Tuesday, July 27

Brad Garrett Week

Saturday morning we had Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) providing a guest voice spot on Disney Channel's Agent Oso (About a spy bear) but Brad always provides voiceovers (he did Fatso in Casper). He also appeared tonight on Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List as a former TGIFridays worker and helps out Kathy's tour manager Tom.

Michael leaving The Office is A-Okay with Me

I haven't mention this and it has been a while, but I think it is a good thing that Steve Carrell is leaving the Office because Michael Scott as a character is played out. I hate how more petty he has gotten, he never learned his lessons, as long as he leaves with Holly, his story line can be completed. As for the show loosing its flair after he leaves, I think it is fine, because it is not like "That 70's Show" when Eric left or "Happy Days" when that dude left. This show is different, Jim and Pam are the heart.

Sunday, July 25

Jane Lynch as Sam's Mom in iCarly

As much as I love Jane Lynch, I think casting her as Sam's fabled unemployed and rancid mother is not the greatest idea. Jane has played plenty of villains and rude people, most of them posh but now she is playing a white trash mother. I think she may over-do it, even from this picture, it looks like it is going to be real rough between Sam and her mother. We never seen Sam's mom before but we hear plenty about her. This episodes is said to air in the Fall, most likely we won't be seeing her much after this episode because her commitment to Glee. She is a big get. While I am on the subject of iCarly, in an upcoming episode "i Get a Hot Room," I think we NEVER seen Carly's room before!

Update: The episode will premiere Sept 11 2010.

Tuesday, July 20

Doesn't Oksana look like Nadya?

Oksana Grigorieva, I didn't even know Mel Gibson had a girlfriend or a young kid. I only became aware of her when Gibson did what he did. Anyhoo, I thought he was with Nadya Suleman, best known as Octomom.

Sunday, July 18

Defending the Nick and Disney Kid Shows

I am a sub teacher now and I have a nephew and he watches he likes Nick and Disney. The kids too like it, and I feel like I know what they are talking about. Many people just regard these following shows as kid shows and have no good writing but here are some of my thoughts.

The Good Ones:
iCarly (Nick)
One of the best shows recently from Nick. When I was a kid, the biggest shows on Nick at that time was The Secret World of Alex Mack, Clarissa Explains It All, etc. This show at first look is obnoxious but in fact, it is pretty clever. It is about a teenage girl that does a webshow from her artistic brother's apartment with two friends. It was real great writing. Some of my friends say that Carly as a character is bland and the thing to watch is his brother Spencer. Negatives: The villain in early episodes was a web-blogger named Nevel who was effeminate and wasn't stated was gay but was clearly a gay villain; also there was these two opposing 'pet-ographers' who were clearly gay. I don't like how it is showing that femininity in males is a bad thing or a thing to oppose or make fun of. As always, the interactions between teachers, principal and students is not 'real' enough.

Sonny With a Chance (Disney)
When I first saw an episode, I thought it was obnoxious and didn't understand the premise. It is about a girl named Sonny joining her favorite sketch show ala "All That," the show is done by the guy who wrote for "All That." They film next to a drama like Drawson's Creek called Mckenzie Falls and the star falls for Sonny. Anyhoo, many regard the show as a variety showcase as it has comedy, drama and singing. But I like the writing, it is witty and original, especially the episode about originality and 'dabbling.' And the sketch "The Real princesses of New Jersey." It is genuinely funny. Negatives: The acting sometimes can be a turn-off and also the fart jokes (yet Gassie is a veiled parody of fart joke sketches) and the duo of Nico and Grady sometimes are annoying.

Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney)
Easily regarded as a Harry Potter-rip-off but the show has its own mythology: A sister and two brothers, have to compete to see who will be the 'family wizard' and keep the powers. The show is applauded to be a mixed-race family, Italians and Mexicans. I thought that since they live in New York, their mother would be Puerto Rican but it is refreshing they didn't go with a cliche. Alex (Selena Gomez) as a character can be a bit much, annoying in her scheming ways. And when Max was younger, he was irritating, his acting has gotten better. The real attraction is Harper, a true friend and creative dress maker. Negatives: Some of the crappy effects. In the episode where both Justin and Alex loose their werewolf boyfriend and vampire girlfriend, the set is pretty lame. And one time they were hunting monsters and the monsters were lamer than anything on Sci-Fi channel. Also in one episode, they made us sympathetic to a wizard that is a lot like Alex but then is found out to be 'evil' so she is turned to ice and is broken into little pieces---which no one bats an eye or cares about to the fact that they killed a human.

The Troop (Nick)
I have reviewed this show before. Teenage monster hunters. It can be a bit redundant but it has its quirks. Not overtly original but it is a nice successor to Are You Afraid of the Dark and The Secret World of Alec Mack. Negatives: The obnoxious sister, some of the boring plots.

Here are the bad shows:
Victorious (Nick)
Utter crap. I am so tired of seeing the face of Victoria Justice. She can barely act and for a show about creative people, it is not awfully creative. The actress playing her sister is a fat face annoying person (maybe its the bad writing for her or her acting). Positives: She's Hispanic?

Good Luck Charlie (Disney)
An awful run-of-the-mill family sitcom, there is nothing special about this trash. It is an utter waste of the actress who played Justin's girlfriend in Wizards. This probably is a vehicle for both her and that guy playing her brother, the girl has promise. The actress playing her mother should never get hired again, it is sad to see her try to be funny or even act. She isn't very appealing, it puts me off. Positives: None.

Big Time Rush (Nick)
Boy Band show. No smart jokes. Not even funny. Over-exaggerated fluff. Positives: Only one of the guys are remotely cute, the others are not my type at all. One is the token Hispanic but is ugly, one is like James Van Der Beek (suppose to be cute but isn't) and one has awful bangs and sunbaked face.

Hannah Montana (Disney)
Can't stand this show. I have tried to give the show a chance on multiple occasions but it is just awful. The worse part is Miley Cyrus, whose acting is horrendous and annoying. Apparently she thinks shouting her lines is affective. I often like to call the show "Jem for retards." Positives: Girls seems to love it.

Suite Life on Deck (Disney)
I am on the fence about this show. I do watch it. It is semi-entertaining. But it gets old quick. They wedged in the black actor, who was weened in that Tyler Perry show so he clearly knows the sitcom business but his character seems to have no purpose. And the characters 'visit' other countries (via sets or Disney's Epcot Center), but they are filled with stereotypes and nothing new to give. It would have been refreshing if they actually taught kids real facts on these countries.

Wednesday, July 14

Levi Johnston to be Married man?

We didn't know we were still together but they are now engaged. Many wonder if this is a publicity stunt, also that supposedly Sarah didn't even know. “It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her reaction is going to be. Hopefully she will jump on board,” Bristol told the magazine. “I want her to know Levi has grown up and that he is going to be there as a dad.” From Kathy Griffin, we definitely know Levi has a place.

Washington Post

Sunday, July 11

CapriSun's Disrespectoids: Killing Children

For more than a year, Caprisun fruit juice has had an advertisement campaign called The Disrepectoids, in which children disrespect the Caprisun pouch (Respect the Pouch) and become strange objects based on the assault that have done to the juice drink. Each has a unique name and you can play several games on their website. For example, a boy's head is replaced by a Bobble Head replica of his head (below); a boy poked holes in a pouch so he now has holes in his body; a girl becomes an inanimate pogo stick (above); a girl becomes an inanimate replica of herself in balloons in the style of balloon animals; a girl becomes whoopie cushion replica of herself but can still move, see, and speak; a boy becomes a pool toy turtle but with his real head; a boy becomes his dog's chew toy; a girl becomes an inanimate sand statue that breaks away because of the ocean tide. So basically all these kids are dead, except for the boy with the holes, the whoopie cushion girl, and the turtle boy, but they are basically freaks who can barely live now. I am surprised parents haven't complained yet.

Saturday, July 10

Camp Rock 2 Teaching kids about hype

As usual Disney Channel is over-hyping this sequel TV movie, but they are claiming it is the cornerstone of the summer but it will premiere September 3rd. But the album comes out in August and they filmed this last summer. Plus the tour starts July 27th and ends in October. I guess they are holding out on kids. But the summer is over before the end of August. Kids go back to school at the end of August in most of the United States. Maybe they are releasing it late in case kids are in camp and can't see it. All I am saying the date is way too late. Demi Lavato and Joe Jonas might already be broken up by then! With Joe, it only takes 30 seconds.

Friday, July 9

Miami has 'Dream Team' Fever

Well, the biggest news in Basketball is Dwayne Wade, Lebron James and the other guy staying/joining Miami Heat and now being branded as the 'Dream Team.' So Miami won't shut up about it. My dad is excited. It's all over the local news. It all started with the fear that Dwayne Wade was going to leave the Miami Heat and everyone wanted him to stay. Even the Mascot Bernie camped outside of the America Airlines Arena (Triple A) to make Wade stay. And then his friend joined and last night was the big announcement from Lebron James. On the Daily Show, Julianne Moore and John Stewart expressed they wanted Lebron for New York. John even made a joke about Lebron's announcement, saying he might say he's on Team Jacob or is a woman. In the end, Lebron chose the Heat, mainly because he's friend Dwayne is on the team. Now all Miamians are expecting Heat to go to the top now and are unstoppable.

Tuesday, July 6

Rapunzel getting no love for her movie!

I saw the trailer for the upcoming Tangled and it's beautiful animation but scruffy thief Flynn Rider is treated as the main protagonist and Rapunzel is barely seen. This is because Princess and the Frog failed to capture the boys audience. Disney is eagerly trying to capture the attention from boys (hence Cars 2 in some ways). It is very sad that a female protagonist movie has to have a male usurp her role. This will probably lead to Disney fans not considering her a 'real' Disney Princess.

Monday, July 5

Toy Story Trilogy Review

Toy Story
In 1995, the first computer-animated movie was released. I can see this movie over and over again, it is the most original movie to be related to Disney. Pixar, by no question, are better storytellers than the current Disney brood. We all know the story behind the scenes, of Black Friday where they had a badass Woody and the movie almost got canceled (partly because Katenzberg asked for 'more edge') and how it began with the short film "Tin Toy" and it was going to be a TV movie but then get upgraded to movie by Disney. Woody originally was a ventriloquist dummy and Buzz was to be red and more theatrical. In the final project, Woody indeed had some edge. The Plot: Woody is Andy's favorite toy and Buzz Lightyear becomes the new favorite toy. Andy is jealous of Buzz, who isn't aware he is a toy and thinks he is an actual hero. Andy gets Buzz knocked out the window, Andy has no choice to take Woody out with him and Buzz follows them. They end up getting lost and kidnapped by Sid, who threatens to blow them up.

At the point where Buzz is accidentally dropped out of the window, the movie felt a bit alienating but the movie did get pretty good with the emotional stuff where the toys end up in Sid's House. One of my favorite writers Joss Whedon helped with the structure of the movie, the only thing he can remember writing was "Wind the Frog." So they added the frog toy. One idea Joss had was to have Barbie, but Mattel didn't allow it. I liked their reason, that little girls have a vision for how Barbie should be and didn't want to give one solid vision. Joss wanted Barbie to be tough and hero and be like Sarah Connor. The humans do get kind of creepy looking and seeing it 15 years later, the movie does look old, the computer graphics are great but they do look outdated. But I still like the design and style. I saw the movie in the theaters, had the tape and recently got the DVD.

Toy Story 2
Released in 1999, I was already 17 and didn't see the movie in theaters. I did rent the movie and having no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought having Jesse was a bit too tacked on, like adding a female character that looks like the male protagonist but it was a clever story. Woody was from his own franchise, like the Buzz franchise, three toys from the franchise had different stories. Jesse had abandonment issues, Stinky Pete was a jerk--haven't be rejected and never been bought and the horse Bullseye, who is like a dog--loyal and caring. We also got the villain Al (Wayne Knight). Another stroke of genius was to have Kelsey Grammer as the voice of Stinky Pete. Andy had grown up a bit and Woody was convinced to be a collectible because he knew Andy would soon abandon him like Jesse was. I liked how Jesse had some edge, she wasn't easily pushed over. Buzz leads a group of our favorite characters: Potato Head, Hamm and Rex and have a heck of an adventure to get Woody.

I did like how they got to all be outside and far from their house for once, the movie was a bit like the first one where Woody saved Buzz and now Buzz saved Woody, but I think it was different conceptually and structurally. It does make me wonder if the creators had in purpose that the villains of the first two movies: Sid and Al, both male, abuse or do things to toys in different ways. Sid was creative with his toys, he abused some (blowing up a Commander Carl) and mutated some (the Spider Baby). Al was a collector, he left his toys on shelves to collect dust. The only character flaws they had was Sid didn't respect his toys and Al was just greedy (money). The other villain Stinky Pete was conniving, smart and vengeful. One flaw in the movie is how Buzz quickly scoffed at Woody wanting to be a collectible so quickly, it would have helpef to have more context or lines about it.

Toy Story 3
11 years after the sequel and 15 years after the first one, we all know the story how Disney threatened to make their own 3rd movie without Pixar. Pixar blew them out of the water with their concept. A fully realized concept that fits right in with the other two movies with plenty of references to the movies. The beginning dream sequence is a more bloated and elaborate opening where Andy played with his toys in the first movie, with the additions of Buzz, Jesse, Bullseye, Mrs. Potato Head, and three Aliens. Andy has grown up and is plenty cute, he is off to college and hasn't played with his toys for years. He has only kept 11 toys: Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Bullseye, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, and the three aliens (for some reason). I am sure lots of people have seen the movie, and you haven't, you should see because it's great, so I'm going spoil anyway.

Andy is told to put garbage in black garbage bags and stuff to go to college in college box. He puts Woody in his college box and the others in a garbage bag, planning to put it in the attic. He goes to help his little sister and leaves the bag. The attic ladder is closed by accident. The toys are insulted and disappointed they are in the garbage and have no idea he meant to put them in the attic. Mom finds the bag and puts it on the curb. Sid makes a cameo as a garbageman. The toys escape the garbage and go in a box that will go to Sunnyside daycare, Woody tries to deter them but ends up going with them. The daycare seems like paradise, Woody escapes but ends up being taken by a cute little creative girl by the name of Bonnie. The toys soon find out that the daycare is no heaven, they are trashed and abused by pre-school babies and it was all engineered by the Care Bear-like Lotso, who was originally supposed to be in the Tin Toy TV Movie. Lotso has an interesting backstory and is much like Stinky Pete as they are evil toys. Ken doll is a interesting character, as he initially is Lotso's soldier but slowly becomes one of the good guys.

Barbie, even though being Andy's sister Molly's old toy, does stick with the other toys and come through for them. Ken's initial outfit is based on Safari Ken, the producers had found him in Keeping Ken but have not credited the webmaster for it. The webmaster was hoping for tickets to the premiere but who knows if it happened. The movie gets pretty dark and I like it, it is deliciously dark. There is a creepy symbol monkey, which I covered before that I was scared of. The eyes are the freakiest part. Anyway, my 23-year-old nephew told me the movie would make me cry as he did. I started crying at the part where after the toys escape the daycare, end up in a garbage dump and are about to be incinerated in big fire. They all have been through so much and I see these toys, that we have grown to love for 15 years, as a set, inseparable. Lots of people identify with Andy and toys because when the first movie came out, those kids that saw it, are now college age, much like the real life voice actor, John Morris, was 8 when the first movie was recorded and is now 25, he has provided the voice for all 3 movies. The ending is very touching as Andy says goodbye to his toys and there is a happy ending, albeit bittersweet.

Sunday, July 4

Pixar cancels one of its upcoming films

What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can’t stand each other? That’s the problem facing Newt and Brooke, heroes of “newt,” the Pixar film by seven-time Academy Award(R) winner for sound Gary Rydstrom, and director of Pixar’s Oscar-nominated short, “Lifted.” Newt and Brooke embark on a perilous, unpredictable adventure and discover that finding a mate never goes as planned, even when you only have one choice. Love, it turns out, is not a science.

Newt was supposed to be relased in summer of 2011 by Disney/Pixar and then moved to 2012 but now is canceled. Newt was originally slated to hit theaters next summer, but was moved back to 2012 to make room for Cars 2. However, with both Brave (formerly The Bear and the Bow) and Monsters, Inc. 2 set for 2012, Newt mysteriously disappeared from the schedule. Rumors are that the reason it was canceled is because of two films that have similar plots of dying species, one about macaws by Fox and one of wolves that will be released by Lionsgate.