Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Favorite Scary Movies...

Yes, dear readers, it's that time of year again...
Time for ghouls and goblins to haunt your neighborhood and demand candy!
As Halloween approaches, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite frightening films...
Personally, I tend to lean toward the more tame 'thrillers' rather than an all out gorefest. Those kinds of movies just aren't for me...
So here are some of my favorites:

"Psycho"--this 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and it still holds up well today. As scary as Norman Bates can be, I think people forget about the whole Marion Crane backstory that makes up the first half of the movie. Embezzlement! Scandal! A great score, a great cast, and a master of the genre--if you haven't seen "Psycho" in a while, check in to check it out...Mother would be proud...

"Poltergeist"--an early 80s scary story about a seemingly normal suburban family (led by the great Craig T. Nelson), whose house suddenly becomes the target of some not so friendly ghosts... Just remember to turn off the TV after you watch this one.

"The Omen"--I'm talking about the original here, not the recent travesty of a remake. This classic will make your heart pound for sure. Gregory Peck plays the father of a young boy who turns out to have a terrible secret. He's a real little devil...

"The Shining"--"Wendy, can't you see I'm...(pause for dramatic effect and creepy expression) working?" Jack Nicholson delivers a bone chilling performance as a man driven to insanity as a struggling writer who moves his family to a hotel in the middle of nowhere to serve as caretakers for the winter. The movie, directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on a Stephen King story, is just about as scary as they come. "What's up, Doc?"

"The Silence Of The Lambs"--"His first name is Louis." Anthony Hopkins leads an ensemble cast in this multiple Oscar-winning thriller. If you haven't seen this one in a long time, then it's been too long. Just remember to put it back in the basket when you're done.

Of course, the list could go on and on, but I'll stop there. What are some of your favorite scary movies? You've gotta have a favorite...

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Back To The Future" 25 Years Later...

I still can't believe it's been 25 years--25 years!!! since a movie called "Back to the Future" made its way into theaters across the country. Back then, I was a kid who had always loved movies, and had followed Michael J. Fox on one of my favorite '80s TV shows, NBC's "Family Ties."
Like most everyone else who saw it, I was simply blown away when I first watched this film. Everything about it just "clicked"--and it seemed to be flawless. All of the performances were spot on, and it was entertaining from beginning to end. The movie blended comedy with science fiction, a dash of drama, and yes, even a spark of romance--and folks, to be able to pull all of that off is very, very rare indeed. I was so taken with it that I saw "BTTF" 4 times at the movies that summer, and recommended it to everyone.
Great movie, great cast, great music--and today, you can see it for the first time on blu-ray. Although I liked the trilogy as a whole, the first one is still my favorite.
I was fortunate that on a trip to Los Angeles in the late '80s, I took the Universal backlot tour and the tram took us to the court square set. I got an up close and personal look at the courthouse, the gas station, and all of the shops along the square. They told us that the filmmakers were prepping to shoot the sequel, and it was quite a sight to see in person. I'm glad I got to see it before it was destroyed by fire. Since then, they've rebuilt the sets, but nothing can replace that memory. On another trip to L.A. a few years later, a couple of friends and I went to the movies, and Eric Stoltz, along with a couple of his pals, sat right behind us. Stoltz, of course, was first cast as Marty McFly before Fox. I hope you enjoyed the movie as much as I did, and if you haven't seen it in a while, now's a great time to go back to "Back to the Future."
Watch the cast reunion that happened this morning on the "Today" show below.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gone, But Not Forgotten

I've discussed this topic recently with friends, and this week, we've lost more very recognizable celebrities.
Among them, Arthur Penn, director of such films as "Bonnie and Clyde," and "Little Big Man," as well

as Tony Curtis, the Oscar-Nominated actor and who appeared in such classics as "Spartacus," and "Some Like It Hot," with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and directed by the great Billy Wilder. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Wilder several years ago at a restaurant out in L.A.

Now, word that one of Hollywood's most legendary TV writers and producers has left us. Stephen J. Cannell has died at the age of 69. I grew up watching the shows he created, and always loved his signature production company logo at the end of each one, with him typing furiously on a typewriter, then tearing the paper out of the machine and tossing it into the air where it animated and formed a "C."
Here it is:

Here's the obit from the AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen J. Cannell, the voracious writer-producer of dozens of series that included TV favorites The Rockford Files,The A-Team and The Commish, has died at age 69.
Cannell passed away at his home in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday night from complications associated with melanoma, his family said in a statement on Friday.
During three decades as an independent producer, he distinguished himself as a rangy, outgoing chap with a trim beard who was generally identified with action dramas full of squealing tires and tough guys trading punches.
But his range was greater than for which he was given credit. Tenspeed and Brown Shoewas a clever detective drama starring Ben Vereen and a then-unknown Jeff Goldblumin 1980. Profit was a shocking saga of a psycho businessman that was unforgettable to the few viewers who saw it: Fox pulled the plug after just four episodes in 1996. WithWiseguy (1987-90), Cannell chilled viewers with a film-noir descent into the underworld that predated The Sopranos by more than a decade.
The Rockford Files, of course, became an Emmy-winning TV classic following the misadventures of its hapless ex-con private eye played by James Garner.
"People say, 'How can the guy who did "Wiseguy" do "The A-Team"?' I don't know," said Cannell in an interview with The Associated Press in 1993. "But I do know it's easier to think of me simply as the guy who wrote The A-Team. So they do."
During his TV heyday, Cannell became familiar to viewers from the ID that followed each of his shows: He was seen in his office typing on his Selectric before blithely ripping a sheet of paper from the typewriter carriage, whereupon it morphed into the C-shaped logo of Cannell Entertainment Inc.
That was all the idea of his wife, Marcia, he said, and it "appealed to my sense of hooey. ... I'm a ham."
He was also an occasional actor, most recently with a recurring role on ABC-TV's series, Castle.
A third-generation Californian, Cannell (rhymes with "channel") got into television writing scripts for It Takes a Thief,Ironside and Adam 12. It was a remarkable career choice for someone who had suffered since childhood from severe dyslexia (he became an advocate for children and adults with learning disabilities).
Cannell in recent years had focused his attention on writing books. His 16th novel, The Prostitute's Ball, will be released this month.
"I never thought of myself as being a brilliant writer, and still don't," he said in the AP interview. "I'm a populist. With Rockford, we were never trying to be important. And as thoroughly hated as it was by critics, I loved The A-Team. I thought it was really cool."
He was a producer of the feature film updating The A-Team, released earlier this year.
Cannell is survived by Marcia, his wife of 46 years, their three children, and three grandchildren.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

See You, "At The Movies"

This past week, the program "At The Movies" ended its very long run. It's tough to compete in this day and age when you can find movie reviews just about anywhere. I watched the show ever since it started on public television and was called "Sneak Previews."
 I always got a kick out of seeing Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel have a heated disagreement then give those famous "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" recommendations for any given movie.
It later years, the name of the show changed many times. As I recall, it went from "Sneak Previews," to "Siskel & Ebert: At The Movies," to "Ebert & Roeper: At The Movies," then finally just "At The Movies."
Part of the change was because sadly, co-host Gene Siskel died of a brain tumor in 1999. After a number of fill-in guest hosts, Richard Roeper sat in to review movies with Roger Ebert. Ebert fought (and is still vigorously fighting) cancer himself, and he eventually had to leave the show, yet still maintains his own website where he reviews movies--a lot of movies. The guy won't be beaten down by disease even though he can no longer speak. The show's final two hosts were A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips. They were both watchable enough, but no pair can ever hold a candle to the team of Siskel and Ebert. I even modeled the opening of a movie review program I hosted in college after one of their early openings, where the two argue as they walk into a movie theatre. Roger Ebert, a longtime film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, won a Pulitzer Prize, and is the author of several books about film. I'm glad he's still around to give us his take on movies today, and I hope he stays around for many years to come. I have many fond memories of "At The Movies," which won't be forgotten (by me, anyway) for a long, long time (I hope).
As they used to say at the close of each program, it looks like "The balcony is closed," but this time, for good.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who's Missing?

BREAKING NEWS. I'm about to blog for the first time in months. That's right nerds and nerdettes, the closing ceremonies of Comic-Con brought the urge to share some geek thoughts. This year's festival was packed full of pop culture goodness. The unveiling of "The Avengers" cast on Saturday was the cherry on top for many fans, especially those hoping for a shot in the arm from Marvel Studios. Even with all the glitz, glamor, costumes, and screams, something was missing from this year's festival. Or maybe I should say someone....

Spider-Man. That's right, your friendly neighborhood movie franchise that's getting a reboot was nowhere to be found in San Diego. I was hoping for some casting announcements, villain choices, plot developments, anything, but all we got was a new Spider-Man video game teaser. Sony and Marvel want to keep this reboot at a low-budget price so maybe that was the plan all along? If I'm Sony and I'm throwing out one of the most popular superheros ever with a small budget and mostly unknown director, I'm using Comic-Con as a way of gaining some support.

Spider-Man is my favorite superhero of all-time. It's only natural that I want to see the new trilogy be successful, even if I am against a reboot (see earlier articles for more details). I just think that the team had the perfect opportunity to give us something over the weekend and bring us hope for the future. Maybe this is part of Marvel's master plan? Maybe they want "The Avengers" to take center stage and let Spidey stay under the radar.....

They have to give us something soon. My web is getting thick.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So Long, Easy Rider...

He was one of America's most well known actors with an edge. Dennis Hopper died over the weekend after a battle with prostate cancer. His last public appearance was just a few weeks ago as he received his star for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At his side, longtime friend and fellow actor, the legendary Jack Nicholson.
Dennis Hopper first hit it big starring alongside none other than James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause," and "Giant" in the mid-1950s. He also co-starred with John Wayne in "The Sons of Katie Elder," and "True Grit."
He went on to direct and star in the 1969 classic "Easy Rider," with Nicholson and Peter Fonda. He was nominated for an Oscar as co-writer of that movie. Although he didn't win, "Easy Rider" did take home an award from the Cannes film festival that year.
Through the years, Dennis Hopper made a number of other movies, and frequently appeared on television shows. Some people may remember him as the psychotic Frank Booth in David Lynch's "Blue Velvet," or the Mad Bomber in "Speed."
He played a trippy photojournalist in Francis Ford Coppola's look at Vietnam in "Apocalypse Now" in 1979, and won praise for his work with Gene Hackman in the basketball film "Hoosiers."
Sure, he made some not so memorable movies too: "Waterworld" anyone? But what star hasn't?
Dennis Hopper is a name that is probably most closely associated with movies of the 60s and 70s, but he had a long, varied career, and will certainly be missed. He was 74 years old.

"Lost" Comes To A Close

It's been a week and half now since fans around the world said their goodbyes to, in my opinion, one of the greatest shows in the history of television. ABC's "Lost" aired its series finale on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010.
I threw a small party and had a few friends over to mark the occasion. Much has already been written about the ending, so I'll be brief.
Everyone wondered how this mysterious show would come to a close. How would it all end? There were so many questions about different characters, etc. Without giving away the ending, I'll just say that I thought it was one of the best, if not the best, close to a show that I've ever had the pleasure to witness. Yes, it left some questions. I think I would have been mad had it not done so. It tied up ends in such a fashion so that everything made sense, and all the things these characters had spoken about for the past 6 seasons could be reflected upon and thought about in a way only "Lost" could have done it.
If you want to find out how it ended, there are certainly no shortages of places to find out for yourself on the internet. But I would encourage you to start at the very beginning. The first episode. Start watching, and I promise you that you will not be sorry. I've told a friend of mine now that "Lost" is over, I'm really not looking forward to television much anymore, and that's true. Sure, there are shows I watch, but not in the same way that it caused you to really use your brain, and think about what was happening. I even picked up the book "The Gospel According to 'Lost'" and look forward to reading it. I'll miss the characters, but I'm very glad a show like this came along--and I'm very grateful to have had many philosophical discussions with my friends about it. I'm sure those will continue. Namaste.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Saying Goodbye To "Lost"

This won't be easy. I know it won't. I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend as we approach the series finale, that's right, I said series finale of ABC's award winning "Lost." By now, I'm sure you've heard the show will take its final breath Sunday night during a 2 and a half hour spectacular. I won't kid you--that's impressive.
I remember in early 2004, reading an article in USAToday or maybe it was CNN, about "Lost," and the general excitement surrounding this show that would premiere that fall. It just sounded cool. A plane crashes on an island in the middle of nowhere, leaving dozens of passengers stranded. Then strange things start to happen. And as viewers know, there have been many strange things happening on the unnamed island we've all come to know and love.
Listen, I could go on and on about how rich the characters are, how good the writing is, how well the music compliments each episode, how the Cinematographer, Set Designer, and Director work so well to disguise Hawaii as multiple locations around the world, but you sorta get the point. It's a very, very well done show.
And as I've told friends and fellow fans, I feel like we've all been partaking in a delicious feast these last 6 seasons, and now we're about to get that last really fine meal.
That's what makes it so satisfying, at least for me, and also why I think it won't be too bad when it ends. Because, in much the same way you enjoy reading a good book, the show has played out in the very same fashion. There's really so much to appreciate about "Lost," that I will miss a show of its caliber, but I'm certainly very grateful to have been able to watch it from the beginning. And to everyone out there, fasten your seat belts, Sunday's going to be a bumpy ride...
Of course, this whole thing has caused me to reflect on other series finales. I remember some that weren't received so well, like the endings to "Seinfeld," and "St. Elsewhere." I still liked the ending to "St. Elsewhere," even if it was obscure. One of the finest endings to a show in TV history, in my opinion, remains the finale to "M*A*S*H*". Still an outstanding program. I'm also reminded of the end of my favorite sitcom of all time, "Frasier," and how well it was able to bookend the pilot episode. Love that show!
So get ready to raise a glass and say goodbye to "Lost." We've all been on a wonderful journey together, and it's not over yet!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The End Is Near

4...8...15...16...23...42.... The countdown is underway for the final 2 episodes of ABC's "Lost." This time next Monday, there will be plenty of people circled around a water cooler talking about the series finale. It saddens me to even think about it. There's a brand new episode tomorrow night at 8 pm CST on ABC which will lead up to the finale Sunday night. The finale is 2.5 hours long! There's not many things that can offset the news, the Oscars comes to mind, but it's still exciting and flattering that ABC affiliates are pushing back their Sunday newscast for the "Lost" wrap-up. In honor of the end, there are all sorts of magazines, TV show appearances, podcasts, and such that will be happening this week with actors, writers, and creators of the show.

Jody, Katie, and I will have a special podcast this Wednesday night to talk all things "Lost." Be sure to tune in for that. You guys are welcome to call in to the podcast any week and discuss pop culture with us. I'm sure there will be a FEW more posts about the upcoming end. Until then, "Take care, Brotha."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Villain

The "Iron Man 2" series continues as we edge closer to the kick off of the Summer movie season. In the first article, we looked as some of the sequel formulas and how they might translate into this film. Having the formula is one thing, but you MUST get this part right or you're going to fail as a second act.

The Villain is what can make/or break the second step of any franchise. The first movie is all about establishing our hero, now the second one must turn it up a notch by introducing us to a sinister man who dreams of crushing our beloved hero. Villains don't necessarily have to be more sinister than the first film, but their presence must have a bigger part of the plot and story development. You can't have a good movie without a great protagonist and antagonist. Let's take a look at some of the ways to judge the perfect sequel villain.

First, the new bad guy must have a different character/story arc than the first one. Sequels tend to go darker sometimes, and the only way they can achieve that darkness is by throwing in a crazy guy/girl who's got nothing to lose. Even if you don't go darker, just throw us a curve ball to mix it up. With "Iron Man 2," we're on the right track. I was so excited to see Mickey Rourke cast as Tony Stark's opposite in the new chapter. Ivan Vanko or Whiplash is a man that's seen his family and friends torn about by the Stark Industries' weapons. He has a chip on his shoulder and is willing to do whatever it takes to show that Tony Stark can bleed.

Another great element with a new arch enemy is the back story. We know that Whiplash's family has been dealt a tragic blow, but any good sequel should spark our curiosity about his traits/gifts/abilities. I want to know why he is a talented engineer that's able to construct this new weapon and why Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) wants him to be the brains behind this new wave of soldiers.....did I give away too much??? I hope not, but I will stop right there....

Any good villain must have that "IT" moment. You're not going to believe he's the toughest guy in the Old West unless he does something to turn the storyline on its head. That something doesn't have to be a crazy fight scene or stunt, it can even be something as small as a couple lines of dialogue. Speaking of that "IT" moment, it should tie in somehow with his fighting abilities. Everyone in the theatre knows that this guy is the bad guy, but in order to take that character to another level you're going to have to prove it on the battlefront. You don't have use the biggest budget to create the greatest fight scene, but you have to SHOW the audience that this guy has tools and he knows how to punish people.

Finally, the villain MUST have a grand exit! I love finding out new casting notes about who is going to play the new bad guy and see how they translate that into a 2 hour show. I get more nervous at the end of the movie for the villain's exit than I do for anything else. We know that the hero is going to live, but we have no clue about his enemy. If he's going to die it has to be something great and not just a cheap end scene. The baddest guy on film should not die thanks to a cheap bullet, he needs to go out with a BANG! Now, I say die, but he doesn't always have to die. Yes, you can still send someone away to jail/hibernation/isolation with a fantastic finish.

Follow these foot notes and I guarantee you will find a great sequel villain waiting at the end every time. I haven't seen "Iron Man 2" so I don't know the ending, but Whiplash seems to be well on his way as being one of the great Tony Stark villains of all-time. Now, he MAY not be the only villain in the film, but he is the only villain that we KNOW about.....THERE'S YOUR TEASE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

Enjoy the show!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Sequel Formula

Believe it or not, the Summer movie season kicks off this weekend with "Iron Man 2." Tony Stark and the gang are back in the sequel to the 2008 smash hit. It's easily the most anticipated blockbuster of the Summer bunch. Sequels can be really good, but they can also get really ugly. In honor of this being the start of the Summer season, and "Iron Man" week, I'm compiling a list of thoughts/possibilties/expectations and putting them into a series of articles.

First up, the sequel formula. What goes into making a good sequel? Obviously, Movie studios are hoping to expand on the success of the first film, but you have to follow the right formula for that to work. To quote "Scream 2," "Sequels themselves are inferior films..." -- which means you have to expand on the characters' universe for the movie to stand next to the original. Now, expanding doesn't necessarily mean more explosions/fight scenes/characters/etc. Expanding can also mean taking their first world, and turning it upside down. New characters are always welcome, but they aren't a necessity. If Marvel follows their formula for two other sequels, fanboys like me will be happy with the product and coming back for more.

"Spider-Man 2" still stands as one of the greatest superhero sequels by Marvel Studios. The 2004 Summer hit kept the same, simple product from the first film and just turned it on itself. We didn't see a ton of new villains, characters, or storylines and that was perfectly fine. What made the movie so good was the fact that it kept things simple. Peter fights with the powers of Spidey and his love for Mary Jane. There's only one true nemesis in the film, Doc Ock. Too many times movies try to add too many bad guys and it just makes the sequel messy and irritating. When you have a character such as Dr. Octopus, who is one of the strongest villains in comic book history, he's all you need. Some sequels also try to make the new villian darker and more sinister, but that's not a must. The Doc wasn't darker than The Goblin, but he was still a great evil match to the Spidey Sense. Now, with "Iron Man 2," it's obvious that Whiplash is a darker villian than Iron Monger. Will it work?....only time will tell, but I'm super excited about seeing Mickey Rourke go bat crazy again the suit of armor.

Sometimes sequels can involve plenty of new characters and turn out really well. There's no question that "Iron Man 2" is adding a slew of people as the move towards "The Avengers," but will it work? "X2: X-Men United" worked to the tenth degree. In my mind, this film is one of (if not) the greatest underrated superhero movie of all-time. Bryan Singer did an excellent job of keeping the plot line simple, but throwing in these new and intricate characters that helped stir the pot. Night-Crawler was one of the most exciting and most welcomed people to X2. If you add someone, they must have a purpose. Don't just add bad guys, partners, and side characters just for the sake of a laugh or explosion. There's quite a few new characters in "Iron Man 2" so we shall see how well they all mash up not only in this film, but other movies to come....

That's right, I just ended that paragraph on an Avengers tease. Which I'm hoping is not the case with this weekend's movie. "Spider-Man 2" and "X2" were great, but they weren't building towards a universe like this film is. If Marvel uses the formulas that both Spidey and the X-Men banked on, we should be in for a fun ride for weeks to come. How will Tony Stark's second round compare with these other sequels....we wil find out soon enough.

There's much more "Iron Man 2" coverage to come this week. Also, be sure to check out our weekly podcast for the very latest.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back In New Armor

Everyone remembers the opening scene to "Iron Man." You see the Marvel logo and then you hear AC/DC's "Back in Black" blaring on the silver screen as the troops and Tony Stark are roaming through the desert. Music is the backbone of any movie. Sometimes you may not remember the song, but you remember how upbeat you felt hearing a certain score/tune while something was happening in a film.

We are just days away from one of the biggest movies of the year, "Iron Man 2." The marketing campaign is in full flight with ads, previews, and products. The "Iron Man 2" soundtrack is now in stores. No, you aren't getting a nice array of artists with up and down songs, you get one of the hardest rocking bands of all-time! AC/DC is teaming up with Stark Industries to release "Iron Man 2." They are polishing up 15 of their popular rock jams, giving them some new armor, and unleashing it for the world to enjoy. Most of the songs are the ones that everybody is familiar with. However, they are a few tracks that might catch your eye. Back in 2008, the band debut their "Black Ice" album with a track called "War Machine." They didn't know it then, but that track would fit perfectly with a certain character in the upcoming blockbuster film. These songs go great with the "Iron Man" world. What better music to listen to when you're beating up bad guys than "Thunderstruck" or "Highway to Hell?"

Soundtracks have come a long way over the past few years. Most of the time you are guaranteed maybe one or two good songs on a normal soundtrack with the rest of the songs just filling in the gaps. You don't have to worry about that with "Iron Man 2." You can turn up these jams, bang your head, and anxiously await Tony Stark to kick some butt!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Conan O'Brien To TBS...Hmmm....

This whole Conan announcement has bothered me, so even though Grant already wrote a nice piece about Conan's new move, I decided to weigh in as well.
First off, let me say that I'm very glad to see Conan's returning to television in any fashion. In a recent podcast, I misspoke when I said he was going to make an announcement in May about a new show on Fox. I received some bad information. However, I do wish Fox could have given him a commitment. I think it would have been a better move in the long run. Fox has proven itself to be a growing network with solid programming.
I don't know why everyone's so thrilled that Conan is headed to TBS. Personally, I'm not. He's got a strong fan base, but there are a lot of strikes against him by going there. He'll start at 10p.m. Monday through Thursday. That's the time when most people will tune into their local news on NBC, ABC, or CBS. He also faces direct competition from "The Daily Show" and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central.
At 10:35, well-established late night talkers "The Tonight Show," and "Late Show With David Letterman" will hit the air, so it's not exactly a slam dunk for Conan.
I predict people will tune in initially to see what the fuss is all about--again, for the novelty effect, but again, it's my firm belief that established programming will overtake any challengers, and that includes O'Brien.
As I've mentioned in previous articles, I was fortunate enough to meet Conan at 30 Rock in New York, see his "Late Night" show in person, and just last year I was on hand to catch his 3rd "Tonight Show" live. He's a terrific talent, and a very nice person, and I wish him all the success in the world. But going to TBS, is I believe, a bad move. Time will tell.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Conan to TBS

The network that airs some of the best comedies over the past 20 years just got an upgrade! For years TBS has been using the slogan: Very Funny. They just took that slogan to whole new level. Conan O'Brien is moving to TBS, ladies and gentlemen. The move is a surprise to many as most people were waiting for FOX to ink the popular late night talk show host. In the end, FOX could not guarantee that every affiliate would be clear for late night so Coco decided to move to cable. Here's a quote from O'Brien: “In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly.”

TBS has been pushing for Conan from the beginning. Ted Turner and company were able to fork out enough dough, power, and even guarantee him his OWN show (which FOX wasn't). Conan's show will start in November. The network will air new episodes 4 out of 5 nights a week (like Jimmy Kimmel or John Stewart). TBS has already renewed "Lopez Tonight" for a second season. George Lopez is thrilled to have Coco as his lead-in every night. This new deal almost closes the book on the Coco saga that has fueled entertainment news over the past few months.

The book isn't finished yet. That's because Conan O'Brien presents "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour" begins tonight in Eugene, Oregon. The tour is one of the hottest ticket items this Spring. I'm sure Conan will have plenty of jokes about his new gig as he runs across North America.

TBS is with Coco! Click here to see the ad that proves it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Put These In, Coach!

Major League Baseball season is underway. As sports fans close the book on college basketball and turn towards America's Pastime, I thought I would pass along some of my favorite baseball movies. Baseball can be a very up and down time for many fans across the country. As I watched the Cubs get smoked yesterday, I could at least take comfort knowing that these movies would never leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. Here's the lineup:

"The Natural" - This is probably my favorite sports movie of all-time. Robert Redford gives one of the best performances of his career in my opinion. Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Farnsworth also are at the top of their game. The movie is actually being released on Blu-ray today. There's a ton of special features on the director's cut.

"Field of Dreams" - Everyone knows the line, "If you build it, they will will come." Well, this movie keeps me coming back for more every time. This film will tug at your heart and could even bring a tear or two to your eyes. Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, and Burt Lancaster have the ability to take something simple and turn it into something that's truly spectacular.

"61*" - Fans can make great movies. There's no exception when it comes to baseball. Billy Crystal's made for TV movie gives us a look at the 1961 New York Yankees and how their stars would change the game forever. Crystal grew up going to Yankee games and he uses his childhood experience to give us a majestic movie about two heroes and their rise/fall from grace. Barry Pepper is Roger Maris, Thomas Jane plays Mickey Mantle, and look out for Anthony Michael Hall as the great pitcher, Whitey Ford.

"The Pride of The Yankees" - Speaking of the Yankees, you can't mention baseball movies and not throw in this one. Most people have heard the name Lou Gehrig, but don't really know much about him. Gary Cooper plays Gehrig in this 1943 Oscar winner. It still holds up.

"The Sandlot" - Baseball movies can be loads of fun. This movie is the story of a group of kids who spend an entire Summer living/breathing/sleeping/eating baseball. There's sure to be someone in the ensemble cast that you can relate with. Look out for a surprise performance by Denis Leary. James Earl Jones also has a great cameo appearance.

"Major League" - Another fun look at the daily lives of professional baseball players. Plus, who doesn't like a movie that has Bob Uecker as the narrator?

"A League of Their Own" - Who says females can't have their own fun? Also, "There's no crying in baseball." A very good movie with an outstanding cast -- including an appearance by a member of PopSnap! and a cameo of my favorite stadium, Wrigley Field.

These are just a few of my favorite baseball movies. There are so many to name that I'm positive I left a few of the good ones on the bench. Baseball is one of the great things that makes us Americans. Whether you like sports or not, these movies are guaranteed to entertain you in some shape or form and give you a little knowledge in the process.

I hope everyone can take some time this season to enjoy a great tradition. Just put these movies in your DVD or Blu-ray devices.....they're ready to play!

Friday, April 2, 2010


This weekend marks the release of "Clash Of The Titans" in 3D (And 2D). While it boasts an impressive cast list, and certainly a timeless storyline of ancient gods and goddesses, along with fantastical mythological creatures, there's an overriding issue that has cast a pall over the movie: it really wasn't meant to be in 3D.
The film was originally shot in standard 2D, then, wait for it, retrofitted to 3D in the hopes of raking in more dough from moviegoers. So, here's the deal, it was converted into a 3D movie at the last minute, following the success of, you guessed it, that money making machine known as "Avatar."
Now, "Avatar" is a completely different story. It was always meant to be in 3D, was shot specifically with those stereoscopic effects in mind, and meant to be released that way.
Unfortunately, the trend now is, if it isn't in 3D yet, let's do it after the fact. Personally, I think this is a mistake that will ultimately lead to lower film quality. Let's face it, not everything was made to be viewed in 3D. Thankfully, moviegoers will have an option to see these "conversions" in standard form.
Recently, "Alice In Wonderland" proved to be another 3D cash cow. But, again, the movie was not originally produced for 3D. Still, it made a ton of money. And that's obviously the key for studios. If it looks like 3D will pull in the crowds, then let's have more, please.
And that's exactly what you'll get. This year, there are more than a dozen movies scheduled to be released in the 3D format. Some, like "Toy Story 3," (which I'm really looking forward to) were shot for 3D. Others, like Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood," with Russell Crowe, were given the 3D treatment after production had already ended. Check out this article from The New York Times about the proliferation of 3D conversions. So, watch out--don't be fooled into thinking that every movie thrown at you with a nice "3D" marketing campaign is the real deal. And they definitely won't be marketed like this: "Come see the big blockbuster action movie converted to 3D in postproduction!" No. They'll be pushed at you just like a regular 3D movie. Clever, eh? Deceptive, methinks.
To be honest, I think despite the controversy, "Clash Of The Titans" will do well at the weekend box office. I think people will be curious, and that most of them will see it in the retrofitted 3D format. It's the "novelty effect." It's still up against that 3D juggernaut, "How To Train Your Dragon," though.
So, what's next for the 3D bandwagon? Television manufacturers have already released 3D TVs, and certain programming outlets, notably DirecTV, have said they'll begin providing 3D channels starting this summer.
In my opinion, this will go down as one of the biggest blunders in the history of home entertainment. People are just now turning loose of the cash for nice flatscreen LCD televisions. Why on earth would they want to spend money on an unproven electronic device with, for now, an extremely limited amount of programming??
We are, however, witnessing an important shift in the direction of home entertainment. And, even though we may scoff at the idea of 3D televisions in our living rooms, someday in the not too distant future, all of this will be pretty standard stuff. We'll be tuning into holograms for sports coverage, and immersing ourselves in the action of our favorite drama series or sitcom by "living the experience."
I have no doubt that will happen. The technology already exists. And you can bet somewhere in those research and development labs, manufacturers are hard at work to deliver this form of entertainment for your home.
So, while 3D TV may not immediately be a huge hit (even if it crashes and burns, it's still an important step), it will probably eventually take off--maybe not right away, though. I predict that we'll see it become more mainstream in around 5 years. That timeframe will also allow prices to drop, and manufacturers to develop competing technologies.
Kinda fun to think about what comes next, hm?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

20 Years of Turtle Power

The Heroes in the Half-Shell are almost old enough to drink! "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie" is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. It's hard to believe that 20 years have gone by since our favorite turtles and a friendly rat appeared on the silver screen. The success of the movie was due to the growing popularity of the TV cartoon back in the early 90's. I still have episodes of the cartoon series on tape somewhere. I also have not one, but two copies of the movie (ON VHS OF COURSE).

When I was growing up, the "Turtles" were "IT" for young boys. You could venture to tons of schools across the country and find Turtle shirts, hats, lunch boxes, pencils, and even pajamas. I can still remember a kid in my kindergarten class wearing his Leonardo pajamas to school one day. It was enough to make Superman himself jealous. I can remember showing up with my Superman pj's and cape, and wishing my mom had gotten me a Michaelangelo outfit instead.

Media marketing has evolved today thanks to popularity of shows/movies like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" back in the late 80's and early 90's. We've even seen the turtles themselves evolve with a new spin on the cartoon, video game, and a new live-action movie planned.

I will be in line to check out the latest installment of the "Turtles." If anything, it will give me a chance to take my nieces to something that was popular when I was their age. Thanks, "Ninja Turtles," for making my childhood "AWESOME." I still wish I had that pair of pajamas.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why I Watch "Lost"

USA Today's TV critic, Robert Bianco, wrote an excellent essay about the intricacies of ABC's "Lost." Much of what he had to say in this article are why I watch the show, which comes to an end in May. For those of you who haven't yet seen it, I encourage you to start from Season 1 (available now on blu-ray or DVD) and plow right on through those episodes. If you have been watching the show, don't forget a brand new episode tonight at 8p.m. C.S.T.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"At The Movies" Cancelled

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime, the long running movie review program "At The Movies" has been cancelled.
As you'll see from the article in the above link, the show was made popular by the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who continues to churn out regular film reviews of his own. I had watched it since its early days (before it was called "At The Movies,") and it inspired me to be a movie critic in college. That was where I launched "The Screening Room," which aired weekly on the college TV station.
That venue allowed me access to people like Today Show movie critic Gene Shalit, with whom I once spoke on the telephone.  I also wrote to Roger Ebert, got his autograph and some advice about movie reviews. I later became Facebook friends with another of the show's hosts, movie critic Richard Roeper.
There are many places you can now go to get reviews of movies, but the real trend setters are becoming few and far between. Not too long ago, "Variety" dismissed its longtime film critic, and with the popularity of blogs and other forms of social networking websites, it's easy to follow the notion that, really, the only true opinion of a movie that really matters is your own.
Although, I still believe it's good to sample what critics have to say about a new film. You can do that a lot easier now by going to sites like and others.
In any case, "At The Movies" was a groundbreaking show, and it will be missed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Butch Cassidy" Sequel... Huh?!?

So, I'm sifting through some entertainment news when I come across this headline from

'Butch Cassidy' sequel filming
 in Bolivia with no 'Kid'
Here's the gist of the story from the Associated Press:


LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The 1969 movie classic Butch Cassidy and 
The Sundance Kid ends with neither of the famous outlaws appearing
to survive a 1908 shootout with Bolivian soldiers.
But Butch at least will ride again in a film entitled Blackthorn that
begins shooting in Bolivia next month.
American actor and playwright Sam Shepard plays the real-life Robert LeRoy
Parker, who led the Hole in the Wall Gang.
Cesar Perez is the director of Bolivia's national cinema council.
He said Tuesday that Spaniard Mateo Gil
is directing the story of Cassidy's attempt to return to the United States.
Gil is known for his screenplay of The Sea Inside.
The new film plot has Cassidy feeling compelled to commit just one
 more robbery before he can retire.

Ok, time to insert my opinion here. Is this movie really necessary??
 Paul Newman and Robert Redford did such a wonderful
job with the original that, to me anyway, it seemed complete. 
The story was, in effect, told. Done, finis, kaput.
I have a lot of faith in Sam Shepard, so the only thing I can say is "we'll see." 
But, I think the best thing anyone can do is just go back and rewatch the original. 
It still stands the test of time.

Don't forget to check out this week's podcast on the right hand side
 of the page under "blogtalkradio"--this week, we cover everything from
 a new Captain America to Conan O'Brien's North American tour.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oscar "Thank You" Cam

Enjoy this year's Academy Awards? The show had its moments, and you might have heard a mention or two of the backstage "Thank You" camera for Oscar winners to thank people they didn't have time to during their brief televised acceptance speech. It was something new this year, and you can watch all of the nominees thanking various people by clicking here.
Don't forget to check out our weekly PopSnap! Podcast by clicking on "blogtalkradio" on the right hand side of the blog.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

PopSnap! 2010 Oscar Picks

It's that time of year again. Oscar time! So, grab yourself a Barley Pop--if you're A Single Man, get an Avatar, take your Crazy Heart, and go Up to The Hurt Locker to take a look at our predictions for the winners of top prizes this year.
Before we get to the picks, in many ways this has been an easy year for Oscar, with favorites certain to win in many categories. But you never know what or who might pull an upset.
Here are our selections for the golden statue this year:

Best Supporting Actress:
We were united on this one. Grant, Katie, and I all selected Mo'Nique for her performance in the film "Precious." This would be her first Academy Award. Although my heart still goes out to Vera Farmiga for her work in "Up In The Air."

Best Supporting Actor:
Another unanimous decision, and a pretty easy choice here. We all chose Christoph Waltz for "Inglorious Basterds." He's already received the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for this one.

Best Actress:
Another great list of nominees:

Katie says she's pulling for Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side," but also feels like Gabourey Sadibe from "Precious" could win.
Grant's pick: Sandra Bullock.
My pick: Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia," a charming, mesmerizing performance in my opinion.

Best Actor:
We all chose Jeff Bridges for his fine work in "Crazy Heart." Such a true to life portrayal of a broken man on a search for redemption, and some wonderful music featured here.

Best Director:
Many people say it all comes down to Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker," and her ex, James Cameron for "Avatar."

Katie's pick: James Cameron.
Grant's pick: Kathryn Bigelow.
My pick: Kathryn Bigelow.

Overlooked director nominee: Jason Reitman for "Up In The Air."

Best Picture:
For the first time in many years, there are 10 Best Picture nominees this year.
Katie's pick: "The Blind Side"
Grant's pick: "Avatar"
My pick: "The Blind Side"

Congratulations to all of the nominees. Tune in Sunday night on ABC to watch co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, and find out who will take home the coveted statuette!

Be sure to listen to our Podcast on blogtalkradio for more discussion on this year's nominees. You'll find it on the right hand side of the page. We'll recap the show, and the winners next week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action Figures

Action figures make a young boy's world go round. They can come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. A lot of my childhood was spent playing with Power Rangers on the stairs, swimming with Ninja Turtles, and even blowing up a few G.I. Joe's (Sorry guys...nothing personal). One of the best gifts I received for Christmas was an entire "Jurassic Park" set (complete with Velociraptor and Dr. Grant). You can find out a lot about a movie just by looking at the toys.

In the modern world we live in, every little detail about a popular movie is almost guaranteed to be blown out of proportion. From casting notes to cameos, you can find it all online. A toy franchise can be a big marketing campaign for a movie if it's done correctly. Recently, "Iron Man 2" released their lineup of toys to match one of this year's most anticipated movies. These figures are a sneak peek at what some of our favorite characters/villains/vehicles COULD look like on the silver screen. Being an 8-year-old boy once, every time these new figures are released I have to check them out! I remember getting my first glimpse of what Two Face would look like in "The Dark Knight" by checking out the toy. More recently, I laughed at the makeup of Cobra Commander from the "G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra" line.

These toys play a somewhat spoiler role in some of our favorite films. In case you were wondering, I have no plans to release any of the details I learned about "Iron Man 2." So if you're looking for spoilers in this article, you may want to try someone else's toy box. The verdict on Tony Stark and the gang is still up in the air thanks to a smart marketing campaign. I just find it fascinating that some of the biggest movies can use these tiny little figures to their advantage. Character descriptions, costume designs, and plot details can all be found by looking in your local toy store. Marketing is everything. Neat looking toys can excite your fan base and mundane toys can anger it. In a world where story lines are hunted for all over the internet...sometimes it just takes a glimpse at an action figure to solve the big mystery.

In case you are wondering....Yes, I still have PLENTY of my old action figures stored away at home. I must say, toy makers can try all they want, but they will never top my "Ghostbusters" and "Jurassic Park" set. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Sh) Utterly Satisified

Breaking news. Martin Scorsese has done it again. Since the first "Shutter Island" preview sparked in 2009, I've been excited to see this film. Director Martin Scorsese takes you to a creepy island full of crazies in a movie that will keep you guessing until the credits roll. By now, everyone knows that Paramount decided to push this movie back due to economy problems/marketing/budgets/etc. The Studios did a nice job of moving it into a weekend in February where nobody else would bother it. "Shutter" was the only mainstream release on its opening weekend, and with "Cop Out" and "The Crazies" opening up this weekend, I think it's a safe bet that it could win the box office again.

The movie is based on a novel by Dennis Lehane. In recent years, his books "Mystic River" and "Gone Baby Gone" have been adapted to screenplays. I didn't read the book so I was went into the screening guessing from the very beginning. The film starts with an investigation after a high security patient escapes from the maximum security facility known as Shutter Island. The cast in the film fits like a perfectly round peg. Everyone knows Leonardo DiCaprio and Scorsese are a safe bet, but the other members are what makes the movie fulfilling. Sir Ben Kingsley plays the doctor that's in control of the island. What makes his character so great in this film is that he can take an average sentence/description/detail and make it creepy to the tenth degree! Mark Ruffalo also stars as Leo's partner, Chuck. Ruffalo does a great job of stirring the pot as the detectives continue to investigate the mystery. The rest of the cast includes Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, and Ted Levine.

"Shutter Island" grabs you from the opening scene and drags you (like a patient) through an unknown,dark, and frightening world. You find yourself paying attention to every little detail (Sorry, no spoilers here) which makes movies like these worth the price of admission. Scorsese does an excellent job of lighting the film with the perfect tint of eerie grey. When the credits hit, you find yourself going back through all the little pieces and making sure they fit correctly. The pieces DO a round wooden peg! Is this my favorite Scorsese film, probably not. It's hard to argue with "Goodfellas" and "The Departed," but in a world where we continue to see directors stay in their comfort zones, it's so refreshing to see Scorsese step behind the 3-point line and sink a winning shot.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Film Preview

While Winter weather seems to have a grip on our nation, it seems to have hit the theaters as well. Movies like The Crazies, Dear John, and Valentine's Day have kept movies lovers in a state of static while waiting for noteworthy movies to hit the big screen. Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes a slew of movies than can finally bring the heat.

March brings Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3D. This film has the dynamic Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. As the stills from this movie show, Tim Burton doesn't disappoint visually. The art direction of what has been seen so far is very interesting and many movie lovers should be truly looking forward to seeing how this films play out. We all know how the story ends, but as with all Tim Burton films, it's the journey! This movies isn't for kids though, because it does hold a PG rating for the caterpillar smoking. So those with sensitive eyes should be warned (does sarcasm translate here successfully?). Check out some clips before tea time on March 5th.

With April showers, bring Clash of the Titans (that's how it goes, right?). Opening April 2nd, Sam Worthington stars in this reboot of the 1981 classic. The hype for this movie has been long lived and the original made some staggering advances on film making of the day, including the unique make-up and the stop motion techniques used to create the monsters in the film. With the remake, we can expect some great visual effects from director, Louis Leterrier, known for The Incredible Hulk and The Transporter and it's sequel. Leterrier knows how to create some great action sequences and if the trailer says anything about we have in store, we all might need to bring a change of pants to this one.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, also opening in April, has not only an original to live up to, but an entire franchise. Jackie Earle Haley starring as everyone's favorite boogieman should totally take over this film. His small stature shouldn't keep him from terrifying audience when this film opens on the 30th.

Also in April, comedy greats Tina Fay and Steve Carrell bring us Date Night. This film has a extremely exciting cast which includes James Franco, Mark Wahlberg, Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo and Mila Kunis (along with many others). This movie should be yet another hilarious movie from Fay and Carrell.

There are many other movies opening during these fair weather months, but these films have me excited about Spring has in store. These movies should help us all defrost from the dreary, cold winter-weather movies and forget about enjoying the outdoors. Get to the theaters and spring for the extra large popcorn for twenty-five cents more, because this recession isn't going to fix itself.

What movies are you most excited about?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The PopSnap Review: "The Wolfman"

Before I begin this review of the new movie "The Wolfman," let me first say that I like Benecio Del Toro. I think he's a very talented actor--but "The Wolfman" was a great disappointment for me.
So what was wrong you ask? It's a problem many movies face these days, you have a great idea, a solid cast, but the problem here, as is so often the case, is the script.
It's certainly no secret that "The Wolfman" had its share of production problems, and the opening date was pushed back at least 4 times (never a good sign). Still, I wanted to see it. I'm a big Anthony Hopkins fan, and I also think Hugo Weaving does good solid work. In the cast, it's Benecio Del Toro who is the weakest link. His delivery comes off as flat and wooden, providing a protagonist you really don't care about at all (And I didn't).
The makeup was great--The main problem here is the script (or lack of one). It seemed like entire chunks of backstory had been eliminated to 'hurry up and get to the scenes with the wolfman.' Adding insult to injury is Danny Elfman's awful score, which only serves to telegraph the audience that something scary is about to happen.
Here's a typical scene: Close up shot of Benecio Del Toro walking through a creepy location at night, carrying a lantern. Haunting music in the background, the music swells, and LOOK OUT!!! Music sting! The "gotcha" moment.
I kept waiting for a certain character (I won't say who) to transform into a wolf, but they never did, even though the ENTIRE FILM hinted that this would happen.
And the ending is just, well...terrible. Hints at a sequel, or does it?? Let's just hope that never happens.
Joe Johnston ("Jurassic Park III), directed this, so I just have to ask, what happened Joe???
I can't even recommend this one to watch on home video.
So, I came up with another variation on the same theme. One of my favorite movies in recent years with the same type of storyline (yet in a more modern setting) is the Jack Nicholson movie, "Wolf," with James Spader. Also starring Michelle Pfeiffer and directed by Mike Nichols, this film is a much better telling of the same sort of tale, and it also has some wicked funny scenes.
So, if you have to see a movie about a man turning into a wolf, go for "Wolf," instead of "The Wolfman."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lala Gives Music Back to the People

Since we talked about Bonaroo on our most recent podcast, it got me thinking about how great it is to find a new artist or a new song to obsess over.

Lala, a music sharing site that brags over eight million licensed songs available for play and download, allows users to upload their already existing music libraries (think iTunes and Windows Media Player) to their site, but why would someone want to do this? While studying at school or visiting grandma, users can access their music, advertisement free, just by logging on to lala. Along with uploading music to the site, a user can even bring along existing playlists that they've created. While iTunes can create playlists from music you already own, this site can let you explore new music.

Find a great song? Purchasing is less expensive than iTunes will ever be; get a web song for ten cents, or download the full song for around eighty-nine cents. I had already been using Lala after iTunes raised their some of their prices to an absurd one-dollar and twenty-nine cents in April of 2009 and I know this sounds like a commercial here, but this site has impressed me from the beginning.

Now awaiting approval from the Apple, Lala has an iPhone app waiting in the wings. I have tested the beta and it will prove to be an amazing app to those who take advantage of uploading their music to lala, because a users' entire music library can be access through the app using 3G or Wi-Fi.

Lala is a site made to be shared with friends. Many users link their Lala music profile to their facebook profile to share with their friends the new music are listening to and purchasing. New members even get fifty free web songs just for joining.

Give Lala a listen, enjoy the fifty free songs, and you can thank me later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Unofficial National Holiday

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages...Super Bowl weekend is upon us all! It's no secret that I love football, music, and quality entertainment and the Super Bowl has plenty of that. It's one of the few times of the year that you will see actors, musicians, and other celebs come together to show their support for the most watched sporting event of the year. The Super Bowl is a mash up of our favorite athletes, music, movies, and TV shows all thrown into 5 hours of quality television programming. It's the ONLY time of the year that you will actually go to the bathroom during programming instead of the commercial break.

Over the past 15 years or so, the commercials have become as much a part of Super Sunday as the opening kickoff. Companies plan all year how they will market their product on Super Sunday. Sometimes a simple 30 second spot during the Super Bowl can turn into millions of dollars for future investments. On Monday morning, there will be as much buzz about the best commercial as there will be about the game winning touchdown. As for me, I can't wait to see what kind of movie teasers we will have Sunday night. Looking back through the years, I can remember blockbuster Summer movies being seen first during a Super Bowl spot. I'm hoping we get a little more taste of "Iron Man 2" this year!

Another great thing about Super Sunday is the music. Over the past five years, the networks have gone back to their roots by selecting some of the best artists of all-time. I'd much rather see Springsteen rocking out during a football game than Britney Spears. In recent years, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have helped give us a mini rock concert on the biggest Sunday of the year. Be sure to tune in Sunday night when The Who rock the stage at halftime in Miami.

You don't have to care about football to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday. I have many friends that aren't football fans, but they have just as much fun as anyone else. It's about a nation coming together for a few hours to forget their worries and enjoy something that makes us all an American. I hope you all are able to get together with family, friends, relatives, co-workers, whoever, and enjoy Super Bowl XLIV. As far as I'm concerned, the Super Bowl is the unofficial national holiday!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Yours!

Super Bowl week is always packed full of pop culture goodness. The Super Bowl isn't just about football, it's a mashup of sports, music, and entertainment all thrown into one of the most watched spectacles in the world. More on the "Unofficial National Holiday" later this week. I'm excited to learn that Johnny Depp himself will be doing a documentary on Keith. Most avid Stones fans call him Keith, but he's known as Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.
The Rolling Stones are my favorite music group of all-time. Their songs have shaped my past, present, and hopefully my future. I get it from my Dad. He is the biggest Stones fan that I know. I've been "rocking out" to the Stones since before I stopped wearing a diaper. Martin Scorsese's "Shine A Light" was a great concert movie about the personal and professional side of being a Stone. I caught the film on the IMAX screen in Nashville (Yes, Keith Richard's head was huge), but it was worth every penny (and wrinkle).
Johnny Depp has gone on record a number of times saying how much he adores Keith. Most fans know that Keith played a big role is his motivation for Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of The Caribbean" films. So Depp already has plenty of Keith research under his belt. I'm excited to see what Depp can do with one of the greatest guitar players ever. As Keith Richards says to Buddy Guy in "Shine A Light,"..."It's yours!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn is what's popping in the world of pop culture. It's like someone just popped a fresh batch of popcorn -- and the smell is too good to pass up!

"The envelope, please." The 2010 Oscar Nominations have been released.

"LOST" is back with a bang tonight on ABC.

Speaking of "LOST," Matthew Fox says he is done with TV...again.

For a complete list of Grammy winners, click here.

Catch The Who during the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime show this Sunday on CBS.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Lost" In Thought...

My dear friends and TV lovers of all nations, we are now less than 48 hours away from the season premiere of the 6th and (gasp) final season of one of (in my humble opinion) the greatest TV shows in the history of the medium. I'm talking about, that's right, "Lost."
I remember first hearing about this show back in early 2004. I thought it was a very clever idea--something not seen on television before, and I was immediately hooked. I couldn't wait for the premiere, and when I saw it, I knew I was in for a real treat.
The show has sparked numerous discussions among friends and complete strangers, both in person, and through internet forums. I've been a contributor to one of my favorite forums, and you can read it on's Popcandy blog (look for it in the Life section).
Anyway, the show has everything you would want: a fantastic plot, great characters, and terrific writing. Like millions of others (no pun intended), I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Maureen Ryan over at The Chicago Tribune had a great 3 part interview with show creators and writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Click here to read the entire article(s). Here's an excerpt:

Ryan: So many people love different things about "Lost" that I'm prepared to say, "OK, you guys like that stuff, that's cool. I'll get a turn with the stuff I like soon." 

Lindelof: We just hope you like Season 6. I think what’s cool about the show is that if you say to somebody who’s watched all five years, "What was your favorite season of the show?" -- there probably aren’t that many people out there saying Season 3 was their favorite, but they’ll say Season 3 was their favorite finale. You’ll get different answers. It's all over the place. And some people love Season 4 because of all the freighter stuff, some people love Season 5 because of the time-travel stuff. The purists just love Season 1 and nothing’s ever come up to [that standard], you know. That’s the way I was [i.e., debating which season was best] as a “Buffy” fan.

Cuse: Most people seem to like [Seasons] 1 or 5. Those are the two that people seemed to like the most. 

Click the link below to catch the season 5 finale which leads up to Tuesday night's season 6 premiere (which, by the way, you can catch starting with a special hourlong recap episode at 7p.m.)