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Heroes, Week 20: You Dropped A Bomb On Me

C’mon, did you really expect any other subject line?

You know, for all the talk about how Mr. Linderman’s plan to drop the bomb (so to speak) and destroy New York smacks of Ozymandius’s endgame in “Watchmen,” I dare say this week’s episode will have people saying, “Is it just me, or is this a whole lot like like a cross between the ‘Days of Future Past’ saga in ‘The Uncanny X-Men’ and the plot of ‘X-Men 3‘?” And they’ll be right. I mean, seriously, you go check out those Wikipedia entries, then come back here and tell me that I’m wrong…

Also, am I the only one who, at approximately 43 minutes into the show, uttered an obscenity under their breath? Holy mother of God, was that some shit or WHAT? But we’ll get to that…

Read the rest after the jump.


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“Johnny Drama, you just got got!”

We all saw it coming from a mile away, but that didn’t stop the writers of “Entourage” from attempting to make Johnny Drama’s little run-in with UFC champ Chuck Liddell a pure coincidence. Upon hearing that Pauly Shore has personally requested Turtle’s assistance in punking Drama on his new reality series, “Gothca!” (think Ashton Kutcher’s “Punk’d” with even less talent behind it), Drama tells Turtle to sign him up with the hope that it will raise his profile.

Of course, when Drama mistakes a parking incident with Liddell as part of the show, he earns a new enemy in the “WWE wannabe” and comes home to discover a threatening message from Liddell on his answering machine. That was enough to sell me on the concept that maybe this was a coincidental occurrence, but as soon as Turtle suggested they go to Liddell’s charity event to apologize, I knew what was coming. Liddell makes Drama get on his knees and beg for mercy in front of hundreds of people, and Pauly Shore rushes out to tell Drama that he’s just got got. What the hell does that even mean?

Meanwhile, Ari’s old frat brother, Scott Siegel (Artie Lang), comes to town to visit, and while the guy’s apparently always been a bit of a fuck-up, it looks like he’s finally pulled it together. He’s a multi-millionaire (thanks to a website he founded called stamps.com) and he’s got a hot new fiancée (Leslie Bibb) that makes Ari furious. You see, he’s always been the alpha male of the two, so in order to regain a little control of their friendship, he decides to start hitting on Scott’s soon-to-be-wife, because, well, that’s what Scott used to do to Mrs. Ari. It was classic Ari at his best, but none of it was necessary.


Read the rest after the jump...

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Just what Tony needs: another vice

I’ve got to start this week by giving props to BF, the reader who pointed out last week that I failed to mention Tony’s gambling. Clearly it’s become a serious problem, as BF predicted, to the point that Tony considered clipped Hesh rather than having to pay him the $200k he owed him. But then Hesh’s girl Renata died and Tony, ever the caring friend, showed up to offer Hesh his condolences and a paper sack filled with cash. Of course, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought Tony had Renata killed up until he showed up to pay Hesh his money.

This is the first episode of the new pseudo-season that fell a little flat for me. Obviously, Tony’s gambling has suddenly become a big storyline, and you’ve got to wonder just how big of a role it plays in these final five episodes. Tony was out of control this week, losing $20,000 on a horse named Meadow Gold and then, after caving in and deciding to give widow Spatafore the $100k she asked for to give her and, more importantly, her deranged son (more on that later) a fresh start, he took that money and bet it (and lost it) on the Eagles because the Dolphins had to rely on a rookie kicker. The interesting note about all of this was the reaction Chris had when Tony decided to throw that money at the Eagles; if anybody knows dangerous addictive behavior, it’s Chris. Is he going to try to help Tony? Will that drive a wedge even further between the two?

Of course, the central problem was the fight between Tony and Carm after Carm refused to roll her earnings from the spec house into a bet on the Jets over the Chargers. Tony had inside info on the game and wanted to turn her windfall into a million-dollar payday but she refused, saying it’s her money and that she’s determined to not end up like Ginny Sack once Tony’s gone. Well, the Jets roll 42-10 and Tony’s pissed because he “only” put $10,000 on the game. “When I’m gone, you can live in a fucking dumpster for all I care,” Tony says after Carm chucked a vase at him. Yikes. He smoothed things over later, at least temporarily, but as well as things seemed to have been going between Tony and Carm so far, you knew something was bound to happen. I just figured it would be the Adriana questions, though I’m sure those will crop up again soon enough.

As for little Vito Spatafore…dude, that kid’s screwed up. Going hardcore Goth is bad enough, but taking a dump in the school shower? And then stepping in it?! Ewwww! As is often the case with this show, I’m not entirely sure where this storyline is going to go or what its purpose will be, but it may be as simple as the added tension it’s added to Tony’s relationship with Phil. If somebody should be stepping up to set the kid straight, it probably should be Phil since he’s Vito’s uncle or cousin (or whatever), and since he’s the one who offed papa Vito last season. But since Tony’s the one cleaning up the mess, you can bet he wasn’t lying when he told his guys he wouldn’t forget that Phil refused to step up.

Then there’s AJ, who finally looked to be getting his life in order. He’s got a woman he loves, a decent job (pizza shop manager, baby!) and, finally, some motivation. He asks Blanca to marry him and when she hesitates, he tells her that he’s going to keep moving up the ladder at work and in a couple of years, he’ll own his own restaurant. You had to feel sorry for the guy when she turned around and dumped him a couple days later, but I think another reader made a great observation a couple of weeks ago: Blanca’s pregnant. This one is obviously a guess but she’s been acting strange all season and, when Meadow mentioned that someone was expecting a baby, she looked very uncomfortable. Hmm….

Finally, two small notes. First, it looks like the two Arabs from the Bada Bing are going to finally come back into play. I’ve been waiting for this for a while. And Tony had a nice little callback to last season when he was talking to Vito, saying, “You go about in pity for yourself.” If you remember, that was a saying someone pinned to the bulletin board in Tony’s hospital room after Junior shot him, and he said the same thing to Artie a few episodes later. With the gambling issues and the general problems he’s been having recently, it seems Tony’s the one indulging in a bit of self-pity.

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TV DVD QT, Vol. 7

Walker: Texas Ranger: The Complete Second Season – Honestly, we really shouldn’t even cover this release, given how poorly the poor bastard did in our Badass Bracket. I mean, honestly, it was shameful…almost as shameful as the fact that there ain’t a single special feature on this seven-disc set. Then again, if you’re enough of a fan of the adventures of Chuck Norris’s Texas-based Martial Arts master, you probably won’t care, anyway.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season 2, Volume 2 – So tired…so very, very tired…of this show coming out on DVD. If they cared enough to release the first two seasons on DVD, why in God’s sake did they feel obliged to stretch it into four separate sets? I mean, good lord, they’re releasing “Land of the Giants” (another Irwin Allen series) in a Complete Series set. They couldn’t at least put each season of “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” in its own box? Oh, well, the DVD producers at least deserve some credit for stretching out the special features as well, so that each set gets some; this time, you get still galleries as well as interviews with David Hedison (Captain Crane).

Moonlighting: Season Five – It’s nice of Lions Gate to finish up the release of “Moonlighting” by getting the show’s final season into stores, and it’s even nicer that we continue to get special features – audio commentaries (one with producers Glenn Gordon Caron and Jay Daniel on the season premiere, another with director Dennis Dugan on the series finale) as well as the original screen test of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd as an on-screen couple – but we could’ve done with a little more details as to where to find them. The accompanying booklet provides in-depth episode synopses and a reference to the existence of the special features, but no clarification as to what features are on what disc. If you’ve forgotten how the show ended, David Addison returned to the offices of Blue Moon Investigations after Bert and Agnes’s wedding, only to find an ABC executive packing things up. “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you’re cancelled.” After tearful goodbyes are said, we get a closing title card which reveals that the agency ceased operations on May 14, 1989, and the Anselmo case was never solved. Damn!

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Possibly the most lax “WKRP” blog ever

This is barely worth posting about, but it made me laugh.

I was doing a search to see if any other reviewers had commented on the fact that the “WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete First Season” box set contains two featurettes, neither of which are among the three featurettes that had been trumpeted in the press release for the set, and I found this blog – http://wkrp.blogspot.com – that’s dedicated to the show.

Here are the first two sentences from the most recent entry:

“How time flies. The first season DVD set was released two days ago, and I completely forgot about it.”

Yep. That’s dedication for you.

Be sure to check out some of the other entries as well, many of which focus specifically on actress Jan Smithers and her character on the show, Bailey Quarters. Now, I admit, I’ve rarely been in a discussion about “WKRP” where I didn’t mention that I preferred Bailey to Jennifer (Marlowe, Loni Anderson’s character), but, still, dig this comment:

I had a debate with some guys recently about who was more desirable–Bailey from “WKRP” or Kaylee from “Firefly.” This is a tough call, but I still vote for Bailey.

I find myself mostly just fascinated about how that particular debate began, who was involved, and, perhaps most importantly, what stages it went through before reaching the pinnacle where the participants said, “Okay, so we’ve narrowed it down to two: Bailey Quarters from ‘WKRP’ and that chick who was the engineer on ‘Firefly.’”

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The Office: “Product Recall”

There was nothing really going on plot-wise this week, but the episode was jam packed with some great moments:

Jim’s impersonation of Dwight

Jim: Question. What kind of bear is best?
Dwight: That’s a ridiculous question.
Jim: False. Black bear.
Dwight: Well, that’s debatable. There are basically two schools of thought…
Jim: Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears beat “Battlestar Galactica.”
Dwight: Bears do not – what’s going on? What are you doing?

Angela vs. Kelly

Angela: (popping aspirin) I don’t have a headache. I’m just preparing.

Creed covering his ass

Creed: The only difference between me and a homeless man is this job.

Dwight welcoming the reporter

Dwight: You’ve been granted level three security. Don’t get too excited, that’s out of 20.

Andy’s high school girlfriend

Andy: I had no idea (she was so young).
Jim: That’s not going to help you in court.

Andy: Who was that guy talking to her at her locker?
Jim: Not important. Because you’re not dating her. Because it’s a felony.

Dwight’s thoughts on the watermark

Dwight: May I point out that the sex appeared to be consensual. Both animals were smiling.

Dwight: I grew up on a farm. I have seen animals having sex in every position imaginable. Goat on chicken. Chicken on goat. A couple of chickens doing a goat with a couple of pigs watching. Whoever drew this got it exactly right.

Michael’s apology tape

Michael: They’re trying to make me an escape goat.

Dwight’s impression of Jim

Pam: You look really nice today.
Dwight: I look like an idiot.

Dwight: Lalala…little comment.

Man, I love this show.

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Jericho, Episode 20: Everything’s Gone Green

Damn. Why wasn’t this show as good at the beginning as it is now? Maybe the producers are panicking a little bit about the uncertainty of a second season and have decided to pull out all the stops. Whatever the case, this week continues “Jericho”‘s roll of excellent episodes.

This was a very Green-heavy week – Jake and Eric are still in prison, Johnston finds out about it and goes after them, and Gail gets a lot of face time both as a result of her work in the hospital and her sketchy relationship with Eric’s girlfriend, Mary – but, of course, Hawkins gets some face time as a result of having gone with Jake to rescue Eric, and we also visit with Dale and Skylar for a bit, too.

The Greens

I gotta say, I spent a decent amount of the episode not entirely sure that Eric was going to still be among the living by the time the closing credits rolled; I really liked the way they kept things uncertain on that front. I’m also consistently amused by the fact that, although Jake’s clearly the bad boy of the family, his dad is clearly still the biggest badass in the gene pool; Gerald McRaney has been consistently impressive with the way he walks that line between being a good ol’ boy and being a guy you’re rather intimidated by. I have to say, though, that what I wasn’t overly impressed with was the return of Maggie; she seems a lot less witty and entertaining now than she did in her initial appearance. As far as Gail and Mary, I’m glad that they didn’t just provide an automatic reconciliation and an instant happy ending; that it’s taking awhile for them to have some respect for each other actually feels rather realistic.

Hawkins

Actually, I guess he doesn’t necessarily need his own individual write-up here, since his appearances were all tied in to the Greens, so I’ll just say that, as an agent, I would’ve expected him to be a bit more skeptical about Maggie’s story when she came running up to them. But whatever.

Dale and Skylar

Damn. Dale’s just got the look of one of those guys you’d describe as “quiet, kinda kept to himself a lot” after he’s done something really, really awful…and he’s only getting more bitter. That whole “you and me against the world” attitude is gonna get him killed soon. I just sense it. Meanwhile, Skylar’s becoming more and more sensitive since the incident with the Mayor about trying to declare her parents dead. How long ’til they come back? Because you know that at least one of them will. You just KNOW it.

Anyway, next week looks to be another nice, dark episode as well. New Bern vs. Jericho, winner takes all. All I’m saying is, they better wrap this shit up in the season finale, because if there’s no second season, I’m gonna be pissed if things end in a cliffhanger…

Closing note: I went to the show’s Wikipedia entry to confirm the name of a character, and, um, did anyone else realize that the morse code you hear when the show’s title card pops up is different each week? There’s a separate Wikipedia page for each episode, and they indicate what’s been said in code. This week’s was “We Pledge.” Is this information being posted elsewhere, or is there just a morse code expert out there who’s writing up the entries each week…? Either way, it’s a pretty cool maneuver by the producers, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to become aware of it.

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Another ’70s cartoon flashback or three

Okay, Jason’s “Devlin” post inspired me to revisit a few of Hanna-Barbara’s more obscure shows.

As a kid, I used to go to a theme park called Kings Dominion; it’s since been bought out by Paramount, so they’ve expanded their entertainment focus considerably, but back in the ’70s, it used to completely focus on the Hanna-Barbara characters, from the rides all the way down to the areas of the parking lot…and for whatever reason, no matter what time of day we arrived there, we always seemed to end up in the Funky Phantom lot. Now THERE’S a cartoon that has fallen into obscurity…possibly because it really wasn’t all that great (the first sign of laziness was that the Phantom’s voice was clearly borrowed from Snagglepuss)…but because of that damned parking lot, I know I’ll never forget it.

All I have to say about “Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch!” is…bear with an afro. I mean, c’mon, people: the bear has got a fucking afro.

And, lastly, I submit for your approval “Goober and the Ghost Chasers.” Okay, seriously, how many times could Hanna-Barbara rip off “Scooby-Doo”? They’d later kinda sorta get away with it via “Clue Club” (sorry, Jason, I always liked that show), but they barely even TRIED to change things up with this. I mean, it’s a bunch of kids and a dog who chase ghosts. The fact that the dog is a ghost himself and can become intangible and invisible at the drop of a hat (and, hey, he even wears a hat!) certainly didn’t stop anybody from saying, “Dude, this is SUCH a rip-off of ‘Scooby-Doo.’” The quality of the video is liable to make you nauseous and it ends really abruptly, but, sorry, it’s the only one I could find.

In closing, does anyone remember “C.B. Bears”? I couldn’t find a clip of that show to save my life, or else it would’ve been in here. But here’s the title card, at least…

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“I’m Rick James, bitch.”

Are you a fan of the now defunct “Chappelle’s Show”? Of course you are, right?

Then check out this Chappelle’s Show soundboard from Comedy Central. There are clips from Tron (“Nighty night, keep your butthole tight!”), Tyrone (“Y’all act like crack is so wrong”), Sam Jackson (“It’ll get ya drunk!”), L’il John (“WHAT?! OKAAAAYY!!”) and, of course, Rick James (“I wish I had more hands…so I could give those titties four thumbs down”).

Ah, memories.

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American Idol: Shocking, Indeed

Last night’s “Idol Gives Back” results show started off with Ryan Seacrest claiming that this would be the “most shocking result” in the history of the show. Surely he didn’t mean Melinda was going home? Or Jordin Sparks, after that awesome performance on Tuesday? I have to admit, I was scared.

Then they cut over to Ellen DeGeneres, who was the satellite co-host to a plethora of musical artists, and there was an otherwise star-studded group of guest performers and visitors. It was a long show, and I promise you I’ll try to sum it up in as few words as possible.

Musical guests who performed live: Earth, Wind & Fire, Il Divo, Rascal Flatts, Josh Groban with an African children’s choir, Kelly Clarkson with Jeff Beck, Celine Dion with the ghost of Elvis, and Annie Lennox. EWF was awesome, Josh Groban makes me irritated and I’m not sure why, and Kelly Clarkson was as good as I’ve ever heard her….and proved that she could still blow away anyone else who’s ever won this thing. Oh, and a word on Il Divo…I’d never seen these guys before….but really, who wants to watch four opera singers doing pop? Big freaking yawn-fest.

They also showed the judges visiting various places like Africa, and battered parts of America such as New Orleans….it was all heartfelt, riveting and frightening at the same time. But then, the show on this night was a telethon so this is what they had to do.

Quincy Jones and Bono both had their chances to work with the Idol contestants. Jones wrote a song specifically for this show, and the Idols performed it…and it was, as you would expect, really great. Bono coached them but they didn’t show him until the end of the show, and they performed another group song as the show ended. (And for the whole show, the contestants were dressed as the Good Humor Man…what was that all about?).

Meanwhile, other folks who made random appearances were Ben Stiller, who gave us a terrifying rendition of The Little River Band’s “Reminiscing” in various segments, trying to raise millions of dollars in the process. Dude also gave a shout out to Pure Prairie League….oddly enough, I am that band’s publicist. Ben, the check is in the mail.

They showed both Madonna and Carrie Underwood in Africa, with Underwood performing The Pretenders’ “Stand By You” to a bunch of kids there. I’m not sure why, but it was mildly disturbing.

Jack Black got up on the main stage and sang Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” and then asked for the judges to honestly critique him. The best was Simon, who said it was better than Sanjaya, but then it got funnier. Seal was actually sitting next to Randy Jackson! That was probably the highlight of the show…sorry, Elvis.

There was also a video of a bunch of celebs singing “Stayin’ Alive,” including Teri Hatcher, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Hugh Grant, and that’s about all I remember.

Okay, now for the shocking results. Throughout the show, the contestants were brought to safety one by one. First, Melinda. Big sigh of relief. Then, Blake. I was surprised there. Then, Phil. Good for him. Then, Lakisha. Uh-oh. That left Chris and Jordin. And all of a sudden, my wife says, “maybe the shocker is that no one gets eliminated.” Why, yes, that’s it! I agreed and knew it was coming, and that’s what happened. Chris was safe, leaving Jordin, but then Ryan said Jordin was safe too. Which means the votes are carried over and we have double elimination next week.

I think they said they raised like $30 million by the end of the show, and I’m sure that at least doubled by the end of the night. Good for them, as that much money really has to make some kind of difference somewhere.

But now back to reality, and back to the competition……Phil, Blake, Chris, Lakisha…….you’ve got a 50/50 chance next week of being eliminated. So bring your A game. See you all then…

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