Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Timey Wimey Win or The Doctor Blinks

When something I really like wins an award I can't help but get a bit smug. After all the award can't be for the creative people who toiled and succeeded beyond the norm to produce a masterpiece. No, the award goes to me. The couch potato with such high standards that everyone went above and beyond to keep me entertained and coming back for more.
Well, I must be cock (heh heh, sorry I'm this many years old) of the walk today since I just found out Steven Moffat and Hettie Macdonald have taken the Hugo awarded to Dramatic Presentation: Short Form for the Doctor Who episode Blink.
If you haven't seen Blink, by all means do so. Search it, torrent it, youtube it. Just see the damn thing.
The episode is very Doctor lite with almost all the attention going to Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan)a young girl who gets caught up in a conversation with the Doctor (David Tennant) across time via DVD easter eggs to defeat an ancient race of "Weeping Angels" who have stolen the Tardis and left the Doctor stranded in 1969. The Angels live off potential energy transporting their victims to the past where they live to death. If the Angels find a way into the Tardis, the energy they can siphon would be catastrophic for mankind.
It's all very difficult to explain in a Timey Wimey sort of way. Why Blink? You may ask. Seems the Angels are quantum locked, meaning they can't move while being observed, but just blink and they can cover great distances...scary huh? Blink is one of the greatest episodes of any series produced for television. It's scarier than most horror films and smarter than most sci-fi films. It can easily stand alongside your favorite Twilight Zone episode as iconic television. I put it right up there with the premier of Twin Peaks and Buffy's Hush as outstanding television. It's refreshing when something deserving an award actually wins one. Even more so when I can boast of how hard they worked to impress me.

Steven Moffat will be taking the Doctor Who reigns with the new season in 2010. Blink won him his 3rd Hugo for work on Doctor Who and hopefully won't be his last.
Blink is based on a Steven Moffat original short story you can find here.

Whatever you do....don't blink!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This Message Is Totally Hot

I wouldn't exactly call myself a Paris Hilton fan but there are some things not featured in the "Night In Paris" tape that she does well. Chief among those is knowing when to make fun of herself. While she never seems to take a joke well when it's aimed at her, she has no qualms making herself and the image she projects a parody. It's at these times you can actually see what so many people find charming about her.
Like her or lump her, Paris holds a great deal of influence on young women in America so when she goes anti fur and vegetarian as she did last year, so do the girls who idolize her.

When John McCains camp decided to use her likeness in an ad skewering Obama, Paris couldn't let it go. She responded with her own ad again parodying her image and making a point that she is not someone to be used.

I never thought I'd throw props to Ms. Hilton, but props are due. In the ad she's cute, she's funny and she's totally ready.

If the video doesn't work you can see it on Funny or Die.

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dr Horrible Threatens Film Crew

In case you missed it the first time around, I only reminded you like five times, Dr. Horribles Sing Along Blog is back for viewing. No longer an ITunes exclusive, Dr. Horrible has returned to Hulu due to popular demand.
Each chapter can be viewed individually or the whole show can be watched as one 42 minute clip. I can't think of many better ways to kill an hour at work.

Here's the link

In other Horrible news. Joss Whedon has confirmed there will be more chapters in the musical dramedy starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion.

As long as you're opening a Hulu account (it's free) check out the Film Crew channel.
The Film Crew is essentially MST3K without the props and bots.
I wrote about them back on Feb 11th, and have since seen the films offered on Hulu. If you were a fan of MST3K, Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphys voice overs to bad movies will take you right back to Saturday mornings on the couch with a bowl of sugar smacks and the channel tuned to Comedy Central.

Let's hope they do a few more

New Harry Potter Trailer!

It's finally up!
The new trailer for the eagerly awaited Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince hit the net. The film is scheduled for release on Nov 21 of this year, and if the trailer is any indication, it'll be the darkest chapter yet.

For now, watch the trailer, mark your calendar, and fellas, remember; Emma Watson (Hermione) is 18 now. Feeling old yet?

If the video doesn't work. (you know how YouTube is) You can find it at MSN or MTV.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Thought

Do you really have the right to call yourself a progressive radio station if five of the last eight tunes you played were by the Cranberries, Nickelback, Norah Jones, Lisa Loeb and the Go Gos?

I'm thinking no.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Frank N Failure

Some things should never be repeated. Some are huge like the Civil War or a Celine Dion comeback tour. Others are small like getting back with an ex you know is bad for you or repeating, compared to what?, when your wife asks if she looks fat.

Some things, the idea of repeating would be so heinous, you imagine no one in their right mind would even attempt to repeat them. In fact the thought of repeating certain things should cause physical reactions. Nausea, sweats, perhaps physical discomfort. The sense you would feel when you come to the realization that your foot is nailed to the floor in a revolving door.

That's pretty much how I felt when I read this morning that MTV is going to remake The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

First thought that comes to mind is....why?

Bear in mind, I'm not talking at all about the original stage production. That could be fun in a limited run. Nope, I'm talking about the movie.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the twisted brainchild of Richard O'Brien and Jim Sharman. A tripped out glam horror/sci-fi musical shot on a shoestring and starring unknowns. Most of whom went on to bigger and better things.

It is also the highest grossing midnight movie, and still plays to this day inviting cult fanaticism and audience participation. Rocky Horror fans perform the whole film in full costume down to the slightest gesture on the theater floor while the movie plays overhead. (I miss you 8th St. Playhouse)

Going to see Rocky Horror required preparation. Toilet paper, newspapers, squirt guns, lighters and more were mandatory if you wanted to fully immerse yourself in the Rocky Horror experience, and the costumes...oh, the costumes. You haven't lived till you've seen several young ladies all dressed as Little Nells Columbia standing around chatting or practicing their dance moves. No wonder the Pussycat Dolls do nothing for me, they're tame compared to what I saw as a kid.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show starred than unknown Tim Curry as the transexual transylvanian Dr. Frank N Furter. Susan Sarandon spent 90% of the film in bra and panties as the prurient Janet Weiss. Barry Bostwick was her equally naive fiance Brad Majors. Rounding out the cast were Richard O'Brien as Riff Raff, Patricia Quinn as his sister Magenta, Little Nell Campbell played Columbia and Meatloaf was her boyfriend, and nephew of Brads mentor Dr. Scott, (Johnathan Adams) Eddie. Peter Hinwood plays Rocky the Frank N Furter created man, and the film is expertly narrated by Charles Gray to tie it all together.

So why wouldn't this work as a remake?
Why would it?
There are a lot of thing to consider before going down this very dangerous and fated to fail path.

First, midnight movies and cult films aren't made, they happen. There is just something right about the chemistry, the production and what it taps into in the current hip consciousness that makes them special. Often the creative team is going for something completely different. Just take a look at films that had all the right elements and failed because they were going for cult status. Snakes on a Plane comes to mind.

Second, Rocky Horror challenged the morality of the time with it's goth/glam outfits and questionable sexuality. Janet and Brad getting seduced by this creature was the greatest fear on a parents mind and the kids knew it.
With films like Brokeback Mountain garnering critical acclaim, does anyone really care if a character is gay anymore? How many parents would bat an eye in our post Madonna/Britney society if their daughter wore a corset to a movie, or their son had pierced ears and wore eyeliner? They see this every day and worse.
There's nothing left for Rocky Horror to challenge.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if gay and lesbian rights groups protested the film for portraying homosexuals as sex crazed deviants out to corrupt the youth of America.

Third, there's no smoking in theaters....of anything! To many, part of the RHPS experience was mind expansion, if it wasn't, chances were good you'd get a contact high anyway.
I also could not imagine my local Regal multiplex allowing a midnight mess to be made in the theater. Better leave the water pistols and TP at home this time around.

Fourth, it's an MTV production meaning it will be cast with whoever is big at the time regardless of true talent. RHPS by MTV would be a stunt casting extravaganza. Eddie Izzard as Frank N Furter, or maybe Sascha Baron Cohen. Let's get Jared Leto to play Brad and Amy Lee as Janet. You see where I'm going with this? It would be battle of the divas and the losers would be the people who shelled out 9 bucks for it.
If you think MTV is going to do anything but a PG13 film you are deluded. Out goes the overt sexual deviance's that made the original so much fun, and to some shocking.

I could probably come up with another half dozen reasons not to do this film, and I couldn't come up with one as to why they should. I'm sure MTV thinks they could make money off a RHPS remake, and maybe they will, but I think their money could be better spent on something original. Throw that money at Joss Whedon if you want a sci fi/horror musical to call your own. Make something that's relevant to our disaffected Bush era youth. Do something positive instead of rehashing old taboos that hold as much water as a leaky thimble these days, or as Frank N Furter would say "Don't Dream it, Be it."

Let's hope the powers at MTV wake up and cancel this project before it gets too far.

The following clip may not be for the young'ns

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sweat To The Beat

While reading the article I copied below, remember I'm thinking there may not be anything better than a good "I told you so". Much like my previous post proving how highly evolved I am.

This new article may very well prove I am also a finely tuned athlete. All these years existing as a primo catch and I marketed myself as PBR when I should've been going for a bottle of Dom, or at least a good boxed wine.

One of the best things about this article is the actual test subject. Clem Burke is a one time mentor, though I'm sure he wouldn't remember me from 3 decades ago, and lifelong idol/hero. I learned how to do a drumroll by emulating his style over and over again. Heck, I even learned a disco beat playing along to Heart of Glass and it didn't suck!

The article doesn't say anything I haven't been saying for years. At 43, I probably suffer from as many sport/drum related injuries as any athlete. Both my shoulders have bone spurs, I have tennis elbow which may need surgery some day. Both my calves are hyperdeveloped which often constricts lactic acid so I have chronic pain in both legs. (running helps this a bit, as does stretching) There are other minor aches and pains and I can't attribute all of them to old age, since I'm not that old.

It is true that I would have to spend about 15 minutes before and after shows doing various stretches while my band mates were working on 12-16 oz curls. Doing shows is like running in place for 40 minutes under 90 degree lights, and I won't even go into rehearsals.

Only problem is, most drummers tend to get a gut, myself included. We usually get the short end of the stick, no pun intended, since we're not as svelte as a singer or guitarist. This is from not doing any ab exercises and focusing more on speed than strength. We also get accustomed to eating more to keep our energy up since we burn so many calories. Sadly, our habits don't necessarily change when we're not gigging, or god forbid not working with 2 or 3 bands at a time.

It's all fine though. my wife says while every girl may want to date the singer or the guitarist, they all want to marry a drummer.

That's good enough for me.

here is the original article

Drumming beats most sport as exercise

Will Pavia | July 23, 2008

THEY have been the butt of jokes, and even the most agile of their number have seldom been regarded as paragons of physical virtue.

For all John Bonham's thunderous half-hour solos behind Led Zeppelin and Keith Moon's frenzied skinbashing with The Who, neither man - nor the generations of drummers who followed them - was ever recognised as a finely tuned athlete.

All that is about to change. After an eight-year study of Clem Burke, the veteran Blondie drummer, sports scientists have concluded drummers are comparable in their physical prowess with world-class sportsmen.

Marcus Smith of the University of Chichester said: "For me, as a sports scientist, he is no different to the Olympic athletes I have worked with."

Dr Smith and Steve Draper, of the University of Gloucestershire, monitored Burke's oxygen uptake, blood lactate and heart rate in rehearsals and live performances.

"He loses up to two litres of fluid in a performance, which is similar to a runner going out and doing 10,000m," Dr Smith said.

Burke burned 400-600 calories an hour. His heart rate averaged 140 to 150 beats a minute, though it could rise as high as 190 beats - equalling that of Cristiano Ronaldo in a Premier League football match.

Restoring the honour of the rock drummer has been a labour of love for Dr Smith, a lifelong Blondie fan. In 1998, as he was finishing his PhD, there were rumours the band was about to reform. He wrote to Burke that summer as a fan and as a sports scientist who had worked with professional football players and British Olympic boxers. They met at Wembley Arena, where Burke agreed to let Dr Smith follow him around on tour.

"There is a lot more to it than having a beer and walking on stage for two hours," Burke told The Times. Even if that was how he used to do business, "at this point in my career, I'm conscious of needing to be prepared".

He does not think, however, that he is the only one who requires the services of a sports scientist. "Rock and roll music is in middle age now," he added.

Burke needs to stay in peak physical condition and can sometimes suffer from joint pain. "Jacuzzis, saunas, massages, all that is incorporated into the life of the modern drummer," he said. The late Moon, whose manic performances seemed to create enough energy to power the national grid, was once his idol. "These days, I say he taught me what not to do. He was very physical but he basically killed himself with excessiveness," Burke said.

As he spoke, drummers up and down the country basked for a moment in the warm glow of recognition for their physical achievements.

Dave Rowntree, the drummer for Blur, said: "I would lose a stone every time I went on tour. You get a three-hour workout every night."

Sarah Jones, 22, who plays drums for indie band New Young Pony Club, said: "I think of drumming as exercise. Other musicians can stop occasionally but you have to be going like the clappers for the whole gig."

She now meets drummers with strict fitness regimes. "I do see drummers who start preparing hours before they go on. They say, 'Right, it's time for my banana now', and they will have specific energy drinks."

She wonders whether this fits within the rock and roll image. "It does seem rather boring," she said.

The Times