Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Issues With Apatow

Monday night, I watched "Inside The Actors Studio," which sometimes features interesting actors and others affiliated with the entertainment industry. But this episode really made my blood boil.
I'll preface this by saying I strongly disagree with the practice of putting a star or well-known personality on the show around the same time their movie is about to open in theatres. This show used to be above such cheap Hollywood marketing tactics, but not even host James Lipton is above it now.
This week's guest was writer/director Judd Apatow, best known for resurrecting the teen sex & drug comedies that were popular 20 years ago. I'm not a big fan at all. It's just not my cup of tea. So, as they were discussing his work, which includes "The 40 Year Old Virgin," and his latest effort, "Funny People," one particular comment from Lipton made me cringe.
He was leading in to a clip from the movie "Knocked Up," with Seth Rogen, and was quoting from a highly resputable source (something like "Time" magazine, "Newsweek," or a major newspaper) about how that was the "summer that Apatow & (Seth) Rogen saved comedy," then spouted this stomach-turning phrase: "Let's take a look at a clip to see why (he named the publication) calls it "an instant classic."
Hang on a second. Back up a moment. Excuse me, whaaaaaaaat?!? "Knocked Up" an "instant classic"? I almost became instantly ill. Yes, I saw it, and I'm no prude, but in no way, shape or form should that, or any of Apatow's work be considered "classics." It's rude, crude humor that succeeds where it's meant to, and doesn't rise above the level of the lowest common denominator of moviegoers.
So, I take issue with Mr. Apatow, as well as James Lipton, for labeling such material (or at least repeating it) and addressing it as "classic."
These are movies that will never win Oscars. They're popcorn movies good for a few immature laughs and nothing more. And please, spare me the "well, it had a good message" argument. The only one of his movies I'll buy with that defense is "The 40 Year Old Virgin" which did wind up with a positive message (at the very end of the movie).
They just don't make movies like we used to, and unfortunately, most people, like sheep, will agree with whatever the Hollywood machine feeds them. They'll say it's good, even if it's garbage.
Take my advice, if you want to watch a classic comedy, dig deep and pick something like a Marx Brothers or Charlie Chaplin film. Trust me, there are hundreds of choices of real humor out there. Tickle your funny bone with something that won't make you squeamish and wish you had 90 minutes of your life back.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Comic-Con 2009 Comes To A Close

It's over. Finis. Kaput. This year's Comic-Con in San Diego has come to a close. But for thousands of fans from all over, it was a huge success, giving sneak previews of big budget movies and highly anticipated TV shows.
And don't forget, we'll have a special PopSnap! podcast this week to highlight some of the bits and pieces.
Most every media outlet was there, but here's /Film's wrap of the big event:

Comic-Con: A Massive Round-Up of All Our Comic-Con Coverage | /Film

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Ben Silverman Leaves NBC

There goes another NBC Programming exec. Not a big surprise. For my money, no NBC Programming chief will ever match Brandon Tartikoff, king of '80s TV.
Ben Silverman Leaves NBC: Exit the Hitmaker (with No Hits)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Does This Ad Freak You Out?

Personally, I hate these (not so new) Six Flags TV spots. Time magazine now has an article behind them, with some pretty harsh criticism. Judge for yourself. While we're on the subject, I think a lot of people have forgotten about the semi-racist Six Flags ads featuring the same campaign with an Asian character a few years ago. He spoke with a thick accent using the same "More flags, more fun" motto. Not long after that, he was replaced with the old man. The music in the ads is equally annoying.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Revenge Of The Clarinet

A "Star Wars" concert tour is flying across the planet. "Star Wars in Concert" will feature a symphony orchestra and choir performing composer John Williams' music from the six films. C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels will narrate, accompanied by a high-def screen displaying movie footage synchronized to live music.

The galaxy extravaganza will begin in Anaheim, California, on October 1, and make stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. If your city isn't on the list, no need to worry. The "Jedi Council" will more than likely add a few more cities before the "Death Star" is complete.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

5 Things To Look For At Comic-Con

Five Things To Look For At Comic-Con 2009

5) New TV Shows - Get an early glimpse of the Fall preview by some of the popular new shows coming to a network near you.

4) Casting Announcements - Some of the most anticipated roles in big budget movies happen in San Diego. Studios also use certain panels to announce guest stars and cameos in upcoming movies and TV shows.

3) Special Guests - This is the 40th anniversary of Comic-Con. There are sure to be plenty of special guests besides the expected black balloons that come with 40.

2) Movies - Some of the most anticipated movies of the year wait until Comic-Con to begin their "press junket." These aren't just superhero movies we're talking about. Some of the biggest panels in San Diego don't have anything to do with men in costume or ladies in distress.

1) Fans - There is one reason and one reason alone that Comic-Con is a huge success -- YOU. Where else can you fight an 8-hour crowd just to get a glimpse of Jon Favreau unveiling footage of "Iron Man 2?" The quickest way to see what the next blockbuster movie is going to be -- follow the swarms of people through the booths and you will more than likely locate the next golden ticket.

I found this "Comic-Con Preview" on CNN. It's a firsthand account of one fan's journey. More to come.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Variety" Boosts Comic-Con Coverage!

(Say that headline 5 times fast)

Our old friend and swanky Hollywood insider mag "Variety" has a slew (that's a lot) of Comic-Con coverage you don't want to miss. You can read all about it just by clicking the link.

Comic-Con To Kick Off In San Diego

Okay, comic book fans, today is your day. Comic-Con will kick off later today in San Diego, California. Plenty of movies and TV shows will be represented.
USAToday has a preview of the festivities. You can read about it and get a glimpse behind the scenes of "Iron Man 2" by clicking here. And don't forget, PopSnap will have a special podcast on "blogtalkradio" tonight.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We're Watching The "Watchmen"

The highly anticipated DVD director's cut of "Watchmen" hit store shelves today. The lauded graphic novel made its way to movie screens back in March, and the director's cut features many deleted scenes and other extras. With a running time of more than 180 minutes, it's sure to satisfy your viewing pleasure.
The movie has one of the best opening sequences I've ever seen, set to Bob Dylan's classic "The Times They Are A'Changin'." This is a must-see.
Coming up on this week's podcast, we'll talk about the new DVD release, as well as many other topics. Check out this interview with director Zack Snyder about the movie, and watch the first five minutes. You can also watch the trailer below.

Happy Birthday GAME BOY!

Nintendo's GAME BOY is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. The American launch in 1989 put an entire game console in the palm of your hand. The GAME BOY was also the first to have interchangeable cartridges. The famous green and black screen has been in the palms of millions of people worldwide. "Tetris" was no doubt the most popular GAME BOY cartridge. The puzzling blocks have been distracting kids, teenagers, and adults for years. Playstation's PSP would not be around today if it wasn't for Nintendo's pocket gold mine of 1989. Whether or not you whip out your GAME BOY today is up to you, but thank the folks at Nintendo for giving us the GAME BOY so that we can play with our smart devices that have "Tetris" in color instead of the green and black screen.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend In Pop

So, last night I caught the AFI Salute to Michael Douglas on TV Land (still have about 30 mins. to go). It was touching, funny, and well put together in typical AFI fashion. I'm not sure whether or not it will replay, but you can catch highlights on the above link.
I also caught "Dick Tracy" on TCM. Released in 1990 with an all-star cast including Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and many many others, this is a real treat. I had seen it before, but it had been years.
Friday night, I finally caught "Away We Go," with John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. Sam Mendes really made up for what I considered a disaster in "Revolutionary Road." "Away" was sweet and thought-provoking. Saturday night, I watched "Mamma Mia" with Meryl Streep for the first time at a friend's party. They screened it outdoors and had a cookout. It was really good! I love ABBA's music, and the performances were first-rate. I don't know why critics hated it so much.
Tonight, I'm looking forward to catching the miniseries "Torchwood: Children of Earth" on BBC America, and the TCM Moon Marathon featuring "The Right Stuff" and other moon-related flicks.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

TCM to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing

Okay, you'll get plenty of coverage on the moon landing's 40th anniversary on network television, and we mean, puh-lenty. But how'd you like to sit back and take in Hollywood's version of some of the most well know films about space ever made?
Monday, Turner Classic Movies has you covered.

Check out the complete schedule of movies by heading to 

Moon Walkers - The 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing - TIME

Monday, July 20th. Sounds like most any other day, right? Not today. 40 years ago, as millions of people around the world watched, a man set foot on the surface of the moon. Loud cheers erupted not only in mission control, but also in homes and businesses worldwide. The Apollo 11 astronauts had made it. Click the link for more info. on this historic day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite Dead: Legendary Newsman Dies At 92

Walter Cronkite Dead: Legendary Newsman Dies At 92

It's a fitting tribute to this man that, even today, when you mention the name, "Walter Cronkite," one of the first things that comes to mind is trust. He was often referred to as "The Most Trusted Man In America," and it's a phrase that fit. Today's generation thankfully can look back at his reports through various electronic means at their fingertips. I feel fortunate--I wrote to Mr. Cronkite years ago, and he was gracious enough to send me an autographed picture. A legend, gone, and deeply missed. Learn more about his life by clicking on either the link above, or the story that follows. 


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Walter Cronkite: And that's the way it was - Los Angeles Times

Walter Cronkite: And that's the way it was - Los Angeles Times

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Emmy Noms

Emmy Nominations are here--check out what Grant and I had to say about them on our PopSnap! Emmy special podcast on BlogTalkRadio. Just click the link on the right hand side of the page.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Comics

Check out this link for Wednesday Newspaper comics: 

Some pretty cool stuff here. It's a limited series of old school comics, featuring some great artwork, this week and last Superman is the focus.

Our thanks to USAToday!

Must List Live!: Is the new Harry Potter movie too lovey-dovey? Plus: Daniel Radcliffe gives us his Must pick!

New Watchmen Director's Cut Deleted Scene

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We know you're looking forward to next week's release of the director's cut of "Watchmen" on DVD.
Check out one of the deleted scenes from next week's release:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Welcome to PopSnap!
We're talking about movies here, movies, TV, and pretty much anything else dealing with pop culture.
Are you ready for the new "Harry Potter" movie? We thought so...
Check back a little later for thoughts on that one...

And don't forget to check out the "Dang-O-Meter!" (It's on the right) One of our many correspondents has an unusual way to rank movies--

And, check us out on BlogTalkRadio. It's the icon on the right hand side of the page. We'll be discussing new movies each week, and you can have a chance to weigh in on the discussion.