Thursday, July 30, 2009

ETMC Sport Report: Cliff Lee traded to Philadelphia

This is yesterday’s news but I simply did not have the heart to write an upbeat post after feeling so lousy following the passing of Jim Johnson. Now on to the news...



As you may all know by now, I am a diehard Philadelphia Phillies fan. I am a proud season ticket holder who has endured many miserable seasons with the team and now has watched my team turn into a legitimate powerhouse.

About three weeks ago, there was a buzz that the Phillies were interested in acquiring Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Roy Halladay. That buzz turned into serious trade negotiations that began to covered in every major sports media outlet. As a fan, I was doing back flips of joy (let that image sink into your head for a second…not pretty, huh?), but I knew that the Phils would have to give up a good deal of top prospects to make it happen. I was all-in for it because prospects are the definition of the name – a prospect not a guarantee. And you have to go for it all while your championship team window is open.

Just when it seemed to be a matter of days before Halladay would be flying into Philadelphia for a press conference after a trade to the Phillies, Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi got a little too big for his britches and decided to play hardball with not only the Phils but the rest of Halladay’s suitors as well.

Riccardi told the press that he was “holding all the cards” and that the Phillies would have to give him everything he wanted or else Halladay was going nowhere. That is a fair statement from the GM except for a few things that didn’t work in his favor. First, Halladay is only under contract through next season so if he is traded, he is only a rental. Second, Halladay has also stated that he will DEFINTIELY hit free agency when next season is over because the Blue Jays do not have the funds to secure him. Third, there are only a couple teams that have the salary luxury to afford Halladay’s current contract with a possibility for an extension. This includes the Phillies, but also the Yankees and the Red Sox can afford him as well. But the Blue Jays are in the same division as the latter teams, so that would be GM suicide for Riccardi if they ended up there. Foutth, the Phillies offered the best package of prospects (including current Phillies starter J.A. Happ) that would be really help the future of the Blue Jays. No one else compared to the level of talent the Blue Jays would receive. Fifth, Halladay has a Full No Trade Clause, which means he can reject any trade to any team, and the World Champion Phillies were pretty much the only team he would waive that right for. Lastly, if he didn’t trade Halladay this year at the deadline, offers from all suitors would drop considerably because of the decrease of Halladay’s service time before free agency – meaning that instead of having him for the rest of the season and this year’s playoffs, they’d only have him for one season only.

So what did J.P. do? He raised his demands to ridiculous proportions and decided that he was going to try and force first-year Phillies GM Ruben Amaro to yield to the media and fan pressure thus robbing the Phillies blind. J.P. says that he would not listen to offers until the July 31 deadline and then retracted that statement because deals of this magnitude cannot be squeezed into one day’s time. There was even a “leak” released to a Boston news outlet that the Red Sox offered their untouchable prospect Clay Bucholz for Halladay…which the Red Sox quickly denied. Nice try, J.P. Wonder who that “leak” worked for? Your front office, maybe?

The deadline was only a week away, so the Phillies decided to enter some serious conversations with the Cleveland Indians about starting pitcher Cliff Lee. Lee is a cheaper option, more likely to re-sign after next season and is a slightly, slightly less quality pitcher than Halladay. J.P. thought the Phillies were bluffing…

So yesterday morning, it was reported that Cleveland scouts were in Lehigh Valley to scout some of the players in a minor league game speculated to be included in a potential trade. Pitcher Carlos Carrasco was abruptly yanked before his 11 am start and I smiled. I knew it was coming. A few hours later, ESPN reported that Cliff Lee was traded to Philadelphia for prospects Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp, and Lou Marson. The value of these players is well below the quality of prospects it would have taken to land Halladay, but Indians GM Shapiro is excellent with player evaluation so these prospects will serve him well. It was reported that Amaro called J.P. one last time with the same offer plus J.A. Happ (who is pitching lights out), but he still refused. Amaro hung up and called back the Indians to complete the deal.

On the other hand, the Phillies land a top-flight starter that will compliment the pitching staff as long as he stays healthy and keeps the ball down. His arm and finesse will be needed as the Phillies attempt to return to the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

J.P. Riccardi really shot himself in the foot with this one. He is one of the “minds” behind the Moneyball hysteria, being an assistant to A’s GM Billy Beane and was a included in a large part of that book, and this was a bad move in his part. He still must try to trade Halladay in the winter and won’t get a deal nearly as good as what the Phillies offered him. I predict that Halladay will walk next season and end up on one of the teams he avoided doing business with in the first place - the Yankees or Red Sox. If not, Riccardi will get nothing of real value in trading away a player as a one season rental. Then he will get fired as GM. That’s his problem, though. Thanks to the Indians for help in solving the Phillies with their problems and hopefully those prospects work out for his club.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Cliff Lee!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson passes away


...

I have to take a moment out of the usual ETMC silliness to be serious for a moment and express my sorrow for the passing of Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson. Johnson, 68, lost his battle with melanoma on Tuesday just days after the Eagles hired new DC Sean McDermott.

Johnson was a huge reason for the Eagles success since he joined the team as DC in 1999. Since 2000, 26 of his defensive players were Pro Bowl selections and his defensive units ranked second in the NFL for sacks (390), third-down efficiency (34%) and red zone touchdown percentage (43.9%). The Eagles also produced seven playoff berths, including five trips to the NFC Championship Game and one Super Bowl Appearance, with the help of Johnson's defensive coaching strategies.

After the Eagles were eliminated by the Arizona Cardinals in January 2009, Johnson announced that he was going to take time off to battle melanoma. Fans were not aware of his health status prior to his announcement and put the true importance of life into perspective in the aftermath of their crushing NFCC game loss. The hope was that Johnson was going to battle his cancer, get better and return to help the Eagles make another run at the Super Bowl. While things seemed upbeat about his condition at first, fans were alerted about the true nature of his condition when McDermott was hired on to replace Johnson.

Johnson battled his disease for the entire season as his defense helped back door the Eagles into the playoffs and become playoff road warriors before bowing out to the offensive powerhouse Cardinals. He never used his ailment as an excuse and did not tell anyone about his health as to not distract his team's shining moment and concentration to win the Super Bowl. This kind of character display makes me wish that Johnson could have won that last Super Bowl with the Eagles.

As I sign off on this post with a tear-filled smile, I echo a friend's post on an Eagles' internet message board when I say that "Johnson is probably already trying to figure out how to blitz them in heaven with Reggie White and Jerome Brown." Yes, I agree that he probably is...and he'll definitely find a way to penetrate the offensive lines up there as well.

My sympathies to his family and friends. For us fans... we are gonna miss you JJ. We really, really are. Your suffering is over. R.I.P., coach.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amateur Hour Presents the first half of the Roddy Piper Double Feature: Body Slam

Disclaimer: This film was going to be the inaugural Delorean Review post, but based on the extreme cheesiness of the film's content, it would be disrespectful to all cheesy movies and the integrity of ETMC if this film was not included in the Amateur Hour vault. Thank you. =)

Back in the 80's, professional wrestling was at its peak. The WWF (World Wrestling Federation) was the top dog, followed by other promotions such as the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) and the AWA (American Wrestling Association). Wrestling was literally everywhere. It always seemed to be on television and its merchandising was a cash cow. The merchandise included everything from t-shirts to posters to ice cream sandwiches (damn those things were good! I miss them). The marketing of sports entertainment was out of control as well. To this very day, WWF owner Vince McMahon is considered to be the innovator for pay-per view based on his idea to air his Wrestlemania events in arenas all over the country via closed circuit television. I remember my dad taking me to a few of these events at the Spectrum in Philadelphia when I was a kid. These closed circuit events use to sell out!

McMahon also helped bring wrestling to the mainstream through cross promotion with MTV and having celebrities participate in his pay-per view shows as ring announcers, commnetators and referees. MTV helped provide wrestling with the whole rock 'n' roll feel and attitude thus catapulting the sports entertaiment's status to its pinnacle.
Of course someone thought it would be a great idea to make a film about bringing the concepts of rock 'n' roll and wrestling together. That man is none other than Hal Needham, the director for Megaforce (lol) and the Cannonball Run series, and the result is Body Slam. Please save your applause for the end.

Body Slam
is the story of M. Harry Smilac (Dirk Benedict - my boy Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica and Face from A-Team), a slimy con artist, err, manager in the music industry. He dresses swanky, drives a nice car and always knows how to say the "right thing" to people. The only problem is that he has one client, a cheesy 80's rock band named Kicks, but simply cannot get them any decent gigs. In all honesty, Kicks sucks but all of the blame goes on Smilac. I mean, they are so bad that if I had a choice between Kicks and Holy Moses from Hard Rock Zombies to play at my birthday party, the zombie boys would win 10 out of 10 times.

But seriously though, Smilac gets his car repo'ed and is physically threatened by some really bad dudes due to the fact that he owes them a lot of money. Luckily, he gets a great idea in his head after meeting a professional wrestling tag team recently dumped by their asshat of a manager Capt. Lou Murano (played by Capt. Lou Albano...get it?). He becomes the new manager for the duo, "Quick" Rick Roberts (Roddy Piper!) and Tonga Tom (pro wrestler Sama Fatu of The Islanders) and promises to take them to the tag team championship. He also books Kicks to play at the same venues during his team's matches, so he is creating a new "product" in a sense while also doubling his profits. The hybrid act becomes a hit and soon Smilac's team faces former manager Murano and his new championship tag team (Sione Vailahi who wrestled as The Barbarian and Tom Kasat who I don't recognize from anything else) in typical 80's fashion. So take a guess who wins? I'll give you three chances and the first two don't count.


I thought Hannibal was the A-Team's master of disguise?

This is B-Movie cheese at its best. Maybe the fact that I am an old school wrestling fan as well as a Dirk Benedict and Roddy Piper fan might have something to do with it. In Body Slam the jokes are very bad, the synchronized tag team moves are extremely silly and the music is down right frightening...but it is a movie that every bad movie lover should view at least once. Trust me when I say that The Wrestler and Body Slam are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum, so don't look for anything like last year's Academy Award nominee. You have been warned.


Look at the cast, besides the people I mentioned above. We have Tanya Roberts when she was still Sheena hot, the late Charles Nelson Reilly, Billy Barty, John Astin, The Wild Samoans, Kellie Martin. Don't recognize their names? Shame on you. Use Google and get in the know. I'm done here.


Piper gets upset when the ladies refer to him as "Quick" Rick.

The Good Stuff:
- Old school wrestling
- Roddy Piper and Dirk Benedict
- A real D-level supporting cast

The Devil's Advocate:
- The music is horrible - the title theme song still rings in my head!
- Dirk Benedict looks horrible in a dress

The Recipe:
-
1 cup old school 80's wrestling
- 1 cup really bad 80's rock
- 1/2 cup Cannonball Run humor

Stir, cook and let chill five minutes before serving.

Final Verdict:


Must see cheese for bad movie fans! And it won't cost you a dime. Check out youtube and hulu to watch the entire film in the comfort of your own home.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orphan (2009) Review - hidden spoilers


Pretty creepy looking, huh? This type of creepiness sums up the whole movie.

First thing's first, trust me when I tell you to go and see this film if you have not done so yet. Sure that echoes a lot of the recently published reviews out there, but it is truth and I am continuing to preach the good word. Honestly, I am the first person to roll my eyes when crossing paths with entries in the "child-killer" film genre, but this film was an exception the rule.

Orphan really hooks the viewer in early on with a great opening sequence and paces itself towards an exciting finale. The premise surrounds Kate Coleman (Vera Farmiga), a mother who is recently coping with the stillbirth of her third child and fully recovering from alcohol addiction. Rounding out the Coleman clan: husband John (Peter Sarsgaard), hearing-impaired youngest sibling Maxine (Aryana Engineer) and son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett). After some back story development, we learn that Kate and John has been contemplating adoption for some time since the stillbirth and have decided to finally adopt a little girl and expand the family. John and Kate develop an instant connection with Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) and take her home with them.

At first, Esther seems like the perfect nine year-old daughter anyone could ask for. She gains an instant bond with little hearing-impaired Maxine by learning sign language, she provides Kate with the daughter she lost, seems to be very intelligent, and she is a fabulous artist. She does come off a little weird though (and I am not talking about the Russian accent). Not only does she dress like Little Bo Peep and carries around a weird little bible with ripped photographs in it, but she absolutely refuses to go to a dentist and always wears a choker around her neck plus a ribbon around her wrist. More importantly, she seems to have a bit of anger management issues. Seems Esther is not all she is cracked up to be and has a big secret. After Esther manipulates John to turn against Kate, she tries to learn Esther's dark secret before it is too late for the entire family.

Isabelle Fuhrman deserves an Oscar nomination! Seriously, she is THAT good. Her performance had me wanting to strangle her character Esther the entire time and served as cinematic birth control - making me never want to have children...ever! I just had to dedicate an entire paragraph to her because she is amazing!


"Esther-honey, chokers were like SO 1995."

The rest of the acting was totally on-point as well. Vera Farmiga is really incredible as the lead and Peter Sarsgaard (who I simply cannot stand in any role he plays) really pours it on as the easily misled husband. His character easily classified as the "worst husband of the year" and I wanted to smack the shit out of him just as much as Esther.

Bottom Line: go see this movie and enjoy. Besides the aforementioned acting, everything about Orphan was excellent. The cinematography, the script and the direction is well above what I was expecting. If there is a negative, I would say the running time is a little long. A very weak negative versus the greatness of the final product. This film is unnerving and unsettling...and I am saying that in a good way. Very effective filmmaking.

Wanna know Esther's secret? Too impatient to wait or just don't have $11.50 to throw down at the cinema?
This movie is really worth the $11.50 even if you have to mug someone to get the scratch. Find out all the major spoilers below.

Let me "spoil" you with SPOILERS BELOW...(please left-click on the letter below, then hold down button and drag to highlight until you reach END SPOILERS...

Esther has a nasty little secret alright. First of all, she did not come from a Russian orphanage. It was more like a mental hospital. Oh yeah and she is 33 (which is freaky because that is my age) and has a dwarf disease that does not allow her to age physically. She passed herself off as a child for adoption for several years because she is looking for a man. So her M.O. is that she creates a huge divot in the husband and wife's relationship and then tries to take the husband as her own. If he refuses her advances, then she kills the entire family. Some sweetheart, huh? The ending is not a conventional, happy one which is a sigh of relief. I mentioned above that Peter Sarsgaard's character is the absolute worst husband, so I admit that I didn't really get that upset when Esther murders him. Yup. A major character, John, is murdered so we are not left with a happy ending that includes the family coming back together again. That took some balls, but I appreciate when someone goes outside the box. Although I did read that the Daniel character was originally killed off by Esther in the hospital. That really would have blown my mind to see a child murdered on screen, but they decided to change his fate. I suspect test audiences. Oh well. When the revelation of Esther's secret happens, the black light artwork is creepy as hell, but not as creepy as a 9 year-old wearing makeup and a sexy dress trying to seduce a man she calls "Daddy". F'd up stuff alright.

END SPOILERS

ETMC Extras:

- Isabelle Fuhrman's birthday (June 29th) is one day before yours truly.

- The line about how hard it is to love an adopted child as much as your real child was extracted from the trailers but thankfully remained in the theatrical release. The scene was taken out because of protest groups. WTF? People need to get a grip...seriously!

- Leonardo DiCaprio and Joel Silver had their hands in producing this film? I had no idea until the end.

BEGIN SPOILERS...

There have been reviews written by my friends in the "blogger-verse", but I avoided reading them in fear of having something ruined before I see the movie. On my Harper's Island review, I put a big tag that read "Begin Spoilers' in big, red font. Then for the review on Bruno, I pretty much ditched including any major spoilers - and I am not pleased with the output.

In trying to find consistency with the format of my reviews, I have decided once and for all that my reviews will contain spoilers. But I don't want to discourage readers from reading my reviews if they have yet to see a film and fear anything of substance getting ruined. I hate, hate, hate having things spoiled for me, so I am going to extend the same courtesy that I would wish for myself.

I am going to attempt to appease both types of reviewers: Pro-Spoilers and Spoiler-Junkies. Here is a quick and painless example of future ETMC reviews...even though this example is a review on the Atkins Diet:

JAWS Movie Review (1975)

JAWS is a movie by Steven Spielberg about a great white shark terrorizing Amity Island during the Fourth of July Weekend.

This is one of my favorite films ever. The acting is great.

SPOILERS BELOW...(please left-click on the letter below, then hold down button and drag to highlight until you reach END SPOILERS...

JAWS ends when Brody shoots the oxygen tank and blows the shark up. Hooper lives.

END SPOILERS

See? Not like it's rocket science and it's painless enough. I have seen this tactic used on multiple sites outside the "blogger-verse", so I will adopt and use it moving forward.

Now that the f'n public service announcements are over with, back to the regularly scheduled broadcast...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bruno (2009): Mini Review



Sacha Baron Cohen (SBC) is at it again, this time posing as Austrian homosexual interview talk show host Bruno. After falling from grace in his native country and losing the host gig on the faux show Funkytime, Bruno travels to the U.S. in order to become the most famous Austrian superstar since Hitler or Arnold Schwarzenegger (his words not mine).

This one is still circulating in the theaters, so I will avoid major spoilers. But I would really like to discuss some of my favorite scenes while keeping my descriptions as vague as possible:


1) Bruno discusses his love life with his little male companion and shows the viewers some of their sexual antics. This happened early in the film and got the ball rolling for things to come.


2) Bruno screens his new talk show for a focus group. The less I say the better, but this is one of the best parts of the film.


3) Bruno has some one-on-one time with Ron Paul...yes that Ron Paul.


4) The African child adoption sequence - yeah this was heavily advertised in then trailer but there are some instances that they did not spoil.

5) Bruno makes "swing parties" more uncomfortable than they need to be.


6) Bruno tries to do some male-bonding with hunters on an overnight hunting trip.


Being a fan of
Da Ali G Show on HBO since 2002, Borat was ALWAYS my favorite character, followed by Ali G and then Bruno. While I did have a blast watching this film, it is not on the same level with Borat at all. So I don't whether that was why I didn't feel that this was on par with the Borat film or if the shock value is simply gone and things seem too "staged" this time around. Bruno's story is based more from a third person perspective than Borat which might be due to the fact of Cohen's visibilty in the media. If people did not know SBC before 2006, they definitely recognized him after Borat rocketed the man to super stardom. He cannot pull off the same stunts that he could before his 2006 hit nor can he handle any more lawsuits.

So in wrapping things up here, even though
Bruno was not as great as Borat (in my opinion), this film contained moments where I was literally crying from laughter. I would rate this as a decent movie with some belly-busting scenes but I doubt I would return for repeat viewings.

Again, I expected that
Bruno would not be able to top Borat, especially since I always loved the character of Borat more. But SBC is still a ballsy, entertaining and crazy mofo and I love his style of humor.

If it is still playing at theater near you, go see it...just don't expect
Borat and you'll be fine. If it is already out of the theater in your area, definitely see it on DVD when it comes out. There is so much more I want to tell you about this film, but I want you all to have the same level of surprise that I did.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harper's Island two-hour finale - MAJOR SPOILERS

I'm giving everyone one last chance before you read this post to watch this series. It was not as bad as some reviewers made it out to be. The CBS crowd expected a murder mystery but got a slasher mystery flick in the vein of Sleepaway Camp, only with no gender-bending and WAY more gore and creative deaths, instead. In a follow up to my earlier post on the series, I am going to discuss the conclusion.




CLICK AND DRAG TO HIGHLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!









Ok, so in the prior post on this series, I mentioned that I guessed who the killer was but hoped that I was wrong. I was not. For the first 5-6 episodes, I was convinced that Jimmy (C.J. Thomason), Abby's serious love interest, was the killer. Why? Well one, because he kept popping in and out of episodes, and two, I thought that he would have the best motive for killing everyone. Abby left him without saying goodbye and left him high and dry. So he would exact revenge by killing off all of her "new" friends, leaving them to be alone together on the island where they first developed their love for each other.

Soon that got to be too obvious. They even went as far as to call out Jimmy as the "killer", so I figured that was definitely not going to be the scenario. The whole "Abby (Elaine Cassidy) is the killer" idea was explored around the same time, so that was out. By about episode 7-8, it hit me! Things that I was laughing about or even as far as to cry "plot hole" or "what an idiot this guy is!" became clear. It wasn't a plot hole and the guy was not that dumb. The plot holes, which critics used to crap on the show, served to move the story and were actually meant to happen. More on that later.

As episode 12 comes to an end, poor Trish (Katie Cassidy) goes running into the woods wearing her wedding gown after getting separated from fiancee and likely hero Henry (Christopher Gorham) while being chased by mass murderer John Wakefield (Callum Keith Rennie). She finally runs into her beloved Henry, who lets her know in a very calmly fashion that he is the one who gave the key to Wakefield so that he could escape the prison. That is when he tells her to "not make this harder than it already is" before stabbing her in the side with a pocket/hunting knife thus killing his bride-to-be. Wakefield and Henry make eye contact and the relevation that Henry is Wakefield's accomplice is revealed.

The only survivors of the show are: Abby, Jimmy, Shea (Gina Holden) and Madison (Cassandra Sawtell - who consistently got on my nerves). Shea and Madison get sent on a small motorboat to the coast guard by Sully (Matt Barr). Sully was a real prick at the beginning of the show, but became more and more tolerable as his character grew to be a hero and not a douche. He could have gone on the boat with them and saved his own life as well, but he did not want to abandon his friend Henry. Before exposing himself as the killer to Sully, Henry even laughs as he said,"That could very well be the dumbest thing you've ever done." Well it was, but it was a heroic move that makes his demise that more depressing. Sully didn't pick up on Henry's hints fast enough and gets the same knife treatment from Henry that he used to slay Trish in the previous episode.

So, why was Henry doing all this killing business? In a flashback, we learn that when they were both children, Abby told Henry that she wished they could be on the island alone together forever. Henry falls in love with Abby and his infatuation grows over time. Then as he gets older, he finds out that his parents lied to him about being adopted from John Wakefield. You see, Abby's mom and John Wakefield had a tryst and their love child was none other than good ol' Henry. Henry was given up for adoption by Abby's mom, but she kept her child that she had with the sheriff (Abby). So Henry discovers that he and Abby are half-siblings, but that does not stop his love for her. That's some creepy shite!

His plan was to get married to Trish on the island, which would be the failproof excuse to both bring all of their friends to the island and force Abby, traumatized by seeing her slain mother, back to the island so they can be together forever.



Sibling affection has never been more creepy

Wakefield was only in on the first part of the plan. The original plan was to kill Abby last, but Henry winds up offing Wakefield instead and captures Jimmy to be the fall guy for the murders. He also leaves enough blood and clothing samples around for the police to deduct that Henry and Abby were also killed, so that no one would ever look for them again. In Henry's deranged mind, they would live happily ever after on the island...just as Abby wished for when they were kids.



How does the adult Abby feel about this? Well she rightfully freaks out and kills Henry before her and Jimmy ride off into the sunset. THE END.



Not that I am bragging or think that I am some super sleuth or anything like that, but I pegged Henry as the killer after I ditched the Jimmy and Abby theories (see above). Without pointing out every little detail that went into my deduction, let me explain the main reasons:



1) Uncle Charlie (Harry Hamlin), Henry's uncle is cut in half at the end of the first episode. In episode two or three, everyone is asking the whereabouts of Uncle Charlie. Henry simply laughs it off by saying that he is probably chasing some girl for some loving on the island. But Uncle Charlie seemed genuinely happy to be with Henry during this special lifechanging moment in their scene together in the pilot. Then, Henry NEVER even mentions Uncle Charlie again until they find his body. That seemed strange to me and threw up a warning flag. Critics stated that the cast was so dumb because Uncle Charlie's nephew didn't even notice he was missing and then was non-chalant about it when he did find. (shakes head) Yeah - maybe because he was the murderer and did not want to bring attention to anything until a majority of the guests had been killed off.



2) Another warning flag went up when it was never discussed what happened to Henry's parents. They died...that's all you knew. Seemed kinda weird.



3) When J.D. is found before dying, he points to a weeping Henry who is standing behind Abby. I could only think that he was pointing to Henry because Henry was the one who stabbed him.



4) Henry was poking around in the church shortly before Trish's dad was killed by a trap.



5) When Trish's ex-boyfriend dies with the cool "shotgun trap", I thought to myself "Hmm. I bet Henry would have loved to see this."



6) I knew he was a shady cat because time and time again, he would leave Trish's side to be with Abby. He was WAY too protective of her. At one point during the latter portion of the series, the group decides to split up. Henry immediately wants to go with Abby...once again. Trish gets a little ticked off and interrupts them, "Umm - I'm going with you too!" I laughed my ass off at first, but then I thought he has to be up to no good. If I were in this situation, I would never leave Jewels' side...EVER. Again, that was shady character behavior.



7) He was the character least pegged to be a suspect. I thought that would be the strangest, most unconventional twist if Henry was indeed the murderer, along with Wakefield.



8) Here is something I missed, but read on a message board after watching the finale...and it was obvious. At one point, Henry's handwriting is clearly visible on some paper for Trish, then later in another episode, the same handwriting is on a note to Abby from the "killer". I totally missed that. See, I'm not bragging...I suck!



Overall the show was good and I quite enjoyed watching some extreme gore on the small screen as opposed to the endless "doctors" shows that saturate the primetime lineups. I admit that I am glad that this was only 13 episodes, the viewers received closure and that the second season spin-off will not happen. Nothing would top this season. I hope to see more one-season event shows in this genre (or the sci-fi realm) because this type of show easily gets the axe first from the networks.



More like Henry - "The Crazy, Incest-infatuated Psychopath"

ETMC Extras:

- I guessed the killer correctly, but I missed completely on who the survivors were going to be. I knew the litle girl was safe (of course), but I definitely thought that Trish and Abby would be the survivors with Jimmy doing something heroic to save the day.


- That being said, I was a bit taken back that the Trish character was murdered. A woman always dreams of her wedding day since she is a little girl (or at least that is what I always hear from women) and Henry not only ruined that for her, but he killed her father and then he killed her in her wedding dress no less. Being a newlywed, that was some awkward scene to watch and provided an image that stayed with me past the series' conclusion. She should have been the one to take out Henry and get her come uppance. Sadly, that was not to be.


- I thought that Christopher Gorham was the worst actor in the world and was only on the show because he looks like a broke ass version of Josh Harnett. Again, he played it that way on purpose because it was used to downplay himself as a suspect. Once it was revealed that he was working with Wakefield, he showed some serious acting range bouncing back and forth between the crazy murderer and the friendly, "bad acting" versions of the Henry character. I am not calling for and Oscar or anything like that but kudos to you, Chris! I was wrong about your talents.


- Henry tied up a lot of the other seemingly pointless plotlines to show their intended significane in his explanation to Abby on why he did what he did. He explained that Uncle Charlie's huge bag of money was to be given to Malcolm as an investment for Malcolm's brewery. He knew that Malcolm was desperate for money after falling on hard times, so after he killed Charlie, he "set up" the scenario of Malcolm and the crew finding the money. In his words, Henry thought it would be funny to see how "it played out" after Malcolm found the money knowing of his financial troubles. The crew thought that the money was "dirty" and needed to be put out of their hands, but Malcolm simply could not. It eventually led to Booth's accidental demise and Malcolm's head first push into a burning boiler. Henry was one sick f'er to be playing around with human emotions.


- This show was Elaine Cassidy's first introduction to the U.S., but she is somewhat of a celebrity overseas and has a thick Irish accent. I would have never known unless I researched it. She sounded as American as cheese. American cheese not provolone or cheddar.


- Katie Cassidy, who is wonderful eye candy, really stepped up her peformance in this show. It was leaps and bounds from her performances in previous films and television. And as much as I am a sucker for blondes, she looks ten times better as a brunette...just saying.


- I see Matt Barr moving on to do some comedy work. He really grew on me throughout the show and I see good things for him on the horizon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nerd Alert: Sam Raimi to direct WoW feature



As you probably have read in some of my recent reviews or my comments on others' blogs, I am a HUGE Sam Raimi fan. So I was not at all surprised that he has signed on to helm a film based on the sword and sorcery MMORPG game World of Warcraft (WoW). Especially with his track record of producing Hercules, Xena and the short-lived Sinbad with his Renaissance Pictures company. Army of Darkness even contains a huge medieval final battle at the end of the film, so the man is definitely someone with the passion for this type of genre outside of the horror realm.

Blizzard's WoW has become a phenomenon, even having mainstream figures like Ozzy Osbourne and Snoopy Dogg appear in the commericals for the game as recent as this year. Raimi is a bit of a marketing genius, even in his younger days finding investors for the original Evil Dead, and knows how to sell his product. So I am betting that the millions (and millions) of WoW gamers will be in line, money in hand and ready to deliver a massive box office gross. They are an extremely loyal and passionate fanbase. However, I am sure that diehard WoW'ers will diss him left and right once more details come out about the projects if they don't follow the WoW lore, much like the Spiderman fanbase wanted to lynch him for having Peter Parker's webs shoot from his glands before seeing the final product. In any event, the target audience is there and will pay to see this one on the big screen. We will see soon enough.


I wonder what Sam is going to get Bruce Campbell to play in this one?

I played WoW a couple years back, thanks to some serious peer pressure fromn former co-workers and I enjoyed the experience...at first. I love playing video games after all, but like oxycontin, you don't realize you have become addicted until it is too late and you are hooked! Luckily I was able to snap out of it and not be a biggidy nerd before my soon-to-be wife left me.

Right now the specifics on the film are thin, but for more information, check out the Blizzard site, or read the complete press release that I pasted below (courtesy of Blizzard's Global PR Dept. - thanks)...

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – July 22, 2009 -- Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and Legendary Pictures announced today that Sam Raimi has signed on to direct the eagerly-anticipated major motion picture based on Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning Warcraft® universe. Raimi has, in the course of his career, clearly demonstrated a genius for developing and adapting existing fictional universes for mainstream audiences while staying true to the spirit of the original content.
Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy, which has broken box-office records around the world and garnered five Academy Award® nominations. Known for his imaginative filmmaking style, richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi wrote and directed the cult classic, The Evil Dead and produced 30 Days Of Night. He most recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, Drag Me To Hell.

"At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story," said Raimi. "I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen."
Charles Roven’s producing talents were recently seen with last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight, which grossed in excess of $1 billion, was nominated for eight Academy Awards® and won two. His body of work also includes the widely acclaimed Batman Begins and the sci-fi classic 12 Monkeys. Roven, with Atlas producing partner Alex Gartner, will be producing with Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni, Raimi and Raimi’s producing partner Joshua Donen. Raimi’s partner, Robert Tapert, will be an Executive Producer and Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development, Chris Metzen, a Co-Producer.

"Partnering with Sam Raimi exemplifies Legendary's mandate of marrying the highest quality intellectual property to world-class filmmakers" said Legendary’s Tull. "Sam's passion for 'Warcraft' is undeniable and we know that he will create an incredible film worthy of Blizzard's phenomenal franchise. We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Warner Bros. and continuing our successful relationship with Chuck in bringing this rich new world to the screen."
"Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that vision to life," said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. "From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We're looking forward to working with him to achieve that here."

"Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam’s experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world," said Atlas’ Roven. "Alex and I are proud to be working with Sam and re-teaming with our friends at Legendary and Warner Bros."

The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. "Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many," said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe is a rich fantasy setting that revolves around the epic conflict between the opposing forces of the Horde and the Alliance. Since its debut in 1994, Warcraft has developed a loyal following across the globe, with several bestselling, award-winning PC games and a range of popular licensed products including novels, action figures, apparel, comic books, board games, and more. World of Warcraft®, Blizzard Entertainment’s subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Warcraft universe, is the most popular game of its kind in the world. Its most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™, is the fastest-selling PC game of all time, with more than 2.8 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and more than 4 million in its first month.

Further details about the upcoming Warcraft movie, including cast and targeted release date, will be revealed as development progresses.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (http://www.blizzard.com/), a division of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes eleven #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Blizzard Entertainment’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Blizzard Entertainment generally uses words such as "outlook," "will," "could," "would," "might," "remains," "to be," "plans," "believes," "may," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "estimate," future," "plan," "positioned," "potential," "project," "remain," "scheduled," "set to," "subject to," "upcoming" and similar expressions to help identify forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause Blizzard Entertainment’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include, but are not limited to, sales levels of Blizzard Entertainment’s titles, shifts in consumer spending trends, the impact of the current macroeconomic environment, the seasonal and cyclical nature of the interactive game market, Blizzard Entertainment’s ability to predict consumer preferences among competing hardware platforms (including next-generation hardware), declines in software pricing, product returns and price protection, product delays, retail acceptance of Blizzard Entertainment’s products, adoption rate and availability of new hardware and related software, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, litigation against Blizzard Entertainment, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, customers, vendors and third-party developers, domestic and international economic, financial and political conditions and policies, foreign exchange rates, integration of recent acquisitions and the identification of suitable future acquisition opportunities, Activision Blizzard’s success in integrating the operations of Activision Publishing and Vivendi Games in a timely manner, or at all, and the combined company’s ability to realize the anticipated benefits and synergies of the transaction to the extent, or in the timeframe, anticipated, and the other factors identified in Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Blizzard Entertainment and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Blizzard Entertainment nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Blizzard Entertainment or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
As I sit here on business in New York City, my mind drifts to my upcoming vacation in September. That's right, I manned up and pulled the trigger on booking the trip for the wife and I. Now all I can here playing in my head is (please press play)...

video


I don't mean to brag but I am very, very excited!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Werewolf The Series - second half review

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First-half season review here

So now I have finished watching all 29 episodes (including the pilot movie) and all I have to say is that I enjoyed them as a horror fan but I ultimately see what put the nail in the coffin for the series. Canceled after one long season!

By about the 12th or 13th episode, Eric Cord is still on the run from Alamo Joe Rogan. He jumps from town to town and always winds up in the middle of some sort of trouble. Just when the chips are down and Eric looks done for, out of nowhere the pentagram shows up on his hand and he "wolfs out" to save the day. Wash, rinse and repeat. Good formula but it does get tired when it happens in a few consecutive episodes.

Finally towards the end of the series, Eric finds Skorzeny and has a nice battle to the death. This is where the series picks up steam again. But at this point, I can guarantee that it was too little too late as people moved on and no longer watched.

About 16 episodes in, it hit me: Where the hell is Chuck Connors? His menacing portrayal of Janos Skorzeny is what made the first half so great, but soon his character is hardly even mentioned again until the final 5-6 episodes. But Connors himself is nowhere to be found. Only in flashbacks. They used a body double when Skorzeny did make his final appearances, if he did not appear as a werewolf. So after some research, I found out that the producers and Connors had a falling out with the direction of his character, so he decided to call it a day. And his Skorzeny winds up getting killed by Cord.

Then Brian Thompson enters the series as Skorzeny's master and the true head of the bloodline, Nicholas Remy. Eric is WAY too over matched against him and builds a stronger sense of dread for Cord's plight, like when he uses mind control to almost make Eric commit suicide.


Thompson played werewolf master Nicholas Remy

The worst thing here is that the final, what would become, series finale episode is about Eric helping an old woman escape a mental institute. It was like a joke - all of the abused inmates were cheering and clapping as Werewolf Eric led the way out of the hospital like a freakin' clown. This was worse way to end a series even more then having St. Elsewhere being in the mind of child and inside of a snow globe. I would rank it up there. A stand alone episode ends the series. One of too many stand alone episodes. No conclusion.

Here's my take on things that might have improved and saved the series:

1) More Connors. There was too much time between his appearances. Due to his conflict with the producers, I now see why that happened. So a way to rectify this situation would have been to...

2)...shorten the season. Excluding the pilot, 28 episodes is a long season for this type of formula. There were too many stand alone episodes in which the Werewolf becomes more like a superhero instead of monster that Eric is trying to control.

3) Connors is gone, so shorten the season. Have Eric kill Skorzeny around episode 20 or so and introduce Remy in a season finale cliffhanger.

4) Once you introduce the Remy character, stay on the Remy character and reduce the stand alone episodes. Brian Thompson (a really underrated actor for the genre) was excellent as Remy and far more of a threat to Eric then Skorzeny ever was. He was rich, politically powerful and had control over his wolf pack. This could provide a nice balance of episodes where Remy could send other werewolves to intercept Eric and then have some stand alone episodes as well in order to break up that monotomy.

5) Towards the end of the series, Eric started picking up on more of the lycranthropic powers instead of just changing into a werewolf. He was grabbing pieces of Skorzeny's and Remy's property and was able to gain glimpses into their pasts. It would have been great to have Eric start harnessing some more of his senses and powers.

6) Eric was called a "strong werewolf...stronger than Skorzeny" because he killed a wolf of that caliber. I think that every time Eric killed another werewolf, he should get stronger and gain more lycanthropic powers (like I mentioned in item #5) and used them to his advantage. Remy was in a different class than Eric, so he needed to become a stronger beast when he finally had the chance to go "wolfo y wolfo" with Remy.

7) Eric needed to start losing some control to the beast. In the pilot, his best friend Ted told him that he had control over the beast for a short time but soon he liked the power and wanted to change into the werewolf. Maybe Eric could have killed an innocent every now and then to build some tension when he transformed in the presence of people he was trying to help. I NEVER had a feeling that Eric could not control his animalistic rage. Ever. That defeated the purpose of Ted's warning and Eric's sense of urgency to end the curse. It almost seemed to be a slight inconvenience to Eric and that's it. Maybe Eric could have had an internal struggle to commit suicide and end it all.

8) Come on Alamo Joe! So Eric saved Joe's life and pleaded with Joe to save an innocent in return for his surrender(both instances in the episode Nightmare in Blue) and Joe still didn't give this kid any slack. He even caught on to the fact that Eric was trying to kill someone evil and end his own curse. But Joe is too damned worried about that lousy bounty. Joe was such a smart character, but I was annoyed that he had an Indian heritage and went on vision quests, yet could not see that Eric never killed anyone who was not evil. Even Ted - he killed him in self defense after he turned and attacked him (pilot ep). At the end of the episode, everyone was always like "Eric saved me from the guy that was going to kill me and he spared my life. Eric is a good man." Then Joe is always like "F that. I am going to shoot him with a silver bullet." Joe really needed to start getting on Eric's side and help him...maybe if Eric agreed to face justice once he freed his soul from the beast.
Lance LeGault really rocked as Joe btw!

These eight steps could have really helped save the sinking ship of a series. Maybe if there is a "reboot' in the future, which I would fully support, then some or most of the steps I listed above could make it successful.

The official DVD release is this October and I plan in buying the set. Werewolf is good and I can recommend it, but only to those who like werewolf folklore and can have the patience to hang in there when the stand alone episodes bunch up about midway through.



ETMC Extras:


John J. York went on to a steady and successful career in soap operas.

Chuck Connors died in 1992. R.I.P.

Brian Thompson is still doing his thing, playing wacky roles!

Lance LeGault was/is never out of work

Thompson and LeGault appeared together again in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (which is god awful and an easy nominee for Amateur Hour in the future)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Animated giffy!

Someone posted this on IMDB as the first test shot for Ghostbusters 3. Poor Steve Irwin! Some people are smart asses, but others are technically-educated smart asses...

Photobucket

Actually, I was just testing how to get animated gifs into posts. Got it to work, so I hope to be able to post some more in the future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Return of the Living Macho Men? Pee Wee's Left for Dead

What happens when someone mods the PC/XBOX 360 game Left For Dead and replaces the zombie sound effects with sound clips of the "Macho Man" Randy Savage? Hilarity ensues...


video



What if the zombies turn into Pee Wee Hermans? (stick around for the 1:00 mark)



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Amateur Hour: Universal Remote (2007)



How can I begin a review of a movie like Universal Remote? I know...Unfunny. Tries way too hard to be funny and falls flat. I stayed up late the other night and decided to watch this because nothing else was on when I should have just watched the back of my eyelids instead and went to sleep.

The "story" - two guys find a remote that sucks them into TV Land. Not the actual channel TV Land, but a bizarro world of television. A really, really bad bizarro version of television.

I like movies like Amazon Women on the Moon and Kentucky Fried Chicken, so I thought that I would be entertained. Instead, it ended up more like National Lampoon's TV: The Movie, which was a f'n train wreck. It is just a bunch of mock shows and commercials thate are ultimately are enlongated skits.

The humor consists of harsh racially based jokes and stereotypes, a choir "running gag" going on throughout the entire film and an animated piece. There are more aspects to the comedy but that pretty much sums it up.

The Good stuff:
Familar faces - Charlie Murphy ("what did the five fingers say to the face?" lol), Phil LaMarr, Robert Picardo, and Robert Hayes. Man does Hayes look good for a guy his age! And Paige Peterson is hot! Not a familiar face but she got my attention.

There was a shocking part in the film that made me almost jump off my couch in the segment Scary News

The animated short, That Darn Jesus, which was about a young Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the brother James you never heard about, complete with canned laughter like a sitcom

The Devil's Advocate:
Did I mention how unfunny the jokes were?

BTW - the jokes were not funny. I really need to hammer that home to you all

That Darn Jesus was funny at first but went on way too long, like most of the skits. In fact, it was so long that it takes up about a 1/3 of the running time. By the time the segment ended, I forgot that I was watching Universal Remote and not That Darn Jesus: The Animated Series.

The recipe:
1 cup Stay Tuned
1 cup Click
1 cup Amazon Women on the Moon

To complete this concoction - Puree, pour and piss on it. Whoolah!

Verdict
This one earns a landslide EPIC FAIL...hands down!



This how the movie should've been filmed. Way more interesting!


Ratings System:
Must See Cheese - (Awesome)
Check It Out - (Cool)
Epic Fail - (Utter Drek)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Movie Review: Role Models (2008)





Role Models is one of those movies that is fun to watch once, have a laugh and call it a day. It is a lot like I Love You, Man although I would say that the latter is funnier and far more entertaining.

The plot is simple enough: two co-workers for Minotaur Energy drink (a knock at Monster Energy) Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Sean William Scott) have to fulfill 150 hours of community service in order to avoid going to jail. After a combination of both feeling unfulfilled and miserable in his mid-30's as well as getting a marriage proposal rejection from his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks), Danny gets "fueled-up" on his own energy drink product and drives his company's monster truck onto a local high school's mascot statue. The two must successfully complete 150 hours of service at a Big Brothers-inspired organization or else they are headed to the slammer.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well it might be if they were not assigned to Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a foul-mouthed little kid, and Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse...or should I say McLovin from Superbad), a teen with a passion for real-life Medieval battles. I mean he is REALLY into the whole deal.

This is pretty much a predictable, paint-by-numbers comedy but that is what it is meant to be. It is good to see director David Wain bringing The State gang back together again: himself, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney, and Joe Lo Truglio. And the KISS overtunes make for some great lines by Scott ("Love Gun is about Paul Stanley's penis"), the hilarious finale, Rudd serenading his girlfriend Beth to the song Beth (saw this coming a mile away) with his own lyrics, and a credit sequence accompanied by the song Love Gun.


I always thought that Gene Simmons was the tall one in the group (thx IGN!)


Jokes are hit and miss, like Jane Lynch's constantly botched sayings and her bits of advice as well as the "medieval nerd" theme. But Scott and Rudd are hysterical in their respective roles and that is what rises this film from being crap. There is some nudity and an out-of-nowhere abortion joke (Ed. Note: this might only exist in the unrated cut I saw on DVD). Wanna see a waste of time argument? Check out the shit that got stirred because of that scene on the IMDB message boards under a thread entitled "An abortion joke is about as funny as rape."

I would only recommend this film to people that want to put their brain away for a little while and watch some silliness. Also being a fan of Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott helps too. I admit that I am a fan of Rudd who has been great in some recent films: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Anchorman, 40 Year-old Virgin, and I Love You, Man. It always makes me laugh to think that he played the adult Tommy Doyle in that abomination Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers back in '95. He has really come far! In case you are wondering, yes I saw the "Producer's Cut" and I still hate it.

ETMC Extras:

David Wain also directed Wet Hot American Summer. I really need to see this soon because everyone tells me how surprised they are that I have not seen it yet and that I would really enjoy it if I did.

Loved the fact that Rudd and Scott's characters are basically used as legal drug pushers for the Minotaur Energy company. They are sent to local high schools to influence the youth to drink their product instead of illegal drugs. Even though energy drinks (as much as I love them) are just as addicitive and bad for you.

Love Gun was used in another film - Detroit Rock City only it was used in a great opening credit sequence instead of the ending credit sequence.

Ken Jeong, who cracked me up in this summer's The Hangover, shows up as a baddie in this one as well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week and Weekend Recap...

I have been a bit tied up since my root canal incident. Let me recap you on what has been going on outside of the Man Cave...

7/8 - Recovering from my stage 1 tooth repair, I found out that I had to go back to Reston, VA for an emergency work situation. So I had to begin cramming in my work for the next two weeks in three days. Fun, huh?

7/9 - Spent the day making sure that Jules' birthday gifts had arrived in time and spent even more time wrapping the gifts. It takes forever as I am a horrible gift wrapper because, well, I'm a dude. And that talent is not in the average dude genetics. However, they came out perfectly...for what I am use to doing. I would have posted pictures of my accomplishment, but then I would have needed to rename Enter the Man Cave to Enter the Realm of the Effeminate.

Then I went to this place called Cupcakes Gourmet and got Jules an early birthday present. See it here.

Finally, I went with my buddy to the Phillies game, where they staged a comeback against the Reds. Chase Utley hit an inside-the-park home run, which was awesome!!! Never saw one of those live before because they are extremely rare. After the game, the Phillies organization put on a half-hour fireworks show which was f'n fantastic. I did not appreciate that they played that "Boom-Boom-Boom" Black-Eyed Peas song while the fireworks went off. Get it? Boom-Boom-Boom and the firework go BOOM! I got over it though. But I still am not over Will.i.am's crimes against acting.

7/10 - I got my two vicious attack dogs groomed and then de-masculated in the process. Well, the boy got de-masculated. See that here if you are interested (see the second topic). Yeah, they are not really attack dogs and Jules loves the bows so I got the groomers to that for the pups again.

7/11 - Remember that work-cramming stuff? Yeah more cramming...and lots of teleconference calls...and then even more work cramming. Next, I vegged out on the couch and watched Role Models. I am almost finished writing the review for that and will post it later.

7/12 - Our friend went with Jules and myself to the pool, where it was in the 70s and overcast. Not a good pool day, but at least it didn't rain. Night time came along and we partied 'til the break of dawn.

Today - Jules' Mom and her boyfriend took us out for a combined birthday lunch before I took the train to D.C. and then Reston. Also, I gave Jules hger presents and she was SO happy! I am sure a post will go up on that very soon on her blog.

So as you can see, I have been a bit busy as of late but I am hoping to have some more free time to post this week. It was worth it to make Jules' birthday a very special one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What time is it? Tooth-hurty!

SPOILERS...about my life

I spent the Monday morning after the Fourth of July weekend in the endodontist's office getting my root canal repaired after some infection had gotten back into the gum. Mmmm...I hope you all had dinner before reading this! Just kidding. My general dentist performed a root canal procedure back in '05 and all was well until about a month ago. Since I have been traveling all over the place, I finally got a chance to go into the office and get it fixed.
So I am sure you're like:

1) Dude no one gives a s*** about your damn tooth
2) Dude that was a REALLY lame post title
3) Finally, dude stop whining...waaaaahhhhhh!!!!!
I concur, but the reason that I am posting about it is because disinfection fluid was injected into the root canal to clear the infection and right now my tooth feels extremely "itchy" like something is gnawing on my gum. It's driving me nuts and I can't think straight enough to write a post.



This is what I don't have...


So it has been two days of pain and irritation. But they gave me Advil, so that'll help (rolls eyes). I have to go in for a follow-up procedure next Thursday and then if things go well, I have to go back to my regular dentist for a finishing touch. Great, that means I am going back to the scene of the crime - where the bastard could not properly repair it the first time in 2005. Might be time to switch dentists, even though the injury is believed to be one from impact caused by my dumb ass always playing contact sports my whole life.



No this is not my endodontist. No way. He looks crazed! F'n creepy. BTW - it's my Uncle Larry.
(Ed. Note: It's not really my Uncle Larry. I don't even have an Uncle Larry)

Let me also mention that this s*** is expensive. The original root canal in 2005 cost me over $1,000 because I was in grad school and I had NO medical insurance. So if I had let it go, the infection would have quickly gone to my brain and well that would have been that. So I didn't really have a choice. I think I made the right call there. Sometimes when I write silly posts like this, you might not all agree. ;)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Harper's Island - has anyone been watching this show?



NO SPOILERS!!!!!


Maybe I am sucker for anything on television recently that is horror-related, but I have been watching this "special television event" since the very beginning and have been enjoying it thus far. Although I will admit that this series could have been a lot shorter than 13 episodes as things are getting a little too drawn out now in the end.

For those of you who have never heard of it or have seen it, here is a little plot summary:


Harper's Island
is a 13-episode series that centers around a wedding on a secluded West Coast island. Sounds kinda nice, right? Well it would be if it was not for a serial killer offing the guests. Some years ago, a serial killer went on a vicious rampage by killing several people on the island before being shot and killed by the local police. Now the murders are happening again as the mainlanders come to the little island. Is the original killer really dead? Is there a copycat killer? Is one of the wedding guests the murderers? Why are the murders coinciding with the arrival of the wedding guests? Lots of questions and lots of suspects. Each week one or more of these suspects are killed off in some inventive ways, with the killer's identity to be revealed in the last episode.



Cassidy is pretty albeit a child of celebrity privledge. Kinda looks like her dad as a brunette.


The cast is pretty good for this quality of show. There are mix of recognizable faces and unknowns. For example, the most "well-known" actor on the show is Harry Hamlin (Perseus in Clash of the Titans and L.A. Law). By "well known", I mean a large variety of age ranges would recognize him. The other well known faces include: Richard Burgi (Hostel 2 and alot more), Katie Cassidy as a brunette(Taken and When a Stranger Calls remake), Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica remake), Adam Campbell (Date Movie, Epic Movie and all those f'n types of movies), and Cameron Richardson (Open Water 2 and but more importantly - she is beautiful!).



Cameron Richardson


One of the things that I like about this show is that it does not hold back in terms of the gore. The first murder, while improbable in real life, is a very cool on-screen murder especially for one that is on CBS for Pete's sake (whoever the hell Pete is)! The second murder made my jaw drop. Not only was it unexpected and broke convention, but it was also a vicious slaughter.
My biggest fear was that after monumental ratings were achieved for the first episode, the ratings declined drastically and the show was moved from the original Thursday 10pm slot
to Saturday nights. This usually means cancellation in TV land. The show itself plays out like an extended horror film, including dumb characters doing the wrong and dumb things that no one in real life would ever do along with a heavy dose of blood and guts - literally. So I think a lot of the old-bitties in the CBS audience saw the first two gory as hell murders in the first episode, freaked out and fled. Guess it is not was expected on "Must See TV" Thursday nights. The audience that the show is targeted at still remains in tact.

The move to Saturday nights had me fearing cancellation and an unresolved murder. Luckily the show was contracted to air all 13 filmed episodes, so it would not be time invested with no return - like the dickheads do constantly over at FOX (Reunion, Tru Calling, Brimstone, Terminator: TSCC - I could keep going on and on). Come to find out, the ratings are not
that bad for a Saturday night television program and Nielsen ratings still do not recognize DVR viewership, which is a large yet neglected audience sample. It reall taints the "oh so holy" (yeah, right) ratings system for me. I DVR every television program that I watch except for live sporting events! But this is another statement I should rant about another time.

So this coming Saturday (7/11) is the two-hour finale where everything is going to tie-in together and the audience finally gets to find out the identity of the murderer. I threw a guess out in the second or third episode and the last few episodes have been painting that character to be the killer. Again, no spoilers - so I am keeping a gag order in this post. But I really hope I am wrong because it is too obvious now.

If you like horror, mysteries and are not turned off by gore or cheesy acting, I recommend this to you. Just avoid reading/hearing any spoilers and hang in there on some of the later episodes. Someone told me today that Netflix has episodes 1-11 for download, so it will be worth your time to catch up.

And if there is anyone in the blog universe reading ETMC and has seen this show, please let me know your thoughts. I am curious to hear other opinions.



Your Save the Date Invitation!