Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Resolution Revue: X-Men

I am not a comic book geek by any stretch of the imagination. However, I love the Spider-Man films (well, loved the first 2; liked the third) and I'm a fan of superheroes in general. I added the X-Men movies to my resolution list for three basic reasons:
1. RandomGuy's videos feature a ton of X-Men characters and I'd like to be able to identify them all.
2. Hugh Jackman. Shirtless.
3. Patrick Stewart.

The first X-Men movie introduces us to some of the most important characters, including Wolverine, Rogue, Professor Xavier, Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey. On the bad guys' team, we have Magneto, Mystique, Toad, and Sabretooth. The movie revolves around Wolverine (Logan) and Rogue being found and taken to the Professor's school/high-tech undergound lab as Magneto plans to turn all of the world's leaders into mutants.

Overall, I really liked this movie. The acting was fantastic all around. When looking at the cast list on IMDB, I was surprised by (a) how many names I recognized and (b) that it had taken me so long to finally see this movie. Halle Berry is fantastic as Storm, if a bit underused. Though the scene where she comes out of the elevator, floating in midair, hair whipping around her, was almost cool enough to make up for her lack of screen time. Almost. Anna Paquin, whose name I recognize now because of her starring role on HBO's True Blood, does a fine job as Rogue. Johnny thought she spent all of her time whining. While I will concede that she's not the most calm and collected of the heroes, she is just a teenage girl who hasn't learned to control her powers yet. And her power is pretty freaky.

On the X-Men team, I liked everyone, but especially Storm and Professor Xavier (and not just because he's played by Patrick Stewart). Personality-wise, he reminds me a lot of Professor Dumbledore: always looking for the good in people, optimistic (to a fault?), and powerful enough that you REALLY don't want to be on his bad side.

Magneto is an interesting villain; if you look at his arguments the right way, you might almost agree with him. And Mystique is a good villainess, because you never know where she'll turn up or who she'll be. And she appears to be pretty unkillable, so I hope to see more of her (or her pretending to be someone else) in the next movies. I was glad to see Sabretooth and Toad go. Especially Toad. They were both just kind of gross, and not all that interesting.

Overall, I'd give X-Men 4.5 stars/5.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Video Revue: Providing "Leverage"

January is Geek Month as we welcome in the Age of the Geek! This week, we discuss one of our favorite geeky shows: Leverage!

"Leverage?" you might ask. "What is Leverage, and what makes it geeky?"

"Well," I would answer, "First of all, Leverage is a show on TNT that combines the heists and intrigue of Ocean's Eleven with the techno-geek gadgets of Mission: Impossible and the steal-from-the-rich ethics of Robin Hood. If that's not geeky enough, a recent episode had Wil Wheaton guest-starring as a hacker referred to by the US government as the Kobayashi Maru."*

Also, Leverage was the show that gave us the line "Age of the Geek."

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

For all the insider Leverage info, be sure to check out the Kung Fu Monkey blog.

Questions, comments, and spam forwards should be sent to videorevue@gmail.com.

*"Are you sure Kobayashi Maru is spelled correctly?" you might ask.

"No, I'm not. You are therefore geekier than me," I would reply.

"Thank you. Wait, what?"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Leonard Nimoy on the Spock "Star Trek" Vulcan Salute

The real origin of the "Vulcan" salute. I think this is the coolest thing ever.

What Would Captain Picard Do

Hank of the Vlogbrothers wrote this song about Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is fantastic.

Oddly enough, I think I've seen most of the episodes he references in the song.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Video Revue: The Final Frontier

It's the Age of the Geek! All month long, Video Revue delves in to some topics to appeal to the geeks and nerds (which is kind of what we do already, but what the hey). This week, Johnny and I take a somewhat long-winded look at Star Trek as we discuss the original series, Next Gen, and movies 2, 3, 4, and 11.

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

For a more in-depth discussion of the 2009 Star Trek movie, here is our review from last May.

Questions, comments about the show, and spam forwards should be directed to videorevue@gmail.com.

Coming next week: Leverage! If you haven't yet familiarized yourself with this fantastic show, you can check it out on the TNT website.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Resolution Revue: Star Trek IV--The Voyage Home

Monica here with my first movie review from my New Year's resolution list! The Voyage Home finishes off the movie "trilogy" started with Wrath of Khan and continued in The Search for Spock as the Enterprise travels from the 23rd century back to the 20th. It's like Back to the Future with starships! And whales. And minus Christopher Lloyd (who, oddly enough, was in ST3 as the Klingon leader).

The movie begins with Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew about to head back to Earth to face court martial in a Klingon ship for all the crazy stuff they pulled in Search for Spock as they attempted to reunite Spock's body with his "katra." The Enterprise has been destroyed, Spock still isn't his old self, and they're all in deep trouble. However, their problems pale in comparison to what is happening at the Starfleet headquarters on Earth, where a mysterious alien probe is vaporizing all of the Earth's oceans. The probe appears to be sending a message, which the Enterprise crew determines is aimed, not at humans, but at humpback whales. The only problem here is that humpback whales have been extinct in the Trek 'verse since the 21st century, so the Enterprise crew heads back in time to find some. Despite all of the advancements in technology that humanity has made in 300-odd years, apparently time travel is still an inexact science. The time travel involves some complicated equations and launching themselves at the sun, only to turn right before they vaporize. Or something like that.

All of this is a complicated excuse for answering the question, "What if the Enterprise crew could walk around San Francisco in 1986?" Not that I mind. One of the things I enjoy the most about the original Trek was their focus on placing the characters in all sorts of odd situations just to see how they would react (and, oddly enough, that is also one of the things I like about Pinky and the Brain). Anyway, this movie does not disappoint. Kirk and Spock go to find the whales being held at an aquarium, Uhura and Chekov go to find some "nuclear wessels" which they can use to power the Klingon ship back to the future, and Scotty and McCoy find supplies to build a tank to house the whales.

I really liked this movie. For once, I thought the story between Kirk and his love interest was pretty good. Usually, I think Shatner comes off as pompous but here he was kind of adorable. Maybe because he was telling the marine biologist the absolute truth and she still didn't believe him. Maybe it was because he wasn't hitting on someone who could have been half his age (squick). I loved Spock, as always, especially the ridiculous robe he was wearing. And the headband to cover his Vulcan ears. He did, indeed, look like someone who had done a little too much "LDS" in the sixties. Other favorite scenes included Kirk and Spock on the bus (especially Spock giving the Vulcan nerve pinch to the obnoxious teenager) and McCoy in the "modern" hospital ("The doctor gave me a pill and I grew a new kidney!"). And, of course, Scotty's attempt to talk to the computer in the scientist's office (a similar gag was used in an episode of 3rd Rock--but, as usual, Star Trek did it first). All in all, it was fun and exciting and a great time.

Overall: 4.5/5

Spock's White and Nerdy

Because he is.

Our Star Trek episode is coming soon!

Star Trek episodes guide song

This song has the title of every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And it rhymes.

And I thought "Nations of the World" was impressive. Watch this and be amazed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Video Revue: New Year's Movie Resolutions!

This year, we here at Video Revue resolve not to take two weeks off without any updates...sorry 'bout that.

We also resolve to WATCH MORE MOVIES! Specifically, Johnny and I have each made a list of ten movies we resolve to watch in 2010. Surprisingly, as much as we sometimes overlap, this time we only had one movie in common...sort of.

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

Oh, and this year we also resolve to post every episode here to the blog...here is our Christmas special. Whoops.

Incidentally, if you subscribe to us on iTunes, you'll get the show every week whether it's posted here or not.

Comments, questions, and spam forwards should be sent to videorevue@gmail.com.

Coming up next week: Our "Age of the Geek" month kicks off with an overview of Star Trek!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My new blog!

I have a new blog, everyone! Yay! Isn't it exciting?
What's it about? Well, I'll tell you: it's where I blog-ify about all of the books that I am working on. Currently, that would be one, but hey!
It can be found here.

Be safe, have fun, and spoil your dinner!
-Johnny Swanson