello) that sends him, and Cousin Eddie, who kidnaps his Scrooge of a boss and his wife, over the edge to high comedic results.

My fondest memory of the film happened in high school when my math teacher decided to show the movie before our Christmas vacation and “forgot” to bring the School Board edit version and instead watched the full unedited version instead (actually this was a common occurrence of my teacher as we also got the real version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in English one time). For those that do not have cool enough teachers, you can catch the movie playing on ABC Family this month on 12/7 and 12/12 both at 9:00.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas 2011 Schedule

ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas

It is that time of year ago when you just stay inside with a blanket on and watch Christmas specials for a month straight. And ABC Family is happy to accommodate with its 25 Days of Christmas (Harry Potter and Pixar marathons notwithstanding). Some highlights include new original movie 12 Dates of Christmas (12/11 at 8:00) starring Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar who relive the same Christmas Eve first date over and over again Groundhog Day style until she learns to open up and stop living in the past. This year also features the ABC Family premieres of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (12/4 at 8:30), Disney/Pixar’s Up (12/16 at 9:00) and one of the all time great holiday classics, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Thursday, December 1
(7:00) The Santa Clause

Friday, December 2
(6:00) Dr. Seuss on the Loose
(8:00) Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Live Action)

Saturday, December 3
(All Day Long) Harry Potter Marathon

Monday, December 4
(All Day Long) Harry Potter Marathon)
(8:30) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Monday, December 5
(7:00) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys
(8:30) The Polar Express

Tuesday, December 6
(6:00) 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(8:30) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Wedensday, December 7
(6:00) A Very Pink Christmas
(9:00) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - ABC Family Premiere

Thursday, December 8
(7:00) Frosty's Winter Wonderland
(7:30) Cranberry Christmas
(9:00) The Year Without a Santa Claus

Friday, December 9
(7:00) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Saturday, December 10
(All Day Long) holiday Movie Marathon
(8:00) The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause

Sunday, December 11
(6:00) Holiday in Handcuffs
(8:00) 12 Dates of Christmas – A New ABC Family Original Movie

Monday, December 12
(9:00) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Tuesday, December 13
(7:00) Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat (Animated)
(7:30) Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat

Wednesday, December 14
(8:30) Dinsney∙Pixar’s Finding Nemo

Thursday, December 15
(9:00) Beauty and the Beast

Friday, December 17
(9:00) Dinsney∙Pixar’s Up - ABC Family Premiere

Saturday, December 18
(All Day Long) Holiday Classics Marathon
(8:00) Dinsney∙Pixar’s Toy Story

Sunday, December 18
(8:00) Dinsney∙Pixar’s Toy Story 2

Monday, December 19
(6:30) Aladdin
(8:30) Disney∙Pixar’s The Incredibles

Tuesday, December 20
(6:00) Mickey's Christmas Special
(9:00) The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 21
(7:00) Disney's Prep and Landing
(8:00) The Santa Clause

Thursday, December 22
(7:00) The Santa Clause 3 - The Escape Clause

Friday, December 23
(8:00) Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Live Action)

Saturday, December 24
(All Day Long) Holiday Classics Marathon
(7:00) Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
(8:00) The Year Without a Santa Claus

Sunday, December 25
(8:00) The Polar Express

For those that missed ABC Family’s other new original movie this year Desperately Seeking Santa (which for some reason they premiered before Thanksgiving), you can currently watch the full movie on Hulu. Or just check it out below:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Previewing TNT’s Mystery Movie Night

Bill Pullman getting arrested in Innocent; but did he do it?

TNT’s Mystery Movie Night is for a certain type of person (full disclosure notice: I am not one of them) and that is for anyone who watches CBS more than any other channel. The kind of people who see Marcia Gay Harden or Alfred Molina and are instantly intrigued. The kind of people that already have a couple novels by Scott Turow already on their bookshelves. The kind of people who are, dare I say considering TNT recently canceled a similarly named show, men of a certain age.

Scott Turow’s Innocent is the basis of the first Mystery Movie Night airing tonight at 9:00. The movie follows a judge (Bill Pullman, While You Were Sleeping) whose wife (Marcia Gay Harden, The Mist), has just died under suspicious circumstances (aren’t all deaths in mystery books?) and the prosecutor (Richard Schiff, The West Wing) who was unable to pin the death of the judge’s mistress on him twenty years ago is trying to build another case to bring down him down. It does not help that the judge’s current mistress his former clerk and current girlfriend to his son. There are plenty of twist and turns you expect from a mystery movie and a ending you will not see coming (assuming you have not already read the book). But that is mostly because it may be the most boring outcome that could have been written.

Rita Morgan and Bill Lumbergh team up for Ricochet

The Mystery Movie Night returns tomorrow, also at 9:00, with Ricochet based on the book by Sandra Brown and feature actors that are a bit more endearing to men of my certain age: Rita Morgan! Bill Lumbergh!! Dwayne Motherfracking Wayne!!! Much like Innocent, Ricochet features a judge (Lumbergh) but this time around it is his wife that may have caught the infidelity bug and the detective (John Corbett, Parenthood) looking into her self defense murder of a home invader wants a piece of the action. It does not help that Lumbergh recently threw Corbett in jail for contempt after one of his cases got thrown out on a technicality. It should be noted that the Ricochet script was written by the same guy who wrote The Craigslist Killer as these early Mystery Movie Night films have a slightly classier vibe than your regular Lifetime Movies.

The Mystery Movie Night continues through December. Next Tuesday, Carla Gugino and Mark-Paul Gosselaar team up for Hide originally written in book form by Lisa Gardner. Wednesday is the premiere of Richard North Patterson’s Silent Witness starring Dermot Mulroney, Anne Heche, and Judd Hirsh. Then on Tuesday December 13 April Smith’s Good Morning, Killer gets the movie treatment starring Catherine Bell, Cole Hauser, William Devane, and Titus Welliver. And just in time for Christmas, the mother / daughter writing team of Mary and Carol Higgins Clark and their book Deck the Halls gets turned into a movie Tuesday December 20 starring Kathy Najimy, Scottie Thompson, and Larry Miller. And if you enjoy the Mystery Movie Night, you are in luck because yesterday TNT already ordered up a new movie based on Patricia Cornwell’s Hornet’s Nest and have already cast Sherry Stringfield, Virginia Madsen, and Michael Boatman and is set to air sometime in 2012.