TV Shows »5 Second Review: Whitney

Thumbs Sad

I don’t have much to say. Whitney is just too half assed to even qualify as a show.

Really? Girlfriend tries to add spice to sex life with a nurses outfit and the dude falls on his head and passes out? The robot that wrote that should have been updated about ten years ago.

Plus, it’s just very awkward to watch someone who finds themselves adorable.

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Posted on September 25, 2011

TV Shows »5 Second Review: The New Girl

Thumbs Way Down


I might just owe Gargamel an apology because Free Agents is almost looking pretty good right now.

Was expecting something decent from The New Girl but this is very and weirdly terrible.

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Posted on September 19, 2011

TV Shows »5 Second Review: Free Agents

Thumbs Think and Hope This Won’t Last


I feel bad for Giles.

But Gargamel deserves this.

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Posted on September 17, 2011

TV Shows »5 Second Review: Up All Night

My Thumbs Might Be Naively Optimistic

Will Arnett as sweetheart stay at home = wasted talents as a foolish asshole but still a charmer and I like him, so I hope this goes better than that one with Felicity.

Maya Rudolph and Christina Applegate good = could mean more good talent in guest and added roles?


Was it in a fit of depression or glee that the writer slipped in lines about diarrhea and burning rectums just as we thought we were spared such obvious and unfunny poop business with the baby?

Plus, Mike and Shaun thought the baby was a boring one.

Up All Night is thankfully not completely dumb though and has potential – or am I being too optimistic?

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Posted on September 16, 2011

Laughs »Tallulah Bankhead as Robin

from The Batman TV Show, Caught In The Spider’s Web Episode

Man, I love the old Batman show. It’s probably one of the most entertaining comedies ever made.

Mike had it on the other evening and graced us with a showing of this gem.

Starring a slurry, gin soaked, and completely awesome Tallulah Bankhead as Black Widow, the episode features an ingenious plot.

In order to rob a bank, Black Widow has made a Batman robot and created an uncanny Robin disguise.

The result is… unbelievable.

The really good stuff starts at 3:01 in the clip (but it’s all good stuff).

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Posted on June 23, 2011

TV Shows »The Inbetweeners

British Teen Comedy Guest Written by Dana:

The Inbetweeners give us the funny situations of foursuburban boys in high school.

Unfortunately just had the last season finish, but looking forward to a movie at the end of this year.

See a clip here and here.

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Posted on June 13, 2011

Laughs »Today Now! Interviews The 5-Year-Old Screenwriter Of “Fast Five”

I Want the Cars to Drive Fast and Then Some of Them Explode

I am sure you’ve seen this clip floating around, but it’s a good one! I’d actually watch the movie if this kid lent his narration to it. Maybe in a special Bluray edition?

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Posted on May 5, 2011

Movies »Small Change aka Pocket Change

directed by Francois Truffaut (1976)

Friends, Small Change is so utterly charming, you must take time to watch it! A loving ode to childhood, Truffaut, a frequent chronicler of youth (see 400 Blows) gives us a glimpse into the lives of young children in the town of Thiers. The script was largely improvised and the children (who are adorable, every one) are non actors, lending a documentary quality to the film.

Described perfectly by the Times as “a major work in minor keys”, Change is made up of small moments, often mundane which add up to a touching, heart warming whole but never feels cloying nor hits a false note.

In its simplicity and subtlety, the movie is profound – almost life changing even – in that it’s opened up my eyes to the way a film maker can so clearly capture the feelings of childhood. The only other film comparable would be the equally lovely Spirit of the Beehive.

With yuppies of the opinion that children are little more than nuisances that might dare to invade one’s dining space, and all the crummy stories of abuse and neglect in the news, it’s particularly gratifying to see a movie that is so pure in its vision and message  – essentially that children are wonderful and need to be loved; this is a sentiment that very few of today’s navel gazing artists seem to share.

While the film is brimming with humanity and includes one of cinema’s kindest portrayals of good teachers, it doesn’t shy away from the dangers of childhood, particularly neglect in the case of the rascally and charming Julien.

It’s worth noting that Small Change, as it is mostly known as in the US, is listed as Pocket Change on netflix, where you can enjoy this gem instantly. (Moms, there’s tons of great kid style too!)

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Posted on April 9, 2011

TV Shows »An Idiot Abroad

On The Science Channel


I could have recommended An Idiot Abroad without seeing a single frame because as any of you that have listened to the Ricky Gervais Show podcast know, the idea of Karl Pilkington (aka K. Dilkington) traveling under the often harshest conditions across the globe is absolutely ingenious.

I actually read about this project a while back, but assumed when it aired in the US, it would have some HBO backed fan fair. Instead, it’s buried in the Science Channel, but oh so worth DVR-ing (also limited episodes available on demand).

For those of you unaware of the moronic and uniquely strange mind of Karl, you can expect such insightful gems as comparing Israel to Pac Man in that every time you go down an alley expecting it to be quiet something comes at you.

It’s basically just plain amazing and for me to explain why would take away from your experience. Watch this!!

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Posted on February 26, 2011

Movies »Coup de Torchon

directed by Bertrand Tavernier (1981)

If nihilists believed in heroes then Lucien, the small town sheriff in Coup de Torchon could be the man for them. He comes by way of Jim Thompson, darkest noirest extraordinaire and his novel, Pop. 1280. That book is set in 1917 Texas but the movie is cleverly moved to 1930s West French Africa, Senegal.

I haven’t read the book to compare it to (though it’s definitely making my list), but I think director Bertrand Tavernier has captured the weird, almost surreal darkness of Thompson’s work most effectively on film. (P.S. – other notable adaptations: Serie Noir, After Dark My Sweet).

To say Lucien is disrespected is an understatement. He’s called ass licker and turd more than by name, he is kicked by other policemen, pushed around by the local pimps, mocked by his own wife – and for good reason. As a policemen he never arrests anyone and ignores crime as much as possible, even when own mistress is being abused publicly.

He seems to initially be a gentle and simple sort who detests violence and has more respect for natives than most. Which is why you are almost on his side when he begins to take action against the “trash” of the city by committing righteous murder.

But, as the film progresses and his motives become less about justice than his selfishness, any semblance of morality is blown. Played with just right amount of pathos and underlying insanity by Philippe Noiret, the sheriff, if I had to imagine him cast today, could be pulled off by a bitter little Patton Oswald and his unassuming baby face.

Scrounging around in the mud of human depravity with him are his scheming wife played by the always amazing Stephane Audran, her “brother”/secret lover – a half witted brute (I’d cast John C Rielly in my remake), his mistress, Rose, a piece of amoral work with a naive lust for violence and chaos played by the also always amazing Isabelle Huppert.

The cast is astounding, turning almost cartoonish physical comedy into something dimensional. Not that it’s cartoonish due to sloppy film making, quite the opposite, Tavernier manages the tough balance of darkest comedy only to reveal something very sinister.

The totally bizarre alternate ending, featuring dancing man apes, is worth a look on the Criterion Collection release. The only way this low profile masterpiece could have better is if it had stayed in.

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Posted on February 12, 2011

Movies »March of the Wooden Soldiers

directed by Hal Roach (1934)

Because of their rotation of Holiday films, we had TMC on in the background of our Christmas morning festivities, but when the Laurel and Hardy spectacle March of the Wooden Soldiers came on, we couldn’t help but become enthralled with surely one of the most visually bizarre and arresting movies I’ve seen lately.

I was so taken with the crazy human cat costumes, the midgets as beefy pigs, and the monkey playing a mouse that I actually bought the DVD – something I haven’t done in ages (and was promptly reminded of the unessecary annoyance of opening one of those things).

The plot centers around Little Bo Peep and the evil Silas Barnaby – Toyland’s cruelest resident who plans to make her his – even if it means framing her boyfriend for eating one of the three pigs! A journey to boogeyland brings on the evil… well, I’m not sure what they are except loads of extras in furry pants and truly grotesque masks who along with a thwarted Silas proceed to bring terror to Toyland for revenge.

Defending the joyful town are the toy soldiers – single minded wrecking machines that will stop at nothing (even a decapitated head) to destroy what they are after.Weird colorized animals, songs, an appearance from Santa and the hi-jinx of Laurel and the always shockingly styled (Hitler mustache and a page boy bob) Hardy round out the movie.

I am super excited for this oddball gem to become a new Christmas tradition – as long as the bizarre imagery doesn’t terrify our little one.

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Posted on January 14, 2011

TV Shows »The Larry Sanders Show

Now on Netflix Instant

Sure, birds are falling from the sky, but there are some positives about the New Year. Netflix has started streaming all seasons of the too often forgotten Larry Sanders Show, for example.

A forerunner to cynical comedies like Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, this HBO classic still makes me laugh even if the references (Ghost, Jodie Whatley, the first Bush Administration) are dated.

Garry Shandling, a pioneer in comedy, plays egocentric incredibly well as a third tier talk show host in this behind the scenes satire. No one says “horse shit” and gets drunk quite like Rip Torn as Artie, the show’s producer and while Jeffery Tambor’s work as George Bluth (on Arrested) is great, his portrayal of side kick Hank Kingsley is a revelation in pathetic, weak, and very funny assholery. Familiar faces like Janeane Garofalo and Jeremy Piven round out the cast in their pre-famous days.

I am enjoying revisited the show immensely and think those fans of the aforementioned shows who haven’t watched it the first time around will be delighted. Makes me wish Shandling was still working on HBO.

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Posted on January 9, 2011

TV Shows »Skins

Aired on BBC

When I tell people I’ve been watching Skins (available on Netflix instant) and they ask “Oh, is that any good” I always say, “Well, I like it…” The reason for the qualification is because it depends on your threshold for teenage drama. My threshold is extremely high – I will watch tween Disney Channel movies made for eight year olds with glee, so for me, Skins is on the sophisticated end of the spectrum.

If you like the new generation of Degrassi but didn’t think it went far enough with the dirty bits, this British show is for you. Foul mouthed and extreme – it’s an exaggerated take on wild adolescence. Almost cartoonish at times – with adults and foreigners getting the brunt of stereotypes – it focuses on partying and sexual adventures but doesn’t skirt the serious stuff either (mental illness, abandonment, etc…)

I was enjoying it fine, but became more of a die hard fan by the end of season one, which ends with a bang and a musical number… Heart!

Am on to season two now and can’t wait to see what Sid, my favorite character, and all his friends are up to.

MTV is doing an American version, but because I like the way things sound with British accents, I am sure it is going to suck.

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Posted on December 12, 2010

Movies »King of Comedy

directed by Martin Scorsese (1983)

The King of Comedy is a masterpiece about desperation and fame. Scorsese may be better known for crime dramas and prefer sweeping epics but when he focuses  on smaller stories and comedy, he has made some of my favorite movies, including this one (along with After Hours and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore). Robert DeNiro, who at this point is usually portraying a caricature of himself either as tough guy or reluctant comedian is brilliant here in a role that could have easily tipping into ridiculousness but retains some real pathetic pathos and the strange creepiness of a real delusional weirdo.

His character, Rupert Pupkin is no Travis Bickle, but he’s no less messed up. He dreams of comedy stardom, specifically stardom reached on the arm of Jerry Langford, a late night talk show host played with incredible jaded subtely by the usually goofy Jerry Lewis. He finds a friend, a rival, and eventually a partner in crime in a wealthy loon Masha played by the amazing Sandra Bernhard. After this off kilter, insane and lusty performance, I forever love her and wonder why her particular brand of on screen craziness isn”t used more often in movies.

It’s a movie I love to revisit and invites repeat viewings. It’s always exciting to be able to recommend it to people who’ve never seen it, and there are many since this box office bomb is often over looked and forgotten in the careers of DeNiro and Scorsese – who says this is his favorite of all their collaborations.

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Posted on October 17, 2010

TV Shows »Bones

Corpses and Comedy

This is certainly not the most proud declaration I’ve made about us, but we have been Bones crazy for the last few months!! With a spacey mind and an early bedtime a la pregnancy, I’ve been in the mood for nothing but easy, junky TV and the four seasons of the often gruesome, quirky procedural buddy show available on netflix instant has fit the bill perfectly.

Not to negate the show entirely with my unnecessary shame, one has to admit that they’ve mastered the balance of humor and who done it incredibly well. Deschanel and Boreanaz have great chemistry and making a mindless show as watchable as this is much harder than you might think. Trust me, I’ve been trying the new Fall season of television and barely make it through an episode. While the show is marred by off set perversions – both Boreanez and the totally icky Ryan Neal have been the focus of recent scandals, I am looking forward to the day the season 5 comes to instant and will probably be recoding the new season with guilty pleasure.

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Posted on September 18, 2010

Movies »Irma Vep

directed by Olivier Assayas (1996)

Whether his work is always completely successful or not, Olivier Assayas is one of the most interesting film makers working today and his projects are engaging and memorable for their unique point of view and vitality. Irma Vep is probably his simplest work and one of my favorites.

In it, Hong Kong action star and dazzling charmer, Maggie Cheung is a stranger in Paris. Playing herself, she is cast in a French remake of the silent film classic Les Vampires. The film shines as an ode to movie making, but in a realistic way. Assayas is one of the few film makers who has a genuine interest in portraying creative working life as it really is. One could be forgiven for at first thinking this was a documentary, it balances a kinetic ballet of realism that reminds us of the best scenes from Altman movies, sans a major plot.

In fact, Irma Vep is rather aimless and subtle with not too much “happening” (in cinematic terms) but it’s never, ever boring – rather inspiring and exhilarating. From the off kilter and manically lovely costume designer, Zoe (played by Nathalie Richardson), to the fading, possibly insane and passionate director, Rene (played by Jean-Pierre Leaud, possibly channeling his one time director, Truffaut, whom he now resembles), you feel like you are watching the interactions of characters that are fully alive and real.

It’s visually striking and makes one sentimental about the transient, temporary and vibrant world of collaborative creative projects (especially if you’ve ever worked on a movie before). Irma Vep was released on Criterion Collection and is currently available on Netflix instant.

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Web Sites »Ugliest Tattoos

The Gallery of Regrets

Thank you Brandon for passing the site Ugliest Tattoos along my way. It really speaks for itself but I have to say I am profoundly shocked how many people permanently apply disgustingly rendered penises to their bodies. A few great ones are below/after the jump and they are nsfw.

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Posted on August 29, 2010