Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Memoriam: Boner Stabone

The actor who originated the role of Boner on Growing Pains has died. He was 41.

This is interesting news for a couple of reason:

#1. Because the guy who played boner killed himself. It's weird enough that Boner died, let alone that he took his own life. I guess if people were still referring to me as boner about two decades after my sitcom went off the air, I would be pretty depressed too.

#2. He is the son of Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov on the original series of Star Trek. Who knew?

Anyway, I don't have many fond memories of Growing Pains, but the few I do have usually involved Boner. He was a funny guy, and not just because of his name.

Read more about this story here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Addams Family Groove

Now this is just a fun song. This hearkens back to a time not only when hip hop was more fun and lighthearted, but also when songs were written specifically to tie in with movies. Movies still have soundtracks, but remember back when a movie came out alongside some song with the same title, that showed clips from the film in the video? Hell, remember music videos at all? At some point I should create a list of my all time favorite pop songs written for movies, but until then, here's the Addams Family Groove:

New Logo

That's not sacrilegious, right?

I tried a different version where I kept Jesus as himself and made all of the other people different sci-fi characters, but it looked too stupid. It looked like Jesus was giving a sermon to a bunch of bobble heads. I may go back to that idea at some point though, because this one makes it a little too Trek heavy, what with Kirk's face, the Enterprise, and the communicator. But I couldn't resist any of those little details.

Hey... anybody who's actually good at Photoshop want to put something together?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver had a hard act to follow. Bejing didn't just put on the best Olympics opening ceremonies ever two years ago, but one of the greatest, most majestic, most inspirational spectacles in television history. It was uplifting, gorgeous, awe-inspiring, and spellbinding all at once.

And this time around the opening ceremony was just ok. I'd grade it a B+ on its own, but closer to a C- when viewed in comparison to Bejing's effort.

The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games are almost always long, pretentious, and overly sentimental, but that's to be expected. In fact, that's to be desired. The Olympics are one of the few things that are still allowed to be sentimental and stirring and inspiring. That's why I watch. That's what gets me to sit through an event like speed walking and actually make an emotional investment in the outcome. But the Olympics shouldn't be boring, and these ceremonies kind of were.

They just kind of lacked... personality. They spent far too much time talking about what they thought made Canada unique and special, but they really just spent way too much time on nonsense. "Here is the tribute to the Canadian prairies... here is the tribute to their mountains... here is the tribute to how their citizens inhale oxygen." Yeah, lots of countries have prairies and mountains. Watching that kid fly around the prairies was definitely haunting and beautiful, but it should've been about ten minutes long instead of, what, three hours? Or did every segment just feel like three hours?

From a technical standpoint, it was just as stunning as the Bejing games, with a level of tech that was bordering on the majestic, but it was still boring. I did enjoy that poet, who did an absolutely amazing job breathing life and energy into a poem that otherwise would've been trite and pedantic. "Canadians say please and thank you!" Yeah, so do I. It's called being polite, not Canadian. I'm sure Canada has assholes too. But that guy did an awesome job. He should win an Oscar or something.

And best of all was K.D. Lang's performance of Hallelujah, which is a song I'm sure just about everybody in the entire world is sick of by now. But she managed to take a song that has frankly become an overused cliche and actually made it sound new, fresh, and inspiring. That was the best part.

Oh, and I won't be able to forgive them for messing up their lighting ceremony and leaving my boy 99 hung out to dry like that. They didn't test that to make sure it would work? The lighting of the torch is kind of an important detail. And then once they finally got that fixed and lit, after what seemed like an interminable amount of time, Gretzky had to take the torch on another journey to light the real torch! Are you kidding me, Canada? The lighting of the Olympic torch should bring me to tears of joy and inspiration, not boredom.

But I still liked it and still watched it all, because it's the Olympics.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Now this was just a satisfying movie.

A few months back I complied a list of my top ten zombie movies, commenting that I hoped Zombieland would prove good enough to make an updated version of that list.  I missed it in the theatre because I just never found the time, because I'm cheap, and because I'm lazy. It finally released on DVD, and it was awesome. I'll always regret not having seen it in the theatre, since this was a big, fun, crowd-pleasing movie that I bet had audiences cheering. I mean, I was all alone in the apartment.

To begin with, this wasn't your typical Zombie-comedy, of which there have been too many over the years, only Shaun of the Dead being the least bit funny. It isn't typical in that it isn't a parody of the genre, so much as a funny film that takes place in a world inhabited by zombies. The jokes aren't at the expense of the genre, nor do they rely on any knowledge of the tropes or cliches found in these movies. The humor comes from the wit of the characters and the utter ridiculousness of the situations in which they find themselves.

Also, it's just one of those few comedies where every joke works. It's a funny movie.

The entire premise of the film is almost as though the filmmakers were sick of the cliches of zombie movies and wanted to make a film where people acted logically and made smart decisions. This is a film where the characters do things that most of us would do, and behave in a way most of us would behave. Well, until the ending where they go to an amusement park and seem to forget about the existence of zombies, but by that point we are won over by the characters and want them to have a little fun. But, still, those chicks could've taken a few more precautions.

The cast is probably the best ever assembled for a zombie film, with a standout performance by Woody Harrelson has one of the all time best badasses ever put on film. The sequence at the end where he's just going through the amusement park killing thousands of zombies is awesome. Jesse Eisenberg out Cerras Michael Cerra, giving a really sweet performance as a character that otherwise would've been completely annoying. Emma Stone is really hot, which is about all I can say for the underwritten roles of the females, but that was enough for me. And this film also contains, without any doubt or fear of exaggeration, the best celebrity cameo in the history of film. It was so over the top funny and surreal, it very nearly stopped the film all together, but it was worth it because it was so funny and ridiculous.

Just rent it. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Not to be confused with Attack of the Clones, the live action film in the prequel series, Clone Wars, the traditional cell animated cartoon from a few years back, or even The Clone Wars CG film that acted as a prequel to this new CG series that airs weekly on the Cartoon Network.

Anyway, it took me a while to really give this show a chance. I loved the prequels (and also hated them a little bit, but enough on that), but never really got into the previous animated show because I don't care for cartoons. CG cartoons I'm also not crazy about, unless they are made by Pixar. Oh, and also, that first CG Clone Wars movie was awful. The animation was neat and some of the action set pieces were off the hook, but the story was so bad, so boring, and so unengaged, that it made the prequels look like they had been written by Tolstoy.

But this show is pretty good.

I think it has the benefit of not having to sustain a story for a full two hours, opting instead to show little snippets of the Clone Wars in traditional 30 minute episodes, all of which are extremely well done. The writing is some of the best any Star Wars production has ever seen, the direction shows meticulous attention to detail, and the action sequences are amazing. This show is just exciting and fun to watch. Also, the voice work is phenomenal. For the first few episodes I watched, I couldn't believe how they managed to get Ewen MacGregor and Hayden Christensen for this series... until I noticed that they weren't listed in the credits. You'll never notice any differences. These guys are good.

So it's a good show -- perhaps even a great show -- that still isn't quite as awesome or memorable as it should be, if only because the Clone Wars are such an awkward period in the Star Wars mythology. At the end of the day, we already know which of these characters live, which die, and how the war itself plays out. When they go on some mission to stop Dooku or Grevious, we know it won't succeed because those two are in the Episode III, which takes place years later chronologically. Also, there's the added wrinkle that the entire Clone War was hatched as a plot by Palpatine to attain more power over the Republic, so the idea of watching all of the Jedi used as pawns in an ultimately pointless war never sits right with me.

But it's still a really cool show with awesome voice work, great animation, and incredible action sequences. It's Star Wars.

You can check out a few full episodes online at the Cartoon Network website. Watch the Mandalore Plot episode. The big fight at the end is off the hook.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost: Final Season

Well, the premiere episode of Lost's final season aired last night after an agonizingly long wait of -- what? About six months maybe? Longer? I can't even remember. Anyway, the wait is over and all but forgotten because this was the best episode of Lost ever.

And I say that only because every new episode of Lost is the best episode ever. I don't even really break this show down into episodes, since it's all been one, long, continuing storyline that has been perfectly paced and meticulously planned out since the first episode. Or maybe they're just making it all up as they go along, which would be just as impressive since it all seems to work so far.

I'm not going to begin posting every week as I watch each new episode. I'm not going to talk here about my theories or predictions. Talking about Lost just doesn't do the show justice. It has to be experienced. I'm just going to post here and say that this episode blew me away and filled me with confidence that Lost's final season won't be a let down, and will continue on as the best show in Television history.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Hangover

I think anybody who knows me knows that I have a great sense of humor. That isn't to say that most people think I'm funny -- far from it, since I've met a great many people who find me profoundly unfunny -- but that most would admit that I love to joke, love to laugh, and have a very broad sense of humor that knows almost no bounds or restrictions. Now, I told you all that so I could tell you this: The Hangover just wasn't that funny.

It wasn't profoundly unfunny, and had I gone to see it before all of the hype set in, I may even have sat through the entire thing, but I dunno. It just wasn't that funny. It's one of those movies that has a clever premise and a lot of set ups, but no actual jokes that follow through.

I like Ed Helms a lot, and he acquitted himself pretty well here by being the only halfway likable, funny person in the entire production. Zack Galawhateverhisnameis was certainly well cast as a creepy sociopath, but almost too well. He went beyond being a silly character to one that actually made me uncomfortable to watch. And Bradley Cooper is certainly a handsome man, which is about the only impression I've ever gotten from him, even though he's been in a bunch of movies for some reason.

There were certainly some funny bits here and there, and I honestly only tuned out for the last twenty minutes or so because it was late at night and I wanted to go to bed. If it's on TV, I certainly recommend checking it out if you have nothing else to do. But don't expect any kind of nonstop laughfest, because it's just not that funny. If you want to watch something like that, you'll just have to rent Who's Harry Crumb?

That never stops being funny.

Monday, February 1, 2010

From the Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?! Department:

From the IMDB news blotter:

Wedding Bells to Ring for Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard

 Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard had something even shinier than a Grammy to show off on the red carpet of the Staples Center Sunday night: her engagement ring. The couple, who've been together for years and currently costar in the romantic comedy feature When in Rome, are getting married. Bell's rep, Marcel Pariseau, confirms to People: "Yes they are engaged. Over the holidays." Shepard, 35, has been on the TV shows Punk'd, My Name Is Earl and the upcoming Parenthood. Bell, 29, is best known for her role on Heroes. Both hail from Michigan. The secret to their great relationship both off and on the set? » 

See the rest of the article here.