Friday FabOoolousness – Time to Avenge

I’m not going to lie – I’ve never been big on comic books or action heroes.  Even though I absolutely loved the Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk TV series growing up, it never really dawned on me that the characters were more than television personalities.

And then I started dating my guy…

Today is the day he’s been waiting for since first learning that his favorite superheros were coming to the big screen individually back in 2008.  Today they fight together as Marvel’s The Avengers hits theaters nationwide.

Four years ago, I accompanied my guy to Studio Movie Grill to watch Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr.  I wasn’t thrilled to go, but he was, so I put on a happy face and we were off.  He knew I wasn’t excited which is why we chose Studio Movie Grill as the theater – for those that don’t know, SMG has a full food and drink menu, including alcohol.  It was a win-win.

What I didn’t expect was falling absolutely in love with Iron Man.  The movie exceeded all expectations, and no – the martinis had nothing to do with it – but it was Robert Downey, Jr. and the non-stop action.  RDJ was back (I’m a big Less Than Zero fan) and I couldn’t have been happier.

Later that year, we saw The Incredible Hulk, starring another one of my favorites – Edward Norton (American History X, enough said).  Despite my love for Edward Norton, I was a tad annoyed that the movie universe reinvented the cinematic story after it had already been done once before (Hulk in 2003, starring Eric Bana).  Were we supposed to forget all about that one?

Anyway, as expected, I enjoyed The Incredible Hulk as well.  But then again, I’ve always loved the Hulk.  On a side note, I still remember vividly the first time I ever peeled as a result of a sunburn – I was a little girl watching the Hulk TV series when my skin started to lift and rub off.  At the time, I had no idea what was going on.  All I knew was that Bruce Banner turned into the Hulk and I was falling apart.  I ran outside, screaming to my mother who had to console me and reassure me that I wasn’t going to turn green anytime soon.  But, I digress…

In 2010, I was actually just as excited to see Iron Man 2 in theaters as my guy.  While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, it was still a good movie.  I actually don’t think the movie necessary failed, but I was so caught off guard with how fun the original was in 2008, that it would have been difficult for anything to live up to the hype.

But still, at this point I remained in the dark about the complete cast of The Avengers.  Thor to me was a character in Adventures in Babysitting, not a popular comic book superhero.  Call me blonde, call me naïve, call me what you will – I was in the dark.

Anyone recognize this guy? Besides the fact that he’s playing Thor… I’ll give you a hint — think Law & Order…

So my guy finally gave me the cliff-notes version of the S.H.I.E.L.D.  (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) organization led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).  I already knew Iron Man and the Hulk, and had figured out that Thor was more than Elisabeth Shue’s friend, but still needed to meet the rest of the team: Captain America.

Last year, we didn’t rush to the theaters to see Thor or Captain America: The First Avenger.  However, we did rent Captain America from our favorite vending machine (Redbox), starring Chris Evans.  Again, I’m being truthful today, I wasn’t impressed.  I thought the pace of the film was slow and the movie itself too long.  Please don’t hate me; I wasn’t the only one disappointed – my guy was too.

Perhaps it was this disappointment that we didn’t rush out, and still haven’t seen Thor (starring Chris Hemsworth).  Stop screaming; we fully intend to watch this.  To prepare for the The Avengers release, Redbox brought back all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and we will be sure and catch it this time.

Now, today, May 4, 2012, we have The Avengers in theaters – Iron Man, Hulk (played by another of my favorites, Mark Ruffalo), Thor, Captain America, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

What’s better than this star power?  The film is directed by the great, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse TV series).

I decided to treat my sweet and bought our tickets to The Avengers early.  The news thrilled him.  Score bonus points for me!  Anyway, I’ve got high expectations for this movie, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint…

Who plans to see The Avengers this weekend?  Which Marvel superhero is your favorite and why?  Which of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies is your favorite and why?  What’s your guess as to who played Thor in 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting?  I’d love to hear from you!

For those who haven’t been following Amber West’s blog, click on over today and see what good she’s doing.  In brief, a fellow blogger has been battling to save her twins (her water broke at 18 weeks), and sadly she lost her babies yesterday.  Amber, like she always does, is trying to help with a fundraiser.  Stop by and see if you’d be willing to share a few dollars…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – SyFy TV

This week, Amber West and I switch things up yet again and review two of TV’s hot new science fiction dramas on TNT and SyFy.

Over the past few years, the SyFy network has rivaled the basic television channels with their original series such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Andromeda which all aired for at least five years each.

Today, SyFy has found new must-see television with series Being Human, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Haven, and Sanctuary, which is why when Alphas premiered July 11th, our household couldn’t resist checking it out.

Alphas follows five people who have super human abilities.  Together, they track and study other Alphas while also working with local law enforcement to ensure that other Alphas misusing their powers are sent to “The Compound” and kept off the streets. 

Dr. Lee Rosen – a non-Alpha played by Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin), leads the extraordinary team of Alphas, and uses his scientific research to better understand and control the Alpha population.

Each Alpha has a neurological difference providing them with an exceptional advantage over humans.

Would you like the strength to physically move a car blocking your path?

Meet Bill – a hyperadrenal-Alpha with super strength and training as a former FBI Agent, played by Malik Yoba (New York Undercover).  Bill reminds me of the Hulk, only he sweats profusely when his power is activated. 

Have you ever dreamed of pitching a perfect game?  What if you could master the art every time you stepped on the baseball mound? Or, what about the ability to toss a quarter into the vending machine change slot from ten feet away? 

Meet Cameron – a hyperkinesis-Alpha with perfect aim and motor skills, as well a history as an army sniper, played by Warren Christie (October Road).  Cameron appears vulnerable despite his physical stature.  He’s haunted by his failed marriage, and he misses his son desperately.

Would you like the ability to manipulate your way out of a speeding ticket by simply making eye contact with the traffic officer?

Meet Nina – an influencing-Alpha who manipulates others with her power of persuasion, played by Laura Mennell (Blood Ties and the motion picture, Watchmen).  Nina is absolutely beautiful, and she drives a new “borrowed” sports car in each episode. Now that’s what I call a super power! 

Have you ever wished that you could intercept the audio waves of a cell phone call so that you could hear the entire conversation taking place in front of you?  Or wish that you had the ability to read someone else’s text messages from a distance? 

Meet Gary – a transducing-Alpha or human antennae that can intercept any sound or radio wave, played by Ryan Cartwright (Bones).  Gary is always maneuvering his fingers through the air as he enjoys the different internet feeds, audio waves, etc.  He lacks a sense of humor, and the ability to lie.  I almost wonder if he has a form of autism.

Would you like the ability to eavesdrop on conversations taking place about you when you’re not around? How about the super power of microscopic vision?

Meet Rachel – a synesthete-Alpha, the most vulnerable of the Alphas with the ability to strengthen one of the five senses while leaving the other four useless, played by Azita Ghanizada (General Hospital: Night Shift).  Rachel’s powers are simply amazing, and she plays a large role in the investigations, yet she takes a back seat to her family.  Her current family drama surrounds their disagreement on arranged marriages. 

In the pilot, the Alphas help local law-enforcement officer Don Wilson (Callum Keith Rennie) solve the shooting of a federal prisoner locked inside a sealed interrogation room with no windows.  The investigation leads the team to the “The Ghost”, an Alpha with the power of persuasion via direct contact.  The extremist group known as “Red Flag” was also introduced as the main threat to the Alphas, and should return throughout the season as the Big Boss Trouble Maker.

The upcoming season promises to reveal more threats to the Alphas, and will test the Alphas loyalties to one another.

After only two episodes, I give Alphas the rating of SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out.  I was pleasantly surprised with the series start, and will definitely give a few more episodes a try before removing from my DVR.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why? What do you think about Alphas? Has SyFy found another hit series?  Does it remind you of Heroes?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now, click over to Amber’s review of TNT’s Falling Skies where Noah Wyle battles aliens and machines trying to protect our world’s children.  What are those spike things the aliens attach to the children’s spines?  YUCK! 

Come back next week for another quadruple special – Amber reviews the summer’s medical programs: TNT’s Hawthorne and USA’s Royal Pains, and I take on the summer cons: TNT’s Leverage and USA’s White Collar.   

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.  Amber and I would love to chat with you!

Last, but certainly not least, did your favorite TV shows make the Emmy nomination categories?  Vote here for the 1st annual Tamberny awards.  Leave a comment by July 29th and you could win blog linkage on my special Tele-Tuesday Siskel and Ebert style Emmy breakdown where Amber and I promise to not agree!

 A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more

MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies

JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds

SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out

NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer

LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech