Archive for April 2005

 
 

Titus release pushed up

You don’t have to wait for September anymore…

Titus – 2-Season Set Not Planned for Sept. After All (GOOD News)!

A pre-order listing at DVDPlanet.com shows a release date of July 12 for this 6-DVD compilation simply called Titus – Seasons 1 & 2. The cost will be $44.95 if you pay full price for it, but DVDPlanet will let you lock in the pre-order right now for just $31.47.

This show comes highly recommended. It’s Stacey Keach’s shining moment.

The toughest Survivor ever

Survivor StephSteph is the only reason to watch the show this season. If she doesn’t win, I think she’ll overtake Rob C. as the greatest Survivor to never win a season. On the other hand, the way she’s playing right now — and given the promo for next week — I think she might be on her way to winning it all, anyway. If it comes down to just Steph and the other girls in the final four, she’s going to win all the immunities, earn the judges’ respect, and steamroll over them all. The trick will be in creating that All Girls alliance and keeping it strong. It’s that latter part that usually trips alliances up.

The now infamous Wendys liar

WFTV.com – News – Woman Who Says She Found Finger In Chili Arrested

San Jose police said Thursday night that the woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy’s chili last month was arrested. Anna Ayala was taken into custody at her Las Vegas home Thursday night, San Jose police spokesman Enrique Garcia said. Police would not give any further details about the arrest until a news conference Friday afternoon, Garcia said.

Can’t wait for that press conference.

You can’t have it both ways

I remember all the times I’d pick on television shows and movies who’d do their level best to prevent you from seeing product labels in their show. If a character was drinking a Pepsi, the can would be relabelled to say “Cola” and the logo would barely ever face out towards the camera. It was jarring, it stuck out, and we made fun of it.

Now, we have product placement. Directors aren’t afraid to put Diet Pepsi cans in their characters’ hands, while a Marquis Jet poster shows up behind them. And now we’re bitching that they’re doing subliminal advertising.

So which is it? Do you want to see the brand names, the way you do in the real world? Or do you want whitewashed, candy-coating generic labels hiding the obvious?

ABC to “uncover” American Idol?

So there’s a chance that the judges are playing favorites? Nooooo….

Variety.com – Inside Move: Alphabet aiming directly at ‘Idol’

Just in time for May sweeps, ABC News’ “Primetime Live” is working on a potentially explosive expose on the Fox phenom “American Idol.” Exact details of the report are still in flux, since Alphabet staffers are still in the process of reporting the story and vetting details. It’s believed, however, that the report — in the works for several months now — will take a hard look at the relationship between “Idol” judges and contestants.

Pepsi really is better than Coke

Toldja so!

Now, I have the science to prove it:

frontline: the persuaders: neuromarketing | PBS

Montague had his subjects take the Pepsi Challenge while he watched their neural activity with a functional MRI machine, which tracks blood flow to different regions of the brain. Without knowing what they were drinking, about half of them said they preferred Pepsi. But once Montague told them which samples were Coke, three-fourths said that drink tasted better, and their brain activity changed too. Coke “lit up” the medial prefrontal cortex — a part of the brain that controls higher thinking. Montague’s hunch was that the brain was recalling images and ideas from commercials, and the brand was overriding the actual quality of the product.

AI4 – Results – Group of 7

I wrote yesterday, “Bottom three: Anwar, Anthony, and Scott. Who’s going home? Could be Anwar.”

I was right on all counts. It’s about time I got one!

Those group singalongs are painful. The song may not be that bad, but the flashiness and histrionics of making it a group number really saps the soul out of any chance the song might have to work.

And, yes, Ryan Seacrest got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his radio broadcast career. It’s been a groundbreaking, what, ten years for him? I know those stars are bought and paid for, but this is still pushing it. As good as Seacrest is, he’s still far too young. Who’s next? Ashton Kutcher?

UGH

Earliest baseball game ever

One minor league baseball team wants its fans to spend more time with Mom on Mother’s Day, so their day game is a morning game now with a 5:30 start time. Why would anyone participate in such a thing? I think I found the relevant paragraph to explain it all:

Fans attending the game on Saturday, May7 will be allowed to stay overnight in the stadium parking lot and sleep on the field.

That’s pretty cool.

AI4 – Round of 7

We’re losing contestants. They’re songs are growing longer to fill the time. Ryan Seacrest is talking much slower to stretch the show into an hour. We get videos of the contestants dancing. Oh, boy.

Here’s the quickest roundup yet:

Constantine was energetic and upbeat. He was subject to the same exact criticisms that every first performer gets on the show. It’s like Randy and Paula are afraid to use up all their words of praise early.

Constantine needs a shave, though.

Carrie did “MacArthur Park,” which definitely started off a bit shaky. I’m not sure if she was ahead of the song, or just trying to mix it up a little. The audio mix stunk tonight, too, which made it hard to hear everything, but I surely wouldn’t kick her off this week.

Scott sounded flat. His vocals weren’t bad, but there was no energy or life behind them. It’s like he was reading the lyrics as he went along. The knee kick at the end didn’t help.

Anthony sounded great, pulling a little Ricky Martin into his routine. I do get a bit weirded out when Paula refers to someone as “soothing,” though.

Vonzelle was drowned out by the background singers, but has the personality to pull that song (“I’m Every Woman”) off.

Anwar is able to hold notes while he jumps. The first half of the song wasn’t terribly great, though. I think he’s in trouble.

Bo picked the perfect song and had the best performance of the night. Simon got it right.

Bottom three: Anwar, Anthony, and Scott. Who’s going home? Could be Anwar. I don’t think everyone’s going to take kindly to the fact that he knew the song going in. There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you, but some people will look for anything to hold against someone.

Overall, though, it was probably the strongest overall week of the fourth season.

24 Discussion: Midnight to 1 a.m.

Aside from some moments of Edgar nutiness, I thought it was a pretty strong episode last night. We didn’t get much of Jack Bauer last night, but he milked every minute for maximum value. heh heh

Feel free to comment below.

As always, DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE TEASER for next week’s episode or any outside knowledge you may have of what’s coming up. Let’s talk about the show so far, with all the spoilers you wish for last night’s episode.

New releases, 19 April 2005

Lotsa stuff this week. Let’s see what’s interesting:

Birth (2004)

Nicole Kidman falls in love with a kid who might be her husband. Bizarre? You betcha.

Carmen Electra’s Advanced Aerobic Striptease Carmen Electra’s The Lap Dance & Hip Hop

Beats the heck out of Jane Fonda, doesn’t it?

Garfield and Friends: Vol. 3

Someone please drop me a line if the singing ants short is in this one.

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Must buy.

Meet the Fockers (widescreen) (2004)

Must rent before I die.

Miracles: The Complete Series (4-disc set)

Skeet Ulrich fans of the world, unite!

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Vol. 7 (4-disc set)

Four more movies MySTified.

XXX: Uncensored Unrated Director’s Cut (2002)

…because the world needed another version of this movie.

Next week: F FOR FAKE, BLADE TRINITY, LEMONY SNICKET, SURVIVOR: AUSTRALIA, and more. After a couple of dull DVD months, we’re really starting to see some interesting stuff.

MNF moves to ESPN

Variety.com – ‘Monday Night Football’ moving to ESPN

The NFL’s “Monday Night Football,” a hallmark of television sports programming since the days of Howard Cosell, is leaving ABC after 35 years for ESPN starting with the 2006 season.

I imagine that ABC Entertainment must be happy to be able to program Monday nights again. MNF was part of the death of MacGYVER, and no doubt other programs that had problems airing on the west coast, and getting a decent season going. . .

I imagine BOSTON LEGAL will show up for season three on Monday nights at 10 p.m. in 2006.

The Sketch Show

I have to double check my TiVo when I get home tonight, but I fear I completely forgot to record last night’s edition of THE SKETCH SHOW on FOX.

I don’t traffic much in Torrents and morally- and legally-questionable copies of TV programs, but I’m willing to learn for this one. Does anyone know where I might be able to find a copy of the show on-line? Any links to anywhere? Thanks.

Pulling a Nokamura

John Rogers (of Kung Fu Monkey fame) has a great post up right now about screenwriting jargon, complete with examples. I find this kind of stuff fascinating. Much of it is stuff that any TV-viewing simpleton will have caught, but now you know that TV writers actually have fancy phrases for it. Impress your friends at your next cocktail party by discussing with them the way THE SIMPSONS use “The Gilligan Cut.”

Remember when?

I remember far too many of these, but not nearly half: Sesame Street: 25 Of My Favorite Memories

Grover’s “Near/Far” routine is a classic, though.