Rockport knows how to stay in front when it comes to designer shoes, and the new Business Lite Bikefront keep that spirit alive and well. We tested a pair in black and found that they looked great with a nice suit or fresh pair of jeans. The comfort level is absolutely through the roof! Some of the reasons for that comfortable feel is the padded collar and tongue for comfort, full grain leather that is soft, supple and flexible, ETC moisture wicking lining to help keep feet dry and easy to clean, and breathable polyurethane cushioning for moisture absorbency and odor resistance. The EVA provides lightweight shock absorption to reduce foot and leg fatigue and that’s a relief for all guys no matter what’s in the plans when you lace up a pair of shoes. With the holidays fast approaching, do right by yourself and look and feel your best by checking out these new stylish Business Lite Bikefront shoes at Nordstrom.com for approximately $125.
Much like public access talk shows, nature programs on the likes of PBS and TLC are fertile ground for parody, as evidenced by the popularity of “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger.” The Onion‘s web series, “Horrifying Planet,” takes it even further by employing a distinguished-sounding, British narrator (though I suspect the British accent may be fake) similar to the ones actually used in real nature programs. The twist is that “Horrifying Planet” is filled not with the reverence for nature usually found in the real programs it spoofs, but rather a bitter, scornful disdain for nearly every aspect of the natural world.
According to the narrator of “Horrifying Planet,” zebras are “Nature’s Ultimate Prey,” evolved over the course of millennia to be the perfect victims of brutal murder. “With no purpose other than to feed monsters,” the narrator richly intones, “the zebra spends its entire life standing around, awaiting a violent death.” Meanwhile, the American robin is posited as nature’s “Perfect Murder Machine,” which seems silly until the point is made that “worms are capable of regeneration, so robins could satiate themselves on fractions of individual worms, and leave the rest. But it does not. Unequivocal evidence of the robin’s bloodlust.” Not given quite the credit that either robins or zebras get, chimpanzees are described as “Still Dumber Than the Dumbest Human,” in perhaps the series’ funniest episode. Asserting the superiority of humanity over the lowly chimp, the narrator says, “Indeed, not only are humans capable of wiping out chimps with inventions like bulldozers and dynamite, they have even developed a system of ethics that justifies it.”
The narrator’s smooth delivery falters when he is forced to discuss the vile spider, in an episode that is little more than an amalgam of audible cringing, and the tone of the series itself makes an abrupt shift in episode 6, which blends the usual nature show parody with that of an infomercial. With all the incessant negativity of “Horrifying Planet,” one would assume an episode entitled “Deer Are Fine” might be lightening up a bit, but in fact, “fine” in this context merely means “mediocre,” with the narrator advising the more unique relatives of the common deer to “Scale it back, buddy. You’re just going to end up dead like the rest of us, on our horrifying planet.”
Tags: American robin, bulldozers, chimpanzees, deer, Deer Are Fine, dynamite, Ezra Stead, Horrifying Planet, natural gas, nature programs, Nature's Ultimate Prey, PBS, Perfect Murder Machine, spiders, Still Dumber Than the Dumbest Human, The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger, The Onion, TLC, web series, Weekly Web Series Review, zebras
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Unto each generation, there must come at least one sitcom about aliens coming to Earth and trying to learn the ins and outs of humanity. It’s a trend which began in the 1960s with “My Favorite Martian,” and it has continued through the ‘70s (“Mork and Mindy”), ‘80s (“ALF”), ‘90s (“3rd Rock from the Sun”), and even the ‘00s (“My Hero”), and rather than leave us sitting on the edge of our seat for the better part of the decade, ABC has jumped into the fray early and provided us with the requisite entry for the ‘10s: “The Neighbors,” which premieres tonight at 9:30 PM.
Here’s the premise, straight from the ABC press release:
Marty Weaver (Lenny Venito) just wants the best for his wife, Debbie (Jami Gertz), and their three kids. That’s why he’s moving them to Hidden Hills, New Jersey, a gated community complete with its own golf course. Marty is certain that their new home will be a dream come true. And then, they meet the neighbors.
The residents of Hidden Hills are a little… different. The Weavers have barely unpacked when 20 of their new neighbors show up in the driveway, standing in a triangle formation, each holding an identical cherry pie. Larry Bird (Simon Templeman) introduces himself as the “leader” of the community. Then he presents his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), and their two sons (yes, they’re named after famous athletes – Dick Butkus and Reggie Jackson). As Debbie and Marty frantically try to make sense of the weird neighbors – European? A cult? Amish athletes? – they discover that the entire Hidden Hills community is comprised of aliens from the planet Zabvron. ‘Turns out the Zabvronians have been holed up in Hidden Hills for the past 10 years, awaiting instructions from back home, and the Weavers are the first humans who have ever lived amongst them.
At first the Weavers are ready to cut and run. But the aliens seem harmless enough. And there is a lot of closet space… So they decide to stay and help their new neighbors adapt to life on this confusing planet we call home. But as the Weavers and the aliens face the struggles of everyday life together, they discover that some things – the ups and downs of marriage, the desire to be a good parent and raise a happy family – are universal, intergalactic even. And the Weavers realize they’ve found an ally in the family next door… even if they do cry out of their ears.
When people have asked me to cite my favorite new shows of the season, I won’t pretend that “The Neighbors” has been at the top of my list, but I have found that I can rarely finish such a conversation without at least bringing it up. Not because I like it, although I do, but because my seven-year-old daughter absolutely freaking loves it…like, to the point where she has watched my advance DVD of the pilot three times now, almost lost her mind when I told her that ABC had provided me with an online screener of the second episode, and demanded that I add it to the TiVo queue immediately.
Tags: 3rd Rock from the Sun, ABC, ALF, Invader Zim, Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Mork and Mindy, My Favorite Martian, My Hero, Pam Dawber, Robin Williams, Simon Templeman, The Light from the TV Shows, The Neighbors, Toks Olagundoye, Will Harris
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It may not look like it based on the small selection of titles below, but this is a great week for Blu-ray fans. Not only does it mark the debut of Joss Whedon’s awesome Marvel superhero team-up movie, but Fox is releasing “Bond 50,” a box set containing all 22 James Bond films in celebration of the franchise’s 50th anniversary. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, there are a few other titles worth checking out as well.
Not many people would have been willing to wager before the start of the summer season that “The Avengers” would emerge as the year’s best superhero film, but Marvel’s big gamble proved everyone wrong. In addition to making beaucoup bucks at the box office (earning a spot as the third highest grossing movie of all-time), it was also better than “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Director Joss Whedon deserves a lot of credit for not only balancing the film’s many tones, but the large cast as well, and although some actors fare better than others (namely Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo), the ensemble works together so well that you’d think it was part of the plan all along. And in that respect, the movie’s real MVP is Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige, the brains behind the cinematic tapestry known as Phase One, which is comprised of everything leading up to and including “The Avengers.” But more than anything else, the film is just a really entertaining superhero flick that deserves a place in anyone’s collection.
Blu-ray Highlight: Disney didn’t provide me a review copy, but there’s plenty of bonus material that I’m looking forward to checking out, including the director commentary by the always amusing Joss Whedon and the newest Marvel short film, “Item 47,” which supposedly played like gangbusters for the crowd at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
After the release of “Batman: Year One,” it was only inevitable that Warner Bros. would follow it up with an animated version of Frank Miller’s other popular Batman story, “The Dark Knight Returns,” even going so far as to split the four-issue miniseries into two movies. Though the forthcoming Part Two will no doubt be the better of the pair as it features the return of The Joker, Part One is still a really solid adaptation that sticks close to the source material while also laying the groundwork for the darker and more twisted second half of the story. The idea of revisiting Bruce Wayne/Batman decades after he’s passed his crime-fighting prime (as well as introducing yet another Robin, this time female) provides so many great character moments that it’s surprising Hollywood hasn’t tried adapting the series into a live-action film. Though bits from Millar’s comic have shown up in Christopher Nolan’s Bat trilogy, it’s cool that Warner Bros. found another way to showcase the fan favorite story, even if that meant doing it in animated form.
Blu-ray Highlight: The bonus material isn’t very good, but those that can’t wait for Part Two will at least want to check out the included sneak peek, which offers your first look at Michael Emerson in action as The Joker and Mark Valley as Clark Kent/Superman.
Though I’ve never been a very big fan of the horror genre, there was so much positive buzz heading in to the first season of “American Horror Story” that it was simply too enticing to pass up. But despite a somewhat creepy pilot, there was never anything particularly scary about the show apart from its opening credit sequence, and believe it or not, that’s the least of its problems. Between the melodramatic, soap opera-like subplots, the nonsensical twists, and the habit of certain stories and characters falling by the wayside, “American Horror Story” is such a muddled mess of half-baked ideas that it’s never able to achieve the potential of its intriguing setup. Connie Britton at least makes some of those shortcomings worth suffering through, and if there’s anyone in the cast that deserves praise, it’s Britton and not Jessica Lange’s over-the-top performance as the duplicitous nosey neighbor. In the end, however, it’s probably best that creator Ryan Murphy decided to essentially reboot the show every season with a brand new story, because after 13 episodes of this much crazy, it’s hard to imagine many viewers sticking around for another helping.
Blu-ray Highlight: A review copy didn’t arrive in time, but the audio commentary by Ryan Murphy on the pilot episode should be worth listening to if you’re a fan of the series.
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Lumatic – Lumatic Inc.
Waze – Waze Inc
Lumatic – iOs 5.0 or later
Waze – iOs 4.0 or later
I don’t like to use the words resounding, embarrassing failure to describe something unless I have to. For one thing, it’s just not that nice and, for another, I like to maintain the integrity of such a phrase, so when it is used you can really appreciate the effect. With that in mind I won’t use it for the new Apple Maps app, but I just wanted you to know that the thought did cross my mind, so you have an idea what we’re dealing with.
Instead I’ll describe the new “Google Map Killer” as a crushing disappointment. Mostly because some features show such promise (the Yelp integration and some of the layout is nice), while other aspects of the app are shamefully bad (just look at some of these screenshots, or this head to head with Google Maps). What’s worse is, Apple has effectively blackballed Google Maps from iO6, and therefore the new iPhone 5. While there are ways of getting around this problem, it is a joke that the superior Google Maps isn’t an easy option as it should be.
Until Apple Maps gets its act together then, you are going to need some replacement apps for map and navigation needs. In fact, to replace the functions and features of Google Maps, without paying a service fee for some of the full fledged navigation apps, you’ll actually need a couple of apps to make up the difference.
The first App I recommend then would be the free Lumatic City Maps. While somewhat limited in scope (it only covers 24 major cities and is mainly for public transportation, not driving) if you do live in an area that support it, it’s a must have. Lumatic handily keeps track of all public transportation options with nice, real world photos, and both transport time estimates and schedules of bus and subway arrival times. The best feature of this app is actually a tie. I can’t decide between the way that selecting a business will automatically provide Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and Wikipedia information, or how when providing directions, the app will actually reference locations in the area. For instance, it may say make a left turn passing the Starbucks on your right. It feels like a very organic way of providing directions and nicely highlights why this is such a fun and practical app if you live in an area that supports it.
If you don’t, or if you need driving directions, you are going to have to look elsewhere. Luckily there is another free app called Waze that admirably handles those duties. A popular app for a while now, Waze has honed itself into a fine tuned navigation assistant that also features some fantastic layouts and graphics. It’s turn by turn directions are competitive with any app out there, and its location search feature is not only comprehensive, but actually outshines some of the other major apps, especially Apple Maps, in terms of results and information. The integrated social features also allow drivers to communicate updates with each other, and the latest version even shows the price of the gas stations around you so you can choose the cheapest option. Even better, Waze provides gas discounts to certain stations along the way.
I was really hoping that Apple Maps would be as great as Apple was hyping it up to be, so I would have an easy selection this week. While I haven’t given up hope it may one day be worthy, in the meantime I wouldn’t recommend relying on it for any practical purposes. Luckily, you won’t have to navigate your world, or the app market, blindly, thanks to the combined efforts of Waze and Lumatic Maps, my apps of the week.
Posted in: Entertainment
Tags: App of the Week, app reviews, app reviews for dudes, app reviews for guys, app reviews for men, Apple, Apple Maps, apple store apps, apps, apps for dudes, apps for guys, apps for men, best, embarrassment, failure, free, Google Maps, iO6, iphone 5, istore, iTunes, Lumatic Maps, Maps, must have, Navigation, new apps of the week, useful, Waze