Friday, August 22, 2008

The Entertainment Wrap Up - August 21, 2008 - Olympics, BB10, Veronica Mars, Heroes Season Two, Amazing Race Cast Revealed, & More

Hope everyone is doing great!!

The Olympics are still ongoing from Beijing. I have been glued to the coverage of it. Just thought I’d give some random thoughts on the week from the Olympics. It’s a shame that Michael Phelps couldn’t get anything accomplished in this Olympics. Ha ha. Are you kidding me??!! Eight gold medals!!!! The most ever for an individual in the Olympics. What can be said about it? He is definitely the face of this Olympic games. Incredible. That is all that can be said.
The Today Show Gallery Of Champions

Gymnastics was nothing short of dramatic all week. I talked about the women’s individual all around and team competitions last week. Since then, we’ve had the event finals. The powerhouse duo of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson did not disappoint as expected. We had the tie between Nastia Liukin and He Kexin on the uneven bars. Well, that was nothing short of bizarre with how that all went down as no one had a clue as to what was going on. The two of them tied on their routines and Liukin was moved into second even with the same score. The process of how the tie was broken was explained and made sense once it was shown. In years past, two gold medals would have been awarded but those days are gone. My complaint of the whole situation wasn’t the way of breaking the tie. They did that like it was supposed to be done. I just didn’t think that there should have been a tie in the first place as I thought Liukin’s was the better and more solid routine. Shawn Johnson finally won gold in the balance beam event final. That was a sigh of relief cause that would have been lousy if she didn’t leave Beijing with a gold medal. So, the dynamic gymnastics duo won a total of nine medals. Nastia Liukin won five medals (one gold, three silver, and one bronze) and Shawn Johnson won four (one gold and three silvers). I spent a lot of my week griping at the scoring. It was really inconsistent at times. I noticed that some of the other gymnasts weren’t getting deductions like the Americans were. Yeah, I’m sure you’ll say that I’m biased and I am. However, I noticed several times that the judges were deducting hard on Johnson’s step over on her dismount where as others would do it and get a smaller deduction. The scoring drove me insane at times. So, the real question is on whether the new scoring system helped or hurt? One thing is for sure is that it made it more complicated. I’m not a fan of it. I understand why they did it cause we had way too much controversy in scoring in recent years. I’m just not sure if it helped or hurt. I was bummed to see Michael Johnson’s record go down but it was an incredible performance that knocked him to second on the record books. Usain Bolt topped the 200m world record that was previously set by Johnson in Atlanta in 1996. Bolt ran a 19.30 beating Johnson by .02 of a second. Bolt also set the world record for the 100m setting it with a 9.69 including the fact that he backed off as he approached the finish line. I could try and think of some adjectives to describe his amazing run but I’ll just stick with, WOW. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. They are an amazing team!! They were able to capture the gold medal in women’s beach volleyball in an intense matchup against China. What a match that was!! The weather was horrible which left me wondering, where is China’s weather laser anyway? It rained throughout but the weather didn’t get bad enough to cancel it like it did other events going on. China looked tough as could be in that first set. May and Walsh stepped up as they always do and won the gold medal. Can we bring them back for 2012 too? By the way, they did win the gold medal in 2004 too. Interesting game this morning in women’s basketball with the U.S. playing Russia. If you hadn’t heard, Becky Hammon played for Russia wanting to participate in the Olympics but was left off of the U.S. team. I was bummed when she was left off the U.S. team cause I think she is very deserving. So, it was interesting that they played each other this morning with the U.S. prevailing. I am stunned that the US softball team lost in the gold medal game this morning. I was told this morning that they had lost and thought it was a joke. They had looked unbeatable. Japan was able to do the unthinkable by defeating them to win the gold medal. I still think it’s lousy that softball won’t be around in 2012. The US women’s soccer team had better results after a nail biter against Brazil in the gold medal game. The game had to go into extra time which resulted in Carli Lloyd scoring in the sixth minute giving the U.S. a 1-0 win. A major comeback for the soccer team after the loss at last year’s World Cup which stirred a lot of controversy. I watched some events live online last night on NBCOlympics.com and really enjoyed it. The streaming video was incredible with its quality. What did I watch? I watched some swimming and table tennis for a while.

Olympics Day 9 - Swimming

The Michael Phelps record setting 8th gold medal win was watched by about 40 million viewers on Saturday night making it the most watched Saturday night for NBC in 18 years. Surprisingly, it was an episode of Empty Nest that was watched by almost as many back in 1990. NBC is said to be averaging around 30 million viewers through the first nine days including all the swimming events.


If you’re a gymnastics fan, the post Olympic tour will once again be hitting the road featuring gold medal winners Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. For more info including the tour dates and who else will be appearing, head over to: http://www.gymnasticssuperstars.com/

Movie box office numbers for last weekend. 1. Tropic Thunder - $25.8 million. 2. The Dark Knight - $16.3 million. 3. Star Wars: The Clone Wars - $14.6 million. 4. Mirrors - $11.1 million. 5. Pineapple Express - $9.8 million. 6. The Mummy - $8.2 million. 7. Mamma Mia - $6 million. 8. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 - $5.7 million. 9. Step Brothers - $4.8 million. 10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona - $3.7 million.

The Dark Knight has moved into the number two spot for all time domestic grossing movie only trailing Titanic. As of last weekend, The Dark Knight had made $471.4 million which topped Star Wars ($460.9 million). Titanic still sits at number one with $600.7 million. Impressive numbers.

This news immediately got my excitement up. It’s no secret that I’m a big Veronica Mars fan and there has been talk about doing a movie. Could it be coming together? Well, Michael Ausiello over at Entertainment Weekly has some scoop on it that at least makes all of us Veronica fans more optimistic. Having Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas teaming together again would be a GREAT thing. If you’ve never seen Veronica Mars, do yourself a favor and check it out. Here is the link on the possible movie talk:http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2008/08/exclusive-veron.html

Today is day 45 in the Big Brother house. The reign of Renny was the focus of this week. What was Renny’s plan? Well, if her plan was to freak out everyone in the house, mission accomplished. Renny’s target for eviction for the week was April. April did know that she was going up as it was no surprise to her but her wish was for Jerry to be on the block with her. This was when Renny started asking people if they wanted to go up as a pawn against April. Good grief no. Big Brother history tells you that the pawn almost always goes home. Renny talked to Ollie to see what was going on with his game. He worked on her to put up Jerry which she ended up doing. Renny put up Jerry and April on the nomination block. When Ollie didn’t go up on the block, it made many question on where her loyalty was. Dan, Memphis, and Keesha were especially wondering if Renny had worked a deal with Ollie. The veto competition took place and April was very happy that Ollie got to take part as it increased her chances to be taken off the block. The veto competition consisted of a guessing game such as “guess how many pins are in this doll” or “guess how many roaches are in the box”. You would make a guess and then be able to stay or fold on whether you thought you were close enough to being right. First person to three points won the veto. Jerry got a two point lead immediately. Dan made a come from behind effort and then won guessing the number of nails on a bed of nails. Dan wins the veto. The talk immediately turned to if he would use it. I have to say that it was humorous seeing Jerry suddenly apologizing for his words that he had for Dan last week. Amazing what power in the house will do. Dan was trying to figure out a way to get Ollie up on the block saying that it would be better for him to go cause he is so unpredictable. April mentioned to Ollie that she might offer Dan some of her money that she had won to get him to use the veto. She did talk to Dan but did not offer the money and instead left the conversation open ended as she hoped for him to use it. Dan talked to Renny to see where her head was at but she wouldn’t show anything on her game plan. She did say that she would see Dan as a traitor if he used the veto. Dan does not use the veto but during the veto meeting he throws a comment out saying that he was offered money. He didn’t say who offered him money but that could be either April or Jerry. Jerry also has had money given to him in the Big Brother house. April and Jerry both say that they didn’t offer Dan money during their diary room sessions. Dan’s plan was to just get the house stirred up with the story knowing that it wasn’t true. It worked. Ollie and April would try to get Michelle’s vote and seemingly had it but Dan was again the swing vote. Ollie and April would end up talking to Dan as well trying to get him to vote for April to stay. April did offer money this time along with safety. Dan did think about it but ultimately decided to stick with voting April out. April was evicted on a 4-1 vote with Ollie being the only vote for her to stay. Will April and Ollie remain a couple outside of the house? It sure seems like it so far. In his goodbye speech, Ollie asked April if she would be his first girlfriend and he wanted her answer when Big Brother was over. She gave her answer to the viewers watching saying yes. Next up was the HOH competition which was an endurance challenge with the houseguests hanging on a vine looking deal and then getting swung into the wall. What a brutal HOH challenge. Those initial hits looked like they hurt bad!! The HOH competition was underway as the show went off the air. Julie Chen also announced that next week would be a Big Brother fast forward episode where a week’s worth of events happen in one episode so there will be two evictions next week.

Other thoughts on the Big Brother week. Ok, Ollie running from the birds was one of the funniest moments in Big Brother history. I thought that was hilarious. If you missed it, Ollie has a major fear of birds and there are birds that fly around the top of the backyard. Ollie backing up over the couch and then sliding his way across the wall to go inside was great stuff. The look on his face was classic. It was fun to see him get to watch the clips of himself with the birds on tonight’s live show. It’s nice to see the show focus on some lighter mood type stuff. The food competition for the week was the houseguests wagering on disgusting things to eat. Things to eat included crickets, pig ears, and then slop. April who said that she has been a vegetarian since 13 had to eat pig ears. The competition ended up with the team of Dan, April, Michelle, and Keesha winning to put the rest of the house on slop. Jerry was on slop for another week. He mentioned tonight that he has been on slop for 26 of the 44 days in the house. Anyone else tired of the happy speeches in the veto meetings? It makes me remember the great Will speech from Big Brother All Stars where he said that he hated them all and to vote him out. Best veto speech ever!! I still laugh at it.

What You Missed On The Live Feeds: Honestly, I’ve gotten to watch very little of the live feeds this week due to my Olympic watching. I did watch quite a bit of the stuff that aired with Renny trying to come up with her nomination plans. It really was bizarre and she was freaking people out. It’s funny cause just as it showed on the episode, she would ask people upon entering the HOH room if they wanted to go up as a pawn against April. They all gave the same reaction of “are you kidding me?” It was funny to follow the message boards during this day with fans wondering what in the world Renny was doing? If you didn’t know, the veto competition took place in the late night hours. There hasn’t been a whole lot going on but the houseguests did play a game of hide and seek which was fun. One funny moment was Michelle looking for people hiding and Jerry looked right at her when she walked in front of where he was hiding in the backyard. He thought he was caught which was why he popped up and looked at her. She didn’t even see him. Pretty funny. Yeah, sorry that I don’t have more for you for live feed stuff this week. I’ll have more time to watch in the days ahead.

What Has Happened Since The Live Show: I have posted below in a separate post on what has happened in the HOH endurance competition.

Season two of Heroes is released on DVD on Tuesday. There is no shortage of extras on the DVD set with even more extras being included on the Blu-ray release. The set will, of course, include all eleven episodes of the strike shortened season. On the set includes: Generations Alternate Ending (including a commentary on the changes made which I hear is very much worth watching), Untold Stories which includes stories that never aired, a sneak peek of season three, a behind the scenes of season two, many deleted scenes, audio commentaries on every episode, features on Takezo Kensei, The Drucker Files, Genetics of a Scene, Maya and Alejandro, The Anatomy of the Cherry Blossom/Swordfight Scenes, Exploding Man, The Loft, and more. The Blu-Ray release will contain more extras including enhanced versions of the episode commentary with a picture in picture deal which is what you have seen on NBC.com if you have watched the episodes with commentary on there. If you haven’t seen the picture in picture, it is very cool!! I watched several of them on NBC.com. Also, season one will get another release with it being released for the first time on Blu-ray on Tuesday as well.

We are getting so close to the fall TV season. So excited!!! With the new fall season, expect to see a lot of previous season TV on DVD box sets being released. That is the big marketing plan to get these DVD sets out right before the new seasons premiere to get you hooked on shows and also for you to be up to date on the previous season. It is very smart planning for the studios to do that and it’s a great way to get hooked on shows. So, definitely be looking for your favorites to be hitting stores soon.

Smallville has cast Charlotte Sullivan to play the new character, Maxima.

The cast for The Amazing Race 13 has been revealed. Here is the cast:
Marisa (age 22) and Brooke (age 24), southern belles from South Carolina.
Ken (age 51) and Tina (age 48), married but separated couple.
Kelly (age 26) and Christy (age 26), best friends who are both divorced from Texas.
Toni (age 51) and Dallas (age 22), mother and son from California.
Mark (age 41) and Bill (age 42), friends from San Diego with Mark being the CFO of Comic-Con.
Anita (age 63) and Arthur (age 60), married beekeepers from Eugene, Oregon.
Stephanie (age 32) and Anthony (age 32), dating couple from Los Angeles, California.
Aja (age 25) and Ty (age 25), long distance dating couple from Los Angeles and Southfield, MI.
Terence (age 35) and Sarah (age 31), dating couple from New York City.
Andrew (age 22) and Dan (age 23), Fraternity brothers from Tuscon, Arizona and Wilmington, Delaware.
Nick (age 22) and Starr (age 21), siblings from New York City and Fort Worth, Texas.
The Amazing Race takes off from the starting line on Sunday, September 28th on CBS. For more info on this new season, check out: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/amazing_race/

Some of the biggest female singers in the industry are getting together to help a great cause. Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, and LeAnn Rimes will be the cast for the new charity single, “Just Stand Up”, which is to benefit Stand Up To Cancer. The idea was started after Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who is the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, had a very inspiring meeting with the women who organized the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. Reid and also Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds produced the song which will be released to radio and be available to buy on iTunes beginning on September 2nd. There will also be a TV special devoted to Stand Up To Cancer on September 5th at 7pm central time with ABC, CBS, and NBC all airing it commercial free to help bring attention to the fight against Cancer. For more info on Stand Up To Cancer and ways to help with this great cause, go to: http://www.standup2cancer.org.

The Joss Whedon comics continue to sell well. The numbers are out for July. On the list of top sellers for the month was issue sixteen of Buffy Season Eight (ranked #10 selling 82,031 copies), issue ten of Angel After The Fall (ranked #51 selling 43,024 copies), and the debut of Spike After The Fall (ranked #59 selling 36,974 copies.

I thought I'd recap some of the latest Buffy season eight comics. This will cover The Wolves At The Gate four part run. I enjoyed this story quite a bit and found myself really hooked on it. I'm going into spoilers so you'll want to skip ahead if you don't want to know what is happening. After the gang caught Buffy in a revealing situation with Satsu, the gang ends up under attack by a group of vampires. The Scythe is taken from them. They get word on the leader being a vamp named Toru. Buffy and the gang look to go do battle with the group of vamps in Japan. Dracula returns after his season five appearance but is looking very down and depressed when we see him. However, he isn't all there. His powers have been taken away. One revelation is that he and Xander have become buddies which adds a lot of comedy to this story. Apparently, Xander ended up hanging out with Dracula as a way to come back emotionally from the loss of Anya. Xander questions Dracula on the fact that his powers may have been taken away and it finally makes sense to Dracula on who did it. He was ready for some payback. The group of vampires have figured out a way to zap the slayer ability away from the girls using the Scythe. They kill Aiko, one of the slayers, and then leave her as a welcome symbol for Buffy and the gang upon arrival. They do capture one of the vamps and Buffy threatens to burn him if he doesn’t give them information. It is revealed to the Scoobies that the vamps have figured out a way to use the Scythe to take away the slayer abilities of everyone. Even after promising to not burn him if he gave information, Buffy still does it saying “this is war”. Xander and Renee had continued to hit it off but things go badly when Renee ends up being killed in the battle by Toru. Dracula works with Willow in the battle as he knew that she could reverse the spell taking away all of the vampires extra powers using Dracula’s sword. The spell works and the battle comes to a conclusion. Dracula leaves the final revenge for Xander though to take out Toru for what he did to Renee which he does. We still have the deal with Buffy and Satsu which continues to make things uncomfortable for them. Buffy was going to leave her out of the battle but Satsu wasn't having it demanding to be included knowing that she is one of the best fighters in the group. After the battle is done, Buffy and Satsu talk and it is decided for Satsu to stay behind in Japan and lead that group of slayers. I found the stuff with the "giant" Dawn battling her mechanical version to be very funny. Dawn was called into the battle to help even out the numbers and since she is a giant, she has a major worth there. However, the vamps had a counter to that. A giant Dawn in robot form complete with acting like her. So, Dawn and the robot fight it out while the robot repeats various teenager lines which annoys Dawn saying that she doesn't say that or act like that. I laughed quite a bit at it. Overall, I enjoyed this latest story arc in the Buffy season eight series.

The Hills returned for its season four premiere on Monday night. I just thought I’d do a little recap for anyone that may have missed it. Most of the focus of the episode continued from the happenings of last season’s finale with Lauren, Lo, and Audrina’s still looking to get along. Lauren and Lo threw a birthday party for Audrina but Lo didn’t stick around for a lot of it as the situation between the two of them had become uncomfortable. The episode ended with a talk between Lo and Audrina where Audrina told her that they would never be friends as they were just very different people. Heidi and Spencer got a houseguest which was Heidi’s sister. Spencer was ready for her to leave immediately. Her sister left after a couple of days but said that she was thinking of moving out there and talked of moving in with them until she could get her own place. Spencer wasn’t at all for that which was kind of humorous considering that is what he did to his sister last season. Lauren had a new guy named Doug that she was seeing and it looks like we’ll be seeing more of him based on the previews for the rest of the season.

The Tonight Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien return to NBC with new shows starting on Monday after the break due to Olympic coverage.

It was announced to the media last week that there will no advance screening of the new Beverly Hills 90210 making everyone wait till the premiere night.

Angela Bassett’s husband, Courtney B. Vance, will be making several appearances on ER this season. He will play the husband of Bassett’s character.

The trio behind the Lord Of The Rings movies have signed on to take part in the writing for the new Hobbit movie. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will take part in the movie which is scheduled to open sometime in either 2011 or 2012. I remember there being a lot of talk about a year or so ago about who was going to be writing it. The movie is going to be a prequel to the first Lord Of The Rings movie.

Microsoft is set to try and counter the advertising by Apple. Microsoft has signed Jerry Seinfeld to participate in commercials with Bill Gates to help promote the company with their new advertising strategy. Apple’s ads are a lot of fun so we’ll see if they can top those ads. The new ads should begin showing up on September 4th.

TV on DVD releases for Tuesday, August 26th. Charles In Charge (Best Of), Dirty Jobs (Collection Three), Entourage (Season Four), Everybody Hates Chris (Season Three), Heroes (Season Two), NCIS (Season Five), One Tree Hill (Season Five), The Shield (Season Six), Shockwave (Season One), The Untouchables (Season Two – Volume Two).

Video Of The Week: Looking back at the Olympic dominance of Michael Phelps.
http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/share.html?videoid=0817_HD_SWM_RC_CE265

Have a great and safe weekend!! Take care and God bless!!

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