Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween: Garfield


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween: Donald's Halloween Scare

Originally from a 2000 episode of Mickey Mouse Works.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween: Ranking the Funko Pop Vinyl Horror Characters

I was thinking about this when I saw a couple of these guys on Tumblr recently. I love the Funko Pop Vinyl figurines. (I only have two myself at the moment, but I'd love to have more, honestly.) They have four classic horror figurines (classic if you grew up in the era I did, anyway... man, I'd love to see them take on the classic monsters, though), so I just thought I'd rank them for no real reason than to see myself talk.

4. Michael Myers
I can hear people rolling their eyes at me, but other than loving the original Halloween and the remake (eye-rolling again), Michael Myers is just never going to be one of my favorite characters. I just don't find him that interesting. I feel the same way about this figurine. It's all subjective, anyway.

3. Leatherface
I really like the eyes and the mouth on this one. A lot of these Funko Pop figures don't have mouths, but this is a great use of one. I love the messy hair, too. Great grip on the chainsaw. I don't know if it's on purpose, but I like how the chainsaw looks like one of those Fisher-Price toys.

2. Jason Voorhees
This is just all-around a great figure, but what really sells this to me is the half-closed right eye. It's just the perfect amount of askew, and it makes the left eye look really focused somehow.

1. Freddy Krueger
As if there was any doubt. I'll always like Freddy best because they basically turned him into an ultra-violent Looney Tunes character. I love how this looks, with the texturing on the sweater and the big flesh eyebrows they've given him. Perfect. I'd love to add this one to my collection.

(Of course, I'd love to add about 25 more of these to my collection, but I'm way too broke for that. I'll be satisfied with looking at the pictures.)

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

This week I caught up with Death on the Nile, a movie I don't think I've seen since I was 10. I had so much fun with it, and was pleased to see that TCM was showing this follow-up, again featuring Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in a classy, bouncy, very fun production with a great cast. I'd put this one on equal footing with Death on the Nile; it looks great, and it's funnier. It's amusing how dispassionate people in these movies are about the murders that go on; they're witty and stylish instead of big and dramatic, and I love it. Ustinov seems to be having more fun and indulging himself a little more in this one. Using the Cole Porter music is a fun touch. I wish there were 12 more of these. ***1/2

Interesting movie about a man (Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote and directed) mourning the loss of his wife who worries about losing the affections of his daughter Charlotte (Serge's real-life daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg). Not as salacious as a lot of people would have you believe, but still uncomfortable and psychosexual at times. An interesting experiment in forms of loss and how hard it is for a man to relate to his adolescent daughter without the mediating presence of the mother. ***

SLAP SHOT (1977)
A lot of guys I know like this movie, but I didn't really get into it. I dig those Hanson brothers, though. I wish there'd been a lot more of them, because they really livened it up in the middle. **1/2

Alex Karras 1935-2012

I just read a few hours ago that Alex Karras was dying of kidney failure; now he's passed away surrounded by friends and family, which is the way all of us should get to go. Growing up in the 80s, I always loved Karras on Webster (he's a hell of a lot more likable than Webster) and in Victor/Victoria and hell, even on TV commercials. He was such a fixture, and I just liked him. His football days were too early for me to catch. I was curious to see how his case against the NFL was going to turn out. I just wanted to take a minute out of my day and acknowledge that I dug the guy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Halloween: Doesn't It Kind of Look Like Kermit Is Eating a Baby?


Aw, come on, Castle: you did a Storage Wars episode and you couldn't even give us Barry?

In all seriousness, I just wanted--since I've spent a lot of time complaining about the frustrations of what used to be one of TV's most watchable series--to mention that I found last night's Castle to be totally refreshing. It wasn't particularly a great or remarkable episode, but it was the first episode since the middle of last season that felt like it remembered what the show used to be. It had all the right elements: witty banter, lots of charm, a mystery that was maybe a shade too predictable, a goofy riff on a current can't-believe-people-watch-that-but-we're-not-takin'-'em-to-task-for-it fad (can't wait for next season's episode that takes place at a child beauty pageant), and some sexual chemistry between Beckett and Castle (not at all diminished since they became a couple). Not too serious, not too fluffy, but just right. And thanks for remembering that Castle's relationship with Alexis is a crucial element of his character, and that Martha is actually smart.

Not a remarkable episode. But it felt like classic Castle. It made me remember everything I loved about the show and what seemed so frustratingly elusive all year. And it made me glad I was still watching it.

This is what I want: an enjoyable, watchable show. You proved you can still do it. Now just keep doing it, please.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Halloween: Peanuts, 1961

Brief(ish) TV Comments

:: With minimal changes, last Monday's episode of How I Met Your Mother could have been an episode of The Flintstones. I don't mean that in a good way. They put on display the kind of cartoonishly outdated gender politics that HIMYM used to be better than, and they did it in the service of comedy so hackneyed that the best thing I can say about it is that at least it didn't devolve into a parody version of the song "Kids" from Bye Bye Birdie about chicks and dudes.

Please, please be the last year of this show.

:: Still digging Vegas. The second episode settled into the sort of case-of-the-week procedural I'd expect from CBS. I pretty much figured that would happen, but it doesn't bother me; I still find the show very, very watchable, which is more than I can say for some shows that I'm stupidly watching.

:: I'm still not totally sold on The Mindy Project, but I'm going to give it a few weeks. Now it's a workplace comedy? I'm not sure if hiring the new nurse (who seems more like a comedy bit than a character) is a good idea or a bad one. If this show's going to emulate 30 Rock the way it seems to want to, it's got to add more exaggerated characters than the boring ones they have now. But it also hurts the reality they're trying to create if they go too far over the top with them and forget to establish anchors in reality to attach the madness to. Which is what happened to 30 Rock.

:: Are Penny and Leonard really going to go through this some more on The Big Bang Theory? This will be their third time breaking up if that happens. How many times does a couple have to break up before they stop slinging this bullshit? Look, they're not meant to be together just because Leonard really really really wants it to happen. This is getting so OLD. It's the absolute worst when sitcoms want us to really care about who their enjoyable cartoon stereotypes are as people. It's like a DC Comics retcon.

:: I'm finding Adam Scott a big of a drag on Parks and Recreation. Is he going to be in Washington, DC much longer? I just don't find him funny or interesting, and they already have Rashida Jones to not be funny or interesting. Now with Ben in Washington there has to be three storylines going on in every episode, and Ben's is the one I just don't care about; he's so dull and gee whiz ordinary that they had to put Aubrey Plaza, who is funny, in Washington with him just to bring some life to the damn thing. Is this going to be a whole season thing? Because it's a drag. It's just a drag. Funny Leslie story, funny Ron story, and then... oh, look, a comedy dead spot for Ben.

I'm starting to wonder if last season would have been a better end point.

I do support bringing on Lucy Lawless, though.

:: Okay, X-Factor... First, I just want to say that I don't know why people have been clamoring for a host--how is what happens on this show so complicated that you need someone to explain it to you?--but I blame you for Fox hiring Khloe Kardashian and even bigger waste of space Mario fucking Lopez to come in and host the show, which will probably be the point when I have to stop watching it.

Some thoughts on contestants? Well, I'm glad the judges finally saw through the 13 year-old dork shtick of Trevor Moran. You thought he'd be better, Simon? Really? You didn't get that he's the kid who acts out all the time so he can control how people see him because he's terrified that he's utterly unlikable? Because I knew those guys in school and they should be slapped hard. Sister C is annoying. I don't think Jillian Jensen's voice is that special; it seems like she's being overpraised just because her story of being bullied touched a nerve with Demi. I was bullied, too. Lots of us were. I hate how impressed with herself Tara Simon is. I like Tate Stevens and Vino Alan better than anyone, I think. Carly Rose Sonenclar has an impressive voice. So does Diamond White.

I'm already sick of Cece Frey, whom the producers and editors really, really want to be this year's villain. It's easy to see why: she's easy to dislike, she's an overambitious little shit and borderline sociopath, and with those idiotic leopard spots she paints on her body, she looks like she's already a villain on a particularly annoying episode of Star Trek: Voyager. She has a good voice on a technical level, but there's no passion behind it. There's no human warmth to her; she can't even fake it. But she'll be around for a long time, because she's an easy villain and that's that. I mean, don't look for anyone to get kicked off early that the camera's spending a lot of time with.

What I really want to know is: what happened to Panda? Is she okay or what?

:: I tried to watch Once Upon a Time. Won't be making that mistake ever again in my life.

:: So glad Revenge is back, and already caught back up in it.

:: So glad Bob's Burgers is back, too.

:: And how great is Homeland? Fucking amazing.

:: But seriously, does anyone know what happened to Panda?

Kristen Bell Mondays

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Halloween: Diet Coke Ghost!

I probably saw this commercial a dozen times or more as a kid, but I didn't really remember it until I saw it on this great Dinosaur Dracula post. (That's a site everyone should be reading, no fake). Love the great old soda can. Like Matt at the original post, that's a fetish of mine, too: noticing old soda cans and soda bottles in movies and television. Madeline Khan is the ghost who can't get enough Diet Coke, Peter Cooke is the realtor and James Coburn is the voice-over. This is a classic.

Song of the Week: "Fantasy"

I always tend to like Earth, Wind & Fire, but I heard this song this week and I'm honestly not sure I'd ever heard it before. But I love it! It has a sound I would only describe as "very 1978." Even without knowing, I correctly guessed that this single was from 1978. I love that 1978 sound, I gotta admit. According to the Wikipedia, Maurice White was partially inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind when writing this. I just... it's kinda cheesy, but it's freaking awesome. MY kinda cheesy.