Catching up with Anniversaries

pac man, empire strikes back, Thanks to everyone who checked out the first PopRox chat yesterday, I had a blast, even though I found out I have a stalker. Talking about TV and movies is probably the best way I can think of to boss-approved kill two hours of the work day.

There were a couple requests in the chat that I’d like to get some feedback on, if you would indulge me:

1. More chats like that (although it hit me after that one of the people that asked for it is a friend, thanks Jen!).

2. Weekly podcasts, an idea that’s been kicked around in the past.

I’m up for both, but I just don’t think there is a much of an audience for it. But if you’re up for it and would be interested in a monthly chat/podcast, lemme know or leave a comment. Unless there’s a demand, it doesn’t seem like a good use of any one’s time.

Thanks again for showing up yesterday!

On to some links: 

I’ve been screwing up missing some big anniversaries lately — the 30th birthday of Pac-Man being the biggest. I’ve complained about feeling old before, but I’m not kidding this time, hearing that Pac-Man has just turned 30 is one that completely freaked me out. Every time I think about it, I check for gray hairs. That’s not fun. My first experience with Pac-Man was as a 7-year-old at Arcaro’s Pizza in Taylor. After basketball games at St. Ann’s in West Scranton, we’d go for pizza there and I’d have to beg my dad for quarters — usually a fruitless effort. “Don’t you have a job yet?” That predates the Hey Mon Airlines sketch from In Living Color, by the way.

Then there was the crappy Pac-Man version on the Atari 2600. The Saturday morning cartoon, whose theme I still randomly hear in my head. And the best Pac-Man version of all, Ms. Pac-Man. For some reason, I fell in love with Ms. Pac-Man way more than the masculine version, and still play it every time I see it. Probably my favorite video game of all time. Others have come and gone and taken over my temporary attention, but I always gravitate back to Ms. Pac-Man. Flashback’s nightclub in Scranton had one, so if you were ever there and saw some dork standing on the corner trying to figure out how balance his beer on the game, that was probably me. I never did quite figure out how to do it. But there is nothing like a good ol’ game of Pac-Man.

yeah, yeah, you're his father, get on with it

yeah, yeah, you're his father, get on with it

Another big anniversary — the 30th birthday of Empire Strikes Back. This doesn’t make me feel that old, because it’s the Star Wars movie that holds up best today. Honestly, it still looks and feels like it could have been made this year, as I watched it this weekend on Spike — twice. I still like Jedi more, but I’ve finally come to grips with admitting Empire is a better, more engrossing movie that holds up best of all three. Yeah, that’s right, all three. Not all six. It’s the start of my mental process to erasing the prequels from my memory. It’s just better that way. Maybe then I won’t wake up at night in a cold sweat with tears running down my cheeks screaming, “JAR-JAR!!! JAR-JAR!!! JAR-EFFING-JAR!!!” I’ll let you know how that goes.

What did I tell you! Already people are asking the somewhat rhetorical question and very obvious, “What’s up with Megan Fox?” We answered that question already — SHE’S CERTIFIABLE! She’s crazy. Padded-room crazy. There is no other explanation ever needed. Most celebrity meltdowns have a tipping point where people stop asking, “What the frig is going on with so-and-so?” and start saying, “Oh, it’s just the way he/she is.” Like when Snoop gets arrested at another airport for trying to smuggle pot onto the plane. Or when Russell Crowe falls onto the floor on his stomach, starts pounding the ground and cries in another temper tantrum. Or when Naomi Campbell tries to kick the snot out of her hired help. Well, this is that time for Megan Fox. If it’s not technically right now, then it will come when she’s out on her press tour for Jonah Hex in the next couple weeks. We should be able to bet on things like “On what late-night talk show will Megan Fox’s actual  Joaquin Phoenix-like meltdown occur?” If I had to bet right now, I’d make Letterman the favorite at 2-1 but would say Jimmy Kimmel would be a great sleeper bet at something like 8-1. Leno at 6-1 is the sucker bet, but seeing as he’ll ask her questions like, “Just how did you get so pretty?” or “How have you not won an Oscar yet?” she probably won’t be too uncomfortable there. Now the question becomes who will replace her in Tranny 3?

just looking at the album cover is funny

just looking at the album cover is funny

Last summer I did a weekly Movie Music Beatdown blog post about how movies and TV shows tend to steal songs from each other, a practice I detest. I might do it again this summer. Once a movie or a TV show famously uses a song in an important, memorable scene, then it should be considered off limits FOREVER. It’s plain stinkin’ lazy if you reuse it after that, even if you do it really well. Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band has been used about 100 times with varying degrees of success, but really, we get it. It’s a stupid, now-comical song. Guess what? There are other songs that are stupid and comical too. Or am I the only one who lived through the 80s? Well, apparently I’m not since Don’t Stop Believin’ has been used about 50 times in the past couple years in movies and TV. You would think that after how it was famously used in The Sopranos, people would stop believin’ and find other songs to use. Nope — Glee then used it in its pilot just two years after Sopranos and other shows have used it too. Which actually brings me to a point: Glee is starting to abuse the principle of not respecting other movies or TV shows that have previously used the music. Take last night with the guys of the glee club doing Beth, a song I still strangely like. They did it pretty well, I liked it. Sorry about crappy quality, Hulu hasn’t released it yet:

But wait! Hasn’t it been used before? Yup, in Role Models two years ago. Jane Lynch was in that movie, she should have protested. Fast forward to the 7:15 mark:

And although I can’t find any video for it, it was on the soundtrack for one of the more underrated movies of the 90s, Beautiful Girls, when Paul was crying while plowing his ex’s driveway. Perfect! Why would you bother using it again if some one’s already used it, and used it quite well? The whole time I was watching that scene, all I was thinking about was Michael Rappaport crying, not Quinn crying. There have been somewhere around 3,754,821 songs with women’s names in the titles. Find one, Glee.

Good news on the Glee front though — it’s already renewed for a third season before it finishes its first year. You can’t even start to begin to commence to think what a gamble it was for this show to get to the air. It never should have made it. And when it made it to the air, it should have been gone within a month, the same fate by just about every other musical TV show of the past 30 years. It should have been on the scrap pile with Viva Laughlin and Cop Rock. But it’s the best new show of the year and one of the top 5 shows on TV because it’s hysterical, it’s extremely well-written and it takes chances other shows refuse to. When was the last time you heard “fag” on TV? Geez, I’m scared writing it because I might get in trouble. But Glee handled it brilliantly last night, taking Finn to task for using it in just about the worst connotation possible. In the process, the show turned the mirror on every one — kids and adults — who uses it and makes them feel uncomfortable enough that they should be questioning their choice of vocabulary in the future. I understand why people, especially guys, wouldn’t watch Glee. But if you’re skipping it because it’s a musical, you’re missing out.

Guys aren’t the only ones who skip out on shows over stereotypes — I know a couple women who passed on Friday Night Lights because they thought it was nothing but football. My wife was nearly one of them, but four years later, it’s one of her favorite shows. In the past, I’ve thrown out the offer to anyone who wanted to catch up on past seasons that I’d let them borrow my DVDs. Now I don’t have to — ABC Family is picking up the reruns of the show in September. I’ve done just about everything in my power to get people to watch the show, but I’ve given up, it’s too far in for anyone with any kind of life to catch up. at this point, it’s for the fans and no one else. But now you don’t have to try and catch up on DVD, you can go in and out on ABC Family. I will once again strongly steer you to those reruns to introduce yourself to the Dillon Panthers and guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

crane kick!

crane kick!

Good thing Ralph Macchio is OK with the Karate Kid remake, because I’m still not. Although now that he and Bill Simmons, the unofficial protector of the Karate Kid legend, have now both come out and basically said, “Whatever” to the remake, it’s probably time I start leaning that way too. I’d probably eat sushi before I would spend 90 minutes of my life watching it (joke from yesterday’s chat), but I should stop wishing slow, painful deaths to those involved in bringing it to theaters.

You’re in the wrong place if you’re looking for info about who won Dancing with the Stars last night, but the girl from Pussycat Dolls did. Big shock.

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