12/21/2010

Tron: Legacy

TRON: LEGACY
Being no fan of the 1982 original (the digital subworld idea makes no sense to me), I had no expectations, yet this left me cold. Blatant “homages” to THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS and BLADE RUNNER feel desperately unoriginal (as does Michael Sheen’s ├╝ber-campy Zuse). Jeff Bridges, however, remains godlike.

A Colbert Christmas

A COLBERT CHRISTMAS: THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL
A tardy review: This 2008 special is a perfect melding of satire and sentiment, with genre-spanning songs that manage the nigh-impossible hat trick of being hilarious but not novelty. Even Feist and Toby Keith are great! Especially for those reared in the 70s, this is an instant perennial. Genius.

12/06/2010

The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death

THE ART OF JAIME HERNANDEZ: THE SECRETS OF LIFE AND DEATH by Todd Hignite
Xaime is one of my favorite artists, and if any comic deserves a dissertation, it’s LOVE & ROCKETS, but too much space is dedicated to reprinting “original” art that looks exactly like the printed comics. Why not more sketchbooks, spot illustration and unpublished work? An elitist tone also tastes sour.

The Complete Peanuts 1971 to 1972

THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1971 TO 1972 by Charles M. Schulz
Two things in this 11th installment mark the beginning of a downward slope for Charles Schulz’ masterpiece: The absence of Shermy and the birth of Rerun. Seth’s dour cover designs are also beginning to look overly austere on my shelves. Why aren’t the spines yellow with alternating black zig-zags? Hm?

The Benson Interruption

THE BENSON INTERRUPTION
Holy mother of God who doesn’t exist…. This ranks among the most unwatchable TV shows in the history of the medium. Hecklers aren’t funny in real life, and viewing the merely moderately funny Doug Benson doing it to his betters makes for an awkward, unfunny viewing experience. Painful.

NOTE: After six episodes, there are no direct links for this show. Perhaps there is a wee tidbit of justice on Earth.

12/01/2010

Brute Force, I, Brute Force - Confections of Love

Brute Force, I, BRUTE FORCE - CONFECTIONS OF LOVE
Novelty record? Outsider art? Subversive pop genius? Try all of the above. Bar/None’s reissue of this eminently listenable 1967 Columbia Records oddity is a jaw-dropping revelation. Highlights include the infamous single, “King of Fuh” (Apple Records’ rarest release) and the timeless “To Sit on a Sandwich.” You must own this.

Paranormal Activity

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
After all that hype? Seriously? This is just BLAIR WITCH PROJECT set in a house, but with none of the believability, urgency or creepy foreboding of that film. Technology has rendered the faux-doc horror genre impotent. 90 minutes of buildup for 30 seconds of payoff that ain’t worth it.

Boardwalk Empire

BOARDWALK EMPIRE
New Jersey gangsters return to HBO with a vengeance! Okay, so it ain’t THE SOPRANOS, but this dramatization of politics, ganglands and prohibition in the 1920s is, like its precursor, rooted in strong characterization and great performances. Plus, it’s fun to pronounce “I’m Margaret Schroeder!” along with Kelly MacDonald.