Posts Tagged DVR

Idol Thoughts — 04.21.10

When America gets it right and I get it wrong…well, it’s hard to be upset about that. The man they call “Teflon Tim,” Tim Urban, was eliminated during last night’s Idol Gives Back charity event.

My own rankings had Tim at the bottom almost every week on American Idol this season–including this week. Even so, I felt his Teflon-mojo would slide him through another week.

Why Tim got the ax last night, during a stretch where’s he’s been improving, instead of weeks ago when his performances were especially weak, will have to go down as one of those Idol “Unsolved Mysteries.”

The other big story last night was the appearance of Casey James in the Bottom Two. I wrote about this yesterday, saying Casey would take a big hit with Idol voters. I happen to dig the blues-rock that Casey’s been churning out week after week. He’s consistently good, and his performances generally go on my iPod the next morning.

But in the Idol-verse, here’s the problem. Casey’s song choices look lazy and repetitive–like he’s not progressing. Never mind that what that what he’s doing he’s doing very well. Viewers (and the judges, from the feedback they’re giving) want to see other “layers.” The solution: do some more ballads, like his recent heartfelt “Jealous Guy,” or take a page from the David Cook playbook and surprise us by re-inventing a well-known song. Casey’s needs to show some other sides. Or else the opportunity to be in the Top 5, which I feel he deserves, will slip through his guitar-virtuoso fingers.

Other than that, a tip of the hat for bringing back Idol Gives Back. With the show being a cultural phenomenon, American Idol is in a unique position to really raise awareness (and money) on the issues of children in poverty, world hunger and malaria. It’s the kinda thing only Idol could pull off on this scale. And it’s cool that they choose to do it.

That said, might I suggest that the time to alert viewers that the broadcast will run over-time would be the night before, not an hour into the night of. Grrrr. That’s two nights this week I’ve had to go hunting on the web for the material my DVR didn’t record because Idol went too long.

Or maybe that’s their revenge on us for skipping through the commercials. Hmmm. Topic for a future blog, perhaps.

Greg Valentine
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New Transformers Ready For ‘Prime’ Time?

optimusSaw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last night. I enjoyed the first film, and was ‘optimistically primed’ for this one. I should say I’m far from a ‘Transformer’ expert. So this isn’t so much a review. Just a few random thoughts.

  • If you watch most of your TV shows on DVR like I do, then you know this phenomenon: fast forwarding through commercials, keeping the button pressed a half second too long, going back to regular speed and letting the show continue, even though you’ve just skipped over a part of a scene. Every Michael Bay movie reminds me of this. Michael Bay doesn’t have time to tell a story. More like, he suggests a story and leaves the rest up to us.
  • IMAX is my favorite format for the big action movies. As long as you’re not sitting in the second row. Those were the only seats we could find at the sold out 11pm showing. When you’re that close, you literally can’t take in the whole screen with your eyes. At best, I saw two-thirds of this movie.
  • If you decide to see this movie at 11pm on a school night, you’ll probably agree it’s a skosh too long.
  • They had one of those Camaro’s parked outside the theater. That’s a sweet ride! Speaking of sweet rides…
  • Apparantly, I know more about girls than Transformers. There’s a big cheer when Megan Fox makes her first appearance on screen. That I get. Later during some of the battles, I don’t always know which Transformer is which enough to start clapping when the rest of the audience does. Every Transformer should have it’s own exclusive color (like the ‘yellow one’) so idiots like me can follow.
  • There’s more comedy in this one than the first movie. Some people will like that. My guess is some ‘purists’ will probably grumble that big metallic beings from another planet who can fly through space and change shapes who also have senses of humor is sooooo unrealistic.
  • The special effects are amazing. The explosions are awesome. The cars and trucks are downright sexy. The trademark Michael Bay slo-mo? A way to guarantee you leave the theater 20 minutes later than you could have.

Verdict? Impossible to make one based on my experience last night. Yes, I will see it again. Hopefully not so close to the screen that I feel like I’m inside John Turturro’s nose! Plus, there’s at least a third of the flick that will be new to me.

Greg Valentine
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