Sunday, December 18, 2005


Weeeeeee~ The great thing about being home is finally getting to watch all the good English movies again. I mean don't get me wrong, I love Korean soap operas and movies as much as the next Korean-loving person. But it sucks when you're overseas and missing out on quality movies like NARNIA!

That was seriously funnnnnnnnnn stuff. I haven't read the book, oh, in 14 years or so? So I only remembered the vague outlines of the storyline but the movie was almost exactly as I imagined the book to be. Except I thought that Peter and Susan would be older than me since I read the book when they actually WERE older than me. I thought watching talking animals would be weird, but they made the transition into seeing talking animals surprisingly smooth. And I super duper loved the Beaver family.

Older, I had always heard about how C.S. Lewis was very Christian and how his writings were usually about religion or allegorical in some way. Of course having read the entire Narnia series as a kid, I never really caught onto that until I saw the movie yesterday. Aslan's sacrifice of himself for Edmund? Aslan's rebirth? Edmund as sinner turned saint? There was a lot more. But craziness!

Anyway, GREAT movie. I'm so happy when great books are turned into such awesome movie adaptations. :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

pride & prejudice

I had a lot of reservations going into watching this movie. I love, love, LOVE the BBC 5-hour miniseries version. Jenn knows this very well, as she introduced this to me at 1AM some evening back in the day. And I stayed up through 6AM watching it. Plus, Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett? I definitely didn't see how that could work.

I was dead wrong.

She was surprisingly extremely well-fit for the role. As was Rosamund Pike as Jane Bennett, and basically EVERYONE in their roles. I thought there could be no better Mr. Darcy than Colin Firth, and though he's still my #1 Mr. Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen is a close second.

They managed to condense this long book, long miniseries, into a 2.5 hour movie. And they did it excellently. I didn't feel like it was choppy or missing stuff. They added some artistic touches to it, some cute scenes not brought up in the book or other small/big-screen adaptations.

Seriously, I loved it! I can't wait for it to come out on DVD!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Second Opinions, Part II - Grey's Anatomy

Everyone and their mother (literally) seems to be obsessed with Grey's Anatomy this season, so despite my initial dislike of the show from their first couple of episodes, I decided it was time to give it another chance. It's kind of too late for me to catch up thoroughly (and I kind of don't care enough to) but I'd been reading about the show's happenings on various TV/entertainment websites so I figured I could start by just watching the most recent episode. And honestly, I didn't feel like I had missed much.

The reason I didn't like the show in the very beginning was mostly Ellen Pompeo. This is probably unfair, but I found her whispery voice and squinty eyes to be kind of annoying. The whole thing with Patrick Dempsey was obviously just a trainwreck waiting to happen, and everything just seemed so pretentious, like being a surgical intern is the hardest thing in the world. I mean, I'm sure it's harder than anything I've done, but I guess I just dislike being told straight up that they have it worse and I'm supposed to feel sympathy for them. Plus, this is a medical show, and we all know that I'm not a fan of medical shows.

The second time around, I have to say that things have improved. Meredith isn't nearly as irritating, and I was kind of glad to see that Dr. McDreamy's wife is sticking around and is completely Meredith's opposite. Katherine Heigl has more to do now, and I've always thought that she was a great actress (even in Roswell, although her scenes with Jason Behr squicked me out because it was a little too un-sibling-ish). George is just ridiculously likeable, and Sandra Oh and Dr. Bailey get all the best snappy remarks.

But unlike Everwood, I don't think I'm quite a converted fan yet. I might watch a few more episodes to make sure, but there are still two big things holding me back. First is the medical thing. The hospital stuff just really doesn't hold my attention. I know that we're all supposed to be fascinated by all these weird and different and heartstring-tugging cases, but I'm just not. I can't help it.

The second thing is Meredith's voiceovers. Voiceovers can really make or break a show for me. If they're good, they can really contribute a lot, but when they're bad they can ruin the entire show for me. I hate Meredith's voiceovers. They're filled with too many metaphors and wisdom and life-affirming crap, and I just don't buy it as really coming from Meredith. It just sounds like Ellen Pompeo reading it off a sheet of paper.

So...yeah. Mira, I know you continue to be a fan of the show so keep posting on it! I'll focus on 24 when it premieres in January. So excited for that!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Second Opinions, Part I - Everwood

This is a series of posts on shows that I've decided to give second chances to, with mixed results. Stay tuned!

Inexplicably this season I've started to watch Everwood again. I actually never really watched this show regularly before, but for some reason I'm really digging it now. When the show first premiered, I had actually found it kind of annoying. The whole Colin thing was just way too melodramatic for me, and I found it irritating that at like 15, Amy was already this long-suffering girlfriend who acted more like she was in her thirties. Ephram was too whiny, the adults were too quirky, and I hated those voiceovers. Plus I really am completely disinterested in medical shows, and while Everwood had mostly cutesy small-town medicine as opposed to the standard TV hospital stuff, I still found all of those scenes really boring.

Admittedly, I still skip over a lot of the doctor stuff and I'm not very interested in the adult plotlines in general, but the show has really grown into its own. Bright's transformation has turned him from dumb jerk to just plain loveable, Ephram has relaxed a little and is a lot less whiny, and Amy has actually joined my very short list of female TV characters that I actually like.

And seriously, the writing and acting this season has just been damn good. Bright and Hannah are running against Seth and Summer for cutest couple ever, and after all of their ridiculous ups and downs, Amy and Ephram still manage to have amazing tension and chemistry. This past week when Ephram suddenly told Amy that he was still in love with her, my heart totally skipped a was that convincing. (I never said that I wasn't a sap.) And the show doesn't only focus on the romantic storylines. The story arc where Hannah's father died and she wanted to leave Everwood showed how conscious the writers are of that other stuff: the scene when Amy tells Ephram how much she was going to miss Hannah and the scene when Ephram goes to tell Hannah about it were just perfect. Plus the show has moved away from the annoying quirky humor that always seems to come along with small-town shows but has kept enough light and funny moments. The show still can get a little too schmaltzy at times, but overall I've really been enjoying it.

Of course, as soon as I get into it all, the show is taking a break to make way for another season of Beauty and the Geek. Of course I'll probably watch that too though...

the WB meets Princeton Review

This is really only marginally entertainment related, but I clicked on a link today and ended up at this website: It's a site advertising a guide to colleges on DVD and there are preview clips of each of the 50 schools that it covers. The funny part is that it's hosted by stars of the WB like Gregory Smith (Everwood), James Lafferty (One Tree Hill), and Jared Padalecki (Supernatural). Cornell's segment was introduced by Kristin Kreuk from Smallville, and I have to say that it was really bizarre hearing Lana Lang talking about how Cornell is famous for "getting some...from your textbooks." Of course during the talk about hard work they showed one girl in a bikini top studying outside on the grass, which cracked me up because what they should really be showing is Phillips 319. And all of the exterior shots in the preview were during the summer which really isn't a good representation of Ithaca in general.

Anyway, to hear your favorite WB star say a few sentences about a school they probably never considered and a process that they likely never went through, check out the website. I'll admit that I watched more than a few of the intros to see which celebrities gave into this bizarre idea...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

oh no!

I have to say that I was afraid of this, but Reunion has been cancelled. I mean, no, it wasn't the best show ever but I got sucked into the whole mystery thing and now I'm bummed that we don't get to find out the whole story. Sigh.

So I guess this means that I'll be watching my strange new guilty pleasure Everwood on Thursday nights at 9...

EDIT: According to today's TVGuide Entertainment News, Reunion will continue to air until February 2 and according to Zap2it, it will be up to the producers whether they can wrap up the mystery by that time. Also, I haven't been watching Prison Break but fans will be happy to know that new episodes will return in March rather than the originally planned May.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

yay yay yay yay yay!

From TWO sources, below being

"I SPY... LOTSA TICKED-OFF FANS: Alias' fifth-season finale in May will also be the series' finale, ABC has announced. The spy drama "is not going to wind down as it comes to an end, it's going to rev up," promises ABC Entertainment prez Stephen McPherson. "We're going to make it the event it deserves to be." And, adds my mole, just wait until you get a load of the wigs!"


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

kind of old but really funny

So for years now I've been trying to be cool and know about all the hot new indie bands before everyone else does and I was doing a respectable job at it but then the OC came along. All of a sudden everyone knows Death Cab, Modest Mouse plays live on the show, and every other new discovery of mine ends up on one of their continously releasing mix soundtracks. Anyway, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, currently one of the aforementioned hot new indie bands, was asked to do a live gig on the OC, and they turned down the opportunity! Gothamist had already been asking bands they interview whether they'd play the Bait Shop, so Daily Refill posted a rundown of the responses. I'm still not really cool enough to recognize all the bands but it was still funny.

Oh and I've never heard of Man in Grey, but one of their members said that her dream was to play the Bronze on Buffy so bonus points to them and I'm now going to check them out. =)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

So I was kind of worried about this movie a little, because the book was just so long and I didn't know how cutting so much stuff out was going to affect the movie. I knew in advance that I'd probably end up being disappointed at some things, but I think that overall they did a pretty good job at condensing everything. The movie is heavily focused on the Triwizard Tournament and not so much on the whole school year in general. The bulk of the movie involves the 3 tasks, along with a detour to the Yule Ball. They also simplified the plot slightly, cutting out Winky altogether, and Sirius barely appears.

That said, the movie did feel kind of rushed. Each task of the tournament felt like it was taking place right after the previous one, and there wasn't much time for character development really. I kind of felt deprived of scenes where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are just talking things over. Actually I felt like there wasn't really that much dialogue in general: this was much more of an action movie than the previous three. Prisoner of Azkaban (which is still my favorite by far) flowed really well and had a dark but sort of calm style to it. This one was much more fast paced and at times I felt like the transitions were too hasty. John Williams was replaced by Patrick Doyle for the score so the music was also very different.

The CGI and effects and everything really were excellent though. The dragons were great and the underwater stuff looked really good. The graveyard scene at the end was also very well done. Strangely while I was reading the books I never pictured in my head what Voldemort was going to look like at all, so seeing him was really interesting, and Ralph Fiennes was perfectly scary and creepy. I also really loved Mad-Eye Moody. I had sort of pictured him as being more tall and skinny but Brendan Gleeson really grew on me throughout the movie.

I could probably talk about the movie forever, the things I liked and didn't like, so I should probably restrain myself a little here. But my favorite scene was probably the one where Fred asks Angelina to go the Yule Ball with him. It was funny in the book too, but the way they did in the movie was just awesome. My least favorite scene was the introduction of the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Each group did a little routine entering the Great Hall and it was really just stupid.

So my final verdict: enjoyable but not as good as Prisoner of Azkaban. They also really skimped on the explanation of what happened at the end and I wonder if people who hadn't read the books would be confused...

Friday, November 18, 2005

top 5 TV villians I loved to hate

1. Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) - I suppose he turned into a semi-good guy by the end there...
2. Cigarette Smoking Man (the X-files) - was always really intrigued by him
3. Krycek (the X-files) - mostly because he was totally hot, haha
4. Lex Luthor (Smallville) - well, he's not fully a villain yet, but his hint of evil has always been there
5. Julie Cooper (the OC) - "this town's really only big enough for one manipulative bitch"

the fake Orange County

The OC this season has been kind of a mixed bag...I'm glad that the couples (Sandy/Kirsten, Ryan/Marissa, Seth/Summer) seem to be relatively stable, and the whole main cast, even Marissa, has been in really good form, but man, all these new characters have been irritating the heck out of me. I wonder if it's becoming the OC's pattern to introduce a whole bunch of new characters at the beginning of the season to "stir things up" and then slowly get rid of them. Like last season we had D.J., Lindsay, Alex, and Zach, and this season there's Dean Hess, Charlotte, Taylor, and the public school kids. Dean Hess is already gone and it looks like Charlotte is too, so hopefully Taylor will up next?

Taylor's kind of a tricky one though...up until last week I absolutely despised her, but this week she was actually kind of funny. That bit where she was asking Ryan about Seth and Summer just cracked me up, and the scene where she tells Seth that she liked him was hilarious too. ("I heard you were breaking up." "What? Who said that?" "I made it up. But what did you feel when you heard it?") But I was kind of annoyed that Seth was being so nice to her because I kind of just don't want her to stick around at all. I'm kind of meh on Johnny as well. IMDB has him listed as sticking around for awhile also but I don't really see what his purpose is. He's not hot and he's not interesting....

Apparently the next big thing is going to be the return of Kaitlin Cooper, who's going to be even wilder than Marissa, which sounds funny, but I guess while Marissa's done plenty of drinking and other destructive behavior, she's still always kind of given off this good-girl vibe. So I guess Kaitlin is going to be more of a Hailey type?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

never mind, Rory still sucks

I take it back, Rory now has no chance for my eyes anyway. I realize that they're trying to make her more like Lorelai, but for some reason I just can't tolerate it at all. Her badgering of the newspaper editor was something Lorelai might have been able to pull off, but Rory doing it just made me want to strangle her. Especially since it was massively obvious that she was going to get the job in the end. I mean, there's something to be said for being proactive when pursuing a job, but Rory was just being plain irritating. I know that last season I criticized Rory for giving up her dream so easily but seriously, while determination is one thing, being completely unprofessional and disrespectful of authority is really another. If I were that editor, I would have called security and had her removed from the building. I mean, after last week I wanted Rory to suffer a little bit from her dumb choices, not immediately get everything she wanted...

As for the Luke's daughter thing...I read spoilers ages ago so I knew it was coming, and even I hate the fact that this plotline even exists, I kind of liked how they handled it. I liked that she was really geeky looking and that she didn't want anything from Luke besides help in winning the science fair. Obviously she (and her mother I assume) will be staying in the picture which is just manipulative on the part of the writers but for some reason I was just comforted by the fact that they didn't go the typical soap opera route with it.

And when the heck did Zack become so annoying?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

november sweeps, week 2

Kitchen Confidential (still! oy...)

Desperate Housewives: So Susan and Mike finally come to a head. I'm glad that Gabrielle finaly understands the depth, in its own craziness, of Carlos' love for her. I love Lynnette and Tom's storyline of parents needing to treat themselves every once in a while. And Lynnette's obsession with the suit -- that's something anyone can relate to, falling in love with a material object that makes you feel so much better about yourself. :-)
Grey's Anatomy: Ahhh, the Alex-Izzie kiss was an awesome end to the show. I'm getting a little annoyed with the repeat themes I'm noticing between this show and House. First the surgery of "killing" the patient, to save their lives. Now the request of patient-doctor kisses. Oy. But that kiss was just SO cute.

How I Met Your Mother: Kinda non-pivotal. Surprising for a sweeps episode, but refreshing as well. But seriously? I wanna see this show go somewhere. SOON.

Gilmore Girls: Yeah. Jess is super sexy. I agree with Jenn's post. I spent most of the episode going omg, enough with the Paulanka. And I was very not amused by the girls-soccer-Luke. It's interesting to see a threatened Logan. But mostly, Jess was super attractive. And he reminds me of why I used to like Rory -- because she was this super perfect girl who could see past the exterior of who he was to who he could be underneath everything. Man, Jess is sexy.
House: It was sad to see a diagnoses not pull through. It was probably the first death I've seen on the show (I dunno if it's the first one though, cuz I didn't see ALL of Season 1). But it was a good episode. Finally seeing some more development on the House-Cameron front, at least I think so. And some more insight into House's psyche and what makes him what he is.

One Tree Hill: Oy, good job Brooke. Letting your desire for vengeance to take over your common sense. But I really like what the show is doing with the Haley-Peyton storyline.

The OC: Ehh, not really doing it for me. Of course Seth developing a soft-spot for Taylor has lead to her having a huge crush on him and now wanting to sabotage Seth-Summer. YUCK. Ryan-Marissa are really good together, but they're kinda boring, too. I don't like this seduction of Julie Cooper to the dark side business. I do like the threatened surfer-girlfriend hurting the boyfriend before he hurt her aspect though. Because that was a good portrayal of human nature/strive-to-be-independent girl-nature.
Reunion: Yet another twist. Nice! They seriously made it look like Sam was the one who survived but she's the one who was murdered. Yay for twists. That's sad though, cuz I really like her.
Alias: I was skeptical about the new cast additions, but I've gotta say, I am finding that I really like them. I like Rachel Gibson (played by Rachel Nichols. Reminder of Michael Vaughn played by Michael Vartan, hummm...) a lot. And of course there's the romantic tension building up between her and Thomas Grace. Cuz on this show only in office romances can exist. Sydney-Vaughn, Nadia-Weiss, Dixon-the Director of the CIA, and now Rachel-Grace... I'm not too keen on the Evil-ish-Sloan storyline, or the repetitiveness of the show, but the new characters I do like.

Friday, November 11, 2005

top 5 most hated TV characters

Thanks for the suggestion Mira! These aren't really in order...

1. Lauren (Alias) - Vaughn's horrible wife. Everyone hated her so much before she even appeared on the show that they had to make her evil.
2. Oliver (the OC) - No explanation needed.
3. Joey (Dawson's Creek) - The worst part is that she was the one I related to for the first few seasons. Then the writers made her the annoying perfect girl that charms everyone and every single male falls for. Ugh ugh ugh.
4. Tess (Roswell) - Really hated her at first because she was obviously there to mess up Max/Liz, but then I started to like her a little when they paired her up with Kyle. But then they decided to make her evil after all, and then I had to hate her even more. Usually one really bad role can turn me off an actor or actress forever, but strangely I really like Emilie de Ravin as Claire on Lost...
5. Kim (24) - Annoying to begin with, but the writers made it ten times worse by putting her in the most ridiculous situations possible (cougar anyone?). And then somehow she ends up with a job at CTU? Are you kidding me?

Runners-up: Riley (Buffy) and Rory (Gilmore Girls).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

drama in the LB

Man I'm a posting mood this week...

I haven't watched the latest episode of Laguna Beach yet but I've been intending to post on the show for awhile now and since this has been a less-busy-than-usual week for me I thought I'd just go ahead.

I really didn't think this season would be all that great...I didn't like Kristin last season and this year was supposed to be all about her. But somehow this season turned out to be all about Jason instead, which is really vastly more interesting. I have my doubts about how "real" everything actually is, but man, the last couple of episodes have been the most entertaining thing I've seen on TV in a very very long time.

I mean, the Jason and Lauren hook-up? Kristin probably said it best: "That's the most random thing I've ever heard in my life!" It's so incredibly random and juicy that had it happened on the OC I probably would have brushed it off as contrived, but since this is "real," it was just awesome. I loved how it threw Stephen for a loop too. And then Jason kissing Jessica right in front of LC?? This is so the best show ever. Haha.

Some other random unrelated thoughts:
  • Talan singing at the benefit just killed me. Hopefully he's not serious about launching a music career...
  • Poor Dieter, who was in practically every episode last season as "Stephen's Friend" now gets to be "Jessica's Ex-Boyfriend" as well. I kind of like the dude though.
  • Taylor and Alex M. mimicking Casey = awesome.
  • The show kind of reads my mind for a lot of their music selections. "Existentialism on a Prom Night" by Straylight Run was exactly what I would have put in the prom episode, and "Time" by Chantal Kreviazuk was perfect for graduation.

Season finale next Monday, apparently commercial-free!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rory's redemption?

So it might be too early to tell but tonight's episode of Gilmore Girls was the first time in a very very long time that I liked Rory. She finally realized how stupid she was being and that everything Lorelai told her about Emily was true. And I'm sooo glad that it was Jess that made her realize it. His appearance was just perfect. Even though I always liked him and Rory together, I'm glad that there weren't any romantic intentions behind his return, and that he was the mature one. I mean, how great was that? The slacker with no ambition comes back with an actual accomplishment and teaches the former Miss Perfect a lesson. Yeah, Jess was hot tonight. Haha.

I'm also glad that they showed Logan's other side tonight. I was a big fan of his in the beginning but he's kind of bugged more and more every week, and the charm turning into jerk was really always a possibility. I have no idea what's going to come of Rory and Logan now first I thought that they were a good couple but now I feel like their attitudes toward life are really just too different right now and they both kind of need to get their shit together before trying to be in any relationship at all.

Oh, and this just dawned on me during the episode, but when Luke and Lorelai get married (note my optimism despite the preview for next week and annoying spoilers I've read), Rory and Jess will kind of be cousins...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Battlestar Galactica

With a title like Battlestar Galactica, you might have some preconceptions of this show as being another random mediocre space sci-fi show, but you should throw those away, because really, this show kicks some serious ass.

A remake of a short-lived 70s series, Battlestar Galactica is kind of a meld of two popular sci-fi notions: most of the characters are the crew of a spaceship, and humans are being rebelled against by their own robot creations (called Cylons). This is a future where Earth is a long-lost planet, and humans live on twelve colony planets ruled under a single government that is oddly linked to some kind of unified religion. That, is, that’s how it was until the Cylons destroyed the colonies and left only 50,000 or so humans on a handful of ships, who are now trying to find Earth. And the Cylons, still after them, have somehow evolved to look and act and even think like humans.

For a sci-fi show, the style is pretty unique in that it's actually pretty ordinary. I love that they didn’t waste time trying to come up with dumb futuristic clothes, there are no aliens, and things like cancer and news reporters still exist. But there are resort spaceships that simulate sunlight and of course, plenty of space battles and weird biological enemy spacecraft. And even though the special effects are top-notch, Battlestar Galactica is very character-driven. This isn’t about all the weird things you encounter in space, it’s about how the human race is literally struggling against extinction. The main cast of characters is balanced nicely, and they all have great backstories. I’m almost done watching season 1 on DVD and I’m hoping to catch up with the first half of season 2 before new episodes start up again on Sci-Fi Channel in January. And I’ve been told that the show gets even better!

Finally, a sci-fi show to get excited about!

november sweeps, week 1

On break this week because November Sweeps starts next week for them, apparently:
Desperate Housewives, Gilmore Girls, Kitchen Confidential, How I Met Your Mother, Alias

Everything else:
SUNDAY&MONDAY (don't really count, cuz not yet November, but whatever)
Grey's Anatomy: Drs. McDreamy, well-deserving of each other. Cristina, finally showing her ability to be really girly and pulls a freak-out attack on her *awwww* boyfriend. Izzie, being recruited by Mrs. Doctor McDreamy. Abby (from Dawson's Creek) makes a guest appearance as a girl who's attached to another man by a subway pole which is going straight through both of their chests -- GROSS! Overall? Not that interesting of an episode. Obviously had to get it out of the way before Sweeps begins.
Laguna Beach: Jessica is officially on my TV Shit List. I hate that girl. Other people of note on this shit list: Oliver (Season 1 of The OC), all the new characters on Season 3 of The OC, Rory (Gilmore Girls), there are more but I can't think of them. Jenn, you should make a Top 5 list of the character's you've hated most on TV ever. And then a Top 5 list of the ones you've loved to hate the most (Spike!).

House: nothing really interesting to report. Cameron almost developed a crush on another doctor but then realized he wasn't Dr. House. A man almost died but last minute Dr. House was able to diagnose his mysterious ailment.

One Tree Hill: so glad Karen's running against Dan for mayer. Super annoyed by the Brooke-Lucas-SluttyGirl storyline. Enjoying the Peyton-Ellie storyline. LOVE the Dan-Deb pranks-war. And the highlight of this past week's episode? The simultaneous fights between the basketball players and the cheerleaders.

The OC: One villain down, two more to go. And seriously, Marissa --so awesome this season!

Reunion: Okay this show seriously as a whole is very played out. Like it makes a big deal out of making certain things a mystery. But for the first time EVER, I was actually surprised by one of its twists. Like the previous twists have been all like well duh. Like Will turning out to be a priest? If you saw the posters for the show, you already knew. But today one of the twists surprised me. Present-Day-Craig is parapalegic! I had nooooo idea! Finally, surprise. One additional redeeming aspect of the episode is that fiiinally Aaron and Carla hooked up, and though it sounds to be a one-time thing? It was really special and their reasons for leaving it at that were really perfect. I loved how Aaron is all surprised to find out she was a virgin (he didn't realize that WHILE they were doing it?) and then he says, "I just can't believe it, a girl like you? How does it take you 21 years to find the right guy?" and she replies, "Actually it only took me 14 to find him, it took him 21 to find him." *collective sigh right here* Anyway, it's little things like that that will keep me watching this show. Plus I love all the musical walks down memory lane. Because they're taking full advantage of representing music in each year, right now it still being the 80's, we're still getting 80's pop songs!

So, done with week one. Time to catch up with week two! (Meaning new Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy!)

Friday, November 04, 2005

top 5 songs I've been digging lately

1. Radiohead - I Want None of This
2. Death Cab for Cutie - Marching Bands of Manhattan
3. Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Goin' Down
4. Pinback - Fortress
5. Wolf Parade - Shine a Light

Also listening to new albums from Wilderness, Franz Ferdinand, the New Pornographers, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I've been into the indie rock stuff for a few years now...I wonder what's next?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

our poor neglected page

So I've amazingly enough FULLY caught up in ALL my TV shows! I'm caught up and ready to watch all the new episodes of TV! Crazy, no? So look out for spoilers galore for those of you not caught up. Here's my rundown on what's been happening so far this season...


Alias: Frickin, so the new blonde = Sydney, Jr. So if Jennifer Garner does indeed leave the show, that leaves it open for new girl to just do for another 5 years the same thing Sydney did for the last 5. Except she was a failed attempt at being a counter-intelligence agent, since obviously she can't hide her fear. Oy. And obviously the new guy is set up to be either Sydney or Sydney, Jr.'s love interest. Oy. I've gotta say the storylines are getting old and predictable. And even if they go and do something not predicted, that's predictable because that's how it always is. And damnit, I knew Vaughn was getting killed off but I didn't expect him to get killed off EPISODE ONE! Oy. And there's so much more passion for Vaughn in Sydney now that he's actually dead. Strange how that happens, huh?

Gilmore Girls: Rory bores me. Luke I still adore, but even him and Lorelai's relationship doesn't much interest me. Logan is still a hotty, but damn, him being with Rory annoys and bores me. This show just, I dunno, it's not doing it for me.

One Tree Hill: This show actually interests me more than the above two. I love watching the developing relationships, seeing the ruptured ones try to refix, etc. The guys are hot, the girls are hot. The same villain, Dan, is as evil as ever. And there are new annoying characters, unlike...

The OC: How do you add SO many annoying, evil characters in one season? THREE? The Dean, Kirsten's stalker lady, Ms. Teen-Spirit-Audrey. YECH. Seriously, I'm glad there was baseball playoffs the last few weeks. I didn't miss you all that much. But I do have to admit, that as long as Ryan and Marissa are together, Marissa is a lot less annoying as a character. Instead, I'll watch...

Laguna Beach, The Real OC: This is my guilty pleasure. Seriously, season 2 with it's less concentrating on the love triangle of Kristen-Stephen(hottie!!!)-LC, but on the man-whore-iness of Jason has been so entertaining. Ahhh seriously, I just love this show. I can't help it!

Desperate Housewives: Is slightly less annoying than the end of last season. But it's because I'm watching it not with the thought that this show is so great, but just this show is so WEIRD. And seriously, looking at the show in this way makes me simply enjoy the quirkiness of the characters and the oddball storylines the writers keep throwing at the audience. Though thank goodness, it's followed by...

Grey's Anatomy: This is the winner for returning shows, this season. Seriously, hands down I am enjoying this drama moreso than any other drama. It keeps it's random elements of comedy, and it's got crazy ass storylines that I really enjoy. Like McDreamy and Mrs. McDreamy. Izzy and the Jerk. Meredith finally 'fessing up to McDreamy her true feelings. The rest of the crew finding out about Alice Grey's Alzheimer. Good stuff! Can't forget about my other hospital drama though--

House: This, too, has been on hiatus thanks to baseball. But before it went away, it was keeping up its standard top-notch acting, interesting storylines, interesting characters. But it was weird because one week both House and Grey's Anatomy did the same rare surgical procedure. That was weird. Onto the newbies...


Kitchen Confidential: This handsdown is one of my favorite shows this season, if not my FAVORITE. It's light, got a greatlooking cast, got an eclectic group of characters, and pretty fastpaced. It's seriously great for a 20 minute break from life to just laugh and be happy.

How I Met Your Mother: This too is a funny, cute show. I enjoy it because I think that this show seriously fills the void left behind by Friends. Just an entertaining romantic comedy with awesome supporting characters. Plus this gave me my fill of Halloween costumes in last week's episode. Being out of the country, I definitely missed out on Halloween. But between this and One Tree Hill, I got to look at awesome costumes and feel like it was indeed Halloween season.

Friday, October 21, 2005

top 5 strange things I've resorted to watching on TV lately

So while I'm consistently missing weeknight TV shows because of getting home from work late or double scheduled timeslots, I occasionally find myself with nothing to watch and honestly, my choices lately have been a little odd. Here are my newest (and strangest) picks:

1. America's Top Model: I'm not very interested in fashion or beauty but apparently I'm interested in watching tall skinny girls (most of whom are younger than me) who want to be supermodels...
2. Charmed: I can't believe this show is still on. I haven't watched it since like freshman year in college so I'm not too clear on what the heck is going on, but it's really still the same as ever.
3. Everwood: I used to hate this show with a passion, but for some reason it's kind of grown on me. I'm still not too interested in the grown-ups, but Bright is awesome and Ephram and Amy aren't being annoying so uh, yeah...
4. Iron Chef America: I watched the original Iron Chef a couple of times and thought it was amusing but I never got that into it. I prefer the American version for a few reasons, the most important being Alton Brown's commentary. I love Alton Brown. The guest judges can be interesting as well.
5. Degrassi the Next Generation: This is so seriously addictive. The characters are all played by actors of the right age and they're all very average-looking, not super Hollywood pretty. They manage to tackle all sorts of tough topics without getting too afterschool special, but it's still funny and cute too.

Friday, October 14, 2005

top 5 TV shows from my childhood

A trip down memory lane...

1. Full House (too embarassing to watch anymore)
2. Saved by the Bell
3. Beverly Hills 90210
4. Blossom (haha, this needs to be rerun or put on DVD)
5. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (really unsure of why I liked this so much...)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

movie review catch-up

Serenity: I was a big fan of Firefly and was pretty upset when it was cancelled, but I had no idea that the cult following would be so strong as to actually make way for a movie to be made. What amazes me is that some of the biggest fans of Firefly were people who had never watched Buffy or Angel and had no idea who Joss Whedon was. Anyway, I felt like this movie was mostly made for the fans but I think that people who had never watched the show could enjoy it too. First of all, the word "firefly" was never even mentioned, and they didn't make too many references to things that happened in the series either. But the fact that this world and its characters had already existed for 15 episodes helped make the movie very tight and complete. I was really impressed with the plotline, and there were more than a few surprises. And it had all of the classic Joss Whedon quirky humor combined with great human emotion. Hopefully this will pave the way for Joss to make more movies or TV shows. We miss him!

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: I saw the shorts with Wallace & Gromit a few years back, and I was super excited to hear that they were going to be making a full-length feature with them. Wallace is a inventor whose good-intentioned plans often go wrong, and Gromit is his dog and business partner that ends up getting them out of all of their trouble spots. Gromit is so cute! And he knits! He doesn't talk at all but you can always see what he's thinking, which is pretty amazing considering he's just a little plasticine figure. Haha, anyway, this movie was very cute and smart and wacky and I just loved it. While all the computer generated Pixar stuff is getting better and better, it's nice to see that some people still have the dedication to do old fashioned stop-motion animation and make it great.

Friday, October 07, 2005

my top 5 fandom moments

Since it's my birthday today (I'm 22!) I thought I'd do a more personal list as well. I used to be pretty involved in a few online TV fandoms and these are some funny things that I did or happened to me as a result of them. They're sort of like testaments to my obsessiveness...

1. I get a bootleg copy of Graduation Day Part 2 (also Buffy the Vampire Slayer) mailed to me on VHS from Canada after the WB decided to pull their airing of it due to Columbine.
2. I write a fan letter to Shiri Appleby of Roswell and actually receive an autographed picture in the mail. I also write a fan letter and receive an autographed picture of Chad Michael Murray who was on Gilmore Girls at the time.
3. Seth Green (Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) wishes me a happy birthday on the posting board.
4. I actually spend $25 on a Roswell fanzine of fanfic and art.
5. I actually write a piece of Roswell fanfic and submit it to a well-known fanfic site. (You can still check it out here).

I laugh at this stuff now, but I know that I didn't really go as far as a lot of other fans. Since I was still in high school I couldn't go to any of the fan parties (all in LA) or meet any cast members or anything like that but at the time I really really wished I could have so I think I still qualified as obsessed. Haha, fun times.

top 5 favorite forgotten TV shows

This is a tribute to those random TV shows that I watched and enjoyed but that were never very popular, were cancelled early, and never made it to much of a cult status (with descriptions because there's a good chance you don't remember them either).

1. Grosse Pointe (a show about the fictional cast of a 90210-type show)
2. Jake 2.0 (an IT guy for the NSA gets genetically enhanced by a bunch of nano-robots)
3. Do Over (a thirty-something year old man gets sent back in time to being 14 years old in the 1980s)
4. Jack & Jill (a WB soap about a group of singles in NYC...Mira loved this as well and we were super upset when it finished on a cliffhanger)
5. Cupid (Jeremy Piven as Cupid. No, seriously)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fall 2005 Season Premiere Wrap-Up Part II

Okay yes, I forgot to do the Friday top 5 last week, so I'll do two lists this week to make up for it. Plus I have a few other posts lined up, so stay tuned!

Just Legal: Only caught bits and pieces of this, but I kind of liked it. It’s a fun idea, a kid lawyer who has no experience joins forces with an older, down-and-out, and jaded lawyer. I’m not really into legal shows either (not since the Practice went down) but this definitely has potential.

My Name is Earl: Surprisingly I liked this a lot. I've always liked Jason Lee and I was surprised to see that he'd decided to do television, but he's excellent in this. It's really quirky and just different from any other sitcom on TV. The networks seem to have abandoned the whole hipster-in-the-city concept and I'm pretty glad about that because I was never into Friends and Will&Grace and all of that Must See TV stuff. I don't know if rednecks would be offended by this show or not, but it's actually relatively good-hearted at the core. It also sets up a nice formula for each episode (Earl crossing something off of his list) but allows plenty of room for anything crazy they want to throw in.

The Office: I love this show because the people on it are so ordinary and unglamorous. Of course everything is definitely exaggerated, and Steve Carrell is just crazy and hilarious. but now that I'm in the working world I seem to relate to this kind of stuff now. I still have yet to watch the original BBC version though(mostly because I couldn't concentrate enough to understand their accents).

The Apprentice Martha Stewart: In high school I jokingly said that I wanted to be Martha Stewart when I grew up, but that doesn’t mean I’d ever apply for this show. I like what her company is about: cooking, crafts, decorating, etc., but I really would not want to build a multimillion dollar corporation. Regardless, I was really curious to see how the candidates and tasks would differ from the Trump version, and I was kind of impressed. The children’s book thing was very Martha Stewart and a really good idea. Haha, I also love how she fired Jeff by saying “you just don’t fit in” and he was obviously expecting to be told “you’re fired” and looked confused. And she wrote him a personal note afterward! So completely Martha Stewart. I was a little turned off by her whole prison thing but man, you have to admit that she has a very very distinctive persona and was really the perfect person to head another Apprentice.

Lost: I watched the first episode since Veronica Mars hadn’t premiered yet (same timeslot) and all I’m going to say is, what the hell? The episode was a very strange combination of boring, predictable, suprising, and completely bizarre. And nothing really happened until the last 5 minutes. I’m not going to be keeping up with this weekly. I’ll either wait until the DVDs come out or periodically catch up on a bunch of episodes at a time. I refuse to be frustrated like I was last season….

Invasion: Liked this better than Threshold, I think, but I'm still not really impressed. It's kind of too soon to say though, since they didn't really tell us what's going on at all. I like that the main cast are regular people and not government agents though.

Veronica Mars: AHHH. Don’t want to spoil this for Mira, but this show is still completely awesome and better than anything else on TV right now. But man, I really seem to have it for the bad boys because Logan is so hot. Hotter than Gilmore Girls Logan BY FAR. Yes, I know he’s a jerk. And he’s immature. And he has a massive amount of emotional baggage. But HE’S HOT.

Alias: Again, don't want to spoil, but I'm still annoyed at J.J. Abrams. He's so good at messing with our heads that I can't be sure of anything that happens on this show. I'm probably going to take the same approach as with Lost and catch up periodically because the cliffhangers just kill me and I can't take the frustration week after week. I'm kind of skeptical of how they're going to keep the show interesting with Jennifer Garner being very very pregnant. One of the key components of Alias has always been Sydney kicking ass and if she can't do that then it'll just be strange. Hopefully this will be the last season because it's really just been losing steam for awhile now.

Everybody Hates Chris: I'm not that big of a fan of Chris Rock, but the show had really good buzz so I checked it out. And it's actually just a really funny family sitcom. The kid who's playing Chris is doing a super good job and while all the characters and lines are really funny, the show is surprisingly real and heartfelt. Not something you really expect from Chris Rock.

Jennifer's final TV lineup: Who the heck knows? Haha. For the first time in my life I have my own TV but there are too many shows in the same timeslots and I've been getting home too late to watch half of them anyway. I need DVR/Tivo. If I could only just decide to get it...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the slacker's turn to write (finally)

I've been slacking on my side of posts, I know. But then again Jenn forgot to do a weekly Top 5 last week. So ha! I'm not the only slacker. Not that I should really be speaking since she's posted the last 50135123 posts. :-D So I'll do a much overdo post....

--Lord of War-- (in theater)
After the back and forth play-arguing of watching this vs. watching Just Like Heaven, I gave in to watching a non-girly movie (I felt a little bad, because I mean it did look like the ultimate girly movie ever). In any case, I went in not knowing ANYTHING about the movie other than Nicholas Cage was in it, and it was gonna be kinda serious. I came out impressed by the underlying political commentary within the movie. I always think that I'm not much of a Nicholas Cage fan, cuz there's something so strange about him, but I quite frequently am impressed by his performances in movies. And this one was no different. There were a few scenes that were a little too gory for my tastes, a little too graphic, but then again any scene with gun shots or blood = too gory or too graphic. So, yeah.... I enjoyed.

--A Lot Like Love-- (on the plane)
You know, I wanted to see this movie when it was in theaters. I thought it looked cute. But not really enough to pay to see. But now I've seen it, I want to BUY the DVD!!! I don't know. I like the whole idea that the one is not only out there for you, but could quite possibly be someone you've already met. I liked watching how Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher's characters developed over the 7 year period this movie takes place. I don't know, it was really cute and it made me really happy!

--Marrying the Mafia 2-- (Korean movie)
My first movie in a Korean movie theater! Okay, first off the snack bar is called the "Sweet bar." Second off, EVERYTHING in Korea is couple stuff, so yeah they have couple combos! BAH! What if you don't got your other half!? What if you don't got an other half?! Fourth off, to buy tickets, you gotta get a number, and wait around for however long until your number is called up to the register. Kinda like at the DMV when you're waiting for your license. Or at the Social Security Office. Or at the deli... Fourth off, you get ASSIGNED SEATS! Actually, I found that pretty cool. Because we got good assigned seats since we bought our tickets early enough. So that means you don't need to worry about getting to the movie early to get seats together or anything. But that also means you could get stuck with really crappy seats if you don't purchase early enough. Now enough about the movie going experience. Onto the movie. Actually since this is a Korean movie and all, and it's still in theaters, I don't have too much to say. But it was REALLY REALLY funny. Like there were some scenes where you're just sitting there thinking, this is a bit stupid, this is a bit too much. But then it was funny anyway inspite or because of that! Anyway, I really enjoyed this movie. If you've ever had a desire to watch a Korean action-comedy, this is a good one to watch!

And that is all for tonight. :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fall 2005 Season Premiere Wrap-Up Part I

Prison Break: A unique premise, but just a little too far-fetched for me and Michael was just too smug and confident in his ridiculous plan to break himself and his brother out of prison. What’s up with placing him in the same prison as his brother anyway? They seem to conveniently have different last names, but come on, the justice system has to know these things. I stopped watching after Michael revealed that he had the plans of the prison TATTOOED on himself. Besides, depending on how long this show goes on, they’re not going to succeed in breaking out anytime soon…what a tease.

The OC: I used to completely loathe Marissa and wondered what the heck Ryan saw in her, but I think I get it now. Sometime last season she stopped being annoying and started being really good at being the supportive girlfriend. So yeah, keep Ryan and Marissa together. And Josh Schwartz has already said that Seth and Summer won’t be having stupid problems this season either. So that’s all good. But what is up with the introduction of all these new evil characters? I guess they got rid of Trey and Caleb so they need characters to replace them, but all these evil people in Newport are getting kind of tiring. Isn’t Julie Cooper enough?

Reunion: Cheesy and not terribly well acted, but I’m adding this to my list. I loved the concept when I first heard about it, especially when they said that if it’s renewed they’re going to start over with a completely new cast (which is what I had wanted FOX to do with 24 after the first season, but now of course I can’t imagine 24 without Jack Bauer and CTU). The eighties look of the first episode was kind of overdone but still funny and they did a good job of making Chyler Leigh look 18 and then 38. And man, Carla’s dad was the dad on My So-Called Life! Anyway, it was kind of unfortunate that the second episode was pre-empted by a presidential address so it kind of lost its early-premiere momentum, but I think that OC viewers will be pretty likely to stay with FOX and keep watching.

Threshold: One of the many sci-fi shows premiering this season, thanks to the success of Lost. It’s funny, I was complaining about the lack of sci-fi last year but I haven’t really been energized by any of these offerings. Sure, Threshold is about government agents and aliens, sort of like the X-files, but it just doesn’t have the right feel for me. I’ve never been into the slick CSI-type dramas and that’s exactly what this feels like. I got bored about halfway into the two-hour premiere.

Gilmore Girls: This show obviously gets its own posts…see below.

Supernatural: All I have to say is that WHY did they name the Jensen Ackles character Dean? This is on after Gilmore Girls and everyone knows that Jared Padalecki is Dean! Sigh. The WB has been trying really hard to make those two dudes stars and I think they finally will be, but I got bored of this one too. I may give it another try...we’ll see.

Bones: It's nice to see David Boreanaz back on TV and he's pretty good in this, but the main character, Temperance, isn't very sympathetic. Plus they seem to use really inappropriate background music. "Collide" by Howie Day in a scene where Temperance is reconstructing a skull? What the heck? This is in the same timeslot as Gilmore Girls, though, so watching it will probably take too much effort so uh, no.

House: I was always forgetting to watch this show last season, and I thought I would try to watch more regularly this season, but truthfully that’s not going to happen. I like the characters a lot but I’ve never been a fan of medical shows in general and it’s just getting to be too much. I’ll probably watch reruns next summer.

Arrested Development: Support this show! It’s always been quirky and crazy and out of left field and I LOVE IT. It's kind of hard to describe, so just give it a chance and watch!

How I Met Your Mother: Cute, but I probably won't get to watch it regularly. Neil Patrick Harris is awesome...when did he become such a great comic actor?

Kitchen Confidential: Loved this! There are so many old favorites in the cast...Bradley Cooper (Will from Alias), Nicholas Brendon (Xander from Buffy), John Francis Daley (Sam from Freaks and Geeks), and John Cho (though apparently he's only in the premiere), among others. I don't know anything about the actual chef and book this is based on (Anthony Bourdain), but it was really fun and it's a unique workplace to make a TV show about, rather than the standard hospitals and police units and law firms. Will likely be watching this on Mondays since it's on after Arrested Development.

Stayed tuned for Part II next week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

what I hate about Gilmore Girls

I hate that I've been waiting for years for Luke and Lorelai to get together but at the same time that happened I started despising Rory with a passion.

I hate that Logan is ridiculously hot but he's with Rory, who doesn't deserve him.

I hate that I've been progressively been getting more and more annoyed with the Stars Hollow townspeople but whenever they're not in an episode that just means there's more Rory.

I hate that they tried to make Rory a little more human by having someone tell her that she's not perfect and she totally overreacts and drops out of school but now she's just back to being perfect at everything she does. When it turned out that she had won over her fellow community-service trash people I wanted to barf. It's like when Joey won over the bikers at the tough bar by singing. Never mind her fitting in perfectly at the DAR and getting along perfectly with the senior citizens.

So yeah, in a nutshell, I HATE RORY.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I really enjoy cover's funny how different interpretations of the same song can be. (I still contend that the New Found Glory version of The Glory of Love is still ten times better than the original.) For fans of covers, there's a podcast called Coverville that puts together an amazing collection of interesting cover songs for three (yes, count 'em, THREE) shows a week. Check it out if you ever want to listen to something different.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that yesterday I was sitting in Barnes and Noble reading and the song that was playing caught my attention. They had been playing a CD of what sounded like Frank Sinatra type classics, like "Come Fly With Me," and this song had the same style and sound but something about it was just off. I started listening more closely and realized that it was actually a very bizarre cover of Maroon 5's "This Love"! Who the heck was singing it? I thought it might be Michael Bublé but I looked it up online this morning, and it's not. Who did then, you ask?

JOHN STEVENS! That skinny kid from American Idol third season! B&N was playing his entire album, and I have to say that I thought the vocals were really pretty good. Very pleasant background music for a bookstore, definitely. I'm not really sure what's the point of covering Sinatra songs in the exact same style as the originals but I thought the Maroon 5 song was a great choice to make the album more interesting. I wonder how well it's selling though...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Top 5 actresses I avoid

Before you start thinking that these Friday posts are going to become the only posts on this blog...there are some big fat season premiere wrap-up posts coming up next week. So look for those!

Anyway, this week's topic is actresses whose movies I avoid. I can't really explain why I don't like them but I will instinctively not want to see any movie that they're in regardless of other actors in it, critical acclaim, or well, anything.

1. Jessica Biel
2. Cameron Diaz
3. Kate Hudson
4. Charlize Theron
5. Dakota Fanning

Anyone see any patterns? A lot of them are blond I suppose, but I like Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow and they're both blond too though...

Friday, September 16, 2005

top 5 movies I'm looking forward to this fall

(in order of release date)

1. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (9/23)
2. Serenity (9/30)
3. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (10/7)
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (11/18)
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (12/9)

I used to be pretty into the whole indie movie scene but now apparently I'm only watching mainstream fantasy movies...anyone have any recommendations for me?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bloc Party @ the Electric Factory

My first concert in Philly and the first concert Mira and I have been to together! The night started off with an unexpected ordeal: I had bought a ticket a few weeks ago, but Mira had been expecting to get a ticket at the door or buy one off someone who had extras. But when we got to the venue, the show was sold out! And then when we came back looking for people with extra tickets we were greeted by scalpers who were asking for $60 a ticket (originally $33.55 including service charges from Ticketmaster). So we held out for awhile hoping that people with extra tickets would show up and ask for a more reasonable price, and also contemplating whether I should just sell my ticket for a profit instead. Eventually someone came along asking for $35 so we jumped on it and ended up making it into the concert after all! The lesson: don't count on tickets being available on the day of show!

Anyway, once inside, the famed Electric Factory did live up to my expectations. It's a classic standing-room only venue, with the second floor balcony and bar area over-21-only. We got seats there after the first opener and had a really good view of the stage without having to deal with the crazy dancers on the main floor. There were some very bizarre scenes flashing on some screens on the wall in between sets though...

The two openers, the Noisettes and the Kills, were both very strange British wasn't so much their music as the actual band members and their performances. The Noisettes consisted of two guys with crazy hair and a girl wearing a gladiator helmet dancing around barefoot on the stage, and the Kills were a guy and girl both wearing very tight jeans with no drummer. Both groups kind of had a lot of theatrics during their performances which were amusing to watch, though, and I thought a lot of the music was actually pretty good.

Then Bloc Party came on. And they were awesome! The band members seemed like they were really nice down-to-earth guys and they looked like they were having a lot of fun. I think they played most if not all of their album Silent Alarm along with a couple of new ones. Their music has a lot of energy and great guitar riffs and they just seem interested in making good rock music for the fans, not making a statement or doing anything too new or experimental. And in live performance the energy level only increases. They did two encores and the lead singer threw in the opening to the Fresh Prince theme song in one of the songs (as a tribute to the Philly crowd?) which was really funny. I'm really glad that we made it into the show after all. Yay Bloc Party!

Mira: Seriously, my input is long overdue, but I just wanted to say, yay for finally getting to a concert with Jenn! I think that Jenn summed up pretty much all the important points concerning the concert. I didn't know any of these bands before I went, and I probably will not get to know the openers any much more either. But Bloc Party was seriously awesome. And the concert as a whole was really great. The Electric Factory is a perfect small-sized, but not-soooo-small venue to go watch concerts. Yay, for Bloc Party -- and I am officially obsessed with "This Modern Love."

Friday, September 09, 2005

my Top 5 most played songs in iTunes

I can't really explain this list...these aren't really my favorite songs of all time but for some reason they get an awful lot of play in my iTunes.

1. Jimmy Eat World - 23
2. Yellowcard - Only One
3. Modest Mouse - Float On
4. Guster - Two Points for Honesty
5. Jimmy Eat World - Kill

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

red eye

Perhaps I just have a huge crush on Rachel McAdams because of the fact that I've heard she plays Ultimate Frisbee. Or maybe she's just really hot. Well, she's hot, but yeah I think it's the Ultimate Frisbee. In any case, it was nice to FINALLY see her in a role where she's not playing a cheater (The Notebook, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers).

I enjoyed Red Eye. But I went in only expecting face value of an action-thriller. Cillian Whatshisface is really creepy. I feel like he's typecasted for creepy roles for life. First Batman Begins, now this. But he's good at it, seriously. Between his girly lips and his eyes -- his crazy pale blue eyes. There's something very disconcerting about him.

Anyway, I have been enjoying the versatility of Rachel McAdam's roles. Playing Queen-Bee-Bitch, playing cute-and-spontaneous-blonde, playing tragically-in-love-auburn-haired, and now playing strong-extremely-put-together-asskicking-brunette-ish-haired. And I love that she promotes Ultimate Frisbee. :-)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Friday Top 5

I think we need to breathe a little new life into this blog, so I'm going to institute a weekly top 5 list. Topics will be basically whatever I feel like, but if you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in a comment. Now onto the first Friday top 5!

Top 5 John Cusack Movies
  1. Say Anything(Lloyd Dobler, enough said)
  2. High Fidelity (the inspiration for this list actually)
  3. Serendipity
  4. Grosse Pointe Blank
  5. Anastasia (haha, perhaps this shouldn't count, but he provided the voice for Dimitri, the hottest animated character ever)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

green day & jew!

Seriously? Two words: LOVE IT! It's funny, with each concert I go to, I learn more and more what I'm looking for in watching live performances.

The first concert I went to this summer: Keane-Killers. That was a good concert because I love both bands and all the songs they sing. And I mean there was something nice about seeing them live -- the Keane lead singer has an absolutely beautiful voice, Brandon Flowers (who unfortunately, now married) and the Killers sound a lot "raw"-er live. But truthfully? I could happily listen to the Keane CD day after day and re-realize the beauty of his voice. And the Killers, actually, I prefer their music videos more so than anything else. You can totally see their Vegas roots in their videos, especially "Mr. Brightside." In any case, I had great "seats" (the pit in front of the stage, like 3 people away from the stage), great company, and it was great music.

But musical performance? Nothing compared to that of Modest Mouse. It was at this concert where I was really reminded the impressiveness of great MUSICIANS. Now the Modest Mouse folks can really rock the stage -- no joke. As I've described in my previous post, they absolutely put on a fantastic show. With so many musical components, so many musical elements, it really is an incredible experience watching them perform.

This all leads me to my latest concert. Billie Joe seriously has the BEST stage presence of any of the performers I've ever seen. He grabs the crowd's allegiance so early on and keeps it throughout the night. TWO HOURS I got to see them perform -- TWO HOURS! He used "call-and-answer" techniques to keep the crowd involved in the performance ("waaaaaay-oh!"), he talked about his songs before performing them ("this is a big F-U to all the politicians out there, a little song called Holiday"), he "created" a band (brought 3 members of the audience on-stage to perform on GREEN DAY's instruments -- a frat boy on the drums, some teenager on the bass, and a 13 year-old on his guitar! gave the 13 year-old a hard time --"have you ever been laid? well you will after tonight!"--"where you from?" "virginia" "oh, i'm sorry to hear that... virginia is for looooooovers"-- then gave the kid his guitar!!), he sprayed water at the crowd through a water gun attached to a hose (and invited an 8 year old kid to assist him), he was just all out awesome! They performed all the big ones off of American Idiot, of course, and some of the great oldies: "Basketcase," "She," "Longview," and at the very end -- "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)." In any case, that was an AMAZING concert.

Oh, I feel like I should make a mention of Jimmy Eat World. They were pretty awesome but it's tough being an opener for Green Day. They performed two of my favorite songs by them -- "Praise Chorus" and "Sweetness" -- so I was pretty happy.

In any case, it's been a great summer of concerts. (Yeah all THREE, hahaha!) Especially since I came out of each concert feeling like it was the BEST concert I had ever seen until then. And seriously, this time around I really feel that. I worry that my next concerts will only pale in comparison. Billie Joe, you were fantastic. And I feel bad not having talked more about Tre Cool and the rest of the ensemble, because they were fantastic performers as well and equally as entertaining, but Billie Joe totally stole the show.


Friday, August 26, 2005

40 year old virgin

I'm dating this earlier than I'm actually posting, because I've been busy and haven't had a chance to post. Plus I need to post about last night's Green Day concert as well. Since I saw the movie last Thursday, the date will be Friday to represent when I saw it. Posting actually occured Wednesday, Aug 31 @ 6:50PM.

Anyway, my coworkers and I used this movie as our "sober up after happy hour" movie. And good lordy, it was FUNNY. I mean, okay, just by the title of the movie and the premise, you kinda expect that it's gotta be really funny. And it definitely did not disappoint. There were many points in the movie where you felt pain for Andy, for whom the film is titled. And then you feel worse because it's just SO funny and you can't help but laugh. Seriously, this was an all-out funny movie. So if you need a good laugh, go watch it!!!

Hopefully I haven't over-hyped it. But it's good! Go! Watch!!!

DVD roundup part III

Collateral: I've made my dislike and recently, disrespect, of Tom Cruise clear in the past. I mean, I have liked quite a few of his movies (Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Minority Report) but I've always just been irked by his persona in general, which seems to invariably takes over all the characters he plays. In this movie, though, that tendency was perfect. Vincent, the character he plays, is genuinely scary and a little insane, just like Tom Cruise! And strangely I think that he looks even better as an older man with the silver hair and such. Jamie Foxx was also excellent and I thought the entire movie was really good.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: I'd heard from so many people how funny this movie was, so maybe my expectations were just too high. Yeah, parts of it were really funny and it was refreshing to have Korean- and Indian-Americans in the lead roles playing their actual ethnicities, but I guess that in the end, this just isn't my kind of humor. Plus I've always found White Castle to be kind of gross.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason: The first Bridget Jones is one my favorite movies of all time and I'm a HUGE HUGE Colin Firth fan, but I was reluctant to watch the sequel because of bad reviews. But it really wasn't that bad. The second book is definitely much weaker than the original and the movie follows suit. It's a lot sillier and there isn't much of a plot at all, but the characters are just as loveable and well, Mark Darcy just makes me happy. Oh, and you MUST watch the DVD extra that has Bridget Jones interviewing Colin Firth. It's awesome.

Wimbledon: I think it's time for me admit that romantic comedies are probably my favorite genre of movie in general. I will watch pretty much any romantic comedy on the planet, so long as it doesn't star Jessica Biel or Ashton Kutcher or any of the other actors on my hate list. Anyway, I was attracted to this one especially because I actually like watching tennis quite a bit (though I can't play for my life, as with all other sports). I think the producers did a pretty good job at capturing the feel of Wimbledon, and I liked the characters a lot. I hadn't seen Paul Bettany in any other movies besides A Knight's Tale (he was really funny in that though) but I think I'm a fan now. Kirsten Dunst wasn't as annoying as she was in the Spider-Man movies, and both of them were pretty believable as tennis pros. The storyline was really just pure fantasy but it was fun and cute anyway.

Monday, August 15, 2005

sky high

I love kids' movies. Most of the time, at least. And in the case of Sky High, most definitely.

Seriously, what a fun movie! I'm happy because it hasn't been super hyped up like many of the other summer blockbusters, so I didn't go into it with any great expectations or anything. I mean, I did glance at before I went (where I saw it was receiving reviews of 66% fresh), but I just went hoping for it to be a fun movie. And boy, did it deliver!

The plotlines were well developed. I love that he was categorized as a "Sidekick" to begin with and thus, made friends with other Sidekicks. I like the straight out of a comic book way of starting and ending the movie. I liked the creative superpowers that were thought up. Melting, glowing, controlling plants, transforming into a guinea pig... Plus it helps that there was a little eye candy (talking Warren Peace)... even if it's a 19 year old I'm talking about here. *sigh* When did I get older than these teen stars?

But, man, that was really fun!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Jenn's TV awards

It seems to be that time of year where all the TV critics and columnists and such are making up their own TV award lists because the Emmys always suck and they want to have their say. So what the heck, I'm going to do it too. I could probably come up with a million categories but I'll try to restrain myself. So without too much planning (or deep thought), here are my picks:

Best Drama: Veronica Mars, runner up 24

Best Comedy: Arrested Development, runner-ups Entourage and Scrubs

Best Actor: Kiefer Sutherland (24), runner-up Hugh Laurie (House)

Best Actress: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), runner-up Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls)

Best new show: Veronica Mars, runner-up House

Most aggravating: Lost and Alias (tie)

Most inconsistent: the OC

Favorite couple: Luke and Lorelai (Gilmore Girls), runner-ups Veronica and Logan (Veronica Mars) and Tony and Michelle (24)

My TV boyfriends: Logan (Gilmore Girls) and Logan (Veronica Mars)

Worst son ever: Andrew (Desperate Housewives)

Smartest villain ever: Marwan (24)

Funniest moment: Seth and Summer's Spider-man kiss (the OC)

Funniest character: Chloe (24), runner-ups Ari (Entourage), Dr. Cox (Scrubs)

Why does this character now suck?: Rory (Gilmore Girls), runner-up Seth (the OC)

Prettiest setting: Lost, hands down

Scariest setting: Lost, also hands down

Saddest death: Boone (Lost), runner-up Rex (Desperate Housewives)

Stupidest plotline: Marissa's lesbian experiment (the OC), runner-up the entire Alias season

Best character in an otherwise horrible show: Marshall (Alias), runner-up Bree (Desperate Housewives)

Worst character in an otherwise pretty good show: President Keeler (24), runner-up Kate (Lost)

Most conflicted about: Emily (Gilmore Girls) and Jack (Alias)

Thursday, August 11, 2005


So I've never really been a fan of non-fiction educational television programming like the History Channel or Biography or whatever, but off a recommendation from the always trusty TWOP, last night I checked out Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel, and wow, what an awesome show!

Maybe it's the engineering geek inside of me, but I thought this was just incredibly fascinating. In each episode, the teams tackle a few modern myths and try to prove or disprove them using actual science and a poor dummy named Buster (I know, it's cheesy). I watched two episodes yesterday and they included such myths as using a life raft as a parachute, pilots being decapitated during flight because of their hair products, and saving yourself in a free-falling elevator by jumping just before hitting the ground (all busted). The hosts are Adam and Jamie, who have worked in special effects for movies such as Star Wars and the Matrix, and they both make everything really funny. Man, working in fx sounds like it would be super fun. Haha, maybe that should be my new dream job...

Anyway, if you ever find yourself with nothing to do on Wednesday night at 9PM (unlikely once the fall TV schedule begins, since both Lost and Veronica Mars will be in that timeslot) check out Mythbusters!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Beautiful People

Man I have to stop subjecting myself to really bad teen shows like this. I mean, the title, Beautiful People, is just stupid, and the advertising was really confusing. You're led to believe that the mother and two daughters are the beautiful people but the tagline is "looks can be deceiving." Which was supposed to mean what, exactly? That the beautiful women on the ad are hiding something horrible? I made, it all made more sense once you watched the show (the popular clique at Sophie's new prep school is called the BPs, i.e. "beautiful people"), but for weeks I was seeing the ads and going "huh?"

Another bad sign was that this was "from the producers of Dawson's Creek." I'll admit that I kind of look back on DC fondly but I think that had more to do with its creator, Kevin Williamson. When he left the show to these aforementioned producers, things went really really bad (ahem, Joey).

So why did I tune in? Well, I kind of like Daphne Zuniga. She was in this eighties romantic comedy with John Cusack called the Sure Thing that was filmed at Cornell. Plus ABC Family makes really cute original movies, so I thought this might have some hope. And it's the summer and I wanted to watch something new.

And wow, this was bad. First of all, shows that are set in New York but use fake green screen skylines: not good. And truthfully, this was a little racy to be on ABC Family, where the original romantic comedies usually end with the kissing and nothing else. 10th graders smoking pot, hot tubbing in the nude, drinking with fake IDs...I mean, what the heck?? And the requisite cute guy isn't even cute!

Haha, of course I do still want to watch the next ABC Family original movie though (Campus Confidential). Christy Carlson Romano from Even Stevens is starring in it!

Monday, August 08, 2005

willy wonka

I've always enjoyed the original, but Tim Burton's remake was seriously really, really good. Artistically it was really well done. He did a much better job of portraying the fantasticalness of Willy Wonka's factory.

Johnny Depp was a much younger Willy Wonka, but he did it perfectly. In general he's good at portraying strange characters but he did it with such underlying wit, and of course his usual trademark Depp eccentricities. I loved how he changed the Oompa Loompas and their music this time around.

Oh man, I just enjoyed this in all aspects. It was a fun movie, and definitely so far my favorite summer blockbuster.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ice Princess

Haha, so even more evidence of my obsession with kids and teens media...I signed up for Netflix and this was the first movie I queued up! Besides the fact that it's a cheesy teen girl movie, it's about figure skating which I love love love. I would have seen it while it was in theaters but I didn't have anyone to go with and I don't think it did too well at the box office because I swear it was only playing in our local theater for less than a month...

Anyway, typically, I really liked it. It has a Princess Diaries sort of feel to it, which makes sense because Meg Cabot contributed to the story. Michelle Trachtenberg as Casey did a good job being relatable and Kim Cattrall was pretty believable as the tough coach. And Trevor Blumas was in it as Teddy, Casey's love interest! (He was in Little Men, this random drama on PAX, of all networks, that I used to watch awhile ago.) Hayden Panettiere (who is apparently the new Neutrogena girl) was also pretty good as the rival-turned-friend. The whole movie was just really cute and happy, but at the same time wasn't entirely brainless. There was a lot of really honest stuff about mother-daughter relationships and going for your own dreams rather than someone elses. Which in itself is cliched, I suppose, but I bought it.

I do kind of have a problem with the whole premise of the movie in general though. For one, I don't care how much raw talent you have or how much physics you know, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to become that good of a skater in that short of a timespan. Plus all the physics Casey was spewing was just basic mechanics stuff. I took two semesters of figure skating in college, and let me tell you, knowing physics doesn't count for crap when you're falling on your ass trying to do a dang toe loop. Also I thought it was kind of sad that Casey chose skating over Harvard. I mean, yeah, skating is probably equally if not more challenging than college, but there aren't enough women in science as it is, and I don't know, it doesn't seem like the movies are helping. I'm going to fanwank that Casey ends up going back to school and becoming a physics professor or something anyway.

Oh, and I wonder how much Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan were paid to be in this movie. I cracked up laughing when they appeared onscreen as commentators at Casey's competition...especially because in real life they would never really commentate for a random junior event. I also almost died laughing at the cheesiest romantic scene on the planet involving a Zamboni machine.

And one last thing: I hate how whenever there's a figure skating competition in a movie they use spotlights. I think this movie only did that for Casey's last program to provide dramatic effect or whatever, but real competitions are always done under blinding flourescent lighting. Come on, get it right!

Monday, August 01, 2005

wedding crashing

So after all the praises I heard about the movie, I finally saw Wedding Crashers this weekend. And, I don't know. It was funny. The film had some extremely funny moments, but I think I was expecting it to be funnier. I hate listening to rave reviews before I see movies, because more often than not, I end up being slightly disappointed.

But Vince Vaughn is a fantastically hilarious actor. Owen Wilson is equally amusing. Rachel McAdams is really pretty, and so much more likeable in a non-Mean Girls role. All in all, it was a good summer film. Now to make time for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Must Love Dogs, etc. :-)

Sunday, July 31, 2005

tooo old!

So while I was in college I didn't think that watching high school TV shows and movies was that strange because it just didn't seem that far in the past and my high school experience had never been like the TV/movie stuff anyway. But now that I'm a college graduate and out in the real working world, I think I'm starting to feel like maybe I really am too old for it all. Unfortunately it's still too enjoyable to stop...

Laguna Beach: the Real Orange County on MTV. Can you say guilty pleasure? Sometimes I think I like this better than the Fake Orange County aka the OC because this is so catty and ridiculous but there are no crazy family dynamics soaping it up. And it's real! I find it amazing that there are kids out there who actually hang out in the hot tub for fun. I always thought that was just one of those Real-World-house contrivances.

Instant Star on Noggin. I was constantly seeing commercials for this on other channels so I watched my first episode of this last night. It's about this punky teenage girl who wins some contest and gets a record deal and a hot producer and a rapper boyfriend...haha yeah, this show is also ridiculous and the music is kind of horrendous in a catchy pop sort of way, but I like it. Man, I'm pathetic.

Made on MTV. So if I was still in high school and wanted to be MADE, what would I be made into? What's the opposite of a quiet, unpopular nerd?

Friday, July 29, 2005

summer TV series

Summer television usually involves massive doses of reality TV stunts (that I invariably give into *cough* Dancing with the Stars *cough*) but now that cable networks have started offering original series that don't follow the regular broadcast television season, there are other things to watch. This summer I've been watching:

Entourage on HBO. I love this show! It's a very light half-hour show about a hot young actor (played by Adrian Grenier who I've always liked since Drive Me Crazy, that movie with Melissa Joan Hart...yeah, I'm weird) and his friends working and living it up in Hollywood. This is part buddy comedy and part inside look at the movie business. There are plenty of real actors guesting as (or spoofing) themselves...this season Mandy Moore, James Cameron, Bob Saget (in a really disturbing appearance), and Amanda Peet have shown up, to name a few, and the situations these guys are in are always hilarious.

The 4400 on USA. This is my current sci-fi fix. Originally conceived as a mini-series last year, it was successful enough to warrant a full-blown series and it's easy to see why. The premise is that 4400 people that have disappeared over the last hundred or so years are suddenly returned together, not having aged at all and some having strange new powers. A handful of these 4400 are regulars in the show, along with the two agents assigned to monitor their cases, who are somewhat Mulder and Scully-esque, which of course I love. This season, various other members of the 4400 pop up as part of the mystery-of-the-week, while the bigger mystery of where the abductees were taken and why they were returned is pursued. I like the writing, I like the cast, and the requisite little blonde girl who knows everything is a lot less scary than Dakota Fanning...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

dvd: babysitters club, the movie

Oh man, so growing up I was a huuuuuuge fan of all teen series. Sweet Valley (University, High, Twins, Kids), Nancy Drew (especially the Super Editions with the Hardy Boys), Satin Slippers, Boxcar Children, The Bobsey Twins, The Saddle Club, The Fabulous Five, Sleepover Friends, the list is endless.... And leading up to the first one I ever got introduced to back in 2nd grade, the books that started it all... The Babysitters Club! So anyway, when I saw that a coworker of mine had the movie on DVD, I became that eager pre-teen kid I was and borrowed it from her enthusiastically.

Okay, yeah it was a fun trip down memory lane. The actresses in the movie were all really well-suited for their parts. Rachel Leigh Cook as Mary-Anne Spears? Perfect. Larisa Oleynik (best known as Bianca in 10 Things I Hate About You) was probably the best actress of all the kid actresses, playing Dawn Schafer. It was kinda funny seeing the guy from My Girl 2 as Logan Bruno, and the Brian Keller from Saved by the Bell: the New Class as a random exchange student guy named Luca.

But man, other than that fun trip down memory lane? The movie was kinda lame. I couldn't stop cracking up about the things that were SUCH a big deal. Perhaps I am now a little too old for this. I mean considering Mallory was 11.5 years old. Dude, I'm twice her age! This is a movie I should've watched 10 years ago. Maybe it would've been better then. Maybe.

Anyway, not recommended as a movie to watch unless you really do want to take a stroll down memory lane. Cuz they mentioned a lot of little details from the book. Like Jackie Rodowsky, the walking disaster. The Kid Kits. Etc.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

sydney, pregnant?

So apparently Jennifer Garner's pregnancy is going to be written into the next season of Alias. We'll see how well they actually pull this off.

Oy. I have yet to fully catch up with last season either. I should get started on that one of these days...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Howl's Moving Castle

I'm making my post-college move this weekend so likely I won't be posting for awhile. I'll be busy furniture shopping and deciding on an exorbitant cable TV/internet package...

I went to see Howl's Moving Castle yesterday with a friend who is a really big Hayao Miyazaki fan. She'd actually seen the movie already but it was all in Japanese so she didn't understand most of it and wanted to see it properly.

I actually think I enjoyed this more than Spirited Away. I thought the supporting characters like Calcifer and Markl and the scarecrow were really cute, and I actually liked the main character, Sophie, more than Chihiro from Sprited Away, maybe because I related better to her or something.

But I have to say that I was kind of confused by the movie though. Sophie's apparent age kept on changing throughout the movie and I wasn't exactly sure what was causing it. The overall plot was a bit murky too. And clocking in at two hours, this was a bit long for an animated movie and I found myself dozing off at the end (I found myself really bored near the end of Spirited Away too). So I did miss some good chunks of the resolution, which must have come on really quickly because I definitely wasn't asleep for more than 10 friend explained it all to me but I think I was still left a bit confused.

But the animation is excellent as to be expected, and there are lots of really imaginative details (I'm not sure how much is derived from the book it's based on) so it was still a good viewing experience. My friend did say that she enjoys (and understands) Miyazaki's films more on repeat viewings though so maybe I'll have to give this one another try on DVD.

Mira's note:
I, too, loooove Miyazaki. I'm not much of an anime person in general, but all of his films that I've watched (Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and now Howl's Moving Castle) I thought were excellent. What I really appreciate about his movies is that you are left feeling like the movie could only have been made through animation. Because there are so many fantastical details that he includes, crazy inventions, that could only be created through animation. Like a scarecrow that bounces around on a stick, a castle created by a hodgepodge of architecture and objects that is powered by a little flame, little wood creatures that tick-tock their heads, etc. Anyway, I love, love, love Miyazaki.

Monday, July 18, 2005

mira's summer movie list

Gotta love summers because of all the movies coming out, but it's hard to prioritize which ones to actually go watch! Unfortunately I won't get to watch everything I want to this summer, but here's to trying!

***Already Watched***
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (June 10)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (June 11)
Crash (June 18)
Howl's Moving Castle (June 26, reviewed by Jenn)
Batman Begins (June 30, reviewed by Jenn)
War of the Worlds (July 10)

***Still Want to Watch***
Cinderella Man, June 3
Bewitched, July 24
Fantastic Four, July 8
Wedding Crashers, July 15
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, July 15
The Island, July 22
Sky High, July 29
Must Love Dogs, July 29
The Dukes of Hazzard, August 5

harry potter 6, in brief

Cuz Jenn doesn't want to put up any spoilers yet, we'll have a more comprehensive post in a few weeks. However, just for now..

I'm satisfied. :-) How about you, Jenn?

I was just over at reading some of the customer reviews, and I have to say I'm kind of surprised that some of the reviews were so negative. I thought this was one of the best of the series. Yeah, it's darker, there isn't as much action, or any great new characters, and it was a lot shorter and less ambitious than the last two, but I still loved it. I saw it as kind of the calm before the storm, i.e. the final book. Oh, well, I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I personally didn't like Order of the Phoenix very much at all, and I can never remember what happens in Chamber of Secrets....

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Fantastic Four

I'm not going to make excuses: I knew this was going to be a dumb movie but I went to see it anyway. And it definitely was stupid, but I have to say that I kind of enjoyed it anyway. All those film critics comparing it to other recent superhero stuff like Spider-Man and Batman Begins were really just taking it too seriously. This is just one of those brainless summer popcorn movies that you shouldn't think too much about.

Oh, and Chris Evans as Johnny Storm/the Human Torch was hilarious and kind of hot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Avenue Q

My first theater review! Since I won't be living in NYC much longer, I figured that a Broadway show was in order. We tried to get rush tickets through the lottery, but didn't win (I wonder if I'll ever get lucky) so we just bought the cheapest regular price tickets instead. They were $46.25, which really wasn't too bad, considering the theater was pretty small so the view from any seat was fine.

Avenue Q won the Tony Award for Best Musical last year, and I'd heard only good things about it. The show is like a grownup Sesame Street: the characters are mostly puppets operated by puppeteers who appear on stage with them, and a few humans, who all live on the fictional Avenue Q. But with songs like "It Sucks to Be Me," "The Internet is for Porn," and "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today," this definitely is not for the kids...there's even a puppet sex scene. But even with the crude humor and discussions of racism and homosexuality, I thought it was overally really good-hearted and pretty true to life too The characters were all in their 20s and 30s, wondering what their purpose in life should be. Plus it was just unique to have puppets be real adult characters, rather than Bert-and-Ernie types.

I can see why some people might have fond the show offensive, but this isn't supposed to be the same sort of theater experience as Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera (both of which I also liked a lot too). It's just a hilarious good time with some great puppet work and a lot of catchy tunes.

amazon is so cool!

For their 10th anniversary, partnered with UPS to make a few special deliveries: some lucky people are getting their packages delivered by celebrities! How cool is that? So far, the likes of Anna Kournikova, Michael J. Fox, Chris Noth, Nick Lachey, Jason Alexander, Minnie Driver, and Clay Aiken have all delivered packages!

Most have been in California, naturally, so even though I had an package delivered on Monday, there was probably no chance that a celebrity would have come with it. Plus I ordered a pair of headphones, which don't have any logical celebrity connections. It's still really cool though!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

war of the worlds

Frickin' a! Why didn't anyone tell me this was a scary movie?!?!?!?! I was just expecting flat-out action or something. I wasn't expecting to be hiding in my seat, worried about what would happen next. *sigh*

Aliens are scary. The end of the world is scary. Mass mobs in panic are scary. Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning are scary.

Friday, July 08, 2005

another DVD rundown

My local library is awesome.

City of God: A Portuguese-language film set in the slums of Rio de Janeiro in the 60s and 70s. I really liked this movie a lot. It showed all the harsh realities of living in the so-called "City of God" with both heart and humor but also unforgivingly. The violence depicted is really shocking, because pretty much everyone involved is just a kid, but the narrator, Rocket, is an aspiring photographer and more of an observer of than an active participant in the violence and street wars, and his story provides a somewhat hopeful outlook.

Spirited Away: My first Hayao Miyazaki film. I know that everyone says that he does the best animation anywhere, so maybe I'm just not that big of a fan of animation in general. I liked the movie, it was very imaginative and the animation itself was great, but in my mind it's not going to overtake any of my Disney favorites (i.e. Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King). I guess it's just a matter of preference.

Real Women Have Curves: In almost every review I read of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, America Ferrara (Carmen)'s performance in her first movie was mentioned, so I decided to check it out because I was in need of a chick flick. This one had a little more substance than the average chick flick's about a Mexican-American girl who wants to go to college but instead has to work in her sister's garment factory due to obligations to her family. As the title suggests, all the women in this movie have curves, and there are a few scenes where that's brought up, but the rest is more classic coming-of-age stuff. It was nice to watch a movie in which all the characters are played by wonderfully average and non-Hollywood actors.

Tape: I'm actually not sure why I even borrowed this in the first place...I guess I have a thing for Ethan Hawke in Richard Linklater movies. This was one of those concept films...there are only three characters and it all takes place inside of a motel room. The three actors (Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Robert Sean Leonard) are all very good and the dialogue was also excellent, and you don't lose interest even though there's not much to look at onscreen. The intrigue is supposed to be in how these three people all remember an event in their past differently. I did feel like some of it was strangely over-the-top, but overall it was pretty interesting.

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

This book is kind of old news (I think you read it a long time ago, Mira) but I finally remembered to borrow it from the library this week. I finished reading the whole book in a day, today, in fact, so I figured I might as well review it.

Since comparisons to the DaVinci Code have been inevitable, I'll start with that. I liked this book a lot better, because the characters were just college guys at Princeton instead of that annoying, aging professor running all around Europe, and it was all just easier to swallow. Both were very easy, quick reads, but I actually thought the Rule of Four was better written...some of it was a little too English-major-y for me, but I thought it flowed better.

The mystery part was alright. I'm not terribly interested in ancient texts and codes and stuff like that...I much prefer Agatha's Christie's murder mysteries, which I've been reading a lot of lately. But I thought that the story was pretty well thought out. The present action spans only a few days, with the narration skipping back to the past for most of the novel, but the pace is good and it's not confusing at all. The characters were all pretty well developed and convinced me even further that I would never want to be either a thesis graduate student or professor in the humanities...haha, yeah, engineer speaking here.

But I think what intrigued me the most were the descriptions of Princeton and how life goes on there. I considered applying there when I was in high school, and what I remember from my campus visit was that it all seemed so upper-crust and steeped in tradition. From what I read in this book, I guess my impression was about right. My experience at Cornell seemed so completely different, despite the fact that it was still Ivy League. I kept thinking that a novel set at Cornell would probably be so much less interesting and have so much less character, but maybe that's just the bitterness talking. There's apparently some fantasy novel set at Cornell entitled Fool on the Hill that was written not too long ago by an alum, so I'm really curious to check that out and see how my alma mater transfers to the page. Of course, hey, maybe someday I'll write a book set at Cornell too.