Friday, July 31, 2009

The Way We Were...

...the first movie I ever got from Netflix.

If you have not already figured it out, I watch a significant amount of television and movies. The amount tends to go up even more in the summer because my other activities go down (ie. church commitments-which are numerous). I catch up on shows I didn't have time to watch and are now on DVD or movies I missed in the theater. However, my obsession really did not start until college. I watched a lot of TV in high school and went to the movies, but never really paid much attention to specific actors or directors. This started to happen about Sophomore year of college.

Sophomore year is a phenomenon I was not prepared for and was not aware happened to most people until a couple years later. You make this great group of friends Freshman year, most of whom live on your hall or are in your classes. You see them constantly and do not have to make too much effort to find someone to hang out with. Then Sophomore year comes and everyone moves all over campus, and even on a small campus like Elon, the other side of campus seems like a world away. It is at this point when you figure out who your real friends are and who are friends of convenience - unfortunately for me, there were more of the latter. It also didn't help that three of my close friends transferred schools that year. Needless to say, I needed to find something else to occupy my time. I mean, I clearly wasn't going to study more :o)

I went to visit my brother in Jackson, Wyoming during winter break that year and one of his friends had Netflix. I thought it was brilliant, I could choose movies from my dorm room and they would be in my mailbox within two days. I am not trying to be an ad for Netflix (although, I do highly recommend it) but for me at that time it was just what I needed. It was a way for me to get my mind off of things and I was going through several movies a week. It also gave me something to look forward to doing and I was getting mail on a regular basis, which is key for any college student.

The obsession has continued mostly because I like to lose myself in these make believe worlds. It sometimes make me feel better to imagine that I could have been a pirate in another life, or a passenger on a Firefly, or a teen detective, or a vampire slayer who falls in love with the vampire with a soul, or found my one true love as a teenager and lost him because my parents didn't think he was good enough for me but find each other later in life to spend eternity together :o)

It is now goal of mine to see every single movie on my Netflix queue before I die. I still have over 200 on the list...I'm trying to get down to 150 before I add's not going so well, but I'll keep you updated.

I swear I'm not as big of a loser as I sound...a dork, maybe...but not a loser :o)


Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Actually, sir, after all these years, I just sort of go with it."

I have now seen Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince twice and have plans to see it one more time next week. If you have not yet seen the movie, I recommend not going any further.

Seriously, stop reading now.

Alright, don't say I didn't warn you!

After the first viewing, I was not sure how I felt about the movie. Usually when I see a movie that has been based on a book that I've read, I need to see it more than once because the first time I am comparing it to the book the whole time. I understand that they have to leave things out from the book, but my biggest pet peeve is when they leave out a needed scene and replace it with an unnecessary scene.

Here are my major issues:

1. There was way too much teen angst. I know the relationships with Harry and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione are important in this movie, but did Dumbledore really have to ask Harry about his relationship with Hermione?! And was it necessary for Harry to be hitting on the girl in the coffee shop at the beginning?

2. I love Helena Bonham Carter as an actress, but there was absolutely no reason for the scene of her and Fenrir Greyback attacking the Burrow at Christmas. Nothing was accomplished, the storyline was not enhanced, except now they've burned down the Weasley's house.

3. I also felt like they needed to explain the horcruxes better. I understand having to cut out all of the memories of Tom Riddle throughout his life, it just would have taken too long for all those scenes, but couldn't Dumbledore have explained at some point to Harry what else he was looking for? We do know that there are a total of seven horcruxes but they are really only looking for six because one part of the soul remains in Voldemort's body. It is never explained how Tom Riddle wanted to become the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and the position has been cursed ever since Dumbledore turned him down. It is also never explained that because Hogwarts was the only real home Tom Riddle ever knew, Dumbledore suspects that Riddle used artifacts belonging to the original Heads of Houses to make several of the horcruxes. The locket they found belonged to Slytherin, there was a cup belonging to Hufflepuff and something belonging to Ravenclaw. The only known Gryffindor artifact is the sword and Dumbledore has that in his office, which is also important for the next movie.

4. There was definitely not enough about Snape being the Half-Blood Prince. This annoyed me the least only because the main plot of the movie did not depend on this story-line and it's not that important for the next book. However, it is in the title of the movie so I think they should have at least explained it a little better.

I feel that I need to note that my issues with the film have absolutely nothing to do with the acting performances. That aspect of every Harry Potter movie is always FABulous. I think Tom Felton is brilliant as Draco Malfoy. I have liked him since the first movie and I especially liked the black suits in this one, very spiffy. I also really like James and Oliver Phelps as Fred and George Weasley and Devon Murray as Seamus Finnegan - they always make me laugh. I was however disappointed in the lack of Neville (played by Matthew Lewis) in this movie and the complete disappearance of Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney. Also, Cho Chang (Katie Leung) was listed in the credits, but I don't remember seeing her at all.

Don't get me wrong, I did like the movie. I just feel that, along with the third movie (Prisoner of Azkaban) there were important details left out and unimportant things added. Like I said, I know these books are incredibly detailed and it would be impossible to put everything in the movies but shouldn't we at least not confuse the people who haven't read the books?!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Heroes in a half shell...

While perusing my daily websites, I discovered this article on

The Turtles are back!

Well, sort of....

They have the potential to be back and that makes me a little over-excited. (I already mentioned I'm a really big dork, right?!)

In case you need more proof: Senior year of college my roommate and I rented every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and rewatched them, because we are just that cool. And we were avoiding studying for finals. They may be a little cheesy and totally unrealistic, but they are part of my childhood and I LOVE them :o) I remember going to Burger King and ordering the kids meal just to get a VHS tape of TMNT cartoons...which is probably still at my parents house somewhere. If you grew up in the 80s, you knew who the Ninja Turtles were. If you didn't, you probably lived in a hole somewhere.

Even two of my favorite shows made reference to them at some point:

Gilmore Girls - "Here Comes The Son"- S3 E21
Jimmy: I can't take you in. I can't raise you
Jess: Raise me? I'm 18, I'm raised! I can vote, I can be drafted, it's a little late to throw me a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party!

Veronica Mars - "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner" - S2 E7
Gia: You brought your sleeping bag, that's so cute!
Veronica: Well, I like to have the option. Don't judge me for my Ninja Turtles!

Kind of abstract, but it's the little things in life :o)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

"There are some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense."

Primetime Emmy nominations came out this morning. Here is the list of nominations, courtesy of :

Of the shows nominated, I watch the following: How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty, Mad Men, Grey's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, Top Chef, The Daily Show, Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway. I don't get HBO or Showtime, so I Netflix Entourage and Weeds once the lastest season is on dvd.

I felt like I should post something because this is a "TV and movie blog" but I don't really know what to say. I don't really watch the Emmys, mostly because the same shows and actors win every year. I also usually don't agree with the winners.

As I was trying to figure out what to write for this, I was checking my twitter (cmswim13) and found this interview with Joss Whedon thanks to his brother Jed (drhorrible) and sister-in-law Maurissa (MoTancharoen):

And it got me thinking.....

I was a little behind on the Joss Whedon train. I had seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie but had no interest in watching the TV show when it started. (I actually didn't realize until awhile later that Whedon had written the movie as well as created the show.) I was more of a Dawson's Creek girl in high school and I remember saying to my friends who watched Buffy, "At least Dawson's Creek is realistic, why would I watch a show about vampires?!" Clearly, I had no idea what I was missing.

Freshman year of college, while avoiding studying, I started watching the reruns of Buffy on FX. They would play two episodes a day, every week day. I very quickly became addicted and within a few months had seen most of the series. Then, because of a few crossover episodes, I started to get into Angel as well and soon got addicted to that. Both shows have a very different feel about them and I even know people who watched one but not the other.

I did not even know Firefly existed (way to go FOX marketing) until the movie, Serenity, was due to come out. I was looking through Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview one summer and found the article on Serenity. There was a picture of the cast and right off the bat I recognized Alan Tudyk from Patch Adams, 28 Days and A Knight's Tale. I also knew Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin and Gina Torres from Angel and Buffy but couldn't have told you their names. As I started to read the article and realized it was from the same guy who made Buffy and Angel (Joss's name still wasn't stuck in my brain yet) I decided I wanted to see the movie. After reading further and learning that Firefly had first been a TV show, I knew I needed to watch the series before I saw the movie. Onto the Netflix queue it went and after watching it, I was hooked. I was mad that I had never seen it when it was on TV and mad that it had gotten canceled because it was so good! Unfortunately, I missed the movie in theaters but saw it as soon as it was on dvd.

And then the Joss obsession started.....

I started to pay attention to projects he was working on and following his career. I had already seen Toy Story (tho I didn't realize he had written the screenplay at the time) and was very excited when he made a guest appearance on one of my favorite shows, Veronica Mars (another show that was cruelly canceled too quickly, but that's another story for another time). There was also a website for a movie called Goners that he was writing but that had little to no detail about what it was about an according to IMDb is not set to come out until 2011 but still has no cast or any sort of description. I then heard about his next project when he did an interview with around the time of the writer's strike (or just after, I can't remember exactly). The project was called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog sprung up during the writer's strike because people were trying to figure out how to create things without the studios dictating their every move. As you can read in the above article, it starred Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day (another Buffy alum and star of The Guild which can be found on youtube and which you should be watching) and Nathan Fillion (who I had seen in Firefly and then pretty much fell in love with after seeing him in Waitress). It was released on the internet last summer in three parts, each around 15 minutes. And it was just nominated for an Emmy (which is how this whole rant started in the first place). It's FABulous and if you haven't seen it we're clearly not very good friends :o) Seriously, go to right now and watch it...RIGHT NOW!!!

Joss's current project, Dollhouse, is just as awesome as the rest of his work and I am very excited that FOX realized it in time to bring it back for another season. It involves several Buffy/Angel alum including Eliza Dushku, Amy Acker, and Alan Tudyk, as well as Tahmoh Penikett (who I loved in Battlestar Gallactica - and I've now solidified my standing as a huge nerd), Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Miracle Laurie, Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams and Reed Diamond . He also has another movie coming out next year called The Cabin in the Woods with Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.

I will probably watch the Emmys this year, if only for the fact that NPH is hosting, and I certainly don't base my viewership on who wins awards, but it makes me sad when good talent doesn't get I've clearly stated before. That being said, I really really hope Dr. Horrible wins...and maybe a few other underdogs.

Alright, I'm done ranting.....for now.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

"This one... I don't even have to ask but, I will. What do you think of this one?"

I tend to go through these phases where I decide I really like an actor or actress and then I proceed to watch almost every movie they have ever been in.

I first did it with Ryan Gosling, now my favorite actor of all time. I had first seen him in Remember the Titans as the adorable Alan Bosley who loves country music. But, like what happens so often, he was a minor role and I didn't pay much attention to him. I next noticed him in the trailer for Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock, but I'm not a huge fan of scary movies so initially I did not see it. Then came The Notebook. I read the book first, and made my mom read it too so that she would go to the movie with me :o) It's a pretty sappy romance, but you cannot not fall in love with Noah Calhoun...especially when he is as gorgeous as Ryan Gosling :o) I then proceeded to add every movie he had ever done to my Netflix queue....

Side note: I have been a member of Netflix since the middle of my sophomore year of college (2003) and there are currently 221 movies/TV shows in my queue. I don't think it has been below 200 in several years because I just keep adding to it.

Now, aside from the random TV shows he did before Remember the Titans, I have seen every movie Ryan Gosling has ever made. Granted, that's only 10 movies, but still :o) Between Titans and the Notebook, he mostly played weird, sometimes slightly deranged characters, but he was always phenomenal. Titans, The Believer, Fracture and Lars and the Real Girl being my favorites. I liked Half Nelson, and definitely thought he deserved the Oscar nomination (I have not yet seen The Last King of Scotland, so I cannot say if he deserved to win) but it was a little too depressing for me to want to watch over and over...and over again, and that is pretty much how I determine my favorite movies. I did eventually see Murder by Numbers and it was good, as was The United States of Leland and Stay. The Slaughter Rule was just a little too weird for my taste. All of them are definitely worth seeing.

According to, Ryan Gosling is now working on an album. The group is called Dead Man's Bones and I've only heard one song called "Name in Stone", but it sounds pretty good. The video is different, but I like it...

His next two movies coming out are:

All Good Things with Kirsten Dunst and Jeffrey Dean Morgan about "a detective that begins to unravel a missing-persons case that looks to spell doom -- and quite possibly death -- for the heir to a New York real estate dynasty." Not sure when it'll be released.

Blue Valentine with Michelle Williams about "a contempo married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods." Out next year sometime.

I look forward to both, and many more of his movies hopefully, to come.

I do this because I feel like you cannot really say that you like or dislike an actor until you have compared his entire body of work. I definitely do not have time to do this with all actors - if i could somehow find a way to get paid to watch movies all day every day, it might be possible - but for now, I must be more picky about to whom I devote my time.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Maiden Voyage

My friends thought I should start a movie/tv blog about the shows I watch, movies I see and actors and actresses related. I don't really know where to start, so bear with me.

I will probably drop a lot of actors names, some you may know, some you may not, but I suggest you get very familiar with IMDb if you want to follow along because telling you who each person is will just get too tedious. I may ramble about something totally random...maybe throw in a comment or two about my World Series Champion Philadelphia may even disagree with most of what I say, but I don't really care, these are my thoughts, not yours. I will try not to use any spoilers, but I can't make any promises.

Okay, here goes.....

The most recent movie that I saw was The Hangover.

Initially, I had no desire to see this movie because I tend to not enjoy "boy" humor. It's hard to clarify that though. I have never seen 40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights and I hated Anchorman. I have not seen Borat and have absolutely no plans to see Bruno. However, I did enjoy Old School and Wedding Crashers and I loved Dodgeball. I guess, I like Vince Vaughn but not Will Farrell...for the most part. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule.

After hearing the good reviews that The Hangover was getting (especially from Angelo Cataldi of the 610 WIP Morning Show), I decided to see it with two of my girlfriends and I actually really enjoyed it. At times, I felt like it dragged just a little bit, but overall I thought it was pretty hilarious.

What really surprised me the most about this movie was that most people did not know who Bradley Cooper was before it came out. I have been following Bradley Cooper since 2004 when he was in the ABC Family movie I Want to Marry Ryan Banks (yes, I watch ABC Family movies, I know I'm a big dork). Before that, I had seen him in Sex and the City and Wet Hot American Summer (an awesomely hilarious movie that everyone should see) but he was eclipsed by more famous actors like Paul Rudd and SJP. Then I really fell in love with him in Kitchen Confidential. A TV show that sadly got canceled on FOX, as so many good shows do (FIREFLY) but was based on the book by Anthony Bourdain about a chef in NYC. My dvd is on it's way to my house and I have rewatched every episode on hulu in the past week. He was also in Alias, Wedding Crashers, Failure to Launch (with Justin Bartha who is also in The Hangover), He's Just Not That Into You and several episodes of Nip/Tuck. I have not seen all of his work, but have at least put most of it on my Netflix queue. He's recently been cast in the A-Team movie remake as Faceman...which I'm a little overly excited about. He also happens to be from the Philadelphia area, as am I, so that makes him even cooler :o)

I feel like most of the time good actors get over-looked because people are paying attention to the well-known actors who are usually not very good, but are just more popular. Bradley Cooper is a victim of that phenomenon and it's my goal to change that...although, I'm not really sure how because I guarantee that only my friends will follow this blog. ;o)

But I digress....

To summarize my very first blog posting, if you haven't seen The Hangover, you should. And more importantly, if you don't know who Bradley Cooper is, you definitely should get caught up.