Random Observations and Various Rants

Archive for the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ Category

Goodbye Battlestar Galactica

Posted by Andrew on March 20, 2009

Promo image of the Battlestar Galactica Cast

Promo image of the Battlestar Galactica Cast

Tonight is the final episode of Sci-Fi Channel`s Battlestar Galactica. I just wanted to take a moment and pause on the end of the best fraking show on TV. Time called it the best TV show in 2005, and it has been a critical success since its premier in 2003. At first, I thought the show was going to be horrible. The original BSG was a horrible rip off of Star Wars and was a train wreck, but once I heard that multiple Hugo and Emmy award winner Ron Moore (whose credits include Star Trek Deep Space Nine which is the best Star Trek ever but I digress) was producing the show, I started to believe. The initial pilot mini series aired in 2003 and it was a bit slow, but it set up things things wonderfully.  What followed after that four hour mini series was a show that lasted five seasons and spawned a two hour TV movie and two separate web exclusive mini series.

BSG took on all subjects from war to religion to abortion and  handled everything beautifully. It is set on a spaceship and has robots but to just pigeonhole the show as science fiction is just wrong. BSG is a drama of the highest order with many great actors. Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell deserve the highest of praise for their work portraying  Admiral.  William Adama and President. Laura Roslin.  Every great movie or television show starts with great actors and those two deserve all the praise in the world.

BSG is a great show that lives up to its hype. I`m sad that it is ending but I am happy that the powers that be at NBC allowed the show to continue to its natural conclusion, because while it had all the critical success in the world, its commercial success was not as good. This is a once in a lifetime show and will conclude tonight on the Sci Fi channel. It is a two hour finale and airs at 9pm eastern time.

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Asher Roth

Posted by Andrew on March 20, 2009

Roth in a recording studio.

Roth in a recording studio.

Asher Roth is preforming at the Sherman Theater in East Stroudsburg on March 26th.

That got me thinking about Roth, because as a fan of rap music I love to hear new and upcoming artists. I hit up his myspace, listened to his tracks and went on SOHH to try and got more information on Roth. Unfortunately, he is nowhere near as nice as all his hype suggests. Roth barely has any real flow and his lyrics are boring. (Right now I`m listening to “A Millie remix”) I was thinking of something creative to say about Roth but this comment on SOHH really sums up my thoughts about him.

Go through your old CD collection and look for Slim Shady LP, Marshall Mathers LP and the Eminem Show….Listen closely and imagine someone with half the talent, charisma and creativity doing a karaoke version of all 3 albums.

You’ve officially been put on to A. Roth

I really didn`t want to bring up Eminem, but it makes sense to compare Asher with him just like I would compare Fernando Martinez with David Wright or Alex Ochoa, when I think about how he is preforming in the Minor Leagues. For all the hate Eminem gets, Em is a world class rapper. His abilities and charisma are unmatched by anybody in the rap game and I grew up listening to Nas, Biggie, Wu Tang and Big Pun, so I think I know something about great rap music and rappers in general.

Asher is not a good rapper. Asher has one default flow and a definite lack of subject matter. I look at Roth as I do Soulja Boy. They both are not worth my wasting my time in listening to them or spending money to buy their music.

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Posted by Andrew on March 9, 2009

The Notorious B.I.G

The Notorious B.I.G

Christopher Wallace died on 3/9/97 and was one of the most best artists to ever come out of Brooklyn. Twelve years later, his music can still be heard in clubs and car stereos ever.  His body may have died but his spirit will live forever.

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Review of Afro Samurai “Resurrection”

Posted by Andrew on February 13, 2009

Afro Samurai Teaser Image

Afro Samurai Teaser Image

*Originally printed in the Stroud Courier*

Afro Samurai is brainless, extremely violent, and doesn’t have much of a story, but it’s one hell of a ride.

Afro Samurai “Resurrection” is an anime mini-series that premiered on Spike TV and will hit DVD and Blu-Ray on February 3.

Just like the first Afro Samurai mini-series, this is a revenge flick, but instead of Afro being the one on the quest for vengeance, he is the target. The villainous Lady Sio wants to torture and kill Afro for his past crimes with the help of her brother Jinnosuke and various other pieces of cannon fodder.

At the beginning of the movie, Afro has found peace and tried to stop fighting, but thanks to the number one headband (it marks him as the best fighter), he is a constant target for assassins. Sio devises a plan to dig up the remains of Afro’s father and bring him back to life, just to torture him in front of Afro and then kill both of them.

After that, there is a ton of fighting and bloodshed. Eventually, Afro’s father is turned loose on Afro and Afro has to kill him.

Afro Samurai is pretty light on story, but it’s big on style. It is very sharply animated with beautiful scenes of a futuristic wasteland feudal Japan, in addition to very fluid character animations.

Each character has a very memorable look, from Jinnosuke`s teddy bear helmet to Sio`s emotionless eyes, and the title character’s afro, which sways with the wind and sometimes looks like a flame.

In addition to the beautiful animation, the musical score by the Rza shines brightly and adds to every scene. The soundtrack can evoke tears and then an instant later make you want to grab a sword and fight ninjas. If his production for the Kill Bill movies was him running, the soundtrack for Afro Samurai is him flying.

Afro Samurai “Resurrection” is like driving a Ferrari on the autobahn with a foot firmly planted on the gas and a favorite song on the radio. It’s a fast paced tour de force that will monopolize the audience’s attention and is terribly entertaining.

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Review of Hip-Hop concert at ESU.

Posted by Andrew on February 8, 2009

On February 6th, I got to listen to a free concert at the Common Grounds, which featured the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good in this case was Sinister Sev. He had a unique flow and a great stage presence. Glaccius was the bad. His flow and lyrics were generic, but at least he managed not to put me to sleep. The ugly without a doubt was G.A.C. The only positive about that performance that I can think of is that the beats were decent.

Sinister Sev was without a doubt the best performer of the group. He didn’t have the biggest entourage or was the first name on the poster, but he still managed to steal the show. The first thing you notice about a rapper is his flow and his voice and delivery was top notch. He managed to switch up his delivery between fast and slow and his voice didn’t overpower his lyrics. His stage presence was also extraordinary as he held the sparse crowd’s attention throughout his short set. Out of all three performers, he was the most polished and his songs were more interesting to listen to. Everybody else’s songs blended together so much that it felt like I was listening to one giant song, so the variety felt like a breath of fresh air.

Glaccius was the headliner of the show and his stage presence was decent but overall he was pretty bland. His beats were nothing special and he didn’t command anybody’s attention. As with all music, an artist’s voice can manage to save a horrible performance. Alicia Keys can sing names out the phone book and still hypnotize the crowd. Method Man can rap about Klingon history and still make you feel like you didn’t waste your money. Glacises voice is not in the same league as the two aforementioned artists. I have heard some of his music on CD and it is much better than the stage show that I witnessed. Another problem I had with Glaccius is one that I also had with G.A.C.

As a fan of Hip-Hop, I am used to hearing rappers brag about all the money they have. While that annoys me, I can accept it and move on. This free concert was held in a coffee shop on a Pennsylvania University not named Penn State or Temple and was attended by fifty people max. With that in mind, I do not want to hear anybody rap about how much money they have. I do not want to hear the words, Lear jet, beach front villa, Moet, or a dozen other words, I heard come out of G.A.C and Glacises mouths. When they started with the clichéd money rap, I automatically dropped their grades.

G.A.C. was the worst rap, I have heard in a long time and I’ve listened to everybody from Vanilla Ice to Nashawn the Millennium Thug. Leaving aside the money rap, they had no redeeming quality. Their stage show was a mess, as they had six men on stage and only two microphones. Four of them were standing around doing nothing and the two with the microphones might as well have joined them. The best phrase, I can use to describe them is paint by numbers. As with athletes, Glaccius looked like he needs little tweaks to put his game together and advance to the next level. G.A.C. on the other hand, looks like he should not quit his day job.

Video of Sinister Sev performing.

A picture slideshow of the concert.

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