Posts Tagged ‘Patton Oswalt’

Media Update 2/15/18

February 15, 2018


Happy!

I have been a Christopher Meloni fan for years. I became a fan when I first watched Law and Order SVU but I had a feeling that he could do more than that character. I was right. I had watched Wet Hot American Summer long before SVU but I never made the connection. When I recently rediscovered WHAS, I was astonished to see Meloni in a quirky and funny role. This show has him in a darkly comic, weird role that really makes me laugh but I also feel for the character. He plays an ex-cop who is now basically a homeless hitman who is being given a second chance to be a hero. He has a death wish so his nonplussed reactions to danger are both scary and funny. He is guided on his mission by a little girl’s imaginary friend played by Patton Oswalt. Patton’s character (the titular Happy) is a pure innocent who is slowly corrupted by traveling through the bowels of society all while struggling to stay good and loyal. Patton must have drawn on both his stand up’s dark humor and his experience doing kids animated movies. I am only a few episodes in but I really want to see where this is going. I wholeheartedly recommend it but it is dark.


Cloak and Dagger

I stumbled upon this now-obscure movie because I was suddenly interested in imaginary friends after watching some episodes of Happy!. I consulted TV Tropes and I was intrigued by the basic premise of this movie. Also, I found out that it was written by Tom Holland (who would go on to direct such great movies such as Fright Night). Holland and the director’s intention was to create a suspense/thriller that is for kids. The movie is about a young boy named Davey whose mother recently died and he is being somewhat neglected by his hardworking father. He is obsessed with a game about a spy and he has gotten a little girl and a game store owner obsessed with the game too. You might already see where this is going. He stumbles upon a real spy plot and finds out what that world is actually like. Along the way, he is guided by the fictional spy he idolized (and played as). The boy is played by Henry Thomas and he plays the internal conflict between excitement and fear really well. His neighbor and best friend is played by Christina Nigra and she is appropriate sassy and surprisingly capable for a really little kid. Dabney Coleman plays both the boy’s father and the spy the boy idolizes forming obvious but charming symbolism. The movie is very suspenseful but it is also very charming and I really enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. I definitely recommend it.


Donnie Darko

This is a weird movie but I knew that going in. I have wanted to watch this movie ever since it came out but I just never have for reasons. The movie largely deals with issues of time travel through supernatural and not science fiction means. It also deals with human psychology, sociology, and religion. The movie also deals with the rising anti-intellectualism that was sweeping the United States during the early 2000s and still takes root today. The main character is played by Jake Gyllenhaal who is great at playing a disaffected youth who is caught in the middle of insanity and forces beyond his control. Along the way, he is shepherded by teachers played by Drew Barrymore and Noah Wyle. He is opposed by ignorance in the form of Betty Grant and Patrick Swayze. He has allies in sassy Maggie Gyllenhaal and intelligent Jena Malone. This is the kind of movie that is hard to describe without spoiling it. It is also hard to capture with just a description because this movie is just a lot to take in. The movie puts forward a lot of interesting ideas about a lot of subjects, most importantly causality and time travel. Along the way, there is a lot of dark, offbeat humor mostly from characters who are easy to hate and characters who are very warm and inviting. Of course, it does not hurt that the movie is set in my favorite month. I definitely recommend this movie as it is something you kind of have to see yourself.

Music of the Week:
Metric (and Brie Larson) – Black Sheep

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

Nate Wants to Battle – Delete Me

The Black Satans – The Satan Of Hell

The Struts – Kiss This

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Imaginary Friends”
– I started watching Criminal Minds Season 11
– I started watching The Good Place Season 2
– I started watching The Librarians Season 4

– I watched more Mad Men Season 1
– As usual, I watched some of my YouTube shows like Game Grumps, DCA, GTLive, KittyKatGaming, and Critical Role
– I have also watched some Barry Kramer and RubberRoss on Twitch

Media Update 5/19/16

May 19, 2016


Conan

This was another television show that I was mystified I had never talked about on here before. Conan O’Brien is an awesome performer who obviously puts his all into everything he does. It is very clear in his work that he loves what he does and lives and breathes show business. I first discovered Conan O’Brien over ten years ago when he was on and I was hooked pretty much immediately. Late Night with Conan O’Brien was a great show because it was on late and it was often absolutely crazy. Watching Conan was like being part of a fan club, a feeling he made more official lately by labeling a lot of what he does under the Team Coco label. When he succeeded Leno on the Tonight Show I was overjoyed. Finally, the geeks had taken the castle and the bully Leno was out. Of course, that situation did not work out but Conan soldiered on and gained even more of my respect. Now he has had his own TBS show for a while now and I feel that’s a better fit for him. He gets fewer notes and is able to do a lot of fun stuff on his own. His humor is very self-deprecating and he is very loyal to his staff and they are extremely loyal to them. Lately, I have been watching episodes again and they are great but that’s not all. I have started to watch Team Coco’s weekly video game stream which is an online feature that complements Conan’s own Clueless Gamer segments.


Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping

I love Patton Oswalt. He is one of those hand full of performers who will immediately make me trust that what I’m watching is at least worth a try. He is consistently in my top three favorite stand-up comedians because he is an extraordinarily talented comedian. Patton has a voice and facial expressions that make me start smiling as soon as he starts a joke. His performance in Ratatouille was touching and funny and he saved what could have been a lackluster Pixar movie and he played several hilarious roles on Bojack Horseman. It is not that rare for me to watch something and go “Hey, it’s Patton Oswalt!” excitedly. He has a very recognizable voice and his comic timing is always on target. In the new special on Netflix, you get the benefit of years of honing his craft and learning to develop material. Patton really resonates with me. He suffers from bouts of depression like I do. He obsesses over a lot of the nerdy stuff like I do and, I now find out, he has the same pop culture sponge brain that I do. Unfortunately, this special came out about a day before his wife died and I hope he and his daughter come out alright though it sounds like they should be fine. He is a great guy and a brilliant mind and I really suggest you check out the special if you can. In fact, one of his bits is about the same impulse that made me create Media Update and Why I Love Pro-Wrestling.


You Don’t Know Jack

I love video games. As a kid, I was always a console gamer but some of my friends were PC gamers. I can’t remember which friend introduced me to the You Don’t Know Jack series of games. The game series is popular even today as they just released a new party pack which let’s players and streamers are having a field day with. The game is a pretty fast-paced trivia game that uses a lot of puns and humor to test your wits. The game is tricky but it is fair and when it comes down to it not that hard as long as you are knowledgeable about pop culture and the world. Unknown to me, ABC created a show in 2000 based on the computer game series. I had no idea this show existed but that makes sense as there were only six episodes broadcast and I have now seen them all on YouTube. The episodes are a little dated now but are very fun. The show is hosted by Troy Stevens (played by Paul Reubens) a guy who only cares about himself and enjoys tormenting the contestants. A lot of the fun of the show relies on Reubens’ charm and wit as he really drives the show. The episodes I saw were well-written and had some fun contestants as well. It’s a shame that the show had to be canceled but I am glad to have found a little gem online. Check it out if you like irreverent, crazy humor.

Links of the Week:
Introducing WikiBear, the Wikipedia-powered Teddy Bear
Prince – Partyman
The Black Keys – Sister
Dragonforce – Operation Ground And Pound
The Veronicas – Cruel

Weekly Updates:
– Happy Anniversary to my nerd rants!
– This week’s theme is Nerdy Comedy because Comedy was too broad
– They canceled The Muppets! Noooo!
– Also Agent Carter! Nooooo!
– Also Castle! …. Meh.
– Nice Guys opens this week. Looks noice.
– Alice Through the Looking Glass still looks as bad as the first movie.

My Top 11 Favorite Stand Up Comedians

December 3, 2014

1 Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani is consistently the comedian that makes me laugh the most.  The stand-up specials I’ve heard had me laughing like crazy.  His bits are so well-constructed that I did a whole routine of his and got somebody else laughing hard.  He’s the cohost of Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail and is a hilarious host.  He also hosts two podcasts and guests on Harmontown all the time and he’s just so much fun to listen to.  His humor comes from very personal experience and a lot of it is mixed strangely with horror.  Most of this comes from telling stories of his childhood in Pakistan which sounds pretty terrifying.

2 Patton Oswalt

I have laughed at Patton Oswalt until tears have run down my face and black spots have formed on the edge of my vision and I needed to stop to catch my breath.  He’s so good at forming relentless stories that hit you over and over again.  His comedy is really smart and I know he’s a big comic book nerd which puts us somewhat on the same wavelength.  I find myself nodding my head a lot when I listen to Patton Oswalt.  I’m taking that as a good sign.

3 Robin Williams

If you can get in the rhythm of his rapid-fire delivery, this is really great stand up to listen to.  Robin was all over the place all the time in a manic-yet-driven style.  Beyond the pop culture references and impressions and screaming he had a point and it always felt like the truth.  Robin Williams was nothing but honest with his fans even when he was talking about his greatest faults.  Behind that bouncy and bright grin there was always a bit of a realist there.  At least, that’s how I always saw it.

4 Amy Schumer (NSFW)

Talk about honest, Amy Schumer tends to push honest through R-Rated and into NC-17 while still being classy enough to take seriously.  My first exposure to her was her special Mostly Sex Stuff which was a very accurate title.  She’s definitely not safe for work but her bits and delivery are dead on.  She also has a show on Comedy Central which is very good even if I could never watch it with my family.

5 Steve Martin

Steve Martin is one of the first stand up comedians I ever became a fan of.  I will remain loyal to him for a long time, forever if he keeps behaving the way he is.  I realize that it may be unfair to put Steve Martin on this list since he was less of a stand up comedian and more of a performance artist.  Most of the comedians I like tell stories that are mostly true.  Steve Martin did everything but tell the truth.  He was a wacky cartoon character come to life and he brought that to every role even if he was playing the straight man.  Still, I could listen to Steve Martin albums forever.

6 Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick has been around forever (or at least since the nineties) but only lately has he became a juggernaut in the geek and comedy worlds.  Chris has honed his craft to a sharp edge but I’ve liked him as soon as I first heard him.  He’s a big enough nerd that he adopted The Nerdist as his brand and has taken that to the bank several times over.  He rubs elbows with every comedian that matters in the business and is funny enough to hang with all of them legitimately.  I’m genuinely happy to see him show up anywhere.

7 Eddie Izzard

When I first saw Eddie Izzard, probably pointed his way by Arthur or somebody way back when, my first thought was:  “Who is this guy in the dress and why is he wearing makeup and why is nobody mentioning it?”  My second question was: “Why haven’t I heard of this guy before now? He’s hilarious.”  Like Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard doesn’t stay in one place for long and jumps along lines of thoughts towards either a conclusion or sometimes just into the ether.  His comedy is surreal and imaginitive and his accent tops it off nicely.

8 Ellen Degeneres

Yeah, I know she’s not somebody you usually think about when you think about stand up comedy.  At least not in the last decade or so.  Still, Ellen has a simple way of setting up jokes that catch you off guard.  Most of her stuff keeps away from personal stories but instead focuses on the everyday stuff we all take for granted.  Thoughts we may have half-formed ourselves but let go of pretty quickly.  Those thoughts do deserve a look though, if only to laugh at how stupid we all can be.

9 Doug Benson

Doug Benson is probably the biggest stoner who has ever held down a job with any reliability.  Get ready for a lot of pot humor since it is his bread and butter but once you’ve accepted that, it gets better.  He has a tendency to giggle along with the crowd which should be annoying but ends up being infectious. His jokes also tend to take a lot of left turns out of nowhere so I end up being caught off guard and laughing harder.  A guy I thought was a one-note stoner comedian ended up being a fun listen.

10 Gabriel Iglesias

Gabriel Iglesias is another guy who looked one note when I first heard his stand up.  He talked alot about how he’s fat (not fat, Fluffy!).  Again, this should have gotten tiresome but the thing is, he was just so damned excited about it.  His enthusiasm flows through every single word he delivers.   He talks a lot about stuff that has really happened to him or at least close enough to seem real.   He has an interesting perspective culturally who lights up like a roman candle when he tells jokes.  If that makes any sense.

11 George Carlin

I have deep respect for George Carlin.   Though, to be honest, I didn’t like his earlier work.  The hippy, dippiness of his earlier work seemed too unfocused and to insubstantial.   He was playing characters instead of speaking from the heart.  In his latter work he never talked about himself too much but he spoke straight from the heart.  He dissected language, pointed out hypocrisy and proudly stated his opinions.  Sure it could come with heavy sarcasm and deadly cynicism but I always liked that.


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