Posts from May 2013

Will Smith Performs with Jazzy Jeff

Will Smith performed the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" along with DJ Jazzy Jeff while doing an interview on BBC One. He also brought out Alfonso Ribiero to do the "Carlton Dance."

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about Will's performance:
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Ben Affleck Gets an Honorary Degree

Over the weekend, Ben Affleck recieved an honorary degree from Brown University. Here is video of some of his speech at the commencement ceremony:


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The Hangover 3

Full disclosure, I'm not a disciple of The Hangover.  Seems like that has become the standard for the modern comedy.  I understand it's one of the highest grossing comedies of all time, a massive cult hit and regarded as one of the greatest comedies of the last decade.  For my money, it's not and I never loved it to that extent.  I did enjoy it but then it quickly became a victim of its own success and the tower built on its foundation became too heavy to withstand the weight and it all came crashing down with the release of the second one.  It was one of the worst films of that year and defines what mistakes a sequel can make.  But it made gobs of money again so what does that mean...we get another.  Luckily, thankfully and mercifully though...this is the last one.

The 2009 original was a semi-relatable story about friends having a crazy night in Vegas and picking up the pieces the next day, which included finding their friend Doug.  The 2011 sequel had the EXACT SAME story but set in another country.  For this one, writer/director Todd Phillips (all the Hangover films, Due Date) realized he couldn't shovel the same crap down our throats yet again, so, to is credit, he created a new story.  I won't praise him too much for that since that's what you're suppose to do with a sequel.  This time it's more of a crime heist and can't even be considered a comedy since there are almost no laughs to be found.

Aside from a humorless story, he dramatically underuses two of the stars of the franchise; Ed Helms (NBC's The Office, Jeff, Who Lives at Home) and Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, The A-Team), who's even fresh off an Oscar nomination!  These two do NOTHING in the film and are nothing more than walking, talking set pieces that are there purely out of obligation.  The Hangover 3 is a film starring the third member of the Wolf Pack, Zack Galifianakis (The Campaign, Due Date).  Of course he's the funniest thing about all the films but making him the star is not where he belongs.  That would be the biggest mistake Phillips made had it not been for Ken Jeong (Role Models, Pain and Gain) making an unfortunate return.

Jeong is someone that I have never enjoyed in almost everything he's done.  The man is like a gnat in that he's everywhere and always annoying me.  His character in the Hangover series is Chow, a flamboyant gangster that over stayed his welcome after ten minutes of screen time in the first one.  When I saw that they included him yet again for the third I was turned off but when I discovered that he's basically the star of the film, I wanted to puke in my soup.  Yes, you heard me right...he's the STAR!  He shares just as much screen time as the Wolf Pack but has more lines than Helms and Cooper do combined.  This was the icing on the crap cake that was The Hangover 3.

It's not to say there aren't a few good moments in the film.  John Goodman appears as the villain and he's always entertaining to watch but not giving him anything funny to say or do was another mistake on the ever-growing list.  Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Identity Thief) appears in a sweet cameo as she does now in all comedies that are released not learning that saturating the market is not ever a good thing.  But probably one of the best moments is a reunion with Carlos, the baby from the first one, who is played by the same kid.  It's a really sweet scene with Galifianakis until it just gets weird and unfunny.    

I think the track record of this trilogy and Todd Phillips' other attempts at writing/directing are starting to prove that the success of the first Hangover was a fluke.  What has revealed to be true is that Phillips is a guy who thinks he knows how to make a great comedy but actually doesn't.  His films stink of his ego and swagger which is even more off-putting than someone who crafts a film with a lack of confidence.  The only reason why The Hangover 3 should be celebrated is that it finally puts an end to our misery.
The Hangover 3  (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: D

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Jason Can't Swallow Pills

Jason can't swallow pills like a normal adult. When he has to take medicine he has to go through a whole process just to get the pill down.

Here is video of him taking a pill:


After seeing Jason struggle to take medicine, Katie decided to help by showing him the method she uses for her 4-year-old:


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Anthem Butchered at Hockey Game

Before the 2013 Memorial Cup, Alexis Normand forgot the words to the National Anthem:

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about Alexis:
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Oklahoma Tornados

Click here for information on how you can help with the relief efforts.

Or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

Here are a few videos from the coverage of the tornados in Moore, Oklahoma:

This one is of KFOR-TV’s Lance Moore breaking down while reporting from the scene of the Oklahoma tornado:

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about Lance Moore:

Here is a happier video of survivor Barbara Garcia finds her dog while being interviewed:

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about Barbara Garcia:

Here is video of survivors talking about the storm:

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Star Trek: Into Darkness

In life, you're one of two people; a Star Trek or Star Wars person.  I fall firmly into the Star Wars category since it just appleaed to my child mind more growing up.  To date, I have only seen two Star Trek films and zero episodes of any of the show's variations.  However, director JJ Abrams (Super 8, ABC's Lost) has done something that I never thought anyone could do; he's made Star Trek movies that appeal to both Trekkies and those of us who've had sex.  What raises the stakes this second time around with him in the captain's chair is the news that he will also be taking over the Star Wars series for Disney in two years.  So this was like a small audition for what he'll do with a franchise I hold dear.

The Abrams Star Trek films are prequels and show what happened prior to the series starting.  According to my friend Dave, who is such a Trekkie he showed up in uniform to the screening, Into Darkness brings us up to the point where the TV show starts.  The story follows the crew of the USS Enterprise hunting a terrorist and avenging the death of a friend.  The thickness of the plot comes from who the mysterious terrorist is and what his motives are.  He's played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse), who has a name that already makes him sound like a Bond villain.  Make no mistake, he is at the top of a very long list of reasons to see this movies.  His performance is menacing, sympathetic and exciting.  Learn that name because you're gonna be hearing it a helluva lot after this.

The rest of those reasons on the list are also stellar.  The cast is all the same as the first one and features Chris Pine (This Means War, Bottleshock), Zachary Quinto (NBC's Heroes, FX's American Horror Story), and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) just to name a few.  Everyone in the film carries their weight but the relationship between Kirk and Spock is explored deeply and even moves the least of the Trekkies among us.  That could only have been achieved with a script that fires on all cylinders.  Not for a second does the tone stay long enough to over stay its welcome.  

Into Darkness is almost two-and-a-half hours long and feels as long as an episode of the TV show.  The action begins from the opening scene and is simply relentless after that.  Now, some movies that jam that much action into a film usually do it as a crutch to make up for a weak script and shallow characters.  That is not the case with Into Darkness.  This is a rich story that's less complicated than the first Abram's Star Trek and twice as enjoyable.  Everything about it equals entertainment and none of it lags at all.

Of course there is the JJ Abram's trademark lens flares that fly across the screen with dazziling color and distract every single time.  There's also brief moments of eye rolling with blatant pandering to Trekkie fans.  There's also moments of melodrama that I can't get into without major spoilers that feel slightly tired and on-the-nose.  But all these hiccups are minor at best and never once distract or derail from the awesomeness that is Into Darkness.  I recommend seeing it on an IMAX screen like the Esquire downtown since it's a movie-going expiereince that a home theater will never reproduce.  More refreshing than seeing a great film like this though is the knowledge that it's obvious that the Star Wars franchise is in good hands.
Star Trek: Into Darkness  (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A+
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Another Kanye Rant

During a performance in New York, Kanye West went on another rant, this time about why he won't do a SNL skit about the paparazzi. Watch it below:


Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about Kanye West's rant....
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Seeing Something Shocking

A Wake Up Call listener took this photo while out to eat. In the photo, there are two men and a woman sitting at a table. The woman is leaning her head onto the shoulder of her boyfriend who is sitting next to her, but under the table you can clearly see that she is putting her bare foot between the legs of the man sitting across from her... BUSTED!!!

Listen to the Wake Up Call talk about the craziest things people have seen:
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Congratulating Cancelled Show

During a hockey game, sideline reporter Dan Moriarty, mistakenly congratulated Matthew Perry on his cancelled show. Watch the awkward video here:

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