Oz full cast posterIt is unfair to compare this new take on L. Frank Baum’s wonderful wizard to the most iconic fantasy film from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Still, while this colorful and family-friendly prequel to Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz falls short of that classic, and even fails to measure up to Broadway’s Wicked, it thankfully avoids becoming an unnecessarily gritty reboot in the vein of Oz: Witch/Vampire/Zombie/Dwarf Hunter.


Parenthood PaleyFest CTNReporting from the 30th Annual PaleyFest: The William S. Paley Television Festival

The Bravermans of Berkley, California, were in the house tonight.

You know what you’re getting into when the free swag the network is handing out is tissues with the Parenthood logo on them.  One of the things that’s made the show famous among its small (significantly growing), but loyal, audience is its ability to almost weekly make viewers break down and cry.  As actress Monica Potter explained tonight, there’s been a drinking game created in which you drink whenever somebody associate with Parenthood cries.  I’m not a mental health professional, but it may not be such a great idea mixing booze with crying.  Be that as it may, this is a show that regularly brings the waterworks, but in a good and honest way.

Iron Man 3Good news, aspiring inventors!  The day has come for you to become the next Tony Stark (minus the "billionaire playboy philanthropist" part . . . )!  Discovery Science Center, Broadcom Foundation, Marvel Studios, Visa Signature, and El Capitan Theatre are joining together to host the nationwide Iron Man 3: Inventor and Innovator Fair!


Bruce SpringsteenI’m a huge Springsteen fan.  To be fair, I’m not sure if there are any other kinds of Springsteen fans.  There aren’t really any casual Springsteen fans.  It isn’t allowed.  There’s a sense of competitiveness to being a Springsteen fan.  I had the chance to see the Boss here in LA last April, and I had a great time just visiting with all the other fans.  Everybody probably thinks this about their own stuff, but Springsteen fans really are the best.  I’ve seen him live five times, but that night I felt like a right sad excuse of a fan, an amateur really.  I was talking to an older gent for whom that night was his 37th Springsteen show.  He’d seen Bruce for the first time at the Roxy on Sunset, way back in the early '70s.  He’d seen Springsteen at a small club in the early days?  No way!  How incredibly awesome!

Khaos Komix*Please note that the subject matter discussed in the interview contains adult content and is for mature readers only.

One of my favorite webcomics, Khaos Komix, recently came to a planned end, and I felt it was the best time to find out just what goes on in the mind of its creator, Tab Kimpton.  Much of the webcomic has a personal significance for Kimpton, given the information I’ve gleamed in conversation and looking on the comic’s website, as the subject matter has touched both myself and my fellow FBCer, Kristine Chester, deeply; however, because of said subject matter and the artistic style used, a lot of the webcomic is considered mature content and not geared toward children, so be careful when reading it.  Now, thanks to some friendly emails between the two of us, I was able to have an interview with Kimpton about Khaos Komix and other ideas.

This interview was conducted on February 27, 2013. 


Everybody Loves Tank GirlYou don’t just read Everybody Loves Tank Girl by Alan C. Martin and Jim Mahfood, you enter into it, like some passionate, beer-drenched, shotgun wedding.  And, you can be sure that hearts will be broken, curses will rain down like a plague, lovers will be shot, and people will fight and f--k and die, and through it all, Tank Girl and her man (er, kangaroo) Booga will be there to lend a helping hand grenade. 

STRIPPEDIf you are reading this article, then chances are that you grew up anxiously awaiting the moment when your parents would relinquish the comics section of the newspaper.  Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes, The Family Circus, Beetle Bailey . . . all of these and more provided hours of delight each week when we got our hands on the funny papers.  While these titles have expanded in their own right, often being collected into hardcover volumes and trades, print newspapers are quickly becoming non-existent as news media (and cartoons) move toward the digital age.  While we may be thankful that this new digital frontier has provided us with countless webcomics to enjoy, one can only wonder what will befall the newspaper cartoonists that we have idolized for all of these years.  Unwilling to allow that question to go unanswered, cartoonist Dave Kellett (Sheldon, Drive, How to Make Webcomics) and Frederick Schroeder (twice-nominated Sundance  cinematographer) have set out to create STRIPPED, a documentary that brings together the world's best cartoonists to talk about the art form they love, and what happens to it as newsprint fades away.


Oscar 2013

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

For the past several years, I’ve asked myself a couple of questions.  One of them is “How hard can it be to produce a decent Oscars show?” The other is “How hard can it be to produce a decent pirate movie?”

Like a lot of people, I wrote a pretty negative review of last Sunday’s Academy Awards show.  I was kind of neutral about host Seth MacFarlane while other people really despised him.  My issue was that, outside the host, the rest of the show was a total mess.  The show was 40 (40!) minutes over time.  There were massive technical glitches all night.  The presenter banter was terrible, the worst I can ever remember.  The producers used the occasion to congratulate themselves for being tangentially related to Chicago.  The jury may still be out on Seth, but the rest of the show was truly awful.

So, I took it upon myself to stop complaining about it.  I decided to remove the “rhetorical” status from my question about why the Oscars show is always so bad.  Here’s my list of things that will fix it.  You’re welcome, Academy!


Myth 1The charming, black-and-white Myth #1 combines fairy tale sensibilities with a protagonist whose worldview is informed by Silver Age comic heroes into a story that’s part fantasy, part superhero, and a charitable effort to boot.  Young Sam lives at an orphanage lorded over by Mrs. Morrison, every horrible headmistress or evil stepmother incarnate, and though Sam become a bit of an escape artist, Mrs. Morrison’s moblike goons bring him back each time he runs away.  That is, until he decides to run toward the forest – you know, the supposedly haunted one – where Morrison is happy to assume he’s met a horrible end.


Justified S4E9The weird thing about reviewing a TV show on a week-to-week basis is you can never be commenting on the big picture.  It’s like reviewing a movie in 15-minute chunks instead of looking at the whole thing.  One episode may seem slow and inconsequential only to have had enormous significance in the 13 or 22-part story the series is telling.

Tonight, Justified gave us one of those payoff nights that you can’t see week-to-week.  Tonight, all the trees became a forest as Graham Yost and his writing staff threw a bunch of puzzle pieces into the air and watched them land in pretty much perfect place. 

Page 699 of 825
Go to top