Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, April 29, 2011

A pop culture party for the newly wed couple royale

In the wee small hours of the morning,on this side of the Atlantic,Prince William and Kate Middleton officially tied the royal knot for all and sundry around the world to see.

This wedding has been growing into quite the media event,with many eager to dismiss it as trivial as there are those revved up to celebrate it. While I only saw a portion of the pre-recorded proceedings,I was able to watch the ground breaking kiss that the bride and groom shared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace live today(the two kisses,actually)and was struck by how truly happy they seem to be.

You can also see the authentic joy in the streets of London,as multitudes of well wishers,both local and out of towners from all over the world,are making merry in the best sense of the term. With so much sad news to report these days,it's a blessing to have a good reason to be happy for a promising young couple like this.

In that spirit,LRG presents to you a pop culture wedding themed party mix in honor of William and Kate. If you're not in the mood for bridal bliss,sorry but you'll have to look elsewhere to escape the royal wedding mania:


Even a renewing of long held wedding vows can be enough to start a party,as Emily Gilmore proved when Lorelei and Rory slowly realized that they were expected to give her a bachelorette bash the night before the ceremony.

Fortunately,impromptu parties are a Stars Hallow tradition,along with generous servings of booze that change a high brow lady into a broad:


The most recent addition to the sitcom romance genre is The Office's Jim and Pam who, as much as they tried, couldn't resist allowing the gang at Dunder Mifflin to take part in their wedding.

Of course,they managed to keep true to themselves by having a somewhat secret ceremony on board a Niagara Falls tour boat before the actual formal one for friends,family and the antics of Michael Scott. A wise and amusing decision,indeed:


During the second(and sadly final)season finale of Legend of the Seeker,wizard Zeddicus used a spell to alter the past in order to save the world from the present day threat of the Underworld's rising.

That appeared to be a good idea at first,since Zed found himself in this different reality to be a participant at the wedding of Richard and Kahlan,who were at last able to become man and wife. While that bliss didn't linger long,it was a sweet treat for the show's fans to savor:


It's hard not to think of Jane Austen when the subject of English weddings comes up(for me,anyway)and since most of her stories ended with a marriage or two on the way,including her here is entirely pop cultural proper.

Let's start with Pride and Prejudice,the 1995 miniseries that had Elizabeth and her Mr. Darcy shared their wedding day with his best friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane. Granted,in the book they had separate ceremonies but in this insistence,the duel nuptials serve well to wrap up the various plot points rather nicely:

At the start of the P&P based Bride and Prejudice,there's a wedding party where all of the potential love interests hit the dance floor as well as sing their hearts out about seeking your soul mate.

Like most weddings,things get a little out of hand yet despite a few awkward moments,everyone enjoys sending the newly wed couple off on a good note:

Best of luck and much congratulations to William and Kate on their special day,along with joy to all who are rejoicing along with them. Sharing in the happiness of others is a great way to keep that spring in your step and a song in your heart,not to mention a sense of surprise for some:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TC Masters do or diet,a last round-up for TAR's Team Cowboy and we will still love this Idol beyond tomorrow

To start off this new round of Top Chef Masters,the Quickfire Challenge gave the chefs twelve minutes to make a divine cheese dish using the many international varieties laid out before them.

Traci Des Jardins won immunity and five grand for her charity here,thanks to her columbier and prosciutto carpaccio with croutons. She was quite stunned about it,since she thought the dish might have been too safe.

The Elimination challenge brought in some of the folks from The Biggest Loser,who wanted the chefs to make low-cal versions of high calorie food favorites of the current crop of contenders.

Teams of three were formed,with one making breakfast,another lunch and last dinner,plus all of them had to make dessert.

The calorie limit was 1,500,rather tricky considering the many heavy meals on deck but the blue team managed to make their plates add up to 1,211 which put them in the winner's circle.

Naomi had French toast with eggs and sausage to work with and thanks to a mix of Stevia and berries,along side a strip of turkey bacon,pulled off a breakfast plate that satisfied her BL contender completely.

In the entree category, George revamped a traditional deep dish pizza with a whole wheat crust,smoked mozzarella and balsamic oil laced veggies. It was such a huge hit with both the judges and BL people alike that I was surprised that George didn't take the win for this one.

That honor went to Floyd,for his take on a meatball Parmesan sub sandwich. He chose buffalo as the protein for the meatballs and served it with faro,spinach and asparagus.

The flavor profile on the plate was pleasing to all assembled. Floyd's charity,The Young Scientists' Cancer Research Fund,got ten grand and he received kudos for a job well done on this front.

Meanwhile,the Bottom Three was made up of chefs from both of the other teams. Mary Sue's corned beef hash with eggs over easy was transformed into a turkey veggie hash with a poached egg that wasn't too consistent with every serving. Also,the cut of the turkey and the vegetables left a lot to be desired there.

Next on the chopping block was Alex,who had fried chicken,biscuits and mashed potatoes as his low cal bar to hurdle. While the BL contestant whose favorite dish this was liked how he oven baked the chicken and coated it with panko,no one enjoyed the heavy cornbread on the plate.

He had intended to add applesauce for moisture but remembered far too late. The sweet potato puree didn't go over well with a few of the judges either.

The truly big loser was Suvir,who decided that it was better to serve a veggie burger and Asian slaw as a "proper" alternative to a bacon cheeseburger with fries. That might not have gone over so bad,had not Suvir chosen to also(as one of the judges put it)"serve a lecture on a plate" literally.

Before anyone got a chance to taste his dish,Suvir pontificated on the evils of red meat and how damaging it was to your health,which was annoying to his fellow TCM contender Hugh,who happened to be serving a reduced portion version of roast beef and potatoes right after him.

The burger itself didn't taste good,giving a "potato-y" texture to something that was already stuffed into a pita(starch on starch,not very healthy there). The worst thing about Suvir's need to strut his vegetarian stuff was how the mood in the room became so dismal,especially when you looked at the Biggest Loser contenders.

Personally,I have nothing against being vegetarian or vegan but one thing that's a big turn-off to anyone with weight issues(myself included)is being talked down to. You draw more flies with honey than vinegar,people,just saying. Especially when you're talking to a group of folks who have lost a substantial amount of weight and who probably know more from life experience about nutrition than you ever will.

Hugh,to his credit,lightened things up by making a joke out of what Suvir said and waited until they were back in the kitchen to confront him about bad mouthing red meat before his dish was served. Suvir dismissed him rudely and in an aside,insisted that Hugh's use of flank steak and smaller portions was completely wrong.

Well,Suvir,at least his meal was delicious and nutritious which no one could say about what you offered up there. You may have walked out of there,proud of your principles but your arrogance is truly tasteless.

Next week,the masters take over a drive-in and then have to make a meal with a really low budget. Should be amusing,indeed!

The Amazing Race:Unfinished Business headed over to Switzerland, where Gary and Mallory sailed through their Speed Bump just fine while Jet and Cord wound up at the back of the pack again. Jet got lost on his Road Block,which cost him and his brother a lot of time.

A Double U-Turn was in play and most of the teams chose not to use it except for Flight Time and Big Easy,who were neck in neck with the Cowboys.

That meant that the fellas had to finish off a fondue pot as well as deliver luggage to various hotels, both tasks being difficult enough to slow anyone down. The double whammy took Team Cowboy out of the running yet again and again,it was sad to see them go:

It was Carole King night on American Idol and yes,someone sang the Gilmore Girls theme song(sorry,Lauren,but it was less than impressive). Due to there only being six contestants lefts,the evening was divided between solo performances and duets,the latter not making much of a mark,if you ask me.

The one performance that wowed me was James Durbin's rendition of "Will You Still Love Me(Tomorrow)". Normally,I am not a fan of singers doing a group song as a solo but James made me a believer,folks. He truly rocked the house with this number and Randy may be right about him being the guy to win the whole kit and kickass caboodle here:


THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Now that Klaus is in town and in his own body,the big league supernatural showdown we've been waiting for is about to commerce.

Unfortunately,someone is going to die before this is all over and hopefully,that won't be a character we all care about(fill in the blank for your personal preference):

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carrie Vaughn's salute to superhero storytelling long After The Golden Age

Like many children of celebrity parents,Celia West never felt that she could live up to the expectations set before her by both her family and the outside world. Her burden,however,is heavier than most due to Mom and Dad being the top superheroes in Commerce City,aka Captain Olympus and Spark, and Celia's lack of inheriting any extraordinary abilities.

Her most direct connection with crime fighting has been as kidnapping victim. Snatched up by numerous experienced and wannabe Big Bads over the years,Celia has grown used to being held captive until her parents,along with their own superhero squad known as the Olympiad,come crashing into whatever secret lair she's currently kept prisoner in to save the day.

Despite her best efforts to keep her adult life as far from the orbit of her super parents' world as possible,Celia is still the number one pick on the super villain hostage list:

That's not the only front on which Celia is drawn into battle. As one of the top forensic accountants in her firm, The DA requests Celia to help mount the tax fraud case being launched against The Destructor,the most diabolical enemy that Commerce City and the Olympiad has ever faced.

Her reluctance to get involved is more than just a desire to stay out of the superhero spotlight. During a bout of rebellious youth,Celia briefly joined forces with the Destructor who kept her around merely to annoy Captain Olympus and Spark.

Her past flirtation with evil was legally smoothed over and kept secret from the public,until now as she's also called as a witness for the defense. Not only are those old skeletons dragged out in the open,a few old wounds between Celia and her father are opened up as well:

While all of this family drama is up for grabs,other sinister elements are at work in the city as a rash of strange robberies tied into a higher than usual number of kidnapping attempts against Celia cause her to sit up and take notice.

Despite the growing amount of mistrust placed against her,Celia gradually chooses to use her strongest assets-her intelligence and inside knowledge of superheroes-to embrace the true family legacy that's been waiting for her all along.

After The Golden Age is a stand alone novel from the author of the Kitty Norville series Carrie Vaughn and even if you're not familiar with those books,this engaging story will draw you in faster than a speeding bullet. I received this book as one of my birthday gifts on Monday and finished it last night,riveted to the pages as eagerly as any die hard comic book fan.

This novel has a good amount of depth to it,particularly with the ever present tension standing in the way of Celia and her dad,whose disappointment in his daughter's lack of super powers(plus her involvement with The Destructor) has never been well concealed.

The emotional dynamics between these two are as compelling as any of the action sequences within the narrative are and they enhance the reality of the fantasy setting for the characters and the reader alike. It may sound like an odd recommendation as a Father's Day present but I think it fits the bill nicely on that score,especially if you have a dad into the old school comics scene:

While I wish that the book was a little bit longer,After the Golden Age does justice to the literary superhero genre. It's more than a celebration of superhero lore although the story accomplishes that as well-this story showcases the power that anyone can use to right that which is wrong and that you don't need to have super strength or fly to be a real wonder of a woman:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Put some spring into your step with these May/June reads

As the end of April draws near,it's time to see if those famous showers bring about some flowering reads for May as well as a few blooming books in June.

With the many holiday and seasonal celebrations coming up just around the corner,there might be a handful of helpful hints towards gift giving here but don't despair of finding a suitable read for yourself,too:


Jennifer Haigh touches upon a touchy subject in her new novel Faith,as her leading lady Sheila McGann goes to the aid of her brother Art,a respected parish priest accused of inappropriate attentions to some of younger members of his flock.

Upon arriving back in Boston,Sheila doesn't know what to think as her mother refuses to even consider such a thing,her younger brother Mike is flat out convinced of Art's guilt and Art himself is skillfully avoiding any outright discussion of the situation.

Haigh is at her best when dealing with family strife both within and without,along with examining the consequences of secret keeping over time. Faith promises to be an intricate examination of the heart when faced with the possibility of such an ugly truth and reconciling with the real outcome of it(May 10):

In Francine Prose's My New American Life, Albanian visitor Lulu hopes to make a fresh start in New York City,as long as her expired tourist visa goes unnoticed. Her new job as caretaker to influential Wall Street executive Mr. Stanley's son offers up plenty of opportunity for Lulu to remain in America to realize her dreams of a better life.

Unfortunately,an unexpected blast from her past in the form of tough guys from her homeland show up on Lulu's doorstep,demanding that she honor her "family" connections. As it was once said in Godfather III,just when she thought she was out,Lulu is pulled back in to the same sort of mess she's struggling to get away from.

Set during the early years of our new century,Francine Prose uses her dark wit to shine a spotlight upon the folly of expecting a change of scene to be the ultimate solution to all of your woes(late April,early May):


Author Kamala Nair makes a dazzling debut with The Girl in the Garden,a novel that explores the hidden truths of more than one generation. As Rakhee Singh's marriage day draws close,she recalls a childhood summer where her mother took her to the ancestral estate of her maternal family,in an Indian village far from the Minnesota home where they have been living with her father,now left behind.

Over the course of the summer,Rahkee stumbles upon a few secrets,one of which involves her mother's reason for fleeing the beloved dwelling of her youth. The main portion of the answers to the many questions that Rahkee has lie in the forbidden garden out back,said to be a haunted place and for more than one good reason.

This book seems to hold the allure of a steady story with a powerful flair for creating an atmosphere of mysterious enchantment and hopefully will be a sweet stepping stone for a new writer to plant a full literary garden of delights(June):

A new chapter in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series opens with Naamah's Blessing that takes our heroine Moirin back to the kingdom of Terre Ange,where all is in dismay. Too burdened with grief over the loss of his beloved Queen,King Daniel asks her to look after Desiree,the three year old heiress to the throne.

Moirin takes on the responsibilities of her new position as best she can,playing the political games necessary while handling fresh challenges in her path.

As mistakes from her own youth start to catch up with her,Moirin must chose between duty to the living and honoring the requests of the dead. The intricate world building that Carey does for these engaging books is truly a wonder to behold(June).


With all of the educational themed books coming out in time for graduation,there's a nifty trio of literary salutes heading your way that should fit nearly every occasion. First up is The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma,which relates the "Streak" that she and her dad went on as he read to her for a hundred nights when Alice was in the fourth grade.

The success of that endeavor encouraged them to expand this literary experiment,continuing to read aloud to her every night until she went to college. Ozma recounts the relationship with her father in a loving way that allows for lessons in life and literature to blossom naturally(May):

Next,we have William Deresiewcz tell us how A Jane Austen Education opened his eyes and mind to the impact of those six seemingly simple books of hers to the wider world.

As a graduate student at Columbia who was in awe of writers such as James Joyce and Joseph Conrad,he was assigned Emma to read and found her viewpoint to be most refreshing as well as thought provoking.

In exploring the rest of Austen's work,William saw parallels to his own life and dealings with others,which drew him to taking a better view of things altogether. A sweetly savvy stroll through an education of spirit and mind(late April,early May):

Last but far from least is Stephen Marche's How Shakespeare Changed Everything. While the Bard's writings are the well known basis for many a book,film or TV show plot,his influence can also be seen in the most unlikely of cultural spots such as the name Jessica(first used in The Merchant of Venice)to Freud's theories about sex.

From the creation of teenagers to various political fronts,Marche makes the case for the power of Shakespeare's imagination in fashioning our ever growing world. While that's a subject ripe for debate,this tidy tome does provide plenty of food for thought beyond the usual high school examination most folks give to Shakespeare and his plays(May):


Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? brings the musings of bloggers Gael Fashingbaur Cooper and Brian Bellmont of Gen X-tinct to the page,sharing their love of nifty nostalgia items from the 1970s and 80s.

The days when you could buy a Marathon bar,a can of Pepsi Light and a package of Choco-Diles may be long gone yet those memories linger on.

Other memorable delights include board games such as Mystery Date,toys and lunchboxes based on TV shows like Welcome Back,Kotter and the Six Million Dollar Man and shampoos with names like Gee,Your Hair Smells Terrific and Love's Baby Soft. In this fast paced world of ours,it's nice to take a leisurely look back(June):

With warm weather on the way,making time to read can be hard put yet it's vital to exercise your mind along with your body. Don't make it a chore,however;it's not like you have to write a book report,folks-just have fun!:

Friday, April 22, 2011

My birth year in film

Next Monday is my birthday,so I will be taking a blogger's day off but wanted to leave you good folks with a little pop culture party mix there. My theme is "Movies from the year I was born" and that happens to be 1968,which has quite an interesting collection of flicks.

Some of the films from that year include award winners such as the musical Oliver!,Charly and Rosemary's Baby,along with future cult classics like Planet of the Apes and 2001:A Space Odyssey. Plenty of well known greats,yet I thought it would be more entertaining to check out a few of the offbeat cinematic features that in one way or another did influence me.

First up on the hit parade is Pretty Poison,starring Anthony Perkins as a released mental patient who poses as a secret agent in order to romance a still in high school girl(Tuesday Weld). Turns out that the object of his affection is not a sweet young miss but a cold blooded sociopath willing to go to any lengths to get what she wants,including murder.

I remember reading about this movie in one of Danny Peary's cult movie books when I was a kid and managed to catch it on TV at least once. It's quite the twisted tale,especially with Perkins being the true lesser of two evils,and still has some resonance in today's society with the balancing act of bad influence going on between our awkward leading man and his deadly damsel in distress:

Next,we have Barbarella,the notoriously sexy strange sci-fi flick with Jane Fonda at the rather raunchy helm. My parents actually took me to see this in theaters during it's re-release in the late 1970s(believe it or not,it was rated PG by then)and one of my favorite scenes was when Barbarella was attacked by a pack of dolls with razor teeth-why,I can't say.

I also liked Pygar, the blind winged fellow who wound up accompanying Barbarella on her weird quest. This movie has been a notable influence for many over the years-the 80s band Duran Duran took their name from it-and while I have no burning desire to see it again,some of that over the top imagery haunts me still:

I later became a horror fan in my teens,so it's no wonder that one of the biggest ground breaking films in that genre arrived in my birth year. Night of the Living Dead started off the new wave of zombie film that not only increased the level of onscreen gore but added in some sharp social commentary with bite.

While I do appreciate the Romero legacy,which extends right into this century as the surprise success of AMC's The Walking Dead shows,my horror heart ultimately belongs to vampires instead of zombies. Sorry,folks,but my cup of terror tea prefers blood drinking over brain eating:

On a less gruesome note,there were some great comedies out that year as well. While most of my generation remembers the sitcom spin-off better than the original film The Odd Couple with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon,I wound up enjoying both as time went on.

Another one of my reading kicks back in the day was plays,with the collected works of Neil Simon being a frequent borrow from my local library. This was the peak period of Simon's writing,when he blended clever wordplay and theatrical tropes with realistic themes and settings.

This play in particular has been redone numerous times,with casting changes that reverse gender and race and yet this silly story of two mismatched souls consoling each other holds up rather well,all things considered:

Speaking of comedy legends,The Producers was the Mel Brooks movie that my father was most anxious to have me watch as part of my cinema education. It was one of his favorites and it quickly became mine as well.

I did try to check out the new musical version with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane on film but it just doesn't hold a candle or even a special blanky to the hilarious insanity that brewed between Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder here.

I can see why making it into a musical would have traction,given the whole Broadway bound vibe of the production,yet as the saying goes ,if it's not broke,why bother fixing it or fixing it up for a new audience?:

All in all,this is a quirky little film festival of my life or anyone's life for that matter. Since this is a holiday weekend for most of you out there,have a great time as I'm sure that I will on Monday. I may not be spending my birthday with the likes of Cher,for example, but it should be fun,nonetheless:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TC Masters bug out, a TAR team is slowed down by speedy eating and a great start for Game of Thrones

The theme of this week's Quickfire challenge on Top Chef Masters was "back to nature",which meant that the chefs had to work with flowers,leaves and bugs. The crawly critters up for grabs included scorpions,crickets and beetles,high in protein and the gross out factor as well.

The completed apps were judged by the hosts of "Man,Woman,Wild",who chose Hugh Acheson's tempura fried crickets with carrot and sun-choke puree with a blood orange vinaigrette. His charity,Wholesome Wave, received five grand and Hugh was granted immunity for the next round.

The Elimination challenge had the chefs make a ten course tasting menu for diners who would also be donating a $100 for the plate of their choice. No time was allotted for shopping,so the chefs had to use what was available in the pantry.

That wasn't the only setback tossed their way;at one point,the water was turned off and later it was announced that a serving staff wouldn't be showing up. The main contention in the kitchen came from the lack of servers,causing Naomi and Hugh to clash over how the food would be sent out to the dining room. Everyone else chose to stay out of that line of fire for the most part.

When it came down to the food,however,there were two clear cut favorites. Suvir received 40% of the diner's votes for his chaat salad with yogurt and chickpeas. That earned his charity a nice chunk of change,a total of $1,700.

The ultimate winner,however,was Naomi for her celery veloute(soup)with salsa verde. She got 43% of the vote,which earned her charity $1,800 and as the judges' pick,an additional ten grand for her cause, Seed Savers. She may not get along with everybody but Naomi has the magic touch when it comes to tasty food,it seems.

Unfortunately,three of her competitors had the opposite effect on the plate. Mary Sue's tuna ceviche was deemed dull to the taste buds and one judge complained that the pickled onions overwhelmed the dish.

Celina's chocolate pudding with ginger spiced doughnut was her second attempt at desserts in this competition and one of the judges actually begged her not to go down that route again.

The pudding had a gritty,washed out flavor,which Celina blamed on the cocoa powder she had to use,plus the doughnut seemed a tad heavy. It looked as if her goose was truly cooked on this one.

Yet,it was John Currence who went home instead. His risotto was considered to be safe and predictable,with some debate over the adding of pine nuts to it.

Personally,the pudding sounded a lot worse to me but then again,if you're asking people to pay a hundred dollars for one plate,you ought to offer them some serious bang for their buck.

Next time,the chef are tasked to make low calorie meals for the gang on The Biggest Loser and one challenge gets literally cheesy-sounds yummy!

The teams on The Amazing Race:Unfinished Business flew to Austria,where it looked as if Jet and Cord might be lagging behind yet again but another pair got off to a slow start pretty quickly instead.

Father/daughter duo Gary and Mallory had trouble triggering the backseat camera to read their first clue upon arrival,which gave the cowboys a chance to make up for lost time.

When it came to the Detour,Gary and Mallory chose the eating challenge that was harder than it seemed to be. Each team had to eat a meal of wiener schnitzel on board a Ferris wheel restaurant in only twelve minutes.

No one was able to complete that task,so every team that tried that option had to do the other Detour challenge(carrying a couch)which ate up too much time. That bite was deep as far as Gary and Mallory was concerned,since they came in last at the Pit Stop. Lucky for them it was a non-elimination leg but they do have an extra challenge to face on the next stop. Maybe next time,they'll know not to break off more than they can chew:

The HBO miniseries Game of Thrones had a strong debut this past Sunday and is already renewed for a second season,giving folks more incentive to check out the show. Since I finished reading the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series a day after the show began,most of the plot is incredibly fresh in my mind.

However,I refuse to let any of the minor changes(the kids are a tad older than in the book and it's a reasonable change considering what they have to go through here)interfere with my viewing pleasure.

As we are introduced to the various members of the Stark and Lannister clans who will be connecting as the race for the Iron Throne starts,it's gratifying to see many of my favorite characters come to life on screen.

My personal stand-outs for this opening episode are Tyrion(Peter Dinklage),the undersized and scorned Lannister son who uses his wits to match up to his opponents,Daenerys(Emilia Clarke),an exiled princess being sold into marriage for her twisted brother's benefit and Jon Snow(Kit Harrington),the bastard son of the House of Stark looking to prove his merit.

Next week,more of the characters should be rounded out,including the young misses of the House of Stark,tomboy Arya and ladylike Sansa,not to mention the tension and mystery involving their little brother Bran's fall from the sky. Definitely worth watching,folks,no question about it:


THE VOICE: NBC launches their own version of American Idol as four well known singers,including Christina Aquilera and Cee Lo Green,compete with each other to mentor promising new talent. The big gimmick here is that they'll be listening instead of looking at the auditioning hopefuls,which might be interesting at first. With any luck,this won't turn out to be a one trick pony of a performance show:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A few B-movie stops at the movie trailer park

There's a lot of summer movie previews being touted about lately,which highlight mainly the supposed cream of the current upcoming crop of films set to be unleashed within the next few months.

However,keeping an eye out for those definitely not on the A list flicks before they come to a theater near you is a smart idea,especially if you want to avoid spending your time and money on something better off being a rental.

The first target in our line-up is Dylan Dog: Dead of Night,starring former Superman Brandon Routh as the unofficial human watchdog of the local supernatural society in New Orleans. The jokey nature of the trailer,along with the rather weak looking f/x,suggests that we have one of the most dreaded sub-genres in B movie land on our hands here-the horror comedy that tries to take itself seriously:

If you're in search of a ground breaking foreign film to sample this summer,don't be fooled by The Troll Hunter.

This Norwegian fear flick is an out and out mockumentary that takes the Blair Witch Project/Last Exorcism route as a group of film students stumble onto a menace straight of folklore on their way to checking out a local bear poacher.

While the movie seems to have a handful of offbeat charm and you do get to see some troll attack action,most of the humor here appears to be pretty juvenile at best. It might be amusing to watch as a bargain matinee or if you're in a low expectations kind of mood:

Hobo with a Shotgun,however,might actually be worth an opening weekend excursion.

Based upon a mock trailer placed in director Robert Rodriquez's half of Grindhouse(much like Machete a few months ago),this tale of urban vengeance stars Rutger Hauer as the outraged homeless man who feels that he has no choice but to take matters in his own hands and spread some deadly justice.

The over the top energy on display and having Rutger at the helm of this mad as hell action thriller sounds like true B movie fun. This movie is hitting the theaters around the same time that Thor is,so you may want to consider Hobo with a Shotgun as your back-up plan that weekend:

Of course,even amongst the B movies,we can not escape the wrath of the remake. A spanking new version of Conan the Barbarian will be released in August and as is the way of these things of late,it'll be in 3D.

Newcomer Jason Momoa takes the title role,with the likes of Rose McGowan and Stephan Lang popping up in bad guy roles. The story has a few changes from the one that made Arnold Schwartzenegger's resume but it's basically the same type of sword and sorcery deal as before.

How well this new Conan will do is still to be undetermined or if it will launch the career of it's leading man the way the original did. At this point,the odds are fifty-fifty and you might be better off checking out one of those Starz miniseries that cover similar territory:

Sorry to be so glum but it's hard to muster up any enthusiasm for most of the B movie offerings out there this season. Maybe we need a new movie mentor to show us the way towards the best of the bad,a Joe Bob Briggs or an Elvira for this new generation of movie mania. If we wish it,he or she may step forward,folks: