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LOST: “LaFleur” [Idiot Box]
Mar 5th, 2009 by Dan

SPOILERS! You have been warned…

This week we got a bit of explanation as to how Jin got to be driving a van around the island in the 70s. It seems that the Losties who were left behind after Locke left ended up, after a few flashes, on the island during the reign of the DHARMA initiative. They quickly gained the trust of the initiative by solving a problem that the Others started, but they were ostensibly getting the blame for. After that event, they integrated into island society, mostly into security just so that they can comb the island looking for the O6 and Locke.

Now for my major gripe about the episode: Sawyer and Juliet?! NOOOOO! Oh well, I guess they just want to create as much tension as possible when Kate and Jack return, creating a love square, of sorts. It really is too bad that they did this to LOST. I enjoyed Sawyer and Juliet’s playful snarky relationship more. In a way, it makes a lot more sense, I suppose, since the show always really wanted to put Kate with Jack. We’ll see where this plot point ends up in…TWO WEEKS! Why the gap? New timeslot coming up too, apparently: Lost at 2000…strange

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham [Idiot Box]
Feb 26th, 2009 by Dan

If it’s Thursday, it means one thing for me nowadays: I’ve just watched the latest episode of LOST!

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!

Unfortunately, in a season featuring episodes jam-packed with action or intrigue, I think that “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” falls kind of flat. On one hand I kind of understand swapping the order of this episode and the previous one (“316”), but on the other hand, all they’ve gone and done is interrupt the action and events that were set in motion last episode. As of last episode we saw that Kate, Jack, Hurley, and Jin were alive and well on the island, but then we had to flashback and watch Locke’s death again. I think it would have been cool to see that there were these other survivors on the island, including Cesar and the new Marshall, before they were introduced in “316.” In any case, it will be interesting to see where these characters go, especially Locke now that he’s got Ben hurt and under his control. Also interesting was how Locke kept asking for a passenger manifest. Clearly he is looking to start his work as an Other on the right foot so that he can start capturing the “chosen” ones to take to the camp.

This episode also featured an interesting encounter with Charles Widmore. Is he a good guy? I doubt it. All I know is that Ben is a liar and a bastard. It brings me some degree of joy to see him always portrayed as beat up in this show, be it S2, the end of S3, start of S4, or now. I only hope that he didn’t hurt anyone in the Desmond Hume household. It looks like we’ll be with Sawyer, Juliet, Daniel, and Miles next episode, but when they are is in question. Will this just be an episode to set up their involvement in DHARMA, because I really don’t want to see one of those unless it’s jam-packed with answers. Overall, just a mediocre episode, but at least it’s the first of the year so far.

Penny Arcade, The Guild, Lost, Heroes [Game Overview/Idiot Box]
Dec 16th, 2008 by Dan

PA

I think it’s worth mentioning that the guys at Penny Arcade are universally hilarious. I was tooling around their site today and I found a couple of oldies, but goodies that I thought I would share:

There’s one about Pok√©mon that shows Gabe at his training worst. If nothing it’s a hilarious take on the oftentimes frantic and crazy love of the game that you usually witness in small children.

Then there’s the running gag that Gabe loves Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing. I’ve seen the ending to that movie. I think this does accurately represent it.

There’s also Gabe dominating children’s games and deciding that he needs a new group of friends.

And, finally, we have Doritos. I think the less said about that the better. Let the professionals do the talking.

The Guild

I’ve never seen The Guild, but I love Felicia Day and the premise of a WoW guild who decides to meet in real life just sounds like too much of a delicious premise for me to pass up. I’ll probably start watching today, but if any of my readers has seen it and knows if it’s good or not, let me know. Season 2 is debuting every Tuesday on XBL.

LOST!

It’s been about half a year since we saw just what happened to the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 and I’ve gotta say I’m itching to get back into the swing of things. I got my hands on Season 4 on Blu-Ray and I’ve been working my way through the disappointingly short bank of episodes to fully recap all the plot points I’ll be expected to have at my fingertips on 21 January.

Supposedly the new season will feature less flashbacks and flash forwards, but I’ve gotta say that I don’t really mind those. I’m just insanely curious about how the (SPOILER ALERT!) Oceanic Six are going to find their way back on the island. How is Jack going to convince Kate to get back on a plane? What happened to Locke and the rest of the folks still out there? T-36 days until I can finally find out at least one or two answers…

Heroes

Despite a lukewarm season so far, Heroes managed to put together a rock-solid mid-season finale ending to Volume 3: Villains.

Contrary to what most people have been saying about the show, I think this season has been as strong as S1 in a lot of places and certainly way stronger than S2. Still, they could use some refocusing and I hope that they learn from the finale (which was amazing because of Sylar) about how to effectively tell these human stories in the future.

Just remember guys, Hiro is not a moron, so stop making him act like one!

LOST in 8:15 [Embedded Reporter]
Dec 15th, 2008 by Dan

Deep from the trenches, it’s time for your Monday video feature: Embedded Reporter.

There’s still plenty of December standing in the way, but it won’t be too long before we hit January 21st and the fifth season on Lost hits the airwaves.

I know this little Youtube video is old. It was featured as a special feature to get viewers up to speed for the pre-Season 4 happenings in the series. It’s quick, funny, and it sums up the past of Lost well. I highly recommend watching it for a few good laughs.

Wednesday Morning Quarterback: The Visual Argument for HD
Jun 25th, 2008 by Dan

You’ve probably heard the saying that hindsight is 20/20 on Monday morning, so just imagine how well I can call ’em two days later on Wednesday. That’s right, it’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

This coming Friday will finally bring me back to civilization and cable television, which brings with it the ability to finally watch sporting events reliably on television, a luxury I haven’t been able to enjoy for about four years. More importantly for me, it also brings with it the ability to watch games in High Definition.

I know plenty of people who just don’t get the point of HD. To them there is no real, compelling reason to watch television at a higher resolution. I can think of at least three friends of mine who frequently poke fun at my HD obsession and claim that I’m basically wasting my money obsessing over it. Personally, I think that it takes a certain special something to really make the point of HD stick: sporting events.

Consider my friend Margot, a high def detractor who commonly scoffs at my obsession. We’re both fans of Lost who just started watching this year. Since the entire back catalog of Lost episodes happened to be online, we were both watching episodes off of ABC.com to eventually get up to Season 4. Once I hit Season 3, which was available on Blu-ray, I naturally started renting those discs from Blockbuster. Consider the following: ABC.com claims to broadcast Lost in HD online. Really, it just has a certain high bitrate limited by bandwidth potentially reaching up to 720p. While I think I might have hit full HD on the S1 and S2 episodes once or twice, Margot never even came close since her connection was so bad. Instead, she saw blurry, choppy, un-synched video. One final point: Lost takes place on a deserted island. It’s actually filmed in Hawaii. This results in breathtaking vistas and locales on screen. Margot came over a few times to watch some of S3 in HD and she actually seemed to think it looked quite nice. When I finally asked her “Well? Now do you see the point of High Def?” she disappointingly responded with a “Not really. I’m just glad it’s not choppy.”

What was the point of that rambling story? Not even a beautiful show like Lost can argue the case for HD. Our next case looks at my former roommate Min. He also witnessed Lost on both my computer and the Blu-ray, but while he thought it looked nice, he still wasn’t really convinced. For him the revelation came, as I predicted, through sports. This is the same roommate of mine who is thoroughly ambivalent to sports in general, yet, for some reason, watching the Celtics in the NBA championships did it for him. One day he was watching a game that the landlord forgot to turn on in HD. He told me that he was thinking “Holy cow, what happened to the broadcast?” When they finally noticed that they needed to swap to the HD broadcast, he finally saw the light with the pronounced on-screen differences.

My brothers-in-arms, as you attempt to convince your significant others or friends that the wave of the future is HD, I implore you to use sporting events as your main argument. It really is your best bet, since action movies will typically fail to convince a good portion of women and sitcoms in HD also tend to have minimal impact.

Idiot Box: Lost
Apr 13th, 2008 by Dan

After three and a half years of refusing to succumb to the pressure, I finally caved and started watching Lost last month thanks to my Blockbuster.com membership. I’ve burned through the first two seasons and 1/4 of the third season. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Lost is about a group of castaways who crash landed on a tropical island in the Pacific. Anyway, it’s Sunday and I’m feeling pretty lazy, so just know that Lost is worth a watch if you don’t mind a mystery that won’t be solved until 2010, I think I last heard. Also, if you’ve got a blu-ray player and a TV that can display in HD, you MUST get Lost Season 3 on blu-ray, there’s no other way to watch it.

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