Showing posts with label Locked Up Abroad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Locked Up Abroad. Show all posts

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Best of the Week: 5/4/13

Quote of the Week: Nobody’s been probed… yet. (Sergeant Wu, Grimm)

Song of the Week: The Stroke – Billy Squire (Castle)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Jason Collins Is a Gay Homosexual: Monday, Jason Collins announced Monday that he was gay and after everyone got done asking, “Who is Jason Collins” it turned out he was the first current professional male athlete to publically announced his homosexuality (although he currently is not on a team and as an old journeyman, it may actually stay that way, though I am sure David Stern will make sure he is employed by someone next season). But the most interesting part of his story was that the guy who backed him up at center in high school was Jason Segal. Yes, that Jason Segal.

Preview Picture of the Week:

2 Broke Girls "And the Tip Slip" Monday at 9:00 on CBS

Free Download of the Week: 21 Years of Music – Hanson (Noisetrade)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5 This month’s five dollar deal over on Amazon include Norah Jones, Counting Crows, Bruce Springsteen, and Weezer.

New Album Release of the Week: Annie Up – Pistol Annies

New DVD Release of the Week: Superman: Unbound

Video of the Week: The Walking Dead bad lip reading video is about as well written as the actual show. The best part is when it turns into a musical.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Locked Up Abroad, Sunday (tomorrow) at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel: Now that you have seen the movie, now it is time to hear the real story of Argo from the people who lived it. And unlike the movie which featured Ben Affleck saving diplomats in Iran, tomorrow’s special episode of Locked Up Abroad features mostly testimonials from those who needed the rescuing. The real Ben Affleck character does not even show up for the first twenty minutes, but when he does show up, he had the best line, “This was the best bad idea we had.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 8.x

Ernie Brace returning from Vietnam

John McCain on Locked Up Abroad seems so obvious it is a bit surprising that he has not appeared on the show before as the Senator may be the most famous person ever to be “locked up abroad.” Maybe it is because most people know the stories of the Navy bomber pilot who was shot down over Hanoi and spent five years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton where he was tortured for most of his stay. We have all seen the photos of his bloody body being dragged around by the Vietcong and him hobbling off the plane after his release.

Though in solitary confinement for most of his stay, McCain was not alone, communicating in code with neighbors in the next room, one of which was Ernie Brace (the two do not meet face to face until years later) who was the longest prisoner of war in Vietnam being held behind enemy lines two months short of eight years. Ernie actually spent the first half of his time in a small bamboo jail which only became more confining after each failed escape attempt before being moved to the Hanoi Hilton three and a half years after originally being captured. His story is so harrowing you will not even notice that half the episode goes by before the more famous McCain shows up.

There is a second episode tonight which you will want to stick around for if only because the episode is entitled Snake on a Plane. It is the story of Tom Crutchfield, the self proclaimed “Mick Jagger of the reptile industry” who would successfully smuggle crocodiles, tarantulas, king cobras, and yes, snakes around the world who escapes to Belize to avoid prosecution, but ends up being imprisoned there with no electricity, plumbing, toilets or running water in his cell. The show gets back to drug related roots next week when an English stockbroker moves to America to be an ecstasy dealer in Arizona only to be thrown into one of America’s deadliest jails where he witnesses firsthand skinheads murdering someone.

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can watch select episodes on Hulu. You can also download Locked Up Abroad on iTunes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Previewing Locked Up Abroad: Nightmare in Somalia

If there has been one thing I have learned while watching Locked Up Abroad is that you never become a drug mule, no matter how easy your buddy would have you believe it is. And if you must, certainly do not go to a third world country to collect your stash. If there was a second lesson I have learned from the show is to stay out of countries described as “war torn” especially Muslim practicing countries. Of course if everyone had heeded these rules then Locked Up Abroad would have only lasted about half a season.

Tomorrow’s episode (premiering at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel) features Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan who travels with Canadian reporter Amanda Lindhout (who unfortunately did not participate in the show) to report on “war torn” Somalia in July 2008. Uh oh. Note to any journalist going to a “war torn” country, when your hired bodyguards will not go to a certain part of the country, you probably should not go either. Not surprisingly Nigel and Amanda get kidnapped and held for ransom by Somali terrorists.

Just when you think this you’re your run of the mill kidnapping Locked Up Abroad story, about half way through Neil and Amanda come up with a plan to escape their captors in an unknown country leading to an edge of your seats chase through the streets that could save their family millions of dollars American of random. The whole ordeal lasted for 462 days and for those that want the extended story after watching the episode, Nigel wrote a book, The Price of Life: The True Story of an Australian Held to Ranson for 462 Days, with his sister and sister-in-law, a 467 page detailed account of his time in Somalia and how his relatives back home coped with his capture and how they tried to secure his release. You can watch a preview of the episode below:

Islam Conversion

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 6.x

Erik Aude of Locked Up Abroad

If there is one thing I have learned from watching Locked Up Abroad, do not, under any circumstance, accept an all expense paid trip to another country because you are being used as a drug mule. For the new season of Locked Up Abroad we learn three new rules for those dumb enough to voluntarily become drug mules: rule number one is never body pack. The second rule is never body pack. Do I even need to tell you what the third rule is? Guess what the guy in the next week’s episode does. If you said body pack his drugs, give yourself a pat on the back.

But for tonight’s season premiere, it is yet another one of the people who thought they were getting a nice vacation for free. Erik Aude was a struggling actor (he was credited as Musclehead in Dude, Where's My Car?) working as a personal trainer when a buddy at his gym had a way of making extra money importing leather that would save the sender some sort of tax had he shipped it regularly. And wouldn’t you know it; the suitcase with the leather samples was lined with opium. Oops.

Sure Locked Up Abroad has done the unwilling drug mule before, and by estimate accounts it makes up fifty percent of the episodes, but this episode is notable for two reason. This is the first time that I am aware of where the subject actually plays himself in the dramatization parts, keep in mind this guy brags to a customs agents that he was also in 7th Heaven and Bounce, which if I am not mistake was a horrible Ben Affleck movie. It is also worth watching because it is the funniest episode ever in the history of Locked Up Abroad because the guy clearly exaggerates his story. Yeah the guy if buff and played a guy named Musclehead once, but I have a hard time believing he went all Jason Statham and single handily took down an entire prison of Pakistanis. But it is entertaining to watch. And why wait until tonight, watch that scene below and tell me if you think it happened the way Erik says it did or he did it just to boost his demo reel.

Locked Up Abroad: From Hollywood to Hell

Also this season on Locked Up Abroad there is the previously mentioned body packer (another reason not to do drugs, the more common way of smuggling drugs involves passing balloons full of it through your digestive system, so think of where that comes out of the next time you contact your dealer) who somehow has a bunch of near misses before finally gets busted. We will also meet a smuggler who gets busted in Argentina who swims across to Brazil to escape.

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on National Geographic Channel. You can also download Locked Up Abroad on iTunes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 5.x

Henry Hill, the inspiration for Goodfellas, tells his tale on Locked Up Abroad

Locked Up Abroad is taking a few liberties with its name when it returns tonight for its new season. Sure Henry Hill has been locked up more than a few times, but technically never abroad unless you count a New Yorker doing time in Washington State. For those that wonder why the name Henry Hill sounds familiar, he was the real life counterpart of Ray Liotta in Goodfellas.

Though not arrested in a foreign land, the format of the show remains the same with Hill giving a first person account of being incarcerated and what led up to the arrest, or arrests in his case with reenactments sprinkled throughout (but no clips from the movie, all the reenactments were reshot, the actor replacing Robert De Niro was particularly entertain as he was clearly doing a bad De Niro impression the whole time). Listening to Hill’s account it is clear that Martin Scorsese paid a lot of attention to detail, but ended up leaving some aspects of Hill’s downfall on the cutting room floor as Hill goes into much more detail about his involvement in the drug world than the movie did. Also the last part of the episode deals with Hill’s time after the movie ended with his time in witness protection and his arrest while under federal protection. Check out a clip below:

Henry Hill Speaks

Next week’s episode may not have been made into a major motion picture, but has all the elements of one: forbidden love, adultery, stranger in a strange land, unplanned pregnancy, bribery, guns, and a daring escape attempt. After meeting a Filipino online, a British man falls in love and when he comes to visit her, she gets pregnant (note to self: next time you meet with National Geographic executive, pitch new show Knocked Up Abroad). Problems arise when her estranged husband gets them both arrested on adultery charges than could land them up to fourteen years in prison. The couples only choices: do the time or flee the country (which could almost double their sentence if caught).

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on National Geographic Channel. You can also download Locked Up Abroad on iTunes

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 4.x

Billy Hayes and the Real Mighnight Express on Locked Up Abroad

In its run, the fourth season premiere of Locked Up Abroad has by far its biggest get so far. Sure if you are my age or younger, you probably have never heard the name Billy Hayes, but he wrote a book about his escape from a Turkish prison, Midnight Express that was later turned into a movie that won Oliver Stone an Oscar in 1978 for Best Adapted Screenplay and landed William Hurt a nomination for a Supporting Actor.

Much like every “Based on a True Story” movie that Hollywood makes, Midnight Express had plenty of inaccuracies where they do not let facts get in the way of a good story. Now Hayes sets the record straight and tells the whole story, something he was not legally able to do when writing the book version. For those unaware of his story, Hayes was your normal sixties hippie who would smuggling hashish out of Turkey and was sentenced to four years in prison which the courts changed to life in prison just months before he was set to be freed. Hayes then makes up his mind that he was going to escape the prison or die trying.

Being an actual storyteller, Hayes’ narration is much more fluid than others that have appeared on the show and paints a vivid picture of his harrowing efforts o becoming a free man again. There is such a wealth of information delivered with such emotion, afterward you may wish that they did a special two hour edition of the episode because you know had to happen behind those Turkish walls or more story with how Hayes assimilated back into American lifestyle. I guess you will have to check out the book for that.

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can also watch select episodes on Hulu. Other stories you can expect this season include contractors trapped in Iraq, backpackers kidnapped in Panama, and drug smugglers caught in Tokyo, Bangkok, and Spain. If you cannot get enough of the drug stories, National Geographic Channel is having a four episode special called Drug Inc. on Sunday July 11 and Monday July 12 each dealing with a different drug, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana. Back to Locked Up Abroad, check out a preview of the premiere below:

Locked Up Abroad: The Real Midnight Express

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Previewing Breakout

The Texas Seven of Breakout

One of the most engrossing television shows today is National Geographic’s Locked Up Abroad that takes harrowing first person accounts of people taken prisoners in foreign lands. Now the producers of the show has a new show for the channel, Breakout premiering this Sunday at 9:00 before moving to its regular night and time on Wednesdays at 10:00 starting March 31.

Breakout follows the formula of Locked Up Abroad in its first person testimonials of people that have broken out of prison on how they we able to do so. If there were a complaint of Locked Up Abroad (besides its overabundance of drug mule episodes) is that we never get to hear the other side of the story from the jailer or kidnapper. This is not the case with Breakout as not only do we get interviews from the prisoners, we also get to hear from the wardens of the prisons they broke out of and the people assigned to tracking them down.

Where Locked Up Abroad relied heavily on profiling drug mules, Breakout looks to have most of their stories originate in Texas where the first two episodes escapees originate from. On Sunday the episode catches up with The Texas Seven, a group of inmates that came up with an elaborate plan to escape the Connally Unit prison. Then a week from tonight, inmate Dennis Hope manages to evade the Darrington Unit officers by running out of the prison’s five mile search perimeter in under a half an hour. Check out a preview below:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Previewing Locked Up Abroad 3.x

Locked Up Abroad

When I talked about the second season of Locked Up Abroad I suggested they profile Michael Fey, the dude who got a bunch of lashes for graffiti in The Philippines in the nineties. Unfortunately that incident isn’t features for the third season starting up this Wednesday at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

The season does starts off with something a little more topical these days than Fey with a couple of journalist getting captured by insurgents in Iraq. Since both war reporter Scott Taylor and Turkish journalist Zeynep Tugrul are both interviewed about their experienced, it is obvious that both make it out of the country unscaved after five days of capture, it doesn’t make all the twist and turns of their journey any less exciting as there were a good four times one, or both, could have easily been killed by somehow escaped the predicament they were in.

Later in the season, Locked Up Abroad travels to Barbados, Ecuador, Jamaica and India. Like previous season, the episodes are heavy on drug smuggling, be it knowingly or unwillingly. Seriously, if you or one of your friends are offered to go to a tropical location all expense paid and then some, you really want to watch an episode of Locked Up Abroad before accepting. The season also features a Royal Marine caught in the middle of a civil war of Sierra Leone.

For those not familiar with Locked Up Abroad, it is a documentary style program that features no narrator or anyone else except the voices of those captured in a strange country while actors recreate the trials they went through during their ordeal. Below you can check out a behind the scenes preview of the season premiere.

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesdays at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Previewing Locked Up Abroad

Remember back in the nineties where there was that kid that got caught spray painting graffiti in Singapore and it got national headlines because the government wanted to give him six lashes and even got referenced in songs by Ice Cube and “Weird Al” Yankovic? Well imaging they took Michael Fay’s trials and tribulations and made it into a series and you would get Locked Up Abroad premiering Wednesday April 1 on the National Geographic Channel.

What is cool about the show is that it is entirely told through the stories of those who lived through the ordeals who provide the narration and those are the only voices you hear aside from the occasional line from the actors reenacting the situation. The stories range anywhere from kidnappings, to home invasions, to those locked up in a prison.

To the dudes out there: never trust a big butt and a smileThe later is what you will see tonight as two British citizens get caught with cocaine going through a Peruvian airport. And if you have seen previous episodes, this will be a familiar story as this isn’t the first drug mule story the show has profiled (and looking forward to future episode synopsis, it won’t be the last). What sets this case apart, and dudes take note, is that only one of the travelers was aware that they were transporting drugs as the chick offered up a free trip to Cuzco and didn’t let him in on her extracurricular activities landing them both in prison. And to add insult to injury, the male prisons are much worse than the female ones.

You know things don’t go well for the guy when he says, “Sarah’s not only destroyed my life, she’s also destroyed my faith in humanity.” Ouch. I don’t think there are much harsher words in the English language he could have said. And you see the twist at the end of the episode you will completely understand why he says that.

Oh, and have I mentioned that there is gratuitous nudity in the premiere? Unfortunately not the kind I enjoy. Check out a clip (that does not have gratuitous nudity) below:

Locked Up Abroad airs Wednesday at 10:00 on the National Geographic Channel.