Heroes Finale – Commercial Break Live Review

8:06 – First Commercial – It’s nice to see some of the pilot footage again, and it was nicely put together with recent footage. The little girl with Parkman and the others seems like an odd late addition to the season, I’m hoping she pays off. And, yeah, why didn’t what’s-his-name allow the bullet to phase?!

8:15 – Second Commercial – Will someone explode already?! And I was sure that Nathan in the parking garage with Sylar for a minute there. Also, I like the Peter character, but the actor is starting to get on my nerves. So earnest – all the freakin’ time! Maybe one of his powers should be to lighten up a little. And where’s all the cheerleader outfits?!

8:26 – Third Commercial – So the little girl sees “next season’s even worst villain” people? The old black guy is a nice look back, and I was all ready to dismiss the scene as convoluted back story until the “I know you’re there, Peter” thing. That was nice. Note to Peter – get a haircut or a scrunchy or something, but get those damn bangs outa your eyes! How you gonna save a world you can’t even see?! Yeesh!

8:37 – Fourth Commercial – “What would I want with your brain?!” Hee-hee-hee… Seriously, that was more funny than menacing. Also, enough “boogie man” verbage from the little girl, please! It just smacks of trying too hard. And Hayden, I love ya, but the dramatic monologues might not be your strong suit. But the jumping out the window bit? Very nice!

8:50 – Fifth Commercial – Nice cat-fight opening, but I’m sick to death of Micah and DL. The Hiro/Ando “you look bad ass” line was absolutely fantastic. Those two characters are the complete soul of the show as far as I’m concerned. Looks like the last 10 minutes are gonna be the showdown I’ve predicted/waited for for half of the season. Bring it on, Kring, and don’t disappoint me.

9:01 – Ending – NICE opening lines from both Sylar and Peter. The Hiro killing Sylar thing was kinda of weak; I mean, Sylar’s this badass and then he’s very slowly taken by surprise? But I’ll give them a pass. The Nathan flying off with Peter ending? So-so. And did he need Nathan for that? OK, so Sylar’s not dead I guess – ho-hum. I expected better. Liked the “end of volume one” thing, and the Hiro in the past looks fun. Will the second season be any good? We’ll see.

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Spider-Man 3 – Review

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I saw Spidey 3 last night; at the Imax no less.

First things first, everything I’d heard about the Sandman effects are true and then some. Wow, wow, and wow. Honestly, the scene where he first reforms himself is oddly beautiful.

The action scenes are all tour de forces, the story felt like a good logical move forward from the last two films, and all of the acting is very good. Even small parts are given their chance to shimmer. (I’m looking at you, Mageina Tovah.)

But for all the spectacle, humor and pathos, you can’t help but get the feeling that Raimi indulged himself occasionally to the detriment of other plot elements.

Example: An extensive odd dance number where Peter rubs Gwen Stacy in MJ’s face lasts far too long, while Harry accepting his father’s death suffers from quick inattention, and a poor monologue/plot device to boot.

As a Spidey fan, of course I was excited about the inclusion of Gwen Stacy and Venom, but to be perfectly honest, neither were really necessary to the plot. My impression is that someone pushed for them, and Raimi acquiessed to a) please management, and, b) avoid a lesser director mucking about with them later. (Of course I could be wrong, but I seem to remember an online video of Avi Arad talking about convincing Raimi to include Venom.)

All of this being said, it is a really fun movie, and while lacking a final polish, is still better than 90% of the genre being ground out these days. It did not, however, manage to crack my top three superhero flick list:

1) Spider-Man 2

2) Batman (1989)

3) The Incredibles, tied with any Michelle Pfeiffer scene in Batman Returns

Go check it out in the theater; it’s worth it.

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“Your Dependable Hollywood Quote Whore”


I ran across a fun movie review site the other day which describes itself thusly:

We at The Weekly Blurb believe that every film, no matter how good or bad, deserves a blurb – a nice, punchy, positive bit of praise that can be pulled out here and pasted in your movie’s advertising.

Why do they do this?

We don’t know. Maybe it’s some desperate need for attention, a strange cumpulsion to see our words in print. We’re not sure. We’re trying to figure it out. All we know is that if you have a movie, we want to be Your Dependable Hollywood Quote Whore.

I loved their review of Disney’s The Wild (which garnered 7-1/4 stars BTW). Here’s a taste:

The Wild is the debut film for director Steve “Spaz” Williams; and folks, it’s just the kind of comedy you’d expect from a guy named “Spaz!” A madcap assortment of crazy cut-ups live in New York City, and boy, is it ever a zoo-because they’re animals! Can you imagine? Keifer Sutherland shines as Samson the Lion, leader of a zany pack of animal kingdom wiseacres. Soon enough they must brave the big city and the jungle to rescue one of their friends who’s been shipped off to the wild. It’s a hilarious new twist on last year’s increda-hit Madagascar, and there’s even a bunch of zany penguins! Everyone knows you just can’t have a funny animal-ation movie without penguins!

See some movie cartoons at Andertoons

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“‘Li’l Folks’ – Charles M. Schulz: Li’l Beginnings” – Review

I think I first ran across this book over at Robot Johnny and ordered it without closing the laptop.

Printed by the Schulz Museum and lovingly edited by Derrick Bang, ‘Li’l Folks’ – Charles M. Schulz: Li’l Beginnings is a treasure not only for fans of Peanuts, but gag cartoon fans as well.

Few are aware of Schulz’ years of gag work (he sold 17 to The Saturday Evening Post) for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but thanks to Bang and company this collection of previously largely ignored work is now easily accessible and a fascinating read.

The entire Li’l Folks run of 1947-1950 is presented exactly as they appeared in the newspaper, occasional missing eyes and all, and Schulz’ gentle sophisticated humor is blossoming. As good as the cartoons are, however, the editor’s annotations really make this volume shine; commenting on influences, characters, gags that found their way into Peanuts, and other fun asides with a zeal that is astounding.

My only wish would be for this remarkable piece to be rereleased in hardcover.

Please grab a copy while they’re still available.

“Constantine” – Review

Before The Matrix (and after The Matrix Reloaded) my movie mantra was simple — no Keanu Reeves.

But, because I know you all depend on me for the straight dope re: comic book films, I subjected myself to Constantine. (The reviewer has asked for donations in lieu of flowers.)

Rachel Weisz plays a detective searching for the reason behind her twin sister’s apparent suicide. Reeves’ character shows up, visits her sister in Hell, drowns the detective, and tries to figure out why he’s been attacked by an anthropomorphic swarm of insects.

If this thing were mashed potatoes, it’d include The Exorcist, Hellboy and some Grade C film noir spuds mixed so long that they become gluey and inedible.

There’s a lot of ominous whispering and nervous glancing, but not much else. The one plot twist is so obviously foreshadowed that by the end its really a plot turn of no more than three (+/- 2) degrees. I did however enjoy many of the scenes’ compositions, but neat camera angles can only get you so far.

I’ve never read the source material (although by default it must be better than the movie), and I don’t think I’ll be getting around to it soon. As for future Reeves comic book films, you guys are on your own.

(This film rated a YHGTBKM rating of 3-1/3 Margie heads and numerous utterings of “Ick!”.)