Tag Archive: robin lundberg

The Heartbreak Kid

Originally Published: March 18, 2010 on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

He is one of the most compelling figures in wrestling history and a clear hall of famer when he decides it is time to step aside. Of course, he may not have much of a choice in that matter as he takes on The Undertaker Sunday, March 28th, in Phoenix, Arizona, at Wrestlemania 26 where he puts his career up against Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania record.

I am talking about the one and only Shawn Michaels. A three-time WWE Champion, Shawn has been wowing audiences for more than 20 years in the ring and so it was a no-brainer for me and Robin Lundberg when we had the chance to talk to him about everything from his career up to this point to his upcoming match at Wrestlemania.

To listen to Robin and I interview The Heartbreak Kid, The Showstopper, Mr. Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels

-Ray Carsillo

The Newest Face in Late Night

Originally Published: November 25, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

He is a Saturday Night Live alum, a movie star, and now he is leaving his mark on the late night landscape in a way no one has ever seen before.

Of course, I am talking about Jimmy Fallon. From using Twitter to drive people to his show’s blog (how about the fact his show even has a blog), to spoofing video games, to having the biggest names in movies, music, and sports on his show, Jimmy has already made his mark during his short tenure in the world of late night talk.

Robin Lundberg and I had a chance to talk with Jimmy about all these things and more as Jimmy gets ready to tackle his next big project…the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

To listen to Robin Lundberg and I interview the newest face on the late night landscape

Ray Carsillo

The King of Hardcore

Originally Published: October 14, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

He is a three time world champion and has had countless matches that will forever live in infamy. His accomplishments include countless broken bones, two missing teeth, and the loss of an ear. Still, he comes back for more and that has earned him the title of the greatest hardcore wrestler of all-time. He is also one of the nicest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and is a New York Times bestselling author.

Of course, I am talking about Long Island’s own, Mick Foley. Mick swung by the studio and Robin Lundberg and I had a chance to talk to the living wrestling legend about everything from his upcoming match this Sunday at TNA Wrestling’s Bound for Glory against Abyss to his quest to be recognized by LeBron James.

– to listen to Robin Lundberg and I interview the living wrestling legend, Mick Foley.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: September 29, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

Since he exploded into the limelight as Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I, Ray Park has been a staple in geek movies. Also being cast as Toad in X-Men and Snake-Eyes in G.I. Joe, this martial arts master and admitted comic book geek is living the dream playing some of the more iconic roles in geek lore.

He has now increased his geek repetoire by being cast on NBC’s Heroes as Edgar, a speedster with a dark side (no Star Wars pun intended).

Robin Lundberg and I had a chance to catch up with the geek icon to talk about his role on Heroes, his past roles, and if he could confirm some rumors for us about the progress of a possible Iron Fist movie.

– to listen to Robin Lundberg and I interview one of the great geek movie icons of our time, Ray Park.

Crush on Hu

Originally Published: July 28, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

X-Men 2: X-Men United was easily one of the best comic book movies of all-time. It introduced some of the most memorable characters from the long-hallowed canon of the X-Men while still delivering a compelling plot. One of these infamous characters was Lady Deathstrike, played by the lovely Kelly Hu.

Kelly has a lot on her plate, though, besides appeasing her obsessive comic book fans (a group I begrudgingly admit that I fall into). As an accomplished actress and voice actress, with numerous TV and movie credits to her name, Kelly continues to build her comic book fan base as the new character Sha Shan Nguyen in the new Specatcular Spider-Man cartoon, which has new episodes airing every Monday at 7:30 PM on Disney XD.

But many of us geeks still idolize and think of her as Deathstrike. So, when Robin Lundberg and I had the chance to talk with Kelly, we both knew we were going to focus on the clawed femme fatale.

With that in mind, in honor of the passing of the recent San Diego ComicCon, Robin and I sat down with Kelly to ask her how she handles dealing with some of the more absurd individuals in the comic community (again, myself included) and how it is to play such an iconic character like Deathstrike.

– to listen to Robin Lundberg and I interview the very lovely Kelly Hu.

Originally Published: July 17, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Wednesday nights have always traditionally been a powerhouse for Comedy Central; with South Park at 10PM, the Daily Show at 11PM, and Colbert Report at 11:30PM, Comedy Central could always breathe easy.

The problem, though, has always been finding the right comedy to bridge the gap between the four foul-mouthed youths from the Denver suburbs, to the biting, tongue-in-cheek, current events mockeries that are the Daily Show and Colbert Report.

Finally, someone has come along and attempted to bridge the gap.

Michael and Michael Have Issues is best described as a sketch show within a sitcom that follows the hijinx of a pair of comedy veterans, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, as they try to write their weekly comedic masterpiece. During this process, insane hilarity always seems to ensue as you watch them go from one extreme to the other. In the blink of an eye, Michael and Michael transition seamlessly from the professional atmosphere of cracking jokes in the voiceover production room with producers and directors, to a sophomoric competition over the imagined affection of their intern as he writes an article about the comedy duo for his school paper.

While watching the premiere episode, I could not stop laughing. The show’s flow was very smooth from bit to bit while maintaining the overall plot of the episode. Michael and Michael and their supporting cast were able to convey some great humor in not just their words, but their actions as well. You could tell from watching their interactions with each other that Michael and Michael are indeed both longtime friends and colleagues, even though, sometimes, they were trying a little extra hard to come off as enemies. Their natural rapport with each other is evident, and will probably determine the long-term fate of the show, since their relationship is the key component to the show’s premise. With a little more polish, I could see this sitcom becoming a Comedy Central staple, if it can garner enough support that is.

To talk more about the premiere episode of Michael and Michael Have Issues, Robin Lundberg and I chatted with Michael Showalter about everything from going through the process of getting the show green-lit by Comedy Central to being a Jersey boy, like myself.

– to listen to Robin Lundberg and me interview Michael Showalter.

From the board room meeting that opens the show with Michael and Michael trash-talking each other, to such instant classic bits like “The Farting Butterfly” and the “Worst Word in the History of the World,” Michael and Michael Have Issues will keep the belly laughs flowing and keep Comedy Central’s Wednesday night dominance at an all-time high as they attempt to successfully bridge the gap.

Be sure to check out Michael and Michael Have Issues every Wednesday night after South Park on Comedy Central at 10:30PM EST.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: July 10, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

When you think of classic comedies and memorable characters in the 80s and 90s, you might include Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? or Doc Emmitt Brown from Back to the Future.

The man behind those iconic characters is actor Christopher Lloyd. Ever since he made his film debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Lloyd has left his mark on both the big and little screens with some of the most over-the-top performances in history.

Now, Mr. Lloyd is returning the little screen for a two-part mini-series on NBC called Meteor, which airs this Sunday, July 12, and the following Sunday, July 19, at 9PM EST. Lloyd plays Dr. Lehman, who discovers that a meteor is on a collision course with Earth, and he needs to find a way to get the proper authorities to believe him before it’s too late.

I had a chance, along with Robin Lundberg of Lundberg Doin’ Work, to talk to Christopher Lloyd about this role and some of the classic roles he’s embodied over the years.

– to listen to Robin Lundberg and me interview Christopher Lloyd.

Originally Published: April 21, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

Watchmen is easily one of the most influential comics to ever be published. This is a fact that cannot be disputed even by the staunchest of critics of the comics. One of the things that made it great were the addendums at the end of each chapter to flesh out the characters of this fictional Earth and their society’s problems. It was also one of the reasons why many speculated it would be impossible to make it into a movie.

Well, here we are two months after the motion picture’s release without any of the addendums included and many, myself included, thought it was spectacular.

However, many diehards of the franchise were furious that Zack Snyder couldn’t find a way to fit in several of the addendums and many newcomers to the series couldn’t understand every facet of the Watchmen reality without them.

In response to their fans and in a stroke of money-making genius, DC has released an animated feature of Tales of the Black Freighter with the DVD including a live-action feature representing the Under the Hood addendum.

This DVD addendum to the movie (that started as addendums to the novel) is a near-perfect representation of these stories within the story.

The first story, Tales of the Black Freighter, is the response to the comic’s quandary: “If there are superheroes in real-life for these people, what would their comics be like?” Not a common thought when developing a plot, but that’s part of the beauty of Watchmen. The answer to this question was pirates and the supernatural (ghouls, demons, etc.) would populate the pages of these fictional rags.

Tales of the Black Freighter
is a mirror for the story of Watchmen as it shows in a microcosm that sometimes the best of intentions don’t always have the best of results and that sometimes one’s focus on the worst aspects of life can blind them from everything good in the world.

The Black Freighter is a ship of ghoulish pirates who have committed so many heinous acts over their lifetimes that their souls are cursed to sail the seven seas on hell’s personal sea vessel in search of more damned souls to hoist her rotten masts. A testament to just how hard it is to find good help these days.

The particular tale in Watchmen that we see is how the Black Freighter attacks and ransacks another pirate ship, and how all the crew is slaughtered except the captain. The captain washes up on a desolate shore with the carcasses of his crew and the sole intention of seeing his family again. He also fears that the Black Freighter will sail towards his home and the very threat of his family being in danger is enough to keep his resolve strong.

In desperation, he strings up the carcasses of his crew into a makeshift raft and sets off in the hopes of reaching his family before the Black Freighter. Alone, hungry, and left to drink seawater, he begins to go mad, talking to his slaughtered friends’ dead bodies. Disgusting sights begin to drive him further into madness as gases trapped in his crews bodies begins to make them explode and leave a trail of blood in their wake that attracts the seas’ most feared predator: the Great White Shark.

With pieces of sharpened parts of his makeshift raft, he stabs one of the sharks in the eye and jams the staff deep into the cranium of the shark, killing it, adding it to his raft of death and scaring off the remaining sharks.

After nearly losing all hope and preparing to succumb to the sea, the raft finds shore. Convinced that the Black Freighter has reached here before him, the captain believes with every fiber of his being that all the shapes draped by shadows by the night sky are actually pirates laughing at his futile efforts.

He skulks through the town, approaching his home, the longing to see his family all that is keeping him going. The night continues to play tricks on him as he beats to death what he believes to be a sentry positioned at his home, only to come to his senses after his daughters’ shrill screams piece the night air and to realize he just beat his own wife to death. In his panic, he runs back to the sea where he sees the Black Freighter waiting for him, ready to finally claim its next soul.

The captain was so blind to his hate of the Freighter and that it would hurt his family, that in the end, the captain was the only one to do the harm as he condemns himself to an eternity of sailing the seven seas as a member of the Black Freighter’s crew with one misguided act.

The animated version of this on the DVD perfectly depicted the gruesome fates of the captain and his crew from the original story and Gerard Butler (300) played the voice of the narrator/captain very well, but I couldn’t help but want to hear him yell “THIS IS SPARTA!” or more appropriately “THIS IS THE BLACK FREIGHTER!” the entire time.

The other story is much simpler. Under the Hood is an autobiographical story revolving around the original Nite Owl and his driving motivations showing why he put on a mask and fought with the Minutemen. Not as deep a part of the universe’s main plot, yet still critical nonetheless because it retells almost the entire back-story to the Watchmen‘s world and sets the stage for the events taking place in the novel itself.

DC knew that an autobiography with no pictures clearly wouldn’t work on a DVD though. In order to counteract this problem, Under the Hood was turned into a magazine news program episode. Similar to 60 Minutes, The Culpeper Minute gets all the minor and past characters of Watchmen to come out and tell their story as if a Mike-Wallace-type was interviewing them.

All the actors who took the extra time to make this half hour mini-feature were great and showed how in-depth they got into their characters while explaining a lot of the key details that the main feature movie had to bypass to keep it less than three hours.

This supplemental DVD for the movie Watchmen is really high in quality and succeeds in filling in several of the gaps from the main feature’s plot, but considering both mini-features combined barely mark an hour, it is tough to say this is worth $20 (even with the sneak peak at this summer’s animated Green Lantern feature included).

Unless you are a die-hard fan of the Watchmen, then you can probably pass on this DVD and wait till it is included with the Director’s Cut Special Edition of the Watchmen DVD for a much smaller price. Rumor has it that these features will be worked in at key parts of the movie’s story just like in the book, which would make the Director’s Cut a much smarter buy for the die-hard fan than this DVD if they can wait a couple more months.

Good quality for poor quantity at an even worse price makes the Tales of the Black Freighter DVD only worth 2 out of 5.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: February 28, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Ray “Ray 2” Carsillo and Robin Lundberg Storm NY ComicCon 2009
Video by Jared Bodden

It is always one of my most highly anticipated events of the year. The New York ComicCon. I was accompanied this year by Robin Lundberg, producer extraordinaire, who usually likes to play it cool, but as seen here in this video, is a big geek at heart (although not nearly as big as I am). This video is a short chronicle of only a handful of experiences we had at this year’s ComicCon. Hopefully you enjoy the previews and laughs we had along the way as we did.

I would also like to take this time to thank the people who make this blog and the features I post possible. I know that ComicCon took place three weeks before the posting of the article, but myself and the people who work on this with me do not get anything for this. We all have other jobs at 1050 or elsewhere that dominate a good portion of our time. I want to take this moment to recognize Joseph Layton of Rutgers University who serves as my text editor/proofreader on my long review articles and Jared Bodden whose name appears next to all my videos. Without Jared believing in what I’m doing and offering his taping and editing skills for free, the videos you view here would be nowhere near the quality they are.

Also, thanks go out to everyone who participates in the videos, the folks at all the gaming companies who have welcomed me into the video game journalism fold, and, of course, everyone at 1050 ESPN for allowing me use of the medium and to all those who tolerate this geek roaming the halls ranting to whoever will listen about Street Fighter 4 fighting techniques and RTS flanking manuevers.

This column, blog, blurb, or whatever else I’ve heard it called (I prefer column, sounds more professional), means the world to me and if I could write for it everyday then I would. Like I said above, myself and the others who work on it have a great deal of other responsibilities though. I, along with those I work with, have to use our judgement as to what is the most absolutely necessary geek stuff that you need to know about due to our limitations. We discuss what games I will review, what movies I will screen, what interviews I can conduct, and have to filter them down to 2-3 articles a week. This means that I have to throw out articles on Midway Games declaring bankruptcy, the CGS (Championship Gaming Series) folding after two seasons, comic book movies getting snubbed at the Oscars, countless game and movie reviews, and so much more. I, along with my rag-tag crew, will continue to try to provide for you the best geek stuff we can, though. That is a promise and leads to my final thank you to you, the readers.

Without you continuing to click on my page and read my articles, I would have been pulled long ago because let’s be honest, I’m a geek trying to make it in a meathead world. That is why I hope that in the future you continue to read my articles as I promise to continue to deliver the best quality info-tainment I can possibly deliver. All the best and I hope you enjoyed this latest video.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally Published: February 14, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Robin Lundberg VS. Ray “Ray 2” Carsillo
Video by Jared Bodden

During the first day of the 2009 NY ComicCon, I was accompanied by producer extraordinaire Robin Lundberg. Robin wanted the perfect setting to have at me for a review I wrote a couple of weeks ago for the new Marvel DVD, Hulk VS. For those who read the article (and still can by simply scrolling down or looking through this page’s archives), you know my stance against it. Robin felt a little bit differently though as you can see by watching this video.

Do you agree or disagree? You can e-mail Robin and me by CLICKING HERE.

-Ray Carsillo