Sunday, February 23, 2014

True Detective FTW

I almost don't want to say this -- I have a staunchly juvenile belief in jinxes, and there are two episodes to go -- but True Detective is simply fantastic. We've been watching The Walking Dead first and then switching over to the DVR'd Detective. We'll be swapping that order for the next couple of episodes.

Guardians of the Galaxy, by way of Firefly

Props to my brother, who said he felt the Guardians of the Galaxy was rocking what he thought was a bit of a Firefly vibe.

Vibe #1
I didn't catch it before, but now find myself hooked on the same feeling.

Vibe #2
That's a good thing, by the way, and in no way suggests any inappropriate vibe-lifting on Marvel's part. I just hope Gamora steers clear of those Reavers. Man, I hate those guys.

My new Flappy Bird high score

Is 13. I'm seriously considering pulling a John Elway and retiring while I'm on top.

Isabel Allende might not be awesome at this whole bookselling thing

Alas, the cat, too, hated mysteries and loved the joke.

Isabel Allende, on her new book Ripper:

“The book is tongue-in-cheek. It’s very ironic…and I’m not a fan of mysteries…So I thought, I will take the genre, write a mystery that is faithful to the formula and to what readers expect, but it is a joke.”

A book someone wrote as a "joke," to poke fun at a genre of which she is not a fan. Wow, where do I sign up to invest my time and money?

(BTW: She's backpedalling now.)

The title was published by Harper. Can you imagine being inside Harper HQ when that interview came out?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

David Bowie! Seu Jorge! Whatever!

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou remains the only Wes Anderson film I've not seen. I tried to get into it, but something held me back.

This might change things: the Criterion Collection is coming out with a Zissou disc. I have all of the Collection's Wes Anderson releases (except the latest, Fantastic Mr. Fox) and will be tempted to give this one another go.

But this post is not actually about the film itself. It's about something I spotted as I was reading about the upcoming release, something among the list of extras:
Ten performances of David Bowie songs in Portuguese by Brazilian recording artist and actor Seu Jorge
How awesome is that? I don't even know what that sentence means, but I think it's great that it's in there. And that's why I like the Collection's approach to compiling its individual releases. The extras almost serve as a conversation with the movie watcher: "Oh, you enjoy this movie? Well, check this out! You like that? There's more over here! Look!"

Also: love that cover art.

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's early yet, but I remain bullish on Fallon

Michelle Obama, Jimmy Fallon.
(I hope to God you knew that already, though.)
If you don't read News from ME, Mark Evanier's blog, you should. Today, Mark writes:
It wouldn't surprise if Fallon has a firm two-year on-air guarantee with one of those wicked penalty clauses…like if they take him off before 104 weeks are up, he gets a million a week for every week he isn't on. Or something like that. (You can bet he has a time slot guarantee and they won't try moving his show to Midnight.)
Not that Mark is saying anything to the contrary, but I think Fallon doesn't need to worry about a two-year deal. He's going to host The Tonight Show for nothing less than 10 years. Late night talk shows will expire before his run does.

My new Flappy Bird high score

Is 5.

I'm trying to maintain my composure, but I'm pretty excited about that.

(Man, that f'ing bird is HARD to steer.)

The Human Torch is black now -- get over yourself

Your new Human Torch. If this bothers you, seek help.
I mentioned the presumptive Fantastic Four cast the other day in something of a derogatory fashion. But while my chagrin is aimed at the fact that gray-haired, wise scientist Reed Richards is going to be portrayed by a 12-year-old boy, others have alighted upon the fact that the Human Torch is going to be portrayed by an African American actor, Michael B. Jordan.

(No relation to that other Michael Jordan. I checked.)

I didn't know people cared about such things in the 21st century. Apparently, some do. But is the media making more of this than it should, giving a relative few idiots a disproportionately louder voice than they deserve? There are, what, 400 million tweets per day? That suggests to me that, on any given day, you could pretty much create an online controversy whenever you wanted. I mean, it's the law of averages: with that many tweets going out each and every day, there's bound to be plenty of stupidity to go around.

And, as far as this topic is concerned, there is. But I can't help but think that for as many morons as there are out there gnashing their teeth at this alleged canonical injustice, there are just as many who met the news with a collective shrug and said, "I just hope it's a good movie."

Unfortunately, they don't seem the type to tweet about it with lots of exclamation points.

I think it's more important to stay true to the spirit of the comic than exact particulars established back in the early 1960s. I suspect as far as the Human Torch -- hot-headed, impulsive Johnny Storm -- is concerned, Jordan will do just fine.

I'm just wondering how they're going to explain a pre-pubescent genius scientist. And I sure hope it's not something like this:

Is Miles Teller the new Reed Richards?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Flappy Bird high score

Is 4. Try not to be jealous.

Hey, this is neat ...

... you should check it out.

Hat tip to i09.

Remember my Jerry Seinfeld thought experiment? Never mind ...

Ken Levine, on his blog:
Watching the final Jay Leno show with Billy Crystal, who’s had as much work done as Joan Rivers, talking about old variety shows from the ‘60s, I could see why NBC made the switch. No one under 50 knew what they were talking about or cared. 
Valid point. Hey, remember when some screwball wondered if NBC wouldn't approach Jerry Seinfeld for The Tonight Show? That same Jerry Seinfeld just performed a standup routine on Fallon's new show grumbling about cell phones and email. He sounded like a 90-year-old luddite.

Here's something you won't hear a lot: maybe NBC has done the right thing.

Cast unveiled for new Fantastic Four movie?

I guess the working title is Mr. Fantastic, the Teenage Years.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy full trailer

Zoe Saldana, also known as Thandie Newton in Europe.
Thorough breakdown here, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

I'm concerned that the lack of recognizable Marvel superheroes hurts this one a little at the box office, though it sure seems like it's going to be entertaining.

Oh, and in case you missed it:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Five things about Jimmy Fallon's first Tonight Show ... er, show

There's more, but this will suffice for now:
  1. Fallon does sincere, friendly and happy pretty well. (Of course, last night, he had good reason to be all of those things.) There was a moment or two when it nearly encroached on cloying, but only "nearly." Nice to have his folks there, good job talking about his wife and kids. He introduced himself as one would at a small party -- and then came out again for a monologue, underscoring the personal aspect of his initial opening. Jay's audience skewed older than his own and if they showed up for Fallon's first show, that'll help give them reason to stick around.
  2. Spike Lee directed the new opening; The Roots are the house band, Will Smith was the first guest. That's a long way from the New York City of "Friends."
  3. Speaking of New York City, Part 1: Holy cow, that rooftop setting had a beautiful backdrop. I almost don't care that Bono seemed to be lipsyncing.
  4. Speaking of New York City, Part 2: I trust Lorne Michaels. Guy knows how to put on a show. (Spare me your "But SNL sucks." comments. Here, just sit back and relax for a few minutes until the urge passes.)
  5. I counted four ... no, five ... attempts at producing Web-friendly (read: viral wannabe) videos. Funny how that's not even a new late-night content marketing strategy, just the new "normal."
Still don't think I toss over the successful guy beating everyone in the time slot, but if you're gonna go in that direction, Jimmy Fallon's the one to replace him.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fallon debuts tonight

I don't know how this is possible, but it's as though I was equal parts correct and incorrect about the Tonight Show saga. Bottom line: Fallon is good, and his Tonight Show will be big fun. Will it kill in the ratings? Not as effectively as Jay Leno did. (Seriously -- how does a guy get fired for doing a great job?)

Also looking forward to checking out Seth Meyers' new show. Fun fact: the guy once co-wrote a Spider-Man comic with Bill Hader. That's some serious pop culture-cred right there.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Where was I?

... and I'm back. Funny what kind of time-suck a new job, new book and home renovation can turn into.

Want to know something interesting? Kate Micucci posts bring in some of the blog's best traffic. Kate Micucci. Go figure.

By the way: here's some Kate Micucci for you.