Friday, April 23, 2010

Top 5 Opening Credits: Present

Like I mentioned earlier this week, television show opening credits are dying. I'm sure I'm taking this harder than most, but I truly believe that opening credits are an art. They establish an entire show's universe in under a minute with a song/tune and selected clips. To honor their passing, below are my Top Five Opening Credits for shows currently on air. Stay tuned for my Top Five for shows that aren't on anymore (sneak peak: Buffy).

5. True Blood

While it doesn't set up the characters, it does an excellent job of introducing the tone of the show. By contrasting images of religion, gross creepy-crawlers, and the south set to the bluesy rock of "I wanna do bad things to you" you get thrown in to this not-quite-real town of Bonne Temps waiting for its dark side to come out.

4. How I Met Your Mother

In just 13 seconds, we know the friendship and dynamics of this group. Plus, the upbeat ditty just makes you ready to laugh.

3. Chuck

Set to Cake's Short Skirt/Long Jacket, the animation introduces the characters while simulateously showing that while this is a spy show, it knows how to go for laughs.

2. Mad Men

The haunting music, the silhoutte/shadow of man falling through the ads, the office falling away while he watches, and then ending with him leaned back in a chair, presumably enjoying a drink. Don't tell me that does not perfectly encapsulate everything that is Don Draper and Mad Men.

1. The Big Bang Theory

This gets bonus points for being the only show to have its theme song specifically written for the show. Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady were inspired after hearing the Bare Naked Ladies' "One Week" and asked them to create something for their new show. The song, characters, and clips let you know this is a geek's show about a group of friends, their nerdy adventures, and hints at the evolution they all will go through during the show. Ok, that last one may be a stretch but I still believe it.

What are you favorite opening credits on tv right now? Anything with only one note a title card is automatically disqualified. I'm looking at you LOST, The Vampire Diaries, FlashForward, V and Glee! You would think a show all about music would have a musical theme song.

Movie Review: The Losers

Update: The Losers opens today to mixed reviews. Keep reading to see my review from last month when I saw an advance screening.

This week I got to be at one of the first screenings for the new movie The Losers. Watch the trailer below:

The trailer is what got me interested in seeing the film, and it lived up to most of my expectations. This was a fast, fun little action movie with solid performances from the cast. The cast did a good job with the material they were given, but Chris Evans stood out from the rest. He brought humor and depth to his supporting role, and hopefully this bodes well for his turn as Captain America. I've been a fan of his since Not Another Teen Movie and The Perfect Score. He has consistently been the best part of a mediocre movie, and that trend doesn't end here.

The movie starts out strong, though kind of fizzles at the end. The opening scene was fantastic: it got me interested in the story and these characters and kept me on the edge of my seat. It kept up this pace until about halfway through when Roque has his big moment. After that, the story shifts and just never really recovers. The ending action scene should have been better than the opening, but it dragged and I was no longer invested as much.

While the version I saw did not have all of the special effects finished, what was there was exciting and great. I particularly liked the fight sequences and explosions, but what stands out most is the display of the effect of the "snook" weapon. (Did no one involved in this project think of that South Park episode and consider changing the name?)

The music throughout was distracting, but that is probably going to be changed a bit before the movie is released, since it seemed like a common complaint on the survey. If they end up changing some of the music, then I think it will really help the second half - the action scenes are all set to music and that was also part of the pacing problem I mentioned earlier.

Despite the music and lackluster 2nd half, I would still recommend this for a great weekend matinee or rental. While not necessarily worth the $12 it costs to see a movie in LA, it's definitely worth seeing at some point.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars.

Linkulous: Scott Baio, Christina Hendricks, Man-cession and more

Happy Friday! Here are some great articles I read throughout the week. 

Scott Baio's Online Meltdown: A Complete Timeline

What Next, the Official Salad Dressing of ‘Sex and the City 2’?

Christina Hendricks: A Letter to Men

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now

Confessions Of A 30k Millionaire

Twitter Brings Down Top Official In India 

"Oh My Lady Gaga" is the coolest new expression in China 

Sonoma County Deems Elderly Gay Couple 'Roommates' and Then Takes Over Their Lives

'American Idol' overruns have become unprofessional

Twilight Eclipse: New Trailer

Watch it now!

This is starting to look promising! The third book had the epic battles and the evolution of the Werewolves became complete and it looks like the movie could live up to it.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse comes out June 30. We'll see if it can hold its own in a crowded summer box office.