PavCo Multimedia Synergistics Weblog

November 21, 2008

Smallville Spoiler Image/Title

Filed under: Comics,Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 11:26 am
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Okay, comic book fans.  Here’s a spoiler image from the January 15 episode of Smallville that, if you’re a long-time DC Geek like I am, will get your heart aflutter.

I can’t even tell you the title of the episode, since that’s as much a spoiler as the picture, but if you drag over the blank between the quotes, you’ll see that it’s “Legion“.

Smallville January 15 Spoiler

TV Cancellations

This morning, in blogging the new version of Cupid, I observed that the show probably wouldn’t last, since it’s hard to keep such shows on tv for long.  (The video is now working in that post, btw).

This afternoon bore out my pessimism in general; two of the more original and distinctive shows to debut in the 2007/2008 strike-shortened season, Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone, were cancelled today, along with Dirty Sexy Money.  All three will finish out their original 13-episode orders for this season, but won’t make any additional episodes.  Hopefully, the networks will air all of those episodes, and not wait to feature them on DVD collections.

Daisies, while visually stimulating and wittily written, was easily predictable as having a short life expectancy; it lived and died on its frenetic pace, something that wasn’t really sustainable long term. The creators have said that the storyline will finish up in comic book form (probably from corporate siblings DC Comics or Wildstorm), which is actually somewhat fitting, since the show was previewed in comic book form at the 2007 San Diego Comic Book Convention.

I’m more disappointed by the demise of Eli Stone, a quirky, fun series which was more-or-less a conventional legal comedy/drama (think LA Law), with a weekly musical number and an aneuryism-induced vision or two thrown in to keep it interesting.  With good, sometimes subtle performances by Jonny Lee Miller (the first Mr. Angelina Jolie), Victor Garber, Natasha Henstridge, and Julie Gonzalo, this one had a good chance of staying around for quite some time.  Too bad it won’t get the chance.

I also watch Dirty Sexy Money, but it’s more of a guilty pleasure.  I’ll miss it, but not in the same way as the other two, and not for as long.

November 20, 2008

Cupid Trailer

I was skeptical when they said that Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) was going to remake his classic (well, to me, anyway) tv show, Cupid, the first version of which was a short-lived showcase for Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, but the trailer below makes it look like it could be fun.  Bobby Cannavale doesn’t mimic are Piven; there are similarities, but enough differences that it isn’t a ripoff.

I don’t give it long on-air, though; there just seems to be trouble keeping shows like this alive for long.

Cupid – Remake Trailer (ABC)

July 29, 2008

Catch-Up Movie Reviews

I hadn’t realized how long it’s been since I blogged, but I had a message sitting in my draft folder with the titles of a number of movies that I saw this summer that had titles of movies I needed to review.  I know there were a few more that I hadn’t added to that list, but here are one-sentence reviews for all of them, for your reference when they hit cable or DVD.

Hancock.  This superhero vehicle starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, and Jason Bateman starts out as the relatively light “screw up makes good” movie that’s on display in the trailers, but about halfway through, it veers off in an unexpected direction (which I usually love), which has some interesting potential but is so poorly explained and confoundingly executed that it drags the movie down, ultimately making it a forgetable entry in the summer superhero sweepstakes, rather than the upstart it could have been.

Journey to the Center of the Earth – 3D.  Brendan Fraser, as an even blander version of his Mummy character, in a movie which, to its credit, acknowledges its heavy debt to Verne’s novel, and is saved somewhat by a good nature and eye-popping 3D effects.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.  The wisecracking, cigar chomping demi-demon is back, this time trying to stop a seriously hacked off elf from taking command of an ancient, unstoppable army.

Mama Mia.  The infectious stage musical featuring almost all of ABBA’s best-known songs is translated to the screen in a fun, frothy musical, with gorgeous scenery and some gorgeous singing (Amanda Seyfried), some passable singing (Meryl Streep), and some singing that should have been left unsung (I’m lookin’ at you, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard).

The Dark Knight.  The second installment in Christopher Nolan’s reinvention of the Batman franchise is everything that it’s been cracked up to be in the press, and easily the summer’s most satisfying comic book adaption, thanks to solid performances by Christian Bale, Maggie Gyllenhall, and Aaron Eckhardt, and the chilling, outside of the box interpretation of the Joker by the late Heath Ledger.

X-Files: I Want to Believe.  A longer episode of the tv show, with good performances by Amanda Peet as an FBI agent, who brings back Scully and Mulder (Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny) to investigate a defrocked priest (Billy Connolly) who’s having visions that may or may not have bearing on the disappearance of a number of young woman in the wintry northeast, this one is not enslaved to the show’s intricate mythology, which makes it more accessible than the first movie.

Tropic Thunder.  This rollicking, fun movie starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. as archetypal Hollywood types (the action star, the fart comedian, and the way-too-method actor) who find themselves stranded in the middle of an Asian drug operation, thinking that it’s part of the movie they’re making, is stolen by a near-unrecognizable Tom Cruise as an over-the-top agent.

June 16, 2008

Movie Review – The Incredible Hulk

Hi, gang. I’m back, and hope to put up a number of posts tonight to catch up on some of the things I’ve been archiving for the last week or so.

Up first is a review of the latest of the superhero movies for the summer, The Incredible Hulk. I’ve got to start off with something of a confession; I’ve never seen Ang Lee’s version of Hulk, starring Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, and Sam Shepard. I’ve never been a huge Hulk fan, except for a relatively brief time when the comics were being written by my then-favorite writer, Peter David, and the movie was so largely panned, I never got around to seeing it.

It doesn’t much matter, of course, as that effort covered the basics of the Hulk legend: Bruce Banner, a research scientist, is accidently exposed to massive levels of gamma radiation, transforming him into a seven-foot tall, rampaging monster when he gets too excited (usually in anger). The new movie covers this ground under the credits, in addition to his romance with fellow researcher Betty Ross, and the relentless pursuit of Banner’s alter-ego by Betty’s father, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross.

This movie opens some time after the end of the first, with Banner living underground and doing scut work in a factory in South America. He’s living under cover, learning martial arts as a way of controlling his body to keep the Hulk at bay. When the Gen. Ross discovers his whereabouts, he sends in a specialized hit squad led by Emil Blonsky in to capture Banner. Upon his eventual return to the United States, Banner is reunited with Betty, and forced to fight not only Ross and his squad, but also a newer, bigger foe, known as the Abomination.

The cast of the movie is very good, with Edward Norton and Liv Tyler providing repressed emotion and soulful glances as Bruce and Betty. Norton in particular seems to withdraw into himself, portraying the effort of keeping his emotions and, with them, the Hulk, inside. William Hurt appears more imposing than he usually does, with a bull’s neck poking out from his military uniform and his chin jutting imperiously. Tim Roth, as Emil Blonsky, offers an alternate form of contained aggression. The special effects are good. The Hulk looks more realistic than what little bit I saw of him in clips of the earlier film, and the Abomination matches him for power. The story, such as it is, is basic, and doesn’t really advance the overall storyline in particular, other than providing Hulk with a worthy adversary.

All in all, it’s an okay summer movie. It wasn’t a waste of time or money, but it won’t be among my favorites (I hope) by the time Autumn rolls around.

 

 

 
The 300 Project: 4/112

May 31, 2008

Lost Videos

Filed under: Entertainment,TV — CPav @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ve had this sitting in my Google Notebook for a couple weeks. This video, courtesy of YouTube user lostuncut takes the opening theme music and style of Battlestar Galactica and plugs in video and credits for Lost.

Probably only amusing for fans of both shows, but funny for those of us in that category.

And, for those who are still trying to figure out how all the flash-forwards on Lost fit together, here’s a video that puts them in chronological order:

 
 
 
The 300 Project: 31/106

May 23, 2008

Passing the Hat

This is the hundredth post of the the year for this blog, and takes me 1/3 of the way to my goal for the year. In thinking about it, I’ve been juggling a number of potential subjects for this post, from an official statement of who I’m supporting for in the Presidential race (for those of you blind squirrels that still haven’t found that particular nut) to a comment on Senator Clinton’s “assassination” comment today (or, more to the point, the commentators’ obsession over it), to those three movie reviews that I keep promising (for movies which, let’s face it, aren’t even showing any more).

But I figured I’d go back to the basics, and the reason that I started the mailing list which became this blog all those years ago.

Before the advent of videotape and dvds, before cable tv, I spent one teenaged summer in the dark of the movie theater, repeatedly watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first in a trilogy of action movies created by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford as the globetrotting archaeologist Indiana Jones. All told, I saw Raiders thirteen times though, interestingly, I don’t know that I’ve sat down and watched it in its entirety since.

So it is that I’ve been waiting in great anticipation for this week’s debut of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I’m man enough to admit that when I first saw the trailer, I teared up a bit. But after that first trailer, I tried not to see the additional ads, tried to avoid spoilers and summaries and reviews. I wanted to go into it with some of the same unknowns that I had when first I saw Raiders more than a quarter century ago.

I took the kids to a late show last night. I was ready to enjoy it, but braced myself to be disappointed. Though I hadn’t read any reviews, I could tell by the headlines that they were coming across as mixed. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t be forced by my basic honesty (yep, imagine that: a basically honest politician) to join the mixed bunch.

I wasn’t.

The movie starts off with the now-traditional fade-in from the Paramount mountain logo to some sort of mountain in the setting of the movie (in Temple of Doom, it was an engraving on a gong), and we’re off to the races. Ford’s Dr. Jones doesn’t show up for a few minutes, and in my opinion, his first appearance was mishandled by the usually sure-handed Spielberg, but that’s quickly forgotten, as Jones and a comrade face down a group of Russian soldiers (led by Cate Blanchett’s Dr. Colonel Irina Spalko), looking for a particular crate housed in a government warehouse. (No, not that crate)

It’s 1957, and Jones finds himself caught up in the Red Scare, attempting to elude both the FBI and the Russians, and doing so for the most part, aided by Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf), a Brando-esque young man (think Wild Bunch Brando, not mummu-wearing Brando) whose mother has sent him to Jones for help.

Before long, Jones and Williams are off to South America, where they battle natives, Russians, and the obligatory swarm of creepy crawly critters, and reunite with mutual loved ones (in the form of John Hurt’s “Ox” Oxley and Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood). Everything speeds forward with the breakneck pace that’s expected of an Indiana Jones movie (and the slew of imitators that followed), before wrapping up in the de rigeur pyrotechnic spectacle.

There is much that is largely familiar about Crystal Skull, and that’s fitting for an Indian Jones movie. The originals harkened back to the Saturday morning serials of the 30s and 40s, and this movie harkens back to the earlier ones, as well as other Spielberg and Lucas movies. Those so inclined will pick apart this movie and point to specific scenes from earlier films and say “well, this is a ripoff of that Raiders scene”, or “That one was done in Empire Strikes Back, without acknowledging that the scene in Raiders owed a debt to Flash Gordon and Empire was only doing what Stagecoach did thirty years earlier. Nineteen years has passed since the last movie (the same amount of time that has passed in real life), and as a nod to the times, Crystal Skull has undertones of early Sci Fi (Indy was brought in to consult on the Roswell incident), as well as the more overt Red Scare references.

A couple of scenes push the envelope of suspension of disbelief (Mutt and the monkeys), and ever-so-briefly strain the audience’s good will, but by and large, the movie is a rousing thrill ride, and serves to possibly pass the fedora to a new generation of adventurer. I started off the movie with an ear-to-ear grin, and it didn’t leave my face for hours after.

The 300 Project: 25/100

May 22, 2008

Keeping Up With Jones

Filed under: Entertainment,Movies,trivia — CPav @ 6:37 am
Tags: , , ,

Yeah, I know, I didn’t get the posts up I expected to last weekend; Sunday (and the days that followed) turned out to be even busier than I expected. In the meantime, to celebrate the return of Indiana Jones, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an interactive Indy quiz.

Take it here.

The 300 Project: 24/99

May 5, 2008

Indiana Jones Trailer

I didn’t have the latest Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull trailer available when I posted my summer movie preview last night, but it’s online now, so here it is in all its glory.

The 300 Project: 20/95

Cappies Award Nominees

Filed under: Entertainment,Theater — CPav @ 9:28 am
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We here at PavCo Multimedia Synergistics would like to offer our sincerest congratulations to the Lafayette High School students that were nominated for 2008 St. Louis Cappies Awards, honoring the best in St. Louis High School Theater.

All nominations were for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the only Lafayette show that was eligible this year.
Best Lead Actor in a Musical: Lucas Klein

Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Allison Krebs

Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Cory Clayman

Best Comic Actress in a Musical: Cassie Michel

Best Comic Actor in a Musical: Chip Pavlack

Best Female Vocalist: Shannon Nicholson

Best Orchestra: Lafayette Pit Orchestra

Best Sound: Ben Leudloff, Chris Pavlack, Lucy Mosier, Justin Baden

Best Makeup: Melissa Berry, Kayla McDermott, Michele Pawlowski

For additional information about the Cappies program around the country, check out the Cappies web site.

The 300 Project: 18/93

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