Archive for category television

The Matrix


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So, many of you readers will know that I never saw The Matrix. Yes, one of the defining movies of geek culture, and I never saw it. It was released while I was terribly busy with school, so I missed out on the initial hype for the first few years. After that, It almost became a bit of a point of pride that I had never seen this movie, but every one of my peers had.

Well, it all came to an end this past Wednesday night. After a long day of work (I’ll get to that in another entry, I suppose), I was spending the late hours of the evening on second west at MIT. I had decided not too long ago that at some point I was going to give in and watch the movie. Special thanks go out to Tammy for having the “let’s watch a movie” idea at around midnight, and to Marti for going down to the dorm desk to rent it.

So how was it? I thought it was pretty awesome. Somehow, I had escaped finding out too much about the plot, or any spoilers in the past 8 years or so — so I was able to mostly experience the movie in a pure, untainted way. But, I guess this is one less thing that I’ll be able to say I’ve never done.

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The Matrix


So, many of you readers will know that I never saw The Matrix. Yes, one of the defining movies of geek culture, and I never saw it. It was released while I was terribly busy with school, so I missed out on the initial hype for the first few years. After that, It almost became a bit of a point of pride that I had never seen this movie, but every one of my peers had.

Well, it all came to an end this past Wednesday night. After a long day of work (I’ll get to that in another entry, I suppose), I was spending the late hours of the evening on second west at MIT. I had decided not too long ago that at some point I was going to give in and watch the movie. Special thanks go out to Tammy for having the “let’s watch a movie” idea at around midnight, and to Marti for going down to the dorm desk to rent it.

So how was it? I thought it was pretty awesome. Somehow, I had escaped finding out too much about the plot, or any spoilers in the past 8 years or so — so I was able to mostly experience the movie in a pure, untainted way. But, I guess this is one less thing that I’ll be able to say I’ve never done.

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Flight of the Conchords


So finally, several months after folks started pestering me about “this show that I absolutely neeeeed to watch,” I acquired all 12 episodes of the 1st season of Flight of the Conchords.

The show centers on the antics and exploits of two gentlemen from New Zealand (Bret and Jemaine), and their manager (Murray — also a deputy attache at the New Zealand consulate), as they try desperately to break into the U.S. music scene. Bret and Jemaine are actually played by Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement as a fictional version of themselves. Prior to the show on HBO, the real-life duo Flight of the Conchords played at various comedy stages and folk festivals.

This is really funny stuff. I watched it for about 3 hours straight last night to finish up all of the episodes I hadn’t seen yet. My favorites are:

  • Episode 3 (“mugged”): Primarily for the “Hip-Hopopotamus vs. The Rhymenocerous” song
  • Episode 6 (“bowie”): The sheer hilariousness of Jemaine playing an imaginary / dream David Bowie coming to Bret in his sleep, and then going out into space for a musical interlude
  • Episode 7 (“drive by”): Brit and Jemaine confront supposed anti-New-Zealander racism, and learn how to “flip the bird”
  • Episode 11 (“the actor”): There’s an awesome Lord of the Rings musical video number in this one. I was falling off my chair.

If anyone needs a copy of the season, let me know. I have it out there on the internet and can give you access to download it if you ask nicely.

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Histeria!


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For two or three years around the turn of the 21st century, there was a show on the Kids’ WB called Histeria. Something about the wacky humor, somewhat bizarre cultural references (including to Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Justice League, Monty Python, and others) mixed with a genuine approach to teaching history to kids stuck watching TV got me hooked on it.

Some of my favorite bits that I can remember off of the top of my head include:

  • Episode 24: Pee Wee Herman-like character as General Sherman — complete with full intro song “Sherman’s Campsite” set to the tune of “Pee Wee’s Playhouse.”
  • Episode 2: An entire song-and-dance number about Philo Farnsworth, the under appreciated inventor of television.
  • Episode 41: The Yalta conference represented as Stalin, Churchill, and FDR fighting over a bunch of food.

The good news is that, even though the show has been off the air for several years now, we can still enjoy it through the magic of the internet. AOL Time Warner put Histeria, as well as several other shows up on the AOL Video website. Check it out at http://video.aol.com/video-category/histeria/1576.

 

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Stoked


Some things that I’m currently stoked about/for:

  • 27 June 07 – Live Free or Die HardHere’s a trailer for the next (last?) sequel in the most awesomely awesome action movie franchise evarrrr.
  • 11 July 07 – San Francisco – I just heard the news today that I’ll most likely be taking a trip to SF for a “visit” at this time. I remain cautiously optimistic.
  • 23 Sep 07 – The War – Ken Burns’ epic 14-hour-long documentary on World War II has apparently been 6+ years in the making. There’s a trailer/teaser up on the website.
  • 16 Oct 07 – GTA IV – Check out the first trailer on their website. Awesomeness. I’m such a GTA junkie that this will also be when I buy a next-gen console (although I haven’t 100% decided which one). This game is so anticipated, that they’ve pre-announced that the next trailer will be available on the site on 6/28.

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Heroes == Awesome


I finally got around to peeping the latest episode off of the DVR last night. Pure. Television. Goodness. Amanda referred to it as the best hour of television ever. Now, I wouldn’t go quite to those lengths, but it definitely ranks right up there in my book as the best thing to come through my cable box in quite some time. At several points I found myself sitting on the edge of the couch practically hooting at the screen. Here are some observations:

  • The scar on Peter’s face was bothering me the whole episode. Yes, it makes him look quite bad-ass, but since he supposedly has Claire’s healing power (at least we’ve seen him use it in the past) how would he have a scar? hmmmm? It’s been suggested by others that perhaps in this timeline he didn’t meet Claire, or share her power. My theory is that he just chooses not to heal it in order to increase his “bad-ass-ity.”
  • The Sylar as Nathan swap-eroo plot twist was gold. He really is a magnificent bastard.
  • That fire vs. ice Peter vs. Sylar rig at the end. Awesome. ‘Nuff said.
  • The X-men / post-9-11 opression allegory has the potential to be a bit heavy-handed, but they’re pulling it off nicely. It was, after all, quite obvious to me at least that this is the direction the show is headed in.
  • There is indeed hope for continued goodness in the second season. Someone said the other night that the only way the show can continue to kick ass beyond this “save the world” season, is if they “get their shit together and go all X-men.” I’m paraphrasing here, but as per the previous bullet, it seems like that’s what’s happening.

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