March 22, 2015

The Ten Dumbest Things I've Read in Comic Books

I love comic books, have for quite some time. And while I enjoy them there are times when a story will do something so absurd that even I  get pissed off. Of course Linkara has done many episodes of his show discussing this very thing. From the stupidity of Countdown to the ridiculousness of Spider-Man making a deal with devil in “One More Day” to what happened to Ms.Marvel in the god awful Avengers #200 to the just plan horrible “Cry for Justice”.



Today I wanted to talk about instances when something happened in a comic that made me say “Oh please!”.  I almost scrapped this idea because some of these below are universally hated and I am not the first to bring them up. So the only rule is that these had to be moments that I actually read first and found stupid before I heard about it on AT4W or elsewhere. Oh and of course this is all opinion, if you did like these stories more power to you. I just though they were stupid.



Superman hypnotizes people…and can disguise them too!
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In 1986 John Byrne rebooted the Superman books (though the term reboot wasn’t coined yet). One of the reasons for this was because Superman had became almost to powerful, having all sorts of unnecessary abilities. One was super-ventriloquism. Yes. Another was that he could hypnotize people. It was part of the explanation for why people were fooled by those glasses, part of it was a hypnotic suggestion Superman gave out. But the stupidest thing came in one old issue, Superman #301. Superman needed to dash into action to fight Solomon Grundy but Clark Kent needed to be on the air a the same time (he was a TV newsman at this point). And manages to be in both places. How? Turns out Superman used hypnotism to make Steve Lombard think he was Clark Kent, and then used make-up and a voice modifier to disguise Lombard as Clark to make the illusion complete. Are you frigging kidding me? This was so stupid! Even if I buy the hypnotism baloney, how in the world could Superman have disguised Lombard so well that no one could tell it wasn’t Kent? Dumb.


March 20, 2015

Ten “Chick Flicks” I Admit I Really Liked!

Well it’s finally time my friends. Time to discuss the chick flick. When I was a kid I had no clue what that term meant, but as I have gotten older I get it. One of my favorite movies is a chick flick, and one I am not ashamed to admit to loving. It was 25 years ago this week that a little movie came out called :

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Yep. Pretty Women. It starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere and was a monster hit. But, why? The premise was absurd after all. Because the chemistry between Roberts and Gere was irresistible (not to mention a strong supporting cast and a fantastic sound track). But since I have discussed that movie in other places, I decided to talk about other “chick flicks” that I admit I do like.


So what makes a movie a chick flick? In my opinion it can be one of two things. Either it’s a sappy romance based story, or a story focusing on women and usually with a tragedy thrown in. For instance Steel Magnolia’s and Fried Green Tomatoes (though with Tomatoes that is arguable) are classic chick flicks but neither have a romance. And for the record, saw the first one and it was quite boring. So what makes, say, Father of the Bride not a chick flick? Probably the fact that the main character is the father, and so everything is seen from his point of view. Although the same is said for Four Weddings and a Funeral but that is considered a chick flick. Of course the running plot is romance based it does end with Andi MacDowell crying in he rain (FYI, HATE that movie).



Yeah while I am not a huge action fan I also don’t like the real sappy “chick flicks”. I guess because the story is just so flat. I mean, what the heck happens in Sixteen Candles? Girl upset parents missed birthday, goes on a date. Yawn. Ok, Ok there is more than that but not that much really. These movies are just so boring. Gun to my head I wouldn’t sit through “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. And if you’re wondering why “When Harry Met Sally” isn’t on here, I have yet to sit through that whole movie.



But once in awhile these movies will actually get my attention and I will enjoy them. Here are 10 (well technically 12) such films, in no particular order.



A League of Their Own
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Yeah I know, Nostalgia Critic mentioned this one recently when he discussed chick flicks. But what can I say, my timing sucks. Even though this movie is all about women, it’s a great movie for guys too! Why? Hard to say. The characters are really memorable. Tom Hanks is funny, Madonna is awesome, and Geena Davis never disappoints. It’s also based on real events which helps, and I like the nostalgia with the time period. This movie is a lot of fun and I dare you not to like it!  And speaking of Nostalgia Critic, while I liked Mama Mia in a guilty pleasure sort of way I decided to leave it off here since I have to admit, it wasn’t very good.


March 15, 2015

Sitcom Episode Face-off:Brady Bunch vs Fresh Prince

Hello my friends! Since my sitcom face-off’s have kind of dried up, I decided to come up with another idea. Rather than general comparisons between series, I will take two episodes of different shows with the same plot and see which did it better. Now obviously this would work better in a video show but I will try to be a detailed as I can and of course the episodes are available elsewhere to see for yourselves


You may remember back at Christmas I talked about how Family Matters had an episode with the same plot as a Growing Pains episode. That happens a lot in sitcoms, since there are only so many stories creators can come up with. However in that case the Family Matters episode sucked while Growing Pains did a decent job with the story. Of course that may be because the writer or writers were better or were less afraid to take a risk. Sometimes the writers know they are writing cliche so try to spin it another way, with varying degrees of a success.  Today I want to compare two very similar episodes of :




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So which episodes are we discussing today? I was reminded in my last article of the Davy Jones episode of the Brady Bunch “Getting Davy Jones”, and realized what a stunning similarity it had to the Fresh Prince episode “Twas the Night Before Christening” featuring Boyz II Men. It even followed the same structure! But who told the better story?


Before I even begin, yes the Fresh prince episode is a Christmas episode but I don’t feel like waiting until next December to do this. What I will do is break the story down and try to determine which series handled it better. In the end I will tally up the winner and determine the better episode. And of course, as always, this is just for fun and completely my opinion.

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March 12, 2015

My Top 12 Pop Songs Made Memorable By Sitcoms

Thanks to Les for letting me steal his idea (not the first time). But the other day he talked about songs which were made famous by movies. And yes my friends, the same can happen with TV shows.


Now to be clear I am not talking about theme songs, or songs made for a series which became popular after, but pop songs that are heard in a scene and blend so perfectly the song almost becomes synonymous with that scene (and series). Drama’s are pretty well known for this sort of thing, in fact I have seen drama’s outright plug the album or song the episode had. But yes even a silly sitcom can break through with a very memorable combination of song and scene (or character).



Now unlike Les’s great list, most of these songs were famous before they were featured in the episode (except one or two). But sometimes a TV show, or movie, can bring you back to a song that has already been popular in a special way, especially if you were a kid and may not have been aware of the classic. Whether the song is just on in the background or the artist him or herself is there to sing it, you remember that moment. That is what this article is all about.



The only rule is the song has to be from the original artist, either a recording over the scene or done by the actual artist on the show. Characters singing pop songs is another list entirely my friends (though lip synching to the original is OK as you’ll see). Here now are 12 great songs which you can’t hear without thinking of the sitcom episode they happened to be featured in (well, at least I CAN’T!)





#12.”The Future’s So Bright, I gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk3 (Head of the Class)
I’m not sure how many remember this one, but I sure do. This under appreciated Howard Hesseman sitcom had an episode which involved the class putting together a time capsule. They end up making a music video lip synching to this song. At the top because I am not sure how many besides me always remember this when they hear the song. Want a blast of 80’s goofiness? Here it is my friends.


March 9, 2015

Top 5 Worst Star Trek Character Death Fake-Out’s

Some may remember quite awhile back I did an article on the time’s when Disney “killed” a main character, only to have it be a fake out. The character of course lives. Well, Disney isn’t the only one guilty of this. Star Trek has done it more times than I could count! I was thinking of doing a list of them all, but I’d be here all day. So instead let’s take a look at the one’s that did not work. At all.


When a main character is killed in an episode, you know that it’s not permanent. Unless the actor/actress is leaving the show of course. The death is there for shock value, to show how dangerous the villain is, or even just to pad the episode. And sometimes these death’s are decent scenes and even memorable by serving the plot, advancing the story, and even giving some character growth in rare cases. For instance Scotty dies in the classic episode “The Changeling” but the scene works and Nomad bringing him back is believable and we see just what Nomad is capable of. When Neelix died in Voyager’s “Mortal Coil” not only is his resurrection explained (thanks to Seven of Nine) but the plot is how he’s has major issues dealing with it! It’s one of the better Neelix episodes. And when Picard presumably died in TNG’s “Tapestry” it led to a real good character episode involving Q. There can be all kinds of fake out’s from a dream or fantasy, a hologram, clone, some kind of elaborate deception, or a time travel/alternate history story where the re-set button is pressed.



Sometimes though, the creators can’t come up with a clever way out, and the death is reversed with either a weak as hell excuse or, better yet, no excuse. In some cases it serves such a small part of the show you wonder why the “death” is even in the episode!



Today I present the worst Star Trek death fake out’s. The only rule is this has to be a main character who was pronounced dead and came back to life in the same episode they died in. And the death has to be permanent so no Data, Tripp, Dax, Tasha, or especially Spock’s from TWOK since that wasn’t meant to be a fake out when it happened, and besides it was and still is one of the most moving moments Trek ever produced. And of course this is just my opinion, feel free to disagree.



#5.Chekov in “Spectre of the Gun”
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This comes from the episode “Specter of the Gun” which is a decent episode for season 3. The setup is that Morgan Earp catches Chekov with his girl, and basically guns him down. There’s more it than that but that’s the basics. It’s actually a very powerful death scene and handled very well! It isn’t forgotten we see Kirk and crew dealing with it in the next scene. Why do I count it as one of the worst? Because there is no explanation for how and why Chekov is alive again! They just return to the ship, and he’s all alive and well. When I was a kid that confused the hell out of me, and now I still don’t get it. They kind of hint that it was because Chekov didn’t believe what was happening, except the Melkotians made it clear that if they died, they were really dead! Maybe they restored him to life but this is never stated.


March 7, 2015

Special TV-The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited (2004)

Yeah, been a while since I did one of these. I haven’t come up with any new specials to talk about. Then I remembered this little treat from about ten years ago. I wanted to talk about it because it’s a fantastic example of how an idea can sound fantastic and can’t miss….only to end up failing HARD.



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The Dick Van Dyke Show ran from 1961 til 1966. It was a major hit and is still adored in re-runs to this day. Many years later, creator Carl Reiner came up with an idea for a reunion. He got the surviving cast to do it, and it premiered on CBS in 2004. So was it a good idea, or a bad one?


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March 3, 2015

Top 6 Favorite Leonard Nimoy Moments (Outside Star Trek)

I was as sad as everyone to hear that Leonard Nimoy passed away. He has been one of my favorite actors/directors for quite awhile. I decided I didn’t want to do a rushed “random thoughts” on it, I needed something more special. So that’s what we have today. I adored his character of Spock in the Star Trek TV series plus all six movies (and the Next Gen episode…and yes the reboot movie too!).


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So while I could share posts of Spock’s great moments, the truth is I have done that a lot in other articles. And besides I could do 20 Spock moments and not come close to covering them all.


So I decided the best tribute would be to focus on his other work. His non-Star Trek roles where he showed he really was more than just Mr.Spock. Some he played a character (like in the sitcom Becker) and others he was himself (like when he hosted the Nickelodeon show “Standby:Lights, Camera, Action” which I watched as a kid). Of course he was also a damn good director (Three Men and a Baby) but I am sticking to his on screen/voice work.


Here are my favorite Leonard Nimoy moments outside Star Trek



#6.The Ballad of BilboBaggins
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I had to mention this odd project he worked on for some reason, that was a song. Yep, he recorded the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. It’s…curious as Spock would say. But it’s fun to watch Nimoy in his prime having fun. I think that it really sums up the guy as an actor. Not much else to say, check it out HERE



March 1, 2015

Top 5 Elvis Songs I Just Love–When Not Sung by Elvis!

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Elvis Presley was the King of Rock and Roll. Not only did he come out with some major hits, he made movies too. Actually he made lots of movies, I didn’t even realize how many until I looked it up (30! No kidding!!). He has been parodied and homaged dozens and dozens of times with people acting and dressing like him and pretending to be him. For years there were Elvis sightings and people still connect him with Las Vegas and flock to his home in Graceland to see where he lived. He sadly passed away in 1977 but left behind and enduring legacy as an icon and is loved and adored by millions…but I am not one of them. 



I never liked his music. I don’t get it, why did women faint at the site of this guy? Don’t get me wrong he was talented and all, but I mostly find his songs annoying. Just something about his voice does not work for me, and I don’t care how much is moves is pelvis. In fact I have found that the only time I love his songs is when someone else sings them. And that’s what I want to discuss today.


Here are five covers of Elvis songs that I prefer over the more familiar and/or classic Elvis version.



#5. In The Ghetto by The Cranberries

I don’t know if this is one his biggest hits but it’s OK when he sings it. But what I really prefer is the cover done by The Cranberries. That soft female voice just works a lot better than Elvis’s. She actually makes the song work for me. Of you want to hear it, here is a clip here. Not sure if this was made for the film “The Outsiders” but the clip has images from that in it. See it HERE