Here’s
a new column I’ve had gestating for quite some time. A chance to
ruminate on a variety of somewhat applicable topics in a scattershot
and simplified manner. Quick hits where full articles may not apply. Or
perhaps the testing area to see if feature columns are warranted.
Either way, here’s the first batch of tasting notes for both things
relating to this site and beyond. Hope you enjoy. Discuss this feature HERE or send me a note on what to address or feature in a future installment HERE.

It’s been 364 days since the last installment. That’s what I call routine updates.

Television:

2010 is halfway dead and this year’s Emmy nominations managed to bore the tears out of me. So, what does my limited televisory repertoire offer you kind folks?

Tasting Notes:

  • I recently watched the first season of Hung for no reason whatsoever. I like Thomas Jane, Gregg Henry, Anne Heche, and Natalie Zea. I was expecting very little, but I found myself falling for it. It’s breezy and light for the most part but Thomas Jane the actor who came on the scene so strong reminds me with each episode just how effortless he is and how much sheer charisma he has. It’s a reminder of how folks who fall a little off the map and find their way back thanks to shows like this. He’s really terrific here. Plus, lots of beautiful women. That doesn’t hurt. I’m glad we have a show about a guy with a big dick, but the biggest surprises were seeing Gregg Henry play piano and sing so soulfully. The guy has skills. Also a surprise; how well The Black Keys’ song works for the show. It’s a thin concept and there’s only so much on can handle about this subject, but it’s a fun 30 minute goof.

  • The World Cup is the single most annoying thing on television when it airs. Even moreso than that shitball with Paula Abdul. People who don’t even know the rudimentary rules of soccer all of a sudden are screaming at the top of their lungs with false patriotism and loyalty that shifts once their team gets it handed to them. Of course you can’t hear them over the dumb horns. Face it America, you suck at soccer fandom.

  • Diane Keaton directed a mid second season episode of Twin Peaks. This freaks me out more than backwards talking dwarves, pissed-off owls, and Ray Wise dancing.

  • Character Actor Heaven doesn’t exist, but if it did it would be at the intersection of Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Justified. Between those three shows is such a nice cross section of really terrific character actors. I hope those shows stay for a long time.
Add your own tasting note about the Box Office.

Video Games:

Video
games are as part of the lifestyle of the average human being now more
than ever. This is thanks in large part to toys masquerading as
consoles like the Nintendo Wii as well as the actual delivery of
quality gaming experiences on cell phones.


Tasting Notes:

  • We bitch and moan about how the movie business has gotten too formulaic and how we’re treated to remakes and sequels atop sequels and remakes but it’s no better in the video game world. Every year it’s the same thing. A few new IP’s pop through the system, many of them also begging for sequels and add-ons but for the most part it’s a franchise world. This past year we’ve have stuff like Bioshock II, Dead Space II, Halo: ODST & Reach, Mass Effect II, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Prince of Persia Ï€, and so many more. It seems like the only way to get something fresh through the system is as an app or XBOX Live app.

  • Twisted Metal is coming back. People need to be more excited about this.

  • Bungie should run the government. As a huge Halo guy I am rapt with attention every Friday to see what information they reveal about the details of Reach but sadly we disagree about what’s important. All I care about is how many maps, what they are, what new weapons and vehicles there are, and if they’d be kind enough to go back to the old system where we didn’t need goddamn gamertags for each new character we create. Coming up with names is as important as playing the game. But Bungie presides over every detail about their impending games with a bizarre iron fist, revealing only tiny bits over time where most developers give their customers a list of features and then get to making their games. It works in hype building, but it’s oftentimes excruciating because I truly give zero fucks about the campaign. But these guys have a way with keeping info from leaking, so maybe they should be hired to run the Earth.

  • Tiger Woods puts loads in many. But his game’s still good (though they need to make it a little less clunky in the interface), so who cares.

  • The iPhone and Ipad is the perfect locale for resurrections of all the great arcade games of yore. Fuck MAME, how are the developers not taking advantage of this cash cow and method for reminding folks of ingenious game design?

  • X-Com’s not really coming back, because they game they’re releasing has as much in common with the originals as I have in common with Terrence Trent D’Arby.


Add your own tasting note about Video Games.

Home Video:

This
is where the real money is for Hollywood, as evidenced by the mass of
effort in marketing campaigns devoted to this once maligned ancillary
revenue stream. Tuesday, new release day. What a magical time it can
be…


Tasting Notes:

  • I took the plunge to Blu-ray, having sold the majority of my DVD collection [for the worst reason ever… money] and realized that being a collector is overrated. That said, I’ve decided to rebuild my library of just essentials and a few fun little new releases deemed worthy [A Perfect Getaway and Splinter being recent examples]. Wall Street is essential. I bought it. A week later the press release arrives in my email for Wall Street: The Insider Trading Edition DVD. Of course there’s a new edition out, there’s a sequel coming. Though the title is currently only for the regular DVD release I truly hope we don’t enter a new era of double dips with this new format. If that happens I’d like to see the Sin Eater make his way through the offices of DVD producers.

  • Digital Copies should be mandatory with every Blu-ray. It actually affects my decision on which films to buy. If not a digital copy, a massively discounted rate for owners of the Blu-ray for iTunes. What is there to lose?

  • The White Ribbon is a movie I’ve been dying to see, and one I was ready to buy and was fully prepared to rent on iTunes. But alas, though they had the cover art on their new releases icon, the actual movie didn’t actually show up on the service until two days later. For a service trying to compete, that’s shitty business. Then, it was purchase only and frankly $14.99 is too much to pay for a download-only movie. For films that are hard to find in major retailers, digital is a huge help (and yes I am aware of Netflix and their ilk) and it seems the powers that be aren’t trying hard enough.


Add your own tasting note about DVD.

Internet:


The
internet is this thing they’re trying out that allows people to “log
in” to a network of interconnected “sites” in an effort to
“communicate” with “other people”. It’ll never catch on.


Tasting Notes:

  • Robert Sanchez. Jesus.

  • People wonder why the internet still has to grapple with being accepted as legit, especially in the non-corporate world of film journalism. All the good work being done and some guy DOES THIS SHIT and probably makes more money doing it than a lot of better folks. How the heck does this shit go unchecked for so long?

  • I don’t like Porn but I have no idea why they’re trying to hard to prevent it from the Apple product like. At the end of the day they’re going to sell more products and then sell even more when dudes fire all over their screens. Semen is corrosive.


Add your own tasting note about the internet.

The Finer Things:


Food,
drinks, and other imbibements are what makes the world go ’round. Or at
least our stomachs. Here’s a few little titdbits for those who give a
damn.


Tasting Notes:

  • If you are a cigar smoker, seek out the black and red tubes by Tatuaje. For the money the best cigars out there and their Cabiguan line, particularly the guapo, is the finest mild-medium bodied smoke there is.

  • If you fancy the Hookah, you simply must try a double apple blend of tobacco. Delightful. I have a double bowl that allows you to mix two flavors at once, and it’s a blast to discover what mixes well and what must be avoided. Huge fan of pomegranate and mint.

  • I’m apparently 91 years old, because I am in love with really peaty scotch. The stuff that has fumes you can see from across town. Laphroiag, folks. If you dare.


Add your own tasting note about the finer things.




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