Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Come With Me Now on a Journey Through Time and Space to the World of.....


If not for the invention of DVR, I may have never stumbled upon this brilliant mess of a show. My days of being awake at 1:00 AM on Sunday night/Monday morning are long behind me but that just happens to be the time slot for The Mighty Boosh on Adult Swim. This show must be huge with insomniacs and shift workers. It originally aired on the BBC and has completed its third season.

I am really not sure how to describe The Mighty Boosh. Let me try: The show follows the adventures of Howard Moon and Vince Noir. Howard is a jazz loving, fashion victim, loser. Vince is the ultra-mod, hair obsessed, club kid. They live with a Shaman named Naboo the Enigma and a talking gorilla named Bollo. Over the course of three seasons they have been zoo keepers, band members and proprietors of a magic shop. Their adventures have taken them to places such as gorilla hell and the forest of the mod wolves. Along the way they have crossed paths with characters like the Crack Fox, killers grannies, the tentacle headed shaman Tony Harrison, and Old Gregg (a tutu wearing mer-man with a "mangina"). Oh yeah, they also manage to work a song into just about every episode.

It sounds insane right? Well it is, but in a good way. The Boosh is the creation of Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett. They play Howard and Vince plus most of the secondary characters. The other main actors are Noel's brother Michael who plays Naboo and routinely steals the show, and Rich Fulcher. Fulcher is the only American and his main character is Bob Fossil who is loud, obnoxious, fat, and always very funny. The Boosh actually started as a radio show in Britain and eventually found its way to the TV. The show is weird, surreal, and always hilarious.

This show is probably hit or miss with most people but it was a home run with me and I would definitely recommend giving it a shot. Besides, what the hell else are you watching at that time?If you aren't a night owl or don't have a DVR, the DVDs of the first three seasons are now available in the US.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Drunk Nerds

I like Jeopardy as much as anyone else, but it's missing something.

I have been addicted to Buzztime trivia for the past few weeks. I have played on and off for the past few years but I have logged quite a few hours at the local pub this month. (Maybe that's why I suck and can't get a post up on my blog in the last 2 weeks.) Sometimes my buddy and I will sit there and play for six hours straight. What can I say, I love trivia. I like beer too but I'm mostly in it for the trivia. We are pretty evenly matched so we can have fun even if no one else in the bar is playing. It gets really fun when more people play because we are competitive with each other, but we really hate to lose to anyone else. (It's still fun even when you lose.)

All you need to do is find a bar around you that has Buzztime and you can join in on the fun. Just go to the Buzztime Site, enter your zip code, and go grab one of these things at your local spot.

I know, it looks like some kind of crazy Speak n' Spell but don't worry, you don't need to write out answers or anything. You pretty much just use the numbers. The questions are all multiple choice and the categories include everything from movies and TV to history and literature. Most of the games are a random sampling of questions but from 7:00-10:00 (EST) they have special games that focus on a single subject or have different rounds. Most of the games are 15-30 minutes with breaks so you don't need to get too wrapped up in it while you are still enjoying a night out. Your results are displayed on the TVs and you will even get to see how you are doing compared to everyone in the country.

If you are a fan of trivia, you absolutely have to try this. I've done bar trivia with a DJ, and that blows. Waiting for some clown to grade your papers as you hope that he's not friends with anyone else who is playing. No thanks. Plus you can play this whenever you want instead of a Wednesday night at some bar that is slow and just needed something to get some people in the door.

If you are ever playing in South Jersey keep an eye out for me, I play under the name KIDVID. Come over and say hi. If you see my buddy LILJIM, go over and tell him he stinks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A craptastic week in TV.

Life On Mars is not returning for a second year. The good news is that the producers found out about it in time to give the show a proper ending at the end of this season. It will join the ranks of shows like Freaks and Geeks, Murder in Small Town X, and Twin Peaks. All shows that were taken from us too early.

I can't say that I am really surprised, but I am very disappointed. There is a lot of awful garbage on TV that seems to thrive while good shows just fade out. I'm not saying that Life on Mars is the best show ever, but it is much better than most of the mindless crap that returns year after year. Now, I hate plenty of things that pass for programming but reality TV has really become a cancer. I hate to think how many good shows haven't even gotten a chance to be canceled because they need to keep a spot open for The Bachelor, Wife Swap, or The Real Rich Whores of (Insert town here). Most of the stupid "reality" shows aren't even reality any more. Does anyone REALLY believe that The Hills, Hogan Knows Best, or The Girls Next Door aren't scripted? Hulk Hogan had more reality when he was wrestling with Mr. T at Wrestlemania. I don't hate all reality TV, but there is just too much. I was just as addicted to the first season of Survivor as everyone else. The Real World used to be really interesting.... when it was real people and not a bunch of jacked up tool-bags and alcoholic sluts. Top Chef is amazing. Wipeout is stupid, but I love it. There is room for reality TV, but I get more than enough reality in my everyday life.

Oh yeah, thanks to my reader KBHR for breaking the news about Life on Mars to me, yeah, thanks a lot.

In other news, Lost is not on this week. Balls. I don't understand why they insist on putting gaps in the middle of the season. Lost has been much better about that recently but they have announced that there will be two times this season when there will be no new episode. This season has been totally awesome so I will cut them some slack but it still sucks. So now I have nothing to watch tonight except for Ghost Hunters International. I like GHI but it is not as good as the original.

Fringe has been really getting on my nerves. The show is great, but that is why it is so frustrating that they keep going away for months at a time. Earlier this year they took a couple months over the holidays when there were no new shows. I can deal with that. A lot of shows break over the holidays. But then after a few weeks back and a really great episode, they announce that Fringe will return in April. Son of a bitch! I'm hoping that it is because the show has become popular and they ordered more episodes or something, but I am just guessing. My biggest concern isn't my lack of viewing options this week, I'll survive, but how do they expect the more casual fan to stay engaged in the show? I'm hoping these breaks don't affect the rating for Fringe, I really don't want to lose both of my new favorite shows.

The only good part about this week is that it has given me the opportunity to revisit some classic TV via DVD. I have mentioned it in a previous post but I need to get the message out that Northern Exposure was and is amazing. Not only do I need to make sure that it gets its own post one day but it deserves its own blog. I have always said that it was one of the greatest shows ever and this week when I popped it in it sucked me right back in. If you have never seen it, please turn off Brooke Knows Best (seriously, if you are watching that, turn it off immediately) and go grab the Northern Exposure DVDs. Your brain will thank you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 7

After School Special

I'm honestly not sure if these two shows ever had other time slots but I will always remember them as after school must-see TV.

When it comes to the best Disney cartoons, there is only one that is on par with Gummi Bears. Duck Tales was a really interesting show. Someone said "Let's make a show about Donald Duck's relatives. We'll take that cheap bastard Scrooge McDuck and make him the guardian of Donald's nephews and niece. They can travel the world and get into adventures. Sound good?" Well, not really, but guess what? It worked! There were a few episodes that were crappy, they usually revolved around Webby and Mrs. Beakley but for the most part the show was really cool. Scrooge had some major enemies like the Beagle Boys and Magica DeSpell but his arch enemy was Flintheart Glomgold. The best stories were always when Scrooge and Glomgold were both going after some treasure, they would make it a five part story and it would last all week. I haven't seen this show in a long time but I would love to get my hands on the DVDs so I can check it out again.

I hate cats, unless they are of the Thunder variety. This is one of the greatest cartoons of all time. Thundercats was one of those shows that I could never miss because it, unlike many cartoons, evolved over time. Things that happened would effect future episodes. Many cartoons avoid this so that people can tune in at any time and feel like they are not missing anything. The Thundercats had to abandon their home planet of Thundera before it was destroyed. During this time they were separated from all of the others who were fleeing. They begin a new life on a new planet, but they are always searching for other Thudercats who may have survived the destruction of Thundera. They share their new world with the evil sorcerer Mumm-ra who is an old, evil mummy who goes into an occasional, magical roid-rage and becomes a more powerful bad-ass mummy. He recruits the other inhabitants of the world, the Mutants, to battle the Thundercats. Many times when a cartoon adds characters, it feels desperate and awkward(I'm talking to you Kazoo and Scrappy) but the other Thundercats who join the show later are a natural addition because it has been established that they are looking for other Cats. I'm sure that most of you have seen this show but if you get a chance, watch it again. I think that you will be surprised at how well it holds up. One of the best stories was presented in a five part mini-series that showed how an unarmed Lion-o had to best all of the other Thundercats to prove that he should be their leader. (Spoiler Alert: he wins.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Y the Last Man

In honor of its appearance on the most recent episode of Lost, I am finally posting about Y the Last Man. I'm not sure why I haven't posted about it yet because it is simply awesome.

I don't like to ruin things for people so I'll try not to drop any spoilers in my quick review. The story revolves around Yorick Brown who finds himself to be the last man on earth after a strange "plague" has wiped out anything with a Y chromosome. Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand (who has also mysteriously survived despite also being a male) embark on a quest to find his girlfriend who is half a world away. When all the men suddenly die, society is plunged into chaos and the world becomes a very dangerous place for the last man. As the women begin to rebuild we see that things will never be the same. While most women try to return things to some kind of normalcy, others begin to unite and become militant, forming groups like the Daughters of the Amazon who try to take over by force. Yorick finds himself teamed up with Agent 355 who is a member of some secret government agency. She becomes his bodyguard and helps him navigate this strange new world. In their travels they also attempt to uncover the cause of the mysterious "plague" and try to determine if there is hope for the survival of the human race.

Y the Last Man is written by Brian K. Vaughan who is also a writer for Lost. He handles the material in a very serious way while still adding large doses of humor and action. The original series was released in 60 single comics but can now be found in 10 collected versions released by DC/Vertigo. I was really happily surprised when I started reading this story. It is hard to put down once you start.

LOST fans, here is a pic of the issue that Hurley had on the plane. He was reading the Spanish version of issue #15. I will have to go back and see if there is any specific connection to that issue and last week's Lost episode (316).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 6

This week I have two of my favorite cartoons of all time. It should be no surprise that they are based on comic books. There have been some really great super hero cartoons in more recent years like the X-men and Bat-man shows from the 90's or the current Justice League cartoon but these were the originals for me. I grew up with these shows and they had a huge influence in my becoming a comic collector.

Spider-Man and his amazing friends took a ridiculous amount of liberties with the source material, but who cares if it's fun. Right? Spider-Man, Firestar, and Ice-man all go to college together and live at Aunt May's house with her prissy dog Ms. Lion. At some point they had a giant computer network installed into Aunt May's house that appears when they move the trophy on the mantle. I guess that they hope Aunt May has some kind of phobia of trophies and will not go near it. Aside from his interactions with his Amazing Friends, Spider-man's(Peter Parker) story is pretty true to the comics. Nerdy student lives with Aunt, fights crime in his spare time. Sounds right. Ice-man(Bobby Drake) was one of the original members of the X-men but I guess he decided that he wasn't getting a good enough education at Xavier's School for Gifted Children and decided to enroll at Empire State. Firestar(Angelica Jones) was created specifically for the cartoon but later found her way into the comics. Her heat power involves the use of microwaves. The last unaired season documented Peter and Bobby's battle with radiation poisoning due to their years of interaction with Angelica. ABC Family still shows re-runs of Amazing Friends so check it out when you have some time.

A bunch of super good guys vs. a bunch of super bad guys. It doesn't get any better than that. Challenge of the Super-Friends is not the first Super Friends show but I think that it was the best. The original Super-Friends consisted of Super-Man, Wonder-Woman, Bat-Man, and Aqua-Man. They were joined by two cornball kids and their dog. Average at best. The new huge group of Super-Friends is joined by two super powered twins and their space monkey. Still unnecessary but better. The true stars of the show were the Legion-of-Doom. Thirteen major villains from the DC universe who decided that if the Heroes can join forces, they should too. One of the cool parts of the show was seeing villains pair off against someone who wasn't their arch-enemy. Watching Sinestro square off with Bat-Man or Bizarro take on Wonder-Woman was always really cool for me as a huge comic book fan. I've recently watched a bunch of these episodes on DVD and they hold up pretty well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday the 13th

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. That really doesn't mean a whole lot to me except for the fact that it is also the title of what is, in my opinion, the best horror movie franchise ever. This Friday is special because we will be getting another installment of the Jason Voorhees saga. The new release will be movie #12. Suck on that Freddy.

Friday the 13th has had some low points (I'm talking to you "A New Beginning" and "The New Blood"), but overall I have been very entertained by this collection of films. Jason is an absolute bad-ass killing machine. He doesn't try to mess with your mind, he tries to separate it from the rest of your body. This guy is pissed off and nothing can stop him. Not the endless waves of new camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, drowning, being shot, being burned, a harpoon to the eye, going to hell, being ejected into space, not even corny Freddy Kreuger. Get the idea? This dude is durable.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great horror movies out there. The Evil Dead series and Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies are just a couple of the standouts, but for me Jason is King. I have very high hopes for the new film which is titled simply "Friday the 13th". The people who made the Texas Chainsaw remake are involved and that was a really great new look at the original story. I don't think that this new film is a remake and I'm hoping that they have a few new twists to throw in to the usual Jason blood fest at good old Camp Crystal Lake. "Jason X" and "Freddy vs. Jason" were both pretty cool so I'm hoping that the bar has been raised and they keep these high standards for the new one.

Let me know if you think I'm crazy. Would Michael Myers kick Jason's ass? Do we need a Jason vs. Chucky showdown? Should Pumpkinhead have had more sequels? If Norman Bates and the Leprechaun joined forces could they take down all the Gremlins and the Ghoulies? Ok, maybe that last one is a bit far fetched.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Art is Classy!

For those of you that don't know, I'm a very classy guy. Fine wine, gourmet food, classical music, and modern art. I recently discovered this new artist and his work has passed the tests of my high standards and fine tastes.

Ok, I'm making myself sick. This is the art of my brother-in-law Max. He has made all kinds of cool things. Most of it involves animals, bugs, or skulls so you know it has to kick ass. He can do it all: draw, paint, sculpt. He's like the perfect artistic weapon. You can check out some of his work here on his website. Hopefully he'll add some more stuff soon. It's all pretty awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 5

I love video games.
So obviously I should love video game cartoons right?
Well, kind of.

I did love Captain N the Game Master. I'm not sure if I would still love it but watching the opening brings back some good memories. Were there any greater villains than Mother Brain, Eggplant Wizard, and King Hippo? Well yeah, plenty, but those were the ones they chose so deal with it. Mega-Man, Kid Icarus, and Castlevania were all pretty bad-ass games so I guess they did a good job with the heroes. I always thought that Captain N was pretty lucky because the generic video game princess was way hotter than Peach or he's got that going for him, which is nice.

If this video doesn't make you cringe, I don't know what will. The Super Mario Brothers' Super Show was an OK cartoon but the live action segments with Captain Lou Albano and Joe Flaherty are pure gold. Why are the super Italian brothers "dancing" to rap music? Is it just because they say brothers in the song? Hey man, that's racist. Anyway, the whole live action concept for this toon is a little sketchy, but that doesn't mean that I didn't still enjoy this show.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Gang Laughs Their Asses Off

Ok, first things first. I am in no way taking credit for discovering "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" as the hidden gem that it is. I had, in fact, never seen an episode until 2 weeks ago. Had it not been for the prodding of several of my friends, I probably still would have never seen an episode.

That being said, this show kicks ass and I highly recommend that you also get on board.

If "The Young Ones" and "Cheers" got hammered drunk and hooked up, "It's Always Sunny" would be their bastard love child. The show starts off by telling the story of some guys who own a bar together called Paddy's Pub. For the most part, the humor comes from the fact that they are just pretty horrible people. As the show progresses and we get to know the characters, things get weirder and weirder. Charlie, Mac, Dennis, and Dennis' sister Sweet Dee don't even really seem to like each other all that much but they are inseparable. Paddy's Pub is the central location for the show but it is mostly a failure as a business and an excuse for the gang to drink constantly. The characters are all very self-centered, even when the gang starts doing something as a group it usually devolves into an every-man for himself situation. Their adventures take them all over the city of Philadelphia and anyone who knows the city will recognize a lot of the outside shots.

This is one of those shows that doesn't have a stand out star. Just when you think that Charlie is your favorite, Mac will crack you up, then out of nowhere Sweet Dee will do something ridiculous. The addition of Danny Devito in the second season was mainly to save the show from being cancelled by adding a big name but he could not have fit in more perfectly with the cast. This is Taxi Danny Devito, not Twins Danny Devito.

This is one of the funniest shows on TV. Seasons 1+2 and 3 are available on DVD and new episodes air on FX. So, buy the DVDs, watch episodes online, set your DVR to record it. Just watch it. That way when your friends are sitting around saying "Dude, remember when Charlie was Serpico and he had a package 4 the Mare?" you'll know what the hell they are talking about and you can have a good laugh too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Unstuck in Time

I'm sorry about the delay in my posts but I have been stuck in a time loop trying to get an old bald guy and and a guy with permanent eyeliner to exchange a crappy gold compass without them knowing that it was really me who inserted it in the time line in the first place. So, while it may have seemed to you like I have not posted in 108 days, I was simply unstuck in time and looking for my constant. But I digress....and if you don't watch Lost, see below.

(My excuse for non-Lost fans. If the the above excuse seemed plausible, please disregard the following.)

I'm sorry about the delay in my posts but I found myself trapped in 1955. I would have been back sooner but I needed to get my mom and dad to kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance or, of course, I would cease to exist. Anyway, long story short, they kissed, lightning bolt, 1.21 jiggawatts. Now that I have Biff washing my cars, I will have have plenty of time to post.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Flashback Episode 4

Formula for Success:

Take a successful property + make all of the characters younger = hit show. Right?
Well, it worked for these shows. At least I think it did

Muppet Babies should suck, but it doesn't. The characters transferred from puppets to cartoons and from adults to babies without losing what made them popular in the first place. All of the muppets have very distinct, funny, and likable personalities. Except for Miss Piggy, everyone hates Miss Piggy. The babies either had very good imaginations or the nursery was some kind of temporal hot spot because every door, cabinet. or window opened a worm hole to some other parallel universe (usually in the form of an old movie clip). Anyway, this was a fun little show. I still wonder what Nanny looked like. Was she a super-model? Was she horribly disfigured? All we know for sure is that she had some cool socks.

I love to picture the people in the studio recording that song, it cracks me up. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is basically just a caricature of the original Scooby-Doo, but I think that it holds its own as a pretty good show. The concept is basically the same; solve a monster mystery that is really just a person in a monster suit. Velma's smart, Freddy's dumb, Daphne's a bimbo. Shaggy and Scoob don't come off looking as much like stoners, but they are still very hungry, so they might be experimenting at this point in their life. When they did the big mask pull-off reveal at the end of every episode, Freddy always thought that it would be the local bully Red Herring (get it?).

Hope everyone had a very happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Flux Capacitor,.....Fluxing

This past summer, the guys from the Opie and Anthony show produced "The Secret Show to the Future". It was like a live version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with the best movie ever. We set up a tv outside, drank beers, and laughed our asses off. Sounds good, right?

Good news! There will be an encore presentation on Saturday December 27th at 9pm EST. All you need is a copy of Back to the Future, a satellite radio, and all of your friends that can quote every line.

Opie and Anthony can be heard on XM 202 and Sirius 197(if you have the "best of XM" package). If you love Back to the Future, this makes for a really fun night. If you don't love it, what's your problem?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 3

Here are a couple more of my Saturday Morning Favorites.

Dungeons and Dragons is one of those shows that I could not miss. Like Kidd Video, I needed to know if the gang was finally going to get home. I loved the fact that they all had specific weapons that corresponded to their personality. The guy with the shield always wonders why he didn't get a sword or something cooler but you find out later how important his particular weapon is. There was an Ewoks live-action movie and the kids in it had to pick weapons. The boy ended up with a small rock and he was all pissed, but of course the rock ended up being the most important item. Did I just write about an Ewoks live-action movie? Anyway, it is the idea that the weapon picks the person and not the other way around. Kind of like Locke and his compass. We'll see what happens with that. I am really rambling this week. Dungeons and Dragons kicks ass. This is another show that I picked up on E-bay and it holds up really well. I really enjoyed watching it again. The Dungeon Master still seemed like just as much of a dick as he always did. Just help the poor kids get home you jerk.

Teen Wolf is a great movie! Yes, it is. Don't argue with me.
The Teen Wolf cartoon... not bad. I was a big fan of this when it was on. I was 8. Apparently, after Scott won the big game for the Beavers, more of his werewolf family moved in with him. This includes his little sister who must have been away at camp for a year or something. Oh yeah, everyone must have been so excited about the b-ball championship over the Dragons that they forgot about Scott being a werewolf......except for Boof and Stiles. Ok, we all on the same page now? This was a fun little show. It only had 21 episodes so it wasn't a huge hit but it brings back some good memories for me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crunch Time

It's that time of year when all the procrastinators start to panic because they haven't finished all of their holiday shopping. Have no fear, I've got some home-run suggestions for last minute gifts.

The Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback

Before "The Infinity Gauntlet", I was a casual reader of comics. That all changed when I got my hands on this story. This is the perfect example of taking a second tier character and raising them to greatness. Thanos goes from C-list villain to the bane of the entire Marvel universe. You don't need to be a big super-hero fan to enjoy this story, but if you are, this is a must-read. It all boils down to a boy trying to impress a girl. The boy is trying to rule the universe and the girl is Lady Death, but hey, love can get weird.

Northern Exposure on DVD

I cannot say enough good things about this show. Before Lost came along, Northern Exposure was hands down my favorite TV show ever. Lost may have my undivided attention now, but I still consider NX to one of the best. This show was way ahead of its time. The basic story centered on a Jewish doctor who gets roped into moving from New York to a small town in Alaska to become the town's doctor. Dr. Joel Fleischman is forced to deal with all of the extremely quirky characters of Cicely, Alaska. As he learns to deal with these people, he also learns things about himself. Northern Exposure has an amazing cast and very smart, funny writing. If you have never seen this show, you are in for a treat. If you have seen it, what are you waiting for? You know that you want to see it again.

World of Warcraft

This could be the most addictive game ever made. This game was originally released in 2004 and I still find myself going back to it when I get tired of newer games. World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. You create a character and level him or her up through the ranks as either a member of the Horde or the Alliance. You can choose from 10 races and many different classes like Hunter, Mage, Warrior, or Druid. You can complete many quests alone but you can also team up with other people on-line to make things easier. You can also battle people who are members of the opposing faction. Warcraft is easy to learn and you can jump in and have a lot of fun but it also offers a lot of depth and replay value for veterans of the game. Two expansions are available to extend the gaming experience, but they are not necessary to get started.

OK, now you have some ideas, plus you can always browse through my earlier posts for other great ideas. Such as.......

Freaks and Geeks, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Young Ones, etc., etc.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 2

It's been harder and harder to find time to post with work, school, and all of the holidays but I have been looking forward to this all week.

The hardest part about this is deciding which two clips to post. There are so many good ones.

I pity the fool that don't like gymnastic crime fighters. Yes, apparently Mr. T loves gymnastics. Who knew? This made me laugh out loud when I saw it again. I totally remembered the weird gymnast thing but forgot about his little white Mr. T sidekick and the mohawk-clad dog. That poor alligator had no idea who he was messing with. Hilarious.

Gummi bears is one of my absolute favorite cartoons of all time. This is a smart and well developed show (Well, you know, for a kids cartoon.) It is one of those rare cartoons that has its characters and story evolve over time. I love Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry but they were strictly episodic. This show left you with questions. What happened to this great Gummi civilization? Will the princess ever discover that the Gummis are real? Will they ever find other Gummis somewhere out there? Did I just see a Dharma logo on that tree?
Anyway, I recently picked some DVDs on Ebay of the entire series and it definitely holds up over time. Oh yeah, that song will be stuck in your head all day...but in a good way.

Tune in next week for another dose of nostalgia, and who knows, I may actually manage to get a post or two in before that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Flashback Episode 1

I have always been a major cartoon junkie. Whether it was Saturday morning or after school, I have logged countless hours in front of the TV watching cartoons. Some were great, others not so much, but nostalgia can make even the stinkers seem cool in hindsight.

I'll start with a couple of my favorites, but I know that I'm not the only one who watched these shows so let me know if I've stirred up any memories for you.

Kidd Video is about as 80's as anything can get. I Loved this show. Anyone who remembers this show knows that it gets even weirder than the opening suggests. Every episode was followed up by a live action video by the Kidd Video band. Believe it or not, they actually went on tour with the band. By the way, how sweet is cousin Oliver's El Camino?

Wow. Ok, I do not remember Hulk Hogan's Rock n' Wrestling being that corny, but the proof is right there. What the hell is going on? Why are they driving around in cars? Shouldn't they be wrestling, or rock n' ? I'm not ashamed to say that I liked this show but I can't remember why.

Enjoy! I'll have more next week.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Zombies Attack!!

Zombies are having a big month in video games. Two really good games came out recently for Xbox 360. One of them is devoted to battling zombies while the other has a cool unlockable zombie mode.

Left 4 Dead is is a zombie killing spree. It's made by Valve, the same guys who brought us Half-Life, Counter Strike, and Portal. You are part of a team of four survivors of a zombie infection outbreak. You can play with friends or with other strangers online but you MUST work together. If you try to run off on your own, you will not last long playing this game. When I first heard that you would have to use teamwork I was a little bummed because I generally hate everyone, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the game was set up in a way that makes it very easy to work as a team. Plus, if someone really pisses you off, you can smash him in the face with a molotov cocktail and unload a few shotgun shells into his burning corpse as the zombies feast on his guts........or you could vote him out of the group, but honestly, what sounds more satisfying? All of the enemy spawns and item locations are random so you have a different experience every time you play. There are four different "movies" that you can play. Each movie is broken up into five parts and culminates in a rescue scene in which you and the other survivors must fight off waves of zombies as you wait for your rescue vehicle. I have played through each of the scenarios a few times and have not gotten bored yet so the replay value is pretty high. It's the most fun when you have all friends in your party, but playing with strangers has been much better than I originally expected.

The other zombie attack is actually embedded in one of the best games of the season. Call of Duty: World at War, is the follow-up to the mega hit Call of Duty 4 ; Modern Warfare. I was one of the people who said "Why are they going back to WWII again? Uggg. This is going to stink. Nothing will ever be as good a CoD4. What a bunch of jerks." Then I played the game for five minutes. It is just as good CoD4 and there are enough changes to make it feel like a whole new experience rather than just some new maps. Worst new feature: tanks. Best new feature: instead of helicopter support, you get to call out the hounds. This game is great even without zombies, but it has zombies too! Upon finishing the solo campaign you are treated to a video introducing you to the Nazi Zombies. This new mode puts you in a building that you must defend from approaching waves of zombies. Of course, the zombies always win, but it's cool to see how long your futile efforts can prolong your life. This can be played alone but is much more fun when you get some friends to help you. The zombie mode is not a reason to buy the game, but it is a great bonus on a game that is already really cool.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Life On Crazy

SPOILER ALERT!! I will be talking about more specific things in this post than I normally do. If you have not watched Life on Mars yet, PLEASE get your ass in gear and watch this show. It started off good and has only gotten better.

Ok, things are getting weird, and by weird I mean totally awesome. What is going on?!? It seemed that Sam was most likely in some hospital bed in 2008 having a coma hallucination. They kept us guessing but that seemed like the most plausible explanation for Sam's time displacement. Recent events have made this early assumption less and less likely. Characters are popping up who seem to have information about Sam's predicament.

First there was the young black girl whose things were in the hidden shoebox that Sam expected to find his own things in. This same young girl was the one who led Sam to his mother by singing a song from his childhood. She was also the girl who fell to her death and almost started a race war. The last time that we see her, she is with a second odd character. The old man/bum, who talks to Sam as if he knows what is happening, is only in one episode but he gets the new theory ball rolling. Sam could still just be imagining all of this, but it is starting to seem like there are other forces at work. This brings us to last night's episode.

The episode was really good. It explained what happened to Sam's Dad and helped to explain why Sam is the way that he is. The first 95% was great, but it was the last few minutes that were completely amazing. Sam starts to figure out that all of the cases that he worked on are leading him to something. He discovers an address and when he gets there he finds a place that is a cross between the Evil Dead house and the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. The phone rings and a mysterious voice tells him that he needs to go to the basement. The end.

Holy Cliffhanger!!!! I can't wait until next...w.e..e..k.... WHAT? New episodes return January 28th. AAAHHHHH. I know, a bit over-dramatic, but the end of January cannot get here fast enough. This is very good news because it means that ABC has picked up the show and we will get to see what is in the basement. Good news part 2: January 28th is a Wednesday. That means a Lost, Life on Mars combo for that night. Very cool.

What's in the basement?!?!
Who is the voice on the other end of the line?
Why does the chess game on the table of the "Evil Lodge"(as good a name as any) have all black pieces?
What the hell is really going on with Sam?
Let me know if you have any theories. We have two months to think it over.

Fly Ajira Air

The new Lost promo contained a quick shot of what appears to be the next Lost ARG(Alternate Reality Game). The "Dharma Wants You" game just ended and last year's "Find 815" was pretty interesting. These games are just a form of viral marketing but they can be pretty fun, and in the case of Lost they can give you some occasional insights into the secrets of the show. If you want to give it a try, you can go to Right now they are just taking e-mail addresses so that they can update you when it's ready to go. It should be soon since the new season starts on January 21st.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Real Ghostbusters

Anyone who is interested in the paranormal should check out Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel. I have always been a fan of shows that take a more serious approach to documenting and researching paranormal activity. Don't get me wrong, I also love horror movies and shows like Fringe or the X-files but I have a special place in my heart for true paranormal investigation.

Ghost Hunters is a documentary type reality show that follows the investigations of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). Lead by Jay Hawes and Grant Wilson, TAPS takes a unique approach to investigating the paranormal. Rather than going into a location and trying to prove the accounts of ghost activity, they go in trying to disprove the accounts first. This makes the show much more interesting and believable because when they do come across something that they feel is solid evidence, it is usually quite impressive. The investigations are documented using high tech equipment that has been shown to be useful in the collection of evidence of the paranormal including EMF(electro-magnetic field) detectors, infrared night vision cameras, and thermal imaging cameras, to name a few. Ghost Hunters doesn't rely on the silly gimmicks that some of its predecessors have. One of the worst was MTV's Fear, in which people had cameras stuck to their heads and were forced to run around in the dark until they were freaked out and screaming. Mildly entertaining but stupid. TAPS members always work in groups to cut down on the fear and anxiety that can build up in some of the very scary locations that they investigate.

TAPS will investigate anywhere from a single home to very large locations such as prisons, hotels, or even aircraft carriers. Some of the more impressive locations include Eastern State Penitentiary, Waverly Hills Sanatorium, and The Stanley Hotel (the hotel from The Shining). Recently TAPS traveled to Europe to do some investigations. This trip spawned the spin-off Ghost Hunters International. The two shows share the same time slot on SciFi so when the season of the original Ghost Hunters ends, they pick right back up with Ghost Hunters International.

Note: There is one TAPS member who is a Super-Douche; Brian Harnois. The good news is that he is currently not a member of the original team or the international team but he has been in both so if you are watching reruns, I warned you. He's not bad enough to ruin the show but he is pretty unlikeable.

The new episodes are on Wednesdays at 9 on the SciFi channel but they show tons of reruns and they always have marathons so give it a shot.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Battle Royale

Battle Royale is something that I stumbled upon by accident and it ended up being an obsession of mine for a few months last year. I was at Borders to buy some other book and they were having a buy 3 get the 4th free sale on manga and graphic novels. I grabbed the stuff I wanted and needed to grab something else. There was a set of shrink-wrapped books that looked interesting and I figured that I couldn't go wrong with it being free. (I would find out quickly that the shrink-wrap is there for a good reason.) Obviously that book was the first volume of Battle Royale and it had me hooked quick.Needless to say, I took further advantage of the sale at Borders and cruised through the rest of the available 12 books. This is where the months of obsession comes into play. I had to wait for the final 3 books to be doled out over a very long 9 months. It was worth the wait.

The story takes place in an alternate reality Japan. The government is in a police state and has developed something called "The Program" to intimidate its citizens to stay in line. Each year a group of middle school students is taken to a remote island location and forced to participate in "The Program". The students are informed that they must kill each other if they want to leave the island. They are all given survival kits which contain some standard items like water, a compass, and a map. The interesting part is that the survival kits each contain a different weapon that can range from an Uzi sub-machine gun to a boomerang. There can only be one winner and that child will be allowed to leave the island and return to their family. The children are also fitted with explosive collars that detonate as time goes on or boundaries are crossed. Alliances are formed and friendships are destroyed as the children adapt to their new situation. Some participants part with their sanity very quickly as they realize that their former friends and classmates will kill them if they don't kill them first. Others seem to thrive and enjoy themselves in "The Program".

Battle Royale is VERY graphic in both violence and sexual situations. (Hence the shrink-wrap at Borders.) The art in the Manga version is very well done and adds considerably to the story. The Battle Royale story does come in a few forms. I highly recommend the Tokyopop Manga version first but the movie is also very good. The second movie is ok but not as good as the original. Finally, it can also be found in novel form, but I haven't read it yet so I don't want to judge it.

Give Battle Royale a try, you won't be disappointed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

You want the Blade cut or the Demolition Man?

Opie and Anthony with Patrice O'Neil making fun of Wesley Snipes after he was convicted of tax evasion. Hilarious.

Opie and Anthony can be heard on XM 202.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Best New Show....Life on Mars

Only one network show has really caught my eye in this new Fall season. It started with a unique ABC ad campaign that used their 1970's logos and sweepers. This was before my time but it did grab my attention immediately. At first I thought that it was just a cop show set in the 70's but when I saw that it was actually about a cop who becomes displaced in time from 2008 to 1973, I became very interested. I have seen the first three episodes and I am pleasantly surprised. Life on Mars has quickly become one of my favorite new shows.

Life on Mars is another in a long line of British remakes(They really are TV geniuses). This one centers on the strange time displacement of detective Sam Tyler. During an investigation, Sam is struck by a car and instantly finds himself transported from 2008 to 1973. Let me take a moment to say that you will have to take a leap of faith as you watch the pilot. Not because you will have to accept that Sam is a time travelling detective, rather because he is not thrown into the insane asylum within his first hour in 1973 New York. He is not very discreet about the fact that he thinks that he is from the future but his new police co-workers aren't too alarmed and just go on with business as usual. His new boss, played by Harvey Keitel, does hand him a few beatings but nothing that stops them from working together. I'll stop nit-picking now.

This show really is very enjoyable. The sets and costumes are amazing. The show was cast very well. I am not a huge Harvey Keitel fan but the character of Lieutenant Gene Hunt suits him quite well. Sam's closest confidants in his new situation are Officer Annie "No Nuts" Norris (you will learn very quickly in the pilot that they want you to understand that women were not equal back then.......we get it) and his new neighbor Windy. Annie is the force that is trying to keep Sam grounded and convince him that his thoughts of 2008 are delusions and he belongs in 1973. Windy, on the other hand, has a more open mind to his situation and in some ways has become his spiritual guide. It is still early in the show to draw too many conclusions but we are always reminded that Sam is being pulled between both times through visions and mysterious communications that seem to manifest from electrical devices.

The show has me hooked and I highly recommend that you check it out too. If nothing else, watch it just to see Michael Imperioli as the stereotypical 70's detective Ray Carling. He's pretty hilarious. Life on Mars is on Thursday Nights at 10:00 on ABC. You can still get caught up on the first few episodes at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Freaks and Geeks got it right.

Freaks and Geeks makes me happy and sad all at once. It is one of the best shows that I have ever seen. The unknown young cast of Freaks and Geeks have almost all gone on to huge success(James Franco, Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Jason Segal, etc.). Freaks and Geeks had the perfect balance of comedy and drama without being too corny or overly sappy.

It only makes me sad because it wasn't given the chance that it deserved. This amazing show was under promoted and buried in bad time slots. This resulted in the show being cancelled after only one season. In retrospect, this may not have been a terrible thing for true fans of the show. The creators must have seen the writing on the wall because the series has the feel of a contained story that comes to a satisfying end. You will always want more, but they don't leave you hanging, which is nice.

The series was created by Judd Apatow who has become a Hollywood powerhouse as of late. He is responsible for The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman, Talledega Nights, Knocked-up, and Super-Bad...just to name a few. I personally think that Freaks and Geeks is still the best of all of his work. It has a "real" feel to it and you can put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters.

The idea is basic; a brother and sister try to fit in at their high school. I know......that sounds SO original, but after one episode you'll see that it delivers some of the most entertaining and original TV in a long time. The main cast is great but the supporting cast is also well stocked with names like Joe Flaherty and Ben Foster. Back to the Future fans will be happy to see Coach Fredricks who is well played by Tom Wilson (Biff in BTTF).

The complete series is available on DVD and it contains 2 episodes that were never seen in the original run. This is a show that I go back to time and time again and I have never had anything but a positive reaction when I recommend it to someone. This is true must see TV.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forever Young

Some things will always be funny. The Young Ones is one of them.

The Young Ones premiered on British television 25 years ago. Like many other British shows, it had a short run; 12 episodes. They understand the concept of not running an idea into the ground. Those 12 episodes contain some of the funniest moments I've ever seen.

The series revolves around 4 college room mates(although they never seem to go to college or study). The Young Ones are Rick (a self-absorbed anarchist poet), Neil (a hippie), Mike (the self proclaimed cool person) and Vyvyan Bastard (the punk rock medical student). They live in a filthy apartment that serves as the main stage for the show, and seems to be a magnet for strange situations. Many of the situations involve the characters fighting in violent and hilarious ways, in part due to their boredom with everyday life.

The Young Ones mixes a sitcom with a variety show. This was actually done so that they could get a larger budget by being classified as a variety show. The result is a surreal comedy that includes stand-up comics, puppets, and musical acts. Motorhead, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Madness all made appearances on the show.

I have seen all the episodes many times but I always go back for more. I highly recommend this if you have never seen it before. If you have seen it, watch it again. You can get the entire series in a DVD collection called The Young Ones: Every Stoopid Episode.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is Really Cool

This guy does stop motion animation on wall art. I can't begin to imagine how long this takes to do, especially when he gets to the really big pictures. This is pretty amazing stuff.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Fringe is one of the only new shows that I have any interest in this season. I was really excited about it since it was created by J.J. Abrams who also created Lost and Cloverfield. If you have not checked it out or need to get caught up, the first four episodes are still available to watch at the Fringe site.

Don't rush to judgement on Fringe. The pilot is good but it isn't great. That tends to happen with this kind of show due to all the set-up and character development that is crammed down your throat in the first hour or so. The series, so far, revolves around the experiments of a mad scientist named Walter Bishop who has been locked in a mental institution for years. Someone is using the experiments on people in society, this phenomenon has become known as "The Pattern". FBI agent Olivia Dunham releases Walter with the help of his son Peter and they work together to figure out what is going on. Joshua Jackson is an annoying douche in the pilot but he starts to settle into the character and becomes much more likeable as Peter Bishop. "Fringe" refers to fringe science or theoretical science. The gimmick of the show is that all of the events have a valid scientific theory behind them which does serve to give it a creepy feel.

The show overall has an X-files kind of vibe to it. It is also set up similar to the X-files in that the episodes are self contained stories that complement the bigger story of "The Pattern". While Fringe doesn't resemble Lost (even though they do both start with a plane crash....hmmm) it is beginning to reveal Easter eggs, codes, and patterns in the episodes and the advertising images. Fans of Lost will be happy to know that they can now spend hours trying to figure out the secrets of Fringe on the internet. I really like this show but I'm not going to drive myself crazy over it.....yet. Check it out, get caught up, and we can discuss the weird stuff that is starting to go down.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Go Team Venture!

I am a very big fan of Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network. If nothing else, they show Family Guy almost every night. They also have a lot of great original programs. Check out Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, the Tim and Eric Show, Lucy: Daughter of the Devil, and Sealab 2021.

The show that stands out from the crowd is The Venture Bros. This show has become must watch TV for me. At first glance it looks like an updated version of Johnny Quest, but it doesn't take long to realize that the similarities are only superficial. The Venture Bros takes full advantage of the Adult in Adult Swim. It's got all the things that you might expect, like robots, villains, and super-science but it also gives you sex, violence, dysfunctional families and a sprinkling of dick jokes.

The Venture family is the focus of the show but the cast of characters that surrounds them is what really makes the show great. Their friends and enemies steal then show every week. Their arch enemy The Monarch has become just as important to the story line of the show as the Ventures. This show is addictive, and you get hooked fast, so check it out. Plus, if I make a Dr. Girlfriend reference you can be in on the joke.

The first 2 seasons are out on DVD but you can still watch episodes every Sunday on Adult Swim. You can also see some episodes at Do yourself a favor and become a part of team Venture.

Power Thirst!!!!!

This is pretty funny. My brother-in-law Max sent me the links so I can't take credit for finding it. Screw that, I found this.......unless you don't think it's funny. Then Max found it.

Power Thirst: The Original
Power Thirst 2...might be even better than the original.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Public Service Announcement

I would like to take this opportunity to alert everyone to a very important piece of reading material. Taking the time to read this book could mean the difference between life and death.

We have all come to accept the fact that a zombie attack is inevitable. If you have not come to this realization, Wake Up! While most people have not been personally involved in a zombie attack, it is only a matter of time until it is your turn. This book could make all the difference when that time comes.

Mr. Brooks gives us all the tips and tactics that we need when the zombie invaders arrive. You will learn which weapons are the most appropriate for your personal situation and there are guides for zombie proofing your house. Most importantly, there are tips for keeping yourself out of the situations that would mean certain death for the uninformed.

The information contained in this survival manual is indispensable. The manual is an extremely interesting read, but you will find yourself referencing it again and again. I keep my copy right next to my machete and my .22 rifle, you know, for when the shit hits the fan.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Everyone needs to read Preacher.

I have read a lot of comics. I mean A LOT of comics. I don't discriminate by genre or company, I have tried them all and have enjoyed the majority or them. I used to always consider myself a super-hero guy. They were my favorites. I liked Spider-man and Bat-man......but who didn't? I loved villain driven stories (anything with the Joker) and I loved when a writer would take a great small character and develop an incredible story around them (check back for an Infinity Gauntlet post, it rocks). I loved all these things and I still do, but then along came Preacher to show me exactly what a comic could be.

Preacher was a monthly book released under DC's Vertigo line. It spans 66 regular issues and a handful of mini series and one-shots. Written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Steve Dillon, and with amazing covers by Glen Fabry, Preacher looks and feels like something out of the ordinary. And believe me, it is way out of the ordinary. This book is in no way, shape, or form, a kids book.

I don't want to get into too many details, my goal is to get you to read it without ruining any of the experience for you. I use the word experience because Preacher isn't something that you read and walk away from thinking "that was nice". Most of it, is in fact, not very nice. Much of it is brutal and twisted but that is why you love it and it stays with you. Many people die, there are battles between heaven and hell, there's sex, there's vampires, there's sex between heaven and hell, and I'm only scratching the surface. At its core, it's an intense look at society and ideas and beliefs that people cling to. I don't want to get too deep about a comic but it is extremely well written and does make you stop and think about religion, politics, and life in general. Mostly, it's just a hell of a good time to read. So read it, and let me know what you think.

Here's some good news, you don't need to try and track down all 70+ issues. The people at DC/Vertigo have released Preacher in 9 very nice trade paperbacks. The next time you want to try something new, go pick up the first one. I promise that it won't be long before you are buying all the rest.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 show ever!

Let me start off by saying that I was not an early supporter of Lost. I am at times, unfortunately, a TV snob. That being said, I almost missed out on perhaps the greatest thing to happen to TV.

When Lost premiered on ABC in the fall of 2004 I was indifferent. As its popularity grew over the first season, I became more and more sure that this show could not possibly appeal to me. How could a show with legions of fans and critical acclaim not be a piece of fluff that panders to the lowest common denominator? Did I mention that I can be a bit of a snob?

I finally picked up the DVD of season one just after season 3 started. I now humbly admit that I was an ASS. In the battle of my stubbornness vs. the Lost pilot, I was beaten to a bloody pulp. I have never been so instantly captivated by a show. When the white LOST logo popped up at the end of that episode, I knew that I had just become part of something very special. This show had it all it wasn't going to hold anything back. You go into the pilot thinking that you are going to see a dramatic interpretation of Gilligan's Island and you leave wondering what the hell just a good way. I had an instant moment of pity for the people who started watching it during the original airing, they had to wait. I proceeded to watch the next 22 episodes in 2 days. The writing and acting are some of the best that I have ever seen in a TV show. No disappointments. This was followed by season 2 the next weekend. Again no disappointments. Then my waiting began and it was brutal but worth it. I finally got season 3 and cruised through that. I watched season 4 on TV with everyone else and to my surprise, I kind of liked the waiting week to week. It gave me the opportunity to stop and think about the episodes, and with this show that can greatly enhance the experience. Lost is a very smart show full of Easter eggs and hidden connections that can be researched and analysed for hours on end, but you can also enjoy it as a casual viewer. Lost is truly a one of a kind show.

Watching Lost is a no brainer and I was almost the guy with no brain. I will say that this is not something that you want to jump into late. It's just not set up to be enjoyed that way. Fortunately, there are options available to get caught up. The most obvious is the DVDs. I will own all the DVDs and they will be watched multiple times. Another great way to get caught up is at the ABC site, they have every episode available in streaming video at great quality. If you are already a Lost junkie like me, I highly recommend Nikki Stafford's blog "Nik at Nite". She does an amazing job of recapping every episode and pointing out things that you may have missed.

The morel of this story, Just Watch It.