Friday, February 29, 2008

So Who Do You Think The Hotties Will Be? - Canada Thinks It Can Dance Edition

They have finally officially announced it after the first hint of an announcement last fall!

So You Think You Can Dance Canada will start auditioning this spring in 5 cities!!!

Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax and one more unannounced city.

Auditions this Spring, to be televised this fall. Woohoo!!!

We finally got a Project Runway Canada (with a regal Iman as host). I always thought Canadian Idol on average, produced better winners than the American version (Kelly Clarkson not withstanding. No one touches her so move away bitches, although, David Archuleta gave me similar feelings when I saw his first audition and he's proved only better so far in the past 2 weeks). In fact, I denounced last years Canadian Idol yet I'm actually quite loving Brian Melo's new singles.

So I'll be interested to see what kind of dancing talent we have up here in the Great White North. If the ballet I went to earlier this week was any indication, we should have lots of good competition (and some hotties to look at!)!

Okay, I know Neil wasn't Canadian but he was from Buffalo just across the lake from Toronto. Close enough right?

For More on So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD
So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results
For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List
Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics

More After the Jump...

Who Are Those Hotties? - The Main Reasons To Have Watched Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle Edition

Cashmere Mafia - Dog Eat Dog - Ep. 107 - Season (Series?) Finale?
Lipstick Jungle - Nothing Sacred - Ep. 102, Pink Poison - Ep. 103

While I'm talking about hotties all week long, I decided to catch up with the Sex and the City replacements (let's face it, you can argue all you want that they are different but really, they are trying to replace it) and the bevy of hot men they stuff the shows with (and sadly, the best reason to watch both shows).

I finally caught up with the last Cashmere Mafia and while it is VERY far from perfect, I think I might actually miss it if it doesn't come back. They just can't end the show on Lucy Liu's Mia's butt as she's walking her new stinky dog in the park? Can it?

And although she basically killed off her relationship with Jason (Jack Yang) which was something refreshing to see, Mia was always a likable character, partly surprising since Lucy Liu is sometimes a hard nut to crack.

Then I still want to see more of Chris Beetem and see which way Caitlin decides to swing this week.

Plus, between casting Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole and throwing in Broadway up and comer (and hottie) Michael Arden (as he waits for The Return of Jezebel James to start at SOME point on Fox), the show has been kind to Broadway actors with guest spots for everyone who isn't filming guest spots on Law & Order.

And if Cashmere Mafia won't cast them, then you can probably find them on Lipstick Jungle where Xanadu's Kerry Butler is playing a sweet but secretly conniving bitch! (Compare that to her role in the musical Xanadu! Which you all should go see!)

While I never liked Lipstick Jungle as much as Cashmere Mafia, i will say the second and third episode haven't been as bad as the pilot but really, the best reason to watch Lipstick Jungle is for a guest spot from Robert Buckley (best known from the MyTV soaps like Fashion House which I actually caught a few times. Sad. I know).

Yes, total quality television. I think they've repeated the steamy scene between Buckley's Kirby and Nico (Kim Raver who was never that sweaty running around with Jack Bauer) about 12 times already within the 2 new episodes. It makes sense since it's the best part of the show.


Just to prove it to you, a couple more pictures after the jump to prove my point.

Thanks to Squarehippies for the Robert Buckley screencaps. Head there for even MORE screencaps, practically every 2 seconds worth it seems!

Honestly, I don't remember much from the rest of the show. Something about strong successful women?

More After the Jump...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who Are Those Hotties? No Really, WHO Are They? - ABC Thursday Edition (Lost and Eli Stone)

Lost - The Constant - Ep. 405
Eli Stone - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Ep. 104, One More Try - Ep. 105

Back in the original ABC Thursday schedule, we had the men surrounding Ugly Betty, from Marc (Michael Urie), Daniel (Eric Mabius), Henry (Christopher Gorham), Gio (Freddy Rodriguez), and of course, the little fave, Justin (Mark Indelicato). Grey's Anatomy is built upon women swooning over the hotties like Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), Karev (Justin Chambers), Sloan (Eric Dane), and George (T.R. Knight).

Now ABC replaces those guys with the men of Lost and Eli Stone and I'm loving it, and I can't wait for the post-strike episodes with new Betty and Grey's to create ABC's strongest lineup when Lost finally gets the 10pm slot vacated by the dismal Big Shots (which granted, did have it's share of hot men, and in fact, was the only reason to even have it playing on the television screen...oooh... Michael Vartan...). I wonder where the hotties from Scrubs might fit in (now that it might be moving to ABC?) and where Eli may get relegated to?

So this week on Lost we rewind just a bit back to the helicopter ride when Sayid, Desmond and Lapidus finally got to leave the island and we learn more about hottie Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick). Because really, what do we REALLY know about Desmond anyways? (Or anybody on this show for that matter?)

A storms-a-brewing and Desmond is now in the (Scottish?) army sporting a nice short cut with memories of a dream on the helicopter ride. When his mind gets back to the helicopter, he doesn't recognize Sayid anymore. They land on the ship where he's taken to a cell where Fisher Stevens has been hiding since Early Edition
(back when he was with Friday Night Lights hottie Kyle Chandler) as a bed-ridden George Mikowski (below) who is just as psychotic as a post-helicopter-ride-Desmond.

When Desmond is able to call Faraday back on the island, he's told to find Faraday(?), and to ask about Eloise. All before the shipmen try to stop the contact.

Short haired Desmond finds a long haired Faraday in a university, in what is now officially neither a flashback nor a flashforward (who knew Lost could come up with a THIRD option in storytelling?), and Faraday shows Desmond the rat named Eloise who completes a maze. A maze Faraday had just finished building and had used some time-traveling mind control to teach the rat to run the maze.

Good lord, what time is it? Time traveling mind control?

Back on the ship, George Mikowski knows who Desmond is, as he was the communications officer that communicated with Penny Widmore, wherein the shivers hit down my spine and entire body for this episode of Lost. Check. Shudder....

In the mindflash, Desmond sees the dead Eloise, figures out his own deadly future, and tries to call the one constant which doesn't work. The One Constant?

Then there's an auction and Caleb Bradford Meade Charles Widmore (Alan Dale, late of Ugly Betty!) is bidding on something, Desmond tracks him down, and is given Penny's address. What the f#$k is going on?

Desmond, Sayid and a crazed George are off to find the transmission room that had been ransacked, and just as they arrive, George passes out, bleeding to death out of his nose, much like what is going to happen to poor Desmond.

Back in 1996 (or Desmond's mind?), Desmond finds Penny (Sonya Walger) in her new place (as she's trying to get away from Desmond who had broken up with her), and asks for her phone number so that he can call her in 8 years.

Apparently, it's Dec. 24th 2004 on the ship now, and Desmond calls and Penny picks up and sounds excited!

The phone dies (don't you hate when that happens?) but after Desmond and Penny are able to confirm their love, but then back on the island, Faraday looks in his notes, to read that if things go wrong, Desmond Hume is HIS constant.

What the hell does THAT all mean? As usual, I'm so confused, but damn that was another great episode!

On Eli Stone, an entire show built around hottie Jonny Lee Miller, Eli finally breaks up with Taylor (Natasha Henstridge) and there she goes, joining the firm (I guess they had to keep her in the show somehow) along with the annoying Keith (Jason Winston George) who had tried suing Uncle Phil (James Avery) for race discrimination. Seriously, it was a nice plot twist that would have made more sense if I actually felt that Keith was a good lawyer and not just a whiny egotistical bitch (sorry, but Uncle Phil was right).

Meanwhile, they are finally giving Sam Jeager some lines and using his character Matt Dowd as his now-lesbian ex-girlfrend comes to him for help in a case of the lesbian breakup with her new no-longer-a-lesbian ex girlfriend suing for sole custody of their unborn child. Got all that?

This week, Eli is seeing choirs in court, and surfers in the office, all while he is forced to re-trial a case from his past when a guy in a wheelchair sued the SUV company for his accident. All while envisioning himself in Hawaii! Plus, I still love when he does his little dances to the songs in his mind. So cute!

And speaking of hotties this week, who was that guy that played the guy in a wheelchair?

So Eli must continue the work of old Eli and desecrate wheelchair guy, which of course goes against all of Maggie's moral value, and while I can see most people would get annoyed with Maggie's spunky positivity, it's a nice reminder to Eli of what the new Eli is all about (even though the point is hit on our head to the upteenth level).

Loved when Eli gave Maggie the realistic speech against her optimism, but loved it even more when he saw a vision of Patty (Loretta Devine) singing George Michael's "One More Try", THEN asking if she happened to be in a gospel choir. Loretta Devine always gives good sarcasm, but I'm not sure it's ever been combined with her Broadway diva skills. Patty happens to know where one of the insiders from his original case, so it's off to Hawaii Maggie and Eli go! Thus explaining Eli's Hawaii visions!

Meanwhile, Matt's lesbian baby case is a losing case when a waiver was found, but it's basically a case to humanize the frat boy womanizer Matt (above with Keith) and to help us actually like Sam Jeager for once (and I'm actually buying).

Meanwhile, Eli gets the info from the insider whistleblower of being bought off by the SUV company and the firm, finally going tete-a-tete with Martin Posner (Everwood's Tom Amandes) but Eli stands his ground, making Maggie proud!

Except, how DID Patty know where the whistleblower engineer was? GASP, she and Posner were together 5 years ago? She broke up with him because of what he did on this case. Seriously, Harold Abbott and Loretta Devine? This gives me a whole new

So even though Eli won his case, someone is looking into disbarring Eli after his outbursts and odd actions in court.

The drama is upping, and I'm starting to care about the characters after already loving the cast for their former roles in favorite shows.

I hope ABC will find a slot for Eli Stone when all the regular shows come back. I need my Jonny Lee Miller fix, not to mention the odd joy I still get from the mixing of Tom Amandes with Victor Garber with Julie Gonzalo with Matt Letscher with Loretta Devine, plus Laura Benanti and now Sam Jeager (man, I'm so easy, aren't I? Wait, don't respond to that).

More After the Jump...

Who Are Those Hotties? - Dancers Edition (Theatre and Ballet Reviews)

Umoja - Elgin Theatre - Toronto, ON
An Italian Straw Hat - The National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts - Toronto, ON

I finally caught Umoja, the "South African Musical Hit", after what seems like their upteenth time in Toronto, and while the show is less a musical than a musical revue through the history of the music and dance of South Africa, it was definitely energetic with dancers of all sizes, and many times in some sort of state of undress. My kind of show! Plus it works perfectly with my Hottie theme for the week (here, here, and here).

There were moments when they actually seemed to try to stick a bit of a narrative in between musical numbers of African chant, South African gospel (different than the gospel you think of from the southern states), and everything in between, but they could have left the "story" out (even though I usually hate revues and prefer stories) and just kept to what the show did best, which was the amazing dancing and the chorus of magnificent voices, with a particularly strong cast of women's voices who also danced up a storm.

Still, the men, with their lower ranged voices made for great background music, and their abs were hard to miss (and even worked their way into an entire joke segment)!

Now, in an interesting, if not sadly stereotypical note on society, the audience for Umoja was mostly black, where on the other side of town, going to the The National Ballet of Canada's performance of the comedic ballet (!!!???!!!) An Italian Straw Hat was mostly in an opera house full of whites (oh sorry, Caucasian). Which is too bad because both are interesting cultural showcases for some of the best in dance, black or white (oh sorry, Caucasian).

And what a dance! Hottie principal dancer Guillaume Côté (above, alternates the role with Nehemiah Kish and Piotr Stanczyk) plays the dashing groom-to-be Ferdinand, whose horse, eats a straw hat, a hat that belonged to a married woman having an affair, whose cuckolded older husband is looking for her, and thus, Ferdinand must find a replacement hat to save the woman from being discovered, all while his own bride, her father, and the entire wedding party, follow him around Paris as he tries to find An Italian Straw Hat (choreographed by James Kudelka).

Ridiculous, yes! Madness! A total set up for lots of running (well, dancing in this case) around, doors opening and closing full of comedy of errors! A total farce! A comic affair and something I never pictured ballet could do, but the beautiful music (by Michael Torke) combined with hilariously whimsical choreography that harks to the comedy of Looney Tunes, it makes for a dance performance that is unexpectedly joyous, light and frothy!

And what dancing! What costumes and what sets (by Santo Laquato)! Sets that hark back to the paper architectural models I used to have to make in architecture school only overblown onto the giant opera stage, with boldly outlined features, that just sets the stage up perfectly for the comic ballet perfectly! (Link to a video trailer, more photos and my star rating after the jump below).

What amazes me, other than the technical dancing skills are the emotive acting coming from the dancers faces, who are able to wordlessly convey the whole story with ease. There's a reason the handsome Guillaume Côté is a star with The National Ballet of Canada, and it's a combination of his skills, good looks and the fact that he has an extreme likability that conveys from the stage (which was essentially my criticism of Danny on Season 3 of SYTYCD).

Rebekah Rimsay as the naughty maid Virginia, stood out with her hilariously duos with Piotr Stanczyk's Felix as they essentially, try to do it whenever they can as everyone else runs around then. Kevin D. Bowles is terrifically comical and limber as the cuckolded husband, and Jennifer Fournier as Clara, the jilted ex held her bitchy character to boot all just with a look in her eye, a certain strength in her steps and a flit of the wrist.

Here is a video trailer preview of An Italian Straw Hat.

The National Ballet of Canada has a great program for those 29 and under to get $20 tickets on the day of (starting at midnight on their website) under their program DanceBreak (and when asked for promo code, it's "Dancebreak" which they never seem to mention).

Both shows only run in Toronto until this Sunday, March 2nd. And on some weird irony, the ballet is co-sponsored by CTV, the television network. That's irony no?

Umoja - ***1/2 (3.5 stars out of 5)
An Italian Straw Hat - The National Ballet of Canada - ****1/2 (4.5 stars out of 5)

Here are my previous reviews from visits to The National Ballet of Canada:

West Side Story Suite & Glass Pieces & In The Night ****1/2
The Merry Widow ****

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Who Are Those Hotties? - American Idol Hairdo's Edition

Top 20 Week - Top 10 Boys Performance Night

Okay, I may as well just make it a theme this week, so apologies to the straight boys (I'll stick some photos of Eliza Dushku or uh, who is hot these days?).

So who got better this week? Who got worse? Who do I still love? Does the level of their performances stem from the decency of their hairstyles? Considering Colton Berry and Garrett Haley were kicked off last week, I say America does not want to see a bad hairdo anymore. The hotter the hairdo and the look, the hotter the performance?

And can anybody top David Archuleta at this point? (Oh wait, was that a bad choice of words?)

(I'll try to add more current photos of last night later today)

Michael Johns, who I loved last week, dropped a few notches this week with a bland performance. He's got a good Tim Daly face but with a clean cut hairdo, he would be smashing!

Jason Castro. Um. How do I say this to not sound completely racist. Anyways, I don't even remember the song or performance because I had to turn away from the hair. Dude, you're white. You're not even on vacation. You can't get away with it anymore.

I didn't think it was excellent but I didn't mind Luke Menard's Queen song this week. Maybe it's just cause he's pretty. I'm very shallow that way (hence, the theme of this week). Hair? The whole look including the stubble could distract from any flaws in the performance. Well done!

Robbie Carrico: Bad Hair = Bad Performance. Man, that was tedious. Tedious to look at. Tedious to hear.

I didn't mind Danny Noriega, though I know his hair is "done" up but I'm not digging the skateboard with style do. I'm wavering on Danny.

David Hernandez. Clean cut, clean song. A bit bland and safe but it works, so why risk it? I'm talking both the haircut and the performance.

As for the other clean cut dude, Jason Yeager, he who has the little blonde streak in his hair, with the clean cut boy next door look. For a straight dude, it's kinda gay, and so was his very straight performance, it was kinda adorably gay as he tried way too hard to be hip, which made the whole thing kinda embarrassing yet lovable. Hmm... just like the hairdo.

So last week I hated Chikezie. This week, he went for a strong and simple performance, straight up R&Bish which he pretty much rocked! There's not much to his hair, pretty simple super short cut, which made him look crisp. Ha, Simon notes how much better he looks, and how much better he sounded. See? My theory continues to work!

David Cook looks like he needs to wash his hair not just NOW but like 3 weeks ago. I don't mind the scruffier look but since it looks like he's thinning on top, it's starting to look like a combover where he's trying to fake it by hiding blankness. Okay, I could pretend my theory works here with his fake rock & roll performance but to be honest, I didn't totally hate it and thought it was okay actually. Okay, the hairdo theory rule fails me now. Shoot.

And finally, THE HOTTIE of this season, my favorite at this point (and apparently the audiences based on the screams) who I've already inappropriately fawned over in the past week TWICE, David Archuleta! (The Video of his performance is after the jump:)

Seriously, clean cut hair that is adorably suitable. Hands down the best performance. Holy, he should just win this thing now before it gets dragged on way too long. I don't want to see the other hairdo's anymore. I'll stick with this face:

So, obviously, David Archuleta is tops.

Chikezie and Danny Noriega went up in my books this week.

Hated Jason Castro, Robbie Carrico last week, hated them this week.

David Hernandez, Luke Menard, Jason Yeager, Michael Johns, still a'ight. The looks buys them time. They all sort of evened out to the middle for me (David stayed the same, Luke went up to the middle, Jason went up to the middle, Micheal went down to the middle).

David Cook went up.

Who is going to be bottom this week? (Seriously, I need a better choice of words here) My guess, either Jason Castro or Robbie Carrico and then one of either David H. Luke, Jason Y, or Michael.

Though does it really matter? David Archuleta is just going to win this whole thing anyways.

Here are the other Hotties from this week:

Canada Thinks It Can Dance Edition
ABC Thursday Edition (Lost and Eli Stone)
Dancers Edition (Theatre and Ballet Review)
American Idol Edition
Spring Awakening Replacement Edition
Jon McLaughlin at the Oscars Edition

More After the Jump...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hunter in Spring? (Who Is That Hottie - Replacement Edition?)

Hunter Parrish (Weeds) is apparently going to replace Jonathan Groff in Spring Awakening? (starting in May apparently? along with a new Moritz to replace Blake Bashok (Lost) who is already a replacement for Tony winner Jon Galagher Jr.)

I'm saddened and intrigued. Intrigued about Hunter Parrish (who knew he could sing?) even though there's the slow slope to stunt casting (please don't do like Chicago) but more sad that Jonathan Groff will finally be leaving Spring Awakening (but to go do Hair at the Park!).

Still, I just think of Hunter Parrish as Silas Botwin, the confused teen on Weeds and the white boy in Freedom Writers. Oh wait. This just might work.

UPDATE: Apparently word is now that it's some unknown student still in university that will take the Melchior role. (Apr. 1 2008 Not a joke but unconfirmed)

UPDATE 2: Apparently now, Canadian singer/songwriter Kyle Riabko mentioned at his concert last night that he's getting the role. Damn, it's already on his wikipedia page too! He appeared in Season 4 of Instant Star which has yet to air. (Apr. 17 2008) UPDATE: Rumour is that he's in the National Tour but will go to Broadway until it begins. (Apr. 22 2008)

So I guess that means Daniel Clark (Degrassi:TNG) did not in fact get the gig (after at least 4 auditions?)? Unless he's up for the touring production.

UPDATE: Incidentally, Groff's Spring co-star Lea Michelle will appear in the Hollywood Bowl concert of Les Mis this summer (as Eponine) with The Office's Melora Hardin (as Fantine) and a bevy of Broadway stars including Rosie O'Donnell (Madame Thernardier), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Javert), J. Mark McVey (Jean Valjean), and Aaron Lazar (Enjolras).

See also
One Jonathan Groff To Live
One More Jonathan Groff To Live
No More Jonathan Groff To Live
Broadway Marathon
I Only Stalk Celebrities (Like Jonathan Groff) on Broadway

More After the Jump...

Who Was That Hottie? - Jon McLaughlin Edition

Loved Amy Adams performing at the Oscars, it was nice to see Kristin Chenowith break out from the Tony's and into the Oscars, with both lovely ladies doing Enchanted songs (and hopefully we will see Kristin at the Emmy's for Pushing Daisies), and loved the Once song (and the win) but all the girls were asking on Monday... who was THAT GUY that sang that last Enchanted song "So Close"?

I'm glad Jon McLaughlin got a bit more of the limelight, singing the Disney ballad that harked back to the mini-renaissance of the good Disney musicals back in the early 90's, but really, I'm just glad we got to see Jon McLaughlin! Yes I'm shameless! Don't you know that already?

I loved his song "Beautiful Disaster" last year enough that I put it on my Best of Music 2007 list, and then he appeared in the background singing "So Close" in the movie Enchanted that was just soooooo dreamy... (I found the clip online, it's after the jump, though I'm sure it'll be taken down soon enough) which he re-created for the Oscar telecast earlier this week.

More pictures and the video clip from the movie after the jump:

Here's a link to Jon McLaughlin's other new single "Industry".

Here's a video of Jon McLaughlin's song "For You From Me" from Indiana as a video tribute to Indianapolis:

More After the Jump...

Monday, February 25, 2008

The 2008 Oscars - Yay! Norbit didn't win!

Did anybody tell the stylists, PR agents and fashion experts that the writers strike was over and the Oscars were back on? Because apparently no one was doing their job.

Or they couldn't find a nice dress in 3 weeks? Because was it me or was there more hideous outfits than recent years, great for us armchair critics and Joan Rivers, bad for glamour and the designers.

Not one outfit wowed me, at best, they didn't make the actress look totally horrible or anything.

As for the winners, no huge surprises in the male categories or the main ones. Thank god Norbit did not win (for Makeup, La Vie En Rose took the honours).

I yelped a big yay when Tilda Swinton won (for best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton), then yelped again with fright when I saw her dress (if that's what you can call it).

Even though I thought both Julie Christie (for Away From Her and Ellen Page (for Juno) both deserved to win, it was nice to see Marion Cotillard win in her star-in-the-making moment (and also rounds out all the acting categories to foreign winners. Did anybody notice that? The Americans were shut out in the acting awards). Still, it was a strong year for women in the acting categories because almost anyone could have won in the Best Supporting Actress or Best Actress category and I really wouldn't be able to object. (Considering my usual favorite Laura Linney (for The Savages seemed sidelined in the race shows what a great race this year was, and that's not even including everyone that had been shut out of the race, including Keri Russell for Waitress, Amy Adams for Enchanted, Jennifer Garner for Juno and I'm sure a few others that I just can't think of right now).

What did people think of Jon Stewart? I mean, I love the man and I love The Daily Show and he did a decent funny job but it wasn't grand or memorable (topical and self effacingly funny yes and some great deadpans but I long for those big sweeping comedic jokes of Billy Crystal years that no one of recent times have seemed to hit.

As for the predictable No Country For Old Men wins for many of the major categories, it made for an unexciting evening especially since it was more of a movie that I respected and thought was technically well made than a movie that I LOVED and I find myself moving away from my old arty ways and back into the populist sentiment so I had secretly hoped Juno or even Atonement would win. Thought No Country For Old Men was great but it wasn't my favourite movie of 2007 (that would have been Ratatouille actually. Which should have been nominated for Best Picture but was relegated to winning Best Animated Feature instead.

I finally saw 2 of the documentary features that were nominated and of course neither wins even though I felt both deserved to. (Taxi to the Dark Side won)

Neither Canadian Short Animated Movie won, even though I thought I Met The Walrus would probably win, and Madame Tutli-Putli should have won, but instead, Peter and the Wold won.

Except for the song from August Rush, I loved all the songs (all from movie musicals, 3 from Enchanted, 1 from Once) but it was still nice to see the Once people (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) win (for "Falling Slowly") and it was even better when Marketa Irglova got to finish her acceptance speech after being initially cut off. It was a good year for musicals and I hope they bring more out.

Anyways, another year, another Oscar telecast and while there were no tragedies like Crash winning, I think that year still left enough of a bitter taste that the subsequent years have been a lot less fun to watch, even though there have been less egregious picks (and in fact, are pretty damn good picks that seem to favour smaller quality films rather than the old big bloated Hollywood styled "Oscar" type films). It also didn't help that it was one of my worst years for catching up on as many Oscar nominated movies so I still haven't seen a lot of the picks so thus, can't actually judge for myself and get excited about any one in a category.

Oh well, I'll get excited again when I'm up for a nomination. Give me 10 years.

For my Best of Movies 2007 List which is always being updated as I see more films, check here.

Photo of No Country For Old Me win from Monica Almeida/New York Times

Photo of 4 Actor winners from Associated Press

More After the Jump...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

TV Blog Coalition - What IS on TV?

There's not that much on TV these days that's worth my while but even still, I'm falling behind as life is getting a bit messy, hence the sporadic blogging that will probably continue for a while. So instead, I turn it over to the other TV bloggers in the blogosphere:

Buzz wondered if a movie version of The Wire would be a good idea. (BuzzSugar)

Sandie shared a preview clip from the new season of FX's DIRT. (Daemon's TV)

The return of live American Idol makes Mikey nostalgic for the TV of yesteryear. (Mikey Likes TV)

Marcia considered whether Ashes to Ashes was a worthy successor to Life on Mars. (Pop Vultures)

Rae dissected what she liked and disliked about the Knight Rider movie and admits she'd probably still give it a shot if NBC picks it up. (RTVW)

Dr. Abbott, Ed Stevens, Ms. Hendricks, Mac’s roommate, The Shredder, Uncle Phil, and George Michael? Sign Scooter up for more episodes of Eli Stone even if ABC won't. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Cover your ears, TV fans. Jennifer couldn’t contain her anger and ranted against NBC for canceling Las Vegas. (Tube Talk)

The TV Addict helps pitch FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS to the CW, TNT and SCI FI (the TV Addict)

Vance LOVES Lost even though he is completely lost while trying to follow the show. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace was underwhelmed by Knight Rider, entranced by Lost, and hungry for more of BBC's culinary competition, Last Restaurant Standing. (Televisionary)

Dan dug up some reality show contestants' porno past, including folks from Survivor and American Gladiators. (TiFaux)

Raoul interviewed Mary from Survivor (TV Filter)

More After the Jump...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Over and Out - Jesse L. Martin, American Idol, and Raul Esparza

Jesse L. Martin is leaving Law & Order. What's most shocking about this news is that he is leaving after nine years on the show. NINE. 9. NINE???

ALREADY??? Jesse L. Martin was on for THAT long? Really? Where has the time gone?

The good news is that he's moving on to things that will showcase his AMAZING singing voice again (next up, playing Marvin Gaye in a movie). Yay! The bad news: we may never get that musical episode of Law & Order they clearly should have done when Jerry Orbach was still alive. I mean, every guest star is already a Broadway star, so it's not like they didn't have the talent? They could have rectified the mistakes of Cop Rock!

Meanwhile, I tried watching the girls (try to) sing on American Idol Wednesday night but after the first tedious hour, I ended up turning to where the REAL talent was, on Great Performances showing of Company even though I was taping it on PVR AND VCR (I take no chances) and I had already seen it live 3 times before. There was the real showcase for amazing talent, where the cast sang AND played the instruments while acting. Serious talent!

Except, the camera angle edits threw me off a bit. I guess that happens when I'm used to seeing a show live.

Either way, Raul Esparza, live or not, was STILL mesmerizing and even though I've been told he's a bit of an asshole in real life (not to mention having a messy private life with his wife and gay lover?!?), the Tony Award was stolen from him last year.

Also while I'm swearing, what the hell. I can't believe PBS censored bleeped out (or actually, just muted) some of the words in the MUSICAL. Really? Must we really alter art? (Yes. It's art).

So "Christ" was not allowed. "Bitch", "Ass" and "Jesus" was fine. "F#%k" of course was not. Really? "Christ"?

Anyways, in the lackluster season (or week 1 of the usually good part I should really say), 4 people got voted off Idol this week and I could barely tell you who they were at this point (the big black girl who was NO Mandisa, Colton my-name-sounds-like-a-gay-porn-star Berry, and 2 other people that were sadly not Chikezie) at this point since everyone blended together except for my current stand out favorite, David Archuleta (above). (Michael was good too but just watch David's performance after the jump. ADORABLE). I'm still not sure it's enough to convince me to watch again this year but maybe I'll tape the episodes and just fast forward until David A. performs.

More After the Jump...

Definitely, Maybe - Definitely A?, B? - Movie Review

Definitely, Maybe
Written and Directed by Adam Brooks

I must be getting soft or something (and not just in the belly area where you can poke me and I'll "hee hee" like the Pillsbury Doughboy... hee hee) but while the academic movie lover in me could probably pick apart Definitely, Maybe until it falls apart under it's own contrived, meandering "realistic" weight (not to mention the heavy pro-Clinton campaign with a nostalgic look back at the 90's), but if I gave 27 Dresses a good grade, I must be feeling pretty generous and sappy because I absolutely loved Definitely, Maybe for heading toward every romantic cliche and then always avoiding crashing into them, veering off into somewhere that actually felt like a story of a real man written by one person, rather than some committee of Hollywood producers.

Of course, the movie is produced by Working Title films (Love Actually, About A Boy, Bridget Jones Diary and produced by the same people who are famous for all the British romantic comedies that mix smarts and intelligence with charm and the happy endings often missing from Hollywood romantic comedies of late, and while Definitely, Maybe mixes How I Met Your Mother while it tries to be the About A Boy except with a girl kid this time around, the ever adorably precocious Abigail Breslin (who somehow avoids being kid-actor-creepy).

And if the reeled in Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, holding back his full goofiness to ooze grown up charm (although it took a while for me to buy him as Abigail's father), doesn't make you totally swoon, the bevy of my favorite underused actresses will. Ryan Reynolds retells the tale of the three ladies in his life, all possibilities as his daughter's mother, and Elizabeth Banks (above with Reynolds, Scrubs, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Invincible), Isla Fisher (The Wedding Crashers, The Lookout), and Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener, The Mummy, About A Boy).

I've been a huge fan of Elizabeth Banks, a beautiful woman who can play crazy comedy then flip back to everywoman charm, and she deserves to be a bigger star than she is.

Rachel Weisz is about the only person from The Mummy that has managed to keep my respect (and get an Oscar nomination), and it's fun to watch her play a woman that is partly attached to her prof. (Kevin Kline) yet intrigued by the idea of Will Hayes.

Then there is Isla Fisher. Real life partner to Borat/Sacha Baron Cohen and scene stealer in The Wedding Crashers but she's a real revelation here and is simply intoxicating in probably one of her most normal roles to date. (On a side note, Isla Fisher looked remarkably like another recent revelation, Amy Adams, who both hold a similar enrapturing charm with Adams as the pristine naive charmer and Fisher as the one with the naughty streak, both MUST get cast in something as sisters at some point soon!).

There's some sidetracking along the way with campaigns for Bill Clinton, a token black best friend (Derek Luke), and lots of back and forth keeping us "guessing" about who the real mother is, but Adam Brooks keeps everything quietly in check, with very few gimmicks in a film that sounded like it would be loaded with them, and the movie ends up simply letting us follow along the charms of Reynolds (um, I've actually liked him since Pizza Parlor days) through a meandering tale that kept turning right as I thought it was about to veer into romcom cliche territory and in the end, I definitely loved the whole affair. No maybe's about that.

Definitely, Maybe = A-

More After the Jump...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lost - Kate and Allies

Eggtown - Ep. 404

Locke is making eggs for an imprisoned Ben. Ooh, eggs, I love eggs. I can eat eggs anytime of the day. Speaking of which, maybe I'll go make some. Eggscellent! Some brain food to help me figure this whole enigma of the show as I take my notes to help myself understand Lost.

Kate is still stuck with Sawyer and then we flash forward to future Kate and her whole trial for all the bad things she did before getting stuck on the island. Oh, I guess I was wrong. I tried.

So it's a Kate episode. Yay! I know most people seem to hate Kate episodes and Kate but personally they intrigue me. Maybe it's because Evangeline Lilly is Canadian. We're a tight country here!

So after Kate meets with Miles who wants a minute with "you know who" for information on everything he knows about her.

And apparently, there actually IS more to know about her, as her future lawyer (Shawn Doyle, doing good since his CDN television days) advises her to use her son to save her defense case. EXCUSE ME? Meanwhile, back on the island, Kate is fearful of connecting with Claire's baby Aaron.

So instead of Kate's son, Jack is brought as a character witness, where his cross examination reveals that he does not love Kate, at least, not anymore. OOOOOOOOOOOH.

Back on the island, Kate asks Sawyer for help to bust Ben out. But before Sawyer and Locke could consult (with Sawyer sweetly asking for Locke to keep Kate safe), Kate and Miles are running in the dark and busting Ben out themselves, or at least I think so since it was too dark for that whole sequence to tell.

All that so Miles can extort Ben for $3.2Million to keep his location a secret. What the? Apparently someone wants Ben, and someone wants to know he's alive. But Miles knows his stuff, and knows all about Katherine Ann Austin and all of her priors.

Locke catches Kate and Miles, and Kate is no longer welcome in Eggsville.

Back in the future, Kate's mom (Beth Broderick) appears, as the main witness against Kate, and she's sick, been dying for 4 years, and willing to not testify but wants to see her grandson.

Now Sawyer is shirtless back on the island as Kate tells him of her banishment by Locke.

Jack is trying to call the boat but getting nothing and interrupts Charlotte and Daniel playing a memory game (and apparently Daniel's memory sucks, getting only 2 out of the 3 playing cards correctly memorized, except, personally, I feel his pain because that's about my own memorization skill level). Charlotte gives Jack a secret in-case-of-emergency number for the boat which they call, to find out how Sayid and Lapidus might be doing, but they know nothing about the helicopter, thinking that it was still with them on the island. Holy time warp batman!

Miles is tied up and hung in some shack as Locke shoves a live grenade in his mouth, with Miles bite as the only thing preventing the explosion. Sweet Jesus, isn't Miles supposed to be a new character for this season?

Kate is in bed with Sawyer and tells him that she's not pregnant (oh sure).

Is it Jack's? Kate gets a deal for 10 years probation and time served when the prosecution's case falls apart, and gets to escape through the garage, where Jack's there to meet her, in a hello-Emmy-can-you-see-us emotional performance where the two hints at the past, a possible future, and the child that keeps them apart (oh, because Jack lied on the stand).

So Kate is free! A free to return to her blond son, Aaron. SAY WHAT??? Now that was the wrong egg that never occurred to me.

More After the Jump...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Broadway on TV

OMG, I almost forgot. Tonight on Great Performances (9-11:30pm but check local listings), most PBS stations (except Buffalo of course which feeds the Toronto area too UPDATE. They ARE showing it! They must have changed the schedule in the past 2 weeks sometime) is airing a taped performance of one of my favorite musicals, Company, a revival production that opened on Broadway in 2006 and closed last year. I loved it so much that I ended up seeing it 3 times. It starred Raul Esparza pre-Pushing Daisies and a tremendously talented cast that acts, sings, sort of dances AND plays the instruments to become the orchestra as well. Director John Doyle used the same device with Sweeney Todd but I found thematically, it seems to work better in Company.

If you don't know what Company is about, think a male perspective of Sex and the City that was way before its time. Where a 35 year old man looks at the lives and relationships his friends has, as they look at his. Simple but emotionally draining and hilarious.

And on Monday, Feb. 25th (8-11pm), ABC airs the Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun. It's actually a TV movie adaptation but with the Broadway cast in tact (including Phylicia Rashad, Audra MacDonald, Sanaa Lathan and P. Diddy or whatever he goes by this week) and John Stamos (John Stamos? with Phylicia Rashad and Sean Combs? What an odd cast). (Promo Photo after the jump). Here's a link to see a promo video trailer.

More After the Jump...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

America, Should I Do Idol?

It's the Top 24 finally this week and this is usually when I join in but I'm dubious this year. Should I do American Idol this year? I caught some of the auditions and bits and parts of Hollywood week and about the only person that I remotely could have picked out to be a Top 10 was David Archuleta.

So the top 12 boys performed tonight, and it was getting tediously mundane with no one even remotely interesting to entice me to come back this year... until cutiepie-jailbait-make-me-feel-like-a-dirty-old-man David Archuleta sang and was by far better than anybody else so far. Now I'm actually excited for someone! Then he became more adorable when he spoke before and after and I just want to squeeze those cheeks! Adorable!

As for the rest:

Looks good, sounds good, really boring: David Hernandez, Jason Yeager (above, what's with the blond streak? Wasn't that so 10 years ago? Speaking of which, how old is his kid? If he's 28, when did he have the kid?), Luke Menard,

Thought would be bad, was actually a'ight: David Cook, Colton Berry

Simon was right, they were totally cringeworthy: Chikezie, Danny Noriega

I would have already forgotten about them if I didn't want to scream "Please get a haircut, trailer trash is NOT back "in" and it does NOT make you "rock"": Robbie Carrico, Garrett Haley, Jason Castro (did I miss something? Why did all the judges love his performance?)

Looks good, Sounds good, Is good: David Archuleta, Michael Johns

So there you have it, the best two men was the youngest and the oldest (David A. and Michael, the Tim Daly look-a-like).

So both Chikezie and Luke Menard auditioned before and never made it. Why would this year bode better? That's not a good sign when former rejects now make the Top 24. It's never turned out well in previous years.

I'm not sure if the girls will fare any better since none stood out from what I've seen so far. Oh crap, will David A. and Michael suck me back in, even when everyone else was pretty boring?

More After the Jump...

Oh Brother.

Um, how did I forget to mention that Daddy Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) was on Brothers & Sisters as well this week? And that he's being coyly set up to be Saul's new boyfriend?

What the?

Daddy Mars and Sloan? An item? As Dan from TiFaux informed me of the pairing, that's just... weird.

Anyways, other than meeting the fantastic Liz from GlowyBox and Dan from TiFaux in person (who were even cooler and attractive in person than I could have hoped but I guess it makes sense since it matches their awesome blogs and I'm not just saying that to suck up), my life is a changing a bit this week as I start a new job today, one where I might actually have to do some work (and not blog all day because I know I can get away with it... ahem). So I may be a little sporadic in my blogging over the next while (at least there isn't that much new TV to report on anyways), especially this week since I've been slowly moving into my new place over the last two weeks but now I must REALLY make the final move, now that I have to start working again (ah, nothing puts pressure on procrastination like time running out)(and that's in addition to my weekend side gig) and the pressure is on.

On the good news side, it's on a project with a two time Oscar winner and a critically acclaimed indie movie director. The bad news is that I'm still just a small plebe in the clogs of the movie biz so it won't be me standing at the Oscar podium in 2010. (You'll just have to wait until about 2018 to see the real me, I'll find a way! Even if I have to rush the stage).

So I guess with a (most likely) future scheduling conflict, I won't be returning to the Canadian TV show I was working on (which I will publicly say was NOT Battlestar Galactica just to save people the possible excitement and then letdown (sorry Dan, plus, technically BS is not Canadian. Our budgets would only allow for Battlestar A Bit)) for the past 2 years (just after I started this blog) so I'm not sure what's going to happen this year. Then again, I did start this blog on a previous film (with 2 Oscar nominees in front of the screen and one behind! Just saying) and we were bored out of our minds then (everything was actually going right so my job of essentially being there for emergencies basically gave us a lot of free time) so maybe I will have the time here, though it's not sounding like it.

More After the Jump...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Brothers & Sisters - Sing It, Don't Say It

Compromises - Ep. 212

I don't really have much to say this week except basically the same thing, any scenes with Kevin and Scotty and co. (Sarah and her new gay best friends (Scotty's friends who think Kevin is a bit stiff)) were hilariously fantastic.

Rachel Griffiths thankfully makes the could-be-tedious divorce stuff into something genuinely touching and while I'm still not sure if I buying her chemistry with Steven Weber's Graham, (I think I still would have liked to see her with that one-night-stand that got locked blocked instead since there was major chemistry going on there), Griffith's makes anything interesting.

Kevin should never karaoke again. But Scotty was adorably tolerant about it.

Side question: why is the gardener (The OC) Nicholas Gonzalez there as one of Scotty's gay friends?

Thank goodness Kitty is back because last week, with her mostly missing except the few scenes in the car, reminded me that there's a reason Calista Flockhart became a star despite being a whiny Ally McBeal. She still has that something that makes her shine on screen, even when she gets sick and gets stuck becoming babysitter to Robert's sick and annoying kids. Loved that she called herself on the fact that she WAS the evil step-mother after the kids flooded the bathroom.

And thank goodness there was no Tommy/Julia talk or Justin/Lena talk. Or really, no Lena, who really dragged all the characters she interacted with into a blackhole story vacuum.

Another possible blackhole vacuum?:

Are they really trying to go there with Rebecca and Holly? Is Ken Olin really being hinted that HE may actually be Rebecca's real father and thus not a Walker at all? AH... don't cut the connection? Yes, it'll make Holly a threat/drama again and Rebecca could thus date Justin (ew) but I REALLY hope they aren't going there.

Please just bring Rebecca back to the Walkers since she has a better rapport with Nora than Holly and Holly and Nora create better sparks than anything.

More After the Jump...