Halloween Scene: New Slasher Round-Up!

Good golly, I watched a lot of horror movies this season. I actually kicked things off pretty early, sometime in September and pretty much watched only scare fare since then with the exception of many, many episodes of Daniel Tiger, the shows my wife and I watch and a few kids movies sprinkled in.

I found myself missing Topless Robot quite a bit this fall as that site offered the best place for me to knock out crazy lists about some of the longest running horror franchises around. I wound up not writing anything about new horror for pay, so I’m going to go through as many of the newer films as I can in this series of posts. Let’s start off with one of my favorite subgenres, the slasher movie! I watched four that I thought each did something fun an interesting. Continue reading Halloween Scene: New Slasher Round-Up!

What We’re Watching: Wednesday & Thursday

As it turns out, our Wednesdays and Thursdays are mixed between longtime favorites and brand new shows that are tickling our fancies these days. This batch includes mostly half hour comedies as well as my personal favorite comic book TV show Arrow. My wife also enjoyed this season of Cover Affairs, but I usually read or watching the other TV when it’s on because it just never quite grabbed me. If you’re interested, I covered Mondays and Tuesdays in a post last week.


Arrow (8:00 PM, The CW)

arrow season 2 banner

Arrow is one of my favorite shows on TV and probably one of the ones I look forward to the most in any given week. I was cautiously optimistic when it kicked off last season, but got sucked in with the story of spoiled rich kid Oliver Queen trying to make things right in his city while also flashing back to his time on a crazy island. Sure there’s a ton of melodrama involved in the proceedings (it is a CW show after all), but I love the solid mix of action, fun stories and deep cuts when it comes to comic book references. I couldn’t help but compare Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Arrow and in nearly every way, Arrow came off better.

Modern Family (9:00 PM, ABC)Modern Family - Season 5

I’m not really sure what to say about Modern Family that hasn’t been said a million times. It’s so intricately written and perfectly acted that it’s impossible not to fall in love. We’ve been watching the reruns on Fox at 7:30 every day after Jeopardy and even though there aren’t a ton of episodes, it’s a welcome addition to the syndication rotation.

Super Fun Night (9:30 PM, ABC)super fun night

I wanted to like Super Fun Night, but the first episode just killed all the excitement I had going in. The basic concept of the show is cool: three 30 somethings put a bunch of ideas for ladies night in a hat, pull one out and that’s what they do that evening. The problem? Star Rebel Wilson puts on a terrible American accent throughout the entire thing. There are pretty much three things everyone knows about Wilson after watching Pitch Perfect: she’s not America, she’s super funny and she can sing incredibly well. The first episode of this series tried to get you to forget two of these things as her character is nervous about karaoke. I was pretty much done at that point and tend to flip around or read during this time slot. I really think I would be back in if they just had her speak in her regular voice.


The Big Bang Theory (8:00 PM, CBS)big bang theory season 7

We’re still big Big Bang Theory fans. I love how they’ve expanded the group to fully include Bernadette and Amy. It does kind of seem like the writers aren’t quite sure what to do with Penny lately. She and Sheldon work so well together, but they seem to be writing her a bit dumber than before. It’s a minor problem and I think they’re probably ramping up for something big at the end of the season, but we’ll see.

The Millers (8:30 PM, CBS)the millers

The Millers was a big surprise for me. We’ve liked previous Greg Garcia shows like My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope, but got burned out on the latter. I also didn’t much like Will Arnett’s two previous shows, Running Wilde and Up All Night. But I think this is enough of a departure for Garcia — it’s not about dumdums in a mysterious western town — and it allows Arnett to play awkward and put-upon in a way we haven’t quite seen before. I think it’s funny that last season saw all kinds of “adult kids moving back in with their parents” shows and this seasons has the reverse. Even though it’s not super original, I’m still enjoying two shows like that this season between Millers and Dads. As a nice bonus, the show features Jayma Mays who deserves a show better than Glee and Nelson Franklin who I’ve enjoyed on Traffic Light and his brief stint on New Girl. I hope the show succeeds just so I can keep seeing them all!

The Crazy Ones (9:00 PM, CBS)?????????????????????????

I’ll be honest, I wish Parks & Rec was on at 9:00 PM on Thursdays. I love that show and really miss it, but since we’re full-on into BBT, that’s the show we watch. Plus, it sounds like the schedule’s going to be all over the place. Anyway, since NBC doesn’t have much to offer, we’re watching The Crazy Ones, an ad agency comedy starring Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar as well as the guy who played Bob Benson on Mad Men and the former secretary from The Mindy Project. The dynamics on this show are a ton of fun and really carry it through. This is one of two shows that I could probably just watch the outtakes of and have a great time. New Girl is the other for what it’s worth. Still, as enjoyable as the show has been, I’d drop it in a heartbeat if it meant I could watch Parks & Rec.

The Michael J. Fox Show (9:30 PM, NBC)MichaelJFoxShow1

I think The Michael J. Fox Show is the only show we watch on NBC these days which is crazy because it used to one of the main stops for us, especially on Thursdays. As a dyed in the wool child of the 80s, I have an almost inborn love for all things Fox going back to the days of Family Ties on through Spin City. The fact that the show puts his Parkinsons right on front street and just deals with it as part of the ongoing story is an ingenious move that brings everyone in on what’s going on and deals with it honestly.

Casting Internets

Today I came across a lot of Halloween themed links that tickled my fancy (metaphorically, of course, I keep my computer in front of me at all times). There’s lots of other stuff going on too, that I dug, so let’s jump in.

First off, Topless Robot’s list of good and bad toy-based Halloween costumes is rad. Go check it out. My buddy Chris sent around this link from Coolest Homemade Costumes on how to build your own Lego minifigure costume. They look epic. Also, if you dig Halloween mixes, give Chris’s a listen

In other costume news, Instructables has a how-to on creating this awesome Transformers Soundwave costume. I’ll just look at the pictures in awe if that’s okay (via Toyark)

Apparently I’m not the only one who finds the Halloween Snickers commercial creepy. It’s also apparently for sale, which is terrifying.

I haven’t read the Frazer Irving interview my buddy Kiel did over on CBR yet, but my other buddy Sean posted this image on Robot 666 today. It’s awesome. I hope to catch up on Batman fairly soon. I don’t want to read the full interview with Detention director Joseph Kahn did over on io9 yet because I don’t want anything spoiled. I was sold with the concept of a slasher movie mixed with a time traveler flick. Also, the above image is both scary and awesome. When can I see this movie?! (via /Film)

Okay, one last Halloween-related link. The August Society is doing a series called 8-bit Cavalera. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I love the idea of painting anything on old NES cartridges. This one by Evan Lopez is my favorite so far. Apparently you can actually buy Roger Sterling’s book from Mad Men. Sterling’s Gold is available on Amazon for $11.43. (via /Film)

If you’ve got some extra cash to spare, bid on this 14-inch Hal Jordan DC Universe Classics prototype signed by The Four Horsemen over on Charitybuzz. Proceeds benefit Mattel’s Children’s Hospital UCLA, so it goes to a good cause and it’s an awesome, one-of-a-kind collectible. (via Toynewsi)

If you’re looking for an internship at Marvel, check out this article on Marvel.com.

Wynn Ryder’s sketch of Bruce Lee on Sketchjam is rad. Nuff said.

TV Time 4/20-4/26

You guys know I love TV, so I figured I’d write about it in one big post (unless something really knocks my socks off). So here’s a quick rundown of what I watched this week on the idiot box.

Unfortunately both Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother were re-runs last week. Still had fun watching these episodes again, though.

Castle is really growing on me. It’s the one procedural in our weekly line-up, but damnitall of Nathan Fillion isn’t super-charming. His partner is even growing on me (she kind of scared me the first few episodes). What started out as a show we’d watch because nothing else is on has turned into a new weekly favorite.

I’m really glad Fringe is back. I actually missed it while it was on hiatus, plus, it’s really the only thing we watch on Tuesdays. This episode was interesting enough on its own, but also offered a deeper level of mystery and connection that will hopefully explode with craziness as the first season wraps.

I caught about 20 minutes of The Unusuals. I really liked what I saw, but wanted to watch Josie and the Pussycats without falling asleep, so it lost out. I’m still rooting for the show’s success.

As all the Losties know, there wasn’t a new episode last week, but a clip show. This one looked at the Oceanic 6 and showed all the flashforwards and flashbacks in chronological order. It wasn’t necessary to watch, but it reminded me of a few things I had forgotten. I’m still not clear on the time frame of Locke visiting Jack, Locke getting killed, Jack flying around with a scruffy beard and Jack running into Ben at Locke’s showing. It seems like there’s too much time there for all these events to happen in a realistic fashion. I’m not saying they don’t have everything figured out, it’s just nagging at me a bit. I’m sure there’s an explanation.

The Duel 2 continues to offer up a level of conspiracy that is always hilarious. I’d really love someone who has studied game theory to either analyze the show or, better yet, make it onto the show. I myself did not take the game theory class my college offered (too much math and science for this English major), but it sounded fascinating when friends would talk about it. Without getting into spoilers, the guy duel was pretty intense. Unfortunately, the guy we were rooting for didn’t win, and thus the status quo continues.

I don’t talk about My Name Is Earl a lot, but it’s a consistently good show that I enjoy every week. I’m impressed that they’ve been able to keep such a solid show going with what seemed like an easily exhausted premise, but I’m always happy to see Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly (anyone else remember Poison Ivy 3?), Nadine Velazquez (Catalina) and Eddie Steeples (Crabman)every week.

Last week’s Parks and Recreation was the best episode yet. But that’s not really saying much. To be completely honest, we’re only still watching this show because it’s between two other shows we like and I’m pretty sure nothing else is on. I wish they would keep the cast, scrap this concept and just start over because watching Poehler act like a Michael Scott clone for 22 minutes is just painful.

We finally get a resolution to the doomed-from-the-start Michael Scott Paper Company and it was a lot more fist pumping than I thought it would be. That being said, I was totally worried that Michael would screw things up in the meeting.

30 Rock is awesome. As much as I love the plots and larger jokes, it’s really the smaller jokes that get me. Like when Kenneth is passing out and says something like “My name is Dick Whitman.” Awesome. Or a few weeks back after seeing the world through Kenneth’s eyes and then seeing the real Liz walk-running like a Muppet. I am a bit worried that Tracey and Jenna are turning into cartoon characters instead of actual real characters. Oh, I’m also sad to see Salma Hayek leaving the show, both because she was really funny and hot.

I totally meant to watch all of Harper’s Island last week. After all, it’s essentially a show about a slasher killing wedding guests off one by one on an island. I was all into last week’s episode (the second of the season I believe), but I fell asleep in the last 10 minutes and completely missed the ending. Luckily, this week, I didn’t fall asleep. I’m not sure yet how I feel about Harper’s Island. I’ve given up watching my favorite Girl Next Door Bridget on her new bikini-filled show Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches to check it out. I did have a hard time keeping track of the characters (lots have the same hair color and look too similar). But I think I’ll stick with it for now.

After sloshing through the first 20 minutes of The Spirit (more on that later), we gave up and watched some Cartoon Network. Saw a Batman: Brave and the Bold episode that focused on the Blue Beetle legacy (even showing Dan Garret, the Golden Age BB!). As always, it was a rad episode. Then I checked out an episode of the Clone Wars CGI show that was kinda cool and made me want to check the show out on DVD. After that The Soup was awesome.

Later that Night…
We watched the end of the Red Sox/Yankees game. Being from New England, Em is, of course, a Red Sox fan and hates the Yankees. Being something of a Tiger’s fan and initially not being all that happy about moving to New York, I hated most NY sports teams (and still do, really). So, even though I don’t particularly like the Sox, I like watching the Yankees lose. And lose they did. In overtime. This reminded me of college when Em would come over and we’d watch from inning 8 or 9 on of the Sox World Series. Now, that’s baseball.

While hanging out in Nyack we kept an eye on the game. Didn’t see the end, but the Sox took it.

Em and I have become pretty big fans of the Amazing Race. We stumbled upon it when The Simpsons was in reruns last season, but this is the first season we’ve watching, mostly, from beginning to the soon-to-be end. Better than every reality show game except Real World/Road Rules.

More Baseball
Em fell asleep watching the game, but I was in it till the end. A dude freaking stole home! I’ve never seen that before. It was awesome. See for yourself:

The Yankees play the Tigers next, so hopefully I can see them get beat up on Detroit style (but without guns and knives).

What I’m Thankful For: My Parents (and TV!)

12:17:57 am

Okay, so one of the reasons that I haven’t been posting as much the past five days or so is because my parents came in for a visit on Friday and left Sunday. I had asked my dad to root through the boxes in their basement and bring some of my oldest action figures and he responded in spaces with boxes full of He-Man, Batman, Silverhawks, Star Wars, Ghostbusters and plenty of other random toys from my childhood. So, first of all, a huge thanks for that, Dad’s awesome.

But that’s not all, for not real reason, Mom and Dad also took Em and I to Best Buy where they treated us to a brand new flat screen TV as well as a new DVD/VCR player (which is great, because, as regular readers know, I’ve been watching DVDs on my PS2 and our old TV SUCKED). So, again, they’re awesome and not just because they bring and buy me/us stuff. This isn’t really the forum to get into all the great things they’ve done, but, according to Rickey, they’ve got to be in the top 3 sets of parents of all time. I’ve got to agree.

The TV is freaking mind blowingly awesome. After setting it up we watched Kung Fu Panda and it looked AMAZING. I kept giggling throughout the movie because it looked so good. I was astonished both by the quality and my parents’ generosity. Aside from all that, though, the movie is awesome. The voice acting is spot on (Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross even Angelina Jolie and more) and the action scenes are SICK. It’s great to see filmmakers who realize you can do all kinds of things with CGI and not be shackled down by the physical world that real movies are. It’s also just a lot of fun, Jack Black’s funny without being TOO Blackian. I recommend everyone check it out.

I ended up staying up late after everyone else went to bed just to watch Friday the 13th 5 (I wanted to see how it looked on the new TV), there will be a Halloween Scene review soon. I wasn’t quite tired after that, still, so I popped Star Wars Battlefront II into the PS2 and had some fun with that for a while, but I wasn’t quite done so I watched some TV just to see how it looked. I eventually tapped out around 3.

On Saturday Dad and I watched college football, bouncing between the Notre Dame game (my team) and his team, Ohio State. But we weren’t just sitting there as Dad and I (but mostly him) built these frames with shrink wrap on them to place in our windows to help keep the cold out this winter. Meanwhile Mom and Em made Christmas cookies all day. And mind you, they got in around 5 on Friday and took of Sunday morning. I think Rickey’s right (though I’ve known this for a while), they’re the best. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad!

What I’m Thankful For: Halloween

2:47:59 am

As I’m sure you could tell from my near daily Halloween Scene posts throughout the month of October, I’m a big fan of Halloween. Unfortunately I’ve had some weird Halloweens over the past few years. My senior year of college I got pretty sick with bronchitis and pneumonia, so that sucked. Then my first year at Wizard (I started on October 17th), I was too new to get invited to one of the guys’ Halloween party (I also was too much of a wuss to ask if I could come, so no big deal, I just watched horror movies in my hovel of a room). The year after that, my first Halloween married we went out to the bar. Em went as the killer rabbit from Monty Python while I went as Charlie from Lost. Neither of us were very creative with our costumes. Then last year I got sick again, just a cold this time, but it was still annoying.

So, this year, I was psyched for Halloween and refused to get sick. It helped that I was sick about two weeks before (yeah!). And boy was it a fun one! I was even able to make it last for a full week as we had a party to go to on the 25th. Thanks to Em’s smartness I went to the first party as a black and white zombie from Night of the Living Dead.

I wasn’t able to find a black suit based on the first zombie we see in the beginning of the movie, but I was able to get a gray one and then Em did my makeup. Ah, it reminded me of my days doing musicals in high school.

It also reminded me of a horror movie because, while we were getting ready the freaking power went out and Em had to do both of our makeup(s?) by candle and flashlight. I was pretty sure a slasher was going to break in at any moment OR a real zombie outbreak would happen. Oh, it was also a dark and somewhat stormy night. Crazy! We then went to a party where we drank, which as you all know is just asking for trouble (especially for Miley Cyrus cut outs).

Oh and at the party we also played a super fun board game called Pimps and Ho’s. I’d throw in a link for you to check out their site, but it might seem a bit lewd, just put the name in the browser without punctuation or spaces and check out the fun.

So, that party was great great fun, but it wasn’t the end of the Halloween festivities. In addition to the plenty of horror movies I watched, we also dressed up at Wizard and there was a costume contest. I took second place and won $10. Woo hoo, thanks Summer for setting it up! (I’m the one in the monkey suit by the way).

We also carved pumpkins and I took the old school Nintendo approach and did Boo from the Mario games. It didn’t involve much actual carving, but I did have to shave all the orange off. I think it turned out pretty good and the trick or treaters seemed to like it, even the punk kid who said “More” twice after I had already given him two pieces of candy. Little jerk.

But even THAT wasn’t it. Halloween night we went to a party of one of Em’s coworkers’ house. We didn’t want to do the makeup thing again and I didn’t want to wear the monkey suit (it’s freaking HOT inside that thing), so we stole Rickey and James’ idea from a few years ago (the rabbit/Charlie year) and wore big boys footy pajamas. Man that was fun.

I also played beer pong for the second time and for two games, my partner and I were champions of the world (which I told everyone at the party, most of whom were strangers to me up until that point). There’s nothing funnier than thinking about myself, drunk and dressed like a little kid playing beer pong. There was also a baby at the party which was weird. I tried not to swear too much around her, but I did. Sorry Abby.

So yeah, that was this year’s Halloween. I’m gonna try and get my streak of not being sick on Halloween back up again and keep enjoying the creepiest night of the year.