Sunday, November 27, 2005

Futurama News!

It has been rumored for more than two years, but now it seems pretty much confirmed; Futurama is back!

The only question that remains is, in what capacity? It will either be brought back as a TV series, or as a movie, the later of the two being the more likely choice. If it is revived as a movie, it will probably be a straight-to-DVD release, and most likely a three-episode format, just like the Family Guy movie.

The Futurama project has a tentative release date of sometime in 2007, with very few other details available. All the major voices (Bender, Leela, Fry, and Zoidberg) are apparently committed to the project, but all you really need is Billy West, who has apparently done every cartoon voice ever.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Oz Season 1 Reviewed

The first HBO original series, which debuted in 1997, set in a maximum-security prison, follows the inmates of Emerald City, an experimental cell block that is designed to rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them for a healthy and productive life after their sentence is served.

This show has everything you would expect of a real prison; drug (aka tits) trafficking, guard corruption, murder, aryans, muslims, jews, athletes, blacks, whites, italians, and lots of fags and gay raping. The inmates of Em City are there for crimes ranging from selling drugs to murder, and are serving sentences ranging from a few months to many consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. From cop killers to cannibals, this show has everything.

What makes the show especially interesting is that it’s narrated by a black wheelchair-bound inmate. This unique prospective from someone that is an Em city veteran as well as being handicapped provides the audience with a point of view that you normally wouldn’t think about.

In my opinion, the most interesting storyline of the first season revolves around a new inmate named Tobias Beecher, a middle class middle-aged white guy with the worst luck in the world. He would up in Em City because he got drunk and drove into a little girl riding a bike. Watching him adapt to prison life and getting pushed around is easily the most entertaining sub-plot of the show.

I would say more about the other storylines, but for those that haven’t already seen it I don’t want to spoil the entire season. If you can get past the very frequent male nudity, this show is excellent. There are subtle religious and social undertones that parallel aspects of life outside the walls of Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility. The beginning of an empire for HBO and their original series’, and a terrific show with great acting, writing, and direction. Definitely check out season 1 of Oz. My rating, 4.5 / 5 stars!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sirius Radio: The Case For and Against

Inspired by Fitz’s recent article about Stern moving to Sirius, here’s a point by point argument for if satellite radio is worth it, or not.

1: Commercial Free – Although Stern has admitted that he will have a few commercials, just so he can have time to set up segments, every other satellite radio channel is commercial free. Worth the cost of $13 a month, maybe.

2: The Talent – For the housewives, Martha Stewart. For the rest of us, Stern and his sidekicks. I do agree with Fitz in that Artie is the best part of the Stern show. I don’t think, however, that Artie will leave the Stern Sirius show. His Hollywood career pretty much reads like the obituaries, and I don’t think many other opportunities will present themselves for Artie. And that’s not a bad thing, because he’s great on Stern’s show. Is the talent worth the monthly subscription, probably not.

3: The Channels – Over 120 channels of any kind of music you would care to listen to; pop, rap, rock, christian, jazz, blues, classical and more. Also, sports, news, live performances, talk, traffic, weather, even religion and family programming. Worth the monthly subscription, probably.

4: The Hardware – The bad news is you have to buy the receiver. The good news is that all the receivers have built-in FM transmitters, which means you can take the receiver between your car and home stereo, and if you have a media center computer you can record the FM transmittions of Sirius broadcasts. Also, some of the receivers have internal memory, so you can record up to 44 minutes, rewind and fastforward the live broadcasts from the receiver. Also, there’s a special sport receiver that delivers scores for any college or professional sport to the display on the receiver. Is the receiver worth the money, definitely maybe.

5: The Monthly Subscription – This is what it all comes down to. Though the first three aren’t deal makers or breakers by themselves, when you take them all into account it’s a pretty sweet package. Is it worth the money, in my opinion, yes. There are a few plans in addition to the $13 monthly subscription. There is a 1 year plan for $143 (1 month free), 2 year plan for $272 (3 months free), and a lifetime plan for $500 (lifetime of 4 receivers, not your entire lifetime).

I hate to make this seem like an ad for Sirius, but in my opinion Sirius is worth it. Even without Stern and his sidekicks, you still have tons of content at your disposal whether you’re in the car, at home, at work, or anywhere else.

I stayed away from the cable TV analogy because at this point it’s cliché and isn’t really even valid. People are more comfortable paying for something they can see, as opposed to something they are just going to listen to. If you’re still not sure if you’re ready to take the Sirius plunge, check out their site for a free online trial (no credit card required).