Category Archives: chuck

What I Liked in 2011

Rather than go whole hog and do a best and worst of blog entry this year, and besides I’m already a week or so late for that anyway, I’m going to be tardy and lazy, and just do lists. Sorry, but I’m burnt, that’s all you get this year. Here are the lists, bests, favorites, take your pick…

Movies – in no particular order – Hugo, Ra.One, Captain America: The First Avenger, Super 8, Midnight in Paris, Attack the Block, Thor, The Help, Source Code, and Bunraku.

Television – also in no particular order – “Hell on Wheels,” “Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Treme,” “Doctor Who,” “Mad Men,” “Dexter,” “The Hour,” “Shameless,” “Castle,” “Chuck” “Louie,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead.” And yes, I know that’s more than ten choices. Deal with it.

With the birthday gift of a Nook late in the year I have started to read again so I wanted to give a shout out to a few books as well. I liked A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Horns by Joe Hill, Supergods by Grant Morrison, Kraken by China Mieville, and Reamde by Neal Stephenson.

I didn’t really listen to much new music this year. I bought a lot of stuff from “Glee,” and new albums by Kate Bush, William Shatner, Adam Warrock and Robyn, as well as soundtracks to Ra.One, X-Men First Class, and “Treme” spent a lot of time on my iPod.

Comics – T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents by Nick Spencer, Aquaman by Geoff Johns, Secret Avengers by Warren Ellis, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE, Action Comics by Paul Cornell, and the new Defenders series from Matt Fraction are all up high in my opinion.

And, in short, that’s what I liked in 2011…

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Tangled

Tangled ~ Much like Disney’s last animated feature, The Princess and the Frog that re-imagined the fairy tale of “The Frog Prince,” Tangled gives “Rapunzel” a new spin. And while very little of the film has the energy or the verve of the preview featuring the music of Pink, it is still very good.

Leads Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, though not most folks’ choice of a male lead, hand in terrific performances. Levi, especially proving the magic of animation is about voice work, not appearances. Character actor Donna Murphy rounds out the singing cast as the heavy, with Alan Menken doing the music this time out.

The songs are formula unfortunately and go in all the right places and do everything these types of songs have done for Disney songs for almost two decades. They’re almost interchangeable, which again, is not to say they are not good. One tune, “I’ve Got a Dream,” stands out far above the others in its difference above all else. It’s an almost Monty Python-ic madcap piece that brings more than a few laughs with it.

All in all, a great entry for Disney’ fiftieth animated feature, and their first CGI one without Pixar. We’ve seen it before, but it’s still worth seeing again, ya know? Terrific holiday fare for the kids, and the adults, recommended.

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Sands of Oblivion

Sands of Oblivion ~ An interesting horror film. Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, as Cecil De Mille is actually a great casting choice, unexpected and quite good. George Kennedy is also here, even though I thought he was dead, but I’m glad he’s not as he brings his superior acting skills with him. Unfortunately neither of these men is in this much.

An ancient Egyptian relic is uncovered on the set of de Mille’s 1923 The Ten Commandments, an undying evil is released, and hilarity ensues, fun fun fun. Apparently the shooting set was lost, and lost for a reason. Adam Baldwin is a bit wishy-washy here. Although I first saw him as Linderman in My Bodyguard, it’s hard for me to see him these days as anything other than John Casey from “Chuck.” Here he plays against type and I don’t believe him for a second.

The monster is a rather frightening looking alligator-jawed Anubis, even though its size and shape varied wildly each time it appeared on screen. I know I watched this with the lights on, but it wasn’t as scary as it could be. There were too many sequences with nothing happening and when it did happen, it was drug out. The dune buggy chase lasted forever.

This was a good old-fashioned horror movie, but would have been much better, if it was shorter and more consistent. Check it out if there’s nothing else on.

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Chuck Found

Sorry for the scare, folks. For those who read my last entry and were as upset as I was regarding the status of NBC’s “Chuck,” no worries.

“Chuck” will be back. We’ll just have to wait until January for it. NBC will be using the Winter Olympics to relaunch the series for a thirteen episode run. I would have rather had twenty-two, but I’m just happy we have “Chuck” back.

Check out the extremely cool Alan Sepinwall‘s interview with “Chuck” co-creator Chuck Fedak here.

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NBC’s Short List

NBC announced today their surprising new schedule for the fall, one that includes not only the new nightly primetime Jay Leno show but also their Sunday Night Football. Here it is:

Monday

8 p.m. — “Heroes”
9 p.m. — “Trauma”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Tuesday

8 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Wednesday

8 p.m. — “Parenthood”
9 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Thursday

8 p.m. — “SNL Weekend Update Thursday”
8:30 p.m. — “Parks & Recreation”
9 p.m. — “The Office”
9:30 p.m. — “Community”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Friday

8 p.m. — “Law & Order”
9 p.m. — “Southland”
10 p.m. — “The Jay Leno Show”

Saturday

8 p.m. — “Dateline NBC”
9 p.m. — “Trauma” rerun
10 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU” rerun

Sunday

7 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:20 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”

This rather sparse schedule, pared down by one night of football and a hour every weeknight ruled over by Leno, also includes a half-hour of “Saturday Night Live” on primetime Thursday and only one version of “Law and Order.” Noticeably missing from the schedule are shows like “Medium,” “30 Rock” and “Chuck.” I know Twitter was able to save “Heroes,” but I thought we were also able to save “Chuck” as well…

Where’s Chuck???

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Super Bowl Aftermath: Movie Previews

Here’s the rundown (or at least my rundown) on the 2009 Super Bowl movie previews…

First we got another look at J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek

Now I’m sure the commercials in 3-D were good, as was the movie preview and it looks like the movie itself will be a lot of fun, but – has anyone been able to find those special 3-D glasses? I know I haven’t and I think I’ll need them for “Chuck” tonight as well…

Chuck’s Back


The opening sequence for the second season premiere of NBC’s “Chuck” is so cool that even if I had not been a fan from last season, I would be after seeing this. Straight up spy suspenser with Michael Clarke Duncan (yes, the Kingpin hisself) as the bad guy holding our nerdboy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) by his tie out the window of a multi-story building. Interesting cinematography that would make Spider-Man’s Sam Raimi blush inclusive, the scene pulls you in and holds you as the succinct synopsis of last season and story of tonight’s episode unfolds.

When I say the word ‘nerd’ about Chuck, I’m not kidding. He likes Huey Lewis’ “Hip to Be Square” (and not in an American Psycho way) and has a Tron poster on his wall. He works for a Best Buy-like store in their Geek Squad-like department – the word ‘nerd’ should be tattooed on his head. Not nerd-bashing here, heck, I’m a nerd, but I’m just setting the premise.

Chuck also happens to be carrying around the combined computer data of the CIA and the NSA in his head, making him very valuable. So with super-spies, one from each agency, Adam Baldwin and Yvonne Strahovski guarding and protecting him, Chuck gets caught up in case after case. As they say, hilarity ensues.

The second season opener of “Chuck,” entitled “Chuck Versus the First Date,” airs tonight at 8 PM EST, right before “Heroes.” And you folks are cool, so I shouldn’t have to tell you you should be watching “Heroes,” right?

Chuck

McG comes to TV with surprising results in “Chuck” which debuts tomorrow night as a lead-in to the much-anticipated second season of “Heroes.” Definitely tune in early to check out “Chuck” because the way NBC is advertising it (or not advertising it), it’ll be gone shortly. And that’s a shame.

The series rests on an annoying and unbelievable premise that should best be accepted – that lead character Chuck has all the secret intel from two government organizations in his head. Just accept it and move on, then you can enjoy the show.

Other than that this is a great little show that reminded me quaintly of both “Spaced” and Free Enterprise. It’s geek chic, and it rocks. The segment of the population that will get all the jokes in this one will love it. Those that scratch their head and go “Wha?” – – well, who needs ’em? Those latter folks however might be what dooms this show before it gets a fair chance, so see it while you can!

Chuck, you had me at “Vicki Vale.” 😉