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Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Why Am I Reviewing a TV Show Anyway?" Whose Line is it Anyway?" Review

I know that my thing is movies. I have reviewed over 30 movies on this blog but not a single TV show. Why? Well I wouldn’t be much of a specialist if I focused on anything else besides movies but sometimes other fields produce work I admire so much it transcends my limit on movies.
I am of course talking about my favorite TV show ever: “Whose Line is it Anyway?” specifically the American version. Why do I like it so much? I don’t know, it’s not easy to explain what you like or dislike about a TV show because unlike a movie it’s not a onetime thing.  One day an episode can be great the next the episode is trash. But I suppose the best I can come up with is is that the concept is great but what really makes it excellent is the glue that holds it together. When a tv show is good but doesn’t dazzle you with anything that’s usually because it is only a set of great scenes after one another instead of a set of great scenes that are thematically or otherwise linked. Now Whose Line doesn’t have a story but it does have scenes and I know for sure that those scenes wouldn’t be the same without the gags about the points, the reactions from the studio audience, the pointless conversations between the scenes, the banter about how one was bald the other had weird shoes, the other was black, the other was fat, and of course the most contagious laughter of Drew Carey.

You might be thinking why after over a year I am only reviewing this now? Well the reason is because it is more relevant now. The show had been canceled years ago and was on reruns. There had been numerous attempts to bring something similar to TV like the shows “Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show” “Drew Carey’s Improvaganza” or “Trust us With your Lives” but none of them had the charm or the aforementioned glue.  The show had a cult fanbase that kept pleading for it to come back, writing petitions, creating facebook groups (Of which I was a member) and many others. Everyone knew deep down however that it was pointless because there was no way the show could come back. But behold one of the cast members sends a tweet that the show is coming back and everyone goes wild.

Everyone was excited even though Drew Carey was not going to be hosting but the regular performers all were back. So that’s why I am reviewing the show now. It’s back from cancelation and even though there are many parts that don’t measure up to the first run, like Aisha Tyler the host, the more promotional style of show, and the lack of some of the shows recurring performers, it is still my favorite show of all time.

Its funny how things work; even though I like movies way more that TV shows I would watch a new episode of this show over any movie ever, even my favorite “Pulp Fiction”, that’s how much I love this show. I watch at least one group of clips of the show every day on YouTube and they can be ones I have seen many times before and every time I watch them I feel great. The memories I have had watching the show are so great they can bring me up from the saddest of days.

Are you still wondering what the show is about? Well you know how sometimes you say something and then within a split second someone has a joke about it? They haven’t prepared, they have just made it up on the spot! Isn’t that such a great feeling when you know the joke was spontaneous? Well that’s what the show is. IMPROV! People try to make scenes, jokes, and songs about stuff they have never heard of until just before they have to start and hilarity ensues.  They play many games on the show and each of them puts different restrictions or obligations on the performers. The game “Lets Make a Date” has 3 performers take on an identity and the 4th player has to guess who they are by asking them questions”, the game “Irish Drinking Song” has all 4 players try to sing a song about a certain topic and they have to take turns singing one line at a time”. My personal favorites are the games “Sound effects with audience members” In which performers Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie act out a scene and two audience members have to provide the sound effects (Its almost always 2 women, and they never really make decent sound effects which is why it’s always funny), and “Hollywood Director” where 3 players have to act out a scene over and over using crazier and crazier advice that comes from the 4th player. But whatever your favorite game is, there is no denying that this is a great show.


Tell me what your favorite game and performer is in the comments.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Discovered Time Travel By Accident! "Primer" Review

I dare you to watch this film and not be scratching your head the whole time. Remember when “Inception: came out in 2010 and everyone felt so great that they could watch a movie that would make them feel smart? Well this movie makes Inception look like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” meaning it makes “Inception” look like a film you enjoy because you grab some popcorn turn off your brain and have some fun. “Primer” actually makes you feel stupid, so in a way it’s a little too clever for its own good, but it is still a great movie.
Do you know what it feels like to watch a group of people talk about quantum mechanics; you can’t understand a word they are saying but you are intrigued nonetheless. Now replace quantum mechanics with time travel and that’s “Primer”. I know I used the same analogy with my “The Usual Suspects” review but this time it really rings true The rules of time travel in this film (from the little that I understood) work in such a believably realistic manner that it would make Marty McFly say “Just when you thought you had seen everything”.

It is a very low budget film and that unfortunately becomes apparent throughout the film but it’s one of those times where you forgive the film. Normally when a film shows its low budget to the audience through mediocre special effects, cheap costumes, or a bad production, you wag your finger to them because you know it bit off more than it could chew, but “Primer” is a pistol that carries the ammo of a shotgun. Its script is so fascinating you forget that sometimes it looks like it has been shot with cameras of three digit value.

It reminded me a lot of the film “The Social Network” because it also was a film that had lots of jargon, fast talking, and a young pair of entrepreneurs who fall out over their invention.  The movie’s plot is key but I cannot tell you it. Not because it would spoil it but because it is simply not within my vocabulary to describe it and frankly chances are it’s neither in yours to understand it, unless you are any of the characters on “The Big Bang Theory”

Watch this film once to get the gist of the story, and then watch it about 3 more times to kind of understand how stuff works within the movie and then for good measure watch it one more time, and then you just might understand it. And by the way when I say watch it I mean WATCH IT. I don’t mean put it on and then have a crossword puzzle or a text message chain that you switch between. Heck I wouldn’t even eat anything because the 3 seconds it might take you to look down to your food you might miss some important information. Not that it would really matter because you won’t understand it anyway but still try to pay attention because it is one of those films that is so full of blink and you miss it moments you just have to suck it up and pay attention.


I think I might have asked this question before but just for the heck of it what is your favorite time travel movie? Post your thoughts below.