Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3 Finale

Another season of The Walking Dead is in the books. Season 3 went out with a bang, though it was not quite as good as the season 2 finale which gave us a Michonne (Danai Gurira) tease when she rescued Andrea (Laurie Holden) in the forest and the beginning of the "Ricktatorship".

A week after the emotional death of Merle (Michael Rooker), we have another sad goodbye of an original character with the death of Andrea. It was played out well and had a very powerful build. Even though I don't like her death, I understand her story came full circle, and ever since the death of her sister in season 1 she hated seeing others meet a similar fate. She tried to save everyone at the prison & Woodbury, including The Governor (David Morrissey), but it didn't work out. Seeing Milton (Dallas Roberts) stand up to The Governor before being stabbed and left locked with Andrea to turn also brought his story to a close. 

It was pretty well done, aside from making Andrea take FOREVER to pick the pliers up with her toes. It should have taken a few seconds, maybe one minute. The main reason I hated seeing Andrea die is because it feels like too many of the original cast has been killed off. We're down to Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carol (Melissa McBride), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Carl (Chandler Riggs). Of course it keeps you on your toes, but I hope it doesn't come to a point where its overkill. After watching Merle and Andrea die in back to back weeks, we've now lost well over half of the original cast members. Dale, Andrea, Shane, Sophia, Merle, Lori, & T-Dog have all died since the middle of Season 2. Though I'm sure we will see Andrea some more through Michonne flashbacks. 

We saw Carl basically turning into Shane II. That will clearly become a storyline, as Rick will attempt to handle Carl becoming affected by the awful world around them. The Governor escaped, which leaves him at large and sure to pop up again. I guess we'll find out this summer when the show begins filming again if he'll be back in Season 4, or sometime after. Talking Dead also got prank called by some creep who breathed heavy then said something about the end coming and the graves being full, which was odd yet funny.

The 4th season of The Walking Dead on AMC begins in October. To help hold us over, Mad Men returns next week!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Rolling Stones Headlining Glastonbury 2013

The rumors have been confirmed, as The Rolling Stones will headline the 2013 Glastonbury festival along with Mumford & Sons and the Arctic Monkeys. The festival was not held in 2012 due to the London 2012 Olympics, as well as to let the fields heal. The 2011 festival was headlined by U2, Coldplay and Beyonce.

The Rolling Stones haven't played an outdoor music festival since the infamous Altamont 1969 concert that was fraught with violence when the Hell's Angels were hired as "security", which led to the stabbing death of a fan. After the huge success of a peaceful Woodstock, Altamont signaled the end of the idea of a peaceful free music festival. It shook the Rolling Stones up enough that they stopped appearing at outdoor music festivals, until now.

Some rumors have said this would be their last performance as a group, but I have doubts about that. Come on...its the Rolling Stones. How many times have we heard rumors about a final performance? Get yer ya-ya's out and get ready for what should be a great show. Glastonbury will be one stop on their tour, other dates have yet to be announced. Rumors currently say that the tour could have 18 or more dates in North America, with some in Australia a possibility as well. AEG Live is expected to announce the dates sometime in April.

What songs would you like to see them play in a set list? I hope they break out some that haven't been performed much or at all lately. "Lady Jane", "She's a Rainbow", "Look What The Cat Dragged In", "Saint of Me", "As Tears Go By", "Highwire" and "Till the Next Goodbye" would be on my wishlist. I also hope they continue to play their two new songs from GRRR!, "Doom & Gloom" and "One More Shot". "Doom & Gloom" would easily make my top 10 favorite Stones songs, I love the energy of it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sign The Petition To Save Enlightened!

I started a petition to Save Enlightened, which was recently canceled by HBO. Don't blame HBO though, they gave the show a second season after a low rated first. But don't let this outstanding and quirky show go the way of Freaks & Geeks and My So-Called Life, let it get a new life through a new outlet like Arrested Development by signing the petition in addition to tweeting Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and DirecTV. Drumming up interest and talk could potentially cause one of them to pick up the show. Here are some reasons you should sign:

1. Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) would do it. She would want you to become an "Agent of Change". Much like Tyler (Mike White), you can't say no to her unique charm.

2. Even if Netflix passes on it, maybe Amazon or Hulu will see that a critically acclaimed show like this with passionate fans could help them compete with Netflix.

3. Signing petitions is fun. And while you're on, be sure to check out some other petitions and help some good causes. Even if we don't save our beloved show, maybe we can help people in need at the same time.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

'Enlightened' Canceled by HBO; Will It Be Saved?

HBO officially canceled the acclaimed, yet low-rated (you people were missing out!) show Enlightened that starred Laura Dern, Mike White, Luke Wilson, Diane Ladd, Timm Sharp, Sarah Burns as well as SNL alums Michaela Watkins & Molly Shannon. The passionate fan base has already begun asking Netflix to save the show. Natalie Maines, Jenny SlatePatton Oswalt, Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer have jumped on board through twitter to help the cause. I created a petition for fans to sign, so hopefully it works! After all, its what Amy would do ;). I'd urge more fans of the show to do the same, and anyone who has yet to watch, do yourselves a favor and go buy the first season of this beautifully told show on DVD, and catch up with the second season OnDemand.

The second season managed to be even more thought provoking and developed than the first, the characters being fleshed out as well as any show on television. Not many pure Dramedy's can so seamlessly blend both their Comedy & Drama aspects, but Enlightened was one of them. Shows have been saved before by other outlets. Arrested Development through Netflix, and Damages through DirecTV. The passionate cast, crew and fans deserve to at least see the story wrapped up after such a powerful season two finale.

Amy got her corporate revenge, but it was only just the beginning. So please Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Enlightened! The show was nominated for a Golden Globe, and Laura Dern won the Best Actress Golden Globe for her role as Amy Jellicoe. How could you pass that up?

Enlightened made us laugh, disturbed us at times, soothed us, made us think, take a look our lives & society, and kept us guessing. Hopefully we will be able to continue that wild ride. Here are Twitter handles for you to get in touch with, ask for the show to be picked up: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, DirecTV.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Miami Dolphins Logo Leaked?

Since their inception in 1966, the Miami Dolphins have kept the same style of logo pretty much through the NFL (timeline above). Aside from their incredibly successful history loaded with hall of famers and many playoff appearances (before hitting their rough times in 2004), having a popular mascot has probably helped bring in a lot of fans who don't even live in Miami. They've had one of the more anticipated and much debated upon logo updates, and the team announced that on April 18, they will finally be unveiling their new logo and jerseys to the masses.

Is this the new Dolphins Logo?
UniWatch has potentially leaked the new Miami Dolphins logo early. Some like it, some don't. I'm in the "like it" category, though I like the current one as well and really could care less what the logo is as long as they start winning and making the playoffs again. The original versions of the logo had the dolphin look like it was jumping over a pole at Sea World. This new version looks a bit more realistic. When dolphins are swimming and darting out of the ocean, they're in more of a horizontal position instead of a vertical one, like this new logo shows. I also like the way the lines look, and the new sunburst is an improvement over the current one.

Another positive is the Aqua color has been lightened to look more like it was during the 1970s-early 1990s. And rumor has it the new jerseys will look more like the original jerseys. Gone will be that ugly navy blue drop shadow behind the numbers. Hopefully the giant stripes return to the sleeves as well. I guess we'll find out if this really is the new logo on April 18th. I think at the end of the day though, all fans want is for the franchise to return to the glory days of the Perfect Season, No Name Defense, and Dan Marino, and it wouldn't matter if they had a shrimp or crusty old clam for the logo. The Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys will open up the NFL pre-season in the annual Hall of Fame game in Primetime on Sunday August 4th. Or as I'm calling it, the "Shit, we never should've signed Bill Parcells Bowl".

As a side note, this leaked logo is about 50 times better than last year's updated Miami Marlins MLB logo.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Walking Dead: Andrea Chooses a Side

The Walking Dead ramped up the intensity in the episode titled "Prey", with a #PreyForAndrea hashtag being hyped up on The Walking Dead twitter. We found out why in a big way.

The episode was mainly about Andrea (Laurie Holden) and The Governor (David Morrissey). Andrea, by the way, returned to the Season Two badass Andrea finally. She also finally chose a side, opting to return to the prison once she'd seen what The Governor was planning to do with Michonne (Danai Gurira) in his dungeon. Milton (Dallas Roberts) shows it to her, and has seemingly lost his trust of The Governor as well. Its assumed he burned the walkers they were planning to unleash on the prison.

Back to the Andrea/Governor scene though, which filled most of the episode. The game of cat and mouse was absolutely perfect, and created what was perhaps the most intense, edge-of-your-seat episode of the entire series. The Governor turned into the full-on evil Governor they'd been building up to as he made his way through the warehouse searching for Andrea. He even pulled a little Freddy Kruger move, taunting her with whistles as he dragged hit metal shovel against the fences. I like that both characters were able to use the resources to get a leg up on the other. When Andrea found the stairway full of zombies, then entered and hid behind the open door as the zombies streamed out towards the Governor was one of the most exciting scenes they've had.

Then when she finally arrived at the prison, about to wave for Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) attention, he grabs her from behind and ends up taking her away. Just seconds from a happy reunion, she ends up in the worst possible spot. You have to wonder why she didn't just take his truck back at the warehouse, but then I guess that messes with the plot.

In a preview for next week on Talking Dead, we saw Merle (Michael Rooker) actually trying to convince Rick not to give up Michonne, knowing how The Governor operates and that it wouldn't make a difference. The two factions will have their war, and The Governor may use Andrea as bait to separate Michonne from the rest of the group. Or will Milton save Andrea and then die for doing so? With just two episodes left this season, the intensity is sure to continue at the high level of "Prey". Fear not though, as The Walking Dead ends, Mad Men returns a week later. Two very different shows, yet both fit well together because of the excellent storytelling and passionate cast & crew.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Response to 10 Great U2 Guitar Songs

Bono & The Edge
Gibson recently posted an article that attempted to bring together the 10 greatest U2 guitar songs. Tough task because the iconic rock band has so many great songs and with that comes a variety of opinions. However, I noticed that all the songs in this list were hit singles. While there is nothing wrong with that, as all those songs are outstanding, when it comes to a band like U2 you can really dig into their catalog and find so much more. So here are more songs, in no particular order, that have some of the best guitar we've heard from The Edge. Mostly sticking to non-singles with a few exceptions.

1. New York (All That You Can't Leave Behind, 2000) - Bono provides some interesting lyrics as he describes New York City, however the real star of this song is The Edge. His guitar really comes blistering into the song around 2:10 into this underrated track. It has some of my favorite guitar work from The Edge, and considering it wasn't released as a single and hasn't been played live in a while, you should probably give it another listen. Check out this fantastic unofficial fan-made video for the song:
2. The Fly (Achtung Baby, 1991) - One of the singles I'm including, it tends to be a bit forgotten considering the popularity of the other singles from Achtung Baby ('One', 'Mysterious Ways', 'Even Better Than The Real Thing'). The distorted guitar hits you right away and carries you through one of the best songs in U2's rich history. This was the lead single from Achtung Baby, and it was the perfect choice to signal the band's new alternative rock/electronic/experimental direction of the 90s after their more serious output of the late 80s. I bet when many people first heard this song, their initial thought may have been, "this is the same band that made 'With or Without You'?!?" 'The Fly' helped signal U2 as a group with many tricks up their musical sleeves.

3. I Threw a Brick Through a Window (October, 1981) - Here's another example of the guitar taking the stage ahead of Bono's vocals/lyrics. That is no easy feat considering Bono is one of the strongest singers of all time. October is their least popular album, though still a great listen, so many of the songs remain unknown to the masses. Many of the songs on October are powered by the instruments. Bono's lyrics were stolen, so they had to be re-written quickly, which is part of the reason. That inadvertantly allows The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton to shine and take a larger focus than on other albums.

4. Vertigo (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, 2004) - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb contains some of U2's most powerful and heavy guitar work. However, 'Vertigo' stands out and another hit single I just can't ignore. The "iPod" song will forever be a live favorite and staple thanks to the ear blasting guitar heard throughout in addition to the catchy lyrics. It gets people on their feet.

5. Surrender (War, 1983) - The guitar provides much variety throughout the 5 1/2 minutes of 'Surrender', going along with some of the chanting as I call it heard here. The length gives Edge plenty of opportunities to stand out. War, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and Boy are chock full of heavy, loud guitar for those who like harder rock.

6. Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (Zooropa, 1993) One of the greatest songs they've ever made. It was a single, though it should have charted much higher on the Hot 100 than its peak of 61. It makes for a great alternative ballad, and is mostly played acoustic in concert now. The guitar moves the outstanding vocals along nicely, and its the definition of what a ballad should be.

7. Breathe (No Line on the Horizon, 2009) Most people agree that this should have been a single, and probably the lead. However, it opened many shows on the U2360 tour. The song soars and lifts you up, a U2 specialty. Mainly crafted by The Edge himself, he took influence from Jack White & Jimmy Page, whom he worked with in the guitar documentary It Might Get Loud. 

8. Bullet the Blue Sky (The Joshua Tree, 1987) The guitar slides are used expertly in 'Bullet the Blue Sky', and the song carries a lot of power especially when performed live. The studio track has a great distorted solo towards the end, which was nice considering most of the album is a mellower affair.

9. The Electric Co. (Boy, 1980) From their very first album, the young Edge gets to unleash his powerful guitar throughout the album, but my favorite is on 'The Electric Co.' Electric would clearly be the best word to describe it, as his guitar travels through your speakers like lightning.

10. Until the End of the World (Achtung Baby, 1991) The song is dark and exciting, with The Edge bringing his shimmering guitar along for the ride. Another non-single that has become a live favorite of many fans. The song is perfect in every way, and The Edge delivers one of his best guitar solos. The entire song was born of a guitar riff, so its only fitting.

11. Electrical Storm (Best of 1990-2000, 2002) The "William Orbit Mix" lacks the powerful guitar intro, but you can find the guitar "Band Version" as a B-Side with the 2-disc version of the hits album, which features 'Electrical Storm' as a new song.

Guitar lovers should check out these as well: 'Elevation' (All That You Can't Leave Behind), 'Wake Up Dead Man' (Pop, 1997), 'Desire' (Rattle & Hum, 1988), 'Window in the Skies' (U218 Singles, 2006), 'A Sort of Homecoming' (The Unforgettable Fire, 1984), 'Love Comes Tumbling' (Wide Awake in America, 1985), 'Crumbs From Your Table' (How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb), 'Fez - Being Born' (No Line on the Horizon).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon & Howard Stern?

Reports surfaced this week that NBC may soon be looking to faze out Jay Leno and replace him with Jimmy Fallon on 'The Tonight Show' sometime in 2014 when Leno's contract expires. Fallon has done a great job with his show, and it seems natural that he would be the perfect choice to replace Leno.

The interesting part is that NBC might be trying to get the "king of all media", Howard Stern, to replace Jimmy Fallon in that time-slot. Stern has been fairly vocal on 'The Howard Stern Show' about wanting to leave Sirius radio once his contract is up in late 2015. Besides his radio show, he is currently a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent. Stern and NBC have not commented on the rumors yet. AGT has given Stern a different outlet, one where he has shown that he is not all about sexual jokes and cursing. However, he could still give late night TV a new edge that it mostly lacks. Not to mention he does interviews as well as anyone else can. Make it happen!

Speaking of America's Got Talent, I think they made solid choices with the judges. Stern is the shock jock with great one-liners. Howie Mandel being a stand-up comic brings the laughs also, playing well off Stern. Formerly of the Spice Girls, Mel B is not afraid to speak her mind, as she was booed during the first auditions in New Orleans for saying she didn't like brass music. Hey, she was just being honest. Finally, they added Heidi Klum as a fourth judge, which could be interesting. It seems the four will all interact well together, while not taking away from the performers on stage.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 2013 Movie News: In Like a Lion

March 2013 has just begun, and the movie news has already been pretty big. Oh and let's not forget that we can finally make a trip back to the merry old land of Oz, with the first big Blockbuster of the year being released in Oz the Great and Powerful which opens this Friday, March 8. But, onto the news.

1. Harrison Ford will be in Anchorman 2 (Anchorman: The Legend Continues). It should be lots of fun seeing him in a comedic role, where he will be playing an iconic newsman. The movie has quite the stellar cast with Ford in addition to Will Ferrel, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate, Kristin Wiig, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner. Not much else is known about the film yet other than the cast.

2. Halle Berry will reprise her role as Storm in the highly anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past which will be directed by the great Bryan Singer, who made the original X-Men and X2. The film will act as a double sequel to the original X-Men trilogy and its prequel X-Men: First Class. More names could still be announced as well.

Some of the cast from the original series (Berry, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart) will be able to join the First Class cast (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult) thanks to the story having to do with time travel. Should be interesting to watch. July 18, 2014 is the current target release date.

3. Rumors have swirled that Christopher Nolan is in talks to take part in the planned Justice League film as producer, with Christian Bale to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This is just a big rumor, and might not happen, so take it all with a grain of salt. But if it does happen, let's hope Anne Hathaway will also be back as Catwoman, the best character from The Dark Knight Rises.

4. Carrie Fisher confirmed to Palm Beach Illustrated that she will reprise her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode VII. This comes shortly after the rumors of Harrison Ford returning as Han Solo. Its safe to say Mark Hammill will probably be back as Luke Skywalker. The film should be out in 2015.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

90s Family Movies You Shouldn't Forget

The 90s were a great time for G & PG-rated movies. The many animated Pixar and Disney films that came out in the 90s will never be forgotten, as well as other hits like Beethoven, Home Alone & Hocus Pocus. However, there were plenty more that you may not have seen in a long time, and you should remember. You don't have to line up your Beanie Babies and pop in the VHS anymore to watch them, but if they ever come on TV, don't change the channel.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993). If you've forgotten Chance, Shadow and Sassy, then you should turn in your 90s kid card. This is a remake of a 1963 original simply called The Incredible Journey, but this is one of the rare examples where the remake is better. The voice cast is pretty top notch as well. Michael J. Fox voiced Chance the American Bulldog, Sally Field was Sassy the cat, and Don Ameche was Shadow the Golden Retriever. Clearly the three pets go on an incredible journey (Duh!) when they think their family left them. When they finally return home, you probably cried when just Sassy & Chance came up the hill. And then a wave of happiness swept over you when the old Shadow finally showed up for a satisfyingly happy 90s ending.

We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993). This was produced by Steven Spielberg's animation studio  Amblimation, and came out in the fall after Spielberg's blockbuster Jurassic Park. Genius! It should be considered one of the top non-Disney/Pixar animated films of the 90s. Does it get better than watching lovable, friendly dinosaurs on an adventure to try and get into the Museum of Natural History? At one point, they get disguised as Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade floats. And in real life, they created an actual balloon for the 1993 Thanksgiving parade, which is infamous for having the head of the Rex balloon get pierced by a street light. Now that's how you create some buzz.

The Land Before Time Series. The original Land Before Time actually came out in 1988, and was a big VHS hit during the 90s. It also spawned a ton of direct-to-video sequels throughout the 90s, that were probably only beaten in persistence by all those endless Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movies. More on them later. Again, maybe the massive popularity of Jurassic Park had something to do with that. Here's to hoping that Jurassic Park 4 will once again spawn some more dinosaur hysteria in the entertainment world.

Jumanji (1995). Kirsten Dunst, Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier and Robin Williams, during the height of his popularity, brought this unique tale to life. Everyone wanted a real version of this jungle board game that comes to life after seeing the film. We're still patiently waiting. We also never got a sequel, even though the open-ended ending might have allowed for one. It probably would've sucked though. By the way, the two kids who hear the beating board game in the sand at the end were speaking French. I always thought it was Chinese, please tell me I'm not the only one?

It Takes Two (1995). Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen were 90s royalty. The Full House stars also became billionaires at a young age thanks to owning Dualstar, their video company, which made all their films from 1993-2004. The only one Dualstar didn't was 1992's Christmas classic To Grandmother's House We Go. The best of all their movies though, is It Takes Two, also starring Kirstie Alley, Steve Guttenberg and Jane Sibbett (Carol from Friends!). The film is pretty typical & predictable, but a fun one at that. Not to mention it does a solid job capturing day camp in the 90s.

The Rugrats Movie (1998). Nickelodeon did a very smart thing by starting their movie studio during the 90s, the greatest time for the network. Harriet the Spy, Good Burger (with Kenan Thompson pre-SNL) and Snow Day are all classics for 90s kids, but The Rugrats Movie was without a doubt the biggest of all. The show ran from 1991-2004 on Nickelodeon, and the film came out during the best years of the show. It was so big that the theme song for the film, "Take Me There" by Blackstreet & Mya reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song incorporates the actual theme song from the show.