the journey to self enlightenment through television

Category Archives: Movies

I was shocked.  Literally shocked.  To the point where I knew I had to post immediately, but at the same time I couldn’t think of what to say.

Opening up the Internet to open up my email is a common routine for me every morning.  I don’t really read much of what’s on the front page of Yahoo’s site.  But this was the top story.

‘Lost Boys’ Actor Corey Haim Dead in Burbank at 38.

And it could have been drugs.  I don’t think anyone would be surprised if it was drugs, as Haim himself admitted to Larry King that he was “a chronic relapser for life.”  Did he really think he had no hope?  Apparently so.

Haim presented with flulike symptoms up to his death, and was getting over-the-counter meds to battle it. 

Corey Haim had struggled with drug addiction since ‘Lost Boys,’ and Corey Feldman had confessed that Haim’s drug addiction affected both their working and personal relationships.  Their show, The Two Coreys, had been cancelled in 2008 after only 2 seasons.

38 is young.  Very young.  And I know we hadn’t really heard much from Corey Haim in a long while, but it’s still sad.

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were tied into my generation’s adolescence, with movies like Lost Boys, and Lucas, and The Goonies, among many others.

I think I’ll watch The Lost Boys tonite.

Kristen Bell was on George Lopez last night promoting her new movie When In Rome, which opens Friday.  In my house, we refer to her as my tiny blonde girlfriend.  Because, besides Eliza Dushku, she would be the only woman I would turn complete and total lesbian for.


Kristen Bell was on George Lopez last night.  And she did a fantastic interview and plugged her new movie.

What I love about Kristen Bell is that she is so versatile.  She can go from drama to comedy and back again in the blink of an eye, and the change of a channel.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with her resume, before she got a big break with Forgetting Sarah Marshall – on of my favorite movies EVER – she was Veronica Mars, teen detective.  She also had a recurring role as Elle in the third season of Heroes.  But even before she did tv, she was in movies AND on Broadway.  Is there nothing she can’t do?

Check out her wrap sheet here.

George Lopez gave her such an amazing compliment during her interview as well.  He commented on her ease with comedic roles, and referred to her as a modern day Lucille Ball.  He couldn’t have been more right on point in saying that.  She excels at both the physical comedy and the subtle comedy, and can play dramatic roles when the time calls for it.

I’m TOTALLY looking forward to seeing When In Rome, and perhaps Chriso will want to go see it opening night.  But we must see it soon.  And how can I not want to see it with this description:

An ambitious young New Yorker, disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to Rome where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of those who threw them in: a sausage magnate, a street magician, an adoring painter and a self-admiring model. But, when a charming reporter pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing?

So, the long and short of everything I just wrote are three things:

  1. I love Kristen Bell.  And I’m pretty sure if I mentioned the tiny blonde girlfriend thing to her, we would be in stalker territory.  So I’ll keep that to myself.
  2. Kristen Bell is a modern day Lucille Ball, versatile and the epitome of an amazing comedic actress.
  3. When In Rome opens this Friday.  Go see it.

The movie-making process is one that seems to take forever.  Okay, not really forever, but it certainly takes a REALLY long time.  Years, in fact.  Often, when you hear of a new movie being announced, it’s at least 2 or 3 years in advance.  Pretty rarely will it be less than that.  

Seriously.  Do you remember when Iron Man was released into the movie theaters?  There was an immediate announcement about The Avengers being on the horizon for 2011, which, at the time (2008) was 3 years out.  And that is totally understandable.  With HUGE budgets, it’s no surprise that with casting, filming, stunt coordinating, and everything else involved that a movie would take a really long time in production.  It even takes some time in post-production, where some of the magic happens, like the editing and the piecing the film together and the music, and everything else.

So, movies take a long time to produce.

I start off this way to point out that movies take a LONG time to produce.  Even documentaries.  Simply because there needs to be a lapse of time.  Research needs to be done, interviews, and then there’s still post-production where the everything fits together to make the movie that we finally see.

So, WHY does anyone care about how long it takes movies to be made?

Because Michael Jackson will soon star in his very own, post-death documentary.

That’s right.  Because we can’t leave well enough alone.

Sony has allegedly bought the rights to “This Is It,” a movie on the last tour Michael Jackson was scheduled to do, also titled “This Is It.”

And what’s more?  The movie is tentatively scheduled to be released on October 30 of this year.  AND there are going to be 3D sequences!!! Because who doesn’t want to see Michael Jackson in 3D???  Seriously.

So, gentle readers, what I’m telling you is this: Not 4 months after the pop star’s death, there is going to be a movie about his last days.  Okay, maybe not so much his last days… but certainly about his preparation for his last tour.  AND his mother got final approval of the contracts, meaning that nothing can appear in the documentary that would make MJ look bad.  Now, despite that fact, you KNOW there’s going to be something misinterpreted, and MJ is going to look like a thundering lunatic.  But that’s just my own personal opinion.  Or maybe not.

I’m sorry, but this is something that just should not happen.

I appreciated his music.  A lot of people did.  And there’s been sooooo many movies and Behind the Music stories about him and his family.  Do we REALLY need another one?  Apparently so.

But I honestly think this is ridiculous.  But you know something?  It’s going to make billions.  And there’s no reason it shouldn’t.

It’s going to be like the car wreck that you sat in traffic for over 3 hours before you finally realized it was a car wreck, only to piss off the people behind you because you finally see what the big deal was and even though there’s lots of blood and guts everywhere and it looks like a scene from some bloody movie, you can’t help but stare until you don’t have a choice but to keep driving because the people behind you are honking so much so they can do the exact same thing once they pull up alongside the accident.  Yes.  That is exactly what it is.

I’m a bit on the fence, though, as to whether or not I want to actually see it.  I am a little squeamish, and I’m not one for blood.  But then again, can you help but stare at it?

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?       

Apparently so. 

Now, I’m not against the idea of a new Buffy movie, but the idea of Joss Whedon not being involved and the idea of none of the original characters and the original mythology… Not cool.

But, then again, are we really giving it a chance?

According to the New York Times, Kuzui Enterprises, who has owned the franchise since the 1992 flop, has been tossing around the idea that there would be a guardian and a Slayer and a Watcher, etc.  If that’s the case, and you want to continue the mythology, be my guest.  I can see no harm in continuing the mythology and creating different characters and telling new stories.  But don’t call it a “buffy” movie.  It’s not Buffy.  It never has been.  It never will be.  Perhaps it could be a spinoff, but it will never be the real thing.

And Joss’s response to all this madness?  “I hope it’s cool.” 

That was a very diplomatic response.  But then again, Joss has never been one to openly bash other creator’s projects and ideas.  I’m sure he has feelings on the matter, but none that he will ever share with us.  And that’s fine.  He’s a classy guy.  He doesn’t need to bash other creators.  He knows he did well with Buffy, and  that is that.

In light of this month’s almost-summer-blockbusters like Star Trek and the Terminator, you can do movies without the original main characters.  The difference between those movies and a potential Buffy movie is that Star Trek has been on for 40 years, and the idea of original characters not being involved is not a foreign one.  It was a cult classic in later years, and the idea of having someone play Spock differently because Leonard Nimoy was a little too old to be doing it is not a bad thing.

But Sarah Michelle Gellar is not too old.  Buffy hasn’t been on for 40 years.  And the fans are both young enough and old enough to remember and appreciate the original.  There are no factors that I can see that would warrant a new Buffy movie without the original series creator, or the original characters or the same story.

And really… where would Buffy be without the relatable storylines, insane love triangles, in-depth and interwoven mythology and great one-liners?  What would Buffy be without the characters we’ve come to know and love?  Where would Buffy be without Joss? 

And to show my dedication to the series, the characters, the actors and the stories, I am going  to dedicate the next 7 days worth of posts to being Buffy-specific. 

And just an FYI:

If it doesn’t look like Buffy, smell like Buffy, and make you laugh like Buffy, then it’s not Buffy.

End rant.

V. Mars

V. Mars

I can’t believe I waited so long to blog about this. 

A Veronica Mars movie. 

Actually, it’s funny.  I got a text from my friend B, who was converted into a VM fan when Barnes & Noble had their buy one get one half price DVD sale awhile back.  She had been the one to break the news.  And I was excited, but stored the information in the back of my brain until I read something about it yesterday. 

So Rob Thomas is taking his free time – after his show Cupid failed – to write a script for the VM movie, starring the one and only Kristen Bell.  It is rumored that Jason Dohring and Enrico Colantoni have already been approached and have signed on to star alongside Bell.

Also, the movie may take place days before her college graduation, rather than when she gets in with the FBI, as the formerly potential 4th season pilot would have suggested. 

I must say, I am very excited about the possibility.  I absolutely love Kristen Bell, so seeing her in anything is great.  But seeing her as the original sassy detective would be bliss.

There’s no real time frame as to when we should expect Veronica to hit the big screen.  But needless to say, I will be waiting patiently.

…One complete person.  I’m thinking tat’s going to be my theme for this year. 

Hello, again, Gentle Readers!  It’s certainly been awhile since I last posted.  And quite a lot has happened between then and now.  Certainly in a lot of areas.

Yesterday, a new President was inaugurated into office.  American Idol is back on the air, along with 24… Face it.  The world is changing.

I just wanted to check in, Gentle Readers, as it has indeed been awhile.  And I miss blogging daily.

But you see, I haven’t been watching as much TV as I once did.  I’ve been spending more time out and away from the television, and the computer (except for work, of course), and I’ve been reading, and working on music and spending time with the people I care about. 

I’ve also been to a few really good movies.  Not at all like the summer of movies I had last year… but some seriously GOOD movies.  7 Pounds, Slum Dog Millionaire, and Gran Tourino were all excellent and awesome and heartbreaking, and oh-so-incredible.  Next up on the docket is probably going to be that new Kevin James movie, Mall Cop.  Why?  Because I love Kevin James, it looks funny, AND parts of the movie were filmed at the Burlington Mall, which just so happens to be a few towns over both from where I work and where I live.  Yup.  That’s right.  I was THAT close to Kevin James.  And didn’t even know it.

Moving along… I did want to take this opportunity to whore myself out for the sake of the band  promote the band Chriso (the not-so-new boyfriend) is in.  They call themselves The Free Jailbirds.  And they have a CD.  Which I put together – well, not the recording part of it, but I put the songs on the CDs and put them in pretty cases.  So there!  Just call me Band Photographer and Executive Assistant.  I’ve got mad skills!

So please, please, PLEASE check them out here and leave some love.   Please, Gentle Readers.  I don’t ask much of you, so this shouldn’t be too difficult a task.  Just check out The Free Jailbirds, become their friend on Myspace, and show them some love.  Or at least comment on SOMETHING!

The Lord lives up in heaven, the devil lives in hell.  You and me, we live the best we can.  Move over Billy Sunday!  Move over Billy Graham!  Make way for a new-fangled Preacher man!

As far as obsessions go, this is probably the most culturally entertaining to me.  I’ll start by saying this:  I grew up as the middle child, and product of an interracial relationship, so there was always emphasis being put on knowing my roots and where I came from.  So it should come as no surprise that shows like Sanford & Son, the Jeffersons, and miniseries like Roots have been prevalent in both my entertainment and my education.

One thing in particular that I found satisfying growing up was a musical written by Ossie Davis called Purlie Victorious.  It was originally written and performed in 1963, and of course has remade a few times, and even made it to Broadway for a brief stint.  However, the production of this particular musical that stands out in my mind (and probably a lot of others minds as well) is the 1981 production, starring Melba Moore, Sherman Hemsley, and Robert Guilluame.

It had aired in 1981 on PBS, and my parents, being as awesome as they were, thought to record it on VHS… and voila!  We had a copy of it.  And it died.  After years and years, eventually the VHS pretty much started getting normal wear and tear.  I made a feeble attempt a few years back to take what they had on VHS and transfer it to DVD, but the quality was incredibly poor – although, I’m pretty sure that copy is still floating around my parents house somewhere. 

So, I woke up this morning with the soundtrack stuck in my head.  And immediately downloaded it in iTunes to put on my iPhone (3G baby!!!), and began scouring the internet for either a good condition VHS copy of Purlie, or a DVD version that someone thought to transfer.  And I found both… but at no small cost.

Initially, Amazon has a seller that has a mint copy of Purlie on VHS.  The cost?  $200.  I’m sorry, but that’s a little bit much.  If it came down to it, I might buy it… but I don’t want it that badly.  The second copy I was able to found was listed on eBay, but immediately after I clicked the link, the auction was ended with the Buy It Now option.  Color me annoyed.  5 minutes earlier and I could have had it for about $150 less than the Amazon seller.

Now, I’ve got my eyes wide open and I’m on the lookout for Purlie on VHS or DVD.  I’m not picky.  If I can find it on VHS, I have the know-how and the equipment to transfer it to DVD… but if I did find the DVD, it would save me a step.

Honestly, aside from the Wizard of Oz, which was a huge childhood favorite, this is one of my favorite movies/stage plays/musicals of all times.  The music is so rich and vibrant, and soulful.  And the story is really incredible.  It definitely gives a better look into a different place and time.  And it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to the score. 

In the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, a Southern plantation owner holds his sharecroppers in virtual slavery.  Purlie comes home as a Preacher who will shake things up and bring freedom to his people.

How much more inspiring can it get?  What I absolutely love about this story is the underlying love story about the woman who is going to help Purlie release the “virtual slaves,” who is inspired by sucha man willing to do anything for his convictions.  Purlie had always been the type of person to go after anything and everything.  Taught himself how to read and write… and really wanted to go out there and so something.  Yup, I’m inspired.

Therein lies my obsession, gentle readers.  I just hope to find it soon, so I can get this out of my system… and put it on my iPod.  🙂

I was going to write this post yesterday, but, you see, gentle readers, we were kicked for using the internet yesterday for non-related-work-things.  Pfft!  How else am I supposed to spend my day if I’m not blogging?  Certainly by doing actual work…

Anyway.  If there is any holiday that has awesome movies, it’s Christmas.  I’m not sure why, but Christmas movies are among my favorite movies ever.  If they were on TV all year, I would probably stop and watch them.  They are always a little upbeat and always have a nice little messages and really just give you that tingly feeling inside – because, hey!  it’s Christmas.

So, gentle readers, I give you my list – in no particular order- of my 7 favorite Christmas movies of all time.  And hopefully, this will help people get into the spirit.

1.  Home Alone and Home Alone 2 – I saw the first one in the movie theater when I was 8.  My best friend and I had taken our moms to the movies on New Years Day that year, and it was actually a lot of fun.  Other than the fond memories I have about this movie, I really think that what better way to celebrate Christmas than to spend it alone?  Or at least wish your family was gone.  Seriously, who hasn’t succumbed to holiday stress and wished their loved ones far away to an island somehwere so whatever needs to be done can get done, and they can come back later to have an enjoyable remainder of the holiday?  The message?  As much as you can’t stand your family, and as much as they stress you out, they are still your family, and the holidays are meant to be spent with them.

2.  A Muppet Christmas Carol – Seriously, who doesn’t love Muppets???  I know I do.  I was first introduced to this movie when my mom had bought it as our “Christmas Tree decorating movie.”  Every year, usually the second week in December, my family brings home a tree and we get Chinese food and decorate while watching a different Christmas movie.  What better way to get in the spirit…  I honestly can’t remember ever enjoying the story of A Christmas Carol, and I know my mom is quite partial to the 1938 version in existence.  But there is something about having Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat narrate and watching them travel through and witness the story as it’s happening.  Oh, and Michael Caine as Scrooge?  Awesome!

3.  Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas – I remember watching this in Nickelodeon when it first aired many years ago.  It was a similar to the muppets, but they simply had a different name.  What I loved about this story was that a boy wanted more than anything to do something for his mom, and the mother wanted the same for her son, so they end up selling their prized possessions to get a gift for the other…  It’s a classic story of selflessness, and it’s cute too.

4.  A Charlie Brown Christmas – I don’t know how many times this poor kid needs to be kicked in the ass.  Every time we see poor Charlie Brown, he basically has the world telling him how much he sucks, and how nobody likes him.  But aside from good ol’ Chuck being a buzzkill for all the other kids’ fun, I love the Christmas music from this one.  It’s very classic, and very Christmasy, and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without it.

5.  Elf – Will Ferrell is one funny guy.  He’s not funny in everything.  There are certainly areas where I feel he shines more.  And Elf was one of those movies that makes me die every time.  Every time Buddy gets excited he screams and really gets excited.  He’s new in town and everything is shiny and new.  And of course, there’a girl.  But this is definitely one of  those movies to add to your Christmas movie marathon list.

6.  Christmas Vacation — I hate Chevy Chase with a passion.  Almost as much as I hate Nicholas Cage.  I pretty much want nothing to do with any of the movies either of them are in.  And I blame my ex for this one.  One of his favorite movies to watch at the first snowfall was Christmas Vacation.  And I’ll admit, after giving it a chance, it’s a pretty funny movie – Chevy Chase aside.  It’s the classic Murphy’s Law for Christmas’s with the family.  If something can go wrong, it will.  Now that’s the Christmas spririt.

7.  A Christmas Story — You’ll shoot your eye out!  This movie has been played for 24 hours straight for at least the last decade or more.  Originally aired over 25 years ago, this is one of things that really stood the test of time and probably won’t disappearing any time soon.  I think I’ve only seen this movie from beginning to end in one sitting only once.  And that is the benefit to watching “24 hours of a Christmas Story”… no matter where you leave off, you can always pick it up again in a little while, and it doesn’t matter if you watch it out of order, because it WILL come around again.  It’s funny and stupid all at the same time.  How can you not enjoy this movie?

Do you have any favorite Christmas movies, gentle readers?

… Who wasn’t completely taken aback by the Twilight movie?  Because it really feels that way.  Every blog I read, every review… they all talk about how incredible the movie was, and how they can’t wait for more.

Okay, I’m there.  The movie was great, and I can’t wait for the sequels so I can see how they are going to deal with certain storylines, and it kept right in step with the books.  So, for those things, I am pleased.  But I still can’t help but feel disappointed with the movie.  As much as I loved it, and as good as it was, I was not as impressed as I thought I would be.

Should I have seen it with fresh eyes, and not read the books first?  Should I have gone with someone who was more excited than myself to maybe try to get more into it?  Should I have not been so distracted?

I had ventured to Twilight alone, which was part of the plan, until W volunteered to go.  Unfortunately, W was pulled away unexpectedly, and my weekend suddenly became wide open.  So, I ventured alone.  And what I got was two hours of by the book story, a cute leading man and a movie ticket stub to add to my collection.

Seriously, though.  I devoured the books.  It maybe took me a month to read all of them (if you take into account that I had read the first three in the span of two weeks, and the fourth didn’t come out for another month or more at the time).  But I devoured them.  It was like drugs to an addict, I needed more.  And i was dead set on not seeing the movie because how could the movie possibly live up to the books…? 

And I will tell you this: the movie was excellent.  Incredible.  Fantastic, even.  There were even times where what I saw onscreen was EXACTLY what I had pictured in my head months ago while reading the books.  Kudos to the director, Catherine Hardwicke, for having that vision.  And don’t get me wrong.  I LOVED the movie.  But I honestly think I was more than a little preoccuppied with the lack of W to truly enjoy it.  So, once I’m in a better headspace, I’ll see it again, and will probably love it even more.

So, since there has been fuel thrown on the fire, I have decided to read the series again… to get my Twilight fix. 

Okay, so right down to the nitty gritty…


  • The chemistry between Bella and Edward, or Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, respectively.  They absolutely SCREAMED chemistry onscreen, which was excellent.  They really made the story come alive.
  • The Cullens.  They are suave, and sleek and almost certainly what I had imagined when I read  the story.  And my favorite Cullen?  Alice.  Alice has always been my favorite, but seeing her come to life (or death, rather) was incredible.  She had this charm and childlike wonder about her, while being highly enlightened at the same time.  It was fantastic.

What I didn’t like:

  • I honestly don’t think there was anything to not like about this movie, other than the fact that there is a need for immediate gratification, and a desire to see more… RIGHT NOW.  But other than that, there really wasn’t anything to dislike.

My conclusion, as not impressed as I was, this movie at least deserves a second viewing.  And possibly a third, or a fourth.

I’m not entirely sure I would call this an Independent flick, but it certainly wasn’t something that was mainstream.

W and I had spent the day puttering around Cambridge, walking through Harvard, checking out the museum, and a non-maintream movie seemed to be the perfect way to end the day.  So we hiked over to the Kendall Square movie theater and got tickets for Rachel Getting Married.

“Rachel Getting Married” is a contemporary “drama with an aggressive sense of humor” about the return of an estranged daughter to the family home for her sister’s wedding. Kym’s reemergence throws a wrench into the family dynamics, forcing long-simmering tensions to surface in ways both hilarious and heartbreaking. “Rachel Getting Married” paints a colorful, nuanced family portrait.

Believe it or not, I am not the world’s biggest fan of Anne Hathaway, who plays the estranged Kym.  I’ve always seen her in bubbly roles, which sometimes can nauseate.  Now, that has nothing to do with her acting skills, it is simply my preference for movie.  So, it came as quite a surprise to see Hathaway in such a different role.  And let me tell you, she was unbelievable.

I was also quite surprised by the depth of this movie.  I hadn’t really thought it was going to be one of those don’t have to think about it movies, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what I got.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

For me, I had a difficult time trying to place the movie in a particular time period.  It had all the makings of a modern day movie, taking place in maybe the late 90’s or even the 2000s, but often times it felt like it should have been a 60’s or 70’s flick.  And I think the only reason I was able to debunk the 60’s/70’s vibe early on was the fact that the situations seemed more progressive than they would have 30 or 40 years ago.

What I found fascinating was the fact that Rachel was marrying a black musician, and there was no emphasis at all put on that relationship.  The families mixed and accepted each other as if they had known each other all their lives.  However, there was quite a bit of emphasis on the different cultures, which was brought out beautifully by the very diverse wedding ceremony.

The director did an excellent job framing the shots from scene to scene.  At times, it felt as though you were right there in the scene waiting to say something, and other times, it had the feel of a documentary.  It was not complex and at the same time, it was very involved. 

I honestly don’t know what else I can say about this movie other than it was probably the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.   And if you don’t believe me, check out the trailer below.  And also, I think it’s one of those movies that deserves a second, even a third… heck, maybe eve more, viewings.  I can’t wait til it’s released on DVD.