Monthly Archives: August 2007
The coolest webcomic on the internet returns. What more can I say?
The SciFi Channel has a rather dubious reputation for their made-for-TV Saturday night movies. They are just not that good, sometimes even laughingly bad. But then again, compared to the average episode of the now-canceled “Painkiller Jane” or the new (and in name only) “Flash Gordon,” they’re pretty good, and they also keep folks like Casper van Dien and Colin Ferguson employed.
Now normally I avoid these movies just as I would avoid the aforementioned “Jane” and “Flash,” but this past weekend’s offering, MegaSnake, advertised something of interest – Feedback. The wife and I are huge fans of the SciFi series “Who Wants to be a Superhero,” so much so that the Bride even tried out for the show. Naturally, seeing a movie that reputedly featured Feedback, Matthew Atherton, the winner of that series’ first season held interest, so we taped it for viewing last night.
To quote Joseph Conrad, “The horror… the horror…”
Not only was this the same old giant snake crap one could see almost any other Saturday night on SciFi but Feedback was only in this thing maybe three minutes tops. I think honestly he was in the commercials advertising this dog during any hour the previous week than he was in the whole movie. He had five lines. He showed the kids about electricity, said his tagline, poked the giant snake with a stick and then helped the kids get away. And then he ran away, never to be seen again.
In MegaSnake, Feedback is a superhero the same way Sir Robin is a knight.
Wow. I’m not getting these two hours back. And I’m never going to trust advertising on the SciFi Channel ever again.
Speaking of trust, I certainly hope this wasn’t the movie Feedback was promised as part of his prize for “Who Wants to be a Superhero.” On “Survivor” the winner gets a million bucks, on “Big Brother” it’s half a million, but the prize for winning “Superhero” is the winner’s own comic book from Dark Horse Comics and a movie on SciFi. Man, I hope MegaSnake‘s not it. If it is, Matthew, Comic Widows has a great attorney who’d love to talk with you.
You know that feeling when you pass a car accident? That compulsion to look even though you don’t want to? That’s what any Van Halen press conference is all about. It seems like any time David Lee Roth gets back together with his old bandmates disaster ensues. I’m sure that, despite appearances, it will end that way again. Just wait.
The new/old line-up of Van Halen includes Eddie Van Halen, post rehab, a lot thinner and not seeming to crack a smile at all – yep, just what you want in a VH line-up, a man with no sense of humor. If you’re thinking he must be quite a fun dad, look no further than Wolfgang Van Halen, the offspring of Eddie and Valerie Bettinelli, who appears to have gained all the weight his dad has apparently lost. I’m betting Wolfie will be the first to bail, even before Roth. David Lee Roth on the other hand (nice toupee, Dave) will probably fight to stay as long as he can; he certainly has no chance in radio again. Alex Van Halen is probably still there because he has nothing better to do, and he doesn’t talk. All good points when it comes to his brother and band leader Eddie.
Notably missing is founding member Michael Anthony who one assumes is being punished for touring with ex-lead singer Sammy Hagar. Hagar is also persona non grata as are other former lead singers Gary Cherone, Ambush Bug and Squirrel Girl. No love lost with this band.
Watching this particular train wreck, I have to notice how much Dave talks too much, and how Eddie looks on disapprovingly throughout. Sooner or later, Dave’s chatterboxing, which was so endearing two decades ago, will make Eddie strangle him in my opinion. And have Alex and Wolfgang been trained by Eddie not to talk out of turn? Humorless drill sergeant Eddie makes Evel Dick on “Big Brother 8” look like father of the year. Surely I’m not the only one who watched this press conference waiting for the fistfight to break out? My goodness, this is just like Nascar!
Personally I give this version of the band to the end of the year tops.
How can you complain about any movie where Samuel L. Jackson gets to say “motherf*cker” at least once? Black Snake Moan, whose title is derived from the classic 1927 Blind Lemon Jefferson blues tune, is so much more than it at first seems. The pulp-like poster depicts a black man with a white woman on a chain and is sure to drive many folks up the wall with just that conjures an exploitation flick that probably should have double-billed with Grindhouse from earlier this year – but trust me the film is much deeper.
Writer/director Craig Brewer, late of Hustle & Flow, creates what can only be termed as a psychological Southern Gothic. Sam Jackson is a semi-religious bluesman whose wife has just left him after sleeping with his brother. Christina Ricci, needing a sandwich and badly bleached blonde, is an abused nymphomaniac with uncontrollable urges. Justin Timberlake, who continues to amaze each time I see him on the screen, is her boyfriend about to go off to war. There is also an impressive performance by Kim Richards as Ricci’s mother who has been scarily white trash-ed up for the role.
When Jackson finds Ricci on the side of the road, he decides he must save her from herself. A struggle and a friendship ensues which endears the viewer to these two seriously dysfunctional characters, which if not handled right could easily have filed this flick into the exploitation genre. I think it’s sad that it was marketed to that aim, because it really is an amazing film, working on many levels. This is a twisted and explicit must see, but a must see nevertheless. Oh, and of course, great soundtrack, Jackson himself on some tracks.
I’m a huge talk radio fan. And being from the Philadelphia area where the genre’s heyday is firmly in the past buried under a tombstone marked “WWDB,” good talk radio is sometimes hard to find. One such place, until very recently, used to News Jersey 101.5 FM headquartered in Trenton, which for all intents and purposes is basically Philadelphia.
For many years the stars and major highlight of their talk line-up was the afternoon drive time team of Craig Carton and Ray Rossi, the Jersey Guys (pictured above). They could have easily been shuffled into a Howard Stern or an Opie & Anthony category except for their active attitude toward happenings in New Jersey. They were not just entertaining and funny, they were politically and socially active as well.
The duo had a good camaraderie, if you could call it that. Ray was older, more sensible, and a radio veteran. Craig on the other hand was a cutting edge shock-jock type whose grasp of pop culture was unrivalled. Where normally such a mix would be like oil and water, here it worked.
Now Craig has unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) have left NJ 101.5 to replace Don Imus at WFAN in New York. NJ 101.5 has decided to retool the Jersey Guys show and replace carton with someone named Casey Bartholomew. The show is now described thus: “Casey Bartholomew and Ray Rossi: The best thing Jersey has to offer…next to the tomato. A couple of ‘Good Fellas’ in a Jersey state of mind. Gen-X meets the Baby Boomer. They call it like it is, no holds barred. Find out why the most listened to FM Talk Show in the country is on New Jersey 101.5.”
“Gen-X meets the Baby Boomer,” eh? Doesn’t that imply a younger or younger-ish slant? Maybe. Maybe not. My first exposure to Casey had him mentioning his age, and growing up fantasizing about Rebecca DeMornay in Risky Business. I thought, okay, he’s my age. Not quite.
The topic of that hour was Elvis and other dead singers. This is not a usual Jersey Guys topic, this is something more suited to the frivolous Frick and Frack show that runs at noontime. Fluff, nothing but fluff. The Jersey Guys that I know tackle stuff like illegal immigrants and corrupt state troopers.
Casey Bartholomew after taking the prerequisite calls about Elvis, commenting on how much he liked and respected him, he took a call from a caller who discussed Kurt Cobain. Casey confronted the caller questioning what was so great about Cobain, referring to the legend as a loser.
This is a Gen-X-er??? Whether you liked Kurt Cobain or not, it can’t be denied that the man changed the entire landscape of music in the early 1990s. This idiot wouldn’t even acknowledge that. As a matter of fact, he came off sounding a lot more like a Dominic Quinn or that old man Gearhart idiot NJ 101.5 has given mornings to than anyone even close to my age. And this is a representative of Generation X?
Well, that’s it for me and NJ 101.5 I think. I hate the old man in the morning, I have to be in the mood for the fluff at noon, and I just can’t stand Michele Pilenza, a lifestyle and relationship host that apparently thinks only good-looking people should be able to date (I swear, she’s said it more than once!), I think I’m officially an ex-listener. Which is a shame, because I actually do like the overnight guy Tommy G., too bad WYSP has better talk programming on at the same time.
Bye bye, News Jersey. Hope you get enough old people listening to keep your ratings now.
All Things Fun! Podcast
Episode 4: There are no Z-Rays
Ed Evans & his co-host Wes Hitchins kick off the show reading some listener feedback, Glenn Walker, of Comic Widows returns and talks about Marvel Comics’ World War Hulk. Listeners get one last chance to enter the ATF! Summer of 2007 Mash-up Contest then Jim & Wes review the game Winners Circle and discuss how they review a game.
Click here to listen.
Air Date: August 13, 2007
Runtime: 43 minutes
To discuss this podcast, head over to the ATF! forums:
All Things Fun! Podcast Forums
Doctor Strange is the fourth DVD title from Lions Gate and Marvel Comics, and actually in my opinion, the best so far. So far with the two “Ultimate Avengers” DVDs and the “Invincible Iron Man” one, the creators in charge have taken some unnecessary liberties with characters’ backgrounds personalities and such from the original source material. This one is no different but here the changes only serve to enhance. The writing by Greg Johnson is superb and the animation is dazzling, just right for this sub-genre of superhero adventure. Johnson explores the pre-sorcerer Strange and his what-a-dickiness and the downfall that eventually brings him back as a better person, and hero. I enjoyed the backstory of longtime Strange foe Baron Mordo and the extra characterization and purpose lent to manservant Wong. The redesign of Strange’s outfit is welcome leaning more toward subtle and practical which I didn’t mind. Dormammu did bug me however, I think he’s more scary in the comics, an image that would have been truly frightening animated. Oh well, I guess you can’t win ’em all. This is a must-see for comics fans, and an accessible ‘toon for the non-comics folks as well, enjoy!