Wednesday, October 28, 2009

17 Again (DVD)











I wish Matthew Perry would start getting more roles. He’s probably my favorite actor out of the Friends cast and I was happy to see him star in 17 Again. Yeah I know Zac Efron is really the main star here, but Perry had an important role too playing the elder Mike O'Donnell. I didn’t expect much going into this film, other than a slapstick comedy. But it was the universal theme of a guy that’s unhappy with his life and at risk of losing his family that got me. I really liked the humor in this film and think this is the one to break Zac Efron out of High School Musical limbo. Expect to see more of him in the near future. Overall, this was an enjoyable film that a lot of people facing a family crisis can relate to, and laugh along the way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years











Donald Miller is back with a new book titled A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. For those of you familiar with Don, you’ll probably remember a little known book called Blue Like Jazz. This book is what thrusted Don into national spotlight as a bestselling author. Don’s unique writing style is one that brings the reader into the story rather than just being a spectator from the outside. His transparency makes you feel like you’ve known him personally for a while. In A Million Miles, his style hasn’t changed much, except for the fact that he seems a little more mature and wiser. You won’t find any stories about confessional booths on college campuses or penguin sex, but you will get inspired to really LIVE life to the fullest. To sum it up, Don takes the opportunity to edit his life just like a character in a movie. And he invites us to do the same. It’s hard to come away from a book like this and not see life differently. Having said that, I recommend this book to anyone who’s stuck in a rut. Scratch that. I recommend this book to everyone.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CRASH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (DVD)











What’s not to like about a show that has Dennis Hopper ranting and raving like a madman?

Based on the hit film, Crash is a Starz TV series that tackles the issue of race relations in Los Angeles. The show hits on a real touchy subject and doesn’t back down from displaying the real ugly side of the characters’ lives. Family tensions, corrupt cops, sex, drugs and drama galore are shown here in this hard hitting show. Watching the hell that some of the characters go through is enough to show you how not to live. And I must say, the acting is very convincing, especially Dennis Hopper’s crazy old-man record producer character. Anchor Bay Entertainment has put out the complete first season on DVD and I was satisfied checking out the set. The quality of the transfer from TV onto DVD is impressive and it includes all episodes from this show’s first season. However, I’m curious to see how far they can take this show when there’s so much competition on the other cable networks. Time will tell.

Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane & Sugarcane










I am NOT a fan of country music. But when I hear that music legend Elvis Costello made a country album, it's enough to make me tune in. You may be saying, "Elvis Costello playing country??? Who's next? David Bowie?" Yep, I was just as baffled myself. But playing Costello's album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane has at least allowed me to see country in a whole new light. I'm still not a big fan, but I can appreciate the style just a little more. Elvis really went all out in creating an album that is way outside his usual genre. The end result is an album that is pleasing to hear, even for someone like myself who NEVER enjoyed country.

Friday, October 23, 2009

LEGEND OF THE SEEKER: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (DVD)











There’s nothing like watching a solid epic story transformed on TV. Speaking of epic stories, Legend of the Seeker is a fantastic series that joins the ranks of some of TV’s best shows. Executive produced by Sam Raimi, Legend is based on the best-selling “Sword of Truth” novels and it is loaded with mesmerizing effects and some great acting. It’s a show that I hope will stay on for a while. With the release of the entire First Season on DVD, fans won’t be disappointed with this amazing set. With top-notch audio and video quality, this 5 disc set contains all 22 episodes for viewers to enjoy. Everything from the packaging down to the features on the discs is impressive. Speaking of the features, there are plenty to enjoy on here from behind the scenes interviews to audio commentaries. Overall, it’s one set that doesn’t let down. And to give you a little glimpse, here are some clips to check out.



Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted? (DVD)











This should get an award for one of the best DVD titles of the year.


Nick Swardson is not the type of comedian that makes you think about deep issues (i.e. George Carlin). But even though you won’t find anything much to ponder on, the guy is one funny bastard. Yeah, his material is juvenile and you eventually get tired of hearing how wasted he gets. But the guy can make you laugh. For example, take his DVD special titled Nick Swardson: Seriously, Who Farted? I watched it recently and amidst all his stories on getting piss drunk and his adventures as a single guy, I found myself laughing hard. One skit in particular about why he can’t wait to be old had me cracking up. For a standup comedian, Nick is one talented dude. And on this DVD, he puts that talent to use. However, I’m curious to see if he adds more thought-provoking material as he gets older.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Proposal (DVD)











With romantic comedies, I’ve gotten to the point where I can predict what will happen at the end. It’s not some psychic power I have. It’s just that the movies are so predictable. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t enjoyable though. Take The Proposal for example. From the first time I saw the previews I already knew what to expect. But as predictable as it is, it is an entertaining film. Out on DVD, The Proposal stars Sandra Bullock as a bitchy boss in a book publishing company and Ryan Reynolds as her dutiful assistant. When she gets threatened with deportation because of an issue with immigration (she’s Canadian), she quickly thinks up a scheme by stating that she’s engaged to Reynolds. For the rest of the film they need to pretend they’re engaged, even going as far as visiting Reynolds’ family in Alaska! That’s when the film has its funniest moments. There are some pretty funny skits in The Proposal as well as some heartwarming moments, but it’s not unlike anything that’s been done before. However, this is a great “date film” to watch or if you’re in the mood for some quick laughs. Overall, it’s not the most original film, but it’s one that is sure to entertain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ugly Betty: The Complete Third Season (DVD)











Is there anything more to be said about Ugly Betty that hasn’t already been? This highly addictive show is no doubt one of TV’s best. All you Betty lovers out there, the DVD set for the Third Season is an awesome collection to own. This season is filled with lots of fun and surprises including guest appearances by Bernadette Peters, Ralph Macchio, and Lindsey Lohan. We also get to see lots of changes in Betty’s life as she moves to a Manhattan apartment, earns a slot at YETI (Young Editors Training Institute), and gets involved in some hilarious situations involving her wacky coworkers at Mode. The DVD set runs at about 946 Minutes and features lots of extras such as deleted scenes, bloopers, commentaries, and much more to enjoy. Overall, this set is a big hit.

Monday, October 12, 2009

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON (DVD)











I never thought I'd enjoy watching Desperate Housewives, but I must confess that after seeing what goes on at Wisteria Lane in the DVD set of Season 5, I can see why this show is a hit. This set is filled with lots of juicy secrets, drama, and some hilarious scenarios that the cast gets involved in. Friendships and relationships are tested as the heat is turned up in this season. With a running time of over 1000 minutes, this DVD set contains every episode of this hit show. Along with the episodes are some bonus features (listed below) that add to the value of this set. Fans definitely will not get let down with this impressive DVD collection of Season 5.

Bonus Features
• Teri & Cherry – A look at Wisteria Lane’s dynamic duo!
• Desperate Housewives: Evolution of a modern classic
• Cherry-Picked: Marc Cherry’s Favorite Moments from Season 5
• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers
• Audio Commentaries

Relient K

I had more appreciation for Relient K's music after seeing them live at the RevGen festival in NJ last month. Fans got their money's worth as the band put on a superb show, playing tracks from their first album up until now. After hearing how well they played live, I got interested in digging into some of their latest albums. The two that I wound up checking out were Five Score and Seven Years Ago and The Bird and the Bee Sides.












Starting with Five Score and Seven Years Ago, I must say this album is one that shows a much more mature band compared to their days of chanting "Sadie Hawkins". They still have their "tongue-in-cheek" style, but overall this album definitely shows their progression as a band to be taken seriously. From beginning to end, it's an album that you can play on repeat and be totally satisfied. The ending song Deathbed is an epic track that will bring you to tears, if you pay close attention. That was the song they finished their set with at RevGen and it was a very moving experience.












Next is The Bird and the Bee Sides. Released in 2008, this album is packed with all kinds of goodies for fans to indulge in. The band stretched their style a bit more here as there are songs containing country and ska influences. It's probably more enjoyable to listen to if you've followed the band for a while, especially since there are some rare tracks on here. Overall it’s an album that shows Relient K isn't destined to be a washed-up pop-punk band. These guys actually got skills!

Monday, October 05, 2009

SOUL-JUNK - 1960









Aint no junk on this album!

For anyone who’s familiar with Soul-Junk, you know that you can never expect what Glen Galaxy and friends will throw at you. For those that aren’t familiar, I suggest you pick up a copy of 1960 right now. Produced by Daniel Smith (yes, THAT one from Danielson), 1960 is Soul-Junk’s eleventh album, and one of the finest pieces of music you’d hear this year. If you don’t find yourself scratching your head sometimes while listening to Soul-Junk, then you’re not listening hard enough. Make no mistake about it, Glen Galaxy sings loud and clear about his faith. However this is not the “Christian music” that you think it would be. Listening to a few of SJ’s albums is enough to convince you that Soul-Junk is all about making true ART. And 1960 is no exception when it comes to great art. Listening to Glen sing his heart out over some really creative instrumentals on this album is a very moving experience. No doubt, this is one of the must-hear albums of the year, whether you’re a believer or not.

MUTEMATH - ARMISTICE











I’ve waited too long for this release. For most MuteMath fans, the anticipation for their second album was crazy. Now, we finally have Armistice. When I first got the album, I had to play it a few times to let it sink in. I expected a much more energetic album that was going to blow away the first. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Armistice blew away their debut, but it is a more mature sound for a band that has a reputation for pushing boundaries. It’s hard to live up to ANY high expectation that is either put on you by others, or by yourself. With Armistice, I think MuteMath knew all eyes were on them leading up to its release. No matter what you think of their debut album, you shouldn’t compare it to Armistice. Why? Well you’ll miss out on a well produced, solid album from one of the industry’s most talented artists. Standout tracks for me were The Nerve, Backfire, Armistice and the amazing closing track Burden.