Da moon rulez #1

From CBS 4 Boston:

Hoax Device Part of Cartoon Ad Campaign

(WBZ) BOSTON The suspicious devices which forced bomb units to scramble across Boston today were actually magnetic lights that are part of a marketing campaign for a television cartoon.

The reports forced the temporary shutdowns of Interstate 93 out of the city, a key inbound roadway, a bridge between Boston and Cambridge, and a portion of the Charles River but were quickly determined not to be explosive.

“It’s a hoax — and it’s not funny,” Gov. Deval Patrick said.

All of the devices are magnetic lights which resemble a character on the show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, on Turner Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network.

WBZ has obtained a statement from Turner Broadcasting:

“The “packages” in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they mistakenly thought to pose any danger.”

A total of ten devices were found in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.

The first device was found at an MBTA subway and bus station located under Interstate 93 on Wednesday morning. The device was detonated and determined to be harmless, but as a precaution the station and the interstate shut down temporarily.

Then, around 1 p.m., four calls came into Boston Police reporting suspicious devices at the Boston University Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge, which both span the Charles River, and the corner of Stuart and Columbus Streets and at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.

Another device was found in Somerville under the McGrath Highway Bridge. The latest package was found outside Fenway Park around 5:30 p.m.

Mayor Menino said the hoax cost the state and cities about $750,000. He wants Turner Broadcasting to pay for it all.

“It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme. I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents. Boston will look to coordinate our efforts going forward with Cambridge, Somerville and any other affected agencies.”

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” is a cartoon with a cultish following that airs as part of the Adult Swim late-night block of programs for adults on the Cartoon Network. A feature length film based on the show is slated for release March 23.

The surreal series centers on a talking milkshake (Master Shake), fries (Frylock) and a meatball (Meatwad).

The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called “mooninites,” named Ignignokt and Err — who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.

Personally I think this is hilarious. The fact that the mooninites cause trouble on the show and now in an ad campaign is just sweet, succulent irony. I’d love to see some mention of this in a future episode.

Review: Veronica Mars – 3×10 – Show Me The Monkey

At last, a new episode of Veronica. The first new Veronica since 2006. I know my reviews of the final two sweeps episodes (8 and 9) are still MIA, but I need to re-watch the episodes before I review them, just as a little mental refresher. Show Me The Monkey made me proud to be a fan of this show. It was by far the finest episode I’d seen in 2007. As well as the only, but that’s regardless, its still a fine hour spent in front of the TV. The episode was written by John Ebrom, John Enbom and Robby Hull and directed by Nick Marck.

The story:

A-Storyline – Veronica is hired to find a gaggle of missing rats and a monkey.

B-Storyline – Keith investigates what may be Dean O’Dell’s murder.

C-Storyline – Logan tries to get over Veronica with the help of Dick.

What I liked: Everything. All hail this mighty episode. Monkeys are delicious, Phat jokes, What? I raised my hand? Dick and the Polaroids, the cartoon noises in the background during the discussion between Logan and Dick (EXCELLENT choice! It gave the season just the right amount of sincerity and props should go out to the brilliant sound editor for keeping the air light and cliche free), the calender, choosing Canada, Ultimate Boy Quest 2007, “I checked his ID at the Border”, lots of Parker :), surfing scenes, “My labi-dont”.

My favorite line of the night:

Veronica: Monkey, as in touch my?

What I didn’t like: There wasn’t anything to bad about the episode except that it ended at 10PM. Oh, wait, they are supposed to?

Overall: Holy wonderful episode Batman! This was a stellar episode for VM’s return to TV. This weeks episode had a good opening and it was perfect for roping in new viewers. I see a slight familiar transformation in Mac’s character, moving just a bit towards being slightly Willow-esque with a tiny touch of Xander and I like it.

This weeks episode gets a

5 out of 5

**Update 1/31 – The Nielsen ratings for this episode put the number of viewers around 3.2 million. I estimate the odds to seeing a new season are 1.5 to 4.

And how cool is the CW for hosting full episodes of their best shows right on their website. Head over here to catch this episode of Veronica Mars.

Veronica Mars airs on The CW Network Tuesday’s at 9PM EST.

Feel free to post your own thoughts and/or review below.

Oscar Nominations

Oscar nominations were announced this morning.  Here’s what the Academy thought.

NOMINATIONS BY CATEGORY – 79TH AWARDS

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio – BLOOD DIAMOND
Ryan Gosling – HALF NELSON
Peter O’Toole – VENUS
Will Smith – THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
Forest Whitaker – THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jackie Earle Haley – LITTLE CHILDREN
Djimon Hounsou – BLOOD DIAMOND
Eddie Murphy – DREAMGIRLS
Mark Wahlberg – THE DEPARTED

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Penélope Cruz – VOLVER
Judi Dench – NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Helen Mirren – THE QUEEN
Meryl Streep – THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
Kate Winslet – LITTLE CHILDREN

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Adriana Barraza – BABEL
Cate Blanchett – NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Abigail Breslin – LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
Jennifer Hudson – DREAMGIRLS
Rinko Kikuchi – BABEL

Best animated feature film of the year

CARS
HAPPY FEET
MONSTER HOUSE

Achievement in art direction

DREAMGIRLS
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
PAN’S LABYRINTH
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
THE PRESTIGE

Achievement in cinematography

THE BLACK DAHLIA
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE ILLUSIONIST
PAN’S LABYRINTH
THE PRESTIGE

Achievement in costume design

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
DREAMGIRLS
MARIE ANTOINETTE
THE QUEEN

Achievement in directing

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
THE QUEEN
UNITED 93

Best documentary feature

DELIVER US FROM EVIL
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS
JESUS CAMP
MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY

Best documentary short subject

THE BLOOD OF YINGZHOU DISTRICT
RECYCLED LIFE
REHEARSING A DREAM
TWO HANDS

Achievement in film editing

BABEL
BLOOD DIAMOND
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
UNITED 93

Best foreign language film of the year

AFTER THE WEDDING
DAYS OF GLORY (INDIGÈNES)
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
PAN’S LABYRINTH
WATER

Achievement in makeup

APOCALYPTO
CLICK
PAN’S LABYRINTH

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

BABEL
THE GOOD GERMAN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
PAN’S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“I Need to Wake Up” – AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
“Listen” – DREAMGIRLS
“Love You I Do” – DREAMGIRLS
“Our Town” – CARS
“Patience” – DREAMGIRLS

Best motion picture of the year

BABEL
THE DEPARTED
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
THE QUEEN

Best animated short film

THE DANISH POET
LIFTED
THE LITTLE MATCHGIRL
MAESTRO
NO TIME FOR NUTS

Best live action short film

BINTA AND THE GREAT IDEA (BINTA Y LA GRAN IDEA)
ÉRAMOS POCOS (ONE TOO MANY)
HELMER & SON
THE SAVIOUR
WEST BANK STORY

Achievement in sound editing

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST

Achievement in sound mixing

APOCALYPTO
BLOOD DIAMOND
DREAMGIRLS
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST

Achievement in visual effects

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST
POSEIDON
SUPERMAN RETURNS

Adapted screenplay

BORAT CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN
CHILDREN OF MEN
THE DEPARTED
LITTLE CHILDREN
NOTES ON A SCANDAL

Original screenplay

BABEL
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
PAN’S LABYRINTH
THE QUEEN

Veronica Mars and a Fourth Season

With a new episode of Veronica airing this week, so begins the second story arch of the season – Who killed Dean O’Dell? Now so far we’ve had nine episodes this season and we’ve been promised twenty which would mean the rest of the season, all eleven episodes, will be split into six and five. Why you ask? Let’s check the USA Today

Reality series Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, in which nine women compete for a spot on the hit singing group, will air for eight weeks starting March 6, Tuesdays at 9 ET/PT. Veronica Mars, which now airs in that spot, will take a breather then return for five non-serialized episodes — a first for that series — to finish out the season.

Now as much as I love the Pussycat Dolls and loosening up some buttons, I really don’t want another break in my show. Especially since long breaks often lead to lost viewers. If Veronica is going to make it to Season 4, then the February sweeps are going to either have to be utterly phenomenal or, more likely, the show is going to have to gain a half million viewers by May. It’s estimated that the show has around 3 million viewers right now. So if you know a half million people, you might want to invite them over for a viewing of Veronica Mars this Tuesday and get them hooked.

As for the idea of non-serialized episodes, I can deal with it. The show has constantly demonstrated its ability to evolve, and as long as there are good writers on the staff, I can’t see this being a problem. There will still be carryover each week, just no big mystery to be solved.

I’m still skeptical on a fourth season. With this development and with the Nielsen ratings still holding well under what the CW wants, a fourth season isn’t looking like its going to happen. It’s not over till the fat lady sings though. Remember, VM was originally signed for only 13 episodes this season and it picked up 7 more after a solid premiere and continued critical acclaim. Side note: the reason VM didn’t get a “full” 22 is because the CW didn’t have enough bling in its budgets it’s not because the show is getting cancelled. Simple money problems. With this in mind I am starting a new feature in which I will continue to chart the odds for a fourth season of Veronica.

Odds for a fourth season of Veronica Mars as of right now: 1 in 4

Don’t forget you can watch Veronica Mars episodes anytime at the CW’s website. Just click here!

Music Pump: Jesse Bonanno

A good friend of mine and an up and coming musician, Jesse Bonanno, was featured on Fox 23 News yesterday. For those of you who have spent any portion of the past 6 years in Potsdam you’ve no doubt heard Jesse’s unique sound at one point or another. Whether at Open Mic night at Club 99 on Clarkson campus or the Field’s Coffeehous, Jesse is the best thing to hit the Potsdam music scene in a long time. Check out the interview and stop by his website where you can hear song clips and pick up a copy of his CD.

Jesse’s Official Website

JesseBonanno.com

The OC Canceled

Repercussions will be felt throughout high schools everywhere.

Fox is ordering only 16 instead of 25 episodes of the Southern California teen drama The OC for next season.. According to Variety, Fox will be done with the show in February, and may look to replace it with a midseason series. The OC has slipped in the ratings this past season with a weekly average of 5 million viewers in the 2005-2006 season.

The Kitchen Galaxy

In 2005, the dishwasher in our house met an untimely end. From that point on it was up to my sister and I to ensure that the dishes we used were washed and put away when we were done. While it sounds simple enough, two individuals juggling full time jobs, school and busy social lives don’t always have the time or motivation to do that.

One afternoon I returned home to find an empty sink and a sarcastic note dangling just above it. That note read “Oh look the sink is clean and empty.” Feeling quite motivated to prove that statement was incorrect I penned this quick response, of which I am still quite proud.

In response to your 1 October 2005 statement. “Oh look the sink is clean and empty”, I would like to argue a point. Theorists now believe that in our ever-expanding dynamic universe forces exist that cannot be seen or successfully measured by any known means. After all, the 2 billion galaxies with their 1-2 billion stars only make up a fraction of the cosmos. Where is the other vast percentage? That my dear mother is a substance known as dark matter (because it cannot be seen by any form of visible light, x-ray, or any other waveform) and may constitute between 90 and 99% of the matter in the universe. While it is still invisible to our primitive eyes, its effects can be monitored in spacious gases and the motions of stars and star clusters. Think of it as a sort of reverse gravity. One contending method for proving the existence of dark matter lies in WIMPs (these are weakly interacting massive particles), but I am skeptical. I myself find it much too time consuming to prove the existence of one theory in order to apply it to another, without even the slightest guarantee it may be successful. Call me old fashioned.

Now let’s examine the sink, our Kitchen Galaxy (KG) if you will. If the KG is part of the universe (which it is; its no fabrication that the sink lies well within the empirical limits of our Universe) then certainly the rules of the universe still apply. Therefore the statement the sink is clean (we’ll get to that) and empty would be entirely inaccurate. Something is taking up that space and all research points to dark matter. While I myself don’t have the money or resources to conduct a full examination of the KG in an effort to prove this, I’m sure my colleagues would all agree with me. Ever heard the expression, is the glass half full or half empty? Well technically its fully full. Now tell me that little statement isn’t more uplifting! Of course now we are getting into philosophy and since science and philosophy go together just as well Darwin and the Catholic Church, we’ll just steer clear of that.

Aside from the presence of invisible gravitational anomalies, another flaw in your statement is your blatant disregard for microbial bacteria. Now I’m not saying you have a dirty kitchen, in fact I’ve eaten there many times. However, my choice of dinning does not repute the fact that bacteria are present in almost every square inch of the sink. They are not necessarily toxic bacteria, however Cryptosporodium is pretty nasty and can form in the basin around the drain. Other varieties such as Salmonella, Shigella, or Escherichia coli become toxic in various doses. I won’t even go on listing the hundreds of other bacteria that would be present, it would bore you. However, bacteria alone disprove your statement about the sink being both empty and clean.

In the future, please try to avoid delivering statements of an incorrect nature. We all have to live on this planet together and tossing around bogus allegations and lurid disregard for advanced physics will only create problems between our household and the scientific community. However, don’t frown. I did find some accuracy in your statement.

“Oh look the sink.”

News on Indiana Jones 4

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Nineteen years after chasing down the Holy Grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Harrison Ford will return to the big screen in the character of the globe-trotting archeologist in May 2008.

Producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg confirmed details of the project Monday after Lucas tipped off the media to Indiana Jones’ imminent return as he prepared to serve as grand marshal of the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

After years spent in script development, a fourth installment of the famously successful franchise is set to begin production in June in locations around the world and in the U.S.

Although he has been developing other projects, including a biopic about Abraham Lincoln with Liam Neeson attached to star, Spielberg has decided the “Indiana Jones” sequel will be his next directorial outing. Helping Spielberg choose his next directing commitment had been a primary goal of new DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider (HR 6/23).

We're very excited.  These are our excited faces.“George, Harrison and I are all very excited,” Spielberg said. “We feel that the script was well worth the wait. We hope it delivers everything you’d expect from our history with Indiana Jones.”

The film will be produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and released worldwide by Paramount Pictures, the parent company of DreamWorks. Although reps from the companies involved did not address the question of financing Monday, Paramount execs have said that the studio expected to co-finance the project with Lucasfilm.

Frank Marshall will serve as producer, with Lucas and Kathy Kennedy joining him as executive producers. Longtime Spielberg associates, Marshall was credited in a producing capacity on the three earlier films, and Kennedy served as associate producer on the past two.

“Working with Steven, Frank, Kathy and the ‘Indy’ crew is like working with family,” Lucas said. “These films are such great fun to make. I’m looking forward to reuniting with the team and starting this new journey.”

David Koepp, who has penned such previous Spielberg projects as “Jurassic Park” and “War of the Worlds,” wrote the screenplay that finally got the stamp of approval from Lucas and Spielberg. An earlier screenplay by Frank Darabont had been shelved when Lucas turned thumbs down on it.

For the moment, the title of the new film as well as its story line are being kept under wraps. In August, however, Lucas told Empireonline.com, “I discovered a McGuffin. I told the guys about it and they were a little dubious about it, but it’s the best one we’ve ever found. … Unfortunately, it was a little too ‘connected’ for the others. They were afraid of what the critics would think. They said, ‘Can’t we do it with a different McGuffin? Can’t we do this?’ and I said ‘No.’ So we pottered around with that for a couple of years. And then Harrison really wanted to do it and Steve said, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘We’ll have to go back to that original McGuffin and take out the offending parts of it and we’ll still use that area of the supernatural to deal with it.’ ”

In an interview with MTV.com, Lucas also said that the project will acknowledge Harrison’s age; the actor is currently 64. In a statement, Ford said he is ready for another action-packed turn as the death-defying archeologist. “I’m delighted to be back in business with my old friends,” he said. “I don’t know if the pants still fit, but I know the hat will.”

Although a spokesman for Spielberg said Monday that no casting has begun, Lucas and Ford have said that they would like to include Sean Connery, who played Indiana Jones’ father, Professor Henry Jones, in “The Last Crusade.” “We are writing him in whether he wants to do it or not,” Lucas told “Access Hollywood” when Connery was honored in June with the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.

It also is not known whether the project will be shot digitally, like Lucas’ recent “Star Wars” movies, or on film, the medium Spielberg prefers.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the first film in the series, was released in 1981, followed by “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” in 1984 and “Last Crusade” in 1989. The three movies have earned 14 Academy Award nominations, seven Oscars and grossed more than $1.182 billion worldwide.

A release date was not announced, but the past two films in the series opened shortly before the Memorial Day weekend. Currently, the May 2008 lineup includes Paramount’s “Iron Man,” from Marvel Enterprises; Buena Vista’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media; and Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Speed Racer,” from Warners, Silver Pictures and Village Roadshow.

While I’ll excuse David Koepp’s disaster known as War of the Worlds, Lucas’ blunder trilogy has me quite worried about Indy’s next adventure. I’m going to put my money that the next film will be based around Atlantis (which I really hope its not) or something to do with King Arthur. But with any luck we’ll get something completely fresh, like some mystic Mayan artifact or ancient Chinese do-dad. Hopefully this movie will bring the story full circle and utilize the classic elements of all three films to take us on the best ride yet.