Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I've never lived closer to danger, but I've never felt safer...

I've never felt more confident, and people could spot it from a mile away. And as for this, the violence? I gotta be honest, it grew on me. Once you've taken a few punches and realize you're not made of glass, you don't feel alive unless you're pushing yourself as far as you can go."

I have been a little distracted this past month with March Madness and skiing in Utah, but I am back from vacation and my bracket is completely demolished, so I am back to reality.  I know you have missed me!

Now, we all know that I am a little Bradley-Cooper-biased, but I really do not understand why Limitless did not get better reviews. I have to say, I really quite enjoyed it. It had a good plot that kept moving and kept you interested throughout.  Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a blocked writer who is presented with an "FDA approved" drug that will give him access to every part of his brain and all the fame and fortune that comes with those abilities.  The whole concept definitely poses an interesting question, or two.  First, would you take the drug in the first place, not knowing exactly what it would do to you?  And second, what would you do with your life if you could remember everything you have ever read or seen, learn any language in an instant, pretty much accomplish anything you have ever wanted to accomplish?  Obviously, there are also other twists and turns to the movie that you keep you engaged and on the edge of your seat, but I definitely left the theater feeling very motivated, like I could be doing so much more with my days.  Of course, that feeling did not really last too long :o) If anything, this movie proves what I have been saying for a while now, that Bradley Cooper is a leading man that can carry his own movie.

I also recently saw Rango, an animated movie starring Johnny Depp. It was a little slow getting started and a little more serious than I expected it to be, but overall an entertaining movie.  Below, is one of my favorite scenes:

Although, I have to say, the most interesting part of this movie was that it was not filmed like a typical animated feature.  Normally, for animated films, the actors record their voices in a booth and are separated from the rest of the cast at all times.  For Rango, Director Gore Verbinski actually had them act out the scenes together while he recorded their voices.  I am not sure that you could actually tell the difference during the movie, but it is certainly a fun fact!

Another Johnny Depp movie that I finally got around to seeing was Public Enemies.  Sadly, it was not very good.  The acting was a good as you would expect from Depp and Christian Bale, however the plot was just sooooooo slooooooooow!  Thirty minutes into the movie I was already checking my watch...and it was a two hour and twenty minute film! If you have not already subjected yourself to this movie, I would say you can definitely skip it.

On the other hand, Green Street Hooligans was a movie that I was not sure about going into it, but that I really enjoyed. It stars Charlie Hunnam and Elijah Wood and is about a Harvard undergrad who gets expelled, moves to London and learns about the world of football hooliganism. As someone who has recently gotten into American soccer, this film opened up an entirely different culture than what we are used to in the States. Being part of a firm, or supporters club as we call them, is more of a lifestyle across the pond than it is here.  It is about supporting your team, but it is also about your firm's reputation and defending that reputation against other firms. It was incredibly interesting to see what European football firms are really all about. If you are a soccer fan, you should definitely see this movie.  Even if you are not, it is an intriguing story and is worth the watch.

In other sporting news, regular season baseball officially begins for my Phillies on Friday! I will try to not let it get me too distracted from my TV and movie duties, but I am not making any promises :o)

Also, for those of you who are interested, Chris Despo's album is now available for sale at! It is not yet up on iTunes, but I will have that link for you as soon as it is available. I have pretty much been listening to the album non-stop all week and have to say that it pretty amazing.  He is my friend, so I am slightly biased, but I think that it is definitely worth checking out!

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below. I especially want to hear if you agree/disagree with my reviews or think there are any shows or movies that I should not miss.


p.s. Japan has been added to the list of tragedies currently in our world, so I once again give you my list of places to donate: 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Habitat for Humanity
United Way
American Red Cross
World Vision
The Nature Conservancy
National Wildlife Federation 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"The true outlaw finds the balance between the passion in his heart.....

and the reason in his mind. The solution is always an equal mix of might and right."

As you all should have realized by now, I watch a lot of television.  I know that I have said this before, but I think you need to know that I know I watch...probably way too much television :o)  As such, I have recently been trying to weed out the not-so-good shows that I only really keep following out of habit.

One of those shows is Gossip Girl.  I went to my DVR a few weeks ago to watch the new episode and just realized that I had no interest in watching it.  The first season was pretty good and there have been some intriguing episodes here and there over the following three seasons, but overall, the plots are just getting more and more ridiculous and I cannot take it anymore.  There also happen to be two other good shows in that time slot on Mondays.  So instead, I will be watching Being Human on SyFy and The Chicago Code on FOX.  Both of which, I think you should all be watching as well.

One Tree Hill is another one of those shows that I pretty much just watch out of habit these days.  I have watched it from the beginning and while it was never a great show it was entertaining enough.  Then, after the fourth season and the characters graduation from high school, the show jumped ahead four years and all of a sudden it became more relevant to my life, so I kept watching.  However, the past two seasons have not been all that interesting, but I cannot seem to stop. I am kind of hoping it does not get renewed for another season.

On the other hand, The Vampire Diaries seriously just keeps getting better and better.  I know I have said it before, but I really feel like I need to say it again because, while it does have a huge following, it is on the CW Network and I think a lot of people my age rule it out due to that fact.  I am truly impressed at how they continue to keep things exciting each and every week.

Another show that I have recently become addicted to is Sons of Anarchy.  When it started in 2008, it did not really appeal to me.  It did not star anyone that really made me want to watch it and the motorcycle club angle was not something I cared about either.  However, three seasons later it is still getting a lot of good buzz from the critics, so I decided to give it a try.  I have to say, it is very good.  Even though I am not interested in motorcycles or motorcycle clubs, the smart writing, great acting and interesting story lines keep you invested in the characters.  Also, after further inspection of the cast, it does contain a lot of people whose names you may not recognize, but who have actually been in things you have probably seen: Katey Sagal - Married with Children and 8 Simple Rules; Maggie Siff - Mad Men; Charlie Hunnam - Undeclared and Cold Mountain; Tommy Flanagan - Braveheart and Gladiator; Kim Coates - Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor; Ryan Hurst - Remember the Titans; any several more excellent actors.  Season 3 just finished in November and is not yet out on DVD, so I have only seen the few episodes that are on Hulu, but I can already tell that it will be just as good as the first two seasons.  I highly recommend that you check it out.

I have also decided that, despite my aversion to most things zombie related, I should probably watch The Walking Dead.  I am not expecting to like it, but it has gotten such good reviews, that I feel like I cannot just ignore it.  I will let you know how that goes.

In completely un-television related news, my friend, Chris Despo, is releasing his first album at the end of this month and I CANNOT wait.  It will be on iTunes, and I will give you that link when it is available, but until then, I leave you with his "behind-the-scenes" video:

And, as always, if you have any thoughts, or feel there are any TV shows I should be watching, please use the comments section below!