Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween


Friday, October 29, 2004

Netflix 3: The Office Series One

Yes, it really is that funny.

But it's no "Benny Hill".


Thursday, October 28, 2004

This Week's Comics

Yes, that is John Walsh on the cover of "Outsiders."

Everything is out of 5 stars.

The Flash #215- ***
Green Lantern: Rebirth #1- **
The Amazing Spider-Man #513- **
Tim Sale: Solo- ****
Daredevil #66- *****
Planetary #21- ***
Demo# 11- *****
Outsiders #17- *
Wolverine #21- ***
Catwoman #26- **
Mystique #20- **
Ultimate Elektra #3- **
Black Widow #2- ***
Hellblazer #201- ****
The Losers #17- ***
Adam Strange #2- ****
Jack Staff #6- ****
NYC Mech #6- ***
Wonder Woman #209- **
We3 #2_ *****
Superman #210- **
The Authority: Revolution #1- ***
X-men Unlimited #5- **


Steve saw Ray

Before this year, I wasn't really a Jamie Foxx fan. Of all the "In Living Color" alumni, I ranked him somewhere in between Kelly Coffield and Kim Wayans, which, as you should be able to tell, is way down the list. I found his attempts at a music career to be laughable, and the fact that "The Jamie Foxx Show" is syndicated bothers me to this very day.

But after "Collateral", his hook on Twista's "Slow Jamz", and now his award caliber performance in "Ray," I find my opinion of Mr. Foxx to be changed.

I'm haven't been fan of recent bio-films, especially of celebrities as beloved as Ray Charles. Coming into the film, I was afraid this was going to be as bad as "Ali" or "Man on the Moon," instead, we are given a bio-film that succeeds, like "La Bamba."

In case you forgot, "La Bamba" was awesome.

Anyway, what makes "Ray" great is that the movie really holds no punches when dealing with the darker aspects of Ray's life, such as his drug problems, and infidelity. I feel people of my generation can't see Mr. Charles as anybody but the "You Got The Right One, Baby!" guy, and this movie fills us in on what made this man such a great artist.

Also, the performances from the supporting cast compliment Jamie's excellent turn as Ray Charles. Here we have strong performances from Kerry Washington and Regina King, as Ray's wife and mistress, as well as Larenz Tate, Bokeem Woodbine, Sharon Warren, Curtis Armstrong, and Warwick Davis.

Yes, Curtis "Booger" Armstrong and Warwick "Willow/Wicket/Leprechaun" Davis.

In the end, "Ray" succeeds, because it gives us not only a great performance, but also a great story.

Wow, that's two straight updates where I mention Booger. I never thought that would happen.


Netflix 2: The Girl Next Door

Have you ever seen "Risky Business"?

Well, obviously someone here has. "The Girl Next Door" is just like it, except replace the prostitutes with porn stars, and Guido the killer pimp, with Kelly the psycho porn producer, and it doesn't have Bronson Pinchot or Booger.

Does that make it bad? Eh, not really. It's kind of like if there's a sorta shitty band that covers a song you like, as long as they don't butcher it, you still dig it, right? Because at it's heart, it's still the same song.

Does that make any sense?

Well, it's like that.

But, it would have been so much better if it had Booger.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Netflix 1: Snow Day

Now, I know you are wondering, of all the movies that Netflix could possibly offer, why would I choose a little known kid's film that Nickelodeon made in 2000?

Well, for that answer, you have to go back to 1990.

In 1990, Nickelodeon began showing shorts featuring two brothers, named Pete & Pete. Along with such supporting characters as big Pete's friend Ellen, and little Pete's personal superhero, Artie: THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD!, they had many surreal adventures in the town of Wellsville, as the shorts grew into specials, and finally, into a full fledged series in 1993. Featuring guest appearances that ran the gamut from Micheal Stipe to Iggy Pop, "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" became the greatest Nickelodeon show ever. Seriously. How could a show with a character named "Endless Mike" not be the greatest Nickelodeon show ever?

Although new episodes stopped being produced in 1996, they continued to run on Nick for a few more years. In 2000, the film division of Nickelodeon released "Snow Day", and I noticed the writer's names, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, looked familiar. Sure enough, those were the two men who wrote "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." After doing a little digging around, I found out "Snow Day" was originally written as the Pete & Pete movie, but Paramount sat on it, and by the time it went into production, they turned it into it's own thing, with no reference to neither Pete nor Pete.

It was finally released in January of 2000, and I missed it in theaters. And I never got around to renting it. And do to my personal vow to not watch a movie for the first time on broadcast television, I never saw it. So when I finally joined Netflix after they lowered the price to $17.99 a month, "Snow Day" was at the top of my list.

So how was it?

It was OK, but it was missing two things: Pete and Pete.

The roles that you could plug in with characters in the show were obvious. The older brother, Hal, would be big Pete, and the little sister Nat, would be little Pete. Hal's best friend, Lane, would be Pete's best friend, Ellen. And so on.

It's the roles that are not easily filled by Pete and Pete regulars that are really the low points in the movie. For example, they added a third, younger sibling, who has a side story with the business minded mother, played by Jean Smart. Pete and Pete's mom really didn't have that much of a character, she just had a plate in her head. Also, the father, a local meteorologist played by Chevy Chase, has his own story, which is another low point.

All in all, the movie needed more Pete and Pete style wackiness. On the disc's commentary track, McRobb and Viscardi mention that they had many more surreal moments in both the script, and the original cut of the film. This was scaled back, and this causes the film to not reach the heights that it could possibly have as a Pete & Pete adventure.

But, alas, with Pete & Pete's stars growing up, Pete & Pete's over, and we'll never know what could have been. Director Chris Koch, who also worked on Pete & Pete, went on to direct episodes of "Scrubs" and the lackluster Jason Lee vehicle "A Guy Thing," while McRobb and Viscardi went on to write and produce "Ed" (the TV show, not the Matt LeBlanc baseball playing monkey comedy). Chris Vicardi has seemingly disappeared after "Ed", while Will McRobb has gone on to write and produce the Noggin show "Radio Free Roscoe," which, due to my laziness in upgrading to digital cable, I have yet to see.

Noggin, or 'The N!' as it has come to be known, is also the last place "The Adventure of Pete & Pete" has been seen. Sadly, no DVD is on the horizon.

"Now begins the Age of Pete!" - little Pete


Tuesday, October 26, 2004


This is going somewhere, I promise.