Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So You Still Haven't Seen Community: A Not-Yet-A-Viewer's Guide

We're just two weeks away from the triumphant return of Community, NBC Thursday's little comedy that could. If you haven't been watching what is, in my opinion, one of the funniest, most creative shows on television, I'm here to help. Below is a quick cheat sheet to prepare you for the season 4 premiere on February 7th. In this guide I'll introduce you to the characters, recurring themes or bits, as well as my favorite moments and episodes. 

If you have been watching, how great is Community? I mean, let's talk about it... or maybe we should just move on to the guide.

Community focuses on the everday life and shenanigans of a small study group at the fictional community college, Greendale. The study group first formed when each member attended the same Spanish class. 

Jeff Winger
- Former lawyer is attending Greendale to earn an actual degree, unlike the degree he lied about that lost him his job
- Unofficial  and sometimes reluctant leader of the study group
- Puts a lot of time and effort into looking like it took no time or effort
- Joined the study group to persue Britta
- Hooked up with Britta, has a will they/won't they relationship with Annie

Britta Perry
- Passive activist, more active feminist
- Often annoys the group with her causes
- Psychology major, but acts as if she already has her degree
- Reluctantly hooked up with Jeff, has sexual tension with Troy
- Pronounces bagels like bah-gels

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Clips of Bridget Regan in Frontier

We may never get to see the full pilot of Frontier, a show taking place in the early 1800s as a group heads west to achieve their dreams, only running into various difficulties on the way.  I'm sure that included Natives, disease (dysentery, anyone?), dying animals, and of course interpersonal drama!  But the luckies over at Confessed4Life got their hands on some clips of Bridget Regan with her natural curly red hair gracing the screen.  I'm guessing they have an inside source with the Lady Regan or someone else who got a copy of it.  I wish NBC had stuck with this show.  It could've been great, banking off the success of period pieces for cable and providing a wide variety of programming.  It would've been a great Sunday night show, but with its more adult content, it would be at 9 or 10, not likely to rival Once Upon a Time.  Darn you, NBC and your terrible choices!  We could've had more Regan riding horses and dressing in corsets!

Skip ahead to see the clips.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why Indiana is the In-Thing...I'm Serious!

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but many TV shows and movies are taking place in or having characters from Ohio and Indiana recently.  What is the appeal of Indiana, then, to creators?

Perhaps the most notable example is Parks and Recreation, which takes place in a small city/large town of the great Hoosier state. And, being from Indiana, I can tell you, it's the most accurate example of Indiana. Believe me, Muncie is the WORST. Somehow the jokes about Jerry and his wife having a timeshare in Muncie are even better when you lived in Muncie for 4 years, going to college at Ball State. There's even a course at Ball State on how to troll Muncie. I'm positive there is a writer on staff that went there because they know way too much about how Indiana really is, raccoon infestation and all. The celebrity reality show Armed & Famous filmed there, after all. Parks and Rec brings to light that small town atmosphere, both good and bad. And, yeah, a trip to Indianapolis is a big thing! We're a state of a whole lot of nothing, so we have to travel a bit for some big city entertainment. I still call "The City" Cincinnati because I live closer to it than Indianapolis. It was where we had to go for our shopping needs. And believe me, small-town rivalries between both families and neighboring towns are entirely true. These characters on Parks and Rec are relatable on a whole different level than most comedies, partly due to their setting. I have a feeling that Leslie Knope would be completely different had it been set in California. She wouldn't have her small-town mannerisms and the love of community we often have. I'm sure there would also be different matters to take up in the government, rather than building a quality (decently terrible to others) park out of an abandoned lot used for a landfill by locals.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January Comic News!

A new Marvel NOW! release, just announced yesterday by USA Today is a relaunch of X-Men by Brian Wood in April.  But the main characters all happen to be arguably the biggest stars of the X-Men: the females Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, and Jubilee.  Bling! and Pixie guest star in the first issue.  The premise of the book, for the first year or two revolves around Jubilee bringing home a baby that could save or destroy the world, and the X-Men must protect it.  But don't expect it to be just a rehash of Hope's story!  Wood revealed that Jubilee will be the focus, but everyone will get their shine time!  And if any of you read Wood's X-Men run this year, you know he tells a mean story and writes complex and rich characters.  His Storm is absolutely stellar.  Oliver Coipel pencils the first few issues and rotates with Wood's penciler on the former X-Men run David Lopez.  This is the best thing to happen in comics of everytime, everyone!  Pre-order as soon as possible!  This needs to succeed!

Looking Forward 2013: Movies, Pt. 1

It's time for the movie list!  I'll probably update it as I hear about wonderful movies to come out this year.  It's hard to catch them all!  Part 1 is all movies with set or tentatively set dates of release this year.  Part 2 will feature those movies set for 2013 without release date, which means they'll likely be 2014 (for Sundance) or really late 2013 (for award season).

January 18
Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau star as a couple whose nieces lived their for five years in the woods, abandoned but raised by someone.  That someone is not a good entity but wants custody of her children that were stolen from her.  this horror film might actually be good!

January 25
Sure, this is one of those ensembles that have every actor you know in one movie, where each separate story ends up being connected to all the other ones in their six degrees of separation game.  But this one seems like it will actually be funny, rather than romantic and gross and terrible.  Emma Stone, Kristen Bell, Hugh Jackman, Chloe Moretz, elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Kate Winslett, Chris Pratt, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, and many more star.  Elizabeth Banks, James Gunn, and Brett Ratner are three of the directors!

January 25
I'm so happy that golden aged actors are getting quality roles that are engaging, not just having roles looking back on their lives as they die.  What a tired trope!  This looks to be in the same spirit as Marigold Hotel

Read on for more.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Site of the Week: moviebarcode

This tumblr moviebarcode is friggin amazing, you guys!  Look, look, look!  What's incredible about this is that you can see how a director uses color (or lack thereof) for dramatic and tonal effect.  You can even buy prints of these barcodes!  Let's take a look at the LOTR trilogy!

The Fellowship of the Ring is very interesting in that the colors truly represents the different areas visited.  Look at the beginning with the greens, russets, blues, browns, and purples.  It's very earthy but also light and spritely, just like the Hobbits!  The darkness is then set upon Frodo and the other Hobbits when the Ring comes to Frodo's possession.  Dark hues of night blues and mud browns makes us feel the dark mood.  And it isn't until Rivendell, corely bright wooden browns, that we see light and hope.  The browns are also highly representative of the Rivendell's natural way of life.  While we have hope for the tiniest sliver of time with the bright sky blue, we enter Moria, where once again we return to dark blues and browns.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Looking Forward 2013: Music

Every year, I try to get out as fast as possible the year's known releases in movies, books, and music. I'm afraid I just don't have to much to provide in music yet, other than a few select country, rock, and folk artists.

Old Man Markley
Guts 'N Teeth
January 18
Order through their website or other venues.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Best Songs of 2012

As mentioned in my best albums of 2012 post, it's been a wonderful year for music, and I found it so difficult to narrow down the best of 2012 songs.  I tried to not make it all Karine Polwart, so I hope you enjoy its fairness.  This is the mix that accurately represents what I feel are the best songs of 2012.  Listen to all the songs after the jump!