Thursday, December 30, 2010

"New Year's Eve. Someone just needs to change the name to Same Old Year's Eve, because that "New," implying all that hope and promise, it's not fooling anyone."

I have been so bad about writing lately, so in the interest of saving time, I have combined my list of favorite movies from 2010 with some other random reviews of things I have recently seen.

Starting with Netflix movies, I finally finished watching all of The Tudors, as well as Any Given Sunday and The Bounty Hunter.

The final season of The Tudors was an excellent finish to an excellent series.  The only thing that bothered me was how quickly the last two seasons seemed to go, in terms of the years of his life that they cover, as compared to the first two.  I am not sure if this was because they knew the series was ending and were trying to wrap things up or if Henry VIII was just much less interesting later in life.  Either way, if you have not yet seen this series, you should.

I only watched The Bounty Hunter because I could stream it live on Netflix.  And, while it was not as awful as I thought it was going to be, it definitely could have been a lot better.  The thing that annoys me the most about this movie is I know from watching her in other things that Jennifer Aniston is a good actress, she just keeps picking really crappy movies.

Cameron Diaz is another actress that has been in so many bad movies that I often forget that she actually is a good actress.  I finally watched Any Given Sunday and it was well done.  I had seen bits and pieces of it over the years, but never actually sat down and watched the entire movie from start to finish.  It was not amazing by any means, but it was entertaining enough for the two and a half hours that it lasted.  It also seems to be one of those movies that people reference a lot when talking about football, so if you like football, it is probably worth seeing :o)

Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at

When it is cold outside, it is hard to motivate yourself to leave the house, but I did manage to get to the theater a few times over the past few weeks to see How Do You Know. Love and Other Drugs, Tangled and Burlesque.

Burlesque was not a high quality movie. The plot was predictable and Christina Aguilera's acting was pretty bad. That being said, the musical numbers were energetic and very entertaining.  However, I do not really understand the point of casting a movie full of people who can all sing and dance (Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Diana Agron) and then barely use those skills at all in a movie full of singing and dancing.  Do not get me wrong, I love hearing Christina Aguilera and Cher sing, I just felt that the cast could have been utilized a little better.  If you like Aguilera and Cher, buy the soundtrack, skip the movie.

I have to be honest, I did not know that Tangled was a musical until the first song started.  I should have guessed knowing that it was a Disney movie and the lead actress was Mandy Moore, but there was no indication of it in any of the previews that I saw for the movie.  That being said, I really enjoyed this movie a lot.  I do not think it needs to be seen it in 3-D, but other than that I thought it was really well done.  Plus, who knew Zachary Levi could sing?!

I think I need to see Love and Other Drugs again.  I was in a weird pre-holiday funk when I saw this movie and, while I enjoyed it, I was kind of not paying attention to parts of it.  I know that is not a stellar review, but I really do think it was my own personal issues and not the fault of the movie.  I love Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway together and I do think I liked it....I just really need to see it again :o)

How Do You Know was pretty awful.  There were a few funny lines, mostly from Paul Rudd, probably improvised.  Even though it got bad reviews, I really wanted to like this movie simply because I like Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson as actors.  Most romantic comedies do not get stellar reviews, but sometimes turn out to be quite entertaining.  That was not the case with this movie.  The plot was all over the place and the writing was just not very good.  Parts of it were filmed in Philadelphia, so it was fun to see that, but that is about the extent of the excitement.

Okay, now on to my list of favorite movies from 2010.  I am not saying that these are the BEST movies of 2010 in terms of quality; I am simply saying that these are the movies that I personally enjoyed the most.  That being said, some of these movies are excellent and I will be sad if they are not recognized by the Academy Awards.  I have seen Inception and The Social Network and they have not made my list.  While I think that these are both good movies, I was not as impressed as the rest of the world seems to have been.  For the movies that I have already reviewed, and to not make this post any longer than it already is, I have simply created links to previous posts.

So here is my list, in no particular order:
127 Hours almost made me vomit, which is not something I usually say about a movie that I enjoyed, but in this case, it is relevant.  The movie is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, who went hiking in Moab, Utah and got his arm stuck under a boulder for…127 Hours :o)  In order to get free he cuts off his own arm, which is pretty disgusting and I kept my eyes closed for most of it.  The rest of the movie, however, was phenomenal and James Franco exceeded my expectations immensely.  Even if you have a weak stomach, this movie is definitely worth seeing.  I was worried that it would be boring, but they did a nice job with flashbacks and Ralston's hallucinations and it really keeps you engaged throughout.

Black Swan was completely terrifying and disturbing but phenomenal.  At times you do not know what is real and what is a fabrication of this dancer's mind.  Natalie Portman's peformance was brilliant and I will be shocked if she does not win the Oscar.  However, I did make the mistake of seeing the last show of the night at Bryn Mawr, which meant I needed to come home and watch Newsies before I went to bed so that I would not have nightmares :o)  Definitely not a movie that I will watch over and over again, but totally worth seeing at least once.

I have not yet seen Blue Valentine, The King’s Speech or True Grit, but have heard great things about them and may need to amend my list after seeing them.  I will let you know :o)

2010 has been, by far, the worst year ever for me personally.  Thank you for being there, where ever and who ever you might be, friend or complete stranger, and reading my ramblings on this blog.  I am not getting my hopes up for 2011, as that seems to have jinxed me last year, but I hope that you all have a FABulous New Year!


p.s. If you have not already noticed, I have added a new category on the right side of my page called: My Musically Inclined Friends. Please check out these websites and listen to their music because they are all awesome musicians and they have supported me in the past.  I am now returning the favor :o)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Damon: I took away your suffering once before. I can do it again, but it's your choice.

Jeremy: Look, I know you think you took it away, but it's still there.  Even if I can't remember why, I still feel empty...alone.  And making me forget won't fix it.  It won't fix what's really wrong.

So here they are, my favorite TV episodes of 2010.  It was hard enough to pick these, let alone put them in some kind of order, so they are pretty much just listed as I thought of them :o)

Community "Cooperative Calligraphy" While I did love "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" a few weeks ago and last season's "Contemporary American Poulty" and "Modern Warfare," I think this was my favorite episode this year.   Annie accuses someone of stealing her pen and the entire group goes on lockdown in the study room.  There is nothing flashy or fancy about the episode, it is just the actors in a room being funny.  Plus, there is a Puppy Parade at the end!

Dollhouse "Epitaph Two: Return" Joss really started to hit his stride in season two of this short-lived series.  Network executives should know by now not to mess with the genius.  Alas, it was canceled before it's time, but not before giving us an AWESOME finale.  What happens ten years from now when the tech gets out of control?  Hopefully not what happened on Dollhouse, as I am hoping there is no one out there wiping people's memories and imprinting them with new ones.  But you never really can be too sure :o)

Justified "Fire In The Hole"  In the series premiere, Federal Marshall Raylan Givens is reassigned from Miami to his childhood home of Eastern Kentucky.  The episode sets up the character of Givens perfectly as an old-school Marshall living in modern times where, even in Kentucky, his cowboy-look is out-of-place and his quick-draw is not always warranted.  He is not where he wants to be and he now has to deal with all the things that made him leave Harlan in the first place.  The new season starts February 9 and if you are not watching this show, you really should be.

The Vampire Diaries "Founders Day" or "The Return"  It is hard to say whether or not I liked the finale of season one or the premiere of season two better.  The finale was action-packed and tied up the story of the tomb vampires, leaving us with three possible-death-cliffhangers.  Whereas the first episode of the second season gave us the infamous Katherine in action.  When this show started, I really did not think that it was going to be anything special but it continues to get better every week and is never dull.  I know the thing a lot of TV critics point to is the amazing acting of Nina Dobrev, but she really is phenomenal in her dual roles and the show would not be nearly as successful without her.  It also does not hurt that the ENTIRE cast is gorgeous :o)

Grey's Anatomy "Death and All His Friends" The reappearance of Denny Duquette in season five made me wonder if I should continue watching Grey's Anatomy.  But, my girlfriends and I endured (with the help of a few margaritas) and were rewarded by a great season six and an awesome season finale.  With a shooter on the loose in the hospital we saw many shocking losses and some heart-wrenching acting performances.  Shonda Rimes said early on in the year that the season finale would be a "game-changer" and she was definitely right.  We are still seeing the repercussions in the current season and I am glad to say that the show has rebounded nicely from its tumor-induced-hallucination.

White Collar "Copycat Caffrey" Neil and Peter discover that there is a Criminology class at a local college that is studying Neil and the work of several other white collar criminals.  The problem is, they are not JUST studying them but copying their heists.  Neil goes undercover as himself, minus the FBI job, and tries to get in on the students next con in hopes that it will out the professor as the leader of the group.  I pretty much love every episode of White Collar, but this one really made me laugh.  The dynamic of the Peter/Neil relationship, the return of Alex and the always-lovable Mozzie make for a very good time.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia "The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods" This episode has guest appearances by Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.  Do I really need more of an explanation for why I love it?! :o)

Friday Night Lights "The Son"  Why this show has been nominated for so few awards is beyond me.  The whole series is phenomenal, but this is the best episode of this year.  It is not just about a boy whose father dies as a soldier in Iraq, leaving him to take care of his grandmother.  It is about a boy who struggles with the emotions of his loss and reconciling them with the fact that he hated his father for abandoning the family when he volunteered to go back to Iraq in the first place.  It really is a shame that more people, including myself, did not watch this show from the start and I will be sad when it is over at the end of this season.

Honorable Mentions: Spartacus: Blood and Sand "Kill Them All," Accidentally on Purpose "Speed," Mad Men "The Suitcase" and The Glades "Pilot"

What were your favorite episodes this year?!  Please let me know in the comments section!

I hope everyone has a very, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Fare warning, it tastes like goblin piss"

I have now seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One twice.  I really enjoyed it and thought it was well done.  It did move a little slowly, but it also needed to set some things up for the second movie, which I am hearing will be must faster paced.  The last book is the one that I have read the fewest times and I did not reread it before seeing the movie, but have since read the first half.  I am now better reminded of what was left out of the movie and, of course, have a few comments.  I simply feel that there are some details from the book that are important to the story.

If you have not yet seen the movie and do not want it spoiled...


I will warn those of you who have not read the books to stop reading further down, as one of my issues with the first half of the movie has to do with what happened in the second half of the book and I do not want to ruin the next movie for you.  But for now, you may continue reading. :o)

So, here are my concerns:

1. One of my biggest issues with the last movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was that I did not feel they explained the horcruxes well enough.  Unfortunately, that issue, for me, has over-lapped into this movie as well.  At the end of the sixth book, they do not know exactly what they are looking for, but they have a general idea.  In the seventh book they have several conversations about what the different horcruxes might be and where they think they could be hidden.  They even go to a few places to look for them.  While I understand why they took out the scenes where they actually go to these locations for time purposes, why not at least tell the audience what Harry, Ron and Hermione are looking for?  In the movie, it just seems like they are constantly moving from place to place in order to stay hidden from Voldemort, which is part of the reason, but it is also because they are trying to find these items and do not know exactly where to look.  In my opinion, this is partly what accounts for the slow feeling of the movie.

2. In the book, at one of their campsites, Harry, Ron and Hermione over hear Muggle-born wizards and a couple of goblins who are hiding in the woods from the Snatchers.  They hear them talking about how Ginny, Neville and Luna tried to steal the sword of Gryffindor from Snape's office at Hogwarts.  After they were caught, the sword was then moved to a vault at Gringotts.  One of the goblins also reveals that the sword placed in the vault was in fact not the sword of Gryffindor because he could tell it was not goblin-made.  While I do not really think that this is a terribly important scene, it does explain why, when the Snatchers bring Harry, Ron and Hermione to the Malfoy mansion, Bellatrix freaks out about the sword and how it is supposed to be in her vault. 

3. I think this is probably the smallest detail that actually irritates me the most.  How did Harry know that he needed to speak parseltongue to the locket in order to open it?  In the book, they address the fact that none of them can open the locket early on but then it is not brought up again until Ron and Harry go to destroy it.  Harry then explains that because there is a snake on the locket he realized that must be the way to do it.  In the movie, there is no snake on the locket, so why would it have to be opened using the snake language?  And either way, how he knew to use it is never explained.

4. While many of these things are not really all that significant in the grand scheme of things, I never seem to understand why parts of information is included and other parts left out.  Or why some scenes, like the fight between Harry and Ron, are almost verbatim from the book, while other scenes are completely different.  Why, for instance, when in the book Harry and Hermione use polyjuice potion when they go to Godric's Hollow, do they make a point in the movie to have him say that he did not want to use polyjuice potion?  He says he wanted to return to this place as himself, but why even have the line in there?  The idea of the polyjuice potion could have just been totally left out.  Also, why give Bill Weasley werewolf scars when the scene from the end of the previous book, where he was attacked in a fight at Hogwarts, was taken out of the previous movie?  It just never makes sense to me why they put in insignificant lines or details and leave out things that are actually important to the plot.

My final point, and I think one of the most important things left out, reveals information from the end of the book.  If you have not read the books and do not want me to ruin the end of the second movie, then I suggest you stop reading NOW.

Okay, here I go...

5. In the book, Hermione removes the photograph of Phineas Nigellus Black from Grimmauld Place and takes it with them in her "over-sized" purse.  This is important because this is how Snape finds them in The Forrest of Dean in order to give them the sword of Gryffindor.  Black overhears Hermione say the name of the place where they are and Black tells Snape.  I will be interested to see how they explain this in the second movie, if they bother explaining it at all.  In the movie they do not talk about who they think sent it to them, but the fact that it was Snape is incredibly significant as it means he was a good guy all along.  Harry, Ron and Hermione also use Black to give them information about what is going on at Hogwarts, but that part is less important to the first half of the story.

I want to reiterate that I really did like this movie.  I just get frustrated when they leave out or do not explain things that are incredibly important for the story to makes sense.  Clearly, they need my help.  :o)

And now I must wait until July 15 for Part Two, which is really just mean!

Monday, November 22, 2010

"It's all right, Captain. We always knew you were a whoopsie."

I was not as quick with this second post as I was planning. I have actually been trying to find a real job, so I have been a bit distracted :o)

Alright, now where did I leave off...

Another show on Showtime that I had heard wonderful things about but never got around to watching, until now, was The Tudors. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Henry VIII and the show takes us through his reign as the King of England, including all six of his wives, over four seasons. I know some people do not like "period" movies and shows, but this really is fantastic. It is interesting to see how Henry's decisions and opinions changed over the course of his monarchy depending on his age or his advisors. I am especially fascinated by how much history was influenced by men's sex drives :o) The show is a little racy, but not quite as scandalous as Spartacus: Blood and Sand and I think that it is definitely worth checking out.

The Tudors also reintroduced me to actor Henry Cavill, who plays the Duke of Suffolk Charles Brandon. He is also the son of Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo. (An awesome movie, if you have not seen it, and an even better book.) Because of my rediscovered love for him, and the fact that two of them were available to watch instantly on Netflix, I then watched the movies I Capture the Castle, Whatever Works and Stardust.

Stardust, while it did not have very much of Henry Cavill, was surprisingly entertaining. Whimsical would actually be the word I would use to describe this movie. It stars Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro and is about a young man who leaves England to venture into the mystical land of Stormhold to recover a fallen star for his love. I remember not particularly wanting to see it when it came out in 2007 but, after checking Rotten Tomatoes, I realized that it had actually gotten pretty good reviews and they were pretty accurate. I Capture the Castle was also a bit quirky but quite entertaining. Set in the 1930s, it is about an English family, living in a castle that they can no longer afford, and their landlords, who happen to be two wealthy American brothers. It stars Cavill, Rose Byrne, Romola Garai, Mark Blucas, Henry Thomas and Bill Nighy. Neither of these movies are what I would consider classic movies that everyone should see, but they entertained me for a Sunday afternoon and have impressive casts for pretty under-the-radar movies.

Whatever Works, on the other hand, was not really worth my time. It is a Woody Allen movie starring Cavill alongside Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood that you can skip. Parts of this film were funny, but it was mostly just weird. Seinfeld aside, I am not really a fan of Larry David and this did not change my view of him whatsoever.

Along with watching lots of things at home, I also got to the theater quite a bit in the past few weeks to see The Social Network, Due Date, Morning Glory and Harry Potter.

The Social Network was a good movie. It was well made, well acted and interesting. The brilliance is not as much in the movie itself as it is in the timing of the movie. You make this movie five years ago and the only people interested are college students and recent graduates because they are the only ones using the website. You make it five years in the future and there is a chance that Facebook is now obsolete and nobody cares about Mark Zuckerberg anymore. I suppose that could be said about many things, but I really think that is where the huge success of this movie comes from. That being said, it definitely took me back to my Senior year of college. I went to a small liberal arts school in North Carolina and I remember talking to high school friends who went to NYU about this new website called The Facebook with which everyone was obsessed. It was not readily available to us at Elon and then when it was, you had to use your school email address in order to get access and make a profile. It was huge and definitely made more popular by the feel of exclusivity and the fact that you could now "stalk" your classmates and friends without anyone knowing. That sounded creepier than I meant it to be, but you know what I mean! Like I said though, the movie was well done and it certainly is relevant and worth seeing. I particularly enjoyed Andrew Garfield's performance as Eduardo Saverin and am now really looking forward to his portrayal of Peter Parker in the new Spider-Man reboot.

Even though it did not get very good reviews, I really enjoyed Morning Glory. The plot itself is fairly predictable, however, Diane Keaton was hilarious, Harrison Ford was a perfect curmudgeon and Rachel McAdams was as charming and loveable as ever. I especially enjoyed that, although Patrick Wilson is dreamy and perfect as her love interest, the movie did not dwell too much on the McAdams' character's love life. It was a movie about a girl whose career seems to have hit rock bottom but with a little luck and a lot of hard work she makes a new life for herself. It was actually kind of inspiring and definitely a fun movie.

Due Date, on the other hand, was not that great. It definitely had its funny moments, but it was mostly just ridiculous. Robert Downey Jr and Zack Galifinakis are excellent actors, which is where I think the problem with this movie lies. I know that sounds weird, so let me try to explain. It was a typical crazy-things-that-happen-while-on-a-road-trip-across-the-country plot, and with less talented actors I may have believed that a character like Peter Highman would have gotten in a car with Ethan Tremblay, let alone, allow him to get away with half of the things he pulled. I just think that with this caliber of acting at your disposal, it could have been a much more believable movie with a simpler, less crazy plotline. Does that make any sense? It does in my head :o)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One was excellent and my review of that will come shortly...probably after the holiday.

And on that note, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am especially thankful for my friends and family who have been there through what has been the hardest year of my life thus far. I would not have made it without your support and love, so THANK YOU!


P.S. Would it be helpful if I added hyperlinks that took you to IMDb whenever I talked about a specific movie, TV show or actor?  I did not do it here because I reazlied that I listed a lot of different people and it would have been more work, but I can in the future if you want me to.  Let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Why spiders? Why couldn't it be 'follow the butterflies'? "

Halloween has come and gone and, while it is not my favorite holiday nor do I enjoy scary movies, I did want to share a clip from my favorite Halloween movie:

Not scary, but definitely awesome. :o)

I have not written in a while but have actually been pretty busy watching a lot of different things. Netflix: Watch Instantly is evil and has allowed to me to watch many more movies and shows in a shorter amount of time :o) If I talked about all of them right now, this post would be ridiculously too long, so I have split them up and will post again in a few days.

So let's get started....

I had heard some great things about the show Spartacus: Blood and Sand, so I decided to give it a try and it was FANTASTIC. It is the real story of Spartacus and how he became a gladiator, but is only loosely based in history. It is shown on Starz, so it is kind of graphic, both with blood and sex, but it is mostly driven by the stories of its characters which are very compelling. The entire series is shot in front of a green screen and the blood and guts have a fake, Kill-Bill-like feel to them. I am extremely interested in seeing where season two takes us, especially considering how season one ended (which I will not spoil for you) and the fact that their lead actor is being replaced because of medical reasons. I HIGHLY recommend you watch this show, if you are not already.

On the more family-friendly front, I am really irritated that ABC Family, after only ONE month, stopped playing reruns of Friday Night Lights. They kept it at 6 p.m. for about two weeks before moving it to 11 a.m. for another two weeks and are surprised that not many people could keep track of when it was on. That, combined with the fact that the final season is being played on DirecTV before it airs on NBC (probably next spring or summer) means I have to take over one of my friend's televisions in the city every week to get my Tim Riggins fix. Lucky, I do not watch anything else on Wednesday nights, so I have the time. The things I do for my TV shows!

In terms of movies, I have finally watched MacGruber, Inception and Rebel Without A Cause.

Even though it got pretty bad reviews, I was sort of hoping that I would like MacGruber. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I had not seen the Saturday Night Live sketch, but understood what the concept of the character was about, however the only thing I found funny about the movie was Kristen Wiig.  Sadly, I would say that this is a movie you can skip seeing.

Rebel Without A Cause sat on top of my bluray player for about three weeks before I finally got around to watching it. Made in 1955, it stars James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo as three teens who all have issues with their parents, as teens tend to do, and the trouble they get into. It was well done and definitely worth seeing, if only because it was the last thing Dean made before his unfortunate death.

I really was not planning to ever see Inception.  I mean, I probably would have eventually, but I had no plans to do so.  However, under the guise of carving pumpkins, I was lured to my friend's house a few weeks ago and forced into watching the movie. Okay, it was not quite as scandalous and devious as that, but I did not know that is what we were going to be doing that night.  And I do have to say that the movie was pretty good. I would not say that it totally blew my mind, but it was definitely interesting and different and not anything that I could have ever come up with on my own. One problem with seeing it so far after everyone else and reading too many reviews was that I knew that there was going to be some big twist at the end, so when it happened, I was not surprised. It was well done and definitely worth seeing, but I do not think I would go so far as to say it is the best movie I have ever seen.

Well, that is it for now.  I will return shortly to talk about The Tudors, Due Date, The Social Network and a few other things.  I hope everyone is enjoying the Harry Potter Marathon Weekend on ABC Family and this lovely fall weather :o)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Rickie: The other half is, like, you know, the tough half

Angela: Which is?
Rickie: Which is, like, just... you know. That I belong nowhere, with no one. That I don't fit in

In one of my Christmas blogs at the end of last year, I talked about my favorite holiday television episodes. One of those episodes happened to be from My So-Called Life. I had a lot more to say about the episode than I wrote in the blog, but in trying to not make the post too long, I cut out most of it. Since today is National Coming Out Day, I figured that it was as good a time as any to share these additional thoughts.

But first, to refresh your memory, here were my initial comments:

This episode always makes me cry and as a teenager I really did not like it because it depressed me so much and I did not fully understand what it was about. Watching it later in life, I realize how much it truly affected me and was a part of who I was and who I have become. The episode starts with no one really appreciating the true meaning of Christmas. At one point, Angela questions her parents about why they do not go to church to which her younger sister replies: "Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas!" Rickie is getting beat up at home because he is gay, has no where to go and ends up at an abandoned warehouse with other homeless teenagers. Angela is concerned about him and tracks him down with the help of a mysterious homeless girl. Rayanne and Sharon volunteer for the teen help-line and Brian's parents leave him home alone while they go on a cruise over the holidays.

I love this episode because it is about helping others who are less fortunate than you and accepting everyone for who they are. It is about being thankful for your family and friends and all the things in life with which God has blessed us. The episode ends with the family all ending up in a church together, not "finding God" but more, realizing the importance of being together and inviting others into their home who have no where else to go. It is about the true spirit of Christmas, which I think gets lost among the all the shopping and commercialism of the season.

Shows like The Secret Life of An American Teenager give teen-agnst a bad name. It makes real issues seem hokey and unrealisticly dramatic. My So-Called Life addressed the same problems, but did it in a way that did not make me think I was watching an after-school special, or an episode of Full House, where someone sits down with you at the end of each episode and tells you what you should have learned from what you just watched. The show was about a high school girl who thought about sex with the boy she was dating, but also about the zit on the middle of her face that ruined her week. The characters talked to each other like teenagers (not adults trying to talk like they think teenagers should talk) and daydreamed about their crush's hair in the middle of Social Studies. They did not have philosophical conversations about issues happening in the world, they talked about the things that teenagers talk about: the things that directly affect their lives at that particular moment.  It was realistic and real teenagers could relate to what these characters were thinking and experiencing.

In the DVD commentary for this specific Christmas episode, actor Wilson Cruz talks about making the episode and how it affected his life. He had come out to his father the previous year and had not spoken to his father since then. The writers, unknowingly, wrote this episode basically mirroring his experience. Cruz talks about how hard it was to make the episode because it brought back all of those feelings that he had not yet dealt with and how much better he felt after it was over. He also says that his father saw this episode when it aired on TV and subsequently called Cruz and that this episode is pretty much the only reason he now has a relationship with his father. That makes me love it even more. Thinking that this show could, not only affect the life of someone making it but also, affect the lives of who knows how many teenagers and parents watching it, in such a profound way. It created a way for many teenagers to talk to their families about their sexuality.

You watch things and are told things as a child and you do not fully comprehend how they will affect you, until you grow up and look back at those things that influenced your life the most and realize how they shaped your view of the world. You realize how certain things affected the way you treat the people around you and helped you figure out how you want to be treated by others.

I am not saying that this one show shaped my entire being, but it certainly played a small part. This thing that I love, television, was just a part of what shaped me into the person that I am today. Just like the church that I grew up in taught me to love all of God's creatures, no matter where they come from, what they look like, or who they love. And like my parents never forced their views of the world on me because they wanted me to figure things out on my own, but always made sure I treated everyone with respect and love.

I do not mean for this post to come across as me preaching to you about how to treat others. I guess it was more about me trying to explain part of my journey to you.  How I relate television and movies to my life. 

For me, as a straight woman, National Coming Out Day is not about pushing your views onto others or shouting your sexuality from the rooftops. It is about being true to who you are and feeling comfortable to share that with others. It is about being supportive of those people around you who are trusting their true selves with you and not judging them or making them feel like an outsider.

The lessons we learn as children, about treating others as you want to be treated and being yourself, are often the behaviors we forget as adults.  Sometimes all it takes is a TV show, or a blog, to remind you.

Please, have the courage to be yourself and share it with the world today!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nathan: I'm not strong enough for this...

My whole life, I've willed myself to face things.  Anything that was bigger than me, anything that defeated me, I just kept going until I beat it.  Not this.  This is too big.  I never really understood what you faced when you lost your mom until today.  I'm not strong enough, Haley
Haley: Yes, you are, and when you're not, you have me

All of my shows have premiered and I am ridiculously over-scheduled this year.  Luckily, there is not much to watch on Wednesdays, so I have a day to catch up on what I DVR'd Mondays and Tuesdays :o)

I really enjoyed Lone Star and am very sad that FOX has canceled it after only two episodes.  Although, I am not terribly surprised because FOX has a habit of canceling really good shows (ie. Firefly and Dollhouse).  I really liked James Wolk and am hoping he will land an even better role.  Of my other new shows, I have also really enjoyed Blue Bloods, My Generation, No Ordinary Family and Hawaii Five-O.  Nikita, on the other hand, despite its continued good reviews, I just could not get into.  I love Shane West, but it just is not holding my interest at all.

Other new shows that I have checked out OnDemand include: Terriers, The Event and Chase.  The jury is still out on The Event.  I really, really liked Terriers with Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James and it has now been added to my list of shows to watch.  I was hoping Chase would be better, because I like Cole Hauser, but it was just not.

My newest TV obsession these days, though, is Friday Night Lights.  I did not like the movie with Billy Bob Thornton very much so, when the show started in 2006, I had no interest in watching it.  I am also not a huge football fall in general, so I figured it was a show that I could skip.   Over the past couple years though, it has gotten really good reviews from the critics and it seemed like maybe I should check it out, but I was already watching way too much television, so I continued to ignore it.  But then, a few weeks ago, ABC Family started playing the entire series from the beginning every week day.  So I decided, now was as good a time as any to see what all the hype was about and, from the first episode, I was hooked.  The show is focused around the town of Dillon, Texas and their obsession with high school football, but it is really about the people of this town and how they deal with every day issues.  As one of the actors, Scott Porter, put it in one interview, "You can't build a show around a sport, you build it around the people."  It is beautifully shot on location in Austin and the writing is simple, but brilliant.  I am a little disappointed that I waited so long to find this show, but highly recommend you watch it.  

As you can tell, I have been mostly occupied with television the past two weeks, but I did get out to the theater to see a couple new movies: The Town and Easy A.

The Town was awesome.  It was gritty and exciting and everyone should see this movie.  I was particularly impressed with how good Blake Lively was in her role.  I enjoy her on Gossip Girl, is Gossip Girl, so who is really expecting all that much?  Her part was not very big, but she played it very well.  Jeremy Renner and Jon Ham were phenomenal, as usual and Ben Affleck did a great job directing and starring.  If this does not at least get nominated for a few Academy Awards, I will be shocked.  Seriously, go see this movie.

I also found Easy A to be very well done and pretty hilarious.  While I was not a huge fan of the theater full of obnoxious teenagers, the movie kept me entertained throughout.  Emma Stone is great as Olive, the modern-day Hester Prynne, and Amanda Bynes is great as the pious antagonist.  I think my favorite characters, however, were Olive's parents played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson.  How Stanley Tucci does not have an Oscar is beyond me, because he is amazing in every role he plays, no matter how small.  Some of my favorite lines from the movie include:

Brandon: Is there an Olive here?
Olive's mom: There's a whole jar of them in the fridge!

I know, totally corny, but it made me laugh, as did this:

Olive's Mom: No offense, but you kind of look like a stripper
Olive: Mom!
Olive's Dad: A high-end stripper, for governors or athletes

This movie is not going to win any awards, but if you want to be entertained and/or just need a good laugh, then this is the movie for you :o)

Starting next Wednesday, my Phillies start their run at world domination...or a World Series, either is fine with me :o)  I will, therefore, be distracted by baseball for a little while.  Also, make sure you check out my dream Phillies movie cast.

I hope you are all enjoying some new fall TV shows and please let me know if there are any movies you think I should be seeing!


Monday, September 27, 2010

"That’s my corn. You guys are guests in my corn!"

In June, the Phillies Ballgirls made their list of who they thought were the best movie star look-a-likes for the Phillies.  This got me thinking about who I would choose to play my beloved Philadelphia Phillies if there was a movie made about them.  I figured this was a perfect combination of my two loves: the Phillies and movies :o)

I went by looks, but also by acting talent.  Some of my actor choices do not look exactly like the players, but that is mostly because I could not find anyone that really looked like them.  In which case, I picked actors that I thought might be good in the role.  I cast most of the current roster, but not everybody.  I mostly just did the starting players/pitchers and coaches.

So, in honor of the Phillies winning the National League East for the fourth year in a row, here is my list:
Jimmy Rollins - Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges
Shane Victorino - Jay Hernandez
Chase Utley - Bradley Cooper
Ryan Howard - Morris Chestnut
Jayson Werth - Taylor Kitsch
Carlos Ruiz - Jon Huertas
Raul Ibanez - Carlos Ponce
Placido Polanco - Francis Capra
Ben Francisco - Columbus Short
Wilson Valdez - Walter Perez
Domonic Brown - Aldis Hodge
Roy Halladay - Sam Worthington
Roy Oswalt - James Roday
Cole Hamels - Ashton Kutcher
Joe Blanton - Aaron Hill
Jamie Moyer - Steven Weber
Kyle Kendrick - Jason Dohring
Brad Lidge - Geoff Stults
Ryan Madson - Paul Walker
Chad Durbin - Josh Radnor
J.C. Romero - Kevin Alejandro
Charlie Manuel - Tom Wilkinson
Greg Gross - Dayton Callie
Davey Lopes - Tony Plana
Sam Perlozzo - James Caan
Rich Dubee - Nick Offerman
Mick Billmeyer - W. Earl Brown
Ruben Amaro Jr. - Carlos Gomez

What do you think about my choices?  Do you agree or disagree with any of them?  Do you need to check IMDb to figure out who most of these people are? :o)

Let me know what you think in the comments section!

Monday, September 20, 2010

"People tell you who they are, but we ignore it, because we want them to be who we want them to be"

I apologize in advance that this is a little long today.  I have not written in a while, so I have a lot to talk about.

My goal of watching all The Classics on my Netflix queue did not go so well. I only got through Midnight Cowboy before I got distracted by other things :o) I will continue watching them, but will mix them in with the other things on my list.

I really did not like Midnight Cowboy. It was weird and I really had no idea what was going on most of the time. The description said it was about a "hayseed hustler named Joe Buck (Jon Voigt), who comes to Manhattan to earn cash as a freelance sex stud and work toward his dream of becoming a kept man. He meets seedy gimp Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) and an improbable friendship blossoms." Which, I guess is what is was essentially about. But, it is unclear why Buck leaves Texas in the first place and the flashbacks, of him being with what I presume is his ex-girlfriend, do nothing to help explain. Every review I read about this movie raved about how good it was, but I just did not get it. The relationship between Voigt and Hoffman is interesting, and the performances were good, but I just did not like it.

Before my "Classics" adventure last month, I watched The Losers OnDemand. It starred Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Columbus Short, Idris Elba and Jason Patric and was not very good. It just seemed like endless stunts with not a whole lot else going on. It also kind of felt like an A-Team rip-off. A group of CIA black-ops who are left for dead try to track down the people that tried to kill them. The acting was good and the action scenes were fun, the plot just felt very "been-there-done-that." And, the most annoying part is that they left the end open for a sequel, which, if they make, is a complete waste of money. I was really hoping that, even with the bad reviews, since I liked most of the actors in the movie, I would still enjoy it...even if just a little bit...but I was wrong.  There were some funny lines, but mostly it was just bad.

I did manage to get to the theater to see a few movies this month: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Kids Are All Right and Going the Distance.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World was good, but not fantastic. It was definitely visually different than anything I have ever seen before. It was funny and mostly entertaining, however, it started to drag a little bit towards the end. I also feel like Michael Cera plays the same character in every single movie he makes and I am starting to not think it is so funny anymore.

The Kids Are All Right was also not as amazing as I was hoping, and as the reviews led me to believe that it was. Aside from the fact that it was about a same-sex couple, it was a pretty simple family drama. A couple that has been together for twenty years start to not appreciate each other and one of them starts cheating. There is not really anything new about that concept and I do not like the fact that because it is about a gay couple, people all of a sudden think it is a new and interesting plot. Yes, gay couples have the same issues as non-gay couples, obviously. But if you are going to reuse simple ideas, at least make the movie flow a little better, or add something interesting to make me invested in the characters. I also thought it was going to be more about the relationship between the kids and their sperm-donor-dad, but it was more about the relationship between the adults. Parts of it were definitely funny, I just wish it had been more interesting.

Of course, of the three, the movie that I did not think I was going to like, I actually really enjoyed. Going the Distance had gotten mediocre reviews, so I was not sure that I would go see it, but I had nothing to do one day last week, so I decided to check it out. If you are a fan of Charlie Day on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia then I think you will definitely like this movie. Although his character in this movie, Dan, is not quite as ignorant as Charlie Kelly, he does have the same inappropriate personal boundry issues, which is always hilarious.  I think the only real issue that I have with this movie is that Drew Barrymore is not a very good actress. That is not to say that she has not been in any good movies, I just finally realized that she is very one dimensional. Regardless, I laughed a lot and did not feel like my time or money was wasted.

Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at

Almost all of my summer shows have ended and my fall shows are beginning. I have really enjoyed The Glades, and Mad Men just seems to be getting better and better. The first two episodes of The Vampire Diaries have been AWESOME and I am excited for Castle and Lone Star to start tonight. Also, this is supposedly going to be one of the best seasons of How I Met Your Mother yet, according to its creator, so I am interested to see if he is right.

As always, I suggest you follow me on facebook and twitter if you just do not get enough of me through this blog. Also, make sure to check out the pictures I took of White Collar filming in New York a few weeks ago.

Enjoy the last couple official days of summer and let me know what movies/TV shows you are most excited about this fall!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"I do believe in killing the messenger. You know why? Because it sends a message."

Just like I did last August, I have decided to give you a list of the TV shows on my schedule for this year. My list seems to be significantly longer than last year, so I either will not have much of a life or several shows will eventually get cut. Needless to say, my DVR will be a blessing, as usual...and who am I kidding, I do not have a life :o)

My Returning Shows:
The Vampire Diaries
Gossip Girl
One Tree Hill
Life Unexpected
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
How I Met Your Mother
Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
Brothers & Sisters

New Shows:
Hawaii Five-O
My Generation
Blue Bloods
No Ordinary Family

I am super excited about the start of The Vampire Diaries, Castle and Community. Grey's Anatomy, despite the AWFUL Thanksgiving/Christmas/NYE episode, was getting really good again last season, so I am hoping that trend continues this season. I am not sure that I will get into Nikita or Blue Bloods, but Nikita has been getting good reviews and Blue Bloods has Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg and Will Estes (who you may remember as JJ Pryor on American Dreams), so I will at least give them a shot.

Greek is also one of my shows that I will still watch this year, but it does not start again until January, so I have not included it on my list.  I also do not know when the second season of Justified is starting.

Tonight is the season finale of White Collar and my other shows will probably be wrapping up over the next few weeks. Nikita and The Vampire Diaries start this week on the CW and the rest of the premiere dates can be found at TV Guide.

What shows are you excited about this season? Are there any shows you think I should be watching that I am not currently watching? Let me know and maybe I will check them out.

I hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend! Happy Start of Fall TV!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall Movie Preview

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly's Fall Movie Preview issue, I now have my list of movies that I want to see over the next few months :o)  For their Top 25 check here and for the movies I am most excited about, well, just continue reading:

17 - Easy A (Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes)
     - The Town (Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm)
24 - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Shia LaBeouf, Michael Douglas, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin)
     - You Again (Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Betty White)

I may also see Buried with Ryan Reynolds (Sept. 24) depending on the reviews.  However, a movie based entirely around a guy being buried alive freaks me out a little, so it is not looking very likely.

8 - Secretariat (Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh)
15 - RED (Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren)

Other possibilities for October include The Social Network (10/1), Life as We Know It (10/8) and The Company Men (10/22)

5 - Due Date (Robert Downey Jr, Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan)
   - Megamind (Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross)
12 - Morning Glory (Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton)
19 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
24 - Burlesque (Christina Aguilera, Cher, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming)
     - Love and Other Drugs (Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Hank Azaria, Olive Platt)

10 - The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
     - The Fighter (Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo)
17 - How Do You Know (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson)
22 - Country Strong (Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester)
31 - Blue Valentine (Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams)

Other December possibilities include TRON: Legacy (12/17) and Gulliver's Travels (12/22).

What movies are YOU most looking forward to seeing?!  Tell me in the comments section!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"What's that line about the beginning of some sort of friendship?"

I had decided that during the month of August, I would watch all of the movies on my queue that Netflix has labeled "Classics."  These are things that I added probably when I joined Netflix and just never got around to watching.  So since there has not been a whole of TV to watch this summer, I figured now was as good a time as any.  The first few on my list are Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story and The Sting.
I really enjoyed Casablanca.  I do not really know what I was expecting when I started to watch it, but I definitely was not expecting it to have so many funny parts.  Everyone knows the famous lines: "Here's lookin' at you, kid" and "Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," but I think my favorite was when the Nazi's want the local sherriff to close Humphrey Bogart's club and he really does not have a good reason to do so:

Rick: How can you close me up?! On what grounds?!
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
Croupier: (handing Renault a pile of money) Your winnings, sir
Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much (yelling) Everybody out at once!

And, even though it takes place during World War II, I feel that the story is timeless and stands up to most modern romances.  However, I will say that Humphrey Bogart is not an attractive man :o)  It did not move too slowly, as some older movies tend to do, and is definitely a movie that you should see at some point in your life.  There is a reason why it is a "classic" and I do not know why I waited so long to see it!

The Philadelphia Story was also very good.  Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart all gave excellent performances, as was to be expected, but it was long and at times moved a little too slowly for my taste.  One thing that I did find especially interesting was how openly everyone talked about their personal lives with each other.  At the beginning of the movie, Hepburn's character, Tracy Lord, originally agrees to having reporters at her upcoming wedding in order to keep another story about her father's affair out of the paper.  In one scene, the family has a very open conversation about the whole situation where Mr. Lord actually says to his wife that it is not her fault that he is having an affair.  He says it has to do with, "a reluctance to grow old."  It was also weird to me that throughout the entire movie, Cary Grant refers to Hepburn as "Red," even though the movie is in black and white.  I mean, I know it was probably well-known that Hepburn had red hair, but it was still odd to me.  Overall, I would say I enjoyed the movie, but could have been a bit shorter.  Still, another movie that everyone should see.

The Sting, on the other hand, I found to be mostly overrated.  Paul Newman and Robert Redford are good-looking, charming actors, but they just were not good enough to make me like the movie.  It was way too long and I did not like how, between each section of the movie, there were headings to tell you what part of the con we were about to see.  I will say that the costumes and "aged" look of the film were definitely well-done, but by the end of the movie I was just ready for it to be over.  I am glad that I watched it, as it is still an important film and has influenced many other films, but it was just stiff and not as entertaining as I was hoping it would be.

I really should have done this years ago because, while I definitely have not loved all of these films, I really feel like I was missing out on a piece of American culture by not having seen them.  I know that sounds a little corny, but it is true.  So many things from old movies show up in popular culture, from simple references to similar styles and plots. There is a reason why these films have withstood the test of time and are still talked about today.
The next three movies on my list are Funny Girl, The Maltese Falcon and Midnight Cowboy.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Don't ask me why I can't leave without my wife and I won't ask you why you can."

Summer movies have not really motivated me to get to the theater this year.  Most of the recent releases, especially, have not been very good and because of this, I have not really seen a whole lot.  However, I did finally get to see Toy Story 3 and Eclipse. 

Toy Story 3 was just as good as I had heard.  I did not even mind that it was in 3-D.  If you liked the first two movies, then you should definitely see this one.  I would even say that it is one of the best Pixar movies I have seen.

While it did not get great reviews, I did actually like The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.  I did not re-read the book before seeing the movie, as I had done with the previous two Twilight movies.  I was, therefore, not comparing them as much because I did not remember all the tiny details, I only really remembered the general plot.  I think this may have allowed me to enjoy the movie a little more than usual.  I do think that the acting, although still not amazing, is getting slightly better, if only because the actors now know these characters a lot better and are more comfortable in their skin.  As I said with New Moon, I just found that the dialogue and the scenes were too choppy and did not always flow well.  I am assuming it has to do with the fact that all of the screenplays have been written by the same person, so you are going to get the same interpretation of the books every time, which is unfortunate. Like I said though, I did enjoy it for what it was, just do not expect any Oscar nominations anytime soon.

Originally, despite the stellar reviews, I had planned to skip Inception.  I still have not committed to seeing it for sure, but I am at least considering it now.  Who has already seen it?  Does it really live up to all the hype?

New summer shows are also still premiering.  Mad Men starts this Sunday (ah woo hoo!) and Dark Blue starts in a few weeks.

The first two episodes of Rizzoli & Isles were good.  Some parts of it did freak me out a little though, meaning it will definitely get DVR'd and watched the next day so that I do not have nightmares.  And I am being completely serious :o)  I also really enjoyed Covert Affairs.  Especially after seeing Eion Bailey in the first episode (think hyenas on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jim in Center Stage), so I really hope he shows up in a lot more episodes.  White Collar, The Glades and Rookie Blue have also continued to be excellent and highly entertaining summer fare.

Continuing with my current Timothy Olyphant obsession, I have now watched High Life and The Crazies. 

The Crazies was watched OnDemand and was surprisingly good.  And, aside from a few scenes that made me jump, it was not really that scary.  From the commercials, I thought it was about zombies or something along those lines, but it was actually about people being infected by something in the town water supply and going crazy.  The actual reason for the crazy people is much more interesting than your typical scary-monster-movie.  High Life, on the other hand, was not what I would call a good movie :o)  However, it was not horrible either.  Four junkies plan what they think is the perfect bank heist, but of course, it goes horribly wrong.  Not Olyphant's best work, but it was entertaining enough for the hour and twenty minutes that it lasted.

Other than High Life and my continued viewing of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, other movies from Netflix recently were The Invention of Lying and Wonder Woman.

I got the most recent Wonder Woman cartoon because it was voiced by Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Virginia Madsen and Oliver Platt.  It was not anything super fantastic, but it was Wonder Woman so there is not a whole lot to it and was therefore pretty entertaining.  Although, I have to say, Nathan Fillion's cartoon couterpart did not do him justice :o)

I had wanted to see The Invention of Lying when it was in theaters because I love Ricky Gervais, but I am glad that I did not because it was kind of weird.  Parts of it were hilarious because, well, it is Ricky Gervais and he is mostly hilarious.  However, it was surprisingly quite boring.  Also, it went from being a movie about the guy who invents lying (like the title suggests) and discovers just how much he can use it to his own benefit, to something with a more religious aspect and then sort of gradually turns into a film about not being with people because of what they look like and how much money they make, but because of who they are.  And while, these are all very interesting themes, they didn't really mesh well together.  I would say you should probably avoid this movie, if you know what is good for you :o)

In other news, Comic Con started Thursday in San Diego.  Seeing as I am still mostly unemployed, this probably would have been the year to attend and cross it off my bucket list.  Unfortunately, I was not really paying attention to when it was and realized too late that I should have made plans to go, so I have mostly been trying to keep track of things online.  I will continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter, if you are interested.

I hope everyone is staying out of the heat!  Instead you should stay inside and watch lots of fun movies and TV shows! :o)



Monday, July 12, 2010

"Serve, protect and don't screw up."

A lot of networks have started introducing new shows in the summer, which I appreciate, however summer TV can sometimes be tricky. For starters, not everything premieres around the same time.  A few shows started right after the regular season shows were over and some do not start until August. Also, many summer TV shows are just really bad.

I tried really hard to like The Good Guys with Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks. I enjoyed that Whitford's character was so totally different from Josh Lyman and Danny Tripp. However, after a few episodes, it just got repetitive, so I have stopped watching. Although, I do still really like his mustache :o) I also tried to watch The Gates and Memphis Beat, but I just could not get into either of them. They were just plain boring. Seeing as I usually enjoy vampire related things, I was hoping The Gates would be good, but it felt very mundane. Almost like Desperate Housewives except with vampires, werewolves and witches.  With Memphis Beat, I do not know what it was, the writing just seemed slightly awkward at times, like they could not decide if it was supposed to be funny or serious.

I am, however, really enjoying Rookie Blue. I like Missy Peregrym (mostly because of Stick It :o) and Life As We Know It and Reaper were canceled prematurely, so I really hope this show sticks around for a while. I like it because it is not trying to put a new spin on the cop-show genre, it is just looking at it from the view of a rookie. I would say it is more like Grey's Anatomy, but with cops...and a lot less far anyway. 

The Glades premiered last night on A&E and it was excellent. White Collar and Covert Affairs premiere tomorrow night on USA, which I am super excited about. Also, Mad Men starts on AMC in two weeks and the last season finale was the best episode of the series yet, so I cannot wait to see what happens next.

While my TV schedule has been relatively light, I have been trying to cut down my Netflix queue a little.

My watching of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia hit a slight snag as the first disc that I got was scratched. However, I received replacement discs and am now through the second season. (Considering there are only seventeen episodes in the first two seasons combined, this is not a huge accomplishment.) Aside from being overly excited by the opening credits and the occasional mention of places in Philly that I know, my initial reaction was that the show is pretty funny. I would not say that I laugh hysterically at every episode, but it is more of a subtle humor, if that makes any sense. With every episode though, it grows on you more and more.  I have three more season to get through, so I will keep you updated.

In terms of movies, I watched Silkwood, Dreamgirls and 300.

Silkwood starred Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, David Strathairn, Craig T. Nelson and Fred Ward. And even with a mullet, Meryl Streep's performance is excellent. She plays Karen Silkwood, a woman who, while working at an Oklahoma nuclear power plant, becomes exposed to massive amounts of radiation. She starts to investigate what is going on at the plant in regards to worker safety but dies in a mysterious car accident before she finishes. It is based on a true story and is definitely worth seeing.

Dreamgirls, the play, was playing in Philadelphia and even though I had not seen the movie, a friend offered me tickets so I went. The individual performances were good, but I was not very impressed by the overall production.  The movie had gotten nominated for so many Oscars, that I thought maybe it was just the play that I did not like, so I decided to give the movie a try.  It was just as bad as the play.  Jennifer Hudson's performance was impressive and definitely worthy of her Oscar, but the rest of the movie was just not great.  The only thing that I really enjoyed was the brief cameo by Jaleel White at the very beginning :o)
As much as I enjoy hots boys with 8-pack abs, wearing leather speedos, I have to say, 300 was pretty bad. It had basically no plot, as well as a totally unnecessary sex scene and pretty poor dialogue. And sadly, as my one friend pointed out, this really is the only one of Gerard Butler's movies worth seeing. I have no idea why there is so much hype around this movie. I mean, it was visually pretty cool, but the rest of it was just not good. It must be a boy thing.

On a completely seperate note, Emmy nominations came out last week and I am very upset that Timothy Olyphant was not nominate for Justified. Even Michael Ausiello at Entertainment Weekly agrees with me!

Anyways, I hope everyone had a FABulous Fourth of July! If you are missing me too much in between posts, remember that you can always follow me on twitter and facebook!


As always, here is my regular plea for all of you to donate to these amazing causes:
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Habitat for Humanity
United Way
The Nature Conservancy
National Wildlife Federation

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Hang on, everybody - I wanna try something I saw in a cartoon once!"

Since all of my regular season shows have finished and the new summer seasons are just now getting started, I have not been watching a whole lot lately. Also, because of this ridiculously hot weather, I have been spending a significant amount of time by my aunt's pool READING! Shocking, I know, but it does happen from time to time :o)  I have also been watching lots of the World Cup.

I did finally get around to watching An Education the other night when my mother ordered it OnDemand. It was a good film, well acted, etc. I just was not very excited by it. Carey Mulligan's performance was definitely excellent. However, I am not sure that it was more deserving of an Oscar nomination than Emily Blunt's role as Queen Victoria. I do love Emily Blunt though, so I am little biased.  I was, however, excited to see Olivia Williams from Dollhouse as the teacher. I would not say that everyone HAS to see this film, but it was well-done, so if it looks like something you would enjoy, then you will probably like it. I know, that was not super helpful, but it is pretty much all I can say.

The A-Team, on the other hand, was SO MUCH FUN! I did not go into this movie expecting much more than a typical action film. The special effects did leave something to be desired and, while the scene was hilarious, the idea of "flying" a tank is not exactly what I would call realistic. However, if you were a fan of the TV show then I think you will definitely enjoy it. I used to love watching this show with my brother when we were younger and I was happy to see that my favorite characters were as entertaining as I remembered them being. And if you do go see the movie, make sure you stay until the credits finish! Definitely a fun summer flick!

It also made me happy to see Bradley Cooper wearing Phillies shirts in two different scenes. It obviously does not take a whole lot to make me happy, especially when it involves Bradley Cooper. To be fair though, I loved him before most people and while I did try to track him down while he was filming The Dark Fields though in Philly last month, I was unsuccessful. C'est la vie!

Season three of Deadwood was just as awesome as expected. My only complaint would be that, because it was canceled, the finale left some unanswered questions. I have no idea if it was canceled after the season was finished filming, so it is possible they thought they were coming back for another season. Regardless, it was an excellent series overall and I highly recommend everyone watching it at some point. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane are obvious stars, but it is really the supporting characters that really make this show shine. Just be prepared for lots of people's throats getting cut :o)

I am now planning to catch up on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I have heard that this is a hilarious show and after learning that Chase Utley and Ryan Howard will be in an episode of the upcoming season, I decided it was time I started watching. In fact, one of my friends has threatened to cut me off unless I watch the show, so I guess I better get started :o)

I never did see Sex and the City 2, mostly because it got horrible reviews, but also because I just never found the time.  I do, however, still really want to see Toy Story 3, so that is on my to-do list for next week.  I have also added Despicable Me to my list of movies that I might see depending on reviews, because the previews look really funny.


So many places still need our help after all the devastating natural and unnatural disasters that have happened, please consider donating SOMEWHERE. Here are my suggestions:
The Nature Conservancy
National Wildlife Federation