Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Eye Spy″ (spoilers!)

Because two exclamation points are better than one. © ABC/Marvel Studios
Because two exclamation points are better than one. © ABC/Marvel Studios

‘Ware the spoilers for this commentary on the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., now available to watch on the official website. Continue reading “Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Eye Spy″ (spoilers!)”

Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Asset″ (spoilers!)

This screenshot summarizes what's awesome about Joss Whedon's aesthetic.
This screenshot summarizes what’s awesome about Joss Whedon’s aesthetic. © ABC/Marvel Studios

Lots of spoilers ahead for this commentary on the third episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., now available to watch on the ABC website. Continue reading “Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Asset″ (spoilers!)”

Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “0-8-4” (spoilers!)

Agent Melinda May is having none of this bullshit. © ABC/Marvel Studios
Agent Melinda May is having none of this bullshit. © ABC/Marvel Studios

Care for a spoilery place to talk about the second episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., now available to watch on the ABC website? Click on through! Continue reading “Around the Water Cooler: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “0-8-4” (spoilers!)”

Trisha’s Take: “Star Trek Continues: Pilgrim of Eternity” review

Star Trek Continues Pilgrim of EternityStar Trek Continues – “Pilgrim of Eternity”

Directed by Vic Mignogna
Written by Steve Fratt and Jack Trevino
Story by Vic Mignogna and Jack Marshall
Starring Vic Mignogna, Todd Haberkorn, Larry Nemeck, Chris Doohan, Grant Imahara, and featuring Michael Forrest
Rating: This series is suitable for all-ages.

As a bit of a disclaimer, I was never really into the Star Trek franchise as a young geek. The Original Series was long gone before I was born, and since my parents aren’t into fiction that strays too far from reality, I didn’t watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation” with my parents, like many of my fellow geeks did with theirs. Therefore, when I heard that anime voice actor Vic Mignogna was involved with a project to continue the original serial, I didn’t think too much of the project at first.

At the same time, this is the same Vic Mignogna who produced his own fan-film for Fullmetal Alchemist titled “Fullmetal Fantasy” where he dreams that after receiving a replica State Alchemist pocket watch, he has transformed into main character Edward Elric and that everyday people around him have been transformed into characters from the series; this is definitely a form of meta-fan service as Mignogna is the English dub voice for Edward Elric. According to Mignogna, there were some legal issues regarding his showing it at anime conventions for a while; this ban seems to have been lifted since the short film has now shown up on Mignogna’s concert DVD.

I believe I saw “Fullmetal Fantasy” within the first year of its debut in either 2004 or 2005, and I remember being impressed with how professional it all looked, even to the point of one of the scenes taking place during a rainstorm, one of the most expensive effects to reproduce for filming. After doing some more research on the production staff of Star Trek Continues and learning that Steve Dengler, philanthro-geek extraordinaire was an executive producer, I knew I had to see at least one full episode. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: “Star Trek Continues: Pilgrim of Eternity” review”

Trisha’s Take: “Not the Messiah” review

Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy

Directed by Aubrey Powell
Written by Eric Idle, John Du Prez
Starring William Ferguson, Rosalind Plowright, Shannon Mercer, Christopher Purves, Eric Idle and featuring the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Special Guests (in order of first appearance): Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes

When I first heard that they were going to be turning Monty Python and the Holy Grail into a Broadway musical, my immediate reaction was to scoff and wonder which idiot it was who thought it up. Imagine my chagrin when I learned that the “idiot” was original Monty Python cast member Eric Idle, he who was responsible for writing and performing many of their more popular songs, including “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and (my favorite)“Penis Song (Not the Noel Coward Song).”

I never got to see Spamalot in its original run, but considering that it was nominated for 14 Tony Awards, won the Best Musical Award in 2005, and got some very good reviews, you can imagine why I didn’t hesitate to press play when I learned that the performance of an oratorio written by Idle and John Du Prez, his Spamalot collaborator, was streaming on Netflix.

Based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian and called “Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy,” this particular production was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the creation of the TV series. For those of you who aren’t British or Anglophiles but are Doctor Who fans, you’ll know this place as the one where they held a two different concerts featuring music from the series and featured an original video in 2008 starring 10th Doctor David Tennant and hosted by Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) in 2010. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: “Not the Messiah” review”

Trisha’s Video Series of the Day: Brotherhood 2.0

One of the things that is the source of the Internet’s greatest power is the rabbit hole effect, wherein when you’re looking at one thing, you click a link, see something else, maybe do a search, and then end up at a totally awesome thing that you’ve never seen before.

For me, the rabbit hole began while watching Part 6 in the “Let’s Play” of Cursed Crusade from Loading Ready Run and then heading over to the comments on the forum post, which lead to the “Crash Course” episode on The Crusades, and from there I started to wonder how and why John Green got to be so funny, which lead to finding out about the 2007 web project he conducted with his brother Hank called Brotherhood 2.0.

See, brothers John and Hank Green decided that they conversed entirely too much by text (emails, IMs, text messages, etc.) and for a whole year decided that they would only communicate in means which didn’t involve text and/or written words. This meant that for a year, one brother would upload a video to the shared YouTube channel vlogbrothers talking about his day and the next day, the other brother would reply. (There were also phone calls and possibly in-person meetings as well, but that’s not germane to the thesis of the project.) There were punishments involved for violating the rules/concepts for the project which would also be captured on video and uploaded to the channel. There are two playlists of videos on the channel for the initial project and several more concerning the side projects and what happened when the brothers decided to continue doing the vlog (Oh, God, I hate that word so much).

One of the reasons why I’m drawn to Brotherhood 2.0 is that it’s a glorious collaboration between two witty people, another is how quickly things scale all the way up to dangerously silly. So far, I’ve only seen 25 of the 200 videos from the first part of 2007, and my favorite moments so far include the improvised songs (because I do that to make my boyfriend laugh all the time) and seeing the brothers interact with the world around them in their intros. Also, the “In your pants” game is one that I’m definitely going to have to play with our current library.

I can’t recall when I started watching these, but I can definitely tell you that this is one series that I’m going to be watching for quite some time.

Trisha’s Take: Footloose review


Directed by Craig Brewer
Starring Kenny Womald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Miles Teller
Rating: Not Available at time of Review

When I first heard almost two years ago that Paramount Pictures was going to produce a remake of the cult Kevin Bacon dance movie Footloose, that it wouldn’t have elaborate dance sequences, and that it would be an “edgier drama” than the original or the musical based off of it, I said that they were off their rocker:

Remember a little movie musical called West Side Story? You know, that one that’s based off of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and won 10 Academy Awards, including the one for Best Picture?

Well, that movie had racial discrimination, gang violence, death by knife, and a near-rape scene and yet also features some of the most elaborate and most demanding choreography ever seen on film, thanks to director Jerome Robbins and his cast of mostly Broadway veterans.

At the same time, however, I like to keep in mind that while yes, there really are very few original plots out there—and way too many tropes—as Multiplex creator Gordon McAlpin recently put it, a good movie is all in how it’s executed.

By the by, there will be plenty of spoilers for the plot of the original Footloose movie in this review; it’s been 27 years since it came out, for crying out loud. However, I will try like hell not to spoil exactly how the remake does things because I want you to be as pleasantly surprised as I was when I saw it. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: Footloose review”

Geekly Speaking About… “Top Gear USA” Episode 3

Adam Ferrara attempts to jump a $1,000 used Cadillac over a ramp

Thanks to a recent bout of insomnia, I finally finished leveling out and editing the second of the two audio podcasts that Kara Dennison and I recorded while we reviewed the first three episodes of “Top Gear USA.”

The reason why I had to do a lot of editing work on this one is that while the audio tracks for Kara and myself were just fine, the one for our our special guest amateur autocross racer Rob Lantz was considerably quieter, and so I had to splice out and amplify almost every part where he was speaking.

Originally recorded live on December 5, 2010, I hope you enjoy this blast from the “Geekly Speaking About…” past:

Luckily, “Top Gear USA” has been renewed for a second season, so there’s a chance we could do another podcast like this again to see how it has improved over the first episodes of its inaugural season. If you’d like to download the audio, you can do so by going to our page at TalkShoe. And despite all the audio problems, it really was fun doing this, and I hope to be able to do more live podcasts soon.

Trisha’s Video of the Day: “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit”

Never let it be said that 1990s heartthrob Luke Perry (Dylan from “90210”) doesn’t have a sense of humor about himself:

Luke Perry thinks his house is haunted in "Paranormal Factivity" (c) NBC/Universal

[Note: I had previously embedded the episode in question here, but thanks to NBC and its penchant for creating pop-ups when you embed their videos, I’ve decided against it. Please click the image above if you’d like to view the video on their own site.]

Based on an original short from 2008, “FCU: Fact Checkers Unit” stars Brian Sacca and Peter Karinen as fact-checkers for a fictional magazine. The series got a second life on the NBC Internet portal as an advertorial for the Samsung Galaxy S, but please… don’t let that put you off from enjoying it. What I like about FCU is that it seems to take itself seriously and not-seriously at the same time. I really appreciate how in the videos, it establishes the personalities of some of the magazine staff as well as lets the guest star shine in an extended bit.

The part about the Galaxy S being able to record a whole night’s worth of video and audio? That could probably be something for the gang at “Mythbusters” to investigate.

Trisha’s Take: Midnight in Paris review

Midnight in Paris

Directed (and written) by Woody Allen
Starring Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Rachel McAdams, and more
Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and smoking

When I revealed earlier in the evening that I’d never seen an entire Woody Allen film, no less than five different people from all across the country (and Puerto Rico) and spanning in ages from younger than me to older than me were in shock. How is it that I, as a transplanted New Yorker, have never seen Annie Hall? Or Hannah and Her Sisters? Or even Mighty Aphrodite or Deconstructing Harry?

Believe me, I’ve wanted to. Back when I first moved to the East Coast, I rented Annie Hall on Netflix, and couldn’t finish it. My reaction at the time was this:

How am I supposed to cheer for Alvy Singer, a neurotic man who constantly puts down his lovers? He’s upset with his second wife for being so into intellectuals, and yet tries to get Annie to take college courses to become one.

However, I am not one to let one bad impression of a movie that came out the same year I was born keep me from seeing what writer/director Woody Allen brought with him to this year’s Cannes Film Festival. And unlike L.A. Times critic Kenneth Turan (whose review I accessed yesterday but is dated with today’s date) who deliberately was coy with the details of the plot, I’m afraid I have to let loose with a ton of spoilers. Continue reading “Trisha’s Take: Midnight in Paris review”