Wednesday, January 18, 2006

More On 24: First off, with 24 back on the air, that means one more bonus: Dave Barry is back to blogging about 24.

Here's my recap of Sunday's second episode of 24.

Agent: We need to figure out a new way to go in.
CTU Director: Okay, but hurry, because we've got to go in fast.
Agent: You bet. We're going in.
CTU Director: How long until you go in?
Agent: Right about the time we go in.
Jack: Go in through the left side. Use the itsay away aptray maneuver.
Agent and Terrorist: Wow. No possible code there.
CTU Director: No need to change our plans. Let's continue stalling when we go in.
Terrorist: Oh, I can't wait until they go in.
CTU Director: We're probably just about ready to go in.
Agent: We're ready to go in, unless anyone else wants to review our plans.
Samwise Rudy: I want to review all your plans before you go in.
CTU Director: Okay. But then we're going in, we swear.
Samwise Rudy: I think Jack may have used a code. Change a bunch of stuff before you go in.
Agent: But we want to go in!
Erik, at home watching: You know, by now I could have driven to the Ontario Airport and gone in myself.

Yeah, I can see why some people have a problem with it, but for some reason, it's like crack for me.


Monday, January 16, 2006

24 Spoilers: You want spoilers for last night's 24? Within the first 20 minutes, my two favorite characters, besides Jack, croak.

But I just keep on watching.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

In Case You're Wondering: The fourth Harry Potter movie is great, contained hardly a single unnecessary frame, and while they took a few of the subtle clues to one of the big twists at the end and swapped them for beat-you-over-the-head obvious ones, I can forgive them, because the rest of the movie was so perfect, in pacing, tone, and acting.

Anyone who didn't know what to expect when seeing what was "taken" from each contestant for them to find in the lake would have been . . . surprised.

I enjoyed it tremendously.

Maybe in another three months I'll get to see Narnia.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Brothers Chaps Are Not Dead: In case you didn't follow it all winter on the fan forums, it was a big deal that the Homestar Runner website went over a month without updating.

Anyways, they updated.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What A Co-inkidink: You know how some movies, when played with some albums, contain coincidences?

We used to do that as kids with cartoons. We'd turn down the volume on, say, Popeye, then turn up the volume on, say, Weird Al, waiting for moments when it looked like the character onscreen was singing or the lyrics seemed oddly appropriate for the cartoon. We got some good laughs that way.

Well now, they're doing it with movies. As in, you play more than one movie at the same time. Specifically, all six Star Wars movies.

Then, you look for coincidences. Like, say, how the shots of Obi-Wan and Padme from Revenge of the Sith match up both in the framing and timing with the shots of Luke and his dad from the end of Return of the Jedi, at the same moment in the film.

Nothing earth-shattering. But the most amazing part, to me, when I watch the few video segments he has on the site, is how he managed to notice any of the coincidences in the chaos that watching all six movies seems to be. Maybe it was such chaos that any patterns leapt out at him amidst the randomness. Or maybe he's from the MTV generation and I'm just an old one-frame codger. I have a hard enough time with the multiple frames on 24.

And I saw it over at the website at the end of the universe, which is usually worth checking out.

Monday, January 02, 2006

On Ants: I don't know how I made it to 30 without noticing that ants have a smell. They really do. I'm even smart enough to know what I'm smelling. Formic acid, right? But as Hulk Hogan used to say, those are some pretty bad odoriferous emanations.

And why do they only come out when it rains? Is it because they've figured out we need the sun to get the magnifying glass to work?

Yeah, yeah. Their home's probably flooded. If only I could figure out how to explain to them the concept of "indoor pool" in ant-speak.

Without, of course, teaching them the concept of swimming.

I hate ants.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

DOUBLE FEATURE Movie Review of the Day: Fantastic Four and Sky High

You know, if I were to be totally honest, Fantastic Four was probably at least a good a movie as Sky High.

So why did I like Sky High so much better?

Some of it's got to be expectation. I didn't ever read Fantastic Four as kid. Not even when one of my favorite comic book writers, John Byrne, took over. I only had so much money for comics, and frankly, I saw that foursome as kind of oldy-moldy and stale. Of course, I was buying Justice League, which I guess was even older, but it was oldy-moldy for the Marvel universe.

Still, though, when they make a movie out of franchise characters, there's high expectations. After all, the makers of the movie have years and years of stories to draw from. There are thousands of Fantastic Four stories already sitting out there. There is a lot of potential for the filmmakers to be able to combine the best elements of the various stories to create a great movie.

I already explained how the Spider-Man people did exactly that. They dipped into the Spider-Man mythos and pulled out a bunch of the cool stuff, mixed it together (including mixing characters into one person) and came up with something great.

In the case of the Fantastic Four movie, it felt like the opposite. Like they thought, "These are such great, well-beloved characters, we'll just put their story on screen and it will be great."

Well, for me it wasn't great. I already knew everything in the movie. They made couple of changes to simplify the story--like having Doom get powers in the same storm where the Four got their powers--but overall, they brought nothing to the story.

With the exception of the guy that played Ben Grimm, who I thought was terrific, the actors all struck me wrong, too. It was more like they were at a Halloween party playing the Fantastic Four than that I was seeing the comic book characters come to life.

Sky High, on the other hand, was terrific. While there were unbelievable characters in this one, that was deliberate. You notice all those performances were given by the grown-ups. Keeping the grown-ups as stereotypes not only accurately portrayed a kid's view of the world, but it helped establish the fact that all the problems should be solved by the kids--the only way it should be in any kids movie.

This one didn't surprise me much either. The villains all turn out to be who you expect them to be. Naturally every kid's power, no matter how bizarre, ends up having its role to play in the climax.

But it was fun and witty and everybody did a great job doing what they were doing. You get to see Linda Carter again, too. So there's really no down side.

And there's a really, really rockin' soundtrack of covers of 80's songs by current bands that's worth checking out.