July 31, 2013

The Perfect "Batman"???













Yep, I've decided that I am going there. Today I want to talk about the caped crusader, Batman! He has been around just about as long as Superman, with just as many if not more incarnations. Everyone has their favorite. But what if we could blend those versions to make a "perfect" version?


 

Today I am going to compare the old TV series, The Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Movies, and the Chris Nolan movies. Now, many people may be asking why I would include the 60's TV series. Well, I grew up with it in re-runs and love it. And it does have some stuff to offer as we will see. The bigger question may be, how can you ignore The Animated Series? I never watched it, and while I understand it was very well done and that Kevin Conroy was fantastic as Batman I am keeping this limited to the live action stuff (that I’ve seen).Finally, I am lumping the Schumacher films into the Tim Burton category even though it’s two very different directors so I can discuss all the movies but let's forget Val Kilmer and especially George Clooney as Batman ever happened.They both sucked, end of story.

    

Now I imagine many will disagree with the choices below, just remember that this all in good fun. If you disagree that's cool, I respect your opinion.


July 28, 2013

Top 5 Dumbest Full House Moments


One of my very first blogs was an article about how I really loved Full House. If you go in expecting a sugary, child friendly show then you will be very satisfied. It's a nice way to spend  a half hour with likeable characters and relatable stories.


However, that doesn't mean I find the show perfect. I thought about doing a worst episode list, but decided that I would end up complaining about the same thing. For the record, my least favorite episode is Season 1's "Sea Cruise" which is one the most boring half hours I have ever sat through. So instead I wanted to talk about the moments from the show that are just to silly or to ridiculous. They can't be taken seriously, even for a silly show like Full House, or are so far fetched that they just piss me off even if the episode itself isn't all bad.  Here are the five dumbest moments of :





Before I begin, I already covered the silliness of the Disney World episode with my friend Moviefan12 so I will not repeat that, especially since he did a better job than I could. Let's call it a #6 spot just how ridiculous some of the things in that episode was.






#5. Michelle upset that she can't have her way


I talked about this one before but it bears repeating. This is the "Michelle is a spoiled brat" episode. Well, maybe I should be more clear. Michelle was so cute in the early days, she put this show on the map. But as she aged the creators just didn't know what to do with her. This episode has Joey wanting to watch the Super Bowl, but he has agreed to take Michelle's science club out for the day. Now this is just a club, not a school sanctioned event (which I would be more sympathetic to). Long story short, Joey gets to watch the game and the other kids decide that no science is going to happen, so they happily decide to just enjoy the big game. EXCEPT MICHELLE! No, she's upset her science club didn't do what she wanted! The episode does try to send that message, that you can't always get what you want. But it's Full House so of course Joey back peddles and apologizes. I mean, he did try and what's stopping them from doing something the next Sunday?  The forced lesson of the week not onky makes Michelle a brat, but spoils an otherwise silly and enjoyable episode.



July 24, 2013

Sitcom Graveyard-Free Spirit



Free Spirit was a 1990 sitcom about a witch who is hired to take care of a couple of kids. Sounds like a nice enough premise, so where did it go wrong?


Take Who's The Boss? and conbine it with Bewitched, and you'd have this lame 1989 sitcom. The basic premise is single father hires a housekeeper who is, yes  that's rigt, a witch!



Corinne Bohrer and Franc Luz star. You may be asking, who? Well that was the first problem. The two leads were boing and just weren't good actors. Who's The Boss starred two big named stars who had great chemistry. Tony Danza had just spent years on Taxi and Judith Light in soaps, so while Tony was a pro at the comedy Judith was a great straight person. The chemistry and the gags worked on that show, on Free Spirit they did not. Both leads made a career doing forgettable small parts and commercials, never really going further than that. To be fair Luz was not the first actor for the role, he was the replacement which may explain a lot! 


July 22, 2013

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Commercial Mascots

One of my favorite Nostalgia Critic episodes is his commercials special. Not just because the jokes are great, but because I love commercials! Seriously, those old ads are great I could watch them all day myself!


But despite that this isn't an area I've talked much about, except for the article on my favorite Christmas ads. You see, Christmas commercials are an easy category to pick and choose favorites. How do I do that with regular ads? For the most part ads tend to blur, oh sure once in awhile one will stick out like the famous Life cereal commercial (Mikey likes it!) or the fantastic Hershey ad back in the 80's (The great American chocolate bar!), and to this day I get waves of nostalgia when I hear the Flintstone vitamin tune (10 million strong…and growing!).  But when companies produce dozens of ads they tend to blend.


The one thing that does stand out is the mascots. These are the characters that get remembered and become so popular that they are often spun off into other media like TV shows, cartoons, or even comic books. So today I wanted to talk about my ten favorite commercial mascots. This covers any year and any product. Only two rules: It can’t be a character that started somewhere else and became a mascot for something. So you won’t see Fruity Pebbles, Met Life, or anything Disney on this list. And second, it has to be a mascot which has stood the test of time to the point where they are so iconic they go beyond just being a clever ad campaign, they become characters which we love and adore right along with our favorite movie or TV characters.






#10. THE M & M GUYS!!

I love these characters, in fact I have several M&M related Christmas decorations that I adore. And I have been to the M & M store in Vegas and New York so believe me I know how popular these guys are (check it out if you haven't!). I also had an M & M pillow once. So why so high on the list?  I didn’t grow up with them; they were different when I was a kid, being animated in the 80’s and quite boring. It was in the 90’s they took the form we know and love today, and the ads took off! The original two were red and yellow, with red being the bossy one and yellow being the lovable yet dimwitted one. Now there are a bunch of characters like the green female M&M and they are still running strong in ads even as we speak.



July 19, 2013

Look at Sitcom Cliches : GAME SHOWS!!


Game shows and sitcoms are a lot like chocolate and peanut butter. Two different things which shouldn't work together and yet when they are combined just complement each other perfectly. This goes back as far as The Honeymooners which had an episode where Ralph appeared on "The 99,000 Answer". I guess it makes sense, since sitcom characters are supposed to be everyday people (in theory) so why wouldn't it work if they appeared as contestants? It also gives the game show a chance to be seen by people outside their normal demographic that may not watch/




I am only talking today about sitcom episodes regarding real game shows. There are two reasons for this. One, if I included episodes with fake game shows we'll be here all day. And second, for some reason I usually do not like those kinds of episodes. Not sure why, maybe because the game show that is being made up is often done like a parody of game shows. That is fine on SNL but a sitcom?


The trope is pretty simple. Usually the characters lose, and embarassingly so, or if it is a dim witted character they win and win huge! So here are some memorable sitcom episodes regarding a cast member(s) appearing on a real life game show.



July 17, 2013

Top 5 Popular Game Shows That I HATE!!!


Well, I can't like every game show out there. First of all, hate is a strong word. These are really five game shows that I either never liked and/or watched unless I had to. There is nothing wrong with these games and if you enjoy them, then fantastic. I just did not.

So let's get started:






#5. Romance Game Shows


I had to lump these into a category or they would have been the whole list. As much as I loved game shows, I never got why these dating shows are supposed to be entertaining. Newlywed Game is bascially Bob Eubanks laughing as he makes newlywed couples get into arguments. And was it my imagination or did they did find the dumbest people on the planet for that show? The Dating Game has three guys (or girls) sweating it out while they wait to see which will have the honor of going on a date with someone they've never met. And then there's Love Connection which is like The Dating Game except not only is the date set up, but we get to have the couple back so we can hear the embarassing details about how awful the date was. I admit Chuck Woolery was a fine host for that show, but really why do I need to know about this couple's date? Back in college I was forced to watch it or the news (I had no cable) and I just never saw the appeal. I know these shows are popular, they have been on for ages and parodied to death, but I have no love for them.


July 16, 2013

Things I Just Love-Family Feud!










Welcome back to game show week as I discuss my all time favorite game show :





I was a huge fan of game shows as a kid, but none more than Family Feud! I loved this game, watching it every afternoon at 4:30 (until the station changed the time slot on me!).There was also a daytime version, on for an hour at one point, that I also watched when I had the opportunity.


 


Family Feud, if you don't know, takes two families and has them compete in teams of five. This already makes the game cool watching the families interact with each other. So first two members of each family meet in the center of the stage for the face off. The host asks a survey question that was asked to 100 people. The answers can have anywhere from 3 to 8 answers, and whoever buzzes in and answers with the most popular answer wins. In the Dawson era the host would ask the family if they wanted to play. That changed in the Combs era, which I liked because that never made sense to me. Why wouldn't they want to play???? I guess strategy but is still made no sense to me.


The family answers questions from  surveys given to a hundred average people, and who ever can discover the most popular answers that were given by those average people wins. You get three "strikes" if you miss a guess and on the third strike the other team gets a chance to steal your bank. As the game progresses the points double and then triple. The first family to reach 200 points wins and gets to play the fast money round, where two players team up to answer the same five questions, and if they combine a score of 200 or more they win whatever the established prize amount is. In later years a bonus prize was added where a family winning five times in a row also wins a car! There were other added games like a Bulls eye round which decided the fast money amount, but I won’t get into those.

 

July 15, 2013

Is That Your Final Answer?- A Look at Who Wants To Be a Millionaire (and its copycats)


Welcome to game show week! All week I will have a game showr elated article. I used to love game shows, especially when I was a kid in the 80's. But I am going to hold that discussion off for today. Instead I want to talk about the prime time game show revival in the late 90's. This was an amazing thing and was kicked off by a show which was a flat out phenomenon! I am talking of course about:




I absolutely loved this show! Who Wants to be a Millionaire changed everything about game shows. The way they are played, the way they look, even the way the contestants got chosen! It also launched ABC into the ratings stratosphere, becoming amonster hit for the network. The best part may have been the host. Regis Philbin was perfect for this show, since he was able to casually talk with contestants and also keep the suspense of the game going. He did a great job teasing the contestants waiting to find out if their answer was correct or not/. No insult to Meredith Vieira intended, but if I didn't know better I would think this show was madewith Regis in mind (it wasn't, it came from England first).It was because of him that "Is that your final answer" became a national catchphrase.




July 8, 2013

Top 5 All-Time Favorite Movie Jerks


I decided to push my game show week off till next week. With the holiday and not feeling well the articles aren't quite ready yet. But since I wanted to have something for you guys, here is a little list  I cobbled together. Enjoy!



All good movies have villains, those bad people who are determined to get what they want no matter who or what gets in the way. But today I wanted to talk about the jerks. These are bullies or other characters that are only here to aggravate our heroes and get us pissed off. They are annoying and drive us crazy,  and usually are here only to complicate the situation for our heroes. The thing is we love to hate these guys especially when they get their well deserved comeuppance at the end.


Here are my five favorites. These are from the 80's and 90's because, well, I don't call it 80's and 90's Central for nothing  :)


#5.Secretary of State Nimzki (Independance Day)


I hated this guy, I mean the way he prosecuted Jerry,George, Kramer, and Elaine was just....oh, sorry that was Seinfeld. Is James Rebhorn ever a good guy? Anyway in this movie he is the wimpy Secretary of State who keeps secrets even though it cost the lives of hundreds of pilots, argues with the president over everything, and thinks nuclear weapons are the one and only answer. This guy was a real jerk, and the scene where he is finally fired by Bill Pullman's president is one of my favorite moments of the film. Partly because it's a good character moment for the president, but also because he finally puts this whiny weasel in his place.

July 5, 2013

Five Things I Liked in "Star Trek-Generations"


In the past I have taken a decent or even great movie, and commented on five things I hated in that movie. Today I am switching things a bit,since I am talking about a bad movie it only makes sense to talk about the things liked!






Poor Star Trek Generations. So much potential, such a disappointment.I really don't understand how they messed this one up. I mean the story sucks,they don't respect the characters, and the whole thing just feels like a drawn out episode. I mean what were they thinking? A part of the problem may have been that were rushing to get this out, and didn’t really make sure they were putting out a good product.

I mean Data and his emotion chip was annoying, Picard’s sad story didn’t work, and what the heck was up with the new sets and costumes? However, I still count this as a guilty pleasure as there are some things in this movie I can't help but really like


#5 The Music

I absolutely loved the main score for this film. It has aunique sound and is different from most of the other movies. I especially always loved how the tune ended, with that little nod to the series in the melody. It gets me pumped when I hear it, maybe more than any other theme (except Stat Trek IV). If you’ve never heard it, here is a link below. Not much else to say, great music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooIUtXEuTYQ

July 1, 2013

A Look at Star Trek:Of Gods and Men

I want to talk about this for one simple reason. I am curious if everyone has heard of and/or seen this. If so, what did you think?  I am talking about:












What is this exactly? So glad you asked! Of Gods and Men is a three-part fan mini-series which is not officially part of canon. It was produced in 2006 but did not see release until 2007-2008 online. It was intended as a 40th anniversary gift from Star Trek actors to their fans. It contains many cast members for the various series and movies, and was directed by Tim Russ of Star Trek-Voyager fame.



Cast



Before I discuss the story, let me tell you was in this from the previous series :

Classic Star Trek : Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney

Next Generation : Alan Ruck (as John Harriman from Generations, it sucks no one from Next Gen is in this!)

Deep Space Nine : J.G. Hertzler, Chase Masterson, Cirroc Lofton

Voyager : Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Ethan Phillips

Enterprise : Gary Graham (Ambassador Soval) and CrystalAllen (who appeared in one episode)

Also two cast members from the Star Trek-New Voyages web series (which, yes, I have seen) which is also where the sets came from.  There were a couple other cameos but I will get to them. The scenes set at the planet were shot at Vasquez Rocks in California, where many episodes of the series had been shot.