Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CROSSTOPIX #8: Top 5 Overrated, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Video Games Based on Movies, TV Shows that Should Return

Welcome to CrossTopix #8! For those who use social networking, CrossTopix is on Facebook and now MySpace and Twitter! Become fan on any of those and get notifications of updates, interesting news pieces, and other fun updates. This week, we debut a regular new feature: The Top 5. This week, we look at the Top 5 most overrated in entertainment, be it actors, directors, movies, video games, music, you name it! Along with that, we talk about the new Nightmare on Elm Street, TV shows that could return, and good video games based on movies. This week, CharlieCat joins the discussion as well as a very good friend of ours who will introduce himself right now.

Matt McCollum: Hi my name is Matt McCollum. I am good friends with STVO and CharlieCat. I am really into movies, old TV shows, and sometimes I read. I like going to conventions. Any convention is cool but I mainly like horror conventions. I guess horror is my favorite genre, but I do like dark comedies too. I used to write a lot, I don’t do that much now but I hope to do it again. If so, I'd like to promote it on this site. We'll see.

1.) List the Top 5 Most Overrated in Entertainment (Movies, Games, Celebrities, TV, Musicians, etc.)

STVO’S Top 5 (In Order)

1. Jack Ass (The TV Show, Movies, and Most Likely Video Game)

2. Arrested Development (TV Show)

3. Fight Club (The Movie)

4. Grand Theft Auto (Video Game Series)

5. Tie: Kevin Smith/Jhonen Vasquez (Writers/Directors)

I could explain my reasons why, but it would greatly exceed the sentence limit. If you wonder why for me or the other guests, please leave a comment.

CharlieCat’s Top 5 (No Particular Order)

Reality TV shows

Miley Cyrus a.k.a. Hannah Montana

Fight Club (movie only since I have not read the book)

The Halo video game series


Matt’s Top 5 (No Particular Order)

1. Kevin Smith: Clerks was the only good movie by him in my opinion and even that was like Down by Law by Jim Jarmusch. The rest of his movies are just the same jokes and they all preach relationships.

2. Miley Cyrus: Crappy music/crappy TV show.

3. Dane Cook: All he does is point out stuff we already know and put a lot of physically

comedy into it.

4. The Original Friday the 13th Part 1: Why is that considered to be a classic? It’s boring, the killing scenes aren’t that great, and the killer is a lady that looks like the Murder She Wrote lady.

5. That 70’s Show: It wasn’t funny and I didn’t buy the characters were from the 70’s as most of them seemed like stuck-up Hollywood d***he bags. Not even Red and Kitty Foreman (who I found funny) nor Tommy Chong saved this garbage for me.

2. With A Nightmare on Elm Street coming out this week, do you believe the new one has the potential to

be better than the original? From the trailers, what are your current thoughts of this movie?

STVO: I haven’t been very big on remakes coming out recently, especially for movies I don’t feel are necessary (i.e. King Kong, The Hills Have Eyes, etc.) I am a little iffy on whether I feel this remake of Wes Craven’s genre-defying series will be superior to the original but I feel there is a good chance it could be decent. Jack Earl Haley did a great job as Rorschach in the Watchmen movie and the acting for that character I can be well suited to play Freddy Krueger. I find it very unique they are attempting to make it darker than the original movie and even expand on Krueger’s back-story which I always like to see. While I’ll always enjoy Wes Craven’s first movie, I will be giving it a chance this Friday.

CharlieCat: Allow me to offend a great number of people, by saying, yes; I really do believe this one has potential to be better than the original. First off, I'm not much of a fan of Wes Craven. I feel most of his movies' plots lose focus. Although, I am not a fan of the remake-a-palooza of today, remakes are some classics of the horror genre at least. John Carpenter redid “The Thing”, which is one of my faves, David Cronenberg redid “The Fly”, a staple for the 80's sci/fi-horror fan, and Craven's first film, “The Last House on the Left” was just a rip off of a much superior film, Ingmar Bergman's “The Virgin Springs”.

I LOVE Jack Earl Haley as Freddy; his low, growly and gravelly voice is reminiscent of his role as Rorschach from “The Watchman”. And he has played the part of a creepy pedophile in “Little Children.” I love the sound byte, “Why are you screaming? I haven't even cut you yet!” The original Nightmare was very campy and the very perverted, flamboyant Freddy everybody came to love, by the great Robert Englund, didn't come out until the sequels. He was more a creature of the shadows in the original, which was great, it added to his mystique and creepiness factor. I have a far open mind for this remake than most. I just hope it doesn't give me nightmares!

Matt: I think the New Nightmare will be more serious but not as cool. It looks like in the previews it is just rehashing old scenes such as when Freddy’s claw appears in the bathtub or when Freddy comes out of the wall. It looks like in the beginning they’re trying to make Freddy look innocent, which could be interesting, but if he is innocent, then why take it out on a bunch of innocent kids? I guess the burning made him lose that innocence.

I used to have a hard time liking the Freddy movies because of how goofy they were, but they grew on me. I hope this is a more serious take, just because that would be more interesting than a copy of what’s already out there. Although, I think Freddy is meant to be funny. Like Chucky, even in the original Child’s Play, Chucky has a sense of humor and I liked that.

Taking away the sense of humor would be lame at the same time. For me, it’s kind of a hard remake to do because I want a more serious version but at the same time I want his humor to still be there. In Dark Knight, the Joker still had a sense of humor but was still pretty dark. He was even in drag as a nurse and the movie was still dark and not campy. Even when he rode a skateboard and dressed in drag he still killed the kids in brutal ways. Overall it’ll probably just be ok.

3. In many people's opinions, some TV shows are canceled pre-maturely. Some have been lucky to be brought back (Family Guy, Futurama, Jetsons, Scrubs) and others haven't. Are there any shows you would like to see come back or could see being revived?

STVO: The only shows I could see being decent to great revivals are animated television programs. Sure they could get both Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker to reprise their roles as Balki and Larry of Perfect Strangers and even add Reginald Vel Johnson and Jaleel White as Carl Winslow and Steve Urkel for “Perfect Matters” or “Family Strangers”, but would anyone want to see that? Okay I sort of do…

On a serious note, while The Critic and Mission Hill were cancelled too early in my opinion, each show are respectively 10-20 years old and I don’t think new episodes would be as great for those. One show I want to see revived as a movie is Samurai Jack where he fights Aku to ret urn to the past or die in the future. Two shows I’d love to see with new episodes are Megas XLR and Outlaw Star. Megas did have a decent ending but could have easily continued and when I met Steven Blum at Anime Central, I remember he told he loved being on that show. As for Outlaw Star, it was a great action anime and with anime such as InuYasha or Full Metal Alchemist making returns, why not?

CharlieCat: Oh wow, I get to make CharlieCat TV? Haha. I would definitely bring back the clever and witty animated show, “The Critic”. Made by some of those goofballs responsible for “The Simpsons

”, the show was about a movie critic (wow, really?!) named Jay Sherman, voiced by John Lovitz. It basically did parodies of movies, which is always relevant material, as well as diving into Jay's loner life. Great show! Bring it back! “It stinks!” Oh, whoops, that was Jay's trademark, this show didn't.

Matt: I don’t think most shows should be remade. I think they should bring back Gary and Mike, a clay-animated show originally on UPN with reruns on Comedy Central later on. That was a good show and I think it definitely deserves more episodes and would work on Adult Swim with the vulgar sense of humor. Speaking of which, I think Mission Hill should get new episodes too, people seem to like it. The nerdy kid can be annoying at times but I like the show overall. If they can bring back Futurama and Scrubs then they shouldn’t have any problem bringing back those shows.

Then of course there are shows they should bring back that would suck but I would find funny to watch. Roseanne: Make it like the last season, it wouldn’t last long but I’d watch it. The same goes for Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. But on a serious note, I do think HBO should bring back Spawn. It was a mini-series I think, but should be brought back as a full show. I loved Tales from the Crypt on HBO but I couldn’t see that

show being around today. The same goes for Beavis and Butthead. It would be interesting but just wouldn’t work. I admit though, I would watch it religiously. I would like to see the Rugrats and Doug come back, not the one where they’re in middle school nor the Disney Doug. I doubt those shows would work today, but I’d still like to see them come back.

4. Video games based on movies tend to receive a bad rap. In some cases, developers have shown they do care and put out an excellent video game representing the movie well. What is your favorite video game based on a movie and what is one that truly shines as awful to you?

STVO: While most would probably see Goldeneye on Nintendo 64, I’ll be different and go with The Chronicles of Riddick: Esacape from Butcher Bay from the original Xbox. It was a very fun game that had a great storyline that should have been used for the movie that was released and a unique way of playing. It was a first person shooter without a gun! It plays a lot like Metal Gear Solid where you have to sneak around and crack people’s necks from behind, hide them from fellow soldiers, and find weapons such as shivs or crowbars to fight off the prison guards. For the time, the graphics were phenomenal and it makes me want to play the sequel “Dark Athena” on either PS3 or 360. Two lesser-known titles I enjoyed were on Sega CD of Hook and 3 Ninjas Kick Back (lame movie, somewhat fun game!)

Two of the worst video games of all-time are based on movies: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure on NES and Bram Stoker’s Dracula on Sega CD. I liked the Bill and Ted movies, but for the video game I could never make it pass the stupid phone booth as a kid or even when I had the chance to try it again when I was 18! Bram Stoker has the worst soundtrack (a really annoying and grating wind sound) of any video game, clunky controls, and ugly graphics for a 16-bit title.

Matt: I would definitely say GoldenEye was the best videogame based on a movie. I

also liked the Jurassic Park game for Sega Genesis. It was cool that you could decide whether you wanted to be a human or a dinosaur. I know The Simpsons was a TV show that became a movie later but I do have to mention how great the arcade version of that was. Too bad other games were made for it that really sucked. I didn’t really mind the Independence Day game for Sega Saturn and PlayStation that much. It wasn’t that great of a game, but I didn’t mind it. It’s just where you're a jet and fight the alien spaceships, not a real complex game. I have to say most games based off movies do suck, as we all know.

CharlieCat views Goldeneye on Nintendo 64 as the best movie-based video game and wished to skip out on this question. In substitution, he will be answering the best and worst video game-based movie. To view STVO’s and Matt’s opinions, check the comment section following this read.

CharlieCat: Without hesitation Resident Evil is the best video game adapted to film. The movie followed the story of the game well enough so it wasn't unrecognizable (cough, Super Mario Bros, cough). The second one was decent but overall, lame. The third movie was pretty good but had nothing to do with the game series other than the female lead from the first game. I enjoyed Silent Hill, although many fans and non-fans of the game hated it. The Mario Brothers movie was pretty awful. It's been a long time but I remember just wanting to hurt myself to distract myself from how bad the movie was. Barf!


That's the end of this week's edition of Crosstopix! Once again, thanks to Matt and Charlie for participating on this week's edition! Be sure to read the first response in the comments section for STVO and Matt's opinion on movies based on video games. Next week's guest, Joel Partridge, comic book fan, who will discuss Iron Man 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Top 5 Comic Books, and more! In the meantime, follow CrossTopix on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CROSSTOPIX #7: PG-13, SNL/MacGruber, Lovable Flops, and Sequels that Killed a Franchise!

Welcome to the newly revamped CrossTopix! I hope you all are enjoying the new website layout, the new format for this edition, and enjoy the content as well. This week's discussions are about movies made before the PG-13 era, the best SNL skits turned movies as well as the upcoming MacGruber, the best movies/games/TV shows that weren't financially/critically successful, and the least favorite sequels that killed a single movie/video game or their franchise. With me this week: self-proclaimed future multi-Oscar Award Winner and TMZ fighter, Bob Reeks!

Bob: STVO, thanks for having me on, just look at this set, do you have a Smitty like Jay? Aw man, I look forward to giving my feedback and arguing…it’ll be fun. Just to get the promotional stuff out of the way, I am currently working on a screenplay with a friend of mine. We’re just about to hop on the dialogue. Later we will jump on the rest (camera movements, light, and what not) but once it’s done we’ll actually be filming the trailer, hopefully within a few months, so we can get some money from some lucky producer. It’s a great story, no details, but I will say people will get some valuable life lessons and entertainment from it. This is the beginning of Bob. Instigator Bob will come later…I promise.

1. If you were born in the 1980s or before you might remember the MPAA rating system was only: G, PG and R. Later on, borderline movies such as Space Balls, Howard the Duck, and Gremlins arrived with content that was a little too mature for being PG-rated but not mature enough for being rated R. For that, PG-13 was born! Discuss what you think of the era before that and if you think that it was a necessary decision 30 years later…

STVO: I am really surprised by how much the 1980s were able to get away with in the PG-rating! There is full frontal nudity in the original Clash of the Titans, Howard the Duck features parody “PlayDuck Magazine” as well as a nude duck woman with breasts, and the word “S#!*” is said quite a bit in Space Balls! From a fan’s stand point, all of these are very entertaining movies (yes, even Howard) but from a parent’s view point, I could see some of the material is a bit much for younger children. I think that the PG-13 rating has been effective because I think it distinguishes children and family movies (PG) from movies more for pre-teen/teenager (PG-13.)

The Dark Knight does an excellent job of creating a perfect PG-13 experience as it can be violent and very mature yet it won’t traumatize most children for life. One slight drawback is that some directors of PG movies today seem to think that their family movies should be entirely dumb-downed.
Bob: Think about “Uncle Buck” with John Candy, that was PG and included a Rape scene, the F bomb, and drug use (underage drinking) Oh yeah and a drunken clown (nothing for kids to see). This is just another situation where PG-13 would have been helpful.

Of course there is also Indiana Jones. “Temple of Doom” comes to mind. Now to get this out of the way, the third one was PG13, that one they rated correctly. But back to “Temple of Doom”, I saw it at like age 6 or something and I wasn’t affected by the heart grabbing, the sexual innuendo, the Arabs (well now they are scary, but in the movie they had dark evil eyes) , the Alligators tearing up the bad guys. Oh yeah and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, face melting Nazis, skeletons popping out of the walls, and of course the lesson to kids is to walk on eggshells and never ever visit the Middle East. They should’ve rated those R especially when compared to “Stand by Me”

What does all this mean? Our generation was the least protected when it comes to movie content because movies didn’t cause school shootings and other things of that nature yet. Now movies are getting fluffier with the messages that family and children are precious. Nowadays if a movie has a questionable scene, then mommy and daddy form groups and whine whine whine. So the new message with more ratings is to teach kids to sue and fight when you don’t like something. Real life should be rated R in that case.

2. Many of Saturday Night Live’s skits have been adapted into movies. What has been your favorite movie of those skits? Also, share your opinion on the latest SNL skit turned movie: MacGruber.

STVO: Easily my favorite SNL-based movies are Wayne’s World 1 and 2. I like them both so much that it’s hard for me to choose which one I like more than the other. I somewhat idolized the two as a kid and feel that they are still awesome today! Hosting a rockin’ television show from Wayne’s parents’ basement! I love all the celebrity appearances from Tia Carrere, Ed O’Neil, Chris Farley, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, etc. Coneheads is a runner-up as it was such an outrageous movie (see the locker room scene) that I still find it all funny to this day.
Onto MacGruber, I’m not interested. I decided to catch up on the SNL skits on Hulu.com (just type MacGruber in the search engine) and while it’s probably one of the better skits I have seen on SNL in years, it’s not saying too much as SNL in my opinion has been mediocre for about 15 years now. I give them credit for parodying an already goofy concept (MacGuyver) and adding some dirty jokes (using his son’s “anal lube” or needing someone’s pubic hair to disable a bomb) the jokes just don’t have the heart they did 20+ years ago. The trailers haven’t done the movie any favors either (even with appearances from WWE wrestlers.) I do enjoy Will Forte as Principal Wally on The Cleveland Show though!

Bob: I loved “Stuart Saves his Family”, as a Chicagoan I’m forced to love “Blues Brothers”, Wayne’s World 1 and 2, “Coneheads”, and of course The Ladies Man. “Ohhh it’s a Lady” is now in my daily vernacular. Each one had its upsides. “Stuart Saves his Family” was a very warm movie. But it had a more positive message than the skit itself and that was to stay who you are and use it to improve others lives. Blues Brothers is a classic...that’s all I’m going to say. “Wayne’s World”...well Wayne and Garth are kind of the Poster children for 90’s 20-somethings. If you want to see what life was like in Pre-Generation X, you should see these. They were a bit exaggerated but very true with how they viewed young life. Coneheads, they were chewing on condoms....yeah that’s just awesome. And the innuendo with the Subway sub, it’s subtle but you can catch it. But also, the movie is actually smart; it sends a great message about immigration; when returning to their own country (planet) some are actually killed upon return not immediately but usually from non government groups (gangs, drug lords). That’s why I like that one. Finally, The Ladies Man. I don’t know which movie I quote more between Old School or The Ladies Man. It’s just tons of fun and of course my crush from Fresh Prince is hot as hell in that.

MacGruber. Well, I can only state that instead of simply rebooting MacGuyver they spend money on a spinoff. I’ll take the Reboot any day especially since MacGruber is only funny as a 10-second skit…yeah I said it. If it works and draws in more than 80 million I’ll be very surprised, but it’ll probably debut at like number 4 or something. The character isn’t that well known anyhow and neither is the actor. Also, Val Kilmer is in it, sorry Val but no one likes you anymore. I wish it luck but wishes only go so far.

3. “That was awful!” “Man that movie tanked so bad!” Quotes you would likely hear for box-office bombs, TV flops, or video game failures. What are some of your favorite unsuccessful movies/games/programs/even music artists that didn’t do so well financially and/or was critically panned?

STVO: Hahahaha, the list can go on forever if I was to list every movie/game/TV series, but I’ll just select a few. I’ll list one TV show, one movie, one video game, and list a few runners-up.
Mission Hill (1999, Channel: WB/Adult Swim), Titan AE (2000), and Shenmue (System: Dreamcast, 2000.) The three titles I listed all had great potential. Mission Hill was a very funny animated TV show about a three 20-somethings and 17 year-old Kevin French as they live in an apartment in the city of Mission Hill. Titan AE was a unique animated movie from Don Bluth about our planet Earth being destroyed in the future and the human race looking for a new planet to rebuild their lives; this movie could have led the path for more mature animated action-adventure movies. Finally Shenmue wasn’t without its problems but had great potential to be an epic game series from Sega. As a man named Ryo Hazuki seeking revenge for the death of his father, you had to go through his life day to day as you work to raise money, fight gangs to gain information to find the murderer, and help out friends that were in need. Sadly the first game was on a very high budget (with many landmarks and corporate likenesses), was flawed by repetition (you had to work construction like it was a real job), and didn’t gain the fan base Sega had hoped to seek.

Runners-Up: The Critic, Megas XLR, Howard the Duck, Hostel Part 2, Beyond Good and Evil, Eternal Darkness.

Bob: The first movie I have to mention is, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, bad acting, but truly effective. Most people say they saw “It” as a kid and that’s why they fear clowns, well, that would explain the fear of Tim Curry, not clowns. Killer Klowns is a great reason to fear clowns. I mean in one terrifying scene they are walking down the street collecting dead humans wrapped in Cotton Candy! Also, using a human for a dummy like a ventriloquist? Terrifying! This has a huge cult following with it too, but also loads of funny stuff like a memorable beheading with a classic quote, “what are you gonna do, knock my block off?”

“The Strangers” had people in the shadows with white masks that are very scary especially if you try to picture it in your apartment or think of the Manson murders. I guarantee you won’t sleep after watching it, I know I can’t think of that movie before bed. I know I’m approaching 30, but to me it’s terrifying and nearly approaches Gacey and Dahmer-levels of scary. In addition to simple yet terrifying, I enjoy The Blair Witch Project despite many people panning it today.

The Cable Guy and Last Action Hero were terribly underrated. Jim Carrey is just hilarious and someone we all know but don’t necessarily like. Classic subtlety such as “A sound system that would make George Lucas cream in his pants” or who could forget “I’m as healthy as a horse…not a drip (referring to STDs)” Give it another shot and you’ll see what I mean. The same can be said about Last Action Hero. It i s a GREAT action movie that I think stands out. No, this isn’t the movie where Arnold says “Get to the Chopper!” but it is the one where he says “I iced that guy” and “You killed my second cousin Frank…BIG MISTAKE” and “silent but deadly” Also there are quotes that actually poke fun of action movies such as “There's always someone in there. It costs me a fortune in closet doors”

Last but not least, Radio Flyer. Okay some may remember that one being sad and depressing about child abuse. Well it is exactly that, but with a fun twist, the kids creates a flying machine to escape the father (despite the fact he’s thrown in Jail at the end) but still a classic and moving picture. I love it, the kid escapes and flies and sends in post cards every few years until his 40’s despite the fact he escapes at age 10. Hmmm.

4. Movie and video game series can be like an overdone joke. They are good at first, might continue to be the second or even third time, perhaps it loses steam the fourth time, then finally you’re sick of it after the fifth or sixth occurrence!!! List a movie or even video game that killed a series that you started off enjoying then got sick of. You may also include movies/games that were good standing-alone but blossomed into a series you didn’t like.

STVO: The first one I would like to discuss is Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I really enjoyed the first movie very much and felt it was a movie that should have just left a single movie. Out of curiosity, I have watched TCM 2 and TCM: New Generation. They are horrible! If you’re looking for a good laugh or Leatherface experimenting with being a drag queen, these movies might be up your alley. The acting is ridiculous, it loses the slightly realistic feel, and again, more experimentations of Leatherface in drag is just too much.

For video games, I would have to say Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. When this title arrived, they added free roaming to find missions such as ollying a bum and playing tennis with your skateboard. That’s right; you played a round of tennis using your skateboard as the racket.
I liked that Activision and Neversoft were trying to continue innovation, but I felt they went too far with their free-roaming and adding stories to the Tony Hawk series. Since four, I haven’t been into the series as much. For a series of games like this, I feel it is best to keep it simple and not try to make it an answer to Grand Theft Auto.

Bob: Okay they really, really, really pushed it with Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. Okay yes, they were fun and highly complex with their undertones and in the theaters I was in heaven. But when you really think about it, the Matrix was an exact copy of Dark City and Dark City didn’t have sequels so why did The Matrix? Oy vey! They need to stop making sequels to movies that clearly stand alone. However I will also bring up TOXIE, yes the Toxic Avenger. Yes, I am going there! The first one was bad, very very bad, but the second and third…YIKES. I thought it was over but then they released Toxic Avenger 4 (the worst movie I have ever seen.) Part 4 has Ron Jeremy as the Mayor and includes a rape scene with a butch girl raping Toxie’s blind girlfriend. Just wrong! They should not have even made the first one in my opinion.

I’m not a big gamer, nothing personal, I just don’t see the point in paying $60 for games that I generally can’t beat without cheat codes because they’re so d*mn hard! There were a couple games I have beaten on NES, Genesis, and SNES, and then there is the GTA series and Devil May Cry. I love GTA, lots of fun and the sequels actually work. Now, Devil May Cry is tons of fun (Jay and Silent Bob name drop) but the second one takes some weird turns in the story and goes nowhere. In fact I got stuck on a giant squid, tried for a few weeks and just gave up. The series now sucks and I don’t want to finish the stories. However I have heard that DMC 3 and 4 revive it to being fun again. I can’t wait to play those.


That's all for this week's edition of CrossTopix! Thank you again to Bob Reeks for joining discussion! Next Wednesday, Charlie Cat joins the discussion as well as special guest and friend of CrossTopix, Matt McCollum. Next week the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street will be released and of course we plan to do some speculation as well as discuss other topics as well!

In the meantime, click like or dislike to let us know what you thought of the edition. Commenting also lets me know if the new format/the topics/the guests are interesting as well. Join the Facebook Fan Page or follow CrossTopix on Twitter! (More updates to occur on there soon!)

Until then, enjoy the week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CROSSTOPIX #6: Part 2 of 2

Hey Everybody! Welcome to part 2 of 2 of this week's edition of CrossTopix. Once again, my guest this week is Tom Maher of the Know Nothing Music Show which you can listen to at (http://knownothingmusicshow.podomatic.com) After a month hiatus, an all-new episode is now up! Very interesting read, please check it out!
BTW, to get you up to speed: There will be no CrossACTION this week and it is taking a hiatus as I have plans in the future to REVAMP CrossACTION (possible name change, not decided yet.) I'll admit, a few times it's been redundant/repetitive when it's mostly agreements, but get ready!

Check out Part 1 of this week!!


4. What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? What musician or band was playing and where was the venue?

STVO: I’ve been to a total of four concerts (one being only 30 minutes): Korn, Gwar, Fear Factory, and Collective Soul (the 30-minute concert.) In high school I was a big Korn fan and it was my first real concert. It was at the All-State Arena. I liked it a lot as I enjoyed all the songs that Korn performed and witnessed my first mosh pit. Two other amusing highlights from the show were the pre-show bands of Deadsy (who the crowd really hated) and Puddle of Mudd (50-50 ratio of like and hate) had their drummer throw a drumstick to the audience and the audience member catching it both times threw it back. Fear Factory was fun but not as memorable as the next concert I’ll discuss: Gwar.

Gwar was ridiculous. They had a guy dressed like a mascot-version of Mike Tyson and one as George W. Bush. They were castrated (fake of course) on stage as fake blood and fake urine was thrown into the audience. It was a very crazy but amusing show. This show was at The Metro. As for the 30-minute Collective Soul concert, it was nice as two members of the band were at the outside of the John Hancock Center and performed many of their popular songs. It was a “Free Lunch-time Concert” from 101.9 The Mix and you just had to walk over and watch. I’d say my favorite concert was either Collective Soul or Korn because I knew their music the most.

Tom: This is a difficult question since as I stated in my intro I am a huge music fan and go to concerts whenever possible but if I had to choose I'd say Sigur Ros in 2003. If you've never heard of them don't worry most people haven't but they are from Iceland and have a song in the movie Vanilla Sky. Their music is beautiful and it was one of a very few shows were at the end I didn't want it to stop and were I actually wouldn't mind following this band for a whole tour. After the show I actually waited and got the band members’ autographs, something I haven’t done since then. Anyways this was hard to choose since as I write this I’m going to go see an artist called Bill Callahan tonight (listen to Tom discuss it here!). Who knows, this show may be great and all of the concerts I've been to have been good in some sense but Sigur Ros just stands a little above the rest.

5. Being that we’re both from the Chicagoland area… let’s talk Chicago Deep Dish Pizza! What restaurant in Chicago or the Chicagoland has the best pizza!

STVO: I love pizza! It’s so bad for you but it’s so great. It’s the ultimate reunion or party food. Anyway, I’m going to have to go with Giordano’s being the best place you can go for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. The mozzarella cheese is loaded in it and delicious. One or two slices will fill you up but you always want to save it for more. Runners-up include Pizano’s (a place where me, Tom, and other friends met “The Chach!”), and Nancy’s Pizzeria. Also a great down-town Chicago chain that doesn’t do Deep Dish but has some great pizza is Sarpino’s Pizzeria! It is pricey, but it is very good!

D*** That is making me hungry!!!!!

Tom: Wow, this is a hard question since pizza is a food I could eat every day. But if I had to chose it would be a pizza place in Chicago called Pizano's: they have an amazing thin crust pizza that actually gave me some tears. The crust is just right and -as the perfect crunch to it and all the flavors just complement each other just right. The runner up is Rosatti's which is a chain and there is one close to where I live so really it's the convenience of the restaurant but the spice's and ingredients and taste are great so when I eat their I am always happy.

6. Where do you see the music industry going in the next couple of years with the iPhone and online music programs like Lala or any of the other ones?

STVO: Well, a few editions ago we discussed movies/music going digital and that’s definitely where I see the music industry going. We will be seeing less physical formats for music (they’ll still exist though; I mean Rihanna has her songs on vinyl records!) I can see much more competition for Zune and iPod by other companies being started, I also see MTV/VH-1/Fuse/etc. trying to create their own music services to go digital and perhaps get music artists to do time-exclusive songs for their formats (similar to video games like when Grand Theft Auto 3 had to be exclusive to PS2 for a certain amount of years.) I think we can expect a lot of innovative and new features for how we listen to music this decade with the digital format: perhaps more independent radio stations being

formed, new artists using digital to become break-out stars, etc.

Tom: This is a topic that we've talked on and off for the last year on our show about. With the constantly growing array of services like Lala or Spotify and others, it's a great time for the music lover. What my co-host Tim and I see is that in the next five or so years the music industry will start to really change and unless the major labels want to be part of history they will need to compete with the Internet and start to embrace the Internet more and not treat it as a small part of the equation. I am actually very happy for this change because more bands with the Internet can self produce and that means more music for me to listen to and perhaps love so I fully and wholeheartedly cannot wait for these next couple of years


That is all for this week's edition of CrossTopix! Thanks once again to Tom Maher of the Know Nothing Music Show!

Effective next week, CrossTopix will become one update with four topics for an easier read for all of you! It will also be easier for me due to other life duties, but don't worry, the site should be updated once a week every Wednesday unless noted otherwise!

Tune in Wednesday as future "MULTI-OSCAR AWARD WINNING/INSTIGATOR FILM DIRECTOR" Bob Reeks joins the discussion as we discuss SNL-based movies (including the upcoming MacGruber), sequels that sink movies/video games, and more!

Please leave some feedback and visit the Facebook Fanpage! Have a great weekend!