Laughed So Hard I Cried

Just finished watching Jim Gaffigan’s latest special on Comedy Central called King Baby. He made me laugh so hard about bowling, bacon and Waffle House that I had tears rolling down my face. Do yourself a favor and check your local listings.

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Whiteout

I read Oni’s smaller, digest-ish sized edition of Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber’s Whiteout this weekend. It’s a pretty good read, though I feel like I’ve read or seen all the pieces of this story already between episodes of shows like CSI, The Thing and Bad Boys II (especially the scene where Carrie and Lily drive a Hummer through the arctic shanty town). But, hey, that’s not really an indictment on the book itself, I’ve often said that it doesn’t really matter the order that pieces of fiction come out, but the order you’ve seen them. For instance, I read Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens well before I saw The Omen (well, I still haven’t seen the movie, but I DID read the novelization of the movie that I thought was the novel it was based on). Really, though, reading Whiteout made me want to watch The Thing again, that’s a freaking rad movie.

It also made me want to see the Whiteout movie starring Kate Beckinsale. What’s the deal with that flick anyway?

One last thing I want to talk about, more so than the contents of the book is the scale of the book itself. I will never understand why companies want to shrink down artists’ work to such a small format. It’s one thing with manga or Scott Pilgrim when the book was originally conceived in that format, but shrinking Steve Lieber or Frank Miller’s art (like in the Sin City volumes that came out around the movie) just boggles my mind. Their art is SICK, show it as big as you can! That’s why we have Absolute editions.

Okay, that’s my rant. What do you think of shrinking down artwork like that? Or Whiteout? Or Kate Beckinsale? Or The Thing?!

Mid Season Replacements

Welcome to the middle of the season folks. No, I haven’t gotten my calendar out to see how many episodes of Big Bang, How I Met Your Mother or The Office are left, but I can just tell. How? I’m a genius. Well, no, not at all. I can tell because we’re getting hit with a slew of new shows that may or may not still be here by the end of the actual season. Over the next few weeks (and the previous four-ish) you’ll see the networks put a big push behind these shows they hope will fill the gaps in their line-ups, which, let’s be honest, weren’t exactly bustling with new, innovative and interesting shows as I mentioned before.

Anyway, I’ve caught a few episodes of these new shows here and there and will be offering up my opinions on each as is my blog-given right.

CASTLE
Monday 10:00 (ABC)
Live everyone else, I saw a TON of previews leading up to the premiere of Castle. I wasn’t really sold on the “writer teams up with a cop” shenanigans the ads were trying to sell me (it seemed like Bones with reversed genders), but I like Nathan Fillion and wished him success. Well, I found myself without anything to watch on Monday night last week so I checked it out and it wasn’t bad. This week’s episode was pretty good too, if a bit overcomplicated. Fillion’s rad and the lady copy is growing on me. There are two aspects that I really like though. First off, I like his family. His daughter is smart and kind of the anti-Gossip Girl while his mother is a former (?) New York actress who likes to party. Not exactly the most original dichtomy, but it all works well together (you might recognize the mom as Greg’s mom on Dharma and Greg). The second thing I like is seeing a writer at work on a TV show. Sure, he’s supposed to be a grocery story aisle novelist, but he thinks like a writer and I just like seeing that, being a self proclaimed writer myself.

DOGG AFTER DARK
Tuesday 8:30PM (MTV)
Dogg After Dark is kind of like Hugh Hefner’s old show where he’d just walk around a party in a loft and talk to people except this time it’s
the Dee Oh Double Gee sporting shades in a huge nightclub and “bumping into” celebrities. I’ve only seen it once, but he called a lot of dudes cousin and then someone sang at the end. I didn’t even realize until I just looked things up for this blog that it’s on Tuesdays, a day I don’t have anything to watch, so I’ll have to give it a look next week.

BETTER OFF TED
Wednesday 8:30PM (ABC)
The Better Off Ted ads did a good job of getting me to want to watch the show, mostly because they heavily featured Portia de Rossi who, aside from being SUPER hot, also gets a near-infinite pass for being on Arrested Development. I tried watching the first episode online, but it got really skippy so I quit and watched the second episode last night. Due to some phone calls, I missed the second half of the episode, but I liked what I saw. The premise is kind of tough to explain (the main character actually does a pretty good job in the opener of the first episode), but I like the fact that it focuses on characters from all over this huge research and development company. I’m not completely sold, but I’ll be back next week.

DOLLHOUSE
Friday 9:00PM (FOX)
I saw one episode of Dollhouse, the second one, and will not be watching any more. I was pretty bummed by how not-great this show was, but I wasn’t surprised. I had heard the production had hit a lot of bumps, plus I’m not an Eliza Dushku fan, so this didn’t feel like a home run from the beginning. I also felt like they didn’t do a good job of letting us know what this show was about (or even letting me know it was on). At first I thought the dolls were supposed to be some kind of super agents, but it turns out they’re kind of prostitutes? I dunno. The problem with a show where the main character is blank is that you really have to like the actor or actress because that’s all you’ve got for lack of character (though I’m sure all that will come back in the memory flashbacks that will probably become important at some point). It also seemed like all the characters were just rehashes of other Joss Whedon characters, like the nerdy tech kid. I know that Whedon has a tendency to start his series’ slow and then really kick it into gear (like Buffy and Angel, I haven’t seen Firefly yet) and I hear there was a big game changer last week (please spoil it in the comments, I’m curious), but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to Dollhouse.

KINGS
Sunday 8:00PM (NBC)
I probably shouldn’t even include Kings on this list because I saw about 20 minutes of one episode. But in that 20 minutes I saw a show that I definitely want to catch up on. There’s such a deep history to this show about America if we had kings (something I think NBC should have advertised way more clearly). The series seems taylor made for my ilk, by which I mean fans of well thought out alternate realities. There’s a ton of history ready to be mined here. Hopefully I can get caught up so I have an idea of what’s going on this week (if I remember to watch).

And a few other shows I’m looking forward to:

THE UNUSUALS
Premieres April 8, Wednesday 10:00PM (ABC)
and
THE DUEL 2
Premieres April 8, Wednesday 10:00PM (MTV)
Before realizing both of these shows will not only be on at the same time, but also starting on the same day, I was kind of looking forward to The Unusuals. Again, the concept seems a bit whacky, but I really like the cast: Michael from Lost (Harold Perrineau), Joan of Arcadia (Amber Tamblyn), one of the nerds from Dazed and Confused (aka the crazy roommate from Friends, aka Adam Goldberg) and a guy from 28 Weeks Later (Jeremy Renner). But, alas, my attention will be diverted thanks to the latest Real World/Road Rules Challenge, which starts the week after one of my top 5 favorite shows, The Real World Brooklyn, ends. This one will be dubbed The Duel 2 and promises to have a fight between Real World Paris castmates Adam and CT!!! (If that made sense to you, we can be friends forever.)

So, what shows are you watching? Seriously, please comment, I need to know that SOMEONE’s reading.

Still Waiting…for a good follow up to Waiting

Back before I moved out here in 2005, I went with a couple of my friends who also worked at the Bagel Place (which has since been demolished and rebuilt as something…very different)to see Waiting… starring Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long and Anna Faris. It’s basically a look at a day in the life (though a crazy one) at Shenaniganz, an Applebees-like restaurant. Even though it wasn’t the same kind of restaurant we worked in we could totally relate to hating jerk-hole customers, relating to each other and playing games to make the day go by quicker (though, they didn’t involve balls).

Anyway, I’m a big fan of the movie. I worked with a lot of people during my 7-ish years at the bagel shop just like the people in the movie. Plus it had the above mentioned actors along with John Francis Daley who, like everyone else, I loved in Freaks and Geeks and a bunch of other actors I would eventually come to know and love like Chi McBride, Luis Guzman, Vanessa Lengies (yeah, I like Stick It, deal with it) and even Dane Cook who I like much better as a comedian, but whatever.

I actually get the itch to watch the DVD every time we eat at one of those TGIFriday’s-type (that’s can’t be the way to write that), though I usually don’t ’cause, you know, I’ve got a lot of other stuff to watch. Anyway, when I heard that the sequel, Still Waiting… came out I was cautiously interested. I put it at the top of my Netflix queue and got it the other day.

Well…

It’s not a good movie. The guy who’s supposed to be the Ryan Reynolds-type character just isn’t as good of an actor and can’t play off the lovable jerk character (also, making him kinda racist probably wasn’t the best choice). Overall, the characters just aren’t as real or interesting as the ones written in the original (even the few recurring characters), which is strange because, as far as I can tell, it’s the same guy who wrote the original (Rob McKittrick who also directed that one, but not this one).

I can’t say I’m disappointed or surprised because, hey, it’s a straight-to-DVD sequel to a movie that didn’t do all that well in the first place. I did appreciate the fact that Justin Long popped up in a cameo. Uh, I guess the following counts as a SPOILER, if you care. I like that he came back for this movie, but I’m not sure if I like the scene, where he basically tells the bartender that his life still ended up shitty after quitting at the end of the first movie. He sure gives a hilarious performance though and I was actually thinking “It’d be interesting to write a movie that starts where movies like Waiting and Empire Records end, with the guy leaving his dead end job and seeing how well they actually do with that” and then that essentially happened.

Oh well, I’ve still got the original, which is still rad, so who cares? Anyone else see it or even want to?

Soon To Be Big In Japan, Chad Mikrut

Last night my friends back in Toledo had a surprise going away party for my buddy Chad Mikrut who will be spending the next year over in Japan for work. The best advice I could give him was to always carry a bottle of water with him everywhere he goes because Japanese children ghosts tend to be afraid of water. I later realized that Chad hates horror movies and may not have gotten the joke, but what are you gonna do?

Anyway, as a testament to Chad’s radness, I decided to post a bunch of pictures I had of him, many of which are embarrassing. Now, I’ve known Chad since our Freshman year of high school. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of our meeting, but I do remember him sitting in front of me in home room. Our Sophomore year, we did the musical along with a bunch of our other friends (we were flying monkey’s on rollerblades). Later, Chad and I formed a band with our buddy Jimmy and, Chad Yates as singer at first and later Randy.

I’m not sure if the pictures require much more explanation I added tags for them, but then turned them into a goofy slideshow on Photobucket, so who knows? They’re in close to chronological order. Enjoy!

MyTube: Lex Luthor & Mega Man

Being in the industry I’m in, I get sent a ton of videos from friends and co-workers, but I tend to ignore them. Hey, even I have important things to do sometimes. I’ve also got sites like Topless Robot, /Film and /Gamer in my Google Reader, so I’ve got a pretty steady stream of videos coming in, some of which I pass over, but lately I’ve been checking more out. In the most-likely recurring MyTube section I’ll post a video or two for your viewing enjoyment.

Mad Man’s Jon Hamm as Lex Luthor asking President Obama for bailout money to kill Superman. Mostly based on the Superman movies, which I’m not a fan of, but more on that later, it’s a great watch. It’s from Funny or Die, naturally.

Another video that looks to be originally from Funny or Die that I first saw on /Gamer. This one has Link, Mario and Mega Man from old school NES lip syncing a song called “Put It On a Hook” by a group called The Inhumans. I’m not too crazy about the song, but who doesn’t love a rapping Mega Man?

Big Ups To Topless Robot

My buddy Rob and the gang over at Topless Robot hopefully got a significant hit boost from this link on /Film about Jetfire, an old-timey looking Transformer from the upcoming sequel.

If you’re not familiar with either site, /Film (“slash film”) is my number one source for movie news and their podcast is pretty entertaining if you’re caught up on your theatrical releases and Topless Robot is the funniest site on the net. Check ’em out!