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Thursday
Jul312014

Gentlemen's DisAgreement - July 31st - 2014

 

Look out!  It's another episode of the Gentlemen's DisAgreement podcast!

 

In this episode Ryan Keough joins me to discuss the merits of A.V. Club Undercover's covers as well as what really are the greatest Saturday morning cartoons of our collective childhood.

0:00 - A.V. Club talk

13:50 - Cartoons

53:30 - Your Opinions!

Gentlemen's DisAgreement 7/31/2014 CLICK HERE!

 

 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Tokyo Police Club covers Wheatus for A.V. Club

One of the very best things going for music on the interwebs the last couple of years has been A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.

A series that employs indie rock bands (and GWAR) to perform covers of hit songs of yesteryear with their own personal touch.  It doesn't always come together, but when it does you get gems like when Superchunk covered The Cure's "Inbetween Days".

The Christmas songs have spun a few instant classics that you never would have dreamed of like this one by Wye Oak or this one by Big Red.

This latest installment comes courtesy of the Tokyo Police Club who perform a cover of the Wheatus hit "Teenage Dirtbag".  The song, originally the driving force behind Jason Biggs rom-com Loser, definitely adopts more of a garage band sound in this incarnation.  It doesn't quite top the greatest A.V. Club cover of all time, but it is still fun and well worth a listen for a quick trip down memory lane.

Monday
Jul282014

I Don't Think "Expendable" Means What The Expendables Think it Means.

 

(Sigh) yep, so another one of these things is coming down explosion boulevard, with little regard for our delicate optic nerves.

Okay, so maybe The Expendables franchise isn't THAT bad.  In truth, I've only ever seen parts of the first one.  Most reviews paint them as benign mindless action flicks and even occaisionally employ adjectives that border on praise.

But here's the thing.  The team of bad asses in these movies are called "The Expendables" as in, we don't need them.  So why don't any of them ever die?  Not only do they not die, they seem to multiply.

Note the first movie poster:

That's a lot of guys to start out with, one would think at least two of them would bite it before all is said and done.  My money would have been on Randy Coture and and Terry Crews, they weren't very famous at the time and both would have been easily replaced if a sequel was done.  By the way, how fake do Willis and Rourke look in that poster?  Did they just completely photoshop their faces into this picture?  Stupid question, of course they did.

So how many of our heroes from this poster ate it?  Zero.  Nil.  Nada. Zilch.  Zip.  Turns out, not very expendable.  Steve Austin dies, but he was a bad guy so he doesn't really count.

Things only got worse in the next installment:

Austin is supplanted by new baddie Jean-Claude Van Damme (who is appropriately named "Vilain").  Rourke is exluded all together.  New additions to the good guys include Arnold, Norris, Liam Hemsworth, and an anonymous Asian lady for a little diversity.  Guess how many die?  Well, actually, one (spoilers).  Hemsworth probably thought of himself too much of a rising star to commit to the franchise so he gets predictably knocked off, but all the rest are still ticking at the conclusion.

This is even more head scratching when you consider half of these guys are only in the movie for about 5 minutes, why not just kill them if they're only making a cameo?

That brings us to the present day, and the advent of Expendables 3:

Oh My God.  That is a lot of people.

And they're all so tiny.  They look like soccer players down there.  If it wasn't for the names I couldn't even identify half of them.  Even with the names who the hell are Ortiz, Powell, Grammer and Lutz?  Kelsey Grammer?  George Luz was the name of one of the Band of Brothers I can't imagine how he would fit in this movie though...

Other recognizable additions include, Harrison Ford (because Bruce Willis wanted more money), Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Ronda Rousey, and Mel Gibson.

Some of them have to die this time around, they just have to, right?

Anyway, we'll see... or maybe you will, I probably won't.

Friday
Jul252014

Top Five Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Saturday Morning Cartoons were an integral part of any American kid's youth.  They dictated what games you played with your friends, what sort of lunch box you brought to school, and what you asked for on your birthday.

As adults most of these cartoons are distant memories that we hope can remain a beautiful piece of nostalgia connected to a simpler time for us, and not some crappy Michael Bay movie.  Here at Rated Wrong we are not satisfied to let sleeping dogs lie and a list has been constructed assigning value to each of our precious childhood memories.

Now, to the rankings!

But first...

Before we get down to it, there are some ground rules.

#1.  The Cartoon must have originally aired between 1986-1995 (Age 0-10 for your's truly).  So, Sorry He-Man, but the only real memories I have of you are my siblings and cousins talking about you.

#2.  It must have actually been a SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON.  This means Batman The Animated Series, Ren and Stimpy, Animaniacs and all Nickelodeon and Disney cartoons (who only aired old Looney Tunes and cartoons for babies in the AM) are out!

#3.  Toys matter.  Let's not kid ourselves, 99% of Saturday morning cartoon episodes were interchangeable, disposable, crap.  It was the look of the show that made it great.  Looks count.  Toys count.

Now, to the rankings!

But first...

Honorable Mention

G.I. Joe (1985)

You know, if there was some sort of technological apocalypse and suddenly no one could access a television or computer, I'm not certain I could even be convinced there was ever a G.I. Joe television cartoon.  By far the most memorable thing to spawn from them was the PSA's.  I challenge anyone to tell me about the plot of any episode of G.I. Joe the animated series.  I don't think it can be done.

What can be done, is a massive plastic war between all the great action figures.  I probably had twice as many G.I. Joe toys than anything else growing up.  I even remember that I somehow ended up with three of the same guy at one point.  My favorite were probably the little helicopter dudes.

Also, the movies aren't totally awful.

Surprise Ommission

ThunderCats (1985)


I'm just gonna kill the suspense right now, ThunderCats doesn't make the list.

I could make up some nonsense reason about animation or characters, but the truth is, I simply don't remember ever watching it.  Maybe I'm a weirdo, maybe it only aired when I was at baseball practice, I don't know.  But aside from the theme song, the names of a few characters, and "ThunderCats Ho!" - all of which I didn't discover until years later - I couldn't tell you a thing about this show.  So ThunderCats, I'm sorry, but if it's any consolation you had to make room for this next forgotten classic...

#5

Dino Riders (1988)

"Harness the Power of Dinosaurs".  Dino Riders had, bar none, the coolest toys of any Saturday morning cartoon ever.  Just Look at it, LOOK AT IT!

My connection to Dino Riders pretty much solely extends to visiting my cousin Brian's house as a child and watching his VHS tapes of the show.  I loved it, but to this day have never met another soul who remembers it.

Dino Riders was the pinnacle of cynicism in children's entertainment.  A mere 14 episodes were rolled out to help promote the toy line (but oh, what a toy line!).  In spite of this, the show did have a few memorable characters and a plot that was brilliant in its simplicity (even if it was kind of a Transformers rip off).

Also, the main bad guy sounded exactly like Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget.

#4

Transformers (1984)

"More than Meets the Eye."  Tranformers is another one that I can't remember much about it in the way of characters or engrossing story line.  I knew there was Optimus, Megatron, Starscream, Bumblebee, the cop car one, the one shaped like a cassette, and Hot Rod (that little bitch) from the movie.

What I do remember, is my 7th birthday, when I got Starscream the action figure.  I instantly knew, I KNEW, it was the coolest toy I had.  It had guns, missiles, was surprisingly big, and could turn into a fighter jet.  I mean, I also had Optimus Prime but c'mon, Starscream turns into a freakin' fighter jet.

#3

ExoSquad (1993)

The surprise pick on this list and also - by far - the best show.

ExoSquad, according to Wikipedia, was made in response the rising tide of Japanese anime.  The end result was a fun and surprisingly intelligent sci-fi war cartoon.  Drawing inspiration from a slew of Sci-fi sources including, Star Trek, Mechwarrior, and Starship Troopers (the novel).  Interestingly, the plot is quite similar to the remake of Battlestar Galactica, although it predates it.

If you can track down the two seasons for viewing, I highly recommend.

Also, the toys are awesome, of course.

#2

X-Men (1992)

X-Men, an unabashed classic of childhood for anyone between the ages of 25 and 35 had a lot going for it.  The show itself had strong, fun characters thanks to the source material.  It also had actual plots and memorable episodes.

The opening is great.  Introducing the cast of heroes (with Cyclops first, because he is the best).  And it will be forever immortalized in the party arcade game (dibs Nightcrawler!).

It was one of the most talk about shows at Center Road Elementary.  But, for me, it was difficult to catch it on Saturday mornings, because it ran in direct competition with the next show on the list...

#1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)


Was there ever any doubt?  You might have played X-men with your friends growing up.  You may have even watched an episode of G.I. Joe.  But everyone played TMNT.  

Everyone had a favorite (Mine was Michelangelo, for his love of pizza, fun personality, and wearing of the greatest color of all time: orange).  Everyone saw the movie when it came out.

There was an endless supply of action figures, and you and all your friends had 'em.  Even the side characters were memorable.  Casey Jones and Mono Gecko will always hold a special place in my childhood memories.

People still wear TMNT t-shirts and dress up like the characters on Halloween.  I could probably sing most of the theme song from memory (Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines "That's a fact, jack").  And in the UK, they had to change their name to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles because Margaret Thatcher thought they were destroying the youth of the world!  How cool is that?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been a lifelong celebration for children of the 80s, and it will never stop, at least until Michael Bay ruins it.

Thursday
Jul242014

Weezer Play "Back to the Shack" on Fallon, Win Me Over

Rated Wrong has been all abuzz with Weezer news this past few days, and while it was going on they went and released a new single.

Because Gentlemen's DisAgreement was recorded on Sunday and the single dropped Monday night, Rated Wrong hasn't had a chance to weigh in on it as of yet, a wrong that shall be righted forthwith.

Initially, "Back to the Shack" was a mixed bag for me.  It, of course, doesn't really sound like 90s Weezer.  If I was going to put it on an album I'd say Maladroit, if I was going to compare it to a single I'd say (sorry world) "Beverly Hills."

I really like the musicality of it.  The guitars are cool (everything Eli said he wanted in the podcast), but the lyrics are a little corny.

All was made right, however, when Weezer hit up Fallon last night and rocked out their new single for the masses.  The song has great drive in the performance and the band appears to have fun playing it.  Even if it isn't the Weez of old (which it was never going to be) I can still enjoy it.

Color me sold.