Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/29/11

The Smurfs: I have to admit the Chipmunk films were a lot better than I originally thought they would be. It's hard seeing an '80s cartoon come to life in the CGI world, but sometimes the movie industry can surprise you. The cast looks top-notch here so I hope there is at least something decent here. At least my son will enjoy it, I am sure.

Friends with Benefits: So, this is the second film of the friends who get each other off, coming on the heels of No Strings Attached. According to sources this one seems to be the better of the two, and the other one wasn't horrendous. So, I will check it out and see.

Our Idiot Brother: I have heard mixed things about this film, but it certainly looks interesting enough to give it a try. A lot of decent actors in the film about a man who just seems to be a bit naive.

30 Minutes or Less: This looked very funny and interesting to me when it first came out, but I wasn't able to check it out in the theater. However, I have heard some pretty bad things about the film - either way I will form my own opinion when I get to check it out.

One Day: I don't know too much about this film, other than it stars Anne Hathaway and that guy that starred in 21. Looks like a romantic film, so not sure how much I will enjoy it. Mrs. Kano will probably enjoy it more.

The Art of Getting By: One of the lone Roberts I can actually stand watching, Emma, stars in this film along with former it-kid Freddie Highmore. Apparently one of those two kids on different paths in life intersect and their lives are both changed kind of films.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who? What? Where? #50

So, Dylan not only expanded his lead - but he admits he's a Googler. BUSTED!

Anyway, Dylan correctly identified that the person to the left was Elijah Wood as Video Game Boy in Back to the Future II.

Congrats to Dylan. And good luck to every one this week.

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #50:

Dylan - 40 points
Jess - 29 points
Nick - 24 points
Matt - 23 points
Ryan "Hatter" McNeil - 23 points
Stevee - 3 points

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/22/11

Super 8: J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, um, yes please. I have heard some great things about this film - and yes a few bad ones - but I am definitely excited to finally see this when it gets here.

Prep and Landing: This was apparently on ABC Family last year, but it is now getting released on DVD. No, I don't think I will be checking it out. If it re-runs on television this year, I may try to check it out with my son.

Conan the Barbarian: I have never even see the first and original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - if I was going to ever watch Conan it would be the Schwarzenegger version. Also, I need to write Schwarzenegger one more time.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World: I actually own the first three Spy Kids films. The first one is actually really good - and even though I don't remember most of the second, I think it was okay as well. I am not sure if I have even watched the third yet. But, I will probably add this one to the collection as well - even though I am sure it is horrible. Plus, it has Joel McHale which is a bonus.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who? What? Where? #49

And, Dylan expands his lead by correctly identifying the person to the left as Kiefer Sutherland as 'The Caller' in Phone Booth.

With that, Dylan moves ahead of his second-place opponent by a full eight points. Now that's a lead, but no lead is safe.

Good luck to everyone this week.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #49:

Dylan - 37 points
Jess - 29 points
Nick - 24 points
Matt - 23 points
Ryan "Hatter" McNeil - 23 points
Stevee - 3 points

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/15/11

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: One of the franchises that I watch with my son. He has become pretty enamored with pirates and Jack Sparrow, especially. When in Florida, we road the ride about eight times. So, we will finally be checking this out once we get it. (OK, this was released in October, but apparently the DVD alone is released today).

Beginners: A father tells his son a couple of mindblowing things. That he has terminal cancer, and that he is gay. The film stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, and looks to be pretty interesting. I will hopefully get it through Netflix and check it out then.

Larry Crowne: Since I am doing my Hanks-o-Thon I will definitely be checking this one out to complete it (well, maybe not complete at the rate I am going - since there is another film coming out soon). Julia Roberts is a complete enigma for me. There are times I can't stand her, and others where I feel she is ok. So, having her in with my favorite actor should be an interesting watch.

The Lion King: Was interesting to see this in the movie theater again, and this time experiencing it with my son. The 3D was actually done well, so I am now looking forward to the other Disney releases - not to mention the Star Wars releases. Seeing those with my son will be amazing. I already own this on DVD, so I will not be re-getting it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

HOT: Nothing in Common

This is one of the few Tom Hanks films that I had never heard of.

Hanks stars as David Basner, a successful ad man that has just got a promotion at his company, in Nothing in Common. He doesn't realize is that his life is about to get flipped up side down.

His mother and father, after 36 years of marriage, have decided to split up. Now, David must care for his aging father, Max (Jackie Gleason), and, to a lesser extent, his mother (Eva Marie Saint). Max, after 35 years as a garment salesman, has also just been fired from his job.

It is gathered that David and his father do not have that great of a relationship. It is also revealed that Max at a certain point had cheated on David's mother.

The rest of the film is basically the re-introduction of a father and son. It is nothing that hasn't been done before, and that won't be done again. A father-son relationship is very delicate, so this kind of film almost always sells.

In this case, I didn't really buy most of it. I think Hanks is an excellent actor, but this may have been too early in his career to pull it off completely. I have never really seen Gleason in much before, but know of his clout, and here he was okay, but not outstanding.

I didn't really dig most of this movie, but the end was quite touching. I felt a lump in my throat, I'll admit that. But overall the movie just didn't really do it for me.


TV: The League

I recently posted my Fall TV viewing schedule, but I left one show off of the list because I felt I wanted to write a longer post on this.

The League is currently airing its third season on FX on Thursday nights. It is a show that is based around a fantasy football league, but the show goes much further than that.

The show revolves around five friends, Pete (Mark Duplass), Kevin (Stephen Rannazzisi), Andre (Paul Scheer), Taco (Jonathan Lajoie) and Ruxin (Nick Kroll). Also included in this league is Kevin's wife Jenny (Katie Aselton).

In the first season, Jenny was first her husband's helper for his team and not technically a member of the league. She did, however, run his team more than he did - and that became a running joke. In season two, a spot opened up on the team and Jenny asked to join the league, but her husband boycotted this and they instead brought in Ruxin's brother-in-law Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas). Rafi is way over the top in everything that he does, and the league soon regrets bringing him in - and in the latter part of the season the group does all they can to get rid of him (and make him think it's his idea). After he leaves, Jenny officially joined the league.

This show, to me, is downright hilarious. All of the characters are so over the top, and in each episode there is always something that just makes me roll over laughing.

It is a semi-scripted, semi-improvisational comedy. This works in many ways, but one that it sometimes hurts is when it comes to the actual fantasy football portion. Don't get me wrong, the show is based around a fantasy football league, but if you are watching this to get tips - you are watching the wrong show.

The show doesn't really maintain a straight line when it comes to facts. Things happen in one episode or season and, probably because of the improvisation, it can be different in another episode. For instance, players sometimes switch teams for no real reason - plus, I am pretty sure this is an 8-person league, which really is a horrific sized league.

So, again, don't watch this for the fantasy football. It's cool to have the sports side of things as a sports fan, but the show is so much more, and again very funny.

I didn't include this in my Fall TV list, but I am definitely adding this in the Watch This section. You probably don't have to watch it from the beginning to enjoy it - but there is only a few shows in season one (currently streaming) and they are only in season three. So, get caught up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who? What? Where? #48

Boom. And Nick jumps back over Ryan in this game of leap frog. He correctly identified the person to the left as John Cho as Dustin Wong in Big Fat Liar.

Nice job, Nick. He also, in the process, jumped over Matt and into third place.

Again, I am sorry for the delay in post. Somehow this keeps escaping me. I guess I should mix it up a bit anyway and get everyone a chance to participate.

Anyway, good luck this week.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #48:

Dylan - 34 points
Jess - 29 points
Nick - 24 points
Matt - 23 points
Ryan "Hatter" McNeil - 23 points
Stevee - 3 points

Fall TV: What I'm Watching

As you can probably tell my movie watching has taken a back-seat as of late - and my blog writing has also been knocked back. I have been working a lot, and at odd hours, which has made some of these rather difficult.

Also, to top that off, the Fall TV season is in full effect. And, as I have said before, I watch a lot of television. To keep my TiVo from overflowing I must stay on top of my shows - which means, they come first over any new movie watching for now.

So, I felt it was time to take a look at the shows I am watching currently and make sure to tell what shows should be absolutely watched.

I guess I should just break this down by day.


Desperate Housewives: This is not one of my go-to shows, but I got into it a few years ago with my wife and I have been watching it with her ever since. I am not going to tell any of you to rush out and watch this, especially since it is in its final season. But, if you were watching it before - you might as well stick with it to the end. I have a few episodes still backlogged I need to get to - so this isn't one that I rush to watch.

Pan Am: On the 2-hour block last year with Desperate Housewives was Brothers & Sisters. So, when that went off the air we looked to fill the void, and Pan Am sort of fit our schedule perfectly. Christina Ricci was possibly my first crush when she was Wednesday Addams, so yet another reason to give this show a chance. It's not amazing, but the actors and actresses are pretty good, and the week-to-week spy game is also pretty interesting.

Dexter: Catch up immediately. I don't know how, but start with season one and start getting caught up. I didn't start watching this show from the beginning, but I watched the first three seasons back-to-back within a few days and I was hooked. Start watching this show if you are able to. It's amazing.


How I Met Your Mother: I am not really sure where to put How I Met Your Mother. It is a good comedy about relationships and the interaction within those relationships. It's all a flashback story where future Ted is retelling the story of how he met his wife to his children. Now, along the way to actually getting to that he recalls a ton of other romantic relationships and his interactions with his friends - and their romantic relationships. Not sure if this is what I will be doing in 10 years with my children, but it makes for a pretty funny show. Hopefully, one of these days, we will actually see a glimpse of the actual mother.

Mike & Molly: Sort of an underrated hit that has gotten a little more attention after Melissa McCarthy's role in Bridesmaids blew her up. I was a fan of Billy Gardell in small roles on Yes, Dear and My Name is Earl so it was nice to see him get a starring role. Plus, I really like Reno Wilson, who plays Gardell's partner on the Chicago police force.

2 Broke Girls:  This is a new comedy about pretty much two girls from the opposite ends of life. Caroline has been rich all of her life, but when her father goes to jail for the way he actually got most of their money, she is forced to fend for herself - and actually learn to fend for herself. She gets a job at a diner where she meets Max, a girl that has come from nothing and has learned to live her life without truly having anything. I really enjoy the snarkiness that is Kat Dennings as Max. I am not a huge fan of the actress playing Caroline, but the two together seem to work, so I am willing to accept her.

House: Another show, like Desperate Housewives, that I cannot tell you to start watching if you haven't in the past. This is supposed to be the final season of this franchise. The last few years have been a little crazy as the show tries to change things up from its ailment of the week. It is still a wonderfully written show, the diseases are interesting, and Hugh Laurie does an amazing job.


New Girl: This was one of the new shows I was most excited to see when the new television shows were announced. I really enjoy Zooey Deschanel and I really had high hopes for this show. It is not horrible, but nothing has really jumped out about it either. I am still enjoying Deschanel, but the guys in the show really haven't jumped off the screen yet. I hope it finds its feet, though.

Last Man Standing: The return of Tim Allen to television since the final episode of Home Improvement. This is a little like his old show, but three boys are replaced by three girls. Allen works in an outdoor sporting goods store, and is a bit of a man's man - despite living with four women in his household. So far, I am down with the show. It's pretty funny and is something that you don't see too often anymore - a family oriented show.

Biggest Loser: I have to admit, I was never into watching this show. But, one night I watched it with my wife and we began watching it together ever since. It's pretty interesting to see just how people can let themselves go so far - and how to get themselves back in shape. The show changes itself with every season, whether it be with families, or couples. It also has recently made the change as Jillian Michaels left the show - and Anna Kournikova joined. One thing I am not a fan of is the show's host - Allison Sweeney really annoys me.


CSI: This is the original in the franchise. I started watching the other two in the franchise as well, but last year I decided to drop the other two. Now, I just focus on the original. The show has gone down a bit since the departure of William Petersen - the show was still pretty good, but it needed a new actor to be the focus. Last year they tried Laurence Fishburne, but that didn't work out - now Ted Danson is on the case, which I have enjoyed so far. If you watched before, you may want to come back.

The Middle: Added this to my TiVo mainly because of Neil Flynn, or the Janitor in Scrubs. I thought I at least owed it a chance because of how he made me laugh so much before - but I was hooked. The show revolved around a family that is struggling to get by. They have three children, all with some sort of weird quirks. There's Axl the oldest, who hates school but is athletic - as soon as he is home, though, he immediately walks around in his boxers. Sue is the middle child and wants to be involved in absolutely everything - unfortunately, she has no real ability in anything. Brick is the youngest child, he loves to read, be by himself and whispers words to himself.

Happy Endings: I tossed this on my TiVo because of Eliza Coupe, or Denise from the final two seasons of Scrubs. What I didn't realize as that the gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert would also be in the show. The show is pretty Friends-esque. It revolves around six friends (three guys, three girls) and all of their odd happenings that they do throughout the day. A pretty funny show. Watch this show.

Modern Family: I sort of stayed away from Modern Family even after all of the buzz when it first came on. But, eventually I found myself bored one day and decided to catch up on the show. And, I am glad I did. It's a show that features the family of Jay Pritchett, the patriarch of the family. The show, filmed much like a documentary like The Office, follows Jay's family, including his daughter (her husband and three kids), his son (his husband and adopted daughter), and his new, younger wife (and her son). I have to admit, it can be pretty darn funny - but also has its touching moments that shows just how important family can be.

Survivor: This was my first ever reality show that I watched, and I have stuck with it over all of the years. I am not sure what season exactly it is in - somewhere in the 20s - but I have stayed with the show for the most part (I think I missed the conclusion of two seasons). They are constantly mixing up how they do things which keeps the show interesting - some are horrible ideas (3 person finale) and some are good (hidden immunity idols - and so far redemption island). I may be in the minority, but I enjoy seeing some of the favorites from past seasons return. If anything, they are there because they entertained us. It's the new people who are dumb enough to actually let them win.


Community: I have gushed about this show many times, but again I fear it must be done. This is the best comedy on television, hands down. For some reason this show does not get the viewers that it should. Everything I read about the show has it so highly regarded - and the fan base is rather rabid, so where are the viewers? As I have compared this show before to my beloved Scrubs I fear that it has a particular fan base that just doesn't seem to grow. The only good thing for Community is that it has stayed on the same night during its first three seasons - which is good, so far. Watch this show.

Parks & Recreation: I gave up watching SNL along time ago, which I think was right around the time that Amy Poehler was on. I never really got her comedy, but at times I have enjoyed it. When the show was announced, again I stayed away. I didn't think yet another show like The Office would be able to work. But, I was wrong. Again, I caught up on the show when I was bored and I am glad I did. This show is hilarious - especially the relationship of Andy and April.

The Office: I am not sure when I started watching the show, but I believe I said before that the lone part of the show that I was not a huge fan of was Michael Scott's character. Now, he did grow on me over the years, but I still say the show is more about the other people in the office - and now is their chance to shine that Scott has left. The show still remains funny, but I am hoping for it to branch out a little more - I would love to get to know the other characters even more, especially Creed.

Whitney: This was the one show this season that I was absolutely all-in on from its commercials. It had the guy from the underrated Glory Daze that should have never been canceled, and the up-and-coming hot, new comic in Whitney Cummings. So, I thought this would be the hit, new show. Now, I don't believe it is as horrible and deserves canceling like all of the others out there, but it certainly has been a little bit of a let down. It certainly isn't an absolute, must watch like I was hoping, but it still provides a few laughs each episode - which, for now, is enough for me to keep watching. I do hope it finds a way to get even funnier.

Grey's Anatomy:  OK, I know that some of the shows on this list are - how do I say this? - girly. But, for the most part I got into watching them to spend time with my wife and I got hooked on the show, it happens. This one, however, was totally me. My wife has never watched this show. I started watching it from the beginning and I am still watching it now. I love it. This season has been really good and it continues to toss out great episodes.


Fringe: This show has never truly gotten a fair shake. It has been moved all over the place since its original season. The show originated on Tuesday nights and ran after House which I thought was a beautiful pairing - and the show did pretty well. Then, for some odd reason, FOX moved the show to Thursday night at the exact same time as NBC's comedy block, ABC's Grey's Anatomy and CBS's CSI. Well, the ratings dipped - of course. Now the show has been stranded on the dreaded Friday night, but the good thing is they don't appear to expect much from Friday night shows. All I know is this show is one of the most interesting and well done shows on television. Watch this show.

Okay, so that is my list of Fall television I am currently watching. This list does not include some of the other various shows that I am also watching - it also does not include some shows that have ended their season. I may do another list for the rest of those as well in the future - some are must watch as well.

So, in recap. I don't watch a ton of shows that I am telling you to go watch right now. Shows like House and Desperate Housewives are ending - so no real reason to start watching now, you can catch up later on instant streaming if you want.

If I were to tell you to watch any shows, it would be Community, Dexter, Parks and Recreation, Fringe and Happy Endings. I would also give Last Man Standing, Pan Am and The Middle are shows that I would at least give a chance. Finally, The Office, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother are oldies that continue to impress - so if you left them, come on back to some old friends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/8/11

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II: Of course I will be owning this. It's the capper of one of the greatest sagas in modern history. Saw it twice in the theater and we own all seven films before it - so yeah, we will complete the saga.

The Change-Up: Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, what can go wrong? Apparently a lot. I haven't seen it yet, but I haven't heard very positive things. I will still watch it of course, because I watch all of the crazy comedies. I am sure it has some laughs, that will be enough.

13: This is the second straight Jason Statham movie that has gone straight to DVD that I have posted on this thing. Is he just not a bankable star? He had a few decent hits with The Transporter series and Crank, plus he has been pretty good in a secondary role. Plus, with the addition of 50 Cent, this should be a hit, right?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who? What? Where? #47

Ryan comes through and correctly identifies the person to the left as Johnny Galecki as Jeremy from Hancock.

And, also made me cry with his basketball reference. I miss my NBA.

With that, he retakes his spot previously taken by Nick's huge run. Dylan, however, still remains with a commanding five point lead.

So, good luck to everyone this week. And, so sorry about my absent-mindedness.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #47:

Dylan - 34 points
Jess - 29 points
Matt - 23 points
Ryan "Hatter" McNeil - 23 points
Nick - 21 points
Stevee - 3 points

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesdays With Movies: 11/1/11

Cars 2: OK, I admit it, this film is probably near the bottom of Pixar's film list. I have only seen it once, but it is either this one or Ratatouille that is at the bottom. But, as I said, the bottom of the Pixar pile is still better then a lot of other films. I still enjoyed the film, though, and it was absolutely gorgeous to look at. My son has it coming in the mail as a birthday present - so I will probably watching it about 200 times in the next year, so I better get used to it.

Water for Elephants: I have no interest in this movie, but my wife has wanted to see it since she read the book. I have no idea why she wants to, though, because she always hates the movies of books she likes. Which is why I am of the motto: Why read? If it's any good, they'll make a movie out of it. So, I am never disappointed that a film is of lesser quality then the book it is based off of.

Crazy, Stupid, Love: What is not to like about this film? A great cast and it sure sounds like it was a great comedy. I have enjoyed Emma Stone's film, so I am pretty excited to finally watch this. Plus, it seems that Ryan Gosling is the new, next big thing - and that I will be watching him in about four or five films over the next few months.

Hot Coffee: This was a documentary that was played on HBO. It follows four different court cases, including the McDonald's case where a woman burnt her legs after dropping a cop of hot coffee on them. It looked pretty interesting at the time, and if it comes on streaming I may check it out in the future.