December 30, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: "As A Man" Line from Clash of the Titans

Before everyone starts giving me shit about this, let me clear about this. I paid money to see "Clash Of The Titans," and due to the times available at the theater I even saw it 3D. And while the movie is now infamous for being a example of how awful post production 3D conversion can be, I found the movie to be an example of just a bad movie. But wait, TPG, why did you even bother? Well, let be honest here, I thought the trailer was pretty damn fresh:

Great trailer right? You got babes, monsters, fighting, epic music, and Liam Neeson bellowing. However,  while the movie just didn't deliver the goods, you can read my review here, it  did deliver one incredibly thing-

I do this as a man...

Perseus, played Sam Worthington can literally not stop saying this all movie long. Every time he is asked to do something he replies that "he'll do it as a man," because he doesn't want to be associated with the gods. Why he wouldn't want to be associated with super powers is beyond me, but this tagline was hilarious all summer. Someone wanted to go the beach....if I go I go as man. Go grab a me a glass of water.....If I grab you a glass of water I do this....

You get the picture. Apparently though people loved the movie for more than this one line. It made almost 500 million dollars worldwide and a sequel is already set for March 2012.

December 29, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Landon Donovan's Goal To Advance

Prior to this goal many people were casual fans of the World Cup. They knew it was going on, that they should care about it, and the US would make a showing, but not win anything. That all changed with Landon Donovan's goal vs Algeria. When the World Cup rolls around in 2014, people will be watching and expecting big things from the US.

There are so many factors that made this one of the best things in 2010. Peep the list below
  1. A singular team for people to root for. This wasn't like the Superbowl where people are rooting for one side of the other, most Americans were united in rooting for the US
  2. Do or Die Time - If he didn't score that goal the US would not advance to the next round, everything was riding on that kick
  3. The Clock - The goal was scored at almost the last possible second. It's like a superbowl hail mary, world series grand slam, buzzer beater combined in that one moment
  4. The Man - Donavan talks a big game about the US soccer game and for once he totally backed it up.
I remember watching this with my buddy in a bar in Los Angeles and people were getting buck when it happened. That being said, this video of the world's reaction is pure gold, it brings a red white and blue tear to my eye (doesn't hurt that Rudy music is bumping)

December 24, 2010

December 23, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Chilean Miner Jumpoff

Look at that dude on the right throwing up the thumbs up! Hell yeah, thumbs up to the max brotha. I'm a fan of the thumbs up, but you know what I'm a fan of? The human spirit and that's a fact. And there was no other event this year that exemplified the human spirit more than the miners in Chile.

The whole thing starting on August 5th 2010 when there was a cave-in in the mining area and 33 miners, all men, realized that they were stuck beneath the surface (must be a shitty realization). It's important people know this wasn't some old school wicked cramped mine, this area that they were trapped in was relatively big. Big enough they could drive around fork-lift type machines. Sure, TPG, that's great, it still doesn't take away from the fact that these dudes were trapped 700 yards beneath the earth where it as my pals on twitter put it "dark as shit."

By now you know that the miners were rescued on October 13th after a multi-national effort to get them out completely succeeded. This is my favorite "news" story of the year because while other stories may have been bigger (Oil Spin, Wikileaks) this is one of the few stories that are 100% positive. Someone once said (maybe it was a James Bond villain) "There is no news like bad news" and if you look around it's true. Most of the "news" is just pretty depressing. However, sometimes there is a news story that is just overwhelmingly positive. 1 Billion tuned in live to watch those miners emerge from the ground and in a bigger sense, watch the human spirit triumph. THUMBS UP TO THAT

December 22, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Franklin On True Blood

"True Blood" is the ultimate summer television show. Each week it brings the heat with trashy characters, ridiculous violence, and some wild sex. That being said, I thought the season finale was type F- in it's quality. The show feels like it has to introduce witches, fairies, werewolves, werepanthers (there is a difference!) and all other types of magical creatures, but I'm only concerned about one character. My main meng Franklin Mott (featured above).

Franklin was a season 3 character that was completely batshit insane. In the beginning of the season he's on a mission for the Vampire King, but who cares, somewhere on his quest he falls in Beyonce style crazy love for Tara and then spends of the rest of the season complaining about how much he loves her. His lack of backstory and his bizarre temperament made him unpredictable, disturbing and fun. (VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE)

December 21, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Raekwon's Verse on Kanye West's Gorgeous

At the end of 2010 Kanye West made up for all his previous antics by dropping his new disc "My Beautiful Dark Fantasy." To say that the album was good would be a huge understatement, the album is fresh like farmer's market strawberries after your rode your bike there on a nice spring morning after you just head a strong cup of organic free range coffee. But while many songs stand out on the album, my favorite part of the whole thing would be Raekwon's verse on the featured song above- Goregous.
 A member of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the most underrated rapper in the game, over a rhythm change and soulful guitar, he destroys the verse. And man there are some serious verses on the album. Jay-Z, Pusha T, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross all tear up tracks on this album, but it's The Chef's that stands out, peep this sample of the verse

if you can’t live, you dying
you give or buy in
keep it real or keep it moving, keep grinding
keep shining, to every young man, this is a plan
learn from others like your brothers Rae and Kanye

Damn, that sounds like a New Years Resolution!

December 17, 2010

Tron Legacy: A Great Music Video

"Tron Legacy" is a two hour Daft Punk music video starring a Jedi Jeff Bridges. Sure other people appear but none of them come close to matching the techno-zen-rave-diety status of the almighty J. Bridges. In fact it's pretty far out to think about the entire film as some type of bizarre sequel to "The Big Lebowski," where our protagonist is still looking for his rug, albeit in a fourth technological dimension.

Directed by first timer Joseph Kosinski and the film is sleek techno adventure ride with a killer soundtrack. Notice that I referred to the movie as a ride and not a film. The plot is here is a garbled mess involving data discs, computer program genocide, epic daddy issues, and motorcycle riding. "The Grid" were all the super cool business goes down is a land of "infinite possibility" but the filmmakers never embrace this. For all it's visual trickery and innovative sound design and score, the whole thing just feels very safe, there is no risk here. I mean where is my Julian Assange cameo?

Now that you know that the plot and everything else is a mess, let's just talk about the film as techno adventure. Here the film succeeds.  Daft Punk's score overpowers the movie and if it wasn't for Bridges' zen (lines include "you really messing with my whole zen thing" the score would totally overpower the film. Visually the 3D is really trippy and even without the 3D, the glowing robes and colorful outfits pop off the screen. Peep the progression below to understand the film

Cool looking people roll into a techno future club in slow motion to this music

Cool looking EVIL people show up at the club and huge battle breaks out.

That's pretty much the movie right there. Cool looking people fighting, driving, exploding to rocking techno. If that sounds like your jam, then you probably already saw it or have your tickets. If not, then maybe try out "The Kings Speech."

December 16, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: New Takes on Toy Story Characters

When Toy Story 3 was first announced I immediately wondered just why they had to make a new one. I remembered "Toy Story 2" as being almost a perfect film, and I didn't see the need for new one. But boy was I wrong, "Toy Story 3" was nothing short of a masterpiece. Sure the end with the giant ball of fire is way too intense for kids and the villain Lotso The Bear is the scariest Disney villain ever, but "Toy Story 3" just brings it all around. You can check out my articles on the film here and here.

But I really wanted to commend the good people at Pixar for taking our beloved classic characters and putting a hilarious new spin on them. The Mr. Tortilla Head sequence above not only showed off impressive animation but had me rolling in the aisles. But not even that could compete with Spanish Buzz Lightyear. Hearing him speak in the same tone and with the same swagger but in a different language was just too much and in my book the funniest moment of the year. Gracias Spanish Buzz! And as a bonus the great Flamenco band The Gypsy Kings even covered "You Got A Friend in Me" on the soundtrack

December 15, 2010

TPG Talks 2010: Bed Intruder

Bed Intruder was an absolute monster in 2010. When I saw the original youtube video on barstool , I initially thought that it was average at best. However it wasn't til a friend sent it out again with the accompanying auto-tuned version by the Gregory Brothers (above), that I realized that, yeah that was pretty funny and I was wicked into it. Little did I know that it would become an anthem.

In the past when people inadvertently end up on the internet, they run from it, they don't want the celebrity. The "Star Wars" kid is a great example of an internet celebrity who tried to fight it. However, Antoine Dodson, the star of the Bed Intruder video is a business major and rather than run from the video, he embraced. Today he has appeared on numerous talk shows, performed at the BET awards, has iphone apps, halloween costumes, and a hit itunes single. He moved out of the projects and now lives with his family in a brand new home. Talk about an internet celebrity!

Yet depending how you look at it, the bed intruder craze is either a blight on world culture or a great example of innovative minds at work. Some people think the video perpetuates African American stereotypes. However, then you look at the massive creative response to the video, including the most recent performance by the Liberty University A Cappella group (founded by semi-bigot Jerry Falwell), it is amazing how different people responded and interpreted the video.

With over 75 million combined views and counting, Dodson is still counting that loot, but where he goes from here is unknown. Not like he can hide cause "we gonna find you we gonna find you!"

TPG Talks 2010 ( Aka The Realist Best Of Compilation You'll Find Anywhere In The Universe)

It's that time of year when people like to make "best of" lists to show how much they ingested in 2010. Usually these lists are full of big words like "tendentious" and "umbrage," but as you readers know I don't deal with SAT words, I deal with truth bombs. Over the course of the next couple of days, I will be revealing what I think were the best moments in everything in 2010. News stories, films, tv-shows, video games, people, youtube videos, foods, events, it will all be there. I'll keep a sidebar maintained so you can follow the progress and I'll have a twitter #hashtag of #TPG2010. Stay tuned.

December 14, 2010

Rango Trailer Drops

I'm really into this trailer. Maybe it's because while other animated films vaguely refer to their "green" audiences, this one seems to wear it's "yes this is totally trippy and far out" as a badge of honor.

December 13, 2010

Life The Movie: Secret Codes on Mona Lisa

Leonardo Da Vinci was one smooth dude. Think about it, the dude died in 1519 and even today he still has people losing their minds over his painting, a best-selling book, a smash hit franchise, and a dope supporting role in a hit video game series. And now, if he can't get any cooler, according to this recent news story, art historians have discovered secret letters and numbers on "The Mona Lisa." Yes, yes, basically it confirms everything you already knew, "The Da Vinci Code" is real.

Above is the close up the eye where the symbols are discovered, now I'll be honest I don't really see any symbols there except the Assassin's Creed logo (above), wait, what? But according to the Silvano Vinceti you need a magnifying glass to see them. Who is Silvano? He's the head of the National Committee for Cultural Heritage and apparently a little bit of Da Vinci fanatic, check out his history of obsession here.

Either way, let's give up for Leonardo. The guy is still making people lose their shit almost 500 years after he died. Not too mention he has the coolest Ninja Turtle named after him, and there is no higher honor than that.

Thanks to adventurer @AjMattero for the tip

December 10, 2010

UPDATED WITH TRAILER - Can The Marvel Machine Sell Thor?

Today is Kenneth Branagh's birthday. And so it is fighting that on his 50th birthday, the advertising blitz for "Thor," the film he directed should begin. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how this summer's "Green Lantern" and "Thor" represent a risky departure for the super hero film genre. And now we have our first official poster for Marvel Entertainment's "Thor" and the word is we should have a trailer tonight (check back in for updates).

Sometimes it's hard to remember that in 2008, "Iron Man" was a middle ground super-hero and making the film, let alone casting wild card Robert Downey Jr. was a gamble. Now "Iron Man" is the anchor of the entire Marvel Universe, a household name, and capable of creating nerd poetry. With "The Avengers" on the horizon, it was announced recently that "Iron Man 3" will be a direct sequel to not only "Iron Man 2," but also "Thor" and "The Avengers."

But "Thor" is not Iron Man. And while the initial posters look similar (striking background, heroic weapons), it is no doubt easier to sell a playboy bachelor surrounded by hot babes and cool toys to the world than a Asgardian viking warrior with some serious domestic issues. With this poster and the upcoming trailer, Marvel certainly has it's work cut out for it with Mr. Hammer Time. However, I'm hopeful, Marvel sold "Iron Man" on some simple images. Iron Man blows up tanks, beds hot chicks and flies around kicking ass.  Thor kicks ass with a hammer, makes things explode, and beds Natalie Portman, who is number one on many bros list of ultimate babes, so they have that in common.

I think "Marvel" is going to try to sell "Thor" kind of the same way. I mean, people have to show up if we see someone getting destroyed by a gigantic hammer right? Right?

December 9, 2010

Robot Boxing With Real Steal

This script was actually kind of cool and while it is unclear if this is a prequel/sequel/spinoff/transformation of the "Transformers" franchise, it's good to know that robots will rumble in 2011.
(via The playlist Blog)

December 8, 2010

Finding The Humor In WikiLeaks

As I said last week, I am fascinated by the Wikileaks saga. This Assange fellow seems to have the world on his finger tips and with him now locked away, he basically is getting his Obi Wan / Darth Vader on and saying that if they strike him down he will become even more powerful. Thankfully, someone is looking at the organization with smile on their face ( a laughing smile, not a "we're gonna nail this sonafabitch Gary" smile). The people I'm speaking about are the good folks at always reliable The Onion and pretty much every Star Wars nerd out there who follows the news.

Since I brought up the Assange Jedi connection earlier, let's start with WOOKIELEAKS, the twitter hashtag that hilariously puts a star wars twist on it the real life political debacle. The tweets contain both deep Star Wars references and casual ones and they really remind me of the great short film TROOPS, featured above. The stellar LA TIMES blog Hero Complex has a great collection of the wookie leaks here. Here is a sample from @gideonyago
Whistleblower claims 2 meter thermal exhaust port leads directly to reactor core, Death Star vulnerable 
But they aren't the only ones cracking jokes at the leaks. The Onion now has a hilarious entire section devoted to the leaks. The top story is "Julian Assange Fired From IT Job At The Pentagon," and the hits keep coming after that. Unlike the wookieleaks, these are full stories and almost all of them in some way reference the original leaks.

And of course, Saturday Night Live, once the leader in hilarity also weighed in on the controversy last weekend, including a mildly funny TMZ like sketch. Sure it got me to smile, but I'll stick to the Star Wars references and witty commentary that makes me cry.

December 7, 2010

New Trailer for "I Am Number Four" Is Nerd Fantasty Come To Life

This is the stuff my dreams are made of. Yes in my dreams I have super powers, date Quinn from Glee, and are involved in situations with explosions and cars flipping over. 

December 6, 2010

TV FInale Showdown: Boardwalk Empire vs. The Walking Dead

Forget fancy lead in sentences, I thought last night's finale of "The Walking Dead" was weak at best. It left me completely un-excited for the next season and worse, left me questioning why I really enjoy the show in first place. For me the most exciting part of the show was the last 3 minutes, when our heroes/victims finally got back to stopping the dead from walking with their axes, shotguns, pistols, and crossbows. AMC knows their audience, and the audience wants some zombie killin. Prior to that, we basically got a groovy explanation of how zombie brains work complete with an Enya soundtrack, great they're dead, but they walk, I get it.

That being said, where did the show leave us? Our survivors are back on the road, that's all, destined to go to another quarry where they can post up, catch fish, hunt zombie deer, and brood about how screwed they are. Yes, I know that the doctor, (expertly played by Noah Emmerich) whispered something to our hero Rick, but he could have been talking about another hot shower location and not something crucial (you realize that twice on this show, characters have enjoyed hot showers in montages). Don't get me wrong, I like seeing zombie heads explode as much as the next guy, but I'm going to need a little bit more plot to keep me truly interested.

Speaking of important conversations we can't hear, last nights "Boardwalk Empire Finale" featured one hell of a trio speaking about something which really will impact next season. Nucky's brother Eli, his father figure Commodore, and his metaphorical son Jimmy all met and plotted while the rest of the country celebrated the election. This is how you set up a second season, with three characters of different power levels scheming on how to take down the central protagonist of the show. 

Did you catch the shot in closing montage of Jimmy Darmody walking along the ocean? It looked just like Nucky walking the ocean in the opening credits, that's foreshadowing yo.  The show is once again proving to be exciting, visually gorgeous, and loaded with metaphors. The final montage set to "Life's A Funny Proposition" was brilliant in how it showed all the characters both where they've been and where they are heading. And while both shows have second seasons shrouded in mystery, only "Boardwalk" has created drama through their characters emotions and actions, not the characters skill at bustin' zombie skulls (although that still is cool).

December 3, 2010

Life The Movie: Julian Assange

21st Century Outlaw

Julian Assange is living a movie. Come on, picture the scene, it's Washington, maybe a Sunday, the Redskins are playing, politicians are drinking swanky cognac and talking pawlitics and then someone gets a call. "The Wikileaks guy is putting all our of diplomatic cables on the internet!" "Got dayum Aussie hacker bastard!" Meanwhile, somewhere in his techno lair Assange drinks a swanky cognac and smiles.

It might not have gone down exactly like that, but can we take a second to comment on how crazy this wikileaks business is. On Sunday, he basically spilled the beans on all types of top secret documents, sending the international community into a chaotic apologetic/oh shit frenzy. Then two days later, Sweden issues an arrest warrant on him for sexual assault (is that because he just @#$!ed the world's politician's?). The following day his servers come under immense cyber attack and transfers them all to Amazon's cloud servers, but even this can't stop the people who wanna stop the leaks, so he has to switch up domains again. And now on Friday, wikileaks is forced to switch the game up again, moving his servers to that great neutral state, Switzerland. As for Assange, he gave a press conference recently, even though he's technically a fugitive. For a great timeline of wikileaks insanity, check out this link here.

News stories like this get my imagination churnin and burnin. An international hacker fugitive who whereabouts are unknown, are you serious? This is like "Enemy of the State" combined with "Mercury Rising" mixed in with 70's paranoia thrillers with a side of "Hackers" and a sprinkling of "The Net" and some trace elements of "24."

But wait, there's more! More! In the words of Men In Black, there's morrah. Apparently Assange is going to reveal the UFO DOCUMENTS soon.  When that happens either, it won't happen because the Men In Black themselves will stop him or he will reveal that the UFO documents is actually a wonderfully drawn version of his family tree.

December 2, 2010

What Exactly is Triple Frontier?

There is a new film brewing in Hollywood and it's a big one. In time you will hear lots about it, so consider this the preview to the hype. It's called "Triple Frontier" or "Sleeping Dogs" no one seems to confirm the title, but for now we'll go with the first option because "Sleeping Dogs" sounds like a sequel to "Marley and Me." Wait, did I say, this is a preview to the hype? Sorry, this is the start of the hype train.

Simply put "Triple Frontier" is the follow up to the Academy Award winning "The Hurt Locker." To be directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the script by by "Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal, focuses on the piece of land featured above.  What's so special about this little piece of land? Evil bad dudes love it. According to Wikipedia, the area, kind of a neutral zone between three countries is hard to police and therefore it's a hot bead of organized crime, and not just South American drug lords, recent reports indicate an Islamic Extremist presence as well. So basically it sounds like "The Hurt Locker" minus the sand.

The talent behind the camera is enough to get excited but the cast coming together for the project is equally impressive. Yesterday it was announced that Tom Hanks will be in the film and it remains to be seen if we will be getting noble ass kicking Tom Hanks (see left) or noble diplomatic Tom Hanks (See "Charlie Wilson's War"). Other rumors have pegged Johnny Depp as a cast member, but those aren't confirmed. I mean a Depp-Hanks team up would be thrilling.

Bigelow is a masterful director, "The Hurt Locker" is an incredibly gripping film and "Point Break" is on the list of 80's action films that are awesome because they are just great films, not great "80's" films. But I have to point out that after last year's Academy Award race vs her ex-husband James Cameron, I can't help but think in some corner of her mind she wants to go make a movie in the jungle too. Hopefully her film will be rooted in spec-ops military government espionage goodness and won't involve blue-people**

*That isn't a knock on Avatar, Avatar is still the shit.