Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Movie Revue: New Moon

Yes, I finally the time AND money to see New Moon. Incidentally, why is it $6 for a matinee showing of a movie that's been out for a month? Prices at our local theater just went up from $5.50 to $6, and it bugs me.

New Moon stars Taylor Lautner, who spends most of the movie shirtless; Kristen Stewart, who spends most of the movie looking constipated; and Robert Pattinson, who spends most of the movie about to burst into tears. Seriously, for two people who are supposed to be madly in love, Edward and Bella sure don't smile a lot. So, thirty-second recap: After her true love (and vampire) Edward leaves her alone in the woods, painfully normal human Bella sinks into a deep depression. The only one who can bring her out of it is her friend Jacob, who like likes Bella, but Bella doesn't like him that way. Then it turns out that Jacob is a werewolf. Then Bella has to go to Italy to stop Edward from committing vampire suicide.

As I mentioned on last week's show, I am a fan of Twilight, but I am not a screaming Twilight fangirl. As such, I was able to enjoy this movie as a guilty pleasure. The movie seemed to drag at times; as in Twilight, there were scenes where the characters spent most of their screen time staring at each other. I started calling "Line?" whenever the pauses got too long (there were maybe 5 other people in the theater besides me, and I'm sure they couldn't hear my commentary). I'm honestly not sure whether this movie is good, or so bad it's good. I suppose it's some of both; the scenes with the Volturi were genuinely tense, and I liked a lot of the scenes with Bella and Jacob.

Something that bugs me about Twilight, especially now that I know how it all ends, is that Bella ends up with Edward. One of the biggest complaints the Twi-haters like to raise is that Bella and Edward's relationship doesn't seem to be based on anything. They just have passionate true love, for reasons which are never fully explored. Bella and Jacob, on the other hand, have a strong friendship based on things like common interests and even have some inside jokes. And in any other movie, the girl would've dumped the hot-guy-who-leaves-her for the friend-who's-always-been-there.

The special effects were pretty good--better than Twilight--and for the most part, I thought the werewolves looked great. The only part they couldn't get quite right was the eyes. They should have narrowed more when the wolves were trying to be menacing.

Overall: New Moon gets 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Video Revue: Best and Worst of Disney

Johnny here, "blog-ifying" the latest episode of Video Revue! This week, Monica and I are taking a look at the movies that are, in our opinions, the worst and the best. WHY would they make a sequel to "The Little Mermaid"? For that matter, what about "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"?

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow

Oh, and one more thing: our inbox has been looking really empty lately. Like, really empty, so much so that even our spam isn't good enough to be read on the air. So please, don't forget to send those e-mails to videorevue@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Video Revue: Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

This week, Johnny and I discuss ten different things that only one of us likes, and debate them a la Siskel and Ebert (in theory, anyway). Which blockbuster movie nearly put Johnny to sleep? Which popular website is full of videos I can't stand? Listen and find out!

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow

If you'd like to weigh in on any of the things we discussed, e-mail us at videorevue@gmail.com.

Next week: our top 5 best and worst Disney movies!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Video Revue: Top Eleven Cartoon Comedies

Johnny and I finish off LOL-vember by counting down our top 11 favorite animated comedy shows. Why top eleven? Because we like to rip off the Nostalgia Critic...

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Comments, hate mail, and spam forwards to videorevue@gmail.com.

Tune in next week as Johnny and I calmly discuss things which only one of us likes, a la Siskel and Ebert. We're calling it "Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Video Revue: Garfield

In honor of our comedy month, and in honor of everyone's favorite food-related holiday, Johnny and I look at our favorite funny fat cat, Garfield! From his early days in the comics (and creator Jim Davis' earlier flop!) to his current incarnation on Cartoon Network, Johnny and I discuss them all.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Show comments, hate mail, and spam forwards can be sent to videorevue@gmail.com. Question for the week: Do you like Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield, or do you agree that Lorenzo Music is irreplaceable?

For those who've been counting: This is episode 50! And it only took us 2 years and change...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marvel/DC Twilight and New Moon Parody

I haven't posted a RandomGuy video in a while...

New Moon review coming, y'know, whenever. If I see it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Video Revue: Director's Chair--Mel Brooks

Yes, that's right! As LOL-vember continues, Johnny and I take a look at one of comedy's greatest directors. From 1968's "The Producers" to 1995's "Dracula: Dead and Loving It," we discuss them all. Special guest: our dad joins us for an in-depth analysis of "Blazing Saddles" and "Silent Movie."

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

One note I wanted to bring up on the podcast: "Silent Movie" should not be confused with the "Scary Movie" franchise or those other gawd-awful "Fill-in-the-blank Movie" films like "Date Movie," "Epic Movie," or "Superhero Movie." Seriously, it seems like there's a new one of those every year, each more half-assed than the last.

Question for the week: What's your favorite Mel Brooks movie?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Video Revue: Top Ten LOL Moments

November is comedy month on Video Revue! This week, Johnny and I discuss our top ten moments from movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos that made us laugh out loud...but if you ask us next week, the list will probably be completely different!

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Coming up next week: a Director's Chair look at the great Mel Brooks.

If you have comments about this week's show, or any other shows, e-mail us!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Video Revue: The Addams Family

Happy Halloween! Be safe, have fun, and spoil your dinner (as Johnny likes to say)...Fun fact: the bite-size Butterfinger bars are 100 calories EACH.

Eh, whatever. Halloween is only one day a year, right?

This week, Johnny and I discuss the Addams Family, from the original 60s show to the two cartoon versions to the movies from the 1990s. As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Also, be sure to listen to Subject:Cinema's Halloween show!

Coming next week: our theme for November is comedy. Johnny and I kick off "LOL-vember" with our Top Ten Laugh Out Loud Moments!

Cool Optical Illusion

I just wanted to share with you guys this really cool optical illusion. Now, this guy talks kinda soft, so turn the volume up.
Thanks a million!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Son of Svengoolie - "Vampire Carpets" (1980?)

Here's the "Vampire Carpets" commercial we mentioned on this week's show.

Svengoolie Street

Featuring Jerry G. Bishop, the original Svengoolie, as another friendly kid's show host.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mr. Robber's Neighborhood (1979)

Here's the "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" parody we mentioned on this week's show. It's hilarious!

This video comes from graveyardtheatre.

Video Revue: Chicago Horror Movie Hosts

This week, Johnny and I take a look back at some of the fabulous and funny people who have hosted the weekly horror movies on TV in Chicago. We discuss the first horror host, who was on in 1957, up through the fabulous Svengoolie, who can still be seen on Saturday nights from 9-11 on WCIU. This Saturday, as a special Halloween treat, Sven will be hosting Bram Stoker's Dracula, starring Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman's wig!

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

This week's featured YouTube channel is FuzzyMemoriesTV, also known as The Museum of Chicago Classic Television. They have a ton of old commercials and bumpers that aired on Chicago TV, as well as clips from Jerry G. Bishop's "Screaming Yellow Theater" and Rich Koz on "Son of Svengoolie" and "The Koz Zone."

All of our information for this week's show comes from this book, available on Amazon or from Horrorbles.

Look for more posts this week, including video clips, pictures of the Berwyn car kabob, and photos from our meeting with Svengoolie!

Next week's show: The Addams Family.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Surprise! Video Revue from Deep 13 TODAY!

Yes, that's right, your weekly dose of Video Revue is available a full day early! This week, Johnny and I discuss the groundbreaking cult sci-fi hit Mystery Science Theater 3000. From their early days on local KTMA to the aftermath of the show's cancellation, we've got it covered.

If you've found our site through Satellite News, welcome! Thanks for listening and checking out the blog, and I hope you'll tune in again.

As always, you can listen to us directly on Podshow, or, if you like what you hear, you can subscribe to us on iTunes! Just search for "Video Revue."

YouTube channel of the week: romeorhino. Click for more of his great MST-style commentary!

Also, check out what the MST crew is up to these days: RiffTrax features Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy. Cinematic Titanic features basically everyone else: Joel Hodgson, Trace Beauleiu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, and J. Elvis Weinstein.

And one final note: This episode, and this show, would not be possible without this episode of Subject:Cinema (the first episode I ever listened to, from way back in June 2006). I listened, I wrote, I listened some more, and eventually Johnny and I decided to give this podcasting thing a try ourselves. And the rest, as they say, is history.

There's only so much of MST3K's history that we can cover in an hour, so we'd love to hear your feedback! What's your favorite episode? Best season? Did we get some facts mixed up? Let us know! Our email address is videorevue@gmail.com.

Coming next week: Svengoolie and other horror movie hosts! For a while, I contemplated dedicating half of the show to MST and the other half to Sven, but I decided it would be better to give each show its own episode. I don't want to inadvertently pit fans of one show against fans of the other. They're both great shows and I want to give them both their due.

And remember: Watch out for snakes!

YouTube Channel of the Week: romeorhino

Yes, in honor of our MST3K show, Johnny and I have awarded our increasingly intermittent "YouTube Channel of the Week" award to romeorhino, AKA Josh Way, creator of this and other hilarious MST-style riffs on "educational" videos circa 1950s.

MST3K podcast coming this weekend!

Yes, that's right! Instead of splitting this week's show between Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Svengoolie, we decided to do two different shows. Look for the MST show tomorrow and Svengoolie next weekend.

On a side note, be nice to your boss...especially if he happens to be a mad scientist.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Toy Story 3 - Official Trailer (Higher Quality)

This version of the trailer is higher quality than the one Monica posted, even without pressing the HD button.
I still crack up to this very moment!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Son of Svengoolie - "The 3-D Movie" (Opening, 1982)

...and this is why 3-D is only for movie theaters. Apparently this was a colossal disappointment.

For more Svengoolie trivia, be sure to tune in to our next show!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Movie Revue: Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3-D!

One ticket. Two movies. Three dimensions.

Johnny and I are huge Pixar fans (if you'll remember from our Pixar show) so we were very excited to hear that Toy Story and TS2 were returning to theaters in 3-D. I'm a big fan of the new 3-D techniques, having seen several movies in the old blue-and-red-glasses 3-D. The new way is way better, although I do think they use it as a gimmick sometimes.

But that didn't happen here. They simply re-worked the movies so that everything looks a little bit more real. The effects are pretty subtle, but everything has more depth and detail. Or maybe it's just seeing Toy Story on the big screen again after thirteen years of watching the VHS copy on my 22-inch TV screen. The colors popped, the backgrounds looked real, and it was just a ton of fun. I've seen both movies so many times I could probably recite entire scenes from memory, so I just sat back and tried to find details I hadn't noticed before.

I could, of course. Which reminded me again how mind-blowingly awesome Pixar is. Their attention to detail is just amazing. Here's a really nerdy example: when Buzz and Woody are trapped in Sid's room, and Buzz is trying to push the toolbox off of his desk, I noticed that the toolbox said Binford. Binford Tools was the name of the tool company that sponsored "Tool Time" on "Home Improvement," which (along with Toy Story) starred Tim Allen.

Along with two great movies, we got a preview for Toy Story 3, which looks like it's going to be hilarious. You can watch the video below (until it is inevitably deleted) but I would really recommend finding some time to go and see the movies in theaters. Unfortunately, it's only in theaters for two weeks, and this is week 2. But if you have a chance, definitely check it out. You will not be disappointed.

Toy Story 3 2010 New Trailer Leaked (Official)

Johnny and I went to see the Toy Story 3-D double feature yesterday. This was one of the trailers that played before the movie.

I am SO excited! I cannot WAIT for June 18 now! This movie is going to be amazing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Video Revue: Podcast From Another Dimension!

You're listening to a podcast. A podcast not only of sight and sound, but of mind...

Hmm. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it. This week, Johnny and I (along with a special guest!) discuss some of our favorite episodes of the iconic science fiction show The Twilight Zone. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the show's premiere, and it's amazing how well the show has held up. Even today, you can start humming the theme song when something weird happens and people know what it means.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

There were 156 episodes in the series' five-year run; we discuss just 18. If we forgot one of your favorites, let us know! Also, next week is our discussion on horror movie hosts. We're going to discuss MST3K and some of the Chicago horror hosts. If you'd like us to talk about your favorite, just let us know. We'd love to hear from you. Our email address is videorevue@gmail.com.

Question for the week: Why do you think the show is still so popular, half a century after it first appeared?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Video Revue: Heroes (To Be Continued)

This week, Johnny and I try to untangle the complicated television web that is Heroes. From the good guys, to the bad guys, to some of the dead guys (who are still around??) we give you the up-to-date info on the supernatural soap opera.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Next week, we celebrate our third anniversary, along with the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic sci-fi shows ever: The Twilight Zone.
(doo-do-do-do...see? You can hear the music in your head right now!)

If you have comments about this episode or anything else, email us at videorevue@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

John Astin goes to hell

What is hell? A hippie finds out in this segment from "Night Gallery."

Apparently, it's a real bummer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Defy authority! Read banned books!!

Quiz time: What do the following books have in common?

-The Giver by Lois Lowry
-Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
-Looking for Alaska by John Green
-The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
-Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
-Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
-1984 by George Orwell
-Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
-Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
-Forever by Judy Blume
-Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
-The Witches by Roald Dahl
-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
-Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The answer: In addition to being excellent books, every book on this list has been challenged or banned for some reason. For a comprehensive list of commonly banned and challenged books, you can visit the ALA website. I included just a few here because they are all books that I've read and enjoyed. Some were assigned by my English teachers; some I picked up on my own. The odd thing is that looking over the list I recognize A LOT of the titles.

Why are these books banned? There are various reasons given, usually that the subject matter is not age-appropriate, or that the book includes sex or violence (though sex is listed more often than violence). But the real reason is that someone is afraid of the book. Or, more specifically, someone is afraid of what will happen when people (usually children) read the book. They are afraid of the messages it contains, the characters it portrays, or the situations they are placed in. These books make people uncomfortable.

Which follows that a book must be really good if it is banned. If someone was so afraid of an author's message that they tried to keep other people from reading the book, that book is powerful. The more people read, the more knowledge they will have. Reading should challenge your views on the world. If you read something that makes you feel uncomfortable, good for you. The world is a big place, and everyone sees it differently. We could all stand to step out of our comfort zones more often. I don't exactly want to congratulate these authors for having written banned books, but I would like to encourage everyone reading this blog to go out and pick up a book that someone else thinks you shouldn't read.

And you can laugh evilly in their general direction.

Video Revue: Dollhouse

Johnny and I wrap up Joss-tember with a look at his latest (and still currently running) show, "Dollhouse." It's more of a brief overview than a really in-depth look, because we just had a really busy weekend. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our look at Joss Whedon as much as we did. As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Coming up next week, we try and unravel the exciting, in-depth world of "Heroes," and then it's time for our Halloween shows! The third week in October will be devoted to horror movie hosts. If you remember a local or national show that you'd like us to talk about, please let us know! Our email address is videorevue@gmail.com.

Question for the week: What's your favorite show from Joss Whedon?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fist of the North Star - Japanese Opening

A random video for the blog! This rocks, at least in my opinion.
No, this has nothing to do with Joss-Tember, it's just awesome.
It may get removed eventually, because it's from a DVD, which I am SO going to Netflix soon.
I want MP3 for this so badly!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Joss-tember: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog!

Fire up the webcam! Cue the music! Everyone's favorite mad scientist is on the loose. In the first half of our two-part weekend Johnny and I discuss Joss Whedon's internet musical. The Dollhouse show, which was originally going to go up tomorrow, will probably be late because we just finished recording it half an hour ago. But for now you'll just have to be satisfied with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion singing about heroism.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Comments? Feedback? Suggestions? Email us! Question for the week: Would you like to see the continuing adventures of Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer? Or has Joss messed with their lives enough for you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dr. Horrible Mocks the interwebs.

OMG. Now I wish I'd watched the Emmys.

Ah well, the Internet brings it here to us now! And we can watch it any time we want! Mwahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

(For more on Dr. Horrible, listen to Video Revue's special Saturday show coming this weekend!)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Video Revue: Firefly

Joss-tember continues as Johnny and I discuss the world's greatest sci-fi western: Firefly! From the fantastic two-hour premiere to the heartrending final episode, we discuss them all. As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Here's the link to the Lego "Serenity" project we discussed towards the end of the show (just scroll down to "Browncoat Central"--he's got 6 different versions!). It's amazing what this guy can do with Legos.

MST3k fans: click here to see his life-sized Lego versions of Crow and Servo!

I'm thinking we should do a future podcast about those great TV shows that have everything going for them but still only last one season. Unfortunately, I seem to discover a lot of them...right before they're canceled. But that's another story for another day.

We'd love to hear from our listeners! To comment on this show, past episodes, future episodes, or anything else, email us at videorevue@gmail.com.

Also, don't forget to listen to this week's Subject:Cinema! Johnny and I chime in with our thoughts on the Harry Potter books vs. movies, along with TC, Kim, and some of their friends (including Eric and Amber from Cavebabble).

This week's question: If Firefly had lasted beyond the first 15 episodes, what do you think would've happened? Who would have been the first to die? (My vote is on either Kaylee or Simon, shortly after their first kiss)

Monday, September 14, 2009

New from Popcorn 'N' Roses: Mirrorball Mayhem

Do you like "Dancing With the Stars"? Do you know someone who does? If so, you should check out the new podcast from the PNR networks: Mirrorball Mayhem, the first and only podcast devoted to DWTS. It's hosted by TC and Kim, our "pod people" friends in Boston and the hosts of Subject:Cinema.

If you like our show, definitely give Subject:Cinema a listen because they're awesome.

That having been said...I really don't like reality TV. I am apparently in the minority in this regard--even in my own house. But in my mind, every reality show has 3 main components:
1. The gimmick (celebrities dancing; people losing weight; living on a desert island; etc). The gimmicks either work for me or they don't.
2. The competition (a million dollars; a job with Donald Trump; fame; love; whatever). Basically why these carefully chosen people are on the television show in the first place.
3. The drama. I don't think I even have to define this--but it's all the scenes where one person talks directly to the viewers about why he/she hates so-and-so. This also includes the inordinate amount of time devoted to telling people they're fired/kicked out/sent home/losers. Seriously, almost half of the show is devoted to building up who the loser is this week. Even though they're called "reality" shows the drama always seems so contrived. I just don't like the idea of watching people talk behind each other's backs. Basically, even when I like the gimmick, I can't stand the drama.

Having said that, if you like Dancing With the Stars, you'll probably like Mirrorball Mayhem. And if you're like me, I can guarantee that TC and Kim won't be talking about DWTS during Subject:Cinema this year.


ZOMG. Countdown begins...now.

This trailer courtesy of Kaleb "Twilight Guy" Nation. Read his book! It's amazing! (Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Video Revue: Angel

Joss-tember continues as we take a long, long look at "Angel," the spin-off of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." We discuss some of our favorite episodes from all 5 seasons. We're having a lot of fun talking about Joss Whedon, and we'd love to have some more listener input! Coming next week: the ultimate in cult classic shows, "Firefly."

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

I mentioned at the end of this week's episode that we're planning an episode in October on horror movie shows. We'd love to have some input on what you remember growing up, or if there are local shows you watch now. If not, we've got more than enough material to do a whole show on Svengoolie...but it probably won't be that interesting to people not from Chicago. So if you'd like us to talk about your favorite horror host or horror show, please send us an e-mail! Our address is videorevue@gmail.com.

This week's question: Who's your favorite character from Angel? Favorite episode or season? Is the spin-off as good as the original series?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

TV Show Revue: The Vampire Diaries

From the network that brought you "Gossip Girl"...


The CW's new high school romance/vampire drama premiered tonight. It's based on a (fantastic) series of books by LJ Smith. There are obvious comparisons to "Twilight." We have the hot, mysterious guy who turns out to be a vampire. Said vampire no longer drinks human blood. We have the quiet girl who falls for the mysterious, brooding guy. Oh, and both series are set in high school.

But that's where the comparisons end. "Vampire Diaries" follows Elena, the quiet girl whose parents died in a car accident; Stefan, the Mysterious Brooding Vampire; Bonnie, Elena's psychic best friend; Damon, Stefan's Evil Vampire Brother; Matt, Elena's ex-boyfriend; and Carolyn, Elena's "frenemy." They're all basically the same characters as in the books. Then, just to shake things up, the writers invented a teenage pothead brother for Elena (fans of the books will remember that she originally had a much younger sister) and a teenage sister for Matt and some other characters who are there basically to complicate the relationships and/or die. Oh, and some guy who Stefan claims is his uncle but obviously isn't because he's human and several centuries younger than his "nephew." He knows what Stefan is, though.

As first episodes go, it wasn't too bad. It wasn't spectacular, though. The dialog was kind of flat--except for Damon. He was probably my favorite character. I wish we'd seen more of him. There was way too much of an emphasis on the relationship junk for my taste. I'll watch again next week, and I'll probably stick through the whole season, but so far I'm not overly impressed.

My main criticism is the way they portray the high school. Who provided all that beer for the "back-to-school" party? I find it disturbing that all of the sex and the drinking and the drugs are just assumed as a given. What message are they trying to convey? "This is what high school is like?" Or: "This is how high school SHOULD be?" Neither of those sounds like a good option to me.

When I think of vampire TV shows, the first one that comes to mind is "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", which also had the mysterious brooding vampire and high school setting. Even from the first episode, these characters seemed real. They had distinct personalities. The characters in Vampire Diaries, especially the girls, seemed pretty much interchangeable. I don't really feel like I know any of the characters yet--except for Damon. Maybe I'm just biased towards Buffy--the first episode wasn't the first one that I saw--but it is, in my mind, a much better pilot.

And here's the four-sentence summary!
The Vampire Diaries (new series; premiered fall 2009)
The Premise: Hottie brooding vampire moves to small town, followed by hottie evil vampire.
Why I love it: Damon is pretty hot.
If I could change one thing, I'd: get rid of a subplot or two, probably the "drug-dealing-younger-brother" one.
Girl power rating: Too early to tell. Initial score 2/5 for not really developing any of the female characters and making 2 girls vampire victims in the first episode already.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BTVS: Season 6 finale

Willow really wants to end the world...Xander talks her out of it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Video Revue: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It's finally here! The first of five different shows devoted to Joss Whedon (evil genius), this week's episode focuses on the iconic 90s show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Johnny and I attempt to condense all seven season into an hour and a half...with mixed results. We'll probably have a slightly different format for next week's show (Angel) and the others.

One note: towards the end of the show, I accidentally mixed up two of the characters' names: in "Conversations with Dead People" it's Willow who is haunted by "Cassie" and Dawn who sees her "mother's" body. Sorry for the confusion--it was a long week and a long show and my brain was kind of fried.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

For reference, here's our schedule for the rest of "Joss-tember":
Sunday, Sep. 13: Angel
Sunday, Sep. 20: Firefly
Saturday, Sep. 26: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (special Saturday show!)
Sunday, Sep. 27: Dollhouse

And coming in October, we have a whole months of Halloween-related shows. This is going to be a big season for Video Revue, so be sure to listen every week!

We'd LOVE to hear from other Whedon fans! Please send your feedback to videorevue@gmail.com

This week's question: What's your favorite character or episode from Buffy?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Video Revue: Actor's Studio--John Lithgow

It's all about John Lithgow this week! Johnny and I discuss some of his films, look back (again) at 3rd Rock from the Sun, and look forward to his new TV role (which is almost the opposite of a fun-loving alien...) along with the opportunity we had to meet him! You'll never guess where.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Questions for the week: What's your favorite Lithgow role? Do you like him better as a hero or a villain?

Send your feedback on this episode or any others to videorevue@gmail.com.

Coming next week: the start of Joss Whedon September! We're going to talk about the cult classic and personal favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Coming after that is Angel, Firefly, and a double-play weekend with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Dollhouse to finish out the month. Stay tuned, because it's going to be a ton of fun!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy dance time: "Leverage" has been renewed!

I was on Twitter a few minutes ago and came across an unexpected announcement: TNT has renewed "Leverage" for a third season! I was happily surprised that they renewed it already, because the second season is still being aired. If you've never watched Leverage before, do yourself a favor and start watching. Now. (It airs Wednesday evenings on TNT; cable-impaired viewers can catch some recent episodes on TNT's website or download 'em all from iTunes or Amazon).

So many networks have a reputation for developing a show, attracting viewers, and then canning the whole thing after one season (see: Pushing Daisies, Moonlight, Firefly, Blood Ties, Jericho, Back To You, etc). It's enough to make anyone wary of watching a new show. But when TNT started running ads for a new show called "Leverage" last November, I was hooked from the first promo ("Hey, look! It's Lindsey from "Angel"!). I tuned to the first episode, hoping for some decent entertainment.

I was blown away. This show is AMAZING. The premise: four criminals and an ex-insurance agent team up to steal from the undeserving, greedy SOBs who screw people over. They then give said money to the people who've been wronged. Or, as the leader Nate (Timothy Hutton) puts it: "The rich and powerful take what they want. We steal it back for you." As odd as it seems, this show always leaves me with a smile on my face. It's total schadenfreude. But they have it coming to them. Honestly.

The weekly stories are always fascinating. I love trying to figure out how they're going to rip off the bad guys. They always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. The writers are fantastic, and the cast is simply phenomenal. In addition to Hutton's ex-insurance agent Nate Ford, we have Christian Kane (the aforementioned "Angel" alum) as Eliot, who kicks ass and takes names; Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison, hacker extraordinaire; Gina Bellman as grifter/con artist Sophie Devereaux; and Beth Riesgraf as Parker, the world's greatest thief. The characters are all rich and complex, and the actors are all up to the task of bringing them to life on screen. They have great chemistry. The dynamic is as real as the characters themselves are. Some of my favorite lines in the show come from the little "throw-away" side conversations the team has with each other when they're not on the job. These people all have back stories, and it's fascinating to see them grow closer together over the course of the first season.

Season two is proving to be just as good, if not even better. This time they're taking down bigger, badder guys, protecting more people, taking more risks, and getting closer and closer to being discovered (actually, I take that back. They've been discovered, and managed to turn that into an even bigger win). They seem to be unstoppable (though this means I'm naturally waiting for the other shoe to drop). I can only imagine what they'll be getting up to in the third season.

One final note: Whoever came up with the idea of putting TV shows on iTunes and having new episodes up the day after they air is a genius. I've bought the Season Pass for both S1 and S2 of Leverage (making it one of only 2 shows where I own every episode; the other is Angel) because the only time I've ever had cable TV is when I lived in the dorms on my college campus. Now, I can get every episode of my favorite show without having to shell out $40 a month for cable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Video Revue: Memory Lane

Sorry the show is late this week. We ran into technical difficulties--but now you can finally listen to our brand new intro!


Anyway, this week Johnny and I discuss both shows we watched as young children and kids' TV shows we still enjoy--some we've only discovered recently. We also have our coverage of the terrific, hilarious live riffing of Plan 9 From Outer Space!

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Comments about this week's show? Want to suggest a new topic? Our email address is videorevue@gmail.com. Question for the week: What's your earliest TV memory?

We'll be back next week with a look at the career of John Lithgow, and then it's on to our Whedon-tastic September!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Podcast changes and end of summer

I'm sorry there was no show last week--Johnny and I suddenly found ourselves with all kinds of back-to-school stuff we needed to do. Oddly enough, neither of us actually went back to school THIS week. Johnny starts next week and my classes don't start until the week after that. But Johnny had some homework to finish (no, I don't know why they've started giving out homework over summer vacation) and I had to buy all of my textbooks. Anyway, to make up for it we've put some extras into this week's show. We're debuting a brand new intro and outro, and we have a review of last night's live riffing of "Plan 9 From Outer Space"! I don't remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did last night. We had a GREAT time!

And don't forget: in two weeks we're starting our first ever month-long series of shows as we devote the month of September to the evil genius who is Joss Whedon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A classic!

Would you BELIEVE that this thing has been viewed almost 18,000 times since 2007??

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TV on the Internet

Note: This is another one of those blog posts that's probably going to go on for a while without really saying anything important. I haven't done one of those for a while.

One of the great things about the Internet is that it gives people the opportunity to watch television shows and movies without a television, VCR, or DVD player. For someone like me, who watches a lot more television than I'd like to admit, it's exciting. However, it can also frequently be annoying. Why is that, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you why. Because, with instant access to certain shows, I come to expect any episode of any television show to be just a few clicks away--and it definitely is not. Granted, a lot of the new shows are available in various places online, often just a day after they air on TV. But older shows are a lot harder to track down. Or they can be.

Anyway, there are basically 3 different ways to find TV shows on the Internet: free with commercials, free without commercials, and paid.

Free with commercials: This includes sites such as Hulu, Fancast, and the "Shows" section on YouTube. This also includes the network websites. If you're looking for a specific, current show, chances are good you can watch it on the network's web site. Some of the video players are easier to use than others. The other sites have the rights to certain shows from various networks (and, in some cases, only certain episodes from those shows). You can watch them for free, but the videos are interrupted periodically to show a commercial (sometimes the same commercial during every break). They're always adding new stuff when they get the rights to it, so the selection is expanding. They have old shows, new shows, network shows, and even some cable shows--but nothing rated TV-MA (sorry, True Blood fans who don't have HBO!).

Free without commercials: These are usually found on websites with user-generated content, where kind souls have decided to upload shows that they, technically, may or may not have the rights to. Aside from the legal issues, this can be both good and bad. The main advantage here is selection. If you can't find it on Hulu, chances are someone else has it uploaded somewhere. This includes shows you would normally only be able to find on premium cable channels. Websites like Surf the Channel try to collect all of the links into one easy-to-search place. The disadvantages here are that these links are much more unreliable--if YouTube is purging copyrighted content, every episode of a certain show could disappear...for a while. They're constantly being deleted and re-uploaded. Also, Surf the Channel is vulnerable to hackers. My antivirus program doesn't like it.

Paid: This includes websites like iTunes and Amazon, where you can pay to own a favorite episode or show. This is good if it's something you know you'd like to watch over and over again--and if you have the space for it. It's not so good if you've never seen a show before and don't feel like paying $2 an episode only to find out you don't like it--or if you don't happen to have an extra 30 gigabytes on your hard drive. I will say that iTunes has an insane selection, especially with new shows, including premium cable and shows in HD. Netflix also has videos you can watch online (or stream through the Internet to your TV with a special box) but their selection of TV shows isn't nearly as wide as iTunes.

What I'd really like to see is a site that has a wider selection than the free-with-ad sites without having to purchase the episode. Here's my vision: For a monthly subscription fee, you get unlimited access to thousands of shows (more than the free-with-commercials) which you can watch at any time over the Internet. You could even have different levels: a free version would let you watch, say, five hours per month. Or maybe certain shows would only be available with a paid plan. Paid subscribers could have unlimited viewing, and for an additional fee could download episodes to their computers. I like the streaming-to-TV idea that Netflix has--I think the box is from a company called Roku--so I'd make my website compatible with the box as well (no additional charge). There could be an extra fee for HD format. You could even charge extra for shows like Dexter or True Blood or The Sopranos. Personally, I'd make it compatible with iTunes and other portable video players. I doubt Apple would agree to that, but this is all hypothetical anyway...

I'd be willing to pay for a subscription like that. Normally I only use the Internet to pay for items, not services (Netflix being my one exception). But let's say a website like the one I envision would cost $20 a month. First of all, that's cheaper than cable by a wide margin. If it had a wide enough selection of shows, it could actually replace cable TV altogether. And if you'd watch more than 10 shows in a month, it's cheaper than iTunes. Personally, I think the flat rate is better than paying per episode or per viewing, because if I purchase a video and don't like it I feel it was a waste of money. And while I do love being able to carry around my favorite TV shows on my iPod, they take up A LOT of space on my laptop.

Question for the comments: What do you think of my idea? Would you pay for a website like the one I've described? What, if anything, would you change?

(Additional question: who wants to bet this post will be spammed with at least 5 ads for video sites? Should I add a spam filter?)

Monday, August 10, 2009

RiffTrax LIVE: Plan 9 from Outer Space

Yes, in case you haven't heard about THIS, it's going to be awesome! Johnny and I bought tickets as soon as we found out. We're going to have a full review on our podcast (the August 23rd show). If you haven't bought tickets yet, GO! Before they sell out!

Video Revue: Attack of the 80s Movies!

We're back! This week, Johnny and I travel back to the 1980s to discuss the top 10 grossing films from each year, particularly those we've seen. From "Witness" to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," from "The Empire Strikes Back" to "The Little Mermaid," we discuss everything eighties. This idea was suggested by our long-time listener Rob in Oregon (thanks, Rob!). If you have an idea for Video Revue, we'd love to hear it! You can e-mail us any time at videorevue@gmail.com.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Question for the week: What should we watch next? Also, what's your favorite eighties movie?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Video Revue: Tim Burton

We're home from vacation! This show has been up for a while, but now that we're home I can finally post it here. Johnny and I take a look at the weird and wonderful world of Tim Burton in this show. As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Our next episode should be up soon, as Johnny and I talk about some of the best movies of the 1980s.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The next Video Revue

The next episode of Video Revue will be up this weekend, but we WILL NOT have a blog link to it right away. Hey, now is a great time to subscribe to us on iTunes if you haven't already! Or, you can just go to our Mevio page to listen to the latest episode (and back episodes, too).

Johnny and I will be on vacation, which is why we won't be here to blog about the show, but we will have a show up this weekend (which was actually recorded LAST week) and another show next weekend (which we will actually record THIS week). So when the new Video Revue goes up, ignore the mention at the end about Subject:Cinema taking a break, because that was LAST weekend, and we decided to schedule things so that we would have a break during the same week they did. Got that? Good.

Also, if you found us through the Nerdfighter ning, welcome!

No Video Revue...yet...

Sorry for the delay on the new Video Revue. Subject:Cinema took the weekend off from their show, so I guess that means that VR is taking a week off too. Our new show should be up this weekend.

And now, on a completely unrelated note, this video:

Remember The Club? And incidentally, MST3K fans may recognize the movie clips from Eegah! Svengoolie doesn't do commentary like the MST guys did, but he always has some funny skits to tie in with the movie.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Toy Story 3 - Official Teaser Trailer [HD]

As promised, the Toy Story 3 trailer!

Thoughts? Personally, I think this is going to be awesome. Johnny is already counting down the days.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Video Revue: Monsters in the Closet, Rats in the Kitchen

...it's kind of a long title, but then again, it's kind of a long show. Honestly, this is probably the longest show we've ever done.

This week, Johnny and I look at the ten AMAZING films from the Pixar animation studios, from Toy Story through Up, and our thoughts on next year's Toy Story 3.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

I didn't realize until after we'd finished recording that we completely forgot to mention next week's topic. It's probably gonna be another long one, as we look at the films of Tim Burton.

Thanks for listening! If you have any comments about the show, e-mail us at videorevue@gmail.com. Question for the week: What's your favorite Pixar movie?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Video Revue: Hidden Movie Gems

This week, we return with movies you need to check out. We've upped our lists from five apiece to ten apiece, so be sure to listen in! As always, you can listen to us on iTunes or Podshow.

We're always looking for more good movies, so let us know what's on your list!

As promised, click HERE to watch the "My Favorite Martian" movie on YouTube. Or just watch it right here on the blog!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Video Revue: Hidden TV Gems

We're back! After a one-week hiatus, Johnny and I have returned to our podcast studios (read: basement) to bring you another show. This time around, we're talking about some TV shows which you've probably never heard of--but they're definitely worth checking out. From a cartoon about the American Revolution to a drama about hackers and thugs working to take down The Man, and everything in between, tune in and find some new ways to turn your brain to mush.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or on Podshow.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Marvel/DC: Tribute to Captain America (Happy 4th of July!)

Like the title says, a 4th of July video that also happens to be in memory of Captain America. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Look for a new Video Revue this weekend, including our review of "Up"!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Fathers of the Founding Fathers

As promised, here's the Vlogbrothers song for Father's Day. It's genius!

Contains 100% pure awesome.

Happy Father's Day to all you great dads out there!

New Video Revue and Other Announcements

This week, Johnny and I discuss one of our favorite '90s sitcoms: Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Think "Bewitched" set in high school, with a talking cat. But seriously, it was an awesome show.

As always, you can find Video Revue on iTunes or Podshow

Neither of the bumpers was from an episode we mentioned. The opening bumper was from Season 2's "Rumor Mill," where Sabrina starts working for a tabloid because she thinks it counts as "community service." Her job is to create rumors...which then all come true (including her cat becoming a mob boss, her aunts getting abducted by aliens, and her boyfriend getting pregnant). The other bumper was from a Season 7 episode, where Sabrina meets her fiance's family for the first time. She tries a "harmony spell" in the hopes that it will ease the discord.

Other announcements:
1. Happy Father's Day!
2. Subject:Cinema is back, after a 3-week medical leave...they've got two shows up now, including their anniversary show! Congratulations on 3 great years, and here's to many more!
3. Speaking of anniversaries: happy "Svenniversary" to the great Rich Koz, who has been dressing up as Chicagoland's favorite horror host, Svengoolie, for THIRTY years! Johnny and I watched the special 30th anniversary episode last night...HILARIOUS! We even taped it...we might try posting some of the Sven bits up on YouTube. If we do, you'll be the first to know!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Video Revue: YouTube Countdown!

On this week's show, Johnny and I count down our five favorite YouTubers. I've gotta say, this was a fun topic. We both spend an inordinate amount of time rotting our brains on YouTube, so it was great to talk about some of the best sets of videos out there.

Topics include:
-Marvel vs. DC!
-Golf balls vs. a blender!
-Stoner unicorns!

And more! Keep watching this space for links to our playlists of our very favorite videos.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Have comments about this week's show? E-mail us at videorevue@gmail.com!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Video Revue: Legends of Anime

And we're back (already)! This week, Johnny and I discuss some of our favorite anime TV shows and movies. Johnny knows how to say "Legends of Anime" in Japanese but I don't know how to spell it with either English characters or katakana (one of the 3 sets of characters which make up the Japanese language). As always, you can subscribe to us through iTunes or listen through Podshow.

Have comments about this week’s show? Send us an email at videorevue@gmail.com

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Death Note "Potato Chip" scene

A freakin' creepy, freakin' hilarious scene from the anime "Death Note", which is one of the best anime shows out there. This is the only good scene from the English dub.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Video Revue: School's Out!

Sorry this episode is up late! As I mentioned in that last post, our webmaster had a lot to deal with this last weekend. But now we're up, and we should have a new show this weekend. As always, you can download our podcast on iTunes or listen through Podshow.

Have comments about this week’s show? Send us an email at videorevue@gmail.com

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Video Revue coming soon (to a computer near you!)

I know our shows usually go up on Sunday mornings, but we've hit a glitch. Our webmaster (TC from Subject:Cinema) has been busy all week taking care of Kim, who came down with the chicken pox! Fortunately she's feeling better but he hasn't had time to do much else. I'll let you know as soon as our latest episode is available.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Video Revue: Creative Works #1--Jim Henson

Hello everybody! This week, Johnny and I discuss Jim Henson. "Creative Works" is our newest recurring feature, like "Laff Track" and "Actor's Studio." The Creative Works shows focus on the creators of different characters (in this case, the Muppets). We mention some of our favorite Muppet moments and also talk about some of his other projects.

Our show has actually been up since yesterday morning, but I haven't had time to post it here. Of course, if you subscribe to us on iTunes, the shows download automatically (hint, hint). As always, you can also find us on Podshow.

There were a couple Jim Henson facts I forgot to mention on the show. He was also involved in the creation of Yoda, my favorite Star Wars character, and also recommended his long-time friend Frank Oz to voice the Jedi master (Oz did the voice in all 5 Star Wars movies). One of his companies was also behind the '90s show "Dinosaurs." Henson was developing the concept before he died in 1990.

Keep watching the blog, because I'm going to create a YouTube playlist with some Muppet videos and post a link here.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Congratulations, Svengoolie!

Svengoolie (Rich Koz), who I met a couple weeks ago, received a Rondo award, which is a fan award given every year in various categories related to sci-fi and horror. He wasn't there to pick up the award in person, so he sent a DVD with an acceptance speech and had a friend pick up the award for him.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Star Trek Initiation: The Menagerie Part 1

Well folks, I'm back with another episode of the original Star Trek to review for you! According to the good folks at Wikipedia, this was the only 2-part episode in the original series. It was also a way to use some of the footage from the original unaired pilot episode, but I'll get to that later on.

The episode begins with Spock, Kirk, and McCoy beaming down somewhere because Spock claims he received a message from Captain Pike, the former captain of the Enterprise. The other commander, Commodore Mendez, states that this is impossible, because something has happened to Captain Pike.

Ooh, ooh, I know this one! He was captured by vengeful Romulans as part of an intricate plot involving time travel and a device that can create black holes, right? No, that was somewhere else...

Anyway, Captain Pike was actually exposed to high levels of delta rays. This means that his face has become disfigured, and he is also now confined to a washing machine-like wheelchair. It operates on his brainwaves. With his mind, he can send it forwards or backwards, turn it, and make a little light blink. One blink means yes, and two blinks means no. That's all he can say. If they have the technology to create a brainwave-powered chair, why can't they give poor Captain Pike a larger vocabulary? Or a voice-output system? This is one of the inherent problems with old sci-fi, because we have different ideas of how technology will operate in the future. Back in the sixties, many people thought we'd all have flying cars by now. Or that we'd have blown ourselves up with nukes. But none of them ever imagined the Internet or iPods or TiVo. Going off on a bit of a tangent: you know those annoying walkie-talkie cell phones? I wonder if there's a way to get them to make the Star Trek communicator sound...

Okay, so Captain Pike refuses to see anyone besides Spock. Spock tells Pike that "it" is six days away at warp speed, and he's going "there." Pike keeps on blinking "no" at him, but Spock respectfully, stoically tells Pike he's going to do it anyway. Of course, we have no idea what "it" is yet. Spock then proceeds to hack into the ship's computer and send a message to the Enterprise that they are being sent on a classified mission and the course is being programmed into the computer. He runs into a couple guards, but they're quickly disabled by his nerve pinch. I wish I could do that; it would save me a lot of trouble if I ever find myself in a fight. And it's mutiny on the Enterprise as Spock manages to get both McCoy and Pike onto the ship, leaving Kirk and Commodore Mendez behind. They take off in another ship, and once Spock realizes they're not going to turn back, he turns himself in for mutiny. I failed to see his logic, but I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Did I mention I think Spock is awesome?

There are three main reasons Spock was able to pull off his plan (and, yes, getting caught was part of his plan all along). The first was that he simply has the knowledge of the technology and the ship (the geek shall inherit!). Second was that he had the trust of everyone onboard; even when Kirk suspected Spock, he didn't act on it. Third, it was completely unexpected, so he had the element of surprise. It's always the quiet ones...

We find out that Spock has programmed the computer to take the Enterprise to Talos-IV, the only planet which ships are forbidden, under punishment of death, to visit. During his tribunal, Spock points out that three officers must be present. This works out to be Kirk, Mendez, and Pike, which is why Spock kidnapped the former captain of the Enterprise. Spock submits a video log from thirteen years ago as evidence for why he's taking the ship to Talos-IV. This leads to a long flashback, which is actually from the unaired pilot. I saw it some months ago, and I thought it looked familiar. Anyway, the episode ends with flashback-Pike being captured by the Talosians, who are able to create powerful illusions with their oversized brains. The court has recessed and Spock's fate will be decided in the next episode.

I know how the flashback part ends, because I've seen the pilot, but I don't know what will happen with Spock (aside from the obvious fact that he won't be executed).

I'll be back with Part 2 soon! It was really weird, but cool, to see Spock act as the "bad guy": hacking into the computer, sending false transmissions, knocking out the guards. If it was anybody other than Spock, I'd be convinced that the Enterprise was being led into a trap. But Spock knows what he's doing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Star Trek revue!

Not to be confused with my written review, posted on Monday, this is our podcast review of the new Star Trek movie. This is sort of a bonus episode--we'll be back this weekend with our normal show--so it's about 10 minutes long. There are some spoilers, so I would suggest not listening if you haven't seen the movie yet.

You should. Whether you're a die-hard Trekkie or someone who knows nothing about Star Trek.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow. If you've seen the new Trek, let us know what you think! You can e-mail us at videorevue@gmail.com.

Live long and prosper.
(Does that look anything like the Vulcan salute? It's supposed to.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

I've been writing an awful lot lately, haven't I?

But it's time for one more post! Unless I watch another episode of Star Trek tomorrow, that is...

Anyway, to make a long story short, I have uncovered something that I just had to post here: a webcomic called Irregular Webcomic! IWC is done almost entirely with Lego characters, in addition to some D&D minifigures and the comic's creator himself, David Morgan-Mar. He's got about twenty different storylines going on at once, with various crossovers as well. And they're hilarious. Some of my favorites are Harry Potter, Mythbusters, and Death. Yes, there is a plotline involving not just Death, but multiple Deaths. Apparently there is a different collector of souls for each cause of death. For example, Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs. He's always in trouble with Head Death and being demoted to more obscure methods, such as Death of Being Sat On By A Giant Frog. There's also Death of Inhaling Hatmaking Chemicals. And you can bet Death has run into the Mythbusters multiple times. If only there wasn't that pesky clause that allowed the departed to challenge Death...I don't think a single soul has ever been successfully collected.

David has been doing the strips since 2003, so there's over 2000 of them now. If you want to start reading, you've got several options:
1. Just jump right in! It might take a while before you understand what's going on, though...
2. Go to the cast page and find a storyline that interests you. You can read all of the strips in that storyline, and by the time you reach the latest ones you'll probably have met most of his characters.
3. Pick a date and start reading from there. I wouldn't suggest going all the way back to 2003 unless you (A) have a lot of time on your hands and (B) understand RPG jokes. They were kinda lost on me.

Some quick tips to help new readers:
-The president, in this universe, is a dinosaur. Apparently he was elected in 2004.
-One of his storylines involves Shakespeare. He works in an office with other people named after Shakespearean characters and writes Harry Potter fanfiction.
-Expect lots of pop culture references. These are explained in the annotations.
-Also expect a physics lesson fairly often. These are explained too.
-One of the older storylines involves Steve Irwin. I'm not sure how often he's shown up since the real Steve died, but I would suggest avoiding his storyline if you're still upset about his death.
-The universe was destroyed in December 2008, and they spent most of January 2009 trying to fix it. As a result, I think he's re-starting all of the storylines.

Some of my favorite lines:
"I find you lack of face disturbing." (Darth Vader to Death)
"We need finesse...hand me that jackhammer." (a Martian. There are 3 of them, all unnamed)
"We need to create another Big Bang as a control sample." (Jamie from the Mythbusters)
"Stand back. I'm going to destroy the afterlife!" (somebody from the RPG storyline)
"Humanity will pay for this. Especially the one known as Steve." (Cthulhu)
This entire comic featuring McGonnogal and Dumbledore
"We are Nazis! We do not make anachronistic references here!" (Hitler's Brain, who was brought back to life by the Mythbusters as their challenge from Head Death)

Oddly enough, I find this web comic much easier to understand than some of the others I've read...

Movie Revue: Star Trek

I saw the Star Trek movie last night. Wow. It was amazing. Johnny and I even recorded a special episode of the podcast--look for it tonight or tomorrow--but I'm going to post something here too.

This review is spoiler-free, so if you haven't seen the movie yet, no worries. We do get into some plot details in our podcast review.

First of all, I love Spock. Even from watching less than half of the first season of Star Trek: TOS, I have decided that Spock is my favorite character. And the entire reason I wanted to see the movie in the first place is that Spock is played by Zachary Quinto, also known as my favorite TV villain of all time. I would like to say that Zachary is a PHENOMENAL actor, and I LOVED him as Spock. Plus, with the return of Leonard Nimoy, you get two Spocks for the price of one!

Chris Pine does a great job as James Kirk. It was interesting to see Kirk as a teenager; plus, now I actually have an image of Kirk not associated with the Priceline ads. Also loved Sulu--he's probably my favorite minor character on TOS, and he was played in this movie by John Cho...also known as Harold from the "Harold and Kumar" movies. I thought he looked familiar. Oh, and Uhura is now a "xeno-linguist" instead of just the token black lady.

It's weird to say that the characters have grown a lot since the original series, because they're all supposed to be younger than they were on the show, but they have grown. I thought all of the character development was excellent. Scotty and McCoy were HILARIOUS. Honestly, even though the movie was over two hours long, I wish I could've seen more. Maybe they should make a TV show with the movie cast! Honestly, I would watch it. Every week. Especially if Sylar has been written out of Heroes completely...but I digress.

I loved the movie. I thought the acting was fantastic, the special effects were amazing, the plot was...secondary...and I hope they all come back for another!

Overall: 5 stars/5

Marvel and DC Keep on Trekkin' (Marvel/DC/Star Trek Parody)

The latest offering from YouTube's "ItsJustSomeRandomGuy." With the only superhero movies this summer come and gone, Spider-Man has an idea for their new gig...

As always, RandomGuy cracks me up.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1990 Crest Toothpaste Commercial

I have been looking for this commercial FOREVER! This was the "apple in a blender" PSA we mentioned in this week's episode.

Please brush your teeth.


A new idea this week: I've created a YouTube playlist for this week's episode. It includes most of the commercials we mentioned, and some we didn't. Click here to view them all!

Also: our blog is at 150 posts!! Thanks to everyone who reads and comments.


A fake commercial for Swiffer, animated by SecretAgentBob, better known as the creator of "Charlie the Unicorn." As promised, posted to the blog!

Back to our show...MAYBE...

This week, Johnny and I take a look at commercials! From good ones to bad ones, long ones and short ones, and even some fake commercials, this week, it's all about the ads!

Brought to you by Spatula City and Yakko Warner's Head-Shaving Spray-Painting Emporium.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Keep watching for a review of the new Star Trek movie coming soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My brush with fame!

Longtime readers of the blog, and people from Chicagoland, will recognize the name Svengoolie (also known as local celebrity Rich Koz). He hosts the late-night movie on Saturday nights on WCIU (Channel 26) from 9-11, and also occasionally makes guest appearances at various places. Johnny and I both had the chance to meet him last Saturday!

Sven was at the grand re-opening of a movie memorabilia and collectibles store called Horrorbles. I'd been to their old location once or twice. Their new location, which is right next door, is much roomier and nicer. I was only able to look around for a few minutes while I was waiting in line for my photo with Sven, but I'm definitely going to go back. They have collectible action figures and old movie posters and an entire wall with shelves of DVDs. It's basically a little piece of geek heaven.

Sven was there from 6:30 to 8:30, but he said on his blog that people should get there early. I was there around 5:45, and Johnny joined me with our dad about half an hour later. My original plan was to show up around 6. I was glad I'd given myself the extra 15 minutes because there was a HUGE crowd, and a lot of people showed up after I did. Dad and Johnny were glad I'd saved them a spot in line. I was surprised by the mix of people there--I saw a lot of families with young kids. Now, granted, most of the movies Svengoolie shows aren't scary, even when they're supposed to be, but I wouldn't have watched them when I was six.

Anyway, I only had a minute with Svengoolie, but he was just as nice and funny in person as he is on TV. My dad took some photos of me and my brother with Svengoolie. We also both got his signature--he signed a photo for me, and then we bought a rubber chicken and Sven signed that for Johnny. Why a rubber chicken, you ask? It's a running joke on the show. Whenever Svengoolie cracks a really bad joke, he gets rubber chickens thrown at him. Why rubber chickens? They're funny.

Here are the photos! I had such a great time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek Initiation: The Corbomite Maneuver

Hello fellow Star Trek followers. Unfortunately, I do not have a review of the new Star Trek movie yet. This weekend was crazy busy, and I've got finals next week, but if all goes well I'll have a chance to see it Memorial Day weekend (or possibly before). I have to say, all of my Trek-fan friends have seen it and raved about it, so I'm very excited. This week, I'm reviewing Episode 10 of the original series, "The Corbomite Maneuver."

The episode begins in the middle of an uncharted territory, as the Enterprise is mapping a new star system. I believe this is the first time they've literally gone "where no man has gone before." They are about ready to wrap things up when they encounter the Spinning Cube of Doom. Well, they don't actually call it that. But it blocks their path, and it follows them, and nobody knows what it is or what it's for. It also spins, and it's cube-shaped. Hence, Spinning Cube of Doom (or SCoD). Kirk tells the crew to start approaching the cube. The SCoD, it turns out, is also radioactive. It continues to chase the Enterprise even when they try backing away. It continues to emit higher and higher levels of radiation until Kirk orders the crew to blow it up.

Now in my mind, the last thing you want to do with something emitting radiation is make it explode, but apparently it's not a problem for the Enterprise. After the SCoD is defeated, Kirk orders the crew to practice emergency procedures. I noticed he was extremely short-tempered with everyone, especially Dr. McCoy. I assumed at first that the SCoD had some sort of mind-control power, but I think it was just the stress of escaping a potentially dangerous situation. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the danger is far from over.

Shortly after blowing up the SCoD, they are contacted by an alien ship who informs them that the Enterprise has blown up their warning beacon. The alien, who calls himself Baalok (isn't that an antacid?), is incredibly pissed at the Enterprise for destroying the SCoD. At one point, he tells the crew, "I assume you have a deity...or deities..."

That right there is number one on my list of Signs that Really Bad News is Coming.

Anyway, Baalok gives the Enterprise "ten of your Earth units known as minutes" to prepare for their annihilation. Kirk makes several attempts to reason with Baalok's ship, all of which are ignored. Spock's advice at this point is to surrender. He likens their situation to a game of chess and suggests that Kirk has been checkmated. Kirk's idea is that, rather than a chess game, they should look at the situation as though it is a poker game and raise the stakes.

From what I've gathered about the Vulcans, I would assume that (A) they would be very good at poker and (B) they would have very little interest in playing it. But I don't know. The poker idea is, after all, a metaphor. Kirk's idea of raising the stakes is to inform Baalok that his ship is armed with "corbomite," a mysterious substance that will destroy any ship that attempts to harm the Enterprise (hence the name of the episode). Baalok buys it enough to delay the destruction of the ship, but he insists on seeing proof of the corbomite. When Kirk refuses, Baalok captures their ship and starts towing it to another planet. His plan is to remove all of the crew and then destroy the ship.

If you've never seen The Corbomite Maneuver, go watch it now, and stop reading this review, because Here There Be Spoilers.

Kirk manages to escape from Baalok's power, but not without nearly burning out the engines. Unfortunately, it appears that Baalok's ship is in even worse shape: Uhura picks up a very faint distress signal. Kirk decides to go and help, so they beam over to the ship to meet the Great And Terrible Baalok. It was obvious that they found some five-year-old kid to play the real Baalok and then dubbed in an adult's voice. At one point Baalok says that nobody would have found him frightening in his real form, but I thought he was pretty creepy. Anyway, once again Star Trek managed to surprise me with the ending. Everything made sense once I realized that Baalok had been bluffing as well. I do wonder if he'd ever been intending to actually blow up the Enterprise, or if his ship even had the capacity to do so. Overall, I loved this episode. One of the best I've seen so far. I'd love to watch the remastered version sometime.

Episode notes:
-Why is Uhura's uniform yellow instead of red? That bugged me through the whole episode. Mustard yellow really isn't her color.
-The doctor puts Kirk on a diet because his weight is up a couple of pounds. I found that hilarious, considering how William Shatner looks today.
-When Baalok's ship appeared, I thought, "Oh shit, the Spinning Cube of Doom has a mommy." I also dubbed his ship the Spinning Disco Ball of Doom.
-If an alien threatened to blow me up and then offered me a drink, I wouldn't take it. Sorry.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sesame Street 1993 Intro

Because of our "Sunny DAZE!" podcast, I decided to post my two favorite intros to the show. First there's this one (absolutely love it to this day)...

New Sesame Street intro

...and then there's this one. I absolutely love this one, too!

Video Revue: Sunny DAZE!

This week on Video Revue, Johnny and I take a look at one of the classic children's shows: Sesame Street! We discuss some new segments, old favorites, and a few of the many notable people who have visited Sesame Street in its 40-year (!) run. As always, you can download the show from iTunes or listen on Podshow.

Also, happy Mother's Day! If you have a mother, give her some love. And listen to her advice without complaining (at least for one day...). If you had a mother, remember her fondly. If you are a mother, make sure your kids listen to your advice for once without complaining...

If you have memories of watching Sesame Street, we'd love to hear your stories. Please e-mail us!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

YouTube Channel of the Week: Howcast!

I decided to bring back a long-neglected blog feature: YouTube Channel of the Week. This week's winner: Howcast.

Howcast puts out several videos a week. They're informative and often humorous video tutorials for everything from getting people to shut up in the movie theater (see above) to getting a date to removing ink stains to building a laser security system. Just go to their channel and type in a keyword. You'll probably get something, because they've got over a thousand videos already.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Video Revue: Actor's Studio--Christopher Lloyd

This week, Johnny and I focus on some of the (many) films and TV shows starring one of our favorite actors, Christopher Lloyd. From Taxi and Back to the Future to Camp Nowhere and Cyberchase, to his surprising first appearance onscreen, join us as we discuss why we llove Lloyd!

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Podshow.

Question for the comments: if I would make video playlists on YouTube for each episode, would you watch them? It wouldn't be that hard to do. Would you prefer posting them directly to the blog, or just linking to a YouTube playlist?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Connect with Video Revue!

It's been a while since I posted our contact info, and some of it has changed since then, so I'm going to post it again.

Johnny and I both have YouTube channels. He creates his own videos fairly regularly, while I'm mostly there to watch and favorite a little bit of everything. You can connect to us by clicking here for sandrilene23 (Monica) and here for thevisualboy37 (Johnny).

I have sold my soul to the "Facebook Status Rip-Off" website, more commonly known as Twitter. You can follow us on Twitter by clicking here.

You can also link to us on Facebook and Fanfiction.net by following the links in the sidebar. I'll add our Twitter link to the links section soon.

New Video Revue tomorrow! Johnny and I kick off our "Actor's Studio" feature by looking at one of our favorite actors: Christopher Lloyd!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Star Trek Initiation: Dagger of the Mind

I apologize for the long time between ST:I postings. I'd actually tried to watch this episode--twice--last week, but was foiled by the slowness of my Internet connection. But apparently the third time's the charm, because I was finally able to watch "Dagger of the Mind," the ninth episode of the original Star Trek.

The title sounds quite surreal, though the episode isn't particularly trippy. The episode begins on Stardate 2715.1 (for those of you playing along at home) as the Enterprise travels to the Tantalus Penal colony. Man, does that sound dirty...but I digress.

As the episode begins, Kirk reminds the crew that the forcefields surrounding Tantalus-5 need to be opened before anything can be beamed down from the ship--an early firewall. I was impressed. So then they beam up a large box, and a man crawls out. Wait, they beamed up a dude in a box? Looks like trouble with a capital T.

The doctor in charge of the colony, Dr. Adams informs Kirk and Co. that the man who snuck onto the ship is mentally unstable and dangerous. Here is his paraphrased message: "Sorry, my bad. He's dangerous, so watch out. Bye now." Clearly a caring, compassionate man.

Spock manages to subdue the stowaway with what may be the first appearance of the Vulcan nerve pinch (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here). After a dose (or seven) of sedatives from the good Doctor Bones, they find out that his name is Dr. Van Gelder. Also: his memory appears to have some holes, and he's terrified of returning to Tantalus-5. This was my first inkling that Dr. Adams may be more of a Dr. Frankenstein, and his prison is an interstellar Gitmo.

They contact Dr. Adams again, who confirms that the man is in fact his assistant, Dr. Van Gelder. He asks Jim to come down to the colony alone to take a tour.

Red flag number one.

Jim beams down to the colony, along with Dr. Helen Noel, who met Kirk at the Christmas party. I just found it funny that he was at a Christmas party and met someone whose last name is Noel. Annnnnyway, Dr. Adams is charming and seems glad to have them there. The first woman they meet (I think her name is Lethae, but I couldn't quite catch it) appears to have a way with sewing needles and curtains. She also appears to have had her brain thoroughly washed, possibly with bleach.

Red flag number two.

Meanwhile, Bones and Spock are trying to get as much useful info out of Dr. Van Gelder as possible. Whenever he gets too agitated, they stab him with a needle and give him more tranquilizers. I'm surprised he never overdosed, but maybe the drug has a short half-life. Whatever. Van Gelder, for his part, was the Unintentionally Funny Character of the week. I kept on expecting him to start shouting Shakespeare at the top of his lungs. Spock finally decides that he needs to get into Van Gelder's mind. They don't call it a Vulcan mind meld, but that's what it sounds like. They were easily the best scenes of the episode, despite my thinking that Spock was gonna kiss him. Spock gets Van Gelder to remember that Dr. Adams has some sort of memory beam, a device that can erase a person's memories and allow new suggestions to be implanted.

This convinces me even more that Joss Whedon (evil genius) is a Trekkie. Seriously, Dr. Adams' device reminds me so much of the "Dollhouse" device, both in design and intent. Check out the photos (wherever they are; I don't know how good the formatting is).

Meanwhile, back in Dr. Adams' evil lair, Kirk and Noel try out the device for themselves. Kirk sits in the chair, and asks Dr. Noel to make an "unusual suggestion."

How about dancing around with your pants on your head? But sadly, Dr. Noel suggests that their encounter at the Christmas party was not as tame as it really was. Then Dr. Adams comes in and makes Kirk surrender his weapon and communicator. Kirk starts fighting back, which gave me Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire flashbacks, when Harry is working to resist the Imperius Curse. I think Dr. Adams is the best Star Trek villain I've seen so far. He's an interesting character: he's done so much good for prison reform, but at the same time he's brainwashing his prisoners and manipulating them. And he seems so nice about the whole thing, too, which makes him even creepier.

Dr. Noel escapes through the AC ducts (which reminded me of Toy Story 2, oddly enough) and manages to shut off the power, freeing Kirk from the mind-control ray. One of Adams' lackeys attacks her, but she fights back with a Power Kick. He falls back and shorts out the power, electrocuting himself in the process.

Score one for the good guys.

But not before he turns the power back on. While it was on, Dr. Adams himself was caught in the memory beam and is left alone. Devoid of any thought, he dies from sheer loneliness. Honestly, I was disappointed to see him go. I know "Star Trek" episodes are designed to be stand-alone, but a good villain deserves more than one episode.

Thinking of villains reminds me of Heroes, and Sylar, one of the best TV villains ever. And Sylar, of course, is played by none other than Zachary Quinto, who will soon make his big-screen debut as Spock. Only a week away! I don't know when I'll get the chance to go see it, though. Probably Memorial Day weekend sometime.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Frasier The Innkeepers Part 1

Thanks to YouTube, I can share my favorite episode of "Frasier" with everyone who reads my blog! This was one of the episodes discussed in our blog. If you've never seen Frasier, this is an excellent place to start. You can really learn a lot about the characters.

Frasier The Innkeepers Part 2

Niles and Frasier's evening goes steadily downhill...

This is from Season 2, episode 23.

Never accept a table in the "enchanted grotto."

Frasier The Innkeepers Part 3

The conclusion to one of the funniest episodes from Frasier's early days.

I was right about Niles throwing a toaster in the fish tank...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Video Revue: Laff Track #2 (Frasier)

And we're back with another episode of our podcast! This week, Johnny and I discuss a few of the many, MANY episodes of "Frasier" in the second installment in our "Laff Track" series. As always, you can find us on iTunes (search "Video Revue") or Podshow.

I'll try and post some episode clips up on the blog this week, if I remember. My college semester is ending soon, so I've got to keep track of all of my project due dates. Sadly, I will not be very far into "Star Trek" when the movie comes out--is that next Friday already?--but I'd like to watch at least one more episode before the premiere. Plus, I probably won't go see the movie opening weekend, so I should have time to see a couple more. I was planning on watching one Thursday night, but my internet connection was so slow I finally gave up.

We're averaging 100-200 listeners per show! If only more of them would write to us...if you've got a comment, don't forget to e-mail us at videorevue@gmail.com!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Star Trek Initiation: What Are Little Girls Made Of

Busy day today! Which must mean there's a something I should be doing otherwise...I don't know why I ever thought The Road would be a fun and interesting book to read. But I digress. I've finally got a new episode of the old Star Trek to review for you here!

The first six episode that I watched were on Netflix, which has the digitally remastered version with new special effects. This time, however, I watched it on the new YouTube "Shows" feature, which is basically a ripoff of Hulu. Anyway, the YouTube version does not have the new special effects. It does give the show a different feel. I suppose I like them both equally. I'd have to try watching both versions of the same episode and comparing them.

And now, on with the show! This week, the Enterprise is looking for a Dr. Roger Corby (wasn't he a film director in the sixties?) who was last seen on the planet Exo-III. Mr. Spock noted at the beginning that, while the gravity and atmosphere are comparable to Earth, the surface temperature is -100. After making contact with Dr. Corby, Kirk beams down with Corby's wife Christine. Neither of them was wearing a sweater or a hat and mittens. Haven't they ever heard of parkas? Especially with that skirt Christine was wearing.

But apparently the cold is not the main problem here; it's the tall, dark, and creepy bald guy running around and pushing the expendable characters off of cliffs. The first time he showed up, I swore he looked familiar. When I saw him again, I decided that he reminded me of Lurch from "The Addams Family." Then I realized that it was, indeed, Ted Cassidy.

It turns out that Dr. Corby discovered an ancient android, Ruk, (Cassidy) as well as the technology for creating his own androids. He's created a lovely female assistant, much to Christine's dismay. She basically asks him if he was cheating on her with the robot, and he assures her that it wasn't possible. He meant emotionally--the robots supposedly can't feel love--but I don't know if he meant physically as well...anyway, he tells Kirk that they can't go back to the ship yet, because his creatures are misunderstood and they'll be destroyed and this new technology can really be used to save mankind. Kirk doesn't buy it, and when he tries to run off, Ruk captures him.

Meanwhile, in the abandoned robot factory, the nefarious Dr. Corby has our hero, Kirk, strapped to a machine that will create a perfect android replica. They never explain how this technology is supposed to work, but if I can get over that it's actually quite creepy: the androids look, act, and think exactly like the real people do. Right before his memories are transferred to the android, Kirk says several times, "Mind your own business, Spock. I'm sick of your half-breed meddling." This will be important later.

Kirk's android replica is good enough to fool even Chrisitine. We do learn that the androids don't eat, so I'm wondering how Corby expects to begin replacing people with androids a la "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" if he's overlooked that little detail. Corby's lovely assistant Andrea has prepared the meal. It's amazing what one can do with Play-Doh in the kitchen these days...I don't know if that's supposed to be space food or what, but I wouldn't eat it.

Android Kirk is sent back to the Enterprise, where Spock is alerted to the danger after Android Kirk tells him, "Mind your own business, Spock. I'm sick of your half-breed meddling." Meanwhile, Kirk finds out that Ruk and the other ancient androids destroyed their creators, and the same thing is bound to happen to Corby if his plan continues. If we ever start creating robots, we'd better make sure we don't make them smarter than us. Or give them free will.

Of course, the big twist at the end is that Roger is also an android, and has been one for some time now. I'm not sure exactly who turned him into a robot--was it Ruk?--but he naturally insists that, while the other androids don't have real feelings, he is completely human. In the end, all of the androids (including Corby) are vaporized. I think Corby might have vaporized himself, but I'm not sure. He was kissing Andrea when it happened. Christine and the real Kirk head back to the ship, and Andrea decides to stay on the Enterprise. I wonder if she'll show up in any future episodes.

And the moral of our story is: Robots are bad news. Also, make sure your best friend can tell you from an android replica. Hooray for Spock saving the day!