Monday, March 31, 2008
I was waiting to watch Razor until I caught up on Season 3, since it came out after Season 3 ended and I was worried it might spoil something in the season for me. Now that Texas was knocked out of the NCAA Basketball Tournament by the Memphis Tigers in the Elite Eight, I should have plenty of time to catch up on Razor and watch Season 4, Episode 1 this week/weekend.
What a disappointing game I attended on Sunday. Texas was thoroughly outmatched and outplayed by Memphis. I figured we at least had a chance to beat Memphis considering Texas beat Kansas at home late in the year (and Kansas is arguably as big and talented as Memphis), and Texas beat Tennessee by 18 on a neutral court early in the year (Tennessee is the only team to have beaten Memphis this year and the game was at Memphis). As it turns out, all of my rationalizing was moot once the game started as Memphis dominated Texas from tip-off and completely took the primarily pro-Texas crowd out of the game.
While I was pretty dejected during the game, in retrospect I am very pleased with our season and in the fact that Head Coach Rick Barnes and the team made it to the Elite Eight. The season went better than anyone could have imagined after losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and then losing the NCAA Player of the Year, Kevin Durant, to the NBA. The team really came together this year and ended up being even better than last year by being ranked in the Top 10 most of the year, breaking the school's record for wins in a season, and beating 3 top 5 teams, including two Final Four teams, in UCLA, Kansas and Tennessee.
With that being said, Texas couldn’t have asked for a better route to a return trip to the Final Four with their Tournament games being scheduled in Little Rock, Arkansas, Houston, Texas and then in San Antonio if they had reached the Final Four for the second time in the Rick Barnes era. I guess there’s always next year. Hopefully our All American point guard D.J. Augustin will see the benefit of staying in college for another year so the team will have an even better chance to return to the NCAA Tournament next year.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Everyone keeps saying what an advantage it is for Texas to be playing their Sweet 16 game (and possibly an Elite 8 game) basically at home in Houston, TX. I say it’s only an advantage if they win. Hopefully 30,000 fans in burnt orange will prove to be as much of an advantage as a lot of the critics think it will be. What I do know is that while it’s nice Texas has “reached the NCAA Sweet 16 five times in the last seven years” (the only other schools to have accomplished this feat over the past 7 years are Duke and Kansas), I think it’s high time for the Longhorns to break through again and make it to the school’s second Final Four under Head Coach Rick Barnes. (link)
Honestly though, I’m being cautiously optimistic about the game against Stanford. While I think Texas has the talent to make it to the NCAA Final Four, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the Lopez brothers’ size and skills don’t scare the hell out of me. Hopefully starters A.J. Abrams, first team All-American D.J. Augustin, Damion James, Justin Mason, Connor Atchley and the rest of the team are ready for a war.
And, in case you missed it the first time around here’s Smart People’s official trailer:
Thursday, March 27, 2008
According to TV Squad’s review of the Official Lost Podcast, the debate about who the members of the Oceanic 6 are is over. (link) The podcast confirmed that “last week’s ABC promo was 100% accurate, the Oceanic Six are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron and Sun.” (link) I can’t wait to see how they explain Kate carrying Aaron on the flight without the U.S. Marshall having reported Kate's having a child to anyone back in the States. Evidently the reason Lindelof and Cuse said all would be reveled about Oceanic 6 by the seventh episode is because “they didn’t want to spoilt the ending of ‘Ji Yeon,” in which Jin’s Flash Forward was revealed to be a Flash Back.” (link) We should be learning more about the Oceanic 6 in future episodes this Spring.
And lastly, it seems a subject from early in Season 3 is finally touched upon again as the subject of Tom’s sexuality was again brought up in “Meet Kevin Johnson.” The Official Lost Podcast confirmed that “the scene with Tom and Arturo at the Hotel Earle was to clarify who the rumored gay Lost character was.” (link) I’m always glad when the writers of Lost go back to minor storylines or bits of throwaway dialogue from the past that have sparked debate among Lost fans and fleshes them out by incorporating them into future stories, but it seems like a missed opportunity here when the character in question has already been killed in current Lost time. Its a shame that in hindsight Lost has killed off its only confirmed homosexual character. At least we can rest assure that this episode will probably not be the last time we see Tom (a.k.a. Mr. Friendly) on Lost given that we’ve already seen him multiple times in Flash Backs since being killed by Sawyer on the beach at the end of Season 3.
To be honest, I wasn’t that enamored by this week's episode. It was really great to see Walt (or at least a brief glimpse of him) and so many dead faces from the show’s past (like Libby and Tom), but in the end it was just too much Michael. I know I’ve said this before, but in the first season Michael was one of my favorite characters, that is until he turned into a whiny, sniveling creep who was willing to murder two innocent women to get his son back. Watching Michael last week in “Meet Kevin Johnson” really made me dislike him. The guy made his bed and now it's time to sleep in it.
What is interesting about this episode is that it is the first instance where a Flash Back is actually a story being told to another character. As the story unfolds it turns out that Michael’s Flash Back was his retelling of his experiences off the island to Sayid. This makes me wonder if we are to take Michael’s Flash Back as fact or is it his interpretation of what occurred. If it’s the latter then can we assume that maybe parts of Michael’s Flash Back are a lie constructed as some sort of elaborate plan by Michael and Ben? This is the first time I’ve ever questioned a Flash Back’s validity, and I’m assuming we won’t know if what Michael is saying is truth or fiction until much later on.
As for Walt, I really can’t believe Michael told him about murdering Ana Lucia and Libby. But, it does explain how Michael could have left Walt so soon after doing such horrible things to get him back. I’m just hoping that when the show catches up to the Flash Forwards either at the end of this season or sometime next season the show will be able to explain Walt’s growth spurts and he’ll rejoin the cast as a main cast member.
Did it seem strange to anyone else how quickly Sayid blew the whistle on Michael and ratted him out to Captain Gault? I know he’s angry at Michael for killing Ana Lucia and Libby, as well as deserting his friends from Oceanic flight 815 on the island, but it seems out of character for the normally reserved Sayid. I find it especially unsettling considering Sayid and Desmond already have their suspicions as to the mission of the freighter’s crew. I hope Sayid hasn’t played his hand too soon and that Michael’s return won’t be cut short due to his deception.
It wouldn't surprise me if this was some elaborate plan by Sayid to get closer to the Captain to find out what is really going on. In the back of my head I still sort of think that Sayid is already working with Ben after his meeting with Ben and Locke earlier in the season. It was a little odd that Captain Gault didn’t really seem that shocked or surprised as to the news of Michael being a spy for Ben. I wonder if this mean's Gault believes Sayid or if maybe he knew Michael was a spy all along.
My last thought on the episode before moving on to the Lost Wednesdays segment of this post is the connection between Tom’s explanation to Michael about how the island won’t let him commit suicide because the island isn’t done with him yet and Jack’s Flash Forward from the season finale of Season 3. As you all might remember we found Jack about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge in Season 3's season finale, but he's stopped by the sound of a serious car crash on the bridge. I’m guessing that the real explanation for the crash, at least in the minds of the Others, is that the island wasn’t going to let Jack die because he had unfinished business and so the island caused the car wreck. I guess I buy the island having the power to effect things even back on the main land because it's pretty hard to argue with Michael’s gun not firing.
According to a source who spoke to MSNBC’s Courtney Hazlett it is a real possibility. Hazlett wrote on MSNBC’s The Scoop that “producers were very, very happy with her.” (link) The source even went on to say that there is “definitely interest” in the Scrubs star returning as Ted Mosby’s dermatologist/love interest this season. (link) While Sarah Chalke will obviously not be able to return to HIMYM regularly this season due to her currently filming 18 new episodes of Scrubs for next season, Hazlett’s source added they “wouldn’t rule anything out.” (link)
With the obviously great on screen chemistry between Chalke’s Stella and Josh Radner’s Ted it seems like a no brainer to bring Chalke back as a cast member next year. Wouldn’t her reappearance in the season finale combined with the big reveal that she is Ted’s future wife be a great way to end the season? Plus, Chalke has already shown her ability to shine in a talented ensemble cast with her work on Scrubs, so her addition to How I Met Your Mother should be seamless.
But, I do have some bad news for all The Goonies fans out there because it looks like the shirt actually sold out in a day (since there are none in Shirt•a•day’s Warehouse section). If you're interested in getting one of these Goonies t-shirts, I suggest clicking here and voting to bring it back!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
There were two pretty awesome shirts released this week, one of which will be joining The Blot’s closet very shortly. Can you guess which one?
After watching Seasons 1 and 2 of BSG I heard and read a lot of complaints by Battlestar fans that Season 3 was just not that good and that the show had really dragged on in certain parts. Now while I will say there have been a few slow episodes that I could have done without, what show can say that every episode is a great one? Not only that, but I really enjoyed the early episodes during the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. So I have to ask all the Battlestar Galactica fans out there, what was it about Season 3 that you disliked?
I have to add a caveat which is I think there is a big difference to watching a season on DVD as opposed to watching the show live. When you watch a show live you have a whole week (or months if they decide to split a season in half like the Sci-Fi Channel is talking about doing with Season 4 of BSG) to sit and think about/discuss the previous episode. When it’s a bad episode it makes it even worse. When you watch a complete season on DVD you don’t have the same time frame. If an episode is bad (or good) most people don’t sit around and dissect it the same way because you just move on to the next episode and then the next and the next.
By watching a season on DVD, the viewer is able to grade the series as one complete story as opposed to each individual episode, which in some ways is a much better way to evaluate a television show. But, this also skews from how most people watch and grade TV shows. So while my judgment on Season 3 is from looking at the overall season/storyline, most people who watched it live graded it on a week to week basis. I’d say this mean’s my judgment is a little off from most. So this brings us back to my main question, what was it that fans disliked? Or, have I just not gotten to the worst part yet? With 7-8 episodes left, a major chunk of Season 3 I might add, I reserve the right to change my opinion of Season 3 until I reach that final episode.
Bonus: Here is the video of last week's The Late Show with David Letterman's Battlestar Galactica Top Ten List:
You know what this means? As of their first two weeks back on the air from the Writers strike imposed hiatus, How I Met Your Mother has beaten The Big Bang Theory in the ratings both weeks. In its first week back The Big Bang Theory scored a rating of 9.1 million, 3.7/11 and in its second week its ratings actually fell to 8.6 million, 3.4/10.
I would say this proves my theory that it was the 30 minute later time slot which accounts for The Big Bang Theory’s higher ratings over HIMYM earlier in the year, except for one thing. According to the Nielsen Ratings, all of CBS’ Monday night “comedies dropped slightly from their post-strike returns last week.” (link) All except for How I Met Your Mother that is. Obviously this has something to do with Ms. Spears appearance, but it also says something to the show’s popularity and fans' reactions to its bubble status. After a few more weeks of new shows I’d be interested in seeing how The Big Bang Theory and HIMYM’s ratings now compare to the ratings of that same time slot pre-Writers strike. Only then will we be able to see which show truly is more popular.
As for this week’s episode “Ten Sessions” with guest stars Britney Spears and Sarah Chalke I have mixed emotions. While it seems Spears’ stunt casting did help ratings, her character didn’t really bring much to the show. Britney didn’t come off badly Monday night and the show definitely wasn't a train wreck, but she also seemed to just be playing her old crazy self. Plus, I’m not quite sure that role really needed a celebrity in it. Did she really bring anything special to the episode? Not only that, but her name alone over shadowed the appearance of Sarah Chalke who was absolutely fantastic.
Also, the episode wasn’t really that funny and most of the main cast seemed pushed to the sidelines until the end when everything was tied together. But I have to say, the scenes between Ted and Sarah Chalke’s dermatologist Stella were really, really great. There was instant chemistry between the two and it made me almost glad Alicia Silverstone ended up dropping out of the role. It’s just unfortunate Chalke won’t be able to return to the show this season. Hopefully Scrubs’ imminent demise will mean future appearances for Chalke on HIMYM.
The biggest debate on the internet now is whether or not Stella/Sarah Chalke is Ted’s future wife and the mother of Ted’s children. I’m going to go with no since that plan was scrapped once Silverstone dropped out of the role and because Stella’s character already has a daughter. That isn’t to say it couldn’t happen and that the daughter in the show’s opening segments to whom future Ted is telling all of his stories to isn't Stella’s biological daughter and Ted’s adopted daughter. This debate brings up the question of which of Ted’s future children is older, the boy or girl? Because if it’s the boy I think that dispels the thought that Stella is Ted’s future wife. I guess with 6 episodes left and the rumor still circulation that we will meet the mother of How I Met Your Mother this season, we’ll know soon enough if Sarah Chalke is the mother or not.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
What’s a state gotta do to get some love from Vedder and Co.? It’s been years since Pearl Jam’s graced the Lone Star state with their presence and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be playing in Texas anytime soon. For those of you on the east coast hopefully you’ll be able to catch a show during Pearl Jam’s 11 date 2008 East Coast tour.
Pearl Jam – 2008 East Coast Tour Dates
June 11th, 2008 – West Palm, FL – Cruzan Amphitheatre
June 12th, 2008 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum
June 12th-15th, 2008 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
June 16th, 2008 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Center
June 17th, 2008 – Virginia Beach, VA – Verizon Amphitheatre
June 19th, 2008 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
June 22nd, 2008 – Washington, DC – Verizon Center
June 24th, 2008 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 25th, 2008 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
June 27th, 2008 – Hartford, CT – Dodge Music Center
June 30th, 2008 – Mansfield, MA – Tweeter Center
Monday, March 24, 2008
While the show is being hyped a ton by the media, it really hasn't reached the fever pitch I was expecting. Let's just hope it has the intended effect of increasing HIMYM's ratings instead of the typical effect most Spears appearances have on shows nowadays, which is the show crashes and burns. I'm starting to cross my fingers now.
Last month Nylon Magazine unveiled that Colette would be hosting the photography exhibition Terry Richardson + Supreme + Kermit, which would debut the latest advertising campaign shot by noted photographer Terry Richardson for the legendary skate store and clothing brand Supreme. (link) As you can tell, the campaign focuses on one of Jim Henson’s most famous creations and the Muppet of all Muppets, Kermit the Frog.
In honor of Kermit’s new position as spokesfrog for Supreme, designer toy manufacturer Medicom is releasing a limited edition Supreme Kermit Kubrick figure. The Kermit the Frog Supreme Kubrick figure is 60 mm tall and will be released early April, 2008. (link)
While according to Supreme’s website it looks like their Kermit Skate Decks and Kermit Tees are all sold out, you might want to stop by one of their 6 worldwide locations to see if there are any hidden away somewhere.
For those of you in NYC, NikeSkateboarding.org is reporting that “posters of Kermit sporting a classic Supreme box t-shirt have appeared in New York’s Soho,” so if you can’t get your hands on a t-shirt or skate deck then maybe you can snag a used promo Supreme Kermit poster. (link)
When I first heard there was going to be an official “first look” at one of the characters from the upcoming live action G.I. Joe movie, I got really excited and nervous. (link) I wasn’t that big of a fan of the live action Transformers movie because in my heart I’m a traditionalist, and I really wanted the robots in the movie to more closely resemble the Transformers toys, comic books and cartoons I grew up with. When I realized the movie’s producers/director had decided to go in a new direction and alter some of my favorite childhood toys I was pretty annoyed.
Then I heard there was a new G.I. Joe movie in production and I didn't know what to think. Growing up G.I. Joe was my favorite toy/cartoon and, much like with the Transformers movie, I was really hoping the movie would be faithful to the material it was based on. While rumors are swirling about the different direction the movie is going in to make G.I. Joe more of a global strike force and increase its marketability worldwide, I was stoked when I heard the first look photo was of the masked, mute ninja Snake Eyes, probably the most popular G.I. Joe character of all time. Not only that, but the pictures are awesome and look almost identically to how most Joe fans would imagine him looking in real life.
If these two pictures are any indication of things to come, maybe this movie will be better than fans are expecting and hopefully other characters will be as faithful to the comic books/cartoons/toys as Snake Eyes is. Thank god they didn’t take the same liberties with his uniform that the Transformers movie did with Optimus Prime. Those flames on his blue cab almost made me cry. Was it really that difficult to just keep that classic look of his fire engine red cab? G.I. Joe is being directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing) and is scheduled to be released August of 2009.
The movie brings together a wide array of actors to fill the ranks of both G.I Joe and the villainess Cobra. On the G.I. Joe side the movie has cast Ray Park as Snake Eyes, Channing Tatum as Duke, Rachel Nichols as Scarlett, Marlon Waynes as Ripcord, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Heavy Duty and Dennis Quaid as Hawk. As for the villains, we have Sienna Miller as Baroness, Christopher Eccleston as Destro and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the evil Cobra Commander. Now we just have to sit and wait for a little over a year until we can see the final product. Until then let the speculation and debates rage on.
To see other G.I. Joe First Look photos of characters from the upcoming live action G.I. Joe movie click here.
Friday, March 21, 2008
She & Him is a “collaboration between indie musician/producer M. Ward and actress/songwriter Zooey Deschanel” (Elf, Tin Man). According to the group’s biography on MergeRecords.com the two artists “first met to record a version of Richard and Linda Thompson’s ‘When I Get To The Border’ for a movie soundtrack.” (link) From listening to a few of the album’s tracks on She & Him’s MySpace page the album sounds like just the right mix of Deschanel’s songwriting/vocals and Ward’s production/guitar playing. But don’t take my word for it, check out the first single from the album “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” below.
Speed Racer was one of those Japanese animated shows that I never quite got into, but as a little kid typically watched whenever it was on. Maybe I was just drawn to Speed’s “hip” red scarf or maybe it was all the misadventures of Speed’s little brother Spritle and his pet Chim-Chim (what kind of name is Spritle anyway?). Who knows, what I do know is the one character I liked the most, Racer X, was never in the show near enough. If I had my way Speed Racer the movie would be all about our mysterious masked racer who has a secret connection to the movie’s racing hero, Speed.
I was pretty worried when I heard they were adapting this historic Japanese cartoon into a live action movie until I found out who was writing/directing it, The Wachowski Brothers. Andy and Larry Wachowski, the brains behind The Matrix trilogy and V for Vendetta, are evidently huge fans of the 1960’s cartoon and I think combining that passion for the project with their eye for revolutionary special effects should produce a pretty awesome movie that is very faithful to the original.
Speed Racer stars Emile Hirsch as Speed Racer, Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer, John Goodman as Pops Racer, Christina Ricci as Trixie and Matthew Fox as Racer X. This first ever live action version of Speed Racer will hit theaters on May 9, 2008 and will be simultaneously released in IMAX theaters nationwide.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
A release from the band stated that the rush to stores was “to get the album to the fan as soon as possible as we promised.” (link) The Jack White (The White Stripes) side project stormed onto the scene in 2006 with their album Broken Boy Soldier, which was one of The Blot’s favorite albums of the year. I’ve never been a huge fan of The White Stripes, but I can listen to Broken Boy Soldier and “Steady, As She Goes” over and over. While I haven’t heard any of the new album yet, I’m hoping it will be equally as good.
Along the same vein, Gnarls Barkley has decided to fight the leaks of their upcoming album The Odd Couple the only way they know how, by releasing it 3 weeks early. (link) After the album was leaked onto the internet the band acted swiftly and scrapped the album’s planned April 8th date. Instead they released the album on iTunes last Tuesday, March 18th and it will be “available at various online and physical music retailers across the” rest of this week. (link)
This is pretty great news for music lovers since it means to highly anticipated albums will be hitting stores within a week of each other. It seems like the only way to really fight the pirating of music is to be proactive and get out the new music to the public as soon as possible. Now we just have to hope that both of these new albums will live up to the hype of Gnarls Barkley’s and the Raconteurs’ debut albums.