Saturday, January 12, 2008

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me


Somebody Help Me

Remember all the blackploitation films from the seventies? The white movie executives figured if they put black people in lead roles that they could get them out to see movies. The films were extremely low budget and since the were written, directed and produced by old white dude, the films were racist, simple and plain to the point where I did a dissertation in college about racism in pop culture and featured clips of Shaft (if you want to see something really offensive, go to you library and hunt down old Bugs Bunny cartoons from the twenties and thirties, seriously, when I showed those to the class, everyone’s jaw was on the floor).

Fast forward three decades and now there is the CodeBlack Entertainment which is also making movies targeting the hip-hop generation, but this time around the movies are being written, directed and produced by people of color. Of course if you are not a BET regular viewer (I’ve stopped watching ever since they stopped airing 227 reruns) it is doubtful you have heard any of their movies. If you happened upon the channel last Halloween you may have seen the production company’s horror film, Somebody Help Me.

The story follows two friends, Omari Grandberry (whom you may or may not know better as Omarion) and Marques Houston (Sister, Sister) who take their girlfriends up to one of their uncle’s cabin (pay attention to the uncle’s name, I had to rewind to see if I heard what I really heard) to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of Brooklyn Sudano (My Wife and Kids). Of course things go wrong when their friends venture out of the cabin to have sex (which we don’t get to see, why have a horror movie complete with gore and F-bombs but no gratitutous nudity?) but don’t return in the morning, then one by one all of the friends are gone.

Somebody Help Me mixes three horror sub-genres as suspense, torture porn, and the more classic approach. The problem is they don’t go all the way on any of them. The torture porn doesn’t go far enough to satisfy the Hostel fans, the suspense rarely holds up because it isn’t hard to see what is coming and it doesn’t help that the friends just disappear, we don’t see anyone actually get kidnapped until late in the way too long (100 minutes) film.

The movie is at its best when they go into classic horror movie with heroes that continually make stupid choices like when they drop the shotgun they are carrying for no apparent reason. Or the inept police station where they are not allowed to talk about something mysterious that happened in the past. Then there is the bizarre appearance of a creepy young white girl (although not The Ring creepy) who for some reason only shows up every half an hour.

The movie really is only for horror addicts who need a fix until the next Saw comes out or Omarion and Houston fanatic who needs to pick up everything they do. But really Somebody Help Me is about as good as you would expect from the writer, director and stars that brought us You Got Served.

Somebody Help Me gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Friday, January 11, 2008

Previewing Kyle XY


Jessi XXLast we saw of Kyle and the crew back in September, Jessi had just taken all the information in Kyle’s head and promptly jumped off a cliff, we learned Adam Baylin is still alive, the Tragers started to piece together all the weird things Kyle has done, and Amanda was getting ready to go to a music program. Of course if you want to review the whole last episode that aired, you can download Leap of Faith for free on iTunes. And of course if you want to review the whole first season, check out my Kyle XY DVD Giveaway. As for the second season, ABC Family is running a marathon this Monday.

And of course Monday also sees the midseason premiere of Kyle XY, To C.I.R. with Love. The episode opens right where they left of with Kyle looking over the cliff that Jessi just jump from. Did she survive the jump? Well you will have to watch, but you get a definitive answer about half way through the episode. Here are some other things you can expect on Monday:

Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead

Kyle XY- Kyle fills in the gap to the Tragers of what is going on.

- Kyle goes after MadaCorp during their open house.

- As you can tell by the title of the episode, the C.I.R. machine makes an appearance.

- Lori decides to go after the first cute boy she sees.

- Andy makes an appearance.

- Josh gives us way too much information.

- There seems to be a new boss at MadaCorp.

- Somebody leaves town (but maybe not who you think).

- We learn the name of the girl in the picture at the diner (who looks like Jessi) and who took the picture.

End Spoilers

Below is a promo for the next episode and don’t forget to enter my Kyle XY Contest before it ends next Friday the 18th.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XIV


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya) - Ashlee Simpson




Hopefully this song isn’t a bad omen for 2008 because it really isn’t the best way to start of the New Year with the mannequin that Ashlee Simpson has become. But then again, I cannot imagine how anyone could make a song worth than this aside from Ashlee herself. It just shows you how messed up the music business is when they are pushing a reputed lip-syncer down our throats again even after her last album bombed as bad as her Saturday Night Live performance. As for the video, if I were Salvator Dail, I would sue.


Us Placers - CRS



Now onto some actual good music. This song appeared on Kanye West’s mixtape last year and even though it is doubtful we will get an actual album from CRS anytime soon, this Thom York sampled track definitely wets the palette and make me reminisce about the early nineties when there actual great rap crews, not just one decent rapper and his crappy friends that populate the rap landscape this decade.


Pumpkin Soup - Kate Nash



In a story I broke yesterday, Kate Nash is the next big thing and here is the best song off her new album (see: You Said I Must Eat So Many Lemons ‘cause I Am So Bitter). Just don’t ask me what is with the creepy human sized cats.


Gravedigger - Willie Nelson



Yes this is Willie Nelson covering Dave Matthews and somehow Willie made it sound creepier than the original.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

You Said I Must Eat So Many Lemons ‘cause I Am So Bitter


Made of Bricks - Kate Nash

Apparently January is the month where England exports all their lasses with attitude problems. Last years saw debut albums from Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen and this year’s version is Kate Nash. It is yet to be seen if by the end of 2008 she will be knocked up or in rehab, but unlike her countrymen, she like to tell it like is and in true fiery redhead style. But unlike Winehouse or Allen, Nash actually plays an instrument, the piano to be exact, which makes her sound more Regina Spektor than something produced by Mark Ronson.

Nash does follow the two songstresses’ career projectory so far being a huge hit in her native country, going three singles deep, before having even the slightest bit of name recognition in the states. That should all change with the American release of Made of Bricks. This will mostly be thanks to the first single Foundations, an ode to a broken relationship that Nash just can’t let go of even though he calls her rude names in a crowded restaurants where she responds that she would rather hook up with his mates.

Unlike her counterparts, Nash actually sings about the brighter side of love on Pumpkin Soup where she repeats to a potential beau that “I just want your kiss boy.” The track bounces along thanks to some well placed horns which makes it closest thing to a Ronson produced track on the album. Even though the piano is the main instrument on Made of Bricks, Nash pulls out an acoustic guitar to great effects for the beautifully tender Birds and the heartbreaking Nicest Thing. She goes even more stripped down for (Expletive Deleted)head which is pretty laughable in a good way.

Also different from her predecessors whose albums were full of listenable songs, Nash’s debut is a bit uneven as there are a couple of skipable songs, the opening Play is basically unnecessary and (Expletive Deleted) Song just goes one step too far. With that said Nash may not have the clever lyrics of Allen or the soulful voice of Winehouse, but the musicianship could make her a force in the future. Well that is if she can stay out of the tabloids.

Song to Download - Pumpkin Soup

Made of Bricks gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Best of 2007 Redux


Here we are a week into the New Year, but I want to take one last look at 2007 (for full Best and Worst of the year, be sure to click on the Best of 2007 label at the bottom of the post). First my annual list of artists that had the most impact on be over the past twelve months:

Top Artists of the Year

1. Lily Allen (Best Song: 1, 8, 12, 18, 66; Best Album: 3; Best Video: 5, 11, 15, 23; Best Performance: 25): Just to show how much impact Lily Allen had on me this year, in twelve years of making Best Songs of the Year list, no artist has had more than two songs in the top twenty let alone four. And it looks like many of you liked her too because as you can see below, her album review was the third most viewed post of the year.

2. Kanye West (Best Song: 3, 6, 53, 72, 87; Best Album: 5; Best Mash Up: 21; Best Video: 1, 4, 18; Reader’s Poll: 2; Best Performance: 15): Even though not nearly as good as his first two albums, Graduation still ranks in the top ten best rap albums this decade. And no other artist had a better viral year thanks to his internet only videos for Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ and his remix for Throw Some D’s.

3. Amy Winehouse (Best Song: 4, 29, 50, 92; Best Album: 6; Best Mash Up: 9; Reader’s Poll: 3; Best Performance: 23): Yeah she went neck and neck with Britney Spears for most clinically insane celebrity of the year, but unlike Spears, Winhouse managed to put out a great album this year.

4. Alicia Keys (Best Song: 10, 24; Best Album: 1; Best Mash Up: 15; Best Live Performance: 1, 9, 14, 20): As I Am may not lived up to expectations, but it was good enough to land her the best album of the year. Also she ripped off some great performances to promote it.

5. Ryan Adams (Best Song: 5, 21, 42, 90; Best Album: 4; Best Video: 10): A year and a half was the longest hiatus of his career and the extra time paid off with East Tiger being his best album in a while. Of course then Adams promptly released an EP not that long after. We will have to wait to see if he goes back to three albums in 2008.


Next some self congratulatory some with the most read posts and such here on the 9th Green. I was going to have the most popular searches, but nine of the top ten were some sore of play on “Best Songs of 2006” with the only other being Megan Hauserman in the nine spot, so that seemed silly to post. But here are the other best of the best. First a note between Most Read Feeds and Most Viewed Posts, the Feeds are based on who is accessing my feed, most likely through a feed reader (but some pirated) where Posts are people who actually came to the 9th Green, and if there are on the top, it is most likely because of Google.


Most Viewed Posts

1. You Make Me Smile, Please Stay Awhile
2. First Impressions: Beauty and the Geek 3
3. Sun Is in the Sky, oh Why, oh Why, Would I Wanna Be Anywhere Else
4. Best Television Shows of 2006-2007
5. First Impressions: Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School
6. First Impressions: The Big Bang Theory
7. 25 Days of Christmas Schedule
8. We On Award Tour: 2007 Espy Awards
9. First Impressions: The (White) Rapper Show
10. Toss Up: Christina Aguilera vs. Avril Lavigne


Most Read Feeds

1. 57 Channels and Only this Is On vol. II
2. Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night
3. Don’t Download These Videos XXIV
4. You’re Part of my Entity
5. We On Award Tour: 2007 MTV Video Music Awards
6. Record People Are Shady IX
7. Jesus Was Too Smart to Ever Run for Public Office
8. Lyrics Quiz: 80’s Dance Party vol. 3
9. Scooter McGavin’s Solution to the Writers Strike
10. The Best New Shows of 2007


Most Popular Labels

1. Kelly Clarkson
2. MTV
3. First Impressions
4. Beauty and the Geek
5. Shakira
6. Best of 2006
7. Scooter Hall of Fame
8. Lyrics Quiz
9. Survivor
10. Friday Night Lights


Lastly, for those interested in the Best Songs of 2007 (click here to download the songs) to fit on a single CD, here would be the tracklist which would come in at 78:18 (note: the songs are in reverse order as if counting down the tracks).

1. Everybody Knows - Ryan Adams
2. Dumb it Down - Lupe Fiasco
3. Love Song - Sara Bareilles
4. LDN - Lily Allen
5. Look After You - The Fray
6. Brianstorm - Arctic Monkeys
7. The Game - Common
8. The Underdog - Spoon
9. Our Song - Taylor Swift
10. Alfie - Lily Allen
11. Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen
12. No One - Alicia Keys
13. Read My Mind - The Killers
14. Oh My God - Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen
15. Tennessee - The Wreckers
16. Stronger - Kanye West
17. Two - Ryan Adams
18. Rehab - Amy Winehouse
19. Can’t Tell Me Nothing - Kanye West
20. Dreaming with a Broken Heart - John Mayer
21. Drivin’ Me Wild - Common featuring Lily Allen

Monday, January 07, 2008

Contest: Win Kyle XY on DVD


Scooter Note: This contest is over. Congratulations to Doug from New Jersey. Be sure to check back later for other contests.

For those that may not have gotten all they wanted for Christmas, I have one more present to give away that may make things better. In honor of the return of Kyle XY a week from today, Monday, January 14, 2008 at 8/7c (which is preceded by an all day marathon), I have a prize package to away that includes (for an idea of feautures such as bonus features and track lists, or just want to buy now click the links):

- Kyle XY 1.x on DVD

- Kyle XY Soundtrack

- Kyle XY 2008 Calendar

This is a perfect post Christma gift for any Kyle XY fan or any TV fan that needs something new to watch to get through the writer’s strike. Now you know what you will be getting, here are the two ways you can enter (you can enter two times, once each way):

Win Kyle XY DVD1. We are a week or so into the New Year, what is your resolution for 2008?

2. Mention and link this contest on a blog or message board. (Any link must be posted at least 48 hours before the conclusion of the contest and only one link per message board or blog; feel free to use the badge to the right).

You can e-mail your entries to ScooterKSU(at)aol(dot)com (subject: Kyle XY). If you link the contest, make sure you let me know you did in your e-mail where so you get credited with an entry. You may enter the contest twice (once each way). The contest ends Friday, January 18 at 11:59 PM EST. The winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries and will be contacted shortly after. Also this contest is only open to people with shipping addresses in the Untied States.


Enough with the legal mumbo jumbo, I have actually seen the midseason premiere which I will be writing about in the next couple days. For those that want to go back and rewatch the last episode before the show comes back, as I write this you can download Leap of Faith for free on iTunes if you do not want to wait for the marathon to watch it. Also below is a preview trailer and some cast stills or you can just head over to the official site. You can also check out my Preview of the midseason premiere.

video

Cast of Kyle XY 1 Cast of Kyle XY 2


Sunday, January 06, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XIV


Quote of the Week: If you ever look at her, even tonight again, at school, anytime, I swear to God I’ll end you. Are we cool? No, seriously, that way. (Riggins, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake (Waitress, since the lack of actual television, I had to go with a movie I watched this week. I may not getting around to a full review, but if you want to be gruntle, you should definitely hunt down this movie)

Big News of the Week: Scooter McGavin Endorses Joe Biden Who Promptly Drops Out: Yeah, that didn’t work out well. So I guess I need another Democrat to back. I think I’ll go with John Edwards if only because his daughter Cate (click to check out her blog) is what I like to refer to as moderately attractive. Speaking of potential first daughters who I would like to salute, John McCain’s daughter Meghan (seriously, do you have to be a bad spell you’re kids weird to run for president) started up her own YouTube account, here is one of her vlogs:



Coalition Links of the Week:

BuzzSugar: This week, we were disappointed by Cashmere Mafia, challenged you to recast The Nanny, and wondered which late-night host grew the best strike beard.

Glowy Box: It was a relatively quiet week at Glowy Box (and on TV), but Liz still managed to enjoy this week’s challenge on Project Runway, and be preached to by “Model4Jesus” on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.

Daemon's TV: Sandie posted the new midseason 2008 premiere TV schedule and interviewed the cast and crew of the new Knight Rider TV movie. Eric reviewed the first two episodes of the new season of Medium.

Mikey Likes TV: In an attempt to carefully straddle the line between good taste and bad in 2008, Mikey reviewed the season premiere of The Wire and the most recent episode of Gossip Girl this week.

Pop Vultures: We ignored those silly New Year's resolutions in a celebration of television's most vice-ridden characters. We also explained why the television blockbuster is doomed to failure and wondered why Kylie Minogue's face never moved in the Doctor Who Christmas special.

RTVW: Spads wrapped up her three-part series about her time on the Chuck photoshoot. Saying goodbye to 2007, Rae shared her top seven memorable moments of the year and, ringing in the new year, wondered about the 2008 New Year's resolutions of some of her favorite TV characters.

Tapeworthy: It's the new year and everybody seems to have a best of list and Vance LIVES to make Best of Lists as if they actually mattered. So here are his picks for the Best Movies, Best Music and Best Television of 2007! Happy New Year!

Televisionary: This week, Jace--ecstatic about Televisionary being named one of ten "Must Click" TV websites by Entertainment Weekly--took a look at the new Doctor Who Christmas Special entitled "Voyage of the Damned," bemoaned the loss of Goth contestants Kynt and Vyxsin on The Amazing Race, and offered his television-themed New Year resolutions.

TiFaux: This week's highlight was our take on the Top Five and Bottom Five TV deaths of 2007. We also did a before and after on Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley and his various incarnations (and his poor hairstyle choices) and pondered the similarities between Dexter and Sweeney Todd.

Tube Talk welcomed back the boys of late night, beards and all, pondered why Rosie O’Donnell was voted the most annoying celebrity of 2007, and shared a first look at the new Knight Rider TV movie and KITT’s voice.

TV Filter: We have some awesome Anthony Bourdain swag to give away - you can still enter. Raoul interviewed the Goths from The Amazing Race and Kate was ecstatic over the return of Gossip Girl.

The TV Addict: Picked his favorite shows of 2007. Made some outlandish predictions for 2008 and started the craze that's sweeping the nation: TV Addicts Anonymous. Only together we can survive the WGA Strike!


Sunday Night Football: It is already cheap when you pull your starters like the Indianapolis Colts did in the last game of the season, but it is done right immoral to just lay down like Kerry Collins said Tony Dungy did against the Tennessee Titians when he conceded to Jeff Fisher. If Bill Belichicken gets a fine and loses draft picks for cheating, so should Dungy in this blatant example of collusion. In fact Peyton Manning and all the other Colts that sat should have to give up one game’s salary and have it divvied up everyone in the stands who actually paid for what ended up being a glorified exhibition game with a bunch a scrubs playing the game.

Adding insult to injury, the Cleveland Browns lost a playoff spot due to a tiebreaker to the Titans even though they barely even beat what boils down to a replacement team. What makes thing worse is that this shouldn’t have even been a tiebreaking situation because the Browns got jobbed twice this season with the cheap time out call at the end of the Oakland Raiders game and the Arizona Cardinal game was decided by the only person on God’s green Earth who didn’t think Kellen Winslow Jr. wasn’t pushed out of bounds.

Friday Night Lights: I don’t think it is a coincidence that the best episode of the season came after the finally wrapped up the Landry murder plot line. So much to enjoy this week: Riggins fixing the cable to get porn, attacking the dude who urinated in his locker, Aunt Shells lusting over him, the cheesy 80’s Garrity family montage, Buddy and Coach at the Laundromat, Landry starting a brawl, Tyra pulling Richard Simmons by the hair, her dress at the formal, drunk Julie, ping-pong, Coach threatening Other Coach. The only misstep was Landry’s speech at formal which was basically the exact same speech he gave to Tyra at the Roast last season. But seriously, can they work out some deal like Worldwide Pants to get the Friday Night Lights writer their own deal so they can get back to work? Check out the latest episodes over at NBC.com.

New Hampshire Debates: I’m not sure if this was the best or worst debate ever. It was good because Charlie Rose just let the candidates talk over each other and it almost seemed like Rose wanted to debate more than be an actual moderator. It was bad because I don’t think it really accomplished anything although the candidate’s postures were telling. Mitt Romney looked beaten down, John McCain’s reaction shots were hilarious especially whenever nut job Ron Paul was allowed to talk, and Chelsea Clinton looked about as bored as I did whenever Hilary started to talk. As for winner, on the Republican side I’d go with Fred Thomson if only because he looked alive for the first time in his campaign and on the Democrat side, I’d like to say Bill Richardson won, but I fear if nominated they might bring Horatio Sanz to Saturday Night Live, so I’ll say John Edwards won. Don’t forget to check out who I, Scooter McGavin, Endorsed earlier this week.


This week I uploaded all of my pictures from my set visit to Veronica Mars to my Facebook and MySpace accounts, so if you want to see them you will have to befriend me. Also don’t forget to check out my preview of When Weather Changed History. And don’t forget to check out tomorrow when I announce a big contest.

I would also point out the Blogger recently allowed Open ID commenting so now if you have an AOL/Aim, LiveJournal, TypeKey, Wordpress or any other Open ID account, you can now comment using those. So feel free to give it a test run if you have one and would like to comment on the 9th Green.


Promo of the Week: Not only did Biden drop out of the presidential race right after I endorsed him, I didn’t come across this campaign ad until after I mad my endorsement which may have changes who got mine:



Now there is a Bubba I could vote for.


Next Week’s Pick: My Name Is Earl, Thursday at 8:00 on NBC: Earl and the gang returns for the first episode of 2008 and possibly the last one we will see for awhile as it was the last episode they filmed before they ran out of scripts due to the writers strike.