Archive for May, 2010

TV marathons today May 31 2010

May 31, 2010

TV marathons today May 31 2010

People do a lot of things in the US on Memorial Day.   Some certainly go to parades, some have picnics, some go to ceremonies honoring veterans and the fallen.

Some watch TV.

Or, you know, set up their DVRs to record marathons.  🙂

With the ability to just watch entire seasons of TV shows at your will through streaming Netflix (and the Roku box, even your Wii), I don’t know how long TV marathons will be a big thing.  I actually think it will be for years…there’s a difference between selecting a season to watch, and just stumbling on to it and being trapped.  😉

I’m going to be pretty generous with the term “marathon”…let’s say, more than two episodes in a row. 

Bewitched on TV Land

Clean House on Style (the most frightening show I’ve ever avoided watching) 😉

Hoarders on A&E

City Confidential on Bio

Pawn Stars on History (really?  That’s the history they marathon on Memorial Day?)

Stephen King miniseries on Syfy

The Game on BET

Bridezillas on WE

The Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo

War movies on AMC

Clint Eastwood movies on TCM

Star Trek: The Next Generation on BBC America (I haven’t quite figured out why this is on this channel…just because of Patrick Stewart?  Does that mean they should run Hogan’s Heroes because of Richard Dawson?) 😉

Law & Order on TNT

Jersey Shore on MTV

American Gladiators on MTV2

Tough Love Couples on VH1

World’s Strictest Parents on CMTV

Band of Brothers on Spike TV

Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel

Teen Titans on Boomerang

Deadliest Catch on Discovery

Cake Boss on The Learning Channel (I’d recommend you try this…we like it a lot, and I’m not much of a cooking show person.  The cakes are amazing, though…how about a life-size, very detailed motorcycle? and the people are fun to watch)

River Monsters on Animal Planet

Beverly Hills 90210 on Soap

Dr. G: America’s Most Shocking Cases on Discovery Health

Cops on G4

I (Almost) Got Away with It on

How It’s Made on Science

World at War on Military

Caught on Camera on MSNBC

Book TV on CSPAN 2

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Travel

The Pacific on HBO2

Enjoy!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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“I know you don’t understand pain…”

May 31, 2010

“I know you don’t understand pain, Pete.  You’ve hardened yourself to it, like a lot of people, by pretending it doesn’t exist.  So you convinced everybody you’re a real tough guy, a strong man, real independent.  And you gave up some of your humanity, too.  Well, I won’t play that game.  I’ll cling to my humanity, and fight for it if I must.  I loved once, really loved.  And now I hurt.  And I won’t deny either of these things, or pretend they mean any less to me than they do.”
–Keith
“…For a Single Yesterday”
written by George R.R. Martin

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

The Week Ahead: May 31 – June 6 2010

May 31, 2010

The Week Ahead: May 31 – June 6 2010

For more information on upcoming (and historical) movies, TV shows, books, conventions, paranormal happenings, and pretty much anything that interests me, see the ever-growing Measured Circle Pop Culture Timeline.

Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day)

On TV, you get new eps of Flapjack and Saving Grace.  Cake Boss kicks off its third season with a cake for New Jersey Governor Christie’s inagural ball.

Cons* continuing today include:  MediaWest in Lansing Michigan; MisCon in Missoula, Montana; and the Strategicon gaming convention in Los Angeles, California

Tuesday, June 1

On TV, Idina Menzel of Wicked guests in a funky episode of Glee, and you get a new to BBC America ep of Ashes to Ashes.

Tuesday’s books include: Killer Kaiju: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film by Ivan Vartanian; and Inside The Wicker Man: How Not to Make a Cult Classic by Allan Brown

Videogames today include: Tetris Party Deluxe; and Dragonology (based on the book)

Wednesday, June 2

On TV, there’s a new SYTYCD and a new Weird or What?  Ghost Hunters Academy has its season debut. 

Thursday, June 3

On TV, there are two hours of SYTYCD, and the Ultimate Parkour Challenge is at Pershing Square in Los Angeles.  Burn Notice starts its fourth season.

Friday, June 4

On TV, Cartoon Network brings you new eps of Ben 10 and Generator X, and Syfy has a new Stargate Universe and a new to the channel Merlin.  Most Haunted goes to Wales and Maesmawr Hall.   There’s also a new ep of Past Life on Fox. 

Cons* starting today include: A-Kon 21 (Revenge of the Penguins) in Dallas, Texas; an anime con in Flagstaff, Arizona; a furry con in Irvine, California (people dress as anthropomorphic animals…there’s a lot more to the furry community than that, though); authors Jerry Pournelle and John Ringo, and Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch attend ConCarolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina; the Die-Con gaming convention is in Collinsville, Illinois; and Joe Lansdale is the Guest of Honor at Soonercon in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Movies today include: Get Him to the Greek; Marmaduke (yes, the Great Dane); Killers (Kutcher and Heigl); and Splice (which sounds like possibly a good take on a sci fi/horror movie with Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley).

Saturday, June 5

On TV, it’s a new to BBC America episode of Doctor Who called Amy’s Choice.

Sunday, June 6

On TV, you get the MTV Movie Awards. The show has great categories like Best Fight and Best WTF Moment, and there are usually some good video bits.  NBC also brings you a half hour special on the new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal.

*Cons are short for “conventions”, when people who rarely leave the house get together…just kidding, of course, they can be great fun.  For details, I recommend Fanboy’s Convention List.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“As a result, scientists in this country and all over the world…”

May 30, 2010

“As a result, scientists in this country and all over the world have been not only uninformed but misinformed about a damnably puzzling phenomenon that, whether it turns out to be extraterrestrial visitation or not, is certainly one of the most important of the century.  For if UFOs are a result of mistaken identity, as some who have not thoroughly studied the evidence claim, then the phenomenon demands the urgent attention of all.  It would mean that literally hundreds of pilots, radar technicians, engineers, scientists, and intelligent laymen have been duped by their own senses to such a degree that it is sheer wonder any sanity at all is left in the world.”
–John G. Fuller writing in Aliens in the Skies

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Flash! Martin Gardner, noted Skeptic and literary annotator, reported dead

May 30, 2010

Flash! Martin Gardner, noted Skeptic and literary annotator, reported dead

Martin Gardner was a mathematician, but I think of him most for his Fringe Watcher works and for his annotation of literary classics.

It may surprise casual readers that I would like and list someone who was a Skeptic about paranormal happenings, but I do not advocate for or against them.  He was a good writer, and that’s important.

I got the most joy, though, from books like his annotated Alice in Wonderland.  These were marvelous works of scholarship, providing the background to well-known works.

We will miss his perspective and wit.

Guardian article

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Flash! Dennis Hopper reported dead

May 30, 2010

Flash! Dennis Hopper reported dead

Dennis Hopper, whose on-screen career lasted more than fifty years, has reportedly died at the age of 74.

The actor had been suffering from prostate cancer.

While his career has ranged widely, he has never been like anyone else.  From Easy Rider to Blue Velvet to Apocalypse Now to Speed, he’s been well-known to mainstream audiences.

He also made his contributions to the kinds of geeky entertainment readers of this blog sometimes favor.

He appeared on the original The Twilight Zone and The Time Tunnel.  He was in the cast with John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, and even Forry Ackerman in Queen of Blood.  In 1993, he portrayed King Koopa in the Super Mario Brothers movie.  Throughout his career, he returned to geek work.  Fittingly, the last movie role listed for him at IMDB is called Alpha and Omega, an animated feature scheduled for release on September 17 of this year.

One of Hopper’s last public appearances was in March, when he was given a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

AFP article

Dennis Hopper at IMDB

“What are they gonna say about him? What are they gonna say? That he was a kind man? That he was a wise man? That he had plans, man? That he had wisdom? Bullsh*t, man!”
–Photojournalist, played by Dennis Hopper
Apocalypse Now
screenplay by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Why 2011 may be the geekiest movie year ever

May 29, 2010

Why 2011 may be the geekiest movie year ever

As we’re heading into the heart of the summer movie season, I started looking more closely at next year.  Wow! 

Ever since Jaws turned the hot months into movie blockbuster season in 1975 (and Star Wars cemented it in 1977), that’s been the time for geeky movies.  Well, in the 1950s we got science fiction movies in the summers, but not ones that were tentpoles…big moneymakers that brought in mainstream crowds.

Next year, it seems like almost every week brings a movie that has a $200 million potential.

It’s not just the summer…there are “geekbusters” coming during the fall of 2011, and throughout the year.

Let me give you an idea of just some of the movies. 

First, how am I picking them?  Well, they are mostly going to have a fantasy/science fiction element (although not necessarily).  A movie that’s a sequel or prequel in a successful series?  Check.  A movie that’s a “sidequel’ (set in the same universe or otherwise related to a popular movie) or set of movies? Check.  A remake of a geeky movie/TV series?  Check.   An original movie with a “pedigree” (geeky stars/directors/writers and so on)?  Check. 

Am I being subjective?  Probably, but if you look at how many movies are tied to top 100 all-time US moneymakers, I think you’d find an unusual number of them.

I’m going to focus on their geekiness here.  🙂  For details such as release dates, see the The Measured Circle Pop Culture Timeline

Sequels/Prequels

Transformers 3 (sequel to toy-based #10 and #23 on all-time USA top movie list…combined more than $700 million)

Pirate of the Caribbean 4 (#8, #29, #32)

Twilight 4 (#34, another one this summer)

Scream 4

Mad Max 4 (directed by series original George Miller…without Mel Gibson)

Harry Potter 8 (#25, #33, #37, #40, #46, #58…one to come)

Kung Fu Panda 2 (#86)

The Hangover 2 (arguably not geeky, still a sequel to #44)

Rambo 5

Final Destination 5

X-Men: First Class (depends a bit on how you count things, but there’s an X-Men movie at #67 and 87)

Mission Impossible IV (#85)

Underworld 4

Cars 2  (#60)

Rise of the Apes  (prequel to Planet of the Apes series…depends on how you count the movies, but sixth or seventh, starring James Franco)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2

Puss in Boots (they are positioning this as a sidequel to the Shrek movies, but I would consider it a “focused prequel”, since it features a character we already know from those movies)

Spy Kids 4

Jason Bourne 4 (not much set on this one yet, not even a real name)

Big Momma 3 (not really geeky, but still…)

Sidequels

Thor (part of the Marvel comics universe, which includes Spider-Man, whose movies are #9, #13, and #18, and the X-Men: #67, and Iron Man: #24, #50…and counting)

Captain America (more Marvel)

Green Lantern (part of the DC Comics universe, which includes Batman: #3, #55, #97, and Superman)

Immortals (arguably a sidequel to Clash of the Titans, it’s a Greek Gods movie…starring Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, and Freida Pinto from Slumdog Millionaire)

Remakes

The Smurfs (based on a TV cartoon, stars Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Cumming, Paul Reubens, Katy Perry, Jonathan Winters, Hank Azaria…and Wolfgang Puck)

H.R. Pufnstuf (based on the TV series…not much information out there, but this is driving a lot of traffic to this blog, so that says something…not much, but something) 🙂

The Green Hornet (based on a radio show/TV show, stars Seth Rogen as the Hornet, Jay Chou as Kato, Cameron Diaz, Christopher Waltz, Edward James Olmos, and Edward Furlong)

Red Riding Hood (make that a werewolf and put Amanda Seyfried and maybe Gary Oldman in it)

Frankenweenie (Tim Burton directs a remake of his own early short movie)

Winnie the Pooh (arguably a sidequel to Disney’s 3-D Alice in Wonderland, the remake includes the voices of Craig Ferguson, Peter Cullen, Alan Cummings, and Tom Kenny…the last one of SpongeBob SquarePants)

Arabian Nights (Chuck Russell of The Mask and The Scorpion King writes and directs Anthony Hopkins)

Pedigeeked originals

Cowboys & Aliens (directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man and Elf, co-written by Damon Lindelof of Lost, and featuring Sam Rockwell, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde…)

Real Steel (boxing robots: directed by Shawn Levy of the Night at the Museum movies, Evangeline Lilly of Lost, Hugh Jackman)

Your Highness (co-written by and featuring Danny McBride, this fantasy also has Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, and James Franco)

The Tourist (arguably not geeky, with geektastic cast: Johnny Depp, Angelia Jolie, Timothy Dalton, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany)

Fast Five (again, arguably not geeky…but starring Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel)

The Adventures of Tintin (there have been Tintin movies adaptations before, but this may be many Americans first exposure: directed by Steven Spielberg, includes Daniel Craig, Cary Elwes, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell…)

Sucker Punch (the tagline is “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns”…stars Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Vanessa Hudgens, directed by Zack Snyder)

The Zookeeper (animation pretty much automatically gets you a ticket to Geekville, but this includes Sylvester Stallone, Rosario Dawson, John Favreau, Adam Sandler, Cher, Kevin James…)

Contagion (viral video…no, literally about a disease 😉 , directed by Steven Soderbergh, featuring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne…)

Hop (Tim Hill of Alvin and the Chipmunks directs Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny, with James Marsden of the X-Men and Keley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory…with Elizabeth Perkins and Chelsea Handler)

The Cabin in the Woods (co-written by geek god Joss Whedon, it promises a twist on the formula…starring Richard Jenkins)

Gnomeo and Juliet (Shakespeare…with gnomes.  Directed by Kelly Asbury of Shrek 2, it features Emily Blunt, James McAvoy, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Maggie Smith, Jason Stratham…)

Drive Angry (directed by Wes Craven regular Patrick Lussier, it features Nicolas Cage, David Morse, William Fichtner…)

Rio (Carlos Saldhana of the Ice Age movies directs animation with a macaw out of water and featuring Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, George Lopez…)

Priest (based on the graphic novel series, Paul Bettany is a priest tracking vampires…also features Maggie Q, Christopher Plummer, Alan Dale, Karl Urban…)

Rango (Gore Verbinski of the Pirates series directs animation with Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Claudia Black…)

Battle: Los Angeles (marines versus aliens, starring Michelle Rodriguez, Aaron Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan…)

A Thousand Words (geek cred a bit hard to describe to mainstream people…the director, Brian Robbins, is a Smallville producer, he appeared in a CHUD movie, and was a a regular on Head of the Class ((wait, that last one isn’t so geeky)) 😉 .  He’s directed Eddie Murphy in a few high concept movies, including the Shaggy Dog, and Norbit, and he’s doing that here…Murphy’s character can only speak one thousand words before he dies)

The Apparition  (Ashley Greene of Twilight and Tom Felton of Harry Potter…)

Unknown White Male (arguably not geeky, a man wakes from a coma to find his identity has been stolen…features Liam Neeson, January Jones, Frank Langella, Aidan Quinn…)

Mars Needs Moms! (from a book by Berkeley Breathed of Bloom County and featuring the voices of Seth Green and Joan Cusack)

Duel of Legends (martial arts movie with Rampage, who is taking the role Mr. T had in this summer’s A-Team remake, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who has been in all kinds of geeky productions, including Stargate, Babylon 5, Star Trek…)

Believe me, I haven’t listed all of them!

Why so many?

Well, I think part of it is that 2012 is going to be a tricky movie year.  No, not because of that Mayan end of the world thing (we already had a hit movie about that).  The summer Olympics are in London, and they know how to do media.  Another media hog in 2012 is going to be the US Presidential election…that’s likely to be getting coverage even in the summer.

What is the result of this cinematic cornucopia going to be?  Well, there may be some shuffling of movies to earlier in the year or maybe even 2013 (or 2012, even with the competition).  It should make for a giant year, even though it may be hard for individual movies to be mega-hits (since there is another one right around the corner).  Opening weekends will be more important than usual: expect lots of four-walling type advertising.  Also, in a crowded year like this, some movies will not find their audiences that otherwise would.  They’ll have a strong second life outside of the theatres…especially as tablet computers like the iPad make streaming video more mainstream.  They also can become cult movies…that may be the case with some of those originals.

 Well, enjoy the rest of 2010…and know next year is going to be a biggie!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

“LOOK AT ‘EM…”

May 29, 2010

“LOOK AT ‘EM…COSTUME HEROES BY THE DROVE. NEED FELLAS LIKE THEM…MEET THE CHALLENGE.”
–The Fat Fury (Herbie Popnecker)

deciding to become a superhero
Make Way for the Fat Fury
comic written by Shane O’Shea

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on. 

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Flash! Stephen J. Perry, TV and comics writer, reported dead, a victim of foul play

May 28, 2010

Flash! Stephen J. Perry, TV and comics writer, reported dead, a victim of foul play

Stephen Perry (AKA Steve Perry), was not a household name, but was known in the geek community.

He wrote something like seven episodes of the popular animated series, ThunderCats, including the only two-parter of the show.

He also wrote comics, including the ThunderCats comic book series and Silverhawks.

He was diagnosed with cancer, and was not doing well financially.  An organization that lists Spider-Man creator Stan Lee as a supporter, the Hero Initiative (which helps comics creators who need emergency medical aid), assisted him, and he was reportedly doing better.  Then, earlier this month, he was reported missing. 

Unfortunately, this appears not to have ended well.   Police have found body parts that they have identified as Perry’s, and are investigating the case as a homicide.

news article

comics credits at The Big Database of Comic Books

episode info at ThunderCats Lair

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

Flash! Star Wars voices available for TomTom GPS

May 28, 2010

Flash! Star Wars voices available for TomTom GPS

Yes, that’s right: you can have Darth Vader telling you where to go.

TomTom.com Star Wars

They have a funny video of Darth Vader in the recording studio…you might want to call him Diva Vader.  However, MAJOR SPOILER ALERT if you don’t know the movies and you watch that.

I do love the sample sound clips they have.  They integrate movie lines (and philosophy) with the actual directions.

“Depart: your destiny lies with me.  Obi-Wan knew this to be true.”

It’s $12.95 for Darth.

The other voices they’ve announced are interesting choices.

C-3PO is coming soon…that one makes sense, but I don’t know how funny it will be.

Yoda is due in July.  That may not help the directionally impaired…I assume it will say things like, “Turn right you will.”

Then, in August, you get Han Solo…um, as long as he doesn’t give the distance to the next exit in parsecs, that’s probably fine.  😉  Of course, he did direct them into some…questionable places.  I could say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” but I don’t, really.

Hmm…I wonder when we’ll get Chewie?  😉

They do have a game you can play for a chance to win a Star Wars voiced TomTom GPS…but you do need a webcam.  Apparently, it’s going to use your webcam to detect hand movements to see if you are using the force properly.  You can go to the Dark Side or the Light Side.

It also doesn’t say that Darth Vader is actually James Earl Jones, but it does sound good.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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