Saturday, November 19, 2005
Much like today where you wouldn’t see me in front of the television watching rivalry week (scroll down to read why), one movie you will not be seeing me this at weekend is Walk the Line. Granted you won’t see me at the Harry Potter movie due to the fact I’ve been through puberty, but that a whole different subject. The reason why I will pass on Walk the Line is not because I don’t like Johnny Cash, I quite a few of his albums and one of the few respectable country artist in the genre because he doesn’t insult the intelligent of his audience. The reason why I will pass on the film is because, much like last year’s Ray, why would I want to watch a fabricated bio-flick when I can just spend the time listening to the music.
My ban on the bio-flick goes back a couple years when I heard Will Smith would be playing the title character in Ali. Seriously, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a boxer. And why did Ali even need a bio-flick when you could just watch the documentary When We Were Kings instead? And these bio-flicks take way to many liberties just to make the movies more feel good most notably The Hurricane with Denzel Washington who made the Rubin Carter look like a much better fighter than he actually was. Walk the Line looks like it won’t be an exception. A child Cash had with his first wife complained that the film made her mom look like a villain to the point where Kathy Cash walked out of a private screening.
Another problem I have with the bio-flick is how they are almost automatically Oscar worthy for the actors with both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon getting the buzz that always surround such film and led the dude from Booty Call to win Best Actor last year. But the thing is that portraying a real person is much easier than creating a completely new character that no one knows. So a bio-flick actor winning an Oscar is essentially like an Olympic diver winning the gold even though he did dives at the lowest difficulty. But when it comes down to it, when I look at the trailer to Walk the Line, I don’t see Johnny & June, I only see Joaquin and Reese. So instead of heading down to the multiplex this weekend, I’ll instead put on The American Recordings and wonder what it would be like to shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Tomorrow is rivalry week in college football so you can catch me glued... well, in bed. Even being stuck in between the biggest rivalry in college football, Ohio State-Michigan, I could care less. Maybe it’s because I went to a college that culminated just a couple more wins while I was there than the amount of years I attended. I remember back to freshman orientation where the school President said that if we won a game, we had her full permission to tear down the goal post. So we hauled down to Dix Stadium (seriously, that’s the name) every other week. Of course did not win one home game that season and for subsequence years we learned it was the tradition to leave the game at half time.
But I am a die hard Golden Flash so, unlike many turncoats in my state, I can not cheer for any other team. If you like Ohio State so much, why did you not go there, they do have a 100% acceptance rate so it’s not like you would have been turned down. Then there is the entirely different type of group, the type that root for Ohio State even though they dropped out of high school. So I’ll be sleeping most of the weekend because I would sooner watch women’s golf before college football, just make sure you wake me up in time for me to fill out my March Madness brackets.
Although there was one college football story that has caught my eye this year and that is the fledgling rap troupe down at Miami. Unfortunately I have not gotten my hands on a copy of the debut single from Seventh Floor Crew (send it along if you do know where I can find it) but I heard that there is an F-bomb about ever fifth word and routinely talk in French and refer to gardening tools. The song has ruffled the feathers of blowhards everywhere because they are up in arm. Apparently these people haven’t been in a boys’ dorm in the last decade, by what I hear is on the song is what is talked about in every college dorm and locker room across the land. If you want to get mad at someone, rip on 50 Cent because he says the exact same thing except he get paid for it and that’s who these kids, and kids much young than them, emulate these days.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
It’s head to head time again with the Veronica Mars once again trying to play David to Lost’s Goliath. Last week was a squash with Lost producing one of the worst episodes in the history of television. So how does Lost rebound, by going back to what drew everyone into the show in the first place, having a plane crash on a deserted island. Although this time threw the eyes of the people in the back of the plane. And all the episode seemed to accomplish was to poke more holes into many of the plot points already established.
My biggest complaint is with the Others or Them as the tailies refer to the group of unknowns. In the last couple episodes the tailies made Them out to be some unstoppable beast with Ana Lucia going as far as to say one bullet wouldn’t be enough to stop Them. But as we saw last night Shaft was able to kill two of them with his bare hands and Ana Lucia herself took out one of Them quite easily. There was nothing that happened last night the hinted that Them were as scary as the Tailies made Them out to be to the point where Ana Lucia would shoot first and ask questions later.
Then there was Ana Lucia’s whole confrontation with Goodwin. After forty-eight day she is just now realizing the he was with Them? And if her big argument was that he wasn’t in the water why does he give himself up, why did he just not shoot back, I landed there, just next to Bernard and that’s how I found him? But instead, like a Bond villain, he gave up his plan. Granted this lead him to the reveal that Them took the “good” people. And while were are on Goodwin, didn’t Shaft tell Jin that he was a good man and was killed by Them when they passed by his corpse while searching for Michael? Was this a glaring mistake or did Ana Lucia lie to the other tailies about how Goodwin died?
Another glaring admission was that one of the tailes mentioned that the plane was a hundred miles of course and doubted that there would be a rescue plane. How did she know this? The main cast didn’t find this out until they found the pilot and he told them. Was everyone completely not paying attention when the pilot announced this? Was this somehow only announced in the back of the plane? These types of questions have been ruining Lost this season.
I forgot to pay attention in the beginning to notice if the chick from came out of the ocean at the beginning, but I still think that she is part of the experiments from the bunker film. If she was on the plane, I bet she was the reason why it went down. Also it was pretty obvious that Dr. Burton wasn’t the spy. C’mon, it was Dr. Burton. But begs the question after Dr. Burton and Carol Vessey, who’s next to show up on the island, Warren? Molly? Ed himself? Personally I vote for Stubb because he defiantly needs something to do in between tapings of I Love the (insert decade here).
Then to end the show, we once again got to see Shannon die again reminding us how much last week sucked. And I’m sure, just like we got to see the going down the hatch three time, we may see Shannon die one more time, maybe from the dog’s point of view. So that’s why they need the extended episode so we can see something we already have before? And since when is four minutes extended?
Veronica Mars this week took a page out of the Lost playbook by having fifty minutes of nothing much happening, but an extra shocking last ten minutes. Not that the first part was void of any entertainment, Dick buying Kendall a French Maid outfit was classic and certainly the cigar shop Veronica when to will come into play later. And after the parade of familiar faces last week, we get another one this week with an appearance of Madison Sinclair last seen being revealed as the person behind Veronica’s drugging, who gave the line of the week when she said “My Dick?” For some reason that had me on the floor laughing, and yes, I know my mind needs to get out of the gutter. And with each passing episode I am more convinced that the Goodman family is at the heart of the bus crash. And this week we meet the paranoid son and the creepy mother. Not to mention Woody’s master plan of turning much of Neptune into a city.
But even since Meg’s sister brought Duncan Meg’s secret computer I figured that the family had a dark secret. So when Duncan mentioned that Meg had been in contact with child’s services, my first thought was her parents. That may have led to why I was a little down on the episode because I had it figured out from the beginning. But the wild goose chase did end back at the Manning household leading to the big ending. And with the line “Funny, my dad said the same thing” Sheriff Lamb turned from a crooked cop into something much more complex. This lead to Lamb to let Veronica, who Lamb never passes up a chance to mess with, go then heads back to the Manning homestead, where he sits in front of their house with his lights off. It should be interesting where his character goes from here.
My biggest problem with this episode was how it completely ignored what happened last week. There was no mention of the murder of Amelia DeLongpre or what Keith found under the seat in the bus. And this wasn’t the first time the show has ignored something that happened in the pervious episode most notable ignoring the Casablancas clan after Big Dick took off in his helicopter. Also I really don’t like how they put in scenes from the end of the episode into the previews. Knowing that Veronica and Duncan would be caught somewhat ruined this episode knowing all episode it would eventually happen much like a couple weeks ago with Veronica mentioning “They all died because of me” which turned out to be the last scene of that episode. But Veronica Mars once again was more entertaining this week than loss giving it a 5-1 advantaging in the season series.
Looking ahead to next week, I predict the first half of Lost will be mired in conversations like “You found a bunker? We found a bunker too.” “You had weird people steal some of your people? We had weird people try to steal some one of us too.” “You have a sketchy past that you spend hours upon hours reflecting on? I have a sketchy past that I spend hours upon hours reflecting on too.” Then the last coupe minutes their will be a big conformation between Ana Lucia and Sayid that will be interesting enough to con people into watching the next week.
As for Veronica Mars, it looks like she will finally get caught using one of her aliases at a bad time while trying to help Logan clear his name while Logan goes before “The People’s Court” which was obviously Weevil’s buddies. I am starting to believe that it was Logan who did it which is my big prediction of the week.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Due to my morals, I try to avoid anything that is on Fox. Plus I prefer my karaoke to be performed by people with little to none talent much like Larry Holmes on But Can They Sing? So needless to say I have missed all but a couple of seconds of American Karaoke aside from some big black dude butchering one of my favorite songs of all time, Smokey Robinson’s The Tracks of My Tears. And it’s not like the American Karaoke champions have had much staying power aside from Kelly Clarkson even though many people will classify her only as a guilty pleasure.
But the latest queen of karaoke, Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood, shares the same qualities that has helped Clarkson to the top while the other champions in between have lacked, Underwood and Clarkson are both have the cute, down home, girl next door appeal. Just look at Underwood’s album cover with the playing in the field feel to it. She could sound like Biz Markie and still be able to sell some records on charm alone. And that charm went along way because, even though she has a decent voice, it’s doubtful she would have won if American Karaoke was a radio contest instead of on TV.
The songs on Underwood’s first album, Some Hearts, can be divided into two different camps, the one’s that will be marketed to the pop audience and those that will appeal more to country fans. Those songs even seem to alternate every other one to mix things up. The standout “pop” song is the album opener, Wasted, a nice little ditty about making sure you get the most out of life.
As for the “country” songs, there is nothing more entertaining on this album than Before He Cheats which takes a page out of the Goodbye Earl handbook about how to deal with a bad boyfriend. “And he don't know that I dug my key into the side of his pretty little suped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seat, I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires.” Now I’m pretty sure if you carve your name into the seats, he may have a premonition that it was you that did it, but in no way ruins the entertainment value of the song. And you also have to give Underwood, a glorified karaoke queen, props for throwing in the line, “Right now, she's probably up singing some white-trash version of Shania karaoke.” That takes a pair, even for a girl. Also in the song she sings about the girl in question, “right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink cause she can't shoot whiskey.” Now is Underwood is able to do this, I totally want to hang out with this chick.
Even the other “country” song avoids the pitfall of many current country hits of insulting my intelligent. Seriously, She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy? I could actually feel my IQ drop when I heard that song. But anyways. Aside from wondering where Walmart is during the country girl in the big city tale of I Ain't in Checotah Anymore she sticks with classic country model of good storytelling. Night Before (Life Goes On) almost plays like a southern version of Fast Car with two young kids in love looking for a better life out of town but for now, “He’s got a Friday paycheck lined up down the block at daddy’s shop it ain’t much but its a job.”
There are quite a few songs that are filled with more cheese than most McDonald stores most notable the Jesus Take the Wheel. The song is just bogged down in over the top melodrama. Other songs are mired with clichés like, “Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned” (Lessons Learned) and “I guess it’s gonna hurt to hurt” (Starts with Goodbye). If she can get ride of these types of overused devises, she may just yet live up to the title of American Idol.
Song to Download – (If you’re a little bit country) Before He Cheats; (If you a little bit rock n roll) Wasted
Some Hearts gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
A couple weeks ago, VH1 brought back their greatest franchise, the I Love the 80’s series, this time brought to you in 3-D. Well not really, it was just the third installment. To honor the great show, I going to bring back my 80’s Dance Party for this month’s lyric quiz even though this is just the second time for it. The first 80's Quiz ended quickly with all the songs being guessed without any hints. But this time around, it will be a little harder. As always leave your guesses in the comment section, both song title and artist. If you are correct, I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Also keep in mind that since this is an 80’s theme, all song versions were the one’s released in the 80’s in the case of cover songs.
1. Now I’m playing it real slick, and yes I cut my hair. (Hip to Be Square - Huey Lewis and the News; guessed by Dane Bramage)
2. If you be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal. (You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon; guessed by Sheila)
3. Father wears his Sunday best, mother’s tired, she needs her rest. (Our House - Madness; guessed by Sheila)
4. Don’t fall in love, if you do, you’ll find out she don’t love you. (She's a Beauty - The Tubes; guessed by Sheila)
5. The sun was spiting fire, the sky was cool as ice, I felt a little tired so I watch Miami Vice. (Walk the Dinosaur – Was (Not Was); guessed by Dane Bramage)
6. Her weapons were her crystal eyes, making every man made. Black as the night she was. (Venus - Bananarama; guessed by Dane Bramage)
7. Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye. (You Give Love a Bad Name - Bon Jovi;
8. Said “Can I take you home where we can be alone,” and next we were movin' on. (I Love Rock & Roll - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; guessed by Sheila)
9. School girl sleezy with a classy kinda sassy little skirt hangin way up her knee. (Walk This Way - Run DMC; guessed by Sheila)
10. When you want to come? (Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood; guessed by Sheila)
11. When I’m in the shower I’m afraid to wash my hair because I might open my eyes and see someone standing there. (Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell; guessed by Sheila)
12. Did you here that one about Michael, some say he must be gay. I try to argue but they say I he was straight he wouldn’t move that way. (Rumors - Timex Social Club; guessed by Guppyman)
13. Don’t switch the blade on a guy in shades. (Sunglasses at Night - Corey Hart; Guessed by Luka)
14. The time has come, a fact’s a fact, it belongs to them, let’s give it back. (Beds Are Buring - Midnight Oil; guessed by Sheila)
15. And the beat's so loud, deep inside. The pressure's high, just to stay alive. (The Heat Is On - Glen Fry; guessed by Guppyman)
16. I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that. (Tide Is High - Blondie; guessed by Sheila)
17. Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before. (Stand - R.E.M.; guessed by Sheila)
18. If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double. (Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash; guessed by Sheila)
19. And she’s watching him with those eyes, and she’s loving him with that body, I just know it. (Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield; guessed by Sheila)
20. I got my first real six string, bought it at the 5 & Dime. (Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams; guessed by Sheila)
21. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play. (Centerfield - John Folgerty; guessed by Sheila)
22. She calls me baby, she calls everybody baby. (Lonely Ol' Night - John Couger Mellencamp; guessed by Guppyman)
23. Then she lost her mind and did the ultimate - I asked her for Adidas and she bought me Zips. (Parents Just Don't Understand - D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince; guessed by Sheila)
24. Walked in this place surprised to see, a big girl gettin' busy, just rockin' to the go-go beat. The way she shook her booty sho' looked good to me. (Da Butt - E.U.; guessed by Dane Bramage)
25. I buy you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger. Still you hang out all night, what am I to do? (My Girl Wants to Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy; guessed by Dane Bramage)
Congrats to Sheila who guessed the most this month with 15 correct lyrics. Be sure to check back December 15th for the next lyrics quiz. To give you a little hint, next month's theme will be some of my favorite lyrics from 2005.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Now that we are a couple weeks into the new Fall TV Season and each new show has gotten a sweeps episode under their belt, it is time for me to unveil the top new shows of 2005. And if there are any TV execs reading this, you have my permission to use this list in promotions for you show. Now without further ado:
1. My Name Is Earl - Tuesday 9:00 NBC (See my first impressions)
2. Everybody Hates Chris - Thursday 8:00 UPN (See my first impressions)
3. Reunion - Thursday 9:00 Fox (See my first impressions)
4. How I Met Your Mother - Monday 8:30 CBS (See my first impression)
5. Supernatural - Tuesday 9:00 WB (See my first impressions)
The biggest surprise is that there is not one, not two, but three sitcoms in the top five. I haven’t watched a sitcom religiously since ABC started screwing with The Drew Carey Show’s scheduling and it has been over a decade since I watched three sitcoms in the same year. Apparently having a narrator is the key to comedy these days as each show utilizes one.
Even though Everybody Hates Chris was my preseason favorite, My Name Is Earl is this season’s breakout show and Jason Lee’s mustache being the season breakout star. With Earl’s insane list, there are limitless opportunities for Earl to get back on karma’s good side as seen in the episodes that have been shown so far. Stealing the golfer’s beer is the best wrong that Earl has had to right so far, by faking his death to get out of a relationship comes a close second. As for the coming in second on my list, Chris has some great laugh out loud moments, but sometimes the show get bogged down with too many Wonder Years moments.
Another big surprise would be with all the X-Files rip-offs (Surface, Invasion, Threshold) getting all the early buzz, which all turned out to be unwarranted a different sci-fi show and a show with an original concept were the two dramas that made the list. The concept behind Reunion, each episode is dedicated to a different year, even makes up to some poor acting and foreseeable plot twist, although they did through me for a loop with the last episode where they made me believe that I was right by saying it was the actress was the one who would bit the dust only to reveal that the chick from Angel’s interview was via a videotape from the night she died.
Bringing up the rear is another solid drama, Supernatural. In my original assessment of the show, I mention that I would most likely catch it when it came out on DVD because I’d be watching My Name Is Earl. But I figured I still tape the show until there was a episode I didn’t like but that day has yet to come.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
With Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan already crossed-over into music and albums by Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie sadly on the way, it was only a matter of time before a cast member from The O.C. made their very own album. What is surprising is that it is not by Marissa or Ryan but by papa Cohen. Granted I don’t watch The O.C., so I know Peter Gallagher mostly from the best reality ever, Denis Leary’s short lived Contest Searchlight where Gallagher got run over by a car. Hopefully one of these days that will finally make it to DVD. But anyways.
Unlike others who try to juggle a singing career after establishing themselves as an actor, Gallagher actually came up through musical theater appearing in musicals such as Grease and Guys and Dolls. On 7 Days in Memphis, Gallagher traveled down to the city mentioned in the title to Ardent Studios to record the songs, all of which were pulled from soul tracks that were recorded in that very studio. Keeping with the vibe of the studio, Gallagher used many musicians from the area including Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Legendary soul singer Betty Wright even shows up to duet on When You Move You Lose.
Gallagher’s song selection was impeccable, but still doesn’t come close to pulling off anything as good as the original. But it’s doubtful he was trying to live up to them in the first place but rather giving them new life for a new generation. His best song choice would be the Donnie Hathaway (no relation to Anne) classic, and one of my personal favorite, A Song for You.
Song to Download – A Song for You (or check out the Donny Hathaway version)
7 Days in Memphis gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.