The Explorer: Prime Time Review

Prime Time Review

Wednesday 08/27/2014
Prime Time Review: Two new ‘Jungle Book’ movies hitting theaters soon

With movie theaters being overrun by a plethora of science fiction and fantasy movies, it may be difficult to find something to take young kids to. Between the cursing, violence and bloodshed, some movies just don’t make the cut as child-appropriate. Luckily, there are two separate renditions of “The Jungle Book” in production.

The Jungle Book is a collection of stories written by English author Rudyard Kipling. Originating in the late 19th century, the book contains the collected stories of Mowgli, a young boy who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle, and is assisted by anthropomorphic jungle animals throughout his adventures. The stories of The Jungle Book were adapted to the big screen for a young audience in 1967 by Disney. This movie originally followed the more dark and sinister tone of Kipling’s stories but was lightened up before its release to become more kid-friendly. The original animated movie grossed over $73 million in its first release, an impressive figure, at that time, for an animated movie. An animated sequel was released in 2003 but spent little time in theaters before being sent to home video.

There are currently two new renditions of this timeless children’s movie in the works. Andy Serkis, best known for his work as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings”, will be stepping back from live-action work to direct an animated movie of Mowgli’s adventures under Warner Bros. This movie will also be Serkis’ feature directorial debut; he also worked on “King Kong”, “The Adventures of Tintin”, and “Planet of the Apes”. Working under Serkis’ directorial guidance will be Benedict Cumberbatch, who is lending his voice to the human-hating tiger, Shere Khan. 

The Warner Bros. film will be sticking closer to the original material, creating a relatively dark movie that shifts away from the 1967 Disney version of the film. While Serkis and Cumberbatch are on confirmed to be working on this new release, there is little else known as far as casting goes.

Disney will have its own rendition of The Jungle Book, staying in line with a more kid-friendly movie.  Disney’s version of the movie has a pretty impressive cast, Idris Elba will be voicing Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Bill Murray as Baloo, and Christopher Walken as King Louie. 

With Warner Bros. bringing in two impressive cast members and Disney pulling out all the A-list stops, these two movies will surely be vying for supremacy in the box office. While there will be a year difference between their release dates, movie goers will, no doubt, be comparing the two.

Posted in Screening, Prime time review on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 9:54 am. | Tags: Jungle Book , Andy Serkis , Disney , Warner Bros Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/20/2014
Prime Time Review: Waves of “Blackfish” documentary start to hit SeaWorld

The cinematic climate is changing in countless ways, but one in particular is affecting the world on a much broader scale. Viral marketing and distribution through avenues such as Netflix has fused with a public hunger for knowledge that is satiated through a surge in documentary filmmaking. The impact of this readily distributed knowledge and information is perhaps more powerful than ever. One company in particular has learned this lesson the hard way. After the release of the popular 2013 documentary “Blackfish”, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has begun to feel the sting of public opinion.

“Blackfish” criticizes SeaWorld’s methods and treatment of orca whales. The film highlights Tilikum, a captured whale who has been living and performing inside the SeaWorld Orlando amusement park since 1992. As explained in the documentary, Tilikum has been responsible for three deaths, a raging violence that is attributed to frustrations with captivity. The film goes on to explain that the quality of life for captivated whales such as Tilikum is damaged, and also suggests that their lifespan is shortened.    

Though SeaWorld insisted that the film’s release would have little to no impact on their attendance, it appears that is no longer a valid argument. “Blackfish” drew an enormous following from Netflix, was viewed by 21 million people during a CNN airing, and earned millions in the domestic box office. The film’s crusade spread rapidly, leading to public protests, celebrity chastisement, and concert cancelations by musical acts such as Heart and Willie Nelson. Southwest Airlines ended a long time partnership with the theme park company. One California politician proposed the “Orca Welfare Safety Act” after viewing the film. The piece of legislation would ban the use of orcas in public performances at theme parks all together. Even Pixar executives joined in the fray, meeting with “Blackfish” director Gabriela Cowperthwaite to alter the ending to “Finding Dory”, the sequel to “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” originally had an ending that placed some characters in a SeaWorld-like theme park, but given the new light shed on animal conditions, executives felt it would no longer be appropriate. 

The end result of the fallout has been an undeniable dip of profits in the second quarter. Shares in SeaWorld dropped to 43 cents per share, falling short of the originally projected 60 cents per share. On the whole, stock in the company is down and alarming 31 percent this year.

It seems that SeaWorld is feeling the pressure of the ever-advancing reach of informative cinema. Viral distribution from online providers, television, and social media has primed the cinematic climate to spark changes that are not confined to the entertainment industry, but also reach into business an politics. Movies, it would seem, are becoming a tool that keeps our society in check, informs the public, and brings about positive change in a capacity that has not yet reached its limit. 

Posted in Livenup, Screening, Prime time review on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 8:57 am. | Tags: Sea World , Blackfish , Netflix Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/13/2014
Will Arnett announces more ‘Arrested Development’

Actor Will Arnett has recently confirmed that he and the rest of the cast of Arrested Development are all on board to shoot a fifth season of the popular show. The show will be returning for its fifth season and will be shown exclusively on Netflix.  Arnett was in the middle of an interview on Today for his newest film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” when he shared plans for Arrested Development’s return.

Rumors concerning the return of the show began a couple months ago when Chief Content Officer for Netflix, Ted Sarandos, was giving an interview about the future of original programming through the Netflix service. Sarandos was “positive” that the Bluth family would be returning with another season of the show but said, “It’s just a matter of when.”  The primary issue with getting the cast behind a camera seems to be scheduling. The fourth season of the show was met with a lot of criticism as it seemed there was never enough interaction between all of the cast members. 

Arrested development was created by Mitchell Hurwitz and was originally aired on Fox for the first three seasons, from 2003 until its cancellation in 2006. The show remained in limbo until a fourth season was aired in 2013 through Netflix’s online streaming service.

The show follows the fictitious Bluth family, a formerly wealthy clan whose less than exemplary patriarch, George Bluth Sr., played by Jeffery Tambor, ends up in prison for defrauding investors and using the company’s money for personal expenses. George’s level-headed son Michael, played by Jason Bateman, looks to take over the family business in the wake of his father’s imprisonment, but the rest of the dysfunctional Bluth family finds a way to make running the family business agonizing.  Joining Tambor and Bateman for a new season of the show are fellow cast members Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, and David Cross, among others. 

The Fourth season of the show suffered from inflated expectations once news broke of the show’s revival after being canceled by Fox. That, combined with a lot of character-centric episodes, left a lot of the more diehard fans aching for more, as many of these episodes fell flat. If the writers and producers of the show listen to their fan feedback from previous seasons and look to go back to the show’s hilarious roots for this newest group of episodes, there is no doubt that Arrested Development will be back to being one of the funniest shows around. 

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Screening on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 9:18 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/06/2014
Prime Time Review: Indie rock princess poised to hit mainstream

When child actress Jenny Lewis first appeared on television in the mid 1980s, she seemed to have a knack for the entertainment business. The youngster would go on to appear in fan favorite television shows such as “The Golden Girls”, “Growing Pains”, and “Roseanne”, but in the end it was the airwaves rather than the camera that would capture the entertainer’s interest. Presented with a mix-tape as a gift from fellow child actor Corey Haim, Lewis began to fall in love with music, and would eventually credit this moment as the spark that ignited the wildfire of her current musical career. 

In 1998 Lewis formed the cult favorite band Rilo Kiley. The band released four albums in 13 years, toured with Coldplay, and gained notoriety across indie music circles. For Lewis, Rilo Kiley’s success, complimented by an invitation to collaborate with Ben Gibbard as the female vocalist for The Postal Service, catapulted the former child star onto the throne of indie-rock royalty. Long before Zooey Deschanel made the transition from Hollywood actress to rock star, Lewis had paved the way.

Toward Rilo Kiley’s waning years, Lewis began to write music under her own name as part of her solo project. Now 38 years old, Lewis has released her third, and most promising solo album yet. “The Voyager” solidifies prior notions that Lewis may just be one of the best singer-songwriter’s the music scene has to offer. The indie-rock icon has struck gold with her new album, and has truly found her sound with a fusion between pop, rock, indie, and country elements that creates a perfect amalgamation of musical methods. What makes the album all the more special is the poignant nature of the lyrics, which serve as a looking glass into the mindset of Lewis as a woman. The songs discuss past loves, romance, the death of Lewis’ father, the breakup of her first band, and the frustrations of being a woman on the doorstep of 40 years old without a husband and children. 

But do not let the fragile nature of the lyrics fool you, “The Voyager” is stuffed with some extremely melodic, and downright fun songs. Since dropping last week, the album has been receiving rave reviews, so positive in fact that “The Voyager” just may tip the scale in the direction of mainstream stardom for Lewis. The record has created quite the splash already. On its first day of release, “The Voyager” was on the top 10 list for most downloaded albums on iTunes. Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart stared in the filming of the music video for the single “Just One of the Guys”. Perhaps most impressive, however, is that Jenny Lewis was even given the opportunity to create her own wine in anticipation of the release of the new album. The Voyager Wine is $29.99 (which includes a free link to download the album). The buzz is not unwarranted, “The Voyager” is Jenny Lewis’ magnum opus.

For those Tucsonans who wish to see Lewis perform “The Voyager” live in concert, the musician will be playing tonight (Aug. 6) at The Rialto Theater.

Posted in Livenup, Prime time review, Listen on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: Jenny Lewis , The Golden Girls , Growing Pains Comments (0)

Wednesday 07/30/2014
Prime Time Review: Two upcoming shows hip-hop heads should not miss

The summer has fully engulfed our city, bringing with it sweltering heat and burning winds. As the days get hotter and hotter, many are looking for a way to have fun without melting outdoors.  Whether it is going to a movie at the theatre, a local trampoline—world, or finding some nighttime entertainment, the cool route is always the better route.  For those with an inclination for hip-hop music and a good concert, there are two events coming up in the next few months that you won’t want to miss.

On Aug. 31st Atmosphere is coming to The Rialto Theatre with guests Prof, Dem Atlas, and DJ Fundo. While not everyone may be familiar with the prolific Atmosphere, they are a group well worth knowing about.

Formed in 1989, Atmosphere has been called the group that has, “…transformed the city [Minneapolis] into something else entirely: a nexus from which underground rap spiraled-out to the masses.” The group was originally composed primarily of rapper Sean Daley, better known as Slug, and Anthony “Ant” Davis, as well as other artists who toured with the group and worked on their early albums. The duo, joined with other local Minnesota artists and formed the record label Rhymesayers Entertainment.  Now more of a family than a simple record label, Rhymesayers is composed primarily of local Minnesota artists but has also expanded to representing nationally recognized hip-hop and rap artists.

Atmosphere sits at the head of what many consider to be the most well-composed collection of artists in the underground hip-hop industry.  The label hosts its own Soundset Festival, a multi-day concert that draws well over 20,000 attendees. And now, the group, currently composed of Slug, Ant, Nate Collis playing guitar, and Erick Anderson on the keyboard, is bringing their perfected sound to the Old Pueblo.  

Only one month after Atmosphere comes to town, Club Congress will be hosting another Rhymesayers artist, Brother Ali.  The blind, Islamic emcee has earned a reputation that goes well beyond such simple classifications.  Ali could be called more of a musical activist than a simple artist.  “In an age of hip-hop where the paradigm of swag over substance reigns supreme, few emcees are willing to use their platform to tackle the hot-button topics and pressing social maladies of our time - but it’s apparent that Minneapolis-based hip-hop artist Brother Ali is one of those few.”

Ali released his fourth full-length album under the guidance of platinum selling producer, Jake One. Jake One has worked with big name rap artists the likes of 50 Cent, T.I., and Wiz Khalifa. Ali’s newest album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color, “presents a scathing yet honest critique of America and its many flaws while simultaneously presenting a hopeful outlook of its possibilities.” Brother Ali’s music taps deep into the beating heart of hip-hop and attempts to shine the light on the real problems in the world, not just the fancy clothes and big parties found in many different artists’ repertoire.  Ali’s show will be at Congress on Oct. 8.

With these two fantastic headliners coming to our city, this is one of the greatest chances anyone could have to begin to understand the enormous and ever changing culture that is underground hip-hop.  Get out of the oppressing summer heat and find your way into these two historic local venues for a fantastic show. 

Posted in Livenup, Prime time review, Listen, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 7:39 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 07/23/2014
Prime Time Review: ‘Goosebumps’ film coming next summer

The highly regarded San Diego Comic Con event never disappoints when it hits the west coast every July. The buzz around the event is not without warrant. 

Every year film producers bring fans sneak peaks on their favorite film franchises, and announce groundbreaking news about fascinating worlds in which we are sure to visit on our next trip to the cinema. 

On July 24, the 2014 Comic Con event is expected to unveil plenty of exciting information regarding a 1990s throwback film based on a popular book franchise. “Goosebumps”, which stars the whimsical A-list actor Jack Black, is set to hit theaters in August of 2015. 

It is timely and clever for producers to take a stab at bringing the popular children’s book franchise to the big screen, as it is sure to grab the attention of both the children of 2014, as well as the children of the 90’s, now well into adulthood. 

The film’s plot will not borrow directly from any of the 100 plus books from author R.L. Stine’s franchise, but instead will take a much broader approach. The movie introduces Zach, a young city boy who moves to a small Maryland. Zach befriends a girl named Hannah, who happens to be the daughter of scary book author R.L. Stine (Black). When Zach accidently releases all of the ghoulish creations of Stine’s books into the real world, the team must work together to round up the monsters before they destroy everything in sight.  

Rather than seek out an aura of true horror, the film aims at blending its spooky nature with an off the wall comedy twist. No stranger to family comedy, Black should fit perfectly in this universe. The star of films such as “School of Rock” and “Kung Fu Panda” also promises to make the R.L. Stine character his own. 

Black recently explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he did not study Stine in hopes of portraying him as accurately as can be, instead Black created a cold and cantankerous version of the author in order to give him just the right personality for the script. 

It may still be too early to tell if the “Goosebumps” film will do justice to the 1990s book series that became a nationwide icon of children’s literature. After all, the film re-unites Black with director Rob Letterman, who teamed up in 2010 to bring the universally detested family flick “Gulliver’s Travels” to fruition. 

But something is just so unmistakably exciting about the idea of seeing every childhood fear once explored under the cover of a blanket fort and flashlight, now brought to life nearly 20 years after the fact. 

Posted in Livenup, Screening, Prime time review, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 9:05 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 07/16/2014
Prime Time Review: Tabloid favorite Lindsay Lohan sues Rockstar over videogame character

Lindsay Lohan is heading back to the courtroom soon. However, this time it is she who is filing the lawsuit. The tabloid star is launching a lawsuit against Rockstar Games because she believes her likeness was utilized for one of Grand Theft Auto V’s characters without her permission.

The lawsuit states that the character, Lacey Jonas, is an unequivocal reference to Ms. Lohan. The suit goes so far as to state that Lohan’s voice and style were utilized to create the character, all without her permission. Citing privacy laws, the actress is claiming unspecified damages from not only Rockstar Games, but also Take Two Interactive.

The character in question plays a minor role in the blockbuster game. Jonas is encountered in an alleyway in “Vinewood”, a section of the large open-world game. Jonas is hiding from paparazzi and asks the player to get her home without the paparazzi knowing. During the course of the ride home, the in-game actress admits to the player that the stresses of her life and fame have caused her to become anorexic.

On the surface level, this seems like nothing more than a publicity stunt for Lindsay Lohan, hoping to claw her way into the spotlight. But does this suit have any ground to stand on?

While Lohan’s accusations of using her voice, image, and clothing from her fashion line may seem a little far-fetched, the inclusion of Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood, where the actress once lived, is being used as evidence of image rights violation.

Reports of the lawsuit originally surfaced through TMZ last December but had gone quiet until now. While there is no specified payout in the lawsuit, lawyers have stated that there would be “serious money” involved.

Lohan has picked quiet a successful game to levy a lawsuit against. Grand Theft Auto V was able to eclipse an impressive $1 billion in sales in less than 72 hours and has continued to maintain a strong fan base since. The game is primed to make even more money soon as it is slated to be released for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC this coming fall. Will Lohan’s lawsuit hold any water against the gaming giant?

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 9:06 am. | Tags: Lindsay Lohan , Rockstar Games , Grand Theft Auto V Comments (0)

Wednesday 07/09/2014
Primetime Review: Marvel continues to build with “Guardians of the Galaxy”

By now the 2014 summer movie season is in full swing, and we have seen our fair share of action packed adventures. There is one upcoming film, however, that may well be one of the most important movies of the year. Marvel’s “Guardian’s of the Galaxy”, which is set to release on Aug. 1, is seemingly a mere outer space saga full of cartoonish characters and ships blowing up. In reality, however, it is the next step in Marvel’s flawless execution of changing the movie industry forever. 

“Guardians” will tell the story of a motley crew of mercenaries that turn out to be the galaxy’s last hope of survival. Nothing groundbreaking here. But Marvel will fuse this new and fantastic out of this world story with its already flourishing planet earth based Avengers franchise. If all goes well with critics and box office numbers, Marvel just may build upon a new and fantastic production strategy that is revamping the way Hollywood operates: world building. 

What Marvel has accomplished in the last six years is nothing short of magic. So magical, in fact, that other production companies have made desperate sloppy attempts at recreating that magic. Earlier this year, Sony Pictures released “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. Critics failed to swoon over the film, as it felt disjointed and unsatisfying. The story line lacked oomph, and the lack of discretion behind hidden Easter eggs was almost insulting. It almost seemed as though the film was less a stand-alone allegory about a noble super hero, and more a rickety bridge to future films that the company wants to make. Sure enough, even before the release of “Spider-Man”, Sony had already announced sequels and spinoffs involving comic book characters that were not so subtly introduced in the latest Spider-Man film. 

Marvel’s comic book rival, DC Entertainment, is also heading in a direction that may lead to disaster. The success of last year’s “Man of Steel” somewhat justified the hasty announcements of a sequel, but in the spirit of impatience, DC and Warner Bros. chose to leap frog that idea. Instead, the “Man of Steel” sequel was transformed into “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”, which will be a Batman and Superman crossover film that intends to pave the way for a world of superhero spinoffs.

The primary problem with Sony and DC’s world building technique is that they are planning sequels and spinoff films before the audience has even had the opportunity to demand them. In a similar vein, they are force-feeding new characters to moviegoers before viewers have even had the time to bond with the old ones.

 

Posted in Livenup, Prime time review, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 4:00 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 07/02/2014
Prime Time Review: North Korea threatens war over movie

The hermit nation of North Korea has recently proclaimed its newest round of threats towards the United States. This time however, the nation is not concerned about military issues or demonstrations, but a Hollywood movie. The always radical and unpredictable country threatens a “resolute and merciless response against the United States” and calls the release of a single film “reckless U.S. provocative insanity”, labeling it an act of war.

What movie could garner such a swift and radical response from North Korea? A documentary looking inside the troubled nation? Or maybe a propaganda film portraying North Korea in a less than favorable light? No, the movie that has North Korean officials so riled up is “The Interview”, a comedy movie directed by Evan Goldberg and starring Seth Rogan and James Franco.

“The Interview” is an action-comedy movie in which two celebrity TV journalists (Rogan and Franco) secure an exclusive interview with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un. Before the interview, the two journalists are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim. While this concept may seem funny to Americans and even the rest of the world, the levity is not shared amongst officials in North Korea.

At first, North Korea panned the movie off as nothing more than “rubbish” and gave little care to the comedy, but have now released more dire responses through the nation’s state-run news agency, KCNA, “The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership ... is a most wanton act of terror and an act of war and is absolutely intolerable.”

The preview is filled with plenty of chase scenes, missile attacks, and other events that gimmick the constant threats and bolstering of arms by the hermit nation. The trailer not only comes packed with some interesting action scenes, but also the goofy, none too serious comedy style of Franco and Rogan. The two actors have worked together for over a decade now on some memorable comedy projects like “Freaks and Geeks”, “This is the End”, and “Pineapple Express”.

Are these two “stoner comedians” really releasing a movie that would warrant all-out war? Of course not.  This is not the first time the nation has condemned a Hollywood movie.

In 2002, former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Ill, father of Kim Jong-Un was appalled by the James Bond Film, “Die Another Day”. The film depicted a North Korean citizen selling nuclear weapons, falling in line with the idea that North Korea is part of a modern axis of evil in the world. 2004 saw the release of “Team America: World Police”, a marionette-style movie created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame. “World Police” showed former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Ill as an insane megalomaniac with a deep seeded sense of insecurity and loneliness. More recently, the remake of “Red Dawn” in 2012 showcased a North Korean military that was taking over the United States. While this film did not bring as much ire from the North Korean government, many scenes from this movie were used in propaganda films by the North Koreans to show their military superiority.

While these threats just seem like another in a long line of kicking and screaming from the isolated nation, there is always room for some serious consideration concerning these most recent proclamations. The country has been under U.N. scrutiny in the past year because of nuclear tests as well as missile launches that occurred despite sanctions and warnings against the country. More recent reports have shown possible development of a new anti-ship cruise missile in a propaganda film, while others have doubted this.

Regardless of whether or not the nation will follow through with their renewed threats, North Korea’s posturing is only drawing more PR for the upcoming movie.  See the movie in October and judge for yourself how the hermit nation is portrayed.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: North Korea , The Interview Comments (0)

Wednesday 06/25/2014
Prime Time Review: Tucsonan selected for CBS Reality TV

Fans of the CBS reality show “Big Brother” will have a hometown hero to root for this upcoming season. 23-year-old Tucsonan, Christine Brecht, was selected to be among the 16 hopefuls participating for a big cash prize in this year’s competition. Brecht has already been whisked away from her friends and family, shut off from the outside world, and prepared for her TV debut.

“Big Brother”, now in its 16th season, is a competitive escapade for its contestants. Brecht will be placed in a lavish home with her fellow “houseguests”, made to compete in various mental and physical challenges, and will be filmed around the clock. At the end of the competition, the last contestant standing will be awarded a grand prize of $500,000. Brecht’s competition is diverse, ranging from 21 to 42 years old, with occupations that include a YouTube personality, a DJ, a baseball player, a police sergeant, a minister, and a makeup artist.

This season of “Big Brother” has a few twists that set it apart from its predecessors. For those who understand the show’s format, there will be two Heads of Household each week this season. The Heads of Household will be awarded a large suite all to themselves, and will have the authority to nominate other houseguests for elimination. The Heads of Households themselves are not immune to elimination, however. Another twist entering this season will allow fans, or “Team America”, to have an interactive influence on the competition’s outcome. Finally, an entirely new concept entitled “Battle of the Block” is being adopted, and it is designed to shake things up, creating power shifts, and placing contestants on the chopping block.

But despite the challenges ahead, Tucson’s own dog in the fight believes she has the perfect strategy for winning the grand prize. She explains that she plans to carefully select confidants in the house, and to build alliances with those who may help her survive the threat of elimination. Brecht, an avid board game fan, claims that she will maneuver her fellow houseguests like game pieces, using them to her advantage and ultimately reaching her goal through careful planning and masterful execution. It is sure to be some stiff competition, but Brecht is confident that she will bring the prize money back to Tucson.

For those who want to tune in and cheer on their fellow Tucsonan, “Big Brother” will premier in the evening on both Wednesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 26 on CBS.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: Big Brother , Christine Brecht , Tucson Comments (0)

Wednesday 06/18/2014
Prime Time Review: ‘Orange is the New Black’ released to Netflix

Jenji Kohan’s critically-acclaimed Netflix series, “Orange is the New Black” is back for its second season. Set in a woman’s correctional facility, the high-brow humor, witty literary references, and evolving characters all bring an interesting twist to the prison television drama. Even better news for fans of the show, all 13 episodes of the second season have been released at one time, completely affirming the instant gratification, binge-viewing culture of which many of us are a part.

The show is based on a true story and a book by Piper Kerman called “Orange Is the New Black”: My Year in a Women’s Prison. Kerman also lends her first name to the shows main character, Piper Chapman.

The first season of the show was centered on Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, as she goes from being an engaged, well-to do New Yorker to a hardened inmate in the American justice system. Chapman turns herself in to authorities for a crime she committed 10 years prior with her at-the-time girlfriend, Alex, played by Laura Prepon of “That 70’s Show” fame. The two ex-lovers find themselves reunited after a decade, now amongst a host of comical and sometimes crazy inmates. Despite being a show centered on the lives of convicted criminals, the lines of black and white often blur as the characters and their motives develop throughout the course of the show.

The second season of the show reintroduces a Piper Chapman we have not seen before. No longer the scared woman thrown into the prison system, Chapman is hardened by her experiences and returning with a new, edgier perspective. With 13 more episodes, the spotlight has turned slightly away from Piper Chapman and toward the numerous women and guards that create such a brilliant show. As the numerous faces of the prison change and mature, the stories of the women mature with them. The development of the fantastic cast goes so far as to include an episode without the show’s main character involved.

The backgrounds of the supporting characters are told almost entirely through flashbacks of times before prison walls, snippets into the varied and colorful lives that this cast of characters used to live. From time spent in affluent families to committing credit card fraud, the show holds nothing back when it comes to creating a realistic group of prisoners. New introductions into the prison’s social atmosphere will bring up drama for returning characters as old faces disappear into the correctional system.

With the entirety of the goings-on inside of the prison walls, the outside world does sometimes seem a little boring in comparison. That may be the point, but the scenes of the show involving Piper’s fiancé Larry, played by Jason Biggs, seem a little too boring. While his struggles seem uninteresting in comparison, it is the contrast between the inside and outside worlds that was at one point the basis for the show.  Long gone are the days of Larry worrying about Piper and her time in prison, Now Piper struggles to make her own place in a cut-throat and sometimes confusing prison world.

Overall, what is most impressive about the second season of the show is its ability to create humility and humanity in a group of characters who share some violent and dangerous backgrounds.  Characters begin to develop beyond their stereotypes, and in many ways this is a good thing. With characters continuing to just fulfill archetypal roles a show can become stale and boring quite quickly, losing the interest that a new show carries with it. Jenji Kohan and the crew behind “Orange is the New Black” are continuing to prove that there is some real fight in the online media streaming industry. With Banners for the show streaming across major websites throughout the internet, the hype is out for the new season, and it’s definitely worth a watch.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: Orange Is The New Black , Netflix , Jenji Kohan Comments (0)

Wednesday 06/04/2014
Prime Time Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past - where does it stand?

The newest addition to the line of X-Men movies provides a plethora of famous names and faces from both Hollywood and comic books, but does this star-studded action movie have the chops to be the hit of the summer?

“Days of Future Past” is the seventh film in the franchise spanning over a decade and is a sequel to 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” as well as 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand”.  The film is set in a future in which giant robots had been developed to hunt down all of the mutants in the world and once and for all end the mutant problem. But as with most plans to destroy one group of people, it backfires. Both humans and mutants become prime for the slaughter and the future seems all but lost. In a desperate bid to save their future, Prof. X and the X-Men send Wolverine back in time to change history and prevent their doom.

Cast in this desperate bid to save the world are almost all of the familiar names and faces associated with the X-Men film franchise. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen come back to play their iconic roles as Professor X and Magneto, respectively. Alongside them are many of the classic X-Men we have seen before; Wolverine, Mystique, Storm, Beast, and a few thousand other mutants. Joining these long standing mutant actors are those that played their younger versions in the smashing success, “X-Men: First Class”.  Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy reprise their roles as the younger versions of Magneto and Professor Xavier.

Any movie with a plot based around time or dimensional travel can be a little confusing to grasp. While there is some attention that must be paid to what is going on, the movie flows through the twists and turns of the future’s past with Simon Kinberg’s fantastic screenplay. Reprising this obscure story line from the history of the X-Men comics seems to translate well onto the big screen.

Despite some complaints, the film has received nothing but glowing reviews from most fans and critics alike, many calling it the ideal summer blockbuster. Combining the plot lines from the end of “The Last Stand” and the climactic ending of “First Class” creates a volatile mixing pot for action. This combination may be a little confusing at first, but the all-star cast is an absolute smashing success.

After a decade-plus of X-Men movies and spin-offs, “Days of Future Past” makes us realize why we loved the X-Men in the first place. Fantastic action and stunning CGI effects teamed up with an all-star cast playing some of the most memorable characters in the world of comic books. Take your children, significant other, or even your friends out to see this summer blockbuster.

Posted in Livenup, Screening, Prime time review on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 9:38 am. | Tags: X-men , X-men Days Of Future Past Comments (0)

Wednesday 05/28/2014
Prime Time Review: Microsoft announces new version of Xbox without Kinect

In a surprise announcement last week, Microsoft revealed a new model for their Xbox One home gaming console to be available to the public June 9. This Kinect-free unit will be on sale for $399. This change in the console’s hardware and an improved price tag will allow the Xbox to compete with the superior sales of Sony’s Playstation 4. Both of the consoles were released in time for the holidays last year after an exciting marketing war. Late last month, Sony released a figure stating that nearly 7 million units had been sold in the 5 months since the console’s release. Comparing this to the reported 5 million Xbox One units sold by Microsoft, a clear winner has emerged in the next generation of home gaming consoles.

This news comes as a surprise as Microsoft had been adamantly sticking to their guns on the implementation of their revolutionary motion control device. Called the next step in home gaming by Microsoft when it was announced to the public, the Kinect device operates much like a web cam and allows Xbox users to control their console through body movement and voice input. The news of the hardware’s removal in the new model comes almost exactly one year after the Xbox One was announced to be included with the motion capture device as a requirement for using the Xbox One.

Officials from Microsoft stated that the decision to remove the Kinect has come as a result of feedback from the gaming community. Requiring customers to have an array of microphones and a camera not only attached but operating to use the console was a feature of the Xbox One that was removed before launch last year after an enormous outcry. Microsoft seems to be listening to their customer base, occasionally, and is continuing to listen to feedback.

Microsoft deciding to remove the Kinect from the base model of the Xbox One allows users to operate their consoles and play games without the Kinect hardware. This could come as an improvement for many people wishing to play the Xbox One, but also as a detriment to many developers. This removal isn’t all bad, though. In theory the removal of the Kinect could also free up some significant processing space to enhance the Xbox One’s performance capability, something that the Playstation 4 holds the upper hand in.

Though the success of the Xbox One and the Kinect have remained below that of the Playstation 4, many developers and gamers were excited to use the Kinect on the Xbox One.

Offering an Xbox One model without the Kinect apparatus comes as a blow to many video game developers that were beginning to put together some impressive projects for the Kinect, Disney among them. Is Microsoft taking a step back from the hardware that they have so adamantly claimed is the future of the gaming vision?

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: Xbox , Kinect , Microsoft Comments (0)

Thursday 05/22/2014
Prime Time Review - Four summer films Likely to disappoint viewers

The summer movie season is upon us, and with it comes all of the anticipated hoopla of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Most film producers save their best efforts for the months when sitting in a cool movie theater sounds the most appealing, making it the best time of year for movie fanatics. But for every box office success, there are a few films that fail to hit home with viewers and critics alike.  The following are a few of the films most likely to leave the audience regretting their $12 and two hour investment.

If you are wondering what mankind has done to warrant another Transformers film, you are not alone. Somehow Michael Bay keeps swindling his way into the wallets of Hollywood’s biggest producers, the result being explosion after explosion and robot battle after robot battle. The most upsetting part about a fourth installment to the Transformers franchise is that it will almost surely fare well in the box office. Viewers flock to theaters whenever there is promise of 3D glasses and more cartoons than live action characters. But do not expect “Transformers: Age of Extinction” to win anything shiny come awards season. Bay has a history of missing the point when it comes to filmmaking, often substituting quality storytelling for an amusement park ride experience.

The first Hercules film of the year was nothing short of an embarrassment, so why producers green lit the release of “Hercules”, staring The Rock, is nothing short of a mystery. The film will likely be marketed toward the young male gym rat demographic, but even this target audience knows a stink bomb when they smell one. The trailer reveals what you would come to expect from a Greek folklore war film: glistening muscle men combating mythical creatures with swords, spears, arrows, daggers, and other pointy things. This genre of film follows a strict formula, but Hollywood producers should probably stop trying to recreate “300” and move on. Look for “Hercules” to receive a collective “thumbs down” from critics this summer.

Less than a year after receiving generally negative reviews with 2013’s “Planes”, Dane Cook and company are at it again with their follow up “Planes: Fire and Rescue”. The first film was poorly written and executed, making the prompt creation of a sequel all the more puzzling. The film franchise most likely serves the sole purpose of creating an avenue for a new line of toys to sell to children, and in that aspect it should probably be judged less like a bonafide film and more like a 90 minute commercial for playthings.

We are still months from its release, but there are already few red flags with this summer’s “Jupiter Ascending”. Andy and Lana Wachowski (the pair of brains responsible for steering the “Matrix” trilogy in the wrong direction) direct the film. Given the Wachoswki methodology, you can expect plenty of over the top cartoon fantasy blended with a confusing plot and big name actors being underutilized. The film appears campy at best. Channing Tatum plays Caine Wise, a half wolf and half human creature with Edward Cullen fangs and Legolas ears. Mila Kunis plays a heroine named Jupiter Jones who works as a lowly janitor before finding out she is destined to be queen of the universe. Eddie Redmayne plays Balem Abrasax, one of the leaders of a diabolical alien race with heavy English accents. Though “Jupiter Ascending” deserves originality points for creating a series that is not based off a television show, comic book, video game, or children’s toy, the film looks far too over the top, and will likely tank in the box office.

The summer movie season has much to offer by way of fantastic films that captivate viewers. These films, however, will most likely not fall into that category. Avoid these movies this summer, and you just might save yourself, and your wallet, a whole lot of disappointment.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Screening on Thursday, May 22, 2014 3:05 pm. | Tags: Movies , Jupiter Ascending , Transformers: Age Of Extinction , Hercules , Planes: Fire And Rescue Comments (0)

Wednesday 05/07/2014
Prime Time Review - Star Wars: Episode VII casting draws praise from Hamill, mixed reactions from fans

Slated for release Dec. 18 of next year, Star Wars: Episode VII is quite possibly one of the most anticipated events in recent nerd culture. Since the installment was announced to be in the works, questions swirled from all around: Who will be directing? Will any of the original cast make a return? How far in the future is this episode? It seems as though some of the final questions were answered when the official Star Wars website announced the casting for the new movie:

“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.”

Yes, the original three will be making a glorious return to the big screen in their timeless roles. Interestingly, the decision was made somewhere along the line to also bring back the original actors Daniels, Mayhew and Baker.

While this is by no means a discredit to their abilities as actors, the physicality of all three of their roles seems to be a big roadblock. It will be interesting to see if Daniels can still bring C-3PO to life with the same lovable effect he once had. Mayhew’s role as Chewbacca will also present some difficulties; Mayhew hasn’t been in the best of health for some time and has arguably one of the most physical roles in the movie. In the world of computer animation that we live in today, it seems as though putting Kenny Baker back into the R2-D2 can seem a little over the top.

The Disney produced film will be directed by none other than J.J. Abrams, known for his work rebooting the “Star Trek” series in the past few years, among numerous hit television shows the likes of “Lost” and “Fringe”. With such a fantastic and proven director, could there be any issues with what is now the complete picture of the new movie?

Mark Hamill sees nothing wrong, tweeting his excitement shortly after the casting was released:

“UK table read- I was knocked out by the diverse & extraordinarily talented new cast members. WOW they’re good! The saga is in superb hands.”

Despite the backing of Luke Skywalker, the casting does pose some other interesting questions. Aside from the return of three original cast members with taxing physical roles, the main members of the cast have a slight mono-chromatic tinge. There have always been disgruntled fans pointing out the lack of racial diversity amongst the main cast in the history of the franchise, Mace Windu and Lando Calrissian being the African Americans of note. It African Americans of note. It seems as though the galaxy has suffered from a diversity issue. This, clearly, does not mean the franchise or Abrams is racist, just that there has been some slight overlook to simulating a more realistic, diverse cast.

Women also seem to be noticeably absent from the spotlight throughout “Star Wars” film history. Princess Leia was, by no means, a pushover, but she is the sole strong female figure of note in the history of the films, as Padmé left a lot to be desired.

By continuing the trend of this style of casting, Abrams seems to have missed his chance to bring some huge changes to the film series. In recent years, the Star Wars Expanded Universe has made colossal advancements in developing strong, female roles, bringing in many new and diverse characters. The return back to the film series will not be taking place in the expanded universe.

Any negative feedback is assumptive, at best. The casting does not dictate how the characters will be written, or how they will interact with one another. After the overall poor performance of the prequel trilogy, fans have extremely high expectations for this Abrams-captained reboot of the much beloved universe.

Somewhere in the world, the galaxy far, far away is being rebuilt for the big screen.

Posted in Livenup, Screening, Prime time review on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 4:00 am. Updated: 10:04 am. | Tags: Star Wars Episode 7 , Star Wars , Disney Comments (0)

Wednesday 04/23/2014
Prime Time Review: AC/DC refutes retirement rumors despite absences

Fans of the perennial Australian rock gods, AC/DC, can breathe just a little bit easier. Rumors have arisen over the past week concerning the band’s retirement after over 40 years of heavy rocking. These rumors stemmed from news of poor health of founding member and rhythm guitarist, Malcolm Young.

The band finally spoke up to combat these rumors with a statement released on their website: “After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.”

After playing together for over thirty years, Johnson and the rest of AC/DC form a very tight family. Since the death of original lead singer Bon Scott in 1980, Johnson has headed one of the most influential and successful rock bands in the world. AC/DC had been planning to do their 40th year anniversary tour, playing forty different venues in forty different places, but now this mega-tour seems to be in a precarious limbo.

This sadly does not seem to just be a passing illness, either. Mark Gable, a fellow Australian musician, stated that the illness was quite serious: The most common rumor concerning what exactly the illness is, as nothing is officially confirmed, is that Young is suffering from a blood clot in his brain due to a recent stroke. During rehearsals at the beginning of this month, Young, 61, realized that he couldn’t play like he used to. 

This sad news doesn’t just put a future tour in jeopardy, but a new album. Johnson also stated that, ““We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver,” he said. “We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it.”  This is bittersweet news at its finest. A new AC/DC album may soon be in the process of creation, but without one of its founding members. 

AC/DC was formed in 1973 by Malcolm and his younger brother Angus Young, the latter being well known for his shorts and school-boy attire. Since its inception, AC/DC is been a constant force in the rock music world. Throughout the decades, the band has refused to change what they do, to change their sound, and the results are shown in popularity. 

Despite the multiple lineup changes in the past few decades, the band remains where it should, working towards putting out more music.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Listen, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:00 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 04/16/2014
Prime Time Review: Which “Colbert” will appear on “The Late Show”?

The televised announcement of  “The Late Show” host David Letterman’s retirement sparked an immediate knee-jerk reaction of public speculation over who would be chosen to fill the void left by the longest running talk show host. Familiar names began to enter the fray as potential successors. Rumors circulated regarding Neil Patrick Harris, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and even Jay Leno as the next torch bearer. Ultimately, however, it would be Comedy Central’s golden goose, Stephen Colbert, who would be awarded the opportunity to take his talents to one of the most coveted spots in television. 

Colbert first entered the spotlight as an analyst on John Stewart’s The Daily Show before ultimately earning his own satirical talk show, The Colbert Report, in 2005. Over the last decade, Colbert’s popularity has soared, finding much success in the ever-coveted 18-49 demographic. Young adults could not get enough of Colbert’s faux-conservative character, who mockingly depicts a very uninformed, naïve, and often idiotic news personality. 

Given Colbert’s gimmick as a quasi-talk show host, the biggest question going into the new “Late Show” era will be whether or not the audience will be tuning in to watch Stephen Colbert, or “Stephen Colbert”. Though CBS has yet to reveal any information pertaining to the show’s outline, most members of the media seem to agree that Colbert will have to lay his eccentric caricature to rest, embracing instead a less extreme persona. This may be difficult to imagine, as audiences have often had trouble determining where “Colbert” the character ended and Colbert the man began. But Stephen Colbert is, above all else, a performer. His invented character was nothing more than ingenious acting from a very charismatic entertainer, and the talk show host himself has claimed that he has no trouble in leaving his invention behind. 

Yet, some skepticism about Colbert’s reception in his new role must exist. Though the real Stephen Colbert undoubtedly possesses all of the magnetism, charm, and inherent skills of a bona fide talk show host, one must also question how the public will respond to what is sure to be a much more dry and subdued version of the “The Colbert Report” host. At best, Stephen Colbert runs the possibility of being slightly less comical, and at worst, risks being seen as down right boring. The new host runs as a risk for CBS, which has chosen to gamble on a version of Stephen Colbert who has never seen the spotlight, and who most of the world has never even met. 

Posted in Prime time review on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:00 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 04/09/2014
David Letterman announces retirement

David Letterman, host of the “Late Show”, announced his retirement during the taping of the April 3 episode, ending his 21-year run as the host of the show sometime in 2015.

The 66-year old comedian is saying good-bye to the show that he has been such a namesake for since 1982, deciding not to renew his current contract that expires next year. Letterman will be ending one of the most impressive late-night runs ever, and one of the most influential talk shows in television history.

Letterman gave a heartfelt thank you to his fans while taping the night’s show: “I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all of the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much.” 

While this announcement may be saddening to many fans of Letterman and the show, there is a positive way to look at this. With most of this year and an undetermined amount of time in next year’s line-up, we will have plenty of time to truly appreciate what he did for not only his own show, but television in general. 

The biggest questions that follow this news are concerning the great host’s future replacement. With the lineup of late-night talk show always changing around and stars disappearing at random, it is difficult to pin down who will take over the show. 

When Jay Leno left the “Tonight Show” in 2009 and started his own show, Conan O’Brien took Leno’s position as the host. Leno returned to “Tonight Show” in 2010, after O’Brien’s contract was severed. It was then announced that Jimmy Fallon would take over for Leno. After leaving the “Tonight Show”, O’Brien found himself with the opportunity to make his own show, “Conan”. After all that turmoil, Jimmy Fallon was the one who found himself as the new pioneer of late-night television.

With all that being said, who will do it? Who will fill the spot of the great David Letterman? Great comedian-hosts such as Stephen Colbert, Craig Ferguson, and Jon Stewart are just three of the multiple names put forth by fans in speculation of a successor. While it seems less than likely to happen, Colbert and Stewart being on the same network does raise some interesting speculation on the matter. Ferguson seems the more likely candidate, though, as his show does follow Letterman’s on CBS’ lineup.

While Letterman may not have always carried the best ratings for CBS, or may not have been the most comically on point, there is no denying the huge impact that Letterman has had on late night television.  Letterman’s style and the attitude that he brought to the production has become a major contribution to television in general, especially to those such as Fallon and Ferguson. 

For those who have never seen an episode of Letterman’s “Late Show”, you still have at least a year to get some viewing in.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 4:00 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 03/19/2014
Prime Time Review - Guided by Voices enhances prolific reputation

Indie rock and Lo-Fi music trailblazers, Guided by Voices, have become one of the longest running bands in the genre. Begun in 1983 in Dayton Ohio, the band has released more than 20 albums that have generated a cult following across generations. More impressive, however, is the fact that the band has shown absolutely no sign of slowing itself down.

The band’s most recent album, Motivational Jumpsuit, was released on Feb. 18. Reviews for the album have been primarily positive, which is to be expected from such an established rock outfit. The new release does not push any boundaries or break any barriers of music. Instead, Motivational Jumpsuit is a token of what GBV is known for, short and sweet tracks with fuzzy power chords and pop rock melodies. With the longest track clocking in at mere seconds over three minutes, the 20-track album can feel a little rushed and disjointed at times. GBV’s songs do not always necessarily flow or mesh with one another across an album as a whole, which may seem a bit novitiate to some, but also quite refreshing to others. Guided by Voices has never been a band that attempts to create synthetic and elaborate productions with each album. Instead, Motivational Jumpsuit and its predecessors harbor an organic garage band sentiment, albeit a garage band that has become overwhelmingly talented at writing guitar driven rock ballads with infectious melodies.

Guided by Voices is fueled by the artistic vision of singer-songwriter Robert Pollard. At 56 years old, Pollard has become a bit legendary in the underworld of Indie pioneers. On average, Pollard’s collective musical projects produce roughly six albums per year, most of which are written by the guitarist himself. One of the most prolific songwriters of our time, Pollard has written an estimated 1,600 songs that have been produced by record companies. In essence, the songwriter is more productive each year than most rock bands are in their entire existence.

Given Pollard’s unwaveringly fruitful output of musical movements, it is no surprise that Guided by Voices is already planning the release of their next album, which they announced a mere two weeks after the release of Motivational Jumpsuit. On May 13, GBV will unleash Cool Planet on loyal fans that have become enthralled with the band’s relentlessness and tenacity. The album was recorded in wintery Ohio during this year’s polar vortex and will receive a wide release via the band’s own record label, Guided by Voices inc. Comprised of 18 rock and roll tracks, there is little doubt that Cool Planet will harbor the same brief and crunchy song structure that has Guided by Voices has become known for. It may not be the most marketable or appealing style to new listeners, but it has gotten the Indie rock journeymen this far, and 31 years in the music business is not half bad.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:00 am. | Tags: Prime Time Review , Guided By Voices Comments (0)

Wednesday 03/12/2014
Primetime Review: FX renews ‘Archer’ for a pair of new seasons

The world of the spy and secret agents has intrigued audiences across all media. Dashing men in well-fitted suits fire golden bullets, get the girl, and hopefully save the day. Where there is success, there is often parody in the world of entertainment. We are lucky enough to have a brilliant spy-parody, a rarity in television, with a unique twist.

“Archer” is an animated, half-hour spy comedy set around the misadventures and sometimes successful missions of a secretive spy organization. The show is staged primarily at the headquarters of ISIS, the International Secret Intelligence Service, based in New York City. Even though each of the many characters brings a uniquely riotous blend of comedy to the show, “Archer” is based around the debonair Sterling Archer, or just Archer. Archer is the top agent at ISIS only because his mother owns the organization, and is a blend of repressed college frat boy and alcoholic gun toting super spy.

The show is currently airing its fifth season and this extension will run the show for a sixth and seventh season, potentially ending in 2016 with opportunity for syndication.  Two more years on the network comes with an air of confidence as FX executives boasted about the show’s consistent viewership and massive appeal amongst younger age groups. Many a night has been spent by a teenage boy and his buddies watching through an entire season of “Archer”. Seeing as the show has been one of FX’s cornerstones over the past few years and is one of the highest rated shows on basic cable, this move shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the show progress.

Behind the hilarious show is a fantastic cast of voice actors, without which the show would have no legs on which to stand. H. Jon Benjamin lends his voice to Sterling Archer and has now picked up doing the voice of Bob on “Bob’s Burgers”.  The voice cast also includes Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Reed and Lucky Yates.

The show’s fifth season has been titled “Archer Vice”, a name that is backed wholly and completely by the events on the show. It does show that viewers love one thing, cocaine and Miami Vice spoofs. The series has already taken Archer and the crew to snow crusted mountains, the African desert, gator infested swamps, and a host of other exotic and often comical locales across the world. With the budget behind operations at ISIS seeming to come from thin air, despite multiple plot lines of budgeting cut-backs, Malory Archer and her rag-tag collective of spies have brought nothing but laughter from viewers for years.

With two more seasons of the show already slated to be aired, it will be interesting to see where the writing staff behind “Archer” will be taking the show next.

Posted in Prime time review, Livenup, Northwest chatter on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 8:31 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/27/2014

Prime Time Review: Two new ‘Jungle Book’ movies hitting theaters soon

Wednesday 08/20/2014

Prime Time Review: Waves of “Blackfish” documentary start to hit SeaWorld

Wednesday 08/13/2014

Will Arnett announces more ‘Arrested Development’

Wednesday 08/06/2014

Prime Time Review: Indie rock princess poised to hit mainstream

Wednesday 07/30/2014

Prime Time Review: Two upcoming shows hip-hop heads should not miss

Wednesday 07/23/2014

Prime Time Review: ‘Goosebumps’ film coming next summer

Wednesday 07/16/2014

Prime Time Review: Tabloid favorite Lindsay Lohan sues Rockstar over videogame character

Wednesday 07/09/2014

Primetime Review: Marvel continues to build with “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Wednesday 07/02/2014

Prime Time Review: North Korea threatens war over movie

Wednesday 06/25/2014

Prime Time Review: Tucsonan selected for CBS Reality TV

Wednesday 06/18/2014

Prime Time Review: ‘Orange is the New Black’ released to Netflix

Wednesday 06/04/2014

Prime Time Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past - where does it stand?

Wednesday 05/28/2014

Prime Time Review: Microsoft announces new version of Xbox without Kinect

Thursday 05/22/2014

Prime Time Review - Four summer films Likely to disappoint viewers

Wednesday 05/07/2014

Prime Time Review - Star Wars: Episode VII casting draws praise from Hamill, mixed reactions from fans

Wednesday 04/23/2014

Prime Time Review: AC/DC refutes retirement rumors despite absences

Wednesday 04/16/2014

Prime Time Review: Which “Colbert” will appear on “The Late Show”?

Wednesday 04/09/2014

David Letterman announces retirement

Wednesday 03/19/2014

Prime Time Review - Guided by Voices enhances prolific reputation

Wednesday 03/12/2014

Primetime Review: FX renews ‘Archer’ for a pair of new seasons

Wednesday 02/26/2014

Prime Time Review: New Godzilla poster debuts a massive king of monsters

Wednesday 02/19/2014

Primetime Review: “How I Met Your Dad” star has the right stuff

Wednesday 02/12/2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman: The death of a complicated man

Wednesday 01/29/2014

When does fame stop being an excuse?

Wednesday 01/15/2014

Will 2014 be the year of streaming media?

Wednesday 01/01/2014

Start the year with science at UA Mirror Lab

Wednesday 12/18/2013

Is Disney snatching up all your childhood heroes?

Wednesday 12/04/2013

Prime Time Review: Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ remake holds true to the original

Wednesday 11/27/2013

Prime Time Review: Hottest electronics this holiday season

Wednesday 11/20/2013

Primetime Review: El Tour de Tucson rides into town

Wednesday 11/06/2013

Prime Time Review: Horror fans rejoice, Bruce Campbell slated to return as Ash in ‘Army of Darkness 2’

Wednesday 10/23/2013

Prime Time Review: ‘South Park’ falls short of airing deadline for the first time

Wednesday 10/09/2013

Prime Time Review: Prolific author Tom Clancy dies in Baltimore at 66

Wednesday 09/25/2013

Prime Time Review: Grand Theft Auto V lives up to the hype

Wednesday 09/18/2013

Prime Time Review: New iPhone reveals Apple’s ups and downs?

Wednesday 09/11/2013

Jack Nicholson’s ‘retirement’ causes a stir. But is it true?

Wednesday 09/04/2013

Prime Time Review: Lessons to be learned from 2013’s summer films

Wednesday 08/21/2013

‘The Civil Wars’ bittersweet rise to number one

Wednesday 08/14/2013

Primetime Review: Amber Tamblyn to guest star on “Two and a Half Men”

Wednesday 08/07/2013

Prime Time Review: Johnny Depp warns of future retirement

Wednesday 07/31/2013

Primetime Review: The legacy of Walter White - ‘Breaking Bad’ series finale is almost here

Thursday 07/25/2013

Prime Time Review: Comic-Con is a hotspot for fresh ideas

Wednesday 07/17/2013

Primetime Review: Mount Lemmon SkyCenter to supply beautiful views

Wednesday 07/10/2013

Primetime Review: RiffTrax provides cinematic satire

Wednesday 07/03/2013

Prime Time Review: Remembering James Gandolfini

Wednesday 06/26/2013

Prime Time Review: Clark Kent missing in action

Wednesday 06/12/2013

Primetime Review: Christopher Nolan’s vision

Sunday 05/19/2013

Prime Time Review - 'Kitchen Nightmares'

Friday 05/10/2013

Prime Time Review - Indie Rock Veterans provides Tucson with memories Prime Time Review - The future of the online movie market
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