Saturday, August 18, 2012

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 8/18/12

Quote of the Week: No One Takes Khaleesi's Dragons. (Michelle, Bunheads)

Song of the Week: One Day – Matisyahu (Covert Affairs)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Paul Ryan: A couple Fridays ago, AMC announced just hours before the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics that they were not renewing The Killing for a third season. It is common practice to release bad news late Friday in hopes that people will forget to be angry by the time the weekend concludes and to do it as the Olympics starts helps to bury it further. I bring this up not because I enjoy pissing on The Killing (even though I do) but I found it a bit odd that Mitt Romney chose Saturday morning on the last weekend of the Olympics to announce his running mate. What exactly was he hiding (besides what is in his tax returns), making the announcement at a time when most people are trying to bury news? Why not wait until Monday when you can own the new cycle instead of a time when people would rather talk about Usain Bolt or why didn’t Noel Gallagher jump out of the crowd during the Closing Ceremonies to punch Liam in the face when he was performing Wonderwall? Sometimes I wonder if Romney really wants to be president or if he has already resigned himself to losing.

Another sign that Romney may not want the presidency was his selection for Vice President. Paul Ryan is a super wonk who’s claim to fame is his budget that is supposed to save the country from financial ruin by slashing Medicare, lower taxes (mostly for the uber-rich) but will actually increase the debt according to a non-partisan economist. The guy is part of the most hated Congress in the history of polling and one of the bigger reasons why the country hates this Congress. This was clearly a pick to shore of the base of the party, but if you need to shore up your base by your vice president pick, you have pretty much already lost (see 2008). But on the bright side Ryan is a fan of Rage Against the Machine who will hopefully be invited to play the Republican National Convention later this month. Not surprisingly Tom Morello is not fond of his latest fan calling Ryan “the embodiment of the Machine our music Rages against”.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Falling Skies season finale

Leverage: Hardison biting that one dude (after actually warning him he was not above biting) has to be the funniest scene in the history of the show.
You can download Leverage on iTunes.

Falling Skies: I was all excited about the trip to Charleston this season, but I did not like all the politics when they got there (a dictatorship overthrown by the military; yeah). And even with running, heated water (which is not explained how they could keep the electricity going for an underground mall 24/7) Tom decides to keep the ratty beard. Alrighty. And wasn’t Weaver’s daughter going north to the mountains? How did she beat them to South Carolina?
You can download Falling Skies on iTunes.

Grimm: Where most people spend up-fronts hoping the shows they watch get renewed, I secretly hope they all get6 canceled. I really did not need a second season of Grimm, but here it is and a month before everything else. I always liked the idea of the show way more than the acting (the dude from Road Rules? The chick from Quaterlife?). They need to find some compelling leads and quick.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Grimm on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: With her absence this week, I have come to the realization that CiCi is my favorite character on the show. Granted it does not take much to be the best character on the show. All she has to compete with is whenever Hanna goes H*A*M on people., which is not nearly enough
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Free Download of the Week: Go On / Animal Practice (iTunes): If you missed their preview during the Olympics, you can download the new comedies for free.

Deal of the Week: Blu-Rays Under $10: The Expendables, Total Recall, The Terminator)

New Album Release of the Week: Last of a Dyin' Breed - Lynyrd Skynyrd

New DVD Release of the Week: Revenge: The Complete First Season

Video of the Week: The season two trailer of Homeland was just released and not surpisingly it looks all shades of awesome. Despite being unceremoniously booted from the agency, Carrie is back, in some cases with new hair and eye color, but unfortunately it looks like she is back on her meds. And just when you thought things could not get any more moody, they had to go and add a children’s choir to make it more epic. Remember The Social Network with Creep? And yes the Scala & Kolacny Brothers version of Every Breath You Take is available to download. Hopefully that does not last long. Homeland returns Sunday September 31 at 10:00.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Falling Skies, Sunday (tomorrow) at 9:00 on TNT: The first season was a bit rough at times and tiresome at others, but it seemed to hit its strike this season as it finally had a direction (and that direction was towards Charleston). But now there are there, now what? Apparently political drama as the series closes out its sophomore season.

Speaking of rocky first seasons, Bunheads also draws to a close this week. Hopefully it finds its foot too in the next season (it was recently renewed along with Melissa and Joey and Baby Daddy).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Around the Tubes - 8/17/12

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 Strike Back, Dexter, Face Off, FEARnet, Abandoned, Boardwalk Empire, Black Gold Hardcore Pawn: Chicago, Web Therepy, YPolitic, and Good Will Hunting.

- Strike Back returns to Cinemax tonight at 10:00 and you can check out the trailer for the new season below:

- Can’t wait until the seventh season premiere of Dexter next month? You are in luck because you can watch it over at or on YouTube.

- The new season of Face Off returns Tuesday at 9:00 on Syfy and you check out a sneak peak below:

A Force to Be Reckoned With

- Starting tomorrow, FEARnet is kicking off their Saturday morning retro block with two hours of classic programming including The Real Ghostbusters, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Eerie, Indiana, and Dark Oracle starting at 10:00 AM.

- New series alert: Abandoned follows a team of collectors as they dig through dark, dank, and dilapidated buildings in search of lost pieces of Americana and hidden treasures and premieres Wednesday at 9:00 on the National Geographic Channel.

- We are a month away from the return of Boardwalk Empire and here is a trailer for the third season:

- TruTV recently announced that it has ordered a fifth season of Black Gold which is slated to air ten episodes this winter. They have also greenlit Hardcore Pawn: Chicago.

- Lisa Kudrow wrestled another Friends alum to appear on Web Therapy and you can check out David Schwimmer make his debut Monday at 11:00 on Showtime for his first of four appearances.

- Just in time for the National Conventions, YPolitic, a new social network dedicated exclusively to politics, launched this week.

- Out on Blu-Ray this week, Good Will Hunting: 15th Anniversary Edition.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 8/16/12

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.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Lyric Version) - Taylor Swift

When Taylor Swift released that song with The Civil Wars I was hoping that Safe and Sound was the direction her next album would take. Instead she took a complete 180 with the uberpoppy crap that has been clogging the radio lately by the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and P!nk. The song was even produced by Max Martin, the guy who helped usher in the teen pop revival of the late nineties. And I’ll will let all the gossip hound dissect which of Swift’s boyfriends the song is about because I am above such silliness *cough*Jake Gyllenhaal*cough*.

Oh Love – Green Day

After two straight highly political albums, Green Day is back with a concept album about… a party. Alrighty. Apparently a Green Day party is a bunch of semi-interested models somewhat nodding their heads.

Reboot the Mission - The Wallflowers featuring Mick Jones

You would think the world does not need The Wallflowers comeback complete with a reggae infused track assisted by the dude from The Clash, and it is no One Headlight, but I kind of like it.

Save Me – Gotye

Yet another music video from Gotye where I have no clue what is going on.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lyrics Quiz: Golden Age of Hip-Hop

I have already dedicated a couple posts this month to the golden age of hip hop and am continuing that with this month’s Lyrics Quiz. As always leave your guesses, both artist and song title, in the comment section (or e-mail me). If you are correct I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them.

1. Bo knows this and Bo knows that, but Bo don’t know crap ‘cause Bo can’t rap. (Scenario - A Tribe Called Quest featuring Leaders of the New School; guessed by Mike)
2. Everybody’s rapping like it’s a commercial; acting like life is a big commercial, so this is what I got to say to you all: Be true to yourself and you will never fall. (Pass the Mic - Beastie Boys; guessed by Doug)
3. That’s right my right is ill, peace goes out to L.O.N.S. and Quest, Nice and Smooth, and Cypress Hill. (Hip Hop Hooray - Naughty by Nature; guessed by Mike)
4. Got ‘em mad and trebling, ‘cause I been up in my lab assembling missiles to bomb the enemy because they envy me, and the making of my mad currency. (Drop - The Pharcyde; guessed by Doug)
5. I said, “Mom, what are you doing? You’re ruining my rap,” She said, “You’re only sixteen; you don’t have a rap yet.” (Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince; guessed by Mike)
6. I sit along in my four cornered rooms starring candles… oh that (expletive deleted) is on? (Mind Playing Tricks On Me - We Can't Be Stopped - Geto Boys; guessed by Mike)
7. If you’re hungry get something to eat, if you’re dirty, then go take a bath. Messed up a line? Nope, sometimes I don’t rhyme.
8. Big time way before Hammer got to touch it. Remember the faces in all types of places. Look ma, no shoelaces. (Down With the King - Down With the King - Run-DMC featuring Pete Rock and CL Smooth; guessed by Mike)
9. At the same time with the dope rhyme that I kick you know, and I know, I flow some ol’ funky… (Nuthin' But A G Thang - Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg; guessed by Doug)
10. Hip Hop got turned into Hip Pop. The Second a record was number one on the pop charts. (Pop Goes the Weasel - 3rd Bass; guessed b Mike)
11. Get used to one style and you know I might switch it up up and around, then buck buck you down. Put out your head then you wake up in Dawn of the Dead. (Jump Around - House of Pain; guessed by Mike)
12. Once upon a time, not long ago, where people wore pajamas and lived life slow. (Children's Story - Slick Rick; guessed by Mike)
13. Kicking out girls that’s nicety. Yo, I got a body count like Ice-T. (Wicked - Ice Cube; guessed by Doug)
14. It was all a dream. Used to read Word Up magazine. Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine. (Juicy - Notorious B.I.G.; guessed by Mike)
15. Times is ruff like leather. Figured out I went the wrong route so I got with a sick (expletive deleted) click and went all out. (C.R.E.A.M. - Wu-Tang Clan; guessed by Doug)
16. Others say rhymes which fail to be original or they kill where the hip-hop starts forget about the ghetto and rap for the pop charts. (Express Yourself - N.W.A.; guessed by Mike)
17. I just got offstage, dripping, pouring with sweat. I was walking through the crowd and guess who I met?
18. In school I wrote notes and took quotes from Shakespeare and other types of rhymes to show you that I care. (Case of the P.T.A. - Leader Of The New School; guessed by Doug)
19. The rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble. (Regulate - Warren G featuring Nate Dogg; guessed by Mike)
20. Don’t Worry Be Happy was a number one jam. (Expletive deleted) if I say you can slap me right here. (Fight the Power - Public Enemy; guessed by Mike)
21. Yo I gotta funky funky rhyme with a funky funky style. (Hip Hop Junkies - Nice and Smooth; guessed by Mike)
22. And when I pull out my jammy get ready 'cause it might go Blowww. How ya like me now? (Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J; guessed by Mike)
23. Nineteen, I got a fifty-thousand dollar car. Go to school, I ain’t going for it. (New Jack Hustler (Nino's Theme) - Ice-T; guessed by Mike)
24. A lot of rappers be like one time wonders. Couldn’t say a fly rhyme if there was one right under… their noises. (Mass Appeal - Gang Starr; guessed by Mike)
25. Thinking of a master plan. Cuz ain’t nothing but sweat inside my hand. (Paid In Full - Eric B and Rakim; guessed by Mike)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

They Drew First Blood, Not Me

Stallone Collection: Cop Land, First Blood, Lock Up) height=

Sylvester Stallone is having a bit of career resurgence with the release of The Expendables a couple years ago when Sly joined up with some of his action heroes of a bygone era. The sequel is set to hit theaters this weekend and in honor of him being back on top, Lionsgate released today Stallone: 3-Film Collector’s Set featuring, three of his best received movies. Well, his three best movies that do not have the word “Rocky” in the title: Cop Land, Rambo: First Blood, and Lock Up.

Honestly, Sylvester Stallone was a bit before my time and I was a bit too young to be watching his violent movies, and before The Expendables, the only other films of his I had seen were the Rocky where he single handedly destroy the Soviet Union, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (R.I.P. Estelle Getty), Victory (which needs a reboot but with women and starring Alex Morgan) and the greatest arm wrestling movie of all-time: Over the Top. Really, when I think of Stallone, I think of the Saturday Night Live sketch where Sly tries to help a dyeing Norm McDonald who insults his filmography with his final breaths.

Jokes aside, this three disk set is a good reminder did have a pretty good career. The highlight is the Cop Land from 1997 which showed to people like McDonald that Sly could act if given the right material as the sheriff of a town full of New York City police officers, who could not get a job himself in the city, who tries to root out corruption of dirty cops. The movie also has a stellar cast (well, a stellar cast and Michael Rappaport) including Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Peter Berg, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Annabella Sciorra, Edie Falco, and Method Man in his very first acting role. It does seem like they put the old DVD’s from previous releases and stuck them into one package. The special features for the Cop Land DVD (which are the same for the Blu-Ray version) include an audio commentary with Sly, Patrick, writer / director James Mangold, and producer Cathy Producer. There are a couple deleted scenes with optional commentary, a behind the scenes featurette, and storyboard comparison.

First Blood of course features John Rambo, Sly’s second most famous character who goes H•A•M on a local sheriff department when they decide to mess around with the wrong green beret Vietnam veteran. After all the parodies, the 1982 film is a bit dated now, but there is still plenty of unintentional comedy to still enjoy it especially the extremely eighties song that plays over the credits. The DVD special features include a “Survivor Mode” that lets you access additional information while watching the film (you can also access these features on the main screen), which increases the rewatchability of the movie as well as an audio commentary with Sly and an alternative ending. The Blu-Ray also includes an audio commentary with novelist David Morrell, a featurette, and advanced trivia track.

Stallone fights the law again in Lock Up (1989) where he is a prisoner who takes on a sadistic warden in the form of Donald Sutherland. The special features on the DVD just include a cast and crew featurette, production notes, and the theatrical trailer. The blu-ray also features the trailer, as well as two other featurettes and a profile of Sylvester Stallone. If you are a fanatic of Sylvester Stallone, you probably already have all three movies in your collection and there is not enough new here to buy again (unless you need to upgrade your collection to blu-ray), but it a good starter kit for anyone new to the action hero. But you will also want to pick up the first couple Rocky films too.

Full Discourse Notice: This DVD set was provided to me by BHI Impact for review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Saying Goodbye to The Closer and Hello to Major Crimes

The cast of Major Crimes

The Closer will always have a place in my heart as the first television show that sent me a present along with its screener when it sent me a package of cookies for my enjoyment. After seven years and over a hundred episodes, The Closer is closing up shop. Because of the nature of a series finale, it is hard to talk much about it without giving too much away, but I can say there is a familiar face that returns tonight and there is a very shocking scene that happens in an elevator. With so many television shows that get their finales wrong, I cannot see too many people complaining with how the show ends.

Mary McDonald of Major CrimesFor those that do not want The Closer to end, you are in luck because airing right afterwards is the spin-off Major Crimes. And really it is a spin-off in name only because is the exact same show as The Closer right down to the same way it presents its credits and about eighty percent of the cast. Of course the biggest change is Mary McDonnell is the defacto lead with the departure of Kyra Sedgwick. The problem with that is the cold Sharon Raydor was a good foil for Brenda Leigh Johnson, but it does not make much for a lead character.

There is a slight philosophy change for Los Angeles Police Department, without its closer around anymore the department is not looking for more deals that keep cases from going to court than right out confessions. There is also some fresh blood in the cast, Kearran Giovanni (One Life to Live) is a recent promotion who butts head with her older, more tenured coworkers. Also joining the cast is Graham Patrick Martin (The Bill Engvall Show) as a whiney kid that Raydor kid takes in who is involved with the finale case on The Closer.

With recent events, it is a little disconcerting that the first images of Major Crimes involves some guys with fully-automatic rifles sneaking into the backdoor of some business which ends with a shootout which the detectives have to investigate. Next week’s episode is a little lighter than (or as light as these types of shows get) with a victim that becomes known as “Hanging Chad”. And even though most of the cast returns for the spin-off, there is one character that utters the phrase, “Then I quit” sometime in the first two episodes. When it comes down to it, anyone who has enjoyed The Closer and is not a Kyra Sedgwick fanatic these past few years, should find some enjoyment in Major Crimes.

Major Crimes premieres tonight at 10:00 after the series finale of The Closer before moving to its regular time slot at 9:00 next week. You will be alble to download Major Crimes on iTunes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

London Olympics Round Up Week 2

- Where the swimmers shave their body hair, wears swimming caps and do everything to shaves fractions of a second off their times, it is weird how none of the track runners do the same thing with jewelry, lots of hair, and even they are forced to wear a loose fitting name tag. There even someone who ran with a large flower in her hair.

- I am not going to pretend I am an expert at gymnastics, but there seems to be a flaw in the judging when someone who falls on her butt gets a silver. Either that are all the other competitors that bad?

- I played soccer all throughout my youth, was a referee in college and watch every American match in the World Cup, Olympics and other random friends, and I do not remember anyone call a goalie for holding the ball too long, seen a couple warnings (apparently the Canadian goalie was warned by the assistant referee previously), but never actually called. It is so prevalent that the networks usually aired replays while the goalies stroll around the box before getting rid of it. It is kind of like a travel in basketball where you have to take an extra step or five to get called. For the record, the rule is six seconds and the goalie held it for over ten before the penalty was called. But it is silly for Canadians to complain because it is a rarely called foul because it would be telling a judge you should have not have to pay your jaywalking ticket because cops rarely write anyone up for it. And if that is not enough to keep you Cunucks from complaining, please watch the video of Melissa Tancredi stomping on Carli Lloyd’s head which went uncalled. It was poetic that the American went on to win the gold medal on a header by Lloyd. Suck it Canada.

- There was actually belly-flop in the Olympics. And the guy advanced.

- Chris Webber may be off the hook for the dumbest timeout ever in the history of sports. That is thanks to the American Women’s Water Polo coach who called time out with one second left with his team up by a goal. Since they did not have possession, the Australians were awarded a penalty shot, which they converted. I am hesitant to call it the dumbest timeout ever because unlike Chris Weber, the Americans went on to win in overtime.

- I do not know how I am supposed to take volleyball commentators seriously when they say things like, “Hooker records her 9th kill.”

- One of my favorite stories of the Games was the high jumper who could not find his jersey, and since his time was running out, pinned his number to his polo shirt to get his jump off in the allotted time. Not only did he clear his jump, he won gold.

- After watching them play in the gold medal field hockey match; I have decided to move to The Netherlands.

- It was weird to see the East German Women still held the World and Olympic Records for the 4x100 until the Americans beat it at this games. You know when the commentators brought the record up they wanted to claim that the East Germans were known for using steroids.

- If the winner of the decathlon is the world’s best athlete, what does that make the3 winner of the modern pentathlon (fencing, 200 meter swim, show jumping, and a 3k cross country run that includes a shooting competition at the same time, kind of like the biathlon)? The most random athlete in the world?

- There I nothing I hate more in sports that replay, and having football coaches throw a red flag on the field is really silly. But I have to admit I liked the challenge brick in wrestling.

- I may update this space if anything interesting happens at the Closing Ceremonies (which rarely happens), until then, here is only last obligatory look at Alex Morgan’s ponytail.

Alex Morgan and her golden ponytail