Five Easy Pieces

December 31, 2007

Happy New Year…

Filed under: Family,Movies,Sports,TV — danletscher @ 2:40 pm

What started out this year as a fast and furious blogging experience has definitely become a trickle.  Here’s some bits of what’s been happnin’:

(1) Watched Eastern Promises a few nights ago.  Definitely worth a look.  brutal, savage, bloody – all good Cronenbergian adjectives fit this one.  Except “surreal”.  The Ukranian accents can be a bit thick to penetrate at times but the story moves along at a nice pace and the steam room brawl is (literally) balls out intense. 

(2) Ratatouille is a great flick as well.  The adults watched it Christmas night after the kids were all tucked in (they watched it earlier that day).  Good laughs and incredible animation again from Pixar.  Our family snuggled up last night in the king-size bed for a repeat viewing.  We’ll be watching plenty more I suppose.

(3) Waitress was a delightfully simple film.  Simple premise, simple characters and you have a simple smile on your face the whole time.  I just got another film from writer/director Adrien Shelly, “I’ll Take You There”, looking forward to it.  The tragedy of Shelly’s death is not one to ignore – her talent was apparent to all in the industry and Waitress would have propelled her to national identity.

(4) I wasted my time with Live Free or Die Hard.  The first hour was somewhat worthy of the concept but the latter half turned into complete crap.  After the movie ended (at 11pm) I immediately got out the original Die Hard DVD and watched it.  Nothing better to get that acrid taste of the previous film out of my system.

(5) Talk to Me is worth a watch.  Don Cheadle does a great job as the jive-talking 70’s era Washington DC DJ, Dewey Peters.  I knew nothing of this man and was impressed with the impact he had on the city and the races.  The movie is funny as hell and Cheadle owns the whole thing.

(6) I only watched The Office on TV this year until the writer’s strike over.  My favorite from last year, Heroes, was unwatchable crap for the first four weeks so I gave up on it.  I’m going to watch the first season again on DVD with my wife (she missed it) to make me feel better.

(7) Haven’t been reading too many books lately – although I just picked up Clive Barker’s new one (about time!).

(8) Xavier Bball is in full force with their toughest non-conference sked ever.  Good wins vs. Indiana, Kent State, Creighton, UC.  Tough losses vs. Miami, Tennessee and ASU.  Next three games will tell a lot about our January – KSU, Virginia, Auburn.  Three BCS schools in one week.  Then the conference starts and the A-10 is loaded after a lot of down years.  Dayton and Rhode Island are ranked, UMASS is knockin’ on the door.  Brutal year ahead.

(9) We have been non-stop since Halloween.  Kids turned 6 and 3 in November, I turned 37(!) in December, Christmas parties, holiday travels and now New Year’s Eve tonight.  2008 can’t come soon enough.

September 11, 2007

And the Emmy goes to…Dick in a Box!

Filed under: TV,Video — danletscher @ 8:28 am

Maybe the best Emmy winner ever – and it wasn’t for a “very special episode” performance.  You can find this video by clicking “video” on the categories on the right of the screen…still makes me laugh very hard, every time.

March 6, 2007


Filed under: TV — danletscher @ 12:24 pm

This is the best TV on right now. I was skeptical when I first read about it last summer – more comic book/superhero stuff? riding the wave of the serialized drama craze? and it’s on (gulp) NBC? I skipped the critics’ predictions of it being worthy of a look and ignored the first episode. Then a friend highly recommended it, so I recorded the 2nd episode and watched the first one online (great option nowadays). I was dead wrong in my skepticism.

The story has unfolded brilliantly over the course of the 18 episodes that have aired. I also watch “Lost” and I can say “Heroes” has avoided the curse “Lost” has upon it; that is, “Lost is not going anywhere. Even their “revelations” are limp and lame after the build-up. Granted “Lost” is trying to maintain it’s intensity while in its third season (“Heroes” is only in its first), but even when it was better – and it was a lot better – it still suffered from inaction and a plodding pace, lumping new mysteries and twists on old ones which weren’t exactly solved, just tugged at and given a new look. My patience is wearing thin with “Lost”, but that is for another post.

“Heroes” episodes are delivered as chapters, picking up where the previous cliffhanger left off and opening new plot-lines, while logically continuing current ones or resolving them. This comic book format, complete with comic book titles, carries over into the look of the show as well. The framing of the camera shots & angles, the pans and zooms all have the feel of being lifted from the page. A comic book itself was even a driving force in guiding one hero (a goofy Japanese comic geek named, of course, Hiro) in the direction of his destiny. The heroes themselves don’t exactly understand what is happening to them. This is not the Justice League of America and the closest thing to a costume or caped avenger is an indestructible sixteen-year-old who wears her cheerleader outfit.

The ensemble cast of heroes – and villians – has grown but hasn’t become bloated, or left anyone grossly misrepresented in a consistent manner (Hello “Lost”). The intertwining of characters – their pasts, present and futures as well – moves the plot along and hasn’t brought on any “c’mon, are you kidding me?” reactions from me yet (Feeling “Lost” again). I am thoroughly loving this show. I loved comic books growing up but never considered myself geeky about it. I guess this show inspires the geek me, much like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” do. Go ahead, roll your eyes – it’s good shit.

**It has taken a hiatus until April 23rd so you can catch up. [They did this in December as well. Long break but better than repeats shoved in between a couple new epsiodes here and there. The networks finally learned that viewers will come back after a break rather than put up with the repeat mill.] You can watch the first 18 episodes on two sources – NBC or Peekvid. Peekvid is amazing. Despite all the eye candy advertising, it has a library of TV and film that is impressive. It has movies that are still in the theaters or not on DVD yet. It has TV right after episodes air (or before, in the case of “24”, peekvid had this season’s four-hour premiere episodes posted a week before they aired!). Either website has full screen options and the quality is good.  NBC also unveiled some impressive footage from “Spiderman 3”, find 7+ minutes of it here.  Maybe I am a geek.  Enjoy!

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