Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All Your Pork and Beans Are Belong To Us!!

If you didn't know, I'm on vacation this week. Part of that is staying away from the computer as much as possible, but I finally broke down to watch this video. I know it's already made the rounds, but in case you haven't seen it, here's Weezers first new video off the upcoming (June 3rd) Weezer: Red Album.
I'm heading back to Liberty City, or perhaps Vegas to keep the country safe from terrah, cause you know, they hate freedom and all that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Dead Just Keep On Coming

Coming Right For You!

In even more zombie news. The Hollywood Reporter announced that George Romeros original zombie opus Dawn of the Dead is going 3D! I really don't need another reason to see this film in the theaters but here it is. My mind is already racing at what a 3D treatment will do for certain scenes, chopper zombie anyone, and the true horror here is that we'll have to wait a year to find out. Let's hope they push this up and we see a Halloween release.
For the full story and an explanation of the 3D Dimensionalization process go here.

Summertimes Blues

With summer coming on fast it's time to say goodbye to all my TV friends. Normally this wouldn't be the case as summer replacement shows would kick in. The writers strike screwed all that up and some shows have been canceled (4400, Dead Zone etc.) and some like FX's The Shield and Rescue Me have been delayed. So what's a media whore Geek like myself to do?
Fortunately, there are so many movies I want to catch up on that I shouldn't be hurting too much.
As most of you know, DVD's come out on Tuesday. Yesterday saw the release of a couple of things I'm excited for, and one I'm slightly curious about.

Right out of the gate, probably one of my more anticipated releases. George Romeros Diary of the Dead. If you've been following my ongoing manifesto, you'll know I braved the crushing traffic of Northern Va., and endured the most interminable wait on a movie theater snack line ever to see this film. If you haven't read my NorVa adventure go here. True, I had some issues with the movie, but I still sported a zombie stiffy for this reboot of my favorite franchise and of course I highly recommend it.
Here is my review.
The disc is packed with extras so I'm excited for that as well and will probably watch at least once with the commentary on. There are also featurettes, Romero talking about his inspiration and many others. I know I should wait for the eventual Bluray release, but I'm all about the instant gratification.

Tying in with Diary of the Dead is the 40th Anniversary release of the one and only Night of the Living Dead. I know most of us have this film in several different forms. My understanding is this is the one with Romeros seal of approval. Personally, I own pretty decent copies of this movie, but I will still rent this for any extras I may have missed. Romeros name on this edition leads me to believe he may actually make some money from this one after letting the film slip into public domain. If you don't own this film, pick it up. If you do, now might be a good time to rewatch it. We can all stand around the pyre and blow out the birthday zombies together.

Finally, while it's true I was born in the 60's. I consider myself a product of the 80's and was just entering adulthood in 1982 (still in my teens) and had no idea how a degenerate angry punk rocker was going to fit in...anywhere. Fortunately someone took a chance on a little show called Square Pegs which was the Freaks and Geeks of my time with a much better soundtrack. This show gave us our first glimpse at the fashion icon that is Sarah Jessica Parker, the much much cuter Amy Linker (god I feel like such a perv right now), Jami Gertz (Star from Lost Boys - tell me you didn't have a crush, I dare you!) and valley speaking New Wavers (totally, totally). The show only ran for one season, but it was all we needed. I don't think I could have taken Square Pegs: the College Years where Muffy develops an 80's style coke habit. Does it hold up today? I for one plan to find out. I don't think I'll break down and buy the set, though Amazon is listing it for a budget friendly 25 bucks, but I'll definitely put it on my Netflix list.

You know, maybe the summers not looking so bad after all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's The Rhythm Of The Feeling...

Look everyone! It's a new Flight of the Conchords video!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Generals Sip Bacardi, While The Privates Feel The Pain..

I'm no longer an openly political person. I don't enjoy the verbal sparring the same way I did when I was younger. Let's face it, Reagan Youth was a political band, and we were always prepared to defend our views. As I got older, I became involved in Animal Rights and kept facts and figures at my fingertips to educate any and all carnivores who dared get in my face.
Not only do I not have the energy required to be a political pundit, but I feel my politics are my own. I don't consider myself a Liberal, Democrat, or Republican. I've had a somewhat eclectic life and I no longer believe in black or white. Some of my views, those that would be very unpopular among my peers, are very conservative, while others are strongly liberal.

That said, I wanted to keep politics out of this blog, but when I hear, during my drive to work, on the radio that our Commander in Chief made a statement that he has given up golf since 2003 out of respect for the families of soldiers killed in the Iraq conflict.......I feel dirty, literally, and a bit ashamed that this is the image we are projecting to other countries.
I mean, c' Are we 12, making a deal with mom that if we can go to the sleepover we won't play video games for a week? It's effin' GOLF!! It's not like the guy is Tiger Woods who's living depends on the game!

I can't even equate this non-sacrifice with anything in my personal life since I don't believe I've hurt anybody quite so much to make such a sacrifice for. If I did, here's what I'm gonna do. I'm giving up softcore porn for a month. Yep, that's right, no softcore skinimax action for this noble soul. Hardcore stuff is still ok though, I'm making a sacrifice not taking a bullet.
So there you go. Sacrifices have been made. True, I'm not giving up taking a walk and hitting a ball into little holes for the families of some 4000 young men and women, not to mention the countless others coming back maimed or mentally unstable and their loved ones, but it's a start.

Do not get me wrong. I love the United States, and while everyone I know wants to visit other countries and cultures on their vacations, I feel I haven't seen enough of my own country yet. We're diverse. It's not all strip malls and 7-11's, and I'd like to experience it. Only thing is, today, I'm a little ashamed to admit it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reach Out,... But No Touching!

I added a link to contact me directly at a gmail account I set up for this site. Anything you write and send there should be as private as any other mail account. So if you're worried about privacy, please feel free to reach me there. The link is above my picture and called Zom-b-mail Me.
If it doesn't work, let me know.
Of course, I'd prefer comments on what I post to be kept on these pages.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Crazy Like A Fox....

Looks like the old Fox Network, you know; the guys with the great unbiased news, are at it again. I'm sad to say they are not renewing New Amsterdam which I was really enjoying and I thought was a refreshing take on the immortal story. I may not ever find out which woman stopped his ticker on the subway, but I know it wasn't the doctor.

Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku's Dollhouse is slated for a mid season replacement. Are you getting Firefly flashback chills yet? Fox has a habit of canceling mid-season shows before giving them a chance. Why do any scripted genre dramas even get shown to Fox? Let them stick to bad reality shows and legacy comedies. Heck, you have a better chance of keeping a show going on the family channel.

On brighter news. It looks like the CW may renew Reaper. We'll know tomorrow when they announce their lineup.

While on the subject of Reaper. I really enjoy this show. Yeah, it's having some growing pains, but oddly enough most of the criticism seems to be that the show isn't going anywhere. Not only do I disagree, but that aside, when did we start needing every show on tv to have a long story arc?

The shows I grew up on didn't have season long stories. The A-Team fought a different guy every week, so did Wonder Woman. The Six Million Dollar Man, Knight Rider etc. all had similar bad guy of the week formulas. Star Trek just boldly went...wherever. Different alien of the week, different situation. Only the faces were the same. Yes there was character development but this happened within the confines of single episodes, and shows rarely referenced what had gone before. it also made shows easier to jump into and enjoy.

Reapers building a little mythology behind it, but for gods-sake it's not Lost. I don't need an answer every week as long as the journey is enjoyable.
Maybe audiences and networks need to remember that this is entertainment.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Emotions..? Must Be The Womans Times.....

Sorry this didn't go up on Friday, I started it then, but had to push it to the side, then I got lost in Liberty City. Hey, don't judge me!
I could cry, (it's true those hallmark commercials always get me) but I won't over the last new episode of 30 Rock this season. It seems like my friends had only just gotten back to me and they're off again. At least the season ended with a bang. A few great guest stars, great B plots and a look 3 months into the future. Jenna sings a song! A fantastic episode all the way through.

Can we get more Matthew Broderick? Having what I believe to be the 2nd most inspired name for a high profile guest stars character, (the 1st being Scott Baio as Bob Loblaw on Arrested Development) Broderick as Cooter Burger (this episode seemed fascinated by lady parts) was brilliant:
Cooter: Hey, we have a meeting with the Appropriations Committee like, now.
Jack: Oh no, I’m not prepared.
Cooter: I know, I’m not drunk either. But we’ll manage.

What better way to exemplify all politics than through Cooters insistence that a leak in the ceiling does not exist as water streams down onto a desktop:
Jack: The ceiling appears to be leaking.
Cooter: No it’s not. We looked into it and it’s not.

Come to think of it, maybe the leak is symbolic of another lady bit function white male conservative America is reluctant to believe in. That's right female orgasm, I'm talking 'bout you.

Speaking of orgasms. Tracy finishes his porn video game Gorgasm (colon) The Legend of Dongslayer:
Frank: Sorry about the wizard, Tracy. I’ll call the Korean animators.
Tracy: Yeah, you fixulate this!

Apparently, the game is so good Frank locks himself away for three months playing it.

Plot be damned though, this episode was on the verge of bursting with great lines. A lot of them came from Jenna who's been horribly underused since the show came back. 

Finding Kenneth in the hall:
Jenna: Kenneth, where have you been? I had to put on my jeans by myself!
After finding a home pregnancy kit in the trash:
Jenna: Oh no! Someone's going to get more attention than me!
On Pregnancy:
Jenna: As my mom used to say. "You never want this to happen."
Defending a 3-way with Tom Arnold and Roseanne:
Jenna: That was two years ago!
My favorite Jenna moment happened between her and Kenneth as she explained a "Back Door Brag."
Kenneth: The personal essay is way harder than I thought, cause it's not in my nature to brag on myself.
Jenna: Not even a back door brag?
Kenneth: What's a back door brag?
Jenna: It's sneaking something wonderful about yourself in everyday conversation. Like when I tell people it's hard for me to watch American Idol cause I have perfect pitch. You try it.
Kenneth: Oh, it's hard for me to watch American Idol because there's a water bug on my channel changer.
This comes back later in a talk with Liz:
Jenna: People always underestimate my instincts because of my good looks.
Liz: This is no time for back door bragging!

Liz's pregnancy scare also led to some great moments 

Liz' proud claim of promiscuity to Cerie:
Liz: Thank you Cerie, but I've been sexually active since I was 25.
Checking the calendar for her last "woman times."
Liz: Why don't I cross off the days like people in the movies?
Her views on motherhood:
Liz: I'm going to be a kick ass single mom. Like Erin Brokovich, or Sarah Connor.
(the last made funnier to geeks since Dean Winter who plays the suspected father, Dennis Duffy the Beeper King, also stars in the Sarah Connor Chronicles as Sarahs ex-fiance.)
She also left several manic messages on Jacks phone that lose the punch of the joke without the whole episode providing background info. Jacks reactions to the messages are great and need to be seen.

Speaking of Jack. He spent the episode in Washington at his new job in charge of:
Jack: Extreme Weather Preparedness and the War on the Poor.
Liz: You mean "War on Poverty?"
Jack: Yeah, ok. Let's go with that.
Jacks presidential assessment:
Jack: I don't like to think of this president as a lame duck. I like to think of him as a lame eagle.

I know you're saying to yourself, that's all well and good, but what was your favorite part? What made Charlie really laugh?

Well, it's a 3 way (not with Rosie and Tom) tie for me. In no particular order they are:

Kathy Geiss pulling a toy car out of her mouth
Liz: You're busy. I'll come back another time.
Kathy puts the car back in her mouth

Liz Finding Dennis in her apartment:
Liz: What are you doing here?
Dennis: I don't have to explain myself to you. Look, I told my mom I got a job so I've been coming here the last two weeks during the day.

Jack on the kind of plan he and Cooter need to get fired:
Jack: A guaranteed disaster. Like eating a burrito before sex.

I didn't even mention Petes Olympic Dreams crushed by Carter:
Pete: Peanut farmer.

Jacks nickname from the president: 
The Jacker

Dennis' baby names:
Morpheus if it's a boy or Judy after some chick he boffed if it's a girl.

Dennis' grasp of english:
Dennis: I know what prenatal means. Pre, before. Natal, ruined.

I could go on, I want to go on. It's just so hard to let go. Sniff, damn! I said a wasn't gonna cry. 

I'll miss this show for the next few months and may even re-watch the season. It's just my sharp wit makes it difficult to enjoy most mainstream comedies. (see what I did there?)

Anyway, it's time for my "Freedom Search."

Until next time.

It's A Dirty Job.....

I picked this game up for my boss' birthday present. (happy b-day John) Like me, he enjoys games of a bit more mature nature which made this the perfect gag gift.
So why this game and not the newest offering from Hannah Montana or some other kiddie fare?

Well, in my never ending battle to find unintentional porn and double entendres. The title of this game called out to me as the perfect title for a chubby chaser porno film. I even put a disclaimer on the box "not a redneck porno!" (regardless of the giant chicken, what's up with that? Mayhaps the Burger King is a furry.) so as not to get his hopes up.

Hey, if Noah can see skulls everywhere, why can't I find accidental porn. He just better hope I don't start a blog about it. Actually, I've probably just given him the idea for next years project.

Here's lookin' forward to Big Bumpin 2...with Ron Jeremy as the Burger King........

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Web Of My Dreams...

I am pleased to report that my good friend and former/future collaborative partner Noah Scalin has won a Peoples Choice Webby for his year long blog/art project Skull A Day.
Skull A Day, now in it's final month needs to be seen to be believed. Noah is creating a skull image every day for a year and his dedication to this project has been nothing short of superhuman and it shows. I often hear about the sleepless nights of obsessing over what to do next, and he never dissapoints. If you haven't checked out his site lately, please catch up. If you haven't been there at all, what are you waiting for?
Skull A Day images will be released in book form this October, buy a bunch and give them out instead of candy this Halloween.
Guess I know what I'm getting from him for my birthday.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Day In The Unlife...

Please bear with me as I’m working from a two week old memory, which in my dog years can be like months.

What can I tell you about Steve Miners Day of the Dead, the most grossly ill-named film this year? Actually calling this film Day of the Dead is like calling Friday The 13th Wet Hot American Summer. If you’re getting the idea that this film has nothing to do with the George Romero 1985 classic you would be dead on and you should have done better on the SAT’s. It’s a shame really, cause the film had a lot going for it. The budget was definitely higher than you normally see on these types of films. Mena Suvari and Ving Rhames give the film a semblance of credibility. Even Steve Miners name, while mostly associated with television has a certain pedigree with a couple of Friday the 13th flicks, Warlock and Halloween H20 under his belt. In fact, Day of the Dead would have been a much better movie under a different title and if they avoided making insignificant nods to the original by keeping the names and some settings intact. The potential was there, and as I said, it had a lot going for it and some parts were wholly entertaining.

Here’s the story rundown. A small town in Colorado becomes infected with a virus and is under quarantine. One of the officers (Suvari) has family in the town and accompanied by a communications officer Bud Crain (Stark Sands) drives into town to take her mother to the hospital. Soon the outbreak reaches critical and the town inhabitants become superhuman flesh eaters. Survivors band together and uncover a plot to create a super soldier while escaping the overrun town.

Ok, you might think. Sure it has nothing to do with the original, but it sounds like a good time, why all the negativity?

Right, fair enough, let’s start from the beginning.

Starting with the title. Let’s forget for the moment that there is already a film called Day of the Dead, heck, let’s forget there’s a Mexican holiday called Day of the Dead. Assuming these four words were never put together in a sentence in our current history, why does the bulk of this film take place at night? Now I know Dawn of the Dead did not take place at dawn though a key scene establishing the deads dominance does. Plus the title makes sense in building upon a franchise. For that matter the original Day of the Dead was primarily underground, but all the external shots were day shots, and besides Subterranean Silo of the Dead doesn’t have the same ring. A better title for this film would be Night of the Infected, or something along those lines.

Let’s jump to the talent. Mena Suvari worked pretty well with what was given her, but that wasn’t much. It’s hard to buy this cute as a button pedophiles wet dream as a military officer, and where did she find form fitting BDU’s? The last thing I should be thinking while watching a zombie flick is “damn, did she always have that butt?”, but think it I did, and in most situations this would be a perfectly rational thought, just not when flesh eating ghouls are active.
For the record, I now believe every Suvari film should have at least one view of her rear. Get that in the contract!

Ving Rhames was underused. He had little more than a cameo, and his end was off camera so there was no Ving Rhames bad-assery to be had.

Nick Cannon, the current Mr. Carey? Well mom always said if you have nothing nice to say. He bugged the hell out of me and every scene he opened his mouth in dragged painfully. Dude, I loved Drumline….what happened?

Actually the standout for me was Stark Sands as Bud. Why they would change Bub to Bud is beyond me, but his lovesick tame zombie was great. He was both menacing and likeable just as Sherman Howards Bub was in the original with a bit of Billy Connolly as Fido thrown in.

Everyone else in the film did an ok job, but like Suvari, just didn’t have a lot to go on. AnnaLynn McCord as Nina stands out among the supporting cast, and I may have bought her in Suvaris role as she seemed tougher and older at times. Fan favorite Christa Campbell also makes an appearance.

Day of the Dead breaks a lot of rules. The “zombies” are closer to the rage affected of the 28 Days film. Once infected, they quickly get sick and, I assume, die. Faster than you can say flesh eating bacteria, their skin starts splitting, lesions form and tad ah! Instant Zombification.

Along with the new undead appetite comes some super agility. Zombies jump from windows, leap 12 feet onto victims and somehow gain the ability to crawl across ceiling grids that would never support their weight. For awhile there I thought I was watching Marvel Zombies. Yet for all this newfound great power, they were not capable of pulling a 110 lb girl from an air duct by her feet when she was within arms reach, nor could they catch her if she got a 10 foot headstart.

Any zombie picture will stick to at least one, in my opinion, unbreakable rule. When a character gets attacked, they must without exception, show up as a zombie later in the film. Romero established this in Night by bringing Johnny back, and it’s a damn good rule. Main characters in this film are bitten or whisked away never to be seen again. C’mon, not even the main “villain” Dr. Logan shows up for our heroes to take down. That’s just unforgiveable.

Don’t insult the fans intelligence. We love Troma films. It doesn’t take a lot to make us happy, but simply reusing character names from another film doesn’t make it a remake or a reimagining.

Zack Snyder understood this with his reimagining of Dawn of the Dead and not only did he give Dawns (original) four male leads, I’m counting Tom Savini, cameos, He also cleverly named one of the malls shops after the female lead Gaylen Ross. Fan appreciation does not go unnoticed, neither does insults.

While I’m being insulted, guess why Bud (Bub) the horny docile zombie won’t kill. Take a minute, think about it……don’t know? He’s a frikkin’ vegetarian. I kid you not. That would make the safest place in the US during a zombie war Berkley Ca., some parts of Seattle and Colorado….where this damn movie takes place! Me, I’d probably hop the first flight to India myself.

Don’t even ask me about the promo art. I don’t get it. A zombie puking? It’s not gross or scary.

Bottom line. If you love zombie flicks and want slightly higher than average production values Day of the Dead may be for you. You’d better leave your preconceptions at the door though cause it has absolutely nothing to do with the original.

If you’re an easily riled purist, you may want to avoid this film all together. Oddly, if you’re not a zombie fan but love B movies than you may really enjoy it as well since it’s closer to a cheesy action film. At least it didn’t put me to sleep.

Of course that could be attributed to Mena Suvaris butt………