Archive for July 2007

 
 

An Idol duets album – you’ll never guess from whom

Ex-Idols score major-label duets deal | American Idol | EW.com Exclusive | Music | Entertainment Weekly

American Idol’s Sabrina Sloan has signed a recording contract with Universal Motown, and her first project will be a CD of duets with fellow season 6 semifinalist Sundance Head, the singer confirmed in an exclusive interview with EW.com. ”The feel will be soulful songs with a contemporary twist — kind of Al Green meets OutKast,” said Sloan, noting that she and Head will hit the studio in August, with the hopes of making a late November release date.

New DVDs for 31 July 2007

Frank Miller's 300 on DVDHot Fuzz on DVDBabylon 5 The Lost Tales

Last week, I thought there’d be just one big release to talk about.

Then, you all corrected me in the comments section about a second one.

Then, I saw a third that trumps them both.

So we start with that original DVD, 300. It’s the whole Men In Loin Cloths With Swords and Shields thing. You know, the movie shot in front of a green screen with lots of screaming. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel, which I will reread before watching the movie. It’s a beautiful book, and I welcome the excuse to crack it open again. There’s an HD-DVD/DVD combo disc release, a Blu Ray release, a standard widescreen DVD release, a full frame release that no sane person would consider looking at, and a special two-disc release that includes (at Best Buy) a Spartan helmet and some trading cards. Crazy! That last option will run you $35, though. I think I’ll be ordering my copy through Amazon, where you can get the two disc edition without the bells and whistles glued to the box for just $22. (You can also download it through Amazon’s Unboxed for $15.)

Whew.

Secondly, you all recommended HOT FUZZ, the police comedy from the makers of SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Didn’t last long in the theaters, but it has its fans. I’ve heard other good things about it. I’ll never actually get around to watching it, but I accept your recommendation, and proudly place a link here for you to all click through and order it at Amazon so I can make a few dimes off your enthusiasm. ;-)

Finally, the most significant release of the week in many ways: BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES, the new direct-to-DVD movie that is the first new Babylon 5 material in many many years. Has it really been nine years already? It’s still my favorite television show of all time, and miraculous in what it was able to accomplish at the time. No other TV show at the time had a preconceived story arc longer than a week or two in advance. (OK, maybe MURDER ONE, but that didn’t last.) After Babylon 5, you start to see shows that would plan out their whole season (24, LOST, etc.), or even groups of seasons (seriously, CSI: MIAMI has such a game plan). Nobody’s gone so far as to say they have a five year story to tell and then told it, though.

I’m trying not to buy too many DVDs anymore. Too many sit unwatched in boxes. But my loyalty to BABYLON 5 is such that I’ll be picking this one up. I have the entire series on DVD. I’m not going to leave a hole in that collection now. Besides, this is one disc I’m guaranteed to watch within a week of owning it, if not that same night.

That’s it for this week. Do check in again next week when I’ll be musing on such releases as THE MUPPET SHOW: Season Two, DARKWING DUCK: Season Two, and maybe something else with jump out at me.

Dr. Will Returns to TV!

The Skinny on Dr. 90210 | Usmagazine.comEvil Dr. Will Kirby from Big Brother Fame

Move over, Nip/Tuck’s Dr. Troy – there’s a new playboy on the TV scene. And his name is Will Kirby.Having first made his mark on reality television on two seasons of CBS’ Big Brother, Kirby, a licensed cosmetic dermatologist based in Beverly Hills, is merging his love for TV with his passion for medicine on the new season of the E! series Dr. 90210, premiering Monday, July 30 at 10 p.m. Here, Kirby tells Us what to expect this season.

There’s video of Dr. Will in action at the link, too, with Mike Boogie.

FOX Reality Renewals: Dance, Kitchen

FOX Unleashes More ‘Hell,’ ‘Dance’ – Unscripted summer hits will be back in 2008 – Zap2it

Reliable summer performers for the past three years, “Hell’s Kitchen” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have both been scheduled for 2008. […]
Both shows will reach their season finales in the same mid-August week. FOX has set the “Hell’s Kitchen” finale for Monday, Aug. 13. “So You Think You Can Dance” will have a special results show on Tuesday, Aug. 14, while the last performance and results shows will air with two-hour episodes on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16.

I’m not terribly certain we need FIVE HOURS of DANCE finale, though.  ::sigh::

More Twitterisms

Follow all the fun on my Twitter feed.

  • TV Critics, aside from Alan Sepinwall, are a bunch of navel-gazing self-righteous jerks. And Comic Con owns their arses. BWAH HA HA
  • Watching G4 “live” coverage of San Diego. Chuckled at the packaged footage they’re using as outros: You can see the CrossGen booth!
  • G4, like MTV, gives me a headache with all the quick cuts
  • My Apple monitor kicks butt – pictures that were illegible on work computer screen are clean and clear and bright on Cinema Display
  • I have a case of the Fridays today — the work day would go much faster if I could Twitter it
  • I have nobody to friends left to talk to – they’re all on vacation or in San Diego.
  • Was The British Open early, or Comic-Con late this year?
  • Posted Pipeline and Pipeline Podcast already tonight. Watched PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS with the Mrs.
  • All this blogging/twittering/column-writing/podcast show notes writing has me in a writing mode lately.
  • Why do I get jealous listening to writers being interviewed? ::sigh::
  • Even the TV Critics left L.A. for Comic-Con
  • Is it just me, or was the San Diego news underwhelming?
  • Just put my first listing up on Amazon Marketplace, selling a book. Ooh, the tension!

Flying Nervously

‘I didn’t eat and I didn’t sleep’ / Coin dealer flies dime worth $1.9 million to NYC

The person who bought the dime does not want the world to know who he is. The person who sold the dime is Oakland businessman Daniel Rosenthal, who was unavailable for comment, perhaps because a person newly in possession of $1.9 million has got better things to do than answer a lot of questions. But the dime’s cross-country trip was the stuff of intrigue, of that there is no mistake. The logistics of moving a $1.9 million dime across the country turn out to be at least as staggering as the notion of paying $1.9 million for a dime.

Wacky, but a little cool, too.

Twitter Summary – Mostly San Diego-related

Here’s a selection of posts from my Twitter account in the last week:

  • MySpace is the new AOL
  • My wife asked why I got so many packages in the mail today — It’s San Diego week. Everyone’s publishing this week!
  • New HARD BOILED DVD has a completely useless and pointless cardboard slipcover. UGH. At least the UPC isn’t on it.
  • @ifanboy – It can never be too big. NEVER. DELIGHT IN SAN DIEGO’S GRANDEUR!
  • Canceled my Linux credit card earlier this week. I’m a Mac man now, and the card isn’t even sponsoring The Linux Fund, anymore.
  • Learning a Photoshop trick I’ll need for this weekend’s Comic Con coverage. It just never ends. . .
  • Why is San Diego Preview Night so crowded? No panel rooms for people to flow off the con floor for.
  • Watched opening scenes from HARD BOILED – beautiful transfer on this one. Need to pull out the older version to compare, though.
  • Pleasant surprise of the night: ALIENS OMNIBUS features a couple of stories with art by Sam Kieth!
  • Helpful Mac app du jour: Image Well. It’s how I created the little icons next to the Pipeline Podcast you’ll see on CBR’s front page
  • This is the first San Diego Con I’ll be getting to bed before 2 a.m. every night, but it’s STILL a ton of work.
  • Stumbled across this silly repetitive phrase tonight on the web: “an online podcast”

Poker begets more money

You may remember seeing a man at the final table of a World Poker Table event last season described as a “business man.”  He was the founder and owner of Rockaway Bedding, a chain of mattress stores here in the tri-state area.

Those stores are all going out of business now. As it turns out, he sold the chain to Sealy’s.

The money just keeps flowing downhill at him, eh?

No smoking for you, Disney

FT.com / Companies / Media & internet – Disney stubs out smoking from its films

Meanwhile, the new MPAA guidelines have already provoked debate because “historic or other mitigating context? will also be considered when setting a film’s rating. Hairspray, the new musical comedy starring John Travolta, features some smoking scenes but was given a parental guidance rating because it was set in the 1960s.This has angered anti-smoking groups, which want a mandatory ‘R’ rating – the most stringent the MPAA can issue – for films that feature smoking. Classic films where smoking features prominently, such as Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon, will not be re-rated by the MPAA.

Translated: We’re all a bunch of pansies who can’t handle reality. Someone, please protect us!

So You Think You Can Dance 25 July 2007

This was supposed to be posted earlier today. I wrote it late last night. Drat! Keep in mind the time I wrote it when reading it, please. I’ll be back with an update afterwards:

Cat Deeley stepped out of a FLASHDANCE music video to host the show last night. . .

Wow, the judges gave up early this year. Just when they start expressing opinions critical of most of the dancers, they also hand the final decisions off to the viewers at home. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last couple of seasons have only come down to popular votes for the final decision in the last two or three rounds of the competition. The judges have abdicated this responsibility this year with the Top Ten. Interesting. It ought to make predicting the losers a little easier. Danny is perpetually in the bottom three, for example. (Mia Michaels may think he’s the second coming, but don’t forget: She’s the woman responsible for choreographing a Celine Dion stage show.) Jaimie is down there an awful lot, too. So is Sabra, though she’s least deserving of it.

Of course, the AMERICAN IDOL rules apply now, too. The harsher the judges are on a contestant, the more votes they get from loyal supporters. DANCE has been getting about five million votes a week. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number jumps up a little bit this week, because the voters-from-home are now in total control.

It also looks like the girls are starting to pull ahead of the guys, on the whole. Will this be the first season a female contestant wins it all? It’s growing more and more likely each week. Will a Schwimmer Dynasty be born in a few weeks?

Those solos were just profound, weren’t they? I wanted to scream, too. I was moved to join Amnesty International, the UN, Greenpeace, and any organization Michael Moore donates to. I think I might pick up a John Lennon CD or three today, while I’m in the mood.

Seriously, though, I liked the idea of all of them doing the same solo, so you could compare and contrast the styles. It showed a lot about who has natural abilities, who’s pushing to get through the moves (Pasha), who’s interpreting more and mimicking steps less (Danny), and who can hear the music better (Lauren).

Pasha’s solo was the worst of the lot, though. He might be in trouble tonight, too. I bet Anya wishes she had survived one more week, if only to not have to choreograph her own solo. She might have been annoyed at having to wear such “normal” clothes for it, though.

Update: Well, the jacket was a Marine jacket, but Mia screwed it up. I thought it was just lifted from Michael Jackson’s closet. Nigel apologizes if you’re offended and blathers more cliched anti-war apologies. And the votes were up, as I predicted, to 6.5 million. Can’t believe Pasha was spared, though. . . After the bottom four were announced, I guessed the bottom two correctly, though.

Thursday Link Dump

TV Fun at Comic Con

The San Diego Comic Con has begun, and the fun and controversy are happening at the TV Critics Press Tour thingamajigger:

The TV Zone: PRESS TOUR: ABC’s Steve McPherson Provides Fireworks (Thanks, Steve)

Or maybe he was simply rattled by an intermittently bizarre press session with critics, who blasted the ABC topper when he coyly declined to make a pending announcement about “Lost,” insisting that that announcement would instead be made by show runners, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse tomorrow at Comic-Con, the huge convention that’s all-things-comic-related and (coincidentally) runs while the TV press tour is on. When pressed, he declared: “I have cast Don Imus in ‘Lost'” next season.”

He then gave in and made the big announcement that they were saving for Comic-Con, about a character returning to the show. I won’t spoil it here.

You know what, though?  They should have just told the critics that they save the big announcements for San Diego because people there actually appreciate the show.  ::sigh:: Another missed opportunity.

Meanwhile, Variety notes how important Comic Con is to the TV networks:

More than ever, the 2007 edition has become a must-attend event for most major nets and TV studios. From an extended version of the “Bionic Woman” pilot to a look at a “Star Wars”-themed episode of “Family Guy,” nearly 100 TV-focused events are on the agenda at the four-day bash. Take 20th Century Fox Television. While the Fox film studio generated headlines for pulling out of Comic-Con, its sibling TV studio is planning its biggest presence ever at the confab.

Well, yeah, if they keep putting genre television shows on the air, then Comic Con is a worthwhile investment. The more series about people who can’t die becoming detectives, the more they’ll want to show at Comic Con. I’m still in mourning that I’m not there. By Monday, I hope to work through it.

(Stories via TVTattle.com)

More Fun With DVD Scanning

I finally finished scanning in every DVD in my collection the other night. The last two boxes were particularly torturous. Those UPC labels were small, Amazon didn’t like the discs, and all sorts of frustrations grew. In the end, I had to type out a bunch of codes to get the collection complete, but here I am. Whoo!

Some random thoughts, then:

Batman Begins (Two-Disc Special Edition)The last two movies I scanned in were SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and BATMAN: THE MOVIE. The latter is the Adam West movie. The only modern day Batman movie I own is BATMAN BEGINS. I was never that big a fan of the others in the series, not even the first one.

I do own BLADE 1 – 3, though.

I don’t remember if I ever watched BATMAN: MYSTERY OF THE BATWOMAN. Either it wasn’t that good, or I didn’t see it.

ROCKETEER is not a great DVD presentation, but it IS a great movie. Maybe someday there’ll be some odd return to the characters and it’ll get the special edition it deserves. At the very least, a restoration of the movie would be nice. The transfer to DVD stinks, but it’s all we got.

I do own X-MEN 1.5, but not SPIDER-MAN 1.5.

Cowboy Bebop - The MovieCOWBOY BEBOP — all six sessions — presented Delicious with troubles in the scanning department. Those bar codes are so small, I almost can’t blame it. They’re re-releasing all of those now as a remastered collection. I’ll pass. I enjoyed the originals enough. And the movie.

ReBOOT Season 3 didn’t want to scan in, either. UGH.

A BUG’S LIFE is my least favorite of the PIXAR movies. I prefer ANTZ.

I still haven’t unwrapped BABY: SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND. Before you judge me — I got it on sale for $5, and it’s one of the first movies I can remember seeing in the theater as a kid. It had to be one of the first three or four. It has certain nostalgic values. And I’m going to sit through it again someday with my niece, when she’s old enough.

I treasure those MARX BROS. and PINK PANTHER boxed sets. Classics.

New DVD Releases for 24 July 2007

Everything else is a distant second. HARD BOILED is the movie that Hollywood spent the next decade copying.  When that didn’t work out — or Quentin Tarantino was unavailable — they just hired Woo to do Face/Off or Mission: Impossible 2, instead.

It’s one of my favorite movies, for the sheer spectacle of those last 45 minutes or so. Remarkable work.

ZODIAC is a David Fincher movie, so you know it’ll LOOK cool, at least.

Next week: 300. And everything else will be second banana.

Hell’s Kitchen Lesson:Know Thy Audience

Sometimes, the wannabe chefs have their heads stuck so far up their behinds that they miss the obvious:

When cooking for 100 high school students, you aren’t going to win by cooking them goat cheese or meat loaf. Grilled chicken wins every time.

Duh.

I was just hoping for a guest appearance by someone from AMERICAN CASINO while they were at the Green Valley Ranch. No dice, again. But it was nice to see Heather again.