Saturday, March 27, 2010

TV: 24

3/27/10: "I was right."

Fox Cancels 24.

2/17/10: "24: since we've broken up, let's be honest... it's not me, it's YOU!"

This picture is of Kim Bauer, the Daughter of Jack Bauer from the Fox television phenomenon "24", gazing upon a cougar. During Season 2 with intense operations of the Counter Terrorism Unit, we had a B-plot that involved the heroes daughter roaming the woods. I remember thinking, "this is BAD, really really BAD", but the rest of the show was so darn good I dealt with it.

"24" started for me as a solo experience. I borrowed the DVDs and knocked out entire seasons within a few days. Then, as the seasons rolled on, it became clear that friends watched the show also, so I began hosting a "24" night and we would enjoy it together. While I remember the ridiculous moments, we dealt with it together. I think that story-wise, 24 lost me when they had the bomb go off in Valencia in the first few episodes and there was no sense of consequences. Everyone just chugged along, even though a bomb went off a few miles from the center of LOS ANGELES!!! But, we stuck with it and "we" is what I think kept "24" on the map for me.

When a show is a shared experience, you tolerate a lot more. When I moved and lost "24" night, well I started noticing the flaws. I've talked with a few of my friends in my relatively new home of Long Beach about getting together for a "24" Night. Each response was the same, "Yeah, I use to watch that show but haven't seen it lately, it just got lame." When the day comes that they announce the last season of "24", I don't see people rallying behind this show because there won't be questions to be answered as is the case for "Lost".  I think we will all wonder if Jack dies and then that'll be it.

I am sad to see this show take a dive, I wish they'd end it 2 years ago with a film, but that isn't the case. In the mean time, it's now just that ex-girlfriend that I feel bad for when I see them randomly. I just wish they would get married so I wouldn't feel bad.* When I see advertisements for "24", I think "Oh, just get cancelled for goodness sakes."

(*no specific ex-girlfriend was considered while writing this. If you happen to be an ex-girlfriend and are reading this blog, please know that I enjoy randomly seeing you and don't feel bad about those encounters. I was able to write so specifically because I am creative, I promise, no really, I'm creative.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Movie: Gran Torino

3/21/10 "This is without a doubt, one of the most horrible films I've seen in a long time."

Okay, we're keeping this RedBox series going and it's taking a turn for the worse. When I saw this title on the screen at my local RedBox I was happy, I was reminded that I wanted to see this movie when it came out but didn't have the chance. I'd heard that this was the last performance of Clint Eastwood so I was interested. The premise was interesting too; an old white man in a changing neighborhood who makes a connection with a young asian man who is being terrorized by a local gang. It had this appeal of an old cowboy who defends his homestead. I enjoy Eastwood as a director and thought this final film could be great.

Wow, was I wrong. This movie is horrific. The acting is absolutely horrible. Eastwood is worse than usual but his performance looks like a tour de force compared to the other actors. After a little research on IMDB I learned that most of the supporting cast was made up of local actors. It was embarrassing, below student film caliber. It was unbearably bad. Decent premise, had a predictable but powerful ending, but this couldn't redeem the film. If this was the way Eastwood wants to end his acting career, then I am sad for him. It's like Joe Montana ending his career in Kansas City. 

My advice, unless you plan on making fun of this movie in a room full of witty friends, save your time and money. I'm glad it only cost me a dollar. Other than that, this movie isn't worth a penny, it is genuinely horrible. I know I am being strong with my words, but I'll be honest... this movie is THAT BAD!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Movie: Precious

3/20/10 "This is the feel horrible movie of the year, and that's just what it should be."

Brutal. That is all I can really say about this movie. It was brutal. Spoiler alert, this movie isn't a feel good experience. In fact it was the hardest movie I've watched in a long time. It wasn't my regular RedBox faire. This film isn't perfect by any means, it is kind of slow at points and feels low budget/cheesy during some scenes, but that isn't there where it counts. It is absolutely gripping at points. I felt horrible for this poor girl, and absolutely loathed her mother... loathed.

Towards the end of the movie, after a powerful monologue I didn't find myself forgiving Monique's character. Instead I found myself hurting for a world that breeds these situations. This is a movie that you go into ready to feel sad and not redeemed. So, would I recommend it, yes if you know what you're getting into. I got my $1's worth, but I also felt sad for a few hours.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Movie: Law Abiding Citizen

3/19/10 "Law Abiding Citizen plays to a sense of justice, not to a sense of art"

Continuing the RedBox series, I picked up Law Abiding Citizen. I'd heard great reviews from friends, so I was hoping for a good movie. What I got was an average movie. In hind sight, I should have considered the reviews from friends. In general, when people described the movie, their tone of voice changed. It wasn't excited and up, it wasn't contemplative and soft, it was as if their tone was that of a vigilante. 

This movie opens with a father watching criminals torture and murder his wife and daughter. He spends the rest of the time seeking out revenge on his terms. He is unsatisfied with the justice system so only he can solve this. I think people recommending the film took on a voice because they like a "take it in your own hands" story. I also think they like to see some shocking deaths. It was as if "Final Destination" and "A Time To Kill", were in a room together and there was so much love they made a baby, and it was "Law Abiding Citizen". 

It was just blah. A series of scenes about chock, that's it. If you want to see this kind of thing then you will enjoy this film. For me, it was average. It wasn't great but I was entertained. The Verdict: I feel like I got my dollars worth, barely.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Week of RedBox

This week, I will be blogging about films I've gotten from the RedBox. According to the scholarly source of wikipedia; "Redbox kiosks are located across the United States in fast food restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores, and convenience stores. The machines can be identified by their trademark red appearance and the slight arching of their top surface, as seen in the company's logo."

I haven't been this excited about a vending machine since the first day of junior high when I realized I had access to candy ALL DAY! Get a single DVD for a single night for a single dollar. AWESOME!

Redbox movies fill a valuable spot in my movie watching life. 
- Sometimes Netflix will take forever to get a movie to me... REDBOX! 
- Sometimes you're getting some groceries on the way home and see the movie "The Game Plan" with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and think, I want to see a movie and am willing to see a sub par movie, but I don't want to buy "The Game Plan".... REDBOX!
- Sometimes you are out with friends and a title comes up but haven't been in a video store in 6 years and don't want the hassle of creating a membership because you think you owe Blockbuster Video along with the people at Columbia Records, a ridiculous amount of late fees.... REDBOX!

Go online and find RedBox, see if there is one near you. If there is, then give it a shot. Also, come back every day for the next week and find a blog about a film I picked up at the RedBox... Find out what I'm watching and whether I'm getting my dollar's worth or not.

American Idol Season 9 Top 12

Well, It's Idol time. The time of year when those of you who love idol come out to the blog in droves. Those who hate idol, well avert your eyes to these posts. Tonight's American Idol Blog will be written directly to the contestants. It's a reminder that I am talking about people, so I should be kind of nice. I wrote each of these before I heard from the judges.

Mike- Not great but he's a lovable guy and will be okay. I wasn't rocked by last week when everyone else was. I felt like you seemed small on the stage this week. Open it up.

Didi- Good night for you. I don't think you're a fabulous but I think she is super cute and should call me.

Casey- Blah Blah you're handsome. But there are plenty of handsome people who can sing. You're not one of those people. You don't sound bad, but you don't sound great. I'm sure there is a barn dance that needs a band with a hunky lead singer, you may want to check this out.

Lacey- Ehhh, I knew I knew you. You're that girl that sings at church. I'm not too impressed. No offense, I'd enjoy hearing you sing in church but not on TV, and DEFINITELY not on my iPod. 

Andrew- I love that song. It sounded rough for SURE! I really hope you step it up because you have 2 more weeks before I stop saying "I liked that guy before" and move into "I really don't like that guy."

Katie- You have not really impressed me and I was as surprised as you that you made the top 12. Then again the bar isn't that high this year. 

Tim- It's a good thing you're liked by the ladies. I was SHOCKED you made it this far. I'll say that you've shown improvement, but I'm not sure you have anything to say as an artist. 

Siobhan- Your name is weird. I really don't care for the screaming but I actually liked the arrangement. I guess you just feel volatile to me. I look forward to seeing more about your hippy family.

Lee- Pride of Chicago? Not quite. I've been to Chicago and there are better things in that city than you. I don't see what people like about you? You are sounding less like Creed which is more better. I felt awkward during the post interview because you were so nervous.

Paige- I really wasn't impressed by you. Not bad, I'd enjoy myself if I was seeing a play with you singing but beyond that, blah blah blah. 

Aaron- You deserve to win a HS talent show. That's it. I really don't get why you're still here. I wish that dancer guy was still here. I don't remember his name but I remember liking him more than you.

Crystal- You are good. Not great, and not as good as everyone is saying you are, but you're good. I wouldn't mind seeing you as an opening band, but at this point, I don't have any desire to see you headline. Tonight's song was a good encore song, but not a great opening the concert song. At this stage of the game we need "opening the concert" songs. 

Overall, Ellen makes me laugh, good addition but may be too little too late. Simon is disengaged and I really don't see him outside of Idol, but I could be wrong. Randy is just Randy, predictable and not articulate. Kara seems more flighty since Paula left the show. I wonder if this is not an issue of Paula's drug habits, but the producers forcing that flighty element.

RESULT SHOW: Okay good... I'm glad we're getting rid of the bad people but honestly I'm not rooting for anyone. Bye bye Lacey, the churches praise team will welcome you back after you get done with the summer tour because you won't have a career to keep you busy.

It may be too late for this show. Not much wowing taking place this season and let's be honest, watching Idol is a commitment of time. 

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