Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Voice - Javier Colon

I'm going to miss The Voice. Boy, NBC did everything right with this one. Sometimes this network knocks me over the head. What goes on over there? How did they put together a show with so much talent and love? How did they manage to get original songs that were not totally lame? Javier deserved his win and his duet here with Adam Levine blew me away. One of the most amazing things about this show is how Adam manged to get hotter each week! Just when I thought he couldn't get hotter...LOOK AT HIM IN THAT SUIT! Anyway, I need to purchase a huge iTunes card tomorrow so I can download all these songs and performances. What a fresh, fun new show for all of us that were sick of American Idol.

NBC has this show, Parks and Recreation was hands down, the best sitcom last season, and yet they let Conan O'Brien slip through their fingers. Like I said, I have no idea what goes on over there!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Song of the Week - Alison Krauss/Paper Airplane

Last week Alison Krauss performed on Conan. I know her name but I’m not familiar with her music. I thought it was folk or country so I picked up a magazine ready to skim through while she performed. As soon as she started singing I was mesmerized. I sat frozen, peering over the top of my mag until she was done. My gosh, what a beautiful voice. I even heard Conan say, “That was beautiful” when he was shaking her hand. I may have to pick up this whole album but for now I’ll satisfy myself with this song.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bridesmaids - Movie Review

Let me be honest. At first I had no plans to see Bridesmaids. Maybe on DVD, but I was not going to make a trip to the theater to see this. First I was hearing it was a female Hangover, well I didn’t care too much for The Hangover. Then reviews kept coming in on how good it was. Even the clips I saw on various talk shows just looked okay. Last week I caved and decided to catch it before it left theaters. I’m so glad I did. Now I’m waiting for its DVD release because I can’t wait to see it again and purchase it for my library.

This movie was very different from what I expected. I thought it was going to be a group of women cutting loose and acting like fools in Vegas. There was none of that. Instead, I was treated to a smart and funny film that delved into female relationships and touched on a topic you don’t see on film often, perpetual brokenness.

In these tough economic times this film really spoke to me. I could feel for Kristen Wiig’s, Annie, a woman whose life is unraveling just as her best friend since childhood, Lillian (Maya Rudolph) announces her engagement. Annie loves her friend and happily accepts the request to be Maid of Honor. Annie quickly learns she’s out of her league for the task, financially and socially. She is constantly being upstaged by Lillian’s new rich and beautiful friend, Helen (Rose Byrne) and it’s the last straw in Annie’s downward spiral. I appreciated seeing how Annie and Lillian would have wine and magazine parties because of lack of funds. I also liked the depiction of how a person often has to back out or lower themselves because of lack of funds. I think this aspect of the film alone would have many viewers identifying with it.

It’s interesting to see the many layers of female relationships explored. The happiness for your friend, tinged with a bit of jealously, support yet being fed up with something who just sinks lower and lower and the constant fear of not being loved or needed anymore. This is a film that exposes many serious emotions, but you will be laughing your ass off along the way. I kept hearing how raunchy this film was and there was some bathroom humor, but as a whole, I like hearing women talk like I do. Okay, maybe I talk like a sailor, but shouldn’t my demographic be represented once in awhile?

To date I’ve only seen Kristen Wiig in small film roles and on SNL. I wondered if she could carry a film. Her portrayal of Annie was sweet, sad and hysterical all at the same time. The supporting cast of Rudolph, Byrne, the wonderful Chris O’Dowd, John Hamm and Melissa McCarthy, helped to spread the laughs around. Everyone brought their “A” game to this project and it’s wonderful to see Maya Rudolph finally getting the attention she deserves. She was poignant and adorable in Away We Go and I hope her NBC sitcom, Up All Night, is a success.

My one criticism was a couple of references to Annie not being as thin as the perfect Helen. I understand that this is a big issue for women but it actually looked to me like Annie was actually thinner so that whole thing should have been scrapped. I did however appreciate seeing some non-perfect teeth in the cast. Even Rose Byrne had a bit of crookedness in her bottom teeth, that rocks. I’m so sick of all these completely perfect set of choppers everywhere I look.

If this is still playing in your neck of the woods, hurry and see it before it passes you by.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Green Lantern - Movie Review

Green Lantern gets my free summer pass.

Every summer it seems like one big-budget, effects oriented film gets a free pass by me. This summer it looks like it will be Green Lantern. There’s one film in the summertime that I look for to do nothing other than entertain me while I’m in the theater. I actually did my very first post to this blog with one of these types of films. Yes, I said Brendan Frasier’s film, Journey to the Center of the Earth, was good.

In the summer it can be difficult to get everyone on board to watch one film. It’s been our summer tradition to spend four or five days in Carmel, California. We enjoy the ocean and beautiful trees and scenic drives, but we always take in one summer blockbuster. My brother-in-law always accompanies us on the annual trip so his input is also a factor in the film we’ll see. It would’ve been a slam dunk if Harry Potter was already out, but we all have to sit tight a bit longer for that one.

The Green Lantern is in 3D, is based on a classic comic book character and stars hottie Ryan Reynolds. This seemed to offer something for all of us.

My brother-in-law has a working knowledge on most comic book characters so he gave me a brief background. It was nice to have a little bit of working knowledge going in. The film did a good job sticking to the original origin, as far as I can tell. The Green Lantern is Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds), a pilot who finds a dying alien who gives him a ring that he’s told was chosen to go only to him. Hal quickly finds that this ring also comes with a lot of responsibility and that’s something Hal has never been good at. To Reynolds credit, he really sells the audience on Hal’s character. He’s good looking enough that a certain amount of cockiness is believable, but Reynolds self deprecating sense of humor keeps it all grounded. I can’t say the same for Blake Lively. I quite liked her in The Town, but every single scene she was in her lips were slightly parted and she had the essence of a pout. If I noticed this, I would have to say it was too many times!

The biggest complaint I’m hearing about this film is that it drags in the middle. I understand that, however, I felt they used the time to build the characters a bit more than usual and I appreciated that.

Special effects wise, the monster of fear was pretty cool and the 3D was a better quality than I experienced last summer.

All I really wanted from Green Lantern was to be entertained and I this it delivered. I was also fortunate enough to mix up my Marvel with my DC, so I stayed through the end credits because I knew the Avengers linked film all have tiny preview clips at the end. Even though I screwed up, I was rewarded with an “extra” scene when most of the theater already left. So if you go, stay till the very end!

I also had a funny situation because I did not know who Mark Strong who played Sinestro was. I was on vacation when I saw this so I did not look him up on IMBD until I got back home. He was so unrecognizable in his Green Lantern makeup I did not realize he was Frank D’Amico from Kick Ass. Oddly enough, I watched Kick Ass on DVD that same night! I had a Mark Strong double feature and didn’t even realize it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Voice - The Final Four?

The Voice has me so enthralled. With a two-hour show last night I thought I could get some ironing done or fold laundry, but I sat there glued to my TV. All the singers are great and it’s hard to choose. I can’t wait for a label to pick up Xenia and help her use that cool ass voice of hers! I think Javier could take it all, but that little Vicci is a force to be reckoned with. She KILLED last night! Here’s my picks for the final four…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Song of the Week - Have You Ever Had It Blue?/The Style Council

Man, I could listen to this song all day. I don’t know what it is, the horns, the old-time feel, there’s definitely something about this tune that makes me want to kick back with a drink with an umbrella in it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Voice

What’s not to love about the new NBC show The Voice? I’m a well known American Idol fan. I eagerly watched that show from day one, but this year I saw my out and I took it. I’m glad I did. I know their ratings are still high, but the show has played itself out in my opinion. Also, that C&W singer won. That’s about the only genre of music I don’t listen to so I’m glad I didn’t waste all those hours.

I remember hearing about The Voice, but I knew I didn’t want to add a new singing show to my list after successfully severing ties with Idol. I started to become intrigued though with the powerhouse judging panel they were assembling. Aguilera, Levine, Green and Shelton are currently topping the charts and touring. These are not has-beens; instead they are on the pulse of music today. I tried to resist, but I finally gave in. Can I admit that part of the reason is I love feasting my eyes on Adam Levine every week? Damm, that man’s a hottie!

So some might say it’s gimmicky. The initial auditions are blind. The judges do not see the singers and they are judged strictly on their voices. I, however, loved this concept. I think it worked too because I can’t imagine any other show where two bald women would be in the semi-finals!

It’s only fair to give credit to the trailblazing Idol because without it this show would not exist. They really introduced addictive, reality television where viewers can produce the outcome. Also, many fine artists have emerged from the show, even if that has not been the case lately.

So I’m in no way dissin’ American Idol. I’m only saying that The Voice has managed to fix the things that Idol has not. The judges are more relevant, the song choices are fresh, Carson Daly keeps his mouth shut, we don’t have to watch horrible singers and Adam Levine is a hottie…oh wait, I think I mentioned that already!

The show is rushing by at break neck speed too, so I don’t have time to get sick of it. I’m going to download some of the performances I’ve seen so far from iTunes. I would say the only problem is the contestants are so talented I hate to see any of them leave. I hope this show brings success for all of them. It seems like the coaches are very hands on and not above helping them out after the show. The judge banter is also pretty hysterical and I wouldn’t might being able to go online and hear the stuff they are bleeping out!

Bravo to NBC for putting on something fresh and fun during the long hot summer months.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Song of the Week - Metric/Sick Muse

Sick Muse – Metric

The only thing better than discovering a new song on your own is when a friend turns you on to something cool. My buddy burned me a copy of Metric’s album Fantasies and told me to check it out. If they sound familiar, they were also featured on the Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack. Too cool!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kristen Schaal Discusses the Weiner Scandal

Jon Stewart cutting his hand eclipsed Kristen Schaal's hysterical take on the Weiner scandal. If you were distracted by a bleeding Stewart, give this clip a second viewing.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summertime on the Couch

Hi all! Well, I’ve taken a semi-break recently, but I have now been given the gift of time. Yes folks, the kids are on summer break and even though this blogger has a full-time job, the lack of school commitments frees up lots of my time.

I hope to catch up on some of the summer films that are quickly building up on my “must see” list. With all my personal commitments, films on my list like: Thor, Bridesmaids and Everything Must Go, appear to have passed me by. I may need to sneak in some double, or even triple feature days in order to catch up. I must say that the crop of summer films does appear to be more interesting than in recent years.

Spending time sprucing up my blog is also high on my list. Of course the first order of business is more posts. I have tons of new music to review and a stack of books waiting to be read and hopefully loved.

I will be reviving Tuesday’s Song of the Week. If you have any songs you’d like to turn me on to, I’d love to hear your suggestions.

I’m also starting a new feature called Movie/Book-Combo. This will be a review of the movie AND book. First up will be my review of Never Let Me Go.

You can also expect some physical changes to the blog. Some time ago I set up pages, but I never had time to work on them. Over the summer months I will begin to catalog my reviews for easier access for you. I will also update my severely sparse “About Me” page. When I visit other blogs, I notice their pages are rich and full of information that helps me get a sense of who they are. I realize my page is lacking and I’ll be rectifying that soon.

Lastly, I’m taking part in the SITS summer group of 31 Days To Build A Blog. I did this once before and I learned a lot and met many new blog friends. Some of my posts will be related to this project.

I hope everyone’s summer is getting off to a great start. I’ll be on my couch, but also walking in the sunshine, eating ice cream and drinking cold beer. I hope you’ll stop by now and then and let me know what you’re up to!