24 Blog 9.4: Wrapped Around Your Finger

24 9 4-2

Too soon?

Last week I made the rather safe and obvious prediction that Mommie Dearest would put her own daughter down like a dog the moment that Simone threatened to betray her. What I didn’t expect was that Mommie would give the order to chop off her daughter’s fingers in order to get her daughter’s conscience-stricken husband to fall in line and command the drones. Then again, Mommie did say that she would do “whatever is necessary” to change Navid’s mind, and damned if she didn’t mean every word. In retrospect, Simone is probably embarrassed that she didn’t see that coming.

Still, holy shit, that actually happened.

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24 Blog 9.3: The Angry Mob

24 9 3-1

“We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day / We like who we like, we hate who we hate, but we’re also easily swayed.”

Well, you’re a mob, so by definition, you’re prone to outrage and righteous indignation. As an added bonus, not having all of the facts makes it easier for your collective conscience to rationalize your behavior. “So tonight, you’ll sleep softly in your beds…”

The Kaiser Chiefs – writers of the above lyrics, and this week’s blog title – never really established more than a cult following here in the States – and that makes sense, given their overt “Britishness,” for lack of a better word – but damn, do I love those guys. And their new record, the politically charged Education, Education, Education and War, is their best in ages. All right, Shameless Plug of the Week ends here.

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24 Blog: 9.1/9.2 – Good Morning Britain

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Aaaaaaaaand we’re back! First, I’d like to thank Fox for giving me a four-year vacation from blogging “24.” It was much needed, long overdue, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but I am refreshed and ready for duty, sir. So, what are we doing this year?

Ah, of course: we’re doing the same damn thing, only in London.

To be fair, the setup for this season isn’t awful; it’s just not any different than any other season. Jack Bauer, a wanted man in three countries, is still carrying out his duties as a counter-terrorist agent, despite the fact that his own countrymen consider him a terrorist. They’ve done this before, you may remember, when he began a season undercover as an employee for a Mexican drug cartel. Wasn’t that adorable? At least this premise makes more sense. Jack has always fought to protect the best interests of the United States; he just didn’t have much of a filter when it came to interrogating anyone he considered an enemy of the state. Foreign, domestic, whatever. If you mess with the USA, you will answer to me.

And who is the president now? Why, none other than Big Dick Heller! This is a contrived move but a savvy one as well. He’s a much-loved supporting character by “24” fans, and as an added bonus, Jack’s involvement with Big Dick’s daughter Audrey led to her abduction and subsequent torture at the hands of the Chinese government. Audrey is now married to Big Dick’s chief of staff Mark Boudreau (official “24” nickname: Hercules, because yes, he was the voice of Hercules in the 1997 Disney movie), and he doesn’t want Jack’s name even mentioned in front of Audrey, for fear it will cause her to relapse into the catatonic state that she was in when we last saw her. But that’s all busy plot stuff. What is really happening here?

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“They said, ‘Hey, you’re blonde, awesome, when can you start?’ Easiest, audition, ever. Wait, is there a catch?”

Someone’s plotting to kill Big Dick on foreign soil, and they just did a test run on the murder weapon (a US drone, which is as heavy-handed as irony gets) by hijacking a drone pilot’s memory key and setting him up for the fall. Off-the-grid Jack intercepted intel that mentioned an assassination attempt on Big Dick, which is why he allowed himself to get caught by the CIA so he can break out Chloe, who’s gone all Wikileaks since we last saw her, and was being held in the CIA equivalent of Zed’s basement, only with torture instead of rape.

This might sound loyal or even romantic, but really, he broke her out because the person responsible for the drone strike is one of her now-former coworkers, who thankfully doesn’t live to the end credits of the second hour, for a couple of reasons. The guy is rightly paranoid about being afraid for his life since dead men collect no cash, yet he doesn’t suspect that the undersexed Russian Barbie doll he calls a girlfriend might be in fact an English assassin employed to kill him (hell, he didn’t even notice that she was wearing a wig). That needed to happen. Thank you, Fox. We may curse your name later but for now, we thank you. And bonus points for having her twist the knife in his head. That was a nice extra dose of nastiness.

Each blog post is based on a song title, and this week’s title comes courtesy of my lovely wife, after I complained that all of the songs with “London” in the title didn’t quite fit (I’m going to save those for later, with the hope that they might work out). The funny thing is that this song was co-written by Roddy Frame, who’s Scottish, but he has Mick Jones, a member of UK rock royalty, joining him, so it’s all good.

  

The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with James Brolin (‘Christmas with Tucker’)

James Brolin has been a star of TV and film since the ’60s, rarely disappearing from either for very long before popping back up somewhere or other, and tonight at 9 PM he can be found starring in “Christmas with Tucker,” the debut original movie from the Hallmark Movie Channel (which, just in case you aren’t aware, is a separate entity from the Hallmark Channel), playing a gruff but loveable grandfatherly type fella who gets to have a lot of scenes with a very cute dog. I was fortunate enough to chat with Brolin for a bit when he attended this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, and – as you’ll read below – I was even more fortunate to be able to continue the conversation a bit later.

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Bullz-Eye: So you’re in a dog movie, but are you a dog guy by nature?

James Brolin: Yeah, but guess what? I don’t have a dog right now. But I’m kind of shopping! The thing is, I’m not sure where I’m going to be next, and I kind of hate to go off and leave a dog once I have it. I’ve found that didn’t work well in the past. But I got my wife a dog. And the dog is… I can’t believe she’s had it 10 years now. And it sleeps right here. [Points to his head.] It likes the top of the couch or the head pillow. So usually, if you roll over it or around it, it gets out of your way and just goes down to the other end. Anyway, I’ve been moved to the back seat of the car now. [Laughs.] Those two run things.

BE: Yeah, we just got a dog a few months ago, so I know what you mean.

JB: Oh, yeah. If it ain’t a baby, it’s a dog. [Laughs.]

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BE: How was this dog, Tucker, to work with?

JB: Fine! Really good natured. He would do all the things, and then when you’d go to shoot, sometimes the dog would have a little brain fade or confusion, but it’s not unusual. You just keep going. You have the trainer keep going, you run the camera, and now with digital, you can just turn the camera on and let it run for two hours, and then you go in there, wade through it, and pick out just what you need. But that’s Filmmaking 101, in a way. If you have time for that, you do that. And if you’re doing a dog picture, you make time. And the kids… Anyone youthful who was involved was just right on. Gage (Munroe) is just like a honed pro, so that wasn’t an issue. Kids weren’t an issue. But animals are always an issue, and you just need to schedule the time to shoot and shoot and shoot a little bit.

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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Jason Mewes (“King of the Nerds”)

Jason Mewes has been around the block enough times that he’s easily identifiable even when he’s not standing next to his onscreen hetero life mate, Kevin Smith, but the two are teaming up again to serve as judges on this week’s episode of TBS’s “King of the Geeks,” which airs 2/7 at 10 PM. Bullz-Eye talked to Mewes for a few minutes about his TV obsessions, his new gig, one of his old gigs, and an old gig that may yet be a new gig again. Confused? Read on and you’ll figure it out.

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Bullz-Eye: When one of your most famous characters is turned into part of a superhero duo with their own comic book (Bluntman & Chronic), you’ve got pretty good geek credentials, but what is it about you, Jason Mewes, that makes you a geek?

Jason Mewes: Um, I would say…I could be considered a geek in the sense of my love of TV shows, comics, and action figures. I collect action figures, I collect Legos, I have a Batman pillowcase and sheet set, and, y’know, I play video games all day: “Call of Duty,” “Black Ops,” “Lego Batman 2: DC SuperHeroes”… And I guess a love of technology. I mean, I don’t know why I’m obsessed with technology, and some of it I don’t know how to use, but I want it. I have an iMac that I’ve had for a couple of years, but now they’ve got that new iMac and I want to go get it. I haven’t, but I want to, even though mine’s perfectly fine, because the new one’s all sleek and slim and amazing. I have the newest iPad, the oldest iPad, and when the iPad Mini comes out, I want to get that. So I don’t know, I guess I’d just say that my love of technology, games, comics, toys, all that…I don’t know if that makes me a child or a nerd. [Laughs.]

BE: How was the experience of being a judge on “King of the Nerds”?

JM: It was awesome. What they talked about, the content and the debating of each topic, was awesome, not to mention getting to sit there as a judge, but also the hosts (Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong)…I mean, “Revenge of the Nerds” was one of my favorite movies growing up. I know the whole song. [Starts singing.] “Clap your hands, everybody / And everybody clap your hands!” That was my favorite. And to be able to meet Lewis and Booger…that was a treat. So combining the stuff that they talked about and that we got to judge them and the hosts, it was amazing.

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BE: Not to divulge any spoilers, but were there any contestants who, when you saw them on the show, struck you as being potential Kings?

JM: Um, you know… [Hesitates.] There’s a lot of great people on the show, so…I don’t know which one’ll be the King. And I don’t really want to give anything away, because they get kicked off…well, they don’t get kicked off, but they leave the show. But…I don’t know, there was a young lady there, I’ll say that, who was really passionate and was really on her stuff. She knew what she was talking about. So we’ll see what happens.

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