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THE POPFILTER TEEVEE PREVEE


The PopFilter Fall TeeVee PreVee

Fox_logoFOX

 

 

GOTHAM

WHAT IT BE:

The most famous fake city of all time gets to become the main character of its own show. Starting from the death of the Wayne family, Gotham follows the rise of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), as he watches Gotham go from bad to worse, hoping some little fucked up kid at some point will dress like a bat and give a brother some help.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

The trailer looks pretty pro, balancing a quick dose of grit and fun in its short runtime. Show runner Bruno Heller was the man behind Rome, a show that took some of the stuff we knew, and threw in a shit ton of awesome soapiness. This seems like as surefire a hit as Fox could hope for this season, and early reviews of the show say it has the quality to live up to the buzz.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Impatience. A show like Gotham seems like as HBO as a channel like FOX can go, and I mean that in a good way. But if they can keep away from internet complaints, and not put anyone in a costume before the story or world of the show dictates, then this show could have legs. There are so many ways it could jump the shark, however.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT?

I’ll never quit it. I’ll be watching every god damn one.

 

GRACEPOINT

WHAT IT BE:

If you dodged the critical hit Broadchurch, because it seemed a little too British, well here’s your chance to catch up. If you dodged it because you’ve watched too many dead children on TV recently, well…Mulaney might be funny.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Another entry into the official trend of 2014 television, this 10 episode mini-event had the knowhow to have Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall write this one as well. A fairly strong cast (including Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn) and one director for all ten episodes make this FOX’s attempt at having a True Detective this season.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

I can’t think of a single American show that was better than its British counterpart. Oh wait…I just remembered Coupling. My bad.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

Until we have some proof that networks can do the event miniseries (and I’m on record that this season will produce one good one), then we’re always going to wish that this was on HBO or FX. But maybe this is the one!

MULANEY

WHAT IT BE:

John Mulaney stars as John Mulaney, a stand-up comedian who hangs out with his three wacky friends. Before you jump to compare this to a different show, Mulaney has already made it known that he recognizes the similarities, and doesn’t care.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Because John Mulaney is both funny and likable, two traits that rarely meet in the same person. Likable people try to be funny, funny people try to be likable, and this is how the world is awkwardly supposed to be. But everyone loves John Mulaney…

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

…except for NBC. NBC passed on the show last fall, and it has since been re-tooled and re-networked. No one thinks that NBC has the best taste in comedy, but it’s still not the best sign. Throw in the fact that this show has a laugh track, which is extremely disappointing, and you have a potential mess on your hands.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

It should have been at FOX the whole time, sans laugh track. How do shows still have laugh tracks?!?

RED BAND SOCIETY

WHAT IT BE:

Red Band Society follows a group of sick kids stuck in a hospital together, and the doctors who care for them.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Reviews so far have been mostly positive, which is a sign that the show can avoid the schmaltziness that the trailer displays. Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, attempting to avoid the curse of the Supporting Oscar, doesn’t hurt.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

“Your body isn’t you. Your soul is you, and they can never cut away your soul.” In all honesty, my prediction is that this is going to be one of those shows that has a terrible pilot with much too much to do, but then settle down right after that. I’m going to avoid this until it I can see three or four episodes.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT?

Let’s try and get past those first four.

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 — #86: Platoon

I’ve been dreading this one since last week, when I first realized it was on deck. Platoon came out in 1986 and had earned a place in our home VHS library when I was a kid, so I’ve already seen it more times than a person really needs to. There’s no doubt that it’s a well made film that deserves a place on the AFI’s list. It’s impressive, but also imposing and incredibly hard to watch. At the very least, there are some scenes that I was just really not looking forward to revisiting. There are some movies everyone should see at least once and some movies everyone should see, but only once. Platoon, in my opinion, falls into the latter category.

Guys, I can’t crack jokes about Platoon. I just can’t. Have some kitten gifs to lighten the mood instead.

The story begins with Charlie Sheen’s Chris arriving for duty in Vietnam, for which he dropped out of college and volunteered. Through voiceover, Chris explains in a letter to his grandmother that, rather than being his parents’ special little boy, he joined up in the hopes of finally becoming anonymous and learning something real. His teachers are the NCOs of the platoon. Sgt. Elias, played by Willem Dafoe, has learned to survive, but no longer believes in the mission itself. Sgt. Barnes, played by Tom Berenger, believes so much in the mission that he’s gone bat-shit-Heart-of-Darkness-crazy and seems to be leading the men down the same path. When Barnes executes a village woman in front of everyone in an effort to force her husband to spill NVA secrets he claims he doesn’t have, Elias is the only US soldier to stand against him and reports his actions to the Captain. The platoon begins to fracture along Elias/Barnes lines and ultimately, with the threat of a Court Martial looming over his head, Barnes does the only thing he knows. He takes out his enemy. Only Chris knows the truth. Then there’s another hour of bloodshed, explosions, brutality, and death. Finally, in the quiet and torturous aftermath of battle, Chris seizes his moment and, with a smirk, puts Barnes out of his misery.

This is basically the only appropriate response once the credits roll. THAT SHIT IS DARK.

Probably the most famous scene in Platoon is Elias’ death scene. I’m completely guessing on this one based solely on the fact that they made it the poster. At this point in the film, Barnes has told Chris that Elias is dead with multiple gunshot wounds and there’s nothing they can do. They return to the chopper for extraction and, from the air, see Elias, riddled with (Barnes’) bullets, running from an entire battalion of Viet Cong. The choppers provide cover fire and attempt to save him, but Elias is felled by multiple shots from the enemy. He dies, crumpling to his knees with his hands held to the sky as though he’s seeking some kind of salvation. It’s a powerful scene and Willem Dafoe’s performance is impeccable. However, for me, there’s another scene that defines the entire film.

… aaand you’re probably going to need to watch this muffin-makin’-munchkin for a minute or two before you read the next paragraph…

Well before Elias’ untimely end, the platoon is sent to a village with suspected ties to the NVA. Chris discovers an old woman and a seemingly simple-minded cripple hiding in a hole dug under a bed. Chris begins to lose himself and screams at the cripple, who probably wouldn’t have the sense to answer even if he could speak English. Kevin Dillon’s character, Bunny, a violent redneck who wears a Viet Cong scalp on his helmet like a trophy, eggs Chris to “do him.” Chris begins shooting at the cripple’s single leg, screaming at him to dance while the old woman wails in Vietnamese behind him, presumably for mercy. After a few moments, panting and crying, Chris realizes what he’s allowing himself to become and starts to walk away. Bunny, however, sees a missed opportunity and bludgeons the simple-minded, one-legged villager with the butt of his rifle out of pure impotent rage. With viscera and gray matter splattered on his face, Bunny comments with glee, “Holy shit! You see that fucking head come apart, man? I never seen brains like that before, man.” This single scene has haunted me for years and, to this day, I am completely incapable of watching it without at least a screen of fingers in front of my eyes. It doesn’t matter that I’m fully aware that it’s a fake head and special effects. The idea that a person could do that to another person is too much for me to handle, even just on film.

Yes, kitty, I think we all need a hug after that.

 

Oliver Stone wrote the original script for Platoon shortly after his own return from Vietnam and reportedly based it on his own experiences. The only response I can seem to muster to that fact is, “…Sweet gentle baby jesus….” The film, “Dedicated to the men who fought and died in the Vietnam War,”  is so full of gore and savagery that you almost need reminding that it’s hailed as one of the most accurate portrayals of the Vietnam War in film. These aren’t details Oliver Stone invented just to make a more visceral, attention-grabbing film. These atrocities are dramatizations of moments Stone and other veterans experienced first hand. I can’t pretend to understand … well, any of it, really. It’s too big and too dark for my soft, suburban-raised brain to fully grasp. And by the sheer grace of the universe, I’m lucky enough to not bear the weight of first-hand understanding. But if those who aren’t so lucky say Platoon is almost too real, then the AFI is right to give it recognition. If you haven’t seen it, do. At least just the once. It’s probably all you’ll need. — KS

 

PopFilter Podcast Episode 159

Play

This week, the friends gotcha!! Every week, they cut a segment. And every week, they tell you that it will never be heard from again. And every 8 weeks, you are fooled by the fact that they actually saved them and now you will be listening to them in a sausage show!! Haahahahahaha!!!

On a serious note, did you really think the friends could just get rid of their babies? What kind of fucking monsters do you think they are? Stay tuned for the final Ghostbusters 25th anniversary Mount Rushmore, La Roux’s Trouble in Paradise, Hot Wives of Orlando, Under the Skin, Girl Meets World, and Noah. Also, spend some time thinking about how you might judge people too harshly without getting their full story.

Enjoy the show!!

Email us to get your opinion on the show: contact@yourpopfilter.com

Or call and leave a voicemail: 1-562 DRDJ POP

Review us on iTunes!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to record your own podcast? Check out Phantom48 for all of your electronic and recording needs!

CountDown-Phantom of the Paradise

Play

When a movie is so filled with bonkers energy, imagery, plot and music, what can the friends do but blow a 10 minute segment into an entire show of its own? Brian dePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise recently came out on Blue Ray, and is discussed here in all of its Faust meets Dorian Grey meets Phantom of the Opera meets 70′s kitsch meets drugs meets musical glory. Well, I guess you can decide on the glory part.

 

Email us to get your opinion on the show: contact@yourpopfilter.com

Or call and leave a voicemail: 1-562 DRDJ POP

Review us on iTunes!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to record your own podcast? Check out Phantom48 for all of your electronic and recording needs!

TRAILER TRASH

TRAILER TRASH

In which we review the films opening this weekend, just based on the trailer, to 100 percent accuracy.

THE EXPENDABLES 3


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REJECTED TAGLINE: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks…unless it’s a pack of old dogs. An action-pack of dogs.

REVIEW: Get ready for the nineties again, again! Expendables 3 is packed with the cartoonish action, quick uninspired quips and bullet-boners that the late 80s and 90s action movies had in the buttloads. Almost like a companions series to the Fast and the Furious franchise, The Expendables know exactly what they are and how to deliver (just like their characters!). Unlike FF, they don’t do it as sharply because they’re old farts. It’s like Last Vegas is to the Hangover. What the third installment has done to avoid this comparison is add a bunch of young kids, and not-action movie stars. Except no one cares about the kids, and seeing Kelsey Grammer don a fishing cap is only great the first 3 scenes he’s in. There’s no substance, no pizazz, even if it’s just flash pretending to be substance–it aint here. Except Mel Gibson as the villain, that’s a stroke of fucking genius and he owns it, fully realizing his new place in the cinematic world.

SPOILER: While the Expendables claims to be over, we’re gonna see the reboot in a couple of years starring Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart.

RATING: **1/2(out of ****)

THE GIVER


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AKA: Hunger Games: The Origins

REVIEW: The Giver has been igniting the imaginations of middle school kids for decades. With its quiet introspection and philosophical take on a drab, dystopian future, it’s often the first injection that all is not right when following authority. Since the original publication, the readership expanded greatly and inspired countless other novels and movies for the young adult bracket. Divergent, Hunger Games, the Maze Runner, all would likely not exist without it. So a movie makes perfect sense… The problem is creating a film based on philosophical contemplation is difficult, and kids are used to authoritarian governments being dealt with violently, so the filmmakers said “fuck it, let’s make up a bunch of stuff not from the book and gut what made it so unique.” It’s not shocking Big Hollywood went that route, but it’s unsettlingly conformative to adapt a book about the dangers of conforming and turn it into generic garbage.It’s almost like they didn’t read the source material, or really, just didn’t care. But hey, switching from black and white to color is neat, and waterfall jumps are always awesome.

SPOILER: Instead of adapting the companion Gathering Blue and turning it into Lucy meets the Island, they’re just going with a completely “original” story called the Gvier 2: Time to Give Back about fighting the corrupt government led by the slumming Streep.

RATING:*1/2(out of ****)

THE POPFILTER FALL TEEVEE PREVEE




The PopFilter Fall TeeVee PreVee

abc

ABC

 

 

AMERICAN CRIME

WHAT IT BE:

A crime takes place in a small town. Unfortunately for the town, but fortunately for ABC and its viewers, it’s one of those crimes that has a ripple effect, and many angles it can be looked at.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

There are some moments in the trailer, particularly with the acting, that makes this seem like it isn’t your run-of-the-mill network drama. ABC might be able to branch out from the “daytime at night” plan if this clicks.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

There’s no reason to think that can happen. The trailer really does have some compelling moments, but you just can’t shake the fact that this is on ABC.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

The creator is novelist John Ridley, whose television resume is one of the most eclectic I’ve ever seen, including shows like Martin, Barbershop: The Series, and the animated Justice League. If he’s ready to be The Man on a show, than this should have been on FX. If he needs a show under his belt before he can get that responsibility, I would have liked to see this on Showtime.

 

 

THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB

astronaut wives club

 

WHAT IT BE:

Based on what is allegedly a very popular novel, The Astronaut Wives Club is the story of the women behind the men behind NASA.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Showrunner Stephanie Savage had a big hand in making The O.C. one of the greatest shows of all time, not to mention the auteur behind Gossip Girl. 

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

I’ve never read the book but, based on the premise, I wonder if it has the ability to make an interesting ensemble of strong female characters, despite the title explaining that they are the wives and nothing more. It’s a fine line to walk. At least the dialogue will probably be good.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Stephanie Savage has earned a lot of cred in my TV lair, so probably at least a couple.

 

 

BLACK-ISH

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 24TH

WHAT IT BE:

Anthony Anderson stars as a successful family man who has a mid-life culture crisis, realizing that his wealth and lifestyle may have forced his family to forget their African-American roots.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Black sitcoms typically get one of two critiques: “this makes black people look bad” or “this makes black people look white.” Anderson may have found a way to combine/comment on both of them. The trailer feels like the show may successfully trade-in low brow laughs for thinking and pacing, which is the opposite feeling that most trailers are designed to give.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

It’s in the dreaded post-Modern Family spot. The Wednesday 9:30 slot should have given us five or six commercial and critical successes by now. Instead, its given us nothing but disappointment.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON:

I’m going to go against my gut and say ABC. Not since the first season of Modern Family has ABC given us a funny, forward-thinking half hour. Black-ish might be the one to break the streak, and take over for Modern Family whenever it is mercifully put down.

 

CRISTELA

PREMIERES OCTOBER 10TH

WHAT IT BE:

Stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo stars as a law school graduate who has to deal with being a poor, becoming a lawyer, and her wacky Latino family.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

I’m sure it won’t be, based on most standards of good TV. But it’s a family sitcom on a family channel airing on a family night (Friday). Keeping that in perspective, it might still make you laugh six years from now, when you’re high and watching Nickelodeon at midnight.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

I don’t know Alonzo as a comedian, but the only real danger this sitcom faces is taking the Mexican jokes too far. I don’t mean in an offensive way (it is ABC, after all), but in an over-reliant way.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

Obviously ABC. ABC has the best track record as far as giving minorities starring roles, and they are clearly positioning themselves for a return to TGIF, if not in name, then in tone. This is ABC’s jam.

 

FOREVER

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 23RD

WHAT IT BE:

Ioan Gruffudd (I never noticed how stupid that name was until I had to type it) stars as a doctor/lawyer/cop with a gift/curse/secret power. Specifically: a medical examiner who can’t be killed.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Ioan Gruffudd did play Mr. Fantastic, so he has some experience in playing lame superheroes nobody cares about.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

“You might not be able to die, but you haven’t lived for a very long time.” I swear to God, every trailer for a network drama ends with a line like this, and it destroys my will to live every time. Every fucking time.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

This is one of those shows that I will try to put off watching until it gets canceled in its second week, thereby making watching it unnecessary. The perfect crime.

 

FRESH OFF THE BOAT

WHAT IT BE:

This ABC sitcom is about an ASIAN FAMILY?!? What are you, ABC, the United Colors of Benetton, which is a reference I don’t really understand?

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

It will actually start when it’s supposed to, as opposed to Black-ish, and won’t be drunk all of the time, as opposed to Cristela. Unfortunately, it will have no idea how to drive people to the network. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Not only does it follow a long line of unsuccessful shows starring Asians, it also follows a long line of unsuccessful shows based on the lives of celebrity chefs. Can Eddie Wong do what Emeril Legasse can’t? Only time will tell.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

Obviously ABC, which is apparently the television version of the United Colors of Benetton. I don’t know if there was a push at ABC to feature more minorities this season, or the best pilots they watched just happened to feature minorities, but I’m a little proud of them. If any of these shows can catch on with an audience, it will be a big deal for the network.

 

GALAVANT

WHAT IT BE:

So…apparently ABC does have some balls. Some big, expensive, dancing, musical balls. Much like Agent Carter will replace SHIELD when it goes on hiatus, saving us from reruns or TV-less nights of talking with the family, Galavant will do that same thing for Once Upon a Time. And although they aren’t both set in the same Cinematic Universe, both Once and Galavant both offer new takes on old(e) fairy tales. Unlike Once Upon a Time, however, Galavant is an all-singing, all-dancing crap of the television world. The trailer’s broad jokes, sexual references, and incessant singing make this look like a show for me and no one else.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

The more interesting question is what it would take for this to be a hit. Once is a modest hit, but its spinoff was a flop. That live Sound of Music was a hit, but that might have been more for the chance of seeing someone fuck up than for anyone’s love of musicals. People used to hate Glee, but now hate it like Hitler would hate Glee. Although it’s clearly a comedy and a musical and resembles a fairy tale, it is wholly uncategorizable, which I find interesting but usually makes viewers flee.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

See above. I mean, come on…what the hell is this.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

That’s a complicated question that I don’t want to answer right now. Instead, I’m gonna look at this Farrah Fawcett poster. Yeah, what’s up girl?

 

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 25TH

WHAT IT BE:

Viola Davis (score) stars as a law professor who gets wrapped up in a murder plot, along with her students. We can presume her students are taking a class called Murder 101, or Introduction to Murdering.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Because ABC has this noise on lockdown. Although the show’s creator is a Peter Nowalk, the show is from Shondaland, which is Shonda Rhimes’ production company. Nowalk has worked on Shondaland shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, all of which air on Thursday night. Shondaland indeed.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

There are some people who claim Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are great shows, but I don’t know of a contingent that screams about how much they suck. I’m sure it will be fine.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

Come on, now. ABC is Shondaland.

 

MANHATTAN LOVE STORY

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 30TH

WHAT IT BE:

Girl meets boy. It takes place in Manhattan. BUT! Just in case that premise has been done before…they…can…I don’t know…how about we can hear everything they’re thinking? PERFECT!

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Because there was a similar scene in Better Off Dead that was pretty funny. Of course, that was just a scene, and not 22 minutes a week, every week, for probably three or four weeks.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

There are so many misfires in the trailer, it’s hard to imagine what a full episode will be like. My favorite: after knowing each other for a couple of days, they go to the Statue of Liberty. When the Statue of Liberty comes into view, Boy starts to cry. Girl notices this, and THINKS (Because that’s this show’s thing) “oh great, he’s gay.” Ka-ching.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

1 long-ass, gimmick establishing episode.

 

 

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER

agent carter

PREMIERES JANUARY 2015

 

WHAT IT BE:

Based on a DVD extra packaged with Iron Man 3, and a character introduced in Captain AmericaAgent Carter stars Hayley Atwell as one of the first agents of the enterprise that will be one day known as S.H.I.E.L.D.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

BECAUSE IT IS MARVEL AND ALL THINGS MARVEL ARE GREAT. PLEASE ACCEPT MY UNDYING PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ON YOUR WAY TO CONQUERING EARTH. MCU! MCU! MCU! MCU!

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Marvel hasn’t been able to take over the television world like it had planned. But maybe SHIELD was just the (very expensive) training wheels, and the world collectively ignored it, but are still ready for the MCU on TV(cross your fingers, Netflix). There has got to be something Marvel has learned from SHIELD season one, and it better be incorporated here.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

The newest PopFilter podcast, The Superhero TV Hour Hour, is barreling right for us, most likely forcing me to watch all of this no matter how good or bad it is.

 

SECRETS AND LIES

WHAT IT BE:

Ryan Phillippe is old enough to a father of teenagers?!? Also, he finds a dead boy and everyone thinks that he did it, including his wife for no reason.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Because, for no reason, I think that ABC is going to get one of these mid-season replacement mini-series to stick. My money is on The Whispers, but it might be this one.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

You ever notice how Ryan Phillippe doesn’t have a grown man’s voice so much as the voice of a little kid trying to an impression of a grown man? This just feeds into my theory that Ryan Phillippe is actually a vessel piloted by a tiny alien, like in that one movie. Men in Black, maybe? I can’t remember.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Quit what? The Men in Black series? Well, considering I haven’t seen the third one, two I guess. But I still intend to see it, so…NEVER!

 

SELFIE

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 30TH

WHAT IT BE:

My Fair Lady remake about a social-media obsessed girl and the guy tasked with turning her into a real person. Karen Gillan plays Eliza Dooley, an incredibly modern take on the name Eliza Doolittle, while John Cho plays Henry Higginbottam, a hilarious take on the name Henry Higgins. I would have gone with Hanky Higz, but if you really think that throwing a ‘Bottam’ on there is the way to go, godspeed.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Everyone more educated than me loves either Karen Gillan or Suburgatory, which was created by Selfie creator Emily Kapnek. And if you’re into both, you’ve got a lot at stake here, nerd.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Karen Gillan is wearing a wig, just so you know. She shaved her head to play Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy, and now she has to wear a wig. And that wig could fall off at any point.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I missed the boat with Suburgatory. It’ll probably happen again here. TWO AND HALF STARS! Wait…that’s for later. TWO AND A HALF EPISODES!!!

 

THE WHISPERS

WHAT IT BE:

Aliens attempt to invade Earth by getting kids to do horrible shit, like killing their mom. A much slower play than…say, blowing up the White House on your way to blowing up the rest of the world.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

The trailer was actually kind of cool. This is another one of those mid-season replacement mini-series things, so if they go full boar, telling their story in 8-10 episodes and then worry about second seasons later, it could actually be cool.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Executive producers Soo Hugh’s main claim to fame is Under the Dome. Oh well.

WHAT CHANNEL SHOULD THIS HAVE BEEN ON?

This is the show that should be on FX. I don’t think The Strain totally works, but the premise of The Whispers and the panache of The Strain could have combined for a pretty sweet combo.

A Word on Robin Williams

On August 11, 2014, the world lost one of the warmest, funniest, and furriest actors that it has ever known.  I have heard it said that if you were born between 1980 and 1990, a group that includes all of the PopFilter writers, and I’m guessing most of our readership, Robin Williams meant a great deal to your childhood. With films like Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin, Dead Poet’s Society, Jack, and Good Will Hunting, I can safely say that William’s roles brought a certain kind of energy and excitement to my life. Williams was at his best with the kids movies, perhaps because he became a father in that 1980-1990 time frame, or perhaps it was because he is just a big kid himself. He seemed to understand what makes children so special, without talking down to them or being condescending. His performances were a bridge for children to cross into a world that was a little more enchanting. His shocking passing reminds us that we never really know the struggles these actors who inspire us, who make us laugh and cry, of whom we feel so close to, go through in their personal lives. Williams lives on in his work, and though he is at peace, he is still there for us in the way that he has always been there for us. His legendary kindness and warmth live on in film.

 

The List

Best Songs of the 1990′s

1998 Edition

 

10. “You Get What You Give” New Radicals

If you were alive in 1998, you heard this song more times than you would ever care to admit. But don’t let that fool you; this is a spectacularly well-written pop tune. From the rhythm to the range of the vocals, to the rigid but somehow-not-tired pop structure, this song has everything you want and everything you need all wrapped up into a neat little package.

9. “Intergalactic” Beastie Boys

After a while, it’s gotta be tough being the Beastie Boys. Every time you drop an album with sky high expectations, the pressure you feel must be crushing. Somehow, they never seem to let it bother them. While Hello Nasty isn’t the Boys’ best work, it sure isn’t their worst, and this song is a shining example of finding new and interesting ways to make a shtick work.

8. “Iris” Goo Goo Dolls

There are a lot of women from age 27-34 that would consider this the most touching song ever written. Luckily, I am not a woman in that age group so I can see past it. Unfortunately, my heart is not made of stone. Add to this the fact that the song is put together in such a way that you almost don’t realize why you’re so upset by the end of it and you have yourself a recipe for musical gold.

7. “Every Ghetto, Every City” Lauren Hill

The first time I heard Lauren Hill was a few years after The Miseducation of Lauren Hill had dropped. It was, however, still my first time and at that age I was ready for someone to tell me the way the world works. With this tune, every line is dripping with a sweet and sour mixture of nostalgia and disdain for the past that is rarely seen and even more rarely pulled off. Oh, and the beat is fucking rad.

6. “New Noise” Refused

When The Shape of Punk to Come came out, people scoffed. “What is this, screaming?” they would ask. “If this is the shape to come, I hope it’s not for quite a while”, they would say. Well, they were fucking super wrong. With one album, Refused pointed everyone in the right direction of what was to come from various loud, punk-rooted musical scenes for the next 20 years. This song is certainly the most friendly on a record that can only be described as impressive, with all of the positive and negative connotation that word can bring.

5. “Definition” Black Star

Holy shit, guys. Talib and Mos Def? This shit is manna from heaven when it comes to lyrical flow. If you can get past the faux reggae shit, this is a nearly flawless track brought to you by two absolute bosses at the top of their game. As a bonus, the video helps to give you a clear-cut reason as to why Mos Def went on to become a movie star and Talib Kwali is still largely under represented. (Spoiler alert: Mos Def is handsome)

4. “Holland, 1945” Neutral Milk Hotel

The first time you hear this song, you might think that someone gave Apples in Stereo a lesson in how to use their fuzz guitar tones for the betterment of society. Once Jeff Mangum’s vocals come in, however, it is clear that you are in for a different kind of treat. This song, with all of its’ frenetic energy, is a tragic tale of World War 2. And while the rest of the album is a similarly dystopian look at the past (there’s a good ol’ fashioned southern funeral march!), nothing hits with as much intensity and energy as this one.

3. “Celebrity Skin” Hole

If you think Courtney Love is just some stupid asshole that broke up Nirvana like some kind of modern-day Yoko Ono, all I have to say to you is this: you’re not totally wrong. With Hole, however, Love proved that she can not only play guitar and sing with as much passion and insanity as her husband, but she can also write a shockingly tight pop tune. There is not one second of this song that is wasted and, as a result, keeps the audience wanting more.

2. “Hundreds of Sparrows” Sparklehorse

There are two kinds of people in this world, and none of them seem to have a great love for Sparklehorse. Maybe there are some precious few that find their up-tempo stylings a blessing, but with Hundreds of Sparrows, all we are left with is a stripped down musical arrangement and an open, honest, and heart wrenching lyrical performance. If you listen to only one Sparklehorse song today, make it this one. You will not at all be disappointed.

1. “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” Neutral Milk Hotel

Anyone that has ever listened to this song and not felt a strong connection to the lyrics is either a bad person or a Nazi sympathizer. For the sake of this list, let’s assume that they’re both. Okay, good job. Now, this song talks about Ann Frank, her family, and an ultimate death that will reunite the dearly departed. And while the expectations of the song may have been for some sad, sappy bullshit, what the band delivers is a constantly moving, incessantly catching pop record with some of the heaviest lyrics a pop record has ever heard of. And since this song does it better than all the rest, it very easily claims the number one spot on the list.

 

So there you have it, gang. That’s the list. Jasonnoble@yourpopfilter if you want to tell me how great I am. Contact@yourpopfilter if you want to complain to my bosses about how terrible I am…dicks.

 

With Love,

Jason R. Noble

 

 

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 — #87: 12 Angry Men

 

In the early days of cable television, AMC used to stand for American Movie Classics and they used to air classic American movies around the clock, broken up only by short Masterpiece-Theater-style commentary by the likes of people like James Lipton. Sometime during those days when networks were overtly named based on their content, when I was somewhere around 12 years old, I happened to catch 12 Angry Men from the beginning — also a huge deal in a world without DVR or on-screen guides — and decided to give it a shot. Even then, I was enthralled with the story and blown away by the performances. It was no different this — maybe the 20th — time around.

No, really, it used to be a thing. I swear.

The film begins with a judge addressing a jury, informing them that they’ve now heard all the testimony regarding the murder case before them. He tells them that, if they should find the defendant guilty, he’ll be sentenced to death by electric chair. He also reminds them that the vote must be unanimous and based on a complete absence of any reasonable doubt. With that, the 12 men file into a sweltering Jury Room with a broken fan. After a short break to relax and use the facilities, the men take a preliminary vote to see where they stand. All but Juror #8, Henry Fonda, vote guilty. The other jurors demand to know how he could possibly vote not guilty in the face of the overwhelming mountain of evidence presented by the prosecution, #8 simply replies, “It’s not easy for me to raise my hand and send a boy to die without talking about it first.” The next 90 or so minutes are spent in this room (or the adjacent bathroom) as #8, one by one, convinces the rest of the jurors that maybe, just maybe, the evidence isn’t quite as iron-clad as it seems.

If this premise sounds familiar, it’s because it’s been done a thousand times before. The story of a single juror heroically saving the life of a falsely accused man by swaying hearts and minds is a modern legend in which we’d all like to believe. It’s one of those “the truth always wins and justice is always fair” sorts of stories that people tell in order to soften the blow of, say, finding out the NSA has been tapping everyone’s phone for a decade and selling their collective personal data to the highest bidder. In times like that, you need something to remind you that, hopefully, people aren’t actually all inherently evil and maybe humanity isn’t doomed after all. You know, one of those stories that gives you … whadya call it … hope? Faith? A sense of morals and the importance of an open mind? All of those things that humanity is supposed to possess, but  conveniently seem to completely slip your mind if you have a habit of watching the “it bleeds, it leads” evening news. Even if it’s fiction, it’s the sort of fiction you could easily swallow as fact because you desperately want it to be true. Unless you’re Hitler or Pol Pot or someone. Then maybe you don’t see this as the heartwarming tale of humanity’s potential for greatness that the rest of us do.

C. Montgomery Burns shortly after viewing.

It’s not just the story itself that makes this film iconic, though. Of the countless versions that have come before and after it, this interpretation stands alone as the image that pops to the forefront of the collective pop culture hive mind when someone says 12 Angry Men. And that is simply because of the performances themselves.  George C. Scott’s Lee J. Cobb’s powerhouse performance as the anger-fueled lone hold out for guilty, Jack Klugman’s quiet kid from the slums made good, and Piglet’s transformative performance as a meek but intelligent human man would all be reason enough on their own to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Lump them together, though, and add 9 other impeccable performances of vastly different and nuanced characters and you’ve got 96 minutes of footage that deserves acknowledgement, at least. The fact that not a single one of these performances was even nominated for any awards by anyone is mind-boggling because, even creeping up on 60 years later, they’re precisely what allows this film to still hold up. You still want to laugh when a baby-faced Jack Warden cracks an off-color joke.  You feel the patriotism when the European immigrant starts politicking about why the concept of a jury of your peers is so damned important.  You get fired up right along with the the little old man when he wishes aloud that he was still young enough to beat up the ignorant racist to his left. And, of course, you get morally indignant right along with Henry Fonda as he (probably) creates the saintly-tempered architect with a heart of gold trope right before your eyes.

You probably thought this guy did it first. You’d be wrong.

To me, there’s no question why the AFI chose to include this title on their list. It should be noted, though, that the vast majority of tools that Henry Fonda’s #8 uses to sway other jurors to his side aren’t exactly within the bounds of what’s considered legal for a juror. Speculating over whether the testimony could truly be considered accurate is one thing — the bailiff produced that diagram of the old man witness’s apartment quickly enough that it had to have been used somehow in the trial. Wandering the streets at night to perform his own investigation into the facts and purchasing an illegal switchblade in the process? Yeah, these are things that would probably cause a judge to declare a mistrial if he or she were to find out. Really, all Lee J. Cobb would have needed to do would be report Fonda’s actions to the judge and they could have all gotten out of that stifling, sweaty room a lot faster. Of course, that would make it a whole different kind of fable of justice that may not have generated the same long-lasting effects. — KS

PopFilter Podcast Episode 158

Play

This week, the friends all discuss FKA Twigs’ “LP1″, Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Strain”, Tom Hardy’s latest offering in “Locke” and they finally wrap up all the goodness that is “MASH”. And they are forced to scream terrible gibberish at each other for your amusement. Enjoy yourselves!

Email us to get your opinion on the show: contact@yourpopfilter.com

Or call and leave a voicemail: 1-562 DRDJ POP

Review us on iTunes!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to record your own podcast? Check out Phantom48 for all of your electronic and recording needs!

CountDown: Baby Names Ruined By Pop Culture

Play

There are certain names pop culture has absolutely ruined. No one can ever be named say, Stanley Ipkiss, ever again without everyone thinking he’s a pushover doof. Or Elvira. Or Newman. This is the CountDown of the top 5 names ruined by pop culture that aren’t any of the ones mentioned above.

 

Email us to get your opinion on the show: contact@yourpopfilter.com

Or call and leave a voicemail: 1-562 DRDJ POP

Review us on iTunes!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to record your own podcast? Check out Phantom48 for all of your electronic and recording needs!

TRAILER TRASH

TRAILER TRASH

In which we review the films opening this weekend, just based on the trailer, to 100 percent accuracy.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES


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AKA: WHY?!

REVIEW: It’s impossible to discuss the reboot TMNT without talking about Michael Bay. Because it has his stink all over it, even though he didn’t even direct it. That’s right kids, he’s breeding little Bays to take his place when he no longer has energy to wear all white and make crap explode and throws in the towel to just writing about making crap explode. What does explode is round two of Whoopi’s career! Just kidding, she sucks too. Everyone here sucks. Does that surprise you? Shredder is a goddamn robot. Because the only villains Bay can picture are goddamn robots! The one plus side? A whole new slew of happy meal toys, action figures, foam-disc shooters, and a turtle-van only your rich friend gets to have.

SPOILER: No turtles explode. Or say cowabunga. It’s cowabullshit.

RATING*1/2(out of ****)

INTO THE STORM


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AKA: Twister?

REVIEW: Everyone knows hurricanes are the natural disaster of the new millennium, when ‘s the last time you even HEARD of a tornado coming? But you can’t really chase a hurricane, and then the audience would think they’re getting “preachy” about Katrina or Sandy or whatever, so the powers that be went back to the Sharknado well, and took out the sharks. Because this. is. serious. You can tell it’s serious by the crazy amount of tornadoes, and the shaky cam. Holy wow, the shaky cam. It’s like you’re actually in the storm, getting super annoyed that people still shake things around instead of learn how to direct. It is heartwarming when the main character talks about how he became a storm chaser because he and his dad used to watch Twister together. And then his dad died. Not storm-related or anything. But he was kind of a deadbeat, and it was the only thing they shared.

SPOILER:  The comic relief will become an amazing character actor over the next two decades, then die tragically early.

RATING: *(out of ****)

THE POPFILTER FALL TEEVEE PREVEE

The PopFilter Fall TeeVee PreVee

Print

NBC

 

 

 

 

A TO Z

a-to-z

PREMIERES OCTOBER 2ND

 

WHAT IT BE:

Cristin Miloti follows up her run on the much-heralded, not-at-all-maligned final season of  How I Met Your Mother with a titular role in which she’ll probably get some actual screen time. At least I assume it’s a titular role, as her character’s name is Zelda, and the boy in the show is named Andrew. Ka-ching. In other shit that might remind you of HIMYM, the episodes seem center around a gimmick (the letters of the alphabet), and the show is narrated by television royalty (in this case it’s PFHOFer Katey Segal, as opposed to future PFHOFer Bob Saget).

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

The lead couple might actually have the stuff to pull through what otherwise seems like basic NBC dreck. The boy that will fall for Miloti’s Girl is none other than Michael Ginsberg himself, Ben Feldman.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

There’s not a lot of clout here, aside from the leads, which already isn’t a ton of clout. Executive Producer Rashida Jones did get a big TV deal, and remains one of the most likeable actors on the planet, but this will be the first thing we’re seeing from her.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Let’s say 2.

 

 

ALLEGIANCE

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WHAT IT BE:

The Americans plus Homeland divided by 100 (NBC).

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

This is a tough one. The biggest name behind the scenes is executive producer George Nolfi, who wrote and directed The Adjustment Bureau, a movie that some people like. It’s hard to imagine NBC letting him flaunt his style too much, however.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

To put it bluntly, this is the kind of thing that the five major networks suck at. With the exception of Hannibal, networks struggle doing anything that isn’t “case of the week,” and even Hannibal is more “one and done” than your average cable drama. Allegiance will most likely either struggle trying to tell a long form story, or shoehorn in “case of the week” plots to keep their viewers interested in their more serialized tale. Either way: barf.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

12. Just kidding. 1.

 

 

AQUARIUS

ustv-aquarius

WHAT IT BE:

Old-man-detective David Duchovny and hippy-freak-detective Grey Damon are just your average mis-matched partners in 1967 L.A. Nothing to see here. No big deal. Keep walking…OH MY GOD CHARLES MANSON!

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

David Duchovny has proved himself to be a pretty reliable TV star, going from hit show to hit show, and only sprinkling in a couple of terrible movies along the way. The time period it takes place in, not to mention it’s main villain, is also going to help. People seem to not be able to get enough of it.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

This is what NBC is calling an Event Series, one of three that they are premiering in the 2014-2015 season. This could mean it’s taking the True Detective/Fargo route, and telling one complete story, but I can’t imagine NBC just letting something that’s good just go away. Which means it will either be bad, or NBC will notice that it’s good, and ruin it.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I can’t find anyone behind the scenes I’m interested in, but I’m actually, stupidly holding out some hope for this. Three!

 

 

BAD JUDGE


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PREMIERES OCTOBER 2ND

WHAT IT BE:

Kate Walsh stars as the titular judge, who slams a hammer by day and gets hammered at night. (That is not part of the show’s official press release. I just made that shit up). Fourth in the Bad series, following Bad Santa, Bad Teacher, and Bad Grandpa, about people who are supposed to be good but are bad.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Some of those things that start with Bad are actually good, or “bad,” as good things were called when I was a kid.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

It’s difficult to balance two sides of a shithead, making them endearing and horrible. This show seems to have figured it out, by having Bad Judge ADOPT A LITTLE BLACK KID. The smell of schmaltz is making me nauseous.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Just a couple. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are producers, but based on the trailer, there’s no way this is going to have enough laughs to make up for everything else around it.

 

 

CONSTANTINE


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PREMIERES OCTOBER 24TH

WHAT IT BE:

Learning from the Keanu Reeves movie, this iteration comes complete with John Constantine’s famous jacket and accent. This is one of SEVEN new shows this fall based on comic books.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Because Hannibal was? I’m still trying to get over how much I liked an NBC drama. Could something in this article do that again? I’m making Constantine the early favorite to repeat the quality. Think about it: beloved source material, asshole titular character, “case of the weeks” mixed in with an overarching story. Throw in Dark Knight writer David Goyer, and maybe it’s time to start wondering what it would be like to like in a world where Constantine is a good show.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Because of course it will. I just heard Goyer in an interview mention how hard it is for him to stay within the six act structure of network shows. Maybe it’ll start strong, but fall apart when Goyer gets tired of NBC’s shit.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

There’s a new PopFilter Podcast coming out next month that focuses strictly on superhero TV, so my guess is all of them.

 

 

EMERALD CITY

emerald city

WHAT IT BE:

A modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz, despite the greatest movie of all time, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return stealing America’s heart just a few months ago.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Not much is known about this, which seems to be one of those Event Dramas, like Aquarius. The biggest name behind it is Josh Friedman, who gave us the Terminator show from a couple of years back, and people seemed to like that, right? 

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

It really all depends on how NBC is going to handle this whole “event” thing. What if NBC made a commitment to garbage with their regular old 22-episodes-a-season shows, but with these Event Dramas, where there’s less on the line, they allowed creators to create? It’s interesting but until we know more we’re just going to have to assume it’ll suck butt.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I probably won’t even start this one unless I hear it’s great, so my guess is zero.

 

 

HAPPY ENDINGS SIGHTING!!!

MARRY ME


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PREMIERES OCTOBER 14TH

WHAT IT BE:

Marry Me has Casey Wilson re-teaming with Happy Endings co-creator/husband David Caspe. Wilson and Ken Marino play a couple who keeps fucking up their marriage proposals.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Ahem…Happy Endings.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

The premise is odd, and the trailer doesn’t make it seem like something that could carry a show. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to expand on it later, or maybe the “premise” is actually just the plot of the pilot.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Never!

 

 

MISSION CONTROL

ustv-missioncontrol

WHAT IT BE:

Another NBC comedy produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and another NBC show set in the sixties, Mission Control is one of those “men vs women” workplace comedies, with the workplace being NASA.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Two of the employees are Malcolm Barrett and Jonathon Slavin, AKA Phil and Lem from Better Off Ted. So did they just come as a package deal? Or did they get hired separately only to be furious when seeing each other on the first day of filming? Just when they thought they were away from each other, they’re pulled back in.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Outside of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, David “Rickety Cricket” Hornsby doesn’t have the best track record as a show runner. He’s responsible for the animated turd Unsupervised, along with the notorious How to Be a Gentlemen. 

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

It’ll be nice to have Krysten Ritter back on TV, but there’s too much going against this to have high hopes.

 

 

MR. ROBINSON

nbc-fall-mr-robinson

WHAT IT BE:

School of (Craig) Rock(inson)

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Who doesn’t love a little Craig Robinson?

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Little might be the operative word there. We’ve only seen him as part of a large ensemble and it would be terrible to find out that he can’t handle the lead. Apart from that, this will hinge on how it can balance the comedy with the schmaltz. Luckily, the show isn’t called Bad Music Teacher, so it doesn’t have to spend the whole time convincing us that this person is bad but good but bad but good, but it still seems like it could be in danger in trying to hard for those “awwwwww” moments.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

4, but I’ll want it to be three.

 

 

THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA


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PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 24TH

WHAT IT BE:

If you’re a naughty little boy, or a naughty criminal, then you don’t know who you’re messing with…Debra Messing with.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

The only way this one is decent is if someone yells “cut”, and it turns out Debra Messing is actually playing Debra Messing, in a show about what it’s like when the roles dry up for middle-aged women, and you have to star in shit like this.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Because it won’t be a show about a show, as stated above. It’ll just be the show it claims to be.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I’m going to attempt to try and write my first review without watching an entire episode. Stay tuned for my new article, “The First Half of Some of the Pilots of Fall TV.”

 

ODYSSEY

ustv-odyssey

WHAT IT BE:

The press release uses the term “Traffic-like drama.” Why would I feel the need to be more clever than them?

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

It co-stars Simon Adebisi and Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski? That’s all I’ve got.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

This is another show that sounds like it has a long story to tell instead of just “cases of the week.” I’m all for this sea change on network television, but we have nothing to prove NBC is capable of it. If just one of these shows hits this season – which is a lot to ask for – it will go a long way in building up trust in the audience. And I’d pick this one over Allegiance. 

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Just the 1.

 

 

 

HAPPY ENDINGS SIGHTING!!!

ONE BIG HAPPY

one-big-happy-poster-306x450

WHAT IT BE:

After the failure of The New Normal, NBC tries again to get their own sitcom version of a modern family (family with gay people). Gay Elisha Cuthbert and straight Nick Zano are best friends who decide to get pregnant. And then Nick Zano gets married, and now the wackiness may ensue.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

One Big Happy actually has two Happy Endings vets, as Nick Zano is Pete, Penny’s only long term relationship. So…that’s good then.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

First of all, Elisha Cuthbert’s gay character’s name is Lizzie. Lizzie!?! Really? I’m impressed at how far television has come with gay characters. But I don’t think it’s so far that we should have leading lesbians named Lizzie. The show comes from a writer named Lizzie, so it’s probably not a coincidence, but still…

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

A more proven ensemble cast or show runner would make me feel a lot better, but I’ll say three.

 

 

STATE OF AFFAIRS


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PREMIERES NOVEMBER 17TH

WHAT IT BE:

Katherine Heigl stars as a White House something or other, in a world where someone would hire a Katherine Heigl type person to work in the White House. This is opposed to our world, where someone would continue to hire Katherine Heigl to act in things.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Another example of the networks chasing prestige-lite dramas, State of Affairs might be the one that proves to the world that they are capable…

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

…unless you watch that there trailer. Yikes. At one point, Katherine Heigl says “I’m a slob in my home life, but a sniper in my work life,” or some bullshit like that. This is from a trailer that NBC made, picking things from the show that they wanted to make sure we saw. Until they start programming for adults, prestige-lite dramas are going to elude them.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

1.

 

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT

The guy in the middle is Robert Carlock

The guy in the middle is Robert Carlock

 

WHAT IT BE:

Ellie Kemper plays Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who escapes the cult she’s been a member of for the last 15 years. After becoming a media sensation, she has to figure out how to put her life together.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DECENT:

Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, David Miner, and Jeff Richmond are four of the people most responsible for 30 Rock, and they are all responsible for this.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

I have no idea. Outside of NBC tinkering, there’s no reason for this to be anything other than the most exciting new NBC show.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Never!

Popfilter’s Foriegn Flick of the Week

In  which Stephanie Reviews a Film from Notmerica

Brazil’s

city

City of God

or

“It’s a hard knock life for child murders”

When I started this article, my hope was that it would inspire people to go out and experience movies that dealt with things outside of their cultural bubble. I then had to make a decision about what direction to go in: should I find rare indie films that no one has ever heard of, as my editor suggested? Or should I review films that were more well known and recognized around the world for their achievements? I realized that I wanted to share movies that transcend geographical separation and to go beyond what people accept as possible for a film to accomplish. Besides, if after my last article a popfliterino decided to watch My Neighbor Totoro and fell in love with Miyazaki, became motivated to watch his other films and from there went on to develop a love of anime? Well that’s the kind of contribution I’d like to make in the world, because pop culture rules. This week, the film I want to share is City of God,  directed by Fernando Meirelles and released in 2002.

City of God tells the story of the real life drug war between rival gangs in the Rio De Janeiro ghetto know as The City of God in the 1970s. The movie draws in the audience in its world through engrossing cinematography through a surprisingly neutral narrator named Rocket.

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Rocket gives the film its raw storytelling power; he lives the the City of God and is affected by the violence and crime but is removed enough from it to give his story a valid perspective. An aspiring photographer, he stands close enough to what’s going on to hold a lens up for the audience to peer through but refrains from becoming directly involved in what’s going on–yet- adds context and meaning to the action. Rocket builds the framework  that starts in the 1960s, detailing the events that lead up to this conflict that started over rival drug territories and turned into a full blown war, obliterating the peace of this Rio neighborhood.Alexandre Rodrigues plays Rocket with a gentle grace and subtle but constant energy.

There is so much to unpack in this movie. One important thing I want to note is the way it handles the genesis of the child soldier. Meirelles pays careful attention to the scenes dealing with children which results in a gangland style execution of innocence. Every time a character attempts to leave this world, he is shot and killed. The tagline of the film is, “If you run, the buck catches; if you stay, the buck eats.” There is an intractable reality in the world these children grow up. A gun is placed in a child’s hand and he is told to go kill and should that child survive to adulthood, he then puts a gun in another child’s hand and tells him to go kill. There is no escape, no salvation, no way out.

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City of God is a remarkable achievement in film; it deserves more than to be condescended to as, “one of the greatest foreign movies of all time.” Rather, I will simply say that this is one of the greatest movies of all time.

-Stephanie Rose

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 — #88: Bringing Up Baby

 

I really thought we were in for a winner this week, folks. I figured I knew all I needed to know of the plot based on the movie poster: two immensely talented actors get mixed up in some crazy hijinks involving a big cat. It sounded like a recipe for some classic laughs. I’d been shown a clip or two in film school, too, and thought what’d I seen was funny. Plus, CARY GRANT. Who can’t watch 2 hours of Cary Grant in anything? I didn’t think anything could go wrong. It turns out everything could, including my understanding of the plot.

The man invented “devastatingly handsome.”

Cary Grant plays Dr. David Huxley, a zoologist who puts together brontosaurus skeletons. He has a frigid assistant/fiancee named Alice who insists upon no domestic entanglements within their marriage of any kind, including a honeymoon or children. She sees their marriage as a dedication to Huxley’s work and believes the brontosaurus skeleton will be their child. Katherine Hepburn plays Susan, a less than sane woman Huxley meets while attempting to woo a potential donor into giving $1 million dollars to his museum. After bickering bitterly for about 20 minutes, Susan apparently decides that Huxley is the only man she’s ever loved and determines to prevent his wedding the following afternoon. When Susan’s big-game-hunter-brother conveniently has a leopard delivered to her apartment, it’s the perfect excuse to ring the classically handsome zoologist and enlist his help/plot and scheme to prevent him from attending his own wedding at all. Countless misunderstandings, pratfalls, and illegal activities later, David and Susan are proclaiming their love for each other from atop the spine of a brontosaurus. Which then falls apart. Because of course it does.

 

This is literally how the movie ends.

The IMDb tagline for Bringing Up Baby reads, “While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard ‘Baby.’” Whoever wrote this was employing a phenomenal amount of grace and tact. I happen to lack both of those qualities. If I had been asked to write the tagline, it would probably sound something more like, “A sociopathic heiress with an appalling lack of listening skills thinks it’s adorable to use anything within her power to prevent a man she hardly knows from marrying a woman she’s never met.” I may lack grace and tact, but Hepburn’s character lacks any redeeming qualities at all, and this fact essentially drives the entire plot. She’s arrogant, rude, and intentionally oppositional to everyone she meets. She talks over top of anyone speaking to her, adamantly refusing to hear reality. Some would argue that, by the standards of 1938, Susan was independent and strong. But, in 1938, the same would be said of a woman who dared to wear pants, so consider the source.  By today’s standards, Susan would probably be a cast member on a Real Housewives franchise or the angler on an episode of Catfish. I gathered that I was intended to find Susan’s sense of entitlement and disregard for anyone but herself charming and whimsical. Instead, I found her loathsome and despicable, like a Kardashian who had been raised with impeccable manners. Per the Wiki, the part of Susan was based, to an extent, on Hepburn herself. I’m inclined to believe the more accurate explanation is that it’s based on the way Hepburn was perceived. Because a woman who wears pants and no make up on a Tuesday is obviously a crazy bitch, amirite?

Even if Suan could have been granted some sort of redemption, Bringing Up Baby would still be nearly unwatchable due to the simple fact that it is fucking dumb.  Deciding to make a screwball comedy doesn’t preclude that story from being clever. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Every joke in Bringing Up Baby, though, is infuriatingly, insultingly stupid. For example, early in the film, Huxley is trying to explain to Susan that she’s inadvertently gotten into his car instead of hers, an identical model parked next to his. Susan’s response is to chastise Huxley because THE PATRIARCHY and drive off like a madwoman with Huxley clinging desperately to the outside. These sorts of jokes are rehashed again and again, too, as though the audience is assumed to have some sort of learning disability that makes them incapable of getting an inane punchline the first time around. There’s the 5 minute scene where Susan refuses to listen to Huxley as he’s trying to tell her the entire back has torn off her dress. Or the 10 minute long dinner party scene where Susan has created an elaborate alias for Huxley but has failed to fill him in on the details. Or the 15 minute long torture where everyone gets arrested one by one because of a repetitive case of mistaken identity and a collective pride-fueled refusal to double-check who is actually at home when the police call. These people are all drooling morons and I fear for the fictional future of the fictional children the Huxleys are expected to have.

 

This lil guy is probably privileged compared to those Huxley kids I just made up.

Rocking a quick Wiki will tell you Bringing Up Baby was considered a flop at the box office and didn’t actually become popular until it started airing on television in the 50s. This sounds similar to the circumstances behind the meteoric rise to iconography of It’s a Wonderful Life: broadcast something inexpensive for enough years and, if you treat it like a beloved classic, the general public will, too. (Incidentally, It’s a Wonderful Life is also objectively terrible and also on The List; keep an eye out for that scathing review in like a year.) Because sometimes, if you watch something often enough, you start to like it just because you know it. Once, for an entire  semester in college, my roommate and I could only study as long as Ever After starring Drew Barrymore was playing on a loop in the background. To this day, I will at least stop on the channel for a minute if I catch it on TV. And that movie is bad.  I love it for sentimental inside joke reasons that don’t have to conflict with the fact that it’s bad. That doesn’t mean it would earn a spot on my official Top 100 movies of all time, if such a list were beyond the theoretical stage.  I’m starting to suspect that the AFI might be less objective and more sentimental than they proclaim.  –KS

PopFilter Podcast Episode 157

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This week is a very special week for the friends. They all give hearty and sincere thanks to the sweet Filterinos that generously donated their dollars to help us become better, stronger, faster and prettier. They also review “They Want My Soul” from Spoon, they continue to delve deeper into the beauty that is “MASH” and they build another monument to the Ghostbusters with a mountain devised of the top comedy stars from 2006-2010. It’s a fucking humdinger of a barn burner.

Email us to get your opinion on the show: contact@yourpopfilter.com

Or call and leave a voicemail: 1-562 DRDJ POP

Review us on iTunes!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Want to record your own podcast? Check out Phantom48 for all of your electronic and recording needs!

 

TRAILER TRASH

TRAILER TRASH

In which we review the films opening this weekend, just based on the trailer, to 100 percent accuracy.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY


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AKA: Saviors of the Summer

REVIEW: An angry raccoon? A talking tree? Green people? The guy from “Take Me Home Tonight”? Whatever Marvel. This is what happens when there’s no business plan, and no one in control of creative people. You need another voice saying, “this is fucking dumb” or “didn’t Star Wars pretty much cover the rogue group saving the galaxy thing a few decades ago” or “People seem to love biopics and reboots, can this be made into one of this? Maybe a biopic about Hong Stolo? Then it’s like a biopic AND a reboot! Synergy.” And come on, that soundtrack? Is this the seventies? Is it now? This looks fucking dumb.

SPOILER: Nick Furry shows up at the end, as he’s all, ” Our green guy on Earth needs your help. Everybody loves green guys. I’m a cat.” Boom.

RATING: ****1/2(out of ****)

 

GET ON UP


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AKA: Funky Funk and the Origin of Funk

REVIEW: Chadwick Boseman is cornering the market in the field of playing revolutionary figures in biopics about their lives. He was an understated, complex Jackie Robinson in “42″, and brings that finesse to James Brown here. The role is inherently hammier than Robinson, and with a lesser actor, the scenery would be chewed even more to show us the highs and lows of the Godfather of Funk. Robinson brings it to the point of ridiculous, and then pulls back right before he hits full muppet. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie has been run through the generic biopic factory. The other actors all do fine jobs, but never bridge the distance between serviceable and what Boseman does. And the script is mediocre, strikingly nothing like James Brown himself–flat and uninteresting.

SPOILER: I have no idea who James Brown is.

RATING: **1/2(out of ****)

 

THE POPFILTER FALL TEEVEE PREVEE

the PopFilter Fall TeeVee PreVee

CBS

CBS

 

It’s my favorite time of the year, when we haven’t yet discovered that 90 percent of the time we spend watching new fall shows is a complete waste. The world is full of optimism and wonder. The nation twitches with excitement, hoping to add dozens of new shows to their already bursting DVRs. Taking a cue from PopFilter’s very own trailer trash, we’re going to create a safe place for future viewers to go and make their own decisions about what to watch, far away from TCAs and billboards. Let’s start with CBS who, thanks to their incredible, inexplicable success, had the fewest empty slots to fill.

BATTLE CREEK

battle-creek-cbs

 

WHAT IT BE:

Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters play two detectives (umm…True Detective anyone? Hello?) that are going to hit the hard core streets of television’s newest Baltimore, Battle Creek. Let the endless run of “cereal killer” jokes begin.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

Dean Winters has deserved a lead role for years, after stealing countless scenes in shows like Oz, 30 Rock, and Brooklyn 99, to say nothing of his turn as one of America’s top five favorite insurance commercial characters. I think that’s about it. Oh…Vince Gilligan co-created it. That’s it.

WHY IT’LL PROBABLY SUCK BUTT:

It’ll be interesting to see how much influence Vince Gilligan has on this show. Was this an idea he scribbled on a cocktail napkin during CBS’ monthly Hollywood orgy, or is he going to actually be around and make this good? If the show can take a page from Breaking Bad’s book, not to mention the aforementioned True Detective, and build a real world orbiting cerealized storytelling, this might be awesome. Unfortunately, that’s not CBS’ bag.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Four.

 

CSI: CYBER

 CSI CYBER

WHAT IT BE:

Patricia Arquette headlines the CSI IV, where the subtitle isn’t the location of the investigators, but instead the types of crimes they work. And when you need someone to solve computery internet crimes, you mother fucking call Patricia Arquette.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

After carbon copying the same show three times, the bored producers get the network’s permission to try something new and different, full of wonderful ideas and original characters.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Read the first three letters of the show’s title. There’s no reason to think it will be trash, but no reason for anyone outside die-hard CSI fans to get even remotely excited.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

One. I wish it could be less, but it will be one.

 

 

MADAM SECRETARY

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 21st

 

WHAT IT BE:

Imagine if Veep was instead about the Secretary of State, but without being funny or good.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

After creating Judging Amy and Joan of Arcadia for CBS a decade ago, Barbara Hall spent some time working on Homeland, before coming back to the CBS fold with Secretary of State. If Hall can find a balance between Amy and Homeland, it’s possible that CBS has another Good Wife on its hands, a comparison I make for many reasons other than they both feature two hot older ladies.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

My guess? Secretary of State will focus much to much on the fact that Tea Leoni is a woman in the beginning of the show, followed by a stretch of episodes where they over-adjust and don’t consider it all. That lack of balance will doom the show.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I can’t imagine I’ll watch more than the first couple.

 

 

THE MCCARTHYS

PREMIERES OCTOBER 30TH

WHAT IT BE:

Laurie Metcalf jumps into another blue collar (poor white trash) family, although this one is from Boston, so…you know. Ronny McCarthy moves back home, where his father, the coach of the local high school basketball team, offers Ronny the job of assistant coach. The thing is, though, is that Ronny is gay. Let the laughs begin.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

Laurie Metcalf just recently proved that she hasn’t lost a step on HBO’s Getting On. Ronny is played by Tyler Ritter, who might have a fraction of his dad’s charm and timing.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Come on, really? CBS has a thing for these multi-cams that are just offensive enough to make grandmas turn red, which are typically the only people watching anyway. There’s no reason to think this won’t be more of their on-brand staleness.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Already have.

 

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 23RD

WHAT IT BE:

NCIS, but in New Orleans.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

The two new entries into the CSI/NCIS world of superstars are Lucas Black and Scott Bakula (whose powers combined equal those of Blackula’s) are fine, but the real find here is Paige Turco. Yeah. That’s right. That Paige Turco. The one who played April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze AND Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Resistance is Feudal. Is she capable of single-handedly making this a great show? Probably.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Just like CSI Cyber, it probably won’t. It’s a show made for a specific audience, and I’m sure that audience will love it. It’s a little sad that, with so few open spots in their schedule, CBS went and made another CSI, and another NCIS, but what are you going to do? The show’s audience will be 98 percent NCIS fans, and 2 percent New Orleans fans.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

Again, just the one.

 

THE ODD COUPLE

 PILOT

WHAT IT BE:

It’s that one premise, where the stuffy neatfreak and the loud slob are forced to live together forever in an apartment from hell. See also: the 1965 play of the same name, the 1968 film of the same name, the 1970 television show of the same name, a 1975 animated version called The Oddball Couple, a 1982 television show named The New Odd Couple, a 1998 film named The Odd Couple II, my nickname  for my nipples, and sixty percent of all television shows since the invention of television.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

Despite everything, Chandler might still have the most welcome Friends face, and everyone either loves Thomas Lennon, or they love “that one guy,” which turns out to be Thomas Lennon. Lennon and network television have never really mixed well, but this one might give him enough screen time to shine. Throw in some Big Red (Bring it On) and Bunk (bitch, please) and you got yourself a show.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

Both lead actors have the chops to rise above their material, but do they have the chops to rise above their one-note characters, particularly when everyone around them is screaming “Don’t rise above your one note characters!!!”

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

2 1/2. Halfway through the third episode, after the ninth time Thomas Lennon’s character’s sexuality is called into question, I throw my hands in the air and fart, signifying my loss of interest in this show.

 

SCORPION

PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 22ND

WHAT IT BE:

Much like that episode of The Simpsons, where Lisa joins Mensa and the five smartest citizens of Springfield roam around changing lives and renting gazeebos, Scorpion follows a team of super-smarties who dedicate their lives and computers to saving us dummy-dumbs from ourselves.

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

Uh…does the name Elyes Gabel mean anything to you? ‘EL YES it does. OK, maybe not. But how about American Idol moderate-star Katherine McPhee? Or Paul Finch himself Eddie Kaye Thomas. Person of Interest seems to have outgrown its CBS roots and become its own show. Scorpion might be the next show to do that…

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

…or it just becomes another Person of Interest, yet another CBS show trying to capitalize on the popularity of other CBS shows. This is the show that seems to be the most up in the air.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

If they can figure out just a couple of ways to make the pilot stand out, this one might be fun. It’s not really a safe bet, though.

 

STALKER

PREMIERES OCTOBER 1ST

 

WHAT IT BE:

CSI: Los Angeles: Special Victims Unit (The Special Victims have been stalked. By stalkers.)

WHY IT MIGHT BE DEESE:

After making his name with the Scream franchise, Kevin Williamson is almost exclusively a television show creator, with varied results. As many stinkers as he has had, they’ll usually form some extreme opinions, and that’s something you can’t say about other CBS shows. He might just be the shock to the system that these procedurals need.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCK BUTT:

We already know that, for all intents and purposes, it probably does. Williamson got into it with a grip of television critics, responding poorly to their questions regarding how anyone could make such a garbage television show. Defensive creator + typically meek critics sounding off face-to-face = my prediction for the first CBS show to get canceled.

HOW MANY EPISODES BEFORE I QUIT IT:

I’ll watch half of the shows that air, so one.

 

 

NEXT WEEK – NBC!!!

WE DID IT!

 

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We did it! Thank you Filterinos  for your support, be it monetary, emotional, spiritual,, intellectual, sexual, but most of all monetary. It means a lot that everyone would give so generously to a handful of people who are addicted to pop culture, even if you only gave to get us to shut the fuck up. We can’t say how much it means  that this thing we’ve been working on for years can keeping going and move on to the next level. You are all the best.

Get ready for some sweet shit from the YourPopFilter Universe!

 

Kerri Battles the AFI’S Top 100 — #89: The Sixth Sense

 

I saw The Sixth Sense once, sometime around when it came out. I remember being quite surprised by the ending, too, so I must have seen it in the theaters on opening weekend because god knows that shit wasn’t a surprise for much longer after that. I think The Sixth Sense might be why the internet invented spoiler alerts. All people could talk about was how they, as higher beings worthy of our adoration, totally knew Bruce Willis was dead the whole time. I haven’t watched it since that first viewing last millenium, so I was eager to find out if it’s even remotely entertaining once you know the “secret twist ending.” I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be. I expected, since I already knew the big twist ending, to be bored out of my skull. I expected to be so bored by the plot that I would hyperfocus on the details and minutiae of the film in order to pinpoint every moment that fellow Philadelphia suburbanite M. Night Shyamalan tipped his hand to the audience. It turns out, though, I wasn’t actually bored at all. Well, mostly not bored, anyway.


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If you live anywhere but the Philadelphia area, the above sentiments apply to you.

 

 If you don’t know the plot of The Sixth Sense, … congratulations? Or something? I’m not sure — I never know how to deal with people like you. You know, people who have managed to completely avoid any knowledge of hugely iconic moments in pop culture. How do you live?? Still, the next couple sentences are expressly for you because, really, that’s all the movie needs. In the first 5 minutes, my favorite New Kid, Donnie “The Talented One” Wahlberg breaks into award-winning-child-therapist Bruce Willis’ house and shoots him in the stomach for not helping him with his childhood emotional issues which have clearly followed him into adulthood. The following fall, Ghost Bruce Willis starts following around Haley Joel Osment, who sees dead people who don’t know they’re dead. Bruce helps Haley figure out how to handle the ghosts who literally haunt his daily life while Haley helps Bruce figure out he is one of those ghosts. Hilarity ensues. Or something. Also, we, as the audience, are not supposed to know Bruce Willis is a ghost until the last 5 minutes.

See, Marky Mark? THIS is what acting looks like.

Since this wasn’t my first viewing, I was, as mentioned above, in a better position to pay closer attention to detail. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything there to uncover. It’s all laid out in front of you — Bruce Willis is fucking dead and that’s why no one talks to him or even acknowledges his presence. Even first time viewers will notice that those scenes that include people other than the kid feel wrong. Let’s be kind and say this was solid, intentional filmmaking by Night.  It’s also boring as hell. Because once you know he’s dead, Bruce Willis’ storyline is, hands down, the dullest part of this film. Sure, the first time around, you might think he’s an interesting character who really wants to make good for not helping an ex-boy-bander with his psychoses. But once you already know he’s dead and, therefore, really incapable of growing as a character beyond realizing he’s fucking dead, it becomes evident that M. Night Shyamalan really missed the mark on this one by fucking miles. Probably half of the movie is devoted to Bruce Willis’ “crumbling” marriage. Once you realize his wife isn’t just some frigid bitch who seems to be angry with her husband for getting shot, the storyline becomes completely extraneous and wholly unnecessary. I found that what I really wanted was to see more of Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette. Bruce Willis may be the only one who got billing on the poster, but Osment and Collette’s performances made the movie. If Shyamalan had scrapped the whole “twist secret ending” and spent more of the hour and forty-five minute runtime focusing on these two and their struggles and growth, he could have had a much stronger story to tell. Plus, he would have avoided that heinous one-trick-pony that simultaneous built and destroyed his respectability. Because, you know, when every movie you make has a surprise twist ending, they stop being surprise twist endings. That road leads to The Happening, which I think we can all can agree would have best been avoided by everyone anywhere ever.

No, Marky Mark, doing long division in your head is not the same as acting. WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE LIKE YOUR BROTHER, DONNIE?

The best performance of all, though, was given by the city of Philadelphia itself. Having recently — and begrudgingly — moved out South Philly for “cleaner” and “safer” suburbs, I always seem to fall in love with any movie filmed in the city that stole my heart. That’s especially true when said movie isn’t trying to pass Philadelphia off as New York (for those that do, please refer to the above Liz Lemon clip) or trying to make the world think that Reading Terminal Market is like a block and a half from Old City (National Treasure, I’m looking at you). Shyamalan at least knew better than that. He knew a lot better. The film, despite all of its flaws, is an open love letter to the city itself. Shyamalan prominently displays the art and architecture found all over the city. He shoots “South Philly” scenes in actual South Philly neighborhoods. He shows very little of Rittenhouse Square because FUCK THOSE SNOBS. He even had Haley Joel’s teacher lecture his class on the  importance of this city in the revolutionary founding of this country. PHILADELPHIA IS THE GOD DAMNED CRADLE OF LIBERTY, BITCHES. DON’T YOU FORGET IT. 

Robot vs. T Rex

It’s also the site of the historic battle between a T-Rex and a Robot on 7th Street between Wharton and Ellsworth Streets circa 2011.

The AFI would probably say this movie was added to the list for reasons related to, “I see dead people.” Maybe that’s true, but I maintain that it was a missed opportunity for M. Night to make a much more interesting movie that replaced Bruce Willis’ entire storyline with a  scene where Osment takes a class trip to Eastern State Penitentiary. If nothing else, I could watch this movie again just to pay attention to the scenery. And to my Canadian friend who considers this whole film a bold-faced lie because “no block in Philadelphia has ever been that clean,” I say Shyamalan just cherry-picked the blocks that required the least amount of de-littering. — KS