Louie

The Purge

Plenty of entertainment news happened over the weekend while you were girding your loins for a very special season finale of Game of Thrones (or going outside like a normal person, perhaps). We’ve rounded a bunch of it up into a neat little news package we call our afternoon Biz Break. 

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The Best TV Shows of 2012

While the new fall line-up wasn’t too impressive (there are only two freshman series on this list, neither of which premiered in the fall) and former powerhouses have stumbled (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), this is still an amazing time for TV. The most outstanding programs don’t just have excellent writing and actors, they’re reinventing genres and challenging viewers with daring storytelling. TV is gutsier now (sometimes literally gutsier with blood and innards all over the place) and its fantastic. When compiling this list, I chose the shows that sparked visceral reactions. These are the comedies, dramas, and (often overlooked) animated gems that made me laugh out loud, cringe, cry like an idiot, or yell “oh snap” at every wild turn.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the definitive voice heard late at night. Well, it depends upon what room of the house you’re in, but it’s pretty unmistakable. It’s loud, it talks about movies and TV shows and it does not appreciate it when you just feign interest. We begin this evening with a shot of Ken Watanabe in the forthcoming Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. See, they remake our stuff, too. Although I’m sure this will be much better than the American version of Ringu.

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Zero Dark Thirty

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movies that is comin’ at ya, like an adrenaline-crazed bike messenger doing 50 down Broadway… We begin this evening with a new image from Zero Dark Thirty featuring some rough and tumble types who are about to go in and take down that Bin Laden guy. This Kathryn Bigelow directed ditty is going to be one hell of a ride, if any of her previous works are any indication.

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Channel Guide - Large

Watching an award show is the closest I’ll ever come to experiencing the kind of thrill that sports fans feel when they’re watching the Super Bowl or the World Series. When Peter Dinklage won his Emmy last year, I cheered audibly as if that award had some kind of impact on my life. It’s a strange reaction to have but you watch these shows and these actors every week, you buy the DVDs, you grow attached, and you want to see this thing or person that you adore honored. It’s fandom and we’re helpless to resist its hold on us. The 64th annual Primetime Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning and there really weren’t any surprises or huge controversies both because many of these actors and shows are nominated every year (30 Rock, Modern Family, Mad Men, Jim Parsons, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin) and also because most of the nominees are deserving of the recognition (Breaking Bad, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, Bryan Cranston). As usual, the snubs, omissions, the inability of the members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to acknowledge something that isn’t widely celebrated by critics—whatever you want to call it—were the most interesting parts of yesterday morning’s announcement.

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Channel Guide - Large

I doubt many people tuned into the premiere of Charlie Sheen’s FX show Anger Management thinking that it was going to be their new Thursday night fave. If you’re anything like me, then sheer curiosity is what brought you to Sheen’s latest, in which he plays, of all things, a therapist (get it? ‘cause he’s Charlie Sheen and he’s helping people with their problems! Oh brother! Cue laugh track). The vague, non-plot of the series opener finds Sheen counseling a group of sitcom archetypes (the senior citizen whose dialogue is filled with folksy bigotry, the young gay man who sits beside the folksy bigot on a couch, the socially inept guy who makes women uncomfortable, the superficial chick who’s made uncomfortable by the creepy, socially inept guy) and fuming over the values his ex-wife’s new boyfriend is passing down to his daughter. You see, he helps people with their anger management issues but he also has anger management issues, hence the title and hence the reason why you don’t really need to watch more than one episode. Honestly, the show wasn’t the wholly objectionable thing that I’d thought it would be. I did, however, find almost every aspect of it mystifying.  “How is it that this exists?” I thought to myself as I watched the premiere.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! It seems the long national nightmare is over, as through no small part of our own, This Week In Blu-ray has been found alive and well after 76 grueling days. It was just two weeks ago that we made a plea for the safe return of Neil Miller’s column, and now we’ve gotten just that. Give it a read, and don’t let the fact that he’s wrong about A Bag of Hammers turn you away. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series Sarah Silverman brings her particular brand of crass, crazy and oddly sexy humor to Comedy Central with this series that follows her daily adventures alongside her sister Laura, her big, orange, gay neighbors Brian and Steve, her dog Doug, and an affable officer of the law named Officer Jay. Sarah the character is foul mouthed, selfish and liable to piss off just about everyone as she goes about her day to day life, and Sarah the comedienne makes her very, very convincing with comedy that wavers between smart commentary, edgy observations and poop jokes. Her antics and voice are definitely not for everyone, but if you like your laughs in the form of attractive, crude and attractively crude women you really can’t go wrong with this very funny lady.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a trip to Louie’s house for a season worth of awkward moments, we get our Beat Beat moon boots on for some warfare in The FP and we run around with Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston before joining a commune that worships the gun work of Paz Vega. It’s another busy week, so bring your wallets. Louie: The Complete Second Season The Pitch: Louis C.K. returns to stand-up, awkward dates and fending off a nervous breakdown. Even though it lost a bit of momentum toward the end of its second season, Louie continues to be one of the simple pleasures that cable television has to offer. In his own Seinfeldian way, C.K. reminds us at every turn that being a divorced 41-year old man is not easy, even if you are a famous comedian with a steady gig. The show is best ingested, if you don’t watch it on FX, in a single marathon of episodes, making the Blu-ray release the preferred delivery method. It’s one of those shows that you’ll just want to keep watching until it’s over. And with only 314 minutes of show in its second season, it’s good for an entire afternoon. Repeat once a week until you’re appropriately satisfied with your own life. It should take only one or two viewings. Extras Highlight: Several episodes of commentary is more than enough, as commentary from Louis C.K. is almost like watching a completely new episode in itself.

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Yup, it’s that time of the year again. That time of the year where we TV folk bitch and moan about what shows won’t be getting some golden Emmy love because the Academy is full of old people who think basic cable is what holds up the Brooklyn Bridge, which they also saw get built… I think… That said, this year’s Emmy Nominations are no more surprising than they were last year. Mad Men leads in the scripted drama series dept with nineteen nominations, but more interestingly, the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce leads the overall with twenty one nominations. Before we get and further into this, let’s check out some of the shows that didn’t get nominated for anything in either overall, acting or technical categories (not that any of this matters, like usual).

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This past week, more importantly, this past Thursday saw the return of three summer shows that this reviewer has been waiting for since September. First up was the season five premiere of Burn Notice. When we last left Michael Westen he was free and clear of the organization that burned him, and was presented with an invitation back into the CIA. That was six months ago. Six months that Westen has spent dismantling the organization that took away the last four years of his life, one terrorist at a time. What makes the episode interesting is that it’s the first time we get to see what Michael can do when he has actual resources at his disposal. And the reason that’s a good thing is because we finally get to see why Michael is considered one of the best spies in the business. Despite having access to all his fancy equipment, at the end of the day all he needs are three grenades, a block of C4 and his two trusty comrades.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray, we adjust our own futures, laugh at grumpy gingers, take a business trip with Ed Helms and that guy who said “Sheeiiiitt” on The Wire, fight back for the Wimpy Kid, find love in movies with unmarketable titles, figure out who Liam Neeson really is, and watch Channing Tatum get dressed up like a Roman soldier and make a complete fool of himself. It’s not exactly a busy week, but there’s still plenty to talk about. The Adjustment Bureau In a week that saw its share of competition for Pick of the Week (it really didn’t), it seemed that a ginger comedian would eventually emerge as the winner. Then I popped The Adjustment Bureau into the ole’ Blu-ray player and 106-minutes later, I was sold. This incredibly stylish, meticulously crafted adaptation of work by Phillip K. Dick is well acted, creatively conceived and impressively ambitious. Matt Damon plays a politician who meets the girl of his dreams, then uncovers a secret group of “adjusters” who are tasked with keeping the world “on plan.” Unfortunately for him, that plan doesn’t include him dating this girl (Emily Blunt). Unfortunately for them, he’s Matt F&*king Damon, and he’ll fight for the girl he loves. It’s a stylish love-letter to New York, a taught thriller and a resonant love story all wrapped into one. The Blu gets extra points for its Interactive Map of New York City that plays around with some of the concepts and locations explored in the […]

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This Week in DVD

One of the best aspects of DVD/Blu-ray is the ability to catch up on movies and shows that you may have otherwise missed when they first hit theaters. The best of this week’s releases fall into that category as small films that never quite got the exposure they deserved. Movies like Ceremony and Happythankyoumoreplease are fantastic celebrations of love, laughs, and life and should not be missed on DVD like they were in theaters. And while this week’s Pick is well known to its fans and others who grew up in the nineties it’s new to me on DVD and one of my favorite releases of the week. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One Rocko is a wallaby who’s moved from Australia to the United States and along with an oddball group of friends, acquaintances, and strangers struggles to make it through life’s absurdities. This is one of Nickelodeon’s most beloved shows from the 1990s and it’s finally hitting DVD in an official, complete season format. I had never seen the show prior to this DVD release and seeing as I never understood the love for Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob Squarepants I expected a similar reaction here… but this show is hilarious. The writing is sharp, effortlessly moves between parody and scatology, and most impressively, it walks the fine line between writing for kids and writing for adults. Children will find much to love in […]

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Summer is a time for playing outside, sitting on the beach, going for a swim, taking a stroll in the park with a significant other while… oh, who am I kidding… Summer is for one thing: warm, entertaining television. And with the 2010-2011 television at an end this week, it’s time to look ahead to the wonderful crop that is set to begin at the top of next month. So with that, I present to you 10 Summer Shows Not To Miss! (But beware of some spoilers.)

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Louis CK

If you’re a fan of raunchy stand-up comedy, then you’re familiar with the name Louis C.K. What you may not know is that he has a new show, Louie beginning tomorrow on FX. I had the opportunity to sit down with the comic and the get the skinny on the new show.

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