Archive for January, 2008

LOST returns to ABC

Posted in fall tv premier, Lost, TV shows with tags , on January 30, 2008 by Paxton

Lost cast 3Back in September, I published the 2007 fall tv schedule premiers so you would know when your favorite TV show was returning from Summer hiatus. At that time, there was no premier date for Lost’s Season 4 (and I got several inquiries about it, too). Well, after much wondering and waiting, Lost will return to the airwaves tonight. ABC is going to broadcast the two hour Season 3 finale, “Through the Looking Glass” tonight at 9pm EST.

Not only are they rebroadcasting last season’s phenomenal final episode (with the mind bending, jaw dropping twist ending), it’s going to be an “enhanced” version of the episode. What do I mean by “enhanced”? Well, do you remember VH1’s cheesy show Pop Up Video? That’s similar to what is going to happen tonight. The lower one-third of the screen will feature facts, back story and insights into the episode and the series as a whole. No need to run to your nearest Blockbuster to rent Disc 6 of Lost Season 3, you can just watch tonight’s rebroadcast and get completely caught up, and maybe get extra insights into what’s going on with the series as a whole.

Tomorrow, ABC will air a recap episode, at 8pm EST. ABC has done these recap episodes before. They are usually aired before the season premier and/or after the show would come back from an extended hiatus. It seems weird to me that ABC would even have a recap episode after a 2 hour “enhanced” version of the Season 3 finale. I guess if you miss tonight’s broadcast, you can sit through the recap episode to catch up. I’ll probably skip the recap tomorrow night because I’ll be glued to the set for tonight’s Season 3 finale.

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Here come the Oscar Nominations for 2007

Posted in Academy Awards, humor, movies, Oscars, reviews with tags , , , on January 22, 2008 by Paxton

Oscars Wild!

Well, today the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the list of Academy Award Nominees for the 2007 movie season. Honestly, I’m a little appalled at how many of these movies I haven’t seen. The nominees for the “big 4” (actor, actress, director, movie) are a little “out of the box” for my tastes. I don’t know if this whole writer’s strike is having a strange effect on the whole of Hollywood or what, but these nominees are a little strange. As you recall from my favorites article a few weeks ago, I saw almost 5 movies a month this past year however I have not seen the majority of movies that were nominated. That’s how whacked out these nominees are.

Well, like I did last year, I thought I would take a look at a few of the Academy’s selections and maybe give a critique. I won’t go over all of the selections, just some of the more visible categories. You can click the image at the top of this article to go to the Oscar website to see a full listing of nominees. Let’s take a look at a few of the Academy’s decisions this year.

Best Leading Actor:
George Clooney – Michael Clayton – This is a good movie, however I don’t think I would watch it again. Great performances, but the movie dragged a little bit in the middle. This is a good choice however as Clooney was fascinating to watch.
Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood – Daniel Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor. That’s a given. I’m iffy on this movie, however. I don’t normally like the subtext laden movies that feature a metaphor of our own world so we can learn about the mistakes we are making. I don’t need a millionaire director to tell me that oil corporations are bad and the quest for money is evil. I get that. I will, however, probably see this movie on DVD just to see Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of the main character.
Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd – Haven’t seen this, but I really want to. Depp follows up his Oscar nominated character Jack Sparrow with another Oscar nominated character. My wife’s aunt and grandmother saw this movie recently and were less than impressed. However, I’m going to assume that they are not the target audience. I think it looks good, and Depp is probably his usual awesome self.
Tommy Lee Jones – In The Valley of Elah – Wha-huh?! I’ve never heard of this movie. A quick check of Yahoo! Movies tells me it was released last September and also stars Charlize Theron…really? Holy crap, where was I?
Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises – Saw this and didn’t really like it. Viggo is good, he is completely into his character and the twist at the end is shocking, but the movie is just too dark and somewhat hard to watch. Not one of my favorites, but Viggo, I think, deserves this nom.

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The Movie Board: Worst Movies of 2007

Posted in Academy Awards, humor, Movie Board, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , on January 15, 2008 by Paxton

Movie Board

Allright, last week I gave you my 5 favorite movies of 2007. Now it’s time to unleash upon your delicate sensibilities the 5 worst movies I saw in 2007. Be warned, these movies are bad. Some of them may be bad enough that I’ll recommend watching them, but only for the bold. Do you have the stones to sit through 2 hours of crap? We’ll see.

Here they are in no particular order:

Kickin it Old Skool
Kicking it Old Skool– You’ll find that most movies on this list are here because they had a ton of potential, but completely squandered it. This movie has a funny premise; Jamie Kennedy is an elementary school break dancing king in the early ’80s. During a particularly dangerous move, he falls and is put in a coma for 20 years. When he wakes up he has to adjust to the fact that all his friends have grown up and break dancing is no longer cool. Classic fish-out-of-water premise using the ’80s and break dancing. I love it. Except the movie is terrible. Almost unwatchable. The best part of the movie is about 5-10 min in. Jamie Kennedy’s doctor is played by Alan Ruck (Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). Ruck’s character in this movie is named Doctor Frye and he even mentions paying off his father’s Ferrari. Steph and I about died. Great stunt cameo, this movie is gonna rock, right? Wrong. DEAD wrong. STAY AWAY.

Shoot 'em Up
Shoot ’em Up– This looked so good in the trailer. Clive Owen is a mysterious “nanny” that gets caught up helping a woman and a baby escape hired killers. It looked like a cross between Pulp Fiction and Lucky Number Slevin; lots of action and funny dialogue. Well, this movie is weird. Monica Belucci plays a prostitute who lets grown men breast feed from her. Paul Giamatti plays a hitman with an overbearing wife. The dialogue is ridiculous. I had serious issues staying “in the movie” if you get what I’m saying. Just weird, with a few good action scenes. This is here mostly because it should have been much, MUCH better.

Knocked Up
Knocked Up– Oh Seth Rogan, you magnificent bastard. What happened here? The cast for this movie is pretty much part and parcel from the very funny TV show Underclassmen (if you remember the 1 season it ran back in the early ’90s). Seth Rogan is on a roll lately and the premise seemed amusing. However, Seth and his friends in this movie are lame. Seth’s character is even somewhat of an A-hole. Katherine Heigl’s character is a little witchy (with a ‘b’). I could not laugh at this movie because the whole thing is so tragically sad. Paul Rudd saved the 5 minutes of the movie he appeared in. Other than that, I say go see Superbad instead. I really wanted to like this one, too.

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The Movie Board: My Favorite Movies of 2007

Posted in Academy Awards, Movie Board, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , on January 10, 2008 by Paxton

Movie Board

Well, 2007 is over and the Oscar nominees are being decided as we speak (the 2008 Oscars are supposed to air on February 24). When the nominees are finally announced, I’ll be sure to let you know and I might even give a little review of how the Oscar committee did like I did for last year’s Oscars nominations. Did I get to see everything I wanted to see this year? No. Of course not. My wife and I love movies and there are several movies we missed this year. However, we did see a lot of movies in 2007.

In Dec 2006, I decided to keep track of all the movies released in 2007 that I got to see. Whether it was in the theater or on DVD. I started this because I would read all of these “Best Movies of the Year” articles and wanted to write my own. However, by the end of the year, I’d forgotten all the movies I’d seen except for a select few. So, I decided to keep a running record. I set up a white board in my cubicle and wrote down every movie I saw throughout the year. I called it “The Movie Board”. People would come over and check it out to see if I’d add any new ones over the weekend. It was fairly popular. Well, now that the year is over, let’s take a look at the final tally. Remember, these are only the movies released in the 2007 calendar year. My wife and I saw many more movies, these are just movies released within the current year.

2007 Movie Board

There it is above, The Movie Board (click the picture for a bigger view). According to its all knowing whiteness, I saw 57 movies last year that were released in 2007. Well, the board actually says 58, but I mistakenly put Knocked Up twice. And, well, crap, now that I look at it, the first two movies, Blood Diamond and The Good Sheperd, were released in December 2006, so that reduces the list to 55. That’s about 4.58 movies a month. Just over 1 a week. Not bad. That doesn’t include the older movies Steph and I rented and/or own that we watched.

So now it’s time to peruse this list and see what my top 5 favorite movies are for 2007. Notice I’m not saying these are the 5 best movies of 2007. “Best” is subjective. I’m not telling you one movie is better than another for whatever reason. Sure, I could wax philosophic about my favorite movie saying it’s the most important movie of the year. I could talk about how deep and profound the script is, how it tackles many issues on several different levels. I could discuss how lush and royal the colors and scenery are. I may even delve into the hearty tone, smart characterization and sweeping scope using flowery words that mean little but sound like I know what I’m talking about. The truth, I really have no idea what I’m talking about. You know it and I know it. The following five movies are the ones that entertained me the most. Period. I’m letting you know so that you may enjoy them too. Shall we begin?

Here they are in no particular order:

3:10 to Yuma
3:10 to Yuma– What a really good movie. Russell Crowe is a captured outlaw and Christian Bale is a poor rancher who is somewhat railroaded into helping escort Crowe’s character to the departing prison train of the title. Wonderful performances by Crowe and Bale as well as strong appearances by Peter Fonda and Ben Foster. Check this one out, seriously.

Stardust– I wanted to see this in the theater because it looked fun, but I was surprised at how good overall it was. It’s a wild and crazy fantasy movie with many characters and a plot that is really hard to describe. I’ll try: A guy is in love with a girl who doesn’t love him. He promises to fetch her a fallen star if she would love him back. He goes to find the fallen star and his adventures in trying to get the star back to the girl is the main adventure. Such fun adventures with a lot of magic, witches, pirates, sword fights and danger. I highly recommend this. How old is Michelle Pfeiffer, by the way? She is still unbelievably beautiful in this movie (quick trip to IMDB tells me she’s 50 years old…WOW). See it.

Bourne Ultimatum
Bourne Ultimatum– This end to the first trilogy (hopefully there will be more) is a fitting one. Bourne returns to put a stop to the government’s dogged pursuit of him and what he knows. Damon was born (pun intended) to play this role. Exotic locales, unbelievable action sequences and smart dialogue make this one as good as the first Bourne movie.

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Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Posted in Elvis, holiday with tags on January 8, 2008 by Paxton
Happy Birthday Elvis
It’s January 8, Elvis Presley’s birthday.  He would have been 73 today.