Monday, July 31, 2006

Blog Out! The Expansive Edition

So I'm looking forward to several flicks, tv shows, and books ... and I'm going to blog about it folks. Anyway, hopefully some (if not all) of you blog neighbors are looking forward to the same things and you'll happily comment your thoughts. Or drop a comment with upcoming things I've failed to mention that also look promising.

MIAMI VICE (2006) - I'm not sure if I forget or I just never knew, but director Michael Mann had a hand in creating the original "Miami Vice" tv series. I looked up the tv series on IMDb and found that Dick Wolf (producer/creator behind Law & Order) was a writer as was Daniel Sackheim (a veteran director of The X-Files and House, M.D.). Anyway, Mann is a very curious director for me because while he seems to always craft skilled, entertaining Hollywood thrillers, there's a realism and complexity to his films that most mainstream Hollywood movies lack. I'm not sure what to expect from MIAMI VICE the film, but I hope it's more than simple Hollywood fare.

"GREY'S ANATOMY" - I'm still on the fence with this show, lol. It's entertaining and enjoyable but sometimes I feel it isn't deep enough. Though maybe it doesn't want to be deep and simply enjoys its sporadic dives into middle waters. Whatever the case, the show is enjoyable and popular enough that it doesn't need my blessing, lol. I hope this fall it is able to hold viewership when it battles CSI (a show of which I have yet to see a literal minute of) on Thursdays. I have a feeling it won't work because the casual, non-core viewers will probably remain with CSI. But I hope I'm wrong and it does swimmingly (lol, what's with the water metaphors!??!?). Nevertheless, if it does flounder in the ratings I hope ABC quickly returns it to Sundays so that it can regain its momentum. If not, it could result in viewers abandoning the program, which would be a shame. Anyway, let's hope H-wood/ABC does the right thing.

"30 ROCK" - This seems to be NBC's gem of the fall, which had to be rescheduled from the Thursday slot when GA moved in. The more I hear about this (which isn't much), the more interested I get. It seems Tina Fey is a big creative force behind and in front of the camera and that's a plus in my book. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it ... I wonder if anyone else is or has heard much about it?

TALLADEGA NIGHTS (2006) - This looks high-larious. Has anyone been able to get a sneak peak viewing? This movie looks like the funniest thing in some time. "Whooooooooooooooo!"

I'm currently reading George Pelecanos's RIGHT AS RAIN which I should've finished some time ago. It's still great gritty, piercing crime/detective lit. If you're familiar with Pelecanos, you'll devour this book. And if you're not familiar, this is a great book to start getting familiar, heh.

Anyway, this should do it for now. I'll have a follow up post in a few days. Take care everyone.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I don't think I posted this review before, but if I did, my apologies. This movie is hilarious because of the star and the supporting cast. However, the forced 'lesson of day' that's tacked on is so irritating that I was kind of disappointed. Anyway, if you need a laugh and a family flick ... this is your movie.


Star Rating: ***1/2 out of 5

A light comedy/after-school special, this movie is worth viewing thanks to Will Ferrell and company. Ferrell plays a goofy, loving family man who doesn’t have the greatest relationship with his father (Duvall). It seems Duvall wanted a sports stud as a son and got an uncoordinated but amiable vitamin store owner. When Ferrell steps in to coach his own son’s soccer team (last place misfits, natch) he finds himself competing with his father who coaches the soccer league’s top team. Yes, the setup is predictable but it gives Ferrell a great open field in which to operate his comedic gold. And while this will never be the funniest Will Ferrell movie, there are enough solid laughs that you won’t be disappointed. There’s also a hokey lesson involved in the movie that seems so forced that it was simply stapled on. In the end, it’s a worthy family movie that will satisfy anyone under 15 and over 30. Oh yeah, Coach Ditka is a thief because he steals several scenes.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blog Out!

Everyone can rejoice ... we found Leigh's blog. So Leigh had a blog and it vanished! I think it might have been employer related --- the Man, always keeping us down. Anyway maybe she just moved blog web addresses. I'm not really sure of the details, but here is her blog, please check it out. The current post should be on the front page of --- that's all I will say. Yes, the suspense is killing you --- click already:

Fleur de Leigh

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Once again I have been lax in my updating duties; my apologies blog buds.

This next film is simply superb and my meagre review really does not do it justice. The thriller aspect of the film is crisply conducted and the dynamic characters at the heart of the story jump off the screen. The story will grip you and the film will challenge you on many levels.


Star Rating: ***** out of 5

A deep, thought-provoking masterpiece from an exceptional auteur. A small town diner owner (Viggo Mortensen) is mistaken for an underworld tough guy, leading to tense moments for his family and town. But is this really a case of mistaken identity? This is simply an intelligent film which asks much from the audience. Director David Cronenberg plays thoroughly with genre but it is not to manipulate the audience. In fact, he is challenging the audience and our preconceptions of the thriller genre. As the title suggests, violence is key and Cronenberg strives to show the gruesome results of real violence. But the film goes on to ask how important and necessary violence can be and whether or not violence can simply be an on/off switch, as it is in many movies. There’s also an incisive point about the attraction of violence, something we hardly own up to in popular culture. Cronenberg and company have crafted a marvelous piece of art in the mold of a terrific genre thriller. And this could not have been pulled off if the acting was not unbelieveably superb. Mortensen and Maria Bello (playing his wife) were clearly robbed of Oscar nominations. This film will stay with you for days, if not weeks ... it is simply that good. A film not to be missed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted. My apologies to the blog buddies out there. I will definitely try to post more often.

This next review is about a film I wanted to see when it first came out but simply missed it. I'm glad I finally caught up with it. Anyway, on to the review.


Star rating: **** out of 5

A charming sci-fi flick with retro flair and gorgeous digital cinematography. The best way I can describe this movie is to say it’s one part aerial Indiana Jones, one part 1950's sci-fi, and one part romantic comedy. That’s right, perhaps the hidden gem of the movie is the funny, sparkling chemistry between the two leads (Jude Law and Gwenyth Paltrow). But this movie is first and foremost a visual spectacle. Virtually the entire film was digitally produced (except for the actors and certain portions of interior settings) and this results in a unique look not really seen before. It is a color noir that is almost congruent with the black and white film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s; the chiaroscuro lighting and the expressive use of shadow are front and center. Beyond the impressive visuals is a charming sci-fi adventure story that need not be taken so seriously, like the matinee serials the movie emulates. Nevertheless, the plot of mysterious robots attacking the globe’s major cities is a lot of fun and simply relax and watch as Sky Captain (Law) and intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Paltrow) try to save the planet. This is a wonderful, stylish, and old school alternative to the explosion heavy, video game-like sci fi flicks we usually see. And in the end, if this type of movie has your curiosity piqued, I’d be willing to bet it charms you in the end.