Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best of the Week - 1/19/13

Quote of the Week: But I don't even trust the way you just now said I could trust you. (Winn Duffy, Justified)

Song of the Week: (They Long to Be) Close to You – Carpenters (as sung by the Bee Girl, House of Lies)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Lance Armstrong Is a Lying Liar: Also how bizarre is the Notre Dame Football player / fake girlfriend story? Way too many inconsistencies to believe. Just a bad week for sports as a whole especially considering the AFC will be sending to the Super Bowl one of my three least favorite teams. Guess I will be rooting for the NFC like usual.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Bunheads "I'll Be Your Meyer Lansky" Monday at 9:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Introduction – Holly Williams (Noise Trade)

Deal of the Week: $2.99 Albums: Amazon is having an unadvertised sale with a lot of classic albums for only $2.99 including Thiller, Born in the U.S.A., At Folsom Prison, and Under the Table and Dreaming. So stock up while you can because thesale may end as soon as it started.

New Album Release of the Week: 12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief (2 CDs)

New DVD Release of the Week: The Men Who Built America

Video of the Week: Almost two decades ago Harmony Korine wrote a warped script about kids in America called, well, Kids. He was not far removed from being a kid himself at a time. Now forty, he has written (and this time directed) another film about kids, but instead of casting relative unknowns, this time around he raided the Disney line up with Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), and Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars, which airs on ABC Family which is also owned by Disney). Spring Breakers looks glossier than Kids, but looks like it will be just as warped. Oh yeah, it also stars a cornrowed James Franco.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Parenthood, Tuesday at 10:00 on NBC: If it seems like every season of Parenthood gets shorter and shorter, you are not paranoid, this season comes to a close this week after only fifteen episodes, three less than last year and seven less than season two. But as the cable model shows longer is not necessary better and the show remains the best drama on network television and hopefully returns next season to defend its title.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Around the Tubes - 1/18/13

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 Do No Harm, Defiance, TNT, A Brief History of Mine, Sherlock Changed the World, American Masters Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll, After Words, and Iron Man: Armored Adventures.

- Why wait until January 31 to watch the premiere of Do Not Harm? You can watch it now below or download from iTunes for free.

- It seems like Syfy is releasing a new Defiance trailer or preview every week, here is the latest one ahead of the April 15 debut:

- For those who miss Jon Tenney when he only occasionally shows up on The Closer spin-off will be happy to learn that the actor will be returning to the channel full time after TNT picked up a currently unnamed private-eye series also starring Rebecca Romijn based on the David Baldacci characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell which have been featured in more than 25 novels starting with Split Second.

- PBS recently announced that the first-ever autobiographical documentary of physicist Stephen Hawking, called A Brief History of Mine is slated to air in 2013. The program gives viewers rare insight into Hawking’s life, past and present, aided by a stellar cast of A-list contributors and Hawking fans, including astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., actors Jim Carrey and Benedict Cumberbatch, mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Also showing up sometime this year on PBS is the two hour special How Sherlock Changed the World about the famous fictitious detective.

- As for something with an actual premiere date, American Masters Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll premieres nationwide Friday, February 22 at 9pm (ET/PT) in honor of Black History Month. This year is the 40th anniversary of her death.

- Janet Langhart Cohen is on C-SPAN After Words at 9:00pm and 12 midnight this Sunday, January 20 on the eve of Martin Luther King Day, interviewing Dr. Clayborne Carson, historian and editor of Dr. King's papers.

- Out on DVD next week is Iron Man: Armored Adventures Season 2, Volume 3 featuring six all new episodes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Previewing King of the Nerds

The cast of King of the Nerds

Over the years I have given a lot of grief to The CW for canceling Veronica Mars and made fun of it for managing to get less viewers to watch original episodes of Everybody Hates Chris than TV Land could with repeats of the show. But I do not give them enough credit for ruining, and then canceling one of the great reality shows of the past decade: Beauty and the Geek (introducing male models and gay homosexuals just ruined the social experiment aspect of the show of nerds trying to hook up with hot chicks). Although TBS has not answered my prayers for a Beauty and the Geek reboot by a station not ran and watched by a bunch of morons, they did the next best thing: created King of the Nerds.

Booger and Lewis Skolnick back together again
King of the Nerds takes eleven nerds and geeks (yes there is a difference) to see who is the best of them all. And who better to host the show than Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. Yes, Lewis and Booger from Revenge of the Nerds; unfortunately Lamar was apparently unavailable. The show is basically Beauty and the Geek without the beauties (though half the nerds are female. And that is not the only great predecessor it has talked from as it also has taken ideas from Survivor (they start on teams before becoming an individual competition) The Challenge (the losing team gets to pick one person from their team to face elimination in the Nerd Off while the other team picks the other).

Unfortunately it did not rip-off other aspects because the challenges are pretty lame (at least in the first episode). I understand that the first competition is short and sweet as it is every nerds worst nightmare, a school yard pick of teams (if you noticed earlier I said there are eleven contestants, which of course means someone gets left out). But when they mentioned that the Nerd Off would be simple game I thought, there has to be a catch. Nope, no catch. Hopefully future challenges will be a lot more entertaining, if not, they better steal the challenge creator from The Challenge.  (Spoiler Alert: It turns out that the competitions get much more entertaining, at least they are in the second episode.)

But if you liked Beauty and the Geek or really enjoy all The Big Bang Theory repeats that TBS runs (and I am sure will run before King of the Nerds), you will definitely enjoy the show. There are plenty of colorful characters and made up languages spoken. And upcoming guest judges include George Takei from Star Trek; Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (better known as Jay & Silent Bob), Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci (of the duo as Garfunkel and Oates). I just hope that the challenges get more entertaining. That and Ted McGinley shows up in a second season to lead a group of frat boys to take on the geeks while The Ogre taunts the opposition with a rousing chant of “Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!”

King of the Nerds airs Thursdays at 10:00 on TBS.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well Young Man, You're Going to Have a Very Unusual Life

Branded on Blu-Ray

We have all seen this superhero movie: a regular man is bestowed superhero powers and exploits them until (s)he realizes they wield too much power and go into self seclusion before realizing that the world needs them and returns to destroy the big bad. Branded follows this basic premise. And the superpower in this film? Marketing. Seriously. In the movie Ed Stoppard (The Little Vampire) makes Don Draper look like the guy who created New Coke, named the iPad, or thought it was a good idea to have the Washington Bullets change their name to the Wizards.

And who is the arch-nemesis to the marketing genius: fast food. Seriously. These evil corporations have figured out a way to make obesity sexy and something to obtain through evil marketing and it is up to our heroes to counter market a vegetarian fast food chain. Seriously. Playing Lois Lane in this scenario is Leelee Sobieski (Joan of Arc) whose character even cribs a storyline from Superman Returns (maybe not the best superhero movie to steal from.

Or that is what I took away from the movie. Branded is a big jumbled of a movie that wants to express some big ideas (companies are becoming too good at marketing that we no longer realized we are being sold a load of goods) but sometimes gets bogged down in its heavy handedness. It is not until Stoppard returns from his Fortress of Solitude where the movie starts to embrace the absurdity and hammers the message more clearly. By then it may have been too little too late.

In addition to a pair of theatrical trailers, the only special feature included is an audio commentary with writers / directors Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain.

Full Disclosure Notice: This Blu-ray was given to me by Lionsgate for review.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lyrics Quiz: Best Songs of 2003

Every January I like to get into time machine and go back ten year and take a look at my favorite songs from the list I made that year. 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. She wants neo-soul cause hip hop is old. She don’t want no rock ‘n’ roll. She want platinum, ice and gold. She want a whole lot of somethin’ to fold.
2. Nobody said it was easy. It’s such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard. Oh, take me back to the start.
3. She got out of town on a railway New York bound. Took all except my name. Another alien on Broadway. (Bright Lights - Matchbox Twenty; guessed by Kevin)
4. If you watch how I move, you'll mistake me for a player or pimp. Been hit with a few shells but I don't walk with a limp.
5. I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair. Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair. (Hurt - johnny Cash; guessed by Kevin)
6. Maybe I’m tangled in the power line and it might be over in a second’s time. I’d gladly go down in a flame if a flame is what it takes to remember my name.
7. Come out upon my seas. Cursed missed opportunities. Am I a part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?
8. Did you think that I would cry on the phone? Do you know what it feels like being alone? I’ll find someone new.
9. You were a victim of my crime, a product of my rage, you were a beautiful distraction.
10. But no prints can come from fingers if machines become our hands. And then our feet become the wheels and then the wheels become the cars and then the rigs become begin to drill until the drilling goes too far. (The Horizon Has Been Defeated - Jack Johnson; guessed by Kevin)
11. Four more exits to my apartment but I am tempted to keep the car in drive and leave it all behind.
12. Could of died, so young, now looks ugly and old. No fun cause now when she reaches for hugs people hold they breath ‘cause she smells of corrosion and death.
13. Look at what you did to me: Tennis shoes, don’t even need to buy a new dress. If you ain’t there ain’t nobody else to impress.
14. When it gets cold outside and you got nobody to love. You’ll understand what I mean when I sa y there’s no way we’re gonna give up.
15. Percolate anything you want to call it. Oscillate you hip and don't take pity.
16. We can drive thru the city no doubt, but don’t say my car’s topless, say the (expletive deleted) is out.
17. They wanna ride in something were the rims don’t stop. Look baby you fine, but your girlfriend’s not.
18. When’s this fever gonna break? I think I’ve handled more than any man can take. I’m like a love sick puppy chasing you around, and it’s alright.
19. Now I will tell you what I've done for you. Fifty thousand tears I've cried. Screaming, deceiving and bleeding for you and you still won’t hear me.
20. You don’t care about me and I know there’s just no use. When all your lies become your truths and I don’t care.
21. You stay on my mind, Fulfill my fantasies. I think about you all the time. I see you in my dreams.
22. A hundred and three is forever when you’re just a little kid. So Cyrus Jones lived forever.
23. I’m ready to talk naughty in Veronica’s ear. She erotic and it’s hot, saw Heineken beer. Put her to the side and invite here to, “Cheers”.
24. Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity? Whatever happened to the fairness in equality? (Where Is the Love? - Black Eyed Peas; guessed by Kevin)
25. And I wake up put on my makeup. Pick up the phone, nobody’s home. I need to break out, get me some takeout. Stand inside a crowd. I wanna scream aloud, “I’ll be OK.”

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Hate Hospitals... People Die Here

The Possession on Blu-Ray

Whenever a horror movies claims to be “based on a true story” I have to laugh a little because they make an assumption that we will actually believe that ghosts, demons, and / or other things that go bump in the night when Occam’s Razor would suggest that chick just went cray-cray. But on the bright side, crazy people have a vivid imagination and can come up with some pretty entertaining stories even if they did not really happen. The fact they happen outside the realm of reality is what makes them entertaining.

Supposedly The Possession was based on a true story where a newly divorced Jeffery Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is patroning garage sales to pick up essentials for his new house with his daughter when one of them Natasha Calis (The Firm) picks up an antique wooden box for herself. Except when they take it home it does not open and is covered in Hebrew. Until it mysteriously opens and the young child finds dead moths, teeth and other weird and random artifacts. Oh yeah, and the box also held an unseen demon.

The Possession does not add anything to the genre and can really be considered the Jewish take on exorcisms, as performed by former Hasidic Jew Matisyahu (why do the Catholics get to have all the fun?) or does not turn the genre on its head. But there are plenty of good scares in the film for all the horror fans out there like the scene in the trailer when the kid looks down her throat in the trailer to see fingers trying to climb out of her esophagus. I will also be infinitely more freaked out by moths after seeing this film. And of course the inclusion of children makes any horror movie just a little creepier.

For skeptics like me when it comes to movies “Based on a true story” there is a bonus feature The Real History of the Dibbuk Box which starts off by saying that the Dibbuk box shown for the feature is just a replica for your safety. The real story turns out nothing like the movie except the original owner has a stroke when coming into contact with the box (which is depicted much more violently in the movie). But low and behold when they say they are going to show us the actual Dibbuk box, I seriously thought of just turning off my television just in case. I did not and am still alive and still have all my appendages. Other specials on the blu-ray (which are the same as the DVD) include two separate audio commentaries, one with director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch) while other is with the writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (Knowing). It also comes with a code that can be redeemed for both a digital copy and an UltraViolet copy for those that like to watch their movies on their mobile devises. I wonder if scary movies are more or less frightening on a smaller screen.

Full Disclosure Notice: Lionsgate gave me this blu-ray for review.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 1/13/13

Once Upon a Time: If Ruby speaks wolf, why not ask her to speak to the dog because it did seem that the dog knew that it was not really Regina in Dr. Hopper’s office. I guess that would have been too easy.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Switched at Birth: Hey Angelo, how about setting aside some of your winnings for one of your kid’s college fund? The way he is spending it will all be gone by the end of the month. Maybe that is the best thing, spend it all before baby mama number two comes for half (or more) of it.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Switched At Birth on iTunes.

Bunheads: I forgot how awesome the mascing teenagers scene was. Hopefully that shows up on all the “previously on” segments. But I am a bit disappointed that ABC Family did not release the full vial video.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Bunheads on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: So was the hand that came out of the ground last episode just a cheap scare for the Halloween episode or is there really a walking dead out there somewhere? We did get two suspects as to who Aria stabbed, although maybe they should not have waited weeks to try to figure out who that was. Again these are not the smartest junior detectives that have ever been on television. But I have decided after this episode the show needs much more slightly crazy Mona (hopefully they do not go the Homeland route and have her on too many crazy pills making the character much less entertaining).
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

The Lying Game: So Rebecca has another kid who looks around the same age as the twins. I vaguely remember theorizing they were actually triplets sometime during the first season but I am too lazy to look this up. Although the show is still missing something. Maybe it is time to kill someone (and someone more important that Derek) to raise the stakes. I wonder if having one actress playing the twins hurts the show because of logistics it is hard to have them go at it very often.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download The Lying Game on iTunes.

Happy Endings: I have noticed that the show really likes to make bad jokes that the characters like to point out as being bad. I guess it makes writing easier when you can keep all you stinkers by pointing out they are bad.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Happy Endings on iTunes.

Justified: With Homeland giving a slightly disappointing second season, I have high hopes for Justified to take back the title of best show on television. And the season premiere set it up to be that way. But it is a slightly odd that it went back to a procedural type episode like from the first season and did not introduce a new Big Bad in the line of The Crowders, the Bennetts, Robert Quarles, or Ellstin Limehouse (unless the new preacher in town is less Godly than he leads on). Granted Also went from mild nuisance to full on evil. But he is locked up so how much trouble can he get in (hopefully he has a run in with Dicky and Dewey and maybe I can finally get my prison spin off I have been hoping for). And the premiere will probably turn out to be less procedural than it let on because it seems safe to assume the bag in the wall is related to the dead parachute guy and we will spend the season figuring out who it was, who the bag belongs to, and how is Arlo involved. I am sure it will be a fun ride.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: This may be the episode where Max goes from annoying little kid to quirky mini-Sheldon Cooper. Unfortunately just as Max becomes entertaining, Victor quickly raised the annoying kid quota. Suck it up Victor, you won the lottery. You went from dirt poor with a deadbeat mother to upper middle class in a loving family. So you have to eat some Brussels sprouts everyone and a while. Sure it is a little creepy that your new mom is extremely hot but you could have been in much worse situations.  With all the trouble they are having, I knew Joel and Julia should have adopted Zoe and her baby instead.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Nashville: I know the show, along with every other on television, lives in a hyper reality, but can you image if, in the middle of the season, Tim Tebow announced his engagement to Taylor Swift in a ceremony that would happen later that week, a day before a game in Cleveland only to be left standing alone at the altar? Skip Bayless’s head would literally explode. Stephan A Smith would have to be admitted to a mental health facility. Pardon the Interruption would just be shocked silence for the entire half an hour for a full week. Basketball would just cancel their games because there would be no coverage of them.

I was surprised they finally brought back the paternity issue with Rayna which the alluded to in the premiere and I do not remember being mentioned since. Almost as surprising was that her husband already knew. Hopefully we do not have to wait another ten episodes for it to be brought out again.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Nashville on iTunes.

The Big Bang Theory: I am morally opposed to GPS’s because they are for the stupid and the lazy, two things I pretend that I am not. But if I were to get a GPS, I would want a Sheldon Cooper voiced one. Either that or one with Snoop Dogg.
You can stream recent episodes over at You can also download The Big Bang Theory on iTunes.