Friday, March 27, 2009

Colbert + 3D + Science Fiction = Recipe for Success

Dreamworks has had a "long" history of making successful films. Shrek made history and they haven't looked back since. With the release of MvA today, I like to think that the company has reached a new standard in their movies.

First and foremost, the movie looks A-MAZ-ING. The 3D is crisp and makes everything look "real" without sacrificing the cartoon look. For the vainer among you, the 3D glasses are actually nice looking (at least at the Cobb theatre) and are pretty comfortable. The movie also refrains from abusing the medium and only pulls a T2 on a few occasions just to remind you that's you're not watching a normal film. The effects are so well done that you actually stop registering that they're even present after a bit (that's a good thing).

Now a movie can look great, but still manage to suck it up (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within anyone?). I won't lie, I doubt that this will be receiving any awards for writing. There are a smattering of scene with "good" writing, but the true draw of this film is the part that never gets any awards.

This movie is peppered (and by peppered I mean chock full of) with nerd culture references. UFO identified as a "Code Nimoy"? Check.
Stephan Colbert as the President? Big check.
The Golden Gate bridge getting trashed? Checkorooney
B Movie references? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. and Check.
Mr. Colbert communicating with the Aliens via an iconic 80's pop tune? Che- Actually, I nearly lost bladder control from the laughing.

If you like Pixar, 3D, Monsters, Aliens, Nerd humor, Geek humor, Cliches, Stephan Colbert, or are a child then go see the movie right now. If not, go see it anyway. I'm getting this on DVD and I'm heavily debating going to see it again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WTF Bama Dining?

Once again I must deviate from my normal subject matter and address something a bit more pertinent than the "lieking of teh mudkipz". Bama Dining has always been good to me and the student body as a whole, but a recent observation has changed my views on our collective provider of all things food. Allow me to spin a little story.

Twice a week I take part in a bit of self inflicted sadism better known as an eight AM class. On these wonderful mornings my daily ritual is as follows:

6:30- Wake up to Aces High set around max volume. (I may be going deaf, but I'm up)
6:33- Stumble into shower and proceed to scald myself in a further attempt to wake up.
6:45ish- More self grooming and dressing with the most readily available clean clothes.
7:00- Watch Robin Meade (Oh baby) while eating "breakfast". (Usually a granola bar and OJ)
7:20- Brush my teeth and head down to the bus stop to catch a ride to BB Comer.

Bear with me here.

On this morning I awoke to discover that I had neglected to restock on supplies over the break and had to make due with a liquid breakfast. As I nursed my 1.5 Liter Green Tea like a $12 drink I thought to myself: "Well, I may as well head to Lakeside after class and get a hot breakfast." Fast forward to about 9:15 and I find myself in front of the aforementioned dining hall. I go in and look down the stairs to the promised land of foodstuffs. Empty and closed off.

"Oh Kaaaaayyyy. I think I'll just head over to our lovely diner which is conveniently located about 30 feet from where I am standing, and prides themselves on offering breakfast up until 3 in the bloody morning."



While buying a instant oatmeal from the store (which may I add led to some lovely burns and an impressive stream of swearing about 10 minutes later) I learned that the diner used to have a good deal of business in the mornings. Which leads me to this:


Now don't get me wrong, I use the Diner all the time (Where else are you going to get chicken fingers a 1 in the morning?) and I think they've got a number of things right (eg- having a semi streamlined process, pretty good food, and late hours). But come on now, do you expect me to haul my sorry butt up to the Ferg to eat at Fresh Foods (where I eat lunch anyway) just to get a meal that I should be able to get anywhere?

Now if this is fixed I can't claim that I would eat at the Diner every day or even once in a while, but if I can get a hot cheap meal fast like I can at night then I might change my mind. Do the right Bama Dining, give us breakfast back. After all as much as you guys have been pushing proper nutrition, shouldn't you be providing us with the most important meal of the day?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fallon Watch: Day 2.

Seeing as I have nothing else to watch at 11:30 I figure that I might as well make this a more or less regular thing now. I'm sure that I could tie this into tech somehow, but (let's face it) it would be a stretch at best.

Opening and Monologue

All thing considered this was a pretty good opening for ol'Jimmmy. The jokes funny as a whole and the crowd seemed to enjoy them. There was one awkward pause or two, but that's forgivable. Things seem to be looking up.

Rating: B-


Facebook Updates- Fallon started out with a parody of Facebook statuses. The bit wasn't especially interesting or funny at first, but got a bit better towards the end with audience members being "drunk" and "wearing their thongs backward. I couldn't help but notice that the transitioning between audience members was rough, but this is something that can be fixed with experience.

The crem de la crem of the segment (and possibly the show) was the final status update, featuring one Michael Bloomberg came up. Bloomberg cracked some jokes about the prior show and posed with Jimmy in front of such scenic locals as City Hall (meh), Castle Greyskull (Woot!), and Max Headroom (OMGWTFBBQ). Fallon may not be as "childish" as Conan, but if he sticks to 80's pop culture, we may have a winner.

Internet Video of the Day- In a word, bah. For starters, a good video needs no commentary. Next, Fallon's commentary only made it worse and the dancer wasn't terribly funny. Lastly, it wasn't that good of a video to begin with.

Rating: B+


Once again, I don't do celebrities. Fey was funny and had good chemistry with Fallon (Lord knows they should) and Bon Jovi talked a bit and sang. The Roots showed their sheer awesomeness once again by staying on top of Bon Jovi's spontaneous singing and sounding great doing it.

As for Santigold-

Well all in all, this was a huge improvement for Fallon. It's still rough and awkward at times, but Jimmy seems to be settling in.

Rating: B-

Fallon appears to be taking a milder approach to comedy than Conan did. If I had to guess, I'd say that he ends up being popular with the current high school crowd while the rest of the population shifts their attention forward a hour. I've got to say though, it must suck to be Carson Daily.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Brief Review of Jimmy Fallon's First Show

Well last week we lost a great American hero, Conan O'Brian. America's favorite redhead handed in the reigns to what has become a comedic necessity for America's late night (read: college) television viewers. O'Brian leaves behind a specialized sort of comedy tooled for the "lol masturbating bear" crowd and up. The mantel of Late Night has been placed on SNL and weekend update regular, Jimmy Fallon. Fallon's opening show was last night and proved quite interesting. Since I'm still waiting for my service award to show up my TiVo is currently out of service. So if I missed a detail, bite me.


Conan makes a cameo in Jimmy's dressing room preshow and has a brief interchange with the new host. Fallon plays the straight man while Conan is his usual self. Apart from O'Brian's remark "Leno's not going anywhere," the skit is ultimately forgettable.

Rating: C-

Monologue and associated skits

Fallon opens the show with a solid monologue that turned out better than I expected. It's a bit early in the game to determine how Fallon's jokes will pan out in the future, but a few of his jokes show promise. One noteworthy element was Fallon "slow jamming" the news with house band "The Roots" backing him up (more on them later). I enjoyed this quite a bit. The bit was on the rough side, but with more practice and fine tuning I think that this will be a show staple.

As with Conan and Leno before him, Fallon opted for the Jokes-Skits-Guests-Music format. The two skits, "Target Demographic" and "Lick if for 10" both were fairly weak, but have room for potential. When the demographic is "Tuba players from West Blockton" I think we will have a winner. "Lick it for 10" had a few laughs but wasn't anything special.

Rating C-


Wow, this wasn't pretty. Fallon spent the majority of this segment stumbling across lines and making everyone uncomfortable. I let Adrian handle the world of celebrities so I'll keep this short. Robert De Niro was uninteresting and unimpressive apart from the "Space Train" bit.

I hope this was intentionally bad because it was laughably so. Otherwise......

Timberlake on the other hand stole the show. I've never cared for anyone or anything associated with 90's pop music, but J's parody of The Beegees and improvised Budweiser jingles were hilarious and nearly made up for Fallon's frequent fumbles.

Rating: C+


This was one of the few high points of the show. Jimmy's house band, "The Roots" were a breath of fresh air and better than any other house band I've seen (Carson era on) and considerably better that a good number of musical guests. They kept quiet for the most part, but when they They're keepers. I can't say the same about Van Morrison. From what I could tell it was a good performance, but he dosen't fall within my preferred musical style so I'm not a liberty to pass judgment.

Rating: A+

Fallon had a rocky start but that is to be expected. Just try and tell me you could pull off something like that without a hitch. The main problem that Fallon faces with critics is that he is filling in the 6 foot 4 pompadour sporting hole left by Conan. Jimmy is not Conan and never will be, as soon as he and his critics accept this things will go along swimmingly. Stay tuned and give him some time, Conan started out pretty rough too but look how he turned out.

Overall rating: C+/B-