The Interview

Much ado about . . . ?

All the DC Comics Shows!

In Episode 186, Germar talks about the latest episodes of The Flash, Arrow, and Gotham

Germar hosting at thestreamTv!

Watch the Agent Carter After Show!

Big Movies

Reviewed

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

16 cultural differences between the US and Spain

by Sofia Squittieri, Writing Intern

1.    Bread for breakfast.
            We usually have toast in the morning with a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit.            Breakfast for us does not need to be sweet; but if you're going to eat                                sweets, this is the time. When we go out for breakfast we might eat a                          French croissant or another kind of pastry like magdalenas (plain muffins) or             napolitanas (similar to a croissant but stuffed with ham and cheese or                         chocolate or custard). We don’t know what a bagel is. Scrambled eggs are                reserved for the exercise obsessives.

2.    We like to take a seat, eat, and talk.
One of the least exciting things about eating in the States is that people rush. People eat, and then leave, or they order their food to go. We like to enjoy our meals. Our meals last forever. We like talking at the table, and we can go on and on for hours. It’s called sobremesa and we use that time to communicate. The TV is not a guest in our dinners.
           
3.    Bedtime and naps. A decent time to go to bed is midnight; however, many people are up until 1 or 2am. We can do this because if we're tired, we can nap after lunch. Naps are accepted and encouraged.


4.    Partying. We start the party at around 11pm or midnight--after dinner--and we will be up until 8am. We also need to enjoy the sunrise. We will go back home even later if we decide to have breakfast together and even later if we decide to drink some cañas (small beers).

5.      Beer. We drink a beer/wine almost every day, and with our meals. We enjoy the   flavor.

6.      Walking. We walk everywhere. We are used to walking. We like walking. Our public   transportation works really well, but if we have the time, we will walk anyways and  enjoy the walk. Cars, for the most part, are only used if extremely necessary. In fact,   doing things in the car and from the car is completely new to us. We know what a  drive through is, but they are not common. Drive thru bank? What is that?

7.      Saying hello. We are used to kissing. We say hi by giving two kisses on both      cheeks, even when we meet someone new.

8.      Tips. Unfortunately, we are not used to tipping. Our waiters get paid as much as any   other worker, which means they only get tips if the service is extremely good.

9.      Punctuality. We never respect times--unless it is for work. When we meet, we set    an approximate time, and then we work around it depending on circumstances.    (editor’s note: I would hate this and go on something like a rampage)

10.  Play it by ear. We usually do not have a start and end time for doing things. We  meet for coffee, and we end up partying. It does not matter if it is a weekday or a  weekend.

11.  Smoking habits. Spaniards--maybe I should say Europeans--smoke a lot. It is  another way of socializing, making friends and taking a break. In Spain, non-  smokers are weird and even seen as antisocial.

12.  Questions. We question everything. We are used to being able to ask questions.  We are curious about life and we will keep asking until we get answers. Asking is not  rude, it is a right for us. (editor’s note: as I edit this—a lot—I realize that it may be a  good conversation. The author’s insight tells me so much about how she views the  States)

13.  History. When people in the US talk about a really old building built in 1921, I can't  contain my laughter. I have older cooking pans back home.



14.  Everything is illegal. In the States, everything seems to be illegal. You cannot go  topless on the beach. You cannot drink alcohol in a car, even if you're not driving.  Jay-walking . . . exists.

15.  Fashion. People go grocery shopping in their pajamas or sweatpants. We enjoy  getting dressed nicely, even to go to the supermarket. You never know where you'll  end up.

16.  We work to live. Americans live to work. The normal American life consists of working most of the day, getting home, having dinner and going to bed to wake up again early in the morning to repeat the pattern. On the weekends, they're too tired--from working--to party and if they do it, they'll be in bed by 3am. Wouldn’t want to screw up their sleeping schedule for work the next week! They make money, but have no time to spend it. They have amazing cars, computers, and televisions. In Spain, we earn less money, but we go out more, we talk to our friends in person, we enjoy the sun, take naps, and travel. 

Our cars are old and small, but we hardly spend time in them. Our TVs are smaller and we only have one at home, but we only use it to watch the news and maybe a TV show. It is usually off, because we have a person next to us that wants to share a moment, a dinner to cook and to enjoy, a nap to take or a trip to plan. Or we are not at home because we bumped into a friend in the supermarket and we are just hanging out at a bar, having a beer and asking questions, reflecting about life and its meaning, trying to save the world and then laughing about it.

Editor's note: I always say that my writers can have whatever opinion they like.  But I want to comment here, and not because of patriotism or ego. The author sent the title Spain vs. U.S., but this is really more Spain vs. New York or big city America, which is a small portion of America. The Spain she describes is identical to the lives and loves of my friends in Tucson, Colorado, small towns, the hippies . . . .  (after speaking with her, she says it may be a comparison of cities in Spain vs. cities in America)

Pretty Little Liars: “Bloody Hell” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin 

With the realization that Alison was framed for Mona’s murder, the Liars (minus Hanna) do the unthinkable. The three confront the Queen Bee herself in prison and . . . ask for forgiveness? Apparently in Rosewood, borderline sociopaths deserve an apology after false accusations are made, even if everything else that has ever come out of their mouths has been a lie. After all the emotional torment they suffered at Alison’s hands, are the Liars forgiving or what? Thankfully, Aria stands as the voice of reason, pointing out the absurdity of the situation. Alison’s been about as loving and caring to the girls as a wolverine.

To only make matters worse, the Liars throw Mike under the bus by confessing to Alison of Mona’s plan before she was murdered. This new knowledge not only sets up Mike to become a hostile witness for Ali’s defense, but it also puts a massive bull’s-eye on his back in the fight against “A.” Aria turns to Mrs. Hastings for legal advice, and she comes to the horrifying conclusion that charges could be brought against her brother, if he’s forced to confess on the witness stand at Ali’s trial.

ERIC MCCANDLESS/ABC FAMILY
Things thankfully aren't nearly as devastating for Emily, but it’s still eventful to say the least. After Emily reconciles with Talia, her on-again/off-again beau quits her job at the Brew, separates from her husband, and subsequently crashes at Emily’s place. Geez, hasty much? That girl would be dangerous at a bidding auction. With her impulsiveness, she’d walk away with every item, and an empty bank account.

The talented Ms. Fields continues to show off her killer dance moves as she practices for the Glass Slipper pageant. Talia crashes the rehearsal and the two share an intimate moment that soon gets interrupted by Clare, a pageant coordinator. Clare tells Emily that her connection to Alison jeopardizes the pageant. Talia doesn't take kindly to Clare’s “suggestion” that Emily should drop out of the competition, and she implies ramifications for Emily’s mistreatment. Break out the cat claws.

Aria seeks out Hanna’s help in confronting Cyrus Petrillo. As it just so happens, Mr. Petrillo was recently hospitalized after an “accident” occurred while working as a mechanic. The girls go to visit him, discovering he was severely burned. Aria pleads with the bound and bloodied A-team member for any information on what happened to him. He only manages to scribble a single word on a gauze package--“Varjack.” Here, the plot only thickens. Considering Alison’s adoration for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it only seems fitting that “A”’s new alias would be inspired by the character Paul Varjak. Cyrus’s spelling also lends another helpful hint. He clearly hasn't seen the name written out to know how to spell it correctly. This implies that he’s conducted business with “A” face to face. A very determined nurse forces Aria and Hanna out of the burn unit before they can get anything else out of Cyrus, leaving him alone to recuperate…or not. After the room empties, a fellow burn unit patient (who’s conveniently concealed by bandages) rises from a hospital bed and stands foreboding over Cyrus.

At the worst moment possible, Spencer gets whisked away to London for her interview at Oxford. Everything goes swimmingly, until “A”’s handiwork bites her in the butt. A mysterious vial of blood, planted by “A,” breaks in her purse, and leaks all over the chair in front of Spencer’s interviewing professor. She flees from the interview and freaks out, only to receive a text from “A” threatening to tamper with Spencer’s carry-on luggage on her flight back home.

Aria does a little detective work in Mike’s room, and something stuck to his dartboard catches her eye. She climbs on top of Mike’s gym equipment, to reach the note, but the whole setup collapses. Crashing to the floor, Aria’s met with a concerned Andrew charging upstairs to her rescue. As he makes sure she’s alright, he takes a look at the contraption and something particularly alarming draws his attention. Apparently, the nuts and bolts on Mike’s weightlifting equipment don’t match up with one another. If the youngest Montgomery had used the device, the weights would have unquestionably crushed his skull. And now we understand the purpose of “A”’s visit to his bedroom in the previous episode. Aria’s emotions get the best of her, at the heart wrenching revelation. Andrew goes into full-on Prince Charming mode, bandaging her beaten foot before planting a kiss on her. Awww. I still don’t trust him. Can you really overlook his “All the President’s Men” plot reference: receiving messages, an all-knowing shadowy figure? Be smarter than that Aria.

“A” truly has eyes everywhere. Alison receives two threats from the notorious evildoer, from prison! How exactly does this evil mastermind pull off all these elaborate scenarios? When you can’t even give an inmate a magazine, how do you get a creepy doll inside? Even in the midst of all the drama, Hanna finally surrenders into visiting Ali; Alison actually apologizes to her! Hell may have just frozen over. The show closes with something in the DeLaurentis file catching Mrs. Hastings’s attention. This warrants a call to her youngest daughter, with a plea for Spencer to cancel her flight back home. Uh-oh. Whatever this development may bring, it’s certainly going to give Spencer some alone time together with Wren’s charming flat-mate, Colin. Ooh-la-la.

“Bloody Hell” certainly raises the stakes for the upcoming reveal, but with the exclusion of Alison’s scenes, the episode does meander a bit with the relationship portion of the run-time. With the exception of Andrew, where are the rest of Rosewood’s familiar male faces? Caleb’s M.I.A., Ezra’s been conveniently out of town or off of work (despite running The Brew), Toby won’t show up unless someone’s being arrested, and newbie Jonny apparently is too busy finding more holy shirts to wear. There are so many potential love interests for Spencer that she’s not just having her cake and eating it. She’s practically inhaling several others. Slow down there, honey. You’ll get a tummy ache. Alison’s confession to Hanna, however, hits every high note. Alison finally discovers just how uncomfortable it is walking in someone else’s shoes, and finally hearing the Queen Bee admit to her previous wrongdoings is the moment fans have been waiting for. Is there redemption for Ali after all?

Pretty Little Liars: “Bloody Hell” Rating: B

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Agent Carter After Show Season 1 Episode 8 "Valediction"

Peggy is faced with Leviathan's fury as she tries to save Howard Stark -- and the world.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Walking Dead Girls

Photo: Gene Page/AMC
In Episode 189, Germar gets Sunday night right. He reviews the latest episodes of The Walking Dead and Girls.  But first, what is his "type" and #OscarsSoWhite.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The DUFF

by Kelsey Barritt, Writing Intern            

When Mean Girls meets the year 2015, The DUFF is born. This new movie, directed by Ari Sandel hits every high school stereotype, and updates them with hashtags and selfies. Although predictable, The DUFF fully entertains audiences with its playful attitude toward the dramatics of high school.

CBS Films
The movie showcases Bianca Piper (Mae Whitman), a high school senior who fashions a great sense of sarcasm, but not much of a fashion sense. Typically sporting overalls through the halls, she looks shabby and plain next to her two popular, model-esque best friends. She is often the victim of backhanded compliments and is unnoticed by all the brats with their noses in the air. This lands her the label of DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Without even realizing it, a DUFF’s duties are to make their friends look better and act as a buffer between their good-looking peers and anyone else. Being unaware of this for a long time, ignorance was bliss. Then, her world came crashing down in the form of her childhood friend Wesley (Robbie Amell). Wesley, an unfiltered mouth and a beautiful body, brings this to Bianca’s attention. From then on, Bianca picks up on everything she didn't before; she notices people asking about her friends and not her. She begins to feel invisible.

Tired of this disgusting acronym consuming her mind, Bianca approaches Wesley for anti-DUFF training. He agrees in exchange for chemistry notes. At this point, audiences may be experiencing deja vu from every teen movie ever. Still, this movie does it in a very fresh and endearing way. Wesley and Bianca bond through 1980’s style dressing room scenes, play-by-play date predictions and even some real, deep conversations. Together, they work past a stereotype, turn an ugly duckling into a confident woman, and even get a little smarter. Of course, the road to this transition was not a smooth one. When the ever so significant high school hierarchy becomes threatened, battles are inevitable. Several sabotages humiliate the transitioning DUFF, but she refuses to quit, much like the hooks on her overalls.

Through it all comes a unique lesson about self-confidence. Sure, Bianca benefits from a few tips about fashion and social norms. But she also discovers the real value in her corky, sharp self. Everyone is somebody’s DUFF, and the sooner everyone realizes that, the better. The DUFF recognizes the existence of high school stereotypes and realizes they won’t change. So instead of teaching some lesson about being nice to each other, it mocks the stress it causes. The DUFF provides the much more useful lesson that the emphasis on high school status is just plain dumb. Nobody really cares. And those delusional enough to think that high school popularity means something are the real insignificant ones.

The film mocks high school stereotypes while falling into a few movie stereotypes. Many chunks of the movie appear unoriginal, but add fun twists. A couple of annoying moments occur, like a very dramatic statement--deleting someone from Snapchat. But all in all, The DUFF offers more substance than what would be expected from a teen comedy. Whitman nails her part as a casual quick wit. Amell thrives as an outwardly superficial, inwardly sincere and caring person. Small parts of school employees add goofy one-liners and even quick peaks at reality. Bianca’s mom (Allison Janney) brings a dry, unemotional viewpoint to the most sensitive moments of a teen’s life. The unique cast, as a whole, only adds to the greatness that is The DUFF. Basically, if a few recycled teen movie moments aren't a problem, The DUFF delivers a great deal of fun and a somewhat fresh outlook on labels. It encourages the dorks, goofballs, and victims of an everlasting awkward phase to keep on rolling through life with their funky attitudes. It shows that a world filled with snotty popular kids is a world without any fun.

             

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hot Tub 2 and Songs About Sex Workers Coming Home to Their Men

In Episode 188, Germar finally reviews Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (13:00 mark).  But first, on the heels of  Usher's "I Don't Mind," he covers (and sings) a history of black men singing songs about their women doing whatever they want as long as they come back home. And also, he finally gets anry(ish) enough to address the millions of interneters that don't like his show, accent, face, brain, and lack of being a hot chick.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Indie Music: Winchester Revival "Burden's Landing"

by Germar Derron

Compliment sandwich. I will write a compliment sandwich review. The compliment sandwich has positive points as buns and "room to grow" for meat (or weird veggie substitute). The compliment sandwich has three sub sized problems. First, no one looks at sandwiches from the requisite perspective unless you're laying your chin on the table--eyes to meat with your lunch. B, the purpose of the compliment sandwich is to start a critique on a positive note and end on a perfectly pitched high one. But no one eats sandwiches that way--bun-meat-bun. We eat sandwiches in a way that maximizes taste. Hopefully, we experience the perfect balance of sweet, salty, bitter, savory, and sour in each bite. And a tertiary point--when I think of sandwiches, I think of the meat (or vegan substitute). So no matter how we dress up the criticism, it remains a roast beef, turkey, or poorly produced sandwich.


For better and worse, I am amazed by today's indie rock. I still expect to hear teenagers in their garages with Radio Shack mics and a Tascam PortaStudio. As is the case here, indie albums are almost major label level, radio ready "records." I'm impressed by the diversity here. I don't want to compare Winchester Revival to other bands. In this case, that's a good thing. They may be doing too much, but I feel this is who they are; they should stay the course. Polish, work, wax on, wax off, but don't change. The project is just "soft" enough that no one should hate it. But it's not so soft that years from now we all make jokes about how much we hate it.

One thing bothered me about the entire EP--the drums. As an engineer and producer, I know that we tend to obsess about our drum sounds, mics, reverb, gates, compression. We often reserve half of the sonic space for the drums.Then, we squeeze the rest of the sound into the remaining 50%. I believe the band produced the tracks . . . .  The snare drum sounds thin, in a papery way that snare drums should never sound in rock music. It sounds minimalist, like 60s drums, but in a 2000s world where we mic each drum and some drums twice, use over heads, cymbal and room mics. I can't believe that this was oversight, or a purposeful choice. I'm confused. But beyond the drums, I have no real complaints.

I'm a vocal guy. And though the vocals are inconsistent and "pitchy," I don't mind listening. On "Salamander" the vox sound a little dated, like the drums throughout. But it's a clear choice and the right one. Actually, on all of my favorite tracks, "Diligence," "Keep it Together," and "Salamander," the vocals sound like everything I like about guys-with-guitars music. And I'm listening to those tracks as I type now, and I'm pretty damn happy. Keep it together.

Pretty Little Liars: “Pretty Isn't the Point” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin

Secrets are unearthed as relationships unravel. After Mr. Marin refuses to help Hanna with her college tuition--since he’s paying for her stepsister’s in full--Hanna takes the only route she can.  With her eyes on the $20,000 prize, Hanna recruits Emily to help her with her dance routine for the Glass Slipper Beauty Pageant. The two rock out to Jessie J’s hit “Bang, Bang” during their training, but Hanna’s bubble gets burst when Caleb informs her that Kate (yep, that same evil stepsister) joined the competition as well. Refusing to let the revelation derail her, she dedicates herself to the routine until she’s reached perfection.

An assigned beauty pageant coach arrives to ascertain her talent, but during the run-through, Hanna’s anger finally gets the better of her and she snaps. The coach bluntly informs Hanna that she lacks the allure required for the pageant, but hints that Emily may have a shot. Hanna only later discovers that “A” is the one who put Kate’s name on the pageant roster, to psych Hanna out. Being the best friend that every girl wishes she had, Emily selflessly steps up to the plate and agrees to enter the pageant to win the prize money on Hanna’s behalf. Unfortunately, that kindness isn't met with equal benevolence. Talia’s husband makes an unexpected stop by the café, catching Emily off guard. She finds relief in Eric telling her that he’s aware of the girls’ arrangement. That liberation quickly goes up in smoke as he refers to Emily as a part of Talia’s onetime experimentation. Ouch.

Eric McCandless/ABC Family
Team “Spoby” takes another hit this week as the distance between Spencer and Toby continues to grow. Toby keeps Spencer at arm’s length, and that only pushes her closer to the Hastings’s new tenant, Jonny. After a frigid encounter between the trio, Spencer and Jonny part ways from Toby. As the two walk past a local art gallery, Jonny’s stunned stock-still at the sight of his artwork from Hollis College on display for sale, without his permission. Given that his rabbit mural was vandalism, he can’t rightfully claim it as his own. Spencer takes sympathy on him, and agrees to help get it back.

The pair goes out on the least covert break-in in history as they stroll up to the front entrance of the closed gallery and pick the lock. Sure, ski masks scream foul play in the eyes of casual observers, but you guys couldn't do anything to help conceal your identities? Two words, folks: baseball caps. And would wearing gloves be asking too much? Given Spencer’s recent brush with the law, littering the crime scene with fingertips is just begging for trouble.

Surprise, surprise. Someone reports the incident to the police. This clumsy Bonnie and Clyde duo make their getaway in Jonny’s van, but 5-O catches up to them. Can you guess who their confronting officer is? Toby, of course. How convenient. Spencer pleads with him to cut Jonny a break, but he refuses. The cuffs are slapped on Jonny, and Toby demands that Spencer walk away. Apparently, Detective Tanner is hoping to use Toby’s relationship with her as an advantage in catching the Liars in whatever way she can, explaining Toby’s recent cold-shoulder. Mrs. Hastings bails Jonny from jail, before kicking him out of the barn. He breaks the news to Spencer, and Jonny even steals a kiss. Uh-oh. Is a new “ship” in the air? “Sponny,” perhaps?

Things only get more complicated at the Montgomery residence. Given Mike’s new Mr. Hyde mentality, the Liars decide to take a look through his bedroom. As they scour the place, Aria finds a woman’s necklace in her brother’s gym bag. Spencer recognizes the design, pointing out that its pattern is actually Morse code with the words, “I’m With You” on it.  Andrew does recon for Aria as Mike continues to act weird, following him out to a tree near the Vanderwaal property. He stores something inside it, but Andrew can’t get to it without being noticed. Aria checks it out later, finding a vial of blood inside the stashed bag. Mike confronts her, demanding she hand over Mona’s blood. Aria refuses, and the vial breaks as she flees from the property. Hysterically screaming for her father as she races inside the Montgomery house, Aria comes to the horrifying discovery that she’s alone. Mike is right on her heels and ends up cornering his sister.

As it turns out, those Liar theorists who suspected that Mona was storing away her own blood before she was “murdered” were right. The late Ms. Vanderwaal was planning on framing Ali for her faux-death in an attempt to draw “A” out of hiding. Mike suspects the tables turned on her though, as he truly believes Mona was killed by the infamous blackmailer. All his weird late night ventures were actually scheduled meetings Mona had arranged for the two; she hasn't shown for any of them. “A” closes out the show by prowling through Mike’s bedroom with a bloody wrench in hand. Seems someone else has made their way on this baddie's naughty list.

The chemistry this week finally takes the show back on the right track. Emily’s distrust in Talia is well deserved, and hopefully this insight will open her eyes to the possibility that Talia could be working for the “A”-team. Honestly, is anyone really sold on her? A beautiful new face that seems too good to be true, only for her to reveal a web of deceit…yeah, there’s nothing suspicious there, right? The newly paired Spencer and Jonny definitely show more promise than the previously mentioned lovebirds. Sure, Jonny may not own a shirt that isn't riddled with holes, but the guy does make illegal activity look fun. He actually seems to inspire the artistic, more carefree side of Spencer. It suits her. Seriously, this girl’s wound up tighter than a boa constrictor with the Hastings’s academic demands bearing down on her. With only four episodes left until the #BigAReveal, things are definitely shaping up for one explosive discovery.

 Pretty Little Liars: “Pretty Isn’t the Point” Rating: A


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Agent Carter After Show Season 1 Episode 7 "Snafu"

Leviathan makes their move against Peggy when she is at her most vulnerable moment; the SSR closes in on Howard Stark.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Scandal After Show Season 4 Ep. 11 "Gladiators Don't Run"

The auction is open and the bidding begins for Olivia Pope. The game changes when the power changes hands. Huck goes postal in an attempt to find Liv and Mellie has a political plan of her own.