Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Inexplicable TV Review: Tagteam, With Jesse Venture and Roddy Piper

[Left to right] Jesse and Roddy, and
the owner's evil wife and the owner.

So, back in the day, much like with Lookwell, there was an awesome idea for a television show that only had one episode and didn’t have anymore. This show was called Tagteam, and featured Jesse Ventura and “Hot Rod” Roddy Piper playing, what else, former professional wrestlers. A glorious YouTube clip of the pilot episode’s final fight scene is here.

The show is awesome for several reasons. First, wrestling is taken to be deadly serious. As in, these are real fights. When “Tricky” Rick MacDonald (Piper) and Billy “The Body” Youngblood (Ventura) refuse to purposely lose a match, the owner’s wife lies to him about the boys, saying they made a pass at her. The owner, who looks suspiciously like Vince McMahon, immediately fires them after the match.

This leads to a hilarrrrious montage of them trying to find work. They try furniture moving at first, but Billy’s back give out on him, and they drop a grand piano down a flight of stairs, through a window and on to their truck, destroying it. “I think we body slammed the truck…” Ha ha ha! What witty banter.

They find their true calling at the supermarket. Using just wrestling moves, they manage to subdue four would-be robbers, and this experience leads them to enroll in the police academy.

By the way, this pilot covers a lot of ground – probably because for some reason, there are only like three or four commercial breaks. Next, we see them at the police academy, which is also awesome. They have to complete an obstacle course, and of course, there is a nagging “funny” recruit, basically a homeless man’s Michael Winslow.

This whole police academy montage takes about 10 minutes, and then, the boys are on “plain clothes” detail, providing muscle for two fat older cops. They do an awesome job, the two fat old cops suck and let the witness get captures, and that leads to the fight montage in the linked YouTube clip above.

Just like Lookwell, this show is mostly awesome because it’s so incredibly dated, and because the concept is pure cheese. I’m not sure what they could have done for future episodes – I guess it would have been a straight police procedural, but geez, there isn’t much reason to watch one with two wrestlers over the other options available at the time.

The photos are from iMockery, which have their own awesome review of this show here.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Inexplicable Video Game Review: Please Minus The Awkwardness Next Time

[Right] One of the two incredibly awkward characters, Ms. Estelle Bright. Note to pervs: She's 16.

So, my most recent video game conquest was a pretty decent traditional role-playing game for the PSP, The Legends of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Because it’s for the PSP, and thus none of you reading this will ever play it because I’m one of the five people in the world with a PSP, let me spoil the game for you right now.

Basically, the gameplay is really solid – it’s sort of like a turn-based Grandia. Battlefield position and area of effect attacks are important, and you have both magic points (replenished by inns and items) and skill points (replenished by giving and receiving damage in battles). Except for one fight, the difficulty your first time through the game skews a bit easy, with extra difficulty options available on New Game+.

The plot is also strong. It’s your traditional sort of “intrigue in the palace” stuff, with a coup being launched by a military guy, but it has a nice amount of twists. Pretty much everyone you come into contact with has an appropriate role, and (for the most part) you don’t run into the Final Fantasy trick of a wildly out of nowhere end boss. (“Hey remember that guy you met briefly 45 hours ago, he’s the real end boss!”)

However, there are two really awkward parts to the game, both revolving around the lead character, Estelle and Joshua.

  • In the game, the two are both 16.
  • In the game, Joshua is both Estelle’s adopted brother, and, uh, her love interest.

Luckily, because they’re both 16, there isn’t anything like a sex scene, but they do kiss toward the end of the game, which is as horrifically awkward as it sounds. The back story to them – Josh was adopted into the family at 11 by Estelle’s dad. This isn't a hentai game or anything, so neither aspect is really brought up in the blurb about the game on GameFly.

Throughout the game, it is teased that they have an awkward like of each other because of this, which is fine. Hey, it worked for Arrested Development. However, in the last quarter to third of the game, it’s clear the awkwardness is going to turn into some sort of conversation between the two, and it submarines and taints an otherwise fine plot.

I’m guessing for the game, a straight translation was done from Japanese to English – maybe this sort of thing is a bit more, uh, permissible over there. But gosh, I probably would have been fine with them just axing the love angle and making some cosmetic changes to the script. This would have caused havoc with the later two games in the series though, which are (tentatively) also planned to be released in America, although via Steam as opposed to the PSP.

I’m not the only one to notice the pseudo-incest going on in the game. So, uh… I’m glad it wasn’t just me who thought that.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

“Why Katherine Heigl really left Grey’s Anatomy!”

The title of this entry is a bumper / commercial tease they had on the Anderson Cooper talk show Anderson. Unfortunately though, she lost points with me because she didn’t just share the real reason – Someone was going to give her a load of money to appear in bad romantic comedies.

If she had said that, I would have been immediately won over. I like celebrities that are willing to be frank, even if it’s only for a minute. The ultimate example is Bill Murray, who has made a career out of smirking sarcastically with the audience while acting, but 1/100th of that is normally enough to satisfy me.

It’s for that reason that I kind of respect Miley Cyrus. Back in the day, when asked about having Jay-Z in the lyrics of “Party in the USA,” she said, “I’ve never heard a Jay-Z song … I don’t listen to pop music … I don’t know [where the lyrics came from], I didn’t write the song, so I have no idea.”

Awareness always makes me more receptive to a person, so I’d much rather hang out with Miley than Katherine, I bet. Sorry Katherine, I don’t really believe that you wanted the artistic challenge of going from Grey’s Anatomy to fare like 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. You’re just lucky you got cast in Knocked Up, since without that, your overall box office earnings probably look as anemic as any other marginal drama-to-chick flick “actress.”

… This is why I should probably be focusing on my 400+ e-mail backlog as opposed to Anderson.


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