Skip to content

JUNE TV EXTRAVAGANZA

JENNIFER FALLS

jennifer-falls-season-1-2014-poster-1

** (out of ****)

 

As we trudge forward into the brave new world that is present day television, the only thing we can rely on is the fact that we can’t rely on anything. The fact that we can essentially watch anything we want whenever we want is fairly commonplace now. Even the fact that genres don’t give a shit about how long their television episodes are supposed to be. This season of Orange is the New Black, an hour long show, was twice as funny as Louie, a thirty minute show. What the hell? And, despite all of that, both shows made it onto my top ten television shows of the year so far. Fine, television. Throw out every rule and tradition you’ve ever came up with in your storied history. But the one rule I know that I can always count on, no matter how much TV changes, is that three-camera sitcoms are terrible bullshit, as passe as the western or the variety show, and one-camera sitcoms will always be of a higher quality than their triple-headed brethren.

 

Jennifer Falls is a one-camera sitcom on TV Land. And just like that, another rule/tradition flies out of the window. Falls is created by Matthew Carlson, who wrote on shows like The Wonder Years and Malcolm in the Middle, apparently earning him a lifetime pass to create awful shows that fail (Townies, Camp Wilder, Samantha Who, Sons of Tucson, Mr. Sunshine). It stars Jaime Pressley, who wowed everyone for a few months during the first season of My Name is Earl that she too received a lifetime pass to get a starring role in a doomed show every year or so. They both belong to the Jerry O’Connell Hall of Fame. Anyway, Jennifer loses his job as a well paid something or other, and has to move back to her hometown and live with her mom. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the plot of over 50,000 sitcoms.

 

If turning this into a one-camera sitcom is an attempt to get all of the hippest sitcom watchers (including myself and that one kid Donny from up the street) to give it a try, it’s not going to work for more than it takes to get to the first commercial break. Turning something into a one-camera doesn’t automatically fill it with laughs and wit. It just removes a laugh track that would be useful here anyway, otherwise there’s no way to tell if there are jokes or not. Along with the one-camera format comes the confessionals, those always dependable asides that can include a joke or some forward movement on the narrative…or both! By the time shows like Parks and Recreation and Modern Family came out, we no longer needed a reason, like someone is shooting a documentary about these people, to justify the talking heads. Now that TV Land has thrown its hat into the one-camera ring, maybe this is a good time to readdress the situation. There is no way in hell that someone would be filming this chick and her life right now. There is not a single attempt to make the rest of the show look or feel like a documentary. And yet, there are still confessionals. There’s a good chance that these will be removed as the first season rolls along, and all of these things click in the showrunner’s head. But Jennifer Falls does represent a large moment in modern television history, revealing that the one-camera can be just as bad as the three- camera sitcom, and the days of the confessionals should officially be over.
Jennifer Falls continues TV Land’s trend of shows that will never be good, but are hard to hate because of how little they try. Maybe that’s unfair. Maybe they try to be bad, and in that case are very successful. But it’s a bad that still doesn’t necessarily scream lazy, like the Tyler Perry shows or Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management. It’s like eating your mom’s horrible meatloaf for the first time in 20 years. You know it sucks, but you kind of missed the way it sucks, and the feelings of nostalgia you get from it almost outweigh the fact that it also reminds you of wet dog shit. Not quite, but almost.

 

- Ryan Haley

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 – #93: The French Connection

 

This week’s selection was The French Connection, starring young Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider and ostensibly about some kind of crime involving France. At least, that’s about the extent of what I knew going in to my premier viewing. This is actually another film that I’d like to officially add to the list of Mythical Cryptofilmological Creatures — those movies that everyone name-drops for being amazing and earth-shattering, but no one has actually seen for themselves. Because of this, I didn’t have any kind of preconceived and potentially undeserved expectations I secretly thought it should meet. I was an objective viewer, so when I objectively viewed a guy get shot in the face at point blank range inside of the first 3 minutes, I objectively thought, “Oh. It’s going to be that kind of movie.” About an hour and 40 minutes after that, I objectively thought, “What in the ever-loving fuck did I just watch?” It was, objectively, NOT that kind of movie.

Let me explain the remaining 140 minutes or so just to keep you in the loop. Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider play narcotics officers and partners who have the most collars in the department mainly because it’s the 70s and, if they arrest anyone that’s alive in New York, they’re likely to get something that will stick, even if it’s just a bellboy with 3 joints in his sock. Drunk at a club one night, Gene Hackman’s character, POPEYE DOYLE, decides that a table of high rollers dropping $100 bills as tips is probably actually a table of drug dealers because he’s a literal narc, so of course they are. Popeye and his partner, Buddy Russo, tail one of these guys and, through a really mundane montage of stakeout and surveillance scenes, discover that, while this guy might be a meager shopkeep on paper, he actually has a French Connection to the supposed. This takes about 25 minutes. The next hour or so is spent watching Popeye and Buddy very conspicuously follow the shopkeep and “Frog #1″ as they do incredibly suspicious things like shop in New York and have expensive lunches. There is one very impressive chase scene and an apparent magic bullet that can kill people both in and behind its line of fire. Ultimately, the whole film wraps up with Popeye accidentally shooting an assisting fed and reacting to his mistake by reloading his revolver as the screen fades to black. It is only via text imposed over still photos like the epilogue of a Lifetime movie that we learn that Frog #1 succesfully escaped back to France to live the rest of his days in peace with his mountains of ill-gotten gains.

They lost me the first time someone called Gene Hackman “Popeye.”

The movie poster refers to The French Connection as “an out and out thriller.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but dubbing something a “thriller” usually implies some level of suspense. In fact, I think by definition, a thriller is supposed to leave you anxiously hovering on the edge of your seat. There is, in fact, nothing suspenseful about watching Gene Hackman stomp his feet in the cold and inspect the snot he just wiped from his nose while his mark enjoys a 4 course meal in the restaurant across the street. There is nothing suspenseful about a 15-minute long scene in which Gene Hackman and an aging police mechanic destructively dismantle a suspected “dirty” car piece by tedious piece in search of drugs they just can’t find until, hours in and with the owners trying to retrieve the vehicle from police impound, the aging mechanic mentions that he looked everywhere except what seems to be, in hindsight, the perfect place to smuggle drugs in a car.  In fact, the only suspense I felt during the entirety of this movie was when the car was released from impound to the French drug smugglers. At any moment, they were bound to notice that the driver’s seat was loose or that the carpeting had been torn to tatters when it was ripped up or that the upholstery had been sliced to bits. Spoiler alert! They didn’t notice a god damned thing.

Guys … the spent hours demolishing your car … and apparently minutes putting it back together … and you don’t notice ANYTHING a little off?

The movie poster also claims that Doyle is a good cop. I’d like to know how they’re defining “good cop” when making this claim because I think my definition may differ somewhat. Hackman’s character is a racist and brutal cop with little concern for “the book” or “procedure.” At one point, he and Sonny toss a bar for drugs and threaten its patrons in order to gain totally reliable information on their case. During this scene, Popeye takes a mix of all the drugs he’s confiscated, shakes them up in a tumbler with some beer, and, in the most menacing tone he can muster, offers everyone in the joint a milkshake while pouring the contents of the tumbler out on the bar. It is quite possibly one of the least intimidating displays I have ever witness. It’s probably meant to be scary and confusing but, really, all he succeeded in doing was ruining improperly collected evidence that never would have held up in trial anyway. Later, there’s a scene in the subway where it becomes apparent that Popeye has been made by Frog #1 and it’s no fucking wonder. Popeye has spent days standing conspicuously across the street from the man’s hotel, just staring, or conveniently and blatantly staring through the other side of a shop window at his mark. He even hops on and off a subway car in pursuit of The Frog without realizing that The Frog is blatantly mocking his bush-league attempts at subterfuge. All of this, of course, doesn’t even touch the fact that Popeye shot a fed in the chest 6 times and shot a fleeing suspect in the back in broad daylight at a crowded El station.

What the movie poster doesn’t tell you, though, is that the entire film was shot guerilla style with relatively cutting edge documentarian technology for 1971. It doesn’t tell you that there isn’t one paid extra in the film; everyone you see is just a regular New Yorker trying to go about their business.  It doesn’t tell you that the single most impressive scene in the movie — the scene in which Gene Hackman weaves a 70s muscle car in and out of aggressive traffic under a train trestle as he attempts to follow the El on its tracks — was shot by sticking Gene Hackman in a 70s muscle car and telling him to drive it in and out of aggressive traffic under this train trestle.  It doesn’t tell you that what we see in 2014 as amateur unsteady camera work was considered, in 1971, to be gritty and edgy. The movie poster also doesn’t tell you that The French Connection was a part of a film movement that was intentionally antithetical to the big-budget and carefully planned epics of the 50s and 60s. For that alone, it probably deserves the recognition of getting a spot on the AFI’s list. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for regular viewing.  – KS

KICKSTARTER

That’s right folks, as the headline of this article subtly suggests, we have launched our very own YourPopFilter.com KickStarter!

Why you ask? Well, look around this site. Pretty great articles and podcasts right? But notice how your eyes want to vomit while looking at it all? We at the YPF Headquarters noticed that too. And we want to rectify that situation as fast as we are able, by building you Filterinos as better site. A stronger site. A site you can be proud to tell your friends you waste your work day at. Click on the link below and see the multitude of weird prizes we’re offering.

 

And yes, you better believe a night on the town with the PopFilterPodcast friends is one of the prizes. But don’t worry there’s stuff you’ll actually want too!

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/popfilter/new-website-for-yourpopfiltercom

PopFilter Podcast Best of the Year! (So Far!)

Play

That’s right, Filterinos! The year is over halfway over and the friends want you to know the best that pop culture has given us this year. Enjoy part one, where the friends discuss the best in movies, tv and music! They also fart and burp and make fun of each other!!

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- TV’s Worst Couples

Play

Sometime’s a bad couple is an excellent source for drama and/or laughs on television. And sometimes couples are mashed together because the writers have no idea what to do. And yet even other times the couples who were planned from the very start to be together are awful for various reasons. This week’s CountDown is to honor all of those horrible TV couples.

 

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.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: “I THINK WE JUST FOUND A TRANSFORMER!”

REVIEW: Not since, “I’ll Never Tell” (starring the late great Brittany Murphy, has a quote completely changed what the public calls a movie. You’d be hard pressed to find an averaged joe on the streets who knows the subtitle of the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise. Everyone just knows two things: 1-Mark Wahlberg declares he found a transformer (over taking “It’s the plants” as the most quotable Wahlberg line). 2-At some point dragon/dinosaur transformers show up, because of course they do. We’ve had enough of giant robots turning into vehicles, it’s so blasé at this point. Let’s get robo-animalistic. Because of those two thing (and Stanley Tucci chewing the shit out of his villainous role), this is the most fun of the transformer franchise. Resident Boy Scout Optimus Prime has to get dirty so his people don’t die, and a pissed-off robot is an awesome robot^. Kickback, choke down a bucket of popcorn and scream to your friends about how you just found a transformer. And if you don’t like this installment, worry not- we have a second Michael Bay movie coming at the end of summer.

SPOILER: At the end its revealed this is an alternative universe where Shia grew up into Marky Mark.

RATING: **(out of ****)

^Editor’s Note: All robots are evil robots who will kill us all. 

THEY CAME TOGETHER


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: The Movie You’ll Be Telling Your Friends to Watch for Years But They Won’t Because They’re The Worst: Except the Friends Who Love It Just As Much As You 2

REVIEW: It’s impossible for me to review this movie sans baggage. It’s a group of people I love, who made one of my top 5 favorite movies 13 years ago, together again in a very similar fashion. Parodies are hard to do but Wain and Co know the balance between mocking the form and loving it, all the while shoving joke after joke in every nook and cranny. I recently rewatched Wet Hot American Summer after finally convincing my girlfriend to watch it for the first time (she enjoyed, so we’re still together), and boy howdy does it hold the fuck up. They Came Together is a sequel in spirit, and if you like things that are great, you’ll enjoy it. If not, stop reading this site dicknose.

SPOILER: No talking cans of soup :(

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

JUNE TV EXTRAVAGANZA

DOMINION

dominion_poster

** (out of ****)

 

For all intents and purposes, the pilot for Dominion seemingly hits all of its goals, assuming that its goals are to feel like one of those cheesedick sci-fi shows that would run in syndication on Saturdays when we were kids. At least, it feels like it hits its goals until you realize two things.

1) By definition, when we were kids, we were young, and when we were younger, we liked anything put in front of us.

2) From what I’ve heard, a lot of those shows coasted on a healthy amount of charm and a knowing sense of humor, making up for what they lacked in budget. Dominion did not catch that part.

 

When it came time to come up with a new original show, SyFy put the title of every movie released in the last decade into a hat and randomly drew Legion. For the 100 percent of you that don’t remember, Legion was a movie starring Paul Bettany as the angel Michael, who defends the Earth from God and his angels. Dominion takes place 25 years after the events of Legion. Humans have walled themselves in on the Vegas strip. Outside of the walls, angels AKA vampire/zombies/AllTVShowsAreTheSame roam wildly, ready to mindlessly kill whatever humans wander outside of the gate. On the good side, this show has a firmer grasp on  what the premise of The Walking Dead should have been: when monsters attack, humans will prove themselves to be the real monsters. Knowing that that should be their premise isn’t enough, however, when the show that’s built around premise is among the dumbest things ever made.
It’s probably not a matter of the Dominion showrunners wanting to produce a show about the politics of a post-apocalyptic city. In actuality, it’s cheap to film two people quietly talking about how their policies are the best, whereas filming humans and angels warring can be expensive. And, like I alluded to before, it’s not like they aren’t trying to write compelling drama. They just don’t seem very capable. This is where we run into a problem that we see all of the time on television. People who want to write a cheesy action show about the battle between angels and humans don’t want to spend time developing characters. People who can write eloquent, character driven, politically motivated teleplays don’t give a shit about angels. Dragons, maybe, but certainly not angels. And all of this perpetually mires SyFy on this third tier of basic cable, watching channels like Sundance and FX shoot past them. (After Fargo, FX might have just passed AMC as the premiere basic cable destination). But this is also the channel that gave us Sharknado, so maybe this was their plan all along. I know this seems like it shouldn’t matter. I know Dominion has a target audience that doesn’t enjoy people who need quality from this show. But these glaring holes never needed to be there, and filling them doesn’t just mean providing quality to an audience that doesn’t give a shit. It also means attempting to find that crossover audience that shows like Game of Thrones earned, and shows like The Walking Dead inexplicably get anyway.

 

- Ryan Haley

JUNE TV EXTRAVAGANZA

MURDER IN THE FIRST

Murder-in-the-First-TNT-poster-season-1-2014

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

 

It’s time to reveal my darkest secret: I used to be a reality TV watcher. It was never that hardcore (I’ve never seen a single episode of Survivor or The Bachelor), but I didn’t completely avoid it like I do now. I mostly dabbled in VH1 shows. I couldn’t get enough of the horrible people that starred in shows whose titles ended in “of Love.” Eventually I got tired, and realized there might be better ways to spend my TV watching time. The break wasn’t easy – I had developed a need to know what was happening to Hoops and New York – but I finally went cold turkey when I came up with a simple rule: don’t ever watch a first episode. If you start watching a show like that with the eighth episode, it’s hard to find a reason to care. The first episodes were always good at setting up the premise and giving each “character” a couple moments to introduce themselves, but the real selling point – the purest heroin of the reality world – is a moment at the end, just after a voiceover says “This season on People are Garbage”. I would watch, slack-jawed, trying to figure out how each of those moments would happen, and knowing that I couldn’t miss a single episode. No one moment or episode ever lived up to that thirty second montage. So, I just wouldn’t watch it.

 

Watching Murder in the First, TNT’s new drama reminded me of those halcyon days of Rocks and Flavas. What it lacks in hair-pulling and sea-vomiting, it makes up for in a need for you to not just watch the first episode, but for the first episode, and its requisite “This season on Murder in the First”, to do all of the heavy lifting for the rest of its inaugural run. If you are watching a TNT drama (of which they know much, I’ve been told) in June, you are not preparing for the Emmys. You are in fact hoping that the pilot of Murder in the First grabs you in such a way that you have removed an hour of boredom from your week for the rest of the summer. And Murder in the First does have a lot of the necessary ingredients:

 

  • reliable, if not huge, stars
  • easy to follow character development
  • MURDER!!!
  • a knowledge of police work that seems more gleaned from other police shows than it does from actual police.
  • TNT style Drama

All of these ingredients make it hard to hate. The fact that it’s totally unoriginal, and sometimes even boring, and full of exposition that takes way too long, and logic leaps by the detectives that are there to save some of the time the exposition already took up, makes it hard to like. But still, hard to hate. And Murder in the First’s gimmick is actually not bad, as far as gimmicks go. Forgoing the usual novelty of having its lead character have some sort of personality defect or brain thingy that essentially turns them into a superhero, Murder in the First will instead explore one murder for the entire first season. This is great, if the pilot hooks you, but it will kill the show if no one watches it or likes it. Much like I Love Money, my personal favorite VH1 show, no one will tune in if they’ve missed the first seven. I can’t recommend Murder in the First as quality TV, but if you were just going to spend the summer watching Law and Order reruns, you might as well watch a ten hour episode you’ve never seen before.

- Ryan Haley

PopFilter Podcast Episode 151

Play

It’s draft time, Filterinos! The three friends all discuss the never-before-understood process of developing a perfect spy team to take down a corrupt government or some shit. Anyway, if you listen closely, you might just hear a special guest. And it’s Daniel Tompkins. Spoiler alert.

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!

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 – #94: Pulp Fiction

1994 was a pretty big year in Hollywood. That was the year that all of your all-time favorite movies were released. It was the year that Andy Dufresne taught us all that hope will set us free. It was the year we all learned that life is like a box of chocolates. Brandon Lee came back from the dead. Brad Pitt was a tortured vampire with a heart of gold. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a secret agent married to Jamie Lee Curtis. Jim Carrey was possessed by a cartoon mask and driving cross-country with  his best friend to find his dream girl. There was that bus that couldn’t slow down, a gate of sorts that took people across the stars, and THERE WERE TWO CAPTAINS OF THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE IN THE SAME GOD DAMNED MOVIE! Throughout the year, each one of these movies had its moment of being the thing no one could seem to shut the fuck up about. Then October came, and with it, the wide release of Pulp Fiction. Almost immediately, it became the thing that no one would ever shut the fuck up about. Everything that came before it was nothing. Nothing! And with good reason, too.

The fact that you didn’t even remember that this was a respectable sci-fi movie before it was multiple shitty TV shows is merely a testament to Tarantino’s power.

Pulp Fiction is highly and impeccably stylized in this way that is both vibrant and filthy. It’s clever and uncomfortable and, really, just a little bit gross. It’s hard to follow but impossible to stop watching and, in the end, leaves behind the best kind of unanswered questions. It’s innovative and challenging and aesthetically significant and a laundry list of other pretentious adjectives of which places like the American Film Institute `are so very fond. But Pulp Fiction gave more than just itself to the world of movies. The AFI is going to tell you it’s a cinematic masterpiece that’s not to be missed. They’re going to focus on what they, as an audience, got out of Pulp Fiction rather than the gift we, the collective viewing public, received as a result of it. I prefer to look at it the other way around.

I will give you. One. Motherfucking. Hint

Samuel L. Jackson the person was a fairly successful actor before Pulp Fiction‘s immediate cult status. He probably would have continued along that trajectory without it, too. Thanks to it, though, we have all been blessed Samuel L. Jackson the badass motherfucking persona. If Sam Jackson had never played Jules Winnfield — or hadn’t played the ever-loving fuck out of the role the way that he did — the universe would have been altered and fandom as we know it would never exist. Mr. Jackson would probably never have gone on to be cast in a slew of roles that can best be described  as “men not to be fucking trifled with.” During these years, he also obviously discovered a latent connection with The Force, because he was able to use his Jedi Mind Trick on the feeble minded human-turtle hybrid, George Lucas. You see, Mr. Jackson was cast as the smoothest, coolest Jedi at the Academy simply because he mentioned off-hand in an interview that he would love to work with Lucas on a project.

And when have you ever seen a purple light saber before this??

With that nerd-cred level-up, Sam Jackson could have easily taken his power and become the tyranny of evil men. Instead, he chose to shepherd the weak through the valley and truly become his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. He was set to star in the unfettered turd with zero redeeming qualities, Snakes on a Plane. The internet as a whole cried out for justice and Samuel L. Jackson heard their pleas. He used his righteous might to force the studio to pay for reshoots on the already-wrapped flick, all for the sole purpose of capturing his voice uttering those fateful words: “GET THESE MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES OFF MY MOTHERFUCKING PLANE!” And thus, an accidental box office smash was born. And the people rejoiced.

Samuel L. Jackson was now, finally, powerful enough to do the unfathomable: to be cast as the notoriously badass and historically white Nick Fury without the internet burning down. Every couple of years, when the studios are ready to move on to a new comic book character,there are inevitably corresponding whispers that a character will be played by an actor with a different skin tone than the drawings. And every couple of years, fanboys from around the world clutch their  subtly racist pearls and gasp, “Won’t someone think of the children?!” Or, more accurately, “Spiderman can’t be black! Peter Parker has always been white! How dare you try to reboot comic book characters!” But not for Samuel L. When the fanboy community heard about this casting choice, it was more like, “Nick Fury can’t be bl– oh, Samuel L. Jackson? Ohhhh… Yeah, he could totally pull it off.” And, thanks to the unifying power of Mr. Jackson, the world of Hollywood has finally successfully portrayed a comic book badass well.

Cash Back Rewards on your bank card have never been fucking cooler.

I think we can all agree that Samuel L. Jackson makes anything look cool. Generally speaking, that’s an ability that some motherfuckers are just born with. But, in this case, it’s a gift that may have remained hidden from the world if it weren’t for the vision of an incredibly irritating and creepy video store clerk who turned out to be a cinematic genius. It’s almost as though there were some kind of divine intervention for the greater good of all humankind’s future entertainment. For that impact on society alone, Pulp Fiction should earn a spot on the AFI’s Top 100. Everything else — the cinematography, the soundtrack, the editing, the unexpected revitalization of John Travolta’s career — is just icing on the cake. — KS

MAY TV EXTRAVAGANZA – THE LOST EPISODES

CROSSBONES

crossbones

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

John Malkovich plays Blackbeard.

 

That’s the first sentence you have to consider when deciding whether or not to watch Crossbones. In the other corner, facing off against that sentence, is this one: It’s about other pirates played by other actors, it’s on NBC, and its premiere is in June, which isn’t really where networks dump their most prized of possessions. Suddenly you start thinking that you’re not exactly a Malkovich completist, and some other weird role will come along in the future to give you your fix. It’s a good call, and a safe bet, but let’s see if Crossbones has anything else to offer besides Malkatraz.

 

“There’s PIRATES!” probably isn’t enough of a premise for a TV show in this day and age, even for an NBC summer show. Crossbones (which has a title generic enough to not expect much more than that premise) takes place on an island ruled by Blackbeard in his later days, as there is no longer a beard and none of his body hair is black. England is trying to come up with some sort of device that will make it easier to dominate the seas, and everyone else is trying to steal it, deflating their dictatorship. When our story begins, Tom, aka Jeff from Coupling (I shit you not) winds up on Blackbeard Island, running around and trying to keep his oath to the king and keep this device out of Blackbeard’s hands. Tom is one of those annoying farts, like Beast from the X-Men, who refuses to say in three words what he could say in thirty (to be fair, Blackbeard is like this too, but Blackbeard is played by Malkovich, and Tom is not). So, our two leads frolic across the island, becoming the best of frenemies in an attempt to make their need to kill each other as fun as possible.

 

The question here isn’t whether Malkovich is good or bad. He’s not bad, but I wouldn’t say “good” is the right word, either. Awesome is a word you could use. Malkovichian is another. This is not a performance that wins Emmys, but nobody cares. It’s the kind of performance that treats throwaway lines like Patton delivers motivational speeches. It’s the kind of performance that features an accent that changes depending on the need of the scene or the dialogue, which is something that Malkovich and few others can pull off. It’s fun, and when Malkovich and Jeff from Coupling are having their wordy word wars, the show is one hundred percent watchable. But this is modern TV, where everything has to attempt to be great, even if the showrunners really don’t have the skills or desire necessary. This show obviously could have benefit from a heavy dose of unreality from Sleepy Hollow, trading in credibility for whackadoo. And honestly, what person who would watch a summer NBC pirate show would rather have awards bait than stupid popcorny fun? No one, that’s who.
I haven’t brought myself to Chanalyze NBC yet, because I have a low torture tolerance, but maybe the Crossbones we wanted – nay, NEEDED – should be NBC’s new M.O. Fuck awards. They’re too hard to get and worth too damn little when you finally do get them. You don’t have to become the The Asylum, you just have to focus on fun a little more. Crossbones would have been a lot more fun if was just a little more fun. Put that quote on a fucking poster, shitheads.

- Ryan Haley

CountDown: Saga

Play

This week’s CountDown is in fact, not a count down of anything at all. It’s part of a very special new occasional series we here at PopFilter uncomfortably refer to as PopRape. This of course, for new listeners to the show, is where we make one or two of the hosts consume some sort of media they’ve never had before. In today’s episode, Mike and Ryan forced Jason to read as much Saga as he could take. The results follow.     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.

THINK LIKE A MAN TOO


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: The Hangover 4: Blackout Drunk

REVIEW: If only someone could figure out what makes men and women so different! Men like one thing, while women like another. Until now! Think Like A Man Too is here to show us that guys and gals ain’t so different after all. Both groups like to party, have some real feelings underneath, and everyone like to make of fun of Kevin Hart while worshipping him. At least you can be warmed by the thought that this group of friends got paid to hang out in Vegas. I wish there would be more movies where it’s just friends hanging out in Vegas…

SPOILER: There’s a lot this movie didn’t cover, so get ready for “Look Who’s Thinking Like a Man Now”

RATING: **(out of ****)

JERSEY BOYS


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: Before There Was Fist Pumping

REVIEW: Clint Eastwood is on his continuing aging journey to show the world that he has heart. Here his heart shows up in the form of male friendship, a topic that simply isn’t looked at enough in film. What makes Jersey Boys so interesting is that (like history) it tries to pretend Mickey Mouse could’ve gotten laid if only he had a pompadour and matching suits. Instead of trying to find a new way to tell an old story (all bands from this era pretty much went through the same shit), Eastwood smashes That Thing You Do with Casino and says fuck it.

SPOILER: The movie ends with Frankie FINALLY turning to the camera himself saying, “Now this is how it actually happened…” before a bus hits him. We’ll never know the true story.

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

PopFilter Podcast Episode 150 Pt 2

Play

The exciting conclusion to the friends talking about all the things you never thought you would hear them talk about! And some stuff you were pretty sure they would talk about!

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!

Kerri Battles the AFI’s Top 100 – #95: The Last Picture Show

 

Until now, I’d come to regard The Last Picture Show as a mythical creature, sort of like Bigfoot or the Chupacabra. It’s always being hailed or referenced somewhere as though it changed cinema forever, but I’ve never actually met anyone who has seen it in real life. I’ve also never heard it described more specifically than, “a coming of age story.” All I really knew going in was that it was filmed in black and white in 1971, which meant it was probably going to be pretty arty, and people always cite it as proof that Jeff Bridges can act, so he was probably going to be in it. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

Post-credits, I still don’t really have a clue. If you asked me to succinctly explain the plot of the movie, I would probably tell you it’s about how a terrible high school football team in west Texas will destroy an entire town and, in turn, drive all of its inhabitants mildly insane. To say more than that would probably require explaining the entire film, beginning with character backstories. At that point, you should just watch the movie. And you should watch the movie. I can’t explain why, but I was rivetted. There were moments when I thought the film looked overexposed, that the editing was bizarre and jump, or that the story was disconnected, but it didn’t matter. I still couldn’t look away. I definitely learned why the AFI put this flick on the list. I just haven’t figured out how to explain it. In lieu of that, I figured I’d share a few other things I learned from The Last Picture Show that I did figure out how to explain.

Cloris Leachman Can ACT. 

*Insert Horse Whinny Here*

Frau Blucher — or some other iteration of a Mel Brooks female sidekick — is probably how I know Cloris Leachman best. It’s also what I psychotically love her for. Having been raised on Mel Brooks fare, she feels like a part of my childhood, like a goofy old grandmother who always made me laugh. So imagine my surprise when I watched her play a 40-something housewife having an affair with a senior on the football team. For the first 10 minutes or so after the introduction of her character, I kept half-expecting her to be the comic relief. Instead, she gave a tragic and nuanced performance that left me wondering for most of the movie exactly how old her character was supposed to be. I have a working theory that great comedic actors can easily slip into a dramatic role with little to no effort and, after watching The Last Picture Show, I’m adding Cloris Leachman to the list of actors I routinely use as evidence.

Cybill Shepherd Drinks Unicorn Blood 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

  
 
 
 

 

 

Remember Cybill Shepherd? She was TV’s It Girl in the 80s when she was in that show with Bruce Willis when he  still had hair? The photo on the left is a still from The Last Picture Show, when Cybill was about 21. The one on the right was taken sometime last year, when she was about 64. SIXTY. FOUR.  Now, I’m not saying she looks like she hasn’t aged a day since then, but JESUS. Screw renting a house in the Isle of Wight if it’s not too dear. I just want to look like Cybill Shepherd when I’m 64. And the fact that she does look like she’s aged a day or two means she’s gone about it (probably mostly) naturally. That’s something to be applauded and respected in a world where Meg Ryan and Melanie Griffith are no longer recognizable as human beings, let alone celebrities.

 

Randy Quaid didn’t get weird looking with age…

He looks sort of like if a bobble head mated with a potato.

All I can really say about this is that I found Randy Quaid’s maybe 15 minutes of screen time so very distracting simply because I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that he got less weird looking as he aged. I mean, Randy Quaid has always been one weird, goofy looking dude. One of the great mysteries of Hollywood is how a guy who looks like Randy Quaid could be so closely related to a guy who spent a career landing nothing but romantic leads and aging baseball player roles. The visage of a young Randy Quaid has only, in my mind, deepened the mystery.

Peter Bogdanovich in General

I’ve spent most of my life watching Peter Bogdanovich host Biography and AFI specials or  show up in cameo spots, like as Melfi’s therapist on The Sopranos. The world seemed to insinuate that he was famous, but I never knew why. I honestly assumed he was some sort of aging actor, like Elliott Gould, but not nearly as talented. It turns out that this guy actually directed The Last Picture Show and was, at one point, considered to be on par with Francis Ford Coppola. He made 2 more critically acclaimed box office hits after The Last Picture Show, but then his story turned all too familiar. He made a couple of flops and took some time off from directing. His supposed triumphant return starred his Playboy Bunny girlfriend, who was murdered by her estranged husband  before the movie could be released. Bogdanovich ultimately wrote a book about the whole thing and married her 20 year old sister (he was 49), whom he had started dating when she was 14. For some reason, Hollywood and the viewing public just did not respond favorably to such a beautiful love story.

If you’re now thinking that maybe some of these things are a case against The Last Picture Show instead of for, just go watch the movie. Then you’ll understand precisely what I’m completely incapable of adequately articulating here. It’s really, really good. I promise. I just can’t exactly explain why. –KS

PopFilter Podcast Episode 150 Pt 1

Play

It episode 150, bitches and the friends all got you! Every week they cut a segment from the show, never to be heard from again…but guess what!! This is the sausage show and THEY’RE ALL BACK! Hahahaha! Get it? Sausage? Show? Gotcha? Anywho, here it is…the classic episode 150 clip show, split up into two tasty little bits.

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.

22 Jump Street


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: How to Catch Lighting in a Bottle Twice

REVIEW: 21 Jump Street surprised everyone. Who thought a remake of an 80′s drama starring a rising foul-mouthed Oscar nominee and a dude who’s best known for stripping would be hilarious? Sending up everything from dumb high schoolers today, dumb high schoolers from yesteryear, up to action movie tropes, the original really rested its shoulders on the chemistry between Channign Tatum and Jonah Hill. And holy shit was there chemistry. I could watch those 2 for hours. They perfected the love/hate/love relationship that exists between partners, and you know what even kind of mirrors most romcoms. Most of all, they never forgot jokes. So why wouldn’t they do it again? Bigger! Louder! More Expectations! It’s solid, but gets in its own way by trying to Scream 2 its own franchise.

SPOILER: Stay after the credits for a scene of them going to Summer Camp, in the follow up 21 Sun Street.

RATING: ***(out of ****)

 

How to Train Your Dragon 2


Download | YouTube MP3 Converter | Replay Media Catcher

AKA: Pixar Ain’t Shit 2

REVIEW: It’s the weekend of summer sequels whose originals performed far better than anyone ever imagined. If 21 Jump Street reinvigorated hard-R comedies, HTTYD showed Pixar isn’t the only company with skin in the CGI movies that everyone can enjoy game. The problem with the sequel isn’t trying to everything the first did but more, it’s not remembering which parts made the first so great. Convoluted subplots, a generic villain, and wasted overly schmaltzy thing with the mom–HTTYD2 is an average summer kids flick with nothing of the spark of its predecessor.

SPOILER: After a bout of amnesia (they both suffer from), he has to train the dragon AGAIN!

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

 

JUNE TV EXTRAVAGANZA

UNDATEABLE

Undateable-Poster-Images

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

 

I honestly don’t know if I’ve reviewed this show before. It’s not that old, so there hasn’t been that much time for me to do so. A quick check of the website’s search feature doesn’t show anything, but the search feature on low-budge websites like this typically ain’t exactly google. Maybe I just really don’t want to review it. I didn’t want to watch it, and now that I have, I don’t want to review it. Not reviewing it means I watched a horrible show for no reason, but not writing a review after watching it means I can now spend less time thinking about a pilot that is among the worst I’ve ever seen. Fuck it. I’ll just do it again, and, if I find the other review, I’ll compare the two and see which version of me hated this show more.

 

Lots of shows aren’t that funny. How I Met Your Mother was never that funny, and I watched the whole damn run. True Detective had almost no laughs, and was still considered pretty good. It’s not all about getting or not getting laughs, even with comedies. Even with “comedies.” In the case of Undateable, it’s how it goes about not getting its laughs. We’ve been shitting on the tired format of the three-camera sitcom, and its inevitable laugh track, for years. There’s no need to rehash that. But we need to believe some things before we can commit ourselves to laughing to something. We need to believe characters and relationships and how they work with each other before we know what we’re laughing at. In a pilot – any pilot – that’s a lot to ask for. It takes a lot of work…and we can’t see the work being done. It’s hard, but it’s possible. Sometimes, though, shows think it’s too hard to even attempt, and they attempt to force into believing things without even trying.

 

In this Odd Couple-rehash (the only rehash more tired is Friends), we have the Peter-Pan-syndrome-forever-bachelor-sleazeball. And then we have the uptight nerd who is bad with women. (Stop watching when you’ve heard this one). The show tells us who we’re dealing with right away by telling us who we’re dealing with. Somehow, in this world, Sleazeball is great with chicks, and Nerd is so bad that he takes Sleazeball’s advice. When the episode starts, they have never met before. By the end OF THE FIRST EPISODE, they have fought, made up, become best friends, and moved in together. This is a hard, long story to organically tell. This means the show has to force us into gaining the knowledge that Sleazeball is a Sleazeball. But he’s great with women. And a good guy deep down. And why the fuck would we care about any of this? Wait…you’re not supposed to ask that part.
Undateable reeks of studio tampering. I don’t know if I think that because I still have some faith left in Bill Lawrence, who co-created the show, or because I still have a lot of faith that NBC would ever air anything unless they’ve tinkered with it until it became dog shit. Doesn’t matter. NBC is using this to close out the TV season by airing two a night until they run out, which is kind of like spraying that gross orange bathroom odorizer after the worst shit you’ve ever taken. Bad smells are bad smells, regardless of the order you spray them in. See you again in a couple of weeks, when I’ve once again forgotten whether or not I wrote about Undateable, and have to do this all over again. The show may not be called Undateable, but I will have to do this again. Kill me.

 

- Ryan Haley

 

PS – Only the Ron Funches fans that are absolute completists need to check this out. He will be more famous. He will find projects that suit his particular talents. This is not that.

CountDown- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Play

Today’s episode is not a CountDown really. But of those of you who listened to episode 148, you realized we barely got started discussing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly before the cruel board made us stop and move on to something stupid. We decided we needed to give you, the Filterinos, more of our thoughts on this classic western. You’re welcome.

 

 

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!

SNL – FINAL CAST RANKINGS, Part II



SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

SEASON WRAP-UP

 

THE KEEP LIST

 

9. AIDY BRYANT

aidy_bryant

A couple of seasons ago, when we first started tackling SNL on an episode-by-episode basis, Aidy Bryant was my least favorite cast member. She had one role, “annoying neighbor that uses forced laughter to cover her horribleness,” and would jam that character in to any premise that came her way. Over the last two seasons, I’ve realized that her range isn’t that limited, and she might be a victim of the compartmentalization SNL can do with its actors to make casting skits easier. Upon closer look, Bryant is one of the true team players of the troupe, and is almost always demanding more from her characters than her skits require her to.

8. JAY PHAROAH

JAY PHAROAH

Jay Pharoah might be one of the biggest SNL prospects of all time. 90 percent of all cast members are no-names to the general public when they first sign; Pharoah was already a minor internet star by the time SNL made their play. With that in mind, Pharoah’s SNL run has been kind of a disappointment, as most people thought the show would revolve entirely around him by now. That being said, Pharoah’s talent, if not his Ferrell/Wiig/Murphy-esque leadership skills, drip from the walls of every scene he’s in, and if he never takes over the show, he’s still a vital role player.

7. KYLE MOONEY

KYLE MOONEY

See? I didn’t just automatically boot every Featured Player. Just the vast majority. Mooney might be the most polarizing cast member on this list. Even as big of a fan as I was, I recognized how much of his material just flat didn’t work. But I want there to be a Kyle Mooney for every two or three Taran Kilams, which essentially means someone thinking of un-SNL-like material for every two or three people that are talented, but mostly toe the company line. Mooney didn’t get a lot of skit-time in, which could be because the Digital Shorts kept him tied up so much, but what we got was plenty good enough to make him a keeper.

6. BECK BENNETT

BECK

Mooney’s Digital Short partner is just a tad higher on the list because of his skit time. Bennett proved two things this year: he can be the straight man that was needed after Bill Hader’s departure, and he can act like a baby. Bennett shot to the top of the Featured Players list early on in the season when he was the star of the skit “Baby Boss,” where he played a boss that had the body of the baby. It was a magical performance in the rare kind of skit that can deliver new laughs every time it repeats its beat-by-beat premise.

5. VANESSA BAYER

NBC_SNL_VANESSA_BAYER

You may not recognize when an episode is light on the Bayer, like you might with some of the people higher on this list, but the hole is still felt. Bayer has achieved that upper echelon of cast member that gives every straight man character a little extra, while giving every absurd character her absolute all. Just the fact that her Jacob character, a character without a lot of dynamic twists and turns, remains so funny is a testament to what she’s capable of. If you can, find Jacob’s reaction to Seth Meyers leaving the show. Priceless.

4. CECILY STRONG

STRONG

Maybe Cicely hasn’t made us forget about Tina and Amy just yet. Although the reaction to her taking over as Weekend Update hasn’t been enthusiastic, Strong is on here for her character work more than anything else. An underrated, underutilized dialect master, Strong made a huge jump this year, letting people know she can do a lot more than play that pitch perfect party girl. I was worried when she was given the Weekend Update desk, as anchors usually appear in fewer and fewer skits as time goes on. But Strong (Butt-Strong!) definitely received her fair share of starring roles. Let’s hope that continues to remain the case.

3. TARAN KILLAM

TARAN KILLAM

Although he’s only third on the list, Killam is the odds-on-favorite to make this generation of SNL his own. Better at impressions than Will Ferrell, but more endearing than Darrell Hammond, Killam seemingly logged more screen time than any other cast member, thanks to his versatility. The fact that he’s married to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill can’t hurt, either. Man, I would never want to leverage who I’m married to into getting acting roles, unless my wife could get me into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in which case I would threaten her with divorce every hour on the hour until I had my chance to shine.

2. BOBBY MOYNIHAN

Bobby_Moynihan

This one might be a little bit of a cheat. If I’m just going off of what I saw last season, Bobby Moynihan was a little disappointing. Entire episodes would fly by without having more than a line or two. But if we include PTOS (perceived talent outside the show) and Fourvel Quotient (how often you play Fourvel on other television shows and podcasts), then Bobby Moynihan may deserve to be even higher. I’m betting that next season is Moynihan’s last. If SNL gets their shit together, he’ll leave as a star. If they don’t, he’ll become a star on his own after leaving the show.

1. KATE MCKINNON

Kate-Mckinnon

Wowzer. McKinnon spent the entire season shitting gold, and making everyone else look like an amateur by comparison. Even just a few seconds with McKinnon’s 70′s cop Dyke, or Shallon’s fed-up teacher, or a magical Justin Beiber impression could save an otherwise boring episode. This is to say nothing of Olya Povlatsky, the Russian villager who has the delivery of a great Vaudevillian, or her Angela Merkel, an impression I saw before I ever saw the real person speak. I was much less impressed by the real person. With no fucking horrible Gillys or Dooneeses on the resume, McKinnon was the perfect way to ease the pain of Kristen Wiig’s departure.

 - Ryan Haley