Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #10.2: The Top 6 (Results).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

Well, thank God Idol Gives Back is over. I don't have to deal with all that... humanitarian stuff again. Still, there's gonna be a bunch of country performances tonight, which I'm not looking forward to. But still. Getting to it. Prediction: Again, as I said last night, I figure the Bottom 3 will probably be Aaron, Mike, and either Casey or Siobhan... with Aaron going home. So we'll see.

8:00: Cue overly dramatic intro video.

8:01: Did Ryan say "This... is American Idol!"? I really wasn't paying attention. Oh well.

8:02: Lame. Instead of doing the cheesy group performance, they kick it off with a band. Rascal Flatts. I'm actually OK with this. Rascal Flatts is about as close as I'll get to country without wanting to vomit. However, this performance seems like... he seems bored. There's no emotion to it. And the lyrics seem forced, like he can't fit them in with the music.

8:09: Behind the scenes of the Ford Music Video. Interesting. They're supposed to be vampires. Casey actually makes for an amazingly cool vampire. As does Siobhan. I could so see a vampire movie made with Casey and Siobhan. Though Crystal's blood-red eyes are crazy, too.

8:11: Pretty cool (though cheesy) video. And Siobhan, despite her falling out of my singing graces, is still a really hot vampire.

8:12: Now they get to see to do voice acting stuff for Shrek Forever After. And now they get to see the movie.

8:15: And now Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas are on stage. Wow... Antonio has aged.

8:17: Finally, getting to some results. Siobhan stands up. She heads to the far side of the stage.

8:18: Aaron stands up. He moves to the center of the stage. Big Mike stands up. He stands on the near side of the stage. So... 3 groups?

8:19: Lee stands up. Lol... Ryan says "Was it hard to make such a well known song your own, Lee?" And it took me a minute, because I thought he say "your only." Anyway, he joins Siobhan on the far side of the stage.

8:20: Casey stands up. He joins Big Mike.

8:21: Crystal stands. I can only assume she'll be joining Aaron. Yup. I don't like Crystal standing with Aaron (for either implication... the strongest and weakest singers next to each other?).

8:22: Siobhan walks with Ryan back to the couches. And... HOLY CRAP? Big Mike, Casey, and Siobhan are the Bottom 3? Seriously, holy crap. I mean, I figured 2 of those were gonna be in the bottom with Aaron, but... Aaron is safe and all THREE are in the Bottom? Blasphemy...

8:27: So, next week will be the songs of Frank Sinatra. Should be full of comments like "This performance felt so old-fashioned." Anywho...

8:28: Did they bring in Carrie Underwood just to announce another band called Sons of Sylvia? Talk about vampires. These guys look like they should be doing alternative punk or goth metal or... emo music or something. But... I'm not sure what this is. It doesn't have that country twang (in either their voices or their instruments). And he has an electric violin, which is always cool. And another guy playing an... electric mandolin? I'm not sure I've ever seen that before. I just googled these guys, and they're considered a country trio, but this is not country. Or maybe they just found their least country-sounding song. This is just... strange. I'm not sure how to categorize this. I'll be looking more into these guys. And if they have a similar sound as they did here in most of their songs, I might have actually found a "country" band I can stand.

NOTE: I'm not sure how my mom could have gone from being a hippie to being how she is now. I called her to make sure what I had listened to was not country music, and she agreed with that, but thought it was weird... mostly because of how the singers looked. In fact, she declared that she didn't like it at all mostly because the guys looked strange, ignoring their, you know, singing and/or musical abilities. Anyway... enough about my parental unit.

8:36: We're back with another band, and this is Lady Antebellum. This song is incredibly over-played on the radio and gets on my nerves. And it's everything that annoys me about country music. A depressing story. Talks of whiskey. And the twang in both voice and instruments. So I'm gonna ignore it.

8:44: And... another performance. Rascal Flatts and... Shakira? Alrighty then. Mmm... her hips sure don't lie. You can be a Gypsy all you want... and you can travel on over to my place. Gimme a peek at your She-Wolf. And... yeah, I'm running out of puns and/or innuendo.

8:48: Getting back to the results. I'm sure he's gonna send one person back to safety. I figure Siobhan is safe tonight, and... I was halfway through typing "Mike will be going home tonight" when Ryan says "Mike, you are safe." WTF? This means Casey or Siobhan is going home?! BEFORE AARON? Double-You Tee Eff, Mate?!

8:54: Getting to it. See, THIS would be the night for the Save. But no, that had to waste it on Mike. Lame. Anyway, the person going home tonight is... Siobhan!? Wow. I so did not see that coming. Siobhan was supposed to make it into the Top 4 at the very least. I mean, I haven't been big into Siobhan's singing for a few weeks now, but still... she's miles ahead of Aaron and Mike. And she's hot... Oh well.

8:55: The goodbye video.

8:56: The goodbye song. She's singing "Think." Good. One of her really good ones. And that was great.

8:58: Siobhan gives Simon a hug. Aww. This was the biggest goodbye to a contestant thus far... and a much deserved one.

Final Thoughts: Shocking... truly. And I'm sure Travis and I will have a lot to say about it on the next Demented Encyclopedia... so... stay tuned for that, as well! And I'll see y'all next week.


Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #10: The Top 6 (Shania Twain).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

Besides the fact that it's my 10th week doing this live blog, I'm really not looking forward to tonight. Sure, we're Tim-less (though we still have Aaron)... but it's Shania Twain music. Seriously? Shania Twain? It's just like... "Elvis! Beatles! Shania!" So... which one of these doesn't fit? On top of country music, it's Shania Twain music (honestly, nothing against Shania... it's country in general that irks me). Hopefully nobody will actually sing it, you know, country. Anywho, let's get on with it.

7:00: "THIS... is American Idol."

7:04: Surprise, surprise... Shania's the mentor for the week, as well. Though it's funny that she says she'll feel responsible if they do bad considering it's her music AND she's mentoring.

7:05: I so want one of the guys to sing "Feel Like A Woman." Anywho, Lee is up first. He's singing "You're Still The One." I'm already digging it from the mentor video.

7:06: I'm actually really enjoying it. It doesn't sound country whatsoever. He made it sound more alternative rock, which is what I hope almost everybody does. Yup, I liked it.

7:07: Imagine that, Randy thinks a song is "one of the greatest songs ever written." What song DOESN'T he say that about? Anyway, he thought he did pretty good. Ellen thinks he did more than pretty good (and likes how he makes songs his own). Kara thinks his voice alone makes songs relevant (so is she calling Shania old and irrelevant?). Simon thinks it was the perfect choice for him.

7:15: Big Mike's up next. He's singing "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing." And... he's going back to ballads. Again. Mike, I love your voice, but I'm tired of how you're using it, man.

7:16: As usual, he's singing well. And it doesn't really sound country. But... I'm just finding it hard to actually care. He's staying in this safety zone and has yet to go out of it. He hasn't done anything to blow me away for a very long time, because his songs sound exactly the same week to week.

7:18: Randy loved it, of course, and loves how he doesn't love that safety zone. Ellen loved it, too. Kara likes how Mike can connect with his songs. Thank you, Simon, for telling us that "wet" is the opposite of "dry." But he clarifies that he means Mike was a bit girly with the song... which, yeah, it was a Shania Twain song. And Shania is crying... yeah.

7:25: Casey is up next. He says he's gonna change it up a bit. He's singing "Don't!"

7:27: And... his sounds the most country so far. But he's actually focusing on his singing more than his guitar playing, which is different. And... it's pretty good. One of his better vocals.

7:29: Randy says it's one of Casey's best. Ellen agrees and thinks it IS the best. Kara liked his vulnerability in this performance. Simon thinks last week was a good wake-up call and that this was his best performance so far. He also suggests that he comes down and kisses Shania... and while he doesn't kiss her, he does give her a hug.

7:35: Crystal is up! Awesome. She's singing "No One Needs To Know." Aw... I think Crystal wants a marriage proposal.

7:36: Ha, I love the "Big Band" feel of song. All it's missing is the dude blowing into a big jar. Sure, it's sounds country, but Crystal can make me love anything. And she's hitting some awesome high notes. I swear, if Crystal doesn't win this...

7:38: Randy didn't think it was his favorite performance, but he liked that somebody actually did something that sounded country. Ellen agrees. Kara agrees ("It's impossible for you not to be good."). Simon thought it was limp and thought it felt like a coffee shop performance. He also calls it a forgettable song (and apologizes to Shania). And Ryan's talking to the boyfriend ("A little pressure?" *whistles*).

7:46: Aaron is singing "You've Got A Way." Sure, this is right up Aaron's alley, but I still doubt I'll like it. I'm not sure I've ever really cared much for Aaron outside Hollywood Week. I've actually cared for Tim more than Aaron.

7:47: Vocally decent, but still the bottom of the barrel of the contestants. And he's having quite a few pitch problems. Are you kidding me? He just got a standing-o.

7:48: Randy thought he did really good. Ellen liked it. Kara agrees with Ellen. Simon thinks that last few weeks, he's really struggled, but tonight he was like a different artist. He thinks he did really well. Blah. So far, everybody (according to the judges) have done amazingly well, and they aren't sure how tomorrow is gonna turn out. But Siobhan is up next!

7:54: She's singing "Any Man Of Mine." And... she's doing a country twang with her voice. I'm not sure how I'm gonna like that.

7:55: Love the look, though. Siobhan, you need to stop trying to sing in your low register. That's where you struggle. I apologize for this, Siobhan... this isn't even close to your strongest, and I'm gonna say what Simon probably will... it's sounds awfully karaoke. And her scream there at the end held on a bit too long... though the whole end portion of the song was better than the whole thing altogether. But as I said last week, then end can't save the whole.

7:57: But... Randy loved the whole thing. Simon: "Way to pull the Shania 'Twain' into the station." Gotta love puns. Kara: "Guess who's back?" Simon really, really liked the song, but thought the screaming went on a LITTLE too long (almost like she was going into labor/giving birth). I guess I'm crazy, then.

7:59: The Recap. Lee was awesome. Big Mike had good vocals, but is boring. Casey was really good. Crystal was fun. Aaron was... Aaron (to me, anyway). Siobhan was loved by the judges, but only moderately liked by me (until the end).

Final Thoughts: I think the Bottom 3 will be Big Mike, Aaron, and either Siobhan or Casey, with Aaron going home. But we'll see.


News: Cary Elwes to Reprise Role of Dr. Gordon in Saw 7.

Yes! Yes! It's happened! It's finally happened! After 6 long years, they're finally doing it! Cary Elwes is returning to the Saw series in Saw 7 as Dr. Gordon! Fans (myself included) have been waiting for this moment since the first movie ended... and then it only grew after rumors began circulating with the second movie and how it was Gordon on the video tape, etc.

The seventh film is supposed to be the end of the series, and what a better way to end it than giving the fans what they wanted? Dr. Gordon is back... and he's most likely a Jigsaw accomplice. But you know what? I wouldn't care, because that's been the rumor since the beginning, and even if the twist is that obvious, I would welcome it.


Podcast: The Demented Encyclopedia #7 - The One With Yet Another List.

Yeah, we know, another Top List. We swear this one will be the last one for a while. But this time, we're out to give our Top 10 Guilty Pleasure movies.

After a couple brief plugs from Travis, including his upcoming interview with Dr. Uwe Boll, we move right along to the lists, counting down our Top 10 favorite guilty pleasure movies. Some we are in agreement on. Others... not so much. But hey, they wouldn't be guilty pleasures otherwise, right? The D-Bag this week was incredibly generous, as well, giving us plenty to read.

Then we go into Reality Round-Up, where we actually talk about Survivor for more than 10 seconds (shocker). And then, of course, the American Idol talk ending with the power rankings.

For "Recommend A..." I recommend an apocalyptic survival guide that is not written by Max Brooks entitled "Apocalypse How," while Travis recommends both the movie and comic versions of The Losers.

To wrap everything up, Travis gives his Mono-Dia-Logue as Nic Cage from The Wicker Man, while I might actually seem to finally one-up him this week with... yeah, it's a surprise.

And that's it for this week! And stay tuned after the closing music for a bit of extra humor (Note: There was actually more discussion between my initial question and the countdown, but it was removed for boringness sake).

Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Imcompetech Website for the music. As always, you can use the player above to listen to the podcast, or you can search iTunes, where we are also available for download. Also, please become a Fan on Facebook... then you can give us your input for the podcast and will probably end up on the show during the D-Bag segment. But as for now... enjoy!


10 Movie Facts About Me.

I usually don't do memes here (I think I've done one or two in the past). But I figured this one was interesting enough. This meme is essentially listing 10 movie facts about yourself, in no real particular order.

1. I've had 2 relatives appear in films. My grandfather had speaking roles in both Terms of Endearment and Cloak and Dagger, while one of my cousins was a background extra (though visible) in 2 different scenes of Miss Congeniality.

2. By the end of May, I'll have made (and acted in) 2 movies. They are school projects with my students, one being a modern adaptation of The Odyssey, and the other being a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.

3. The first movie I ever bought with my own money (albeit allowance money, but still) was a VHS copy of The Mask with Jim Carrey.

4. To copy a few other people's lists, I've never seen a movie more than 4 times in theater. The first movie I saw 4 times was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, then Order of the Phoenix, then Half-Blood Prince. Side-Note: I saw the first two films in theater twice each... in fact, the only HP film I only saw once in theater was Prisoner of Azkaban.

5. The 3 earliest movies I can remember watching in my life are, in no particular order, Little Shop of Horrors, Howard the Duck, and Milo & Otis (though I'm sure there were others)... which really kinda explains me. I might even toss Harry and the Hendersons, Spaceballs, and Ghost in there.

6. The first movie I remember seeing in theater by myself (without any kind of adult supervision) was Harriet the Spy. I can't say for certain it was the first, but it's the one I remember.

7. If you don't count The Passion of the Christ (which I haven't seen since theater), the first foreign-language film I ever saw in theater was Pan's Labyrinth, mostly because they hardly ever come here.

8. I believe the first movie I saw where I realized I had seen something special, which in turn made it really the first movie that made me aware of the greatness of movies in general and how they can be more than just entertainment, was when I first saw The Matrix in theater... I would have been about 13 years old or so. However, there were two other films that made me start seeing film from a more psychological angle rather than visual--one before The Matrix and one after. The one before: David Fincher's The Game. The one after: Vincenzo Natali's Cube.

9. I once went to the movies with Strep Throat. The movie? Space Jam. I also once had to nearly get on my hands and knees to beg my mother to let me go see a certain movie because she was morally/religiously against it. The movie? Dungeons and Dragons. Side Note: As with almost everything she had been morally/religiously against, once she experienced it for herself, she realized it wasn't as bad as she had originally believed (at least in the way she was expecting. You know... Satan).

10. There are quite a few "best movies ever made" classic films I have never seen. Here are 10: Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Schindler's List, The Godfather Part II (though that's on my DVR), Seven Samurai (which is on my Netflix Instant Streaming Queue), Lawrence of Arabia, North by Northwest (or any Hitchcock film, to be totally honest), Chinatown, Gone with the Wind, and A Clockwork Orange (again, on my DVR).

Some Runner-Ups (or other, minor things):

*There are two series that I've always seen, and will continue to see, on opening day: Harry Potter and Saw.

*The only movie I've ever been physically embarrassed for having seen in theater after the movie ended was Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li... and this includes Eragon and both Twilight movies released thus far.

*My family ended up with 2 VHS copies of Aladdin--my dad, my sister, and I bought a copy after it had first come out, just on a whim. My mom was working late that night. When she came home, we were around the TV watching it... and in her hand was a brand new copy of Aladdin, having decided to buy it on a whim.

*There are only a handful of movies I've seen at a midnight release, including but not limited to WALL*E, X-Men 3, and one of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels (can't remember which one, if not both).


I know we're supposed to tag people with this, but there's really only one person that I know of who hasn't been tagged that I read on a regular basis, and that's Dylan of Blog Cabins.



Apparently, most people found this film via Netflix suggestions with high ratings and watched it through Instant Streaming. Count me in on that list. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In some ways I'm glad, but in others... I would have liked a forewarning.

Lo tells the story Justin (Ward Roberts), a boy who summons a demon named Lo (Jeremiah Berkitt) to help him find his girlfriend, April (Sarah Lassez), who just recently got kidnapped by a demon herself. Justin is unable to leave the confines of his very small pentagram circle, while Lo plays mind games with him on the outside, unable to enter... which is good, considering Lo would quickly make a meal of Justin, whom he has renamed "Dinner."

The movie sounds like a horror film, but it isn't. Sure there are some pretty creepy elements, but for the most part, this film is a dark comedy... a very dark comedy considering that most of the film takes place in a pitch black room. Seriously, the film begins as Justin lights the candles around his pentagram to begin summoning Lo, and all you can see is Justin and the circle. Throughout the film Lo will create mental projections (from Justin) that are showed as cheesy stage plays off to the side (more on those in a minute), but besides things like that, the set is pretty simple.

The stage plays, as I mentioned, are kind of off to the side of the black room... or area... or whatever it is. They're supposed to be reenactments of scenes from Justin and April's relationship. But what makes them funny is how cheesy they are--from the cheesy acting to how the actors will go "off stage" and smack a behind-the-scenes worker if they're not doing something right or not paying attention. And these moments are really fun.

The highlight of the film, however, is the demon Lo himself. From the way he looks to his snarky comments to his ultimate twist at the end of the movie, Lo is a fascinating creation. His looks are amazing. The costuming and makeup department on this film did a phenomenal job. He was creepy, disturbing, and realistic. The actor that played him, as well, did a great job. The voice fit perfectly, and the way he said the lines, going from "RAR" to snark with almost no transition, was hilarious. Whenever Lo wasn't on screen (and there are times, sadly), I was always wanting him to come back already. And, as I said, there is a twist near the end that pretty much caught me off guard (as the whole point of the plot is trying to figure out Lo's game toward Justin and why he's acting the way he is).

But the film is not without its downsides. There's quite an infamous scene, apparently, that most viewers either love or hate. While I didn't abhor it, I was definitely on the more negative side. There's a scene where a waiter takes quite a few minutes dancing around as he's making a drink. For those of you who watch Nostalgia Critic, the whole time all I could think of was "BIG LIPPED ALLIGATOR MOMENT!" It was just so random and I couldn't help but feel there was absolutely no purpose to the scene. Thankfully, there was purpose to the drink being made, but still absolutely no purpose to the stupid dancing. Also, there were some Comedy/Tragedy drama faces during the "play" scenes that were a bit too cheesy and over-the-top. And not to mention the "this is going on a bit too long" musical number from a second demon in the film (and, unfortunately, it seemed all the costuming budget went to Lo, as the second demon looked lame in comparison). However, the positive far outweighed the negative, as these bizarre moments of the film were few and far between.

Overall, the film is essentially a stage play on film. Seriously... it could easily be portrayed on a stage (a few things tweaked here and there, of course, to help with the same actor having to play more than one part at a time, such as during the "play" sequences). But it's a unique film that is really fun and entertaining. The character design is great. The acting bounces between cheesy and really good (but I think it was intentional). The comedy is good. And there are actually some really creepy moments. Some people complain about bad dialogue, but it didn't really bother me, to be honest. If you're up for a really good dark comedy about demons that's in a limited, dark setting with a fair amount of (purposeful) cheese, definitely check this one out. While I can certainly understand it not being a film for everyone (and even how some of the aforementioned negatives can outshine the positives for some), it's one I definitely plan on checking out again (and again).

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. How cool is that poster?)


Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #9.2: The Top 7 (Results/Idol Gives Back).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

It's here, ladies and gentleman. Idol Gives Back. The moment Ryan Seacrest hasn't shut up about all season. Oh, and somebody's gonna get eliminated. I'm thinking Aaron.

7:00: They're starting big, aren't they? Less than 10 seconds in, and they show a video of Obama and Lady Obama... and Obama quoting Randy and saying "Y'all my dawgs." Epic. Can you imagine Lincoln standing up, freeing the slaves, and ending it with "Be free. Y'all my dawgs!"

7:03: Ryan is pimping every single one of the show's sponsors. And then he passes it off to Queen Latifah at the other Idol stage.

7:04: The Top 12 are all back together and singing. I haven't really dug many of the group performances this season, but this one's pretty good so far. And... HOLY CRAP SIOBHAN THAT SKIRT IS LIKE... sorry. I think I got that under cont... OMG LACEY THAT SKIRT IS LIKE... ahem, sorry. Seriously. Can either of those skirts be any shorter? No, that's a request. Can you please make them shorter? ...Please? Do as the song says... keep my dream alive.

7:07: Jennifer Garner is talking about... some backwoods town that lives in poverty. And they're interspersing footage of shacks and trailers with large, plantation-sized mansions.

NOTE: I just want to take this time to say that I'm really not all that cynical about Idol Gives Back. I know I've been making jokes all season, and I know I have made (and will continue to make) jokes about it tonight. I appreciate what Idol Gives Back does for those in need. I just find it a bit... interesting... to see those shows where rich celebrities come on and beg the average American to give money to the aforementioned poor people, when said celebrities could probably give twice as much money to said poor people than the people they're trying to involve... if that makes sense.

7:13: Ryan was just talking with Victoria Beckham and two kids who... had an education and are doing better thanks to public school? I think I missed something, because I'm not sure how that connected with getting money as much as it had to do with, you know, just having a good teacher and students not having an idiot mentality in the classroom.

7:17: Cap'n Sully! I really won't beef with this guy. He's pretty cool.

7:18: Russell Brand and Jonah Hill being (scriptedly) funny, making jokes about everybody they couldn't get to work a telephone panel.

7:20: Black-Eyed Peas are now singing "Rock That Body." I kinda feel bad for that third guy in Black-Eyed Peas. Everybody knows Fergie and Will.I.Am. But who's the middle-aged Jacob Black? Oh, and this song sucks. I like BEP, but this performance is just... bad. Like, really really bad. Remember that one contestant a while back on Idol... the one with the lisp that I absolutely couldn't stand? I actually kinda miss her right now.

7:24: Oh, it's over. That felt like it took forever.

7:28: I just missed all the Africa stuff because my phone rang. But I'm sure there will be more later.

7:32: I think we're finally getting to the results. And George Lopez is gonna be fake-hosting the show. I love George Lopez.

7:34: He has them all stand up... and then sit down. He goes over to judge the judges. He's riffing on the judges, starting with Randy. This is epic. BURN on Kara. Wait, Kara has a nude magazine picture? And moving along to Ellen... not that great as expected, but we're up to Simon. He sends him back to England... but since there's a big cloud of volcanic ash keeping people from traveling, he has to stay. OH, Ryan came back and called George "Erik Estrada."

7:39: The Ford Music video. At least this one is visually cool.

7:40: Now we're really at the results. Crystal and Casey are up first, joining Ryan at center stage. One of them is in the Bottom 3... and that is...

7:41: I'm just calling it with Casey. Yup. Well, I'm pretty sure I did call a Bottom 3 of Aaron, Tim, and Casey, so I'm right so far.

7:42: Aaron and Lee are up now. If one of them is in the bottom, I'm saying Aaron (obviously). And the one in the Bottom 3 is...

7:43: Aaron. Now I just need Tim in the Bottom and I will have called it. And then Aaron going home. Switching back over to Queen Latifah who is introducing Jeff Beck and Joss Stone with a choir. They're doing "I Put A Spell On You." This is really cool. It makes the Peas performance look... well... either way, it was still terrible. But that was awesome.

7:47: AH! JUSTIN BEIBER. I have to go punch a puppy or something now.

7:52: The Secretary of the U.N. is talking now. Now Morgan Freeman is on stage, and he begins by saying "Hello. I'm Morgan Freeman." How awesome is that? He's talking about the public school system and how it needs to change. You're preaching to the choir, brother.

7:57: Am I really that cynical after only almost one year of teaching? It's no reading program that causes literacy issues with today's youth. It's the fact that most of them are lazy and would much rather just watch the movie than read the book (which I hear every single day--"Can't we just watch the movie instead of reading this crap?" I even put the subtitles on during Romeo and Juliet to help them understand what was being said, and I got a couple complaints about words daring to be in the same general vicinity as a video screen). They see reading as boring, hard, unenjoyable, and overall pointless to their everyday lives and/or futures. And no reading program is gonna change that. It's just gonna force them to do something they don't wanna do, which will just reinforce how much they dislike doing it. The change has to come from the home and parents.

8:00: I've never really cared for Alicia Keys. And she's being awfully pitchy tonight. And I actually prefer Jay-Z's part of "Empire State of Mind." I actually nearly dislike the song because of Alicia Keys' part, as I find it annoying. So changing up the song to be nothing but her part of the song... I didn't care for it.

8:04: Josh Groban. Yup.

8:08: Going back to Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. And after a string of fake celebrities, they actually show Slash... and Tatiana from a previous season... who is actually looking really good these days. And Jim Carrey! And he runs away.

8:11: Going back to Queen Latifah... the next act is gonna be... Carrie Underwood. Country music. Time to go back to ignoring the show.

8:16: Oh, it's over. Now Ryan's back talking with Ellen... who was with David Arquette about something to do with feeding people.

8:20: Now something about Malaria. I've really stopped paying attention to this show for now. Enough with the pathos. Let's just get to some results so I can get on with my night.

8:25: Surprise... another video. Ryan sitting down with Bill Gates. Yes. Bill Gates... asking for other people to support stuff with their money. I take a deep breath and continue to say nothing.

NOTE 2: I'm really not dogging on celebrities or rich people's philanthropic ventures. That's all fine and dandy. But I'd at least like some kind of comment from these people that is something like "we'll match whatever is donated."

8:29: Wanda Sykes is on now talking about how Simon plays with his nipples when he's bored. Alrighty. At least she's commenting on what I feel to be one of the strangest things on the show of which I've commented before (the Goodbye Video and Goodbye Song).

8:31: Back to the results! Siobhan, Mike, and Tim join Ryan on stage. You know, part of me wants this to be shocking so at least this 2-hour show would have been worth sitting through. But I know it'll be Tim joining them in the bottom. Still...

8:33: Siobhan is safe. So it's down to Big Mike and Tim. Big Mike is stiff safe and Tim is in the bottom... so yeah, I predicted this yesterday. Now all we need is for Aaron to go home.

8:34: Hey. David Cook. And... the excitement goes away as soon as Ryan says the word "Ethiopia." I literally just yawned. No kidding. Holy crap... that's something I didn't know. Apparently girls in Ethiopia can be married off as young as 5. And others are sent into the sex trade (well, that one wasn't really as shocking).

8:36: For a second, I thought the guitarist next to David Cook was Charlie from LOST. My initial thought was "David Cook's in Drive Shaft now?" I'm such a nerd.

8:42: Eek... skeleton girl. This is almost so bad I want to laugh, but then I'd go to Hell. "She's the weight of a newborn baby. She has pneumonia AND full-blown AIDS. She could have had a normal life with her mother... but her mother died during childbirth." This is really disturbing and depressing. Oh, but they returned later after giving the girl medicine, and the girl has gained normal weight and is fine (except for the whole AIDS thing). Alrighty then.

8:47: Annie Lennox is now singing. She's wearing a trademark "HIV Positive" shirt. She's not HIV Positive, but it's a shirt advertising the help of patients with the disease. I'm pretty sure that's the worst advertisement shirt ever. I mean, can you imagine a nerd's closet? "This is my shirt that says 'MUGGLE' on it, for my Harry Potter moods. Right next to that I have my '+1 Shirt' shirt, for when I'm feeling into D&D. Oh, and there's my 'HIV Positive' shirt. The other ones are epic, but that one really helps me get the ladies."

8:56: With only 4 minutes left, of course we're not going to the final results. We're going to an all-star band doing Stairway to Heaven. Mary J. Blige, Orianthi, Travis Barker, Randy Jackson... and probably somebody else I missed. I've never liked MJB, but she's actually not annoying me here.

9:01: And now that we're officially into overtime, we'll still ignore the results and go into yet another poverty video with Simon. Why not just do what most other shows would do? Put the extra stuff online to build more traffic to their website and just get to the results already.

9:04: And... Hobo Ben Affleck? I was really going to give another snarky comment about how, being 4 minutes overtime, we were going to commercial. But then they gave us a video of Ben Affleck with a scruffy beard and a ratty gray hoodie. Huh.

9:09: We come back with Queen Latifah who introduces Sir Elton John... who is going to be talking about AIDS. A gay, British, singing knight talking about a sexually transmitted disease. I smell sitcom!

9:11: Now he's singing. Imagine that. Another performance instead of the results. Holy crap, I *just* realized what song this was. It's sad that I didn't catch it until it got to the refrain, mostly because it's used in Moulin Rouge. I really wanna watch Moulin Rouge now.

9:21: Oh joy... next week is gonna be country with Shania Twain and her music. Anyway, on to the results. And one person is safe. And that person is... FUCK ME. Aaron?! That means Casey or Tim is going?! And that person is...

9:22: Tim! Tim is finally going home? You mean, Tim starts getting good and Aaron sucks hard... and NOW Tim is going home? America, you confuse me so much.

Final Thoughts: Results shows are convoluted to begin with, but this Idol Gives Back was nearly painful to get through. Part of me is somewhat glad it was Tim, because at least that made it worthy of watching for 2 hours for that surprise. But at the same time, I think Tim deserved better than a rushed goodbye. His video was overshadowed by ending credits, and he didn't even get the pleasure of singing his Goodbye Song. Lame. After all season with the ups and downs of Tim and the controversy surrounding him, THAT was his goodbye? I feel let down. Anyway... see y'all next week. I'm outta here!


Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #9: The Top 7 (Inspirational).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

We're finally down to the Top 7 and... it's also (finally) Idol Gives Back... well, tomorrow, anyway. Hopefully we won't have to hear about it again after tomorrow. So let's get to it.

7:00: "This... is American Idol."

7:02: It's "Inspirational Songs" night... I bet pretty much everything I own that Big Mike will be singing a slow song. This week's mentor is Alicia Keys.

7:04: Casey's up first. He's singing "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac. I like this song. This should be perfect for him.

7:05: Doing well. Didn't take him long to get into a mini guitar solo. But the singing is really good. He seems to be having fun with it. Didn't take as big of a vocal range as last week or the week before (I forget which at the moment. I think the week before). But still pretty good. I liked it.

7:06: Randy thought it was good, but not his best. He wants him to step out of his comfort zone. I can agree with that. Ellen says he's consistently good, but he needs to be great. Kara says he's made himself like everybody else tonight. Simon didn't think it was particularly inspiring and there was little originality.

7:13: And we're back with Lee! He's singing "The Boxer" by Simon Garfunkel. I think this is a pretty good choice for him and his journey on idol.

7:14: A couple minor rough notes, but nothing killer. Overall a really good vocal. Nothing much else to say. Wasn't too crazy about it, but it was good.

7:16: Randy thinks he's a great artist and that he'll have a great career. Ellen thought it was a beautiful song choice and thinks he's getting better and better. Kara said Lee just had his true "moment." Eh... I'm not sure I agree with that. Simon thought it was the best of the night, despite it only being the second song in. But the difference between him and Casey is staggering. I knew this was gonna happen with this song when it was halfway through... that the judges were going to adore it, despite me not melting over it. I mean, I really liked it, but I don't think it was the best thing he's ever done.

7:23: Huh... because that was coincidental. On inspirational night, they have Cap'n Sully (the guy who landed the plane in the harbor a while back). Anywho... Tim's up singing some Goo Goo Dolls with "Better Days."

7:24: He's continuing with his good performance streak here. The vocals are slightly shaky at times, but I think he's doing overall pretty well with it. Nothing fantastic, but good.

7:25: Randy thought it was OK. Ellen compares him to the soup of the day (sometimes you like it, sometimes you don't), and she didn't like it. Kara thought he's found himself, but didn't perform it to his best. Simon thought if this had been his first performance, they might be impressed, but they were actually let down (imagine that... being let down by Tim). And I have to say... I kinda was, too.

7:28: Continuing on with Aaron. Wow, Tim and Aaron back-to-back. I don't think my heart can take it. OH! And Aaron is singing "I Believe I Can Fly." That's the inspirational song to end all inspirational songs. This outta be... excuse me while I go throw up.

7:29: Archuletta, you are not. Vocals are... alright. But the song should not be a song that any American Idol should ever sing. I mean, it was an inspirational song sung by a guy who peed on an underage girl written for Michael Jordan in a movie he acted in with Bugs Bunny, for crying out loud.

7:30: Randy thought he did good with such a big song. Ellen: "There was a brief time in the 70s when I believed I could fly." Lol. But she thought he handled it well. Kara thought it took time, but by the end he got there. Simon judges this in two parts. First, knowing Aaron and liking him. Second, hearing it on the radio and how he would have turned it off. I kinda agree with both Kara and Simon. The song wasn't that good, but it did get good there at the very end. However, you can't save a terrible song by how you end it. If a song isn't good all the way through, it isn't made a good song by having a good final note (as opposed to movies where the ending can make an entire movie--see: Saw... no pun intended).

7:37: Siobhan is up. Come on, Siobhan. Make it good this week. She's singing "When You Believe" by Mariah Carey.

7:38: Vocals are really good. She didn't go for a screamer this time again, but she did hit a nice high note. Not my favorite of hers, but still pretty good.

7:40: Randy thought it was just OK. Ellen disagrees as she loved it. Kara thought that it was technically well sung, but doesn't think this is a musical (um... k). Simon agrees with Randy... and thinks Siobhan's little plastic butterflies on her outfit look like leaves. I can see where they're coming from (performance-wise). Again, it's not my favorite, but it was good... which seems to be the real theme tonight.

7:47: Big Mike is up... and apparently he has a playbook of songs, and he's choosing a song from this playbook tonight. He's singing "Hero" by Chad Kroeger (the Spider-Man song).

7:48: Fine, Mike, prove me wrong by singing a song with more of an uptempo. Granted, is about mid-tempo, but still. But I'm liking it... mostly because it's not some slow, sappy ballad. But it was good vocally, too. (I guess I lose only half my stuff?)

7:50: Randy thought he held his own. Ellen thought he did great. Kara didn't like it, thought it was all over-the-place and unrecognizable. Simon thought he sang it pretty well, but it was inspirational night and the song was about Spider-Man (lol... I love that he mentioned that).

7:55: Crystal is singing "People Get Ready" by The Impressions (?). And for the first time ever, she's singing without an instrument.

7:56: Starting off a capella. Great vocals, as per usual. Sorry I'm a little lacking in words on the performances tonight. Just not all that much to say. And... Crystal started crying at the end of the song? Interesting.

7:58: Randy gave her a standing ovation. Ellen thought it was beautiful. Kara loved it. Simon thought THAT was inspirational and happy to see some emotion there (and that it was in a completely different class from the rest of the night). Crystal explains that she started crying because she saw her dad in the audience.

8:00: The Recap. Casey was Casey... again. Lee was really good, as usual. Turban was... disappointing? I can't believe I'm saying that. Aaron was just... not good. Siobhan was alright... good vocals. Big Mike finally does something besides a slow ballad, and it's just alright, but I liked it. Crystal was excellent. Did they re-film Crystal's ending? I'm pretty sure she ended in tears, and her recap didn't have that. Anywho... tomorrow is Idol Gives Back! Shocker. I swear, Ryan hasn't even mentioned it all season...

Final Thoughts: I think the Bottom 3 will be Aaron, Tim, and... maybe Casey? But I think Aaron is going home.


My Life In Film: 1988.

[Over the course of a few weeks, I will be looking at one year at a time from 1986-1999, one post for every year of my life prior to the new century. But because there are so many good movies, each year will have multiple categories. The following year(s) have already been discussed: 1986 and 1987. Now we're moving on to the next year.]

My Life In Film: 1988


- Akira: Considered one of the essential Anime films, Akira pretty much brought the genre to the Western World and popularized it into what it is today. And who doesn't want that badass motorcycle?

- Killer Klowns from Outer Space: I really think the title speaks for itself.

- My Neighbour Totoro: A cute Miyazaki film, this one aimed at the younger ones. I saw this film for the first time... I believe last year via Netflix, and I really enjoyed it.

- Scrooged: One of my favorite renditions of A Christmas Carol. And who better to play the Scrooge character than the snark-master himself, Bill Murray?


- Big: A Tom Hanks classic... I actually think I did watch this again a couple years ago, but I still hardly remember it. The scene I will always remember, though? The giant floor piano.

- Child's Play: One of the big named killers of the 80s, Chucky began his spree in this film, forever scarring youths who like somewhat realistic dolls. I really don't remember much besides the kid talking to the doll and the mom thinking he's just playing around, as well as the doll moving around on its own without you seeing it move (before he starts being obvious about it).

- Die Hard: Um... yeah.

- Rain Man: Ditto.


- The Land Before Time: This was a favorite of mine as a youngin', and I'm talking about the original, not any of the fifty thousand crap-tastic sequels that it spawned. I fly? No, you fall.

- Mac and Me: Probably not the greatest movie in the world, and it's been years since I've seen it, but this was another one I grew up with. It's essentially an E.T. ripoff, but whatever.

- Willow: It's Willow, man! I really need to buy this movie. It's magical fun starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer. Though is it bad that even when I was young and naive, I understood that the special effects in this movie weren't all that great?


Believe it or not, I actually could not find any major films for this year that I hadn't seen. To get my list of films for each year, I use a mixture of Wikipedia and Google, and neither of them gave me any major "shame on you" films that I hadn't seen... so... good for me, I guess.


- Beetlejuice: There are a couple films out there I really enjoyed, not realizing they were Tim Burton films until later in my life (mostly because I was young and had no idea who Tim Burton was. At that age, my list of directors I knew didn't really span much past Spielberg). Anyway, this was one of them (others being Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Batman/Batman Returns). It's a quirky comedy about dead people and their fight with the living people in their house. And I still think the special effects/costumes/whatever hold up today, regardless of how goofy they might look. My favorite scene? The shrimp dinner/"Day-Oh" scene.


- Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: Another movie that holds up visuals-wise. There was talks a while back that Zemeckis wanted to remake the movie in a similar vein to what he's been doing with the likes of Beowulf and Polar Express, saying that's how he always wanted to do it. I say he'd ruin it. The cartoon style fits the film perfectly how it is. The tone is perfect, blending dark noir with campy cartoon fare. The comedy is great, the visuals are great... and it's not just my favorite of this year, but it's probably one of my favorite movies in general. I'm not bad... I'm just drawn that way.


Podcast: The Demented Encyclopedia #6 - The One Where Jason Likes Tits.

Another weekend, another episode of The Demented Encyclopedia. This episode brings us our second guest host, this time in the form of Jason Soto from Invasion of the B-Movies. This week we discuss our top 5 movies that most people love, but we can't stand and/or hate. And yes, we're aware that most people are going to kill us in many creative ways by the end of the podcast.

From the main topic we turn to a relatively quick segment of Reality Round-Up before heading into "Recommend A..." Jason recommends a good book about bad movies, Travis offers up some music and a video game, and I pimp out Gamers: Dorkness Rising.

Finally, we wrap up the show with what is probably the greatest session of the Monologues of the Week this side of Christopher Walken. Travis takes on There Will Be Blood (you know which scene). I go a little crazy myself with American Psycho. Jason finishes it off with a speech from a movie riffed in Mystery Science Theater 3000.

And this is also the most bizarre episode we've had behind the scenes, as well. Never before have we had so many issues. We started off rough with me forgetting to hit the record button. Then I get 2 different and unnecessary phone calls during the podcast that interrupted us. Travis gets a knock at his door... and at the very end, he gets disconnected completely about halfway through Jason's speech. But we made it through, and I was able to edit it together pretty well so you can't really tell (except maybe the audio difference at the very, very end). But the best part? I tagged a little extra bit onto the end of the show, after the closing music, so stay tuned!

Warning: This episode contains quite a bit more explicit language than usual.

Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Imcompetech Website for the music. As always, you can use the player above to listen to the podcast, or you can search iTunes, where we are also available for download. Also, please become a Fan on Facebook... then you can give us your input for the podcast and will probably end up on the show during the D-Bag segment. But as for now... enjoy!

And that's it for this week!



I've been anticipating this movie for quite some time. But I really didn't know what to think of it from the Green Band trailer. Then the Red Band trailer came out and it was like "OMG," as they say. And the closer it came to release, the more excited I got. Ironically, though, I didn't realize it was coming out this week until it was almost Friday. Lame. But I just got back from seeing it, and I must share my opinion.

The plot is pretty straight forward. Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) is a nerd who starts to wonder why nobody has ever tried being a superhero. And after yet another mugging of him and his friends (Even Peters and Clark Duke), he decides to order a wet suit and be one. Well... it doesn't really work out, ending up in a near-death experience. However, it messes with some nerve endings and infuses his body with some metal plates, allowing him to take quite a punch or two. And then he tries again... still getting his ass kicked, but fairing better. And this time, people see it happen and put videos of the fight up on YouTube (or a similar site). Meanwhile, mobster Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong) is losing some money and drugs to somebody ruining his plans, and he starts believing it's the new superhero Kick-Ass, while it's really the vengeful daughter-father team of Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), who take a page from Kick-Ass' book and dress up like superheroes. But Frank can't get a hold of Kick-Ass, so his son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who really just wants to prove himself to his father, takes up the moniker of Red Mist to lure Kick-Ass into a trap and deliver him to his father. But all of this isn't nearly as easy as it seems.

Really, there's not a whole lot to say about the movie besides the obvious: it kicked ass (I know, so original). The action is phenomenally over-the-top and awesome, especially in regards to Hit-Girl. Chloe Moretz is the real star of the movie... at least the action parts. Kick-Ass (the character) really has Harry Potter syndrome. He's in over his head and, albeit having potential, mostly relies on his friends and acquaintances to survive at any given time. In other words, he gets the crap kicked out of him for most of the movie. But I believe that's the point.

As for the other characters, the most surprising was Chris/Red Mist. The trailers make him look like he's just gonna be some kind of wannabe inspired by Kick-Ass, but his story is actually much more interesting. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays a much darker character here than he's done in the past, and he actually didn't make any of the character turns I expected him to. As for Nicolas Cage... other people have said it already, but this is one of his best roles in years.

There were only really a couple disappointing factors, but they weren't anything huge. First, the love interest angle of the story almost felt tacked on, like they did the rest of the movie and realized that they needed to give the main character a personal story as well, something for him to connect with when he's not getting beaten up. It wasn't overtly like that, but there were times when it just wasn't working for me. The other minor quibble was that they seem to build up this whole "he can't leap from one building to another" thing, but it doesn't really pay off anywhere. Granted, what it might have been doing was setting up a fear of heights which plays into the climax of the movie... if that's the case, then it's understandable. I was just waiting for a moment when he'd have to leap from one building to another, and it just didn't happen.

You've heard it already--the movie is uber-violent. Let's just say Tarantino would be proud. So let's just segue from that into the visuals: there's some good camera work, and the action scenes aren't confusing to follow whatsoever. And while there is a tiny bit of slo-mo, it doesn't feel out of place or overused. And there are some fantastic cinematography shots, like during the strobe-light fight, which is probably (outside the climax) one of the coolest parts of the whole film.

Besides the violence, the movie is hilarious, too. The only joke that really kinda seems out of place is one from the Red Band trailer--the masturbation joke. But it's so early on in the movie (the very beginning) that it doesn't feel out of place at the time. Only in hindsight. But there really aren't all that many crude sex jokes. And I'm not saying it bothered me. It didn't. It's just a random note looking back at the humor of the film.

One last thing I want to bring up is the soundtrack. This movie had to have one of the coolest action-comedy soundtracks ever. I seriously just loved the music in this movie, from the instrumental stuff to the ones with lyrics. The only gripe I have with the music is that they ripped off the main theme to 28 Days/Weeks Later (the long song they play at the beginning parts of both movies and/or during any slow-building intense moments of either film). Well, I don't think it's a rip-off, because it isn't a song that sounds like the theme. It actually is the song itself. But considering it's one of my favorite movie tracks ever, I forgave it just for the sake of including such a great song during a cool scene.

In fact, I can forgive practically all of my quibbles with the movie based on the last 20-30 minutes alone. It's practically one long action sequence (like... a pre-climax leading up to the climax). And with a big dose of incredible and over-the-top action and good humor, Kick-Ass is the movie to see right now. At least if you're into insane action-comedies.

Royale With Cheese

(P.S. Was I the only person to chuckle at the movie theater marquee sporting that "The Spirit 3" was now playing?)


Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #8.2: The Top 8/9 (Results Show).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

It's time for the results! OK, so it's time for like... 3 performances and about 10 seconds of results. But Big Mike was saved last week, so that means 2 people are going home tonight. And hey, Adam Lambert is singing tonight, which should be fun (unless he's singing his overly played song from the radio). Anyway, I think the Bottom 3 tonight are gonna be Aaron, Andrew, and (maybe) Katie, with Aaron and Andrew going home.

8:00: The overly dramatic recap (they're even doing operatic choir symphony-esque music.

8:01: "This... is American Idol."

8:02: Apparently Brooke White is back tonight, too... and some other guy I don't think I've ever heard of.

8:03: Haha... Ryan called Simon "SiCo" (read: Psycho). That's great. Anyway, the Top performers... well... perform. They're doing an Elvis medley. Not blown away by it, really. It just seems like everyone is being held back from their full potential on this group performance.

8:10: Oh, sorry... I just completely ignored the Ford music video. Getting to the results.

8:12: Casey stands up first. Aaron stands up, too. Andrew stands up. This worries me. All three guys move to the center of the stage. This worries me more.

8:14: Holy crap, that was fast. He just straight-up told Andrew he was gone. And Aaron is safe! Lame! That kinda worries me, too. Well... at least I was half right with Andrew being gone. Really, though, that was the only one I was sure of. I knew if two people were going tonight, one of them had to be Andrew.

8:16: He just finished singing his goodbye song.

8:21: Ryan pimps out Idol Gives Back yet again. I'm gonna take this time to surf the internet.

8:25: OK, getting back to... performances. Brooke White and some guy named Justin Gastin (sp), the former being a previous contestant and the latter the star of an internet show. Surprise, surprise, Brooke White starting off at the piano. This performance isn't blowing me away, either. Though at least they're not using voice modifications or anything. That Justin guy is either just really into the song or super nervous, because his mic hand is shaking like crazy.

8:34: Back to the show. Let's get to some results. Ryan asks for the entire bottom row to join him on stage. This should be interesting. Lee's being spoken to first (such passivity in that sentence!). Next is Siobhan. Katie. Big Mike... who gets a big applause (no pun intended). Crystal... who also got a big applause. Tim... with decent applause.

8:38: Crystal is safe. Siobhan is safe. Ryan tells Lee that he had sung the song Chris Daughtry sang the week he was eliminated... then makes him walk with him. But he's safe. This leaves Tim, Mike, and Katie.

8:43: Next week the contestants will be choosing "Inspirational Songs" with a mentor of Alicia Keys. And speaking of mentors, Adam Lambert is now singing... you guessed it... the incredibly over-played "What Do Ya Want From Me?" But at least it seems he's changed it up a bit here. Maybe it'll be better than the radio version. I like the spiraling green smoke. Oh yeah, this is definitely better than the radio version. At least... until the song picked up to sound just like the radio version, but sung live. Awesome light show, though. I expected him to do one of his famous "big notes" (like Siobhan) there at the end, but he toned it down. Oh well.

8:53: Alright, back with Tim, Mike, and Katie. One is going to safety right now. That person is... Tim. I'm guessing Big Mike to go home? It would make sense. Matt went home the next week after he was saved last season. And the person leaving is...

8:55: Katie? Huh. And Big Mike was apparently not even in the Bottom 3. Well, I was 2 for 3 with the bottom. Poor Katie. She's trying to sing "Let It Be," but is choking up too much to get through the song... well, to get through it well, anyway.

8:58: The goodbye video for both contestants leaving.

Final Thoughts: I'm not hating who went home. No ultimate surprises here. Maybe Aaron will go next week? We'll see. So... yeah. See y'all next week for "Inspirational Songs" week, which has the amazing potential to be incredibly cheesy. Oh, and how can I forget? Idol Gives Back is next week, as well. Later!


Idol Chatter: The Live Blog #8: The Top 8/9 (Elvis).

[I wanted to do this last season, but I got the idea a few episodes too late. I do admit, I watch American Idol. I really didn't start until a couple years ago, though (my mom was a much bigger fan). Similar in style to the Live Survivor Blog over at Blog Cabins, Idol Chatter (pun and all) will be a play by play of the episodes and what I think of what's happening. For those that don't know, just continually refresh this page to get new updates as the show goes on.]

The Live Blog will be a little, well, note live tonight. I'm gonna be slightly busy at the beginning of the show, but the DVR will record it, and I'll type stuff up as best I can. I'll make note when I'm caught up real time, but if you actually read this AS I go along, just know that it'll be delayed for a while.

NOTE 2: I've started watching. I'll try to guess and keep the timestamps as accurate as possible. Anywho... I'd call this a Top 8... but I guess it's really a Top 9 still, since Big Mike was saved last week. But 2 are going home this week. So yeah. It's Elvis week and... this should be a train wreck. We'll see. It's only 90 minutes tonight, though, at least.

7:00: "This... is American Idol."

7:03: Talking about Elvis and how famous and important he was. Like anyone who has ever heard of music didn't know this already.

7:04: Adam Lambert is the mentor this week! I so hope he makes Siobhan do awesome this week. Apparently he's the first contestant to come back to be a mentor to new contestants. Interesting. And why does Ryan always ask the same question of the mentors? Of course the mentor is gonna be constructive and whatnot.

7:06: Ryan: "My tongue is obviously not as talented as yours." Freudian slip? That was funny.

7:07: Wow, Crystal's up first! She's singing "Saved."

7:08: Already kicking it off with great vocals. As Crystal is doing great as usual, I want to recommend for future seasons... why not have the mentor be a guest judge on performance night? That way they can get a bonus moment to mentor as well as comment on whether or not the contestants took their advice and if it worked. That actually makes more sense to me than a mentor coming in, making a couple comments, and then just sitting in the audience on performance night. Anywho, Crystal was great with her bluesy self. Moving along.

7:10: Randy thought it was "dope." Ellen tells everyone in the audience "Happy Birthday" so to not say the same thing about Crystal all the time. Kara loved it. Simon makes a funny! And he loved it, of course.

7:16: Back with Andrew. I'm assuming he'll suck again this week, since he's apparently a one (or two?) hit wonder.

7:17: Ugh... he's doing "Hounddog." And Adam Lambert thinks it was boring and tells him to change it up. Let's see how he does.

7:18: Um... it's sounds closer to how it was before Adam had him change it a bit. Kinda lounge-ish mixed with some blues. It's not terrible, actually. It's not blowing my shirt up, but it doesn't suck. Kind of underwhelming, I guess is the best way to put it.

7:20: Randy thought it was not good and it was karaoke. Not exactly sure how it was karaoke since it sounded nothing like the original, but... anyway. Ellen thought he pulled it off. Kara didn't think he owned it and dragged around the mic too much. Simon thought it was lazy. He said there's always that part of a musical that nobody wants to see or hear, and that was that part (harsh).

7:26: Ha... Ryan's mother. Up next is Tim. He's singing "Can't Help Falling In Love." Adam thought it was "lovely" and "pretty." I actually think Tim is doing well, at least in this video. Though in the past, the video is often better than the actual performance.

7:28: Lol, Ryan just called him "Turban." Anyway. Um, wow. Tim's actually doing a pretty good job. Like... a really good job. Like... on par with his "Hallelujah" performance. What the heck is happening? Tim is actually good two weeks in a row? He didn't do the falsetto at the end like Adam wanted him to, but I liked how he ended it almost even better. I actually... damnit... really liked it.

7:30: Randy actually liked it. Ellen compares Tim to the first time she took tequila and how she didn't know if she'd like it or not, but she just kept taking more until she really liked it. Kara thought it was her favorite Tim performance ever. Simon thought it was beautiful and that Tim has managed to go from Zero to Hero in 2 weeks.

7:36: Up next is Lee. He's doing "A Little Less Conversation." Adam tells him to perform it, especially facially, and to have fun with it.

7:37: Doing really well. Really well. Really really well. Yeah... I loved that. And I think Lee had a lot of fun with it.

7:39: Randy thinks he's in the zone and thought it was excellent. Ellen thought it was so current (I agree). Kara hasn't ever seen him go for it vocally like he had tonight. She would have liked him more playful, but she loved everything else about it. Simon teases Kara about the 'playful' comment. Simon though Lee nailed the song, full stop.

7:41: Going right into the next one with Aaron. He's singing "Blue Suede Shoes." Adam said he underestimated him. But he wants him to put more grit into it and to believe in himself more. Though even Aaron thinks the song probably doesn't fit him at all, and I can agree with that. We'll see.

7:42: Yeah... not working. And it's rather Karaoke. He's even doing Elvis movements with hips and arms. And he really didn't change the song up, doing riffs that Elvis did. Yeah... not really all that good.

7:44: Randy didn't like the first half, but thought the slower blues half worked better. Ellen gives him an A for Effort, but didn't think he got all the way there. Kara liked it. Simon thought it made him feel old fashioned and like a high school performance, very Karaoke. I agree with Simon on this one.

7:51: Up next with Siobhan! I accidentally skipped ahead a bit and saw Simon apparently giving some not-so-good comments, but I rewound the DVR before I could really hear it. So I hope I'm wrong.

7:52: She's singing "Suspicious Minds." Adam thinks it's too sleepy.

7:53: Vocals are pretty good so far. It seems a bit... old fashioned. I mean, there's nothing wrong with the vocals. It just feels old. Some really good notes. I dunno. Great vocals, but the whole thing could have been more current.

7:55: Randy thought, like with Aaron, it was better in the second half. Ellen agrees this time. Kara thinks there are two Siobhan's vocally. Simon felt like she just used a time machine, the first part of the song was terrible, and the big notes in the second half weren't quite hit (that was probably a horribly written sentence grammatically, but I'm too lazy to fix it right now). But she hits back at them about the purpose of being labeled. Touche, my lady. Touche.

8:02: Next week is Idol Gives Back. Wow, already? Next up is the one was saved last week, Big Mike. And... he's doing another slow one. He's singing "In the Ghetto."

8:04: Well, he certainly made it nice and R&B sounding. Doing well vocally. It's slow, but not necessarily boring. I just wish he'd pick it up and do something faster for once. Great vocally, though.

8:06: Randy thought it was a little sleepy, but the vocals were hot. Agreed. Ellen is glad they saved him. Kara thought it was a beautiful song and he sang it well. Simon thought it was a million billion times better than last week and one of his favorites that Big Mike has done.

NOTE 3: I am now caught up, and everything else from this point on will be officially live.

8:11: Katie's up. She's singing "Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do?" She wants to show her frustration with the judges for getting conflicting advice from the judges since the beginning. Adam thinks she just needs to sell herself.

8:12: I was about to say: "In the words of my students, 'You Ain't Black!'" But... I found the irony in that statement due to it being Elvis week. Anywho. Katie is just the same as every other week. Really good vocally, but it's not really all that exciting. If she were on Idol maybe in the first few seasons, she would have done very well. But not these days.

8:14: Randy liked it. Ellen thought it was a very horny song (being that there were a lot of horns in it). She thought it was great. Kara said the judges just got "showed." Simon thought it was a bit loud and annoying, but it doesn't matter, because the audience seemed to like it... but, hell, the audience loves everything, even if it's God awful.

8:19: Heck yeah! Glee returns next! Finally! Anywho, getting back to the show. Casey's up. He's doing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." Adam thinks he needs to work on the arrangement, but he's really good.

8:20: Very bluesy. Very good vocals. Fun song. Not much more to say about that.

8:22: Randy thinks he's definitely in the zone, and while he didn't do anything different, it was a solid performance. Ellen thought it could have been more exciting, but it was really good. Kara thought it fell short. Simon thought the vocal was good, but it was a wasted opportunity. I can actually agree with the judges here. It wasn't anything special, but it was still really good.

8:23: The Recap. Crystal was awesome. Andrew was... bleh. He'll be in the Bottom 3, probably to go home. Tim was, dare I say it again, excellent. Lee was excellent, as well. Aaron was... bleh. He'll probably be in the Bottom 3, too. Siobhan wasn't terrible, but it was still kinda... old. Big Mike had great vocals, but really needs to pick it up if he's still around next week. Katie was Katie. Casey was Casey.

Final Thoughts: I figure the Bottom 3 are gonna be Andrew, Aaron, and Katie, with Andrew and Aaron going home (if vocals are anything to do with it). Now... moving on to LOST and then Glee. See y'all tomorrow.


My Life In Film: 1987.

[Over the course of a few weeks, I will be looking at one year at a time from 1986-1999, one post for every year of my life prior to the new century. But because there are so many good movies, each year will have multiple categories. The following year(s) have already been discussed: 1986. Now we're moving on to the next year.]



- Evil Dead II: Is it a remake? A sequel? Both? I'm pretty sure it's the latter, with the beginning being a strange mix of recap and remake (since stuff was changed), while the rest of the movie is a pretty obvious sequel to the original. The tone was knocked down to what the series as a whole is known for: over-the-top slapstick and gore. And it's oh, so fun.

- Full Metal Jacket: Great Kubrick film, but I have to admit, after the Boot Camp stuff, the movie kinda goes downhill. But up until that point? Epic stuff.


- The Gate: A really interesting B-Movie with some pretty creepy scenes and some cheesy stop-motion monsters.

- Good Morning, Vietnam: Robin Williams classic about a controversial radio host in Vietnam who shakes things up a bit to entertain the soldiers. I don't really remember specifics about this movie outside of a condom joke and an underage naked boy that's probably on screen for 1 second (which I remember because of how shocked I was to see that in a movie).

- Innerspace: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, and Meg Ryan in a movie that is essentially a comedy version of Fantastic Voyage. I mainly remember my mom being a fan of this movie, as well as how the trailer for this movie played right before the main attraction on my VHS copy of Little Shop of Horrors.

- Lethal Weapon: Um... yeah.

- Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Classic comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy. My family owned a VHS copy of this movie, though it was a pretty messed up copy... had some visual issues. Still, it's a really funny movie that I need to see again.

- Predator: Yes, the classic Predator staring the Governator himself. Like the previous film, I saw this one again sometime in the 2000s, but it still feels like it's been way too long since I've seen it. I need to check this one out again soon, especially with the sequel (?) coming out.


- The Brave Little Toaster: I remember really liking this movie as a child. It comes on TV (usually Disney) every now and then, but I always miss it for some reason. The main part of the movie I remember is when they're in the junk yard running away from the giant magnet thing and the dead/dying cars are singing that incredibly creepy (and sad) song. I love that song.


- Fatal Attraction
- The Lost Boys
- Robocop (*Honestly, I'm not sure if I've seen this or not. I have faint memories of scenes from this movie, so I very well could have... or I've just seen certain scenes. To be safe, I just put it here).
- Wall Street
- The Untouchables


- Spaceballs: It was so hard to choose between Runner-Up and Favorite for this particular year. In fact, this movie was one I grew up with, while my Favorite choice was one I didn't become acquainted with until later in life. Between Star Wars jokes, self-referential jokes (which probably began my love for anything meta), or just Mel Brooks humor, this movie is a total classic. May the Schwartz be with you! (And you can't tell me you're not still waiting for Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money).


- The Princess Bride: How can one not love this movie? Yes, I came into my love for this film in the mid-2000s, but it's one I've loved adamantly since. It has great characters, a great story, and great, witty humor most from its sharp dialogue. But I've rambled on about this film enough in the last week or so, so I'm just gonna leave it at that.


Podcast: The Demented Encyclopedia #5 - The One Where Travis Is A D-Bag.

I know I just posted my "Desert Island DVDs" list, but it's podcast time! It's our fifth episode, and we're here to do our Top 5 favorite movies and Top 5 favorite actors/actresses.

We start off with Plugs where I plug this blog's newest event, "My Life in Film." Travis plugs a friend's movie that just came out.

Then we get into our Top 5 lists, and we'll probably get hated on by classic film lovers. We almost miss the D-Bag, but rewind slightly to go into quite an interactive rendition.

Then we head into Reality Round-Up where we briefly discuss Survivor before heading into American Idol.

This week on Recommend A..., Travis recommends the strangest musical entity ever, while I recommend a little known movie that everybody needs to see, one which I reviewed on this blog in its early days.

This leads into the Monologue/Dialogue/Mono-Dialogue of the Week, where I read an overly dramatic scene from the film Bang Bang You're Dead. The scene can actually be seen in its entirety by clicking here (the music has actually been altered in this video, which is kinda annoying, but just disregard it). The mood then shifts by Travis reading a comical scene from Shaun of the Dead.

EDIT: The following player isn't currently updated. I'll remove this notice whenever it decides to show up... I don't know what the deal is, but if it doesn't say "Episode 5," that's not what you're listening to. But you can always find us on iTunes, as well.

Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Imcompetech Website for the music. As always, you can use the player above to listen to the podcast, or you can search iTunes, where we are also available for download. Also, please become a Fan on Facebook... then you can give us your input for the podcast and will probably end up on the show during the D-Bag segment. But as for now... enjoy!

And that's it for this week!

Desert Island DVDs.

I'm running a little late with this post. A while back, I signed up for a big blog post thing at Fandango Groovers Movie Blog called the "Desert Island DVDs." The concept is simple: If you were stranded on an island and could only take 8 DVDs with you to watch for the rest of your life, what would they be?

First, I wanna mention a few I'd love to take but won't:

- Napoleon Dynamite (because I can already quote the whole movie... who needs to watch it?)
- Little Shop of Horrors (The musical version. Assuming I'd be surrounded by trees and other foliage, I'd get paranoid that a giant fly-trap will try to eat me in the middle of the night)
- Almost any zombie movie sans one (because I'd get paranoid that zombies will try to eat me in the middle of the night)

So... here we go with the actual list (in no particular order):

1) Shaun of the Dead

This is that "sans one" I was talking about there. This is pretty much one of my favorite movies of all time, so it would have to go with me. I like to watch this movie when I'm sick or really down, because it always cheers me up.

2) The Princess Bride

So that if I'm ever found, they'll find me a crazy, deranged individual who can only say one line for the rest of his life: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Because, honestly, if you could only say one phrase for the rest of your life, that would be the coolest one.

3) Oldboy

Because who doesn't want bloodshed, revenge, and incest while stranded stranded alone on an island? Plus, it shows you how to eat raw octopus... you know... in case you ever catch an octopus and are too lazy to cook it (or can't make a fire).

4) Gamers: Dorkness Rising

Probably the best movie nobody has seen. You can only get it online, and it's incredibly low budget. But it's probably the best portrayal of pencil/paper gamers I've ever seen. It's hilarious for anyone, not just gamers. And along with the comedy, it has heart. If only these guys would write for Hollywood.

5) Inside Man

One of my favorite heist films, and I love me some heist films. Maybe it'll inspire me to figure out how to do the perfect crime. That way, when I'm rescued, I can go rob a bank and get away with it... though telling them to give me the money while I can only say "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."... will be a bit difficult.

6) Spaceballs

Another one of my favorite comedies, this is a Mel Brooks classic. There are quotes galore. And hey, I might actually have a reason to use the line "Comb the desert!"

7) MirrorMask

Any time I get a bad case of writer's block or I just need some good ol' inspiration, I watch this movie. It has never failed to get the cogs turning. And when I'm alone on a island, Lord knows I'll need some inspiration and a good imagination to keep both sane and alive. So this one is a must.

8) Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

I needed a musical on this list, and I'm just as surprised as you are that it wasn't "Repo! The Genetic Opera." So why Dr. Horrible? A few reasons. First, it's a short watch, for those times I wanna watch something but don't feel like watching something for 2 hours (like I'll be otherwise busy, but whatever). Second, it matches up with my plan to come back to the real world as an insane, bank-robbing supervillain. But this one will help me keep my priorities straight so I don't lose sight of what's really important. Next, the music is just awesome. And finally? Who wouldn't want to be stranded on a desert island with Neil Patrick Harris?

Honorable Mentions:
-Repo! The Genetic Opera
-In Bruges
-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

(Seriously... there was a whole 'criminal' theme going on there, and that so wasn't intentional.)