Monday, January 30, 2006

Hollywood Update

Pirates is coming out with a sequel later this year, meanwhile the third in the series is filming. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the guy that did the original Pirates, I’m sure it will be a crowd pleaser and a box office success. It looks like rumors that Keith Richards playing a cameo as Depp’s father in either the sequel or the third in the trilogy are only rumors, as IMDB has not credited him in either movie. If you like the first then you’ll definitely like the second and third. Especially with the return of Keira Knightley, and the debut of Vanessa Branch.

The Sin City sequel is in pre-production, and is due out in ‘08. Frank Miller in a recent interview was asked if there’s a possibility of a third in the series, and he responded that he’s already in talks for a 4,5, and 6 in the series, as well as a TV series.

Andre; Heart of a Giant, a sports documentary, is due out shortly. Having actors portray pro-wrestlers (Terry Funk, Bruno Sammartino, and director/writer Drew Sky (who?) as Vince), it will almost assuredly be a flop, even among the loyal wrestling marks. An interesting note is that Matthew McGrory was slated to play Andre; he even did some filming, before he unfortunately passed away in August ‘05. Best knows for his role in Big Fish as the giant, he has also starred in House of 1000 Corpses (HB Winner), as well as the sequel The Devil’s Rejects, as Tiny.

Lastly, Seth MacFarlane, creator, writer, director, and voice of Family Guy is heading up a new project called Family Union, which will be a Family Guy family reunion. Most likely it will be the format of the other Family Guy movie, a three-part series of episodes.

That’s all for now. Read this article on about a movie that documents the film rating process, it sounds like an interesting flick.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sirius Reviewed

There are currently over 3 million Sirius subscribers. Cursing, commercial-free music, Howard Stern uncensored, and plenty of selection from bluegrass music to blue-collar comedy are all just a taste of what Sirius has to offer. What’s not to like?

If there is a downside to Sirius, it’s that there is too much content. I don’t think the average satellite radio subscriber is going to listen to sports, dance, country, christian, gay/lesbian, rock, and pop content. Essentially, you’re paying for services that you’ll never use. If Sirius had different packages for people that just want rock or Stern or rap, I think they would have a lot more subscribers, just like you have basic cable TV packages, and your extras like HBO and Showtime and Stars. Give people one-tenth the amount of the channels filled with content that is interesting and relevant to their life, and Sirius would be much more popular.

Of course, my review of Sirius would not be complete without mentioning the Howard Stern Show. Unlike many of the other channels on Sirius, the Stern show is NOT commercial-free (about 6 minutes an hour), just so everyone has time to get a quick breakfast or bathroom break, etc. Also, the acquisition of George Takei (Star Trek’s Captain Sulu) as the announcer of the Stern show is absolutely perfect. He fits into the show like a piece of an elaborate jigsaw puzzle, like he’s been in the studio with them for years. He’s a great addition to the show, even if he is only signed for the first week. A gay asian with a deep, soothing voice is pure entertainment (nh).

Something very smart that Stern has done for his west coast fans, and fans that aren’t able to catch his broadcast live the first time around (on Howard 100), is to pre-empt his show two hours later on his other channel (Howard 101). This means that for everyone that doesn’t wake up ungodly early, you can listen to the second playing and not miss out on anything. And if you still can’t catch either the live or pre-empted airing, there’s a replay at night.

Something that I find interesting about Sirius is the text that scrolls across the Sirius receiver. You get scores for sport events, the band name and title of the song that you’re listening to, and any message that the DJ wants to convey.

The verdict; Sirius is a very entertaining medium. No matter what kind of music I feel like listening to, I have an entire channel with nothing but that genre. Stern’s show is funny, especially with the new addition of vulgarity (I don’t care what anyone says, sometimes a joke is better with swearing), but it’s more or less a five minute bit then fifteen minutes of, “I can’t believe we just did/said that, we can do/say whatever we want here and no one can do anything about it!” Not to say that the show isn’t funny and entertaining, but I’m sure eventually Stern will find his groove.

Other things to consider; the cost of the receiver, cost of monthly subscription (or one time cost of the lifetime subscription), and possible poor reception if you live in the boonies or if it’s raining (at first I had very bad reception, but after putting the antennae outside it’s much better). All that being said, I give Sirius 4 / 5 stars!

It could be better if it didn’t have so much worthless content to me, and if I didn’t have to put the antennae outside to get a decent reception (better yet if the antennae was just like a cell phone antennae and could actually get reception inside a building). Also, the receiver I bought has no battery, so I can’t listen to it unless it’s plugged in. There are some receivers that have built-in batteries, but they are very expensive and you also have to buy either the home or the car kits.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Band Camp Review

NOTE: I'm very biased with this movie.

If you didn’t like any of the first three in the American Pie series, you definitely won’t like the latest installment. I can best describe Band Camp as Ernest Goes To Camp meets American Pie.

Here’s the jist; Matt Stiffler (Steve’s younger brother) is sentenced to attend Band Camp as punishment for a high school prank. To impress his older brother, he uses spy cameras and sleezeball tactics to take Girls-Gone-Wild-esk videos of the girl’s showers.

Directed by Steve Rash, this movie is at least as entertaining as the other A.P. movies. Something that brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the series is the absence of the majority of the original cast members. That means NO Sean William Scott (he would have cost too much). After all, he’s been in a movie with The Rock, and that means that he’s good.

As usual, you can expect the normal A.P. gags, such as ingesting bodily fluids and humping inanimate objects. And watch out for the bearded guitar player in the campfire scene, it’s Chris Rash, my former-neighbor when I lived in LA. (By neighbor, I mean there was about three inches between my room and his, God love the 100 year old Fraternity house.)

You pretty much know what to expect going into this movie. It’s no comedic masterpiece, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Great one-liners, Eugene Levy is terrific, and call it my low-brow sense of humor, but I give this movie 3.0 / 5 stars!

By the way, tons and tons of naked Playboy Playmate titties.