Saturday, January 19, 2008

Press Release: Breaking Bad


Breaking BadRemember over the summer you kept on hearing about the new show Mad Men but didn’t bother watching because of one of three reasons; 1) you didn’t hear about until it already started and didn’t want to catch up in the middle, 2) you are too young to watch American Movie Classics; 3) you have no clue which of your 5700 channels is AMC or some kind of combination of the three? Well there is already buzz on AMC’s second foray into original scripted series with Breaking Bad starring the dad from Malcolm in the Middle who runs a meth lab that starts up tomorrow (January 20) at 10:00. The main character even has his own blog: Walt’s Wisdom which has the video below on it. And looky, a press release:



BREAKING BAD New Show on AMC...

A mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher unexpectedly adopts a criminal new lifestyle in the highly anticipated new one hour series BREAKING BAD from Sony Pic-tures Television. The provocative drama depicts the extraordinary lengths to which a man will go in order to provide for his family. BREAKING BAD premieres in January 2008 on AMC.

Walter White is a meek high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Already facing financial hardship, Walter realizes that this news will likely force his family into financial ruin. Concealing the news from everyone, Walter decides to make as much money as possible for his family in the limited time he has left. He convinces his former student to partner with him, and the two turn a beat-up R.V. into a rolling meth lab. However, Walter’s unfamiliarity with the drug world and his partner’s bad choices quickly clash and the duo’s partnership takes a turn for the worse.

Emmy-nominated veteran actor Bryan Cranston (“Malcolm in the Middle,” Little Miss Sunshine) heads the cast of BREAKING BAD portraying Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher whose life is suddenly transformed by a dire medical diagnosis. Aaron Paul (“Big Love”) plays Jesse Pinkman, a street-savvy former student who “teaches” Walter a new trade. Anna Gunn (“Deadwood”) is Walter’s pregnant wife Sky-lar, an enterprising homemaker. Dean Norris (Little Miss Sunshine) is Walter’s boister-ous and crude brother-in-law Hank who happens to be a federal drug enforcement agent. Betsy Brandt (“CSI”) plays Walter’s sister-in-law Marie, and R.J. Mitte (“Hannah Montana,” “Weeds”) is Walter’s son Walter Jr., whose teen angst is further complicated by cerebral palsy.

BREAKING BAD is created by highly acclaimed writer, producer and director Vince Gil-ligan (“The X-Files”), executive produced by Oscar® winner Mark Johnson (The Chroni-cles of Narnia, The Notebook, Donnie Brasco), with the pilot episode photographed by two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll (Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai).

On BREAKING BAD, producers have created characters of complexity and nuance that live in a world in which traditional views of right and wrong do not apply. This dark and distinctive story of a husband/father fighting to financially care for his family before his death also incorporates moments of laugh-out-loud humor. Vince Gilligan brings his genius for creating compelling characters to this unique series and the talented cast skates the line between comedy and tragedy in each riveting episode.

Filmed on location in New Mexico, BREAKING BAD is executive produced by Johnson and Gilligan; produced by Karen Moore (“The Law and Mr. Lee,” “Threshold”) and Patty Lin (“Desperate Housewives,” “Leap of Faith”); and associate produced by Gina Scheerer (“So Little Time”). Emmy-nominated Reynaldo Villalobos (A Bronx Tale, Bor-dertown, Urban Cowboy) is the director of photography. BREAKING BAD is produced by High Bridge Productions, Inc. and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pic-tures Television for AMC.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XV


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.


Fast Car - Wyclef Jean



I would like to talk about how this was my favorite song off of Wyclef Jean’s latest album or this cool video but I can’t help trying to figure out just how big ‘Clef head has grown over the past decade. And where is Paul Simon? For more on Wyclef’s possible oversized dome, check out Big Head Timbaland and the Monsters.


Day Too Soon - Sia



Between her album cover (see: If I am a Number I’m Infinity Plus One) and this video, it is safe to assume her album title, Some People Have Real Problems is a self-reference from Sia.


Your Song - Kate Walsh



A nice little ditty from Kate Walsh that would probably get lost of play on a television show that stars someone whom she shares a name with if the lazy writers from that show that usually adds a musical montage because they cannot think of anything profound to write to fill a whole episode are on strike. But anyways. It looks like she is lip-syncing backward for the cool backward effect; well either that or she is the worst lip-syncer since Ashlee Simpson. But the greatest lip-syncing backward video ever is…


Drop - The Pharcyde



… this video from The Pharcyde. Fat Lip, where are you? Fun fact: I saw The Pharcyde live in concert opening up for Coolio (I think I was the only one who bought a Pharcyde t-shirt instead of a Coolio one). Man, I miss the 90’s.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You Do a Haunted Swamp Tour?


Hatchet

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip that started from this bayou port aboard this tiny ship. The guide was a mighty stupid man; the hero was sullen and depressed. Nine passengers set sail that night for a haunted bayou tour, for spirit and ghouls.

The weather started to rain, the tiny ship was stuck. If not for the courage of the hard to get chick the tourist would be sunk, the tourist would be gator food.

The passengers set ground on the shore of this deserted haunted house with the dude from Dodgeball, The Token Black Guy too, an old dude and his wife, the wannabe movie star the pornographer and the chick from Angel, here in the movie Hatchet.

Hatchet bills itself as “not a remake, it’s not a sequel, and it's not based on a Japanese one. Old school American horror.” The problem with old school American horror is that it was basically destroyed by the Scream franchise that let everyone in on the rules of the genre. But Hatchet doesn’t care if you know the rules, if fact you can pretty much guess the death order once the ship sets sail. It is more about the character that have no problem to crack one-liners even as some deformed dude bears down on them and killing them is some outrageous ways which are more Mortal Combat than Saw.

The movie has a horror pedigree having Freddy Krueger, Candyman, and Jason Voorhees (at least the dude who played him four of the eleven (?) times) all making appearances in the movie. The movie is far from perfect, you can’t help but think of Mask when you first see the killer and the ending is frustrating in a The Sopranos, did my power just go out, kind of way. But Hatchet is one of the more enjoyable horror movies of the past decade.

Hatchet gets a Terror Alert Level: High [ORANGE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If I am a Number I’m Infinity Plus One


Some People Have Real Problems - Sia

There has been no bigger surprise early in this year than learning the chick who sang Destiny by Zero 7 a few years back is white. Not only white but Australia. Seriously, who saw that coming? That aside, the girl in question Sia has managed to release three album on three separate record label (there were a bunch of EP’s mixed in between), the latest coming out on Starbuck’s Hear Music label. So if you are one of the pretentious types who patron the coffee house be prepared to listen to her ad nausea in the couple months.

From a look at the cover, you can easily assume that Some People Have Real Problems could be about the singer herself. And listening to some of the songs you will be even more convinced. Academia is a weird old to a English major written by a Mathlete that either is the dumbest song you ever heard or most clever depending on who you hung out with in high school. The eccentricities are only aided with the Beck appearance on the song. But you can best sum up Sia’s mental state with the lines, “I don’t wanna grow old. Bring me all the toys you can find” from Playground.

Some People Have Real Problems is a great fit for the Starbucks label just because the music is perfect background music for precious people who hang out in coffee shops all day; the songs are melodic enough to sooth your caffeine high but not noticeable to distract you from still trying to perfect that novel you have been working on half a decade. The only time Sia deviates is at the end of the album with the hidden track Buttons that sounds like a long lost eighties dance classic. And the creepy children’s choir is a nice touch at the end of Little Black Sandals where Sia tries to do for footwear what Rihanna did for rain gear.

Song to Download - Academia

Some People Have Real Problems gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lyrics Quiz: Best Songs of 1998


It has become a tradition here at the 9th Green that each January’s lyrics quiz goes back a decade for the best songs from ten years ago. Keep in mind I made this list back at the end of 1998 just like my recent 100 Best Songs of 2007. I am a little worried about next year as I widely regard 1999 as the worst year for music ever and there are going to be some really bad songs I may be a little embarrassed about on that list. But you have a year to wait for that. As always you need to put both artist and title in the comments section (or you can e-mail me) and if you are correct I will un-bold it and give you credit. The Lyrics Quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please do not use anything besides your own meandering mind to help you up with the answers. Now onto the quiz:

Hints:
21. Fun fact: this artist started as a backup singer for Michael Jackson.


1. I don’t make films but if I did they’d have a samurai. (One Week - Barenaked Ladies; guessed by Angie)
2. It's silly when girls sell their souls because of sin. Look at where you be in, fake hair like Europeans. (Doo Wop (That Thing) - Lauryn Hill; guessed by Jo)
3. Now when I wrote graffiti my name was Slop. (Intergalatic - Beastie Boys; guessed by Jo)
4. I watched as sweat ran down your face. Reached up and caught it at your chin. Licked my fingertips. (Stay (Wasting Time) - Dave Matthews Band; guessed by Angie)
5. You’re here, there’s nothing I fear. (My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion; guessed by Angie)
6. Blue eyed boy meets a brown eyed girl. You can sew it up but can still see the tear. (Sweetest Thing - U2; guessed by Angie)
7. If my corpse can talk then I would tell you I was sorry. (Gone 'till November - Wyclef Jean; guessed by Slaygal1981)
8. Can I hit it in the morning without giving you half my dough? And even worse if I were broke would you want me? (Can I Get A... - Jay-Z; guessed by Slaygal1981)
9. Let’s get real, let’s get heavy ‘til the water breaks the levy. (Hootch - Everything; guessed by Angie)
10. I’m cold and I’m shamed lying naked on the floor. (Torn - Natalie Imbruglia; guessed by Angie)
11. I will build heaven and call this home ‘cause you’re all dead now. (Don't Drink the Water - Dave Matthews Band; guessed by Angie)
12. And everyone here’s to blame and everyone here gets caught up in the pleasures or the pain. (Back 2 Good - Matchbox Twenty; guessed by Angie)
13. Folk don’t even own themselves, paying mental rent to cooperate presidents. (He Got Game - Public Enemy; guessed by Slaygal1981)
14. I just bite it, it’s for the look, I don’t light it. (Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith; guessed by abbyjesus1225)
15. Cards and phone calls and photograph, pictures of you. Constant reminders of things that you get used to. (Light in Your Eyes - Blessid Union of Souls; guessed by Slaygal1981)
16. Still have your picture in a frame. Still hear your footsteps down the hall. I swear I hear your voice, driving me insane. (Anytime - Bryan McKnight; guessed by Angie)
17. Whenever we kiss I get to feeling like this. I get to wishing there were two of you. (Can't Get Enough of You Baby - Smash Mouth; guessed by Angie)
18. As my soul slides down to die. How could I lose it, what did I try? Bit by bit I realized, he was here with me. (My Father's Eyes - Eric Clapton; guessed by Angie)
19. Blame us ‘cause we are who we are. Hate us ‘cause you’ll never get that far. And who'd suppose you would go? I've already learned enough to know. (At the Stars - Better than Ezra; guessed by Slaygal1981)
20. No matter how I think we grow you always seem to let me know it ain’t working. And when I try to walk away you’d hurt yourself to make me stay. (Ex-Factor - Lauryn Hill; guessed by Slaygal1981)
21. If anyone should know how to let it slip. Swear I can see you coming up the drive. And there ain’t nothing like regret to remind you you’re alive.
22. A woman is a woman and a man ain’t nothin’ but a man. (Jump, Jive, an' Wail - Brian Setzer Orchestra; guessed by Angie)
23. The shades and shadows undulate in my perception. My feelings swell and stretch I see from greater heights. I realize what I am now too smart to mention. (Never Is a Promise - Fiona Apple; guessed by Slaygal1981)
24. Don’t forget to give me back my black t-shirt. (Song for the Dumped - Ben Folds Five; guessed by Slaygal1981)
25. I wish you could swim like dolphins could swim. (Heroes - The Wallflowers; guessed by Slaygal1981)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Big Head Timbaland and the Monsters


Please, if you will, hop in the Scooter McGavin Time Machine (patent pending) all the way back to June 14, 2006 when right here on the 9th Green I wrote:

“If rap had a drug policy, Timbaland would be slapped with a 50 day suspension by now. Dude makes Big Head Barry look like Barry Bonds circa when I Got a Man was popular (Scooter’s Note: I had just made a Positive K reference earlier in the post).”

So it came to little surprise when I saw this headline today: 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Wyclef, Timbaland Reportedly Named in New York Steroids Probe. Okay, a little surprised; seriously, Mary J, Blige? No word yet if this will keep any of them out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (not that any of them beside Blige has even the smallest chance of getting in). Also as head scratching was the inclusion of actor, writer, director Tyler Perry. Do you really need HGH to dress like an old black chick? Certainly the prosthetics that Eddie Murphy uses can’t cost much more than black market steroids.

What is disturbing about all this is that according to the Albany Times Union, many of the artists listed in the probe got their prescriptions were signed by South Florida osteopath Dr. Gary Brandwein who happened to also be the doctor who prescribed drugs to Chris Benoit and sadly we all know how that turned out. As of press time, only a spokesperson of Blige responded saying, “Mary J. Blige has never taken any performance-enhancing illegal steroids.”

I wonder if the others will pull out the old classics “I unknowingly took them” or “I was only given B-12 shots” or “I just took them once and didn’t like them” or my personal favorite, “I was going to try them until I saw the needles, I don’t do needles man.” Granted much like Big Head Barry’s ever growing head, the videos below featuring Timbaland and 50 Cent (who allegedly used the pseudonym Michael Jordan to obtain his HGH) pretty much speak for themselves:









Sunday, January 13, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XV


Quote of the Week: Is that The Office? Have you ever seen it? It’s so good. Actually, I don’t know if you would really like it. It’s very talky. (Shelley, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: City of Blinding Light - U2 (Barack Obama Campaign Theme Song)

Big News of the Week: Networks Bringing Back Long Forgotten Reality Shows: This past week saw the return of American Gladiators and the strike may have giving a returning The Apprentice a stay of execution. But it looks like they will have company in the “wait, why are they bringing that back” category. ABC is resurrecting both The Mole, last seen in 2004, and The Bachelorette, not seen since 2005. And apparently there is something called MyNetwork TV that is resurrecting Paradise Hotel (2003) and Meet My Folks (2002). Granted if really were my network they would be bringing back Veronica Mars, Wonderfalls and Arrested Development. Or at least watchable reality shows like Project Greenlight or Rich Girls (remember the MTV show with Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter? No? Am I the only one who watched?). But even with all this crappy reality television hitting the airwaves, I still want the strike to continue indefinitely because once it ends, someone is going to write The A-Team: The Movie starring Ice Cube. I wish I were joking.

In scripted news, my sources (no seriously, I have sources) tell me that Battlestar Galactica will be returning April 4th with ten new episodes. In other Sci-Fi Channel news, a new season of Ghost Hunters returns March 5th at 9:00.


Coalition Links of the Week:

Buzz celebrated pop culture prom week. (BuzzSugar)
Sandie interviewed April Matson, who plays Lori Trager on ABC Family's Kyle XY. (Daemon's TV)
Liz finally got around to watching (and inevitably falling in love with) Dexter. (Glowy Box)
Think your job is bad sometimes? Marcia listed the worst workplaces on television. (Pop Vultures)
Four years, six months, and two days later Rae falls for One Tree Hill again. (RTVW)
Vance preferred Cashmere Mafia over Lipstick Jungle but both are inferior replacements to the strike affected favorites currently ending by default. (Tapeworthy
Jace's fiancee, the future Mrs. Televisionary, offers up reasons why Jace should XOXO Gossip Girl. (Televisionary)
Dan's reflections on Project Runway include: Victorya is no Chloe and Kevin's ouster was unjust. (TiFaux)
Jennifer was beyond "psyched" to chat with the boys of Psych. (Tube Talk)
Kate calculated odds for who will be the next Bachelorette. (TV Filter)
Daniel attended the Launch Party for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and was thrilled to meet one of the stars from the show responsible for his unhealthy television addiction (theTVaddict)


New Hampshire Primaries: With the writer’s strike there really isn’t much to watch in primetime that all these debates and results. Granted there hasn’t been anything on network television on Tuesdays since Veronica Mars unceremoniously ended. But anyways. Tuesday’s results were a classic case of good new/bad new. The good being John McCain destroying Mitt Romney with Rudy Giuliani pulling in Ron Paul type numbers. The horribly bad was Hilary Clinton somehow managing to pull out a win.

How she won was the talk of all the pundits this week, more so on how the poll got it so wrong, they typically blamed those being polled on lying or pollsters leaving before the polls closed. But no one I have seen has pointed out the two most likely causes. First, polls are not perfect. Let me give you a little statistics lesson: when you see a poll that says it has a margin off error of ±5% that means that there is 90% chance that the true number is within five more or less than the percentage. That means there is a 10% chance that it isn’t. And it is not like New Hampshire is the first time exit polls have been proven wrong, anyone remember Florida 2000?

With that said, something seems extremely fishy, as much as I hate polls, I have never seen a 15% swing like we had this week and someone should be looking into the votes being rigged, a more likely result than the polls being this wrong. The mainstream media has completely dropped the ball on this one. Of course maybe the Clinton momentum will be slowed down after her statements about Martin Luther King Jr. this past week because they were racist simple and plain (mother (expletive deleted) her and John Wayne) and showed to the whole world that Hilary Clinton Doesn’t Care About Black Puppets.

Just some insight into the 57 Channels segments, I typically write my thoughts that night or the following day about the shows. The above was written Wednesday and then Friday saw this headline: Kucinich asks for New Hampshire recount. In the article resident nutjob Dennis Kucinich said there were significant differences in districts that hand counted, that favored Barack Obama, and the machine ones that went to Clinton. Not so coincidentally there have been recent reports on how easily the voting machines can be hacked into.


My Name Is Earl: Nothing like a Christmas episode in January. Seriously, NBC couldn’t cram this in last year but replacing a The Office repeat? But anyways. It is nice to see evil Earl every once in a while. But I really hope the chick from Who’s the Boss doesn’t stick around too long. Check out the latest episodes over at NBC.com. You can also download My Name Is Earl on iTunes.


Republican South Carolina Debates: Wow that was boring. It is getting to the point that I know exactly how a candidate will answer once I heard the questions because they just keep on repeating the same thing. I think for the next couple debates I am going to start a new drinking game, whenever a Republican mentions Regan or a Democrat mentions change, take a shot. Take a double whenever Giuliani mentions 9/11 or Clinton says something racist.


Friday Night Lights: An odd week this week. The main storyline of the sister in law imposing seemed to be off. She was asked to move in to help with Gracie and the last two weeks they tried to portray her as someone who just showed up looking for a place to stay for a couple weeks. The Smash and the recruiters came back out of the blue after not talking about it for a while. And I have to cringe whenever they even hint at the meth dude. It was also interesting that Landry’s dad got more screen time than Landry got. And when did he become so tight with Buddy that they are sitting next to each other at the game? Check out the latest episodes over at NBC.com.


For the observant people, you may have notice the ad on the sidbar offering free Lost recap and preview videos through iTunes. For those that missed it, click the banner below to get your free videos:

Lost Free on iTunes


Promo of the Week: Ask a regular person on the street how many Bring it On movies there are and I doubt you will find many who will say more than one. Yet the frachinse is on its fourth already. They lucked out on three by having the cheerleader from Heroes in what I think was the last film she filmed before landing the role of Claire. No such luck in the latest instalment as the closest thing to a star is the sister of one of the chicks from High School Musical. For those that are interesting of watching all four movies in a row, ABC Family is having a Bring it On a Thon next Sunday, January 20th capping off at 8:00 the most recent one Bring it On: In it to Win It. Here’s a promo:

video


Next Week’s Pick: Kyle XY, Monday at 8:00 on ABC Family: You can read my thoughts on the episode here: Previewing Kyle XY and of course you still have a couple days to enter the Contest to Win Kyle XY Season 1 DVD.