Saturday, January 26, 2013

Best of the Week - 1/26/13

Quote of the Week: Break out the white sunglasses and the Dane Cook CD because you and I are going out raging tomorrow night with the Douchebag Twins! (Marty Kaan, House of Lies)

Song of the Week: One Week – Barenaked Ladies (as sung by Sheila’s Pets, Suburgatory)

Scene of the Week:

Big News of the Week: Barck Obama Inaugurated... Again: Can someone explain to me why a sitting president needs to be swore in again at the beginning of his second term? Is once not enough? Just seems like a waste of time and money. But if there is one thing the government is good at it is wasting time and money.

Preview Picture of the Week:

Dallas Season 2 Premiere Monday at 9:00 on TNT

Free Download of the Week: True North – Bad Religion (iTunes)

Deal of the Week: Babel (Deluxe Edition) by Mumford and Sons for only $3.99.

New Album Release of the Week: Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara

New DVD Release of the Week: Pan Am - The Complete Series

Video of the Week: A week and a half until the triumphant return of Community (sans creator Dan Harmon and Chevy Chase who followed him out near the end of filming the season). To tide you over the final twelve days of its hiatus, here is a musical mash-up from the show.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Americans, Wednesday at 10:00 on FX: As we enter this cold winter without Homeland, we have to find something to keep us warm until its return in September. Hopefully The Americans can fill the void even though instead of the CIA, it is the KGB… in the eighties. But if it is half as good as Homeland, or network-mate Justified, I will be happy. I just have a fear that Keri Russell will have me rooting for the Russians by the end of the season.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Around the Tubes - 1/25/13

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 The Abominable Snowman, Conan, Adam Ant, House of Cards, V, The Eagles, The Cold Light of Day, That Obscure Object of Desire, Bangkok Assassins, The Liability, Silver Rush, Doomsday Preppers, and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal.

- It has been bitterly cold here for the last week and that looks to continue through the weekend, so if you are wisely staying in, the latest Syfy movie The Abominable Snowman premieres tomorrow at 9:00. Check out the trailer below:

- If you remember a couple weeks back I mentioned that Conan would be doing an all crowd sourced episode, well a date for air has been set so tune in January 31 to see if your submission made it to air. You can also follow along with Conan O’Brien who will blog live during the episode through the Team Coco Tablet App.

- You cannot have an eighties party without playing Goody Two-Shoes and now Adam Ant is finally entering the new millennium with his first album in seventeen-years this week: Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar Marrying the Gunner's Daughter. You can also check out his music video for the lead single Cool Zombie.

- Netflix famously rebooted Arrested Development, but their first attempt at original content hits the streaming site February 1. And by hit, I mean hit, all thirteen episodes of House of Cards will be available to stream next Friday. Based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, this wicked political drama starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara, slithers beneath the curtain and through the back halls of greed, sex, love and corruption in modern Washington, D.C.

- Cee-Lo’s protégé V has just released a video for Free Bird (yes, that Free Bird) in honor of the recent inauguration. The song will be on her upcoming Visitors Collection EP.

- The Eagles documentary History of the Eagles just premiered at Sundance and for those that could not make it to Utah, Showtime will be airing the film in two parts, part one will debut Friday February 15 at 8:00 while part two will air the following night at the same time.

- Out on blu-ray and / or DVD next week include The Cold Light of Day starring the future Superman Henry Cavill, That Obscure Object of Desire co-written and directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Luis Buñuel, Bangkok Assassins choreographed by famed stuntman Somchai Munma, and The Liability starring Tim Roth.

- Film crews for the Discovery Channel series were onboard Odyssey's ships during 2012 operations and captured the record-breaking recovery of 48 tons of silver bullion from the Gairsoppa site. Silver Rush Premieres February 12 at 10:00.

- Who says you cannot find love at the end of the world? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the February 12th episode of Doomsday Preppers will feature Jeff, a bachelor on the lookout for love, not only work on his bunker, but also go on multiple dates to find his prepper mate.

- New show alert! Upload with Shaquille O’Neal is set to launch February 21 on TruTV where the basketball great will put his own hilarious spin on online videos. Each week on the show, Shaq and his comic friends – co-hosts Gary Owen (Think Like a Man) and Godfrey (The Mr. Men Show) – will scour the internet looking for the funniest online videos and comment on them.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 Winter Music Preview

Looking at the albums to be released early this year makes you wonder if many in the music industry thought the Mayans may have been right and rushed out all the albums close to competition before the December 21 apocalypse because it is some pretty bare pickings. Most of the anticipated releases for the year are in the dubious “TBD” category which means we will probably not be hearing them until summer at the earliest, and maybe not until the pre-holiday window. Click the album name to pre-order on Amazon or click the artist name to be taken to their iTunes page.

This Week
True NorthBad Religion

January 29
Heartthrob - Tegan and Sara
Get Up!Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
Sentimental JourneyEmmy Rossum
No Fairy TaleLisa Loeb
Til Your River Runs DryEric Burdon

February 5
Pedestrian VerseFrightened Rabbit
Smokey MaryHarry Connick, Jr.
No Love LostJoe Budden
The HighwayHolly Williams

February 12
Authentic Hip HopLL Cool J

February 26
AmokAtoms for Peace
Good Songs & Great FriendsBret Michaels

March 5
Girl Who Got Away – Dido
Like a RoseAshley Monroe
Honky TonkSon Volt
Girl TalkKate Nash
The Stand-InCaitlin Rose

March 12
The Next DayDavid Bowie
Sound City: Real To ReelDave Grohl and Friends

April 9
Stories Don’t End - Dawes

April 16
Matangi – M.I.A.
MosquitoYeah Yeah Yeahs

April 23
Prisoner of Consequence – Talib Kweli

May 7
TBA – Vampire Weekend
Mother – Natalie Maines

Release Date Unknown
& Then You Shoot Your Cousin – The Roots
13 – Black Sabbath
My Name Is – Pusha T
Roses – Selena Gomez & The Scene
True BelieversDarius Rucker
Elvis Costello and The Roots (no, seriously)
Alice In Chains
Arcade Fire
Avril Lavigne
The Black Keys
Diane Birch
Jimmy Eat World
Kings of Leon
Pearl Jam
Sleigh Bells

And let me leave you with the obligatory, maybe this is the quarter that Dr. Dre finally releases Detox.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Want My Music Television - 1/23/13

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.

The Rebound – Tristan Prettyman

I think we may be nearing the end of the lyric video phenomenon because I actually had an adverse reaction after watching this one from Tristan Prettyman. Seeing the lyrics and them being realize literally (bananas!) with images just made me see just how creepy the song really is.

We Both Know - Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw

I like both Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw but this is a pretty boring song. It probably does not help that the movie it is from, Safe Haven, looks painfully bad. But I guess that should not be much of a surpise considering it was based on a book by Nicholas Sparks who have us the abominations that were Dear John, The Last Song, and The Lucky One.

Waiting For the Night - Nelly Furtado

Whoa Nelly Furtado, you got some bad advice from whoever told you the 2-face skeleton paint would work. It makes the accordion solo look like a great idea in comparison.

Hollow - Alice In Chains

I was pretty content ignoring the Alice in Chains reboot when they released a new album a couple years ago. I really enjoyed the band back in the day because I loved the dichotomy of the angsty Laine Staley against the more melodic Jerry Cantrell. But I guess I going to have to acknowledge the new incarnation now that they are going to release a new album. The thirteen year old version of me does not like it at all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

They Didn't Discover This Modern America, They Built It

The Men Who Built America on Blu-Ray

We have all heard of Vanderbilt University, Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, JP Morgan Chase, and Ford Motors, but there namesake had more to shape America than even your history teacher would have you believe. They became the first men in America more powerful than the president (and even bought one of them) and gave us what would become the foundation of America in the twentieth century: railways, oil, steel, electricity, and the automobile. Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford were the basis of History’s The Men Who Built America.

The series took place over the five decades in between the Civil War and the First World War when the industrial revolution propelled the United States into a super power it remains today. Spread over eight episodes (the series was originally aired in four two hour segments, but has been cut done to an hour for the home video release) it follows those five men as they compete with each other while using each other product in a battle to become the richest man in the world. Really it mainly follows the middle three as Vanderbilt dies early on and Ford does not show up until the last episode to introduce the same work practices that are used today.

The mini-series is narrator by Campbell Scott and features commentary from historian and some of today’s most notable entrepreneurs and businessmen like Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Jack Welsh, and Alan Greenspan. Even though many of Men lived over a decade ago it is amazing the parallels to today. You have the liberal unions taking on the guns for hire conservatives of the Pinkertons. When Rockefeller testifies in front of Congress in defense of his shady business practices actually said he was just a figurehead at his own company during some illegal or just immoral times almost word for word excuses that Mitt Romney had when confronted about Bain Capital. But the most obvious parallel to these times was the election of 1896 where the Men Who Built America, in a rare bit of collusion, pulled their wealth together to buy the president, the difference being they actually were successful (that and the South voted for the Democrat while the Republican candidate swept New England). Ironically they were undone when their president was assassinated and his replacement brought anti-trust lawsuits against the big businesses at the time (which makes you wonder what modern day Roosevelt Republican will have the guts to brake up today’s too big to fail banks).

The Men Who Built America is a fascinating narrative on a period that is quickly rushed by near the end of the school year in history class. It is filled with plenty of fascinating tales, like how Carnegie recruited an elephant to prove that his bridge across the Mississippi, the largest at the time, was safe to travel across. Even funny at times, like Morgan and Rockefeller trading Christmas presents. And even horrifying like when Thomas Edison, as bankrolled by Morgan, invented the electric chair just to make his rival Nikola Tesla look bad. Which begs the question, when does Tesla get his own movie? He keeps showing up in during stories in this time period, ends up being the most interesting figure, but has never gotten the starring role himself.

The blu-ray (the press release who have me to believe the DVD version have the exact same features) features three disks with the first featuring the episodes A New War Begins, Oil Strike, A and Rivalry Is Born. The second hosts Blood Is Spilled, A New Rival Emerges, and Owning it All. The third disk has the final two episodes Taking the White House and The New Machine. Each disk features a couple never before seen on TV clips which combine to around twenty-six extra minutes.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2013

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 1/20/13

Once Upon a Time: Just how long was Prince Phillip hanging out with Mulan because I wonder if Sleeping Beauty has something to worry about. Seems like that relationship has being going on for much longer than they let on.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Revenge: How did I not see Rebecca Logan being evil ahead of time? Dilly me, let my guard down on that one. Poor Nolan, no matter which team he bats for, he gets beamed with the baseball. But it was pretty obvious that Emily and Aiden set up that kidnapping to get in the Initiative’s good graces.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Revenge on iTunes.

Castle: Of course the rapper brought his lighting guy to the precinct.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Castle on iTunes.

Deception: Are we really to believe a ruthless businessman who would go to great lengths to keep his secret, even have a gardener beat up a relative to keep her quiet, would have such an easy to guess password. And this happens all the time on these types of shows. At least have some computer nerd give them some cracking program. I would even find it even more believable if they kept their password taped to the bottom of their stapler.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Deception on iTunes.

Pretty Little Liars: I was a bit weary with the newly semi-rehabilitated (but probably not) Mona last week, but I am fully on board and now Mona is my second favorite character after Hanna. Mona is just playing these girls like a fiddle and I love every minute of it because she is plying chess while the Liars are playing checkers. But I am not liking Byron’s evil heel turn. The only way it could get cheesier and more cliché is if Byron hits Aria over the head with a steel chair and then rips off his shirt to reveal a “The A-Team” t-shirt underneath.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.

Justified: When the matriarch of the Truth clan stepped out of her house I thought, oh no they are going to recreate the Bennett clan. The actress was even played by someone everyone would recognize but has no clue what her name is. By the time the Marshal’s left, I was kind of sad that it may be the only time we will see the molestation fearing Truth family again. Although I am sure they will find a way to reincorporate them until Raylan has to put one of them down. Even Winn managed to find his way back to Harlen, unfortunately not with the armless Robert Quarrels (who I am officially presuming as dead now but I will hold on to a sliver of hope that he shows up in my proposed Harlen County Prison spin-off) in tow because Winn’s reactions to his craziness was always a highlight of last season.
You can download Justified on iTunes.

Parenthood: So if they put in a “healthy” vending machine, where did the students get all those Skittles to shower Max with? I guess the convenient stores are still getting a big share of the allowance money.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Parenthood on iTunes.

Modern Family: Note to the promo monkeys, do not say the show will end with a surprise you will not see coming followed by a baby crying considering Gloria has looked like she was ten months pregnant all season. It would had only been a surprise if Haley was one of those idiots from I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant and gave birth instead and it turned out Gloria was just bloated. Either that or Al Bundy had yet another season that was just a dream wher he thought his wife was pregnant.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Modern Family on iTunes.

Subugatory: They really need to get Tessa hopped up on drugs more often. As Claire Danes showed us (notice the great Homeland reference?), crazy is extreme entertaining.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Suburgatory on iTunes.

Nashville: I feel cheated that they did not force the tour with Rayna and Juilette earlier because the show is much more entertaining when they go toe to toe in a game of one-upmanship. Although I am not sure the tour will last long because I have a feeling Vegas would have the number of shows at 5. It will probably be as productive as the famous Metallica / Guns n Roses joint tour back in the early ninties.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Nashville on iTunes.

Last Resort: Holy frack! Winston Zedmore shot himself on live television. Or as close to live television as C-Span gets. But that is one way to drive up the ratings.
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Last Resort on iTunes.