Da Couch Tomato

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Doctor Who. Series 1

I'm a person who started with the Eleventh Doctor. Yes, I may be a late bloomer. Yes, having Matt Smith as the first Doctor I've ever met makes me a clear noob. But I loved the show so much that I decided to travel back in time myself─that is, travel back to 2005, when this show came back on the air after a very long absence.

So I went back two Doctors, to the Ninth, played by Christopher Eccleston. And of course, being human, I couldn't help but compare Eccleston to Matt Smith, who was the only other Doctor I knew. Here's some of the things I've noticed:

  • Matt Smith speaks way faster than Christopher Eccleston.
  • Matt Smith is goofier than Christopher Eccleston.
  • Matt Smith has a hotter companion than Christopher Eccleston.

But let's not compare, shall we? They're the same Doctor, the same Time Lord from Gallifrey, with the same two hearts beating in his chest cavity. And since we're not comparing Doctors, let's not compare head writers as well. Russell T. Davies is not Steven Moffat. Christopher Eccleston is not Matt Smith. And Karen Gillan is not Billie Piper.

1. "Rose"

Mickey (Noel Clarke) is my favorite character, hands down.
And not just because he has an original Bumblebee.

What a way to start off the reincarnated series─by featuring creepy mannequins. As a kid, I was damn terrified of mannequins. My uncle would try and get me close to a mannequin, and I would bawl my eyes out crying. I always thought they would come alive. And I guess I'm not the only one who thinks so.


The Avengers


Da Couch Tomato was given the privelege to interview the Avengers. Not the actual characters, of course, but the actors who played them. However, since we are a Third World blog, they granted us only one question for each actor. The nerve. Anyway, we made the most of it.

Robert Downey, Jr.1
Iron Man
"I should've registered "Genius, Billionaire,
Playboy, Philantrophist" as a trademark."

Who is the alpha male in the group?
Tony Stark, of course. An alpha male is someone who provides the pack their food, their shelter, their basic needs. I'm that guy. Also, I'm the only one with a kissing scene─with Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean, come on.

But on the other hand, if I were really the alpha male, I would've gotten a kissing scene with Scarlett Johansson as well. All right, that's going into the contract for the Avengers sequel.


New Girl. Episode 22: "Tomatoes"

Great Russian accent, girl! Say "Mickey Mouse" again.

We say goodbye to Mr. My Best Friend's Wedding and say hello to Nick and Jess's passionate, er, bickering—annoying screaming, actually. We see a light on Cece and Schmidt's sort of relationship and also see a sort of foreshadowing of things to come: Jess and Nick. With all the craziness in this show, we still end up with clichés. (I told you so.) And until now, Winston still has no interesting story line. By the way, this episode had barely anything to do with tomatoes.

*screencap by VLC


Game of Thrones. Season 2, Episode 4: "Garden of Bones"

I mentioned in the review for the previous episode that George R. R. Martin loves to have his name appear between horse dicks. Apparently, that's a falsehood. With the introduction of new locations, of course the opening credits animated sequence will change.

"Oh well. So much for horse dicks." -G.R.R.M.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 3, Episode 19: "Heart of Darkness"

Whew. I can barely breathe with that kiss.

Clearly, this episode is for all Damon-Elena fans out there. If you're not a fan of the pair, then this should sway you to root for them to end up together... until the next Stefan-Elena moment. It's kind of nice to see Rose again, but she wasn't really all that helpful in finding out who our hero vampires descended from. Jeremy was a lot of help, even though I didn't really envision his return that way. He's grown soft and was totally unsuspecting of Kol. Yes, the Originals know what they're up to with the vampire lines and Alaric. And speaking of, Alaric's alter ego might have just made an alliance with Esther... in the form of Rebekah. Klaus didn't even notice her sister was different, just like he doesn't know Tyler is back in town. Our wolf-turned-hybrid is kind of territorial now; he knows our Original hybrid fancies our Vampire Barbie.

Exciting isn't it? But I think the photos below really took over the whole episode.

*screencaps by VLC


The Secret Circle. Episode 19: "Crystal"

Blonde, brunette... can we have a ginger, too, as another Blackwell child?

Yes, the other Blackwell child is... Diana. I guess it makes sense since they got along instantly so well from the start, and even with Adam getting in between them later on. Charles is really a turn-off so no wonder his wife slipped. Poor Faye, I was rooting for her to have dark magic. Good thing she's got to still be the bitch that I love. Too bad we only got Grandma Jane back and yet we lost her again. And I like Jake's Granddad Royce, just enough wacky to throw the tip of a scale, so I hope he returns.

*screencap by VLC


New Girl. Episode 21: "Kids"

Yes, be afraid.

A pregnancy scare, great! And I want to commend how this show has tackled it with some sense of humor, even if it's not a laughing matter. Nick is dating a girl who just barely turned legal. Finally, Jess confronts the student-daughter and the student-daughter's mom, a.k.a. the ex-wife of the boyfriend. And you don't even want to know what Winston is up to. New Girl is generating less to no laughs at all lately. Tsk.

*screencap by VLC


American Icons: Dick Clark

Younger people might not know who Dick Clark is. No, scratch that. Younger people really don't know who Dick Clark is. But those who grew up in the eighties do. Here's a picture of Dick Clark:

US Magazine

His face was a household staple in the eighties. Although I only remember him from TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. But I've seen his face countless times before. He was practically everywhere in the 80s. And now he's nowhere. Well, not really nowhere. He's in a better place. In a metaphysical world. Whatever.

Richard Wagstaff "Dick" Clark. 30 November 1929 ─ 18 April 2012.


Five Pot-Smoking Celebrities

April 20 is the date most people associate with the birthday of Adolf Hitler. Which is a bad thing. But since this world needs good things, some other people decided to celebrate something else. Something good. Something happy. Something green.

Here are five celebrities who celebrate 420 not just on the 20th April, but every damn day.

Seth Rogen
A pothead in a suit is statistically
less likely to be randomly searched.
Rogan was at the Maxim party for his new flick, “Pineapple Express,” on the rooftop of the Solamar Hotel in San Diego where, spies said, he was smoking a funny-smelling hand-rolled cigarette. One onlooker said, “He was told to put it out immediately or leave.”


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

No, it's not a book (yet!), but an animated short film.

Actually, you can watch in on the Internet. And yes, it's a good one. Not convinced?

Plus 13 other awards worldwide.

No spoken words, only sound effects and the nursery rhyme and song "Pop! Goes The Weasel". Sort of Pixar-like in terms of animation, but Moonbot Studios used a combination of hand-drawn and digital animation, and miniatures similar to stop-motion animation—that's why it looked like some elements pop up from the frame. Definitely Pixar-like in terms of heart, and if you have no idea what heart is, please watch Toy Story 3 or Up.

See? Just like Uponly with books and a man.

Worth every second of its 15-minute running time, like a good book is worth every turn of a page—you only need to open a one and read (or in this case, hit play)...

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore gets an eight out of ten, for being short and sweet, and everything else in between (wait, what?).

*screenaps from TheInspirationRoom.com,  MorrisLessmore.comTrendsnow.net
**video on Youtube.com


Game of Thrones. Season 2, Episode 3: "What Is Dead May Never Die"

Wow, what a great ending. Wait, we'll get back to that later.

Oh look. It's Margaery Tyrell. Not really my type. She kind of looks like a mouse.

A mouse with a plunging neckline.


Coming Soon: Every Breath U Take. Wait, Does Sting Know About This?

Oh hey, it's Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban. I'm not quite sure about the chemistry. Hmmm. Oh well. Anyway, I'm still watching this, only because they used a Sting song. Only because.

Even from the trailer, I can't detect any chemistry. But then again, don't judge a movie by its trailer.


PLDT myDSL & Nuffnang bring you The Avengers

Technology has improved so much since I've typed word documents on WordStar or attempted to make worksheets on Lotus or QuattroPro (yes, I am that "mature") to the first time I signed up for my first email address (totally not suited for work-related stuff) and social network, and finally to blogging.

Does this look familiar?


New Girl. Episode 20: "Normal"

Booze Game! Somebody explain this game please! 

How to move forward in a relationship with a real grown-up man. Yes, fighting is part of it. And apparently so is spending time at each other's place for a week or a weekend. Does anyone remember that Mr. My Best Friend's Wedding has a daughter who goes to Jess' school? Not sure if she's still her student, but that would be worse.

In other news: How to deal with your annoying, power-tripping boss. Fight fire with fire. And hope he doesn't fire you. How to start a business with a friend. Just don't. But if you must, tread carefully.

*screencap by VLC


Lionel Richie. Tuskegee


Lionel Richie─a name I wouldn't mind giving to my future son. In my opinion, his golden voice defined the 80s. Maybe not as much as Michael Jackson, but he did contribute a lot. If you ask someone to name an 80s African-American musician, chances are the name Lionel Richie would come a close second to Michael Jackson.

I learned about this new album while surfing the web (thanks, Internet!), and I decided to check it out. I was familiar with the album title, Tuskegee, but only in relation to the Tuskegee airmen. I had no idea that Tuskegee was a town in Alabama, nor that this was Lionel Richie's hometown. The album was being marketed as a country album, not a greatest hits collection, although that's what it looks like based on the song list. Well it seems that this is an album of country remakes of Richie's hits. Or is it?

1. "You Are" (with Blake Shelton)
Didn't know this song before. And I also didn't know who Blake Shelton is. I still don't.

"Are you really Blake Shelton?"


Review of Titanic 3D, or This Is the Only Converted 3D Flick I'm Watching This Year


First, the 3D review, just to get it out of the way.

Converted 3D has a totally different look compared to real 3D. Converted 3D is hyper-real, meaning it is even more 3D than actual 3D. With 3D conversion, you control the stereo depth─you can make characters pop out more if you want them to. And James Cameron knows this, because he knows stereography.

Sadly, they couldn't make Kate Winslet's nipples pop out more.

However, there is only so much 3D conversion can do. The original footage was never intended for 3D, which is why there are a lot of tracking shots and fast camera movements, things which stereographers generally avoid, as they spoil the 3D effect. Even the dissolves didn't feel like 3D dissolves, wherein you feel one layer of film atop the other. I think they converted the entire dissolve instead of converting the individual shots and dissolving both.

"Eh? You lost me at 3D."

Anyway, James Cameron tried his best.

Now we go to the regular review.

So, apart from the 3D, how is this re-release different from the Titanic movie of 1997 ('98 in the Philippines)? How is this different from the movie I cut classes for on the first day of its release? How is this different from the film I've seen thirteen times in the cinema and countless times on VHS?

As far as I know, nothing's changed, except for the stars. The story of Cameron's encounter with Neil deGrasse Tyson has already made its rounds on the Internet. So that's the only thing the director changed with his million-dollar baby. Pity he couldn't change that shot where Kate Winslet looked like a Michael V impersonation.

What changed, though, is your perception. You as a viewer back in '98 are no longer the same viewer that you are right now. Aside from aging physically, you've also aged emotionally. Now you can connect more with Billy Zane's emotions when he sees his fiancée falling head-over-heels in love with a poor boy. Now you can appreciate the injustice of class division (especially after watching Downton Abbey). Now you can feel more sentimental with the sinking ship montage.

This still remains my favorite shot in the entire film.

Now you can see that it's Theoden, King of Rohan who's captain of the Titanic. Now you can see that the kindest officer on the ship is Mr. Fantastic with an Irish accent.

Yes, that's Ioan Gruffudd. Just google how to
pronounce his first name.

Now you can realize that Kate Winslet does look fat in some shots. And now you can appreciate that Leonardo DiCaprio's acting skills have come a long way since the late 90s.

And now you can also realize that if he had his way, Cameron would never touch 3D conversion with a ten-foot pole. The only reason he re-released his Best Picture baby is because this April commemorates the 100th year since the sinking of this vessel. And he doesn't mind if he makes himself a couple million dollars in the process.

"King of the world, right?"

Titanic. USA. 2012/1997

Rating: Eight out of ten.


Review: The Borgias. Season 1, or Why Catholicism is Still the Most Badass Religion in the World


Most Catholics are just born into their religions. One of, or both, their parents were Catholics, usually. But they don't really know how badass their religion is. Every form of Christianity branched out from the Catholic line. Catholics have the most extravagant buildings, and have the most expensive, gold-laden artifacts ever. They have lots and lots of real estate, and in most predominantly-Catholic countries, are exempt from paying taxes.

But if you're a Catholic and think that your religion has been goody-goody since the time Christians were thrown into lion's dens, think again. Showtime (the same people who brought you Dexter) now brings you Catholic drama that will make you cringe with shame. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the most reviled persons not just in Christian history, but in the history of the world, I give you Rodrigo Borgia, a.k.a. Pope Alexander VI, portrayed by Jeremy Irons, who also voiced the equally despicable Uncle Scar from The Lion King.

1. "The Poisoned Chalice"

Cardinal Borgia in pre-orgasm.

When Jesus Christ offered his blood in a cup, he didn't realize that hundreds of years later, his successors would be spilling blood by offering poison in a chalice. This is crime on a higher scale, a heavenly scale even. Which is why even the Pope is humbled by the sheer weight of his office. But only for a few seconds. The Renaissance Popes were never humble.


Music Icons: Jim Marshall

Digital Trends

Musicians worldwide will mourn the passing of "The Father of Loud". He is a pioneer in guitar amplification technology, recognized as the best in the world by such musical acts as Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton, Guns N' Roses, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, U2, Metallica, and Nirvana. He was also knighted with an OBE for "services to the music industry and to charity".

This man is basically responsible for that ringing sound in your ears after you leave a rock concert. You can read a more in-depth obituary by The Guardian here.

James Charles "Jim" Marshall, OBE. 29 July 1923 ─ 5 April 2012.


Television Icons: Angelo Castro, Jr.


The older generation might remember him as an actor. I don't.

I remember him more for anchoring the late night news show The World Tonight with Tina Monzon-Palma. That show, in my opinion, was like TV Patrol for rich people, because it was in English, and because... um... it was in English. Well apparently, he also created TV Patrol. As a kid, I always thought he was related to Noli de Castro. I kind of thought of him as Noli de Castro's rich cousin. Or Noli was Angelo's poor cousin. Me and my stupid childhood thoughts.

Anyway, rest in peace, Mr. Castro. I don't actually remember what your exact catch phrase was, and the Internet gives several versions of it. But thank you for your contribution to Philippine broadcasting. You will be missed.

Angelo Y. Castro, Jr. 6 March 1945 ─ 5 April 2012.


Film Icons: Ralph McQuarrie

Cult Hub

I only know Mr. McQuarrie for his work in Star Wars. But he doesn't have just one work─he has many. And there isn't just one Star Wars flick─there are many.

At first I thought McQuarrie only illustrated the Star Wars books. But it turns out, he actually illustrated the entire Star Wars universe. Well, "illustrated" doesn't quite capture it─he dreamt up the entire Star Wars universe.

Although he may look like a typical grandfather-type white old man, this is how his work looks like, for those who don't know:

The Emperor was originally supposed to have blue skin[citation needed].

This is quite dead on.

Now show some respect.

Even Fozzie and Gonzo paid their respects.

Ralph Angus McQuarrie. 13 June 1929 ─ 3 March 2012.


Game of Thrones. Season 2, Episode 2: "The Night Lands"

Hello, Pyke. You're in the opening credits now.

A.k.a. The Iron Isles


New Girl. Episode 19: "Secrets"

Bromance argument. Enough said.

Well, it ain't a secret now. And apparently, as in all tales of fuck buddies, one ends up falling for the other. And how convenient was it that it's the girl. Actually, it was kind of already evident when Cece dressed up as a "sexcretary". Goody that Schmidt is busy teaching Nick how to sleep around. In my opinion though, either one is cut out for it or notand Nick is definitely not.

*screencap by VLC


Game of Thrones. Season 2, Episode 1: "The North Remembers"

Oh, Game of Thrones. I missed you. It's been, what, one year? About time, HBO!

I missed the opening credits. Hearing the music again gave me semi-goosebumps (which are like goosebumps, only less bumpy). And they have a new place on the map.

Game of Thrones
Home of Stannis and Davos.


The Vampire Diaries. Season 3, Episode 18: "Murder of One"

Well, if there was a first to go, the easy choice is really Finn.

This episode confirms my theory that if our gang successfully kills the Originals, every other vampire who was created by their blood, of course, should also die. And this is a problem because, of course, we cannot lose Caroline, Stefan, and especially Damon. I hope it was Elijah's blood that turned Rose (who turned Katherine, and so on and so forth), so the gang wouldn't have to kill him and everybody's happy. Well, not really, because without Klaus, I couldn't think of another worthy villain. Oh, and we'll lose Tyler, but that's okay with me. But maybe he'll survive. He is, first and foremost, a werewolf before he became a hybrid.

Our resident witch is really powerful now.

Too bad (or good, if we really must have to defer any more deaths for the big finish), that Bonnie unlinked the Originals. While one is dead, the other four survive. But the last few of the white oak tree surrendered to its target, so I can't help but think of the witch that was hell-bent on not being a vampire's puppet, and she stood her ground even if Jeremy and Abby were endangeredanyway, it's all for the greater goodthen all their problems would have been solved with the murder of one. If only our dear vampires were left alone to live. But alas, life in Mystic Falls isn't easy and nor is it as clear-cut as black and white. So, who really decides to die? After all, realistically speaking, we really can't save everybody.

It's good to see Klaus and hear his voice after a two-episode absence.

But in Elena's case, although she clearly feels something for Damon, Stefan already said he loves her (again after the life-threatening and the not-feeling-anything), so I think that's taking the Stelana route again, unless there's some big life-changing event that I don't know is coming. If it's family against family in the season finale, Oh, I don't know, our Team Salvatore might just prevail after all.

*screencaps by VLC


The Secret Circle. Episode 18: "Sacrifice"

Clearly, he still does have some magic.

While Diana had an Aussie drama and Adam, Melissa, and Faye served some hockey party, demons are back and we finally see how littlereally an understatementis left of John Blackwell's magic. Obviously, the show is treating us to a roller-coaster ride about Cassie's father's exact nature. One minute he seems good, but the next scene suggests, again, that he's bad. And it looks like the circle is officially at war.

*screencap by VLC


New Girl. Episode 18: "Fancyman (Part 2)"

Now, somebody knows their little secret.

I get it. The opening sequence cut depends on how long the pre-credits video is. What I don't get is really where this show's humor has gone. Jess and Mr. My Best Friend's Wedding is kind of cute, okay. But the Nick-needs-to-realize-he-needs-to-grow-up shenanigan is tiring already and Winston's lovelife is too cheesy. The only thing a little bit interesting is Cece and Schmidt's Friends With Benefits or No Strings Attachedand that's not even that orginal.

*screencap by VLC


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