Monday, October 24, 2011

What I've Been Watching -OR- "But you love Huey Lewis and the News." "But they don’t know that!"

I have no idea what I'm doing with this blog anymore... It takes a lot of time to write a post, and I'm not even writing that much! So, while I ponder things over, let's talk about what I've been watching lately:

"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", 1993–1999.
I'm really excited to be watching this! You all know my feelings for Star Trek: The Next Generation (except that I wrote that I thought Riker was a hottie. He's indeed handsome, but I really did like Data the most). I hadn't seen the TV series since I was a kid. A few months ago, I found out it was on Netflix instant watch, so I re-watched the whole series, and it was glorious. (And now I don't know who has more of my heart: Data, or Worf.) But then, I felt empty when it was all over. Well, I'd briefly watched DS9 back when it was on the air, but I stopped, and I think it's because I didn't think it was as awesome as TNG. But hey, I discovered that it's on instant watch as well! What a perfect way to fill my TNG void, plus I've been promised that things get awesome by the third season. I'm about two-thirds through the first season right now. It's okay so far, I like it but I'm looking forward to when the show starts coming in to its own.

"Castle", 2009–Present.
I love me some Nathan Fillion, and I started watching this during the third season to get my Fillion Fix. But now I'm thoroughly enjoying the show! The writing can be a little unoriginal and the characters can be a little predictable, but I like 'em all. And Rick Castle just seals the deal for me. I need to get my hands on the first few seasons for more Fillion. Plus, Beckett is a sizzling badass.

"Parks and Recreation", 2009–Present.
I'm so happy this show is hitting its stride, and that it's getting the props it deserves!!!!!!! (Here's my previous review of the first two seasons.) I think it's one of the funniest and most original shows on the air currently. All of the characters are amazing. Yes, Ron Swanson, but also all the rest of them. "Treat Yo Self 2011!"

"Up All Night", Now!
I love this show! Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph: they're so good and funny in this! (Also, surprisingly, is Nick Cannon. And one of my favorite Lonely Island dudes makes a guest appearance!) Plus it's great to see Will Arnett move away from his (admittedly spectacular) crazy weirdo roles and play an actual person for once. (Who knew he could be so endearing!) The show itself is decent, it has a lot of promise and there are lots of laughs in the mix. I also find it relatable, even though I don't have a baby...? Maybe it's just 'cuz I'm getting old, dudes. Check out this recap of my favorite episode so far: Cool Neighbors. Definitely give this show a whirl, and join me on the "I Think They Can" train!

Bonus: Show I Miss Watching:

"Chuck", 2007–Present.
I know: what?! It's not an amazing show, but it was really fun, and Zachary Levi is kind of cute. And, Adam Baldwin!! I don't have cable and don't get the basic channels on my TV, so all my television goodies come from Netflix and Hulu Plus through the PS3. And Chuck isn't on Hulu Plus. Chuck is on regular Hulu though. I haven't really watched anything on regular Hulu before, but I may as well give it a go...

Fun Fact: It took me three hours to write this. Three Whole Hours. That's 4 episodes of DS9 I could have been watching! Lame.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"You look like Kid n’ Play." "That’s actually two people.”

Hot Tub Time Machine, 2010. Two and three-quarters stars?

I didn't know how to feel about when I finally got the opportunity to see this movie, because the first round of reviews I heard was that it kinda sucked, but then the second round of reviews I heard made it seem like the most hilarious thing ever. But I did want to see it because of all four of the main actors in it...

Turns out it's just okay. It runs hot and cold. Meh. There were some really funny parts, and there were some really uninspired moments.

The thing that ticked me the most was the deadpan deoivery of the line "It must be some kind of Hot Tub Time Machine." Actually, there are a lot of great lines in this movie. ("It’s called male bonding, okay? Haven’t you even seen Wild Hogs?") And I appreciated the unexplained innuendos about Cincinnati.

I usually enjoy the Rob Corddry, but I was unenthused with his character in the movie (though he pulled it off really well, of course. But he deserved a less stupid part). John Cusack... sorry dude, the 80's won't leave you alone. I wish they would. Making an interesting movie in this decade would be pretty cool, right...? I LOVE Craig Robinson (Who wants linoleum floors?), and I'm really really happy with pretty much anything he does. Clark Duke, I'm glad that you and Michael Cera's careers are taking off, but I miss your website.

I was surprised and stoked that Lizzy Caplan was in this, I only know her from Mean Girls but she's the best and I need to pay more attention to her.

So, Crispin Glover is in this too? He is my favorite Hollywood weirdo. I was more pumped about his performance than Chevy Chase's involvement in this flick.

The random Red Dawn allusions were delightful!

Even though this was a pretty uneven movie, I still enjoyed watching it. I don't think I'd see it again though.

Now I'm in the mood for a really funny movie. I want to see Pineapple Express again!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"That's it! You cocky cock! You'll pay for your crimes against humanity!" -OR- "She geeks, she geeks. She has the capacity to geek."

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 2010. Three Stars.

BACKSTORY!!! I like a lot of the stuff that Oni Press publishes, so even though it looked like it could be obnoxious, I decided to give a book called "Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life" a shot (yes the backwards-facing quotation mark on the cover irks me, but I'm like that!). AND I LOVED IT. The art style is amazing. It's really fun. And really funny. All the characters are dorks and like music (who does that sound like??). And the main character has to fight his girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends, and all the battles are like video games. OH MAN! I'd alternate in between spazzing out about it and forcing it on anyone I could to read it! That was back in 2004; for the past six years I'd been impatiently waiting for all six volumes to come out (they ended up being released pretty much one volume a year; the final volume came out in July).

FAN BOY ALERT!!! If you know me, you know I never shut up about this. But I think this is still so unbelievably cool: So, before Volume 3 came out, I happened to be on the internet the same time Bryan Lee O'Malley was on it, asking fans for photos to use on billboards in the book. I exuberantly sent at least 15. Check out Chapter 15, 14th page: IT'S ME!!!

THE MOVIE!!! Firstly, I knew Bryan Lee O'Malley was involved in writing the screen play, and I'm a big fan of Edgar Wright, but I had serious doubts as to whether this comic that became so near and dear to my heart could successfully be adapted to movie form. I didn't wanna see any trailers, I didn't wanna see any clips, I didn't even wanna talk about it, so that I'd have zero expectations for this movie. Because if I let myself, I would totally nerd out and get really excited for it, inevitably getting my expectations too high, then be inherently disappointed when I finally did see it.

But, my super friend Alex got a few of us sneak preview passes to see it last night! So I finally let myself watch the official trailer on the website yesterday. And, it didn't look half bad!

The movie had me at the 16-bit Universal Studio logo. Mamma Jamma.

I can't believe Michael Cera pulled off being Scott Pilgrim. He was good! And Ann from "Arrested Development" was one of the evil exes! Reunited!

All the actors in this were superb. This review would be even longer if I wrote about every single one of them, so I won't. But I have to say that the girl that played Knives Chau was exceptional. I was very impressed with her performance!

I just absolutely love Aubrey Plaza, and I'm so happy she's in this movie. She's a perfect Julie. Uncanny in appearance, and she nailed the character.

Also, Jason Schwartzman is the perfect Gideon. I had my doubts about Kieran Culkin as Wallace (I thought he looked too slobby when I saw the trailer), but he ended up being perfect too. I can't remember if I saw Superman Returns or not (must not have made a good impression on me if I did...), so I was always like "Oh Brandon Routh's playing Superman, so he must just be another boring Hollywood actor." But then I saw this, and I was intrigued... His being Todd in this movie has sealed the deal on my small infatuation with him!!

Why didn't they have the real Comeau play Comeau? Nelson Franklin did just fine, but, there's a real Comeau so how cool would that have been?

Thomas Jane is the Vegan Police!!!

I liked the comic book-y graphics they added; I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but it ended up looking decent and fun. Really appreciated how they incorporated some of the text from the book, especially the names/descriptions/ratings boxes. And there was a good ratio of real-life scenes to fastly-cut-fantastical scenes.

Hey, is that Gideon the cat on Scott's mug in the first scene?

I have lots of little details I'd really like to talk about, but I think I have to stop here. But maybe someday, if you see the movie, we will talk about it!

Because I'm such a fan of the comic and already knew the story, I knew what was going to happen in the movie and I knew what kinds of things to expect. So I can't say if it was good or not, or even if the story was cohesive or if the pacing was effective. But I can definitely say I really really enjoyed it. They did a really good job of taking a six-year labor of love and adapting it to a 1 hour and 45 minutes movie.

If you've never read the book and know nothing about this, and you see this movie, please tell me what you think?

I want to watch it again right now.

BTW, at the end of the screening, Edgar Wright, Anna Kendrick, Michael Cera, and Jason Schwartzman came out and took questions about the movie. They talked about behind-the-scenes stuff, and Edgar talked about how they did the music stuff for the movie, and such. Cool!!

Hee hee hee.

Also, read the book some time!

Can I please be a "Music Supervisor" for movies?????

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Lay down some phat beats for me to kick my buddy's ass to, alright?"

Iron Man 2, 2010. Three and a half stars.

Well, I should get started on this summer's movies before the summer ends, eh?

I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man. In fact, I loved everything about it! And I'd been anxious to see Iron Man 2. I didn't have much hope for it being good: Usually movies I love have awful sequels, especially if they're big Hollywood blockbusters.

But this movie was pretty great! I mean, I feel like it's a different kind of movie, so it's like comparing apples and oranges: the first one is establishing the characters and movie universe, the second one is delving in more and taking it to the next level. Even though it was good... right now I'm giving it three and a half stars. That might change once I watch it again... Really it's good though!

Robert Downey Jr. continues his awesome performance as Tony Stark. There were a few points in the movie that I actually didn't like, that were (believe it or not) too fantastical that took me out of the movie. But his performance was so strong that he made it work. Like: the race-track scene where Vanko (BTW: Mickey Rourke? Excellent!) was Whiplash-ing cars to get to Tony... there would, and should, have been more destruction, shrapnel, and accidental hits that would have hurt or severely injured waaaaaaay more people. It's science, dudes. I know it's silly that something like that irked me, but, it did and does! Tony's reactions kept me from throwing things at the screen though. And that lame part with the little boy, Robert Downey Jr. made that cheesiness work in the end by having it be just so Tony.

Don Cheadle!! Terrence Howard was good as Rhodey in the first movie, and I'm not quite sure what happened here (I heard it was about $$, but I also heard it was a surprise to Howard...), and it's sad, but... Don Cheadle!! He is awesome, and if anyone had to successfully replace a prevalent character in a prevalent movie, it could only be him.

Scarlett Johansson. Blah. Sexy but pretty boring. And "Natasha Romanoff" shouldn't really be boring... right??

Pepper Potts! Gwyneth Paltrow is still good and as adorable as ever.

Has anyone else noticed that the ladies in this movies are wearing high heels that are too extreme and end up looking like they're walking in sand all of the time? Sexy while standing, awkward while walking.

Everyone in general is pretty much great in this. Sam Rockwell (slowly becoming one of my favorite character actors of all time), Sammy Jackson, like I said Mickey Rourke, and even Garry Shandling, who somehow sometimes makes me uncomfortable. And also, DAMN Jon Favreau's CV is getting pretty impressive, eh? Good for him!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where've I Been??

I know I haven't posted anything in ages! There's lots I've been meaning to post about too, I just haven't had the time. I was brutally and prolong-edly sick, I bought a home (first-time homebuyer — what a crazy mess!), and I've been dealing with a particularly daunting work schedule. I meant to at least write about last summer's movies at least before this summer, but that didn't work out too well! Blaugh!

Well, I hope to pick up with more recent movies and shows, and eventually when things die down, I can go back and revisit the ones I haven't been able to talk about yet (like District 9, "Bones", American Artifact, Up, and "The Drinky Crow Show"). So, look out for some upcoming blog-iness!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

Harvey, 1950. Three Stars.

I've wanted to see this movie ever since hearing Weird Al's "Harvey The Wonder Hamster" when Alapalooza came out in 1993. I grew up with Weird Al's song-based hilarity (even though Al TV always managed to escape my youngster radar, I don't know how!!). But Alapalooza, along with the film Jurassic Park*, went hand-in-hand in creating my pre-teen, 5th-grade world, so as weird as it sounds, it was kind of a seminal part of my life. Explains a lot, eh? :D

Somehow, Harvey the Wonder Hamster got me hipped to this movie Harvey. I knew it wasn't hamster-related, but maybe the grown-ups in my life were like "Oh yeah, Harvey. He's an invisible 6-foot rabbit." Anyways, this Weird Al song had somehow led me to knowledge about this movie starring a guy who had an invisible giant rabbit friend. And I thought it sounded great, so I wanted to see it.

Last week I was flipping through the TV guide and I saw that it was on HBO. So I set up a DVR recording for it and watched it. It got four stars so, because of that and because I had heard about it for over half of my life, I thought this movie was gonna be killer. And, I liked it. I wasn't head-over-heels about it, but it was very well-done, and pretty enjoyable. I think it has a really nice and unique point-of-view, and maybe it was, like, super-duper uproarious back in it's day. But, I liked it and I'm really happy that I saw it. If you get a chance to see it, I recommend checking it out.

Everyone in this was great, especially Jimmy Stewart. Also I really liked the script lettering used in the beginning credits.

I didn't know this: it was based on Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, and I was glad to see that she co-wrote the screen play. I'd love to see this on stage. This movie adaptation felt like a movie and was pretty open, rather than just feeling like something that was created for stage, so it'd be interesting to see how it's played out in its original state on stage.

I found out that Harvey was re-done for TV in 1972. It seems like the only real notable thing about it was that it was Madeline Kahn's TV debut (and third film). I love her!! Also Jimmy Stewart continued to play Elwood P. Dowd on stage (and in this '72 re-do). I guess if you're awesome at something, stick to it.

"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it. "

*I was in a public school academic enrichment program in 5th grade, you Quincy kids will remember it as "E.L.C." That's right, I was a "labbie"!! (And to this day I still get shit from people like TIM about it, haha!) One day a week me and a few other kids in my class would take a bus to another school and meet up with other kids and learn rad stuff. Like how to use computers, paint watercolor landscapes, do word problems (they sucked but they were way less sucky than doing regular math problems), and do calligraphy... Basically a bunch of interesting and creative things that most public schools usually aren't able to offer. It also taught us responsibilities by giving us responsibilities around the classroom (but apparently didn't teach me how to use a thesaurus to not use the same word twice in a sentence, ha!). And we did a few big projects, like we learned how to write giant multi-paged reports! And I did mine on my young love: basketball! With a diorama of offensive and defensive positions! And I wrote letters to my favorite basketball-related peeps about basketball, and Jim Calhoun wrote back to me! And so did Red Auerbach, on official Celtics stationery! So cool! ANYWAYS, for one of our projects we were split in to groups and had to figure out how to solve the world over-population problem if it ever happened. The group with the best solution got to go see Jurassic Park. My group's underwater biodome KICKED ASS and we won!! So, not only was Jurassic Park a flippin' cool-ass movie, but I got to see it for free as a result of an academic achievement. And that's one of the reasons Jurassic Park means a lot to me. And also we got pizza after the movie. I love pizza! Double score!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"They're pissing on us and not even giving us the courtesy of calling it rain."

Avatar, 2009. Three Stars.

The general public seem to go ape for this movie. Since I Don't Believe The Hype, I knew I probably wouldn't like it.

Also I have a few friends that haaaaaaated this movie. Even though I avoided hearing their reasonings in order to preserve a fresh outlook on it when I finally did see it, it's another reason I knew I probably wouldn't like it.

If I did end up seeing it, it would be in IMAX in 3-D to see all the fancy visuals... And thanks to a friend's suggestion on a cold Friday morning, that's what I did.

And I liked it.

I normally can't stand CGI when CGI takes over where costumes/puppets/analog would have been better (Iron Man, I love you, but you already had an Iron Man suit made, why not just use that??). But the CGI in this was appropriate and couldn't have been done as good in another way, and it looked GOOD. The story was not original, but it was strong, and was not as trite as I was originally lead to believe. Also I like when good guys win, and I like Ewokian battles.

The 3-D felt a bit wonky at times, maybe it's because there was a lot of extreme foreground-background stuff going on. Maybe it's because I'm not used to 3-D and expect it to be perfect. It's probably because I was wearing my 3-D glasses over my regular glasses. Six Eyes.

Here's something weird. I don't mind violence in movies most times because it's not real life, just a movie. And I actually think over-the-top violence/gore (Shoot 'Em Up, Dawn of the Dead, District 9) is fun! But because such a good job was done making this world realistic, both visually and its compatibility with reality, that the death and destruction ended up shaking me up.

Pretty much fell in love with Neytiri, Zoe Saldana did a great job as her.

It was awesome to see Giovanni Ribisi as a corporate dickhead (I first saw him in an X-Files episode, that was like a lifetime ago!). But I'm a little sick of seeing Joel "I'm typecast as a plucky nerd" Moore, he seems to be cropping up everywhere lately for me. I get so happy when Sigourney Weaver is in a movie. Michelle Rodriguez wasn't obnoxious in this.

I didn't know that the guy that played Jake Sully was also Marcus in T4. Did he lose half a person for this role?? I remember him being pretty huge as a half-Terminator...

I only gave this movie three stars because even though it's good, it's just another big Hollywood box office smash. And it's hard for me to get emotionally attached to those kinds of movies. I don't think it has what it takes to make that huge impact on me that it has with other people. I'll leave it up to other people to give it four or five stars, which they will.