Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Glee, New Girl, and Raising Hope - Didja watch?

Didja watch Glee "I Kissed A Girl"?  If you had you woulda seen:
They kissed a girl and they liked it.

-Finn stand up for Santana about the slap she gave him.  He knows she's acting out because she's hurting inside.  He wants to get through to her somehow and his idea is...

- Ladies Night, er Week!  Songs by ladies and for ladies.  Kurt & Blaine did P!nk's "F'ing Perfect."  Puck Sang Melissa Ethridge's "I'm The Only One" to Shelby and both Rachel and more importantly, Quinn, spotted it.  Finn sang a painfully slow and depressing version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  I will probably be in the minority but I didn't love that last one.  The girls all sang "I Kissed A Girl" and that was a fun one.

- Sue decides she needs to find a man in order to help her campaign for Congress.  She opens her big, black book and scan through names like Todd Bridges, Vladimir Putin, Dan Quayle, Stephen Baldwin, and Oliver North.  Even David Boreanaz gets a shout out.  Meanwhile we find out Coach Biest is really digging her new man, Cooter the football recruiter.  That's gonna end poorly.  Speaking of...guess who is Sue's choice for a boyfriend?  Yep, Cooter the recruiter.  Biest is heartbroken and gives us a rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene."

- Rachel has decided Kurt needs to win the class president election no matter what so she can have her best gay with her at NYATA (New York Academy of the Arts, I think).  Kurt briefly mentions stuffing the ballot box but decides against it.  Rachel, apparently thinks this is a good idea and does it.  Kurt gets in trouble for it but Rachel confesses, gets suspended and banned from performing at Regionals.  Now there's an interesting twist.

- But the big story is Santana coming to terms with being a lesbian and coming out to her family since pretty much everyone at school already knows.  Her conversation with her parents goes well, much better than the one with her abuela.  Even though her abuelita is ashamed that she didn't keep this secret to herself, Santana has the Glee kids behind her and feels their love.  Her version of k.d. lang's "Constant Craving" was great and I downloaded it before the song was over.  I've always loved that song.

Note: I'm kinda glad we aren't focusing so much on Mr. Schue and Emma.  We got lots of them last season and this break is welcomed.

Didja watch New Girl "Bells"?  If you had you woulda seen:
I can't believe an entire show was centered around bells.

- Winston's not happy with his temp job and jumps on the chance to help Jess out with her high school's bell choir.  They're bad.  Winston's a savant.   He's so good that he decides he's going to teach them "Eye of the Tiger" aka. the greatest song ever.

- Winston gets so into it that he berates the kids which forces Jess to kick him out of the group.  Her explanation of the kids not needing one more person in their lives telling them they suck is pretty great.  Also pretty great?  Her equating their bell-playing to "a guy covered in bells, falling down a staircase also made of bells."

- Meanwhile Schmidt and Nick are fighting over how Nick fixes things.  Nick goes the 'good enough' route which includes using a soda bottle on the toilet.  The fighting escalates from how Nick fixes things to how Schmidt would rather throw money at the problem.  They even bring Midori Sours into the argument and I suddenly remember how I used to drink those in college.  They were yummy! 

- Anywhoodle, my favorite part of the episode (the one I rewound and watched again) was simple and dumb but cracked me up.  After Schmidt tries to get back his conditioner that Nick used (from Nick's hair), Nick jumps up and chases Schmidt around and around the kitchen.  I'm sure no one else laughed like I did but it really cracked me up.

Didja watch Raising Hope "Bro-gurt"? If you had you woulda seen:
I had forgotten about the Diceman. 

- The "Invention Convention Extravaganza" is in town and is being judged by a celebrity guest...Andrew "Dice" Clay.  Burt nails it with his response, "His cassette has been stuck in my car for like 10 years!"

- Virginia tasks everyone with coming up with an invention so that they can finally get their chance to have a better life.  Burt's idea: Bro-gurt.  Man-flavored yogurt.  No, not yogurt that tastes like a man.  Instead it's yogurt that comes in flavors that men would like: pork chop, stew, cheeseburgers, etc.

- Jimmy comes up with the baby-mop which is basically attaching a mop to a baby so they can clean while they crawl around.  It's cute until Sabrina suggests attaching a mop handle to it so you can push the baby around.  Instead of a baby mop it gets pointed out that attaching a handle to it just makes it a mop that cries.

- No one's idea get chosen but each of them learns some sort of life lesson.  Also there's a funny conversation at the end about them not being able to get through more than 10 minutes of Wizard of Oz because what's the point of watching a black and white movie on a color television?  Plus baby Hope only likes movies with singing, dancing and monkeys.  Heh.

Today in Pop Culture History

30 November 1900: Novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and all-around intellectual and style icon Oscar Wilde died much too young in Paris of cerebral meningitis. The latter part of Wilde's life was marred by the infamous "gross indecency" case, which was also one of the first celebrity trials. The case, which centered on publicly humiliating Wilde for his homosexuality, was poignantly represented in the biopic Wilde starring Stephen Fry. In addition to his life, which is pure movie material, many of Wilde's works have been adapted for the screen, including the Colin Firth double-header of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest. Pop Culture field trip: Go to Paris's gorgeous necropolis, Pere Lachaise, and give Wilde's stunning art deco tomb a lipsticked smooch.

You can also check out the graves of Jim Morrison and Rin Tin Tin while you're there for the pop culture trifecta.

30 November 1940: "Lucy, I'm home!" Lucille Ball married Desi Arnez. Though the marriage ended in the mid-50s, their partnership produced and nurtured the classic sitcom I Love Lucy. Here's one of my favorite moments:

30 November 1982: The motion picture Gandhi had its world premiere in New Delhi. The Richard Attenborough epic biopic went on to win 8 Oscars that year, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley. It's included in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and my blogger-in-crime and I dutifully posted on it over here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The ReCasting Couch - Hunger Games

I don’t know about you but when I read a book I can’t help but imagine who would play each character in the big screen version.  In fact, casting was a dream of mine and I even worked as a casting assistant in Hollywood for a year.  It turned out to be less than fun and at some times was even a little dangerous (not a story I’m putting on the internet for my old boss to find).  Casting ended up not being at all creative and instead was more about who had what connections and which actor’s agent and/or manager was persistent enough to get them at least an audition, if not a job.

The minute I started reading The Hunger Games I fell in love with it and immediately imagined who I would put in the movie if I had my way.  The actual casting of the movie, at least for three of the main characters(Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch), didn’t even come close.

Keep in mind that my list is based strictly on looks.  I’m trusting that Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson gave amazing auditions.  I need to believe that they impressed everyone from author Suzanne Collins to whatever casting assistant was reading lines with them.  I'm still going to wait until the reviews are in before I see it.  I need to know that the general consensus is that they were so good that critics and fans can't imagine anyone else in those roles.

Katniss and Gale:
“I watch as Gale pulls out his knife and slices the bread.  He could be my brother.  Straight black hair, olive skin, we even have the same gray eyes.”

Katniss is supposed to be small in stature and light for her age (weight-wise) but strong:

Naomi Scott from Terra Nova
Seychelle Gabrielle is a little too cute but she holds her own on Falling Skies
Nicola Peltz has the gray(ish eyes too)

But the clear choice when the movie's cast was being finalized (at the time of last year's Oscars ) was:
Hailee Steinfeld. Right age, right look, small and scrappy, etc., etc.
Jennifer Lawrence
Listen, she was fantastic in Winter’s Bone but she’s too old and too tall.  Part of what makes Hunger Games so awesome is that you have youth on youth violence. Maybe awesome is the wrong word.  How about...shocking?  Yes, it's shocking that this culture insists on 12-18 year old children killing each other.  Jennifer was already 20 or 21 when filming the first movie.  She’ll be 22 or 23 during the next and likely 25 or 26 for the third.  They're automatically losing some of the edge of the book with the main character's casting choice.
Well they darkened her hair at least.  She's still too tall.

Gale looks old for his age and is tall.  Other than that you have to picture that he looks just like Katniss:

Ben Barnes is who I pictured when reading the books but he's too old.

Thomas McDonnell has the right look but is not tall.
Liam Hemsworth will be fine.  He's tall and looks right.

Katniss's mother and sister, Prim:
“That’s why my mother and Prim, with their light hair and blue eyes…”

Katniss's mom will always be Robin Wright in my head
Paula Malcomson is a decent actress and she'll be fine.
I have no real opinion about the casting of Prim.  My only hesitation was that the girl they cast had one slight facial issue:
Willow Shields
But they seem to have fixed it a bit:

Haymitch Abernathy:
“a paunchy, middle-aged man” with curly dark hair:
I was desperate for Robert Downey Jr. to be Haymitch as were a lot of fans.

I just don't know about Woody.  And that wig! Yikes.

Peeta Mellark:
”Medium height, stocky build, ashy blond hair that falls in waves over his forehead”…with blue eyes
Hunter Parrish is who I imagined as I read the books but he's another one that's too old.
Lucas Till would have been a good option

I've never been terribly impressed by Josh Hutcherson but I'm desperate to be wrong

President Snow:
“The president, a small, thin man with paper-white hair”

Donald Sutherland will be very good as President Snow.

How awesome would Ian Holm have been as the president?
And my friend Kate's awesome suggestion:
Derek Jacobi looking very Karl Lagerfeldesque

And while I’m nitpicking…
Rewatch the trailer then tell me if the beginning images of District 12 look like its description below.  Especially take note of the fence Katniss climbs through.

Now read the descriptions:
“Our part of District 12, nicknamed the Seam, is usually crawling with coal miners heading out to the morning shift at this hour.  Men and women with hunched shoulders, swollen knuckles, many who have long since stopped trying to scrub the coal dust out of their broken nails, the lines of their sunken faces.  But today the black cinder streets are empty.  Shutters on the squat gray houses are closed.”

“Separating the Meadow from the woods, in fact enclosing all of District 12, is a high chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire loops.”

“Concealed by a clump of bushes, I flatten out on my belly and slide under a two-foot stretch that’s been loose for years.”

Don't get me started on the leather jacket she's wearing that is supposed to be her dad's but fits her too well.  Then again, Lawrence is tall so maybe she and her dad had the same build?

Other than that, I'm pretty excited to see the movie.  Can you tell?

Terra Nova - I don't wanna recap you anymore

There are good things and bad things about television shows like The Walking Dead. A good thing is that it is truly an excellent television show.  It's well done, well written, and has zombie violence.  A bad thing is that it's too good. It makes watching shows like Terra Nova, which could, nay, should be better, an almost impossible task.  The bad shows are bad and will always be bad so I harbor no expectations from them.  Terra Nova, however, isn't bad and should be good.  There's nothing worse than being meh.  It also suffers from airing one night after The Walking Dead, which is usually still fresh in my mind.

Well, here it goes anyway:

"Now You See Me"
Commander Badass leaves the colony for the day to do a little exploring.  He finds his son's rock drawings but before he can really study them Mira comes up behind him.  She's there looking at the same thing.  Shortly after, Mira has Commander Badass as her hostage and is walking him back to her camp which is suspect because I really doubt she'd show him the way to the Sixer camp.  They talk, a lot, and she informs him that she was sent to Terra Nova to do a job expecting to be sent back to 2149 to take care of her daughter.  Commander Badass gets the drop on Mira and makes her put on the cuffs.  This would be total foreplay for them except for the fact that there's a dino on their trail.  They end up having to jump off (over?) a waterfall to escape the dino who is trying to make a home for him and his new girlfriend.  Awwww.... After the jump they lose the only gun they had with them.  Now they must resort to some old weapons to scare off the dinos.  The plan of setting one of them on fire works and the dinos angrily scamper off to mark territory somewhere else.  This leaves Badass and Mira chatting around a fire until morning.  They talk about his brilliant son and the progress he's making on reversing the portal back to 2149.  At one point it almost seems like Badass could be a little sweet on Mira.  He even says something along the lines of if they were in an alternate universe they'd be allies rather than enemies.  They part ways and Commander Badass returns to the colony to see what's been going on while he's been out cavorting with the enemy.

While Badass was off campus, Zoe has been playing with her baby dino from a couple of episodes ago.  He's been living in a terrarium but will soon have to be let go.  Zoe   gives baby dino a different name every day but settles on Boxer at the end.  At one point she's even got on a too big coat with something suspiciously wiggly under it.  Sadly her parents don't let her get away with smuggling Boxer and she must put him back in his terrarium.  On the day she must release Boxer back into the wild the entire family goes with her to show their support.  The dino is even kind of purring as she holds him.  It's too cute.  The family start to walk off but Zoe gives him one last look as he's barking at her.  The nearby trees rustle and out comes a giant version of Boxer.  His mom has found him and all is well.  Awwww...  This poor kid needs a pet.  DOESN'T ANYONE THERE HAVE A PET?!?!

Meanwhile...Jim and older daughter's boyfriend are working on The Case of the Terra Nova Traitor.  They notice someone outside the colony flashing a light and correctly assume someone in the colony will be flashing right back at them.  They run off to follow the flashing light and almost catch Idiot boy's female friend, Skye.  Uhhhh, she's the traitor?  I guess she did warn Idiot Boy an awful lot about getting mixed up with the Sixers.  Skye evades them but gets cut in the process leaving behind a drop of blood in a cup of liquid.  Jim spots this and decides he's gonna pressure his wife (the colony doctor) and/or science guy to run a DNA test on it because they have nothing better to do. Skye is desperate to get out of the colony and needs an excuse since Commander Badass has set a new rule that you have to have a damn good reason to leave.  Joining Idiot Boy's work detail seems like a good choice so she heads out with them and quickly gives them the slip.  We next see her at the Sixer camp delivering something to Mira's second in command dude.  Turns out, Skye is cooperating to save her mom (isn't she dead?) and get her the medication she needs in exchange for colony intel.  Jim's getting closer to figuring out she's the traitor even though she smashed the DNA sample (uh, how did she know what the sample was for?) before it spit out the traitor's identity.  Also, Jim's been the big man in charge while Commander Badass was on the hike with Mira.  Jim didn't like being temporary commander and I'm starting to wonder if Badass is long for this world. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Walking Dead - The Morning After

"Pretty Much Dead Already" aka Everybody's Fighting or Hershel's Got Secrets, y'all!

The episode opens with the RV crew looking pretty comfortable around their makeshift camp on Hershel's property.  Glenn and Dale non-verbally agree that it's time to let the rest of the crew in on the secret of the barn-dwellers.  Now I'm not a big fan of the zoom but the one they do on Rick's face after Glenn spills is perfect.  This will be important later.

Shane's up and at the barn door before you can say, well, whatever zombies say.  He's got his head thru a crack between planks and I want him to do a "Heeeeere's Johnny!"  Everyone argues about goin' or stayin' and a surprising number of people want the latter of the two options.  They still think they can find Sophia and don't want to leave without her.  Later Shane is back at the barn and checking out it's safety.  Walkers make Shane and me jump at the same time.  Y'all...I got a new phone this weekend and this is the first time I've put it down and focused on one thing.  That's how good this show is.  Anywhoodle, we join up with Maggie who is pissed at Glenn for spilling the secret of the barn dwellers.  She smashes an egg on his head for retribution and he's pissed that she wasted an egg. She smiles as she walks away so she's not that pissed at him.  Good.  I need these kids to be into each other and survive all this.

Adorable Carl tells Lori that he doesn't want to leave without Sophia.  And actually, he doesn't want to leave after they find Sophia either.  Maybe they can use Carl to convince Hershel to let them stay.  I don't think I could say no to that kid.  Carol and Daryl (hee!) are connecting a bit more and I love that he's so uncomfortable with it that he calls her a name and storms off.  Dale and Andrea have a heart to heart in the RV about her status with Shane.  She likes that Shane isn't a victim but she doesn't quite see what Dale sees...his dangerous side.  Rick talks to Hershel about the barn-dwellers and in response Hershel gives them 'til the end of the week to be off his farm.  Rick persists by explaining to Hershel what the world is really like out there and begs for Hershel to not send them out into it.  Dude, get Carl. He'll fix this.  Instead Rick plays the pregnant wife card but Hershel isn't budging.  Rick catches up with Shane who's watching the barn.  They fight and Shane makes it pretty clear that he's itching to go.  Rick shuts him up with the news about Lori's current condition.  Shane, of course, gets that "Lori look" on his face whenever she's mentioned and we (the characters and the viewers) are all placing bets on whose baby it is.  Sadly the guys don't look different enough for anyone to tell.

Now it's Maggie and Hershel's turn to chat though they don't really fight.  She's begging Hershel to let them stay and of course he asks if it has anything to do with the Asian kid.  Hershel's male teen (young adult?) busts in and says that "It happened again."  Geeze, I wonder what that could be.  Hershel goes to Rick for help.  Shane goes to Lori to try and convince her to choose him because "Rick isn't built for this world." He's convinced he'd be a better protector and even uses the attack after last season's fish fry as an example of most things being Rick's fault.  Lori assures him that even if the baby is his, it won't be his.  That makes more sense the way she says it, trust me.  Of course this isn't the answer Shane wanted from her and you can kind of see a very faint something snap inside him.  Carl stops him and says that it's bullshit that he doesn't want to find Sophia.  Carl, you're getting up into the ranks of Daryl and Glenn for me.  I think you'll do just fine during this zombie apocalypse, kid.

Shane stomps on over to the RV in search of Dale and a large bag of guns Andrea was playing with earlier.  Hershel, Rick and Jimmy (Thanks for saying his name, Hershel!) come upon two walkers, a female and male, stuck in the mud.  Hershel informs Rick that if they stay (did he say if they stay?) they have to change the way they see the walkers.  Basically it's a catch 'em not kill 'em situation on this particular farm.  Carol and Daryl are wandering around a slightly different swamp and Daryl apologizes for blowing up at her earlier.  Hershel, Rick and Jimmy have the walkers on the end of those hook things you use on gators and are walking them back to the barn.  Rick's totally willing to play along if it means staying on the farm even though it's not the easiest thing to do.

Glenn is trying to explain his motivation for telling the group about the secret of the barn.  He says that he's sick of secrets because they get you killed and he doesn't want anything to happen to her.  She kisses him and it's great and I'm happy to have them OK again.  However I'm not thrilled about their portmanteau:  Gleggie?  Mann?  Neither of those will do.

Shane and Dale face off in a completely different swamp and Dale drops some knowledge on him.  He sees that Shane's ready to pop and that he's actually kind of perfect for the world the way it currently is.  Dude.  Shane's got the guns and storms back to the farm ready to arm everybody, even Carl.  He cares not that this goes against Hershel's wishes.

Speaking of, everyone wonders where he and Rick are.  Rick was supposed to be leading today's search for Sophia and he never showed.  Soon enough they spot Hershel, Rick, Jimmy and their walker-on-sticks.  Shane's not having it so he decides to drop some knowledge on Hershel with a little show and tell.  He tells Hershel how dead and wrong these people are shows him by unloading a few rounds into the female walker's chest.  She barely flinches until Shane lets off one last shot into her head.  Shane runs for the barn and Hershel drops to his knees in shock and emotional pain.  He can't do anything to stop him and no one else does anything either.  Rick's yelling at Shane to stop but he's got the male walker so he's unable to stop Shane from unlocking the barn door.  The barn-dwellers come out  and get used as target practice.  It's at this point that I half expect Sophia to amble out.  The shooting stops and the camera hangs on the partially open barn door.  Aaaaanndd there's one left.  Dangit!  We see small feet and the camera pans up to reveal that it is in fact Sophia.  Shit.  Poor Carol.  Poor Carl too, actually.  I'm bummed that he's witnessed all this even if it is them dispatching zombies.  It's totally different when it's someone you know and/or love.  For a second everyone can see where Hershel was coming from.  Rick steps forward and is the only one to put Sophia out of her misery.  Not that he needed to prove anything but it takes a lot of mettle to be able to do something like that.  It's at this point we get a zoom out from Rick's face to the rest of the group behind him and all the barn-dwellers on the ground.  Another effective use of zoom.  I. Love. This. Show.

FEBRUARY?!?!?  REALLY?  Well at least we got some closure on Sophia before the break.  The second half of the season looks pretty crazy.

So what'd you guys think of last night's episode? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Muppets!!!

The Muppets
Director: James Bobin
Stars: Besides Jason Segal and Amy Adams?  Uh...The Muppets!!!

It's unnatural how much I liked this movie.  Seriously.  The only bad thing about this movie is that it was only 98 minutes.  Jason and Amy did a great job as did Chris Cooper as the bad guy.  The cameos were fun and even though there were a lot of them I kind of wanted more.  At one point in the movie I paused my enjoyment for a second and realized my childhood was up there on that screen.  I grew up watching The Muppet Show at 7:30pm.  My mom thinks it was Monday nights.  For some reason I feel like it was Fridays.  It's probable and in fact likely that we're both wrong.  But it was a staple for me for a few of the years it was on (I was 1 when it premiered) and made a gigantic impression on me.  I went to the movies when they came out, I had toys, Underoos, and lunchboxes.   I love the Muppets.
Hello, childhood!  Good to see you again.

But before we get to it I want to give a shout out to the Toy Story short at the beginning, Small Fry.  Poor Buzz, always getting lost or left behind.  It was adorable and included some folks from the recent Toy Story movie.  I won't go into the story except that the group therapy thing was very cute:

Ok, back to The Muppets.  This is going to be difficult to write because I don't want to get all spoilery on you guys.  You should really go see this movie.  It was pretty darn great.  I laughed, cried (ok got a little choked up) and loved every minute of it.  The music started almost right away and so did the bopping of my head and tapping of my foot. 

Walter (l) and Gary (r)
The deal is: there are two brothers, Walter and Gary, who love the Muppets and help get them back together in order to save the Muppet theater from the big, bad, rich tycoon, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper).  Big, bad, Richman wants to knock down the theater because there's oil underneath.  In downtown Los Angeles.  Oooohkay.  It matters not!  Chris Cooper raps! Plus?!?! There's an 80s robot who drives.

Kermit, Walter, Gary and Gary's girlfriend, Mary, head off on a road trip(!) to find the rest of the gang.  Fozzie is stuck in a gritty Muppet cover band in Reno, Gonzo has reached success selling toilets, Piggy is the plus-size editor for French Vogue and Rolf was busy napping on his porch.  They even get chased down the road by Sweetums (one of my favorites) who exclaims, "Not again!" 

Will they all get back together?  Will the show go off without a hitch even though they haven't performed together in years?  Will they raise the $10 million they need to save the theater from the big, bad Tex Richman?  Will Gary realize he's a Muppet of a Man who needs to make Mary his fiance?  Will Kermit get over his commitment phobia and make an honest pig out of Miss Piggy?  Will I get over the outfits they had Piggy in? 

Designer quality...I kid you not.  They thanked Zac Posen and Louboutin at the end of the credits and I hope that her clothes and shoes, respectively, were designed by them.  However that suit in the upper right is Chanel.

There were lots of sweet messages about finding out who you are, believing in yourself, and how we need to get away from our bitter, sarcastic lives and go back to what's good, sweet and comforting.  However none of it was meant to bash you over the head to tell you how wrong your life is.  It mostly served as a reminder of what life was like before we had reality TV.  This is director James Bobin's first big-screen gig and he did a fine job indeed.  Prior to this, Bobin directed the episodes of Da Ali G Show and Flight of the Conchords.  Also, Bret McKenzie, one of the Conchords, served as music supervisor on The Muppets.  No wonder I liked it so much.

Oh!  There was one bad thing and it was a total Disneyfication.  They kept slipping in a billboard for Cars 2.  That pissed me off but I don't hold it against the Muppets.  Instead I'm going to focus on how they successfully paid homage to Muppet movies of the past without an obvious sentimentality for the past itself.  Ok, so there was a little sentimentality in one performance and really would only affect us children of the late 70s and early 80s.  Remember how I said I got choked up a bit?  Well tears maybe did escape my eyes a little when they sang Rainbow Connection.  It took me right back to when I was 5 years old and watched The Muppet Movie on a heavy rotation.

I would recommend skipping this next part and just enjoy the movie organically without knowing who is in it.  It'll be hard to avoid as I think they're all listed on IMDB and will be talked about in reviews.  It's too bad.  I loved having some of these people just pop up, sometimes without any dialogue.

**********SPOILERY BITS AHEAD**************SPOILERY BITS AHEAD**************

The topic of the cameos:  Yes, there were a bunch of them but none of the actors outshone The Muppets.  Let's see, there was: Mickey Rooney, Alan Arkin, Dave Grohl, Kristen Schaal (LOVE HER!), Jack Black (playing himself), Emily Blunt (playing her Devil Wears Prada character), Ken Jeong, Troy! (aka, Donald Glover), Sarah Silverman, Jim Parsons, Zach Galifinakis, Whoopi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, Rico Rodriguez (aka Manny from Modern Family), Bill Cobbs, NPH, John Krasinski, James Carville, Judd Hirsch and it's possible I missed someone.

The beginning of the credits has some of the stars singing the Mahna Mahna song.  I had been waiting for that song/character (did you know his name is Mahna Mahna?) to show up so I was glad to see it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twilight Saaaahhhgah: Breaking Dawn Part 1

aka Twilight 4.1
Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Does it matter?

Oh Twilight.  So I saw this on Sunday with my friend who shares my weird and inexplicable obsession with Twilight.  We both acknowledge that the books, while addictive, were not by any means great literature.  We both find ourselves stopping on whatever channel happens to be airing any of the movies.  It's like the worst kind of accident and we just cannot look away.

I'm not going to bother you with the story.  If you're actually interested in the movie you'll see it no matter what anyone says.  Ok, the skinny is: human girl and vampire guy get married, go on a honeymoon, consummate the thing and human girl gets pregnant by vampire guy.  Say what?!?!  I can't argue the lack of logic there because to do so I'd have to argue the existence of vampires so I'm not gonna go there.  Plus a young adult book series I really like is based on half-human/half-vampires called dhampirs so I gotta let it go.  Anywhoodle, human girl is pregnant with a thing and it's sucking the life out of human girl.  Baby thing gets born and vampire guy tries to turn human girl at the last minute to save her life, yada, yada, yada.  Ridiculous.  Yes, I know.  Do I care? Not in the least.  I will love these blasted books/movies until the day I die. While reading the fourth book I had to walk away from it numerous times because I was so entirely pissed at the choices made by the author.  I even threw the book at one point.  I've never had that reaction before.  Books are sacred.  So far though, this movie isn't as rage inducing as the book was so there's that.

Let's get to the good, bad and ugly.  The good, and there was some, took place in the first half of the movie.  The bad was the second half and some elements of the first half as well.  The ugly does not apply to anyone in the movie but to almost everyone's wig.  Seriously.  Who does their wigs?  While mostly better in every other aspect, this movie still has sucky wigs.

If I get into the bad we'll be here all night.  Let's just say that no matter the director, award winning or not, if the source material sucks, the movie will suck as well.  If you have a group of so-so actors, the movie will suck.  If you let the wig person also choose the engagement ring, which has to be the case, the movies. Will. Suck.  Oh and if you give us a ridiculous scene involving the inner dialogues of wolves we may not forgive you.  Seriously, this one scene with the wolves, who communicate via telepathy, yelling at each other and asserting their dominance was AWFUL.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Also, the sex scene gave the girl next to me the giggles.  She was easily in her 20s and was feeling that uncomfortable about it.

What was good?  Well mostly everyone is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  Kristen Stewart looked lovely for half the movie and may even be growing into her awkwardness.  Y'all, she even finished a few sentences without stammering!  I'm a big RPatz fan and have been since he showed up in HP4.  I like his looks and do not blame him for the absolute insanity that surrounds him.  Lautner was less whiny and more take charge, which was a nice change for him.  The CGI for Bella's body transformation in the second half was pretty believable even though the wolves looked way worse than the previous movies.  Uh, let's, the island where they took their honeymoon was beautiful.  Oh! I got one!  Michael Sheen, though only in one scene, did a great job.  He's so deliciously fun.  Sooooo that's about it.  Go read Tracy's review on the examiner.  I am still having trouble putting my thoughts into words. Maybe words for this kind of thing just don't exist.

HIMYM and 2 BG - Didja watch?

Didja watch How I Met Your Mother "The Rebound Girl"?  If you had you woulda seen:

- Lily and Marshall decide to sell the very nice, very large house GIVEN to them by Lily's grandparents because they can't imagine life in Long Island.  Upon returning to their apartment they see how small it is in comparison and decide to keep the house. Again.  Only this time it's not blamed on Lily's pregnancy brain.

- Barney wants kids.  Yep.  Only wives are such a bummer with their not wanting you to cheat on them and all so he and Ted decide it'd be cool to be bro-parents. 

- Lily and Marshall decide to have Thanksgiving dinner at the L.I. house and break it to Robin they're moving there for good.  Robin flips and locks herself in the bathroom.  This forces people to go outside and talk to her through a window.  I'd have slapped her but they're much more patient.  Plus they've got writers and directors telling them not to be normal so there's that.

- Ted says that Barney would make a terrible parent so they, like, break up or something and Ted calls to apologize.  Barney's totally cool and totally just outside the apartment with a baby.  Whoa.  Ted and Barney name her Hurricane and head to the 'burbs to show her off.

-  Turns out it's Barney's brother's new daughter and Barney's brother is totally married to Jai from Queer Eye!  Too bad he didn't get more lines.

- Barney excuses himself and climbs in through the bathroom window to talk to Robin who is still in a snit.  She drops the "I'm pregnant bomb" and the show ends.

Notes: What's with the title?  Is that referring to Barney's fake, adopted baby?

Didja watch 2 Broke Girls "And the Very Christmas Thanksgiving"?  If you had you woulda seen:

- The girls talk Han, the diner owner into hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for local homeless.

-  Caroline decides she wants to learn to bake and this ends with a broken mixer and a milk-covered Max.

- Caroline is determined to spread some cheer because she gets to see her dad who's in prison.  However that's short-lived because he calls to tell her he doesn't want her to see him like that. 

-  A heartbroken Caroline decides to shed a little light on the realities of holiday suckage to the kids in line to see Santa.  Another elf decides to put her down before ruining the mystique

-Favorite lines:
"This is a hard time of year for people who have feelings."
Max feeling like a "North Pole dancer" when in her elf costume. 
Caroline's flip in mood putting her on the "Bi-Polar Express."

- No Zano.  : (  Poor me.