Monday, October 24, 2011

Thoughts on 4 Films

1. Hesher - This is a perfect example of why I describe JGL as a "fearless" actor. He's always done a lot of independent films that some would describe as "odd" (Brick, Mysterious Skin and Manic come to mind) but after some career highs like Inception and 500 Days of Summer - he still chooses to pursue complicated, less-flashier roles like this one. Hesher took me by surprise because I thought it would be sort of a "stoner" type dramedy that would have very little impact or point - but instead it was an oddly compelling tale of a young boy, TJ, who is trying to cope with the death of his mother. His father (played by Rainn Wilson) is dealing with the situation via self-medication - he sleeps all day and ignores the fact that his son is bullied at school. Then comes Hesher, who is the oddest "hero" type character to ever appear on film - due mostly to the likeability of JGL as an actor. As awful as Hesher is, you can't really hate him - instead it just makes you curious as to who this guy is (we never get the answer, which is brilliant and frustrating at the same time). He invites himself into the family and looks out for TJ but he also gets him into more trouble - which inevitably makes TJ stronger. The ending to the film is really brilliant - it is refreshingly rebellious on all levels.

2. Last Night - Hollow story. Hollow acting. Hollow film. The film is about the complications of a monogamous relationship - the temptations, the lies etc. However, the film Closer did it a million times better - so the point of the film is sort of wasted. There is no depth or chemistry between the main couple (Sam Worthington and Kiera Knightley), so there is no reason to root for them as a couple. For me, the film quickly became about who was hotter - Kiera or Eva Mendes (Seriously, does anyone feel bad for this guy choosing between these two?). The funny part was that I started to lose interest about 1/2 way through (I blame twitter for the distraction) - so I'm not even sure if either of them actually followed through with adultery. I was going to rewind, but I decided that I kind of like the "not knowing" - I don't think it was the point of the film anyway.

3. Scre4m - I watched the film with super low expectations - having loved all 3 Scream films (yes, even the 3rd one...), I had mixed emotion about an unnecessary addition to what felt like a complete trilogy. I was excited by the cast - Emma Roberts, Allison Brie, Adam Brody - but once the awful reviews came out, I decided to skip it in theaters. I admit, it was better than I was expecting - but it still doesn't compare to the other films in the series. I hated the beginning - I enjoy the comedy in these films, but usually the beginning sets up the "horror". This one was just plain stupid. Then, the film continues by way of "remake" over "sequel" - with it's usual self-aware characters discussing how "meta" they are. The redeeming quality of the film was the ending (the first ending, not the silly "alternate ending") - I was actually surprised by who the "killer/s" turned out to be. Although, the only reason it was "surprising" was because of how utterly ridiculous it is.

4. Hanna - The cinematography of the film was breathtaking, the rest of the film was decent but also annoyingly predictable. Saoirse Ronan is one of my favorite young actresses - her performance in Atonement was mesmerizing. In this film, she was just as brilliant - cold and unfeeling yet her emotions were just sitting right below the surface waiting to explode. I would have loved to see more from Eric Bana and Cate Blanchette - both are great actors but just underused. The story was also a little bland and not very original - the only parts that were interesting were watching Hanna interact with a "normal" teenager. I can't say that I was bored at all, but I don't think I will remember the film a year from now.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts On The Past 2 Episodes of 'Glee'

'Glee' is already on a mini-hiatus (will be back in November). I'm already missing it, but I have to admit I am a little disappointed with the season so far. Here are my thoughts on the past 2 episodes:

I am Unicorn

1. Quinn/Puck/Shelby
– I am disappointed that the “skanks” storyline is being dropped so quickly, but am intrigued by Quinn’s sabotage of Shelby to get her daughter back – although last season, Quinn was ALL talk (remember how many threats she made – she never followed through with any of them). I know a lot of fans of the show were disappointed that season 2 dropped the whole “baby” thing – but I actually appreciated it. In the real world when you give your baby up for adoption – that is the end of the story. I do think Quinn and Puck have unresolved issues but I don’t think it was necessary to bring the baby back into the picture (although I love Idina Menzel, so I won’t really complain). The scenes with Puck were done really well, because Puck was always very supportive of Quinn keeping the baby and promised that he would take care of both of them – so it was great to see some emotion from him as part of the aftermath. He never wanted to be like his dad and abandon his child. The promos are now hinting at a Puck/Shelby relationship which would be really interesting and weird at the same time.

2. The 'West Side Story' auditions – I’ve never seen it…at least that I can remember. But now that I know it’s basically Romeo & Juliet, I feel like I don't really need to see it. I really like that they are giving Artie something else to do by co-directing the play (along with Beiste & Emma). I enjoyed the 3 “audition” songs, but I would have appreciated at least 1 “glee” song. ‘Somewhere There is A Place For Us’ was outstanding - again I don’t know the play so I am not familiar with this song, but it fit the whole Shelby/Rachel storyline very nicely. And I can officially forgive them for their last duet together (‘Poker Face’). Kurt's audition was...interesting. 'I’m the greatest star' is an annoying song, but the theatricality of it was entertaining (and I love the Sai swords – which is a hobby of Chris Colfer's). Finally, Blaine's audition was super boring. I almost pressed fast-forward. The whole romantic lead aspect of Kurt and Blaine was pretty ridiculous – they are both pretty flamboyant and neither are believable as a being an “alpha gang member”. The Romeo and Juliet scene with Kurt and Rachel was also so overdone and not really funny at all. Them all laughing at him was not very Glee at all.

3. Finn's potential storyline – So, even though he had minimal screen time (again) – his scenes are setting up a potentially great storyline. I would like that to be explored….soon. Where has all his confidence gone? He seems like he is the least confident when he is with Rachel – probably because she eclipses everyone. But then again, Rachel is the one that is going to push him the hardest to become something great. Also succeeding in pushing Finn, is Mr. Shue – which makes me very happy. Poor Finn is not the best dancer, but the fact that he doesn’t give up is very telling for his future. He may be “lost” right now, but I think he’s going to figure out some things about himself soon. No, not everyone needs to go to college to be successful (proven by Cory himself) so it is nice to see that explored – I personally think his best option is to be a drummer. He’s good at it, it makes him smile and he could still potentially follow Rachel & Kurt to NYC to pursue his dream. Plus, drummers are hot. I am nervous that he is working in Burt’s auto shop (as Quinn predicted that he would) – he may not be the most talented kid in the Glee club but from the very beginning of this show the whole point of “Finn” as a character was him wanting to be something and NOT end up a Lima loser. I hope the writers remember that.

4. The Highlights – Of course there were some funny lines like:

- “What’s the Capitol of Ohio” to which Brittany replies “O” – it’s sort of genius if you think about it.

- "I'm glad that you're so concerned with our special needs members but what about me?" - Rachels response to Mr. Shue's "Booty Camp" idea.

-"Will Shuester never did appreciate the gentle tremble of your thin, forgettable alto" - Sue to Quinn (I love it and agree with her assessment wholeheartedly...).

-"Finn, you look like you are stomping on bees". - Mr. Shue to Finn

Other highlights were Mr. Shue tearing Quinn a new one. His speech to her being selfish and immature was brilliant. I also love his "booty camp" idea - because they definitely need to step up their game. I feel like they are definitely going back to a season 1 Will - you know where he actually cares about his students.

5. The Lowlights – Aside from the the focus being more on the play than the club and the lack of Finn, I don't really have too many complaints. Usually I love Brittany, but her whole “you’re a unicorn” shtick to Kurt was seriously cheesy.

Asian F

1. The anticipation vs. the reality
– So according to several critics, this was supposed to be “the best episode of Glee ever”. The promo declared that Glee has found it’s heart again. The cast spent the day tweeting about how proud they are of the episode, how talented everyone is and how everyone must watch. It was also described as a “game changer” for the Mercedes plot line and we were teased with an epic Brittany performance. I was looking forward to it (although from the episode descriptions and promo’s it was clear that Finn was once again being side-lined) mostly for the ultimate diva off between Mercedes and Rachel and also for Mike Chang getting an actual plot. The episode aired and I was stunned by it's mediocrity. First, this isn’t the first time that Mercedes and Rachel have competed – and it obviously won’t be the last. It wasn’t all that interesting and I’ve seen better performances from both of them (specifically in last seasons 'Night of Neglect' episode) . Second, it was obvious from before the episode even aired that Mercedes “big decision” would be that she was joining the other club. Third, I agree that Glee has found it’s heart but I don’t watch Glee for it’s “heart”. I watch it because it is hilarious – the show is usually inspiring because it is able to combine “heart” and it’s subversive comedy perfectly. I am disappointed that this season hasn’t exactly been laugh out loud funny.

2. Mercedes vs. Rachel – I love Mercedes – I really do. Her voice is amazing but when compared to Rachel – I just don’t see it. Lea Michele’s voice and passion outshine everyone – if they really wanted the audience to see Mercedes as a comparable competitor then they should have had Lea tone down her talent a bit. She outshined Mercedes and undeniably won their “diva” off. Also, since when does no one want to hurt Rachels feelings (as Mercedes claims) – I am pretty sure she gets made fun of all the freaking time!! The whole plot was just a little hard for me to believe. The New Directions losing Mercedes is definitely going to hurt them (who is going to belt out the last note of songs?) but I am glad that she is joining the other club - creating some more drama. However, unless Sugar Matta has some talent hidden up her sleeve I don't see them as a threat to the New Directions.

3. The “other Asian” vs. his parents – Oh how I love Mike Chang. Seriously, it is about damn time that they give him something to do (aside from his awesome dancing). I enjoyed his storyline – and I think it is very relevant to what Glee is all about. Harry Shum Jr. did a great job (acting, singing and dancing). When his father claims that performing in Glee club is a waste of time and actually a detriment on his transcripts to get into Harvard, my heart broke a little because I think this is how a lot of parents feel. The scene with him dancing by himself with no music was really beautiful as was his imagining of the people in his life like Tina stating “you don’t talk that much but when I see you dance…it’s why I fell in love with you”. His audition was really great. I think they might want to consider him for the lead – right? He's much more of a heartthrob than Blaine in my opinion...

4. The Highlights – Emma’s parents were perfect!! I loved the bit of intrigue on why she was so hesitant on Will meeting them - claiming that she has "ghost parents". I would never guess in a million years that they are in fact......"ginger supremacists". Freaking hilarious. The dinner scene with the 4 of them was brilliant. The whole praying bit at the end was a little unnecessary and over-dramatic as was Will's intent to "fix" her. But overall, I appreciate some insight into Emma's life and why she is the way she is. The only other highlight was that Finn’s burst of excitement when Rachel won the coin toss was also adorable. His support of her is such a contrast of the way Mercedes bf treats her (see: The Lowlights).

5. The Lowlights – Oh there are so many… First, I seriously hated Mercedes in this episode – but I have even more hatred for her super annoying boyfriend. It’s great that he is supportive and pushes her to succeed but he is also encouraging her to be a self-righteous bitch who treats other people like garbage. And why is it ok that she suddenly needs a man in order to feel good about herself? Her quitting the Glee club was a little over dramatic and way too angry. Then the whole Dream Girls thing was really awkward. I didn’t like it at all (although I appreciate the attempt at something different). I was also disappointed that Rachel’s solution to possibly not getting the lead role was to run for student class president – it doesn’t even make sense plus is it really realistic that three people from a club that everyone hates are the only people running? Does no one else go to McKinley? Why is Santana suddenly back in the club already? The performances were lacking (for the third episode in a row – I haven’t bought a single track on itunes yet this season; I usually buy at least one song per episode). Brittany was sexy as hell singing Beyonce’s 'Run the World' but I absolutely hate the song. The performance wasn’t bad – but it just wasn’t that exciting either. I’m sorry but 'Fix You' started off really painful – it got better once the Glee club joined in. I've never heard Matt Morrison sound bad - but I guess there is a first for everything.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4 Reasons to See '50/50'

1. It's emotional and unforgettable - I didn't realize it while watching it, but this is a film that I will remember for years to come. I was hesitant on the subject matter - cancer isn't exactly a funny subject and certainly not a subject that should be taken lightly (unless you are purposely trying to offend pretty much everyone). Typically films about cancer are dark, melodramatic, morbid and worst of all - unrelatable. 50/50 brilliantly lightens the subject not only by using comedy, but by using honesty (it helps that it is based on a true story). Nothing was really "sugar-coated" for the audience - his situation completely sucks and there is not one second of the film where we are not reminded of this. I think the "comedy" of the film and the focus on the relationships between the characters distracted me from the reality of cancer, but in all the right ways. I was on the verge of tears through the films entirety but surprisingly I didn't cry - that is until the next day. The film really sunk in and I was literally choked up the entire next day. Actually, I want to cry just thinking about it....

2. The relationships are honest - It's advertised as a "buddy comedy" with our main characters played by Joseph Gorden-Levitt and Seth Rogen but this is only 1/4 of the film. The other relationships that are featured are actually far more interesting. JGL's relationship with his therapist, played by Anna Kendrik, is fascinating- this is her 3rd patient so she is still in the "learning" phase of her career. Their interactions are painfully awkward as she tries to "comfort" him. His relationship with his girlfriend was a little one-sided for my taste, but still well done (it would have been a million times more interesting if she wasn't an intolerable shrew). The real gut-wrenching relationship that played out was between him and his mother. I have a good relationship with my mother, but I admit that it is a chore to talk to her sometimes - it takes me days to return her phone calls but after watching this film I realize how selfish that is. It's been a long time since a film has actually effected my life and led me to re-evaluate things a bit.

3. JGL is flawless- If you are not a fan of JGL, then you and I probably can't be friends. He is by far the best actor of my generation. I grew up watching him on 3rd Rock From the Sun and am ecstatic that he is still prominently featured in my life. Aside from the fact that I think he is a fantastic actor, I also respect him as a fearless actor. I don't think he has any particular plans for his career - he just does whatever the fuck he wants to do and it works.

4. The other actors aren't as annoying as usual - Seth Rogen is heavily featured in the trailer but he is definitely a supporting role in the film (which is where he should always be). He did an amazing job in this film breaking out from simple comedy to show some actual depth. I am not a fan of Bryce Dallas Howard (has she been good in anything? Really?) or Anna Kendrik (she was way over-rated in Up in the Air) but both were really fantastic in this film.

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Thoughts on 14 New Shows

The new fall television season has arrived - I was really hoping for some winners, but most shows have landed with a big *thud*. Here are my thoughts:

1. The Secret Circle - Absolutely not what I was expecting... at all. First, the show is advertised as being by the creators of The Vampire Diaries (a show that gets better with every episode, that has jaw-dropping twists and turns with such strong character development that the audience connected with them from episode one) - yet displays none of the same qualities. Every second of every episode so far has been predictable and the characters are dull and forgettable. Second, I didn't realize the show was about "witches" - maybe from my lack of research or maybe the show was poorly advertised. I thought the show was about a group of teens that discovered they had "powers" as in each of them had a different "power" and they had to form this "circle" to keep their powers in check (I was thinking more of a Misfits type show - which was extremely appealing to not so much.). Third, I liked Britt Robertson on Life Unexpected but she is really awful on this show - which could be credited to the bad writing/directing because everyone on this show seems like they can't act (and I know that Gale Howard can in fact act). Still, out of the other new shows on the CW (Ringer and Hart of Dixie) - this one is actually the least offensive one.

2. New Girl - As of this moment, I am indifferent on this show. I think it has some memorable moments, some interesting characters and a sweetness to it that most comedies lack. However, it is also trying a little too hard to be "quirky" and Zoey or "Jess" if you are convinced they are different people becomes slightly annoying 1/2 way through each episode. The pilot episode was really hard to watch because there have been so many promos leading up to the episode that I felt like I was watching a repeat. The next episode definitely got better - so I am hopeful that it will work out a few kinks (like the guy that replaced Damon Wayans Jr. - he doesn't seem to fit into the show yet) and become a must watch show (I have faith - if Cougar Town can do it then any show can...). Side note: Hannah Simone is hot and I think they should make a law that every guy must keep a "douchebag jar" in their home. That is a genius idea.

3. Terra Nova - Finally, this show has aired!! I was convinced it didn't actually exist! And guess what??!! It totally blows! It's like Lost except the characters willingly went to the island instead of crashing on it and there are dinosaurs instead of polar bears and smoke monsters. I actually hesitate to make that comparison because Lost was actually interesting and this show is painfully not. I realize they are supposed to be creating a lot of Lost like "mysteries" like the cave drawings and the "sixers" but there are a lot of things that simply don't make sense - like the actual time traveling bit that was never given any real explanation except by the teenage girl that explains it as part of the whole "butterfly effect" (which just confuses me more...). Are we just supposed to go with it or are we going to be given a better explanation? Also, what happened to the little girl for 2 years? The father went to jail for violating the population control law ("2 kid maximum") but then he escapes from jail (a little too easily - which makes me wonder why he didn't just do it sooner) and they smuggle the girl into Terra Nova. It seems like she has been with the mother (because she is hesitant towards the father) but then why did they have to smuggle her in - when it was already known that the third kid exists? I have a lot more of these type questions - but I will leave you with just one more...the main couple have been apart for 2 years due to his incarceration - yet spend their first night together in separate beds. Which makes me think that there is absolutely zero passion between them, which in turns makes me not care about them at all as a couple. Was that on purpose??

4. Suburgatory - Before the show aired I commented that the promo's had a Mean Girls feel to them - which was super exciting. I am happy to report that the show definitely has some Mean Girls spirit to it. So far, I would say this is my favorite new comedy. I love the cast - and not just Jeremy Sisto (who succeeds at being funny....who knew?) but also Alan Tudyk (Firefly/Dollhouse fans, like me, will jump for joy). I didn't realize he was in this so that was a nice surprise. Aside from the awesomeness of the cast - I really like the father/daughter relationship that is portrayed in the show. It feels very genuine so far and I have high hopes that the show only gets better.

5. Ringer - Probably the most disappointing of all the new shows. I admit that SMG was never really known for her acting skills - but she seriously rocked as Buffy (so much so that she hasn't successfully moved past this iconic character). I was hoping that her painful foray into films would come to an end and she found her way back to a great series. Ringer is NOT a great series. Annoyingly, in the first scene I found myself questioning why Buffy was hiding from this guy who was trying to kill her because c'mon really she can kick that guys ass. Sadly, I didn't have to keep reminding myself that I wasn't watching "Buffy" because the show became so painfully bad - the comparisons disappeared quickly. I think the worst part of the show is that it treats it's audience like we are stupid by over-explaining everything. We didn't need the longest montage ever to explain that she took her sisters identity - any "good" actress can pull that off with a single crooked smile and a mischievous shimmer in her eye. We don't need the flashbacks of the sister that I will refer to as the "hot mess"sister being drunk and disorderly - we understood her "hot mess-ness" from the very first mention of prostitution charges and the AA meeting. We also don't need the cliched misconstrued "perfect" sister - did anyone think that she actually lived the "perfect life"? Of course, she lived in a miserable, loveless marriage and was having an affair with her best friend's husband. There has been absolutely nothing about this show that has surprised me, in fact I bet can probably draw out an outline of every new episode within the first 5 minutes of airing (and I am guessing only a few more eps will air before the big "C" word hits).

6. Revenge - I would say that out of all the new shows that I watched this season - this is the show that I knew the least about. Which might account for part of the reason why I enjoy it so much. It is by far my favorite new drama of the season. The pilot episode was absolute perfection - and succeeded in everything that a "pilot" episode should do...which is to create enough intrigue about characters and plot that the audience actually wants more (crazy concept...right?!). I like that it is a show that seems to not make any apologies and reminds me of a Breaking Bad type series - to be clear I am not comparing it to the best show on t.v, I am just saying that it is a series that will not have a "happy" or "resolved" outcome. What I enjoy most is that it is about a girl who could best be described as "cute as a button" but is actually downright evil (for understandable reasons - which makes us root for her to succeed in her evil acts). It also reminds me a bit of Damages - in the way that the audience knows more than the characters do (like how it will end). I am really looking forward to see where the show takes us.

7. Hart of Dixie - I am hoping that by the time I publish this post, the show will be officially canceled. It is the worst of the season. I knew from the ads that it would be bad, but there was a small glimmer of hope (Rachel Bilson and Josh Schwartz together again...) that it might be at least a guilty pleasure - you know like 90210. I adore Rachel Bilson, I really do - but she is not the best actress. Thinking back to the greatest show ever, The O.C, I don't think it was noticeable because she wasn't the worst actress on the show (ahem...Mischa Barton...) and because the show didn't ride on her shoulders - she had a mini role that evolved into something bigger. Plus, if Seth Cohen loved her then we had no choice but to love her as well...right? And because I love her, I find it very hard to say anything bad about her. So, I will keep it short and (un)sweet - the show is not funny in the slightest and is bordering on offensive to anyone who aint "city folk". The premise is unoriginal and lacks credibility because someone that stupid can't possibly be a doctor. And the acting....oh the

8. Person of Interest - So far, this show is not bad but it is extremely boring. The story is interesting and the characters are strong but the pace of each episode has been painfully slow. I think it is very typical of a CBS show (which tend to be very straight-forward and simple) which isn't necessarily a bad thing (I enjoy Blue Bloods because of it's simplicity) but it was not what I was expecting from a JJ Abrams creation. Plus, aside from the ability to predict a crime - the rest of the technology relies on phone tapping which doesn't really make for interesting television. I'm not quite sure if Michael Emerson is supposed to be "creepy" in this show or if it is his "Ben" persona that will inevitably follow him everywhere. I also hope that they give Taraji P. Henson something more interesting to do soon. It always irks me when great actresses are under-utilized.

9. Pan Am - I'm not quite sure what to make of this show yet - it has some interesting parts, particularly the CIA mystery and the whole early feminist ideals of our Pan Am stewardesses. However, the dialogue is quite moronic (Ricci's characters response to a passenger hitting on her: "I am not included in the price of the ticket" - which is not exactly something a feminist would say because it implies that she is in fact an object that can be bought.) and after 2 episodes - absolutely nothing has happened. I have to say that my whole annoyance with the series relies on Christina Ricci's hair - did anyone else notice the discrepancies with the length of her hair in the pilot episode? It was so distracting that I can't get past it. I have nothing else to say because so far there isn't a much of a plot to critique yet.

10. Charlie's Angels - I am disappointed that my only interest in the show (Carlos Bernard) is not a series regular, instead just a guest in the pilot. I am also disappointed that someone as established as Victor Garber would participate in this garbage (he is the voice of Charlie). Only 1 out of the 3 girls has a smidgen of charisma (Rachael Taylor) - the other 2 are bland. They are not given any depth except for the fact that they are all former "bad girls" - which we are hit over the head with over and over again. I am guessing that this will be among the first causalities of the season so I won't waste any more time writing about it.

11. A Gifted Man - I literally knew nothing about this show other than Patrick Wilson was in it - and I am a huge fan of his so obviously I had to watch. I also love Julie Benz so that was an added bonus. It turns out that the show is about a douchebag surgeon who starts seeing ghosts (specifically the ghost of his ex-wife - who is also a doctor, but the kind-hearted type). These apparitions are apparently there to make him less of a douche, but I'm not convinced yet. I am not really a fan of "ghost" type stories, but I do love a good supernatural show if it is done well. The show reminds me of Eli Stone, just with doctors instead of lawyers (and it is not nearly as good). It moved way too slow (which is the problem I have with most shows this year). I will watch one more just out of curiosity and loyalty to these actors, but if it doesn't get much better I will have to stop.

12. Up All Night - Again, I miss Samantha Who? so freaking much!! Especially with the sudden popularity of Melissa McCarthy - I feel like the show would be much more successful if it aired now - but alas I guess I just have to get over it...right? Up All Night is exactly what I was expecting (except that I thought Christina Applegate was the host of the talk show and Maya Rudolph was her producer/boss - which I think would have been more interesting...). Will Arnett and Christina make a really cute couple - there is definite chemistry between them. I think it is a cute idea that they are parents but that they are still trying to remain "hip". It's sort of an untapped market right now. The best way to describe it is "cute" but it's not really laugh-out -loud funny yet.

13. The Playboy Club - So, this show isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - although I wouldn't call it "good" or even "mediocre". I was disappointed that the so-called mysteries are not actually mysterious. It starts with a murder - but we know who did it, therefore the intrigue is lacking. It's also not really a "murder" it is more "self-defense". Then there is one "bunny" who is "not who she says she is" but instead of creating intrigue - they tell us right away that her mystery is that she is a lesbian and that her "husband" is also gay. The whole underground gay movement is actually interesting (as is the African American "bunny" who is trying to overcome her race as well as her gender). Of course, the misogyny is blatant like the guy who brags that he got his wife "pregnant and ugly" so other guys wouldn't look at her. But it does have a hint of feminist thought (when a customer says to one of the "bunnies" "ain't you a thing of beauty" she responds with "I'm not a thing" - the writers of Pan Am should take note...). Overall, I think the show has the best shot at filling my guilty pleasure quota - but it will likely get cancelled before it becomes pleasurable. I guess I will just have to settle for watching Kendra on E!. Side note: The comparisons between Mad Men and this show are simply ridiculous. They are in such completely different leagues that they shouldn't even be put in the same sentence. Also, the character comparisons between Don Draper and Eddie Cibrian's character (don't know his name yet) are also dumb because Don Draper would have "rescued" Amber Heard's character ( but he also would have fucked her. Proof that they are 2 very different characters.

14. 2 Broke Girls - How can any executive watch this

show and not see the blatant over-use of the laugh track? It is odd because I thought I might just be over-sensitive to the horrible noise because it has been so long since I have watched a show with an actual laugh track (I would like to thank Arrested Development for kicking off the no laugh track trend - awkward pauses are much funnier than actual laughter) - but then I read several reviews that commented the same thing. It's an easy fix but after the 3rd episode it still hasn't changed. I think Whitney Cummings idea of comedy and my idea of comedy are 2 very different things (the same can be said for Michael Patrick King - I literally feel like I want to vomit when I see anything related to Sex and the City). Aside, from the laugh track - the show is not really that funny. Kat Dennings does the best she can with the material but I feel like she is probably cringing inside at some of the crass dialogue she has to make work. The other girl is amusing as the "Paris Hilton" type heiress who suddenly finds herself broke. The chemistry between them works but it just needs to be toned down (drastically). Oh - and get rid of the horse.

***American Horror Story and Once Upon a Time have not aired yet...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

4 Thoughts on 'Drive'

I had a few hesitations about seeing 'Drive' - first I have zero interest in watching a film about someone who drives cars. Second, the film has received some ridiculously amazing reviews that I felt were impossible to live up to. I thought for sure that I would be really annoyed at the outcome - a film that was too cool for it's own good. However, I thought the film was fantastic. It was everything a film should be - memorable, intense and filled with amazing performances. Here are my thoughts:

1. It doesn't fit into any specific genre - At first glance, one might assume that it is an "action" film (car stunts, chases and crashes) but the trailer made it clear that it is more of a "crime drama". Anyone expecting either of these might be disappointed (or in my case - pleasantly surprised).

2. The intensity is striking - I think the thing that I enjoyed most about the film was that it is such a quiet film - but I was on the edge of my seat from the very first scene. The contrast of the quietness and the violence was absolutely beautiful - reflected best in the elevator scene. I think that I had to remind myself to breathe quite a few times. Of course, the "it" scene with Christina Hendriks was both literally and figuratively "mind-blowing" as well (had to do it...).

3. Ryan Gosling deserves his "golden boy" status - I'm not quite sure why Ryan has suddenly jumped on everyone's radar - but I have no complaints. I have been singing his praises ever since The Believer. He hasn't disappointed me since - he even turned a Nicholas Sparks story into something watchable (that takes some talent). In this film, he is truly sublime - and downright chilling. Obviously, credit has to be given to both writer and director - for creating a character that doesn't say much but his actions speak volumes.

4. The supporting cast was impressive - I've heard a lot of well-deserved praise for Ryan's performance, but I was also impressed by Albert Brooks. It's been a long time since I've seen him in a film - and wow was he great. Of course, Bryan Cranston was a slam-dunk. I am not really a big fan of Carey Mulligan (She was given way too much credit for An Education and was severely annoying in Wall Street 2). She was satisfying in this film - not amazing but she didn't annoy me so that was a good sign.