Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lookin' Back

Two hours into the new year, I wish to look back on my accomplishments of last year. On top of zillions of other movies, I have watched the following movies that have even the slightest chance of nabbing at the very least a technical Oscar:

(500) Days of Summer
The Blind Side
Bright Star
The Cat Piano
The Damned United
District 9
An Education
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hangover
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Informant!
Inglourious Basterds
Julie & Julia
Partly Cloudy
The Princess and the Frog
Public Enemies
A Serious Man
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Terminator Salvation
Up in the Air
Where the Wild Things Are

Other movies released this year (well, in the US in some cases) that I saw:
17 Again (blame the plane)
Away We Go
The Brothers Bloom
The Class
Land of the Lost (wish I hadn't)
I Love You, Man
The Proposal
The Soloist
State of Play
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (also mostly wish I hadn't)

Tack on my Documentary class screenings plus outside of class watches necessary along with catching up on last year's award movies (watched Frozen River and Happy-Go-Lucky the day of the Oscars, actually), not to mention good old general viewing and a crapload of TV shows (beloved BSG included)... and this was a productive year, entertainment-wise. I hope to top myself in 2010!

*technically, I saw Julia in 2008.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Also, notes:

- Caught up on Dexter. SO GOOD. Jesus, I don't understand why Michael C. Hall hasn't won an Emmy or Golden Globe yet. Love ya, Jon Hamm, love Hugh Laurie, love most of the repeat nominees, but my vote is going to Michael C. Hall this year. Just brilliant work this season (not to mention every season). I also understand the upset over Jennifer Carpenter being left off, at least at the Globes this year. Man, she was extremely powerful this past season. Highly impressive.

- Starting to catch up on House. And admittedly, a bit bored. Granted, I've never been intensely into House. Love Hugh Laurie, LOVE Robert Sean Leonard, love Lisa Edelstein, love Chase's accent, love Taub, loved Kutner... but I've never been particularly thrilled with procedurals. I'm still a few episodes behind though. I'll catch up soon.

- Seeing Sherlock Holmes tomorrow. Excited. Lykewhoa. I love RDJ. I tend to enjoy Guy Ritchie films. I love bromantic action flicks. So, this should be enjoyable if nothing else.

- icheckmovies has gotten me horribly wrapped into the world of watching movies. OH GOD WHAT A HORRIBLE PLACE. Kidding. But I did finally watch A History of Violence earlier and Saving Private Ryan and Artificial Intelligence are waiting for me. Not to mention my 15 or so movies on my external harddrive, the three or four DVDs I own that I've never watched, the few cool looking movies hulu offers, and all the movies I have yet to see in theatres (oh dude, I totally forgot about The Road in my last post... whoops... well, I'll see it). But it feels so nice to see my number go up when I watch a new movie! Like what happened after I saw The Blind Side on Monday. Whoo! Oh, btws, yes, Sandra Bullock was pretty awesome in it. Movie itself had me grimacing a little, but it was, for what it was, warm and gooey and enjoyable.

Rambling complete.

PS: Rewatching last episodes of Chuck. SO FRIGGIN EXCITED FOR ITS RETURN. SQUEE.

PREDICTIONS? Hardly, as if Sharlto Copley and Michael Sheen are getting nominated...

I have made the roughest combination of a dream list/prediction sheet. You'll see some glaring omissions, particularly from films I haven't seen yet, although some clear front-runners to get nominated I have left in some categories either for lack of a better suggestion or because I have faith that said film is awesome in that particular field. There are a couple categories that have an extra nominee because I couldn't narrow it down. There is a very clear bias in these selections. I have cut out a lot of Nine, there's no Invictus to be found, very little The Lovely Bones, but I also haven't seen any of those three so that's no surprise.

Movies yet to be watched, Oscar-wise, include (but are not limited to): The Lovely Bones, Nine, Invictus, The Last Station, The Young Victoria, The Hurt Locker, A Single Man, Crazy Heart, The Messenger, Brothers, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and a big host of others I could see. As it is, chances I'll see The Last Station or Brothers are kind of wobbly. Love Helen Mirren and the stars of Brothers, but goddamn does the material look eh.

Also to note, my original best Actor category had eight people (Michael Stuhlberg, George Clooney, and Matt Damon were also on it). I feel like a traitor totally ignoring Morgan Freeman, but this is a tough category this year, IMO.

ANYWAY, here is my intensely rough list praising District 9 and Bright Star far more than either will ever get praised:

(*asterisks mark movies I haven't seen*)

Best Picture
District 9
An Education
*The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Julie & Julia
A Serious Man
Star Trek
Up in the Air

Best Actor
*Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
Sharlto Copley – District 9
*Colin Firth – A Single Man
*Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
Michael Sheen – The Damned United

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Abbie Cornish – Bright Star
Carey Mulligan – An Education
Gabby Sidibe – Precious
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
*Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Alfred Molina – An Education
Stanley Tucci – Julie & Julia
*Stanley Tucci – The Lovely Bones
Cristoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga – Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
Melanie Laurent – Inglourious Basterds
*Julianne Moore – A Single Man
Mo’Nique – Precious

Best Director
*Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
James Cameron – Avatar
Jane Campion – Bright Star
Joel and Ethan Coen – A Serious Man
Lone Scherfig – An Education
Quentin Tarantino – Inglourious Basterds

Best Original Screenplay
(500) Days of Summer
*The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man

Best Adapted Screenplay
District 9
An Education
The Informant!
Up in the Air

Best Editing
*The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Best Cinematography
Bright Star
District 9
*The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
*The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Inglourious Basterds
Julie & Julia
*The Young Victoria

Best Make-Up
District 9
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are

Best Art Direction
Bright Star
District 9
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man

Best Visual Effects
District 9
Star Trek

Best Sound Editing
District 9
*The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Best Sound Mixing
District 9
*The Hurt Locker
Star Trek

Best Original Score
The Informant!
The Princess and the Frog
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are

Best Song
“I See You” – Avatar
*“The Weary Kind” – Crazy Heart
“Almost There” – The Princess and the Frog (or “When We’re Human” or “Down in New Orleans”)
“Cinema Italiano” – Nine
“All Is Love” – Where the Wild Things Are

Best Animated Feature
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog

(excluded: Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Documentary Feature)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Re: Up in the Air, An Education

Spoilers, people, if you haven't learned to expect them here.

Goddamn, can you stop ruining my romances with secret marriages? I mean, I was totally cool with it in An Education, and honestly, I'm okay with it in Up in the Air (although it does make me want to punch Vera Farmiga's character in the face; a similar sentiment I felt in The Departed), but WHINE.

But yes, Up in the Air was very good. I quite enjoyed it, it brought me to tears a few times, Anna Kendrick is stunning, George Clooney really does do a great job in the role, and Vera Farmiga, for making me want to hit her, does very well also. The film is very much of its time, and felt extremely satisfying in that way. It was very good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Because Nobody Likes a Total Snob.

Two things.

One - I hate film snobs. I love movies. I love good movies. I love bad movies. I love commercial movies. I love experimental/artsy/etc. movies. Not all of any of those categories... but I can't help that. There are good movies I dislike (Let the Right One In... that's supposed to be a good movie, right?). There are bad movies I dislike (...this list would be much longer, but let's limit it to a piece of trash like You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Yeah, I wasted money on that movie). There are commercial films I dislike (er, again, this would make a long list, but I think Zohan fits here too). There are experimental/artsy/etc. movies I dislike (I don't see a lot of these, to be frank, but film class helps expose me to them and some just are not my style). But no matter what movie I see, even if I go in thinking I will hate it or like it or whatever, there's still a clear opinion that I cannot deny myself. Like Avatar, which I went into expecting to not be impressed, determined to not be impressed and was... impressed. Like Let the Right One In, which I'd heard was awesome, which people told me was great, but I walked away not really enjoying it. Like Twilight, which actually had some awesome moments for so bad a movie I will happily admit to (and honestly, with such shitty material, snaps to Catherine Hardwicke for doing it any decency).

So, pretty much, I just really hate people who rip on commercial films because of the industry. Or people who rip on foreign language films because for whatever reason people hate subtitles (honestly, I love me some subtitles; I used to watch movies in English with subtitles for kicks). Or people who rip on independent filmmaking because they think it's too snobby (unfortunately, too often, they're right). I dislike the pressure some people put on me as a socially conscious individual to avoid commercial filmmaking, to avoid Hollywood, to avoid supporting the big guy. And y'know what? I would love to focus in on independent fare. And I love independent fare. But you know what else? There are some major pretentious jackasses over there, just like there are some obnoxious full-of-themselves douchebags in commercial filmmaking. Wherever you go, there will be jerks. So I might as well watch and make movies that I like, whether it be through a big distributor or a small one. 'Cause, really, in the end, we can generalize all we want about each field, but there's no right or wrong way to make a movie. And I tend to prefer movies made for art rather than money, but there are some SHITTY movies made for art rather than money too.

To all you film snobs out there determined to hate big movies, to diss on The Dark Knight because it's too commercial to like, like my former college film advisor, who complained about the Hollywoodization of Milk: shut the fuck up and just enjoy the movies. You can criticize the roots separately, but the movie itself is something worth approaching and appreciating without major critique to where it is coming from. Just enjoy the experience without the jadedness while you're watching it. Relive that innocence within you. It's refreshing, believe me.

On that note, yes, I do like Juno. No, I do not think it is the bee's knees, I think it is wildly overrated but still a good movie. Yes, I do have something against Diablo Cody and it's not just her "dress" she wore when she won an Oscar. Although I appreciate where her attitude of "I'm so awesome" comes from, I dislike what she does with it, promoting the most crappy eclectic things as she can and being the ultimate hipster goddess. Jesus H. Christ.

I can get a bit snobby about movies, but believe me, I like my fair share of crappy movies, commercial products, and movies from many walks of... production. I rented Maid in Manhattan like once a week when I was 12. I LOVED that movie. I still think it's kind of cute. >.>

Two - I am seeing Up in the Air tomorrow. I am excited.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

4 Movies, 5 Days...

Not bad, not bad at all in my humble opinion. Since my arrival home Thursday evening I have seen Avatar, Fantastic Mr. Fox, An Education, and The Princess and the Frog. All of which I think were good. I blabbed on about Avatar and although I certainly liked the other three movies, I don't really feel too strongly about blabbing on for ages.

And in older film world... I've been slowing making my way through The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on hulu. I'll finish it tonight is my hope. >.>

If Dexter doesn't distract me! Or gnawing guilt over my unfinished internships applications that I seriously need to get down to. Or how behind on House I am.


I will say that the music in The Princess and the Frog was quite excellent. I love the nostalgia of 2D Disney animated musicals. Carey Mulligan was fabulous in An Education (and Rosamund Pike was adorably ditzy). Fantastic Mr. Fox was cleverly adorable. But as for their respective best bet categories, although Carey Mulligan has an excellent chance at the Best Actress, Meryl Streep's Julia Child was simply stunning. LOVED it. And Fantastic Mr. Fox is excellent... but you got to be kidding me, it is no Up. If it was competing against the opening montage of Carl and Ellie's life together only, it would still lose in my book. People cheer over the beautiful silent opening of Wall-E... well, I say, what Wall-E does in half an hour, Up does in about five minutes. Not to mention reducing me to tears.

These are the logs of the Starship Sarah. Her ongoing mission? To seek out unknown space, to see movie after movie after movie, to talk and talk about them until people roll their eyes, fall asleep, and beg for mercy.

BTWs, no, I am not a Star Trek fan (save the new one). As I explain to all of my friends, Star Wars is pop culture, Star Trek is cult, and I love me some cult, and I like camp, but Jesus Christ, all I thought while watching Wrath of Khan was "Khan has a REALLY nice chest" and "I wish I were watching Star Wars." >.>

Still to see in theatres in the coming days? Up in the Air (comes out Wednesday! :D), Invictus, Nine, The Blind Side, A Single Man, Crazy Heart, The Messenger, and The Lovely Bones. Maybe The Last Station and The Young Victoria. Hope to catch The White Ribbon eventually, and The Beaches of Agnes. Will rent Food, Inc., The Hurt Locker, In the Loop, and others...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I saw it. Avatar.

I'm not going to blab on particularly long about Avatar because, well, I don't have that much to say. It was, to be frank, quite awesome. I really enjoyed it. Some people complained beforehand about the story being trite and thin and the dialogue being rather meh, but it hardly distracted me. It was hardly Shakespeare, but when it comes to sci-fi epics, I mean, how simple are the Star Wars lines that are endlessly quoted?

"May the Force be with you."
"My name is Luke Skywalker, I'm here to rescue you."
"I love you." "I know."
"No, I am your father."

None of these are exactly poetry either, but they are all incredibly awesome lines, particularly Harrison Ford's improvised ESB line pre-carbon freeze. So I see nothing to complain about with Avatar. Beside that, it is an EPIC. And by epic, I mean that the plot is going to be somewhat traditional in many ways, and that's nothing to guffaw at. Storytelling-wise, there's nothing revolutionary about the movie. The special effects are fucking amazing, of course, but the story itself is what it is supposed to be - strong, powerful, striking, and good. But not revolutionary.

But on the special effects, can I say how fucking amazing they are again? And it's not just the Na'vi, which were done very well, but also simply all alien life on Pandora. Every creature, all the flora, the whole thing was just so beautiful and, for lack of better word, exotic. It felt like I was truly transported to this location, which is what the best sci-fi and fantasy epics do. I have the same feeling with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and to bring in video games, the sci-fi epic I am partial to: Mass Effect. These are spectacular worlds that tell amazing but traditionally-based stories. I am happy to see Avatar and look at it as a new classic. Although the special effects will soon enough be commonplace and not long after become outdated, the epic nature of the beast will keep it around for a long time.

It's not the special effects that made Star Wars or Lord of the Rings as awesome as they are, and it's not that they told a wildly original story - they simply brought us into this new world and captivated us with a beautiful story and a well-thought out and captivating world.

In fact, I want to return to Pandora really soon, and I hope that, if good sequels can be imagined, that there will be sequels. But only if they can be good (take a cue from Pixar; even though Toy Story 3 is eleven years after Toy Story 2, it's because they were waiting for a good story and I have few doubts that Toy Story 3 won't deliver the goods. Toy Story 2 did). We have enough bad sequels in the world. Other than that, I look forward to seeing Avatar again. I might dare to do it again in theatres if I find time between all the other movies, but probably not. I will see it again. And hopefully love it just as much. Because it truly is a GREAT film in both content and era. While maybe not the best film I've seen of this year or my favorite (and I am still lacking several, so we'll see what happens), I have a feeling that this movie will last.

I think I read somewhere that James Cameron doesn't see this film to be as timeless as Titanic, but I have a feeling it'll prove otherwise. For example, over thirty years later, everyone still knows what Star Wars is. Even if the damned fools haven't seen it.

Don't worry, I'm fixing that. Bard Film Committee is doing a Star Wars weekend next semester. A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. I am FORCING all my WEIRD friends who haven't seen Star Wars to come. I just don't understand. It's such an amazing classic.

One of my favourite things about future!motherhood (y'know, in ten years or so is what I'm aiming for) is going to be sharing my childhood experiences with my kids. The Pixar films, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. And you know what? They're seeing Avatar too. And a shitload of other movies. 'Cause, well, if you know anything about me, I effing love movies. My kids better too.

PS: Let me make this very clear. Yes, I think Sam Worthington is a hunk. Yes, I think he was amazing in Terminator Salvation (as was Anton Yelchin. Sorry, Christian Bale, you're normally great but you really blew in that movie). Yes, I am going to start seeing movies probably explicitly because he is in them. No, Anton Yelchin is still my future husband.

PPS: I am attempting to do a double feature tomorrow of Fantastic Mr. Fox and An Education. Wish me luck! Hope it doesn't snow TOO much.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lists. I Like 'Em.

Quick, useless-to-anyone-but-me updated To See list:

- The Lovely Bones
- Nine
- Avatar
- Invictus
- The Blind Side
- Amreeka
- An Education
- Sherlock Holmes
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- The Princess and the Frog
- The Road
- A Single Man
- The Messenger
- Up in the Air
- Crazy Heart
- The Last Station
- The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
- The Beaches of Agnes
- Food, Inc.
- Ponyo
- The Hurt Locker
- Every Little Step

That's manageable over winter break, right? I might weed some of these out. I actually don't really care about Leo Tolstoy, but I do love Helen Mirren hence wavering interest over The Last Station. Point is, some of these movies are on here because I like to see all the awards contenders I can. But, luckily, I have genuine interest in nearly all of these films anyway, so nyeh.

As for possible contenders seen: 2012, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, The Damned United, Up, Coraline, Precious, The Cat Piano, Partly Cloudy, Star Trek, District 9, Public Enemies, The Informant!, Where the Wild Things Are, Bright Star, Julie & Julia, (500) Days of Summer, The Hangover

No, I think it's hilarious too that The Hangover has submitted itself for Best Picture. But you want to know what's funnier? Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has as well. Just because there are ten best picture slots doesn't mean we have to revert to BAD block-busters to fill the spots. 'S why Star Trek has the fighting chance it does. I'll be surprised and pretty impressed if Star Trek ends up nominated, BTWs.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Precious: A Difficult Feeling

Last night's episode of Glee was one of the best of the season. The music of the episode wasn't the best, no, but the story was brilliant. I love Glee, but sometimes things are too much of a mash-up when I just want it all to move like a real story.

Maybe it's just me, but I really wasn't that in love with Coraline. I liked it, I wanted to really like it, but I just couldn't. It was a great film visually, but the story felt too thin at times that I just couldn't love it the way some of my critics seem to.

But onto more convoluted and lengthily-written sentiments...

I saw Precious this past Thanksgiving weekend (last Saturday, to be exact). I was almost ashamed that I didn't actually cry during it. I teared up, for sure, the same moment Mariah Carey's character was kind of blubbering on screen, and the whole film just left me in this state of mind that I just wasn't allowed to talk about it. Which is so interesting from the perspective we're taking from reading Maus in my literature class this past week. The idea that the Holocaust cannot be retold, but rather that Maus acts as a substitution, never daring to presume that it is a retelling or a recreation - it simply is what it is.

But something tugs at me and tells me that Precious is supposed to be real and that is what makes me clam up about it. Not that it's based directly off of a true story - although Oprah and Tyler Perry find themselves taking it and applying it to real tales around them, and I can't blame them for doing that in the least - but that it isn't trying to substitute for anything, it's trying to take the place of that reality, trying to show us it. I'm not sure how I feel about that, about seeing this depressing-as-hell story told to me. I can't really talk about the film, about the elements of it. I feel as if I'd be betraying what the movie is showing. I don't dare to put the film into a frame like we're asked to when we're asked how we feel about a movie or how it is. And some movies, most movies that I see actually, I can do that. I can talk and talk about the narrative structure, about what I liked and didn't like, about the portrayals and this and that and on and so forth. But some movies, like Precious, just leave me with the sense that I'm not allowed to say anything about it. I can't even know how I feel about it. I can pick out little things, talk about the skillful acting, about the interesting structure and bleakness of it all, but I can't even dare to seriously summarize or react to it.

This is something I don't want to have. I'd rather have the courage to be able to do what Art Spiegelman does and take the frikkin Holocaust and find some way to express myself without betraying the original event, without betraying Precious and her story, but still managing to express what that experience brings. I haven't read the novel the movie is based off of, and maybe the movie does that for the novel. Successfully substitutes the sufferings of the novel with the sufferings in the movie. There is something that so nicely converts a story sometimes when it is translated from a textual to a visual medium. But I'm rambling, and I don't even make sense to myself by this point.

My point is that this class, Narratives of Suffering, has changed the way I look at everything around me, no joke. I also saw A Serious Man and thanks to Narratives of Suffering, despite really enjoying the movie and thinking it was good, I have some serious beef with it that I am still trying to articulate in my mind to make into an eventual post. But A Serious Man is still something of a comedic movie, something quirky, by the Coens' brothers. Not like Precious, not like this brutally honest thing that I just don't want to confront but is haunting me everyday that I don't try to face it down and accept what it was trying to tell me. It's simple really: the horrors people can put on those they supposedly love, the hurt that "love" provides, and real love that can be found, a way to escape and a hope for something more. But there's still such a trauma there.

It's funny how everything pieces together so smoothly in life. Not only did I see these two movies all about suffering in the midst of trying to understand it through the lens of this class and the fifteen books we've read for it (The Road is last and coincidentally enough, the movie version just came out!), but one of my friends just did a presentation on trauma this evening, the last portion of which I attended. It was a pretty straightforward synopsis of trauma, providing the important information about it, and presenting it mostly within the idea of sexual abuse and on college campuses. But after having just finished rereading Maus, trauma seems so much bigger than that, so much more complicated. But basically my life is surrounding me with these narratives of suffering and asking me, begging me, in fact, to confront and understand them. The song I'm doing for my jazz final is even called "I Want To Be Happy!" I mean, what the hell, life?

It always circles back around to that class lately. And not without good reason. I'm glad that a class I'm taking has had such an effect on my life. Not like my film classes which, although awesome, have provided more of a technical and aesthetic appreciation and skill, but something that has truly made me think more profoundly and to look around me at the world with more thought. A year ago, I would have simply accepted Precious and A Serious Man as amazing films, and when Precious would have scared me from trying to talk about it, I wouldn't have bothered to try to think about why and have simply accepted that it's a difficult story.

And it is a difficult story, and a very difficult movie. But I want to try to talk about it without feeling the eyes on me, asking why I, such a privileged person whose worst worries are about getting her homework all done in time and adequately, should ever dare to think about such pain. Who am I to think about such pain? But it's not about looking at it apart, seeing it as myself. I want to look at this movie and not get lost in the pain and suffering but see it analytically as well, understandingly, but without losing my humanity in the process. Yes, I feel for Precious, I watch her in the movie and my heart tries to leap out of my chest to be closer to her, to join souls with her, but I don't want that to cloud my ability to see the movie as a narrative. It's easy to let that happen as I've felt with several of the narratives we've read in my class. And it's easy to step back and forget how to feel. I want to do both and it's a struggle, but a worthwhile one, because in feeling but understanding, like Art Spiegelman seems to succeed at in Maus, I can lay myself next to the story, and love it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

On FlashForward, TV this season, New Moon, The Blind Side, Film Class, and Precious (granted, Precious got one sentence...)

Last night's FlashForward was quite good, wasn't it? And I am really liking V as well as it progresses. Although I started off the season more focused on the new comedies (Modern Family, Community, and Glee), I find myself slinking more toward the sci-fi dramas because, well, they're awesome (nothing against the other shows; they're quite good as well). Although I am loathe to admit that I am not as passionately crazy about Glee as I was in the beginning, I still am a big Gleek at heart, downloading the music and episodes as soon as I can. But last night's character-driven FlashForward? So freakin' GOOD. I am really excited to see more of Keiko; she seems like such a great character.

In other news, you may all have heard of a little movie coming out today called New Moon (which, if I even bother to pay money to see, won't be for another month when the fangirl numbers coming en masse to theatres have dropped considerably), which I am psyched to see being critically smashed to pieces. The funny thing is, the worse the reviews are, the more I want to see the movie. If it was just a snooze-fest of "eh, blegh" I would be disappointed. But hearing about the poor effects, the funny camera angles, and the hilarity of it all (thank you TWoP) just makes me interested in having a few laughs. Twilight made me crack up consistently, for example, so I have a feeling New Moon can entertain appropriately as well. Unfortunately, New Moon will kick ass at the box office. Blargh.

I am seeing Precious a week from tomorrow. I am excited!

And I have finally discovered the art of editing. I mean, my editing may be shit for all I know, but hey! I have now edited three approx. three minute projects. Booyah. This weekend is "get shit done for film class" weekend, which also means I need to shoot my fifth project. Fun fun times! Next weekend is internship weekend, the first weekend of December is jazz class weekend, and the last weekend of the semester is "oh hay, final paper for lit class!" weekend. Yeah. Fun fun times.

And on a final note, you have no idea how glad I am that The Blind Side has been getting reasonably good reviews. It makes me feel like less of a total loser for genuinely wanting to see that movie.

Friday, November 13, 2009

BTWs... about Heroes... + Why FlashForward Is Better Than You Give It Credit For

Pretty sure I changed my mind from before; I haven't bothered watching Heroes since like the third episode and probably won't bother to continue. I just hope it dies soon. NBC seems to be fizzling out all its other dramas too, so why not this tired and never-going-to-improve one?

My ulterior motivation in doing this is to eventually remake the series better. I doubt I would ever actually do that because there are other things I'd rather do, but I would totally blow up New York and hire some better writers.

And... House. I feel bad because I actually do want to keep watching House, but there are just so many other shows I'd rather be watching these days so I am not up to date on that show either. I'll try to catch up one day... but not now.

Oh and Dexter too. I still haven't finished the third season. Oops! >.>

On another note, although most people don't seem to be in love with FlashForward, I have a couple things to say in its favor. The reason I think that I personally am getting so invested in this show has to do with a literature class I am taking right now called Narratives of Suffering. In fact, FlashForward and my class overlap in ways enough that I wrote it into the conclusion of my midterm paper for the class (my professor actually quite liked it and thanked me for bringing the show to his attention; I had a paper conference with him earlier this week, just after (**SPOILERS**) Al offed himself and I told him about that and how interesting it was).

My paper was about the idea of suffering and human agency in regards to it. In many ways, we do not have control over the suffering that is given to us. Depending on who you ask or your source material, it might be that suffering is randomly assigned to people who undergo tragic experiences that plague them or cause suffering due to a complete removal or one from one's comfortable life. We've talked about this in class in relation to an identity within a frame that we create for ourselves. And then something comes along and while we suffer, we are removed from our frames and all that we felt we could control before is taken away from us and we are left in the infinite space of the universe, the wall we built up around ourselves as a symbol of who we are is suddenly taken away from us and we are lost. It could also be said that this natural, part of being human (something that can be taken away in particular from the poetry of Emily Dickinson or that seems to be implied in Samuel Beckett's play, Endgame). Or a condition of our being in a certain state (the focus of my paper was primarily on Harriet Jacobs' narrative of her life in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl). Either way, when we suffer and we are removed from our place, there is a sense of nothing we can do, that we have to give into our eventual fate and let suffering take us where it will.

Or, we can make a choice. Even if there is nothing physically that we can do to overcome our suffering, we can make a mental choice that we want to survive. In Owen Chase's narrative Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale, although he and his companions are starving on a boat far away from land, unable to even move at points because they have been so physically reduced, it really it the mental state that each man takes on that controls whether or not they will survive. Chase writes, "all was dark [Isaac Cole] said in his mind, not a single ray of hope was left for him to dwell upon; and it was folly and madness to be struggling against what appeared so palpably to be our fixed and settled destiny. I remonstrated with him as effectually as the weakness both of my body and understanding would allow of" (pg. 67). Although Chase fails to convince Cole that his destiny was not fixed as a dead man, here is the beautiful demonstration of human agency even when it seems we have none left. So many of the characters that we explore in this class make a conscious choice that, despite their state, they will fight it somehow. Mary Rowlandson in The Sovereignty and Goodness of God stands by her bible even while in the hands of the Indians, keeping her faith strong as she suffers, choosing to believe that God will deliver her from it, and he does. Chase eventually survives to tell the tale (although it is rumoured that he went crazy from the cannibalism they had to employ to survive and the long-term starvation and suffering each survivor endured). Jacobs manages to escape to the north after several years in a tiny space where she hid before she could leave the south.

But then, at the same time, none of the characters truly finds happiness in the end. As I said, Chase goes crazy, and when Jacobs goes up to the north, she finds that the world up there isn't a whole lot better to black women than the south was. We also watched a couple films in the class, The Sweet Hereafter and Leaving Las Vegas (which is why I was more than a little pissed off when Owen Gleiberman describes Nicolas Cage's character as someone who is "full of longing and regret" neither of which ever seems to cross the character from the perspective I watched the film). But I want to focus on the former film. In the closing narration, Nicole, the only child who survives the tragic bus accident, comments that in the process of moving past the grief and coming out of suffering that the town didn't exactly return to happiness, rather, they were now in a "strange and new" world, as she describes it. One of Dickinson's poems goes as follows:

"I shall know why-when Time is over-
And I have ceased to wonder why-
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky-

He will tell me what “Peter” promised-
And I-for wonder at his woe-
I shall forget the drop of Anguish
That scalds me now-that scalds me now!"

No matter what comes later, anguish will leave its mark. Suffering will leave its mark. There is a chance of removing yourself from suffering, but you will never reenter the world you had before it came.

And here is where FlashForward comes in. FlashForward has characters who see firsthand the suffering they will go through, or their flashforwards cause suffering upon their sight. Olivia is terrified of her eventual adultery. Mark is scared of returning to his alcoholism and losing his family. Nicole is frightened of a world where she finds herself deserving of being drowned to death. Demetri is, unsurprisingly, unpleased by the prospect of being murdered. Aaron is fraught by all kinds of despair when he sees his supposedly dead daughter alive. And Al, poor Al, wants to stop himself from being the cause of death for a single mother.

Yet, the agency that these characters employ? It's pitiful! The show seems to endorse the nonsensical concept of determinism, which Lloyd calls Simon out for using in yesterday's episode. But there are little things that characters do. Mark burns the friendship bracelet his daughter makes for him... all while constructing the board he sees in his future. Olivia throws away the lingerie she sees in her flashforward. Nicole tries to be the best person in the world, one who hardly deserves her death. And Al... kills himself.

I give Al two gigantic thumbs up, as well as the writers of FlashForward, for that game-changing decision. I cried, not only because it was so sad, but also because it was a much-needed remonstration of how the future is not set in stone (didn't we learn this lesson in Terminator all those years ago?). I had been waiting since the beginning for someone to jump off a building or take a gun to their head. It seems such a depression alternative, but in this case, it is a form of agency, better than the efforts the other characters have been making. They obsess over their futures rather than trying to live their lives as if their futures are still within their control. They are thrown out of whack, out of their comfortable little frames of lives, and forget that they have any control whatsoever. They are acting like Chase's companions and admitting defeat, that there's nothing to be done, the destiny has already been prescribed, there's no way out.

But there is, and that is what is so interesting and frustrating and beautiful about FlashForward. It provides us with this amazing study of how we all can react to a loss of control. It's not the same as being lost on a tropical island, not about finding that you have super powers, not about supernatural beings and powers. But all of these scenarios, they show new potential by being removed. But this... FlashForward, is so unique. It's not a change of what's already happened that leads this people to make their new choices and to arrange their new lives. There was a big dramatic event, the blackout, yes, but that's not all. Not only is there that bookend with the deaths of millions and the destruction of many places, but there's a future seen too. The potential is lost when people see the future and find themselves bound to a destiny, lost from their control, not just from the life they've already had, but the life they wanted or planned to have.

FlashForward isn't perfect. But I am so tired of hearing it labeled as a Lost knock-off, as too slow-moving or whatever else people find bad about it. FlashForward raises some of the most interesting questions and observations about human nature in regards to this loss of control, in regards to suffering, both of which I believe to be so important and central to human life, than I have seen in a while.

I will close this lengthy argument with the closing paragraph of the paper I wrote for my class. It was written before the latest two episodes of FlashForward were aired and therefore before Al's suicide. It may be repetitive of what I've already said, it may not be as articulate or clear or as in favor of the show as I am trying to be here. But it is an example of how truly fascinating this is:

"As an extension of this particular concept of human defiance versus submission to the fate’s commandment of suffering, there has been something tugging at my brain for some time now. This subject consistently reminds me of a new television series by the name of FlashForward. In the series, each of the characters is privy to a two minute and seventeen second “flashforward” (a vision with the clarity of a memory but of something that hasn’t yet happened) to a point approximately six months in the future. What people see brings them to do many things they may not have done had they not seen their future, especially those who see negative things in their flashforward (reverting to alcoholism after seven years of sobriety, having been murdered prior to that date, being in an extramarital affair with an unknown man, etc.) But what really surprises me is how some of the characters follow the strings, allow themselves to be drawn into the web of destiny or fate or whatever leads them to that place in the future, to that place where they would rather not go. Of course, the solution is not to simply kill oneself, although that would surely defy what is seen in the future. But when the woman avoids the man she will supposedly have an affair with, when the girl who sees herself as being “deservedly” murdered resolves to do absolutely no wrong in her life that would allow her such a fate, it reminds me of the strength of humanity to fight against what is to come. Here’s to hoping that some of them are actually capable of defying fate. Otherwise, the argument for humanity’s ability to use our small portion of agency to fight back will have been smacked down as completely false. If we can’t even stop the things we have been forewarned of, what hope is there when we don’t get that opportunity to see where the road goes?"

...the only thing I'm worried about? I'm only worried that FlashForward won't realize how smart it is (Heroes style... but I think FlashForward is already a lot stronger than Heroes was in the beginning) and ruin the beautiful study is has presented to us. Maybe I can even hope some of the dudes involved read this and realize what I'm getting out of it! ...but I doubt that. So the end.

Oh Movies! How I Long to See You! Let Me Count You...

Up in the Air
...because I love that who seems to be the most successful Twilight actor played an annoying human and I am rooting a hundred percent for Anna Kendrick even though I have only seen the previews. Oh and George Clooney and Jason Reitman are fabulous too. I liked Thank You for Smoking far more than I liked Juno (I liked Juno plenty; but it was way overrated) and the previews just look stunning and I've only heard good things.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
...because, although sometimes I am not that into Wes Anderson, this looks wonderful. I didn't really pay it much attention until I finally saw the preview before Where the Wild Things Are and then thought to myself how wonderful that film would be. Meryl Streep and George Clooney hardly hurt my desire to see what looks like a very clever and quality animated film. Also, good reviews encourage me.

The Road
...because, although I've been back and forth on my expectations for this film ever since I heard about it, if Cormac McCarthy thinks it's a good adaptation of his magnificent novel, I might end up genuinely liking it. Plus, Viggo Mortensen does no wrong.

...because I like crying during movies. I'm a little apprehensive that it'll be overhyped and a replay of the whole Slumdog Millionaire craze (good, tear-jerking indie movie sweeps the awards... not that the two are the same movie because I've gotten the impression that Precious is no holds-barrel depressing and horrific as opposed to Slumdog Millionaire's general cheeriness despite the slums), but it's also been beloved by many, even if not by all. I can understand the fatigue, but I still liked Slumdog Millionaire too.

...because I adore Morgan Freeman and am excited to see a movie that looks perfect for him. Not to mention that the trailer looks very strong, the plot is interesting, and Matt Damon is also a really fantastic actor. Clint Eastwood directing doesn't hurt it either.

The Lovely Bones
...because I fell in love with the book when I was required to read it the summer before my freshman year of high school, staying up until 9am finishing it, crying like a baby. Saioirse Ronan is a wonderful actress (one of the actually quite good parts of Atonement, as the Academy recognized her before), Peter Jackson is certainly a capable director, and although Mark Wahlberg can be kind of questionable, he did kick major ass in The Departed (Oscar nom!) and the rest of the cast looks solid. Oh and the trailer makes me cry every time I see it.

The Hurt Locker
...because I'm behind on the game and missed it over the summer and my feminine power side is just so excited that Kathryn Bigelow is being talked up as a Best Director possibility because it is still so sad how old-fashioned the film industry is. I love me some old white guy movies, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see alternatives succeed! Not to mention that I've only heard the best things about this movie and I enjoy quality action-centric films.

The Princess and the Frog
...because for all that Disney has done wrong, they made some awesome movies in the '90s and this seems like a good return to form. Maybe it won't be quite Pixar-level, but I still think it'll be an enjoyable ride.

...because I am so curious as to see what happens after the world implodes.

...because I want to be convinced that it is actually worth the hype (I doubt I will be). Alternatively, I look forward to telling everyone how it isn't good enough. But I love Sam Worthington, so I'd also like for it to succeed. Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see. I'm really wary of this movie.

Sherlock Holmes
...because it looks badass and Robert Downey Jr. is beyond amazing (not to mention that the rest of the cast is also quite strong and Guy Ritchie does make some good films... let's all forget that he remade the already nutty Swept Away...). I love action flicks too, if I didn't already make that part clear.

An Education
...because the critics told me to for Carey Mulligan and I am their slave (I wish I were lying).

A Serious Man
...because I've heard it is good. And I do like me some Coen brothers. And I went to my first bar mitzvah this year so now I'll all kinds of curious about the whole premise of this film.

A Single Man
...because I do quite like Colin Firth and want to see how he does in this (supposedly, fabulously).

...because I remember when I saw the trailer before I even heard most of the awards prediction possibilities about it and thought to myself "well this looks AWESOME" and watched the trailer about ten more times that evening. Also, just LOOK at that cast. And it's directed by Rob Marshall of Chicago... and I went back and rewatched Chicago for the first time in a while recently and remembered just how actually good it was. And those visuals? Oh god, I am exciting myself all over again for this movie.

The Blind Side
...because although it could easily be cheesy and lame and eh, I still find myself attracted to it in all its tear-jerking glory.

And god I hope that's all the movies I plan to see (there will be more, especially when the award nominations start rolling in and I realize which ones I'll need to see... fuck the Oscars for naming the nominees so late this year; I'll already be back at school with absolutely no time or a Netflix account... bizznatches). I also hope that most of these movies are worth seeing.

PS: Fuck tag limits. I also intended to tag: 2012, The Princess and the Frog, and Other Awards, but the stupid character max stopped me. >.<

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Filmic Weekend: Filming Wal-Mart and Seeing Some Movies.

Saw Where the Wild Things Are and The Damned United. After/before, yes, filming inside and outside of the local Wal-Mart for my film class. Yeah. I'm that cool.

I wanted to like Where the Wild Things Are more than I did. Not to say that I didn't like it; I actually quite liked the movie. But not as much as I wanted to. I'll admit it: I've never read the book. But I was still a bit disappointed at times. I was glad that there was no enormous annoying plot going on because it wasn't that kind of movie, more importantly relying on the relationships and on growing up and being a kid at the same time. And Max Records is the most adorable child I have ever seen, hands down. He's incredibly charming and sweet and playful and was perfect in the movie. And the beginning and end and most of the in-between really struck within me. But the movie was a whole... it's hard for me to say I loved the whole thing. It feels a lot like Across the Universe in some ways, in that it has so many great moments but overall, I can't say I was in love. But, no doubt, I did really enjoy it.

My roommate saw Paranormal Activity while I was in WTWTA, and I am surprised to hear that she was really disappointed and disliked it. Granted, I never really intended to see the movie, but it' surprising hearing people being disappointed by it. But whatevs, I doubt it's the best movie ever, and that's fine by me.

Then yesterday we went out and saw The Damned United. Now, believe me, my knowledge of British football relies on friends of mine who actually give a crap, most of whom are Manchester United fans. So I knew next to nothing going in, but that worked out fine. I wasn't as confused as I expected I might be. The movie itself was really, really good. I really enjoyed the bromance at the core of the movie and realizing how much I really adore Timothy Spall and Michael Sheen. I'm always sad when I see these awesome little films and think to myself, "eh, nobody's going to remember them in a couple months." But hey, the Academy surprised me last year with a nom for Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, so we'll see about Michael Sheen, eh? After being over-shadowed by Helen Mirren and then Frank Langella, I just feel like it's his turn to get noticed for being the awesome actor he is.

Also, saw previews for Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I've decided I'd really like to see (it looks so gooood. And George Clooney is just so smooooth). So many movies! And I'd also like to see A Serious Man before the weekend's out (but we'll see how that goes). In the meantime, lots of homework to do. 40 days.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Hate Feeling So Behind Even Though There Is Still So Much To Arrive...

Being a full time student + part time employee + college students who enjoys socializing in her spare time when she isn't doing a shitload of homework = less time to see movies. As it is, I am far behind both on Oscar movies and regular enjoyment movies (helloooo, Zombieland). I haven't been to the theatre in nearly three weeks when I saw a few new films, including Bright Star. So there have been movies I have missed and hopefully they will remain in theatres until next weekend when I take a short detour home for a couple days to catch up on TV, movies, and good food.

Movies I Would Like To See This Month: Where the Wild Things Are, Zombieland, Good Hair, An Education, The Road, The Damned United, A Serious Man.

The Road and An Education come out in time for Thanksgiving break, while I'm going to have to hurry up to see Zombieland and Where the Wild Things Are before they disappear from theatres. I'd also like to see Clive Owen in The Boys Are Back, but, come on, I'm already assigning myself the task of seeing 7 movies during a three day weekend plus a four and a half day break, which also involves crossing the state to visit family for half of that.

But winter break will be a lot more interesting. The past two winters have seen me watch movies like a crazy woman between Netflix and the theatre. It is quite a bit of fun to see me and try to equate to yourself how many movie tickets I buy each year. Next to food, it's probably my biggest outlet for spending money. And this doesn't include the scenarios where I ask my friends to go with me, they say they don't have the money, and I just pay for them because I've already seen like 5 movies by myself that season.

Which leads me to the hard part about these two short breaks: I'm not going home alone. My roommate has decided that she wants to tag along next weekend (but I can just drop her off at Paranormal Activity, which she really wants to see), and then another of my friends, who, as an international student, lives across the world, isn't going home for Thanksgiving break, will be accompanying me then. But this will happen! I must see these movies. Not only do I really have a vested interest in seeing them and, as a film student, I should be watching lots and lots of movies, but I am a NERD when it comes to awards season. For reals, yo.

And we're not even into the major season yet. Like I said, I'll have more time come winter break (approx. six weeks of laziness... and a day or two of meeting my brother's Brazilian girlfriend), but there will also be more movies. Invictus. Nine. The Lovely Bones. Sherlock Holmes. Precious. Avatar. Up in the Air. Any other of a host of last minute surprises and things that suddenly occur to me "oh hey, that looks awesome, I should see that." Not to mention the netflixing of movies I missed earlier, like The Hurt Locker. But anyways, the more I think about this, the crazier I go, and I can't go crazy just yet; still got a month and a half left of classes. Blegh on that. I would much rather just watch movies.

I did finally see Waltz with Bashir (one year later). How that did not win Best Foreign Film is beyond me.

On another note, considering how The Road is being reacted to so far, maybe I was too quick in my judgment to assume that it could never match up to the book. I have become more interested in seeing it as of late. Viggo Mortensen looks like he gives a fantastic performance (I was close to saying that he looks fantastic, but he doesn't, which is the point), and so I will go see The Road when it comes out. So color me excited (in a minimal way).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Television Shows I Will One Day (Re)Watch ... + Bright Star

- Battlestar Galactica (again; seen two times through, but will never get tired of... or have the time again...)
- Cowboy Bebop (I've seen it many times, but it's been years and recently I've been recalling just how truly amazing it is)
- True Blood (maybe I'll skim some of the first season, but I'd like to revisit it)
- Heroes (...first season. I saw it many times, but that was before the subsequent seasons were so bad)
- Glee (once the first season ends, I look forward to revisiting it and loving every moment)
- Chuck ('s so good and I miss it so much. DON'T KILL ME; I never saw the season 1 finale)

- Lost (when it finishes)
- Breaking Bad (...I'll start it eventually)
- Upstairs, Downstairs (I loved Gosford Park; this seems appropriate)
- My So-Called Life
- Freaks and Geeks

So mostly, I wrote this post because I really, really, really want to rewatch Cowboy Bebop. And Battlestar Galactica (but I always want to be watching BSG; I hope there is a parallel universe somewhere where all I do is watch BSG). But mostly, recently, particularly because I am (or rather, should be) writing a paper on Yoko Kanno, frontwoman of The Seatbelts, responsible for the brilliant soundtrack to the only anime I've ever given the time of day to. Cowboy Bebop was my favourite TV series prior to discovering Battlestar Galactica (yeah, I like me some space settings), and sometimes I forget why. Not because it's not brilliant, but because I haven't touched it in so long. I want so badly to have the thirteen (fifteen including the movie) hours necessary to just watch the whole thing. Stupid frakking homework.

On a brighter (no pun intended) note, I saw Bright Star earlier this afternoon. My mother (rightfully) thought it was slow, but I enjoyed the pace of the movie. It didn't feel slow to me because it didn't drag and the pace was steady; no rushing thither and hither (something that pissed me off about Becoming Jane was its sort-of-ending where the back-and-forth just contrasted far too much with the rest of the movie and was just blegh... but there are other reasons I don't like Becoming Jane that much that I won't get into here). Anyway, not only did I fall head-over-heels in love with the GORGEOUS Ben Whishaw, but I also loved Abbie Cornish's performance (as many have already noted in the critical world, but I don't have the bonus of advanced screenings and a career devoted to the habits that I have to find time to indulge). She was a real treat, as was the whole movie. I normally don't like historical/period romances very much. Atonement bothered me, Becoming Jane was annoying, the only ones I really tend to like are Jane Austen adaptations (Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice were both delightful, in my opinion). But I really did enjoy watching Bright Star and only felt about two ounces of guilty over it (but I blame that on my torn eye between the buzzed-about Abbie Cornish and the beautifulbeautifulbeautiful Ben Whishaw). And even if the movie wasn't a spectacular sensation, the delicacy of it and how well put together it was reflects very strongly on Jane Campion, who directed the film extremely well. No wonder she's one of the only three women to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. And as Lina Wertmuller made Swept Away (comment on the politics all you want, that is one effed-up movie) and Sofia Coppola disgraced The Godfather, Part III (thank god she's a better writer/director than actress), I think she's probably my favourite of the small club. I know it's a tough season alongside James Cameron, Jason Reitman, Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson, and even another woman (thank goodness!) Kathryn Bigelow, but I really admired Jane Campion's work in the direction of Bright Star. I just wonder to myself how long until someone updates Wikipedia with a listing of fact vs. fiction for the film (I know next to nothing about John Keats so I wouldn't know myself).

Anyway, that's all I've got to say for now. Might see Zombieland before the long weekend's out, but I wouldn't count on it. But Friday = Where the Wild Things Are! Please let it be amazing!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And Heroes!?

This is the comment I posted in regards to's recap of the Heroes season four premiere:

"I was sure I was going to give Heroes up after this premiere, after being someone extremely proud of her commitment to Heroes all through three seasons no matter how bad, predictable, and lame the storylines and characters got. But then I watched the season premiere and although FAR from being good or properly redeeming, there were enough good points (and the bad points were comical enough) that I might actually bother to continue watching (that is, DVRed episodes when I find some spare time). I really like the carny folk, and for the first time in forever is Peter’s nice guy behaviour actually interesting and refreshing. And, although everything about the Matt/Sylar storyline referred to far better scenarios (firstly, the already noted BSG subconscious nestling cylons incredibly lamed-down by Ricky Worthy’s appearance; secondly, the use of a substance abuse program to refer to a substance no one else has in common like in season 2 of Dexter (except that Dexter wasn’t even trying to get better and his “power” of serial killing is far more interesting); and thirdly, the whole bad cop, uneasy marriage calls back to the far superior new series FlashForward’s main characters), I actually found Zachary Quinto’s performance to be wonderful. Of course, especially with Star Trek’s (and his) success, he’s really too good for the show anymore, but he was fun to watch. So Heroes is definitely nowhere near my favourite show like it used to be back in its first season, but I might actually bother watching. Plus, the way it’s going, it’s not going to last much longer anyway, right (God, I hope so)?"

So I suppose I might bother to keep watching. It's not exactly fun in the way it used to be because it's just lame television (that makes me say "WTF?" about every five minutes), but there's still a part of me that enjoys seeing those characters (well, maybe except for Claire... I hate her so...) do their weird things. Plus, the battle between Peter and Edgar-The-Fast-Dude-With-Swords was NICE; I've always been hard on Heroes for skimping on the whole power-battles thing and it was nice to actually see one, even if it was relatively short.

I Guess I'll Stand By House...

Okay, I've changed my mind. Although I'm not as interested in House as I used to be, I don't think I'm going to be giving it up. Heroes on the other hand? While, I'm going to take a stab at the season premiere sometime tonight I think and then I'll make up my mind... but I'm pretty sure I'm just giving up on that one.

On a more movies oriented note, I finally saw The Informant! last night. I liked it, Matt Damon was great, I enjoyed seeing Scott Bakula about (related: I hope that he isn't done with Chuck; I really love him there as well), and Joel McHale, and the movie overall was very cool and quirky. But, not gonna lie, the last forty minutes or so were rather dull for me. This is partially attributable to this being a 9:10pm showing, but I heard several people as they exited mention falling asleep toward the end and I myself was feeling a bit drowsy. So not my favourite movie of the season, but I liked it, and I hope Matt Damon is taking off that weight as easily as he put it on. Oh, and a sidenote, I couldn't help but notice that despite the toupee and the oldmanish behaviour, beneath all the jazz, he still looks pretty young (he's still not 40). And it's kind of cool/bizarre to see actors playing older than they are, rather than the other way around (I'm sorry, but seeing older dudes with younger ladies on screen pretending that the age gap is much smaller than it is is kind of creepy. If the age gap is SUPPOSED to be wide, that's different, but when it's apparent how giant it is really as opposed to the story... blegh). But anyway, I would definitely support Matt Damon in his Best Actor attempts (although, with the plethora of films coming out this fall, I might relegate him to just a Best Actor (Comedy) at the Golden Globes...), and I'd be totally up for Scott Bakula for Best Supporting Actor (the real competition there thus far is Christoph Waltz, whom I am totally rooting for thus far). Best Picture/Best Director? Eh... there are way many better looking movies coming out/already come out, even with the inflated Best 10 Picture nominees this year (which leads everyone to think "oh maybe THIS random unexpected movie will be nominated" and I'm like "uhh... it's only 10 best nominees, not fifty, dudes").

Anyway, that's my mild update. Now maybe I'll go try to watch Heroes. Maybe it'll be so bad it'll make me think "hey, trekking through Moby Dick slowly but surely sounds like a fabulous idea!" Ooh... I like this thought...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Return of the Chuck: How NBC Will Probably Ruin It

So with all the excitement over at about Chuck's possible earlier return, a lot of good points have been brought up that are very important to Chuck's long term success rather than Chuck coming back as soon as possible.

a) Promotion.
If they suddenly bring Chuck back either because of Southland's recent cancellation or if they cancel the under-performing new series Trauma (or the cancellation that it deserves but hasn't gotten yet for Heroes), there will be next to no time to properly promote the series. Chuck has a loyal following, yes, but if Chuck is to actually succeed (especially in NBC's current fail!environment with very little to offer viewers aside from their comedy block and the handful of people who want to watch Jay Leno every night and the people like my roommate who are Law & Order addicts), it needs to build up an even stronger following of new and curious viewers. Chuck is a great show that can appeal to a whole host of viewers. It's a spy comedy drama with geeks and hot girls alike, episodic and large arcs alike, interesting main characters and a great ensemble, and it's just very likeable and accessible in many ways. But if it doesn't get the proper promotion, if there isn't at least a couple weeks of build up before it gets brought back, it'll get trashed and then we probably won't even manage to see more than a handful of episodes ever again.

b) Timeslot.
Chuck's old timeslot of 8pm on Mondays (when it would lead into Heroes) is now occupied by Heroes. And while Heroes totally deserves cancellation after a dismal third season and a limping fourth, this time slot would KILL as it has, amongst other things, HOUSE to compete with. And House, although I personally have been getting bored with it, still gets excellent viewership. If Trauma got cancelled, 9pm wouldn't be quite so bad a time, but the challenge that CBS' Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory present might be too much, especially since Chuck, as half comedy, would be interested in drawing the same crowd. As for other potential timeslots, the originally intended spot for Southland, on Fridays, would also completely demolish any chance Chuck has at continuing beyond this fall. The best option I heard in the comments was to shorten The Biggest Loser to a one hour show and put Chuck in on Tuesdays.

The main problem that Chuck has is that NBC came dangerously close to not renewing it at all before and give them even a split second's doubt that Chuck can sustain decent numbers and I have absolutely NO faith in NBC's capacity to give Chuck another chance. It took a lot of effort to bring it back for March and although I love Chuck and I would love for it to return sooner, if bringing it back in fall means that either it won't get enough promotion or that it'll end up in a poor timeslot then I would much rather wait until March when it would have a real chance at a future.

Mostly this all goes back to an overall disappointment with NBC. Now, personally, I don't watch anything on NBC anymore except for Community. I know people who watch The Office and 30 Rock, of course, but are any of the scripted dramas on that network any good? Heroes has gotten so bad that even a devout fan like me has given up. And everything else on there is either medical (Trauma, Mercy) or law (Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU) shows. More and more is the Jay Leno Show looking like the stupidest idea ever, cutting out the chance for so many new shows to get a chance, proving that NBC has absolutely no faith in giving shows a chance. And when their most critically acclaimed (and pretty decently viewed) shows is about to return (I'm talking about Southland, which I never saw, but heard only good things about), they cut it out completely. Yeah, it's too dark for the 9pm time slot? Then stop with the madness of Jay Leno five times a week! Sure, it's cheaper, but that just makes your network that much cheaper. As evidenced by Tina Fey's acceptance speech for 30 Rock at the Emmys, even NBC's most stable show has absolutely no respect for the network anymore.

Oh how far the mighty hath fallen.

Oh, and NBC? If you DARE to cancel Chuck before its time, I will join the army of angry fans in setting your studio on fire. You know it'll happen. Stop being pussydicks (excuse my crudeness), and start showing some real television.

PS: If you haven't experienced Chuck, do it. And don't give up if you can't get into the first season. While the first season is definitely good, in my opinion, the show really finds its pace as the second season progresses, and morphs into a truly great television show.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh television... what a wonderful time consuming entity you are...

At least I'm not as bad as my roommate who skips sleep and drugs herself up on red bull to watch more X-Files. Anyway...

Shows I Give A Shit About And Intend To Continue Watching (That Are Currently Airing):
- FlashForward
- Community
- Glee
- How I Met Your Mother
- Gossip Girl
- Mad Men

Shows I Intend to View At Some Point In Time/Catch Up With:
- Dexter (halfway through season 3... will eventually catch up and continue watching methinks)
- Modern Family (I'm going to try and catch the first few episodes online this long weekend)
- Lost (I've decided that once it finishes, I'll rent the whole series on DVD and devote like a month to watching it)
- Breaking Bad (...I hope that I eventually get up the energy to start watching it)

Shows I Am Way Excited For Their Return:
- True Blood (I am suffering from Alexander Skarsgard withdrawl... also the show itself is just pretty damn good overall)

Shows I Have Been Losing Interest In:
- Heroes (I'm considering to watch the season four premiere and then decide if I want to bother to keep watching painfully or just divorce it completely)
- House (I don't know why, but I just don't feel up to it anymore. Even the thought of eventual Huddy doesn't entice me like it used to. I did watch the premiere though)

Shows That Are No Longer Airing But I Will Enjoy The DVDs/Reruns Forever:
- Gilmore Girls
- COWBOY BEBOP (<3 <3 ...I had a recent urge to rewatch the series; I haven't watched it in far too long)
- Boy Meets World (although the reruns are seriously all but gone)

But here, let me speak about the shows I am enjoying, particularly the new ones!

So I finally managed to watch Community, and I like it. It's a nice laugh out loud comedy and while I tend to not gravitate toward the sitcom, with my recent involvement in HIMYM, I gave Community a chance after hearing good things, and have been enjoying the first four episodes which I just viewed in a row. Funny, witty, energetic, and just a nice joyride, I'm liking the series.

I watched these episodes of Community after catching up with tonight's latest installment of FlashForward. So far, I am very impressed with how the series has kept up its well-written high-octane energy revolving around the central plot without getting too bogged down or feeling too constantly-climatic (something I know a few people had a problem with in regards to the AMAZING The Dark Knight having too many moments of build-up; but I think FlashForward handles this very well). Also, it doesn't hurt that the main character is played by the sexiest Shakespeare ever and the younger brother of Voldemort, Joseph Fiennes. I love him so and am so glad to see him regularly. The premise of the show in general is very cool, and I am highly impressed with how they are handling this single event and making it last without seeming to drag it on and on (thus far).

And, of course, one of my favourite new shows, GLEE. Now, many people have dismissed Glee as silly, which is totally is, or maybe just "eh," but I think it is wonderful. It boasts a talented cast with interesting plays on the usual stereotypes of high school and the characters involved. That and it has some bitchin' musical numbers. It's just a blast to watch and I don't feel the least bit guilty for loving Glee. I think it is just an amazingly enjoyable experience, very entertaining, very funny, and just overall so much fun to take part in.

As for the other shows, the only one I really have additional comments on is Gossip Girl. Now, although typically every character but Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass annoys me to at least some minimal extent, I have to say that I was very impressed by the most recent episode of Gossip Girl. Not only did I feel very limited disdain towards the characters of Gossip Girl (Jenny embracing her role as Queen by the end instead of being annoyingly rebellious against the structure! Serena doing something other than having boy, frenemy, or paparazzi issues! Nate not just being in some mysterious hotel room with Bree! Tyra Banks being awesomely hysterical!), but I also was nearly convinced by the episode to LIKE Hilary Duff. Now, for anyone who knows me, I have strongly disliked Hilary Duff since back in her Lizzie McGuire days. LONG ago. Like back when she tried that singing career thing and had a song called "Math" and I totally made fun of my friend for buying her CD... anyway, Hilary Duff's character on Gossip Girl? She could so easily be annoying and lame and blegh, but I actually sort of liked her. And I much prefer her with Dan than Georgina. Believe me, I loved Georgina in seasons 1 and 2, but now I am just bored with her occasional presence in ruining Blair's life at NYU. But she wasn't in last night's episode (except for the LAMENESS at the end with SCOTT, omg, PLEASE just get rid of Scott, he is SO unnecessary). In fact, the only person (other than Scott) that I actually felt some annoyance at was my darling beloved BLAIR. Oh believe me, I'm not angry with her, just disappointed in her brief stint of lameness during the episode in crawling back to Constance. I mean, it makes perfect sense, it was just painful to watch.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. I need to see movies this weekend as well, but TV's really all I've been able to fit in at school. I'm on a long weekend, but have a shitload of homework. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get to a theatre at least once. Either way, I'm out. I needs muh sleep (and I might continue watching old HIMYM episodes on my iPod before bed...)

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Plethora of TV, Movies, and Such.

My major apologies for neglecting this blog so greatly over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, school has eaten my time and soul. That, and I picked up watching Dexter once I started school and am currently two seasons in.

Let's see, so much has changed since I last updated this blog and I will ramble onto numerous points here and there until I find that I have written something adequately updating in my movie/television/entertainment life.

Mind you, spoilers are for the following in case you're behind me: up to last night's Mad Men, up through season 2 of Dexter, up to always of Battlestar Galactica, up to the Emmys (which, if you haven't watched, you probably won't), and maybe a few other things. Just beware as you read.

First and freshest in my mind is, of course, last night's Primetime Emmy Awards. Neil Patrick Harris is fabulous and there is no doubt about that and I am quite saddened to know that he lost his Supporting Actor in a Comedy award that I believe he so deserved (granted, I don't think I watch any of the other nominated shows aside from How I Met Your Mother, which returns tonight), but he was a fantastic host. I tweeted during the whole thing (and got murderous glares from my one friend who said I spammed her twitter feed... I honestly didn't tweet THAT much... >.>), but mostly about NPH and BSG.

Yes, my darling Battlestar Galactica, which was so wrongly deprived of the Emmy love it dearly deserved. Season 4 is not the best season for Battlestar Galactica (tbh, every season is SPECTACULAR and none of the seasons are without blemish, but I'd say the season with the best track record is probably Season 2 with a) the Kobol plot at the beginning of the season, b) the Pegasus plot with Michelle Forbes' fabulosity and one of the most human Baltar moments when he visits with poor battered Gina, and c) The stunning ending to the season with that tense election and amazing time jump. Unfortunately, season 2 also has the Apollo/Dee nonsense and poor Billy's demise). BUT Season 4 features two of the absolute BEST episodes Battlestar Galactica has produced: The Oath and Blood on the Scales. Those episodes are BEYOND stunning for so many reasons. Although the Battlestar Galactica mythology is great and interesting, it occasionally gets bogged down, especially toward the end with the Final Five and Earth and all, but those two episodes were among the most human and realistic episodes BSG has ever produced. The building tension of the first episode that leaks into the second of the two-parter is beautiful, and it's just this wonderful return to form with the old characters we know and love (hooray Starbuck kicking ass rather than having an identity crisis!). I know that it would have made no difference for BSG to have those two episodes as its featured rather than the concluding episodes Daybreak, but I honestly think that those are the strongest episodes of season 4.5 and among the strongest of the entire series.

Backing away from poor Battlestar Galactica's final Emmy snub (and skirting around the Chuck snub entirely), let me focus on the positivity. About a year ago, the only television I habitually watched was Heroes. I had watched Gilmore Girls when it was on and I made a semi-effort to watch Mad Men, Chuck, and House, but I didn't give a shit about television much at all. So this is the first time I really gave a hoot about the Emmys (albeit a very small hoot; I still only watch maybe ten television series). I normally love awards shows but heard that the Emmys were usually boring (which, despite NPH's best efforts, it still was in many ways). But it was still a truly fun affair for me even as a not heavy television viewer, as someone who knew probably two thirds of the winners by name and the only television show that won anything that I actually watch is Mad Men. So good work to you, NPH. Hats off to the entertaining night (and to the fun liveblog I participated in at

Speaking of Mad Men, this new season has been the typical Mad Men slowness. I understand why a lot of people I know can't fully get into the show (even I'm not fully into it although I think it's generally spectacular and stunning), but I just watched last night's episode and I thought it was definitely good. There's nothing more unlike Mad Men than some guy getting run over by a tractor. I'm sorry, but blood on Mad Men just doesn't happen. It is not a violent show and that part of the episode really shook things up for me, which I loved. Also great this season is Sal (although he's been lacking a bit since the premiere, aside from his dance for Kitty), Peggy's bits here and there, Duck's sweater he appeared in last week, Joan as always, and Sally Draper. That little girl is amazing and while before the home life of Don Draper tended to bore me a bit, Sally has me loving every moment we get to see of the kids these days. They're no longer little walking, breathing props, but they are real people, which I love.

A show that is bloody, on the other hand, is (shock of all shocks) Dexter, which I have grown to really like over the two seasons I've seen so far. Of course, identity crises for serial killers are not my favourite thing (hello Sylar's bazillionth on Heroes), but aside from that, I like the show plenty. I also like the supporting cast quite a bit as well and I'm really sad to see Doakes go at the end of the second season. He was great to watch. Although I've heard the third season isn't so great, I'm still looking forward to watching it (planning on watching the season premiere once I finish this as I am currently stumped on my homework). SO glad Lila's gone. She pissed me the fuck off. For all her annoying, Rita is much preferable.

Movies... movies... well I finally saw Coraline, which was good, watched Fargo (yeah I'm behind on the times a bit, don't judge me), and saw both Inglorious Basterds and District 9 in theatres before I went back to school. Both were awesome for their various reasons. Loved the unabashed slaughter and Tarantino-ness of Inglorious Basterds, loved the originality (I know, my friend laughed at me for using the word "original" to describe a movie these days, but I truly think there is something very distinctively fresh about District 9) of District 9, loved both movies for being just so very good end of summer movies without sacrificing quality plot and script for fascinating visuals and big bangs (although both had both).

Although I haven't seen all the big name Oscar watch fall movies because, well, they're mostly not out yet (and I am busy and deprived of a movie theatre and strapped for cash), I am massively excited about a lot of them. I've been hearing great things about Up in the Air, and I'd love to see The Informant! and I've been excited about Where The Wild Things Are and Precious for a while. I love Clive Owen, especially when he's in actually good roles, so I'm also anticipating The Boys Are Back. I'm worried that The Road won't be nearly as good as the book (I just can't see it operating as well as a movie than how it is as a book), but I do love me some Viggo Mortensen and I did love the book, so I'm cautiously excited for its release. And of course, speaking of book adaptations, I am beyond beyond excited for The Lovely Bones. That preview is stunning and Saoirse Ronan is wonderful, so I am really looking forward to that movie's release as well.

Heroes, House, and How I Met Your Mother all return tonight, Gossip Girl's second episode of the season will be on, and there will be an interesting battle to see which one will be watched in the TV room. But whatever it is, I want to see all of them, so I will be satisfied.

Oh and I'm watching FlashForward when it starts Thursday. Love me some Joseph Fiennes, hope the show is actually good, and will see you again sometime in the future! I think my update has run quite a bit long here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Julie & Julia (one down, four to go)

I thought Julie & Julia was pretty fabulous. Being a vegetarian, the dishes weren't exactly as mouth-watering as they may have been for other viewers, but I could still appreciate how pretty all the food looked. But what really caught my eye, of course, were the people and the places. Queens in 2002 is hardly ancient history or very different from today so far as I can tell, but I always enjoy seeing cramped apartment lifestyles, not gonna lie. Of course, the scenery that stole the show was definitely Julia Child's story, mostly the Parisian parts. Although, the tidbit of suburban Massachusetts life toward the end was also a kind of sweet nostalgia.

But the real show-stealer was Meryl Streep, no surprises there. As I said over dinner last night, putting it down now, Oscar nom (and perhaps another win) for Meryl right there. No doubt in my mind. Of course, it would also be wonderful to see the rest of the fabulous cast recognized (when Jane Lynch appeared as Julia's sister Dorothy, it was WONDERFUL, I was very excited to see her; I'd only realized she was in the film when the opening credits were rolling and boy oh boy she and Meryl Streep looked like they were having SO much fun inhabiting their larger than life personas (both personality and size wise, of course)). Julie Powell was easy to roll your eyes at and label as a bitch, but I've always thought Amy Adams is a wonderful actress and despite being frustrated with Julie at times, I certainly thought she was relate-able on many levels. I mean, in an age such as this, whoever has a blog or even a facebook or anything where they can post their thoughts and feelings want validation for them? Isn't it beyond thrilling when someone recognizes your thoughts are worthy to read? And it is so very easy to let that inflate your ego, to take over your life, and I can sympathize with Julie for falling into that trap. It's not as if it takes a particularly vain person to have it happen to, Julie isn't by nature a narcissistic person, but she, like the rest of us, just wanted appreciation and when she got it, she became addicted to it like a drug, and anytime she didn't have anything to show off or if she got negative feedback, it crushed her.

Anyway, I apologize for rambling on far too much about this and surely repeating myself, but I think those who call Julie Powell as a character a bitch are not understanding why she acted as poorly as she did at times. Granted, I myself am a self-centered bitch, so maybe I simply want to show how it's not Julie's fault so I can accept my own nature. xD

Regardless, Amy Adams and Meryl Streep did a fabulous job, and Jane Lynch, and Stanley Tucci, and simply everyone was just so much fun to watch in the movie. I deeply enjoyed myself.

On another note, I am a preview freak. The more trailers that come with a movie, the better, even if they're movies I have no intention of seeing (this is not counting horror trailers, because horror trailers scare the living bejeezus out of me and are usually way way way frightening). And I was BEYOND thrilled to see a preview for The Lovely Bones during Julie & Julia. I hadn't seen a preview for it yet, but I'd read the novel several years ago, the summer before my freshman year of high school, and stayed up until 9am to finish reading it. The preview did NOT disappoint me in the least. I forget many of the finer points of the novel, but it all looked so good, I had to bite my tongue very hard to keep from crying just from the trailer. I am very, very excited for the movie. Hurrah Peter Jackson!

As for his production credit in District 9, I still haven't gotten to see it yet, but I am set on seeing it this Tuesday. And today, in a bit less than three hours, I will see Tarantino's glorious Inglorious Basterds. I am very excited for that. Beyond that, I plan to see Taking Woodstock (having been filmed in my area, most people I know are planning to point out their friends' cameos as extras) this Friday when it comes out (I leave Saturday midday to return to school), and the other movie I am determined to see before I return to school is The Hurt Locker. I also have The Class on DVD from Netflix to watch... and I have a lot of packing still to do having just gotten home from Venezuela.

So I better end this entry now and prepare myself for massive movie exposure! I love it!

PS: Saw the Mad Men season 3 premiere finally. Although it felt a bit slow (but that might just be because it's been a while since Mad Men's been on), I attribute that to SO much catching up. I was slightly sad to see so little Peggy, but it's fab seeing her with her own secretary. The Brits seem a bit off, Pete's as entrancingly yuppie/obnoxious/self-centered as ever, Betty's all preggers, Sally should totally be a lesbian, and Salvatore Romano remains one of my favourite characters on the show. HIGH FIVE Bryan Batt, because you are beyond fabulous and so wonderful to watch as one of the show's many fascinating characters. And a less pronounced high five to Joan for being BAMF.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ancitipating District 9... and a TDK rant.

So here I was all sad that there wasn't a movie both adventurous and interesting, a movie in the same vein as The Dark Knight, that both excites and provokes me, and here comes District 9, a movie that I have not yet seen but deeply want to now. I hadn't heard much of it beyond a title and that Peter Jackson was involved until recently, when Entertainment Weekly did a cover story on it last week. Since then, I have really wanted to watch this movie and have heard a great deal about it.

Unfortunately, I am currently on vacation in Venezuela, but when I get home, I am getting to the nearest movie theatre and watching District 9 (...and then Julie & Julia, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, and Taking Woodstock).

Don't tell me what happens! I want to see for myself. I don't want to be overexposed because I want to be thrilled by what I see not thinking, "oh I remember reading about this part" (although, I have to admit, reading about and seeing the Joker in a nurse's uniform is still different enough for the visual to be hilariously awesome).

BTW, I am skimming rottentomatoes at the moment in a slight pit of boredom and saw that some critic, I forget who, commented that The Dark Knight does not seem to recognize the absurdity of its premise, or something similarly phrased. And, in return, I say, you, sir, are full of shit. "Oh man, a guy who dresses up like a bat and fights crime." Yeah, it sounds ridiculous. So does "a bunch of hobbits going on a journey with elves, dwarves, and men to fight evil and destroy a ring of power." It upsets me when people have to reduce a telling story to the superficial premise. I did it with Harry Potter ("ooh a book about some boy wizard. sounds stupid") before I read the books and realized that I was mistaken; yes, the superficial premise is there, but that's not what the story's about. And why not dress up like a bat to fight crime? It seems pretty practical: you have a dark exterior, you can hold out your "wings" to fly and... yeah, that's about all that's different about Batman's get together and, let's say, a dude who just dresses up in armour with weapons to fight crime.

Yeah, that is clearly totally absurd. Oh wait, I'm forgetting about the maniac who is known as the Joker. Hmm... well, firstly, he's insane... and secondly, ...he dresses funny and refers to himself as the Joker? I think the first one covers it all: he's insane, Mr. Movie Critic, and why not do crazy things like pretend you're a court jester with some grenades and guns if you're insane?

Anyway, this started out as excitement and anticipation to see District 9 and ended with The Dark Knight. Don't all my posts? My apologies, as I've said before, The Dark Knight is simply among the best films I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

(500) Days of Summer...and don't mind the HIMYM comparisons.

I finally got to see (500) Days of Summer today. This has been a long time coming. Of course, loving Joseph Gordon-Levitt and being thrilled by the trailer, I've been keen on seeing it for a while. This past Friday, I was texted by a friend who requested we go see it together. Being epically psyched by this prospect, I was unfortunately busy that evening, but said that either Saturday or Sunday would be fab. Unfortunately, she never got back to me. Monday came around, and I was going to pressure my two besties into going with me (or at least the one that I was under the impression wasn't leaving for college in two days), but the one I assumed was more likely to be able happened to be heading off to NYC the next day and the one who was available, was clearly swamped by packing.

So I ran off by myself, which I do. I prefer seeing movies with other people in theatres, but I don't mind going by myself. However, by the end of the movie, I felt incredibly weird being there all by myself.

Although not a couple film by definition in the least, I have to say, (500) Days of Summer is the exactly the kind of date movie I'd want. But maybe that's just me watching it and feeling incredibly depressed by Summer's accusations that love is a fantasy. I don't like to get too personal here, but I've been rather companionship deprived for some time, and so watching Tom made my heart kind of shrivel up. I was extremely happy with the ending, however. And obvious spoiler alert here... I was simply happy that they had happy endings of some variety. And it all makes more sense that they didn't end up together. But even a failed "relationship" (as it was never really a romantic relationship) makes me jealous, especially for the couples around me in the theatre, whom I found, after the film, to be completely unworthy of being around each other unless it was something deep between them.

But perhaps I'm just a snob in that regard. And, like Tom, I've been buttered up by the movies into thinking love is either one thing or another or another. It's rather ridiculous, actually, especially when I think to myself, "so what movie will my love life look like one day?" because it certainly doesn't resemble any movie I've seen thus far.

On a note with less personal dissatisfaction, maybe it's my How I Met Your Mother craze combined with just seeing this movie, but is it just me, or are Ted and Tom more similar than the letters of their first name? I mean, come on, they're both hopeless romantics and aspiring architects in a big city falling in love with "the one" that's not really "the one." And to top it all off, they both have a single best friend and a best friend that is in a majorly long term relationship (of course, Barney and whatshisface are hardly anything alike). But really, the similarities are rather striking.

But anyway, all in all, (500) Days of Summer was a really excellent film, a really great movie that is both romantic and not, which is perfect in my opinion. It's deeply entertaining and enlightening to see a journey that doesn't pan out, but it's also nice to still see some satisfaction for our lovelorn hero.

Last tidbit: Mad Men marathon that was on today was totally awesome. I got a chance to watch a good chunk of it. It was nice to revisit season 2, considering that it has been quite some time and a trip down memory lane was useful. Also, it was fun to call Pete Campbell a tool several times while describing him to my Mad Men-less friend as I watched it and she packed her things. I am so psyched for season 3! Shame I'm missing the premiere to be in Venezuela with my aunt. x)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Granted, I haven't been to the movies aside from Harry Potter lately...

All caught up on How I Met Your Mother. Good timing too as it is now August and I vowed to read and finish Moby Dick this month (and I hope to read a few other books as well, including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). And, as I have pointed out before, I cling tightly onto one or two pairings in all forms of entertainment that involve even a hint of romance (mostly and especially with television shows), and, yes, that pairing in HIMYM is indeed Barney/Robin.

New topic: Now, not long ago, both The Ugly Truth and Funny People were on my list of movies to go see. And even though The Ugly Truth got pretty bad reviews overall and Funny People's reviews were kind of eh, I still want to go see them (although I'm thinking I'll wait for The Ugly Truth to come out on DVD). Part of me enjoys seeing movies with mixed or not-so-great reviews because I might end up liking them anyway. Sometimes, it is really fun to disagree with the critic, audiences, or awards. I mean, I'm often sorely disappointed when I try to go against the critics and prove to myself that I can like a badly-reviewed film, but it happens. Why else have I seen Sleepover over a dozen times? So I still intend to go see Funny People. But this might also have to do with summer movies not impressing me much. Can there PLEASE be another awesome movie? Something as good, or nearly as good, as Up, mayhap? I am pouting.

Now excuse me while I lament my sad location of living. My parents are off to a wedding reception in an airport hangar (the farm where it was supposed to be is too wet, big shock). This is the utmost class.

OH and I saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince again. About the same reception as I had before: I liked it, surprisingly, but the actual plot of the Half Blood Prince is definitely slighted. Also, speaking of attractive skin? Both the youngest and younger Tom Riddle had extremely beautiful skin. That is all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sorry, TV Shows Ate My Homework

My apologies for not having posted much recently. First of all, I've been rather movie deprived (the only thing I've watched since Defiance is 12, a Russian remake of 12 Angry Men, which was very good, very interesting. I've always really liked 12 Angry Men, both the movie and the play). Second of all, my computer has been rather cranky lately, so much so, that I'm probably going to lose it for a few days next week to get the hard drive wiped. Third of all, I've been lost in television. As you may have noticed, I obsessed over True Blood and now that I'm caught up I've been focusing on the other series I picked up around the same time, How I Met Your Mother. I have also been revisiting Battlestar Galactica by sharing it with my mother (we do this; she gave me Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and James Bond and in return, I gave her Harry Potter, Cowboy Bebop, and Battlestar Galactica). So television has been ruling my life moreso than movies lately (plus, movies in theatres at the moment bore me. PLEASE let Funny People be good. I really want it to be good when it comes out this weekend).

Since I caught up with True Blood and, sadly, shifted focus to How I Met Your Mother, I have become intensely focused on the sitcom. It is very good. I am starting to trust television to actually be good sometimes again. I'm actually following more than five shows! I had to make a list to actually remember which shows I am watching (although I left off 10 Things I Hate About You. To make up for the fact that I actually watched the first three episodes as they aired, I missed tonight's. Yippee! I am mildly ashamed I am watching it, if you couldn't tell). Mind you, most of the shows I am watching are currently not airing as it is summer. And Chuck doesn't come back until March, which blows. But HIMYM is great. And Neil Patrick Harris is great. I am this much more intent on watching the Emmys this year (this is a challenge as I will be at college where we do not have cable in the dorms which wasn't a problem before but now I find it to be rather suck). I want to see him host. I'd also like to see him win.

I am one episode away from finishing season three and then... dun dun dun! Only one season left before I am caught up. I should be doing reading for school (I had been doing such a good job, then I started watching television) but, come on, books for a class called Narratives of Suffering are not as uplifting as laughing at HIMYM. Sitcoms that make me laugh... I missed that.

So again, my apologies for the lack of updates. Also for the probable lack of updates in the near future. Especially since shortly after my darling laptop will be wiped, I will be leaving the country for a weekish-long trip. And then I'll be back at school a bit after that. Oh summer, where art thou? At least when summer ends I will be that much closer to Nine, Sherlock Holmes, and Oscar-Bait Season. And most of my darling shows will be back on the air. Hurrah!