Friday, October 29, 2010

The Foot: Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree (plus Halloween Hijinx)

Welcome to the conclusion of the Great Halloween Re-Watch of 2010.

The greatest Halloween movie of all-time does not involve psychotic murderers stalking unsuspecting teenagers who only want to fornicate nor hand-held cameras that capture a witch or a mischievous demon haunting a small number of people.

Halloween is a holiday for children. There's nothing funner as a kid than dressing up in a costume and going out with friends to get some free candy. Parents love taking their son or daughter out for their first Halloween.

The greatest Halloween movie of all-time is a 17 year old cartoon movie known as The Halloween Tree.

The great Ray Bradbury wrote it and Hanna Barbera turned the story into a movie. The story follows four friends on Halloween night. The group are set to trick-or-treat and have a whole bunch of Halloween fun until they arrive at Pipkin's house--their friend. As they arrive, Pipkin's taken away in an ambulance. After the ambulance leaves, Pipkin suddenly runs by and the friends begin to chase him. His friends chase him to an ominous looking house with a gigantic tree in the front yard--the halloween tree. The owner of the house is called Moundshroud--a character with a skinny, gangly body and the face of a skinny pumpkin. His voice is gravely and he is in possession of Pip's soul. A pumpkin sitting atop the tree bears the likeness of Pip--a representation of his soul. Throughout the movie, Pip (his ghost/spirit) runs through the various time periods with his pumpkin, away from Moundshroud--the figure of death in the story.

His four friends (Tom, Wally, Ralph and Jenny) have no choice but to follow Mr. Moundshroud in his quest for Pip because they want to save Pip. Tom, Wally, Ralph and Jenny are all dressed in costumes. Tom is skeleton. Ralph is a gargoyle. Wally is a mummy. Jenny is a witch. Moundshroud wants the children to understand the history behind their costumes and takes them on a journey through time to educate them (and to follow Pip). Moundshroud takes the four kids into ancient Egypt to learn about the book of the Dead and the process of mummification. The four kids travel to medieval Europe to learn about the origins of witches and the surrounding myths. Moundshroud takes them to the unfinished Notre Dame cathedral to teach Ralph about the belief in gargoyles and demons as warriors against evil spirits. The last destination is Mexico to learn about the day of the dead, the celebration of life in midst of death. The friends find Pip in a tomb--too late to save him.

The friends won't let Moundshroud take their friend and so they offer a year of their lives to save their friend from death. It's one of the moving endings of all-time. Moundshroud wonders if the kids understand what they'll give up for their friend and they do. They want to save Pip's life. With the deal made, they race to Pip's house to find him awake after returning from the hospital. Pip tells them that he was close to being gone and his friends have tears in their eyes as they talk to good ol' Pipkin. Pip tells them about a dream he had that involved each one of his friends, and his friends simple smile up at him because the dream happened.

The story is about friendship as well as the magic and meaning of Halloween. Each episode reviewed during the month long re-watch used Halloween as a back-drop. None focused on the history of All Hallow's Eve. The classic horror movies that air each October don't focus on the history of Halloween. The Halloween Tree stands alone as the great Halloween movie of all-time.

Leonard Nimoy voiced the great Moundshroud. Ray Bradbury narrated the film. And, for your viewing pleasure, here it is:


Halloween--Written By John Carpenter and Debra Hill--



The Vampire Diaries "Masquerade" Review

It has come to my attention that I should attach spoiler warnings to any review. While one would think the word "review" implies discussing important plot points and developments, one would be wrong. So, if you like the show then watch the episode before reading this.

The Vampire Diaries is one of the few shows on television that would actually kill off their big bad in the 7th episode of the season. The first half of the episode sold the idea that Katherine was going to die. And the writers of TVD earned it after a first season in which fans learned that anything and everything could happen. No character is safe on this show besides Elena, Stefan and Damon. This kind of risky storytelling is refreshing. The intensity begins the first second of the teaser and doesn't end until the last frame of the episode. The narrative moves at a blistering pace. "Plan B" cleary showed what Katherine was capable of and the threat she is to the characters. The characters acknowledge how dangerous Kat is and decide to kill her. TVD doesn't devote one or two episodes to developing a plan to kill the big bad. TVD spends a teaser and the first act to the plan followed by the execution of the plan in the second act. Friends and well-wishers, the pacing of the storytelling is completely awesome.

"Masquerade," the title of the latest episode, was co-written by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec--the showrunners of The Vampire Diaries. "Masquerade" is the best kind of transitional episode. It moved the story into the second act of the season while resolving (or, actuallly, stashing) some arcs from the first seven episodes of the season.

The A story belonged to the plot to kill Katherine. Stefan, Damon, Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy and Alaric worked as a unit to ensure the successful execution of their plan. Elena was left out of the loop but she soon forced her way into the loop (and good thing she did). Katherine, as she warned last week, as many plans in her pocket. Considering she has trust issues with the Salvatore brothers, she got a witch to put a nasty spell on Elena. Whatever Katherine feels, Elena would feel. Once Caroline successfully led Kat into the room, and the staking and stabbings began, the pain began for Elena. Jeremy rushed upstairs and stopped Damon right before a stake to the heart, explaining that Elena experiences each wound that Katherine has. Unable to hurt the big bad, Stefan and Damon talked to her. Stefan soon found out the importance of the moon stone to her. He surmised that Katherine ran from someone or something in 1864. Katherine neither confirmed or denied, only mouthing "I love you" to Stefan after telling him that she would check in on him through the years. Damon tried to kill her again before Stefan reminded him of the spell. And, so, the three sat in a room they couldn't get out of.

Meanwhile, Lucy (the witch Kat had) used a spell to get the moon stone from Bonnie. The two witches (actually cousins) had an understanding (because of the powers) that something good would happen. Lucy delivered the moonstone to Katherine but not without a full serving of intense witch mojo, rendering Katherine unconscious. Lucy explained to the Salvatore brothers that the spell was broken and the two were free to kill Katherine. As Lucy walked to her car, Bonnie begged for some answers about her power, worried that she's caught in the middle. Lucy promises that Bonnie belongs in the middle and that the two will see each other again.

Stefan meets up with Elena for possible reconciliation and he fails. Shortly after, as she walks to her car, a masked person kidnaps her.

In the B story, Tyler finally transformed into a werewolf. Katherine didn't explain why she need a werewolf by her side or why she wants to break the curse, only saying that Mason wasn't the lone werewolf in Mystic Falls. Matt tried his best to get killed by his best friend but Caroline completely owned Matt and took him down. Kat had a backup plan. The girl who fell down the stairs stabbed Tyler. Tyler pushed her hard enough that her neck snapped as she hit a desk. And the transformation commenced.

I've had a few issues with the season but The Vampire Diaries is an entertaining show and usually delivers some truly awesome episodes. The last three episodes have been fantastic.

Some other thoughts:

-Nina Dobrev is awesome. If TV shows had a Most Valuable Actress & Actor award, Nina Dobrev is the current favorite to win the award. Katherine's my second favorite badass female vampire since Julie Benz's Darla.

-Katherine told Damon that she couldn't kill Elena because she needs to protect her doppleganger. That is a wait and see plot point. I don't have much to write about it.

-The Bonnie/Jeremy coupling began. It has potential.

-Charles Beeson directed the episode.


Sleepy Hollow--Written By Andrew Kevin Walker and Tom Stoppard (based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving)--


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Foot: 2010 Week 8 NFL Picks


Before I dive into the world of the NFL, November is National Pancreatic Cancer month. Head over to this website: and educate yourself about the cancer, the history of the research, the statistics and then please spread awareness or donate any sum of cash in hopes of improving the research so an early detection method can be found, which help thousands upon thousands of people. Once again, the website is:

Miami over Cincinnati

-I bet Tony Sprano wishes his team was in the NFC. The Dolphins are better than some of the best NFC teams. The Bengals, on the other hand, are NOT better than the good NFC teams. Ochocinco took some plays off, Owens complained to Marvin Lewis about his targets and the defense managed to dig a deep hole that the offense couldn't climb out of. I wonder if Ochocinco and Owens care more about their awful ratings for the T.Ocho show or the fact their season is going nowhere.

Dallas over Jacksonville

-God's quarterback returns to the NFL spotlight. Last week, I wrote that the Cowboys fans would yell for Kitna to save their season. Well, the fans yelled at Kitna because it looks like he'll officially kill their season. Garrard will start after sitting out a week with a concussion. NFL teams are very stupid.

Washington over Detroit

-I should probably take the Lions considering McNabb has regressed quite a lot since last season. The man used to make an offense work despite the terrible receivers surrounding him. McNabb simply isn't getting the job done. Without DeAngelo Hall, the Bears would've won easily. Plus, the Lions had a bye week and Stafford will start. Oh well, the pick is down. The clown is down.

Kansas City over Buffalo

-The fantasy writers are going wild over the QB play of one Harvard Fitzpatrick. Steve Johnson is now a wanted receiver in various leagues. This game could resemble an SEC game--quite possibly the LSU/Auburn game. I anticipate a 55-50 final. Chan Gailey probably grumbles around the Bills practice facility that he was brought in for his offensive mind as reporters grill him with questions about the terrible play of the defense. Give the man some credit: Harvard is carving up opposing defenses. The Chiefs will somehow score 55 despite 123 total passing yards and a single TD from Cassell. I do not know how the Chiefs put up all of these points.

St. Louis over Carolina

-The Rams fell victim to the nonsense of the Bucs but the team continues to impress. I wonder if possibly losing Steven Jackson for this game will help the Panthers. Matt Moore remembered how he played in the last few weeks of the 2009 season. But honestly, this game is extremely uninteresting. You'll be better off watching a Halloween movie. Speaking of Halloween, I watched portions of Halloween 5 on AMC yestereve. There is a sequence when little Jamie runs around in a boiler room because Michael Myers wants to kill her. The movie cuts to a shot of The Shape, mask and all, and follows the footsteps to where Jamie hides. We then find out the shape was just the Janitor's. THAT IS CHEATING. Of course, Halloween 5 consists of mostly flaws--most notably the ending.

New York Jets over Green Bay

-I wonder if Rex Ryan steals the candy that his children get when they trick-or-treat. After all, this is a man who rewarded a horrendous pre-season performance by his team with a whole lot of desserts. I wonder how much Halloween candy the coaching staff ate while preparing for this game. Hard Knocks is the reason I think this activity exists inside the walls of the Jets. As for the Packers, they got a great win against the Vikes. Unfortunately, the Packers are too injured to beat the Jets.

Denver over San Francisco

-The crowd at Wimbley might riot. Imagine if the EPL brought two teams over every season but the teams were never the elite EPL teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City. Instead, the teams were floating between the top half and bottom half of the table or sitting directly in the relegation zone like Wigan Athletic or Wolverhampton or Blackpool.. London are getting two bad teams. Is it too much to send good teams? Troy Smith is starting for the 49ers. This will not help the good people of England to fall in love with America's favorite sport. The poor folks won't even have an EPL game to switch to as the last EPL game on Sundays ends 10 minutes for this game begins.

Tennessee over San Diego

-The trust is gone, San Diego. A day will come when the Chargers get healthy and win each time I pick against them but that day is not now. Tennessee sure did embarrass the Eagles on Sunday. They continued running simple routes with Britt. I just hope the Chargers know how to adjust coverage if a receiver kills them.

Seattle over Oakland

-Any time the Oakland Raiders score 59 points, there's a good chance the team will suffer a let down the next week. The Seahawks are at home where they thrive. The team is coming together nicely. Pete Carroll is doing a good job. Speaking of Seattle, the Sounders will win the 2010 MLS Cup.

New England over Minnesota

-The Pats are quietly 5-1. If Favre plays, he could do damage against a weak Patriots secondary especially with a presumably angry Randy Moss. Tavaris Jackson will not do much damage if he starts for the injured Favre.

Tampa Bay over Arizona

-If Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, Michael Myers' white horse and ghostface played quarterback, would any of them be better than Derek Anderson? Voorhees is probably suited for linebacker. Krueger seems like a punter. Leatherface might succeed a blocking TE. The white horse could play any position while ghostface is definitely a fifth receiver who would only be used in the shotgun formation. Michael Myers has the poise and calmness that an NFL QB needs but Derek Anderson would be the best QB. Tampa has nailed the art of nonsense wins.

Pittsburgh over New Orleans

-The "who dat?" nation just got beat by the Browns. The Real World New Orleans ruined the rallying cry for the Saints because they were 7 strangers who openly hopped on the bandwagon. In fact, I'll blame the real world new orleans for the current rut the Saints are in. Pittsburgh's the best team in the NFL. And HEY The Walking Dead premieres at 10PM on AMC. I hear the pilot is outstanding. I hope to post a review during the early hours of All Saint's Day.

Indianapolis over Houston

-How things have changed since week one. Both teams are banged up. I count on the Colts to withstand injuries more than the Texans. NFL analysts might explode with excitement if the Texans sweep the Colts. The hyperboles will never end.

Last Week: 8-6

Overall: 61-43


Buffy, The Vampire Slayer--"Fool For Love"--Written By Douglas Petrie--


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Foot: Review of Terriers--"Agua Caliente"

"Agua Cliente" is sort of the sequel the third episode of the series, "Change Partners." "Agua Cliente" returns our characters to their old partners. Britt finds himself in the company of Ray while Hank joins forces with Mark to find Britt, who got kidnapped and brought to Tijuana. The Mexican Cartel kidnapped Britt as he raced around a golf course, doing a job for Mags. The top guy of the cartel (Felipe Prado if I recall correctly) has history with Ray. Ray dragged Britt's name into the job because, presumably, Ray will die should he fail. The cartel wants Britt and Ray to retrieve a whole lot of cocaine from a police station and bring said cocaine to the warehouse (or garage). Britt only agrees to do the job once Felipe threatens Katie's life. Felipe must've watched Point Break because Bodhi used the same ploy to get Johnny Utah to assist in a bank robbery. I digress.

Britt and Ray steal the cocaine easily. They become fugitives because a ton of cocaine was stolen from the police station. Britt returns the cocaine to another cartel and politely asks for Felipe's phone. You see, they killed the men who can save his girlfriend's life. The second half of the episode is a frantic race to save Katie from any possible danger. Katie, of course, doesn't get harmed despite a brief situation with the hired muscle. The biggest threat is actually the Professor. I wondered whether or not Britt would return home and soon discover what Katie and her professor did together. The secret remains a secret; however, Hank warns the professor to never sleep with one of his students again because he will tell his wife everything along with the tenure board and the university.

The biggest moment between Britt and Ray is the fight. The duo need to get into prison and it helps that Britt wants to beat his old partner up. Britt hasn't forgotten what happened when Ray strolled into Ocean Beach. His arrival led to Britt's confession to Katie that he wanted to meet her after breaking into her house. Ray attempted to blackmail Britt into a theft job. Ray, meanwhile, wouldn't mind throwing a few punches because Britt tried to get him arrested. Unfortunately, Gustaffson and the OBPD failed to act on the evidence. Also, Ray split for Mexico. The fight is Britt's lone way to let out his frustrations against the man who won't let him forget or move past a past he wants to forget.

Meanwhile, Hank asks Mark to help him find his buddy. Previous episodes made it clear that Hank screwed up badly in the past. Mark warned Britt, previously, that Hank will let him down. In this episode, we get a glimpse of how well the pair worked together before Hank let his partner down. They find Britt quickly and smuggle him home without incident. Hank takes a bullet for Katie and Mark takes down the hired gun from the cartel. Afterwards, Britt reminds Mark what he said about Hank letting him down. Mark said Hank will have his moments but it won't stop him from letting Britt down. Britt asks Gustaffson how Hank let him down. Mark simply responds with, "he'll have to tell you the story."

I enjoyed the episode. The episode was lighter than the previous two episodes. I'm looking forward to the Hank/Mark backstory and how exactly Hank let his partner down. Terriers excells at telling effective and moving personal stories. I only hope Tim Minear is the man who wrote the Hank/Mark episode, assuming the episode was produced.

Some other thoughts:

-I love the dialogue in the show. My favorite scene of the episode is when Hank stops by Mark's office and says hello to Mark's wife. The first few scenes of every Terriers usually features sparkling dialogue.

-I wonder if this episode needed the presence of the Professor. It seemed too convenient that Katie would forget her cell phone and then he'd drop it off. One of the very few clunky spots of the series thus far.

-Phoeuf Sutton and Jon Worley wrote tonight's episode. John Dahl directed.

-Once again, for those who haven't watched the show, every episode besides the most recent can be streamed on or viewed ondemand. You won't regret the time you spend with Terriers. It's a terrific show.


The Hurt Locker--Written By Mark Boal--


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Foot: Review of No Ordinary Family--"No Ordinary Quake"

Tonight's No Ordinary Family, titled "No Ordinary Quake," felt like two entirely episodes. The first half was awful but the second half engaged me. The narrative moved forward. The characters were more likable and less annoying (in the second half). With November sweeps only two weeks away, it makes sense that the show quit re-telling the same character stories every week and decided to actually move forward in the story.

The show introduced its first non-Powell-with-superpowers character and actually gave the character depth or, at least, as much depth No Ordinary Family will give a character, which isn't much; however, beggars can't be choosers. Rebecca, the new character, went around to various places and created earthquakes because of a vendetta she has with Dr. King. Dr. King locked her up in a cell because of her superpowers. Anyway, Rebecca has trust issues because she was locked in a closet. She also wants Dr. King to take her abilities away because she wants to be normal. Unfortunately, Sylar 2.0 arrives as she tries to kill Jim (again she doesn't trust people though Jim wants to help her). Presumably, she's dragged back to her cell.

The Powells, meanwhile, carry their own individual secrets--except for Daphne. Stephanie grows more curious about her son's possible abilities after he saves the day at the store, when the earthquake hit and nearly killed someone. She asks him to urinate in a cup for testing. The urination in the cup is a waste of time. She eventually finds out from Katie that her son lied about his abilities. Stephanie flips out and bans him from playing football because she considers his knowledge of the game cheating. Jim doesn't tear into his son because he hasn't told his wife that other people with superpowers exist. JJ feels hurt because his parents want him to return to the person he was pre-powers. By episode's end, each secret comes out. Jim tells JJ that he's always been special, that the powers don't his son special. Jim confesses that other superpowered people exist to his wife, and Stephanie tells her husband that she's researched the man who specialized in chromosome mutation. JJ even gets to remain on the football team.

Meanwhile, Daphne thinks her classmate and teacher are having an affair. She reads both minds and draws a conclusion based on vague sentences and statements. Stephanie advises her daughter to tell someone about this. Daphne does. Of course, she was wrong about the entire situation. Daphne ruined the reputation of her classmate and teacher. Blah. This entire story fell flat on its face.

No Ordinary Family is slowly treading into Heroes territory. The pilot of this series featured characters who were delighted and excited by their abilities. The series had the potential to make superpowers fun. Unfortunately, the characters have been miserable with their powers. The family argues more than ever. It is apparent that Dr. King is HRG 2.0 with his own secret facility where he imprisons people with powers. The difference between Heroes and No Ordinary Family is that Heroes had a fantastic beginning and then the show became terrible. No Ordinary Family has not had a fantastic beginning.

The series just received a full season--22 episodes. I'll probably continue writing about it though the reviews might become progressively shorter because the show is very simple in theme.

Some other thoughts:

-I hope the writers abandon the procedural aspect of the show. Whenever Jim is fighting crime, it's going to be terrible.

-The end of tonight's episode indicated the football storyline is done; however, the previews indicated that it isn't. It should be dropped because the actor who portrays JJ is way too small and skinny to play on a varsity football team.

-None of the characters are exactly memorable but Daphne is about to join the ranks of the worst characters in TV history.

-Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer wrote the episode. Timothy Busfield directed it.


Smallville--"Solitude"--Written By Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer--


The Foot: World Series & NBA Preview

The World Series begins tomorrow night. The NBA season commences tonight. If I wrote a preview for French Ligue 1 soccer and the Australian A league then I certainly write about the World Series and the 2010-2011 NBA season. Since I like baseball more, the World Series preview will be first.

San Francisco Giants over Texas Rangers in 7

For the last few years, I wanted the Rangers to make the post-season. I liked their roster and I tired of the constant dominance from the Angels. Of course, the Rangers could never assemble a decent pitching rotation. Scott Feldman led the team in wins last year with 17. But the pitching got better last year and, with the influence of Nolan Ryan, the philosophy changed. Ryan abhors pitch counts and encouraged the coaching staff to let the Ranger pitchers pitch deep into ball games. Of course, the Rangers had some luck with pitching this year i.e. getting Cliff Lee, signing Colby Lewis, and a seamless transition for CJ Wilson from closer to starter. Plus, the emergence of Neftali Feliz helped solidify the back-end of the bullpen. The offense didn't pack as much pop this year despite the potential to put runs up in bunches. Their lineup is very good with Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, the former Expo Vlad Guerrero, Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus. On paper, the team should beat the Giants. Of course, I thought the Phillies had the talent to outscore a mediocre Giants offense. The last two rounds I picked against the Rangers even though they employ Cliff Lee and, well, I'm doing it again. I highly doubt any Rangers fan reads this blog but feel confident that the Rangers proved me wrong twice.

The Giants are a team to be taken very seriously. They just knocked off the Phillies in 6 rather easy games. They have the most nonsense group of players and they manage to score in nonsense ways but they're talented, and they continue to win games like the 2008 Phillies did. Their pitching staff might be the best in baseball. They out-pitched H2O, after all. I feel like the Giants are destined to win the World Series.

I wonder how poor the ratings will be. Americans might say they want to see new teams in championship games but it is usually the opposite. Barely anyone outside of Philadelphia watched the 2008 World Series. Only Detroit, St. Louis and myself watched the 2006 World Series. The 2010 World Series should be great. Two great teams. Two great pitching staffs. The energy in Arlington and AT&T will be outstanding. Regardless of the winner, it will be a feel-good story.


Oh, the NBA. I read nearly every NBA Associated Press game story last season (along with every game recap for the NHL) and will continue that this season. I look forward to keeping track of the many egotistical post-game quotes from the Heat. I also look forward to quotes from Jay Triano and Kurt Rambis because they coach Toronto and Minnesota respectively.

Honestly, the NBA season doesn't excite me very much. I'll watch the 76ers all season but the regular season as a whole bores me. Games are played half-assed for half or, sometimes, the majority of the season. I lose even more interest when the playoffs begin. If I ranked my top 5 sports season, it'd go like this: 5. NBA 4. EPL 3. NFL 2. NHL 1. MLB. I'll usually only watch the great teams of the NBA when they are playing the 76ers.

For the NBA season preview, I will merely predict the number of wins and offer a few words about some teams.


1. Boston Celtics 61 WINS

Many people think the Celtics can best the Heat in the playoffs. Ah pre-season conjecture before a meaningful game is played. The Celtics are good and will continue to be good. The rest of the Atlantic bears no threat to Boston. I'm not even sure any other Atlantic team finishes at .500. I wonder if the Celtics will take the 2nd half of the season off again. It's not like people are paying a ton of cash to watch this team give their all every night.

2. New York Knicks 42 WINS

The media is sort of sucking the Knicks fans into optimism about this season. Besides A'mare, the team consists of different players who played for bad teams. If the Knicks trade for Carmelo, I don't think the team makes it out of the first round and they certainly won't without Carmelo. With or without him, the Knicks should have enough talent to make the playoffs in a poor Eastern Conference.

3. Philadelphia 76ers 34 WINS

Two years ago, the 76ers were heading into a positive direction and then Stefanski fired Mo Cheeks and hired Eddie Jordan when DiLeo decided to return to the front office. Eddie Jordan did one of the worst coaching jobs of all-time. He destroyed the confidence of the core. Stefanski brought in new faces but the team isn't going anywhere. Also, Evan Turner might be a bust. Bill Simmons picked the Sixers to win 21 games. Perhaps I am delusional because I root for the team but 34 wins shouldn't be an impossible task. Collins did say this is his toughest coaching job ever. Now, if the team trades Iguodala, the team could only win 21.

4. New Jersey Nets 25 WINS

5. Toronto Raptors 20 WINS


1. Chicago Bulls 50 WINS

I bet watching the Bulls will make me wish the Sixers hired Tom Thibodeu. I like the Bulls. Boozer needs to get healthy but the team shouldn't be too affected without him.

2. Milwaukee Bucks 46 WINS

The Bucks were one of my favorite teams to watch last season. It'd be helpful if Bogut remained healthy throughout the season. Though a former number 1 pick, Bogut's underrated. The team won't have trouble scoring with Maggette and Salmons.

3. Indiana Pacers 38 WINS

At some point, the Pacers will have to get over the 35 win hump. This is the season.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers 26 WINS

Maybe the Cavs should wear their old uniforms--the ones they wore pre-Lebron. Those Cavs teams were awful. I have a feeling the Cavs will only get worse. 2010 might be the best post-Lebron year until they adequately rebuild.

5. Detroit Pistons 22 WINS


1. Orlando Magic 65 WINS

The Magic are the Angels of the NBA.

2. Miami Heat 60 WINS

3. Atlanta Hawks 47 WINS

4. Charlotte Bobcats 37 WINS

The Bobs are a truly boring team to watch.

5. Washington Wizards 30 WINS


1. Oklahoma City 60 WINS

2. Utah Jazz 57 WINS

I'm glad Al Jefferson finally can play for a good team that is going somewhere.

3. Denver Nuggets 48 WINS

4. Portland Trailblazers 45 WINS

5. Minnesota Timberwolves 17 WINS


1. LA Lakers 62 WINS

I'm rooting for Kobe's 6th ring.

2. Phoenix Suns 54 wins

3. Sacramento Kings 40 WINS

Sam Dalembert will save this franchise.

4.Golden State Warriors 32 WINS

5. LA Clippers 30 WINS

They'll probably be better than 30 wins but I forgot about the team. Thus, 5th place.


1. Dallas Mavericks 58 WINS

2. San Antonio Spurs 57 WINS

3. Houston Rockets 50 WINS

4. Memphia Grizzlies 44 WINS

5. New Orleans 42 WINS


Monday, October 25, 2010

The Foot: The Great Halloween Re-Watch ("Fear, Itself"--BtVS")

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The end approaches for the Great Halloween Re-Watch of 2010. Today marks the penultimate write-up for a Halloween episode. If anyone can guess what will be the FINAL episode or movie of the re-watch then you'll win a "good job" comment from me and, possibly, two front-row seats to the final battle in the Dinosaur Steel Cage tournament that happens over at Post-Collegiate Apocalypse.

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer takes center stage for the third time in less than a month. The series produced three Halloween episodes in seven seasons. Season 4's "Fear, Itself" is my favorite Halloween episode of the Whedonverse. The story is great, the dialogue is fantastic and the costumes are awesome.

The fourth season of Buffy transported the gang into the world of college, and with great transitions comes a certain degree of change. Angel left for LA in the season three finale and Buffy feels a little less than whole. Adding to her insecurities and abandonment issues is a guy named Parker she slept with in the previous episode, "The Harsh Light of Day." Parker only used her for sex, and she feels sad and low. Xander chose to forgo college--a decision which leaves him feeling left out and invisible. The brutally-honest-and-blunt Anya only piles onto these issues for Xander when she tells him he has nothing in common with these people he calls friends. Willow's evolution as a witch worries Oz and Buffy because of the magic she experiments with. In a piece of foreshadowing, she tells Buffy that college is a place for experimenting. As for Oz, he has feared his werewolf-ness since "Phases."

On an October evening, the Scooby Gang carve pumpkins in Xander's basement. Buffy talks about the life of a pumpkin and how said life ends with its guts being ripped out. Xander tells the gang to prepare for a night of spine-tinging and goosebump inducement because he rented a movie for the second annual Halloween viewing party. Of course, the video store gave Xander Fantasia instead of Phantasm. Willow tells the group that she thought the plans were to the Alpha Delt thing. Xander, caught unawares, wonders what the thing is. Buffy opines that a scary house sounds lame. Oz sells her on the idea though, explaining: "It actually borders on fun. You have to go through the whole scary house maze to get to the party and it's usually worth getting to. Those guys go all out." Oz, Willow and Xander are all in but Buffy is undecided, explaining that she wants to make sure Giles doesn't want her patrolling.

The next day, the new care-free, full-of-fun Giles surprises her with his Halloween spirit. She looks mortified that he's dressed in full costume, and with a huge bowl of candy, in his apartment adorned with Halloween decorations including an animated Frankenstein. Giles tells her that the demons and vamps find Halloween much too crass, in response to her sort-of-desire to patrol rather than party on Halloween. Buffy decides to go with her friends to the Halloween. Her mother sews a last-minute Halloween costume for her, and Buffy tells her about her fear that every important male in her life with bail on her. Joyce tells her daughter that she shouldn't be afraid because she has Giles, her friends and her mother.

Fear is the central theme of the episode, if the title didn't give it away. Naturally, a fear demon's occult symbol gets accidentally triggered. The fear demon's presence alters the reality of the frat house while feeding on the fears of the people in the house. As the gang makes their way through the house, their fears help the manifestation of the fear demon. Xander becomes invisible. Oz sort of transforms into a werewolf despite the absence of a full moon. Willow loses control of her magic. Buffy gets drawn into the basement of the house, far away from her friends and confronts the animated corpse of a dead frat guy who promises that everyone she loves will abandon her. Of course, she's also attacked by zombies.

Meanwhile, Anya arrives late to the frat house in her bunny costume (because bunnies frighten her). She witnesses a window disappear from the house and becomes concerned about Xander (the two characters copulated in "The Harsh Light of Day" and Xander admitted, early on in the episode, that date-like qualities were at work between the two). Anya goes to Giles' house. Giles sits, alone, inside with a full bowl of candy. Anya and Giles work together to figure out what happened inside the frat house. With the help of a chainsaw, Giles makes his way into the frat house.

Inside of the frat, Buffy, Xander, Willow and Oz get so scared that they find themselves in the same room--where the fear demon wants them. Giles emerges into the room with his chainsaw and the gang quickly figures out a way to kill the fear demon. Buffy jumps the gun and accidentally manifests the fear demon; however, the fear demon is very tiny. The Scoobies can only laugh and make jokes. Before Buffy stomps on the fear demon, he reminds her that everyone will leave her. She's overcome that fear, says 'yeah yeah' and kills the fear demon.

Back at Giles' house, we find out the translation of the words underneath the picture of Gachnar--"actual size."

Some other thoughts:

-The costumes are great. Oz and Willow would win the contest though. Willow dresses as Joan of Arc because, like Joan, Willow was almost burned at the stake. Plus, she had a close relationship with God. Oz, of course, is God. Sarah Michelle Gellar is so damn cute dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Sarah looks amazing throughout the entire season. Emma Caulfield looks hilarious wearing her huge bunny costume. Giles' costume is also hilarious.

-The atmosphere of the episode is great. It FEELS like Halloween.

-David Fury wrote the episode. Fury is one of the great writers from the whedonverse. The dialogue throughout the episode is fantastic. Many great lines. I won't list any.You can read the full shooting script here:

-Tucker Gates directed the episode. He earned tremendous amount of praise from critics and LOST fans for "Ab Aeterno." Gates directed "Fear, Itself" excellently--especially the frat house scenes.

Here is the entire episode, courtesy of YouTube:


I Still Know What You Did Last Summer--Written By Trey Callaway--


Friday, October 22, 2010

The Vampire Diaries "Plan B" Review

Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec and their band of merry writers waste no time raising the intensity of the season just six episodes into this 22 episode season. The latest episode of The Vampire Diaries, titled "Plan B," accomplished one important thing: make the big bad an actual threat. In other words, the writers stopped telling the audience how evil and bad Katherine is. They finally SHOWED it.

Friends and well-wishers, Katherine is a badass vampire who doesn't mess around. Should someone kill her werewolf boyfriend, she'll simply dig into her pocket to pull out Plan B--a plan that began as Plan A was in action. Katherine wanted to show Damon, Stefan and Elena that she means business. For the last few weeks, Katherine used compulsion on Jenna to spy on Stefan and Elena. Apparently, Katherine wants Stefan back and Elena thinks her relationship with Stefan is central to appeasing her. I doubt Katherine's master plan ends with a doting Stefan in her arms. I accept that she likes the guy and would prefer that he be hers rather than Elena's but that seems secondary to her actual plan; however, the motivation for every character in the show involves romantic relationships so maybe her masterplan is winning back Stefan's heart through chaos and violence.

Several of my millions of readers might wonder, "what exactly caused Katherine to use Plan B?" Well, Mason Lockwood got his heart ripped out (literally) by Damon. Damon, obviously fuming about the attempt Mason made to kill him last episode, wants revenge. With the help of Jeremy and Bonnie, he learns Katherine and Mason were involved in the biblical sense and the moonstone has importance to Katherine. Bonnie uses her witch mojo to weaken Mason as Stefan and Damon bring him to their house for a torture session. Damon eventually receives answers and he learns that Mason is actually a guy who had the bad luck of falling for a crazy woman. Damon still rips out the heart of Mason, prefacing it by saying Katherine would've done it too. The murder is motivated mostly by Damon's obsession with Katherine. Remember, the central motivation of every character on this show is a romantic relationship. Sure Damon dislikes Mason for the plan to kill him but Damon's the same vamp who vowed to make his brother's life miserable because Katherine liked Stefan more.

For good measure, Damon calls Katherine to tease her about the death of Mason. Katherine's momentarily surprised. She responds quickly by calling Elena and compelling Jenna to stab herself in the gut with a knife. Also, she begins using compulsion on the most useless character in the show--Matt. Kat wants Matt to fight Tyler for as long as he can until Tyler kills him. Katherine wants a werewolf. Matt agrees.

Meanwhile, Caroline and her mother make a tremendous amount of progress in their understanding of one another; however, Caroline compels her mother to forget about the last few days because she doesn't want her mother to remember she is a vampire. The B story worked. Caroline's currently the most valuable character of the season.

Also, the three girls (Elena, Bonnie and Caroline) hung out together for the first time since the carnival episode. Bonnie became less of a bitch, which is nice.

And Elena and Stefan broke up.

Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain wrote the episode. The duo worked on ANGEL and Dollhouse. And the episode delivered. An A+ effort and strong performances from the entire cast.


Six Feet Under--"Pilot"--Written By Alan Ball--


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Foot: 2010 Week 7 NFL Picks


Phillies down 3-1 to the Giants. Am I severely concussed? No, the Giants deserve a ton of credit. They've pitched better, hit better and have been better overall. The Great Offensive Funk of 2010 has re-emerged. Not fun. I don't have much to add to the "What The Phils Must Do To Win" discussion. It's fairly obvious. I feel confident in Halladay's ability to dominate tonight but it's all about the offense and their ability to rise to the occasion. I will add this: the Giants are getting the kind of breaks the Phils got the last two years. In 2008 and 2009, the dramatic game four would've gone the Phillies way. Not this year.


I had a fairly forgettable week six of the NFL season. I went 9-5. A couple of close games didn't go my way. My overall record is a so-so 53-37. Blah. But now, the Eagles are considered as one of the top 5 teams in the NFL. What a wild and wacky year.

Atlanta over Cincinnati

-The Falcons looked awful against the Eagles. Atlanta solidified 2010 as the year of the unimpressive teams. Experts jumped on the bandwagon faster than fans in Texas jumped on the Rangers bandwagon. Many declared Atlanta as the absolute favorite to be the number one seed. Of all the experts in all of sports, the NFL experts are the worst--which is amazing because half of the experts are former players. Experts and color commentators speak only using the second person and the information is rather poor. I've cut NFL pre-game shows from my sunday schedule. Instead, I watch EPL soccer on FSN. As for the Bengals, when the top two receivers have a reality show and seem to CARE about the REALITY SHOW more than their team then the chances of winning on Sunday decrease dramatically. I wonder if Marvin Lewis bludgeons himself in the head sometimes.

Washington over Chicago

-Actually, as I think about it, there is a tie between NFL and NBA experts for the worst. With NBA experts, they only cover half of the league while forgetting that a whole other half exists. As for this game, no one cares about the Bears anymore nor the Redskins.

Philadelphia over Tennessee

-I wonder what WIP would've been like had someone from the future returned to inform them that the offensive line would consist of King Dunlap, Todd Herremans, Mike McGlynn, Max Gean Gilles and Winston Justice. Herremans and Justice are consistently consistent. The other three have done a nice job. King Dunlap deserves a gold sticker for holding his own against Atlanta. As for the QB situation, I think Kolb should've never lost the job. I loved the win against Atlanta. The team showed alot. The defense did well. The run defense is going to get a great test this week with Chris Johnson. I have no complaints about the Eagles this week.

Kansas City over Jacksonville

-I actually watched portions of that Monday night game. Bad times. If Buffalo cuts a QB in favor of Havard, is he worth signing? Trent Edwards can't get the job done. I think the Jaguars continue to play for Del Rio. I figured the team would quit on him following the Philly game. They are a mess though. And Kansas City earned my respect despite blowing a 10 point lead and losing the game. Their division is bad and the entire NFL isn't too great. The Chiefs need to win this though. If they don't then the NFL experts will yell incoherently about the Chiefs. And where the hell did that Dwayne Bowe performance come from? Every week in fantasy, I face some team whose player explodes and, of course, the player comes nowhere near matching the stats the following week.

Pittsburgh over Miami

-This NFL season is wearing me down. I get more excited about an October Thrashers/Sabres game than I do about the NFL. The NFL is more responsible for the violence because they endorse it and sell it. Sports writers are hypocrites as well when they write scathing pieces about the violence in the NFL. Without the NFL, half of these writers wouldn't have jobs or they'd be terrible hockey writers who tear down the sport because players fight. If people have an issue with the NFL, stop consuming the sport. Walk away. And the NFL and its owners should scrap plans for an 18 game season if they want to make the game safer. The league is absolutely sending mixed messages to the players.

New Orleans over Cleveland

-When the NFL Network guys are praising the Browns for the heart when they lost 28-10, one knows that they are latching onto to any new angle to yell about. The Saints looked better last week. The Browns defense won't roll over. They're a physical bunch. Saints should watch game tape of the Panthers game and avoid letting an inferior team with a green QB remain in the game.

St. Louis over Tampa Bay

-The Rams solidified their status as an average NFL team. Good for them. The Bucs have some more growing to do.

San Francisco over Carolina

-Wow. What a horrible game. John Fox will start Matt Moore because he doesn't want to kill Jimmy Clausen's career. Poor Matt Moore is a sitting duck though. I don't envy Panthers fans. How did the team get this bad--so bad that Devin Thomas will get some snaps at receiver this weekend?

Baltimore over Buffalo

-The Bills defense has -3 points through six weeks in my one fantasy league. Doesn't that sum up the entire team? I wonder which fan base is more bummed out: the Bills or the Manchester United fans? Wayne Rooney wants out. Rumor is he wants to cross town and play at the Eastlands for Man City.

Seattle over Arizona

-The Seawks are an average team as well. Average, of course, is more than enough to win the NFC West. Max Hall starts his second game for the Cardinals. Max Hall seems like the name that would belong to a main character in a Disney Channel half-hour comedy.

Denver over Oakland

-Kyle Boller and Jason Campbell split reps this week. Boller should start. He breathed life into a horrible Rams offense last season. If Boller gets the nod, Campbell probably begins his new career as the third QB on the depth chart. As for Denver, Orton should grow a massive beard like Jake Plummer did a few years ago. That would be awesome.

New England over San Diego

-Unfortunately, all of the good players on the Chargers offense are hurt. I won't write off the Chargers because of they usually turn their season around. I like the Patriots. I like the return to their old style of offense. The defense remains a work-in-progress.

Minnesota over Green Bay

-This game might captivate the nation. Not me though. The Packers have been clobbered by injuries. The media cares more about Favre's cell phone and his consecutive starts streak. I'll repeat myself: the NFL season is wearing me down. Favre will beat his old team because of injuries yet again. Regardless of the result, Rodgers is the better QB and the Packers will be in much better shape down the road than Minnesota.

New York Giants over Dallas

-The world will shed tears of joy if the Cowboys fall to 1-5. The Dallas faithful will chant for God Quarterback, Jon Kitna, to save the season. Allright...maybe not. This game will be decided by the quarterback who does not make the crucial 4th quarter mistake. Unfortunately, Manning is more prone to do that this year but Romo always likes to surprise his fans with a terrible turnover.

Last Week: 9-5

Overall: 53-37

Quick Note: I posted my Terriers review this morning. Please read. Terrific show.


The Foot: Review of Terriers--Missing Persons (Watch This Show)

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Terriers is like Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. The series continues producing gems on a weekly basis but it is getting very little run support. And by run support, I refer to the poor ratings the show has received. Friends and well-wishers, Terriers is the best show on television. Please watch.

The latest episode of Terriers, titled "Missing Persons," dealt with Hank's sister, Steph. We met Steph as she snuck into the attic after being released from the hospital. Hank told Britt, a few episodes ago, that she is brilliant, exceptional woman when she takes her meds. But things become dicey when she doesn't take her meds. The title "Missing Persons" refers to two characters: Adam Fischer, the character central to the standalone story; however, the title belongs to Steph--a woman who is missing a part of herself because of her mental illness. One day, during college, she disappeared for six days--the beginning of her illness. Steph hallucinates throughout the episode. In the teaser, she asks her mother would she like any ice cream. Hank looks worried that his sister is regressing. Indeed, she hasn't taken her medicine.

Hank leaves her alone for awhile because of a case. Left alone in the house and the neighborhood, Steph goes outside. She sees a little girl swinging on a swingset as she talks to a middle-aged female neighbor. Steph's attention is focused on the little girl. She crosses the street and begins talking to the little girl (her name El). The two play together for the majority of the day. Steph wonders why El's parents take such bad care of their daughter. At home, she asks Hank to talk with the parents about their daughter; however, the case distracts Hank. Steph takes the matter on herself but we find out the little girl wasn't real--she existed entirely in Steph's mind. She causes a brief scene in the neighborhood. Later, in bed, Hank sits by her. Steph wants to get better. She tells Hank that she wants to take care of him because he always took care of her. But she isn't ready, and he needs to let her go for awhile--to get better.

For the second week in the row, Donal Logue conveys his pain and sadness so well that one would have to be made of stone to not feel something. Hank wants his sister to get better. He drives her to an assisted living place, though he continually reminds Steph that he will take care of her. Steph recognizes, and so does Hank, that she needs more than Hank if she wants to heal herself, so Hank lets her go for a little while. And the final shot of the episode tells us everything we need to know about Hank's feelings.

The case-of-the-week, standalone plot, parallels the personal situation with Hank and his sister. Hank and Britt meet a college guy who cannot remember anything about himself, and he feels like he did something bad. Of course, Adam (the college guy) DID do something bad though he wasn't exactly driving his own bus. Adam planned a trip to Cambodia and began taking anti-malaria pills. The pills have a plethora of side-effects including delusion, paranoia and memory loss. The pills and a simple crush led to kidnapping and locking the girl-of-his-infatuation in a closet for two days. Hank and Britt soon find the girl and rescue her. The paranoia sets in and Adam takes his crush's roommate hostage but Hank resolves that crisis rather quickly.

While alone in the room with Adam, Hank tells him that whatever temporary craziness he is experiencing with soon pass. Earlier in the episode, Hank told Britt the kid reminded him of Steph which explained why he wanted to hang around the kid, and make sure he was okay. In the room, Hank takes his frustations out on the kid. He tells Adam to pull it together because he knows his sister cannot pull it together. Hank's frustations are borne from a feeling of helplesness, an ability to fix whatever is broken in his sister's brain.

"Missing Persons" is a terrific episode for the Dolworths. Donal and Karina Logue knocked it out of the park. Hank is becoming one of the great TV characters.

Other thoughts:

-Steph continues to remind me of River Tam from Firefly. Now, Hank reminded me of Simon Tam. The bedroom scene felt like the scene in Serenity when Simon is wounded, and River tells him that he always took care of her. River simply adds, "my turn" before she enters a room full of Reavers and goes to town. Also, the bedroom scene reminded me of the final scene in "Ariel," a scene that ALSO takes place in a bedroom. River asks Simon (who brought her medications) if if it is time to go to sleep again. Simon says, "No, mei mei. It's time to wake up." Intentional or not, I'm enjoying these Firefly reminders.

-Britt gets the spotlight next week. In "Missing Persons," he didn't know what to make of Katie's mood. This story is like a bomb waiting to explode. It's not going to be pretty. Also, Britt took told Hank that he needs to be treated like an actual partner. The frustrations with the various cases and money stuff combined with Katie took its toll on Britt.

-Lots of good banter between Hank and Britt. I enjoyed the brief sidekick exchange the most.

-Jed Seidel wrote the episode, his second of the season. Michael Zinberg directed it.

-Once again, please watch this show.


American Pie--Written By Adam Herz--


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Foot: The Potential of Scream 4

Last night, the Scream Awards aired on SpikeTV. Naturally, I forgot about the entire show despite interest in it. I wanted to see the tribute to LOST (and I was rather unnecessary). Well, the LOST tribute sums up what I wanted to watch. I learned, courtesy of, that the Scream Awards premiered the official Scream 4 trailer. Immediately, I searched the Internet to find the trailer. had a story for the trailer with the trailer embedded. I watched the glorious one minute and forty second trailer.

I've been following the production of Scream 4 since news broke that there would be a Scream 4. The Scream franchise is a favorite of mine. It sparked my interest in screenwriting. 12-year old me wrote a bunch of Scream ripoffs with a pencil and paper. I also wrote a lousy Halloween 8 script and Jason X script. I digress. The biggest story surround Scream 4 was whether or not Neve Campbell would return. Indeed she did and she gets the first frame of the trailer. Along with Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey return for the fourth installment. Plus, a whole new group of teenagers populate Woodsboro. And you know what? I'm excited. I saw Scream 3 thrice in the theaters--arguably the worst of the three.

Folks on the message board are speculating about the surprise opening scene murder. Will it be Gale Weathers? Sidney Prescott? Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin? Williamson and Craven are in a fairly good position regarding the speculation. Scream 3 opened with the murder of Cotton Weary--downright shocking. Many speculate Bell and Paquin only joined the cast to be part of the iconic opening scene. It seems too easy. If Williamson kills of Sidney Prescott in the opening scene, it would be ripping of the opening scene of Halloween: Resurrection when Michael Myers kills his sister. Gale Weathers would be Cotton Weary 2.0. I'll guess that it'll be Bell and Paquin though. No matter what happens it will be a dynamite opening scene. Kevin Williamson is the master of the set-up, the hook and the reveal.

Rory Culkin seems to be the Randy of Scream 4. He explains the new rules of horror. Certainly, the horror genre has changed since 1996. The original Scream is an excellent commentary on the horror genre. One would argue that Williamson should've stuck to his guns and kept Billy Loomis motive-less considering he and Stu emphasize the terror of acting without a motive. With the landscape of the horror genre throughout the last thirteen years, I wonder what kind of movie Scream 4 will be. The only horror movies similar to the Halloweens, The Friday the 13ths and the Nightmare on Elm Streets are the remakes of those classic films--the much gorier remakes of those films. The remakes of those films are connected by a certain amnesia about what made the originals classics. Horror filmmakers' chief interest hasn't been simply scaring the audience--they want to gross the audience out or make them feel repulsed.

Kevin Williamson knew the horror genre, knew how to scare people. The original Scream is a homage to the classic slasher films. Using those movies as his template, Williamson created his own classic--a movie that effectively scared the audience, remained true to the spirit of the classics while creating a whole new identity for the modern horror movie. Unfortunately, many films that followed Scream failed to grasp what made Scream successful. The Scream genre (as I'll call it) died with the third installment. Slowly, the torture porn genre began to emerge. Violent and extreme films that cared more about the kills (a brief digression: the trailer for the forthcoming Saw movie boasts about the various new torture devices...are you kidding me? Digression over). Torture porn, or gorn, and terrible remakes have populated the horror genre in the last 10 years.

Rory Culkin's character tells other characters that the rules have changed--the killer has to be way more extreme, the unexpected is the new cliche, while his friend adds, "virgins can die now." Culkin's character notes that the killer films the kills, and the trailer features shots of Ghostface using a camcorder and an iPhone. The characters are even more hyper-aware--when the killer calls a young girl and asks her if she likes horror movies, she casually passes the phone to another girl in the room. Scream 4 should easily stand on its own, and apart from the first one, because the foundation for the original Scream has disappeared. Williamson uses Culkin to tell the audience that. The question is: what does that mean for Scream 4?

Many people, entirely on the message boards, speculate about the types of kills, and the gore level for each kill. Such things do not concern me as a fan of this franchise. I wonder what Kevin Williamson has up his sleeve. Williamson's a smart guy.

The current horror genre suffers from a lack of imagination. One could argue that making a fourth Scream movie lacks imagination; however, Scream 4 possesses the potential to be an original and imaginative film because Scream is unlike any other horror movie. It can do what other horror movies cannot such as comment on itself and its genre. In his review of Scream, Roger Ebert wrote, Scream is about knowledge of horror movies. With knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility. In this case, that responsibility is: save the horror genre, Williamson. Remind Americans what makes good horror.

NOTE: Due to the Phillies game, my Terriers review won't be up until the AM.


Buffy, The Vampire Slayer--"Some Assembly Required"--Written By Ty King--


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Foot: Review of No Ordinary Family--No Ordinary Vigilante

In an interview recently, Michael Chiklis said that he would've done another dark drama like The Shield; however, no such dramas existed so he chose to play the role of Jim Powell in No Ordinary Family. He described the show in one word--entertainment. Chiklis expressed his desire to work on a show that his entire family could watch together. Indeed, No Ordinary Family is as straightforward and simple a network show can be. The themes are clear, and sometimes beaten over the audience's head. The characters are mostly good. Anti-heroes don't exist or grey areas. Essentially, it's a rather boring series to write about on a weekly basis.

For instance, parents and the relationships with their children was the theme of this week's episode. Jim and Steph (especially Jim) have let their own powers damage their relationships with Daphne and JJ. Stephanie mostly blames Jim for losing sight of the big picture, specifically his role as a father. Before the powers, Stephanie spent too much time at work and, in turn, sacrificed quality time with her children. The roles have been reversed. Jim's become a vigilante and spends too much time away from his son and daughter. His newfound hobby leads to a postponement of a planned camping trip for he and JJ. A series of attacks in the park, and another vigilante, has consumed Jim. The other vigilante continues taking justice into his own hands, which means the guy shoots the attackers. We learn that the vigilante feels responsible for the death of his own (murdered in the park).

The story opens Jim's eyes about his own son. JJ has gotten in trouble at school for his quick improvement. JJ continues to withhold the powers from his parents while using the powers to attain the life he desires. JJ's story is an interesting reversal. Rather than rebel against school and his parents, JJ succeeds in school, succeeds socially, and even makes the football team once his father becomes pre-occupied. Jim and Steph have a sit down with their son to discover the root of the improvement. The situation seems insane. The suspicions of the teacher regarding drug use to become a math genius is absolute nonsense. Eventually, Jim and Stephanie settle down and accept the success JJ has. JJ continues to lie about his superpowers though.

Other notes:

-Daphne sneaks off to a high school party--another lesson the show teaches parents about forging good relationship with their children. The most surprising element of the story belonged to the actor who played the convenience store worker. No idea what his name is but he portrayed Wendell during the first season of Everwood before disappearing. Obviously, he did not land a leading role. Wendell would be included in my Great Characters list if the list returned. Wendell has numerous connections and provided Ephram with his greatest chance to impress Amy in hopes she would soon be smitten. The reason for his interest in helping Ephram and Amy become a couple remains unclear. If I ever have the chance to talk with Greg Berlanti, I will ask him question after question regarding the motives of Wendell.

-Stephanie and Katie stumble upon the possible explanation for the super powers. Unsurprisingly, it relates to the special plant that she's been researching. Also, a man once found great answers about the plant but died. I expect Dr. King and his Syler-esque buddy were behind it.

-Jim Powell, the central character of the show, is fairly unlikable. Not good for the central character, especially when the show WANTS him to be liked.

-How many attacks happened weekly in that damn park? Each time Jim went to be a vigilante, an innocent girl was attacked.

-Ali Adler and Jon Harmon Feldman wrote the episode. Ron Underwood directed it.


Felicity--"Pilot"--Written By J.J. Abrams--


Monday, October 18, 2010

The Foot: Halloween Rewatch--Buffy--"Halloween"

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Halloween is the one night people can change their identity completely. As Buffy says, it is the "come-as-you-aren't" holiday. My beloved Buffy, The Vampire Slayer's first Halloween episode focuses on that identity aspect of Halloween. Buffy feels insecure about herself, wonders what kind of girls Angel liked as a human teenager, finds out and then dresses as a 18th century noblewoman; meanwhile, Xander is humiliated after Buffy saves him from a punch in the mouth. His masculinity suffered a blow, so he dresses as an Army officer on Halloween. Willow DOES dress in a sexy outfit but prefers to cover herself with the ghost costume. Willow feels uncomfortable and insecure but she's just waiting to break free from her shell. Instead of simply dressing the part, the characters BECOME the part thanks to a spell cast by the villainous Ethan Rayne. The characters become their costumes, in case I wasn't clear.

I've merely outlined the broad beats of the story, and now I will dive into the full episode. Let us begin with our heroine and protagonist, Buffy Anne Summers.

Her insecurities begin when she arrives late for a date with Angel (thanks to slayer duty), and she finds Cordelia, at her most flirtatious, talking to Angel. Buffy is worked from the pumpkin patch fight with the vamp and wants to put a bag over her head. Angel tries to help Buffy feel better but she doesn't. She just wants to be a normal girl--not a girl who thinks about ambush tactics and beheadings instead of nail polish and facials. Despite Angel's best effort, she goes home.

At school the next day, Snyder forces Buffy, Xander and Willow to be volunteers and chaperon young children as they trick-or-treat. Buffy hoped to stay in and veg, since Halloween is the one night of the year the vamps and demons take a break. The forced volunteerism leads to costume buying because costumes are mandatory. Buffy finds the perfect 18th century dress at the costume store, and decides to be the kind of girl Angel liked in 1775. Buffy, of course, only assumes that Angel liked the noblewomen after looking through the Watcher Diaries.

The night begins relatively well until Rayne performs the costume magic, resulting in absolute chaos. Children become demons and vampiries. Buffy becomes less hero and more helpless 18th century girl. She cries and whimpers. The Buffy story is more overt than usual, in a Buffy episode. She even tells Xander that noblewomen are only expected to be pretty and desirable for men in hopes that they'll be married. Willow, earlier in the episode and pre-chaos, reminds Buffy that the right to vote for women is much better than 18th century society. Buffy is the model for the 20th century/modern woman--a strong, independent and absolutely awesome female. The costume chaos helps Buffy reaffirm her sense of Buffy-ness after feeling lousy about herself for half of the episode. Also, it is no surprise when Angel tells Buffy that he hated the noblewomen and found them dull.

Meanwhile, Willow emerges from her shell during the episode. Willow was a wallflower during the first season and the first five episodes of season two. With the encouragement from Buffy, she dresses in a sexy outfit. She temporarily wears a ghost costume until the costume magic happens (transforming her into an actual ghost for a period of time). She walks around in her outfit and becomes the leader when she realizes Buffy and Xander have a sort-of amnesia. Willow keeps her friends safe and together. She also helps Giles discover the person behind the chaos. When the costume chaos ends, she trashes the ghost costume and walks home in her outfit, comfortable in herself. She also catches the eye of Oz.

Other thoughts and notes:

-Xander becomes an army officer and gains closure when he beats up Larry in an alley. Larry is the guy who was going to deliver the punch before Buffy saved the day. Xander's masculinity is saved.

-The darker side of Giles is introduced through Ethan. Ethan calls Giles "ripper." Giles sort of tortures Ethan until he reveals to Giles the way to end the spell. More Ripper backstory occurs in "The Dark Age."

-Carl Ellsworth is the credited writer; however, the episode received a page one rewrite. Ellsworth wrote a first draft, turned it in. After that, he was fired. Some debate remains about who re-wrote it. Many thought Joss Whedon. After brief research, the answer is actually Marti Noxon. is great for this kind of information. Ellsworth has a successful career as a horror screenwriter now. He also worked on Boy Meets World.

-"Halloween" is a fun episode. I watch it yearly and I never stop enjoying it; however, the episode is not my favorite Halloween episode. My favorite Buffy Halloween episode will receive the spotlight very, very soon.

-Bruce Seth Green directed the episode.


Buffy, The Vampire Slayer--"Halloween"--Written By Carl Ellsworth--


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Foot: Halloween Re-Watch w/ANGEL's "Life of The Party (and LCS Picks)

The Great Halloween Re-Watch

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The Series: ANGEL

The Episode: "Life of the Party"

Written By: Ben Edlund

Directed By: Bill Norton

Premise: As Halloween approaches, Lorne throws a Halloween party for all the firm's clients and employees. During the gathering, Lorne's timely advice to his friends starts happening literally, causing mischief. The events lead to more trouble when Lorne's empathic subconscious begins manifesting itself in a hulking demon.

Unlike the Dawson's Creek episodes that earned a spotlight in the Halloween re-watch, I actually watch "Life of the Party" every year around Halloween alongside two Buffy Halloween episodes. And every year, I enjoy the episode. The writers wanted to make a fun and entertaining episode. They did. Even better, Lorne takes center stage in the episode. Obviously, I have a few thoughts to offer.

1. The episode comes from the fifth and final season of the show. The fifth season sort of rebooted the show. The main characters began working for Wolfram & Hart, the evil law firm they've battled the last four seasons. Angel only took the offer to save his son and to give him a new life. Angel, more than any of his friends, suffers an identity crisis for half of the season until Cordelia returns to remind him who he is and what he does. "Life of the Party" is the show's fifth episode so Wesley and Fred have questioned whether or not the move to Wolfram & Hart will result in any actual good. Gunn exists in a grey area because the law firm provided him with a legal upgrade, allowing him to be more than a muscle. Lorne struggles with his place in the new grand scheme, and we learn the struggle takes a heavy toll on the lovable green demon.

The episode deals with the themes of the season in a light-hearted way because the annual Wolfram & Hart Halloween party has arrived. Morale in the company is low because Angel continually kills the firm's own clients or evil employees. The most important clients resist attending because of the new man in charge. Angel has no interest in catering to the demands of the clients nor making them feel secure with the new regime; however, Lorne's behavior changes Angel's mind. For Lorne, Angel will visit the residences of the new clients to attend the Halloween party rather than kill the evil clients.

Angel and Lorne only visit the Archduke Sebassis because the other dominoes will fall if Sebassis agrees to attend. Following a rather uncomfortable and awkward conversation, Sebassis agrees to attend (though the demon will bring an arsenal of demons with him).

Angel isn't the only problem. His friends and co-workers have little interest in attending the Halloween party. Lorne later tells Gunn he had his sleep removed--a bad idea for an empath demon because, without sleep, Lorne begins writing people's destinies rather than reading them. For example, Lorne tells Wesley and Fred to get drunk. Suddenly, Wes and Fred are drunk without drinking a drop of alcohol (well, Wes drank a tiny bit of beer). Lorne tells Spike to think positively, thus Spike becomes the most positive person at the party. Lorne tells Gunn to mark his territory, then Gunn urinates throughout the office. Lorne tells Angel and Eve to get a room to relieve their sexual tension. They do.

The lack of sleep causes his subconscious to manifest. The hulking subconscious of Lorne kills one of Sebassis men, which leads to a brief altercation before the Hulk Lorne breaks it up with his threat of great harm. The subconscious also kills a demon who dressed as a human for Halloween. Wes and Fred restore Lorne's sleep and the subconscious disappears. Afterwards, Wes explains to Angel the meaning of what occurred:

That thing I think it was a manifestation of Lorne's subconscious. It peeled away from his mind, using Lorne's supernatural powers to punch its way into our world.


"Punch" is the right word. Why was it trying to kill everyone?


I don't think it was. It may have just been processing the conflicts that Lorne normally deals with in his sleep, acting out on the emotional responses he has to the people around him.


(notices Eve hang up the phone and head to the door, he stands)

I guess Lorne makes some judgments after all.

Yes, Lorne makes some judgments; however, the conflicts Lorne experiences usually result from resistance from another person. Lorne's intentions always come from a place of good. Lorne tells Angel that he can't fight, do magic but he can create good from a bad situation. Lorne just wants to find his place in Wolfram & Hart--a confusing place where morals are colored grey. Throughout this episode, he experiences resistance from everyone in his effort to bring people together for the possibility of some good. Who can blame his subconcious for going apeshit?

As Lorne falls asleep, he tells Angel that it's hard being the host of the party. Angel simply tells him: "stop trying to be."

2. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker are delightful as the drunken Wes and Fred. Of course, the night ends in disappointment for Wes. Wes has loved Fred for awhile and she's never felt the same. During a drunken embrace, caused by the promise of a closer friendship, Fred asks for Wes' opinion on another guy. Poor Wes.

3. Angel watches hockey in his office during the first half of the party until Lorne interrupts him. David Boreanaz is a huge Flyers fan. I imagine Angel watched the Flyers game.

4. The WB wanted ANGEL to become less serialized in their fifth season, which is why the show received a semi-reboot. The writers craftily planted the seeds for the Big Bad through the first half of the season. In this episode, we hear a few names that will eventually return when the Black Thorn arc begins.

5. Andy Hallett, who portrayed Lorne, died last year. The character of Lorne and his portrayal of the character can always brighten one's gloomy day.

6. Ben Edlund wrote the episode. Bill Norton directed it. Mark J. Goldman edited it.


I went 2-2 in my LDS predictions. I didn't think about the possibility of Cliff Lee pitching Game 5 so, if only I could have that pick back.

New York Yankees over Texas Rangers in 6

I'd like to see Cliff Lee in the World Series but his team will have to avoid a 2-0 deficit before his first start. CJ Wilson's capable of winning Game 1; however, the Yankees are a machine in the post-season. The Twins had no chance besides a few inning in Game 1. Their rotation is solid with the exception of Burnett. Hunter and Lewis will need to step up. Lewis has a devastating change-up. The Rangers play very well in Arlington and the Yanks do not so they could split. I'll be rooting for the Rangers but reason tells me to pick the Yanks.

Philadelphia Phillies over San Francisco Giants in 5

The Phils took care of business in 5 the last two years. I see the trend continuing. The Phils just shut down the best offense in baseball. The Giants will play a ton of small ball but they will need to get on-base first--that could be tougher than you think. The Giants do have power in their lineup and they can manufacture runs. Both teams will need to manufacture runs. The Giants rotation is outstanding. Do not dismiss them. In September, they strung together 17+ games in which they didn't allow more than three runs. Lincecum's the 2-time defending Cy Young winner. Sanchez had a 3.09 ERA this season and threw a no-hitter last season. Matt Cain had a Cole Hamels type year. The run support wasn't there but he can shut teams down (though the Phils have a history of success vs. Cain). Sanchez can get wild but he dominated the Phils in August.

Overall, the Phils are simply better. The pitching is better and the offense is better. The bullpens are relatively even. I can see the Phils having success against Sanchez and Cain--success as in 3-5 runs over the course of multiple innings. With Sanchez, they'll have to work counts. If Sanchez doesn't have his control, good things will happen. The Phils will have to manufacture some runs against Lincecum. I won't be surprised if it's a 0-0 game into extras considering Halladay opposes him.

The Giants are a dangerous team but so were the Dodgers the last two years, and the Phillies took care of business.

The 1942, 43, 44 Cardinals are about to have some company in the history books.


Firefly--"Jaynestown"--Written By Ben Edlund--


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Foot: 2010 Week 6 NFL Picks


An NFL team will win the Super Bowl this season. Of course a team will. It happens every year; however, no NFL team looks good enough to win the Super Bowl. Usually, any person can point to a team and predict, with confidence, that said team will win the Super Bowl. Through five weeks of the NFL season, no team exists. The Patriots secondary is a nightmare while their offense becomes a question mark post-Moss. The Colts, thus far, have looked far from the dominant team they've been for years. The Packers are losing too many key guys to injury. The Saints just seem off. The rest of the league consists of relatively unimpressive teams or plain average teams.

The Steelers and the Jets are the best teams in the NFL right now. And, yes, the Jets seem like the Super Bowl favorite. As an anti-Jets prognosticator for a season and a half, writing such a thing pains me. But the team plays excellent football. If Big Ben can quit his seedy behavior in bar bathrooms, the Steelers could be the only threat unless the Colts get it together. The Ravens shouldn't be dismissed either. Essentially, the Super Bowl winner will be an AFC team. The NFC is an absolute mess except for Atlanta.

The current parity that exists in the NFL hasn't been kind to me. I finished 7-7 last week. My overall record is 44-32. Not good. It is time to predict Week 6.


Chicago over Seattle

-I'm convinced Seattle's a terrible road team and a good home team. Soldier Field won't be kind to the Seahawks. Did a warlock do a special spell to make all Seattle teams amazing in Qwest Stadiums? The Sounders made the playoffs as an expansion team last season, in large thanks to their great home-field advantage. Todd Collins is now third on the Bears depth chart. Caleb Hanie is the number 2. And yes, friends and well-wishers, Caleb Hanie is a better name than Craig Krenzl. Krenzel has been surpassed.

Miami over Green Bay

-Aaron Rodgers practiced today. I still think the NFL concussion policy sucks. Somehow, the many concussed football players return to action before any athlete in any other sports. Concussions keep hockey players out for months or even an entire season. The Twins front office refused to put the playoffs ahead of Justin Morneau's well-being. Yet Rodgers practices less than a week after his concussion, Riley Cooper and Asante Samuel have gotten the go-ahead. Concussions remain an area of health that needs more research. The NFL's going to be a much different sport in 10 years as more information comes about concussions.

With or without Rodgers, I am picking the Packers to lose because Miami's better. Devone Bess is emerging as the next Wes Welker. The defense is solid and Henne gets better weekly. Also, the 10 point lead the Packers blew to Washington doesn't inspire confidence.

San Diego over St. Louis

-Poor Mark Clayton. Poor Sam Bradford. Just as the NFL world talked about the Rams stealing the West, the team loses their second best weapon AND the Lions blow them out. Of course I blame the FOX pre-game crew for jinxing the Rams. It's like they forgot the Rams have been terrible the last few years. Maybe next season they can win the West. Not this year. The Chargers need a good rebound game after the bad luck against Oakland. Is their special teams coordinator still employed? Also, is it fair for the NFLPA to ask Jackson to report just so he can become an unrestricted free agent? A player holding out for an entire season should not be rewarded by not playing. The rule should require any player holding out during the regular season to play in order to become an unrestricted free agent. Maybe a mandatory 5 games barring injury or something.

Baltimore over New England

-The Ravens are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. Flacco remains underrated. He played another solid game. The Patriots secondary is a mess right now. The offense is sort of a question mark but they'll most likely return to the pre-Moss days when the offense actually won the team three championships. It's probably unwise to pick against the Patriots after a bye week.

New York Giants over Detroit

-Every person fawning over the Lions must have gotten a bump on the head. The Rams merely returned the favor (last year the Rams beat the Lions for their lone win). I'm not prepared to pick the Lions to win a road game, especially in the Meadowlands. I'm not prepared to pick them to win every week either. The Giants defense shouldn't take Shaun Hill easy because the dude can kill secondaries if they let down. Just ask the Packers and Eagles.

Philadelphia over Atlanta

-Does Vick really have a vendetta against the Falcons? He ran himself out of the league. Vick said his stuff with the Falcons was over with last year after the win. Anywho, the defense likes to take naps for extended periods during games. Maybe the players will learn not to do that. It's doubtful. What happened to the integrity of the defense? Ever since the passing of Jim Johnson, the defense has been bad and the integrity has disappeared.

Since any NFL fan and writer has collective amnesia about the past, Kolb reminded folks that he can play a complete and good football game. I remain confused about the exact plan Reid has with his QBs because Kolb's development will suffer on the bench. Reid thinks Vick starting will help Kolb's maturation process. Reid should consider his responses before press conferences. The man has uttered many stupid things over the first five weeks. Les Bowen wrote a great piece about the maturation process in Tuesday's Daily News.

The special teams remain awful. Bobby April's magic must've abandoned him shortly before he left Buffalo for Philly. The special teams have been lousy since Harbaugh was promoted to coach the secondary. Special teams are THAT hard to coach? Cheese and crackers. CHEESE AND CRACKERS.

Pittsburgh over Cleveland

-As soon as the Browns began earning respect, the bottom fell out. Colt McCoy starts Sunday. His lone weapon is Peyton Hillis. His receivers are terrible. And he has to face the Steelers defense. Poor Cleveland.

New Orleans over Tampa Bay

-Tampa Bay is a tempting pick. Great win last week against Cincy. Sports Guy and Cousin Sal joke about Josh Freeman, thinking he's not a great NFL QB. He's been compared to Ben Roethlisberger. The Bucs are 3-1. Freeman has decent talent surrounding him. The Saints looked bad in their loss to the Cardinals. The Super Bowl hangover continues. The "Who Dat?" chant should take a break until the Saints remember how to put together good drives and score points, especially if the Bucs win.

Houston over Kansas City

-The Texans are who we thought they were. Andre Johnson's hurt now. The injury to their left tackle seems to be the catalyst behind the regression of the team. Kansas City played a great game despite the loss in Indy. So why Houston? It feels like one of those nonsense results. Matt Cassell is terrible. The Chiefs faithful might soon call for Brodie Croyle. Well, probably not. Maybe. He played decent last year when Cassell was hurt. The Texans seem destined for 9-7.

Denver over New York Jets

-Sure I just predicted the Jets to possibly win the Super Bowl but I think the Broncos surprise the world. The Broncos can't run the ball and the Jets don't give much to running backs but Orton can throw that football. Favre suddenly woke up during last week's game to expose the Jets secondary a tad bit. Denver's a fairly unspectacular team though but this has been a bad season of the NFL, and it's due time for Rex Ryan to go insane because of a bad loss.

Oakland over San Francisco

-The battle of the Bay Area. This should have pro wrestling rules like "Loser Leaves The Bay Area--Must Join The Sharks In San Jose." Many things would be more entertaining if it was like pro wrestling. How great would it be if Patrick Willis speared Josh Morgan as he broke away from a tackle and headed for the end zone, then stared down coldy as he revealed his Raiders jersey as Tom Cable embraced him then the camera fades to black? A heel turn that would begin the San Jose 49ers era. Instead, this will be a rather forgettable game though the two teams are decent. But let's not pretend this game will actually be meaningful at season's end and for the 49ers division chances.

Minnesota over Dallas

-The elbow stuff might end Favre's consecutive starts streak. I only picked the Vikings because they played a great second half Monday night. If Tavaris plays significant time, perfection will not be mine. I doubt the Cowboys quit on their coaches. I just think the Eagles were so bad in those two games last year that everyone's expectations for Dallas became unrealistic.

Indianapolis over Washington

-This will be the third straight week of Washington Redskins football for me. How do Redskins fans deal with this every week? Their games are incredibly boring and they mostly luck out with their wins. The skins don't exactly win games as much as escape with a win due to their opponent's inability to do things right. They are the worst 3-2 team in the NFL.

Tennessee over Jacksonville

-The Titans are average. The Jags are average with the potential to be bad, depending on their coach. I feel like the team, at a moment's notice, will quit on Del Rio. I loved both Jags/Titans last year because both run defenses weren't good and I had MoJo and Johnson on the same team. These games are usually entertaining regardless. A good Monday night game.

Last Week: 7-7

Overall: 44-32


Heathers--Written By Daniel Waters--


About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.