Welcome back. This week is a little more robust than last week as some shows are returning for the summer. Let's see how it turned out, shall we?
- Ebert & Roeper. Making their first appearance here, I decided I might as well include it.
Lords of Dogtown: Ebert- Thumbs Down, Roeper- Thumbs Up
Mysterious Skin: Two Thumbs Way Up
Cinderella Man: Two Thumbs Up
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Two Thumbs Up
Batman Begins: Two Thumbs Way Up
Rock School: Two Thumbs Up
- Family Guy. This was a pretty funny episode, combining Meg's desire to be pretty and Peter's plan to save the Drunken Clam. It winds up with the Griffin clan forming a band, Brian's emerging racism, and an unforgettable SNL appearance resulting in the beat down of Jimmy Fallon. ***
- American Dad. Moderately funny episode detailing how Roger came to be with the Smith family. There is a minor subplot concerning religious differences between mother and daughter. There are also some recycled bits from Family Guy. **.5
- The 4400. The two hour premiere picks up about a year after the events of last years mini series. There is a 4400 organization growing, with a cult like mentality. There is a growing fervor in the government to find out why they are here and why they have the abilities they have. The show did a good job of presenting a large epic enveloping smaller more personal tales. Hopefully it can be sustained. ***
- WWE: Raw. The first night of the month long draft, the first draftee: WWE Champ John Cena. He was introduced by Chris Jericho during the highlight real, with a visit from Christian, looking for a piece. That is followed up with the first match, a tag/handicap match pitting Hassan and Daivari against Shelton Benjamin, fortunately Benjamin won. It was then revealed that Stone Cold will be on next week. Next match was Chris Masters against Val Venis, in a match that Venis handily carried. Triple H and Batista had their signing of their Hell in a Cell match. A disturbing sequence with Edge, Lita and Kane. And Dudley Boyz appear! They put Snitsky through a table and the crowd erupted. The show ended with a showdown between Bischoff with Edge, Christian and Tomko and Heyman with the Dudleys, and during the talk down, Bischoff brought out more troops, leading Heyman to bring out more troops. It ended with ECW cleaning house.
- Vampires: Los Muertos. Originally aired as a Sci-Fi Original last year, but I missed it then and never got to see the DVD, figured this rerun would be my best shot. The result was surprisingly entertaining. Jon Bon Jovi was a bit miscast as our head sucker hunter, a little too rock star for the part. It was a fun romp with decent vampire action. I had low expectations going in, and I think that is what allowed me to enjoy it. Also, Natasha Gregson Wagner is adorable. ***
- That 70's Show (rerun). I started my tape early and got this. It was an enjoyable episode, featuring Eliza Dushku as a rival to Laura Prepon at the radio station. ***
- Stacked. A show I am enjoying despite any sense of reason. This one features Gavin becoming an author groupie, Katrina getting trapped at an Aerosmith party. Schuyler tries to say she's not a groupie. ***
- The Inside. An auspicious debut for the new procedural. A team member dies and a new member enters the picture in the hunt for a sicko who removes the face and hands of his victim. There is a lot of intra team tension as the sting goes down. I look forward to where this may be going. ***
- WWE: Smackdown. The show starts off with JBL lamenting the loss of John Cena to Raw, this leads to GM Teddy Long announcing their new addition: Chris Benoit. That goes on to set the main event JBL v Benoit. The first match was pretty good pitting Charlie Haas against Carlito, save the frightening botched dive over the ropes by Haas. Then a decent cruiser match of Paul London v Akio is interrupted by Eddie Guerrero who plans on destroying Rey Mysterio. Booker T v Kurt Angle was next putting on an entertaining match despite my complete dislike of the angle(hehe). After the match Angle confronts Tazz about which side he is on, this leads to a stiff shot on Tazz. Paul Heyman and a contingent of ECW come down for the main event, the surprisingly good match between JBL and Benoit which leads to all out mayhem as both sides hit the ring, including a bloodied out of shape Tazz. Decent show. ***
- MTV 2005 Movie Awards. Not very good. There were a couple of good segments. I liked Eminem's mocking of Triumph into his performance with the Crank Yankers crew. I liked Dustin Hoffman's acceptance, one of the more sincere moments. Note to Lindsay Lohan, lose the blonde. I liked the tribute to The Breakfast Club, but Yellowcard's performance of Simple Minds' "Don't You(Forget About Me" was awful. Note to Katie Holmes, stop acting so giddy around Tom and eat a freakin' hamburger, plunging necklines are not sexy if we can count your ribs. Note to Tom, I think you are underrated as an actor, but it is time for you to return to Earth, or at least add more oxygen to your diet, you are in danger of sucking in all the wind around you leaving you trapped in the vacuum of your ever growing personality. Jessica Alba=Yummy! Zhang Ziyi=Yummy! Question, since when was dancing a musical performance? Quentin, love your work, but please show restraint when others win awards. Samuel L. Jackson's little speech was very entertaining. Foo Fighters had a decent performance. I'm surprised there is no category for best song from a movie. Jimmy Fallon was very hit or miss, but mostly miss. As for the winners, does it really matter? I like the outside the box thinking for category selection, but you could use some work. Where else can you see serious vs fluffy films in the same category? Some portions were skipped, a few speeches, Mariah Carey, the worthless stuff. Something struck me while watching this, it is amazing that whatever appears on here suddenly seems less cool, food for thought..... Oh yeah, Napoleon Dynamite won Best Movie. **
- Into the West. I got home a bit late and missed the first few minutes of the beginning, but I don't feel that I missed much. Actually, I kind of wish I missed more. I was left rather flat and uninvolved at the end of these first two hours. I think the biggest problem is that I am not the right audience for this material. I may try next week, and see if it grabs me, but after that, probably not. It is beautifully shot, so it has that going for it. At this point I would rather watch Spielberg's last epic mini Taken. **
- Animal Icons: It Came from Japan. I missed the first few minutes of this, but what I saw was excellent. The show tracked Godzilla's career from his debut in 1954 through the production of Final War. The initial overtones of horror and the birth through fear of nuclear power, to the transformation into the kid friendly defender of Earth, to the reinventions of the 80's and 90's. Very informative and fun overview of Godzilla. I only wish it were longer. ***.5
- The Batman. Not as good as last week's Scarface episode, this week has Bats facing off with The Joker who is seeking revenge on those who have done him wrong. The best was when Joker turned the tables on Bats and trapped him in an Arkham cell, forcing Bruce to assume the clown identity. **.5
- Justice League: Unlimited. Great episode! Batman needs backup and calls for help, Superman is a little late getting there as Captain Marvel has already on the scene. There is a new boyscout in town, and Superman feels a bit threatened. Marvel brings a child like focus with him, seeing the good fight with a different perspective. This leads to a knock down drag out fight between the two heroes over the intentions of Lex Luthor. It all turns out to be a plot by Luthor that Marvel's involvement just makes it better. ****
- All Souls Day: Dia de los muertos. What a goofy flick this was. A bizarre Mexican styled zombie movie. On the plus side it has both Danny Trejo and Jeffrey Combs, on the other hand, they don't get nearly enough screen time. Apparently Trejo's character buries all of the townsfolk alive back in the late 1800's, this triggering a chain of events which leads to the present day and a couple who wind up in this town just in time to see a woman fall out of a coffin missing her tongue. There was clearly a lot of gore and nudity trimmed to makes this Sci-Fi premiere, but I doubt that would have helped it. The zombie hordes were decent. **
That does it for this week.