During the 1990’s and early 2000’s I was a fan of Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. I think he did a good enough job, though his interview skills were highly lacking. I saw Letterman as an old person late night show and Leno as the more hip. As I grew older I started realizing that Leno just wasn’t funny, and was downright annoying during the interviews. Hey Jay, how about you let a guest finish a thought before you interrupt them. As I got older I started watching Conan. Conan is funny in a different way than Dave. I don’t think anyone can top Dave’s interview skills, just watch his interview with Juaquin Pheonix or John McCain during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Those were brilliant. Conan, on the other hand, had much better skits, a hipper crowd, and better musical guests. I thoroughly enjoyed Conan’s Late Night. I was excited to hear that he was going to take over for Leno when Leno retired from the Tonight Show. Of course Leno decided to be a complete dick and throw a wrench in the smooth transition. Regretting his decision to retire he decided to come back on a prime time show.  It has been an utter failure for NBC and its affiliates. Now NBC wants to put Leno back on after the local news, the 11:30 (10:30 Central) slot, completely screwing over Conan.

Here’s what NBC doesn’t understand, Leno sucks. Dave’s ratings have gotten better because of the controversy surrounding his feud with Sarah Palin and his affairs AND because they refuse to put their full support behind Conan. They say they did but if they really did they would have never given Leno a show. That hurt Conan just as much as Dave’s controversies. So, now they want to push Conan back to airing after Jay. If NBC does this, not only will I still continue to boycott Leno’s shitty show (I have yet to watch a version of his prime time show), I will boycott NBC completely. Thinking about it, that won’t be that hard as NBC really doesn’t have any good programming anymore (besides The Office and 30 Rock). Moving Leno back to after the news is not going to help the affiliates. You know what will? Good lead-in programming, which NBC does not have. I really hope Leno fails hard even worse when they move him back to the 11:30 slot. He deserves it. As for Conan, I would consider a network change if I was him. I’d watch him on any network.

I went and saw Avatar in 3D over the weekend and I can sum up my experience in one word: wow. I have never seen anything like this on the big screen, or any screen for that matter. I must have been feeling the same way that people felt when they saw the original Star Wars on the big screen for the first time. The special effects were amazing and the 3D technology was fantastic. I was worried going into the movie that the 3D wouldn’t work for me. I know that with some 3D technologies (mainly the old red and blue glasses technology) some people can’t fully see the 3D because they have a dominant eye. I have a dominant eye so the red/blue 3D doesn’t work for me. Fortunately, this was not an issue at all with the Real D 3D that Avatar uses. I will admit that my eyes felt a little strained after wearing the glasses for almost 3 hours, but it wasn’t too bad.

The computer generated scenery of the movie was beautiful. When in the forest surrounded by the natives, the CGI characters looked less like CGI (think the emotionless features of The Polar Express) and more like costumed people (think Lord of the Rings). One of the best things about the 3D in this movie that it wasn’t full of typical 3D gimmicks of things flying at you for the sake of flying at you. In fact, to me, the movie was less about things flying at you as it was about providing depth to the movie. James Cameron obviously wanted you to feel like you were part of the world in the movie, and he succeeded. I can only imagine what seeing this in 3D IMAX would have been like (the only IMAX theater in St. Louis was showing A Christmas Carol in 3D and not Avatar… Big mistake). The movie did drag on a bit, but I think it was necessary to draw the viewer into this alien world and really feel a part of it. Now that we’ve seen much of it, any possible sequel wouldn’t need to spend such lengths on pulling the viewer into the environment and detailing all the plants and animals.

The story was a decent story. Nothing groundbreaking. In fact, it draws parallels to the conquest of the Native Americans (and the story of Pocahontas), so the theme should feel very familiar. Also, if your ideology leans to the Glenn Beck side of crazy, you might even think that the movie is racist against white people because only white Earthlings were featured (which, of course, was not true at all, but who needs facts?). It also drives on themes of greedy corporations and environmentalism, but as I said, the story was decent. The imagery is the real draw to this film. If you haven’t seen Avatar in 3D at the theater, make sure you do. It is something that everyone needs to experience. This is my generation’s Star Wars leap forward in theater technology.