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!