Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I just wanted to post a note stating that I will most likely be absent from here for a few weeks.

I am currently enrolled in a night class that is just two weeks long, but is every night for four hours.

So, with work, class, homework, house work and trying my best to see my family - this will have to take a backseat.

I do have some things to post - such as the Fall TV schedule, some movies I have seen and the NBA/NHL playoffs drawing to a close.

So, I will see you in a few weeks.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hot Rod

I wasn't expecting too much when I tossed in this film, but it sort of surprised me.

I always felt that Hot Rod would have a few laugh out loud moments from the pure stupidity - which it did, actually a little more than I expected - but the true heart of the movie was actually pretty sweet when you get down to it.

Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) longs to be a stuntman. He believes that his father worked for Evel Knievel and set up the stunts before Knievel would try them. After his father died, his mother remarried Frank (Ian McShane) and they had a child, Kevin (Jorma Taccone). Throughout the first part of the film, Rod constantly fights with his father, literally. Frank believes that once Rod can beat him in a fight then he is a man - Rod actually loves Frank and longs for his respect.

Despite constantly trying to perform stunts, and with a crew of his brother Kevin, and friends Dave (Bill Hader) and Rico (Danny McBride), Rod was never a very succesful stuntman.

One afternoon Rod learns that Frank has a weak heart and doesn't have much time to live - despite obviously caring for Frank, Rod vows to raise $50,000 for the surgery so that he can once again fight Frank to gain his respect.

He sets out to perform one huge stunt that would be able to raise the money to save his step-father's life. Joining the crew is an old friend, and current crush of Rod's Denise (Isla Fisher) who motivates Rod - especially during the time that he gives up on himself.

Will Arnett plays Denise's prickish boyfriend Jonathan, which to me was basically a throwaway role for him.

Like I said, the movie had its moments for comedy - including, quite possibly, the longest fall down a hillside in movie history - which kept the film funny, but it was also the heartfelt moments that made the movie even better. Even though Rod masks his love for his stepfather - he risked his own life to save his, even if it was just to kick his ass.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Abrams Finales

I don't want to call this guy the second coming of Spielberg or, in today's standards, Apatow - but it seems to me that everything that J.J. Abrams has touched of late has been turned into gold.

With Star Trek already cruising along as possibly the year's best film (to date), and ruling at the box office, Abrams' two other side projects, Fringe and Lost brought their seasons to a close this week.

There will be spoilers galore in the rest of this blog, so if you haven't seen the above finales, please stop reading now.

I will start with Lost because it appears that more people know about this show. How can a 2-hour finale not only give you tons of answers to things that have been brewing for five seasons, but also leave you with even more questions than when you went in. A 2-hour finale that desperately left you wanting more - and we don't get any more until 2010, I may just go insane.

We are finally introduced to the illusive Jacob - the one that is truly considered the leader of the 'Others'. But, we can't just be given Jacob without a whole background on him - he's been on the island forever; he seems to be using the island for some sort of sociological experiment; an unnamed friend of his wants him dead; he has visited a handful of members of the castaways (Locke, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Jack, Sun & Jin). But, as soon as we meet Jacob - he is killed, by Ben and Locke(?). I have a strange feeling that we will not be seeing the last of him though.

Jack got his way, and with the help of Sayid and some others was able to toss 'Jughead' down the shoot to try and stop all of this from ever happening. A few side effects, however, was Sayid getting shot and near death - and the bomb not actually going off and the hole becoming magnetized anyway. This also started sucking everything metal down the hole - including a chain that happened to get wrapped around Juliet. So, bye bye Juliet? No so fast - not without one last heroic adventure. Juliet, near death, beats 'Jughead' with a rock until it explodes - and that is where we leave Season 5.

So many questions. Did the explosion work? Is everyone at least going to be in the same time frame now? How is Locke both dead and alive? Is the new Locke the unnamed man that wants Jacob dead? Are Jacob and Ben in on everything - including bringing back everyone to the island?

Can't wait for these questions to be answered - I am expecting a memorable season six.

As for Fringe, it has slowly been plugging along on Tuesday nights on FOX. It is quite possibly the best new show on television, however, has had a few missteps along the way. The bases of the show has always pitted Olivia and her crew against William Bell's Massive Dynamic corporation. Most of the shows have had some sort of connection to the overall tension between these two organizations, however, a few times the show stepped away from that --- sure it's fine to do that every so often, but it almost feels unnecessary.

Also, the show took at least a one month hiatus during the middle of the season - which left even me a little in the dark - when the show returned I found myself trying to remember a lot of things that happened in September and October.

That said, the final episodes really picked up and the finale that aired on Tuesday was awe inspiring and a little shocking.

The episode begins where the final left off, as David Robert Jones has shot Nina Sharp - and apparently removed an energy source that was hidden in her mechanical arm. This energy source can be used, when done correctly, to open a window to a parallel universe.

Jones has finally realized that William Bell is living in this parallel universe and will stop at nothing to track him down and kill him. It's up to Olivia to stop Jones, while both Peter and Walter Bishop search for remote that is able to close the opened portal to the parallel universe.

The final scenes are very well done as well s jaw dropping. Olivia finally gets to meet and speak to William Bell, who we all know to be Leonard Nimoy (one of the worst kept secrets in tv history). But as she looks at the window of his parallel universe office - we find that they are in one of the twin towers, which are still standing in this universe. A very gripping and emotional shot.

I was torn because I loved it - but also immediately thought 'What are people going to say?" Was it too soon? I don't think so. But there are still people who are grieving and this shot could have been very emotional for them.

But, Fringe didn't stop there. In one of the final shots we see Walter Bishop standing in a cemetary - thinking of course he is visiting the grace of his wife. But as the shot shows the head stone it is the grave of his son, Peter Bishop. So the Peter Bishop that is currently being shown is that of the parallel universe.

Walter mentioned in the episode that he had lost something very dear to him and that he went to the other universe to get it back - his son.

Very great episodes - episodes that have certainly kept me interested and looking forward to next season already.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revist: NBA Predictions

This is technically my second revist to this subject, but due to the agonizingly slow rate at which the awards are being handed out - it's almost a necessity.

Anyway, this will be quick. And, I don't have much else to write about as of this moment, hopefully tomorrow.

The NBA announce the All-NBA teams today, and I have to admit I was pretty darn close in my selections.

First Team:
Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard

Second Team:
Chris Paul, Brandon Roy, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Yao Ming

Third Team:
Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Pau Gasol, Shaquille O'Neal, Tony Park

Now, I had three of the four first teamers selected correctly (Wade, Bryant, James). I also had Paul on the first squad, but he made second - and I selected Amare Stoudamire, who didn't make any team - mostly due to some injuries throughout the season.

As for the second team, I had selected Nowitzki and Howard, who both made the first team, but I got Roy and Duncan correct. I had selected Pierce and Yao Ming for my third team, however. My lone whiff was Deron Williams, who had a pretty strong year despite playing mostly on one leg due to an injry.

As for the third squad, I only was able to select Parker correctly. I totally missed on the Nuggets this year, but the trade for Billups not only elevated his game, but Anthony's as well. I also missed on Gasol, but I am not apologizing for not selecting O'Neal - despite a great season, who knew he had anything left?

Another rough time for Kevin Martin in Sacramento this season with injuries and a horrible team didn't help my selection of him on my third team. Also, Chris Bosh had a down year in Toronto, which really surprised a lot of people.

This should be my final NBA blog until the conclusion of the NBA Finals in June unless something amazing happens during the playoffs (which basically did with the Boston-Chicago series, but I will talk about that in the wrap up blog after the season).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek

"I've given her all she's got, Captain!"

The words spoken by Scotty couldn't ring more true. This Star Trek 'reboot' by J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost, Alias) was nothing more than outstanding.

I have been a Trek follower ever since my mother introduced it to me when I was about six years old. This film pretty much out races them all.

Abrams took the Enterprise back to it's beginning, when Capt. Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) was in the captain's chair - and our beloved James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) was just barely a graduate of Starfleet Academy.

The film shows the origins of both Kirk and Spock (Zacahry Quinto) while also showing a little more background to Leonard 'Bones' McCoy (Karl Urban) and Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Also along for the ride are Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin), but their story lines aren't explored as deeply.

Without going into too much detail, Nero, a Romulan miner, is out to seek revenge against the man he feels is responsible for the destruction of his home planet. He even goes as far as to head back in time to seek his revenge.

It turns out it is up to the young recruits, who are thrown into battle much earlier than they are expected. This is the first challenge for Kirk and the crew to show their worth - something we have come to expect in the earlier films.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the acting, most notably Karl Urban as McCoy. Going in he was the person I knew the least about, but his portrayel was both an homage to the late DeForest Kelley, while also throwing in a lot of his own skills. I was also pretty unfamiliar with Pine, but thought he did a decent job in trying to replace the legendary William Shatner. He did things his own way, because let's face it - you can't try to copy Shatner.

The rest of the cast was pretty talented as well, Qunito was a spot-on Spock - with a lot of human elements thrown in. Saldana was actually given a lot more to do in this film than Nichelle Nichols really ever had to do in the previous installments. Cho was a great Sulu - and Yelchin provided a new look and sound for Chekov, but remembered to butcher his "W's". Pegg also provided a great Scotty - although it was definitely pre-donuts Scotty.

In my opinion, this was the best Star Trek film out of all of them, and I have been a fan of nearly all of them. It had a lot better action than previous installments, but also had the give-and-take between the characters which provided tons of great comedic moments. And the drama was also packed in pretty nicely as well - a great first voyage for the Enterprise.

I am definitely looking forward to more.


Friday, May 8, 2009

"My Finale" (?)

The eighth season of my absolute favorite comedy, Scrubs, came to an end on Wednesday with an amazing one hour special. Possible Spoilers below.

In true Scrubs fashion it went out without a lot of fanfare - a lot like ER - as there was no huge wedding or death, but just a doctor, who's life we have all grown to know and care about, was moving on to another hospital.

J.D. (Zach Braff) began his final day at Sacred Heart with some "morning' sex from his girlfriend Eliott (Sarah Chalke) and as he arrived at Sacred Heart received one final mega "EAGLE" spin from his best friend, Turk (Donald Faison).

As the hour progressed, Turk was upset that he might have done his huge goodbye too early, as they were still going to see each other for the remainder of the day. Eliott, however, was mad at herself for not being as sad that J.D. was leaving, because she was still going to see him every day.

J.D. kept going through the day expecting some dramatic exit, but kept noticing that no one was really making a big deal about it. Carla (Judy Reyes) gave him a heartfelt "I'm going to miss you", as her and J.D. had truly grown into a brother-sister relationship over the years. Jordan (Christa Miller) pulled out some emotion, and said her goodbyes as well. Even the Janitor (Neil Flynn) gave him a goodbye, and forgave him for a long running gag 'the penny in the door' after J.D. confessed.

We also learn the Janitor's real name. Or did we? In another great gag, the Janitor has become known as a pathological liar and story teller - so even after he told J.D. his real name, we are again left wondering if it was true.

The one person J.D. was obviously looking for some sort of response from was Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley), but of course Dr. Cox would never give him the satisfaction - knowingly. J.D. ended up tricking him at the end by having Sunny (Sonal Shah) say something to him that triggered a response.

The ending was pretty magical - J.D. (in his head as always) voiced over how in the end your future is what you make of it - and he walked through an entire hallway of people from his past, including the dead, that have been apart of his life for the past 8 years. It was nice to see some of the people from the older episodes.

Finally, the show ended with a montage of things that could happen if the series were to have progressed along with the current cast. J.D. and Eliott get married; they have a baby; they hang out with Turk, Carla, Dr. Cox, Jordan and their families for Christmas; even their children (I want to say Sam and Izzie) get engaged in the future. It was very fitting, and touching.

And in the final moments before J.D. jumped in his car to leave Sacred Heart one last time, he says goodbye to a new janitor cleaning up some garbage - the creator Bill Lawrence.

It was an amazing finale, and an amazing run for this comic gem. One that I don't think every truly got the praise it deserved. But, like Lawrence said, once they realized they weren't drawing in the tons of people - they decided to write the show for their followers - so this finale was for us.

The question mark in the title above is due to the fact that despite the episode title, "My Finale", the final decision has still not been made as to whether or not Scrubs will return for another season. There has been discussion to bring the show back as ABC is liking the pairing of it and Better Off Ted on Wednesday nights.

Whatever happens, though, this was the finale for the main cast because almost all of the entire cast has decided to leave after this season - but they did say they would return in recurring guest spots in the future. Braff has left to focus on movies and directing while McGinley, Flynn and Faison have all signed on for new pilots that if picked up wouldn't allow them to return, except in guest starring roles.

So, in essence, this was the true finale of the show we have come to love over eight seasons., because even if it returns it will never truly be the same.

Thanks for a great eight seasons. I love you Glenn Matthews!!!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Good Will Hunting

I had yet another math movie problem to solve, this time with the film Good Will Hunting. I have to admit it had been years since I had seen this film, but it was a welcomed surprise.

The movie is very well done - math aside - as Will (Matt Damon) is down a very bad path despite being truly gifted in mathematics, as well as other areas of study. Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard) notices his gift and quickly tries to get Will help so that someday he can help the world with his solving of complex mathematic problems.

The issue, however, is that Will is extremely troubled. He won't let anyone in all of the way, and if anyone gets too close to him he pushes them away or does something to get rid of them. The only people he really trusts are his friends Chuckie (Ben Affleck), Morgan (Casey Affleck) and Billy (Cole Hauser) and that's because they don't ask too many questions and would do anything that he asks.

After multiple psychiatrists, Will finally was handed over to Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) an old roommate of Lambeau. For some strange reason, Maguire was able to handle what Will tossed at him - and he went at his own pace letting Will control the process.

Finally, Sean was able to get through to Will - which was ab absolutely mesmorizing scene.

Both Damon and Affleck were superb in their roles as well as Minnie Driver's Skylar.

But, the person that truly stuck out in this film is Robin Williams. It was an amazing performance, one that even landed him a best supporting Oscar.

It got me thinking about comedic actors turning dramatic - which not many are able to do. But a few stuck out to me:

I just watched Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me, which to me may be his best work to date. He was amazing in that film, and I feel may have been looked over for an award as well.

We can't forget Jim Carrey in The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind even though he didn't go fully dramatic - but it also wasn't full on comedy, there was a lot of emotion in his performances.

One I haven't seen yet, but heard is a good role for him was Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction.

I am sure there are more out there, but these stuck out to me. When you think of their names you automatically think comedy - but they also appear to have the acting chops to play dramatic as well.

As for the grade for the film. It has been pointed out to me that I may have been giving some of my former movies a lower grade than I should have. For some reason I was unable to give any movie an excellent grade when really it should, because the next step up is best of the best. So, I will try to be more giving in my grades - starting now.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Rant: Survivor 4/30/09

I have been a huge Survivor fan pretty much since the end of the very first season. I wasn't able to start watching it from the beginning, but as the season came to a close I got into it - and have been with it ever since.

I don't usually write about the episodes because Fletch at Blog Cabins does a bang up job every week with a (usually) live blog. I do usually write up something at the conclusion of the season to show my thoughts on the winner and the season as a whole.

Every so often, however, an episode really gets to me that I am forced to voice my opinion.

This doesn't happen every season, but sometimes I sort of gravitate towards a contestant (last season it was Sugar) because they are sort of the underdog that could (meaning sort of on the outs, but still seem to be plugging away).

This season I gravitated towards Sierra. Sierra is pretty interesting because she was the very first person voted off of her tribe, technically. When the tribes were first merged each tribe voted for who they thought would be the first people voted out - and Sierra was selected. Little did the tribe know that they in fact had given Sierra a free ride to camp while they had to hike over four miles.

Ever since then she has sort of been on the outs from the tribe, but here she was in the final seven - Amazing. And, I am not saying it was all her doing, because even I got upset with her odd game plan last week of simply whining to Coach and Tyson instead of talking to the other tribe members, trying to get in on another alliance.

Last week, with no help from herself, she was saved as the other members of the tribe took out Tyson (which was an excellent move by the way). So she had new life - and this week actually decided to do something with it.

She flat out caught Coach and Debbie in a lie in front of the entire tribe - even though Coach has said he would never lie in this game.

This was all setup perfectly to get rid of Coach - except he won immunity. But, Debbie (who seems to be losing it by the way) could have easily been substituted for Coach this time around. But, after an absolutely daring and smart move to get rid of Tyson last week - the other tribe members (JT, Stephen, Taj and Erinn) fell flat on their face with this vote.

Trying to apparently get rid of the 'drama' they voted out Sierra. But, I have a feeling the 'drama' would have been gone if they got rid of Debbie as well - because that is who Sierra seemed to be feuding with.

Oh, well. Another stupid move in a game that has ton of them. Sierra had a great run seeing as she was technically voted out already anyway.

In my opinion, JT seems to have control of the game - but I would watch out for Stephen, who seems to be calling a lot more shots than anyone is realizing. He is a sneaky player and also hiding behind JT a little.