Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mr. Brooks - Movie Review, Or, I Should Have Just Snuck Into Knocked Up

Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and William Hurt. What is this? The 80's? Was Dane Cook only put in to remind us that it is, in fact, the 21st Century now? I wish I had gone to see Knocked Up instead last night but sadly, I got preview tickets for Mr. Brooks instead. Which sounded good way back when, when I first read a description, then looked bad when I actually saw some clips, and in the end, the movie lands somewhere in between.

Kevin Constner plays Mr. Brooks, an upstanding and successful man-of-the-year winner who has a secret past as a serial killer, spurned on by the voice in his head, who we see is played by William Hurt. Mr. Brooks never kills anybody he knows, so we know wife Marg Helgenberger is safe, as is his college drop-out daughter who may have her own secret.

Mr. Brooks makes his first killing in two years, and is caught by a Mr. "Smith" played by unfunny comedian Dane Cook in a serious dramatic role. Demi Moore is the rich cop (yeah, they will try to explain it but it ended up being lame) investigating the case, and with about 4 storylines too many, the whole thing comes to a convoluted mess after a nice moody start. The multiple threads don't really tie together as brilliantly as one would have hoped which disappoints at the end. Demi Moore and Kevin Costner never even share a frame together, with their stories barely tying together. The jolts of suspense and violence are not as well earned as they think, and somewhat gratuitous and gross. Only the discussions between William Hurt as Mr. Brooks evil consciousness gives the movie any earned depth. Still, the whole thing isn't as trashy as I thought it might have ended up and one could argue that it deserves a better grade.

Still, I'm giving Mr. Brooks = C or 5.5/10

More After the Jump...

Oh To Be Cera-naded

Oh, but quick notes. Iman is hosting Project Runway Canada? How is she Canadian? I guess Linda Evangelista was busy. Still, that's kinda neat! Bowie might be in town!

Scripps National Spelling Bee is on tonight! On ABC at 8pm! On NETWORK TV! I'm so E-X-C-I-T-E-D!

Michael Cera rocks AGAIN. As if he didn't already. (BTW, Episode 2 up at Clark and Michael)

Man, I'm already excited about Knocked Up and now the reviews are pouring in and seems like it may be the funniest movie of the year.

So much for being swamped at work. No wonder. Cause I'm blogging all day...

More After the Jump...

So You Think You Can Dance - Welcome Back Benji!

Swamped with work but quickly. I like the Popping dude and the Charleston/Lindy Hop couple Evita and Mike, particularly Mike who had facial expressions that rivals Benji's and I'm sure that since she has a boyfriend back home, there's a whole storyline there (he does too? or he's in love with her?). Hiccup boy was too cute (but did NOT look like he was 22, more like 28 I say).

The Schwimmers return and Lacey, Benji's little sister auditions and Benji makes a welcomed appearance. But was that really fair? She's a shoo in now! Still, just for that impression of dad with the Light Message Board was worth it.

Hok was actually good and I didn't realise that he was the one that had Visa problems and thus dropped out, leaving room for Benji. Still, not sure how far Hok can go when they have to do ballroom or others. Then again, Ivan totally impressed us last year.

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Traveler - Wait, Where Are You Taking Me?

The Retreat
Boy it sure was.

Okay, I was wrong. Or actually, I was right in my pessimistic view of what might have happened to Traveler on ABC. I thought the pilot was terrific but it was bumped from last fall to now, and cut from 13 episodes to 8. Bad signs. But I really liked the pilot. Or I'm very hopeful.

Oh well. the second episode grounded the fast paced show established in the pilot to a grinding turtled pace. Like when you're forced to sit in your father's car and realise he's become a senior citizen driver and you have no way of getting him to drive faster.

Last night, from the boys ridiculous decision to drive away hastily from the cops after a scene of another cars' accident, to some major conspiracy in the waiting with all new names that confused me, the show lost me. Despite an appearance by Neal McDonough at the end (and in next week's episode) and cast members Steven Culp and William Sadler, I didn't love it as I had anticipated I would. Still, I'll probably keep giving it chances since, at 8 episodes in the summer, what else do I have to do, plus, I'm just WAY too nice.

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grey's Anatomy - Appreciating What We Have From Hard Lessons Learned

Didn't We Almost Have It All - Season 3 Finale

We did have it all, but last year we didn't realise that that was the best Grey's Anatomy was going to be.

I finally had the chance (and will) to watch the Grey's Anatomy Season 3 Finale last night, and thank goodness it was a decent ending for a season that just kept dropping in quality. Except, it still just emphasized how great some of the actors were, and how bad some of the plots have gotten since it just made me more angry that characters like Izzie were no longer relatable and the ones we usually champion, like Bailey or Alex, didn't even have much positives to support. Sandra Oh's breakdown at the end as she suffocated in her wedding dress and necklace was fantastic, and George's exam failure only brought back how great T.R. Knight is as an everyman, but I still dislike the Callie vs. Izzie thing. I'm so tired of Meredith and/not Derek thing even though Meredith has finally been somewhat more likable again lately (ironically as everyone else on the show isn't). Still, wouldn't Lexi Grey choose not to intern at the hospital where her mother just died? That was a nice little addition though (and Chyler Leigh! Showkiller!?) and might help us move Grey's Anatomy back in the right direction next year. Let's hope, since Addison isn't coming back, and looks like either George and/or Burke won't be either, or so say the rumours.

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So You Think You Can Dance - Faves of Season 2, Get Ready for Season 3!

So You Think You Can Dance is back (check here for Season 3 updates and Song and Performance Lists, Comments and Rants) and back to two nights a week starting tonight on Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX and CTV. YEY! While I don't love the audition process, I loved last years show so much, I'll probably watch the auditions this year anyways in anticipation for the Top 20 when it REALLY gets good. Or at least, it did last year in season 2 with a great cast of Top 10's. Who knows if they can replicate that success this year but in the meantime, here's some favorite video clips (since some of my original postings were taken down) to relive some of the glory of SYTYCD Season 2 (in particular order, and some faves I just can't find right now. I'll add on as I find them, so this is in no way a comprehensive list of the routines I loved last year):

Travis Wall - Solo - "Konstantine" Something Corporate

Travis and Heidi - "Calling You" Celine Dion choreographed by Mia Michaels

Ivan and Allison - "Sexy Love" Neyo choreographed by Shane Sparks

The Top 4 (Benji, Heidi, Donyelle and Travis) - "Sexy Back" Justin Timberlake choreographed by Wade Robson.

Benji and Travis (Tranji) - "Gyrate" Da Muzicianz choreographed by Wade Robson

Top 6 (Benji, Heidi, Ivan, Allison, Donyelle, Travis) - "Hide and Seek" Imogen Heap choreographed by Mia Michaels

Uploaded by txvoodoo

Allison and Ivan - "Why" Annie Lennox choreographed by Tyce

Top 20 - "Technologic" Daft Punk

Check here for a mostly complete list of songs and dances from So You Think You Can Dance Season 2.

More After the Jump...

Ah, Those YoungUn's

Since I already started already, might as well continue my Jonathan Groff stalking. Here's another cute article about this years youngest Tony nominee.

See also
One Jonathan Groff To Live
One More Jonathan Groff To Live No More Jonathan Groff To Live
Broadway Marathon

More After the Jump...

Throw It Out On The Lot

I caught the results from On The Lot last night and werjklzkzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Actually, I did find my inner film geek get slightly excited, too bad the bloated show was poorly produced and kinda boring with a HORRIBLE host. Even CRAZY Garry Marshall couldn't liven things up.

As for the results, well. 2 Women were knocked out of the 3 ousters. Should I be surprised?

As for the top 3 winners, I liked the scientist one by the Canadian dude (woohoo! O Canada!). He had the perfect nerdy and affable likability that is just perfect for winning this film geek contest. You just go with that boy. People love that humility shit. Doesn't hurt that his short was actually funny even though it wasn't really new or anything (then again, is anything?).

And for the one the judges hated? Get a Room or something like that? Well, I laughed at the end when the dude got zapped to hell but I did think the actor portrayed the character more like a mental handicapped person rather than just a plain nerd.

America it seems, really does have bad judgement sometimes but since Are We There Yet and Hostel have been number one movies? Is it really that shocking?

More After the Jump...

No Love Today for Mika

Just saw the new "Love Today" video from Mika this morning at the gym. Love the beats, but nope, still cannot stand the guy. Apparently I'm not the only one.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Talk To Me - Movie Review

Let's just get this right out first. Talk To Me will NEVER be number one in the box office. Not because the movie isn't good. Because it opens on July 13th 2007. The same day Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix opens. Good luck Don Cheadle. You may be the first muggle destroyed in the battle against Voldemort.

That being said, the movie Talk To Me was never meant as a blockbuster, and it is a quiet reprieve of a little biopic directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) about the rise of radio DJ Petey Greene. From his prison days to WOL Radio 1450AM in Washington DC, where Petey meets his future manager and radio producer Dewey Hughes who gives the ex-con his first chance. Petey is the prolific black miscreant host that speaks his mind and tells it like it is, and finds fame and glory for being the people's DJ and talking it straight up. Petey Greene's rise continues right when Martin Luther King Jr. gets assisinated and continues on further where he finally gets an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and his on television show, but the movie really follows Dewey and Peteys relationship as manager and star.

While the traditional underdog-does-good story runs a tad slow and runs slightly too long, the movie is saved by great performances throughout the cast, led by producer Don Cheadle as Petey Greene in full 60's gear and hair (in a role that basically screams "I want an Oscar"). Taraji P. Henson (so great in Hustle & Flow, so great here) plays Greene's long suffering girlfriend that sparks with sass and gives the film all its energy, and Chiwetel Ejiofor (always good in any role he does) as producer/manager Dewey Hughes. Plus a small role for Martin Sheen as the head of the radio station WOL who, of course, is against the idea of Petey as a DJ from the start but grows to appreciate his talents. Cedric the Entertainer also makes an understated performance as a rival DJ (I didn't even KNOW "Cedric the Entertainer" and "understated" could possibly be in the same sentence?!).

It would have been interesting if the film focused more on Greene's later activism and I'm not sure why they minimized it, since that seemed to be the most interesting part, and not his trajectory to stardom/flameout as we've seen in every other Hollywood biopic. So the movie is engaging for about the first 2/3rds of the movie and then peters out in the end but it's a good film that should have had slightly bigger ambitions (I guess much like its lead character). Terrific acting and some nice production design and art work of 60's D.C. buoy the film from tedious biopic history-lesson territory.

Talk To Me = B or 7.5/10

More After the Jump...

Que Cera Cera

I swear I was going to post this last week but I've only had time now to finally watch it and post this, after everyone else has already done so, so now I just seem lame.

But whatever. Michael Cera can never get enough plugs.

Michael Cera and his friend Clark Duke have their own show online called Clark and Michael (and brought to you by CBS. CBS?!?) and it's hilarious and shows that Cera's run on Arrested Development wasn't a fluke and/or taught him well.

Can't wait for that movie he's doing with TV daddy Jason Bateman (plus Jennifer Garner (Alias), Ellen Page (X-Men 3), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Cameron Bright (X-Men 3), Daniel Clark (Degrassi: TNG), JK Simmons (Spider-Man) and Allison Janney (The West Wing), ! What a Cast!).

And can't wait for Superbad which I mentioned before! And it looks Supergood! I know. Same lame joke. I'm on lame streak here. Work with me.

I'm so proud of our Brampton boy!

More After the Jump...

Damnit, We Should Have Been More Organized

Damnit, here are the results from the Audience Awards in which Spring Awakening got 7, but not best Song (WTF?!?).

How can Legally Blonde's "Omigod, You Guys" beat ANY of the songs from Spring Awakening? What a travesty (you know, as opposed to world hunger or the death of our planet). Granted, I had a feeling it was going to happen since 4 songs from Spring Awakening made it to the nominations and would split the vote. Damn.

So Spring Awakening did well, but sometimes I'm not sure if that's a good thing since I basically disagree with almost everything else and realise; Man, people have bad taste. Wicked? Seriously, again? Les Mis is good but over A Chorus Line or the exquisite Company? I'm sad Evil Dead The Musical didn't get it but that's more our of shameless plugging duties (as I haven't seen In the Heights yet and since it's moving to Broadway, must be half decent). Everyone else that wasn't in Spring Awakening (and even Groffs win over Raul Esparza's surprises me a little and you know I love me some Jonathan Groff), was basically a name. Vanessa Redgrave? Ethan Hawke? Fantasia Barrino? Angela Lansbury? Too easy...

Here's the list of "winners":

Favorite New Broadway Musical
Spring Awakening

Favorite New Broadway Play
The Coast of Utopia

Favorite Broadway Musical Revival
Les Miserables

Favorite Broadway Play Revival
Talk Radio

Favorite New Off-Broadway Musical
In the Heights

Favorite New Off-Broadway Play
My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy

Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Musical
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening

Favorite Leading Actress in a Broadway Musical
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens

Favorite Leading Actor in a Broadway Play
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio

Favorite Leading Actress in a Broadway Play
Angela Lansbury, Deuce

Favorite Featured Actor in a Broadway Musical
John Gallagher, Jr., Spring Awakening

Favorite Featured Actress in a Broadway Musical
Orfeh, Legally Blonde

Favorite Featured Actor in a Broadway Play
Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia

Favorite Featured Actress in a Broadway Play
Tonya Pinkins, Radio Golf

Favorite Diva Performance
Kristin Chenoweth, The Apple Tree

Favorite Solo Performance
Vanessa Redgrave, The Year of Magical Thinking

Favorite Onstage Pair
Jonathan Groff & Lea Michele, Spring Awakening

Favorite Ensemble Cast
Spring Awakening

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Male)
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female)
Lea Michele, Spring Awakening

Favorite Replacement (Male)
John Tartaglia, Beauty and the Beast

Favorite Replacement (Female)
Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple

Favorite New Broadway Song
"Omigod, You Guys," Legally Blonde

Favorite Long-Running Broadway Show

Favorite Long-Running Off-Broadway Show
Altar Boyz
Shows with Multiple Wins:
Spring Awakening - 7
Legally Blonde - 2
Talk Radio - 2
The Coast of Utopia - 2

More After the Jump...

It's Getting Hot In Here, Let The Trash Odors Emanate

The last of the network season finales are tonight (spilled over from last weeks May Sweeps end) as both House on Fox at 9pm and Boston Legal on ABC at 10pm finish their seasons.

So I'll be throwing out a Best of TV List for the Fall 2006- Winter 2007 Season hopefully later this week if not early next week.

Then we get to fully concentrate on trash summer TV! Woopee! So You Think You Can Dance and Big Brother here I come! Maybe even Pirate Master if only for John, the Scientist/Chippendale Dancer. Yes, You read that right honey! He even LOOKS like a Chippendale dancer. Ew.

Traveler also starts tonight on CTV at 10pm and on their regular time slot tomorrow (Wednesdays) at 10pm on CTV and ABC (ABC will repeat the pilot at 9pm). I actually thought this was pretty good and deserved better than being slotted during this point of the year, but that's only based on the pilot.

More After the Jump...

Monday, May 28, 2007

iPod Music Playlist - Shut Up and Sing Edition

After playing them over a month, I'll finally admit that I love the new albums from Mika and Amy Winehouse, even though as people, they really really bug me.

I know Mika is apparently the next coming of (of what? I don't know), but I'm not buying and maybe it's his cockiness, but give me the Melinda Doolittle fake humility any day. He bugs me in interviews and he bugs me in his own videos but I will admit, his album Life in Cartoon Motion is mightily catchy and fun to listen to. Here's a homemade video courtesy of AfterElton of kids dancing to Mika's "Lollipop" which is just the cutest thing ever.

Amy Winehouse does NOT come across well in interviews. She does not come across the red carpet well. Usually I would support someone that likes to go "f u" against the grain of this popculture ritual but this girl really really bugs me and everytime she speaks, I want to yell "shut up". Yet I will finally admit that her album Back to Black is pretty good since I find myself listening to it more and more, but still. Amy Winehouse. Shut Up and sit properly please, crossing your legs might be nice, because it's too much information. Something other than a snarl would be nice too. Still, "Rehab" is totally fab. I know it came from the depths of your misery but whatev. I'm still not sure I believe that that singing comes from the same annoying rebel you portray yourself to be.

I've already blogged about Enrique Iglesias' song "Do You Know (Ping Pong Song)" and while I really have no opinion of Enrique, good or bad, I do like the addictive song, but seriously. Mike Boogie? In the video? Shut Up Mike Boogie. Janelle rules!

More After the Jump...

Heroes - Not Lost

Chapter 23 : How To Stop An Exploding Man

I forgot to comment last week about this but I finally saw this a few days after it aired, and did it suck as much as everyone said it did? Yeah, kinda. Worse, it didn't suck in a memorable way, it sucked in that, nothing really happened, nothing was really answered, nothing was really wrapped up, and it was all kinda... gasp... boring and forgettable. I seriously barely remember what happened now already.

Worse, Lost wrapped 2 days later with their blow-my-mind-out-of-this-island finale, which YES, I finally felt vinidicated after defeninding Lost all season, while I nitpicked away at Hereos flaws (fun, fast paced, yet leaves little room for character development, little room to care for anyone other than the Bennetts and Hiro and Ando, little room for deeper dialogue). I had to laugh thinking back to Tim Kring saying that Heroes was NOT Lost (in his defence against the then losing show) but as a blogger commentator (somewhere, can't remember where I read it now) put it, he should be so lucky. Seems like Lost wasn't, while Heroes was.

I liked the last minute ending with Hiro in Japan in the 1600's but overall, there were too many plotholes in the ending that unravelled the season's weaknesses that it left me cold. I knew there would be a backlash in Heroes season 2 but who would have thought it would have begun in the finale for Season 1?

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The Curiosity of Vance - Notes From The Inside Out Film Fest

So I checked out a few more films this past weekend, on top of Eleven Men Out and the really bad/tedious/film school quality shorts from last week.

Most notable was a Danish short called Three Summers (Tre somre) as part of the series Straight... To Bed and it stood out to me as one of my faves, and one of the most well done. It follows a 14 year old Thomas who accompanies his arguing parents to their summer house every summer and his relationship with his parents friend and summer house neighbour Jørgen. Directed by Carlos Oliveira, it sort of harked back to Eric Rohmer films from France or reminded me of some François Ozon shorts (though not as quirky or explicit), but was an amusing short tale told sparingly and surprisingly humane and impactful for a short about sexual powers.

Another Summer was probably next best, directed by Hong Khaou from the UK, essentially the partly overdone scene of two boys playing around where one comes out. Still, nicely done and surprisingly sweet and fresh considering the story.

There were 3 others shorts on the bill, yeah no definitely, Cabalerno, and Float all which were fine but nothing to scream about (good or bad).

Dead Boyz Don't Scream is just as bad as they set themselves out to be. Not campy enough to be campy fun, but bad enough to be bad but not bad enough to be good, but since they sort of know all this, you just sort of have to let it go. Gratuitous, pointless and painful to watch, yet sort of what I needed at the end of last week.

On the opposite end, the documentary Red Without Blue chronicles the lives of two identical twin brothers, Alex and Mark, both who are gay, both fall into drugs, attempt suicide together, are separated, and Alex realises that she is transgendered and begins the process to become Clair. Did I mention their parents separated and their mother lives with another woman but does not use the word lesbian to describe it? Yet is still extremely slow at accepting her children's sexual identification? Slightly long film, but hell, there's so many plot points to tell, it takes that much time as revelation after revelation is revealed, all in a non-exploitative, and moving way that was classily directed by Brooke Sebold, Todd Sills and Benita Sills. Kinda heart wrenching to watch but completely fascinating.

The Curiosity of Chance is sort of billed as a kind of John Hughes film of the 80's if Ducky were gay (Dan?). American Chance Marquis is already out and newly enters an international high school "somewhere in Europe" "sometime in the 80's" and befriends two other oddballs Hank and Twyla, a drag queen and the hunky school jock Levi, that he crushes on, all to battle against the homophobic football star (and this being in Europe, football means soccer to us).

Classic High School underdog comedy with a gay twist stuff, and while not as good as some predecessor (gay or straight) like Election, Get Real, or Beautiful Thing, it was cute enough led by an engaging lead Tad Hilgenbrink as Chance. Seems like actual Europeans played the other European students, which is a nice touch even though the heavy accented English got annoying at times. The hermetically sealed world of the international high school and the students life that replicates an American world was a little disorienting and almost annoying at times, though possibly slightly realistic (since my experience of living in Europe also did not include passing the Eiffel Tower or major tourist sites everyday and instead, was mostly bland living just like anywhere else). It was great seeing Chris Mulkey (Twin Peaks, Any Day Now) as Chance's military father and of course, a gratuitous casting of Brett Chukerman as Levi, the hunky jock who befriends Chance despite the ban from homophobic teammate Brad. Overall, a flawed movie that doesn't meet expectations and is not the next coming of the great romantic (gay) comedy (though has there been ANY good romantic comedies of late?) but amusing enough that makes for enjoyable viewing on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Even repeat viewings.

Three Summers (Tre Somre) = A- or 9/10
Summer = B or 7.5/10
yeah no definitely = C+ or 6/10
Cabalerno = C or 5.5/10
Float = C+ or 6/10
Dead Boyz Don't Scream = D or 5/10
Red Without Blue = A- or 9/10
The Curiosity of Chance = B- or 7/10

More After the Jump...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Degrassi's Spring Awakening - Video Clips

Good lord it's finally up (10 days late). The video clips from the Spring Awakening meets Degrassi: TNG Live Verbal Mash Up Town Hall hosted by Rosie O'Donnell (back in slightly happier times, today no longer with The View), and Zach Braff are up at the Teen AOL site.

Here are the links to each individual clip:

The Live Verbal Mashup Intro

Stressing Out

Who Am I?

Love Stinks

Click here for More Clips of Jonathan Groff
Click here for More Clips of Spring Awakening
Click here for More Recaps of Degrassi: TNG
Click here for more on Spring Awakening

More After the Jump...

Eleven Men Out - Movie Review

I caught this last night at the Inside Out Film Festival here in Toronto (the lesbian and gay film fest), and while it wasn't as big of a time waster as my previous nights outing (where I should have just stayed home and watched the finales for American Idol and Lost instead (OH MY GOD SO GOOD. I STILL CAN'T GET OVER IT) but damn me for trying to go out and get cultured), Eleven Men Out, which opens in North America apparently sometime in July (or August 24th?) this summer, and a film that I had been looking forward to, was not as good as I had hoped.

Strákarnir okkar, or Eleven Men Out is a Icelandic film about a star soccer player Ottar (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) who comes out, is banned from his team, joins an amateur team that happens to have 2 other gays, and slowly gets dubbed the gay team, with more gay soccer players joining, and more teams refusing to play them. Except, the movie doesn't deal with much of the actual politics, only using it as a backdrop to explore the reactions and relationships within his family, his ex-wife and his son.

I liked that they went straight into the premise, with Ottar's coming out to his team and the press right away, with no shame or after thoughts. He's gay so deal with it. Except of course, some people do and some don't and it's sort of the stereotypical coming out story only updated to a slightly more tolerant (but not totally) times. Ottar falls into a relationship almost immediately, his drunk ex-wife is more distraught that he won't sleep with her than that he's gay, and his son is angry about it, but not for being so much as gay but for expressing it publicly.

The movie is slightly a misnomer (in English at least) since while it follows the "gay" team throughout the season, we never actually see any games played, and we barely know any of the fellow teamates. The dialogue (or at least the translated subtitles, which I have a feeling didn't quite grasp the subtleties of the language) is a bit sitcom and stilted while the film itself is like every other European independent film with crossover appeal which helps give the simplistic dialogue and jokes a bit of weight, but unfortunately, not enough as a whole for the movie to work. The comedy comes from the clichés and the acting is wooden (or is that just how Icelandics are?) but there are some really nice moments and insights into living in Iceland and family dynamics, but the feelgood film as a whole is stunted in depressing realism, which is usually a nice touch, but somehow the imbalance here doesn't quite work. Not quite realistic enough, and yet not a fairytale fantasy either.

Eleven Men Out = C+ or 6/10

More After the Jump...

Ugly Betty - And Curtains

East Side Story - Season 1 Finale

Wait, did people not like this episode? Or did I just misread something as I tried to avoid spoilers about the finale while also wanting to know what people thought about it. I know, I'm sort of a whore for knowing things even as I try to keep it away from myself. You should see me at the dessert table.

Anyways, I finally had time to watch this so maybe I was still in an ABC high (after the Lost season 3 finale), but I really enjoyed the Ugly Betty finale.

Betty in heat with Henry,

Christina discovering Faye's Love Lair and getting drunk with Amanda in it, discovering Amanda is the daughter of Faye,

Claire escaping from prison (with so much more ease than Michael Scofield) with help from Yoga (Lorraine Toussaint no less, who strangely plays against what I'm used to seeing her as a sensible moderate woman on Any Day Now (which yes, I kinda liked for some reason)),

Betty confronting Daniel's new drug addiction (which was surrogate for his sex addiction),

Marc being sent to work for Fabia, then Wilhelmina making a trade for him back,

Justin doing ANYTHING but this time doing the school musical "West Side Story" which is all a gay boy could ask for (and if you must insist, a guest starring role for Kristin Chenowith.

Oh look. There is one! AS the dental hygienists' assistant),

just as Santos becomes part of the family (and just as we start liking him, man, poor actor guy, probably thought leaving Ugly Betty for Drive was a better career move. Oops), he gets shot.

Charlie comes back pregnant and steals back Henry. Plenty of strings all left hanging for season 2!

Other than Alex jumping back and forth between loving Daniel and being his enemy (I think this week, she went from enemy to friend again? I can't keep it straight anymore (no pun intended). Oh yeah, they crash in the car intended for Bradford.). I actually do like Rebecca Romijn as Alex but I don't think the writers know what to do with her now that she's out. Course, they could just car crash their way out... hmm...

And Bradford divorcing Claire to give Wilhelmina a giant flower ring? The rest of the finale was great and ended a great first season for Ugly Betty. Not perfect (that would be Friday Night Lights' first season), but pretty great which is rare enough for any show (even Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City and Entourage all had uneven first seasons).

While it had some lulls and misdirections (Ignacio anyone?), Ugly Betty was usually quicker in re-correcting its misdirection to land back onto it's narrow teetering path between campy soap and comedic drama, in part to some great snappy one liners delivered by a fabulous cast.

Bonus points for having sveltey voiced Vanessa Williams sing a song over a scene where Wilhelmina flashbacks to good memories of Marc, all in some weird satirical yet heartwarming scene.

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lost - Oh. My. GAWD

Through The Looking Glass - Season 3 Finale

Oh. My. Holy. Mary. Mother. of What. The. Heck. Goodness. Gracious. In. The. Name. Of. Charlie. Brown...




OH. MY...





Oh. My. God.

(I'll try to expand this in the morning after I process all this... The episode was already amazing up to 10 min before the ending...)


UPDATE: Okay, It's morning now. Still. Blown. Away. GENIUS I SAY. GENIUS!

I was already going to rapture lovely on the entire episode, as it seemed to deal with Charlie's impending death, Ben's loyalties, Alex meeting her real mom Rousseau, The Others' purpose, Walt's return (!!!), Jack saying "I love you" to Kate, Locke's loyalties all in an amazing fashion and then the realisation of Jack's flashbacks...

DAMN... I didn't think they would actually DO THAT!?!!??!!

I'm so impressed and I cannot WAIT for the final 48 episodes now (over the next 3 seasons).

More After the Jump...

American Idol - Who Is The Winner Really?

Season 6 Finals - Finale

And we have the new winner for American Idol. Jordin Sparks... eh, that was kinda anti-climactic...

But at least she will fit in well with Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Between the three of them, they kinda make a nice trio of Charlie's Angels. Meanwhile, we continue our search for a decent male winner for Idol (sorry, Taylor and Ruben don't count and their return just proved it).

Okay, back to Lost... (holy crap, what the HELL is going on on LOST? but it's so GOOD!)

I'll expand on this more in the morning...

In the meantime, poor Blakey will have to sit on the sidelines.

More After the Jump...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol - Final Two, Blake vs. Jordin, The Beats Vs. The Sweet

Final Two - Performance Night

A quick note before I go to bed.

Jordin seems poised to win now but I wouldn't be surprised if Blake did take it, but I won't make predictions.

Jordin is so sweet and is pretty great, though I don't think her voice is as perfect as they said it was (that honour goes to Melinda), but she has the poise to carry off a pretty good tune all with class and dignity.

Blake, well, is just awesome when he jumps around and entertains. Plus, I think I've fallen in love with his laugh and attitude, but while his vocals aren't perfect, I think he knows himself enough to pull off his performances most of the time.

So Blake rocked the two rounds in my opinion, but Jordin rocked the third. Except, that new song written specifically for the final was the same gloopy shit that suits a woman's voice far better than a man's, and particularly one with more soothing R&B Pop voice than Blake's more modern sound. I thought this song writing contest was supposed to yield something different this year? Not another poor man's "A Moment Like This" (already itself a poor man's version of any ballad by Diane Warren). The song totally leans towards someone like Jordin or Melinda so it was kind of an unfair disadvantage for Blake.

So, I would still prefer Blake Lewis to win just for his originality and that we hadn't had anyone like him yet, but Jordin Sparks would probably follow well in Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood's footsteps, even though it's a bit of a boring and obvious choice (and I mean that in the sweetest way).

More After the Jump...

Veronica Mars - A Show That's Out Of This World

Weevils Wobble But They Don't Go Down
The Bitch Is Back - Series Finale


Keith presumably loses the Sheriff race? All because of a spiteful Jake Kane (WHO IS BACK??? WHA?)? Will Jake Kane go down for "The Castle" by Nish who now holds the list of all it's members?

I thought I might be able to end Veronica Mars happily, accept the end while it still is on a quality high to join other short 3-4 season shows that gave us amazing years like Everwood or Arrested Development.

BUT I'M NOT READY TO LOSE VERONICA. I WANT MORE. OH I WANT MORE. I WANT THE LOVING WITTY BANTER BETWEEN KEITH AND VERONICA. I WANT TO SEE MORE OF THE FRIENDSHIPS BETWEEN VERONICA AND WALLACE AND MAC. I want more Vinnie Van Lowe shmarming his way through Neptune. I want re-occuring characters to re-appear so that re-evaluate mysteries, including mysteries we long thought were solved. I want the love stories to be messy and complicated and hurtful and loving with passion, which included Logan's exit leaving behind a torn ex-boyfriend who still cared for Veronica, enough to beat up her current boyfriend Piz (mistakenly) and the real culprit that had thrown an illicit video between Veronica and Piz up on the net.

But first, Eli Weevil Navarro is back, and in trouble for apparently running a fake student ID scam. Dick continues his emotional spiral for realising his part in Beavers ultimate demise and apologizes to Mac. Keith and Vinnie continue to spar for Sherriff. Veronica figures out the huge gang of the spoiled and rich elite that was in on the scam, pinning it on poor Weevil, but Weevil secretly takes hold of the evidence after he's off the hook. A sex tape of Veronica and Piz show up on the net and Logan assumes Piz did it and beats him up.

The tape is traced to a possible fraternity secret rush assignment, a secret frat like the Yale Skulls & Bones that Nish has been trying to track down and sue. Veronica out for revenge, uses Wallace for help in infiltrating the secret frat, which eventually gets Veronica back into Jake Kane's house, stealing a hardrive that Mac cracks to reveal all the members of the secret society The Castle, and all of each members dirty little secrets. Keith, realising that Veronica is on the track of a high powered society, does everything he sees fit to protect his daughter, which Jake eventually uses against Keith's Sherrifs campaign. Veronica doesn't really get back her comeuppance does she? The tape of her is still out, and while Nish will be able to take them down based on gender biased, The Castle's secrets will remain with Jake, after he'd probably alread ruined Keith's election. Veronica leaves walking in the rain.

Sigh... THAT'S IT??? And I mean that in a good way, as in I want MORE.

So alas, we leave Neptune. We leave with hauting memories of the darkness that happens to some of its residents including Lily Kane and Beaver Casablanca. We leave Neptune where someone like Sheriff Lamb could have reigned, Vinnie Van Lowe could be credible, and where a sleezy lawyer Cliff can actually be a handy one in the pocket. To great friends in Wallace and Mac, and great frenemies in Dick and in torrid affairs with Logan and sweet simple ones in Duncan and Piz. And we leave the incredible Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars, with her whipper snapper attitude and sassy style.

(Why do I sound like I'm writing a eulogy?)

More After the Jump...

Friday Night Lights on Sunday Summer Nights

Friday Night Lights returns to NBC starting this Sunday May 27th at 9pm. I'm not sure if they are starting from the beginning (but it would make sense). Either way. WATCH GODAMNIT. Watch my favorite new TV family the Taylors and all the townsfolk of Dillon, Texas in a funny, honest, deeply truthful portroyal of a pocket in America (and yes, I mean that in a good way).

It's the Best Show on TV. How many times do I have to say it?

If you STILL miss it, you can still catch Friday Night Lights online (in the US at least).

If you live in Canada, you can watch on Global on Wednesdays at 10pm.

If you don't watch this show, don't even dare complain to me that there's nothing good on TV (and while we're at it, you should have been watching Veronica Mars and Arrested Development too but too late now). So yes. Friday Night Lights, on SUNDAYS this summer. Seriously, it's not that hard folks.

More After the Jump...

More Electric Boogaloo! Just For You!

Here's 2 more promo photos I found that I didn't put up in last week's preview for High School Musical 2: Sing It All or Nothing! Seriously, why am I so excited about a Disney TV Movie? A SEQUEL to a Disney TV Movie? (Okay, well, Snow was totally cute (though mostly in part to Tom Cavanaugh's charm) and so was Celeste in the City (mostly in part to Majandra Delfino, Nicholas Brendon and Ethan Embry's charm), and I Want To Marry Ryan Banks (mostly in part to Emma Caulfield and Bradley Cooper's charm, and Jason Priestley's schmarm)). Still, it's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL! TWO!

More After the Jump...

No Heroes, Just Pirates

Okay, no Heroes recap, still no Ugly Betty, Grey's, The Office, or anything else because I'm way behind in TV and I have plans every night this week (except tonight at 8-10pm, but I'm going on a date with Veronica Mars for the last time), so instead, I bring you pictures from the Pirates of the Carribean 3: At World's End Premiere at Disneyland California where I strangely happened to be on Saturday (where I was killing time between the wedding and the reception, checking out Downtown Disney because I realised I was really close by). I wish I could say I was invited to the party but sadly, Johnny Depp doesn't return my calls. So here's some pics I randomly caught of the B, C and D list celebrities that just happened to pass by as I was checking out the place. No Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom. I must have just missed them. They must have known I was coming so made sure to get away from me fast, you know, because I have that restraining order for them to stay 100 ft away from me at all times. Orlando, STOP CALLING. I've Moved ON...

Bill Nighy (though I've seen him before)

Tom Hollander (sorry for the lack of focus)

Chad Michael Murray (!?? Why the hell is he here?)

Martin Landau

Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars. Hey, it's on ABC and part of the Disney family)

Steve Sanders! hahahahahaha (Ian Ziering)

More After the Jump...