Saturday, March 27, 2010


Earlier this evening, I went to see How to Train Your Dragon, fully aware that this screening would include lots of children. It's been a while since I've been afraid to see a movie by myself and that includes "children's" movies. Some movies, yes, are explicitly made for those under eight-years-old and can only really be appreciated by that crowd. But the best children's movies aren't exclusive to just children.

The only real downside aside from looking like a creeper to being probably the only person over 12 without a child in the vicinity (and if anyone else was my age or older without a child there, they likely brought a friend or date) is that the little children who are unable to whisper might destroy my enjoyment. This isn't the first time I've dealt with this, though; I saw Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and The Princess and the Frog in theatres filled with many children while I myself was old enough to be in the alternative R-rated films by myself. And while there were some very unhushed whispering, I managed to enjoy the movie anyway.

Well, actually, it was more than enjoy. How to Train Your Dragon was fantastic. The plot wasn't particularly surprising, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable or any less well-done. I enjoyed those ninety-something minutes so much, so glad that despite being sick with a cold and plagued by an obnoxious headache, I made it out to see that movie, even with whispering tykes and a preview for what looks like the stupidest movie ever with a pornalicious title (FURRY VENGEANCE... REALLY?).

I'll never stop myself from seeing a movie just because its genre isn't made for me. My gender and my age have nothing to do with the movies I choose to see. I skip the bad rom coms (usually) and I absolutely love a good action flick (I even see some of the bad ones). I'll pass over some of the more dramatic fare made for my young adult status for animated films typically geared toward the younger generation, a la How to Train Your Dragon. Like many of the Pixar films I adore, How to Train Your Dragon follows in that grand tradition of being accessible for children and adults. I may be nearly twenty, I may have seen roughly a thousand movies, I may have seen many an experimental film, but I will not be jaded. A tale of a Viking boy and his fierce dragon is a tale worth seeing.

Simply put: How to Train Your Dragon was great. I highly recommend it for anyone.

Countdown to Kick-Ass: 19 days. YES.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Am Excited For Blockbuster Season!

So I've been woefully negligent about seeing movies recently, but I've been wicked busy. I saw Alice in Wonderland, but that's about it for recent films. To make up for this, I'm going to write my anticipation list! Movies that I want to see this coming year and that might change, but things do that sometimes.

Currently in theatres:
Shutter Island
maybe Greenberg and The Runaways.

Shutter Island has been getting mixed reviews, but if I don't see it in theatres, I'll probably rent it because I still want to see it for myself. Greenberg has been getting pretty good reviews and I honestly think that Ben Stiller is a great actor. The Runaways has been getting a lot of attention and I'm interested in seeing Kristen Stewart in something that isn't a stupid vampire flick.

Coming soon:
How to Train Your Dragon

I've been hearing that, like Avatar, this one should be seen in 3D. I also think it looks adorable. Dreamworks isn't Pixar, but they do provide some excellently healthy competition for Pixar. Before Pixar made me cry, Dreamworks tugged at my heartstrings with The Prince of Egypt (remember back in the day when people still made mostly 2D movies with a little bit of CGI help?!) Dragon looks fantastically cute and fun. Animation isn't just for kids, yo. I will love animated movies well into my adulthood.

Hot Tub Time Machine

I'm a little torn on this one. I blame Sandra Bullock and her recent comments about comedic roles for women (i.e. they don't exist except in rom coms) and I see all these funny looking raunchy comedies and really notice how they're all men. I'll get to this in another post though. Hot Tub Time Machine looks like it could be ridiculously funny in a Hangover kind of way. So maybe I'll see it, maybe I'll rent it, maybe I'll skip it. I like comedies though!

Clash of the Titans

TITANS WILL CLASH may be a stupid tagline, but Liam Neeson! Sam Worthington! And isn't Ralph Fiennes in it too? I also love action films. Here's to hoping it is fun action and not boring, a la Matrix Revolutions.

Date Night

I didn't really give this movie the time of day but the more I see the trailers, the more I think, "y'know... this could be genuinely hilarious." It IS Tina Fey and Steve Carrel and they are funny people. I'm going to wait on the reviews to make my choice.


Now this movie... I am REALLY psyched for. As I've been promoting it to people with my enthusiasm, it looks like the movie Watchmen should have been. An adult comic book adaptation with a real look at superheroes in the real world. Not to mention with some bitchin' action sequences and Nicolas Cage as a Batman-esque character named Big Daddy (since BioShock came before Kick-Ass the comic, I wonder if it's a direct reference) BUT WITH A SHOTGUN. I LOVE SHOTGUNS. (I know; this is weird. Blame Mass Effect.) Just go watch the trailers and you can see how awesome this movie looks for yourself.

Iron Man 2

...uh... DUH I AM EXCITED. I loved Iron Man. The sequel, even if it isn't as good as the original, it still has Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. So we're golden.

Robin Hood

Torn as I may be as to whether this Gladiator-esque adaptation (both directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russel Crowe, I also totally got this Gladiator-esque vibe of the warrior-hero being turned into a badass outlaw fighting the corrupt system from the trailer) will be any good, I still want to see it. It IS Robin Hood. And I liked Gladiator.

Shrek Forever After, Sex and the City 2, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

All three movies I will probably see. The last one is the only one I really feel strongly inclined to see. The other two, I liked the preview films (although Shrek the Third not as much), so I'll go see 'em. It'll be summer. I'll drive-in like crazy.

Toy Story 3

Um... okay, so The Prince of Egypt might have been the first movie I remember crying during, but Toy Story 2 came out a year later and did the same damage to me. Goddammit, Jessie's song makes me cry to this day. It's freakin' Pixar! And Toy Story! If it isn't good, I'll be shocked and upset. But chances are it will be. The real question is: will it be as good or better than the first two?

Despicable Me

Remember what I said about animated films being awesome? Well, this one looks adorably clever. And I want to see it. So there.


Probably the most high brow of the many films I'm excited for this spring/summer, Inception features a fantastic team-up of TDK's Christopher Nolan and everything's Leonardo DiCaprio. Not to mention that supporting cast... JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT. Ken Watanabe! Ellen Page! MARION COTILLARD! Michael Caine! CILLIAN MURPHY! This movie will be great. If it isn't, again, I'll be very sad.

Beyond those, into the summer, I'm also vaguely interested in The Sorcerer's Apprentice (it'll probably suck though), Salt (it could go either way), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (I actually haven't seen the original, but hilariously, Gordon Gekko is based off of a Bard grad), The Last Airbender, and The A-Team (which looks like it has a bitchin' cast... SHARLTO COPLEY... OH WAIT SHARLTO COPLEY OKAY THIS FILM IS ON MUST SEE LIST NOW... Sharlto Copley is my favourite, if you didn't know yet).

Also, I am vowing to see Memento while I'm on spring break.

Vampire Diaries returns tomorrow!

Chuck has continued to be AMAZING this season. I will be PISSED if/when Chuck isn't nominated for an Emmy for Best Comedy, Zachary Levi for Best Actor in a Comedy, and Adam Baldwin for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (I'd also totally pull for Yvonne too).

Um. I'm out of stuff, aside from the women in comedy thing. I'll do that later.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh yeah...

BTWs, I am totally embarrassed by how long it took me to realize that I was misspelling and therefore mispronouncing Gabourey Sidibe's name. Not that she will ever read this (much less anyone else), but apologies LYKEWHOA, yo.

Also, she is fabulous. I want to be her friend. I want her energy! <3

...also, I'm lazy and not doing an Oscar write-up. I tweeted during most of it though, so you can check it there.

Movies are my life, Television is my hobby.

So, as we all should know by now, my love for movies has extended to my interest in theatre work recently and a love for television shows (scripted, that is) that has been growing over the past little while. While I only watch a little over a dozen television shows and am behind on a few, after watching the most recent Caprica, I wanted to do a little bit on my favourite TV shows right now (a la EW's recent article, but mine will be specifically catered to... me, duh).


Goddamn, I love Chuck. What started as a casual viewing experience because it aired before Heroes has grown into a full-blown love affair, including glee at seeing Yvonne Strahovski in Mass Effect 2. While it could easily be the mission-a-week experience it started out as and would still be entertaining, it has built so much into the past two and a half seasons. It has a strong cast and writing and through that it has presented some of the best character development ever. Chuck has grown as a character and a series over the past couple years and I've loved every moment of it. The chemistry between our two leads as well as their peripheral interests proves to be interesting. And while things sometimes don't change that much, there are important developments over time and although Chuck is in a similar position than what he was in at the beginning of the show in a superficial way, way too much has happened to ignore.


Battlestar Galactica was the best show I missed and later watched and watched again. It is one of my favourites shows ever and would only lose out to Cowboy Bebop. But Caprica would be close behind and maybe if Caprica makes it through four seasons, it too could top BSG. Because, honestly, the two series are so different. While BSG was filled with excellent action set pieces and featured a lot more militaristic drama, Caprica does present us mostly with the actions of two families and their affiliates, so the crazy romantic webs aren't as rampant (yet). Caprica is also wicked smart; while BSG planted a lot of great philosophical debates and questions over time, Caprica has carried on that tradition most strongly. Not to mention superb writing that helps support just how smart this show is. While it started off slowly and I wasn't sure that it would keep my attention, I have most certainly fallen for Caprica.


While I don't normally love sitcoms because I'm more of an intensely complex scripted series (which is why it's so weird that I haven't watched Lost yet; but I'm too far behind now, I'll watch it in a year or something), TBBT has proven to be hilarious, smart, and genuinely fun. Smart, obviously, because it's about a bunch of scientists. TBBT is one of the series that has not disappointed me in its sitcom-y ways. I enjoy the nerdy references as a professed nerd myself and have so much fun each half an hour.


After I disliked Let the Right One In, I assumed that I just didn't like vampire things. I never get into Dracula and, unsurprisingly, I hate Twilight, so how on earth did I like True Blood? I'd heard it was decent, so I gave it a shot and while it took me a while to really fall for it, I did, Stephen Moyer's horrid accent and all. Again, we have here an excellent cast and a well-written program that doesn't treat the supernatural like a disease; the best sci-fi and fantasy use their genre as a setting more than as a plot point, and True Blood excels at that, which makes me love it even more. And it hardly hurts that Alexander Skarsgard is as hot as he is.

5. GLEE.

While inconsistent and sometimes downright annoying, every Glee episode is still fun and the cast is too talented to stay mad at. And when Glee is good, it is GOOD. I still love watching the football team break out into the "Single Ladies" dance the fiftieth time I see it. I'm hoping that the show has now found its footing and will use that to its advantage. Not to mention that it has one hell of a breakout character in Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester (and major props to Amber Riley and Chris Colfer for bringing us Mercedes and Kurt).


Judge me all you want for this, but for a show that could've been so bad, I have been pleasantly shocked by how good this show really is. I love shows with complex mythologies and The Vampire Diaries has certainly been building us an interesting one. The characters, despite some supernatural influences, are believable and well-portrayed; I just love seeing my female protagonists kick some ass (and stab pencils into evil vamps). The Salvatore brothers are also incredibly hot, and Damon is so deliciously evil and a wonderful villain/potential anti-hero? He's totally a Lex Luthor in his wavering alliances and villainous deeds, and those are the best kinds of villains.


Again with the sitcoms! But Modern Family also boasts a wicked talented cast of all ages, from the infant Lily to patriarch Jay. The series is witty and always fun to watch, not to mention that the lack of a laughtrack really helps. But the stories are not only fun, but also smart and warm; Modern Family reaches out to its audience and doesn't try to outsmart us or make us rely only on some stupid gimmicks.


While at times I don't LOVE the show Dexter, I am always absolutely fascinated by Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the character Dexter. I was so pleased when he won the Golden Globe, folks, and I hope he brings home an Emmy too. The supporting cast has always also been talented, even the often annoying Rita (I never found her so bad as many other people criticized though). And if I'm ever in doubt about the strength of the series as a whole, I just look back to Dexter's stellar first season; since then, it may not have been AS strong, but it hasn't let me down.


Although I completely understand some people's complaints that the series is too slow, too much talking, characters that we can't relate to, I still find myself totally invested in this show. While not every episode satisfies me in the way more action-packed series do, there are those moments where everything is just beautiful, for instance, the season three finale. And even if the characters are sometimes inaccessible, that's no fault of the fantastic cast. (Just remember to bring back Sal for season four, PLEASE!?)


FlashForward mostly gets this spot for its potential. While thus far the show has been a bit too slow, I've still been pleased by it and enjoy the world that it is trying to build around it. While Joseph Fiennes, though gorgeous to look at, isn't the strongest lead, his supporting cast is outstanding, particular call-outs to Dom Monaghan and John Cho (Merry and Sulu!). But even when considering the critiques of the show's sometimes too-slow pace for its premise, there are a number of moments that I still absolutely love, particularly the sad but fantastic exit of Al.


When I'm looking for laughs and one of my favourite bromances ever (Abed and Troy together forever, please!), I need not look further than Community. (again with the sitcoms, Sarah, why do you watch so many of them?) While not always spectacular, Community is always funny, though sometimes funnier than other times. Also, I LOVE telling people about the mascot The Human Being.

12. V.

Another show with a too-slow pace for its premise, but still my attention, I hope desperately that V will step up its game. I enjoyed the first four episodes, but they did feel kind of like Battlestar Galatica's introductory mini-series: interesting introduction, but now let's bring in a "33" like episode where we can all be blown away by how fantastic this premise can be. I like all the threads that are building from different directions. I hope my interest will not be in vain.


Mind you, I'm wicked behind on this show. But I love me some straight-up action. Human Target has so far, of what I've seen, been what Chuck could have been if we didn't want to make it about character. We get to go on fun action-packed missions every week, and I love that. That's all I want out of this show and it does that superbly. Not to mention that Jackie Earle Haley is so great.


I'm not in love with Gossip Girl this season, but I loved the second season's playing with the perfect pair: Chuck and Blair. Now that they're together, Blair is still fun to watch, although a bit dull, but Chuck has been spiraling down into truly boring territory, which is disappointing, because HE'S CHUCK BASS. Also annoying me this season has been Serena's long string of boring relationships (let's hope Nate works out better for her; I've liked them for the one episode we've seen of them so far). The positive? Jenny has FINALLY gotten interesting to me. After two seasons of finding her so freakin' annoying, seeing her as a true bitch and a drug dealer has gotten me interested.


This season is definitely not my favourite. I love NPH and Barney Stinson, but I am a bit sick of Barney. I'm much more interested in Ted. Ted is the center of the show and his distinct personality should not be relegated to the background just because Barney is more dramatic and a total usually-but-not-recently fun sleazeball to watch. We got some fantastic hints about the mother; can we meet her? I'd really like that. Or at least some more Adventures In Ted-Dating; I like those too.

16. HOUSE.

And here we conclude the shows I watch. House, despite being entertaining, is not my favourite show. I like it, sometimes love it, but this is one of the most habitual shows I watch. But then, having it finish my list does not mean that I don't like it. Rather, I don't watch shows I don't like (i.e. why I dropped Heroes). So while House is entertaining and good and sometimes really good, it's more a worthwhile habit than a conscious devotion.

Well, this was a fun waste of time!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not quite seasons of love.

With two days left until the Oscars, I haven't entirely slowed my blog reading. Of course, sometimes I am infuriated with the level of snobbery I encounter (and people call me a movie snob), but then I acknowledge that I'm just an undergraduate film student and my opinion matters pretty much not at all.

Doesn't mean I don't have one though.

So I wanted to offer my wishful thinking winners for the Oscars. I haven't seen all of the films and I am not commented on foreign, documentary, or the shorts. But here goes anyway...

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Colin Firth
Best Actress: Meryl Streep OR Gabourney Sidibe
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Best Original Screenplay: A Serious Man
Best Adapted Screenplay: District 9
Best Editing: District 9
Best Cinematography: The Hurt Locker
Best Art Direction: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Best Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
Best Sound Editing: Star Trek
Best Costume Design: Bright Star
Best Original Score: Up
Best Animated Feature: Up
Best Visual Effects: Avatar OR Star Trek
Best Makeup: Star Trek
Best Song: "The Weary Kind"

This is, of course, ignoring those nominees I wish were there at all. If they were nominated, I would change...

Best Actor: Sharlto Copley
Best Cinematography: Bright Star
Best Makeup: District 9
Best Original Score: A Single Man

But for the most part, I'm not DISPLEASED with the nominees. Not much of it particularly thrills me as this wasn't a year where I was particularly passionate about too many of the movies. There were several films I really, really liked, many I really liked, lots I liked, and several that had some awesome elements. But, unlike last year, there was no Dark Knight or WALL-E that made me fall in love with it (over and over and over again; I've seen both films probably a dozen times and they've been out for barely more than a year and a half). I'd go with Up as my favorite movie of the year, but it's still not on par with most other movies I've ever loved. The Hurt Locker is magnificent, in my opinion, but I don't love it quite like I've loved other movies. If anything, this year, I found several elements of movies that I loved (i.e. A Serious Man's script and leading man, Sharlto Copley's performance in District 9, the escapist feeling of Avatar, the artistry of The Hurt Locker, the haunting beauty both in Colin Firth's performance and in the score of A Single Man, the fantastic crafts of Bright Star, and so on and so forth). But none of those made for movies I can say I love as much as many other films. I've seen Up about five times now, but I don't know that I want to see The Hurt Locker for a third time now, or Avatar, or Inglourious Basterds.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that, I loved Avatar, Star Trek, and District 9, but I've loved other sci-fi more. I loved Up, but I've loved other Pixar more. I loved The Hurt Locker, but I've loved other war films more. I liked Inglourious Basterds, but I've liked other Tarantino more.

If I had to argue that any of the films this year were among the best of a category in my mind, I'd go with Bright Star. Period romances are pretty to watch and fun, but Bright Star was also beautifully made, well-written, and all around stunning. If any period romance were to rival it in my mind, I might go with Sense and Sensibility, but really, I'd love to see Bright Star again.

But even then, I've loved other movies more.

I look forward to the Oscars nonetheless. I always do.