LOST: A video message about "The Last Recruit"

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 04/21/2010 - 03:33

Full entry now posted. I think I'm gonna try another video blog late tonight/early tomorrow.

If you say it, they'll read it

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 17:15

I try my best to not be a purveyor of snark online, but in the age of the short, impulsive blast of verbiage that is Twitter, it's easy to slip up now and then.

Sunday, while waiting for the Blackhawks game to begin, I logged onto Twitter and noticed several celebrities new to the site. There's Russell Crowe, who seems to have hit it off spectacularly with his "Robin Hood" castmate, Scott Grimes -- who used to be on "ER" with new tweeter Parminder Nagra. Then there's Hollywood power couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who, a few years back, produced a little-movie-that-could named "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," written by and starring new tweeter Nia Vardalos.

I clicked on Vardalos' profile, and her bio reads as follows: "hey, anything I write on twitter is stupid, fake, and brilliant. If you like it please follow. If not, unfollow, but first say: oh Nia you're so pretty."

Here comes the snark. The last line of her bio prompted me to tweet this: "Is @NiaVardalos so insecure that she needs to fish for compliments in her profile? *click* Yes, yes she is."

The DVD's march to obsolescence

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 04/14/2010 - 16:12

I often complain about not having any money, and wonder where it all went. Then I walk into my living room, where more than 400 DVDs fill two giant wooden racks along the east wall. (Never mind the 600-plus CDs in my bedroom, or the giant stack of concert and sporting-event tickets piled high in an old box that once contained Upper Deck hockey cards.) This cumbersome mass of discs might be forgivable if:

A) They were Blu-rays, I owned an HDTV, and was a snobby audio- and videophile
B) I didn't have cable
C) I didn't have Internet access in my home

But sadly, my situation is: D) I like to waste money so I can have more stuff.

Then something arrived in the mail yesterday which both filled my geeky little heart with joy and further depressed me. This magical object is the Netflix disc for the Wii, which you can get by clicking right here.

LOST: Dissecting "Everybody Loves Hugo" (6x12)

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 04/14/2010 - 00:16

I have to put aside our collective shock over the last five minutes of this week's episode to first acknowledge how smart Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse -- the head writers and the keepers of the "Lost" mythology -- really are.

Hugo Reyes often plays the role of the audience. He asks the simple questions that we are shouting at the television, and he talks about the amazing, ridiculous things that happen on the island in a very matter-of-fact way. Earlier this season, in "Lighthouse," Hugo and Jacob had a conversation that felt very much like one of us talking to Damon and Carlton -- Jacob assured Hugo that he knew what he was doing, and that he ultimately had everyone's best interests in mind.

Tonight Hugo did what we've been doing all year, and basically called Ilana useless. And then Darlton killed her off.

Friday Playlist, #2

Posted by Sean Stangland on Fri, 04/09/2010 - 14:55

Five more songs to get stuck in your head this weekend:

Vintage Wilco! Vintage Conan! This clip is full of win. If you happen to be at the Kerry Piper Saturday night around, oh, 8:30 or so, you'll hear a certain "Lost"-obsessed blogger singing this song on stage.

LOST: Dissecting "Happily Ever After" (6x11)

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 04/07/2010 - 02:37

"The constant is LOVE. The best show ever is LOST."

That outpouring of geek joy is what I texted to my sisters shortly after the conclusion of "Happily Ever After," a "Lost" episode that felt like a big warm hug from its creators. Even those most disappointed by this season's flash-sideways construction, and least satisfied by the answers we've been given, must have enjoyed this week's reunion with old friends. Desmond continues to be the one character whose off-island exploits are always more interesting than what he does on the island, and he (and we) even got to spend some quality time with Charlie Pace. (Albeit a crazed version of Charlie in the throes of his drug addiction, but I'll take any Charlie over no Charlie.)

Wanna be dirty and dehydrated for 3 days? That'll be $215

Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 04/06/2010 - 17:04

The Lollapalooza lineup has at last been revealed, confirming what many of us already knew: the three headliners will be Lady Gaga, Green Day and the reunited Soundgarden.


The idea of seeing those three acts on three consecutive nights, each preceded by an entire day's worth of music, should be enticing, but Lollapalooza has not inspired my attendance since it became Chicago's destination festival in 2005, and I don't foresee going this year either -- not when the weekend pass costs a whopping $215. (The tickets were cheaper a few months ago, but that was before the lineup had been confirmed.)

"Clash" cashes in

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 04/05/2010 - 18:52

By the power vested in me by no one, I declare that summer has begun. Why not? The weather is wonderful, baseball season is finally here, and the movie release schedule is jam-packed with big, fun flicks.

Ever since "The Mummy" raked in an unexpectedly brisk $43.4 million over the weekend of May 7, 1999, the summer movie season has unofficially begun the first weekend of May. Jon Favreau's mega-sequel "Iron Man 2" gets that May 7 slot this year, but it feels like the season began this past weekend with "Clash of the Titans" and its $61.2 million haul -- albeit a haul padded by pricy tickets for those 3D screenings. (Did you see it in 3D? Was I right?)

LOST: Dissecting 6x10, "The Package"

Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 22:59

The second I saw Sun run face-first into that tree, I thought: "Please, no Teri Bauer Syndrome."


"The Package" was an unbelievably frustrating episode of "Lost." It gave us rather huge plot developments, but downright baffling narrative choices. Example: We see the momentous first meeting of Charles Widmore and the Locke Monster ... but their conversation makes it apparent that Widmore is on Jacob's side. If that's true -- and how could it not be? -- then what, exactly, was the point of creating six seasons' worth of tension between Widmore and Benjamin Linus? The only answer I can come up with right now is that Ben is playing the ultimate long con, but that would be spectacularly unsatisfying. (At least to me.)

Be cautious where 3D is concerned

Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 18:21

I won't see the amped-up remake of "Clash of the Titans" until Friday morning, but the early reviews online confirm something I've suspected for weeks: You shouldn't waste your money on seeing this film in 3D.

Take it from the Hollywood Reporter: "The major drawback, especially now, when 3D is all the rage, is its feeble effort in that department. Added as an afterthought in postproduction, the 3D barely registers. Few moviegoers will think it's worth the extra bucks."

Or from Steve Persall of the St. Petersburg Times: "The mandatory glasses lend a milky tint to images that would've been designed brighter and visually invasive if 3-D were the original plan."

Or from online critic Eric D. Snider, who tweeted this Monday night: "The after-the-fact 3D-ification of TITANS is so weak that you can watch it without the glasses and barely notice anything's amiss."