Saturday, February 24, 2007

I Want My Environment to be a Product of Me

The Departed

There are very few things I could care less about than the Oscars. I have only watched the ceremony once and that was because Chris Rock was hosting. The show doesn’t appear on my radar mostly because every year, the categories are filled with movies I have never seen, and this year was no different as when the nominations were announced I hadn’t seen any movies in any of the major categories, but I had checked out Click which was actually nominated for something. What is worse is in the rare occurrence I do see a film that is not only nominated, but actually wins Best Picture, I find it to be the biggest waste of my time ever, much like the horrendous Crash last year (see my review: The Closest You Ever Came to Being Black Was Watching the Cosby Show).

Since the nominations, I have checked out one of the most nominated films, The Departed, if only to see how Mark Walberg could get nominated for an Oscar. Keep in mind folks; we are living in a time where both Marky Mark and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air both got nominated for an Oscar in the same year. To put that in perspective, it would be like predicting today that Kevin Federline and Nelly get nominated in 2021. But anyways.

After deviating into a bio flick and chronicling Bob Dylan’s music, Martin Scorcese is back to what he does back, directing a mobster movie. The twist though is the kingpin at the heart of the movie, Jack Nicholson (Batman), has groomed an informant since boyhood to join the Massachusetts State Police force, played by Matt Damon (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). On the other side, the stare police planted their very one cadet, Leonardo DiCaprio (Growing Pains), on the road to crime, having the guy commit crimes to get him some jail time as well as some street cred. Naturally, the two informants come close to crossing paths without each other knowing the true identity of each other although Scorcese takes this a little too far with both boys taking up with the same girl at different parts of the movie.

But the predictability stops there. Once both of the boys are fully imbedded, the movie starts its twist and turns that is doubtfully anyone will come seeing. Yeah, the movie is a little long in part that it takes a while to get to that point, and it seems that no one really knew what would be the best way to end the movie so it take a while to wrap up properly. But it is a thoroughly enjoyable ride as a whole and the acting plays a big role as Nicholson naturally nails his performance as some of the smaller roles played by Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) as the captain and Martin Sheen (The West Wing) also as a Captain and one of only two who know that DiCaprio is undercover.

The other being Marky Mark (of the Funky Bunch) who performance left me wondering how exactly he got a the nomination, he only shows up occasionally to drop expletives (the movie features 237 F Bombs) in the most exaggerated Bostonian accent despite being a native of the city. To think, another of Boston’s sons, Denis Leary passed on the role because it conflicted with Rescue Me. Now that would have made an already good movie better.

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

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Wish You Were Sine Squared and I Was Cosine Squared so We Would be One

Nothing like good ol’ reality television to let me know that I’m not a big as a nerd as some would have me to believe. Every year for the past three years, the self proclaimed twisted mind of Ashton Kutcher has provided plenty of them on Beauty and the Geek to make me look like the dude from The Notebook in comparison. And after a poor casting round for the second installment, the third group of geeks may be the geekiest of them all. From a Star Wars fan to a Trekkie (err apparently they like being called Trekkers) to a guy who knows pi to hundreds of places.

On the other side of the coin, the beauties were led by quite possibly the two dumbest contestants in the show’s short history. Every week Cecille Gahr and Megan Hauserman would say something so dumb you hope for their sakes that the producers were feeding them the line because no one should be that stupid, my personal favorite being Megan’s, “I’m a good screwer, in response to her winning the doghouse building challenge. Seriously, if tennis was Megan’s favorite activity that she wanted to share with Scooter, how could she not at least know how to keep proper score?

Unfortunately they were also the downfall for this season as the two girls that seemed to change the least, especially Cecille who seemed to revile in her Mean Girls persona and said she was traumatized at having to be nice to people when it was reveled that the ousted teams would be the ones to pick the winners. What’s worse is the girl isn’t all that attractive and if there was a place to bet on her looking like one of those creepy chicks that have had ten too many plastic surgeries within five years (like the naked model in the one guy’s challenge), I’d bet my life savings.

Also a disappointment was the lame “reunion” special which lacked an actual reunion aside from Nate Dern and Jennylee Berns. Instead of having a usual reunion with all the contestants in front of an audience, we get them all separate in a hotel interview. Not that there were many of those as it was more of a recap show with an occasional “never before seen” scenes that actually could have been seen on its website for weeks.

Now if you think you are a huge geek are extremely hot dumb, you can download an application from The CW website too. Now I got to figure out how to geeky enough to get myself on the show. And hopefully this if for the last time, but no, I am from the Show.

Beauty and the Geek 3 gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Toss Up: Lost vs Veronica Mars week 9

This week Lost promised three big mysteries solved while Veronica Mars pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the year. So let’s see who comes out on top of the second to last Toss Up for a while.

New Sheriff in Town
Lost: The creepy old chick
Veronica Mars: Keith is back in charge
Winner: Veronica Mars

Big Guest Star
Lost: The dude from 21 Jump Street
Veronica Mars: The chick from, um, well, let check out, oh yeah, But Can They Sing?
Winner: Veronica Mars

Shot Down
Lost: Juliet looks calm while taking down her fellow Other in the Previously On segment
Veronica Mars: Saks is probably still shaking after gunning down the dude from 21 Jump Street
Winner: Lost

Random Hook Up
Lost: Jack and the chick from But Can They Sing?
Veronica Mars: Logan and Parker
Winner: Veronica Mars

Behind Bars
Lost: Jack gets moved to the bear cage
Veronica Mars: Veronica starts the show in the slammer
Winner: Veronica Mars

Lost: Everyone on the original island
Veronica Mars: Dick and Piz
Winner: Lost

Inked Up
Lost: Jack gets a tattoo for, um, yeah, I really missed why
Veronica Mars: Ronnie gets a tattoo for street cred in the joint
Winner: Veronica Mars

In the Water
Lost: Sawyer, Kate and other dude take a boat to get back to the main island
Veronica Mars: Parker and Logan swim out past the breaker to get the last clue
Winner: Veronica Mars

On the Internet
Lost: You can see the latest episode over at or download Stranger in a Strange Land on iTunes
Veronica Mars: You can see the latest episode at or download Mars Bars on iTunes

This was easily was the biggest blowout in the year and a half I’ve been doing the Toss Up’s. I guess that will happen when you promise to reveal three big mysteries and fail to deliver. Speaking of the three, does anyone know exactly what they were? By my count, one was what happened to the flight attendant, although that wasn’t revealed in last week’s promo and we still don’t know why or what exactly what she is doing now. Second is we learned the history of Jack’s tattoo which I never realized were a big mystery until this episode. And the third I’m grasping at straws, but was it that The Others live on the big island, not the smaller one? So nothing about the smoke monster, nothing on Dharma, nothing on what The Others are doing or got there, we didn’t learn why Locke is in a wheelchair, who is Sun’s baby daddy, if Not-Henry is really Alex’s biological daddy, who the one eye man is, or what’s up with the statue leg. Oh well, at least there were no dream sequences this week.

But if you are interested on watching a show where all the big mysteries get answered in a timely fashion, there is always Veronica Mars. But after this episode, you really can’t talk about any mystery first; no you have to start at the end with the shocking death of Sheriff Don Lamb. I’m still in shock to the point I even came up with a theory on how Lamb is still alive. Here it goes: Lamb being in such a bad condition and unable of going after Mrs. O’Dell for putting him in that condition, decided to let his vengeance overpower his hatred for Keith to let people think he’s dead so Keith would replace him and go after O’Dell.

Other reasons to why Lamb may not be dead: His last words were, “I smell bread.” Seriously, how could they make that someone’s last words? The Mars’ are much better as anti-establishment so Keith as Sheriff wouldn’t work in the long term plus it would kill off Mars Investigations. And with MI no longer around, who would Ronnie moonlight for, Vinnie Van Lowe? And with Lamb gone, the Mars’ lose their best archenemies, after Ronnie/Dick scenes, Lamb with either Mars are the best on the show. Really, why do birds suddenly appear whenever he is near?

Okay, enough Lamb talk as he wasn’t the only one to die this episode either as my pre-arc pick of Steve Batando got taken out. So much for that pick. And our first two episode mystery of the week was solved but I’m not a fan of the dude doing it himself. Granted I was really hoping it was going to tie into the Dean’s death. Oh well.

Then there was Ronnie behind bars scene which was yet another instant classic for the show. You gotta love Keith, “I thought I’d be a little more traumatized by this, but I’m not” line. It was also a cheap catalyst for the B storyline with the Valentines scavenger hunt. Despite the cheesy start, Parker may just be a better fit for Logan than Vee. Although I’m not sure if Logan is the best thing for Parker right now. And speaking of the scavenger hunt how is that page from the Karma Sutra even work in the real world? If there are any token hot chick in Northeast Ohio that would like to help me figure that out, just shout me a holla.

Next week we supposable learn who killed the Dean and it looks like Keith didn’t learn from his mistakes from his last tenure and goes after Professor Landry pretty hard. Maybe this will be his downfall as sheriff once again. Also be sure to check back Monday as I’ll put up my official odds on who killed the Dean.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Don't Download These Videos vol. X

Before I get into some of the most entertaining music videos, I have to first say: Holy Frak! They killed Lamb! Be sure to turn in tomorrow to see my theory on why Lamb isn’t really dead. Now back to your regularly scheduled post:

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.

Thinking About You - Norah Jones

Sinkin' Soon - Norah Jones
Norah Jones has gotten a bad rap for making sleep inducing music, but these videos are a complete 180 from their musical counterpart. I’m not sure what is more bizarre, the people in their underwear or Norah in a rat suit. Actually, now that I’ve thought about it, definitely Norah playing piano in a rat suit. You can check out my review of her album here: Love in the Time of War Is not Fair.
Wasted - Carrie Underwood
Do we really need a black and white Carrie Underwood video? Much like a nine minute Justin Timberlake video, the simple answer is no. With that and the cookie cutter model straight from the J. Crew catalogue and the beach locale it looks like they are trying to rip of the Wicked Game video but with the best parts removed (i.e. hot naked chick covered in sand). But I’ll give Underwood a pass because she is what I like to call moderately attractive. And the song is quite possible my favorite off her album. Take that American Karaoke fans who say I never have anything nice to say about the show or its karaokers. You can check out my review of her album here: Oh, There's Nothing Like Oklahoma.
Smiley Faces - Gnarls Barkley
Is it too early to call Gnarles Barkley the greatest one hit wonder ever? That question could hinge on the band getting another one, which didn’t happen with Gone Daddy Gone. Smiley Faces may lift them out of the category being that it is uber-catchy (though not as near as Crazy was). But at the very least they make some of the best videos around. And how can you not love a mocumentary that features Dennis Hopper and the dude from Quantum Leap?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Long Live the Car Crash Hearts

Infinity on High - Fall Out Boy

Of all the pseudo-punk bands that have flooded the airwaves, Fall Out Boy were by far the band the sucked the least. Part of it could be that the band seems not to take themselves as seriously as their peers and their songs like Sugar, We’re Going Down and Dance, Dance weren’t dragged down by teen angst but were upbeat and sing-a-long staples while driving two years ago. Well they would have been if you could understand what singer Patrick Stump was saying so you had to make up your own lyrics sometimes. But if there were a Jump the Shark moment for music, it would definitely be the Thriller rip-off video for the song that would double the length of this post if I typed it. Since then the band lost even more of its thunder as rip of bands like Panic! at the Disco has gotten as much, if not more recognition and somehow even longer song titles.

Now the band is back to answer if a sophomore slump can pertain to a band’s fourth album Infinity on High. Just from looking at the track list you can tell it is still the same Fall Out Boy with their titles that range from lengthy (I’m Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off (Me + You)) to tounge in cheek (The Carple Tunnel of Love) and could possibly be the first band to have a less than sign in a song title with Fame (Less Than) Infamy. The album for some reason starts off with Jay-Z. No he isn’t rapping, just thanking all the fans, which really just happers the opeing track, Thiller (no not a Michael Jackson cover).

Jay-Z isn’t the only unexpected guest on the album as Babyface helms the production and plays some instruments on a few songs on the album. And there in lies the biggest problem with the album, much like a band that bassist Pete Wentz doesn’t care too much for, The Killer, Fall Out Boy tries too hard to push the boundaries but falls flat doing so. This is most apparent on I’m a Lawyer…, one of Babyface’s songs, where the band goes way too far into the easy listening genre with paint by numbers melody. Same with The (After) Life of the Party which sounds like something off the soundtrack of a lost John Hughes movie. On the other end of the spectrum, The Carpel Tunnel of Love inexplicably features a scream-core ending.

One of the few places where the band goes out of their comfort zone and excels is on Golden, a striped down song based around primarily a piano. But the band can still is at its best with their cheesy pop songs. And this time the sing-a-long are even more overt like in the first single, This Ain’t a Scene, it’s an Arms Race where they suggest, nee order you to sing along at the end. And it is doubtful that you will just hum along to Hum Hallelujah. But nothing here is as catchy as Sugar, We’re Going Down.

Song to Download - Hum Hallelujah

Infinity on High gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. VII

Quote of the Week: Nothing says I’m sorry like a mix CD. Though I’m a little bit worried about the Bob Dylan.. (Landry - Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: What’s Left of Me - Nick Lachey (Veronica Mars)

Big News of the Week: As I mentioned earlier this week, MeeVee has been revamped with all new featured. For more information on the change and how it benefits you, check out lowdown on GiveMeMyRemote.

How I Met Your Mother: They really should have stuck with the Barney running a marathon because the other storylines were a little boring. At the end, future Ted again brings up their mother which oddly I care least about the show. Check out the latest episode on Innertube.

Heroes: Mmm, “Someone flies, someone dies.” Not as catchy as previous taglines. Also, is this someone else that flies besides the Patrelli’s? As for the dies part, I’d put my money on Nikki/Jessica.Check out the latest episode over at

Heroes on iTunes

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Aww, the late nineties, Eagle Eye Cherry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Y2K. Unfortunately it was all under the guise of Chandler’s hallucinations so this was the shows first misstep this season really with nothing much happening. And did we always now Luke worked at Studio 60? And why were they using his eight year old sketch in the present day show? Check out the latest episode over at

Studio 60 on Sunset Strip on iTunes

The (White) Rapper Show: From the start I thought they were angling for a Persia/Sullie final but they both had to step off in the past two episodes. Could the King of the Burbs really be the next (White) Hope?

Friday Night Lights: I’m hoping that Tyra gets really drunk sometimes soon and hooks up with Landry. He trying to hit on her was more Landry classic, especially getting caught in the strip club. Check out the latest episode over at

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Beauty and the Geek: I would like to thank everyone who sent me congratulations for winning despite multiple times stating I’m not the Scooter from the show. Check out the latest episode on .

Let's Rob Mick Jagger: After the brilliant speech that the Token Hot Chick gave in the pilot that got her into the gang, I didn’t think the legend of Rico could be topped, but the Rico was even funnier in person. Check out the latest episode over at

Smallville: Lana has been pregnant a little too long for not even showing yet.

My Name Is Earl: It’s a little disappointing that we finally learned how Earl wronged the one legged lady in such a overall weak episode although the Fat Bottom Girls segment was great. Check out the latest episode over at

The Office: Holy David Daskell sighting! But I can’t imagaine it was a good idea for Jim to let Dwight think he was a vampire. Jim should know by now that Dwight would go so far as to stick a stake threw his heart.

The Office on iTunes

Pick of the Week: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Monday, 10:00 NBC. This is the last episode before it goes on hiatus before The Black Donnelley’s. Hey at least it’s not being replaced for the Pussycat Dolls. After a rare off week, this episode should go out with a bang.