31 December 2011

Baloney & Cereal Twenty-Eleven Sillies: Music

I tend to become obsessed with songs about 3 years after they're popular.  To whit, my current playlist includes:

"Forever" - Drake
"Black Sheep" - Metric
"We're In This Together" - Nine Inch Nails

Actual current music that I enjoyed this year?

Adele, 21, particularly "Turning Tables" and "Set Fire to the Rain."

Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, which totally counts as a 2011 album because that's the year it won awards, and it's still getting nominated even though it came out in 2009.  I love singing along to their songs, all the more so because Mike can't stand them.

Florence + The Machine, Ceremonials.  Go ahead and don't sing along to "Shake It Out."

Foo Fighters, Wasting Light, still making awesome rock music.

The best (and only) concerts I attended this year: Linkin Park and Rush!  Yeah, I'm hella current.

Baloney & Cereal Twenty-Eleven Sillies: TV

As always, I'm waiting til the last minute to try to catch a couple more movies before I can give my Top Whatever list.  But TV is my live-in boyfriend, and I can safely give my list now.  Though I'm still worried I've forgotten something....



1. Breaking Bad.  There's TV, and then there's Breaking Bad.  Honestly, it's in a class by itself in terms of writing, acting, and visuals.  2011 was awesome solely because it's the year I finally caught up on this show.  There's a reason it's on everyone's Best Of All-Time TV Ever Ever Ever lists.  If you haven't watched it yet, there's plenty of time to catch up.  Do it.  I've already seen the first 3 seasons 3 times and the most recent one twice.  Is that wrong?  No.  And if you catch up now, you get to watch them all in a row without having to wait a week to a year between episodes; it's the best way to do it.  Do it.

2. Justified.  So excited this is coming back in a matter of days!!  It is some badass, cool TV, and Timothy Olyphant is wonderful.  Looking forward to hearing the awesome dialogue again!

3. Parks & Recreation.  You know what this list has going for it so far?  The best casts - and characters - on television.  Every single character on Parks & Rec is awesome and I want to hug them all every week.  This is the only show guaranteed to leave me smiling every week.  Yes, it is literally funnier than Community.

4. Homeland.  Holy crap, this was some awesome TV.  Think 24 in terms of the terrorism angle, but it's different.  Week to week you're not sure who the good guys and bad guys are.  Claire Danes is so amazing on this show and if she doesn't win an Emmy, the world sucks.  She gets crazier as the season goes on and it's wonderful to watch.  Mandy Patinkin is also awesome -- and those are words I never thought I'd say.

5. Community.  Whereas I find Parks & Rec to be laugh-out-loud funnier, this show is crazy-funny.  I can't believe the stuff they get away with.  An episode devoted to several different possible timelines?  Craziness!  It's the kind of bold comedy that is not destined to last long, but at least we'll have a few seasons to rewatch once it's gone.

6.  Game of Thrones.  A series I was not expecting to like as much as I did.  It's not normally the kind of thing I'd go for, but it's another collection of awesome characters and stories.  I really loved this show, and was surprised by it.

7. Tosh.0.  OK, this is actually the most laugh-out-loud-funny show on TV.

8. Fringe.  I miss my show; it's still both bold and good fun.  Multiple universes, timelines, versions of characters - gotta love it.  This season added Lincoln Lee to the cast of characters and I couldn't be happier.  Unless they brought back Charlie.

9. Sons of Anarchy.  I finally caught up on this show this year, and loved it.  This year's season wasn't the best, but it's still better than most of the crap on TV.  It's ambitious and ballsy and badass.  I really loved the second season and hope the white supremacists make their way back to the show.  Here again we have a lot of great characters; I especially love Opie and Tig.

10. Sherlock.  This was a quick little 3-part British mini-series, but it's coming back in 2012 too.  It's a modern-day retelling of the Sherlock Holmes characters and it's excellent.  And who doesn't love Martin Freeman in anything?  I'll tell you who - Communists.

These Shows Really Suck But I Used To Love Them And So Help Me God The Shows Listed Above Better Not End Up Like Them: Chuck and The Office.  They are mostly painful to watch now, and I don't know why I'm sticking with them, other than I never surrender!

29 December 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


It's hard for me to give a full review for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows -- because I kept falling asleep during it.  I guess that should be my review: I give it 3-4 cat naps.

It can't be all the movie's fault - I was sleepy (per usual) and had just eaten lunch.  Get my old ass in a darkened movie theater in those conditions and it's all over.

So, given that I was falling asleep, especially in the beginning, I am no judge of plot.  It seems to me there wasn't one, but I likely dozed off during any explanations/rationales.  What I did enjoy were the visuals and the Robert Downey, Jr., which is exactly what I enjoyed about the first movie anyway.  I was disappointed that Professor Moriarty was highly under-utilized.  I mean, I qualify that remark with the fact that I kept falling asleep, but I highly doubt I slept during all his good parts.  I love me some Jared Harris and I love me the idea that Moriarty is Sherlock's toughest opponent, but I just didn't feel that here.  At all.

The movie's not a total waste -- I felt a little more refreshed when it was all over.  Til it was time for a proper nap anyway.

Top Chef: Texas: Times Two

Time to catch-up on the holiday DVR backup.... And nothing like reheating pizza in the oven whilst watching chefs hustle to cook their asses off.

Quickfire Challenge: Make a dish that pairs with a chosen tequila. I'm not a tequila person, but I had an amazing blueberry/basil margarita in Disney Mexico on Christmas that I'm still dreaming about.  Ty-Lör and his dumb name wins.

Elimination Challenge: They get paired up randomly and Beverly and Heather are a team.  And they hate each other.  Awesome.  Each team has to cook a chosen game dish, all of their fellow cheftestants will also be judges, and both losing team members will be sent home.  Come on, drama!  Tragically, it's all pretty effing dull.  Until Judges' Table, when Heather says Beverly sucks and throws her under the bus for the last challenge, which makes no sense because 1) they're on the same team and will both be sent home and 2) she's talking about last week.  STFU, dummy.

Winners: Ed and Ty-Lör.

Bye-bye:  Dakota and Nyesha for their (really, Dakota's) undercooked venison.  Boooooooo.  I loved both of them!  On the plus side, Beverly and Heather have to go home together.

On to the next one, when the show moves to Austin....

Quickfire Challenge: Make a dish based on live Tweets that are shouted-out by Padma and Tom. They start out making something with bacon, then they have to make a hash to accompany their dish, then incorporate an ingredient that is handed to you by a fellow cheftestant.  Paul wins.  Twitter still stinks.

Elimination Challenge: Make a dish to honor your culinary inspiration, with guest judges Patti LaBelle and Emeril.  Time for a lot of crying over grandparents, and some amazing-looking Korean braised short ribs from Beverly.  Hungry.

Winner: Sarah for her sausage-stuffed cabbage rolls.

Bye-bye: Heather for over-cooked meat.  Ha, bitch - Beverly beat you!  It's a sad day when I'm actually siding with Beverly....

28 December 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I went into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo knowing generally what it was about, but not having read the books (duh - requires effort).  I also decided not to watch the Swedish movies in advance, because I'm an American, goddammit. I'll get to watching the original version of this first one eventually, for comparison's sake.

This is a great movie.  And for something billed as "The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas" I didn't find it all that dark and depressing.  But I'm a sick puppy.  If anything - and this is probably a hella un-PC thing to say - I thought Lisbeth Salander was a kickass action hero!!  After watching the movie, I just wanted to yell at guys and kick their asses. Is that wrong?  Even the way it was shot, I thought she was sometimes framed as a superhero.  Like one shot in particular where an elevator door closes and she has her hoodie up.  I don't know, that's just the vibe I got.  She should join the Avengers.

Anyway, you've got a 100% David Fincher movie - dark, very cool and stylized - with a perfect Trent Reznor score.  Loved it.  Really loved it.

But one nagging question -- Why is my man Joel Kinnaman (Holder from The Killing) in it for 4.5 seconds and with one glorified-extra line?  I guess every Swedish actor was obligated to appear in this movie.  That was hella disappointing.  Can I assume he has more to do in the sequels?  Let's hope!

17 December 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Full disclosure (a/k/a: obvious statement of the year): I hate Tom Cruise as much as I love Jeremy Renner.  I generally avoid Cruise movies, except the action/blockbuster ones.  I'll admit he makes a decent action movie, I just don't want to see him trying to act or in a romantic comedy.  Shut up and run from explosions, dick.  In the case of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, I likely would have seen it, Renner notwithstanding.  I mean, I've seen the rest of the M:I movies, I love Paula Patton because she's gorgeous AND looks like she can kick some ass, and Simon Pegg is always a joy to behold.  But so is Jeremy Renner, in all his IMAX glory.  And so this movie had to be seen - and just in time for an early birthday present!

First of all, if you're wondering, this movie is totally worth seeing in IMAX.  And I don't mean the "IMAX" you get at some mall movie theater - I mean the real thing, mostly found in science museums.  (I'm lucky enough to have one in Fort Lauderdale.)  There are enough scenes in this movie that are shot in IMAX to make it worth the price of admission.  It's worth it for the Dubai/Burj Khalifa scenes alone.  I hate heights almost as much as I hate Tom Cruise, but watching him dangle from the world's tallest building was so-nausea-inducing-it's-awesome. 

I'm not going to pretend the plot - or the dialogue - here is groundbreaking.  I'd venture to say it made its way into soap-opera territory on an occasion or two.  But if you like chases and spying and high-tech, never-in-a-million-years-is-that-possible gadgets, you'll love it.

Director Brad Bird is sure to go on and make 100 epically kickass action films.  Up til now, he's made animation, like The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He takes that animation spirit - including the crazy, over-the-top action - and does the same, only this time with real people.  And somehow it works.  I mean, it's crazy, most of the stuff that's done in this movie, but A) no crazier than loads of other action films, including the others in this franchise and B) it's fun to watch.  So who the hell cares. Ethan Hunt and his team are Superman and James Bond rolled into one.  Just go with it.

Seeing it in IMAX also meant seeing the sneak preview of The Dark Knight Rises beforehand.  I had been warned in advance that Bane was hard to understand, and I'm glad I was.  Because knowing that made me pay extra attention.  Not to say that I caught everything - and I know for sure I missed whatever the quippy, tagline thing was supposed to be - but it wasn't awful.  They need to fix that stuff with looping - here's hoping they do.  Then again, these are the filmmakers who thought it was OK to have Batman growl in a weird voice, so maybe they like having an unintelligible Bane.

The airplane sequence they showed in the preview was amazing - and also great to see in IMAX - but otherwise, I didn't get a lot out of the preview.  It'll be awesome, I'm sure of it.  I don't need to see a scene to reassure me of that.  Oh - one thing that was cool was that Aidan Gillen was in the preview.  He was awesome in The Wire and Game of Thrones, and it reminded me of how William Fichtner was in the IMAX preview we saw for The Dark Knight.  A kickass character actor in a little part generally means the movie is going to be awesome.

08 December 2011

Top Chef: Texas

Quickfire Challenge: Each of the chefs has to create a dish that uses a randomly-assigned sauce.  No one had gravy.  I call shenanigans.  Grayson, my girlfriend, wins.  And she should have - she used to be a saucier.

Elimination Challenge: Work as a team to create a 4-course steak dinner for 200 guests.  Ty-Lör bleeds all over his steaks, gets 4 stitches, and has an awful, fakely-spelled name.  Guarantee it's not on his birth certificate like that. 

Shocker: these idiots can't cook and serve the meat properly and mostly everything else is a big mess too.  I want Beverly and Heather to stay on this show forever because Heather hates Beverly as much as I do, and calls her on everything.  I love it.

Winner: Heather for the cake.  The cake recipe she has used before -- and stolen from Chinese Kentucky Ed.

Bye-Bye: Whitney, for botching a potato gratin I could have made in my sleep.  Dumbass.  It seemed like Tom was ready to send Whitney, Ed, and Ty-Lör home.  He probably should have.

01 December 2011

Top Chef: Texas

On the show's drive to Dallas, they're pulled over by State Troopers... and here comes your Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish using ingredients from an emergency-survival kit.  They have to cook in the middle of a field, and there's not much in the way of utensils and only little camping stoves.  Lindsay wins with her "soup and sandwich" - using Vienna Sausages and a "club sandwich" made with Saltines instead of bread.

Elimination Challenge: Create a course for a progressive dinner party, some douchey thing that neighbors who like each other do - move from house to house eating a different course in each one.  The houses are crazy-big and the husbands are all ugly as hell, so clearly they have money and these are their high-maintenance trophy wives.  Ick.  I'm not trying to watch The Real Housewives of Dallas here, goddammit.

A lot of the appetizers look great -- except for Chris's nasty thing that's supposed to look like a burning cigar.  Stop trying to be cute about it.  I want the artichokes and the Brussels sprouts like mad.

The entrees are all pretty standard and boring.  Now it's time for the desserts, which are always death on this show. Blonde Chris serves mint chocolate chip ice cream with a strawberry/banana cupcake?  Really!?  A couple desserts make it in the Top Four, along with my artichokes and Brussels sprouts.

Winner: Paul for those amazing Brussels sprouts.  I'm hungry.

Bye-bye: Chuy for some overcooked salmon.  Now that's some BS!!  I love him and either of the Chrises and their nastiness needed to go!

Revelation of the Day: Blonde Chris used to be a fat douche.  Now he's just a douche.

27 November 2011

Top Chef: Texas

Quickfire Challenge: Create a dish highlighting a chili pepper.  The hotter the pepper you choose, the more money you could win.  But you could also burn your judges' tongues off.  The Asian dude goes for the hottest pepper and wins $20,000 for it.

Elimination Challenge: It's a Chili Cookoff, bitches!  It's a team challenge -- and they can cook all night at their house.  Cooking at the house means fighting over cooking surfaces and pans.  It also means some people get to kick it in the pool while their meat braises.

There's a lot of good-looking, different chilis - one with corn/avocado salsa, one made with braised brisket and short ribs.  

Winners: Chuy, Sarah, and Chris.

Losers: Beverly, Nyesha, and Richie.  They get the opportunity to - individually - turn that chili around and make it into something good in 30 minutes.  Tragically, Beverly is successful.

Bye-bye: Richie.  Awww, how sad.  I liked him.  But he has awful facial hair.  So it's not a total loss.

18 November 2011

Fringe

Freak of the Week: Man is attacked by an invisible force that turns him into an albino.  A dead albino.  This invisible man uses his victims' pigment to become visible, then fades to invisible again.  I'm thinking that if he wants to make it more permanent, he should be killing a few black people.  Even just Broyles might do it.  Just sayin'.

Olivia's getting migraines and is on some kind of medication.  She and Lincoln engage in some late-night-diner bonding.  Meanwhile, Broyles has assigned a bodyguard/nanny to Peter - and Peter gets to live in his old house and gets a $200/week allowance!  Peter's working on his machine so he can get his sweet ass back to where it belongs.  He wants his Olivia back.

As a child, the invisible guy was a subject of genetic testing (done by a subsidiary of Massive Dynamic) that essentially turned him into a giant chameleon.   Walter does some experiments and makes himself an invisible mouse, determining that it's visible under ultraviolet light. They hunt the dude down and he dies - that's pretty much the long and short of his story.  It was about an invisible guy who just wanted to be seen.

In related news, Olivia thinks her childhood drug trials led to her having stunted emotions.  She thinks it's weird that Fringe-y things don't bother her like they probably should.

Olivia is prepping for a 3 AM date with Lincoln when a gas fills her apartment, knocking her out.  Men enter and do some kind of procedure (taking something, injecting her with something, I'm not sure)... and Nina is with them.  Nina's bad!

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He eats onion rings during a remote autopsy.  Double dipped in beer batter, I think he said.  Mmmm.

This Week's Code: DAVID.  Who the eff is David!?

The show doesn't come back until mid-January some time, but when it does, it's time for Peter to cross over to the Other Universe to look for some answers.  The return of Alternate Lincoln Lee!!  YES!

17 November 2011

Top Chef: Texas Times Two

We resume the Qualifying Challenge with Group 3, which includes a chef from Sra. Martinez, one of my favorite restaurants.  The chefs choose a plate that has one (very tame) ingredient and one hidden (and likely gross) ingredient.  But the hidden ingredient isn't an ingredient at all - it's a timer.  They have to execute what they've chosen within their allotted time which, of course, isn't as long as they wanted.

Making it to the competition from this group:  Cute Asian Dude, Blonde Pixie, and Overachieving Type-A Asian Chick.

Now it's time for the 500th Qualifying Challenge of a competition that hasn't even officially started yet.  The "on the bubble" people get to cook whatever the hell they want.  There's a lot of seafood in that joint.

Making it to the competition from this group: The Only Asian Guy In Kentucky and The Plus-Sized Model I'm In Love With.

Time for the next episode.

Quickfire Challenge: Rattlesnake.  Oh good lord.   The Aging Goth Chick (Dakota) wins.  I like her.

Elimination Challenge: In 2 teams, the chefs cook for a Quinceañera.  The girl is a surprisingly good little food critic.

You know who's going to be the death of me?  The Overachieving Type-A Asian Chick.  She's like Reese Witherspoon from Election.  On cocaine.  She mentions wanting to prove to her father that a daughter can do just as much as a son.  Daddy issues much?  And she literally went up to the meat department in Whole Foods and was all, "Excuse me, I have the most important dish here, I need assistance."  And she wasn't kidding!  She's going to be annoying as hell, but you know what's going to be awesome?  When she gets smacked back down and loses.  That'll be priceless.

The Former Prisoner made the dreaded mistake of buying frozen, pre-cooked shrimp from the store.  Hello - cook your own shrimp, dummy!  It doesn't take that long!

Bye-bye: Keith, the former prisoner.  Well, that's not a shock.  Though I was hoping they'd keep him around just to be contentious with the other chefs.  Now there's not as much chance of a shivving.  And that's disappointing.

14 November 2011

Fringe

Freak of the Week:  Weird time displacements.  Like, in the blink of an eye a child goes from a 5-year-old to a baby, or a train appears and disappears.  Similar in appearance to the Universes colliding and overlapping, but with time.

Olivia thinks Peter is involved somehow - he's the ultimate Fringe Event.  Poor Peter - Olivia is cold as ice toward him and Walter wants nothing to do with him.  Walter begrudgingly conducts tests on Peter, but calls him "it".  The whole situation is sad as hell.

Peter experiences time jumps as well, jumping from the lab to a crime scene to the car and then back to the crime scene, rinse, repeat.  I like time displacements -- they're fun!  Not fun for the guy who's causing them though -- a guy who has created a time machine of sorts to give him his Alzheimer's-stricken wife back for 47 minutes at a time.

They track the source of the displacements to the guy's house and Walter builds a device back at the lab so they can get in.  Some of the parts he needs are in his Spider-Man fanny pack.  Of course they are.  I love you, Walter.

Peter dons the kind of device you can only have (and readily accept) on Fringe and saves the day.  In the end, Peter moves into the house that he and Walter shared in the timeline we know, and Peter tells Broyles he thinks he's in the wrong timeline.   

So now our mission: get Peter back to the REAL timeline.  And get there fast, bb!!!!  I like how it has gone from alternative universes to alternate timelines.  But we haven't seen Earth Two in a while.  I miss that Lincoln and Olivia!

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He makes a bologna sandwich and offers one to Olivia, but not to Peter.  I don't like this version of Fringe where everyone's a dick to Peter!  Poor Peter!  Can't we all just get along?

This Week's Code: LIVING

06 November 2011

Happy Anniversary

Nearly 3 years ago, I wrote this post about hating Phil Simms.  It was simple, yet powerful.  It continues to get comments randomly, including today.  God bless all the Phil Simms haters out there.  It's as true today as it ever was.  (It also features some mighty fine artwork.)

04 November 2011

Fringe

Eff you, baseball, for taking away Fringe last week, along with found-in-a-lake-naked Pacey.

So we've got Peter being held at the FBI Building because no one knows him, but he seems to know everyone.  And also I guess because he was found in a lake naked.  He'll only talk to Walter, and medical tests show that he could indeed be Walter's son.  Walter figures it must be a third-universe version of Peter.  Peter's just trying to figure out where he belongs and why.

Meanwhile, the transparent Asian shapeshifter is on the hunt for a former Massive Dynamic scientist who worked on cellular replication.  And we find out that Olivia and her sister were essentially raised by Nina after their father died.

Peter gets in on the shapeshifter-hunting since he has experience hacking their memory disks.  Apparently these new shapeshifters can change their DNA to become totally indistinguishable from the real people - you'd never know they were copies until you saw their memory disks.  And Peter was able to track the Asian chick down via her LoJack system.  But she eventually gets away.  Not entirely sure what the whole main plot of this episode is, but it looks like Olivia has taken an interest in Lincoln, and I fully support that.  Also, Olivia had this weird moment at the end where she essentially replayed a moment.  An agent handed her a file, she put it down, and then the same agent handed her the same file.  Seemed like an odd bend in time that really isn't that odd for this show.

And in the end, we get a reallllly sweet moment between Walter and Peter.  Awwwww, my boys are back together... even if it was only for a moment.  It ended with Walter saying Peter wasn't his son, that he was there to tempt him.

The Asian shapeshifter tries the serum the scientist made, which I guess stabilizes their appearance.  She gets out an even-more-kickass-than-the-old-one Other-Universe Typewriter Communicator, and types in that the serum works.  The response?  "We're sending the others."

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He's whipping up custard (Peter's favorite dessert) in the lab.

This Week's Code: STILL.

Top Chef: Texas

They're starting out with like 29 contestants, so this is the episode where it gets narrowed down to 16.  I automatically want the dude who looks like he just got out of prison - massive neck tattoo and all.  He might shiv someone this season.  Most of these chicks look like the kind of girl who would help Buffalo Bill get a sofa in his van.  Woudja?

Qualifying Challenge: They are divided into 3 groups. 

1.  Prepare a dish using an assigned cut of a pig.  The vegan chef is in this group.  Mmmmm.  Pig.  Tom kicks out one contestant mid-cook because he's bad at butchering.  The vegan dummy can't pour soup without spilling it all over the plates.  AHAHAHA bye, dummy.

Making it to the competition from this group: The Dude Whose Eyes Are Barely Open, a couple Buffalo Bill Victims, The Black Chick, Awful Mohawk and Facial Hair Guy.  My prison inmate doesn't make it!  Oh shit, someone's dead now.

2.  Prepare a dish using the same ingredient.  And the ingredient they choose: rabbit.  In their defense, there was a lot of nasty stuff to choose from.

Making it to the competition from this group: The Plain Girl, The Big Black Guy Who Actually WAS a Prisoner (I like him), Aging Goth Chick, Creepy Tall Bald Guy, GQ Boy, and The Little Mexican Abed.

There are some people on the bubble who need to prove themselves further, including The Chinese Guy From Kentucky.  Aaaaaand the show abruptly ends.  Weird.  So we get Group 3 and the "On the Bubble" people next week?  Just cut to the chase already!

02 November 2011

21 Jump Street

I probably don't want to admit how many times I laughed at the new red band trailer for 21 Jump Street.  So I won't.

30 October 2011

In Time

Even though it's getting mediocre reviews, I wanted to see In Time because the premise intrigued me.  It's pretty original - or as original as a movie that rips off Bonnie and Clyde and Robin Hood can be.  I think it's really well done for a high-concept sci-fi movie -- they successfully sell you on the concept and the world seems real.

It's a world where time is money, literally.  Everyone lives to 25, and then you only get a year longer -- it's up to you to earn or steal the time to continue.  "Rich" people are essentially immortal and "poor" people die young.  I love this concept and thought it was well-executed.  It's a nice allegory for the class system we have now - different neighborhoods are called "time zones", and they range from a ghetto of hard-working people to the luxurious lifestyles of people who are either born into time or have somehow acquired it.  And then the main question asked is, What happens if the time gets redistributed?

The dialogue in this movie is pretty crappy and it's not like the plot's all that unexpected.  Actually, at one point, the heroes survive a car crash so horrific - completely unscathed - that it make me want to punch the screen.  But the whole time-as-currency concept seemed original to me and was cool.  Plus all the actors are young and hot.  So WIN.

29 October 2011

Project Runway: Finale

My love for Project Runway has clearly waned when the finale has passed and I have yet to watch either part of it.  I've been able to avoid spoilers, mostly by blowing quickly past the TV-related Google Reader bits.

Kimberly's inspiration is Brooklyn - old-school ghetto Brooklyn, not new hipster douchebag Brooklyn.

Tim visits Anya in Trinidad, and wears a full suit whilst boating.  Of course.  Her inspiration is Tobago and the sea.  She has her fabrics picked out, but nothing resembling actual clothing.  Alrighty then.

Viktor, on the other hand, has been working his ass off.  His inspiration is Mexico and his brother's death.  So it'll be fun, then.  Viktor has an adorably whitebread boyfriend.

Last stop: Joshua.  He's got crazy fabrics and patterns, natch.  It's an awful 80's freakshow.  Picture every color imaginable in the brightest shade possible.  Oy, I knew he'd bring the tacky.  Tim says it makes him want to weep.

Challenge: Present a 3-look preview of your collection. Viktor's stuff was fabulous, Anya's was Anya and very very gold, Kimberly's pink skirt was godawful, and Joshua's was Joshua, starting with those hot pink pants.  I guess I'd kick him out, though again - I'd love for him to stick around just for the tackiness.  The judges hammer Anya for her construction and some of her accessorizing; they don't love Kimberly's stuff either.  I didn't realize that Viktor designed his own prints - that makes his stuff even better!  The judges just want him to edit somewhat - they love his crazy jacket, just pair it with something simple, not a dress that's gorgeous on its own.  Joshua's needed more editing too, but the judges were largely OK with it.  Damn, maybe it'll be one of these girls that doesn't make it!

Bye-bye:  No one.  Well that was a giant waste of time, show.  Can I get those 90 minutes of my life back?

Final "Gift": They get $500 worth of whatever they want from Mood to edit their collection.  Anya buys a bunch of new black and white prints to design 3 totally new looks.  Joshua gets more bright green and makes something that looks like bicycle shorts.  Oy.  Joshua has a wonderful exhausted breakdown.

Final Runway: First up is Kimberly and her stuff looks great.  I love the flowy dress, as well as her final dress and the white pants outfit.  Joshua brings the color.  I loved the one striped tank over pants with a jacket - that was different for him and lovely.  Those shorts, though?  VOMIT.  I didn't like his collection at all, but the judges creamed themselves over it.  Maybe in comparison to some stuff he's done, but no.  Just no.  Next up is Viktor, who has made a lot of changes, including adding too much new sheer stuff.  Viktor's frst look is outstanding - the dress with the wonderful print on the front.  And his white jacket looks so much better paired over some leather pants and a simple black shirt.  Yay Viktor!  Anya's collection is so different from the others - very Caribbean, very flowy, very Anya - that it almost has to win just because it's unique.  She really changed things up, and did her customary last-minute miracle turnaround.

First out is Kimberly.  Viktor's out next.  Now that's some Grade A bullshit -- clearly Anya's winning because I still think Joshua was the worst!  These judges are just dummies.

Winner: Anya.  She really did pull it out in the end, like she did most of the season.  And I'd say her stuff is the most wearable and sell-able too; I can see it on the red carpets.  But Viktor will always have my heart.

25 October 2011

TV Is Kind Of Ruined For Me Now

It's funny how quickly Breaking Bad can turn you off from the rest of television.  Those characters, those stories, and that writing is unreal, and I'll never find anything like it. I miss it already and I'm going through withdrawals. I'm hoping that the return of Justified and Mad Men in the new year will help, but until then it's looking like slim pickings. 

I've been watching Person of Interest, but it sucks so badly.  Picture Jack Bauer with no personality and the most ham-fisted dialogue ever.  It's really awful, but I keep watching it to make fun of it.  Same with Terra Nova.  Ugh.  Those characters are laaaaame.


At least things are marginally better over at The Walking Dead.  I really want to love a show that features zombies, but when the living people are too stupid to root for, you end up hoping the zombies win.  The storytelling on that show has been atrocious since mid-season last season, but I'll keep watching because every so often they kill someone off in a cool way.  And also there are zombies.  Looks like I'll be watching for a while more....

"Today we are pleased to announce that the ‘dead’ shall live as we proudly renew ‘The Walking Dead’ for a third season on AMC and, globally, with our terrific partners at Fox International Channels," said Charlie Collier, AMC’s President. “We are thankful for everyone’s contribution in front of and behind the camera as we continue to make ‘The Walking Dead’ a unique television experience. And, we are so proud as it continues to set viewership records around the world.”

18 October 2011

Project Runway

Challenge: Design 3 looks inspired by something on Governors Island.  And the looks have to be different - so not 3 flowy dresses, ANYA!  (LOL at Viktor's comment - "Does she even know how to make a sleeve?")  They get a pool of assistants to choose from.  The pairs are: Kimberly and Becky, Viktor and Olivier, Laura and Anthony Ryan, Anya and Bert, and Joshua and Bryce.

Bryce helps Joshua edit, which can only be a good thing.  Joshua is bitchy as hell, especially toward Anya.  But mostly, the contestants are all emo about this being SO CLOSE to the end. 

Guest Judge: Zoe Saldana.  She's seriously the most gorgeous person ever. Love her.

Joshua's skirt was a nightmare, but his other 2 looks were decent, if not boring.  I loved Kimberly's coat and the dress was super cute.  Anya's black dress - gorgeous.  Anya's red tunic/pants - gorgeous.  She has amazing taste and I love her.  Viktor's looks are all amazing.  He's gotta win this thing, right?  The judges seem to think he's too commercial.  Boo hiss.  Everybody's decent, but I think Laura (or Kimberly, if it has to be someone else) should go based on this week alone.

Bye-bye:  Laura.  OK, good, that's totally how it should have gone.

Finale: Anya, Viktor, Joshua, and Kimberly.  I like that Joshua is going because he'll be the total wild card.  Meaning his stuff will likely be fugly, and every runway could use some fugly.

16 October 2011

The Ides of March

If you don't love George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, there is something wrong with you.

The Ides of March is very much your typical political thriller with a very cliche story.  But when you've got Clooney and Gosling, you don't care about the cliches. 

I'd vote for George Clooney for President.  And really it's more Gosling's movie than his - that kid's going places.  Check it out for a matinee or once it's on TV - definitely worth a watch, but it's not groundbreaking or anything.

14 October 2011

Fringe


Olivia wakes up to a giant blue ball of energy in her bedroom. The ball attracts metallic objects and causes about a minute-long time distortion.  It also appears later and traps her in the bathroom for a little.  Walter theorizes that it's a former fellow Cortexifan Kid (who could do astral projection) reaching out to Olivia and sends her to Massive Dynamic to identify the kid.

In this timeline, Walter hates Nina's guts - it's hysterical.  And Nina and Olivia have some kind of connection - Nina makes some joke about Olivia's prom date.  What is she - her goddamn stepmother?

Walter heads out of the lab for the first time in 3 years to help Olivia track the guy down.  They are absolutely adorable together, especially after Walter trashes his hotel room in a fit of germ-paranoia -- they go get root beer floats.  That damn energy ball keeps appearing; it even appears after they track down the Cortexifan Kid, and he's not the one doing it.

Olivia helps Walter calm down and focus and solve their problem.  None of it makes sense, but he takes the Cortexifan Kid to a power station so that they can - I don't know - make a bigger ball of energy and destroy the other one?  Sure.

During this final confrontation, the ball of energy vaguely takes the form of Peter.  Olivia sees this, stops the Cortexifan Kid from destroying him, and the energy ball disappears.  Cut to the lake Peter drowned in as a child, where Our Peter suddenly rises to the surface.  He looks naked too.  Awesome.

Broyles calls Olivia to tell her that someone was pulled out of the lake and knows all kinds of classified information, and knows the Fringe team.  Oh snap - Peter's going to remember everything and everyone but they're not?  OK - that's interesting!!!

Walter's Food Thing of the Week:  I caught Walter eating Pop Tarts in the lab.  Mmmmm strawberry flavored death.

This Week's Code: RESET

This is another odd episode.  It's really just resetting things to bring Peter back.  The story with the Cortexifan Kid seems unnecessary and doesn't make a lot of sense.  But it has those really nice character moments they've been having lately, like with Walter and Olivia.  I still love this, but I'm suffering from Breaking Bad withdrawal - once you've had that show, everything else looks like crap.  It's tainting things.  Heh.  Taint.

11 October 2011

Project Runway

Challenge: Create a high-fashion look inspired by an exotic bird. Yawn. It's a Collier Strong challenge, and that burn victim is looking worse than ever!

It's a random pair challenge too: Anya and Laura (Raven), Joshua and Bert (Amazon Parrot), and Viktor and Kimberly (Cockatoo).

And, if those weren't enough twists, it's also a head-to-head challenge where the couples are just judged against each other. And the overall winner gets $20,000 and a L'Oreal advertorial.

Oh guess what - it's still not enough twists. They have to design a second high-fashion look. Seriously - enough with the elements.

Joshua wisely decides to scrap this fugly green and yellow dress he makes, but he unwisely decides to wear a chest-baring shirt.


Kimberly has a rough time - she's moving too slowly, she sews through her finger, there are random grease stains on her fabric. Cue the obligatory breakdown, as Kimberly recounts all the dead people in her life. Tim even hugs the poor depressed girl during her session with him - that's what Tim is there for, y'all! But the world continues to crap on Kimberly - she ruins one of her looks by throwing it onto a hot glue gun that burns a hole through it. Time to make a new look in 3 hours!

TWIST NUMBER FOUR HUNDRED AND FIVE: They only get to show 1 look on the runway. So now they have to murder one of their children, essentially. Project Runway's version of Sophie's Choice -- finally a twist I like. Kimberly sends down her "3-hour gown".

Kimberly's quickie dress is good, but I still like Viktor's better. The judges don't. They stink. Bert's is dull and I love Joshua's amazingly-tasteful orange dress. Seriously - Joshua + Parrot could have been a disaster. Anya's look is all-black and so unlike anything she's ever done -- and it's still fabulous. Laura's pants and jacket are decent enough but boring. The judges side with me on those 2.

Winner:  Anya.  Well, duh.  It was amazing and so different for her.  Too bad her models can't get in and out of her dresses without assistance.


Bye-bye:  Bert.  Well, duh.  I had his name typed in before they even announced the winner.  You overstayed your welcome, Debbie Downer.




Avengers Assemble!

NERDGASM!  Check out the first official teaser trailer for The Avengers!  Can't wait!  Hawkeye is my comic book movie boyfriend! Also, every trailer should feature a Nine Inch Nails song. Every trailer.

09 October 2011

Breaking Bad

So here we are - Breaking Bad season finale time.  And I'm a big bundle of nerves!!!  This recap is likely to be a big jumble of CAPSLOCKOMG!

Walter runs to Gus's car to retrieve his bomb.  He puts it in his diaper bag (LOL! Love this show!) and meets with Jesse in the hospital.  The magnetic bomb gets stuck on the elevator door.  El. Oh. El.  The guys try to think about where they can plant the bomb.  Then the ABQ police show up.  OH GOD!  They're following up on the whole ricin thing.  You can't really drop that word and expect to get away with it....

Jesse uses the House/Discovery Channel defense - he just saw something about ricin and thought that could be it.  I knew he was going to drop the Discovery Channel!  Jesse loves him some cable television.  Better call Saul.

Walter wants to see Saul too, and drops by the office, by which I mean breaks in the office.  Saul's secretary won't give up his location unless Walter pays her $25,000.  "I'll be right back," he says, as he slips on the broken glass and whacks his head on the door.  Bryan Cranston: the king of physical comedy.

Walter goes home to retrieve his money, but first calls his neighbor and asks her to check on something in his house -- so she can be the first one to walk through the door in case it's booby-trapped, Home Alone-style.  Oh, Walter, you asshole.  A couple guys do come out of his backyard area, but his neighbor survives, and so Walter breaks into his own house and gets some crawlspace cash.  The 2 guys come into the house - who the hell are they? - but Walter gets out in time.

Line of Night from Saul, to Jesse:  "If I ever get anal polyps, I know what to name them."  Saul meets with Walter and tells him that Jesse told him about Gus visiting Hector in the old folks' home. Genius -- Walter can get that damn bell ringer to go along with his plan -- ring a bell and Gus is dead.  Walter visits Hector and offers him an opportunity for revenge.  OH SNAP!

Hector rings his bell to let the nurse know -- "NEED DEA". 

Hank continues to analyze the laundry pictures Gomey took.  Gomey comes to get Hank because Hector will only talk to Hank.  You know what this show is?  A massive chess game.  Just got to get all of the players in the right spot.  Hank comes down to the office and meets with Hector (along with everyone else in the office).  Waiting for Hector to spell out words is painful.  He spells out "SUCK MY" and then "FUC".  Love that scary old bastard. OK - so this was a distraction or something.  As Hector is loaded back onto his van, Tyrus is watching -- so now Gus will have to pay Hector a visit to see what's up!

Jesse is finally released from interrogation -- the tests on Brock came back negative for ricin.  OK, so that's good, only Jesse's ricin cigarette is still missing.  On his way out of the hospital, Jesse is tased and put in a minivan by Gus's guys. 

Back to the nursing home!  Tyrus comes into Hector's room and sweeps it for bugs.  Gus takes his usual calm, kickass walk inside.  OH CHRIST this show gives me indigestion.  Gus has a syringe ready for Hector because he's been talking to the DEA.  Hector finally looks Gus in the eye and then rings his bell repeatedly.  Even though I knew the explosion was coming, I screamed.  And then screamed again when Gus walks out of the room, seemingly unscathed.  But he's not -- he's like goddamn Two Face and half his face is blown off.  He straightens his tie aaaand now he's dead.  R.I.P. Gus.  That earns an Instant Rewind.  You know Gus had to go out like that!!!!!!!!!!  Like a champ!!

Now I'm just freaking out.  There's still time left.  Ricin: missing.  Jesse: kidnapped.  Mike: still in Mexico.  Those 2 guys: were in the Whites' house.

Now we're in the Super Lab and Jesse is cooking under the supervision of the guys that tased him.  OK, good -- they only kidnapped him to cook meth, not to do anything bad. :)  Walter comes in, blows the 2 dudes away, and tells Jesse that Gus is dead and they have work to do.  Time to blow up the Super Lab!  This is nearly as sad as when the RV got crushed.  (Seriously, R.I.P. RV.)  Badass.

So Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin, he likely ingested Lily of the Valley.  Now it's my turn to freak out, because I'm pretty sure that Walter is to blame -- when he was spinning his gun last week, it ended up pointing at a flowered plant.  Jesse:  "But Gus still had to go right?"  Walter: "Damn right."  My boys shake hands and part ways.  Walter calls Skyler and tells her he won.

We end with a shot of the Whites' pool area -- and the Lily of the Valley.  So that asshole really did poison that kid -- he did it (knowing the kid would survive, I hope) so that Jesse would suspect Gus so that Jesse would help Walter get rid of Gus.  Walter beat Gus at this chess match.

Loved the ending.  Everything is set up for a blank slate next season.  And I can't wait.

Real Steel

I screwed up the pancakes.  I screwed up the pancakes this morning and made a mess of the kitchen, and my punishment was to see Real Steel.  This will be every 8-to-12-year-old boy's favorite movie. This and that movie where Adam Sandler plays a guy and a girl. (I can't even bring myself to watch that trailer.)

If you're a blissfully ignorant (read: dumb) child you'll love it, but adults are another story. I can't be the only cynical adult who watches movies like this and thinks about how they're made. I mean, somewhere on a soundstage, Hugh Jackman was doing air punches and yelling and there was nothing around him but a crowd of extras. No pumping music in the background, no quick editing and slow-motion. Just a man, his tight tee shirt, and his air punches.

You want a movie with every cliche possible? You got it. Deadbeat dad reunited with his son: check. Precocious, over-caffeinated, wise-beyond-his-years kid: check.  (In the kid's defense, the actor was perfect for this part and made the role a nice mix of goofy and sentimental.  The kid's a riot and he has good chemistry with Hugh Jackman.) I bet you'd never guess that they come together in the end, that the dad learns from the kid. As an added bonus, you get boxing movie cliches too -- training montages, fight montages, counting-the-money-you're-winning montages (the movie is one big montage), slow-motion fights, screaming crowds, underdogs fighting against all odds, and proud trainers. And lots of air punches.

I could see how under the right (drunk) circumstances, one could enjoy this film. If you're on your own couch, you could air punch and shout right along. A guilty pleasure might involve watching this on HBO by yourself one day, drinking and air punching.  Maybe.  But if you're a conscious human being, you'll likely sit there and cringe at the whole thing.  Real Steel: it's cringe-tastic!

07 October 2011

Fringe


Walter undergoes his monthly mental health evaluation, a condition of his release from the loony bin.  He also continues to see/hear Peter, and Joshua Jackson continues to have the Best/Easiest Job on Television.  Everybody else on this show plays 2 people, and he can't be bothered to play one.  Lucky bastard.  Elsewhere, Olivia is running facial recognition software on a sketch of Peter.

Freak of the Week:   Two boys are killed by some kind of creeping, vine-looking virus thing (but one tragically buck-toothed boy survives) and their bodies decompose at a crazy rate.  They also eventually burst and spread spores everywhere.  One busts open in containment in the lab, but the other busts open at the morgue, and the team has to don hazmat suits to walk around the fungus-infested room.

Walter has some sweet bonding moments with Bucky Bucktooth.  He needs his son back!  We learn that in this timeline, when Walter crossed over to steal the other Peter, Peter 2 drowned in the icy lake.  So no Observer intervention.

It turns out the surviving kid has some weird psychic connection to the fungus (which Walter names "Gus").  When the team tries to eradicate the fungus with UV light and flamethrowers, the kid's back at the lab, feverish and bothered by bright flashes of light.   Walter has to figure out how to disconnect their link before Gus continues to spread; it's some kind of weird emotional connection and Walter figures out the key to letting the kid know he's not alone, to letting the kid let go from Gus.  And just in time - because Gus started to infect Lincoln!  

Once Bucky is gone, Walter settles in for a little self-lobotomy.  What - LSD isn't good enough?  Olivia comes in before he hammers the long needle into his brain (though it's still inserted into his eye - ICK!).  Walter's worried that he's going insane and will be sent back to the asylum.  Olivia shows him her sketch of Peter and says she's been seeing him in her dreams for 3 weeks.

Walter's Food Thing of the Week:  He makes milkshakes for himself and the kid -- which they enjoy whilst wearing tinfoil hats, of course. He also craves a grape Popsicle after putting the kid in an ice bath.

This Week's Code: REBORN.

I miss my old team.  I want them all together and I want my old timeline back!!!  I still love the show because it's got all my favorite characters, but it still feels incomplete.  Be reborn already, Pacey!

02 October 2011

Breaking Bad

So do we think the cancer will be back before the season ends next week? Walt's been coughing a lot lately; I really noticed it when rewatching last week's episode. It's been quiet on the cancer front for far too long.... Something tells me it'll come back as a central player next season.

The DEA pulls up to the White residence to pick them up for protective custody at Hank and Marie's -- Marie is freaking out and wants them all there with Hank. Walter refuses to go because he tells Skyler he's the target and they won't be safe with him there. He says his goodbyes to her and Holly, saying he has to face the consequences; he's dodged death long enough.

Walter sits poolside with a gun.

Hank thinks it's weird that the threat against him comes on the heels of his investigation of Gus. He convinces Gomez to go to the laundry and investigate. Gomez sweet-talks his way into the laundry facility to look around with a camera and a drug-sniffing dog. Crap. I'm freaking out the whole time -- I do NOT want them caught! And that's even before I see that Jesse's down there cooking. Shit. Gus calls down to let Jesse know what's going on, and that it's all Walter's fault. Still, Jesse won't accept Gus killing Walter. Good boy. Gus tells him there will be an "appropriate response." Only Gus could make those words sound scary as hell.

Gomez leaves with nothing but photos. Back to cooking. The operation is so paranoid at this point that Jesse doesn't park there - he parks out in the middle of nowhere and is transported to/from the laundry by a laundry truck. (Walter was transported in dirty laundry last week.) Jesse calls Walter but he doesn't pick up; then he checks his 6 voicemails from Saul.

Saul is packing up his office (by which I mean "shredding") and gives Jesse his money, plus mentions that Gus threatened to kill Walter's family. Jesse doesn't deal well with kids being threatened. Which leads to our next dilemma....

Jesse gets a call from his GF that her son is in the hospital. Suddenly I realize that Gus might have a different "appropriate response" in mind -- one that hits Jesse close to home. And you know what? That's not going to sit well with Jesse. But then when Jesse goes outside to smoke - he realizes his ricin cigarette is missing!!!!! Brock must have come into contact with it! Jesse would never forgive himself if Brock died because of that!! He runs back into the hospital to tell Andrea to let the doctors know that it's ricin, and then he heads to Walter's house. Walter's all paranoid and skittish. Jesse picks up the gun and aims it at Walt. I gasp. Jesse thinks Walter poisoned Brock!! He says there's no way Brock could have gotten it himself. But then there's no way Walter could have done it! OMG was it Gus!? He knew about the ricin!? YIKES!

This scene is intense as hell and Walter starts with the hysterical laughter again. He figures Gus wanted Jesse to think Walter did it so that Jesse would kill him himself. Walter freaking dares Jesse to kill him and I! AM! DYING!!! Walter gets a gun imprint in his forehead and everything. STOP KILLING ME, SHOW!

Of course Jesse doesn't do it, and now he wants vengeance against Gus. Walter won't let Jesse do it himself and insists on helping. Time to get the band back together! Hell. Yes. The next day, Jesse's still at the hospital (even though Andrea won't let him in to see Brock) and refuses to go into work. And Walter's in his kitchen cooking up something good!! It's a bomb!!!!!!!!! Yeah Science!!

Gus comes to the hospital to see Jesse. Parks his car in a garage. IS THAT BOMB READY YET!? At first Gus wants Jesse back to work immediately, but then Jesse tells Gus that he knows Brock was poisoned. Gus tells him they'll just dump the current, ruined batch and Jesse can return to work next week. He gives Jesse a reassuring pat on the back. It's the opposite of reassuring.

As Gus returns to his car, we see Walter spying from next door. Gus stops before reaching the car, clearly suspicious about something. Jesus Christ, they are prolonging this forever and I both hate them and love them for it!!!!!!! Can I use more exclamation points tonight!? Gus finally turns around and walks away from the car. Walter's bitter as hell, clearly exhausted and out of options. The end. CHRIST!!!

Only one more -- sadnessssssssss!!!

Please Make This Happen

On Sunday afternoon, Mitchell Hurwitz tossed a few more crumbs to the Arrested Development faithful at a New Yorker Festival event that reunited him with the show’s ensemble cast, telling the audience that a movie was still in the works, along with a new set of television episodes that would serve as a prelude to the film.
Asked by the event’s moderator, Nancy Franklin, for an update on the movie, Mr. Hurwitz said, “We’re 80 percent of the way to an answer,” which was understandably greeted by some laughter. Mr. Hurwitz went on to say that he and Ron Howard, the director and producer who was the Arrested Development narrator, “had been talking about this for ages and trying to get this going.” Mr. Hurwitz continued: “We don’t completely own the property, there are business people involved and studios and that kind of thing. Just creatively, I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by, there was so much more to the story. In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story. So in working on the screenplay, I found even if I just gave five minutes per character to that back story, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together.”
So, Mr. Hurwitz said: “We’re trying to do a limited-run series into the movie.” After a wave of excited applause died down, he continued: “We’re basically hoping to do 9 or 10 episodes, with almost one character per episode.” 

This is amazing.  Please be on AMC or FX or somewhere where you can get away with stuff!!

source

Project Runway

I knew going in that someone really talented got booted, and that Tim Gunn was upset by it, so I'm guessing Bert and Joshua are safe....

Challenge: Design for the 70's-revival trend. Ugh, they just did that with the band - but now for women. And they're supposed to do sophisticated, not literal and retro.  Fine - I'll allow it.

During the shopping trip to Mood, Anya loses her money envelope. Jesus - there are cameras everywhere - no one saw anything? That's the biggest dagger on earth -- and if she goes home because of that, it sucks. Anya is able to use whatever the designers have left over - $11.50 and whatever extra fabric they can spare - and muslin. Time to make it work, girl!

Second Part of the Challenge: Design a second, one-piece look for $50.

I hated Kimberly's separates.  The jumper was really cute, but was sewn onto her model last-minute - no zipper.   Anthony Ryan used some crazy-ass awful-ass prints and his looks were fugly and I thought more 60's than 70's.  Nina said his girl looked like she was in a cult.  Zing!  (And accurate.)  Bert's hot pants were gross, but the top and his second dress were adorable.    Joshua's hot pink top with plaid pants made me vomit -- ugliest thing ever.  Anya and Viktor were both really good.  Laura's prints were really gross together; I liked her second look, but could see how it was boring. 

Winner: Anya.  Holy crap - and with virtually no money!  She rules!  Even if everything she makes is printed and flowy, it's always awesome.



Bye-bye: Anthony Ryan.  OK, so that sucks because I loved him, but these looks are fugly as hell, so it's not unwarranted.  Cult indeed.


50/50 and Moneyball

Never let it be said that I don't have ambition. This weekend, I achieved my goal of seeing 3 movies -- and saw them in a 24-hour period.



Of all of them, 50/50 might have been my favorite. I mean, Drive is awesome, but how can you not love a feel-good cancer comedy? It's really about the friendship of these 2 guys - but without being sentimental or false. I want Seth Rogen to be my BFF. He can even help me through cancer. It's a great movie -- legitimately funny and real -- never melodramatic or schmaltzy. It's wonderful. See it.



Moneyball was enjoyable but has one small flaw -- it's about baseball. And baseball is boring. And long. And even if it's about the baseball back office, it's still about baseball. Jonah Hill is great in it -- and it's your last chance to catch Fat Jonah Hill cuz now he's all freaky-skinny. But if you find baseball boring, you can wait for the DVD.

30 September 2011

Fringe

In the Other Universe, a dude drills people in the back of the skull, kind of pulls out their memories, and makes them freeze from the inside-out. Our Universe is asked to find the killer's doppelganger (a professor/profiler who specializes in serial killers), bring him Over There, and see if he can lead them to... himself. The FBI tranquilizes the guy to transport him.

God, I love Fauxlivia's red hair and kickass pants and boots and bad attitude. Too bad she's such a bitch to My Olivia. Other Lincoln is by far superior to Our Lincoln, gun strapped to his leg and all, and he and Fauxlivia are soooo cute together. Too bad Charlie was off on his honeymoon with the Bug Lady. It's pretty amazing that these actors play 2 different yet identical people and make them look and feel so different -- too bad they'll never get Emmy love because the Emmys stink.

As Our Professor is looking through Their Killer's apartment, he sees a picture of his father. Well, that little charade didn't last long, did it? Who thought that was a good idea? The Other Universe has bad judgment. Aren't they going to have to kill him now?

Our Professor admits that he had creepy, violent tendencies as well (killed some animals in his youth), but got mentally-healthy because of a woman who took care of him as a child. He sneaks off because he knows where his doppelganger will be hiding, and tries to talk him down. Instead, The Killer drills him in the back of his skull and hooks their brains together (what else did you expect - this is Fringe) so he can pull out Our Professor's memories of the woman who helped him. The Killer ends up killing himself, and Our Professor is left without memories of the woman, or memories of the time he's been helping Fringe Division. Convenient.

Oh snap! Guess what? Other Broyles isn't dead!!!!! When Peter rewrote the timeline he's alive! YAYYYYY! The tight tee shirts are back!

Walter doesn't do much this episode, but he reenacts an 80's Memorex commercial, blasting Mozart to soothe himself and drown out Peter. This Walter is clearly even more off his rocker than ever, plus he's haunted by flashes and sounds of Peter. In his grand tradition of botching names, Walter calls Lincoln "Kennedy".

This Week's Code: LIMBUS. At first I thought I translated it wrong, but the internet is a beautiful thing. It's a Latin word meaning "edge, border," or "region on the border of Hell," and thus sometimes used in English for limbo. Nice.

Drive


Drive is the perfect mix of pretentious art-house noir and violence. It's so stylized that at times I swear it could be a musical. The score is great but it builds into these extended 80's-style songs (that I've never heard before, so not sure if they are actually 80's or just sound like it) that play over the movie. It sometimes seems like a legit musical.

But really it's a semi-action/car chase/gangster movie. There are these short bursts of incredible violence that punctuate an otherwise quiet film. It's the slowest burn ever. Just sit back for the first hour and enjoy the Los Angeles setting and Ryan Gosling in kickass driving gloves with a toothpick in his mouth. Without those bursts of violence -- again, they are short as hell but all the more powerful for it -- I do believe there would be very little sound in this film.

It's great though -- there's something to be said for a movie that doesn't overdo the action. In any other movie, the chase scenes would have been long and drawn out. Instead, they accentuate a very stylish, stylized movie. There's really no way to describe it other than "bursts", so I'll use that word for the 50th time. Drive is bursting with good time fun!

29 September 2011

Project Runway

I totally slept on having last week's Project Runway to catch up on! Bad fan!

Challenge: Design looks for a scruffy, unsigned rock band (of men) to be featured in Rolling Stone. It's a team challenge with two teams of 4 so each team member designs for 1 band member -- 1. Olivier, Viktor, Kimberly, Joshua; 2. Bert, Anya, Laura, and Anthony. But even though it's a team challenge, it's not like they're sharing looks or have a leader or need to make a cohesive collection, so there aren't the same stresses that usually come with a team challenge.

The lengthy Garnier hair consultations are sooooo shoehorned in. The guys all have long hair, but let's be honest - they're all going to have the usual guys' hairstyle. No one's doing bouffants or braids. Wait - I take that back. Bert's dude got braids. Oy.

Olivier does a lot of whining about his client being fat. A lot. Everything's looking really blousy and ugly, but especially Olivier's. Oy. Instead of a runway, the band performs in each of their outfits.

The outfits are 60s/70s-looking, Halloween-costumey things; far too literal. They're largely fugly and really only Laura's and Viktor's are passable. Anya's and Kimberly's tops both crapped the bed in a big way. What a crappy challenge - design for scruffy, outdated, schlubby guys. Worst. Outfits. Ever. What really sucks is that someone's going to have to go home for this and if it's Anya or Kimberly I'll cry.

Winner: Viktor. Yay because I love him. But I thought that was waaaaay too much fringe.



Bye-Bye: Olivier. Thank GOD!! Because let's face it - he's lame and it was almost Kimberly and I would have DIED. She had the worst outfit, but she's always awesome. Outside of faux-70s menswear.

27 September 2011

There is a God

Kevin Costner has dropped out of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming spaghetti Western-cum-period-slavery-picture Django Unchained, EW has confirmed.

25 September 2011

Breaking Bad

Oh, how re-watching last week's episode brings me so much joy!

Jesse comes speeding in to a pop-up ER in a warehouse with Gus passed out in back and Mike gut-shot in the front seat. The doctor and staff only rush to assist Gus. Jesse has to bring Mike into the OR on his own. Mike's bleeding everywhere, but Gus pays the doctor's salary, so there you go. POOR MIKE SO HELP ME GOD NOTHING CAN HAPPEN TO HIM!!!!

The doctor has a fridge fully stocked with blood for Mike, Jesse, and Gus, and knows everything about Jesse's health. Gus is all better, so he and Jesse leave; Mike has to stay behind for at least a week. So now it's time for Gus and Jesse to hike across the border together. AWESOME!!! Gus tells Jesse he can do the cook by himself now, and Jesse says that if he's going to do that, then Gus needs to let Walter walk away. Don't kill him, just pay him off and let him go. Gus says that won't work.

Walt's cooking under the supervision of Gus's man, wondering where everyone else is. Hank takes him out to spy on the chicken farm and mentions that he's heard rumors of a major cartel massacre in Mexico.

Ted's still being a major douche and refusing to pay the IRS. Skyler had used the Walter-gambling story to explain the money and the fear of government scrutiny. But Douche Ted suddenly develops a conscience and doesn't want to use Skyler's money. Because it's not enough -- he needs more so he can pay off his house, save himself from bankruptcy, etc., etc. I don't think Skyler's used to a man that actually stands up to her -- he won't do what she wants! She's just going to have to have his brakes cut or something. Ted's a dead man. Skyler calls Saul.

Gus pays a visit to Hector, the man whose evil bell-ringing haunts my dreams, and presents him with Don Eladio's necklace to let him know everybody's dead (including Hector's grandson, who was the guy Jesse shot). Gus rubs Hector's face in it, but Hector still won't look him in the eye.

When Walt picks Hank up for the next stakeout, Hank instead has him drive to an industrial laundry he wants to check out. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Instead of turning into the laundry, Walter turns his car into oncoming traffic. I totally called that he was going to do that - there was no other choice!

Saul sends Bill Burr to Ted's house (after making sure he doesn't own a gun or have a good alarm system) to convince him to write a check to the IRS. I'm worried we're going to have a Fargo-type situation where things go awry. And that's pretty much exactly what happens -- Ted goes running, trips on his rug, slams his head into his kitchen island, and dies (I'm assuming). It's still awesome though. At least the check's in the mail....

Back at the lab, Walter knows someone's been cooking while he's been out of commission for 4 days. And guess what -- Jesse's back with his girl and playing video games with her son! AWWWWW! It's so cute! I love it! Walter goes to see him there, pretty much begging for his life and saying that if Jesse agrees to cook on his own, Walt's a dead man. Jesse's pretty much like, F U, you wanted me in a barrel. He goes back into the house, and Gus's men hit Walter with a taser.

Now we're in the desert and Walter has a bag over his head. This show is driving me crazy with tension tonight!!! Gus shows up and fires him - tells him to stay away from the laundry and from Jesse. Walter, ever the asshole, says, "Stay away from Pinkman or else you'll do what?" OMG! He's going to keep challenging him!! Walter knows Gus won't kill him, because if he did then Jesse wouldn't cook for him. Gus didn't succeed in turning Jesse against him. OF COURSE HE DIDN'T - JESSE LOVES YOU, WALTER! Gus says Jesse will come around. LOL times a million. Then Gus says he'll kill Walter's wife, son, and infant daughter (I screamed incoherently at that) if Walter doesn't let Gus take care of the Hank situation.

Walter runs right to Saul to get the information on the guy who can save his family and get them new identities. Saul gives him the business card for a vacuum salesman. LOL again. Walter has to get his family ready before he makes the call, have half a million ready, and there's no turning back. He begs Saul to phone in an anonymous tip that there's a hit out on Hank. And then he heads to the crawl space to get the cash -- well, guess what -- there isn't enough. Because Skyler's fat ass gave it to Ted. This is the point at which Walter just effing loses it. Screams and cries until he laughs like a crazy person.

And if that's not enough, Marie calls Skyler to tell her that they got word that someone wants to kill Hank, and so agents are guarding their house. Walter is still laughing maniacally in the background. It's the scariest thing I've ever heard. And we end with a great shot of Walter on the floor of the crawl space, as viewed through the hole in the floor. It was really awesome how the shots were paced with the music and the phone ringing and the laughing and the INSANITY!

OH MY GOD - EVERYTHING IS SUCH A MESS!!! I LOVE IT!! Honestly, this episode would have been a great season finale. But that's what's so great about the show -- IT ISN'T! We're in for even more!

Fringe

So the Universes have partially come together and our credits are yellow. We also have the kickass Lincoln Lee with hot-ass glasses and an Astrid who works in the field. And, every so often, a flash of Peter breaking through from wherever he is.

Our team gets introduced to Lincoln because his partner is killed under mysterious circumstances. Lincoln's all-in on the freaky secretive stuff and joins the team. Our Freak of the Week is a translucent dude who kills a bunch of people who have high levels of heavy metals in their blood so he can, I don't know, make himself not translucent? It's freaky and cool and pretty gross, but not explained.

So I guess the 2 Universes are really only joined in that one room. The 2 Olivias don't get along so well; they're awesomely bitchy with each other as they start to "work together" and exchange files. At the end, Olivia gets Lincoln clearance to enter the facility, where you can see one Universe's sky outside one window and the other's out the other.

Walter's Food Thing of the Week: He eats popcorn while Astrid transmits video of a victim back to him in the lab. This is also when we have the Quote of the Episode: "I need to check her anus."

This Week's Code: APPEAR

This episode was a bit all over the place and odd, but I think it's fitting with the fact that they're resetting the show. And it should feel odd because something's missing -- Pacey!

19 September 2011

Project Runway

Challenge: Menswear! And some of the men are pigs! But it's a fake-out! The men aren't the models -- their wives/girlfriends are -- and the men are collaborating with the designers. The fake-out was lame; what else makes this such a different challenge? We get to find out how much guys-we-don't-know know about chicks-we-don't-know? Who cares. A guy actually called his chick "a hot piece of tushie." Jesus Christ.

I hate real people -- as models and clients. They're obnoxious, chatty, think they know all about fashion, and think they're funny. Olivier's couple is particularly awful. It's not like the clients have anything on the line, other than their fat asses walking down the runway....

Viktor's look was perfection and really fit his quirky chick's look. Joshua's dress was amazing - and totally unadorned, which for him is a miracle. There's a case where the client was actually helpful - he wanted to put mirrored squares on the thing. Joshua stinks. Learn to edit! Anya's flowy dress was its usual gorgeous self.

Winner: Joshua! Fabulous - the back of that dress was really lovely and his girl looked great. I'm going to include a picture of Viktor's too just because it was so damn adorable.




Bye-bye: Bryce. His chick wanted the pink, so she got the pink. I didn't think it was awful, but it was between him and Anthony Ryan, so I'm cool.

This Has To Happen

Before it gets yanked again, check out Jesse Pinkman dropping by Dunder Mifflin. Love it.

18 September 2011

YES!!



Margo Martindale and Peter Dinklage won Emmys!

And yes, OK, I'll freaking start watching Modern Family....

Breaking Bad

We now interrupt The Emmys to watch Breaking Bad. (Quick Emmy note: Did you see the video with Jesse Pinkman on The Office? It was amazing. Tomorrow I'm going to find the video, link to it, and watch it 600 times. I wish it were real. OK - found this link, but the sound sucks. Still worth it!!)

As is tradition, we re-watch the previous week's episode of Breaking Bad before watching the new one. God, that fight was amazing. Watching it for the first time, I was so afraid someone was going to pull out a gun - I just wouldn't put it past this show to do. And now watching it again, when things are less tense, GODDAMN I HATE WALTER WHITE!!! This man doesn't realize what he's done to Jesse. Remember innocent, goofy little screw-up dimebagger Jesse? With the messy hair and baggy clothes? Now we have this cold, haunted, dark skinhead version of Jesse who wears kickass black leather jackets. And Walter doesn't care. Jesse's reaching out to him for help, plus warning Walter about the imminent cartel war -- and Walter can only think of himself. He doesn't realize what he's made this kid do for him and how it has impacted him. He doesn't trust Jesse after Jesse killed Gale for him? Walter stinks and even if it means Jesse has to become a career criminal, I'm all for Mike being Jesse's New Daddy. At any rate, I'm glad Jesse got to take out all of this frustration on Walter, since I wasn't able to.

OK - on with this week's episode. Mike, Jesse, and Gus board a prop plane in the middle of nowhere and Gus is holding a gift-wrapped box. Seriously? If this were the series finale I would be sure it contained Walter's head.

Walter himself is MIA so Skyler presents Walter Jr. with his 16th birthday present - a car. And it's a PT Cruiser - OK, that's hysterical!!! After the Charger? Nice ride, Junior.

The Three Amigos are blindfolded and taken to a Super Lab in Mexico where Jesse has to be the main dude and teach the formula. Go Jesse! At first he's thrown (he says he gets a chemical from "the barrel with the bee on it" whereas they expect him to synthesize it). But then he's awesome -- lectures them on the cleanliness of their lab, bosses them around, it's brilliant. He's so badass and Mike is so proud!!!!!! Gus too! Once Jesse passes his Cooking Exam, the Cartel tells him he's staying with them in Mexico. Wha??

Walter Jr. swings by Walter's place and Walter answers the door the only way I like him to -- bloodied, and in his tighty whities. His cover story to Junior is that he was gambling and got in a fight, and begs him not to tell Skyler. He starts crying and says he made a mistake and I'm hoping it's not an act on his part (though I'll bet it is) and that he's finally upset over what he did with Jesse. Walter Junior puts his dad to bed and Walter's all mumbling and out of it and he CALLS HIM JESSE!!! I "awwwwwwwed" loudly. OK, so maybe he meant it after all. Now just say it to Jesse, asshole.

Meanwhile, Saul meets with Ted Beneke -- to notify him of a "dead great-aunt" who has left him "an inheritance" -- i.e., Skyler is giving this asshole Walter's money!! It's the right decision though I guess -- can't have the government poking around in your stuff when you're a White. But really? Dead relative? Wonder if that'll stick. But the best part? Saul gets to be all, "I told you so" to Skyler because he brings her Ted's credit report - hours after getting the money, he leased a Mercedes. Ha! Love it! Ted's a freaking dirtbag and Skyler's plan didn't work -- she better let him have it. Ted doesn't want to take Skyler's advice - he wants to fight the IRS and get his business going instead. I kind of love that her plan has fallen apart and she doesn't have any control over the situation. But then Skyler can't resist - she tells him that she gave him the money. UGH!

The Three Amigos hang out by Don Eladio's pool, the site of Gus's BF's death so many years ago. Gus hands over Jesse as the new cook, like he's a bride or a slave, and then presents the boss with his gift -- tequila. I should mention at this point that, while looking at the pool wistfully, Gus took a pill. Mike (my husband, not the character) immediately goes -- "he took an antidote." Tequila shots proceed to be passed around all the Cartel guys. And Jesse can't drink because he's in recovery. OMFG MIKE IS RIGHT!!!!!! After a bit, everyone starts collapsing and Mike strangles the security guy. Gus pukes and is a bit affected by the poison, but walks out with Jesse and Mike's assistance.

I love this. Love it. How does Gus continue to be so goddamn brilliant? He took out the Cartel!!!!!!!!!!! It took 20 years but he got revenge! Jesse and Mike load Gus into a car -- and then a dude opens fire. He hits Mike and I scream, and then Jesse takes his ass out. He shoots him 100 times like he's playing his goddamn video game. Mike's still alive, so that's good. And Jesse the hero drives them away. Jesse. The Motherlovin' Hero. Who needs Walter White? Jesse = the man. Holy crap.

That episode was amazing.

OK Fine

I'm going to start watching Modern Family. Just give me a few months or something.

No Wait I Love Her More


Aubrey Plaza: My dreamgirl.

Jesus



Is everyone wearing red at the Emmys tonight!?

Nina Dobrev Is Hotter Than You


Nice try. Oh God I hate this bitch. For absolutely no reason.

Wow


I don't watch The Vampire Diaries, but I might have to. New Girl Crush: Nina Dobrev. Holy crap.

The Emmys Are Tonight

Hey, so remember The Emmys last year? When I was all, "Who the eff is this Aaron Paul punk and why does Bryan Cranston keep winning awards?"



Yeah. 2010 Me stinks -- what an idiot.

15 September 2011

Sorry Your Mom's Such a Bitch


Cute first name, but he's doomed to a life with this controlling C.

And baby makes two.

Mad Men star January Jones welcomed her first child on Tuesday, her rep confirms to PEOPLE.

Son Xander Dane Jones and the new mom are "doing great," the rep says.

Jones, 33, chose to keep the sex of her baby under wraps, remarking "it's going to be a surprise for me" during a June interview.

The actress announced the pregnancy in April. A source told PEOPLE at the time, "She’s really looking forward to this new chapter in her life as a single mom."

11 September 2011

Breaking Bad

Another violence warning!! Eeeeee! The cold open is Walter dripping blood on the floor and reaching for his broken glasses.

It's cool to see Hank all jazzed up and happy again, singing "Eye of the Tiger" (badly) as Walter drives him to retrieve the GPS tracking device from Gus's car. Of course, the device only shows Gus going from home to work and back again. But Hank won't let it go - he's interested in the chicken farm now. Walter calls Mike to give him the tip that they'll be coming by soon, and Mike starts supervising the cleaning he does so well.

Walter sees Gus's guy following them into Hank's neighborhood -- and that badass Walt pulls up alongside the car, rolls the window down, and calls the cops on him!!! Then he bums a cigarette from Jesse outside the lab. Oh Jesus, Walter's on a hot streak, watch out.

The car wash business is going so well that Skyler tells Walter he doesn't have to work his second job anymore. Time to think about an exit strategy. (Yeah, bitch, he's all over that.) Ted stops by the car wash to tell Skyler he's being audited by the IRS - criminal division. She's in a panic because her name is all over his books, and she certainly can't afford getting wrapped up in an audit. She shows up to the audit with a ton of makeup and her fat tits hanging out. No one wants that, Skyler. She plays dumb, like she's a dumb bimbo twat accountant who uses Quicken (oh guess what - she is, that's not much of an act). So it appears Ted will be off the hook for the criminal charges, but he still owes a ton of money -- and he's driving around in a car as bad as Jesse's. I hope this bitch doesn't pay his bills.

As they're cleaning up the chicken farm, a sniper shoots a dude in the head right in front of Jesse. Mike tackles Jesse to get him out of the sniper's range. Then Gus walks his bad-as-shit ass out of the warehouse, walking toward the gunman, shots ringing out the whole time. He opens his arms wide, silently saying, "Come and get me bitches, I dare you!" (Jesse later calls it "Terminator shit" because Jesse rules.) The sniper leaves. Later, Gus gets a call and says, "Tell them the answer is Yes."

Mike and Jesse bring the dude's body to the lab, a/k/a Walter's House of Meth Cooking and Body Disposal. Mike tells Walter to quit with the calling cops on his guys - Mike is the MAN tonight!!

Jesse shows up to Gus's for a dinner date because he's had some questions, and Mike said they should just speak directly. Gus asks Jesse if he can cook Walter's formula. Jesse says no, and that if Gus kills Mr. White he'll have to kill him too. Gus says that's not what he asked....

So earlier we saw that Walter had a tracking device on his end table. He uses it to track Jesse -- so he knows he met with Gus. Jesse calls Walter over to his house, where Jesse tells him he's being sent to Mexico so that he can give the Cartel the formula and teach them how to cook it. Walter just sits there and listens as Jesse rambles on, then finally confronts him on his dinner date and the not-killing-Gus. They proceed to beat the crap out of each other. These 2 just need to do it already.

Jesse asks Walter if he can walk. "Then get the fuck out of here and never come back." That was intense and awesome. And I'm sure the whole formula thing is the truth too - even if Walter didn't buy it -- that the Cartel doesn't really want Walter dead, that they want the formula.

Next week: Mike and Jesse take their show on the road to Mexico!!