Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Best Cartoon / Adult Swim Shows

The criteria for being on this list is very simple; the show must last more than one season, and the show must be consistently funny.

1. Futurama
2. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
3. Family Guy
4. Squidbillies
5. Metalocalypse
6. Harvey Birdman
7. Venture Bros.
8. Robot Chicken
9. The Boondocks

I would have elaborated more, even made it a three part post, but I’m working on the HB awards which will be tough enough. Or should I bother, since it seems that blogging is pretty much dead?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Movies Coming in 2010

Boob Job – Just sounds good.

Colossus – Possible X-Men spin off?

Devil May Cry – Another video game movie that will probably suck, they always do.

G.I. Joe – Following in the trend of revitalizing childhood TV shows into big budget blockbuster movies. Is it just me, or should some shows like G.I. Joe be left alone? Isn’t it enough that it was a great cartoon growing up, now it has to be something totally different?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Hawaii Five-0 – This 12 season TV show is being repackaged, just like every other TV show from 30 years ago. Lets get some original ideas injected into Hollywood instead of recycling old movies and TV shows.

Hercules – Hopefully Brock Lesnar won’t try to play Hercules in this one. Instead, I recommend Chinese Hercules.

Mighty Mouse – Another repackaged blah blah blah.

Mortal Kombat: Devistation – The first Mortal Kombat movie was one too many.

Puss In Boots – Will it be too much that this movie is coming out the same year as the next Shrek? Will anybody care since Shrek 3 sucked so badly?

Rainbow Six – Video game movies, once again, don’t work. Hopefully someday, someone will prove me wrong and make a good video game movie.

Sherlock Holmes – This could actually be a very good movie, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Shrek 4 – This will have to be an amazing movie to overcome the badness of Shrek 3.

Underdog – Good cartoon, bad G rated repack. Also, didn’t this already happen?

Untitled Clive Barker / Edgar Allan Poe Project – Clive is arguably the finest horror movie man in the business. No matter if he’s a producer, director, or writer the movies are generally very good, so this should be a movie to look forward to. He’s also writing/producing a remake of Hellraiser (due out in 2008).

Untitled Justice League of America Project – Most likely the Batman/Superman movie everyone’s been speculating about.

Bryan Singer is set to product, direct, and write the new Superman movie (due out in 2009) Superman: The Man of Steel. Chris Nolan is set to direct and write the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight, which will deal greatly with the Joker (due out in 2008).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Horri-Bill Awards Return

Categories will include WORST; Actress, Actor, Athlete, Movie, TV show, Man of the Year, Woman of the Year, Band/Atrist, and Honorary (aka The Craven). Leave your nominations in the comments section, along with your reason(s) for the nomination.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Zelda Twilight Princess – Reviewed (aka Post #100!)

Between Iowa and this video game, I’ve been basically removed from the real world for about seven weeks. Not too long before I went to Iowa I got the Nintendo Wii game system, and to sum it up really briefly; best video game system ever. Also, before this Zelda game, I had not played video games for about five years (and I had never played any of the Zelda games for any Nintendo game console).

The reason I liked this game is twofold. Number one; the unique controller (or wii-mote) makes for a very cool interface between you and the sword-wielding Link. Number two; the game was just plain fun. It was easy enough to follow, there were a few surprises, and it was enjoyable to play.

The new Zelda game starts out with a ton of training and setting up the main storyline, but once all that stuff is over with the real fun begins. Throughout the game Link will transform into a wolf, then back to human Link many (many) times. Both forms of Link have certain objectives to complete along with limitations and special abilities.

There are some very cool weapons you gain access to as you advance in the game, along with many different environments (such as a volcano, a desert, a snowy mountain, and an underwater temple), all of which propose their own unique difficulties.

I played the game for 72 hours before beating it, and that was with tons of help from the internets. That is the one gripe I have about this game, though it is a flaw of many video games (even the ones I use to play a long time ago), you either need to shell out the cash for the official strategy guide, or you need to get help from a website. If I’m not smart enough to figure it out on my own, then the game is too hard.

Now that I’m off my soapbox, this is the best game I’ve played since the original Resident Evil for the original Playstation. This game is as challenging as it is fun, and I give this game 4.75 / 5 stars! If you have a Wii (or Game Cube) definitely pick up Twilight Princess. Don’t bother renting it, unless you can actually dedicate 72 straight hours without sleep or eating to this game. And as crazy as it sounds, I’m actually going to play through it again, this time completely all the little extra objectives that are nearly impossible to complete.

Oh, one more thing. Horri-Bill Awards are making a come back, more details coming soon!

Monday, May 14, 2007

West Des Moines Reviewed

Lets face it, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, just cornfields, overalls, and straw hats. Instead what I got was more like a scaled down version of St. Louis. This place has a microbrewery, a huge 20-screen movie theater, a good selection of both fast food and sit-down restaurants, a horse track, and (something that every town absolutely needs) tons of hot girls.

There is also a really nice bar called Drink, where I was witness to 2 absolutely smokin hot girls not only making out with each other, but groping as well…it was like I was watching a porno on spectravisiono. Also, one of my co-workers tried to get me laid. Here’s how the conversation went:

Chris - “Hey, my name is Chris, how are you?”
Random girl - “Fine.”
Chris - “This is my friend, Bill.”
Random girl - “I don’t care.”

Moving along, Granite City, the microbrewery/restaurant, isn’t particularly great. There are only 4 house beers; light, dark, stout, and something else that’s not as good as a regular beer. But the atmosphere is very nice, there’s a patio so you can enjoy a sunny day and Bud Light. Also, there’s a Chilijs right next to the hotel, and there are nothing but cute waitresses working there.

I’ve been working overnights for 2 weeks, so I haven’t seen too much of the city. However, I have had the opportunity to observe the locals, and the people here aren’t rednecks or even farmers. This part of Des Moines is more ritzy, like a North county, yet the people seem very down to earth. There’s still the occasional monster truck, but you’ve got to expect a few bad apples.

Something that would surprise a lot of people is the kind of music that is popular here – Slipknot, Mudvayne, Hatebreed, and other super-heavy rock bands. The reason for this is very simple; Corey Taylor (lead singer for Slipknot and Stone Sour) was born and raised in Des Moines. It’s the same effect Nelly had in St. Louis, but Taylor’s bands are much more successful, plus this is a city with not a lot to celebrate.

I wouldn’t make it a point to vacation here, or even put West Des Moines very high on a list to move to if the opportunity presented itself, but it’s not a bad place, and is much better than you would think.

On a totally unrelated note, the other day I apparently received a cease and desist letter from Charter Communications, ordering me to stop downloading The Sopranos. It sounds to me like Charter Communications only cares about the downloading of shows that are broadcasted on premium channels, even if you subscribe to these channels, but Charter Communications doesn’t care about the downloading of network TV shows, movies, pirated software, or child pornography. (Legal Disclaimer: This is not an admission of being in non-compliance with the DMCA)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The 5 (six) Most Successful Stand Up Comics

2.5 Chris Rock – One really great stand up, Bring the Pain (1996), one great/very good stand up, Bigger and Blacker (1999) and one stand up that I don’t remember being very good, Never Scared (2004). Unfortunately, Rock hasn’t had a great deal of success outside of his stand up.

Rock’s most notable movie is Lethal Weapon 4, playing second fiddle to Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, and opposite Joe Pesci. However, this SNL and In Living Color alumni has been in other hit movies such as Dogma, Doctor Dolittle, and Madagascar. His resume of Hollywood flops is more extensive: Beverly Hills Ninja, Pootie Tang, Osmosis Jones (which I actually didn't hate), The Longest Yard, and most recently I Think I Love My Wife (written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock).

Rock is responsible for the TV series Everybody Hates Chris. As lame as the title is, an obvious rip off of Everybody Loves Raymond, it’s apparently a pretty successful show, though I’ve never seen it.

As a general rule with Chris Rock, whenever his face is on the screen or he’s involved creatively, it’s going to be a bomb (unless you add a second generation Jew hater, a washed-up and over-the-hill black guy, and a very little Italian man). If he’s providing his voice for a cartoon, it will suck. But if it’s a CG flick, then it’s a hit.

Chris Rock, like Murphy, also had a hit song “No Sex In the Champaign Room”, which was a spoof of Baz Lurhman’s “Sunscreen”. Currently, Rock has Bee-Movie in post-production, Madagascar 2 filming, and 2 other announced projects. He’s a very funny guy, and he gets plenty of work. The main reason he’s on the list is because his stand ups. Lets not forget, this is the guy that mainstreamed the term “salad tossin’”.

2. Jerry Seinfeld – A household name, due to his popular show about nothing. The show was an incredible success for many reasons, in my opinion largely because everybody could relate to it, not just the middle class. The show managed to last 180 episodes (that’s 9 seasons) because of Seinfeld’s ability to take an everyday situation and turn it into something outrageously funny.

The show produced numerous stars, such as Michael Richards (starred in the Weird Al cult classic UHF), Jason Alexander (played opposite Jack Black in Shallow Hal), Wayne Knight (Newman), and Patrick Warburton (Putty) to name just a few. Putty has some great quotes from the show, my favorite being when he got his new 8-ball coat: Elaine - “You’re not going to wear that thing all the time, are you?” Putty - “All signs point to yes!”

Seinfeld has a few stand ups, but the only one I’ve seen, I’m Telling You for the Last Time, debuted on HBO in 1998. There’s nothing that stands out from that stand up, just some great comedy from one of the greatest comics of all time.

Seinfeld has been laying low since the show ended, and has been living off the DVD sales, which slumped during the Michael Richards incident. As of late, Seinfeld has been involved in the sure-to-be smash hit Bee-Movie, putting down a voice for one of the bees as well as writing and producing.

1. Eddie Murphy - The only stand up comic with 2 really great stand up specials, Raw (1987) and Delirious (1983). Ed got his break on SNL doing impressions of Buckwheat, Gumby, and the late great hardest working man in show-business James Brown (too hot in the hot tub!). Many people say that he is the most successful SNL alumnus. Classic bits of his stand up routine include impressions of his drunken Puerto Rican father, Stevie Wonder, Bill Cosby, rants on gays, Michael Jackson, not to mention his incredible and classic “nerdy white guy” impressions.

He made some great non-family movies in the early part of his Hollywood career, such as 48 Hours, Another 48 Hours, the Beverly Hills Cop trilogy, Coming To America, Trading Places, and Vampire In Brooklyn. After Vamp in Brooklyn, he started acting in family oriented movies, such as Mulan, The Nutty Professor, Doctor Dolittle, and numerous Shrek projects.

Recently, Murphy has been doing more Oscar-worthy movies, and has signed on for some Romeo and Juliet film, another family comedy currently named Nowhereland, and Shrek 4 (due in 2010). Something tells me that Ed is preparing for his next divorce, being as he has 5 announced projects over the next 3 years.

And let's not forget his hit song of 1986 "Party All The Time" (#7 out of 100 on the Billboard Charts for the year).

Honorable Mention (in no particular order): Andrew “Dice” Clay (anything he's done, even his new show), Artie Lange (Beer League, It's The Whiskey Talkin, every day he's on the Stern Show), Dane Cook (I don't care how many people "don't get" his comedy), Sarah Silverman (Jesus is Magic), Dave Letterman, Sam Kinison, Jim Breuer, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Attell, Lisa Lampanelli, George Carlin, Bill Cosby, Jim Carrey, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Joan Rivers, Adam Sandler, Lewis Black, Kathy Griffin, Jeff Foxworthy, Howie Mandel, Norm MacDonald, Drew Carey, Dana Carvey, Louis C.K., Gallagher, Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Denis Leary, Gilbert Gottfried, Tim Allen, Bill Maher, Andy Kaufman, and Reverend Bob Levy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The 5 Most Successful Stand Up Comics

Criteria for being on this list; at least one classic stand up, and a successful career of any kind (be it stand up, movies, etc.)

5. Dave Chappelle – Still a relatively young comedian and actor, Chappelle had an insanely funny stand up, Killin’ Them Softly (2000), and a very successful TV show. Though he went legally insane for a while and moved to Africa (some say to kick some kind of addiction), he’s got a great mind for comedy.

Dave got his big break in Half Baked (which he also wrote), but sadly hasn’t done a single movie with a great deal of success since then. He does, however, have an “in-development” deal, which means it will be a couple years until we see something new from Dave, be it movie or TV series.

Killin’ Them Softly is wall-to-wall laughter, with subject matter that includes coming to grips with being famous, Bill Clinton’s blowjob scandal, the corruption of police and the government, and how bad ghettos have gotten. His wildly successful TV series had a great mix of music, stand up, and comedy bits (the most famous being the Rick James segments), not to mention the support of a very important demographic, high school and college students.

Chappelle has one other stand up, which I haven’t seen, For What It’s Worth (2004).

4. David Spade – One of the funniest stand up specials of all time, Take the Hit (1998). Although Take the Hit is the only stand up that’s been released by Spade, coupled with his very successful Hollywood career, it’s enough to land Spade a spot in my top 5.

This former SNL star has been on 2 great TV shows (excluding SNL), The Showbiz Show and Just Shoot Me. At first, I thought that he was nothing more than a Chris Farley sidekick, but shortly before Farley's death Spade decided to spread his wings, and eventually landed a spot on Just Shoot Me (playing the effeminate yet mouthy secretary for a popular fashion magazine). Spade has starred in some very funny movies such as Dickie Roberts, Black Sheep, Tommy Boy, PCU, and (written and starred in) Joe Dirt.

Take the Hit is a bit more topical than other stand ups, but I would say it still stands the test of time. JonBenet Ramsey, episiotomy operations, growing up in Arizona, teenage dating, and “…things that never happened, people I’ve never met” are some of the great Spade bits of this classic stand up. Plus, he has dated (is dating?) Heather Locklear.

3. Richard Pryor – This isn’t just the man that paved the way for “dirty” comics, he revolutionized stand up comedy. His stand up was the beginning of political in-correctness. He was able to inject humor into normally unfunny and racially tense situations, pointing out the absurdity of racism. The only super funny Pryor material I remember (from the 2 stand ups I’ve seen) would be the difference between a black guy and a white guy getting away from a snake.

Pryor had his own TV show for a short while, and did a few bad movies. His downfall was trying to get away from his roots of cursing and controversial material. Superman 3, The Muppet Movie, and Car Wash are a few of his more famous movies (and apparently, he was involved in writing Blazing Saddles). His more well known stand ups are Live in Concert (1979) and Live and Smokin’ (1971). Richard Pryor died in December 2005 of a heart attack in Los Angeles.

Coming Soon...the top 2 stand up comics, and runners up!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

4 Quick Reviews

Black Snake Moan - Very good movie, sexy and slutty Christina Ricci is almost highly naked for the entire movie and just as hot as ever. Ricci plays a nympho, opposite an ex-blues artist Sam Jackson, who tries to help Ricci's character out through a very tough time in a very odd way. 3.5 / 5 Stars!

Foo Fighters: Skin and Bones - A live concert, an excellent set complete with plenty of great Foo hits. 4.5 / 5 Stars!

Ghost Rider - Nick Cage plays the Rider, in this the latest installment of Marvel comic book movies. This film is right at home with other Marvel films such as Elektra, X-Men 3, and The Hulk. One more bad Marvel movie and I don't think they'll be able to dig out of a hole that deep. Another classic Nick Cage performance, for that reason (along with sound, writing, direction, and just general shittiness) I give Ghost Rider 1 / 5 Stars. Don't bother...unless you go into it thinking 'comedy', then it could be very entertaining.

Smokin' Aces - This movie was everything that Ocean's 11 should have been, but it's got more of a Snatch flavor. Plus, it has Jeremy Piven in it which is an automatic plus. Piven plays a modern day Sinatra that is the target of the FBI, the mafia, bail bondsmen, and numerous hitmen. 3.5 / 5 Stars!

Monday, February 19, 2007

This Film Is Not Yet Rated: Reviewed

The biggest mystery and the best kept secret in Hollywood is why a movie gets a certain rating. Why is it more acceptable to show a thousand orphans getting shot and killed (PG-13) than it is to drop more than one F-bomb (R)?

The director of the film is Kirby Dick. He also stars in the film, and is quick to point out that the MPAA's (Motion Picture Association of America) rating system is voluntary. However, the difference between an NC-17 and R rating could mean tens of millions of dollars, and a director has no choice but to bow to the MPAA's suggestions (unless they don't like to eat). There is an appeals process, which is more of a formality, in which a director can speak their case as to why their movie should get a lower rating.

The identities of the people that rate the films for the MPAA are kept confidential. Dick decided to hire a P.I. to find out who these people were, and if they do in fact represent the "average American parent" (which has at least one child between 5 and 17). It is revealed that very few of the nine film raters have children that fall into that age range, which by the MPAA's own definition means that they do not represent the "average American parent". What's even more interesting is that only nine people (plus their few bosses) have the final say on what rating a movie gets, and ultimately if that movie will ever be released.

Are there "too many" pumps in a sex scene, the duration of an orgasm, what sexual positions are used, how many people are having sex, if there are gay/lesbian situations, and explicit language are all factors that film raters take into consideration. The restrictions for violence are significantly looser, though just as fuzzy. If blood appears as a result of voilence, then an R rating is pretty much guaranteed (but Wolverine can stab as many guys in the chest as he wants, as long as no blood is shown it's alright for PG-13).

These are not rules, more guidelines that the MPAA has never defined to the public. This means that a director really has no idea what rating their film will receive. And just because some movies can get away with saying tons of curse words and showing nudity, sexual situations, blood-letting-violence, and gayness doesn't mean that other movies will get a similar rating. For instance, if someone made a movie that shows a vagina for 2 seconds (The Cooler), it would most likely get a rating of NC-17. Why then would other movies (Basic Instinct) that shows a vagina for no good reason at all receive an R rating?

This film has interviews with plenty of directors you've heard of and seen their movies (Matt Stone, Kevin Smith, Mary Harron) as well as interviews with Hollywood insiders, and even interviews with former MPAA film raters.

The movie really completes documenting the process of how a movie receives it's rating by showing how This Film Is Not Yet Rated dealt with the MPAA. No surprise, it got rated NC-17 basically because it showed the "dirty" parts of the NC-17 films, but it shows these parts to display how ridiculous it was that these movies got their ratings because of one scene, sometimes one second of footage.

I give this film 4 / 5 stars. There's so much information in this movie, and Kirby Dick really does a great job of not being like Michael Moore as much as possible. It's pointed out that in Europe, the movie industry has almost the exact opposite priorities when it comes to "voluntary" censorship. The European films are more free when it comes to sex, but very strict when it comes to violence.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

WWE Royal Rumble

The Undertaker won his first Royal Rumble, which is huge news, especially considering he has been in WWF for about 230 years. It's also the first time entry #30 has won the Rumble.

Read more here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Idiocracy: Reviewed

This is a Mike Judge film (Office Space, Beavis and Butthead) which is a DVD release. It never made it to theaters for a couple reasons which I will go into later.

The film starts out explaining that 500 years in the future the world will be inhabited by morons. Stupid people reproduce while smart people wait to have children for very good reasons, but this results in the world being overpopulated by idiots.

The main reason why this film wasn't accepted by Fox for theatrical release is the light commentary on conglomerates such as Carl's Jr. (Hardees), Starbucks, Costco, and Gatorade (it's got electrolytes). As a result of these companies having monopolies in their fields, coffee costs as much as a modern-day trip to Europe (but the good news is it does include a "happy ending") and the economy is entirely dependent on these companies succeeding. I don't really think that says anything evil about these corporations, but Fox apparently did.

Luke Wilson plays the lead role as an army private that is volunteered for an experiment to be cryogenically frozen for one year, but due to an army mishap, he and his female counterpart, played by Maya Rudolph, wake up 500 years later. When Luke wakes up, he finds he is the smartest person in the world.

Supporters include David Herman (Michael Bolton from Office Space), Horatio Sanz (though he's not credited even by IMDB) and appearances by Stephen Root (Office Space, Dodgeball), and Thomas Haden Church (Spiderman 3, Sideways and Wings).

The other reason, in my opinion, why it wasn't released in theaters is because the movie isn't great. I do think Fox would have made a decent profit by doing a nation-wide theatrical release, however there's nothing hilarious about this movie, and Fox thought it's resources would be best spent elsewhere. It is kinda funny, but not the funniest thing I've ever seen. I give this movie 2.5 / 5 stars, it's more or less an average comedy.