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  • Quadrophenia

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Who
    • Quadrophenia is everything that Tommy wanted to be, a rock opera that told a story, but one where every song could still stand alone. It was also Pete Townshend's farewell tribute to the Mod

  • Zooropa

    • 10 out of 10
    • U2
    • This record is perhaps U2's finest hour, yet it has been forgotten as a strange by-product of the ZooTV tour's overload, and is generally regarded by most fans as a poor effort. It is this sentiment t
  • Haunted

    • 10 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Dropping like a bomb on some of the blah musical offerings of her contemporaries, Haunted was one of the best albums of 2000, obliterating the competition.

      Ostensibly a tie-in to her brot

  • 2112

    • 10 out of 10
    • Rush
    • We all know it, right? Well, ya just gotta have it. 2112 finally showed Rush out on their own, doing their own thing, and doing it well, IMHO.
  • With Teeth

    • 4 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • In the sprawling post-A&R rock and roll world, there are two camps: the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles are the artists that like to explore, evolve, and change styles. The Stones are the artis

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Samurai Girl, Sonny Chiba, Tim and More

I love me some martial arts movies. Put Jackie Chan, Jett Li, Michelle Yeoh, and Jason Strathen in a movie together, surround them with hundreds..., no, make that thousands of bad guys, toss in some beautiful slo-mo CGI work and some fantastic, gravity-defying stunts and I will sell a kidney to watch.

I don’t know why, but martial arts movies have always fascinated me. Ever since I first saw Bruce Lee kick major butt in The Chinese Connection I was hooked. Sadly, if I punched it, I can barely dent a roll of toilet tissue, even the squeezably soft kind. So I get my kicks, as it were, from watching the experts do it.

This week on Free on iTunes I want to point you to two shows with martial arts themes.

The first is the new ABC Family series, Samurai Girl. I know, it’s a cheesy title, and the acting is almost as bad, but I found the free pilot episode fun to watch.


Want more cheese? The lead character is named Heaven. She’s hot in a Jennifer Garner sort of way, but she won’t win any oscars. What she and the show does have going for them is the martial arts moves, which are not bad.

OK, if Ms. Garner, playing Electra, and Heaven, played by Jamie Chung, duked it out who would win? Electra would send Heaven straight to..., well, you get the idea, and I’d sell the other kidney to watch that too.

Samurai Girl starts tonight (Friday, Sept. 5, 2008) at 8:00 PM EST, but if you miss it you can download it from iTunes.

The other martial arts show is a podcast. Actually, each episode is a clip of one of Sonny Chiba’s Street Fighter movies.

Ahhh, Street Fighter.

Most people don’t know who Sonny Chiba is, but if you’ve seen the Kill Bill duology then you’ve seen him; he’s the guy that makes the sword for Beatrix Kiddo (aka Black Mamba).

Back in the day, Mr. Chiba kicked more butt that Bruce Lee, but Bruce was better known.

Anyway, the Empire Shaolin Kung Fu Classic Films podcast offers bits Street Fighter for you to download and enjoy, presumably so you’ll want to watch to whole movie and go out and buy it.

Someone’s about to get his butt kicked


It’s a fun time watching these old flicks; they didn’t use CGI back then, everything was choreographed and nothing seemed beyond the realm of human endurance, or physics.

Grab a few clips and see if they don’t make you want to go out and judo chop someone. Just make sure they are smaller than you and don’t carry a gun.

OK, my third freebie this week has nothing to do with Kung Fu, Tai Chi, or Jennifer Garner.

I don’t get HBO (too cheap) so those of you who do may have already seen this. Those of you who are cheap like me, but love a good laugh (like me too) are going to get a kick out of The Life and Times of Tim.

Tim’s boss in The Life and Times of Tim


Think of Tim as a clueless Dilbert. The artwork is on par with Dilbert, but the situation are hilarious.

I love "The Corporate Challenge" episode.

There’s only 5 episodes so far, but more should show up soon.

Grab all five episodes of The Life and Times of Tim. Funny stuff.

That’s a wrap for this week.

In case you didn’t get enough of the Democratic and/or Republican National Conventions, or if you are just looking to relive all those glorious political moments, you can download highlights and speeches from each convention for free from the iTunes Store. More funny stuff.

More freebies at the iTunes Store, with direct links:

Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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