Friday, December 31, 2010
1. Black Swan
2. The Town
3. Easy A
5. The Kids are Alright (a review will post soon...)
6. The Other Guys
7. Scott Pilgrim Vs the World
8. It's Kind of a Funny Story
1. Leap Year
2. Clash of the Titans
3. Valentine's Day
4. Jonah Hex (a review will post soon...)
5. Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps
7. Alice in Wonderland
11. When in Rome
13. Repo Men
If you are curious as to why I chose these films, just check out my previous posts - reviews on all of these films can be found ; )
Monday, December 27, 2010
1. It is Innovative - so I am sort of sick of the whole comic book film genre (or graphic novel film genre if you prefer)- they are all starting to look the same. But this film took a comic book film and twisted it with a video game. It felt exciting and new - I was invested in the film for the entire 2 hours because I was fascinated by its creativeness. It is surreal and escapist but it was also really intelligent - you had to actually pay attention in order to "get" the jokes and follow the story. I think the film really won me over with the Seinfeld skit (complete with annoying laugh track) - It was pure genius. Yes, it was also pretentious and had a whole "too cool for school attitude" - but for me it just worked. Really well. I remember seeing the trailer for the film a few times and thinking that it just looked weird and boring - the dialogue was awkward and not funny. It is surprising how completely different the film is from the trailer. They should totally fire the person responsible for creating such an unappealing trailer for such an awesome film.
2. The Story - If you strip away all of the visual effects, hipster dialogue and indie rock music you have a pretty simple love story. Basically, it is about this girl who is emotionally abused by her controlling boyfriend - so she decides to leave him, but he has the whole "if I can't have her than no one can" mentality and sets up an elaborate plot to keep away potential suitors. Scott Pilgrim (our protagonist) falls in love with her and decides to do whatever it takes to win her heart. It's compelling and heartfelt, even without all of the other stuff (sort of like another favorite of mine - 500 Days of Summer).
3. The Cast - I feel like the trailer that I saw focused on Michael Cera and a lot of other people that I didn't recognize. Yet, the film had a fantastic supporting cast - Kieran Culkin (if you don't think he is hysterical in this film - then there is something wrong with you), Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman (love all 3 of them!), Jason Schwartzman and a surprisingly funny appearance by Brandon Routh (he had the most hilarious part - with the whole Vegan police). Michael Cera is forgiven for his trilogy of crappy films (Year One, Paper Heart & Year in Revolt) - I adored watching him kick some evil ex ass. I felt like he grew up a little bit too - not as awkward and pathetic as usual.
4. It's Quotable - I seriously died several times from laughing so hard. The lines that stick in my head from the first viewing are: "They make movies in Toronto?", "Bread makes you fat?!!" and "I wanna have his adopted babies." I am smiling just thinking about it.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
1. You know how every time you ask me out I have my period?…or I tell you I suffer from cluster headaches?…or I am allergic to night time? Those things…not really true. – Emma to Ken (who just can't take a hint).
2. You’re very talented. I would know…I’m very talented too. – Rachel to Finn
3. This is where our daughter or gay son will sleep. – Terri trying to convince Will to buy an over priced house.
4. You’re not trying hard enough. At what? At walking. – Dakota Stanley explaining to Artie why he can't be in the Glee club.
5. I got it from the Library. Did you know you can just borrow books from there? Finn learning new things.
6. I slept with you because you got me drunk on wine coolers and I felt fat that day. Quinn to Puck on why she got knocked up.
7. 3 times a day. Or your baby will be ugly – Terri giving Quinn prenatal vitamins.
8. That Wheelchair kid’s right. That Rachel chick makes me want to light myself on fire, but she can sing. – Puck
9. Santana! Wheels! Gay Kid! Come on move it!! Asian! Other Asian. Aretha. And Shaft. See Will, I don’t want to participate in a group that ignores the needs of minority students. – Sue roll calling all of the minority kids in Glee club.
10. Well you’re irritating most of the time – but don’t take that personally. – Artie to Rachel after she tells him he shouldn't take things personally.
11. I don’t know why I find his stupidity charming – I mean he is cheating off a girl who thinks the square root of 4 is rainbows. – Kurt describing his crush on Finn
12. Rachel somehow manages to dress like a grandmother and a toddler at the same time. – Kurt
13. I’m gonna say this as nicely as I possibly can, but you look like a sad clown…hooker. – Finn to Rachel after she dresses up like Sandy from Grease to seduce Finn.
14. And what if I were to just innocently murder you, Will? I’d still have to go to trial. Probably get off on justifiable homicide. – Sue being classic Sue.
15. Does this have to happen tonight? Because… I have my fight club. - Puck being classic Puck
16. I’m not breaking up with you. I’m just saying please stop super-sizing… ‘cause I don’t dig on fat chicks – Puck to a pregnant Quinn.
17. Now that we’re sorta dating…I have to work so much harder to pretend to be listening to her. – Finn having a hard time dating Rachel.
18. I’ll tell you who you are. You’re a scared little boy. You’re afraid of dating me because you think it might hurt your reputation…though, which you’d never admit it, is very important to you. You hate what Quinn did to you, not just because it hurt but because it was so humiliating… I just see you for who you are…unlike you who can only see me…as this silly girl who made a fool out of herself in her first Glee Club rehearsal. And that’s where you lose Finn- because if you took a second look you’d realize that I’m the only person in your life who knows you…and accepts you for who you are. No matter what. – Rachel to Finn after he dumps her.
19. Let us give you an introduction into the way that we work: You buy us dinner, and we make out in front of you. It’s like the best deal ever. – Santana's proposition to Finn
20. Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks? – Brittany's moment of genius.
21. Look I even circled some dates on your crazy calendar. – Finn trying to win Rachel back.
22. Would you please stop talking? You’re grossing out my baby – Quinn trying to get Rachel to stop talking about sex.
23. Look Finn…It’s high time you’ve lost the big “V”, everything about you screams virgin. You’re about as sexy as a cabbage patch kid. It’s exhausting to look at you. – Santana (bonus for calling him "Finnocence").
24. Maybe you should try a new setting on your flowbie. Oh snap! – Will finally coming up with a good comeback to Sue's harassment.
25. My eyes are up here! I am a person with feelings! Get out of my grill! I am a powerful woman and my growing feminism will cut you in half like a righteous blade of equality! – Tina to Artie (after he treats her like crap).
26. How do you two not have a show on Bravo? – Sue to Kurt & Mercedes
27. I’m pretty sure my cat has been reading my diary – Brittany
28. I love your mom. She’s like this angel that came down to wake me up after all these years…and I swear to you I will never hurt her. I will always take care of her. I can’t be your dad, but I will be her hero…for as long as she’ll take me. - Burt Hummel (many of his heartbreaking quotes) to Finn.
29. So you like show tunes. It doesn’t mean you’re gay…it just means you’re awful – Sue to Kurt
30. I am my voice. I am like Tinkerbell, Finn….I need applause to live.- Rachel perfectly describing herself.
31. You look terrible. I look awesome - Brittany to Rachel on their respective Lady Gaga outfits.
32. Yeah, that’s because you’re 16 and you still assume the best in people. You live a few years, you start seeing the hate in people’s hearts. – Burt to Kurt after he said it was o.k that Finn used the "f" word.
33. I’m proud to be different. It’s the best thing about me. – Kurt
34. You never listen to my clearly superior ideas – Jesse on why he left the New Directions.
35. You know what Wednesday is right?...Hump day – Will hilariously trying to seduce Sue.
1. Push It (performed by the New Directions) - I remember when this first aired I could not stop laughing. It was amazingly inappropriate, yet hysterical. From Rachel's dirty dancing, to Kurt's crotch thrusts and slapping Finn on the ass, to Emma's supportive dancing in the audience, to everyone else's shocked reactions - it was a perfect scene. Plus, this was the first time we get to see the energy of our favorite Glee club. We knew Rachel could sing, we didn't know she could rap! We knew Finn was awkward, we didn't know he was thaaat awkward! Calling the performance offensive would be an understatement, as would calling the performance anything less than perfect.
2. Dancing With Myself (performed by Artie) - This is the first time Glee made me cry. And by cry I mean bawl hysterically. First, I love Artie's voice - it's soulful and distinctive. Second, his wheeling through the halls watching his classmates living a "normal" life was intimate and beautiful. Third, it is a perfect song for him to sing (this was back when the Glee performances went with the story lines - instead of the top 40 trend that season 2 is obsessed with). Artie is often left in the corner of the Glee performances while the others dance center stage. The song just emphasises the pain he feels on a daily basis. And Last, when is the last time you've seen a kid in a wheelchair have a major plot line on network television? Um never. That is why Glee deserves the accolades it gets - it broke barriers (and continues to). Also, this song leads Will to discover a genius idea - confine the Glee kids to wheelchairs. Hilarious.
3. Rain on My Parade (performed by Rachel) - Rachel can do Barbara Streisand almost as good as Barbara can. Her voice is powerful, her passion is evident and she simply glowed in that spotlight. This was performed at sectionals as a last minute decision (after the other clubs stole their set list) along with The New Directions performance of You Can't Always Get What You Want. It's almost sad to think about the disappointing performance we endured during this season's sectionals (Ken and Barbie apathetically singing Time of My Life). Season 1 sectionals definitely kicked season 2's ass.
4. Like a Virgin (performed by Will/Emma, Rachel/Jesse, Finn/Santana) - Besides the obvious challenge in the production of this performance (the editing must have been a nightmare - but was brilliantly done), I loved the way this song fit the episode. Emma, Rachel & Finn all decide to lose the big "V" - even though all 3 are weary of this decision. Finn and Santana are hot together (which came as a surprise), this scene alone is why I am sort of rooting for them in season 2 (although I am a bit weary as well...). This is also a pretty important scene for the current story arc of season 2 (the whole Finchel break-up). Anyway, I think they did a really great job a making a sex scene with 3 different couples - sexy yet still appropriate.
5. Like a Prayer (performed by the New Directions) - I was really nervous during the episode because this is my favorite Madonna song (and one of my favorite songs in general) and I kept thinking it would be sacrilege to do a Madonna episode and not include this song! But alas, they saved the best for last. I was a little disappointed that they kept the song's original tone (you know with the whole choir thing) - I would have liked to see a different Glee spin on the song, but I guess you can't mess with perfection. We also got to hear from other members of the Glee club - and we get the powerful voices of Mercedes and Rachel together....it was, as Kurt would say "madgical".
6. Jessie's Girl (performed by Finn) - Do you think they planned this from the introduction of Jesse? Was he named Jesse for the purpose of utilizing this song? Because it is too perfect to be a coincidence. Right? Finn's "soul exposing" song is one of the few songs that I would consider to be better than the original. His voice is perfect for classic rock, but I would argue that his angst is what makes the song so great. He realizes that he screwed up and now has to suffer watching the girl he loves date another guy. And we get to see Finn play the drums. Love it.
7. Rose's Turn (performed by Kurt) - After the horrendous Kurt performance we endured earlier in this episode (Ain't That America - seriously hard to watch) I am glad that the creators rewarded us with this inspiring performance. He is seriously one talented kid. I got chills the first time I saw it - but the best part was Burt clapping at the end. Glee always knows the ways to emotionally ambush me.
8. The Safety Dance (performed by Artie) - Isn't it ironic that 2 of my favorite Glee performances feature my least favorite character? This is honestly probably my favorite Glee performance - simply because it is the most unexpected. It's done as a flash mob scene in the middle of a mall - but the most unexpected part was that Artie gets out of his wheel chair and starts dancing - not just simple Glee club moves either, like serious professional choreography (of course it is a dream sequence but still we get to see one of the best dancers on the show actually dance...). We also get to see some Mike Chang skills as well - always a highlight. When it was all over - and Artie is still left in his wheel chair I cried. Again.
9. Bad Romance (performed by the girls of the New Directions & Kurt) - Easily Lady Gaga's best song - I am glad they didn't do an entire Lady Gaga episode (just 2 songs - this and Poker Face - which was performed awkwardly by Rachel and her mother - played by the iconic Idina Menzel). The performance was enhanced by their ridiculous Lady Gaga outfits - my favorite was Quinns (those eyelashes were fantastic). This was probably the first time I really heard Santana's voice and realized how talented she was. The performance looked like a lot of fun - which always makes me happy.
10. Loser (performed by Puck, Finn and the Sheets & Things employees) - Although it was extremely short (how disappointing) - it was perfect. It was performed right after one of my all time favorite Glee moments so I already had a smile on my face (the moment is when Sandy asks if the name of the store is "Losers and Things" and Finn actually checks his badge to see if the name had in fact changed- it is those small moments that make Glee so amazing). So Puck & Finn begin a fantastic rendition of the amazing Beck song and it made me miss 90's alternative music. It was a tough choice between this and the other Puck/Finn performance in this episode - Good Vibrations (which made me miss 90's hip hop and of course Marky Mark). Basically, what I am trying to say is: Can we get some more awesome 90's music on Glee???
11. Don't Stop Believing (performed by the New Directions) - Don't worry...I didn't forget the obvious. I can't decide which version I like - the premiere version with Rachel & Finn taking the lead or the finale version where the others get to shine. The first one was more raw, freestyle, fun and intimate but the second one is just better (in sound and choreography). The song is used as perfect bookends for the season and what better to describe their journey together than Journey?
and as bonus here are my favorite performances on "Glee" that are not by the New Direction members...
12. Rehab (performed by Vocal Adrenaline) - The first time I saw it I had the same expression of the New Direction members - jaw dropped to the floor. The choreography, the energy and the collective singing was mind-blowing. This was their competition?! They are SCREWED! The best part was that it gave something for our New Directions to aim for. How the heck are they ever going to be that good? More importantly - Are they ever going to be that good? Maybe, maybe not but I rejoice in the possibilities.
13. Poison/I Wanna Sex You Up (performed by the Acafella's) - Best thing ever. I can't decide between the two. Poison is one of my favorite songs ever (to dance to!) while I Wanna Sex You Up is just so ridiculously funny. Both songs arn't very appropriate but that is what makes them so great. I also love that we get to see Puck sing (and be sexified). I would love for the Acafella's to get back together for a few more performances...hint...hint.
14. Single Ladies (performed by the McKinley Titans) - ok they don't sing the song - but they do the dance....you know the dance that became 2009's biggest dancing sensation. Watching huge football guys in their uniforms dance about putting a "ring" on it is probably one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Plus - they finally won a game! I also enjoyed Kurt, Tina & Brittany dancing to it in the beginning (leotards and all...).
15. Imagine (performed by the Haverbrook School for the Deaf) - This is the moment when I knew Glee was special. It is probably the moment when I cried the hardest while watching a "comedy". I still get chills thinking about it. OMG when The New Directions joined in it was just so affecting and inspiring. I love that they followed them in signing the whole song. When is the last time you saw a group of deaf teens sing a song on network television? Um never.
16. Vogue (performed by Sue Sylvester) - greatest moment of Glee ever.
17. Bohemian Rhapsody (performed by Vocal Adrenaline) - Just when we are so proud of our New Direction gang - we remember how amazing their competitors are. They undoubtedly deserved the win (am I supposed to admit that?). I loved how they intertwined this song with Quinn's birth - it was unexpected and weird, yet it just worked.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
1. The Town/Ben Affleck & Company - So The Town and Black Swan are currently competing for my favorite film of the year. I am glad Black Swan has been showered with nominations but the only one that seems to be recognized from The Town is Jeremy Renner (which is definitely well deserved). The entire ensemble of actors in this film is fantastic - I was hoping to see Blake Lively earn a nomination (I never thought that would happen!). I was even more surprised that Jon Hamm was ignored (I thought he was an award show favorite) - but the most egregious error was snubbing Ben Affleck (for Best Actor and Best Director). This film could have been a generic crime thriller about Boston thugs - instead it had heart, intensity and a depth that most films lacked this year. Plus, he directed himself to one of his best performances since Good Will Hunting. It is definitely a tough race among directors this year - look at that list (Fincher, Aronofsky, O'Russell, Nolan)!! But I honestly think Affleck deserves to be listed along side these amazing film makers.
2. Inception's Actors - The most compelling part of Inception was it's acting talent. I was expecting Leo to score another nomination. I was also hoping for JGL to be recognized (as I always do) and Marion Cotillard was perfection! How did she get ignored?
Film WTF nominations:
1. The entire Best Picture - Musical or Comedy category - I have never been so offended in my entire life!! Scrolling down the list - Alice in Wonderland is on my "Worst Films of 2010" list for several reasons (see my previous post of the film). Then I was disturbed by Burlesque - just because the category includes musicals doesn't mean one has to be nominated (especially if it is unworthy). I still haven't seen The Kids Are Alright (I should be receiving it from Netflix tomorrow), so I can't really comment - although I had no idea it was a comedy. Speaking of not a comedy - Red was the least funny film I have seen all year. Yet all of these films combined are still better than the last nomination The Tourist. Are you f'ing kidding me?? First of all, since when is it a comedy? It is not advertised as one (even Angelina herself was surprised at her nod in the "comedy" category). Second, it currently has a 20% on the RT meter, which basically means it is a disaster. Third, I repeat - ARE YOU F'ING KIDDING ME?! So here is how this category should have went down: I am the first one to admit finding 5 nomination worthy comedic films this year is tough. However, Easy A should have been a given (at least they had the good sense to nominate Emma Stone). It is by far my favorite comedy of the year. Next, should have been The Other Guys - simply because it was actually consistently funny. I would even say Date Night would be a solid choice for it's comedy alone (not for plot...). If I were to choose some "action/comedy" films , I would replace Red and obviously The Tourist with either The A-team or The Losers - even the mediocre Kick-Ass would have been a better choice. The best indie, poignant "smaller" film would be It's Kind of a Funny Story or even Greenberg. So - I just listed 8 films that are far superior than those that were nominated - that is just embarrassing Hollywood Foreign Press!!
2. The Inclusion of Mediocrity - I adore Mila Kunis - but her performance was very linear and one-note. I wouldn't call that award worthy (sorry Mila...can we still be BFF's??). Michael Douglas was nothing special in the most boring film of the year - Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. Johnny Depp did a fantastic job as the Madd Hatter in Alice in Wonderland but one nomination would have been enough - his performance looks laughable in The Tourist (as does his co-stars Angelina Jolie).
1. Breaking Bad/Aaron Paul - So they finally came to their senses and nominated Bryan Cranston (who has won 3 Emmy's for his performance on Breaking Bad), but do I seriously have to have this conversation again?!! Aaron Paul won the Emmy last year - explain to me how he doesn't deserve a Golden Globe nomination? The biggest problem is that the "supporting" category includes all of t.v (comedy, drama and made for t.v movies) so it is incredibly difficult to narrow the talent to 5 who are award worthy (although did anyone else notice that there are 6 comedy's nominated? I'm guessing it was too tough to narrow down - but since t.v rocked this year they should have expanded all categories to 6). Anyway, Breaking Bad also is the best show on t.v - it could easily replace The Walking Dead (also a fantastic show - but there were only 6 episodes and the last 3 seemed to drag a bit. I hesitate to award it so quickly).
2. Cory Monteith - I am a little confused about the categories that the Glee actors are nominated for - I am totally down with Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch in the Supporting category but I think Lea Michele and Matt Morrison are “supporting” as well (especially this year – neither has had a major story arc yet). There really isn’t a “star” of that show – it is completely an ensemble production. Whether you want to include him as a Supporting Actor or Lead Actor, hands down Cory Monteith is the best actor on that show – he is just more understated and subtle than the other actors. He effortlessly portrays the “all American” high school teenage boy who is conflicted by his love for football and the Glee club (for those who don't see this as a challenge just consider the fact that Cory is Canadian, dropped out of school in 8th grade and has never played football or sung before this show – meanwhile Lea scored this role because she yelled at the piano player during her audition after thinking he made a mistake – very “Rachel” like and the role of “Kurt” never existed until the creators met Chris and created the role based on his own personality. Both are portraying a characterized version of themselves – I call it the “Tina Fey Syndrome”. I absolutely adore both Lea and Chris – I am just using them as examples to express my frustration). I think Cory will likely always be ignored for his part on this show, which is severely disappointing. For the record – I am not the only one who feels this way, recently this was written in EW.com: “It’s been a while since we’ve gotten some Finn focus, and I think I just missed Cory Monteith. But I also forgot what a good, natural actor he can be.”
3. Fringe and everyone on it - Nothing for one of the best series on television? Really? Just one nomination would have sufficed (for Anna Torv - who easily had the most challenging role this season playing 2 different versions of herself - I also note that Nina Dobrev faced a similar challenge on The Vampire Diaries this season and NAILED it). The show is clearly superior to most shows and the combined acting talent puts other shows to shame. On a side note - I just found out they are moving the show to the "death" time slot on Friday nights...wtf? Are they trying to break my heart?4. All of the Supporting Actors That I Love - Seriously, they missed so many I don't know where to begin - How about the entire supporting cast of Grey's Anatomy? or Community? The rest of the Modern Family cast? Cougar Town? Certainly someone (anyone) from Parenthood? I was surprised by the absence of Lost actors as well.
5. January Jones, Courtney Cox, Peter Krause, Joel McHale - just a few lead actors that should have been recognized. It's quite astounding how much talent was ignored!
Television WTF nomination:
1. Piper Perabo - I actually laughed out loud when I read that. The girl from Coyote Ugly was actually nominated for an award other than a Razzie? That must be some sort of joke on all of us t.v fans. A show like Covert Affairs should not be recognized during award season - I've never seen it, but am sure that it is no better than other summer "fillers" like Rookie Blue, Royal Pains, Burn Notice etc. I can literally think of a dozen other actresses that deserve her slot.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
1. It's Kind of a Funny Story - Emma Roberts is one of my favorite young actresses working today (I am ignoring the fact that she was in Valentine’s Day). I am happy that she chooses to do quieter films with interesting roles – proving her talent instead of riding on her famous Aunt’s heels. Keir Gilcrest is an unknown actor who is surprisingly talented - he could easily pass for a Culkin (I say that as a Culkin family fan – Rory and Keiran are incredibly talented young actors). I like the story – it’s an interesting take on teen depression. It sort of belittles teenage angst by shoving a “depressed” teenager into a mental ward for a few days – you know with actual “crazy” people. It is a cheesy tale of growing up, appreciating what you have and the people around you, yet it didn’t seem as preachy as it could have been. I’m not sure if it is a film I will remember 10 years from now (like its predecessor Girl, Interrupted) but it is one of the best films this year (which is just plain sad).
2. The Other Guys - This film was actually funny (unlike the promos and trailer for the film – in which I laughed a total of zero times). It took me by surprise because I don't think I have laughed at a Will Ferrell film since Elf. The funniest ongoing joke was Eva Mendes as Will Ferrell’s wife (and how he constantly makes comments about how plain she is). It is completely offensive (you know…emotionally abusing your wife), but somehow it crosses the line to funny. I enjoy Mark Walberg in comedic roles (oh how I fell in love with him in I Heart Huckabees). The plot was a little ridiculous and predictable, but infused with enough humor to be completely entertaining.
3. The Killer Inside Me - Not your ordinary violent movie – this film was downright brutal. And completely hard to watch. Jessica Alba is gorgeous, but I don’t think she is the best actress for this role. I am a huge fan of Casey Affleck but I am a little nervous about the whole sexual harassment issue (one accusation I would ignore - but 3? That might have some truth behind it…). So the best way I can describe this film is that it is a Western version of American Psycho (not nearly as good). However, *spoiler alerts ahead* the killer made a lot of mistakes (like his framing of the murder-she wouldn't shoot 4 perfect shots after she had a broken face & neck) and taking some of the money (not knowing that he bills were marked). His hatred towards women is fascinating (although I would rather not know that his mother was a complete psychopath – it would have made his hate more evil). Everyone mumbled a lot so I feel like I missed a lot of important dialogue but wasn’t quite interested enough to rewind. I didn’t think Alba's character was still alive. It is rare that a film surprises me so that was a plus. I was bothered by the end because wouldn’t they smell the gas? If he really doused the entire house it would surely smell. He did use alcohol for part of the house, but still gas is a pretty intense smell. I kind of want to see the original film from the 70’s although I don’t want to read the book. I don’t know why -but books disturb me more than films do - I feel like it would give me nightmares.
The Losers - The best part of this film is the cast. None of them are super famous, but all prove to be extremely talented (and funny!). I love Idris Elba? Does anyone else miss The Wire as much as I do? And Jeffrey Dean Morgan (better known as Denny from Greys Anatomy). Chris Evans was refreshing – he should do more roles like this because I honestly never thought he could do anything else but look pretty. I love the scene where he sings Journey's Don't Stop Believing so that no one will get in the elevator with him. Hysterical. Jason Patrick (getting old…) as a bad guy was also great casting. I guess it is about time I forgive Zoe Saldana for Crossroads right? She is now a legitimate actress – she did a pretty good job holding her own against some pretty tough guys. It’s kinda like The A-Team - equally action packed, equally funny just a bit more under the radar (and missing a shirtless Bradley Cooper). I honestly enjoyed it from beginning to end.
1. It's memorable - Darren Aronofsky is a master at creating memorable films. If you were to ask me what the most disturbing film is - I would respond with Requiem for a Dream. Watching people self-destruct is quite powerful and Requiem combines this theme with some equally disturbing images creating something so memorable I never had to watch it again (the film is literally stuck in my brain forever). Black Swan is similar in the way that it uses strong imagery to represent the downward spiral of the main character, Nina. It is disturbing to watch this innocent and naive girl create a world of chaos in her head. She is literally her own worst enemy, but the film also makes you wonder how much is actually in her head and how much really happened. I love that it doesn't give any direct answers - instead leaves you guessing (some will inevitably find this irritating). I don't want to give any spoilers away, but when you watch it you will understand what I mean. I guess I felt such a personal connection to the story because it represents one of my biggest fears - which is having a mental breakdown. Sometimes I can feel myself breaking and it is the worst feeling in the world - luckily it usually doesn't last long but what if one day my brain just "breaks" and I don't recover? That is horrifying to think about. Anyway.....
2. Natalie Portman - The one big problem I had with the film is that they never give any idea of Nina's age. Natalie is my age (almost 30...shhh...don't tell anyone!)- I grew up watching her, so to me she is an adult (plus she has always carried herself in a much more mature manner than most Hollywood stars her age - so she sometimes seemed even older). Yet, Nina is obviously supposed to be "young" as in an adolescent (someone who has not yet experienced her "sexual awakening") who lives with her controlling mother and a bunch of stuffed animals. That would make me assume that she is 18 (at the oldest), but then she goes to a club and gets wasted (legally) - so then she is obviously older than 21. It doesn't really make sense to me. Anyway, on to Miss Portman's fantastic performance! I think the thing that makes her performance so great is that she was cast in this role to begin with - it was perfect casting. Natalie seems fragile, uptight and a bit of a perfectionist - so it wasn't a hard transition for her to play this role, however she was able to completely unravel and use her fragility to become completely vulnerable and "broken". It is heartbreaking and wonderful to witness. It mirrored the film beautifully (Natalie was perfect as "innocent Nina" but one wonders whether she will be able to pull off "self-destructive Nina" just like Nina is perfect for "White Swan" but will she be able to become the "Black Swan"?).
3. Swan Lake - The film was based around the production of this famous Ballet. I have never seen it - I wasn't even aware of the story. Thanks to this film, I am now obsessed. It is sort of a fairy tale with a twist (as in she doesn't get the prince and live happily ever after). The idea that suicide is "freeing" is a twisted yet beautiful concept. Plus, Ballet has always been my least favorite dance. While I appreciate the passion and dedication that these dancers have, it is completely boring to watch. This film had a nice balance of the actual dancing, so I never felt bored - instead I was able to enjoy the dancing in small increments.
4. Mila Kunis - I love her. She is seriously gorgeous and talented. Can she be in more movies please?
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
1. The Christmas Theme - While I agree with some that it was slightly offensive to air a Christmas themed episode in the middle of Hanukkah, I sort of love the idea that the creators of Glee decided to fore go being politically correct and instead fully embraced Christmas. Once December arrives Christmas is EVERYWHERE - Let's stop pretending like it's not. So, while we have characters that we know are Jewish (Puck, Rachel, Tina (Half Jewish) and maybe even Artie - his last name is Abrams) they still joined in the celebration (which I would like to point out was not religious themed at all - instead it was more about giving to the less fortunate and the spirit of forgiveness). That being said - I am not really a big Christmas theme kind of person, nor am I a fan of Christmas music. A Very Glee Christmas was one big cheese-fest, but it did have a few decent moments that made it watchable.
2. Brittany Believes in Santa - Seriously? That's a bit overkill. Brittany is dim (and hilarious) but her dimness is bordering on obnoxious now. I love that Artie tries to keep Brittany's world "magical". He is definitely a better boyfriend to her than he ever was with Tina - so I might start liking him as a character. Brittany believing in Santa did give us one of the most hilarious scenes of the episode - the mall Santa. The scene was one funny line after another - "I want bling - I can't be any more specific than that" Santanna. "Do you have anything for stretch marks?" Quinn. "Chap stick. Lots of chap stick" Sam. "I want Channing Tatum to stop being in stuff" Mike. Then comes the hard hitting line "For Christmas, I want him to be able to walk". Oh Brittany stop making my heart hurt. Of course, I should have predicted the Christmas miracle that was awaiting us - but I TOTALLY DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! Artie walked (with the help of a mechanical device) - seriously I was not expecting to cry like a baby.
3. Highlights - Mike got slushied! I am pretty sure that was his first - so congrats Mike! You are officially a Gleek!.. Will had my two favorite moments of the episode - him angrily knocking Sue's phone off the hook was pointless and therefore hilarious as was him saying "HO HO HO" in Sue's face. I loved that Rachel was back to season 1 - creepy stalker obsessive Rachel (Finn might need to start checking under his bed again). The only song highlight was Baby, it's Cold Outside by Kurt and Blaine - seriously adorable. Kudos to Glee for giving us another television first - 2 gay teens serenading each other. It was perfectly flirtatious, sweet and delicious. I also enjoyed the blues version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch".
4. Lowlights - This will definitely go down as one of the weakest Glee episodes ever. Besides Will's two moments - I really didn't laugh out loud at all. The beginning scene where they sing that awful Christmas song and decorate the tree was overly cheesy and boooring - I entertained myself by watching Finn clumsily try to tie a bow on a present (pretty much every boring scene can be saved by watching Finn). Speaking of - Finn and Rachel bored me to tears. Although I did love that Rachel decided to celebrate Christmas (Finn's favorite holiday) in order to get him back. Too bad she wreaked of desperation and Finn called her on it and refused to forgive her - "you messed me up, Rachel" (sad face - but my biggest pet peeve with this is that he doesn't seem to be mad at Puck. I get the whole "bro's before ho's" mentality but would he seriously forgive Puck again?). I love that they didn't get back together but am dreading the inevitable Valentine's day episode which will likely see them making up (and another episode of cheese). Both songs featuring Rachel fell flat - Merry Christmas, Darling fit the episode nicely and her voice is amazing (as always) but I didn't quite feel the angst she was trying to portray, while Last Christmas was once again Finn and Rachel circling each other (around Christmas trees instead of a piano). I am so over it.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
1. The overview - to be completely honest, the film sucked. I think if I didn't already know the ending, I would have pressed stop on my DVD player 1/2 way through. It was boring and drawn out. I am not a fan of R. Patz and I think Emilie de Ravin is a bit over-rated (she always over-acted as Claire on Lost - especially the last season). In this film, their characters were self-involved and a bit whiny (both share "daddy issues") - and the worst part is that I didn't believe in their love at all.
2. The hints - knowing the end already, I paid extremely close attention to every detail. I think if I didn't know the end - I would probably overlooked the biggest clue right from the beginning. Ally is 10 years old in 1991. The rest of the film takes place when she just turned 21 (do the math). Another obvious hint to the end is probably the music/movies that are seen and heard - Ally listens to an old Ani Difranco album, the father wants to watch Erin Brockovich on DVD - which was released in theaters in 2000 and the biggest hint of all was that American Pie 2 was playing in the theater - released in August 2001. In September 2001, I was 20 years old in college - all of these things reminded me of this time period.
3. The end - So, the end of the film is that Tyler - having just reconnected with his corporate business mogul father -ends up in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It is a haunting image as he looks out the window, while the camera pans out to reveal that he is in this iconic building. I have to admit that the music leading up to the end caused me to have severe anxiety because I knew that I was about to be emotionally ambushed. I know that I would have felt even more ambushed, almost assaulted, if I didn't know how it was going to end. The biggest flaw that I find with the end is that the rest of the film sucks so much that it just simply doesn't deserve such a big ending. To use 9/11 as a creative tool - I feel like you must earn if first (like Fringe for example). This is probably the first time in history that I am not kicking myself for reading a spoiler.
1. Law Abiding Citizen - Gerard Butler is a joy to watch. So is watching a film with one of my favorite cities as a back drop (Philly). I was surprisingly invested in the film for its entirety, but I have to admit the plot was way over the top insane. I don't think it is very realistic or believable that a person would seek revenge for the murder of his wife and daughter by killing a bunch of innocent people - all in the name of justice?.
2. Cold Souls - I was super excited for this film- finally an original idea!! With Paul Giamatti! I don't understand how they could ruin it...but they did. The film is said to be Charlie Kaufman-esque, but I don't think it was clever, captivating or complicated enough for such a comparison.
3. Bright Star - Boooooring! And Abbie Cornish? Blaaaaand. (I admit, I am a bit biased against her - she was dating my boyfriend Ryan Phillippe. But still - I don't think her performance was award worthy at all).
4. The Stepfather - New drinking game! Take a drink every time Penn is shirtless. You would die of alcohol poisoning. The problem is that Penn is not hot and the film is laughable (and not in an intentional way). It just reminded me how great Disturbia is - because this film is basically the same, yet this fails miserably. I haven't seen the original but I am excited to see it once I realized John Locke is in it - I bet he is much scarier than the guy from Nip/Tuck.
5. Brief Interviews With Hideous Men - I was intrigued by this film - written and directed by John Krasinski (yes, that John Krasinski - weird I know) and has one of my favorite television actresses, Julianne Nicholson in it. I have to say, the film is....interesting. I think it would be better as a play - there are a lot of long monologues that get lost in a film medium. It looks at the women's movement through a man's eye, but it also looks at love as a grey area (instead of the usual black and white). My favorite part is the idea that a tragic event can in fact improve your life (in the long run) which is a beautiful and inspiring idea. Kudos to John for creating a film that is thought-provoking.
6. Paranormal Activity - I am fascinated by this film - not the actual film, but the hype surrounding it. When I saw this trailer in the theater, I was laughing while everyone else was thrilled. On opening day, the line that formed at my local theater was outrageous. Even more outrageous were the mostly positive reviews and the ridiculous amount of money the film made. I finally forced myself to watch it - and was not surprised that it sucked like I knew it would. I will admit that I was surprised by the acting talent, but overall the film was only minorly creepy - not scary at all. I am also not sure why it received an "R" rating - it didn't have any violence or sex, just a few unnecessary curse words.
7. 2012 - Some adjectives to describe this film: cheesy, ridiculous, impossible, absurd, trashy. I mean they actually had the characters outrun an earthquake! Come on. I enjoy a good disaster flick once in a while, but this one was just a waste of the millions of dollars it cost to make it. I understand that the effects were probably much better on a big screen, but on my t.v they looked terrible. I don't believe in the whole "2012" theory and this film did not do a good job in convincing me. I also would never want to be one of the few that survived such a disaster - having all of your friends and family dead. I feel that the biggest mistake this film had was not having characters that you actually care about (like Will Smith & Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day).
1. It is basically the same concept as "Sliding Doors" - it isn't a bad thing - I actually am one of the few that loved Sliding Doors. The concept was ahead of its time - a parallel universe story that is often employed in films and television nowadays. Uncertainty basically starts with a couple on a bridge deciding how to spend their day. They can spend the day with the girls family or they could spend the day together and join a friends party later. They flip a coin to decide and we get to see what happens if the coin lands on heads. And tails. Both stories happening simultaneosly. It's brilliant....really.
2. The concept of uncertainty - It doesn't really give a clear answer to which path they should take, nor does it give a clear answer to the bigger story, which is this big decision that the couple is facing. I really like the way both paths lead them into completely different directions (one leads them into an involvement with some sort of mob/gangster connection, while the other is much more tame). Yet, both of the stories seem like they were "meant to be" - which is a bit complicated if you think about the concept of "destiny" versus "free-will". The exploration of this concept that "nothing is certain" will always keep me interested - I tend to enjoy films that make me think outside the box a little.
3. JGL and Lynn Collins - They have a wonderful chemistry together. JGL is always a favorite of mine, but I have to admit that this is the first film that I actually thought he was kinda hot. I have never heard of Lynn Collins, but I am sure she will be an "it" girl soon enough. She kind of reminds me of Emily Blunt, but also in some wierd way reminds me of 80's pop star Tiffany (albeit much prettier).
1. An anti-feminist film posing as a feminist film - It's really awful. Amy Adams is a woman who is so obsessed with getting married that she flies to Ireland to surprise her boyfriend by proposing to him on leap year (because apparently that is the only time it is ok for a woman to propose). Lots of unrealistic things happen on her journey, which forces her to join up with a handsome stranger. The story becomes even more annoying because he, of course, is the voice of reason - which makes her irrational, emotional, materialistic and my favorite female trait - clumsy. He also claims to treat her with "equality" which apparently means that he can be rude and obnoxious. It was painful to watch - why would I root for them to be a couple when he clearly treats her like crap?
2. Matthew Goode once again is on my shit list - ugh. First, he is terrible among an otherwise talented cast in Watchmen, then redeemed himself in A Single Man. Now I don't think he can do anything to make up for this disaster. I guess he was supposed to be charming and lovable but I think he failed miserably.
3. Cliched and predictable - Most romantic comedies have a few cliche's and are somewhat predictable - but the problem with this film is that there is nothing else to it. The only redeemable quality to the film was that Amy Adams is super adorable - it is hard to hate her even if her character is an assault to feminism.
1. Instant chemistry - It is hard for a film to pull off "love at first sight" in my opinion. However, another Nicholas Sparks book turned film The Notebook pulled it off beautifully. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams oozed this undeniable chemistry that Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried lack. It is essential for the actors to have this chemistry in order to make it realistic that these 2 people fall in love in a mere 2 weeks time. If the audience doesn't invest in their love, then the whole film becomes pointless. Which for me, this film did.
2. More subplots! - Since I didn't believe in the love story aspect, I would have appreciated more of the subplots (which I think are probably explored more in the book). Richard Jenkins was outstanding as the father that suffered from undiagnosed autism displaying both extreme social anxiety and OCD. While, the other subplot - 9/11 - was pretty much swept under the rug (a huge mistake). The film could have explored the effect that this tragedy had on everyone, especially the young men and women that were serving our country.
3. A girl with flaws - The girl is too idealistic it practically makes her stupid – someone fighting for kids with autism and building houses for the needy can't seem to grasp why her boyfriend wants to re – enlist in the Army after 9/11? That doesn't really make much sense to me. She claims to have flaws but they didn’t actually give her any (she doesn’t drink, smoke or sleep around – which are all apparently considered “flaws”). No flaws = No depth.
1. It's not the funniest thing ever - I won't pretend like it was laugh out loud funny (like The Office) but I found myself smiling during every episode. The laugh track was too distracting for my taste and some of the jokes were repetitive ("Did you try turning it off and then back on again?" - funny the first 5 times, not so much the next 20). They did do a hilarious episode about "Friendface" a rip on "Facebook" that was perfection.
2. An American version? - I can see this on American television, especially the current obsession with "geeks" with such shows as Chuck and The Big Bang Theory. They could totally make an Office type sitcom about the IT department at some big cooperate office (NBC take note).
3. The characters - I really like Chris O'Dowd who plays Roy (he was also recently in Pirate Radio), he is a very natural comedian. Richard Ayoade was a little too over-the-top as Moss - but I really liked his character best.
1. No one is safe - I can't possibly write about this show without giving away spoilers, but as I have been watching I have been aware of many spoilers (like the fact that Tony will be back in season 7) and I didn't find it distracting to the show. Half the time I was still in shock - so to break it down honestly - lots of people die. And not just the people that you don't really care about. In the first season Jack's wife dies - which sadly, I was rooting for from hour 1, she was super annoying and a horrible actress. I didn't really get too choked up about that one, but killing off President Palmer, Michelle and seemingly Tony was really ballsy. Palmer and Michelle are assassinated in the first episode of season 5, which was super shocking because stuff like that usually happens in finale's - left as cliffhangers. But no 24 clearly sets out to jolt the audience out of its comfort zone. Not only do characters of the show perish, but the show actually kills off innocent people too - nuclear bombs are actually set off. What other show can say that?
2. Almeida is God - This is the actual title of a fan-site for the character of Tony Almeida, which I find freaking fantastic. Where exactly would Jack be without his loyal sidekick? Well season 6 can answer that quite simply - He would be caught in a boring and incomprehensible plot involving his father and Muslim terrorists....i mean Russian terrorists...i mean Chinese terrorists. Season 6 BLOWS and I don't think it is a coincidence that it is Tony-less. And yes I would trust Tony over Chloe any day of the week (I know I could possibly change my mind after season 7)
3. L.A is a magical place - Seriously, I doubt terrorists often plot to destroy L.A (maybe some plot against LAX, but other than that L.A is one of the less important cities). But in the fantasy world of 24, it is a place of great importance- a place where the president often visits- a place where there is no traffic - a place with magical healing powers (seriously you can have a terrorist use a power drill to put a hole into your shoulder blade and go back to work within an hour unharmed). If only this was the L.A that I lived in - I might not have moved. The L.A I endured was one where the important people were celebrities (you might possibly get trampled by paparazzi if Britney Spears is within 5 blocks of you), it took almost 2 hours to drive 23 miles and if I stubbed a toe you better be sure it damn well hurt like hell. So obviously 24 doesn't attempt a "realistic" atmosphere, but as long as you shake it off it becomes a pretty fun ride.
4. The twists! the turns! - CTU must have the worst Human Resource department in the history of the world. Everyone is a mole! I hated that Nina Meyers was the mole in the first season- only because theoretically it didn't make sense, however I appreciated it on a creative level. Nina as the mole changed Jack forever. He would never fully trust anyone again and neither would the audience. It is almost to the point where it is surprising when someone isn't a bad guy. I like that it attempts to twist the story at every turn (even though it is a little repetitive at some points).
5. It is fun and ridiculous - I know that is a weird way to describe a show about terrorism post-911. But it is. I try not to think about the real world implications while watching the show. It is better to think of it as pure escapist tv - a world where this super-hero will inevitably save the day. I think the way it sets itself up so unrealistically (all of this can't possibly happen within 24 hours) helps it from becoming too draining. It also helps to make fun of all of its ridiculousness - like by counting how many times Jack says "Damn-it Chloe!" (I actually think that one is a drinking game) or by guessing whether satellite surveillance will work or not or by thinking of the time Tony tells Chloe "we don't have time for your personality disorders". That was priceless.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1. The Substitute -
The Return of Terri - so we all know that Terri is all kinds of crazy, however she is still one of my favorite characters. I do feel a little bad for her - she did lose the love of her life (yes, she faked a pregnancy but her intention was to save her marriage). Of course she would come back to take care of Will when he is sick. I loved their interaction - when Will is a little weary of her intentions, Terri snaps "What? I'm not going to kill you." I laughed out loud. She admits that she likes Will best "when he is weak", which I think this realization is a step in the right direction. This was all ruined by the baby talk that was quite disturbing. If Will enjoys being treated like a baby, then I have to admit he is just as crazy as she is. Maybe they are made for each other after all? And we all know she is going to get pregnant (and not hysterical pregnant). I can't wait for that.
The Introduction of Holly Holiday - The scene where Holly meets the Glee club is another one of those perfectly scripted scenes that Glee is so good at. Puck butters the floor, Artie refers to Finn as "Gigantor" (love it), Rachel slips on the buttered floor (and Finn apparently lost all of his chivalry - seriously he didn't even help her up. That was completely out of character.) and she comes out with one of the best lines of the episodes "at least I didn't fall and break my talent". Enter Miss Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow) in an inappropriate skirt while the clubbers introduce themselves switching names (que Brittany "I'm Mike Chang"). Then comes one of my favorite performances of the season - Gwyneth Paltrow singing Cee-lo's F You (although they use the PC version Forget You). The only way to describe it is completely awesome. Gwynn doesn't have the best voice (especially when she is wailing WHY? - my ears started to hurt), but I love that she had fun with it and got the rest of the group to have fun as well (except of course Rachel). I'm pretty sure she actually got some rhythm out of Finn (or are my eyes just playing tricks on me?). The episode continues with most of the focus on our new sub - she definitely won me over when she explained her teaching technique. This generation is so entitled and self-absorbed, it is difficult to get them to pay attention to things they have no interest in. Plus, I love her sarcasm ("I was going to suggest clapping erasers...but you guys are mostly dry erase so...").
The Highlights - All in all, most of the highlights for me were things that Glee has been missing this season: A few crazy Rachel scenes (her scream when Santana was about to attack her was a classic Rachel moment plus I love the umbrella t-shirt she sports). We saw the return of the inner monologue (which was always a highlight in the first season) with Holly, but also of Sue writing in her journal (love her "war on sitting"). Sue is also back to destroying the Glee club which is what she does best (and making fun of Will's butt chin). Kurt returned to his normal self (you know sarcastic and superior to everyone) - but that was ruined by Karovsky's death threat (sad face). Plus we got to see some interaction between bff's Kurt & Mercedes. Loved all of it!!
The lowlights - Sue's war on junk food (genius) but the obsession over tater tots was not funny at all (although Sue's pronunciation of poe-tater-tots was). Can we give Mercedes a plot line that doesn't involve food? The other 3 songs were also not favorites - Make em Laugh felt out of place and yes, it was good (Mike Chang showing off his skills is always a highlight) but it just reminded me of when JGL nailed this performance on SNL last year. Just picture it - he did this number by himself, on LIVE tv. He did his own singing, dancing and stunt work in front of a live freakin' audience. If you haven't seen it - youtube it ASAP. The most disturbing performance I have ever seen on Glee was Rachel and Holly's performance of Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag from Chicago. Seriously, painful to watch. It was flat and awkward (their difference in height was part of what made it so out of sync). Someone needs to practice their cartwheels (ahem..lea..). You know a performance is bad when the best part is watching Finn in the audience (he looked so confused...obvi dude has never seen Chicago). Anyway, it was so bad, let's just move on the the last number - a mashup of Singing in the Rain and Umbrella. I think the performance was actually genius. The songs themselves sound great together, the choreography was slamming and the effect of the rain and the puddles was sort of breathtaking. However, it was supposed to be the club practicing for sectionals - so why have Will and Holly take the lead? The Glee club was used as back up dancers and you couldn't even tell who was who with those over sized raincoats. I would have loved to see the actual Glee club take on this number. (p.s where did they get the money for such stage effects?)
2. Furt -
Finn & Kurt - I was really aggravated with the writers in the beginning of this episode. Finn's lackadaisical attitude about Kurt being bullied is a step backward in the development of his character. He has already proven that he was willing to back Kurt up (Hello! He even wore a red shower curtain dress to school last year!). His excuse made sense (slightly) - he didn't want to get involved because Karovsky would take his aggression out on him on the field. I knew that eventually he would come through in the end (I guess the writers didn't think the audience had a resolution yet for what happened last year - even though I totally did). So, once Finn realizes how serious the bullying has gotten he decides to man up (again...). If his character hasn't redeemed himself with this episode then absolutely nothing will - come on singing Just the Way You Are to Kurt and slow dancing with him! I almost died. I knew that Finn would be taking on the awful and cheesy Bruno Mars song - but I assumed (as did everyone else) that he would be singing it to Rachel (which he sort of did. It would have been better if they just changed a few lyrics to the song and he sang the whole thing to Kurt...but whatev. I am still thrilled at this development). Their slow dance was epic. A few more thoughts on Finn before I move on to Kurt - Finn was perfection from beginning to the end of this episode. His display of discomfort when they are having the family hug as the football team walks by was subtle but heartbreaking. I will once again praise Cory Monteith for creating a character who has major flaws, but is completely understandable and ultimately forgivable. I think he deserves the same amount of accolades that Chris Colfer (and others) receive. Plus he actually said "we are brothers from another mother" with a straight face - just give him the Emmy now. Now - Kurt. First, kudos to Kurt for calling Sue out for being a bully herself by calling him "Lady". Her response was epic - "I'm sorry, I thought that was your name". Then she gives him a choice of equally offensive nicknames to choose from - personally I would have chosen "Tickle Me Doe-Face". EPIC. I have to say that during the slow dance with him and Finn - I had a sinking feeling that something horrible was going to happen (and had flashbacks to the Queer as Folk season 1 finale - where Brian and Justin slow dance at Justin's HS prom and then...something horrible happens). I kept convincing myself that this was Glee nothing that severe was going to take place. I was relieved that the big shock was Kurt leaving - which was not a shock at all if you have the Internet (there are tons of pics with Kurt wearing the Dalton Academy uniform). I am upset that he is letting the bully win - but I am sure the story will progress some more so I will wait to make my judgements.
Sam & Quinn - What happened to Sam? Are they trying to make us hate him? In the first few episodes he was adorably dorky (hello! he spoke Navi for Pete's sake!). Then he turned narcissistic and irritating in the Rocky Horror episode and now he is just completely unlikeable. He is obsessed with being popular which means he wants his position back on the football team (thank you for bringing that back - I was super annoyed that he dislocated his shoulder but was somehow able to dance around with the Glee club) and he wants Quinn as his girlfriend (he is totally using her). I don't mind them as a couple - but not if Sam is going to hurt her. Quinn has already been through too much. The whole promise ring scene was absolutely ridiculous (as was throwing around the "L" word). I loved that Sam fought Karovsky (which I am pretty sure Karovsky pushing Mike into Artie would land him some sort of suspension...right?) but then I felt like Sam did it just to impress Quinn and prove that he was a leader (not because he actually cares about Kurt). He is a manipulative little punk now. I am not happy.
The Highlights - They answered a BIG question: Does Finn know that Rachel didn't sleep with Jesse? And vice versa (Does Rachel know that Finn DID sleep with Santana)? The answers: Yes and No respectively. I am glad they did this conversation as a flashback because they have been dating for a while now - it would have come up by now. I am confused that they made Rachel's character a prude (the same Rachel who gave a speech about how "abstinence doesn't work in high school" and during a performance of Push It simulated oral sex and dry humped Finn. The girl is by far a prude.). I think she is totally the type to "save herself" for the right person - but there is quite a gap in between being a virgin and being prude. AND WAIT does Santana like Finn??? Or does she just like causing trouble. The only reason I am leaning on the former is that she actually has kept this secret for quite a long time (for Finn) so obvi she cares about him..right? Very interesting. I also loved Sue's online profile- The things I am most passionate about: Extreme taxidermy, Tantric yelling, Poking the elderly with hidden pins. Her age is 27 and her occupation: LEGEND. Although the best quote belongs to her ex (barely ex) - "Sue, you can't tame the tiger...you've read my tattoo's". I also enjoyed the wedding - although dancing down the aisle is soo last year (and The Office did a much better spoof) I can understand people in small town Ohio totally thinking this is awesome (that came out quite condescending...but it is totally true so whatever). (p.s do Burt and Carol not have any family or friends? Why would the Glee club be their wedding party?).
The Lowlights - I always hate when shows move through plot too quickly (i.e getting engaged, planning a wedding and actually having the ceremony all in the same episode). It also bothers me that there are constant inconsistencies with the amount of money in the Hummel family - Burt seems working class - but Kurt drives a brand new SUV (not sure what kind but it looked fancy) and he wears designer clothes. Plus Burt says they are looking for a bigger house (as if money isn't an issue) but then they have to use their honeymoon money to pay for Kurt to go to a private school. Seriously annoying. I also hated the Sue Sylvester plot - it fell completely flat. I also thought Carol Burnett was mediocre (is that like a sin to admit?). There performance of Ohio was booooring. Also, Where the F is Emma???
3. Special Education -
The Songs – Ever since Rachel whispered under her breath “please be Evita, please be Evita” during the Rocky Horror episode I knew that a Don’t cry for me, Argentina number was inevitable. Rachel & Kurt nailed it brilliantly (although I would have preferred a Kurt version of My Heart Will Go On – that would have been epic). The Hipsters song during Sectionals was fitting (The Living Years), while the Warblers once again turned a dreadful song into a delightful one (Hey Soul Sister). Then came the New Directions Sectionals performance – with Sam and Quinn taking the lead in an absolutely horrific version of Time of my Life. I’m sorry but Finn and Rachel would have sang that song 1000 times better. Quinn’s vocals are hit or miss for me since she consistently sounds like she has a cold, while Sam has a nice voice (maybe even better than Finn - I haven't decided yet), however they have zero chemistry, stage presence or passion. Luckily, they had a second song because they would have definitely lost Sectionals with just that disaster. Santana’s solo in Valerie was an unexpected surprise – she definitely rocked it while Mike and Brittany’s dancing stole the show (side note – how did they manage to find the least flattering dresses ever? And then commit fashion suicide by pairing these horrendous dresses with leggings!). Now we have to talk about my favorite performance of the episode – Dog Days are Over. Perhaps my favorite song of the year, I listen to it every morning on my way to work – Florence Welch's voice is so inspiring that it gives me chills. I enjoyed the Glee version, simply because it was loose, spontaneous and fun - plus kudos to the creators for understanding that they severely under use one of the most talented cast members, Amber Riley (Mercedes) by always giving her the last note to belt out at the end of a song or by giving her solos that are stereotypically R&B songs. I don’t think anyone will come close to Florence, but Amber was amazing none the less (Tina was pretty awesome as well).
The Shocks- OMGLEE! First the biggest shock – Emma got married! I wasn’t really surprised when Will notices her ring and asks if it was an engagement ring – I was floored by her answer though (“It’s a wedding ring actually.”). Holy Shizz!! That means that Will didn’t even get the chance to use the Glee club in some overly dramatic fashion to try and sabotage her wedding! (Which is probably why she did in such a hush hush manner – smart thinking Emma…). I also have to say way to go Emma – Congrats on marrying “the finest dentist alive” as Santana calls him. Does this mean we will see more of Uncle Jesse!?? Count me in! Next we move to the Finn & Rachel scandal. First, let me start off by saying I am a Rachel fan. AND a Finn fan. But I am not necessarily a fan of them as a couple. I am sort of indifferent on “finchel”. I think they are funny together because they are opposites (in height and personality), but sometimes I think Rachel is too neurotic and self-obsessed to be in a relationship, especially with someone as vulnerable as Finn. This is proven in this episode – they both lied about what happened during the Madonna episode, yet Rachel lied to purposely hurt Finn (she even admitted it) while Finn lied because he didn’t want to hurt Rachel (oh the dichotomy!). Yes, he should have fessed up when she did – however I don’t think he would ever intentionally hurt anyone, especially Rachel. When Rachel finds out she (again) purposely tries to hurt him by cheating on him- with Puck no less – which I think was supposed to be shocking but I totally had a gut feeling that was going to happen. The worst part is that it was Puck that stopped it from happening (thank goodness for his new found kindness after being locked in a port-a-potty, otherwise I think Finn would have died of a broken heart – literally dead.) Anyway, I am glad that Finn and Rachel are broken up for now (although I saw a spoiler pic for the next episode with them kissing or was that the creators just trying to throw us off?).
The Rest - pretty much the entire episode was a highlight for me. Emma calling Will out for not fully utilizing the talent in the Glee club, which in turn causes Will to actually showcase other members. The beginning (almost a perfect scene) – Rachel referring to Sam and Quinn as “Ken and Barbie.” I loved how Finn said “she’s not worth it” referring to Santana – as soon as that came out of his mouth I knew he was dead. I loved everyone’s faces when Santana spilled the beans. The scene with Emma counseling Finn & Rachel (yeah! Welcome back Emma!) was also a pretty perfect scene (although completely ridiculous – I honestly have no idea what my hs guidance counselors name was let alone where his/her office was located. I certainly didn’t go there when I was in a relationship crisis). I feel bad for Finn - his admission “If I told you the truth you’d get sooo mad at me…and you’re kinda scary” was so true – I would not want to be the target of Rachel Berry’s wrath. Emma basically telling Finn not to talk was hilarious too bad he didn’t listen and instead referred to Santana as “super hot”. I don’t really understand Rachel’s logic though – she said she would understand if it was Quinn? Seriously, if that were me I would much rather my BF sleep with some hot girl that he has absolutely no feelings for rather than another hot girl who happens to be his ex that he was ready to raise a baby with – oh and that he was also in love with!! Rachel – think about it (although I totally see a Finn/Santana coupling happening – we saw from “Furt” that she might have feelings for him, but we also see in this episode Finn way too happy when Santana walks by him and blows him a kiss. They would make an interesting couple - although Santana is even more evil than Rachel – she would break Finn just for the fun of it). Kurt’s experience at Dalton was hilarious– not exactly what he is used to. When he is asked to care for the teams mascot (a bird) he responds with his usual wit and sarcasm - “I’ll bring him to work with me. Weekends I volunteer at a stray cat rescue..it’s at the bottom of a coal mine.” I laughed out loud but it was clear that the stuck up Warblers have no sense of humor and they obviously don’t like individuality (Kurt is going to HATE it there!). Brittany staring into the corner because she is “paralyzed with fear”. Her and Artie were super adorable in this episode – his magic comb idea was brilliant. They could be growing on me (slightly). Then, perhaps my favorite frenemies on the show – Kurt and Rachel get some screen time together. They have the best chemistry together. I loved that Rachel was the first to stand up after The Warblers performance (see- she’s not all evil). Funniest moment? Puck getting emotional after The Hipsters performance – one of those blink and you’ll miss it moments that Glee is so good at.
The Lowlights - the only think I can think of is that it was missing Sue Sylvester. Every episode can only benefit from a few solid one-liners from the amazing Jane Lynch.
Monday, November 15, 2010
1. Black Swan 12/3- I am not familiar with this story, but I saw the trailer the other day and all I can say to describe it is: WOW. It looks amazing. Darren Aronofsky really outdid himself this time. And Natalie Portman looks sensational. There is a lot of buzz about an award worthy performance and from the trailer alone I can see why. I know Natalie gets a lot of credit for being some outstanding performer - but I have yet to see her prove it (I have enjoyed several of her films - V For Vendetta, Closer & Garden State come to mind, but I can't say her performances were very memorable. I hate to admit it - but her most memorable performance to date is her digital short on SNL in which she raps - hysterical). I love, love, love Mila Kunis - she shows some serious acting chops in the trailer as well. Anyway, the film is about the life of a ballet dancer. The dancer lets ballet consume her entire life (like most people who are passionate about art). Not only is the film about this consumption, but also about letting your own internal demons get the best of you. The film looks raw, emotional and heartbreaking - not to mention creepy.
2. All Good Things 12/3 - I am a huge Ryan Gosling fan ever since his break-out performance in The Believer (an Oscar worthy performance). He can pretty much do no wrong in my book. The film is a thriller based on the true story of a man suspected of killing his wife (played by Kirsten Dunst - who inevitably will be the worst part of the film) and possibly others. Ryan can play a creep pretty well - so I am sure he will ace the part of suspected serial killer. The trailer boasts that the film is about money, power, secrets & lies (all the good stuff) - and it looks pretty intense. I am not sure how they could possibly create a film about an unsolved crime (do they presume that he did do it?).
3. I Love You Phillip Morris 12/3 - How many times has this film been slated to be released? I feel like I heard about this film at least 2 years ago but was constantly delayed or shelved for whatever reason (i.e too controversial). It is about 2 men who fall in love while they are in prison (the 2 men are Jim Carrey & Ewan McGregor). The trailer looks interesting - but I wouldn't say it looks that funny. It is supposed to be a comedy, right? I'm not really sure. It does look like it is taking the whole gay story seriously (it doesn't seem to be mocking them - at least in the trailer) - which if it is true, will be completely groundbreaking. Think about it: A main stream romantic comedy about 2 gay men starring well known actors. It could be one for the history books (film history that is..).
4. The Tempest 12/10 - I am a Shakespeare junkie. The Tempest is one of least favorite of his plays - but that won't stop me from seeing it. I am intrigued that the film is about Prospera (not Prospero) - changing the gender of the main character is a genius move, plus it is not often we see Shakespeare from a woman's perspective (Julie Taymore adapts and directs it).
5. Frankie & Alice 12/10 - Yes, on the surface it looks like another cliched stripper movie - and it could very well turn out that way. However, Halle Berry is getting rave reviews as a stripper with Multiple Personality Disorder. And we all know how much the Academy loves emotionally damaged strippers, prostitutes and drug addicts - so she will likely be nominated. I of course will be intrigued to see why.
6. Rabbit Hole 12/17 - I almost cried watching the trailer - I had no idea what the film was about before watching it so I felt a little blindsided. Losing a child must be the worst pain one can endure. I honestly can't think of anything worse. The film looks at this pain realistically - a couple trying to move past the pain and continue to live. Although it looks sad, it also looks like it has some lighter moments and hopeful ones. I also love Aaron Eckhart - but I am so used to him being a complete sarcastic a**hole - this role will be a nice change of pace for him.
7. Little Fockers 12/22 - I enjoyed Meet the Parents (not as much as other people did - but it was definitely amusing). However, the whole film was successful due to the fact that it showed Robert Deniro as a comedian - funnier than Ben Stiller (an actual comedian). Once the novelty of that wore off - it became less and less funny. Then came Meet the Fockers which was painful to watch. So, I clearly have no logical reason to look forward to this film - yet I do.
8. Biutiful 12/29 - My favorite director - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. I am in love with every one of his films, however all of his films were written by Guillermo Arriaga except this one. So, I am interested to see if he is as incredible without his writing partner (seriously guys...what happened!?). Arriaga's first solo project (The Burning Plain) was a complete disappointment - so I hope Inarritu doesn't fall to the same fate. Biutiful stars Javiar Bardem (good start) as a father of two kids who finds out he has terminal Cancer. It is obviously going to make me cry (as does all of his films). This is probably the film that I am most excited for and will likely not be released in my area...how frustrating!
9. Blue Valentine 12/31 - Another Ryan Gosling film - this one slightly more well known due to its NC-17 rating that it received recently (basically a death sentence for a film). The film is a love story - but it is also supposed to be a gritty, realistic look at marriage between a young couple. Both Ryan and Michelle Williams are being hailed for their performances which is said to be partly improv, which makes things interesting.
10. The Green Hornet 1/14 - O.k - the guy who created such original masterpieces as The Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind made a superhero film? I am there. Seriously, Michele Gondry is a creative genius - so his take on the superhero genre is sure to be fantastic. Plus Seth Rogan as a The Green Hornet? How amazing is that going to be?
11. Kaboom 1/28 - If you don't know who Gregg Araki is then please go rent the heartbreaking film Mysterious Skin. I have no idea what Kaboom is about or who is in it - but I have to support this filmmaker for the rest of my life for creating a film that has effected my life the way Mysterious Skin did.
1. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Pt 1 - So you all know who much I hate Harry Potter right? Serious loathing from my direction. I recently tried to give it another chance - I watched the first 3 films and I still stand by my opinion. The films are dreadful - Daniel Radcliffe is one of the worst young actors ever and the rest of the bunch are disappointing as well. The plot is not suspenseful in the least and the special effects are mind-blowingly awful. I will not torture myself by watching the rest of these films.
2. Burlesque - Christina Aguilera is not an actress. I can tell already by the trailer - she is not a triple threat. I am not sure why people assume because one can sing and dance - they can act as well. This film looks ridiculous and has Showgirls written all over it.
3. The Fighter - I feel like Mark Wahlberg already did this film - called Invincible. Sure it was about Football, but still it was about overcoming the odds in sports. If you just mix Invincible with any of the Rocky films - you have this film. There is literally no point in waisting time watching it - we all already know how it ends...right?
4. The Tourist - Two of the biggest stars in the world in the same film seems like it would be an automatic win. Right? Has everyone seen the trailer? Something went wrong...very, very wrong. The film looks like a complete mess and Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp somehow lack any chemistry. This film is sure to go down as one of the biggest bombs of the year.
5. Country Strong - Love Gwyneth (and can't wait for her appearance on Glee tomorrow). Hate country.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
1. The cast - I am not usually a big Bruce Willis fan, but I do enjoy him as an action star. I appreciated that he was still cast as an action star (albeit an aging one). The real attraction of the film for me was the 2 female stars - Helen Mirren & Mary Louise Parker. Helen Mirren as a gun toting assassin? Count me in! Come on...that is pure genius casting. I just wish she did a little bit more then carry a big gun. MLP didn't really get much to do except scream a lot and nag a lot (2 female traits that I loathe in films). One can never really go wrong with Morgan Freeman - but again, he wasn't given much to do but remind us of how old he is. It was disappointing that a cast like this wasn't utilized to their full potential. The only 2 people who made the film worth watching were John Malkovich (basically stole the spotlight through out the whole film) and Karl Urban (who is hardly a newcomer in the film industry - but I have honestly never noticed him until now) - he did a great job as the "bad guy/good guy".
2. The potential - The plot is actually sort of original (!!) - it's an action film with old people! Plus, it actually asks the question of what happens to all of these CIA heroes once they retire. How do they go on living a "normal" life after experiencing such an action packed life style. How did this film not kick ass? I guess my biggest complaint would be the writing (besides the creative plot, the dialogue was far from witty) and the directing (the action was almost non-existent, aside from one great fight scene - the rest of the action was just blowing up people).
3. The love story - Why on earth do we need a love story in the midst of an action film? I guess we needed a reason for Bruce's character to save MLP's character, but I think in general her character sucked. It would have been much better if she played a retired agent as well (not because she is old, but maybe she has some sort of injury or paperwork mishap that forces her into retirement? Maybe I should just re-write the film...). The other love story was between Mirren and Brian Cox which was to be a surprise but was extremely predicable and unnecessary.
1. Splice - **Spoiler Alert** The first thing that I wrote down in my notes as I was watching this film was "she is the mother"(referring to Sarah Polley's character). Guess what! Big shocker! She is the mother! So, my point is that the film is incredibly predictable and unoriginal. The creature is kind of a cool looking “hybrid”- but that is the only cool thing about the film. The plot is that they splice human genetics with animals (apparently several different animals - that is never really explained). Of course, things don't go as planned because as we have learned from every film - you can't mess with human nature. Science and technology = bad things happen. Wouldn't it be groundbreaking to have a film showing Science and technology saving humanity instead of ruining it? I have mostly Darwinist ideals about nature (you know evolution...survival of the fittest..), but I think science & technology are naturally a part of our evolution. They are only going to make us stronger. Anyway....how disturbing is it when he has sex with the creature?! Ew. As Sarah's character says "There are some things you DO NOT DO!". He not only had sex with an animal, it was also young (not sure of the age exactly but it was definitely an "innocent" creature) so he basically committed statutory rape and bestiality at the same time. What a way to give me nightmares. Just when I thought it couldn't get more disturbing - the creature turns into a male (and into a bird? Wouldn't they have noticed that with all of their testing? Are they the dumbest Scientists ever?) and RAPES her. Seriously, I am not making it up. At this point, I write in my notes "pregnant." Guess what? Big shocker! She gets pregnant! I am sure an equally awful sequel is already in the works. Adrien Brody & Sarah Polley are better than this film – being in such a poorly written film makes them actually bad actors. Bad career move.
2. Chloe - Predictable garbage – I cant believe these actors would stoop so low. How did they get Liam Neeson to agree to this film? Really, I want to know. I am indifferent about Amanda Seyfried. I think she is a decent actress (she holds her own against an extremely talented cast in Big Love and has comedic timing in Mean Girls & Jennifer's Body), but I hardly find her beautiful - besides the huge eyes - I would describe her as plain. The nudity was awkwardly placed and the lesbian storyline was ridiculous – it is a shame that Chloe is portrayed as a crazy, stalker with obvious sexual problems rather than a normal young girl who is questioning her sexuality. Also, I would have appreciated a little more background information on Chloe (she is a prostitute – although we get no background info as to why she is doing this as a profession – the only info we get is that she severely dislikes men and cries while she is in the middle of her "dates" so she obvi isn’t happy in her profession). The plot is that a woman suspects that her husband is cheating on her - so naturally she hires a prostitute to seduce him (which is the most passive aggressive way to confront your suspicions that I can think of). **Spoiler Alert** Is the audience really supposed to believe that Chloe is telling the truth? We never see Chloe and her husband together - we only see her lies about their sexual encounters. How disturbing is it when Chloe had sex with her son? It was an obvious plot point, but it still shocked me that they would actually go that low. Side note - the son was a super cutie (Max Thieriot).
3. MacGruber - There is absolutely no point to see this film other than getting to see Ryan Phillippe looking hot (especially in that white Henley - I adore guys in white). I am concerned that he would debase himself by agreeing to be humiliated in this film. Not funny in the slightest – I didn’t think it would be considering the SNL skits are rarely funny. I watched it with severely low expectations and was still shocked at how bad it was. There were a lot of low points in the film (that weren't funny at all) that I thought o.k it can not possibly get any worse - and then it continually shocks me by getting worse. Surprisingly, there was a plot - it just kept getting lost by unfunny (and often repetitive) jokes. I was embarrassed for all involved.
4. When in Rome - Preposterous. Absolutely ridiculous. The cast was awful. Dax Shepard was skeevy (and not hot), Josh Duhamel can’t act (o.k - slightly hot) and Jon Heder was just plain stupid (and ew.). They all played overly cliched romantic suitors in the most over-acted way possible. I’ve really tried to like Kristen Bell (I even tried to watch Veronica Mars once – but couldn’t get through 1 episode, I am planning to give it another try soon). She was pretty funny in Party Down but it was a pretty small dose of her (and the writing on that series is freakin' fantastic - it would make any actor look good). I just don’t think she can carry a film – especially a stupid, romantic comedy. The film wasn’t funny, charming, romantic or even the least bit interesting.
1. Iron Man 2 - I watched this about a month ago - and you know what is really sad? I can't remember a thing about it (I honestly can't say that I remember the 1st one too well either - what does this say about the Iron Man as a franchise?). I do remember that I was entertained for most of it - then it starts to drag at the end. It didn't move as fast as it should have. I love the chemistry between Gwyneth Paltrow and RDJ (I can't say the same about the chemistry between RDJ and Scarjo - but really does she have chemistry with anyone but herself?). The machines were awesome, but the fight at the end was tiresome. Sam Rockwell (AKA Owen Wilson's voice double) was a perfect as a slimy, bad guy.
2. Winter's Bone - This film hits a little too close to home for me (growing up very poor with a drug dealing father). We always had lots of dogs around that we couldn’t afford to feed. We did not however, kill and eat our own squirrels (and that was something I didn’t need to see. Thank you very much.). So that being said- I tend to hate these kind of films (white trash dramas) only because they remind me of things that I don’t want to be reminded of. Luckily, I didn’t have younger siblings to take care of - which is the only interesting part of this film for me. Jennifer Lawrence does do a decent job, there is a subtlety in her portrayal of anger and disappointment that is beautiful– I don’t see it as an Academy award worthy performance, but since she sadly has no real competition she will likely get a nomination - maybe even a win. I mostly see it as great writing – the way she is motherly towards her siblings yet cold at the same time. I just think the film's plot was a little tedious and predictable. It wasn't a bad film by any means, but I think the mostly positive reviews caused me to have higher expectations.
3. Get Him to the Greek - It was much funnier than I expected. The casting of this film is what made it watchable. Although, I think Russel Brand is slightly annoying (and looking at him makes me want to shower…he is just so …skeevy. ) - the rest of the cast was hilarious. Puff Daddy (he will always be Puff Daddy to me - get over it.) absolutely killed it - in a good way. He delivered my favorite line from the film ("Do you know how many Air Jordans 6 Black kids wear?") Hilarious. Jonah Hill and Peggy Olsen from Mad Men actually make a cute couple. I credit the casting director for not giving him the Seth Rogen treatment (i.e having a girlfriend that is too hot for him). I love Carla Gallo – from Undeclared (and as a running joke among the Apatow crew to cast her as “the girl” – I.e “Period Blood Girl” in Superbad, “Toe Sucking Girl” in 40 Year old Virgin. She actually has a name in this film which is definitely disappointing…did “microphone vagina girl” get rejected?) Rose Byrne was unexpected casting as Jackie Q - a ridiculous pop star. She was awesome - I guess I never thought of her as a comedic actress. I love the beginning of the film – the making of his video "African Baby". The lyrics are pure genius. As the film progresses it just goes from hilarious to strange and ridiculous. I think it all started when he had to smuggle heroin on to the plane. The plot just goes downhill from there and never recovers from it. What a shame....