Monday, March 30, 2009

24 Season 7: 11PM-12AM Quick Review

It suddenly hit me when I was watching tonight's episode of "24" that Jonas Hodges is NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Let's review the evidence:

1) Hodges likes to get down in the clubhouse with the grunts, personally making decisions that your typical CEO would leave to middle-management.

2) He talks a lot about people being "a patriot."

3) He loves to wear light jackets.

4) He seeks to build his own sovereign empire.

5) He obtains chemical weapons (please make your Jason Giambi/A-Rod/Jose Canseco joke here).

In addition to my epiphany re: Hodges, not much else happened tonight. Hodges' manservant Greg Seaton (or Brian Cashman for you baseball geeks) pulled a nifty double-cross on Almeida, which elicited some of Carlos Bernard's best glares in recent years. And if facial expressions could tell a story, Renee Walker's teary-eyed meandering in tonight's episode proved that she "hearts" Jack Bauer in a big way.

And as for Jack- it's something to finally see what the guy prefers in the underwear dept. Assuming he hasn't changed his drawers all day, Jack was rocking the $.99 white boxers a la Walmart when he went before Congress at the beginning of this "day." See, further proof that Jack is a badass- he wore white undies while testifying about torturing terrorists- he has nothing to hide whatsoever.

Tonight was yet another set-up to something bigger happening next week. While we didn't get any kills or 'splosions, there's still some great comedic material to work with regardless (someone said "Posse Comitatus" for crying out loud!). Check back soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009

24 Season 7: The Silent Film!

I made another video- a recap of this week's episode as a silent film. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

24 Season 7: Motivational Posters- Part 2

It's been three weeks since the last batch, and I promised to make more...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What If... Jack Bauer Asked For Bailout Money?

I think I need a break from reading the news.

Monday, March 23, 2009

24 Season 7: 10PM-11PM Quick Review

Things just got real serious.

Let's start at the end- Jack Bauer may have been exposed to the deadly biological weapon that Jonas Hodges and his gun-toting crew arranged to smuggle into this country. No, Jack won't die, we can all safely take comfort in that fact. But Bauer is definitely hurt. And it will get worse as we learn more of his condition next week. I'm freaking out a little to be honest. But damn, this is awesome television.

There is a great moment that happens in tonight's episode that I think elevates this season far past Day 6- where Jack and Tony are setting up their ambush of Starkwood's crew (headed by the formidable newcomer Stokes). As Jack and Tony are about to stop the bad guys, Bauer sees an opportunity to save the Port Authority guard that unwittingly got himself involved in the terrorist plot. And the ghosts that haunt our hero (Chase Edmunds, Ryan Chappelle and Buchanan to name a few) push him to make the tactically incorrect decision in order to save the guard's life. For too long, Jack has been making the mathematical tradeoffs- letting one person die to save hundreds, etc. In a TV show, it's easy for the audience to accept those moral justifications. But Bauer defies the correct course of action and instead makes the "right" choice- saving the guard despite the risks.

Look, I'm not going to beat your heads with a 2 X 4 of morality or some other type of philosophical lumber. You either like that decision or you don't. I can see it from both sides of the argument. But either way, you have to give the writers credit for not making this a plain shoot 'em up tonight. I see Bauer changing as a result of this season's events. He's not so quick to sacrifice lives to win the day. As Senator Mayer alluded to last week- heroism is not always taking the most straightforward path. And maybe Jack is not a hero for selfishly doing the less repugnant thing, even if it risks thousands dying later. Tony certainly wasn't buying Jack's moral dilemma, but true to his nature he stuck by Jack and sacrificed his own safety.

On the other side of this moral equation sits Jonas Hodges. He is willing to act in any way necessary to protect his interests. No life matters to Hodges. He is completely Machiavellian in his deeds. And the President's daughter, Olivia Taylor, to a less homicidal degree, is acting with the same disregard for others. There are moral choices being considered on "24." Tonight's episode reminded me of this show's unique value.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"24" E-Cards Part 6

It's been a while since I rolled out some of these "24" e-cards, so enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

24 Season 7: Jonas Hodges on American Experience

Watching PBS tonight, I caught this promo for an upcoming episode of American Experience. I don't know about you but I'm setting my DVR for this one!

This man keeps getting more and more fascinating.

24 Season 7: Jonas Hodges- The Playboy Interview, June 2003

Below is a reprint of an interview Starkwood CEO Jonas Hodges gave to Playboy Magazine 6 years ago. This is a revealing look into the mind of a defense contractor/psycho-genius:

Hodges on how he came to run the world's most powerful private defense firm:

I try to eat three-square meals a day. I don't drink cheap stuff and I smoke Cubans. My mother used to tell me "Son, you're a completely useless person." And for a while she was right. I was lazy and I cheated at cards. Then something miraculous happened to me. It was 1978, and I was at a rooster fight in Saipan with Wilford Brimley. That crazy bastard convinced me to put all of my worldly possessions on some bird named "Tarantula." The fight didn't last more than 30 seconds, and I lost everything. It was the first time that I really wanted to kill someone. So, I went into making weapons for the government- best day of my life. And Brimley... he's got diabetes.

War? What is it good for?

As long as we're around, there's gonna be some killing going on. Show me a movie where nobody gets killed and I'll show you two hours wasted. That's why I love those old Disney flicks- Bambi, Dumbo- they all had fight to survive. But maybe I'm getting too philosophical. Look, if we never went to war, nothing would be settled. We'd still be British! Brits speaking German after letting Hitler kick our asses. Boy, that would be a mess, am I right?

On hobbies and recreation:

I'm into sudoku and darts. Ever since my hip replacement, I had to give up hunting Eskimos.

How do you spot talent?

I tell my people to always strive to be their best. I don't give a hoot about what college you came out of, or what your last name is, none of that makes me happy. I got a kid who used to work in the mail room that's now my chief bioweapons salesman. I've given him the North Africa territory and holy moley can this guy sell Anthrax. I mean, come on, Anthrax is like a CD player to these dictators- it's completely done. Well, instead of dropping our whole supply on Albania, I was able to get this stuff sold and at a 30% markup.

What's your greatest fear?

Going too far with a Q-Tip. Every morning is a dance with fate for me.

Biggest pet peeve:

I can't stand seeing a lady's bra-strap showing underneath her tanktop. That and anything that comes out of the United Nations.

On retirement:

I'm sure I'm long overdue to finish my career. But then someone comes to me and says "Mr. Hodges, we just developed a bomb that will suck all of the air out of the enemies' lungs!" How do you walk away from a job like this? Nope, I'm a lifer.

UPDATE: Also check out the upcoming PBS special on Jonas Hodges here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

24 Season 7: Who Is Jonas Hodges?

And why does he insist on dressing up as the Pope on weekends? Can Jack Bauer stop a man this insane? We're digging into this man's past, check back soon for some answers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

24 Season 7: 9PM-10PM Quick Review

Who is Jonas Hodges and what the heck is he up to?

While Jon Voight keeps us on our toes with his zany rants about jellybeans and patriotism, he's quietly assembling a stockpile of biological weapons which he plans to use against his own country. Why? To protect his stranglehold on valuable defense contracts with the federal government, of course. Prior to our "real world" government bailouts happening, I'd say that Hodges' plot was silly. But guess what- you can make BILLIONS off of the government screwing up in all sorts of ways. Hodges is an evil genius.

Other highlights from tonight include:
  • Renee Walker being sassy
  • Janis admitting she is pathetic when compared to Morris and Chloe O'Brian
  • Larry Moss admitting he is pathetic when compared to Jack Bauer
  • Senator Blaine Meyer warming up to Jack before taking several rounds to the chest, courtesy of Hodges' hitman, Quinn (solid death scene).
  • Jack v. Quinn (using a front-loader and a screwdriver to do the deed!)
I liked everything this episode offered- nothing truly momentous happened, but they rolled out the remaining conspiracy in great fashion. Kiefer Sutherland was flawless (yet again) and Kurtwood Smith made a nice closing appearance as Sen. Meyer. The White House subplot is less compelling as of now, but that should change next week. And Tony Almeida returns too (fresh off a cup of coffee no less!).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

24 Season 7: 9PM-10PM Sneak Preview

I've given Bill Buchanan this blog's full attention because the man deserves it. But as some cold-blooded producer once said "The show must go on," and so shall The Jack Sack.

Monday's episode puts Jack Bauer in the same old predicament he seems to face every single season- he's the fugitive (what season is this again?). Bauer on the run is standard-24 plotting, but I enjoy it nonetheless. It's fun to watch Jack screw up, regroup and kick ass. But he usually gets his friends in trouble too. Chloe, Renee... they're all going to get threatened, arrested and locked up.

I've got a friend like Jack- a great guy who means well but always seems to invite chaos (directly or indirectly). Rickey knows exactly who I'm talking about (no, it's not Rickey). It's never dull around these types of characters... but you gotta stay ten steps ahead of the law at all times. Anyway, he's another movie poster tribute to this season:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

24 Season 7: Bill Buchanan, Reincarnated?

I'm no mystic, but I do believe there's more to our Universe than we can observe. And since I am still in the denial phase of my grief over Bill Buchanan's death, I'm thinking maybe our friend really isn't dead! Maybe he's coming back, just not as how we remember him. Therefore, if reincarnation is real, who would Bill Buchanan come back as?

Case Study #1: Lilly, ten year-old girl- Lilly is not your typical pre-teen. She despises the Jonas Brothers, she knows how to fix a flat tire and she wishes that she could fire live rounds. But don't judge her just yet- she starts most of her sentences by saying "With all due respect..." ("With all due respect, you smell!", etc.). She's getting braces this summer, something that totally bums her out. But she is curious to see how her health plan kicks in- see, Lilly loves learning about red tape and procedural paperwork.

Case Study #2: Penguin- Very limited vocabulary... eats lots of raw fish. Basically, he's a stock broker from the 1980s.

Case Study #3: Chloe's child- Having had to deal with Chloe O'Brian's personality disorder as her boss for several years, Bill would have to have a lifetime of the same if he came back as her son. On the plus side, he'll still be able to coordinate operations with Jack and the team- all from his high chair! His main disadvantage is having to breathe in Morris O'Brian's cloud of vodka-stench whenever "Daddy" comes into the room.

Case Study #4: Nadia Yassir's leather bustier- The job never ends...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It's all Bill Buchanan here at The Jack Sack. I can't tell you how long we'll be in mourning, but it's probably not going to go away soon. Yesterday, we made a U.S. postage stamp in Buchanan's honor. Today, we give you a movie poster mock-up that will hopefully get the writers of "24" thinking...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

24 Season 7: 8PM-9PM- Bill Buchanan, Rest In Peace

Today, we lost a friend.

Monday, March 09, 2009

24 Season 7: 8PM-9PM Sneak Preview

Hey gang,

I won't be able to watch tonight's episode tonight (oh boy!) but I wanted to write a quick note about what we're all fearing is going to take place- namely the death of a beloved character.

I have no clue who the show will kill tonight, but whomever it is, it's going to be a sad day for "24" fans. If it's Bill Buchanan, I'm going to probably not answer my phone for a few days (I'll be marinating in scotch). If it's Aaron Pierce, I'm going to go on a spiritual quest with the Navajo tribe... and then douse myself in Johnny Walker. And if it's Larry Moss, well that would just make this season even better than it already has been!

As soon as I get through tonight's episode on the DVR, I'll post about it for certain. But to the faithful Buchanan/Pierce fans out there- all I can say is: COURAGE.

Larry Moss: "Renee, please watch 'Definitely, Maybe' with me."

The following is a first-draft letter by FBI Special Agent Larry Moss to his on-again-off-again girlfriend, FBI Special Agent Renee Walker. Yes, it is quite pathetic:

Dear Renee,
I take it you're too busy running around with that psychopath Jack Bauer trying to save the country to read this, but that's alright. You always put the job first, that's why I love admire you so much. And that's also why I'm writing this letter, so that you can read it when things finally calm down.

Last week, when you were busy with that stakeout of the Salazar Cartel, I was home watching rentals and I got to see a movie I know you'll love as much as I do- "Definitely, Maybe." I loved it so much, that when I returned the rental to Blockbuster, I bought a copy right there for keepers. Sure, Blockbuster charges the full MSRP on DVDs, but damn gosh it felt good to overpay for this gem of a movie.

Renee, watching this movie (a romantic "dramedy" starring Ryan Reynolds and a cast of Hollywood's hottest thirty-something actresses) made me think of our relationship. I couldn't believe how accurate that movie felt- about how we're always trying to find that right place to get close, and how that never really happens. There was one scene where this girl said to Ryan Reynolds "Let's just spend the whole day in bed"- sound familiar? It was a month ago when I said the same thing and you suddenly realized you told your neighbor you'd watch her dogs for her. Boy, it sure was a bald-faced lie good thing you remembered to do that, otherwise there'd be some really upset dogs.

And there's this girl in the movie that totally reminds me of you- Isla Fisher. You both have red hair... and you're cute. And you're the perfect girl- the both of you. Seriously, Isla Fisher is intoxicating. Have you seen her in anything before? I googled her after the movie ended-- she's amazing. And the guy in the story is completely into her... and that's why this movie is excellent. Now, I've tried to get you to watch this all week long, I even brought the DVD to work so we could maybe watch some of it in my office or something. I know, you had to run to the Capitol Building to get jerk-face Bauer in the morning, so that delayed my plan. I just know that if you watched it, you'd see what I've seen and you and I will be able to move ahead and be happy together. I know we have something special here, and I don't know what keeps coming between us, but I know that whatever it is, it will be sentenced to a long prison term after Congress is finished questioning him it.

I know I can be a pain and that's putting it nicely. But you know who I am and what I believe is important. Watch "Definitely, Maybe" with me and remind yourself of what love can be.

Yours always,


P.S. Check them out- it's totally us!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Morris O'Brian: "This Slanket is #$*@ing Brill!"

Morris O'Brian submits his review of The Slanket (in its original Cockney Slang):

Oi fellas and girls, I'm 'ere ter tell yer about a brilliant new fin' that I got last month from me ole lady- The chuffin' Slanket- a sleeved blanket that lets yer sit on yor arse all day long wivout ever cotchin' a chill by copping up.

I 'ave spent all day in the same position, messing me PSP and wotchin' Man v. Food on the Liza. Right. Me Scotch eggs are numb and I can't stand me own smell, but I'm the only one 'ere, right, so it don't make much of a difference.

Do ya like 'amburgers 'n chips? Me too, mate. Well, The Slanket is a 'undred times better! If yer 'ave ten Lady Godivas ter spend, yer 'ave ter get yorself a Slanket. If yor birffday is comin' up, ask for one, know what I mean? I ain't tellin' ya porkies- The Slanket's the bee's knees!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

24 Season 7: Motivational Posters

Sure, it's been done to death over the past couple of years, but it's Tuesday and I'm having fun.

If you like these, let me know and I'll make some more.

Monday, March 02, 2009

24 Season 7: 6PM-7PM, 7PM-8PM Quick Review

I take it there's no Slomin's Shield installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I was so-so on this two-parter for it's utterly ridiculous plot (come on, why would General Juma put himself in this situation, personally invading the White House? Not even Idi Amin would try that!) but then the very last scene with Allison Taylor giving herself up happened, and I thought "Well, that's a cool development."

There were legitimate thrills tonight- starting with Jack using a TASER on a White House phone and ending with the good guys being completely screwed. So, yeah, I still think the writers got their hands on too many tubes of glue when they put this two-parter together, but it's obvious that they were trying to reach the moment described above-- by any means necessary. Here were my favorite moments:

1) Jack having a professional chit-chat with Buchanan while tying him up. Jack drops the armed guard with a Judo-chop and restrains Bill in ten seconds-flat, and all Bill asks is "how good is your intel on this new threat?" These guys have had their arguments already, now it's all about getting the job done. Excellent character work, guys.

2) Agent Pierce being a badass, despite coming out of retirement. You know, I imagine Aaron Pierce sitting at the dog track, watching his days slip away, and deep down he's wondering "when the heck am I gonna get to shoot somebody?" And then that magical call came from Buchanan a few hours earlier, making the old veteran's life worthwhile again. I will never be as good at anything as Agent Pierce is at being a badass. And neither will you. We belong on the sidelines at the dog track. Pierce belongs in the game. Tonight proved it yet again.

3) Agent Walker is amphibious. Renee Walker is getting better with each episode. I expect her to become a reliable badass in her own right as this season develops. She just needs to learn how to not drop all of her shit in the water. That would have saved a lot of lives if she just kept her cell phone dry. Oh well!

4) Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight) makes his first appearance! And Hodges eats with chopsticks and plays darts alone. Who is this guy? He's full of strange wisdom too ("Stress is the fertilizer of creativity!"). Hodges has some major potential as a villain. And, come on- it's Jon Voight!

Sure, tonight's 2-parter wasn't as tightly written as last week's masterpiece. But let's see where this leads next week (which looks to be extremely violent). And don't forget- Tony is still out there, lurking, learning and ready to strike at any moment.

24 Season 7: 6PM-7PM Sneak Preview: Aaron Sorkin's "24"

Since so much of Season 7 takes place in the White House, wouldn't it be amusing (or "absurd") to imagine Aaron Sorkin returning to his "West Wing" roots to write tonight's episode of "24"? Too much political cross-breeding, you say? Bah! We're doing this for comedy's sake. Enjoy!

Jack Bauer enters the Oval Office to find President Allison Taylor and Chief of Staff Ethan Kanin discussing something with Bill Buchanan.

JACK: Madame President, we need to move you and your staff to a safe room.

TAYLOR: Ah, the urgency of our unemployed former federal agent, Jack Bauer. Mr. Bauer, should I be concerned that the Oval Office of the White House is no longer considered safe?

JACK: That's exactly what I'm telling you.

TAYLOR: Have the British returned to finish the War of 1812? Mr. Kanin, please recall our Ambassador to the United Kingdom immediately.

JACK: With all due, respect, what are you talking about?

TAYLOR: And notify the local fire brigade that a gang of redcoats is trying to set fire to the residence.

JACK: You are the target of a terrorist plot! You need to evacuate to a secure location immediately!

KANIN: This, Jack, is why you have a reputation for being a pain in the ass.

JACK: Are you people high? Terrorists are going to kick down the front gate in a matter of minutes and you're getting cute?

TAYLOR: Do you know that Teddy Roosevelt conceived of this Oval Office and West Wing in 1903? I wonder how TR would react to a guy in sweatpants bursting into this room telling the President that he was being "cute."

KANIN: I'm sure in 1903 "cute" had some alternative old-timey meaning. Like how everyone in a good mood said they were "gay."

TAYLOR: Tell that to the Joint Chiefs!

Taylor and Kanin continue their idle banter as Jack walks over to Bill Buchanan.

JACK (whispers): Bill, what's going on with these two?

BUCHANAN: They've become insufferable, I know. They've been one-upping one another for the past twenty minutes, it's like watching "Jeopardy" but without the beeping noises.

JACK: General Juma is on his way, if we can't get them out of here before then, we're going to lose control of this situation fast.

BUCHANAN: I've got an idea...

Buchanan walks to Taylor and Kanin who are still yapping.

TAYLOR (to Kanin):.. and Andrew Jackson kept this 2-ton block of cheese in the White House, allowing any visitor who so desired to take a piece. See my point?

KANIN: Your irrelevant anecdote just clarified the challanges facing our gun control legislation. Thank you.

BUCHANAN: I'm sorry to interrupt- uhh, there's a roundtable discussion with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Charlie Rose, Henry Kissinger and Bob Dylan taking place in the emergency bunker right now. Should I have the staff tell them to leave?

TAYLOR: NO! Tell the staff I'm going down to the bunker personally to engage with these intellectual giants.

KANIN: Right behind you, boss!

Taylor and Kanin get into the elevator to go to the bunker.

JACK (to Bill): I think you oversold it a little, Bill. I would have just said there was a stack of New Yorker magazines and some pomegranate juice.

BUCHANAN: Leave the politics to me, Jack. Now, let's go kill some bad guys.