Monday, June 21, 2010

Greeks, Empires, and Noises

Get Him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek was actually really funny and had a few moments of sweetness. Something I would never expect to say about a film that includes a threesome. I suppose it goes with out saying that this is predominantly a guy film. Lots of sex and vomit, etc. I will say this, Russell Brand is very convincing as a drug addicted rock star. They make some interesting observations about some of the shallow attempts bands and singers make to create what they consider to be art. Worth seeing in the theatre. Would probably buy it on DVD from a discount bin.

Empire Falls (2005)

Per usual, I'm playing catch up. I was faintly aware of Empire Falls before because my mom read the book and already seen the miniseries. But thanks once again to the PSH kick, I shelled out the $18 for the two disc set. Money well spent. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, I knew the basic idea of the movie, but had no idea what I was getting myself into. This is a miniseries, so it is a bit long. I stayed up until about 3 in the morning the night I got it and watched it all the way through.

The main story revolves around Miles Roby (Ed Harris) who is struggling to keep his life together. His ex-wife (Helen Hunt) is about to get married to an older man (Dennis Farina). His father Max (Paul Newman) is an alcoholic who convinces an older, senile priest to steal the church's money and station wagon. Miles has a daughter in high school, Tick, who befriends the weird kid. They live in an old New England town that has lost its factories and fallen into decay. While Miles is struggling with all of these current problems, he is also discovering his late mother's secrets. I'm stopping there to avoid giving away too much.

There are a lot of flashbacks to Miles' childhood, where we find PSH rocking the mysterious man in a clean white linen suit. With a gorgeous either 1950s or 1960s convertible. There are some disturbing elements that can be difficult to watch. But everything is woven together so beautifully. And there are some moments that you just do not see coming. All around great cast, Paul Newman in particular. Fantastic movie, worth seeing and buying.

Noises Off! (1992)

When there is a buy 2 get 1 free DVD sale I can't resist. However, some times I just want to finish and get out of the store. In one of these sales, on a whim I grabbed Noises Off! My 1 free. Since I bought it about two weeks ago, I've already rewatched a couple of times. A movie about a touring play. The movie is broken into three very obvious acts. They've had two weeks to pull the production together. Act I is their final rehearsal of the play's first act. Act II is one of the performances, again the first act of the play, but it's all back stage and becomes a silent movie. Act III is a combination of back stage and on stage, again during the first act. Everything just flows really nicely and the comedy is reminiscent of slapstick and screwball.

The cast. Let me tell you about the cast:
Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Christopher Reeve, Marilu Henner, Nicollette Sheridan, and Denholm Elliot are the main people. Julie Hagerty and Mark Linn-Baker also play parts. This is an amazing group and a little sad to watch because three of the primaries have passed away. Christopher Reeve really had a flair for comedy, which I never would've really considered because he is always Superman to me. And it's great to see this big, hulking man play such a timid character who gets nose bleeds whenever violence comes up. But my favorite has to be John Ritter. There's just something about him in this movie that is just so engaging. It reminds me why I'm a fan of his.

Coming up next time, a TV post. United States of Tara and Sapphire & Steel. Two very different genres and decades. So stay tuned.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Going On

Hi all (three of you)

Not as much posted lately, bygones as usual. I've started to write reviews for a website called TwoCents. If you're so inclined, check it out.

I've been writing reviews for Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Parks and Recreation, and for the summer DVD club I'm doing recaps and reviews of Life on Mars (US version).

Have no fear though, I'll still be doing movies on here and the shows that I'm not reviewing. Mad Men's new season is quickly approaching which makes me so happy!

Going to see Get Him to the Greek tonight, will have some thoughts on that I'm sure.

I'll have some other updates coming soon. Recently got into Man from UNCLE, have the complete series of Sapphire and Steel to watch (a British Doctor Who type show, slightly darker with David McCallum), new round of reality shows beginning this Sunday, and some random features I've seen lately. Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Loyalty, or Lack There of in the Last G/E CI

“In New York City’s war on crime, the worst criminal offenders are pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. These are their stories.” Doink Doink.

Spoilers follow, FYI.

Seriously, last chance here.

Loyalty part 2 just finished here. The last Goren/Eames episode. Well, it was suppose to be Goren/Eames but some how amidst the elementary plot (that would’ve been found in season 1 of the show and should not have been used for season 9) Nichols and his new partner. A smattering of Goren and Eames here and there. Everything seemed rushed. The plot line with Danny Ross was hurried along in Loyalty part 1, the Captain was quickly dispatched with. There's not much else to say, everything was rushed to make way for the successors.

I’m just flabbergasted and disappointed by these two episodes. I mean this is the show that gave us the most amazing episodes with the character of Nicole Wallace. The plot lines with Gage, which were fantastic. The episode “Untethered” ALONE spoke volumes to the incredible stories and acting capable of those involved with this show. Or how about “Endgame” or “Frame” or “Purgatory” But these two episodes were such a cop out. Both were an insult to Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, everything built up in the last 9 years, and the fans. Chris Noth was given a better send off.

It seems like they completely disregarded everything that had happened. A staple of every episode (except for precious few) gave us an incredible scene in the interrogation room.

Only a few things I did enjoy:

Bobby’s line “Tie me up, do what you want to me, but don’t question how I feel about my country.”

The last scene between Goren and Eames. Okay. This was the only really good scene in the whole thing. I’m not a Goren/Eames shipper, but I liked their moment. I think that the characters love each other but I just never saw romantic love between them. Partners and best friends I can see easily.

Overall though, just a massive disappointment. Criminal Intent and I are finished unless they ever have a guest spot for VDO or Kathryn Erbe.

What it was, was great and that will be missed.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Reviews: Movies & TV - 1

An odd couple of weeks. I haven’t been watching my usual massive amounts of films thanks in large part to the start of the semester (which I’m so over already). However, the viewings for school have been enjoyable thus far and we’re already two episodes into the second half of Burn Notice season 3.

For a class about 1950s American Cinema I had to watch The Asphalt Jungle. Which turned out to be a fantastic 50’s film noir. A great caper film that I won’t give away, definitely a must see. Also in a very small supporting role is a blonde starlet we know as Marilyn Monroe. If you have a fancy for crime films this is a classic that you should go out of your way to see.

Watched Along Came Polly for the first time in while. It’s actually a really enjoyable, quirky comedy. Not only is it a different kind of story with a male character who’s obsessed with settling down, but it has a stellar cast. I of course re-watched this movie because of this on going Philip Seymour Hoffman thing. And he is as enjoyable in comedies as he is in dramas. But there is also Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing, Hank Azaria, and Alec Baldwin. I found that it’s worth a second look.


Now, the two recent episodes of Burn Notice: Incredible! It felt like there was going to be a bit of a slow start there, but now the ball is rolling. This past episode was great for so many reasons. There was so much character development and back-story given! As a devoted Bruce Campbell fangirl I was thrilled to see some background for Sam. Just SO good! I rarely go and buy episodes offline the day after they air. But this episode I did.
Of course I enjoy the Michael and Fi getting their relationship to a somewhat functional level. But I was just so excited that they brought in someone from Sam’s past and that BC got to do a little more as far as emotional scenes go. He doesn’t get angry like that very often. And then there was Maddie, our comic relief. Who was also amazing when she put her foot down with Mack and said, “He’s my son’s best friend. And come to think of it, he’s mine too.” Great episode.

Also in the TV realm this past week we saw the last episode of Dollhouse. First want to address my Alan Tudyk love. And the sheer thrill I felt at the fact that Joss Whedon DIDN’T KILL ALPHA! I was worried that we were going to see a Serenity redux there. However, two other well loved characters died. But in true Joss Whedon style it was done for the greater good (Doesn’t change my opinion about Wash). A good show, way to go out on top Joss.

In the vein of TV, though not a current show, I’ve become obsessed with Eli Stone. Wow. A fantastically quirky show that provided the viewing audience with George Michael hallucinations, visual effects that are reminiscent of Ally McBeal and singing, dancing Victor Garber. That’s right Spy Daddy has mad skill. It’s a great show, very sweet and funny. And you can’t beat the soundtrack. Another program that was taken off the air before it really got to spread its wings.

Devoted Fandoms

Hardcore fangirls (and boys) are an interesting breed. I consider this thought as I sit through the Grammys waiting for a brief moment of Quentin Tarantino. Suddenly I begin to consider all of the long B-movies, the crappy award shows, the random episodes of TV I have sat thru in order to see an actor or actress that I’m a fan of.

For instance, Ed Wood. One of the longest, most random movies you could sit through, especially if you aren’t a fan of Johnny Depp. No no, as a Vincent D’Onofrio fan I waited for an 8-minute appearance towards the very end of the movie to see VDO playing Orson Welles. And when I got there I discovered that his voice had been dubbed by that of the man who used to play The Brain (as in Pinky and The Brain).

But we still sit through these things even if just for a glimmer. We stay up till 3 in the morning to record a movie off TV because the movie isn’t going to be released on DVD anytime soon. And to buy it on VHS from Amazon would cost more than you care to pay. It’s amazing the things we do.

In that same thread, I point to the massive outpouring of devoted Conan fans these last couple of weeks. There were rallies held in the rain, “I’m With CoCo” shirts and signs, and a mass online campaign to show support for the ginger giant. It’s no secret that I am a devoted fan and I have never been so proud to be a part of a fan community.

So my three readers and any other fangirls or fanboys out there, tell me about your hardcore fandoms.

Team Conan

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movies, Awards and Debacles

As usual I apologize for the lapse in postings. Must say upfront, before I become distracted by the Conan/Leno/NBC debacle, that It’s Complicated was incredible. See it now and then go see it again. I went twice and it just convinced me even more that there’s nothing wrong with idolizing Nancy Meyers.

Rented Duplicity… it was good. Not great. The twists were incredible, I’ll give them that and I did enjoy the ending. But there were a few spans during the movie that failed to hold my attention.

Golden Globes were tonight. Pleased with some disappointed with others. I’m sorry but Avatar holds no interest for me. There were a lot of great choices for best dramatic picture and that was not the one that I would’ve picked. Not even one of the top three that I would’ve picked. Tarantino was robbed all over the place. I was however, very pleased that The Hangover took best comedy film, Sandra Bullock FINALLY won (best actress in a drama for Blind Side) and Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. Both are superb performers and these acknowledgements have been a long time coming. Also pleased that Drew Barrymore won for Grey Gardens, she is just the dearest person. And Mo’Nique for Precious, what a sincere acceptance speech.

I’m going to be brief about the whole Conan/Leno thing. It is probably not a surprise that I’m on Team Conan. I’ve grown up watching him. I adore his self-deprecating, random, quirky humor that I’ve always felt a kinship to. If I could watch him all the time I would. My personal feelings about Conan aside, as someone who wants to work in the Television industry I am embarrassed and ashamed of both NBC and Jay Leno. They tried a new experiment and it didn’t work. But instead of just cancelling Jay they decide to wedge him in between the news and Conan. Now if the show isn’t working at 10 o’clock, why would it work better at 11.35?

If Jay Leno returns to the Tonight Show he isn’t going to do anything different, the program isn’t going to grow. It’ll simply go back to the same old shtick that we said goodbye to months ago. Why would you want to take a step back? Conan O’Brien has been making a valiant effort to put his mark on the program. Take a moment and look back, didn’t he turn the Late Night program into something that drew in numerous fans? Didn’t he produce results with time?

Instead of giving Conan a chance, support, or a solid lead in, NBC has decided to rest on their laurels. And it is a disservice to Conan, the Tonight Show staff, and the viewing audience… that might explain why they don’t have one at the moment.

I am so horribly embarrassed by this whole thing, both as an audience member and someone who aspires to work in this industry. The situation makes NBC look bad, it makes Jay into a villain, and it makes out the industry to be exactly what people imagine it to be. Granted Jay should take a page from Johnny Carson’s book and bow out gracefully. But that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. This is rumored to be Conan’s last week. Which saddens me, but I am hopeful that he’ll get an offer from Fox and crush NBC in the ratings (which isn’t too difficult to do).

And on that I wrap this up. Doing a lot of script work recently, it's been good.

Team Conan.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

And So It Continues

As with all new fandoms this Philip Seymour Hoffman infatuation continues. Watched The Savages, Scent of a Woman, and Charlie Wilson's War. All three of which were incredible in their own way.

The Savages (2007) was heart breaking but at the same time quite funny. Laura Linney and PSH are siblings who have to take responsibility of their dementia ridden father after his long time girlfriend passes away.

Philip Bosco plays the father, a terrific actor that I'm always excited to see whenever he pops up some where. The acting is just indescribable. There are moments that are just hysterically funny and then there are others that just reduce you to tears. It's a testament to the writing as much as the performances. The writer/director Tamara Jenkins also did one of my favorite movies, Slums of Beverly Hills.

Scent of a Woman (1992) was... interesting. I watched it with a headache so that was probably a mistake on my part. Al Pacino is so loud. I liked the general premise and Chris O'Donnell was great, as was PHS, especially for being such young actors at the time. Pacino is... well he's Pacino. He screams and is horribly vulgar which tries my nerves after the first hour. The infamous tango scene was delightful and it was interesting to see Gabrielle Anwar in a different role (considering that I mainly know her as Fiona on Burn Notice). Bradly Whitford also pops in for the incredibly awkward family dinner.

It's a good movie, worth seeing if you have the time. But I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to see it again. It was long and had a few moments of "seriously? There's more?"

Charlie Wilson's War (2007) written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams... Yeah, it's a good movie. Based on real events mixed with the quippy delight of Aaron Sorkin's writing. This is one movie that I actually wish were longer. When I saw that Sorkin was writing it I was worried that it was going to be a rehashing of The West Wing in a different decade with a congressman instead of the President. But it was unique and enjoyable.

Definitely a movie you won't regret seeing. Especially enjoyable if you're a bit of a covert agency buff like I am. PSH character is with the CIA, dig it.

Empire Falls should be arriving next from Netflix. Soon as I send back Sky High... that's right, I rented a Disney movie. But in my defense it's about a high school for the kids of superheroes and has a great grown up cast. Bruce Campbell, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Cloris Leachman, Kurt Russell, the list goes on. It's just a fun movie that lets you escape for a little bit. No hidden motive behind the story, it just is what it is.

Also waiting for Going Back to arrive, a $10 purchase with Christmas money. One of Bruce Campbell's earlier movies that doesn't have the living dead. I'm super excited to see it! And will report back after I do.

That's all for now. Happy New Year to all three of my readers.

-Geek Girl