Saturday, July 07, 2012

Previewing The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: The Final Season

It is a sad day for those of us hoping to one day get Cesar Millan to Tsst our dogs into submission because the final season of The Dog Whisperer starts tonight. And just like the greatest athletes in the world, Cesar is off to London to make sure the likes of Michael Phelps do not get bit by the local canine population (although I would not mind if LeBron James gets nipped a time or a hundred by an angry Chihuahua). Cesar will be across the pond for four episodes including back to back episodes tonight including an owner who got a Dalmatian because of the movie (never a good sign), a rescue dog from Romania where strays roam the streets by the thousands, and a dog of an actress from Absolutely Fabulous.

Back stateside, Cesar will be helping some famous faces including Kelsey Grammer whose dogs are not as well behaved as his televised version Eddie. Fitness trainer may be able to whip humans into shape but will need Cesar’s help to quiet her barker. Cesar will also hit the road to help NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick. And we know how good Cesar is with dogs, but we will also get to see how well he works with bunnies when he heads to the Playboy Mansion West to help Hugh Hefner’s King Charles spaniel get along with Miss November’s dog.

Even though there will be no new episodes of The Dog Whisperer after this season, Nat Geo Wild will continue to air the entire catalogue of episodes. And Cesar will not be going anywhere because he is currently in production on his new Nat Geo Wild competition series Leader of the Pack, due to premiere in early 2013.

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan airs Saturdays at 8:00 on Nat Geo Wild. You can also download The Dog Whisperer on iTunes. Check out a clip from tonight:

Friday, July 06, 2012

Around the Tubes - 7/6/12

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Hard Times: Lost on Long Island, Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, Comic Store Heroes, Syfy, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, Andy Griffith, H+, Blue Like Jazz, Dallas, Rizzoli and Isles, The Sound of Music, The Song That Changed My Life, Audio-Files, Beverly Hills Nannies, Border Wars, Horders, and Rhoda Vincent.

- This Monday HBO is airing their latest documentary Hard Times: Lost on Long Island focusing on the unemployed and underemployed is what is considered the the birthplace of post-war suburbia. Check out a trailer below:

- Premiering tonight on PBS is Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World which explores 1,400 years of cultural history through Islamic art and architecture.

- If you are unable to make it to Comic-Con, you can live vicariously through Comic Store Heroes premiering next Friday (the 13th) at 8:00 on The National Geographic Channel.

- For those that are attending Comic Con, Syfy recently announced their shows that will be attending. Friday, JULY 13: DEFIANCE: PANEL: 6:45 PM- 7:45 PM ROOM 6DE. Saturday, JULY 14: WAREHOUSE 13; PANEL: 10:00 AM-10:45 AM BALLROOM 20. ALPHAS: PANEL: 2:00 PM-3:00 PM; HILTON BAYFRONT, INDIGO BALLROOM. BEING HUMAN: PANEL: 3:00 PM-4:00 PM, HILTON BAYFRONT, INDIGO BALLROOM.

- Totally Biased with W Kamau Bell is set to premiere Thursday August 9 at 10:00 on FX and you check out the latest clip below:

Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell

- We lost Andy Griffith earlier this week and TCM will be honoring the iconic actor Wednesday July 18 by airing four of his films starting at 8:00 PM with A Face in the Crowd which will be followed by No Time for Sergeants (10:15), Hearts of the West (12:30), and Onionhead (2:15).

- Coming to an internet near you in the newest digital series H+ from director Bryan Singer. The show is about the future human race who is hardwired to the internet with a cast that includes ast that includes Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Amir Arison (Law & Order: SVU) and David Clayton Rogers (Jane By Design). While waiting for the premiere, can subscribe to the H+ YouTube page.

- Based on the New York Times Best Seller List by Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz is coming to DVD and most other movie watching formats August 7 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

- They are not even half way down with it’s their current seasons, but TNT has already renewed Rizzoli and Isles for a fourth and Dallas for a second. Expect 15 new episodes of each coming your way in 2013.

- For fans of Broadway that cannot make it to New York City, you will be in luck because it was recently announced that NBC will present a live broadcast of the classic stage musical The Sound of Music. Casting and a premiere date are soon to come.

- On this week’s episode of The Song That Changed My Life, pop folk band Over the Rhine will be featured. While on Audio-Files, indie folk band Trampled by Turtles will take center stage.

- New show alert! Beverly Hills Nannies premieres next Wednesday on ABC Family.

- In other premiere news, the new season of Border Wars premieres July 9 at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

- While on Sunday the fourth season of Hoarders opens up with an Elvis impersonator with a heartbreaking story.

- Rhoda Vincent has returned to her gospel roots with her latest album which you can currently stream for free over at until July 15

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 7/5/12

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Brendan's Death Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Ever since I started watching Treme, I became fascinated with the Second Line to the point that I have it written into my will. I do not know what the tradition never got exported from New Orleans but it is nice to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers incorporate it into the song written about their fallen friend.

50 Ways to Say Goodbye - Train

Why don’t I ever run into The Hoff while grocery shopping? Lucky dude from Train. Well at least I haven’t run into Death there. Yet.

One More Night - Maroon 5

I was content with nailing a new model in every new Train music video, but how dare he defile Lyla Garrity? Good for her for leaving.

National Anthem - Lana Del Rey

Even though everyone was content with Lana Del Rey to fade into obscurity after her abysmal performance on Saturday Night Live earlier this year, she is stick kicking and screaming trying to stay relevant like anyone one else with minimal talent does: with shock. So she is playing Jackie O (and Marilyn Monroe?) to a black JFK. Alrighty. And I am back to ignoring Lana Del Rey.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

We've Lost Our Kindness, We've Lost Our Soul

God Bless America cover

We have all wanted to smack a mean person every now and then, be it the idiots who talk on their cell phones during movies, protest soldier funerals, talking heads on twenty-four hour news channels, reality stars, or people who want to be reality television. I’m sure a few of us have even contemplating murdering these mean people to keep them from repopulating their meanness but do not act on it because of because of morals and stuff. For those who have ever thought about killing a fan one of those crappy vampire flicks, I have a movie for you: the appropriately titled God Bless America.

In God Bless America, Joel Murray (Shameless) has had it. Every channel there is a worse person than the previous channel and work is no refuge because all they talk about are the mentally challenged people singing karaoke on the television. And it is probably a good thing his daughter does not live with him because she is turning into one of the people he despises. So after a terminal diagnosis and one more episode of Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen he has decided to end it all. That is until he gets a better idea: kill all the mean people of America, starting of course with the chick on Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen.

So he goes on a cross country killing spree of the worst offender of the decline of Western civilization and somehow picks up a teenage Tara Lynn Barr (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Season 3) along the way to help with the carnage who may actually hate stupid people more that Murray does. Even when they are taking time off from killing people, they still take aim at everyone from Fall Out Boy, Diablo Cody and of course hippies. Sure Barr is no way near entertaining as Hit Girl, but a teenage girl killing and cursing is still pretty funny. Sure their relationship is a bit creepy no matter how many times Murray protest it is just platonic.

God Bless America does for mean people what Idiocracy did for stupid people (unfortunately there is no one as awesome as President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, I cannot confirm or deny I would vote for Camacho if he were on the upcoming ballot this November). The kills are graphic and their failed attempts managed to be even funnier than when they succeed. The movie does lag at time in-between killings (you would think with so many potential targets, you would think they would not need so much time to try and figure out whom to gun down next). Oh yeah, did I mention that the movie was written and directed Bobcat Goldthwait? Naturally he is also listed as auteur in the bonus features. Sure there is some irony in a guy best known for his work in the Police Academy movies writing one killing people laughing at a mentally unstable person, but that only adds to its charm.

The DVD comes with an audio commentary featuring Goldwait, Murray and Barr (where you learn where Spongbob Squarepants has a cameo and all the ties to Mad Men aside the obvious Freddy Rumsen and Anna Draper being featured in the film) as well as a thirty minute Behind the Scenes special. There are some deleted scenes of from the television shows that send Murray over the edge, a gag reel, interviews with the cast and Bobcat that is also around thirty minutes. There is also HDNet’s A Look at God Bless America.

Full Disclosure Notice: This DVD was given to me by Bender/Helper Impact for the purpose of reviewing it.

Monday, July 02, 2012

He Was About as Popular as a Snake in a Sleeping Bag

Willem Dafoe in THE HUNTER, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

When you think of Australia you probably think of The Outback, but like every other continent, it has many other terrains including the forests of Tasmania, an island just south of the mainland which is home to the Tasmanian devil. The forests there were also home to the Tasmanian tiger, the last of which died in captivity in 1936. And though they have been believed to be extinct for over seven decades, there remain many sightings across Tasmania.

That is the basis for The Hunter where Willen Dafoe (Auto Focus) plays the titular character looking for the last remaining Tasmanian tiger for a company that wants the elusive animal for nefarious reasons. Naturally the locals, especially the loggers, are not too fond of foreigners even when they are poising as zoologists. It also does not help they he is stuck renting at the home of a bed stricken women with two kids and a husband who got lost in the same woods Defoe will be going into to do his tracking.

Of course Sam Neill (Happy Town) plays a mysterious figure who is more interregnal to the story than his initial meeting would have you believe (basically every Sam Neill role). With his introduction, we slowly learn there is more to the story and the characters involved that a simple animal capture. Even though it takes a while to unfold, the shots of the Tasmanian wilderness are beautiful and breathtaking (and I would assume are even more so on the blu-ray). And Dafoe’s performance, who spends half the film alone on the hunt) is memorizing to watch as he starts to realize just what he is getting himself into and how he plots to get out of.

The Hunter DVD comes with an audio commentary track with director Daniel Nettheim and producer Vincent Sheehan. The deleted scenes, which runs about eight minutes total, also have optional commentary. There is also a four part Making of The Hunter feature that runs about a half an hour.

Full Disclosure Notice: This DVD was given to me by Bender/Helper Impact for the purpose of reviewing it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility


When they announced Marc Webb would direct the next Spider-Man I thought to myself, wait the dude from (500) Days of Summer? Yeah it was a good movie but I have no interest in seeing Spidy in a dance sequence to a Hall and Oates song. Seriously, why are we getting a reboot ten years after the last one when a fourth Sam Raimi would have been much better? What makes it worse is that a proposed fourth Raimi movie would have featured John Malkovich as Vulture in perfect type casting and Anne Hathaway as Felicia Handy, aka Black Cat (who ironically went on to playing a female cat person in another comic book movie). And since Webb cast Emma Stone in his movie I am going to have to begrudgingly rent it in a couple months.

Aside from a massive upgrade at love interest, I just cannot see the new version begging better than the Sam Rami version which is this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame. After the campiness of the later nineties Batman films almost killed off the superhero movies, they came back in a massive way in the early 00’s thanks to films like X-Men and Spider-Man who brought some seriousness back to the funny books and Sam Raimi’s love and respect for the story is shown throughout.

As cool as Spider-Man’s web slinging is, let’s face it, a superhero is only as good as his rouge’s gallery and Spidy’s is second only to Batman’s. And while some of my favorites were held back for future movies (Doc Ock, Sandman) , the Green Goblin was a worthy first opponent thanks to a stellar performance from Willem Defoe (even if he looked scarier with the mask off). And like any great nemesis, Green Goblin was a close relationship to Spider-Man as the father of Peter Packer’s best friend. J.K. Simmons also gave a great performance as Peter’s boss J. Jonah Jameson. And of course what Same Raimi film would be complete without a cameo from Bruce Campbell (who played three different roles in the three movies). Spider-Man is also notable for have one of the very few video game that not only did not suck massive but it was a really great game and even features Bruce Campbell as the Narrator all three game tie-ins.