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Monthly Archives: January 2010

If you’ve seen a single show from Kathy Griffin, you’ve pretty much seen The Bitch Will Cut You. She blabs about her obsessions with celebrities (mostly Cher in this instance) and namedrops ad nauseam (Cher again) and spends the usual time sucking up to her fallback audience, “her gays,” as she says. But, for whatever reason, I still find her funny. Maybe it’s her manic energy and her never ending chatter that’s so endearing, the way she has far more words than each sentence could possibly bear. Maybe it’s her willingness to literally get down in the dirt for a joke, such as her Grammy appearance. Or maybe it’s that she’s just a really good storyteller, an art that I very much appreciate. And some of that, and most of what makes her celebrity stories a) funny and b) bearable at all, is her willingness to be the butt of her own jokes. There’s something of the crazy-fan-turned-loose-in-Hollywood in most of her bits, and the good part of that is that she clearly knows that this part of her personality drives the comedy. You have to admire someone who can be that honest about their own obsessions and their own willful subjection of themselves to that potential humiliation to follow them (and make a living talking about them). While I think that her obsessions are largely with meaningless bullshit, and she would likely feel the same toward mine, I do appreciate the fact that there is a genuine love beneath her comedy and a need to share these stories with likeminded audiences. No matter what the subject, a good story is a good story, and Griffin has plenty of them. 3 stars

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince felt like the Cliff’s notes to a better movie to me. Perhaps having read the book makes a difference but I try to be open and fair to material translated to screen. It seemed to me, though, that more or less the entire mystery of just who the Half-Blood Prince may have been, the namesake and chief question of the book and allegedly the film, was cut out of the plot, save the occasional glance at the book and one last second, out of nowhere revelation.

What remained in its place was every question of who was dating whom at Hogwarts, which went on interminably. The slow burn of Hermione’s anger with Ron felt rushed in this and all the rest of it was largely filler that could have been left off for more substantial plotlines. The horcruxes seem to be just barely touched upon, despite their importance to the overarching story and their destruction leading directly to the death of a central character.

The cast is largely able and most of them have lived in these characters long enough that they should be able to handle them in their sleep. It is the sixth film after all. At times they even seem to be doing that. Perhaps fatigue is understandably setting it. I didn’t care much for the one new casting, though, in Jim Broadbent as new professor Horace Slughorn. I find Broadbent far too affable for such a devious role, I’m afraid. True, he had the avuncular nature of the character necessary but seemed only frightened into action and never seedy enough about looking out for himself. But then he may be just one more character sacrificed to make sure teen romance got its onscreen due.

When the rare break between make out parties occurs, it is usually that Voldemort’s agents, the Death Eaters, have descended from the heavens to wreck havoc upon Harry and his Order of the Phoenix. Outside of one assassination plot they generally seemed bent on causing chaos and had no other plan outside of the occasional psychological warfare. But mostly they existed in Half-Blood Prince to keep the boys in the audience from making too many “eewwww” noises. The action itself was pretty well done where it was. They films even more so than the books focus on the wizard sport, Quidditch, because something actually moves in those scenes. Fighting with wands just doesn’t have the visual heft of swords, guns, laser swords or laser guns but they do a fairly good job of making the mortality of the duels believable.

The film is far too dark. I don’t mean in tone, I mean they needed more lights on the set. A number of times I couldn’t tell where they were or what they were doing. It started to look like Burton’s Batman after a while and I suspect for the same reason. Make it dark enough and no one will be able to see that nothing is happening.

Going back to the oversaturation of romantic subplots once again in Half-Blood Prince, let me sum up my real problem with the film. Yes, these are teenagers and their hormones are stereotypically raging and they are all aflutter with the possibilities of love. However, this is being set against the backdrop of an all out war of good against evil, which is presented in occasionally gruesome and deathly scenes. The Harry Potter films are trying desperately to have it both ways, though. Imagine cutting back and forth between a portrayal of the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, where the U.S. troops are being slaughtered left and right, and Liesl of The Sound of Music singing her “16 Going on 17” song. Sure, they’re both during WWII but I think people dying takes precedence over who you take to the prom. And The Sound of Music was wise enough to keep the horror far in the background. That’s what this film tries to pull off and those scenes don’t really work together. Focus on death and dismay, or focus on who goes to Wizard Prom, but make a choice. 2 ½ stars

Aziz Ansari: Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening is a hilarious stand up special. Aziz kills on multiple bits from bed sheet thread counts to the inanities of facebook pages. He gets an inordinate amount of mileage out of his cousin, Harris, and his reactions to simple posts on a study group page. Aziz maintains a high energy show from start to finish, too, running, leaping, singing and dancing, just generally rarely standing still. He has great timing and storytelling ability, too, and can make any topic interesting.

Aziz is still great in the lesser moments of the special, too, which revolve around celebrity stories with Kanye West and LL Cool J’s workout tape. These parts are very funny, I just feel like they don’t connect on the same level as the jokes that are more universal. They’re good stories, I just don’t particularly care what Kanye West does at home.

Aziz finishes his main set with an introduction to his character from the movie Funny People. If you’re unfamiliar, the comedian Randy is terrible on every level, 100 times more showman and braggart than comic. But Aziz sets this up perfectly with smoke machines, a loud, loud shirt, his name in lights and his personal DJ, DJ Old Youngin’. These details sum up the character, I think. He’s never actually funny but the sheer spectacle of Randy needs to be seen.

For what it’s worth I actually enjoyed Aziz’s set from the tiny stage of the Los Angeles Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater as much if not more than the main set. This is the DVD’s only special feature but is worth buying it just to get this. It’s a much more intimate, relaxed atmosphere where Aziz is free to banter with and make jokes at the expense of audience members. However you watch it, though, it’s great comedy from a terrific performer. 4 stars

I hate to say this. It PAINS me to say this, but the worst part about Big Fan is the casting of Patton Oswalt. That isn’t to say that his performance is poor or in anyway lacking. Oswalt holds his own in almost every context of the film, which I’ll get to soon.

No, it’s the fact that he sounds like a clean, intelligent square peg being shoved into a greasy, stupid round hole. It’s hard to buy him as a football fan of the intensity he portrays. Oswalt never sounds comfortable with the terminology, which comes across as nervousness while he gives the on-air rants that he meticulously vets during the dull hours of his menial parking garage job. But when talking with his friend, Sal, it just seems forced where it should flow naturally. And it isn’t hard to buy him as an aging man-child living in a room that hasn’t changed much since he was prepubescent. The scenes filmed in his bedroom have a frozen-in-preadolescence feel to them, from the mother yelling from the next room to the sad masturbation to the erotically framed poster of his hero, player Quantrell James.

I can even understand the casting of Oswalt as a depressed, obsessive fan, being a longtime admirer of his standup career. The biggest problem is the intelligence that Oswalt can’t seem to suppress in his character. He seems like he should be smart enough to be able to pull himself out of the life he’s sunken into. He’s clearly smarter than his lawyer brother but less respected in his family because he makes no money. And while the rest of his world is very clearly Staten Island born and bred, Oswalt seems transplanted from somewhere more middle-American, somewhere where spray on tans and the largest breasts money can buy might not necessarily be the status symbols they are presented as here.

The rest of the details are sharply skewering enough to make the film appear to be the comedy it has been labeled before it takes such a dramatic turn. The entirety of the scene introducing his brother’s family is the highlight of the film, from the 7 year old’s birthday cake to the wife’s appearance to the fantastic commercial premiered during the party. The remaining cast captures the sort of stereotypes on display while adding more layers to them, especially Kevin Corrigan’s Sal, the friend who actually admires Paul for his livid rants on sports talk radio, so far down is he in life.

Where Oswalt does really come alive as Paul is past this part of the film, after his tragic encounter with his football hero. In these scenes, hounded by police, press, greedy family, depression and struggling with feelings of betrayal both of his hero against him and himself against his team, from which Paul derives nearly his entire identity, Oswalt captures all of this and makes Paul’s dilemma incredibly real. His inability to make a commitment to anything but his team, the only sense of family that’s real to him, costs him everything. The climax of the film is harrowing right up to its brilliant conclusion where the comedy of the film is reestablished, ending on the perfect note of hope in hopelessness. 4 stars

Bloodsport, a childhood relic revisited, held up about as well I remembered it to be. It’s still pretty corny, with lots of goofy plot devices laid to pay off in the final fight scene. Van Damme is much more obviously hiding his discomfort with the fighting than later in his career with close ups and camera angles that hide the actual impact of his kicks or never show who is doing the kicking. His acting is still in the most wooden stages, not yet covered up by the pure swagger he would develop. In particular the crazy faces he makes during his most powerful strikes are hilarious. Gibb as “Tiny” Jackson was over the top but took to the role perfectly. There were maybe two moments in the film he was without a beer and in one of those he was in a coma. Bolo Yeung’s Chong Li was comprised of making terrifying faces, bouncing his pecs and jumping up and down while absorbing the crowds cheers.

And the rest of the movie is padding. OK, not really, but there are far too many fight scenes for many of them to be memorable, with nameless schlubs pounding on each other to get their chance to get beaten up by Frank Dux or Li. Several of them could have cut out without notice to the film. And almost every scene where people talk to each other, particularly if there are only two characters, is punctuated with the most absurd pregnant pauses I’ve ever heard. A two minute conversation drags out to around seven thanks to the unpleasant staring that occurs between sentences.

Chong Li’s willingness to cheat comes from out of the blue as well. He handles every fighter with seeming ease outside of Tiny, who he beats because Tiny is too stupid to follow up on his initial momentum. It’s no wonder Li tried to kill him. He had it coming. But before he fights Dux his trainer gives him a tablet of chalk or something, about the size of the biggest pill your doctor ever gave you. He crushes this when Dux gets the upper hand and tosses it in his eyes. More precisely a small cloud of thin dust floats a few inches in front of Van Damme’s eyes, blinding him completely. Good thing this movie spent so much time showing us his mentor insisting that he learn to serve tea blindfolded! Serving tea also involves blocking deadly karate chops. I should mention that. Needless to say Dux triumphs and avenges his mentor’s loss…to cancer or old age or something. Tanaka was a Kumite winner himself, and very much alive when Dux left him.

For all of the movie’s odd obsession with callback details like blindfold training, a number of plot holes are never filled in. Army detectives or something, Forrest Whittaker and Norman Burton, are sent to retrieve Dux once he goes AWOL to fight in the tournament in Hong Kong. Why he’s so important that they bring tasers and won’t let a Hong Kong policeman shoot him isn’t really touched upon. Maybe this was the first chapter in the Universal Soldier saga, or he was already a Time Cop and they needed his valuable future knowledge. Really, though, they existed for the scenes where Dux flaunts the Man and leaves the cops in his dust. Cops who work for the Army. I should mention that again. A young Dux breaks into the Tanaka home via an open window with his friends, where they plan to steal Tanaka’s Kumite sword, and berate YJCVD for being too honest, brave and true to steal something as well. He apparently wears a San Francisco hat and jersey to try to hide the fact that he has a French accent. Yes, the movie had the wherewithal to cast a young Jean-Claude Van Damme-a-like where none was needed but I didn’t hear any reason as to why he had an accent.

A lot of the movie’s mistakes seem to be in trying to maintain a biographical nature while still being a mindless kung fu movie. The tournament jettisons a lot of back story necessity, but the movie fills that space with Dux’ training and establishing why he was allowed to learn a martial art that the audience of a kung fu movie won’t care to see. Then you pad that tournament out with anonymous fighters no one cares about. For all the pugilists presented I can tell you about two of them: Spider Monkey Jones, the guy who bounced around in a crouching position the whole time and trained by smashing coconuts in a tree, and Polynesian Pete, the Pacific Island sumo who trained by throwing laundry bags at his fellow villagers. Everyone else was pretty much a generic kickboxer. So, where they had one big problem tied up the filmmakers used that to create two more. A lot of boring padding is the end result. That’s the result of watching a half remembered movie twenty years later, though. All of the stuff not worth remembering comes flooding back. 2 stars

Action Jackson was clearly an attempt to establish Carl Weathers as an alternate Arnold Schwarzenegger and start an African American action franchise. Besides Weathers (Predator) there’s also Bill Dukes (Predator and Commando), Charles Meshack (“My friend is dead tired” guy from Commando), and Sonny Landham (Predator). That’s just what I caught. I suspect the Vanity role was probably offered to Rae Dawn Chong, too, since the whole thing seems like it could have been filmed during cigar breaks in Schwarzenegger vehicles.

Set in Detroit and cast mostly on the cheap, outside of those named above, AJ is pretty cheesy. Craig T. Nelson makes a good villain in that you can’t really see him without hoping someone caves his face in. And it might as well be noted stew master Weathers. Weathers definitely plays Jackson as a much less super-heroic character than they seemed to be going for with the script. It was a good choice on his part, as Weathers is a likeable actor and able to elicit a sympathy that a lot of action stars of the era were incapable of achieving. The film builds up a mythos around the Action handle that Jericho Jackson, the man, has no interest in pursuing. Hints are dropped in awkward expositional dialogue that he is practically a saint. He has a Harvard law degree yet became a cop…for some reason. In spite of all the hazing he takes from obviously inferior (and white) colleagues he never just walks away to make some money. I guess he just cares too much.

Saddled with all the tropes of the fallen hero (public disgrace, loss of rank, ex-wife), Jackson gets caught up in a convoluted plot between carmaker Nelson, the UAW union and a ton of unnecessary back story that has to be dropped in via awkward lines delivered flatly throughout the movie. The worn cop clichés aren’t the only marks of a 1980s action movie. Nelson also employs an unstoppable team of ninjas who perform various assassinations of UAW leaders who stand in his way. Nelson himself spars with a flunky, hilariously performing “martial arts” while clad in a black polo shirt under a gray gym sweatshirt.

Weathers as an actor has no chance to be matched in the film. Sharon stone scarcely had time to learn her character’s name onscreen, though her character does prove too addlebrained to work out that perhaps his chauffeur wasn’t working on his own and was really doing Nelson’s bidding the whole time. Nelson does OK as a cookie cutter villain, hitting all of the right notes with an admirable hamminess. Bill Dukes just seems utterly uninterested in his thankless chief role. I don’t blame him, as the role is underwritten for Dukes ability. Vanity’s idea of projecting the need for heroin is to stop smiling for thirty seconds. Vanity’s chief character traits are showing her breasts at a moment’s notice, carrying her horse-sized heroin needle in a classy velvet case and making no bones about the fact that she considers herself a piece of ass above all else, even in her not-at-all difficult “quitting cold turkey” scene. Her lines are uniformly cringe inducing.

I do have to mention the racially motivated undertones of the film. They’re pretty hokey on both sides. Nelson’s plan of assassinating a key figure is to dress another black guy as Jackson and pin it on him. He outright states that his guests won’t be able to tell the difference. His ninja squad seemingly could do this without breaking a sweat, yet he still feels inclined to frame Jackson for I guess being uppity or something. Jackson arrested his son but Nelson already has plans to have him shanked in the prison shower, because that’s what you do when you’re evil. Multiple times the one white beat cop in Detroit is made to look foolish by his partner and the chief, which would be fine if it weren’t such painfully obvious pandering. It’s another spot where the movie wears its intentions on its sleeve.

That’s the overall problem with the movie, it’s clumsiness at handling what could have been a good action cop movie. Yes, it’s loaded with cliché, and lame acting and hokiness. That can still be great fun, though, if it didn’t seem so lazy and slapdash. A lack of commitment from the very beginning of the film to any sort of quality while still trying to ground it in some base of reality ultimately derails Action Jackson from being what it could have been, which I believe the box office backed up. 2 stars

Rather than review individual seasons or series of Corner Gas I want to just cover an overview of the full run. The show is a fantastically written look at characters that could have been rife with cliché but went above thanks to great writing. There is constant teasing of the show pulling some hackneyed sitcom tripe only to twist into something off the wall and funny. There were always the cut away fantasy pieces they loved to pull off as well, which were cleverly done and always inventive.

The show opens with Lacey, a Toronto resident (or big city gal) moving to the tiny, rural Dog River, Saskatchewan, to reopen her deceased aunt’s café, making her a de facto main character. But like any really great ensemble program she quickly becomes one of many great characters. She befriends titular gas station owner Brent, his childhood man-child friend, Hank, Corner Gas employee, wiseass and sometime scholar, Wanda and Brent’s parents, Oscar and Emma. Lazy but likeable small town cops Karen and Davis round out the cast. From here essentially nothing happens for the next four seasons. Which is OK, it’s about small town life and really exists as a framework to house the aforementioned characters.

A number of very small adventures take place (Brent and Hank trying to get their childhood tree house back, Oscar and David roofing, etc.) and there is a great deal of bickering (the hated town of Wulerton, job switching incidents, “phone tag” style story confusion) but all are minor ways to carry the characters forward. It would be easy to break each of them down to a simple one word descriptor (Oscar is cranky, Hank is slow, Wanda is acerbic) but each episode builds on that in some way, giving them depth and insight, contrast and substance. A good example is the fishing trip episode. Hank, who suffers a dearth of respect in Dog River, is transformed by his escape into fishing into a kind of mystic guru, drawing others to his simple homilies of wisdom.

Up to the final episode the show offered no real change for any of its characters, as none of them were ever destined for change. Nothing in Dog River is meant for change, which makes the twist in the final episode first a touching bookend, recalling the calamitous change of the first episode, then more of a funny prank when the reveal comes. Corner Gas ended before it could become repetitive, going out on a small high note, assuring it would stay with you. 4 ½ stars for the series

I’ll start this review by telling why I decided to watch and review this. I wrote a short story recently to entertain my friends. It’s based on a comic book advertisement for a show none of us remembered, Marvel Action Hour.  Sure, we all know Spider-Man and have much love for RoboCop, but not a single person remembered the Dino-Riders, or their goofy leader featured in the ad. Given that he had a rearview mirror on his dinosaur there was much derision passed to him in subsequent conversation. Rather than look any of it up, though, I gave him a new name and personality and wrote what I feel is a pretty funny send up of the concept. I’ll repost this soon. The nature of the show, being an anthology program, brought up another more fondly recalled show, Super Sunday. This featured the still absurdly popular Jem and the Holograms, my personal favorite from the batch, The Inhumanoids, as well as Robotix and Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines.

I know from revisiting that The Inhumanoids doesn’t hold up to what ten-year-old-me thought of it. I remembered it being about monsters kicking the holy shit out of the whole world. Turns out it’s about a group of utterly meh-able G.I. Joe knockoffs that try to prevent that shitkicking. What a letdown that turned out to be. But until the discussion of the previously mention story I had totally, justifiably, forgotten about Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines.

What I think that a great number of my generation can’t or choose not to recall, or simply romanticize, is that a childhood in the 1980s was essentially growing up in a strip mall. You lived in a KB Toys dreamland while hoping one day to be adult enough to get the dirty jokes at Spencer’s Gifts. The important thing, though, is that every bit of it was for sale and being sold to you. The zeitgeist of the era dropped a ton of cartoonish, macho fads in our laps and monster truck pulls came along with them. Bigfoot revving up, Hulk Hogan flexing and Snake Eyes ninja-punching Destro in the face without even a comical metallic “bong” sound, that was the 1980s for me as a wee lad. Now, Snake Eyes got his due well enough, and Hulk Hogan owned Saturdays with WWF programming and his own baffling cartoon series, Hulk Hogan’s Rock and Wrestling, but some group of sad fuckers got stuck with the task of selling the newly fashionable love of monster trucks to a Saturday morning demographic to move toys, sheet sets and footie pajamas. Like the writers if Viva Knievel! before them, these stalwart scribes gave it their all and died their predisposed death. Because how could you possibly create an exciting, kid-friendly adventure around a group of faceless machines and expect anyone to take it seriously or connect with it on some meaningful level? You can’t really, but you can do some weird things while you try.

And that is where I begin this review. The cluster of episodes of the series was grouped on YouTube, where I watched it. The “movie” is barely 50 minutes long. That’s more than enough, though. So, you have to sell the monster trucks that you’ve licensed to kids. You’ll need characters! Let’s run these down- Yank Justice drives Bigfoot and is every bit as cliché as that name makes him sound. His name sounds like one of those you used to hear in bad translations of Japanese video games. “Yank Justice want to fight for belt. Will you accept challenges?” Don’t want to be bothered thinking up a new character? Just make John Wayne blond and call it a day. That’s Yank. His team includes twin sister drivers of Black Gold, Red and Redder. Yeah, that’s all they were ever called. Their defining characteristic was “sass.” Guess what color their hair was. Rounding out the group, driving the Orange Blossom Special, was my personal favorite, Professor Dee. You see, Prof. Dee is a scholarly, sophisticated, dapper African-American gentleman who dropped out of the world of academia to pursue a career driving a monster truck. For some reason. Actually, name any single life choice made by Prof. Dee and you’ll pretty much have to end that sentence with “for some reason.” But that’s what made him the best part of the show. Not one single thing about him makes any sense whatsoever. He wears a tweed suit, sports a fantastic gray mustache and keeps a pet armadillo with him at all times. He speaks with what an eight year old would call “big words.” How could you not love that guy?  Along the way they pick up a lady with a map and the fantastically named Close McCall, driving a funny car he calls War Lord.

The map draws them into the movie’s adventure as the erstwhile archeologist has uncovered a map of Ponce de Leon’s own Fountain of Youth. She tags along with the Muscle Machines crew because she’s being pursued by agents of reclusive, elderly kazillionaire Adrian Ravenscroft. In case his evil name wasn’t enough proof of evil for you Ravenscroft also has a personal crest that looks like a bird version of the Thundercats symbol. He employs a mountainous, murderous chauffeur, who continuously asks if Ravenscroft wants him to “dust” or “waste” lousy spy Ernie Slye. Slye attacks Yank at one point by shaking up a soda and pointing it at his face. That’s how effective he is. Hence he’s constantly under threat of “dusting” for various failures.

Most of the film is a cross-country pursuit to showcase the trucks as much as possible. Everyone gets a chance to show off their truck’s toughness and ability to drive over big obstacles. They got that part in there in spades. The Fountain of Youth turns out to be real, of course, and Ravenscroft uses it to restore himself, then immediately goes even more power mad than he already had been, rushing the movie to its gruesome conclusion. Have to give it some props for that.

Between the absurdity of shoehorning a plot about finding to Fountain of Youth into a vehicle designed to showcase monster trucks and the fact that Ernie Slye sounds suspiciously like Cobra Commander, I suspect Ravenscroft of being the shadowy financier of Cobra. Someone had to provide the cash to back Cold Slither and MASS Device research. I’m pretty sure that if Hasbro owned the trademarks they would probably retcon the whole series to make that happen, and include a Monster Truck Division of G.I. Joe led by Yank. It happened to M.A.S.K. But they don’t so it won’t. OK, I’m done namedropping toys now. But that’s what watching and Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines will do to you. It’s a 50 minute toy commercial and nothing more, outside of the ludicrousness that it had to go to in order to have any plot at all. 2 stars, mostly for having Professor Dee on the team

Repo! was far more enjoyable than I had hoped it would be. While most of the songs are average and most of the singers below average I still enjoyed the presentation of the dialogue, which was campy and over the top but mostly funny. I admired the director’s use of cost-cutting animation to do a lot of the grunt work in the story telling, particularly giving the Repo Man’s gruesome job a bit of breathing room rather than piling on more blood and guts than were necessary.

The cast was more than admirable in their respective roles. As not much of a musical fan I was unfamiliar with many of their talents, such as Anthony Head and especially Paul Sorvino. Who knew he had those kind of chops? Paris Hilton was cast as a parody of herself again, and it was serviceable enough but I’ve seen it before, and her musical bit left a lot to be desired. Sarah Brightman’s freakish eyes added a lot to her performance, which was quite good all on its own.

The film has its problems also, though. The narrator character opens and closes the film, which would be fine except that he is inexplicably thrown into the middle as well for a pointless segment about drug trade that doesn’t really affect the story. He needed to be given either a real role inside the main story or a completely outsider presence of omniscience. Instead he gets no real commitment to either role. And ***SPOILER ALERT!*** the audience is robbed of the proper disposal of the horrible Largo family by the Repo Man in the end due to what appears to be the clumsy opening to a sequel, which this kind of film does not well support. All of the best and only interesting characters have been killed by the end of the film, leaving the dregs behind to carry on, which was disappointing to say the least. 3 stars

The Mighty Boosh flawlessly blends music, comedy and cartoonish surrealism. The world of Howard Moon and Vince Noir is stocked with the most outrageous characters, both threatening and helpful. What makes the series work is the commitment to character that writers and stars Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt present. No matter the situation, Howard remains the blowhard man of action, much more convinced of his own manliness and abilities than he even proves, and Vince remains the fleeting fashion obsessed boy-man, so often confused for Howard’s wife.

The third series features much more of the Super Magic Men, a collection of shaman with great powers that they use mostly for taking drugs and hiding from their wives. Their inclusion helps the series twofold. First, they are able to take the absurdity of the situations even further with the addition of these alien and powerful men, made all the more ridiculous by their crippling addiction, petty infighting and snappy jabs at one another.

Some absolute brilliant absurdist comedy, along with some very clever and surprisingly good music, makes this the kind of show you can watch over and over. 5 stars