A nerd before the birth of TOS Red Shirts, I share my thoughts on genre media be it books, movies, TV shows, etc

Monday, December 19, 2011

War Horse Movie Review

The Equine Edition Of, 'There & Back Again'




A Stephen Spielberg war movie, cinematography by Janusz Kaminski, musical score by John Williams; equals a movie worthy of viewing for those three reasons alone.

I have been fortunate to view some glorious looking movies and War Horse has jockeyed right there for the lead. Shot on location in various rural locations throughout England this is a truly glorious looking movie.  At times the depth of field of the rolling, lush, and rocky hills depicting turn of the 20th century rural farm life is almost three dimensional without any technical trickery.

The look of the movie changes to match the events. So, so gorgeous when it can.  So horrifying when it has to be.

And it makes the contrast of the hellhole that is war mutilated topography that the French countryside has been battered into, all the more shocking to behold. Structurally this movie echoes strongly the story arc of the three Lord Of The Ring movies condensed into one. Warhorse starts out in a bucolic surroundings, moves to progressively worse environments, and then returns back to the peaceful surroundings of an English Shire.

To carry that analogy a bit further, one could think of War Horse as the equine edition of LOTR. It follows the journeys and tribulations of a horse called simply Joey by his first master, a young farmboy named Albert.

Joey provides the narrative thread that ties together all the various tapestries; each an individual vignette about different human characters.  And what a cast Spielberg has gathered together for this movie.  A veritable who’s who of English character actors - many os which were recently seen in the Harry Potter movies - plus actors on the upswing such as the latest TV Sherlock Holmes - Benedict Cumberbatch, Thor’s Loki - Tom Hiddleston, and The Boxer’s - Emily Watson.  Joey’s master is played by with the appropriate turn of the century innocence by newcomer Jeremy Irvine. 

Every cast member is uniformly excellent throughout. It is truly an ensemble piece with small moments of emotional resonances against the backdrop of a world war.  Any shortcomings in the characters are tied into how well their story is tied into with Joey and his journey. 

And that is what Warhorse is about.  Those small moments of humanity that still arise under the harsh, uncaring rigors of war.  Often those moments are lost or crushed beneath the cruel boot heel of conflict. The opening peaceful moments of the movie areso light heart in nature as they play out like moments expected in family type fare.  They are so rapidly and jarringly lost as the war starts.

Yet throughout the war, decency & compassion survives.  Whether it is between comrades, family members, or enemies. Even people and animals.

Spielberg has crafted an old time movie that is simple in concept. In lessor hands this would likely be a far less emotionally resonant viewing experience.  Maudlin even.

In Spielberg’s hands it works.  Those closing scenes; bathed in a yellowy glow, the actors in silohuette; would be cloying if done by another director.

Spielberg elevates the material of a story of a boy and his horse. This is a story of the effects that wars have on everything. 

Before, during, and after.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

X-Men: First Class - It Really Is

The Creative Powers That Be behind the latest cinematic comic book incarnation of the X-Men must be hard pressed not to be doing a fair bit of gloating.  Ever since news of this prequel project started to tingle the web threads of the internet; derision and cynicism by all, had been the overwhelming reaction.

Including yours truly.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fringe Episode Review - 4.07

Wallflower



The Need To Be Seen

 ~~~

“The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it.  You and you alone make me feel that I am alive.  Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough.”

George Moore

~~~



Timing is so important.  One can take all the proper steps for THE big date; be dressed to the nines, bring a big bouquet of roses, and a box of chocolates but if you show up at the wrong time all your preparatory work can go for naught.

How many refills is this?

Such is the fate of, ‘Wallflower.’  It came on the heels of the previous fantastic installment, ‘And Those We’ve Left Behind.’ Tough enough.  But then to become the unintentional Fall Finale, due to the pushing out of the airing schedule by one week because of baseball’s World Series, is truly a cruel twist of fate.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fringe FBI Podcast Season 4 Episode 7

Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Wallflower'
 
The Need To Be Seen


Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 

Intro Music: 'One Headlight' - The Wallflowers
Exit Music: 'No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature' - The Guess Who

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

Jan's Wallflower Recap can be found at NiceGirlsTV

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

My written episode reviews can be found on this blog under my OldDarth handle. 


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review of Smart Pop's The Psychology Of Dexter

The Psychology Of Dexter



Taken from the Smart Pop website 'About' page:


'Smart Pop Books - On the best in Pop Culture Television, Books, And Film'

'Smart Pop books is a line of smart, fresh funny essays on the best of pop culture tv, books, and film, with particular focus on science fiction and fantasy television and literature.'

From the back cover of Smart Pop's The Psychology of Dexter book:

'Millions of us are fascinated by unlikely hero Dexter Morgan - a character who constantly makes us question what being “normal” really means.  What makes Dexter tick? And what makes a show about a serial killer so appealing to those of us at home?

Think you know Dexter?  The Psychology of Dexter will make you think again.’


Monday, November 21, 2011

Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, And Mad Scientists

Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, And Mad Scientists

Taken from the Smart Pop website 'About' page:

'Smart Pop Books - On the best in Pop Culture Television, Books, And Film'

'Smart Pop books is a line of smart, fresh funny essays on the best of pop culture tv, books, and film, with particular focus on science fiction and fantasy television and literature.'

From the back cover of Smart Pop's Fringe Science book:

'Fringe has always been more than the sum of its parts-but its parts, too, are worth a closer look.  The show combines a surfeit of mad science, some old school sci-fi flair, and a dash of strawberry-milkshake whimsy to create the challenging, fascinating Pattern that keeps us coming back season after season and universe after universe.'


Thursday, November 17, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc) Podcast Review

Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'And Those We Left Behind'
 
The Peter Paradox: Constant or Wild Card?


Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 

Intro Music: 'In My Life' - The Beatles
Exit Music: 'Lunatic Fringe' - Tom Cochrane - Symphony Sessions

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

Jan's And Those We Left Behind Recap can be found at NiceGirlsTV

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

My written episode reviews can be found on this blog under my OldDarth handle. 


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fringe Ep. 4.06 Review

And Those We Left Behind

The Peter Paradox: Constant or Wild Card?


Hearkening back to Season Two's, 'White Tulip', 'And Those We Left Behind(ATWLB)', is outwardly a high concept SF time travel episode. Both episodes Trojan Horse'd time travel elements to explore very human conditions which is when Fringe is at its best.

And both episodes are stories about lost loves.

With 'Novation' inserting Peter gingerly back into the altered time line, this week's episode expands on the implications and possible pitfalls of his return. Opening with a perfect day dream sequence we see Peter, wedding band visible, with Olivia and the swing setting Walter in a park. It is naturally all too perfect and ends on an ominous note with Olivia telling Peter there is a problem. 

'He is a Fringe Event.'

And that problem is Peter.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fringe FBI Podcast Season 4 Episode 5

Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Novation'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 

Intro Music: 'Stuck In The Middle' - Steelers Wheels

Exit Music: 'Peter Theme' - Chris Tilton

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

Jan's Novation Recap can be found at NiceGirlsTV

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

My written episode reviews can be found on this blog under my OldDarth handle.

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Fringe Episode Review - 4.05: Novation

The Other Side of the Coin

So it begins.

The road back.  But is it the right road?

The Lost Son Returns?


Peter is back in play on the show but this is no homecoming.  This is a timeline where Peter never existed beyond his childhood.  A timeline which could be argued to be the correct one.  If Walter had not crossed over to the other side then the natural course of events would have been that Peter would have not grown up in our universe.  And maybe not in the RedVerse as well depending on the Observers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fringe Season 4 Episode 4 Review - 'Subject 9'

Effect before Cause

The story telling thrust of the season narrative could be palpably felt shifting into the next gear in, 'Subject 9.' Gone are the hand holding moments from the previous episodes for new viewers.

The net result?

A most excellent episode filled with several WOW(Wonderful Olivia & Walter) moments as Walter is driven to prove his worth by stepping out of the lab for the first time in three years.  This subplot was designed for character moments; all journey versus destination, its true intent never about being a source of story tension. Olivia's decision going for or against Walter was never in question.



A WOW Moment - Walter Teaching Olivia How To Properly Drink A Root Beer Float

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fringe FBI Podcast Season 4 Episode 4

Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Subject 9'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 

Intro Music: 'Break On Through (to the other side)' - The Doors

Exit Music: 'The Lonely Man Theme' - Joe Harnell - Closing Credits for The Incredible Hulk TV series

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

Jan's Subject 9Recap can be found at NiceGirlsTV

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Media mentioned if you are interested in speculating on what the Observers are all about:
1) Original Star Trek - Season 3 - The Empath
2) Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
3) The Dark Tower Series - The WasteLands - by Stephen King

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fringe FBI Podcast Season 4 Episode 3

Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Alone In The World'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 


Intro Music: 'Breakdown' - I, Robot: The Alan Parsons Project

Exit Music: 'Olivia Theme' - Chris Tilton

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

Jan's Fringe Recap can be found at NiceGirlsTV

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Fringe Season 4 Episode 3 Review

Read Mind Vine Time



‘Alone In The World’


The show continues it’s exploration of what a world without Peter is like and its impact on those he left behind.  Till this episode that journey has been an interesting one with the success of the journey relying heavily on how interesting the case of the week is. In my books translucent shape shifters and serial killers trump killer fungus any day.
‘Gus’ was too flat a threat to get very excited about.
Pity too because John Noble acted the heck out of the episode. So did Anna Torv - when she could break away from the case of the week imposition.  Special marks for Jesika Nicole too.

Oddly enough on our last FBI - Fringe Benefits Inc podcast, (which you can find under the Podcast tab here at FringeTV), we remarked it was curious that Peter was only trying to contact Walter and not Olivia. The previous two episodes had a definite lack of Walter and we hoped for more of him. Both of these items were addressed in this episode.  

2 for 1 His 'N Hers Suit Sale?

One quite successfully.  The other not so.

FBI Podcast Season 4 Episode 2


Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'One Night In October'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 


Intro Music: 'The Ghost In You' - Psychedelic Furs

Exit Music: 'Peter Theme' - Chris Tilton

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O
On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fringe Season 4 Episode 2: Review

Out of the Darkness Into The Light
  
'One Night In October'
  

The big question going into Season 4 was how the Fringe writers were going to utilize the new timeline for story telling possibilities.  The first episode of the season gave a universe load of exposition.  This time the episode cuts to the chase right from the get go.  A serial killer is on the rampage on the Other side and Our side is asked to help out by bringing his counter part over to work on the case.  A counterpart whom just happens to be an expert on serial killers.  

All set up within minutes of the episode start.
The story can take off so quickly because this new timeline has been used to strip back a lot of the continuity baggage both Olivias are carrying.  They have been reduced back to their basic qualities; both Olivias void of any impacts that Peter has made on them.  A concentrated distillation of their characteristics has been attained in Season 4.  This leanness of character is a deliberate decision by the Fringe show runners.  It allows them to highlight the similarities between the two Olivias.  And the differences.  It also streamlines story telling setup.




So close yet so different.

Fringe Season 4 Episode 1:Review

Rough-Edged Reset

'Neither Here, Nor There'

Fringe is back for a fourth season, stoked with a full head of story telling steam. Thanks to the mind breaking removal of Peter from not just a timeline, but existence itself, at the climatic end of Season 3.  Fox fanned those flames even higher with an excellent off season promotional campaign that peaked just before the Season 4 premiere creating a buzz with the slogan, ‘Where is Peter Bishop?’

And the Fringe showrunners continue to demonstrate they are not afraid to break with convention. We are treated to our initial glimpse of a Captain Kirk - Tholian Webbing style, Peter Bishop in the very first scene.



Don't You Forget About Me!


Monday, September 26, 2011

FBI Podcast: Fringe Season 4 Episode 1


Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus get together after each Fringe episode in this temporarily constructed shared reality known as a podcast to discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Neither Here Nor There'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Episode Easter Eggs  
3) Quick Thoughts 
4) RoundTable 
5) Ep Rating - out of 10 Genes
 


Intro Music: 'Lunatic Fringe,' Tom Cochrane & Red Rider - 'Symphony Sessions' Version

Exit Music: 'Don't You(Forget About Me) - Simple Minds

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fringe S4 PreSeason Podcast

Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.



Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus kick off Season 4 of Fringe with a PreSeason Huddle.

Join us in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the Fourth Season of Fringe.

'Fringe Season 4 PreSeason Huddle'

Agenda:
1) Intros
2) Jan recounts her 2011 SDCC Fringe Panel & Press Room Encounters
3) Season 4 Spec Talk




Intro & Exit Music: 'Lunatic Fringe,' Tom Cochrane & Red Rider - 'Symphony Sessions' Version


Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

FBI Inc Podcast graphics designed by Frea_O

Jan's 2011 SDCC Fringe Articles can be found at NiceGirlsTV


Her first article is entitled FRINGE: It’s a Wonderful Alternate Universe

Jan's second article is FRINGE: A Comic Con Chat with Anna Torv & John Noble


Visit my blog ODONTV for Chuck and general ODONTV podcasts.


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Monday, August 15, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Season 3 Review

Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus and special guests Karen and Crystal in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the Third Season of Fringe.

'Fringe Season 3 Review'



Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999


Visit my blog ODONTV for Chuck and general ODONTV podcasts.


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fringe Season 3 Finale - Part 2 of 2

Will Season 4 Ignore Or Explore?

Season 3 Finale - ‘The Day We Died’*

* - all dialogue quotes are from this episode.

Walternate(2011): ‘You shattered my universe! Do you have any idea of how many deaths you caused?’

Walter(2011): ‘That was an accident! What you have tried to do, you have done on purpose!’

Season 4 starts out with the two universes still in peril but now with a chance for both sides to avert the impending disaster, thanks to Peter. But the price of creating that chance has removed Peter from the playing board. So much of what Walter and Olivia have become is intertwined with Peter’s presence. Without him in the mix how can this new opportunity in the form of the Universe Bridge between the two universes have a chance of success? How well will Olivia and Walter and by extension, Walternate and Fauxlivia, be equipped to deal with this new crisis?

Have the writers have written themselves into a corner?


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fringe Season 3 Finale - Part 1 of 2 - Slip Up Or Set Up?

Hey everyone! Hope you are having a pleasant summer. FringeTV is doing an episode rewatch of the entire series in the run up to the Season 4 Premiere but unfortunately that is more than I can take on at the moment. I really wanted to do an article or two about the state of series after such a unique finale.

So here it is. At least Part 1. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ODONTV Podcast 7 - The Return of Mo Ryan

The seventh ODONTV podcast on the current state of TV.

The Return of AOL TV Squad's Mo Ryan - we talk about Justified, SuperNatural, Chuck, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, FarScape, Fringe, The Dark Tower & Game of Thrones! Whew!



Leave feedback here or on Twitter:


Mo Ryan - @moryan
Lou - @olddarth

Intro music - Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project
Exit music - Eye In Sky by The Alan Parsons Project


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to the portable version
via iTunes - Portable Version.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.21:
'The Last Sam Weiss'

Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.

'The Two Towers aka Machines'



Podcast Agenda: - note this podcast is PG rated


1 Intro
2 Episode Easter Eggs - Observer Sightings, Glyph, etc
3 Quick Thoughts
4 Roundtable
5 Episode Rating - out of 10 Genes

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999


Visit my blog ODONTV for Chuck and general ODONTV podcasts.


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Monday, April 25, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.20:
'6:02 AM EST'

Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.

'The Breaking of the Bishop Fellowship'




Podcast Agenda: - note this podcast is PG rated


1 Intro
2 Episode Easter Eggs - Observer Sightings, Glyph, etc
3 Quick Thoughts
4 Roundtable
5 Episode Rating - out of 10 Genes

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999


Visit my blog ODONTV for Chuck and general ODONTV podcasts.


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CNN 4.21 - Chuck Vs The Wedding Planner

Welcome back gang!

Take a listen to our Audio Episode Review of CNN 4.20 - Chuck Vs The Family Volkoff
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to my fellow podcasters Jan, Karen, and Joe. Especially this week as I was unable to partake in the podcast. Special thanks to Karen for doing the techie stuff and getting the podcast up on the internet.

Miss any episodes? You can find them all at CNN - Chuck Nerdposium Netcast and every time you watch it helps to support us!

As always this podcast is family and office safe.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ipanemian Insight - Episode Review - Fringe 3.19: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

The Girl From Ipanema

Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes each one she passes goes "a-a-ah!"
When she walks she's like a samba that,
Swings so cool and sways so gentle,
That when she passes each one she passes goes "a-a-ah!"
Oh, but I watch her so sadly,
How can I tell her I love her?
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea,
She looks straight ahead not at me
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes
I smile, but she doesn't see,
She just doesn't see,
No she doesn't see

To paraphrase my favorite James T. Kirk speech of all time from, 'Return To Tomorrow,' , 'Risk! Risk is our business. That’s what Fringe is all about. That’s why we write the stories we do.’



The Fringe showrunners, like Kirk, have made Risk their business.

And they are good at their business. Very, very good.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ipanemian Insight - Fringe 4.20: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

The Girl From Ipanema

Tall and tan and young and lovely,
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes each one she passes goes "a-a-ah!"
When she walks she's like a samba that,
Swings so cool and sways so gentle,
That when she passes each one she passes goes "a-a-ah!"
Oh, but I watch her so sadly,
How can I tell her I love her?
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea,
She looks straight ahead not at me
The girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes
I smile, but she doesn't see,
She just doesn't see,
No she doesn't see


Thursday, April 14, 2011

CNN 4.20 - Chuck Vs The Family Volkoff

Welcome back gang!

Take a listen to our Audio Episode Review of CNN 4.20 - Chuck Vs The Family Volkoff
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to my fellow podcasters Jan, Karen, and Joe. Especially this week as I was unable to partake in the podcast. Special thanks to Karen for doing the techie stuff and getting the podcast up on the internet.

Miss any episodes? You can find them all at CNN - Chuck Nerdposium Netcast and every time you watch it helps to support us!

As always this podcast is family and office safe.

Monday, March 28, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.18:
'Bloodline'


Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.

'Connections: Cosmic & Cabbie'





Podcast Agenda: - note this podcast is PG rated

1 Intro
2 Episode Easter Eggs - Observer Sightings, Glyph, etc
3 Quick Thoughts
4 Roundtable
5 Episode Rating - out of 10 Genes

Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review of Fringe Episode 3.18 – Bloodline

Connections: Cosmic & Cabbie


Quickly now – just finished a Snoopy Happy Dance Marathon upon the news that not only has FOX renewed Fringe for a fourth season but also for a full twenty-two episode order! WooT!

Congrats to the cast and crew!

Bloodline has to be one of the most layered episodes of Fringe. There is so much going on below the surface here that it would take a major thesis to cover them all.  

Fauxlivia Encounters A Buddha In The Road!


Fringe is very much a show of 'why.' The other elements of story telling; how, who, what, where, and when are given to us, in that trademark Fringian Freaky Format that shows the viewer the story in either the most graphic or dramatic way possible. Or with the two mixed together if the occasion calls for it. Often those mechanics are used to manipulate the viewer's thoughts one way while the real 'why' of those scenes is often more complicated than expected. Bloodline is a text book case.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fringe - Ep. 3.17 – Stowaway Episode Review

The Bell Tolls For Whom?

Jumping into a season midstream for a serialized show is never easy. Doing so for a series as complex and layered as Fringe is even more daunting. Always up for a challenge so into the breech I step.

Before I jump into this review a brief statement of orientation of my views on Fringe is needed. It should help you decide whether you feel my reviews will be worth your while. It is all about providing context because in isolation, words and thoughts can be misconstrued. So consider this opening of a new review restaurant and allow me to walk you through the specialities that I am serving.

Chuck Gets A Clue. And Ellie Does Too? - Ep. 4.19: Chuck Vs The Muuurder!

Written by Alex Katsnelson & Kristen Newman
Directed by Alan Kroeker
It is a true measure of affection for these characters that a small scene between Chuck, Sarah, and Casey decompressing together after their latest mission makes wading through a filler episode like this one still rewarding.

A bottle - meaning the episode was confined to standing sets such as the Castle, BuyMore etc - and filler episode; this one ran on three tracks. The A storyline had Chuck in charge of the Intersect Project which quickly became a locked Castle aka room mystery. The B storyline had the BuyMore battling it out with the LargeMart over stolen mascots. The C storyline had Ellie digging deeper into PapaB's Intersect Research on the laptop.

Monday, March 21, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.17:
'Stowaway'


Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.

'The Bell Tolls For Whom?'






Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ODONTV Podcast 6 - The Hunger Games Trilogy

The sixth ODONTV podcast on the current state of TV and, this time, movies!

The True Blush Girls - Emily and Mary - drop by to chat about writer's Suzanne Collins hot Young Adult fiction trilogy - The Hunger Games which is currently being adapted into a movie trilogy.

We discuss the books, the attraction of the series, which book was our favorite, the characters, and the daunting task of bringing these books to the silver screen.




Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Emily - @Yokaputo
Mary - @mary3s
Lou - @olddarth

Intro music - Fool's Overture by SuperTramp
Exit music - Sirius/Eye In Sky by The Alan Parsons Project


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to the portable version
via iTunes - Portable Version.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CNN 4.18 - Chuck Vs The A Team

Welcome back gang!

Take a listen to our Audio Episode Review of CNN 4.18 - Chuck Vs The A Team
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Thanks to my fellow podcasters Jan, Karen, and Joe.

Miss any episodes? You can find them all at CNN - Chuck Nerdposium Netcast and every time you watch it helps to support us!

As always this podcast is family and office safe.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vacuum Packed - Ep. 4.18 – Chuck Vs The A Team


Written by Phil Klemmer

Directed by Kevin Mock

Serialized vs Stand Alone.

As a series Chuck has flipped between these two types of story telling approaches with mixed results. Even the most ardent fan will recognize the inconsistencies that have cropped up over the past four seasons in the show's mythos. These become even more pronounced when the stand alone episodes try to operate in a vacuum, ignoring or contradicting previously established show mythology and history.

That the Intersect was something so overwhelmingly complex that only a unique individual could withstand having it inserted into their brain has been long abandoned by the show. The number of people that can survive being Intersected increases with each season. What was once postulated being unique to Chuck, his brain's ability to absorb being Intersected without harmful or fatal effects, is now commonplace. Now the show conceit has shrunk down to that it is Chuck himself that is special as a person. His personality and set of moral ethics is what makes him the only one that can handle having the Intersect in his head without losing his humanity. Time after time Chuck's specialness is ignored by the Intelligence Agencies Power Brokers when new Intersects are desired.

It would seem that the recent economic downturn has also affected the available number of bad guys too. In the pilot the goal was to be able to produce an army of Intersected Agents to protect the free world. Now, contradicting that original goal, there are only enough bad guys to keep one Intersect team employed.

The A Team.

The setup of having Chuck and Sarah demoted to the Dog Walking Team does not bear up even under the most cursory examination. All the success history of Team Bartowski is also ignored so the new A Team can arise and replace them. Of course, all this suspect situational setup is irrelevant to the viewer if it leads to entertaining story results. I found the results mildly entertaining with the Hurt Locker Chuck bomb defusing scene at the climax the definite highlight.

Another problematic aspect of this episode is the muddied motivations of why Casey joined the new team. The show wants to set up tension between Casey and his old team mates but the show cannot make Casey out to be a bad guy. So they gloss over Casey's motivations for dumping Chuck and Sarah. His third wheel laments make little sense when we find out he has left to helm a team of two Intersects. If he felt like a third wheel on Team Bartowski with one Intersect how does this move to the new team make any sense? So the whole exercise of having Casey sneaking off to lead the new team is to create pointless false drama.

Episode Flashes: Add your own in the comments.
  • Morgan almost gaining control over his torture peeing problem
  • Missionless Chuck and Sarah bored and playing board games
  • Morgan describing Casey as his domestic partner
  • the new A Team – Rick & Vicki
  • the Jana extraction assignment turns out to be a real 'dog' of a mission
  • stir crazy Ellie wants the Orion laptop
  • Ellie seduces Jeff and Lester.... again
  • Jeff the Psychic
  • CBS approved bio-residue scanning goggles
  • Lecter-like plexiglass jail cell in the new Castle wing
  • Hurt Locker Chuck and the Apple Juice solution
  • iPhone bomb detonator
  • Chuck is now Overseer of all Intersect Projects
  • the Gretas relief at having the Intersect removed
  • Ellie gets the Orion laptop as Bentley does an end run around Beckman and Chuck

Just Like Old Times

There was some interesting stuff at the end of this episode. Ellie being given the Orion laptop by Bentley certainly sets up some intriguing story possibilities. What was a throw away line by Captain Rick about feeling bad for Chuck having the Intersect in his head really grabbed my interest. It is doubtful the show will pursue that comment any further but an exploration of the burden of Chuck having an Intersect is one that I would find fascinating.

Monday, March 14, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.16: Os -
'Of Bells & Bongs'


Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.



Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Justified - CottonMouth - The Hillbilly Whisperer

The True Blush Girls invited me back to discuss episodes 2 thru 5 from Season Two of Justified.

Check it out here - The Hillbilly Whisperer.


A great show with an awesome cast that is a lot of fun.

PS - keep an eye, and ear, open for another joint podcast where we will meet again to discuss, 'The Hunger Games,' trilogy and the upcoming movie adaptation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

ODONTV Podcast 5 - FOX's Human Target - Their Aim Is True

The fifth ODONTV podcast on the current state of TV!

Join Adrien, Jan, and Karen as I - Lou, help them maintain their aim on a discussion of FOX's Human Target and their hopes for a third season.



Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Adrien - @a_belliveau
Jan - @happydayz3
Karen -@aleveria
Lou - @olddarth


On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Portable Version.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CNN - 4.17: Chuck Vs The First Bank of Evil

Welcome back gang!

Take a listen to our Audio Episode Review of CNN 4.17 - Chuck Vs The First Bank of Evil
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to my fellow podcasters Jan, Karen, and Joe.

Miss any episodes? You can find them all at CNN - Chuck Nerdposium Netcast and every time you watch it helps to support us!

As always this podcast is family and office safe.

Monday, February 28, 2011

FBI(Fringe Benefits Inc.)Ep Review - 3.15: Subject 13


Fringe:
A 'Family' forged by Fate, faces their Fears & Foibles
amid the Freaky & the Fantastic.


Join Frea, Jan, Lou, & Maximus in our temporarily constructed shared alternate reality known as a podcast, as we discuss the latest episode of Fringe.



Leave us feedback here or on Twitter:

Frea - @Frea_O
Jan - @happydayz3
Lou - @olddarth
Maximus - @mxpw999

On the run all the time? A commuter? Listen to our portable version
via iTunes - Alternate Reality Version.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moving On - Ep. 4.16 – Chuck Vs The Masquerade

Written by Rafe Judkins & Lauren Lefranc
Directed by Patrick Norris
Phew!

The typical episode of Chuck can often be crammed with a lot of story threads. Masquerade wins the award for containing the most amount of material in a forty-two minute episode in the series. There are at least five concurrent story lines all dealing to one degree or another with characters moving on with the next chapter in their lives. Not only that but the entire cast appears in the episode as well as the introduction of the two new characters. If that were not impressive enough, this episode also serves the function of being the setup episode for the next story arc for the remainder of Season Four.

Again. Phew!

It is notable that as far as character beats go there is nary a false step here. This comes as no surprise when the writing credits show us that the writing team of Judkins & Lefranc are behind the keyboard. They have consistently displayed an understanding of the show and the characters that have made them fan favorites since they came on board in Season Three. The fact that they are writing a setup episode instead of a payoff episode, along with the most glaring example on the show's quality because of the budget and scheduling cuts since Season Three, is more of a factor as to why Masquerade does not resonate as emotionally as their previous efforts.

Masquerade deals with people facing the fact that they are moving into a new phase of their life. Decisions need to be made that will take characters down new roads. For Morgan it is the awareness that he needs to move out and modify his bromance relationship with Chuck. For Vivian it is finding a purpose and direction in her life. For Chuck and Sarah it is the impending move towards becoming life partners. For Casey it is deciding whether after four years on Team Bartowski - his longest assignment, it is time to leave while on top. For Devon and Ellie it is the moving of Clara sleeping in their room to her own bedroom.

Opening with a shockingly graphic head shot, shades of the Emmett Millbarge death at the beginning of Season Three, we are put on notice that the next chapter in the series has started. The show quickly returns to its lighter comedic nature with the Valentine's Day activities at Casa Bartowski. Morgan and Alex's weird pastiche of tantric sex activities are played against Chuck and Sarah's much tamer Love Machine T-Shirt and Sarah's cute angel wings. All this comes to a crashing halt as Casey intrudes and has his own form of flashing as he tries to process what he is seeing. That is followed by a funny scene as Team Bartowski troops into the Castle still attired in their Valentine's Day regalia.

Episode Flashes: Add your own in the comments.
  • Head shot wake up call
  • Chuck and Morgan rose petalled Valentine's Day fist pump
  • bear skin rugs and Love Actually
  • Chuck's Love Machine T-Shirt and Sarah's Angel Wings and Pretty Woman references
  • Casey breaking in on Valentine's Day at Casa Bartowski
  • Morgan asking GB if next mission has a party theme
  • Eyes Wide Shut masquerade
  • Casey and Morgan dealing with being the Third Wheel
  • Scruffy Ellie and Devon – smell like vomit and Cheerios
  • Ellie's breast feeding diversion
  • Sarah and Morgan try to 'hang' with one another
  • Sarah playing with Star Wars toys
  • Chuck and Vivian comparing notes on the state of their lives
  • Vivian has been fully trained as an agent
  • Han and Chewie end up with up Clara a la Toy Story 3
  • end of an era for many characters
  • Vivian searching for her destiny at Volkoff's headquarters
Sometimes words fail...

It was intriguing to see Vivian Volkoff's life compared against Chuck's. They are two people who grew up sheltered from their parents true natures. Yet upon discovery, both are directly impacted by that revelation. Chuck chooses the path of good. Vivian looks like she may be taking a different fork in the road. We know that she has been, for all intensive purposes, trained as an agent and that she has the character makeup to pull the trigger if the need arises. Will her discovery of her father's legacy sway her to the dark side? Time will tell.

The initially more intriguing character is Robin Givens mysterious NCS Covert Ops Director Jane Bentley. She is actively recruiting Casey to take on a new assignment as the leader of a team she is putting together. Will Casey decide to leave Team Bartowski? Whatever he decides we know he will not leave Burbank. Is procuring Casey, Bentley's true purpose or does she have other end games in mind?

Chuck and Morgan painfully realize through the difficult decision of how to deal with their Han Solo and Chewbacca collectible Star Wars figures that they are both moving on to the next stage of their life. The final solution arrived at by Morgan is a great Toy Story 3 homage with Clara Woodcombe inheriting the inseparable duo.

No doubt the show continually tries to do the best with its available resources it has at hand. Green screen effects shots are usually evidence of these reductions. At least they are quick and short in duration. In Masquerade there is an extended sequence starting when Sarah leaves on horseback disguised as Vivian until Vivian returns to the stable and the showdown with Boris which is undercut by these resource issues. Suffice it to say the outdoor horse sequences and Casey's being on the top moment are not the series's finest.

Masquerade has some great character beats; a scruffy looking Ellie and Devon, Sarah joking with Chuck about being knowledgeable about sex parties, Casey being praised for his bar tending skills, Ellie and Devon conspiring to steal the music playing lamb toy from Jeff and Lester via the breast feeding diversionary tactic, and Morgan asking GB if there is a party theme to consider on their next mission to name a few.

The table has been set. Questions have been raised with the multiple cliff hangers. A return of a sense of urgency and danger with this next arc would be an awesome development.