Sunday, October 31, 2010

Netflix Watch Instant: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus


Heath Ledger's most important role was as The Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, but it wasn't his last. His last role was in the inventive and original Gilliam picture, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnasuss. He actually passed away in the middle of filming, leaving the film in a tricky situation. Terry Gilliam decided that instead of reshooting everything, he would keep Ledger's footage and bring in different actors to play him in "different worlds." While most films couldn't get away with this type of casting, the story actually led itself perfectly to it. When I saw it in theaters, if I had not know the circumstances around filming, I would have no idea that it was intended to be cast any other way.

The film follows Dr. Parnassus, his daughter, and his assistant as they travel around trying to let people into their imagination, to see all that is possible. When a deal with the devil comes due, the immortal Doctor Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) must renegotiate the pact to save his daughter. Now, with the help of his mystical theater troupe and a mysterious stranger (Heath Ledger/Colin Ferrel/Johnny Depp/Jude Law), Parnassus attempts to right the wrongs of his past.

Another interesting thing to note is that Gilliam was very selective on who would step into Ledger's shoes. He wanted to keep it to Ledger's personal friends, so it would serve as an homage of sorts. The three men also gave their payment from this role to Matilda, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams' daughter, so her financial future would be secure.

All these lead to a different viewing of the film than if it were viewed in a vacuum, if you had no knowledge of the Heath Ledger tragedy.

Also of note, Andrew Garfield plays the eager young assistant. This was the first I'd seen him, but he's since blown up with roles in The Social Network, Never Let Me Go, and will be the new Spider-Man. I enjoyed him in this role, but never thought he'd become so well known so quickly!

The film itself is a unique viewing experience. With the dreamscapes in the Imaginarium, I'm simultaneously in love with it while wishing it had a bigger budget to make them even  more fantastical. There were no limits on what they could look like, no limits on what they could do in there. If you can, try to stream this to your television through a game console or an HDMI cable hookup. It definitely needs more than a small laptop screen to be fully enjoyed.

Tangled: Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore sing "I See the Light"

Disney's next princess tale, Tangled, is coming out this Thanksgiving. Their spin on the old tale of Rapunzel, it follows Mandy Moore's princess as a dashing young fugitive, Flynn Rider, swoops into her tower and gets her caught up in his misadventures. While it is a princess film, it seems to have a much bigger focus on Flynn than their usual fairytale films.

The first song has just been released for sneak listening, and I'm swooning over Zachary Levi's voice. In his day job he's known as Chuck Bartowski aka Charles Carmichael aka The Intersect, but he also previously sang with Katherine McPhee. That was the first of his singing career, but now he'll be on the Tangled soundtrack. I'm not sure how many songs will be in the film, it's not being marketed as an animated musical like the previous Disney princess film, The Princess and the Frog.

Listen to the track below and let me know what you think in the comments!


[Give Me My Remote]

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The LXD Season 2: Chapter 3 (Halloween Edition!)



This is by far my favorite web series. I'm glad it's back for a 2nd season!

Mimic Octopus

Nature is AMAZING.



[@ActuallyNPH]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Linkulous: Betty Draper Francis, Hoverboards, The LXD, and more

No One's Ever on Your Side: Betty Draper Francis Still Needs Your Love





Girls on Film: How Women Shaped Horror

5 TV Shows That Are Doing Better Than You Think

Madd Chadd on Becoming The LXD

They Promised Us Hoverboards: A Future Unrealized

Stuff from my new writing gig: 

Expect "What to Expect When You're Expecting" from "Whip It" Writer Shauna Cross

Life of Pi takes shape with Ang Lee and Suraj Sharma

First Look at The Lorax, starring Betty White, Danny Devito, and Zac Efron

Vampire Diaries: Season 2 Episode 7 Recap

Last week was chock full of surprises! We found out Katherine's "Plan B" was to compel Matt to go after Tyler until the werewolf curse was triggered (aka he killed Matt). We found out the moonstone could stop the werewolf curse (or so Mason believed). We found out Katherine had been using Jenna as a spy (and then compelled her to stab herself). And then we saw Damon rip out Mason's heart!

Caroline ran into Katherine and she is not pleased. Katherine will "rip this town apart until it rains blood" unless she gets the moonstone at the Masquerade Ball tonight. I love how many social functions this town has!

After stabbing herself, Jenna is all stitched up but mostly fine. She thinks she just walked into a knife, having no memory of being compelled.

Katherine has a new friend in town. So, odd question, but are the witches only black? So far we've only seen Emily Bennett's family and this new girl. Can a witch be Asian? She's in town to help her get the moonstone.

Stefan is going to kill Katherine, which is a change because you know we all expected Damon to be the one to do. He's enlisted Bonnie to do a spell that will isolate her away from the others so he can make his move. The scooby gang seems to be complete, only missing Elena thanks to the Katherine mandated seperation. Bonnie will take care of the spell. Jeremy will be on hand to help with the spell. Alaric will be watching over Elena. And Caroline, Damon, and Stefan will be the force that takes her out and protects the innocent bystanders.

The Masquerade is for charity and seems to have spared to expense with fire dancers and everyone with beautiful masks. 
Tyler is still looking for Mason and confronts his mom about him. She completely believes the text Damon sent because that fits his track record. He would always be coming and going, never staying in one place for too long. He and his mom have a touching moment when she comforts him and lets him know that he's not alone; she's there for him. After that sweet moment, something bad is bound to happen to Tyler.

Katherine shows up at the Masquerade and makes sure Matt is still on mission. He does look really good in a suit. I don't want him to die! Matt starts the rounds of shots early and they begin to party hard.

Meanwhile, Bonnie and Jeremy are upstairs prepping the spell. Bonnie is the same dour witch, wishing she didn't have to do this but trying to keep others self. Elena's at home and realizes something is up when Jeremy's at the party.

Bonnie gets a weird vibe but doesn't realize it's because there's another witch present. She even goes up to her, but since she's never encountered another witch outside her family, she doesn't understand the feeling she gets.

Katherine threatens to kill unless Stefan dances with her, so he succumbs to stall her and to wait for the right moment to enact the plan. But one of the local girls compliments "Elena" on her dress and Katherine kills her so quickly she can't even scream. Shit, this just got REAL!

Stefan's ready to call off the mission after this unnecessary death, but Damon knows it needs to happen now.

Jeremy and Bonnie have a light moment of talking about spells to help you with homework, or make sex better. He's got a point, she should really find the fun in being a witch. Then, it's time for him to isolate Katherine. He plays the brother card to get her away from the new witch and deliver the message from the Salvatore brothers. As he walks off, he's pulled into the bushes! Whew, it's just Elena, but she's pissed she's being left in the dark.

Katherine knows something is up and gets to Caroline. Katherine, and myself, totally believed that she turned coward and gave up the plan. They trap Katherine upstairs and Damon shoots her with a stake gun. But wait, Elena starts bleeding just where Katherine got staked. THEY'RE CONNECTED SOMEHOW. This has to be the work of the new witch. This is going to make killing her problematic, to say the least.

The vampire fight continues upstairs and it's impressive to watch them in action. Throwing stakes and kicking people into walls. They have her pinned, stake at the ready, but Jeremy stops them and lets them know about the connection. With the fighting at a standstill, Katherine goes back to emotional manipulation, saying how Damon is in love with Elena. Luckily, Stefan doesn't believe her. But I do. I totally think he's in love with her and I know many fans ship Damon/Elena more than than Elena/Stefan.

Downstairs, Matt is starting to heat up the action. He plays the abusive dead father card and the anger starts. Matt throws some punches, causing Caroline to break up the fight. Caroline takes Matt down, but Katherine had a back-up. Sarah was compelled to go after him too and she succeeded. She stabbed him and he pushed her off him, but the desk was in the way causing her to break her neck on the fall down. The curse has been triggered! And apparently it's a full moon tonight? Tyler immediately starts to turn in front of Caroline's eyes. He didn't turn completely, just his eyes changed as a sign of the trigger.

Sarah is dead, the story being that she was drunk and dancing and tripped.

Stefan and Damon are still talking to Katherine upstairs, trying to figure out her plan. She faked her death in the tomb because she was running from someone. That moonstone was never hers to begin with and someone else has been searching for it.

The witches finally meet and sparks fly. The new witch (sorry, did we ever catch her name?) says she's on Bonnie's side and she can be trusted, but I totally thought it was all a ruse to get the moonstone to Katherine. Next, we see her handing the moonstone to Katherine and I thought they won. But, the Bennett name holds a lot of clout in the witch community. She puts a spell on Katherine that incapacitates her, breaks the connection between her and Elena, and apologizes for her involvement. Ah, the new witch is a distant relative and that's how Bonnie knew she could be trusted, deep down. She knows Bonnie is one of the good guys, and is doing exactly what she is doing.

Are Bonnie and Jeremy going to get together? That's one way to include them both more without it being Bonnie as a bitchy witch and Jeremy as an overeager younger brother.

Even with her out of the picture, Elena's not ready to be with Stefan again. She needs to feel that her friends and family will be safe before she can feel safe being with him again.

While Stefan tells Elena that Katherine's done for, they really just locked her in the tomb where they all believed she was for over 100 years. She pleads with Damon to release her, saying they need her to protect Elena. As a doppelganger, she's in danger. I wonder from who? Is she only in danger of people who think she's Katherine and seeking revenge? Or is it something bigger? Damon locks her away despite her protests. Just when we think Elena's safe now, someone in a huge head mask kidnaps her! Katherine was right! Who is after her now?!

Sneak Peak: First 5 Minutes of "The Walking Dead"

I've been waiting for this show since Comic-Con and it's FINALLY here! Well, in only 2 more days. But now I can watch the first five minutes of it to help me get through the home stretch. Watch and be amazed.



Thursday, October 28, 2010

100 Horror Movies Spoiled in Under 6 Minutes

The Fine Brothers are at it again! In honor of the holiday, they're spoiling 100 major halloween movies in less than 6 minutes. It's hilarious, but the title says it all. Don't watch if you want to watch horror classics as a blank slate.



They've done a ton of these "spoiled" videos already, from Oscars to 2009 movies and even reality TV! You can check out the spoiled playlist on YouTube.

Dawn of the Ted: The Cutest Zombie Apocalypse

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Derezzed by Daft Punk for the TRON Soundtrack



OMG THIS IS AWESOME. I didn't think I could get more excited for the TRON release this December, but I was wrong. So very wrong! I love the music and can't wait til we get more closer to December 17.

This bird has some sweet moves!



I thought I would get sick of it, but the bird would change up his moves and I ended up watching (and laughing!) the whole way through.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The LXD Season 2: Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 1: The Legion


Chapter 2: Lessons

(Delayed) Music Monday: Double Dose!

I missed Music Monday yesterday since I was at Disneyland most of the day, so here's TWO songs to get you through the week.

2012 by Jay Sean with Nicki Minaj


Grenade by Bruno Mars



The Gummy Bear Shot



I love the song, but the visuals and little behind the scenes stuff at the end is really interesting too. Maybe I'll get this shot glasses as a awesome small gift for a friend?!

Fox Searchlight: 15 Years of Drama

Fox Searchlight has had a hand in many of my favorite movies from the past 15 years. Check out this highlight/tribute video and see how many films you recognize.



It included scenes from some of my favorites like Juno, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, Little Miss Sunshine, and (500) Days of Summer. I didn't know these were all part of the same studio, along with award darlings like The Wrestler and Crazy Heart.

[/Film]

Monday, October 25, 2010

SNL Highlights: Stefon and Farve

Sorry for the lack of posts today! I was busy spending the day at Disneyland and writing for my new blogging gig at Gordon and the Whale. Check out my first post HERE and be sure to check back since I'll be posting nearly every day there.

And now, on to some more SNL highlights from this past week!

Stefon on Weekend Update


This club has everything...like Furkels. Fat Urkels. The morning after, they'll have you saying "Did I do thaaaaat?"

Stefon is my favorite of Bill Hader's character and maybe my favorite single character on the show from the past couple seasons. I love how much it makes Bill Hader laugh during the skit too.


Bret Farve loves Wranglers


Oh, Jason Sudekis, why are you not a huge star already?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SNL Highlight: I Love It



This is my kind of "news" segment! With so many great things that he loves, it's hard for me to pick my favorite bit. But the Mad Men "Next week on" segment as a tape to teach English: I LOVE IT!

SNL Highlight: The Rent is Too High Party

I haven't been able to watch the whole episode yet. The boyfriend is watching football so the DVR recordings must wait. So here's one clip that I watched and really enjoyed. I'm glad Keenan is still being used, since I wasn't sure what his place would be now that Jay Pharoah has been added to the cast and does spot on impressions of pop culture icons like Denzel, Jay-Z, and Will Smith.

The Rent is Too Damn High


Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is How They Train Dogs in the Ukraine



Check out this amazing parkour dog! Lassie who? This dog would be able to jump down the well and rescue little Jimmy himself.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: Season 2 Episode 6 Recap

Last week I felt the gaping hole on Thursday night where The Vampire Diaries normally is. I'm so glad it's back! I don't know how I'm going to cope once winter hiatus kicks in.


We open with Stefan and Elena being the romantic cute couple juxtaposed with Mason and Katherine in similar exploits. A kiss here, banter there, "I love you"s, and an exchange of blood to boot! Are we supposed to think they're as much in love as Stefan and Elena?
"Don't you trust me?"
"I don't trust anyone."
Jeremy is back this week, working with Damon to bring down Mason. I still don't understand how they're buds now after Damon literally KILLED him. But boys will be boys and a common enemy brings them together. I guess that is enough for some people.

Bonnie seems to be the odd woman out now that Caroline has joined the vampire ranks. She refuses to see her as a friend in her undead state and that means she only has Elena left. And with a vampire boyfriend, helping out Caroline, it's obvious where her allies lie. Can they remain best friends with all this going on? She didn't even know about Stefan and Elena's fake fighting...

Caroline's mother only sees the vampires in black and white. She was raised by the founding fathers' lore where there is no room for grey. And while she ignores Caroline at first, once hearing that she did technically have to die to become a vampire, her motherly instinct kicks in. They start talking and it's a nice mother/daughter chat that we've never seen between them before.

When Mason sees Stefan at the event, he knows his evil plan to take out the Salvatore brothers went awry. As Mason leaves, Bonnie bumps into him and has a vision. New power alert! She saw him kissing Katherine! We knew this already, but now Stefan is fully in the loop.

Jeremy's totally misplacing his anger on Elena. He should be mad at Damon! The man who tried to kill him! But he blames her for everything that's happened to him. I just don't get teenage boys.
"He's playing Indiana Jones! He involved himself."
The moonstone may hold the key to undoing the werewolf curse. Jeremy tried to get the Moonstone from Tyler, but as we saw two weeks ago, he already handed it over to Mason and therefore Katherine. So the only thing to do is get it from Mason. They successfully recruit Bonnie to do her magic headache thing, which it turns out is giving them many aneurisms over and over again. She's still staunchly against vampires, but Elena's safety could be in danger with a werewolf on the loose so he must be stopped.

While Damon readies the torturing space, Bonnie invades Mason's mind and finds out the hidden in a well. Not too specific, but helpful enough once Caroline knew the well was on the old Lockwood property.

Matt still cares for Caroline. While I love new vampire Caroline, I do miss how cute they were when they were dating. Maybe once she gets her blood lust under control, they can get back together?

Stefan goes to the well only to be met by Elena who had to check out the action too. They're really bad at pretending to not be together this episode - lots of calls and public interaction. Stefan jumps down only to jump straight into Vervain infused water! Caroline hears her shrieks and comes running. She helps Elena down using the old chain for the bucket. Caroline and Bonnie pull Stefan up and wow, he is MESSED UP from his time down there. It reminds me of a PG version of when Bill on True Blood ran out into the sun to save Sookie.

Elena stays down to search for the stone and apparently there were snakes down there too! She finds a box that likely holds the stone and quickly gets pulled to the surface. Elena is fine, but Stefan definitely did not heal quickly enough. She gives him more of her blood and Bonnie if visibily disgusted.

Jeremy so wants to team up with Damon and help out. He goes into research mode and finds out that Wolfsbane works for werewolves the same way that vervain does for vampires. While Jeremy is eager to help, it doesn't look like he can stomach the violence.

Apparently Mason wants to overturn the curse not for himself, but for his nephew Tyler. Well, and a little for himself so he won't have to turn anymore and can be with his vampire love, Katherine. He obviously loves her, but I wonder what she really wanted out of this relationship. Damon knows what's really going to happen: she's using him and will just rip his heart out once she's gotten what she wants. So he saves her the trouble and RIPS OUT MASON'S HEART. My roommate and I literally sat in shock for a bit after that. I definitely did not expect him to kill him so soon!

Caroline's mom is finally seeing her as a human. It only took her becoming a vampire to get it! She tries to convince Caroline not to compel her; they're finally connecting and she wouldn't do anything to hurt her. But, Caroline knows that wouldn't work. She may trust her, but she'll never trust the others. She compels her so their relationship goes back to normal - apathy, strained mother/daughter talks, etc.

Alaric and Jenna are reuniting with a romantic dinner, when Elena gets a phone call from none other Katherine. Apparently, she's been using and compelling Jenna for days - getting the inside scoop on their lives, removing the vervain from their house, and planting thoughts of suicide. Then, Jenna just stops cutting the garlic bread and STABS HERSELF! Sorry for the excessive use of capslock, but really this episode deserves it.

Luckily, she missed major arteries and organs but Jeremy is going to make Katherine pay. And after teaming up with Damon, I actually kind of believe him. Elena knows what she has to do - she can't be with Stefan with so many lives on the line.

Katherine just won that round. But her plan, whatever it is, just hit a big snag when she lost her werewolf. The episode ends with her compelling Matt to go after Tyler until someone, MATT, ends up dead. I hope he doesn't die! Granted, he hasn't had much to do since breaking up with Caroline, but I like him and want him to stick around! As one of the few humans in the dark, I feel like he provides a bit of balance to all the supernatural going on.

Tune in next week for this madness:

Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Re-release


To celebrate 25 years since Marty McFly entered our lives, and our hearts, Back to the Future will be having two screenings this week at local AMCs.

Catch the film at:
October 23, 12:30pm
October 25, 7:00pm

It's a remastered print so it should be a fantastic viewing experience!

While Los Angeles doesn't have many AMC Theaters in the heart of the city, there are many just a quick drive away. For the full list of participating AMCs, visit the AMC website.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

127 Hours: New Trailer

Starring James Franco as a mountain climber, he becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.



This film has gotten amazing press from the film festivals it's been a part of. Look for it in theaters starting November 5.

Netflix Watch Instant: Earth Girls Are Easy



This is one of the most underrated 80s comedies. Starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayons, and Jim Carrey, it follows Geena Davis as 3 aliens land in her pool. Being a manicurist and having a best friend in hair (Julie Brown), she quickly gives the three aliens a makeover so they blend in to the sunny San Fernando Valley scene. They quickly get into various hijinks and romantic entanglements and when Geena Davis' cheating fiance wants to get back together she has to chose between him or the handsome alien that just fell into her lap.

The film is just as ridiculous as it sounds and that's what makes it SO FUN. There are even some musical numbers thrown in. It's not a musical, but it feels like it wanted to be but chickened out about halfway through. The best musical number definitely belongs to Julie Brown's "Cause I'm a Blonde." I can't find an embeddable version, but to get a feel for the film you need to watch it.

If you like absurd comedies that are aware of just how silly they are, then you should definitely check this out on Netflix.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

iPhone Wedding Proposal



This is too cute and so creative!

Paul: Teaser Trailer

While Paul had a great panel at Comic-Con this year, I haven't heard much about it since. Well, it seems the teaser trailer has finally dropped and it's just as funny as I remember it! This isn't the footage we saw at Comic-Con, there's no mention of the Comic Convention that the leads go to just before finding Paul, but it does focus more on the action and supporting cast. Watch it below:

Monday, October 18, 2010

How I Met Your Mother: Architect of Destruction



It will be hard to follow last week's top notch episode "Subway Wars" which brought back the non-linear story telling and laughs that haven't been present on HIMYM in far too long. It had the emotional weight needed to get us caring about all the characters again, but also had me laughing as they crazily raced to see Woody Allen. And the random Maury Povich sightings just kept me on the look out in every scene!

Tonight it looks like we're finally getting back to Ted's romantic life, which, for a show all about how he meets the love of his life, has really dropped the ball on that as of late. I don't know if this new girl is the Mother, but I'm glad to see Ted is back on his quest!

Music Monday: Broken Machine by Zowie



I also got to check out their US debut in The Viper Room last week. You can check out my review of the show on The Audio Perv.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Price is Right Experience

Part of being (f)unemployed, I have a lot of time on my hands. In LA, that means I can go to show tapings and spend hours waiting in line to get in. There are tapings all the time for shows like 2 and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Jimmy Kimmel, and more. However, the only one I had any interest in going to was one where I could possibly win a BRAAAND NEWWWW CAAAAR!!

We attempted to get into the 12:15pm taping, but apparently that taping fills up by 8:30am. After being turned away the first time, we decided to try our luck the next day for the 4:30pm show. We arrived about 5 hours early and were among the last 10 people admitted. I didn't realize how dedicated Price is Right fans were, but many people had showed up the night before for even the afternoon taping! I think the earliest I heard was someone camping out starting at 11pm.

We were given a contestant number then continued to stand around and wait until they wrangled everyone together, in numerical order, to fill out a small notecard on why they were there today and what they would do if they won. We then got to take a green screen photo so it looks like we were part of the action. Then we sat around and waited some more, until we were finally briefly interviewed by the producers, the final step in the selection process.

I'm too cheap to pay the $20 for the final photo, so sorry about the watermark. 
There was a bit of a delay because the episode they shot at 12:30 was the Halloween special filled with funny costumes and an entirely different color scheme on the set. They had to change all the set dressings, so we weren't herded in to the studio until 5pm. After hours and hours of waiting, with no phone or any other source of entertainment, we finally got to sit for the taping.

The taping itself was a blast! We weren't called, but it was so much fun to be a part of the audience and yell out our price suggestions. Watching it on TV has nothing on watching it live. During the "commercial breaks" or between setting up the different prizes, Drew Carey stayed on stage and just chatted with the audience. It was similar to stand up comedy, but much more conversational. And before we knew it, the show was done! It was a very fast process once we were done waiting.

I'd definitely recommend it to others, just be sure you're prepared for the long wait. KT and I made a huge mistake by not bringing a book or something to do in those hours before taping started. It's a great touristy thing to do if you're a fan of the show or just want a chance to win something. I'd also recommend you come in a group of 10 or more. They definitely want to pick contestants that have a cheering section at the ready.

My episode aired earlier this week and it was awesome to see it play out on screen. While neither of us were picked, a girl who sat in front of us so we got plenty of screen time from the audience. So surreal to see yourself on TV!

You can order tickets in advance for CBS's tapings of The Price is Right easily online, in person, or over the phone. Good luck to those who decide to attend a taping!

The Facebook Mom Filter Hides Your Dirty Laundry

With Facebook's biggest growth happening in the 45+ age group, it's obvious that sooner or later you're parents will be signing up and friending you, if they haven't already. SNL has just the thing!



A part of me wishes this actually existed. But for now, I just use privacy settings and friends' lists to sort out who can see what I post on Facebook.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Futurama/X-Men Mash Up


I love pop culture fan art like this. This is in imaginative look at Futurama if they were the X-Men. I like the idea of Captain Zapp Brannigan as Magneto, since he's definitely the villain.

[ThinkHero]

Taiwan Animates the Brett Favre Scandal

Friday, October 15, 2010

Advance Review: RED

I was lucky enough to catch a free screening of this flick earlier this week. Filled with action, laughs, and some romance thrown in, I really think everyone would enjoy this comic book adaptation.

DC Comics does not have the film track record that marvel does. They have some shining examples like the Batman series, but when it comes to bringing lesser known characters to life they just haven't had much success. Just look at Jonah Hex for a perfect example of this.

The story revolves around Frank (Bruce Willis) after he's been tagged RED: Retired Extremely Dangerous. While he's out of the business, someone deemed him too dangerous and knowledgable of US secrets to stick around. His crush, played hilariously by Mary Louis Parker, gets swept into the madness as she soon becomes a target too. Frank then uncovers a conspiracy that puts all his old cohorts in danger. He reunites the old team, consisting of Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren, to keep them alive and take out whoever it was that tagged them all RED.

I loved the humor they were able to infuse throughout the film. Helen Mirren got some good laughs, but the biggest were for Mary Louis Parker and John Malkovich. Mary Louis was the fish out of water, the civilian swept into the spy madness, and she handled the shock and awe supremely well. And no one does crazy as well as John Malkovich! He had the most gags but also had some of the best gun action.

The action was huge and oftentimes hilarious. Given the age of the cast, you may think they couldn't pull of fight scenes, but you'd be mistaken. There's a rough and violent fist fight between Bruce Willis and Karl Urban that elicited applause from the audience. There were a few scenes, like the fist fight and the bazooka gun fight seen in the commercials, that had the audience clapping for the awesome action and exploding people.

It was a nice change of pace to see senior citizens kicking butt. While I don't know how many people in that age bracket will see this movie, I think it's got a nice unintentional anti-agist message within it.

If you're going to the movies this weekend, skip Jackass 3D with it's juvenile, gross-out humor and check out RED instead.

Related Article:
Helen Mirren on RED, guns, and Harvey Pikar

Linkulous: M. Night Shymalan, Fat Fat Foods, and 500 Days of Summer

Danny Elfman and "Nighmare" in 4D come to El Capitan - the box sets they mention are definitely getting added to my Christmas wish list!

8 Facts You Didn't Know about M. Night Shymalan - while he gets a lot of hate now, I actually really liked Unbreakable. At least, I remember liking it. I wonder if my opinion would be different if I saw it again today. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Studies: The Boys of Summer - a great look at the inherent sexism in (500) Days of Summer.


50 Fattiest Foods in the States  - I am SHOCKED to see the In-N-Out Double Double on this list!

Why There Aren't More Interracial Couples

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The LXD: Season 2 Trailer



We met the heroes in Season 1, now we see the origin of the villains. This trailer is so epic; I can't wait for the new season!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: Soundtrack Out Now

One of the things that The CW (and the old WB) shows got consistently right was the music choices. They seemed to always have their finger on the pulse of up and coming artists and genres. Before The OC soundtrack was a success, I already had the soundtracks from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Roswell, and Smallville.

The latest soundtrack out is the new album from The Vampire Diaries. Check out the complete track listings below:

1. Stephan's Theme by Michael Suby
2. Running Up That Hill by Placebo
3. Currency Of Love by Silversun Pickups
4. Hammock by Howls 
5. Sleep Alone (909s in DarkTimes Mix) by Bat For Lashes
6. Bloodstream (Vampire Diaries Remix) (2010 Digital Remaster) by Stateless
7. We Radiate by Goldfrapp
8. Obsession by Sky Ferreira
9. Head Over Heels by Digital Daggers
10. Down by Jason Walker 
11. Beauty Of The Dark (2010 Digital Remaster) by Mads Langer 
12. Cut by Plumb
13. All You Wanted Sounds Under Radio/Alison Sudol
14. The Fellowship by Smashing Pumpkins
15. On Melancholy Hill (Feed Me Remix) by Gorillaz
16. 1864 by Michael Suby

You can pick it up at your local Target, or online by clicking the link below!

Mad Man Theme Meets Nature Boy



This video is done by a group called "VideosRecordedLive" where all the music is recorded live in one long shot, no autotuning and no dubbing; which I think is pretty fantastic!

For more information on the video and the group, check the original article at Variety.

The Clerks Cartoon did Banksy's Couch Gag First



I vaguely remember this cartoon series existing, but if I had known it was this funny I would have definitely checked it out more.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

TV Tonight: Glee and No Ordinary Family



It looks like tonight's Glee is going to heavily feature Mike Chang aka Other Asian aka Harry Shum Jr. and I couldn't be more excited! He's a fantastic dancer and now we get to see if he has the singing chops to go with it.

Tune in to the all new Glee tonight at 8pm EST/PST on FOX.



No Ordinary Family is shaping up to be one of my favorite new shows this season. While it is a well visited story about superheroes, the characters make this worth checking out. I absolutely love the sidekicks and their reactions to the development of the new powers. They have such enthusiasm and awe at what is happening, I feel like it's exactly how I would react were it to happen in real life.

Tune in to No Ordinary Family tonight at 8pm EST/PST on ABC.

Cute Overload: Child on a Ukelele



I love how the ukelele is about the right proportions of a guitar on an adult. ADORABLE!

[vulture]

Can You Imagine Back to the Future Without Michael J. Fox?

I don't want to live in a world where Marty McFly was played by someone else! Luckily, I don't have to, but we did come awfully close.

Eric Stolz was originally cast as Marty and even shot for a couple weeks. But it became pretty obvious that it wasn't a right fit. They hired MJ Fox and all was right in the world.

Check out this footage of Back to the Future, starring Eric Stolz.



[cinematical]

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blue Valentine: New Trailer



I've been looking forward to this movie since set photos were released ages ago. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling make such a beautiful couple in this film (in real life?) and have such talent that I can feel their chemistry in just this short trailer.

The story follows a couple as they come together and then the slow destruction of their marriage. It's got an NC-17 rating at the moment, but I hope that doesn't stick because it will severely limit it's box office and Oscar hopes. According to press who have seen the film, there's no nudity or hardcore sex, but because of one believeable but uncomfortable sex scene between the two lovers. I'm sure the Weinsteins will figure out some way to keep their film in tact but also get an more acceptable R rating.

I expect this to get a lot of award season buzz once it's released on December 26, 2010.

Music Monday: Horchata by Vampire Weekend

I've already posted about Vampire Weekend before, including a Music Monday mention or two. But, after this weekend, I feel the need to post this again.



It's just so damn catchy!

The Simpsons: Banksy Couch Opening



Last night's episode of The Simpsons featured opening credits storyboarded and designed by Banksy.

Inspired by the true production of The Simpsons, the couch gag follows the production of the cartoon in Korea, where Unicorns go to die apparently.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grover has that Old Spice Swagger



The Sesame Street Muppets are at it again! I love this spoof and think they did a great job of making it educational as well as fun.

In somewhat related news: KCET and PBS split. I wonder what channel they'll strike a deal with in it's place. I can't imagine PBS not having a Los Angeles affiliate.

How I Met Your Mother: Subway Wars Promo



So far, this season is shaping up to be better than the last, but that's still not saying much. It's going to take a few more solid, hilarious episodes for me to be fully on board again.

Tune in to the new episode this Monday at 8pm EST/PST on CBS.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nick Cage's Agent Explains His Movie Choices

So I'm up in San Francisco this weekend! Expect lots of auto-posts of just random videos and trailers so the blog isn't dead in my absence. I'll be back to normal posting on Monday.In the mean time, enjoy the videos!



[blastr]

Linkulous: Lots of TV Articles, The Social Network, Arrested Development, and more

No Fat Chicks: Navigating the Dating World as a Fat Girl

New TV Shows' Tough Time


The Woman on the Cover of Twilight: Sorta Nuts

Why It's Good that Networks are Quick to Cancel Low-Rated New Shows

Female programmers on "The Social Network" - How accurate is the Facebook movie's depiction of women as trophies in the world of Web 2.0?

The Vulture Transcript: Arrested Development Creator Mitch Hurwitz on His Struggles With Running Wilde

The Most Unnecessarily Dramatic Quote in New York Times History

Single, Middle Class, and Getting By


The Curse of the Ghost TV Fan - I still miss WonderFalls and Firefly.

The Vampire Diaries: Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

I'm still working on which format is best for these Vampire Diaries recaps. Tonight, we take a look at each character and how they made their way through this week.

Mason
One Year Ago - Mason's bar trip didn't turn out exactly as planned. He got a stalker who's ready to pick a fight over a chick named Marla and he's ready to trade blows til the end. One fateful blow to the head and he's gone. While it was unintentional, it was enough to trigger the curse. Apparently, even an accidental car wreck fatality will set it off. There's no loop hole, if any death is because of you, you've triggered it. However, even after revealing the truth of his origin, he won't explain the significance of the Moonstoone. Stefan tries to keep the peace between Mason and Damon, but it doesn't seem like anything will appease Mason after the stabbing that Damon delivered last week. He's playing peacekeeper and making promises that Damon might not be able to live up to. But, Mason isn't ready to play nice, he tries to show the council the truth but Damon has made such a strong impression and cemented her trust that she refuses to believe.

He finally convinces Caroline's mother of the vampirism with some help from Vervain spiked water, he leaves it to her do the dirty work. While Mason believes everything went according to plan with the Salvatore brothers, Tyler comes to him to tell him about the girl he nearly killed. Tyler doesn't want any part of it and finally hands over the moonstone. I'm excited to see what exactly this means and how the moonstone affects Mason as a werewolf. 

In the end, we realize that Mason has been a pawn of Katherine's from the beginning. She's the one who planted the idea in his friend's head that he got with his girl, which set off the fight that ended in murder. She was looking for the moonstone this entire time!

Damon
Damon is dealing with Mason thanks to last week's confrontation. He's not one to easily forgive and is ready to put Mason down for the count.

After being cornered and nearly killed by Caroline's mom, he works out a deal to keep everyone alive and well. This is the Damon that can sustain a friendship with Elena and is a normal human being, or well, as normal as can be. 


Stefan & Elena

Meanwhile, Stefan and Elena are still putting up a front about slowly moving apart. They come up with a code where even though it sounds like fighting words, it means "I love you."  Stefan's worried that Kathrine will get jealous enough to hurt Elena, but she's not willing to give up for her safety. She thought they were stronger than that, stronger than Katherine's manipulation. She's voicing her concerns to Caroline, partly as a front, but partly as packaging her actual concerns in a way to get Katherine riled up.

After the battle with the sheriff, Stefan realizes that he needs to be stronger if he's going to be a contender in this fight with the town and Katherine. She was able to build up a tolerance to Vervain, so he's going to try to build up a tolerance to human blood so he doesn't become drunk off it. However, this sparks an argument with Elena that they both aren't sure if it's for show or for real. Trying to lead a double life because of Katherine is proving to put a strain on their relationship, when they started this in order to stop her from pulling them apart.

Elena finally understands what he's trying to do by building up a tolerance to human blood, and offers up her blood to him. She gives herself fully to him with this act, more so than even sex or saying "I love you" ever could. She's putting her life in his hands.


Caroline

Caroline's trying to come across as the normal daughter, but with her mother becoming more involved it's going to be more and more difficult. Just as she's about to admit to Elena her ulterior motives, she sees her mother being shifty - working to get Damon, newly exposed as a vampire, out of her town. Caroline uses her super senses to discover the murder plot and Mason reveals himself as the instigator. While he tried to use Elena as a human shield, she's faster than he thinks and she is able to free her and get some great punches in in the mean time.

The sheriff has the Salvatore brothers vulnerable and ready to die, just when Elena bursts in to save them. Caroline refuses to help at first, in fear that her mother will find out what she is. But soon, she realizes that some things are more important and she bursts in, kills the deputy and with her blood soaked mouth stops to say "Hi Mom."

Despite wanting to save her mom by having her play along, her mother doesn't seem to be on the same page. Luckily, Damon's friendship with her mom saves her life.  After seeing Caroline as her vampire self, she can't accept the change in her and sees her as dead already. Caroline no longer as a home, no longer has a boyfriend, and no longer has Bonnie as a best friend. She finally comes clean about Katherine - how she threatened to go after Matt if she didn't spy on Elena, and now she and Elena can be honest with each other once again.


Jeremy

Jeremy is considered "damaged goods' by the local hotties. But they're totally ready to heal his wounds with a few quick condolences and empathic looks. His sketch journal comes out in front of them and Tyler becomes uncomfortable, knowing the wolves are related to him and his family. Once he gets him alone, he nearly strangles him searching for the truth. Jeremy knows the truth about the Lockwood clan and I don't know if Tyler is going to be able to deal with it. Jeremy reveals his family diaries, where they talk briefly about werewolves and how it connects to the timeline of the Lockwood family's returns.


The girls in question nearly become the trigger for Tyler and now I'm going to be watching out for any sort of accident that may befall them!




Next week, we see what happens now that Mason and Katherine have the Moonstone and Katherine and Elena have another chat. I can't wait! This episode was INSANE and it's only going to get better as we get closer to November sweeps.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Netflix Watch Instant: Halloween Edition

October is the time for horror and thrills! Netflix has a slew of films available to watch instantly to get you into the Halloween mood. Below are a few of my recommendations, to help you sift through all the films that are available.

Creature Features
Mega Piranha - The SyFy Original movie stars 80s teen pop star Tiffany as a genetic scientist. The government tried to help fight hunger in South America by genetically modifying fish to grow extraordinarily large. Of course, this brilliant plan backfires when the local piranha population starts to grow and feed and attack the nearby river communities. They become so large they can jump onto land, destroying cars, hotels, and everyone and thing in their path! How can Tiffany even begin to stop them?

The Fly - A star making turn for Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, a scientist's experiment of teleportation goes awry when a simply fly gets caught in the pod with him. Slowly, he and the fly's genetics start to merge and we're witness to the horrifying transformation.


Them! - From the awesome B-movie era of the 50s, this is a cult classic. When a bomb test nearby creates giant, mutant ants the community is caught unawares. The bugs they exterminated for so long are out for revenge! A team of scientists try to stop "Them!" - will they be able to save the town? This is one of the most influential horrof films, brilliantly capturing the fears of the nation as the first Atomic Bomb was being built. 

Horror Comedy
The Burbs - Starring Tom Hanks and Cory Feldman, this is one of my favorite 80s movies. When secretive new neighbors move in next door, suburbanite Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) and his friends let their paranoia get the best of them as they start to suspect the newcomers of evildoings and commence an investigation. This does an excellent job of blending the suspense with the laughs. It's a lighthearted choice for those that can't quite handle the scares of other films on this list.

Killer Klownz from Outer Space - From Netflix: An alien band of killer clowns descends from the cosmos to harvest scores of small-town victims, cocooning their prey in cotton candy to eat later. With the extraterrestrials disguised as simple circus workers, the authorities don't suspect a thing. But the joke is on the clowns when two streetwise teens, armed with an ice cream truck, battle to save their friends in this cult favorite.


Zombieland - Probably the most popular and newest film on my list, I loved its blend of humor and action. The innovative way of teaching the audience the rules of survival, the fantastic opening credits, and Woody Harrelson's performance all make it must-see. I hope the sequel gets moving because I definitely want to spend more time in this world with Columbus, Tallahassee, and Wichita.


Don't Go to Sleep
A Nightmare on Elm Street - While the remake made a fair amount of money, it doesn't come anywhere close to the original. Skip the new one and go straight to the source. From Netflix: Years after being burned alive by a mob of angry parents, child murderer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) returns to haunt the dreams -- and reality -- of local teenagers in Wes Craven's spine-chilling slasher classic. As the town's teens begin dropping like flies, Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) and her boyfriend, Glen (Johnny Depp, in his big-screen debut), devise a plan to lure the monster out of the realm of nightmares and into the real world.

CandyMan - From Netflix: While researching urban myths, grad student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) learns about the Candyman (Tony Todd), a hook-handed creature who's said to haunt a Chicago housing project. In this creepy film based on a Clive Barker story, the Candyman is made flesh by other people's belief in him. Not surprisingly, Lyle manages to summon him. Soon, the Candyman has committed a series of murders, and the cops are holding Lyle responsible.

Enjoy the flicks and Happy Halloween!

Dollhouse: Season 2 Deleted Scene

This deleted scene from Dollhouse has me missing the show all over again. Sierra and Victor can't explain their love throughout all their imprints, and don't even remember it. They just feel it.
Watch this deleted scene that just punches their love further into my heart.


Dollhouse - Season 2 DVD/Blu-Ray - Deleted Scene
Uploaded by dreadcentral. - Classic TV and last night's shows, online.

I MISS THIS SHOW SO MUCH.

For more Dollhouse, you can always buy the DVD or Blu-Ray. Out Now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Glee: Grilled Cheesus

Last night is what I wish Glee would be more often. While there were a lot of songs, not all of the choices I agree with, there was also a plot that had emotional weight. The songs factored into the emotion and worked to further the plot rather than to just exist and distract.

Once again, Kurt and his father prove to be the emotional core to the show. No other character packs as much punch when it comes to sympathy, empathy, and heart. The highlight of the episode was Kurt's rendition of I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles.



Between the song choice (one of my favorites from The Beatles and Across the Universe) and the flashbacks, Glee broke me. I cried for Kurt and his father and was rooting for his speedy recovery.

It's episodes like this that make me wish Glee was more serial. It did a complete 180 from last week's Britney/Brittany craziness to this week's heartbreaking Grilled Cheesus.

What was your favorite number from last night? Am I alone in wishing for some tonal continuity? Let me know in the comments!

The Walking Dead: New Trailer



It's gotten to the point where if I see new The Walking Dead material, I have to post it. So excited for this show to finally start!

Be sure to catch the series premiere on AMC on October 31 at 10pm EST/PST.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Netflix Watch Instant: The Fall

This film didn't get nearly as much exposure as it should have when it was released in 2006.

Official Plot Synopsis:
Set in the 1920s, director Tarsem Singh's visually lush drama stars Lee Pace as paralyzed movie stuntman Roy Walker, who bonds with an imaginative 5-year-old named Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) as they convalesce together in a Los Angeles infirmary. To coax the girl into procuring the cache of morphine he wants from the hospital pharmacy, the suicidal Roy regales Alexandria with an elaborate fantasy about larger-than-life heroes.
What the plot doesn't tell you is that the entire film is visually stunning. They traveled all across the globe to shoot in fantastic locations, with vibrant colors and gorgeous landscapes. The story within the film allows them to take chances and input humor into this truly sad tale about a failed movie stuntman's downward spiral.

The movie is just so beautiful, I can't get over it! Directed by the same man who bright the visually arresting The Cell, this exceeds that film in both story and depth. 

Watch the trailer below:

Inception: Time Traveled Trailer



This fan-made trailer answers the question of what the Inception trailer would have looked like if it had been released in the 50s. Maybe the iconic Hitchcock directed it, maybe it would have starred Jimmy Stewart. This is the closest we'll come to knowing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Monday: Like a G6 by Far East Movement



While I'm not sure what exactly "Like a G6" means, this tune is damn catchy. Plus, they are the first all-Asian pop group to land a spot on the mainstream pop charts! Congrats to them and I hope they're next single is even bigger.

Dancing at the Movies



Happy Monday! Check out this great compilation of various dance scenes in movies.

I recognized clips from a bunch of movies! Here's a list of the ones I saw:
Flashdance
Footloose
Dirty Dancing
Clerks II
Grease
High Fidelity
Saturday Night Fever
Pulp Fiction
American Pie
Honey
Phantom of the Opera
Moulin Rouge
Mary Poppins
Strictly Ballroom
Happy Feet
Singing in the Rain
Rocky Horror Picture Show
7 Brides for 7 Brothers
Step Up 1 & 2
Save the Last Dance
Mamma Mia
Coyote Ugly
Get Smart
Austin Powers 1
Billy Elliot
High School Musical

There were a few scenes I couldn't place, so if you know please let me know in the comments! 

Chuck vs. The Cubic Z



I've been neglecting my Chuck promotion! This season has been pretty solid so far, and I'm very excited to see how the rest of this season turns out. I'm a big Chuck/Sarah fan, so there has been plenty for me to love so far.

Be sure to tune in to an all-new Chuck, tonight on NBC at 8pm EST/PST.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

SNL Highlights: Bryan Cranston

I was going to post clips from the show, but the more I think about it the more I didn't really care for any particular sketch. Nothing stood out to me, a lot of it fell flat, and Bryan Cranston's comedy skills were severely underused.

However, Kanye West blew the roof of the studio by breaking from tradition and transforming the musical number in to a big production. Instead of the usual bland instruments and performer on a normal stage, he and a slew of ballerinas and models performed in a stark, brightly lit white stage. 

Watch his performances below.