Wednesday, November 26, 2008

25 Days of Christmas

Well, we have officially hit the Thanksgiving holiday - and of course the weather up here is slowly turning into the winter crapfest that totally send me into the doldrums until June.

Anyway, over the years I have slowly been accumulating Christmas DVD's. And every year it seems I never really find the time to watch them - with the occasional one or two.

Well, this season I have decided to do the 25 Days of Christmas, which I will hopefully try to blog about as things progress.

I have compiled a calendar which will allow me to try and keep track of this - and hopefully the family and I will be able to do it.

I have called it the 25 Days of Christmas - but I am technically starting it this weekend (which is still November) and finishing it on Christmas Day (with none other than A Christmas Story).

With some of the smaller, short movies - we have put a few on the same day so we would be able to watch all that we own. It is a mountain we will try to climb - but hopefully we can handle it.

Anyway, have a Happy Thanksgiving. See you next week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Star Trek

I have to admit, I checked out the new trailer to the updated/revamped Star Trek franchise and it has me very excited. So much so, in fact, that since watching it that first time - I have watched it about five other times.

I have been a pretty big Star Trek fan since the original crew of Shatner, Nimoy and McCoy. Out of all of the films from the original crew, the only one I truly disdain is Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Boy, they really got off on the wrong foot with that piece of junk.

Luckily, though, the movie made money and it allowed for a truly great six-movie arc, culminating with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Since that film, Star Trek was handed over to The Next Generation crew - and the films were pretty solid at the start.

But, we haven't had a new film since Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002.

Enter J.J. Abrams, Lost and Alias creator.

The film has been rewound and revamped. Abrams has started the Star Trek franchise from its beginning - the arrival of Kirk and his crew at starfleet.

Now, I have heard the grumblings already. Diehards are complaining that not everything in the story is what happened in Gene Roddenberry's original stories.

Of course not. Things have to be changed - and I say it's probably for the better.

All I can say is this: looking at that trailer I am extremely giddy for this upcoming film.

The fight scenes look extraordinary - I mean when did you see such space battles in a Star Trek film ---- it looks almost Star Wars-esque.

I am upset by the move to the summer, because it was orginally planned for Christmas. But, I will definitely be checking this film out when it finally does open.


Kirk: Chris Pine
Spock: Zachary Quinto
Sulu: John Cho
Uhura: Zoe Saldana
McCoy: Karl Urban
Scotty: Simon Pegg
Chekov: Anton Yelchin
Nero (Romulan Villain): Eric Bana

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children of Men, Meet the Robinsons

I was a bit out of commission on Tuesday as I was hit by the flu bug that seems to be going around up here.

Anyway, I was able to check out a pair of movies that I had not seen yet.

The first one I had heard really good things about and had been really wanting to check out.

Children of Men stars Clive Owen as Theo Faron. The movie is set in 2027, and human kind appears to be getting wiped out all over the world - with just a few areas still inhabited including London where much of this film is taking place.

There appears to be an issue with human reproduction in the future, as the world is mourning the loss of an 18 year old kid - the youngest person on the planet.

Theo, however, is pulled into a gang called the Fish to help transport a young refugee. Little does he know that she is pregnant, and could be the answer to all of the problems that are occurring in the world.

I really enjoyed the concept of this film - but it really left me in the dark with the ending. There was a ton of action, but a lot of it led to nothing really. I guess I had too high of expectations going in.

The movie also has Julianne Moore and Michael Caine as the two most recognizable faces after Owen, but their roles are very minor - and I was a bit surprised by that.

Anyway, it was a good watch - although not particular high on my rewatchable list.


The second film I caught on one of the movie channels as I drifted in and out of sleep - but I did manage to watch most of the film.

Meet the Robinsons is Disney cartoon about an orphan named Lewis who is trying to win a science fair with his memory machine.

Little does he know, but this invention will morph his entire existence.

The evil bowler hat guy and his bowler hat, Doris, steal a time machine from the future to travel back to that time in history to stop Lewis from winning the science fair - and to take credit for the memory machine himself.

Lewis, however, receives a bit of help from another future-dweller name Wilbur. He promises to take Lewis to meet his real mother if he finishes his memory machine and wins the science fair.

This was a pretty good film, especially one that really didn't get publicized too much. At least not in my memory.

Like most animated films in this day and age, it has a few great voice talents in Tom Selleck, Anglea Bassett, Nicole Sullivan, Adam West and Laurie Metcalf.

It's a pretty good watch, especially being just 95 minutes long.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Star Wars: Clone Wars, Get Smart, The Incredible Hulk

I am not one of those people that attacks the prequal-trilogy of the legendary Star Wars saga. I actually enjoy, and can watch each of the new films.

I think that people have come to believe that the new versions are wooden - but if you check out the original trilogy - there is some pretty wooden dialogue there as well.

Episode I was probably the worst of all of the movies, but it was a necessity to move the story along - as well as introduce us to Anakin Skywalker. The second two installments were a lot better than the first, and I felt Episode III was pretty close to the original trilogy.

Anyway, I checked out Star Wars: Clone Wars on Friday, and I am a bit torn. The animation was a bit lacking - especially the look of Count Dooku, very odd. The animation of the droids and the cities, however, were very well done.

I also enjoyed the introduction of Anakin's padawan, Ahsoka. I felt she brought a lot to storyline.

Apparently, this is the bridge to what is now a television series - which I am currently not watching. Because I at the end of the film, I had a ton of unaswered questions that the television series might be answering.

This movie is supposed to be taking place between Episode II and Episode III. So, Anakin is still on the good side of the force. At the end of the movie though, I found myself wondering - what the hell happened to this Ahsoka in Episode III? Now, perhaps this will be answered in the television series. But, if Anakin has a padawan now - shouldn't she be around in the next movie?

Anyway, the movie itself was alright. Nothing too groundbreaking, or anything that really needed to be explained. This is, like I said, just an excuse to get people interested in watching the new television series.


On Saturday, I was able to check out a couple of movies I had been wanting to see this summer.

The first of which, Get Smart, stars Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart.

Smart is a member of CONTROL, and has been trying to make the jump from intellegience to the field. However, due to his amazing work in the intellegience field, his boss (Alan Arkin) doesn't want to promote him.

A terrorist group know as KAOS hits the CONTROL offices and gains knowledge of all field agents. This propels Smart into the field, along with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) who has recently had plastic surgery.

So, it's up to Smart and 99 to save the country from the evil KAOS. Of course, hilarity ensues with Smart just not quite ready to be out on his own - so 99 must clean up a lot of his messes.

The movie also stars Dwayne Johnson (Agent 23), Terry Crews (Agent 91), David Koechner (Larabee), Terence Stamp (Siegfried) and James Caan (The President).

Masi Oka and Nate Torrence play a duo of science nerds at CONTROL, who help Smart out of some situations. Their characters' popularity even led to the spin-off Get Smart Bruce & Lloyd Out of Control.


Finally, I wrapped up my movie watching weekend with The Incredible Hulk.

I was never under the impression that the original Hulk movie was that terrible, but it definitely wasn't ground breaking either.

This movie, starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, was a better version of the first as Marvel tried to re-introduce the character.

This is by no means The Dark Knight or even Iron Man, but it is a pretty decent film - which sets up sequels and the inclusion of The Hulk in the Avengers movie. Hopefully with Norton reprising his role.

This was probably the best movie I watched this weekend, as it definitely kept me interested throughout the film - and let me wonder what was going to happen next.

Along for the ride this time were Liv Tyler (Dr. Betty Ross), William Hurt (Gen. Thaddeus Ross) and Tim Roth (Major Emil Blonsky).

Blonsky, at the urge of Hurt's Gen. Ross, eventually becomes the enemy in the film - known as Abomination.

The battle scenes involving the Hulk were pretty fun to watch - and the obvious toll that becoming the Hulk has on Bruce is done very well by Norton.

I was also happy that they didn't make the Hulk the size of a skyscraper like they did in the previous movie - yes he is much larger than his television version, but still at a reasonable size.

I also enjoyed the little things placed into the movie from the television version, most notably Lou Ferrigno (who was not only a security guard in the film, but the Hulk's voice) and the sad walk-away music that was played. Very nice touch.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Freaks & Geeks

With the huge explosion of all things Judd Apatow nowadays, I felt it was only right for me to try and check out his original television show, Freaks & Geeks.
The show was on NBC during the 1999-2000 television schedule, but unfortunately due to low viewership was canceled after only 12 episodes had aired. The show, however, did complete filming 18 episodes which are now available on DVD.

I have only watched three episodes so far, but I am pretty entertained.

The show is more of a dramedy, which is hard to believe coming from a guy like Apatow - but then again if you think 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up all had underlying messages, despite the outrageous comedy factor.

Anyway, Freaks & Geeks is about Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) and her brother Sam (John Francis Daley).

From the pilot, we learn that Lindsay is starting to rebel after the death of her grandmother, whom she was really close. She was formally a mathlete, straight-A student, and best friends with Millie Kentner (Sarah Hagan), a very relgious girl.

She sort of veers from that path of life into trying to fit in with the "Freaks". These are the kids who would rather skip class, smoke and could care less about high school. The main "Freak" is Dan Desario (James Franco), whom it is obvious Lindsay has a bit of a thing for. He is followed by his two friends, Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) and Ken Miller (Seth Rogen). A fourth "Freak", Kim Kelly (Busy Phillips), is Dan's on-and-off girlfriend, and gives Lindsay a bit of a hard time.

On the other side of things, Sam is a freshman in high school who is considered a "Geek". He hangs around with his two best friends, Neal Schweiber (Samm Levine) and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr). They are in between trying to figure out what is cool and not - and also trying to not get beaten up by Alan White (Chauncey Leopardi).

It's sort of amazing to see the amount of people getting their start in this show. Linda Cardellini now plays Sam Taggart on ER. James Franco has shot up the A-list movie star, especially with the role as Harry Osborne in Spiderman. Jason Segel, despite being part of the new Apatow Universe, is now a star on How I Met Your Mother. Seth Rogen is the king of the Apatow Universe now, and is bringing Martin Starr along with him in smaller roles. John Francis Daley now plays Dr. Lance Sweets on Bones. Samm Levine, however, is due to star in the new Quentin Tarantino movie.

Though I am only three episodes in, I am upset I didn't watch this show from the start. It's just another show that never truly got a chance in this day and age of neilson ratings. A lot of great shows have been canceled due to bad ratings, which usually comes from bad marketing.

Give this show a look if you happen to like the Apatow movies or any of the above people.

I am hoping to check out Apatow's second television try in Undeclared when I am finished. Another show that probably didn't get it's fair shake.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Alphabet Meme

I have been tagged by Nick at R2D2, who was tagged by Fletch at Blog Cabins.

This was actually much harder than I anticipated, as I had a difficult time coming up with really anything for 'Q', so I ended up selecting the one movie I know I have seen. There were also a few other letters that gave me some problems as well, but it was fun nonetheless.

Below is the rules that Fletch made up when he started this Meme with my selection to follow.

The Rules

1. Pick one film (your favorite film) to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter "A" and the word "The" do not count as the beginning of a film's title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don't know of any films with those titles.

3. Return of the Jedi belongs under "R," not "S" as in Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi. This rule applies to all films in the original Star Wars trilogy; all that followed start with "S." Similarly, Raiders of the Lost Ark belongs under "R," not "I" as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. In other words, movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Conversely, all films in the LOTR series belong under "L" and all films in the Chronicles of Narnia series belong under "C," as that's what those filmmakers called their films from the start. Use your better judgement to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number's word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under "T."

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type "alphabet meme" into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

6. If you're selected, you have to then select 5 more people.

Kano's Selections


Back to the Future


Dazed & Confused

E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

Flight of the Navigator

Galaxy Quest

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

Incredibles, The

Jurassic Park

Knocked Up

Life As A House



Office Space

Princess Bride

Quick & The Dead


Star Wars

Toy Story


Varsity Blues

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory


Young Frankenstein


I am officially tagging:

Aimee at The Refutation Process

Danielle at My Little Monkey

and my wife at Kano's Kogitation II (if she wants)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Top 10: Television Theme Songs

I got to thinking the other day - there aren't too many television theme songs nowadays with actual words.

Remember back in the day, television shows like Cheers, Charles In Charge, Happy Days, etc.? You could instantly think of that show thanks to its theme song. Now it's true that classical theme songs do the same thing, but where is the fun in that.

So, I have compiled a top 10 list of theme songs with lyrics. I have tried to stay as modern as possible, so some older shows didn't make the cut. And of course, this is my list, so I obviously had to be watching these shows at some point.

Anyway, the first on this list is an honorable mention - because of the shows I am watching right now it's theme song is one of the few that truly matches to show perfectly - and as it's not that old I didn't think it warranted a spot in the actual Top 10 list - so I gave it an honorable mention.

Honorable Mention - The Big Bang Theory

10) Family Guy

9) That 70's Show

8) Baywatch

7) CSI Franchise

6) The Drew Carey Show

5) Dawson's Creek

4) Saved By the Bell

3) The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

2) Scrubs

1) Friends

There you have it. That's my list.

I have also been tagged by Nick at Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob to do an Alphabet Meme started by Fletch at Blog Cabins - I will try to have that for you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quick Rant: ABC

If you remember, awhile ago I praised ABC for picking up one of my all-time favorite television shows, Scrubs, off of the scrap heap that NBC tossed it upon.

Well, as much as I appreciated that (and the awesome promo I saw a few days ago for the new season) ABC has now given me a reason to be upset with them.

Today, Brooke Smith who plays Dr. Erica Hahn on Grey's Anatomy was let go from the show. The only explanation was that ABC was no longer thrilled with having a lesbian storyline on the show, and Smith's character was abruptly removed to remove the storyline.

Also, Grey's Anatomy is introducing a new character on the show in the coming weeks played by Mary McDonnell, who was supposed to be a bisexual - is now no longer one.

This comes on the heals of Rebecca Romijn's departure from Ugly Betty because her character was a transgendered. Now I do not watch this particular show - but I read about it.

Are we returning to the dark ages?

I thought we had come so far in today's standards where homosexuals are now even getting married - but it isn't ok to have a relationship that is homosexual on television?

What is ABC going to do next? Write Matthew Rhys' Kevin walker on Brothers & Sisters into a straight man? What will happen to his husband, Scotty? One day Kevin will walk into his apartment to his wife Sophie - and nothing will ever be explained.

This is pretty sad, and as much as I am not really into the guy-on-guy kissing that happens each week on Brothers & Sisters I am happy that it's there.

I am not gay, nor do I think anyone in my family is gay. But, I am a supporter of equal rights. And from what I had seen happening on ABC, I believed that they were fully supporting it as well.

Hell, Isaiah Washington was fired due to his ignorance on homosexuality and fellow c0-star T.R. Knight. Does anyone remember this? ABC?

I was never a true fan of Hahn's character, but at least this season she was somewhat interesting. And with both her and Callie experimenting and freaking out about this undisovered journey they were about to go on - it made for good television.

ABC just totally screwed up. And I hope someone calls them on it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Catching Up

It's no secret - I am addicted to television.

So, it should come as no surprise that when I leave for an extended period of time, my DVR is working overtime.

I had mentioned this before - but upon our return we missed a pair of our would-be recorded shows as the DVR became too full.

It also should be said, that despite my wife and I enjoying numerous shows together, that my collection of shows that I must watch is on a much higher scale.

So, over the past week I have tried desperately to put a major dent into my recorded television shows. Keep in mind that while I am watching - the DVR keeps recording.

But, I am happy to say that around 5 or 6 p.m. on Saturday that I have indeed caught up on each and every television show that I watch all by my lonesome. There are still a handful remaining that my wife and I watch together, but I think they should also be tackled within the next few days.

I did, however, luck out that a few of my favorite shows were curbed last week thanks to the World Series - so I didn't have to watch those as well.

All-in-all a pretty daunting task that took some free time to accomplish - and thankfully this weekend we had some free time.

That being said, I wasn't able to totally jump into Guitar Hero: World Tour the way I wanted to - I am still wanting to read the booklet that comes with the game. It is pretty in depth, and I know there is a lot more inside the game than I have actually done. I am just looking forward to an all-out jam with a four-person band. Hopefully we can do that soon.