Month: September 2010

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Any Which Way But Zeus”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Any Which Way But Zeus”

TV & Radio
One of the ways you can gauge the strength of a show's is not how well they produce original plots and storylines, but how they rework old tropes into an entertaining package.  It's sort of like how Led Zeppelin made the blues into something you didn't have to force yourself to enjoy.  The Venture Brothers did much the same in its first season by repackaging a litany of hackneyed cartoon plots from the '60s and '70s into a wholly fresh enterprise.  Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer migrated away from that more obtuse approach as the series progressed, preferring instead to develop a more intricate, original mythology. Every once in awhile, however, Doc and Jackson kick it old school and produce a self-contained story that feels more like a fun one-off than a very important episode.  "A
Listening booth – Eddie Fisher, 1928-2010

Listening booth – Eddie Fisher, 1928-2010

Listening Booth
One of the greatest, albeit lesser remembered, voices of pop was silenced this week when Eddie Fisher died on Wednesday.  He was 82 years old.  In addition to his high-profile marriages to Debbie Reynolds (with whom he had two children, one of them Carrie Fisher), Liz Taylor, and Connie Stevens, Fisher had a ridiculous run of chart success through most of the 1950s. He had seventeen songs in the Top 10 between 1950 and 1956 and 35 in the Top 40.  That seems like a lot to me. Fisher specialized in the top of sweet, symphonic pop music that was soon to be eclipsed by rock and roll.  He had his last Top 10 hit in 1956 and in 1960 was dropped from his label, RCA Victor.  By 1967 he was off the charts for good, but that in no way diminished the huge successes he achieved. So as a small t
Exciting new trailer for “Harry Potter and the Obscene Bank Account”

Exciting new trailer for “Harry Potter and the Obscene Bank Account”

Movies
Of course I'm just joshin' ya.  It's actually the trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (or HP7 as the kids are calling it, and I'm nothing if not down with the youth of today).  But I'm not too far off, am I?  Anyway, check it out: Très intense, no?  Is it really possible that the book came out over three years ago?  I'll have to read it again I suppose, since I have little recollection about what happened.  I certainly don't remember the bit with the multiple Potters.  I also don't remember if Voldemort wins or if he gets his hand chopped off then turns against the Emperor - so don't spoil it for me!
Venture Bros. wrapup: “Pomp and Circuitry”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “Pomp and Circuitry”

TV & Radio
For the second episode of The Venture Bros.: Season 4.5, the action (and the comedy to a lesser extent) gets dialed back in favor of some really solid character development.  It appears to breeze by but on closer examination a lot took place.  Firstly, the boys are finally done with their bed-based education (via the "Nerd Pods") and are graduates.  Of what, exactly, we're not sure, as we see when Billy Quizboy attempt to play the role of guidance counselor. To nobody's surprise, everyone but Rusty can see that Hank and Dean are ill-equipped to take on the real world.  But really, does that make them any different than the rest of the cast?  Have any of these people ever held down a legitimate job?  Super scientist doesn't count, unless you really are one and not just saying it.
Idiot of the Week: Braylon Edwards

Idiot of the Week: Braylon Edwards

Sports
Ah, another million-dollar athlete with a ten-cent head.  Braylon Edwards of the New York Jets is quickly on his way to wearing out his welcome despite having only been on the team less than a year.  He already avoided one suspension for a misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct charge stemming from a fight outside a Cleveland night club in '09. It remains to be seen if he can avoid the wrath of Goodell on this one, but I thought I'd help him out with a bit of community service:
Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider”

Venture Bros. wrapup: “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider”

TV & Radio
So how do I go about getting me one of those Statutory Ape t-shirts? Or for that matter, an Innerspace DVD? Oh hey, welcome back Venture Bros.!  It's been far too long. Anyway, we are finally ready to resume the fourth season, and "The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider" does it in classic style.  No heavy myth exploration, no huge character growth, just lots of great dialogue and action.  And that's a great way to dive back into the show. So about the title - it's an homage to a novel called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, about a man who awakes from a coma unable to communicate other than by blinking his left eye.  That's pretty much how we find ol' Rusty at the beginning of the episode, except that he's in Sgt. Hatred's jeep and is being trailed by the flying cocoon (pilo
Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth – Van Halen, “Crossing Over”

Listening Booth
This track won a coveted spot on one of my mixtapes back in 2007, and I'm bringing it back again.  It's a gem of a song from the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, although you wouldn't know it from how it was marketed (it wasn't).  It's the brooding and emotional "Crossing Over", a b-side from the Balance album. The whole song is very atypical of the era, which makes sense since it was written by Eddie while David Lee Roth was still in the band.  But to his credit, Sammy does a fine job here.  The payoff is the extended outro/fade. Here's "Crossing Over", via YouTube.