That other spoiler free review of the new Muppet movie

December 2nd, 2011

Let me start by saying, I liked it. It wasn’t an instant classic, and I doubt it will ever be a classic of any sort, but it was by no means the bomb that a lot of reboots are.

That said, I will say there was one element of the film which I had a problem with: Kermit. To me, Kermit was always the voice of reason in the muppet mayhem. He was the best parts of every one of us, and in watching him you felt he was the one “normal” guy in the room. He didn’t always have the answers right away, but he had hope and balance.  Not so much in this new movie.

It’s not that he’s become too zany or acts differently from Jim Henson’s Kermit ALL of the time. It’s that he’s a little too whiny and defeated for me. Kermit is no longer the guy who pulls the muppets together and helps them find their way. He’s now just another muppet needing help.

So… I’m glad I saw it. I’m glad they made it. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great (to me at least). It will likely reinvigorate the franchise (which is good) and it did offer the opportunity for my children and I to share something (which is also good). But, for all the hype there was about it’s arrival, it turned out to be a one-viewing family film.

In hindsight, that’s my only real disappointment – because I wanted it to be great, and it wasn’t.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other muppet movie

October 3rd, 2011

If you know me, you know I love puppets… particularly muppets.

There’s a new muppet movie coming out, and while I’m one of those “muppet snobs” who prefers the less politically correct Sesame Street to the Elmo-era and always thinks Kermit, Ernie, and the other Henson-voiced characters sound “wrong” since Jim Henson’s death, I’m looking forward to it.

The movie is being promoted in a very clever way with parody movie trailers such as these…

I’ve ranted against reboots more than once, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will be one of few Muppet hits of the last 20 years.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That Other Disney Musical

July 3rd, 2011

My two favorite Disney musicals are Pete’s Dragon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Below, please find a great song from each. Good stuff.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other set of American Idol wildcards

March 8th, 2011

So another season of American Idol is underway.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the new panel of judges. Steven Tyler is very knowledgeable but is too soft. He doesn’t offer much constructive criticism other than to echo what Randy says (sometimes). It’s shocking to see Randy as the tough one, but he definitely is. The mitigating component is that his criticisms are (as they have benn in the past) redundant, limited in scope, and often not necessarily what the general public feels. Jennifer Lopez… well, I don’t really know where to begin. I’d read an article saying she was upset that the show was not focusing enough on her, and now I view nearly everything she does through that filter – so it’s tough form me to be objective. That said, she is too gushy and her standards are too low, in my opinion.

American Idol definitely misses Simon’s voice of the people (as a whole) honesty, and any sort of constructive criticism.

It’s a shame too, because the talent this year DOES seem to be at the top (as a top 10 or so) compared to past seasons.

I was very surprised last week, by the way the wild card selections went. I thought it was odd that the judges offered criticisms to those eliminated which often said “I would have loved to hear you sing a different song” or “I know you’re better than that one performance” and then not give some of those people (Jordan, Tim, and there was at least one other) a chance to perform again.

At this point, I’m not sure I agree with their choices of who to let back in, but we’ll see what happens.

I’m watching this year, but at my own pace. I often DVR the show and watch it at high speed the next day or check online to see what performances, if any, warranted watching more.

If I post about American Idol again, I’ll talk a bit about my issues with the uneven screen time contestants are given – but for now, sit back… relax… and enjoy the show.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other CBS affiliate

January 27th, 2011

It’s a minor thing, and something I understand, but it still throws me.

KYW Philadelphia Channel 3 used to be an NBC station! I can remember that being the case when I was at the University of Pennsylvania from 1988 through 1992.

Now, 19 years later, I again live in the KYW market and when I go looking for an NBC show, I turn to Channel 3… and get CBS!

It’s not THAT big of a deal, but yeah… it’s just not getting into my head. Oh well… I’ll deal.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other random bit of non-news

December 24th, 2010

I lost my hat today.  And then 2 hours later, I found it.

Someone had turned it into the bitter woman working at the cash register, which is part of the reason why I did not find it right away – I was trying to avoid going back and talking to her again.

In fact, I almost left without going in and asking if someone had turned in a hat, but I decided that the $15 it would cost me to replace the hat was more important than avoiding a confrontation.  Luckily, I ended up being able to talk with someone else… why?  Because wench-lady was taking a break.

So, happily, I do NOT have to buy a new hat. Two hoots for that, eh?

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other guy with the family to envy

August 31st, 2010

That’d be me.

It’s 2:59 AM… I just walked through the house and peeked in on each of the sleeping members of my family. Too cute. Each of them. my son… my daughter… and my wife. Each with their quirks when they sleep and just so at peace and content.

*sigh* I’m a pretty lucky guy.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other thing I need to order

August 22nd, 2010

Ink for my Versajette Printer.

No real significance to it, I’m just using this blog post like a post it note. Ha ha ha ha… um… yeah, well.

I keep forgetting to do it. And while I could just as easily be ordering it now than typing this blog post, this is a bit more fun.

And, I haven’t compared prices yet.

What’s the big deal about versajette printer ink? Why can’t I just go buy it at Staples? Well, that’s a good question [insert name here]… (actually, it’s funny I learned the other day how to use to make the site look at visitors’ IP addresses and make the site actually put in some identifying info, but that would freak a lot of you out, and that would require a good amount of code I don’t feel up to typing so… go ahead and insert your own name there.)

Let me quote (whom I suspect are actually quoting someone else…)

The VersaJette Color Inkjet Printer is the world’s only inkjet printer designed to print 100% bank-compliant checks. Personal and small business users save 50-80% or more vs. buying pre-printed mail order checks from their banks. The printer features advanced bank-compliant VersaInk-nano Magnetic Ink (MICR). With VersaInk-nano you’ll generate guaranteed bank-compliant checks for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition devices used at retail and financial outlets everywhere.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, yeah… I need it for work. Hey Scott, don’t forget to order it.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other paranormal investigation show

August 13th, 2010

Syfy has this show called “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.”

Right off the bat, let me say I know it’s pure entertainment. I don’t expect anything of the intensity of a Mythbusters or other committed to science show… I know it’s going to be fluff anytime I watch it. But watch it, I do… because its accessible.

My son and I have watched a couple of episodes now, and let me tell you… the “investigations” they do are beyond casual. There is no real effort to test hypotheses there… the goal is entirely to produce 11-17 minutes of video that can be spun to look like a serious effort was made and a definitive stance can be taken. We watch and critique their methods in each show.

Last night we watched the episode “Predator/Red Sky at Night”. It may well be our last. It’s not that we “want to believe” or anything like that, it’s how flawed their tests are and how much of a leap they make when they conclude it MUST be this or COULD NOT POSSIBLY be that. A helicopter makes the perfect “ufo” look in the sky, but is too loud… so you try having the helicopter move farther away. Right… that makes sense, but you have to move away until the helicopter cannot be heard anymore and then see if it still looks like the UFO did. And, if it doesn’t… is it possible the lights/apparatus being towed might be made bigger so that it DOES again look like the supposed UFO?

You’re going to investigate a forest for a supposed Hell Hound? Great… camp out, use motion sensors, infrared, really canvas the area… nahhhh, let’s just spend a few hours, one night walking around one part of the forest. And when we hear growling but can’t identify the source, let’s just pack up and go home instead of staying a second night. BUT… we’ll create a cgi of a wild boar/black lion hybrid and then show how our cgi model behaves exactly like the creature in the source footage. Hmmm, so you created a computer model, a cartoon really, where your imaginary creature behaves and looks just like the shadowy thing in the film? Well, yes, by all means that suggests that the imaginary creature MUST exist and be what’s on film. There’s no other possible explanation. Sure we never actually looked at a wild boar, but the boar/lion hybrid is a great fit so a boar by itself is ridiculous to check.

Ugh… I don’t mind how cheesy it is. And I enjoy and value the discussions I have with my son about how their investigations are a joke. But I do wish there was a serious look into some of this stuff. I don’t want to see his cryptozoological faith crushed, but it’s that much more fun to believe and wonder when credible studies are being made (like the old canvassing of Loch Ness by 70 boats with sonar and such).

Anyway… I think I’m done with Fact or Faked, and I suspect the lack of concern about that on my part is mutually felt by their producers.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other outdated classic film and the dilemma

August 9th, 2010

Tron Legacy comes out soon…

It looks pretty cool, and I definitely want to see it. And I’d like to share the experience with my son. But here’s my dilemma…

He hasn’t seen the first film and I don’t think he’d particuarly enjoy it. I mean it’s a classic, but it’s not really paced quick enough for his post-MTV generation mind. Consider this scene…

I had a similar quandry with Clash of the Titans – he found the original too slow, and I can’t imagine he’ll make it far enough into Tron to get to the light cycles. Even if he does, it’s an inconsistently paced film beyond that.

I could try to introduce him to the subject matter with the original video game or even the prequel game they are releasing soon. But I don’t know… I would prefer to go the original film route, if I can.

I have quite a bit of time to decide, but I have a feeling it’s going to be tough call to make.

On a side note, this is one of the rare instances where I feel a reboot/sequel is appropriately titled and well planned. At least from what I know of the story. Unlike Star Trek, which needless made use of the original cast of characters, this film seems to incorporate a mix of old and new in a way that makes sense.

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman