What decade is this, anyway?

Published in: on June 29, 2007 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Licensable BearTM vs. the X-Men?


The latest in our series of videos — watch it, rate it, spread it!

Published in: on June 25, 2007 at 10:43 pm  Comments (1)  

I am confused

The Vatican is annulling an already-granted annulment. After the guy has already remarried. So they’re… turning him into a sanctioned bigamist? Or breaking up (in terms of church recognition) a presumably-already-church-recognized marriage without the request of either party involved?

Exactly what value system does this support? Or is this just another way of telling people that you cannot trust what the church says?

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

More ketchup

Some more windows I meant to close:

  • Boston Legal is dumping or reducing the involvement of some of their storyline characters to bring on more wild, over-the-top, interesting-in-the-courtroom folks. Christian Clemmons’s twitchy lawyer will be a regular, as Gary Anthony Williams’s crossdressing lawyer already is (having pulled one of those “suddenly, I’m a lawyer” moves that we saw Lucy Liu pull on Ally McBeal when David E. Kelley decided that she was interesting enough that she should be kept around), and now John Laroquette will be added as well (not playing the killer that he already has played in the Kelleyverse). As much as I might feel this is an awkward move in theory, the truth is that they weren’t doing anything actually interesting with those characters anyway. The biggest loss would be Rene Aberjonois, who was always sitting there waiting to be used in some interesting way, but never was. (Let me also note that the use of Laroquette continues the show’s use of actors with a Star Trek history.)
  • Reports various places indicate that Veronica Mars will likely be continuing, in comic book form from DC. Creator Rob Thomas is likely to be involved in a season four comic book. The big hit that Buffy Season 8 has been really supports this sort of work. Frankly, I was actually considering going after the VM season 4 rights, if none of the bigger boys had picked them up. It can be done well, although it’s hard to transfer the degree of dramatic significance from a TV show to a comic (note: I am not saying it is hard for comics to have dramatic significance, merely that it’s hard to capture the style of it presented on an effective TV show.) And there are some practical problems with doing mysteries in comics form. But I think this series could be done well. I know I’ll be reading!
Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

57 varietys of ketchup

Just a quick post to let me cover a few points that I’ve not addressed during my busy days and thus close a few open windows:

  • Army Wives, a female-centric military base drama on Lifetime, is at least watchable, some of the storylines more involving than others. It does draw in some of the problematic cliches of drama — that in order to create drama, one has to show the exception as the rule. The surrogate mom agonizing over giving away her babies in here is a key example of that, and doing that can risk mispainting the general field. I’d say it was the best estrogen-packed military drama since China Beach, but I’m not sure it isn’t the only one.
  • I think the story that the military was looking at developing a sodombomb is hilarious! Yes, yes, the government wants to discourage homosexuality except when it’s convenient. A girlfriend once told me that if porn teaches us anything, it’s that all women are just one bad break-up and two beers away from being lesbians. I guess all guys gotta do is get bombed. (They may not have ultimately found a military market for this technology, but I do know a couple guys who might like to buy it in spraycan form…)
  • Saw the movie Once (and yes, I saw the movie once.) It’s a romantic film with humor, and yet it’s not the meet-cute puzzle movie that we have come to know as a romantic comedy. Recommended on the basis of its humanity. It’s a musical in a practical way, and it relies on music that is not quite as amazing as the filmmakers would have us believe, but it’s all quite pleasant.
  • Saw the movie Surf’s Up, we has the curse of coming after Happy Feet, the other CGI penguin flick. And it has the curse that Happy Feet had possibly the greatest trailers in the history of film, but proved to be a pretty weak movie; Surf’s Up had weak trailers, and proves to be an enjoyable (if predictable) film. However, it’s quite talky – which is fine for me, I like talky, but little kids are probably more likely to like Happy Feet.
  • Saw a trailer for a new documentary on polar creatures from the makers of March of the Penguins. If the trailer is anything to go by, it’ll disappoint some large base of March fans on a purely political level – it talks about how global warming is causing a problem for these creatures. March had a strong following among certain parts of the cultural right, who saw it as an endorsement of their “family values” beliefs.
  • I’ve kept watching Traveler, mainly because there was a little bit of Neal McDonough in episode 2. And there keeps being little bits of him, not enough to make it worthwhile. The show is all danger and mystery, and no real development… and there’s not much hope of it surviving long enough for there to be real revelation.
Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spider-Man 3

I’m the last geek on the planet to get around to seeing Spider-Man 3. And it left me frustrated, because you could take out about half the movie and be left with 2/3s of a good film!

I’m watching Sandman, and I’m thinking just how right they got it, how it all works and the effects look right and solid and they play him like a quiet, intent man quite well…. and then I remember that Ditko got it all right, too, and that’s with a few basic drawing tools and perhaps a day to do each page. He didn’t need to spend tens of millions on effects.

(Sandman is not my favorite character in the film, however. That goes to Ursula, the landlord’s daughter — who has been repeatedly good in the series, despite being utterly unnecessary to it. Sandman is tied for second place with Bruce Campbell’s maitre d’.)

The black costume stuff is badly launched and the Venom material… well, apparently putting Venom in there was the result of a push from the studio against Raimi’s instincts, and Raimi was right. It doesn’t build up much, and the character isn’t integrated into the feel of the
film.

And with 5 years since the first Spider-Man film, the cast is now getting a bit old for the age they’re supposed to be, and it shows. Tobey, who plays Peter, is 32. Kirsten Dunst, who is supposed to be the fresh young thing in the film, is 25 – lovely, but her experience is showing. And the gal they have playing Aunt May looks like an old woman!

Published in: on June 9, 2007 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Did it happen?

Well, it finally happened — the Mighty Ducks have won the Stanley Cup. And I didn’t see it (which is no surprise, as I don’t think I’ve watched significant portions of a hockey game in the past quarter century). But it means that I didn’t get to see if the TV coverage ended the way that I always imagined it would:

“Hey, Mighty Ducks! You just won the Stanley Cup! What are you going to do next?”
“We’re going… (in a downbeat voice) home.”

(Okay, it’s only funny if you were watching championship sports a number of years back. And if you know where the Ducks home ice is.)

Published in: on June 8, 2007 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

The Starter Wife

The Starter Wife is a USA Network miniseries, featuring Debra Messing (Grace of Will & Grace, Stacy of Ned & Stacy, and doubtlessly eventually to be the second name in some other sitcom title) as a Hollywood industry wife who finds herself let loose by her teen-star-banging husband. There are some humorous moments, although it’s hard for me to get too involved with the drama of it all — if you find that your swanky clubs don’t want you when you’re an ex, and that your supposed friends drop you when you’re no longer useful to them, my reaction is more “ya shouldn’t have supported those clubs and those friends in the first place” than to feel sorry now that you’re on the other side of the snob line. There was one character whose calm demeanor made his scenes particularly watchable, but he seemed to be written out by the end of this first installment in a miniseries. Could watch more, probably won’t bother.

Published in: on June 6, 2007 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Hidden Stars

I caught the pilot of Hidden Palms, which is a new teen drama from the creator of Dawson’s Creek. The front part of the show is, well, a fairly typical teen drama of the One Tree Hill level of interest. Missing the spark of the first few Dawsons or the what-the-heckedness of The OC, it’s really not something for me.
But lurking behind these oh-so-earnest quirky teens and their dramatic dilemmas are Sharon Lawrence and Gail O’Grady, playing the moms. Sharon Lawrence. Gail O’Grady. It’s like the kids are blocking our view of some good show that lurks behind them.

Published in: on June 5, 2007 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

The seven words you actually can say on TV

The freedom-hating folks at the FCC have been handed a setback – a court has ruled that the incidental use of impolite words during live broadcasts isn’t actualy something one can fine a station over. The fact that no one has shown how hearing such words actually would harm anyone played into this ruling, an appreciable bit of level-headedness from the court. I think that the myth that broadcast regulation could ever keep you from hearing anything that will make you unhappy is in for a fall.
(I also wonder how many of the folks who are pushing for this believe themselves to be free-market conservatives. Certainly, no one says that a station cannot choose not to broadcast whatever they feel their customers are concerned about. But the current false-conservative administration believes in big government and regulation of industries they feel are liberal strongholds.)

Published in: on June 5, 2007 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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