sarahmichigan: (Default)

This post is mostly for J., but also for anybody on my FL who is a Venture Brothers Fan.

Both of the creators have LJs, though

[profile] jacksonpublick's seems to have more Venture Bros. content than James Urbaniak's does.

The Venture Bros. website is pretty keen, too: 

http://www.venturebros.com/

On a tangentially related note, I was thinking of [profile] _scarlet_ibis_when we watched the Season 2 finale of VB since she occasionally posts videos of Klaus Nomi and the season finale featured him as a henchman who could knock people over with his singing voice...

 

 

 

 

sarahmichigan: (Default)
J. and I got hopelessly addicted to the TV show "Heroes" and have been watching Season 1 for free via Netflix's "Watch Now" feature. We just finished off Season 1 last night, and I was joking that I hoped the TV writer's strike would end soon so we could watch more episodes. There are 10 of Season 2 available on "Watch Now" but I'm  sure we could plow through those pretty quickly based on the rate at which we devoured Season 1. 

This morning, I googled the writer's strike to see what the latest news was, and lo and behold, they just settled. Thanks to [personal profile] figmentj, I have a link to when new episodes of favorite shows will be coming out. Sadly, there are no new episodes of Heroes slated until fall. :(

Here's some additional "What I've been watching" commentary:

-The character of "Dawn" on Buffy irritates me severely, even after finding out her back story. I want her to die screaming NOW, but I hear she's around for a couple more seasons at least.

-"Venture Brothers" continues to be brilliant into Season 2.

-I think the two back-to-back South Park Season 6 episodes that have Lord of the Rings references in them are sheer genius. I especially loved the quest of Lemmiwinks to escape from the Ass of Doom. If you've ever watched the LOTR cartoons from the 70s and you remember that music...? Oh, yeah...

-I thought "Jesus Camp" was well done, but it was PAINFUL to watch. Other than the talking in tongues, it's not that far from my experience growing up as a young fundamentalist on fire for Christ.

-I've had Freaks and Geeks recommended to me repeatedly. We've watched a few episodes, and I can see why people like it. It's also somewhat painful to watch since I WAS such a freak/geek in high school, but it's so fun, too.

-The Simpsons movie was fairly forgettable fluff, but I LOVED SpiderPig!

-The Final Cut, a near-future distopia sci-fi thriller with Robin Williams, had an intriguing premise, but I found it disappointing overall.

-I still really dig the movie "The Last Supper" but it does seem as if the moral of the story is not to trust conservatives because they will kill you and then go on to become president.

-I tried to watch "Flesh," an art film by Andy Warhol. While it had full frontal male nudity in its favor, I despised every single character and stopped watching after about 55 minutes.

-While I was home sick in January, I watched "Manhattan Murder Mystery" which I liked a lot better than I thought I would (I'm kind of so-so on Woody Allen movies) and "Remains of the Day." All I have to say about the latter is, "What kind of knob asks the butler to explain the birds and the bees to his godson?"
sarahmichigan: (Default)
It's been many weeks since I made my last "what I've been watching" post and I've got a lot saved up, so I'll keep my comments short.

TV on DVD

Buffy Season 4. I agree with Joss Weedon's assessment, which is that while the season doesn't hang together that well as a whole, it had some great episodes. I love the development with Tara and the episode with "The Gentlemen" especially.

That 70's Show Season 2. Good, but a little more uneven than season 1.

Venture Brothers Season 1. I think someone on LJ recommended this to me; if so, thank you! It's got a lot of the same people working on it as on "The Tick," which we love. We're digging this silly, silly show.


 

Movies

Sweeney Todd. Just saw this on Christmas day and liked it very much. Johnny Depp has a great voice for a non-singer, and the fantasy scenes by the sea were priceless.

Scrooged. Had to watch this for Christmas- it's a tradition! I love saying things in Carol Kane's screwy voice. She's the best part of the film, if you ask me. Of course, Robert Goulet's cameo in a trailer for "A Very Merry Cajun Christmas" is pretty good as well.

Kalifornia. This got mediocre reviews, but I like it. I've seen it before, but it's been a while. Brad Pitt plays psycho well, and I think the acting is pretty good all around.

Superbad. We laughed our asses off. At first, I had trouble with the characters because they were just a few degrees off my personal experience of how high school boys act. But once you suspend your disbelief, it's a howler. We couldn't stop quoting lines from the "McLovin" subplot for days afterward.

Futurama the Movie: Bender’s Big Score. I can't even tell you how geeked we were to know there was brand new Futurama we hadn't seen before! The movie was fun. I hope they make more.

The Sting. This is a classic for a reason. I had seen it before, but many years ago. A really fun caper/buddy movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. OK, so neither the 2nd or the 3rd film were as good as the first, but I still enjoyed this muchly.



sarahmichigan: (Default)
TV on DVD
That 70s show, Season 1. I'd seen a lot of these but not all of them, when the show was first on the air. It's a well-written show, and even though I was only 3 going on 4 when the show is set (1976), I still remember that hair, those clothes, and the rock vs. disco thing. Mucho nostalgia.

Red Dwarf 7. Rimmer gets some interesting kisses this season. The episode where the crew takes a tour of Rimmer’s brain (complete with the song about Rimmer) has got to be one of the most hysterical ones of the whole show. And at season's end, Holly's back and Red Dwarf is back!

Ren & Stimpy Season Five and part of 4. These are good, but many of them are going for the gross-out or the strange factor rather than belly laughs. I think the "Galoot" episode is one of the most demented yet.

South Park Season 6. Matt and Trey are equal-opportunities offenders, that's for sure. The episode where Butters goes mad and becomes Professor Chaos (along with his gerbil minions) was brilliant. Of course, as near-vegetarians, we had to roll our eyes at the "Fun With Veal" episode. Matt & Trey's thesis seems to be that if they sold "veal" truthfully as "tortured baby cow," then no one would buy it. But if you stop eating meat altogether, you become a giant pussy. So clever, guys…

Movies
Word Play. If this didn't win awards, it freaking should have! I have my biases, since J. and I used to religiously tune into NPR’s Puzzler every Sunday morning. But still, an exceptionally well-done and suspenseful documentary about puzzle-makers and puzzle enthusiats. And the bonus features rock! There are tons of extra interview snippets, a music video, and a DVD-ROM bonus feature that allows you to print off 5 different NY Times crossword puzzles. The DVD package is genius. I want to try my hand at making a crossword puzzle now. It looks hard but fun.

One Hour Photo. This was our Halloween flick. It’s sold as being scary, but it’s more creepy and a lot sad. But good. Robin Williams really CAN act.

Lilo & Stitch. Much better than I expected. J. made me watch it; I'd been avoiding it, assuming it was another Disney film that did the “Look at how cool this exotic culture is!” thing. It does have that element, but I loved the mad science and the fact Lilo is such a weird little girl.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
Movies
Transformers –I thought it sucked. It might have been a better movie if they’d cut it down to 90 minutes. There was no excuse for this to be 2 hours and 20 minutes. I think this movie would be enjoyed by boys and men who used to play with Transformers, but boy, I am not this movie’s target audience.

Better Than Chocolate – Recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] spnkygrl, I loved this! Sexy, nice visuals, fun. I loved how trans-positive it was, too. I liked most of the minor characters better than the main characters. I wish there was a club like “The Cat’s Ass” near where I live.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Saw this on the big screen at the second run theater and I’m glad I saw it in the theater. Better than HP4. They keep getting darker and scarier. There were some throw-away bits that I think you’d only get if you’ve read the books (and I haven’t) or bits that might come into play in future movies, but this didn’t bother me.

Thank you for Smoking – Pretty darn funny but scary. I recommend it.

The US vs. John Lennon – I liked this a lot. When I watch stuff like this and “Steal this Movie,” it makes me upset at how apathetic we’ve become in this country. It makes me want to start a revolution.

The Sex Pistols: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle – The swindle is that we paid good money for this piece of crap. Couldn’t finish it.

TV on DVD
Mad TV season 1 – Good fun, but dated. It was really topical when it aired, but some of the “ripped from the headlines” skits are pretty stale by now. The cast has great chemistry, though.

Kids in the Hall Season 3 – Still really fun. It always makes me sad to know that there was dog-eat-dog competition on the show for screen time and for the guys to have their ideas used, because they always look like they’re having so much fun.

30 Rock Season Pilot – Eh. I love Tina Fey, but a TV show about people making a TV show is not high on my list of things to watch.

Original BattleStar Galactica – J. has been watching this. It’s interesting from a cultural viewpoint and to compare to the new series, but the new BSG series is so much better from the acting to the special effects to the quality of the dialogue.

Red Dwarf 7 – Eh, not as good without Rimmer. I never thought I’d miss him, but he’s a much better foil for slobby Lister than Kochansky is.

Xena: Warrior Princess- pilot episode. Good god this was cheesy! They meant it to be, right?
sarahmichigan: (Default)
I may be the only one of [livejournal.com profile] simianpower's friends brave (or dumb) enough to watch Dark Shadows with him.

There's bad acting, worse acting, and awful 80s hair and clothing. It's not just the women either- there's some poofy man-hair going on as well. And the writing isn't that great; many of the characters do things that make absolutely no logical sense.

But, this show is a goldmine for snarkage of the MST3K variety. It's so bad it's good!

(OK, not really....)
sarahmichigan: (Default)
Largely a big bunch of SUCK is what I've been watching, unfortunately.

I, Robot was stylish looking, but pretty terrible. It didn't really make much sense. I'm blocking most of it out. I was warned ahead of time that it wasn't good, but I'm always wanting there to be more good (or at least non-sucky) sci-fi out there, so I gave it a chance.

Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer. Luckily, I only paid 50 cents to see this on the big screen at the cheapie theater. If you thought the horrible "science" in the first movie was embarrassing, it was even worse in the second. The animation for the Silver Surfer was pretty cool, but Jessica Alba's makeup and the horrible pseudo-scientific explanations for everything that happened were too much for me.

On the positive side, we're enjoying Season 3 of "News Radio" and Season 3 of "Smallville." I got really sucked into the tail end of Season 2 of Smallville and really liked the "bad Clark" at the beginning of Season 3. And I'm developing a crush on Michael Rosenbaum, though he looks better with no-to-little hair. I googled up some pictures of him with more hair, and he kind of looks like a frat boy.

Also enjoyable was "The Aristocrats." If you are easily offended by jokes involving scat, bestiality and incest, you'll want to skip it. I found it highly hilarious and pretty interesting. Yes, the film is mostly the same joke told 100 times in different ways, but it also gives you insight into how the minds of various comedians work: Gilbert Gotfried as a dirty-mouth street preacher, Bob Saget's Tourette-like spew of filth, the direction women comedians like Whoopi Goldberg went with the joke, and so on.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
Apparently, the dynamic in which a regular MTG gaming group has a "Guy to Beat" who always gets ganged up on because his decks are so tough to beat is widespread enough that an article has been written about it:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgcom/daily/tf46&=RSS-MTGCOM
sarahmichigan: (Default)
TV Shows
We're continuing on with further seasons of shows we've already been watching:
-If Buffy Season 2 was darker than Season 1, Season 3 starts off even darker. But good. I like zombies.

-Smallville took a while to grow on me, but I was pretty well hooked by the end of Season One. We're working on Season 2 now.

-Ren & Stimpy, "The Lost Episodes." These were made for Spike TV some time after the original show went off the air. There's much less censorship, and so more cartoon boobies and raunchy humor. Unfortunately, it also does NOT have Billy West doing the voices, and all the raunch in the world can't make up for that. He is an amazing voice artist. These are mediocre Ren & Stimpy, IMO.

-Still enjoying News Radio as we move on to Season 3. The cast just works together so well-- great chemistry, and great writing.

-Red Dwarf Season 4. We've realized that through the "Watch Now" feature on Netflix, we're only getting partial seasons. I don't know why they replaced the original funny-looking male Holly with a female computer face, but I miss the old Holly. Other than that, the show remains hilarious.

Movies
Boondock Saints - I had this recommended to me by multiple people, so I had to check it out. It's more violent than the movies I usually watch, but highly enjoyable.

UHF - We've had a crappy, fading VHS copy of this, so it was nice to get it on DVD and see how crisp and clear the picture and sound were. I'm not a huge Weird Al fan, but this movie cracks me up. I think it'll go into heavy rotation at our house.

Ice Pirates - Yes, this is a terrible movie, even though it has pirates and robots and Space Herpes. It has nostalgia value for me, because I begged my Dad to take me to it when it was originally out in the theaters. Poor Dad.

Idiocracy - Highly recommended by [livejournal.com profile] simianpower, and we laughed and laughed. Mindless, but fun. The President of the U.S. was easily the high point of the film.

Near Dark - A stylish Western noir vampire film. I was entranced by it the first time I saw it, just because the setting and characters were so different from other vampire films. No preening effete European vampires here-- they're violent rednecks instead. Upon another viewing, there are some plot holes and logic problems, but it's still captivating.

Running with Scissors - Didn't enjoy it-- way too slow. I wanted to smack Annette Benning's character. I think I'd enjoy the book better.

Yellowbeard - For a movie that has actors both from Mel Brooks' usual troupe and many of the Monty Pythoners, it should be funnier than it is. Enjoyable, but only mildly so. J. finds Madeliene Kahn to be a drawback in any movie; she doesn't bother me as much.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother - I love Gene Wilder, and I wanted this to be funnier than it was. I cried with laughter in a few spots, but other places dragged. If you don't like musicals, don't rent this, because it has a fair amount of song and dance. I think Gene Wilder (who wrote and directed) really wanted an excuse to put on a musical with a bunch of his friends and an excuse to feel up Kahn's boobies.

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil - I'd seen this several years ago and liked it. Watching it again recently, I liked it even better. I like the moral ambiguity of it, and the acting is really good. And Lady Chablis steals every scene she's in.
sarahmichigan: (Default)
I'd guess that [livejournal.com profile] entaru and some of my other friends may already know this, but I think it is so cool that in ancient times, many games and puzzles were not merely entertainment, but had mystical and religious significance. "Magic Squares" were not just interesting from a mathematical viewpoint, but were considered to be sacred and literally magical. A lot of today's games share roots with divination systems from the past. You can actually tell fortunes with a regular stack of playing cards, for instance-- it's much like reading tarot, except without the Major Arcana.

I got this book, "Ancient Puzzles : Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last TenCenturies, by Dominic Olivastro" :

http://tinyurl.com/28twa

at a used book store several years ago. It's maybe a little scholarly for some, but that's why I liked it. I have just skimmed through it, reading bits here and there, but I'm adding it to my list of books to take another look at. Fun stuff.

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