Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Buffy Movie- WITHOUT JOSS!

I know I haven't posted in forever but I've been very very busy. I am still very busy at this point but I need to rant. I found out via Ausellio and Kristen at E! that some crazy executive is planning on making a Buffy movie without anyone from the cast and without Buffy creator, Joss Whedon. This is a fan girl's nightmare. I have no idea what the heck they are thinking and how they think it will be profitable. *sigh* Live and learn, right? And destroy a world-changing series in the process. What won't people do for money?

Learn more here:

And here:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Online Comics

So, I'm a big fan of procrastinating on the internet. And during my adventures through those crazy waves, I found a couple of online comics I absolutely love. And I thought I would pass them along to you. Check them out, like them. It helps if you're a big freak like me.


Questionable Content - a group of 20 something friends who are socially messed up. It's like Friends but with drawn people!

XKCD- a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Andy Hallet dies of Heart Failure

Sad, sad news has recently come to be in the world. Angel actor Andy Hallet died at the age of 33! He was always one of my favorite characters on that show and had a wonderful voice. I'll be watching multiple episodes of Angel in his honor. My heart breaks for his family. Angel actors die young.


Here's what Kristen at E! had to say:

Andy Hallett, who starred as Lorne ("the Host") on the TV series Angel, died of heart failure last night at age 33, according to his longtime agent and friend Pat Brady. The actor passed away at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after a five-year battle with heart disease, with his father Dave Hallett by his side.
Hallett, from the Cape Cod village of Osterville, Mass., appeared on more than 70 episodes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, Angel, between 2000 and 2004. The accomplished actor was also a musician and sang two songs ("Lady Marmalade" and "It's Not Easy Being Green") on the Angel: Live Fast, Die Never soundtrack, released in 2005.
The actor's character on Angel was Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, or Lorne for short. Hallett's Lorne was a friendly demon, who, when not assisting Angel and his team in the investigation of various and sundry underworld mysteries, served as the host and headliner at a demon bar.
Back in 2001, Hallett told our own Jen Godwin that despite constant flirtation with David Boreanaz' character Angel, and the occasional sly Elton John reference, "We don't really know if he's gay. I don't really know. It's funny, because sometimes he's right in Angel's face, and that's when I feel it the most. And viewers would probably think, hmm, what's going on here? This guy's pretty curvy."
Hallett has spent his post-Angel years working on his music career, playing shows around the country. He had been admitted to the hospital three or four times in the past few years for his heart condition, according to Pat.
Another Angel castmember, Glenn Quinn, who played Doyle in season one, passed away in 2002.
A private funeral service will be held for family and close friends in Cape Cod, most likely over this weekend.

Random Thoughts

It has been a really long time since I posted. Sorry, even Freaks have lives. But trust that I will be giving you my two-cents worth plenty soon. But why don't we talk about you? Here are my random thoughts and feel free to comment on them. Doesn't that seem fair?

The end of the TV season is ending soon (OH NO!). What show are you going to miss the most? What show will you watch during the summer? My answers: I'm going to miss Gossip Girl. It is my guilty pleasure. During the summer, I'll watch cable. Networks usually just show reality TV and if you haven't noticed by now, that's really not my cup of tea.

Do you love Twilight? Are you embarrassed that you love Twilight? Because I can't stand the concept of it. I'm a Buffy purist and you cannot convince me otherwise of the rules of the supernatural world. But sadly a lot of my friends have fallen victim to the sparkly vampires. Let me know if you want to start a support group.

How much do you love the Food Network? Liz Lemon and I are loving it.

What pop culture item do you wish everyone loved and why? Because I get increasingly irritated when people don't watch Dollhouse for no particular reason at all.

How do you like my new layout? I'm glad I got out of the Blogspot layout rut.

I promise I'll post something interesting soon. I know you miss me.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Because it Made Me Smile

Take this Twilight! Ha!

Shows That Died Too Soon

Ever heard of the expression, ‘it is better to have three really good friends than a hundred acquaintances?’ Well the networks haven’t. They would rather have a show that 11 million people watch occasionally than a show that 4 million people would give their right arm for. So I’m giving a shout out to those shows that you thought died too soon, from one fan to another. I’m just going to go cry in the corner, too much potential being wasted by the networks just makes me well up.


“Arrested Development-- awesome cast, funny, original.” Audrey Hyder

“Arrested Development --> It's extremely funny with a very messed up family with the main character being the only "normal" person. I've been known to watch the few seasons over and over again. Ended way too soon (sadness).” Danielle Moss

“I recently discovered the show Arrested Development. I can see how it would have a limited appeal but I found the humor quite hilarious and the dysfunctionality of the family extremely identifiable and enjoyable.” John Buckingham

“I agree that "Arrested Development" was canceled far too early. It was smart and witty on so many levels, from Ron Howard's spot-on narration to all the inside jokes for loyal viewers. It's unfortunate that a brilliant sitcom like this lasted only three seasons while the abomination that is "According to Jim" has entered its EIGHTH year. Coincidence that such a brainless comedy would air during Bush's two terms in office? I don't think so.” Jenna Briggs

Arrested Development
Canceled by: FOX
Lasted: 2 and a half seasons 2003-2006
Update: Movie in the works for next year

Plot: Arrested Development revolves around the Bluth family, a family who use to be rich but through excessive spending and stupid choices are dirt broke. At the center of the show is the relatively honorable Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), who strives to do the right thing and keep his family together, despite their materialism, selfishness, and manipulative natures.

Why it’s awesome: Where to start? People have really been discovering this show since it got canceled and people are very sad that they missed it. Arrested Development uses several elements that are rare for American live-action sitcoms. Like a documentary, it often cuts away abruptly from scenes in order to supplement the narrative with material such as security camera footage, Bluth family photos, website screenshots, and archive films. Flashbacks are also extensively used to show the Bluth family in various stages of their lives. The show does not employ a laugh track, allowing for uninterrupted back-and-forth dialogue and permitting more time for plot development and jokes. An omniscient third-person narrator (producer Ron Howard, uncredited) ties together the multiple plot threads running through each episode, and provides tongue-in-cheek commentary. Wordplay is abundant, for humor and plot; a character may misinterpret an ambiguous phrase with embarrassing or disastrous results. Before cutting to a commercial, the show flashes a white screen instead of the usual black screen. The plot regularly features callbacks to previous episodes and "call-forwards", wherein plots or events will be foreshadowed in subtle ways.

“Everwood-- great characters, dealt with a lot of real issues.” Audrey Hyder

"I'm going to add Everwood to the list. That was such a poignant, well-acted and well-written show, and it was a casualty of the WB merger. How could they possibly have renewed 7th Heaven for an 11th season and not bring back Everwood for a fifth? Fortunately, I got an e-mail from Amazon saying they're *finally* releasing the second season on DVD this year." Kristen Mooney

Canceled by: The WB/UPN merger
Lasted: 4 seasons 2002-2006
Update: 2nd Season *finally* coming to DVD in June

Plot: Everwood tells the story of a widower, Dr Andy Brown, who leaves his successful job as a top Manhattan neurosurgeon to live in a small Colorado town, bringing his 9-year-old daughter Delia and 15-year-old son Ephram with him. He chooses the town of Everwood because his late wife had told him of her emotional attachment to it. Many of the story lines deal with the conflicts of adjusting to a new setting, as well as getting along with new people. Dr. Brown, simply called Andy most of the time, at first finds some animosity towards Dr. Harold Abbott, with whom his professional opinions differ. However, Dr. Abbott's cranky demeanor and Andy's passive, cheerful attitude prove to mesh well and the two begin a friendly rivalry. Ephram continually struggles with his emerging adolescence, his studies as a classical pianist, and his crush on Amy Abbott, Dr. Abbott's daughter. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Why it’s awesome: It dealt with real issues without being too cheesy. The characters were real, life wasn’t easy, and no one was spared from the guilty train. It is one of the few dramas I could actually watch. Too bad The CW picked 7th Heaven over this gem. Well, maybe at least they will bring all the DVDs out now. Thank you ABC Family for replaying the show and bringing it back to life.

Dead Like Me
Canceled by: Showtime 2003-2004
Lasted: 2- half of seasons
Update: Dead Like Me the Movie: Life After Death (Just released in Feb)

Plot: Georgia "George" Lass (ELLEN MUTH) is a young college drop-out who has no job skills and seems unable to take an interest in anything, including her own life. She cultivates an air of cynicism that infuriates her mother, baffles her father, and isolates her younger sister. George is about to get a wake-up call.

With her mother Joy (CYNTHIA STEVENSON) insisting that she get a job, George applies to a temp agency that sends her out as a file clerk. Her lunch break - and her life - are cut short when a toilet seat from the MIR space station drives her into the pavement. George does not realize that she is dead until Rube (MANDY PATINKIN), the kindly leader of a team of grim reapers, points out her remains. Rube takes George under his wing and introduces her to the other members of his undead group: Mason (CALLUM BLUE), Roxy (JASMINE GUY) and Betty (REBECCA GAYHEART).

The members of Rube's team of reapers are all, like George, people who died with unresolved issues. They still have lessons to learn that - for one reason or another - they failed to learn in life. They move about the Pacific Northwest in the full light of day. They walk the city streets and eat at all-night diners, just like anyone else. They have to find somewhere to live, cook, eat and do their laundry. They look just like everyone else but as grim reapers they appear physically different to the living than they did when they were alive.

What George experiences beyond death is the focus of this darkly comedic series. It takes a slightly twisted look at life and at one possible version of life after life. What if death is not the end? What if it is not even an escape from the issues that plagued us? What if it is not a way to avoid accountability, but an opportunity to accept responsibility? What if it is a wake-up call?

Why it’s awesome: It’s a show about grim reapers! It was created by Bryan Fuller who has recently be getting a reputation for being awesome. He also created Pushing Daisies and was in charge of the first season of Heroes. Fuller left the show five episodes into the first season due to creative differences; creative direction of Dead Like Me was then taken over by executive producers John Masius and Stephen Godchaux. It’s funny but it’s a dark kind of funny, definitely one of a kind.

“Tru Calling, Firefly, were both cancelled before their time, definitely include them.” Greg Myers

Tru Calling
Canceled by: FOX
Lasted: 1 and a half seasons 2003-2005
Update: Eliza Dushku now stars in Dollhouse

Plot: Tru Davies, a medical grad student in Boston whose grant is suddenly pulled out from under her, takes a job at a local morgue. There, she discovers that she has the power to "re-live" the previous day over again to help the people who wrongly ended up dead. She uses this gift not only to save lives, but to help her trouble-plagued family - her older sister Meredith, a lawyer and drug addict in denial; and her younger, irresponsible, slacker, gambling brother Harrison. (Summary from IMDB)

Why it’s awesome: Eliza Dushku. She relives days to save lives. Jason Priestly plays her rival/romantic foil. It’s television gold. Too bad they hardly got into the plot before it was canceled. After the season finale of the first season, FOX was almost close to canceling the show but didn't because the ratings in the middle of the first season improved and since its competitor Friends was on their final season, FOX decided to renew this series and give it another chance. The show was canceled by FOX, who thought that the new series "Point Pleasant" (2005) would work better following The O.C. than Tru Calling. Point Pleasant was canceled before finishing its 13 episodes. And people were still really mad that Eliza turned down a Faith spinoff to star in this show. Fan people get really pissed about things like that.

“Firefly! This show was brilliantly written, but not marketed well.” Rachel Radwanski

“I totally agree that Firefly was a show that should have continued until today. Brilliant plot, vibrant characters, etc...” John Buckingham

Canceled by: FOX (sense a pattern?)
Lasted: half of a season and a movie, Serenity 2002-2003
Updated: Joss is working on Dollhouse, Summer Glau is doing The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Nathan Fillion is doing Castle

Plot: Captain Malcom 'Mal' Reynolds is a former galactic war veteran who is the captain of the transport ship "Serenity", Mal his crew of hired transporters, Mal's ensign Zoe Warren, Zoe's husband, pilot Hoban 'Wash' Washburne, muscular former combat soldier Jayne Cobb, young engineer Kaylee Frye, former Alliance medical officer Simon Tamm, his teenage sister River (Both on-the-run from the Interplanetary government "The Alliance"), the beautiful "companion" Inara Serra and religious man Shepard Book do legal or illegal jobs (smuggling, protecting, guns-for-hire, robberies) as the Serenity crew travels across the outskirts of Outer Space for food, money, anything to make a living on, as The Serenity crew tries to stay under the radar of The Alliance and pulls dangerous jobs in the Alliance controlled star systems.

Why it’s awesome: It’s a western in space! It was written by Joss Whedon! It’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s futuristic. It was killed by tossing around the episodes, switching the nights, killing it eleven episodes in. Fox, can you just have patience? It introduced us to Summer Glau who is now a fanboy goddess.

“Veronica Mars - who's the smartest high school/college detective on television these days? She was so funny, sarcastic, and so entertaining to watch.” Amanda Smith

Veronica Mars
Canceled by: The CW
Lasted: 3 Seasons 2004-2007
Update: A movie is rumored to be in the works

Plot: In a town where there is no middle class, high school student Veronica Mars fights crime one case at a time, and then insults with a witty comment. After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

Why it’s awesome: It’s clever, well written, and stars the perky Kristen Bell. The ensemble cast works well together and the mystery keeps you coming back for more. Rob Thomas originally shot the pilot to be on a network like Showtime or HBO but when it ended up on UPN, some of the plot lines had to be changed. Even with that, the show still had some controversial storylines.

“R.I.P. Pushing Daisies. The show was really formulaic and I didn't expect it to last a really long time but it definitely went way too soon. the show was so colorful and fairy tale-esque!” Kelsey Parker

“Pushing Daisies! I completely agree. It was somewhat formulaic, but the set designs, costumes, and characters made up for any formula. It was incredibly creative and was way beyond it's competitor's for originality.” Rachel Radwadski

Pushing Daisies
Canceled by: ABC
Lasted: 2 seasons 2007-2009
Update: A comic book is in the works

Plot: Pushing Daisies centers on the life of Ned, a pie-maker gifted with the mysterious ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. There are some conditions to this somewhat unusual talent. Ned quickly learns that if something is revived for more than exactly one minute, something of similar "life value" in the vicinity drops dead, as a form of balance. Additionally, if he touches the revived person or thing a second time, it falls dead again, this time permanently.
Inheriting his mother's baking talents, Ned becomes a pie-maker who owns a restaurant called "The Pie Hole", which he runs with the help of waitress Olive Snook (Kristen Chenoweth). The restaurant is failing financially when private investigator Emerson Cod accidentally discovers Ned's gift and offers him a proposal: Ned will bring murder victims back to life, inquire about the circumstances of their untimely death, then touch them once more, all before his set limit of sixty seconds is up. Emerson will then solve the case and they will split the reward money for solving the unanswered questions surrounding the death.
The scheme succeeds until they learn that Chuck, whom Ned hasn't seen since childhood, was murdered while on a cruise ship. When her body is shipped back home, Ned revives her, but can't bring himself to allow her to stay dead by touching her a second time. Against his better judgment, Ned allows her to live and the larcenous funeral home director falls dead in her place. Ned and Chuck fall in love again and he brings her home to live with him under the unique circumstances of their never being able to touch each other. Chuck is extraordinarily grateful upon receiving a second chance at life, and as such she starts to appreciate life as a truly precious resource and Ned, witnessing his vivacious beauty's happiness, begins to break out of his lonely shell. Other storylines include Emerson's search for his missing daughter, Olive Snook's love for Ned and friendship with Chuck, and Chuck's aunts trying desperately to get over their dead niece.

Why it’s awesome: Created by Bryan Fuller. Originally set to be a Dead Like Me spin off. Based on a rejected plotline for "Dead Like Me" where Ellen Muth's character couldn't collect any souls because somebody was resurrecting them with a touch. It’s so unique and colorful, very creative. The narration of Jim Dale brings a lot to the show and the whole thing seems very innocent, which is quite difficult when talking about a show about death.

Other Comments:

“The Classic Bugs Bunny. Duh! They don't make cartoons like they used to...that and they need to bring back the OLD Scooby Doos...the new ones don't live up to the old! But really...They need to bring back the classics...Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman...good and clean. And...no offense to all the people that like Desperate Housewives... but it's been on way too long.” Denae Enderle

“Even Stevens-- great characters/actors, really good writing, just a very entertaining show
Lasted too long? Seventh Heaven-- even though I never really watched it, it seems like a lot of the original characters were replaced with new ones.” Audrey Hyder

“Freaks and Geeks-That show was so freaking awesome!” Angela Broz

“I used to like the show freakylinks in high school... and it was cancelled soon after it was started.” Julie Pretzlaff

“Dawson's Creek lasted WAY too long in my opinion. Too much teeny bopper drama and it would take away from the awesome that was Buffy.There was a series of Spider-man in the early 2000s that was shown on MTV. I've been rewatching it on Hulu. I actually thought it was quite good, but it never made it past one season (and a short season at that - only 13 half hour episodes). I thought they had Peter Parker down completely, and Spidey's movements perfect. However, the 3-D animation used for it may have put a majority of people off.” Rachel Radwadski

“As for a series that lasted way too long, I'd have to go with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Although I ate in up in all of my nerdiness, I still feel that the plot lost its luster after about the 4th season or so. Neither should they have reincarnated the general Star Trek theme so many times. The new star trek is a travesty. Blech.” John Buckingham

“I always, always loved Daria. It rocked just because the humor was so different, one of the first adult cartoons. I probably shouldn't have been allowed to watch it - but i did, which is probably why I'm a sarcastic tool to this day. I still quote that show. SO funny.” Patrick Yovanov

Monday, March 9, 2009

Canceled Shows 2008-2009 season

Seasons come and seasons go and sometimes they are gone for good. Here's a list of canceled shows for the 2008-2009 season from Pazsaz Entertainment Network.

Look for my upcoming post on TV shows that were canceled too soon! It will be a blast from your past. It makes me thankful for TV on DVD, actually, when aren't I thankful for TV shows on DVD? Three words: According. To. Jim.


4Real (CW) Ending after seven episodes, final episode on 11/23/2008
Battlestar Galactica (SCI) Ending after four seasons, final episode on 3/20/2009
Boston Legal (ABC) Ending after five seasons, final episode on 12/8/2008
Celebrity Exposé (MNT) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 10/27/2008
Charlie Jade (SCI) Ending after one season, final episode on 10/21/2008
Christina's Court (SYN) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 9/?/2009
Crusoe (NBC) Ending after one season, final episode on 1/31/2009
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/17/2008
Do Not Disturb (FOX) Ending after three episodes, final episode on 9/24/2008
Easy Money (CW) Ending after four episodes, final episode on 10/26/2008
Eli Stone (ABC) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/20/2008
The Emperor's New School (DSNY) Ended after two seasons, final episode on 11/20/2008
ER (NBC) Ending after fifteen seasons, final episode on 4/2/2009
The Ex List (CBS) Ending after four episodes, final episode on 10/24/2008
Flip That House (TLC) Ending after four seasons, final episode on 10/28/2008
Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (CAR)Ending after six seasons, final episode on 5/?/2009
Frank TV (TBS) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/23/2008
Greg Behrendt's Wake-Up Call (SOAP) Ending after one season, final episode on 2/12/2009
Haunting Evidence (TRU) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 10/25/2008
Homeland Security USA (ABC) Ending after eight episodes, final episode on 3/10/2009
In Harm's Way (CW) Ending after five episodes, final episode on 10/26/2008
Jail (MNT) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 5/19/2009
Kyle XY (FAM) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 3/16/2009
The L-Word (SHO) Ending after six seasons, final episode on 3/8/2009
Late Night With Conan O'Brien (NBC) Ending after sixteen seasons, final episode on 2/20/2009
Life On Mars (ABC) Ending after one season, final episode on 4/1/2009
Lipstick Jungle (NBC) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 1/9/2009
MADtv (FOX) Ending after fourteen seasons, final episode on 5/?/2009
Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 5/18/2009
Masters Of Illusion (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 5/18/2009
The Middleman (FAM) Ending after one season, final episode on 9/1/2008
Mind Of Mencia (COM) Ending after four seasons, final episode on 7/23/2008
The Morning Show With Mike & Juliet (SYN) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 6/?/2009
Moral Orel (ASW) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 12/18/2008
My Gym Partner's A Monkey (CAR) Ending after four seasons, final episode on 11/27/2008
My Own Worst Enemy (NBC) Ending after nine episodes, final episode on 12/15/2008
Opportunity Knocks (ABC) Ending after three episodes, final episode on 10/14/2008
Prison Break (FOX) Ending after four seasons, final episode on 5/15/2009
Pushing Daisies (ABC) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/17/2008
The Shield (FX) Ending after seven seasons, final episode on 11/25/2008
Shin Chan (ASW) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/14/2008
South Of Nowhere (N) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 12/12/2008
Stargate Atlantis (SCI) Ending after five seasons, final episode on 1/9/2009
The Starter Wife (USA) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 12/12/2008
Street Patrol (MNT) Ending after two seasons, final episode on 5/19/2009
Survivorman (DSC) Ending after three seasons, final episode on 12/19/2008
Swingtown (CBS) Ending after one season, final episode on 8/29/2008
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC) Ending after seventeen seasons, final episode on 5/29/2009
The Tony Rock Project (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 5/11/2009
Trading Spaces (TLC) Ending after eight seasons, final episode on 12/6/2008
TRL (MTV) Ending after nineteen seasons, final episode on 12/16/2008
Under One Roof (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 1/14/2009
Valentine (CW) Ending after four episodes, final episode on 10/26/2008
Vice Squad (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 2/3/2009
The World's Funniest Moments (MNT) Ending after one season, final episode on 5/20/2009
The Xtacles (ASW) Ending after two episodes, final episode on 11/9/2008

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pop Culture Fads of the 90s: Fashion

The 1990s in popular culture is typically referred to as the decade of "anti-fashion".

I like to refer to it as the decade where I look back and gag. Thank goodness I wasn't a teenager in the 90s. Remember when clogs were hot? How about over sized blazers? The 90s, thank goodness they are over, if not for fashion choices alone.


"And grunge? Is this bad or good? Undecided. I don't even know if I'm referring to the music or the fashion, but there it is." Daniel Cody Richmond.

Well Grunge is another word for dirt or soil, does that say anything? Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the issue:

The grunge style which was influenced by grunge music, which achieved mainstream popularity in 1992. Grunge Fashion consisted mostly of plaid, flannel shirts, stonewashed blue jeans, and dark colors. Grunge fashion popularized Doc Martens style shoes and boots, and high top sneakers in red, indigo, forest green, and black. Grunge fashion emphasized long, straight hair. Grunge fashion was a unisex phenomenon. Although the grunge look was considered "anti-fashion", the fashion industry turned the grunge look into a distinct fashion style. The fashion industry began selling such items as plaid hooded sweatshirts, plaid sweatshirt vests, plaid long sleeved t-shirts, and plaid shorts. The "fashion" did not evolve out of a conscious attempt to create an appealing fashion, but due to the inexpensiveness of such clothes and the warmth that they provided for the cold climate of the region. The media, rather than focusing on the music, would give this fashion a heavy amount of exposure. In the early 1990s, the fashion industry marketed "grunge fashion" to a widespread audience, charging relatively high prices for clothing that they assumed to be popular in the grunge scene. Similarly, the media would view grunge as a whole culture, assuming it to be Generation X's attempt to create a culture similar to the hippie counterculture of the previous generation.


"Scrunchies, especially the big ones. I used to wear those all the time." Audrey Hyder

If you were a female child of the 90s, you had scrunchies. It was a given. But the bigger your scrunchies the cooler you were.

"Homemade scrunchies with puffy paint!" Kayla Scheuffler

And yes, you could make your own scrunchies! I use to make scrunchie after scrunchie and there is no way I would ever need all those scrunchies but that's what you did as a girl in the 90s. And then you wore them. And that's a sad story within itself.


"Skirt Pants. Every girl in my middle school had a pair of these in the 90s.I have to admit, I still think they look pretty cool. Sadly, I haven't owned a pair since 1998! I think everyone bought them at Limited Too!" Alexzandra Spatopolis

I never owned a pair of skirt-pants. I never seen anyone wear skirt-pants. But there have been stories, and I have been scared.

I couldn't find anything on skirt-pants except for pictures. Yes! They do exist. But maybe we're just trying to move past the pain or maybe were trying to forget. Either way, skirt-pants seem to be a thing of the past, for now.

Decorate Your Own Sweatshirts

"Sweatshirts with iron-on pictures and puffy paint! Love it." Kayla Scheuffler

"Oh, definitely the decorated sweatshirts. Especially when paired with the matching leggings, stirrup leggings." Ruth Cornell

Creativity, what a wonderful idea. Too bad the people of the 90s decided to wear it. Can you imagine seeing someone wearing these now? Fashion, it's a crazy, crazy thing.

Other Fashion Fads that we love to hate or hate to love.

"Slip dress with hiking boots - worst fad of the 90s." Rachel Radwanski
"Slap bracelets." Alaina Marie
"Neon colored spandex shorts." Kayla Scheuffler

Fads come and go, but you'll always be close to my heart no matter what you wear (as long as it's not the decorate your own sweatshirt, we have to draw the line somewhere.)


Pop Culture Fads of the 90s: Toys

Toys! Remember the 90s? Remember fads? Then you are going to love this post! We're playing the 'remember when' game and you are our first contestant. See if you remember these fads, bonus points if you use to or still own (I don't judge, at least not to your face) some of these toys.

Pogs is a game that was popular from the early to late 1990s. The word "pog" also refers to the discs used to play the game. The name originates from POG, a brand of juice made from passionfruit, orange and guava; the use of the POG bottle caps to play the game pre-dated the game's commercialization. The game of pogs originated in Hawaii in the 1920s or 1930s, and returned to popularity when the World POG Federation and the Canada Games Company reintroduced them to the public in the 1990s.
The game can be played by two or more players. Each has their own collection of pogs and a slammer (a heavier game piece). Before the game, players decide whether to play 'for keeps', or not. 'For keeps' implies that the players keep the POGs that they win, and forfeit those that have been won by other players. Finally, the game can begin as followed:
The players each contribute an equal number of pogs to build a stack with the pieces facing down, which will be used during the game. The players take turns throwing their slammer down onto the top of the stack, causing it to spring up and the POGs to scatter.
Often, a special juke is used by the defender to prevent the slammer from overturning more pogs. Jukes include screaming, taunting the opponent, waving hands, slapping, or other distracting moves.
Each player keeps any POGs that land 'face up' after their throw
This was suggested by simply the shout POGS!! It brings joy to hearts everywhere I guess. I don't remember how I learned about Pogs and I don't know where I got them, but I had a lot. Any one like to share their experience with Pogs, I am interested?
Amanda Smith: "Skip-It was pretty entertaining!"
Yes, yes it was. Skipping for hours upon hours over a ball tied to a rope attatched to your foot. Wow those marketers really got us on that one. But admit it, you had a Skip-It, I had a Skip-It, we all had Skip-It. At least until you did it in the house and broke something, then it "mysteriously" disappeared.

Beanie Babies
The original nine Beanie Babies launched in 1993 were Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, Brownie the Bear (later renamed "Cubbie") and Punchers the Lobster (later renamed "Pinchers"). The line became a phenomenon in the late 90s when Beanie Babies became both a fad and a collectible. Ty decided to stop making Beanies in 1999, however, consumer demand made Ty Warner change his mind. He continues to run Ty Inc. and design new Beanie Babies to this day.

I never really got into the Beanie Baby fad too much simply because my mother refused to buy me a million stuffed animals. But I knew girls who would get every single one of them as soon as they came out until it completely took over their room (you know who I'm talking about). I still have a few, mostly rodents for some reason. The wonderful ability to make any animal look super cute. Honestly, I don't know anyone who didn't have at least one. If you are one of these people, please let it be known to the world, for you are a very special person.
When I watch Clean House on the Style Network, I still see people who think these stuffed animals are worth something. Only in your hearts.
A Furby (plural Furbys or Furbies, according to Tiger. Co.) is an electronic toy, more specifically, a robot, made by Tiger Electronics which went through a period of being a "must-have" toy following its launch in the holiday season of 1998, with continual sales until 2000. Furby sold 1.8 million units in 1998, 14 million units in 1999, and altogether in its three years of original production, Furby sold over 40 million units, and its speaking capabilities were translated into 24 languages. Furbys were the first successful attempt to produce and sell a domestically-aimed robot. A newly purchased Furby starts out speaking entirely Furbish, the unique language that all Furbys use, but are programmed to speak less Furbish as they learn more English. The more English they learn, the more they "grow", thus placing them under the autonomous robot category.
Furbies always creeped me out! Still to this day creep me out! And when Kristen submitted me this idea even she said she was creeped out. It's a cool idea, but why in the heck did they have to make it so creepy? I am so glad these aren't popular any more.
Giga Pets/Tamagotchi
Giga Pets are a series of virtual pets. They were first created and released in 1997. The first Giga Pets included the Bit Critter, Compu Kitty, Digital Doggie, and Micro Chimp. Baby T-Rex and Virtual Alien were added shortly after, with Komputer Koala and Floppy Frog following. The latter of which became a rare collector's item, and is widely regarded as the best Giga Pet ever made. Floppy Frogs have been known to be sold on eBay for up to 28 dollars. When Tiger Electronics decided to release a new line of pets, they called them Giga Friends. These included such pets as the Salem the Cat giga pet, Looney Tunes, Giga Farm, and various Star Wars characters, among others.
The Tamagotchi is a handheld digital pet created in 1996. The Tamagotchi is housed in a small and simple egg-shaped computer. Three buttons (A, B, and C) allow the user to select and perform an activity, including:
Feeding the Tamagotchi a piece of food or a snack.
Playing games with the Tamagotchi.
Cleaning up a Tamagotchi's waste.
Checking its age, discipline, hunger, happiness and other statistics.
Connecting with other friends
Thanks to Kelsey Parker for suggesting Gigipets! "Ireally liked Gigapets. I had a cat that I was pretty attached to and then they banned them in school and poor kitty died."
Rachel Radwanski: "Omg, Gigapets remind me of Tamagotchi! Similar, but not the same thing. I remember having a neon green and pink tamagachi."
Ruth Cornell: "Tamagotchi had the chocolate chip poop that steamed."
I had a 101 Dalmations Gigapet. Oh the good times we had.
Yellow is from Wikipedia

The Best Bad Movie Awards

Welcome to the first (and probably only) Best Bad Movie Award Show. I am your host PCF and imagine I am talking in a really cheesy announcer voice for the rest of the post. Tonight we will be honoring the guilty pleasure movies that you all know you have. Ready for a movie marathon weekend in? Well, I’ve already compiled the perfect list: all suggested by you, the audience. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry because you’re laughing so hard!

Our first category is, Movies Starring Singers! Vocalist stars always have to try their hand at acting and for every good singer/actor we get, there’s two or three Mariahs and Madonnas. But it makes for good bad movies. And the winner is: Pop Star! Nominated by Ruth Cornell. Here’s what Ruth has to say: “Pop Star. It is horrible. But it is so horrible - writing, acting, plot - that it is wonderfully funny. Plus it stars Aaron Carter....what more could you ask for? PS - everyone should watch it.”

Our next category is, Movies About Small Towns! You know you’ve never heard of them until the movie came out but then you think it’s totally cool if someone is from there. But if you visit it, you find there is nothing to do. Welcome to America! And the winner is: Elizabethtown! Nominated by Jenna Briggs. Here’s what Jenna has to say: “Maybe I'm just biased towards all things Cameron Crowe but I really liked Elizabethtown, even though everyone calls it the poor man's Garden State (which ironically enough, I hated). Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom have zero chemistry, but there are enough quirky little moments and an amazing soundtrack to make the movie worth watching. Added bonus: it's the film where the always adorable Paula Dean makes her big-screen debut.”

They sing, they dance, and they kind of act! Our next category is: The Best Bad Musical! And the winner is: High School Musical. Nominated by Hayley Wiemer. “I absolutely love the High School Musical movies! I don't know what it is, but I love music and the fact that they can sing like they do just blows my mind. I also like the high school kid-like vibe the movie has, and I really enjoy what other people think is lame, predictable story lines with bad acting.”

They’ve been around for ages but now society gives them a new twist, The Best Bad Horror Character Versus Horror Character Movie. You’ve seen Alien vs. Predator, you’ve seen Freddy vs. Jason (and wish you hadn’t) but is there a worst good one? The winner is: Van Helsing! Nominated by Danielle Moss. “Vampire's vs. Werewolves, one or two subplots, fast paced, Hugh Jackman (hot) as Helsing, and in the end it's not the expected he gets the girl (cause she dies) but it's still a happy/bittersweet ending. I guess according to rotten tomatoes the film sucks, but I love it -- Also like Constatine and Underworld, but those got criticized too.”

The Best Bad Purposely Confusing Movie: Lucky # Slevin! Nominated by Greg Myers, “Almost everyone I know loves the movie but the critics gave it terrible reviews for excessive use of background scenery but it was exactly what the critics hated about it is what I loved.” Lucky # Slevin is definitely one of my favorites that does not get enough credit. For the guys it has action, mystery, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freedman, mob bosses, and well for the girls there’s all of that plus Josh Hartnet in a towel.

And now, the award you have all been waiting for. The one we saved for last, The Best Bad Movie You’ve Never Heard Of goes to: *drum roll* Plan 9 From Outer Space! Nominated by Julie Pretzalf, “It's like a B- horror flick from the 50's... combining what would seemingly be the typical horror movie material... vampires, aliens, living dead, the world coming to an end, etc. I don't know if it was made to be bad, but pretty much everyone I know, including the film profs that showed it in class call it bad. Maybe that's why I laughed and enjoyed it so much? Not because it's actually funny in any way, but because it's just so ridiculous?”

That wraps it up for the Probably Never to Be Held Again Best Bad Movie Awards. If you didn’t see your movie up here, complain and maybe I’ll post it, if it is bad enough. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bunch of babies to take candy from.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Buffy the Animated Series

I am one of the biggest Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, ever. It's actually a sickness. So I was very disappointed when they canceled the idea of Buffy the Animated Series four years ago. But I guess they created a three and a half minute pilot and it leaked onto the internet. Yay for the internet! It was going to be voiced by the actual cast (except for SMG who is replaced by Giselle Loren, who did the BtVS video games and is pretty darn close to sounding like her).

I love it, and I hate it because it reminds me of what could have been *sigh*. Oh well. At least you have close to 4 minutes of Buffy goodness (Don't even get me started on the Veronica Mars season 4 leak, you'll have me in tears).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Favorite Pop Culture Fads of the 90s pt.1

Welcome to the new series, Favorite Pop Culture Fads of the 90s! What was your favorite 90s Pop Culture Fad? Or your least favorite? I don't discriminate.

Our first fad, and one of my personal favorites, Power Rangers!

I still believe if you search closely, you can still find Power Rangers of some kind on TV, but that might just be an urban myth.

Who didn't play Power Rangers on the play ground at recess? I was always Pink Ranger. And although it is completely ridiculous (bad guys out of clay anyone? Any nightmares about your play-dough coming to life and attacking you during the night? No? Just me?) it always kept you coming back for more. Well at least until they changed the cast...

Thanks to Travis for suggesting the video!

It's Morphin' Time!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Bad Movies pt.3 The Classics

So there are movies who everyone agrees that are bad but everyone loves them anyway. *trumpets play* So I bring you part three of the Best Bad movies. How many times have you seen Goonies anyway? Think about all that studying you could have been doing--no wonder you're failing college. Well don't stop on my account, I'm queen of watching stuff. Just don't try to take my crown.


The Goonies

Patrick Yovanov
The Goonies!Love it. Mystery, treasure, water slides. Hilarity. Just a funny, feel good movie.

The Goonies, a group of young teenaged friends living in Astoria, Oregon, face foreclosure on their families' homes from the expanding Astoria Country Club. While rummaging through the bric-a-brac accumulated in the Walshes' attic by their father (a local museum curator), they find an old newspaper clipping, a map, and an artifact relating to a rumor of a forgotten pirate treasure somewhere in the area. Hearing the call of adventure, Mikey tries to persuade his friends to join him in search for the treasure hoarded by a pirate named One Eyed Willie.
They head to the coast and stumble upon an abandoned seaside restaurant that seems to match coordinates set by the map and an old doubloon. Unbeknownst to the Goonies, the restaurant is actually a secret hideout of a family of Italian criminals known as the Fratellis. To make matters worse, they find the dead body of an F.B.I. agent stored away in a freezer, and the Fratellis have returned to the hideout, though they remain unaware of the Goonies' presence in the basement.
With the Fratellis in close pursuit, the group risks life and limb navigating the caves and dodging booby traps until they discover the hidden cove and final resting place of The Inferno, before they get too carried away, the Fratellis capture the group on board the ship, strip them of their treasure.
The Goonies barely escape and make their way out to the beach outside the cave, even though everyone is happy that the young adventurers were unharmed, the kids themselves are devastated at their inability to hold onto any of the treasure lost in the cave's collapse. All hope is restored when Rosalita, the Walshes' housekeeper, discovers a handful of precious jewels left in Mikey's marble bag. With this new fortune, the Goonies are able to save everyone’s homes from foreclosure.


Travis Neumeyer
Mallrats - The critics really tore Kevin Smith (writer, director) apart for this movie, especially after the success of his directorial debut, Clerks, but I love it because of its flaws. At times, it's campy and unconventionally funny but they're familiar, real characters, who have real situations to overcome.

T.S. is preparing for a trip to Universal Studios Florida with his girlfriend Brandi, during which he plans to propose to her; however, the two have an argument and break up after Brandi tells him she can't go because she's volunteered to fill in as a contestant on Truth or Date, her dad's "cheesy Dating Game rip-off" TV show. T.S. turns to his comic book-loving best friend Brodie who has also broken up with his girlfriend Rene and Brodie suggests the two might find solace at the local mall.
Brodie and T.S. discover Truth or Date is shooting at the same mall, and ask local troublemaking
drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob to destroy the show's stage. Brodie also finds out Rene is being pursued by his nemesis Shannon Hamilton, a clothing store manager who hates Brodie.
Between seeking romantic advice from Stan Lee and debating such topics as the sexual proclivities of comic-book characters and the status of a cookie stand located outside the official food court, the two run into various acquaintances, including a sex researcher who happens to be a
minor, and a guy who spends all day trying to see the hidden image of a sailboat in a Magic Eye poster. They also run afoul of Brandi's father, who has the mall security guard La Fours plant marijuana on their persons so they can be arrested. In addition to helping them escape, Jay and Silent Bob get two of the game show contestants stoned, allowing T.S. and Brodie to replace them on Truth or Date and woo back their respective exes.

(The summaries are edited from Wikipedia)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars- Wow, It Didn't Suck

Did you watch the 81st Annual Academy Awards? Probably not, but I did. And it actually was pretty entertaining. Yes, it was the same movies over and over again. And yes, most people who won the Golden Globes won at the Oscars. But they did their best to incorporate all the movies from 2008. And it was funny, unlike that snore called the Golden Globes.

A brief overview: Hugh Jackman, the host, did a funny job hosting, complete with song and dance at the beginning, pulling a “surprised” Anne Hathaway onto the stage to sing with him. Tina Fey and Steve Martin presented the screenwriting awards and they were hilarious, but come on, it’s Tina Fey. Who wasn’t expecting that? Jack Black made famous people feel uncomfortable. There was even a skit about the David Letterman incident starring Ben Stiller. Judd Apatow did a short film, kind of a parody of the Pineapple Express, nothing incredibly awesome, but creative. Jackman and Beyonce do a musical number with songs from movie musicals (“The Musical is back!”) Zac and Vanessa from High School Musical and Amanda Seyfried from Mamma Mia dance and sang along side them (*squee*). A winner did magic on stage, um, no comment. Will Smith presented! This year’s tribute was to Jerry Lewis. There was a boring/weird performance after the Original Score was announced; 11pm was not the greatest time slot for a long performance. They did the memorial to all those in the ‘biz who died over the year while Queen Latifa sang. Slumdog Millionaire won everything. Kate Winslet gave another babbling speech. Sean Penn said that the people of the Academy were “homo-loving, sons of guns.” Gay rights issue was a big deal at the Oscars this year with speeches during both Milk wins. And it didn’t end until midnight.

The main point is that the Oscars tried to shake things up a bit this year and I think it was a big hit. It was moving, it was funny, it was good TV. Maybe you should have watched it.

Don’t want to be left out of an Oscar convo? Check out how to fake an Oscar conversation: http://www.moviefone.com/insidemovies/2009/02/18/how-to-fake-your-way-through-any-oscars-conversation/

Here’s who won:
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Christian Colson

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Winner: Sean Penn for Milk (2008/I)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Winner: Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008)

Best Achievement in Directing
Winner: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Winner: Okuribito (2008)(Japan)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - A.R. Rahman, Sampooran Singh Gulzar("Jai Ho")

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - A.R. Rahman

Best Achievement in Editing
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Chris Dickens

Best Achievement in Sound
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, Resul Pookutty

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Winner: The Dark Knight (2008) - Richard King

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Winner: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) - Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton, Craig Barron

Best Documentary, Short Subjects
Winner: Smile Pinki (2008) - Megan Mylan

Best Documentary, Features
Winner: Man on Wire (2008) - James Marsh, Simon Chinn

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (2008)

Best Short Film, Live Action
Winner: Spielzeugland (2007) - Jochen Alexander Freydank

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Anthony Dod Mantle
Best Achievement in Makeup
Winner: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) - Greg Cannom
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Winner: The Duchess (2008) - Michael O'Connor
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Winner: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) - Donald Graham Burt, Victor J. Zolfo
Best Short Film, Animated
Winner: Maison en petits cubes, La (2008) - Kunio Katô
Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Winner: WALL·E (2008) - Andrew Stanton
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Winner: Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Simon Beaufoy
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
Winner: Milk (2008/I) - Dustin Lance Black
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Best Worst Movies (pt.2) The Girlie Edition

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!
Details: 2004, USA, Cert PG, 96 mins
With: Josh Duhamel, Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace

Summary: A girl (Bosworth) wins a date with her favorite film star Tad Hamilton (Duhamel) as part of a publicity stunt. Her best friend (Grace), who is secretly in love with her, is not impressed. She has to decide whether Hamilton is the man of her dreams or if her friend is more than she first believed.

This is one of those movies where you know what’s going to happen but it’s so incredibly sweet, you really don’t care. Like all these movies, don’t go into it thinking it’s the greatest movie in the world. Bosworth is charming and quite frankly this is her best performance, in my opinion. Duhamel and Grace are all kinds of pretty. Definitely perfect for a girl’s night in. And it has a Piggily Wiggily, which always equals comic gold.

Sweet Home Alabama
Details: 2002, USA, Cert PG-13, 108 mins
With: Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey

Summary: New York fashion designer Melanie Carmichael suddenly finds herself engaged to the city's most eligible bachelor. But Melanie's past holds many secrets, including Jake, the redneck husband she married in high school, who refuses to divorce her. Bound and determined to end their contentious relationship once and for all, Melanie sneaks back home to Alabama to confront her past, only to discover that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can never take the South out of the girl. (found on IMDB)

I’m not sure if this is considered a “bad” movie but I thought I’d include it anyway since we had a couple of suggestions of this. It was a pretty big blockbuster when it came out (but I guess that doesn’t make it good, High School Musical 3 was also a blockbuster). This movie is a classic girly movie. Witherspoon is adorable and this was also Dempsey’s big comeback. The beginning is SO over the top. When Melanie is presented the whole store of jewelry, it makes every other guy in the world seem inadequate. Guy inadequacy—the makings of a perfect girlie movie.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Best Worst Movies (pt.1)

The time has come, the people have spoken and it is time for the best worst movies ever! Yay! I have to do the movies in parts because you gave me so many! So if you don't see yours, give me time-- or leave a comment. Because sometimes, the best movies are the bad movies. Actually, most of them. Give's a whole new meaning to bad, doesn't it? I still wouldn't invite Leroy Brown to one of my parties-- just saying.


High School Musical Series (Submitted by Hayley)

It started off as a movie-of-the-month Disney Channel Movie and grew into a pop culture phenomenon. Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale became house hold names. All because a bunch of high school kids wanted to star in a high school musical. If you haven't seen the movie, you've probably heard the plot-- it's basically a Disney version of Grease. A super smart, beautiful girl (Gabriella) moves to a new school district to discover that the boy (Troy) she karaoked with over vacation is the most popular guy in school. They accidently try out for the school musical only to discover that they have a call back. But Sharpay and Ryan, the musical king and queen of the school won't let the parts go away without a fight. There's love, there's dancing, and there's singing!

I seriously love the High School Musical series. It sounds completely cheesy on paper but it turns out to be incredibly charming. Efron's and Hudgen's off screen chemistry transfers on screen. But the best part is the music. If you like musicals, you'll love this series. And the third one, in my opinion, is the best worst movie of the series. Check it out, it comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today! (I'm not a commercial, I promise.)

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (Submitted by Rachel)

With only a few days before their high-school graduation, Bill S. Preston, esquire and Ted 'Theodore' Logan are doomed to flunk out of school. The history teacher, Mr. Ryan, decides to give Bill and Ted a chance. If they can ace an oral exam on the topic of how a famous historical personality might react to modern times, they will be allowed to pass. If not, Ted's father will place Ted in military school, thereby disbanding the Wyld Stallyns, the heavy metal band that was formed by Bill and Ted. Bill and Ted get help from an unexpected source: Rufus, an Emissary from the Future. It seems that in Rufus' time, Bill and Ted's music is the basis of all existence, and if the Wild Stallyns are disbanded, Rufus's world will no longer exist. Bill and Ted are whisked off in a time machine to retrieve a few historical characters for their oral exam so they can pass, but Bill and Ted soon discover that finding the historical characters and getting them to the high school won't be easy. (Summary taken from IMDB)

It seems to be the makings of the perfect Best Bad Movie. There's time traveling, there is "dudes", there is Keanu Reeves... It's a typical 80s movie. I personally haven't seen this movie but it's considered a classic. And I think Keanu does the acting of his life, but seriously, that's not saying much. People say it kind of rips of Back to the Future. I think it inspired people using "bogus" in their every day lives. Bummer dude.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Touch of Evil

Later this week I'm going to be posting YOUR Best Bad Movies. But before I do I thought I'd give you a review of a Best Bad Movie. Considered by most current reviewers as the best B movie ever created (not be confused with the really bad Seinfield "Bee Movie"). So read the review then come back in a few days and see the results of the Best Bad Movies. I know you'll be dreaming of your movie until then. And let me just tell you, that's a little creepy, which makes me not love you anymore.
But I still like you as a friend.
Just a Touch of Evil

When reviewing movies, you sometimes have to compare one to another. There’s always a fall back. When one director fell flat another one is there to show you why it sucked. When it comes to film noir, Touch of Evil is the compass-north reference point. Not only are there whispers of it being the last good film noir movie, but the best B-Movie of all time. It wasn’t even appreciated by its own country in its own time (It failed at the box office). All the “classic” movie praises used by all those movie snobs. But sadly, most people have never even heard of Touch of Evil, let alone consider it one of their favorites.
Premiering in 1958, Touch of Evil was the second half of a double bill (that’s why it’s considered a B-Movie) and was based on a novel by Whit Masterson called “Badge of Evil”. The screenplay was written and directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) who also stars along with Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments) and Janet Leigh (Psycho). I’d warn any viewer that the plot becomes somewhat complicated; it’s not a movie to watch while doing something else (although, you really shouldn’t do that with any movie but that’s another story all together).
As the movie opens, we see a bomb being placed in the trunk of a car right before a construction company owner gets in with his much younger girlfriend. Meanwhile, Mexican official Mike Vargas (Heston) and his new wife Susan (Leigh) begin to walk next to the car in order to cross the Mexican border into the United States. The newlywed couple stops to talk as the car passes them and the bomb goes off shortly after crossing into U.S. territory. (And that is all one continuous camera shot; way to start the movie off with a bang.) The bomb grabs the attention of the American police, since it is technically in their jurisdiction, and along with them a monster of a police officer, Police Captain Hank Quinlan (Welles). Quinlan, who is famous for his correct “hunches”, insists on taking the case into Mexico to look for suspects and Vargas decides he should look into the case as well. At the same time, a peeved-off Mexican mob boss, Joe Grandi is looking to destroy Vargas and his wife for catching his drug dealing brother. Vargas stays relatively unaware of Grandi throughout the whole movie, obsessed with the bomb case, despite the outcries of his Grandi-tortured wife who unwillingly gets caught up the plot to frame her own husband. The bombing investigation ends up putting Vargas against Quinlan and the rest of the movie is the two of them trying to bring one another down.
The direction is amazing. Leigh and Heston took pay cuts for this movie just to work with Welles and it was well worth it. His opening shot is well praised from bomb to boom Welles makes cinematic history. There is also the single shot in the bomb suspect’s apartment that really shines. There are tons of people in one little space, all saying something different and the direction is awesome. There is also a part when three police men ride up a small elevator to meet Vargas who left them in the lobby. Vargas reappears at the very moment the elevator opens to let the men out, very brilliantly done in one shot. Welles’ use of lighting is a black and white film is spot on, it almost becomes another character altogether. Another shining light is the sound used for the film. The music used throughout Touch of Evil was from the sound sources that belong to the movie itself: the radio transmissions, jukeboxes, and a player piano. These are the reasons that the movie is incredibly amazing. If you are a stickler to the direction and the background of films, you will love this movie.
But let me tell you why most Americans (especially when it came out) would not like this movie. Actually, there are multiple reasons. The acting is horrible, the movie is racist as well as sexist, and the plot is horribly confusing with no real victor at the end.
Heston is completely below par in this movie. He is supposed to be the star yet he just blends into the background in almost every scene. Toward the end, he picks up speed a little but only because the character requires it. It’s nothing spectacular especially not Ten Commandments material, heck it’s not even Soylent Green material. Leigh, although better than Heston, makes a mockery of herself. She seems to be in a totally different movie than everyone else.
Maybe the two actors are just making due with what they are given but bad choices on all fronts here. Heston comes across as racist and Leigh plays into one of the most sexist roles in one of the most sexist movies I’ve ever seen. Heston is supposed to be a Mexican. Have you seen a less Mexican looking man? He just looks like the earliest victim of spray-on-tanning. Wouldn’t it be a novel idea to have a Mexican play a Mexican? Even Quinlan says “He doesn’t look Mexican,” the first time he meets Vargas. And to make things worse, all legit Mexican actors play evil characters and it’s blatantly obvious. Leigh’s Susan is the only non-hooker woman in the whole movie and what does she do? She’s part of the plot to bring down her husband, all because she’s weak, defenseless and a woman. Her husband treats her as an after thought and thinks of her as property. And then there is Oscar winner Mercedes McCambridge who has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role as a member of Grandi’s gang who “wants to watch” as Susan is gang raped and Zsa Zsa Gabor appears for fifteen seconds as a strip club owner. I was highly disappointed. The only woman that showed any skill or respect in this whole movie was Marlene Dietrich, who although played some kind of nightclub woman, had a strong presence and the ability to hold her own. The classically best line (maybe the only good line) is said by her character Tanya:
Quinlan: Come on, read my future for me.
Tanya: You haven't got any.
Quinlan: What do you mean?
Tanya: Your future is all used up.
Welles’ Quinlan is eerie. He is a very large man who sweats buckets all the time and barks orders at his little minions. He is down right scary yet you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. He forces facts to be true when they aren’t and believes that his hunches are enough evidence to send men to the electric chair. He shoots his only friend to keep an illusion of himself that fooled everyone around him and ultimately himself. You hate his toughness but he still has this pitiful glow about him that makes you feel more sorry for him than his victims. Although Quinlan is the character who in the end has the “touch of evil” he clearly is the character that makes the most impact in the whole film. I doubt that there will ever be a more unpleasant, impertinent, or disgusting detective than Welles’ Quinlan or a more captivating one.
The main thing I disliked about the movie was that the plot was horribly confusing. There were so many random characters that I couldn’t keep them straight. And the whole subplot with Grandi seemed like a waste of time. It eventually comes together in the end but not enough for my liking. Welles once said that he wanted the plot to purposely be a little confusing but just because it is supposed to be that way doesn’t mean I have to like it. There was attempt at comedy with the bumbling, strange “Night Manager” who I think was supposed to be some kind of comedic relief but comes off as a little creepy. Plus, it is so hard to laugh in scenes that he is in because the situation is so serious. I just kept feeling bad for Susan who is supposed to be on her honeymoon but her husband won’t give her the time of day, she gets gang raped, comes across a dead body, is accused of murder and is thrown in jail. And then finally Vargas pays attention to her. The scene that sums up Susan’s and Vargas’ relationship is when she is screaming on a fire escape, naked right above him to come to her rescue and he doesn’t hear her. Quinlan was just impossible to watch. He was big, depressing, and desperate, humanity at its worse. The close-ups on his face made me cringe. As Tanya says at the end, “He was some kind of man.” On the other hand, perhaps the best thing about Touch of Evil is the bitter, foreign and unsympathetic impression of its dark city full of racism, prostitution, illegal substances, and gang rape as almost a universal corruption. Once you pull yourself of the movie itself and start thinking about what it represents, the movie seems much more profound.
Overall I would say that I liked the film but mostly admired it. I doubt I would sit at home on a Friday night and watch it for fun just because it is very depressing. I can appreciate the artsy-ness of the film and the brilliant directing. I do think it is cinematography in its greatest film noir form. But as I said before, I don’t recommend this film to people who like seeing movies for the story or the acting but rather to those who see film as an art form and wish to explore that angle. And if you would like to see the film closer to the version that Welles originally intended, look for the extended alternative version that is entitled “The Director’s Cut”.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TV Guide's Smart TV

TV guide recently did a photo gallery type article on the "smartest" shows on television. Smart TV is my fave, how about you? Trick question, the answer is 62. Here's the list with some smart comments from myself:

Mad Men Why It's Smart: Its depiction of the cut-throat brutality of 1960s Madison Avenue educates us on the sins of our fathers. Its probing scripts use key historical events (for example, JFK vs. Nixon and the Bay of Pigs) to anchor discussions about honesty, temptation and patriotism. How Smart Is It? While the world of Sterling Cooper is at heart an old boys' club, producers had the wherewithal to flesh out the show's popular female characters in Season 2. PCF: I've never watched it but it looks good, plus it has won like a million awards. I want to check it out.

Lost Why It's Smart: What started as a simple desert-island drama has morphed into a dense, kaleidoscopic serial that really bakes your noodle. For every question the show answers, it raises five intriguing others. Why did Oceanic Flight 815 crash? We're really not sure, but it has something to do with electromagnetism, time travel, redemption, absent fathers, fertility issues, an abandoned nuclear warhead, and some guy named Jacob… so far. It's a wild ride. How Smart Is It? Among the staggering number of books woven into the show's mythology are Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. PCF: I might get things thrown at me but giant polar bears and secret "Others" really don't float my boat, meaning I would be on that island forever. It was disappointing that I couldn't get into it since I loved JJ Abrams' Alias. And they killed Greg Grunberg in the first episode! Is nothing sacred Abrams?

Law & Order Why It's Smart: Any journalist worth his notepad will tell you that the most dramatic stories originate in the court system. Producer Dick Wolf knew that, and created a crisply written series chock-full of meaty New York lawyer-and-police stories, many of them inspired by true events. How Smart Is It? It has been on the air for 19 years. PCF: I'll watch Law & Order when nothing else is on. It doesn't keep me coming back every week, I don't love the characters. At the very least the writers need to be smart to be writing the same show for 19 years.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien Why It's Smart: In addition to savvy, lighthearted takes on current events and pop culture, O'Brien's on-screen persona (let's call it Self-Deprecating Nerd) has won the hearts of many a starlet looking for a nice guy with a sense of humor. How smart is that! How Smart Is It? They don't hand over The Tonight Show to just anybody. PCF: I love Conan! And I have a shirt to prove it. Humor in a guy is his best quality. It is smart for a host to make a character of himself. And did you catch his superbowl commercial? Hilarious. More Conan!

How I Met Your Mother Why It's Smart: TV has given us Friends who live and hang out together, as well as the gang at Cheers. CBS' Mother did not simply merge those winning set-ups but did them one better by shrewdly establishing a "finishing line" right in its title. So as awesome as Barney is, and as adorably Canadian as Robin is, and as hot monkey-sextastic as Lily and Marshall are, we are left to wonder every week: How did Ted meet his future kids' mother? And who is she? How Smart Is It? Like, Doogie Howser-child-doctor smart. PCF: One of my favorite shows ever. Neil Patrick Harris is like a superhero. It is the modern version of Friends but more believable and more hilarious. I don't miss it and own all the seasons on DVD. If you haven't watched it, you're missing out. Or if you just watched the episode with Britney Spears. Hey! Every show makes a few mistakes.

House Why It's Smart: Unsolvable medical mystery gets solved by TV's crankiest supersurgeon. And... scene. That's the basic blueprint for every hour of the Fox megahit. Yet almost every week, the story unspools in such a unique fashion – and is accompanied by just the right amount of the doc's personal lives – that it feels fresh. How Smart Is It? David Shore, Katie Jacobs and the show's other executive producers should get honorary MDs from House's alma mater, the University of Michigan. PCF: House is another one of my favorites. I think House took the Law & Order format but twisted it to know more about the characters. It welcomes people who want the mystery of the week type format and those who love characters and back stories. Now THAT'S smart.
Damages Why It's Smart: Let's be honest: Season 1 could have been a hot mess had the multiple timelines and jigsaw-puzzle-like narrative been in less-than-capable hands. Instead, co-creators Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler and Daniel Zelman crafted a mesmerizing work of art that kept us wondering who did what to whom and why until the very last elevator bell ding. How Smart Is It? The FX series is every bit as clever as Glenn Close's Patty Hewes – always one step ahead of every foe ... or friend. PCF: I've never seen Damages and I've never really wanted to. But I can't truthfully give any real comment on this one. I think there's lack of good advertising.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Why It's Smart: Stewart very easily could have made The Daily Show a leftist, "aren't Republicans fat and white?" kind of political comedy show. Instead, he is an equal-opportunity critic, handing out jabs to both sides of the aisle. Appearing on his show has become a shrewd strategy for anyone serious about raising their profile in Washington. How Smart Is It? Studies have consistently shown that more young people get their political news from Stewart than any network news program. PCF: Jon Stewart actually made young people WANT to watch the news. Above smart, we're moving into genius territory here. But let's keep funny news on a funny news show, I'm talking to you, network news.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Why It's Smart: Cops use science to solve crimes. Real science. How Smart Is It? Actual prosecutors cite "the CSI effect," in which juries won't convict unless all forensic measures have been utilized. PCF: I'm not a fan. I feel like it's Law & Order with science. And don't get me started on CSI: Miami. Glamourizing forensic science, what will they think of next?
Big Love Why It's Smart: It's a tall order: to create a show about polygamy that is neither an attack on or a glorification of the controversial practice of taking multiple wives to ensure one's place in heaven. Ultimately, Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) and his trio of spouses (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) live a normal suburban life; they just share it with additional people. How Smart Is It? It's made us see that polygamy in and of itself isn't the problem. PCF: Another show I haven't seen. But it's a show I want to. It's a creative premise, the world of polygamy. Yet they make it look normal. It seems very smart indeed.

Battlestar Galactica Why It's Smart: Strip away its sci-fi trimmings and Battlestar is as much about democracy and freedom as The West Wing was. Until last season's finale, the 30,000-odd survivors of the destruction of New Caprica were looking for Earth; in a clever reversal, their quest is now much deeper, challenging the very idea of "home." How Smart Is It? Forget global warming. As post-apocalyptic scenarios go, this one — as bleak as it is — seems likely. PCF: Whenever I hear Battlestar Galactica, I think of The Office and Dwight. It's a clever idea but a little too left field for me, but maybe it will grow on me with time. I had to watch the season of Firefly twice before I fell in love.
30 Rock Why It's Smart: Each episode is part class-system study (Jack's rich 50 is a poor person's 38), part family drama (Will Tracy thwart his kids' murder plot?) and part sociology lesson (Jenna in blackface), all complemented by a liberal dose of non-sequiturs (Cat anus!). How Smart Is It? Smart enough to use huge guest stars to goose the ratings and stay afloat, but (almost) never compromise the quality of the comedy. PCF: I want to say that 30 Rock is the smartest show on TV. It makes me laugh, alot. And Tina Fey has been my hero ever since she started to host Weekend Update on SNL. And Adam Baldwin found the character he was meant to play. I hope the Tina Fey love lasts all the days of our lives.
Overall I thought TV Guide did a pretty awesome job with smart TV show. But where is The Office, Heroes, Supernatural? There needs to be more smart shows because reality shows need to die. Do you have a favorite show that didn't make the list or just completely disagree with me? Leave a comment. Otherwise, be smart and watch smart TV. I'm taking it upon myself to save brain cells. If you have any left. I know you watch reality TV when no one is looking.