Thursday, April 25, 2013

'The Office' Going Out On Top

The Office is quickly approaching the end of its 9th and final season. And ever since Steve Carell left as lead character Michael Scott, people have been saying the quality of the show has gone down, which we've heard plenty of times with other shows. However, they've clearly changed those attitudes as the series hits the home stretch. Ever since the episode "Promos" aired on April 4th, The Office has churned out some of its strongest episodes in years that can stand with all of the classics

"Paper Airplanes" continued this trend by giving fans a little bit of everything. Laugh out loud moments such as Angela (Angela Kinsey) showing off her new tiny studio apartment filled with all of her cats and Erin (Ellie Kemper) showing off her competitive side by absolutely flipping out during the paper airplane competition. The end of the episode was what really has fans talking though. Jim (John Krasinski) & Pam (Jenna Fischer) finally resolved their issues they've been having all season, and it happened with just a simple hug and "I love you". During this they flashed back to a clip from Jim & Pam's wedding in Season 6, which really put the exclamation point on it all. It was without a doubt the best Jim & Pam moment we've had on the office since the Niagara wedding in Season 6, so it was only fitting. 

Anyone who abandoned The Office the past two seasons needs to quickly jump back on board, because the series is headed towards what should be a satisfying finale. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Unintentionally Funny 90s Moments: 'Full House' vs 'Saved By The Bell'

We have a 90s smackdown today between two unintentionally funny Television moments. In one corner, the episode of Full House where DJ (Candace Cameron) develops an eating disorder and faints in the gym. In the other corner, the episode of Saved By The Bell where Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) becomes addicted to caffeine pills. Both of these episodes aired in November 1990, perhaps they were trying to one-up each other?

Full House: "Shape Up" (Season 4). Full House is known for having many episodes where a valuable lesson is learned. By the end of the episode, everything is back in order along with the same corny background music to put an emphasis on what we all learned. And in this episode, we learned: Starving yourself is bad. Its even worse when your snot-faced little sister is there to tattle on you. And you'll partially faint after using a StairMaster. (Really though people, don't starve yourself, food tastes so damn good.)
Best Line: "Doesn't anybody care about dental hygiene around here?!?"

Saved By The Bell: "Jessie's Song" (Season 2). Between midterms and the demands of her singing group, Jessie was really feeling the pressure. So she turns to...caffeine pills! Instead of passing out like DJ, she has a hyper-nervous breakdown in front of Zach (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) that has become the stuff of legend. Once YouTube started to take off, this was one of the first sitcom videos to go viral.
Best Line: "I'm so excited!...I'm SO EXCITED...I'M SO...scared."
The winner: Jessie Spano! The clip has been remixed into various forms on YouTube, and has become one of the most quoted moments from any 80s/90s sitcom. You can even buy t-shirts that reference this classic TV scene. I'll never understand how it was ignored by the Emmy Awards.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NWSL: Portland Sets A Record

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) kicked off last week, but the game everyone was waiting to see was Seattle Reign FC vs Portland Thorns FC, in the Thorns' home opener this weekend. Portland had confirmed they sold 7,000 season tickets (which is more than some NHL, NBA & MLB teams like the Marlins & A's), so people knew the crowd would be big. They ended up getting 16,479 fans in attendance at JELD-WEN Field, which is a record for the new league and an impressive number. The fans were able to leave happy, with the Thorns picking up a hard fought 2-1 victory, where US Women's National Team star Alex Morgan netted Portland's second goal. The game was fantastic, and the Reign played well even without Hope Solo & Megan Rapinoe, who will be back later in the season. Canadian star Christine Sinclair plays up front for the Thorns, creating quite the dynamic duo with Morgan.

The crowd was electric, with chants filling the stadium that could also be picked up well on the online stream, which used the radio broadcast for sound. The crowd was not mic'd up (which they need to do for future games), yet we could still hear some through the announcers' booth and get a taste of what it was like. Portland Timbers fans have really showed their support, so hopefully it spurs other MLS teams (such as Vancouver Whitecaps) to pursue an NWSL team. Let's also hope other NWSL teams will be able to learn from the Thorns and grow their fanbases as well. 

The supporters' group, the Rose City Riveters, deserve a ton of credit for helping to create such an involved environment that every team in the NWSL should strive to get. I don't live in Portland, but the energy of the fans have spurred me to become a Thorns (and Timbers) fan. I have no doubt in my mind that 16,469 is only a benchmark. I fully expect the Thorns to eclipse that number should they make and host a playoff game. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Bombing Suspect Update

Suspect still at large in Watertown
*UPDATE* He's been captured alive! Let the questioning begin. I'm not sure how I got much sleep last night after watching all of this craziness unfold in Watertown related to the Boston Marathon Bombing. (Side note: Twitter was so much better than CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC). Their names are Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers born in Kyrgyzstan, who once lived in the Chechnya region of Russia, and may have come to sympathize with the rebel terrorists who live there. Dzhokhar is still on the loose, so Watertown is on lockdown. One odd note is the brothers carjacked a man for his Black Mercedes. While the man was in the car, they told him they were the bombers. Eventually they let him free...which seems strange. Here in New York, a bunch of big military helicopters flew overhead on the way towards Watertown/Boston. The last time I saw so many military helicopters fly by was on 9/11.

Chechnya is a place that has produced many nutjob terrorists, and have been carrying out attacks in Russia for many years, with a group of "rebels" wanting to achieve independence from Russia. This is why many people were worried about the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and obviously now there will be a much larger security presence at the Sochi games next year. Chechen terrorists have been strongly associated with Al Qaeda. Its not 100% confirmed how much time they spent there. Its looking more and more like they are "lone wolves" probably not affiliated with any specific groups. More information will obviously come out soon.

An uncle of the two said, "I just wish they never existed" and he called them "losers".

The New York Post has apparently confirmed that both Big Foot & Godzilla have been caught, while running a picture of Lindsay Lohan as the prime suspect.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Help Find the Boston Bombing Suspects

The FBI has released video (watch below) and pictures of two male suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. Two males were captured walking near each other with backpacks. There is video of one of them placing his bag down near the area of the explosion. The FBI would not have released these images if they weren't sure these guys were extremely likely to be behind it. Plus, apparently one of the injured civilians saw one of these men place the bag down near him, and this was the bag that exploded. 1-800-CALL-FBI is where you can report any helpful information. The website for information as well as more pictures is

So people around the world, please help find these fuckers. CNN can't call these bastards "fuckers", but I can, so be on the lookout for these terrorist cowards. A marathon is an international charity event, its disgusting that anyone would attack one. You don't have to be in Boston to be on the lookout, because they could have gone anywhere. And remember, if you ever see a bag lying someplace public, or see someone leave a bag somewhere, report it to police or nearby security. Better to be safe.

Three innocent people were killed in the blast. Two Americans, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell & 8-year-old Martin Richard and one Chinese citizen, 23-year-old Lu Lingzi. Thoughts go out to their families and all the injured. Hopefully justice will be found soon.
Suspect #1

Suspect #2

Friday, April 12, 2013

Movies That Should Be Re-Released in 3D

First of all, I'm generally against 3D re-releases since it seems like a big cash-grab, but I do think it makes sense for some films. Jurassic Park was a no-brainer, being one of the biggest films of all time and dinosaurs are pretty much the coolest thing you could see in 3D. Titanic made sense considering the time that went into it to make it perfect, as well as being a massive phenomenon. Animated movies make sense because it is much easier to convert them. The Phantom Menace? No Thanks. Here are a few where I think a 3D conversion could be pretty great, assuming they take the time to do it right.

Twister (1996) - Twister fits the mold of a big-budget blockbuster that was also a pretty great movie you'd want to watch multiple times. The special effects have also stood the test of time much like Jurassic Park. Watching the scene when the cows fly by, or when they drive through the house, or actually get a peek on the inside of the tornado when hanging on the pipes? Yes, please. These scenes are totally implausible in real life, but that is what makes them something you'd want in 3D.

King Kong (2005) - Giant bugs. Dinosaurs. Fighter planes. And let's not forget Kong himself. The details in this film seem like they would really pop out in 3D, King Kong has some of the best CGI you'll see in a film on both Skull Island and in 1930s New York City, which make an obvious candidate. I'm sure the scene with Kong on top of the Empire State Building would make many people get sweaty palms as they watched everything unfold, with Naomi Watts clinging to a falling ladder thousands of feet in the air. And how about when Kong snaps the T-Rex jaw in half? And the whole scene where everyone is surrounded by those giant bugs will make anyone squirm in their seats.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Zombies are all the rage right now with The Walking Dead dominating television, so it only makes sense. The earlier films were very low budget, but the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead managed to have a solid budget and a lot of critical praise. Extra tidbit: Ty Burrell has a role in it pre-Modern Family, bringing some much needed comedy to a film that takes place in the zombie apocalypse. Phil Dunphy would certainly approve.

The Matrix (1999) - "Bullet time" would make for quite the experience moving past you in the theatre, not to mention all the green code falling around you. Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) performing her famous jumping kick in the opening, coming right at your face. Or how about the helicopter crashing into the side of a building in slow-mo? Keanu Reeves looking stoned a lot is an added bonus as well.

And finally, Batman & Robin (1997). "Let's kick some ice!" Okay, I'm joking about this one. I hope...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

'Mad Men' Season 6 Premiere

The Two-Hour Season 6 premiere of AMC's Mad Men, 'The Doorway', has come and gone, bringing us to Christmas 1967 & New Year's Eve, leaving us in January 1968. The tumultuous year will be the focus this season, no doubt creating quite the backdrop for what should be an explosive season. Here are some musings:

1 . Sally Draper (Kieran Shipka) had the line of the night, "She acts like she's 25 because she uses tampons."  Teenage Sally is just as fun as pre-teen brat Sally. And I'm now fully convinced she'll be on her way to Woodstock next season.

2. Sideburns have exploded since the Summer of '67. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) wins the award for the best ones. We're also seeing more and more moustaches & beards. Just wait until The Beatles' "White Album" comes out!

3. Nobody turns their Christmas trees off no matter how late at night it is. And this was way before LED lights, so they must have great smoke detectors. But they look nice, so I don't mind.

4. January Jones still has a fat suit, though its slightly smaller. So I guess "Fat Betty" is still around! By the end of the episode she dyes her hair black after a visit to some sketchy community apartment in an increasingly dangerous Manhattan. She's there looking for Sally's runaway friend, and gets an earful from a homeless guy about her bottled up existence in Rye, NY. So basically this is her version of turning goth. "Fat Betty" is now "Goth Betty". Earlier in the episode she gave us some seriously psycho humor, teasing Henry (Christopher Stanley) that if he wanted Sally's 15-year-old friend, she would hold her down for him. Maybe the new "Goth Betty" will stop being jealous of teenage girls?

5. Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) is basically the Don Draper (Jon Hamm) of her new office. Quite the workaholic, she expertly solves a crisis for their upcoming Super Bowl ad. Yet she is also a hard ass, making people work on New Year's Eve.

6. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) can't shed a tear when his 91-year-old mother dies, but balls like a baby when his shoeshine-guy dies. Don't ever change, Roger.

7. Megan (Jessica Pare) is now a soap opera star, and Don is now obsessed with death and finds heaven morbid. Megan has gotten him into smoking marijuana, but he is still the opposite of Roger, who took LSD and became more of a free spirit with it. Oh, and the question from the end of last season has been answered. Don has begun to cheat on her, and with the wife of his new doctor friend. She is Sylvia Rosen, and is played by Linda Cardellini, who you know from "ER", "Freaks & Geeks" and "Grandma's Boy". Between this and in Season 3 when he slept with Sally's teacher, he sure likes to pick dangerous ones. We do see regret though, which we didn't see when he cheated on Betty. Baby steps. He is clearly in a crappy state right now though.

8. Alex Mack (Larisa Oleynik) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) were not in this episode. I can't remember their characters' names so we'll go with those. And its more fun that way.

9. We didn't see much of Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) apart from when they had to take portraits. Fear not though, now that she is a partner our favorite wisecracking redhead will be featured more soon.

10. Vietnam is starting to become heavily referenced, as it should now that they've entered 1968.

Friday, April 5, 2013

'Mad Men' Season 6

The sixth and penultimate season of Mad Men begins this Sunday, April 7th, a week after the season finale of The Walking Dead. Yes, AMC gets to follow up one hit show with another. Good decision to have it begin a week after The Walking Dead, and a sincere thank you to AMC because it will help hold us over until our favorite zombies/walkers return in the fall. 

One of the big questions is always "what time-frame will Mad Men pick up in?" Season 5 ended in 1967, and we famously got a dose of an actual Beatles song, "Tomorrow Never Knows" from their 1966 album Revolver. In a video interview with Jon Hamm posted on the Rolling Stone website, Hamm explains he prefers The Rolling Stones to The Beatles. Mad Men also featured The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)" in Season 4. Maybe this time we'll get a song from both bands at the same time? Other musicians who could start to be played in episodes are Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, and Aretha Franklin.
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris
AMC also just released 10 photos from Sunday's two-hour premiere, and some of the photos feature Christmas decorations and a tree, so we can assume Season 6 picks up in November/December 1967. Most of the season will take place in 1968 that means, and should be heavily influenced by the civil rights movement and the escalating protests of the Vietnam War.

The seventh and final season should take us into 1969, with the moon landing and Woodstock. I'm looking for an episode called "Sally Goes to Woodstock". Just hopes she stays away from the brown acid. I was hoping that we'd get a few seasons that take place in the 1970s, for some leisure suit and bell-bottom fun, but it looks like that may not happen. Unless the end of Season 7 takes us there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pixar Announces 'Finding Dory'

Finding Nemo 2 has a new name: Finding Dory. I remember joking that this would be the title, and now it actually is! It didn't take rocket science to figure that might be the idea of the sequel, since they have to find someone. The original Finding Nemo crew is back together. Andrew Stanton will once again direct the sequel, Ellen DeGeneres will be back as Dory, and Albert Brooks will return as Marlin. One can assume the plot will focus on Dory getting lost. Stanton also said the film will take place a year after the first and take place on the California coast. Our favorite characters are back, as well as new ones who are part of Dory's life.

"I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory."

Finding Dory will hit theaters on November 25, 2015 in time for Thanksgiving. 

'This Is The End' Red Band Trailer

"Hermione just stole all our shit." That's all you need to hear to know that This Is The End will be a great film. Seth Rogen created this apocalypse comedy, and everyone in the film actually plays themselves. It takes  place in Los Angeles, during a party at James Franco's house when the apocalypse hits and causes havoc. The movie also features Emma Watson (wielding an axe!), Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Rihanna, Kevin Hart, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, and Aziz Andari. Phew. I'm sure there will be more cameos as well.

Anyway, here is the second Red Band trailer, which was released first after releasing a Pineapple Express 2 April Fool's prank trailer, and everyone must watch. All I have to say is don't fuck with Emma Watson!