Archive for May, 2010

The Obligatory Kickassia Review

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

(Warning: For those of my followers who care, the videos linked to in this article contain strong language, violent slapstick, and other things you may not want your kids to see.)

Last year, when (one of my favorite websites) celebrated its one-year anniversary with a massive brawl featuring all of its talent and many of its partners, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Mainly, I thought it was cool that they actually flew all of the contributors to Chicago. This was the first time most of these people had ever been in the same state, let alone the same room. Sure, the Angry Video Game Nerd and the Nostalgia Critic had come face-to-face before, and the Nostalgia Chick also stopped by to cross over with the Critic, but this…this was on a scale I never imagined. Sure, the lighting was bad, the sound was uneven, and many of the participants didn’t really get much time to shine in the fight itself, but it was cool to see so many people whose work I was watching (and a whole bunch of others whose work I had totally been meaning to get around to see, seriously, guys) working together, not only on the fight, but on a veritable deluge of crossover reviews, sketches, interviews, and more.

So when various Channel Awesome contributors started mentioning on Twitter back in April that they were all at a hotel together, the immediate assumption was we would see another fun and goofy fight scene, and more mini-crossovers.

I don’t think any of the fans suspected they were actually shooting a feature-length film in four days. (more…)

In Memory of a Genius

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

20 years ago today, we lost one of the most original creative geniuses ever: Jim Henson. The man knew how to take ordinary materials like felt and ping-pong balls and turn them into some of the most memorable characters in the history of entertainment. As a designer, writer, director, and actor, Jim brought characters to life that we fell in love with as kids, and who often continue to stick with us today. Not only was he creative, but he knew how to surround himself with creative people, like Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, etc, and how to bring out the best from them.

I recently watched through season one of “The Muppet Show” and was delighted–but not surprised–that it held up so well. Looking past the celebrity guest stars, the intentionally stupid puns, and even the remarkable physical special effects, at the heart of the show were wonderful characters and their relationships. Kermit wanted to put on the best show he could. Fozzie wanted to make people laugh. Gonzo wanted to fit in, even if it had to be through bizarre stunts. Piggy wanted to be a star, and to get Kermit’s love…and despite his irritation with her, he still liked the attention, as evident from the times she would make him jealous. Even Statler and Waldorf, for all their complaints about the show, enjoyed the very act of mockery, and would miss Fozzie when he wasn’t there to heckle. Everyone can easily identify with at least one of the Muppets, though we may not always want to admit it.

We leave here with this video by YouTube user “TimeMachine”, set to the heartwarming and tear-jerking song “A Boy and His Frog” by singer/comedian Tom Smith. If you don’t get at least a tiny bit choked up by this video, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

NAB: The Rest Of It, and then skip to the present

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Remember how I suck at blogging? (Hint: It involves finally posting a follow-up a month after the fact.)

Anyway. The good times continued throughout the rest of NAB. The show floor remained basically the same each day, but the afternoons and evenings were spent a little differently. Second evening was spent at the Final Cut Pro User Group gathering, which featured some interesting presentations, but was tainted by the fact that each time Mike and I got to the front of the food line, all the food was gone. On an interesting note, we had to walk through the lingerie sellers convention to get to the gathering, so we passed some banners that I’m sure our coworkers will be curious about.

The third afternoon was spent at the Red User Group Meeting, which was in the classiest and least tacky stretch of hotel I had seen all week. It was a pretty cool event, with the Epic being shown off by none other than Jim Jannard, the billionaire owner of the company. Just wandering around the floor, playing with his camera, mingling with his biggest fans/people most likely to include stalkers. That shows dedication. (The Red event also had the advantage of a constant stream of food AND a free open bar, so it was by far the better of the gatherings.)

The rest of the week was spent exploring both the convention floor and the Strip. Vegas is an interesting city in that it combines many of the things I love about a Disney theme park with many of the things I hated about the more creepy parts of Philadelphia. Many of the hotels put a lot of effort into creating these elegant themes, with beautiful ambiance…but step outside, and the streets are disgusting. Also, it’s hard to walk two feet, inside or out, without some easy way to lose money.

Still, it was fun to visit once, but I can’t imagine going back often.

In more recent (but less plausible) news, I went out with a few friends, a few casual acquaintances, and a handful of friends-of-friends-whom-I-had-never-met to that karaoke place at the Universal CityWalk that has the live band. I know what you’re thinking…”Dave was out past 9:30 PM? Preposterous, I say! This story must be a deception!”

I assure you, it not only happened, but I even did some karaoke myself. I performed “Sweet Caroline”, the first time I ever really sang in public (not counting the final for my college voice lessons, which was in front of people I didn’t know, but they were all fellow students in the same boat). And maybe it was the band behind me, maybe it was the alcohol in most of the audience’s system, maybe it was just that I picked a song that crowds of people are legally required to sing along to…but I may or may not have ROCKED THE FREAKING HOUSE. Seriously, there were people chanting my name after I was done. It was surreal and awesome, and I’ll torture you with video of the event as soon as my friends upload it.

I gotta say, though, it was hard to top the fat guy who went a little earlier and started stripping to “Like a Virgin”.