About this blog:
I blog on random Pop Culture subjects. I also post Top 13 Lists. I could do a cliched Top 10 like everyone else, but then I'd be just like everyone else.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Please don't kill Lord Morpheus

If DC/WB seriously ruins The Sandman, the greatest comic book of all time, I think I will vomit out of disgust.

In the early 1990's, my world was a slightly better place thanks to a very entertaining and well told story, found in the pages of DC's dark spinoff, Vertigo Comics, spawned from the creative mind of writer Neil Gaiman. Dream, his equally flawed siblings of The Endless, and the eclectic cast of supporting characters populating Lord Morpheus' gloomy, yet quirky realm, a wonderful fantasy land where I actually felt like I belonged, were a huge part of my adolescence.

Let's hope producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn't cast himself as Dream. That would be a travesty, an injustice the likes of which even the Endless have never seen before.

No offense to "Dark Knight" writer David Goyer, but Neil Gaiman should be writing the screenplay, not just "executive producing".

In this matter, I agree with Sandman creator Neil Gaiman. I'd rather there be "no Sandman movie than a bad Sandman movie." Lightning only strikes once. It's hard to do justice in reproducing such a rarely brilliant piece pop culture art. That is why The Sandman film has been in limbo for over two decades, and probably should remain so.

If this project ever makes its way to the big screen, I hope I will be pleasantly surprised at the results, but if not, I will be devastated that my adolescence has been turned into a theme park.

©2014 Denim McDemus

Why Marvel is winning the movie war

Here's the big difference between Marvel movies and DC movies:

Marvel/Disney announce them, promote the heck out of them, and then release them soon after. They also promote the characters through cameo appearances, which leads to solo films, which then leads to team-ups and team films. Plus they keep the public excited about their product, by putting out several blockbuster Marvel films every year, strategically spread throughout the year, so that one is opening as another is fading out.

DC/WB announce possible films that won't even be cast for several years, and often don't ever happen, featuring characters the non-comic-reading general public isn't familiar with, without introducing the characters first, and featuring actors/actresses most people aren't yet familiar with, or who most people hate. Sure, DC has the big one-two punch. Batman and Superman will always be big draws. But other DC characters? Not without the type of visual promotion rival Marvel employs.

What do you get more excited about, possible films with sketchy release dates far in the future, featuring obscure characters and unannounced actors/actresses, or action-packed previews of soon to be released films, featuring the actual cast and a set release date?

Of course, the one problem both companies share is their habit of casting Ryan Reynolds. Stop doing that!

©2014 Denim McDemus

Friday, April 11, 2014

No Hope For Television

FOX dropped the ball again. “Raising Hope” was the best comedy on TV, and the most quirky fun I've had in a long time.

Burt and Virginia Chance (Garret Dillahunt and Martha Plimpton) were TV's best couple, and the show had the best supporting cast on TV: Gregg Binkley as Barney, Todd Giebenhain as Frank, Kate Micucci as Shelley, and of course Cloris Leachman's brilliant performance as Maw Maw.

Sure, Lucas Neff and Shannon Woodward were average at best as Jimmy and Sabrina, but the rest of the cast more than made up for it, and Burt and Virginia were the main focus of the show anyway, and rightfully so. Sure, they got away from the premise of Hope's upbringing, in favor of more quirky adventures, but that's what made the show so great. 

The show still had a lot left in the tank. It hadn't gotten stale at all. There was a lot more they could have done yet.

Once again, FOX had a great show, and once again, they failed to promote it, moved its time slot too many times, and gave up on it way too soon.

Poor Jeffrey Tambor (Virginia's father, Arnold) was on the wrong end of FOX's ineptness again (Arrested Development). Series Creator Greg Garcia once again had a quirky comedy with a loyal cult following canceled after 4 seasons (My Name Is Earl). His other current show, The Millers, just doesn't have the quirky feel of “Raising Hope” and “My Name Is Earl”. It comes off as normal TV fare, despite starring the brilliant Will Arnett.

I will miss tuning in to one of the few shows worth watching in these sad days for television. Pat yourselves on the back, America, as you corrode your brain with the mindless drivel, rehashed content, and staged reality shows which you have demanded the television landscape be littered with.

©2014 Denim McDemus

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How I Met Your Mother Finale Failure


So... I watched the HowIMetYourMother 2 part finale, and I kind of wish I hadn't. The episodes weren't funny, but also weren't nostalgic. They certainly weren't legend...wait for it...dary. They were even depressing and infuriating at times. Sure, life has sad moments. People grow apart. But this is fiction, television, entertainment, an escape, a comedy.
This should have been the episode that lasts in our memory of all that was great about the show. I was looking forward to the finale, but I was very disappointed in it. This show went out with a dud rather than a bang. (no Barney pun intended)

All along, I've been making more appropriate mock titles for the show, so here are some based on the finale (spoilers):

"How I Wasted 9 Years Searching For A Temporary Solution"
"How I Met Your Mother, But Still Ended Up With Robin"
"How I Ruined A Great Show In 2 Episodes"
"How To Build Up To A Brief Footnote In Ted's Life"
"How To Spend Your Life Searching For Miss Right, and Still End Up With Miss Wrong"
"How To Abandon The Show's Premise After 9 Seasons"
"How To Untie Loose Ends"
"How To Punish Barney For Finally Settling Down"
"How To Alienate Your Fan Base"
"How To Make Your Kids Uncomfortable For 9 Years"
"How To Disrespect Your Late Wife's Memory"
"How I Never Loved Your Mother"
"How Your Mother Wasn't Robin"
"How I Gave Robin Yet Another Chance To Use Me"
"How Bad Was That Finale"

Maybe you liked it? Maybe you're glad Barney and Robin got divorced? Maybe you're glad Ted and Robin MAY HAVE gotten back together? Maybe you're ok with the show spending 9 seasons leading up to Ted meeting "The Mother", and then have her killed off a few minutes later (in real time, not the in show timeline)? Maybe you're ok with Ted finally finding and marrying the perfect woman for him, but ending up with someone who has been proven to be wrong for time many times? Maybe you're ok with Barney losing the only woman he ever truly loved, and that incident pulling the gang apart? Maybe you enjoyed the "How I Met Your Mother" finale, but I did not.

©2014 Denim McDemus

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Movie Reviews: Hyde Park on Hudson, This is 40, The Guilt Trip

"Hyde Park on Hudson" 7 of 10 Stars
The Great Bill Murray played FDR surprisingly well in "Hyde Park on Hudson". It's a good film for fans of Murray and fans of history, of which I am both. Otherwise, you may find it a bit dull.

It's mostly about one of FDR's many affairs, this one with his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, with a visit from the King and Queen of England to discuss the impending war with Germany as a secondary plot.

Murray once again has shown his versatility, going from campy goofball movies like "Caddyshack" and "Meatballs", to still goofy, but slightly more leading man comedic roles such as in "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters", to somewhat more cerebral comedy in "Groundhog Day" and "What About Bob", "Ed Wood" and Kingpin", to dry, quirky comedy in Sofia Coppala's "Lost In Translation" and Wes Anderson's films, to now portraying one of America's most beloved presidents in a historical drama, along with portraying a polio victim.

I enjoyed this film, but the Roosevelts, history, and Bill Murray are all points of interest for me. Unfortunately, I'd wager it's not for everyone.

"This is 40" 4 of 10 Stars
This somewhat sequel to "Knocked Up" features writer Judd Apatow's real-life wife and children in a depressing film about family disfunction, making you wonder what he's trying to tell us about his home-life.

Apatow's regular quirky comedy was mostly missing from this film, except for a few amusing moments. When it was funny, it was really funny, but those moments were few and far between. Even cameos by Apatow regulars such as Jason Segal and the sex appeal of Megan Fox couldn't save this film.

The film was marketed as a comedy about reaching middle-age, but it's far from comedic. The majority of the film is depressing and annoying. It's mostly about a couple's marriage and both of their businesses failing, their financial ruin, and their worsening relationships with their bratty teenage daughter and both of their fathers, who both oddly have started new families of their own. Basically, we are show over two hours of people yelling and cursing at each other, while their lives and finances fall apart. People watch films to escape the harsh reality of their real lives, not to watch it in a mirror.

The film makes the situation between Debbie and her father very unclear until the end, but not in a plot twist type of way, just in a "neglecting to tell us" way. There are a lot of aspects of the film's characters that they just never tell us, that would've helped move the often stagnant plot and help viewers care about the mostly hatable characters.

The biggest problem with this film is its length. The first hour was slow and boring, but it picked up quite a bit halfway through. Had Apatow cut it down to the standard 90 minutes, he would've brought us a much more entertaining film than this 134 minute mistake.    

"The Guilt Trip" 1 of 10 Stars
This film is just plain awful.
Barbara Streisand's character is supposed to be who the viewers feel for, but the character really has no redeeming qualities.
Seth Rogan really has no place in a dramatic film, even though it was falsely advertised as a comedy. He can only be taken seriously in slacker comedy rolls.
If you enjoy watching people make each other feel bad and constantly fail, or if you are suffering from extreme insomnia, this is the film for you. If you are looking to be amused or entertained, avoid this film like the bubonic plague.

Copyright 2013 Denim McDemus  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is it Easter at Netflix?

As we anxiously await the 5/26 return of Arrested Development, Netflix has decided to have some fun with Seasons 1-3 on their site:

They use bananas instead of stars for rating the show.

If you search for any title containing the word "blue", there will be Tobias' blue paint on the results page, which is clickable.

If you go through the "Popular on Netflix" list, there is a clickable note saying "Milk".

In the comedy section, there is a clickable actual egg on the cover of "Nature Series, Volume 3: Dance of the Chicken".

There's a clickable yellow bow-tie on the bottom of the Watch Instantly page.

If you search for many of the fictional shows/films mentioned on the show, you'll find a Netflix write up for it, such as:

Caged Wisdom
Les Cousins Dangereux
Girls With Low Self-Esteem
Families With Low Self-Esteem
Ready, Aim, Marry Me
Mock Trial with J. Reinhold
World's Worst Drivers
Love Indubitably
Homeless Dad
El Amor Prohibido

It's nice to see that: 1. Netflix is actually promoting the show, something Fox never bothered to do. 2. That someone at Netflix actually "gets" the humor of the show, and recognizes the savvy of the show's core fans, and the vital role of the show's MANY running gags and catchphrases.

It's not a show for everyone, it's a show for a special breed of viewer, and apparently Netflix gets that.

Copyright 2013 Denim McDemus

Friday, March 8, 2013

King of Terrible Endings

Terrible ending to "King of the Nerds" last night!

1. It's dumb that they had the final 4, 3, and 2 all in one episode instead of three.

2. Ivan, the best contestant by far all throughout the show, lost in the final 4 in a physical challenge. This is a show to determine who is the biggest nerd, so why a physical challenge? Wouldn't the person losing the physical challenge be the biggest nerd?

3. It seems obvious that they rigged the show to keep three cute girls as the final three to keep their male viewers watching.

4. Stop giving Danielle camera time to boo hoo!

5. After a whole season of challenges on a competition show, it was ridiculous to have the winner be chosen by their former competitors' voting, rather than the winner earning it in a final challenge. The final round should have been the hardest to win.
Obviously the other contestants had biased opinions and grudges, so they wouldn't necessarily pick the deserving winner. Many of them were eliminated by losing to Genevieve, and were never threatened by useless Celeste.
Plus, the contestants who were eliminated early in the show weren't around to see which finalist had performed the best.

6. Celeste of all people winning really hurt the show's credibility. She's not even nerdy or smart or anything. She didn't earn her spot in the final 4, 3, or 2, and certainly not victory and $100,000. She was never in a nerd-off because no one saw her as a threat, since he didn't do anything at all during the whole competition. She was often a liability to her team in the team challenges, or just a non-factor. The ONLY things she achieved were pitting Danielle and Genevieve against each other in the second to last episode, and being so harmless that she went unnoticed by her competitors.

Congrats "King of the Nerds", you ruined your competition with an ill-advised ending that produced an undeserving winner.

Copyright 2013 Denim McDemus