Archive for November, 2011

Heath Solo Centazzo

Popspotting #164: “Star Suspect” (Nov. 17, 2011)

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Heath Solo Centazzo

Joining us today for PopTalk & Trivia Thursday is podcaster, actor, and all-around supergeek Heath Solo (@HeathActor), a.k.a. Heath Centazzo.

Heath is the host of “The Film List” podcast, a graduate of Syracuse University, and a big fan of Steve McQueen.

He tells us about Cameron Crowe’s documentary “Pearl Jam Twenty,” “Prime Suspect” (before NBC announced it was dropping the show midseason), and the new-and-improved Blu-Ray release of the “Star Wars” movies. Then he’s targeted with an unusual set of trivia categories. Which will he choose?

Popspotting #163: Songs of 1974 (Nov. 16, 2011)

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Turnabout is fair play. After celebrating Jen’s tenth 29th birthday in August with a countdown of her favorite songs of 1972, this week we both share five picks each for great songs of 1974.

Jen’s picks:

  • “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips
  • “Killer Queen” by Queen. Album Sheer Heart Attack
  • “Rock Your Baby” by George McRae
  • “Return of the Grievous Angel” by Gram Parsons
  • “Show and Tell” by Al Wilson

Ryan’s list:

  • “The Air that I Breathe” by The Hollies
  • “Rock the Boat” by Hues Corporation
  • “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan
  • “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Roberta Flack
  • “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield
Hell On Wheels on AMC

Popspotting #162: “Hell on Wheels” (Nov. 15, 2011)

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Hell On Wheels on AMC

For TV Tuesday, we take a look at the pilot of AMC’s latest original series, “Hell On Wheels.” Then, Jen brings us up to speed on the Food Network reality cooking show, “The Next Iron Chef.”

“Hell on Wheels” is AMC’s new original Western series that centers on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, portrayed by Anson Mount, whose quest for vengeance has led him to Union Pacific’s westward construction of the first transcontinental railroad. Other stars include rapper Common, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott, Phil Burke, and Eddie Spears.

“The Next Iron Chef” is now in its fourth season, a reality cooking competition show that will pick the next culinary star to preside over Kitchen Stadium. Competitors this year are Anne Burrell, Michael Chiarello, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, Chuck Hughes, Robert Irvine, Beau MacMillan, Spike Mendelsohn, Marcus Sameulsson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.

J. Edgar Review

Popspotting #161: “J. Edgar” (Nov. 14, 2011)

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J. Edgar Review

Leonardo DiCaprio takes on yet another larger-than-life historical figure in Clint Eastwood’s new biopic, “J. Edgar.” The film follows the career of the FBI’s first and most infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, who held his position and influence through several presidents, from 1935 through his death in 1972. He built the agency into an investigative powerhouse, but burned many bridges along the way, surviving largely through the shrewd collection and use of secret files he kept on every powerful person in the country.

In addition to DiCaprio, “J. Edgar” stars Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, and Judi Dench. The film is also full of cameos portraying famous figures from history, including Jeffrey Donovan as Bobby Kennedy, Josh Lucas as Charles Lindbergh, Christopher Shyer as Richard Nixon, and Emily Alyn Lind as Shirley Temple.

Ambitious in scope, with clear Oscar intentions, does “J. Edgar” bring history alive? Is the combination of political intrigue with a forbidden love story a compelling one? Or is the film brought down by its a winding narrative, drab settings, and distracting old-age makeup?

ABC's Once Upon a Time

Popspotting #160: “Covers Upon a Time” (Nov. 4, 2011)

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ABC's Once Upon a Time

This week’s Feedback Friday finds a number of fans for ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.” We also touch on “Chuck,” back with what may be its final season on NBC. From BBC, “The Fades” gets a thumbs up, and “Sons of Anarchy” hooks another addict. And from Switzerland, our friend Anna introduces a podcast devoted to “The West Wing.”

Then we move on to more favorite cover songs, from Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You” covered by Prince, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” covered by Wyclef Jean, and James Taylor’s “Carolina In My Mind” covered by Alison Krauss & Union Station.

We’ll be back after a week off with more Popspotting! But the show goes on only with your help. Got a suggestion for “Wildcard Wednesday”? A strong difference of opinion on a new TV show? We really want to hear from you!

W. Axel Foley

Popspotting #159: “The Best Work of Art” (Nov. 3, 2011)

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W. Axel FoleyToday’s guest is W. Axel Foley (@WAxelFoley), a filmmaker, podcaster and educator. He is a frequent co-host on “The Film List” with Heath Solo, and one of the four (or more) hosts of “Podtourage.”

Axel works at non-profit public access TV station in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he shoots and edits video and teaches podcasting and video production. He has directed numerous documentaries, commercials, concerts and music videos, and he even has feature film out that is available on Netflix called “Smokers.”

Today, Axel shares his love of “The Best Show” with Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster, a reality TV show on the Bravo network called “Work of Art,” and Arthur C. Clarke‘s “Childhood’s End.” Then, it’s trivia time!

Cheezburger

Popspotting #158: “Wasting Time Online” (Nov. 2, 2011)

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CheezburgerOn the rare occasion Facebook goes down, global productivity goes up. (This is not a proven fact, but it sounds right.) The Internet is a wonderful, nearly magical tool, but its primary use seems to be to waste time. So in honor of procrastinators everywhere, we both share our five favorite online time wasters. And to keep things interesting, we excluded social networking sites… where honestly, we probably spend the most time.

Jen’s list ranges from food blogs to online trivia. Probably no surprise there. Beyond some geeky sites, Ryan goes with the web’s ubiquitous LOLcats… but has a good excuse.

Do these picks seem too obvious to you? Enlighten us! We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to get our money’s worth out of our ISP.

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